Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m so grateful to be able to appreciate all the blessings we have; Sometimes I still catch myself bothered by minimal things that, under the light of the Paris tragedy , shouldn’t even face me, but I’m spoiled and impatient and need to be reminded how precious life is and how it all can change in a split second.
I’m so grateful for my family, they are my everything, it shouldn’t matter that we live in different places of the country and of the world, what matters is that we are alive and that we love each other and we have each other’s back.
I’m grateful for friends, real ones, the ones that stay with you when you are down and cheer for you when you are up. They are rare and precious and we should treasure them for the blessing they are.
I’m grateful for the little moments and the little things, those that fill us with joy and hope, making it all worth it; the moments we hold on to forever to remember anytime we want or need to. We only need to take the time to bring them back, pause for a while and accept them for what they are, presents from God, the opportunity to relive and experience the love again, perhaps not in the same way we would like to, but not less real for that so… We realize as we age, that we almost don’t know anything, The more we live, the more we learn, the better we understand how little our grasp of the universe is, how minuscule our understanding of the power of the brain… How limited our perception of the greatness of the soul!
Today, after complaining for days about my computer’s wireless mouse freezing all the time, after being frustrated because even though I bought a new mouse I still can’t connect it to the computer because I can’t sinc them! Today I realized I still have an iPad and an iPhone to THANK YOU for the more than 16,000 visits to my little blog… More than 16,000 visits to my only 37 posts…. I’m humbled and grateful…. Even though for some bloggers that number might be small, it is not to me! it means the world to see people from all over the world in here, specially all the people from France these last days… I’m GRATEFUL for you all and I’m sending you my love.
I’m writing this on my phone and I’m not good at revising what I write, so forgive me for the mistakes, I just want you to know that I do feel you and I do appreciate you.
Finally and more importantly, I’m grateful for God, for His Love and teachings, for my faith, for always asking me to love and respect all, for asking me not to judge. For expecting me to help and serve others regardless. For asking me to be humble and for teaching me that joy is only found in love and compassion for all, for teaching me that there is no joy in a mean spirit who only looks up for its self and self gratification. For teaching us that we come from light and we come from love, that we are all one and that we need each other to connect with the source of it all. His love. I’m grateful that my God never asked me to kill and hate others in order to be able to go to heaven and I’m grateful I was never taught otherwise. Not everybody is that lucky.
I believe images are powerful and inspiring, if we stop limiting our perceptions to the obvious, a world of possibilities and wonder lays ahead of us. Happy dreaming or happy traveling of the mind and a great weekend everyone. Thank you for stopping by!
Once again, enjoy your weekend and make it count! Intensity can be experienced in many unexpected ways!
We are going through some changes at home and there is not time or special desire to decorate, but it is specially during trying times that we need the most that our homes cheer us up every time we are in there. My mother in law is 96 years old and has Alzheimer’s and Dementia. With the help of her medications she is doing remarkable well, especially now that she has moved home with us. We kept her at her home the longest time possible, first with some help and later on with permanent help.
One day we realized that we couldn’t postpone it any longer, she had to move to a home where she could be monitored at all times. It is heart wrenching to see all the people there that once had full lives and families and are now reduced to not only a room but to solitude and silence and in some cases total abandonment… My mother in law seemed to be the only one getting visits and when asked, the personnel confirmed that impression….no totally but in many cases that was the reality…. I won’t go any further with this subject, it’s not the purpose of this post and I don’t want to make anybody who is taking a break reading this, sad. This is temporal and she will have to return to a home but the time she is spending with us now has made her blossom. Her skin is rosier and she has no bed sores anymore…. Her appetite is excellent, like it was before and she is enjoying her home cooked meals with pleasure. The red puffiness around her eyes has gone down greatly and she seems more alert and happy.
It is not the fresh decor and colors what make home pretty and happy but the gorgeous light that comes through the windows, inundating the house with happiness and warmth. The fact that we can open windows and let fresh air in, is something we can’t buy with money! It’s a celebration of life! grass grows a fresh carpet everywhere and trees are dressed in bright, greens and dewy leaves, flowers grow everywhere at ease and days start earlier and last longer and longer everyday! -The best color palettes are found in nature, green covering everything against bright blue skies with some sprinkles of white…Perfection!
