This is my willow tree. It sits silently in the corner of our backyard swaying gently when a breeze blows and providing shade on summer days. I love my willow tree.
When I first saw it I secretly hoped it would come to life and dole out wise advice like the willow tree in Pocahontas. It’s hard to give up on a little girl’s fantasies.
As you can see, my tree is covered in ivy. I fully admit I knew zip about plants and gardening when we made the move to our house so I thought the ivy was a nice perk to an already beautiful tree. Then my astute mother came over and set me straight on the dangers of ivy (maybe I don’t need the tree from Pocahontas after all) She brought me up to speed on the fact that ivy is actually bad and will strangle the tree and eventually kill it. Suddenly I was picturing something from a Stephen King novel; an unstoppable force of ivy that would sneak into my bedroom in the dead of night and strangle me too… My imagination takes on a life of it’s own at times.
So I got to work pulling and yanking and jerking these ropey buggers out of the ground. After hours of sweaty upper body pain and countless bug bites I got to this point and decided to call it a day.
And what’s a girl to do with all the scary bug filled branches? Pack them into waste bags apparently. This is only five of the never ending bags being filled up around here.
There was still a ton of vines entwined in the top of the tree but removing the bottoms rooted into the ground kills them off so the plan was to give it a week or so and come back out with a rake to get all the dead brown vines down.
After a few days of some major heat the vines got what were coming to them. We were good to go.
I saw this! There are a family of baby racoons living up in the tree!!!
My first thought was, ‘Yikes! Those are vicious right?’ Looking back at this critter who had locked eyes with me and let out an angry GRRR! suddenly my mind went to a very different Disney movie moment:
*I think I just called myself a wart-hog*
But eventually I realized that these were little babies. Three to be exact. They were cuddled up together in a sleepy ball yawning at my interruption of their snuggle time and probably more scared of me and my incessant clicking camera than I of them.
Then I thought about my chubby nugget of a cat and how racoons have a reputation of brawling with cats. When my cat is scared she quite often takes on the pose you see above in hopes you will just move on. I may as well bring her out to the racoons on a silver platter with these fighting skills. But alas, she is a strictly indoor kitty, that is, when she doesn’t slip past us and out the door for a few minutes of freedom before we chase her back inside.
So I decided they won’t be much threat and I would leave the babies alone in their willow tree home. They are too cute to serve an eviction notice to in the form of a rake. Hopefully they just move on to a new home and our battle with the ivy will continue onto it’s next saga.
I spend a lot of time browsing pictures on Pinterest. (I’m using the term ‘a lot’ very loosely here to save myself the embarrassment of admitting how often I’m pinning) Since I made the discovery of the site it seems like there is an endless amount of inspiration and beauty available at my finger tips. I am a very visual person and I love to dream so Pinterest has become my little getaway from reality where I can gawk at some couture I’ll never fit into, fantasize about the wedding I’ll never afford, dream about the places I want to see, drool over the homes I don’t have, and learn so many new cool tricks and tips I never knew. I thought for fun on this sunny Friday evening that I’d share some of my latest pinnings with you guys.
Tips and Tricks:
I’ve got to try this!
Super cute idea for a gift topper or decoration for a party.
This is just so cute, next birthday on the calendar I will be doing this for sure!
Every night I pack my fella a lunch and I hate giving him the same boring sandwich everyday. This mini chart is so handy for spicing up lunch time.
I love peonies so much. They look like pillowy floral heaven
Take my pick? Really? Well alright, if you insist…
I’ve always pictured my wedding as elegant and sparkly. This picture is a fairly dead-on creation of what I picture in my head.….maybe with a few guests though.
And of course you need an elegant gown to match the elegant reception. I adore this Reem Acra dress.
Something about greys and pinks just does it for me every time. It’s hard to fight the urge to design my house as if no man lives in it.
Glamor at it’s finest. This struck me as classic Hollywood.
Everything in this picture does it for me. Love the drapes and colors and lines, it’s just an all around great room.
A touch of vintage
This kitchen’s red stools reminded me a bit of the kitchen from the show “Parenthood” Check out my tour of the sets here.
Drool Worthy Food:
Summer strawberry tart.
Double Chocolate & Raspberry Pavlova.
Mint pea soup.
Gorgeous pink cake.
