Inspiration Du Jour

Exotic Collections: 3 Unique African Stool for Any Stylish Space

I don’t know about you. Sometimes, I have the impression that when the word “exotic” is mentioned – The mind thinks of the brightest colors out there like red, bright yellow, “jungle green” unsure even if this color exists but you get the point I’m trying to make. The mind will not stop there, it will travel to identify animals like zebra, leopard, lion, and monkies. I realized that the mind fails to bring to my attention African stools. These items captivate me. It is only when I see pictures of these items that I’m reminded that they are unique creations of the tropics. Be inspired by these beautiful African handcrafted stools.

image

Each African tribes have their own way of carving their stools. The three stools, in the center, are known under the name of Tonga, Igbo or Dogan. You can notice that they are slightly different in details depending on the tribe that make them. I couldn’t help myself to mention the framed picture in the background, so unique and artistic! From Pinterest.

image

Ashanti stools from Ghana are known as royalty stools. Most times, Ashanti stools have the same shape but come with different details or symbols. I think they make beautiful accent pieces for any room. From John Jacob Interiors.

image

Senufo stools from Ivory Coast, they are simple and sculptural in shape. I love the textures of the bed sheets, the neutral palette, the great wood headboard, the curtains, and the Senufo stools, every piece is working so well with one another in this space. From Better Homes & Gardens.

Have a great week-end!!

 

XOXO

– Judith

 

Exotic Collections: 3 Ways to Use African Baskets

I hope you enjoyed the Mud Cloth’s inspiration. The second Exotic Collections in my list is – African baskets. African baskets are not just basketry, it is an Art. In North America/Europe, It came around as interiors’ trend. In Africa, It has been around the continent for centuries. Most African baskets are carefully hand made with beautiful colorful patterns. It requires a high level of craftsmanship to bring in some stunning patterns. Africans consider their baskets as commodities and not a trend. For this reason, it is mostly used to carry food from the open market/crops from the field and people like to store some of their valuable items in these baskets. In the west, we see these baskets more in home Decor. Be inspired by these pictures.

image

How beautiful is this basket? I love everything about this Zulu basket. I can see this basket being used to store throws, extra pillows, and even kids’ toys. From Zanzibar.

image

The beautiful yellow Senegalese basket has its place in this home office. It appears as if it is used as a trash basket. I am ashamed that I’m unable to remember the source of this picture.

image

Don’t neglect the plants in your space. Style them with an African Basket, it is stylish. I believe this picture is from West Elm. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

XOXO

– Judith

Exotic Collections: Awake Your Style With African Mud Cloth

I have a soft spot for many things. Most times, I keep this as my little secret. This secret gets me in “la la land”. Seriously, I know this may sound a bit cliche but when I see exotic things, I go  “oh la la!” I Love exotic things, not just because of my origins (side eyes). But really, I admire handmade things because of the labour of love that is put into them, their uniqueness, the hard work, and every little detail that come out of it.  I want to present you a series of “My Exotic Collections” for interiors as inspiration posts. First in my list is Mud Cloth. Be inspired.

image

The Mud Cloth is used as a throw. It is very unique and crisp in this space. The white lines/patterns are in harmony with the neutral palette in this room. From Elle Decor.

image

The African fabric is used to upholster this chair. This space looks eclectic with a mixture of beautiful patterns. From The Lovely Lifestyle.

image

And there was a Mud Cloth Pillow. Bright hue chair with this pillow works so well together. From Pinterst.

image

Mud cloth on floors. It adds a character. From Design Files

image

Prettify your tables. The last two picture here, black and white Mud Cloth are used as table runners. Basically, there is no limitation when it comes to using the Mud Cloth. From Ruffle Blog.

XOXO

– Judith

 

TGFQ: THANK GOD FOR QUINOA

Hello Fancy Lacy Community,

A few posts ago I bragged about my part-time teaching job that left me the time to do the things I enjoy, such as going to the gym and experimenting in the kitchen. Well, the first week of 2016 was a whole different story. I was called in to sub for a sick teacher; so not only did I continue teaching my evening classes, I was also subbing during the day – working two shifts, so to speak. I had very little time to exercise although I still managed to start my day with a brisk home workout in the mornings. And I had very little time to cook properly. However, I still ate well, all because the mother of all grains – quinoa – came to my rescue.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 12.56.24

Basically, I cooked a whole bunch of plain quinoa (doubled the recipe) and used my creativity to serve it for breakfast, pack it for lunch, and have it again later for dinner. The recipe for making quinoa can be found here. And no, there’s no such thing as too much quinoa, especially if you know of all its health benefits.