No, design or decor are not going to make home feel like HOME, but they sure help a lot! Bringing some nature inside, like flowers and flowering branches, changing accent pillows, perhaps slipcovering sofas in cotton or linen… Moving things around the house -like my bedroom lamps are now spending Spring in the living room- The right color palette and furniture placement can work wonders in our spaces. Furniture placement could be life altering, no kidding! and bring the biggest transformations in front of our eyes.
We spend time and money in coloring our hair every few weeks (well, not actually me…I’ve stopped and have been looking like hell for a while..I hope it pays off and I will look splendid in fifty shades of gray soon! 😉 ) -but neglect to invest in painting our rooms or even a single wall the right color, we run to the salon to have a well deserved pedicure and manicure and to the mall to get pretty sandals and outfits… but sometimes we forget to do the same for our homes. Maybe is doubt what stops us, not being able to make up our minds or maybe is that we are stuck in a route. We get help for the kids for math and music, why can’t we get help with decorating our homes? At the end it saves money and lots of time and frustration, and makes a huge difference in our everyday lives!
And that’s it! I had fun “shopping” at 1stdibs! What an amazing place… and it was free. Like Coco Chanel said, “The best things in life are free, the second best are very, very expensive”!!! I agree. That’s why I always choose the best, it is free. Have a very good Friday and weekend and pay it forward. Always.
Decorating the mantel for each season has to be one of my favorite things. It is always unplanned, that is the way I like it, at least at home … grab a few things from around the house and put them together having a good time, enjoying the process and playing, the same way I used to play with barbies when I was a little girl and also later on, not so little. Decorating their houses, mostly made of cardboard boxes and dividers (I think evaporated milk came that way at the time, I think wine comes that way still now) was my favorite activity along with designing their wardrobe, and since we were eight brothers and sisters, there were always plenty empty boxes available to play with. Those dividers were a dream come true, I was able to change the rooms distribution any time I wanted! (designers dream!)
This year I wanted to keep things simple, made a promise to myself about not over thinking so stuff gets actually done! The problem was when I thought about making a post about decorating the Mantel for Fall, I felt the need to “finish” it, to make it better. Moving things around I “discovered” I needed to purchase a few items … I don’t want to buy more stuff, I really want to spend more time living and enjoying than trying to make things perfect…good is good enough, right? or at least it should be, so…I didn’t buy anything! (Who am I?! I don’t know this woman!)
These are some pictures of the mantel with a few variations…couldn’t stop myself from playing with the things and broke one of the candle-holders! I would had liked the moss balls to be bigger and some of the pumpkins to be smaller… oh well, what a surprise! Isn’t that the way it always goes for everybody?
Taking pictures with my iPhone is not very professional, I know! the indoor photos look gloomy and colorless and the definition is not that good…This looks so greenish, yellowish, “horriblish”… it looks so much better in person. I promise! perhaps I should upgrade to an iphone 6, just never wanted to do it only because it came out, don’t understand the need to have the latest gadget when I know for sure I barely understand all I could do with the one I already have… that is at least my impression.
The two windows flanking the fireplace are facing north and this particular area between the two of them is a bit gloomy… There is a big mirror on top of the fireplace to bounce the light coming from other places and a light above it, but for some reason it isn’t enough…very unnatural and cold light! I know I could do better, but since we’ve been almost moving several times… it wasn’t worth the hustle, or so I thought … it is always worth the hustle!
I’ve been in love with old silver forever and always have fun imagining where those old pieces could have been…I am a romantic, what can I say…the images in my head are pretty stunning… extremely handsome, elegant, well spoken gentlemen, walking around trying to capture the glance and imagination of breathtakingly beautiful women exquisitely dressed and coiffed ….everybody is having a wonderful time, conversations are interesting, intelligent and passionate and ….nobody is texting! The settings are old hotels with amazing architecture and furniture you only dream of and old mansions full of history and romance, the kind we rarely see anymore …. and of course, All this VERY unlikely to have ANY relationship with my silver pieces found at second hand stores, flea markets or state sales! No connection to reality whatsoever! … but hey! It is my imagination, right?! No need to be timid or frugal there… no budget restrains!
Coming back to reality I should say, I like freshly polished silver as well, occasionally I prepare a “special solution” to clean it, mostly around the holidays, you only have to line the sink with aluminum paper, fill it with hot water, add the non toxic ingredients I found on Pinterest and Voilà! Just submerge the pieces for a while and they all come out shining and reflecting light everywhere… brilliant! (Specially when I didn’t have to polish it!) Soon I will share the formula, it is like magic! I only want to make sure I know how to properly credit the source. Did I mention that I have an obsession with light? I need it bad, I love spaces filled with natural light and a great lighting plan, that is a must ! You can lose almost everything you’ve accomplished, design wise if you don’t have the right illumination….
