Here are five random thoughts from my corner of the world this week. 🙂
The world seems a little surreal this week. It’s increasingly terrifying how often we all find ourselves recapping days and weeks this way. “Today is heavy day.” is what I see people saying as they try to figure out how to process whatever senseless tragedy has happened this time. I never know what to say and this week I found myself thinking that maybe I need to come up with some sort of “game plan” for the next unthinkably dark day so I can kind of coach myself through it and know how to proceed, and what to say. This isn’t like living in a place that gets really bad storms though. There shouldn’t be any kind of “go bag” that you keep packed for these kinds of events the way you do for natural disasters. These are unnatural and they just shouldn’t happen. Like you, I’ve been feeling all of the different types of anger and sadness over the last few days. My hope is that we can all come to realize that it’s not that we need to figure out which specific action we need to take, and which one will be the right choice, it’s that we need to take all the actions. Anything that might make a difference? Do it. Yesterday. And then do it again today. And tomorrow too. Is there anything more pressing right now?
OK, onto the lighter points of our week. It’s important to take little mental breaks when you’re working on changing the world.
I know I was just saying a few weeks ago how I felt like things were starting to come together so nicely in our home lately, but that definitely does not count for outside. We have been so behind on our gardening and just general yard maintenance this year! Luckily, things stay pretty presentable looking on their own, mostly because of all of the shrubs and perennials that just kind of do their thing, but by this time of year usually we’ve had everything planted for weeks and have been to the garden centre at least twenty times to pick out new things to add. This year it’s been a little more of a “slow and steady wins the race situation”. We’ve gotten a late start and we’re just doing a tiny bit here and there when we can find time, but there haven’t really been any days where we’ve been out all day long getting huge amounts of work done. I’m anxious to make some big improvements outside and create more usable areas of our property, but I’m trying to be patient and be OK with it if this year we just kind of tread water and maintain things as they are. Jack has been the best little helper again this year though! He loves to dig the holes for me for anything I want to transplant, which has been great because that’s definitely not my favorite part. 🙂
Pictured above: These are my old wood planters, but highly recommend these all-weather ones instead that I have on the side porch! | Shorts | T-Shirt | Sandals | Sunglasses | Jack’s Shorts | Jack’s T-Shirt
I neglected my hydrangeas last summer and now I’m paying the price. One area that definitely needs to be a priority if gardening time is limited this year is my hydrangea collection. Hydrangeas need love, care, and attention, pretty much daily as I’ve learned over the years. Daily watering is an absolute must, along with very regular feeding, attention to soil quality, and a bit of pest control as well (I use this natural solution and it does the trick for mine!). I’ve had some great results with taking my hydrangeas from nearly dead to huge and thriving in past years, but last year I lost a lot of overall size on a couple of them because I just didn’t water them everyday last summer, fed them very infrequently, and I’m pretty sure I did nothing for the pest situation. So we had a lot of branches die back over the winter. I’m off to a pretty good start this year and they’re all looking much happier already. Here are a few of my past hydrangea posts if you’ve been looking for some things to try to get your hydrangeas to look their best:
- How to Revive a Sad-Looking Hydrangea
- Emergency First Aid for Hydrangea Problems
- Pruning Hydrangeas for Maximum Growth
Our living room rug came in! As you probably know, I’ve been loving this Ruggable (15% off this weekend with code STRIPES15) for quite a few months now and I’ve mentioned it several times. When the new sofas came in, Chris decided that he really wanted a bit of a rug refresh because he has a thing for clean floors, so I knew exactly which new cover I was going to get. I’m always amazed at how beautiful these washable rugs are in person, even right up close. How do they do that? So happy with how this room is coming together.
Our gym opened back up a few weeks ago and I’m just so enjoying it. We only have time to go for about 30 minutes 2-3 times per week, but I already feel like I’m getting stronger. Having that dedicated bit of time specifically for that task makes it so much easier for me. The gym we go to is really close by and I actually didn’t think it would be opening back up for public memberships at all because it had been so long, but I didn’t really want to go to any other gym with loud music and bright colors. I do a bit of strength work everyday, but sometimes I’ll just walk on the treadmills, especially on days when the weather is bad and I love that our gym has the treadmills directly in front of a big wall of windows that looks out onto a park, instead of having a row of TV screens like at a lot of gyms. Anyway, it’s been more than two years since we’ve been going regularly and it’s been so neat to see how strength can build up so quickly in a matter of just a few weeks. A little bit of extra strength can really affect every little thing you do in life, make everything seem just a bit easier, and give you a bit of a bounce in your step. Once the pain of the first few days wears off at least. 🙂
NEWS AND FINDS
-I have a few really fun collaborations coming up that I’m excited about. I’ve just loved working with brands that I’ve had the chance to partner with lately. They challenge me and give me a little extra spark of inspiration and it’s just so fun when I’m sharing things I really love. Saying and immediate “no” to any opportunity that comes my way that I’m not 100% excited about has really freed me up to pour all my energy into projects that just feel right and I really think that’s the most sustainable way of running a business.
–These shorts! I realized recently that I didn’t have any kind of all-purpose black shorts so I ordered these. I loved the way these shorts looked on the model, so I ordered them to give them a try because the reviews were great. Unfortunately, on the Canadian site, the smallest size was a 0 and that ended up being just too big, but I’m pretty sure they do have a 00 on the American site, which is my normal size. Anyway, even though I can’t keep them, definitely try them if they have your size! I was so impressed by the flattering cut of the shorts while still being a bit more on the sporty side, the fact that they’re stretchy in every direction, and they had pockets galore (with zippers!), which I didn’t realize when I first ordered them. The perfect shorts for just about anything this summer… as long as you’re bigger than the average 12 year old. Ha.
-I was picking up some plants and I noticed The Home Depot has some really lovely clay pots this year in their garden centre. They were so well-priced and really reminded me of the shape and finish of some planters that I’ve seen for 10x the price! Definitely worth looking for.
-Follow me on Instagram and in my stories for all my day-to-day updates between posts!
-I’m so so thrilled with this brass candle sconce that I bought for that awkward wall in the living room between the two windows. If you aren’t in Canada, this brass sconce is super similar.
-Love these Amazon glass canisters. Simple and functional, but nice enough to use as styling on an open shelf.
-Speaking of shelf styling, if you sometimes feel lost about how to make your shelves look cohesive and put-together, an easy trick is to use groupings of two or three similar items. This vase trio is super affordable and makes it really easy.
-Shop my Amazon storefront here for lots of great finds!
MORE RECENT POSTS
- 24 Hours in Toronto
- Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Loaf
- Small Design Details in Our Bedroom That Make a Big Difference
- Five Outfits and Five Things Learned so Far From Project 333
- Garden Gear Goals
- Five Things on a Friday 5/6/22
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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.