Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick Kitchen Island

[All Photos - The Grower's Daughter]

This is my baking table in my kitchen. Because I have so little counter space, I asked my husband to make a top for an old cabinet that was found in a local barn (it was previously a mauve-pink!).

I painted it a creamy white and kept it rough because I love all the character.

Now, I love this piece, and it fit perfectly underneath a pair of shelves with my canisters on it. However, after time, and a few attempts at bread making, I realized that having my canisters on it limited my amount of workspace. As well, where it was situated was on the opposite side of my kitchen so there was a lot of empty space in between.

One day, on a whim, I decided to pull it out into the middle of the kitchen and see how it looked as an island. I must say, I rather like it. It's so much more functional and it really becomes a great focal point, which distracts you from the rest of the not-yet-touched room.

I wanted to post a few photos to get some feedback. Having the cabinet in the middle does make the whole kitchen feel smaller, but the increase in functionality is so much greater. I, personally, would rather have a smaller, more functional kitchen, than a larger kitchen with lots of wasted space. But that's just me.

Anyway, let me know what you think!

This is the me standing at the island. Behind me is my sink, and my window. (As you can see, in the right of the photo, the stairway going to the basement has yet to be painted!)

This is behind the island. Previously, the cabinet sat tucked under the shelves where the stool is. Through the left is the dining room.

This fabulous stool was picked up the other weekend at the Amish Auction! She was a steal and I couldn't have been happier to take her home. I've been looking for the perfect industrial piece to throw in the mix.

This is the  view from dining room as you walk into the kitchen. You can see the sunroom beyond. The stove and sink and fridge are all to the right.

I stored the canisters and found these great jars at Target. I filled them with my sugars and flours instead. I love the look of them and it feels so much more simple.

This is where I moved my collection of ironstone pitcher to, in the dining room. They were previously where the new canisters are.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home Again

[All Photos - The Grower's Daughter]


So, we're back from the cottage and feeling as rested and relaxed as ever. As a family, we look forward to our trips up to the lake for months before leaving. It's a week of nothing. We get to spend each day together without a care in the world.

One of my favourite things to do is to bring up stacks of back issues to browse through, as well as any new decor books I've purchased throughout the year. I always end up saving them for when I have enough time to read them cover to cover. And, of course, I always bring a good book or two!

This year my reading included the following:
Fall and Winter back issues of British Country Living.
(Yes, I'm thinking that far ahead!)

Atlanta Bartlett's books Pale and Interesting and At Home with White.

Christina Strutt's Cabbages and Roses; At Home with Country.

Gail Abbots Living with Light; Decorating the Scandinavian Way.

Last month's issues of British Country Living, Country Living and Life:Beautiful.

And for my book, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.
(Which I couldn't get enough of!)

Needless to say, I had enough reading to keep me occupied for the week!

Honestly, I find that this week alone is the most inspiring week of the year for me. I come home with a million lists of projects to do, things to try, ideas for rooms to tweak, and complete plans for that year's tag sale in the Fall. It makes leaving easier because I'm coming home ready to tackle projects and start getting to work.

Monday was spend browsing through the fabric store, quilting shop, and the paint chips at our local Benjamin Moore shop in town. I came home with enough supplies to tackle a few of my projects for the fall.

Yesterday, I spent the day painting furniture. I repainted an old hutch, which is almost done and ready to be posted on, and I repainted my dining room table, as well as all of my living room end tables. I found a new shade of cream that I'm in love with; French Canvas by Benjamin Moore. It's a slightly grayish cream that really does look like aged canvas. I love it!

So, I've got lots to keep my occupied.

Here are a few photos of the family cottage. It's my in laws and they graciously let us all use it all summer long. It's up in Northern Quebec, far enough away from all things busy, and tucked away in Pike Bay. It has all the comforts of a home; running water and hydro, however, this past week, a rough storm took out the power and water for the first couple days!

Have a lovely week and don't forget to enter the giveaway before August 1st!

The hall.

The bedroom. It's the only one in the cottage, but all of the couches pull out, making room for additional guests.

The dining area and kitchen. It's half of the great area. The other half is the living area. Each wall has large windows and a main sliding door to the back deck which overlooks the bay. The whole area is open and airy and bright.

The back deck, just out of the great area. The cottage is tucked in a hill and the deck has the most gorgeous view of the entire bay.

The front of the cottage has a pair of Adirondack chairs that are in the perfect spot for watching the sunset with a coffee on the other side of the island. Though it's not technically an island, it's a large bay so it seems like the whole area is surrounded by water.

There are so many beautiful birds to hear and see, especially the loons that come through the bay, sometimes in groups as large as 35!

For more photos of the cottage, you can head to this older post.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


[via Postcards and Pretties]

So, it's 4:30am and we're all packed (though our truck doesn't look near as cozy as this!), and ready to go.

Have a lovely week and I will see you all after next weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Off To The Lake

[All Photos - The Grower's Daughter]

Today is one of my favourite kind of days: It's a list-making, bag-packing, last-minute-shopping kind of day.

Tonight my husband and I have a lovely work dinner at Niagara Falls, then tomorrow will be spent at the annual Amish Auction near Milton, an event where I usually come home with lots of amazing finds. Then we'll be waking up before the sun and heading up to the cottage for the next week.

We are so looking forward to a week of nothing

So, have a lovely week and I'll be back with photos when I return!

Our family's cottage is up in Northern Quebec, just beyond the Ontario border, about 6 hours away.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Carrot-Bran Muffins with Dates

[All Photos - The Grower's Daughter]

In the past month, I have barely baked a thing. Unless it's being brought with me somewhere, I just can't. I've been attempting to fulfill my resolutions to eat healthier and be more active, and that just doesn't happen with a batch of delicious chocolate brownies tempting me all day.

