Saturday, 31 July 2010

Bedroom Project... What a difference it makes...

a nice lamp and a  bit of deco, and it's slowly starting to look
the way I want it to :)

(Baby and I went to look for a rug today, found the perfect one... but... too expensive. It was twice the price I allowed myself, so I'll keep looking.

Meanwhile... love the lamp I found for the desk.
It's perfect!

(best doggie in the world. Still miss her a lot).

(Love the fact, that I now have this nice and relaxing place
to do some writing here :)

(photos all by myself)

Friday, 30 July 2010

3D Door Decals... Funny :)

HA HA... funny idea... I particularly like the "closet" one :)

Like a portal to another world, imagine your home hallway doors opening to stone staircases, cathedral corridors, modern commercial elevators and escalators or ancient underground crypts and caverns.
Others can trick the eye into assuming the opposite – a small empty white closet.

(via dornob)

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Bedroom Project.... Adding a desk...

Tackled another part of the „bedroom project“ today :)

I‘ve been toying with the idea of adding a desk to our bedroom for some time now, since it‘s really huge and the „clutter“ in the right hand corner of the room, really wasn‘t  very nice to look at. Now, we‘ve got an old glass desk stored away in the attic and I thought it would look nice in the bedroom.

This is phase 01. When I‘m better (still down with sinusitis), I‘ll add some deco and a rug to it and post the results.

I love it so far!

This  is "before"

And this is "after" :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

How I've missed Thee Don Draper :))))

How I‘ve missed Thee, Don Draper :)

Gosh... how I‘ve missed this show!

Just finished watching the season 04 premiere and I must say, I‘m hooked again. At first it threw me a bit to see the new office, which for a second looked very much like Sterling & Cooper‘s old office (no surprise, since they obviously didn‘t want to build complete new sets for the fourth season).

Anyway, it got clear pretty soon that this was NOT the fancy office Don and his companions are used to. Oh and KUDOS to the writers for the "running gag" of the "supposed second floor" ;) Loved it!

The opening scene was brilliant! I mean „Who is Don Draper?“ ... That‘s the question that‘s been puzzling us all since the beginning of season 01.

I really loved that they showed us another side of Don. To see how „out of his depths“ he feels when questioned about himself and his goals in life, especially with his divorce and all, that was a nice surprise. It took me a bit to get used to the idea that he‘s obviously suffering a great deal from the failure of his marriage. He sure has some issues, as we could see in the scene with the whore. Don as a sub? I was a bit surprised. IF they're going to explore this (as in SM tendencies), I wouldn't have expected Don to be the sub. Hmm... or maybe to compensate for the authority he has to show during work all the time?!?! We'll see....

  However... as glad as I was to see a „vulnerable“ side of him, I hope he still has this predatory streak when it comes to other women. The spark was certainly there on his date with Jane's friend.

A bit „grabby in the car“, indeed! LOL... I loved the actress who played her and who was so frank with Don on their first date without succumbing to his charms right away. (She seemed a tat too upfront to me for a women in 1964 though, I think.) Anyway,  I hope we‘ll see her again in future eps.

It‘s also a great joy to see Don doing advertising work again... Seriously, his campaign for the „prude family company“ and that scene at the end... AWESOME. I had to laugh out loud. So, Don Draper CAN fail spectacularly ;) Great ad, Don, but so NOT what the client wanted ;)

And his reaction? Throwing out the client...?!?! You what? Priceless! That‘s the old Don Draper! Confident, cocky and letting the world know WHO he is. I hope his small „identity crisis“ (indicated in the beginning of this ep) is over with and that in the upcoming eps we see more of the Don we saw in the first three seasons.

A word on Betty, aside from the fact that I think she‘s a complete dork for leaving Don and rushing right into the arms of Henry, this woman has some serious problems! I really can‘t stand the way she treats her kids. Her daughter sure must be traumatized with a mother like her. Betty needs a smack on the head if you ask me. And I really wonder what her motives are. Somehow I doubt it that she‘s really committed to her new relationship. Looks more to me as if she‘s doing all this to get back at Don and for playing power-games with him (in which she uses the kids as tools... shame on her). I really wonder where the writers will go with her and Don‘s relationship.

As for the other people on Don‘s team, I still don‘t know quite what to make of Peggy. She started out as an interesting character in the first two seasons but she‘s lost a lot of appeal for me in season 3 and I wonder what road the writers will take her on. I get why she‘s still there... mainly to please Don Draper but if that‘s all they give her character to do then it‘s wearing a bit thin IMHO. Her having a baby with Pete, which she gave away,  was an interesting turn of events, and I hope this will be addressed again in this season. I wonder. 

Can I say, I ADORE Pete Campbell? I know he was media sappy, sleazy and untrustworthy in the first two seasons but I really admire him for the drive he has to do what‘s best for the company and for the way he‘s always ready to jump in and „clean up the mess“ that Don created.

The others didn‘t play such an important part in the season‘s opener, so there‘s not much to say about Sterling and Cooper.

All in all, a very promising start for season 04 and I really can‘t wait to see what‘s going to happen next.

Mondays are marked as my Mad Men Day now!

( all pictures © AMC)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Mad Men Season 04 .....

I absolutely cannot wait!!!!

Mad Men Season 04 premiers on Sunday, 25th July!!!!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Jura Impressa Z7 - Meet the new luxury gadget in our kitchen....

... Okay it's not a La Marzocco... 
(since their "smallest machine" costs 5.000 USD, it was "slightly" out of our price range)

But after months of thinking about buying a fully automatic coffee machine, 
we opted for a Jura Impressa Z7 now.

