Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for this year? My heart is grateful for all the friends and readers who continue to pop by - and readers who have become friends over the years. Thanks for all the comments, emails and connections.

Hope you have a beautiful celebration and weekend. Be back Monday. XOXO

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bucket List

Happy Monday, all! How is your Thanksgiving week shaping up? I've got a little champagne on the brain - not only will we be toasting all we have to be thankful for, but we're providing the venue for our friends Bob and Christina's annual Champagne Party this weekend.  So there will be bubbles a plenty!

A vintage champagne bucket is the perfect place to chill them -  I love how Elizabeth at Pretty Pink Tulips used hers to style a champagne bar cart. But there's a multitude of uses for these chic coolers:

A stylish waste basket in the powder room...
The perfect "wrapping" for a hostess gift (here)...
A cache pot for your holiday amaryllis or paper whites...
A vase for a big bouquet of champagne pink roses...

Cheers, everyone! Here's hoping your holiday week bubbles over with lots of cheer! XOXO

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blue and White at the Musée Nissim de Camondo

Happy Friday, all. Should we wander back into the Musée Nissim de Camondo for a bit? I mentioned that the collection of blue and white was worth a post in itself... so here we are:

Gorgeous treasures tucked in every corner.

Hope your weekend takes you somewhere equally beautiful! Have a lovely one, friends. XO

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Afternoon at the Musée Nissim de Camondo

Another friend is off to Paris next month. Lucky girl! We're getting together for lunch to talk travel tips and musts. One suggestion that always tops the list is to take a break from the crowds in front of the Mona Lisa and the lines at the D'Orsay to check out some of the city's smaller museums.

There are more than 70 museums in the City of Light, so there's always one you haven't visited yet. A favorite is the Musée de Nissim Camondo, an elegant private home from the early 20th century located next to the Parc Monceau.

Modeled after the Petit Trianon and built to hold the private collection of Parisian banker Count Moise de Camondo, the mansion's perfectly preserved architectural details are works of art in themselves. The count's will stipulated that the house be left exactly as it was, so in the midst all the splendor, there is the sense you've wandered into a wealthy family home in early years of the 20th century.

There's a sweeping staircase, stunning works of art and 18th century furniture, a room full Sévres porcelain and a collection of blue and white that is worth a post of it's own.

If you could spend the afternoon today in any Paris museum, which would you choose? One of the biggies or a petit bijoux?

Have a beautiful Wednesday! XOXO

Monday, November 17, 2014

French Friends

Meeting up face to face with blog friends who you've been carrying on virtual conversations for ages is always great fun. They might live a world away or on the other coast, but sometimes they're from just across the lake...

And so I found myself enjoying déjeuner recently with Véronique, the voice behind French Girl in Seattle. A French ex-pat who has lived in the states for nearly 20 years, Veronique dishes out travel advice and serves up insider information with a sly sense of humor and plenty of savoir faire. We met when she asked me to create a "mascot" for her new website - Coco, a Breton stripe and beret-wearing French bulldog. She was a delight to paint and now I'm more than a little obsessed with French bulldogs.

So if you're craving a bit of je ne sais quoi in your day, go say hello to Véronique and Coco - you'll find them here.

Have a wonderful week, everyone! XO

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Color Inspiraton: Cool, Soft Shades as Autumn Fades


Happy Friday, everyone. How was the week? We were blessed with some gorgeous but chilly sun-shiny days. And although the warm, bright colors of fall and harvest time are beautiful, with this colder weather, cooler tones are starting to appeal.

At our house, the pumpkins stick around until Thanksgiving passes, but I always like to switch things up a bit when Halloween transitions to November. Last year, gold leaf gave a sparkle to shades of orange that were starting to look old. This time, I'm loving cool slate grays and the softest ballet slipper pinks.

They would look lovely on a Thanksgiving table, don't you think? Perfect with blue and white china or even antique gold and an Imari pattern.

What colors do you think set the perfect tone this time of year?

Have a beautiful weekend! XOXO

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

An Invitation to Relive the Very Best of Days

There were childhood days that slipped away as we searched for shells on the beaches of a small island in the South Puget Sound where my dad built our family a cabin...

There were afternoons that drifted by in the shadows of Oxford's domes and spires, where we would throw aside George Elliot or Virginia Woolf and head to the Isis for punting or to the pub for a pint...

There was that first time I saw Paris in the early spring sunshine (on my birthday!) Oh my gosh, that's the Louvre! 

There are so many old-school snapshots of days spent painting in Monet's Giverny garden with no one around except artists and gardeners and flowers and you almost expected the great man himself to wander out of the pink house with the green shutters...

Most of the photos have faded, but in my memory, the house and the poppies are the same rosy shade...

And of course there was that day when we said that we did, surrounded by the people we loved the most...

There have been early morning elephant rides in search of lions and leopards...

And so many amazing adventures since. How thankful I am for days full of beauty, wonder and excitement.

But the best days... I think they are the simple ones. Like when Mr. H. would make me Saturday pancakes back in the beginning of our years together. And there was so much happiness that butter, sugar and carbs didn't matter one bit and the to-do list could wait...

I bet that these are the days I will most want to have back at the end.

And so last Saturday I made us pancakes. Slathered them with butter and syrup. Skipped the morning workout and let the best kind of day unfold...

What's your best day?

Today's post is my contribution to By Invitation Only, the international blog party where each month we all chat about the same topic. The assignment for November? To describe one of the best days of our lives so far... 

For those of you who might be stopping by for the first time, thank you. I'm so glad you did! Friends and regular readers, I hope you will visit the rest of this talented group. You'll find them at Splenderosa

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus - And Red Ticking

Happy Monday, everyone! How was the weekend? Ours started on Thursday night with a book signing event for Seattle restauranteur Renee Erickson's A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus at Pam Robinson's Red Ticking.

It really is a book to celebrate, and celebrate we did with plenty of bubbles and yummy bites from Renee's Boat Street Café and The Whale Wins.


Having Connecticut artist Mary Maguire on hand made the evening extra special - Pam's customer's have been charmed by Mary's watercolors for years and Renee's restaurant The Whale Wins took it's name from one of Mary's painting with the same title.

And flowers from Nisha Kelen's Fleurish made everything that much prettier.

Of course, this being Red Ticking, there were plenty of other temptations on hand...

Many of my east coast friends have been talking about coming out to Seattle for a visit... and when they do, you can be sure that Red Ticking and at least one (if not all) of Renee's restaurant's will be tops on my "musts" list for them. Whether it's the light and airy French-accented Boat Street Café, the seaside shack crossed with your favorite Parisian oyster bar The Walrus and the Carpenter, the wood-fired goodness of The Whale Wins, or the charms of tiny Barnacle, all celebrate what's best about Seattle - local bounty, not too fussy, relaxed and easy-going, but still beautiful.

Renee gets every detail right in her restaurants, and the same is true for her book. It unfolds with seasonal menus for feasts like a Lummi Island Spot Prawn Dinner, and shorter, less structured recipes that make the most of the best ingredients of the season.

And there are stories about the people who are part of the restaurants' success - from oyster farmers to her mother, father and brother, who have worked, advised and provided support along the way. All accompanied by gorgeous photographs by Jim Henkens that capture the well-lit airiness which seems to always permeate Renee's restaurants, even on the rainiest Seattle day.

It's one you can't wait to share - I served up an impromptu supper on Sunday night all made from recipes from the book. It was lovely to see how well the dishes translated from Renee's restaurants to my table at home.

Pick up a copy for yourself, send a copy to a friend. It's sure to become a favorite.

Hope you have a delicious week! XO


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