Friday, January 22, 2010

Cats of Morocco

This sounds like I'm planning on a calendar, huh? Don't worry. The world doesn't need more cat calendars. But, I did see many cute cats in Morocco and thought I'd share some cuties with you. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Embroidered Table Linens

I know, this is not a proper picture of a table setting, and I didn't iron first...but these lovely linens were a gift from my fiance's mother in Morocco and I wanted you to see them. Aren't they beautiful? They're made by hand and I love them. She also gave me mini napkins, embroidered in blue, for tea. I'll post them another night.

Tiburon with Gracie the Dog

It was supposed to rain today but I think I willed it away due to a desperate need to spend time outdoors.

Gracie is the black and white cattle mix, my friend Mel's dog. That golden is a 5 month puppy and is huge for her age and definitely going to grow to be the size of an elephant.

Is there anything more refreshing than breathing salty sea air and playing with dogs? I doubt it!

P.S. Isn't that a sad, lonely little abandoned toy? I was hoping Gracie would snag that stuffed animal but she ignored it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Flowers at Mamounia

How could a world-class, stunning resort really be complete without a floral boutique? Fear not, Mamounia had a lovely little shop. They had mostly white flowers with a few dramatic red amaryllis thrown in. Oh, flowers, how I miss thee. I have some arrangements and more coming up, so there should be new pictures next week.

Homemade Moroccan Food

I was treated like a veritable princess in Morocco. Moroccans are famous for their hospitality and they really lived up to it, and then some. Here are some pictures of the food my fiance's mom made for us, as well as some pretty breakfast spreads.

The two pastry-crust covered "pies" are called pastilla. One was filled with seafood and one with a combination of chicken, almonds, curry and brown sugar. Sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. OH HOW I LONG FOR THIS!

The tagine, of course, is a Moroccan classic as well and you can't tell from this picture but it was giant. The size of a Thanksgiving Turkey. And delicious. And surround by delicious sides: beets, tomato and onion salad and some sort of sweet cucumber minty drink that was amazingly refreshing and unusual tasting.

Breakfast was full of Mediterranean goodies. Local olives, olive oil from a relative's olive farm, fresh eggs, cheeses and homemade "nsimmon." I made up how to spell that. It's somewhere between a crepe and a pancake, served warm, with honey and olive oil. Plus Moroccan tea, coffee and juice, but in Morocco juice is always freshly squeezed. So we had deliciously fresh juices, every morning. Oh I wish I was still there!

Finally there's a birthday cake for my fiance. It says "Happy Birthday Idriss" in Arabic, so they tell me :) But this one is from a bakery.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mamounia, aka, My Personal Idea of Heaven

Mamounia is a very old, famous resort in Marrakesh. It just reopened after three years of renovations. It. Is. Stunning. I have so many pictures to share of its mosaics, gardens and fountains, but here are a few of my favorites. And if you're ever going to Marrakesh, you must stop by Mamounia for a cup of Moroccan sweet mint tea.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Marrakesh Souk

I got two pretty Berber rugs here and lots of babouche (Moroccan slippers). The orange cart will make you a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice for 30 dirhams, which is about 40 cents. And by "fresh" I mean they will squeeze the oranges in front of you. I got my carpets at one of the places featured, also. It is a home decor lover's dream to shop in the souks. I could fill many shipping containers!

Respect Our Gardens

This adorable sign says something to that effect.

All My Moroccan Textiles

Deep sigh...aren't they gorgeous? Some are gifts but I wish I could keep everything! The flowered fabric on top are my new pillowcases. I'll post my bedding once I get a bolster pillow insert (any tips?).

The Palmery in Marrakesh

We stayed at a lovely garden resort outside of downtown Marrakesh since we had four people. It has about 150,000 palm trees, riads, hotels, apartments, and lots of swimming pools. Exceedingly pleasant. Here are a few pictures. As you can see, all the buildings are made out of red clay, and so is everything in Marrakesh. I'll be posting more pictures of my favorite Moroccan city this week.

P.S. That's my fiance in the first picture, isn't he cute?

Jardin Majorelle

This is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. That's why I'm posting so many pictures of it :)

Jardin Majorelle, in Marrakesh, has the most stunning combination of vibrant colors (bright blues, lavendar, yellow, terra cotta) and at the same time is profoundly peaceful. I wish I could wander in on a daily basis! Hopefully you can all relax a bit while you enjoy the pictures.

A bit of history if you're interested: Jardin Majorelle was opened to the public by Jacques Majorelle in 1947. He died in 1962 and then in 1980, Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berg purchased and restored the garden and ensured it would remain open for visitors.