Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Confessing a minor blip in service...

So I'm going to admit that I'm in a funk. I'm not feeling up to par, my kids have had strange fevers and have needed extra hugs, stories, and patience, and my laundry is baskets deep in my basement.

The part I hate the most though is when I feel like I have absolutely no ambition or push to get things done. Its a malaise that doesn't care if the laundry gets folded or if dinner gets cooked. Its the quintessential case of the "blahs".  

Why is it that when you're stuck in these moods its even harder to pray? I always feel as if my "why bother" attitude spills over into my prayer life just when I need some supernatural support. And its even tougher when you're a mom, responsible for the tone, schedule, and harmony of your home. You just can't let the funk overtake how you care about your kids, or the rhythms of their day, or your husbands dinner and lunch for the next day. But at the same time all I want to do is wallow a little bit. 

So my compromise is that I try my best with the kids, get a load or two of laundry done, and then back off on the extras that I usually can get into my day to free up a little wallow time. And of course try not to feel guilty for the myriad of things I could be getting done. Fortunately I someone snap out of it within a few days of lazy wallowing, and I'm praying I will be able to this time too. My small, feeble, prayers anyway. Confession over. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Isn't this print adorable?
Its so sweet and romantic, and has lots of polka dots and books involved so these two must live happily ever after! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favourite Lonny room of the month!

I just thought I'd share my favorite room from Lonny this month. I'm not too sure if its really my style but it all works together so well. If anything, it feels a little dark, but the colours make me feel like I could move in tomorrow. I love the hints of gold and of course those gorgeous built-ins! First prize, however, goes to those amazing tub chairs in that whimsical fabric!

All images from Lonny.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Childish Enthusiasm

One of the things I just love about toddlerhood-or when babies start to speak for themselves-is their enthusiasm for just about anything. They have no trouble sharing their excitement over the things they find thrilling. 

Luke calls out from his car seat "Caaarr!" each time an oncoming car passes us on the highway. 

Gemma saw a big clump of dandelions the other day and exclaimed "Look mama, Dandy-lies! They're so perreeeetty!" She really sees the beauty of dandelions!

And Dominic likes to look for eggs at my parents chicken run, and each time he finds one he can't believe it and yells "EGG! EGG!" 

Their sweet love of the simple joys and wonders of their day is so much fun to watch. And of course it brings so much joy and cheer to my day. God shows us so much cheerfulness and wonder in children. 

And today being the feast of St. Phillip Neri here's a beautiful quote of his from this great article: 

"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My latest ebay score!

I love old books! They don't necessarily have to be first editions, but the older the better!  I'm trying to collect vintage editions of my favourite authors and books I like to read and high up on my list is beloved G.K. Chesterton.

I've got to admit I've never read The Club of Queer Trades, which is pretty ridiculous considering how much Chesterton I've read and how this ranks up there as one of his best novels. But this edition I found for a steal on ebay and its from 1905! 

I love the feel and smell of old books. I also love thinking who bought them, who has read them, where they have sat on bookshelves all these years. They contain a whole private history. I also love the way they look on my bookshelves, and fact that I've found them and with the great invention of ebay or sometimes in thrift stores and even the basement of my husband's grandmother! 

This book was published 2 years after Chesterton wrote The Club of Queer Trades, 106 years from today. Isn't it awesome how they used to have such intricate engravings in novels? This book has about ten and I think make the book so unique. Now that I've seen the engravings I'm more enticed to see how they fit the writing. Hopefully I'll get around to reading this soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend lack of sleep!

I thought this post deserved a beautiful bed picture since I'm going to write a little about sleep. This is one of my dream headboards by the way. I love a good upholstered headboard! 

We had a beautiful Victoria Day long weekend this past weekend, we also celebrated my daughter's birthday and my birthday which transformed into a weekend long party/barbecue at my parents house. It was a weekend of lots of fun and a couple of late nights where we didn't get to bed till after midnight. 

