A Little Bit of Heaven in a Frigid World – Patmos Aktis

The Frigid temperatures of winter are upon us here in Princeton, NJ. As I look out my window at the snow covered landscape, I am reminiscent of the warm summer days at the exquisite Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa. It is a 5-star luxury hotel situated on Grikos Beach on the the island of Patmos … and my husband and I were lucky enough to go there.


The amenities include private townhouse pools, indoor and outdoor emerald-colored pools and a pristine outstretched beach along Grikos Bay.


The all-white exterior and interior exude a sleek, modern atmosphere while blending perfectly with the traditional architecture of Patmos.


Natural hues reflect the surrounding sandy landscape.beach1warm



Rustic touches combined with luxurious elements make for a relaxing atmosphere. cafetableswarm

Views of the outstretched beach and indigo bay are enjoyed from every angle.



The monochromatic colors and simple design elements exude luxury and comfort.



The breathtaking views of Grikos Bay penetrate the interior of the hotel through large paned glass windows and doors.


The minimalist interiors and rustic style of this Greek getaway have inspired me to recreate it in my own home. The white textured walls and Mediterranean blues of the ocean create a relaxing and down to earth atmosphere. I’m excited to embark on my own Greek inspired master bathroom makeover. Stay tuned! Opa!

Les Couleurs de L’Amour – Easy DIY Valentine Decor


I love making my home festive and fun for any holiday, including Valentine’s Day! But, simple and unique decorations are a must for me. I have three kids that keep me very busy, and I have enough toys and gadgets to clean up and put away as it is. I definitely don’t want to add to the clutter or create something tacky. I came across some beautiful, unique and simple “couleurs de l’ amour” for Valentine’s that will add a stylish and joyful touch without being gaudy .

From kavehome.fr

From kavehome.fr

From kave home (above), comes this very unique and colorful display of love (literally). It only involves cut-out letters (wooden, cardboard or paper mache) and graduated colors of pink yarn. This is a great idea for a kid’s room too! You can spell out your child’s name and use yarn colors that correspond with your child’s decor.

From styleroom.se

From styleroom.se

Want a twist on the traditional heart? I love this unique and creative door wreath that I spotted on styleroom.se (above). I’m going to try and make this myself! livingthefrugallife

Another simple diy that is also very inexpensive is to take a string of mini white lights and add white doilies (above). I found this on Living The Frugal Life. The white on white exudes simplicity and elegance. You could also use red doilies with red mini lights. J’adore! folksy.com If you have a particular rustic theme to your house or just want a bit of an organic natural look, this heart wreath is perfect! This Krans av nötter (peanut wreath in Swedish) made from wire, twine and unshelled peanuts from Folksy.com is definitely a unique way to say “I love you!” voxgirl.blogspot.com2

I love the simplicity of this berry heart decoration (above). From The Home of Voxgirl, this easy diy can be done with wire and berries. I’m going to try this with cranberries like Deco2Noel did (below). These would look adorable hanging from a tree in your yard. Coeur_saint-valentin-500x195[1]

From Paperblog.fr comes a simple diy (below) that will make any window pop. All you’ll need is pre-printed paper, a hole punch and string. She used thread and a sewing machine to connect them.


Using the same sewing machine approach, alittleMarket offers a red heart garland (above). Or use an unconventional color and a patterned hole punch like Flex Inredning did (below). So cute.


Speaking of unconventional! Check out this very unique multi-heart garland made from maps (below) instead of the expected and ordinary construction paper. From minbebis. hjartgirlang[1]

Using the same folding technique, Pysselbolaget creates a beautiful heart garland (below) using geometric patterned red paper.


Pysselbolaget also created this vibrant and fun pom pom heart-shaped wreath (below). A fun project to do with kids!


I love incorporating natural elements in interior décor like this heart shaped topiary (below) from Maliva’s Verden.


Or this very organic garden heart made from moss and wire (below). I love décor elements inspired by nature. From Under bjørka.


Hearts, hearts and more hearts! If you’re a seamstress, try incorporating elements you normally use into your Valentine hearts. I adore this simple pink button heart (below)from Sweet Meas on Etsy.com .


Delicate fabric hearts made from quilted material or linen, like the ones from Lindas anglar (below) can be hung by twine or made larger into a pillow. Craft & Creativity uses simple white felt and colorful red yarn to create simple stitched fabric hearts. All of these handmade hearts add a warm and vintage feel to your “Hem ljuva hem” (Home sweet home in swedish) .




Another simple diy Valentine’s decoration is to use something you may already have, white candles. I love t.he simple twine wrapped around the center and the monochromatic look of white hearts. You could fill the base they are sitting in with red berries. From styleroom.se.


 I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my favorite Couleurs de l’amour ideas. I hope it inspires you to decorate for Valentine’s Day or to just celebrate love. Happy Creating!


