Highlights From Marrakesh

I'm back from my retreat in Marrakesh where I spent 8 days connecting with Maryam who runs Peacock Pavilions and who is the author of the My Marrakesh blog, Angela from ACE Camps who organized the retreat and some pretty amazing women from the U.S. and Canada who I was honored to work with and it was just a lovely, lovely time. I was sent there on a mission -- to inspire, teach classes mostly about creativity (tapping in to our personal style mostly) and decorating, also about blogging, have one-on-one consults with each student and then provide some help in regards to how to work Moroccan decor into their own homes. This is where we all stayed... Drool away, you have my permission. :)

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

(This is one of the pavilions called the Atlas Pavilion shown above where 4 ladies stayed. It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a loft space, dining area, two patios and a large living area.)

Maryam spoke about Moroccan design, I'll highlight some of her tips as well as my own later in the week on decor8, and she toured us of her property explaining her inspirations behind each of the guest rooms and she also took us shopping in the Medina at some of her favorite shops which was a real highlight for me.

My Teaching Space :)

(Where I taught on the patio.)

I also shopped with them, ate together 3x per day, had a henna painting party on the roof at Maryam's, watched Casablanca in a beautiful outdoor movie theater at the property under the stars around a fire, went to fancy places for cocktails and dinner, shopped ourselves silly...It was a very nice week! A dream week even! I was totally offline (internet is slow there) and was glad to connect on a whole new level with so many special people. Sometimes you really do need to step away from the internet!

Morocco Trip

(More views of where 4 lovely ladies stayed)

I loved teaching hands-on and being a source for everyone to tap into but beyond me, the ladies had one another to inspire them and the energy was just GREAT! I loved connecting with photographers, stylists, bloggers, designers, and creative types who really embraced everyone and everything -- my "job" turned into a retreat for me too! The publisher of Where Women Create, Jo Packham, was also in attendance and she'll be publishing an article in her magazine all about it in the near future. When it's on newsstands in the states, I will definitely post it so you can see it. I am very honored and excited to see the workshop in print and it may even motivate me to do another because this was my first workshop ever and I was so nervous but after I arrived and met everyone I instantly felt encouraged, excited and ready to rock 'n roll! :) Now I want to teach creative classes from my home in Hannover and maybe even travel again and do some more. I have so many ideas suddenly!

morocco

You can see some photos of where we stayed throughout this post, at Maryam's lovely Peacock Pavilions located outside of Marrakesh in a village so the property was surrounded by locals which for me added to the charm of staying in such a magical place. Marrakesh is very "full on" if you know what I mean, it's bustling and congested, packed with sellers peddling their wares, gorgeous things to see (and eat), and lots of action from snake charmers to little kids trying to sell you packs of tissues or delicious coconut cookies called ghoribas and at times these kids can be quite aggressive! So to "escape" a day in all of this to Maryam's private oasis in the middle of what feels like nowhere is quite wonderful -- I couldn't imagine staying IN all of that action at night in addition to being immersed it in all day!

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

(I loved these gray and white hand painted stairs.)

I can't say enough good things about Peacock Pavilions -- it was a home away from home for all of us ladies and everyone enjoyed it very much. From the staff Maryam has who cooks and cleans for you each day, to the outdoor movie theater and lovely swimming pool, it's simple but elegant and a very nice spot to relax after a long day in the city. Thank you Maryam for your hospitality and a big hug to Angela for being so kind, patient and helpful, and to Katie who really made the entire trip run so smoothly.

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

Morocco Trip

(This is the dining room in the Medina pavilion where I held private consultations with each student.)

And I want to thank my wonderful students who are now my dear friends whom I'll never, ever forget. I love you guys so much, seriously, you made this experience such a delight! Thank you all so much - Julie, Leslie, Jo, Tiffany, Edie, Sharon, Rona, Mimi, Natalie & Leigh. I feel blessed and honored to know you and a big thank you to my husband Thorsten who traveled with me and who spent 8 days with all of these ladies and loved EVERY minute of it. I'm so lucky to be married to a man who supports me like this and lets me do things that I love without ONE single complaint ever. Pinch me, I'm so blessed. What a great time - I miss the gang so much already! xo

{Update: OMG I forget to shout out the amazing TODD!!! Todd I'm so sorry I am such a dork for forgetting the man behind so much of the magic at the PP's. Your hospitality and also the way you laid out that table on our final night was gorgeous.}

More Morocco photos to follow throughout the week so stay tuned - I'm still downloading them as I have a ton. :)

(images: holly becker for decor8)