Happy Friday! Last night we picked up the keys to the farmhouse and got to working cleaning it from top to bottom. With all the rooms empty, it was a good time to give everything a deep clean before we start loading it up. Today we’re starting to move and we’ll continue tomorrow when friends and family join us to do the big stuff. Then on Sunday…I’m turning 30! How did that happen?

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Long Weekend: I went to my parents house for the Victoria Day long weekend and had a great time. It was a fun and busy weekend with painting the porch, checking out garage sales and heading out in the boat. It really started to feel like summer.

The dogs were happy to have lots of space to run around and play…and then sleep in the boat. I can’t wait to get them out to the farmhouse after the move for their new life as country dogs.

One of the best parts about being at my parents in the summer is that we almost always eat outside. Whether it’s fresh muffins on the back porch for breakfast or cocktail hour on the dock, we spend as much time as we can outdoors.

Garage Sales: I’ve always liked driving around with my parents to garage sales, but right now they’ve taken on a whole new meaning. We’ve gotten some amazing finds the last few weeks and this last weekend was probably our best haul. I spent less than $100 and got most of the yard maintenance equipment we need, including a lawn mower, electric edge trimmer, hedge trimmer, branch clipper, snowblower, snow shovel, antique wheelbarrow plus some kitchen stuff…and Girl Guide cookies (they were the thin mint ones which are virtually impossible to pass up).

I was so proud of myself for getting such great deals, and then I went to the appliance store and definitely went over the hundred dollar threshold! For a long time Garrett and I have dreamed about having our own washer, dryer and dishwasher. They may seem like trivial things, but after years of hand washing all our dishes and doing laundry at our parents’ houses, these are big luxuries for us.

We feel like real grown ups now, ha! Everything gets delivered tomorrow and we’ll be washing our dishes in no time!

Moving Day: This is what I woke up to this morning (and there are two more piles like it). Thankfully it will all be moved out by tomorrow afternoon. Phew. I can’t wait.

We got to the farmhouse after dinner last night and stopped to watch the sunset out by the field. I still can’t believe that this is our home and that we get to take on this adventure together. It really is a dream come true.

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I hope you have a lovely Friday and Happy Memorial Day weekend to all my American friends!

Pinch me. I still can’t believe it’s true. Tomorrow we’re going to be homeowners of an old country home. For real.

We’re moving back to the area I grew up in and word has gotten around town that we bought this old farmhouse. The first thing that everyone asks is if we’re getting rid of is that lattice on the porch. You better believe I’ll have it all tore off before sundown tomorrow! The house had been rented out for years by the farmer and while they freshened up the inside for the sale you can see there are years of potential projects here. (Including how on earth we’re going to hide that well pipe?)

We were originally going to completely redo the front porch in the first week or so, but my dad found out that we have a squatter that is going to make us wait just a little longer.

Can you see them up in the rafters of the porch? (And doesn’t this look like the start of the growing vines scene from Jumanji?)

We’ll leave Mama Robin alone to hatch her babies and teach them to fly. There is PLENTY that we can do in the meantime, so I’m not worried about the setback!

P.S. – If you don’t already, you can follow along with more of the move and renovations on Instagram. I’d love for you to pop by and say hi there!

I spent the long weekend at my parents place and we had just the best weather. It was so warm and sunny, which made for good porch painting weather. Usually we eat most of our meals out on the porch, but with it all torn up to paint, we had to look elsewhere.

cocktail-hour-on-the-dock
That’s when my mom and sister got the great idea to have a Saturday night cocktail hour down at the dock.

canada-geese-babies

We could sit out on the picnic table, let the dogs run around and watch the new Canada Geese babies.

baked-artichoke-spinach-dip-cocktail-hour-on-the-dock
They put together an awesome spread – shrimp cocktail, a selection of crackers and cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, aged cheddar with carmelized onions and bruschetta goat cheese) and baked artichoke spinach dip with warm pita wedges.

baked-artichoke-spinach-dip
Often our recipes are based on what we have on hand in the kitchen. My sister made up this recipe, drawing inspiration from a few different ones and using what we had. It turned out so good that I knew I had to share it.

Baked Artichoke Spinach Dip

What you’ll need:

  • 14 oz can whole artichokes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 10 oz frozen block of spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 8 oz (250 g) brick of cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Drain artichokes and chop in food processor with garlic cloves. Thaw and squeeze out excess moisture from spinach. Add to processor with softened cheese and mayonnaise, and seasonings. Blend well but do not puree. You want the dip to have texture. Stir in grated cheese.

