Swan Lake


Outfit | Top: Target (similar) | Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer | Sandals: Reef | Necklace: Tiffany & Co (similar for under $30!) | Bracelets: Old Navy | Sunnies: Ralph Lauren










The swans were out in Victoria Park this week! The real one was pretty friendly and the fake one turned out to be a prop for a tv show they were filming, CBC's Murdoch Mysteries. It was pretty exciting to see a production shoot being set up! 

It's been so hot this week only shorts will do and Lilly Pulitzer shorts are my absolute favourite. They run true to size and are oh-so comfortable. Silver accessories and a cream lace tank top finished this easy weekday look. 

Enjoy the long weekend! 


Fortnum & Mason


Those of us in North American may not be familiar with the brand Fortnum & Mason but if you follow any UK bloggers or Instagrammers, I'm willing to beat you have seen their famous picnic baskets! I did a little online research of the company before our trip to London and when I read that Fortnum's is the official purveyors of food hall items to the Royal Family, I knew I had to try them out! I mean, I had to try the cookies that Kate has with her tea!

When AMH and I were in London this spring we had intended on picking up a hamper filled with lunch items to have a lovely picnic by the water in Hyde Park. Well, you never really can depend on the weather in London and we were rained out. But that didn't stop us from visiting the Piccadilly store to buy a few things to take home, including one of the well instagrammed hampers (that I had to pay overage charges on my luggage to bring home).


Before our visit I used Fortnum's online chat service to ask about the hampers and inquire if you could make modifications to the prepackaged ones. They told me about their bespoke hamper service and said to speak with an associate when we get to the store. We did and turns out everything we wanted was already in the Piccadilly hamper.  I am saving everything until we can have a picnic at home but we did purchase a few other things to try out like the ginger biscuits (to die for), some loose fudge from the candy counter (barely made it back to the hotel), a box of Highgrove Organic Prince of Wales tea bags and a few presents for the family back home.  

Interested in a little tour of the Fortnum & Masons Piccadilly store? Of course you are!


The outside windows were all decorated to celebrate the new Alice in Wonderland movie (which I did see and thought it was pretty good!). There were three different scenes all set up as the most luxurious tea party in the forest you have ever seen. 


When the entrance to the store is this ornate and beautiful, you know you are in for a real treat inside! 


A tower of boxed chocolate truffles topped with flowers that match the Alice in Wonderland windows. The first floor is the food hall where you can pick up your hamper and all the items to fill said hamper. 


Like kids in a candy store, we made a beeline for the candy counter. The British really know what they are doing when it comes to their sweets! This is where we picked up a little fudge for the walk back to our hotel in Kensington. 


Mirror selfie on the way to the second level! That's right, second level. There are multiple floors that sell different items and different restaurants. 


A look down from the stairway. I just love the deep red carpet, light coloured walls, ornate moulding, coat of arms over the doorway and the butler light! *swoon*


The St. James's 4 person picnic hamper is the ultimate in #picnicgoals. And at £550 it is probably the most expensive picnic basket I have ever seen! The St. James's set comes with Fortnum's signature St James bone china mugs and plates, four wine glasses, four cutlery sets, a drawstring bag, an insulated flask, miniature salt and pepper mills, corkscrew and cotton napkins all beautifully presented in a large wicker basket. 


If the St.James's is a little out of your price range, why not try the Piccadilly 4 person picnic hamper for £375! The Piccadilly hamper comes with Fortnum's signature plates and all the same accessories as the St. James's hamper. How great would a strawberry tart look on those plates? 


There is so much pretty in this store, it is hard to narrow down what you love the most. I was especially taken with this pretty pastel tea service with matching elephant. If I had unlimited funds, and unlimited luggage weight, I would have brought this all home with me. Silver pieces included!

I hope you have enjoyed this little look into our visit to Fortnum and Mason. I'm a little sad that I don't have one near me but they do ship to Canada and the US for only £20 so if I see something that I can't live without, at least I know I can order it!

High Medium Low - Bar cart

It's been a while since I shared a High Medium Low roundup. Inspired by yesterday's blog post about my deck style, I'm sharing my favourite bar carts!

High



Chris Earl - Bar cart $1650 US

Medium



Society Social - Madison Mixer $700 $625 US on sale

Low



Target - Lanai Serving Cart $209.99 $188.99 US on sale

And once you have your bar cart you need all the accessories like...

these adorable coasters



and your going to need this bar set
3 piece $59

and this little guy will add a much needed touch of whimsy to your bar cart!


Deck Style


I'm so excited to finally share with you my deck style today! AMH and I designed this deck ourselves, which I affectionately refer to as the "Deck in the clouds", three years ago. I call it that because when you are sitting down all you can see is sky and clouds. We have a walk out basement so this deck is 12 feet in the air. The deck is 250 sq.ft with solid privacy walls, 4 ft 4 in. high on all three sides (well above regulation) with two louvered panels on either side. We really wanted this deck to be safe for our boys and dogs all while giving us some privacy while entertaining (subdivisons are a little like living in a fish bowl). 

We choose cedar for our wood because we love the look and because it was not significantly more than pressure treated but it is work. It had greyed over the last few seasons and to bring back the bright colour of the wood we had to pressure wash it. It was messy, took forever and even damaged a few boards. Cedar is a soft wood and you have to be very careful when using a pressure washer on it. We intend to seal it soon so that we can try and prevent it from greying again. 


The deck is hands down Colton White's favourite spot in the house. He will sit out here all day long, even in the dead of winter with three feet of snow covering the deck. I have so many outtakes from taking these photos of him just walking into view. Now that we have chairs out here we spend many nights listening to records on the deck and to Colton, there is no better way to spend the evening. 



