Wow, what a busy couple of weeks. When I look back on it, it seems like so much as happened as we finished up our summer fun, transitioned into the back-to-school season, and started to move into fall. Here are a few highlights from what has been happening around here!
We went to an actual, real, live sporting event! If you know me in real life, I’ve probably lamented to you at some point this year that all I really want to do is go to an actual sports game and sit in the stands. It’s not something that we did all that often, but it’s something that I really missed once we weren’t able to. Well, the Canadian men’s national soccer team had a game in Toronto as part of World Cup qualifying a couple of weeks ago, and when the notice that tickets were going on sale popped up in our inbox, we jumped on it. We booked a hotel for a quick one-night stay in Toronto and we all just loved every minute of it. Sometimes a change of scenery and atmosphere is just the best thing. The seating at the game was fairly well-spaced out and it was just so nice to see so many people out having fun and really enjoying themselves.
The kids are back in school and it’s just been the best thing for all of us to be back in a normal routine. As much as they aren’t happy to have to wake up so early in the morning, everyone is in such good spirits by the time the school day is over. I feel like they kind of have a little built-in sense of accomplishment and they really get to enjoy their time to relax at the end of the day. It’s also obviously pretty great that we have a chance to get uninterrupted work time so we’re really ready to take the time to hear all about their days and spend some quality family time. I just appreciate normal life so much these days.
I’m trying to make “lunch making time” my favourite time of day. Making school lunches has always been something that feels really tedious for me and something that I kind of dread for some reason. I think it’s just one of those tasks that always seems to take longer than the two minutes I feel like it should take, and never really feels like a significant accomplishment when I’m done. It’s not terrible, it’s just kind of a “blah” time of day, right after we’re done with dinner and cleaning up the kitchen and I kind of feel like either sitting down and relaxing for a minute or getting on with doing something that feels more productive. I’ve just decided that I really don’t want to feel that way at that time anymore and I’m determined to make the whole process enjoyable, because there’s just no reason that it shouldn’t be. So far, just having the intention that this time of day should be a good one is helping. I also make a point to make myself a really great fancy iced coffee and make sure to have lots of fun snacks to put into the lunch pails so that the whole process feels easy and I feel like I’ve done a good job of making something the kids will be excited to eat. Bonus points for me if I have something home-baked to add in. I’m pretty sure I’ll get bored again with the whole thing at some point in the coming months, so I’ll have to keep my eye open for new ideas to keep making this time of day fun. 🙂
I’ve really embraced “mini-projects” over the last year as we’ve had no time for real renovations. I love them because they give me a sense of making some kind of improvement around the house, but also basically just involve me ordering stuff from bed at 9:30pm when things finally quiet down and then painting a wall and putting it all in place when it arrives. My latest mini project is a bit of an update on our bedroom, except the whole room needs some more serious work than we really have time for right now because we have several unfinished walls, so I’m basically just doing the side of the room where our bed is and calling it a win. Still, I’m excited for it! I’m going to do the same white curtains that I did in the living room, except with brass hardware and I’m very excited about it. More details to come on this project! It’s coming together so nicely!
I’m kind of late to the game on this one, but I’ve been having fun trying out every fun scented cleaning product that I can get my hands on. I always say that a house that smells clean, feels clean, and it’s just such a little bright spot in my day when I wipe down my table and counters and end up with a nice smelling kitchen too. These new fall cleaners make my kitchen smell like I’ve just been burning my favourite fall candle, but I’ve actually just quickly wiped things down and it makes me happy. I’ve tried the Apple Cider scent and the Acorn Spice so far and it looks like there might be a few others I’ll want to try to track down in Canada. I found the ones I have on Well.ca. Just a fun little thing that brightens my day. 🙂
NEWS AND FINDS
- Ruggable came out with some new designs and I’m so tempted. I’m 100% sold on the whole washable rug thing after having them in our house for the past couple of years, as I mentioned here a little while ago. The icing on the cake is that the designs of the rugs themselves are just so beautiful and this latest batch is just full of different rugs that are exactly what I’d love in a few different rooms in our home. I love this Kamran Ivory Open Rug for its warm neutral palette with just the softest little hint of blue. This Sarrah Blue Quartz Rug has just a tiny bit more blue than the Kamran, while still being really subtle, and this Kira Stone Blue Rug is another great option that I could totally see myself using. The thing I love about all the rugs from them that I’ve tried is that there’s so much movement and variation in the patterns so, even though they’re washable, they also really hide stains and marks in between washings.
- I think I’m going to be in one of the September issues of Women’s World magazine. I say “I think” because I did a quick consultation a few months ago for an article that was supposed to be published in September, but that magazine puts out an issue every week, and I don’t always get an issue sent to me that mentions my name, especially if the writer was working freelance and not necessarily a full-time employee of the magazine. So I guess I should get to the store a few times this month and check on that! I try to collect an issue of every magazine that has my name or picture published in it. They’re just fun to have. I have quite a little stack of them now because I’m just always happy to chat with anyone about cleaning and organizing when the chance comes up. 🙂
- My white all-weather planters are back in stock! You can see how they look on my side porch in this post here. These have worked out so perfectly for me this year. I use these grow bags in them so that I can easily remove the perennials that I had in there for the summer, store them away so I can reuse them next year, and plunk in some mums in the fall. And no maintenance required other than that! They just keep looking crisp and classic. As much as I love my similar wood square planters, I just painted them with a really great outdoor paint last spring and I noticed the other day that there are a few spots where the paint is flaking away already. All-weather outdoor furniture and fixtures for the win! I also really love these if you need something that’s a little more “town” and a little less “country”.
- I know it’s a bit early for Christmassy things, but since we’ve been working away at our Christmas preparations all year this year, I don’t think it’s completely inappropriate to mention how super fun these Sarah Fitz x LL Bean sheets are. I’m such a huge fan of everything Sarah does, but most of her work is unavailable here in Canada. LL Bean to the rescue! I hope they do a few more collaborations in the future because these sheets are just so delightful.
- I have this Sweater Fleece Jacket for Chuckers, and he loves it, but this field jacket looks pretty amazing as well. Can you imagine how cute that would be? I think Chuckers could pull it off, for sure.
MORE RECENT POSTS
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- Five Things on a Friday 9/3/21
- What to do in September to Get Ready for Christmas
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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.