December 3, 2010


I'm pretty sure I have yet to mention that I have a newfound obsession. It's really a year old actually, if you want to get specific.

The reason I should not even mention it is that I should probably establish my cool and amazing taste first. Like, if I mention how much I love this place you'll get all judgy with me and no longer deem my opinions worthy. In fact, I'm pretty sure some may think I've lost all credibility.

A year ago we took our family to Walt Disney World (with my sister and little brother and families). Fourteen of us descended on Orlando at staggered times, on the same day, to surprise my boys that their cousins were also going to be there (the cousins had already been at least 4 times previously. what!)

{insert past world travels, countries visited and amazing life experiences}

It was a fantastic surprise, it was such a great time and we couldn't have asked for better people to go to Disney with the first time.

Because we are coming up to a year, I'm really itchy to go back. I'm a bit of a simpleton when I think of it all....the smells, the feeling, the innocence. I try to blame living in Key West for a year as a child on why I love it so much, but that argument falls short in justifying my little brother's obsession. Only 3 of us lived there. He wasn't born yet.

For some unexplained reason, I can say it truly is my happy place.

{love this one----}

December 2, 2010

Conservative Girl

I was perusing the Anthropologie website the other night and came across this totally fun necklace. Wouldn't this be great to make for our swag bags for the next Craft Show!!

This one is adorable, and I think the seat may even be turquoise!

Wouldn't this one be easy to make? Seriously. We've already hosted a fabric flower workshop. No prob. 'Cuz that's how we roll.

I think I'm craving a little retail therapy because I'm stuck at the house with two sick boys. I should thank them for saving me money:)

Tomorrow is 'All About Finn' day as he's having his delayed Birthday Party. I'll have to blog about it Saturday.

See you then.

November 29, 2010

Ode To Shoes of Past

This morning I was on-line drooling at boots. I love boots, but never buy them because apparently I have expensive taste.

I then got daydreaming about all the fantastic shoes I've worn, and never kept. I've seen an 'ode to shoes past' on a few blogs, and since everything seems to come back in style again I can find almost every style I've worn in the past on-line.

For instance, the man shoe:
I had so many pairs of these shoes. Multi-color, wing tip, neutral. Usually bought at Calderone or Town Shoes, because those were my shoe go to places.

The lace up boot:

I had patchwork lace-ups and a black & turquoise pair that I bought in New Orleans.

Flats with an elastic back:
Brushed suede blue ones from Club Monaco and they were SO. UNCOMFORTABLE.

Not sure what I was thinking with these, but I was in Florence when I bought them so that made it all o.k. I think I gave them to my g'friend Ruth. I bought shoes every time I went overseas.
Chuck Taylors of course. Given to my niece. I need a new pair.
There were penny loafers, platform espadrilles, cowboy boots, red boots, green boots lifted from my sister, pink runners from Paris, red suede wedges with clip on bows, and so many more......I really do miss all of them.

And these. I haven't owned. But I really, really want to. Except they are Doc Martens that aren't available here in Canada and shipping them here costs another $100. sniff.

If you really want some shoe inspiration, I recommend visiting The Satorialist. You're welcome.

November 24, 2010

I'm still here

We've already established how I suck at blogging. I'm however, amazing at reading. I've found some inspiration lately that has got me wanting to paint all my trim, beams and railings white. No wait, I love them natural wood. No wait, let's paint them turquoise and wallpaper the house.
This is my problem. I'm indecisive or let's call it 'an appreciator of everything'. I'm a Libra.

Once I get on my computer tonight (and my internet is working) I'll post some of the amazing links with inspiration that I've been finding.

Happy November!

September 18, 2010

I Sing

First of all, I just have to say I suck. It's been a month since I wrote anything down, beyond the posts that are sitting in draft. Pretty hypocritical eh Em?

This month has flown by. We celebrated Mike & Owen's birthdays, got the boys back to school somewhat unscathed, Owen had a huge allergy flare that had him missing school, and now hockey try-outs are in full swing.

What I really want to write about it how dorky I am. Not in the cool dorky way really. Just full-on dorky, I-can't-sing-but-break-into-song-a-lot.