A couple of nights staying up past midnight and I was wrecked yesterday! At the ripe old age of 26 I can't stay up past midnight. I find it pretty hilarious really, being so unused to something that used to come so naturally! I stand firmly behind the fact that having babies makes one appreciate sleep to such an extent it seems like a sacrilege to stay up past 10 pm. Or is it because having babies wears you out faster? I swear the quantity of things I do in a day adds up to a lot of hard labour. Or am I just coming up with new ways of saying I'm old?!?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to my baby!

How does this happen?! I had the smallest little baby what seems like yesterday and now she's a fun little girl with miles of personality and a loving little heart. Today's Gemma's 4th birthday and she's celebrating with stickers, colouring books, and cupcakes. She loves all the birthday excitement and opens presents with a gusto! Happy Birthday darling!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

At Home by Bill Bryson

As much as my history nerd status may now come fully to light, I have got to write about how much I enjoyed this book. Bill Bryson sets out to write about what makes up life at home, the most important part of anyone's life no matter what era one is living in. But along the way we learn about everything from prehistoric homes in caves, to gas lighting, to locust infestations. The wonderful gift of being able to make the smallest minutia into an interesting story is Bryson's specialty and uses it with a flourish throughout this book.

I initially picked up this book because of my own love of the home and wondered what amusing tidbits of history things in the home have picked up over the years, but At Home is a treasury of Jeopardy fodder! Discussions of history, exploration, architecture, archeology, agriculture, fashion, medicine, and hygiene abound in every chapter. But its the small stories behind the other inventor of the electric lightbulb, or the importance of the discovery of vitamins, or the daily life of an English servant in the nineteenth century which become riveting. 

Bryson tries to focus upon what made life at home as we know it today. And surprisingly it is mostly the result of tremendous technological innovations of the last two hundred years. Bryson focuses mostly upon life in Britain and then America as these two countries were the hotbeds of technological growth in the modern age. I found many examples of English life explained that I had wondered about while reading Victorian classics. It is truly amazing how many different aspects of history affect our life today within the home, this book gives a great knowledge of life in the past and should leave each reader marvelling at our luck being born into our present age.

Bryson writes with exceptional wit which makes his histories entertaining. He recounts most facts objectively and I found little tendency of the author to leave liberal biases upon the page. Of course, he writes from a secular viewpoint, but did not harass religion outright, a trait which grows more uncommon with today's contemporary history writers. This book is well worth the memorable trip through history exploring the remarkable ways in which our home life has come to be.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Washin Windows today!

Well, I'm going to break down today and wash windows. I've officially reached grime overload. Washing windows to most people is usually a standard on the weekly cleaning list but when you've got 3 littles who practically manufacture their own "stick", clean windows are so far down the cleaning list they only register twice a year, or in dire circumstances, e.g. your mother in law coming over. 

Now with the longer daylight, my windows appear as if there is a opaque filter from floor level to about three and a half feet up. I'm going to windex them up and scrub them to Martha Stewart standards even if they only last 5.5 minutes! The only problem is now that I'm noticing months worth of finger grime on the windows, I'm seeing that in reality it covers most walls and pretty much anything kid level. I'll be here for a while...

Monday, May 16, 2011

May Monday-ness

I love May! Its just a wonderful month where things finally turn to spring up here! Right now as I look out my window the first beautiful baby green buds of the trees are out, and I see baby calves grazing on fresh green grass. I also bought my annual flowers this weekend-which always makes me happy-so I'll be planting those when I get a chance! 

This weekend my husband and I got to go out for a little date night, a movie and some drinks afterwards! Motherhood expands your capacity for joy for so much of life, but it really increases your enjoyment of small things like getting out for a movie with your husband! Also in my breaking news; I got a haircut. Will wonders never cease!?

Another wonderful May perk-my birthday! This Thursday is my daughter's birthday and she will be turning 4! Does 4 mean she's no longer a "toddler" but a "child", she most definitely will not be referred to by that dreadful word "pre-schooler" but what happened to my "baby"?!? My birthday is the day after, which means we have a whole weekend full of celebrating and a great excuse to eat cupcakes for a few days in a row! 

Have a great week-enjoy May!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stunning Scandinavian Style!

