December 23, 2013


It's week 51 and I'm so in love with with this project! We are spending our holidays in Italy, enjoying family time and eating ice creams all day. I'm posting two photos this week, because I just couldn't decide which one to use.
This week you:
  • spent hours with your grandparents and aunties;
  • learned everybody's name, including the cat;
  • ate gelato with gusto (finally!);
  • Loved the feeling of sand on your toes; a very different story from this past summer...;
  • fell asleep in front of the TV for your afternoon nap;
  • went to bed way past your bedtime hour;
  • screamed like hell when we went to see the paediatrician;
  • refused to take your medicine and learned how keep your mouth completely shut.
And this week I'm loving the portraits of the Little Red Vikings; and Mila's face eating a bowl of chocolate is just my favourite.
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

December 20, 2013

This view

We have been waking up to this view for the past two days. It is so familiar to me and yet I'm amazed every time I look at it.

We are loving the sunshine and the long walks along the seaside. The peacefulness of the empty beaches and the magnificent colours of the sunset. Italy if we could trust you, we would move back straight away. For now we will just enjoy our holiday time here.

December 18, 2013

Pick of the Month: December // Merry & Red

1. Knitted Tunic Dress from Purplish London/ 2. Macbook Pro 13” Case from MadeByJulie on Etsy / 3. Box Flannel Shirt from VANS on Two Seasons/ 4. Chilli Pepper Mohican Shoes from VANS on Two Seasons/ 5. Colour-a-Months 2014 Daily Diary from Moleskine on / 6. Red Chunky Waffle Capped Gloves  from Accessorize/ 7. Arpillera cardigan from Peruvian kids/8. Chicken shirt from White Stuff/ 9. Racoon Pyjamas from Mothercare
It’s almost Christmas, time for presents and some rewarding shopping. We (read I) have actually bought all of the above, in time for our upcoming trip to Italy. Lots of red for this year’s holiday season! The red shoes might be a bit too much, but they are my favourite and add some colour into my plain daily life. My little one has recently developed an obsession for a green Peruvian cardigan (I’m not joking; she won’t even take it off for the night!). And so I bought her another one in orange, but should have really picked a red one to stay in tune with the season. And can you see the Moleskine set in the middle? That is my Christmas present, kindly offered by my other half…following several reminders. Feeling already festive and jolly for the holidays.

December 16, 2013


It's week 50 and I'm thinking of doing this all over again next year! This week went by quickly, getting ready for our Christmas holiday, still opening birthday presents and meeting little friends.
This is you eating pancakes on the floor half naked on saturday morning
This week you:
  • Ate a lot.
  • Well behaved most of the time.
  • Undressed youreself many times during the day and loved going around half naked.
  • Played dressing up with papa's underwear (it was clean in case you are wondering!).
  • Kept talking and talking and talking!
  • Brought E’s photo to nursery and didn’t want to wear nothing but your favourite jumper.
  • Enjoyed opening more birthday presents.
  • Loved playing in your friend’s room. I guess it’s time for you to have your own room!
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

December 13, 2013

30 Days of Lists // December 2013 // Lists 1-10

The december edition of 30 Days of Lists has started! So many new topics, so much fun for me to play with a different format than previous editions. Here is my take for the first 10 days!

Follow my dailiy lists on Instagram here or under the hashtag #30lists. My lists are also on Flickr here or  under the 30daysoflists group
Why don't you join in? There is still time to register and lots of giveaways to be won on the private blog!

