Lavender Blue

Friday, June 28, 2013 by
Weir's Lavender Fields |

Wow it’s been a LONG time since I left the house for the sole purpose of taking pretty pictures.  But this week it happened and it was SO fun!  Props to my creative buddy Pam for suggesting that we do it.

Before you read any further,

Sharing is lovely...

Stencilled Coasters in Tumbled Marble

Monday, June 24, 2013 by
Stencilled Marble Coasters |
Happy Monday and Happy Heatwave to you!  The heat and humidity have finally descended upon us in true Canadian form.  But just recall the months of complaining about the long winter and lack of spring…do you remember?…and be grateful for the summer.  You knew it was going to be like this!
But now doesn’t this look like part of a scene to look forward to at the end of a long hot day?  A little relaxing and a beverage out on the patio?  Let me show you how to make these beautiful coasters to help you set the scene. 
Stencilled Marble Coasters |
Actually, you may have already seen this demonstration done with slate coasters here.  But see how changing just a couple of elements…the type of tile and the style of stencil…can give a completely different look.  So the Martha Stewart glass paint is the same, and this stencil is from the same package as well.  These tiles are literally tiles…tumbled honed marble, 4 inch by 4 inch from Home Depot.  And I’m trying to achieve a more lacy, vintage, French look so I chose this stencil pattern to start with.
Stencilled Marble Coasters |
By layering the stencils or using them in combination you can create your own unique patterns.  Also with these tiles, I did add some adhesive rubber dots on the corners to prevent them from damaging tabletops or other surfaces.
Stencilled Marble Coasters |
What do you say?  Join me for a little rustic vintage moment out on the patio?

Sharing is lovely...

Summer Meal Planning

Monday, June 17, 2013 by

DSC_0444_summer meals_003

Hey hey everyone!  Wow, it was a gorgeous summer evening in the ‘burbs today!  And as luck would have it, once the afternoon run-around was over, everyone was going to be home for most of the evening.  Perfect opportunity for a relaxed dinner prep and al fresco dining.  On a weeknight no less.  Important to be prepared for such an opportunity, which brings me back to the title…Summer Meal Planning.

Because actually I don’t really want to spend much time meal planning, even only dinner planning, in the summer.  Do you?  Much better to be prepared with a stocked freezer and pantry and only routine grocery shopping required.  Then you can just check through your kitchen and say Oh I Think We’ll Have This Tonight and it’s already half done.  So if you’ve ever been to a place like Supperworks you will understand what I’m saying here.  If not, you should really try it out.  Keep your eyes open and learn a lot, and transfer the system to your home kitchen.

DSC_0068-2_summer meals_005

So on this day I was doing three different recipes of marinated chicken thighs for the BBQ.  I had bought organic chicken thighs in bulk from a farm on this trip.  And the recipe takes maybe an hour from start to finish.  The recipe for the teriyaki we ate today is below. 

First you find as many containers as you need that will hold a large freezer ziploc bag.  Anything will do…measuring cups, salad spinners, the crock that holds your utensils.

DSC_0086-1_summer meals_006

Next you take out all your ingredients and just start measuring them into each bag.  Easy.  Now as I’m pretending to be so organized and efficient we might all be wondering why I have three bottles of soy sauce on the go in my kitchen.  Hmmm.

DSC_0082-1_summer meals_007

Anyways, once every bag contains all the ingredients, you zip them closed, mush them around, flatten them down and freeze them. 

DSC_0091_summer meals_008DSC_0094-1_summer meals_009

That way they take up hardly any space in the freezer.  And defrost a lot faster when you remember to take them out later rather than sooner.  And then you can pour yourself a lovely beverage and crank up some Imagine Dragons on iTunes.

DSC_0442_summer meals_001

A bit of your favourite rice and some chopped up veg or salad, gourmet chicken on the grill.  Oh let’s eat out on the patio, shall we?  Quite spectacular for a summer weeknight.

DSC_0444_summer meals_003

Of course, tomorrow night we’ll be back to late arrivals home from the day then everyone off in different directions with a bit of delivery pizza in between.  All the more reason to do it well while you can.  Bon appetit.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade:

400g boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. plain rice vinegar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. minced gingerroot

Sharing is lovely...

DIY Herb Plant Thank-You Gifts

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 by
DIY Herb Plant Thank-You Gift |
Hello to my wonderful readers!  It was hump day today, and perhaps you’re feeling it like I was.  Who else is counting down the days of school left?  And that also means it will soon be time to thank all the amazing people who have been instrumental in educating, caring for and transporting your children this school year.  And here is what all those people will be receiving from our household.  Do you like?

Sharing is lovely...

Summer Reading

Monday, June 10, 2013 by
DSC_0400_summer read_005
Happy Monday morning all.  It is incredibly rainy out.  Again.  But a whole brand new week is ahead of us.  What are you setting out to accomplish?  Here everyone is off to school, the dog walked and towelled down, laundry is on the go and dinner is in the crockpot.  I was hoping to take my lunch out onto the patio and order some books for summer reading.  Sigh, instead I’m at the kitchen table looking out at a wet wet world.
DSC_0394_summer read_003
Maybe putting plans in place will help to hurry summer along.  Please.  Please…
DSC_0389_summer read_001
So I’ve just finished 419 by Will Ferguson.  It was a Book Club read and I highly recommend it.  We had a such an interesting and engaging conversation, and it really opened our eyes to the current realities in other parts of the world, particularly Nigeria where parts of the story take place.
Next in my stack is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  Husband has just finished it now I gotta read it before we watch the movie.  That’s the rule.  So while I read it the next set of books will be on it’s way for summer reading.
DSC_0391_summer read_002So here’s what’s being ordered.  The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. which I think is first on our list for Book Club in the fall.  Chosen by our book club leader who’s picks are always stellar.  Looking forward to this one.  Also on this list, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.  The same author wrote The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, so looking forward to a compelling and epic beach read.
DSC_0409_summer read_006
Finally on this order is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.  It was well reviewed in the paper as a Summer Read and looks maybe a little light and quirky.  Hopefully a good contrast to the other epic and heavy reads.
So that’s the plan.  I ordered them all in hardcover, so that after they’ve been read and lent out a few times they can take their place in the home library.  Hopefully the covers are good colours.  Yeah, my bookshelves are colour co-ordinated.  It’s kind of a thing.
DSC_0398_summer read_007
Of course there will probably be a few more rainy days too, when something like these will be all I feel like.
How about you?  What’s on your summer reading list?

Sharing is lovely...

Bread and Honey Festival

Saturday, June 8, 2013 by
Happy weekend!  Hoping there is some good “weekend-ness” in store for you.  Here it looks like it will be a day of yard work under very threatening skies, but also a Bridal shower.  You can bet there will be some serious gift-wrapping happening this morning.
For now, some photos from last weekend’s visit to our local annual spring fair, the Bread and Honey Festival.  Everyone gets a free slice of bread with honey.  Fun.  For pictures of bread and honey visit my Instagram feed here. 
DSC_0187_bread and honey_05
How fun is this Dr. Suess-ish percussion contraption?  My Youngest drumming guy spent a long time here checking this out.
Hmm.  Most of the other photos seem to be of us eating…hot dogs, cotton candy, swirly sliced deep fried potato on a stick…
Ah the petting zoo.  The requisite feeding of goats with pellets in an ice cream cone.
A few hours of community fun and some volunteer experience for The Teenagers.  Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.
One last photo of an iconic fair image, although I think it would be my worst nightmare to be sitting inside there.  How about you?

Sharing is lovely...

Siberian Irises in Bloom

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by
Siberian Irises in Bloom |
Ah, what a few days of sunshine can do in the garden.  My Siberian irises began blooming yesterday!  Such a treat.  The blooms are exquisite are they not?  The perfect shade of purple crossed with blue.  A stunning contrast against the vivid green and simple lines of their leaves.  I look forward to the arrival of the first flowers every spring.

Siberian Irises in Bloom | 
They have special sentimental value for me.  These were transplanted from my Oma’s garden after she passed away.  Oma and Opa had the most beautiful garden.  And they took great pride in it.  I still picture them sitting in front of their house in the shade of a tree on a Sunday afternoon, enjoying their garden and each other’s company.

Siberian Irises in Bloom |
This stand of irises lives in a lovely, mostly shady spot at the side of my house.  I needed to go out and around several times during the day just to take a look and enjoy them.  Then I had a better idea.  How about a little bouquet for my windowsill where I could enjoy them much more frequently?

Siberian Irises in Bloom |

Yup, good idea.

Siberian Irises in Bloom |
And don’t you love the pretty vase?  Here’s a true story.  I bought it from the glass factory in Corning which we visited on a road trip several years ago.  I bought it as a gift for someone.  But then I kept it.  *gasp*  Are you appalled?  Please tell me you’ve never done anything like that.

Siberian Irises in Bloom | 
But it was worth it if only for the sake of a pretty composition like this on my kitchen windowsill.  And thank you Oma for growing these beautiful blooms which we can now still enjoy.

Sharing is lovely...

Daytrips and a New Camera

Sunday, June 2, 2013 by


Hello, and hoping that all is well with you.  Here, we are winding down a weekend of good times, good food, gardening, with a little bit of the daily grind thrown in between.  As I have been sitting here editing and cataloguing photos from May…what??? it’s over already???…I thought I would share a few them here.  Because guess what.  I have a new cameraaaaaaah!  Yes, I am saying that in a very sing-song-y voice.  As I progress through my photography courses it was time to either upgrade or drop out.  Upgrade it was.


And with that new camera I have twice had the opportunity to sit in the passenger seat and take photos out the window as my driver heads out of Suburbia for a daytrip.  Bliss.  And this is what you see in our part of the world after driving out for not too long.  Lovely of that cute little red tractor to drive by to make for an interesting photo, don’t you think?


Feeling quite theatrical and literary driving through here. Smile


And on this day we were actually coming to see live theatre in the gorgeous little town of Stratford.  Also filled with lots of cute shops and restaurants.




On this day we were buying organic poultry from a family business on this beautiful property.  And on the drive home, we were treated to an impromptu show by the Snowbirds.  What?  Yes, actually!  Here we are stopped at a green light watching them.


Never know what you’ll see when you head out on a daytrip.

Sharing is lovely...