April 29, 2016

Think outside the vase

No, definitely I did not planned it, but here I am, exactly a year later writing a post about the same thing, flowers. You see, it was my birthday again, and again my husband brought me flowers, not that he brings me flowers only on my birthdays, no, definitely not. 

He knows better, 

he knows how happy I feel when, unexpectedely, 

he gets home with the most beautiful flowers

You know my flower arrangements keep changing as I try to keep flowers around as long as possible, no need to buy new ones every week, yet always having flowers on display. 

This time, however, I had a small challenge to create a new lovely, long-lasting arrangement from my birthday flowers by simply following my system of cutting back the stems and removing leaves and flowers that have already died. The problem?  The flowers were placed in a basket, and to fit in the basket the stems were cut so short... 

What did I do? You know I always have some tin cans saved to reuse them in some other creative ways, and that's what I did. I used them to hold small bouquets with just a few blossoms in each one. The effect was a fresh, floral feeling all around the house, like this one I placed in the guest bathroom.

The old maxim 'less is more' is especially true when we place a big bloom alone in a small container.

You don't need to fuss with your flowers, just let their natural curves and tilts make the display look casual and cool.

How cute. Now I'm definitely feeling Springy!

When I did not have any more small tin can left, I used a small enamel cup my mother gave to me. Perfect on my nightstand.

Yes,  these are easy and budget-friendly ways to decorate and have flowers displayed at home. The key is to get creative and find simple, yet unique ways to add beauty and life to any space with fresh blooms, but mostly have fun while doing it.



April 11, 2016

Coming back home... from home


I returned from Brazil about a week ago, and my head and my heart are still full of memorable images of those days. Scenes of family, cooking, short trips, friends.

No schedules, no obligations, just free time to enjoy people I love and play with Joca and Pongo, the dogs.

A much different county, different culture, different climate, different food. I was home, and somehow I feel I am still there.

I was craving greenery and flowers and I found it there, especially in Tiradentes, where I went for a couple of days with two sisters and a brother-in-law. 

The first time I visited Tiradentes was with my parents, I was so young, and yet to these days I cherish those precious memories.

Tiradentes, and it's narrow hilly cobblestone streets is a charming small town surrounded by blue hills, everything looks so alive and colorful, it's impossible not to slow down and appreciate its good energy and vibration.

In the mornings, my sister Marilda and I would go for a walk while my sister Vera and her husband were still asleep.

Misty mornings... Quiet... Magical... Bliss...

Unforgettable

I've been itching to share some of the photos I took with you, these images bring so much joy to me, they are memories of a special time I spent with the people I love.

It was such a wonderful time.  



March 26, 2016

Easter is coming



It was 5:00 o'clock in the morning when I started writing this post. I am sitting at the dining room table of my mother's home drinking some delicious Brazilian coffee. The morning air is cool and fresh after a rain storm last night.

It's been incredibly hot for this time of the year. Semana Santa translates as a time when we say goodbye to Summer and welcome the beginning of Autumn's mild weather, the way I remember when I lived in Brazil.





Rather than wait for the post I ended up not writing because I can't find the time while I am visiting my family in Brazil, I thought I would share some photos I took of our first family get together. I wish I had the recipes ready for you, but I promise they'll come later.


Fresh Tropical Salad served with Mustard and Honey Dressing



Two-Dressing Baked Salmon - Cashew and Butter Dressing and/or 
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Capers and Fresh Herbs Dressing

Chocolate (Brigadeiro) Pudding




I trust you have already planned delicious meals, whether elaborate or simple, with people you love, your family or friends.

Anyhow, if you celebrate it, I want to wish a Happy and Joyful Easter to you and your family... Feliz Páscoa!








March 2, 2016

Brighten up your home with this simple DIY Floral Centerpiece

When it comes to floral centerpiece prices vary drastically, and the prettiest and most original ones are definitely the most expensive, so if you want a budget friendly inspiration for your table, here is the perfect idea. This sweet and bright floral centerpiece will dress up any table and make any guess to feel welcome into your home.



