January 20, 2017

Quote of the Day + Have a Great Weekend

Happy Friday! Recently I stumbled upon this quote and couldn't help but think how absolutely true this is. So I thought...

January 13, 2017

This Year I Will...

new year's car
I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. And while New Year's resolutions don't work (at least in my opinion), goals do. So every year, I do write a list of goals for myself.
Turn your hobby into a career. 

Don't make excuses about your photography; start making photos.
Lose Weight. 

I confess - I'm a food addict! I know. Eating too much of anything is bad, and pasta is no exception.
Start eating healthier food.
Spend more time outdoors  - Even when it's freezing  cold!
Reflect on the good and let go of the bad. 

So I'm taking all the good from 2016 into 2017 and letting go of the bad.
This quote by Paulo Coelho pretty much sums up how we should aim to live day by day...

Hope you have a great weekend! xx

(Quote Image via Pinterest.)

January 06, 2017

How to Make Your Home Smell Like the Holidays Year - Round

Happy New Year! Hope you all have a great 2017. I'm so psyched about the New Year and all that is to come.
Although the holidays are over (ah, the magic and wonder of the holiday season...), those heavenly scents that remind us of Christmas are too delightful not to share. Here is how I intend to make my home smell like the holidays year-round.

Citrus, sliced - Oranges, lemons, limes, nectarines.
Herbs - Lavender, Rosemary, and bay leaves.
Pine twigs (or other fragrant twigs).
Spices - Whole Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Allspice.
Extracts - Vanilla, Mint.

I absolutely love these natural room scents. Since I started using these I have threw out all chemical air fresheners and scented candles.
I have found that cinnamon and clove combine beautifully together and have the most scent staying power.

DIY Natural Holiday Scents

Just fill a pot with water, add sliced oranges, lemons, vanilla flavoring, and spices like whole cinnamon and clove, and simmer the recipe on low heat. You can also heat the mixture in a slow cooker with the lid off. Vary your fave citrus, spices, and other ingredients depending on your mood. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy some holiday scented goodness.
Added bonus: These mixes can be reused several times. They keep on giving. Just make sure to add more water to your pot when the water is half way down.

I use my big coffee pot as a warming method. I fill it with sliced oranges, vanilla flavoring, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves (actually stuff it), and water. My pot has a keep-warm setting that lasts about two hours so it's set and forget. Sometimes I keep a small pot simmering on the stove and it makes the house smell so nice all day.
The orange, cinnamon, clove combination is amazing! It has a strong holiday spell to it! It smells great, and can be customized to personal needs and tastes. There are literally endless scent possibilities too. And the best part? You can really use whatever you have on hand.

To most people, a smell isn't just a fragrance - it's a memory.

Hope you have a great weekend! xx

December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a magical weekend to you all! Hope you have a relaxing time with friends and family. Can you believe 2017 is right around the corner? 

I wanted to say thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate you stopping by. Very much looking forward to many more exciting adventures in 2017. Thank you again for such a wonderful year.
I wish you happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays. 

Lots of love! xx

christmas-milk and cookies


Made me smile. {John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016. Buster the Boxer.}

December 09, 2016

Inspired by...

Happy Friday! I can't believe that Christmas is a mere two weeks away. Oh yes! It is the most...

December 02, 2016

December is Such a Tricky Month...

...filled with mixed emotions. (For me at least.)

It's December, can you even believe it? Nope, not me! As Christmas fast approaching, I realize I still have mixed feelings about Christmas and really struggle to get into it every year. Why? I've lost both my parents in the last ten years. Part of the reason is they both spent their last Christmas in hospital and were so ill. My parents used to absolutely love this time of year and having the family get together at Xmas. Let's face it: Holidays are particularly hard for people who have suffered a loss.

Unfortunately, Christmas highlights the loss, so I'm sure like all of us who have lost loved ones, this time of year makes us feel our loss more intensely.
Yes, there are happy moments and more memories made but it really is to me a bittersweet time of the year. I have, though, found ways to embrace the holidays rather than just get through them.
I still enjoy Christmas and am very much attached to the decorating and baking, and dorky Christmas music. I love that it's a time when my busy siblings can catch up and get together, but it's not like what we used to have - will never be quite the same.
Christmas is such an emotional time anyway.

Hope you have a great weekend! xx

P.S. My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved one, family member, friend.

(Photo of Hitchcock as a grandpa.)

November 18, 2016

Nature-inspired Thanksgiving Centerpiece...

...to ensure a beautiful seasonal display. This table arrangement works perfectly for a quick and easy Thanksgiving table centerpiece.

'My philosophy is keep it simple.' For a Holiday table centerpiece you cannot go wrong with natural objects. Seasonal fruits, berries, acorn and other nuts, are all plentiful this time of year and can be used for a variety of things - the possibilities are only limited by your own imagination and creativity. These look very festive sitting around your home as well and set the mood for Thanksgiving dinner. Incorporating natural items works well in both contemporary and traditional settings. Also, using candles will instantly cozy up the place and help give your decor more warmth.

DIY Nature-Inspired Thanksgiving Arrangement: Candle Centerpiece

For a nature-inspired table arrangement: Use white or ivory candles of different sizes. Place them on your Thanksgiving dinning table or coffee table. Just gather nuts or fruit and layer in a clear glass vase around a pretty candle. Save a few nuts to scatter near your display.
Switch in ornaments and sprigs of evergreen to keep it on your table into December.

For safety, never leave a burning candle untended.

I hope this idea might inspire you to try something different this year. Have a beautiful weekend! xx