The Time Mike Holmes Fixed our House

I completely missed our Blog Anniversary last week!

On July 5th, we officially turned two!

I had plans of a whole Blogaversary week with my fave stuff, behind the scenes etc, but heck, summer happened, and so did work in our backyard. However, I will give you one flash back post!

I was talking to a good blog friend a few weeks ago, and mentioned that my lifelong dream was to have my own show on HGTV, and that we had loved being on Holmes Inspection. She gave me the WAIT WAIT WAIT, you were on HOLMES INSPECTION? And I was all like “yeah dude, Mike Holmes fixed our house! It’s on my blog!”. Then I realized I posted about being on the show on my 2nd ever blog post. Back when…oh about two people read the blog (Thanks Moms!)

So I said to myself. “Maybe my new readers don’t know about the time I cried on international TV, and Mike Holmes saved our butts”.

Here’s the scoop. We moved into our place, and had big problems from day one. We were in over our heads, and had spent ALL our money on buying the place. We had a home inspection (from a VERY reputable company) but a lot of things were missed.

Mike, Damon & the team stepped in, and fixed all the problems hiding behind the walls of the Storefront.

I wont spoil the show for you, so head on over to HGTV and give it a watch!

Watch Moisture Madness
Watch our episode “Moisture Madness” on

For my American & International readers, I don’t think it will let you watch it on the Canadian site, and I do not see whole episode listed as streaming on Keep an eye out for our episode on your local listings, or give it a google and see if you can find it.

Our Episode: Holmes Inspection Moisture Madness.


We get a ton of questions about the show. Here are answers to your most asked questions!

Whats Mike Like? Exactly as you see him on TV! He is kind, friendly, funny, and cares sooo much about quality construction, and helping people! The first time we met him was literally when he knocked on our door in the show. Nothing is scripted. He is genuine, and it was awesome to have Mike and his team come to our rescue.

Did we have to move out? Yep! We had a lot of construction going on, and some safety concerns, so we moved out for the duration of the show. We stayed at Grant’s Mom & Dad’s place, and the only time mid construction that we came back to the house was when you see us come back in the show.

How did we get on the show, and why did we apply? It was Christmas time, the house was falling apart around us, and no contractors were returning our calls as it was the Holidays. Defeated, we were sitting on the sofa watching TV, and a Holmes Inspection marathon was on HGTV. El Granto turned to me and said we should apply. I said, oh our house isn’t THAT bad, is it? He said…well, yeah it is. We emailed them our story via their casting call on I drafted the email, read it back aloud to El Granto, and burst into tears, as yeah, it did sound pretty terrible when you put it all on paper. Our story must have been compelling, as they picked us!


When did the show air? It aired in September 2011, a week and a half before our wedding! Don’t worry, we still got married, although we did have to postpone our honeymoon, and never did get to go to Europe. Instead we took a short tropical honeymoon six months later.

Did you have to pay? How much? Sorry guys, we’re not discussing anything about money. That’s private!

Would we do it again? OF COURSE! They saved our butts! We owe Mile & the team a world of gratitude and I don’t know where we’d be without them. We now have an awesome home, that we are loving putting our own stamp on.


Let me know if you have any more questions, and I will do the best to answer them.

Have you ever be on TV? Have any television aspirations? What did you think of our episode?


Canada’s Handyman Challenge – Behind the Scenes

Did you watch the finale of Canada’s Handyman Challenge last week?
If not ,go watch it, then come back here. I’ve got some behind the scenes action of the finale episode.

Back in the fall HGTV invited me on set of Canada’s Handyman Challenge. I got to meet and interview the judges (see my post on that here) and I also got to tour the set during the final challenge. I couldn’t post any of my set pictures before, as that would be a bit of a spoiler. However, now that the show has aired I can share my sneak peek of the set.

I got to visit on lunchtime of day one of the finale build. The pallet houses were starting to go up. The set was in an old industrial factory, with red brick industrial buildings as the backdrop. Enjoy!

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Click panoramic for larger version
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Click panoramic for larger version


The finale projects were awesome. The amount of thought, skill and engineering in them was incredible. I thought this was one of the funnest seasons yet. The projects season wide were creative, and the contestants did a bang up job.  There can however be only one winner, and congrats Brent on the win!

