Wednesday, 25 September 2013

I'll Be Seeing You

I am going to take a sabbatical from the blogging sphere.

There it is, in print. Official as it gets. And instead of beating around the bush - one of the many flaws I personally dislike about the voice I have developed here online - I am going to get straight to the point. 

I love blogging. That is why I have to take this step. Each and every day I look forward to sharing our going-ons with you. Everything and anything: from our successes and failures in the never ending project endeavours to the details that make out little family tick, and everything in between. Our world online here has been a wonderful form of communication between Robert and I in his absence; let's just say, phone chats are not my forte. It has held me accountable to write down Finley's growth and progress over the months; something I would never have done otherwise, those memories forever lost. And more than that, this ongoing conversation rescued me; it plucked me from the water when I couldn't find a breath.

Those are all, above and beyond, wonderful things. I am aware. Which is why they should be reassurance for those of you who also enjoy this little online escape as I do. I most certainly will be back. When? I can't say for sure, but I can guarantee I will feel better about myself which will in turn make for better reading. That is a promise.

You may be wondering what brought this on because I have never mentioned or alluded to it before. It is sudden and not all at the same time, if that makes any sense. For sometime things have not felt just right. I couldn't put my finger on it, but when I sat down in front of my computer all the thoughts and script that had been endlessly running through my head all day to share with you was suddenly gone. A writers block of sorts, I guess, but it felt like more. And this weekend, at Blog Podium, the answer came to me; it hit me like a rolling train.

I absolutely, one-hundred percent undoubtedly, enjoyed my time at Blog Podium. The event itself was planned down to the simplest of details {and you know details get me where it counts}, the seminars were jam-packed with relevant information, and the ladies that I met in attendance were the most sincere I have quite honestly ever encountered. It was a breath of fresh air. That is when this all fell into place. Between that {being the fresh air}, a seamless speech by Sarah Richardson, and an upfront seminar with Stephanie Sterjovki, I realized the 'something' that didn't feel just right was me all along. 

Words have an unfathomable impact in this world. Can we all agree on that? Wether it be a catchy song, a clever saying, a loving compliment, a scientific fact, or a hurtful lash-out. Words take only a moment to speak but their effects can last a lifetime. I have found the same to be true with writing; even something as 'insignificant' as a little blog. Attaching my name to these off hand writings that were thrown together last minute because, what? The project took longer than I had anticipated. Robert wanted to go visiting. Finn was sick or cranky. I got distracted weeding the garden - again. Or I fell asleep. The list is endless. But the written word deserves better. Truthfully, you deserve better and so do I. 

This blog was intended to be a creative outlet for me to share my love for writing, organization, style, and decor interlaced with what it means to be a young mom who hasn't lost her sense of self along the way. I am a strong woman with opinions and beliefs formed over years of active living. Though my cover may not scream suspense or adventure, my story is well worth attention. All of this was somehow lost along the way. Perhaps as a result of my own insecurity and insistence on comparing myself to those around me. Sadly, I put myself in a cookie-cutter box and limited my own creativity. I hushed my own voice.

Not being true to myself is the single thing, at this point in my journey, worse than not writing this blog. Please understand, forgive, and check back every now and then for my return.

I'll leave you with a note. {One which is actually directly written as a reminder to myself of truths I have come to know but sometimes forget.}

'Meaning is created, not found.' I have found these words to ring true in literature as well as in life. 

If read at two separate points in time - short or long span - a novel or writing of any kind will read differently depending on your personal journey, experiences, perspective, and state of mind. Give it a try. Skim last months Better Homes and Garden and you'll likely be drawn to a few pages that are missing dog ears because you are on the hunt for something new. Reread The Shack, Wuthering HeightsConfessions of a Shopaholic, or anything that strikes your fancy, and you'll discover something new and refreshing. A message that wasn't available to you before reading it with all the knowledge and experience you have since gained.

Do the same in life. I imagine few walked away from Blog Podium with the same message as I did. Many will have gone home and made their blogs better yes, just as I intend to do, but the approaches will range in approach. I will start by revisiting and rewriting my thoughts. Mould myself into the person I wish to be by processing circumstance under a positive light. By being intentional about each moment, each venture, each adventure - I'll be as bold to say, 'as if it were the last.' I encourage you to do the same in your walk. Go ahead and invest in yourself and those you love, those who have helped shape you into a better you. Take pride in your attempts as well as your failures. And most importantly - at least in this moment - don't ever second guess yourself. You are you. Like yourself just the way you are. Look back only to see how far you have come.

