Salle de Bain Reno

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You all know how much I LOVE my lil City Cottage. Well, there was one wee part of it that since I bought it, I hadn’t really been a fan of….

Enter space capsule/time machine shower enclosure…

I really liked everything else about my Salle de Bain, but, when the time machine started leaking a wee bit, I felt like I finally had an excuse to reno this tiny space into what I’d always hoped for.

Who better to do this for me than….my brother Mike!! He’d done my gorgeous backyard patio, has built me my stunning dining table and desk and now it was time for him to work his magic on my small space living washroom. Off I went to house sit for a friend who was out of the country and off he went on demo-ing, so we could say ‘so long’ to my space capsule.

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When I walked in and saw this (see above) I was so excited but also so scared….what had we gotten ourselves into?? My brother is a contractor so he lives this everyday and to see this space transformed in such a short time was amazing..yet partially terrifying (for all the right reasons). It was literally stripped back to the studs and it was also so nice to see the history of my home that was hidden behind the walls.

My brother had filled the bin with the time capsule and everything else and off we went to Home Depot for a round of supplies. I had picked the stone/pebble tiles about a year and a half before the reno as they had been a fantastic deal (see below) and I knew that I wanted to incorporate them into the room once I was reno-ing it. They were my jumping off point as far as a palette for the small space and I knew they’d add a little, ‘je ne sais quoi’ as well. I found these gorgeous porcelain/stone look tiles at Home Depot for another great deal (see below) and just like that, the core of my bathroom was decided!

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Mike found me the PERFECT small space vanity at Rona in Mississauga, at a price point for less than $100 as it was the last in stock (YASSS!!- you’ll see it in the reveal). My goal for this project was to complete in as economical manner as possible, but to not scrimp on quality, hence why we chose to put in a Schluter Shower System (see below). As a Contractor, I can always count on Mike to have done his research and be up to date and well versed on the latest and greatest when it comes to home renovations. With this system being installed, I feel confident in the fact that I will be able to enjoy this space for years to come without a concern.

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I left Mike to his devices. I not only trust his skill but also his design savvy. He’s someone that not only thinks about the install but also what the final product will look like as well from an aesthetics perspective and his attention to detail is second to none! For instance, due to his care and concern, he papered over and taped off my hardwood outside the washroom all the way to the door and literally took such calculated steps in laying the first few floor tiles as we knew they’d be pivotal as we were not only tiling the floor but the walls too!

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This next piece of attention to detail still blows me away to this day. He was installing the pebble/stone tile as my shower floor and didn’t like how it was angling towards the drain and also didn’t care for how it was looking….so….what does he do? He removes every pebble/stone from it’s backing and places them individually to make up the pebbled floor. INDIVIDUALLY!!!!!!!! Can you believe that level of care and concern for both the practical usage application but also the aesthetics piece? Again…BLOWN AWAY! See below for this gorgeous handiwork and also how he took the time to ensure proper spacing of the wall tile…again, attention to detail is at 110%!

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So…..here it is…the BIG REVEAL. To this day, I still can’t believe this incredible space is in my wee cottage!

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To say I love it would be such an understatement as it is exactly what I was hoping for…and even more. And, knowing that this is Mike’s handiwork means so much too! I truly feel like I’m walking into a spa every time I cross the threshold!

Below are some photos of my salle de bain today (I feel like I have to call it ‘salle de bain’ vs bathroom as it’s just too nice to be called a boring old bathroom). We’ve put a shower curtain up for now and maybe someday I’ll put up a glass door…but….we’ll see. I’m beyond perfectly happy with it as it is right now! I found a great small space storage solution at Homesense that houses my day to day toiletries and works perfectly with the vanity and also blends in against the tile. I also love how the colours change in the room, depending on the time of day and natural light coming in.

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And last, but certainly not least, is the HUGE THANK YOU to my brother Mike for all of his incredibly hard work, time and attention to this project…I truly cannot say thank you enough!