What did you think of this season? Which was your favorite project?

Canada’s Handyman Challenge

Do you have a favorite TV channel? One that you turn to first to see what’s on? Mine is HGTV. Before owning a home I lusted after every home and project and reno on the TV just itching to get my own place. I wanted to learn how to frame a wall, why plumbing needed to be vented and how to tile and drywall. I wanted to be a handy(wo)man.

Needless to say Canada’s Handyman Challenge is one of my favorite shows. It takes average handy Joe’s, and puts them to the test in home building/repair challenges. To top it off, the judges are my favorite hosts on HGTV. Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray and Paul Lafrance.  The new season of CHC is about to kick into high gear, premiering tomorrow night (Tuesday January 21st at 10pm ET|PT) on HGTV Canada.

Canadys Handyman Challenge

One afternoon when I was busy working on the kitchen project my phone buzzed with an email asking me if I’d like to come down to the set of Canada’s Handyman Challenge and sit down with the judges and host Jenn Robertson. Would I like to visit behind the scenes of one of my fave shows and interview three of my heros? Nah. I’m good. I’d rather be elbows deep in plumbing.

So I went (of course!) I battled a closed road and an out of the way set location and literally ran to make it in time.

When I arrived, I got to tour the set (which was freakin’ awesome!) and then sat down with Bryan, Scott, Paul and Jenn with surprise guest (our buddy) Mike Holmes.

Canadas Handyman Challenge

My first realization: Scott’s hair really is that great.

Next realization: The guys are old friends, who get along great and enjoy taking the piss out of one another. Throughout our round table the guys were super relaxed and personable. Scott even told us bloggers that he checked out our blogs (swoon). The strange thing is that you watch these guys on TV so much you kinda think that you know them. That they’re your friends, when really you’ve just been voyeuristic looking at their lives from a box in your living room! They quickly put us at ease and were very candid with our questions.

Canadas Handyman Challenge

The four lucky bloggers attending got to ask the gang a question. My question was a bit self serving (I was trying to get the inside scoop so I could take the prize at next years competition.)

I asked this: “What is the one skill that the candidates and handymen in general are lacking?”

I LOVED their answers. Here is what they said:

Scott: Passion.

Paul: Math, Science.

Mike: Confidence.

Jenn: Ability to hang wallpaper! She says there’s always a wallpaper challenge. PRACTICE HOW TO WALLPAPER!

And my favorite response:

Bryan: Planning.

Bryan says people don’t stop and think/plan out what they are doing, they just go head long into the project without thinking how they’re going to do it. I couldn’t agree more. I see my projects going downhill fast unless I plan it out beforehand. I plan on taking Bryan’s advice and planning out my projects more!

I can’t wait to see the judges in action (and what candidates posses the skills the judges are looking for!) I will also start planning my plywood challenge for next year.

Here are a few more behind the scenes pics (I couldn’t share all of my pictures as I was invited on set during the FINAL challenge. So check back after the finale and I will be sharing more pics!.)

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I will be chatting on twitter tomorrow night during the premier (Tuesday January 21st at 10pm ET|PT) on HGTV Canada. Follow me @storefrontlife for my witty remarks about my new best friends Bryan, Scott, Paul, & Jenn.

Until then you can get your CHC fix by checking out host bios and behind the scenes videos about the show here.

Would you ever try out for Canada’s Handyman Challenge? Will you be watching tomorrow night?

How it all started

A year and a half ago, El Granto and I purchased our first home. A 100 year old storefront in downtown Toronto. It was recently converted, had a beautiful reno, was ideally located, had a yard for a future dog and a garage for El Granto’s motorcycle. Perfect. We signed the papers, and moved in a month later. Then the skylight leaked, the sink leaked, the brand new dishwasher didn’t work, the basement leaked, the storefront window leaked and the icing on the cake; the dryer vent leaked into our bedroom ceiling making for a hell of a mess days before Christmas. We were in trouble. Luckily we received some awesome help from Mike Holmes and his Holmes Inspection crew.
Here is our story!

Watch Moisture Madness
Watch our episode “Moisture Madness” on