happy be-lated fall & halloween


Ready for a little show and tell? I finally sat down at my computer for an extended camera dump & edit of photos.  My main motivation was the rumor that snow is threatening (dismal looking clouds in the sky) which makes taking exterior photos of green things & gardens difficult.  


Smarter girls would have snapped shots of the house during the beautiful warm months when the flowers & trees were in their prime. But I've been too busy fixing things to be smart. 

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I mentioned here that we were doing a little updating on the outside of the house. You know: scraping, painting, building, gardening, etc.   Yeah, there was a whole lot of all the aforementioned.  

mr handyman

The original exterior was in pretty bad cosmetic shape.  The paint was chipping and peeling not to mention an undesirable shade of sticky-note yellow.  There were rotting boards and pillars in need of replacing and the front garden was disastrously placed with dead foliage, heaps of decorative rocks mixed with weeds and grass overgrowth.   

patching & priming

Knowing all that needed to be done, we set about the task: we scraped & sanded, patched & primed, built & painted, dug up and re-built our way to a new digs, complete with new fixtures, decor & my obsessive need for a burnt orange front door! Our original plan was to tackle the outside of the house a few more years down the road but things weren't going to last that long.

too high for me

Side note: One of our goals working on our 30+ yr. old home has been to provide it with some character (read: cozy) using colour & landscaping, to soften the linear lines & draw ones eyes away from the front load garage - something I'm hoping we have achieved. (And yes, I realized the roof has to go...but that will have to wait a bit longer).  

From old:

{photo retrieved from realtor's website}

to new:



front door


sit awhile

yes, much cozier. Ready for your visit...come on by


hello and ...

go on over and say hi to Jen from Vintage Sheets who is featuring my "don't get out of bed pants" tutorial. Make one for you and one for all - Christmas is just around the corner you know.

Be back Monday with a proper update. Happy Friday, xxx.


right now


This is probably the most serene picture in our home. The girls room: freshly painted a bright yellow to match the mendocino mermaid fabric (plum & yellow colour scheme) that they choose from my stash for bed quilts. The new white trim is so crisp against the yellow - I'm loving it!


Everywhere else I look there are boxes, bins and stuff as we get ready for the last major leg of the renovation.  Our reno guy is coming on Wednesday and he is taking apart the existing laundry/storage room. Sometime after his work is complete I am slated to have a delightful, new sleek laundry room plus (my) studio.  Yay!  

pumpkin flower

For now I'm feeling a bit like this pumpkin flower I found peeking out amidst the chicken wire - trapped but hanging in there.  Patience girl, patience.




the journey

leads to

hanging around




they are suspended in time 

we are hoping for a miracle




Contrary to a recent post certain caterpillars are always welcome. 


When you plant milkweed you should fully expect a battery of these ferocious looking guys to appear.  After my war with the cabbage butterfly - they won by the way, cabbage and broccoli never did make it to our table - I wasn't sure how I'd feel about seeing any more hungry little creatures.  But planting just because is very different than planting for food and so... 


The milkweed came from our last home, planted to attract the elusive monarch butterfly, it is where she loves to lay her eggs.  The first two summers at this home the milkweed wasn't very happy and didn't do too much in the way of growth.  This year we moved the plant to a warmer side of the house and *bam* it flourished.  I am reminded yet again that gardening is very experimental.  


Since these photos were taken the caterpillars have eaten up my milkweed plant entirely and have crawled off to various locations to take a most beautiful nap.  We check on them daily to see what changes are taking place and with fingers crossed (& a little prayer) we hope to see the glorious unveiling. To be continued...



Hello there.  I thought I should return to this little space and begin my re-entry to blog land. The timing is still not quite right on the surface, so many things demand my attention at the moment, but in my heart I know it is time to write again.  

Seasonally the air feels as though summer is passing.  The pool is closed for the season and the cooler nights have set in.  I don't know about you, but I love the coolness of fall at night time, the air conditioner is turned off, windows are open and cool air is chilling our bones while we sleep. Thank goodness for extra warm blankets! 


