Tuesday, October 23, 2018

weekend in ohio

 I'm a proud Canadian - I love my country. But if I'm honest, every time we take a trip to the US and discover these amazing small towns, full of historic homes and a rich history, we get a little day-dreamy and start looking up real estate.

Of course we wouldn't actually move there. After all, we have our dream historic home right here! But I am always thankful that so many great places are only a days drive from us: Nantucket, New York, Boston, New England, and even Ohio. Aside from the cottage, most of our favourite places to road trip to are in the States - usually out East. We are very much drawn to the East Coast. (Though we can't wait to head South one year and cross Charleston off our list!)

We stayed in this charming stone house I found on Airbnb. It was more reasonable than staying at an inn or hotel as a family of 6, and was so much more comfortable. It has recently been completely refinished, and done very well! It had all the gorgeous character of a stone house - exposed beams, exposed stones and deep window ledges - but all the comforts of a modern home. It was also spotless.

My parents "cottage" in Amish Country a couple times a year. We decided to find somewhere to stay near them, in the Holmes Country area, so we could meet up with them, but also tour around the surrounding countryside. 

I think my favourite small town was Winesburg, with it's population of 352 people. Wooster was a pretty city, with a gorgeous college district full of big old homes, and some great little shops. And the countryside, it's just beautiful. Farms are tucked in the valleys, horses, cows and sheep dot the rolling hills, and every now and then you have to slow down for a horse-drawn buggy.

This stone cottage was a tiny inn in the town of Winesburg. It was beyond charming!

Another reason we picked this area was because we were travelling with the kids. It's a lot harder travelling with four kids - one a toddler and one a newborn. We made lots of stops, and did a lot of "dividing and conquering". If Ryan found a brewery he wanted to check out, he would pop in for a tasting and I would sit in the car and feed George while Jude slept, and the boys ran around outside. Or I would drop Ryan and the boys off at a great park in town and take George to quickly pop into the shops I wanted to browse. And then of course one evening my parents took the boys so we could go out for a couple hours which was lovely. We also selected buffet style restaurants which meant the boys could pick what they wanted and didn't have to wait around. (It's also their favourite kind of place to eat, so it was something special for them.) While driving we listened to Harry Potter on audio book, which kept them fairly quiet and entertained. And having a house to ourselves was nicer than a hotel room, especially for them to have space to play.

I will hopefully get around to posting some photos of the rental soon. Honestly, the one morning I just sat in the arm chair, sipping my coffee, furnishing every square inch of the home in my mind.

Not to mention all the homes we found along the way that would be gorgeous. Like this old home with an attached storefront - I mean seriously...

Monday, October 15, 2018


I recently watched a sketch of two neighbors - Canada and the United States - saying hello at the fence. The Canadian neighbor was wishing his American neighbor a Happy Thanksgiving, to which the American responded "Isn't that a bit early?" The Canadian explained how we celebrate in October, and that no, none of our other holidays are early; we celebrate the rest at the same time. The American hints at an invitation, and when the Canadian obliges, he adds that no, they wouldn't be having Sweet Potatoes with mini marshmallows as "that's just weird".

A huge amount of bloggers, and Instagram accounts I follow for inspiration, including Magazine publications like Martha Stewart Living, are American. So a lot of Fall focus is first on Halloween and then Thanksgiving, which can also tend to have a Christmas feel to it.

Personally, I'm not sure which I prefer. With our Thanksgiving being early in October, it can often feel less like Autumn, and more like Summer still. However, I like the space we have between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the past couple of years, I've just decided to celebrate both. You can't have too much gratitude - or Pumpkin Pie, in my opinion. One usually includes large get togethers with our families, and the other, a small intimate dinner for just us.

Regardless, this year, as nearly all of our immediate family was out of town, we didn't have much planned, so it honestly snuck up on me! My parents were the only ones home, and as my mom wasn't busy making hundreds of pies for the store, she wanted to make dinner. She told me I could have it at our place, which suited me perfectly, as it meant I could still enjoy setting the table. So set the table I did.