“Adoro il vino” Magneti ! – “I Adore Wine” Magnets

Adoro il vino! I adore wine! What better way to express my love of wine than upcycle the corks to magnets!


Because I always save my corks, I had a bowl of wine corks ready to use. But if you don’t have any on hand, crafts stores sell them in a bunch. All you need are the corks, magnets, glue (I use a hot glue gun) and an electric knife.


First, I cut each cork in half. Be careful not to cut yourself. The corks are small and the knife is big.


I used a magnet strip rather than individual circular magnets. I cut the magnet strip into approximately 1 inch pieces. Although the magnet strip had an adhesive backing on it, I still used hot glue when applying the magnet to the cork. After about 10 minutes the corks were ready to use.

IMG_2250I used my  new wine corks to display all of my hand-made greeting cards I’ve created over the years.


If you love wine like I do, I hope you try this easy diy. It’s a simple and unique way to express something you love. I love my “Adoro il vino” magnets!

Scandinavian Trophy Head Straight From Nature

I recently spotted a very unique and natural décor item at Deco Crush. It was featured in an article called Get The Look, 10 Decorating Ideas For A Beautiful Scandinavian Kitchen (10 Idées Déco Pour Une Jolie Cuisine Scandinave). Nature holds a prominent place in the hearts of Scandinavians, and it couldn’t be more obvious than in the magnificent trophy head made from branches of wood featured in the piece.



Because it captured my eye, I just had to knock it off! I first scanned the forest that surrounds our house and collected fallen branches.


Then using small hand clippers/shears, I cut pieces (that were similar in width) to the same length. I looked for two branches that looked like deer antlers and two that mimicked horns.


Branches that look like antlers and horns

I cut two branches to be placed horizontally (one for the forehead and one for the chin). Using hot glue, I glued the antlers and horns to both horizontal pieces.


Then I glued the pieces that were similar in length and width to make up the face. I used 12 pieces total gluing them to the front and back to emphasize the 3-dimensionality.

IMG_2241Once all  the pieces were glued and dried, I sprayed a light coating of white spray paint over the entire piece to make all the branches match in color and to cover any flaws.


Once the piece was dry, I hung it in my living room.


I love it! Now, I have a little touch of Scandinavia in my very own home.


It works well with our rustic stone fireplace and the forest outside.


I love my Scandinavian Trophy Head Straight From Nature. I hope this motivates you to make one!



Let It Snow! Une guirlande de flocons de neige

A Snowflake Garland! What better way to celebrate winter? I am always sad to put away the Christmas decorations. To keep my heart in a festive mood and to continue the holiday spirit, I often like to decorate for winter. Here in Princeton, New Jersey, we’ve had lots of snow recently. I love to bring the magical ambience of the glistening outdoors in! Here is an easy diy snowflake garland that does just that!


I recently came across this beautiful snowy window ( below) from the store Anthropologie.


What a marvelous way of capturing the magical spirit of winter.


I adore the snowflake windows at Le Puits Sainte Claire Bed & Breakfast at Courcon d’Aunis in France (below).

From Puits Sainte Claire

From Puits Sainte Claire

Jennifer Rizzo created a vintage snowflake banner (below) from doilies, twine and crystal glitter. I love her simple yet elegant, easy diy.

From Jennifer Rizzo

From Jennifer Rizzo

J’adore la guirlande de flocons de neige! From alittleMarket.com comes this delicate Snowflake Garland made with ceramic snowflakes and twine.


At Ambiente Vistoriado I found exquisite paper snowflakes (below) used for decorating walls and windows and creating mobiles and simple tablecloths.



This magnificent paper snowflake mobile (below) was featured on useful diy.com. It would be a wonderful addition to any room any time of the year.


Having been so inspired, I embarked on creating my own snowflake garland with a little help from my daughter Julia. First, I went to the website instructables.com to check out how to make paper snowflakes. It gives easy step by step instructions on how to make 6-point paper snowflakes. Using plain white copy paper, we made as many snowflakes as we could.


IMG_2196We thought it would be cute to apply spray snow to the snowflakes to make them a bit more realistic. We sprayed a light coating.

IMG_2204We sprinkled glitter while the spray snow was still wet. We did this on both sides.

IMG_2200We then sprayed the dry snowflakes with an acrylic sealer to make sure the glitter stayed on. We let the snowflakes dry overnight. Then using just white thread and a needle, we carefully pulled the thread through each snowflake (similar to sewing).

IMG_2212We lined up four or five snowflakes in a row and carefully pulled the thread through each one. I put a tiny clear bead between each snowflake to add a sparkle and again at the end of the entire row.

IMG_2213Be patient and careful with the thread. It tangles easily and can be a bit frustrating to work with.


Then I hung some thread horizontally across my windows and tied each strand of snowflakes to it.



I just love how our simple paper snowflakes hung with simple white thread brings the magical ambience of the glistening outdoors in! And I had fun discovering how easy it was to make paper snowflakes (which I had never done before).