Friday, March 30, 2012

[ porch perfection ]

WHETHER it's simply covered or screened-in, a porch is such a wonderful feature to have on a home. It's a great way to unwind or entertain, regardless of an unexpected shower. Our screened-in porch in Muskoka was one of my favourite spots and I'd love to have one of these on my next home...

Do you have a porch on your home?


[house and home; houzz; skeppsholmen; country living; 
house and home; via wishfulthinking]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

[ does it make you shutter? ]

DO YOU know when you see something and you're not quite sure whether you love it or hate it? Well, that's how I felt when I saw this wall of shutters...

The owner said she was inspired by a display in an Anthropologie store and set out on a hunt for salvaged shutters everywhere, scraping and painting before assembling them into a patchwork on her dining room wall. It is certainly different and would be a conversation piece... what do you think of this shuttered wall?

[country living]

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

[ what I'm loving ]

IT'S BEEN a while since my last 'what I'm loving' post. Maybe I haven't really been too excited about anything I've come across for a while? Anyway, here's what I'm loving right now...

A brand new frozen yogurt place that popped up at one of the Dubai malls. Fat free and sugar free (sweetened with agave nectar) so it's low GI ~ top with some berries and it is treat heaven! I wish this place was closer so I could enjoy it a little more often!

Love this lightweight moisturizer with SPF 15 ~ perfect for those hot, sweaty days {which seem to have arrived this week}, it absorbs instantly, has no fragrance and doesn't leave you feeling greasy.

I discovered this Australian-grown gem at an organic store and have been adding it to my morning smoothies. Containing more dietary fibre than any other food from nature, it's gluten-free and 2 tbsps provides you with over half of your daily fibre requirement. And heck, who doesn't need a little extra fibre?

What about you? What are you loving right now?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[ rooms with a view ]

THERE'S nothing like a room with a view ~ be it a seaside, a pretty meadow or rugged mountains. I love the views from this home...

Can you imagine waking up in that bed? Or enjoying your morning coffee in that nook? Yup, I could get used to that!


Monday, March 26, 2012

[ camera shopping ]

I FINALLY made a decision on a camera this weekend ~ and it wasn't easy. As I read reviews and compared makes and models, I quickly realized that I wanted everything in a camera but I wanted it small ~ not easy to come by! I love the portability of my Canon digital Elph but I wanted something with more flexibility. A DSLR is great, but I just wasn't up for lugging it around with me when travelling, etc. As much as I tried to tell myself that I would, I know myself better than that! I knew that I would just end up going back to my little Canon which would completely defeat the purpose of buying something new.

So what did I choose?
A Sony NEX-7. Brand new on the market, it's about half the size and weight of a DSLR, but with interchangeable lenses allowing for lots of flexibility. At 24 megapixels, 10 frames per second, full manual controls and a large sensor, I knew that it would do everything I was looking for. It can also shoot full HD video at 60 frames per second. It was more expensive than what I had originally planned for but will likely be the last camera I'll ever need to buy.

Sure, it's still larger than my Canon point and shoot, but compared to what else is on the market, I think it's a great compromise to get the quality and features that a DSLR would give me without being enormous. The fact that I can still fit it into my purse or a jacket pocket is a huge bonus. Now I just have to learn how to use it!


Friday, March 23, 2012

[ happy weekend!}

IT'S BEEN another sandy week here ~ no pretty blue skies. Looks like our weekend will consist mostly of a bit of shopping, going out for breakfast and maybe catching a movie.

I've been wanting to get a new camera {I've had my trusty Canon digital Elf now for 5 years and while it's been a great camera, I'm hoping for some more flexibility without being overly huge}. Taking pics is a favourite past-time but I don't want to lug around a big piece of equipment so I'm exploring what's out there. And my guy gave me a "coupon" in my Valentine's Day card to get me something new ~ gotta love him!

Speaking of pics and art and such, if you haven't been over to Emily Clark's inspirational blog, stop by and see her great "Send me a Picture" series. This week she asked several of us fellow bloggers for a pic of the last thing we hung on our wall ~ come see the last thing I hung up here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

[ella may]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[ beach house beautiful ]

IT'S NO secret that my favourite decor style is beach casual and when I came across Tobi Tobin's Malibu beach house in the latest issue of Lonny, I fell in love.

Not only does this home have wonderful views, but I love the clever use of mirrors throughout that help bounce the light around and create the illusion of 180 degree views.

I love how restrained the palette is ~ white and pale blueish grey walls are bright and fresh, white slipcovers and solid oatmeal-toned pillows are serene, while natural sisal rugs, baskets and various wood tones add warmth. No vibrant colours here. 

A touch of black in every room with a lampshade or pillow keeps everything grounded.

It all makes for a very relaxing home. Just so much to love about this seaside home.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[ crushing on colour ]

TODAY I am over at 10 Rooms guest posting on Anne-Marie's Crushing on Colour series while she's away on vacation. If you're not familiar with her blog, you must check it out - it is filled to the brim with gorgeous, inspirational colour.