Benefits-of-quinoa

So here goes a day’s worth of quinoa-based meals!

Breakfast

In the morning, I put however much quinoa I needed into a bowl with a splash of almond milk (if you’re into warm spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – it’s the time to add them). I microwaved it until it was nice and hot, and added the desired toppings – my personal favourite are banana and walnuts sweetened with honey. You can also add berries, dates, dried fruit, nut butters, and coconut flakes. In other words, treat it like oatmeal!

iStock_000056548760_Large1-2000x1333

Lunch

Quinoa is a universal side that you can serve with pretty much anything. It goes perfectly with stir-fry, fish, chicken; I especially enjoy having mine with spicy tofu and oriental vegetables. For lunch I had tofu, quinoa and lightly cooked broccoli, dressed with my favourite Sriracha hot sauce. It was a very flavourful and filling meal. There’s no real recipe here, because you cook everything separately but serve together. For healthier tofu, consider baking it in the oven instead of frying – it’s on my to-try list! Here’s a simple way of doing it (I like my tofu spicy so would also season it with just a pinch of cayenne pepper).

BBQ-tofu-0897

Dinner

I had quinoa for dinner, too. I don’t think I could do it every day for the rest of my life, but I’m certainly happy to have quinoa 2-3 times a week. My evening solution was a warm quinoa salad with broccoli, chickpeas and cranberries. Again, the recipe tells you to cook everything together from the start, but since your quinoa is ready to go, cook broccoli, chickpeas, cumin and salt, and then mix the two together, adding cranberries and lime juice. I like mine warm, so I would microwave it; alternatively, enjoy it as it is!

Recipe-Quinoa-Salad-with-Broccoli-Garbanzo-Beans-and-Cranberries

Every time, the concept is different, and so is the taste. There are many other ways to use quinoa – for example, to make a cream of broccoli soup and black bean burgers. But all in good time!

If you haven’t yet tried quinoa, it’s time to give it a go. Be adventurous! And if you discover any other quick and easy quinoa recipes, give me a shout!

Thank you for reading,

Anna

Photo source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

2015 was exciting, now let’s try to make 2016 Fabulous

Hello lovelies,

What are you grateful for today?

Each year, I sit and set new life goals. Sometimes, I go even further to implement lifestyle’s changes. This year, I suggest for you to add or try something completely different to what you usually set as goals to appreciate your life. We are so busy trying to bring changes into our life that we forget to savor life. The way I look at it, sometimes, life can be unfair.  So, I make an effort to accept this when a situation arises that I can’t pin down an explainable concept for it.

First, start and end your day with a firm positive thought. You see, instead of just pouring all the 100% energy on trying to establish new things in life, I recommend you take also time to invest in gratitude. Gratitude has the power to change the views you have about life. It can be a little bit hard when you start. Trust me, after a couple of tries, the brain will get trained to accept this routine. Putting all the energy you have on future concerns, it will suck life out of you. Instead, focus on appreciating things that you are grateful for. It does not have to be huge, it can be as  small and simple as loving a beautiful weather.

Happily then, stop and learn. I know there are some unpredictable negative life events, however, try to find a positive thought to get you by despite the negative happenings. I truly believe there is power in positive thoughts and energy. When you only concentrate on what you don’t have , what could of been and feed on your fears, then you will never have enough. Program the mind to let go things beyond your control.

It is never too late to try something new for your well being. As the says go: ” the happiest people don’t have everything. They make the best of what they have.” Here are some other quotes to help you embrace this concept:

image   image image

Thank you for reading,

Judith

Massage fever 

Hello Fancy Lacy community,

There’s a first time for everything!

Earlier this week I went for a deep tissue Swedish massage. It was a Christmas present from my husband, who knows how much I love massages. They are my poison, those massages. Every once in a while I like to treat myself to a hot stone massage, especially when I’ve been subjecting my body to a lot of work, like training for a half marathon and such.

I  really enjoyed my Swedish massage. I felt the pressure was just fine so whenever the therapist asked me if it hurt, I said ‘only a little bit but its fine!”

Well, after the session when the therapist left so I could put my clothes back on, I suddenly felt nauseous and light headed, like I was about to pass out. The last time I felt like that was in 2013 after my first ever Queen City half marathon when I thought I was going to die.

I’m used to feeling great after a massage, not nauseous and chilly and light headed. It was awful! The therapist offered me water and I felt a little bit better after drinking it but the awful feeling lasted into the day. It wasn’t until much later in the evening that I felt I could risk eating something without the possibility of hurling.

I’d read about how deep tissue massages can release toxins and damaged blood cells into the blood stream, which can poison the body but I knew this theory to be deeply flawed. I don’t think that’s what happened.

