And I’m back! I had to take a bit of a break from these posts over the summer. OK, it was more than a bit of a break, more like a several-months-long break, but I missed writing these posts and getting all caught up with you! We just had so much going on this summer, so today’s post will be all about getting you filled in on all that. Hope you’ve had a great summer and your early-fall season is off to a great start.
Kennedy is a university student! This is obviously the biggest thing that happened around here, but we moved Kennedy into her residence room at the end of August and now she’s a full-time art student in Toronto and loving it so far. It’s been amazing to watch her building her own little life in the city and learning to navigate day-to-day life and school work too. We’re so proud, and a little jealous. 🙂
Jack started soccer with a new team! About 9 years ago, when Jack was just a little baby, Kennedy played in a soccer league over the border in Michigan. It was such a big adventure for a few years. We were in the U.S. every weekend for games and tournaments and we ended up traveling to a lot of different fun places because of it. Jack was along for the whole thing, from the time he was about 9 months old until he was about 4, but of course, he doesn’t really remember any of it. Well, now here we are and Jack is almost 10 and he is just way more into soccer than Kennedy ever was, so of course we had to give him the same opportunity. We’ll be traveling and doing tournaments and driving a whole lot over the next few years and it will be a big lifestyle change, but of course, it’s all worth it. Watching from the sidelines is fun for us too, so I’m really looking forward to what this season will bring!
We took Kennedy to New York! We surprised Kennedy with tickets for a New York trip for her birthday this spring and we actually went on the trip together in July. Jack stayed home with his gramma, so it was just Chris, Kennedy, and I for some quality time before sending her off to University. The idea is that Jack will get his own special little trip with just us when he’s 18 too, if that makes sense. We had the best time. We went as part of a tour so we had some guided tours and experiences, but also lots of free time where we got to explore the streets, sit in parks, and visit restaurants and cafes, which was all we really wanted to do. Chris and I had been separately but never together, so it was just the best for all of us.
We did some other fun things! An exhibition soccer game with two European teams who came to Detroit was definitely a highlight for Jack. One of the teams is the current Europa Cup champions, so they had the trophy there with them and he got his picture taken with it. He even spotted a youtuber that he watches regularly at the game and got to take his picture with him. I don’t remember the youtuber’s name, but he was great with Jack and they had a cute little chat. We also went to the National Bank Open in Toronto with a big group of family members and I loved it. Being so close to the action, the way they had the grounds set up, the whole vibe of the place, everything. We hadn’t been in about 20 years and now I definitely want to go back next year. Chris and I also went for a quick visit to the Stratford Festival to see a play for our anniversary. We saw Much Ado About Nothing and it was outstanding. When I saw that it was three hours long, I was a little worried, but the time just flew by.
Chris built us a new back deck! Well, he rebuilt the old deck, but better. And it’s only half-done, but it’s a useable surface and it’s so nice to be able to take advantage of our views looking out over the creek and the fields out back. The top of the deck is stained, but we still need to paint all the lower parts white. We’ll probably wait until spring now to add the same white railings as we have on the front porch and the side porch. Just getting part of a project done these days is just such an accomplishment with our busy schedules and trying to keep up with all the regular house and garden maintenance. Anyway, hooray for small wins on the home-improvement front!
NEWS AND FINDS
-I was featured in the autumn issue of Country Sampler Farmhouse Style again. It’s always so fun to see my work in print. The project featured is my oversized fall porch planter from a couple of years ago, with the mums and the white pumpkins. I was so proud of how easy that planter was to put together and how cute it turned out to be. Anyway, it’s a great issue full of fall inspiration so pick up a copy and keep an eye out for my little project!
-Top three finds of this summer: I have not been doing a lot of fun shopping for home things at all over the last few months, at least nothing other than things for Kennedy’s dorm, but I thought I’d go through some of my order history and pick out my top three favorite finds to share, just because I always try to have at least a few little finds to share with you.
- I’ve been searching for the perfect petite wide-leg trousers for about 2 years now. They always seem to end up being way too big, or they have weird bulgy pleats or something, but these trousers that just came out at the gap are absolutely perfect. Some reviews say they’re small in the waist, but I saw they’re exactly true to size.
- We’ve always used the LL Bean lunch pails in our house. They last for years, unlike most lunch bags that seem to fall apart a few months into the school year. We didn’t really need a new one for Jack this year, but when I saw that they came out with an expandable version, I jumped on it. He’s getting to be that age where he just eats non-stop so I was having a hard time fitting everything in to the regular size. It’s made my life just a little bit easier every day when I pack up his lunch.
- Kennedy was in need of a new toiletry travel bag now that she’ll be traveling home on a regular basis and this one from Amazon that we just ordered quickly for her turned out to be so amazing. Little pockets and pouches and straps for keeping everything organized everywhere. If you love organizing, you’ll have so much fun with this thing. 🙂
-Favorite photo of the week: We captured this newly-renovated historical home earlier this summer, and the homeowners’ adorable cat was watching us the whole time through the window. You can see more from this project and others we’ve captured on our Instagram page: Art & Spaces Instagram
-Pinterest comment of the week: Homemade Italian Seasoning Recipe – “Yum! 😍 made it today when I didn’t have any store bought. Great flavor! I will keep this on hand. I had everything but dried parsley, but luckily I had some fresh.” – Mollie on Pinterest
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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.