Every once in a while, a really neat project shows up in my Instagram feed.  And when it does, I want to jump on board!  Enter Chris Bennett of Christine Bennett Design and her Lucky Me Lifestyle.

You know how you find someone on a social media platform and you like their style, their spunk and you think you could be friends in real life?  A while back I came across an Instagram feed that I really liked and so for a bit I would just like or occasionally make a comment.  And she ‘followed’ me back, and slowly we interacted more. Then, one day Chris posted a little painting she did and left somewhere for a stranger to find.

That post was probably what tipped the scales.  I commented and a little conversation ensued and then some emails went back and forth.  I knew that at some point in time, we would be getting a painting of our own to drop off somewhere for some one to find!  { We’ve since met a few times in real life and she’s even more vibrant and enjoyable in person than online 😉 }

Let me expand a bit more about exactly how this works.  It has a name, My Happy Place Project, and the basic idea is that a piece of art is dropped off at a happy place and left for a stranger to find and take with them to be enjoyed!  Chris’s pieces for this project are happy clouds and happy waves.  She has left them on the ferry to PEI, her son’s favourite park as a child, a well known pie place in the states and some has been shipped off to the other side of the world for her friend to plant.  She even worked with Argyle Fine Art and created a book with paintings and drawings from 150 people who submitted their ‘Happy Place’ and then stashed it somewhere for someone to find….which they did!

Here’s the thing….she may never know who found it, where it is now or anything about it after she walks away.  But!!  Some people have used the hashtag so she did hear back from a few of the strangers!!  The stories are heartwarming, like one person who had just moved to the area and was feeling pretty lonely but having found the painting, their day was brightened up!  And that’s why I wanted to be a part of it!

So, during the Homegrown Vintage Market, where Chris was a vendor { the vendor who I got my lovely Chicken Mug from!! } she pulled a beautiful chunk of wood out of a bag or box and handed my our Happy Place Project painting.  I was nearly in tears!  It was gorgeous.  But I knew it wasn’t mine to keep.

The girls knew we were getting something to drop but they didn’t know what.  So they were pretty excited to see what Chris made for us.  And then when I asked where they thought we should stash it, they knew exactly where they wanted to go.  The Balmoral Grist Mill.  And I knew it was the place.  See, the grist mill is somewhere we used to go as a family when I was young for Sunday picnics or just a drive.  We would skip rocks along the river with dad and explore the mill if it was open. It holds special memories and I love bringing my family there now.  It happens to be on the way home from Tatamagouche so if we go for a drive for coffee, we might swing in for a quick little visit.

Once I had recovered enough after the market, we piled in the car and headed to the grist mill.  The girls were so excited.  I could barely get them to stand still enough to take this picture.

I wanted to make sure it was sheltered a little, it was later in the day and the forecast wasn’t great.  So, we tucked it under the overhang of the building.  And then we walked away.  The girls wanted to go the next day to see if someone found it but I wanted to wait a little longer, I didn’t want to run into anyone with it, either!

A few days later, we checked and it was gone.  I hope whoever found it loves it and appreciates it.  I hope it brightened their day.  I’m glad other people enjoy our Happy Place, too.  And thank you, Chris, for letting my family be a part of the adventure the ‘My Happy Place Project’ is!  If you have Instagram, you can see the other projects HERE…how fun, eh?

And if you ever find yourself by the Balmoral Grist Mill, I highly recommend you stop and enjoy our Happy Place and make some memories of your own with your family!

To be continued,

Lori

  • Christine Bennett - September 13, 2017 - 8:12 am

    Yay! You’re the best.

    Thanks for playing the happy place project with me.

    It started a goofy, little artsy thing that David and I did ‘just this once’ for kicks on a foggy day, but it quickly turned into something that really seems to be quite meaningful to a lot of people. As a society, I think we’re all ready to start hearing about simple things, that are simply nice.

