It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also the craziest, busiest time of the year!! At our house, the stress of ruining Santa is breaking us down… Our five year old still believes in Santa, of course, and since her list is quite voluminous this year (humongous teddy, humongous doll-house… ) we’re a nervous wreck trying to keep her from finding Santa’s presents 🙂

teddy

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Happy Monday, friends!!! Less than a week left till Christmas and we’re starting to feel the holiday spirit. I still have a lot of last minute details to take care of, errands to run, menus to finalize but with all this frenzy, I can’t help wishing for a white Christmas. I grew up with harsh winters and mountains of snow so to me it’s not really Christmas without it.

Isn’t it funny how even the prettiest of cottages looks better tucked under a blanket of snow? Here are  some of my favorite snow covered beauties to prove it …

snow 1

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Once upon a time botanical art was all the rage. In fact, Frenchman Jacques Le Moyne des Morgues was one of the first European artists to ever visit the New World with the distinct task of recording the flora and fauna he discovered along the way. His sketches may have had a tragic fate but his depictions of plants and wildlife along Southeast coast of North America are unmatched, both in beauty and historical value. It is about these that I’d like to tell you more about.

Botanical illustration has been around for millennia. Scientists used them as a way to record details of different plant species, frequently in beautiful watercolor/gouche paintings. Although these illustrations are scientifically accurate and have started as a study tool, they often carry an artistic component that is hard to deny. Their beauty has made them popular in home décor as a way to invoke the beauty of natural elements indoors. I love botanical prints and in this day and age you can find many different styles – black and white, minimal contours, colorful reproductions of famed botanical expeditions… But by far, some of the most valuable and among my favorite, are those created by Jacques Le Moyne and reproduced by Theodore de Bry. They are not only breathtaking in color and detail  but are also 500 years old!!! Who said age comes before beauty, when clearly they go hand in hand!

JMM 2

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With Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrating their amazing 70th wedding anniversary last week, the British royals are on a roll! Kate is expecting and now it’s official – Prince Harry and his American girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle are engaged! I’m smitten with their official announcement photos, they make such a sweet couple, don’t you think? Can’t wait for yet another royal wedding! ( Too bad I’m not invited 🙂 )

Wishing you a happy start of your week!

royal 5

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Happy Friday! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends! It’s fall break in our little town so everything is more quiet than usual and I love that. After a trip to Home Depot and some Black Friday shopping, one of the things I’m looking forward to this weekend is rewatching  two of my favorite Hitchcock movies – Rear Window and Dial M for Murder – with the unforgettable Grace Kelly. What are your plans for the weekend?

Grace is one of the most beautiful women of all time and her style endures and inspires to this day.  Her acting career was short-lived due to her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco but nevertheless extremely fruitful. She had leading roles in five films, three of them directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Her television work earned her two Golden Globes while her role in The Country Girl earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Beauty, talent and a great heart… Here are some of my favorite images with Grace.

Cafe Design | Grace Kelly 19

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