About Me

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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Translate to ANY Language | Click on▼ to select, than on ► to translate...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

{Agnelli the Godfather of Style}

Style Icon Gianni Agnelli
Just click the above link...
WSJ. THE POWER OF STYLE
Gianni Agnelli,
the godfather of style
The Italian industrialist who ran Fiat during the jet-set age was one of the most stylish men of the 20th century. Many have copied his casually inventive look, but his elegance remains inimitable.
'A LOT OF ITALIANS— REALLY GOOD BUSINESS PEOPLE—
TRY TO BE LIKE HIM. HE'S AN ICON. BUT NOBODY GETS IT. NOBODY.'
Robert Rabensteiner
ROYAL FIAT A 46-year-old Agnelli in 1967, the year after he became the president of Fiat, in front of the factory at its headquarters in Turin.
'THE TIE ASKEW, THE UNBUTTONED SHIRT— NOTHING WAS AN ACCIDENT OR, TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, IT WAS MEANT TO BE AN ACCIDENT, WHICH MADE IT EVEN MORE STYLISH.' —Taki Theodoracopulos
STEPPING OUT 
Agnelli with his wife, Marella (who is now 86) at Truman Capote's Black and White Ball at the Plaza Hotel, in 1966.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

{Relationships are like Mushrooms}

When husband Pieter was V.P. Training & Development for Campbell's, he Designed this:


Relationships 
are like mushrooms
Some could kill you
Some could give you hallucinations
and some are absolutely delicious
So you pick
what you want

Would you agree?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

{Cindy Crawford - Role Model & Super Model}

One of the Super Models that I've always admired is Cindy Crawford, as she also is a Role Model.
Cindy lost her brother Jeff to Leukemia when she was 9 years old and she has two sisters, Chris and Danielle.
Cindy Crawford FB Page ←click link to above photo with text.

Cindy Crawford has been and still is down to earth.
"To make money as a young girl, I worked in a store, cleaned houses & worked in cornfields. When I started modeling I treated it like a job, not a lifestyle".
Cindy Crawford FB Page ←click link to above photo with text.
 "I didn't smoke or bake in the sun | The payoff is in your 40s and beyond"
Cindy Crawford FB Page ←click link to above photo with text.
"I don't look the same as I did 20 years ago, nor should I. Sometimes I get that little pang, like 'Oh, bummer, I wish I did.' But at the same time, I see my children and I see them growing up and I look at my husband and the marriage that we've worked on and have together, and if all that is good and working, it's a lot easier to be kind to your little fine lines or where gravity's gotten the better of you".
Cindy Crawford FB Page ←click link to above photo with text.
I never liked the term "supermodel." It sounded silly, like we changed into capes in a telephone booth. But for what it's worth...here's my model-in-a-cape meets #wonderwoman moment for you!

How did you pull off your career without Instagram?

Fun video above; just click on link!

Friday, April 24, 2015

{You can demand courtesy but you have to earn respect}

Sometimes in life we come in a situation where certain quotes do speak volumes.
Our Double Almond Tree was blooming and I used this photo for the quote.
"You can demand courtesy but you have to earn respect." — Lawrence Goldstone

Related link:
LAWRENCE GOLDSTONE BIO | Interesting to read his background info...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

{Happy with my Escada Stretch Pants}

On Good Friday, April 3, it was already lovely weather and we were out in the garden and our gazebo.
Happy with my Escada Stretch Pants
Never we can walk alone, there is always that cat-magnet and they love to be held and cuddled.
This is Bandido, Spooky's brother and one of the four remaining siblings.
Sure, picking them up, you get covered in pollen as that is everywhere around this time.
Yes, I'm also chained... wearing my 22 kt gold belly chain since the early 90s when we lived and worked in Indonesia.
Also love my suede Cole Haan lace-up boots for walking!
Spicy (a.k.a. Speckie) is on the floor...
These pants do have some velvet strips along the sides in a very dark brown, almost black.
Haha, pollen on the floor, and left is Bandido, center is Speckie and Barty to the right...
That's one of my favorite weekday stretch pants.


Monday, April 20, 2015

{CATWALK}

After our felines get their supper, we do love to do the CATWALK with them!
Crossing one bridge and walking the entire loop through the wood garden that is and back over the other bridge...
This is Spooky, following us as close as a doggy would do.
Loves to roll in the dry sand!
Tail up as his HAPPY SIGN...
Looking nice!
This is Barty, on his 11th Birthday... also rolling of course!
Nice, flipping over and looking like a DIRT DEVIL
They would love it if I did roll alongside with them!
Barty loves to play hide and seek between the daffodils.
This year we had so much green but few flowers...
Barty talking to me...
Spooky looking for Barty...
Watch out Spooky, as Barty will jump out from those daffodils and scare you!
Behind the home again and Barty looking happy. Still wanting some more snacks of course!
Spunky-girl was too lazy after supper to walk the CATWALK
She just engaged in her lazy driveway stretches!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

{Our Azaleas Before the Rain}

We have had now several days with heavy rain and that is not so good for blooming azaleas and other blossoms... But here are some photos from our azaleas before the rain:
Are those flowers not a DREAM?
To the left you can see the newly raised, wood trail, as seen from the gazebo. Pond is to the right and center.
You can see those raised edges from the wood trail here:→ {Cashmere Words of Wisdom & Update} - just scroll down to the last 2 photos.
Very lush and healthy!
Greenhouse in the back...
Glad I captured these before they got heavily rained upon!

For more Azalea photos you can click here: google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics

Thursday, April 16, 2015

{Chinese Redbud & Bumble Bee}

We do have a very special Chinese Redbud that started blooming by mid March.
Below this post, you find a link to a previous post with more photos.
But here you see a Bumble Bee enjoying the pollen from its flowers.
Quite striking too, for seeing new flowers next to some old seed pods...

Related link:
{Our Cercis canadensis 'Apalachian Red' & Cercis chinensis 'Avondale'} | previous post by me

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{Jealousy Stands in the Way of Success}

Often in life we read and see around us, people that always criticize and blame others for their failure.
As MaryEllen best described it: 'Eliminate The Jealousy Factor And Success Will Follow' ←click for link to her article.
The Success Indicator ←click for link
by MaryEllen Tribby

Successful People: Compliment - Forgive others - Accept responsibility for their failures - Keep a journal - Want others to succeed - Keep a 'to-be' list - Set goals and develop life plans - Continuously learn - Operate from a transformational perspective - Keep a 'to-do/project' list - Embrace change - Exude joy - Share information and data - Talk about ideas - Read everyday - Give other people credit for their victories - Have a sense of gratitude.

 Unsuccessful People: Criticize - Hold a grudge - Blame others for their failures - Say they keep a journal but really don't - Think they know it all - Operate from a transactional perspective - Secretly hope others fail - Don't know what they want to be - Never set goals - Exude anger - Hoard information and data - Talk about people - Fly by their seat of their pants - Fear change - Watch TV everyday - Take all the credit for their victories - Have a sense of entitlement.

Guess we all can relate to the above!


From the above link of MaryEllen's article, she is citing the success of Ann Curry as read in the USA Today: 'Here's how working mom Ann Curry makes it all work' ←click the link to the article.

The message from highly successful Ann Curry about working Moms and their children:
Tell them you love them — a lot.
'You can never tell them too many times. Let them roll their eyes,' says Curry. 'Life can sometimes be, for all of us, a bully and you need to have money in the bank, that love is money, to get you through all the way to the end. Every time you say 'I love you,' you're putting money in the bank. You're not always going to be there to put money in the bank, so I say you got to stock up so it will last a long time.'

Some very valuable life's lessons!
In our career as International Consultants, we too have always emphasized the points that are listed to the left in this infographic.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

{Our Violets}

Mid March we have lots of lovely wood violets, mainly in our wood garden but also in other areas of our garden. So I did gather some for filling a tiny silver vase.
Wood Violets have such pretty faces, also their curved flower head looks very special.
Just so you can see their size, I've added a $ 0.10 piece for comparison.
For back ground I selected a spot with moss...
Sunlight can be quite striking in combination with these lovely flower heads!
Who would NOT love them?
One last closeup and than we say goodbye till 2016.

Related link:
{Happy Easter} | previous post by me
{Our Wild Violets} | previous post by me

Sunday, April 12, 2015

{Pussy Willow from Cuttings}

We did have a Weeping Pussy Willow three years ago but we lost it when our creek got flooded. But last year while shopping at +Whole Foods Market in Atlanta, we did buy a bouquet of Pussy Willows with the intent to grow them from these cuttings. Even though they're not the Weeping variety that we lost, but it worked and look:
Here it is, a young Pussy Willow Shrub from Cuttings!
Nicely close to the creek in its natural habitat where they thrive best.
Near our first bridge across the creek into our wood garden.
Mid March they did give us so much joy and they look beautiful!
No doubt these tiny shrubs will bigger over time and let me cut again a bouquet for in a vase.
There is even a spider living in the top part of this little shrub!
Spiders seem to prefer them as this one too shows some cob web threads.
Both of us grew up with plenty of Pussy Willows in the area where we grew up so we're quite pleased with these five new shrubs!
Do you have a Pussy Willow in your garden?

Related link:
{Salix Caprea Pendula - Weeping Pussy Willow} | previous post by me

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