Saturday, February 28, 2009

{ happy weekend... }

I heart San Francisco at night by you.

What are your plans for the weekend? Last weekend we went into San Francisco and played tourist for the day. We ended the day with a night time
cable car ride along the Powell/Hyde line which leaves from Fisherman's Wharf, near Ghiradelli Square, and runs up and over Nob Hill and through Union Square. We rode in the front, on the outside, and had a bird's eye view of the Bay Bridge, Coit Tower and the City all aglow--it was a totally unexpected {and magical} experience at night and the best $5 I've ever spent.

Anyway, this is just a long way of saying that I hope you're able to mix it up and try something different this weekend. Whatever your plans...enjoy! See you all Monday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

{ pssst...}

Melissa invited me to spend the day at her place. I'd love for you to stop by and visit...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

{ inspiring friends... }

After reading Mrs. French's inspiring post yesterday, I was determined to break out of my computer rut today and instead, venture outdoors. 

Feeling blue...

Pink flutter

Spring Silhouette

Thank you my friend... I did indeed stumble into something nice and have you to thank for taking note of the pretty all around me. ; )

{ I think this could become habit forming }

{ thursday thoughts...}

The secret to becoming who you wish to be
 the secret to becoming who you wish to be print by Vol25

Found via Monica --a constant source of inspiration. Check out her story if you have a moment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

{ my spring stimulus package... }

Doing my part to generate a little sunshine and cheer around these parts. Say buh bye to gray skies and gloom...


all images via cabbages & roses--a delightful new discovery

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

{ feeling funky? }

vday: hot chocolate mix.

Why is it that the shortest month of the year always feels like the longest? Perhaps it's because December holidays are a distant memory, the excitement of the first snow has come and gone and now winter has, well..., lost its charm! With a few weeks to go until the start of Spring, I've been looking for ways to fight the February Funk. I stumbled upon this DIY "i love you hot chocolate" idea while visiting oh, hello friend and think it's the perfect remedy for chasing away the winter blahs.

Hot chocolate surprise

Step by step instructions to help you craft your own hot chocolate concoction are detailed here. Think: "cheer up hot chocolate", "thanks for your friendship hot chocolate", "thinking of you hot chocolate"...super easy and a surefire way to brighten someone's day {and yours}!

all images via oh, hello friend

Monday, February 23, 2009

{ makeover monday with designer eddie ross }

I've been glued to Eddie Ross' design site since discovering it recently over on Simply Seleta.  I love his practical, DIY design advice. Over the weekend, I came across Eddie's fabulous before and after butler's pantry and just had to share it with you all as it combines two of the ideas we talked about in last week's Monday Makeover post--the magic of paint and using your collectibles to create drool worthy displays.

He recently moved into a farmhouse in the country and has already started in with some projects. I can't wait to watch the transformation of his new {old} place. This photo shows the before of this little room just off of his kitchen.


Yikes, right? Nothing a little paint and some sweat equity can't solve...


The back of the closet and new full length shelves were painted in Benjamin Moore's Convington Blue, giving the room a built-in look at a fraction of the cost.


Then Eddie went to work on displaying his amazing collection of finds. If you look closely, you'll see storage drawers purchased at the Container Store and Ikea, which were then painted in the same blue--creating an added custom touch.


I love the idea of showing off silverware in vintage glasses. 

For step by step instructions and the inspiration behind that gorgeous blue paint selection, skip on over to the Eddie Ross site. Pssst...don't miss the new Eddie Ross etsy shop which features a collection of antique tabletop finds priced at $100 and under. It's updated every Wednesday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

{ my place or yours...nichole robertson in paris, france }

Coffee Love - Printable Notecards, Stationery and Tags
coffee love by littlebrownpen

Happy Friday and welcome back to another My Place or Yours feature. I've been looking forward to today's post for weeks because it takes us to one of my favorite cities in the world, Paris...yes Paris...for a visit with Nichole Robertson of the lovely and charming blog, little brown pen.

I became an instant fan of Nichole's incredible sense of style, spot-on finds, and eloquent observations via my daily visits to her blog. It was there that I also discovered the little brown pen shop--a wildly successful endeavor recently launched by Nichole and her husband, Evan, which features irresistible {and affordable} ready-to-print designs.  She's since become one of my best blogging friends {BBFF :)} and I was thrilled {and yes, a wee bit jealous} when Nichole announced that she was moving with her husband and two young sons to Paris for a six month rendezvous. Lucky for us, today, we get to tag along and experience this enchanting city with Nichole...


Please tell us where you live, and a little about yourself
Last November, my husband Evan and I found ourselves at a juncture in our lives where we could work from anywhere (Evan had just left a full-time position at Ernst and Young), had children who were not yet in school, and happened to be incredibly sick of living in the New York City suburbs.

Over too many glasses of wine one night, we asked ourselves this question: if we could live anywhere in the world for 3-6 months, where would it be? Answer: Paris.

