Monday, November 16, 2009

Oui or Non?

Oui or Non

Just had to share this latest fashion find with you!

Aren't these adorable charm earrings perfect for a fickle Francophile? The earrings are by, one of my favorite US jewelry designers, Liz Palacios from San Francisco, CA.

Wouldn't they just be perfect for wearing in Paris?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bon Bon Lip Balms

Tokyo Milk Bon Bon Lip Balms

Like most women, I wore lip balms before I wore lipstick. I was raised on Yardley Pot O Gloss and Bonne Belle Lip Smackers. To this day...I still love my lip balms!
My latest lip balm find is Bon Bon Lip Balm by Tokyo Milk . I was instantly drawn to their clever vintage-artsy packaging. Then I opened up the lovely little tester pot, had a whiff...and was in Bon Bon heaven! Since I love Marie Antoinette, I selected Bon Bon flavor Let Them Eat Cake. It smells as sweet as a Paris patisserie!

Let Them Eat Cake
I first discovered these adorable Bon Bons in a quaint boutique shop in Ashland, Oregon last summer. Today while shopping at Anthropologie I noticed that they are carrying a few of the flavors right now, too.

You can also find Bon Bons at the hip boutique Fringe on 21st Street in Sacramento. They carry Tokyo Milk products (which includes neat artsy packaged soaps) and lots of cool stuff both vintage and new.

Perhaps the best part about these Bon Bons are...besides being great for your lips...they are great for your hips because these sweet little Bon Bons have no calories!

Be sure to let me know which flavor is your favorite Bon Bon!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pillow Talk!

Paris Address Vintage French Linen Pillow

Pillow Talk!

This pillow design really spoke to me! Had to have it...well two actually!

If you need a French fix, too, you can find

Vintage French Linen Pillows at

Restoration Hardware.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's a Strawberry Shortcake kinda Holiday!

Farmers Market Berries

It's still summer here in California. These gorgeous California Strawberries from the Marysville, California farmers market are the proof.  So I am thinking it's a Strawberry Shortcake kinda holiday! How about you?

Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberries washed, dried and sliced.
Reserve about 1/4 of your Strawberries to crush.
Crush the berries and add to the sliced Strawberries.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Sugar to taste.
Refrigerate until serving time.
Enjoy your Strawberries over Angel Food cake,
shortcake or biscuits with a dollop of whipped cream!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia
A Year of Cooking Dangerously

A few years back a book with a catchy title and cute cover caught my eye. That book was Julie & Julia :My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. The cover's clever quote hooked me: "Irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef." - Philadelphia Inquirer. So I bought it.

I haven't read Julie & Julia (yet). Sadly it just sits on my book shelf due to my current obsession of blogging and knitting.

I know I would love this book. In 2002. author Julie Powell decides to change her life by cooking every one of Julia Child's 524 recipes in Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the course of one year. She documents this online and cleverly turns it into a blog the Julie/Julia Project which later becomes the book Julie and Julia.

Julie & Julia is now a major motion picture. It is based on the two best selling memoirs Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme. The memoir stories are intertwined together in the movie.

Bon Appetit...I'm Julia Child!

Remembering Julia

My earliest memories of Julia Child are of watching her on TV in the early 1970's at my grandparent's house . My grandmother, a fabulous home cook, always watched Julia Child's The French Chef and Graham Kerr's The Galloping Gourmet .

My grandparents also introduced me to French cuisine. I think I was around 12 years old when I had escargot at a fancy restaurant in South Lake Tahoe. I seemed to like the chewy snails okay but it was the hot, buttery garlic sauce I liked best when I dipped my French bread in it. And so began my love for French food influenced by my grandparents and those Julia Child television shows.

Meryle Streep as Julia

Julie and Julia the movie is by director/screenwriter Nora Ephron. It is the first major motion picture made from a blog! I love that!

The one and only Meryl Streep stars as Julia Child and Amy Adams portrays Julie Powell. Being a foodie, I just know I will love this movie! I read that Meryl Streep nailed Julia's mannerisms! (Hmm...I'm thinking maybe Oscar caliber performance here.)

Julia's famed Kitchen

Julia Child's famed Cambridge, Massachusetts kitchen was replicated for the movie by set decorator Susan Bode Tyson. I loved reading that Julia used her Spode Blue Willow dishes nearly everyday. We just happen to have a blue and white Spode decorated kitchen, too!

I love collecting vintage French cookbooks. I have a vintage set (1971 & 1974 printing) of Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking on display in our kitchen. Sitting on top of them is a Spode Blue Italian mixing bowl. I think that would make Julia smile!

In 2001, before moving to California, Julia Child donated her real Cambridge kitchen to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for all the world to see.

Julie & Julia

In Theaters on August 7, 2009

A toast to Julie & Julia!

I hope to see the movie on opening day.
When I come home,
I am going to have a glass of wine and toast both Julie and Julia!

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day Dreaming of Paris!

Day Dreaming of Paris!

Wondering where I've been? I have been day dreaming about Paris and busy on my other blog The Flitter Knitter.

I hope to be blogging here again soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Flower Pot Dirt Cake

Michele's Flower Pot Dirt Cake.

Remember making mud pies as kids? My sister and I used to spend hours making mud pies in our G.G's (Great Grandmother's) back yard. I remember we even had little toy baking pans for our culinary creations!
Well memories of mud pies came back to me the other day. I went to a knitting luncheon at my knitting friend Michele's house. Michele made the cutest dessert...a Flower Pot Dirt Cake! I loved Michele's version in a big (plastic) flower pot complete with it's own trowel! What a great idea for garden party!

Dig in!

You can get quite creative when making a dirt cake. It is essentially a layered cake made of chocolate pudding mixed with cool whip and crushed Oreo cookies for the dirt. Michele's tasty version started with crumbled brownies for the bottom layer, then pudding layers, heath bars crumbled in and then the crushed Oreo cookie topping.

Are you inspired now to make a dirt cake for your summer parties? If so, there are plenty of recipes and variations on the Internet. I found a cute one for little dirt cups with gummy worms here.   I especially like the idea of individual flower pots filled with dirt cake and gummy worms!

So go ahead, get creative, get your hands dirty and make a fun dirt cake this summer.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

The May Pole Dance!

Happy May Day!

Dancing around the Maypole is an ancient rite of Spring. In Victorian times it was performed at women's colleges. In America it was celebrated at at elementary schools up to the late 1950's. My Mother remembers in grade school celebrating May Day. The sang "May Day, Play Day" and danced with ribbons around a tether ball pole!

May Pole Cake & Cupcakes
Martha Stewart

Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with an adorable May Day cake! This would be pretty easy to replicate (with a wooden dowel and ribbons) if you just happen to be going to a May Day Garden Party!

No matter how you chose to celebrate May sure to wear a flower in your hair and do a little dance!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saying Good Bye to Country Home

Country Home Magazine's Final Issue

I am having a hard time saying good bye to another favorite magazine... Country Home.

The April 2009 issue of Country Home is it's last. According to Meredith Corp. the magazine was cut from it's line up due to the recessionary economy. Sad news for the loyal readers of Country Home Magazine!

I've been a fan of Country Home magazine for many years. It was certainly a "top notch" country lifestyle magazine. I suppose I am a city girl with a country heart so County Home's pages gave me a true taste of the "country life". Through the years it even evolved into a more "modern country" feel...perfect for a city girl like me!

Pattern Pretty Feature Story

Since I am an Interior Designer I will miss it's wonderful articles and ideas on decorating. I was so excited to see this month's story called Pattern Pretty. It is a wonderful article on a British designer, Christina Strutt of Cabbages and Roses. I discovered Christina's work years ago in a British design magazine. I love her vintage inspired pretty rose cotton fabrics and her home and fashion accessory line.

Red and White Decorating

I will miss the wonderful decorating ideas and photography of Country Home magazine. It was always filled with such pretty pictures and rooms you just want to live in!

Orange Rhubard Quick Bread

I will miss the recipes and the stories about great home chefs across our country. My favorite baking stories were always the cupcake ones!

Ideas To Get Your Garden Growing!

I will miss the many garden stories and wonderful country garden photos. I will miss many other things about Country Home, too. I will miss it's pages filled with seasonal ideas, craft projects, English china, vintage collectibles and antique and flea market guides.

Goodbye Country Home!

I once had to say goodbye to another favorite magazine, Victoria. Several years later it came back into publication. I hope that one day Country Home magazine will come back to life, too!

If you are still may be able to find this last issue of Country Home on your newstand!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chef Taylor's Braised Pork Belly

Spiced, Braised Pork Belly
with warm lentil salad

Not to brag but I had a fabulous three course lunch today inspired by renowned French chef, Daniel Boulud, all for only $15.00!

Now for the name dropping. This fabulous lunch wasn't even at a Napa Valley French restaurant... it was at The Oak Cafe, my nephew's culinary art's school restaurant! And, it was finals week for my nephew!

Now I will brag. I am a very proud Aunt today. My oldest nephew Taylor presented his student final menu today and was the chef running the kitchen. His instructor, Chef James Chaves graded him while he cooked and presented his menu for the restaurant.

Chef Taylor's menu:

Portabello Pave with White Asparagus Vinaigrette

Spiced, Braised Pork Belly with warm Lentil Salad

Chocolate Crepes Suzettes

Taylor's braised pork belly entree was inspired by renowned French chef, Daniel Boulud and then Taylor added his creative flair!

Taylor continues to amaze me with his love for food and his creativity. High marks today Chef Taylor for your originality, presentation and flavor! You are a naturally gifted and talented chef.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Joyeuses Paques

Chocoloate bunnies!
(Vintage French postcard)

Chics rule!
(Vintage French postcard)

Joyeuses Paques
(Happy Easter)

I adore vintage French postcards
and chocolate bunnies,too!

Enjoy your Easter holiday!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Inspired by the Sea!

"Inspired by the Sea" Tablescape
Design Team: Pottery Barn

I went to the Galleria Mall today to buy a special birthday present for my mother. Along the way, I got side tracked and felt like I was on a summer vacation at the beach. I was actually only window shopping but the latest design trend really does make you feel like you're relaxing at someone's beach house.
That latest design trend is "Inspired by the Sea"! This trend is turning up everywhere from handbags, knitwear designs, tableware and home accessories. Pottery Barn is all decked out with their "Inspired by the Sea" displays. I love the tablescape above with the sea shells scattered across the table...just like a table runner.
While window shopping today, I saw a lot of coral designs and influence. Here are just a few:

Red Coral Napkins and Spreaders
Pottery Barn

Coral Decorative Pillow
Pottery Barn

Felix Rey for Target

And, of course, there is that coral handbag by Felix Rey for Target! The Felix Rey handbags are now out at Target. I would like to say that "they actually do look pretty nice for a designer collection for Target". They seem to be selling pretty well, too!

I passed on buying a Felix Rey handbag. You really should check them out though if you are going on a cruise or a beach trip this summer.

What do you think of this summer design trend? I like it. Living in California, the ocean and beach combing bring back happy childhood memories for me. How about you?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Le Petite Paris

Le Petite Paris

I miss Paris in the springtime!
So whenever I need a Parisian fix...I visit Le Petite Paris right here in Sacramento, CA!
Le Petite Paris
Boutique and Cafe

I first found out about Le Petite Paris several years ago when it was featured in Sunset magazine. Eventually I stopped in Le Petite Paris and met it's delightful Francophile owner Tassina Nicole.

Tassina loves Paris...just like me! She has been travelling and shopping there for over 20 years. We chatted about our favorite Paris flea markets and shopping all around Paris. Tassina also does fabulous Paris shopping tours several times a year.

In 2008 she and her husband Ruben expanded the boutique and opened an adorable French cafe. I love it's decor with it's Parisian flair and flocked wall paper! I finally had lunch there yesterday with my knitting friend Cora. We both had French style baguette sandwiches, a latte and, of course, a few macaroons! It was "tres bon"!

Ooh, la, la! French Sacs (Handbags)!

Le Petite Paris carries much more than just Eiffel Towers. They have a wonderful selection of French Handbags and totes. Yesterday I even spotted some adorable totes from my favorite Parisian Patisserie Laduree! Since Laduree is not available here in the US, I know that Tassina must have hand carried those all the way back from Paris for her lucky customers!

Tres Chic French Bijoux (Jewelry)

The boutique is also filled with stunning vintage and designer French jewelry. She also carries, scarves, clothing, French toiletries and French tea in brightly covered tea caddies. You are sure to find something French and special for yourself or a friend when you shop at Le Petite Paris!

Sadly this store has closed.  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Felix Rey for Target

Felix Rey for Target

Are you heading to the beach this summer? Or perhaps a more exotic tropical destination is in your plans? Will either way, you just may "have to have" this designer-chic beach bag!
Felix Rey is a fab designer duo that has an exclusive limited-edition hand bag run for Target later this month. Normally their luxury handbags are sold in exclusive stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks and Blommingdales.

Target's motto is "Design for All". What a clever idea Target has come up with partnering with high style designers and making fashion affordable for everyone.
My friend Jodi in Seattle recently told me that we are no longer called Fashionista's but Reccessionista's. (She loves handbags, too!) These Target Designer bags are perfect for us Reccessionista's who still want style but don't want to break the bank. The Coral Beach Bag in the photo is a steal at only $34.99!

The Felix Rey for Target collection will be in Target stores nationwide from March 29th thru June 6th.

Will you be dashing off to get one?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

I hope your Valentine's Day includes some French chocolate or French treats!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"We'll Always Have Paris" Bracelets!

We'll always have Paris!

I love Paris and I love fashion jewelry! So you know I am in love with these adorable Paris phrase bracelets!

The bracelets are part of the Nantucket Bangles collection by designer Jessica Cushman. They are crafted in hand poured resin and then hand inked and hand finished. Many are limited-edition designs. They come in lots of clever and catchy phrases. I'm sure you'll find one that you will like, too!

Designer Jessica Cushman

Jessica Cushman is the innovative designer behind these bracelets. They are crafted to resemble ivory scrimshaw. Naturally there are a lot of impostor companies in the market place knocking them off now. Some even accused The House of Chanel of being a copycat. Chanel brought out CoCo Chanel phrase bracelets in their 2007 Runway Collection.

Jesscia comes from a talented and crafty family. Her mother is needlework queen Erica Wilson and her father is modern furniture designer Vladimir Kagen. Her mother taught her how to do needlework and knit. Her father taught her the craft of scrimshaw. What a talented family!

For more information, have a look at her website

Which bracelet do you want?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic!

Shopaholic Heroine Becky Bloomwood
(Can you shop as much as Becky?)

Attention all shopaholics! Confessions of a Shopaholic is coming to the big screen!

If you are a shopaholic, you have probably read the Shopaholic novels by best-selling (British) author, Sophie Kinsella.

I discovered the novels a few years after they had been published. I chose to do the audio book versions...and loved them! Sophie's first book Confessions of a Shopaholic has been adapted into a new movie. It is sure to be one of this year's best romantic comedies. Isla Fisher, an adorable red head, plays Rebecca (Becky) Bloomwood. (I must confess...I am not familiar with this actress.)

The original story began with heroine Becky Bloomwood living in a flat in London. I understand in the movie version she lives in New York City. Either way she certainly has some of the world's best department stores as her shopping ground!

So grab your best shopping buddies and plan to see it together!

It hits the big screen on February 13th, 2009.

PS: Do you have a shopping confession? I do!

When I was in my late twenties I drove to 5 or 6 different Macy's stores all around the Bay Area in one day! Now...that's a shopaholic!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bonne Annee!

Vintage French Postcard

Bonne Annee
(Happy New Year)

It's a New Year!

Live life to the fullest!

Stop and smell the roses!

Wear French perfume!

Drink French tea!

Buy that French scarf or handbag!

and plan that trip to Paris!