December 11, 2013

End of the year ramblings

This year has been a good year. I opened an Etsy shop, I joined a few monthly projects, I completed the “oneportrait of my child, once a week, every week” challenge, I experimented. And I discovered a few interesting thing about what I love, like and dislike. I happily discovered that I like taking pictures with my Iphone and posting them on Instagram or on the blog. I like getting mini albums of events, or years, printed out. But I’m not a scrapbooker. As much as I admire those who are, it’s not in my genes, it doesn’t come natural to me. I love making notebooks, my favourites have been watercolour sketchbookswith a fabric cover. I also very recently discovered journaling, but not the traditional way, meaning keeping a diary and just write things (I’m not good at writing!). I prefer keeping a visual journal, with drawings, doodles, stamps and small daily facts or notes, or just birthdays’ reminders. I love, and mean LOVE, botanical art. It is my passion, but it is something that requires practice and time, which I don’t seem to have these days. I like sketching when on holiday or outdoor, but this year somehow I didn’t put enough effort towards it and ended up with very few sketches. I discovered rubber stamping and loving it so far. We’ll see if it will be another temporary thing or something that will stick. I discovered a lot of new artists and bloggers, and to name a few Oana Befort, Golly Bard and Jennine Zlatkis. If you happen to not know them, they are all artists whose work is inspired by nature and the animal world, and although they have very different styles, there is something in their work that makes me want to paint like them. Because I do love painting, and watercolour is my number one medium. But what I lack in, is the ideas, the coming up with a design or composition, the thinking behind a painting. And that’s where I struggle. I can copy, replicate, but very rarely I can come up with something original. Art tutors and teachers always say that copying somebody else’s work we admire is an excellent exercise for finding your own style, but to me it feels like cheating. And that is exactly what has happened to me during this past year. I’ve jumped from one thing to another, following the trend of the moment and thinking that if other people have succeeded in that particular field, I could too. But what I had not considered at all, is the lack of passion when doing something and sharing it with others. You can instantly tell if things are done to just try to make money or because they have been given some love and you have truly believed in them. And that is exactly what has happened to me this year. And it’s a good thing because now I know more about my strengths, and recognised some of my weaknesses. There’s still a lot of work I need to do, but I'm hoping all this work will get me somewhere.  

December 09, 2013


It's week 49 and the countdown has already started! 

This is you in a very bad light, opening presents on your birthday, wearing your favourite jumper
This week you:
  • Turned two! You loved opening the presents and blowing the birthday candles. You cut the cake but didn't want try it at all.
  • Enjoyed spending time with your grandparents.
  • Got obsessed with one of your jumpers (the same one you are wearing in the picture) and refused to wear anything else. So we are now on the hunt for another some one.
  • Made me print pictures of your little friends and loved looking at them.
  • Learned lots of new words and started repeating the ones that you like, i.e. tuta (sweatpants), cassa (cash register) and Olaf (it's a character from the cartoon Pimpa).
  • Missed your teacher Becca at nursery and were feeling a bit low, but had a good week overall.
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

December 05, 2013

You are two today!

Dear Olivia,
This past year has flown by quicker than I could have possibly immagined. You have made huge, unthinkable steps to become the tiny person you are today. One year ago, you had just started walking and now you can ran, almost ride a scooter, jump on the bed, climb the stairs. And you did this all by yourself. I’ve learned a lot about you during this past year. You like doing things without help.  You are stubborn, but the good thing is that you discovered the satisfaction of succeeding when trying hard. You learned to feed yourself, to dress yourself, to make puzzles. And so many other things that skip my mind right now.
You know what you like and dislike, and you make it very clear to us!
This past year has been a joy to discover your cute voice and not just through your screams. You started with a few words, very few, and ended up with so many more we stopped counting them.
It has been such an honour to witness how amazing and loving and funny you are. You make me laugh hard and you are such a good company now it feels like all the hard work has been paid back already. There are still days which are hard, but nothing we can’t handle one way or another. And if sometimes I don’t do the right thing is because I’m also learning on the go here.
So forgive me if I act strange sometimes or differently than usual, I can see your puzzled face when it happens.
Dear baby girl, I can only wish you all the best I could possibly can.
Here to another fantastic year together.
Love you, mamma.

December 04, 2013

On Saturday

We had a fabulous Saturday last week and although temperatures were close to zero we made it out for a trip to our local car boot sale followed by a superb brunch at one of our favourite cafes (we were lucky enough to find a place to seat and some room for Olivia's pram!).

December 02, 2013


It's week 48 and we are not so ready for the Christmas holidays yet! 
This week you:
  • Made us deal with some temper tantrums for the first time and we didn't do so well. But we are learning on the go here, and after lots of reading we think we can handle it better next time.
  • Loved playing and jumping with all the fallen leaves.
  • Added new words to your vocabulary, and we have now stopped counting them. But we love when you say: "batti no", meaning "ciabatte (slippers) no".
  • Were very cuddly and loved watching some tv sitting on our laps.
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 29, 2013

Notebooks addiction

I think I can easily say that I have an addiction for notebooks, any type, any make, any size. And since I promised myself not to buy any new book until I've completed the ones I've already started (which is many), I've started making my own. I've spent the past week making these two 5" squared notebooks, using some new fabrics I recently bought at the knitting & stitching fair in London. My inspiration was the squared journal from that Jeninne Zlatkis uses for her weekly journals. And since I'm planning to document 2014 in a similar way, I made myself a 52 weeks (26 pages) journal to fill in. 
For the inside I chose some 130gsm 100% recycled paper. I bought it from a UK based company called Ellie Poo Paper and is made with post consumer waste mixed with elephant dung. It sounds gross, but the paper is beautifully textured, does not smell if you are wondering, does not contain bleaches or detergents and the paint/pen does not bleed through. I'm so impressed with it so far.

