Friday, February 22, 2013

Wake Me When It's Spring

Is it Spring yet?
I'm so ready to open the windows and let the breeze blow through the house. 
It's gray again.
I'm ready for warm sun and the smells of Spring. I'm ready for fresh, and bright, and crisp.
To get myself in the mood, since it's a little too early for me to start, I'm preparing my lists for Spring Cleaning.
I've been collecting recipes for homemade cleaning products, tips for getting linens and covers white, painting tutorials for an endless list of touch ups, and checklists to make sure it all gets done.
Do you have any great recipes for cleaning products, or favourite projects to tackle in the Spring?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A New Painting and Our Master Bedroom

I finally received a purchase in the mail the other day.
Rather, finally bundled the boys, braved the cold, climbed in a frigid car and went to pick up the post that had been waiting for quite some time.
Luckily the post man knows me quite well and is very understanding.

I purchased this beautiful little antique watercolour painting from Giorgios Alexandridis' shop Retro-Deco Shop on Etsy. It came all the way from Greece.
I think it's so charming. It's very small, and fits the corner space between a window and closet in our master bedroom perfectly. It's a painting of a simple, little white house near a lake at sunset.
It's the perfect addition to my collection. I also loved the gesso frame. It compliments our mirror and stands out beautifully on the white walls.

I can't actually read the back with the exception of the date 1967.
I realized I've never really shown our bedroom. It's very simple.
When we bought the house it was red. Like red, red. I lived with it for 2 years before painting it. There were more important painting projects for me to do before I could get to this room.
It was a wonderful day when the red was gone.
Ryan had purchased this bedroom set before we were married and though I would love a beautiful antique bed frame, this one is in perfectly good condition. It's nice and high and is quite comfortable. I have a habit of mentioning how much I love my bed before I fall asleep, particularly after a long day.

The window to the right of this picture faces the woods in the back, and the window to the left, on the side wall faces our neighbors. Their house is white and there are no windows on that side of the house so it isn't so bad. Plus, in the Spring, that entire side of the house is mature Lilac bushes in bloom, smelling beautifully, and full of chirping birds. It was actually a selling feature of the house for us! They were in bloom when we toured the house and the owner had the window open. We just kept saying how wonderful it would be to wake up to birds chirping and the smell of lilacs right outside your window.

I recently purchased these white Euro covers for $1.47 at the Superstore! It's the only place that you can pick up pillow covers and groceries at the same time.
The wreath was something I picked up at Christmas from Vermeers (a local garden center) for $14.

I also found this little clock radio for $4.99. I'm still on the look out for an antique clock for on our night stand, as well as an antique light fixture, but I just haven't found anything I love yet. In the mean time, these are functional and simple.

Fresh Hydrangeas are lovely to wake up to. The whole room smell like Spring.

And then there's this beautiful little baby boy who snuggled so peacefully while I snapped some pictures. It's a nice change of pace as he's really grown up a lot in this past week! He's managed to start crawling, has got his third tooth in (top front) and can balance himself to sit up and play and then fall over softly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Peter Rabbit Themed Baby Shower

This past Saturday we celebrated the birth of my nephew, Levi Robert Oblak, with a shower.

The theme was Peter Rabbit - a perfect theme for a shower in the midst of winter, and one that was a lot of fun planning for!
Here are a few photos of our tea.

Going with the idea of Mr. McGreggor's garden and wanting to make the house feel a little more like Spring, I used some old clay pots I had bought a while ago and planted each with a mini Daffodil bulb. These made perfect favours and doubled as great decorations for the party.

We enjoyed a tea which ended up being the perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon.

I kept the decorations fairly simple. I had purchased these paper decorations by Martha Stewart a couple years ago and finally got around to using them. I also planted bulbs in pots and shallow ironstone dishes (like on the coffee table here), to give a garden feel. I also strung a little clothesline from my empty frame which was a perfect display for a tiny onesie and little knitted sweater. 

 A little orchard basket trimmed with lace was perfect for cards. We had given her the Beatrix Potter collection - something I think every nursery should have.

Hints of blue and gardening tools like this antique watering can also helped with the theme.

A few little nests and Beatrix Potter books helped carry the theme through the house.

We set up the food in the kitchen as there wasn't enough room on the tables. This was our little punch table - an old children's desk.

And I did the buffet on my baker's table. The shelves were filled with pitchers of kale and rapini and bunches of carrots. We enjoyed tea sandwiches and an assortment of veggies in little wooden berry baskets. My mom made Mrs. McGreggor's hand pies (something she had seen on Pinterest), and we had warm cream scones with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. There were petite fours, macarons, shortbread buttons, chocolate mousse cups and meringues to enjoy for dessert.


It was delicious. Proper tea is one of my favourite treats - especially the warm scones.

Baby Levi slept the entire time which was perfect as everyone could enjoy some snuggle time!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning, to make the morning extra special, we enjoyed whole wheat oatmeal pancakes with red and pink Smarties hidden in them and little heart pancakes on top. I even let Willen have a glass of pink strawberry milk to accompany them.
He was delighted.

I was spoiled with a pink rose and little box of chocolates from my youngest sister Erica. She's so thoughtful! She showed every one of us sisters up but made us feel super loved.

I even indulged in a chocolate with my coffee for breakfast. This was an extra special treat as I haven't had a proper chocolate in over a month! I enjoyed it immensely.

After breakfast we made valentines and Willen painted a little box to receive his in.

My two silly Valentines.

His constant smiles make my day!
Tonight, Ryan and I are off for a romantic dinner together.
I've been busy all week getting ready for a baby shower for my sister Becki. Little Levi is already two months old, but with weddings and Christmas and other important dates, this was the earliest our family could hold it. More on that later.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Return of Winter and Muscari

After what has seemed like an endless period of rainy days, our winter has finally returned.
Saturday brought a continual falling of the softest, fluffiest snow that has covered everything in a blanket of white once more.
Sunday morning was bright and crisp and every surface was lined in pure white. Every tree branch, every bough of the evergreens, even every reed was dusted with snow.
As much as I am anticipating spring, I'm happy our winter hasn't left us just yet.
My Grape Hyacinths, or Muscari, are in full bloom and brightening my kitchen shelves.
Once the plants are fully in bloom, they tend to look at little tired. I just trim the blooms off and put them in water and they make perfect little nosegays for around the house.
I've also enjoyed the brightness that comes with the snow. It's allowed me to photograph some more items to stock in the shop.