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‘Around The House’ Category

  1. Sunshine and Gardening

    June 10, 2012 by admin

    Well we’ve had a great Sunday taking care of the house.  With all I’ve been up to getting the store up and running, the housework has suffered a little.  I’m usually a die-hard garden enthusiast and you’ll find me drooling over the rows of plants at local nurseries.  This summer I’m choosing to scale back on gardening and trying to keep things simple.  Today we did some cleaning up of the garden edges, planned some simple white annuals and also added hanging ferns to the porch.  I even scraped down and repainted the front porch!  It looks very fresh and clean!


    Sara clipped some roses from our flopping climbing rose bush and placed them in a milk glass vase from her grandparents’ house.  Pretty right?


    Here’s hoping you have plenty of relaxing days of sunshine and gardening this summer!

  2. Prepping My Office

    February 29, 2012 by admin

    I’m so excited because soon I get to take on some exciting new projects  – especially some DIY furniture makeovers.  I’ve decided to make our office at home into a little atelier/studio where I can work on each project and hopefully contain the mess.  We don’t really use our office a ton to be honest, so I just needed to do a little rearranging to get a set for being creative.  I pulled out a bunch of my old inspiration images and taped them right on the wall.  I love the way it looks and I can get fresh new ideas each day.  I also snapped some shots of the rest of the office to share with you – pencil crayons, and magazines and wallpaper – oh my!

    Here’s to all of your creative endeavours!  Hope you can carve out a little corner of your home to let your imagination soar…

  3. Roses In Many Colours

    February 17, 2012 by admin

    Well guys, it’s been another crazy, busy week and it’s not over yet!  Looking forward to a loooong weekend for Family Day and appreciating all that I’ve got.  Here’s a little moment from our house this morning (roses from Valentine’s Day) on a little writing desk in our den.  Hope they brighten up your morning like they did mine.



  4. Homemade Whoppie Pies

    February 3, 2012 by admin

    Here’s a little chocolatey temptation for you – homemade whoopie pies!  I don’t claim to be an expert pasty chef, but ever since I had my first whoopie pie in Maine I was hooked and I wanted to try my hand at them.  They tasted pretty good!  Trust me, they didn’t last long…

    Happy Weekend everyone!

  5. Paper Whites Progress

    January 29, 2012 by admin

    Look how well my paper whites are doing!!  They’re certainly brightening our window sill and harkening spring in the middle of the sleet and snow.  It’s so easy – you just plant ’em and water ’em and watch them grow!  They bring a smile to my face each day and they smell wonderful.  They look great en mass like this, but I also like to cart individual pots and saucers around to different areas of the house like a writing desk, kitchen counter or powder room.  You should try growing your own paper whites for sure!



  6. Arranging Roses

    January 26, 2012 by admin

    Sometimes roses are just so…done.  But grouped en masse in a single colour without any fern or baby’s breath, they’re wonderfully lovely and pure.  Here, I worked with some ivory roses and a blue and white vase I picked up at Value Village.  A match made in heaven if you ask me.

  7. Sara's Black Bottom Cupcakes

    January 20, 2012 by admin

    This past weekend we held a special dinner for the family at our place.  It was my mom’s birthday and we made a big dinner and put two tables together (old school right?) with a cheerful table cloth and mix ‘n match dishes and some fresh tulips.  A breath of spring in the dead of winter I guess.  Well the decor paled in comparison to the black bottom cupcakes Sara baked.



    Actually we call them cream cheese cupcakes from the days when we worked as camp cooks on our summers off from high school.  Mrs. Braye, a Newfoundlander, was in charge of the kitchen and taught us to make these for 100 + people at a time!  Well years later I found out they’re very fashionable treats in New York and not called cream cheese cupcakes, but black bottom cupcakes.  Whatever you call them, they’re delicious!  You can find recipes for them all over, but here’s one.  Bake some up this weekend – you won’t be disappointed!  Hopefully Sara will read this and make some more!


    Happy Weekend Everyone!  

  8. Paperwhite Indoor Garden

    January 18, 2012 by admin

    Okay I’ll level with you.  I didn’t get around to planting my paperwhites in time for Christmas.  In fact I realized that I’d have tons of decorations for Christmas and that I should save my paperwhites for January and February when I’d really need them.  Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself

    Aaaaanyway, I’ve gotten around to planting my paperwhite bulbs (in old terracotta pots with moss no less!) and have placed them on a burlap-skirted table in our front window.  Now we can enjoy watching them grow.  It may be freezing cold outside, but we’ll have a spring garden in our house!



