December 31, 2013

In 2013

I have never been big on dates and anniversaries, New Year is pretty much like any other day...well, a nice day during which I eat out that is.
But this time I decided to quickly look back on what happened  this year.

The good.

Philibert the cat moving in.

Am I close enough?
Pepita being fabulous.

Getting a new camera at long my previous one was holding together with a rubber band and I had to remove the batteries with a knife.

Finally sewing again...

A day at the seaside and a giant fruit waffle...

My shops finally picking up (still a long way to make it my day job but getting there)

2 trips to my favorite pet rescue! 

Salade niçoise
Cauliflower gratin
Birthday cake for my little cousin
Huh, ok, I don't remember what that one is...probably spinach quiche
Cooking a lot more. With my autoimmune ear problem I got a lot pickier about what I eat. Add to that that most processed food companies have been increasing the amount of stuff I won't eat in their food...down to Canada Dry which sneakily decided to replace some of their sugar content with stevia (most soft drinks now contains various horrible and toxic fake sugars).

Making lots of new things for my shops.

I look pooped but that was a loooong day...
Attending my first prostest for animal rights  organized by the Sea Shepherds in Brussels.

My health not getting worse. No horrible vertigo attack, no day stuck in bed... probably due to the change of diet too. Though I tried various things in the past, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free...nothing made any differences. Since I cut down on meat, I have noticed I am less dizzy, my hearing is getting a lot more stable, even hyperacusis is a lot more tolerable. My goal is to stop all meat in the new year...not just for health reasons though.

Finally finishing the workroom (well, still no heating but that is beyong my control...damn you crook plumber).

And finally I started enjoying blogging again!

The less good and the bad. 

Losing all hopes of getting my money back from the crook plumber and tiler and thus still having no bathroom after more than 4 years now. ( if you've never had house issues you have no idea how draining that can be).

Having  been bad at keeping in touch with my friends yet again. Sorry :( I always blame the ear issue for making me terribly unsociable...and really not much fun being around (forget the old  quiet even tempered me, I snap ALL THE TIME NOW).

Sorry if I have been telling you what to eat or not eat, or to stop smoking. But it only means one thing, I care about you!

Losing Doudou. Poor doudou had been sick for a long time and he went OTRB on December 23. But he had  a long happy life :)

My new year resolutions. 
Oh, wait I never have any. I am just planning on getting underwears that actually fit this year ;)

December 25, 2013

Wednesday favorites: one of my favorite places, a Pet Rescue

A different pick today. A pet rescue I visit twice a year. It is called Les Petits Vieux (The little old guys). The people there rescue mostly old cats and dogs (and other animals) that people abandon or  leave behind when they go to retirement homes or die. Once there the animals stay there until their natural death.

This is the cats area, a large enclosed field with wooden shelters...insulated, heated shelters. There are about 100 cats there. Most of them are cuddly so it is fun to sit on a chair and cuddle them...endlessly...

Yes, I am cat too, why do you ask?

Yes, we are cats too.

The dogs are in another area. The "house" part. There are many galgos rescued from the Spanish death tracks, some dogs were rescued from puppy mills. They are all rather chubby now ;) 

It is extremely fun to sit there and cuddle some dogs for a change!

My, my, this is a nice smelling knee...

December 19, 2013

I hate Paris!

I hate Paris. Well, not really but I thought it'd make a catchy title.
I have always had a love-hate relationship with that city. I live about 2.30 away by car and about 1 hour away by train (TGV) so,  it is not exactly the most exotic place to me.
When I was little my idea of Paris was kind of...well, it'd be that place you see in American movies from the 60's. And then I was confronted with the harsh reality. It left me a bit traumatized. We were dropped in front of the Moulin Rouge (tacky ugly to a little girl), ate in a bland looking room and the toilets were what the French call "Turkish toilets"...a hole in the floor.
Yeah, because like many people my first trip to Paris was a one day organized coach  trip. For some reason all of those trips begin in the Montmartre area. I guess most people think it is "picturesque". I don't. First it is not, in any way, in a nice area. Think L.A. South Central , with maybe less street shootings. It is dirty, full of weird people selling weird stuff on the sidewalk, cheap shops...well, it is poor. Then there is Montmartre itself...which is a hill, a steep hill. About 300 steps to get to the top and the Sacré-Coeur. I am never very inclined to climb 300 steps, wherever those steps may be. So now I take the "funiculaire". Yeah, lazy. But at least I am not sweaty and grumpy when I get to the top.
On top
So you up do what? Let's visit the Sacré Coeur. A slightly kitschy not very old church. OK. Done. Then what. Oh, Place du Tertre. Tourist shops after tourist shops, tacky and  bad  restaurants, fake painters selling oil canvas painted by Chinese "artists" who'll never be able to afford a ticket to see the real thing. Don't eat there. Ever. Unless it is just a sandwich from a bakery or something you get at... Starbuck *insert cringing here*.  If you're silly enough to go in a restaurant there, it's going to be expensive and not terribly good...and not necessarily edible either. Most of those places serve industrial frozen food. A coke costs 4.50 euro (like everywhere else in Paris except Mc Donald that is) and your red wine will be served chilled (because that's the way Americans drink it, they say...I am not even kidding).
Yeah, we ate there during my last trip. I was "tagging" along so I didn't dare to say no...especially after my earlier whining at the bottom of the 300 stairs. The food was disgusting. Salad entrée with no dressing. Half unfrozen pasta with cold tasteless sauce. And out-of-date dessert ( it was really no longer edible, the cream had turned sour, the fruits were dry). They don't care. They know you'll only come once anyway. And the toilets were just as gross (recurring problem in Paris it seems).

Shiny thing in the middle is the Eiffel Tower

As it was not to be a fun day, we then headed to the Champs Elysées. Well, at least it is in a better area. But still no fun. We had to go through the Christmas market, I really needed to see more Alibaba stuff (not)... just to end up in a bunch of chain shops you get everywhere. Contrary to what most people think, the nice shops are not located there, not that I wanted to go to any nice shops, not sure I'd have been welcome there in my Primark duffle-coat. There's a tiny Mark&Spencer which was the highlight of my day (scones, bagels,shortbreads,tea...). There is also a gorgeous Haagen Dazs but we didn't go because "it is too expensive" >< Instead we ended up in one of those ugly-smelly "bar-tabacs" where I had another of those 4,5 euro Cokes and didn't even use the toilets because I couldn't bring myself to walk in the pee puddle. 
A game of "let's find the coach we came in with..."

I was really glad when we headed back to the coach. It only took us 35 minutes to find it in the hundreds and hundreds parked there. We didn't even get the usual city tour because traffic was worse than usual (said the driver...). 
Finally going home...

Don't get me wrong , there's plenty of fun things to do and good things to eat in Paris. None of those happened that day ;)
I love going to the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsey. I love to eat at the Louvre restaurant...a fun place with (good) food from around the world, or at Noura ( a chain of Lebanese restaurants) or at some cute little place in the Marais. I love window shopping at the Printemps or Galerie Lafayette, have a nice patisserie in some neat  tea room...

I selfishly ate my scones alone on the way back...

December 18, 2013

Wednesday favorites

Those bags...those bags... I'll never be able to choose which one I like best. They are by Pipstudio, my favorite brand for bags and  all things for the house. Planning to get their peacock wallpaper to redecorate the living room soon...
I suppose the blue bag would work better with this dress ;) I simply adore this simple retro style. It is made by Mrs.Pomeranz and you can find it in her Dawanda shop .

I'd probably end up wearing the dress with those Crocs, the Women's A-Leigh  booties. They're still not available n the European Crocs online store but they are on the US site. You can also find them in their brick-and-mortar shops if you're in Europe.
Sooner or later I'll have a few of those handmade custom pet portait necklaces! How cute and perfect they are. You can tell that Sara, the owner of the Flowerlandshop on Etsy, loves cats. See how she beautifully captures the cats' expressions!

Cat leggings alert! Cat leggings alert! I'll need those too for summer! They're made by Prettysnake, also on Etsy. They also have cool sweaters and shirts!
A cutey cute polka dot felted bear made by Gabriele from Unpetitours , on Etsy again.

December 12, 2013

Wednesday favorites : bug edition

Tights with cool bugs. They are screen-printed and then embellished by hand. Made my emteesee

Real bug in resin ring. No bug was killed for this ring, Renathe collects dead bugs from her windowsills and make them beautiful forever! Resing jewelry by RenatheSchneider on Etsy. 

Gorgeous mini teapot with dragonfly by Winchesterpottery. I wouldn't mind having a whole set...

A cute temporary tattoo by Pepperink. As much as I hated tattoos or even the idea of tattoos when I was a teenager, I would now love to get some...but well, with my stupid autoimmune disease it is not recommanded. So temp tats will have to do...and no problem when they are as cute as these :)

A fridge magnet...a firebug in French they are often called "gendarmes" (policemen, no idea why) which I always found amusing ...They have lots of other names too in French, "swiss", "african mask","cobbler", "noon searching devil"... The only one which makes sense to me is "african mask" as it does look like one indeed...
A bee necklace. This is so is made from a recycled birch tree branch and features an original illustration by Iamabird. Her whole shop is absolutely delightful!

December 04, 2013

Wednesday favorites

Wednesday favorites, cat edition =^..^=

A gorgeous cat sweater by Xenotees . She has a whole cat section there too, including cool pillow cases...There are also other neat, non-cat, things.

A felted cat cave by Gabbybykitty on Dawanda. I am not showing this to my cats or they'll all want one and my house would end up looking like the alien planet in the first Alien movie.

Those 2 handsome gents are the official models of Catinberlin where you can find stylishs and elegant acessories for the modern kittehs.

The tiniest of them all. A mini amigurumi kitten crocheted by Suami, available on Etsy. I can't even try to imagine how one can make such a tiny thing....

This gorgeous scratchpost is from Hepper, provider of modern pet furniture. What is really nice is that you can get refills when your cats have scratched the cardboard into oblivion.
A cat carrier...and cave at the same time... I can SO picture myself carrying Pepita in there. I am not entirely sure Pepita would share my enthusiasm... This cute bag/carrier is made by Lolaelella .