Tuesday, 30 April 2013


My Daddy wants Toronto to win- I have undecided loyalties at this time.


I put my babies under light tonight. I am really hoping they make it to the garden. This is the first time since kindergarten I've grown seeds to plant so I am a little worried. 

I've started looking at vegetable boxes and I am hoping husband will have time to build  one over the next few weeks. Here are a couple ideas that I gave Steve- the wine boxes are my favourite. 

Monday, 29 April 2013


I planted my seeds garden in the garage yesterday with Steve and Euan. They are all labeled and now happily sitting on our dining room table waiting to be put in the garden. Wish me luck!


Husband took a deck course this weekend at Home Depot. While he was in class Euan and I perused the isles. We bought paint, crown molding  & seeds for our vegetable garden.

I have put together a summer wish list which includes this space saver hose. Yes I have a hose on my wish list. I dislike dragging around a huge hose and even more putting it away. This beauty will hopefully solve all my problems. 

The pool is open! Steve went to pool school on Friday night and came home with everything we need to make it sparkle. We can't swim in it yet but it's open and it looks very inviting. It won't be long now. 

I had my last Michael's Wilton cake class this weekend. I'm done, and I finished with some pretty awesome skills. I will miss seeing the lovely group of girls every weekend. It's time to take a little cake break before moving on to the second Wilton class. 

For my last project I dedicated the cake to Heather. Yesterday was her birthday.. Happy Birthday H! it turned out beautifully.

Here are some of the other pictures I took yesterday Euan climbed up on his high chair in the morning to take out some of my drying flowers....  Julina below made the awesome watermelon transfer cake. I took a picture of my certificate of completion.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


My Bug loves reading the book Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See over and over & climbing up on his train table like King Kong.

Friday, 26 April 2013



I should have this quote written on my bathroom mirror. In the past I have written quotes & reminders on the mirrors around my bedroom. Sometimes friends would surprise me with a special note, which always made my day. I going to pull out that magic marker this weekend.

I truly believe quotes help you start the day right. "Have a great day" or "You're beautiful" Anything that makes you feel great or special. It is so easy to let negativity in our lives; these reminders help to push it back out.

My mother in law bought me The Book of Awesome which is full of inspirational quotes. I often read a few quotes before writing my blog.

Have a fantastic weekend- I am going to be awesome!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013



I received this text from L today- It made me smile and dream of past days spent with great company; when stress would melt away with a visit to any of these places or sometimes all! L and I are often on the same dream page.

Thanks friend xoxoxo

"Today, I would love to be waking up on Meridian Vale - have eggs benny and loose leaf tea, stroll down to Cath Kidston followed by a Starbucks. Walk down to links of London and buy a new link, pop in for a pret smoked meat and ham toastie with lemonade, get fresh popcorn from the movie theatre and see an afternoon chick flick, have an afternoon nap on the blue coaches in the front room, dinner at Jamie's and a pint at the eldon house <3 "


Thank you Lisa. I love it too...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


L told me while visiting Alana's farm she was inspired by the start of their veg garden and of course inspiration travels fast. She started hers and now I'm thinking about what I'll have in mine. I hope I'm not too late!  

We don't have a large space for a vegtable garden so I will be starting off small this year with some lettuce, onions, beans & squash. I can probably grow some tomatoes and strawberries on the deck. I found a little help online to get me started since I've not done this in a while. - spread the word. 

