Gigi's Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

The Kitchen: A Sacred Place

A true home is one of the most sacred of places.
It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms.
It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow.
It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded.
Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home.
He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men.
Far more than we know, do the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we dwell.
He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful home,
into the world’s strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is strong–inspired for noble and victorious living.
– J.R. Miller

 

 

Since moving to Prince Edward Island, earlier this year, our family has been very busy settling the homestead, animals and gardens outside. Now that the cozy, cool weather is settling in (a season near and dear to my heart!), we can focus a little bit more on the inside of our home. My kitchen has been bustling with sugar cookie baking, tea drinking and lots of homeschool-filled mornings. One friendly reader asked if I had a pantry – and I realized I should probably share a little about my kitchen.

 

Now, while I’d like to show before photos, I feel that is also rather disrepectful to the previous woman who ran this kitchen – she lived here for 40 years and I am sure she has beautiful memories from this home. She was a baker and a mom of a little girl … I know this cozy kitchen was well used. I have changed it to fit my style, however, and hopefully this is still in respect for previous full lives lived here within these walls.

Recently, a historian of Prince Edward Island came to talk to us about the history of our home – it seems as if it was built sometime around 1840. Perfect. I don’t think I could live in a modern home – 🙂 …

 

This morning, the light was a bit brighter than the usual December morning; therefore I took a few photos to share here. This is not a set up kitchen for photos – this is real living and things are not perfect. I would like to change the sink (I have found the most beautiful vintage sink but I’m not sure if it will fit), eventually, but in time …

 

I’m so thankful for the help my husband has given to change it ever so slightly to appease his wife’s notions …

 

I love to wash dishes while listening to music in my little pantry-room – my favourite music is old time crooners (such as Dean Martin and Bing Crosby), opera music, and big band music.  I have put bird feeders outside this lovely little window and I am seeing so many seasonal birds … it’s very joyful.

 

and yes, with a thankful heart, I have a pantry! I am so grateful!

 

 

{dried teas for the winter months}

 

 

 

The Man of the House’s coffee station area … his favourite spot each morning …through this bigger window we can view our field …

This sweet cookstove is gas, not wood fired, but I still love it. We found it on a used site and my husband brought it back from Ontario. The stove door says “Cook’s Delight”. Isn’t that sweet? And what’s even better is the thermostat does not work – just like my last stove. It makes me feel right at home. 🙂
I was so happy to find such a cute stove for our home …

However … let me introduce you to our other stove … a German stove, called a Kachelofen … yes, it is a strange stove.
Yes, it is a strange colour (although it does not bother me anymore – since green IS my husband’s favourite colour, and he just LOVES this stove). At first, I was determined this should go; it did not suit my style … but we, as a family, have grown to love it and actually, I personally quite like the style now, knowing it is from the old German days! We have seen it twice in older movies and that made me a little interested in this stove (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sound of Music).  It is also very unique. I don’t think you can find many of these in the modern world… there is a side portion to the stove that is, what I would call, a warming drawer. We, in fact, have two of these stoves the house and I am able to cook in both stoves. So I am still able to cook with wood – that is a good thing!

It really cozies up the kitchen! You will always find little people — and big people – sitting right here, staying cozy and drying mittens, reading and living regular every day life …

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Do you spot Rip, the faithful Basset Hound, sleeping under the table? Also, note the flour on the flour by my Hoosier – I was in the process of making dough for sugar cookies …}

 

We brought the antique kitchen lamp with us – I just love this light.

All kitchens should have a walk in pantry!

 

Do you love to look through kitchens as much as I do? It can be such a cozy space. I’d love to see photos of your kitchen … if you are willing to share your sacred spot of cooking and preparing meals … we could do a kitchen share post …

In the meantime … I hope you are staying warm and cozy and creating lovely meals for your family! xo

 

 

If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle
is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness,
remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty
and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation.
― Edith Schaeffer

Wild Geese & Whiskers on Kittens

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things …”
– The Sound of Music/My Favourite Things

 

The cheerful song played in the background of our kitchen, a soundtrack to our busy morning … listening to the words, I stopped peeling potatoes – we were all sitting at the small round kitchen table, some girls working on school books and others outside in the crisp Autumn air.

