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Welcome & Well Wishes!

WELCOME FRIENDS!

A welcoming wreath crafted from faux cedar, gingerbread men, dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, berries and luxe ribbons as part of a Christmas fundraiser for the St. John's Women's Centre

I am a woman who finds pleasure and calm in creating beautiful surroundings and experiences for my own pure enjoyment, as well as that of others.  Gardens, interiors, weddings, homemade ‘Love Gifts’, crafts, cakes and bakes, architecture, photography,  arm-chair travel books, feel-good movies, Italian soaps, flavoured teas and, oh – ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS – are just some of my passions…

Many of my friends keep asking for my recipes, as well as my thoughts on decorating, gardening and entertaining, and encouraged me to start a blog so I can readily share them.  If I can only somewhat master the art of blogging, I’m thinking it just might be easier than e-mail!

So, my lovelies, at long last, this is it – a blog about my favourite beautiful things!  I hope you find something here that interests you and makes your heart glad.   I hope that you’ll try some of the recipes and ideas to be rolled out in my new (and first ever)  blog over the coming months and that you’ll be inspired to try many more beautiful ideas of your own and, in turn, share them with the rest of us.  What are some of the things that bring YOU joy?


Part of a Christmas table setting titled -"A Christmas Tea of Comfort and Joy" - in honour of my mom-in-law, who passed away from breast cancer in Nov/09, for our local chapter of the Cancer Society's Annual Festival of Trees Fundraiser. The vignette was one of a dozen on public display in the Delta Hotel lobby for the month leading up to Christmas and afterward auctioned at a gala dinner. See an upcoming blog if you'd like to find out more...

WISHING YOU A WONDROUS NEW YEAR

It is my wish that the New Year will hold many exciting things in store for us all; and that we’ll seek new ways to introduce petite touches of romance into our daily lives, letting our imaginations soar and discovering the beauty in the ordinary, everyday things that surround  us –  whether a gorgeous, creamy bowl of heartwarming soup, a beautiful book that inspires daydreams of far-off places, a steaming pot of restorative amber tea shared with a long-time friend, a single flower on the edge of the bathtub, the soft and rhythmic purrrrr of a cat in front of the fire,  a soft flannel blanket on a snowy afternoon or a lovely, fragrant room spray that transports us from a mid-winter’s day to the garden in springtime…


IN THIS SPIRIT

Let’s make this the year that we learn to cultivate the simple joys:   make a museum date with a friend whom we haven’t seen in ages; try out that new restaurant we pass by every day (and check out the cute waiter); go for that bold, new haircut; take that trip abroad we’ve been forever dreaming about; make that “too complicated” recipe we clipped many moons ago but didn’t have the confidence (or the never-heard-of-before ingredients in our pantry) to try; introduce a new, exotic vegetable (or even flaxseed) into our diet; try on that dress we think we’d never be able wear; dig that flowerbed or try that paint colour we admired in a magazine, bake a cake for a not-so-friendly neighbour, visit a seniors’ home and give the priceless gift of our company, take those piano lessons (with or without a piano), teach a young person to knit, volunteer to help out a charity, or foster a shelter animal (AND KEEP HIM)…

A little holiday cheer remains in a corner of the kitchen where I allow myself to indulge in a little Yuletide bling, for at least just a little while longer..."It makes my heart sing!"

After all, hair will grow back (Trust me – I went through chemo treatments for breast cancer in 2010). You could find a dress style that automatically takes off ten pounds, or be inspired instead to lose that 10 pounds!  You could stumble upon that DREAM career, make a new best friend, learn tons of life lessons, feel good as you do good, adopt the best pet (and family member) ever, and even lower your blood pressure without the meds!  You get the picture?!

Whenever I decide to “go for something”, I always ask (my good friend Val will attest to this), “What’s the worst that could happen if I do this?”  Well, admittedly, it might not work out or the answer could be “No”.   On the other hand, it could work out for the best or the answer could be “Yes”.  Ya just never know.

Sun beams through a window onto my kitchen table. Santa ('The Giftgiver'Collection) and Portmeirion "Holly & The Ivy"teapot were gifted to me by my husband in past Christmases.

Thanks for dropping by my friends.   I hope you’re inspired and cheered by the musings that follow and that we’ll meet here again and again.  The teapot’s always at the ready for you…

Have the most beautiful day – you owe it to yourselves!  See you soon.

Warmly yours,

Linda

A tiny photo of my mom-in-law's once-youthful face is tucked into a holiday bowl amongst a bunch of pretty glass balls. A precious angel, passed down to me from her treasured Christmas collection, stands alongside - just a couple of lovely and thoughtful ways to keep a loved one's memory ever nearer and dearer. She was a spiritual woman and I thought the Father Christmas with the bishop's mitre (given to me by my husband) was a fitting version of the 'Giftgiver' to be included in this particular Christmas vignette.


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