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Amanda Brooks Inspiration

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Interiors | 0 comments

Architectural Digest’s feature of fashion guru/writer/blogger Amanda Brooks’ house in England is stunning and simply romantic.  I love the cozy details and comforts of country living  juxtaposed with gorgeous artwork and antique pieces.  The Cotswolds, where Amanda’s house is, reminds me so much of Normandy with its lush verdant space, rolling hills and thatched-roof houses.  Reading the piece makes me just a tad bit nostalgic for this little place and has me planning our next trip to see it again…








Images via

Week 38/52

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Family and friends | 0 comments

Snapshots of life in 2016

I’m exhausted!  My fatigue stems mainly from shifting gears from a leisurely pace during the summer to the intense back-to-school routine as well as Chiara’s new school requirements.  I am SO tired that I even took a nap on Sunday afternoon instead of going to a museum excursion I was planning on doing.  Can’t remember the last time I took a nap….

Not too be overly pessimistic, there were some good moments from last week like…

  •  Spending quality one-on-one time with Brady while the girls are in school



  • Going to Chiara’s school homecoming, enjoying the nice weather and sense of community




  • Another great finish for this girl and her team…their hard work seems to be paying off!

Have a great week everyone!

In a Casual Mood for the Fall

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Lifestyle | 0 comments

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love to wear skirts and dresses, even during the cold weather.  But lately I’m just craving to wear mostly pants especially this fall.  There’s something to be said about the ease of putting on a pair of jeans or tailored pants, accessorizing with different tops and jackets, and finishing the look with a pair of fun shoes.   It’s simple but it doesn’t have to be boring, right?

I think what I love about wearing pants is that it affords you a timeless look, regardless of age.  Wearing dresses of a particular style (think Anthropologie sweet, or anything from frou or overly feminine) can make women of a certain age look frumpy or dowdy. I’d rather go with the looks like the ones below and look edgier.  What do you think?






Images via (1), (2), (3), (4), (5)

Week 37/52

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Family and friends | 0 comments

Snapshots of life in 2016

Did we really just go back to school last week?  It feels like we’ve already been back for longer than a week since we’ve resumed most of our usual activities.  No gradual transition to ease us back into the school rhythm, just quick immersion to activities and what-nots that we were doing a few months back before we left for summer break.

The actual back-to-school day went smoothly but we’re still getting used to the girls not being in the same school district.  I try to be on top of everything by noting all important dates on my calendar and planning ahead but it isn’t always easy.  My mind can only process so much new information.  So I push back on the girls and encourage them to take on as much responsibility they can handle.  I am going with the back-to-school mantra that my kids’ lives and journey are theirs — I am only here to guide and coach them, not micro-manage every single detail.

I also started my docent training at the museum.   It was fun to meet other docent trainees who come from  such different professional backgrounds.  Back for more of this gig this week.  What about you?  How was your week?

A few highlights from the week…

…back to school action


…this handsome boy getting groomed

…going to the Gipsy Kings, courtesy of good friends, and reliving music from my college days

…cross-country season off to a good start as this girl finishes second out of 91 girls in her age group.  I’m one proud mama!


Weekend in Montreal

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in Travel | 0 comments

Montreal, cool Montreal, it’s where we spent Labor Day weekend.  I just love how this city just mixes so many elements together and come out with its unique city vibe.  You can see it in the way the city residents go back and forth between English and French, the modern design pretty ubiquitous downtown juxtaposed against old Montreal, the foodie scene  that’s vibrant and diverse.  If it weren’t so cold in the winter, Montreal definitely would have been a serious contender as a city to live in during my 20s.  But that was another lifetime…

So, I thought I’d share some of places and restaurants we visited and loved.


  • Old Montreal – It’s fun to visit this lively section of town with its lively markets and restaurants.  Must-sees are the city hall as well as Chateau Ramezay, a UNESCO-classified former governor residence, and the garden behind the residence.




  • Boutique de Metiers d’art du Quebec 20, rue Saint Paul Ouest – Great store for souvenirs as well as crafts made by local artisans.  Ines ended up getting a cute stuffed animal from here.
  • Lunch a Porter 355, rue Saint Paul Ouest – A great shop that’s all about lunch, from bento boxes and thermoses to lunch bags.  The design of most products are strongly influenced by modern Japanese design.  Lucky for us, they also have an online shop that sells most of the items from the store.
  • Le Cartet 106, rue McGill – A great brunch place with a grocery store in the front that sells delicious pastries and local delicacies like foie gras with maple syrup.


  • Brasserie T 142, rue Jeanne Mance – A moderately priced restaurant with a French menu that’s situated by the Contemporary Art Museum.  It prides itself in using fresh Quebecois ingredients.  Try the escargots, osso buck and sea bream on the menu.


  • Jean Drapeau Park – Situated on Ile St-Helene, the park is a wonderful urban oasis that hosted the 1967 World Expo.  Remnants of the expo, such as a giant sculpture by Alexander Calder and the Montreal Biosphere, are part of the park’s allure.  Take the ferry back if you’re heading back to old Montreal — it’s  a great way to appreciate Montreal’s waterfront and skyline.




  • Jardin Nelson 407, place Jacques-Cartier – Appropriately named, the restaurant looks like a floral garden from the outside.  This immense restaurant that seats about 400 has good food and live music on Sunday mornings.   The food is delicious — I had the fresh salmon salad with rice vermicelli, an ideal summer dish with its light flavor.
  • Deville Dinerbar 1425 Stanley – This place is a must for anyone who loves to eat and indulge bit.  Everything we tried from this place was delicious with portions more than enough for two to three people to share.  Try the Korean tacos, poutine (Montreal specialty), the burgers, shakes, beignet and pain perdu.  Make sure you wear loose clothing as you’ll probably gain a pound or two after a meal here.

Hope this post helpful.  Montreal, I hope to see you someday soon…