Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Word to Travel By

This week, as Olive sails the seven seas, we focus on words to do with travel. Don't just holiday in Brighton or vacation in Italy, run away with these noteworthy words.

*Sojourn: a temporary stay.. as in:
After a quick crossing, we sojourned in Capri for a few blissful days.

*Peregrinate (verb): to travel or journey, esp. to walk on foot...as in:
We peregrinated along the dusty path, hoping for a mule to come our way.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Come Away...

Happy Monday Morning!

What, you are still in a post-weekend fog? Don't feel like facing real life yet? Well then, come along with Olive on a little morning jaunt...

The Mediterranean... About 9am. Awoken by the lapping of fishing boats outside your window, you decide to throw off the muddled sheets of the night and go for a swim. Breakfast won't be served for forty-five anyway.

A quick change, a big towel. And don't forget the swimming cap. Sleeping on all those sponge rollers last night will be for naught if they're soaked with sea water.

Oh that was lovely! Warm, but refreshing enough to brighten up for the day. It's time for a quick scrub up. The sand slides from your toes as you hungrily imagine your meal ahead. Toast with honey and feta and then your favorite: plump figs. Coffee to finish.

Hurry and dry off! That all sounds too delicious to wait any longer.
Best to wear that little sundress with the yellow flowers; it feels hot already.

Yikes! Where is the aforementioned frock? It's that silly son of Alexander, one of the fishermen. That's three mornings in a row he's run off with your outfit. At least he always returns it after lunch. Oh well, just wrap that large bath sheet around you and hope that gentleman who arrived last night isn't up yet...

Images from Toast

Monday, March 23, 2009

That is just so...

Situation: you're out doing a bit of shopping with some friends when one of them picks up a bright pink polyester blouse, thrusts it under your chin and exclaims that the colour brings out your eyes.
Yikes. How to explain you might consider it if it only wasn't so... tawdry. Yes! That's the word.

Tawdry (taw-dree):

1. (of finery, trappings, etc.) gaudy; showy and cheap.
2. low or mean; base: tawdry motives.


3. cheap, gaudy apparel.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"In the cherry blossom's shade there's no such thing as a stranger" - Issa

When Olive was but a wee thing, her mom took a moment from anxiously looking down at her new baby and gazed out her maternity room window at a huge flowering cherry tree in full bloom.

Maybe it's this sweet memory, but Olive adores cherry blossoms! So transient and delicate, they soften the landscape and blanket the ground in a puffy spray of blooms. And so, the minute you see a peep of colour, Olive suggests the following:

Trim some smaller branches and pop them in a vase. Choose ones that aren't perfect; crooks and bends create graphic charm. For the vase, something ceramic and hefty but plainly decorated nicely compliments the delicacy of the blooms.

Ah, so the only blossoms available in your neighbourhood are in the public park. Barring a late night run with some shears (Olive does not recommend), we suggest your camera instead. Snap close up bunches of blooms and enjoy them as a desktop background or blow them up for a thoroughly unique bit of art. Few flowers are as pretty and modern.

Be thoroughly romantic and drag someone kissable off for a picnic under the blushing canopy and onto the prettiest bed imaginable. Spread good thick blankets and drink warm lavender infused milk. It's still early spring, but revel in the life the blossoms promise.

Check back during the height of cherry blossoms season (beginning around the end of March) to how Olive celebrates their arrival!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Easter Excitement

Olive is particularly fond of Easter. Not only does it (usually) fall close to her birthday, but it's such a pretty holiday in its modern pastel bunny-ish form. Finally there is a break from the heaviness of winter; light and sweet colour have returned! And so, to gear things up towards April 12, we offer three Easter themed bits of loveliness.

First, why not...

Send out these cards from Etsy's DandyLionPress, inviting your very best friends to enjoy a party of carrot cake, chocolate, and hot cross buns.


Create one of Martha Stewart's more doable crafts, eggshell votives. Make yourself a nice cheesy omelet for breakfast, but make sure to crack gently! Fill up the clean shells with your own wax and wicks (as Martha advises) or poke in little tea lights.

And finally...

Send your guests off with the gift of a dozen fuzzy chicks! Not to worry, though; no coop is required. Instead, your donation to Oxfam will provide HIV/Aids affected families with real renewal in the form of income and nutrition.

Bake for St. Patrick

Olive celebrated her Irish heritage (did you know she's a natural red head?) early last week, baking a loaf of Irish soda bread, slathering it in butter and jam and downing all with the largest and hottest cup of tea she could make. She encourages you to revel in a little mid-week fun by celebrating St. Patrick's day by doing the same.

The American version is rather far from the original, being more scone like than the original hearty bread version. If you need something to go with a bowl of warm soup, go with the classic, but if you want a little more sweetness try the updated one.

Irish: for when you need a bit of peasant squareness.

American- Irish: sweeter and scone-like with the delicious addition of raisins.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't think you can inveigle me into that, Mister!

You have been inveigled. You have probably inveigled someone into something.

Don't protest. Rather, read on:

–verb (in-vey-guhl, -vee-)

1. to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements (usually fol. by into): to inveigle a person into playing bridge.
2. to acquire, win, or obtain by beguiling talk or methods (usually fol. by from or away): to inveigle a theater pass from a person.

Ah, all is quiet now. The mind reels at the thought of all that inveigling...

Definition from dictionary.com.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Shopping: Seeds

What to do when you find that darling pair of new spring shoes, only to turn them over and quake at the price staring back at you? Can you break your carefully planned budget in the interests of beautifully shod feet? Don't. Put them back. Then walk out the door towards a far less expensive, but just as invigorating spring ritual: seed shopping.

If you're in need of something to perk you up from the gloom and mess of winter, seeds are Olive's suggestion. First of all, the colours of those little paper packets! A little puff of pink here, a breathe of blue there. And they are deceptively easy to tend. A pot, some soil, a bit of water, all aided by the long-hoped for sun and soon you'll have a garden no matter how small your plot.

Yet, the best part comes later. By the time those shoes would have been scuffed and hated for the way they pinch your third toe, little babies of green will be bursting forth from the soil. Leave them where they are, or give them a quick snip and freshen up the house with cut flowers (think of the savings!). Either way they are a guaranteed long term investment.


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