Monday, April 30, 2012

Beauty Aged

I took this picture in Rhodes, Greece, last year when we visited inside the Palace of the Grand Masters.
This is an arm rest on a bench that is in an antechamber. The beauty of the carved details brought me to stop and admire it for some time. I can't help but think the artists who carved these pieces, how many arms were supported against the rest, how many hands touched the curve of the wood.......... the whisper of the prayers from those waiting.
This is truly the beauty of aging.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

William and Catherine's First Anniversary

William and Catherine's story book romance that flourished into a fairytale wedding, has developed into a high-wattage royal couple who have extraordinary roles. Yet despite the public's constant search for dish on the young royals, they remain private and very ordinary in so many ways.

This Sunday marks the first wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess. The media is filled with intense interest in the couple providing a royal heir, and the bold mention that the Duchess is 'bucking the trend' of announcing a royal pregnancy within the year and a half of walking down the aisle.  
Unauthorized royal biographer Andrew Morton claimed, that "if Kate is not pregnant in the next nine months, she will be defying 200 years of royal tradition" - {sound the trumpets, it just may be that a new tradition is about to be revealed}.

I applaud William and Catherine for respectfully following the power of family traditions, and for taking a quiet stand on some decisions that have brought on new traditions. The young couple has revived the image of the royal family and brought to it a fresh face, and it is a face that is wearing a generous smile. They are the future of the Monarchy and will help shape it with new traditions.

In observing what the young royal couple does best, let's keep it simple........ After all, it's really about a boy and a girl falling in love.

Happy First Anniversary.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fashion fit for a Queen {or Duchess}

February marked sixty years of the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries, and she is Queen regnant of 16 sovereign states. {note to media editors: Queen Elizabeth has not been 'sitting on the throne for 60 years'. She 'ascended to the throne'. Yesh! please edit.}
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in June of 1953, and it is this year that the Diamond Jubilee is celebrated.

Queen Elizabeth in a stylish sequined gown {at the Belgian Embassy}

Among the celebration plans are tributes honouring HRH, Brit fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has conjured up a patriotic collection of frocks in honour of the Queen's jubilee. The Red Carpet Capsule Collection was created from Ms. Westwood's memories and influences of previous gowns the Queen wore in years past.

This bridal-esque Union Jack crepe gown is my favourite from the collection.

The collection is soft and feminine, a side-step for Westwood's usual new wave wild designs. The Glamourous draped Grecian-inspired creations are presented in blush pink, coral, soft grey, and subtle shades of metal that just may be representation of previous marker anniversaries {silver for 25th, gold for 50th}.

It has been noted that the Queen is a stylish muse in her own right and time; but the tribute collection of frocks seem as if they were designed with the new Duchess in mind. Vivienne reportedly snipped in the past that Kate Middleton's wardrobe choices are 'ordinary'. Could it be that Lady Westwood was 'put out' that the Duchess had not stepped out in one of the patriotic designers fashion. With choices like these, Kate Middleton just may slip into one of the Jubilee celebration frocks.

The designs would not be complete without a collection of jewels to compliment. Designed by Vivienne Westwood.

 While spending time last weekend in Berkshire with her family, the Duchess of Cambridge took in a bit of shopping. She was spotted at the Ralph Lauren store where she "reportedly" bought three dresses. 


Kate Middleton has great legs and can make a simple skirt look elegant. 

Her finished nude look comes from first..... well, a great pair of toned legs; and then from Satin Touch 20 Tights via Wolford. She also wears ultra light Naked 8 tights. 

Satin Touch 20 tights

Kate has well toned legs.

It's safe to say that HRH will not wear one of Lady Westwood's Jubilee frocks, but it would be a great look for the Duchess to wear for the celebration events. 
Which one of the dresses do you think Kate should wear? 
Which one would you want to wear?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Outdoor living

I was browsing through the latest edition of Traditional Home magazine and came across an advertisement that caught my attention. The title of the ad was 'Let it Rain'.......a little bragging on behalf of Lane Venture. This gorgeous sofa is built to withstand the outdoor elements.