If you’d like to work with Mike, his email address is Bigfoot.Contracting.TO@gmail.com and he’s located in Toronto, with projects around the GTA. Be sure to keep an eye out for his logo and you’ll be sure that a one-of-a-kind true piece of craftsman ship is being created at that site.

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And P.S., if you’d like assistance with your renovation design or home decor/styling, you can contact me at rusticretrievals@gmail.com or on Instagram. I’d be happy to help you transform your house into a home!

RR

Where Has This Year Gone??

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How on earth is it November 19th??

This year has absolutely flown by and I can't get over how full every day is and when I say full, I mean it in only the best way!

I will fully admit that I haven't been spending as much as I would like to with the big guy (aka Lightning - my horse), but the time we do spend together is so good for my soul....and his too I think. I snapped this photo as he was eating his dinner and as he does so, I lean on him like he's a big, furry pillow. He munches away and I get to breath in the horsey aroma that has intoxicated me since I was a child. So simple, yet soooo good.

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Speaking of big guys, it wouldn't be November without a trip to the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. My bestie's family shows there every year so I went in to see her daughter and uncle show on a Sunday afternoon. The day I was there her daughter showed a Clydesdale in a line class and she did a fantastic job. These gentle giants are truly magnificent creatures and Clydes will always be my first love of the equine world.

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There's something magical about the first snow and as I stepped out my front door at the City Cottage on the sunny morning after ours in Guelph, I couldn't help but smile and revel in the beauty that surrounded me. 

The second photo above is the view from the end of the laneway at my Moms home (the Country House). The tamaracks are so beautiful with their rusty-burnt orange hue this time of year...I was out gathering greenery and couldn't help but snap this photo.

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The greenery I was collecting was for these....I got a head start on the Winter/Christmas decor at the Country House by putting together the planter inserts at the front door. Every piece contained in the insert is from our property and I'm beyond happy with how well they turned out.

They're so full with a variety of textures, from the hydrangeas to the cone flowers to the 'fluffy weeds', I just love them!!

I wouldn't have been able to pull these together without the help of this guy.....

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My Charlie Bear helps me with the outdoor decor every year and this year he was right beside me, ensuring only the best from a quality control perspective... I just love him to bits and with that face, how can you not?

I hope you've had a wonderful November too and can you believe that it'll be Christmas in 5 short weeks?? I better start my shopping!!!

RR

Time For A Refresh - Part Two

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My last blog post took you through the first steps of my living/dining area refresh. 

From painting the walls in Ink Black from Home Depot, to my gorgeous antique sideboard from Simply Cottage in Bracebridge, the room was taking shape quickly!

A part of the refresh also meant a new couch was in order too. I had originally had my heart set on a camel leather option but after much searching and researching, I came to a sad conclusion. Living in a small cottage has its limits and whoever designed the entryway of my home obviously did not have the idea of moving furniture in mind when they built it. I am limited to the size of furniture I can bring in both my front and side door (sadly) and I could not find a couch of the leather colour and type I wanted that was small enough and I was not about to spend thousands on a custom leather piece either. Soooo......I found a very, very happy replacement with the help of the amazing gals at Urban Barn in Cambridge. We had paint samples, fabrics and accessories strewn around the back corner of the store as we decided on fabric for a custom piece for my home. I was also in the market for a new rug too and they happened to have THE perfect one that would still allow me to bring leather into my space, just in a different avenue.

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After much contemplation, re-checking measurements and trying out the 'comfie' factor, I decided on the Lure Custom Sofa in a lux, cozy fabric option. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the staff at the Cambridge store were and how the entire experience of choosing, ordering and delivery have been nothing but impeccable! Another aspect that I am really happy about is that my couch is Canadian made (and Urban Barn is a Canadian company). It feels good to know I'm supporting our economy through my choices and receiving a high quality, beautiful end product.

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The day of delivery arrived (to say I was excited is an absolute understatement) and the photo above was taken literally two minutes after the pieces were placed in my living room (the delivery experience was fantastic and the guys took impeccable care of the pieces as they entered the house through tight constraints!). I mayyyy have let out a wee squeal of happiness to see the pieces in place and I spent the duration of the afternoon pulling the space together.

