"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fresh Eyes

The azaleas in bloom all over Hilton Head Island
We're back from our trip south which was fun and relaxing for multiple generations of the family.  A week away with both of our fathers was priceless.
We nearly froze on a daily basis, something about a nor'easter named Stella blowing arctic air all down the eastern coast?  We bundled up in our layers and looked longingly at the swimming pool, but our eyes did have some reprieve from winter by way of spring flowers everywhere.
A window box in Charleston.
 Charleston is my favourite.  How pretty is this city? I had no idea.  The day we visited was bright, sunny and cold, but the garden finery of Charleston is permanent and classic:
Old brick, garden urns and wrought iron: Charleston themes.


 The gas lanterns! So gorgeous:

 We had lunch with some super-fun friends of my father-in-law at this really lovely restaurant:
Recommended for the food and service.
After a grey winter here in Canada the bright (if cold) days south were really welcome to our eyes.  You know how returning from a holiday sometimes brings clarity of vision?  I arrived home to see my house and how I've organized it in a new light.  I've been moving furniture, cleaning like mad, and donating a few things.  I've done twenty seven loads of laundry, found the perfect coffee table and bought a lamp for the dining room.
More Hilton Head Island flowers.
I've been mulling over the ideas behind this blog too, and questioning the purpose of it.  I feel that blogs have changed a great deal since I started writing Mop Philosophy in 2009.  Many of my favourites have sadly closed, or moved on to Instagram.  I continue to read and enjoy blogs that are highly personal, and that is how I shall proceed with my own.  I'll focus on domestics which are such an interest and a pleasure for me, even if I am a slapdash cook, decorator and baker.
I hope you've been well Darling Tooties.
xoxDani

43 comments:

  1. Sorry the weather was not a bit more accommodating. Charleston is definitely one of my favorites...that and Vegas. One of the few places I like to revisit every few years. Just got back from London and met up with Couldawoulda. Talked about all the dying blogs and how they were missed. Mine is just on a really long sabbatical. I find Instagram very boring. So...delighted you are going to keep up with yours.

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    1. BB I still have to go to Vegas can you believe it! My hubs has only been once and that was on a law conference so obviously not a good intro to the city. I haven't checked Instagram for a couple of weeks because my teenager dropped her phone in the toilet and so she took mine. I don't miss it though I have to say!
      Would love a blog update from you, there my first nag it won't be the last! Thanks BB xx

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  2. Charleston is one of my favourite places too! Did you have crab and grits? I ate that everyday. Yes as BB said we talked about IG etc but I do enjoy IG at times and other times it is just a thing to check or do if i am waiting for something. But I never thought it replaces any blogs - I just can't really connect with it unless they already blogged and even then it isn't anyway similar. I did nag BB a bit about her blog hehe and I do wish certain bloggers would come back but I do now really cherish the ones that are still going I must say including yours xx

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    1. Naomi the food on the holiday was wasted on me because of my restrictive diet, no gluten and no pork really limited my choices everywhere. I lost weight that week around all of the lovely food, what a shame! It was ridiculous actually. The one place that had a gluten free menu was the restaurant in Charleston. Being in the South really makes me miss fried chicken.
      I agree so much with you re Instagram and blogs. I'll nag BB too because I miss her blog she's so funny. I love her personality it just leaps from the page, so lucky to meet her xx

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  3. I just can't get into Instagram. Give me a great blog any day. Love your posts.

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    1. Thank you Jeannine I appreciate that so much xx

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  4. Would love to see a picture of your coffee table. Have been wanting to replace my coffee table for ages, not so many choices living in regional Australia. I hope you continue with
    your blog as I am not an Instagram fan.

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    1. Anon thank you I agree Instagram is a different animal that's for sure. Oh gosh I must have looked at 3000 coffee tables. I'm very happy with the one I chose even though I was nervous about it because it's a bit different. But size and shape are key, stay tuned for the coffee table post xx

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  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE that white window box - in fact, I have decided I am going to have all-white flowers at the cottage this year - so pretty and fresh! Would love to see home changes as well and the coffee table please. Anna26

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    1. Anna I think all-white flowers at the cottage is such a good idea, so bright and summery. We have such a short season we have to highlight it best we can! Thank you Anna miss you and wish you would move back to 26 xx

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  6. LOOK LOOK LOOK what landed in my INBOX!!!!!!!!
    YOUR BLOG!IT"s about TIME!
    I ADORE CHARLESTON TOO only been once but I could MOVE THERE!
    The people are SO NICE!
    KEEP IT PERSONAL..................THAT IS THE BEST!
    XX

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    1. Contessa you could move there and you would fit right in and be the Belle Of The Ball that is for sure!
      I'm so happy my blog did land in your inbox, thank you so much for reading and for your friendship. I've been so concerned for you and I owe you an email. I hope you are feeling well right now Dear Contessa xx

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    2. Better today...........23 days NO EPISODE!
      XX

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    3. Thank goodness Contessa! So happy! My daughter has tests at the hospital today, a sleep deprived eeg, all this stuff is not fun one bit. Sending all my good wishes for your good health XX

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  7. Yes, sorry the weather was inclement. I too am happy you'll keep writing. Our political situation freaked me out so I had to focus elsewhere, but I find I can't quite give up the blog. It's evolving;).