If you have a moment, come on over and see what colour I'm crushing on!

{psst! here's a hint...}


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[ spring! ]

AS MUCH as I love summer and flip flops, I've always been a huge fan of spring. Birds start chirping, days get longer, and little blooms poke their heads up after a long sleepy winter. Just knowing that there will be months ahead of gorgeous days, gets my heart beating a little faster.

There's nothing like that first trip to the garden centre to pick up those early pansies for your planters to add some spring colour to your entrance. Spring in Dubai is a little different ~ the gorgeous weather is slowly coming to an end and those blistery hot days are soon on their way. Looks like I'll be missing the pansy season all together. What do you do to welcome spring?

[all pics: Minna Mercke Schmidt]

Monday, March 19, 2012

[ featured! ]

THE NATIONAL newspaper in Abu Dhabi ran a lovely section on Saturday on local designers and artisans and included my Etsy shop and iPad/Kindle cases. It was so nice to be amongst such amazing talent!

The article can also be found online here.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

[ kidnapped ]

THANKS SO much for all of your sweet birthday wishes!

I thought I'd fill you in on where I ended up during my birthday kidnapping. I packed my overnight bag and we headed out on the road. Before I knew it, we were headed to Abu Dhabi...

And we ended up here...

The St. Regis is a brand new resort and spa on the gorgeous sandy shores of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. We arrived late in the afternoon but I managed to snap a few pics as we walked the grounds before the sun went down...

Because it was late in the day for tanning, yet too early for dinner, it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves as we walked around. The soft sand seemed to go on forever and there was also a golf course right along the shore at one end of the resort.

Walking through the hotel, there were interesting, luxurious touches everywhere...

But my favourite part about staying in a beautiful hotel is seeing the room and how it's been decorated...

The best thing by far was the bathroom that ran the entire length of the room with a gorgeous deep tub, 2 vanity areas, a huge shower and an enclosed WC...

and of course all the little luxuries...

A delicious, candlelight dinner out on the restaurant terrace with live jazz and a relaxing day soaking in the rays the following day, it felt like we had escaped on an incredible holiday away. 

Definitely the best birthday ever.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

[ celebrating ]

SO TODAY is my birthday and my guy is acting very sneaky. All I've been told is to pack an overnight bag. No idea what he's up to but I guess I'll do as I'm told! ; )


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[ country casual ]

I CAME across this kitchen and I must say I'm kind of in love with it.

The white shaker style cabinets are always a favourite and I love how they've displayed their jadeite collection on open shelves for a pop of colour. The floral wallpaper is an unexpected choice and the breakfast sign adds some country charm.

And I'm always a fan of mismatched chairs around a farmhouse table. The stainless touches in the kitchen and the rustic painted chairs in the eating area are a lovely mix. The entire space has such a welcoming, homey feel to it.

What do you think? Could you live in this kitchen?

[country home]

Monday, March 12, 2012

[ grand mosque in abu dhabi ]

YESTERDAY I went on a little road trip with some expat women to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The largest mosque in the UAE, it can hold over 40,000 people and is a stunningly beautiful structure.

The design of the mosque is a fusion of Arab, Mughai and Moorish architecture and artisans and materials from all around the world were used in its construction. Reflective pools surround the mosque and at night, a unique lighting system is designed to reflect the phases of the moon.

The mosque site is the size of 5 football fields and features 82 domes of Moroccan design, all decorated in white marble. The courtyard is paved in white marble with a coloured floral marble and mosaic inlay.

Once we were all dressed in the abaya robes they provided {some of us brought our own head scarves}, we made our way through the courtyard to the main entrance.

Took off our shoes...

and felt the cool marble under our toes.

The walls and floors of the entrance room are covered in a floral motif inlay crafted from different types of marble from around the world. Flowers are an important motif used to depict paradise.

The first of many gorgeous chandeliers.

Prayer clocks list the names of each prayer and what time it takes place.

We were greeted by our tour guide who led us through to the main prayer room.

This room is all about details. Ceilings and walls are intricately decorated and handcarved Greek marble columns are inlaid with mother of pearl.

The floors are covered with the world's largest carpet {over 60,000 square feet and over 36 tons}, all hand-knotted in Iran by over 1300 artisans.

Huge chandeliers from Germany feature thousands of Swarovski crystals and Italian glasswork.

The 75 foot high Qibla wall {the wall worshippers face in the direction of the Holy City of Mecca when praying} features the 99 names {qualities} of Allah done in traditional Kufi calligraphy.

We were led outside to the outer area where over 1000 marble columns surround the mosque. Semi-precious stones were used to create the floral inlay. Thirty different types of marble were used in this mosque.

The mosque also houses a library with publications dating back over 200 years and is also the final resting place of late UAE president, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the visionary of this beautiful mosque. What an incredible place.



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