Gratefully Grateful *15*

23 Apr

Radio silence over here for the last week.  I’ve been enjoying time with family and friends in the land of chocolate, waffles and square pillows (Belgium in case you hadn’t figured it out).  I can’t even think about how much chocolate that has been ingested into my body the last 7 days (or french fries for that matter).  But it has been good.

Easter was a large family affair with a house full of happy cousins running around my mother-in-law’s house and garden.  And (as I mentioned on IG) it has been sunny EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Now that my friends is not normal.  Not in the least.  But I’ll take it and am extremely grateful.

This (last) week I’m grateful for:
IMG_7024…beautiful hiding spots for the Easter Egg hunt.
IMG_6886-001…a day visiting the cemeteries from World War One in Flanders Fields. And teaching my kids that ever important poem that all kids in Canada have to learn by heart.IMG_6377…fancy cocktail umbrellas that I put in my flower bouquets and mocktails. (yeah, I prefer mocktails over cocktails)

Enjoy your week everyone!

Gratefully Grateful *1**2**3**4**5*,*6*,*7*,*8*, *9**10**11**12**13*, *14*

Moroccan Snapshots *4*

16 Apr

A few more shots from our trip to Morocco.  IMG_5431On our road-trip from the mountains to the sea we passed this extremely bizarre American style gas station in the middle of nowhere.  And when I say in the middle of nowhere I mean that there were only rocky mountains and stone fields in every direction as far as the eye could see.  It seems that it is the leftovers from the film set of the movie “The Hills Have Eyes”.  Slightly (very) creepy.IMG_5478Lovely blue door and tiles in our hotel in the small city of Taroudant.IMG_5621I wanted to bring home every single one of those colourful carpets from the Souk in Taroudant.IMG_5628Coca Cola sign and sky-blue taxis.  A perfect colour combination.IMG_5681-001Our first moments on the beach just north of Agadir. 

 Moroccan Snapshots *1*
Moroccan Snapshots *2*
Moroccan Snapshots*3*

Gratefully Grateful *14*

13 Apr

So much to be grateful for this week.  Some lovely friends came to Italy for an action packed five-day visit.  We had so many interesting conversations, visits to the Design Week in the city, leisurely walks along the lake, delicious meals in restaurants (and cooked by my husband and kids) and even an impromptu jam session singing old Cindy Lauper songs in my living room.  All moments that have lifted my spirits and made me feel so happy to know these talented, creative and funny ladies. Soon I’ll have lots of photos to share but for now here are a few little images that caught my eye.

This week I’m grateful for…

IMG_6646

…all the beautiful and colourful exhibits and products we saw at Milan Design Week.  And for my friends who introduced me to some amazingly cool new designers, brands and shops (even if I kept getting them all mixed up in my IG feed).

IMG_6697…the gorgeous warm sunny weather we’ve had.  And these intoxicatingly lovely smelling wisteria vines that are covering the local landscape (as well as the city landscape).IMG_6732…the fact that I’m actually succeeding in training Birdie The Cat to sit in my bicycle basket while I cruise around.  How cute is that?

I wish you all a great week ahead!

Gratefully Grateful *1**2**3**4**5*,*6*,*7*,*8*, *9**10**11**12*, *13*

Gratefully Grateful *13*

7 Apr

I had my son home ill all last week and although I felt terrible that he was feeling so sick I have to admit that our long lazy days around the house together were so nice.  We played poker, watched movies, ate pancakes at 11am and went for short walks in the sun.  All his favourite things to do all and all very reminiscent of his baby and toddler days (minus the poker).  He returned to school this morning and the two of us were feeling pretty melancholic about it all.  But no worries, the tag-team-stay-at-home game between siblings is on and I now have one of my daughters home to fill the void.  So far this morning we’ve done some line drawings, spent too much time looking at Pinterest and discussed what we’ll bake this afternoon.  So here’s my GG post (a day late!).

This (last) week I’m grateful for…

IMG_6427…my camellia bushes.  These flowers only last a short while but we greatly appreciate every single blossom.IMG_6438

…all the people I met yesterday (at a local event) who were so enthusiastic about the Days For Girls project.  And, of course, my lovely friends who spent their Sunday afternoon helping me spread the word.IMG_6340-001…the fact that even though they are 12 years old they still love to pile up on my lap and tell me all the details about their day.

