Tuesday, May 28, 2013


 While waiting for my own peonies to open, I picked up a small bunch from the grocery store this weekend.

 There are only three simple stems, but they are just so beautiful and fragrant. 

I can't get enough of them.

If I had to guess, I would think the two pink stems were Sarah Bernhardt's and the white Festivus Maximus. I have a lot of the white in my gardens. They both smell divine.

The petals start off so tightly closed together, and then they slowly unfold into these big, beautiful booms. 

They've found their place on my table in the living room beside my reading chair. I also got around to lowering the painting to fit the height of the table.

Today it's a rainy, gray day, but it doesn't bother me. Everything looks so bright and green and fresh. It's beautiful.

The ants are busy helping the peonies open. I've always found this the most beautiful thing. The ant, such a small and seemingly insignificant insect, has been left with the most important task of opening the peony buds. 

My roses are budding as well.

We have Bowl of Beauty peonies lining our front walk way. They were planted last year and I received only one single bloom. This year they are full and established and covered in buds!

On another note, a while ago I came across this publication called Life: Beautiful. It's a Christian publication  that is so beautifully done. It's full of lovely entertaining ideas, delicious recipes, articles on decorating and lots of other great reads. I have a subscription, but I know you can purchase it at Chapters in Canada, and Barns and Noble in the US. They only publish 4 issues a year.

"Faith isn't just for Sunday mornings - it's a lifestyle choice that when woven into the fabric of daily life impacts a person's outlook, plans, purpose, decisions, home, health, relationships, success, and legacy."
Wanda Ventling, 
editor Life:Beautiful.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kitchen Shelves and New Peonies and Roses

This morning I dusted off my shelves in the kitchen and moved things around a bit.

I've been browsing Etsy for some pieces of brown transferware to tuck between the white serving ware come the Fall, and I have my red transferware for the Winter. I think for the Spring and Summer however, I will keep the shelves simple and white. 

As you can see, I'm clinging to the last of my beautiful Lilacs which are nearly finished. Actually, they are most definitly finished, I just can't quite bring myself to get rid of them just yet. There's the tiniest bit of life still left in them. I will prune them this weekend to promote new growth for next Spring. 

While at the grocery store yesterday, I browsed through the garden center looking for something to fill a bare spot in my front garden. I was so excited to discover they have two varieties of David Austin roses! I've wanted to order some for a couple of years now, but haven't quite dared. As the spot I needed to fill was in full sun, this would be the perfect addition.

I purchased two shrubs called Winchester Cathedral. Their beautiful double blooms are white with hints of pink. They are very fragrant and have a classic rose smell with hints of honey and almond blossom.

This is what they will look like once blooming. It was exciting to see quite a few buds on the shrub already. I haven't kept any roses in the garden so I've been researching how to care for them.

I also purchased another variety of white Peony that I don't have in my garden. It's a double peony called Gigantico. It will look similar to the Duchesse de Nemours (above) and Bowl of Cream varieties.

Our peonies are full of buds and the ants are busy helping them open into beautifully fragrant blooms.

I can't wait for everything to open fully. It's always nice to be able to have clippings from the Peonies and Hydrangeas around the house. I had to laugh because it reminded me of the flower show in Season 1 of Downton Abbey. I thought it was such a quaint idea - an award for Best Bloom in the village.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Salvaged Hall Tree and A Barn Sale

Yesterday, while enjoying a much needed long weekend, we decided to go for breakfast and then take a drive through the country. We'd make our way out to a neighboring town for a barn sale I had seen advertised in the paper.

On our way, we drove past a pile of large item garbage thrown out on the side of the road. To my surprise, Ryan stopped the car.

"Did you see that hat stand?" he asked excitedly.

I in fact had not. Which is rare, because usually I'm the one asking him to slow down at the slightest sign of a good find that's been tossed to the curb. I don't feel bad admitting that. I've found some beautiful pieces that way.

He backed the car up to the pile and got out to inspect the hall tree and the condition it was in. It needed a little tightening, but aside from that was in good working order. And it came apart in pieces making for easy transportation.

It has a simple umbrella holder at the bottom.

And six bag hooks, with six hat hooks on the top.

I was distracted by the beautiful farmhouse from which it came. It's one of my most favorite houses. It recently went up for sale, however it wasn't in our budget... not even close. To the left you can see a tiny bit of the view. From there you would be able to see across the lake, all the way to Toronto.

Bob and Al's barn sale was more than I anticipated. Though there were still quite a few pieces left, I have a feeling I would have found a lot more at the beginning of the weekend. I didn't have my camera on me so I used my phone. I was quite surprised with the quality of the photos.

The remainder of the weekend was spent having tea on the lawn while the boys cooled off in the sprinkler, doing a bit of gardening here and there and watching Downton Abbey. I'm hooked.

How did you spend your long weekend, or for those who are about to celebrate Memorial Day, how do you plan on spending it?

I'm looking forward to the opening of Christie's Antique Show next weekend! If you'd like to see some highlights, here are some photos from some of my favorite booths.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Clean Linens

The lawn was mowed for the first time this year and the air is filled with the smell of fresh cut grass.

Our clothesline, for the first time as well, is displaying freshly cleaned linens that are blowing in the breeze. As I'm sitting here writing this, I'm watching them sway back and forth gracefully as the wind comes and goes.

It's a lovely day, but it will be an even lovelier sleep tonight. 
I love climbing into bed with crisp, clean linens that smell like they've spent the afternoon outdoors.

Willen's Easter basket makes the perfect holder for my clothes pins.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A New Victorian Parlor Table and Accents

At auction two weekends ago, I picked up this beautiful Victorian Parlor table.

I've been looking for one just like her and I've found a few gorgeous pieces, but none that I could afford.

You can imagine how excited I was to see her sitting on display, waiting to head home with the highest bidder.

She's a perfect addition to this corner of the living room.

The dark finish matches the floors perfectly and looks beautiful against our white walls.

You'll notice the old frame from above the couch (below) has been  replaced by something new... It also came home with me. 

You'll just have to be patient. 

I also made a few small updates to our living room after a trip to Ikea. I found these simple white and beige pillow covers for $4.99. I had some down inserts already so it was a quick update.

The cream covers are from Pottery Barn.

I also added two white pillows to our armchairs instead of the linen lumbar ones.

Then, out of habit, I made a stop in the 'as-is' section and happened to find this knitted throw for $20.00 (50% off).

It matches the tones of the couches and chairs and is a cozy accent.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Shop Additions

I added a few new items to the shop again today which you can find here.
Happy Monday!


Mother's Day Tea

Every year, in celebration of Mother's Day, I host a tea for my moms and sisters.

It's something I look forward to every year. I love setting out my china and making each little dessert. It's an afternoon of chatting over tea and laughing and spoiling our moms.

Here are some photos from this year's tea. It was lovely.

Happy Mother's Day!

Before tea began, while the scones were finishing up, we enjoyed some sparkling Rose cocktails.

We always start with Cream Scones, warm from the oven, served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Then there is an assortment of tea sandwiches - Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Ham and Cheddar with Apricot Preserves, Chicken Salad, and Egg Salad.

And finally, the most exciting part, the little desserts - Rhubarb Apple Crumbles, Lemon Meringue Tarts, Meringue Pillows, Fleur de Sel Chocolate Caramel Shortbread and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.


Our Lilacs are in full bloom right now so there were clippings all over the house. It smells divine!

Warm Scones with clotted cream and jam is something I look forward to every time I host a tea! They are so delicious.