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    1. LPC I completely understand your choice to turn your focus elsewhere. Personal blogs must evolve with us and that's what makes them good!
      The weather was cold but it really just meant no swimming and limited beach time, for us it was still a big change. I love the South too, the people everywhere are so friendly and interesting. So polite! Thank you Lisa for your support all of these years xx

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  8. Dani, Love your photos. Charleston is on my list of places to get to someday! How nice you did a multi-generational thing. We are doing that this summer. Good for the kids too.

    Blogs have changed so much since I started 6 years ago. I still like them better than Instagram. I think that they also serve as a bit of an archive. I don't think much of mine, but when I go back and look out all I have put out, well it's nice to have.

    I think the same goes for yours. Keep up with it and the ideals and good life you advocate. I would be lost without you and other friends smart advice about living well. Lovely as it is to look at Instagram, it is more noise. When I'm at a blog I get immersed and that is a little escape! Keep up the good you spread!

    xo Kim

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    1. Kim that's funny because one of my good friends I've known for years reminded me that blogs are brilliant archives of home life and travel, reason enough right there to keep going. I love your blog and your latest post on decorating your foyer was so good! You did a great job.
      You will love Charleston so much, the next time we go we plan to stay for a long weekend (without kids). I can't wait to try out the restaurants and bars. It's lovely there!
      Thank you Kim for your continued friendship and support I appreciate it so much xx

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  9. Let me raise my hand and salute you for favouring the Blog. So happy to see your post, and most enjoyable to see some of Charleston. Of course, one thinks of Gone with the Wind, and old-time elgance: urns, iron, gardens - heavenly. Yes, blogs have changed, and I miss those who have left for Instagram which is fun for a quick fix, I find, but not the same as a personal connection. Happy Springtime to you, Dani in Canada :)

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    1. Thank you Patricia and Happy Autumn to you. It's so fun to see the change of seasons completely reversed for my Australian blog friends. Oh gosh the South is everything charming, I couldn't believe it. Very old buildings too, for the new world that is! Instagram is very quick and not as personal, I really prefer reading blogs. Like yours! Thank you Patricia xx

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  10. gorgeous city and photos dani. i'm dying to do a southern garden tour!

    i started in 2009 too and didn't it seem like there were about 20 blogs then? lol. it sure has changed and i'm glad you are going to keep at it doing what you do best. whenever i'm planning what to wear i think of the "color story" something i learned from you years ago and it's so valuable to me! xoxo

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    1. Janet thank you so much you've been so encouraging these long years. I love your blog and I hope you continue on for decades! You would love love the gardens in Charleston. And the houses. Everything is so charming and the gas lanterns in particular, I found them so enchanting. Thank you Janet xx

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  11. Beautiful photos, and I love your blog because it is personal and you're not just hawking goods. Looking forward to seeing your new coffee table!

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    1. KSL thank you! I took some photos of the coffee table today so crossing fingers they're half decent and I can write a post. I have a new camera and I'm still trying to figure it all out. But hopefully tomorrow I'll get it organized. Thank you K xx

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  12. So glad you are back and had a lovely time. Do you ever watch Southern Charm? It's bad reality TV but it's set in that lovely city. It's a pretty show and you could always read something cerebral while it's on! Glad you are back to blogging. It's always nice to sit down and read your blog over a cup of tea! xo

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    1. Jen! Oh gosh I have to watch that show because our friend Susan, who we had lunch with at Slightly North Of Broad, told me that she sees people from that show at that restaurant which is her favourite. She was so fun you would love her.
      Bad reality tv can be so good, one of my favourite shows is Chrisley Knows Best, oh my gosh so hilarious. xx

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  13. Dani, I too am so glad you will continue with your blog! Your writing style is unique and I for one would really miss it if you stopped blogging.