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I went with the cozy grey velvet-esque fabric to add warmth to the space and tie to the faux bois fabric in the chairs/coffee table. The leather 'rag rug' has hints of camel, grey and turquoise to tie in the sideboard and bring some light into the space. My 'forever' pieces from Willowhouse still look amazing in the space (my coffee table and sofa table on my gallery wall behind the chairs) and I just couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear as I witnessed everything coming together.

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With the key pieces in place, it was then time to add in just a few more accessories, but mainly, throw pillows! I had looked high and low and had an idea of what I was looking for and to say I was overjoyed when I found the perfect options at Comfort & Co in downtown Guelph would be an understatement. Wendy and I had fun mixing and matching the many fabtastic options she had in store and I ended up taking home 4 pillows that exude comfort, coziness and bring their own story to the space through their texture and tones. These two in the photos above have helped transform this corner of the couch/living room and the faux fur options in the photos below have added a sense of lux coziness that only 'fur' can add to a space.

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My home is transforming every day to be even more 'me' and I couldn't be happier! I cannot say 'thank you' enough to those involved in assisting in this transformation, from friends and family who I bounced ideas off of and helped move things around, to the companies I worked with the bring these beautiful new pieces/colours into my home. I couldn't have done this without:

- Home Depot, Guelph

- Simply Cottage, Bracebridge

- Urban Barn, Cambridge

- Comfort & Co, Guelph

Stay tuned for further updates and I can't wait to show you the dining table that will be the final piece to bring this space together.... I hope you've enjoyed the journey through my design/decor adventure as much as I have!

RR

Time For A Refresh - Part One

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Every 5 years or so I get the urge for a major change and seeing that I celebrated 6 years in my City Cottage this year, it was time for change. Do I sell? I really didn't want to as I love my home, my neighbours, my neighbourhood etc so that really wasn't an option. I looked around my living/dining room and with the help of some inspiration from the Instagram account of @the_girl_with_the_green_sofa (you must have a look), I decided it was time to refresh my living space. Wait until you see the before and after!!!

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So, I sold my furniture (my sideboard that has been with me for almost 10 years was the hardest piece to part with), decided on a paint colour for the walls, found the perfect 'jumping off piece' (a sideboard from Simply Cottage) and off I went!

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The patina on this piece pulled me in from the moment I saw it on their Instagram feed (yes, I bought this piece sight unseen). A huge 'thank you' to my incredible friends that brought this home for me....it's absolutely what I had hoped for and more!

I had painted test canvases to help decide on what paint colour I wanted to move forward with.....I went with Ink Black by Behr at Home Depot. It went on incredibly well and as much as I enjoy painting, I'm pretty slow, so the fact that it went on so well and evenly, let me finish the project in a day!

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So I cleared away the furniture I had remaining in the space, taped off the walls, got out my drop sheets and roller and off I went.... 

From the first swipe of colour on the wall, I knew I had made the right decision and by the time I moved to the second wall, I was in LOVE!!!

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The paint had barely dried and I had to pull this vignette together on the sideboard. It came together so easily and my jaw was on the floor with how absolutely perfect it was! It was more than I had ever hoped for!

Living in a small space, I had been worried that painting 2 walls a darker colour could close the space in....but....my worries were easily appeased and my home instantly felt even more like me! Every time I walk in my front door, a huge smile comes across my face, knowing that I get to call this space home.

Welcome to my new space and stay tuned to see what I have done in the living space to continue to make my city cottage my home!

RR

So Long Summer......

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So where the heck has Summer gone?!?! 

I can't believe it's already September and when I look back at the last few months, I realize how jam packed with fun and great times they were and I'm so very grateful. I'll take you on a photo journey of the Summer of 2017 and all that it held for me, my family and friends.

