Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gift wrapping.............. petit cadeau

In the past few months I have had the pleasure of wrapping a few hundred small gifts for several brides. I enjoy the tiny details, the sweetness of wrapping a petit cadeau...........it reminds me of what I believe to be true about giving a gift that can fit or sit in the palm of your hand. Small gifts can make the recipient feel incredibly special. Perhaps it captures the dreamy feeling of finding a tiny treasure. I am going to be wrapping small for the next few weeks, sharing the sweet things that can easily and readily enhance the presentation of your petit cadeau. 

       At the same time, some small gift choices. Perhaps a lovely small gift from here?

photo 1 by Sande Chase/photo 2 from BHLDN

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar 2013 .........all sparkly and bright and that pixie cut

I watch the Oscars with two men so don't be that surprised that I went over to a Twitter Oscar party where we dished on all things sparkly and bright. It is simply not a party if you can't go on and on about the fashion as it walks through the door. One of my favorite things to do the next morning is to view all the photos from the Vanity Fair party, they just seem to capture the glamour and excitement that Hollywood celebrates on that one big night. Now, back to my favorite part of last night's Oscar fashion........

........and the pixie hairdo that everyone is talking about. Charlize Theron got my early vote last night for the best overall style award, a regal Dior silhouette that came forward in a sea of busy sparkles (though I love some sparkle). And that hair! The post-party chatter is all about this pixie haircut and even Charlize herself had this to say about the brave act of going short, short 'It's the most freeing thing, I highly recommend it. I think every woman should do it.'  What do you think? Could you see going short, short? And if you can't, do you wish you could?

All photos by Billy Farrell via Vanity Fair Oscar Party here/ Bottom photo via here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Love Wearing Black...............and Marchesa muffins

~ Rear Hotel Lobby of The Maison des Élysées ~

I do love wearing black, in fact I have a Pinterest board named Love Wearing Black . Nobody can say I don't know my fashion in shades of black. I just texted our friend Vicki A. and asked her where I took the above photo last September, that fabulously stylish hotel restaurant in Paris where I ate frites in addition to a full dinner while drinking St. Germaine (I have a killer St. Germain cocktail recipe coming up) while trying not to stare at actress Isabella Rossellini who was sitting directly in my sight view while listening to my most interesting dinner friends that night. Just so you know, Isabella must Love Wearing Black as well and yes, I had dessert too! Come to think of it, we were all wearing black that evening even the mannequins lined up in the rear hallway of this fashionable hotel. * Yes, I would totally consider booking this hotel for next trip.

Marchesa ~ photo by Jamie Beck

Here's the thing. The reason I am thinking about Paris in the middle of a Canadian winter. I lose weight every time I go to Paris. Isn't that just the best thing? I have begun to think of it as a weight loss spa destination or virtual proof that Paris is where I was supposed to live see, even my body does better there. No wonder I have been so fascinated with the gorgeous blog Paris In Four Months, blogger Carin Olsson is living my dream! Daydreaming aside, it doesn't take much to figure out it is the abundance of walking that melts those Canadian pounds right off no matter what I eat and drink. Too bad I can't live there. Too bad I can't go there right now for a week or two, just a few short months before I have to purchase/wear a fabulous frock for two special occasions in May. I say fabulous because I know I want something beautiful, something fitted and colourful, something  NOT Black after watching the parade of runway colour these past few weeks.

Marchesa ~ photo by Jamie Beck

That colour confidence requires going all Jennifer Hudson over here, filling in those time-consuming Weight Watcher menus each day, blending Green Smoothies, and heaven forbid, walking miles in the indoor shopping mall because we really are having a Canadian winter this year.

Triple Chocolate Chunk muffin with Greek Yogurt - 3 points

My son says "Mom! only old, old people walk the mall for exercise". True. I run into my niece and she says "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels". True. My WW leader says "you lost 2 lbs this week, good for you!". Hurray. Everybody has something to say when you go on a diet. All I know is that while I was walking in the mall minding my own business, I walked right into a jewelry store on my way out and found the diamond ring replacement that I have been casually hunting for since my wedding ring was stolen years ago. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? As a weight loss method, Paris might be a great deal cheaper and I bet they have fabulous gowns too. In the most gorgeous of colours.

The Maison des Champs Élysées here
Click here to read Vicki Archer's post on Isabella Rossellini.

Photo 1 by Sande Chase/Photo 2, 3 and 4 by Jamie Beck/Photo 5 by Dashing Dish

Friday, February 15, 2013

Four years..............of grateful blogging

I am grateful, happy, and proud as can be to be a part of the blogging community.
This most welcoming world of creativity, friendship, and sharing.

