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New Home Addition | Swimming 365 days a year

This big box…. (see above) arrived just after New Years. It was a purchase we made in June / July (I’ve lost count) in the height of the Summer, mid lockdown, when life at home was getting terribly claustrophobic.

With the cover  rolled back …. it reveals a …. pool! That can be used every day of the year, in the height of the winter, and the scorching heat of the summer. With our gym memberships cancelled, travelling grounded for the year or more,  and bring stuck to our home, Aubrey and I decided a swim spa would be a really useful, amazing investment for our backyard.

We were desperate for something we could all do together as a family- and swimming is just something we all love. We’re not skiers, or skaters. The three of us are water people – I find the greatest calm by being by, and in water. For years I’ve pinned pools, and dreamt of a plunge pool that we could incorporate into our garden.

I was originally smitten with something called “Shipping Container pools” – which are just that. Pools made out of shipping containers. I obsessed over their  their looks, but after having the hardest time getting a hold of one company (not naming names) and realizing that if I couldn’t get a hold of a company to talk about buying something – how hard would it be to get a hold of someone if something went wrong, I packed that idea away and decided I didn’t have enough patience left during a pandemic, to try to make something work that just didn’t want to work. Perhaps because of the such a bad experience trying to get information out of a company, it made me appreciate and value the experience we got at BonaVista (pictured below) in Toronto that much more.

So I knew BonaVista pools in Toronto for building gorgeous, in ground pools. What I hadn’t realized is that they had a whole division just dedicated to Swim Spas by Hydropools. Aubrey and I went in to talk with Jennifer there mid Summer (without Oscar first), and talked about pricing, what the overall cost looked like, and then booked ourselves a swim test. Oscar and I went into the pool, did a little swimmy swim and I was sold. On. the spot. It was SO MUCH FUN with the jets.

Although I’m still smitten with the design concept of a shipping container pool, I am SO glad we went with the Hydropool as it just has that many more bells and whistles that makes it fun for everyone. And although it wasn’t the look I was originally thinking, it actually is way more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Pros. This is something we can use 365 days a year. In the coldest of days I was in there floating looking at the stars, with it cranked up to 104 degrees. In the Summer I will be lying out there too, but with it waaaay lower.

Cons: Cost. It’s not just the cost of the pool but you need to factor in electrical, setting up your property to handle it, and the crane.

As much as this was thought of for Oscar to have fun in – This is also for Aubrey and I to get laps in. With the jets you can swim against the current and get in an awesome workout. I found it difficult to do the workout when we had it cranked to 104 in the dead of winter, but I see us doing the exercise more when we lower the temperature of the water, as the heat outside starts to go up. Feel free to ask any questions if you’re interested in getting one!

xo Linds

We bought it from: Bona Vista Pools (they are the BEST)
Ask for Jennifer and she’ll know which model we bought!

Pool make: Hydro Pool Swim Spa, 17 feet long

Here is how it was installed:


@lindsay_stephensonHere’s the delivery of our Swim Spa. Best investment ever. ##swimspa ##swimspalife ##hydropool♬ Mission Impossible (Main Theme) – Favorite Movie Songs

In Lindsay

First Book Canada – Pick the Winning Design!

I am so thrilled to come back from my blog hiatus* to tell you about an AMAZING thing I’m taking part in. Back before the world shut down because of Covid, I met with the amazing team at Craft PR and First Book Canada, to talk about designing something amazing, to raise funds for First Book Canada.  First Book Canada was new to me, so I’m going to share with you some background on this amazing Charity.

“We harness the collective power of educators serving low-income children. Through our award-winning innovative and powerful distribution channels, the First Book Canada Marketplace and the First Book Canada National Book Bank, we effectively deliver resources to these low-income communities, from books to backpacks. Through our fast-growing network of educators, we identify and respond to unmet needs and ensure the right materials are reaching the right students.” First Book Canada

It’s an AMAZING charity, and here’s where it gets fun! Go to First Book Canada’s Instagram page and vote for which design of tote that you like. The winning design will be made into one of our deluxe Totes sold on The Penny Paper Co.’s shop, will all proceeds going to First Book Canada. Not only are you supporting an amazing organization but you get this pretty awesome book bag.

In Bits + Pieces/ Lindsay

So we’re in a pandemic still.

Woah. So, this whole Covid s**t messed up the first half of 2020, and pretty much my daily life, that I knew. Oscar is home, Aubrey is home, my work pretty much came to a complete standstill but then, I quickly pivoted out of necessity and actually found my groove in a new pivot for the business. (Sometimes great things come out of awful situations.) But that’s another post. But we’re doing ok, and have our health. But man, oh man, all of the ideas I had to have a happy scheduled series of posts here went out the window, the minute we were doing school from home. Have you even had time to READ blogs?

It has been so ridiculously fast paced for us, that I have obviously neglected this space. And yet, I have so much that would be so fitting to write about here on this blog. Hopefully you follow on instagram, as many of the projects I’ve written about there. But alas, if you don’t – don’t fret (I know you’re fretting, it’s a big deal right?) I will post here.

But a few updates. We’ve travelled to the cottage, done lots of little projects around the house, and have more on the horizon.

I’ve moved my office to the studio, and we’ve all played musical chairs, and moved Aubrey to my old office in the basement and are in the process of building Oscar a new desk area down there too. As a gift to myself for the new studio, I bought a vintage Safe-t Cup Light, that I’ve always wanted. (You can find them on eBay, and Etsy – though on Ebay I find the prices way more reasonable)

We’re redoing our siding on the back of the house (see above) and finding siding, and people to do siding has been the worst. Again, full blog post will follow – but the house hasn’t changed since this photo a few months ago. So you’re not missing any awesome updates.

I needed to rip off the bandaid and say hello, and do a post, but with a little summer vacation coming up I’m hoping to dedicate some hours to writing. Hope everyone is staying as sane as possible, healthy and relaxed.

xo Linds