• Design,  Lifestyle

    Design Inspo

    One of the most difficult things about designing a space is being able to articulate your design style. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for a while—I know what I like and don’t like, but I find it hard to explain why certain aesthetics are attractive to me and others are not. Clarity of vision is fundamental to design. When Oli and I began construction on our new home in Mauritius, I knew all the interior design details would come down to me. I relished the challenge and was excited to begin the process, but I had no idea where to start (and almost zero experience, and definitely zero formal…

  • Community,  Family,  Lifestyle

    Three Months In

    This week marks three months since we landed in Mauritius. In many ways I feel well-settled. André has started going to a preschool three times a week and that has given us some structure and routine to our days. I’ve been gaining confidence driving around Mauritius and that has afforded me some independence (the driving here could be the subject of an entire blog post, it’s nuts!). And I’m slowly finding my own way around, becoming familiar with nearby towns and neighborhoods, local eateries and shops. But we are still living downstairs with my in-laws while our new house above is being completed (it’s so close! More on that later),…

  • Community,  Family,  Food,  Lifestyle

    Farmcity and the Unlikely Farmers

    The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil. ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace (Bahá’i Writings) Agriculture should be a force for good, providing solutions to global issues of hunger, inequity, energy consumption, pollution, climate change, loss of biodiversity and depletion of natural resources. The positive, multifaceted environmental, social and economic benefits of a truly sustainable agriculture can contribute solutions to most of the world’s major problems. ~ SOAAN When I first heard that my brother-in-law, Wesley, and his wife, Kelly, were starting an organic farming business in Mauritius, I couldn’t believe it. Not because I didn’t think they were capable—these two are among the most…

  • Family,  Lifestyle,  Uncategorized

    A Month in Mauritius

    We have been in Mauritius for about a month now. It still feels like we are on vacation, here only for a visit. I know that will change as the days pass by and the permanence of our move finally sinks in. That vacation feeling might have something to do with the fact that we are currently living with Oli’s parents and they insist on doing almost everything for us including cooking and cleaning up. I totally lucked out with my father-in-law, Clive, in particular—he is the most thoughtful and generous person I know. We have a routine now where he will make me a cup of tea each morning…

  • Lifestyle

    House Update

    As many of you already know, Oli and I are building a place to live above our in-law’s home in Quatre Bornes. We are six months into the building project, which is being managed by one of Oli’s uncles (who happens to be a building contractor). The basic structure is complete—it has floors, walls, and a roof!—but many of the finishings and fittings still need to be done. As I write this, workers are busy tiling the bathroom and laundry room walls and I can hear the tap-tap-tapping as they go. There is still all the electrical and plumbing work to be done yet, as well as painting the walls…

  • Family,  Lifestyle,  Travel

    We’re in Mauritius!

    We made it to Mauritius! (Old news for those who read my most recent post, “Making a Move”). June 5 will forever remain the anniversary of the day we landed in Mauritius. We’ve been here almost two weeks now and every day we have had work to do and errands to run for the new house. Except for Sundays when businesses close early and work is suspended. Yesterday (a Sunday) was spent relaxing at the beach in Trou Aux Biches, a region in the north of the island. We took the (relatively new) highway between the mountains through the center of the island. Le Pouce (The Thumb), Montagne Longue (Long…

  • Family,  Travel

    Making a Move

    André is fast asleep, the house is quiet save for the occasional clang of a tool as the workmen continue the housebuilding upstairs. I’m sipping on tea (sweet vanilla tea grown here in Mauritius) and I’ve decided to tackle a new blog post. It’s daunting. I haven’t written a post in weeks and there’s so much to recount and reflect upon. Where to start? Anyone who has endured a move knows how much work goes into it (“endured” because they are rarely pleasant beyond the initial excitement and the sweet relief once it’s all over). We spent weeks in preparation—putting together documents (for residency permits), selling cars and furniture (not…

  • Kitchen island pendant lighting
    Lifestyle

    Design Frenzy (and 10 things on my design features wish-list).

    I’ve been consumed by all things interior design recently. My Instagram feed has been entirely overrun by Architectural Digest, Dwell Magazine, Vogue Living and West Elm (just to name a few). A few weeks ago I downloaded a new app (or is it a game?) called Design Home, an interactive tool for decorating fake rooms with digital furniture (tiny renderings of actual furniture!). The rules of the app (game?) are fairly simple—decorate a room to be voted on against other players’ designs. If your room receives a 4+ star rating, you win a prize (typically a piece of digital furniture to add to your inventory). The game is highly addictive…

  • Dream Home
    Lifestyle

    Dream Home

    Two years ago, Oli and I bought and moved into our first real home—a four bedroom, three bathroom single family home in East Palo Alto (EPA), California. I was really excited about this house because, when we bought it, it was still under construction and we could pick a few of the finishings—flooring, cabinet colors (but not style), counter tops, carpets, and bathroom tiles. I had so much fun talking with interior designers and thinking about color schemes, countertops (marble vs granite vs quartz), and types of flooring (hardwood vs manufactured wood etc). However, since our house was part of a development with an HOA, there were certain constraints and…

  • Globe atlas
    Family,  Lifestyle,  Travel

    Mauri…where?!

    True story: a few months ago Oli mailed a package (from California) to Mauritius. It eventually made it to Mauritius (not entirely in one piece) but not before taking an unexpected detour to Mauritania*. Mauritius, Mauritania. I get it, it was an easy mistake to make. My point is, Mauritius is not on many people’s maps. It certainly didn’t seem to be on the U.S. Postal Service’s map. Whenever we send a package to Mauritius, we cross our fingers and hope like hell it reaches its intended destination.   If you’ve heard of Mauritius, chances are you know it as a coveted vacation destination. White sandy beaches, azure waters, tropical…