Peonies For Your Weekend

by Tina on May 22, 2015

in family, Flowers

Traveling Mama Peonies-2

It is the eve of the weekend and that is pretty exciting stuff!  Your thoughts, notes, comments, support, and kindness have meant the absolute world to us this week after this post.  It’s been a hard week for us, but it’s ending on a positive note.  Our nephew took a scary turn for the worse on Monday and we spent some time debating whether to it was time to purchase tickets and be with our family, but thankfully he is doing much better (though thoughts and prayers for continued healing would be very appreciated!) He is home again and that, is something worth celebrating!

We thought since it’s a long weekend here and in the US, that some peonies, and a punch of Spring were in order.  My mom has been sending me photos of hers that she has picked from her own garden, but sadly I cannot take credit for these beauties.  I did ride my bike to my favorite florist and walk around like a giddy school girl from all the choices!  That counts for something, right?  (I shot these on white, but I may have to have more to shoot against black again…)

These pink peonies are so fragrant that they fill the room with their delight.  What a wonderful way to cheer the spirit!

Traveling Mama Peonies-4 Traveling Mama Peonies-6 Traveling Mama Peonies-8 Traveling Mama Peonies2

What about you?  Do you have flowers growing in your garden or a beautiful bouquet you picked up at the florist?  I love seeing others’ photos and would love to see yours!  Leave a comment with a link if you’ve posted any online lately or send us a photo

Have a wonderful weekend!


High Design in A Converted Rectory

by Tina on May 21, 2015

in Belgium, Decor

Converted Rectory

I get really excited when I get to see how others live and this home tour of a converted rectory in Belgium pretty much blew my mind.  Taking a building that was once abandoned, and creating a space that edges on heavenly (in my opinion!), this Belgian couple, Jan and Kathy Smits, created a home for themselves by keeping as many of the original features as possible.  The ancient floors and moldings are perfectly highlighted against dark charcoals, deep blacks, and stark white.  With over 750 square meters (that’s more than 8,000 square feet!) to work with, it is awe inspiring to see old against new, modern mixed with ancient.  It is both warm and sleek, sophisticated and comfortable.

The space houses acts as a creative outlet for Jan and Kathy who are interior designers and run their business out of the converted space.  This is quite a business card, don’t you think?

Take a peek around and see if this place feels divine to you as well…

Converted Rectory Converted Rectory

You can find the Knoll Tulip Chair seen in this home and other classic design pieces at Chairish.

To see more of this home, visit Bo Bedre.

Photos: Jan Verlinde/Inside living


Parisian Chic :: What to Wear & Pack

by Tina on May 20, 2015

in Fashion

French Chic

We are in the midst of planning a trip to Paris in July and while we are finalizing the details of where we are going to stay, I cannot stop thinking about what I am going to wear when we are there!  I am notorious for waiting until the day or two before we leave to start packing and inevitably hit the panic button when I don’t have just the right thing to throw into the suitcase.  Now, we all know that we could wear an old t-shirt if we wanted to in Paris, but where is the fun in that?  Half the charm of seeing Paris is wearing a pretty new scarf or perfectly flouncy skirt, right?  And that is just the daytime!  At night, when the air is cooler and the lights are low, feeling Parisian for just a few minutes is almost more fun than being in Paris.

I’ve got a daytime look already worked out in my mind, a few essentials that have to go in my bag, and one sexy Mama look for an leisurely evening out with the family.

But all of this has me wondering, though… Why do we need to wait until we are in France to embrace the Parisian Chic feel?  Can’t we live like this every day, no matter where we plan to wake up?

1. LuLu Frost Earrings 2.  Zara Top (This one, too!) 3. Polka Dot Scarf 4. Tory Burch York Bag (Comes in 10 colors!) 5. J Crew Skirt (Available in the EU and the US) 6. Kate Spade Wedge


French Chic

1. Jet Set Michael Kor’s Wallet 2. How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are (Available in EU Here) 3. LUXE Paris City Guide (Available in EU Here) 4. Michael Kors Tahiti Sunglasses 5. Smith & Cult Nail Polish (One coat wonder!) 6. Lomokind 35 mm Movie CameraLUXE Paris City Guide

French Chic

1. Helmut Lang Drape Shirt (This one, too!) 2. Calvin Klein Bodysuit (40% off here!) 3. Chanel Coco Noir 4. Black Skinny Jeans (These Legging Jeans, too!) 5. Jimmy Choo Lace Pump (A Flat Alternative!) 6. Kate Spade Earrings


DIY Art Display

by Tina on May 19, 2015

in Decor, DIY


If you are a huge fan of mood boards or love to switch out your art work frequently, then this idea from Hitta Hem may just be your thing.   These two stylists have ingeniously turned an ordinary art canvas into it’s own piece of art, and not in the traditional sense of painting on the front.  By flipping the canvas over, the stylists created a mini shelf and pin board for little trinkets and photos and created their own DIY Art Display.  Wouldn’t this be such a great way to gather together your favorite travel souvenirs and photos and display them all together?

Have you been on a trip recently where this idea might work for you?


For more information on how to create your own DIY Art Display, visit Hitta Hem for the details.


Styling: Pella Hedeby och Marie Ramse
Foto: Sara Medina Lind


Traveling Mama Flight

We spend a lot of time here on Traveling Mama promoting the idea of travel and life abroad.  It can feel a bit glamorous and sexy at times and sometimes it feels that way to us, too, but now and then it also means giving up things that matter to us and making hard choices that can leave us feeling uncertain and even sad.

I’ve been struggling A LOT since we got back to Denmark with feeling like I have abandoned my family.  While we were in the US I was able to really be there for my family, celebrating birthdays, babysitting my nephews while my sister and her husband went on a date, getting to know babies who were born while we were away, and helped take care of family members when they were ill.  While it may not seem like anything that big, it felt HUGE to me.  I was THERE.

And now I am back here, with the wind back into my hair, and the world at my feet, and in the midst of loving life, there is a part of me that longs to go “home.”  My sister’s son recently had a serious spinal operation, one of many procedures he has been through in his life, and I realized that in the thirteen years of his life I haven’t been there for him, my sister, or her family.  Sure, I’ve called, wrote e-mails, and even skyped with them, but it’s not the same as being there with them, is it?

It’s hard enough missing the good times, but not being there when times are tough is just downright painful.

I’ve known many people over the ten years we have spent abroad who have gone back home for this very reason and a great many more who have never left because of it.  Being the one who leaves can be so glamorous.  My God, some days there is just nothing like the freedom that comes with selling everything you own and just GOING, but you give up more than just your stuff, and as many people who have moved away from their family can attest to, sometimes the price feels pretty steep.

So, what do you do?  It’s a funny predicament when you aren’t running away but rather towards something, isn’t it?  When you are happy for what you have found but still long for what you have left behind?

Some go home, some stay.  The lines are not quite so clear and somehow in the midst of all of it, you have to try to make peace with the dissonance.  I can’t say that I’m there yet, but I trying to find my way all over again.

What about you?  Have you moved away from your family and struggled with being the one who isn’t there?