Sometimes I wish I was born in Sweden so that this kind of sweet, colourful, and terribly cool Scandinavian style would come naturally to me too! This beautiful home has such a great take on Scandinavian style while still having a kick for vintage, along with a healthy dose of warmth and lightheartedness! This home is the beautiful creation of Ida and the subject of her cute Norwegian blog Sukkertøy for øyet or "candy for the eye". I'm going to keep my google chrome running to stay up to date with this beauty!

All images from Sukkertøy for øyet

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Fashion File by Janie Bryant

Let it be known I'm a huge Mad Men fan so I was excited to read anything about the gorgeous styles that Janie Bryant brings to the show, but this book was a lot more fun than even I anticipated! 

Unlike most fashion books out there that focus primarily on which style of jeans you should be buying while being written in the usual twaddle of an entertainment show, Bryant writes with a enthusiasm and Southern wit which makes for an enjoyable read. She sprinkles in a few of her techniques she uses for the show which clearly show her genius, but most importantly she encourages the pursuit your own personal style. Through accessories, fit, and vintage pieces, Bryant inspires a dramatic and personal style for your everyday dressing. 

Bryant's love for vintage and chapter on how to shop for vintage was what I enjoyed most. She has a great eye towards what vintage pieces work with todays fashion and has chic ideas on how to gradually add vintage to one's wardrobe without breaking the bank or crossing the line into dressing like an old lady. 

Although the book has moments of being a tad out of touch with regular women's wardrobes, and Bryant's personal closet sounds alot like MGM's costume department, I think the inspiration she gives to building a stylish attitude and wardrobe is helpful, especially to those of us stuck in a rut. If you like a little talk about beautiful clothes and love the classic look of Mad Men, The Fashion File is a fun guidebook.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


"The first things must be the very fountains of life, love and birth and
babyhood; and these are always covered fountains, flowing in the quiet
courts of the home." -G.K. Chesterton

Lately, we've been running around outside splashing in puddles, getting covered in sidewalk chalk, and all-around being just completely dirty. Its made me think about how fun and new everything is to a toddler. 

Right now, as seasons of motherhood go, I'm right smack dab and buried in toddlerhood! My oldest turns 4 next week and then I've got a 29 month old and an 18 month old. As soon as they're awake the questions, narration, tantrums, fights, singing, and constant requests start and continue until they're napping! And as most mom's of toddlers can attest, I spend a majority of time saying no to things, or at least trying to divert attention to something else so I don't have to say no, and cleaning up after them. Sometimes I watch in wonder as a completely tidy little room goes to complete war-zone in a matter of mere moments! 

But the sweetness of toddlerhood is watching your little people see things, do things, say things for the first time. From Luke's adorable swift, determined, baby walk, to Dominic's first formed questions, to Gemma's daily changing imaginary games. The bright joy they bring to everyday events, and of course their own crazy, unique, perspective on everything from the sounds they hear in Church to why the phone rings, are hilarious gifts I don't want to miss. 

And thats why I'm going to enjoy my toddler's days and hope I never forget the daily craziness! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Some pretty favourites!

The always beyond pretty BHLDN bridal boutique just came out with their decor line which is perfect for weddings but I would love to live with it everyday! I especially love these awesome champagne glasses-pink and gold!-you just can't help feeling like Myrna Loy in The Thin Man drinking from this perfect style. 

I'm a sucker for the faux-bois, twiggy look! And the hammered-look pitcher is gorgeous, I would use it everyday to pour my daily Long Island Ice Tea!

And white ceramic beauty is always welcome in my house! These birdie napkin rings are so wonderful! Do you think they would survive dinner with 3 toddlers who would think they were fun new toys? 

Friday, May 6, 2011

A quick happy mother's day!

