Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bright, Bold and Beautiful: Where We Blog

I was so excited to participate in a fantastic series by the very talented Laura Trevey at Bright, Bold and Beautiful Blog this week, called "Where We Blog".  The idea behind it is that bloggers contribute photos of where they blog on a regular basis, so that readers get a little insight into their daily lives...not to mention seeing some very stylish spaces!  It has been such a fun series to follow - I have really enjoyed her posts.

Since I don't have a special place at home where I blog, I thought it would be interesting to share a few of my favorite Munich cafes where I blog instead.  I talked it over with Laura and she loved the idea, so we went for it!
Head over to Laura's blog to check it out:  

Thank you Laura for such a fun opportunity! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Croatian Loveliness

We were briefly in Croatia last year and the architecture in Dubrovnik really knocked my socks off.  I thought I'd pass a few images along:

This is a close up of a beautiful column.  I think it will get framed eventually.
I know pictures like this have been mass produced, but
mine is the real deal, so I love it. 
Ideally I'd make this part of a grouping with some charcoal sketches and an antiqued mirror, all leaning against one another on a mantel.  I'd add some type of a funky colored vase to add an unexpected punch of color.

The Venetian influences from across the water come through loud and clear.

Notice the guy banging on the bell.  I love the touch of humor.

Stunning waterways are always inspiring.  My husband and I sat here and had one of the local beers while watching the kayakers go by in the distance.

So quaint.

I think this ironwork design is worth repeating, either on an indoor or outdoor railing.

Yep, that's a balcony way up there.  It screams Romeo and Juliet to me, even though we were in the wrong country for that.

More gorgeous columns.  I think the dream house is going to have to have a column.
 That is, if I can convince my (usually open-minded) husband that a room is not complete without one.  I don't think that is going to be any easy sell. 
Any tips out there on how to pull that off?!?

Not practical, but I still like it.  Although maybe for a fountain...

The first pharmacy in Europe, and they did it right!

A beautiful fresco.

An old aerial city map - you can see how the walls contained the city. 
This would make a good souvenir but I don't think it was for sale.  :)

I hope you enjoyed our quick trip together!

How Exciting! The Stylish Blogger Award

Maureen from Eclectic Revisited Blog paid me a very nice compliment yesterday - she awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award!  I am so excited and honored! Please check out her blog right away if you haven't already. She has been sooo helpful in supporting my blogging pursuits, in addition to writing a fantastic blog. 

Maureen, thank you so much!

To accept the award, I am supposed to reveal seven things about myself, so here goes...

1.  I have been living in Munich, Germany for the last four years.  On a clear day in Munich (which is often) we can see the Alps sweeping all the way across the southern horizon.  It still takes my breath away!
The Munich Skyline, showing a few of its most famous churches.
2.  I have a weakness for cookies from Verona, Italy and pastries from Lisbon, Portugal.  (As an aside:  we are driving to Tuscany in June and I have already planned a stop in Verona to stock up on my favorites - Romeo and Juliet cookies!  I'm excited!)

Baco di Romeo - the chocolate (Romeo) version of my faves

A variety of Portuguese Pastries
3.  I also have a weakness for Dr. Pepper, so don't think I am a complete food snob. :)


4.  I dropped out of college to work on Ski Patrol in Sun Valley, Idaho for a winter (it was actually my Dad's idea if you can believe it.  He thought it would be fun, and he was right!)  In case you're wondering...yes, I went back to school.  :)  I finished with a degree in IT and International Management.
This was my view every morning when I showed up for "work". 
Now that I look back on this, it's kind of amazing I went back to college!
5.  I am very proud to be an Oregonian, and now, a little bit Bavarian too.
Oregon's Willamette Valley where I grew up - the "New Napa".

The Bavaria Statue, which overlooks the Oktoberfest grounds.
6.  I have traveled to almost 40 countries for work and play in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced so many cultures.  It has really enhanced my love of design and heavily influenced my preferences. wanderlust continues!  Besides all the fun we are having in Europe, Cambodia is tops on my travel list right now.  How could a travel addict like me resist an adventure like this?!?!?

Angkor Wat near Siem Reap
7.  After 11 rewarding years working in high tech, I have happily been a full time Mom for the last seven years.  Now that my kids are getting a bit bigger, I am finally exploring my long running passion for interior design. I am so thankful to my husband for encouraging me to take this leap into blogging - it has been great so far! 

As part of this award, I also have the honor of identifying 10 bloggers that you may not know about already.  Here are my latest finds that I think are wonderful!  Hopefully this will provide some new discoveries for you.  Please stop by their blogs to take a look:

1. Velvet Moss
2. Driftwood Interiors
3. Design Elements
4. Urban Style Vibes*
5. My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
6. Uruguay White Life
7. The Lennox
8. Providence, Ltd.
9. Marcus Design
10. Desde my Ventana

Have a great day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mint Julep Anyone?

When my husband and I got married in Germany several years ago, I bought mint julep cups to use as vases for our wedding reception tables. As we left Europe and set off on our honeymoon in Asia (crazy, I know, to go all the way around the world, but that's another story).  Anyway, as we set off for Asia, I was tempted to leave them behind because I didn't want to schlepp them all over Thailand and then back to the US again. My Mom was the wise one, and took them home for me. I am so glad she did, because I have used them over and over and over again! Here are a few great uses for these inexpensive little gems:

{via Habitually Chic Blog}
How great is that?  You can organize your desk in such a girly, classy way. 

{Debbie Trelour}
 Of course they are beautiful as a vase and they work well year round. 
I love to use them in small spaces throughout the house - kitchen and bathrooms are my favorite for a little surprise.  They are also great lined up on a mantel or down a dining room table at the holidays, with greens and berries or rosemary and red roses.
{Becky Luigart-Stayner}

The colors of whatever flowers you choose will really pop against the shiny silver. 
I love this combination of roses and hydrangeas - so sweet. 
It would be perfect for a baby or wedding shower.

