Wednesday, 29 April 2015

basket case

Beach Days.  Picnic Days.  Pool Days.  And especially Farmers' Market Days. All on the horizon with Spring here and Summer up next. Time to fill a basket with everything you'll need to take with you, or take home filled with fresh goodies from the market.  These are my favorite baskets.

Farmers Market Basket Black {The Little Market}

Casablanca Basket

Provence Market Basket in Dark Wash Gray.  A steal at $35.

H A P P Y   D A Y S!

Monday, 27 April 2015

spring greens

Fresh bright greens.  Immediately appealing for this time of year.  New shoots.  New beginnings.

I've been adding more plants around our home.  From a huge Fiddle Leaf Ficcus, to cut branches with green leaves, cacti and succulents and ferms in my terrariums. Opening blinds to let in as much light as possible and feeling spring in the air.

My favorite daytime item of clothing has become these Gap cargo jogger pants. 
Super comfortable and  I love the narrow ankle. 

Teamed with my favoroite vintage style Nikes…
Women's Nike® Vintage Collection pre-Montreal racer sneakers - shoes - Women's new arrivals - J.Crew

Hope your Monday has a Spring feel to it.

Monday, 30 March 2015

sunshine state of mind

We have just returned from a family vacation in Florida.  Visiting an old favorite place, staying in the same familiar blue and white beach cottage.  Walking the same path to the beach.  Visiting tried and tested restaurants, cafes, doughnut shops and beaches.  All lovingly familiar and making us feel right at home immediately on arrival.

We've stayed at Indian Rocks Beach on the Gulf Coast 6 times now.  We vacationed in other places for  the past two years and thought we wouldn't miss our little beach cottage.  But we did. Of course.  The sun shone and we all have a healthy 'glow' to bring us into the summer and outdoor pool time once again. We are rested from lazy mornings, exercise really not much more than walking to the beach and along the beach!

The light in Florida is amazing, giving photographs that beautiful brightness that you see in magazine spreads.  Greens are greener.  Blues more azure.  White sand so soft, almost like flour, reflecting the sunlight.  

My favorite meals always include coconut shrimp and Grouper fish tacos!  Of course, a Margarita or two on the side is the perfect partner!  Some local live band playing (not always good) music and the warm air and sunset.  I could live here, without a doubt.

We're already planning a return trip next year.

H a p p y   M o n d a y.

Monday, 16 March 2015

tan and white

Yes we're still a little way off from summer, but I've been spoilt by a few wonderfully unseasonably hot days over the past few weeks (Spring sprung early and kind of tricked us into thinking (hoping) it might stay - of course it didn't!  This week temperatures dropped and rain lashed down (good for the garden I keep telling myself!).  But with a vacation to sunnier climates on the horizon I'm ready and raring to go.

This is how I envisage my look to be this summer.   White and Tan.  With some blues mixed in. I already have a few items in my closet that go perfectly with this style.  More than a few pairs of sandals in tan (I'm always attracted to them.  Every year.), a crisp white shirt, embroidery anglais shirt (seen last year on Le Catch - a fabulous fashion style blog - and snapped up at the click of a mouse!), a perfect Trina Turk white dress from last Summer's sales, a beautiful tan Cowboys bag that the Huzz purchased in Amsterdam for my birthday, teamed with jeans, a gold or silver cuff and that's about it.

Fresh.  Relaxed.  Classic.  Crisp.

Image Via: Crush Cul de Sac

cool dress

Summer style- White eyelet partial button front belt with shirt collar, side seam pockets, full sweep and paired with a nice   caramel structured belt.  LOVE THIS LOOK!!

hermes bracelet

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

missing mum

Always on my mind Forever in my heart | Inspirational Quotes

It is 4 years today since my mum passed away.  These days, weeks, months and now years have passed by in a flash.  Sometimes it feels like yesterday.  Sometimes it feels much longer than 4 years ago.   Life happens and here we are 4 years later.

So many times I wish I could pick up the phone and tell her about my day.  Talk about the things my kiddos are up to.  To take her on a trip.  Spend time together.

