Friday, August 15, 2014

The sweeter things



After we had dined at a lovely little Italian Restaurant for lunch on Saturday afternoon, daughter and our friends said this was a must place to go and visit while we were in Melbourne.

So off we went,... peering through the front window attracted my attention with the most amazing cakes and I felt like a small child in a candy store.

Into Brunetti, we walked which is one of the most iconic places to indulge in delicious Italian style coffee,  decadent cake from the Pasticceria,  delicious gelato or a tempting savoury from the Paninoteca.

To be honest though, lately we have made a decision to forgo eating sugar, after reading the book, Pure White and Deadly by John Yudkin.  A treat for me is a small piece of dark chocolate occasionally when I am feeling like something to eat after dinner. 
But every so often it is nice to just have one day off a week when it does not matter - so today was the day.

The macarons and fancy cakes all looked almost too pretty to eat and deciding which ones we would taste was a dilemma.

I opted for a lemon gelato, the intense creamy flavour was really delicious

This is the perfect place to visit especially if you have a sweet tooth.

I wish you a happy weekend
hugs
Carolyn

Monday, August 11, 2014

A fun weekend in Melbourne


Flinders Street Railway Station

We've just returned from a wonderful little trip away, to catch up with our dear daughter.


In a short time we packed in a lot, seeing the sights, shopping, catching up with friends for lunch at an Italian restaurant and walking for miles. The little French cafe where we had le petit dejeuner on Sunday morning was hidden down one of the laneways - helped having our daughter show us some of the hidden gems in the City.
I love the old Terrace houses with their fancy ornate ironwork

The beautiful gardens, parks and elegant Victorian era buildings in leafy streets make this City, a desirable place to visit.  

The first morning we boarded the historic tram which rattled and grinded along the tracks - this is a great way to see around the City and the overall charm and atmosphere made it feel like we were back in the olden days.

Why you would shop at the supermarket?... when you see the wonderful fresh produce at this shopping mecca. Queen Victoria Markets has been the heart and soul of the City for more than a century. 
The produce markets, overflowed with the seasons bounty of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables.

 This Frenchman was a great salesperson - le fromage was so good and after having  a little taste test, we had to  buy the perfectly ripe brie, a blue and a gouda cheese, and  take back to the apartment. I wished we could of stayed another day as the time went oh so quickly.

Wishing you a happy new week
hugs
Carolyn


Monday, August 4, 2014

Decorating with wallpaper

Do you like to decorate with white,  or colour?

Our entrance/hallway and stairwell is in need of a makeover and lately we have been looking at wallpapers that we may be able to use to give it a new look.

Love these beautiful florally patterns with the pretty sprays of flowers  -  would make me happy but would be more suitable for a bedroom though and may be a little much for my DH



This Scandinavian design called Mr and Mrs Collins I thought was old world elegant - would look great for our daughters bedroom which is next in the queue for a new look.

Roziere's hot air balloon, I thought was  magnificent - love the soft delicate colours. 
After the Mongolfier brothers first flight {1783}, flown from the Jardin des Tullieries in Paris, balloon mania swept through the decorative arts. The balloon always speaks to me of freedom, sailing through the sky.

 
We will most likely go with this, an Anaglypta dado panel, in the Gothic design and then paint it white or cream.  As we are not able to buy this in New Zealand we will have to import from England.
the Gothic design we like - has quite an art deco appearance
Now I will show you a beautiful gift that I got in the mail  last week - was so excited to get this gorgeous cushion cover and sweet card, many thanks. Claudia is so creative and does the most beautiful sewing and special work. 
Go over and say hello and meet Claudia


I am grateful and blessed to know of her wonderful friendship. 
Although we have never met we have enjoyed corresponding for over twenty years.


I am also very grateful for all the virtual friends from across the world - isn't blogging wonderful!
Always love to see you here, thank you and appreciate all my wonderful friends.
Wishing you a happy week
hugs
Carolyn


Friday, August 1, 2014

Floral Friday ~ Flower Arrangements


From  pretty bluebells, or the elegant and exotic orchid, to a simple vase of pink tulips, all flowers are beautiful and can make a wonderful arrangement.