And everyone who runs has probably been warned by their doctors about rhapdbomyiolisis, a condition in which extreme exertion can cause severe muscle tissue breakdown enough to damage the kidneys and lead to symptoms way more severe than what I experienced after my massage. But this condition is so rare that its nearly impossible to happened to marathoners. From what I’ve read in an old kinesiology textbook, it’s more likely to be caused by traumatic accidents, extensive burns to the body and electrical shock.

So I still don’t know what happened to me during that massage. Right now I’m leaning toward the the idea that the nausea and malaise were brought on by the fact that I skimped out on breakfast to rush my daughter to school because we woke up late. I’d had a coffee at some point but when I had the massage at 1pm, I hadn’t had a chance have lunch either. My uneducated guess is that somehow my body hit the wall due to dwindling glucose levels.

Has anybody out there ever had the same thing happen to them after a massage? Care to share your experience?

’till next time!

Iryn

INSPIRATIONS FOR A HAPPIER 2016

Dear Fancy Lacy Community,

I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.

For those of you who had a super-mega-fantastic 2015, I hope the coming year will still beat the record.

And for those who struggled more so than flourished, I pray that 2016 will compensate you generously.

We will shortly be embarking on a 366-day journey through seasons, birthdays and anniversaries, graduations and promotions, and many other exciting (and not) moments that make our lives unique and special. Remember – this year we have an extra day to make a difference! Appreciate it, and embrace it!

As I’m getting ready for the new start, here is what resolutions are shaping in my mind:

  1. Appreciate and maintain your health. It’s the one thing that physically enables you to go after your goals and dreams.30ee926f55d2f9b07c49b82bcd4fe8bd
  2. See your health as a combination of healthy diet and active lifestyle. Eat more whole, nourishing foods and exercise regularly. Both habits are so rewarding!
  3. Surround yourself with positive people. We become like the people we are around most, and I choose optimism and enthusiasm over negative thinking!
  4. Learn to feel good about the quiet time. Every now and then, it’s okay to not fill every minute of your time with chores. Take time off screens; learn to relax in silence and stillness.
  5. Aspire to growth. Learn ways to get better at what you do. There’s no limit to enlightenment and education.intellectual-growth-should-commence-at-birth-and-cease-only-at-death-quote-1
  6. Enjoy what you do. Love your work, and if you don’t – consider alternative options. Life’s too short to waste a third of it on something you find no satisfaction in doing.
  7. Learn to cope with stress. Stress is inevitable, so have coping strategies prepared.
  8. Try new things. Go into a “Yes-Man” mode from time to time, you never know what’s waiting to happen. It may end up being the best time of your life.Untitled
  9. Be kind and patient. Both make us human. Both have the potential to make a difference.
  10. Remember what’s important. Decide on your priorities and act accordingly.new-year-wallpaper-hd

Until next year!

Thank you for reading,

Anna

Photo source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

6 Steps To Control Winter Rage

So simple, keep busy.  This makes me forget that Winter is here. The temperatures in Prairies’ Winter could give you “rage”. There is no escape so I forget the rage and embrace the weather. Read our previous post about things we look forward to in Winter times.

When it is nice, take advantage of the moment by taking a walk or a run outside. You will feel refreshed. Stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take some pictures, make a snowman, and the snow angel. Since temperatures fluctuate easily around here, some people choose to take warm vacations.  I, on the other hand, travel in my mind with great documentaries, movies, and books.

 

Now let’s recap:

1. Keep busy – Declutter, refresh your space and read a good book. Photo Source

image

2.  Embrace the weather – try to relax. Take two minutes and tell your “facial muscle”- relax

Photo by Madisin Bradley

M Photo by Madisin Bradley

3.  Go out when it is nice, enjoy the scenery.

image

What a lovely picture! Enjoy the scenery and forget about the rest. From Deco Collin

4. Take pictures, build a snowman or snow angel

5. Watch a good comedy or documentary. One of my favorite movie of all the times is ” Life is beautiful.” I go from great laughs to tears. This makes me forget about everything that is happening outside. Photo Rogerebert

image

6. Take a good nap. Sleep Foundation states ” Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.”

 

XOXO

– Judith

CAREER VS LIFE: IN SEARCH OF THE BALANCE

Dear Fancy Lacy Community,

It’s the season to be merry and my post is hardly going to be cheerful, but as the end of the year approaches, there are a few important things to consider for a more balanced, healthier life in 2016.

o-LIFE-PRIORITIES-facebook

A friend of mine has recently had a work-related nervous breakdown followed by immediate hospitalization. This person is a career-driven, hardworking woman and has given her job a lot time, energy, and – as recent events demonstrate – a lot of her physical and mental health. Unfortunately, she is one of many who work long hours at the cost of quality family time and healthy lifestyle. Given the state of the economy, we should be grateful that there is a job to go to, right? Well, yes, and no. Sacrificing yourself in the name of work and income may sound noble, but I would like to question this all too common scenario.

