let’s eat cake


bonjour toute le monde, ça va? i hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. it’s been BBQ central for so many days i’ve lost track and am finally finding a few minutes to myself. of course that translates into falling down a beautiful rabbit hole known as the world wide web of wonder.  i wanted to share two divinely lovely things, the first is my dear friend and source of endless inspiration, haleigh walsworth of making magique. she has an exquisitely gorgeous life that she shares through her blog and allows us into her personal world of deliciousness. i could practically eat her photos and want to revel in every post



of course a girl like haleigh couldn’t go unnoticed, and not just cause she’s a modern audrey heburn/brigitte bardot, (basically the toast of paris…in my mind anyway, and i love putting her on that pedestal), but rather because she’s the essence of magic herself. she’s taken her life in paris and turned it into a full blown lifestyle brand. the more i watch her grow the more i learn from her, mainly never to lose my joie de vivre and to be utterly fearless in every aspect of life. what did that attitude earn her?


for starters, her very own blog on Lancôme where she has been charged with the glorious task of writing about everything from beauty


to fashion,




travel and cuisine.


so you can imagine how happy i was when she asked me to collaborate on a piece for her blog at Lancôme.



ta da!



this post got me thinking about what my blog readers might be interested in hearing about, talking about, sharing and what you’re working on. are you carving out a bit of paris in your life, are you working on your brand, interested in collaborating, connecting with and empowering other women (and men) and encouraging them to flourish? i’d like do lots of this and want this next part of my life to be filled with that. basically overflowing with beauty and inspiration. you inspire me…what are you up to and into?

May 26, 2015. Tags: . Decorating, Fashion, France, Friends. 9 comments.

elements she loves

elemements i love 3

good morning and happy monday! i hope your summer is jam packed with all the fun that only the blazing sun and vitamin d can bring. today i’d like to introduce a new friend i met on the trip to paris.


please meet the wonderful Brooke Crowle from Australia. her business is called elements i love and she’s working on every facet of it, like polishing a beautiful gem. she and i were sort of mutt and jeff, (she’s a tall gorgeous blonde) and hit it off right away.

elements i love 16

we’re both importers and had similar (sometimes tragic )! stories of bringing containers and products into the US. she’s taken it as far as importing from india and morocco so i was really eager to listen to and learn from her.


we have a similar aesthetic and her shop in surrey hills, australia makes me pine a little for a warehouse/workshop when i see the displays and projects she’s working on. LauraBaxter.elementsilove

she has her own special finishes and imports stunning linens and curtains. she doesn’t mind getting dirty with paint and stain but is also surround by such pretty things…maybe a trip to australia is in order!

elements i love 14

in the meantime, we have her many social media outlets to get a fix of her pretty pics


elements i love 4

elements that inspire her


elements i love 7

vignettes she creates


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ways to keep up with what’s new

facebook.com/pages/Elements-i-loveelements i love 21

and play behind the scenes in her workshop


10elements i love 1

these are some of the ombre curtains she designed and had made in india


elements i love 2

and the linens on the beds in her shop…yum!

elements i love 15

brooke’s photos are still rocking my world. love her perspective, edits and vision.

elements i love 13


elements of love 5



if you’re in the mood for a little visual soul food, then i hope you get a chance to say hi to brooke. she’s  a really open and available source of knowledge with a great global vision. i know she’d love to hear from you and connect to what you’re doing too! and now i’m off to edit some pics of my own and get back to work. have a fantastic week!

ps: wanted to let peggy braswell know she is the winner of the book in the previous post. congrats!  :)

August 18, 2014. Tags: . Embrace Paris Trip, EmbraceParis, France, Friends, Paris, Paris Flea Markets. 10 comments.

traveling in style


bonjour everybody, ça va?

it’s been a few days of completely unplugging and i’m back to recapping the eventful days from the trip to paris. hard to fathom that i actually thought the editing, social media and blogging could be done in real time. even now with all the time in the world, there’s so much information on the web to add to the history of the places we went, that it’s hard to edit it down. but i tried!


sometimes i marvel at the paris we take for granted. busy roads, traffic lights, monuments, le metro. it’s hard to believe it was ever any different.  but paris has so many layers and they all started with dirt roads, horses and no electricity or heat. but the pioneering french also had vision for creating an elegant lifestyle out of virtually thin air despite the sometimes abonimable conditions of the 1800s. and that’s the paris that facinates me endlessly!


you’d be hard pressed to research an old french company and not get a remarkable story and today’s is one of those epic tales. thanks to the ladies of EmbraceParis i learned something new each day and this particular one was my introduction the legendary house of Moynat.


before Louis Vuitton or Goyard ever existed, there was a grand dame with a vision and her name was Pauline Moynat.



her vision for a luxurious life when traveling or even celebrating the smallest events such a picnicing or packing toiletries has since elevated her to visionary status. and her chicness is still emulated today.


copycats still use her exact same designs in everything from the shadowed monograms, checkered pattern and trendsetting stripes designed specifically with and for each customer.





