January 31, 2019
I've been slowly working on the dollhouse.
Choosing, cutting and installing wallpaper.
Painted walls, freshly installed wallpaper
and the little carpet I found at the Fall
Dollhouse Show. Trim will be next but
I think I'll wait until I finish off painting
and wallpapering each room, and then
flooring, which I still need to figure out.
After crossing the bridge, my dh showed
me the hill he drives up each day, even
when the weather is snowy. And on this
day, you could see it was icy. Thankfully,
he listened to my pleading and we turned
at the lights and took another route that
is not as steep. Crazy he is, my guy!! I
couldn't drive up that each day ~ scary.
A dear community member gifted me these
amazing chocolates at Christmas. We're still
enjoying them and feel so honored to have
such wonderful people in our lives every day.
Truly decadent and amazing. Almost too pretty
to eat but we're getting through them all. Enjoy!
We found 2 of these sweet vintage
styled cups at the local charity shop.
For a grand price of .50 cents each, they
hold a lovely cup of hot chocolate, with
a few shots of Irish Cream to spice it up
a bit. Perfect on a snowy, fireplace day!
Yes, you can see that we haven't yet put away
our decorations from the Christmas Season.
Personally, we love to let the Season last
just a bit longer. It's not over powering,
just a few items here and there. Like our
range hood, with our little Elf and a
sweet little Christmas glass van. And
the wreath is there all year long. It will
come down soon. When we're feeling
ready to put it all away. Soon, I promise!
Our little guy, sleeping soundly in the
guest room, while mama is at her work.
Snuggly warm and curled up to mama's
bear from when she was 4 years old. I
never imagined one day this bear would
be next to the sweetest little sleepy boy.
We finally found some heavy weight
material to make some Winter curtains.
I was fortunate the fabric store was
able to cut the exact lengths I needed.
So far, easy to sew. And easy to cut.
Love this choice for the living room
and the dining room. We're doing
Plantation Shutters in family room.
Finally, after all these years, getting
set and soon, I'll do a nice reveal ....
January 30, 2019
If you follow me on IG, you know
we created a Hot Chocolate Station.
Vintage cups, pretty napkins, variety
of teas and hot chocolates, and sprinkles!
Mini marshmallows, candy cane slivers,
different flavors of toppings, and pretty jars.
Sweet treats to go with the hot
drinks. A lovely cold afternoon fix.
A few days after Christmas,
we had a true friend over.
We chose some yummy little nibblies
and some warm drinks to finish it off.
Quiches, cheese and crackers, mozza
sticks and tiny plates of sweet goodies.
We all had a great time and enjoyed
our light snacks. Friendship and food.
January 29, 2019
I can't name the restaurant but we had
a treat for lunch one day ~ a maple
bacon chicken croissant sandwich with
a chocolate frosty and caesar salad.
We rarely eat out and often if we do,
it's just for special birthdays or for an
anniversary. Sometimes we'll spring for
a lunch and this one was a special treat.
Once a month, the tiny hamlet close to
our rural home has a weekend of big
bin recycling. We go to drop off all
our cardboard boxes. The last bin day
was just after Christmas and this is
how full our SUV got! Poor dd was
almost totally hidden from our view.
But our garage was much more roomy!
January 28, 2019
This post took me FOREVER to finish.
How do you clarify "Happiness" in one
small photo. I chose photos of my family.
My garden. My latest trip. My work. All
of these bring me happiness. In the end,
I chose this photo, showing the sun
shining in our bedroom, in the morning.
The colors I love (lavender, sage and ivory)
and the oval window, the lace curtains in
the turret, the bespoke cabinets, the stone
fireplace. Mismatched picture frames. A
sweet statue of a family my dh found for
me years ago. A candle. Gifts from friends.
All of this defines for me "Happiness" ....
January 20, 2019
Hygge Photo Challenge Day #9:
Sweater. Last year (2017), for his
birthday, I bought dh the sweater
he's wearing in our annual photo
with our dearest friend. I'm wearing
the sweater my dh bought me this
year (2018) for my birthday. I love
sweaters. My closet and dresser are
full of them. But this one? Truly now
my favorite of all time. It's so super
soft. I can't even describe how soft.
I want to wear it every day but have
chosen to keep it for any and all
special days. Like when our dearest
friend comes over to spend time with
us, a few days after New Years, in 2019.
