Monday, October 6, 2014

Coco Chanel

'Those on whom legends are built are their legends,' declared Coco Chanel to her friend Paul Morand, one of several writers to whom she tried, and failed, to tell the story of her life. 'People's lives are an enigma,' she said to another friend, Claude Delay, not long before her death.

'I don't like the family,' she also told Delay. 'You're born in it, not of it. I don't know anything more terrifying than the family.' And so she circled around and about it, telling and retelling the narrative of her youth, remaking history just as she remade the sleeves of a jacket, unfastening its seams and cutting its threads, and then sewing it back together again.

The official record shows that her mother, Eugénie, gave birth to Gabrielle on 19 August 1883 in the poorhouse in Saumur, a market town on the river Loire. Eugénie (known as Jeanne) was 20, Chanel's father Henri-Albert (known as Albert) was 28, and listed as a marchand , or merchant, on Gabrielle's birth certificate. They were not yet married but already had one daughter, Julia, born less than a year previously.

Gabrielle Bonheur, a nun in the hospice where Chanel was born, was made her godmother, and so, according to Chanel, 'I was baptised Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel'. Gabrielle she stayed throughout her childhood - Coco was a creation that came later - although she invented a story that is revealing in its untruths: 'My father used to call me "Little Coco" until something better should come along,' she told Marcel Haedrich (editor-in-chief of Marie-Claire). 

The Chanel Camelia

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971) was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.Along with Paul Poiret, Chanel was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the "corseted silhouette" and popularizing the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard in the post-World War I era. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel's influence extended beyond couture clothing. Her design aesthetic was realized in jewelryhandbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product.

Chanel and her World

Chanel lipstick

Chanel sunglasses

The iconic Chanel handbag

Chanel Number 5

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”
—  Coco Chanel

She was one of a kind..... so are you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paris to Dallas

photo by

Today I am leaving France to spend time in Dallas.  I am ready for the flight having packed lots of things for the eleven hour flight.

I cannot leave without a good moisturizer and I find this French one to be wonderful.

Sothys moisturizer

I have to be comfortable in what I am wearing or I am miserable.  Today I have on an antique mens wedding shirt, similar to the one pictured, and a loose fitting pair of tights ( that sounds like an oxymoron). It looks good and I am super comfortable.  I bring a cashmere shawl with me and I am all set.

Wedding shirt

Cashmere shawl

I always wear my Bernie Mev shoes, as they are the most comfortable for all the walking we do at the airport. For those who have bought these shoes before, don't you agree?

Bernie Mev shoes

And if I am lucky these will be waiting for me when I get home. The yellow rose of Texas......

photo by

A Bientôt


Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Today we are writing about "sharing" and since that is something we do every day,  I thought my approach to this would be to share some of my favourite things.

photo by sustainable

What is better to share than a recipe?

I love ice cream and I adore cherries so here is a simple recipe for a delicious dessert I want to share with you.

photo from Pinterest

Recipe Directions

Crust is made of any chocolate biscuits, just whiz in the mixer, add 3 tbs. butter and chill.

2 pints vanilla ice cream
I cup chocolate chips
1 cup cherries either fresh or in a jar
Mix together, pour into cold crust and put in freezer until ready to serve.

How easy was that?

Darling cherry cups, click here for details

Sharing an afternoon with a girlfriend talking about the latest fashions.

photo from Pinterest

For the fashionista 

Sharing is also giving......


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lovely fruit from the garden


I have a small, lovely walled garden behind my home in France. There are five fruit trees espalied against a stone wall.  Two of those trees are plum trees and this year they produced more fruit than I was able to use.  

After giving away much of the fruit, I looked for great plum recipes. I love going out into the garden, picking the plums and an hour later having a luscious dessert. 

I would like to share just one of the recipes with you as it was my favorite. Plum Crostata from

Makes 1 (10-inch) galette or crostata

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons almond meal
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds plums, halved and pitted, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Whipped cream

Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend. Add half of the butter and process until the dough resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining butter and pulse until the pieces are pea-sized. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle in the water while stirring and fluffing with a fork. Stir and toss until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk the almond meal, 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round. Spread the almond meal over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the plums in a concentric pattern over the almond meal and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Fold the dough in over the outer edge of the plums. Brush the crust with the cream. Slide the galette with the parchment onto a baking sheet (or a pizza stone preheated in the oven). Bake until the crust is golden, about 45 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

I love this picture of a barn with espalier fruit trees on it.

Lovely French vintage Farm dress


A Bientôt


Monday, September 1, 2014



I grew up going to Miami Beach every winter to get away from the cold Chicago air. My parents enrolled me in the local school for four months a year and we lived in the warm weather.  You could do that in those days.

I followed up by going to the University of Miami where I met my husband and got married at the Roney Plaza Hotel oh so many years ago. 

The Fontainbleu Hotel, The Sans Souci and the Roney Plaza hold lots of great memories for me.
Miami Beach will always have a very special place in my heart.

It went through a slump a few years ago,  but I understand it is rebounding vigorously so I can't wait to go back and visit again.

No visit was complete without a stop at Joe's Stone Crab


Also Wolfie's delicatessen where I loved to eat the sour pickles piled high in bowls on the table.

Alas, those days are gone but surely there are new places to build memories.

