Wednesday

Sh*t To Do By Next Summer



Source Unknown


I've always been the type of person who struggles to live in the moment without planning their next move. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a true Gemini. Whether it's wondering what color to paint the garage while I try to relax beside the pool, or thinking of ways I can extend the deck instead of enjoying it for what it is, or visualizing how beautiful next years gardens will be instead of managing the gardens I have right now - I am always planning my next project. It's not necessarily a good thing. With me, watching a beautiful sunset over the mountain from our front porch rocking chair wouldn't be complete without a very convincing pitch to cut down a few trees for an even better view.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, either. I'm not lazy, I set goals, I don't mind getting my hands dirty and there are worse things I could be spending my time and money on, that's for sure. But this summer isn't even over and I'm already thinking of next summer and all that I could have accomplished if I make a list and set my mind to it. 

How many times do you catch yourself sitting around thinking I'm sure there's something else I could be doing right now yet your mind is blank? Well, having a list of short and long term goals is all you need to make better use of your time and money. This list may seem like a bit much, but I've got all year to get shit done.


So, here goes...


Create a fire pit. We've cleared an area near the pool so all we need to do is remove some roots, level the ground and fill it with whatever necessary to keep the weeds away. I think we can all agree that a fire pit is a summer must, so this project is high up on our priority list for next year.



Paint garage. We spend a lot of time out by the pool therefor I spend a lot of time cringing over the eye sore that is our garage. Only two sides are seen so only two sides need painting which will make the job a bit easier. I'll take a leftover piece of siding from the house, color match and plan a weekend around getting this done once and for all. 


Paint wooden table, chairs and glider. These wood pieces are all in great shape but desperately need a fresh coat of paint. All I need to do is set up a work station in our basement and I'll have the perfect project for cold winter nights when there isn't much to do.


Install outdoor lights on house. This is a job for hubby. We have all ten lights, we just need to install them before it's too cold to be outside without gloves.


Buy new patio furniture, hammocks and pool toys when they go on sale. Not exactly a project, but definitely a big expense. Buying patio furniture nowadays is like refurnishing your family room, have you noticed? Adding this to my list will remind me where I should spend a few bucks this year to save big next year. We have a lot of outdoor sitting areas that are being neglected because we simply don't have the patio furniture, so if we take advantage of off-season sales we can fix that problem and finally enjoy our outdoors to it's full potential.


Cut and trim. This summer I noticed way too many plants, bushes and trees that are overgrown and obstructing our pathways and our beautiful view. I'm asking Santa Claus for a hedge trimmer this year, mark my words. Before next summer, we should have everything cut back or cut out - and something must be done ahead of time to prevent the weed takeover that we're experiencing this year.  

Create a hammock haven and tea garden.  We have a beautiful shaded area that I'm dying to turn into a tea garden and hammock haven. We just need to level the ground and either lay some flat rock or build a small platform deck. With a table and chairs, a few hammocks and some solar lights it would make the cutest little hiding spot.


Work on the little extras for the tea garden. I'd like to make a sign, some DIY bird-feeders, paint some flat rock and a buy a step stool to reach my clothesline from that end. I'd also like to sew some new cushion covers. These little projects can be worked on inside all winter. 


Extend the front porch step to meet the side deck. This project isn't as extreme as it may sound, but it would take having to do some extra budgeting and hiring a carpenter. It's not a must, but if done eventually, it would really improve the look of our existing deck, add a few feet of sitting room on our front porch and it would hide a big section of our front lawn that we hate to look at.


Stain decks. Thankfully I have a lot of time to mentally prepare myself for this grueling project because it will have to wait until the snow melts. 


Clear property of fallen trees.  Nothing bothers me more than looking at all of the fallen trees around our property knowing I can't just pick them up and move them myself. This will be a bit of a tall order as it will also require some extra hands and maybe even some machinery. The bonus? It could pay off in firewood for the winter.




Thursday

This Is 30



Source Unknown



I went out with friends a few months ago wearing a pair of high heel shoes that I've worn several times without a problem, and had to secretly slip them off under the table to give my feet a break. My feet and legs were killing me so much that I tried to stand in one spot all night to avoid walking around, and the next day I obsessed over my inflamed pinkie toes as I swore to JESUS that I'd never wear anything but a practical shoe ever again. I was so upset, and I blamed it all on turning thirty.


