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 lucky...you 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.