Is this not a beautiful sofa for a garden or lanai..................

So I popped on to their web site and discovered the extensive {clearly an understatement} outdoor furniture collections. This particular sofa, which is now added to my outdoor living space dream list...... is from the WM Outdoor Upholstery Collection. The 'WM' I discovered stands for WeatherMaster. I lost count on how many fabric choices there are, but it was over 150 teasers in solids and patterns to make you feel like a kid in a candy store.

Great place to snooze and read a book. WM outdoor lounger would look fabulous in any one of the solid shades or print patterns.

A traditional style chair & ottoman would compliment the WM sofa above.

I like the unique style and detail on this love seat.

And then I discovered that these beauties are sold at Hauser in Ontario, only a 15 minute drive from our house. Check the website for locations in the United States and Canada -

The stylish Spinnaker Sofa - a variety of chairs styles to match are also available.

What a great conversation area to have for outdoor entertaining.

This chair is a great addition to any one of the soft WM Upholstered sofa's.

Add solar lamps to the patio and you have created a complete outdoor living space.

free-light solar lamp - see the full selection here

Although all of these pieces can stand up to the weather test, I say
'bring on the sunshine'.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Have a GLAMOUROUS Weekend

Hoping that your weekend is so much fun that it brings on a blush..............

susan abraham by don honeyman

via alternative wife

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beauty in the glass

image:john rawlings

I was looking at a box of photographs the other day, which proved to be even more addictive than blogging. I dug out pictures of myself holding my new baby daughter {who is now 28} when she was only a few days old. I showed my Daughter the pictures and she noted that I was wearing makeup while in the hospital. And is it any wonder that 'my baby' is now a make-up artist.

At the time makeup was just a part of my morning routine, the habit now continues and seems more 'necessary'. Hmmm, yes - the creeping up of dark spots and dark circles as we age. And yet now I wear translucent foundation and mineral based powder....... so maybe it isn't that bad after all.
I have worn moisturizer and foundation for years. Truthfully I think it is the thing that has helped keep my skin more protected {critics are inserting their thoughts now}. I wear a combination of several products for both skin and makeup, as a I find that no one line provides me with everything.

My cleanser, eye cream and moisturizer is by NeoStrata - a good recommendation from a dermatologist. I was just introduced to Prevage and have started using the moisturizer and night cream, and I'm loving this product and looking forward to trying the spot cream and eye cream by Prevage. My foundation, concealer and powder are Estee Lauder, while I rely on MAC for colour {lips, cheeks, eyes}.

I switched to a very inexpensive mascara about a year ago when I was having problems with some of my lashes drying and coming out. My Daughter recommended Rimmel mascara (with collagen) which has built my lashes full and long almost immediately. The incredible bonus is that this mascara is only about $10, a big difference from the DIOR and Estee that I previously used.
My Daughter is always giving me products to try and recently introduced me to Argan Oil which I find great for the aging neck area.

Nothing Glamourous going on at my dressing table, simple products that work for me.

john rawlings - vogue '47 - conde nast
The image above caught my attention because it is so me.  The makeup brushes and products are all lined up in a little row {so me} and the model is wearing her best jewelery while only in her corset. Trust me, life is not this glam, but it's these silly little things that I do like wear a pretty robe when I'm applying my makeup that let me tip into the Glamour beauty trunk.

I come from a generation that did and still does sit out in the sun. We think we are protected if we are wearing the right spf product. I don't believe that for one minute  ...... and yet I still sit at the beach while on vacation.
As we age the real signs of our neglect to every part of our body begins to show. New routines and products are introduced to help us combat the tired 'flat' look we tend to carry as we age.

ann sheridan

We all want to live longer, but we still want to look youthful and fresh. We get our  anti-aging fix via a miracle cream, botox, fillers or surgery. But a big part of beauty is wrapped in how you live, how you care for yourself.
The fuel you give your body shows through from the inside out. The fuel of foods that are good for you and the fuel of healthy emotions will bring on the glow you are looking for.
Do you wear your stress or do you burn it off with exercise and meditation?  Do you take time to breath deep and dig into your spirituality every day ? .....most of us don't. And yet is taking control of these simple things in our life, the things that no one else can see or help us with, that matter the very most.

carol landis

I recently put a quote on our kitchen blackboard that reads:
"I've decided to be HAPPY, because it's better for my health".

