Friday, January 28, 2011


I have been nesting. This is the term given to the urge that pregnant mothers feel to clean & organize. It is an instinct shared with many other females in the animal kingdom. There seems to be an intrinsic need for all mothers to prepare her 'nest' ahead of the birth of her precious little one.
{ Bird's Nest by Julie Nightingale; available at }

{ Vintage Postcards available on Etsy }

We are not going to set up a separate nursery until after baby arrives & we know whether he is a boy or she is a girl. We'll have a bassinette in our room for sleeping. I'll set up our chest of drawers as a change table. I have to clear out the drawers for all the itsy bitsy teeny weeny bits & bobs that baby needs {or this Mama wants!}:

{ baby clothes reworked from vintage sweaters }

{ rompers from Baby Hank on Etsy }

{ doesn't every baby girl need a tutu? }

I'll be sure to do a separate post on baby's corner of our room. For now, back to nesting...

This weekend, I made soup. Lots of it. It's a hearty, winter recipe made out of chorizo sausage, kale, red chard, potatoes & yams:

{ red chard }

{ all ingredients }

Even my kids like it. It's that good {even if I do say so myself} & it's good for you: chock-a-block full of vitamins. It's great with a loaf of crusty bread & served with a bit of asiago cheese sprinkled on top right before serving.

{ final product }

{ a close up ~ MMMmmmmm! }

I made 3 pots so I could freeze 6 bags of soup that will each serve 4-6.

{ three pots of soup }

If you want the recipe, email me at You don't have to be nesting to enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Robbie Burns Day

In honour of Robbie Burns' Day, this post is inclined to things Scottish...

Firstly, where would we be in our Scottish themed post without a tartan? Here is one which was created for Buccaneer Bay {where we have our family cabin}. Herewith, our very own tartan designed by last year's Sports Day committee:

{ Buccaneer Bay tartan }

The 4 colours of the Tartan are reflective of the the blue of the ocean surrounding Thornmanby Island, the green of the island's many trees, the yellow of the sunny beaches, sandy coves and inlets on the island and the red of the stunning sunsets we are treated to many nights.

I could imagine this in a country home in the Scottish highlands quite nicely:

{ Ralph Lauren tartan wallpaper }

Is this a bit much for you? Perhaps a more subtle use of the tartan would suit:

{ Isabelle tartan from Ralph Lauren }

That looks a perfect spot to curl up for afternoon tea with a book of Robbie Burn poems! And for those vintage lovers, a plaid sign for a quirky spot in your home:

{ from Three Potato Four Shop via design*sponge }

And then there is the beautiful {albeit prickly} thistle. I love the colour combo of purple & green. I love that the plant itself is stunning but a bit standoffish. I love that designers have taken the thistle & run with it. Examples below...

Here is a lovely hand print on linen from Giardino on Etsy:

{ Scottish thistle print }

And then there's the rug by Timorous Beasties who always do up a pattern right {& ought to be included by the sheer weight of their name, coming from Robbie's poem, "To A Mouse":

{ Thistle Rug in stone }

From Umbra, who I have been tempted to erroneously lump in with "all that molded plastic stuff", here is their version of thistle-themed wallpaper:

{ Colada in beige ~ designed by Stuart Li }

And last but certainly not least, some items from West Elm's collaboration with Patch NYC:

{ a thistle tray perfect for nibblies }

{ pillows in sumptuous colours }

Happy Robbie Burns' Day for "auld lang syne" & here's hoping that this post will inspire "thy wee-bit housies".

This post is dedicated to my maternal Grandfather, G. Angus Hills. A proud Canadian of Scottish heritage, a highly regarded soil scientist, an environmentalist before his time & a central figure in the development of landscape planning in Canada. We miss you Grandpa!

{ Grandpa on his wedding day (I think they were all happier than they look!) }

Monday, January 24, 2011

Martha Sturdy's Retreat featured in Architectural Digest

A local artist with world-wide appeal, Martha Sturdy has made an international name for herself with her minimalist pieces "at once pared down to a bare essence and scaled up for a bold presence" (AD Feb 2011).

{ alabaster-coloured resin club chair }
Her island retreat just north of Vancouver on is featured in February 2011's Architectural Digest:

{ stunning dining room view - table & globe pendants by Martha }

{ artwork & furniture that complement the natural surroundings }

I could handle spending summer days up here & perhaps snuggling up for the odd winter storm as well. How about you?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wading through laundry

We are home & I'm wading through the last of the laundry. I have a ton of blog topics that I want to share with you but in the meantime, check out these adorable baby boot & shoes from JoyFolie: