Let's Get Social

Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Invitation to a Special Tea ...

Welcome to tea ladies (and gentlemen who may also stop by) ... 
I'm so happy that you stopped by. Today's tea is a special tea ~ it's in honor of Hope Unlimited's celebration of love, for the many girl's they help. You also get a tiny glimpse of my new writing studio (which I will share more about at another time).

I have a creative area set up at the back of my writing studio, the windows provide a fabulous view of Mother Nature's treasures.

For our tea I have chosen some specific items: The tea was a gift from my friend Elizabeth, she brought it all the way from China, during her world trip last year. The teacup and saucer set is a gift from my dear friend Ly ~ so we have plenty of cups and saucers for everyone. And the heart display represent LOVE, not just at Valentine's - but everyday! 

Look how lovely the Jasmine balls look! 

And once they bloom in the tea pot ... WOW!!!

I just love the orchid design on the saucer and tea cup...

Now that your tea is poured ... let me tell you a little about Hope Unlimited's Celebrate Love project. Each year Hope Unlimited hosts a summer Day of Love party where all the girls learn about HEALTHY relationships, family and God's love. Girls as young as 10 come to Hope Unlimited from the streets and slums of Brazil, where they are constantly threatened by abuse and exploitation. 

During the summer Day of Love, the girls are given cards ... much like the Valentine's Day cards that children here in North America exchange. These cards are sent from caring loving people all around the world. It's amazing how a "little" card will make a difference in the life of these girls ~ knowing that someone, somewhere in the world cared enough to send them a "little" note.

By now you are possibly thinking...
 "hey, I could send a card", "I want to make a difference",
 "How many cards do I need to send, I don't have a lot of spare time"....

You can send 1 card or sky is the limit ... your card(s) can be store bought - or handmade.

I chose to make mine .... here is a sample of the cards I made. You can find phrases in Portuguese to personalize your card(s) here. The one I used - translates to You are precious, God's beautiful creation. On the inside ~a butterfly goes through so much in a short time, to evolve into the beautiful gift from nature- so I chose a stamp with a butterfly and "dream big" wording; I added a second butterfly bling (because who doesn't love sparkly inspiration) and added a heart and the phrase Happy Valentine's day on the front of the card. For the envelope I added the phrase the translates into Beautiful young ladya couple more hearts with sparkly bits representing the infinite number of Angels who watch over each girl. I also added a seal to close the envelope.

Once your card(s) ready to go ... place card(s) in an envelope and mail it to:
Hope Unlimited For Children, PO Box 100, Jefferson City, TN 37760. 
Cards may be postmarked as late as April 1.
And the wonderful folks at Hope Unlimited offices will make sure that your card(s) arrive safely at their Brazil destination. 
You can learn more about Hope Unlimited by clicking here and to learn more about Celebrate Love click here. If you were wondering the impact a card can make read this story.

Celebrate Love: Meet Joyce

Read about how Valentine's cards affected a girl at Hope Unlimited here.

Special thank you to Susan from My Place to Yours who introduced me and many others in Blogland to Hope Unlimited.

Now take 5 minutes out of your day and send a card, you will be making the world a better place!

sharing with:
"Isabelle Thornton"  Le Chateau des Fleurs for Monady Linky ~Little red House for Mosaic Mondays ~  A Return to Loveliness Tuesday Tea Time Tuesday ~Tuesday Cuppa Tea  ~Friends Sharing Tea Tea Cup Tuesday Return to Loveliness ~Tea Time Thursday ~ Feathered Nest Fridays

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pink & Red ~ What will you be wearing this Valentine's

Click  links below for full outfit and accessory details 
Red pants have been popping up everywhere, so I started with these fabulous Stella McCartney Ivy iconic trousers and soften the look with pinks and white. To me this is the perfect outfit for an evening out with your sweetheart, the girls or solo.

Do you mix Reds and Pinks?

sharing this post with Friday Fancies party

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day - Spread Love and Kindeness

As the commercialized day of romance approaches, how will you spend the day? The pressure of giving or anticipation of receiving the "perfect gift" or planning the perfect day can send both singles and couples into a state of anxiety, stress and depression. Some will try to brush off the day by saying, "Oh Valentine's is no big deal..." but the reality is we are human - and as humans we all want to be loved and cherished. 

Valentine's Day should be about expressing the love and appreciation you have in your heart for others - with no expectation of "what you will get". So you see it doesn't matter if you are single or in a relationship.