I am positive, one day years from now, Finley will thank me for being the best Mom he could have ever asked for. I will be able to look back to this very moment. Better yet, the moment I select 'Publish' on my next post.

Until then my dearest of friends. Do take care. And be kind to others as well as yourselves.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Zucchini {Nut} Muffins

Bonjour mes amis! Ca va bien avec vous?

I am indeed in Montreal. Was it the french that gave it away? Homeward bound I go, after the loveliest of weekends in Toronto City, to give my little family a big squeeze. *Watch out guys, the 'bizous' are headed your way! 

You'll get filled in on all the juicy details of the weekend in the next few days. Go ahead and be very excited! But right now I am going to take full advantage of my inspiration overload high, integrated with coffee, my love for the easy flowing french surrounding me, and the few hours I have left to myself and just sit. Sit and process where to go from here. Not literally, Halifax is my physical destination, but in life and on this blog. Hmm...That is for another day though. Today we eat.

Have no fear, I didn't forget what Sunday means around here. I pre baked a delicious recipe to share with you today and is it ever a goody. Not only is it quick and easy, requiring the most basic of baking ingredients, but it is perfect for the season. Win, win my friends.

What you'll need:
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Shaved Zucchini
  • 3 Cups Flour 
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • Nuts or Chocolate Chips {I didn't have any on hand but they were just as delicious without.}
What you'll do:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Lightly grease muffin tins.
  3. Whip the eggs until fluffy.
  4. Combine the eggs with the remaining ingredients until just blended.
  5. Fill tins and bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Enjoy. *To problem right?

Enjoy your day and I'll be chatting with you tomorrow!

Happy baking.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Little Red, Big Personality

Todays post is coming at you live from the Montreal-Trudeau airport, while I await my connecting flight to Toronto for the Blog Podium Extravaganza! Who's excited?

So far so good on the Finn front, in case you are wondering. No tears shed on either end as of yet. But who am I kidding? Give that kid a bowl of cheerios, warm socks, and a pile of dirt and everything will be A-okay. It is me that is the growing concern. First time away from him for more than a few hours, other than a quick overnight to Moncton with Roberto. I'm wondering if maybe four nights in TO was too big of a leap? It was either that or cold turkey for a week in Jamaica...Toronto it is!

Missing Finn and nerves aside, I am absolutely looking forward to the time away. Miss Sarah tagged along for the trip so that is automatic fun. Add four days with my long lost friend Brenna, coffee, wine, and shopping - apparently food is not a factor in the foreshadowing - and a good time is 101% guaranteed. As if that isn't enough, the cherry on top of such a fantastic weekend will be an entire day spent with fellow bloggers. I will be found in the corner soaking up every bit of information my brain can stand to process and awkwardly trying to spark conversations along the way. Wish me luck! *Actually, go ahead and send me luck via comments along the way when you follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram because I will most definitely be keeping you posted. {Couldn't help the shameless plug.}

But before I get all 'I went to Blog Podium. Allow me to share a detailed play by play of every. single. moment with you.', let's take a look at a DIY we did last week that I have been to show you! In the spirit of why I am on this venture in the first place.


Mother Dearest and I were busy last week with projects up the wazoo. I know, I know. I have mentioned this before. Possibly complained about how exhausted I was along the way?! Eeek. Please do excuse the repetitiveness, and the whining, but you have yet to see the half of it. Which you will, all in good time, and be impressed to boot. Truthfully, there is now officially quantifiable evidence to claim and prove that I am a Pushy Patsy to my gracious guests. If Mother had a forum in which to share a few words I am certain she would simply say, 'Poor Robert...' 

Hey, I'll take it. Every bit of it. I will wear my scarlet B for 'bossy' with great pride. Who do you think I get it from anyhow? We, Mother and I, love nothing more than productivity- on any level. For example: garbage day. It is like the equivalent to Christmas around my house. Out with the old, in with the next project. The circle of life organization according to the Gaudett women. This is earth shattering stuff.

Now onto the project. I am sure you are all at the edge of your seats with anticipation! If not, get to shuffling because this one is a goodie.

You were actually introduced to this beauty a while back {here}, and it has been sitting in the basement ever since. Sitting and waiting. Well, no more!

We brought it up and outside with us during an afternoon of play. Perhaps we have a different definition of fun than you because as Finn and I built roads and mountains in the new sandbox, Mother Dearest sanded her little heart out. The umpteen coats of clear coating fought a valiant fight but Mother was the victor.

After covering the desk top with recycled flyers for protection, everything else received countless coats of RED spray paint. 

Hold the phone! This gal, Beige Al, painted something bright Red? If you like it, direct your admiration to Mother. If not, you can blame her too! I am typically afraid of such a bold choice, but Mother convinced me. She is a mind altering wizard. I have suspected it for some time now, but that day is proof. Her logic, that if I really didn't like it the solution is only a shake, spray, repeat away, was faultless. And seriously, where has spray paint been my whole life? It is a god send for strangely shaped items like this one. It made the transformation a cinch. 

Easy as one, two... ten coats of red spray paint and three coats of chalk board paint later! Lickety-split.

Writing that down actually sounds scarier than it was. Believe me, it was cake. The spray paint was fast drying so it only had to set for all of ten minutes. The chalkboard paint came after the red was completely finished, and it was just a matter of one careful cut-in and two reapplications. That is the joy that comes built in with paint: apply intermittently between other projects or house chores. Multitasking at its very best!

The desk itself has mastered multitasking as well. Ahh function... how I love thee.

Beneath the seat is a dandy storage area. Once upon a time, long long ago, it was used to store text books and looseleaf by countless ambitious young students. Today it is the perfect spot for tidy plastic bins filled with crayons, markers, craft supplies, and colour-yourself puzzle pieces. Sadly, I anticipate it won't stay neat for long as Mr. Finn stuffs it full of colouring books, workbooks, and {finished} homework.

The chalkboard surface is my favourite part! That should go without saying really, because I am obsessed with the stuff! It can transform an.y.thing. from ordinary to extra special. More magic. 

This project is no different. The desk top itself goes from being a simple work surface to functional work space. Hot-Dawg!!

Am I right? Or am I right? And not so humble...

For now, the desk top is the perfect spot for Finn to crawl up and play with his latest discovery - chalk. But it will grow with him. Down the road it will be a great surface to practice numbers, letters, and math equations. Until then, I am positive the cousins will make good use of it!

In the midst of the paint drying on this and several other projects, Mother assisted me in rearranging the basement den/TV room. With new plans taking shape, this little red is the first step in taking that area from drab to dreamy. Just you wait! 

Chat soon friends.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Let's Get Inspired


Perfection? Pretty darn close! *Excuse my language. But seriously:
that wall of windows, the trim colour, the stools, the eat-in area. Wowwy Wow!

Need a sweet-tooth fix?

Who is going to be watching Sarah Richardson's new show Real Potential on HGTV?
I know I am. Consider the DVR set!


Living room love alert!

Thoughts on painting upholstery fabric? The ladies over at
Eleven Magnolia Lane make it look quite appealing.

A neat new photography team.


A memo board could come in handy this time of year. Diane, over at In My Own Style, shows us how!

There are lots of great reads to be found over at Jenni's Blogtember

This DIY throw pillow tutorial by Life on Virginia Street is fantastic,
and the fabric is oh-so-lovely.


We all need a splash of upfront Frank come Wednesday.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Ooh La La

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now
when stronger.
It's been one of those weeks my friends. A singing, slightly crazy sort of week. You know the ones?

We are spending our days at Grams this week, and what a time we are having. I've been helping out with a few projects while Mr. Finn gets up to some mischief when he isn't too busy eating. My kid is an endless pit I swear it. We've also managed to squeeze in a few outings to visit family between work and play. Time well spent all around. Of course I snapped a few shots along the way to share with Pap, but thought you might enjoy them as well.

Friday AM: 

An impromptu play outdoors with Gram in long-johns and bare feet turned into the sweetest little photo shoot.

Friday Afternoon:

Spending time with Grandparents and Great-Grandparents is above and beyond special to me. I wish I had been more aware of its value when I was a bit younger. Spent more time, you know? Since I havn't discovered a way to go back in time {yet}, I will be intentional about encouraging Finley to appreciate those who have lived full lives before him. He is already on the right track.

First a visit back to visit Great-Grandparent Sabine's for lunch and homemade bread.

