Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Walk down Montana Avenue

After meeting my friend for lunch in Los Angeles, we took a walk down Montana Avenue. My first stop was at Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic.  The one, the only, the original Shabby Chic.  The iconic name is used by so many people to describe the look but Rachel Ashwell was the first to use it.  Her shop is amazing and I can only say, if you ever have the opportunity to go there you should.

The beautiful stencil above is on the wall of the shop. 
Check out her web site, you will love it. 

Pillow shams from French Vintage Home

 The beautiful early 20th century pillow shams are vintage French and so pretty.

We love grain sacks and have done lots of things with them from upholstering furniture to making cushions.  This grain sack was used to upholster a lovely chair.  It is unique in that the printing is so clear and it is in such good condition though it is over 75 years old. 

Check out our web site for so many French vintage things.

Revive some things from your grandmother's attic and have your own very chic, shabby things.

A Bientôt.... A la prochaine

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shades of Grey

Living so much of the year in country France, I cannot resist shopping when I come home to the States.

The view above is Highland Park Village, Dallas, in the evening.   The most wonderful stores in the world are showcased here, the best of the best. There are white Christmas lights everywhere, so impressive.
This week I am in LA and am shopping at great stores, some for the very first time.  America is amazing, so much to buy, so many beautiful things at such low prices.

Many of my European friends come here to do their Christmas shopping as it is so much less expensive than their own country.

The theme today is shades of grey and I found much more than you might want to see so here are just a few of my favorites.

The home things are from west

The beautiful set of dishes is called Crafted Dinnerware.

These sheets are Organic Frayed Edges, I think they are fabulous.

They would look gorgeous with these Lexington quilts and shams

And for a bit of bling, how about these Mercury candle holders?  It would be nice to put a few of them in your bedroom or around your bathtub.

Not to be forgotten are a few clothing items from

I can't wait to bring these leopard print rain boots ( Wellies) to the country where I might wear them every day.  
I love this sweater by Mossimo.  It has a keyhole opening in the back.
One more thing.  This slate and white striped Pea Coat by Mossimo is perfect for wearing now.
All of the things above are available online.  It is so easy and saves us so much time in our busy lives.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Life is a Beach

What a lovely Thanksgiving day we had eating outside on the patio in Malibu.
It was a perfect sunny beach day.

The table looked beautiful and the food was sensational.

As a mother and grandmother, there is nothing more wonderful than getting together with the family for the holidays.  Most of my large, beautiful and loving family flew into Southern California to be together.  Nothing is better than that.

Chef Noah started the meal with pumpkin soup and herb crusted lamb chop lollipops. Yummy!

The lovely hostess with Huggy,  the sweetest dog ever.

How about this Vegan pumpkin pie, it tasted as good as it looked.

Just a bit of beach fashion for you.  I love beach wear.

The most beautiful tote ever to take to the beach.  This large coated linen and leather bag by Bottega Veneta is available at Neiman

A perfect dress to wear to the beach.  This jersey one by Vix is available at

net-a-porter has some rose colored glasses from Illesteva
The end of a perfect day.  We are already planning where to go next year.

 A Bientôt  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Loving French Food

There are lots of things I love about France but the food certainly ranks up there.  
I am featuring the magnificent deliciousness of the macaron (French spelling). Those below are from 'lette in Beverly Hills, I bought them for a party there. Gorgeous!!

No story about macaroons would be complete without mentioning the iconic restaurant and Bakery Ladurée.  The Ladurée Champs Elysées in Paris is the most well know however there are more locations in Paris as well as many locations here in the States.   If you want to make your own macaroons then this is the book for you. It also makes a gorgeous holiday gift.

The Ladurre cookbook

If you would prefer to just buy them, Leila Love sells beautiful and delicious macaroons online.

Leilalove macarons

Without a doubt, the French passion for cheese has found it's way into my life.  I end every dinner party with a large assortment of cheese and some accoutrements.  I usually serve dark cherry confiture as well as some dried fruit and nuts.  Of course an assortment of breads is needed to finish it off.

igourmet cheese sampler

Emeril baguette and bread maker

Just in case you don't want to buy your daily baguette, here is the bread maker for you. 

No article about French food would be complete without a recipe for French Onion Soup.

Here is a simple one:

About 3 pounds of onions cut into half rounds
1/2 stick of butter
4 cups of stock, beef, chicken or vegetable
Pinch of sea salt
Gruyere cheese

Melt the butter, add the salt and sauté the onions in the butter for about an hour.  Cook on low heat until they turn beautifully brown and carmelized.  Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn down and cook for about 45 minutes.

Pour into an oven proof bowl, top with a slice of french bread sprinkled with gruyere cheese and broil for a couple of minutes until cheese melts.  Don't take your eyes off of the soup while under the broiler.
Lions Head Onion Soup bowl

These gorgeous bowls are 4. 5 inches in diameter and are the classic shape for serving your onion soup in. They are oven proof.

If you live in a city where there is a Sur La Table shop, you will find everything you need for cooking and serving your holiday meals. If you can't go into a shop, check them out online. I love the section on New Tools and Gadgets.

Bon Appétit

A Bientôt

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winter Wonderland

For those of us who live in the South, it would be unlikely to ever see a gorgeous scene like this one from Japan.
We can however, see lots of this.

