Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011! A Contract from Me to You...

find this stunning photo by mingta photography here

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
         Wishing you all a fantastic New Year's Eve ! If you are going out, live it up, look fab, have a blast and be safe! If you are like me and stay home in your jammies after too many years of dress up on this night of all nights, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! I live in the most decadent of towns to live it up (over 350,000 people are here to celebrate), so I am very happy to be home safe with my family and my fabulous cupcakes ( see previous post)...
One question for us homebodies though...Why oh why are there no longer any great television shows to watch? I grew up watching Lawrence Welk, and have wonderful cherished memories sipping Shirley Temples and eating special "hors d'ouevres" with my sister and my Grandmother, determined to make it to midnight...
I am open to any suggestions!

A neighbor sent me the following contract, I enjoyed it and am passing it along to all of you great reader/friends ~

2011 Contract


After serious and cautious consideration... your contract of friendship has   been  renewed for the New Year 2011

It was a very hard decision to make... So try not to screw it up!!!


                                         My Wish for You in 2011

   May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.

             May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.

  May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!

       May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy

                    May the problems you had forget your home address!


                                                 In simple words :

                       May 2011 be the best year of your life!!!

                                    A Happy New Year to you all!

Nathalie



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pondering 2011

I hope you all had as wonderful holiday season as I did! Loved having my family all together, eating and drinking too much, getting spoiled...
Speaking of eating, my last sugar hurrah will be making cupcakes with these gorgeous cupcake toppers and wrappers by Paper Scissors Cake ...
You can get them here, and then you receive them as a PDF to have immediately... such fun and festive designs they have, it is my new party dessert!
I will be back on the computer more, wishing you all good cheer for the New Year...
2010 has been wonderful, meeting all of my new blogger friends and escaping to parts of the world that I miss visiting... or have never been!

Nathalie

Oh! To have a tea party with these!

So Diva-ine!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!
~ Charles Dickens

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
The sun is shining, my family is here, the orders are out, and the cards are done....
Now it is time to start wrapping! And cooking....

ALL of the best to you,

Nathalie


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dreaming of a ...Wet?...Christmas

lovely print by Garney Girl

The weather Gods are certainly not co-operating with holiday travelers this year, in all parts of the world. It has been raining here in the desert for 5 days straight now, something that never happens! Our pool is about to overflow...
My family starts arriving today, we are lucky that the rain has not interfered with travel like in Europe, just made it more challenging.
I wish you and your family all safe travels ~

Nathalie

see more on Garney Girl here too

Friday, December 17, 2010

The $11 Million Dollar Tree...

The world's most expensive christmas tree in Abu Dhabi, at the Emirates Palace Hotel...
Adorned with 131 ornaments, including gold, diamonds, sapphires and precious stones ~


What do you think? Over the top, or a girl's dream?

My tree's only bling comes from Swarovski, but I love it...

School's out! My orders are almost all in ~ Time to get out and visit you all again!

CHEERS!
 Nathalie

photos : Hussein Malla, Yahoo News


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tango, Anyone? As in Paris, Paris Tango

Am I ever on a winning streak! How LUCKY am I and filled with gratitude to have won Carla Coulson's giveaway of her book "Paris Tango"....
Anyone who is not a frequent admirer of her work must drop everything and visit her at
Carla Loves Photography
Right Now!

What a lovely breath of positive fresh air for me in what is seeming like an endless race to a Finish Line far off in the distance....but I do see it in the horizon and will be back to wish you all Merry and Joy and Light!

Nathalie

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cross Country, Anyone?

J'adore the Tour Eiffel, and I have many a photo... but I have never seen one like this!
Il y a beaucoup de neige a' Paris!
How I would love to be there....
Still busy as a bee with holiday orders ~ I will be a regular again soon!
Salut,
Nathalie

photo AP photo Francois Mori

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And The Stockings Were (should be) Hung By the Chimney With Care...

The craziness of the holidays ~ My stockings for my family that I made several years ago are patiently waiting to be hung, as the tree is waiting to be decorated... I am hoping to find some time this weekend to get it all done...how are your holiday decorations coming along? I am always so happy when all is done, and we sit by the fire with hot cocoa enjoying the fruits of labour....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Garlands....