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I ate some fantastic meals with some wonderful people this Summer. There was a point where I ate at the Bread Bar in Guelph 3 times in a week and a half! One of my favourite ways to spend an evening is with friends, surrounded by great food and drink!

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Not only did I have great meals with friends, I had great times with friends! One of those oh so memorable days was the Queen's Plate at Woodbine in Toronto with some pretty incredible women!!

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Making memories with friends doesn't just happen in restaurants and sports venues, it can also occur in our own backyards! Whether its under a pergola on the deck of my friend's 100 year old home or on a bouncy castle in the yard of a friend who has held her summer bash for 20 years, thinking back on these times bring a huge smile to my face!

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Then there's Saturday mornings at the Farmer's Market (and Balzac's). I didn't get there as often as I would have liked to, though I did find other Markets this summer as well, it was always a great way to kick off the weekend!

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I've done a lot of walking this summer (sometimes on my own, sometimes with a friend) and I've been able to truly enjoy the city that I call home. I've watched the gardens transform over the months and as always, admire the beautiful homes/architecture this city has to offer.

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My happy place.....the back deck of my city cottage. Some great stories, laughter and memories were made here this summer. I even fell asleep a few evenings under the stars and the canopy of the trees. It truly is my escape in the ity

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One thing that illustrates to me that the Summer truly got away from me, is the fact that I really only got to the lake once.....yes, only once....and only for a few hours. There was no cottage this year, no swimming in Lake Huron, but, that's ok....there's still September and I enjoy time at the lake just as much (if not even more) now....

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I spent a lot of time with this big guy this summer (isn't he handsome?!) and finally got my photo of him, 'Look Me In The Eye", printed on canvas! If you'd like your own, have a look in my website shop!

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Even though there are around 20 days of Summer left, Labour Day Weekend always feels like the unofficial end to Summer...the sunset of summertime :(

I hope you've all had the Summer that you were hoping for and had the chance to make as many wonderful memories as I did (and am very grateful for). Cheers and so long to the Summer of 2017!

RR

Spring Has Sprung!

There's something special about the way the light floods into my home that signals Spring has finally arrived.

I was sitting on the couch one day in late April (under a cozy blanket as there was still a wee chill in the air), looking through magazines while sipping on a latte and as I looked around my living room, I noticed 'that light' was filling the room and a huge smile came across my face! SPRING!!

This is from our first sunset at the lake this Spring....we lost Dad two years ago and we started a tradition of going to the lake (one of his favourite places) on his anniversary. It was such a beautiful night and this handsome guy enjoyed the quiet and tranquil evening just as much as Mom and I did.

I'm a huge fan of visiting lake/cottage towns on the 'off season', before they get crazy busy. A good friend and I did a road trip to Muskoka a few weekends ago and we had to stop in Bracebridge to get a closer look at this insanely fast running/crashing water! I posted a video on my Instagram and the sound alone, let a lone the sight of it, was enough to take your breath away!

This is one of my favourite sections of the sideroad, just down the road from the Country House. This span of trees looks amazing in any season, but we happened to drive down literally just as the leaves had 'popped'. Soooo pretty! And....the farm on the right has a Clydesdale foal that I have to stop and say "Hi" to whenever I drive by. 

This is my first Spring with this handsome guy and it's been interesting to watch the transformation of his coat through the seasons. He went really dark, almost black, over the winter, but now that he's shedding his coat (and my goodness, I had forgotten how much fur a draft horse grows for the winter), he's turning back to his reddish/bay colour I knew from last summer. As he was standing there in the rays of the sunset the other evening, I couldn't help but capture this image as it really hilights the beautiful tones of his coat.

Spring is also a time of surprises. Whether it's tulips that randomly sprout up after being 'relocated' by the squirrels, or a plant that made it through the winter that you were afraid wouldn't, it's always fun to see what 'springs up' this time of year. I moved into my home in August and when the next Spring came around and I realized I had this beauty outside of my front door, I literally squealed with delight! From what I can tell, its an ornamental crab apple tree and its blossoms are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!! Just as they're wrapping up, my beautiful and fragrant Korean Lilac on the other side of my front entryway comes into bloom...... Oh how I LOVE Spring!!!

