Thursday, May 31, 2012

Balancing Acts, The Queen and Miss Claire

wall decor  Harvey Nichols London

Put your hand up if life is feeling like a bit of a balancing act these days..or rather, take a seat.
Do you ever feel like you have so much to say that you are a loss for words?
My mind is in a bit of a muddle...but I will think about that tomorrow.

Here's what is on my mind...

This afternoon on Regent Street, London

London is ablaze...in red white and blue.
It is so exciting to see, read and hear about the preparations
for the upcoming Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend. 
Up to 1000 boats are arriving from around the UK, the Commonwealth 
and the world for The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday June 3rd. 
There are festivities happening all weekend long. Our neighbourhood 
is combing forces for a street party on Monday. I have my baking orders. I can't wait!

also...

I have been searching for commemorative keepsakes.
Deciding which ones has been a challenge. I have been trying to convince myself 
that we really need this covered crown. It is just so sweet... but I can't decide.

Decision time at Peter Jones in Sloane Square.

I often wonder what The Queen must think of the celebrations in her honor.

Chelsea Flower Show 2012

The weather in London has been glorious...I call the photo below
'Taking Aim', just me having a giggle as I passed by.

Lunch break at Piccadilly Circus, London

I never tire of London street scenes...even the most ordinary 
seems extraordinary to me. 

 Regent Street traffic, London 

Speaking of celebrations...
We are so very very proud of our Miss Claire.
She graduated from high school this past weekend, 
a momentous occasion. 

Her school is rich in traditions, one of them
is long white dresses for graduation. Months ago,
I groaned as we went in search of white dresses.
On Saturday...I took it all back. She was just beautiful.

Miss Claire (left).
Her school was the perfect setting for a garden party.



and cake!



As I type away, I am thinking of Miss Clare and Miss Christine
who left at 4:30am this morning for a months trip around Europe.
They are starting their trip in Paris. Ah, to be a student again....
Claire packed with her signature blue ribbon on her sleeping bag.
She laughed when I took the photo...someday, it will be a fond memory for her.



On that note, dear mother here, is going to put her feet up and contemplate life.
I have the day off tomorrow which translates to paperwork and sorting out 
our belongings for our move.

On Thursday, I am off to explore Windsor Castle. 
Work hard, play hard...that is my motto. :)

Wall decor Harvey Nichols London.

I said at the beginning of this post I was at a loss for words.
Looking back, I guess I found them. 
Best wishes to one and all. 

Jeanne xx

Chelsea Flower Show 2012

photos~jeanne



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Finding inspiration at the Chelsea Flower Show


If you were to ask me...when is the best time to travel to England?
Without a doubt, I would say...in May.
For in May, the weather is fine,
the gardens are in bloom and
there is a good chance the sun may shine.
But for me the best of all in the month of May 

You have to go with an open mind. 
You have to realise that you may not see it all.
You have to be prepared for crowds to obscure your views.
You have to be patient, wait your turn and while you do...
look for the little things, the ones
that inspire you, the ones that make your heart sing.


For in the midst of the crowds, you are bound to come across 
something that peaks your curiosity. 




In my view, the Chelsea Flower Show is for you and you alone.
Bring as many friends as you like, just be sure you each take the time 
to look closely and take note.


  Enjoy what you like...


Look for inspiration...





At the Chelsea Flower Show you will be rewarded in more ways than one. 
In my mind, like art, gardens are personal. 
It's what makes a difference to you that matters. 



The Chelsea Flower Show is a celebration of the most wonderful talent, 
it is all there for you to absorb and appreciate. The best part of all...
what you do with it, is up to you. 


Kaffee Fassett


This was my third Chelsea Flower Show event. As much as I loved this event, 
my first time to the show will always be my favourite.
Seeing it for the first time, was like no other experience for me.

Three shows and I have just what I need for my garden inspiration board.
Now..if I could just settle in one country long enough to plant a garden 
and watch it grow...I would be the luckiest woman in the world!
It will happen one day, I just know it. 

I hope I have inspired you just a little bit to pop out 
and buy yourself some flowers this weekend. 
I have a feeling...that you deserve them. 
:)

Happy Gardening my friends!

Jeanne xx

More in depth information on the Chelsea Flower Show can be found here.
My favourite shops at the Show will also be posted in the upcoming days here.

images~jeanne

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Like honey to my heart

Honey to my heart~in Paris

In the spirit of optimism.
I read the following on the front page
of the International Herald Tribune this morning.

"It is like honey to my heart",
said Mohamed Mustafa Seif, an accountant voting in downtown Cario.
"For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a role to play. 
My vote could possibly make a difference."

Like honey to my heart...a beautiful expression, a heartfelt thought.

I started to think of all the things that are like honey to my heart.
My first thought..
YOU!

If you are reading this post, you are like honey to my heart.
I am touched that you took the time to read this far.
Thank you :)

Here is a thought... how about writing a list to yourself
of all the things that are like honey to your heart.
Be sure to grab a cup of coffee, tea, wine or champagne, whatever you fancy.
Find your favourite spot, relax and write.

You may discover something surprising about yourself.
I just love it when that happens!

Would love to hear if you do. :)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

From Surrey to London


So much to say, so little time.
I just wanted to say thank you all so much for your comments
about the crazy life we live in. The fact that you follow and read
along is more than words can say.

On that note, if you were a butterfly on my shoulder on Sunday...
We would have taken my family back to my favourite spot, 
Petersham Nurseries , for lunch in their lovely cafe
Fifteen minutes after I took this photo you could barely move.

I had the Organic Rose Petal Pannacotta with Comice Pears for dessert. 
It was just dreamy. I had to try it to see if it actually had
 rose petals in it...it did, so delicious and special.

