31 May 2009

Happy Sunday Morning

I hope to do some of this today~

30 May 2009

Going to the cottage

It is Saturday evening here on the farm and I have to say, one of the nicest I can remember.  We had friends over this afternoon, and right now I have a salmon on the fire pit and carrots roasting in the oven.  I can hear the boys playing outside in the glorious sunshine and the birds singing their praises of the beautiful warm weather that has arrived.  It is evenings like this that I feel so incredibly blessed to have the home that we do.  

When I was growing up, we always had homes in the suburbs.  We had average sized lots with nice yards and plenty of room to play.  One thing that I remember about the summers of my childhood in the midwest were the times we went away for the weekend to a cabin.  I think one summer we might have rented a cabin for a few months that we could visit regularly.  And there was the cabin at my Aunt's parents in northern Minnesota with the fish fries for breakfast after fishing at dawn.  I loved the canoes, the living in the water on those hot summer days, eating outside, campfires.  There is just something about having a rustic cabin or cottage of your own. 

I found this article via Simplesong and it brought back so many memories of growing up in Minnesota.  I certainly don't miss the mosquitos though...

Endless inspiration~

This morning while *visiting* my dear friend Simone in London (oh, if only it were that easy to pop over and visit...) I was once again incredibly inspired for her eye for beauty.  Honestly, she finds photos that make me want to find magical treasures for our home and gardens.  

This kitchen is one of dreams~

I absolutely love this dreamy little garden space!

Now this is how a garden party should look~

She doesn't know it, but I will be sneaking along on their trip to Florence...

If you are looking for inspiration and a way to spend even more time on your computer, you really need to visit her blog - The Bottom of the Ironing Basket- it will be time well spent!


29 May 2009

the gardens of an over-achiever...

I have a girlfriend.  Okay, I have a few girlfriends - I am lucky that way.  However I have this certain girlfriend.  She is one of those gals that after you visit her, you leave completely utterly inspired.  Well, sometimes you leave feeling like somehow you have been laying down on the job, but most visits, inspiration all the way.  That certainly was the case this week when I visited her incredible property.  Her gardens were, as per usual, incredible.  She has a huge, gated garden area (gated to keep the critters out as they live on 50 acres outside of Seattle in the woods) and every year they redesign how they will plant their vegetables.  This year, as in years past, it was gorgeous.  Had it not been quite so sunny out (did I seriously just say it was too sunny in Seattle???) I could have gotten some fabulous, not completely washed out shots. Clearly I still have a lot to learn about photography... 

~why yes, she does have a sink with running water in her garden...

And seriously - I could live in her chicken coop.  Seriously...

Nadja has a blog with even more inspiration, if you are the over-achiever type that is...

28 May 2009

A surprise visit from the UPS man!

There is something about the UPS man arriving at your door when you aren't expecting him... Such was the case this afternoon here on the farm.  I couldn't for the life of me imagine what might have arrived.  I would have never, ever guessed that it was something I had been wanting for some time now.  And it is even more glorious in hand than it was in the photos!

Simone is a friend that I have *known* for ten years but only met about seven years ago.  She lives in London and is often the first person on my wish list to visit when I have the chance to travel.  She recently started a fabulous blog which is filled with delicious images and inspiring posts.  When I opened the box and saw what was inside, I was only momentarily surprised at who it was from.  The note read: "the perfect gift for the perfect friend".  Could you love her any more if you tried???    The thing is, we met on the internet, through a wedding chat room all those years ago.  There was a large group of us and, ten years later, there are still a good number of us who communicate every week.  Most of the ladies I haven't met, some I have been blessed to be able to, and some I have chatted with on the phone.  I consider them some of the best friends that I have and I know that they are one of my strongest support systems when I need them.  I feel so blessed by them, and by you, for even though I haven't met you, I feel your kindness, and your generosity, and the love~

As for the book, it is so much more than I thought it would be!  It is heavy, and the cover is almost puffy (so incredibly fabulous), and the paper - the pages are like velvet.  And then there are the photos - in a word - DIVINE~  If I didn't have my french class tonight, I would be spending the next few hours savoring every inch of this book.  I am so very excited to come home after class, climb into my jammies, and settle in with my newest treasure~  You can find the book and Vicki Archer's blog here.

So thank you dear friend, a million times over, for every single time you send your love.


~I definitely want pink party hats for my birthday party

~how gorgeous is this cake?

~this would be my room, if I had my own room that is...

~I have them in a dark color, but I think I might need these too...

