birdhouse

What on earth happened to April?!  Between my computer completely and utterly dying a slow painful death, 2 birthdays (with 4 more to go this month), Mother’s Day and getting somewhat caught up on a few projects, it is suddenly half way through May.

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vanilla berry charlotte

I don’t know about you, but sometimes Sunday dessert outshines Sunday dinner by a long shot!  Yesterday was just one such Sunday.

I was leafing through some old issues of a recipe magazine and I came across a recipe for this Vanilla Berry Charlotte and knew I was going to make it before the weekend was done!

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When is the last time you got something in the mail that you actually wanted to get?!  With the age of technology my trip to mail box these days brings nothing but bills and junk mail.  That is why I was so excited to find the Food Pen Pals Program.

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cupboard door chalkboard

Have you ever been intimidated to try something new, but then when you did try it you wondered what the heck you were afraid of!  That was me with chalk paint.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that some pretty amazing projects are being created using chalk paint.

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Lavender Lemon Sweet Tea

Today I am delighted to be guest posting over at my friend Jeanie’s blog Create & Babble!  Jeanie is incredibly creative gal and she can really rock a power tool!  Not to mention the projects she does with a Silhouette machine!

So, what are you waiting for?!  Pop on over to Create & Babble and check out my recipe or Lavender Lemon Sweet Tea and be sure to have a look around.  You will not be disappointed!

Till next time…..

Maureen



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Are you thinking I am out of my mind?  That Zen and Home Renovation are oxymoron’s!  I can assure you that a home renovation project does not have to be a stressful experience if you follow a few simple steps.

This is a lesson I learned last year when I participated in the One Room Challenge and renovated our living room last year, complete with DIY plywood plank floors!  I made the entire experience far more stressful than it had to be.  I am surprised my husband is still talking to me!

Here a few tips to ensure your next DIY home renovation project is more Zen-like experience than a project leaving you wanting to pull your hair out and not speaking to your significant other.

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Are you loving the home that you have?  If you are anything like me your easy answer will be a resounding “NO”.  Enter Melissa Michaels’ new book Love the Home You Have.  Michaels, who writes the most charming “nesting” blog The Inspired Room has hit a home run with this book that I believe is going to speak to home owners (and renters) no matter what season in life they are in.

Be it a first rental apartment or your forever home I think we all have issues with really loving where we are.  The world of Pinterest, to which I am completely emerged, sometimes does us no favours when it comes to our expectations.  Michaels’ teaches you how to take from Pinterest what will work for your home.  And this is just one small thing you will learn from this book!

Take my living room remodel last year.  I pinned several pictures that while I knew would never work in my limited space, they did highlight one or two features that knew I could incorporate in a style all my own.

Love the lampshade!

My inspiration photo (source)

Pottery Barn Inspired Lamp

                                                                                My Pottery Barn inspired lamp makeover

I am only a few chapters into the book, but I cannot believe how much it speaks to me and my relationship with my home.  This is our forever home.  I am not sure that was the intention when we bought the home, but given that I want to retire in 5 years (give or take), we do not want to be saddled with a big mortgage.

With only 500 square feet of living space on the main floor and about another 500 finished basement, it is a small house.  It has only been the last couple of years that I have even begun to embrace our home as anything but a roof over our heads.  Love the Home You Have has been an eye opener and I am ready to jump in with both feet.

 I have to admit I am guilty of not treating our home the way it deserves.  Living in such a small space it essential to utilize every single square foot, either for storage or for living.  When you don’t love the home you have it is easy just to let things be just good enough.  To think, “why bother”, and not to create a more beautiful and organized space.

That is exactly what I did with this next space I am about to show you.  You would think that living in 1000 square feet with a spouse and 2 20-something daughters, I would want every inch of space liveable.  Well, apparently not.

I will warn you that these next pictures are not pretty.  I hang my head in shame actually.  You may want to look away!  Or maybe, just maybe you have a room in your home that is rarely used and has just been let go to collect everything no-one knows what to do with!

Okay, no more putting it off…..

den before

Let me explain.  This didn’t always look like this.  Just late last year it was completely functional as my office, which I used when I did typing from home for a physician.  When I gave that up, I just didn’t need to go in there much.  It didn’t take long to become the landing pad for everybody’s stuff.

Here is another sorry view….

den before

You can see why Love the Home You Have has really hit home with me.  Looking at these pictures confirm I have not loved my home the way it deserves.  The way I deserve.  It is time I start reclaiming space in our small home!

I have already felt a shift in my attitude and dare I say “hope” that my love and appreciation for my home will blossom into the home I have always dreamed of having.  Just on a smaller scale!!

Now that I have shown you the ugly, are you intrigued to find out how this all unfolds? I will be sharing the details on Wednesday, so be sure to subscribe for free updates!

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 Now, don’t wait another minute.  Get your copy of Love the Home You Have and start a journey to a more beautiful and organized home today!

Love the Home You Have: Simple Ways to…Embrace Your Style *Get Organized *Delight in Where You Are (affiliate link)

Vanilla Lavender Cake

Sometimes my inspiration for baking comes from most surprising places!  While I was reading some posts in the #FrenchKissLife facebook group page, someone mentioned they had treated themselves to a night out their favorite restaurant and had a picture of the Vanilla Lavender Cake they had for dessert.  I knew I had to try and make it for myself.

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Oh, how I have struggled this year to find an eating plan that works for me (and my family).  Trust me, I have tried several.  All of which have given many people amazing results, but for one reason or another just did not make sense to me personally.  A couple of these of required cutting out whole food groups entirely.  And, while this works wonderfully for many people, I just cannot wrap my head around the concept.  I like milk, I like grains and while I certainly need to cut way back, I like sugar even if just in the form of a natural sweetener.  I really wanted to love these eating plans but there is no point in setting myself up for failure with a lifestyle I know I cannot maintain (and be happy about it!).

However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that as I approach my 50th birthday later this year that time is running out to make a big change in the way I eat to help ensure a long and healthy life!

Luck would have it one morning as I was watching Breakfast Television Toronto, a home economist and cookbook author Mairlyn Smith was on and talking about healthy food choices.  Well, actually she was talking about national fart day, but that is a whole other story!

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Spring Table

To officially welcome spring I thought it was time to spruce up the Sunday dinner table.  I had dinner in the slow cooker, complete with cranberry roast beef, baby carrots and mini red potatoes.

Sounds like a dinner that deserved a special spring table setting to me!

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