Friday, July 24, 2015

Antique Finds - Floral Frog, Trinket Box and Soap Dish

While away this past week, I visited quite a few antique shops. I even managed to find a few small  items that I could fit into my suitcase and fly back with. There were some lovely items I would have wanted to purchase, including quite a few old creel baskets, some larger ironstone, and a beautiful old painting, but they just simply wouldn't fit.

I found this larger round flower frog for $9.00.

I picked some herbs that were in flower this evening from our herb garden, along with some Honeysuckle and Astilbe. It made for a very whimsical and airy arrangement, for which the flower frog comes in handy, and it smelled divine.

This little ironstone soap dish will go in one of the bathrooms when it's renovated. It was $12.00.

And finally, this little ironstone trinket box. I've never really seen one quite like it. I love to collect  little unique pieces, especially ones like this, with the more ornate handle. It was $12.00, and will go on my night table.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

In Season - Blueberries and Gladiolus

I brought the largest armful of Gladioli home from market this morning. 

There were buckets of them, all locally grown, making the entrance to market square bright and cheerful. Because they were sold by stem, I could chooe from a variety of colours. I assembled a bouquet with stems from all of the pink varieties they grew.

I also picked up a pint of local blueberries. Eventually the boys and I will head out and pick our own, but for now, I couldn't pass by them. They'll be enjoyed with breakfast tomorrow in our pancakes or on top of our yogurt with granola.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Romantic Getaway

Last Saturday, Ryan and I flew out for what's become a yearly getaway for the two of us - the President's Circle trip.

This year, much to our excitement, the trip began in Boston, toured through Vermont and ended in Old Montreal. While there are a few things we do as a group, there is always lots of time for the two of us to go exploring.

Having just flown in this afternoon, I'm too tired to do more than show a few highlights.

The first full morning in Boston was their annual meeting, so it meant I had the morning to myself. After an early breakfast in bed (the only time we are allowed to indulge in this), I made my way uptown to the Boston Common Gardens.

They were beautiful. So many of the gardens were in bloom, the swan boats were touring about, there were some musicians playing classical music that you could hear throughout the park, and it was the perfect way to start the morning.

Next I headed to the other end of the gardens and walked up to Beacon Hill, the quaint older part of Boston. There were dozens of charming shops and cafes.

I then walked the cobblestone streets of the Gaslight District and parts of the Freedom Trail.

One of my favourite parts was touring the gardens in this part of town. They really have no gardening space, so seeing how they utilize what little space they do have is so fascinating to me! This was actually quite a large, and very old, private garden. The rest are tiny front plots, window boxes and urns on their front steps. They've mastered the art of making a big statement with a small amount of space.

That afternoon, we boarded a beautiful old boat and enjoyed a lunch tour of the Boston Harbour. It was the most relaxing way to spend a sunny afternoon.

We had some time to waste before dinner, and felt like touring the city a little more, so we went back out to Beacon Hill and I showed Ryan some of the beautiful little spots I had stumbled across earlier that morning.

We always stay in beautiful hotels, which is an experience in itself; plush robes, choosing what we want for room service the next morning, luxurious beds with a million pillows, and always a great view. And the food... it's quite ridiculous. It's beyond indulgent.

The next morning we headed out early for the driving portion of our trip, which would take us to Burlington, Vermont, by way of Quechee. One of the perks is that each couple receives a 2016 convertible to "test drive".

We couldn't have had a better day to drive through the mountains.

Lunch was in an old mill from the 1700's, which is now a working glass blowing gallery and museum.

From there, we headed out to Burlington, for a tradition clambake and a stay overlooking Lake Champlain. On the way, we stopped at each antique shop to quickly browse. I even managed to find a few things I could tuck away in my suitcase!

The next day we left early again, and continued driving from Burlington, through Quebec to Montreal. We went by way of the islands on Lake Champlain, and stopped for lunch at a spa and sat on the patio and watched a huge thunderstorm roll in.

Our final evening was spent in Old Montreal at a beautiful hotel. Unfortunately though, by the time we arrived in town, there wasn't much time left to tour.

We did however wake up early to quickly walk around a little before heading to the airport this morning. Even in just the few blocks around the hotel, there was plenty to see.

And now we're home again with our beautiful boys, who we missed so much. But really, we were so spoiled, and it was so lovely to get away, just the two of us it seemed like, for a few days.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Shop Around the Corner

One of the benefits of our new home is that we are now minutes away from my parents and their shop. The boys couldn't be happier about this, and it means that I can pop in and see what's going on whenever I feel like it.

On Friday evening, I popped in to see how they were coming along with flowers for a wedding that Saturday. I love when they have flowers to work on, as the store is filled, and it usually means I can help out.

It's even more fun when the wedding theme is something as elegant and beautiful as this particular one was. It's no surprise that I'm a fan of white and green, and even more so, when they are combined with rustic pieces. This wedding was a perfect combination.

The church arrangements were in old apple crates.

Each table had a smaller version, in a different style crate.

This was the bride's bouquet.

And the bridesmaids carried simple Hydrangea bouquets.

Her boutonnieres were nautical, with simple ribbon and twine.

It was lovely, and my mom did an amazing job.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Dining Room - Before

While a few of the rooms in our home will require quite a bit of attention, it's nice to have a few that won't need as much work, at least not for a very long while.

Our dining room is one of them.

The largest task will be to paint, particularly the staircase. We will install a different chandelier, and also a different stair runner.

The dining room is the right half of the main floor of the original house. It's open to the stairway going upstairs, and has a walk-through into the kitchen behind it, which runs across the length of the back of the original house. The door under the staircase is the door to the basement.

While this is the original chimney, this fireplace is obviously not in working order, and due to the size of the room, we have no plans of opening it back up.

It's threw me off for quite some time, when it came to the placement of my dining room table. The mantel isn't centered and there is a shelf cut out on the left side. They also centered the chandelier with the window, in the middle of the room, which results in it being centered with the top bulk-head part of the fireplace, but not the mantel or the table.

I decided that I think it looks best to center the table with the mantel, and then when we hang our chandelier (this one won't be staying), that will be centered over the table. This may require wiring it into place, and swagging it slightly over to center, as I think the beam in the ceiling will interfere - of course. I also haven't decided if I will keep the mirror where it is, or hang it over the buffet, and replace it with a smaller painting, centered above the mantel.

Because we really didn't have a dining area before, at least not one that fit even a standard dining table, I had to purchase a new table.

I found this Queen Anne style table, with it's beautiful curved legs and casters, which was newly refinished, and came with three leaves in perfect condition, on Kijiji for $120 - and they delivered it!

I have yet to decide what I will do chair wise, though I'm fairly certain I will be at least purchasing another covered Ikea chair for the other end. The arm chair in the corner is only temporary. The boys were growing quite tired of the lack of space in their playroom with all of the family room furniture crowding things. 

For now, to fill some space, we put up a mirror, as well as my portraits, but again, I'm still thinking through what pieces I want to furnish this space with.

All I know for certain is that the blinds will come down, and everything will be freshly painted.

Here I'm standing at the bottom of staircase, looking into the room, and directly behind me is a door to the small foyer of the front entrance.

I just love the white and wood and stone. There's so much warmth to this room, and the lighting it receives suits it well. It's full of bright and cheerful sunlight in the morning, which is ideal for breakfast, but as the sun sets on the other side of the house, the lighting grows dim and warm in the evening, creating a cozy atmosphere for evening dinners.

Another wonderful feature of this room is that when we sit at the table with the front door open, we can see the boats pass through the canal. 

I can't wait to host a dinner party in this room!