I was given a big bag of scrap fabric and as I sorted through each piece, I excitedly put aside what I knew would make cute tablecloths with matching oven mitts and pot holders. I looked forward to spending the following Saturday at my sewing machine and may or may not have hoped that my husband would have plans of his own so I could be free of distractions. In that moment there was no denying that times have changed and I was in fact, turning thirty.


When I came to the realization that weekends without commitments are my favorite kind of weekends, I can no longer shop at Forever 21, and if it doesn't have SPF I'm not buying it - I knew I was turning thirty. When it dawned on me just how much I love waking up without a hangover so I can drink coffee and plan a productive day - I knew I was turning thirty. When I admitted out loud that I'd rather get a tan from working around the yard and that I'd much rather have a drink during the day so I can still get to bed at a decent hour - I knew I was turning thirty. When watching Jeopardy with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap became an anticipated part of my weeknight routine, and when it became crucial that my friends and I compared work schedules in order to find time to hang out - I knew I was turning thirty.


And of course, there was no denying it the day I bought my first pair of waist shaping underwear. 


But now I am thirty.


And, I'm cool with it.


I took those ridiculous underwear off the first night I wore them. Rolled them up and stuffed them in my purse, took a deep breath and returned to the party where I could finally relax and enjoy myself. I didn't need those underwear or anything or anyone to make me feel good about myself. I am no longer an insecure woman who worries if she looks okay in a crowd or if someone already saw her out in that dress. I am no longer an insecure woman who spends her alone time anxiety ridden, wondering what she is missing or if anyone is missing her. I turned thirty with a long list of things I love about myself and things that I am passionate about; things that make me love to be alone like writing, reading, sewing, cooking, listening to music or simply getting lost in the peace and quiet of our home. I even love my body. I love to treat myself with bubble-baths and face masks and hair treatments and exercise. I love that I know my strengths and weaknesses and that I'm never apologetic for how I feel or what I want, even if it's extra cheese or gravy on the side or crushed Doritos on my salad.


The thing I love most about myself at thirty is that I can list all those things before listing the man I share my life with. I've learned to love myself first, which makes loving someone else and being loved that much better. I love that I'm not the same woman I was years ago, and the woman I have become is a woman I really like. 


And I'm only thirty.


Rachel Emmilee
XO

Friday

Hello, June!




I went for lunch all by myself yesterday. For the first time in twenty-nine years and three hundred and sixty days I chose to ignore the urge to invite a friend along or ask my husband if he had time to meet me. I took a table for one and sat far enough away from other folks that making conversation was not expected of me. It was nicer than I thought it would be, actually. I didn't realize it was something I wanted to do before I turned thirty until I was there doing it - sitting in a restaurant all alone. I didn't have to eat slow and careful so not to be caught with a mouthful of food at the wrong time and there were no awkward silences to fill with small talk in between bites. I didn't even care that I had food in my teeth when the waitress came to check on me. 



I opened my day planner to welcome June, my favorite month. Almost every square was covered in ink; exclamation points, doodles of hearts and balloons and stickers to brighten up the page. I turn thirty, two of my best friends also turn thirty and my sister-in-law and bestie turns twenty-nine. My niece turns ten, my new nephew is due to enter the world and my parents celebrate thirty-one years married. There's a heart drawn on the day Garett asked me to marry him and several hearts drawn on June 30, the date that marks five incredible years as husband and wife. This month also marks ten years out of college. Where did the time go?


There will be no shortages of parties, dinner dates or fun in the sun. There's even a staff BBQ and a weekend in Halifax penciled in, and you best believe I'll be taking myself out for lunch again... June brings with it so many reasons to celebrate. It will be the greatest kick off to summer 2017 and an even better start to my thirties...


Rachel Emmilee
XO

Thursday

Throwback Thursday - Keith Urban - Nashville TN






Watching this video will forever give me chills. Tickets to Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN was a birthday gift from my husband, sister and brother in law. When seeing Keith Urban in concert is on the top of your bucket list and you score this view and eye contact, what could be any more exciting?



A Sweet Escape






"We are just going to Ottawa," I'd say with a shrug of my shoulders and a mildly impressed facial expression as if just going to Ottawa was nothing to get excited about.