This past week, however, I have been spending a lot of time researching and browsing through my cookbooks. I've tested a few favourite recipes with simple substitutions like using whole grains, and omitting a lot of the excess sugar and fat. So far, I've been fairly impressed with the results.

Since we'll be heading to the Lake for a while this weekend, I've been freezing some baking here and there for when we're away. There's nothing like a coffee and something sweet on the dock early in the morning.
Here is a recipe I found from a Weight Watchers cookbook for a version of carrot muffins. I was really happy with these, as they came out moist and delicious.

Carrot-Bran Muffins with Dates
3/4 c. white flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unprocessed wheat bran
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 small carrots, shredded, about 1 c.
1/4 c. pitted dates, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cups.

Whisk together flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda and allspice in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together juice, oil, sugar, egg and white.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir only until flour mixture is moistened. Stir in carrots and dates.

Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool for about five minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.

For anyone interested in the points value of these, it's only 4 (in comparison, a fast food carrot muffin is 10!).


I love the look of farm fresh eggs, these are from my Aunts farm not too far from our place.

Willen thought we were having a little tea party. He just climbed right up on the chair and started drinking my tea!

PS. I picked up a set of four of those pretty ironstone cups from a flea this weekend. They were disgusting and buried in piles of old dishes, rusty and full of old nails, but for $1 they cleaned up perfectly!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A 1st Anniversary Giveaway!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I couldn`t be happier to announce that this past weekend marked a year of blogging.

I figured I would celebrate with a giveaway!

So, I began to think. What should I give away?

After much thought, I knew.

There are too many fabulously talented Etsy and online shops out there for me to pick just one. I'm sure many of you have a project (or 10), that you are working on - things to sew, rooms to decorate. And, finally, I'm fairly certain that each and every one of you wouldn't mind a little retail therapy.

So, the giveaway?

The winner, to be announced on August 1st, will enjoy a $100 gift certificate to any Etsy shop or online shop of their choice.*

As always, there are a few simple ways to enter, each of which is an extra chance at winning.

1 - Follow The Grower's Daughter if you aren't doing so already.
2 - Link the giveaway to your blog with the graphic above.
3 - Post about it on your social networking sites - each one is a different chance to win.
4 - Let me know which lovely shop you would spend the money at, and what you'd buy!

All entries must be submitted before 12 am on August 1st.

Leave a separate comment for each entry, and be sure to include a contact e-mail if your profile doesn't link up to one already, or if you post anonymously!

* The gift certificate can be to any Etsy shop, or online store, as approved by myself upon drawing at random.
Please note that some shops may not offer gift certificates.

Hopefully that made your Monday a little better.
Have a lovely week and good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Flea Market Wish List

One - This stunning farmers market sign. I want this in my kitchen! It's perfect!

[All Photos - The Grower's Daughter]

I had previously shown you my two favourite booths at Christie's Antique Show a while back, but I wanted to share a few of my most favourite finds that we're throughout the show.

If I had my way, and an appropriate size truck, I would most definitely have come home with each of these stunning pieces.

Can you believe it's Friday already?

I'm off to pick out a lovely shade of white for my dining room hutch (more on that to come later), and then I think I may spend some time with my sewing machine this afternoon.

Have a lovely weekend!

PS. I have a little announcement this weekend, possibly regarding a one year anniversary, and maybe also including a giveaway of sorts.... Check back later for more on those very vague hints.


Two - This collection of jadeite, or even a just a few pieces of it. This is something I've always been drawn to, but am too afraid to purchase because I know it will become one of the those obsessive collections that grows and grows, and quite frankly, I just don't have the space for another collection!

Three - I really love this cupboard. I also really love those vintage pins. They would suit Willen's room.

Four - The charming bench. It was just in such delicate condition, which is too bad, because it would make the perfect bench for a farm table, or in a gorgeous hallway, or maybe even at the end of a bed.

Five - And finally, this pair of doors. I know! The price tag on them was so high I think I thought for a moment I was cross-eyed and seeing a few extra zeros. I wasn't. So they stayed.

How gorgeous are they?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Inspirations - The Front Entrance


Here are some lovely inspirational front entrances. Your guests walk through this room in your house first, and it's been said that your front entrance is the first impression of your home.

I desperately hope that's not true as mine currently sits in it's dark and laminate state, still near the bottom of my to-do list. Oh well. In the mean time, these are some beautifully bright ones that maybe mine can someday aspire to.



[Skona Hem]

[House to Home]

[KML Design]

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Bedside Table

[Atlanta Bartlett]

I have been searching, for what seems like forever, for the perfect night stand for our master bedroom, and am still at a loss.

It doesn't have to be a table per say, it could be a few vintage suitcases stacked together, or a charming French bistro chair, or even a simple and elegant metal table like the gorgeous one above. I'm not picky... really, I'm not!

I'm looking for something to compliment our espresso coloured bed set, which is quite simple, but rather large. I think that's my biggest problem. Our bed is high. It's really hard to find a piece with enough presence to stand beside our bed, but small enough to fit in the space that's between our bed and the door.

So ladies, I need some ideas. What are you all creatively using as your bedside tables?


I should probably add that my husband informed me once that I could use the one that came with the set. I just laughed. One day he will learn.

I hope you all had lovely long weekends.
Happy Monday Girls!

PS. Just a reminder that Tracey of French Larkspur, is still hosting her lovely Cabbages and Roses giveaway. You can still enter here before midnight tonight!