RR

Photography is a Love Affair with Life!

I love to capture moments in time to be able to remember them forever. I have always enjoyed photography and the smile that comes across my face as I look through old photos and memories they stir that come flowing back.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't, you should!) you will know that after a lot of encouragement from family, friends and fellow home décor enthusiasts, I have added a "Shop" section to my website to allow you to purchase my photo prints, canvases and photography services.

I'm re-vamping my gallery wall today and to be able to look at these prints and re-visit these breathtaking views of the world around us is inspiring! Whether it's Notre Dame surrounded by Cherry Blossoms or the shore of Lake Huron at sunset with the waves crashing in, as much as these photos hold memories for me, they also illustrate the magnificence of these stunning locales, which in turns adds beauty to the home of those who hang these pieces of art. 

Through my website Shop, you can purchase separate prints and I'm now happy to offer collections that will almost instantly help you start your own gallery wall!

I'm also holding a giveaway on Instagram where you can win one of my prints. Be sure to pop over and check it out!

I'll leave you with this.....

" Photography is the art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." - Elliott Erwitt

RR

2016 - A Year in Review (Part 2) - July to December

JULY

Canada 2016 was a veryyyy chilly day, but we decided to head to the lake anyways. It was veryyyy weird to be the only people (yes, the ONLY people) on the beach in Port Elgin on the July 1st holiday. No matter the weather however, Lake Huron will always lure me to it.....always...

We celebrated a wonderful friend with a night at the races. We didn't 'win big' from a monetary perspective (we mainly placed bets based on the names of the horses), but it was a HUGE win to be able to spend her special day with her and her family.

My backyard continues to come together nicely and I was able to add some fantastic details with yard sale finds (or should I say steals?!). Last years fence looks great, the mulch settled in nicely, the plants I re-planted all survived (thank goodness) and I can now officially call this my sanctuary.

AUGUST

This was a much warmer day along the shore of Lake Huron in the town of Kincardine. If you walk to the very end of the boardwalk, you get to a section of beach that has HUGE pieces of driftwood.....I just couldn't help myself! (and I really wish I could have sneaked them home in my truck....but oh well, better to leave them for everyone to enjoy).

 

On a rainy Saturday morning, I took a wee road trip to a city I used to call home....Burlington. In between rain showers I wandered along the pier, visited the bakery that Charlie and I frequented every Saturday morning and stumbled upon this amazing store on Brant St called Centro Garden. As you can see in the photo above, from their home décor pieces, to their housewares, to their garden centre....I'll take one of each please!!

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And then there's this guy....from the moment I laid eyes on that handsome face, I knew he had to be mine. This is Light the Night (aka Lightning) and he has brought so much happiness to my life, I can't even put it into words. He's a 16hh draft cross (Percheron + Paint) and I swear that somehow, Charlie's personality was morphed into this horse! Just like Char, he's so stubborn yet so smart, he's such a kind and gentle creature and those eyes...he can be trying my patience to almost the tipping point and then he gets 'that look' and I forget really quickly how frustrated I am....Welcome to the family big guy!

SEPTEMBER

So you can’t have a horse without tack, therefore, I headed to Pleasant Ridge in Brantford to get everything I needed for Lightning. I grew up mainly riding Western and seeing as my guys is quite green (ie. Only been ridden a dozen times), I thought we’d start out with what I was comfortable with and go from there. Doesn’t he look dashing?!

Mom and I travelled to Stratford to see my Grama after she had surgery and on our way home, we stopped to take in the stunning gardens along the river (and maybe have an ice cream cone too). If you’ve never been to Stratford, you need to put it on your ‘to visit’ list for 2017! It’s a beautiful and historically significant town with so much to offer (shows at the Theatre, amazing restaurants, local artisans/shops and magnificent character homes).

