Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrating Fall

We've been making the most of the beautiful Fall weather we've been having recently (for the most part): trips to the pumpkin patch, an afternoon at one of our many conservation areas, even a weekend camping trip the the Finger Lakes.

It seems this year that the leaves have taken their time changing colours. They've slowed this usually short part of their life cycle down just slow enough to allow us a few extra moments enjoying their colourful transformation.

My sister Becki and I spent a few hours on Thanksgiving weekend browsing the local craft shows. It's held each year at a historic conservation area, amongst a beautiful old homestead complete with antique barns, a mill and a beautiful waterfall.

Willen has been learning all about apples at school, so we've tried to do a few activities together that have to do with apples. We visited an old orchard in a valley near us. It's one of many, many orchards in our area. We then visited one of our market stands and took home a few Honey Crisp apples, which he brought into school and made apple sauce with. While there, we also grabbed some apple cider to enjoy later, warmed with some spices. I discovered neither of the boys cared for it warm, but can't seem to get enough of it cold.

The trees were bursting with the brightest, biggest red apples.

On our trip to the pumpkin patch, Willen enjoyed a hayride, corn maze, and visiting a few farm animals. He took home a tiny pie pumpkin, and didn't seem to be bothered by the bad weather. Of all the days, that was the day the temperature decided to plummet. It actually hailed on our way home!

We've also spent many afternoons with the boys, wandering around some local trails. They have so much fun running around and exploring. We don't usually get too far, but they see so many interesting things, and are ready for bed by the time the sun sets.

Their favourite part is always the hot chocolate and cookies that accompany a good hike.

One of the most beautiful places we've been this Fall is camping at Watkin's Glen in New York. We did the walk to the one mile point, and couldn't believe how amazing the waterfalls were, and how well kept the path was. It was this stone walkway with many stairs and little bridges and caves and basically, it was the coolest place for the boys to explore. There were plants growing all along the path, and it was quite relaxing hearing the constant sound of rushing water beside you.

And the camping alone was an adventure! It was freezing cold at night, and preparing all meals by fire, or small stove was quite the challenge. We had lots of fun though. Willen even learned how to ride his bike.

And of course, there is enough Autumn beauty to take in even in our own back yard.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Few Antiques and Fall Shelves

I've been meaning for a while now to show a few antiques I've picked up and here there.

These little ironstone pieces were found at Oliver and Rust's Fall sale. The pretty little spoon rest is beside my stove, and I use the larger butter pats as saucers for pillar candles.

This collection of smaller ironstone pitchers was found out of town on Kijiji, and picked up by my lovely sister Monica, along with two matching trays. It's all the same wheat pattern. It's much creamier and more aged than a lot of my other collection, so it's displayed by itself in the dining area.

This lovely little alabaster lamp was found at an antique store in Waterford. Being in working condition, I thought it was a steal at $15. 

I also recently found this more ornate alabaster lamp on a trip to the Finger Lakes region. It was also a great find at $38. It's replaced the slightly smaller one on my night table.

A while ago, a customer came into the store and said that her sister was selling some ironstone. I was happy to find a few pieces, including this fruit bowl.

And while they aren't new, I recently pulled out my small collection of brown transferware for my kitchen shelves. I always love displaying a few collected pieces that suit the season. It's a welcomed change in the kitchen.

My other two favourite brown pieces are the platter and covered serving dish on the top shelf, both of which are quite old and well loved. I was happy to use each piece again on my thanksgiving table this year.

And while it's not an antique, I found this versatile wicker tray on the clearance shelf at Home Sense the other evening. It was only $18. I've been looking for a sturdy, square one for a while now. I have quite a few wicker things in my home; baskets, nesting chests, trays and evening our dining room chairs. They add a natural touch, as well as warmth and some texture to what is quite a lot of white and wood. It's for these same reasons that I tend to choose natural fibre rugs.

We been enjoying watching our view of the back woods change of the past weeks, as the weather gets colder and the leaves take on their beautiful Fall colours. And while many of the trees are starting to let go of their leaves and look rather bare, we know it won't be long before the view is pristine white, and each branch is covered in a delicate blanket of snow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner

Do you remember what it was like before Pinterest?

Coming home to find a glossy new issue in the mailbox, and then leaving it on the counter until the day was over, and you could sit down and pour over each page. Keeping each issue stored away for future inspiration. And if you're like me, you might have even kept binders of sheets torn out because of something you especially loved or were inspired by, every page safely tucked into a clear page cover and filed away.

With the changing of each season, a large stack of back issues for that time of year would be placed out under our coffee table, and enjoyed once more, bringing with it an inspiring new arrangement, or room, or bouquet or recipe.

This year, in preparation for the Thanksgiving dinner I was hosting, I pulled out and browsed through many wonderful November issues of Martha Stewart. I followed her instructional guide to classic stuffing. I even used her Thanksgiving Planner as a guideline for preparing dinner and the days leading up to it.

I just draw so much inspiration from them.

And so, after a few evenings, and many cups of tea, I finalized my menu, pulled together a table, and even wrote out my grocery list for this year's Thanksgiving.

It was a lovely evening spent with both of our immediate families, something we are so blessed to be able to do.

(Now, seeing this photo much larger, I've noticed that one of the knives at one of the place settings is crooked. This is what happens when little curious fingers start poking about.)

To see what else inspired me this Thanksgiving, you can view my Pinterest board:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall in the Garden

I love having a garden full of white flowers, but when the Summer fades and Fall arrives, something wonderful happens. My all white garden transforms into pretty shades of greens and pinks and reds and golds.

The Anemones that I planted early this Spring have been in full bloom for weeks now. They are tall, delicate flowers that open and close with the sun.

Pumpkins now sit on our front step, welcoming all who enter.

Though we have many farm stands selling pumpkins around us, most only have pie pumpkins and tradition orange carving pumpkins. I had to drive to a few stands in neighboring towns to find more unique varieties. I love the beautifully shaped Cinderella pumpkins (front), the Ghost pumpkins (white, in the back) and the interesting varieties of Hubbard and Acorn squash.

My Hydrangeas have started turning a deeper shade of green with pink tips as the temperatures drop lower at night.

I also finally decided to paint the front door. It's now the same colour as our shutters, and I love it lighter.


The Ivy has started turning a brilliant shade of red.

And, we've even enjoyed a few late Raspberries.