Ensure that your plants are organic from start to finish by starting your own seeds.
Start your own seeds and you can be sure that your plants have been raised organically from first to last. And by sprouting and nursing your own seedlings, you don't have to wait for warm weather to get your hands dirty. Best of all, starting your own seeds is easy and fun. Here's how to get started now:
Place sure bets
Some plants lend themselves to home germination better than others. Surefire vegetables includebasil, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, leeks, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Some reliable annual flowers are alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias. Perennials include Shasta daisies, columbines, and hollyhocks.
Get the timing down
To calculate when to sow your seeds, go to our seed-starting chart, print it out and then fill in the blanks. Then you will have a planting plan you can follow through the season.
Gather containers
Reuse last year's nursery flats if you have some around. Otherwise, any container 2 or 3 inches deep will do. Punch holes for drainage into the bottom of containers and set them into trays. Protect against plant disease by thoroughly cleaning all used containers: Wash them in hot, soapy water, and rinse with a dilute solution of household bleach and water. If you want a less-irritating substitute for the bleach, use distilled white vinegar.
Pick the right growing medium
You can buy bags of seed-starter mix or you canmake your own seed-starting mix by blending equal parts of perlite, vermiculite, and peat. Add 1/4 teaspoon of lime to each gallon of mix to neutralize the acidity of the peat. You'll eventually want to repot most of your seedlings into larger containers before setting them into the garden. But lettuce, melons, and cucumbers are finicky about being transplanted and should go directly from the original containers into the garden. When starting these fussier plants, always add two parts well-aged, screened compost to your mix to give them a healthy beginning.
Sow carefully
Moisten your medium in the containers before sowing the seeds. Next, drop seeds onto the surface of the mix, spacing them as evenly as possible. Cover the seeds to a depth about three times the thickness of the seeds. Some seeds, such as ageratum, alyssum, impatiens, petunias, and snapdragons, should not be covered at all because they need light in order to germinate.
Top it off
Lightly sprinkle milled sphagnum moss, a natural fungicide, over everything to protect against damping-off, a fungal disease that rots seeds and seedlings. In the case of seeds that need light to germinate, sprinkle the moss first and then drop the seeds onto the moss.
Keep seeds cozy
Cover the flats with plastic wrap or glass to keep the environment humid and place them near a heat vent or on a heat mat made especially for seed starting. Most seeds germinate well at about 70 degrees F.
Keep them damp
Mist with a spray bottle or set the trays into water so the mix wicks up the moisture from below.
Lighten up
At the first signs of sprouting, uncover and move the containers to a bright spot—a sunny window, a greenhouse, or beneath a couple of ordinary fluorescent shop lights (4-footers with two 40-watt bulbs). The lights are worthwhile, especially if you live in the North. They provide a steady source of high-intensity light. Short days restrict window light, and your seedlings need 12 to 16 hours of light a day. Suspend the lights just 2 inches above the plants and gradually raise them as the seedlings mature. If plants have to stretch or lean toward the light, they can become weak and spindly. To turn the lights on and off at the same time each day, hook them up to an electric timer.
Cool down
Seedlings don't have to stay as warm as germinating seeds. Move them away from radiators and air vents, or off the heating mat, as soon they have germinated.
Feed them
If youre using a soilless mix without compost, begin to fertilize your seedlings as soon as they get their first true leaves. (These leaves emerge after the little, round cotyledon leaves.) Water with a half-strength solution of liquid fish/seaweed fertilizer every week or two. Use either a spray bottle or add the fertilizer to the water you set the trays in if you're using the wick-up method described above.
Give them room
If the seedlings outgrow their containers or crowd one another, repot them into larger containers filled with a mix that includes compost. Extract the seedlings with a narrow fork or flat stick, and handle by their leaves and roots to avoid damaging the fragile stems. Tuck the seedlings gently into the new pots, and water them to settle the roots.
Pet them
Lightly ruffling seedlings once or twice a day with your hand or a piece of cardboard helps them to grow stocky and strong. Or, set up a small fan to gently, continuously blow on your seedlings.
Toughen them up
About 1 week before the plants are to go outside, start acclimating them to the harsh conditions of the big world. Gardeners call this hardening off. On a warm spring day move the containers to a shaded, protected place, such as a porch, for a few hours. Each day—unless the weather is horrible—gradually increase the plants exposure to sun and breeze. At the end of the week leave them out overnight; then transplant them into the garden.

Monday, 22 April 2013



I feel like we had a very productive weekend... if not doing, planning.

I'm pretty excited about the summer and all the great things it will bring. We spent some time at Home Depot planning a few projects for Steve. He's going to be taking their Deck Course next weekend and then will start the refurbishments on our deck over the next few weekends: building gates on both sides of the raised deck, replacing some boards and staining it a fresh new color. It's going to be a gorgeous and most importantly a safe space. 

Our chairs were picked up to be recovered today. On Thursday after many trips to look at material, we found the perfect match for Grandpa Ross's old swivel chair. We had another chair in the garage that we were getting ready to toss out and and decided last minute to have it covered as well. Both will be back in six weeks. We have so many projects on the go, it feels good to be getting things done.

My Michael's class is coming to an end. The last class for this course is next week. Yesterday was long, we fit a lot in to one class, which only left about 15 minutes at the end to decorate our cupcakes. We made different  flowers & leaves and learned how to add filling to our cupcakes. We are covering all the tips in the Wilton cake decorating 1 kit. I had a lot of icing to use. The only flower I've yet to make is the rose and I hope I do so next week because Husband admitted it was a childhood favourite- no pressure! *wink* I can make a rosette just not the entire rose. Here are my cupcakes from yesterday iced and filled with custard; there are a few left if you're in the neighborhood! 