For the notebook itself, I followed this tutorial on You Tube, almost to the letter, with some very minor changes to suit my needs.
I still haven't decided which one of the two I'm going to be using, but once I do, I will make the other one available to buy in my etsy shop. Any preference?

November 27, 2013

A list // November

I am...
making: rubber stamps. almost everyday, and when i'm not, i'm thinking about them.
cooking: as less as possible. pre-packed and already cut vegetables are my way to go.
drinking: miso soup in the afternoon, at work. it makes me feel cosy.
reading: the power of habit. why we do what we do, and how to change.
wanting: to go Christmas shopping. but there's too many people around.
looking: for the perfect autumn raincoat, still.
playing: with puzzles, all day long.
wasting: time at work, seriously.
sowing: hope for the future and a positive attitude.
wishing: for the perfect house to be found soon.
enjoying: my evenings, working on my own stuff or watching some tv.
waiting: for the weekend to start.
liking:  my date nights with my other half.
wondering: if I’m doing things right.
loving: the me time during my lunch breaks.
hoping: that everything will be ok.
marvelling: at how much the little miss is growing.
needing: a change. soon.
smelling: the cold air in the early morning.
wearing: hats, scarves and gloves. and more layers.
following: Jeninne Zlatkis and her art blog.
noticing: the naked trees and their silhouettes against a clear sky.
knowing: this could be a good thing.
thinking: it will be hard.
bookmarking: my favourite notebooks for 2014.
opening: tons of mails. and it's not even christmas yet.
giggling: when we cuddle.
feeling: very emotional and a bit tired.

November 25, 2013


It's week 47 and getting closer to the holidays! This week has been hard with me not feeling well, dad feeling tired and you catching a cold again. But we survived, and even managed a quick trip to the playground.

This week you:
  • discovered vibrations are fun, and spend lots of time banging on the tray of your highchair to make the nuts jumping and going around.
  • gave me a kiss on my belly when I told you I had a stomachache.
  • loved loved loved waiting for dad to come home in the evening. You got all excited waiting for him at the window and then rushing down the stairs to surprise him behind the front door!
  • Have been down with a cold again. But you have been very brave in taking all the medicines you were prescribed, even that cough syrup which tasted horribly.
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 23, 2013

30 Days of Lists // my listing book

December is almost here, and so is the December edition of 30 Days of Lists! I like to get things ready before hand, especially this time with the holidays approaching and things getting crazier than usual. So here we go, my listing book is ready to go and so am I!
For this edition I went a bit overboard and decided to try something new. I have previously used an A6 eco seawhite sketchbook, and embellished it with printed out daily lists, stickers, washi tape, and whatever felt appropriate for the daily challenge. This time I will be using something totally different and handmade. I have been enjoying very much making sketchbooks and notebooks lately from scratch, and this is no different. After much debating I went for an easy-to-make concertina book. 
I used two pieces of 4x5in dark grey cardstock and 8 strips of 12x5in watercolour paper, each folded in 3, and attached them together with double sided tape. If you are looking at making one for yourself, check this tutorial from design sponge.
For the front cover I used a bit of everything, from some ribbon, which will also hold the book together once I'm done, to a used first class stamp, but sticking to a black, red and white colour scheme. 
For the inside of the book, it got even more messy, but oh so fun to do! I splashed some red watercolour paint all over the pages, without giving much attention to where the colour would end up and letting it bleed in all directions.
Once dried, the real fun began!
For the daily lists, as usual, I printed out the complete list in advance. Surprises are not really my thing and although I do each list daily, I like to know in advance what's to come.
For this December edition, I printed each title using some fillable Christmas labels from Catherine Auger (you can download them for free here). To avoid any spoilers, I deleted the titles from the pictures below, so feel free to have a look!
I drew some black stripes to divide pages and title areas, attached the daily titles and used some stamps, butterflies cut-outs and handmade rubber stamps to embellish each page. Here is a sneak peak of the inside of my #30lists // December edition book.
I'm planning to use a stamp for the date, as before, and maybe add some more embellishment as I go along. And I will be using a pilot G-1 0.7 for writing down the lists. Can't wait to start listing! 
There's about a week left before the start of this year's December edition of 30 Days of lists. If you want to know more about this monthly challenge visit 30 Days of Lists and have a look at all my previous related posts here. You can sign up here (it's an affiliate link), there is still time to register!

