Monday, 31 December 2012

At the school fair

days before Christmas
we went to the school fair

I love school fairs.
They have a perfume of innocence and calculated anticipation.

We took home these

The Tree now sits right next to my desk


love, Irene

Christmas lights in Athens

Athens, December 2012

love, Irene

Teaching Kids to Play Fair Over the Holidays

Hello, dear friends,
How was your Christmas?
I hope you all enjoyed good times, family and friends love and have your heart filled with joy.

Did you open your Christmas presents? I bet you did! We have yet to receive Santa in our homes as he comes on New Year's eve in this part of the world.

If you did, and you do have young children, you will know that teaching children to share and enjoy their toys with others can be challenging. Read on...

One of the more challenging skills to teach children and for children to appreciate and master is how to play well with others. This task is about to get easier to tackle with the release of Fuzzwippers Play Fair written by Marilynn Halas and illustrated by Jeremy Provost, a book that illustrates and teaches children how to negotiate playtime.
Third in a collection of ten storybooks that facilitate children’s social-emotional development, Fuzzwippers Play Fair features George and his Fuzzwipper friend Fuzzy as they play together on the playground. When things get tense with a new group of friends over turns on the slide, the duo helps their friends recognize that they are all in the same predicament and facilitates a solution that will make them all happy.

A list of “Playing Fair Tips” is located at the end of the book. Tips include “fight the problem, not each other” and “playing pretend is a fun way to try out how someone else might feel about a solution,” among others. The Fuzzwippers were introduced to children earlier this year in Hello, We're the Fuzzwippers. They are imaginary creatures that reach out to children or anyone who needs a friend, assuring them that they are wanted and needed. Fuzzwippers appear at the change of each season.
Each story book in the Fuzzwippers series focuses on a different life skill—everything from how to be a good listener to making good helpers. Through engaging storytelling, children are guided and supported by a friendly and magical Fuzzwipper creature, which always assures them that “they are loved, no matter what.”

About Marilynn Halas: Marilynn Halas is a children's book author, life coach and founder of 4 Sunflowers Media, a multimedia company whose mission is to empower children and parents through storytelling. Raised both in New Jersey and Northern Ireland, Marilynn uses her experience to infuse a deep understanding of the human condition into fantastic characters and situations that surprise, delight and reassure her readers. She currently lives in rural Connecticut with her husband and four children.

About Jeremy Provost :  Jeremy Provost is the illustrator of Jumpin’ Jackie and The Cow That Jumped Over the Moon. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Illustration from Indiana Wesleyan University. He currently resides in Oconomowoc, WI.

  love, Irene

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Guest Post: Anya Sarre:Outfits you can wear on a date in the wintertime

Baby, it's cold outside!  That doesn't mean you have to look frumpy, though.  In fact, wintertime is the best time to showcase your personal style, because there are truly endless possibilities and pairings!  And we're going to let you in on a red-carpet secret for looking stylish at the last minute.
Ready?  It's simple.  Plan ahead!  By planning your outfits ahead of time, you ensure that your outfit looks flattering and stylish, and is comfortable too.  This means you can concentrate on enjoying yourself.  A smiling face is always the best accessory, after all--especially on a date.  
Here are some fun ideas for winter outfits that will have you feeling festive and happy in no time, whether you're getting ready for an evening of ice skating, cuddling, or a chilly walk in the park.  Remember, these are just suggestions.  Always wear what makes you feel good!
It's really no secret that men love dresses, so a dress or a skirt is always a good bet on a date.  Of course, dresses require a little more effort than they do in the summer, because you don't want your legs to get cold!  Wear cute stockings, tall socks, or even leggings under your dress for extra warmth, and pair with a pair of sleek boots to look like a tall glass of ultra-cool.  Shoes like high-heeled Mary Janes or even edgy wedge booties take your look in a whole other direction-the possibilities are endless!  Just make sure to match your purse, and shrug on a cozy sweater.  
Test-drive your outfit to make sure the sweater doesn't make your hair stand on end with static electricity. You might want to wear a cute slip under your dress, too, so that it doesn't catch on your hosiery.  Remember, you want to put on your outfit-and then forget all about it, except for when someone is telling you how adorable you look!
A close-fitting long sleeved shirt in a soft, touch-me fabric like jersey or cashmere looks laid-back cool with your favorite jeans.  This is perfect when you're trying to turn your best friend into your boyfriend.  You don't want to look as if you put any effort into getting ready--you just want him to sigh when he looks at you!  Comfortable heels will make your legs look a million miles long.  Just make sure to choose a pair you can walk in, in case you guys decide to hang out extra late.  Round toed kitten heels are a cute pairing, as are ankle booties.  Splash out with a pair of fantastic hoop earrings, and pull the top of your hair back with a cute barrette or two.  Don't forget to top it all with a cute coat, like a pea jacket or a trench coat.  Now you're ready for whatever the chilly night might bring.    
When you're putting your outfit together, remember to think of the shape of the whole look so that your accessories don't overpower you.  If you're wearing something slim, you might want to choose a small clutch rather than a great big bag.  Conversely, if you're wearing a slouchy sweater and wide-leg corduroys, a slouchy bag will look right at home slung across your shoulder.

