Thursday, October 27, 2011

travelogue: bilbao.spain

the guggenheim museum was unlike any building i have ever seen. magnificent and extraordinary! and i don't use words like that all the time. frank gehry's architecture has transformed the city of bilbao with it's presence over the last 14 years.  and i really enjoyed the richard serra exhibit. i loved walking through and experiencing his torqued ellipses and snake exhibits. 

as a side note, my husband, josh tompkins has taken most of the pictures from our spain and france trip. as an architect, he really has an eye for photography.and i think he is really neat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a house filled with inspiration

i spotted this house on automatism earlier this week and i had to wipe the drool from my chin after taking in all of it's design glory. designer marie olsson nylander, her husband william and their three children; vidar, ingrid and otto are the lucky family that live in this seaside home in southern sweden. it's difficult to have white painted floors and still maintain a warm and inviting house, yet they do just that.  their streamlined placement of furniture with the white floors strikes a careful balance with the warmness created from the eclectic and unique decor pieces from travels, black and white artwork, antique wood furniture and rich luxurious velvet couches and chairs. and that work space is seriously the best i have ever seen! talk about getting inspiration from your surroundings. 

photos from marie claire maison via automatism.

Monday, October 24, 2011

travelogue: segovia.spain

we were only in segovia for a couple of hours early on a saturday morning. but, it was our first dose of spain and we loved every inch of it. the historic cathedrals and plazas teaming with people drinking their cappuccinos. and the fact that you could walk in the historic heart of the town and never have to cross a street with cars is awesome. the town revolves around the pedestrian instead of revolving around cars getting to and fro. i love it!

magical menagerie: great gift idea!

we picked up this magical menagerie by chronicle books at an art gallery in barcelona for my three-year old twin girls. we wanted to bring home something that we could play with together as a family and this sure did the trick. there are 20 beautifully illustrated punch-out animals by junzo terada. you simply punch out the pieces and fit them into the matching slots and create a three-dimensional animal. or i see it as a colorful and whimsical piece of sculpture for a child's room. this is great for all ages. i just ordered another set as a birthday gift for a friend's child because i liked it so much. order at chronicle books right here.

travelogue : segovia. spain aqueducts

the first stop on our trip to spain and france was segovia, spain. we wanted to see the roman aqueducts that were built at the end of the 1st century or early 2nd century. there is no mortar used!! can you believe that? just 25,000 granite blocks. those romans really know their stuff. engineering and architecture that is.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

blogger's favorites on simple lovely

i am really touched by what joslyn had to say on her inspiring blog, simple lovely. i would love it if you made a little trip over to her blog to check out what i chose as my favorite things. did i pick any that you like too? if so, i would love to hear about it...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

halloween cards from modern printed matter

i received an email from anna cote from modern printed matter before i left on my trip and wanted to show you these graphic and colorful halloween cards she makes. you can buy them at her etsy shop right here. i love how she incorporates nature in all of her cards and the contrast of bright colors with black really rocks my world.

modern printed matter's website is right here.

trip to spain and france

so josh and i took a little 10-year anniversary trip to spain and france for ten days starting september 30th. we planned it over columbus day weekend so josh just had to miss 5 days of work( most of new england has off on columbus day- a bonus moving from ohio to mass. + rhode island). we have been planning this trip for awhile and researching out the yazoo. and i have to say that rick steves should get a hold of our itinerary because it was pretty awesome. the last time i had been to europe was more than ten years ago. and life with twins is a whirly twirly mess some days, so we thought we would treat ourselves to a little hand holding, picture taking, art seeing, wine drinking and tapa eating in an area that is filled with history (in some cities back to the romans), art, and architecture. our  very, very kind parents took turns taking care of the girls. all of their needs were met and then some so they barely thought about us. which makes me think, why don't we do this more often?  it was a win, win for all parties involved.

we took over 2,000 pictures because we were blown away by the beauty, so i thought that i would break the pictures up (not all of them of course-just the very best ones) in different posts. so more to come. anyway, here's where we went and i'll talk more about the details in later posts, but just wanted to give you a general idea today:

day 1:
7 pm direct flight from boston to madrid.

day 2:
landed in madrid. picked up rental car and stopped in segovia.
traveled on to bilbao where we stayed overnight.

day 3:
guggenheim museum in bilbao.
scenic drive to san sebastian where we stayed for 2 nights.

day 4:
san sebastian

day 5:
drive to provence, france and stay for 2 nights in arles.

day 6:
arles, france.

day 7:
drive through provence. towns including les baux, saint remy, gordes, roussillon, and aix-en- provence. spent night in cassis, france.

day 8:
drive to barcelona, spain where we dropped off our rental car and stayed for 3 nights.

day 9:

day 10:

day 11:
train from barcelona to madrid.
direct flight from madrid to boston.

seeing that i am a total romantic and visually oriented person, i totally fell in love with europe and have been dreaming about it all week! the outdoor cafes, local markets in every town, pedestrian friendly cities. bike paths galore, a mix of modern and old architecture, fabulous graphically designed signs, crowded playgrounds where parents and kids meet and socialize, not needing an excuse to sit down and relax with a coffee or wine, and pintxos. what is your favorite thing about the european way of life?