Here are some tips to spread kindness and love this Valentine's Day:

1) Show Yourself Some Appreciation ~ making time for our self allows us to recharge our energy. On the 14th plan a couple hours of pampering, be it at a spa or in the comfort of your own bathroom.

2) Be Cupid ~ volunteer at a shelter, lets those in need know they are valued and not alone - you cared enough to be there for them.

3) Visit ~ visit an elderly relative, neighbor and let them know how special they are.

4) A Meal with Friends ~ whether you are single or your sweetheart is unavailable, plan a special meal IN with friends. In today's world we have lost a bit of the value/benefit of getting together at home with friends. Plan a pot-luck- meal (food can be home-cooked or a pre-made dish of a favourite restaurant, to share) and enjoy an evening catching up.

5) Return to Simpler Times ~ make a pack with your loved one that any gift for Valentine's cannot be purchased. How about a handwritten letter expressing how the other makes you feel special; cooking a meal together; taking a walk; just sitting and talking (perhaps over a cup of tea).

6) Send a Handwritten Message ~ let loved ones and friends (especially children) know you care with a handwritten letter, telling them how they make your life a little better, by being in it. Or personalize a commercial card with a handwritten paragraph or two.

How will you be spreading Love and Kindness this Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tea and the City ...

When I travel to the city for medical appointments I'm usually back in the country the same day (if someone else has driven) or I stay overnight; leaving first thing the next day. But last week instead of just going into the the city for my annual orthopedic appointment for my elbow ~ I decided to stay at our city home for a few days. This meant I would get to see a friend or two and take in some of the fabulous things city life offers.

Image via Fiorio ~ Flagship location Yorkville
First stop on my adventure in the city was a much long over-due trip to a city hair salon. Don't get me wrong ... I have found some good hairstylists since moving to the country - BUT there really is nothing that compares to the experts at FIORIO when you are in dire need of a root touch up. And that it's conveniently located in my old play ground of Yorkville ~ need a girl say more?

Image via Fiorio ~ 2nd Floor colouring
After having Mark work his magic colour brush on my over grown roots and brassy locks ~ and his assistant working her magic with blow dryer and brush ... I felt GREAT!!

Having driven into the city earlier that day and spending a couple hours at the salon, this girl was getting hungry - and not looking forward to getting home and cooking. No worries ... Pusateri's is only a 2 minute walk away. And serves up healthy meals to go!
Cashew encrusted baked turkey breast, garlic steamed broccoli and orange couscous ... dinner ready in seconds - just warm it up- once I was inside our city home.

The next evening it was off to meet Ms. J for dinner at North 44 ... can you say tres delicious food and wonderful atmosphere? I enjoyed scrumptious lobster bisque with a generous portion of succulent lobster pieces! Followed by a huge strip loin steak cooked to medium rare perfection with frites and sauteed spinach!!! Don't worry I did not eat all 12 oz of that steak, I remembered portion control - eating only a third of it and taking the remainder home (making two additional meals).

 Ms. J enjoyed seared Ahi tuna with Japanese pear, cucumber, Yuzu and chili followed by Braised short ribs with chanterelle risotto and roasted beets.
 We concluded our meal with a cup of ginger and pear tea.

YES, but of course ... we did enjoy North 44's divine desserts ... Ms. J ~ Chocolate pot de crème and moi I was a "good" girl - I went for the sorbet ~ Vanilla ice cream with Pear and ginger; and huckleberry sorbet. Ok... maybe I did indulge - but after all I was in the city and at North 44 - no less.

Restaurants, boutiques and a great hair salon, time with friends ... City Life, you gotta love it!

But I'm happy to be back in the countryside.

 sharing with:
"Isabelle Thornton"  Le Chateau des Fleurs for Monady Linky ~Little red House for Mosaic Mondays ~  A Return to Loveliness Tuesday Tea Time Tuesday ~Tuesday Cuppa Tea  ~Friends Sharing Tea Tea Cup Tuesday Return to Loveliness ~Tea Time Thursday 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Week-end Stroll No. 3

This is what it looks like looking out the window, at our home in the country.

As heavy snow continues to blanket southern Ontario and the northeastern United States today, newscasters are telling us to brace for what could be the worst snowstorm in years. So like most people I'm staying inside and looking forward to catching up on some reading, enjoying some heart warming food, and of course some internet strolling (provided the storm does not cause power outages) visiting blog friends and favourite websites.