Work_Life_Balance

Just to be clear, I’m not speaking generally about everyone. I’m certainly not referring to the low-income families whose livelihood depends solely on the hard work of their providers. A lot of people have to work whatever jobs come their way in order to merely survive; while some others choose to become workaholics. And then there are some people who get caught up in their work and lose track of time and priorities. I’ll go as far as to suggest that at some point in their lives most people have experienced how “going with the flow” may have taken them to places they did not want to be.

The dreadful experience that my friend had to go through is an extreme example of how an imbalance between work and life may affect a person. While you do not always end up at the psych ward as a result of work pressure, stress undeniably takes an enormous toll on your health and relationships.

career-vs-health-2-638

I may not be in a position to judge, since my part-time work leaves me with enough time and energy to look after my health and lead an active lifestyle. But here is something I’ve learned from her story: it’s all about setting the priorities and acting accordingly.

work-life-balanceFamily is of great value to me, and a family-friendly job was high on my priorities list. I’m currently working as an English teacher to newcomers to Canada. I enjoy it and on most days come home happy; I feel that I’m making a small difference in the lives of others; and I have the time to do other things I enjoy – spending time with my husband, running the household, implementing a healthy diet, and maintaining a good physical shape. I may not be making quite enough yet but that will hopefully change once I transition into a full-time employment. I’m not implying that everybody should get out there and look for teaching jobs. Of course, not! What I’m trying to say is that you need to remember your values when you are looking for ways to support them, because, at the end of the day, your job is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Or is it?

And if the whirlpool of life starts to blur your vision making it harder to focus on your priorities, don’t panic. Reboot – reflect and re-evaluate – and restart.

Let this post be a reminder to embrace your priorities in the new year.

Thank you for reading,

Anna

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

And cue the last minute christmas presents

It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be very stressful.

Where I grew up in Western Uganda, Christmas is all about large family gatherings and food – a seemingly endless supply of food and drinks, but never the exchange of presents.

But since I have called Regina home for almost a decade now, I have assimilated quite a bit into the Canadian tradition of exchanging presents at Christmas. When In Rome and all that. Mind you, it doesn’t mean I’m good at it.

I find it quite stressful guessing at what family and friends expect from me for presents. This is why I love kids. You can ask them what they want and they’ll tell you. And you can negotiate with them (No. That’s too expensive!)

Adults on the other hand aren’t always forthcoming. They tell you they’ve got everything they need but really they do expect something (Surprise me!)

If you are a procrastinator like myself and have yet to conquer that Christmas shopping list, here are a couple of suggestions for unusual holiday gifts from right here in Saskatchewan.

1. Give the gift of REST

image

Float houses are rapidly becoming popular across Canada and in Saskatchewan as well. A quick google search turns up three Spas in Regina’s downtown alone.

REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, works on the principle of sensory deprivation.

This is how it works. You get locked up in a pitch black tank filled with salty, body-temperature water, wearing nothing else (OK maybe a swim suit) but earplugs. Sounds terrifying, right? Wrong! From what I’ve heard from those that have floated, it is a deeply relaxing experience. And if you buy someone you love a gift certificate to one of these spas, they’ll tell you all about their floatation therapy experience. It’s a win win really.

2. Locally made one-of-a-kind jewelry

image

Saskatchewan is an arts and crafts hub. We have some really wonderful artists making unique pieces. Some, like Regina jewelry artist Megan Hazel, will work with you to design something that can’t ever be replicated. Megan can also take your old jewelry rings that don’t fit anymore, and give them new life in the shape of another piece of jewelry like a necklace or earrings.

3. Give the gift of art

image

Almost anyone can take a selfie these days, which has kind of ruined portrait photography in a way. But how cool would it be to have the likeness of your loved one captured on canvas? You can commission a local artist to paint a portrait of your loved one or something else symbolic like your favourite wedding photo. I know one Saskatchewan artist, Brandi Hofer, who can work off of photographs. But I think it would also be really amazing to sit for a painter, to get to be a muse for an hour or two, and see how the work turns out. It’s a timeless gift and experience, and there’s certainly no shortage of artists/painters in Saskatchewan to make this happen.

Image sources: 1/2/3

 

Thank you for reading,

Iryn Tushabe