“Listen to the words, girls … shall we see what things we have on this list?” I suggested.  “Raindrops on roses, yes, copper kettles, yes, right there on our stove …  brown paper packages? …”

Together, we went through the song’s cheerful list of favourite things … yes, we have quite a few of those cheerful items on the list, however, a few items were missing …

… doorbells and sleighbells…
… schnitzel with noodles…
and whiskers on kittens.

 

Our little furry cat-friend was left back in Ontario (as cats do not like to move in cars for three days straight) and, since re-locating, we had not adopted a kitten yet.

“Let’s work on that list, girls … and see if we can find them all in our life.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The back door opened and slammed quickly.   A swift chilly November wind rushed into the kitchen, followed by a noisy and energetic troop of young children. Their cheeks flushed with colours and their bright eyes sparkling, all four spoke at once, making it hard for this mother to decipher their excited message.

“We got some, we got them!” they squealed… “Come see!”

With a quick sweater slung over my shoulders and my kitchen chores abandoned for a few minutes,  we all traipsed outside together. The brisk Autumn chill swirled around my feet, only shod in my indoor shoes. I shivered and followed the happy children, who did not seem to notice the cooler weather, to the barn. There,  in the darkness of the barn doorway,  stood Leia —  her surprise held tightly in her arms.

“They’re cold,” she said. “And they need food.”

She opened her arms, allowed me a peek … two sweet kittens, their faces adorable and sweet, cuddled into my nine year old’s arms, escaped the chill. Oh yes, we have had many kittens before, but it did not take away from the enchantment of this little furry pair.

“We named them Boaz and Ruth,” Lyla said, explaining how daddy had actually agreed to adopt these kittens, without persuasion or begging on anyone’s part. “It’ll be nice to have kittens around again…”


At that moment, a great noise filled the Autumn skies. Above us, in the great blue wide open expanse, hundreds of wild geese – frantic from the recent cold snap of weather, honking and crying loudly – were flying,  calling to each other to leave our little island and fly south for the winter. The sky was literally filled with the geese – oh so many! Watching the lovely birds form their traditional style of a v-formation, one taking the lead, always brings a little thrill to my soul. It marks the end of a season and the beginning of the next, a never-changing routine of life and cycles … a new un-written chapter and an gentle opportunity to discover life’s daily ‘favourite things.’

 

Whiskers on kittens …
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings …
These are a few of my favourite things.

 

 

 

 

December 1, 2021 - 10:13 am

Teresa @ Simply Farmhouse Beautifully written, I felt like I was right there with you. Such a sweet post ~ beautiful photo’s! How did your garden do? Do you have a pantry in your new home? Hugs, to you sweet friend!

November 26, 2021 - 2:19 am

Ruthie I think it’s neat how the Lord arranged to have a couple more favorite things for your family so quickly right on the heels of you talking with them about it! Love your daughter with the kittens❤

November 21, 2021 - 5:05 pm

Lynnea Wonderful…so much to be thankful for!❤️
I love those chosen names for the kitties! I mentioned to my husband just this morning how it would be nice to have a little kitten to love and care for! 🙂

November 18, 2021 - 1:42 pm

Laura Jeanne How delightful! We just adopted a stray kitten too. 🙂

November 18, 2021 - 1:12 pm

Lillibeth Lovely!

November 18, 2021 - 11:34 am

Regina Oh my goodness those kittens are adorable!

Noble {Man} Chores

“Labour, honest labour, is mighty and beautiful.
Luxuries and conquests are the result of labour; we can imagine nothing without it.
The noblest man of earth is he who puts his hands cheerfully and proudly to honest labour.
Labour is a business and ordinance of God. Labour pities you, proud fool,
and laughs you to scorn. You shall pass to dust, forgotten;
but labour will live on forever, glorious in its conquests and monuments.”

