happy weekend!


i was able to finish binding two books this week, despite the aggravations from hay fever. i will post some pictures soon. (of the finished journals, not the aggravations). the typical irish weather has returned though, and i can’t be happier. dark clouds, patchy drizzles and very occasional sunny spells. there is no sarcasm there, honestly. if you’ve ever had pollen allergy, you’d know what i mean.

life is good and i can’t complain today. it’s not perfect of course, what with breathing through the mouth from time to time drying my lips and so forth, but further than that, i am happier. really. as i type, a cat is stretched out on the floor, frozen in a weird acrobatic pose, awaiting some loving. who couldn’t smile with that? i am feeling much better too, so i’m breaking out my tools again and will try to finish some custom orders. on another story, my bicycle is home finally from maintenance work at the Halfords, breaks and transmission working perfectly again. my wonderful husband dragged it home, cycling with one hand his own bike, and dragging mine with the other. you’ve got to give it to the Dutch to work out a system like that. on a wet saturday morning, half an hour cycling each way plus a heavy hilly cycle home. i love my dutchman. he makes really good coffee too, with an old-fashioned coffee percolator. which came all the way from canada. which he won on eBay! so we had our good old Senseo retire already as it can’t obviously keep up with the taste. true story. too much full stops makes me dizzy.

petits tresons
anyways, on to other things, i received a couple of weeks ago i think, Pia‘s newest book – Little Treasures. i am swooning from all the lovely photographs and all the lovely words. it is truly a delight to pore over.

and that’s it for now, thank you for dropping by!  i need to call downstairs for coffee…


and don’t forget to take Pippi’s advice: have a very relaxing weekend!

xx Odette

Powerscourt House

my MIL was visiting us last month for two weeks, which were glorious days! i was lucky enough to have enjoyed the warmer weather before the pollen count shot up which eventually shot me down with hay fever, but that’s another story. anyways, we took her for a bus trip down to Enniskerry via the south coast of Dublin. The Dublin Bus sightseeing tour is fantastic – great route, reasonably priced and the live commentary from the driver himself is just brilliant! I think our driver was Ciaran then and there was never a dull moment. The south coast is absolutely gorgeous and picturesque and rife with history, but the highlight of the trip i must say is Powerscourt Gardens. the pictures don’t do any justice, i was shooting blindly as the sun was too bright then and with the glare, there’s no way of checking how i’m shooting. but i could care less, as there was so much to take in. i felt all my senses come alive, it was that exciting for me! i could definitely live there. definitely. *daydreaming*


daydreaming aside, this is my most favorite person in the world. we stopped over in Bray to breathe in the sea breeze.


my husband Kj and the coolest shadow. before the dawn of cheap flights to the continent, Bray was the most popular seaside resort in Ireland.

and that’s all we have for today, as the big cat has just landed in my lap and is making typing very uncomfortable. off for a cup of tea now and i wish you a very lovely day. i might be back later, we’ll see. thank you for dropping by!

p.s. we love comments. 🙂

xx Odette



I left the door open to my flower-less back garden as I sipped my cup of coffee. Wool wash is churning gently in the washing machine. The grass has been cut shortly before the rain came and it smelled good. Pippi is hiding behind my raised flower bed, stalking the birds. Tom is softly snoring on the sofa. We make our own associations based on our individual experiences when we are asked what “home” means to us. My definition has evolved having moved so far from our families. I struggled with it for a while, felt lost. It has been a slow process of discovering what works for me and for our little family, until I realized the most essential component is there already in abundance – LOVE in all its beautiful forms. Inspired, I started working towards the physical comforts and manisfestations of this love. Nothing grand, just simple things like a vase of fresh flowers and lighted candles for dinner. Through the years I’ve slowly made little corners for myself to nurture me, heal me, inspire me. Yes, I’m home. I’ve been home all along.