Don’t you think silver pumpkins are gorgeous?! I do, they are just so pretty and elegant! It’s like they decided they didn’t want to be “loud” like their lovely, more common orange sisters! These grayish pumpkins are the snobs of the family along white ones! Orange ones are the happy eternal teenagers… Too bad the light didn’t help me here and the gorgeous gray pumpkin looks almost a shade of one of Pantone’s pastels for 2015…. I had yet to put a candle inside the orange goblet and it was and is bothering me immensely! Candlelight is so pretty, romantic and soft…. I find it flirty and happy! Few things can claim they can do for ambiance and mood what these little wonders do!….Contained fire…Do we even realized what we have with candles?! It literally is Contained Fire!!! anywhere we want them, whenever we want them! Awesome! Genius! Priceless! Brilliant! yes, very bright indeed, CANDLES bring magic to every space and make the ordinary look extraordinary!
That branch with the “caramel drops of Autumn” tilted the vase and went too low, wasn’t intentional… looks bad!
This is a small space so I should keep it simple… but Fall makes me feel warm and cozy inside and sometimes has me longing for the cluttered look of lived in spaces… I think it’s the same feeling we experiment during Fall and winter when we wrapped ourselves in soft blankets and cuddle in our favorite chair, sofa or bed (yes, more likely a bed..) and lose ourselves in a book or a movie, even a cheese one, a “chick” movie my boys used to call it … and then they watched it with me and even liked it! (Omg… those sweet memories … I’m not going to cry!)
I took a couple of things out to create some breathing space, what it’s called negative space, it is as important as all the stuff you want to display, your eyes should be able to rest and travel from one thing to the other with ease, there should be a nice flow and harmony among all the pieces in the composition, here it works because your eyes can take all in without being overwhelmed with too much clutter… almost!
– Not so much here though!
So… this is my mantel for the season, sometimes you should go with your impulse and if you like the result, if it makes you happy, then that’s the right one for you at that particular moment, if you get a pleasant feeling, go with it!
UPDATE -As the season progressed and the bright days of Fall got darker and bare, I felt the need to add color to the mantel and home to replace what we lost outside. Here are some pictures, that for some reason have better light than the previous ones that look so bad…
That poor pumpkin is dying!…. Hold on baby! Only a couple of weeks to go! You don’t want to be called rotten… do you?…
The leaves outside are almost gone… That makes me sad… everything is turning gray and dark so I needed to brighten up the mantel inside
And that makes me happy!
That was it, I didn’t mean to talk forever about so many different things…hopefully it doesn’t read that way…
We all know how important and fun it is to get together with our family and friends as often as we can. Sharing a meal, cocktails or just a glass of wine is always a great time! Gatherings around the table, either indoors or outdoors are where most of our best memories are created! Now that the cozy season is coming, I just wanted to share some ideas for entertaining with you, hoping to inspire someone to give it a try and transform, perhaps a rather boring space, with only a few favorite things, repurposing them to create new memories in a beautiful setting of their own.
This is the perfect time of the year to celebrate being alive! Days are still warm, sunny and last longer than the ones soon to come … some people are squeezing everything they can from the last days of summer, throwing pool parties, barbecues and having fun with any excuse…Others are already preparing for the crisp days of Autumn and all the beauty and cuddling they will bring, when the warmth of summer goes away only to be replaced, with the warmth inside of us and that of our homes… Which one would be you?
This one for instance, you could use tea cups, soup or cereal bowls for your centerpieces and place only a few flowers on them, that would cut your cost and time preparing it greatly and the scale would be more adequate for a simpler, more casual and relaxing event. Don’t forget to introduce more texture and movement to your centerpieces by using different heights, mixing different flowers, foliage, branches, grasses, even vegetables or just using only one type of flower for a very classy, elegant look.
It is OK to mix and match your plates and glasses, it is actually desired to be original and unique…. just be careful to follow a color palette you really like and looks good all together. Finally, always try to use cloth napkins, long, linen or cotton ones. There is nothing like it, no replacements for this one! (What am I saying? I do use paper napkins a lot! – More like paper towels actually… I like to choose my size!- but never when you have guests…. unless you are having pizza, of course… or something messy, or… I better shush it, I know…)
Did you like it? I had a blast! Photography transports me through space and time… What about you? What moves you? Good night 😉