Flowers can bring a room to life and give it a romantic touch from the fresh white to the subtle pinks, blues and lavender...I do love all the soft hues.
Some flowers murmur in tones scarcely audible, but exquisitely soft and sweet..."I am little but I am beloved"
~George Sand

Flowers have a language of their own and sometimes they do not need to be displayed in a big showy arrangement. Often I think a single rose in a vase can make a lovely statement.
 Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them
~ Chinese proverb









Wishing you a great weekend, with lots of sunshine
Carolyn

Monday, July 28, 2014

Little touches of Aqua




Soft pretty colours, I adore, from the colour of that little Tiffany blue box to the aqua blue ocean.


Today I bring you a few images to brighten up a grey and overcast day here. 
The sea at Bora Bora really was like this ....the most amazing colour and looked unreal

I an still sporting my Fitbit - just bought a new strap to replace the old one and chose this pretty colour.
Have shared before about buying this and have been wearing it now for over 6 months and I am really enjoying it - During the day it tracks steps, distance and calories burned, and at night it tracks your sleep quality.

 You can sync the tracker to your computer and find out how you are progressing.
The other day I got the 2,000 kilometers Award - this is the distance from approximately Madrid to Berlin, it informed me.   
So the daily walks I do, and the encouragement from family and friends who also have one, all helps.
It's the motivation I need to get out and be more active and push myself a little more.
Savour the moments that make you the happiest
I hope your week is off to a fabulous start.
Carolyn

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy weekend!




Hello sunshine! today is a welcome surprise to see a clear,  bright blue sky, with the sun shinning, albeit it a little cool - I do love this weather.


Last week, has been cold here and between a few showers of rain I have been out in the garden.
I planted two new roses, a sweet Cecile Brunner climber ( which has the sweetest little pale pink rosebuds) and  Souvenir de Malmaison, lily of the valley and some violets.
I had the Cecile Brunner growing in a previous house and always loved it.
Fingers crossed, hopefully I will be able to share some pretty flowers soon - I  don't have a green thumb, so will see. Living near the sea and with clay like soil and then having a lack of water over the summer months is not ideal for good growing conditions in the garden.

Anyhow, sometimes I try to embrace what Mother Nature surprises us with - I love to look at beautiful things and lately I have been enjoying taking a few photos with my camera - so roses from the market were my subject.
The rose has to be the most romantic and delicate flower.

"Hope you have time to stop and smell the roses today"


Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile and a grateful heart.
~Zig Ziglar

Enjoy your weekend
Carolyn

Friday, July 18, 2014

Europe Simply Irresistible Link Party



The lovely Anita at Castles Crowns and Cottages is hosting a European holiday, blog party. I am tres heureuse to be part of this. Merci, Anita for organizing this for us all.

I will take you away  to  France  and share some of my photos with you.
Each time we have visited I enjoy it a little more.







 My bags are packed and I am excited for this little escape and to go to far away places.
{ need to get away from the winter here}

 We will start with some of the wonderful markets,  cheeses that have a smell all of their own, the vegetables were so fresh and looked like they had just been picked from the garden

 A gentleman skillfully weaving the French style market basket

 the pretty fleurs in abundance,



to the beautiful fragrances of the soaps and lavender sachets






















 






We left Paris on the TGV (fast train ) and this is such a great way to travel - fast and efficient.
Then hired a car to travel to Gordes, this is one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Just when you thought you've seen everything along came the wonderful old village built into the cliffside. 



Amazing old maisons and buildings, built from a lovely white stone and with its labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets.

Menerbes is another village that I would like to share with you, Peter Mayle made this place famous when chronicling his first year living here, as a British expatriate.
It had wonderful maisons and the feeling of ... I could live here in this village.

 this was the view overlooking the Luberon valley from a restaurant we dined at. You could almost imagine that was somewhere like where Mr Mayle lived, in his 200 year old stone farmhouse

Had a long leisurely lunch at a vineyard restaurant - La Bastide de Marie, with wonderful authentic local cuisine



Lastly one of my favourite things to do and unwind while on holiday is to spend time relaxing beside the water. 

The French Riviera at Nice was just the place to do that ~ with its clear sparkling blue water

Now I look forward to coming to enjoy all the other wonderful holiday destinations ~ lovely to dream and a great way to spend the weekend
Happy weekend
hugs
Carolyn