Monday, August 31, 2009

DC deal

There's supposed be a ClareVivier Daily Candy deal hitting your in box tomorrow a.m. There's a code and you get a nice discount if you use to the code. Et Voilà. Easy peasy.

This is my new front page, but it's not up yet. My web guy's out of town 'til tonight! But he's got a lot of pics to put online as soon as he gets back.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Simply Really Home

I'm home, thoroughly jet lagged, but so happy to have picked up the new Real Simple magazine at the grocery store today and see this picture of my Navy Messenger bag! I knew it was in the mag this month as I'd seen a little picture of it online (and I'd gotten quite a few orders of the bag while I was away, thank god for Else back at the HQ doing the shipping, etc.) but I had no idea how gorgeous the picture was for reals. HBT called it bag porn. Half page, heh! Love it. And a gorgeous spread in general due to the talents of Fashion Editor Karen Kozlowski.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Paris - St. Pierre

To do a style entry on Paris is so damn intimidating. I mean, come on, a coffee table book, maybe. A few weeks devoted to the city exclusively, maybe. But two days? With a child in tow? Extremely difficult. Besides the fact that I had very few days here in the City of Lights capping off a long vacation in France, I forgot my camera for half of it. So until Else emails me all the cute pics she took of Colette, Bon Marché (where I got a shut-it-down new pair of platform boots) and YSL among others, this is it: Marché St. Pierre. I go every year to the store and the neighborhood to scour for new fabrics which I can't find in L.A. Only thing worth noting in the pic, besides the bag, are the Superga tennies I bought out of desperation yesterday. The DSB. That's what I'll call it. The desperate shoe buy. It refers to the phenomenon of leaving the house in Paris wearing shoes which have never in their lives seen so much pavement. Along comes a shoe store around hour three of the very pedestrian (in only the walking sense of the word) day and out goes me in a pair of "comfy" shoes. Eeew. Those two words still give me the heebs when together, but silver's kinda cute. No? They'll love the back of my closet all year long.

Every year, I search for African prints because there're sooo much more beautiful here than what we can get. I bought some fabulous wax prints which will be linings on my Cartable. Perfect.

A cute little Comme Des Garçons Pocket store at the base of Montmartre.

I don't even know what store this was as I was frantically trying to find Chez Marianne in the Marais at lunchtime as Oscar was having a full-blown-hunger fit on the street when I saw it. But child protest be damned, I made him cross the street with me to get a better look and snap a pic.

Click to make bigger and see this necklace. Birds. Love it.

The vitrine of the new Polka magazine gallery.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Taking the slow train to Paris

We leave this beautiful country home today and we're taking the slow train to Paris. Yay. So excited to eat at my favorite places, stroll the skinny streets, sit in the parks and visit the chicest boutiques on earth which will hopefully one day be selling CVivs. I'm sad to leave this home, it's so good to us every year. These tomatoes were brought in this a.m. from the garden! We eat better than we eat all year in the few weeks we're here.

It's the simple things I love. This is the key to the house. How cute is it? As solid brass skeleton key. Why did we have to depart from the skeleton key back home?

The bon bons above have nothing to do with anything, only I think they're so cute and I've wanted to include this picture for a while, never found a way to tie it into any story. They taste like the Holy host from my spotty Catholic girl upbringing. Only they're filled with sour sugar. I used to sit at mass, bored out of my head thinking about the holy host. Who made it, where'd they buy it, did the priests bake it themselves?

Another pic, another day...

Next up some looks from PARIS!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Story of a French road trip - in pictures

You start off a road trip home from the Perigord with a stop at a local market, to get picnic yums. (Is it me being brainwashed, or really, are even French markets chicer than ours? I mean, the baskets, the arrangement of the fruits and veggies, it's like a photoshoot was waiting to Click to make bigger, you've got to see this...)

These are the sites you see on a French road trip - old things, you know, ol' aqueduct like ancient bridges

or medieval castles...

Ahh, but just when you think you're cruising through France on a whim and a smile, in fact, just when you get to a place called Place de la Liberté with the cutest rusted, hand painted sign, in some unknown little slice of a town...

Engine light turns on, car heats up (and fast!), pull over, open the hood, reach your hand in and it comes out with this chewed up piece of rubber. It was once a belt? A huh? Whatever it was, it was important.

On August 15th. A Saturday. In France.

Apparently 8/15 is THE vacation day of all vacation days in France and we all know those are many. So to find a mechanic willing to come to you and tow you and change the belt (all in the same day), may just have been a feat akin to the miracles at Lourdes. As luck would have it though, mechanic Pierre was having a hell of a time with the his in-laws when he got the call that some foreigners (le mari barely counts as French anymore for country French) were stranded 5km from his town in an old BMW. He jumped at the chance to flee the fams and was there to help in a matter of minutes. Thank god for in-laws.

This is the type shack you see when you're stranded in a slice of a town while belt is being replaced.

Your child may decide he wants to live there as it is just his size...

Mechanic Pierre saved the day and within an hour you're back on the highway heading home.

This is the type of car you see on a French highway...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chez Meredith et Philippe

Through some twisted, long series of events which involve my friend Meredith having a bloodline back to the former Czar Nicolas II of Russia a long, long time ago, the opportunity presented itself to her and her husband Philippe, to buy this 15th century hunting manoir in the Perigord region of France for what can almost be called a pittance.

So they live here in the summer, in San Francisco in the winter, and we try to get a visit in every trip to France we make. There's kayaking down rivers, long walks in forests and most importantly long, yummy meals which include divine vegetables from the meticulously kept potager (that's garden) at the table outside.

Apparently La Dame Blanche, as the manor is called, is haunted and there are creaks and noises everywhere which attest to this fact. But when we're there, I choose to believe that they are friendly spirits and as long as we are too, everything goes well. Meredith has documented it all fantastically & thoroughly here. Read all parts, you won't be sorry.

This is the staircase to the second floor. You cannot tell from this picture, but is actually one of my favorite parts of the whole house. It is wider than it appears and it is SOLID wood, as in a tree cut in half, sanded, built into the stone walls on both sides and voilà. Steps. They are a podiatric sensation. Walk on them barefoot for best enjoyment.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


These were the only things I picked up on the Ile D'Yeu trip the other day, although I'm still thinking about a few things from the Marché d'art at the port. I was blown away by the beautiful babythings handmade by Ile peeps - I mean, lovely baby bikinis in softly dyed, feather weight linen. And I covet a necklace from a French woman who lives in the UK but summers on the Ile and sells her adorable charm necklaces - which sound trite but somehow seemed new and very chic in that setting. I had to run and catch up with my fams and couldn't buy a thing at the market, but on my way off the Ile, I was able to sneak into a shoe store.

Really, does anything say lazy summer in France better than authentic Espadrilles from the Cote Basque?

Matching shoes for me and Oscar on the ferry back to mainland.

(A R T I S A N A T F R A N Ç A I S is what it says on the rubber bottom of the jute soles.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

la fille qui goûte du vin

C'est moi. (Et toi.)

That means, the girl who tastes the wine. I was told by someone yesterday during my first outing to visit wineries in France - in my favorite wine country: the Loire Valley - that, actually it is strange and uncommon for women to take an interest in wine in France. Granted, the person who told to me this conceded that it was due to their outdated and "macho" culture. I'd say. Anyway. After we had a lovely lunch on a covered terrace, high up a hill overlooking the entire Loire wine region (with one troubling nuclear reactor visible in the distance, but hey, it's France), we went to the wineries - just two of them actually. That was enough for one day.

And if wine tasting brings to mind manicured grounds, fancy receptions rooms, maybe a bar full of tourists playing like they're interested in wine but really are only there to get drunk like at any other "bar", you'd be surprised by tasting in the Loire valley. More like pulling up to someone's house, barely a sign indicating it, being met by the vineyard owner in his foyer and not being invited into the house. And, right there in the foyer, maybe on a folding table with a cloth strewn over it, he'll pour you his life's work in glasses you wonder if the people there before you didn't use. The real deal. This is not Disney Napawineland. (That was going to be the title of this entry. Then someone told me girls don't taste wine.)

Bourgeuil, St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil, Chinon, Vouvray, Anjou, Saumur, Sancerre!! These are all Loire wines and always the wines I gravitate towards at wine stores or restaurants. I've gotten a few of my friends on to them, too, so we've become little experts.

The tanks at Audebert Pere et Fils.

Just amazing type face on a bldg in the region - nothing to do with wine.

Moi et M. Delauney (of Delauney Pere et Fils which was by far our favorite and we bought cases to give as gifts to our hosts over the next coming weeks) checking out some of his grapes. So we really only did Bourgeuil and St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil, next time, la fille will taste another area in the Val de Loire.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meatloaf for the French

I read this article in last week's Sunday NY Times Magazine where the writer has to go to a potluck at Nora Ephron's house and because I'm obsessed with the idea of a Meryl Streep playing Julia Child in Ephron's film adaptation of Julie & Julia, I decided the "fancy meatloaf" (as opposed to the turkey meatloaf recipe by chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto in NY, although it also looked good) would be the recipe that got me to actually cook something in mother-in-law's historic kitchen. It is daunting to cook anything for the French, let alone a traditional American dish. It was also risky because I'd never made it before, and I'd have to turn all the measurements into metric system, but...

it was delish! Everyone loved it and I don't think they were just being polite, although it's really hard to tell. Anyway, I loved it and I'll for sure make it again.
The lemon zest totally makes it.