l’art, l’amour et l’heure du cocktail

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bonjour, allo, santé et tchin tchin. hi all, how’s your fall unfolding? i love when the weather gets that crisp fresh feeling and the air has just the slightest chill. not to rush the season and look too far ahead but it’s that time of year when we naturally start to hibernate and nest a little. for many of us that means entertaining and although i’m not a big drinker, i’ve been thinking about putting a bar together for the impending festivities. i got inspired when i heard from my friend and colleague, doni belau. she’s the editor and brilliant mind behind a girl’s guide to paris and has just released a fantastic book titled ‘Paris Cocktails’. she’s offered to host a giveaway here today on the blog so if you’re interested, you can either purchase a copy at the link above or enter your name in the comments and we’ll announce the winner next week.

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all images on pinterest.com/parisapartment/bars

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there’s something about the history of alcohol that has a hint of glamour and mystery to it and looking into it for this post led to a laundry list of its origns in early france. from the aperitif to wines, champagnes and liqueurs, the ways to inebriate ourselves seem infinite. the french alone were responsible for absynthe, anisette, bénédictine, cognac, chambord, cointreau, coffee liqueur, pastis, triple sec, crème de menthe, chardonnay, cabernet and dubonnet.

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lots of great old books have been written on the subject of mixing, blending and inventing new concoctions over the years and some were even banned during prohibition. hard to believe that times could have been so very different and to think that it was actually illegal at one point to possess alcohol, punishable by imprisonment!

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as a lightweight, i don’t really indulge but do love the whole culture from the bottles to the barware. below are some of the ways creative people have used traditional bar carts as well as some innovative alternatives.

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using a brass shelving unit allows for overhead lighting, and glass doors showcase pretty glass and unique decanters

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using an old steamer trunk lets you pack it up when not in use

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just a simple woven tray on a glass top table wth a few accents adds instant sophistication

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who woulda thought?

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any cabinet can be mirrored on the inside for a glam look that closes up tight.

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a makeshift bar on a dresser for impromptu parties

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and even a petite half table can make a luxe statement

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the options are as endless and varied as the designers who are inspired to raise the bar

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i think i could live with this one very happily. a lot of thought has been given to the subject and just digging around a little bit was an absolutely beautiful dive into this tiny table that packs such a punch. below are a couple dissections of what it takes to put one of these bad boys together:

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so…to celebrate Doni’s new book hailing the cocktail culture, leave your name and email in the comments to be entered to win.

From the publisher: Bring the romance and elegance of Paris into your home with cocktail recipes from leading French mixologists and the signature drink recipes of Parisian hot spots. More than just a cocktail book, Paris Cocktails celebrates the art of drinking like the French, with entertaining tips for throwing a perfectly Parisian cocktail party, revelations on the latest trends in French mixology, reviews of the best bars in both America and Paris where you can find the true French cocktail experience, and musings from French and non-French alike who have mastered the art of French drinking.

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et alors, let’s wrap it up with a big French toast, a vôtre santé!

October 18, 2015. Books, Cocktails, Decorating, Doni Belau, Girls Guide to Paris, Paris. 33 comments.

What to pack for Paris: Expectation vs. Reality

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allo toute le monde, it’s been a real long time since posting last, the summer flew by and well, here i am heading back to paris tonight. it’s a quick trip with clients and I’ll be blogging from the markets so let me know if you’re looking for anything, i’ll be there till monday, staying at lorraine’s pied-à-terre in the marais. let me know if you’re interested in that too cause she rents it out and just did a makeover on it. i’ll take pics and blog about it if i get the chance.

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in the meantime i’m doing my last minute packing. paris is a city of fashion and when it’s time to go makes you want to use your best stuff and be that girl (here’s where the expectation is way better than the reality). and since it’s been a summer of travel I’m on an austerity budget and want to use what i have.  it made me realize i’ve got what i need and didn’t spend much to get it.

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i’m definitely not much of a clothes horse or label ho although i do love the workmanship and fabric of fine clothing. so after pulling up so many google images of pack lists that my head spun, i decided to make my own. the goal is traveling light and being ready for anything. my philosophy is ‘if you don’t have the dress, you won’t go to the ball” so here goes, what’s what and from where…

paris fall wardrobe

left to right and down, sorta:

Black velvet blazer by DKNY from Out of the Closet Thrift Shop

Black cashmere cardigan, J Crew

Navy sweater/shirt tail, J Crew

Black down vest, Calvin Klein, Marshalls

Navy silk dress, Tahari, TJ Maxx

Gray cashmere sweater, Tahari, TJ Maxx

Blue suede shoes by Gianvito Rossi, too small for Candy, a gift to me!

Black Nikes

Camel/gray/black jacket, Bloomie’s

Cashmere scarves, gray is calvin klein and the ivory is TPA

Black cashmere V sweater and Black tee, Helmut Lang,, Marshalls

RL travel set with blanet/eye mask/pillow, Xmas gift, thanks, Jean and Col!

3 jeans, Levis, Guess, Lucky

Black suede ankle boots, Adrienne Vittadini, TJ Maxx

Shoe bags/lingerie bag/nighty/socks

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bags from ethnic stores in paris

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i fully expected to bring the muffin man but since i have clients, the reality is i’m afraid he’ll be too much of a distraction to bring this time. (i think he’s mad)…and of course since this is an expectation vs reality post, i have to include an ‘inspiration post’ of what i wish this one had turned into but that will be have to be another day when i have time to play on polyvore since i’m running out of time.  i’ll just use theirs as a cheat sheet and finish up:

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finally in the spirit of the day, thought it would be a good time to offer two of my favorite books for a giveaway. both are by Jennifer Scott. the first is the original Madame Chic and her latest, At Home with Madame Chic.

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If you’d like to be entered to win either of them, leave your name in the comments and we’ll draw on friday. Ok, i better get back at it, see you from the other side!

thanks for all the amazing comments, i do love and miss you all so much. here’s the all packed up pic a couple of you wanted to see. the bag is lucas and it’s lightweight, from tj maxx. packed up

September 23, 2015. Tags: , , . Fashion, Fleamarkets, Paris. 47 comments.

the paradox of passion

IMG_3043 bonjour mes amis, comment ça va? we’ve been enjoying the june sun and the bliss of  being able to stroll through the city without the worry of weather. i have just the slightest bit of guilt knowing i should be hitting the museums i’ve never seen and yet just can’t resist the lure of the markets, brocantes, street fairs and vide-greniers that take over so many neighborhoods this time of year. for me it’s as much fun as any tourist attraction and utterly irresistible so i won’t apologize for it, knowing that the museums will be there on some rainy day in the near future. in the meantime it feels good to to indulge this passion/obsession and enjoy every moment of it. today i wanted to share a little insight into finding these markets with those of you who share my petite addiction. IMG_3125 i’ve written about this before but wanted to post again because it is just so helpful when you’re in search of that perfect afternoon outing any day of the week. i was so grateful when my friend lorraine turned me onto this and i just love passing it on to my friends too. the very first thing i do upon arriving in paris is pick up a copy of ‘alladin’ magazine. there’s a pull-out section which lists each of the scheduled markets in paris and all over france. those numbered ’75’ are central paris. the number after paris is the arrondissement, or neighborhood.IMG_3011 it then tells the metro or the name of the event. sometimes you’ll find pamphlets in antique shops which are also good guides like this one put out by joel garcia and they have the schedule online: http://joel-garcia-organisation.fr. it helps to put the google translation bar on your search engine for even more description as to who what and when. i find it an invaluable tool: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/173424?hl=en IMG_3025 the first one we hit today was close to our apartment so we walked, but in general one of my favorite tools is an app for the metro designed by zuti. you enter your location and then the destination and it maps it out with directions and time, changes and stops. IMG_3121 if you’re on foot, google maps will work without wifi and you can do the same by entering your starting point and destination. not having to use wifi is great and it tracks your path if you have location settings turned on. IMG_3013 IMG_3018 it was an aMaZiNg experience to enjoy antiques, ephemera, vintage clothing,  jewlery, perfume bottles and powder boxes in the glorious setting by the saint sulpice church which is famous for everything from the da vinci code to catherine deneuve’s apartment overlooking the square. IMG_3023 IMG_3110 keni got into the vintage fashion and always has an eye out for pieces for his collection at the museum of fashion, like this delicious YSL two-piece number IMG_3104 and he waited so patiently when i got caught in a rain shower with one of my favorite diversions, a booth full of ephemera, and the lovely vendor allowed me to take pics of her collection. most of the stall was paper from the well known parisian printer, ‘stern’ and was a colorful collection of prototypes and images she ammased when they closed their doors recently. they had printed everything for anyone who was anyone from birth announcements to wedding invitations, menu templates, family crests and logos, foil stamps, engravings, gold and silver edged card and oh so much more…

(let me know if you’d like to contact her via email, i have it but don’t want to post it here)

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anyway it’s getting late and there are a few i’d like to hit bright and early tomorrow so.. one last thing for you to bookmark, a couple great resources if you’re putting your own trip together: www.evous.fr/Brocantes-et-vide-greniers-a-Paris-1147829.html www.spam.fr/evenements.php?type=Brocante d’accord, my friends are tired of hearing me type and it’s 3am! c’est tout pour ce soir, bonne nuit!

June 19, 2015. Antique Shopping, Brocantes, Fleamarkets, Furniture, Marché aux Puces, Paris, Paris Trip, vide-greniers. 12 comments.

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