 Swiss made and niiiiiiiiiice to look at. 

Our first Latte Macchiato... 
Doesn't it look *yummy* ???

Why not start the day with a touch of luxury each morning? :)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Nut? What Nut? The Squirrel Outwits to Survive...

Who'd have thought that squirrels are such clever guys?!?! :)

I have to admit, I love the gray squirrel which I had first seen during my first trip to visit my Aunt in New Jersey, years and years ago. They are fatter and less shy than the red squirrels that live here in our country.

Actually, they are both dead cute and I found this very interesting article in the New York Times about squirrels and how they have managed to adapt so successfully and to survive as a species for million of years...

Nut? What Nut? The Squirrel Outwits to Survive

(by Natalie Angier)

I was walking through the neighborhood one afternoon when, on turning a corner, I nearly tripped over a gray squirrel that was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, eating a nut. Startled by my sudden appearance, the squirrel dashed out to the road — right in front of an oncoming car.

Before I had time to scream, the squirrel had gotten caught in the car’s front hubcap, had spun around once like a cartoon character in a clothes dryer, and was spat back off. When the car drove away, the squirrel picked itself up, wobbled for a moment or two, and then resolutely hopped across the street.

You don’t get to be one of the most widely disseminated mammals in the world — equally at home in the woods, a suburban backyard or any city “green space” bigger than a mousepad — if you’re crushed by every Acme anvil that happens to drop your way.

The Eastern gray tree squirrel, or Sciurus carolinensis, has been so spectacularly successful that it is often considered a pest. The International Union for Conservation of Nature includes the squirrel on its list of the top 100 invasive species. The British and Italians hate gray squirrels for outcompeting their beloved native red squirrels. Manhattanites hate gray squirrels for reminding them of pigeons, and that goes for the black, brown and latte squirrel morphs, too.

Yet researchers who study gray squirrels argue that their subject is far more compelling than most people realize, and that behind the squirrel’s success lies a phenomenal elasticity of body, brain and behavior. Squirrels can leap a span 10 times the length of their body, roughly double what the best human long jumper can manage. They can rotate their ankles 180 degrees, and so keep a grip while climbing no matter which way they’re facing. Squirrels can learn by watching others — cross-phyletically, if need be. In their book “Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide,” Richard W. Thorington Jr. and Katie Ferrell of the Smithsonian Institution described the safe-pedestrian approach of a gray squirrel eager to traverse a busy avenue near the White House. The squirrel waited on the grass near a crosswalk until people began to cross the street, said the authors, “and then it crossed the street behind them.”

The Eastern gray is one of about 278 squirrelly species alive today, a lineage that split off from other rodents about 40 million years ago and that includes chipmunks, marmots, woodchucks —  a k a groundhogs — and prairie dogs. Squirrels are found on all continents save Antarctica and Australia, and in some of the harshest settings: the Himalayan marmot, found at up to 18,000 feet above sea level, is among the highest-living mammals of the world.

Gray squirrels use their sharp, shaded vision to keep an eye on each other. Michael A. Steele of Wilkes University in Pennsylvania and his colleagues have studied the squirrels’ hoarding behavior, which turns out to be remarkably calculated and rococo. Squirrels may be opportunistic feeders, able to make a meal of a discarded cheeseburger, crickets or a baby sparrow if need be, but in the main they are granivores and seed hoarders.

But the squirrels don’t just bury an acorn and come back in winter. They bury the seed, dig it up shortly afterward, rebury it elsewhere, dig it up again. “We’ve seen seeds that were recached as many as five times,” said Dr. Steele. The squirrels recache to deter theft, lest another squirrel spied the burial the first X times. Reporting in the journal Animal Behaviour, the Steele team showed that when squirrels are certain that they are being watched, they will actively seek to deceive the would-be thieves. They’ll dig a hole, pretend to push an acorn in, and then cover it over, all the while keeping the prized seed hidden in their mouth. “

For the complete article go here.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Amazing Outdoor Kitchen....

What an amazing outdoor kitchen...

I particularly love the in-built herb boxes.


(Design by Jamie Durie)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A Summer's Sunday Walk...

Today the unbearable heat of the last week finally broke (we had temperatures up to 100 °F over the last couple of days!) and I went on a long walk. Even though it looked like a thunder storm approaching and I got a little wet from a brief rain shower, it was fabulous.

I love walking. It clears my head and I realized once again, I have a lot to be grateful for in my life.

Come join me and discover the beauty that is everywhere around us, if we just stop and take a look :)

Street art. I pass it each day on my way to work and finally got round to take a photo :)

Believe it or not... this was a public toilette once, which someone turned into a charming little restaurant/café. These days it only opens for special events (Weddings, birthdays, etc.)

This is a wonderful ancient graveyard.
(a couple of hundred years old)
Very tranquil and beautiful...

The park was full of pinecones.

Isn't it awesome how in this backyard the owner let the kids 
paint the ugly wall of the neighbors' garages?

I follwed the old trail along the monastery...

Now back to town again...

In the background you can see the towers of the town Cathedral.

On to the cathedral (This old lady was on her way to mass)

Church window.

Rose on the City Wall.

A short round through the castle grounds.
And a shortcut back to my parking spot...

It was a lovely two-hours walk and I enjoyed it, even though the sun caught up with me towards the end and it was so hot that my T-shirt was soaked in sweat when I reached the car. 

It was worth it!
Thank God, for the blessings in my life!