If you’re a regular follower on Instagram, you know how much I love to photograph sunsets. This one was taken at the farm, just as the sky was clearing after a rainy day. Such a gorgeous late summer/early fall evening!

OCTOBER

I’m not easily surprised, but these two absolutely succeeded in doing so, having me in happy tears with the biggest grin on my face for hours! Cheers to these two incredible people, their new life together and the amazing new chapter that will start for them in 2017!

I had to stop and snap this photo one the way out to the farm one morning. The sky is the most spectacular blue in the Fall and those colours popping against it….oh wow!! I just couldn’t resist capturing it!

We celebrated the most important woman in my life in October as she hit a milestone birthday and we were able to celebrate in the most idyllic and tranquil setting thanks to my brother and his amazing lady friend (her family cottage). It was a perfect way to spend Mom’s birthday (Minions and all) …Thank you soooooo much Anne-Marie and Mike!!

NOVEMBER

I attended The Royal this year and was so lucky to be able to see this vivacious gal and her pony put on quite the show in the ring! I enjoy everything about The Royal, from the horse shows, to the vendors, to behind the scenes in the barn…it was a fantastic day of experiencing ‘country in the city’.

Charlie and I really enjoy our morning walks at the Country House. This was a frosty morning, just as the sun was rising. Fall is my favourite time of year and this photo captures why.

With over 7000 photos on my phone and with some prompting from family and friends, I re-opened my Etsy shop to be able to share my photo prints with everyone. The collection will continue to grow into the new year and thank you to you all for your support!

DECEMBER

Every year that I decorate at the Country House, I have this guy as my helper. He keeps me company as we walk around the property, collecting greenery and other décor pieces and always has to pose in the final shot, once the job is complete!

I made my rustic chic wreaths again this year and it was by far my most successful year yet! Soooo many orders allowed me to really get creative and I thank you to my returning and new clients for their support and incredibly positive feedback. I just love making people smile and creating a one of a kind piece for their home.

Oh Christmas tree….you’re always there to help round out the year and bring shimmer and shine to our home over the holidays. I really enjoyed basking in its glow this year….thanks Mom!

Looking back, all I can say is ‘Wow, what a year!’. I hope you’ve had as great a year as I have and I wish you the best for 2017! 

RR

2016 - A Year in Review - January to June

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Welcome to my 2016 Year in Review!

I decided to split it into two posts as it has truly been a jam packed year, with so much to share/remember!

JANUARY

The year started off with a bit of a snow storm at the Country House. As you can see, Charlie (and his Mom) didn't let a little snow hold them back from getting outside and enjoying the Winter weather!

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We had our annual Gals Weekend at The Rock in Port Elgin and decided to spend an afternoon at MacGregor Point Provincial Park to do some hiking and some skating on their outdoor skating loop through the forest! What an amazing day/weekend!

January (and actually many more months this year) reminded and illustrated to me that life has a wonderful way of showing us that the ones we love are always with us, no matter what! I had had a bracelet made last Christmas with a set of antlers engraved on it to remind me of my Dad (he was quite the outdoorsman). As Charlie and I were out for a walk down the laneway one January morning at the Country House, something peaking out of the snow along the freshly plowed side of the lane caught my eye (thankfully I also inherited my Dad's keen eye). I bent down to pick up what I found to be this shed antler.....I couldn't contain my excitement and literally ran up the lane to show Mom. If that plow had been just a few inches further over, this would've been caught in the plow and I never would have found it. Thank you Dad, for reminding us you are always with us! xo

FEBRUARY

I did quite a bit of travel early in the year, for both work and pleasure. Work-wise (for my 9-5), I had staff across the country and I was lucky enough to travel to Vancouver and Montreal to meet with them and enjoy those cities.  I always have and always will love travelling and you'll see more of my travels coming up in the next few months.

In addition to travel, I also love to get outside. We have an annual Ski Bunny Weekend at Blue Mountain in Collingwood which is always a blast! This year it was a bit rainy and we didn't really hit the slopes, but it didn't stop us from wandering around the Village and downtown Collingwood. This has to be one of my favourite 'small towns' in southern Ontario. We already have our 2017 trip booked and I can't wait!

