There are many things my husband has taught us - packing light is one of them. We are about to embark on a 12 day trip to Europe and each of us will be bringing only one "carry on" piece of luggage. No checked baggage. I know for some, the thought of this would make them quiver but it truly makes for happy travelers. We use public transportation while abroad, (quite often involving stairs & lots of walking), so we've come to appreciate the mobility and freedom it allows us. It also eliminates the need to worry over lost or delayed luggage as we fly from city to city.
~ thrilled we didn't have to lug heavy luggage with us ~
With three girls in the family, the most challenging aspect of limiting ourselves to one carry on is the air transportation rule for liquids. Moisturizers, shampoos, cleansers, etc. can quickly fill the small ziplock bag you're allowed. If necessary, we purchase additional items as we go and it's actually fun to visit local stores in search of what we need. As for make-up, I pack just one each of my favorites (blush, eye shadow lipstick, etc.).
Sweet pea always finds space in her bag for a pillow & blanket for the plane ride.
~ we're always jealous ~
Friends ask how we accomplish packing so light and the answer is simply to bring very little with you. We pack nice clothing that can be worn repeatedly and neutrals to mix and match. We also dress in layers for chilly weather avoiding having to pack bulky clothing. If needed, it's easy to handwash something in our hotel or to sometimes visit a local laundromat. (A fun experience when in a foreign country!)
Sweet girl loading laundry in Rome with her Dad.
~ see how much fun she's having?~
The best part of packing light is once your plane lands you're ready to begin your adventure. No waiting at the carousel for heavy pieces of luggage you'll regret later you brought along. It's a challenge I hope you'll try. (Trust me, I wasn't always a light packer. On our honeymoon to Europe, I brought one small suitcase just for my toiletries! My husband's legs literally shook as he carried all of my luggage from place to place. Good thing we were newlyweds.)
I've enjoyed a lifelong love of fabric. From colorful cotton prints and faded linens to exquisite silk and lace ~ I love it all. To spend the entire day in NYC fabric stores is pure bliss (thankfully, my husband is happy to join me). On our last trip, we came home with yards of beautiful satin, chiffon, silk and lace to be fashioned into hair flowers for the shop, and decorative pins for my linen clutches. Here's a peak from the studio today.
We love visiting the botanical gardens located just a few minutes drive from our home. With over 100 hundred acres, the gardens feature a native Virginia tree collection, wetland and walking trails with extensive shade and wildflower gardens. This past weekend the tulips were in full bloom.
There's plenty of benches along the paths and spacious gazebos to sit and enjoy all the beauty around you.
You'll discover sculptures, a Korean bell garden and even the remains of an old springhouse (far right photo) which served the occupants of the original farm from the 18th through early 20th centuries.
Throughout the year, you can enjoy seasonal blooms such as peonies and irises. During our visit, the wisteria arbor was also in full bloom. The peony garden was filled with buds and I can't wait to return to enjoy them.
Most of us have several, or dozens (that's me) of cookbooks in their collection. Today I'm happy to share with you a set of two free printable bookplates - perfect for Mother's Day or that special cook or baker in your life. One set features a whimsical retro style and the other a classic vintage style. All together there are 12 bookplates to choose from, or to mix and match. Here is the first set.
and the vintage style set
I print the bookplates onto a full sheet label (8 1/2" x 11" / Avery 8465) so once cut, they can be placed directly onto the cookbook page. You could also print them onto cardstock and use acid-free glue or acid-free double stick tape for attachment. The bookplates are aligned for easy and accurate cutting with a rotary or paper cutter. All you have to do is write in the personalized name or leave blank for your recipient to add later.
For gift giving, simply tie them with a pretty bow and slip into an envelope or small gift box. Friends and family, hostesses, brides, and of course our loving moms will appreciate them.
To print your bookplates, simply click on the links at the end of this post to access the pdf files. (Don't worry if your images look a bit fuzzy on your monitor, they will print out crystal clear.)
Bookplates and Files for Personal Use Only Please
If you would like to share these on your blog, please be kind and add a link for your readers directly back to this post, rather than copying the pdf file onto your blog. Enjoy!
For future downloads, I invite you to subscribe to my blog & become a fan on facebook.
For the whimsical retro set, click here to download.
For the vintage style set, click here to download.
Finding the perfect camera bag has been a bit of a struggle. I regret that I've purchased a few, only to discover they were just not working for me. I wanted it to be functional, yet somewhat stylish - in other words I didn't want it to scream "I'm a camera bag!". I also needed it to function as a handbag to avoid carrying two different bags. Lastly, I needed it to be light in weight. When we travel abroad, or to NYC, we are on the go from early in the morning to late at night and I'm carrying my bag the entire time.
Thankfully, I recently discovered something that meets all my criteria and I absolutely love it! It's a very lightweight, padded foam camera insert that can be custom ordered in the size you need. I carry a Dooney & Bourke or Michael Kors tote/shopper handbag most days and the camera insert can be placed right into the handbag. This gives me the style factor I was looking for, plus quick & easy access to my camera whenever I want to take a photo. On the days I'm home shooting product, or photos for my blog, it holds everything I need and sits perfectly on any surface. I ordered mine in bright pink for a pop of color inside my tote. It's my new favorite thing!
I purchased my insert from Martilena on Etsy. If you don't see any bags currently listed in her shop, take a look at her sold items and send her an email with your questions or preferences.
Wishing you all a fun weekend, We're off to celebrate Sweet Pea's birthday and our wedding anniversary. Be sure to stop back in on Monday when I'll be posting a free printable I designed - perfect for a Mother's Day or hostess gift, the favorite baker or cook in your life and, of course, you!
Super easy, super quick and ever so delicious, you'll all want to bake up a batch of these strawberry popovers. I bought my popover pan some time ago, but today was the first time I put it to use. After just one bite of these heavenly little puffs, I knew my pan was going to be getting a lot of use.
They look decadent, but amazingly the ingredients are not ~ just eggs, milk, flour, a bit of sugar & salt, lemon zest, & strawberries. The butter was to coat the pan and I only used a small amount of what is pictured here. (Cooking spray is another option.) Once they came out of the oven, I lighlty dusted them with powdered sugar. You could serve them with butter or jam, but I loved them just plain.
Here they are ready to be popped into the oven. Be sure not to skip the step of pre-heating your pan before adding the batter.
Fresh out of the oven! Serve them right away while still puffed. Light, airy and perfect for breakfast or to serve with a salad.
I appreciate all things creative and am inspired by the smallest of details. Here is where I love to share projects, designs and favorite things. ~ (more)
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