April 15, 2018

Spring Treat

To beat our winter blues, I made a Victoria sponge for my mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago. I thought it would be a spring-like uplifting treat. I needed to transport it to my brother's house, so I placed it in a quiche pan to prevent it from sliding around. I wrapped it up tightly with plastic wrap and it transported perfectly. Andrew has already requested I make another. I will after the snow has melted - in celebration!  

Apparently there is great debate over calling it Victoria 'Sponge' or 'Sandwich'.

~ Which do you call it? ~

April 8, 2018

Winter Beasts

There are two beasts in my life right now. One is our 'monster' deck - which has been with us since we bought this house. The other beast is this frigidly cold looooooooooong winter-spring. This year, it seems Old Man Winter has decided to become a permanent resident. He is an unwelcome visitor.

This spring or summer (when the snow finally melts) the monster deck shall be tamed. Work was estimated to begin in April (ahem) The deck, you see, is far too large. I often compare it to  a vessel from a cruise line docked beside our house. The deck will be removed and replaced by a slightly smaller version.  We are reducing the depth by almost 4 ft so it won't protrude towards the street so much. Between this adjustment and some privacy glass, sitting on the deck will be a far more private experience.
Usually by April, the deck is clear of snow. A few snow showers usually happen, but it's welcome moisture. My annuals and some select perennials are stored in the garage by now; while we till soil and tidy-up garden borders. By the end of April, I typically have all of my containers planted and simply cover them at night until end of May or early June. At 3000 ft above sea level the nights can still be quite cold.

But alas, this year is different. The golf courses are behind opening, the ski hills are closing as their seasonal staff have taken other jobs, or are returning home to Europe or Australia.

I have NEVER EVER experienced a winter here that has been so cold for so long and with this much snow accumulation. I believe we broke a record at one point, and then broke our own record. Hooray?
~ Wherever you are, be it warm or cold; take care of you and yours tonight, ~
and look forward to the good things to come..

March 17, 2018

Reframed Art

As a follow-up from my New Year Refresh post back in January, here is the final result of the pieces I had featured.
I admit I am most pleased by the Hereford bridge piece. Something about its new frame and matting makes me want to continually admire it. We have decided to make a trip to Hereford on our next UK trip, to visit this very spot.

(With new frame and matting)

(In original frame and paper mat)

This oil painting has already had three different frames. The first was done mainly in copper tones, (I can't find a picture of it). It was very pretty, but I eventually wanted something more transitional. I had it framed in a simple silver wood frame seven years ago. Recently, I thought the transitional frame didn't do the painting justice. It maybe even took away from it somehow. So, I went for a warm textured frame with an extra trim piece to really make it come alive (I kept the transitional frame for future use).

(New frame - colors and texture really stand out)

(Previous frame in a simple transitional style)

Do you have some special pieces you'd like to frame or reframe? A painting or drawing you or your children have done? Or an old painting from a family member? It's amazing what a difference a  frame can make - try it!

February 24, 2018


I love seeking-out quiet moments and interesting nuances within the places we travel to. The history and beauty that lingers in Uptown Palm Springs is such a favorite of mine.

Thank you to: Copley's, Trio, Old Las Palmas, The Movie Colony, The Colony Palms Hotel, The Purple Palm, Workshop Kitchen+Bar, Bootlegger Tiki Bar, On the Mark, Shag the Store, Sherman's and Pelago for a such memorable trip!

February 11, 2018

Desert Get-Away

Would you believe I am actually looking forward to retreating to the desert, simply for some hydration? Yes, there is more humidity in the California desert right now than there is in this frigid climate. We've broken a 130 year record for snow fall too. Such fun.
I can't take it any longer and can't wait for our upcoming desert get away. A stay at this quietly luxurious resort should be a suitable remedy...I plan to be poolside with several litres of water in hand!  

~ If you're suffering through a terrible winter too - hang in there! March is coming! ~

February 3, 2018

Again to Lilford


It's usually this time of year when I think about retreating to the refreshing damp greenery of England. I admit I would rather be there sometimes than even the warmest of destinations. While we do have a winter warm-up break planned, I can't resist looking back at our stay in Northamptonshire in February last year. We travelled to Oundle, the ancient market town bordering on Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. I am convinced the prestigious Oundle School was the inspiration for Harry Potter.
The highlight of our visit, was a drive through the countryside to see the Jacobean beauty, Lilford Hall (again).  As I have posted previously (see here), my great-great grandfather was the head gardener here. The current owners have been restoring the property and have made some excellent progress. Yes, I wish I lived in an English country manor house too!

~ Please visit Lilford Hall's website to learn more about its incredible history! ~

January 7, 2018

New Year Refresh

(A pretty view of the Rocky Mountains from the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary, AB)

We've had a warm and refreshing chinook wind here over the past few days. These mild temperatures always get me inspired for a brisk walk and doing more activities. It also seems to have inspired my desire to completely redecorate. So, before I got totally caught-up in that notion, I took action and honed in on some small scale changes.
First, I ordered new covers for our air return vents on the main floor. A small detail but a significant change. I ordered the new covers through Majestic Vent Covers in California. The ordering process online was so easy and they have many beautiful styles. I selected the 'Ribbon Grille' style in silver. Through the ordering and shipping process, Donna in their sales department was especially helpful!


The second improvement currently underway is the reframing of two pieces of art. This painting that was a gift to Andrew's father, is long overdue a proper frame. With the help of an expert at Michael's I chose a double mat with color and an interesting larger metallic wood frame. I can't wait to share the result with you.

I'm also having this oil painting reframed for the second time. I'm a little bored of its subdued transitional look and decided to go in an entirely new direction. I think the larger new frame and border will compliment the colors and make the piece more significant.

Are you making any changes to your home for the New Year? New paint? a rug perhaps? Or an new furniture arrangement? Have fun and enjoy it!