Since she passed away, a few of her friends have also lost their lives.  I like to think of them all, somewhere, enjoying each other's company again.  Drinking tea.  Smiling.  Laughing.  Free of all the pain they had to endure.

Miss you Mum.


Monday, 2 March 2015

around here recently...

What!  No blog post since February 9th.  How did that happen?  I see the regularity of some of my favorite bloggers posting daily, bi-weekly etc.  I stop by their blogs and read and sometimes comment, but haven't found the moment to sit and just get on with my own.

February tore up the tarmac with such speed I cannot fathom how we arrived at 3rd March.

Great and not so great stuff happened in February.  

The Great = beach days, swim wear and picnics in the sand!  Yes in February on the Pacific North West coast - crazy.

Snowboarding for my kids.  Although we could have done with a few more inches of snow, but still they loved it and I watched from the restaurant with a nice beer and dinner!

Spring sprung early.  Everthing is budding or blooming!  Long may it continue. Although, I do fear that the crazy weather differences between here on the west coast and the unstoppable snow on the east coast, will bring an uncertain summer and more than an April shower or ten!

Valentine's was fun.  I organized a little Friends' Valentine's Brunch for Ruby and 5 of her friends.  Heart shaped pancakes, heart shaped straws, cakes and chocolates.  Canvas painting and playing outside in the sunshine, all made for a great Sunday Valentine morning.

We moved my son from one middle school to another!  A major change in education style and a big step for him halfway through 6th Grade.  He is thrilled and loves it!  Relief for us all!

The Not So Great = two visits to the ER and one to the doctor!  Both for my son.   First off, a skier crashed into him, out of control after doing a jump, whilst my son was sitting at the edge of the piste with his snowboard instructor.  Grazed back and 'whiplash' symptons resulted in his being ceremoniously stretchered down to the mountainside ER.

The next week, an elbow in the face, instant headache and dizzyness meant a visit to the doctor to ensure no concussion.  All fine.

And finally, an unfair tackle during rugby training from a very disgruntled team mate that was not happy my son had prevented him scoring a try (even though it was a 'friendly' practice game) decided to 'get his own back'.  Two x-rays later, and thankfully no broken bones, but a sprained ankle and crutches for a week.  No rugby.  No snowboarding.  No judo.  Whoopee!

We are dreaming of sunny beaches and a vacation to a favorite place that holds good memories and great family time in the sunshine.  I feel a little vacation shopping coming on!

Hope you March is off to a great start.

Monday, 9 February 2015

life happens

Life seems to be going at a pace these days.  "The hours go slow, but the years go fast" -  well, not around here.  The hours, days and weeks are flashing before my eyes.

With a husband away with work, often, it can feel like the hours are running away on some days.  This weekend saw me in full chauffeur mode.  Delivering my son to judo and drum and a movie trip.  And having friends collect him for a go-karting afternoon.  Shopping with my daughter for her Valentine's party decorations and making Valentine's cards for her class friends.  Dog walking in the pouring rain in full waterproofs too many times.  Grocery shopping, cooking, and all the usual household duties.  Single parents that do this day in day out, my hat goes off to you.

I woke up Sunday to news that a longterm colleague of my husbands had died on Saturday night.  Suddenly, and whilst away on business at a company meeting in another country where my husband was also in attendance. Shocking, sad and heartbreaking for his family.  How unbearable for them to wake up on their Sunday morning and their world come crashing down.  I haven't stopped thinking about this sadness since.  I could hardly speak about such tradgedy with such a huge lump in my throat and tears rolling down my cheeks.  You can never know when the last conversation, hug, kiss, FaceTime chat, I Love You will be.  I have a heavy heart every single time my husband leaves on a trip.  It will be heavier from now on.  Life is fragile.

All We Have is Now!

I watched some of the Grammys (I couldn't make it until 11.30pm!!).  Things that struck me….  I really love Ed Sheerans song "Thinking Out Loud" (I sing it very very loudly in the car, often!).  Madonna's thighs!  I'm never going to warm to Kanye West's music or him.  Annie Lennox was fabulous and I loved her black sequin jacket (and am delighted I decided to keep a dark blue sequin jacket I recently ordered!).  Strange hair / hats going on.