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    1. Jill thank you so much that is so kind of you to leave such a lovely comment. Thank you for reading! xx

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  14. I am happy to hear that you plan to keep writing...I started in 2009 also and many of the blogs that I used to read have closed...so good to know that you will continue posting so we can all stay in touch.
    Your trip away must have been a great chance to catch up and visit with the Dads!
    Nothing feels quite so liberating that getting on top of the home keeping jobs and accomplishing the every day domestics.
    XO

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    1. Hostess I'm sure you can imagine that having both the Dads for a whole week was pretty great. They get along very well too and it was so fun to see them laughing together. I've been thinking of you and wishing I could take you out for lunch during this difficult time. Please know you are in my thoughts.
      It's true we started blogging the same year! Amazing how it has changed though, isn't it. So many blogs are now gone and sadly some readers too.
      I agree I just love to come home and get my house in order after being away! xx

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  15. Hi Dani, welcome back after your trip south! It's too bad the weather wasn't quite as expected, although bright and sunny counts for a lot.
    I, too, am so glad that you are all primed to keep your blog going. Although I do love your fashion posts, I get really excited when you do something about the home - it really inspires me, even though our home is a lot more casual than yours. And I so agree about returning from a trip to see your house with new eyes - especially if you've visited other homes and got some new ideas.

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    1. Patricia it was good to see the sun after what I think was an unusually grey winter. But it was freezing, I wore my wool coat the whole week. Not complaining though, whenever we checked on things at home there were reports of -20 etc.
      Thank you for supporting my blog and my love of discussing domestics, even if I am slapdash and non-expert! Oh gosh we had tours of two beautiful homes in Charleston belonging to different friends, so beautiful those old houses, and so perfectly decorated too. They both gave me lots of ideas. xx

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  16. Welcome back from your trip! I know what you mean about a trip having the effect of refreshing one's view of the world. I am longing to do the same but...no time or money at the moment. Glad to hear you are keeping your blog going. I closed down my blog as I felt it had become a burden, what with the constant pressure to turn it into a marketing vehicle. Hope you're doing well and looking forward to more blog posts!

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    1. Louise I think when a blog becomes burdensome it's time to let it go. That has certainly happened to friends of ours in the blogging community, sadly!
      I hope you and your lovely family are doing really well. Thank you for reading my blog and being such a supportive friend all these years. xx

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  17. Hello Dani, glad you have a fun trip.
    As a fellow Canadian here in Victoria BC your blog is amongst my favourites, so delighted to hear you will continue on. Enjoy all of your posts and the variety. Thank you for sharing!

    Rita T.

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    1. Rita you live in one of my favourite places in Canada! Thank you for reading and for leaving a lovely comment too. xx

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  18. I appreciate your blog and all the interesting people and things you've shared. Instagram is good, but not the same.

    Sorry about the weather down south. Funny, my husband and I made the decision to move from our Florida house to our Montreal apartment full-time. Of course after a lovely warm winter, we chose the Nor'easter as the time to do it. Nothing like driving three days and then unloading a u-haul in the blowing blizzard snow. I'm still waiting for spring to come!

    Your blog is the best! Cat

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    1. Cat me too I'm waiting for spring, I can't wait. What a long drive you had. We drove 16 hours each way and it is a very long time in a vehicle. Montreal is gorgeous though and soon enough it will be lovely warm there. Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your supportive comment! xx

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  19. That's disappointing with the weather, but it looks like you had a fab time regardless. I loved the images of Charleston - somewhere I've wanted to go since reading "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" all those years ago. The houses seem wonderful... one day I'll get there!
    I loved getting this little update from you. I know what you mean about blogs. I've struggled to actually do mine- generally I've been so busy with work, which keeps me so chained to my computer that I don't feel like going anywhere near it for recreational purposes. I'm hoping after Easter things will quieten down and I'll get some writing time.
    But I too love a personal blog. So keep going! Instagram is just not the same. Intrigued about your big spring clean out too. I love going away for a few weeks and coming back to see things with fresh eyes. xx

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  20. I love your blog just the way it is written Dani. I think you are right---personal blogs are best!

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  21. welcome home, so glad you're keeping the blog going! i've been lazy regarding my little journal, but you may have inspired me to pick it up again. xxxx

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  22. The flowers! That is a sure cure for winter. I remember traveling south for vacation from Saskatchewan in the dead of winter and enjoying the greenery and flowers so much. They gave me hope that spring would come to the prairies at some point.

    Glad you were able to spend time with the dads. As we get older, we realize that our parents are getting older too and we are lucky to have time with them.

    I love love love your blog. I do hope you continue with it in much the same form. I get ideas, inspiration and so much enjoyment from reading it. Suffice it to say yours is the only one I actually read. I skim others, I look at the pictures, I surf a bit, but I don't spend much time on them. Yours is a luxurious experience for me. Intelligent and fun. Don't stop :)

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  23. I would miss your posts...you keep it real, interesting and inclusive. Thank you!

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