31 May 2010

To Sir with Love

The after work blog post.  Best written accompanied by a big glass of merlot...

My dad lives in Calgary so like most long-distance parent/child relationships, we chat on the phone every week to two weeks.  But unfortunately, neither of us are huge fans of the phone so our talks are usually short, sweet and to the point.  The weekend catch up, filling in on any events or items of note, and a sprinkling of current events/weather.  It works for us but I often miss the longer talks we would have when we lived close and had our weekly breakfast dates at Nellie's.

Dad was the first person who ever told me I would be a writer.  Funny how dads can be right sometimes...

Anyway, when I was chatting with Dad's wife Laura, she told me that Dad reads my blog every day.  I had no idea.  I mean, I write girly stuff mostly - clothes, pretty things, reflecting on life.  So it came as a surprise.  A very, very pleasant surprise.

I asked Dad about it and he apologized for never commenting.  But I don't care about that.  I just care that he's still loving and supporting me in his own little way, 33 years later.

Love you Dad and thanks for reading.  This one's for you...

What makes your dad special?

Written with love,

Sunday Showers

Showers are the theme of the weekend so it seems appropriate that I spent Sunday at a bridal shower.

The lucky bride-to-be is Jen of Artful Musings from the Gallery Gal.  If you have a love of art, you should check out her blog about owning her own gallery.

We were treated to lovely food, especially these fancy cookies from the High Tea Bakery.  Delicious!

We answered an all-about-Jen questionnaire (I failed miserably since we are newly acquinted through our fellas) and ,watched her open her mountain of gifts.

This is Jen with all those crazy ribbons they make you wear!  Thanks for including me in your special day.

For you married gals out there - did you have a shower?  What was your favourite part?

Written with love,

30 May 2010

The Weekend Good and Bad

So the bad is that the city's torrential downpour came seeping into our brand new renovated mudroom.

Ah the quick fix.  Tupperware and coffee containers to catch that nasty water.  The rain has stopped and so has our problems (for now!).  J is going to redo the roof on that section (we had just ordered a full roof of shingles last week in anticipation of doing it all in August) and install a new window.  Could be worse though...I saw the news.

And the good?  Sweet J cleaned the house today while I was off galivanting at a bridal shower and picked me up some lovely blooms to make me smile.

What a sweetheart! 

What was the good and bad of your weekend?

Written with love,

Treasure Hunting

Saturday I finally found my way to the Old House Revival Co.  S had to cancel (really S, who drinks too much at our age??) so J graciously stepped in for an afternoon of 'antiquing'.  What a good sport he is!

Well it truly was a treasure trove of amazing finds.  From turn of the century bathtubs to stained glass windows to 50's kitsh to antique hardware, the place is packed floor to ceiling with items from eras gone by.  I was a little overwhelmed with the volume but excited for more visits where I can focus on searching for something specific for the house.

I picked up a few glass knobs for a side project, watch for the before and after in an upcoming post.

How did you spend your Saturday?

Written with love,

A Scottish Door

This door looks so european.  So it was no surprise that it's almost a dead ringer for the Scottish flag!

I wonder if the homeowner painted it in homage?  It's not the most well kept doorway but I thought they definitely earned points for quirky-ness!

Written with love,

28 May 2010

Project Pretty Porch

Last night, J and I picked up a small used shed on Kijiji (yes, we love getting stuff cheap!) for $85, a fraction of what we would have spent on a new one.  It needs to be cleaned up and a bottom made for it.  Then we're going to paint it greyish-blue to match our house.  'Oh another project' sighed J. 'You love it.' I said. 'We're going to be doing projects for the rest of our life...'.  He agreed.

The acquisition of the shed was very exciting because:
A - we don't have a garage, so we are quickly accumulating gardening tools with nowhere to put them and...
B - the charming little enclosed front porch we have is turning into storage cental and I have big plans for it this summer.

The space is tiny - probably 6' x 5', with wood floors, faux brick vinyl on the house part and amazing waist to ceiling windows on 3 sides.  It's dirty, chipping and ugly.  But I think it could be glorious, by lightening it up with lots of bright, fresh paint and accenting it by painting the door and adding a nice chair and a floor mat.  So that is one of my daunting summer projects.