Hygge Photo Challenge #8:
Nature. We are lucky to live
in such a beautiful County.
Living rurally means so many
opportunities to capture the
nature that surrounds us. Like
amazing hoar frost on our
trees. #countryliving #hygge
Hygge Photo Challenge Day #6:
Comfort Food. Despite having
food issues ALL my life, I do
have a few I call comfort food.
Chicken Noodle Soup when the
rain falls from the sky. Broccoli
and Chicken Pot Pie on Sunday
nights, with Caesar Salad. Hot
Macaroni and Cheese anytime!
And on occasion, my dh will make
a Brit dinner consisting of Maple
and Bacon Baked Beans with
Maple Sausages on Fresh Baked
Bread. With chocolate milk in my
chocolate box cottage English China
cup. Mmmm! #comfort food #hygge
Hygge Photo Challenge Day #5:
Togetherness. This is only part
of our little family. I wanted a
shot of us in front of the Royal
Albert Museum at the end of the
afternoon. Our visit was amazing
and we will be back. Every other
family would have lined up nicely
for their photo, hair in place, shirts
tucked in. But this my family ~ at
least part of us. And if I ask for a
photo, this is what will transpire.
No apologies. Real life. Together.
#ourfamily #togetherness #this is us
January 12, 2019
Hygge Day #4. The prompt was Gratitude.
On this day, I wrote:"Our family, the one
we created and the ones we came from,
our beloved little cottage we built for us,
in the big woods, carefully crafted creative
careers and abundant health. Gratitude."
Hygge Day #3. The prompt today was
Hot Drink. And this is what I wrote:
"We set up a little Hot Chocolate
Station over the holidays for anyone
who needed to warm up after being
outside in the snow and the cold.
Winter is here! Makes being outside
so much easier when you know a sweet
cup of hot chocolate is so easy to make
and so welcoming to enjoy." #hygge
Day #2 of the Hygge Photo Challenge.
The prompt was Warmth. And I wrote
the following: "I love the soft light from
our mantel garland and the beautiful
glow of the Christmas tree. A vision of
comfort, peace and warmth." #hygge
January 10, 2019
January 6, 2019
I've joined in on a 10 day Hygge Photo
Challenge. The 10 days looks like this:
Day #1 ~ Candlelight
Day #2 ~ Warmth
Day #3 ~ Hot Drink
Day #4 ~ Gratitude
Day #5 ~ Togetherness
Day #6 ~ Comfort Food
Day #7 ~ Blanket
Day #8 ~ Nature
Day #9 ~ Sweather
Day #10 ~ Happiness
Here is the 1st post from Day #1:
Dinner by Candlelight in our Dining Room.
This is how we Hygge! Day 1 of the Hygge
Photo Challenge is Candlelight. So warm.
#tdmhygge #loveourcountryhome #love
January 2, 2019
So far, so good. We've survived the 1st day of 2019 and it's been good, so far! Our New Years was nice. A bit of celebration and lots of coolers and fireworks. It was quite noisy for awhile out here in the quiet country. But I love that we don't have to go into town to see the lights and hear the noise. Right out our front (and back) door and through all the windows. Can't beat that, especially no with crowds.
On our 1st day of 2019, we slept in until 10ish. And then slowly got up, with no great plans for the day. A late breakfast of leftovers, nice warm showers and then we just puttered about, working in the art studio, hanging a shelf, finishing the last 2 curtain panels for the dining room. I hung up my Susan Branch calendar for 2019 (pictures later) and cleaned out the fridge. We ventured outside and cleared where we want to have our ice rink. This is a collaborative project with our neighbors down the lane. Tomorrow, I need to call the water truck to see if they can bring us a load of water. Draining our well holding tank would not be smart. So the water truck it is! Can't wait to have a skating rink.
At night, we cuddled up to watch Coronation Street and then a few funny shows before heading to bed a bit early. I did answer some emails, after 10 days of not opening them. And surprisely, all was well and no issues to start off the year. We watched another show before finally closing out eyes, happy that the 1st day of 2019 was so far, so good.
I'm not a resolution maker. When I was young, I witnessed many adults make promises on New Year's Eve (or day) and then watched as those resolutions never happened or did, but just for a short time. Rather than set myself up to follow in the same footsteps, I instead adopted a process of reflecting on what was good, what didn't quite work and what I'd like to see for the year in terms of goals for growth and for challenge. I'm kind in this department, knowing I will never be perfect but to do my best and go to bed each night knowing I tried, even if I failed, gives me great satisfaction.
