"Going Home" Guest Post from Jennifer of Rambling Renovators

Well, my stay in New Brunswick is winding down, but I still have a few more Going Home guest posts for you!  Today I am happy to have the famous and fabulous Jen from Rambling Renovators here to share her thoughts on going home.  Those of you who know Jen know she is an amazing designer and blogger, co-founder of Blog Podium, and one of the most kind and generous people out there.  This girl is a giver, and a do-er!!  Take it away Jen...

Hi Wicked & Weird readers. I'm happy to be filling in for Lisa today while she's on her trip back home. I've been following along on Lisa's east coast adventures on Instagram... canoeing, biking down gravel roads, hiking through lush forests, I've been getting a sense of what Lisa's lovely New Brunswick home means to her.

What does going home mean to me? That's a little harder to pin down. I grew up in Georgetown, Ontario for the first dozen years of my life. It was idyllic and a little like growing up in a Norman Rockwell painting... my parents were part of the PTA, we knew all the kids on the street, and Halloween meant trekking out for hours on end, just me and my sister and our pillow cases. Years after we moved away, I still visited old friends and we'd reminisce about playground crushes and riding our bikes down Hungry Hollow. Even now, if I find myself out that way, I'll make a detour and drive down the streets of Georgetown to see what buildings and houses I still recognize. It still feels comfortable and familiar, a lot like a warm hug, still a bit like home.

Our Georgetown home, circa 1980.
After University, I moved to the Philippines. Though I didn't speak the language and barely knew the relatives I came to live with, it felt like a place I'd known my whole life. Life there couldn't be more different than what I was accustomed to in Toronto - pollution, extreme poverty alongside extreme riches, devout Catholicism, overcrowded streets. But there was something in the people, in their kind hearts and generous nature, that made me feel welcome. In that hot and steamy Asian climate, this Canadian girl found home.

Old and new(er) architecture at Intramuros, Philippines
In the years before and since, Toronto has been home. It always will be. I can't imagine living and raising a family anywhere else. These days, home is...
... around the table at Sunday dinners at my parents house
... at the annual street party, where kids spend the day riding bikes and learning to use the fireman's hose while parents lounge on each other's lawns and marvel at how lucky we are to live on this street
... in our basement, building and painting and renovating, alongside my husband
... at the cottage, watching Chloe swim in the lake her dad learned to swim in when he was a boy

I've learned that home isn't a place, its a state of mind. Home is a place filled with memories and dreams yet to be. Its where your shoulders relax and your breathing slows and a smile is brought to your face. Home is the loveliest place in the world.

Wow Jen, you really have a way with words.  I think you hit the nail on the head (and it sounds like you have awesome neighbours).  Living in the Philippines must have been quite an adventure - that is such a great photo. And by your definition, I guess it makes sense that one can have more than one "home" - it is a feeling as much as an environment!  Thank you Jen!

If you missed them, here are the other posts in this series:

Sailing Style Decor Inspiration by Tricia Foley

I mentioned that my parents have a library of home design books - I wish I had time to read through more of them.  Definitely one of my favourite ones is this Sailing Style by New York Designer Tricia Foley.  Although it is a good ten years old, I think it is fresh and timeless, much like the nautical style it describes.  Instead of being packed with perfectly styled images of Nantucket homes, Foley focuses on the essential components of nautical style - white sails, rope, worn brass, maps, and weather vanes - and fills the book with beautiful photos depicting the mood and romance of living by the sea.  The photography by Michael Skott is amazing and captures the fresh salt air, natural textures, and timeworn simplicity of the style.  I highly recommend it for anyone looking for inspiration!  I took some photos of a few of my favourite spreads - sorry about the inconsistent quality (and the rock is just there to hold the pages flat!).
Beautiful cozy reading room (or is there a TV off camera?) love the simple framing of the prints.
Not sure I would keep the enormous dead fish on my wall... but the rest is divine!  Love the oars in the corner.
Gotta love the white slipcovers, and that coffee table...
Beautiful bed, and I love the clean, spare bedding of a blue gingham sheet and single white pillow.
Old quilts and iron beds - and an open window.  Heaven.
Love the styling, green colour, and well-worn feel of this bookcase.
Shells.  Cream everything. So simple, so pretty.
What a great painting and chair, and beautiful barometer on the wall.
Hurricane lamp, chalkboard, bottle/vase - this could be in any magazine today.
GREAT blanket and bed.  I always used to make my bed this way as a kid, with an old white coverlet.
Pretty weather-worn cedar shingles.
Not a bad spot for a bite of lunch! (bet it gets windy though).
Not your typical white kitchen, but how about those open shelves, brass fixtures, and that stone sink??
White and worn cedar.  And look at the curved garden bench.
That curved and panelled breezeway makes me want to weep.  Not to mention the shingles, the windows, the door, the VIEW...
What I wouldn't do for a pantry... I can already hear the squeak of those drawers...
The back section of the book also includes more inspiring resources, stores, magazines, and designers specializing in this nautical style.  If you see this book anywhere - nab it!  My only problem is trying to figure out how to incorporate this style into my house in the city - far away from salt water of any kind...not sure my neighbours would appreciate a lobster trap in the front garden... :)