The before pictures were pretty much nothing. We had a table with six chairs, our umbrella, our BBQ and that's it. It wasn't until I found these faux bamboo chairs on Kijiji for $40 total that the deck really started to come together. An old side table got a coat of white paint to serve as our coffee table, and our blue and white garden stools from the living room are additional side tables.



I bought La Croix while on a Target run mainly because I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Good grief I love this stuff! I drink water like it's going out of style (I dehydrate very easily) but I don't like sugary drinks. La Croix imparts a very subtle flavour into carbonated water and in the last few weeks I have not left the house without one in my hand (my favourite is coconut). I will be loading the car up on our next cross border trip! I placed a leftover scrap of stripped pillow fabric on the coffee table to make clean ups easy. Any spills just pool and can be wiped away! 


I'm so in love with my new pillows and I could not be more pleased on how they turned out. You can't go wrong with a classic blue and white stripe for summer and as soon as I saw the chinoiserie print I knew I had to have it! The only downside, it was very expensive fabric! I bought a half metre (or yard, I am terrible with measurements) just enough to make two pillow faces. I brought The Oldest with me to help pick out fabrics and he scoured the last chance bin to find a nice striped fabric to add to the back, for only $5. In total I spent $99 on fabric to make 4 outdoor pillows, 1 indoor one (for my living room), and a table runner for the outdoor dining table. I am reminded of this joke I once saw on Pinterest. 

I always serve ice tea on the deck. Happy Planet is a new to me brand of ice tea and I am in love. Organic raspberry iced tea with lime is refreshing without an overly sugary taste, a major plus in my books. I started drinking their smoothies for breakfast this summer and bonus...they're a Canadian company! It's a good idea to always have a fresh bottle in the fridge in case anyone stops by.


A few more details about our deck style; the elephant side table was a purchase from a local antique market (the previous owner glued a marble tile to the top to make it a larger table), the wicker drink coaster (on the blue and white stool) came from Goodwill, the outdoor lanterns are from Target, and the Boston fern behind the two chairs is on a black iron plant stand from Wal-Mart. 


I am a blanket hoarder. I have no problem admitting that. My husband travels frequently for work and over the years we have accumulated quite the collection of Mexican blankets which work great as shawls on cooler nights. I keep a basket of blankets at arms reach at all times in my living room and on the deck. This wicker basket was from Goodwill for $2. 


Everyone needs a good barcart. They are cute, and they serve a purpose! Having wheels is a plus in my books because it can go from the dining room to deck with little to no effort. I keep a basket filled with cocktail recipes on the bottom shelf and an assortment of liquors, mix and glasses on the top.  This little gold beauty is from Wal-Mart and cost me less than $100. A little modification that I plan on making is adding a hanging glass rack under the top shelf. 


The aisle runner for the table is leftover pillow fabric with a hole in the centre for the umbrella. White plates with wicker chargers are my favourites for casual dinners. The chargers are from Target and the plates are Restoration Hardware.


Actually, our table is a bit of a funny story. This is not the original table. The original one, that came with our six chairs, was a beautiful smoked glass top that smashed during the first season of owning it. It was a wicked wind storm and The Youngest was home alone when it happened. I got a very panicked phone call at the office and I raced home to make sure he was ok and to sweep. And sweep. And sweep. It was a giant mess and while it was not funny at the time (since outdoor furniture is crazy expensive) it's pretty funny now. We replaced the table with a cheaper, non-breakable plastic one from Canadian Tire. 

Let's take another look around the deck...









And I leave you with Colton and his little ball. Thanks for coming along on my little deck style tour. I'm so happy that it is finally all finished. I am off to enjoy my deck in the clouds with a nice cold beverage. Cheers! 

Details


Target: Lanterns, Chargers, Solar panel lights for louvers (Three packs of 2) 
WalMart: Barcart (sold out online, similar one from Target)
Fabricland: Pillow fabric
Homesense/Winners: Blue and white garden stools (similar options for under $100 here and here)
Kijiji: Chairs, small white table
Canadian Tire: Dining table
MeadowAcres Garden Centre: Dining chairs
Restoration Hardware: Plates

Dog Days of Summer


Outfit | Shirt: L.L. Bean (on summer clearance now!) | Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer | Bag: Tory Burch | Shoes: Payless | Sunnies: Cheapies, similar | Lipstick: Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb |







The dog days of summer are here and from the looks of the weather forecast, it will be with us a while. Not that I'm complaining because this is Canada and we all know that snow is never far from our thoughts. 

I was out running errands with AMH and The Youngest, or better know as the kid who is searching the entire city for Pokemon GO, and in between the grocery store and lunch, we stopped by a local trail along the Grand River. The bridge you see in the background is the Freeport Bridge and it is protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. The first bridge was erected in 1820! There have been many modifications over the years to keep up with demand. This bridge is well travelled as it connects two of the largest cities in the Tri-Cities, Kitchener and Cambridge. 

I purchased this Summerlight Pullover Shirt in Coastal Blue from L.L. Bean in part because it was 60% off but also because this blast of hot weather is melting me. I am a fall lover through and through. It truly lives up to its name of summerlight, it is the lightest fabric (don't worry, its not see through) and exactly what I needed this weekend. Summer is all about easy dressing so I paired my blue shirt with some summer staples; white Lilly Pulitzer shorts (I swear by these shorts and have them in multiple colours!), tan wedges I picked up from Payless for around $20 and my tan Tory Burch crossbody, creating an easy weekend look perfect for grocery shopping or hunting Pikachu along a river.