I've mentioned before that I wake up my kids (not every day, that would be way too Mary Poppins) singing a song from kindergarten. When they were little, and I wasn't coping, I would break into the start of The Lion King theme song to vent my rage. (now I just swear). I've had children's songs in my head for years, from Sharon, Lois and Brahm to the Wiggles.

Last night Owen was not happy about having to wake up early for hockey, really though I think he was just worried about being evaluated. He tends to get real mopey at bedtime and loves to just complain about things he can't change. So, being the awesome parent that I am, I broke into song. Remember this one?

My poor kids.

(My poor grandchildren-to-be, because I know my kids won't be able to not break into song.)

August 17, 2010


I'm predominantly home with the boys this summer. I love that they can still have a pretty low-key relaxing summer, cottaging, sleeping in, getting re-acquainted with each other.

I still have niggling guilt that we should be out doing things, and since the budget is limited this summer, if I can find something to do that is free I'm all over it.

The way I grew up was pretty typical, lots of museums, running around the neighbourhood, swimming, and walking through woods checking out everything.

Mike isn't really interested in hiking through the woods. We still haven't pieced together what he spent his time doing during his childhood, beyond running the streets in packs and crashing bikes into brick walls.

So last week, I looked up the location of the trails I have been driving by. I don't feel very safe walking them by myself (safe from all the couples trying to find a quiet spot, if you know what I mean. yuck.), but I figured if I brought a gaggle of boys with me there's no way anyone would bother me.

We went last week and did two trails. The boys loved it:

So we went out again today. Got a little lost (as in, we took a detour off the main trail and it went on FOREVER. Apparently if we continued on, we could have hiked to Kingston.), but they still had fun.

Maybe we'll conquer all trails by next August and be ready for all the walking we'll do at our favourite place.

August 7, 2010

I'm not religious. I have my reasons. I was raised Catholic, and went to church and sunday school so I understand organized religion.

I am also not atheist, I've decided late in life. I suppose having a 4 year old niece die of cancer makes you want to believe in heaven and a higher existence.

If anyone could make me become hard-core converted religious it would be these two sisters: Stephanie Nielson and her sister Courtney. Somehow they are able to talk about being Mormon without being pious. They are still stylish. They are admittedly vain, confident, learning. They seem so calm in the face of chaos. They grew up with a big, laughing huge flawed family.

I'm not idealizing. I'm not. I'm just saying I appreciate all religion, I respect people's beliefs when they don't try to push them down my throat. And sometimes I think I'm more of a believer than I know because I envy (uh oh. sin.) the calm that comes from people knowing their place in the world.

August 4, 2010

Blog Love

The awesome-ness is in abundance!!

Check out the Lake House that Red Shoes posted about this week!

I am green with envy, and so inspired!!!

July 28, 2010

The Irish in Me

Well, our two weeks of visiting with extended family are over. The kids are numb from missing their cousins (immediately) and the lack of sleep.

We've been vegging around the house, catching up on laundry, e-mails, bills (yuck), PVR'd shows and videogaming.

I've come to the realization that we really are a truly Irish bunch. Beyond our perfectly catholic names (Theresa, Daniel, Colleen - not to forget Sean), we love our drink, we love a row, and we really like each other. There was plenty of all three over the last two weeks and my liver has begged me to take a break.

It was a ton of fun, and now I need a holiday from our holiday:

First day together

More cousins arrive, so jumping off the boat is in order

Terri & I discovered (thanks Mom!) a new store to love. Kilborn's. Where apparently they love WDW just as much as we do! We wanted to hide until they closed so we could play there all night. Mom stopped us.

Uncle Brian & Aunt Carmel came up to show us the progress on their house in Donegal, so we headed to the pub where we heard Kim Churchill. Amazing. (he's 19! what?)

Kayaking out to the island.

More boat leaping.

They cornered me on the deck with their water balloons. Aren't they funny?

I'd post more pictures of my little brother & fam, but not sure how they feel about it. They were definitely there to have FUN!

July 11, 2010


The boys and I are the cottage, just us four, and it's the calm before the storm. (Like the boys are ever calm!)

