A corn maze in PEC

We took the kids to Campbell’s Orchards in Prince Edward County this past weekend.  It was packed with people looking for pumpkins, apples, gourds and hay rides.

Campbell’s has ducks, dogs, kittens, an enormous pig (we thought she was pregnant, but now seems to look the same size each time we go), a swing set and a giant sandbox for the kids to play in.  It is a great change of scenery for us and the kids when we are at the cottage.

We go to Campbell’s in the summertime for fruits, veggies and a play in the sandbox, followed by yummy Kawartha ice cream.

In the fall, they have two corn mazes – one for kids and one for adults.   For the kid’s maze, they give each child a clip board. They have to find pictures of things in the maze that would be good for making yummy pies and then draw pictures of the items.
corn mazecorn maze search

The kids loved running off the path into the corn stalks and going in different directions trying to get lost.
corn maze 2There are some little kittens at Campbell’s. We have watched them grow all summer.  Their names are Mac and Tosh.  They were also hiding in the corn fields…
corn maze 3corn maze kids  Definitely stop by Campbell’s if you are over in PEC.  We look forward to another visit later this fall!

Fall cottage essentials

Even though the days can be sunny and beautiful (we were actually water skiing last year on Thanksgiving weekend), the nights can be downright chilly during fall cottage season. This is one of my favourite months at the cottage when the leaves are turning, the nights are so cool that you need a fire in the fireplace, and the corn mazes are open in Prince Edward County.

Here are some things that you will need in September and October at your cottage that will make you happy and/or warm.

#1 UGGS

I don’t care what anyone says, I love Uggs and I think they are soooo stylish. You might think they are ugly, but they are some of my most favourite footwear.  Sometimes I want to sleep in them.  I have a dark brown, tall pair that my husband bought for me about 5 years ago.  I had them dry cleaned last year and they came out looking gorgeous. I am thinking about getting another pair because I love them so much. Maybe grey this time. I wear them in the winter, on the coldest of Toronto winter days, with bare feet and I am always warm and toasty.

I love my Uggs.
uggs

#2 COZY BLANKETS

This is the one thing that you can never have enough of. The old, wool blankets that have been around the cottage for decades are the best.  They are so warm and classic.

Orange blanket from Canadian Etsy shop Blankets & Cie, grey blanket from Pottery Barn, striped blanket from HBC

Orange blanket from Canadian Etsy shop Blankets & Cie, grey blanket from Pottery Barn, striped blanket from HBC

#3 SWEATERS

Sweater weather has arrived! Does anyone remember these big bulky wool sweaters from the 1990’s?  They sold them in stores called Balta or Ola at Upper Canada Mall among other places.  I think you can get them on Etsy now. I had a couple in grade 9 or 10, packed them away and now wear them at the cottage in the fall.  They are perfect for cottaging because they are over sized and you can put layers of fleece and hoodies underneath.
bulky sweaters#4 WORK GLOVES

If you’re going to be closing your cottage for the winter in the coming weeks, you will need a good pair of gloves for working…weeding the garden, taking out the dock, sweeping out the fire pit.

"everything gloves" from Williams Sonoma

“everything gloves” from Williams Sonoma

#5 MOUSE TRAPS

Inevitably, at this time of year at the cottage, there are mice. I am terrified of mice.  I know it is ridiculous but I actually feel almost paralyzed when I see one. Last weekend at the cottage, we were preparing a meal for the kids and after I took it out of the oven and sat it on top of the stove, a mouse ran right across the middle of it. As I stood on top of the island in the kitchen shreeking, my two and four year old stared at me with wide-eyes. I said to them in a very calm voice “uh, no need to be afraid of mice guys…they really are more scared of us”.  Who am I kidding??  Mouse traps are a definite must. Eek.

eek

Happy cottaging!!

Sunday and the TTC

This past Sunday, we were looking for something fun to do with the kids.  We thought about the Science Centre and the Aquarium, but quickly put those places out of our minds, remembering how jammed they can get during weekends in the fall.  We asked the  kids what they wanted to do and their answer was simple: “Ride the subway!” So we packed a bag of snacks, bought a family day pass for $11 and rode the rocket for the afternoon.  We went in all sorts of directions, transferring trains several times and even hopped off to grab some ice cream at Nathan Phillips Square.

So parents, next time you are thinking of a big plan for your Saturday or Sunday with the small kids, go easy on yourselves (and your bank account), and hop on the subway!

It really is the small things 🙂

Who knew this could be so much fun!

Who knew this could be so much fun!

Reliably, there was a 30 minute delay. Everyone vacated the trains except us.  You can run around all you want when you have a train completely to yourself!

There was a 30 minute delay at Chester. Everyone vacated the trains except us. You can run around all you want when you have a train completely to yourself!

 

Heart Art

For my daughter’s new big girl room, I created a piece of art using paint chips.  I had fun doing this and it was so easy and inexpensive.

I started by collecting 40-50 paint chips.  I tried to be discreet while doing this at Canadian Tire so as not to look like a hoarder. Or a really indecisive painter.  Anyway, who really cares – they are free!

I painted a white canvas in a light, light shade of pink.  I gave it the messy, sloppy paint look.
Heart Art canvas

I then traced and cut-out heart after heart.
Heart Art 1

Heart Art 2

I discovered that I had too many hearts to fit on my canvas so I made a word memory game with the left overs.  My 4 year old son loved it while we played on the back deck together.

Heart Art 3Once the canvas was dry, I glued the hearts to it and had an instant piece of art that my daughter loves. It is going to look great in her room! I painted her walls light grey so this will add a pop of colour.

