Monday Morning Love – Hotel Mansour

During my Design Theory class last semester the final project involved using images to demonstrate the theories we’d learned. Naturally I used Pinterest as my source for images. I came across one picture that I loved, but unfortunately it wasn’t credited properly so I did a bit more digging and discovered where the image was taken.

This incredible space is part of the spa at the Royal Mansour in Marrakesh, Morocco. Can you believe how beautiful it is? I love the intricate lace details in the screens, and the lovely inlaid marble floor. I can totally see myself relaxing here before going back to my room and it’s private courtyard. For almost as long as I can remember Morocco has been on my ‘one day I must visit here’ list. I’m not sure what it is about the country that appeals to me but I know one day I’ll visit.

PS – in case anyone was interested I did a bit of digging, and a stay in the Hotel Mansour costs just $1400US a night for a one bedroom riad. Want to bring your family? A three bedroom riad costs just over $12,000US a night. I’ll now add this to my ‘places I’ll visit when I win the lottery’ list.

Zara Home is Coming to Canada

Having an Irish mother meant that growing up I spent a bit of time in Europe visiting relatives. On one such trip I was introduced to Zara, and I was amazed by the store filled with lovely clothing, and very pleased to be able to buy some clothes that nobody had at home.

Zara eventually opened stores in Canada, and it remains one of my favorites for fun, fairly inexpensive clothing. A few years ago I discovered that Zara had a housewares division and from time to time would browse the European web stores to see what they had. When I was in Ireland last fall I even checked to see if there was a retail store so I could finally go shopping, but was disappointed to discover there wasn’t one.

This past spring I heard some Internet rumblings that Zara Home would finally be opening an online store in Canada, and unbelievably a retail location as well. I tried not to get my hopes up, and refrained from perusing their wares online. This past Tuesday I heard that the first Canadian retail location would open at Yorkdale shopping center on August 22nd, and that the online store would open that day as well (a second retail location in Laval, QC will open on Aug 29th). After hearing the news I  jumped right online and picked out a few favourites.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite from the above? I can’t decide between the tray and the skull tumblers.

PS – The items above are mostly from the US site, but a couple are from the UK.
PPS – Oh the irony of hearing that Zara was Finally going to open just days after realizing that any extra money in my budget for the foreseeable future will be going to plaster repairs.
PPPS – This is not a sponsored post – I’m just a bit excited Zara is finally coming to Canada.

Pantone Colour of the Year 2013: Emerald 17-5641

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. Yesterday PANTONE announced their choice for the colour of the year 2013. Their choice is Emerald (17-5641) which they describe as a lively, radiant and lush green – a sophisticated and luxurious colour which is also the colour of growth, renewal and prosperity.

As I did with their choice for 2012 – I thought I’d gather a few ways you could add some of that lively green to your life right now:

From top left: Pot, Napkin, Clock, Rug, Ring, Rug, Pillow, Plate, Pillow, Chair, Rug

I cannot tell you how excited I am that a shade of Green is the colour of the year. I LOVE green, and not just because I’m Irish ;). I’ve had this picture pinned forever and I love it – the emerald green is a lovely contrast to the cream and black.

I’ve got bedside lamps with green dots on them, and I’ve been trying to put together my bedroom for a couple of years, but I’ve found green rather hard to find in fabrics and linens (at least at the stores I frequent). Hopefully this will change as the year goes on, and green will be easier to find as retailers take their cue from Pantone – just like they did in 2012.

What do you think of their choice? Are you loving it like I am, or are you wishing they picked something else?

Aren’t I Spiffy?

I’ve been a little incommunicado over the last little while and I apologise for that, but I have a good reason – I promise!

I’ve been working on a little makeover which I’ve been plotting for quite some time – I’ve updated the look of my blog.  Yippee! Those of you that get my posts by email or through a reader won’t notice anything different, but those of you that visit my site will notice a completely new look, and I hope you like it!

When I moved from WordPress.com to being self-hosted in January I had my first real experience of trying to design a blog, and in all honesty it was hard. Playing with code is rather difficult and very confusing when you’ve never done it before, and after a while I just gave up trying to make it look perfect and learned to live with what I’d created. It wasn’t all bad, but it was nowhere near the level where I wanted it to be. Now 11 months later I’m a little bit more comfortable with playing with css and php code so I decided to take the plunge (and by a little I mean a very little – at least I now know where to find it).

This time I was a little more prepared when it came to designing the look I wanted –  months ago I created a Pinterest board where I put pieces of blog design inspiration and tutorials to create some of the things I wanted on my blog, and I’ve been adding to it whenever I spotted something I liked, or wanted to remember. There are quite a number of great tutorials available for blog design and I used a few.

Another great resource is the forums on the WordPress.org site. A few of the coding issues I discovered while working on my new look were easily fixed with a quick search of the forums as chances were someone had already answered the question. In one instance an answer wasn’t already there so I posted the question detailing my problem, and within hours I had a coding fix that worked perfectly.

Anyways, shall we reminisce about my old look for a bit? This was the old landing page. It had a slider image at the top which featured some of my past projects. I didn’t really like it but couldn’t figure out how to turn it off (silly css and php), and I never remembered to update the slider images with more recent projects.

The main blog page looked like this. Nothing really exceptional about it, and the subscribe/follow section was a little amateur looking. I’ve updated the subscribe/follow section for my new look. Here’s the before and after – much better now isn’t it? Now you just need to click on the circles to see my Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest pages, send me an email or follow the blog through RSS.

The old and new subscribe/follow panels – the new one is much better isn’t it?

I also changed my header image. The old one was a bit busy. I like the new one quite a bit more as it’s simpler.

The old and new header images – the new one is simpler

Here’s my new main page – which is simply my blog. I’ve done away with a separate ‘landing page’ in the hopes that the new look is simpler to navigate. I have added one new thing which I’ve been meaning to do for months – I’ve created a project gallery page. Here I’ve posted images that link to some of my favourite past projects, crafts and recipes. Fingers crossed I’ll remember to keep adding to it! So there it is – my new look. There are still a few quirks I need to fix, but for the most part it’s done. I should thank D who put up with a number of panicky phone calls when things weren’t going well, and helped me get things moving in the right direction again. It’s rather handy to have a boyfriend who knows a little about coding and Photoshop.

What do you think of the new look? It’s a step up from the old one isn’t it? As a reader would you change anything?

Linked to: Creations by Kara, The Shabby Nest