Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Still thinking about the concept of loving where you live. My morning runs these days are enveloped in fog. Actually the fog has been sticking around for days. I’m trying to enjoy the fact my skin is feeling super hydrated

Monday, June 29, 2020

Did you have travel plans this summer that got squashed? I am supposed to be in Lake Garda, Italy right now. My son was competing for Canada in the world Optimist sailing championships. I’m working hard on loving where I live, which is a challenge when I am dreaming of cobblestone streets, Euro-chic cafes and fields of poppies! I am trying to pay attention to the rugged, spacious beauty of where I live. No Roman ruins to see here! Are you sticking close to home for a stay-cation summer too? 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

I spend so much time weeding and tending my flowerbeds, only to walk in the woods and realize Mother Nature has it all figured out. This bunchberry ground cover is stunning. I was also treated to a single lady slipper sighting.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Me, age 7. Combining my love of books with my love of climbing trees. Today I’m thinking about my passions in life, and this one says it all. Do you have childhood passions still going strong today?

Thursday, June 25, 2020

I just pulled out my collection of summer footwear last week! The weather is finally warming up. I normally stick to neutrals. This is my one and only colourful pair of shoes! Clogs remind me of childhood so it feels fun to wear them, especially when they are red.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I am surrounding myself with bits of inspiration today. The sight of Fiona’s book is keeping me motivated as I work on a writing project. I am completely in love with the illustrations by @cindymangomini. I ordered a stack of her postcards from Etsy and sprinkle them around the house for style motivation. They make perfect bookmarks too!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Do you shop second-hand and consignment? It is part of my shopping and wardrobe building toolkit. Over the years, I have managed to upgrade my wardrobe with high quality and unique items at a fraction of the price. I was looking for a pair of tan loafers this spring, and managed to find these Emerson Fry Paulo flats on eBay for $45. I have learned that this strategy involves just a bit of patience. Items from past seasons will eventually turn up on the second-hand market if you are willing to wait! Do you have any fun treasure hunting stories? I would love to hear them!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Fresh flowers definitely brighten and elevate the mood in a room, don’t they? My writing desk was in need of a little boost of green, so I decided to think outside the box and came up with this simple, yet pretty arrangement. I gathered the ferns from the wooded area outside the house, and the white blooms are actually rhubarb! I just happened to notice the rhubarb had flowered, but this was the first time I actually admired the beauty of its blooms. I think the understated combination of white and green is very chic. To think this quick arrangement was free is all the more appealing. I definitely treat myself to store bought flowers now and then and I also maintain some blooms for cutting in my garden, but there is something nostalgic about messy bouquets of wildflowers that I love the most. What are your favorite wildflowers to bring indoors and brighten a room?

Friday, June 19, 2020

I was looking through old photos today and came across this one that caught my eye. This is a photo of my grandparents on a hunting trip back in the late fifties or sixties. My grandmother was always a well-dressed woman, but didn’t shy away getting her hands dirty! I love her little boots and her wool coat; not what we might typically see in the woods today. What I found particularly interesting and ironic in the photo is the name of the car - “Parisienne”. Did the makers of the Parisienne picture its owners taking it along on a hunting expedition? I had to do a quick Google search. It was made by Pontiac and sold in Canada from 1958 to 1986 and in the US from 1983 to 1986. So, just a little bit of trivia to lighten your day!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Early morning is my favorite time of day. Lately I’m jumping out of bed earlier and earlier. It is the one sacred time of my day when the house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts (and the birds!). Since it is summer, getting up early is of course a lot easier than during the dark, bitter months of winter. Regardless, I push myself during those times of the year as well. It has been my solution to making sure all the actions that are most important and uplifting to me personally are never neglected. Lately they include running, writing and my Barre workouts. Do you have a special morning routine that starts your day off on the right foot?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Sometimes putting one little corner of your life in order can make all the difference. This morning I wiped down my vanity area and rearranged some of my beauty products. With the change in season it was a good time to switch up my routine a bit. I didn’t have the time or desire to clean the whole bathroom, but this pretty nook was enough to lift my mood 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 30 – Future plans. Thirty days ago I challenged myself to take on a small writing assignment each day, with Fiona’s 30 Chic Days at Home providing the structure and inspiration. I discovered that when I take time to sit down write about a topic, the ideas seems to sink in and stick a bit more effectively. The process has me excited about future plans I am now working on, that include a writing project. I am planning to continue posting to this page as I have enjoyed the creative burst each day and the opportunity to interact and share ideas with like-minded people. I hope you will stick around as I explore ways to elevate daily life!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 29 – Be different to everyone else. Yet again, Fiona’s advice is relevant to many scenarios in life. In fact, I made the same comment this morning when discussing teens and the use of foul language. The argument “EVERYONE is doing it” doesn’t sit well with me. Why not raise the bar for yourself? Why not elevate the conversation? Yes, this applies to so many scenarios. It’s a great thought to keep handy in your back pocket.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 28 – Take the wins. This is great advice, whether you are in the midst of a global lockdown or not. I think it’s impossible to keep all areas of your life running perfectly at the same time. As Fiona says, why not focus on what you are doing well and accomplishing instead of beating yourself up over areas that are slipping a bit. With everyone at home, I gave up trying to keep the house in perfect order (not that it was ever perfect). I started focusing on little areas that I was spending most of my time and ignored the others. This little bouquet of apple blossoms is a bright spot in our living room, even if the rest of the room is a bit disheveled by the end of the day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 27 – Luxurious mornings. I love this time of year because the sun rises so early. I have been waking naturally at 5am and enjoying the quiet time to myself. The light makes it so easy to get up, as does the chirping from this little bird and his friends. He is one of three of our pet rosy bourke parakeets. I am literally waking with the birds. The morning routine in our house has certainly slowed down, and I’m trying to savor it. Since my husband is working from home, we get a chance to spend time each morning chatting over our tea/coffee. It’s such a nice change of pace.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 26 – Take a nap. Has anyone ever regretted a nap? Need I say more?