My niece Fabiana, who lives in Ithaca, NY, came to visit us this weekend. It's always such a joy when she spends a few days with us.

I went to a grocery store to buy some ingredients to make a sweet and nutritious carrot and coconut milk soup, and flowers, naturally, to welcome her. When I saw some beautiful flower pots I felt like buying all of them, so bright and cheerful they were, more specifically the primroses, they reminded me of Fabiana, she loves all shades of pink and purple.



I had never made a flower arrangement using potted flowers before but the lovely primroses seemed the perfect flowers to create an eye-catching arrangement.

I decided to buy three pots but no extra supplies to make my first potted flower arrangement, I wanted to make something creative and simple using what I already had at home.


You'll need:
  • basket
  • potting soil
  • heavy plastic
  • moss filler (I used two kind of mosses)
  • potted flowers

This is how I made it:
  • Soak the flowers pots in a tub of water for a while just to make sure they are well hydrated.
  • Primroses have bushy-like leaves, if I had kept all their leaves they would have filled the entire basket and the mosses would be barely exposed, and I wanted their texture and color exposed, so the first thing I did was to cut some of their leaves.
  • Waterproof the basket by lining it with heavy plastic. (I cut the handles of a grocery plastic bag, folded it in half and placed it on the basket bottom; then I covered the bottom and sides with kitchen plastic wrap, cutting off excess around the top edge of the basket.)
  • Before start placing the flowers in the basket squeeze excess water. Fill in with more soil, if needed.
  • Use moss to cover any exposed dirt.

How to care for it:
  • Keep it away from direct sunlight.
  • Mist the flowers and moss with water from a spray bottle daily.
I made this floral arrangement on Friday afternoon and today, Wednesday, it still looks fresh and cheerful

Once they start looking faded, I will transferred them back to their pots until the weather is good enough to replant them outside. It's a win-win situation.






"Look at these colors!" She said as she entered our dining area. She was right to notice them, they look really pretty, don't you think?




February 20, 2016

Looking ahead

Living in Connecticut is definitely quite an experience, throughout the week we had freezing temperatures, and today, oh today... such a lovely day.

I surely felt inspired to bring this feeling inside my home to remind myself that Spring is just around the corner...

Oh, let me tell you, I cannot wait to see the early spring flowers to emerge, to smell the freshly cut grass, to go for long walks again soon.

In fact, that's what I'm going to do now, I'm going for a short walk around the neighborhood.

I coudn't be happier.


February 17, 2016

Is it Spring yet?

No, it's not Spring yet, but while the cold veil of winter has not yet been lifted, inside my home I control the seasons, and play with flowers.

They are so magnificent and life-giving that it makes me want to capture their essence and immortalize them with my camera. A pure symphony of colors, aromas, shapes, textures, and beauty.







February 8, 2016

Simple DIY Valentine's Day Gift Tag




I am delighted to show you this diy gift tag, a pretty and so easy handmade way to spruce up a Valentine's Day gift.

In fact, I think this tag is not to be used only on Valentine's Day, it will add a lovely finishing touch to any gift. You could easily make a batch in a single sitting and have a stash of them ready to embellish a last minute gift.

















To make each tag you will need:
  • Craft papers - 1 solid color, 1 printed (heavier paper, like cardstock, is better for this project)
  • Round shape punch (I used a cricut machine to cut the circles)
  • Heart shape punch
  • Hole punch
  • Thread and Scissors
  • Beads and ribbons to embellish the tags





Last but not least, add the finishing touches - Attach a thread to the tag so you can tie it to your gift, add a bead, or a ribbon with beads to make it prettier and give it a personal touch, after all it's all about the pretty details, right?





No mess, no fuss, or special skills required, just a wish to put some love and care into gift wrapping.




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