Mint is the New Black

I’m back from vacation in Ireland and back to blogging! I will share some stories soon. For now, it’s back to the house adventures…

Mint is my new favourite colour. I’m currently sporting Essie Mint Candy Apple polish on my toes and I’ve been eyeing up these out-of-my-budget Paige jeans for quite a while. Even the dishes we eat off of everyday (Sophie Conran for Portmeirion in Sage) aren’t that far from being mint.

Lucky for me we live in this beautiful 70s mint coloured house! We’ve been renovating the house  to sell next year with the hope of at least getting what we put into it. As important as curb appeal is, we probably wouldn’t get the money back out of replacing the siding. I’ve spent the past couple years complaining about this fact but today I’ve decided to get over it and embrace the mint!

What we can do something about is those faded black shutters. No more mint chocolate chip ice cream. I’ve been pondering the best choice to update the house a bit. The inside has had an amazing transformation and it would be nice to do the same for the outside. I know you’re supposed to match your shutters to the roof but I really am not a fan of the black. My original plan was a dark sage green (I’m not up on my green names but hopefully you can picture it). In the spirit of embracing things, I’m starting to lean towards the pastel look of white shutters. White is fresh and clean and there are no worries of going through all that work to have it not match.

I took a few shutters down off the back and primed them. This step needs to be done anyway and the white primer will give me an idea of how it would look. When they’re dry I’m going to lean them up against the house for a couple days and ponder it some more. Any ideas???

To end things off, check out my beautiful poppy that appeared this morning! At 8am it was still totally closed and  at 10am it looked like this!

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

I’m enroute to Tralee, Ireland for my friend Maria’s wedding and a mini reunion with some University of Sunderland pals.

What an adventure to get there! Flying out of Atlantic Canada can be ridiculously expensive. To save some cash, my journey started with my alarm going off at 4am this morning. I drove 5.5 hours to Portland, Maine. From there I hopped on a bus for another 2 hours traveling to Boston Logan Airport. That’s where I’m sitting right now! Next stop: Paris, France on the red eye. After a super quick layover, I’ll be headed to Dublin. That’s not it though! Tralee is 4 hours by train. I’m so excited to visit somewhere new (and not be at work for the week) that the travel doesn’t bother me.

I’m already feeling pretty exhausted! I’m hoping that means a good night’s sleep on the plane. I’m so happy that I didn’t take that more convenient flight through Toronto though– all flights to Ontario are cancelled tonight due to weather!

Pictures and stories to follow!

A Not-So-Lazy Sunday

Have you have you seen the Lazy Sunday 2 Digital Short? Not as good as the original but still pretty catchy.

I’ve been busy with yard work the last couple days. My plans of turning this disaster into a flower bed are going well. The photo is a couple weeks old so imagine it with a few hundred dandelions and everything about a foot taller!

Here’s where we’re at now. I’m still working away at moving the pile of gravel. It was much bigger than it looked– we’ve moved four wheelbarrows full so far. Speaking of wheelbarrow, I’m now the proud owner of this baby.

The whole project got slowed down with the discovery of 6 hidden tree stumps and a giant ant hill. Also my inability to stay on one project at a time didn’t help– but look how lovely my mailbox looks?

I’m so happy with how the yard is coming together. I was so into the house projects today that I skipped out on going to see Charles and Camilla’s visit to CFB Gagetown. Royalty a five minute walk from my house! I was so filthy and couldn’t be bothered to get cleaned up just to get dirty again.

Not quite fit to meet royalty!

Lucy couldn’t get her act together to go either.

Rhubarb Muffins

A great discovery when we first moved into our house was this tiny rhubarb patch hidden behind our garage. It’s overgrown with weeds and a little TLC could help it reach it’s full potential. The little bit it produces now is all we really need though. I’ve been chopping it up and freeze for future treats.

