Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stone in and out:

Spring is here even if we have much snow on the ground, and our patio had ALREADY a bit of a make over...new mud room doors (the Lux doors that were relatively new had to be changed to Pella doors, for better quality that is, I could not handle the rust on hinges, and water leaking, simply horrible quality, I would never buy LUX anything) and new STONE WALLS!! 


DOORS BEFORE:



DOORS OUT!


NEW LOOK:




COMPLETE PATIO LOOK:



And loving these stunning stone walls inside or outside the houses, the natural materials are the best: wood and stone is so beautiful together, and as I am inventing new possiblilites where to place more stone in our house, my husband is just suggesting to get a summer home in Tuscany instead ((: smart man he is! 















Gosh there are endless possibilities, but Tuscan villa with an ocean view is my preffered one...smiles.


Hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend!


HUGS, Z

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bring the Sunshine in the House:

Hello from a snowy but very sunny Calgary!


Let me introduce our second baby boy Evzen - our sunshine - born at the end of March! His big brother is terrific and very proud. 








We couldn't be happier!

Another (shorter than 9 months) idea how to bring the bright and happy inside your home is perhaps "with paint". 

Considering that half of our house is north facing, we chose warm yellow for some areas. Falling in love with "danse du solei" by Benjamine Moore was easy and when surrounded by a suitable colour scheme, it can be one of the most stylish French country colours. 

I meant to change our basement powder room from this yellow colour into soft powder pink, but I will keep the yellow scheme now(:

Liking these bathrooms:





Or these other spaces.... personaly, my advice is to use warm natural wood colours furniture (walnut) and soft whites and beiges as well as grays and adding a bit of blue, green, French pink . 

Lots of these additional colours in contrast with the yellow walls will create more casual feel or vibrant and just a hint of them, small amount will produce a sophisticated feel that is a bit less country.

In our home, I chose a hint of blue-greens, French pinks and blues, majority of grays and beiges and natural wood tones of course (cherry and walnut). It is a lovely yellow that is not too orange or pale in any light ...day or evening. 


Even just a table in soft yellow is great!


Or fun leather seating...



Even tiles are stunning.



Just love those walls..






Soft pallete and less additional colours...


More vibrant contrasts!







Yes we do have lots of gray walls in our home too and it is my personal favorite to combine yellow colour and grays!

Now I have the double sunshine ... my kids and the "danse du solei" walls. 

Hope you are having a bright and shiny week like we do and enjoyed the colour fun with me!
HUGS, Z

Monday, March 24, 2014

Home Cooking and Kids:

Hello Moms and Stylish readers:


First, I have to admit, I don't appreciate all those adds and recipes that are "kids friendly" and are apparently helping parents "camouglage the veggies for kids". 

Do you ever frown upon kids menus in restaurants? Those are most often not developing a proper culinary pallette for the little ones.

Perhaps we don't mind putting veggie puree in baking or cooking as Jessica Seinfeld does in her book "Deceptively Delicious" . Because I actualy bought her book a long time ago, tried some and can admit it tastes good (veggie puree is good for "you" in anything or as a dip). Yet I do have a problem with the purpose of the book (deceiving kids) and if that is the only way a parent serves vegetables to children, it should be named "despicably strange"...smiles. 

As busy as we get, it is sometimes hard to stay on top of our kids' nutrition requirements and one important part of their diet is IRON, so read here about all the Foods With Iron Rich Ingredients

Equally important for all of us and our children is wholesome foods and fiber rich foods

My son is 4 and he is to be consuming about 19g of fiber a day! That is a lot considering that white flour or rice has hardly any! As they grow older (1st grade to teenage), they need 26g per day! Yes we eat tons of veggies and fruits, but that in itself won't be enough ... Rye bread instead of white is my choice, I grew up on rye only. 

I have discovered that wholewheat pasta is nice but not as rich in fiber and protein as is "spelt" or "semolina" pasta! 

And my son's this week favorite, Semolina Elbow Macaroni with Beef (of course, we are proudly Albertan's with the best beef in the world LOL). 

YOU WILL NEED:

550g elbow spelt or semolina (containing higher amount of fibre) macaroni pasta, boiled al dente (rinse in cold water to stop it from continuing cooking after straining)  


2 large onions 

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or more as needed


1 medium large egg plant, diced

OR 3 cups mushrooms, cut up (3 portabellas)


2 medium peppers (red, yellow), cut up


2 lbs ground beef chuck 


Salt, pepper to taste

1 tbsp oregano

4 garlic cloves, minced


2 cans tomato paste

1 tsp sugar 


Some bread crumbs

250g grated cheese (mix of Romano, gruyere and mozzarella) or your choice for baking


100g finely grated German Edam Cheese for serving 

DIRECTONS: 

Preheat oven to 325 F when almost ready to put the dish in. 


1. Boil pasta in water and strain when al dente, rinse in cold water.


2. Use one smaller steel or copper pot to fry onions (I used a cast iron here but it takes longer to fry onions & veggies in it than it would in a steel pot) with olive oil on low until golden (about 10 minutes) and add eggplant with dome salt. Fry until soft and browned adding olive oil as needed and adding peppers and just before eggplant is done, frying peppers only couple minutes.


3. In another large but enamelled cast iron pot fry beef with some small amount of olive oil, stir often making sure you separate all the ground beef into smaller bits, add salt and black pepper, adding minced garlic in the end when meat looks lightly browned. Then add both tomato paste cans and mix well. Sprinkle with sugar. Fry only a minute or so to get the flavour out from the tomatoes. 


4. Add boiled macaroni and all the vegetables from the steel pot into the meet mixture and stir very well so it is completely blended together.



5. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and then with all the grated cheese mix.



6. Put in the oven at 325F for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.


7. When serving you may top the plate with a freshly grated German Edam cheese for extra cheesy taste.




VERY HAPPY SON, HE NEVER ASKS FOR CANDY! I AM NOT KIDDING. HE EATS EVERYTHING I GIVE HIM AND IF NOT RIGHT AWAY, HE WILL TRY AND TRY AND TRY TASTING NEW FOODS UNTIL HE LIKES THEM. EASY ...THERE ARE NO PICKY EATERS, JUST UNDEVELOPED TASTE BUDS THAT NEED TO BE DEVELOPED...LOL.






So regular pasta has only 3g of fibre per serving. This semolina style product is a way better option as not only it doesn't taste so grainy like a regular whole wheat pasta but also the fibre is 8g per serving in addition to the higher amount of protein. 

On another note and for us "mothers" and women who want to pamper themselves with good healty skin care and look beautiful, also adding volume to our hair when we have no time to wash it ... here are my fav products this week:

Naturopathica's antiaging mask, peel, vitamin c serum and plant serum: 


When my hair is flat in the morning and not so full as it is after a blow dry styling, the only thing that helps is this B&B thickening dry finish


Last but not least, interesting read about feeding kids healthy is at ORGALI.com!


HAVE a lovely week, getting facials perhaps (before the spring comes and hydrates our ever so dry skin with some more essential humidity), or if you choose using some natural products at home and of course eating healthy whole foods!


HUGs, Z