Friday, December 31, 2010

The Shop Has Re-Opened!

This past week or so, I've had my Etsy shop closed. I've been meaning to go through everything and freshen it up in honour of the new year. I wanted simple, clean photos and to finally get some new finds up that have been waiting patiently.

I couldn't be happier to have it up to date and as I've been practising - more organized! There are still a few handmade things that I'm working on which will be listed this week, but this is a huge start.

Below are a few samples, but you'll have to head on over to the shop (see the right side panel for the link) to view everything else!

50 Top Kitchen Tips - Martha Stewart

So... the new year begins in about 14 hours. That's 14 hours to finish coming up with any sort of new years resolutions that most likely will be abandoned before the week is through. Last year, it was the Martha Stewart Cleanse and Detox diet. I may as well have just posted the list of foods I could eat on my fridge because it definitely would have taken up less space. Needless to say, it didn't last long.

This year, I have only come up with one resolution. To be more organized. I've given it a lot of thought and I've realized that this can apply to anything; finances, health, work habits etc... My goal is to have a more efficient and productive home and a structured daily routine that allows me to maintain my house, while still giving me some time in the day to do things that I love.

This is no small task. I know that the actual resolution sounds simple; be organized, but in reality, it's an entire change in lifestyle. That's why I love things like "Martha's 50 Top Kitchen Tips". This may be specifically for the kitchen, but trust me, it's the principles that are applicable to any room in the house. And I figure, it's hard to be organized amidst clutter and chaos in your home, so why not start there? I think it'll be much easier to tackle a schedule in a tidy and organized environment.

Each photo is linked to the article. Once at the link, click the photo to magnify it and it read through each tip. Or just browse the photos. One of the photos near the end doesn't link up to anything so you'll have to head over to the original link at the bottom to read those on her website.

Prepare to be motivated! And, what better time, right?

May you dare to push yourself to grow and set resolutions that take work, for the harder the work, the sweeter the reward.

Oh, how I love this kitchen! Being in the kitchen is one of my favourite things. This is how I envision my kitchen to be one day. It doesn't need to be nearly this big, but with the same look and feel and the same organization!

All of the photos and tips in this post are from Martha Stewart Living. To read the original article, please go here:


Monday, December 27, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas

Christmas morning; dawn was just breaking and there was a lovely pile of pretty packages, patiently waiting under our tree.

This Christmas was lovely. These past few weekends have been filled with so much love and joy, I've honestly felt overwhelmed with a sense of blessing.

The next few days will be filled with things to do before the new year arrives so blogging will be few and far between. I'm greatly anticipating the freshness that comes with the new year and I can't wait to share so many wonderful new things with you.

Until then, I hope you all had the loveliest of Christmases and are just as eager for the new year to begin.


Ps. I'm so grateful for the encouragement from each of you and I just wanted to thank you for all the lovely comments and bits of inspiration you've all shared with me. To next year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Featured Etsy Shop ~ The Old Red Hen

I've been spending a lot of time browsing Etsy lately and I'm constantly amazed by all the wonderfully talented people out there! So many of these fabulous "shops" are not only inspiring, they're so encouraging. These are people who have developed their talents and hobbies and are transforming them into small businesses. I love it! Talk about motivation, right?

I've decided to feature some of these amazing shops in the coming year. It's a great way to discover new shops and possibly find that perfect little piece you been looking for! Plus, you don't have to leave the comfort of your own couch - perfect for these coming winter days.

This week, as a preview, I'm happy to present the old red hen. It's "Vintage Rustic Cottage Charm". I've attached my most favourite items below, a task that was nearly daunting since each of Julies pieces are simply divine.

Head on over to her shop (the link is above) to browse the rest of her lovely items for sale.

[Vintage White Creamer Collection]
$ 26.00
[Salvage Wrought Iron Architectural Piece]
$ 55.00

[Vintage Wooden Drawer]

[Vintage Primitive Metal Rusty Tool Box]

[Vintage Cotton Toile Beige & White Fabric]


All photos are property of the old red hen.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Home Tour ~ The Tiemann Home as Featured in Country Living

[All Photos From Country Living]

What a gorgeous living room. There are so many fabulous things! Like the furniture and that gorgeous mirror, the light fixture and how about using the wooden sock stretchers as stockings?? Love it!

Welcome to the Chicago home of Lisa and Dan Tiemann. Get ready to fall in love and be inspired.


