29 March 2009

A wonderful day!

My birthday yesterday was all that I wanted... I had a wonderful, relaxing day with my sweet husband and children!! It started off with a yummy breakfast in bed...

... the gift of some gorgeous pink roses (my favorite, what a surprise!!)...

... and this photo editing software that I have been wanting for a long time!!! Have you used it? Do you like it?

This week I did splurge on buying a couple of gifts for myself!! I got this adorable vintage pink wicker chair from my friend Christine! Isn't it the cutest thing?

I also found this wonderful rose painting at Monticello and had to have it!

Then, my sweet friend Lisa stopped by to give me a hug and gave me this adorable french tin (farine is flour in French), I just love it!!!

In the afternoon, we watched a World Cup soccer qualifier game between Portugal and Sweden (unfortunately it ended at 0-0, which means we have slim to none chances of going to the World Cup next year...), and then went out to one of our favorite restaurants, The Claim Jumper!! We came home and turned the lights off to observe Earth Hour; how much fun did we have playing games by the candlelight!!! We even sang Happy Birthday in complete darkness!! It was a wonderful day!!

28 March 2009

Drumroll, please...

Today is the day to pick the winners of my 100th post triple giveaway!! Wow, I am both moved and flattered at how many of you left me such sweet words, this is truly the best part about blogging, connecting with all you wonderful souls!!! I won't keep you waiting any longer! Here are the winners of my giveaways:

Giveaway #1 - Portugal

Congratulations Pam from FRIPPERY!!

Giveaway # 2 - England

Congratulations Elizabeth from PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

Giveaway # 3 - Morocco

Congratulations Deb from TALKING TRASH!

If you are the winner, please email me at with your address so I can mail you your prizes!! Thank you to everyone who participated, I wish I had something for each and every one of you!! If you are sad that you didn't win, then hurry to my friend Sue's blog, Bella Shabby!! She has a double giveaway going on, and the prizes are to die for!!!!! Just take a look!!

I will be back soon to show you my birthday gifts!!

24 March 2009

Time to sew!

Today I decided to tackle some sewing projects I have been wanting to get done!! It felt good to accomplish something, even if the laundry is piling up!!! Actually, the first project involved abosolutely no sewing... I have a few old cotton feed sacks that I have wanted to turn into pillows, so all I did was cut to the size I needed plus about 2 inches on each side, then I fringed the edges into 1" wide strips and tied the pairs of fringes into a double knot!! That was easy! One down, three more to go!

Then, I used an old quilt scrap to build a darling pillow with one of the blocks. I used my fast method to sew a backing to the pillow, starting with a cute pink shirt I found at a thrift store.

Finally, I grabbed one of my favorite baskets and gave it a pretty "dress"!! Can you see me going to the farmer's market or thrifting with it? I love the way it turned out! I have a few more baskets I want to "dress up", I will share them with you soon!!

There is still time to join in my 100th Post Triple Giveaway!!! All you have to do is leave me a comment here and you qualify to win some wonderful items from my own private collections!!

22 March 2009

4 Friends... 4 Incredible Sales!!

What a great event we had yesterday... The 4 Friends... 4 Sales was a great success!! Diane, Cindy, Joy and Martha joined forces to bring us a memorable day, full of shopping, fun, friends and laughter!! I spend the day helping Joy with her sale, but we had a chance to visit each others' spaces the previous night.

Cindy from Tarte never ceases to amaze us...!!! Her displays are truly magical, and together with the Barn House Boys, Natalie, the twins Diana and Donna and Susan, there was an incredible abundance of wonderful items!! I apologize for the pictures being dark, it was night time and I don't like to use flash!!! But you can still appreciate the beauty!!

Then, we headed out to Diane from Molly Mo's... Her little store on her home property is always full of the sweetest things, and we always have to control ourselves to not go crazy buying!!

After that, we headed to Martha's house, from Vintage Trifles. I was so sad to realize, when I was downloading my pictures, that I forgot to take pictures of Martha's incredible works of art... I am so sorry, Martha, it was so late in the evening and I was so tired.... Please visit her blog to take a peek at her wonderful art!

Then came the day of the sale at Joy's from A Day in the Life. What a great day, selling and visiting with old and new friends!! We were so happy to see so many people join in this fun event and even more delighted to meet some blogging friends!! Maybe next time we'll see YOU!!

Don't forget to join in my 100th Post Triple Giveaway!!! All you have to do is leave me a comment here and you qualify to win some wonderful items from my own private collections!!

19 March 2009

A life in a nutshell and a 100th post TRIPLE GIVEAWAY!!!

Looking back on one hundred posts, it truly amazes me how wonderful it has been to share so much and to get so much more back…!!! It has been extremely rewarding and I am utterly touched by the proximity it has allowed me, and the chance to meet such incredibly talented and creative women (and men!), not to mention kind and supporting!! Thank you all, you are truly my extended cyber family!!

But I am also left to realize that there is a lot more about me that you don’t know…. So I am taking this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about where I come from, what my journey has been like to get where I am today!! I’ve been looking for older pictures (a pretext to get them organized) to share and what a trip down memory lane it has been!!

I was born in March of 63 in Lisbon, Portugal. I was the fourth out of six children (three girls, three boys), coming from the family of a German Jewish refugee.

I studied in a French school from the age of three until I graduated from high school, having done my studies in full immersion French language for 7 years, until I transferred to the Portuguese section of the school to start middle school. I still know by heart all the French nursery songs I learned…!!

I went on to get a degree in Economics from the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (I saw Pope John Paul II twice!!) and a MBA from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, after which I started working as an investment banker. For two years, I worked in the origination, syndication and placement of Bond issues with the Banco Portugues de Investimento.

In the spring of 91 I met my prince charming on a blind date!!! I had been divorced for a couple of years (a disastrous 3 year marriage I entered when I was only 22...), and was over the moon to meet Mark, a Marine Staff Sergeant in charge of the American Embassy’s Marine Security Guards. We got married September 11, 1992 and moved to Irvine, California, where Mark was stationed. It was a difficult transition, especially because Mark was on a 6-month deployment rotation to Japan every year…!!! It was very tough to be left behind and have no family to lean on…

But soon, our own family started growing…!!! Even though we were devastated to lose our first pregnancy, we went on to have, as you know, four beautiful children!! Our first child, Anna, was born in April of 95, just one month after Mark’s return from another deployment to Japan!

When Anna and Clara were only 2 years and 10 months, Mark decided to apply for a repeat Embassy program and we were assigned to London, England, where we spent about a year and a half. We lived in a four level flat (yikes!) and I started teaching quilting classes from my home to fulfill a need to connect with other women!! How much fun was that! I still keep in contact with some of the friends (and quilters) I made!!

Our next post was Rabat, Morocco. It remains to the day as one of my all time favorite places we have ever lived in. Our third daughter, Rita, was born in Portugal in between post rotation, and so we joined Mark in Rabat when she was only a week old… We lived in a wonderful large house with a great back yard only a few blocks from the Embassy, the older girls attended a preschool just across the street, we had a wonderful maid called Laila who loved the girls, and we really soaked in the culture!! And we were only a two-hour flight away from Lisbon!!

In the summer of 2000, after almost two years in Morocco, we sadly left Rabat and Mark prepared for a civilian life after 22 years with the Marine Corps. We did not know where we would live or what job Mark would be able to get… So, for a month after his retirement, we traveled cross country from Quantico, Virginia to Fresno, California stopping at special places we had always wanted to visit, like Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, among many other wonderful places. Eight thousand miles in one month!!!

We ended up choosing Oregon to call home and we love it!!! We bought our first home 7 years ago and added a son to the mix! From the need to decorate this home, and after discovering Rachel Ashwell, came the love for all things vintage!!! I opened my first mall space with Lisa 5 years ago, and , well…. The rest is history!!!

So, in celebration of my 100th post, I have gathered some great things for a giveaway… Not just one giveaway, but THREE!!! I really wanted to give you wonderful bloggers more chances to win something… So, I have gathered special items from 3 special countries that played a part in my life: Portugal (of course!), England and Morocco. Each giveaway includes picks from that country, and you get to pick which one you would like to enter!! If you post about my giveaway or put it on your sidebar, I will enter your name three times (you can enter each of the giveaways or put all your entries in your favorite to increase the odds of winning!! - just make sure you let me know what you prefer...)!!
(this giveaway is now closed... Thank you to all who participated!!)

Giveaway # 1 - Portugal : a typical portuguese embroidered apron, a generous piece of Alcobaca cloth fabric and some very old bone buttons!!

Giveaway # 2 - England : a wonderful english floral tea tin, a Royal Albert "American Beauty" little dessert plate and a yard of a wonderful Tana Lawn pink cotton fabric purchased at Liberty's!

Giveaway # 3 - Morocco: a great rusty metal sconce, a parketry wood box and a darling perfume bottle!!

I will pick a winner the morning of my birthday, Saturday March 28th!! Good luck to all, and thank you again for all your support and love!!!

P.S. If you leave me a comment in order to participate in my triple giveaway please make sure to let me know which one, so I know to put the name in the right hat!!
(This giveaway is now closed... Thank you to all who participated!!)
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