Wikipedia says: Moynat is the oldest French trunk-maker. Their first atelier was opened in Paris in 1849 by Octavie and François Coulembier.


They joined forces with Pauline Moynat, a specialist in travel goods, to open the first store on avenue de l’Opera. Moynat was one of the very first leather goods houses of its day.


Known for its traditional know-how and skills base in handcrafting made to order luggage and travel goods, the house became famous for its designs for automobiles, as well as for its technical innovations such as making its trunks lighter and waterproof, and for its notable participation in the various World’s Fairs.



apparently they also outfitted your horse and buggy if you didn’t have your automobile yet!


Video by Andrea Claire (more on her in a minute)

so we hustled off to see what was in store for us at a higly anticipated behind the scenes tour of the showroom, atelier and workshop. we knew we were in for something special and followed norma and her moynat bag in anticipation!


they’re using their phones for photos and tweets, it was a social media tour after all!


the store, like the bags and trunks, was sleek and superb.


maison Moynat 1929 Ad

pieces were displayed as works of art. turns out they are. each is lovingly handmade and held to the same high standard they’ve had from day one. the handles, leathers, level of detail and precision are unmistakably the company’s brand.




i thought this might be a good time to introduce you to the inimitable andrea claire, one of the girls on the trip. andrea is a brilliant makeup artist who works internationally. her instagramtwitter and you tube channel are full of gorgeous photos, videos and tips. but maquillage is only one of her many talents! among other things, i’ll remember andrea for being our group’s videographer. she handled imovie like a pro. and talk about working in real time! watching her was like observing a master. i could only hope to learn her techniques whenever i was lucky enough to pick her brain and catch a minute of her editing. this was a video she shot during our tour:

Andrea-Claire-Moynat viedo


it was andrea who changed my photographic life on that trip and for that i’ll be forever grateful. she took the time to help me with my new camera (we had almost the same model) by taking a look at why i wasn’t getting the color, shots or settings i right. in 10 minutes she gave me the tools to know where to look, a lesson on the dials and buttons and basically gave me a new machine to work with. i was ready to chuck it after the visit to the chateau the day before!




image: elementsilove.com

after the showroom we were invited into the upper atelier where so much of the magic happens.

14. moynat parisian promenade nowness

it felt very calm and relaxed and organized. in a beautiful setting there are just a few people working along with as they have been for years, surrounded by inspiration pieces as well as moynat’s collection of vintage trunks.






it was right around here in the trunks that andrea’s tips sunk in.



photo: en.fashion


we all could have moved right in to that little atelier!


the third leg of the tour took us out of the shop and around the corner to the workroom. a small crew, maybe 6 people are creating the bags, doing the hand stitching, cutting the patterns and doing the exacting edging. they made us little tags…there’s mine!


photo: en.fashion




in the end every piece is a truly something special to behold.Moynat_beauty_trunk_512x512

and still continue to create unusual peices that thrill and delight those who enjoy master craftsmanship, the art of travel and the love of entertaining.


malle à cuisine

all in all the trip not only introduced monumental company, but reminded me that it’s not the size of a business, it’s the quality of it. it’s not how much you produce, it’s what’s behind it. the brand is one i now look to in regard to the perfection that can occur when you’re focused, unwavering and detail oriented. i do have a piece i have my eye on this one for myself!


a girl can dream!


last but not least i was googling around and came across their classic bike accessory. we’d been on bikes earlier so i was intrigued cause it would make getting around town pretty special if you really had this on the front!

photo by Andrea Claire


3. moynat parisian promenade nowness

if you have room for a little more take a look a this fabulous video: nowness.com



now if you REALLY  relished the day like i did, i have something for you. we had some free time after our morning visit and i was drawn back to the place. i went in and got one of the special edition books.


it’s filled with original shots of the store, history of the company and early advertisements. and i’m giving it away. on the next post i’ll announce the winner. in order to enter, just go to one of andrea’s links and follow her on one of her social media outlets. come back here and let us know which you chose in the comments. this was a social media event so let’s connect and work our web together!



Find Moynat here:

website: moynat.com





well i hope you enjoyed your tour.  à la prochaine!

August 13, 2014. Tags: , , . Embrace Paris Trip, EmbraceParis, France, Friends, Paris, Paris Trip, Shopping. 15 comments.

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