Nancy O''Brien

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Nancy O''Brien
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Happy Thanksgiving, Eh!

This weekend is our Thanksgiving here in Canada. It is a lovely fall forecast but I am required to stay in my home until 2:30 pm each day as it is also election time here and I am on stand-by to work our advanced polls. So what to do while I wait? Write a story! 

I have decorated a little bit for fall although I still want to add a few touches. So here is a look at my living room on this sunny Saturday. Feel free to give some suggestions for where to go from here. Happy Thanksgiving! And if you live in Canada, go vote! 🙂 

Neighbourhood Drive By -Beautiful Bedford

Welcome to a short drive by of one part of my home town of Bedford, Nova Scotia. Bedford sits at the tip of the Bedford Basin. Today’s drive by will be focused on the area of Shore Drive and the homes closest to the water. For years the homes here had huge lots but in the past decade or so, many of the owners sold parts of their property and newer homes have gone up. The beauty in the above picture is one of my new favourites. I love the wide white trim, the colour of the siding and the design of the garage door. The columns and stone design of the porch is typical of the newer homes on or near this road. And just around the corner is this older home. I love the porches and the colour  combination used.

This home was chosen cause I adore turrets. I think they add interest to homes and I just wish I could go inside to see the floor plan. Don’t you? 

When I was teaching, one of my students moved into this home below. I did get invited here. 🙂 It has a great deck hanging over the water’s edge and a beautiful main floor plan.

This next home was a renovation of one of the older homes. I love the cedar shakes and the porch. Looking through the trees to the left is an example of how homes were tucked onto the same property with winding driveways to reach them.

 Perhaps my favourite addition to the street is this small cottage placed in what use to be the front yard of the home behind it. The English cottage design is charming. What I appreciate is that the eyebrow window on the front is a homage to one of the well-known architects of Nova Scotia. Andrew Cobb designed many of the well-to-do homes in this area using his signature window design. Doesn’t it look like this home was always here? I really appreciate when developers are careful to save the century-old trees on the properties.

Across the street is another new house tucked between two older homes. I wish I could show you these older homes but they are protected from view by garages, fences and privacy landscaping. 

No ride  around Bedford is really complete without a stop by this landmark. The Chickenburger has been here since the early forties. Until a few years ago, it was a family-run business. Luckily, the new owner grew up here and appreciated the ambiance and has maintained the best parts including the jukebox that still plays the oldies. Purple People Eater ring a bell?They have added an ice cream shack at the back called Chicken Little where they get the kids to bring in their report cards on the last day of school for a free ice cream! You can also watch outdoor movies outback and every Tuesday is Antique Car night. I love the glass block design out front and the old tree in the new stone planter. It has been there since I was a child. 

Number 20 As Promised #20littlethings 

In  my post Twenty Little Things That Are Really Big Things, I promised to share number 20 as soon as I had finished it. Well,as life would have it, many things got in the way and of course I took longer than I anticipated. Happily, today I am getting around to sharing my little project. 

When my daughter moved to her own apartment last summer, I redecorated her bedroom as a guest room with my granddaughters in mind. On their first sleepover visit, the oldest , McKenna, wanted to know if there was an empty drawer for her things. I had put a small IKEA chest in the room but had not emptied it as I needed the space. So I now had a mission to find a good wooden dresser to give me more drawer space. I am much inspired by the posts and websites where so many DIY projects are posted so, I also was hankering to do over a piece of furniture. I found this dresser at a local consignment store and the project began.

I began with this blond bombshell above. I used Rust-Oleum Furniture Transformations in a cottage blue colour. The handles were cleaned and sprayed with a shiny gold. Here they are before…

Once I had completed the project, I found the blue was the wrong colour for the guest room and I set it up in my bedroom. I’m not 100% sure  about the colour in here. What do you think? #helpa sisterout .

I knew this would be my number 20 because I am notorious for not completing my projects and crafts (many unfinished quilts, knitting, and rugs not hooked). But I knew this was going to be finished and the sense of accomplishment would make it special to my home. 🙂 

Twenty Little Things That Are Really Big Things

Reflecting about the little things I love about my home made me realize that they may be little things but they have become “big” due to their importance in my life. I moved into my home about 15 years ago when my husband and I separated. It was as you can imagine a devastating time. I began rebuilding my life and for the first time, I owned property all on my own. Independence was something new for me and I was scared. Now I look around my home and find there are few things left from my previous homes. I have created a home which reflects only me and my personality. So here is my list:

#1. I love the safe feeling I have when I  am curled up on my sofa watching television or reading. It just feels right to be here.

#2. I love  my memory drawer where I keep mementos from my career and special times in my life like my graduation with my M Ed, gifts and cards from family, friends and former students. It is nice to reminisce.

#3. My view from my balcony – I overlook a sports field and love to hear the crowds cheering on a summer night of baseball or the fans of football in the fall. 

#4. The colors of my walls. My place now feels brighter and more light-filled. The bedrooms have a spa-like feel.

#5.  My living room chairs. The big floral print is a departure for me. (I have always leaned toward neutrals and solids.)Changing things up is fun.

#6. My kitchen sideboard. It has given me more storage and counter space in my little galley kitchen.

#7. My “High Tide”poster. Purchased on line from “Shorely Chic”.

#8. My decorating books and magazines. I enjoy these so much!

#9. My meaningful art. I love all the  pieces that I’ve collected as they all have a story to share.

#10. My “Titanic” Bell. It is a reproduction I found in a little gift store in Chester, NS. Halifax has many passengers of the Titanic buried here. I love the bell as my grand-kids like to give it a ring when they drop in. 🙂 

#11. My air conditioner. I give  thanks for this item all summer long when it is hot and muggy outside.

#12. My gurgle jug. This was another find in Chester, NS. It is really cute and it is designed to make a gurgling noise when you pour. Best part was that it was on sale for less than half of the original price. Don’t you just love a bargain? 🙂

#13. My magnifying mirror. I purchased it from my friend who was having a yard sale to raise money for her brother who has MS. It was donated to the sale by another friend who has since passed away. It is great for my old eyes! :)

#14. My cookbook collection

#15. My guest room. It’s where my grand-kids come to stay and play.

#16. My living room blind. I waited 15 years for this and love how it gives me privacy at night. It is really neat as it is shear with vanes in the middle so I can adjust it for complete privacy or to allow soft light in.

#17. My Cottage carving. This is an incredible piece hand-carved in minute detail. You can even see the hanging baskets on the front porch! It is very special to me as this is a carving of the cottage I stayed in in Hubbards, NS when I attended my son’s wedding.

#18. My blue collection. I have a small collection of blue accessories  which have special meaning for me. They range from the Willow Tree Angel from my Mom to vases that were gifts from two friends who have passed. They remind me to savor every day with those I love.

19. I love the soft glow of my lamps in the evening. They send a message that I should be at peace and relax because I am home.

20. This item is in the works. It is a dresser that I am refinishing and planning to post about next week when it is completed and home. (I am working in my son’s PODS warehouse.) Please drop by next week to see how it comes out! #20littlethings

Window Seat

When my daughter moved to her own apartment, I started changing her former bedroom to be a guest room for my granddaughters to sleep over. Occasionally my daughter will still sleepover. (Especially after we stay up late watching the Batchelorette :) ) My granddaughters are 11 and 8 and they were thrilled to see the room taking shape. They would even do a little re -decorating moving pictures around and adding small bowls of scented soap. I adored how much they loved it. The window has a small ledge in the dormer of my building and they would pile blankets and pillows to make a reading nook. So this spring I ordered a custom pillow and a few more toss cushions. The pillow arrived today and so now things look like this…

Mother’s Day 2015

I am blessed to be a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. Those of you who are mothers of either humans or special pets know that being a mother is enough…the best gift possible. It makes every day joyful! But isn’t it a treat when they want to celebrate you!? Among my gifts this year was this lovely little globe. I have craved one for so many years. My daughter knew. As she said, â€śMom, I’m giving you the world! I hope she, her brother, my daughter-in-law and wonderful grandchildren know they ARE the world to me. Feeling grateful… 🙂

My Confession – My Comfy Place

All my life I have enjoyed a good nap. When the world gets to be too much or when I have done too much that day, I love to tuck myself in to my cozy bed. Mostly I nap but often not until I have read a chapter or two. Today’s joy comes from Jeffrey Archer’s â€śMightier Than The Sword”. #mycomfyplace

Make It Pretty in the Bathroom

I am a little late to the party this week but I wanted to select a small project and the two I am working on right now are not ready. So I got to thinking and wanted to share this accent idea from Umbra. My bathroom is small and I have painted it a dark colour, Sherwin Williams Sporty Blue so I needed to add lots of white. These floating flowers are extremely easy to install as you just push the magnet into the wall and toss on the flower. I used five of the flowers here to add some more white and visual interest without making things heavy.

I used several more on the entrance wall to reflect in the mirror. Lastly, I added a favourite picture of mine given to me years ago by my sister. Doesn’t this little trio make you want to sing? Singing in the shower is really my only venue!

What’s Inside This Breakfast Special?

Whether it is breakfast or brunch this Mediterranean Pie recipe is a family favourite. Years ago I was attending a potluck at my school. As I was new to the school that year and teaching Family Studies, I decided to try this recipe. It turned out so beautiful and so delicious that I made a good impression on my new staff. I should also say it was really easy so I made it again for my family. It was an immediate hit and became one of my most requested dishes at family get-togethers. Eventually my kids began making it for their entertaining and at Easter, my daughter-in-law made this beauty. It is a beautiful combination of layers of ham,red pepper,cheese, spinach,eggs, and puff pastry! #whatsforbreakfast 

Bistro clock

After commenting on Maria Newell’s post where she showed her bistro clock, she asked me to send her a picture of my little one. So Maria, here it is, as promised. I love how I can the time from both rooms. Isn’t it fun to see how so many of us have similar items even if our tastes are different! That’s neighbour’s for ya! 🙂