Happy Friday! It seems like we’ve had such a busy few weeks around here, but I think we’re almost starting to catch our breath now and settle back into a bit more of a routine. One big win over the last little while was the beautiful weather we’ve had! I always kick myself around mid-May every year for not getting out in the garden earlier and doing more, but I really got a good jump start on cleaning a few areas up and moving some things around, so I’m thrilled. Anyway, let’s get caught up!
Kennedy got in to her top-choice school! We dropped everything and took her to Toronto the following day to celebrate. We still have one more school to hear back from, so she isn’t making any final decisions yet, but she’s gotten into all the schools she’s applied to so far. OCADU was the one we were really crossing our fingers for though, so this accomplishment was worthy of a little celebration. The timing was perfect and we were able to tour around the residence where she’ll be staying, go out for a nice lunch at our favorite Pho place, go over what her route for walking to school will be like if she accepts this school, and hide out from the rain in the best little French bakery/coffee shop. Where she’ll be living is about a half block away from where Chris lived when I met him, so it was a real full-circle kind of moment. Just a really fun day of celebrating our girl and her big win.
We had such a nice Easter weekend, full of family from out of town, so much visiting, and lots of good food. We went for lunch at the lake one day. It was still a bit too chilly for a walk along the beach, but it turned out to be perfect weather for lots of family soccer games, so Jack had a great time, at least. 🙂 By the time Easter Sunday came around and we were done with our big egg hunt after the Easter bunny came, we were all ready for some good down-time. I made my Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls for a simple Easter breakfast and we spent the last part of Easter Sunday and Monday just kind of getting things back in order around the house after a crazy few days.
One of my very favorite things is when people try one of my recipes or ideas and send me a picture. It’s just so thrilling every time and it’s also great to see how things actually turn out for other people and how I might improve how I explain things a little better. Last weekend I had quite a few people sending me photos of cookies, cinnamon rolls, and forced forsythia branches that they had put together for Easter and it was just so exciting. It’s great when I see traffic on my site and see that people are reading my posts, but it’s even better when I get to actually chat with them and see how things actually worked. If you ever end up trying one of my ideas or recipes, I would love to see how it worked for you! Email me a photo or send it to me in a message on Instagram! This was one photo of my lemon shortbread cookies that someone on Instagram has made. Love those little stars!
My bday Le Creuset is here and it’s everything I dreamed it would be. This is something that I’ve been dreaming of adding to my kitchen for the last 20 years, so it’s kind of a big deal. Of course, Le Creuset French ovens are the kind of thing you buy once and then keep for years and years, maybe passing them down to the next generation, so I spent years thinking about which size, shape, and color to buy. For me, it’s a thing of beauty, and it’s an amazing piece of cookware for just about anything, but it’s also really symbolic. To me it represents stability, the deepening of roots, and the promise of years of family meals. It’s also a reminder that even though maybe my adult life didn’t start out in exactly the way I would have liked it to, and maybe my path to get here was curvy and full of all kinds of zigs and zags, I can still create the kind of life for myself and my family that I’ve always dreamed of and that feels right for me. In fact, I have created it and am still actively creating it currently. That’s a lot to put on a piece of cookware, but sometimes certain things just feel like a piece of the puzzle falling into place, you know? 🙂
We have another adult in the house! Kennedy turned 18 last week and we had a nice little family celebration with sushi and cake and presents. Our gift to her this year was a trip to New York to go see all the sights as well as hopefully places like MOMA and the Met to see some famous art pieces in person, which seems like the perfect thing for someone heading off to art school next year. So the real celebration will happen this summer when we get to take her on that fun adventure. I’ve been wanting to take her on this trip for the last few years, but of course it wasn’t really possible two years ago when she turned 16, so it was fun to finally get to surprise her with it for this birthday. We hid the itinerary for the trip in the cover of Walk With Me: New York, which is just the most beautiful photography book filled with photos from all the most beautiful streets of New York, so we had something to wrap up for her to actually open.
NEWS AND FINDS
-Spring is just the best time of year to be in the garden. I love summer and fall, but spring is when all of the creativity happens that I love so much. It’s easy to move plants around and experiment with different layouts, groupings, and lighting conditions, and then sit back and see what happens as things start to fill in. Here are a few favorite spring time ideas from the garden that are perfect for all the fun that will unfold over the next few weeks:
- Affordable Traditional Outdoor Planters
- How to Remove Ants From Cut Peonies
- Pruning Hydrangeas for Maximim Growth
- Perennial Planter Ideas
-The version of my new dining room lamp with the white lamp shade is currently in stock on Wayfair! These lamps always seem to be sold out everywhere (I know because I spent months stalking mine before buying it). The black lampshade version seems to only have about an 8-week wait time now, which is much better than the 14-16 weeks they were at before.
-If you’re on the petite side, the kids’ Hunter boots are the perfect boots for the garden. Of course, they’re super comfortable and last forever just like the adult sizes, but the calf is actually the right height, which is so hard to find. It doesn’t hurt that they’re about $100 less than the full grown up sizes too. 🙂 I’ve had mine for quite a few years and they’re the first thing I reach for every time I’m heading out to the garden.
-I have been catching so many typos in old blog posts of mine that I’ve come across lately and it’s driving me crazy! Some of them are in title graphics on Pinterest, which I can’t really take down and fix because that will mess with how the algorithm catalogs them, so I just have to deal with it and it’s pure torture. It’s totally understandable that after twelve years of writing blog posts, many of them done with one hand while holding a baby, there would be some mistakes. But still, so painful for me. Ha! 🙂
-Pinterest comment of the week: “I have done this successfully… cut peonies just before buds opened and kept them for over a month in the fridge… it works!” – Judy on Pinterest. Read the blog post here: How to Make Peony Blossoms Last for up to a Month!
-This week’s reader favorites: The affordable modern gold knobs that we have in our living room and kitchen, LL Bean Heritage Mariner striped shirt, My fresh new white sneakers for spring that just work with everything, An option for a new dining room rug that you liked very much as well, our all-weather Adirondack chairs (sold out in white currently, but available in quite a few other really nice colors!)
MORE RECENT POSTS
- The Perfect Lemon Shortbread Recipe
- Little Updates to Our Back Hall Mudroom
- Five Things on a Friday 4/7/23
- Reader Favourites of 2023 so Far
- My 12 Favorite Spring Cleaning Tricks
This post contains affiliate links.
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.