Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome Pamela from French Buttons

Today I'm excited to have Pamela, from the blog French Buttons, doing a guest post.   I first met Pamela, who recently moved from Ontario to beautiful British Columbia, when she left comments on my blog saying how much she enjoyed my posts about places I went to in Southern Ontario and how much she was missing it (not sure if I was a help or a hindrance there).  We have since emailed each other and become friends.  If you haven't visited Pamela's blog, you should hop on over to get to know her more and see the sweet house she and her husband and son are presently living in.  It is my dream house - with a lovely garden, large front porch, beadboard everywhere, built-in shelving, and character galore.

Thanks Pamela for doing a guest post!


Hello Everyone!
My name is Pamela from French Buttons and today I am doing a guest post for Grace of Sense and Simplicity!
When Grace asked me to be a guest on her lovely blog I immediately said YES! I just love Grace and her blog. Grace was my very first follower (not including family or friends) when I started my blog. She also lives in my hometown province of Southern I feel a real attachment to her!!
Grace has sent me some questions so all of you can learn a bit more about me and my blog.

What inspires you more- the mountains or the ocean?

My family and I have just moved to Vancouver Island, British Columbia from Niagara Falls, Ontario last December. My husband was born and raised here in the Cowichan Valley and missed it very much especially the smell of the sea air.
The island is surrounded by mountains and the ocean. I have to say I have fallen in love with the ocean. I live only five minutes from it and everyday that I go and visit the ocean it is never the same. For me the ocean is a soothing place that you never tire of. I feel a real calmness come over me every time I am by it.
This ocean here is only a ten minute walk from my front door. It is so peaceful here and my favourite past time is to collect shells along the beach. The nice thing about the island is you can enjoy the mountains and ocean together. It is the best of both worlds!

What is your dream vacation?

Paris!!! My dream vacation would be to visit Paris , France. I want to stroll down the cobblestone streets eating my baguette . Visit all the stores to see the latest fashions. I envision myself having lunch and sharing a bottle of red wine with my husband at one of their lovely bistros!

Who do you consider to be a style icon?

This will be a shock to alot of people but my all time favourite person since I was nine years
old is Stevie Nicks. To me she has to be the most talented female artist in history. Not only do
I like her music but her sense of style has always been so incredibly unique, beautiful and feminine. Her style is gypsy/romantic/old Hollywood star like Greta Garbo. I admire the way she expresses who she is through her clothes. I am the same way always expressing who I am by what I wear. Even Vera Wang is a big fan!

What is your favourite way to entertain?

Being a Leo I have a tendency to go over the top when it comes to entertaining. Whether it's a
barbecue, fancy party or informal get together with friends I like to bring out all my good stuff. And of course lots and lots of's the Italian in me!
Cooking and entertaining people is one of my passions and it makes me feel good to give my
guests the best that I have.

Some dinners I will use my pink vista transfer ware china....

Or other times a dinner will be with my lovely green Portuguese china...

But no matter what the may be just my homemade Italian pizza ,
I like to use the best!

Do you prefer decks or Patios?

Patios. Period. Nothing is more romantic and charming than a cobblestone

Do you prefer white kitchen cabinets or wood kitchen cabinets?

My dream is to one day have an all white kitchen complete with solid maple painted
white cabinets. I love white cabinets. Wood cabinets to me can look dated quickly.
This would be my dream kitchen!

What three words would you use to describe your decorating style?

Romantic Country French!

This is the sleeping porch off of my master bedroom.... Romantic

This is my dining room which is more rustic with a country french feel.

I had so much fun being a guest today on Grace's blog! Thank you Grace for having me and always being there for my blogging problems!
Thank you to everyone else who stop by for a visit!

Pamela xo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recipe for a Perfect Weekend

A few weekends ago hubby and I had some time to get away for a few days to Prince Edward County in eastern Ontario.  It was a relaxed, quiet weekend filled with all the things we love.  In fact, we both agreed it was a perfect weekend.  Want to know what a perfect weekend looks like for us?  Well here it is -

A perfect weekend includes:

going to a place so quiet you can stand in the middle of the road to take photos,

with a profusion of wildflowers growing along the side of the road.

There would be rocks and driftwood for me to collect,

fossils for hubby to collect,

a lighthouse to view,

a historic home to tour,

charming villages with heritage homes

and art studios,

pretty views,

 yummy food,

and most of all plenty of time spent with the one I love!

What makes a perfect weekend getaway for you?
Linked to FOLK Magazine Submissions at Funky Junk Interiors

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome Angie from Echoes of Laughter

I've been having guest bloggers all summer and today I'm excited that Angie from Echoes of Laughter is doing a post.  Don't you love the name of her blog - just reminds me of happy family times.   I'm not sure how I found Angie's blog (or maybe she found mine first), but either way I'm sure glad I did.   Angie is a sweetheart who lives in Edmonton now, but grew up in Nova Scotia.  She has recently been doing a wonderful series of posts on camping food, including preparation and recipes, which I have found really interesting and informative.  All I can say is that I think she eats way better than I do when we go camping.  Head on over to Angie's blog to get to know here better and see her crafts, recipes, and home projects.


