30 June 2011

Sweet Indulgence

I was ecstatic when I found this recipe!  I'm hoping to try it out this weekend if time permits and I hope you will too...

{Boston Cream Cupcakes}
 Find the recipe here 

29 June 2011

Café au lait kitchen

Would this really be my blog if I didn't feature at least one home revamp per week?  Nah.  So, here goes...our kitchen when we moved in a few years ago:


In progress:

Don't worry, I revamped the table & chairs too!


{Crisp white paint & Toasted Almond Valspar paint on the lower bead board- it's a beautiful cafe au lait color}
{We rearrange from time to time. I revamped this 'island' with several coats of white paint and new glass & modern brushed nickle drawer pulls that match our cupboards}

{Painting the cupboards white was so worth it and made all the difference! Now it's about time to upgrade our microwave, don't you think?!  Overlook that and notice the chandelier style ceiling mounted light fixture }

Just a quick tour..we've since added a natural colored herringbone area rug under the table and swapped the 'island' and table to give us a bit more space to cook along the counter top.

As always, Alicia

28 June 2011

Romantique Giveaway!! I will always love pink

Gorgeous aren't they?  Join me in entering this awesome giveaway featuring the color pink by visiting
à la parisienne over at her beautiful blog for the details. Bonne chance!

Under the canopy

A restorative hike this past weekend with my husband and our dog Gigi to celebrate her 2nd birthday! 

{The birthday girl! a little blurry b/c she has trouble sitting still!!}

{A mossy tree trunk- love the shades of green}
{Protective tree canopy above us- even more shades of green!}

And if you thought I could leave the woods uninspired, guess again...
{Handmade necklace with vintage pin}
Have a beautiful day,

27 June 2011

Treasure Chest

Today would have been my maternal grandmother's 102nd birthday.  Although she's been gone for several years now, I will always cherish the memories of sitting on the edge of her bed, with the warm glow from her lamps, listening to her tell a story about each piece of glimmering jewelry in her jewelry box.  A ritual that was a constant in every visit, a ritual that I never tired of, a ritual that I keep alive in my heart when I sift through my own jewelry box, rediscovering my grandmother's treasures amongst newly acquired vintage discoveries...

Grand-mère joyeux anniversaire, avec l'amour! XO

25 June 2011

Favorite Four

A collection of my favorites from the week:

{A vintage fleur-de-lis locket pin that I plan to upcycle into a necklace with these items}

{ A pile of clean whites courtesy of my husband ♥} 

 {Handmade stamped cards with varied greetings}

{A mini triple berry pie from the Wegmans (greatest market on earth!) bakery}

23 June 2011

Key Largo, Montego, Baby Why Don't We Go?

Down to Kokomo...

Okay, have I gotten that song stuck in your head now too?!  I drove my family crazy listening to my Kokomo single cassette tape over and over again when I was growing up.  But lately, having this song playing in my head is a result of a much needed beach vacation.! I have little bits of the beach around my house teasing me everyday.  What I wouldn't give for some sun, sand, and spirits!  Since no beach vacation is in sight any time soon, I've gathered up my 'bits of beach' and taken a picture to remind me to schedule an escape before the autumn leaves begin to fall...

Items pictured (clockwise):
Chanel Orange Fizz nail polish
gifted starfish dish from my bestie NLDS as part of a bridesmaid gift from her wedding
my husband's sea sponge gifted from my mother-in-law's voyage to Santorini, Greece
Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin
Trina Turk bikini
Liz Claiborne sunglasses

22 June 2011

Summer Reading List

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I always have a stack of books on my nightstand, on the floor beside the bed, or on the coffee table. Although I don't have as much reading time as I used to, I still like to have a variety of books around for an escape from the computer or the television. The books pictured above are always nearby and I have read each of them at least a handful of times, no joke. There's always a new little tidbit to catch in each new reading!!

Book list from top to bottom:
Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier
Chic & Slim by Anne Barone (she has a series that is well worth checking out on annebarone.com)
All You Need to be Impossibly French by Helena Frith Powell
French Women For All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano
French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
Women, Work & The Art of Savoire Faire by Mireille Guiliano
the French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano

So maybe I'm a little partial to Mireille Guiliano (if we're being honest I also have her books on CD and I listen to them in the car), but all of these books are wonderful and I hope you'll give them a try if you haven't already!

What's on your summer reading list??


21 June 2011

Raspberry and Black decor

                       "62 easy ways to bring French style home"

My heart began to race as I read those beautiful words dancing across the cover of the April 2011 issue of Romantic Homes magazine.  I love Romantic Homes magazine and if you've never had the joy of reading it, RUN to your nearest magazine stand and buy a copy!! You won't be disappointed. 

So, what was it about this issue that left me mesmerized?  Well... if you love the way pink, black, and grey look together (as I do), then check out these photos from the magazine's feature on the home of French lingerie designer Chantal Thomass:

These are just a few of the snapshots in the feature courtesy of Romantic Homes.   Hope you enjoyed the tour! 

20 June 2011

White makes everything right

I love a good makeover...particularly one that lends itself to white paint.  Who am I kidding?  Everything lends itself to white paint (and usually looks better as a result!)  While looking through some of our pictures of home and furniture renovations, I came across a few images of an old wooden chest that my husband and I used as a coffee table in our first apartment.  As you can imagine, the chest had seen better days, but with a little imagination and collaboration with the hubs, we remade it into a padded bench that is the perfect perch for our cat (who has been edited out of the last picture :o)

the raw product

the beginning of something beautiful

murky primer
several coats of paint later

a foam padded top covered with black and white damask patterned fabric 

Much more regal of a piece with the addition of fancy legs!

It is so rewarding, not to mention 'green' (economically and ecologically speaking), to add a fresh sparkle to forgotten treasures that we already own.  What treasures have you recently dusted off and added a touch of life to?   I'd love to see pics, so please share!

19 June 2011

Bistro Beet Salad

My dad and I have an affection for the deliciously earthy fuschia beet, a root vegetable sneered at by many.  I often wonder how many people have ever tasted a beet or if they simply judge them by their appearance alone.  For father's day, to make my usual beet salad seem a little bit more special, I decided to make a composed salad of spring mix, beets, walnut crusted goat cheese, and dried cranberries.   I always love how composed salads highlight each delicious ingredient independently of one another, one just as important as the other.  No beet salad would be complete without a viniagrette of balsamic vinegar and honey.  If you have yet to try a beet and goat cheese salad whether at home, a restaurant, or a Parisian bistro, I urge you to take the plunge and see if this simple dish becomes a part of your regular repetoire.  Bon Appetit!

spring mix

balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper to taste
sliced beets, the star of the salad!
walnut crusted goat cheese

Papa jour de père heureux! 

17 June 2011

Favorite Four

Endless joy and relaxation through the following things this week:
A vintage Hall planter to brighten our mudroom windowsill

A vintage white enamel and gold necklace

A birthday gift I'm finally reading...so relaxing & quite an escape!

A new silky pewter summer dress