Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Diet Rules

Come on, do I really need to explain why am I talking about it today? Well, with just another day to survive I love to comfort myself with these rules sent to me by my friend Chloé a long time ago. I can't help but laugh each time when reading them and that's a good thing because laughing burns calories, lol.

Here are the new diet rules:

1. If you eat something, but no one else sees you eat it, it has no calories.

2. When drinking a diet soda while eating a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are canceled by the diet soda.

3. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count as long as you don't eat more than they do.

4. Foods used for medicinal purposes never count. ex. hot chocolate, brandy, toast, Sara Lee cheesecake...

5. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.

6. Movie-related foods do not have calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel. ex. milk duds, buttered popcorn, junior mints and Tootsie Rolls.

7. Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking the cookie causes calorie leakage.

8. Late-night snacks have no calories. The refrigerator light is not strong enough for the calories to see their way into the calorie counter.

9. If you are in the process of preparing something, food licked off knives and spoons have no calories. ex. peanut butter on a knife, ice cream on a spoon.

10. Food of the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are spinach and pistachio ice cream, mushrooms and white chocolate. Chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year !

At the end of this year, I would like to wish all of you, and especially all of you bloggers out there who inspire me, a wonderful holiday season!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Selma's Gingerbread House

While I was still in Germany in the beginning of December, my sister's 11 year old daughter Selma wanted us to make and decorate a Gingerbread House. She pulled out a box from the kitchen cupboard containing a basic kit for such a house. She wanted it to be colorful, with plenty of decorations, unique and of course the most beautiful Gingerbread House ever. When I was little I was not allowed to do such fun and lovely things so I accepted the proposition readily. We then explored together the kitchen for the existing edible decorations and Selma taught that we didn't have nearly enough stuff so she sent her father to the supermarket with a very precise instructions. Assembling the walls with the hot melted sugar wasn't as easy as I imagined but we made it after several little mishaps. The decoration was entirely Selma's idea - I was only there to help her.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Christmas tree was my humble contribution. I made it out of Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts) and Smarties, all glued together with Nutella. Isn't it adorable?


Thursday, December 17, 2009

White Christmas in Quebec

One thing is guaranteed in Quebec: we are going to have white Christmas for sure! If you are dreaming of a white Christmas this year, you may want to consider spending a day, or even a couple of days in Quebec City. Even if I'm not really a fan of a cold and long winter, I must admit that the time before and around Christmas in Quebec City area is magically beautiful. The snow is white and crisp, covering everything like icing sugar over the cake. In the evening, with all the decorations and lights, it glistens and glows like a billions of little diamonds covering the city. It pays to get out and to brave the cold, marching slowly and listening to your steps making a crunchy noise in the snow, gasping for breath in the cold air and getting rosy, healthy glowing cheeks. You may have winter and snow in your country and in your city - but the experience of the winter in Quebec is rather unique.
Today we had a very cold day, around -20°C (-4°F) so I finally preferred to stay at home and dig out the pictures from last winter. Those pictures were taken during a stroll in the Domaine de Maizerets parc.

Here is a little description of the atmosphere in the city that I found on the Internet:

Click on the picture to go to the web page.

Sounds wonderfull! And it's true! I'm really lucky to live here...


