Archive | October, 2010

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Hi Everyone

Yes – we all know what day it is today !!

The kids are out trick-or-treating….

Everyone gets very creative this time of the year in putting together costumes and throwing parties and I just wanted to show you the brilliant creation of MaryK Carlson who lives in Beijing.

A friend of mine went to her Halloween party and I share it with you to admire the detail that she has put into this Haunted House she made out of gingerbread, cereal and more.

How wonderful to go to a party where someone has taken the time and effort to create a special treat for their guests !

That still goes a long way to impress your guests at the party and ensure a memorable event long after the guests have left…

I am sure you will all agree – brilliant job MaryK !

But why don’t you tell her yourself if you too think it is a  job well done by leaving a comment down below this post…..?

It will be fun for her to get some accolades on her hard work she had put in for her party……

and since  I am sure it is all gobbled up by now….all remaining as a reminder of the effort and great detail that went into this would be this picture  !

Hope you all had a good Halloween.


Off to Hong Kong

28 Oct

This weekend I will be off to Hong Kong with my husband and some fabulous friends to have a fun time…

So, to get myself geared up I started browsing around for things I am currently in the mood for …. just looking……

But’s luring me in !!!

To give you a peep into what caught my eye… I have included one of my sets down below…

It’s fun to build your own little collection and here is the site I used to put together my ensemble… go try it at Polyvore … will have fun too playing around with all those items that usually stare at us from the windows or inside the beautiful stores. Now you can get your whole wishlist together without leaving home. Who needs Hong Kong to go shopping?

I’m still going though…. because some things the internet simply can’t replace – like the good company of the friends who will join us there !

Have yourselves a happy weekend – be it in HONG KONG or at HOME !!!!

Back soon,

Ilze xo

Hong Kong

Hong Kong by idodetail featuring a sleeveless blouse


Countertop solutions – clutter them

26 Oct

Yes – you read correctly. I said CLUTTER THEM !

Read on and you will see why…..

Today I want to kick off with a series of posts I will do on a same subject – not in sequence, but just randomly posted as and when another idea  pops up in my head about the same subject – so keep following if  it is up your alley…

I will cover various subject matters, but I will  post them in little digestible posts so that you can keep up with the thoughts I have on these.

The first category is COUNTERTOPS.

When de-cluttering your home, people immediately think there must be NOTHING on a certain countertop to ensure that it remains clutter-free, neat and tidy!

That might be true for certain countertops, and I will post about that another day.

But sometimes the best thing you can do to keep an area from becoming a space where everyone puts down all their belongings as they enter the house and before you know it, it has become the permanent habitat for items who just DON’T have its’ own space, or people become just too lazy to move it to its’ designated spot in the house , is to CLUTTER it yourself with beautiful or interesting things!

What do I mean by this?

I have this beautiful altar table. It is situated at the top of one staircase and the bottom of another…. and it is standing right where you enter into the kitchen.

An ideal place for those who just came up from the front door, to put down whatever they had in their hands.

An ideal place to put things for those who are too lazy to go upstairs and put it in their rooms immediately.

An ideal place  to put down an empty cup or a magazine someone was busy reading and want to “park” it there while going into the kitchen. Just to forget about it and never returning to it..meaning it became “part of the furniture !”.

The scenarios are endless. The reality is, it can easily become a sore eye – right in everyone’s view that enters the house, whilst I want it to remain a beautiful piece of furniture that attracts the eye and attention of people to enjoy it as much as I do.

The solution- I have put so many items on there myself, that in 99% of the cases, nobody ever takes the time or effort to move an object from its permanent place, to make space to put down an item of temporary stay. Occasionally my husband’s blackberry find its’ way on there, but it is hardly noticeable between the lovely collection of hats and brushes that I have decided to display on there.

This works wonders !!!!

When at first, it was only the black vase on there, it was a constant “clean-me-up” space crying to be rescued from all the unsightly items on there.

Now – it stays this way – ALL THE TIME !

People walk in and ask me – how does everything stay so cleaned up in the house?

The difference is not in having a clean countertop or surface or table top all the time…but in the detail of what it is that is occupying that space making all the difference of it looking like a delightful display of things you collect or love or wish to share with others….versus the pitiful pile that sneaked in on there when you were not looking !

Let me know your thoughts on this..have you had this happening in your house? I would love to hear about your countertop dilemmas and how, or if, you have found solutions for them !

What things in your house can you get out of the cupboards and put on top of an open space to stop attracting items unworthy of being on display?

Would love to hear from you.

Look out for some more posts on countertops to come…. since you do need those that needs to stay clean !!!!

Take care


Why do we blog?

20 Oct

I listened to a podcast today about CONTENT and CREATIVITY on blogs.

And it led to the reasons why we blog.

There are grand ideas and big aspirations every blogger has…but that often leads to disappointment when you don’t go from zero to hero overnight.