Season changes aren't the easiest transition for me, but oh how I love fall.  It's an instinctive relationship, I feel myself slowing down and spending just a few more hours indoors each day.  My cooking becomes less grill based - our summer staple - and more slow and savoury.  Two pots of our favourite homemade tomato and basil soup have been started and consumed over the past week.  Next on the agenda: squash.

The leaves are changing colours and the call of the
B-meister to spend evenings by the fire pit with marshmallows, making smores, has begun.  I'm sure it's instinctive for him as well.  Just like his beloved geese, who have returned to our little lake and have begun their nightly chatter in unison. Their return is a reminder that all of nature, in our 4-season area, is getting prepared for those long cold days of white.  But I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, instead let's live in the moment shall we? 

Are you feeling the seasonal shift? How was your summer...or winter depending on where you live?




Miss me?  It’s been quite awhile hasn’t it?  I didn’t plan on being away quite so long, I’m actually quite shocked myself - have I really been away for the past three months?  And how do I catch you up on what I’ve been up to?  First off, I am well and the family is doing fine.  Secondly, let’s dispel all rumours, I am not quitting blogging, contrary to my actions.  Thirdly, here's skinny on what we've been up to:  (all photos are scenes from our summer)


In April I hurt myself really bad, remember? - the shoulder, the neck and then there was a non-stop buzzing in my ear (aka tinnitus)...it was bad, really bad - did I say that already?  In May things weren't feeling so hot (hence my departure from blog land) so I made a visit to the doctor who couldn't find a problem - umm yeah, this is not just in my head. Onto the chiropractor and massage therapist who provided me with some temporary muscle relief, but the ache/buzzing came back with a vengeance. Finally out of desperation I visited a chinese doctor specializing in acupuncture.  After two sessions resembling a fight with a porcupine, the pain lifted and so did the terrible buzzing. Yay for alternative medicine! Nothing like that whole experience to make you feel c-r-a-z-y.  


Then June happened and so did the rain. It rained and rained and rained and in between the drops, the hubby and I decided to tackle the outside of our house.  We patched, re-built and painted our way to a snazzy looking homestead.  What's a little spontaneous renovation when you already have a reno list as long as Santa’ beard... c-r-a-z-y right?

june - planted

June also brought on garden season. When it was dry enough I seeded, things grew and then a war started with the cutest rabbit.  It’s was like Looney Tunes all over again.  I’d fence, he’d jump over, I’d cover the fence with netting and he’s chew threw the fence.  Finally I enlisted the help of the mr. duckyhouse and he rigged up the 4 foot deer/critter fence and bugs bunny moved on to greener easier pastures.  
c-r-a-z-y   - are you sensing a common theme here?



July followed and we continued working on the outside of the house during (our) holiday time - do we know how to relax or what? We also visited with the grandparents who came to visit - it was nice to see you mom & dad..miss you!  A family wedding and more visits with family/friends, including and impromptu visit from my sister (& her family) who literally stopped in town for a few days. fun, fun, c-r-a-z-y fun!



Now here we are in August and it’s raining again.  The kids are in swimming lessons every day, all month.  The hubby and I are still working on the homestead, putting the finished touches on the front gardens that we re-designed. We are also trying to shorten that reno list *sigh*  I am spending most of my days outside when it isn’t raining making sure the girls, who are water bugs, remain safe in our little pool.  I’m pretty sure this is where I will remain until the end of pool season, there and in the garden making war with the white butterflies that are laying eggs/caterpillars on my cabbage and broccoli.  
*argh* and c-r-a-z-y

well, hello there

taking care of business


September will be here pretty soon and so to I shall return.  Though I’m pretty sure I may push it off until closer to the end of September. Until then, happy end of summer. See you soon and may you too have a little bit of c-r-a-z-y in your life, xxx.

a prairie sky

PS, It's also my birthday today and having recently watched Benjamin Button I've decided that the being in my early 40's, ahem, is a good time to start going backwards. So I am 40 again, just like I was back then.  sounds c-r-a-z-y but I like it!


just to let you know...