Decide to like yourself enough each day to take care of yourself. The beauty in the glass is the reflection of your happiness and the dedication you give to yourself to be healthier.

Glamour does begin at home - it begins within you.

nina leen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Point O'View

It was in June of last year that I first took pictures of a pretty 1902 circa summer cottage home at the lake in Oakville. The 4,000 square foot house know in our neighbourhood as 'the old Lind house', was more lovingly crowned the name 'Point O'View' by the Lind Family who bought the property back in the early 1950's.

Spirea adorns the side of the Lind House.

Veranda of the Lind House offers picture perfect views of Lake Ontario.

Many years ago the house was upgraded with forced air heating to create an all season home. But it is the perfect positioning at the lakes edge combined with 84 windows, that provides the ultimate in summer living by the water.

The house went on the market over a year ago and finally sold. The list price for the house was $2,875,000.  The view offers the buyer the perfect location, albeit that the constraints of upgrading a Historical home creates a need for a buyer with patience and a healthy budget.     

The home sits on a third acre of land, the living room featured the original fireplace that had been built with stone from the lake.

But now it was time to start the upgrading..............

The veranda railing had been removed and the house was being prepared to be stilted up for the foundation/cellar to be built.

At the time of the sale the notes on the house listed an original butler's pantry with tall cabinets and a wooden counter top (wooden counter tops would be top on my list to replace). Alexander and Anne Lind lived in the house until they died in their nineties. The Lind children discovered that their parents had tucked away many ancestral documents within the house. One of the recovered documents outlined that one of their ancestors had been captured as a young boy on a ship in the English Channel and he was imprisoned in France. Among the papers was a diary outlining his many escapes and the pardon he received from Napoleon III.

As the renovation began the house started to become a shell. A few weeks ago I took these pictures of the house up on stilts waiting for the new foundation to be built.

The old Lind House {Point O'View} - now a shell on stilts.

 The costs associated with the extensive renovation/upgrade combined with the property purchase could easily double the original price. If the final result is a dream home build with ultimate views, then it is priceless. Albeit that the new homeowner is probably not saying that as the costs to restore mount.

Looking back from the lake edge.

With the dedication to a total build - sans the shell, the home needs to be enjoyed by a new family for years to come to gain the market value that has been spent. I'm sure the new property owners keep abreast of the project progress, and drink in the million dollar view to remind themselves why they chose the Point O'View.

Here's a peak at the view they will have from their newly restored veranda.

view from Point O'View Estate.

I will post more updates on the house re-build and pictures from the curb as it progresses. If it is as spectacular as I imagine it could be, there will be a magazine feature in the future {calling out to Canadian shelter magazine publishers}.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Baby Girl

When your children are born people will tell you "they grow so fast, in a blink of your eye they will be in University". If you don't have children yet, believe these words. Those of us who are parents know how very true that statement is.

My baby turns 28 today. And although it does feel like I blinked and here we are, I'm happy that I can rewind the movie in my mind and recall so many incredible moments as my Daughter grew up.

Proudly I would fill the pages with pictures of my Daughter, but she's a little shy about that. The truth is she is the most photogenic of all of us with a mega watt smile, her beauty is breath taking {this isn't just her Mother talking here - she's gorgeous}.

Baby Monique

The apple didn't fall far from the tree at all....... look at these two little beauties.

