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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bird Feeder ~ Tea in the Garden ~ Could it be Spring!!

Last week we had the pleasure of having Miss M. come and visit with us for the March break duration. The week started off with a bit of a chill in the air. There were traces of snow throughout the property and the pond area was still covered with ice (thin ... but ice nonetheless). 

Testing the ice on the pond area with Uncle G. ...

As each day passed ... the weather started to get a little warmer and the return of the birds certain to start, Miss M. decided they would be hungry from their long flight back and wanted to do a special bird feeder for them.

A trip to the dollar store was all it took to get all the supplies required...

Miss M. worked for two days getting the bird feeder just right!! and just as she finished ~ We saw the first cardinal. She was beyond excited ... as the weather was unseasonably warm, that a jacket was even a bit hot in the sun. 

She had to show Stella the new bird feeder....

Taking some time to play  ball with Stella .... Before heading off with Dolce to

find the perfect spot to hang the bird feeder. Strolling with Dolce.... I think Dolce was taking Miss M.for a walk, her little legs running and pony tail swinging in the warm spring afternoon.

Miss M. decided she would like her feeder to be placed by our memory bench, we set up in memory of our loved ones who are now Angels, and keep watch and protect us, from above.

A little help from Uncle G. and Miss M. eagerly fills the feeder....
Notice the pond area is no longer ice covered??

Ready for the bird feast to begin!!!

Time to take a little break....

Mr. G. had recently started bringing out the garden tables and had already placed one in the Gazebo. Perfect place to rest and take in the rays of the afternoon and dream.... recalling the teas we happily enjoyed here last summer.

Afternoon Tea in the gazebo, summer 2011 memories.... 
A wonderful unobstructed view of the rose garden is provided by the seating in the gazebo. Mr. G. dug each hole carefully and exactly where each pot had been placed. I can't wait for their return for the 2012 season!!

These Bonica roseswere filled with promise of a beautiful edge wall of delicate pink blooms...

The bottom of the teacup is branded with a crown, and reads, Royal Standard, fine bone china, England. There is also a number 2979 on the inside edge of the teacup's bottom edge. 

The teacup welcomes the fragrant tea with a delicate pink rose and bud. 

Just sitting back enjoying tea, Macarons and taking in the Rose Garden.  Ah memories. It was not quite warm enough for tea outside  today!

Looks as if Dolce, is also dreaming of past summer time tea in the garden...

Time to head towards the house,it's not quite warm enough to stay outside for too long...

But SOON!!!

Sandi author of ROSE CHINTZ GARDEN is hosting a special Tuesday Tea Time, to welcome the Spring!! Stop by and enjoy a Spring cup of tea with her, she may even have the garden fairies adding their magic... xo

Joining these fabulous hostesses too!!

 Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi
Tea Party Tuesday ~ with Trish

Martha's Terri's Tea Time Tuesday

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week-end Rise N Shine .... Breakfast with Mr. G

This week-end I awoke to the smell of bacon... I was excited to get out of bed, not only was breakfast being prepared I could smell the bacon!!! (for new readers, my sense of smell comes and goes as it pleases)

This was the perfect opportunity to pull out a table cloth I had purchased through one of the fabulous ETSY shops. Pale yellow and hand embroidered with Roosters and flowers (the inspiration for this post's title) and trimmed with a blue band. 

I set the make-shift island (our kitchen remains under renovations) with cream plates, love the warped like edges!! Daily  cutlery, natural cotton napkins with silver  Monsieur and Madame napkin rings. 

With it being St. Patrick's Day week-end, I placed our little potted market Irish shamrock on the  table.

We used the white transition from winter to spring white mugs and juice glasses with a fleur de lis. Very simple... 

Hand embroidered Rooster ... 

and flowers ... perfect backdrop to this breakfast!

This morning I was feeling like a little French pressed coffee...

and I love using our toast rack!! Why have people stopped using them?

Breakfast was delicious! The touch of fresh figs and slice of tangerine was perfect!

Do you make time for breakfast with family (or for yourself) on the week-ends?

 Seasonal SundayShow Off Your Cottage Monday,Table Top TuesdayTablescape Thursday

Spring into Healthy Habits ~ Part Two

You can read Part One here.

and I would say a Woman's too!!!

Walking is one of the simplest and least expensive methods of exercising. No equipment is required and you can do it anywhere. Yet, most people (myself included pre-accident) take the ability to walk for granted; opting for elevators instead of stairs, parking as close to entrances as possible or taking the car for short distance. 
For me personally it has been bitter sweet, with not being able to really exercise at a gym, like I use to, walking would seem like a natural solution. Nope, between my ankle with screws, lower back pain, breathing challenge and misaligned hip/pelvic walking more than 10 minutes or so has become challenging. Especially with the ankle giving out unexpectedly. 

Some solutions I have discovered; whenever a store has shopping carts, I will use it to provide support as I walk along; Mr. Dolce (our Yorkie) rides proudly in his doggie stroller, which also provides support for me and enables me to take walks; when I'm feeling good I will venture out without any walking aides ~ but for very short distances (out of car to inside where I'l be sitting or using some of the creative solutions) or walking Mr. Dolce on his leash, on our property.  The Treadmill is also great for doing mini walks throughout the day, what's important is that we get up and move, be it 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 minutes etc.

