Holiday Happiness

Sun Bow | Whims And Fancies


It was a very good holiday.  It started with a 4-mile run/hike in the park after quite a few foot injuries over the last 12 months.  As I stopped for a breather, I looked up and was greeted by a beautiful sun bow which I have never seen before.  Even though my latest broken toe suffered a little after the run, it felt so good to be out there under the open sky again.



Annual Book Drive At Barnes And Noble | Whims And Fancies


We went to the Barnes And Noble bookstore for the annual children’s book drive. We have been doing this for over a decade now.  Every year, we happily browse through the children’s section to pick out books, then purchase them at the register and leave them there to be distributed amongst disadvantaged children.  I hope these books provide them an escape like they still do for me.



Sticky Toffy Pudding Nigella Lawson | Whims And Fancies


Once a year, I indulge the child in me by eating my favourite dessert – sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream – for breakfast.  I make it using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce.

Imagine me sitting in my pyjamas, wearing fluffy house shoes, firing up the video game console with a bowl of this on my lap. 



Artists And Craftsman Art Supply | Whims And Fancies


We visited the Artists And Craftsman art supply store in San Francisco.  My husband waited very patiently with me while I browsed the shop.  During this first visit, I was elated to find so many of my favourite art supplies under the same roof.  Afterwards, we walked up to one of the many cafes in the area for a fabulous lunch ending with a decadent tiramisu.



Fabric basket | Whims And Fancies


I received a package from Kris.  The box was packed with sweet little things, beautiful fabrics, a hand-embroidered pincushion AND this lovely basket using penguin fabric.

I often paint sitting at the dining table. It gets great afternoon light.  Now I have this lovely basket to carry all my art supplies over from my atelier to the table.



Watercolour Paint Swatches | Whims And Fancies


New Year’s Eve, I started making paint swatches.  Approximately 7 hours later, after watching a few of our favourite movies and having a few small drinks, I finished painting all the swatches at 3:30 AM.  I made a total of 151 cards.




I also played with a few design ideas for new projects.  I am using very bold, minimalist graphics for this set.



Napa Woodland Hike | Whims And Fancies


The holiday concluded with a long hike on Saturday, followed by a mountain trail hike for my birthday on Sunday.  I had to nurse the injured foot, but that was not going to thwart me.  I suffer from severe acrophobia.  Mountain hikes are great for facing my fear.  My camera provides the distraction and my husband is the best companion.  The trail was exceptionally quiet that day and we had an exhilarating woodland hike.


My pre-holiday ennui has now disappeared.  I have a number of plans for the future.  Taking that next step is always daunting, but I feel ready to face that fear.  I can’t wait to share with you these new ideas.



I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.



21 thoughts on “Holiday Happiness

  • Susie January 17, 2018 at 15:36

    I am so happy that you ended the year, and began the new year doing things that you love ( and that challenge you in the good way!) I sure hope your feet continue to heal to 100 % so that you can go out and capture many more magical moments !! I am going to look up the recipe for that delicious looking sticky toffee pudding!!

  • Carol January 17, 2018 at 12:40

    Love, love, love the idea of giving books – and you included the Hobbit and A Wrinkle in Time – 2 of my favs!

  • Kate January 17, 2018 at 10:42

    Happy Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful time on holiday, sticky toffee pudding for breakfast? Sounds wonderful, especially the vanilla ice cream, my favourite. I will check out the recipe, thank you for that.

  • Jayne January 17, 2018 at 07:10

    I think I would eat that dessert as often as I could! What a wonderful post full of fun, beauty and birthday celebrations!

  • Ness January 17, 2018 at 06:11

    Looks like you had a good holiday and found some inspiration for the future. That’s some good going with the swatches. I need to do this with some of my watercolour pens.

  • Angie January 16, 2018 at 21:10

    You’re the second person today that has mentioned books from my childhood – I loved The Phantom Tollbooth and A Wrinkle in Time.

    At our house, ‘breakfast pastry’ – pie for breakfast – is a regular event – so I am in your camp!