On that note, let's chat about being perfect .... or in my experience (and life) .... not being perfect. This will look like something for each of us. For me, one of the things I could control when my family was created and growing was the status of our home. I was lucky to have easy going, sleep loving babies, so I did have some time on my hands each day and used that time to tidy, organize, purge as often as I could. We've always had homes that thankfully had separate living and family rooms and in our last house, a dining room, complete with french doors, across the hall from the living room, also with french doors. This gave us the opportunity when the kids were little to have a lovely and pulled together space that we used for guests, or a quite spot to read, or celebrations. And a dining room that was ready for Sunday Dinner or celebrations or an impromptu drop in for lunch or tea kind of day. Always tidy, neat and toy free. Our family room would be where we'd live, when we weren't outside. This room was still tidy but definitely kid lived in with bins of toys and stuffies and books. The place where they could play and I could be right there or see them from the kitchen as I made meals or the laundry room as put clothes in to wash. In our last house, where we lived for 24 years, most of our kids lives, we also put in a big playroom in the basement. When they were old enough and didn't need to be in my eyesight the entire time, we set up a spot that they could play and not have to put everything away. So much freedom to create and build, with no technology. Completely a kid zone. Then our family room became more of a place to meet at the end of the day for a tv show or reading, play or family meetings. Great space that we used all the time, creating great memories.
I felt a lot of pressure the more kids we had to be organized, tidy and have a pulled together house. I feel like I achieved that to a point, but always, there would be a spot to that was not "perfect" and I learned early on that a spot out of control at least show some signs of real life. In this house, we've had so much space to spread out, plus most of the kid stuff is gone now, so extra space for our pursuits, like having a theatre room or our art studio. Such bliss that without much work, it truly stays looking great all the time. However, because we live a real life, there is still always a spot that gets messy. Case in point: the picture above. You can see how neat and tidy our great room (family room) is with everything in it's place, until you pan down to the bench in front of our couch .... yikes!! Look at that mess (a.k.a. real life). Let's just have a run down of what is out of place ....
A spider plant I grew from baby spider leaves. My Starbucks green tea with extra, extra lemon ~ a treat from my daughter today for driving her in to town to do a bit of shopping she needed to do before she heads back to work on Monday. A sweet bamboo heart shaped wooden spoon from my other dd (a Christmas gift) ~ it says "made with love" on the handle. Our Scrabble game from the other night .... I won. The loser hasn't put the game away yet! My new edition of The English Home (February 2019) and the latest Victoria Bliss (January/February 2019 edition). Haven't read either yet but will, in time. A box for a gift that has to be exchanged ~ my dh didn't know I had this one item but I'm thankful they'll let us send it back and I can pick something else ~ already have picked it out. On top of the box is a vintage hook we bought when we were in Ottawa in November. I had it out yesterday as we were going to hang it up in the kitchen to hold my aprons. But we need to find small ivory colored screws for it. The silver screws we have just looked silly. A gift card from OUR best friend who thought we'd enjoy a movie and snacks on our dates night. Smart guy! It's sitting in the box of Christmas cards I used this year for many of our family and friends. I had it out to add to a late gift for someone who came visiting. A few packs of my favorite gum that I bought at the Dollar store today. And some pencil crayons for my next art project, with 1 pack for my mom, and a set of graphite pencils (2B) for another project. They are sitting on our grandson's old iPad, which has now been replaced by a very lovely and bigger version from his mama. I shall place that on her stairs going to their apartment. A couple of pens, a receipt, a new roll of ribbon for a project, the wrapping from a gift (why is that still there?), our little Christmas Tree and a jar holding a Jade plant, a gift from one of the families in our program. My dd has entrusted me to care for this one so it lives.
After a few minutes of putting all these items away, here's what the untidy bench normally looks like:
I try and most nights am able to make sure this bench is clear before we go to bed. But the last few days, with all our holidaying, it got a bit out of hand! I'm so glad it's back to looking calm, peaceful and clutter free again.
So now I'd love to know, what does real life look like in your house? I hope you'll share so we all know that even when our pictures look perfect, there is still a spot (or 2) in our house that shows that real life still lives here! Share away ....
Happy New Year!