I really want to thank Grace for inviting me to guest post on Sense & Simplicity. I am delighted to be here and to share the company of the guest posters of Summer 2010. Grace and her blog have been a huge inspiration to me and have really helped me to comfortably grow into the 'roots' of my blog. Thank you Grace! xo Angie

This is me.

I am a 42 yr. old homemaker. It's a job the I LOVE. I became a homemaker 5 years ago when we moved 3000 miles across the country from Nova Scotia to Alberta. 

I grew up next to the Atlantic Ocean. I could see it in the distance everyday. For me, the ocean is calming and peaceful. I think of the many voyages that people have undertaken in search of a new life. When I left Nova Scotia, I kissed the ocean goodbye. And when I go home in the summer to visit, I greet it like an old friend.

I started reading blogs because I was lonely and knew no one in new city. I started blogging in the Fall of I  needed some type of writing therapy.

I called my blog, "Echoes of Laughter" and wrote about 4 entries. Then I abandoned my blog for a few months. When I can back, I couldn't remember my password. So I had to start a new blog,  called "Mindless Chatter" because the name 'Echoes of Laughter' was already me...who couldn't remember my password. haha.

In my 5 years as homemaker, I have had loads and loads of fun. I have done many things that I might not have done otherwise.

I love to make meals for my family. I love to bake and entertain....all in a very casual way.
I love feeding people. I get that from my mother!

I love to offer guests a drink from my little martini bar:

And I like to host small, intimate this birthday celebration for my sweet Mom.

You will notice that my table is often set with my blue & white Spode china. My table centrepieces are always homemade with whatever fits the occasion.

This picture also reveals one of my all-time favorite colour & white.  I adore blue & white. I find blue so comforting....maybe it comes from my love of the ocean. You will see that delicious colour combination in my house over and over again.

From a quilt that I tackled in a beginner quilting class:

To my decorative accessories:

 To paint on the walls:

To little vignettes around my house:

 I think I would describe my decorating style as:

 Casual. Traditional. And Beach-Influenced.

If I could have any designer work on my would be Sarah Richardson.


 She gets my blue & white. She gets my Beach-Influenced.

Thanks again to Grace for inviting me to join this party. I had a wonderful time!

Many thanks to all you bloggers out there who have taken a few minutes of your busy day to let me share a little about myself.

You all inspire me with your wit, writing, ideas, photography and talent!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Photo - Leaving on a Jet Plane

I've been having a little fun over the past few Fridays with some blast-from-the-past travel and camping photos.  Here's one more, just to get you in the mood in case you are off on a late summer getaway (you can see the others herehere and here).
We are all dressed in matching outfits yet again - you would have thought we could sing like the Von Trapps or something.  Anyway we are on our way home from Nigeria where we lived for 2 years.  I was 7 in this photo, and my brothers 9 and 5 years old.   I love how we dressed up in those days just to take an airline flight.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Susan and the Distillery District

This past Friday I met my first real live bloggy person.   When I heard that Susan (from the blog Moving Designz) and her associate Anita, were visiting from Prince Edward Island, I emailed her to see if she wanted to get together.  We arranged to meet in Toronto and have lunch in the Distillery District. 

See there's proof that we met, along with a glimpse of the lovely old cobblestone streets and brick buildings in the Distillery District.

 The Distillery District is an entertainment district in Toronto, with cafes, art galleries, and restaurants in the buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery.  There's nothing fake about the old bricks you see everywhere, as the distillery was founded in 1832.  By the 1860s it was the largest distillery in the world.  Given that Canada was still a small country at the time, I'm assuming they exported most of the whisky they produced.  By the late 20th century the distillery ceased production and the area became re-vitalized as an entertainment district.

Susan, Anita, and I had lunch at Balzac's Coffee Roastery.

Did you get a good look at the latte - cause it was a work of art, that tasted as good as it looked.

Balzac's is in a lovely old brick building.

with an enormous chandelier hanging from the old wooden ceiling,

and old coffee signs on the wall.

After lunch we walked around and browsed through shops and art galleries.  The one shown below was a particular favouite.  Try and guess what these pictures are made from.

You have to look closely at the edge and then you can see -they are made using many, many, many rubiks cubes.  How cool is that!

This one was especially impressive - it was called, approriately enough, Falling Apart.

Two bloggers walking around such an interesting area, just can't help taking tons of photos.

Photo of the ginormous pots of flowers and grass?  Check!

Photo of the wire statues?  Check!

Don't you love the reclaimed wood wall that they built along one section.

I really think this looks like something someone in bloggy land should make - very doable and very creative.

When I was leaving I saw this wedding being photographed.  What a fantastic backdrop!

Susan was just as sweet and stylish as she comes across on her blog.   Thanks for the great time on Friday - it was such fun to meet you both and to spend a few hours together.