Happy Friday! Hope your week has gone well and your weekend is about to be even better. 🙂 Here are five things that have been going on in our little corner of the world, in no particular order.
We really need a dog in this family. We had the chance to dog sit for some family members who were going out of town for a day recently and it was just the best. Little Felix was rescued only a couple of weeks ago and is just so nervous and meek, but it was so amazing to watch how he relaxed once we got him out on a walk through the field. He really took to me and Kennedy instantly, but he was still a little unsure about Chris and Jack. We’ll get to visit him pretty regularly, so I’m sure over time he’ll start to realize he’s safe with them and will relax a little more around them too. Watching a rescue dog start to realize that they can let their guard down is just the most amazing thing. We’re still away from the house a little too much for us to get a dog any time soon, it just wouldn’t be fair for them, but it was nice to get our “fix” since we’ve felt so deprived every since Chuckers passed away last summer.
Can we all just take a moment of appreciation for the healing powders of mulch in your garden? We went and picked up a big load of natural mulch and it just never ceases to amaze me what a difference that makes for our gardens. First of all, it looks so great and fresh, but it’s also really helpful for retaining soil moisture and also just improving the quality of the soil. I’ve really been working at filling in our garden beds over the years so that most garden areas will eventually be busting with plants, but even with just a little bit of uncovered area, covering that little bit with mulch always feels like such a revelation. What I’m saying is, fresh mulch is always a good idea. 🙂
I have to say, I found the whole travel soccer lifestyle to be really overwhelming a few years ago when Kennedy used to be across the border playing in various different states every weekend. Now that Jack’s almost that age and even more (way more) into soccer than Kennedy was, I’m so eager to get back into all of it. Admittedly, it was hard when I felt like we were never home and I just wasn’t getting anything done, but there were just so many fun things that we were doing instead: Watching great games that the kids were getting to play on beautiful fields, hanging out with team mates and getting lunch between games, hotel lobby hangouts, and excuses to go out for dinner every weekend. And then of course, there’s the thrill when the kids win a game that they didn’t think they had a chance in and the looks on their faces that just can’t be beat. We’re starting to spend more Saturdays on soccer fields now (and Chris spends many weeknights as well as a coach) and I’m just really looking forward to what lies ahead.
We are really in the thick of the end-of-school season here right now in all the ways: Track and field, prom, grad, field trips, we’ve got a little bit of everything this year. Lots of fun little things for everyone to look forward to in the next month or so. I’m going to be missing Jack’s field trip this year and I think it’s probably the first time I’ve missed a field trip for work purposes ever, but schools just don’t plan things out five months in advance like we do. Jack will be fine, but I might feel like I’m missing out. 🙂 We got two of the most amazing dresses for Kennedy for her prom and grad and I’m probably more excited about them than she is. She doesn’t really want to make a big deal out of it, so she didn’t want me to go making hair appointments for her and all that. She said fancy hair wasn’t really something she cared about and it seemed like a lot of work. So basically that means that I’ll have to be her hair stylist for the day, which I’m not 100% sure is a good idea, but I’ve been making her sit and let me practice on her, so hopefully I’ll be able to make her look presentable. So funny how we’re trying not to make a big deal out of it, but now I’ve created this whole situation where I’m terrified I’m going to traumatize her. But she says she doesn’t care, so maybe it won’t be so bad? 🙂
It looks like this is going to be “the summer of tickets” for us because we’ve just booked tickets for so many different things already. Sporting events, a little bit of travel, plays, all the good things. It’s going to be fun, which is kind of an accomplishment for me because as you may have noticed, I’m not exactly the most fun person in the traditional sense of the word. When I start thinking of ways to spend my free time, the things that I’m usually most drawn to are, in fact, the things that most other people probably think of as work. I don’t often think “Yay free time! Let’s do something fun!” I usually think “Yay free time! Let’s get stuff done.” So this way we’re kind of forcing ourselves to go and do lots of things, just because they’ll be fun and enjoyable and I think it’s definitely going to be a good thing. We’re so lucky to live in an area where we have access to so many great things going on in the cities just a short drive away from us.
NEWS AND FINDS
-Peony season is here! A few years ago I divided our peonies and spread them out in various locations around the property. This is the first year that every single peony that I moved will be in bloom and we’re going to have more blooms than ever! Here’s a little peony inspiration:
-Have I mentioned this sleeveless mock-neck top before? Anyway, I had it in black and I just ordered another one in white. I’ve tried tops like these before and found they’re often really cropped, which isn’t great for my purposes, but this one has a nice cut to it while also having enough length to actually wear in real life circumstances. Just a good all-around summer basic that you can throw on and look polished. Just a heads up: I’m usually an XXS in this brand, but I ordered an XS for this top and it’s a perfect fit, so sizing up isn’t a bad idea. This is me wearing it one day at a recent shoot. Jeans are GAP, earrings are Jenny Bird.
-Always amazed by how far and wide my little book travels, even all these years later. Every once in awhile I’ll still get an email from someone writing an article for a magazine looking for me to answer a few questions or a comment from someone on social media telling me they found me through my book. It’s been over six years now, but I still think it’s kind of neat to have a book published in four different languages and actually, I looked through it the other day and I still really like it. In a world where everything seems to get outdated so quickly, it feels good to have created something that I still can look back on and feel like it really is cute, fun, and actually helpful. 🙂
–Pinterest comment of the week: A comment on a post that’s an oldie but a goodie! Tami on Pinterest said “These cookies are positively delicious.” and she’s right. 🙂 I think I’m definitely going to have to make them again soon. Get the recipe here for Cake Mix Pudding Cookies. There’s also a chocolate version, if you happen to be interested. 🙂
–Favorite photo of the week: This lake house that we shot with local design firm Comfortable Dwelling! See more of this project over on our photography business Instagram page: Art & Spaces on Instagram.
–This week’s reader favorites: Our living room rug, this super cute little campaign style side table I have in the dining room, This Amazon clutch purse/pouch that I’m going to get so much use out of this summer, my oval Le Creuset, gold replacement knob for a Le Creuset.
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- Easy Homemade Maple Pecan Granola
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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.