28 January 2009

Photo walls

I really like photographs.  I love photos taken by my grandparents, and my parents, and the ones of people whom I love.  I have been putting photos up, in frames, for some time now.  I really like the look of "photo walls" and have seen so many different examples online lately.  Today I put up more photos that I have been collecting and framing recently.  I adore the mix of old and new~

16/365 Finn Henry

I'm not sure if it is because he is the baby - the last one that I get to carry around, spend my days with while everyone else is at school, "baby".  The thing is, I am having a hard time imagining him growing up.  I probably should be sending him to preschool this coming September when he is 3, but we have decided to wait another year.  You see, I love my days with him.  I love having him here, playing beside me while I work, helping me in the kitchen, following me around the gardens, inspecting every little thing.  I love when he says "mummy, let's snuggle", or  "mummy, want to play lego?", and when he asks for a hug, a kiss.  I love looking at him while he is busy eating his toast, focused on watching Dora, and I marvel at how little he still looks to me.  He makes me smile every time a phrase comes out of his mouth that really should be coming out of someone much older, much wiser.  But he is wise, much older than his 2 1/2 years.  And he makes me smile - all of the time.

27 January 2009

15/365 The Kitchen Co-op

Today my inspiration - the thing that has me excited and hopeful, is a new group blog that we started!  I am really excited about it because of its potential. 

We have been in an economic downturn for some time now.  I am guessing that this is affecting most of us to some degree.  For our family, it has affected how we spend our money, how we prioritize our needs vs. wants, and it has also enlightened us on how creative we can be when we must.  I don't think that this is necessarily a bad time - it is certainly a time of growth and that is something that we can all use from time to time.  For our family, it has given us a new perspective on how incredibly blessed we are and how much we have.  It has also *forced* us to spend time closer to home, taking a second look at what we have around us, and it has led to some really great family time.  

This new blog will hopefully be a resource for anyone looking for ideas on how to save money, share ideas on places to shop that may have great deals, list your favorite recipes, and brainstorm on ways to run a home more effectively and creatively.  

One of my favorite mantras is "Simplify".  I think that 2009 is definitely a year to do that, for so many reasons.  I hope to see you all at the Kitchen Co-op  - your ideas are really valued and I would be grateful if you would share!


26 January 2009

14/365 around the house

Not wanting to head outdoors where it is *gorgeous* but very cold ( seem to be holding on to an ugly head cold), I tried looking at our home with fresh eyes, finding things that are interesting to shoot.  It certainly makes me feel lucky to know that all these lovely things are in this house!

24 January 2009

13/365 learning...

So I have been sick for the past two days.  Not flu-sick.  Just really annoyingly congested cold sick.  From the neck up sick.  Can't really hear very well sick.  But not "I'm dying here" sick.  

The bad thing about me being sick is that a.)I am a mom and thus really don't have time to be sick, and; b.) I don't do "stay in bed and rest to recover" very well...  Thus, the first two days that I really knew I wasn't well, I continued to run around and pretend that nothing was wrong.  By today however, there really was no way to fake it.  As Spongebob would say, I have the "ick".  The good news is that being confined to one's bed forces one to utilize what one has - namely one's laptop.  And thanks to the ever-wonderful Mishelle of Secret Agent Mama fame, I now know how to put a watermark on my photos.  

22 January 2009

12/365 Frosty Mornings

I have learned something about myself these past few days.  I guess it is something I already knew.  I have learned that when the sun comes out - even if it is cold, and frosty, and a bit foggy, I smile a bit more, my step is a bit lighter, I have more energy.
I definitely dream of the coming of spring!

21 January 2009

the kitchen

One thing I love to do is spend time in my kitchen.  Whether it is cooking, or baking, or working on projects on our large island, it is simply my "happy place".  

Lately I have been playing around with recipes, taking the ones I like and adding my own twist to them.  One recipe I use nearly every week is my Chestnut Farm Chocolate Chip cookies.  I like to have them ready, still warm, when the boys return from school.  They love to come home to warm cookies and a glass of milk~

Today is a gorgeous day in the kitchen - the sun is streaming in the window, the dogs are wrestling outside in the yard, and the fog is burning off but still remains between the trees.  I am going to try and look for cooking/baking inspiration more often as I feel like I have gotten a bit laze lately.  So today, I will be filling the cookie jar.