Have a great time, and remember the most important ingredient of any outfit is: You.

About Anya Sarre

My name is Anya Sarre and I am a stylist with ShoeDazzle, where I work alongside other celebrity stylists like Kim Kardashian!
 Not too long ago I welcomed my first child into the world; he is truly my little bundle of joy! I have been regularly featured in print magazines and on television—Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, and the STYLE network to name a few, but I’m in the process of transitioning the majority of my time, advice, and knowledge to online communities like yours so I can spend more time with my son at home. 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas deco inspiration

what a beautiful corner.
i can smell the evergreen.
notice the basket, the red blanket, the fairy lights.

a Christmas tree in the kitchen.
I must do something about this!
Some fairy lights, perhaps?

A fanciful twist is one of my favorite go to blogs for inspiration.
This lady's imagination and craftmanship is nothing short of marvelous.

where Nature speaks
and hearts warm up
love, Irene

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

GMG-4th week of Advent: Peace

Peace is a state of the Soul.
Man explores different ways to find it. Science, philosophy, meditation, sports, are ways to achieve understanding of a higher cause, a higher purpose and therefore a higherstate of existence that some call God.
However, this truth is deeper that human experience. Peace can be achieved not through man but through God.
It is God who reaches out to Man, and all man has to do is grab His hand and follow Him.
Yes, it is as simple as that, and i sincerely wish to all, this Christmas and always, Peace.
Linking to
Join us here.

love, Irene

Monday, 17 December 2012

Cote-Est-Cote Sud, my favorite magazines

Cote Est is my favorite winter magazine, with Cote Sud coming a very close second, but my favorite optimistic read ever.

I absolutely recommend them.


This is the editorial from the current issue of Cote Est.

La montagne est espace de liberté.
Sauf quand il s’agit d’habitat. Là, pas question de faire du freeride en s’affranchissant des codes et en quittant les sentiers balisés. Et c’est tant mieux! En montagne comme dans tout environnement traditionnel, l’harmonie passe par le respect de la triple règle d’or de toute construction censée, à savoir une cohabitation intelligente avec l’architecture vernaculaire (non au chalet suisse ou autrichien à Megève!), l’utilisation prioritaire de matériaux locaux (bois, pierre et savoir-faire) et l’intégration dans le paysage.

On peut choisir de coller à l’image pittoresque du beau chalet ancien, celuilà même que l’on voit souvent, depuis treize ans, dans nos pages. Dans ce numéro spécial de Côté Est, plus riche, plus épais, nous nous sommes replongés dans nos plus beaux chalets dans une partie « Côté Est Collection », afin de mieux percer à jour ce chalet-refuge qui est tant ancré dans notre imaginaire collectif. Pendant longtemps, en montagne, on a dissocié l’extérieur et l’intérieur : oui au mobilier contemporain dans le salon, mais depuis la rue, on veut voir des façades en dentelles de bois et des balcons ouvragés. C’est dans cette logique que, dans le Vercors, une décoratrice a réhabilité un chalet en rondins des années 1950 en conservant sa structure traditionnelle tout en ouvrant des volumes et en invitant le design à l’intérieur. Mais on peut aussi choisir de regarder derrière la carte postale. D’ailleurs, on assiste depuis quelques années à l’irruption, venue de Suisse, d’une architecture contemporaine « savante », pensée plus ou moins en rupture avec la tradition mais toujours en harmonie avec son environnement. Ainsi ont éclos au fil des sommets alpins de spectaculaires refuges de haute montagne, signés par des architectes innovants, qui font l’objet de notre Portfolio. Ou encore cette ferme restructurée avec audace, dans le coeur historique de Morzine. Deux univers qui cohabitent, comme dans ce numéro : l’ancien et le contemporain, la tradition valorisée et la rupture « intégrée ». Avec la même envie d’aller plus loin.

