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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Secret of Great Entryways...

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I have been doing a 'study' of these great entryrooms to figure out what makes a great entryway.

For me, a great entryway has:
 Ample & functional storage for the people who live there. It also had a  bulletin board to keep things 'front and centre', so to speak.
It has a place to hang coats and hats. And baskets for storage.
It tells a bit about the people who live there. The 'personality factor' is so important.
It has great lighting and a comfy mat underfoot.
And a style all it's own.
{Also, I seem to notice that I love blue on the walls.}

After the rush of back to school, I have a few things planned for my entry. I think it could funtion a little better than it does. And it could definitely use an injection of fresh style!

I am going to be 'unplugged' for the next week as I spend time with my familly before everyone heads back to school.  Have a great 'last weekend' of summer!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Save Your Fork....There's Pie...

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It all started with my friend, Gloria, mentioning that she had raspberries in her backyard. Wild raspberries.

And then I mentioned that raspberry pie was one of our absolute favourite pies.

'baking date' was on.

A day to go to her place, pick raspberries, and then make pies. We decided to make little hand pies {tarts] since we thought single serving baked goods were the way to go.

On the pre-planned day, we arrived at her house and headed to the backyard to pick our raspberries. {And let me tell you...the skeeters in that berry patch were thick.} The berries, unfortunately, looked as though they had been well picked over. So we started picking anyway. We  picked for a good 20 minutes when Hunter came over to dump her little bowl of berries into my bigger bowl.

She poured about 8 berries into my bowl.  And then we laughed like 2 fools between the bushes.

So we continued, our prize being the fresh baked pie we would make later, and after a good 45 minutes, we had a scant two cups of berries.

Then we headed to Gloria's kitchen and decided to mix our raspberries with blueberries so we could make more tarts. We mixed up our pastry....we used the recipe on the back of the Tenderflake tub. In my opinion, it's the best. It makes pastry that is flaky and tender. Then we cut circles and placed them into muffin tins for our little hand pies. The berries were mixed with 1/2 cup of flour and a cup of sugar to make them into a bit of a thicker filling.
Hunter loves to roll pastry, so she took over this job. She also cut out the little pastry stars for decoration. Gloria and I looked after putting the pastries into the tins and filling them with fruit, and adding the star and the sanding sugar.
When we ran out of the raspberry/blueberry mix, we decided to mix up some strawberries and peaches to make more tarts....until the pastry was all used.

There is nothing better than fresh-baked pies out of the oven.  And when you don't make homemade pies often, the smell and taste is heavenly.
The sweet reward of our day....a fresh baked pie and a cup of tea.

Our baking 'date' was so fun! We plan to do another day soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today I am a Guest at Sense & Simplicity...

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Please go over and visit me there and say 'hello'!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Hunter...

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In honour of my daughter Hunter's 14th birthday, I would like to dedicate this post to her and share 14 things about our big "Curly Girl".

1. She has always been our little fashion diva. Even at a very young age, she liked sunglasses as an accessory. Here she is with Mr. Ducky at our backyard pool in 1999.

2. When Hunter was little, she had ringlets literally dripping from her head. She used to get a lot of attention because of her curls. I called her my "Curly Girl".

{With Daddy on the Scotia Prince Ferry from Yarmouth, N.S. to Maine, U.S.A.,1999}

3. Hunter has had the same best friend for 14 years.....Miss Charlotte. Here they are at 1 yr. going out dressed in their Halloween costumes. Charlotte is a flower. Hunter is cute little piglet. {She is still mad about the pig costume. When she was 2, she was a skunk. She would be super mad if I posted that picture.}

{Flower & Piglet, 1997}

{Best Friends at the Childrens' Festival Parade, 1999}
{Hunter & Charlotte, Best Friends, 2010}

4. Our Family & Charlotte's family used to have a Nanny for the girls. They used to get themselves into quite a few messes.
{Best Friends,1998}

5. Hunter has always been a very loving big sister to her brother. She was a little mother hen to him when he was very young. When he was 2, Daddy was away for work and Mommy was in bed very sick with the flu....Hunter gave Tyler supper {toast} and tucked {dropped} him into his crib. Mommy was so thankful to have her help with her little brother!!

6. At 14, Hunter is quite an accomplished 'baker' for her age. Here she is with the birthday cake she made  for herself when she was 12. She saw the 'flip flop' cake idea in a magazine.

{Here she is with a birthday cake that she made with her Grandmother for her 13th birthday.
The recipe came from Martha Stewart's baking book.}

7. Since age 4, Hunter has had a love affair with skating. First singles skating, and now her passion is synchronized skating.Here she is in her very first Can Skate 'Show' in 2001. Her little group was 'Banana's In Pyjamas'. She looks nervous because she did not enjoy performing in public.