Perhaps one of the best aides are the walking poles I discovered last summer. Walking poles originated in Finland, are quite popular throughout Europe and are gaining popularity in Canada and U.S. The poles focus on engaging the upper body while walking, this addition of the torso muscles enables you to walk at a slower pace yet receive a more challenging overall workout.

Walking 30 minutes per day is considered good for your health. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED since 30 minutes in one walk is too much for me, walking 10 minutes intervals 3 times a day seems to have the same benefit.

Additional Benefits:
Brain Power:  Walking at an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week, helps with cognitive function.
Reduce Symptoms of Depression : For as little as 30 minutes a day, 3to 5 times per week over a 12 week period is beneficial in helping to reduce symptoms of depression.
Decreasing Body Fat: Walking for just 30 minutes a day can help improve fitness and decrease body fat. Remember for those of us who are not all to do 30 minutes straight, breaking it down to 3, 10 minute daily walks, will give you the same result.
SIDE NOTE: According to researchers in the U.K. walking for 15 minutes lessens chocolate cravings.

I have always been a huge fan of Yoga, and couldn't wait to get back to it. Despite not being able to use my right arm for much support, with the help of my Yogi, have managed to find ways to modify poses and still get the benefits. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED, my attention to my breathing increases, going at my own pace may take a little longer to achieve results, but they are there. Great for toning.

Additional Benefits:
Pain Prevention: By helping to improve your alignment, increasing flexibility and strength, can help prevent some of the causes of back pain.  
Breathing: Most people breathe very shallow into the lungs, no t giving much thought to how we breathe. Pranayama, yoga breathing exercises help teach us to focus our attention on the breath, utilizing our lungs better. Consciously bringing oxygen to the entire body. certain types of breath may also help clear nasal passages and calm the central the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.
Mental Calmness: Concentrating on what one is doing has the effect of bringing calmness to the mind. Yoga introduces us to meditation techniques, which also help to calm the mind.
Self Confiodence: Since Yoga often requires you to make small, subtle movements to improve alignment and posture.  This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.

Stretching has been part of my daily routine post accident, even before I came out of my coma. My sister would massage my one arm and legs. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED: Starting the day with stretches that I have been taught over the past few years, makes a HUGE difference in my mobility and gives a little exercise to my muscles.

Additional Benefits:
Reducing and Preventing Back Pain: If your back pain is not a result of illness or injury, there is a good chance morning stretching will help. By reducing tension in your spine and muscles, stretching helps to relieve and prevent back pain. 
Increased flexibility: For persons such as myself with limited and low level of physical activity results in tightened muscles and reduction in flexibility. Stretching in the morning encourages lengthening and relaxing of muscles, which aide in improving flexibility.
Improved circulation and energy level: Morning stretching helps to increase blood flow to your muscles, more blood to your muscles equals more energy in the morning.  Our brain also benefits as the increase of blood flow, sharpens concentration in the morning.
I have found some morning stretch exercises that are similar to the ones I do in the morning, you can click here .

Small steps and modifying an activity can help you get in shape and maintain over all health.

Do you stretch to get your day started? Is walking part of your daily fitness routine?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Tea Trolley and Two Special Guests ...

If you live in the GTA , especially north of Hwy 7 can you believe the snow and cold temps we had last week? I know it's normal for March ~ but with the mild temps we have been spoiled with and little snow I can't help but be shocked. Despite the cold the sun was out ... and with the hopes that mild spring like temps will return, the tea trolley has been moved from my writing area to the kitchen sitting area.

Welcome to afternoon tea, my friends ~ I hope you enjoy the snow view out the terrace doors, while cozy warm inside sipping on some warm oolong tea.

You can curl up in a chair, and take a few moments to relax...

The pink tulips will indulge our dreams for warm temps....
I love the delicate scallops on the petal edges ... and the touch of white that graces the pink petals. Our home assistant says they have a pretty light scent ... spring fresh, sadly I'm not smelling them, hopefully my smelling sense will kick in, so I too can breathe in their spring fresh fragrance!!

I chose these teacups today, for their colourful flowers, a garden in our hands...

These lovelies really do warm up the insides on this cold day....

The teacups are hand made by Fifth Avenue Collection

Truly a garden in our hand ... the brilliance of the flowers against the gold back ground....

Mr. G. has offered to serve us our tea today ....

Since we are all watching our waist lines, an apple strudel has been sliced into bite size, so no guilt.. enjoy!!  

Tea is served!

Hopefully we'll be blessed with these lovelies in the garden soon....
Hmmm... looks like there are some bunny ears in that bowl... could it be Mr. Easter Bunny ?

Look who has joined us for tea this afternoon, little Dolce, he loves sitting by the tea trolley...

Thank you for stopping by for tea ...

Click HERE

I'll be joining these fabulous hostesses for tea, hope to see you there...

 Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi
Tea Party Tuesday ~ with Trish

Martha's Terri's Tea Time Tuesday

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