First of all, Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope you have a fun and restful holiday season with a just the right amount of excitement and a little more quiet and relaxation than you were expecting. And if it was a bit chaotic and you’re feeling like you need a vacation after your Christmas vacation, I hope your January is off to a peaceful start. We had a lovely Christmas with Kennedy home from University for a couple of weeks. We had the chance to enjoy all our favourite traditions together, but we were definitely surprised to find how rushed we felt to squeeze everything in. We thought we’d have plenty of time, but I guess there’s really never enough time. Still, a nice time was had by all.
We’re doing a little house project! I can’t believe it. The last year of our lives has been just wild between work things, life things, soccer things, etc. and we have really not had a single weekend where we could even think about working on any house things of any substance. We’ve been chipping away at projects in our bedroom over the last few years and it was mostly done, but there was one wall left unfinished. We had pulled the paneling down about two weeks after we moved in 12 and a half years ago to expose the brick and then nothing had been done since. We had wanted to do built-ins but that just didn’t seem to be happening. I finally decided to just get a couple of dressers to go on those because we could really use the storage. Chris decided that if I was going to that, he might as well trim the brick out to finish the wall off and he actually had time to get started on it! Anyway, it’s just one wall, but along with the brick and the beautiful millwork, we’re also adding a little shelf across the entire wall, and it’s just going to be a thing of beauty. So excited to have four finished walls in that room!
I’m a walking January cliche right now because I’ve been decluttering like mad. I usually get in this mood every August and January and every time I do, I go a little deeper and clear things out just a little bit more. This has definitely been my most intense decluttering yet and I just feel so much lighter every time I open a cabinet that was previously stuffed to the gills to find extra space. As time goes on, I find I just have less of a desire to spend any time or energy on managing things we don’t really need, like, or use. It’s amazing the time that you save on a daily basis when you’re not constantly moving things around and putting items away over and over again. Give me a few more years and I may be living in an empty white box. Well, not quite, but I am quite enjoying the extra space.
It’s brunch season. The weekends in the warmer months always seem to be so packed, but in the winter we seem to find ourselves with a little more time to fill. Well, no. That’s not quite right. Chris and I find ourselves to be just as busy as ever, but the kids, Jack specifically, seems to be in need of some entertainment more without as many soccer games and outdoor adventures to fill his time. One day during Christmas break, he turned to me and said “You know what we should do? Go to brunch.” and it’s funny because I was thinking the same thing. We went quite a few times last winter as well and I think it’s just such a cozy cold weather tradition for us to take up. If you’re in the middle of the chaotic toddler years, easy weekend brunches with your kids are definitely something to look forward to as they get older.
Our dryer has been struggling for the last few months. We’re hesitant to buy a whole new washer and dryer set because we hope to do a big renovation on that room at some point and we want to buy a set to suit what we do in there, and I refuse to just buy a cheap mismatched dryer to get us through for now. Our laundry room is essentially part of our kitchen and I don’t want to look at a mismatched set all day every day. I just can’t do it. Anyway, our dryer is apparently a bit hard to find parts for, but we finally found someone who can get the part and get us back up and running. We’re just waiting on a part to come in and be installed. While all this has been going on, I have to say that that we really haven’t been derailed at all with our laundry and I’m quite proud of that fact. Years ago I shared how I do a load of laundry every day and I still do. That’s really allowed me to keep things manageable. Every morning, instead of switching the laundry into the dryer, I just hang it up over our kitchen chairs and in the bathroom and it’s dry and ready to be put away by the afternoon, easy peasy. Anyway, that’s my laundry accomplishment and I’m pretty impressed with myself for it.
NEWS AND FINDS
-Are you trying to get things clean and organized around your home to start the new year? Here are a few of my popular cleaning articles to help you along the way:
–This is the mirror I ordered for the top of one of our new dressers and I’m so excited about it. It’s just the perfect timeless arched mirror and I think it will fit right in here in our old house. I ordered the black, but I love this mirror so much that I’m actually thinking of ordering it in the wood tone as well for another area of our home. Definitely look at the photos in the reviews, though, if you like the look of the wood version because the wood tone appears to be much richer in real life. I like that, but some might be looking for a lighter color.
-It’s a long story, but I fell up the back stairs one day, landed on my poor little watering can and crushed it to the point where it no longer holds water *insert face palm emoji here*. It was a little embarrassing, but I’m going to look on the bright side because now I have an excuse to finally get one of those beautiful Haws watering cans that I’ve been dreaming of for years. Does anyone have one of these? Are they as good as everyone says they are?
-I got this Patagonia zip up for Christmas and it’s basically like wearing a hug from a teddy bear. Get the kids’ version if you’re on the smaller side like I am! I’m normally a size XXS and the kids’ size 14 gives me a bit of an oversized fit.
-This simple candle holder is a thing of beauty. I can’t get over it.
-Pinterest comment of the week: “Perfect explanation! We had so much fun making these!” – Pinterest user Catherine on my post How to Make Those Amazing Paper Snowflakes. A lot of people made these over the holidays, but these snowflakes are the perfect cozy winter activity for kids young and old as well.
-Follow along with me on Instagram for behind the scenes stuff and day-to-day happenings around here.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.