    There are now 19 happy places out there. To my knowledge, they’ve all been found. I’ve heard back from 3 finders: a family from the UK who was visiting Canada for the first time, and found it on the morning of their first day here (‘Canadians really are the nicest people!’); a person who had just moved to Montreal and was feeling lonely so she went out for a walk and found it, and two people found the Argyle Art Gallery edition and spend the morning reading and looking the 150+ pages together.

    Happy places have been left in PEI, NS, QUE, ONT, and NY, VT, NH, ME, along with: Singapore and Indonesia. (I’m sure my mom is taking it personally that I haven’t left one in my home province of NB, but I’m working on it.)

    Simple happiness. That’s fun, right?

    XO- Thanks for sharing with everyone the project. And thanks for being as cool in ‘real life’ as you are in your #insta-life 🙂ReplyCancel

Today marks the start of another school year in our household.  I sent the kids off on the bus and sat down with a cup of coffee and a quiet house.

Another school year dawned, wet and humid.  The girls were pretty leggy today, we stayed out at the Pictou Ex too late but whatever.  We might even do it again, tonight, too.  But they got up, and ready and eagerly got their pictures taken. They know full-well that momma is probably going to blog about it! { You can read some of our other first day posts HERE, HERE and HERE!! }

Now here’s a funny story.  I stayed up even later, getting my awesome Letterboard all set for the pictures this morning.  I excitedly told the girls about it this morning when they came down for breakfast but they would hear nothing of it!  They wanted the chalk board that we have used for years!!  So, I can’t argue with tradition, so we wiped it clean and looked up some fun fonts on Pinterest and then did our own thing anyway.

Because it was pretty wet out, we opted to do the pictures in the barn, in hindsight, maybe not the best idea!  The lighting was crap but….here we are!

Our Lena is heading off to Grade 5, this will be her last year at our awesome little school! I’m hoping she’ll have loads of fun over the course of the year, and knowing her teacher, pretty sure she will!

Hannah is off to Grade 2 and has one of Lena’s favourite teachers this year.  I hope the two of them get on as well as they did!  Hannah really wanted her picture done with Cuddles, the cat, but trying to get Hannah and Cuddles to be still enough in the barn didn’t work well – sorry, Hannah!

I love that Hannah is sporting the exact hairdo that Lena had going into Grade 2, long bangs that needs to be pulled up, out of the way!  What is it about this age that they know exactly what they want?

Speaking of which, the girls had one special request with the chalk board and it was this:

Again, barn lighting did us no favours this morning, Ebony is blurry but the bus was coming so I did the best I could 😉  Apparently Ebony is in High School, we think her favourite subject might be lunch….what do you think?

I managed to get my Letterboard  in some pictures, anyway! When there’s a will, there’s a way!  The back and forth of a blogging mom, right?

I know there were some moms out there kicking up their heels and probably some crying in their coffee.  It is both pleasure and pain watching our babies grow up and move on, but that is exactly what parenthood is, right?

To be continued,

Lori

I took too many pictures to share in just one post – you know me!!  This is picture heavy but close-up, the small details of Kings Landing.

I tend to shoot tight and close when I photograph things.  So, it was no different when we toured Kings Landing in New Brunswick this summer, which you can read about HERE.  I saved some of the smaller details, the close-ups to post together in one post.  I love the textures and the details in historic places, they aren’t shiny and new, but aged and weathered.

Here we go!!  This first one is a lantern on a buggy.  Not only increasing safety, but beautiful, too!

These mossy slate shingles are amazing to me! Stacked so neatly and still so disorderly with the moss!

Apparently I have a thing for the patina of door knobs. Here’s a few I saw around the site…

This was something one of the staff set out for us to guess what it was….any guesses what it might be?  I’ll give you a hint that they would be in sets of four….

I loved the bright colours of the seed packets, the vintage drawings are awesome, too. Also, the price can’t be beat!

This is a toaster, if you can imagine. I can see that I’d burn a piece or two…

This huge wooden wheel is part of the saw mill.  This kinda blows my mind, I have to say….

