By now, it may be no secret that my favorite site of all time is Etsy. And on the Etsy main page is my new favorite addiction: the "Recently Listed" scrolling photo list that rolls all of the newest handmade and vintage goodies across the screen. The images dance past my eyes for mere seconds and are just as quickly replaced by other visions of loveliness. Today, I couldn't resist clicking on these bags by Tida McIntyre. Tida is a designer living in Milan, Italy and has quite a few bags that are dripping with the vibe of summer. To check out the goods or more of Tida's work, head on over to her myTida Etsy shop!
As one rainy day rolls into the next here in central Switzerland, I thought I'd take you for a stroll through our neighborhood. With umbrella and jacket in tow, I peeked into the gardens and yards of some of my favorite little outdoor spaces in the 'hood. Enjoy!
Thanks everyone for participating in my giveaway! And especially a big thanks to Trish at Pink Parchment Soaps for being gracious enough to sponsor the prize. The winner of any three currently available bars of handmade soap from Pink Parchment Soaps Etsy shop is: Anne! I will be sending a message right away to our lucky winner! Thanks again everyone for making this giveaway such a great success.
This is a picture of Chelle Paperie's table decor from her wedding. The table was also featured on an Apartment Therapy piece about outdoor lighting inspiration. I can't decide which I adore more, Chelle Paperie's beautiful creations or her glowingly romantic dinner party table... I am definitely stealing this idea!
A very fairy birthday party indeed. For my monkey's seventh birthday last year, I thought I'd theme it up the event. We used the guidance of Tracy Marsh's Midnight Fairy Craft & Party Book for our inspiration. Hope you're inspired for your little monkeys too! If you want details on any of the specifics to this party, just post a comment & I'd be happy to share
This is my dream home in my dream palette. I can't get enough of these pics, which I have tucked away in my "some day" folder on my laptop. Until my someday comes, I give you monochromatic done right.
I have no idea whose blog I pulled these lovely images from and have exhausted myself in the search in order to properly give credit. Now I am asking you, dear readers, to join in on the search. I know this much: about six months ago, I was perusing a design blog that featured these pics of a british designer's house, who often lets photographers use her space as the staging for their shoots.
World renowned tennis player and recent French Open winner, Roger Federer, is Swiss (in case you haven't heard). While he may be the darling of the Tennis world, he is the beloved hero of the Swiss world. Where, you may ask, am I going with this? Yesterday I witnessed an interesting event at a country club restaurant. Imagine a swanky banquet dinner complete with candlelit tables, white linens, polished silver, amuse bouche & haute cuisine, bottles of flowing wine and champagne, glasses clinking and the low murmur of quiet enjoyment. Now imagine plate after plate of freshly made sorbet balanced atop puffs of flaky tarts sitting at empty tables, melting away as only homemade ice cream can.
Where have the diners gone? They're all cramped into what would otherwise be a sizable lounge, watching their dear probably distant relative Roger Federer win his most recent trophy. They gasped, they sighed, they squeaked with tension, and at the denouement they burst into a roar of furious claps and cheers of wild abandon. The sorbet was left to its ultimate demise. The kitchen staff looked vexed as their works of art were being thrown into the trash bin, though they too had been watching their dear Roger bring home the glory for their homeland.
I gave out a hint last week. I wonder how many of you guessed the product was... soap?
Environmentally conscientious Etsy shop owner, Trish of Pink Parchment Soaps is holding a divine giveaway for the month of June and I am happy to host the contest! The prize is any three currently available bars in Trish's shop. Not surprisingly, being an expatriate means I do a lot of online shopping and gift-giving for my family back home in America. I stumbled upon Pink Parchment Soaps while looking for birthday gifts for both my mom and step-mom. The best thing about Trish's soaps is that they are vegan and smell divine! Mom called to say that she had finally used up her first bar, the Lemon Verbena, which had lasted her over a month of daily uses! She said that's three times as long as her usual store-bought brand.
I've had the opportunity to chat with Trish about her shop...
Kate: How long have you been making your soaps?
Trish: We have been making soap for 6 years now. Here is a rather funny story on how we got started: Several years ago, we were on vacation in North Carolina and stopped in a small soap shop. They made the most beautiful soap we had ever seen. We also thought, oh these will make wonderful gifts for both my husband’s mother and my mother – both of whom are incredibly difficult to buy for! With both mother’s day and birthdays right around the corner, we stocked up. Once we returned to Michigan, I happened to get a flyer from a local college and they were offering soap-making classes. I took the class, and voila, we were hooked.
Kate: What caused you to make vegan soap?
Trish: There are several environmental and ethical reasons to make and use Vegan soaps.
True soap is made from oils - either animal fat (tallow) or vegetable oil and sodium hydroxide. Most commercially-made soap is currently made from tallow and/or synthetic detergents. Tallow usually comes from cattle and sheep. Besides the serious health, environmental, and ethical questions regarding raising animals for consumption, tallow is known to block skin pores and can cause breakouts. Detergents may have phosphate in them. Phosphates are a known contributor to algae bloom, which has an adverse effect on the health of people, marine organisms, marine mammals, birds and sea turtles. Even phosphate free detergents have toxic ingredients that inhibit the ability of aquatic organisms to breed. Today, we have so many wonderful vegetable-based oils and ingredients available – olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, to name a few – that are both environmentally and skin friendly that there really isn’t any reason to use tallow or detergents.
Kate: What's your one favorite product in your shop?
Trish: Currently, my favorite product is the peppermint soap. I love the smell and the cooling sensation of peppermint.
Kate: What is the best/most fun/most interesting part of the soap-making process?
Trish: The best part of soap making is when you are trying a new color and/or new scent. In both the hot and cold process methods, both the colors and scents morph – so you never know what you are going to get. The first time we made cucumber melon, I had this great vision of how beautiful a light yellow top with green bottom would look. When we un-molded it, it was florescent yellow and bright purple. It was rather striking, just not what we had in mind!
Kate: What is your next up and coming scent (or) what's currently curing (or) what haven't you tried making yet that you'd like to?
Trish: Up and coming is an unscented (real) cucumber shea butter facial soap, currently curing is a lavender/rosemary shampoo bar, and I’m not telling LOL!
The giveaway is open worldwide with a prize value of $20-32 USD (including shipping)! To enter the giveaway:
1. Go to Pink Parchment Soaps Etsy shop and select the three bars you'd like to receive should you win. Come back here and post one comment to this post with your three picks.
2. Follow me on Facebook networked blogs (see right-hand column), then come back and post a comment to this post stating that you're FB following.
3. Follow Expat Kate directly through this blog on Google Connect (see right-hand column), then post a comment stating that you're EXKate fan.
4. Blog about this giveaway and post a comment with the link to your blog's post.
You can enter this giveaway up to six times in the aforementioned manner. The contest is open until midnight EST, Tuesday June 30th. The winner will be randomly selected from Random.org, and will be announced on this blog on Wednesday, July 1st, so check back here to find out if you've won! The winner will have three days to contact me at zenagent at yahoo dot com, or another winner will be chosen and subsequently announced! Good luck!
We're on the way to Spend some family time in Zermatt for a few days! Here are some on the way pics with more to come including perhaps yoga in front of the Matterhorn (that's the paramount pictures and toblerone chocolate mountain they use in their logos, respectively)... I'm about to drive onto the piggy-back train! Hugs...
Oh, words cannot even begin to express how lovely I think this photo is! The white is such a light and muted shade that it provides an airy backdrop for the other pieces and textures in the room. Enjoy your weekend while I soak in some of this loveliness from One Haute Mess' flick'r page. To see more from this beautiful home and collection, click on the images!
In the upcoming week, I will be presenting my very first giveaway from one of my favorite Etsy shops! This will be open to readers worldwide, so be sure to "follow" me by clicking on the Friends of Expat Kate's link in the right-hand column of this page. For those of you who aren't as technically savvy or patient and would like step-by-step instruction that only takes a few moments *ahem, you know who you are* just let me know! The prize is customizable and will definitely please!
And now for a small excerpt from the mystery store owner:
"The first time we made ...(teaser- no clues)..., I had this great vision of how beautiful a light yellow top with green bottom would look. When we [unveiled] it, it was florescent and bright purple. It was rather striking, just not what we had in mind!"
I hope your curiosity is piqued & you'll check back in the coming days when I unveil the mystery prize and share the rest of our mystery guest's interview!
I love, love, love my new teapot! I purchased it from the Migros and still giggle with excitement each time it begins to emit its high-pitched whistle. I believe after boiling pots of water on the stovetop for what seems like years (wait a minute it has been years!), I am amazed at the speed with which my kettle heats up the H2O. Now I feel completely justified in my choice as not just sleek and unabashedly sexy, but time-saving and energy efficient as well...
And for a little more tea time eye candy check out these lovely excuses to brew a cup of something warm and tasty! These would be great as gifts for fellow tea lovers in your life! Click on the photos to check out each of these beauties on their respective sites!
Also, check out my current tea-themed etsy favorites from my Etsy Mini, on the right-hand side of this page! Happy sipping!
Living in Switzerland has definitely taught me one important lesson: I have too much stuff (or I should consider living as a minimalist)! In my home in the US, I have a large-enough bedroom with plenty of space and places to store my jewelry and hair accessories. Here, jewelry boxes seem big and cumbersome when considering the scale of my current bedroom and accompanying furniture. The compromise? Form and function! After taking a forest walk, the Pups brought home a yummy piece of wood to nibble & following suit, I brought home a bough on which to hang my pretties...
The tree takes up very little surface space, but more than compensates by giving vertical height and a little visual appeal.
The base is merely a glass jar filled with sand to anchor the branch and some stones to provide weight and stability. Did you notice my gray hair, lovingly taped to the mirror? In some quirky way, I'm really quite cool with it and am looking forward to seeing how they grow in! (I'm secretly hoping for one of those chic gray streaks as opposed the salt & pepper variety, but I suppose I won't have much say about it in the end...) But I digress.
Could you say goodbye to your jewelry box for good? Not that every girl doesn't remember her first. Mine was white with a picture of a girl in a lacy, frilly dress sitting in a meadow. Inside was a ballerina that spun and danced to "twinkle twinkle little star".
What do you think, would you put this idea to use in your home?