Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Picnic in the Park

We enjoyed our long weekend immensely, and spent our days outside, enjoying perfect weather.

With leftover tea sandwiches and treats from our high tea at the shop this past weekend, I surprised the boys with a picnic after church.

They love having a picnic.

And quite frankly, so do I. We spent two hours in the shade of a Pine tree, flipping through our magazines while the boys ran about on the playground.

We enjoyed an assortment of sandwiches and even cream scones with strawberry jam.

My sister Erica made all of the desserts, and they tasted as fabulous as they look.
Fruit Tartlett with Pastry Cream, Vanilla Cupcake, Lemon Raspberry Shortbread and Chocolate Cake.

Even the ants joined the fun.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Orchards in Bloom

One of the things I will greatly miss about our current home is the abundance of orchards surrounding our town. With so many farms, an open market stand is only ever a minute away.

When the first of the sweet strawberries are in season, we head to a farm in town to pick our own. And when I get a craving for a juicy summer peach, I just hop in the car to the stand down the road.

But there's also that fleeting time of year when all of the orchards are a sea of blossoms. Row after row of fragrant apple blossoms and delicate pink peach blossoms; a sight that comes as quickly as it goes.

This evening, while the sun set, and before they disappeared, I took a walk through the orchards and enjoyed the sweet scent of the apple blossoms.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


There are three varieties of Lilacs in our gardens, only one of which, the white variety, were planted by myself.

The other two varieties are probably close to twenty five years old.

When planting our gardens, one aspect in selecting flowers to plant that's very important to me is choosing flowers that can be enjoyed both in the garden, and in our home. This is why the majority of our gardens consist of Hydrangeas and Peonies and Roses. All of these make for visually appealing gardens, but also provide cuttings for beautiful bouquets to enjoy throughout each room.

Lilacs are the first of the garden's blooms that I am able to clip and arrange in pretty vessels, and display wherever they might be enjoyed. A large bouquet in a pitcher is placed on our dining room table, as well as my night table, and coffee table. Smaller vases are set beside the sink, and on the vanity and by lamps in vignettes.

It means that whatever I might be doing, waking up, washing dishes or quietly reading, there are always flowers to delight in.

And in the case of Lilacs, there's the added pleasure of their enchanting fragrance. It fills the house.

Our bushes are between our home, and our neighbor's. This is from our master bedroom. When the days are warm, our windows are always open and the scent wafts through on the breeze.

Here is a good, simple resource for everything from pruning your Lilac's to rejuvenating old bushes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lilacs in Bloom and A Pair of Antique Frames

I've found that recently, when I'm not able to get out antiquing, eBay can be a great resource for locating pieces I'm looking for.

I have the benefit of being less than half an hour from the border, so shipping costs are much more reasonable than always having to pay for international shipping. And really, you can find just about everything!

This little ironstone pitcher was a recent purchase. With shipping, it was comparable to what I would have paid at a shop here. I liked the square shape and delicate handle.

I filled it with some of my first Lilac cuttings from a new bush planted last year. My other Lilacs are purple, and aren't quite ready. The fragrance of these is slightly less floral than the others. These still have a sweet scent, but it's not quite the well-known Lilac scent.

I also recently purchased this pair of small antique frames, which measure 9 x 8. It was $30 for the pair. I'm always looking for small frames. They're great for by night tables, and near cabinets in the kitchen, or in other small spaces about the house. The paintings they came with were quite dated, but I thought they would look beautiful with some small prints, or sketches, or even a pair of small paintings.

This small painting was a recent steal as well. It was a field sketch from an artist, and with shipping it came to less than $5! It's a very simple landscape, but it's bright, and it was more than worth it.

It brings new life to the frame.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Lovely Mother's Day

This past Saturday the boys and I spent the whole day doing things I love to do. It was my Mother's Day treat.

The day started off in bed, snuggling with two beautiful boys who happily watched cartoons so I could sleep in a little longer than usual. We then headed to the shop for breakfast. They enjoyed waffles and I enjoyed a chocolate croissant and cappuccino. We then made our way to the Farmer's Market, where I picked out flowers for Ryan's mom, as well as a bouquet for myself. I couldn't resist the pail of Ranunculas, especially these few bunches with their pastel shades. We also picked up some of the season's first local Asparagus.

Before leaving, Willen challenged me to a game of checkers (chess), which I lost, due to some creative maneuvers on his part. I just enjoyed watching him grinning ear to ear, laughing each time one of his men went hopping all about the board.

I love going to market. I love coming home with something that's just started growing locally, and something freshly baked and delicious, and an armful of flowers, and maybe even some artisan cheese. It always feels very European and old.

When we got home, I arranged my flowers in water, and then we spent the afternoon outside in the yard. I walked around the gardens, looking at everything filling in and beginning to bloom, and realized that the first of our Rhubarb was ready to be harvested. I picked what was ready, and froze it to use later.

I think Ranunculas are such romantic looking flowers. Each one is shaped differently, or colored in a different shade, or a slightly different size. But that's why they make such beautiful arrangements.

And they change as they continue to open.

Mother's Day was busy with visiting with our moms, but it was still relaxing.

One of my favourite parts of Mother's Day is getting my special present from Willen. He has always made something at school that's a surprise, and he's always so proud when he gets to give it to me. This year, he made a candle holder out of clay, which he's carved and decorated. I love these so much, and cherish them.

And I love being a mom. My boys are one of my greatest blessings and fill my life with so much joy. Oh, it's hard some days, but they teach me grace and what's truly important in life, and they make me happier than I ever imagined I could be. I'm so thankful God has entrusted me with them.