Lets Get Planting

It’s a long weekend here in Southern Ontario, Victoria Day weekend or the May 2-4 as its called, and for some that means getting started on their gardening.  For me this weekend means being a solo Mom as the husband is off on his boys fishing trip.  Nevertheless I will make the trek to our garden centre to pick up some flowers for our pots in the front and a few herbs for a big planter out in the back.  Many people head out to their local garden centre but I’ve been pretty lucky at our local Loblaws garden centre in finding beautiful flowers.

For now though, our backyard has bloomed through our trees and bushes.  Our Japanese maple is just stunning and vibrant in the sunlight.  The boxwoods need a little pruning but for it will have to do!


This morning I picked up 3 bunches of my favourite flower; the tulip.  Aren’t they pretty!

Spirng Tulips


5 Beautiful Outdoor Cafes Around the World

Now that we finally have some perfect spring/summer weather here in southern Ontario, I start daydreaming while I stare out my window at work about winning the lottery and travelling to anyone of these places to sit outside and drink and eat and be content!  How about you?



Discovering Muskoka

Last May we  purchased a tiny cottage in Muskoka, about a 20 minute drive just south of Gravenhurst.  This past summer was truly magical! Both kids loved the cottage and every single aspect that went along with it.  Swimming, fishing, boating, campfires, playing and just exploring.  Even the 3 rainy days we had in a row weren’t too bad.  Okay maybe those 3 days were a bit rough ;-).

But we did explore a bit and found a few gems here and there. First of all we did some geocaching.  There’s a lot of caches hidden in cottage country and if you haven’t done it before it’s an awesome thing to do with kids!  One of the geocaches we found was on an island and my daughter and I canoed our way over and logged it in!

Joe was happy to find the Blue Marlin Seafood Market on Hy 11 just south of Gravenhurst.  It truly is a mecca for fresh fish and seafood!  We bought some delicious shrimp and calamari that we bbqd for lunch.  They also have a meatshop right next door which had beautiful cuts of meat!  They’ve become one of our regular stops now when we come up.

We also stopped in at the Muskoka Store also on Hy 11.  While very pricey, for us anyway, they are a huge store (35000sq feet!) and have tons of cute items and some beautiful items to buy.  Definitely a store that you need a lot of time to browse and not with your kids. Ahem…speaking from experience.  My daughter was okay, but a 20mth old really has no patience, or at least mine doesn’t.

One on of the rainy days we took a drive up to Bracebridge.  We were going to visit Santa’s village but honestly when we got there it was raining quite a bit and we didn’t feel like shelling out over $80! for the four of us to walk around in the rain.  So we drove into town and parked the car and strolled around on Manitoba St and found a bookstore that was going out of business that also had some gorgeous artwork and we found a beautiful picture of birch trees that we bought.

I also wanted to stop in at Simply Cottage.  They moved however, to bigger and better location and so we saved that stop for another visit.  Check out their website and Facebook page for gorgeous design settings and inspirations for your home. If I had the money I’d buy almost everything there!!

There’s so much more to do and explore up in cottage country.  This was only our first summer, cannot wait for the season to start!   Despite the terrible flooding that has occured in these areas this spring I know the summer will be wonderful.

50 Shades of Gray

No I’m not talking about the book!  Which I haven’t read and am pretty sure I won’t be anytime soon.  What I am talking about is my favourite color for painting.  About 3 years ago we painted our hallway “Ashley Gray” by Benjamin Moore and it still remains one of my favourite shades.

Ashley grayOn some days it looks like a true gray and other days a warm taupe.  Which is perfect because it satisfies me and my husband who is such a taupe kinda guy :-).  Seriously everything is always beige or some variation of beige.

About 3 weeks ago my daughter and I headed out to see the Princess Margaret Showhome which is literally a hop skip and a jump from our home.    Can you say HUGE!  Most of the time I find the decorating a bit too grand but I suppose when you’re designing for a home of this size you gotta go big!

What I did like seeing was gray everywhere!  Check out the flooring in the kitchen.  I would love to have hardward in my kitchen.  I love the pattern and color of it.



The master bedroom in the home had my new favourite gray; Vintage Pewter, again by Benjamin Moore.  bedroom1


vintage pewter









Isn’t it beautiful.  Especially the floors, the drapery.  I’m  not too crazy about the bed being in the middle, but they used it in that position to have a tiny office area behind it.  As if in that huge house I couldn’t find somewhere else to work!  I tried convincing the husband to use this color in the basement but he is too afraid of taking chances and says it’ll be too dark.  I beg to differ.  We have about 30 potlights down there so there’s no shortage of light. I think it’ll be perfect but I gave him one more option of this color which is Upper West Side.  You can’t see it to well in the upstairs laundry, which by the way love!!!!

Upper West Side

laundry room











 Check out more stunning pictures of the home for inspiration or to just daydream




The Great Basement Reno of 2013

Remember this post? Back in March of 2010 we started work on finishing our basement.  And then in April I found out I was pregnant.  And I got very tired.  And then baby was born at the end of 2010 and work pretty much stopped on the basement.  Fast foward to 2013 and we have started finishing the basement again.  When you’re doing most of the work yourself it’s a long and tiring process.  Today’s pictures are of the bathroom.  We still need to paint and install some pretty accessories but for the most part it’s complete.  Its actually nicer than our bathroom in our bedroom.  I’m thinking once the basement is complete I may move downstairs!

Basement Reno 2013 001

Basement Reno 2013 002

Basement Reno 2013 003

Basement Reno 2013 004

Basement Reno 2013 005

Basement Reno 2013 006

Tiles from Rivalda Tiles in Vaughan, ON

Vanity from Tiles and Stone Etc in Vaughan, ON

Sink faucet fixture from Lowes

Shower head from Ginger’s  in Toronto

First Impressions

This summer we are working on our front entrance.  We’re building a small courtyard for seating at the front and doing some soft landscaping and interlocking our driveway.  I’m most looking forward to having some greenery at the front and some colorful flowers because right now I’m getting tired of just looking at grass while the neighbours across the street have trees and such.  In the meantime here are some photos of the work in progress

Labour done by Bernardi Landscaping; if you’re in the York Region area please consider hiring them as they do an awesome job and are priced just right!