– The Royal Path of Life

 

 

My boys tumbled down the stairs for breakfast, their hair tousled and their clothing wrinkled and sometimes backwards … sometimes without socks … but always ready for breakfast and always a bit louder than the rest of the family.

Breakfast is a fast and furiuos event in our household. There is much to accomplish in the morning and no one can slack on timing. As I take the dirty, used plates away from the table, it’s my time to remind my young songs of their chores which await.

 

We all have chores in the morning, I tell them …we all must do our part.

 

“Mommy, what’s my man chore today?” one boys asks, as he yanks up suspender strap that has fallen off his shoulders – those shoulders, not quite ready for true responsiblity of even a young boy, but willing to learn and follow his father’s example.

“Stack up the wood, Loyal, and then ask Daddy what he wants you to do,” I replied. The dishes were piling up faster than I wanted and I needed to get to my own chores. “Find out what your man chores are.”

 

 

 

Chores and work. Labour and toil. Our sons must learn that, even at young ages, they are not to slouch around. I am hoping a life filled with ‘farm’ chores will train them in the way they should go. I have heard someone say recently about ‘islanders’ from P.E.I. …

“They may not be fancy, but they sure are hard workers…”

That’s fine with me. In fact, that’s pretty much what we’re aiming for with our sons … time for man chores, my sons.

 

 

 

“Don’t live in hope with your arms folded; fortune smiles on those who roll up their sleeves,
and put their shoulders to the wheel. You cannot dream yourself into a character;
you must hammer and forge yourself one. To love and to labour is the sum of living,
and yet how many think they live who neither love nor labour.”
-The Royal Path of Life, 1886

November 14, 2021 - 4:57 pm

Lynnea Precious…and such words of wisdom to lay hold of!❤️

November 7, 2021 - 4:40 am

Gigi Regina, that’s so cute… I wonder why?

November 7, 2021 - 4:39 am

Gigi Laura Jeanne – I understand … I’ll be wiping my tears at that stage, as well!

November 7, 2021 - 4:39 am

Gigi I know – isn’t that sad?! He’s growing too quickly!

November 6, 2021 - 3:32 pm

Ruthie Wow! That’s your baby? He’s growing so quickly! Working with daddy doing ‘man chores’ just can’t be replaced. It’s like a little happy place for them.

November 5, 2021 - 12:33 pm

Laura Jeanne So sweet…I teared up a little when I looked at the photo of your wee one in the overalls looking at the camera…he reminded me of my own little brown-eyed boy about, oh, 14 years ago…how time flies. I miss dressing him in tiny plaid shirts!

November 4, 2021 - 12:49 pm

Christina Awww, that’s a cute way of putting it for little boys. Thanks for sharing.

November 4, 2021 - 11:12 am

Michelle Another good reminder of what I should be and what I should be teaching my children!! Thank you, thank you!!

November 4, 2021 - 1:39 am

Regina I remember doing chores when I was a child but for some reason I was terrified of the feather duster. I must have been around six years old and I just wouldn’t go near that thing!

Plenty to be Thankful For

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common,
everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful.
They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness —
just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it;
just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength;
the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Mommy, what are you passionate about?”
What an interesting question, I replied, as I folded my last item from the day’s load of laundry. Multiple piles of various clothing were stacked before me on the bedroom floor, waiting to be slipped into drawers or, shockingly, stuffed into the bottom of one’s closet (tisk, tisk).
“What does passionate mean?” asked another daughter, as she flopped onto her bed, and stared up at the ceiling of her bedroom.
Let’s see.
Passionate:  strong emotions or beliefs, a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something.
First off, let’s make sure we are passionate about living a life for God, I explained. Indeed, that should be top priority!

For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord;
therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Romans 14:8

 

Then, following this, I suppose I’m passionate about making life pleasant with good, healthy memories … staying separate from the world, enjoying life one day at a time and seeing the simple but astounding beauty in nearly everything … sometimes, that is not easy, but it is indeed a passion of mine. With all the events of the past two years — in my mind, a quiet, strong war that we are fighting — it is even more important to make our homes sacred, safe and full of love, to give our children a childhood full of healthy memories and simple joys.
 
