Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Boat over West Lake in Hangzhou

It's been one year since my return from one month in China. It wasn't a long trip, unfortunately, but it changed things in my life quite a bit.

While in China I visited the West lake in Hangzhou, South of Shanghai. I wish I had better pictures to share with you but this is all I have that is not a picture of me, my wee one and our friend. We were actually on a boat just like that one.

The West lake is very famous in China, images of the lake are featured on Chinese bank notes. Also, Apple's biggest Asian store is just next door.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Honeymoon in South Bohemia

Going through my photos, I again stumbled upon some oldies I feel like sharing. Pictures from our "honeymoon". We got married 4 years ago and although we never had a proper honeymoon, we took a few weekend escapes, just the two of us. The trip to the South Bohemia was organized by my husband: he found a great hotel with wellness and we had dinner in a medieval restaurant.  We also rented a tandem bike and rode along the river, taking in the autumn leaves and people's holiday houses

Before I got married, maybe I had a different idea of how I wanted my honeymoon to be, now that we have these memories, it's exactly how my honeymoon should be: a series of weekend getaways.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Inspiration for the Home: Closet Space under eaves

I live in a loft, right under the roof. While it may seem glamorous, it isn't: too hot in summer, too cold in winter and decorating is a female dog. One of my problems is organizing the storage space in the low nook inside my bedroom. I looked to the internet for inspiration and before I show you my result (which is different from the inspiration because it's cheaper and easier), I share with you some
interesting ideas.

These 2 photos look a bit like my nook but the ceiling is higher (really). Although they don't work for me yet, these shelves are an interesting solution if you have attic storage space.

Because of the low ceiling and different angles of the roof in that spot, I have an issue with mounting clothes rails. Here are 3 solutions I liked until I found my cheaper alternative.

Finally, here's some closets I liked.

I'll show you my solution on facebook.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

What makes a destination romantic?

One of my close friends is getting married. We recently met for coffee and, naturally the discussion moved from the dress to the honey moon destination.  We asked ourselves: what makes a place romantic?

Is it the clear water of the sea or the yellow sand of an island retreat?

Is it the clear blue sky above a snow capped mountain peak? Or is it the perfect reflection of the mountain in the lake's water? Or maybe the pink blush of the cherry trees.

If you are a city person maybe romantic is about walking around busy streets admiring the architecture and  meeting your sweetheart at cafes to watch the people pass and the sun go down.

While my friend doesn't know where to go on honeymoon, I can tell you that for me the destination is more an excuse to be with my man and create memories. The most romantic destination can be any of the above.

Photos from shutterstock, city cafe :

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Czech living : the Lawn Mower

My mum pointed it out to me this morning when we heard that all too familiar sound: Czechs like to cut grass. Not one day passes without a neighbor using his lawn mower. Big or small, no patch of grass is left uncut. If the neighbors give a day off to their tools then it's the town workers cutting the grass on the green areas around the trees and in the parks. 

I've had neighbors who would cut the grass and plant flowers in the common areas around buildings. They didn't have to, the building could've hired a gardener but they did it because they enjoy it. It's like if a Czech doesn't have a garden of his own, he'll find one or improvise, any excuse is good to put on Wellington boots and take out the gardening tools: cut grass, plant, dig holes in wet soil. I think everyone on my block owns a lawn mower, at least a small, hand held one and has a garden, even if it's just one on the balcony, where they cut the grass..

Judging by the number of times I hear a mower, trimming the lawn must be Czech Republic's favorite pastime. Besides beer drinking, of course.


After: a manicured lawn and people enjoying spring.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Warm Wood and White Walls in a BlackHouse

I was browsing through the notes on my laptop when I came across a linked I saved 2 years ago of a house featured on design sponge. I don't remember why I liked this house tour, but I thought I would share it with you. I think it has something to do with this house having all the elements of my dream house I never knew I liked.

Normally I'm not a big fan of different colored couched in the same living room but here I like the grey and turquoise mix because of the different textures.

I love that this couple have memories all over their home, mainly from their honeymoon, bed spreads, towels, rugs. I'd love to bring stuff from my travels to decorate my house. And I'm a total sucker for a wall full of pictures with different frames.

The owner of the house has a line of wood furniture he's selling so you can see some of his pieces in the house, like the coffee table. The mix of white walls and wood essences makes the whole house seem so warm and inviting, something I want for my house too.

 Noticed the tiles?
They even have a speakeasy but this is not my favorite part of the house (although it has some advantages).

When I see a veranda like this I imagine myself watching a summer rain from behind the windows. Incidentally the couch looks a lot like ours. My dream house has a veranda and...

...a California style pool.
And this is the house from outside. I never considered a dark tone for a house but in the end, why not, the inside is so warm and inviting and that is what matters.

Hope you like my choice and do check out the original post on design sponge, here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Travel ideas: Three Places in Italy I'd like to visit

Last year was a good one for travel: I went all the way to China, something I will tell you more about little by little because I am feeling nostalgic.

This year, with two little ones in tow, it will be difficult to travel but I do like to keep my options open and one of them is Italy. The North part of Italy is more easily accessible for us, hence the pics I chose. Hope you like them. In order : Venice (thinking about Death in Venice?), Florence and Cinque Terre. Sources are on my pinterest page here.

First some travel tips

In case you're wondering what other posts you'll see: the other options are Barcelona and Bordeaux, both close to my in laws in France.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Today's special : Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin

My husband and his work buddies are fit freaks: they like to do a lot of sports and eat healthy. Nothing out of the ordinary unless the sport in question is biking under -20°C. I try to support my guy so whenever I cook for him and the boys at work, I do my best to incorporate the latest food trend they are following. Veggies are always a must and these days they are into coconut oil so I put it in both sweet and salty foods.

The broccoli cauliflower dish is a staple in our kitchen, not because I eat it but because they do :); This time I made a sauce with leek I browned in coconut oil with some salt, pepper and garlic powder. I also added chicken broth and cream. Once cold I mixed it with 4 eggs and poured the whole thing over the steam vegetables. Some (a lot) of cheese on top and voila! The guys had a good, healthy lunch.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Shanghai views over PuXi and PuDong

How life has changed, I got a bit sentimental when I found some pics: last year in May I was in China, this year, in March i will have my DS #2.

We visited Shanghai towards the end of our one month stay, now I regret we didn't go a second time, there are loads of things to discover, around every corner. The little guy also had a lot of fun, he even made a conquest on the Bund, that is the walkway on the old side of Shanghai, across the street from all the financial buildings you see below, reminescent of the Cocession era...

... and overlooking the new financial and business era, built from scratch starting with the 90's, PuDong. You can see the skyscrapers, some of the tallest in the world. The river was always busy while we were there, between tourist and pleasure boats (some couple was having their wedding photo taken on a yacht) and the different container boats, no wonder the water is polluted.
This is what I wanted to share with you for now but I'd like to bring this place back to life so do support me. I'm thinking of writing more about going to Shanghai and China with a small child. Would be great maybe to do some cooking special guest post also (not necessarily Chinese, could be Italian). If you Like it, keep me motivated.

xo I.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Roses and lilies

As my own vegetable garden is not working so well I am starting to think about a flower garden. There is not a lot of light down where my garden is, nestled between '30s townhouses, but I cannot influence that, just how I cannot influence the cold and the rains from the past months. I am giving my veggies one last try to appear and I am changing things starting this autumn and will grow flowers and grass and maybe keep just a small patch for a couple of tomatoes and some lettuce. I'd like to plant roses but I have so many ideas. I hope I will also have the time to do all that.

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