There’s lots to see at the General Store but this little twine dispenser caught my eye.  How many yards of twine were pulled through there, while shoppers got the latest news about the community!?!?

This final shot was one I took in the Kings Head Inn where we had the best lunch.  The tables were dressed with cloth napkins, the waitresses were in full costume and the lemonade was sooo tasty but not quite as good as the coffee.  We had a late lunch so by the time we finished up, the lunch crowd was gone and we had our dining room to ourselves.  It was perfect to recharge for an afternoon of exploring.

I hope you enjoyed seeing Kings Landing through the lense of my camera.  We enjoyed our time there, exploring as a family.

And to answer the question about what that thing was? It’s a horse shoe of sorts for walking horses on mud flats!

To be continued,

Lori

This post was sponsored by Kings Landing by my take on it is just that 😉

I’m sure you’ve seen them, those gorgeous, rich velvet pumpkins that are all over Instagram and Pinterest! Well, I decided I’d jump on the bandwagon to see just how easy they are to make!

 

Fall is definitely in the air around these parts.  The calendar may say it’s only the start of September, but the weather and the fact that the furnace kicked in tells me that fall is most certainly on its way.  Which means I can start decorating for fall!  I love fall decorating, I love the colours, the earthy textures and the coziness.  And pumpkins are the perfect thing, right?  But I like pumpkins that last from year to year.  So, I thought I’d give those velvet pumpkins I’ve been seeing every where a try.  In fact, I knew I wanted to do this so last fall I saved a few pumpkin stems for this year’s project.

Guys, these are so easy to make.  Probably 10 minutes or less per pumpkin. And how adorable are they??

Here’s a list of supplies:

Velvet { I used discontinued fabric samples from work }

Pumpkin stems, driftwood or sticks

Stuffing

Needle and thread

Scissors

Hot glue

Chalk or pencil

Something round to trace { I used the lid of my Tupperware Pie Keeper and a bowl }

Step 1. Gather supplies

Step 2. Trace your circle onto the velvet.  I did it on the back so the chalk lines didn’t matter.

Step 3.  Cut out your circles.

Step 4. Using a long running stitch, stitch around the outside of your circles.  { I learned the hard way, so keep your stitches spaced about an inch or so apart and double up your thread, I used quilting thread for extra strength. }

Step 5.  Pull the threads to gather it.  Pull as tight as you can, ideally without breaking your thread { See previous note and insert eye roll }

Step 6. Stuff it.

Step 7. Pull the strings tight and knot it off.  I also did some stitching back and forth to close the hole over even more.

Step 8. Hot glue the stem in place.

Step 9. Decorate your home with your pretty Velvet Pumpkins!

Aren’t these adorable??  I love them.  And the colours I had worked really well for fall, too.  But you could do them in any colour to suit your decor.  I’ve seen creams, whites and aquas that are so soft and pretty!

Hope you enjoy them!  Now I’m off do take some pictures and do a little fall decorating!

To be continued,

Lori

If you are looking for another fun pumpkin decoration, you can check out this one….it’s from those first posts I did so don’t judge!

Summer is short and you’ve got to grab vacation when you can.  So, when I saw a window of opportunity to steal away for a few days in New Brunswick, I jumped on the chance.

The key to a successful family vacation is to do something or go somewhere where you know everyone will have fun and enjoy themselves.  For our family, it has to be history and horse based.  This year, that trip was Kings Landing in New Brunswick.  In the past, we’ve enjoyed family trips to Ross Farm in New Ross { you can read about that trip HERE and HERE } and to Louisbourg { you can read about that one HERE and HERE }

Our Kings Landing day dawned bright and clear and after another session in the hotel pool and waterslide, followed by a tasty breakfast, we aimed the car for Kings Landing and arrived shortly after opening. We were greeted warming and handed our map and sent on our merry way.  Guys, this place is huge and amazing!!  I had no idea the extent of work that had gone into the restoration of the land and buildings.  And the staff were fabulous and knowledgable in their history of the area.