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Salvation Art

I had an opportunity, completely involuntarily and independently of my will, to build and rebuild what is going to be my home three times in my life. And when I'm talking about building a home, I'm not talking about building a fancy house with an architect and a designer on my side. I'm talking about building a feeling of home after having lost it once for historical reasons and another time for political reasons. I promise I'll explain it all to you one day when I'm ready.
My first home was a very humble rental, I can remember exactly how it was furnished and decorated, but at that time it didn't matter at all. What did matter was that I was madly in love with my husband and so over happy to live with him under one roof after four years of being together. Then we had our first child and two years later our second. I still remember how impatient I was to fill that fourth chair around our little table.
Our happiness was brutally interrupted by an (now) historical event in 1992 and we were forced to leave our home with nothing but our lives - yes, we were lucky.
Then we were installed in Germany for six and a half years, working hard to build from scratch a sense of home for children, to protect them and to give them them a happy life. Tragically, for the political reasons this time, in 1998 we were not allowed to stay in Germany any longer  and we were forced to search for a new country to call home.
Since 1998, we have been living in Canada. It wasn't easy at all, starting a new life from scratch again, learning a new language, a new culture, having to acclimate to the new weather conditions. But from the first day on, I continued to dream about building a home for my little family, I wanted my children to be able to play in their own yard. We started by learning a language first (French, imagine!) then finding a job and saving every penny in order to realize our dream. It took us six years, many sleepless nights and lots of tears to get there. I didn't know we could be so strong...
A hell of an introduction for what I was going to show you today! I can't change it, it's my life...
I thought often about things that make me, make us feel home. Each time when I was confronted with an empty space, aside from getting the basic furniture, I went and bought large plants and art for our walls. This two elements gave me instantly the feeling that I was already there for a long time.
Arriving in Quebec, Canada, I discovered the Salvation Army shops and, to my surprise, I was able to find many original paintings and prints for a couple of dollars only! And so I started my Salvation Art collection that didn't stop to grow since.

This was my first one. It's an original print named "Flammes" ('Flames' in English), 4/5 prints signed by an artist named Marc Martel in 1972. I really liked it so I readily payed 19$ for it even if the glass was broken.

I still like it very much. It hangs in my dining room with two other pieces. I'll continue to present you the rest of my Salvation Art originals collection. Many of the pieces that I found are made by renowned artists and are worth much, much more than I payed for them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Color Escape Neutral

Decorating with the Color Neutral?  I'm the first to tell you not to live in a beige painted house!  Strictly taken, there is no neutral color. Colors called neutral such as beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray and white appear to be without color. But don't be fooled, not only they reflect back the colors around them and enhance bold contrasts, they also have a color hue for them selfs. Neutral colors from taupe, ivory, bone, vanilla, through khaki and mushroom, to sepia and espresso can be used to wonderful effect. If you're not very confident with color, then using beige as the background interior design color for your room is safe. Then you can experiment with smaller items with accent colors which can be changed whenever you want. That's exactly what I'm going to do with my bedroom very soon.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Very sad news - follow up

I write this post from Munich, Germany. Sorry, but I wasn't able to talk about what happened until today. My younger sister had a car accident and she was very badly  injured. She was immediately operated upon arrival at the hospital and again several hours later. However, her state went from bad to worse and she never regained consciousness. Her injuries were so bad that finally there was no medical miracle to save her. We lost her suddenly and in a brutal way, at the age of 46. She left two young children and her loving husband.

Time is the only ting that can make us accept this terrible loss.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Very sad news

I will be absent for the next 10 days from my blog and from my country. I guess I will be able to speak to you only when I'm back home. In this moment, I'm still in shock and I feel nothing but infinite sadness...thanks to all who read me and those who find the way to my blog...


Friday, November 27, 2009

Green Your Life Today

Today I present you part two on colors that I love. In my everyday life I really need some green around me. This color is soothing, healing, calming and beautifying.You can make it a focus theme or an accent color for artwork, fabric, paint, bedding, curtains, pillows, rugs,throws, vases...possibilities are endless. My guestroom is  monochromatic green with accents in white, grey and yellow and the walls in my bedroom are still painted the soothing greenish gray shade. Don't be to shy in choosing the hue, go with stronger and deeper shades of green, make a statement. There are so many different shades of green, starting from blue-green and going to vibrant, luminous yellow-green. A little green goes a long way. Green your life today and never look back!