20 January 2009

11/365 adoration

I found this photo some time ago but somehow lost the link to where it came from.  I have used it as my girlie inspiration for so many things - photography, staying pink in a very blue house, my love of bicycle baskets...

Somehow, the stars must have been aligned today as I came across the oh so talented photographer who lays claim to this wonderful shot!  Not only is she a fabulous photographer and artist, but she has a fantastic blog as well as a lovely Etsy shop.  

So, even though I didn't take this photo, it has been inspiring me for some time now.  Today is no exception~

A new day

I just returned from taking 1, 2, & 3 to school.  I kept them home with us this morning so that we could all experience such a momentous event in our nation's history.  It was an incredible morning and renewed such hope and the feeling of possibility in me.  I wanted my boys to enjoy that same feeling, and I think that they really felt it.

When I returned home, this photo is what greeted me.  The sun streaming through the fog and the trees really symbolized what this day represents to me.  What a beautiful start to our new beginning~


19 January 2009


for today's inspiration, see above.


This post will most likely get me in trouble.  

However, whenever I need inspiration, I need only walk three doors up the street, to my friend Suzy's house.  Suzy does everything.  Seriously.  She gardens, and scuba dives, and rides horseback, and skis, and sails.  She does triathlons and I feel pretty confident that one day in the near future she will take on an ironman... She is an artist, a mother, a wife, a teacher, a world traveler, and an illustrator.  She knows about marine life, mushrooms, every plant imaginable, pruning fruit trees, silk painting, geography, horses (or any animal for that matter), agriculture, seaweed, gourmet cooking, raising chickens, renovating, and on and on.  Seriously.  

And whenever I need help, with anything (installing our electric fence around the pasture, teaching the dog to use the wireless dog fence, hatching chicken eggs, transplanting bushes, making chocolate truffles, painting silk scarves, etc...) she is there, within moments.  Seriously.

So today, while at her house taking photos of this:

I happened to shoot a photo of her:

I have a feeling this won't go over well.  Seriously.
(if you want to see some fabulous paintings, she has a web site that you must see~)

18 January 2009



I have been thinking lately that it might be fun to bring back bartering.  You know, "I'll trade you a dozen eggs for some vegetables from your garden/fruit from your trees/babysitting/etc".  Even though we can afford to buy such things, the idea of trading what we have for something that we want or need gives me such a sense of providing in a traditional way.  I stay home to raise my children and run our home.  Thus, I don't bring home a paycheque which contributes to our family.  My husband - truly the most supportive, incredible man a girl could ask for,  provides us with such a wonderful life.  But sometimes I feel the need to "bring something to the table" so to speak.  And what better way to do that than to take the things that I "make" - from my girls, the gardens, various craft projects that I do, my photography - and exchange them for things that our family could use.  It really feels like returning to our traditional ways of providing and I love that.  

Do you remember this guy and his red paperclip?  If he could barter for a house, isn't it possible that we could all barter for some of the things we could use? 

I looked around on the internet a bit and came across this article which provided a bit of inspiration and ideas on where to barter if you wanted to go outside your immediate circle of acquaintances.  Who knew?  

Do any of you partake in any form of bartering?  Do you exchange foods, talents, or time?  How did you start?  What inspires you about the practice.  I would *love* to hear your stories!


(yes, this was meant to be posted yesterday...)

This summer holds so much promise for the potential of this property.  Between the gardens that we already have, the gardens I hope to add, and the gifts from my girls, I feel like we are able to provide quite a lot for our family.  I am also inspired by this book, as although I haven't read it completely, I will have come spring, and hopefully it will provide even more ideas on consuming what we can produce ourselves.  If nothing else, it will prove to be a fun experiment for us and bring us closer to eating as locally as possible!

17 January 2009

sunny saturday

Today, more than ever, I look forward to the coming spring!

Have a lovely rest of your weekend,

16 January 2009


Over-night these lovely works of art appeared.  The little 8-legged artists that made them definitely inspire me today~

garden planning - adding color

I know it is early, but planning the gardens is half the fun, right?  I think this will be the year I add "cutting flowers" to the mix...

Right now the garden is full of greens and whites, but I would like to add some color this year as well as stagger the bloom times so that I can have cut flowers all season long!