around the house, after work

I so love my little house. It was full of light when I arrived home from work, so I couldn't resist taking a few pictures to share.

The tulips were a sweet little gift from Adam and Thomas; Thomas picked out a get well soon card to go with them. It has a picture of bunny slippers on it. That was the clincher.

Phillip came home and needed something to organize, so he went at the spices. He's certainly my boy. And I know exactly what that feels like.

Hope your week is full of lovely light, too.


january 26

After a super-intense, self-imposed day tied to the computer on Friday, my mid-year reports for work are almost done. I wrote myself a physical list at the beginning of the day outlining the rewards I would have after finishing them. It included SATISFACTION, TAKE PICTURES, and MIND AT EASE ALL WEEKEND. (I tend to write lists in caps.) The few that I have left won't take too long, and I am so glad that I went at them like a madwoman yesterday.

The paperwhites were working hard too - they've started to open, and are so very, very pretty. And stinky.

I've missed you!

The weather this past week included some of the longest-lasting snow covered roads I can remember. From Monday night until Friday afternoon, they were covered in tightly packed snow, as it was too cold for salt to be effective. That, combined with blinding snow squalls and blowing snow, made traveling a little bit more intense than usual. Today, the sun is out, snow is melting from the roofs and roads, and it's a beautiful day.

I've once again been saving up things to share with you. Start the kettle and settle in, won't you?

Adam bought me another Nikki McClure calendar for Christmas, and of course, I love it. It works best for us to tear out and post individual pages on the fridge. That way, we get to enjoy it very, very, often.
And this beautiful, perfectly perfect mug made by Jennie the Potter was another Christmas gift, from Ingrid. I looooooove it. It's exactly the right size and shape, and it's beautiful. Thanks again, Ing!

Still thinking back to Christmas for a minute, remember the lotion bars I made? I had forgotten about a teeny bit I had tucked away to keep, and have been using it on my hands and they boys' chapped cheeks and lips this week. It is divine. Definitely worth the few minutes it takes to make. (And that spoon oil is superb, too!)

This post from Jenna rings so true for me. My favourite line: "For some people, getting out of their comfort zone is a temple in India or on the sidelines of a Mongol horse race. For others, it's learning how to take a goat's rectal temperature." I think I fall in the latter camp.

I am so thankful that we haven't (yet, knock on wood) been hit with any of the flus that have been making the rounds, although we've had a few sniffles. I love this post from Rhythm of the Home about the purpose of illness. And I hope the flu doesn't find us. (Have you noticed how much healthier we've been than last year? I am SO thankful!)

Marisa's potluck salad kit post is so helpful! I'm definitely using her tips next time I take a salad along on a visit.

Oh, this poem is so, so true. I try not to laugh (and try to say something wise and loving instead) when anyone tells me about when they have kids and what they'll do. And I laugh at myself and the things I thought about how it would be.

Dawn Suzette is leaving beautiful Nova Scotia on an adventure to New Mexico! Safe, wonderful travels! (Her pictures are just lovely.)

I like this post about how to think about the amount of stuff that we have.

This house is lovely. That fire place! The stove! Swoon.

And with that, my smallest offspring just woke up from a nap and is groggy enough too let me finish typing this sentence without grabbing my hands and banging on the keyboard. Have a lovely weekend!


january 21

 Feeling a bit quiet here, lately. It's January. January skies are gorgeous, and there are many beautiful things during winter, but ugh. I'm daydreaming of birds singing riotously, early in the morning, the sound drifting in my open window. That truly is one of my very favourite experiences. It makes my heart sing along. We've been making do with some impromptu breakfast dance parties in the kitchen to this Songza playlist, but it's just not the same. So l thought I'd brighten up a dreary January by sharing my sweet boys with you.

The weather has been up and down and all over. It's calling for a fair bit of snow tomorrow, so my fingers are crossed for a snow day. Even if there's school, at least the boys will get some more snow play - they love it. And those sweet little red cheeks when they come inside! They're so perfectly kissable.

There is one boy in this house who is SO excited for Valentine's Day. Phillip has the most open, loving heart I know - he just plain loves everyone. (Which, of course, makes this Mama proud.)  And he loves love! He doodles hearts, doles out hugs and kisses, and writes sweet "I love you" notes often. He started working on Valentines for his classmates today, but was disappointed that they didn't have the word 'Valentine' on them. He'll be modifying that, I'm sure. An example of how dedicated he is to Valentine's Day - he kept every Valentine that he received last year, and has reviewed them regularly through the year. They're tucked away, safe and sound. That boy has a big heart.

This character is so. funny. He loves laughing, being startled, and tickling. He does not love ladybugs. Uncharacteristically, he's kind of terrified of them, which is pitiful. He adores anything soft, and has been calling the soft blanket, below, his 'cat nest'. He wraps up in it for naps and at bedtime, almost completely. He is so sweet and cuddly, and loves to climb and BANG! and SQUISH! things together. All of that hard work wears him out, and he sleeps soundly.


flowers in winter

These little beauties aren't currently blooming in my house - these were from a year or two ago. But on the weekend, Phillip helped me to plant some fresh ones, so they'll be up before too long.