Ta da…
photo (2)

 

Back to School

Yesterday was the first day of SK for my little guy.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling him about school and preparing him for the change ahead. He seemed excited and even thrilled to go back…

photo (1)

But as we approached the classroom door, I could feel the grip on my hand getting tighter and tighter. He looked up at me and said “I want to go to art camp today”.  As I stood to the side watching, the teacher peeled him away from my husband as he yelled “I don’t wanna go!”  He came home from school and seemed happy, but did tell me that he wouldn’t be returning to school the following day.

The following day (today), the same thing happened – lots and lots of crying at the door. I went in for a big hug and a kiss, said “bye bye, I love you” and walked straight to work. Once he could no longer see me, I looked back and I could see that his tears were gone and he was chatting up his friends on the playground, having a nice time.  The show was all for me.

We went through this for about a month last year at the beginning of JK.  It really upset me, but I learned that it’s like ripping off a band-aid – lots of hugs and kisses on the first few days, but after that, you have to do the “drop and run”.

Who can really blame him though?  If I were 4 and just came off two months of sleeping in, swimming, ice cream, tennis camp, art camp, boat rides, tube rides, cousin sleepovers, 2 visits from the Tooth Fairy, cottage, cottage and more cottage, I would not want that to end either. What a summer!

To all those returning to school this week and to those just beginning – our niece as she enters her first year of university, our nephew Eason as he starts JK, my friend Sarah who began her Masters of Teaching, and to all my teacher friends – happy school year!

 

 

A pretty DIY night stand for a pretty little girl

I am redecorating my 2 year old daughter’s room.  It is full of DIY projects which I am excited to share very soon.

I came across an estate sale near the cottage and picked up this side table for $10.  My in-laws bought the other one for the cottage, which is great, in case we ever want to have a matching pair again one day. They came from the home of an 80 year old couple. Everything in the house was very old and these tables were screaming for some TLC.

I thought it would be perfect for a small lamp and books.  My daughter will love to fill the drawers up with her important stuff.

IMG_2726

What you will need:
Sandpaper – 100 and 180
Hand sander
White spray paint
Mask
Light pink paint
Scrapbooking paper from Michael’s to line the drawers

What you will need: Sandpaper - 100 and 180  Hand sander White spray paint Primer Mask

I absolutely hate prepping and priming when I do a project.  Have I mentioned that before?  I want to see instant results.  Well, I certainly learned my lesson with this project.  I chose a can of white paint and after sanding the table, I began putting the paint on in thin layers.  Literally, seconds after I brushed the paint on, I could see the old wood just soaking it right up.  The same thing happened after coats 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, which gradually got thicker and thicker.  As soon as a coat went on, the red colour of the wood would show through. I have painted furniture before and I really should have known better.  I guess I just thought I would try to cut some corners this time…

IMG_2731 IMG_2728

Finally, I went and bought some primer. After more sanding, I used a grey spray primer which worked right away.  Then, another 2 paint coats on top of the primer, and the table finally looked covered.

However, I was unhappy with the way that it dried because the brush stroke lines were quite visible.  I ended up sanding it with a light sandpaper to take the ridges away and while sanding, I went down to the primer and original wood.  I decided that I loved the way the “shabby chic” finish looked on this piece. I decided to sand the whole thing to create patches everywhere.  Instant results!!
shabby chic
I love the unique shape of the drawer pulls. They are so old, yet so funky looking. I wanted to keep their original look, but at the last minute I decided that it didn’t work, so I sprayed them with white gloss paint. I also painted the back of the little cubby in pink.

before and after

In the end, the things that I would have done differently are:
1. Use a primer.  I will never again try to paint wood without a primer.
2. Use spray paint instead of putting paint on with a brush.  I am working on another piece of furniture for my daughter’s room right now which I am using spray paint for, and it is giving me a much smoother finish.

Shabby chic (pronounced: “sheek”) is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their
appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.
At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottage-style decor, often with an affected feel is emphasized to differentiate it from genuine period decor.

That was a just little shout out for my MIL, who looked at me, puzzled, this weekend when I told her about my plans for the “shabby chic” finish.  She replied with “shabby what?”

Stay tuned for more DIY furniture projects 🙂

 

Fashion Friday

I’ve been shopping at Jacob since I was in grade 9. They have always been great for basic and affordable wardrobe staples and lots of really special pieces too.  The company has had its share of ups and downs over the years and each time, seem to keep themselves afloat.

For those of you who don’t know, Jacob Inc. filed for bankruptcy in the spring and since then, have been closing stores across Canada. Recently, I read that they were granted extended creditor protection, which could allow them to relaunch and keep some of their stores open.  Fingers crossed!  If they can make a come back, it would be fantastic. I must own 100’s of things from this store from over the years.  It would truly be the end of a clothing era for me 😦

If you’re looking for cardigans, pencil skirts, cute summer dresses, or a cozy fall sweater, head over to the Bloor Street location ASAP. The bottom floor is full of older stock and off-season items.  I saw a box of belts the last time I was there for $5!

This is one of my favourite Jacob dresses.  I have it in two other colours, but the navy is by far the most versatile and easy to style.  I wear it in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Tights, boots and a blazer in the winter and heels in the summer time.

Happy shopping and Happy Friday!

photo (1)Dress: Jacob – from a couple of years ago, similar at J.Crew
Shoes and necklace: Banana Republic, Ivie Sandal
Bracelet: Stella & Dot, Jackie Link bracelet