Big revenue is not my goal since I am not even with a blog-host where I am allowed to earn income from it right now.

So, I am just writing from the heart as a creative outlet for myself.

I love sharing while I am doing things and therefore my content is my passion.

I hope that my blog will evolve organically and make connections with people out there who has the same interests as me or who simply enjoys hearing from me. The challenge right now is to get the blog out there to those people who would enjoy it …as it is difficult to get the word out to those who might find meaning in it when the search engines don’t pick up your blog yet. It is just living out there somewhere in the blogosphere. And I hope the word spreads via my readers.

Not everybody will like everything. But hopefully it will give a few people out there the opportunity to connect with me and stay in touch with me and my soul and that is what makes blogging an attractive option for me right now.

Thank you to all of you dear readers who have already come back to stay updated. It truly inspires me to hear from you and even if there is in the end just 10 people in this world that gets some meaning from it then it still matters to me and those 10 people.

In the first year of blogging everybody tries to find their voice and hopefully it will get all the more interesting as I find my own voice and I figure out how to do more things technically speaking !

My big dream would be to get to a place where I can have the web-design that depicts me more specifically.  And to post regularly  and keep them short and sweet so you can really keep up with it.But those are things I am working on……

For now I am just happy to go wherever the blog and my readers lead me!

Thanks everyone who is reading my blog!

Organizing your business cards

17 Oct

After the busy-ness from the birthday, the neighborhood luncheon and the farewell I hosted for my friend, I got round to some admin while I still have an empty diary for the coming week! This has not happened in a long while..?!

So I got round to the business of business cards! And in putting away some of the ones I recently collected, I decided to share with you how I store mine.

It can get a little crazy and overwhelming, right?

If you live in the country I do, every single person has a business card and hands you one…even stay-home moms !!

Yes – that’s how we meet and greet – because the names and spellings of the areas and streets we live on are simply not something that comes back easily to memory unless in writing !

I have tried the traditional method of painstakingly filing away my cards, but then when I take them out to take with me somewhere or simply to go make a call  ..I have to go “re-do” the filing which I never do, so they start lying around everywhere again. The other problem is that I run out of space and then the next category starts already and I have to RE-DO the filing all over. So, for me this method was simply…

I came up with a TWO-FOLD method that does actually work for me !

First of all  I take TWO of each card that I collect – yes, generally people don’t mind handing out two – they always think you are going to give it to a friend..which gives them double exposure and double pleasure handing them out !!

Card number 1 goes into a very “easy-going” box. I have some categories –  by colour for example to know where to start flipping through when I am in a hurry and need to grab the card to make a call or go look on the internet from there. When done – I just throw it back in. No big hassle, just anywhere in that little “folder” inside the box. No – I don’t file them alphabetically or anything, but you can if that makes you happy. In a foreign country, I can’t always re-call the names, so alphabetically gets pretty challenging but I just throw it in “restaurants” or “markets”. The little box takes tons of cards – way more than any plastic folder.

Card nr 2 goes into a book that I specially bought for this purpose.

Why have 2 systems? Well – this part of the system stays “off-site” …meaning IN THE CAR.

So often I found that I am in the middle of a day out and suddenly decide to go to “that great place for lunch”….or that place where you can find the “special fabric”….and then…bang…the card is at home in the “box” and I don’t know how to get there, call for a reservation and yes…having that card – suddenly lost all its value !

This part of the system was actually inspired by a good friend of mine. She had a book and had stuck the cards in with some cellotape as soon as she collected them.

I love doing it with funky tape so that it just adds more personality to the whole experience ! I bought this book in Beijing and started indexing it, but it is not done yet.

For this purpose I also like to use this type of book – all pages attached like a concertina – because it makes it easier to “flip” between pages….and there is no wasted space next to each business card…makes it all the more easy to stick into the side panel of your car’s door.

The book goes with you everywhere. Keep a sticky tape handy as well, so you can stick it in as soon as you get in the car from that lunch.

When you are an expat in a really foreign country like Asia, you generally have a driver and doing some admin in the back of the car is a really easy way to stay on top of things while someone else does the driving.

When you collect the card, paste it into the book in such a way that it can flip over. This way you can see both sides…but the great thing is that you can then make your little notes directly under the card.  Again – in a foreign country it is sometimes very difficult to recall whose card it was and why you got it in the first place. So, writing down immediately helps. Or you have been to a lunch with a bunch of new people and you might want to make a special note about the persons who handed the cards….it might save you the embarrassment of next time meeting them and forgetting who was who?!

Sometimes I have to write – this is that guy who had the blue print fabric..or the really friendly guy in the fabric market (which has 23000 vendors in one building !!! – yes, that’s true !)…or I write – the place where they serve special lunches and I went there with so and so…or some easy directions I followed to get there to remember next time..when the address on the card is simply not enough.

