Friday, May 6, 2016

At Cardinal House this week

First and foremost, to our fellow Canadians from Fort McMurray, Alberta - 
our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. 
This week, ironically Emergency Preparedness Week, 88,000 people were evacuated from Fort McMurray because of a forest fire that is still raging out of control. 
If you want to help families who narrowly escaped - 
donations  can be made at

This week at Cardinal House ........

We have some special visitors on the way. A bird nest has taken shape above one of our outdoor speakers on the lanai. It's a cozy spot to raise a new family. I'd love to share a picture of what little we can see, but we are all staying back from the area so that we don't scare the mother. Our kitchen table is at the window right beneath the area, so we are looking forward to hearing some little chirping soon.

Richard helped me get into the spring of things with a vibrant tulip bouquet this week. Having flowers near the sink makes the chore of cleaning or cooking a lot brighter.

This is the state of my dining room table currently. Little packages of things I ordered for the wedding have arrived, files of all the contracts, rsvp cards, a basket for the flower girl and personalized vow books. It all reminds me that I need to stop and get a Rubbermaid bin with lid and tuck it away safely.
A collection of dresses for bridesmaids, flower girl and my sister are slowly taking over the guest room. Hey - it's wedding fever time at Cardinal House........

I'm off to the nursery today to hopefully bring home those cells of Trillium plants I wrote about the other day. The great temperatures today and this weekend are perfect to get some of the planters filled with a bit of prettiness.
There are three hydrangea in the house that are crying out to get planted in the garden. This large plant was a snow white flower when she first came home, once in the garden bed I'm sure she'll bloom to her original colour again.

Our daily reminder of the fast approaching wedding date. I'm sure Richard would like to take a board eraser to it. Almost there Honey.

..... and your plans for the weekend ?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tis the season to get dirt under your nails.

I really love spring. Getting into the garden and seeing everything peeking up from the ground makes me happy. It's the start of garden boots and dirt under your nails season.

It's amazing that just going to the garden centers and breathing in the smell of fresh soil seems to give me energy to go home and dig. Last year our new garden beds were starting to settle in the yard since the construction; this year I plan to add colour with more flowers and variegated bushes.

I feel like the plants are calling out my name when I wander through the garden center. At this time of the year especially, it's difficult to leave without packing them all into my vehicle and bringing them home. Time to make a list of needs first and wants second.

As most gardeners know the start of the season begins with clean up and top up. Time to order a delivery of top soil to add once the garden has been turned over and cleaned. In addition to replacing a couple of small cedar tree's that are looking sad, and two dogwood bushed that the rabbits chewed down - my list of additions includes:

Trilliums - this is our provincial flower and I love it. We have a couple at the back of our property and many more just beyond our yard, but I want to grow a lot of them in our yard. There are select growers in the area who carry them and hopefully I can still get a few to build a healthy bed of them.

Climbing roses - The wall of our garage is the south wall and gets a good amount of sun each day. The warmth of the brick is a great spot for climbing vines and roses. This year I will add a rambling old rose (yet to be decided on) to eventually spread over the garage entrance and the south wall.

Silver queen euonymus and purple allium - The north wall garden area of our property is deceiving, it gets more sunshine than you think at first glance. The area is a seldom used walkway to the backyard that is a solid brick wall of the house on one side, with a wooden property fence on the other side of the walkway. There is garden bed on both sides of the walkway - the wall side currently has yews. The fence side will be injected this year with Silver Queen Euonymus (one of my favourites) and in the fall a generous planting of purple allium. It's a pretty combination.

Daylilies - Now that the canopy of tree's has opened up a bit on the property there are more hours of sunshine on the garden beds. Daylilies in a variety of colours will be added to several area's - I love the way they blow in the breeze.

Boston Fern - I've ordered ten Boston Fern plants (huge from a Niagara grower) for the house and to use for the wedding.

The plants are indeed calling my name every time ........... 'Katherine, take me home'. It's like being a kid in a candy store for me. And yes, the sweet girl who does my nails will tisk, tisk me over the next month. But this is my most favourite time of the year and a little dirt never hurt anyone.

Are you in the garden? 
What is your favourite season?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bride Workout

Part of the wedding planning for me was/is to step up a fitness routine. I have this nightmare that I'll walk down the aisle and look like a sausage stuffed in a dress, which is not the look I'm going for. So I've been working on my own 'shape it & tighten it' routine.

via bridetobefitness

I have never been devoted to a gym, instead wandering in and out of programs over the years. Pilates combined with an on-my-own workout routine was my happy place. But the re-occurring nightmare of a having a little too much girl for the dress was driving me to be more devoted to the mat.


Top of the list is arm toning. Sleeveless summer tops is great motivation, add a wedding dress and it becomes a mission. I dream of having Michelle Obama toned arms, not to mention being able to do the level of push-ups the First Lady does. So I turned to a Tracy Anderson 8 minute arm workout program - added some weights, a pilate routine and push-ups (which I'm bad at) and planks (which are a breeze for me).

I wasn't looking for an exercise buddy, but my Granddaughter has been keeping me company lately with her own personal routine. Somehow houla hooping was added to our program. I wonder how that happened.

Sweating for the wedding. Slimming down for the gown. Bridal boot camp. These are all terms being used to encourage frighten brides-to-be into getting toned. At 57, the idea of being the center of attraction in a gown was enough fear to motivate me.

You don't have to be a gym rat to be devoted to yourself. For me it has been about giving myself more attention and time, pushing a bit harder and changing the routine around.
There are no selfies of me exposing my abs or episodes of passing out at boot camp, just a sensible routine. My workout buddy said 'grandma, after the wedding you don't have to do this arm exercise anymore'. It might be the dress that initially drove me to step up the fitness routine, but it makes healthy sense to keep taking it up a notch.

via mindbodybride

 Do you have a personal exercise routine? Do you change up your fitness program on a regular basis?