Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Memories

I seem to have dug myself
into a hole
that I quite like.
That sounds contradictory .... I know.

But for the last few years I have been very predictable
when it comes to my decorating choices
for the Christmas holidays.

I seem to be constantly drawn to the au naturel theme
using branches and bulbs
around our home.

It seems to be catching on with another
member of our family. ;)

She has her own apartment in the city now
close to school and work
which means she gets to create her own space
with personal touches
and I get to ....well.....participate. ;)

There is something about the smell of fresh flowers
and greenery
that add a special touch to the holiday season.

I don't remember growing up with a lot of bulbs,
I do remember my mom receiving flowers at this time of year
from friends and staff members.

But every year I find myself
growing a small crop of bulbs
in the spare bedroom
ready to fill in for ones that are on their last blooms.

Sumac branches and pine .....and Jack

Moss-covered reindeer

Those are from Christmas past...
but certainly they feel like Christmas present.

Urns before lights and snow

I have to admit that most of these photos are probably best referred to as au naturel as well.
I have misplaced my camera charger so in the meantime I am using my
somewhat trusty iphone...

And with my work life taking a new direction
photos are feeling much less staged
and much more rushed....

The front entry of my daughter's apartment
also has a vase filled with fresh cut pine and sumac branches

And of course I should show you what she was preparing in the first image.

My daughter's apartment is what we call a demi-sous sol, 
just slightly below groundso this display of natural branches and sumac
is giving her a nice holiday touch
plus a little added privacy.

I will be back before Christmas
to share some images with you that I had promised way back.

Check out the BloomNation blog for those of you interested in ideas on using flowers in your decorating. This is not a paid post but I do think that natural
decorations are really inspiring for this time of the year....
well anytime actually.

In the meantime,
enjoy the lead up to the holiday season.....
Joyeux Noël à tous mes amis!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thanksgiving Preparations

Well, Thanksgiving gets a lot of attention in our home
and this year is a biggie.

Our 21 yr. old son who has been off on an adventure in British Columbia
is flying home for the week!
It has been one year since we have seen him so needless to say.....
we are a tad excited!!

And our daughter has now moved back to Quebec to complete a masters degree
at the local university so she is here as well.
It just doesn't get any better.

So I guess that sort of wraps up all the "thanks" part in regard to our immediate family.
Lots of other points to consider and I promise I will be back for that.
But for now I just want to share with you a few of those
crazy things I seem to do when these large gatherings happen in our home.

First off,
floors upstairs have been driving me crazy.
Too costly to install new floors rights now
and the old pine floors are too far gone to sand and refinish
I finally painted the floors a nice creamy white.
I only completed one bedroom and the hallway but I am really pleased with the results.

(Camera is still not charged...missing battery and charger for some time low quality photos...sorry and hence the reason I have not finished a post on the magazine spread....coming I promise!!)
A photo posted by Anangloinquebec (@anangloinquebec) on

And the duvet cover that I made last year finally stands out against the creamy background.
It becomes the star of the show as I had always hoped.

Painting the floors was always something I imagined but could not quite get myself to take the risk and now,
well now I am wondering what the risk was!!

You might have noticed that I did not paint the walls.
I am going to live with that for now. 

So that takes care of painting for now, still need to paint the floors of the other two bedrooms
but that will have to wait until after Thanksgiving.

We have had such a late summer here that even the other night I decided to get in one last taste of our favourite summer chicken....

We picked up this great grilling gadget
this summer
and it has been such a hit for
butterflied chicken.

This one received a healthy dose of pesto and good....well, beyond good!!
Is that possible?

Anyway, I will be back with the photo spread once I get my camera figured out.
Just wanted to drop in for a quick visit.

Take care all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Summer out.... Fall In

Well, I love summer
I also love fall.

In preparation for the onset of colder temperatures,
and the onset of our beloved
"cocktail dînatoire"
we decided to change out the very creaky and uncomfortable stools for some director's chairs.

A cocktail dînatoire is similar to tapas in Spain or a 5 à 7 here in Québec and a happy hour elsewhere. But it can be a little bit more elaborate than all that and spread out over the course of the evening as a meal would. In the fall and winter I love it.

Our problem was that the chairs around the island were not comfortable.
And since we spend a lot of evenings indoors during the colder months
I figured these director chairs would be of good value.
Of course a cocktail dînatoire usually involves somes standing and some sitting.....

We have to obviously invest in at two more chairs before the cold settles in....
But, I wanted to see how two felt before going for the magic 4.
Verdict.....LOVE it.

Oh and did I mention.....COMFY?
Well, I guess that would be stating the obvious. :)

And, I believe I mentioned some special visitors had passed through here in June?
Well, it is official.
Story is out.
I will be back with that later on in the week.

In the meantime..... hint?.....why of course.
Does that fireplace look familiar?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Instagram meet Blogger

Okay, so is this sort of like cheating?

Or is it maybe more like mixing friends?

I have the sweetest niece on the planet and she has always had this interesting need to keep particular aspects of her life in different "compartments".....
One group of friends which signifies one part of her life cannot mix with those from another segment of her world.

Yep, I am the person that invites a lot of different people to the same dinner party with the hope
that they will all get along....
Mixing people is not always easy.
Usually after one dinner party with new guests invited you start to sort out the best mix. have to keep it interesting and you have to keep trying.

Maybe I should be following her rules and keep Instagram in a totally different "zone".
But, I just had to share some of the pics I have been posting there
that are integral to my summer wrap-up mood.

Oh and not all of this is on my Instagram account.
It just seems that I am loving the ease of posting on Instagram these days
and the quick access to great images from the people that I follow.

As of late, I usually get up early, grab a coffee and sit out here in the early morning light and
tap into Instagram before settling into work.

 So, here are a few random shots....

Lobster rolls from the Panache Mobile on Ïle d'Orléans....
Trufle mayonaise with the fries of course and a healthy dose of avacado to top off the lobster roll.

Québec city is a great town for walking your dog
and it always seems that local restaurants understand the need to consider 4 legged friends.

Still need to deal with the collections from the sea...

But, sweet summer is certainly feeling like it is winding down...
and I cannot complain.
2015 has been a great summer for us!

I am starting to turn my sights indoors to possible projects.
There is one particular change that I want to make in our kitchen.
Style at Home- click image to go to site

I am on the hunt for directors chairs for our kitchen island.
We spend a great deal of time at the island
during the fall and winter months.
It ends up being the best spot for a cocktail dînatoire.
And for us
that becomes the best dining option after a day of skiing or snowshoeing.

welcome September.
Cannot wait to see what you have in store!!

See you back here or on Instagram!!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Musings

So, I do understand that summer is not yet over....
even though a visit to Costco yesterday
had me lose my grip on the shopping cart.

Christmas trees were mingling with Halloween costumes which were concealing the kayaks.
Snack-size candy bars for trick or treaters were sharing shelf space 
with gold and silver ornaments 
that were only one aisle away from the remaining BBQ tools, 
flotation devices
and outdoor tables and chairs. 

Early July on the edge of Georgian Bay

It had me all "confussed" and frustrated.
I mean seriously...what is that all about??

Ignoring that merchandising nightmare,
I always have this sense of August as being a time to review our efforts to enjoy the wonders of summer and consider what still needs to be lived, tasted and experienced.

Alfresco dining in a beautiful backyard in Thornbury on the edge of Georgian Bay

August also brings on a tiny sense of panic 
as I see the maple tree on our neighbour's property 
starting to show hints of red....
That tree would be in serious trouble if it lived here.

Summer Rental in Tadoussac

But then I gather up my thoughts about where we have been,
the people we were with
and the fun times we had.

The summer began with family on Georgian Bay.

Going "home" always provides me with a new sense of balance.
Dinner parties, swimming in the bay and early morning walks with the dogs
quickly become the established routine.

Follow that up with a 3 week stay in beautiful Tadoussac.

Barns in our backyard in Tadoussac and lake just beyond

Ferry crossing to Tadoussac
Mouth of the Saguenay River

And, the best part of all...
the most unique wedding I have ever attended.

Pre-wedding cookout        
Chapel at Port au Persil

Each table set with a different antique place setting.

Individual desserts for the wedding guests served on their table's china setting

And of course the beautiful couple.

So.... what's left to do?
Perhaps a few more trips to ïle d'orléans..... a day with friends at Lac Sergent..... some family bbq's....

Oh, but I have a little surprise for you.
I don't usually mix my business with my blog but....
We were busy working during one of our weeks in Tadoussac and we posted a video trailer of a project that we are going to be providing through our classroom management platform.
The project will be part of our integrated content library.

In the meantime, here is a link....

Enjoy the rest of your summer.