Australian chef, Greg Malouf, is the visiting chef at the moment
and he is most definitely sprinkling his magic over each and every dish.




Mrs. H Sr...my mother-in-law, is visiting and loves to shop. 
We get along so well. :) We had a quick browse through
Petersham's garden shop on the way out.



Over the fields and through the woods to our car, 
we passed this spot along the way...



Someone lives there, I wonder who?
I find the sign posted out front, very inviting...
I don't think that was their intention. :)




The next day, good morning London..
We stopped in at The Victoria and Albert Museum 


If you have a moment..watch the video clips for the show here.
I love a beautiful ballgown, don't you?

Up and down and around London ...to finish
with a fabulous play last night. Can't wait to tell you about it.
I need time to explain.

I will come back with more on that one... got to run.


I am off to London to meet a few blogging friends this morning... more on that too!
Best wishes for a lovely day...evening...morning...wherever you are!


Jeanne xx

PS...thanks also for reports in from around the globe on 
the postcards I mailed from Vietnam last month.
It took a month to reach you...but at long last, they are arriving!

If you would like to be added to my postcard list... I would love to add you in.
I never know when and where...but I promise to get one off to you!
You can send me your address: jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

images~jeanne
with exception of ballgowns as noted in V&A links above

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A phone call and then....



Patrick.
He called...finally.
We haven't heard from him in weeks.
He has been out in the field on a training assignment.
A day hasn't gone by that I have not thought of him.
Today, I am as happy as happy can be.

He managed to locate a spot with phone reception.
When I asked where he was calling from he said he 
was standing on top of his tank in an open field.
He then sent me this photo.
The things we do for our Mom's. :)



To top this off, Mr. H arrived home from Vietnam yesterday.
We have him for a week before he returns and then....
Only six more weeks before Miss Christine moves back to New Zealand.
Only seven more weeks before we pack up and move to Vietnam.
Only twelve more weeks before Miss Claire moves to the USA
Only six more months before we see Patrick again. (we hope)

Family life with the H's.
Any wonder why I blog?
Sanity.

Thank you all for keeping me sane!
Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

Jeanne xx




Thursday, May 17, 2012

Surrey, England : a fine spring day...


Because this feels like a rare occasion and because it may pass quickly.
I thought I would share the morning sun over Surrey. Tika and I breezed through 
the paths this morning on the way home from the school bus stop.

Yesterday we were all drowning in raindrops. It has been a cool, grey,
rainy spring, unlike the last two springs I have experienced in England.
I think I can now fully appreciate what people say about English weather.
But then the sun shines and it is glorious. It wipes all the doubts away.
In my mind, this is England at it's very best.

I have claimed this patch of woods as my own. I have now
photographed it in all seasons. I know someday in the not
to distant future, I will shed my own raindrops, longing for it.

But today...I'm happy.
The sun is shining over Surrey!


Last photo, upon my bicycle. :)

How is the weather in your part of the world today?
Sunny, cloudy, hot, cool?
We talk a lot about the weather in England.
I wonder if that is universal?

Where are you reporting from and 
what is the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Reporting from Surrey, England: 
Sunny and breezy, a fine spring day. :)

images~jeanne








Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Style Journey.. do you have one?


Yesterday I wrote about how much I am starting to sound like my mother...I catch myself saying and doing things I never in a million years thought I would be doing 30 years ago. In fact, I am pretty sure I swore I never would. I recall sitting in the back of our station wagon as a scrappy teenager, me and my five younger siblings who were squabbling over some silly thing. I recall looking out the window in frustration and vowing to myself that I would never have kids, I would never be involved in the PTA (Parent's Association), I would never own or drive a station wagon, I would never live in a small town and I think I threw in that I would never marry as I was going to be a woman of the world ( it was the 70's). So hurrah to all that. I had made up my mind.

Thirty years on... I am married, I have four children, I was President a PTA, owned and drove a mini-van for several years and I just might qualify as a some version of the woman of the world I wanted to be due to our expat lifestyle. Small town...I dream of it...somewhere in Maine. I threw in a career into the mix before we started travelling twelve years ago and haven't looked back. I count my blessings everyday.

Where is this all going? My wardrobe. We evolve, I get that. Our tastes change, our shapes change..I get that. Some of us reinvent ourselves several times as we move through our 30's, 40's. 50's and beyond.. I get that...but I am stumped. I open my Pinterest 'Style Notes' board every now and again and laugh. I wonder if I am living the wardrobe or dreaming the wardrobe or is it a little bit of both? I wonder if I am showing my age, I must as I love hanging out on my 'Style Notes' pinboard...I feel 'cool' when I do. The fact that I just said that would be enough for my kids to say that I am most definitely showing my age. But that's ok...


I use to dream of Africa and safari style clothes...I still do.

via

Lauren Hutton was my style guru...she still is.

via

Jeans, T-shirts, over sized men's shirts, 
 Katharine Hepburn style... it all still works for me.



But every now and again, 
I just want to be dazzled...




wear caftans...



 and funky bling..

via


I would like to stride around town 
wearing groovy glasses...


and throw on an outrageously expensive 
but beautiful Naeem Khan coat.

via

Long skirts? 
Yes and Yes.

via

Purple Paisley Palazzo Pants?
Without a doubt!

via

and hats??

You do not want to get me started...
all this fashion talk is starting to make me giddy.

via

I often wonder what my sixteen year old self 
would think of my fifty something self. :)

Has your style changed over the years?
Do you ever yearn for a walk on the wild side?
On that note, I will leave you with this thought.

Thanks for following me on my Style journey.
I think I just avoided an identity crisis..
or maybe I am having one..
:)

Ah...the joys of life.

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