Garrett had to work all weekend, so I loaded up the dogs and the laundry and headed up to my parents’ house for the long weekend. I drove up on Friday night in time for cocktail hour, followed by steaks, salad and fresh corn-on-the-cob out on the back porch.

Saturday

The dogs were happy to join me for the weekend. They divided their time between running around and napping in sunbeams on the porch. These two have such a tough life.

On a whim, my mom and I headed out to some garage sales around town and picked up a couple of things – a sturdy card table for our extended family dinners and a heavy duty pot that we hope holds up to the abuse of my brother’s university roommates. They go through pots like crazy!

While we were out we picked up coffee/peppermint tea, grabbed all the necessary groceries to make my Italian Turkey Meatballs for dinner and drove over to this park area that my mom helped the local high school naturalize. A couple of years ago they planted a variety of plants to promote butterflies and bees, as well as filter drainage from the park as it makes its way through the watershed to the river.

It was great to see what a beautiful space they had created and all the wildlife that was flourishing there. We say ladybugs, butterflies and bees everywhere!

Back at the house, I switched into paint clothes and got started on my latest DIY project, which I’ll be sharing next week. There is nothing quite like seeing a piece start to transform when you add on paint.

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Happy Friday! I’m so excited to be on the cusp of a long weekend. I’m heading to my parents for three days of painting, boating and the annual corn roast. It’s chilly this morning, but I’m hoping that it will be a nice hot weekend to end summer with a bang.

When I started to put together this post and look at the photos I took throughout the week, only one thing came to mind – Thornbury, my family’s hometown. We went up last weekend for my cousin’s beautiful wedding (more on that on Wedding Wednesday), but it was also a chance for us to say one last goodbye to my grandfather‘s home now that its sold. I know I’ll be back to that little town again, but it was hard to think that it was the end of this chapter.

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We stayed over at my grandpa’s house, but it didn’t really feel like his house anymore. There weren’t any of his family pictures hanging on the walls, or bowling trophies on the shelves. His easy chair is gone and the house didn’t have that smell of “grandpa’s house”, so in some ways it made it much easier to be there than it was when we came for his funeral. It was just a house now, that held lots of history and good memories, but I’d let it go.

I felt I’d held it together well until my dad told me to go grab a few leaves from my tree.

You see, at the back of my grandparents’ house, they planted a red maple when I was born, and here it is today, towering over me. The last time I stood under it was for my grandfather’s 89th birthday two years ago, when we took our last family photo with him.

I tucked some leaves into my bag and told my dad that I wished there was a way we could plant some of the maple keys but they’re not ready to drop yet. Then he told me that people had been finding saplings in the yard….

…so I looked around and found five little saplings. Their leaves had been pretty beat up from the lawnmower, but I’m hoping that at least one of them will survive. Anyone know how to grow a tree?

You can always count on my little brother to lighten the mood. While going through the shed, my brother found an old fire extinguisher and thought it would be a good idea to shoot it at me. The following ensued…

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Last week I shared all the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres my superstar mom made for the wedding, but today we’re going to talk about centerpieces, decorating the cake and bringing some fresh flowers into the decor elsewhere.

There are lots of things that are optional at a wedding, but for me flowers are such a key thing…although that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on them. By buying our flowers wholesale and making the arrangements we saved a ton of money.

Centerpieces

For the centerpieces, my mom and I agreed on a relaxed, garden-like arrangement that was low enough for people to see their fellow guests across their table.

We picked out big white mums, pink carnations, white alstroemeria, pink tulips (a last minute grocery store addition) and white ranunculus, as well as babies breath, dusty miller and greenery.

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A couple weekends ago, Garrett and I loaded up the dogs in the car and headed up to cottage country for a weekend getaway with some of my film school friends.

It was such a lovely weekend to disconnect from technology and just hang out with friends. It rained a bit, but we still found ways to entertain ourselves with walks, board games and even a last minute canoe ride (where I was convinced I was going in the water).

 

The Beautiful Cottage

My dear friend Ashley was kind enough to invite us all up to her cottage. I was picturing just a simple rustic cabin in the woods, so I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into one of the cutest cottages I’ve ever been to.

A few years ago Ashley’s mom and her friends gave the whole cottage a new look with freshly painted walls and fun decor.

 Everywhere you looked there was something to catch your eye.

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Last month, my sister moved to Toronto for her new job and with that came a whole new apartment to decorate. As luck would have it, my parents were recently getting rid of some old wooden furniture from their rental cottage, including five chairs, a dresser, nightstand and little side table. They were all great pieces – solid wood and built to last – but every one had a different finish. Using Behr’s Marquee paint she was able to turn them from cottagey wood pieces to luxe neutrals fit for a big city apartment.

Taking old furniture, paint and some new linens, she was able to turn her new apartment into a cozy and bright space that it so relaxing to come home too. With two dogs, I could never have linens like this, but I just love how luxurious the creams and whites look.

The room was painted by the previous tenants and she didn’t have time to paint it before moving in, so it had to stay. The closest colour I could find is Behr Marquee Interior paint in Petal Tip.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, because the first thing we did was go on there for inspiration. In searching for lilac and lavendar rooms we got some great ideas. We started sending pins back and forth to each other, while talking about colour palettes and styles.

We quickly discovered that she was drawn to neutrals with gold touches.

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