Really, truly - having fresh flowers in the house in the winter makes it so much more pleasant. And it's not expensive! I buy my bulbs after Christmas when they're super discounted. I also force branches, cut from trees and shrubs in our yard, which can be tied in to all sorts of science learning for kids. I'm not a huge fan of cut flowers in my house - they're pretty and all, but they don't last very long, are usually quite expensive, and little hands sometimes just can't help themselves. Branches are lovely, sculptural in and of themselves, and the flowers are just what's needed mid-winter.

I posted about forcing branches a few times before - it couldn't be much easier or more lovely. And if you're lacking in branches, come on over! I'll find you some.

Happy Tuesday!


a morning walk

We took the boys for a walk on the Tusket walking bridge this morning. It was a warm-for-January, grey, drizzly, quiet morning, and we had a lovely time together. I almost stayed home to 'get things done', but am so glad I didn't. What is more important to 'get done' than spending time with these three boys of mine? (That seems easy for me to write tonight; things have been going so very well in our house lately. Happy Mama, cooperative boys... I'm very thankful. Adam thinks that Phillip is going to be stricken with the flu, and that's why he's cuddly and sweet. I'm just going to enjoy it and hope that we continue to avoid all of the illnesses that have been going around. And around, and around...)

I also wanted to share that sweet Natalie is having a little sale in her shop -  I'm late in posting, since it ends tomorrow, but if you're looking for a little gift or treat for yourself, she creates gorgeous bookmarks to save your spot. And you thought reading couldn't be any more enjoyable! In case you haven't 'met' Natalie yet, she's the bees knees. You can follow her on her blog, Instagram (I love her sunny, homey pictures!) and if you'd like to take advantage of her sale, the post with the coupon code details is right here.

I hope that you've had a lovely weekend!



 This sweet little bird was a gift to us from some dear friends, and a friend of theirs made it. It presides over the kitchen sink as I type.

I'm just popping in yet again to share a few things I've come across lately that I thought you might enjoy, at the beginning of another week.

I love this post about struggle and real life, and being alive.

Speaking of real life, I love this post about the real design trends for 2013. (It's probably not what you're thinking!)

This Swedish apartment is very, very close to perfection. I want to snuggle up in that bed, in the beautiful light!

Good night!


darn it all

Just popping in to let you know about my sweet friend Ingrid's new Etsy shop! She knits beautifully (I have a pair of socks she made for me on my feet as I type) and is finally offering her goods to the wider world. She currently has these lovely organic cotton washcloths listed in her shop, and was knitting madly when she was here for a visit earlier today, so more things are on their way to the shop's listings. She's also begun blogging again, so pay her a little visit, won't you? (That's her picture up there, too - I snagged it with permission.)

Ingrid's husband, Jesse, also has an Etsy shop - he creates awesome portraits from pictures. And he has a promo code in his shop until January 9 - 25% off when you use the promo code 'welcome'. Definitely worth a peek!

Happy weekend!

*PS - These guys are friends, and I'm posting this for them because I love them and their goods are awesome. I guess if you count friendship and Christmas socks as payment, I've been paid for this post. But not directly.*


january skies

The sky at this time of year is so very lovely. I've been sharing some iPhone sky photos over on Instagram lately but didn't want any of you to miss out. This spot on the Tusket River is one of my favourite places to drive by on my way from school to school.

I'm feeling decidedly back to myself, and I think it was partly the rest and break from work that did the trick. This means that yesterday after work, I made yogourt, granola, and a fresh batch of kombucha. Tonight, some elerberry syrup for the boys who seem to be coming down with colds. Wow. This paragraph makes me sound kind of odd, yet awesome. I'll take that.

I *loved* reading about all of your January inspiration and plans for 2013! Thanks for sharing. Part of what I find so exciting about the new year is that everyone's in it together, feeling more or less the same way - inspired to pare down, clean up, be intentional, and tackle life. I love it.

Have a splendid weekend!


roots and branches

A friend (hi, K!) dropped off a sweet little bouquet of red berries (teeny rosehips, I think) from her yard several weeks ago. I thought they would last for a week or so and the rosehips would fall, but they have outdone themselves. This stem has begun sending out roots, so I've given it some fresh water and love, and an hoping that I may be able to coax it along enough to plant it this spring. The other day I rattled off a few of my favourite patterns in nature. Roots and branches easily qualify for the list. Along with bark lines, tree rings, mosses...

To me, this is a perfect visual of the new year: last year's rosehips and growth making way for this new year's roots and what is to come. I'm excited for 2013. Maybe it's because we got lots of rest, visits with friends and quiet time while the grandparents watched the boys - whatever the reason, I'm looking ahead and making plans. And part of my plan is to intentionally make more time for the visiting with friends and the resting and planning throughout the year. When I make the time for those things, it makes everything else fall into place.

Happy, happy new year! Are you hatching plans, too? (I'm not just posting a question for the sake of posting it - I really am curious!)