Monday, June 8, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 25 – Move it baby. Fitness is something I’m really passionate about. Finding something you love to do is the key to sticking with it, since it feels more like a treat than a chore. The weather is warming up and I’m hoping to be biking more consistently. I have been lucky to have my Dad as a great role model in my life. He’s not a “sports” guy, but he has always been active. He is 82 and still goes to the gym 3 days a week (when it was open!), hikes and bikes. He inspires me to age well!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 24 – Go with the flow. Fiona’s advice came at just the right time for me. I had grand plans for today to tackle a bunch of little nagging household tasks. My little pup, who just had surgery, was feeling awful. Instead of resting, my loyal little friend was following me around the house wherever I went. He looked miserable, but he didn’t want to let me out of his sight. I finally just grabbed a book and a journal and set myself up on the couch next to him for the afternoon. He dozed while I read. The chores could wait.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 23 – Create order. Today marks the official end to “homeschool” and the time has come to reclaim my desk! It’s been the home base for school work ever since the lockdown began. It felt wonderful to clear the clutter and wipe things down. I feel more productive already!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 22 – Self talk. Fiona encourages those of us who are lucky enough to be able to stay at home feel thankful and frame the situation in a positive light. I am enjoying a much slower pace of life these days with less running around to kid’s activities and appointments. The kids haven’t skipped a beat. They replaced organized sport with biking and are probably spending more time outdoors than ever before. I am lucky in that I live in a rural setting so we have a lot of natural space. This experience has made me more thankful for where I live. I’m also enjoying giving our home a bit of love and attention. Little projects that were always on my dreamy to-do list are finally coming to fruition. There are so many positive things about “being stuck at home”. I think this whole situation might help people rethink their hectic lives and slow down a simplify going forward. How has slowing down impacted you and what might you change?

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 21 – Make do and mend. I haven’t been doing a lot of mending, but I have been practicing making do, particularly in the kitchen. My daily schedule pre-pandemic involved driving my kids to and from school each day. My son’s school is very close to the grocery store, so it was not uncommon for me to me dropping in to pick a few things up 4 or more times a week! I’m now just doing one weekly order and we are “making do” just fine! When I’m feeling uninspired or missing certain ingredients for a recipe, I resort to a “make do” meal of power bowls. I start with a base of rice or quinoa and from there, it’s whatever is on hand. Since everyone has different tastes, I set the counter up like a salad bar so everyone can build their own bowl. This photo was my son’s plate – rice, beans, tofu, lettuce, carrots and potatoes. It sounds like a strange combination, but topped with a sauce or dressing it was really yummy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 20 – Be a bright spark. My husband shot this video of mama duck and her babies waddling down our road. I hope it sparks some brightness in your day like it did for me. As Fiona suggests, with so much darkness in the world right now, why not be a bright spark? Like most others, our family has been bunkered down together since March 11. (I noticed the other day that we are all starting to really sound like each other, using the same words and expressions constantly!) We can wear on each other’s nerves and I have noticed that I ‘ve been doing too much nagging and complaining lately. Today I’m going to try to take Fiona’s advice to heart and put my efforts into being a bright spark within our own family unit. I will refrain from starting the day lamenting that last night’s snack dishes are still parked up by the TV and none of the dirty laundry made it to the basket. Instead I’m going to offer everyone a nice healthy smoothie and a hug first thing…..then I might bring up the dishes (;

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 19 – Find your favourite comedy. I have a new puppy in the house so I don’t have to look very far for a comedy show. His favourite antic these days is stealing toilet paper. There is certainly some irony to his toilet paper obsession. It’s almost as if Coco has been watching the news! Does anyone have any suggestions on funny family-friendly comedy shows? It can be hard to find something that pleases all tastes in our house. We binged on The Office earlier this year, but are ready for something new!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Inspired by the book 30 Chic Days at Home by @fionaferrisnz Day 18 - Learn something. I have been applying this suggestion to my workouts by trying something new and out of my comfort zone. I am a bit of a fitness fanatic. I’ve been running, cycling and lifting weights for over twenty years. I have my routine of daily runs and weight lifting schedules that I rarely stray from. During the lockdown I decided to try out the new @barreblendworkoutprogram that came with my @beachbody on demand membership. It is a fitness program that draws on the disciplines of ballet, Pilates, yoga and fitness. It is very different from what I am used to, as it calls for the use of 2lb weights. These sounded like baby weights to me! I wasn’t sure this program was going to provide much in terms of results, but I decided to give it a try. What a pleasant, uplifting surprise! Sometimes the things we shy away from are what we need most in life. I am having so much fun learning ballet moves such coupĂ©, fondu, jetĂ©, arabesque and grand de jambe (my only dance experience is 6 months of tap at age 7!). I mean really, is there anything more chic and elegant than ballet and the French language? I’m learning how to move with more grace and fluidity and maintain better posture. Though still tight from decades of running, my body feels more balanced and flexible. I am working muscles that were never activated in my previous workouts, which results in a more toned appearance. To top it off, the instructor @elisejoanfitness is a ray of light. She is so positive, inspirational and uplifting. I try to focus not only on her fitness instruction, but the words of wisdom and encouragement she offers each day.