It seems that in the past few years I find myself saying, “Christmas has to be different this year.”

For years, I prided myself on creating the same, classical and elegant Christmas every year for my children. Isn’t that the point — to create memories and tradition? I rejoiced as I strung the tiny blue and white lights and set up the tree and the nativity.

Lately, Christmas has become a minefield of emotion and memory. [Read more…]

 

Hello my lovelies! It’s July! 2017 is half over. In six months we’ll be musing about how quickly the year went, wondering where it went and thinking about the new year.

Let’s take a moment.  How have the first six months of 2017 been for you?  How can we reap the best of the rest of the year? What do we need to change? Or is everything going swimmingly?

2017 has been like nothing I expected or wanted when it started out. It’s been difficult a challenge.

[Read more…]

 

New Year’s eve morning as I write this. I’ve spent the week between Christmas and today pondering the events of 2016. I’m surprised at the number of surprises I had in 2016. It was a year of surprises.  And I’d like another please.  I believe this is because of my new commitment to extemporaneous living, instead of planning everything out.  There’s a flow going on.

Here’s my list. I suspect you had tons of surprises too.  What’s on your list?

[Read more…]

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The oranges in this orange strawberry salad are clean sectioned, a lot of work. Mine is easier, below. And even prettier!

I’ve cooked it all.  Legions of cookies and cakes.  Gallons of egg nog and mimosas.  Baked hams. Beef Wellingtons. Roasts of pork and lamb.  So many turkeys I can’t even count. Creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes, Sacher Tortes, Buches de Noel.

I asked myself, what do I really feel like eating at Christmas this year? The answer was: not complicated elegance. More like sexy bistro food. I have visions of pulling a bubbling casserole from the oven, served with a glass of seriously fabulous wine. My DD tells me I’ll be everyone’s new best friend by bringing a large Spanokopita, a Greek spinach pie to a Christmas eve supper I’m invited to.

[Read more…]

 

twinkle2
Keep calm and sparkle on

 

In keeping with my theme of making Christmas more meaningful and gentle on the soul, to calm the longings and the expectations met and unmet, of Christmas’ past, present and future…here’s an update.

I live in a provincial state capital of Tropica.  It’s a tropical city of a million although it doesn’t feel that way. I live on a funky street. The safest street in the world, but funky.

[Read more…]

 

christmas-table
Fresh, light, minimal. That’s what I’m thinking this year.

 

It’s official now.  “The hols are coming, the hols are coming.”

I need to do things differently this year. Have you ever felt this way?  For years, I rejoiced in all the traditions I created for my family that made our Christmas such a happy, cherished time.

But I don’t need to be the magic maker anymore; I’m not responsible for anyone’s happiness anymore.  I can change how I set the scene and observe the holidays, knowing that I create intimate, compelling magic whatever I decide to do.  Because that’s my style.

[Read more…]

womanalonepainting
Solo travel for me is the norm, not the exception.  I don’t even call it solo travel, I call it travel.

My first job out of university was as an aviation journalist.  I traveled the world on assignment. Europe, South America, Africa and memorably, to what was at the time Communist Eastern Europe. That job is where I learned how to travel.

[Read more…]

choco crackles

⟡ Breaking with tradition ⟡

You all know how I feel about tropical Christmas.  I wrote about it last year. In general, I  take comfort in traditions.  The ease of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, menu always the same.  The cherished Christmas ornaments that I pull out of the box each year.  The Easter ham.  The Fourth of July barbecue. But this year with the holiday season in full swing, I’m feeling the season in a different way. [Read more…]