So we pared down (actually about 75% of our possessions), packed up, and now live on Rue St. Paul in the heart of Paris.

I credit two things for making it possible. Our flexible jobs – I am a freelance writer, and my husband is a business development consultant. And our lifestyle. We both share the same values when it comes to living, and champion memories over material things. We don’t own a home, and we don’t own a lot of stuff, so we channel that money into other things. We’re certainly not living the high life, and there are definite trade-offs (I sometimes ache when I see a friend’s beautiful garden or gorgeously renovated kitchen), but most of the time, I am happy with our choices, and they’ve allowed us to live as fully as we have.

Three words that best describe Paris are...
beautiful, refined, appetizing


What is your favorite time of day?
Twilight. We take a walk after dinner, and at the moment, it coincides with sunset. We walk along the Seine, cross Pont Marie to the Ile St. Louis, and head toward Notre Dame. It’s about a five-minute walk, and as we approach Notre Dame, it’s often bathed in the most beautiful pink light. As the sun sets further, there’s this great moment where it’s not quite illuminated by the night lights, but it’s dark enough that it takes on the quality of a huge shadow in the sky. You have to be there at the right moment to catch it.

After our boys burn off some steam in the Park behind the church, we head home via Rue St. Antoine, which is alive with shoppers and cafe goers. I love the soft glow and buzz of conversation coming from the cafes. It puts me in the best mood.

Currently on my radar...

Éclairs. All shapes and sizes. Caramel and chocolate filled. I have one every day with my afternoon coffee. My current favorite shop is Miss Manon at the corner of Rue St. Paul and Rue St. Antoine.


My most cherished spot in my home is...
The dining room table. The bulk of our day revolves around eating the food we bring home from the shops we visit in the morning. For example: Fresh fruit for a mid-morning snack, cheese, bread and salad for lunch, éclairs in the afternoon, and rotisserie chicken and roasted potatoes from the boucherie for dinner.

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and my children love their new “morning coffee” routine. They each have their own small latte bowl, and we fill them with a teaspoon or so of coffee and warmed milk (just enough so it changes to a light caramel color). They squeal and clap as if it were liquid chocolate. Now that our 18 month old is starting to communicate better, sitting down to eat a meal is my favorite time of day. Now if the kids could just discuss the economy or Rimbaud, we’d be set.


Favorite discovery...

The people. We’re all familiar with the stereotypes, but I’ve found them to be completely untrue. Just about everyone is super friendly and many have helped us assimilate into Parisian culture.

Our main interaction is with the local shop owners and they take pleasure and pride in helping us select the perfect bread, vegetable or wine. It’s such a stark contrast to the big box-style approach to customer service we’re used to at home.

Where do you go to escape?
Notre Dame. Each time I’ve been to Paris, I’ve made a point to go to Notre Dame multiple times. It’s no different now. We live just a few blocks away, and walk past it at least once a day.

It's a humbling, absolutely logic-defying masterpiece. And architectural achievement aside, there’s something about the unbelievable cavernous space above you. As soon as you walk in, you look up.

When you stand in its shadows and grasp that it took 200 years to complete (sans modern tools), it’s an incredible testament to passion and faith.

On a personal level, it’s the most humbling and peaceful place I’ve ever been.


What are your favorite local shops?
Though I enjoy shopping at Monoprix for French grocery goodies, Naturalia carries the natural and organic food we’re used to eating. They sell oatmeal, whole grain breads and organic produce.
75 Rue St. Antoine


My former colleague and Friend Delphine let me in on this Parisian secret. Every baguette, every croissant, every single item in the shop is to die for. Light as a feather with a crackly brown crust that shatters into crumbs my sons lick from the table.
36 Rue de L’Atelier
Rue de Turenne


Chez Hannah
The. Best. Falafel. Ever. Crowds, faces dripping with tahini and smiles don’t lie.
Chez Hannah
Rue des Rosiers


Carre D’Artistes
Modern, local art for sale. Reasonably priced with framing! I plan to purchase a few before we leave.
Carre D’Artistes
66, Rue St André des Arts

Best-kept local secret...
La Rouge Gorge
Deb of
Bon Bon Oiseau insisted (thankfully) that I check out La Rouge Gorge--one of her favorite spots in Paris. It’s just down the street from us, and has a cheerful, old world Parisian feel. The owner always recommends the perfect glass of wine, and doesn’t mind that I speak in broken French.
La Rouge Gorge
8, rue Saint-Paul, Paris 4th

An ideal spot to linger over lunch...
Cafe Beaubourg
It’s right across from the Pompidou center, and it’s fun to sit and watch people meander by. They also have the best frommage blanc I’ve ever had.
Cafe Beaubourg
100 rue St-Martin, 4e


When visiting Paris, don't miss...