Their cousins, their favourite group of people in the world, are arriving soon and they can't wait. The rest of their favourite people will be here next week, but my sister's kids get here today.

Hopefully, as in every year, they'll fall into the routine of catching frogs, heading out on the paddle boat, going kayaking, pushing my comfort level by asking to head out on their own on the lake, teasing, joking, being shadows of their big cousins, and eating us out of house and home.

It's the best thing, watching my kids love their cousins so much. My brothers & sister & I grew up away from our cousins, and we were at least a decade older than most of them, so we didn't get this. It would have been great, because we have lots of cousins. But sitting back and enjoying their very easy & automatic bond is amazing.

I'd better get off the laptop & get the bunkie cleared out. There'll be three very big kids sleeping in there tonight, talking about god knows what way past my bedtime!

July 9, 2010

Mondays are all about sharing things I find on the internet. Except this is Tuesday, so oops. (I've never been great with routine.)

found this here

Love the look of this store in Vancouver. Love, love the feel of it.

If a store, website, blog have a European feel to it I'm all over it!

I was at the library recently and picked up the Pioneer Woman cookbook (my Mom loves her blog) and was pleasantly surprised. By no means low-fat recipes, but great ones for feeding three teenage boys. Just preparing early, Ty's only 12 after all.

Again, with the Apartment Therapy. Ugh. What a time-sucking vacuum it is!! And now they want me to become their 'friend' on facebook. Forget it.

Rockstar Diaries always makes me feel totally uncool and old, but I read her blog anyway because I like to torture myself.

Today is going to be crazy hot here and my job as a SAHM this summer is essentially to keep my kids cooled off, happy, and fed. Challenge accepted.

{edited to add: my sister just called and said "don't you sound like a cutesy-Mom with what you're going to do all summer". laughing at me. don't let me give you the wrong impression, it's 2:00, my kids are fed & cooled off but also on the PS3 and I'm having a Heineken.}

June 23, 2010

Thrifty Fixes

We all have one. Admit it.

An old Ikea shelf in our house. A little worse for wear from multiple moves, it's partner probably put out on the front lawn for pick-up. But somewhere, in the house you now live in, is the shelf.

Mine has somehow ended up in our family room. It had a siamese twin & a taller partner, but alas it is the only one that remains (and I'm pretty sure this one came from my sister).

I really, really love a pattern I've been noticing on some of the design blogs I read. Arranging your books by COLOUR! I love it. Did I say that already? Since I was feeling 'nesty' last night, that's what I did:

I couldn't help the middle shelf, unfortunately. It won't co-operate. I'll have to find all the books scattered in every room of my house & change it. I also added some fabric on the bottom, with the help of my trusty staple gun, to hide this mess:

Ahh, isn't that serene. (No judging on the book choices, I'm not a snob.)

Change of topic, Mike & I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary last week with *shocker* a pint at the local Irish pub. Why do I find signs like these sooo appealing.

At one point in our marriage, very early on, we used to discuss opening a pub. Totally unrealistic considering neither of us has actually ever worked in one. But we both love the true Irish pubs, you know the ones. Two rooms with the bar in the middle on both sides, one room having couches & booths and t.v.s, the other tables for eating. Dog lying by the bar.

Of course we wanted to own one in Ireland. We've both been, Mike in '90 and me in '93. Can't wait to go with him, let's hope it's not another 20 years.

June 10, 2010

Oh, I just got a huge lump in my throat thinking about my kids in kindie. If I was to ever teach, it would be kindie kids. I love them, I do. Such a wonderful age, all vulnerable from being cozy with Mummy for 4 years, quirky because they don't know to be self-conscious yet, vulnerable, and sometimes stubborn. But such wonderful little beings, these ones.

My boys had an amazing kindergarten teacher in Ottawa in our small community school, Mrs. Briggs. I volunteered in all three boys classes when they were with her. It' where I learned her morning song, which I still sing to the boys when I wake them up much to their chagrin. (Mom, stooppppp). She was so great at picking up on every child's unique abilities. She was so calm. And when she asked them to sit down, she would ask them to sit on their bottoms. How classy. To top it off, she dressed fun. Fun, funky, and colourful!

