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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wonderful Boutiques in BlogLand ...

With December a day away and Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to share with you some of the fabulous boutiques that are owned by some of BlogLand's very own citizens. Who would not love to find a gift from one of these boutiques, under the tree.

Images Via Dolce Dreams
These are an absolute must have for anyone on your list that needs a little "ME" time. I use my daily, for afternoon escapes. The lovely lavender scent is calming and helps you to drift off for those much needed re-energizing moments. Nathalie's love for creating and attention to detail is evident in each piece, from creation to gift giving presentation. Visit Dolce Dreams Boutique .

Images Via Castle Crowns and Cottages
If you have been a reader of Casles Crowns and Cottages, you already know that Anita is sharing here wonderful creative talent with the world. The original art work is breath taking! I am fortunate to have a bal masque ~ admit one book mark (which I won in a giveaway) ~ I keep it on my bulletin board to remind me all dreams are possible .. just Believe!! Visit Castles Crowns and Cottages Boutique .

Images Via Fifi Flowers
To be able to own a piece of original art is priceless! From original art pieces , frameable post cards, prints and adorable personalized book marks, Fifi Flowers has it all. I have a beautiful Paris inspired print that takes me back to my visits to the magical city of lights. Visit Fifi Flowers Boutique .

Images Via Belle Inspiration
You know Mimi from her blog Bonjour Romance and her fabulous inspiring on-line magazine Belle Inspiration. But, did you know Belle also has a wonderful boutique? From embossed note cards, journals, and surprise Paris Brocate gift packs to of course subscriptions to Belle Inspiration magazine. I look forward to each issue of my subscription. Put a little Oh La La in yours or someone's day visit Belle Inspiration Boutique .

Images Via Mariette's Back to Basics
There are no words to describe Mariette's ability to bring the most original and beautiful pieces to her boutique. Each time I visit, there are many things that I would love to add to my home. From French Christofle silver, Limoges, Lampe Berger,  and other stunning pieces from an era where quality meant something! to her fabulous selection of Giovanni Raspini , Italian silver charms and pieces; you will discover something fabulous!! Visit Mariette's Back to Basics Boutique .

Images Via Luxuria
I have been admiring the wonderful artisans Vanessa has brought together in one place. I have a few pieces on my Wish list ... for original decadence this is the place where your eyes will be delighted! Visit Luxuria Decadence For Divas Boutique .

The Life of a Suburban Princess
Images Via Royal Ribbons

The Suburban Princess is helping us to add the royal touch to our gift giving with  custom personalized ribbon. I have used Royal Ribbons for adding a little extra to touches to hostess guest gifts and to gifts for little one's with their name printed on ribbon. Lots of colour ribbon colours, size and fonts to choose from.You can order as little as a yard or as much yardage as you require. Visit Royal Ribbons Boutique.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Child is Blessed

My brother's first born was baptised this week-end!
All ready for his big day in a Burberry Baptismal suit. 

Proud momma watches as baby Matthew is blessed with Holy water.
(my sister-in-love on the left holding baby M)

Matthew with Priests and proud parents, after the ceremony.
Matthew did not fuss or cry the whole time.

Newest member of the church...

My brother and sister-in-love, hosted a beautiful luncheon after the baptism, at a local Italian restaurant.

Among the many thoughtful and beautiful gifts  everyone shower Matthew with, was this gorgeous custom handmade baby quilt, from Dolce Dreams.on ETSY As soon as Matthew was born I knew this would be one of the gifts Mr. G and I would be gifting him with.

My photos do not do the quilt justice. The bottom right hand corner, is embroidered with his name ~  Matthew and the month, day and year (7-14-2011) of his birth.

A sweet blessing to both our family and my sister-in-love's family, peacefully resting in Uncle G's arms.

Yes, my friends I am a proud Aunt!!!

Mark 1:9-11 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Joining :

Monday, November 28, 2011

Beyond Santa ~ why we celebrate...

Like many children growing up, year after year I watched a Christmas tree go up and be decorated. Once I had my home, I too put up a Christmas tree, without much thought. 

