31 January 2012

A little birdie told me...

that this lovely little item in My Shop...

is also available through Tori Spelling's Inventori website:

via Inventori

The difference in pricetag is significant...but then again, my item is not from Tori's personal collection ;o)

If you're interested in this item, visit me at bellemaisonetmoi.etsy.com

Thanks "little birdie Pam" from Mercantile Muse.  xo, Alicia

30 January 2012

White Rooster

My mother has been trying to giveaway this old rooster lamp for years:

It's a little bit country in style- okay super country- for my liking (or my mom's hence the donation to me),and since I don't do country or folksy decor, I racked my brain to devise a plan to repurpose this little creature...

So, I disassembled the lamp (he's kind of cute by himself):

And dug out my glossy white spray paint to create a versatile, slightly more modern piece:

{Et Voila! Le Coq}

 Happy Monday! xo, Alicia

27 January 2012

Comfort Food: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I'm not one to crave mac and cheese but lately the weather has been damp and rainy and I am craving some comfort food.  Today I recalled a homemade mac and cheese recipe I tried a few years ago that was so delicious!  It's from Discovery Channel's Get Fresh with Sara Snow and is made with organic dairy products.  I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH what a difference this makes in the flavor of this classic dish.  The creaminess and purity of the taste was surprising and I was amazed that it improved the taste that significantly.  It seems like a minor detail, but trust me when I say it makes a huge difference!  Don't worry Mom (and Grandma up above) I still love your recipe, but even our old standby's can use a shake up every once in a while. 

Snow Family Mac and Cheese
courtesy of Sara Snow

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
3 T organic butter
3 T flour
2 C organic milk
1/2 t salt
dash pepper
2 C grated organic cheddar cheese
2-4 organic roma tomatoes—sliced
1 C bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta until firm.  Melt butter. Blend in flour. Wisk in milk.Cook at medium until thick.Add salt and pepper and 1 1/2 cups cheese.Stir to melt.Place cooked macaroni in greased baking dish.Pour sauce in. Top with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs.Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Start with the lid on and then take it off for about the last about 20 minutes, so the top gets nice and toasty.

Serve with mixed greens or salad.

Sorry I don't have a picture to share with you, but please put the tomatoes on top!  So tasty...

Have a lovely, cozy weekend. xo, Alicia

25 January 2012

Wish list: Books

{Somewhat ironic because I dislike cake (yes I really said that) but love this book cover!}

{Love this cover as well and fun recipes perfect for a lovely little party}

{Laduree Sucré}

{Lauduree Savoury}

{Adore the cover and loved this Food Network Star Winner's show..sadly she chose to leave FN}

Many more to come! xo, Alicia


images via

23 January 2012

Welcome to Downton Abbey!

Just coming down from the high of my new favorite series, Downton Abbey, which airs on PBS Sunday nights at 9pm EST.  Have you seen it?  If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!  In my opinion, it's the most addictive Masterpiece series since Upstairs Downstairs which I remember watching as a little girl with my family over a bowl of chocolate ice cream, slowly drifting off as the calming British series lulled me to sleep.  It is not just me who adores this series...it's so popular that articles have been written about how to host a Downton Abbey style cocktail party and dinner, as well as jewelry and home decor in the style for sale on the PBS website. 

By now you're probably wondering what all the excitement is about.  Rather than try to sum up the series in my own words, I enlisted the help of the PBS website and found a brief synopsis to share with you:

It's 1912, and life in the Edwardian country house of Downton Abbey is idyllic and bustling for the Crawley family, aided by their cadre of servants. Robert, Earl of Grantham, his American heiress wife Cora, and their three daughters, along with Robert's mother Violet, have lived largely uncomplicated lives. But the sinking of the Titanic hits home in an unexpected and dramatic way — Lord Grantham's heir, James Crawley, and his son Patrick have perished.  It's personally agonizing (momentarily) for daughter Mary who was supposed to marry Patrick. On a grander scale, suddenly all the predictable succession plans have gone terribly awry, and unheard of questions now loom large — Who will be the new heir to the earldom? And what will happen to this distinguished estate, now in jeopardy?