If the above scene wasn't encouragement enough to stay put...
Seeing our snow covered trucks, quickly made us give thanks that we did not need to venture out, in what is the worst snowstorm of winter (in almost 2 years). Prayers and thoughts to all those who have no choice but to be out in this weather ... May you arrive at work, school, medical appointment or any other event that you must get to today.

The cold weather outside is perfect for encouraging us to stay inside and perhaps take some much needed time to care for our-self.  If you missed 
Rekindling Romance with Yourself Part 2 of 2 earlier this week, click on over for some reminders how to nurture the longest the most important and longest relationship you will have in your life.

If you are looking for some wonderful week-end in the kitchen ideas - here are some that I found inspiring this week.

A Delightsome Life ~ A Romantic Week-end Breakfast 
Paris Loves Pastry ~  Valentine's Day Dessert Inspirations so many wonderful ideas I think I may HAVE to try her Rosebud Madeleines recipe. 
Lily Lemontree ~ Let Them Eat Cake: Boozy Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes

Of course if you are a lover of all things winter ... then you may be looking to get outside...

Click  Keeping Warm in Winter to view full out-fit details by highheeledlife
Of course just because it's a blizzard out there, does not mean one needs to sacrifice "fashion" layer! layer! is key to keeping warm. You will find wonderful layering ideas over at Long Distance Loving ~ weekly Friday Fancies party, this week.

Luxuria Decadence for Divas ~ Time
Amid Life ~ A message of hope
Inspired Design ~ A poignant lesson from a young man

How do you spend SNOW DAYS?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rekindling the Romance ~ With Yourself- Part 2 of 2

This Valentine's Day why not be YOUR OWN Special Valentine and rekindle the romance that is yours for life ... the Romance with Our Self. Below I'm sharing some of the ways I do this ~ starting with my afternoon tea.

You can read part 1 - This Valentine's be your own Valentine - here.

Setting time aside for tea is one of the ways I romance ME on a daily basis.

~ Make your tea an extra special moment ~

Set a setting like you would if a friend was coming over. 
Complete with teapot, tea cup, flowers, a yummy treat (you deserve it - remember all things in moderation is just fine) and touches that say you care.

Treat yourself to a special china teacup set - 
one that is just for you to use during your special time.

I do not take sugar with my tea, so I use the sugar bowl as a stand for my tea strainer.

I also like to read inspirational books ~ during my quiet time with myself.

Other ways I keep the Romance going with myself are:

Forgive myself ~ I am learning that as much as we need to forgive others; perhaps the most important person we need to remember to forgive is our self. When things from my youth surface in my thoughts, I acknowledge the lesson(s) learned - and then release the thought back to the past.

Take myself on a date ~ whether it's a movie, restaurant or a special function that I would like to attend, especially when it's something which may not be of interest to Mr. G or friends. I'm my own friend too! So why not take myself?

Being generous with myself ~ if there is something that I really would like for myself, I don't wait for others to buy it for me. I treat myself.

Keeping a journal ~ where I write about all the things I'm grateful for; my hopes and dreams and sometimes just random thoughts.

 Nurture - Body, Mind and Spirit

Body ~ eat healthy foods, massage, mani/pedi, up keep grooming (waxing, hair care etc.)
Mind ~ say positive affirmations about self, surround self with positive people
Spirit ~ say a quiet prayer, meditate, walk in nature, hug a tree 

How do you keep the Romance in the relationship with Yourself?

Note: the darling little Angel on the gift box and sugar bowl lid are cherished gifts from my dear friend Mariette of Mariette's Back to Basics, who inspires me to live a simple and true life. I often use them in my afternoon tea settings for myself, as a reminder that I am never alone ~ my Angels are always with me.

Sharing this post with : 
 "Isabelle Thornton"  Le Chateau des Fleurs for Monady Linky ~Little red House for Mosaic Mondays ~  A Return to Loveliness Tuesday Tea Time Tuesday ~Tuesday Cuppa Tea  ~Friends Sharing Tea Tea Cup Tuesday Return to Loveliness ~Tea Time Thursday 

Monday, February 4, 2013

This Valentine's be Your Own Valentine ...Part I

Valentine's Day much like other celebrations has fallen prey to "commercialization". The day has evolved from the simple exchange of handwritten letters and cards from the heart and possibly a small sentimental token of one's affection; to a feeling of obligation and/or entitlement for most anyone in a relationship.