Thinking back to that time in our lives where I was overwhelmed, exhausted, stretched thin, I loved every minute of it. We had such cute routines, the bookmobile, the healthy and well rounded we were. So, so cozy.

How do you keep that feeling as the kids get older? I really don't know. Will I look back at this time in our lives in 10 years & think the same thing. I hope so.

For now, I need to remind myself to be in the moment and enjoy scenes like this:

June 8, 2010

Have I Ever Told You?

Have I ever confessed how much I love blogs? Or really, how much I love the internet. It is my newspaper, my reading material, my inspiration, my connection. I'm a little obssessed.

I love blogs like Apartment Therapy and Knock Knock. They are so inspiring in design and ideas.

I love Nie Nie, Cjane, Dooce of course. Mormons and ex-mormons. I'm not even religious. My 'favourites' folders are vast and diverse and I read what's happening depending on my mood.

There are the 'Mom' blogs too, although I sincerely think it's an insult to label them just that because they are so much more. Suburban Bliss, Drowning in Kids (because, hello, canadian) and of course now local Bread Crumbs in the Butter.

I kind of feel like my repertoire of blogs that I read are legendary. Like I've compiled such an amazing list of women to read about, draw from, and relate to that it can only be shared with certain people.

Eventually blog readers will come upon a lot of the same blogs I love on their own, but I`m going to make a concerted effort to add all my favs to the blogroll. I suppose after all these years of reading I should share.

May 31, 2010

Emily & I decided to offer:

Introducing the Handmade Nest Crafter's Club!

Keep your resolution to get out of the house, try new things, be creative and socialize more by becoming an Official Handmade Nest Crafter.

For only $100, purchase a Handmade Nest Crafters Club Package.
Each package includes:

  • 1x Free Workshop to be used anytime (value: approx $40)
  • 12x 15% off Handmade Nest Workshop (one coupon per month for twelve months - value: approx $72)
  • 12x 15% off your Blackbird purchase (one coupon per month for twelve months - value: unlimited)
  • 1x 25% off your Blackbird purchase (one time, anytime use - value: unlimited)
A fantastic gift for yourself or others.
Buy one today - in store at Blackbird. Neat Stuff for Every Nest.

Package expires one year after purchase.

May 24, 2010

Cottage Season

We stayed out at the cottage overnight this week-end. We were a little nervous about how relaxing it would really be with the two dogs, what with Molly being deaf as a doornail and Eddie still being a puppy. I had heard our new cottage neighbours have two dogs and we didn't know what to expect.

Worry as we did, the cottage ended up being very chill. See below:

Relaxing on Grandpa's boat

Despite protests, so happy we ended up at the cottage this week-end.

Missy was getting a little overly brave. I think she was just attention-getting because there are now SIX dogs on our cove.

Finn is soo shy.

We couldn't believe that Finn took the time to have some 'quiet' moments. In between Owen complaining "Finn won't stop singing! Make him stop".

The boys spent a lot of time at Jeff's art walk, and this time I sent them with our camera. Our neighbour on the other side has created the most amazing zen art walk.

The boys helped make this one.

All made out of found materials.

After lots of time spent finding the most comfortable spot, with the best combination of cushions, drink and books-we headed home.

And enjoyed a quick nap in the car.

May 19, 2010


Today is a long day at work. By no means am I complaining, but the fact remains I will be gone for over 12 hours. I'm working 10-5 and then we are hosting a workshop from 6-9. Maybe I'll be home by 9:30.

My point being, yesterday I felt I really needed to be organized to leave the troops in good hands. Being the uber-Mom (not!) that I am, I made a roast, caught up on laundry, had every surface cleared off (which is no small feat for me) and took two of the boys to the library after supper.

For a small town, we have a pretty great library. I'm still getting used to the fact that they don't whisper, and I'm usually the only one there whispering to my children. Dork. Anyhoo, I had to look something up on the computer/card catalogue. To my surprise, I found our library has a blog. The library?