Sonia Lazzari rédactrice en chef

More from the magazine:

                                                   Bûche facile choco-framboise

                                                               Marrons glacés maison

2013 est au seuil de la porte.
Déjà, on se presse à
habiller les tables, à saupoudrer les intérieurs de
blanc et à accrocher, comme des lampions, nos
nouvelles envies de lumières.
Il faut dire que
les luminaires de la saison ont l’art d’allumer la
magie avec leurs lignes pourtant résolument
contemporaines. Comme quoi, la tradition et
la modernité peuvent improviser un duo qui
fonctionne à merveille. Vous en aurez la preuve
à toutes les pages, que vous rêviez en bleu à
Jodhpur dans un hôtel inédit, que vous preniez
une leçon de déco dans un loft réinventé par
Paola Navone ou dans un palais de Tunis restylé
par le créateur Philippe Xerri. Les fans d’architecture
savent bien aussi que certains grands
maîtres ont conçu dans les années 1950 des
chefs-d’oeuvre à jamais immuables et qu’une
échappée à Brasilia sur les pas d’Oscar Niemeyer
est presque incontournable pour être dans la
mouvance. Du passé au futur, tel est bien le
propos au moment où l’on s’apprête à passer le
cap de l’an neuf... Mais, avant de refermer 2012,
il vous faudra obligatoirement inviter la gourmandise.
Qu’elles soient d’Ardèche, du Var ou
de Corse, les châtaignes, avec leur écorce de
toujours, ne demandent qu’à être métamorphosées
en festin d’aujourd’hui. Un tajine d’agneau
aux marrons et mendiants de Provence ou une
meringuée marrons et ricotta ont de l’audace...
Alors, prenez place et goûtez avec nous à cet
hiver nouveau que nous vous souhaitons doux,
lumineux et sudissime à coeur !

Françoise Lefébure
Directrice de la rédaction et rédactrice en chef

                                                                      Exquisite gift ideas

Bougie "Porte-Bonheur Londres" parfum de cuir et de cire, 48 euros, Ladurée.
                       Appareil photo "Diana F+", collection Maps édition, 89 euros, Lomography.

 Poudre iridescente parfumée visage et corps "Liu", 73 euros, Guerlain. Boule à neige, 350 euros, Christian Dior pour le Printemps.

Ah, a girl can dream,

love, Irene

Monday, 10 December 2012

December days

Hello, friends,
I hope your heart is beginning to fill with the grace and joy of the season.
Did you decorate your homes for Christmas, yet?
Here is our Christmas tree. It sits in the living room.

Our crest. My favorite decoration of all times.

The glitter stars, Mr. and Mrs Claus and our Christmas tree are from IKEA.

Our baby turned 11, and we had an all-boys birthday party.
Boys know how to play and be free.
Great fun!

Hoping your week is great,

love, Irene

Sunday, 9 December 2012

I am on Bloglovin'

Popping in to say I signed with Bloglovin'.
I know what busy ladies you all are, so there,
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

love, Irene

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Look at the Amazon store

I know you'll say small bookshops are beautiful and personal.
I believe Amazon has the best service and best prices.
Authors who like small bookshops bragg about their books hitting the Amazon top list.
And yes, it is impressive and yes, I would love to spend a month working for Amazon.

Meanwhile you can visit my Amazon bookshop right here.

love, Irene

Classy Bling

Links of London USA

Best buys