Well my little bug is learning how to climb in and out of his highchair as I write this- I think it's time to start our day. PS it's beautiful out! 

Friday, 19 April 2013


There are so many things that could be added to this list.

 It's Friday & 21 degrees here today so it won't be hard for me to have a lovely day.  My focus will be to help the people around me have a lovely day- heck let's extend this challenge for the entire weekend. *wink*

I'm going to start by walking to Wiggles & Giggles this morning.

Good morning Friday!

Thursday, 18 April 2013


It was such a beautiful day yesterday. We had our first BBQ of the season: steak, baked potato & salad. Euan and I spent the day outside in the glorious sunshine. He is finally able to wear his Babyator sun glasses that L bought him- very cool.  Although only 10 degrees it felt like summer and I felt more alive than I have in months. It's not only the plants and trees that grow by summers light it's us too. Definitely a good dose of vitamin D!


Monday, 15 April 2013


Julina who sits beside me in cake class is a young & inspiring perfectionist. This is great for me because I tend to rush through projects and need someone like her to slow me down. She cares about the decorating as my instructor calls it, she is passionate. She may bake her cake from a box recipe and use Betty Crocker icing but her cakes are a lovely golden brown and her icing is perfect. I'm not sure what is on Julina's cake. Although she did tell me it's name, I only remember that it's a supernatural tree building character- I thought it was a Pokemon! 

And then there is me.... yesterday I made four Nigella cakes-four because the first two were not what I had envisioned. I am also a perfectionist, but sadly only in my mind. *laugh* I'm hard on myself.. too hard-I over think things. I made the biggest batch of icing, exactly the kind the teacher recommended, not lovely tasty yummy butter cream, but perfect consistency sugar icing. I need all the help I can get.

In today's class we iced our cakes, let the icing harden and then piping gel pattern transferred an image onto them. I printed off a bug image for my little bug. I torted my cake  with the leveler filled the center with whip cream and bananas and used a spatula vise the cake icer tip to ice the top. I traced the bug onto wax paper and using the piping gel pattern transfer technique, transferred the image to the cake feathering it lightly with a decorator brush. Then I filled in part of the bug with my two icings and made some simple embellishments around the top and bottom of the cake. 

It has to be mentioned that the thirteen year old across the table from us wants to be a pastry chef and I can see why; her cake was beautifully iced. The instructor mentioned that young girls have nothing holding them back and just go for it. They are not worried about messing it up and want to have fun, and her cake was   exactly that, uninhibited perfection! 

A few friends told me last week that this class was about decorating not baking. I really need to focus on that for my next class. I can learn how to make a perfect non box cake another time but right now I'm there to do the fun part! Next weekend I'm going to be 13 again! Yikes...  

Husband is sitting beside me in bed enjoying his first piece of bug cake. I got an Mmmmm!  I won't be having any of the bug cake. Yesterday, I made a fresh strawberry, jam & whipped cream filled victoria sponge. It was delightful and so I've sworn off cake for a while. I hoping Steve takes the bug cake to work tomorrow...  

All in all not bad for my first bug cake! 


Saturday morning we were up after six and out the door for eight to get to the Almonte Mom's sale. I found some great deals there and then took Steve to some shops in town that I had found on my last visit to this little gem of a town. Lucky for us Tin Barn Market was open. It had been closed for the winter last time I was there but this lovely little pop up shop is open for business again.

One of my favourite items at the Tin Barn Market and of the day was this antique swing frame. I had the same one for many years with a picture of a big poofy wedding gown in it- the bride my teenage self wanted to be. It was much like Princess Diana's.  I had forgotten all about that dress and frame. After seeing the frame I couldn't stop thinking about where mine had ended up. The frame had moved with me to Halifax at 19 years of age and I remember it was very fragile and falling apart a few times, so the likelihood of my adolescent, silly self tossing it is pretty good. The sad thing is, it was in much better condition than the one I saw at Tin Barn. Oh well, if I thought about every item I'd lost/given up from those days I would drive myself crazy. The nice thing is that it brought back lovely memories for me and I fell in love with the frame all over again.

Another great find- across the street in another Antique shop was this birch dresser. It would be fun to refurbish with Annie Sloan chalk paint. I'm not sure I want to commit to anything just yet. I am really bad for buying single items without having  a complete plan for the entire room. I love the process!

I wasn't the only one with DIY projects on the brain this weekend.  My friend TL sent me a few items she spent her weekend transforming- they turned out beautifully. 

Some more Old Tin Barn Pics...

It's nice owning a house again and focusing our energy on building a home.