I'm alive. and occupied at the moment with gosling cuteness all about.  


Gotta love that little one in the background feigning death. Be back soon for a proper update. Happy Friday, xxx.



Oh that puppy, she has been with us for almost 4 weeks now and because of her I haven't had any decent studio time.  Hard to hold it against that sweet (puppy) girl in all her cuteness.  But when she's awake she requires supervision and when she is sleepy she requires holding, that's my personal opinion at least. (Cut me some slack here people, after 4 babies I know how fast these cute moments pass and in the puppy world a couple of months is like a year so cuddle I must).  


I did however, manage to carve out a little creativity with paper and pencil.  Do you ever surprise yourself when you discover another artistic outlet? I never did much drawing when I was growing up, in fact I'm not sure I ever did much of anything crafty, I was an on-the-run-kid who chose athletics as a hobby. Now my adult years are all about making up for lost time in the creative realm.  


My sketching inspiration was a recent thrift store find, a sweet vintage Bambi book with the most adorable images. The book itself is pretty beat up but that doesn't matter as my intention is to use some of the intact images in the girls' bedroom for wall art.  I've been mulling around the idea of (loosely inspired) vintage bambi room. I'm not looking for disney bambi per-say but rather my  interpretation of the beloved story.  


When I sat down that evening for a movie I though I was merely going to be jotting a few design ideas down in my sketch book which up until this point had been it's primary use.  Quite by accident I started sketching.  Within a few minutes my eyes and hand starting working together to re-create the cover art of the vintage book and by the end of the movie there was Bambi and thumper on my page.  Life is filled with surprises :)

sketched bambi.



I can't believe we are already here.  Another son in double digits, my baby boy.  Where did the time go? Ready or not, he is ten and it looks good on him, don't you think?


The B-meister is my (cake &) hockey lover. And oh boy, does that boy love hockey. It almost rivals his addiction love for the Canada goose. I never thought I'd see that happen.  But this one, my second son, he surprises me all the time.

hockey + icing

From the time he rises in the morning until his head rests on the pillow, it's non-stop chatter about the game.  I'm fairly certain he dreams about it. He immerses himself completely, and those around him, in his latest venture.  It's the way he learns and in turn we learn with him.

givin'er his best

It's a gift really, to learn from your children, and I have, learned... So many good and wonderful things.  Happy Birthday B-meister, I'm happy to be on this journey of life with you, xxx.



I hurt


I was doing some sanding for the world's longest kitchen renovation project. Umm yeah, I'm still working on those cupboard doors and thankfully in the very last stages.  The unfortunate part is all that awkward sanding has put my right trapezius into stress and it pulled my neck out overnight. Could barely move my head when I woke up yesterday...ugh! That's twice for me now in two months, I think my body is trying to tell me something - quit working on renos, right?  (or get back to strength training, but I like the first option better) Anyway, I went to see my chiro and he set me straight again. Right now I'm typing with a cold pack on my shoulder. I'm in lot's of pain and need to take a little break from this space until things settle down. I hurt :(  


I'll be back after the weekend with pics of a the latest birthday boy in our home who turns 10!

PS: big brother who takes time out of his day to imagine with his much younger sisters not only rocks but will make a great future dad.  xxx.


some times all a day needs is chai


And when those days come you search high and low for your ingredients and pray that you remembered to pick up that little nub of ginger on your last grocery shop 'cause chai without ginger is like a summer day without sunshine.  


And since sunshine should be a shared thing... you too can make you own cup of chai.

Chai Tea 

8 cups water

20 cardammon pods 

20 peppercorns 

15 cloves

3 cinnamon sticks 

4-5 slices of ginger root

1-2 tbsp tea

3-4 cups 1% milk 

Boil spices for 30 mins. Add tea - steep for 5 mins. Add milk - reheat to boiling. Strain, add a little honey, and use your mini whipper to froth things up a bit.  

Now, grab a good book, sit outside in the sunshine and sip contentedly. 

chai tea

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