A Few of my Favourite Things

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head for days but you can’t remember all the lyrics so you start to make up your own?

I have been singing “A few of my favourite things” from the Sound of Music for days. It is starting to drive me crazy mainly because I can’t remember anything aside from rain drops on roses, whiskers on kittens and brown paper packages tied up with string. I know that Julie Andrew’s character was fond of a lot of things but I have no idea what they are.

It did get me thinking about my favourite things and I have decided to share my top ten with you today.

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1. Tarte’s Maracuja Oil

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This stuff is the best! I usually suffer through the winter with dry and flaky skin, but not this winter. Tarte is known for it’s high quality and natural ingredients and this is no exception.

The oil is silky and light and penetrates your skin quickly so you don’t end up with a greasy face. I put it on in the morning and before bed. I can honestly say my skin has never felt better.

2. Coconut Oil

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Clearly I have a thing with oils. I love coconut oil for many reasons. It is a god send, especially in the colder weather.

I use it every day from cleaning my skin to moisturizing my hands to smoothing out my hair.

I recently went blonde and my hair paid the price. It is usually pretty dry but it is now a little crunchier than I would like. I put coconut oil in my hair every night before bed and in the morning it is soft, smooth and frizz free. I only use and pea sized amount and only on the ends. Before I shower I cover my whole head in oil and let it sink in for 5-10 minutes. I then wash it out using my normal shampoo and conditioner. My hair is always super smooth and soft afterwards.

I am also a huge fan of using coconut oil and baking soda to exfoliate. I use maybe a teaspoon of oil and a half teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it together in your hand until a paste forms. Scrub gently and rinse off with a wash cloth and warm water. Your skin will be as smooth as a babies bottom.

3. Faux Fur Throws and Pillows

I am currently obsessed with all things faux fur. As soon as the cold weather hits I immediately feel a strong need to be cozied up by the fire snuggled under a warm blanket with a nice cup of tea.

The pillow and throw are available at Chapters or Indigo

I was lucky enough to get a cozy faux fur blanket last week from my kids as an early birthday present.

They have since deemed it their own personal blanket it and I rarely get to use it.

The pillows will be the next addition to the house. Chris just doesn’t know it yet.

4. Extorp Sofa from Ikea

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Years ago when I decided I wanted white couches everyone told me I was crazy. “You have young kids” they said. “White will get dirty so quickly” said another. I didn’t care. I was bound and determined to have white couches. I did my research and decided on the Extorp sofa and love seat from Ikea. I have no regrets.

The slip covers are every parents dream. Whenever there is a spill I just remove the cover and toss it in the wash. Yes it gets dirty and yes I have the occasional freak out whenever my kids are eating chocolate but overall it is pretty low maintenance.

 

5. All things plaid

My love for plaid knows no bounds. If I could wear plaid every day and not have people think that I am now employed as a lumber jack I would.

Old Navy has a huge selection of plaid clothing. All of which I want to buy.

 

6. Lands End Chalet Short Boots

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I recently got a pair of these boots from Lands End and I adore them! Made of water resistant suede and faux fur, they feel like Uggs but are dressy enough that I can wear them out with clients. My only word of warning is that they fit a little on the big side. I ordered a 6 1/2 and it felt huge. I should have ordered a 6. My husband came to the rescue and put  Superfeet insoles in and now they fit perfectly.

7. My local drug free butcher shop Pilgrim’s

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I am incredibly lucky to live right around the corner from this shop. It is full of locally produced sauces, honey and of course drug free and hormone free meats.

I don’t know about you but I am not a huge fan of not knowing what is in my food. Yes I will indulge in the occasional Big Mac but for the most part I like knowing that what I am eating isn’t full of chemicals.

If you are ever in the Niagara area you need to check it out. We have friends from Toronto that put in huge orders that we bring up every time we visit. That’s how good it is. These are people with easy access to Whole Foods and a variety of other drug free butchers but they still choose Pilgrim’s.

8. Provisions Food Company

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Words can not describe how in love I am with these fruit pastes and condiments. It is like heaven in a jar.

I was introduced to the company by a friend of mine last year when she came over for dinner. We asked her to bring an appetizer and she arrived with crackers, cheese and jars of pear paste, crab apple paste and onion marmalade. I was instantly smitten.

All Provision Food Company’s  products are made in Niagara from seasonal and local produce

Out of all of pastes and condiments the onion marmalade if my absolute favourite. Sweet and savoury without that burning sensation I usually get when I eat something onion related. Pair it with brie and prosciutto on a baguette and you will be in heaven too.

9.  Yes Please by Amy Pohler

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After reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey I expected that this book would be similar. I was wrong. While Bossy Pants is nothing but hilarity from start to finish Yes Please is deeper with only a few laugh out loud moments.

Perhaps saying that it isn’t full of comedy gold seems like a bad thing to say but trust me it isn’t.

Yes Please gives you a history of Amy from birth, to high school, to acting and everything in between. It is an interesting book that teaches you to follow you dreams no matter what while being respectful and humble along the way.

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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I read Gone Girl a few years ago and felt emotionally disturbed by the end of it. How could this beautiful woman come up with such a crazy plot? Surely she must have a few screws lose I thought.

It took me a while to pick up one of her books again. I am not a huge fan of people being killed, or psychotic behaviour in general. Lately I prefer books by Dave Barry or Emily Giffin. Books that don’t leave you feeling completely creeped out by end.

I decided to read Dark Places because the reviews on it sounded amazing. Although the plot line makes you uncomfortable it sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. I won’t discuss the plot because I don’t want to give anything away but I will say that I was completely engrossed from start to finish. You know it is a good book when you have gone through every emotion possible. From sadness, to joy and everything in between. The characters felt relatable despite the macabre theme, which I think is what makes her books leave such a powerful impression on the readers.

So maybe Gillian Flynn is not as nuts as I thought. Maybe she is just a really talent author with a penchant for  unnerving her readers.

 

 

 

 

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Favourite Fall Decor

The leaves are changing colour, there is a crispness in the air, and it is finally sweater weather. It’s officially time to put away all things summer and start decorating for fall.

I have scoured the world of blogs for fall décor inspiration and I wanted to share some of my favourites with you

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diy project wood block fall banner

How cute is the banner from Thistlewood Farms

thanksgiving table with mustard accents

I love everything that Centsational Girl does!

Fall Tour & Decorating Ideas | perfectly imperfect

What a beautiful table setting from Perfectly Imperfect. Always blown away by what Shaunna comes up with!

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You can always rely on Miss Mustard Seed to come up with beautiful minimalist decorating ideas

DIY rustic fall sign - the easiest way to make a sign!

Loving this mantle by Liz Marie

Fall home

Some outdoor inspiration from Just a Girl

Natural and gorgeous décor from Apartment Therapy

rustic halloween box

Polka Dot Pumpkins from Craft o Maniac

Beautiful mercury glass pumpkins with leaves and candles from Setting for four

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Try this simple side table project from Thrifty&Chic

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DIY acorn wreath from The Little Farm Dairy

5 MINUTE FALL DECOR-an easy and doable way to decorate beautifully in 5 minutes- lots of pictures and instructions-stonegableblog.com

 

A fast fix from Stone Gable Blog

So much inspiration and I have barely scratched the surface! How do you plan on decorating for fall?

Goodbye Summer

Sad to say but summer seems to be on the way out.  My gardens are no longer green and vibrant. Most of the colour has drained out of the flowers or they have completely died back. The crazy hot and cold flashes of weather that mother nature brought this summer did a number on quite a few of my plants and grasses. Luckily my hydrangeas seemed to thrive. I had more blooms this year then I ever have.  We planted three more hydrangea bushes this year. This brings our hydrangea total to seven.  I might have a bit of an obsession. My favourite part of spring is seeing them start to bloom. They are absolutely gorgeous throughout the summer, but I think they are even more beautiful in fall. Their colour goes from a vibrant pink to a muted and rich rose.

 

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I was recently inspired to use the plethora of hydrangeas that I have by a post from stonegableblog.com

 

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The first thing I needed to do was get Chris to build me a decorative trough. The instructions for it will come in October. He is never happy when I add to his list of projects. Luckily building this took less than an hour so he couldn’t be upset for long.

Now to fill it with dried hydrangeas…

Drying hydrangeas can be hit or miss. Your best bet is to cut the stems at an angle, take off all the leaves and place in a mason jar of water. Leave them in the jar until all the water evaporates. This can take some time, possibly a week or more. By the time the water is gone your flowers will be dry but not a shriveled mess.

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I put some florist foam in the bottom of the trough. I got two blocks of it from the dollar store for $2.50. I use it just to give the hydrangeas some stability and lift. This way they aren’t piled on top of each other.

This was the final result.

 

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I am really pleased with how it turned out. I decided to forgo the white pumpkins for now. I’m not totally ready to admit that fall is here.  This seems like the perfect transition piece to go from summer into fall.

Starting over

There a only a few times of year when I feel like it is time for a fresh start. Spring is an obvious one. The trees are green,  flowers are blooming and we can finally leave the house without feeling like we might get frost bite.

For me back to school time is synonymous with starting over. It always has been. New pencils and erasers. New teachers. You felt like this was going to be the best year ever. Some years it was, some years not so much.

The kids went back to school last week and I found myself feeling a bit confused as to how I should spend my time. For the last two months I have been a stay at home mom. With Chris being on the road a lot this summer I didn’t take on any new clients so I could be there for the kids. Now I need to get back into the swing of things. I started with an update to my webpage. It was so sad an outdated. I feel like it has a fresher feel to it now. Check it out and tell me what you think…

Sarah McKie Realtor

Second, I started a Pinterest account that is real estate related.  I am totally addicted to Pinterest so I figured combining the two would be a great thing. I have boards dedicated to listings within the Coldwell Banker Momentum Brokerage, as well as useful tips for buyers and sellers. Did you know that Pinterest has 70 million users and women make up 80% of the pinners?  That’s a lot of potential clients that I can be reaching in Pinterest land.

As a bonus to my lovely readers, if you start to follow me (for the month of September only) on Pinterest you will automatically be entered into a  draw for a $25 gift card to Starbucks.

Stay tuned for October’s contest!

Finally, I started the blog again. I have been missing in action for quite a while. My last post was for a Christmas wreath! There is no good excuse for why I haven’t been able to sit down and write every day. For some reason my mind was totally blocked and I felt like I didn’t have anything to say. Now I have a blogging schedule so there will be regular posts. Yeah!

For regular updates follow me on twitter @sarahdavidmckie

 

What to expect this month…

Making a harvest table

Fall décor

Fall crafts with the kids

and much more!

 

S

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Hey! How are you??? It’s been a while! I feel like I never have time to sit down any more and write. I guess that isn’t a bad thing because I have been working quite a bit in real estate and sold two houses in a week. For someone new to the game I feel like that is a big deal. I wasn’t sure if I would succeed in real estate. It is tough to get clients. Despite what HGTV tells you they don’t just fall into your lap. Things are coming along though and I feel like I made the right decision to leave the school board and start a new career.

It’s funny how things work out the way they do. I was so scared to leave a steady pay cheque and the people that I worked with, but if I hadn’t made the leap I wouldn’t be as happy as I am right now. Looking back I am not sure what was so terrifying. I mean I can work from home, sleep in and spend a lot more time with my kids. I knew all that going in but all I felt was fear and panic. Where was the money going to come from? What if I was a total failure at real estate? Would the stress of not have a pay cheque every two weeks cause problems between Chris and I? All I feel now is relaxed and stress free. I have so much more patience with my kids, and Chris too. I no longer have a constant knot in my stomach and I am sleeping through the night.

I also have time to be crafty which I love. Yesterday I made this Christmas wreath with the kids. It was so easy that my four year old did most of the work.

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All you need is some ornaments from the dollar store, I think it cost me $12.00 for all of them. Some ribbon for the bow, also from the dollar store. Finally a wire hanger.

Untwist your wire hanger and shape it into a circle. Okay try and shape it into a circle. It is hard to do and will look wonky but just try your best.

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As you can see my wire looks nothing like a circle, but it also doesn’t look like a hanger so I consider that a success.

Pop off the top bit and glue it to the ornament. If you don’t you will regret it. Just trust me on this. I speak from experience.

Start to string the ornaments onto the hanger.  After the first 5 or 6 ornaments go on you are going to think it looks awful and how on earth will this work. Have some faith. The more you cram on there the better it will look. You will probably need 50-60 ornaments of varying sizes.

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When you are done wrap the two ends of the wire around itself. Do it quickly so the ornaments don’t fall off and make you so angry that you start kicking them across the room.  That totally happened.

There were a few places where I could see the wire so I used my trusty glue gun to fill in the gaps with some tiny ornaments.

Add the ribbon to the top of your wreath stick on a bow and you will have a beautiful wreath that only took 5 minutes to make and cost a grand total of $13.00.  Wreaths like this usually retail for $30.oo or more. I love saving money at any point in the year but especially at Christmas. I think I will take the money I saved and buy myself an early Christmas present.

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You can’t see the wreath that well because of the glare from the storm door. I just like the picture.