A Book by Its Cover

My mom picked up this book by Iris Murdoch to read the other day and I just loved the cover illustration on this Vintage Classics edition.  The colour on my Instagram shot doesn't really do it justice.  Wouldn't it make a cool poster?  They sadly don't mention the artist, but it would seem that Vintage Classics is known for their modern and contemporary covers for classic English novels.  Here are a few I particularly liked from their site:
I like that they keep to a very specific look for each author.  The Medea one gives me the shivers, knowing the story, and the Kafka ones are perfectly, well, Kafka-esque.  Have you read any of these?  Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

"Going Home" Guest Post: Brooke from Pure and Noble

Hi guys, this post is a bit delayed due to a sad lack of internet here in paradise! Another "internet" friend, Brooke of Pure and Noble is here from Texas to give us her take on going home. Brooke and I met over email eons ago, and although we are at different ends of the continent, we somehow formed a true friendship over email and blogging. Someday I hope we get to meet in person! Brooke has a great perspective on our topic, since she is currently between homes as her new place gets renovated (it will be the stuff of legend when it's done, I have NO doubt).

Hi you guys! Brooke here from Pure and Noble. I am so excited to be here at Wicked and Weird today. When miss Lisa asked me to do a guest post for her while she visited home I was over the moon and completely humbled. I have been reading W2 for a long time and just love everything that Lisa shares with her readers. I’m pretty convinced that she and I would be fighting over lovely things if we ever lived closer to one another and shopped together. For now, I’ll be grateful that we are separated by miles and borders - because it means that I may one day get to visit her amazing home and sit in that awesome nook of hers to drink coffee and chat for hours.

When I think of home I’m not reminded of a place or of material things. I don’t know why that is, and trust me I’ve thought about it a lot in preparation for this post. Perhaps it’s that my folks have nothing other than old photo albums from my youth. Maybe it’s because we moved at pivitol times in my youth. I’m not sure really. But honestly it makes me a little grateful because the things that remind me of home can be experienced anywhere.
When I was little, we lived in North Carolina. Beautiful trees, amazing weather (with actual seasons - four of them!) and that white stuff that falls to the ground, ummm... snow. Nestled in my front yard, right out my bedroom window, were two of the most amazing trees - a dogwood and a cherry blossom. Any time I see one of those trees I am instantly reminded of home.
In the fourth grade, we moved to Texas. To me, Texas is home and I have come to embrace Texas pride. I love my state and the “little things” that make it home - Tex Mex, lakes and road trips. Texas summers are hot. I’m not talkin’ August heat wave hot. I’m talkin’ all the time, throughout the whole Summer - HOT. Because of that, I love margaritas, especially when they’re accompanied by a patio and a bowl of chips and queso. For you northerners, Tex-Mex queso is a bowl of melted cheese with spicy chilis/salsa mixed in. I could pretty much eat it with a straw. I also love lake life. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve gone fishing with my Dad. He’s a fishing guide here in North Texas and when he fishes... you. catch. fish. It’s so much fun when he finds that honey hole and the fish practically leap into the boat. But I can also remember sitting in a boat for hours with my Dad, poles in hand, waiting for “the big one.” It was boring then, but now I remember those times so fondly.
Lake life isn’t just about fish, it also involves floating for hours with friends (just to cool off), jet-skis and tubing (being pulled on a big inner-tube behind a boat). Nothing compares to a weekend at the lake. Nothing. And because Texas is big enough to be a country (and sometimes we think it is) road trips can lead to all kinds of wonderful adventures... Tiny towns that almost seem forgotten, weekend trips to Austin and day trips all over, it’s awesome.
Since having littles, I have to admit that the Texas heat gets to me. When I was younger the heat didn’t bother me because I was working during the hottest times of the day and then “play” at night with friends when it was cooler. Having littles in the dead of summer can be a chore, but we are slowly learning how to manage our summer days and make the most of it. Ironically, this summer has been the greatest challenge regarding schedules and the like because we have NO home.
Yup, I’m writing a post about “Home” and we have been nomads for 2.5 months while remodeling our new house. This summer, my little family and I have lived in 6 different houses. Six. Packing and unpacking. We are weary to say the very least. This reno business is tough stuff. (I pray that we never move again.) There have been challenges at every turn from city push backs and permits to new cement floors and moving walls. And everything affects the next thing. There is no jumping from point A to point C and then going back to B, without a lot of headaches and more money. If this remodel has confirmed anything, besides the fact that moving and remodels suck, it’s that home is not a place. Home is where your family is - period. And this handsome little group of guys is my home, no matter where we are.
I hope I haven’t bored you to tears today. I wish I could have shown you some amazing interior shots of my home or some precious keepsakes that make you say, “awww” and “ohhhh” but my house is in shambles and our keepsakes are all packed up. If you’d like to check in on our progress and see our journey unfold as we make our house a home, you can visit me at Pure and Noble. I’d love to have you pop by and say “hi”.

Lisa, I can not thank you enough for having me here with your sweet readers today. I wish Canada were a little closer so that we could share decorating tips in person and salivate over amazing jewelry and rugs together. But since I don’t plan on moving again - ever - I will have to be okay with reading Wicked and Weird every day and catching up via instagram and email! xo

Wow, you have some amazing photos of your family Brooke - funny how home seems to always come back to the people we love! Thanks so much for sending this along, I cannot WAIT to see your gorgeous new digs (although I have a feeling your anticipation may be a tad greater than mine...) :)

If you missed them, here are the other posts in this series: