With summer vacation in full swing for all the little kiddies, we start the season of sleepovers. A week at Grandma's, a couple of days at Aunt Becky's or an overnight stay at a friends house, we should always make sure that we send off our little ones prepared not only with pyjamas and their favourite stuffed animal for a good nights sleep but with the essentials they will need to start off their morning right and have a great day. A guest in someones home should always be as self-sufficient as possible, regardless of how old they are.

Toothpaste, their toothbrush, shampoo, and any specific items that are a part of their usual daily routine like allergy medicine, sunscreen or asthma medication. Don't leave your children in a position to have to borrow these items from their hosts, as that only sets an wrong example for them as to what is expected from a host and guest. These are the unspoken ways we teach our children good manners and proper social skills.

Keep a handy checklist of your family's travel essentials in your home journal or on your computer, ready to be printed off at any time the occasion arises and you will always be prepared to properly pack for each family member.

Sing It Loud, Alice!!

"School's out forever
School's out for summer
School's out with fever
School's out completely"
Alice Cooper

Yes, today is the last day of school in our house. Last day of 'end of school' barbeques, 'end of school' field trips, 'end of school' play dates and the 'end of school' rigmarole that has been taking up every waking minute of my days for the last 3 weeks! (Hence my minimal and erratic posts lately)
I promise to be back tomorrow with regular posts from now on till that old school bell rings again in September!


ON THE SHELF :: Furious Love

My anniversary was a couple of weeks ago and that wonderful guy I married so many moons ago gifted me with an e-reader.
(I have wanted one for awhile but was hesistant. My love of books, real books made of pulp and paper, has kept me from joining the rest of the world in the 21st century!)

As I was pondering what would be my first digital read (I never knew how many books were available in a digital format), I happened upon the Vanity Fair issue with Elizabeth Taylor gracing the cover. This issue featured a write-up of the new book,
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century, an account of the tumultuous and passionate love affair between the two Hollywood stars.

The fabulous images used for the article are what initially caught my attention since this isn't the type of book I usually go for but I have not been able to put this (virtual) book down since I started it.

Definitely a love full of passion, (amongst other things), it's the letters Mr. Burton wrote to the woman he loved that I find enthralling! A perfect steamy summer read!

What is on your summer reading list??

All images Vanity Fair (July 2010)

WORTH A PEEK...Waxing Poetic

When I was young, I was obsessed with family rings. You know the kind I'm talking about, the rings worn by mothers sharing the story of their families with the world, using brightly coloured birthstones instead of words. I was positive that when I grew up and had children, I would be the proud owner of one of these rings.
Many years later, I realized that many of the rings I admired as a young girl were usually quite unappealing, not the sort of item I coveted as an adult.
Also, I came to the conclusion that although I had acquired many beautiful rings, I rarely wear more than my wedding band and engagement ring, a ring that my husband gave me as a gift for our first anniversary and of course, my prized cocktail rings that I slip on my fingers when the occasion calls for something grand and dramatic.
I resigned myself to searching out another way to display my familial pride and I think I have found it with a little help from InStyle magazine and a retailer they featured, Waxing Poetic!
Right there in the pages of one of my regular reads, I came across this write-up.

courtesy of InStyle June 2010

Initially intrigued (no pun intended!) due to my love of insignia rings and anything monogrammed, I quickly checked out the site Waxing Poetic and was delighted with what I saw.

And what did you see dear Lily, you might ask. I saw the perfect solution for someone like me wanting to share a little bit of my family and still have something that reflected my taste.

Adorably dainty charms, displaying an initial or birthstone that can be worn in clusters on a chain or bracelet. I am in love!

How beautiful would it be to string together your family's initials from a chain around your neck or choose the birthstone route, like yours truly, and bunch together your family's dazzling birthstones to create a one of a kind piece.

Gemstones for July (my son) and April (my daughter).

I am even thinking about one of these Greek Society Sorority charms to hang on my charm bracelet. A perfect graduation gift for the college girl in your life!

Since I know you won't be able to resist these little lovelies (a small slice of their selection), click on any of the links to be taken directly to the Waxing Poetic site.

On the Cover: Victoria Beckham at Elle

Victoria Beckham doing what she does best in this glamourous shoot for Elle in October 2009.

All images courtesy of Elle (October 2009)

Easy on a Sunday Morning: Invitations, Totes and...Tape!

I usually don't post much on Sundays, even the good Lord above says we should have one day of rest. But I come across so many images and posts throughout the week that I fall in love with,  I thought I would choose Sundays as the day to share them with you. I promise not to bombard you with too many things.
We will start with a place to linger awhile with our morning coffee, a favourite image or two and a few links. I find when too many links are listed I never get to any, so we will keep it short and sweet.
So grab a cup of whatever tickles your fancy and enjoy!

While I have been having a very grey and rainy weekend in the 'real' world, out here in bloggerland, we can all pull up a chair near this sunny window and smell the sweet roses. Who ever set this table must have been reading my mind! Nothing more inviting than gorgeous flowers everywhere you turn. 

I just love these totes from J. Crew, let's go green in style!

Brunch at Saks is hosting a "Very Happy Birthday Giveaway"

Holly Go Lightly is taking a tour of Christie Brinkley's house and she has invited us to come along.

With the fourth of July around the corner, how cute would your table be with these set out for your guests! Both items available at Hostess Jo.

And since we are on the topic of the fourth of July, a couple of sweet invitations for the patriotic hostess from Tiny Prints

And for the gift wrapping perfectionist, how can you resist this colourful assortment of tape from, who else... Happy Tape

I love this Marina multi-pak!

THE CHARMING HOME: Outdoor Entertaining

I am always complaining about my lack of outdoor entertaining space. A spacious backyard and a large wraparound porch or an unbelievable poolside view is what I am pining for and definitely a selling point for the next Lemontree home.
But after looking at these images of outdoor entertaining done on a smaller but just as chic scale, a complaint you will hear from me no more! What they lack in square footage and grandeur, these spaces make up for with their quaint allure and delightful, inviting feeling.

As always in the charming home, whether simply set or fully adorned, the table everyone is always clamoring to get a seat at is the one with delicious edibles waiting to be savoured, a vessel filled with sweet smelling flowers and cheerful smiles looking across at you. If you keep that in mind, you can entertain anywhere!
When you are done scrolling through these images, come visit me at Housewife Bliss! The darling Mrs. Bliss has graciously allowed me to guest post at her fabulous new blog while she is moving house and home across the big pond and back to the good ole U.S.A!

This table is not set formally for a meal but how lovely would it be to have a guest bring a refreshing drink or their after dinner coffee out to enjoy the ambiance together.

Am I alone in my new-found appreciation for these smaller spaces?

Look of the Day: Sandra Bullock

We don't know who made this dress, where the shoes come from or any extra information about her choice of accessories but that is all irrelevant, if only for this week! (Note: Information on the dress was sent after post was up, see the first comment below. A very gracious thank you to Paris Pastry-French Mademoiselle!)
How fabulous does she look??!!??