Well after years and years of reading blogs, and having my own neglected one for some time...blogs? Hmm, not so cutting edge.

*disclaimer - I do love that they have a blog. Nice that our library isn't just gray-haired old fuddy-duddies.

April 16, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

Our house out here in the country is a 70's house. It reminds me of the house we had in Halifax as kids, with a big fireplace that is exposed at the back in the dining room.

I have fallen in and out, and back in love with this house. There is a long list of things that need to be done, some big renovations and a few small cosmetic. For instance, our main bathroom is a mess. It has a green tub & surround, blue sink, blue toilet, navy blue peel & stick tiles and had navy blue walls! It has potential for sure, but our money has been designated for other more fun things right now (disney!) so it can wait. I painted the walls, and for now I can tolerate it.

Unfortunately what I've found, having this be our third house we've owned, it takes me at least two tries before I get a room colour right. Our first house I painted our foyer twice (once neon yellow, oops. and then the right shade), the second house I painted the hallway and our bedroom twice.

This house, so far, I have re-done our bedroom twice. And now the living room. This is the first colour I tried.
Check out the vivid green behind the dining room table. Mmm, not so much loving it. Oops again.

So I picked up some paint samples (finally! samples! $5 at Home Depot). Thankfully, my youngest son sees colour better than I do. He informed me that of first two samples I brought home, one was too brown and the other too grey. So the third one really was the charm.

Yay! So much better. The colour doesn't fight with the wood trim (which unfortunately has a lot of orange in it) and it's warm and cozy. It's my favourite room again. All it needs are some great curtains and rug and I'm ready for my Project Runway marathon.

April 12, 2010


It's monday morning at the crack of dawn. Mike's started his commute and the kids and dogs are all asleep. This is my time to get a moment of peace. Despite feeling like I was going to die waking up when Mike left, it's too good of an opportunity to waste. Our house is rarely quiet with all the personalities that live here (mostly just Finn really).

And it's so lovely right now!

I assume that the general public hates mondays. I don't. Kind of love them. They bring back order to the day, we all have things we have to do regardless of our energy level, and it's a fresh start.

I hate wednesdays. They are boring, people call them 'hump day' (dumb if you ask me), and they seem to drag on and on.

In celebration of mondays, I'm going to start posting some links and pictures to all the wonderful inspiration I find on the internet ( a.k.a. my reading material, really. my news, my magazines, my entertainment. that is what the internet means to me. call me a loser-go ahead. I still love it.)

Apartment Therapy, how I love thee. I will never have enough time to pore through every picture on this site. I love seeing how people decorate their spaces, their use of colour (some c-razy), and the amazing architecture of their homes. LOVE this site!

A stitch in dye is to die for. She designs and dyes her own fabrics, then turns them into amazing creations like these pillows:

Finally, Color Me Katie! She's amazing, really. I'm pretty sure I would love to be a fly on her wall. She's a street artist, photographer and I'm sure creative in every aspect of her life.

Case in point.

Have a wonderful monday!

March 23, 2010

Sick Kids and Whole Lot of Stuff Going On

I have all the boys home today from school. One is sick, one is at the tail-end of the flu, and the other just smartly slept in enough to have his Mom not want to go out in the freezing rain and drop him off. I really don't mind having them home, it's very cozy and reminds me of when they were little. I know one day I won't have anyone here and these will be the memories I need.
Beyond that Emily and I are hosting another workshop tonight. It's the second time doing this one, and although I'm looking forward to a night out crafting I find that we do move on after finishing a workshop and can't wait to create something else new.

Our next workshop will either be Sock Monkeys or Embroidery Hoop Art.

We are also going to start working on hosting a Craft Show in Almonte in the fall. Our intention is to get a craft show together that is full of funky crafters who are creating fun and amazing affordable items. Not that we don't appreciate the 'artisan', but we kind of want to avoid all the snobbery and expense that goes along with that title.

While all this happens, I am still coveting other blog's photos of beautiful spaces. Like this one below that I found on daisy chain.
Oh, how I'd love to sit here with a coffee and my sister before heading out to explore Paris for the day!