I am s-l-o-w-l-y getting my christmas decor out ~ somehow life this time of year takes on a frenetic pace that I have a hard time keeping up with...if only my waistline benefitted from this racing around, oh dear those christmas cookies are my downfall!
I just discovered Maisy and Alice on Etsy ( yes I do pretty much all of my shopping on Etsy!), and am having this beauty sent to me from lovely Derbyshire, England, to grace my dining area...
I have never "garlanded" before, but think it will be something different and this is so beautiful...
the snowflakes are cut from french books, so poetic!



Some other beauties...

There are also gorgeous felted pieces...
I highly recommend, the customer service has been a joy!
How are your holiday decorations coming along?
I am sorry to be sparse in my visits/comments, but you are all in my thoughts ~
Nathalie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two Parties in One Week...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends that are like family to us... Dined on my Grandmother's china, crystal and silver... had 7 boys from 2 to 9 running about ....
And ate WAY too much!

Chef Paul's amazing pies...

Some delicious sides...

The turkey was the best this year...Diestel Ranch, my husband brined it and didn't stuff it for the first time ...we all agreed it was better!

My lovely cake for my little knight who turned 7 days before ~
I am tired, and grateful I have a month before my next party!
I hope you had a great holiday, and have been enjoying yourselves shopping...

Cheers,
Nathalie

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving



For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

...For love and friends,

For everything

Thy goodness sends.

Amen.



Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
Wishing you all a wonderful day!
 
Nathalie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Fun Gift...

I came across these on Etsy today, and just had to share! What a unique and fun gift for that someone who has everything, no? Available for only $18, or you can choose 5 for $85...
Check them out at Whimsy and Ink ...



I can't believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving already! Then it will be time to get the shopping going in a big way, christmas cards, the whole enchilada ~

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving...


We have made it through our crazy agenda, and are now in the planning stages of one of my favourite holidays...
Counting our blessings...

see these lovely tiles here

Celebrating in our home ...

you may purchase these here

The leaves are full of vibrant shades, even here in the desert...where it is now chilly and Mount Charleston got 6 inches of snow  yesterday ~ Hooray!

see this lovely wreath here

And when it comes down to it, this says it all! We will have some of our dearest friends over for the big feast, and my lovely Grandmother will be celebrating Thanksgiving for her second time ( she was in Canada for theirs). I have my shopping list and am off to fight the crowds...
What will you be doing? A big dinner, or more intimate one?

to buy the lovely sentiment above, stop by here

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

My sweet little angel Lorenzo turns 7 tomorrow ~ A knights and princess party will be thrown by the Queen to celebrate this occasion. Somehow the transition from 6 to 7  is huge, momentous. I feel my little cherub sliding off into "Dude" world like his big brother, who can barely hug or kiss his mom  anymore. I am not the hugest fan of aging for myself, but for this reason alone, of seeing my "baby" grow up, I truly wish I could stop the clock...even just for a little bit!
Things have been crazy of late, school Thanksgiving parties, my wonderful Grandmother arrived from wintry Ontario for the 2 months she stays with us, I have this party to get together in a hurry, and Dolce Dreams is going very strong for the holidays ~ So I apologize for being a bit absent lately to all of you delightful friends out there. Oh and  did I neglect to mention that my computer crashed the other day...talk about a stresser! Sad that I am so dependent on it, and using my son's just wasn't cutting it...all new parts and I am back to business thanks to my ever supportive husband that I love...
I hope that life is not too crazy for you all out there...

Have a wonderful weekend!
Nathalie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Abundance of Meyer Lemons

Last year we got three lemons from our Meyer Lemon tree ~ this year we have 60 or 70! I gave many away, and decided with the remainders to give my hand a try with the Cured Lemon recipe that I watched Thomas Keller do when I attended his seminar in Aspen at the Food and Wine event in June. It was so easy! My sons helped me, and had alot of fun. Chef Keller recommends serving them as a side accompaniment with seafood dishes, or certain vegetable dishes.

The recipe comes from this cookbook...

So true!

