What I’ve Been Doing This Week!

If you were hoping to read about what I did this week you’re out of luck. Although I am going to *tell* you about what I did this week.  Are you confused?  Bah, you’re just drunk.

First off, allow me to announce that I am very, very disappointed that I am all out of snacking foods again. This hasn’t happened since the great grocery store scare of April the Covidteenth.  I finally caved and went to the grocery store near the end of the month when I hit rock bottom and started snacking on frozen peas. 

Thankfully I am now comfortable going to the grocery store because everyone in there wears a mask and I’ve accepted that my salty snack addiction is simply stronger than my will to live apparently.

I’m doing things differently today!  I couldn’t be bothered to write a post.  That’s it. I said it. I couldn’t be bothered – although at this moment that seems like a very misleading statement considering you are now reading this which means I have written it – because it’s a long weekend in Canada!

Because it’s the long weekend I’m doing some long weekend type things. Like avoiding folding laundry and making a general mess. I had planned to NOT write a post this weekend so I could 100% relax and not work. Then I thought … but jeez … I’ve got some kind of fun stuff going on right now, and it’s a pretty typical long weekend night so I’d like to show everyone what’s going on around here.

But I don’t want to write a post.

But I want to keep you up to date on the very important things in my life like what I’m having for dinner and which structural element in my house is weird and bothers me.  You know, the kind of thing that’s CRUCIAL information for Internet friends. 

So I decided to make a video. And apparently write a post as well.  Therefore putting my work load at not only 100% but in fact, 200% of what I had planned.  I’m not very good at doing what I tell myself to do and I’m even worse at not working.  I tend to think it’s because I don’t have the love of a goat in my life.

Please enjoy this video tour of my night here in Ontario, Canada on a typical Saturday, summer long weekend in my house.


I feel like I need to update you on what’s happened since I shot the video. I have since put on my pajamas (red plaid bottoms and a red tee shirt from Gus’s Fried Chicken in Memphis and socks.) Again. Crucial Internet friends information. 

What I've Been Doing This Week!

Have a good weekend (again)!


  1. Michelle says:

    I just found your tomato article today…you’re hilarious and so fun! Can’t wait to check out rest of your site!

  2. whitequeen96 says:

    Dearest Karen, why can’t I see the video tour? I don’t have an ad-blocker on, and I get an email whenever you put up a new post, so I think that means I’m subscribed to you. I’m dying to see your house and this mantel everyone is commenting on! What should I dooooo?

    • Karen says:

      That’s odd. It’s usually the fault of an ad blocker. The only other thing I can think of is it might be your browser. I can tell you that I use Google Chrome and it’s working on that. AT least for me. ~ karen!

  3. Vikki says:

    Happy Birthday to Betty!

  4. Marie says:

    So – how was Betty’s 85th party?? Please give her my best wishes for many more! She shares the date with my lovely mother-in-law, so it brought to mind pleasant memories of the party we threw for her 85th (back in 2010). We hadn’t yet built our pizza oven at our Ottawa Valley place so it was burgers and sausages on the grill. BTW, that goat cheese and pesto pizza has been the hit of our pizza lineup since you shared the idea here.
    P.S. Thanks for sharing Betty with us!

    • Karen says:

      That’s great, I’m glad everyone likes the pesto pizza! It’s one of my favourites. And Betty’s birthday was held on my porch to great fanfare. :) ~ karen!

  5. Susan T Blake says:

    I love (covet) (not to be confused with covid) all those area rugs. Guess I’d better start collecting. If I ever go anywhere again.

    • Karen says:

      These all came from the same guy who always has a booth at a once a year antique show and sale I go to. I buy one or two a year. :) ~ karen!

  6. Patty says:

    I don’t think that your mantel is bad. Maybe it being painted makes it look too formal? I think it would look awesome stripped down to bare wood, but not pristine. Or white washed?

    • Linda says:

      Yes… That’s what I was trying to say in a more long-winded way! It’s not that bad, just needs a bit of tweaking. Remove some of the less appealing molding, replace with simpler to hide the myriad holes if needed. Finish to match the tone of other woods.

  7. Linda says:

    I comment with experience that’s very similar to your mantel dilemma. I stared at my seemingly ‘wrong’, mantel in my 80 year old living room for about 15 years. I was sure it wasn’t original even though most of my house is. Eventually all that staring lead me to a plan of attack that wouldn’t be too intrusive, messy or expensive. Luckily the limestone tile had come back into fashion so that could remain. The main point is that I took cues from the architecture in the rest of my deco/moderne house. Cues like curved walls and tiered casings around windows and doors. So off came the dentil molding, fluted pilasters and protruding plinths and on went flat wood that tiers outward, picture frame-like. Then I added more tiers (it’s not too much) leading up to the mantel shelf to which I added a large bull nose molding to create a round edge to match my round walls. Then I painted it a deep putty grey. It turned out great… wish I could post before and afters. But the funny thing is, it also turned out to be original!
    So anyway… look to the rest of your house to speak to you about the mantel. In your brief tour of which I only watched once, I got the distinctly rustic, worker cottage feeling. To me it’s screaming for a beat-up, stripped or distressed pine mantel, knots and all. Again I wish I could post a picture. The image in my mind relates to your bare wood doors and your rustic floors. You might be able to find a salvage one… Steptoes in Dundas, Legacy Vintage in Cobourg, but to get the proportions just right and have some fun, and have some pride, I’m sure you could mimic one yourself!
    p.s. I was a graphic designer specializing in packaging in Toronto and later a kitchen designer in Calgary before retiring at 40 to Victoria… does that give my suggestion any more credence? Maybe?

    • Linda says:

      Oops, Steptoes is in Australia… that’s a long way to go for a mantel!

    • Loretta says:

      Hello Linda! Karen has solved many of my dilemmas in her blog (thanks, Karen!) and now… the very first time I’ve read the comments to one of Karen’s posts, I have an ah-ha! moment regarding another dilemma! The ugly dark square fireplace mantle in my curvy (on the inside) Victoria home has always looked wrong; I’m going to try to bring to life the picture-in-my-mind that you’ve inspired. Thanks, Linda!

    • Karen says:

      No, but it makes me want to retire and move to Victoria. ;) You can send any photos to me at karen@theartofdoingstuff.com It is a worker cottage, but the front of the house was done over, probably in the 1940’s hence the coved plaster ceiling. All the wood used to be natural but I painted the trim a couple of years ago to make the house feel bigger, more fluid and cleaner, so the mantel will inevitably be painted. But plainnnnnnn. ~ karen!

  8. Mary W says:

    Brilliant Non-post today! That picture of the pizza almost makes me want to build the oven!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well you can buy pretty good pizza ovens now. They’re expensive but they’re MUCH cheaper than they used to be so start saving if you don’t want to build one. If mine ever fell apart I’d consider one of the purchased ones even. ~ karen!

  9. Cassie says:

    I noticed you have a lot of small throw rugs, love them. What kind of rug pad or backing do you use to keep them from sliding and slipping? I have a rug movement problem.

    Also love your cozy rooms. I built my dream house and it’s an open plan with the kitchen, dining, and living areas all together. I thought I wanted that but I’m over it and want some walls!
    Thanks, fun video.
    Enjoy your pizzas!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Cassie! I actually really like having separate rooms, I just wish each one of them were 1 foot bigger in every direction, lol. For under the rugs I just use regular anti slip matting, but it’s the thick stuff. You can buy a roll of it. I probably got it at Homesense (Homegoods) or something like that. I also have some sticky pads taped under all the edges to help keep them down. ~ karen!

      • Cassie says:

        Thank you! I will try and find a roll of padding, that makes sense as a lot of my rugs are homemade and odd sizes (rug hooking, etc). Now, to bother you again – sticky pads?? Is that like double-stick tape? And does it easily come up when you move the rug to vacuum or shake out? Sorry to be such a pest.
        My wildly energetic Standard poodle loves to torment my crazy never-to-be-tamed stray cat so my rugs are under constant abuse and movement.
        And with too much time because of the plague horror I actually vacuum now as there’s no excuse not to…. thanks again for your help. And I love your sanctuary of a home.

      • Norma says:

        When I was growing up, my mother and neighbours used to keep the mats in place on the floor by stitching rubber jar rings to the edges on the back. You can still find the jar rings in the hardware store for those glass topped canning jars, and they work quite well for keeping things from sliding around.

      • Karen says:

        YOU HAVE A STANDARD POODLE??? What colour?? They’re my fave. :) The sticky pads are just things I got at the dollar store (Dollarama). They’re the same material as the non slip stuff, but one side is sticky so you stick it right to the underside of the carpet. ~ karen!

  10. Darcy says:

    A Barn Beam mantle!
    They are so beautiful.

  11. Cindy G says:

    Thanks for the mini house tour, with your amusing commentary! When I look at your mantle, I can picture a simple, thick, rustic plank. Obviously, it would be hewn from a tree that you chopped down yourself, and then hand milled before applying a custom, perfectly aged patina. I expect that you’ll actually have it finished by the end of the long weekend. Red plaid pajamas means that you’re in lumberjack mode, right)

  12. Linda Weber says:

    Loved it!!!! Even better than a written post….. and just as entertaining. Keep it up I say whenever you dont feel like writing a post lol.

  13. Michele Lutz says:

    The video is great and it’s nice to see the real behind your beautiful pictures!

    The fireplace is screaming for a beautiful thick wooden beam with an old world tile surround but could be very pretty with just the beam to simplify the space and draw attention to it without being overdone.

    • Karen says:

      I love the idea of a wood beam with old world tile! But the house’s roots would be more in England than old world Italy, Portugal or Greece so I think it’s going to have to be a very simple, no frills painted wood mantle. Or I’ll just leave it the way it is for another 20 years.🤣 ~ karen!

  14. TucsonPatty says:

    I truly hope you do get *some* relaxing stuff done this weekend. I always mean to Do Stuff, but right now, I seem to have decided this is simply the vacation of a lifetime. So I’m Not Doing Stuff.
    It looks like I’ve also made the decision that I really don’t want to work near/with/next to some of the coworkers who won’t take this thing seriously. I now feel that I cannot go back to work where I have been cutting hair for the last 13 years.
    I’ve been cutting hair for 50 years, (!) and I was really not ready to retire yet.
    This thing out there has me beat, though. I’m learning about all sorts of delivery services – Safeway, Walgreens, Target, Ace Hardware – all either free with a minimum purchase, or at a very low cost if choosing a longer delivery time window (Safeway).
    I will search for a very long time to find something locally, so I can help keep our stores going here in Tucson.
    I’m so sad when I hear of another business going under because of this virus fallout.
    Certainly no restaurant is getting my usual dining out dollars, since I came home from work on March 19, and haven’t been back out into the world since.
    I go out to the mailbox, and and into the back yard to walk the circuit around the empty pool (that I planned on filling in, just as the virus hit), and walk enough laps to make 1 -2 miles a night. I call it the Back Yard 500.
    It is hotter than heck here, even the time of evening I go out. Today was 109 here.
    A neighbor has been playing Taps at sundown every night, since the Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day, so I go out to listen and then walk the circle.
    I sent out a Resistbot text (text USPS to 50409 to support them) to the president, and to my three Congress folks this weekend, about the not dismantling the USPS, and I hope lots of others on here will do the same.
    So I guess my weekend has been busy – for me, anyway.
    Oh, yes – I also took a quite professional-quality selfie to send out to my family who all would have been at our family reunion this weekend.
    I had hair and makeup, three wardrobe changes with earring changes and 4 separate locations all on one side of my back yard.
    That took up quite a bit of time and sweat in the heat!
    I understand that Monday is a Civic Holiday, but Wikipedia is not very helpful as to what it really means. Could you elucidate, please?
    At any rate – have a Happy Holiday. Not Doing Stuff. :)

    • Karen says:

      A Civic holiday just means each province has a day off. It isn’t statutory but everyone does it and most (not all) people have the day off. It’s just a “Hey! It’s summer and you all need a long weekend!” holiday. No special meaning to it. :) ~ karen!

  15. Carla Palmer says:

    Hello Karen,
    I’ve never read a blog before until last week when I read yours. Not really sure what a blog was really other than watching the movie Julie and Julia. (I thinks that’s the name). So why at age 63 was I drawn to your’s you ask? Because of your title. I like to Do Stuff as well. Like building a chicken coop and giving my shed a makeover and gardening and DIYing. During this Covid time my pandemania has been first gardening till it got hot then DIYing inside. When I watched your funny video and saw your fireplace I thought of mine. I had the same issue. Too fluffy, formal, conservative. Sooooo I am FINALLY AFTER 23 YRS giving it a facelift. Mind you I was thinking about a change at year 4. When I looked for a new mantel I was surprised to see how much $ they can run! It made me want to go out to my shed and make one. Really? I’m not that good with woodworking to my dismay. Still learning. Then I discovered mantelsdirect.com. Check it out. In no time with free shipping I had a new mantel! Of course it’s not up yet but soon. Laying the tile first. Yes, I’m having it done. I tiled both of my bathrooms and frankly I’m still working on replacing baseboards and I will run out of time before I am called back to work (god willin and the creek don’t rise and the Covid numbers spike again!).
    Omg all of these words just to tell you about MANTELSDIRECT.COM.

    Thanks for the laughs and suggestions. When I redid my shed I searched and searched for something fun and functional only to find boring brown or and I hate this term, She Sheds all decked out w chandeliers and chase lounges and a bistro set up for tea. 🤯 Mine is neither and I’m quite proud of it.

    Enough chit chat if you even have time to read this. I would think you get lots of comments.

    Have a great week,

    • Karen says:

      Of course I have time to read it! I”ll take a look at the site, but I”ll probably do the mantle myself. I just want something simple and appropriate to the house. Just less “extra” on it, ya know? :) ~ karen!

      • Carla says:

        Yes no ‘fluff’ as I call it. Ours is just a distressed piece of wood floating and stained which matches our wood floors. Good luck with it and I hope it doesn’t take you 20 years! Ha!

      • Karen says:

        Oh it very well might, lol. ~ karen!

  16. Amber Christofferson says:

    Oh my hell, I love you! I just watched your frozen yogurt tampon ‘episode’ and was laughing my @ss off! I wish we lived closer because you would definitely be one of my best friends! I’ve been following you for ‘years’ now and completely adore your personality and all of the great things you bring to us. Thank you!

  17. OhSusannah says:

    Can I just say that you are my spirit animal…..
    Your house is a gorgeous version of my own, with random ass projects laying out in every room! From the tool belt to the clock- you are a kindred spirit!
    Did the story about the clock include how much your Dad paid for the clock? Just felt that was an interesting point.
    I’ve followed you for awhile, and have enjoyed your written posts, but this video really threw my love for you over the top.
    Your unstaged house was my very favorite part 🥰 thanks for being so normal and letting us know that we don’t need to care about having a perfect home. We all have messy kitchens and projects laying around (unless you’re weird) 🥰❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    • Karen says:

      Thank you! I always have an experiment going on SOMEWHERE in the house. I have to admit I *do* love when it’s all cleaned up but it’s rare that I’m not doing some sort of project. :/ ~ karen!

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The Art of Doing Stuff