Thursday, March 31, 2011

Inspiration - Mari Erikkson, Photographer

 [All Photos - Mari Erikkson]

Today is another one of those days - fog fog fog ... for as far as the eye can see. It's damp. It's cold. And I'm starting to feel as though spring may never arrive. To make the day worse, I've had a cold for the last couple days. That may or may not have to do with the fact that I've refused to stop wearing my pants cuffed with my flats. I can be a tad stubborn.

I'm off to take a nap. It's a late night for my husband tonight so that means I have plenty of time to tidy the house. I just put the little one down for a nap so I should be able to sneak in some quiet time. The day may be dark and gloomy, but my bed is warm and cozy! And, I can hear the cardinals calling from my bedroom window which is surrounded by lilac bushes... Oh the lilacs. How much longer until I can wake up to the smells of lilacs?

In the mean time, here are some pretty photos from a favourite photographer; Mari Erikkson. She's Swedish. What is it with the Swedes? Why are they all so amazingly talented? Her photos have been featured in everything from Elle Food and Wine to Jeanne D'Arc Living.

You can view more of her portfolio here. Have a lovely rest of the week. At least tomorrow's Friday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bridal Bouquet

 As promised, here are just a couple photos of the bouquets for last weekend's wedding.

I was really pleased with how they turned out - bright and cheerful. Just like the bride. And the rest turned out perfectly as well. It was my first wedding of the season so I was a bit stressed about getting everything together.

I'm actually just on my way out to the flower shop right now to pick up a few things for some bridal shower bouquets I have to assemble this afternoon. Her colors are various shades of hot pink. Should be fun!

A Cup of Tea

[All Photos - The Growers Daughter]

I took a trip over the river yesterday afternoon to pick up a few things from Pottery Barn. For the first time in a while, I was able to just leisurely browse through shops. Normally I'm either with someone who wants to run in and out, or I'm with my son who isn't a fan of spending time in a cart.

Yesterday was different though. I planned the trip around nap time. This meant my son slept peacefully (he's a great sleeper) while I pushed him up and down aisles, and in and out of stores. Eventually, when he did awake, we were at the mall and I rented one of those tacky little cars for toddlers that push like a stroller. It kept him happy for the rest of the afternoon. He was so busy making car noises and asking other shoppers to "beep beep", that he didn't make a fuss once. I even got to treat myself to a latte (he sipped milk out of a sample cup happily).

It was just one of those days. I was completely relaxed and it felt good.

Anyway, I came across this little pot of honey for $3! It's packaged in the cutest little tumbler with a pretty bee printed on the front. What can I say, I'm a sucker for packaging. It's called Braswell's Select Orange Blossom Honey and it's 100% pure honey.

I've been trying to limit my sugar. I take it in both my coffee and tea because I need the sweetness, but it's just getting excessive. I figured adding a touch of honey would sweeten a cup of tea while being less refined and more natural and healthy.

This morning, I tried it with breakfast and, I have to say, it really is delicious.

I prefer Twinnings Earl Grey - not to be a tea snob or anything. I just do. It's the same brand Queen Elizabeth drinks - at least that's what the package says.

A slice of lemon made it even more refreshing, especially with the fruity flavours in the honey.

There's something about these garden roses that I love. They're called O'Hara (so rightfully named), and they're just gorgeous. They smell amazing too - like a true garden rose. One little bloom in an old milk pitcher is a pretty little addition to the breakfast table.

 I simply substituted my sugar for honey.

I picked up my new spring copy of Life:Beautiful. It's a Christian publication that I recently came across. It's a really great magazine with pretty vignettes, delicious recipes, gorgeous decor, along with regular columns by favourites like Joyce Meyer. It's full of really inspiring scripture verses and is beautifully styled. I was so happy to find it! Often I find that Christian publications, though wholesome, really can lack visual appeal and aesthetics, and I think both are an important part of a magazine.

If you're interested in checking it out more visit their website:

It was getting really hard to take some photos with my sons little hand continually reaching for the pear. He kept saying "Peeer peeeer - Honey honey". Finally, I just gave in and handed him the pear.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mystery Makeover Reveal

[All photos - The Growers Daughter]

As you know, from my previous post earlier this week, I've spent the last few days with a paint brush in hand.

Seeing as you've all patiently waited for me to reveal what exactly I've been up to, I decided to let you see a day earlier than planned. I'll be honest - I just couldn't wait to show you!

Can you guess what I did? Because I shocked even myself with this one...

I repainted my entire living room and dining area. And, not just repainted, but finished furnishing as well! It's done. I can finally check these rooms off my list.