Do you Know why we put a Christmas tree up?

The symbolic meaning of Christmas trees originates in pagan culture where evergreen represents life, rebirth, and stamina needed to endure the winter months.
The belief was that evil spirits were at their strongest during the cold months of December and January.  To ward off the naughty spirits, evergreens were brought into the home as symbols of protection. The evergreens were alight with candles, the idea here was to “light up” the darkest, coldest conditions and thereby keep away evil spirits.                   It wasn’t until around the 19th century that we find Christianity absorbing the bright, cheerful symbolism of the Christmas tree.  Christians had long held the fir as a symbol of the Tree of Life.  Early Christians knew their symbolism well, as they added candles and apples to their Christmas firs.  These candles represented the light of Christ.  The apples symbolized knowledge which spawned man’s original sin according to Christian belief.  Within the immortal symbol of the Christmas tree and the light of Christ absolves the “fall of man”.

The wreath has significant meaning for all the season. It's circular shape represents eternity,as it has no beginning and no end ~ representing unending circle of life. The evergreen, symbolizes growth and everlasting life.  
The ancient Druids are the first society in known history to have worn sprigs of holly and mistletoe. These priests of yesteryear believed that holly, with its glossy, shiny prickly leaves of green adorned with red berries, remained green all year due to their magical properties. The Druids considered Holly sacred. Many speculate the holly berries have given us our green and red colors of Christmas.

Holly branches have thorns ~ when used in a wreath holly represents the thorns on Jesus' crown when he was crucified. The bright red holly berries symbolize Jesus' blood that was shed for us.

Red at Christmas reminds us of the fire of the SpiritGreen represents nature, and the ongoing life. Spirit unites with nature, in the Incarnation.
As you prepare for the Christmas celebrations ask little ones if they know why we use these symbols in our celebration. It will be a great time to teach them Santa is not why we celebrate. 

  .        The Star: A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long, long ago- The shining hope of mankind.
·         The Color Red: The first color of Christmas, symbolizing the Savior's sacrifice for all.
·         The Fir Tree: Evergreen- the second color of Christmas shows everlasting light and life. The needles point up to heaven.
·         The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.
·         The Candle: A mirror of starlight, reflecting our thanks for the star of Bethlehem.
·         The Gift Bow: Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.
·         The Candy Cane: Represents the shape of the shepherd's crook, used to bring lost lambs back to the fold.
·         The Wreath: A symbol of the never ending eternal value of love… having no end.

Do you know the answers to these questions...

Why we exchange gifts? Why turkey? When is the proper time to light the Christmas lights?

If you know the answers please share. If you have other questions why we do something to celebrate Christmas please ASK, I'll do my best to find an answer. Over the next few weeks I will be posting what I have discovered about these questions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sleep - Do you get enough?

Next to food and water, sleep is one of the most important requirements our bodies need to stay healthy and function properly. Unfortunately, many people do not get the proper sleep their bodies require. Stress, family crisis, traumatic events and medications can all add to sleepless nights.  

For people, such as myself, who face long term sleeping problems often labelled Chronic Insomnia, (having trouble falling asleep, not being able to get back to sleep, waking too early or experiencing poor quality of sleep) are referred to a sleep lab.  That my dear readers, is where I spent almost 48 hours of my week-end.

Once you are introduced to the sleep prison guards polysomnographic technologist, who will be monitoring your sleep patterns. You then start the transformation to something  like that out of a Frankenstein movie. Probes are applied to your scalp via a vaseline like gope; and to your facial movement areas.

Sensors are also placed around your chest and abdomen. And a blood pressure monitor is attached to your index finger. And an oxygen like tube is was also placed in my nose (though no oxygen is given.. it's used as a sensor to monitor your breathing). This raised my anxiety a bit, as memories of this gadget flooded back during my time in CCU after my accident.

They even applied monitor sensors to my legs.

Fortunately, I was able to be in my own pyjamas... after all the wires and gadgets have been attached you are to sleep, "just like you would at home",
while in the lab area the technicians electronically monitor your brain activities and body systems. 

The study will monitor brain and body activity through the four stages of sleep; 
Drowsiness, Light Sleep, Deep Sleep and Dream Sleep.
Yes, you are also being visually monitored as you sleep.

Then at 6 AM you are waken up!! and most get to go home. Of course, since my challenge is that my energy level is limited throughout the the day ... I was held captive  had to stay for part of the next day.

Starting at 8:00 am I had to try and stay awake for 40 minutes at a time every 2 hours; while sitting in a chair in a darken room. Did I mention I was awaken at 6 AM? This is repeated FOUR times throughout the day... during the 2 hours between sessions, you are to stay awake reading or writing or just sitting 

It will be interesting to learn the results of these sleep tests ... I will meet with my Specialists in about two weeks.

Have you ever undergone a sleep study? 
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Staying Asleep? or find you are waking up too early? 
What has worked for you?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

There's No Place Like Home ~ Once Upon A Time

This is the 6th instalment in the Once Upon a Time series. 

click on images for larger photo view

Though large like a castle the place the princess would call home for the next few months.. was far from the comfy interiors one would find in a castle.

No luxurious guest suite in the guest wing ...

The  hospital ICCU, would be the princess's home for the foreseen future.
Once when a friend called the nurse's station and asked the difference between ICCU and CCU - he was told patients in ICCU are closer to the other side , while in CCU are closer to living.

When her eyes were open the only things the princess saw, were passing hospital staff
and doctors, nurses, respiratory technicians ...
there were no windows...just a few beds, separated by curtains (which were often pulled back- open-), much like what you see in emergency wards. Due to the seriousness of each patient's injuries, the ratio was one nurse to one patient.   

Though the pain and inability to move her body - other than her left hand - should have been an indication that her injuries were most serious, the princess only wanted to return to her little castle. The injury to her brain did not process the seriousness of her condition. She would need  be able to breath on her own,before she would be moved to ICC. 

Once in ICC, she would need to learn to eat again (starting with liquids for swallowing and gradually moving to purée foods). Still unable to feed herself, her sister who had been constantly by her side since that first day ... would feed her, and at times let her try and feed herself. When it was determined that she would be able to take in food the feeding tube was removed and the princess was graduated to a regular hospital room.

The hospital room brought a whole new series of learning~ sitting up and learning to transfer from bed to wheelchair. 
The princess, would also need to learn basics like speaking

Using the royal throne...

Everyone, kept saying she would get to go home soon! If she could get through each of these steps. So, even though the progress was slow, confusing and painful the princess gave it all she could. With dreams that she would soon be home...

There's No Place Like Home!!

 Will the princess get to go home? Tune in next time for a continuation ... of

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Autumn to Winter

Summer is becoming a memory ...

Though we are able to enjoy it's bounty....

image via

And enjoy some the lingering warmth....

and the beauty of the colours on route ...

Soon we'll be making Angels in the snow...

How are you spending the remainder of the warm autumn days?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For Lovers of Chocolate and Fashion

AHHHH.... Chocolate ...
with the weather getting cooler outside, the season (for moi hot chocolate is seasonless)
Hot Chocolate is well on it way!!

Chocolate, You can eat it, drink it, and if you are daring Wear It!

The above images were from the Paris Le Salon Du Choclat , chocolate event in October. Image credits

Can't wait until next year! 
Well the Chocolate Show New York is on this week-end!

The 14th Salon du Chocolat in New York settled again at the Metropolitan Pavilion November 10 to 13, 2011. 
65 chocolatiers will be waiting for you to host more than 15,000 visitors on these four days and present their product lines. It will also include demonstrations of recipes executed by top chefs, book signings by award-winning authors, an area exclusively for children and a VIP lounge ...

I have made a note in my calendar for next year!! This would be such fun! 

Don't forget to consider becoming a BLOGLAND PEN PAL.

it will help keep the art of handwritten letters alive and bring a smile to someone's day! and yours too!

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