Patio Plans + Improvements

This is our 5th summer in our home and over the years we have been working away at improving the exterior of our house and yard.

Our front yard is simple with a small deck and raised flower bed. A few years ago we painted the front deck and the shutters, planted some greenery in the garden and added some porch décor. 

Painting the front deck a few years ago-- yes, that is a TV in the flower bed.

Painting the front deck a few years ago-- yes, that is a TV in the flower bed.

I have since painted the front door navy + the house numbers and mailbox black, replaced the door knob and removed the safety rail. Eventually I will replace the outdoor lights and the door and sidelight altogether.

I have since painted the front door navy + the house numbers and mailbox black, replaced the door knob and removed the safety rail. Eventually I will replace the outdoor lights and the door and sidelight altogether.

Our house faces west so we usually move to the front deck once we lose the sun in the backyard. It's a great spot to sit and enjoy a cocktail and the evening sunshine. I love having a front porch to decorate for each season!

I do not have a green thumb so I wanted a garden that requires little to no maintenance. We have some hostas, boxwoods, a hydrangea bush and other greenery I can't identify but have managed to keep alive. This year I changed the mulch from cedar to black which looks much better next to my orangey-pink brick. 

don't mind my crooked blinds :S

don't mind my crooked blinds :S

We painted the lattice to match the front deck and recently re-hung the gate leading to the back yard so Poppy can't escape :D

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In our backyard we have worked away at improving the landscaping. We removed a flower bed that extended the entire length of the back hedge as it was overgrown and everything needed pulled out so we decided to ditch it and plant grass. The beds against the house were full of orange stones and overgrown vines. My mom was kind enough to help us remove everything and plant hostas she split from her garden + dark mulch.

As you can see, my hostas aren't having any trouble growing! Planning to split them this fall

As you can see, my hostas aren't having any trouble growing! Planning to split them this fall

simple white annuals I plant each summer + solar lights

simple white annuals I plant each summer + solar lights

 We scored our dining set + umbrella at an end of summer sale for $100. The wind knocked our umbrella over last summer and shattered our table so we replaced it with another inexpensive one.

Boston ferns are my favourite!!

Boston ferns are my favourite!!

View from the BBQ

View from the BBQ

I don't exactly love the look of our dining set but it does the trick without spending a bunch. I love the makeover of a similar set done by Deb at Seeking Lavendar Lane. Might have to try this next summer!!

Last summer I painted the back railing to match our front deck and the basement door navy. We love having a walk out basement that enters into our laundry room. Especially handy now that we have Poppy :)

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 The previous owners had a hot tub which is what the wood pad was originally meant for. We use it as a seating area and I would like to add a conversation set to this space and move the Muskoka chairs around the firebowl. I will be keeping my eyes open for end of the season deals like the one below.

Conversation set from Jysk, beach not included

Conversation set from Jysk, beach not included

I would also like to add a few turquoise muskoka chairs with my brown ones

I would also like to add a few turquoise muskoka chairs with my brown ones

Our hedge has not been doing well but provides so much privacy to our backyard despite the gaps. We have thought about building a swing in the back corner or a storage structure with an outdoor bar at the front -- that's my favourite idea :)

a girl can dream, right?!

a girl can dream, right?!

We do have a beautiful hydrangea bush in the corner of the hedge and I have thought about planting more because they are my favourite and I love cutting them for inside the house.

We have barely any lighting in the backyard so we don't do much outdoors after dark without a fire burning.  I would love to hang lights around the length of the hedge and criss-crossing overhead but this would require a TON of lights and is not something I have invested in yet. I got all excited when I pulled out a bunch of twinkly Christmas lights but was quickly disappointed when I figured out they were indoor only. I am hoping to scoop up some outdoor ones at end of the season sales to complete this project!

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Each year we make more progress and get closer to the image I have for our backyard. It may not be an oasis but it is a comfortable, private spot where we can enjoy the summer sun, hosting friends and family for BBQs, bonfires and cocktails--what summer is all about :) Cheers !!

Jess xx

 

 

Canada Day, Eh!

I am so excited for Canada Day weekend so I am sharing some festive food, drink and décor ideas! Unfortunately, I am working on Canada day so it's not a real long weekend for me. Despite that, I am still looking forward to cocktails with friends, backyard BBQs, live music at local patios and fireworks on the beach!

Because I am working, I will likely stick to some simple red and white food and drinks but wanted to share some other awesome ideas;

These Canada Day pudding pops look so delicious and refreshing!

These Canada Day pudding pops look so delicious and refreshing!

Simple cherry tomato and bocconcini salad screams Canada Day!

Simple cherry tomato and bocconcini salad screams Canada Day!