Chalkboard paint eggs ♥

I am ready for spring and bought a few bunches of white tulips to try and hurry it along.  At the same time, I'm doing a snow dance in the hope that a huge dumping of snow will fall this week on Mount Hood so my kids and their friends get, finally, a decent snowboard lesson.  It's been the worst snow fall we've experienced and its pretty grim up there.

Happy Tuesday.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

rosemary seasalt shortbread (with honey brie frosting)

I tore this recipe from a magazine before Christmas and its been hanging around my kitchen ever since. The scent or rosemary with the salt sounded so delicious, and well, shortbread too of course!  How could I resist. So today, while both kiddos had play dates (oopss, I mean 'hang out' for the 12 year old!) and it was a grey wet afternoon and walking the dog in full waterproofts wasn't very appealing, I decided that today would be perfect for a spot of afternoon baking.  I had to do a quick trip to the grocery store for some Brie for the frosting, but it was worth it.  Here we go….


I cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons dried rosemary, plus extra for trimming
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon course sea salt
1/4 cup of fig preserve


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces Brie, softened
1 cup powered sugar
2 teaspoons honey

Cookies:  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for approx 3 minutes.  Add the egg and continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes.  Add vanilla, 3 teaspoons of rosemary and flour and mix until a thick dough forms (I switched to a dough hook attachment for this part).  Divide the dough in half, and roll into two logs about 3 inches in diameter each, wrap in cling wrap and pop in the freezer for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Remove dough logs from freezer and slice into 1/4 inch thick round slices.  Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet, and lay out the cookie slices.  Press a tiny pinch of rosemary (or a couple of leaves if fresh) together with a few grains of salt into the top of each cookie.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until just before they barely start browning on the edge.  Remove from oven to cool.

Frosting:  In a stand mixer with whisk attachment whip cream cheese until smooth.  Add butter and continue mixing for 3 minutes until smooth.  Add Brie and whip for another 3 minutes until smooth.  Add sugar and mix until smooth. Add honey and mix until creamy and smooth.

Frost each cookie with a dollop of the delicious frosting and garnish with a smudge of fig preserves.

Perfect with an afternoon cup of tea and a good book.

PS - the recipe stated 10-12 minutes to bake, but I found 15 minutes worked for me!

Friday, 30 January 2015

croissant day

National Croissant Day is today 30th January!  Hooray!  I'm happy to oblige and indulge!

Two Christmas's back I gave my wonderful Huzz a Croissant Making Course with Sur La Table here in Portland.  He's a fabulous artisan bread maker and I thought croissant making would be another string to his bow.  How thoughtful of me!

Oh how delicious are his butter croissants.  Flaky, light, buttery….mmmmmmmmm!  Yes a little time needs to be taken, but the smell of croissants baking in the morning, and the delicious buttery warm taste.  Bliss.

And yesterday I found out that today was National Croissant Day!  Hint hint Huzz!

Friday, 9 January 2015

january brings ...

As many yoga classes as I can squeeze in - from yin to power yoga and back again. 
Yoga, chiro and the odd massage have been working a treat on my stiff back these past few months.

Sorting.  Tidying.  Donating.
I love a good clear out.  Stuff thats been hanging around gathering dust.
I have a mix of things that go to a 'nearly new' sale store and I get 50% of the sale price back
(which usually goes on purchasing more stuff from the store)
And then much more that goes to a chartiy store.

Planning a vacation and a weekend getaway.
Looking forward to some sunshine in the spring already.

Enough snow at Mount Hood for the kiddos to have some great snowboarding lessons.
They begin this evening.  Snowboarding on the floodlite mountainside.
I will on the other had been enjoying a bowl of chilli and a glass of wine!

Rearranging some furniture and thinking about painting a few walls.
This year is the year to refresh the walls.
White. White and more White!

Trying out a few new recipes.
These are on the list so far.

Balsamic Roasted Beets

Cardamom Rose Gin and Tonic

Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Herb Frittata #food #breakfast #eggs

Lavender Vanilla Bean Palmiers are a simple yet elegant cookie. Make with fresh puff pastry or leftover scraps.

What's on your January list?

H A P P Y   W E E K E N D

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