  • lapaylor January 15, 2018 at 17:32

    perfection! I want that toffee pudding right now. Send some please. LeeAnna

  • Kelleyn Rothaermel January 15, 2018 at 11:58

    What an awesome thing you have done! The dessert look amazing! Have a great week!

  • Dixie January 15, 2018 at 09:01

    Happy Birthday, Soma! Looks and sounds like a fabulous day.
    I’m pleased to hear that you are out and about doing what you love. Nature does sooth and uplift the spirit. And sometimes, in a very good light, or a dappled shadow, you, to your surprise and wonder, will find small miracles.
    What a lovely thing to do…buying books for children…so many fabulous stories to take them away to mysterious unknown places where possibilities abound.
    Wonderful art supplies and teriffic colour swatches. Wish I could see each one.
    Enjoy your beautiful gift box and your new projects. Blessings to you for the New Year…

  • Jesh StG January 14, 2018 at 19:59

    Glad you were able to enjoy your holidays. Broken toe is so painful and slowly to heal, so I commend you for hiking! Yeah, I can spend a long time in an art store:) Those are a lot art color swatches! Happy belated birthday! That this may be a year of great creativity and freedom, Soma! Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with All Seasons with us. Have a great week!
    Oh and a kind reminder on leaving some art project for the Weekend Journal Page (link till Feb. 8) with a perma link in a comment on Jan 5:)

    PS Your reply on my email about the “Milk glass” was exactly the site (Purl Soho) where I had read it. Thanks so much for the explanation!!

  • Kaja January 14, 2018 at 00:33

    It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday, and with the added benefit that it has left you full of energy and enthusiasm for life back home!

  • Lady Fi January 12, 2018 at 23:23

    Love that first shot. Looks like a great holiday!

  • bettyl - NZ January 12, 2018 at 14:47

    Lovely photos. I’m glad you are back doing something you like again. What a great thing to do for the underprivileged.

  • Kim Sharman January 11, 2018 at 16:49

    Happy Birthday, dear Soma and Happy Birthday to your husband that is not too far away. =) You have had a lovely break, haven’t you. Love the sample swatches of beautiful colour. Really……you only indulge in that yummy dessert once a year. Surely you can enjoy some more. How kind of you to gift these books. I can think nothing better for a child to find a corner and escape with a book where dreams and adventures await. So happy your new year has started with new dreams and plans. I look forward to seeing what exciting plans are next on your horizon.

  • Mary January 11, 2018 at 16:34

    It sounds like a fabulous break and I am so glad to hear that the foot is well enough for you to be hiking again. I know how much you love it.

    Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you have some wonderful plans lined up for 2018. I love the gift from Kris and I know you will get lots of use from it.

    Have a great year ahead.

  • Jo January 11, 2018 at 16:11

    Sounds like a lovely holiday time with a great mix of activities. Happy belated birthday! I love the idea of the book drive, never heard of that before. That was quite some dedication making all those paint swatches, what is the plan for them? Looking forward to seeing your new projects, may 2018 be a good year for you.

  • Ann Nell January 11, 2018 at 11:55

    I loved this post. Beautiful photos Happy Birthday !

  • Janine @ Rainbow Hare January 11, 2018 at 10:07

    Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had a brilliant holiday. You fitted in a very good balance of indoor and outdoor adventures and I love the Barnes and Noble book drive idea. I’ve never heard of it before but it sounds like a simple and rather wonderful way to transform lives :)

  • Susan January 11, 2018 at 10:01

    Happy belated birthday. What are you going to do with your painted paint chips?

  • BillieBee January 11, 2018 at 06:34

    What a wonderful adventure. Happy Birthday!!

  • Tammy S Asad January 11, 2018 at 03:04

    Pumpkin pie is my holiday indulgence. I made a vegan one for my husband’s birthday on the 5th and wound up eating most of it myself. :) It’s wonderful to give the gift of books. The wildfires and now the recent mudslides have certainly caused so much devastation in CA. We really must cherish and respect any time we are able to spend in nature.

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