Map Themed Gift Guide

12 Dec

I wrote a map themed gift-guide over on Classic Play that includes some really fantastic options for just about anyone on your holiday gift list.  Everything from map adorned leggings and scarves to whiskey flasks and enamel mugs to my favourite map-inspired books on the market at the moment.  Take a look at the full post here.

maphousecollage

Coroncine Floreali

10 Dec

Hello.

I’m still here!

I’m just popping in to share about a lovely fresh flower crown workshop that my twin daughters and I did a few week-ends ago in Milan.

The workshop’s venue was the most charming little café that doubles as a cultural centre called Spazio Culturale My G where they offer all sorts of creative courses for kids and adults.  It’s a bright and colourful space filled with charming old couches, mismatched wooden chairs and an amazing book corner (where they even sell my favourite FLOW magazine!).

When we arrived at the workshop we were warmly welcomed by our flower-crown teacher Jessica from the blog Uhlalà.  Such a vibrant and happy lady and so talented with flowers.

flowercrownThe flowers that we worked with were Ranunculus, Anemone and Chrysanthemum.  There were also branches of a special type of Mimosa that I had never seen before, Eucalyptus branches and some berry branches as well.  A beautiful mix of colours and textures.  flowercrownflowers2About 15 of us worked around a big wooden table covered in buckets of flowers, berries, special florist tapes and tools and different coloured ribbons.  Jessica explained everything perfectly and we dove in and started creating our crowns. 
flowercrowntable I was amazed at how quickly the girls caught on and unlike me didn’t have to think and re-think about how to put it all together.  I had a serious creative block for the first half hour while my daughter Chloe worked like  a busy bee non-stop and without any doubt or indecisiveness.

flowercrownhandsAll the ladies in the workshop made beautifully dainty feminine crowns.  It was a beautiful sight to see everyone at the end proudly walking around wearing them.  flowercrownevaAs you can see from the two photos above, my daughters’ crowns ended up being completely different.  Their unique personalities really showed through in the finished product.flowercrownflowers

Since the workshop we’ve already had one big flower crown making session.  We tried out different blooms and branches that we bought and collected from our garden.  They came out beautifully and we can’t wait to make some more.  Many thanks to Jessica for such a lovely Sunday morning.  And thanks to Yael from Spazio Cultural My G for organising such fun workshops.  We can’t wait to come back.

flowercrownchloe

Gratefully Grateful *26*

13 Oct

I’m sitting here recovering from a whirlwind 48 hour trip to Belgium.  It’s actually amazing how much my daughters and I squeezed into our short trip: passport renewal appointment, visit to the charming city of Brugge, eating waffles and french fries, shopping in HEMA, visit to the girls’ great grandmother and a fun family birthday party with cousins.  Exhausting but so much fun.

Here are a few images that are making me smile on this rainy, chilly, grey day here in Northern Italy.

IMG_0275I’m a sucker for colourful garlands.  They just make me happy.

IMG_9613My daughters and their friends made this little breakfast for themselves using vegetables from our garden.  They have inherited my love of making food beautiful as well as delicious.

IMG_0138Sharing her french fries.  I’m not sure if she has a frown or a smile behind there though.IMG_9617My kids are currently obsessed with archery (thanks to Hunger Games of course). We visited a local farm that offers courses and I fell in love with their arrows.

Have a great week!

Gratefully Grateful
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Traveling With Kids: Amsterdam

26 Sep

Time for another Traveling With Kids post over on creative parenting site Classic Play.  This time I delve deep into why Amsterdam is my favourite city to travel to as a family.  I fell in love with this city as a carefree 20 year old (wink wink) and I love it even more as a traveling mama.  Read about all my favourite sites, bites and things to do with kids in this fantastic city here.

amsterdamMany many thanks to my super talented bloggy pals Deepa, Judith and Giova for helping out with this post!

Urban Jungle Bloggers

25 Sep

After a summer hiatus Urban Jungle Bloggers is back online today and I couldn’t be happier.  I love seeing my FB and Pinterest feeds inundated with fresh green-inspired images full of lush plant life.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not an expert plant keeper.  My heart is in the right place but my mind is, as usual, elsewhere.  I love all the green loveliness that fills the rooms of my home but for some reason I just sometimes forget that they need care and water.  Luckily, I’m not like this with my three kids.

