Friday, September 30, 2011

Paris Lights

Paris holds such a special place in my heart,  Don asked me to marry him here!  We have been blessed to visit many times and have covered so much ground just wondering.  We generally have an idea of what we want to see and do while there, but we don't pack it full.  We leave time to stroll and soak in the sights ... and stop for a glass of wine and people watching every afternoon!  Paris lights up at night like no other place I have ever seen.

Le Chat Noir was made famous by the artist Steinlen during the 1800's during the Belle Epoque Era.  It was a time that truly celebrated life.  I don't believe the "new" Chat Noir is anything like it used to be ... but still fun to see.
 The Galeries LaFayette ... a Parisian shopping mall.  We have never stepped foot in this place, but at night it is beautiful.  We have always felt the street boutiques held more interest than a mall ... who knows it might be something to chat about.  Maybe we should stop in next time we visit!
 The Glass pyramid at the Louvre ...
 The ferris wheel in the Jardins de Tuileries ... one of our favorite walks day or night.

 The views from the top of the ferris wheel are spectacular ...  The Eiffel Tower twinkles!
Looking down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe from the top of the ferris wheel ... even the traffic participates in the romance!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Hope your travels take you somewhere fun ... even if it is just to the soccer field with your kids!!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

A few words about wine ...

Were you aware there is a wine glass made for just about every grape varietal on the market? Here is a quick overview. Chardonnay, Cabernet/Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, Zinfandel, Sauternes, Port,  Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Shiraz, Petit Syrah ( I am told you could double up on this glass with the Zinfandel…but slightly gauche) Riesling, Montrachet, Pinot Grigio, Temperanillo…etc. Ridiculous isn’t it?
Here are some thoughts on buying wine glasses. Cover the basics; grab a nice Cabernet, Burgundy, Champagne and Chardonnay stem, end of story. If you have these four essentials you are well covered for pretty much any occasion. You can even pare it down one step further and go with simply, red, white and Champagne if you wish, no worry you will not be the talk of the Bridge Club.

Another thought, buy glasses you can throw in the dishwasher. That’s what it is there for and along with opposable thumbs is one of the best things to happen to the wine world since Agoston Haraszthy. However, if a wine glass does not have a stem; it is not a wine glass. Those dishwasher safe, stemless aberrations of the classic wine glass are awful.  Let the FBI and the CIA collect your fingerprints if they want them but not your wine glass.  I would rather not have a big fat thumb print blurring the garnet beauty of an 82’ Echezeaux or even the “serve well chilled” Mad Dog 20/20 for that matter.

So all said, buy glasses that you find beautiful, are well balanced and rest in your hand nicely, are dishwasher safe, do not cost a king’s ransom and by all means have a stem. Remember, the wine is the show, but the glass adds to the beauty of the performance. 

Chardonnay not walk, run to your local wine retailer. Tonight we had the good fortune to sample Clos De La Barre 2002 Meursault, Domaine Des Comtes Lafon. Holy Toledo! It was a little on the pricey side at about $44 bucks but worth every penny of $100. The nose is amazing, pure creamy honey with a hint of vanilla which opens up to a rich toffee after about 20 minutes. It has a long...buttery finish that goes on for an eternity. It's deep golden color and silkiness on the palette round this perfectly balanced beauty off to perfection. This wine is what Chardonnay is all about, simply amazing. I generally write about two wines on my Thursday blog but this bottle was so exceptional I do not want to take anything away from it. If you can find it, buy it, you will not be disappointed, regardless the price. Drink it. With Fish, Shellfish, Vegetables, Chicken or, simply by itself. WOW! Life is short, enjoy this wine!!!!!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wicker, Wine and Wood!

... all make for a cozy porch in the fall!  I love a porch ... They are one of my favorite rooms in the house.  I use the term loosely ... I just like any outdoor rooms!!

Southern Living 

Traditional Home
Better Homes & Gardens

The mosquitos should be getting a little tired now ... I hope!  Start a fire, curl up in a chair, wrap up in a cozy blanket and enjoy the season with friends and family.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Evolution of a Bedroom

Sometimes I wish I had an unlimited budget!  Just to empty a room and start all over!  But ... I don't, I work with what I have and make it the best I can.  Lesson here, don't buy anything you don't absolutely LOVE, because you could be stuck with it for a very long time!!!

At home, my rooms truly tend to evolve.  Maybe because I see so many beautiful things in design every day, I just can't commit at home!  So here is the evolution of our master bedroom.


This is our "just moved in" look! The room is long and narrow and this is just a little boooorrring!!

A couple of things happened along the way to making this better!  One little thing that worked in my favor was that we had to put new siding on our house!!  Yes, that was music to my ears ... because then I could add some windows since we were already tearing up the outside of the house!

Now, a little "chandy" would be perfect!!  My hunt began.  I couldn't wait to go visit my Mother and Daddy in Atlanta and Erin at Auburn ... what a great excuse to go to Scott's Antique Market!!  It took me no time to hone in on this one!!  The lines are graceful, but not too feminine.  It is from the late 1800's ... and mostly, I loved it.  Now to get this thing from Atlanta to Boston.  Luckily for me, my cousin Catherine and I ship things back and forth all the time.  I think we keep federal express in business!!  I knew she would help!

I like to think I am pretty "eclectic" in the design style in our home.  But I must admit, I tend to lean toward the traditional.  Even so, I like a little playfulness, so I was ecstatic when I found these candle sleeves, I had no idea that they could be so fun!

Playful and fun ... but don't detract from the beauty!


With two new sources of light, the chandelier and new windows, we have more light and a little more interest!  I am still waiting for my upholstered headboard ... soon!

You can find more of these candle sleeves at ... you should check them out, great fun!  Don't you have a lamp or chandelier that needs a little "shaking up"??


Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspiration ... Burlap!

Don't you just love burlap?  Something about it ... raw and natural, with substance.  I thought I'd share these cute accessories as well as some fabulous furniture all wrapped up in burlap.  It is a very inexpensive way to give ordinary things a little punch!  I will say I am a little overwhelmed by all of it, don't want to get caught up in a trend ... but a few touches will be just enough to satisfy me!

Feeling a bit inspired ... I found these burlap coffee bean sacks for $1.00 each!!  Just what I needed to add a little fun to our mudroom!!
Have a wonderful week ... go get some burlap for Fall!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Behind the Gates ...

This past weekend I got to go to one of my favorite places with three of my favorite people ... my ya ya's ... best friends .... from Auburn.  We got to steal away from our daily lives to re-connect and celebrate our 50th birthdays together!  I don't think I will ever have enough time with them ... we always need to say and share more than time allows.  I also won't ever get enough of Charleston, there is always a new story behind the next gate!

Many thanks to the gracious people of Charleston putting up with paparazzi like me.  We weren't looking for celebrities, just beautiful gardens and a peek at what life must be like ... behind those beautiful gates.

Happy Birthday ya ya's!!

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