"One day, all human accomplishments will be reduced
to a pile of ashes. But every single child to whom a
woman has given birth will live forever, for he has been
given an immortal soul made to God’s image and
likeness." -Alice von Hildebrand

She's a heavy hitter that A.v.H! I'm putting that up partly for myself because I've been getting a little grumpy this week as my husband's been working some really long hours. I swear, sometimes you don't think husbands do much until they're gone for a while! So, having to dress, redress and undress kids, x3, a couple million times a day so that they can have fun doing messy things outside is getting me kinda tired. I'm sure I'll perk up given 20 or so minutes of frivolous tv or a couple glasses of wine! Happy (Mother's Day) Weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I love orange


Yes, for the record I think my favourite colour is orange. My house has orange walls, I've been gravitating (and buying) orange tops and accessories this spring, and whenever I see a punch of it I instantly feel cheerier! And isn't it nice of Kate Spade to make orange their colour of the month for May, my birthday month.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Playing Outside!

 So its finally feeling like spring here in Alberta! The last week the kids and I have been outside A LOT most days. These pictures are from a weeks or so earlier when there was still the last snow drifts hanging around and huge puddles everywhere! 

I've gotta say that one of my favourite things in life is watching these crazy kids play. Just watching them randomly toddle here and there, explain their imaginary games to each other, pick up rocks and whatever else they find in their travels, it's so adorable and I could do it all day! Well, maybe not all day. But it really warms my heart and I'm so glad my kids have had the opportunities for play from the very beginning. I think play is so important to childhood. It gives them the freedom that childhood is at its most essential. 

I wonder if many moms miss the sweetness and beauty of their child's play. Are they too busy or working? Or are the kids too scheduled, pre-schooled, and activity-ed that they aren't granted the opportunity often enough? I'm just struck by the importance of play sometimes, it just seems so precious. Kids thrive on it, and of course it brings them so much happiness! We've been living out in the country and seeing my kids wonder and run freely without worrying about cars, yards, or strangers walking by, makes me think the sacrifices we make to stay here are worth it. The distance to my husband's work, the different expenses (Gas!), and the come-and-go feelings of being isolated from like-minded friends! 

But choices made for childhood and family have lasting and beautiful results! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Possession by A.S. Byatt


I'm so happy I finally read Possession by A.S. Byatt! It was just as good, if not better, than all its raving reviews. A.S Byatt's mastery of prose is such beauty to read, and especially with this book draws you in completely.

The story surrounds two very different literature scholars who happen upon a mystery in the life of a nineteenth century poet. Both Roland and Maud, the two scholars, are carefully drawn by Byatt, as usual with an objective air, which instantly gives them credibility and a likability which is only found in honestly written characters. Their complex relationship plays out alongside the mystery of Randolph Henry Ash, a famous nineteenth century poet whose love affair with another poet, Christobel LaMotte, comes to light through newly discovered letters.  Roland and Maud have to find the answers to an increasingly perplexing series of literary discoveries before their competitors and contemporaries pounce upon them. The plot which changes between the modern and the Victorian is beautifully intertwined and remains riveting till the end.

What makes A.S. Byatt so great however, is her ability to involve philosophical ideas and themes throughout her stories. Many layers of ideas, philosophical, literary, sociological, theological are explored throughout the novel. Byatt is a professed atheist, and I if could go back to a university class based upon her work I would strive to write a killer paper showing how often she brings important theological themes to light within her novels. Questions of faith, love, the meaning of life, the importance and immortality of ones work and writings, are just some of what is raised throughout this book. Byatt's writing makes it almost surprising that so many issues are explored for the story is so interesting and beautiful.

I am just pointing out a very slim qualities of this book, and really haven't done it justice at all as a review, but it is much worth a read and will be loved for years to come! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Florals!





In need of a little monday pick-me-up? Here's some of my favourite floral rooms-as I like to say I've never met a floral pattern I didn't like! I especially love the gorgeous floral drapes flanked by bookcases! One day I'm going to have a room like that! Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

JPII Blessed Today!

Just had to mention that today in Rome Pope John Paul II will become a Blessed, the first step to official Sainthood in the Church. His influence on my life through his writings, teachings, and of course, holy example is great. I still get tingles of awe when I think about the two times I saw him in person, from a distance in the huge crowds of World Youth Day. His impact on the world and millions of lives inside and outside of the Church is immeasurable. For a run-down on the truly awesome event that is the beatification check out this article. Blessed John Paul II - Pray For Us!


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