Spread in oven proof pan and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until light brown and bubbling.

baked-artichoke-spinach-dip
Serve with crackers or pita bread that has been brushed with oil, lightly salted and toasted in the oven.

Happy Long Weekend Friday! It’s the Victoria Day weekend here in Canada, which is always one of my favourite summer holidays, partly because Queen Victoria and I share a birthday (May 24th!), but also because it’s the official kick off of summer. The weather might not be here yet and kids still have another five weeks of school, but you better believe we’re going to make the most of this time between now and September.

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Mother’s Day - We had a really nice Mother’s Day visiting our families. We started off the morning picking up Garrett’s Nana and taking her over to his parents’ house for fresh baked muffins (I used this recipe and swapped the raisins for dark chocolate chips)

 

When we arrived they surprised us with a forsythia bush for the farmhouse. Come next spring, this thing will be covered in bright yellow leaves. I can’t wait to find a spot to plant it. We’ve already accumulated a collection of plants and clippings from family and friends. Now we just have to do a little bit of landscape planning to figure out where it should all go.

 In the afternoon we headed over to my parents’ place for a bbq dinner and one of my sister’s epic cakes. This rich chocolate cake was so good, especially with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream.

Right after we heated up the barbecue, it started to rain really hard. Garrett was son-in-law of the year when he agreed to head out with a huge golf umbrella and man the grill.

First Anniversary Dinner: We celebrated our anniversary a day later, with a quiet dinner out on Monday night. We dressed up and I wore my earrings from the wedding. We went to The Keg for dinner because not only do they have awesome steaks, but they’re really good about my peanut and nut allergy. The manager personally delivered all our food and kept coming back to make sure everything was okay.

One of our favourite parts is the freshly baked bread they bring to the table. It’s ridiculously good and I always end up eating more than I should. I can’t usually eat bread at restaurants due to cross contamination for my allergies, but they make theirs safe.

Our steaks were awesome. Garrett had the prime rib in honour of our wedding dinner, and I went with a blacked sirloin.

 

We were both absolutely stuffed at the end, but they surprised us with a nut-free creme brulee for dessert because it was our anniversary. I rarely eat dessert out (again, because of the allergies) so this was a real treat.

Back at home with already had our complimentary anniversary cake from the cake lady waiting for us, but we didn’t get into it until the next day. There was no way I could have another bite – not even for cake! We’ve been enjoying it every night this week.

Long Weekend Dreaming - They’re calling for hot temperatures and rain this weekend, so I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. If the weather can hold off, my dad and I are planning to paint their back porch. After doing the pool deck last summer, we realized the porch could use some fresh paint too. It’s good practice for all the painting all be doing at our own house!

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Do you have any fun plans for this weekend? Whatever you do, I hope it’s a good one!

Sunday was our first anniversary and I truly can’t believe that the year since our wedding has gone by that quickly.

In some ways it feels like it just happened and at the same time it’s like we’ve always been married. This year has been mixed with its share of highs and lows, but thankfully we’ve always had each other to lean on, whether it was for a laugh or a cry.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, so we watched our wedding video and postponed our anniversary celebration for a dinner out last night. I got sentimental looking back through the pictures and the blog, and reliving all the little touches that made it such a great day.

 I loved looking at all the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages my mother made. She is so incredibly talented and knowing that my mom was the designer made it that much better.

She also did the cake flowers and centrepieces.

Remembering the search for the perfect dress and making my own DIY veil.

Thinking about how handsome Garrett looked and laughing at his two watches. (One on his wrist, one in his pocket. There was no way he was going to be late.)

Painting vintage frames and designing printed signs for our guests.

Being surrounded by all our loved ones when we officially became husband and wife.

Staying up late to paint signs for the venue.

Decorating the mantel with moss covered letters, and mercury glass.

Giving our guests DIY Honey Jar Wedding Favours and Wildflower Seed Packets. (I still have so much of both. Can’t wait to spread some of these seeds at our house this summer!)

My beautiful bridesmaids

Garrett and his handsome groomsmen. An evening of food, music and dancing to Frank Sinatra.

But what really made this day perfect was that I was beside this guy. Forever and always.
 

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