In order to jumpstart the inspiration, I've found some pics of amazing enclosed porches to share with you.
{Photo from Cote de Texas}

 {Photo from Vixen Hill}

 {Photo from Archinspire}

Can't you just picture yourself sipping an icy cold lemonade, curled up with a book as the sun streams through the windows and the breeze tickles your skin?

What amazing summer projects do you have planned to pretty up your space?

Written with love,

27 May 2010

Thursday Blog Share

Happy Thursday!  It's almost the weekend, which is always a good thing.

For your reading pleasure, I thought I would share a few blogs I've been reading.  Perhaps you might enjoy them!

The Accidental Gardener - Ever since I started Lather. Write. Repeat., S has been one of my biggest supporters.  She expressed an interest in starting her own blog and has recently dived into the blogosphere with tales of her (often humorous) outdoor adventures in the garden!

MWF Seeking BFF -What happens when you move to a city to follow your love/now husband and leave all your friends behind?  A return to the playground, in an effort to make new friendships and find the holy grail - the BFF.  Rachel tackles the ever-important topic of females friendships with insight, research and her own personal stories.

Orange Sugar Home - Love lovely things?  So does this charming blog about art, design, fashion and the abundance of life.

I find new inspiration with every new blog I stumble upon.  I hope you do too!

Do you have any good blog recommendations to share?

Written with love,

26 May 2010

A list of things I'm grateful for after being stuck in traffic

Who doesn't love lists?  I'm going to incorporate them more into the blog and I'm starting with a really bad list title.  Sorry.  Nasty traffic will do that to your mood.

Winnipeg has the most random bursts of unexpected traffic hell.  Most days my drive home is 15-20 minutes.  Some days I clock in at a record-breaking 8 minutes.  Some days are like today...

Why is it that you can leave work with a spring in your step, so excited to be headed home...only to sit in traffic for a solid hour when you live a mere 10 minutes away...and have your mood hit the pavement?

I know, it's silly to let it bother you.  After all, we have no control right?  Well I'm guilty of of having the patience of a pebble.  Traffic sucks and it makes me cranky.  So in order to turn my venting into an Oprah-esque dose of gratefulness...I'm writing my first list on the blog.  Of thinks I'm grateful for after being stuck in traffic.

1.  J being perceptive enough to recognize that it was not a good drive home.  J being sweet enough to offer to buy me a pizza because cooking is the last thing I feel like doing!

2. Cable.  So I can sprawl on the couch, eating said pizza and flipping between the finale of American Idol, Minute to Win it and HGTV's the Property Shop.  Awesome!

3.  My dog.  Oh how those sweet brown eyes and snuggle softness can turn me into a mess of baby talk and pure joy.

4.  The dishwasher.  Oh dishwasher, how I love thee...I didn't know it until I got you but you give me free time, lower my stress level and strengthen my relationship.  Kisses to you.

What are you most grateful for when the day goes to $%&*?

Written with love,

I {heart} Anthropologie

How am I supposed to concentrate on work when this pops into my inbox?

Oh how I love Anthropologie...I love the photography and the gorgeous clothes and I want to be wherever they are in their luscious catalogue shots.

Does this gal look darling in her teal strapless summer sundress?  And oh how she maximizes her wardrobe by simply swapping out her day for night accessories...

Okay, back to work now!

Written with love,

25 May 2010

Old House Revival!

I'm like a little kid when I get excited.

I like to think I'm pretty resourceful when it comes to sourcing stuff for the house renovations.  So I was super thrilled to hear about a place right here in Winnipeg called the Old House Revival Company

This amazing space offers 3 floors of treasure hunting for vintage, antique, retro, reburbished and salvaged furniture and housewares.   A told me about it after her and her hubby picked up a solid oak door with wood etching and an old vintage lettermail opening.  She plans to paint it and add very cool modern hardware for a funky blend of old and new in her entrance way.  How did I not know about this until now??

Since our home was built in 1910, it retains a lot of the old character and features - but not always in the best of shape. 

So although we have amazing 11 inch baseboards, we don't have enough of them. 

Some of our door handles are the cool antique crystal knobs - some are the sad chipped brass ones.

It's a hodge podge and I have big plans to slowly bring the house back to life in a mix of vintage and modern.  I am so excited to hit the Old House Revival Co. and am planning my big expedition for Saturday.  I can't wait to see what I find! 

What do you love to treasure hunt for?  What makes you excited like you're 8 years old again?