Okay, if that's not enough to pique your interest, why don't we take a look at the real life estate that is featured in Downton Abbey:

Exterior of Highclere Castle, Newbury, England

Aerial view of the Highclere Castle exterior, Newbury, England

The ornate saloon at Highclere Castle, Newbury, England

The ornate saloon at Highclere Castle, Newbury, England, upper level

Staircase within Highclere Castle, Newbury, England

The drawing room within Highclere Castle, Newbury, England

And last but not least, a glimpse of the cast...

I do hope I've convinced you to catch up on what your Sunday nights have been missing, even if it's just for the scenery and the costume design!  Speaking of which, these are a few favorites from the Downton Abbey Collection available through the PBS website:

{Kings Road Redux Mugs}

{Queen Victoria Canvas Tote Bag}

{Wool Felt Cloche Hat with Rosette}

{"Notes" Objet D'Art Paperweight}

To view the articles I mention above, visit here and here.  As for another great Masterpiece series, I recommend you delve into The Forsyte Saga (2002).  You won't regret it!

Have a great Monday!  xo, Alicia

credits: pbs.org, shine.yahoo.com

20 January 2012

Old House Syndrome

Yes, I have it as do many of you I'm sure.  I grew up in an old home full of character and currently live in a home that is 103. Someday I hope to live in an even older home (sshh don't tell my husband).  I have one picked out around the corner but more on this another day.

But today's post is not really about old houses...it's actually about a new home designed to emulate old French Provincial style with a bit of sophistication and modern flair (my favorite kind of style!)  The house is in Buckhead, an exclusive Atlanta, Georgia neighborhood.

Well, what are we waiting for? Let's start the tour!
Beautiful new French Provincial home in prestigious Buckhead, designed by award-winning Atlanta architect D. Stanley Dixon. The 4,000 square foot traditional home features a limestone facade and classic architectural details.
{Hello Gorgeous!}
The elegant living room / great room features 12 ft. ceilings, limestone fireplace mantle, rustic French provincial ceiling beams, and plaster walls. Also notice the elegant antique chandelier and oval transom.

Beautiful custom kitchen with white cabinets and charcoal-gray center island, Carrara marble countertops, rustic-looking over-the-island pendant lighting, and range hood designed to mimic a fireplace. The kitchen is designed in the Belgian and French Provincial styles.

A fabulous breakfast room in the custom kitchen features a recessed chalkboard built into the room's plaster walls. Interior designer Betty Burgess chose an antique farm table and early 20th century American chairs.

{Not usually a red fan, but kind of loving these candlesticks}
Beautiful walk-in pantry, designed by award-winning architect D. Stanley Dixon, is hidden behind tall kitchen cabinet panels in the custom kitchen of this beautiful Buckhead home. Open shelves line the pantry walls, to display china collections and serveware.

The elegant powder room of this beautiful Buckhead home features dark hardwood floors, a black vanity with white Carrara marble top, an oval window, antique mirror and floral wallcoverings.

For more information on this house, visit inspiredhomeanddesign.net which is where I discovered all of these photos.

Have a lovely weekend! xo, Alicia

19 January 2012

Mirror Makeover: Distressed Gray Patina

We've had these small gold mirrors for about a year, but I have never really loved how warm or coppery the gold frames were.  So, I decided I would revamp them with a slightly metallic distressed gray patina process that I've used on others mirrors (and love the result). 

{The mirrors before along with my supplies}

{One coat of Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray paint- eggshell finish}

{A light coat of metallic silver glaze}

{Just a bit of white paint to tone down the metallic shine and the pre-sanding. Yes that's an emery board!}

{Post emery board distressing...I ran out of sandpaper, but this worked just as well!}

{Close up}

{Et Voila!}

18 January 2012

Fabulous Fashion: Gap

Admittedly, I haven't thought much about the GAP in recent years and had kind of crossed them off my shopping list.  However, a quick stroll through their online shop today made me reconsider...at least temporarily.  A few favorite items:
{Skimmer Ballet Flats $49.95}

{Neon ruffle-trim cardigan $49.95}

{Sheer Ruffle Overlay Blouse $49.99}

{Faux Fur Coat $59.99}

{Boatneck gold buttoned sweater $14.99}

17 January 2012

French Skincare

It all started with a sample I received ten years ago.  It was Caudalie's Pulpe Vitaminée Moisturizing Cream...the texture, the smell, the effects on my skin... the whole experience had me captivated. 
  Pulpe Vitaminée Moisturizing Cream
Since then, sure I have strayed and cheated and tried other brands hoping for great results, but have found no other line that offers non-irritating formulas that deliver (even at a bit of a price).

Shortly before the holidays, I ran out of everything! Quelle horreur!!  But my loving family came to the rescue and got me stocked up for a short while.  First and foremost with my twice daily staple:

Instant Foaming Cleanser
{Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser}
A delightful foamy cloud dispensed through a pump for thorough, gentle cleansing (yes, even mascara!)

In addition to this cleanser, I am trying two new products:

{Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Masque & Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Crème}

The mask leaves my skin more even-toned, super soft and glowing and the moisturizer is so light it absorbs almost instantly but moisturizes my winter skin perfectly.  Winners!

Other Caudalie faves (particularly for spring and summer perfect skin}...

Vinopure Matte Finishing Fluid
{Vinopure Matte Finishing Fluid...absolute FAVORITE Caudalie product}

Vinopure Balancing Concentrate
{Vinopure Balancing Concentrate..a lightweight oil to help clear & purify the skin...I know you're cringing that it is oil, but trust me, it works well}

For the record, I am in no way affiliated with or endorsing Caudalie.  I just feel excited when I find products that work among the sea of many.  So, what skincare secrets are you keeping? 

xo, Alicia

16 January 2012

And the Winner Is...

Wow, what a great response to my first giveaway!! Thank you all so much for participating, I'm glad there was so much interest and love for this very special necklace.  She is a beauty!  Just a reminder that the winner was chosen through true random number generator at random.org.   More on the winner in a moment...

Hello to all of my new followers!  I hope you'll visit often...I have some exciting decor makeovers coming up, along with a few recipes, some new fashion finds and of course, more jewelry

So, without further adieu, the winner of the January jewelry giveaway is…..
Congratulations!!!  For those of you who don't know, Pearl has a lovely little blog over at vintageprettypearl.blogspot.com that I recommend you visit.
Happy Monday and please don't forget to check out Mercantile Muse's giveaway on my blog sidebar if you haven't already...it's a gorgeous illustration/painting!

xo, Alicia

13 January 2012

Winter Wonderland

Our first real snow this winter...

Have a lovely weekend and don't forget to enter my jewelry giveaway here. xo, Alicia

08 January 2012

Jewelry Giveaway: January (Ended 1/16/12)

A new year and time for new things...starting out with my first giveaway!  I had fun putting this jewelry giveaway together so I hope you have fun participating...

Vintage costume necklace by Belle Maison Et Moi

A vintage costume gold multilink Avon chain
 accented with a soft gold, white, and crystal vintage Kramer budding flower necklace
toggle clasp for easy wear
length is twenty inches
a classic, neutral statement necklace
packaged in a sophisticated gift box with glittering ribbon and flowers
perfect for you or for gift giving
free 1st class USPS shipping (international as well) to the winner from moi!

This giveaway is CLOSED

Giveaway Rules:

*You must be or become a follower of this blog
*You must leave a comment below
**You may enter more than once if you:
 share this giveaway with your blog friends in a blog post or on your sidebar
like my giveaway on Facebook or tweet about this giveaway on Twitter
**Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each separate entry so you are entered more than once to win!**
Deadline is January 16th 12a.m. est. The winner will be selected through a random number generator on January 16th and contacted by me to gather mailing information
Bonne Chance! xo, Alicia