Thank you for being a reader for the past four years from the bottom of my heart.
You mean the world to me and I hope you will stay with me.
I have some special things to share, some fun for us.

Yes, I am back, just in time.
Again...........thank you dear readers for waiting.

* The fabulous cake and setting above was styled for a Friendship Fete by the talented women at the blog Hey Gorgeous.
Click here to read about this lovely party that celebrates the women friends
in your life.

photo from Hey Gorgeous via Style Me Pretty pinterest

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day.........to J.C.

37 years ago, a huge floral bouquet showed up on the morning of our wedding day in June, 1975 with a small card and a handwritten note that said "meet me at the church today". That was the first love note of my married life. I have boxes of little love notes from our 42 years together, sometimes I have found them on my pillow beside my head when I wake up, sometimes in a robe pocket, often in my coffee mug, in my car, everywhere and anywhere. They always make me smile, even blush at times but they always got it right somehow.  Depending on what is going on that week, that month, that year these tiny notes can be funny, romantic, serious, sexy, even goofy at times but they are "us". Every couple who is together for years and years needs an "us'. Something special that lets you each know that everything is good with the two of you in this world together. 

Love Lock Bridge ~ Paris 2013

For some couples, it can be grand gestures, being swept off their feet but for "us' it has always been as simple as a small note. For a man of few words, he has always been able to get to the heart of the matter in our married life on small pieces of paper. When one of his blush-worthy notes was inadvertently seen by someone working in our home last year, I noticed he scaled back on the quantity and quality of their message. Even couples who have been married forever can't mess with romance. So just let me say this...........

Happy Valentines Day J.C. and  leave me some love notes again please..............
just for "us".

Wishing my readers a most wonderfully sweet Valentines Day. 

photos scanned by Sande Chase

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wrapping Versailles for The Holidays

Two things caught my wrapping fancy this year. My photo montage of Versailles and the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year.......Emerald Green. The Versailles photo montage is still being tweaked as a gift wrap for production in 2013. I love the black & white version which will be printed on a gorgeous vellum. A muted colour in-progress version is seen below. I am using my work samples for this year's holiday wrapping, a fun way to see what works and what doesn't so excuse the smaller size but it does tell me to keep moving forward with this design. No matter how I plan it, it seems I always end up gift wrapping at the last minute. A revolving and early flu set our household back in scheduling but we are busy little elves tonight with wrapping, chopping, setting tables, and doing last minute things.

~ photos by Sande Chase ~

Pearl wire ribbon on marble paper.

I know all your gifts are wrapped and under the tree........and I am wishing all my wonderful readers a most wonderful and magical holiday season with your family and friends. I know all of us are especially grateful this year for the gift of time with our loved ones.  

all photos by Sande Chase

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Christmas memory...........in snowbound Oklahoma

A group of bloggers were asked this month "What are your favorite Christmas Memories"and though most of my Christmas's have included beautiful trees, delicious food, sparkles everywhere, many relatives, and tons of effort the absolute best Christmas memory I have doesn't include any of those things, not one ornament, not one tree light. In fact, it was the quietest Christmas anyone could possibly have, but then again that crazy Mother Nature was involved and you know what happens when she gets going. We still chuckle when we mention "the Christmas in Oklahoma" in 2009, the year our son was on rotation in Tulsa and couldn't come home so we went there, the year the state had their snowstorm of the century, the one where the whole state came to a standstill. Canadians are used to their blizzards, heck we actually kind of like them now and again but Oklahoma doesn't have snowstorms and road-clearing machinery, homeowners don't have shovels, and the whole city was on lockdown for days after the snow had stopped falling. We barely made it out for Christmas dinner (I was determined) and as we traveled down the uncleared, treacherous highway for our Christmas dinner in a friend's 4-wheel drive to a downtown restaurant that I had carefully reserved months ahead (it was also a hotel so all the wait staff had stayed overnight) all I could think was that we were going to spin out of control, be stranded, and no one would know for days, at least until the snow melted. After that tense and dangerous ride, we mostly stayed put in our son's apartment, lined up on his small sofa watching goofy holiday movies, laughing, and watching Oklahoma residents unsuccessfully dig out from under all that snow. I guess in the end that what it means to me is that Christmas is mostly about being with your family, small or large, and sometimes you have to do it differently to help them along and that's alright. We were together. That's all that mattered. 

To read  Christmas stories from other bloggers in the By Invitation Only 
group please go here.

Photos from here


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