I have envisioned this pair of pheasants down the center of my Thanksgiving table for a very long time. My mom and I purchased from an antique shop five years ago to sell at the store. For a couple years my Aunt had them in her kitchen, and this past Spring, knowing how much I loved them, gifted them to me. They were my inspiration.

I made simple arrangements of white Roses and berries from our Ivy in clay pots. I liked how the clay picked up the copper tones of the birds.

The greenish blue tones that they also have made the blue berries and greyish blue squash good accents.

I love the woven chargers with our dining chairs. and simple ribbon-tied napkins to make each place setting more special.

George sat content, sleeping quietly, as I puttered around.

The next morning was a holiday Monday, but we lazed around like it was a Saturday. I made Pumpkin Spice waffles and we spent the morning reading. In the afternoon, the boys went for a hike, while I walked around the Balls Falls Thanksgiving Show with George.

All the historic buildings were dressed up for Fall, and everything is tucked in and around the old village. It was a gorgeous weekend - the perfect way to put one in the mood for Fall.

Looking forward to seeing how you all decorate your Thanksgiving tables.

Ribbon and Candles - Everyday Occasions 
Chargers - Pier One (in stores only)
Table Cloth by Ralph Lauren - Homesense
Soother Clip - Darling Emma Handmade

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

the boys room - before photos

The paint swatches are out and rooms are being prepped for the painters who are arriving tomorrow.

With the baby arriving in six weeks, we needed to get our bedrooms ready. Our home has three bedrooms - two upstairs and one downstairs. Currently, all three boys are sharing the bedroom upstairs and using the downstairs bedroom (this one in the photos) as their playroom. Surprisingly, this has worked out perfectly for the past few years. Though I have to admit, they are all good sleepers, which helps. However, trying to add a newborn (eventually) into the same room is just too cramped.

So we've decided that the two older boys will move downstairs, and the two littles will stay upstairs. I feel like the two oldest boys are big enough for this move now, which I wasn't comfortable with when we first moved in. The bedrooms upstairs are in the original house, and the playroom is in the furthest addition, as far away from the other bedrooms as you can get. 

So here is the room, exactly as it was when we moved in. We haven't done anything with it in the 3 years we've been here. It's their playroom and it does take a beating.

We also don't plan to do anything major in this room except freshen it up with some paint, add window treatments, new light fixtures, maybe some built ins and make it a functional bedroom and playroom for the older boys.

I've branched out from my usual Simply White by Benjamin Moore, and decided on a pretty neutral Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore. It's part of their Historical Collection of colours, so I feel like it still fits the age and character of the house.

The floors are already painted, so I need to figure out what I'm going to do with them. I'm thinking I will give them a fresh coat of paint to freshen them up.

Once I draw up a design layout for this room I will share it, as well as my inspirations for the decor. For now, I'm just happy to not have to be painting.

Monday, June 25, 2018

shop inspiration - flowers on chestnut, nantucket

I wanted to give you a little tour of one of my favourite shops on Nantucket - Flowers on Chestnut.

Before I saw the shop, we walked past the courtyard and it made me smile.

All the cut flowers are arranged in buckets and grouped by colour.

I loved this sweet little view into the back.

I also liked this little rabbit figure.

And this pretty arrangement of blue ware.

It really had such a great mix of so much of what I love - wood pieces and natural fibre rugs, baskets and linen, blue transferware and hotel silver.

And a great collection of beautiful design books and cook books.

I loved these bird plates framed with over-sized mats.

See why it needed an entire post all to itself?

Friday, June 22, 2018

nantucket and the cape- day three

Our third and final day on Nantucket was really just a morning while we waited for our noon ferry to arrive. We still had our rental car until just before we departed, so we decided to try to squeeze in a few more things we had wanted to do.

Our first stop, coffee and these delicious "morning buns" at Petticoat Row Bakery, which was steps from our hotel. 