~I think I need this dress

~I hesitate to tell you what the following gorgeous dresses are constructed out of...

~but if you go here, you can find out...

I think that part of the reason I don't commit to color in our home is that there are so many colors that I really like.  I envy people who have a *favorite* and use it so well.  For me, I love blues, and find them so very soothing.  But living with all of these boy-men, I tend to crave pink.  Often.  I think that there are times when I am desperate to feel more like a girl and less like "one of the boys"...  

27 May 2009

Color therapy

I have decided I need some color therapy.  Please don't get me wrong - I love my neutral color palate, I really do.  But sometimes I look at colorful interiors and wonder what it takes for someone to commit to using such vibrant hues.

I hate to use the word "chicken" but I guess... when referring to one's self...  because really, I do really really like color.  really.

Photos courtesy~

photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5, photo 6, photo 7, photo 8, photo 9, photo 10

26 May 2009

A *must read* post

One of my very favorite bloggers for so many reasons is Vicki Archer of French Essence.  I love that she has such an inside perspective on life in France - my heart's home in many ways.  She always has fabulous posts, but todays post on "bien dans sa peau" really touched a cord with me. I highly recommend that you take a walk over and read it.  I hope that you are inspired as I have been~


Good morning lovelies~

As it is (sort of) the beginning of the week, (the boys are home for one more day but handsome husband is back to work today) I have been taking stock of where I am this morning.  I have come up with the answer: scattered.  Granted daddy was here this past week and we were uber-productive on the property.  That being said, I am in serious "get back on track and move forward" mode.  I have been making lists of what I want to do and where I want to go with various projects lately but I think today is the day that I really start to organize them.  

One thing I find is that instead of actually working on my own goals as much as I would like, I tend to "float" around the internet, perusing this website, or that.  Now, many of those visits provide endless inspiration, but still, I need to start working toward the goals I have for my photography, as well as my Etsy shop.  ADD you ask?  Probably.  I am so easily distracted by pretty, sparkly things...  

I did find this etsy shop this morning - yet more meandering but still, inspirational on various levels for me.  I love the way she uses her photography to produce different etsy products.  I love that she has things other than simple prints for sale.

So, I thought if I put my goals for the week out there, maybe I would feel more accountable to get them completed...  Peer pressure?  Absolutely!  

~ I would like to take a new photo for a banner to use on something I am working on.

~ I would like to take a new set of shots that can be added to my shop.

~ I would like to purge, yet again, our clutter and find a nice big load for the charity - and take it in!

I feel like these are totally do-able and if I focus, it will happen.  That, and ample nagging from each and every one of you!

I also have something to show you - another project on my "wish list"...  Stay tuned!

25 May 2009

A week with my dad

This past week has been simply wonderful, which is not surprising seeing as my dad has been here with us.  It is one of my two very favorite weeks of the year, another being his August visit. You see, he lives in Minnesota, and with us being in Seattle, there are no "going to dad's for dinner" or "dad is coming over to help work on this project or that".   There are just two weeks. Two very precious weeks where he is here, spending time with us, inspiring us to accomplish all of the things that have been on our "to do" list for far too long.  

Waiting at the airport for dad to arrive~

This week was great because unlike other years where we get one really big project done, this year we finished quite a number of projects that had been waiting for some time to be completed...

There was a retaining wall next to the pergola they built me last year on Chez Poulet that needed to be built~

There were the pavers in the entry that needed to be put back after the crazy bamboo removal of '09~

And there was the front of a playhouse to finish, as well as a side window to add~
(yes, it still needs paint...)

But this week certainly was not all work and no play.  There was our traditional dinner compliments of daddy at Buca which we always enjoy, even if we do leave feeling like we ate too much, again...

There is a lot of time spent on the property together~

Remote control cars to drive~

Teeth to lose~

Dog fights...  (totally kidding - they are truly not fighting, although they certainly look like they are, don't they?)

Family visits~
(this is my sweet father-in-law and his fabulous fiance)

And even a birthday party!

My Aunties Pam and Shelley made us homemade vanilla and strawberry ice cream for our cake!

(that is one tuckered out kitten)

And of course, lots of bon fires, complete with marshmallows for s'mores~

Whenever daddy leaves, my heart feels heavy.  I was up before 5 am this morning as I know he is going and it weighs heavy on me.  Thankfully, this is the May trip, which means when I say goodbye to him today, I know he is coming back in three months.  The August trip to the airport is something you really don't want to be there for...  You will not see photos of the second trip to the airport.  Most likely I won't be able to see through the tears to take any pictures~