Living a quiet life, separate from the mad rush of a crazy world … baking homemade bread for dinner and preparing nourishing meals …  having time to read story picture books to my children in the evenings or go on a country walk in the afternoon … tea sipped in teacups by the seashore or a restful nap under the gentle October sunshine by the pond … a life not rushed but filled with simple busy-ness that makes our family operate.
This doesn’t sound very grand to some – oh, indeed, when I was younger, I wished to be travelling to far off countries and helping feed orphans. I wanted to be a missionary and help children in Africa (I would still love to do that!) … then, as a college graduate, I was passionate about my journalism career  …. after falling in love and getting married, I wanted to build my home based photography business so I could stay at home and be a mother to my future children … babies came and the Lord blessed our family with beautiful children …. and I realized, slowly but with conviction, that I cannot put my passion and time into outside work and still raise my children with my whole heart …
So right now, my mission and my passion is my home life.
And while it’s not award-winning or attention-receiving, it’s not exciting to some and perhaps mundane to others  …  it is humble, daily work that is rewarded in other ways – a huge from my smudge-cheeked sons, a smile from my older daughter as we bake in the kitchen together or a silly conversation with my little girl as we pull weeds in the back garden.
My family and our home – that is what I am passionate about.

 

 

 

 

Here is a little treat you can bake up for your family this Autumn …very simple and so pretty if you bake in a bundt cake pan (highly recommended)…

 ~Pumpkin Spice Cake ~

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

    In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, eggs, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
    Serve with a steaming pot of tea and a generous helping of vanilla ice cream!

     

 

 

 

Finally – a little song to send your way – one of my favourite singers and one of my favourite songs!

November 4, 2021 - 11:11 am

Michelle Thank you once again for sharing your heart and lives with us. Your posts are ALWAYS encouraging for me as a wife and mother. My first job-a child of God, then my husband and children and my home should be my ministry. But I fail miserably. Thank you for reminding me of what and where I should be. You are such a blessing!!

November 2, 2021 - 2:40 pm

Monica Hello, dear friend. I love this post. I’m passionate about the same! I think it’s very healthy and needful for us to step
Back and evaluate what are our passions every once in a while. Thanks for the reminder. Beautiful photos! I must try this cake. I have two pumpkins that need baking up this week as they are sure to go downhill before too long. Love to you! Monica

November 1, 2021 - 1:49 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s Momma) And you are doing a great job of this, my sweet Gillian! You are a good momma to your children and they will have wonderful memories from their childhood. Love you and thanks for the recipe! xo

October 29, 2021 - 4:44 pm

Lynnea This is such a balm to a weary soul….thank you!❤️

October 28, 2021 - 1:52 pm

Ruthie I love what you’re passionate about! Thankyou for encouraging us to provide a peaceful, welcoming home for our families. It’s so important in today’s day and age. Looking forward to trying the recipe! Yum!

October 28, 2021 - 9:38 am

Debby in Kansas USA For what it’s worth, I think you’re spending your time doing exactly what the Lord wants. Thank you for the lovely pictures that brought a big smile to my face and warmed the cockles of my heart!!

October 27, 2021 - 9:24 am

Danessa stride Hello there! So glad you are enjoying the Island life! Having grown up around the water, having it literally in my backyard we tend to take it and all the beauty that comes with it that God as blessed us with for granted, so thank you for the reminder that we have so much to be thankful for We think it’s beautiful here, I can’t even fathom how beautiful heaven must be!

October 26, 2021 - 1:10 pm

kim Thank you so much for this encouragement. It is at a time when I really need to hear these truths.

October 26, 2021 - 12:50 pm

Christina That is a sweet song. Yes, I am also passionate about home and family. I am a bit further down the lane than you, but the passion remains fiercely lit. I enjoy your calm blog. A rare gem in this day. Thank you for sharing that cake recipe. I need to now put the ingredients that I am missing onto the shopping list. (Thankfully it is just eggs and vanilla.)

