August 26, 2016

Cousins are the best!

Growing up as part of a large extended family was amazing! What was even more amazing was spending my summers as a child surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins at Rémi Lake. In fact, my absolute favorite memories growing up involve my cousin Amy and the times we spent together at the lake. When I was pregnant with my first son, Nicholas, I was thrilled that one of my sisters and my sister-in-law were also expecting, because I had high hopes that my kids could form the same awesome memories with their cousins.

A few summers ago, we held a photo shoot of the sons and daughters of myself and my siblings. Although the photo shoot itself was a bit hectic {you try controlling 6 kids at once!} the results were really fun!


Last year we chose to continue the tradition, so my brother took a picture of these 6 cuties along with the newest addition, Quin, who was yet to be born when we took the pic in 2014.


Love that Seb and Quin are looking at eachother. And really love Nico's goofy face!

This year, I was dead set on continuing this new tradition, so I took it upon myself to take the photographs. Unfortunately, Quin was back home by them, but I really wanted to include him in some of the shots. I decided to ask for a close-up picture of Quin and placed it in a frame. I asked Mathéo to hold it during the first photo, which actually turned out quite nice! Plus we had yet another addition to the group: Éli Daniel.


And since the kids were actually into taking pictures {and it was keeping them busy while dinner was being prepared}, I took quite a few shots, then had some fun in Photoshop:

They all turned out pretty great! Luca had SO MUCH fun taking pictures, that after dinner he wanted me to take some of him jumping off my dad's dock. And my favorite shot of the summer was captured:

I don't know why, but I love it!

I may not be the best photographer, but hopefully these pics will be treasured forever and our tradition will continue from year to year. We may have a new addition again next year...

August 19, 2016

Cottage Dreams

It is official! I have purchased the cottage of my dreams! This quaint cottage used to be in my family when it belonged to my Aunt Patsy and Uncle Moe, a wonderful couple who we always lovingly referred to as Aunt and Uncle even though he was really my dad's cousin.

Several years ago, after my Uncle passed away, my Aunt decided to sell the cottage and it was purchased by a man from southern Ontario {let's call him Joe}. At the time that she sold the cottage, I remember being devastated that I was not in a financial position to buy it. Since then, I have secretly hoped that Joe would put it up for sale.

This year, I took a chance and asked Joe if we could use his cottage during my vacation. I wrote him a good old snail-mail letter and took the opportunity to mention that it was my dream cottage, and that if he ever chose to sell it, I would buy it. He agreed that my vacation did not coincide with the times that he was planning on staying at the cottage, and that we could use it during my vacation.

During our stay at the cottage {which was 4 weeks of absolute fabulousness!} he advised that he was looking to sell it. Jon and I jumped on the offer which we could not refuse! And it is now 100% ours! I could not be more happy! The location is actually perfect, as it is situated not only in the bay where my childhood cottage was and still is, but it is next to my parents' cottage, which just happens to be next to my sister's cottage. I also have a tonne of relatives in the same bay, which means my kids will get to experience what I did as a child: spending awesome summers at the lake, surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles and grand-parents. A real dream come true for me! Plus, the view isn't bad either! {Morning coffee on the deck looking out at the lake is just perfect! In fact, it is my happy place!}

Here are some pics of the cottage as is: {WARNING: the carpet may hypnotize you or give you a headache if you look at it too long! Never mind trying to find pieces of Lego on it!}

Of course, if you know me at all, you know that I just HAVE to add my own touch to this sweet little cottage. 

Here is my inspiration board:

And here are my plans:
  • remove the carpet {mainly for allergy reasons! My husband and kids both have allergies that were really aggravated during our stay} and paint the floor Horizon by Benjamin Moore
  • paint some of the wood in Simply White by Benjamin Moore: I know some of you may think this is a crime! But I have to tone it down a touch. Plus some of this wood has not been treated so is in rough shape with water stains, etc.
  • replace curtains
  • paint upper kitchen cabinet doors Apple Green by Benjamin Moore
  • recover cushions of the built-in sofa and paint the unit in Simply White
  • repaint the dark green of the dining room table either in Simply White or Apple Green
  • paint the built-in entertainment unit Mexicali Turquoise by Benjamin Moore
These will be our first changes which will mostly be done early next summer. For the time being, we will simply paint the floor, but eventually I would like to install a laminate or vinyl floor.

The exterior of the cottage could use a bit of sprucing up but that will definitely wait until next year or later, as it is in good condition. Our first project to tackle for the exterior will be re-staining the deck in a dark chocolate brown to match the rest of the dark chocolate on the cottage. Eventually I may paint the burnt orange siding in a pale blue simply to differentiate it from my parents' cottage which currently has the exact same color exterior.

I am so happy about this little jewel of a cottage being ours, and can't wait to share progress pictures!