Now, many of you readers may be thinking 2 things:

1 - I thought you were going to makeover the sun room?? Well, don't worry, that's coming too. I just wanted to finish something I had started previously.

Or 2 - Didn't you just paint this room?? Yes. Yes I did. A few months ago I painted these rooms, which were previously a beige colour, a trendy grey. Now here's the thing. I liked the grey... but I didn't love it. I just wasn't satisfied with the space yet. So the paint clothes went back on for round to. And, I'm happy to report that they won't be going on again for a looong while - at least in the case of this space.

So, here's a look at what I did. To see the room before, go here.

I couldn't be more happy with the outcome. I wanted bright, fresh, simple and clean and I think I created the perfect balance of all of the above. I am in love with this space, and that makes me so happy.


You'll notice that I kept almost all of the same furnishings. I love my pieces, but more than that, I love doing a project without spending a ton of money. I think the pieces look more polished and fresh with this wall colour. As well, the vintage pieces stand out more, but still feel clean and new.

 I chose to go with Simply White in Eggshell from Benjamin Moore. This has been my "dream" colour ever since I came across the blog A Country Farmhouse. Trina's entire house is the same shade and every time I browsed her site I envied how bright, and simple, and utterly gorgeous her house was.

I just woke up last Monday and decided that this week was going to be devoted to that space and by Friday, it would be painted, de-cluttered, scrubbed and furnished so that I could finally move on. By Thursday morning I had the space entirely put back together and it felt amazing.

I edited the decor quite a bit. I kept only the few things that I really loved and either donated or boxed away the rest to sell. This really helped keep the room simple, and in the end, I was reminded that stuff doesn't equate happiness or satisfaction.

 One thing I did splurge on, were new throw pillows. I wanted them uniform and I wanted to add a tiny bit of colour. I found these at Home Sense. The standard white pillows were $29 for a set of two, and the super comfy larger ones in a pretty shade of greeny taupe were $24.

To maximize seating space, since I only have two love seats and a chair, I added some throw pillows (which I already had) to my bay window. It's the quickest window seat ever! Eventually, I will most likely make a cushion for comfort, but for now, this works just fine.

Our dark piano looks amazing on the white walls. It's actually my sister-in-law's. We're "storing it" indefinitely for her. It's a stunning piece. I added two wall lights from IKEA which I already had to the walls for extra lighting. They match my set of lamps already in this space. Along with these, I added a table top lamp to the reading nook which I had as well.

I also found a few other little decorative pieces at Home Sense. Like these crowns - $6 for the small one and $8 for the large. The add a bit of rustic French flair.


We have an interesting corner of the room which is actually under our staircase. It's quite small but has built in shelves which are really quite functional. They house our collection of coffee table books without adding visual clutter. I think this space makes a nice little reading nook.

I bought this old chair at an auction for $5. It's a huge wing chair that sits high and allows you to curl up in it and feel like it's being wrapped around you. It's got gorgeous character but is in need of new upholstery - something I can't afford at the moment. Until then, I just drape an old throw over it and no one really notices.

I moved the chair out more into the middle of the room as opposed to being right in the corner. Positioning it away from the corner means that the person sitting in it doesn't feel separated from the rest of the living space. Actually, in bringing the chair out more into the open, the living room space was elongated more and feels more roomy. I tucked an old shutter and lead window into the corner as a few architectural details - a common theme in the whole space.

Previously, under the two small windows on this back wall, was a long buffet. It was great functionally but it made the dining area feel kind of cramped for space. I was afraid that without something there it would feel bare. I was surprised to find that it doesn't! It makes the whole space open and airy, which is a nice contrast to the other end of the room, the living area, which is more cozy.

This was my original dining table and chairs. I love this piece, and it looks great in the room. White one white is always a good thing.

This pair of corbels is my favourite of my whole collection. They remind us of sea creatures that are carved into the fronts of old ships. They make the perfect focal point. Also, the plates add a bit of character, bit still fade into the wall.

To the left, as you head into the kitchen, I kept this old cabinet. This was previously used to hold bolts of fabric during the war being shipped from Europe. The back was never painted to you can see all the old stamps and markings. It's gorgeous. It was my wardrobe growing up and has been numerous colours including royal blue and bright a pretty pink, before finally settling on white.

This amazing tray - another Home Sense find for $14!! - adds a pop of rustic wood in an all white and glass corner. All of those pieces are matching, and add a uniform contrast to the whites and neutrals throughout.

In keeping with my bright and simple theme, I found this old white window, all hardware still in tact, for $10. Again, it's a nice little architectural detail. I thought my collection of antique cake stands looked nice tucked on top of here.