Written with love,

A Nautical Door

This door is straight out of the Tommy Hilfiger catalogue!

Strong red, clean navy, crisp white and bold brass have this door longing to live by the sea. 

Written with love,

24 May 2010

Shades of Gray

May long weekend has come and gone and as usual, with less than desireable weather!  But it was great to get away and take the year's inaugeral boat ride. 

Gus the Fisherdog taking his first boat ride!

Gray, gray and more gray!

The boots I had to buy at the Bargain Store because I foolishly left my cute rubbers back at home...
The hat I had to buy at the Bargain Store to keep my hair under control in the wind...

Crashing waves on a lake that NEVER sees waves!

The sun poked its head out the next day but the hurricane force winds meant no boat rides.

J put a wood floor in the cabin this year and what a difference it makes.  Years and years of god-knows-what's-in-here nasty carpet was pulled up and J installed a salvaged gym floor maple mixed with a few tigerwood boards.  It lightens up the whole place and the floor design is quirky and unique.  Love it!

I found a fab used couch set on Kijiji for a major bargain and it's got the perfect rustic, retro cabin feel with very comfy cushions!  They were put to good use with all the movie watching we did during the rain!

As always, it was good to go but it's good to be home.

What did you get up to for your weekend?  Do you love coming back home after a getaway?

Written with love,

21 May 2010

This weekend is for you...

I'm off to the lake this weekend to savour the first gorgeous long weekend of summer! 

 Like most of you, I've started plugging all kinds of weddings, showers, book club meetings, birthdays and vacations into my summer calendar.  And as always, I start to feel a wee bit overwhelmed when almost every single weekend starts to get booked up.  The long, lazy days of summer are my absolute favourite.  But of course, life has events and people and obligations.

So this year, I'm going to try to do less summer planning and more summer enjoying.  One day at a time.  Even one hour at a time!

Amongst all the other things, I'm going to fit in lots of 'me stuff'.  I'm going to get the bike tire fixed and take long rides.  I'm going to try to create a brand new salad concoction every week, and bbq as much as possible.  I'm going to trawl Value Village for great new paperbacks to consume me.  I'm going to finally sand down and fix up that purple painted bedside table I scored for $8.

And I'm going to start this weekend.  By enjoying every single moment in the sunshine, with my family, just living good.

So ciao for now, no computer out there at the lake (kind of good, kind of bad!).  But I will be back in touch on Monday and I hope you all have the most fabulous weekend.

Savour every minute of it!

Written with love,

20 May 2010

My Summer Rides

This summer, I hope to do a lot of time cruisin'! Like around the city's winding streets and under the canopies of trees on my bike...

Gigi (yes, that's the name of the bike!) was a gift to myself when I quit life in Calgary and packed up for Manitoba.  I had visions of cruising along the streets of Gimli, a baguette in my basket and a scrarf wrapped around my hair....Anyhoo, Gigi is suffering from a bum tire so she's out of storage and ready to be fixed.  Then I plan to go for many rides!

I also plan to do a lot of time cruisin' in our boat!

When J approached me last summer and said he wanted to buy a boat, my response was 'um honey...we don't have a place to live...'.  But J is someone who truly goes with the flow so when he expresses an interest in something, it means he's really passionate about it.  The boat isn't much to look at it and it was pretty cheap as far as boats go...but it's given us hours of pure bliss floating out on the lake.  J fishing and eating Spitz at the back, me reading up at the front, with only the sounds of loons around us.  And it gives J so much joy to putter around working on the boat (this year he's souping up the seats!) that I'm so glad we bought it.  We're taking it out to Killarney this weekend for the summer's inaugeral cruise and I can't wait!

So, since we bought our house in the fall, I'm just discovering all the flowers and plants that our yard has to offer.  Imagine my delight when the trees that line the front yard bloomed into lilacs!  They look so gorgeous and with our upstairs bedroom windows open, the sweet scent wafts lazily through and makes me happy everytime I'm up there.

What a sweet surprise!

How do you plan to spend your long weekend?

Written with love,


Who am I?

My blogging identity is in a bit of a crisis.  I can’t figure out who I am in the blogosphere. 

As a control freak, this makes me very uncomfortable.  I like to have a handle on things.  I like to KNOW.  Because then I can plan (oh joy do I love planning!). 