In my defense, when someone asked me if we had travel plans this winter I knew what they were really asking. They were really asking if we were going south, and I really wanted to say yes to Jamaica or Mexico or Cuba. I love a seven day vacation on the sand drinking bottomless cocktails and smoking cigars with strangers - long story - but with him on a new diet that I feel would be nearly impossible to follow at a resort and me being insanely paranoid of mosquitoes, going south this year didn't make sense.


Instead we just went to Ottawa. We only saw the Montreal Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators in a shootout and went to two incredible concerts. We had a car and an apartment to ourselves, did some outlet shopping and ate our way around the city. We attended Mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral because we just so happened to be in the right place at the right time while playing tourist early on Sunday morning, and we drove to Quebec to spend an entire day at Nordik Spa. We even spent an afternoon in bed watching Netflix because apparently we don't do that enough back at home.


We had an amazing time.


So I was wrong. Okay? I admit it. You don't have to escape winter to escape the winter blues. I sounded like a spoiled brat saying 'just' and shrugging my shoulders and making that face. We're lucky to be able to travel at all, and I'm not proud that I underestimated how much fun we could have in our very own country. The truth is, it's the simple things that make me happy and as long as he is by my side, any escape is a sweet escape.



Rachel Emmilee
XO


C U R R E N T M O O D





It's the second of March and this is my very first post of 2017. No holiday wrap up, no list of personal goals, no resolutions set for the new year. What's up with that? I could say I haven't stopped long enough to write but that would be a lie. It's winter and I live in the sticks, and there have been plenty of storm days and power outages that could have been spent curled up with my computer. I've had all the time in the world to keep my blog up to date to be very honest, but life happens. Life happens and it's not always fun to talk about. So I will begin by taking another deep breath, because sometimes that's all a person can do, and then I'll bring you up to speed. But, not actually.

  

FEELING irritable and a tad bit antisocial. Wanting to avoid crowds, long conversations and people in general. The peace and quiet of my sewing room has been my happy place for the last few weeks.


READING nothing. Amy Schumer's book The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo has been on my nightstand since December 27th.


LISTENING TO old records. There is something very intimate and almost romantic about listening to old records, and I especially love that most record jackets come with the lyrics printed on the inside so you can get drunk and sappy and sing along no problem.


WATCHING way too many shows to list. Girls, This Is Us, Nashville and Portlandia which is hilarious by the way. New Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Kevin Can Wait, SNL and of course, The Bachelor. SPOILER ALERT! I really thought he would pick Corrine and I'm kind of disappointed that he didn't.


PLAYING Catchphrase with anyone who comes to visit and Scrabble with my husband who can't seem to beat me.


WORRIED ABOUT our sweet little dog. He's not a puppy anymore. In fact, he's almost nine years old. I've started to worry about his health and really panic at the thought of losing him.


WORKING ON moving out of one bedroom and into another which requires a lot of lifting, cleaning and reorganizing. The entire idea stresses me out so we're at a bit of a standstill but it has to be done, we need a main level guest room. Also working on dresses, skirts and tops for the spring and summer.


CONSIDERING buying an Endy mattress because it would be our only shot at getting a king size bed up our stairs. It's time we break up with our pillow-top queen mattress; it's ten years old, way too soft and surprisingly too small for the two of us and our dog.


CRUSHING ON young Justin Trudeau and Jason Momoa. Have you seen his Instagram? His smile, his style, his love for his wife and children and the earth... I mean, really?


EATING cheese, crackers, pickles and prosciutto like it's going out of style.


DRINKING too much coffee and not nearly enough water. Oh, and the coldest pop machine known to man happens to be in the staff room at work, so Friday is Pepsi day and I have no shame.


EXCITED FOR my hair appointment next weekend and a sweet escape with Garett in March to see a couple of concerts and take in some rest and relaxation.


EXCITED ABOUT my Babe Cave. I've been spending hours on end in that room sewing, designing dresses and skirts and watching tutorials online. It's glorious.


MISSING quality family time.


AVOIDING exercising every day, cleaning out our fridge and doing laundry.


STRUGGLING WITH sleeping through the night without waking several times to a thirsty and/or anxious dog, therefor I am also struggling to function like a normal human being in the mornings.


HATING Zika Virus. Garett and I took traveling south off the table this year because we feel the risk of contracting the virus is quite high and definitely not worth it. A little part of me dies inside each time someone tells me they are beach bound because there is no place I would rather be right now.


LOVING my new bed sheets, the big mouth SnapChat filter and my little fam.


XO