image via http://www.marthastewart.com
To all my American friends and readers, wishing you all a very Happy Independence Day!
image via http://www.marthastewart.com
Enjoy time spent with family and friends.
It’s just a few days now until Christmas and finally, I feel a little festive!We collected Mum at the airport lastWednesday night/Thursday morning (2am!!!!!!) and we’re planning meals and decorations…I think this part is actually more fun than the actual day… Christmas is really for the kids anyway…
For our family, it’s a chance to get together from opposite ends of the world and spend quality time together. I usually also catch up with friends who, like me, barely have time to breathe let alone socialise during the year…I have a few drinks planned with friends this week and a party on Christmas Eve (before or after Church I haven’t decided yet!!)..then on Christmas day we will have a quiet dinner at home which will be lovely…my mum’s gammon is legendary so well worth waiting for that’s for sure!
So far, the turkey and the gammon are ordered and the menu planned..I have to come up with a festive starter so Pinterest, here I come!
I am working as usual right up to Christmas Eve although I believe that Thursday is a religious holiday here in the UAE so we will have the day off..I am thrilled, as this means a two day weekend for me!! Time to rest and relax and catch up on a movie…the malls and stores are already chaotic so I will be staying far away this year…I have enough stress at the moment!
As you will know from my post a few days ago about Christmas decor, I find myself drawn to more natural decor this year…perhaps its due to all the stress in my life lately, but the idea of simple greenery and soft candle light really appeals to me..it’s not something that would be at all simple to achieve here in Dubai, but it is definitely something I would like to eventually try once I move away from the dust and sand!
The greenery would most certainly be a lot easier to get hold of than it is here…a fresh Christmas tree can cost anything from $100-$250 here, so most of us tend to use fake trees. Sad, but a reality of living in a desert!
This post from Miss Mustard Seed, one of my regular blogs I like to follow, is just the most gorgeously simple festive decor…I happen to love her style and the decor of her home anyway, but the simplicity and earthiness of the greenery, juniper berries , nuts and moss is a delight to behold! Even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, these simple decorations would be very easy to achieve with a little effort.
All images are from Miss Mustard seed blog and were styled and taken by Marian Parsons, the author of the blog.
all images via https://magnoliamarket.com/the-nut-house/
My favourite reality TV show is back…Season 4 of Fixer Upper has returned to screens in the US…
I am sure we will not be far behind but for now, I am satisfying my obsession with a sneak peek at Joanna Gaines’s blog which features images from the first episode of the new season…
As you can see, the makeover is fabulous and her wonderfully relaxed Country chic style features strongly.
For more images and the complete background story go here.
Through a very convoluted series of searches and ending up on this site, I discovered this unique Australian home in Melbourne,belonging to stylist Lynda Gardener, which she shares with her partner Mark Smith.
This is the kind of home I absolutely love! Its decorated without being decorated , if you know what I mean. Its a home curated rather than bought and put together, with pieces which are carefully chosen by the owner and which have layers, age, patina and meaning.
It is my dream to have a home like this…one which really tells a story about the people who live in it. This home clearly is inhabited by interesting people with depth and history …the actual building adds to the overall look of course…it’s an old factory which they renovated.
I particularly love how Lynda has used a limited colour palette of whites, greys and wood tones but the home is full of unique , earthy pieces she has collected and is clearly her “showroom” for her beautifully selected antique pieces. Her gallery walls of old portraits is sublime…I am seriously in love!
Aside from the gorgeous furniture and accessories, the whole home is light, bright and airy with that wonderful industrial feel which looks so incredibly chic…while I am not a fan of taxidermy, even her deer heads somehow look exactly right in this setting!
For the full house tour, click here for the link.
Now all I have to do is get online and start the hunt for an old factory!!
For a number of reasons, mostly work commitments, I find it very difficult to get into a Festive frame of mind with the lead up to Christmas. Living in a Muslim country (entirely my choice) Christmas as we know it is obviously not observed in a spiritual sense. The decorations are all up in the malls (yes, its true..they are more festive in Dubai than London!) and the Christmas fairs have started.
Its a much more subtle feeling which to me seems to be lacking…no crisp and cold weather…no natural slowing down of work (I usually work right up to Christmas Eve and then again on the day after Christmas through to New Year) and very little sense of family unless we fly our mum to Dubai to see us. Most often we join friends for a get together and shared meal which is lovely but it’s just not the same!
I have been scouring Pinterest to try and get some inspiration and infuse some of the Season’s excitement into the next few weeks and my goodness, there are some beautiful ideas around…there are some incredibly clever and inspiring people in the world!!
Look at these beautiful decorative baubles…
image via http://www.hisugarplumsblog.com/
Oh to have some spare time to make these!! I LOVE them!!
For a natural Christmas, these ideas above are spot on…I particularly love the moss-wrapped shades in the image on the top left.
These ideas for displays of candles are just wonderful and so easy to do…even for us in a greenery challenged desert!! I’m seeing a bit of a natural them going on here so what about a bit of sparkle…this wonderful collage below is from this blog
images via http://www.lizmarieblog.com/
These gorgeous images are from this blog...a lovely combination of natural and a bit of glitter.
I must say, just writing this post has literally lifted my spirits..with less than a month to go to Christmas, believe me I need it. The problem is that I have had a few Christmases in England with gorgeous cold weather, a proper Church service in a 300 year old church, real floral wreaths and trees , sparkly lights in cosy cottages…I feel like I am in a movie each time I experience it and a desert Christmas is just so different that it always seems to be a bit of a let down to me! I am fully aware that I sound like a Grinch!!
I realise I am probably a bit late to the Fixer Upper phenomenon, but I LOVE this show and I LOVE Chip and Joanna…I mean, I want to move into their house and be adopted by them kind of love!
I have obsessively watched every single show and scoured every single post on Joanna’s blog to try and get into the incredibly talented duo’s mind set!
For anyone (like me apparently) who has been living in a cave for the last couple of years, Chip and Joanna Gaines are the hosts of a reality TV show called Fixer Upper. They take run down houses and fix them up for clients, showing the process from demo to the fabulous reveal at the end of the show. It’s not just the amazingly creative ideas which Joanna comes up with each episode but also the fact that they are hilariously funny, normal , down to earth people who honestly seem so genuine and …well, nice! Their relationship is also an inspiration and you can tell that they really do like each other…in short they are the kind of people you would want to have as your best friends…Seriously…
Joanna’s Farmhouse Chic Style really appeals to me – She uses simple pieces with age and patina, neutral colours and tones, and beautiful yet functional furniture. As I am sure you know if you read my blog, refurbishing furniture is a big part of my business and I believe that this kind of recycling is going to become even more important in the future ,as our planet’s resources are placed under even further pressure. It is a subject very close to my heart and one which Joanna clearly believes in too.
She uses a lot of painted furniture and refurbishes and up-cycles on a grand scale to create unique yet comfortable interiors for families…this Farmhouse Chic style is a very easy style to live with and it is clearly working for them as a design team! What they manage to do with some of the houses is nothing short of a miracle, and it is quite inspiring to watch them take a hideous 70’s house (what were we thinking???) and turn it into a clean, simple and beautiful home for their clients.
If you have not had a chance to see this fabulous team in action, find them on Youtube or see Joanna’s blog here.