Eggplant fries with honey
A Whole New World:
As you can see, pinning is quite a vice for me. So tell me, do you pin? What sorts of things catch your eye and have been pinned to your boards?
The Vancouver PNE is making it’s yearly summer return rather shortly. I most look forward to annual PNE Prize Home featured every year. The home typically relocated to Kelowna and this year is no different so even if I won I wouldn’t be able to live in it but it’s still super fun to tour a brand new decked out home and picture yourself having it be yours to keep. I know most of my readers don’t live in BC but I thought it will still be fun to share with you a tour of the home.
The abode is a craftsman style home measuring 3100 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The entire grand prize is valued at over one million dollars. Pretty good considering it’s a mere $25 bucks to throw your name in the hat.
I loved the two beautiful doors at the entrance of the home.
This is the formal living room.
I enjoy the look of those two sconces above the fireplace but it looks like it would mighty tight to fit anything else up there between them.
Adjacent dining room with seating for eight.
Another thing I thought was very attractive about this home was all the windows. There’s more windows than wall space. Gotta love that natural light!
The gourmet kitchen is open to the dining room. I adore seeing wall ovens, definitely something I aspire to have in my kitchen one day. Overall I liked the look of this kitchen, it felt very homey and inviting. One thing I noticed though, is that there was very little cupboard space and with no pantry I’d imagine it’d be tough to find a place for everything.
They picked an awesome fridge, it was a monster size.
I was drooling over some high end ovens the other day when we were shopping. Something about a gas stove with a built in griddle makes me feel all fuzzy inside.
The powder room was completely wall papered with a pedestal sink. It was very simple and cute.
I'm crazy about the patterned blanket covering the bed but I’m fairly certain linens and accessories are not part of the deal if you win the home so either way I’m out of luck.
The master bedroom was super simple with only key pieces of furniture so it kept it’s open and light feel.
It also offered two doors the walk out onto your glass wrap around balcony.
This is a shot of the master closet which was gigantic but for as big as it was, it didn’t really offer a whole lot of storage for actual clothes. I’d still take it though.
The master bathroom was one of the nicer rooms in the home. It had a soaker tub and his and her vanities.
The shower was really large with different heads for massage and the toilet could be found around the corner. I wasn’t totally smitten over the accessorizing of the ensuite but like I said, it’s not included so it really makes no diff. I would have just like to see some plush white towels and some more serene artwork on the walls.
Every year the house features a “girl’s room” and a “boy’s room.” I thought this years were done nicely. My favorite girl’s and boy’s room was from the prize home in 2009, check it out here if you are interested.
I have a hard time jumping on board with any carpet that isn’t neutral because it’s such a pivotal and fixed feature of a room so if you ever wanted to change the look of the room a blue carpet is going to put some tight constraints on what you can do. Otherwise I think this room was super cute and most little ladies would enjoy having their slumber parties in it.
The Boy’s Room
I think this bed was funky. The room sort of lacked anything else though. It was basically just a bed in a room.
Jack and Jill bathroom
This is the upstairs landing which like the master bedroom, also has doors leading out the balcony. The main carpeting on the second floor was this really neat textured looked that had almost a wood grain style to it.
The laundry room was pretty much what you would expect. It was on the first floor unfortunately but the appliances seemed really high-end and there was plenty of cupboard space.
The home also has a really nice outdoor fireplace at the front of the house. It looks like it’d be lovely to sit in front of at night with some wine.
The last shot is the back of the home. The stairs coming down from the balcony aren’t actually included in the home, they just put them up for touring purposes. However, you do get a hot tub, a BBQ, $2,500 gift card to Marketplace IGA, one year subscription to the newspaper and a year of MiniMaid house cleaning which is pretty decent since the tickets are a far cry in price than most of the other prize homes in this area. Typically you’re looking at dropping a minimum of $100 so I think this is a nice alternative for people who can’t afford to lose that much. The house isn’t the only prize you are eligible for either. There’s tons of others like cars etc. that you can also win. All in good fun! If you want more information and pictures of the PNE Prize Home visit their website.
So what do you think of the home? Worth shelling out $25 or would you rather save it and put it towards something else?
"I believe in manicures. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing alot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." -Ms Audrey Hepburn
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"Every once in awhile, a girl has to indulge herself."-Ms Sarah Jessica Parker