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[ Our new dining area got a bit of a make-over when we had to replace our tiny fridge with a bigger one – which didn’t leave  enough space for the old table. Yay! (I love changes!) Dining table and chairs are from Ikea and cushions are from the Carolyn Donnelly eclectic collection for Dunnes. ]

While I go nurse myself from a really really really really bad hay fever, I leave you with pictures of my babies.

Till next time.

xx Odette



and i’m back again


it’s always difficult for me to write about something when i’ve been away for so long.

so many things have happened in between – some major, like:

♥ quit my job (sigh…of relief)

♥ rescued and adopted a new kitten (yay!)

pippi{ how she looked like when we took her home }


{ last february }

and some minor like:

♥  re-doing my craft room (still a work in progress!)

♥ going back to TCD for dutch lessons; taking the dutch language exam last month; passing said exam

i’m feeling a bit bold with my Dutch at the moment, so i decided to do a 2nd state examination this May for a higher niveau. we’ll see how that pans out!

there’s more to tell, but it’s dinner time and i have something good in the oven which i can’t resist myself. (doesn’t happen very often, mind you!) so i’ll leave with a picture of my darling Tom who hangs around wherever i am. asleep, of course.


have a lovely weekend. xx

Cooking with Kale and Garlic

last weekend, i bought a bag of kale from the supermarket with so much apprehensions. why? i’ve only eaten it once as a dried, flavoured snack from the health shop. two, i have absolutely no idea how i’m going to cook it. Kj asked me why my hesitations when there’s youtube! hah, so off the bag of kale to the trolley. i have read a lot about Kale in the past, how it’s packed with super vitamins and exceptional health benefits. some people regularly juice it with apples or even make smoothies with it.

kale and garlic

i spent a good part of my morning yesterday browsing for a simple recipe for Kale. and youtube being the rabbit hole that it is, did not disappoint. i not only found my simple recipe but as well as a great new way to enjoy garlic! i must confess my love affair with garlic, something about its smell when sauteed that takes me back to my parents’ kitchen. whenever i cook with garlic, it takes me closer home. my dad cooks with it all the time. yes, my dad is the best cook in the world, please don’t contradict. 🙂

anyhoo, this so simple recipe tasted so good we ate our supply of garlic for the next two months in one sitting. i baked two whole bulbs last night and the result was nothing short of divine. it was creamy, smelled wonderful and the taste! you have to taste it yourself to believe. i scattered it over my kale, all of the garlic and it gave such flavour we enjoyed it immensely! we also did spread it over our fried salmon and it was gorgeous.

i’m a little worried how i smell now though. deadly, no doubt.

here’s the youtube video for the roasted garlic:

Roasted garlic (i don’t know how to embed the video)

and our verdict for Kale? we LOVED it! it definitely goes to my small repertoire of weekly dinners.  i eventually made up the recipe myself, ask me in the comments section if you’re interested.

xx Odette

this week


the weather has been cold and murky this week but the colours of the changing season take my breath away. it’s difficult not to fall in love with autumn! had to go to the Dutch Embassy in town today and while it was damp all day, Ballsbridge was  still very picturesque with the leafy street clad in amazing colours. (i have to take the language exam soon and my nerves are in bits already.)

didn’t get the chance to photograph my bedroom transformation this week, but i’m hoping i’ll have more time tomorrow. *sigh* my to do list seem to get longer each day. on other news, i was in the shops early this week to deliver orders to the post office so i dropped by the Dunnes to get some new pillows at the same time. our old ones look tired and lifeless and need to be replaced asap! anyways, back to the Dunnes, i am absolutely besotted with their new eclectic designer collection by Carolyn Donnelly. you have to check out their displays in the shop though as the website does not show everything they have in the collection. there was a lovely velvety mint green headboard on display i’ve been drooling for in the shop. here are a few more on my dream list:

right, off to bed for me now, i’m tackling the craft room tomorrow and i need all the strength in the world for it. it is that bad.

and lastly, i want to say a million thanks to everyone who bought from my shops this week, i love you all!!!

goodnight and have a lovely weekend. xx

the weekend

(there’s a pond we pass by on the way to the shops and we can’t resist taking some photographs)

what a productive weekend!

it all started with our decision to stop our cable tv subscription last week. we’re not huge fans of the telly as we only watch the news every night, although i must admit i will miss my Nat Geo Wild and Home channels, and of course, the programme A Place in the Sun from Travel and Living. 😦 anyhoo, with Ireland switching to digital television, the 4 free channels that came along with it are more than enough for us. so out with cable tv, in with Saorview!

we cycled to the shops on early Saturday morning and boy was it cold. before we started shopping for the electronics, we got ourselves a little treat by having Praline Mocha coffee at starbucks. it was good, but not as good as the Caramel flavour from last season. and not as good as Kj’s homemade coffee too, if i may so! okay, i digress. back to the digital tv: upon setting up our Saorview channels at home, we were so frustrated that we can’t get a signal unless we open the window and one of us stands by it, antenna in hand thrust out into the cold. in this irish weather? no.

we thought of trying the antenna upstairs in our bedroom, and voila, it worked! the rest is then history – we turned the house upside down over the weekend, dragging our desktop from the bedroom to the living room and the telly and our whole entertainment system up to the bedroom. we have completely re-arranged the house and it felt like moving to a new house, i can’t be happier! i may have a bruise or two from dragging furniture up and down the stairs but i’m very pleased with the results. i will post pictures soon, i promise! next up on the list: the craft room, which is a bit tricky as it requires dumping old furniture from the landlord (he won’t be happy) and a long shopping list for Ikea shelves and working desks. i can’t wait!

the cat was a little confused about the weekend flurry, checking every new nook and cranny. he seemed pleased in the end as he went around to give his approval “rubs”. here’s Tom keeping his watch on us.


The house we’re living in is starting to feel small already. We’ve thought about moving out to a bigger house since the beginning of the year as I was craving for space. It took months for me to realize this – as I looked at everything I have hoarded through the last four years, most of them haven’t even seen the light of day, let alone used in years and are less likely to be used at all. Fact is, I am a woman of weird habits, wearing only my favorite clothes and shoes to bits. I rarely venture outside my comfort outfits. The irony of my frustrations over a bursting closet! I also have loads of supplies for hobbies I know I will never have the time to do. Ever. I need to get rid of all these stashed up trash to make room for my fresh stocks for the shop. Instead of moving to a bigger space, I have decided to make space instead. It will be economical foremost, and we get to stay in this neighborhood we’ve grown to love so it’s a win-win situation. It will be a gargantuan task and there’s always the possibility of getting sidetracked while sorting through old letters and greeting cards and photographs and whatnots. But that’s what a lovely cup of tea is for.

Today, the task at hand is my desk. It has 3 drawers full of crap stuff.

We’re only renting this house, but I believe it is possible to make it a home.

I will report back shortly of my progress, if any.

My word for the next few weeks: Simplify.

Being still

Where have all the months gone to? We’re now again almost to the end of the year. The seasons have changed, the temperature has dropped and it’s harder to get up in the mornings now. Time flies and life flies and I’ve been too busy this year to sit still and think. Even holidays were hurried and work was sneaked in one too many times. I’m my own ultimate slave driver when it comes to work but suck at minding myself well. It’s a painful wake-up call, but the grey hairs on my head are screaming for rest. “Mind yourself” is often carelessly thrown around as an afterthought, but I’m literally taking up that advice now. I’m sitting still and listening to myself, eating well and sleeping well and taking naps whenever possible. I have been feeling good and somehow the heart found its voice again to tell me where I must be.

Wherever you are in your own personal journey, I wish you all the strength you need. And hugs, loads of them.

xx Odette

Photo: sunset in Phoenix Park, taken a couple of months ago I think on a drive home from work with a friend.