Believe me – when I take the card I ALWAYS think I will remember…and then I never remember when I look at it 6 months later and somebody asks – who was the guy who had the fabric for outdoor sofas??!!

Again – I made some tabs for RESTAURANTS, SHOPS, MEDICAL  and so forth.

But I am very happy with the “self-made” directory that I created as it serves its’ is more pretty than the black leather one I bought because you can have fun creating your own book with business cards…use fun sticky tape…make quirky notes…and voila ! It feels more personal, it is more fun, it is your own and it keeps you connected !

You will be ready to stay in touch at the flip of a card, or is that page…. while on the go !!

Well – that’s my deal on business cards and so far so good for me on this system.

How do you store your business cards? Any other great ideas out there? Are there any of these 3 systems that you prefer?

Take care


Purple Inspiration

13 Oct

Hi Friends

Few weeks ago  I noticed 3 purple vases on the shelf at the flower shop while I was waiting for the florist to make up a bouquet for me.

I have no purple room in my house – not even a hint of purple in any area in my house…… what to do??!!

I could not leave without them. So I got them. All 3 of them ! Why??

Because all I could see in my head was PURPLE, PURPLE, PURPLE !!

Ever since I saw the post Leslie did from  A Creative Mint. She inspires you like nobody else can when it comes to colour and colour combinations.

Leslie does a monthly post called “Color me Pretty” on decor8 and on September, 27th she did one which she called “Purple Hues”….

via a creative mint.

…which leads you to Holly Becker’s blog at  decor8.

via decor8.

This is just a few of the pictures she did, so it is really worth checking it out yourself !

I just love these vases right now….so I decided to use them as table decoration for the neighborhood luncheon I am hosting this month.

I have started setting the table and this is how far I’ve gotten.

I hope you had time to go check out Leslie’s blog…

….and that you too just absolutely LOVE the AMAZING colour inspirations that comes from her?

It absolutely lifts your spirit on any given day and is worth checking when in need (or not in need) of colour inspiration. You will never regret.

Tell me what you think!


9 Oct

Tomorrow is my little girl’s birthday.

She turns 4 and she wanted a BARBIE party.

Well… a girl gets what a girl wants!

Cake – almost done.

Candy bags for the party – done.

Goody bags with party favours to take home – done.

Balloons – done.

So, we are good to go !

She has even lined up the Barbies,so that they can play with them at the party in her new Barbie house.

Oh yes – she’s a Barbie girl !!!!!

All that is now left to be done…is to get the Barbies’  hair done …. Agree?!

Oh…to be a little girl again….

But speaking of Barbie – seems there was something of note in The Washington Post for us big girls too…??!

Mmmmm….wonder if I should also have a Barbie theme for my upcoming birthday??!!

This undated photo provided by Canturi Jewels shows a custom-designed Barbie wearing a necklace featuring a one-carat pink diamond, which will make the doll the worlds most expensive Barbie when it goes on the auction block. On Oct. 20, 2010, Christies in New York will sell the Barbie, created by international fine jewelry designer, Stefano Canturi, for an estimated $300,000 to $500,000. All proceeds will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. AP Photo/Canturi Jewels NO SALES AP

via Barbie donning pink diamond choker set for NY sale.


Storing Make Up Brushes

6 Oct

Recently I saw a great post in a series on organizing tips. It is from a super dooper blog called Deliciously Organized. Really worth checking out !

This tip was for Storing Make Up Brushes by adding sand to the container to make them stand up !

via Deliciously Organized: Storing Various Sizes of Makeup Brushes.

It immediately caught my eye as it reminded me a lot of my own brush collection on my countertop.

And I could relate to the problem they were describing – having them all on top of each other !

I loved the idea and tonight was the night I decided to take a little inspiration from them…..

So, I pulled the brushes aside…..Had a good look at them – mmmm….OVERCROWDED for sure !

But before I pulled over the sand… I thought of adding a little twist to it!

Instead of SAND, I added AROMATIC BATH ROCKS !!

Not only are my brushes now all standing up,  ready for action … it also smells delicious right under my nose while I do my make – up!

And the whole tray is now much happier…..

Thank you Deliciously Organized for the great tip !!!

Do you have great tips for organizing make-up?

Time Out

5 Oct

Today I needed a little “Time Out”.

It has been a busy, busy month with many hours in front of the computer and lots of turmoil going on.

I went to the Flower Market. We have an AMAZING market in Namdaemun, Seoul.

The market was in parts already closed so I did not really have much choice.

…but I still got  a colour scheme that always speaks to me!

It was not exactly what I was looking for ….. but sometimes it doesn’t matter whether it is the right colour or not…whether it is  the right type of flower or not…..