{Her first year of synchronized skating. 2006}

{Synchronized Skating. 2009}
Her fear of performing in public is long gone!

8. Hunter loves chocolate....just like her mother.

{Hunter with chocolate cake on her 10th birthday, 2006}

9. Hunter's dream of getting a puppy comes true on September 6, 2009. She names her little girl 'Molly.'

10. Hunter has a total Type 'A' personality. She is a self-motivated individual who likes to complete projects on her own and do the best she can. Here she is painting her bedroom closet on her own. 2010.

11. Hunter is an excellent student. We never have to ask her to do her homework or to study for tests. She has always done this on her own. Here she is with her Grade 7 Honours Medal in 2009. She also received an Special Merit Award for Grade 7 Social Studies.

12. Hunter loves babies & small children. She gets asked to babysit a lot.

{Here she is with Baby Nate. 2006}

{Here she is with Baby Xavian. 2010}

14. When Hunter turned 10, we held her birthday lunch at Amerian Girl Place in Chicago. She has loved those dolls since she was 4 years old.

14. Hunter is thinking about becoming a french immersion teacher for a career. She tutors elementary children in french afterschool...she has been doing this for 3 years.

{Here she is at Madame's desk, correcting Grade 4 French Immersion homework, 2010}


Hunter....Daddy and I are so proud of the way you are growing up!

J'taime beaucoup!! xoxoxo

Friday, August 20, 2010

How I Love All the White.....But In Real Life?

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I absolutely love these white rooms.
I find them all so fresh and fabulous.
This white foyer is delightful.
This entry is so fresh & fun.
Love this cozy room!
This bedroom is so calming and serene.
I covet this cottage! Rustic yet sophisticated charm.

 But my reality is this:

Black fingerprints from newspaper reading on all the white kitchen cabinets.
I wipe them everyday.

Little brown pawprints on the leather sofas.
I wipe them everyday.

Doritos-orange{or other snack food} fingerprints on the door to the family room.
I wipe them everyday

Food stains on the dining room chairs.
I wipe them everyday.

Greasy little fingerprints on light switches.
I wipe them everyday.

I honestly could not imagine a whole decor scheme in white.
My life would become a never-ending wipe & wash fest....all in the quest of keeping the white white.

I love my family. I want them to live in our house.

But....a girl can dream, right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My New Little Reading Spot...

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Since my daughter has claimed my favourite reading & watching TV spot on the sofa lately....and I feel so rude kicking her out of what was my spot, I have now claimed this chair as my new resting place. The only problem was that it needed a lamp for reading.

So, I went on a search for a lamp to be a sidekick for this chair. My budget was small....only $100 was what I had in mind. I didn't want anything fancy...just something to blend into the room. After checking around numerous stores, I settled on this Martha Stewart bamboo-look lamp from Home Depot. I like the classic shape of the lamp with the linen drum shade.  It adds the perfect touch of light and warmth to my new nesting corner.

This chair is also the perfect spot for winter...it is only a few feet from the fireplace. And just beside the martinit bar too. Maybe I will get some actual reading done now!

This post is linked to:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Back-to-Schooling Begins. Step 1: The Wardrobe Weed Out.

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In our house, the back-to-school prep always starts in the childrens' bedrooms.
I go through the clothes.
I start with the shirts.
I retire the stained, the ripped, the too-small and the just plain ugly.
Next I move on to the bottoms.
I leave the shorts out until the end of September.
And here's how we save money.
We don't buy any back to school clothes for the boy.
And the reason is simple: he doesn't ask for any.
He is a 9 yr. old boy. He doesn't give two hoots about clothes or fashion.
So we buy stuff for him when he needs it.
He is such an easy boy.
And while I sort out his wardrobe, my daughter works on her closet.
Her birthday is in August, so her need for new fashion for school get combined with birthday gifts.
She is happy with 2-3 new pairs of jean. New flats for her feet.
A few new tops.
This year she also had a little list for shopping at MAC and Sephora
She is going into Grade 9 afterall.

The back-to-schooling list for tomorrow includes:
Clean & Organized Study Spaces.

How do you start to get ready for back to school?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Visit Me Over At Crazy Domestic Today...

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I am absolutely thrilled to be sharing my camping series over at 'Crazy Domestic' today.

I invite you to visit 'Crazy Domestic' and  please leave a comment. Please let Stephanie of CD know what you thought of my camping series!

And if you are visiting from Crazy Domestic today.....Welcome!

To see the camping series, please click on 'camping' in the archives index.

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