Where of where shall I begin? Let's start with the gorgeous mirror and the console table. This little entryway is space-conscious and functional with big style. The lantern is stunning and I love what she's done with the curly willow branches. Simple holiday style.

Moving right along into the dining room, how beautiful does this look. Now, these wings wouldn't last 3 seconds in my house, but the chairs with the caning would be a lovely addition.
The same gorgeous style is carried through the entire house and the bedroom is no exception. It's clean and inviting but still has touches of rustic charm. I like the balance of the large, ornate armoire, but the simple, clean headboard.
This little reading nook is fantastic.

I love the look of the different mirrors and the charming little vanity.

And this way just too cute!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

IN THE KITCHEN ~ French Onion Soup

Looking for a break from cleaning, and something quick and delicious for lunch on a chilly afternoon, I settled on a pot of French Onion soup. Sounds time consuming right? Well it's not, it's super simple. This is my own, quicker version of one of my favourite bowls of soup.

- French Onion Soup -

4 small onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp. butter
2 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 packet of Knorr Onion Soup Mix
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 a French baguette, cubed
1 cup of crumbled cheese (Swiss or mozzarella)

Slice 4 small onions into thinner rings. In a medium saucepan, on medium-high, melt butter. Add sliced onions. Caramelize (cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes until onions are soft and a nice gold, brown colour). Once onions are caramelized, add garlic. Cook for one minute before adding stock, water and soup mix. Season with salt and fresh pepper as well as 2 bay leaves. Stir until blended and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to medium-low and cook for another 15 minutes. Ladle soup into oven proof bowl. Add cubes of baguette and crumbled cheese on top. Cook for 10 minutes (or until cheese is golden and bubbly) on broil. Remove carefully and serve. Serves 4.

Bon appetite!

Cleaning House

[Martha Stewart]

I woke up this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee and glanced at my calender, nearly dropping my mug on the floor.

How are there only 10 days until Christmas?!

Where has this month gone? It's mind-boggling how quickly this Christmas has come! Now, here's the thing; I'm fairly organized for Christmas this year. My tree has been up for a while now, my house is decorated, and I've been finished the majority of my Christmas shopping since the summer time. I'm not stressed out this holiday, just more in awe of how fast the day is approaching. I love the hustle and bustle, I just like it to be somewhat organized.

My house, however, is definitely not saying organized at the moment. It's also not saying clean.

So, I've decided to take today, and spend the whole day cleaning. I figure, a good, thorough clean now will last through Christmas. It's easy enough to take a few minutes to dust and touch up the bathroom, or run a vacuum through the house before company pops in. It's also so much easier, and less stressful, to prepare for the rest of the holiday festivities in a tidied house. I love how a clean house feels. It's fresh and very gratifying. It honestly makes me wonder how it ever gets messy, but it does. And that's why there are days like today - day's to clean house.

Wish me luck. If I manage to get everything spick and span with some time to spare, I may just spend the rest of the day curled up under my blanket, right back here, browsing through some fabulous new blog posts I've been wanting to catch up on.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lazy Winter's Day

The cardinals at the side of our house, looking for food on a snowy morning.

We returned in a snow storm last night, from our trip out of town to one of our family Christmas dinners. It was a gorgeous, snowy day on the farm and there was something so cozy about spending the entire afternoon in an old farmhouse, with the wood stove roaring, surrounded by family. Oh, and the turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, including vegetables harvested from their own garden, was amazing as well.

We spent the better part of the afternoon catching up, eating, exchanging gifts, touring the barn and eating some more. It was a lovely day. Willen spent the entire day, running around with his older cousins (or my younger cousins, rather) and couldn't get enough of them. We are so blessed to have such close-knit families on both sides and we never take afternoons like that for granted.

Though it was a relaxing day, we still got home exhausted and were so thankful that we have today off. We welcomed a sleepy morning, big breakfast and cozy fire to watch movies by. I couldn't help but notice the amount of cardinals we have bouncing about our lilac bushes outside, looking for food. They're just so fat and fluffy!

But, today hasn't been a complete waste of a day. We've both been busy organizing and de-cluttering. I'm in the middle of clearing out my "junk room" upstairs and getting it ready to begin it's transformation into our guest room. As well, my husband was busy clearing out a spot in our basement for me, which will soon after become my crafting area. It feels good purging and cleaning. It's refreshing and I'm looking forward to getting started on the decorating!

The latest addition on the farm - the sweetest little bunny rabbits!

A Winner!

There are so many lovely things about this photo that I love from Country Living.

It's the most beautiful, snowy-white morning outsie this morning and it just feels like Christmas. And, what better way to spread the holiday cheer then to send a lovely package full of some lovely little things out to one lucky winner?

First though, I just wanted to say thank you. It's been such a huge encouragement reading the many comments and being introduced to so many new readers who have similar passions and style. I've loved every minute of it and I'm so excited to be able to share these fabulous vintage finds with someone special!

So, without further to do.... the winner was Constanza (PeregrineBlue) from the blog Por Amor Al Arte! She's currently travelling around Chile but will be back after the holidays - with a package from the Growers Daughter waiting.

Again, thanks to everyone who entered. I've been keeping my eyes open for another fabulous to giveaway, coming in the new year!

Happy Monday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Out And About ~ Rise Above Bakery

[Rise Above Bakery - Vegan Doughnuts ~ clockwise from back: Cinnamon Sugar, Maple Walnut and Chocolate]

I made a trip into town this dull Saturday morning and stumbled across a new vendor; Rise Above Bakery. Now, the gentleman serving the doughnuts will have to forgive me if that's not the correct name, but he's in the early stages of business and didn't have a sign - yet. Plus, I know it was some sort of clever donut pun...

For anyone near St. Catharines, he's planning on opening his bake shop in and around the James and St. Paul area. This is exciting for me because I love finding shoppes that sell things that I can get excited about, that are local and unique. It's so much more fun.

Anyway, I picked some out, because who, on a dreary Saturday morning, could resist fresh made doughnuts. Plus, it was an excuse to grab another cup of coffee - coffee and doughnuts were made for each other.

So, would you like to know why I found this particularly exciting? They're vegan. That means they're healthy, and good for you, and could possibly be considered a mandatory part of a well-balanced daily diet. I mean being vegan says it all. Oh, and the best part, they were delicious!

If you're in town next weekend, stop by and pick some up for with coffee! Support a local shop and indulge in something healthy that doesn't loose the yummy along the way.

"Mmmmm -Donuts..."

Friday, December 10, 2010

CRAFTING ~ Christmas Posies

[From left to right ~ Cedar, Pine, Holly Berries, Red Twig, Seeded Eucalyptus, Magnolia Leaf and Pussy Willow]

I decided to do a little bit of crafting this morning. This weekend, we have a family Christmas dinner for my dad's side of the family. Each year, the wives bring something small for each of the other wives; a jar of soup mix, homemade treats, etc. This year, I wanted to bring something festive and special, but still inexpensive and homemade. Because it's out of town, it needed to be something that traveled well.

I have collections of these vintage apothecary jars that I wasn't using at the moment, so I decided to do something with them. I also had bought bundles of all different greens and bits for my outdoor urns at the market last weekend. I decided to use some of those lovely little sprigs to make little Christmas Posies.

I'm using mine as little gifts, but they would make fabulous little place settings or a collective centerpiece. Or, placed around the house here and there, they add a little holiday cheer to any room!

Here's how easy they are to make!
Take your apothecary jars and give them a good clean (as clean as they'll come). Make sure they're dry.

Trim sprigs of your various cuttings, appropriate to the size of the jar and start adding them to the jar.

Once you've finished assembling your posie, tie a pretty piece of ribbon, lace or twine around the bottle.
There you have it ~ a lovely little Christmas posie.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Home Tour ~ The Gilchrist Home As Featured In Southern Living

[Southern Living]

I love browsing through home tours. It think it takes a great deal of talent and skill to have a house put together enough for a spread like this. I have put together rooms in my house, but I also have secret rooms overflowing with clutter that have yet to be assembled the way I want them to be. One day, I would like my entire house to be in it's place. No junk drawer, not room of clutter, just a neatly organized home that's finished.

Until then, I like to dream away while touring the completed homes of others; like this lovely home belonging to the Gilchrist family, as featured in Southern Living.

What a lovely tree.

I love that she's coordinated her wrappings with her tree, which is also coordinated to the decor of her living room. It's wonderful!

Fresh bits of greenery makes everything so festive!

A lovely vintage-inspired mantel. It's gorgeous.

I'm in love with all this vintage mercury glass.

This is such a great little area of the house. It's formal, yet so cozy. I love the three wreaths hanging from those gorgeous windows! The chairs and foot stool are so great.
Again with the fabulous mix of vintage and rustic, I'm loving it.
This made me so happy when I saw it. Growing up, my Nana, who seemed to have collections of everything imaginable, collected Santa Clause figures. This was just a lovely little surprise in the decor that's so fun.