French Flair by Sebastian Siraudeau

Monday, November 19, 2012

What I love about Dallas

I have found the perfect home in Dallas.  Since I split my time between France and Dallas, I wanted something that is beautiful, safe and easy to leave and to come home to.
The answer was a lovely apartment in a gorgeous high rise apartment building.  The services are amazing and the people who work here are efficient and caring.

There are beautiful views from every room.  This is the view from the terrace off of the living room.  It is a bit cold to go swimming but the jacuzzi is nice and warm and feels great after spending time in the gym.

This is the lovely entertainment area where you can have a party for lots of your friends. There is a barbecue grill, tables and chairs for a great party. All you need to do is bring on the guests and the food, everything else is just waiting for you.

The beautiful bathroom has been turned into a spa.  It is quite large with enough room to keep make-up and products close at hand. It is truly a place to relax in a bubble bath after a long day. Lots of beautiful soaps and scented candles all around.

Lafco Duchess Peony Powder Room Candle

Some products that I love are these by Kate Sommerville. There is a cream or lotion for all parts of your face, neck and eyes. They  work very well for me. They are available at Neiman Marcus.

Lafco Claus Porto Lize Morning Glory soap

This soap is gorgeous to use and the beautiful packaging makes it a creative and wonderful gift.  It is made in Portugal.

There is no question as to why I fell in love with this bubble bath, I am always attracted to beautiful pink bottles.  The scent is fabulous and the bottle will look great in your bathroom near the tub.

A very beautiful table setting from the Horchow Collection


   May you enjoy every day and live it to its fullest.

   A Bientôt

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Favorite Traveling Things


A pleasant scene in Bordeilles, France, very close to where I have a home.  My three month visit to the States is coming to an end soon so I am thinking about going back to France.  It prompted me to write this blog about how I make the travel time as comfortable as possible.

What a beautiful day today is. This is the kind of day we love to travel.

Living in two countries I have learned how to make the trip as pleasant as possible.  The airport is always daunting but if you prepare for it, I think you can minimize the stress.
As we get to the airport to leave for our business or vacation trip, our excitement level is triggered and we just want to get through the check-in process as quickly as possible.

For me, it is wearing a shoe that I can slip on an off easily.  I see women wearing boots or shoes with zippers or laces and see them struggling to take them off and put them on.  I want to tell them about these gorgeous, comfortable, easy on and off Taryn Rose shoes. Just slip your foot out or in and off you go.
They are available at Neiman Marcus

The next daunting thing, for me, is my carry on luggage.  It needs to be lightweight and have a compartment where I keep my computer so I can take it out and put it back easily. I always pack my own travel blanket and head phones, I'm crazy that way.   I love Tumi luggage, it is functional and lasts a very long time.  This lightweight bag, which they call Super Leger International, is perfect.  If you have to put it in an overhead bin, you can lift it.

                                                                Tumi carry on bag


A few things I pack in my carry on include this adorable Kate Spade make up bag.  I always put in a lip gloss, some kleenex,a contact lens case, toothbrush and small toothpaste, hair brush and rub on solid cologne. I love the Bulgari scent and it comes with a refill so it is really not more expensive than other name brands.  Don't forget a little snack. All these things pass inspection and go through with no problem.

                     kate spade cosmetic bag

                                                          Bulgari solid perfume


Longchamp Le Pilage Shoulder Tote is another must have item for traveling.  It can be folded into a small pouch and then when you fill it holds quite a bit.  It comes in many colors. It is available at Neiman Marcus.


Last, but certainly not least, what is the ideal thing to wear?

I can only speak for myself but I love something that is comfortable, doesn't wrinkle and looks beautiful.  This lovely cashmere outfit from Neiman Marcus is perfect for winter travel.  You can take the jacket off if you are too warm and put it on if you are cold. Just throw a shawl over it while you wait for your taxi and you should be warm enough.

I guess I am a bit old fashioned but I think you should look nice when you arrive in Paris, or anywhere.

If you don't object to wearing a document carrier around your neck, just for the check in process, you wont have to hunt for your travel documents in your handbag.  They aren't very pretty but they are so practical and you can remove it as soon as you board the plane. If you don't like that idea, do put your passport and tickets in a pocket or plastic bag in your purse so you can get to them easily.

I have a friend who travels with her gorgeous Hermes bag and when I saw her open it, I was shocked.  She had so many plastic bags inside, each holding something she would need to find. She said this way she could avoid the digging we all do in a large purse.

I hope these hints and a positive attitude will help and you will enjoy your travels more. It's the little things that make all the difference.

Bon Voyage

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This 'n That

Getting ready for Thanksgiving sent me to Williams-Sonoma to get the necessary items that I seem to need every year.  I love their window display, especially the orange French oven.  It's gorgeous.

Beautiful packaging for the most wonderful fragrance  Quelques Fleurs.  

There is a story behind this that I found so interesting,I hope you do too. In the 1970's while walking down a street in Grasse, France Stanley Marcus, of the famous store Neiman Marcus, smelled this perfume and was intrigued. He found out where the delightful scent was coming from and immediately bought it for his stores. 
Launched in 1912 , Quelques Fleurs is still available at many different outlets.  The top notes are herbs and citrus followed by a floral note.  You can't help but love it, I do.

I am practicing different ways to do the table for Thanksgiving. I seem to like this seashell theme considering we are having our dinner on the beach in Malibu. Lots of white flowers, hydrangeas, roses, tulips and white starfish in each container. 

I return to my home in France the first of December so more French to come soon.

Until next time..... A la prochaine