October 25, 2021 - 6:03 pm

Erin Lynn So lovely! Thank you for this beautiful post!

October 24, 2021 - 11:02 pm

Teresa I too share your heart of home and family, this is the highest and greatest calling on a mama’s life. These little gifts are from God above ~ What a lovely post! Teresa

October 24, 2021 - 11:27 am

Laura Jeanne I am passionate about the same things you are, Gillian! Thank you for this lovely post and for the recipe too. One of my boys just loves anything pumpkin spice and I’m sure he would be so happy if I made this cake!

Also, what a great song! I’d never heard it before.

God’s Glory

“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
as the waters cover the sea.”

Habukkuk 2:14

 

 

 

As most Autumn months go, it has been very busy around our little home and garden life. I do hope to get back to my writing shortly, to find a little break in time as our days are filled with farm chores, birthday celebrations, household work, home education and tiny, short day trips around our pretty little island.

We are constantly in awe of God’s handiwork around the oceansides … it is just such a lovely sight and always impressive to visit the ocean …

This particular rock formation is said to look like a teacup or teapot – either way, it was wonderful to view at this lovely beach.

When nature declares the glory of the Lord, it humbles and quiets my spirit …

 

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful,
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
Psalm 29:3-8

 

 

P.S. Many updates are needed for this little blog – we have found a small family business idea and I’ll write about that soon. We have so many lovely little details happening during our day. I hope to find more time to write and share photos. Thank you for staying with me!

October 24, 2021 - 10:59 pm

Teresa Friend, I so look forward to your post! I find such encouragement in each post. Hugs Teresa

October 22, 2021 - 1:42 pm

Diane Wow! GiGi! I have to say yours is the most beautiful blog I have ever seen! Gorgeous! Such a treat to read and enjoy the pics.

October 21, 2021 - 11:55 am

Lori Speare Hello sweet friend. I have emailed you twice now and I’m not sure if you’re getting them? I’m not sure if I’ve sent them to and email you don’t check. Would love to hear from you.

October 20, 2021 - 5:16 pm

Julie Enjoy seeing your family and the lovely adventures you all experience. I have always loved Anne of Green Gables and your post are like a real life look into the beauty of the books. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to the next post.

October 19, 2021 - 1:28 pm

Lynnea So happy to read your lovely post and see the beautiful pictures!
Thankful that all is well with you and your family and that you are enjoying your new home!
It’s always a pleasure to visit! Thank you!
~Lynnea

October 14, 2021 - 8:29 am

Gigi Can’t wait to share, Regina!

October 14, 2021 - 8:29 am

Gigi Thank you, Grandma! I hope you are enjoying your ocean views, as well! 😉

October 14, 2021 - 8:29 am

Gigi Laura, you would love it here. I look forward to your possible visit! 😉

October 14, 2021 - 8:28 am

Gigi Ruthie, it is even prettier in person. 🙂

October 14, 2021 - 12:10 am

Ruthie I simply cannot pick my favorite out of these photos! They are all amazing. I like when you said …. when nature declares the glory of the Lord, it humbles and quiets my spirit. Thankyou for sharing.

October 13, 2021 - 6:21 pm

Laura Jeanne What a beautiful beach! The voice of the Lord is indeed majestic. Thank you for sharing.

October 13, 2021 - 11:45 am

gramma Cardinal So happy that you love your new home! kiddies seem thrilled with their ocean views!

October 13, 2021 - 8:45 am

Gigi Regina, thank you! Lots to share, but God is good and taking care of us. I am so thankful.

October 13, 2021 - 8:45 am

Gigi Christina, it really is quite beautiful. I am so delighted to live near such beautiful scenery! I am looking forward to sharing more about our adventures on our little island!

October 12, 2021 - 2:50 pm

Christina It is so beautiful around there! I can’t wait to read about more adventures and your new idea! We just left the beach and I feel as though I should move closer to it!

October 12, 2021 - 2:32 pm

Regina I can’t wait to hear what’s happening in your family.