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Gratefully Grateful *9*

9 Mar

It was another great week with sunny beautiful weather. I managed to finish up some fun sewing projects. I introduced the Days For Girls project at a local Women’s Day event and received lots of interest and support. I went fabric shopping with some of my favourite fellow sewers and ended finding some really gorgeous materials.  I spent the week-end catching up with an old friend and his sweet kids (and laughing a lot). I got to eat my favourite garlicky pizza at our local pizzeria. And I actually ticked a lot of items off my to-do list.  Nice.

I’m grateful for…

IMG_5825…sunny days in my living-room.
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 …my daughter’s washi art projects to be found around the house.
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…the fact my kids still want me to wipe the sand off their feet after a day at the beach.

Wishing you all a great week ahead.

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

Gratefully Grateful *7*

21 Feb

Happy Friday folks.  Here in Italy it’s a beautiful sunny day.  The tulip bulbs are sprouting in the garden.  The forsythia (say that 5 times quickly) is already in bloom.  The mountains are in full view and covered in snow.  My purple hyacinth has filled my living room with a lovely pungent perfume.  And I’m in the midst of packing for a trip to Morocco.  Life is pretty great.

This week I’m (also) grateful for…IMG_4752…Monday morning gnocchi making lessons with my lovely friends.

IMG_4777…a new project of mine that I’m so excited about.  It involves sewing and helping girls and young women in need.  I’ll be writing all about it very soon.

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…colourful cushions and quilts made for us by friends and family.

I wish you all a great week-end.  I’ll most likely be offline most of next week but I’ll try my best to post photos of our Moroccan travels over on Instagram.

Gratefully Grateful *1**2**3**4*, *5*,*6*

Traveling With Kids: Venice

20 Feb

My latest Traveling With Kids column is over on the creative parenting site Classic Play today.  This time I write all about traveling to Venice as a family.  We spent a few days there at Christmas and it was absolutely beautiful.  We all loved wandering along the canals and admiring the stunning architecture as well as visiting the sites and museums.  My kids have officially declared it one of their favourite cities in the world.  Lucky for us it’s only a 3 hour drive away…

traveling-with-kids-venice1Click here to read more.

Gratefully Grateful *6*

14 Feb

This has been a particularily strange week.  Besides the schizophrenic weather (one day gloriously sunny and the next with torrential winds and rain) things have just been a little wonky this week.  On Monday a little 6 year old girl at my kid’s tennis club kept asking me if I was her father’s girlfriend (and refused to believe me when I said no).  On Wednesday I received an indecent proposal (and I mean INDECENT) from an 80 year old man who lives down the street from me.  On Thursday I accidentally ate three lunches (oops).  And today my pilates teacher played only Christmas music during the entire one hour lesson.  Was there by chance a full moon the last few days?

But luckily in between all the weirdness there was lots of beauty and happiness.

This week I’m grateful for…


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… this bounty of green vitamin K packed vegetables that I picked up at the market this week.  Look how gorgeous that Romanesco Broccoli is!

IMG_4438… these colourful little scenes that I come across so many times a day.  I didn’t even mind that her sneakers were on the bureau and not in the shoe rack like they were supposed to be.IMG_4361… the fact that my kids get to grow up having the kindest, calmest and most generous and loving father around (sorry for the sappiness but it is Valentine’s Day after all!).

Have a great week-end everyone!

Gratefully Grateful *1*, *2*, *3*, *4*, *5*

Gratefully Grateful *4*

31 Jan

Oh this Gratefully Grateful series is working wonders for my psyche.  I spend my days really looking for things that I’m grateful for and that make me feel good and positive and all warm and fuzzy inside.  I often find myself making mental notes of beautiful things that I see, kind people I spend time with, new things learned and ways that I can possibly change my life and my family’s for the better.  Guys, I have become Pollyanna and I am so happy about it!  Yeah, there are still those difficult and stressful moments but I let them pass quickly and get on with the good parts of my life.  And I’ll be honest about the fact that I am so fortunate to have so much good in my life.  I know not everyone does.

This week I am grateful for…

DSC_0137-001…the fact that my daughter has no fear of bright colours and patterns and mixing the two as she pleases.  Even if she ends up looking different than anyone else around.

IMG_3922…our new family hobby geocaching and how it has made our week-ends so much more fun.  Check out our homemade ‘calling cards’ that we leave in the caches we find (and our corny tag-line too!).CTCNEWLOGO…that I won a space in Xanthe Berkeley‘s online course Creating Time Capsules.  I’ve been eyeing this course for ages and still can’t believe that I WON SOMETHING!  Many thanks to Xanthe (who is one of my favourite photographers).

Gratefully Grateful *1*, *2*, *3*

I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for this week.

Enjoy your week-end!

Gratefully Grateful °2°

17 Jan

Is it Friday already?  Did this past week fly by for anyone else as well? The week was a blur of activities, appointments, organising the house, long chats with friends and even a shopping trip to check out the sales (which only happen twice a year in Italy…in January and July).  I love being busy and having lots to do but I’m looking forward to a nice quiet week-end with my family.   Our traditional Friday night ritual of curling up on the couch under a thick blanket with the fireplace burning and a big bowl of popcorn just might be my most favourite thing ever.  Add in a little Master Chef and I could stay there forever.

It’s week 2 of my Gratefully Gratefully series for 2014.  I love how doing this series makes me look for all the wonderful people, places and things I’m surrounded by.

I am grateful for…

DSC_0160…colourful washing lines on grey days.

IMG_2857-001…that I can wait in places like this while my daughter does her guitar class.IMG_8642…my kid’s love of Pasta Con Broccoli.IMG_3892…my daughters’ taste in shoes.

Anything that you’re particularly grateful for this week?

(Gratefully Grateful °1°)

SuperCut Fabric Shop

9 Jan

As some of you may know, I love pretty fabrics of every kind.  I don’t drink.  I don’t do drugs.  I don’t smoke.  But I do love to buy (lots of) beautiful fabrics.  I have a gorgeous collection of materials that I have purchased all over the world and I use them on a daily basis.  I may use a new fabric right away or I may even save it for years before using it.  I often sit in my sewing room and look through my beloved materials and imagine what beautiful projects I could make with them (that’s what happens when you don’t have a TV).

Since living in Italy (for more than a decade) I’ve bought almost all of my fabrics outside of Italy.  I really searched for shops here that had beautiful fabrics but I just couldn’t find any that really appealed to my taste.  So after years of buying primarily in Canada (every time I return with a suitcase full), in Belgium (here is my favourite shop) and from Dutch online shops you can imagine how excited I was when I found out about the Italian online fabric shop SuperCut that is based out of the city of Bergamo.  I’ve always been a huge fan of supporting local small businesses so this was a great find for me.

The very sweet French owner Marine has excellent taste in fabrics and after going through her shop I realised that she picks out pretty much every fabric brand and design that I myself am so fond of.  It’s really a match made in heaven!  You can find fabrics from Liberty, Petit Pan, Echino, Kokka, Kitsch Kitchen and many more.  Marine stocks cottons, canvases, linens and even has a great selection of oilcloth and notions as well.  And SuperCut ships all over Europe.

Yesterday I ordered my first SuperCut fabrics and they actually arrived in my mailbox this afternoon.  I was like a kid at Christmas as I was opening the beautifully wrapped package.  And everything I ordered was perfect.  You can’t imagine how long I’ve been looking for fluo pink and yellow bias!

My lovely purchases

My lovely purchases

And as an added bonus many of the SuperCut fabrics are currently on sale (even the Echino and Kokka fabrics!).   So pop on over and take a look!

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