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Seasonal Traveling Abroad: Ways You Can Bring Your Trip Home With You

If you know anything about Emilia Ceramics, you know we love to travel. Each one of our artists is selected because of their unique contribution to the timeless craft of pottery. From Italy to Mexico, including a number of countries in between, we have a passion for bringing custom-made, one of a kind ceramics from remote communities across the globe, into your home.

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Skeleton Serving Tray, Gorky Gonzalez (Guanajuato, Mexico)

In my continuous search for pieces I think people will cherish, I find myself learning a lot about other cultures. Before I set off for a new location, I do a lot of planning. Researching international destinations and then experiencing these amazing towns and cities in person, has enabled me to learn a lot about local customs, the people who live in different parts of the world, and the values that influence their lives (and their artwork).

While I go on buying trips at all different times of the year, many people travel internationally around the holidays. If that’s the case for you and you’ve recently returned home from an awe-inspiring holiday trip, this post is for you. Here’s my advice on how to hold on to some of that old world culture you discovered, when you’re back at home.

Local Language

No matter what corner of the world you visit, chances are, you’ll be exposed to a beautiful new language. I find the local language of any country I visit to be such an important part of the total experience, (regardless of whether or not I can understand everything my new friends share with me.) So much so that in addition to the few key words and phrases I learn before my trip, I’m sometimes motivated to continue my learning when I arrive home.

Duolingo is a great app to use in practicing a little before you go, or once you come back. One of the simplest ways I’ve found to quickly return to the memory of a country I’ve loved is to spend a few minutes speaking the native language.

Local Food/Drink

Due to restrictions on the flight home, bringing your favorite local cuisine home with you could pose some challenges. Although there are ways you can pack and ship, or stow, bottled beverages and packaged foods that you just can’t depart without, it is probably more feasible to try to recreate the recipes at home. Here’s a sampling of some shortcuts to making international delights in your own kitchen. Of course there are any number of great cookbooks out there that focus on International cuisine, many of which come with inspiring photos and stories about the local chefs that created the recipes. This is a great excuse to host a dinner party and share the memories of your trip with friends or family.

Local Artwork

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Visiting Sylvie Duriez (Pertuis, France)

This is a recommendation I have for everyone who takes a trip beyond the U.S. borders. Procuring a piece of art from a foreign country doesn’t have to be expensive – you can spend any amount that matches your budget. While gallery visits are wonderful, the artwork found there is typically among the pricier of options. Though in many countries I’ve visited, I’ve been to outdoor markets that feature local artists selling paintings, photographs or hand-made goods. Here’s just one list from Frommer’s. I’ve even framed some of the city maps that you get free when you check into a hotel. The really special ones are those that I’ve worn out while exploring the city and that have pen marks where locals have recommended restaurants, markets, or museums to visit.

Of course, the photos you take are often the best mementos from a trip. Blowing up a few of your favorites and framing them is a great way to cherish the memories of a great adventure.

Obviously, I’ve always loved to collect local ceramic artistry, originally for myself and now because I love to share it with my customers! But in any country you visit, you can find artwork that comes in a format that matches your style.

Where are you going next? Perusing the Emilia Ceramics collection might inspire your next destination of choice.

(If you’re a fellow international traveler, please repost a link to this blog with your thoughts on how you bring a little bit home with you from the countries you visit. I’d love to hear your ideas!)

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4 Fun Bridal Shower Ideas that You’ll Actually Enjoy

When was the last time you heard someone talking about a fun bridal shower?

Go on.

We’re waiting.

Yep, that’s what I thought. Although a sweet wedding tradition that celebrates the bride before the big day, many bridal showers center around the not-so-fascinating event of watching an adult open presents.

Yawn. However, as this post by Kellee Khalil demonstrates, there are plenty of ways to make a bridal shower fun for all. Getting ready to plan a shower for a bride in your life? Want to drop a gentle hint about a celebration you might enjoy having in your honor? Here are a few ways to spice up a blah bridal shower:

1. Have a couple’s shower.

Instead of a ladies-only event (save that for the bachelorette party), have a mixed crew to celebrate the couple. This will allow people to mix before the wedding who might not know each other well, particularly if the atmosphere is laid back.

2. Go outside.


A patio party is a great way to keep things causal and have a non-cheesy theme for the shower itself. Ask people to choose gifts that are fun and useful for outside entertaining (hint: check out their wedding registry to see if there are already items that fit the bill). Grill, make s’mores on a bonfire, play lawn games, and generally relax. Looking for an outdoor gift that’s out of the box? A unique planter instantly beautifies any porch or patio and is a sure winner with anyone who likes plants.

3. Celebrate a day in the life.

Another creative theme centers on celebrating “a day in the life” of the couple. Send out invitations with different times and ask guests to pick a gift appropriate for that hour of the day. Suddenly opening presents has moved beyond dishtowels. There’ll be mugs and waffle makers (morning), salad plates and planters (afternoon), cheese plates and wine glasses (evening), and, of course, some fun lingerie and bedding for the night!

spanish mugs

4. Have a cuisine-inspired theme.

Countries and their cuisine are another great bridal shower inspiration. Throw a Mexican-inspired, hacienda-style party or a chic French shower, though maybe not quite so over the top as we saw in Bridesmaids! (Warning, the clip below contains lots of swearing)

Decorate with your favorite Mexican ceramics to serve taquitos and delicious guacamole, adding a Piñata for a entertaining party game. The super original and functional platters and bowls by Gorky Gonzalez or Capelo would be great gifts for a Mexican-themed party. One of my personal go-to shower gifts is Gorky’s Tequila Shot Set. Pair it with a bottle of Patron and you have a gift that will be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Mexican ceramic serving platter

No matter the size or theme, think of the bridal shower as a relaxed event where the focus is on fun, not completing the wedding registry or stressing out. There’s plenty of time for that in the months ahead.

Gift image courtesy emily katherine may.

Picnic image courtesy Urban Hafner.