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My Favourite Birthday Weekend in June 2013

By 06/09/2013June 7th, 201853 Comments


The last two years I have been in Toronto on my Birthday leading my Specify Colour with Confidence™ Training.

This year, happily, we were at home. It was the day our sod was getting installed and that was a pretty momentous occasion.

I was born 7 minutes after 1 am in the morning, June 7, 1967.  Friday morning, I was up at 5:30 am. Reading emails with my Americano at my breakfast nook.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately I don’t know why. I wake up around 3:30 – 4:00 am and by 5:00 am when it’s light, well I just get up then. I need drapes, my blinds are not enough!

Breakfast Nook

Then at 6:45 am, Terreeia got up and gave me my Birthday present. A new charm for my Pandora bracelet and the chain thingy so they don’t fall off when I remove it at night.

Pandora's Bracelet


Then at around 8:45 am, the sod arrived for the front and back yard!! Yaay! We have been living in mud since the middle of April!

sod has arrived

This is Troy (below). He lives right across the street from us and had a huge vested interest in his curb appeal suddenly going through the roof, haha.

He hooked us up with the best sod there is and borrowed a trailer from a friend to help deliver it from a farm 10 minutes away.


At 9:30 am, Terreeia and I left the house to do some shopping. First we went to Granny & Grumpa’s. The most amazing junk/antique place I’ve ever been to. They are 10 minutes away from us and I like to go there regularly in case there’s something great to find.

Granny & Grumpas

The last time I was there with my best friend Tami Rode, she spied these vintage grapes for me that I promptly placed on the coffee table in my living room (below).


Then at 12:15 pm, we came back to check on the progress of the sod installation! I decided to give the lattice going up on in front of my design studio a final coat of paint.

Painting Lattice

At 2:00 pm, I arrived at a Nursery nearby to pick up two Conical boxwoods and Miscanthus grass for the back yard. We were having a small dinner party for my Birthday on Saturday night so I wanted to makes sure the beds close to the firepit area in front of my design studio looked  finished.

English Holly

I finally found the conical English Holly Mary Anne White my Landscape Architect has been talking about for our garden. I’ve only ever seen holly that looks mushy and I wasn’t that excited about it although I did want  it for clippings at Christmas time. When I saw this one though, I finally got what she was talking about. She has specified two close to the studio. I’m so happy that I found it!

William and Markus

Then at 3:45 pm when I arrived back home, Elizabeth came over with William & Markus and a little Birthday pie for me! Markus sang Happy Birthday at first, then he got more interested in blowing out the candle, haha.

William, Markus and Me

Elizabeth gave me this pretty polka dot silk scarf for my birthday and at the same time Terreeia came back from Dairy Queen with a blizzard. So the pie went into the fridge for later while the boys and I had some ice cream. Yum.



Kyle and his baby daughter

Saturday, my fabulous landscaper Kyle arrived to finish installing the sod in time for my dinner party and he came with his tiny little two year old baby girl! I fell in love with her instantly. She walked around all day with daddy. Ate her snacks, smiling constantly at all of us.

In the end she found the toys inside that my nephews play with when they come over, she was totally amazing. That night, I dreamt about being upset that I don’t have children.


And there’s the love of my life Terreeia (above) smiling at me from the end of the table that evening. She made a wonderful dinner for everyone and it was a rare, beautiful night in June. We haven’t had this kind of nice summer weather for a few years so we are all feeling really lucky and happy about it!

So that’s a glimpse into my weekend! I think birthdays should last at least an entire week!

This was the best birthday I’ve had in a long time! xo Maria

Related posts:

My One Big Secret you Don’t Know

A Window of Happiness

Chocolate Beet Cake & Stress

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To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert. Fall dates now open for registration.


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  • Cathy Gibson says:

    Maria Happy Birthday! I am so glad you had what sounds like the perfect day. Thanks for sharing it! Cathy Gibson

  • susan says:

    Make a Wish (((Maria)))!!!

  • Carol Hatch says:

    Happy Birthday, Maria! Anchorage is having the wonderful weather, too- it’s been gorgeous!! 70s for the week ahead, finally!

  • Kristi says:

    You know, so much makes sense now. You are a Gemini. Of course you are!!! Being a fellow Gemini, I now understand why I have related so well to the things you have shared about your personality in your posts. Happy birthday fellow Gemini! So glad you had a lovely day.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful day filled with the special people in your life. That is birthdays are all about!

