Travel

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu
Waikiki Beach
Waikiki harbor

A belated Happy New Year everyone. Thank you all for reading this blog and following along with my travels – you all inspire me to keep posting and I hope I give you some ideas to add to your travel bucket list. I am looking forward to many more adventures in 2016 and I hope you will join me.
During the Christmas holiday season we were lucky enough to go to paradise for some rest and relaxation. I am talking about Hawaii, one of the most gorgeous places on earth. This is our third trip to Hawaii; we had previously visited Maui, Kuai and Big Island. This trip was our first time in Oahu. We spent the first week in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii and the only real city in the islands.
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Travel

Snoqualmie Falls – Washington

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Thanksgiving this year was a family affair in the great city of Seattle. As with all holiday gatherings plenty of food and drink was consumed, plenty of netflicks watched and there was hours upon hours of conversation and laughter. However, when it was time to opt outside we took a trip to Snoqualmie Falls. A stunning 268ft waterfall on the Snoqualmie River about 40 miles from Seattle.
Living in an urban jungle like Chicago, waterfalls are not something I see very often. I find waterfalls exotic and exciting. I love to hear the thundering noise and see the mist rise up when the water hits the ground with force. These falls were especially beautiful on the day we visited because a frost had covered the ground creating a silver picture postcard effect on the river banks. Despite the cold temperatures it was a gloriously sunny day making the colors of the evergreen trees look lush. The entire scene was a sight to behold.
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Travel

Indiana Dunes

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Remembering how we all enjoyed the trip we did over the summer to Starved Rock state park. I really wanted to venture on another day trip outside Chicago, this time to see the beautiful colorful autumn leaves. Unfortunately work commitments, life commitments and rainy weather all combined to delay this trip. Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Fallen Leaves

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Are the trees near where you live bare yet? are the fallen leaves forming a carpet on the sidewalk ?
Here in Chicago quite a few of the trees in the city are still in bloom, this may have something to do with the unseasonably warm autumn we have been having. Don’t get me wrong I like that the summer weather has decided to stick around. Winter can stay away as long as it wants, however something about November days being 70 degrees is not right. I will admit that right now I would not mind being cozy in some cashmere, pulling on some boots and tying a bright scarf around my neck. When I tell folks this the response is the same “don’t worry, this is Chicago, the cold is coming, it’s coming”

Lifestyle

Autumn

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The dictionary defines Autumn as “the time of year between summer and winter, during which the weather becomes cooler and plants become dormant” – whether you want to call the season Autumn or Fall the point is, it is here and it is beautiful. The warm midday weather is bookended with brisk mornings and evenings. The leaves are different shades of greens, yellows, oranges and reds. Trees look as though they have caught fire with their brilliant color. Unfortunately, this glorious spectacle is so short lived, in a matter of weeks the leaves would have fallen to the ground waiting for us to crunch them under foot. Therefore, before the long winter descends upon us lets walk in our parks, sit in our gardens, stroll along tree lined streets and take day trips to the countryside to enjoy this colorful show that mother nature gifts us.
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Lifestyle

Colors of the farmers market

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A Farmers market called Green City Market opens every Wednesday and Saturday morning near where I live in Lincoln Park.The market is seasonal opening from early May to late October every year. There are numerous vegetable stalls, food stalls and plenty of prepared foods like pizza’s, crepes and sandwiches. All this makes the market a treat to visit. I will admit that despite this wonderful markets proximity I tend not to be a frequent visitor mainly because I find everything the market sells in the grocery store often at cheaper prices. Also the added hassle of trying to find parking in a difficult area means my visits during the 6 months the market is open are intermittent.
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Travel

Catsash – Wales

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I have sadly neglected this little blog of mine recently because life got very busy. However, now the kids are back in school and the after summer holiday chaos has calmed down so I am back to posting pictures and writing.
After our sun drenched mediterranean summer holiday in Sardinia we went to visit my parents in Wales for a week. Our house in Wales is in a small village called Catsash on the outskirts of a city called Newport in South Wales. When I was growing up in Wales I took the countryside around me completely for granted, in fact as I got older I longed to get away. My surroundings were too empty, too still and too quite. But now that I have lived in a city like Chicago for 10 years, I appreciate the slower pace of life that places like Catsash have to offer. The little cottages, the country pubs and the rolling hills, the peace and tranquility is beautiful.
For most of the week that I was in Catsash it rained. The dewy weather had made the green of the countryside particularly lush. On the few days that we had dry weather I took my camera and photographed the countryside. I hope you like the pictures.
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Travel

Summer in Sardinia

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One of the highlights of my summer every year is my summer holidays in Europe. Every August before going home to visit my parents in Wales we go somewhere on the continent for some rest and relaxation. This year the sun drenched paradise we chose to visit was the Italian island of Sardinia. I love going on summer holidays to the European islands – the shimmering blue mediterranean sea, the olive oil drenched food and mingling with the boisterous, sun tanned Europeans make a perfect end to the summer season.
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Lifestyle

My Instagram Ladies

Out of all the social media platforms, my favorite and the one I use the most is Instagram. I love this app – it is such an easy way to get a glimpse into other people’s lives. I am a relatively new user, I joined December 2014. The accounts I follow all have great photography, great story lines, and content that I am interested in. I have found that over the last couple of months I have become a faithful follower of a handful of women whom I will call my Instagram ladies. Every morning when I am having coffee I check in to Instagram to see what photos these ladies have posted. Each has a different style, however there are certain similarities; all except one are professional photographers and all are great visual storytellers. They allow me to escape into another world, inspire me and ultimately teach me something new.

Read below and check out my Instagram ladies.

French Country
Have you ever wanted to own a country house in rural France and spend your days cooking and eating amazing food? Then check out www.mimithorisson.com. Mimi Thorisson is one of the most famous bloggers in the world – she is not a photographer but her husband Oddur Thorisson is and in my view one of the best food photographers I have ever seen. Mimi lives in the Medoc region of France and her free flowing writing style about everyday ventures like taking walks in the woods, shopping at local markets and constant cooking and eating of delicious food all documented in stunningly vivid photos pulls you into her country life.
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Photos courtesy of www.mimithorisson.com instagram account @mimithor
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Work

Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile of ASH + AMES

Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile
ASH + AMES
One day the mother of one of my daughter’s friends, Tasha Gelling emailed me an invitation to an ASH + AMES jewelry event. Tasha is a Brand Ambassador for the company and was hosting the event. I love jewelry and wanted to support Tasha so I went. What I discovered was firstly, the beautiful jewelry – unique pieces in wide ranging styles, hand crafted with gorgeous metals and stones. Secondly, ASH + AMES is a start up with a difference – while philanthropy is a side project for many companies, for ASH + AMES giving back to artisans who produce their jewelry, supporting them and encouraging their growth is woven into the fabric of this small company. Large proceeds of sales are donated back to artisan communities. Distribution is through Brand Ambassadors, women who are encouraged to balance family and career and can choose which charities to donate proceeds to. I reached out to co-founders Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile and was thrilled when they agreed to talk more about their business. Continue Reading