November 22, 2013


Today is one of those days when outside is sunny and beautiful, although probably cold, and you are stuck inside with a kid not feeling great trying to fight a nasty cold. And between comforting her and trying to get some work done, the day feels longer and never ending. But nothing a warm cup of ginger tea with lemon and honey and a nice view from my kitchen window couldn't fix. After all tomorrow is another day.

November 20, 2013

Pick of the Month: November // Warm and cosy

1. Wooden Crate Cabinets (9 Drawers) from truffula forest / 2. Birdie Print Weekender Bag from Accessorize / 3. Hand.Book Journal Square Sketchbook from CASS ART / 4. Print Leggings Trousers from Uniqlo / 5. Chunky Long Snoodfrom Accessorize / 6. Fleece Full-Zip Long Sleeve Jacket from Uniqlo / 7. Baby Body Warm Lite Full-Zip Parka from Uniqlo / 8. Garden Path Bootiesfrom Anthropologie / 9. Willow Catkins Botanical Giclee Art Print by Golly Bard on Etsy

November, November, November. It is amongst my least favourite months. The clock has just changed to winter time, the days are noticeably shorter by the day, the weather sucks and the Christmas holidays are still far away. But on the positive note, November is my other half’s birthday month, so we get to celebrate, it only has 30 days, so it feels less long, it brings up beautiful colours, and a lot of inspiration, it’s the month to make things and to start prepping up for December. xxx

November 18, 2013


It's week 46 and I still love this project! This week we were back home and our life went back to its daily routine.
This week you:
  • Asked to join in every time your dad and I kissed and/or hugged each other. We love family hugs and kisses.
  • Had a play date with your little friends and finally started to sort of play with each other. We have been been waiting for this moment since you all were born.
  • Refused to sing happy birthday to papa (didn't even let me do it!) but loved blowing the candles of his birthday cake.
  • Loved lying down next to me after waking up in the morning and putting your arm around my neck. And I looooove it!
And from last week, I love this little dancer from Woven with Spirit. What a beautiful scenery to enjoy. 
If you are curious about this project and want to know more, you can check Jody's blog @ Che and Fidel.
All my previous posts can be found here.

November 15, 2013

A project a month

Every year, around December time, I start thinking about the following year goals and expectations. I start making lists of thinks I would like to accomplish, plans I would love to follow and specific goals to achieve. Unfortunately, only on rare occasions I have been able to stick to my plans (like that year I decided to enter a painting competition). But this year, something changed. I didn’t make any plans, if not very bold ones, and somehow I managed to do a lot more than expected. How did I do that? I discovered the beauty and easiness of monthly projects.

My first ever one was 30 days of lists, back in March. I discovered it on twitter, and didn’t know what it was exactly until I signed up for it. But as soon as I did, it was love at first sight! Then an online 4-week sketching class followed in April/May, the phone photography project from BPC kept me occupied in July, 30 days of lists started again in September, October was the month of a doodle aday, 30 grateful days from Paper Issues is still going on in November and next month I will be joining the December edition of 30 days of lists.

The best part of these monthly projects is that they involve as much time and effort as you feel like. You can choose to do them at your own pace, or put some work in every day. It has been a very rewarding process for me. I’m one of those persons who lose interest with time and long term projects are not really for me (although I also joined a yearly project this year and still keeping up with it!). The other good thing is that there are millions of monthly project to choose from, covering photography, art, scrapbooking, crafting, just search on twitter, instagram, flickr and so on. These are mainly free, although for some you have to pay to join. And if you can't find anything interesting, you can still make up your own monthly challenge. Just make sure you share it publicly, as this is the best way to keep up with anything.  I love the feeling of community each project creates; you get to share your work and see others’, make online friends and get inspired by them. And by the end of the year you are left with something tangible to enjoy.
Surely I will try it again next year, maybe with a bit more structure and planning that it was in 2013.
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