Have a great week!

Gratefully Grateful *1**2**3**4**5*,*6*,*7*,*8*, *9**10**11*, *12*

Homemade Perfumed Vanilla Oil

4 Apr

IMG_6398-001

After years of trying to track down my favourite vanilla oil from the Body Shop I was told that it is officially not available for purchase anymore.  I wore that perfume since my early 20s and absolutely loved it (especially since it’s one of the only fragrances that I could wear without the  constant sneezing, watery eyes and headaches).  And I used to get so many compliments as well!  The scent was really a perfect mix between sweet with a hint of spice and was mild enough not to be too overbearing.  Besides the odd comment about smelling like a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies I really loved everything about that oil.

So after seeing it on ebay for $150 a bottle I finally decided that I needed to try my hand at perfume making.  And in the end I have to admit that it’s quite simple.  All you really need is lots of patience to get you through the 4-6 weeks of waiting until it’s finished.  Patience is definitely not my strong point so I actually found that the most difficult part.

The finished product has  a really lovely deep vanilla scent that actually lasts for quite a long time.  I use it as a body perfume, room freshener and bath oil.  I’ve even been know to put a bit on our beloved cat Birdie because, well, he stinks.

Everything you need to make this simple Vanilla Perfume Oil is shown in the photo above: vanilla beans, vodka and jojoba oil.  

Read on for full instructions on how to make your own… Continue reading

Moroccan Snapshots *3*

1 Apr

A few more snapshots of our recent trip to Morocco…

IMG_5372Colourful carpet on the side of the road.IMG_5174
Doesn’t get much more modern than this.IMG_5382As you can tell, he wasn’t amused.  These sheep (along with goats, chickens and a donkey) lived in the inner courtyard of a family home in the Atlas Mountains.

IMG_5237

Beautiful light.  Beautiful sun spots.

IMG_5268Considering the fact these were the harem rooms for 80 concubines I wasn’t sure opening that cupboard was such a good idea.IMG_5222

Beautiful old Kasbah, blue skies and stork nests.
IMG_5325He was protecting the DYNAMITE that was buried under that dirt and stone mound in the background. And yes, we did have a picnic in a chicken coop next to it. (taken at a salt mine)

Moroccan Snapshots *1*
Moroccan Snapshots *2*

Gratefully Grateful *12*

30 Mar

This week my Gratefully Grateful post is all about two little people in my life who just turned 12 years old (so it’s fitting that today is also my 12th post in this series too!).  My twin daughters may be heading into their difficult tween/teen years but they are still the sweetest, most caring, most generous, most enthusiastic and loving kids a mama could hope for.  And surprisingly enough they still think I’m the coolest person on earth so obviously I’m pretty happy about that as well.

It seems like yesterday that we brought them home from the hospital and they were so tiny that they actually fit in my husband’s shoe.  And now I look at these tall thin lanky gazelles of girls and I realise that that cliché saying about your kid’s childhood flying by turns out to be shockingly true. Where did those curly headed, chubby, chattering little cherubs go?  Excuse me while I go weep into my pillow.

Over these years I’ve loved seeing my daughters grow up side by side.  They have so much love and respect for one another and, most importantly, have so much fun together (the constant giggling over the years is my proof).  Their mutual strengths and weaknesses compliment one another and they would stand up and protect each other to the bitter end (believe me, I’ve seen it!).

I can’t wait to see what new things and experiences are in store for my girls this year.   In any case, I know it’s going to be great.

This week I’m grateful for…

 

IMG_6228-001…the fact my daughters still wear their mama-made birthday crowns with pride.  I’ve already warned them that I will be making these for them until they have 12 year olds of their own (and that I expect to be sent a photo of them wearing them).

IMG_6210-001…my garden full of beautiful blooms and blossoms.  And the fact that they make the best decorations for a two-tier chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.  IMG_6267-001…long distant birthday phone calls from loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends.IMG_6282-001…the giggles.  Oh the giggles! They keep this house alive and happy.

Wishing you all a great week ahead!

Gratefully Grateful *1*, *2*, *3*, *4*, *5*,*6*,*7*,*8*, *9*, *10*, *11*

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