Then I popped around the corner to one of my favourite shops, Flowers on Chestnut. I had spotted a little blue transferware piece that I really loved, but left behind the day before. I decided to go back and get it for myself as a little souvenir, and I'm really so happy I did. It's the sweetest shop with fresh flowers on the main floor, and beautiful home decor on the second floor with some great books and antiques scattered about. Maybe in a separate post, I'll share a few photos of it with you. 

We then drove around town for a bit, looking at the store fronts. I had to laugh because some of the cobblestone streets felt bumpy enough to send me into labour! We joked we'd be able to extend our stay for a bit, and who wouldn't want a little Nantucket baby?

We made our way down to Old South Wharf again, this time to see it in the daylight.

I popped into this sweet souvenir shop to pick up a couple little things for the boys - a little wooden 'Sconset train for Jude, a geode for Hudson (he asked for the coolest rock ever - this one you smash open and hopefully find some crystals inside), a knot bracelet for Willen and sharks tooth fossils for both.

We had wanted to try the famous Turkey Terrific sandwich from Provisions, so we grabbed sandwiches and packed them for on the ferry ride.

Still finding ourselves with about an hour before needing to be back, Ryan decided we would take a quick drive out towards Tom Nevers, a part of the island we hadn't been to yet. The beautiful sunny weather was starting to give way to the grey fog the island is known for, and rain was on it's way. It didn't stop us from meandering through the sandy back roads though, all the way to the coast where we got out and enjoyed a few last minutes of the beach.

After dropping our car off, we checked our final stop off our list - the Juice Bar for their famous ice cream and homemade waffle cones. So worth the stop.

We caught our ferry and departed just as it started raining. As we rounded the harbor we knew we'd found a special little place we'd be returning to again.

Once back in Hyannis, we made our way up the Cape, towards Provincetown by way of Chatham and Orleans - two beautiful towns off the highway. Unfortunately it was teaming rain, so we didn't spend much time walking around. I did however bookmark two stops, one an antique map shop and another antique shop.

We spent our last night camping in Provincetown, but to be honest, we were a little disappointed. First, at the campsite you weren't allowed any fires, but that's pretty much what we do in the evening when camping - sit around a nice fire. No problem, we'd drive into town and walk up and down, and spend more time there. We picked up boxes of Salt Water Taffy for the boys and the most delicious chocolate peanut butter cups and turtles for us. 

Ready to eat, we then sadly discovered that on Wednesdays during the off season, many restaurants are closed! This included the few choices we had wanted to try. We ended up settling on the Lobster Pot, which was pretty good food wise, but with a beautiful view of the wharf. We ate as the sun set and then made our way back to the campsite where we attempted to play cards by the dimmest lantern ever. Fortunately we were tired and decided to call it a night so we could be on our way early the next morning. We had a nine hour drive ahead of us, and we wanted to be home in time to spend some time with the boys before bed.

I wanted to share our camping side of our trip. We camped the first and last nights, and stayed at our hotel while on Nantucket. Originally we had planned to both just sleep in the back of our van, but the only mattress that would fit was a single. And while we love each other dearly, sharing a single bed was a little too close for comfort. I ended up sleeping in the van, and Ryan happily unearthed all his camping gear from his bachelor days and camped beside me. 

Fun fact - on our honeymoon, from New York City to the East Coast, we camped every other night as well, in this same tent! Even then it made me a little claustrophobic, and we had to sleep opposite ways to fit. It was still romantic. 

Ten years later, I was quite happy to let him enjoy the tent while I enjoyed "glamping" in our van. And yes, I brought white linens. When sleeping on a bed, might as well make it comfortable.

Here are my two souvenirs I brought back. I don't have many pieces of  blue transferware, and have been looking for some for a while now. The top piece will go by my night table, and the bottom one, on the wall in the family room.

Hopefully you enjoyed our tour! We had an amazing time. It's one of our favourite places we've been together, and honestly, we can't wait to return, because return we shall.