The photo from his book...

Our version... as we speak they are "curing" for 2 weeks or longer ~ they should last several months according to the Chef. I had wanted to perhaps make them as christmas gifts, but didn't have the correct "jars"...perhaps after they are cured.

Cured Lemons

8 lemons, scrubbed
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
Cut one half inch off of each end of the lemons so that you are left with the nicest round part, and slice them into 1/8 inch slices. Remove the seeds as you go. Combine the sugar and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 inch of the sugar/salt mixture in the bottom of a square 6 by 6 storage container. Arrange a row of slightly overlapping slices and top with a 1/2 inch layer of the sugar/salt mixture to cover. It is better to use to much than not enough of the sugar/salt mixture to make sure all of the lemons are covered, so that exposed lemon will not mold. Keep layering until the slices are used up, and top with the sugar salt mixture. Cover tightly, and then wrap in plastic very well. Refrigerate for at least 2 weeks, or up to one month.

Have Fun!

pictures and recipe from Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller



Monday, November 15, 2010

My Lucky Day!

This is me today! How thrilled I am to have found out that not only did I win a copy of Vicki Archer's "French Essence" in her giveaway, but I ALSO am so very lucky to have won Ingrid Mida of Fashion is My Muse's giveaway ~ notecards from her Red Dress series illustrations! I am so excited :) and think I shall take her advice and run off to buy a lottery ticket!
I can't wait to receive them and share ~
I hope your week is starting off just as well!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Where is Your Heart?

Is your heart in the City of Lights, or are you a Big Apple lover? Artist Vahram Muratyan has come up with some delightful comparisons of  the two, and adds more on his blog,
Paris vs. NYC
I love them both, but would have to say that my heart is in Paris...after all, I got engaged there, on the Tour Eiffel ~

Love this one!

Oh, those french baguettes...I could eat two right now!

Love the simplicity of this...

Have a great weekend,
Nathalie

all photos via paris vs. nyc

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm Wearing My Poppy

In Remembrance of all of the Veterans ~ I am wearing my Grandmother's poppy today.
Thank You Vets for all you do for us!
I do wish I had "The Poppy!" above, by Emerson Made....it is gorgeous! I came across their site on Beach Bungalow 8 the other day, it is filled with want list items.
For next year...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Bath...

Isn't this custom antiqued mirror tub to die for ? I adore mirrors, especially the antiqued aged ones, so for me this would be the ultimate coup d'etat for my girlie room. Add in a matching dressing room/ closet, and I would never come out ~ unless to visit the kitchen, my other favorite room! to see more of this Grand Residence in London, peruse the Nov/Dec issue of Veranda.

The vanity is also custom designed to go with the tub.
I hope your week is starting off with a blast! I have been on a treadmill at full speed, with no time  to visit, but I will be out soon visiting! Miss you all,
Nathalie

photos by Simon Upton in Veranda

Friday, November 5, 2010

You Don't Want to Miss These Giveaways...

I am sure that most of you lovely bloggers out there are familiar with Vicki Archer's blog, French Essence...this week she will be doing a giveaway of her latest book with Carla Coulson, which arrives here in the States November 11. If you haven't made it over to enter yet, you still have time!

And if you would like to have a backup....the ever lovely and talented Ingrid Mida of Fashion is My Muse is also doing a giveaway of French Essence ~ and a Coco dvd! You have time to visit and enter there also.

I am doing a giveaway of one of my baby quilts ~ I would love for someone I "know" to win... Scarlet at Moms Wear Your Tees  is hosting the giveaway. It is open until November 24...

And lastly...
Have a fantastic weekend!
Nathalie

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Celestial Gift Guide from Luxury Las Vegas

I couldn't resist sharing this Gift Guide from a local magazine, Luxury Las Vegas....
I think it is one of the most beautiful and brilliant collections I have seen, filled with delicious items that are available at the overflow of shops here on the Strip...
Aren't the illustrations divine?
Enjoy!
























Wasn't that some fun window shopping!
Good luck with your holiday lists, and have a great week ~
Nathalie

Guide by DJ Rupp and Beth Schwartz
Illustrations by Rowena Sioson