Friday, July 18, 2014

Orange' Your're Glad it is Friday

I have a love affair with doors especially beautifully coloured doors like the ones found in Europe.  I think these doors are just exquisite.  I found this door in Ghent, Belgium last year.    I like how the mail slots are a contrast of red.

Orange Your're Glad it is Friday is hosted by Maria at Life's Sweets and Spices.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

 Happy Birthday to me.  If I could I think a birthday in France would be delightful.  I have been there in the summer, but I am not sure I would want to be there with the crowds.  Even though I cannot be in Paris I must say my friends made sure that I am going to have a special birthday.

This year has been one of the saddest and most difficult years of my life.  In addition to losing my mum, my cat has been diagnosed with heart failure.  There have been many tears shed.  Saturday eve my friends had a surprise party for me.  There was a nice group of men and women and we had a lovely time.  Thank you to my darling husband for organizing it.

I received some lovely presents and I must confess almost each present had a French touch.  There were tea mugs with lovely bicycles on them.  Lots of tea.  French cook books and tea towels with macarons and French postal markings.  Of course there has to be champagne and cake with strawberries.  Let's not forget the cookware and a scarf of course.  It truly was a fun evening.

One of my male friends that I cycle with is a great cook.  He told everyone that we always discuss food and recipes on the ride and when he returns home he is so frustrated as he wants to make all the recipes that we discussed.  He gave me Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food.  He said it does not have photos but he knows I will appreciate it.  I cannot wait to read it.  Of course there was also the Barefoot Contessa in Paris and My Paris Kitchen.  I can hardly wait to start cooking from them.

I just loved how my friends all came together.  We enjoyed dinner and had a lovely time talking.  This year has taught me to truly appreciate my friends and lean on them.  Last night I saw another group of friends I had not seen in awhile.  Friends whether male of female are great.  It is important to spend time with them and enjoy the moment.

While I would love to be in France, the best present I could receive is friendship.  Thank you to all my friends for being there.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Bastille Day!!!

 For me there are so many reasons to love France and adore Paris.  Who would not want to be one of these two women.  They are sitting together in Place de Vosges enjoying a beautiful sunny spring day.    They are not the only ones enjoying the day.  People all around them are taking advantage of the sun and warmth.
These two men are quite content to be sitting alone reading.  All around Paris you see people sitting in the park reading.  It really is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.  
I would sit in the park every Sunday and read if there was a park with pretty flowers nearby.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Holiday Home by Fern Britton

Each year, the Carew sisters embark on their yearly trip to the family holiday home, Atlantic House, set on a picturesque Cornish cliff.
Prudence, the hard-nosed businesswoman, is married to the meek and mild Francis, but she’s about to get a shock reminder that you should never take anything for granted. Constance, loving wife to philandering husband Greg, has always been outwitted by her manipulative sibling, but this year she’s finally had enough.
When an old face reappears on the scene, years of simmering resentments reach boiling point, but little do the women know that a long-buried secret is about to bite them all on the bottom. Is this one holiday that will push them all over the edge, or can Constance and Pru leave the past where it belongs?

My Review:  Apparently Fern Britton is a television personality in England.  I had never heard of her before reading the book.  This book did not get the best reviews in comparison to her earlier books.  I actually enjoyed the book until the end.  I did not like how the book ended at all.  It almost seemed as if the author wanted a certain ending and rushed through the end to meet her results.  
For me the book was fun in a British humour type of way.  The book was a little unrealistic but I was okay with that.  This is a light hearted read where both husbands seemed to be infatuated with women they should not be and everyone was trying to shag everyone.  
While the story takes place at the Holiday Home in Cornwall I was expecting the house to play a more central role given the detail that is provided to the reader in the beginning of the story.  I did like that details the author used to describe where the home was situated.  I could almost believe that I was in Cornwall.
If you are looking for a fun book to take to the beach or on vacation The Holiday Home is your book.  Would I read another book by Fern Britton, Yes!  
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing me with a copy.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tomato Tart

While I am have not spent much time in Provence, thoughts of Provence always conjure up images of tomatoes for me.  I would love to spend a summer among all the delicious vegetables.  The thought of walking to the market or into my garden to select my produce just sounds wonderful.

Today for some reason I had dreams of ratatouille and a tomato tart for dinner.  And I made both.  While I do not see myself returning to France this year I find myself craving all that I love about the county.  Tomato tarts is one little sliver of what I love about France.

This is such a simple dish to make.  I just layer tomatoes with some goat cheese and drizzle olive oil along with herbs de provence.

This is my contribution to Dreaming of France, hosted by Paulita at An Accidental Blog.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ines de La Fressange

Ines is probably the most famous model to have walked the streets of Paris.  The lady has class and great looks.  Recently I was at the mall and came across Roger Vivier boutique.  Their shoes are just darling.  Darling and out of my price range.  But they must have every colour under the sun.  Looking at pretty shoes was better than sitting at home crying which I have done plenty of this year.

I went onto to their website to look at all their shoes and realized that Ines is their spokesperson.  If you click on the link to Ines' Diaries on the right hand column you will get to go shopping with Ines.  Ines explores a variety of neighborhoods in Paris and takes you on a tour of her favourite boutiques.

It is really quite clever.  I love clicking on this page for a variety of reasons.  One, I just love shopping in Paris and if I cannot go myself then I will shop vicariously through someone else.  Two, it is a great way to practice my French.  You can listen to her in either French or English.  Three, I have some new ideas for my next visit to France.

You should also visit the boutique.  Their video is cute.

This is my contribution to Dreaming of France.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Tribute to my Mum

Today would have been my mum's 76th birthday.  For her it will never be.  My mum passed away a month ago.  My grief is still fresh and with me.  I miss her every day.

Her name was Mae.  It was fitting given she was born May 1st.  The last two May 1st, I was in France.  I loved that they passed out Lily of the Valley's for May Day.  I thought of my mum both times of how she would have enjoyed the festivities.

Happy Birthday dear mum.  You are loved and missed.

Your daughter.
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