  • Lynne says:

    Happy Birthday. What an uplifting post full of beautiful smiles and happiness 🙂
    I envy you your wonderful family – there was only ever myself and my much older sister. She never married or had children and has never allowed me or anyone else to get close to her, so I get enjoyment from seeing celebrations like yours 🙂

  • Happy Birthday! A wonderful day filled with excitement and fun.

  • Debbiecz says:

    Peace, family, happiness and two holly bushes…birthdays just can’t get any better than that!

  • Linda says:

    Happy birthday Maria. Birthdays are always the best when shared with the people who mean most to you. : – )

  • Nancy O'Brien says:

    Happy Birthday, Maria,
    I began celebrating “Nancyfest” about a decade ago after my divorce. It is a week long celebration where I do something nice for myself every day. It has now caught on with my friends and family and many of us have week long celebrations. You should too. You deserve it! Best wishes for a terrific year.

    • Sandy says:

      Nancy, one of my employees (years ago) was from Australia. He changed the old “find someone” to buy cake, etc. for celebrating birthdays. The birthday person was in charge of bringing all. I loved the idea and yours. How great to celebrate yourself and life.

  • Bridget says:

    Love you and your posts! Happy Birthday!

  • Sandy says:

    Happy Birthday and how wonderful you have so many friends and beautiful family to celebrate with.

    Must comment on the grapes. Madmen had red ones on their dinner table in one scene last night. I remember making them and a lot of work. Plus the fumes must have been awful back then. Now I wonder when they left my decor.

  • Happy Birthday, Maria! Sounds like a terrific birthday weekend. And you’re right, one day isn’t enough to properly celebrate. I’m lucky (?) that my birthday is February 29th, so every year except Leap Year I feel like I have two days – 28th of February and 1st of March!

    P.S. My daughter’s long time g/f just proposed!!!

  • Susan@Susan Silverman Designs says:

    It sounds like you had the best day ever. xo

  • Jann Newton says:

    Happy Birthday Maria! Glad you had a great day!

  • Bonnie says:

    Happy Birthday Maria!

  • Sylvia T says:

    Happy Birthday! We share the same birthday, but mine was32 years earlier than yours–so we’re both June bugs. Love reading your articles!

  • Linda @ House of Chandler says:

    Happy Birthday, Maria! I’m so glad you had a wonderful birthday weekend celebration. Surrounded by your loved ones makes it very special. Blessings to you, and I pray you have another healthy year.

  • tara dillard says:

    Your sod delivery is the cutest I’ve ever seen, looks like a tonka toy.

    Happy Birthday !

    XO T

  • Susan says:

    Happy Birthday, Maria! Your day looks absolutely lovely and loving:) Many blessings.

  • Looks like a wonderful happy day, so happy for you fellow Gemini.

  • Mary says:

    May all the monkeys in the zoo,
    Send the very best to you.
    Happy Birthday to you!

  • Janet says:

    I’m on the 8th! Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend. Best wishes to you.

  • Darlene Graham says:

    Happy Birthday! I love seeing the vintage grapes on your table. YEARS ago, I made some of those with my great aunt (we are a crafty family). They were pink. Too bad I didn’t keep them for 50+ years. They would have looked great in my Revere Pewter great room you inspired.

  • Rene says:

    Happy Birthday Maria! That is just the kind of birthday I love too! I love your blog! I love that you are one person; at home and at work and we get to meet you online! May this year be filled with blessings!

  • Angela says:

    What wonderful memories you are making. Those two nephews of yours are so incredibly cute!

  • Dianna A says:

    Happy Birthday Maria; I am glad you had a wonderful day. My birthday is also June 7 and I was born at 2:10am, however I am a bit older than you. I graduated from high school on the day you were born. Blessings to you.

  • Glad to hear you had a wonderful time. Family and friends make life worthwhile.

  • Scribbler says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful day! I miss my old holly bushes from my old house — it is so nice to decorate with during the holidays.

    A very Happy (belated) Birthday!

  • SandyCGC says:

    Happy birthday, Maria, and happy “new year”. My late very best friend did you one better than a week for your birthday; she felt one should celebrate the whole birthday month; and, besides liking that idea, I’ve come to feel that ones birthday is the real beginning of a very personal “new year”. I make the usual new years resolutions on Jan 1, but on my birthday, I take a very quiet and deep look at where and who I am and where I’m headed. Sounds as though you’ve done a lot of that through your post, and it’s all good with potential for getting so much better! Have a great “new year”.