Dr. Greenlove forever... For more inspirational pictures in green visit my online album.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chandelier recycled and saved from garbage

I found some other pictures of a DIY that I'm very  proud of. So here it goes: almost 2 years ago, my coworker Melissa, wonderful young girl btw, gave me the old brass chandelier that her mother was about to toss in the garbage. She remembered that I mentioned  how much I would love to have a chandelier for my bedroom so she brought it to me for free, just like that! I love that girl! It was somewhat stained with white paint, several  "candle holders" were partly broken and some of the christals were missing. I wasn't quite ready for a DIY action at that moment but I was very happy to have it. Can you believe that I was finaly so lazy that I bought a little chandelier from the store for my bedroom? I'm so ashamed, but if it can be an excuse - it didn't really cost that much. Talking about karma! It wasn't meant to be my chandelier. Then my daughter moved in another apartment and she needed a ceiling lamp for her bedroom. What was she supposed to do? Poor thing, she had one of this "breast with nipple"-like ceiling mount lamps already fixed in her bedroom. So I took pity on her and offered to restore the chandelier that I was saving for my bedroom. The result is simply breathtaking, for me anyway. See how it looks in front of her charcoal gray wall:
I used some silver spray paint, didn't even bother to prime it, we found some nice fake bling-bling in the dollar store to replace the missing christals - you can barely tell the difference. I was somewhat worried about the solution for the broken "candle holder" parts but my daughter wanted me to let them uncovered and to just spray paint them. So I did it her way and guess what? It looks just lovely, it adds a little surprising industrial touch to it.

BTW, it looks a bit yellowish in the picture but it's really silver painted. We were so busy that day that I completely forgot to take the  before pictures. Here is what it looked like approximately before the upcycling:


Monday, November 23, 2009

Red Instead of Boring

OK, I presume you know it already, I'm color obsessed right now. I'm not obsessed with one particular color, I love them all (all right, some MORE than others) as long as they are mixed with some neutrals and beautifully done. So I decided to start with the color red today.  What can I say about red? I love it! Of course...Still, I use it sparingly, like a hot sauce. It’s a color of life, joy, sensuality, strength and love. Please, don't live in a beige painted house...

For more inspiration in red visit my Red Instead of Boring online album.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Longing for one more journey

My daughter called me yesterday morning, she was worried about me and she wanted to know why there were no posts on my blog for several days in a row. She is my most  avid follower. She caught me unprepared, I was searching for the right words to describe what is happening to me. I told her something about being struck by nostalgia and some new ideas that needed reflexion time. Having said that, I was almost in tears, it hurt so much. I woke up  one morning of this week with this uncomfortable feeling that I absolutely have to change something in my life, that 'something' that bothers me for quite some time now. Just as I convinced myself  that the journey was over and that I can sit down now and live my 'happily ever after' life, everything came out. Everything that I tried so hard to hide from myself. And from those who know me. And from those who love me. I know what it is, I know exactly how I should do it, but I'll try to think it over this winter and then, if this burning longing for change is still there, I'll move in this direction.

  What you should know, my DH is in on that one and we are going to take this decision together like we did so many times before. I leave you today with a wonderful quote that sums so nicely my feelings at the moment:


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thread rack from Ikea bathroom shelf

My digital camera is definitely dead, even rice 'spa' couldn't help. I went over my pictures on the computer and i found another little project that I completed two weeks ago. I needed some kind of a thread rack for my little sewing room, mainly for the large serger  thread cones. They needed desperately to be orderly stored. And as my daughter offered me her Ikea bathroom shelf named 'Songa' I was happy to accept it. It didn't need much work, the only thing that bothered me were the black metal supports - I wanted to spray paint them silver for better fit with my existing equipment. It took me no more then 10 minutes to prepare and to spray the supports. It was howewer rather tricky to spray paint each side of the support, they are so thin, nearly impossible to work precisely. Here is the end result:

I like it, it's installed directly over my work area, very easy to reach. I'll show you my little sewing room very soon, I have some things to finish this week in it. And then I would like to start next week to make some lovely things for my brand new Etsy shop, hopefully still in time for Christmas! There are allways people out there who do some 'last minute shopping'. I allready have the fabric and I'm working on the little collection of warm, wintery, snuggly...well, you have to wait till next week to see what am I preparing, sorry...

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