It is no wonder I fell in love with these plates called Miami Beach back in the 1980's.  As I am moving soon, I am going to part with some of the many sets of dinnerware I have collected over the years.  Just click on the link below for details.

Miami Beach plates-SWID POWELL 1980's

I had a lovely trip down memory lane writing todays blog, I hope you enjoyed it too.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

These shoes were made for walking

Take a walk in the park, or anywhere else, in the most comfortable shoes ever made.  I have never had a response to anything as great as I had when I wrote about Bernie Mev Shoes before.  To those of you who have asked, I am sending the link again.

Bernie Mev Shoes

They come in almost every color you could imagine, I love my black and my silver ones.

Silver Bernie Mev shoes

They also come in flats and these black ones are on sale.

Bernie Mev flats

I could continue posting links and pictures but I think you have the idea. Just click on the blue links and choose your style, color and size.  You will thank me. 

Living in France I walk so much and needed shoes to let me do it comfortably.  I promise you, these are the ones.  They are a bit funky looking but I get tons of compliments on them as they are so unique.

Please let me know how you like them, so far the responses have been 100% love.

Kisses from my sweet doggie Skye..... She loves when I take her for a walk which I do several times a day.

A Bientôt


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The best French Kitchens

Without a doubt, Hélène Darroze is the best. She has held two Michelin stars at one time or another in each of her two restaurants, Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in London and Restaurant Hélène Darroze in Paris.

Her restaurant is so fabulous and the homemade candy trolley after your meal has to be seen to be believed.

photos from Laissez Fare

From beginning to end the food is outstanding and sometimes I wish I could start with dessert to be sure I have room for it.  You will not be disappointed.

I have been eating at Lasarre for thirty years and am always excited to go there.

Lasserre’s rich history is definitely a part of the dining experience: notables like Audrey Hepburn, André Malraux and Salvador Dali were regulars; it harboured Resistance fighters during the war; and it was while dining with Malraux that Marc Chagall decided to paint the ceiling for the Opera Garnier. But its illustrious past is nothing next to the food: chef Christophe Moret (ex-Plaza Athénée) and his pastry chef Claire Heitzler (ex-Ritz) create lip-smacking delicacies to die for. The upstairs dining room, accessed by a bellboy-operated lift, is a sumptuous affair in taupe and white, with solid silver table decorations, and a retracting roof, which at night opens just enough for you to see the stars.

I think this is the most romantic restaurant in the world, especially when the roof slides open and you can drink your champagne under the stars.

Of course both of the above restaurants are for special occasions.  I eat out all the time when I am in Paris, even when I have an apartment there.  Why cook?

I find this link excellent as it gives you wonderful restaurants that serve healthy and artisinal food. This article is about the 7th arrondissement. Click on it and see if you agree.

Healthy food choices in Paris

I do love cooking and collecting French cuisine items for my kitchen.  When I am at my home in country France or in Dallas I cook most of  the time.  I would love to share my favourite recipes and cooking aids with you.

Very easy slow roasted chicken.....

In a heavy roasting pan on top of the stove, brown the pieces of chicken, bone on.  Season with spices you like, salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, mediterranean spice mix or anything to give it lots of flavour. To the browned chicken pieces add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes ( any root vegetables you like) and enough chicken broth to come half way up the side of the pan.  Roast in a very slow oven for 2-3 hours.  Add more liquid if necessary.  I cook mine at around 200 degrees.  The chicken will fall off the bone.

I am very partial to the French kitchen towels, called Torchon.  They really dry your dishes and glassware beautifully.  I have several of them on my web site
Check out the linens.

Eton Mess

Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue, and whip cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College's annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School. The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century, I love the name.

Easy, easy.  Just clean and quarter strawberries, add lots of whipped whipping cream and broken up store bought meringues.  That's it.  You can add other things but I love it just this way.  Actually it is a Pavlova broken up and much easier to make.

Another cute decorative item for your French kitchen.  This, too, can be found on the web site under Kitchen Accessories.

I cannot close without mentioning Street Food in Paris.

Berthillon Ice Cream.  I have never tasted any better ice cream.  Walking around L'ile Saint Louis with a salted caramel Berthillon ice cream cone is my idea of heaven.

L'As de Fallafel in the Marais.
I've never thought of Parisians as patient and I've certainly never thought of them as the kind of people who'd wait in line for much, but the other day, there they were, waiting in line for elegant macarons from Pierre Herme, and then, there they were again, waiting for a pita stuffed to within a millimeter of bursting with falafel and all its messy fixings.
The falafel worth the wait was from L'As de Fallafel, the most famous, most written about falafel joint in Paris - which might not say much to some of you, but then that's probably because you've never walked down the rue des Rosiers and seen just how many falafel places there are!

Last but certainly not least of Paris street food is the Crepe, especially at the Creperie Josselin.

The star crêperie of the 14th arrondissement, and the one with the longest queues, is the prettily decorated Josselin, where the speciality is the Couple - two layers of galette with the filling in the middle. The savoury galette is followed by the dessert Crêpe de Froment, which comes in three varieties: classic (honey and lemon or wonderful caramel beurre salé); flambéed with calvados; or a fantasy creation oozing with chocolate, banana, ice cream and whipped cream. Wash it all down with bowls of cider, of which the brut is far better than the sweet. You'll be surprised how full you feel at the end and the bill should come to no more than €20 a head, a buckwheat bargain by Paris standards.

Bon appétit mes amis