23 April 2015

{ Little Apricots & Lavender Cakes }

Now that spring is (nearly) here, can summer picnics be far behind? Elizabeth Bard thinks it is perfect timing to search out lavender and apricots, combine with almonds and make these picnic-worthy financiers for your first picnic du saison!  Here is an excerpt from her new book, Picnic in Provence. Enticing and romantic all at the same time, non, cherie?

05 April 2015

Rites of Springtime!

this year we dyed brown eggs...aren't they pretty!

their colors are rich and warm on the white table...

we also have a birthday to celebrate today...and the rooster looks
like he had something to do with all those eggs, right?!

the chocolate cake/white frosting wish fulfilled...and my first
peonies from the garden to garnish!

if springtime is about fertility, we've got that covered with
those amazing acanthus stems lol!

04 April 2015

Our Sea Never Looks Like This!!

We went over to the sea Friday for a romp on the beach with Nicky the pup. We followed this with lunch at the Miramar Beach House that we love because Nicky is always welcome and the fish tacos are to die for!

We visit here almost every week... and our little patch of the Pacific Ocean never looks all turquoise and aqua like it did on Friday! It's usually a dark greenish-blueish-brownish slightly murky ocean, but this time the sea had turned the most gorgeous shade of turquoise! Our jaws dropped and immediately I pulled out my iPhone to try and capture the color for my blog. As you probably know, that is a challenge with an iPhone, but here are my pictures from this beautiful, gorgeous, sunny-chilly afternoon at one of our favorite spots on God's green earth!

who would not love to live in this little turquoise seaside house in Half Moon Bay??

I think the ocean is getting ready for Easter with its stunning turquoise color

wanna follow this little pathway to see what's on the other side??..come on!

this is a ocean color we never see here!

these two ladies had set up lunch and were now playing cards under
the enormous coastal cypress...they were there for hours!

the little turquoise house from another angle..so charming! Easter lilies blooming in front!

what drought??  this is what Californians plant when water's scarce as hens' teeth...a
beautiful drought-tolerant garden by the sea... just in time for 

25 March 2015

5 Great Reasons to Come to Provence With Me in the Fall!

If you love all things Provençal, and love design, and are dreaming of warm days in the South of France...you must come with us to Provence in the Fall! This is exactly the time of year to plan a delicious trip for yourself...our Tour is the perfect solo traveler experience...Or bring your sister, daughter or best friends...we have great accommodations for small groups to be together. Experience my luxurious Chic Provence Design Tour Fall 2015!! 

Is Provence on your bucket list?

Here are five great reasons why NOW is the perfect time to sign up 
for our fall Chic Provence Design Tour:


Your registration fee includes absolutely everything* from the moment we pick you up at the train station in Avignon until we drop you off a week later to bid you adieu! (*except of course your personal shopping and quick lunches out at the markets).


You'll explore Provence in the company of like-minded souls who love design, brocantes, flea markets, French clothing and linens, antiques, vintage finds...and you will have all the time you want to roam and shop these markets to your heart's content, with expert guidance for buying and shipping your treasures home.


You'll spend a week in luxurious accommodations... a stunning 250 year old restored farmhouse, 10,000 square feet of splendor with two full professional kitchens, several dining areas, gorgeous grounds and courtyard, pool, eight stunning ensuite bedrooms, and completely decorated in chic Provencal style.


You'll enjoy incredible culinary delights at the hands of our wonderful chef, who uses the freshest local and organic products to create delicious aperitifs and dinners for us every night, with incredible wine pairings using local wines.


Your dollar is at an historical high against the euro...today the dollar is at .93 euro!...that means I can slash costs for your registration and you can secure euros now for your shopping pleasures in Provence in the fall!

I hope I'll see you in Provence in the Fall! There will be no better time to
see this gorgeous part of the world, no better companions!
Get your friends together and have an unforgettable getaway in 
Provence with like-minded souls. We can arrange
massage, yoga and spa treatments if you like.

to see what happy guests have to say about 
our Chic Provence Design Tour! 

email me for more information and registration
If you register and pay in full by April 1, 2015,
you will receive a full 10% off the published rate!

05 February 2015

You've Been Asking! {Autumn 2015 Chic Provence Design Tour}

Dear friends, if you missed registration for our spring Chic Provence Design Tour 2015, you won't have to wait another year. Decide now to come with me on our first Autumn 2015 Chic Provence Design Tour,  October 3-10, 2015! We are busy putting together a new itinerary for this Autumn 2015 Chic Provence Design Tour!

We are excited to bring you to Provence in the fall... after summer's heat cools a bit, the days are still warm and sunny, and the harvest is in full swing...we'll tour vineyards, taste lots of wonderful local wines, cheeses, and produce, go on an electric bicycle tour through the gorgeous autumnal countryside (stopping for shopping and picnicking of course!) and visit old Roman villages.

As our guests on the Chic Provence Design Tour you will stay in our luxurious huge villa, with eight gorgeous bedrooms, each with ensuite bath. We'll dine every evening in a different part of the villa, served by our amazing chef, Jon, who will prepare culinary wonders for us paired with local wines (Coˆtes de Provence, Bouche du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, Bandol, Cassis), all organic, of course! You are always welcome to help Jon prepare our evening meals, and you will definitely learn a lot about the Provençal wines, cheeses, sausages, and produce. 

During the days we'll explore the antiques, Provençal and farmers' markets to our hearts' delight, and take in the historical and significant history of the area, inhabited long ago by the Romans and before that the early Ligurians. On the Chic Provence Design Tour, you'll be in the company of an expert  interior designer to help you navigate your purchases and ship them home, and an experienced digital photographer as your photography coach, both of whom lived in Provence for a year and now live in California. 

We'll see Provencal architecture and home design, gardens, Roman ruins and experience local culture from an insider's point of view. We'll shop fabrics, silver, art, furniture, rugs, vintage linens, wonderful clothing and antiques of every kind in this chic part of Provence with all it has to offer. You'll learn about the colors and very fabrics of Provence and the reasons behind its rustic chic appeal. 

As a guest of the Chic Provence Design Tour, you are picked up at the Avignon TGV station and from that moment onwards, everything is taken care of. We take you everywhere, your breakfasts and dinners are at our sumptuous villa, your every need and wish fulfilled immediately by our staff. Read our brochure to see what other happy guests on the Chic Provence Design Tour have had to say!

And to make things even better, we are able to offer a nice 10% off already lower price if you sign up and pay in full by March 15, 2015 to take full advantage of the strong exchange rate with the euro right now. We anticipate great savings this year, so plan now to join us in the fall!

See YOU in Provence in the Fall! There will be no better time to
see this gorgeous part of the world, no better companions!
Get your friends together and have an unforgettable getaway in 
Provence with like-minded souls! We can even arrange
massage, yoga and spa treatments if you like!

to see what happy guests have to say about 
our Chic Provence Design Tour! 

email me for more information and registration
If you register and pay in full by March 20, 2015,
you will receive a full 10% off the published rate!
Don't delay!


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