Chez Omar
We first went to Chez Omar a few years ago after my friend Catherine recommended it. It’s hard for me to eat cous cous anywhere else without comparing it to the delicious versions they serve here. The Vegetable cous cous comes in a huge bowl with just the right amount of flavorful broth. Heaven.
Chez Omar
47, rue de Bretagne


If you had the opportunity to live anywhere else in the world, where would we find you?
I tend to like extremes: urban life or remote, rural life. It’s the in between (cookie-cutter suburbs) that leave me most unsatisfied. Who knows, we may end up in the mountains next.

What is your motto?
Live simply, minimally and in the moment. Arguably cliché, but it’s truly how I live my life. Pleasure in the details is what it’s all about. Those details add up.

I am most homesick for...
Long hot showers. My cat. Whole Foods (so, so sad, but true).

Merci beaucoup Nichole!

Quick Links:
Enjoy daily updates of life in Paris via Nichole's blog
Take a moment to stop by the littlebrownpen shop

Thursday, February 19, 2009

{ chalk it up to another obsession... }

It doesn't really matter what it is...throw a chalkboard into the mix and I'm sold. Nevertheless, this sweet paper goods line is exceptional, even without the fabulous photo styling.  

globe -you mean the world to me-   cards-set of four

typewriter cards -set of 4

polaroid cards -set of 4

{Admit it though...the use of the chalkboard is pure genius}

Casey, the designer behind paper + twine, also has a delightful blog.

found via tea for joy

{ thursday thoughts...}

lovely little print spotted here

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

{ all aboard: vintage train cases }

Some of my favorite vacation memories are from an excursion my hubby and I took to Italy 10+ years ago. We had spent the day strolling the streets of Venice--taking in its breathtakingly beautiful history, architecture, and culture. 

Audrey poster

Still intoxicated by the floating city's magical spell, we boarded and spent the night on a sleeper train, which whisked us off to our next destination along the Amalfi Coast {that's a whole separate post!}. Cozied up in our sleeper car, we drifted off recalling our favorite discoveries from the day--mine being the complete absence of cars and the brief glimpse into the simple and utterly charming Venetian lifestyle. It felt as if we'd stepped back in time and it was every bit as enchanting and romantic as I'd imagined it would be. I attribute my near obsession with vintage train cases to these lingering memories. It's as though these cherished experiences--and the promise of future travel adventures--have been preserved within these charming little beauties.



The Amelia Earhart Train Case
via thrush

Retro 1950s IVORY FeatherLite TRAIN CASE

Vintage Million Miler Cornflower Blue Hat Box Train Case

The satin lining, ruffles, and miniature mirrors truly make me weak in the knees...

Vintage Million Miler Cornflower Blue Hat Box Train Case
via sweetlittle

The Audrey Hepburn Train Case (reserved for cloverdew)
via Thrush

vintage traincaseflickrb

You can bet I'll be toting one of these little treasures if I'm ever granted this wish list item. Do you have a favorite travel memory? I'd love to hear about it...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

{ ruffled feelings... }

Ruffles, a huge trend for Spring, seem to be popping up everywhere... 


My creation

romantic textile no. 2 - necklace

Keep em coming! I, for one, can get enough of this girly embellishment. 

cirrus bedding in ocean: anthropologie
petite double ruffle crepe trim: birds of a feather
sterling chiffon ruffles ring: erosas jewelry
dogwood ruffle bag: sweetgum handbags
tissue rolling ruffles tank: j.crew
romantic textile no. 2 necklace: dinosaurtoes

Monday, February 16, 2009

{ makeover monday }

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a restful and rejuvenating weekend. I spent much of it catching up on post vacation chores...unpacking, laundry, and sorting through piles of unopened mail. Our holiday away exceeded all expectations--the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure--I hope to share some photos with you all later in the week.  

This is the way we wash our clothes...

I am beyond grateful for the thought and care that went into each of the guest posts last week. I consider myself lucky to have *met* such an amazing and inspiring group of imaginary friends {a favorite phrase coined by clever Karey} and appreciate my regular readers stopping by and making our guests feel so welcome. From the bottom of my heart...thank you!

It's a holiday here in the U.S. and a rainy one at that--a perfect project kind of day. For this week's Makeover Monday I thought I'd share some quick and easy ideas that can instantly freshen your space  Ready? Let's go...

Coral your Collections


images via country home magazine

Make your collectibles display worthy--gather your favorites, find a fresh spot, and show them off en masse.

Deck your walls


Use your digital camera to create your own artwork. This idea, found via Country Home magazine, uses a close-up photo taken of a lace doily which was then enlarged and printed on to a canvas via a service like Mrs. French did something similar in her dining room with stunning results.

Scatter joy

image via debi treloar

Small groupings of posies scattered throughout your home provide an instant pick-me-up. Choose interesting, unexpected vessels for added impact.

Embrace the power of paint



At the risk of repeating myself again and again...making over one piece of furniture can transform the look and feel of your whole room. Visit Barb's space for some inspired ideas and tips.

That's it for today my friends...the to-do list is growing by the minute. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and discovering what's been going on in your corners of the world. Thank you again for your kind thoughts and well wishes last week. xo ~Suzanne

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin