Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Hudson

This weekend our baby boy turned two.

He opened his gift on Friday and we had a small family party tonight to celebrate.

He was ecstatic when he saw all the balloons and streamers!

He's turning into such a little boy. He's started potty-training, loves his boats and animals, and can't get enough of his big brother. He has no idea the joy he brings to our house and the beautiful blessing he is.

Happy Birthday Hudson.

Roses in Bloom

My garden roses have just dropped the last of their delicate petals.

I was worried that I would miss them while we were away, but I didn't. It's their second year, and after a very long, harsh winter, I was afraid they wouldn't make it. I've been warned by a few neighbors that roses do not do well in our gardens. So when they started budding, the last thing I wanted to do was miss them in bloom.

These are the only roses I have in my garden. They're called Winchester Cathedral, a David Austen variety.

As roses are something that are new to me, I've been looking for some helpful reading on how to care for them.

Any recommendations on helpful resources would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

At The Lake

We've just returned from a week up at the lake - the first of our holidays up there this summer.

Our time up at the cottage is always one we look forward to with great anticipation. It's our home away from home, and this week we were even able to spend a little bit of time with Ryan's parents.

There's something magical about this place. The breeze blows through the muslin curtains and carries with it the scent of damp pine and lingering campfire. It's the sound of the loons on the lake, and the waves lapping against the dock. It's where we sway in the hammock, and sun on the dock, and paddle through the bay.

But most importantly, it's where we slow down and enjoy some rest as a family.  

This is our beautiful bay. The cottage is tucked in a hill, just beyond those overhanging pines to the left.

This is in the bay to the right of our cottage. It's our favourite little place to paddle. It has a giant floating bog, and is the best place to spot wildlife.

The wild blueberries all around the cottage were just starting to ripen.

The boys went out one morning and picked me as many as they could find.

They were enjoyed on top of our pancakes with real maple syrup and were delicious!

Throughout the week, I read through years worth of Martha Stewart Living and Country Living. It's something I draw so much inspiration from. I also read through all of Jane Austen's work throughout the summer.

It's also Oliver's favourite place in the world.

In the hammock, Hudson and I enjoy the gentle sway as we read by the water. 

I love how much these two love being up here.

Luckily, there's only a couple more weeks and we'll be returning.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Thank You Gift for A Great Teacher

Tomorrow is Willen's last day of school. 

I can't believe that his first year of Kindergarten is nearly over!

Today the class is celebrating with a party, and each child usually brings something special as a little thank you for their teacher. I wanted to it to be something that was inexpensive, but still special.

This is what I came up with.

I had found these bags at Marshalls a few weeks ago for $1.99. I grabbed every single one they had. I then hand lettered his teacher's initials (SH) onto the bag using Martha Stewart's acrylic paint in Wedding Cake. I threw in a copy of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, a yearly summer read of mine, that I had picked up from Chapter's when their classic lit goes on sale 3 for $10.

So the total for a monogrammed book bag and classic novel?

Five dollars.

Some pretty ribbon and a thank you note finished it off. I should also mention that it also took about 10 minutes to do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Dining Room and A New Table

I'm always amazed at the difference a fresh coat of paint makes in a room.

This is our dining room. It was an addition to the house. It took us a very long time to settle on the room. Originally, the dining room was a part of the living room, but it was quite a small space. This room has been everything; a sitting room, a mud room, a play room, an office, and now a dining room.

About a year ago, we finally decided that it works best as dining room. It's bright and has the most beautiful view of the back yard. It has french doors to the back deck and it's just off the kitchen, however, the size of the room is slightly small. It's been hard to find a table that fits comfortably in the space. A round table worked well for every day use, but when company came over, four chairs simply wasn't enough room. We then tried a long, narrow table that was actually our desk. It fit the space width wise, but the length wasn't ideal and it made the path to the door outside a little cramped.

This is a beautiful old farm table that my parents brought back a few years ago from a barn in Ohio. It's just the right size for four people to sit at comfortably, and comes with a leaf to give us more room when company comes for dinner.

It's a beautiful warm wood colour, with just the right amount of character. It's simple and works wonderfully in this space. I'm happy to be able to borrow it for a while.

This is the room with everything removed, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It was originally terra cotta colour and honestly, I hated it. I also couldn't stand the tile colour. However, after painting the walls white, and keeping the decor neautral, I didn't mind the tiles anymore. When the kitchen is redone, everything will be tiled the same. But for now, I'm content with it.

Walls - Simply White by Benjamin Moore
Trim - Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore

Two simple shelves flank the narrow window on the East side of the house.

Simple peg hooks are also beside the dining room, on the way down the stairs to the basement. It's where I hang my shopping bags and my bucket of clothes pegs.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Peonies and a New Addition to the Garden

The Sarah Bernhardt Peonies that line our front walk are now in full bloom. They were the last variety to open.

Their double blooms are a pretty pink, with hints of fuchsia, and bright yellow centers.

Aside from a few smaller buds on other bushes, these are the last of my peonies to bloom. It's bittersweet. 

But it means that my garden roses will soon be in bloom and ready for cutting, as well as the hydrangeas.

I love their different shades of pink.

The boys and I are anticipating another new addition to our garden.

Do you see her?

She's been busy making her nest on the down pipe, tucked in the ivy on the back sun room.

Since her nest is right beside the dining room window, we've watched her busily flying back and forth, all day long, making her nest ready. We even saw her and daddy "playing tag" as Willen put it. Now she's stopping flying about, and is sitting on her nest. Any day now we're expecting to hear the commotion of little baby birds.

Until then, we're patiently watching her keep her beautiful blue eggs warm. We think there are three, maybe even four, but we've only dared to take one quick peek.