But I’m quickly learning that I don’t know much when it comes to this new thing called a blog.  And that I need to be patient, go with the flow, RELAX.  Don’t you hate it when people say that?  Like duh!  I would if I could.

Some days I like to blog about pretty things.  Some days I like to tell you what’s going on in my life.  Some days I like to share with you interesting nuggets I’ve discovered on other blogs.  Some days I get all journalist-y on you and give you itemized lists.

But I feel disjointed.  Like I can’t focus, so I’m just rambling.  Do you ever feel that way?

I know I’m all those things (girly, deep, curious, wannabe, etc.).  So why can’t I accept that my blog is going to be all those things? 

I just really admire those bloggers who seem to be really ‘have it together’ with a super niche topic that generates lots of amazing conversations.  Maybe I just want too much too soon?  Patience is not my virture!

I just have to focus on the fact that I’m writing.  Often.  Even if it’s just little bits here and there, my thoughts are becoming my words and that was the ultimate goal.

First of all, I’d like to thank you for reading.  You have no idea how much it means to me to know that someone is out there.  Secondly, thank you for commenting.  It makes me feel like this could really grow into something.  I’m loving finding all the new blogs out there and seeing what people are saying.  I feel a little like the kid in the playground ‘hi I like your blog.  Do you want to read mine?’ but it’s so great to push myself out of my comfort zone and go initiate contact.

On those days when it feels like I’m talking to myself, I’m going to just keep talking.  Maybe I’ll get more focused.  Maybe I won’t. 

That’s okay.  Because I’ll be doing what I love.  Writing.

Written with love, Lenore

19 May 2010

My Special Place

It's a big day for me...I put the Gimli condo up as a vacation rental on Kijiji

Gimli Harbour at dusk

J and I are both blessed enough to have vacation properties (he shares a rustic cabin with his sister in Killarney  that's been in and out of their family for generations) so it just made sense to earn some extra money when we couldn't be there enjoying it.

But I have a special attachment to Gimli a I lived there for 5 months on my own freelance writing when I first moved back to Manitoba.  Gimli has always had a special, magical quality to me and I had wanted to buy property there for several years before it actually became a reality.  For those who don't know, it's a quaint little village 1 hour north of Winnipeg on Lake Winnipeg.  It was originally an Icelandic settlement and retains much of that history and charm today.  Because the lake is so massive, you feel like you are at the ocean instead of the lake!  The lovely little downtown is lined with cute shops, tasty restaurants and lots of places to get ice cream.  I feel so relaxed when I'm there!

Deck of the condo

It's been a huge learning curve taking on taxes, insurance, write-offs and marketing.  But I found an amazing blog resource called Cottage Blogger along the way to help me out.  It's a really good thing and I'm anxious to dive into the rental property business and learn and grow along the way.

What's your special, magical vacation spot?

Written with love,

18 May 2010

City and Colour

I continue to be awed by the colours of spring here in Winnipeg.  Every year, winter seems to wipe my memory clean of all the gorgeous, vibrant shades of nature.  Then it wakes me up again, like clockwork, to remind me as the days warm up. 

This tree looked so amazing next to the complimentary house colour, so I snapped a few shots for you!

It's almost like they colour-matched their house paint to their foliage!

Isn't this quaint and adorable?  You'd have to really be in the right place at the right time to get your house numbers in the sidewalk pavement...or be in with the city paving crew!

I hope your day has been full of colour!

Written with love,

Say Yes to You

Today's topic on the Momalom 5 for 10 Challenge is Yes!

 Yes to a few extra minutes in the shower.

Yes to a second helping of dessert.

Yes to sleeping in on Saturdays.

Yes to those cute pair of earrings you saw in the window.

Yes to crying on someone's shoulder.

Yes to the free sample at the supermarket.

Yes to a hug.

Yes to eating on the patio.

Yes to turning off the computer for a whole day.

Yes to putting unwashed hair into a bun and calling it styled.

Yes to The Bachelorette.

Yes to letting him think about dinner.

Yes to letting the dog jump all over you.

Yes to wide leg jeans.

Yes to an extra chapter before bed.

Yes to daydreaming.

Yes to singing out loud in traffic.

Yes to Lady Gaga.  And other top 40 favourites.

Yes to Starbucks in the afternoon.

Yes to laying down sod over the shrubs and flower beds.

Yes to a blog post that makes you nervous to post...

Yes to sometimes saying no.

Written with love,