Monday, April 22, 2013

[ oldies but goodies ]

I'VE GOT a thing for vintage, particularly linens, quilts and handcrafts...

What is it about these beautiful pieces that just gets my heart going? Maybe it's the love that went into every one ~ knowing that someone spent hours making it just right. I think I'm having a bit of thrifting/flea market withdrawal. Are you as smitten with these vintage beauties as I am?


[via; via juliapeters; via clotheslineandsunshine; 
 via sarahopp; via; 
via; via etsy; via jodicocanour; 
via; via]

Friday, April 19, 2013

[ happy weekend! ]

SOME wise words for the weekend...

Have a good one!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

[ wakey wakey ]

HOW about this bright yellow door to wake you up in the morning?

We all typically think of painting the exterior of our front doors and leave the interior neutral {except for the recent trend of painting interior doors black}. What do you think? Would you paint the inside of your door a bright colour?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[ shake rattle and roll ]

SO there was a major earthquake today on the Iran/Pakistan border measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. It was definitely felt here all across Dubai. Not enough to cause any damage, just a shake...

I was probably the only one not to feel it since I was on the treadmill at the time, but my guy called from his office to ask if I felt it and said that things were shaking. Some buildings and hospitals were evacuated.

Last week there was a 6.3 magnitude quake in Iran as well. I didn't feel that one either since I happened to be vacuuming. Maybe I should install one of these for next time...

[via pinterest]

Sunday, April 14, 2013

[ island time ]

THERE'S nothing like a relaxing cottage to escape to and unwind, and if it's on an island, all the better! I love this pretty cottage in Muskoka...

Its traditional look on the outside helps it to blend into the greenery, but inside, it's so light and bright...

I love how the inside feels like a seaside getaway but so cozy nestled into the trees on the outside. The white and natural wood colour scheme keeps it feeling serene. Just another example of why I hope to have a Muskoka place again someday.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

[ house hunting ]

WELL, judging from your comments and emails, it's a tough choice between an apartment or a villa. Believe me, I have agonized over it.

But we've made a decision... a villa!

I think it ultimately boiled down to a simple thing, really.... what can I control and what can I not? And the answer was pretty simple ~ I can't control other people ~ not their habits, lifestyles or cuisine. And knowing how my sanity has been stretched to the limit with neighbour noise and odours, I just couldn't risk moving into another apartment and potentially dealing with the same thing all over again. Most places require you to pay for an entire year of rent upfront and sign a lease, so it's not an easy situation to get out of here in Dubai. So it's a gamble. And one that I wasn't willing to take again, no matter how much I love the convenience and location.

And so, after hitting the streets and touring some neighbourhoods, we've decided on Arabian Ranches...

...a large gated community about 20 minutes from the heart of downtown Dubai. It's got quite a nice vibe to it with a lovely community spirit. Driving around reminded us of our visit to Scottsdale, Arizona ~ you almost forget you're in Dubai...

It's divided into smaller enclaves, with homes varying from huge villas to attached villa/townhouses. The developer has done a nice job of including plenty of park space, community pools/tennis courts and a few man-made lakes with walking trails. It really does feel like a little oasis in the desert...

We were only out looking at the layout options, but happened to view one where the owners were looking to move out at the end of June and it was perfect ~ an end unit, backing onto a park with a pretty little backyard...

... and all for less than what we would pay to rent our current 2 bedroom apartment in the same building we're in now with the hike in rental prices. I think the sound of birds chirping instead of traffic and construction noise clinched it for me.

I know I'll need to work out the location situation ~ that's the biggest Con on my list. But I think it will feel a lot more normal for us to live in a villa since we've never really been apartment dwellers. I'm ready for a change. I can't wait to feel the grass between my toes and have a solid night's sleep!


Monday, April 8, 2013

[ pros and cons ]

HOW was your weekend? Ours was interesting ~ a huge thunderstorm! Complete with lots of lightning, a sandstorm and road flooding in some areas because there is no road drainage here in Dubai. Definitely got everyone talking about the weather since rain is so rare.

We also did a bit of house hunting ~ no, we are not leaving Dubai right now {sorry, nothing that exciting!} We just need to vacate our apartment in June and find a new pad since the landlord gave us notice last year. Rents have risen considerably which has made the hunt even more complicated.

You may remember 2 years ago we were trying to decide on an apartment vs. a villa when we first moved to Dubai {read about it here}...

Well, we've been at it again! Both options definitely have their pros and cons for the same price...

Pros: convenient location, a view, walkable for me to amenities, metro, groceries, includes pool and gym, close to my guy's office, lots of restaurants/cafes nearby, trendy city living, close to friends

Cons: small space with no storage, decent buildings are expensive, noise from neighbours above, pungent smells from neighbours, underground parking/elevator, too much traffic to bike on roads, traffic noise, tiny balcony

Pros: larger space with storage, parking at your door, a backyard with grass, no noise from anyone living upstairs, no smells from neighbours, easy to bike around the neighbourhood with bike paths, quiet neighbourhood, community pool

Cons: suburb location, not walkable to amenities or metro or groceries, no gym, further to my guy's office, few restaurants/cafes nearby, far from friends, I probably need to get a car

As you can see, it's not really an easy choice for a couple our age {40+} with no kids. There are many things we have really enjoyed about our apartment, but we have also had a lot of problems ~ endless maintenance issues, constant high heels clicking upstairs at all hours of the night and most recently, pungent cooking smells coming right into our apartment from next door despite our air purifier running 24/7. But this apartment could have just been a dud.

While we were leaning one way with our decision, this week we've completely gone the other way. Can you guess what we've decided?


Friday, April 5, 2013

[ happy weekend! ]

GOT anything fun planned for your weekend?  We've kicked ours off with a lovely dinner with some new friends on an outdoor terrace restaurant ~ gotta enjoy the pleasant temps while we can!

As for the rest of our weekend, I'll be doing a bit of research into where we're going to be moving to in the next couple of months... my wheels are turning!

Whatever you're up to, I hope you squeeze in some fun!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

[ tiffany blue ]

I'M smitten by this gorgeous room in the Melbourne home of fashion illustrator Megan Hess...

Not only is the wall a pretty shade of Tiffany blue, I love the mix of her illustrations and photos of fashion icons in a variety of simple and ornate frames. Such a girly and glam space.

[adore magazine]

Monday, April 1, 2013

[ a day at the races ]

THE highlight of my weekend was going to the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. It was my first time to the races so I was pretty excited!

Held at Meydan Racecourse and known as the world's richest race day with top prize of $10 million.

Of course a huge part of the races is the fashion and hats...

fashion pics: Amelia Johnson

with a Jaguar to be won...

Best dressed and couple...

Most elegant...

Best hat...

The hats were definitely my favourite part...


with some people going all out...

Here's my hat {nothing too crazy}...

With a fireworks show, an acrobatic plane, elaborate floats and a concert, it was definitely a fun day...

Have you ever been to the races?



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