Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Budding Lilacs and Open Windows


You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you, but yesterday the temperature climbed up into the mid-twenties. It was wonderful. We've been making the most of the warm temperatures by having all of the windows open and spending our afternoons in the sun.


We weren't the only ones enjoying the warm weather either.

 Our Lilac bushes have burst with green buds! They're a most promising sight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Snowdrops


"The beautiful Spring came; 
and when Nature resumes her loveliness; 
the human soul is apt to revive also."
Harriet Ann Jacobs







The delicate Snowdrops have pushed their way through the earth, and have brought life back to the the paths in the back woods. Little clusters of them have popped up all over the yard. Some are tucked among the hedges, others surround the base of the neighbor's fruit trees.


I picked a tiny handful to bring inside, and placed them in a small glass that makes an appropriately sized vase.


They really do bring with them a sense of hope, that soon the grass with be green, and the gardens in bloom, and Winter will be long gone.


We've also spotted some Crocuses too.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Lovely Easter Weekend



Happy Easter!

We are enjoying one last relaxing day at home before things settle back to normal. Our weekend was spent with family, celebrating our beautiful Saviour and the work He did for us on the cross.



The boys and I made a trip out to our local garden centre to pick up some potted flowers to get the house ready for Easter.

We found some of my most favourite Narcissus bulbs - Cheerfulness - and a beautiful white potted Hydrangea.


I just love their ruffled, cream petals.



Potted Hydrangeas remind me so much of Easter.



We also spent some time making Hot Cross Buns, however the boys decided that chocolate would be more desirable than fruit peel.


The chocolate complimented the spiced roll nicely.


We like ours with butter and sugar.


We had a delicious turkey dinner on Good Friday at Ryan's parents, and the boys were spoiled with an Easter Egg hunt. My mother in law had little chocolate eggs hidden all over the house!

Can you spot them tucked away? We were still finding them long after the kids were done hunting.


We also had snow, which meant the hunts took place indoors. But a little snow didn't stop them from going onto the deck and blowing bubbles!



Easter with my family was lunch at our house after church. Again, it was kind of a dreary day.


We finished with a huge piece of cake with fresh berries and whipped cream that my sister Erica made (with Willen's help decorating with berries, he reminds me). It was delicious.

Tomorrow the boys are off to the sugar bush for a field trip and we're hoping that the sun will make an appearance for that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Welcoming Spring


Spring has officially arrived, and while it seems that Winter is lingering, it won't be long before there isn't any doubt that the seasons have in fact changed.

We decided to celebrate by taking the boys to the Butterfly Conservatory at the Botanical Gardens. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. There were thousands of butterflies fluttering about the conservatory, each with intricate patterns and vibrant colours. They went from flower to flower as you walked around the tropical oasis, basking in the warm climate and being soothed by the sounds of the water. The boys were also excited for the Nocturnal exhibit, which consisted of every creature that was unsettling to mom - rats, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, bats and lots of cockroaches, I did however impress Willen when I held an actual tarantula.

I've decided that this Summer I would like to make a trip back when the gardens are in full bloom.


I've been forcing Forsythia blooms for the past couple weeks, and I thought it was perfectly fitting that their brilliant yellow blooms began to open today.



A couple of days ago, hints of yellow started to peek through.



Aren't the delicate flowers cheerful?


I've spent the remainder of the day reading and enjoying the sunshine.

Did you notice the change of lampshades in the photos? I had pinned a reference guide to lamp shades a little while ago and recently found these square lamp shades for a couple of my alabaster lamps. They were only $14.99 at Home Sense. I do like the more traditional style shade. The round drum shades are more suitable for modern decor. I'm still looking for bell shaped shades, as they too have a more traditional feel.

Happy First Day of Spring.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tulips


Some tulips for on my dining room table. 

I think they're such elegant flowers. They're sophisticated, and yet timeless and casual at the same time.





Saturday, February 28, 2015

Homekeeping


I talk often how the importance of having flowers in my home, and the feelings they evoke in me. But there are so many other things that make a home feel lovely.

Tidiness enables one to relax, but at the same time, so does a well loved, and evidently lived-in home. In the evening, soft candlelight is soothing, and what could be more inviting than a bed clothed in freshly laundered linens? How about a luxuriously large bar of beautiful smelling soap, or a collection of lovely books to browse through?

Really, there are so many things that make a home welcoming.


I always think a bowl of fruit looks beautiful. I always tend to gravitate towards pears and green apples, just because I like the colours of them, but they're also staple fruits in our home to eat.


These Forelle pairs are small and are the perfect size for the boys.




Don't they look lovely on the counter?


Another favourite homekeeping tip is something I discovered on Pinterest a couple years ago.

It's the smell.

Now I don't know how much is true when it comes to this one, but regardless, it works. I've read that this is a smell that is associated with Williams and Sonoma, a sort of signature smell. And if anyone has done any sort of research into an appealing home smell, I would think it would be them.


It's really quite simple;
Vanilla, Rosemary and Citrus.




It's really become something I do quite often. It's called a simmer pot. Everything is put in water on the stove, and then allowed to simmer. The aroma fills your home and really does make it smell lovely. It's especially nice in the winter, when the windows have been closed, and the house can start to smell stale. Within minutes, everything smells fresh.

There's something to the combination. The rosemary is strong and refreshing, but it's sweetened and mellowed by the vanilla, and brightened by the citrus.


There really isn't a recipe, I just add a couple sprigs of fresh Rosemary, a couple slices of lemon or grapefruit, and about a teaspoon of vanilla. Once it begins to simmer, I just turn it down as low as I can to keep it slightly simmering.

There are many other versions of this - think oranges and cloves and cinnamon sticks, or fresh mint with lemon.