Those details  are not important when it is about…

The process putting it together….deciding how many of which kind…..focusing on the thorns that so brutally get in the way of my creative thinking…. It takes my mind off things

The ideamy friend invited us for brunch tomorrow. Her beautiful home was the subject of a photo shoot for an interior magazine. She does not need any more flowers as she still has loads from the shoot..but it feels right to add a little freshness to the hostess gift I got her. Just because…..

The purpose I wanted to put together a thank-you bunch for our nanny who is so hardworking and a real gem in the house. And I managed to do this bunch.


The pleasure I even had enough leftovers to bunch some together in these little vases I got the other day – so I will put them around the house.

It will bring me great joy tomorrow.

The detail did not matter.

What mattered was that I could feel myself unwrap some of what has been all wrapped up inside the moment I started unwrapping these at home…..

Do you also like  fresh flowers to fill up when your tank is running a little empty ?

What are the things you do as a little retreat when you need to refresh a little?

Organizing jewelry

4 Oct

If you are anything like me, you love to accessorize ! Yes – keep me away from MONSOON .

And when you are in a hurry to put on your jewelry…. you just want to grab and run ! But then you find yourself fighting a tangled chain, 50 necklaces on the same hook that needs to be removed to get THE one…and all the frustrations you are too familiar with.

I have LOADS of   jewelry  and today I take you into my closet to show you how I organize my rings and things !

It is a very inexpensive system which I will describe at the bottom of the post and yet I have found it to be EXTREMELY efficient.

I have put it in use many years ago and it has never failed me.

Yes – it is exactly what it seems to be…

PLASTIC DRAWERS that men usually use in the garage for their screws and small bits. Bought at a hardware store many moons ago so they are very durable ladies !!

It is small enough so you can use it for 1 item only or you can cluster items together for eg, all hanging earrings in one. You will be amazed how many sets can fit into one small drawer.

There are certain items that still needs special treatment because of  the structure of the necklace and for those items I use the all-too-familiar free hanging stand.

I love this stand, but I really like the fact that I dont have all 50- necklaces hanging on the same one..only a selected few. That way I can enjoy the beautiful piece without overloading it.

I do agree that there are sometimes jewelry boxes you simply can’t resist ! Buy them ! They work great for those  bangles that dont fit into the tiny drawers.

I bought these beautiful lacquer boxes at Izmaelova Market in Russia.

In Korea you can also find these very traditional lacquer boxes and a dear friend of mine  gave me this one for my birthday last year.

Since my jewelry are all in the drawer system, I use this one for my evening/ formal wear hair-accessories .

Although I love the boxes for some special items, I generally  like to keep my jewelry easily accessible and a felt drawer you buy loose at IKEA to be inserted in any drawer works perfectly for those bangles that need to be handy and all in one eye’s view.

The above is how I store my jewelry collection and it is a very practical one that works for me.

Everyday jewelry (my basic set) goes in a separate system. See, it doesnt matter how many “systems” you have – as long as they work !

Those items I dont want to go put in a drawer  every time I take a shower or go to bed simply to put them on in the morning again…so I have a little mirror box  (it was a gift from my sister – it contained bath salt originally ! – Keep those containers – will blog about it one day !! So keep watching this blog) .

This tray stands right by the entrance to my bathroom. Just before I walk in, I slip the daily jewelry off and put them in there – wedding bands on the ringstand and earrings or necklaces in the mirror box. When my shower is done and all make up finished…hands nice and clean with lotion on…. off course…the jewelry comes next as i walk out of there after my shower.  (Tip – I have placed the daily vitamins right there with my jewelry to serve as a reminder to take them same time I put on my jewelry for the day !)

If you want to put your own drawer system together:

1. Buy ANY plastic storage container system at your nearest hardware store – for screws, for fishing supplies or at a haberdashery shop for sewing supplies.

2. For jewelry that can scratch or for those drawers where I combine groups for eg earrings – and I dont want them to roll around, I have inserted a little sponge so they lie still and dont get on top of each other

3. It is best to get a system where you get some idea of what is inside – the plastic is usually sort of  a see-thru so you can identify the items vaguely.But when I had more time one day in the summer, I took photos of each item, printed one contact sheet with the tiny thumbnails and glued them to the front, so my helper also knows where to put things back when I dont have the time to do so or she finds a piece lying around in the house! If you are short on time – don’t worry about the photos…from repetition you remember where things go – so, who needs mindgames to keep your brain active? Just play “remember where”…with your jewelry !!! Trust me – have done it for years without photos. Especially if you dedicate a block of drawers to a certain item  – for eg, rings, armbands, necklaces etc.

4. These ones you buy in small boxes containing 16 drawers each. The different sets can interlock, so they won’t slide when you attach them together, and the wonderful thing is that you can keep on expanding your system as your collection grows !

This works for me ! Will it work for you ? Have you invented your own system that works for you?

Take care


%d bloggers like this: