We are loving our new fence! Its added a lot to our outdoor ambience,
more than I imagined it would. Progress continues on the upper level,
and the next project is to spread pea gravel all around the shed and tomato garden area.
The weeds have been growing all over the ground, and my solution was to snuff some out with this old oriental runner until we get the weed barrier put down and then the gravel. I planted an eggplant in addition to my tomatoes, and look at my first eggplant! Its very satisfying to see things grow, and somehow I feel that next year this small garden will need to expand.
I realize its been a few weeks since I have posted and its really been an unintended hiatus. This summer is shaping up to be the summer of all summers, weather wise, and its been wonderful overall, taking me away from the laptop into the beautiful outdoors. Since its been so nice (although very hot), I have been working a lot in the garden and yard. In addition to yard work and enjoying our outdoor space, with our new fence (!), we took a week to head to a New Hampshire lake with my parents and some of our kids. We had an open door policy for the guys to visit and stay over whenever they were able, and it was one of my most favorite lake vacations ever.
Every day was filled with relaxation. Having my mom and dad to share this with us was great, and although my dad is not really the kind of guy that sits around "doing nothing", even he was able to crack a book on the deck and absorb the peacefulness that being lakeside can offer one. I never got tired of sitting out there. Perfect vacation mode activities included swimming every day, water skiing (yup, even I went skiing!), playing cards or banana grams, cooking big breakfasts and grilling bigger dinners, with turkey sandwiches for lunch and icy lemonade. Ice cream cones and fresh corn on the cob from the local farm stand down the street were extra special treats.
Night time swims were especially fun, but the most fun of all was watching Colby learn to swim!!
Prior to our trip I found a dog life vest at Marshalls and it was the most marvelous thing! We strapped it onto the dog and it gave me peace of mind that he wouldn't sink or drown. He was reluctant at first, but quickly got used to the idea of being in water. Hubs would put him in the water from the ski boat about 100 feet or more from shore to follow one of the kids swimming back to the cottage. Worked like a charm. Colby was a good little swimmer, keeping his head above water and diligently paddling to shore with a determined expression. I can't say he loved it, but at least he wasn't afraid of it. And on some of the hottest nights, he would willingly wade out should high with me along the shoreline.
Of course everyday included skiing, as that is Mr. Maison Decor's passion. He bought this 1984 ski boat back in 1983 and has skied every year since. He skied barefoot and one ski and it was quite impressive. Did I ever mention that when we began dating, I was in my late forties and he wanted me to water ski!? Errrr..... I hadn't done that since I was 12 years old...but I was determined to impress him, and after a few tries, I got up. Its not my passion, but I was determined to share it with him.
Anyway, this time I got up after one try, and instead of trying to impress him,
I was mostly trying to impress my son, Justin, who kind of laughingly asked
if I wanted to give it a go, assuming I would say no. Well, heck why not?
And without too much time to over think it, I jumped off the boat in the middle of the lake
and skied the length back to the cottage. Done. That was plenty for me. I did it, and I not
only surprised my son, but I felt elated that I still had the gumption to do it.
And before I forget, THESE PANTS! The other great buy I made this summer at Marshalls (and no, this is not a sponsored post), was this relatively pricey pair of swim pants from Trina Turk. I wore them often and they were just fabulous slip ons over my bathing suit or nice and comfy for loungewear on the deck. When I bought them I just thought they were mod summer pants, but then discovered the tag that said "swimwear collection" while I was in the ladies room at a recent wedding! Hahaha!
These pants GO EVERYWHERE!
And while I am giving out kudos to my favorite buys this summer, I must mention that I discovered the best self tanning lotion, and I felt like I had been tanning for the entire month after just three applications. Why do we feel we look better with a little color? Especially if you want to wear sleeveless tops (or even a swim suit or shorts)? If you want a realistic looking tan then give L'Oreal Tanning Serum a try, it comes in a small squirt pump bottle at any drug store.
I am in love with my new "healthy glow"!!
For the kids and the dog and the parents and the grandparents,
this week was a great time was had by all.
Our youngest learned to master skiing on one ski, and after that big moment
happened we started getting up before 6 am to take advantage of the glass like
surface of the water. It was glorious just watching it, and the sunrise was a bonus.
But as all vacations do, it came to an end, and upon return to the house, and as I walked
through the doors, I fell in love with my home all over again. We have done quite a few upgrades,
to include some new counter tops, the courtyard and the shed and of course the fence,
and it feels and looks so good.
Feeling energized, I have tackled a few more minor updates, like painting all the cabinetry in my bathroom/laundry room black. I had leftover paint from the French doors, so on a whim I painted these cabs and vanity and I love the result. In the back of my mind, I know I am spurred on by the fact that there will be a photo shoot here with Fifi O'Neil for Romantic Country magazine in about a month. That is like anyone hosting a big party for lots of people who have never seen your house and you want to make sure it looks as good as it can.
So I find I am in that mode right now...what can I make look more beautiful?
There is a list for sure.
While on vacation I did hit up the fabulous antique shop, White Home Collections
in Wilton, New Hampshire. These old rusty iron sconces came home with me from there....
as did a few other things like the dog statue I placed at the arbor, as well as these things below:
See that cute dog statue? He is adorable and kind of looks like Colby I think. A lovely old pansy oil painting, a pink tole tray for bringing drinks out to the courtyard, and a neat hand painted wooden tray table which I bought for our TV room, which I rarely show on my blog.
That is one room I am in the midst of redoing at the moment.
All in all a busy July and August, and I am enjoying all it has had to offer.
September is coming up fast, and I have two photo shoots
plus I am doing something special with that lovely company Soft Surroundings.
(Hint: new furniture!!)
In just a few weeks, my house should look better than ever!
(she said optimistically)