Baby Kya

Monique has discovered the joy of being a Mother and given all of us the gift of her darling little girl. I watch them together and cannot decide who is luckier; my Granddaughter who is already beginning to understand just how incredible her Mommy is, or my Daughter who drinks in the joyous moments of being a Mommy and devotes every ounce of herself to Baby K.

Twenty-eight years ago today I arrived at the hospital emergency at 10:45 pm and got the first glimpse of my Daughter at 11:14 pm. It was Academy Awards Night {they were presented in April at that time} and my baby decided she would present me with the biggest award, and she did.
Now I had a 'millionaire's family' {a Son and a Daughter}. I didn't need anyone to explain to me just how rich I was, how rewarding life would be as a Mother.

Monique has grown from my baby girl into a beautiful woman. She has a generous smile with a laugh that is so vivacious that at times it makes me smile just to hear her.
I'm lucky, yes I know I am; to be able to share all the day-to-day things with my Daughter. The girl talk, the advise from one Mom to another, shopping together, talking through the worries that I hope to sooth, and the dreams she shares.

Happy Birthday Monique. 
When you blow out the candles on the cake - dream big. 
May all your dreams and wishes come true.

Love Mommy. xo

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter traditions.........

Jennifer Benner

For us, Easter means celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It offers us a time to reflect, give thanks and gather our family together for the celebration.

The renewal of spring at Easter time means that everything is in bloom, and I couldn't be happier about that. I love seeing the buds on the tree's, the bulbs pop up from their hibernation and the abundance of flowers at the market. Our neighbourhood is beginning to burst with fresh spring flowers.

A lush garden in Oakville.

Garden at St. Jude's Church - Oakville

I am without my own garden right now while we try and find a new home. Container gardening is just not the same, but I still fuss with flowers in colourful ceramic pots to give myself the sense that I'm attending a 'small garden'.
I have had a request to consult for someone and design their garden beds. I welcome the opportunity to dig and play in someone's garden, so the 'planning' may come with a lot more for both of us.

Stone chicks sitting in the containers of my garden.

And I dream of building a large flower garden again...........

Quebec garden.

We took a road trip to Quebec about three years ago and came upon many beautiful stone homes with lush floral gardens. The layers of flowers nestled in front of the hydrangea had me stopping to snap a few pictures.

As I try and contain myself from bringing home every flower from the market {they seem to cry out to me when I pass by}, my attention turns to the long list for our Easter dinner celebration. Of course it will include eggs, chocolate, cake and special meals as we gather together.


I always hid {sometimes very obviously} mini chocolate eggs and jelly beans for my children to hunt for at Easter. Do they know how excited I was getting each special holiday together for us as a family. I think they do. My children are incredible people and they continue on the traditions I established for us so many years ago.
Last year was our Granddaughters first Easter. What a fun time it was to watch my Daughter begin the traditions with her baby that we shared as a family for so many years.

Baby K last Easter trying her hand at cake for the first time.

We didn't make coloured eggs for Easter at our house. Maybe I could have gotten away with telling my children that the colourful chicks laid the coloured eggs.......


Royal Winter Fair Toronto                                  image: glamour begins at home

Of course it wouldn't be a celebration without me fussing with the dinner table and the trimmings. These are a couple of great idea's on dressing your dinner table from Jordan Winery in Niagara.

Irish Moss with sparkle eggs.

Add several small vases with flowers around the moss and eggs to brighten up a table.  

Simple table setting of grass that can be transferred to the garden. via homebasedmom

colourful glassware for the Easter table from Pottery Barn

Table design by Pottery Barn

Easter egg hunting wouldn't be complete with a basket to collect all the treasures in. These beauties are from the pages of Martha Stewart.

Shhh, don't tell Baby K - her basket is just like this.

Chick basket by Martha Stewart has both rustic charm and soft chick appeal.

This elegant basket by Martha is my favourite.

Our family has so much to give thanks for - and an unwavering love for each other. 
That is a blessing every day. 

Wishing you and those that you love a Joyous Easter.

Our Parish - St. Andrew's Church - Oakville, Ontario