Monday, November 30, 2009

A Good Read- 'Gang of Four'

For the ladies in the crowd. I read this several years ago and it still is at the top of my list when I give book recommendations. It is about friendship, travel, exploration and finding yourself. For some people it is just what they need. Whether you read it by the fire or on the beach, it's a good read.

Book Synopsis: Gang of Four by Liz Byrski

"She had a husband, children and grandchildren who loved her, a beautiful home, enough money. What sort of person was she to feel so overwhelmed with gloom and resentment on Christmas morning? They have been close friends for almost two decades, supporting each other through personal and professional crises - parents dying, children leaving home, house moves, job changes, political activism, diets and really bad haircuts. Now the 'gang of four', Isabel, Sally, Robin and Grace, are all fifty-something, successful ...and restless. It is Isabel who makes the first move, taking a year away from her family to follow in her mother's footsteps across Europe. Soon Sally is on her way to San Francisco, to come face to face with a guilty secret. Robin, in the wake of a clandestine relationship, heads for isolation in the country. And Grace? Well, Grace would never go away for an entire year, but, lonely in the others' absence, she thinks she might take a short holiday in England. Once there, she bumps into someone she hardly knows - herself. 
Gang of Four is a story of four very different journeys and a celebration of women in the prime of life." 

Christmas Shopping: Faded Plains

Here is another little jewel, Faded Plains 
A lovely site filled with beautiful gift ideas. I am putting this one on my shopping list!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Enchanting Chairs

Interior designer Barbara Barry is intriguing. I have enjoyed following her work over the years but what I like most of all are her chairs. There is something whimsical and magical about them. They almost look like characters in a child's storybook. In fact, Beauty and the Beast comes to mind. If you have seen it you will know what I mean. Her designs are enchanting.

Images via Google and Elle Decor
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#2 Dear B....Packing 101

Homemaker saga continues.....

Dear B...

One of the hardest decisions to make when moving is what to do with the years and years of magazines that one has collected.  I am talking about a lot of magazines. Your husband says to get rid of them, your movers say...' your surely not thinking of taking them' and any book you pick up on 'Clearing Your Clutter' says to move on and let it go. But, I can't, so now I think of ways that I could secretly hide my magazines in our belongings...ways I could separate and disperse so no one would be the wiser.
Here is what I have come up with-

  • Tuck one magazine in the folds of each towel and sheet set.  A bonus if you happen to fold in threes.
  • Always wanted tree boots? No need. Fold and tuck a magazine into each boot. Buy more boots if necessary.
  • Do a midnight run before packing and tuck one magazine between each shirt in the kids bureaus etc… A super bonus for anyone with a large family.
  • Fill the spare tire compartment in your car with magazines. Toss the tire.
  • Raid the kitchen. Place one magazine between each frying pan during packing. If you do not have enough pans consider a large farewell party in your honour. You will need more pans to cook for everyone.
  • Think Martha..and improvise with magazines between plates and platters. Be careful!
  • Consider toy chests. Donate kids toys to charity and fill with magazines.
  • Reconsider all those boxes of Christmas decorations you you really need them all? ‘Let go’ and replace with magazines.
  • Ooh, and yes..don't forget all those handbags, dufflebags, suitcases, lunch boxes, pretty storage boxes......
I reckon by the time this all happens maybe a hundred or so magazines will be safely tucked away. Just imagine the delight when several weeks later, in your new home, you discover your little treasures :)

From Clever Homemaker    (Images via Google)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

White, Fresh and Lovely

Isn't it great how we all discover each other? Opening a page that you immediately identify with is like unwrapping a lovely present.  Such a great feeling. This site has beautiful images. I only wish I could understand the language! Go to and enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flowers for you...from New Zealand

Is there anything better than big bouquets of freshly cut hydrangeas? They are so welcoming in any room. I planted a dozen hydrangeas  in our Auckland garden last summer and they are just coming into their own. I took these photos this morning. A good friend gave me cuttings from her garden in Piha. Hers were at least two metres tall and glorious. I may just get a peek before we move. I send these flowers to you wishing you a wonderful weekend filled with all the people and things you love... :)

Image: Collage of Life

Thursday, November 26, 2009

All things vintage..

If you can't resist all things vintage
 than you must have a look at  Couture Allure 
It is filled with wonderful vintage clothes 
and is a great spot if you are looking for that unique 
and extra special something that says it all.

 Summers day blue for ladies of the Southern Hemisphere..

Christmas red for ladies of the North..

Images Source

Paris in I crazy?

I have not been to Paris since the 70's and I cannot speak french. 
I am thinking of a trip to Paris in January. 
Am I crazy? 

A long weekend with my daughter, a last hurrah 
before she heads off to her first year of University. 

My thinking is to take the Eurostar from London 
and keep everything as simple as possible. 

I have had a few suggestions...

Moving on..

I am leaving the beautiful weather of the southern hemisphere for the chilly blast that I expect will greet meet me when we arrive in the UK next month. I am thinking positive or at least trying to. I looked at these and thought, well....maybe moving to a cooler climate won't be so bad. So, I will hold that thought and soldier on with planning and packing and think of shopping again at Anthropologie:)

                                                    Source: Anthropologie

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Still Life....Vincent Wolf


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

These images are perfect to me. Taking photographs of people and being photographed are both equally challenging things to do. The photographers here have made a very special connection with their subject. You can see it in their eyes. Touch ups aside, they are special images. Each one has captured the essence of the individual and when we can see is a gift.

Diana image via Google (
Jackie image via Google (
India Hicks image via Google (

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You've Got Mail...You've Got a Comment ?

I recently watched 'You've Got Mail'. I have watched it so many times I have lost count but it dawned on me as I was watching it that we could probably re-write the script now for blogging.  The excitement they felt at receiving emails is now the same for me when I receive a comment from a blogger.  I also now find that I am hearing Meg Ryans voice when I write...not sure what to make of that one. Maybe I spend to much time on the computer? My kids would smile over that one :)

Images via Google

Fashion Flashback: Marlo Thomas

Hands up if you were a fan of 'That Girl'! 
Me, me me! I had that dress and I am pretty sure I had white 'go go' boots to go with it. Wow, I haven't used that word in a long time. Check out this site...nice trip down memory lane...for some of us:) (Features)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sumptuous Bohemian Living

Could I give up my familiar ways to live with Ralph Lauren's New Bohemian CollectionAbsolutely! Just to be clear on the matter I checked in with Wikipedia and found this  "Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties. Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds." Sounds like blogging to me! Sumptuous is the word that comes to mind when I look at these images
Now, how would you decorate the Christmas tree?

Wonderful Wellies need to go away. If there is one thing I have discovered living in New Zealand is that rain comes in all forms. After living here I have a keen appreciation for what they mean when they refer to the country as the 'Land of the Long White Cloud'. That is why I am so excited about the wellies that Tamara Henriques has created. They are fun, stylish and waterproof. Doesn't get any better than that!

Morning Walk

This is when New Zealand is at it's best. The sun is shining, 
the birds are singing their little hearts out, gardens are bursting in anticipation of summer, the smell of freshly cut grass is in the air and all is right in the world.

Collage of Life images
New Zealand


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