  • Franki says:

    Your birthday sounded JUST PERFECT! franki

  • Carol Todd says:

    Happy Birthday………………and I just LOVE how you
    “keep it real” on your website with real photos and real
    comments…….not all “glitz-ed up” that make us wonder if
    you live like that all the time……….please keep on keeping it real.
    Love it!!

  • TracyB says:

    Happy Birthday, Maria! Looks like you had a wonderful day!

  • Fran says:

    Happy birthday, Maria! I hope this year will be filled with happiness!

  • Susan S says:

    I hear ya about the week-long birthday celebrations as it’s much more fun to spread it out! Whoa, you guys have accomplished so much. Pat yourselves on the back! Hope your lives are “charming” (house charm?) this year and the next and the next . . .

    Happy birthday, Maria from one Gemini to another!

  • Happy Birthday Maria!

    I noticed that you have FINALLY admitted to needing drapes in your MBR…obviously they need to be blackout lined. If you need any help with that, I would be happy to make the trek in from Vancouver for you!
    Love to both of you!

  • Amanda says:

    Happy Birthday, Maria! It looks like you had a fabulous day with the things that matter the most…lovely! xoxo

  • Amy says:

    Happy Birthday ColorGirl! You are like a super hero!

    I LOVE the grapes…I searched high and low for a set several years ago and found a perfect green set with a driftwood stem. If any of you ever come across some be sure and buy them. Their history is so unique…there really wasn’t ever a manufacturer of them. They were made from acrylic poured into Christmas ornaments and then the glass was broken away. Some were made with drilled wood and made into lights. Simple way to add something colorful and retro.

  • Pam Powell says:

    Happy Birthday! I was also born on June 7th but in 1953. Love your blog and have been following it for over a year.

  • Maria, nothing says ‘Happy Birthday’ like a good sod delivery & instalation! 🙂 What a nice transformation for your birthday!

  • Sharon Abel says:

    Happy Birthday – wonderful to read about your great day. Love your glasses and that polka dot scarf is to die for !!!!

  • It’s great to be in love – it’s great to get big hugs and it’s great to have someone in your life who’s got your back!

    Congratulations on everything Maria. Happy Belated Birthday and many, many more. I hope you and Terreeia have a wonderful life together.

  • teresa says:

    Happy birthday to a fellow Gemini. I’m glad you got pie and ice cream and hopefully some cake!
    I loved your sod followed by party story as it reminded me of the time I did the same thing, but for a wedding. The ground was so wet, we had to put masonite under the tables and bandstand/dance floor. But , it was all good in the end, just like your party was.
    I’m also spying some charming Bentwood chairs…my favourite and looking very charming at your breakfast table. Many happy returns! CTD

  • A real nice post and Happy Birthday!

  • Joanne G W says:

    Happy Birthday! Everything is looking beautifully green.

  • What a fabulous, joy-filled birthday weekend! Happy, happy birthday to you, Maria!!!! xoxo!

  • BillP says:

    The best part of having a beautiful home is sharing it with friends and family. It is so nice to see your home being shared with those you love. As you know, that is when a space comes alive! Congrats on your birthday!

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    And so…I went to sleep last night and dreamt that I was with you (again) on your Birthday! Thanks, Maria,
    for taking us all with you for this wonderful day!
    Love you, Friend! Paula.

  • Melissa Nickerson says:

    Happy Birthday! And you just came out! Very cool! Maybe this is common knowledge, but not for me, so congratulations on speaking outloud about the love of your life and sharing that joy publicly!


  • Karen says:

    Happy Birthday Maria !
    What a wonderful and productive birthday weekend with your family and friends in your beautiful new home !!
    Shalom !
    The Shalom of the Lord God is the essence of salvation, well-being, wholeness, health, safety, friendship, prosperity, contentment and tranquility.

  • Mary says:

    Hi Maria
    Happy belated birthday! Sounds like a wonderful day with all your loved ones.
    Your landscape is going to be amazing. I’m in dry San Diego and so envious of your brilliant green natural surroundings!

  • Paula says:

    Happy Belated Birthday from your friend in Atlanta! My birthday is 6/4/67. Hope you are coming this way again soon!

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