 This candelabra - again, Home Sense for $14 - is a little centerpiece for my table. The minute I saw it I fell in love with it. The entire line actually, in case you couldn't tell! I bought them all. They just worked perfectly and were so cheap!

And finally I added some bouquets of fresh flowers to really make the room fresh and springy. These gorgeous hyacinths, in purple and not my usual white (I liked the pop of colour - gasp!), fill the room with the fragrances of spring. I also added a few white hydrangeas and some soft pink garden roses.

This old berry box is the perfect table top (or in my case, trunk top) tray. A few favourite books fit neatly on one side, and a few white pillar candles on the other.

So what do you think? Was it worth all the hard work. I think so! I couldn't be happier with it.

In review, the entire makeover costs were as follows:
2 cans of paint (supplies I already had) - $70.00
Furnishings and Cushions - $148.00
Fresh Flowers - $20.00

Total Makeover Cost - $238.00 and three days worth of work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let The Spring Cleaning Commence!

[Country Living]

So, as you know, spring has arrived.

Happy Spring!

As for me, I have spent (quite literally) days with a paint brush in hand.

To see what I've been working on, you'll have to be patient. The painting will be finished tomorrow (hopefully), and then I will be able to show you what I've been up to.

I can't wait!

PS. I saw a chubby little Robin this morning, bouncing around happily. I couldn't help but smile, because I too was feeling the same way... maybe it's all these paint fumes?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bloggers Day of Silence

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide.

Visit their website to make a donation and track your box as it heads for it's destination, bringing relief to families in need - like those devastated in Japan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Peeping Crocuses

[via Flicker Album - virginiapoet]

I woke up to a morning heavy with fog, and damp from a night full of rain.

My day was made a bit brighter, however, when I noticed those miraculous first signs of spring. My crocuses were making their way out of the damp spring soil.

How are your gardens looking as signs of spring slowly start appearing?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reclaimed Rustics - The Old Cabinet

[Capital Style UK]

This is a simple, quiet piece. It's understated and practical - especially fitted with curtains. It's allows you to either use the piece for storage you may want to disguise, or for prettier things you want to show off.

I don't know about you, but I love old cabinets. I love that they have a second go at being useful. I love their age and quirks and character. I love how I would choose an old wooden cabinet, probably chipped with loose hinges and maybe a broken pane of glass, maybe even salvaged from an old barn, over a shiny new model, every time.

But that's me.

I have a sneaky suspicion that most of you are probably the same way.

In that case, here are a few lovely old pieces that I would be more than happy to add to my collection.

(Not to mention the amazing collections they're housing!)

[Atlanta Bartlett]

This piece is stunning. Having twice the space, with lovely double doors, it's sure to be a focal point you can't help but stare at. I love the hardware as well - especially the old key!


Now this piece is massive. It's quite literally, weighting this room. There is ample storage and display space with this lovely piece, which thankfully for the movers, comes in multiple stacking pieces. The detailing on the door panels dresses up this otherwise simple cabinet.

[Jason Loucas]

This piece has a bit more of a clean and pretty look to it. It's most likely been completely redone. Though it looses the rustic feel of an old salvaged piece, it still boasts charm. They gray and pink pieces displayed, paired with lots of pretty glass, really make it more feminine.

[House and Garden]

And this one, well it's just a happy medium. It's just right in size, detail and age to me. It's rustic, but still slightly refined. It's got equal amounts of hidden and displayed storage, and it doesn't sacrifice character. I love that it has detail and still clean lines. And, I especially love those window panes - so charming!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ultimate Affection - Atlanta Bartlett

[All Photos from Pale & Interesting]

You can imagine my excitement when I finally found a copy of the new Flea Market Style. I have honestly been searching everywhere for a copy. Finally, tucked neatly on the shelves of my local beauty supply shop, I found it.

I, however, was over-the-moon excited when I discovered the feature article on Atlanta Bartlett inside this lovely issue.

My love for this very talented lady started with her book At Home with White. I found a copy at a box sale at our local book warehouse. I was instantly drawn to the gorgeous photos and stunning vignettes. From there, I discovered her lovely online boutique - Pale & Interesting - a collaboration with her husband Dave Coote. I'm looking forward to purchasing her latest book - Pale & Interesting, available now.

Let's just say, if I had to pick just one style to emulate, this would be it. It's the perfect balance for me, and the natural taste I'm drawn to. I simply love most everything.

If you haven't shopped Pale and Interesting, follow the link above. In the meantime, here are some of the look books you can preview online.

Thank you to the FMS team for featuring such talent, and inspiring me so!


I hope these get you as much excited as they do me!

Happy Monday girls.