 I love this idea - you could set out a whole row of them with utensils, napkins, etc...

Of course I love this one because I love how trays set off a nice display of beautiful things, but I think the vase adds nice height and sparkle in this case. 
(Click here to read more about ideas for trays.)

So what do you think?  Do you have something similar and if so, how do you use them?

Today I'm loving...

...this artwork in a room designed by Brian Gluckstein.  It is a surprising yet simple piece of art and could be a great DIY project if you have a good camera.  I supposed the possibilities are endless but I really like this piece in particular.  It's genius.

What do you think of it? Any other great ideas out there for simple things from daily life that could be photographed and blown up like this?

As an aside, I was having a lot of problems with blogger over the weekend which caused me to remove my last post about reading nooks.  Sorry if that caused some confusion.  If you are interested in the photos, please let me know and I will either re-post or send them directly.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beautiful Backsplashes!

Julie over at the wonderful blog Milk and Honey Home posted a great write-up recently about backsplashes.  As I was perusing my collection of images, I came across quite a few that I thought would be worth sharing.  This is just a small grouping of course, but I tried to include a little bit of a lot of styles.  Take a look:

{Cooking Light}
I love this arch over the range...hoping to do this in the dream house kitchen!

 This is a timeless look and I love the way the tiles add a bit of sparkle.

{Covetable Designs}
 This is my all-time favorite backsplash from the very talented Kristin at Covetable DesignsShe combined tiles set in a herringbone design surrounding a French metal fireback.  I have been scouring our flea markets here to find one of my own!

{William Hefner via Marcus Designs Blog}
 Another one with really nice sparkle...

I submitted this one for Julie's follow up post because I love this classic look for a kitchen!  The island is pretty stunning, too.

I don't know that I would pick turquoise for a backsplash, but I do love the look of this size and setting of the tiles...if you'd like to see more about turquoise click here.
{Michael Graydon via Satisfying Spaces}
Stainless steel is such a practical solution since it can be wiped perfectly clean and has a nice edge to it.

{via Enchanted Home Blog}
Here's a great idea that a friend of mine in Portland did for
her backsplash similar to the look above: 
She and her husband spent a very special trip in France shortly before buiding their home.  To remember a certain castle they had seen on the trip, they had an artist design custom tiles to make into a backsplash in their kitchen. 
It has to be done well but when it is, it can be very meaningful!

What are your favorite backsplashes?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sculpted Light

I was perusing a local magazine the other day and came across this lighting by Danish designer Tom Rossau.  I love the sculptural look of these beauties.  It's also fun because they come in many colors so you can customize your choice.  Here are a few of my favorite style and color combos, with ideas on where to use them...

This would look so great over a dark dining room table!

I think this would look way cool in a room full of whites, grays and slate.

For some reason this is calling for me to use in a laundry room.  I mean that in a good way - it would take a really boring room and add a lot of punch!  It would also be great for a playful family room.

The same light, but in pink.  This would be so sweet in a little girl's room or a playroom...they come in so many colors I had trouble choosing!

These would look so great in a grouping in an entry way of a modern home or condo.


The weather here in Munich has been absolutely gorgeous the last few days.  Even if you aren't a gardener, you can't help but be motivated by great weather to plant something!  Yesterday I planted my herb garden and it got me (re-)thinking about how much I love urns and herbs - they are such a beautiful combination.  One of my very first posts was about urns - take a look here if you'd like to see more!  

The most stunning arrangement I have ever seen was at a great wine bar called Noble Rot in Portland long ago. It was HUGE and entirely made up of smelled divine. I'd love to try to re-create it at some point - I wish I had taken a picture! 

Here are a few photos along those lines...

This would make a great display in an old container of any kind - love the counter surface too.  I picked up an old Chinese wooden rice gathering basket at a flea market that would be perfect for this look.

This classic kitchen gets a breath of fresh air from all of these herbs,
artichokes and the mini-lemon tree.  I love it!

Photo by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
This was at a beautiful market in France that sold everything including linens, fresh produce, baskets, you name it.  I bought some tea towels that I hang on my oven door and a few other nice things, but my favorite stand was this one with herbs of every kind in earthy, simple pots. 

I love these adorable herb markers from HomeSpun Sprout on etsy.
I'm thinking of getting these for my sister for her birthday because her yard is completely edible and organic.  I think she'd love these!

Photo by Barbara Jordan Dettweiler
I took a photo of this urn with thyme at a gorgeous antiques store in Provence last Summer. I like the idea of a whole collection of urns with herbs spilling out of them, right outside my kitchen...ready to be picked for dinner tonight!

{Graham and Green via Coco Male Blog}

What are you planting right now, and where?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


When the weather first starts to hint at Spring, I head out into my yard and pick some branches to force some blooms.  I love to force Spring to come a bit early this way.  It's so easy, costs nothing at all, and brings Spring right into the forefront!  My favorite is forsythia (my Mom always does this so it reminds me of her :)) but I also discovered in our yard here in Munich how beautiful quince blooms can be.  They resemble cherry blossoms so they are stunning, but without the allergies!

Here are some beautiful examples.  Notice how pretty they are not only in a living room, but also kitchens, bedrooms, entries, etc.  I have some on my dining room table right now surrounded by a few items in fresh spring colors...

{Covetable Designs}

{Dominique Vermillon via Design Chic}

{Belle Vivre Blog}

{Polished Pebble Blog}

{Pottery Barn}

{Kay Douglass}

{Apartment Therapy}

{Apartment Therapy}

 How do you bring Spring into your spaces?


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