I have a new habit of waking up at 5:45, no matter how hard I try to sleep in. Yesterday morning I whipped off some delicious rhubard muffins. The recipe is a hand-me-down from my mom’s friend Shelley that has probably changed along the way. I only made a 1/2 dozen because we do not need to be consuming that many muffins!

Here’s the full dozen recipe:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb

Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I used brown but I think white would be better–and is probably what the real recipe calls for!)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine. Spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake at 400 for 20 mins. When cool, dip muffins into butter, sugar, and almonds.

Oops, somebody ate one!

Definitely not health food! Fueled by muffins, I headed out in the yard for the day. My “quick-fix” flower bed ended up presenting a few challenges– stumps, roots, ant hills, and mountains of gravel that were much bigger than they appeared! I was back at it again today and will share the progress soon.

Wedding Quilts

We new we wanted to have our wedding at Alan’s family’s farm. There were so many beautiful backdrops outside. The barn started off as the backup plan if it rained. Everyone worked hard to help clean it out and when we saw the finished product, it didn’t make sense to have it be a maybe. Why have two plans that were dependent on last minute weather conditions, when we had this fabulous space waiting to be decorated.

One side of the barn still had some larger things that had to stay. A tractor, some coffins (eek!) and old wagons that were too big and fragile to move. We both come from a long line of quilters so we came up with the idea to divide the barn with family quilts. Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers, Great Grandmothers, and even Great Great Grandmothers were represented. It added so much colour and our own family touch.

In order, quilts made by: Alan’s mother, my grandmother, my mother, and Alan’s great great grandmother

Alan’s grandmother’s quilt peeking out from behind a chair planter.

The quilt my mom made me as a High School graduation gift. It currently lives on our bed.

One especially bright quilt made by Alan’s mom titled “Twisted Knickers” became our alter at the front of the barn.

Yard Rescue

Our yard is a work in progress. Considering we both abandoned our house for 6 months last winter/spring, I’d say we aren’t doing too bad. Actually, this is the first year (in the 2 years since we bought the house) that I’ve lived here before July. Last year it was pretty overwhelming starting when everything was over grown so I’m trying to get at it early this time. I’ve already raked 17 bags of leaves (in addition to the 20 in the Fall…look how little the yard is!) and made several piles of brush. Our March heat wave made for great weather to work outside. So far this year I’ve gardened in shorts and tank top, t-shirt and jeans, and winter jacket and toque…in that order!

Here’s a sort of before picture of the yard. This is when we bought the house in Spring 2010. I think a true before picture would show after we neglected it for a couple years. After some hard work last summer, it’s already looking  100% better. I’ll post some progress pictures soon!

Next on my to do list:

This beautiful bed was home to a super cool 70s wishing well. Last summer we hauled it over to the curb in hopes it would find  new home. After a couple days of no luck, Alan was sure he was going to get to do the sacrificial smashing. Luckily, it was spared by a passer by. I hope it has a happy new life!

The white gravel pile has got to go and then this will be turned into a flower bed. The lilies are the only thing allowed to stay. Other than that I will have to raid my mom’s garden this weekend for some more plants!

We have lots of weekends on the road this month so I’ll have to pick away at a few yard projects in the evenings.

Post Gym Smoothie

In the Fall I was in the routine of making delicious smoothies in the evening. I somehow got out of that routine for a couple months…but tonight I’m back!

I basically use whatever I have on hand. I really got into making “green” smoothies that had either kale or spinach added in. Once you get over the look and texture, they’re amazing. The blog Oh She Glows has a whole site called the Green Monster Movement devoted to green smoothie recipes. Tonight there is no green because I’m in need of groceries. Here’s what I threw together:

What’s in there:

  • a couple spoonfuls of greek yoghurt
  • a splash of pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 4 dates
  • frozen blueberries
  • a spoonful of almond butter

I don’t have a blender so I use my food processor–which is probably better for chopping up the dates and frozen fruit anyway.

Here’s the final product: