Monday, March 31, 2014

The Garden Gate

Hello, Monday! How was the weekend? We celebrated the kickoff of a long-delayed landscaping project on a very rainy Saturday. And if you're looking for a place to make mud pies, come on over. We'll be tracking the stuff in for awhile, I'm afraid, but for now there are dreams of garden gates, white picket fences, cocktails on a blue stone terrace and all kinds of beautiful blooms...

What does your dream garden look like?

Have a wonderful week, all. Here's to sunny days and sipping rosé under the rose arbor! XO


Friday, March 28, 2014

Easy Being Green

The gray skies have been with us for days, but the world is still turning green. Seeing the leaves pop all over makes me happy, even on the soggiest days. Perhaps that explains my slight obsession with the chairs in the Tulieries. They are the perfect green, hinting at spring even in the dead of winter. Wouldn't it be lovely to spend a few hours in one this weekend?

To gather a few friends for a chat?

Especially if it was a Paris perfect spring day....

Happy weekend, everyone! What do you have planned? Wish we could all get together for a picnic in the Tulieries.... or just kick back in one of those lovely green chairs for a bit.

Wherever you hang out, I hope it's lovely! XOXO

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Raise A Glass To Spring

So... spring? From the looks of some photos turning up on my Instagram feed, spring may have lost its way to a few parts of the world. And after a beautiful weekend here, the cold, blustery, soggy grays are back. Maybe we just need to make sure spring knows it's invited to the party. Should we try raising a few glasses in its honor?

While we wait, how about a bundle of bright pink tulips, some delicate grape hyacinth and sweet English daisies? They perfectly brought to life the blues and pinks that were the inspiration for my spring party. Add some vintage Booths Real Old Willow (found on One Kings Lane) and some Royal Albert Memory Lane (collected when I was a child) to set a pretty table.

For cocktail hour, a bit of Rosé Lillet, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and gin, topped with a viola blossom, was a hit (you can find the recipe here).

Homemade Gruyere-chive scones (adapted from the Barefoot Contessa) were just the right savory complement to the sweet sips. They moved to the dining room table when lunch was served to go alongside a quiche Lorraine (from here) and a spring vegetable salad found in the current issue of Domino.

And for dessert - cherry blossom cookies. From this recipe and a little inspiration from Ina, they paired perfectly with white chocolate mousse.

And there you have it, a lovely spring lunch!

Here's hoping for more sunny days to toast soon. How will you celebrate?  XO

Monday, March 24, 2014

An Invitation To Spring

Happy Monday, everyone! How was the weekend? Ours was lovely! Wrapped up in a package of perfect weather, it couldn't be anything but.

I know that for some of you spring still feels a long way off - especially with yet another snow storm in the forecast. I'm hoping that if you'll join me for a few moments at a spring luncheon it will brighten things up a bit and invite spring to hurry up and come your way. Thanks for the lovely comments about the sneak peak shared last Friday, and for wanting to see more!

Why don't we start with color inspiration and paper? With cherry blossoms in full bloom, pink and pale sky blue seemed to be calling out whenever I walked down the street. And at my house, it's pretty tough to do anything without inviting a deeper Chinoiserie cobalt to play along.  
The blossoms, pinks and blues conspired to inspire the invitation...

And then found their way onto a menu... 

Some pretty spring nail colors will help guests put their best foot forward as they step into spring. Add some pink ribbons and a few sweets...

And a handmade gift tag...

And voila! A pretty place at the table for each guest. 

Next time let's talk about the table, the flowers and the food...

Until then, here's hoping your week is off to a wonderful start, and that if spring hasn't found you yet, it's definitely on it's way! XOXO

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring: Better When Shared

Hello and happy Friday! Did you celebrate the first day of spring? This morning I'm still smiling from a lovely luncheon with dear friends yesterday. So much good company and girl talk, blue and white, and pink blossoms. The kind of afternoon you wish would never end, and how lovely when friends linger and there is time to open another bottle of wine...

More on this lunch loveliness next week, but wanted to pop in to say hi and happy weekend. Anything fun planned? 

Hope it's beautiful! XOXO

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Just About Spring!

The world is daffodilicious and I'm springtingling in anticipation of the change in season.

As Tolstoy wrote, "Spring is a time of plans and projects," and this morning I'm running around preparing for a proper celebration tomorrow (more on that later). So just a few things I love about this magical time of year:

Flowers blooming everywhere, longer days and lighter evenings, pastel hues, Easter egg hunts, morning birdsong, cherry blossom petals that float from the trees and land on the sidewalks like pink snow, fresh baby vegetables, trading boots for ballet flats, banishing black to the back of the closet, warmer temperatures, bunnies and lambs, the sweet scent in the air, green leaves and Girl Scout cookies.... 

What you would you add to this happy list?

Happy almost spring, friends! Hope you are enjoying every blooming moment.

Monday, March 17, 2014

For St. Patrick's Day: An Irish Idle

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all! Are you wearing green today? My mother's maiden name is Flanigan, but Ireland is one faraway land that's still on our getaway list - actually it's a top contender for a trip later this year. Pouring over photos of Tankardstown House in County Meath makes me think it may be time to investigate my Irish roots. Shall we take a wander in honor of St. Paddy?

The impressive 18th century manor house nestled on 100 parkland acres once belonged to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Today, Tankardstown House welcomes guests with charming suites, "take me away" claw-footed tubs, a spa, a cowshed-turned restaurant and verdant gardens. Fancy a wander across the park? Wellies and four estate dogs are at the ready for a country walk.

On second thought, spending the day at home like the lady of the manor looks quite lovely. too.

Or tea in the garden perhaps?

Eat too much cake and scones? A local adventure company, Muddy Boots, can arrange hikes through spectacular scenery. There's fishing nearby, not to mention castles, prehistoric tombs and whiskey.

An Irish idle sounds like just the thing on a St. Paddy's Day Monday, don't you think?

Have a beautiful start to your week! XO

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Friday, March 14, 2014

You Give Me Fever

Happy Friday, all!

True confessions, I had planned something else entirely for our chat today, but then a bad case of Spring Fever hit hard. With the sun out, the temperatures climbing to 60 and rain creeping back into the forecast starting today, the only cure was to pull on the white jeans and get outside to enjoy while it lasted.

Suddenly it was if the world had been painted daffodil yellow.

Even if snow or rain keeps us all indoors this entire last weekend of winter - sipping something hot instead of drinking rosé on the terrace - that little bit of sunshine was hint enough of the glorious days to come.

Happy almost spring, everyone! Are you ready for the end of winter? XOXO


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