  9. Christmas Party Decor

    December 22, 2011 by admin

    Well folks, it’s almost here!  Before it’s too late, I wanted to share with you the other decorations around our house as we prepare for Christmas day.  We hosted a small party last weekend and pretty well finished getting the house ready just in time.  Here’s what we did…

    The dining table looked extra festive with it’s vintage table cloth, mix’n match china and striped napkins (a Zeller’s score!)…

    I decided to keep it simple on the mantle (since we have lots going on elsewhere) and I love the effect!  Myrtle topiaries with little bow ties and candlelight just makes it!

    Of course there’s the tree…glowing and happy. I see a few early presents there too!  I wonder what they are…

    On top of my mom’s old piano we set up an adorable Christmas village.  The little houses look like they’re 50 years old but they’re brand new – and from Loblaws!!  I couldn’t believe it when I saw them and of course threw them in the cart.  The silver trees are Loblaws too and the green ‘bottle brush’ trees are from Dollarama.  I kid you not!  I just added some yarn and gold garland (Dollarama) to make them festive.  I’m so pleased with the effect.  The little Santa in his sleigh is vintage from my friend Ruth.  He fits right in!

    I think my nephew’s going to love this!

    And finally a special addition to the Christmas festivities this year:  a vintage aluminum tree!  This tree was found in the basement at Sara’s grandpa’s this year and I think her dad and Aunt Lynn will get a kick out of seeing it assembled and decorated again.  Sara’s dad said he remembered it well from back in the day.  I just love it’s retro glamour and the spare, not-t00-full look and the quirky ornaments.  I think it’s my favourite decoration for Christmas 2o11!

    Hope your decorations make you just as happy!

  10. Decking The Halls – And The Christmas Tree!

    December 19, 2011 by admin

    Finally, I get to show you how our Christmas tree turned out!

    I’ve always loved decorating Christmas trees.  Since I was a kid I found it to be a magical process – selecting my favourite, most special ornaments.  One of my very favourites was a gold ornament depicting the three wise men on camels with the star shining above. You put one of the light bulbs from the tree into a hole in the bottom of the ornament and it illuminates the whole thing.  It’s really lovely and I saw it again at my parents’ house this afternoon actually.  Still my favourite.

    For our own 2011 Christmas tree, Sara and I started with propping it up in it’s metal stand and giving it lots of water.  We use something called ‘Stay Fresh’ from Canadian Tire mixed in the water and that seems to help.  Also ours is a spruce and I found it really took the ornaments well and let them hang beautifully.  We added lights first, weaving them in and out as best we could (I actually hate this part and used to make my younger brother do it – where is he now?!?).  After the lights, some good-old-fashioned gold metallic garland from Loblaws.  It took 4 strands I think.

    After the unconventional choice of gold garland (maybe you’re thinking it’s tacky?) I went even weirder with strands of red yarn as a homespun mini-garland.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen yarn used as garland before, but I’m really into it and love it’s kind of whimsical, loosey-goosey look.  It kind of seems like some Beatrix Potter mice or bunnies did the decorating!  Next up – the ornaments, and lots of them…

    My favourite ornaments are the old fashioned glass ones.  We have some from a close family friend, named Ruth, who lived her whole life just down the street from the house Sara and I would one day buy.  When she down sized to an apartment, she gave Sara and I her many colourful ornaments.  It’s so wonderful to know that their beauty lives on – just up the street from where they began their careers as tree decorators.  The ones above are from Sara’s grandparents house, so they’re an extra special addition this year.

    Next up – some beautiful blue and white ceramic ornaments my mom bought us last Christmas.  It was for our first Christmas in our first house and they tie in perfectly with the Blue Willow plates on the wall in the dining room.  They were not too expensive at all and found at HomeSense.

    These white pine cones are another favourite – from Canadian Tire no less – and from my first student apartment in Kingston.  They still make an appearance each year and I still love ’em.

    One last addition – a big set of Martha Stewart ornaments from Home Depot.  Red, green, gold and sort of vintage-inspired.  They fit in nicely with all of the gold garland, red yard and their twinkling vintage cousins.

    And voila!  The tree has transformed into a glittering, festive and oh-so-personal Christmas tree.  It’s all ready for presents beneath and adds a cozy, homey charm to our house on cold winter nights.  Hope you’ve had fun decorating your home for the holidays and that whatever your special ornaments are or what kooky elements you add, that your place feels special and happy and true to you.  Merry Christmas!