So after a summer of coming and going my poor plants were all looking a little….brown.  And dry.  But I’ve made a promise to myself and the plants to take better care of them.  Play them music.  Dust their leaves.  Oh, and maybe give the a little something to drink more often.  In any case, even after a few days of love they’re already starting to look a lot livelier and happy.

Today’s UJB theme is Back To School: Plants on the Workplace.  I shot a few images of where I’ve been working lately.  Whether it be on the computer writing or editing photos, sewing or crafting with my girls.

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I don’t have any succulents or house plants per se where I work but I love having fresh herbs surrounding me.  It’s amazing what a brush of a hand over a rosemary or thyme plant can do to your concentration and energy levels.  The smell is like a jolt of caffeine (for me at least).

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I also always make sure to have a fresh mint plant.  Sometimes I throw a few leaves in my teapot or rub them in between my fingers.  The smell of fresh mint is one of my all time favourite scents and, again, so energizing.

IMG_9983And because I’m a colour lover I always include a little vase of fresh flowers.  Usually in my coveted Gokuri Peach Juice can that I got out of a vending machine at a train station in Kyoto, Japan.  Oh and tea.  There’s always tea on my workplace.  As you can see in the photo on this particlur day I was in a detox tea mood (to counteract an overdose of sugar the day before).

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When I break out the sewing machine things start to get a little messy and crowded on my workspace.  Which I have to admit I kind of love (except the little pieces of thread that get wedged in my computer keyboard).

Can’t wait to check out the other UJB images for this month.  If you’re interested you can visit their brand new website, their FB page and their Pinterest page.  Many thanks to Judith and Igor for such a cool initiative.

backtoschoolUJB

Gratefully Grateful *25*

23 Sep

Despite the sadness of losing my children’s only great-grandfather this past week I can’t help but feel so grateful for the time we all had together. We have been so fortunate to know and spend time with this amazingly dynamic man who put family in the centre of his life.  His enthusiasm for everything from art to travel to the goings-on of his very large immediate family was contagious (as well as his famous giggle).  We’ll miss him dearly but have many lovely memories to remember him by.

Some images that made me smile despite the sad news this week:

IMG_9922The best reading corner in the house on a sunny day.  Also perfect or a sun-spot nap. 
IMG_9884Last days of summer hats and dresses.

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Trying to paint a kitchen with a large clumsy cat in the middle of it all actually makes it much more fun.  For me at least.IMG_7827

I run into Idyllic little scenes such as this every single day.  I love living in Italia.

Have a great week!

Gratefully Grateful
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Gratefully Grateful *24*

8 Sep

I’m going to be honest up front here and say that September is not my favourite month. After the summer holidays and being with my kids day in and day out I always find September and back-to-school such a lonely time of year.

I need to re-adjust to being solo for the most part of my days. I need to re-adjust to having an empty and hauntingly silent (and tidy) house. I need to re-adjust to having time for myself and doing groceries and errands without three chatty kids with me.

In the end I just plain miss my kids during the 10 months of school each year. I even offered to home-school them at a certain point but was politely told that it was never going to happen.

But I know in a few short weeks I’ll have my life more organised, lots of activities scheduled, projects lined up and my feet back firmly on the ground.

Anyone else out there feel the same way around this time of year?

Here are a few images from our summer vacation.  Even if we had record breaking bad weather it really was a great one.

IMG_8918Evidence that my daughter is a lover of stripes.  Just like her Mama.
*taken in Albissola Marina, Liguria*

IMG_8913So grateful that we can arrive at the Meditteranean in less than two hours.  My kids spent our days there body surfing in the warm water, eating gelato and foccacia and doing crosswords under the parasol with their Mama.

IMG_8231I will always and forever love geraniums.  Amen.IMG_8533Bikes in a charming courtyard in the centre of Milan.IMG_8259

Lovely memories of eating at this little wine bar at a local lake.  Their cheese plate served with champagne jelly is life changing.

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead.

Gratefully Grateful
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