10 Weeks of Progress

House Progress

As you can see, the cabinets are not installed, ha ha ha. But this is what we have accomplished.

  • almost finished with the drywall
  • finished upstairs half bath rough plumbing
  • half of the driveway sealed, with the rest crack sealed (working around all this rain = :((((
  • plumbed water and built half wall for laundry finally


I took the weekend off next weekend for hubby’s birthday.

We will be rebuilding the exterior portion of the west wall, mounting the range hood (which has to go through baby girl’s floor and out the wall) and hopefully installing the other two windows.

I’m still noodling the rough plumbing connections and we need to install the plywood base for the cabinets.

Meanwhile I am also dreaming about the finishes in the kitchen. I want some warmer colors than the bathroom, love the cool grays but doesn’t evoke a warm homey feeling that I want in the kitchen.

So I ordered tile samples. Even though spending 2k+ on tile would probably be absurd.

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 9.42.50 AM

I have some green samples as well. But I think with the floors, it may be too much color and texture.

I still want these chairs. Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 9.45.38 AM

I did find them on Sears.com for $220, which if I could find a 10% coupon and maybe some credit card points, possibly justify buying them….

Other new accoutrements for the kitchen I would like: a tea kettle and some new coffee mugs (I’ve had the same mugs from the dollar store since college and only two remain).  I’d like to find some beautiful hand painted ceramics and probably some other more durable ones for every day car usage.


Garden Progress

Yeah I wasn’t supposed to have a garden. Basically couldn’t stop myself.  Definitely planting a small fall garden. But mainly planning for the spring.

I will be also applying for a home processor’s license so I can sell some baked goods at the farm stand.


Business Progress

Still working on weekly Winesterr Emails, weekly wine sips! I’m planning on starting my Certified Wine Specialist certification this winter.

Thinking about how I want to revive Finger Lakes Foodie and this blog. The domain has since been purchased, my fault for not keeping it renewed :((((  Made me a bit sad, but I’m still mulling about products I can make (physical and electronic) to sell aside from vegetables and baked goods. And also something that is more easily scalable and a unique business product.

Personal Life 

We started shopping for a truck with the grandiose budget of $3000.  I guess you see how out of line my priorities are, spending as much on tile as a truck!!! hahaha. But I see tile as art and a truck as a tool.  Plus I still haven’t broached the tile budget with hubby either.

Mostly I’m just excited I can pick up free compost/horse manure and home goods that I don’t have to strap on top of the jeep.

Looking forward to giving some updates after our weekend slog.


Kitchen Progress. So Slow.

Admittedly I’ve been busy launching Winesterr and working on the house. But seriously, six months without an update is pretty terrible. I also even decided to forgo a garden this year (except planting my seed garlic and trying to rescue my potatoes that I left planted over winter) and maybe a few herb and tomato plants. <– This is why I don’t get anything accomplished usually.


You can see things have progressed quite a bit since the last post.  Although we did take like 3 months off for the holidays and then hubby was hit by a crazy person in a car while he was working up in the city so back issues sidelined him for two of those months.

We do have to finish re-doing the plumbing to the upstairs bath before we can finish drywalling and start installing shelves and perimeter cabinets.  The floor in the upstairs half bath was destroyed by water damage and I refuse to rip out new drywall a year later.

After most of the drywall went up, I got really excited and started pulling out cabinets. haha. One part of the install that’s going to be a bit icky is the corner sink and counter. Also did I mention our run is 1″ too long for the cabinetry? bahaha. This sink is MONSTER and it came in a bag that I could fit into. Crazy big.

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Also I have a random picture of our range hood which I got for a crazy bargain on EBAY. It’s a vent-a-hood which basically means it’s a high quality, super quiet, super strong hood. The corner is a bit dented but for getting a 48″ range hood < $1000, I’ll deal.



Lastly, as usual my taste outstrips my budget. I really want these stools but considering all the work left on the house I can’t justify spending a $1000 on three stools. I haven’t decided if I should go budget or just wait and hope they go on clearance or until I’m earning more money. Even then, not sure. But I haven’t found any other swivel stools that I like.


Booooo. Also I’d never buy it from walmart, that just happened to the screenshot I sent my husband when I was “showing” it to him.

The goal is to have the perimeter cabinets and counters install in the next 10 weeks.  I also still have not finished the trim work in the bathroom and the shelving still needs to be finished with more drywall.

This summer we’re supposed to be doing roofing, siding and resealing the driveway. As I type, it’s snowing out. Isn’t NY grand?

Finally, I’ve been writing on this blog/or a similar blog now for six or seven years sporadically but I’ve been thinking about shifting it now that I finally have maybe come up with a cohesive purpose and keeping my ramblings/doings on the house/farm just to one category or page.  Frugal luxe is still not quite right, but I think maybe I figured out the blog purpose finally.

Maybe.  I don’t want to commit to too much right now as I’m juggling a lot of balls with trying to get Winesterr up and get processes in place. It takes my brain a lot of time to sort and process information but I think with Winesterr and the homesteading (and my itty bitty savings account I set up to buy our first investment property) that we’re heading in the right direction. Slowly but surely.

There’ s a lot of great homesteading blogs out there already for sure. But I think I can come up with something.

Hope everyone has a wonderful spring. !!!!  Pretty sure I’ll have an update before summer starts.

Kitchen Demo

I enjoy demoing, as long as I don’t get too dirty (hahaha). I really detest all the things that turn up during a demo in an old home: squirrel nests, rodent skeletons, water damage, and other disgusting things I don’t really want to think about.

