Archive for Home & Garden

Blogs I’m Loving Now

I love blogs! I love the art of the word and the image! And I’m always excited to come across new ones!

It’s almost like looking into someone’s medicine cabinet, but they know that you’re looking and leave really cool stuff for you to check out.

Here are a few blogs that I’m loving right now:

Cedar Hill

Cedar Hill Ranch – Anita says that “Cedar Hill Ranch is about Texas Living with a French Accent.” Who wouldn’t love that? And being a transplanted Texan with a love of Europe, this site is right up my alley. So many great posts! I love Anita’s “On the Back Porch” series with other bloggers! You really should check it out.

French Country

My French Country Home – Sharon is a Brit who has lived in France a long time. Her photography is to die for! I can only aspire to take photos like hers. I thoroughly enjoyed her series on her stylish French girlfriends. Take a quick peek into her French world.


Naptime Decorator – Such a great blog! I love her humour and how she mixes in decorating, mothering, and life. Super cute, cost-efficient ideas for home decor! And she is the reason I found the color that I’m going to paint the upstairs hallway and downstairs foyer. Thanks, Liz!

What are your favourite blogs right now? Leave them in the comments section. I would love to check them out!

Lots of blog love,



A Bit of Whimsy

I drive by this house on the mornings I take my stepson to school. At first, I wasn’t a big fan, but it’s grown on me so much that now, I absolutely LUH UHV it!

Now, I couldn’t never paint my house this color, but I so admire the woman who lives in this house and seemingly puts love and passion out there for the world to see. It’s just so whimsical!

Happy Friday!

Lots of blended love,



I was almost as excited to receive the IKEA catalog as I was to get the iPhone5!

My love affair with IKEA has been on-going for years. I love their stuff! I love their store! I love their food!

The boys just don’t understand. They looked at me a bit bewildered as I made a cup of tea, and settled into my favourite chair to go through the catalog page by page. This is totally atypical behaviour for me.

I’ll go through the catalog again, this time placing sticky notes on pages where there are items that I feel I really need. And then, I’ll look at the calendar and plan my roadtrip to the nearest store, planning to spend a good portion of day. Of course, I’ll probably bring more stuff home than what’s on the list!



Garden Ingenuity

Summer gardening feels like an oxymoron this year.

Once the heat settled in around mid-June, my crepe myrtle began growing like crazy! I’ve always had success with these plants, and just love them for loving the heat. Never phases them.

However, some of my new plants are NOT loving the heat even though they are direct sun plants. This 100+ degree heat, day after day, is just too much for some of them. So, my husband, being the ingenious man he is, came up with a sun shield for them.

And, the weeds? Forget about it! I have given up on them for a while. They’re growing too fast in the heat, and with it just being too hot to be outside, I’m going to give it a rest until later this month or next.

I hope your gardens are doing well wherever you are!






Seed Sowing Time in a Blended Family

Before we got married, my husband and I discussed ways we could integrate the kids. Setting a vision of how we’d like to see things work. We try to do fun things, be inclusive, be respectful of everyone’s likes/dislikes. We are big on family time!

We’ve had a few bumps but for the most part things have gone well. The boys are doing a great job blending. My step-daughter? Well, she’s struggled with the idea of a blended family, which I understand. There were/are a lot of factors at play, and we’ve chosen to meet my step-daughter where she is with all of it. She doesn’t come around all of us very often, so my husband and I have focused on keeping her relationship with her dad as intact as possible. 

I am so blessed by my husband. He recognizes the importance of his relationship with her, so he ensures that he keeps reaching out to her. They go out to eat once a week, or they take her brother and go out to eat, see my husband’s mom. He took her on a trip to Vegas for her 18th birthday. He calls and texts her just about every day. Sometimes he gets a response, sometimes he doesn’t, but he continues to reach out regardless. I’m sure she may think he’s a stalker at times, but he always wants her to know that she’s important to him and that he wants to stay involved with her and what she has going on.

Our initial vision didn’t look quite like where we are now. We’ve had to let go of some expecations and learn that this is where we all need to be, and it’s okay. It’s part of a greater plan.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

~ Galations 6:9 NLT

An opportunity for me to do what is good with my step-daughter came Tuesday night. 

I’ve been trying to go to a Harley and Maudes jewlery party for months! But for one reason or another, it just never worked out. Finally, one came up that I could go to. It turned out that the woman that my step-daughter nannies for was one of the hostesses of the party, and my step-daughter had plans to go too.

My husband had dinner with my step-daughter the night before the party and she mentioned it to him and that I knew about the party too (she knew that because she and I are friends on Facebook). He told her that I had been wanting to go to one for months and that I would probably be there.

It ended up being me and my mom going, and we ran into my step-daughter there. We all sort of mingled around picking out charms and geegaws, casually chatting as we went. Very relaxed. She wasn’t going to buy anything, however, she’s been working her tail off this summer earning money for college, and her dad and I wanted to treat her to a necklace. All in all, the evening  turned out to be a lot of fun!

Here’s the necklace I had made. I love it! The charms come off so I can mix-n-match what I want to wear depending on how I feel that day. Love that!

This is the necklace that my step-daughter had made. It. Is. Pretty. The picture does not do it justice.

I texted her yesterday morning to let her know how much I enjoyed seeing her. The few times we’ve met one-on-one, I’ve always tried to text her afterward to thank her for making the time (she really doesn’t have to), and to tell her how much I enjoyed spending time with her. For older stepkids, I think it’s important to acknowledge them for making time to see you as well as telling them how much you enjoyed it. In my opinion, it’s what you would do with any of your friends. 

My husband and I were a bit surprised at her final response (she’s the white bubble). I’ve never gotten that kind of response before. 

I’m cautiously optimistic about where we’re headed. She even made comment at the jewelry party about coming to our house to do laundry as our house is closer to her than her mom’s. We’d LOVE that! But again, we’ll see. No expectations.

Maybe there’s a time coming where we’ll begin to reap a bit of what we’ve sowed — unconditional love, consistency, support, understanding — meeting her where she is, not putting pressure on her. Even if it isn’t time to reap, we’ll just keep in sowing along.

Here’s to positive stepmom and step-daughter relationships!


P.S. From a total non-stepmom perspective, if you like funky jewelry, check out Harley and Maudes on Facebook. They’ll have a website up soon! And they don’t know me from Eve. I just love their jewelry!