I took a ton of photos throughout the course of the day as we explored…no surprise there.  Everything was so interesting to look at and to hear about from the staff.  Michael would end up chatting while I faded in and out of the conversation to snap more pictures.  The girls had their ears tuned in for the clumping of the teams of horses pulling wagons and would watch with awe as they passed by and then turn to us and confirm for the 49th time that we would be going on the wagon, right?

As I mentioned, the staff was wonderful.  They knew their stuff and some good stories along with their facts.  And the ones who were in full character were amazing!  It totally messed with me at first when I was chatting with one lady and then I finally clued in. { duh! } The costumes were perfect, too.  The building alone would be amazing, but really, the staff there are what makes it.

Everywhere you looked, there was a pretty vista. The houses, barns and buildings were spread out just like a real village would’ve been.  Dirt roads joined everything up, with little paths here and there creating short cuts.

Each house had its own story and history and was set up to showcase a particular aspect of life.  Some many incredible vignettes that caught my eye throughout the day…like I said, I took a ton of pictures!  Here’s a few of my favourite settings, well, maybe more than a few!!

As I mentioned, for our girls life revolves around horses these days.  And Kings Landing didn’t disappoint!  There were pony and horses rides, wagon rides and horses in fields.  I think they both wish they lived in a world where horses played a role in everyday life.

And then there was this moment…pretty sure this would make Lena’s Opa pretty proud! Actually, it made me pretty proud, too!  Love that she tried this!  Milking cows by hand is no joke!

We always talk about what each person’s favourite part was after we tour a place like Kings Landing.  The girls both said riding, no surprise there, and I can’t remember but I think Michael said the mills – the sawmill, the sash mill and the grist mill.  For me, I loved the cedar rail fencing.  Does that sound lame? But I love the ingenuity of it for fencing, the texture of it to photograph and the way it pulls you along the roads and paths. I took a couple pictures…who am I kidding, I took a lot…I’ll spare you a few and just show you my favourite!

Isn’t this the most amazing setting?  So quaint and peaceful, right on the banks of the St. John River.  After I had posted some pictures during our trip, one of my friends commented that her grandfather helped build of the ice roads across the river to bring some of the houses onto the site, houses that otherwise would’ve been lost when the river was flooded in building of the Mactaquac Dam.  I love that people cared enough about the history of the area to preserve it in this way and had the vision to create Kings Landing so we can have a glimpse into life in the 1820’s to 1920’s.

Our family loves sites like this.  Our only piece of advice to book yourselves a full day to explore.  And wear comfy shoes….the site covers a lot of ground.  But do it, go and explore.  Take your family.  Pack up the kids, there is something there for everyone!

And just in case you wondered, we took the wagon 😉

To be continued,

Lori

This post is sponsored by Kings Landing but my take on it is just that 😉

 

  • Bea Howell - September 3, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    was so happy to read this as I worked there for 7 yeas and loved it but it has changed a lot..I was so glad to read that visitors still enjoy this place it is unique and beautiful…ReplyCancel

  • Alena Martin - September 4, 2017 - 10:41 am

    oh Lori!! Picture of the fireplace with the hanging flowers had me pausing a moment! we will be adding this to our list of historical sites to visit, how had I never heard of this? thank you for sharing it with all of us! we’ve been to Sherbrook and Upper Canada Village and the Citedal and loved it all. We tried for Ross farm but got rained out so thats still on the list. Highland village in the fall is something I want to see, road trip?ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - September 4, 2017 - 11:30 am

      Yes!! I’m in for a Road Trip!!!ReplyCancel

  • Faye MacDonald - September 5, 2017 - 10:23 am

    Cannot wait to take my international students from Spain and TurkeyReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - September 5, 2017 - 12:14 pm

      I hope they enjoy it!ReplyCancel