Ikea road trip

We set out on a little road trip to Ikea on Saturday morning.  I needed to pick up a few things to finish Leslie’s screen porch, but what I was really after was a few bargains now that their new catalog has just been launched. (Not available in Canadian stores until after September 1st by the way!)

In the past I have found some major mark downs on things they discontinue to make way for the new stock!

And I wasn’t disappointed!

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DIY Wood Screen Door

I remember the first time I saw this wood screen door.  I was flipping through a favorite magazine and saw it in an ad.  I quickly checked out the vendors website only to be faced with a price tag north of $500.

Yeah.  Not going to happen.

Then it hit me.

I don’t even think Tim noticed me looking lovingly in his direction while he was engrossed in watching golf.  The wheels were turning in my mind.  I just knew he could build this for me for a fraction of the cost.  I just had to convince him that he could!

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cottage decor

As a fellow small space dweller, I am so excited to share a tour of Linda’s Cottage with you today!

There are lots of pictures to see, so grab a beverage and get comfortable!

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simple summer decor

Summer is really starting to make itself known with temperatures reaching 40 degrees (celsius) this week.  The house has had to be shut up and the air conditioning on 24/7.  Not my favorite thing.

Despite the air conditioning things were just starting to feel stuffy and blah!

When things start to feel this way, I find the need to simplify and declutter to give the house a lighter and cooler feel.

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DIY outdoor furniture

I cannot even remember where I came across this gorgeous outdoor sofa for the first time.  But I knew when I saw it, Tim was going to have another project!

I have been looking at similar outdoor furniture but the sticker shock was too much!

Do people really pay those prices?!

I am all for paying for quality but if I can figure away to save me money, I am all for giving it a go! In my experience DIY is often the best bang for your buck!

When Tim gets a bee in his bonnet to build something, he is laser focused on getting it done.  He put this sofa together over the course of a day and a half!

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Niagara Fruit

While it is no secret that my favorite season is autumn, I have to admit the limitless fresh fruits and veggies that are available this time of year is pretty amazing.  On-Farm markets are everywhere in Niagara and there is nothing quite like eating produce that has been picked fresh that morning!

I recently found a local organic farmer who offers annual CSA memberships, but also has started bringing his produce to the market each Saturday.  Chez Nous is their name, and I was zeroed in on finding their stall at the market the moment we arrived!  And find them I did.  Not surprisingly there was already a bit of a line!  I would encourage anyone local to Niagara to check them out!

While they didn’t have any fruit, the vegetables were plentiful.  We picked up some tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic and zucchini!

Niagara Fruit

Next it was off to visit the on-farm market on the Niagara River Parkway.  There are several, but our favorite is almost directly across from McFarland House.  It is just a small stand in the front yard of a farmhouse!

We picked up some local raspberries, blueberries, peaches, a basket of tiny plumbs called sugar babies (Oh. My. Word.  Best plumb ever!), and some of the first corn on the cob of the season.

I couldn’t wait to whip up a dessert with all this fresh fruit, but given the weather has now decided to reach temperatures in the high 30’s (celcius) I didn’t really want to heat the oven too high.

Meringue Tart Shell

I decided on a fresh fruit meringue tart.

A simple meringue shell only requires a 225 degree oven to bake hence not heating up the kitchen too much!

Just whip up 4 egg whites until frothy, continue beating and slowing add 1 cup granulated sugar. Continue whipping until firm peaks form and egg whites are glossy.  Spoon into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a round base, building up the sides with a row or two piped around the outside edge.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, turn off heat and allow the shells to remain in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.  (Store any leftovers in an airtight container to be used within 3 days, or freeze for longer storage)

Mixed Fruit Tart

While the meringues were in the oven I simply combined 3 cups of the fruit (raspberries, blueberries, peaches and plumbs) with 2 tbsp of sugar and set it in the refrigerator to draw out the juices.

Ontario Fresh Fruit

Topped with a dollup of whipped cream made for the perfect end to a summer dining Al fresco.

Meringue Tarts

I could have easily whipped up some coconut whipped cream, but in the spirit of not being wasteful, I thought I would use up the left over whipped topping I add first.  But this got me to thinking about sprinkling a bit of toasted coconut over top of the berries next time.

The extra meringue shells are freeze well, making it even easier to make the second time.

Needless to say we ate very well the entire weekend!

I can’t wait to share with you later this week, Tim’s burger recipe we enjoyed straight from the barbecue and piled high with grilled veggies!

Until next time…

Maureen

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You would not believe the screen porch progress that has been happening at Leslie’s house!  You can see all the before photo’s here!

With demo long since over and one very full garbage bin ready to be taken away from the driveway, construction has been running along smoothly.

Tim and my brother have been working hard but took some time off through the mini-heat wave we had last weekend.

Lets have a look at where we started!

Screen Porch Reno

Look’n a little worse for wear!

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