Or another idea for your tomatoes and bocconcini- add bacon and a skewer and you've got a Canada Flag

Or another idea for your tomatoes and bocconcini- add bacon and a skewer and you've got a Canada Flag

I love the simplicity of the tomato and bocconcini salad and how festive the colours are but I think I will be bring my favourite summer side to the BBQ I am attending- watermelon and feta salad. I knooooow, watermelon is more pink than red, but you get the idea :)

You can add basil or mint, red onion and balsamic vinegar or leave it as is. I love the sweet and saltiness of this fresh summer salad!

You can add basil or mint, red onion and balsamic vinegar or leave it as is. I love the sweet and saltiness of this fresh summer salad!

How cute are these mason jar cheery cheesecakes for dessert?!

How cute are these mason jar cheery cheesecakes for dessert?!

Lets not forget about the most important part of the long weekend--DRINKS !!

You can use your choice of cranberry juice or grenadine, sprite or club soda and your favorite red fruit . Don't forget the vodka!

You can use your choice of cranberry juice or grenadine, sprite or club soda and your favorite red fruit . Don't forget the vodka!

This cranberry raspberry Canada Day cocktail looks super festive and refreshing. Or your favourite red wine sangria would do the trick :)

This cranberry raspberry Canada Day cocktail looks super festive and refreshing. Or your favourite red wine sangria would do the trick :)

If you are hosting a Canada day party or BBQ, its pretty simple to add red and white to your décor. I love to hit up the dollar store and grab some mini Canada flags, festive cocktail napkins and straws and of course some red solo cups.

LOVE these mason jars

LOVE these mason jars

Red & White

Red & White

And to wrap it up, a few of my favourite printables to add to your Canada Day décor;

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For the recipes or other long weekend ideas, head over to my Pinterest page.

Wishing you a safe and sunny long weekend. Happy Canada Day!!!

Jess xx

Summer Plans + Decor Inspiration

Well, it's officially summer and I couldn't be happier! The weather has been beautiful and I have a ton of things I am excited to do over the next few months. I have a couple of outdoor projects I hope to complete before Labour day as well as some fun and yummy summer recipes to try!

We are very lucky to live in a beach town where the lake is only a few minutes away. We spend a lot of time walking and biking around the village in the summer, enjoying the beach and local patios. Most of our friends live close by so we are never lonely :)

Live music on a patio with a view of the Port Stanley lift bridge

Live music on a patio with a view of the Port Stanley lift bridge

Port Stanley harbour

Port Stanley harbour

Main beach @ Sunset

Main beach @ Sunset

Now that we have Poppy, we will spend even more time in the backyard so I have some plans to make our yard more inviting. I will share more of these details later :)

summer mornings

summer mornings

I wanted to share some of the food and drink recipes I am excited to try as well as some summer décor inspiration.

Starting in the spring, I start to add elements of colour into my décor pallet and continue this into summer. My mantle has not changed much from Spring but my bar top got a touch of summer. You might not think of summer when you see black and white stripes but I love the classic look along with a kick of colour. 

Just need some fresh cut fruit & some wine chilling :)

Just need some fresh cut fruit & some wine chilling :)

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My spare room is also fitting in with the summer vibe!

Frame & print from Chapters Indigo, anchor hook from James Street- Port Stanley, ON, starfish & wicker wreath from Joshua & Company- Port Stanley, ON

Frame & print from Chapters Indigo, anchor hook from James Street- Port Stanley, ON, starfish & wicker wreath from Joshua & Company- Port Stanley, ON

As I have mentioned before, one of my favourite ways to add seasonal décor is framing prints found online. Here are a few of my favourites;

These festive prints are available at  Tell Love and Party

These festive prints are available at Tell Love and Party

Free prints available at  Craft a Doodle Doo

Free prints available at Craft a Doodle Doo

I am looking forward to shopping the local farmers markets for fresh fruits and veggies and trying different things on the grill.

Skewers are always a good idea and the possibilities are endless!!

Skewers are always a good idea and the possibilities are endless!!

Let's not forget about the drinks as you always need one in hand while grilling :)

Watermelon breeze

Watermelon breeze

These s'more sticks look ridiculously easy and delicious and I had full intentions of making them last summer but sadly didn't.

I LOVE salt on my watermelon. Add tequila you say? OKAY!!!

tequila soaked watermelon and sea salt

tequila soaked watermelon and sea salt

I can't wait to try making these puppy popsicles for Poppy!

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And cake batter ones for me!! (drool)

Head over to my Pinterest for food and drink recipes and other fun summer ideas.

We have a busy summer ahead with weddings and me working several weekends a month but will be dedicating lots of time to enjoy the season as it will be over before we know it!! Canada Day is right around the corner so I will be brainstorming some red and white food and drink ideas to celebrate our nation and the long weekend. Stay tuned :)

Jess xo