The kitchen demo is about 50% complete, the main thing left is the floor. We are also incidentally out of room already in our 30 yd dumpster. Ah the joys of renovation.

IMG_0024This time around demoing is more or less a nightmare because I can’t get too involved when I am home alone with the baby.  We still need to get the rest of the appliances moved out, get the wall knocked down and then gut the floor (and remaining walls).

The goal is to have the floor framed and subfloor in by the end of next week. It’s really dependent at this point on how much overtime my husband is working. I’m also working extra hours this week soooo things are slowing down.

And so it begins (the kitchen!!!!!!!!!)

The mudroom tiling is done and almost all the electrical is done (which is hubby’s gig). Today was packing of the kitchen and I also started ripping out the old bathroom. Yay!!

Obviously we have to go back and drywall, frame the closet etc.

Here’s the terrifying current state of our “dining area” in the kitchen. 

Yeah somehow all of this needs to get moved out this week.

This is our hideous bathroom. It’s worse than it looks. I seriously feared for our lives showering together in this thing. The subfloor is being held up with post jacks and a 2×4 😳😳😳😳.
So the plan is to get the kitchen demoed, new subfloor and Windows installed, rough plumbing and electrical, tiling and new insulation and floor vents in next 4 weeks. Uh yeah …..

And the wheel turns….

Great series by the way for all you fantasy fiction nerds out there.

After a couple weeks of failed start/stop with the home renovations, we are full force into remodeling the mud room (the precursor to the kitchen remodel).

GOAL:  complete floor tile and rough electrical so I can move some of the stuff into the mudroom for the remodel. Currently, we are not really at all on track to finish structural mods before September.

We also still need to button up the siding on East side, and tack up the holes in the fascia to keep the wild beasts from coming in for the winter.  Next summer will be devoted to siding, driveway repair etc.


Life stuff: Baby girl is growing fast! I have been narrowing my focus for career development. I’ve been devoting most mornings to learning mobile application coding. I’m really slow to learn, but stuff is beginning to stick. some days are better than others.

I’m still tossing ideas for income either blogging (not this blog fo’ sure, haha) or through property investment.  I really want a garage/workshop for all of Dylan’s tools. This would be quite an investment (read: bye bye money), but if we could build an apartment over the garage, we could almost pay for the house payment and any increase in taxes building a garage would incur.

The other property investment venture I would be interested in is buying foreclosed properties for cash, renovating them and selling them. For this, we would also need a storage area for “bargains”, and all tools, and a truck. The plan is to buy a truck for cash in about three years (hopefully the Jeep lasts that long!). By that time, we should almost be done with the house……. baby girl in school, and time and energy to build a garage? I need to do some research as to some costs. It also means not investing too much more into the house, as much as I would love a tile backsplash, it will have to wait :(((((.  I would guess we still need about 10,000 more to finish the house between drywall, siding, insulation, wiring and hardwood floors. This would include any decor or furniture.

Those are my current babbles. Hope everyone’s week is going well! I’ll get some photos posted soon, so you can appreciate the true hideousness of the kitchen.

The Bathroom: A Labor of Love and Caffeine

I was preparing to wait to post photos until all the trim was done and the shower door was up, but I am burned out. Also side note, I made a mistake with the shower door opening in failing to calculate for mortar so I am unsure if I am going to be able to make our beautiful shower door fit.

Anyway, there’s several details regarding around the vanity I’m not happy with but it will do for now. IMG_2676

Almost done

Things are coming together. Now just need :

  1. Toilet rough in
  2. Frame linen closet
  3. Install door
  4. Hardiback and tile floor
  5. Tile around tub
  6. Window and door casing 
  7. Wallpaper
  8. Moulding
  9. Paint ceiling

(Not necessarily in that order.)

I’m so very excited about the dumpster coming next week. Unless you’ve lived through a Reno you really cannot understand how the clutter and garbage frays your nerves. This is our third year of renovating, hopefully less than 3 left!!

Current Project

One of my resolutions is to do fewer projects and follow through 100% on the projects I begin, whether they end in success or failure.

I bought a passion planner to help myself stay organized and on task (even if I don’t actually hit all my goals)

My current focuses are the remodel (bathroom), garden, and my software idea that I’ve been bouncing around for a few months.

The software idea is a business app for farmers to increase profitability and efficiency and decrease time spent entering information. Fun fact, I have no coding experience, although I was playing with it while I was pregnant (abandoned due to lack of nausea free time). Right now I am working on wireframe prototypes, and then I will figure out the next step of what I need to learn (or who I need to find) to create this (assuming the pricing model is viable).

If there are any random farmers out there interested in providing feedback on the business software–here’s the Facebook group I started.

Ag Software


Bathroom Updates

Fact: Tiling is difficult.

I hate applying thin set with a passion. 

The challenging subfloor was completed. Wiring aside from hooking up the vanity light is complete! 

Fun suggestion: apply liquid membrane with a roller, not a trowel—–wayyyy easier. 

I ordered my moulding and casings. This may not seem like a big deal but I’ve been struggling for weeks to go painted or wood. I never found the right paint color so wood it is. We have this great specialty hardwood place—loveeee going there. 

I’m sooooo over this bathroom, just want it to be complete.

Things left to do:

  1. Shower tile (25% left)
  2. Tub tile
  3. Drywall
  4. Tile floor 
  5. Window casing
  6. Install door
  7. Medicine cab installed
  8. Shower door installed
  9. Hang wallpapers 
  10. Crown mouldinf
  11. Frame and build linen closet
  12. Install vanity light 

Our revised deadline is May 18, before hubby has surgery, this seems optimistic.  Babies and tiling don’t really mix.