I had the pleasure to get to know even better and work with an amazing woman this year who is not only an inspiring entrepreneur, but also a great friend! My friends and family mean the world to me and I feel so incredibly blessed to have people in my life who are so generous, thoughtful and caring! You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important! xo

MARCH

And then there's this guy! My year in review wouldn't be complete without including my Charlie. He turned 11 on March 5th and even with his majestic grey beard, he's still a puppy at heart. He has brought so much love and laughter to our family....he truly is one of the most special creatures I've ever had in my life! Love you Char Bear!

Lake Huron didn't freeze over in the winter of 2015/2016 and it was a beautiful, sunshiny, but chilly day at the Goderich beach. Mom and I had a pizza picnic that day (in the car) and Charlie and I got to go for a walk on the beach. It was surreal to have sand under our feet (vs snow) in March at the lake. I love this picture at it perfectly juxtaposes summer/winter, with the lifeguard stand and the snow fence...you have to love life at the lake!

I'm a gal who really enjoys a great coffee and on my Saturday morning trips to the Guelph Farmers Market, I like to stop into one of the many great little coffee shops downtown. One of my favourites is Balzac's and it's a favourite for many reasons, in addition to it's amazing java! Their decor is spot on, the staff is super friendly and they have a small down/small business type of focus/feel. I also grind and brew their coffee at home too (thanks Anne-Marie and Mike). Cheers to another year of great coffee!

APRIL

Not only does Guelph have great coffee shops, it's also a food lovers 'go to' for amazing restaurants. This is one of my favourite brunch (well really any meal, but especially brunch) spots in town, 39 Carden Street Bistro. Our bloggers group has enjoyed their scrumptiousness and has written about this establishment in the past and my friends and I enjoy their wares quite frequently. On the day pictured, a friend and I were out for brunch, planning a grand adventure.

Speaking of grand adventures......a good friend and I traveled to the City of Lights in April....talk about a trip of a lifetime! We stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel, immersed ourselves in the Parisian lifestyle and had our breath taken away on more than one occasion by this absolutely stunning city and its architecture. It truly was the grandest of grand experiences!

Back home, after 5 years and a few wobbles, it was time for a new back deck! I was lucky enough to have a wonderful crew build this stunner for me and you'll have to wait and see how it all came together for a summer of fun and entertaining!

MAY

My bestie and I went to see these guys.....my favourite band (Pearl Jam) and THE man, Mr. Eddie Vedder, with a voice unlike any other! It was an evening to remember....and we even stayed at the King Edward (a lil play on Eddie) in downtown Toronto!

May also means it's time to start gardening! I always make my own planters/urns and I needed to replace some perennials in the front garden this year too. I just love gardening...it gets me outside, away from the computer and the end result is always so rewarding. 

Welcome to my Summer oasis! I'm so very happy with how this turned out and after many great days/nights back here this past summer, I can't wait for next summer and making more memories surrounded by fairy lights, under the canopy of the walnut trees.

JUNE

Some very special ladies gave me this mug and if you follow my on Instagram, you will see that it is definitely one of my favs! I use the word 'holistic' A LOT (they can attest to this) and we were always going a million miles a minutes (hence the needs to hustle), so it's absolutely perfect!

Just before I switched jobs in a June, a gal pal and I squeezed in a weekend trip to St. John's Newfoundland.

We fell in love with this province....its stunning landscape, its incredible friendly people, its delicious food and beverages.....we hiked everywhere, enjoyed some of the best meals I've ever had, saw icebergs and Puffins and I can't wait to go back!

What better way to kick off the summer (and wrap up the first six months of 2016), then with great friends, amazing food, a beautiful backyard, a bonfire, laughter, LOTS of wine and a celebration of some amazing women! 

Cheers to the first six months and stay tuned for another post of what the rest of the year had in store for me!

RR