Relaxing. Just like Great-Grampie Earl.

Helping Gram with her work.

Sharing stories with Great-Grammie Verna.

Next stop, Great-Grandparent Gaudett's for play time and more food.

Special Trucks with Great-Grampie Mel.

A play must always be followed by food. Man time!

This picture is one that I will cherish for years to come.
I too have sat in that same chair, bald as can be, snuggling my Grandpa. Now it is Finn's turn.

Being silly with Great-Grammie Lil.

We have photos just like those with me running around... The thought brings tears to my eyes.

After getting snuggles and a full belly inside, Finn ventured outside for a a play.

He is quite the explorer.

A wondrous discovery of crab apples. 

Saturday Afternoon:

After a morning of work we discovered Gram and Grandpa Phil's gardens. What fun!

Gram and Finn hard at work.

Dirt is Finn's all-time favourite toy.
*If you notice, his fingernails are NEVER clean. 

He picked a cucumber and ate it dirt and all.

We encountered a frog and a snake.
No big deal.

It is easy to find the simple joys in life around here - family, dirt, and reptiles.

Hopefully your week is off to a good start! Chat soon.

Monday, 16 September 2013

One Job Down

... An endless list left to go. 

But first things first: Things have been productive since we last spoke. We finished the painting in the upstairs bath - 'We' referring to mother Mother Dearest doing the actual painting and me wrangling the child. The difference is remarkable.

A coat of paint really can do wonders, eh?

This colour {I'll enter the name here when I find it} is one of my all-time favs. Like I said on Friday, it looks different in the changing light throughout the day - green, beige, or grey - but always remains a colour I love. It is the perfect solution for my constant desire to change things because painting the entire house every six months would be a tad extreme. Just a tad though.

At night, with the vanity and ceiling lights, it favours a grey.

{The above photos were from Friday night, after the final coat. Mother Dearest was diligent.}

During the day, depending on the time, the colour reads from a light olive green through to a deep grey. No matter what colour I am seeing, it is all round an improvement from the lime.

Our kids bath is officially all grown up. Well, at least for today. Until Finn and I get inspired to make a few changes. {If I include Finn in the scheming, Rob will be less inclined to ask questions. See how that works.}

Since completing the bath project, Finley and I have packed up shop and travelled to the other end of the province to return the favour and help Gram with her list for a few days. Then I will be relinquishing control, somewhat against my will, and leaving Finn with Mother Dearest for a few nights while I head out to Toronto for BlogPodium! This is a huge, wildly uncomfortable, step for me. Fingers crossed I make it.

I've been photo-documenting our projects along the way and will fill you in on all the details at some point - this week perhaps, or more likely next. Mother Dearest has been a bit more gracious than me at allotting time off - I've been accused of being demanding for some odd reason - so we have managed to do some socializing intermittently. If you don't follow along via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you most certainly should start. But have no fear, I will also be sharing a few photo's, or more accurately to say an obsessive number, of Finn's adventures.

I can't help but share a couple today. He is so darn cute I can't stand myself.

This kid. *Missing you Pap and Moe.

Chat soon.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sweet Potato Soufflé

My second stop on the 'flavours of fall' train is sweet potato. I couldn't resist whipping up one of my all-time favourite recipes. This dish, though not overly appealing at first sight, is absolutely delectable and near and dear to my heart.

I was introduced to the concept of Sweet Potato Soufflé during my time in Southern Georgia. Have I mentioned this before? I spent two high school semesters living in the 'Deep South' and fell head over heels in love with the people, farming, the low paced lifestyle, the land, and the cooking! That cooking will get you every. single. time! I can't believe I haven't mentioned this before now. Shame on me. I'll sit down one of these days and tell you all about it. But until then, give this tasty creation a try and I can guarantee you'll be on the first plane South!

  • 3 Cups Cooked and Mashed Sweet Potato
  • 3/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Softened Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flakes
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts {I use Pecans and Walnuts}
  • 1/3 Cup Softened Butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the mashed sweet potato, white sugar, butter, beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine coconut, flour, brown sugar, nuts, and butter. 
  4. Spoon wet mixture into lightly greased baking dish. 
  5. Sprinkle dry mixture over wet mixture.
  6. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until top crumble is golden brown.
And that is that. Done like dinner.

Happy Baking, ya'll!
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