Wanting (needing) to be loved and to love someone is part of our human nature. So when Valentine's Day rolls around - not having a special someone to show us love and romance can leave us feeling deflated/unworthy. But, just because one is in a relationship does not guarantee the feeling of being loved, wanted, needed - actually the expectations we set (of our loved one) can end up leaving us unfulfilled and lonely - if our loved one does not meet them.

It's almost as if Valentine's Day has become (perhaps unconscious) benchmark of "how much we are loved". This benchmark is as different as we are individual, for some the simple card with a handwritten note or a phone call is all they need. While others feel they are not loved unless flowers (red roses - long stemmed- at that), fancy dinner out/night on the town, diamonds, pearls or a little orange or blue box is involved.

What I have learned over the years is that one should not depend on another person to feel loved,complete and pampered. After all we are the constant person in our life, as such it is important that we learn to be good to our self on daily basis.

original image Google search ~ edits and Quote addition HHL
The first time this Ah ha moment happened for me, was in 2002 ~ after renting for a number of years (thinking that I should wait until Prince Charming rode in on his horse and we would buy our castle together)  I was getting tired of paying someone else's mortgage and was looking into taking the plunge into home ownership. At this time I had been in a relationship with someone on and off for a couple years, who for the most part spent 90% of his time, when not working or being out with friends, at my apartment (and contributed nothing). When I brought up the subject of buying a home - this person tried their best to talk me out of it. To make a long story short - with the help of a dear girl friend, I found a home I was comfortable with and made the deal on my own. When I shared my joy with then boyfriend - he went ballistic, how could I do this without him? As my girl friend had said as I signed the deal, "you know this is going to be the end of your relationship" to which I smiled and responded "Yes, and I'm going to be a home owner". I would learn later that he wasn't in a financial/emotional position to leave the comfort of his parent's home - and to think that I was, well that just wasn't going to happen (if he had anything to do with). Almost 11 years later I still own that home, he last I heard still lives with his parents.

The day I moved into my home I realized that only I could make my dreams a reality and that was the day I promised to love and take care of myself - not depending on someone else to make me happy, feel loved or nurtured. By really loving myself (and respecting myself) I became more satisfied internally and externally and thus I attracted more love, happiness and abundance into my life.

Much has happened since 2002 and I sometimes find myself walking slightly off my Ah ha moment path, these past few of years (since my accident in 2007). But, just like in 2002 only when I truly (unconditionally) believe in myself, nurture, and love myself ~ can my dreams become reality. Loving one's self means accepting yourself as you are at this very moment - and loving and accepting both your strengths and limitations.

Join me for tea later this week - and I'll share some ways to rekindle the Romance with yourself.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Week-End Stroll No. 2

Welcome to Week-end Stroll No. 2, where you will find links to posts on HHL  and some links to fabulous finds in BlogLand and the web. 

February may be known as the Hot month of Romance, but Mother Nature is keeping things a tad on the brrrrr.... cold side. This week-end Frankie Flowers (our local weather guy) is calling for MINUS -11 and that is without the wind chill factor, which will make it feel more like -17 to -20! Winter Arrives at HHL Country Home.

A great week-end to whip up the Italian Farmer's Soup I shared this week. This is a super easy soup to make and will warm you up in seconds.
You may also try these great recipes shared in Blogland:
Trouver Le Soleil ~ shared her recipe for hearty Chicken Soup with her readers this week, and we will be giving it a try at HHL home this week-end.

Fabby's Living shared her Hubby's favourite birthday cake recipe Delicious Banana Layered Cake and the caramel frosting , need I say more? 

If the cold of winter has you staying inside (like moi) you'll find some inspiration on how to enjoy a week-end inside ~ Week-ends are made for

Ava Grace's Closet shared the most adorable video of what to do when someone/thing insists that it's theirs when a two year old knows it's her's. If you could use a  smile click here.

At The Ski Lodge by highheeledlife click to view full outfit details

One of my favourite blogs "Isabelle Thornton" Le Chateau de Fluers is celebrating 3 years of blogging. If you have not discovered her blog, you are missing some fabulous entertaining and home decor projects. To celebrate Isabelle is hosting a house -of-Coach Perfume Coffret Set giveaway ... so click on over congratulate her on 3 years of blogging enter to win!! Good Luck ... tell her HHL says hello.

How will you be enjoying this week-end?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...