‘We’re On A Boat!’ Party

yacht party, social, boat party, theme, party decor, party food, finger foods, appetizers, nantucket theme, cape cod theme, new england theme, preppy theme, jello shots, fresh fruit, tea sandwiches, summer party ideas, party inspiration, wall decor, picture frames, vintage bicycle, living room decorBonjour, mes beaux amies!!

My wonderful friend and her awesome husband threw the funnest “Yacht Social Club” themed party over the weekend, and it was just so beautifully thought out and designed, I could NOT help but snap away with the camera.  Continue reading

A Nod to Childhood + Practicality

Bonjour, bon ami!!!

It feels as though I have been running every day, and unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to update my little space here.  Fortunately, my mother is feeling much better, and so I’m very thankful for that.  And luckily, in between all the running around, I have been able to finish a couple home projects, one of which I am soooo excited about!!

face paint little girl creative bored cute kids children chalkboard wall kitchen DIY home improvement projects crafty

Remember being a kid and playing with your coloring books, markers and crayons, and then discovering that you had amazing blank canvases in your house where you could create your brilliant works of art?  You probably also remember the big trouble you or your siblings got into for turning those walls into your childhood art gallery.

You have probably seen recent home improvement blog posts like this one on Apartment Therapy about kid-loving chalkboard paint and chalkboard walls in homes that provide hours of entertainment and a true gallery for their masterpieces.  I decided to use the chalkboard paint to create a functional wall in my kitchen, where finding a lose clean piece of paper nearby while I’m cooking or cleaning is nearly impossible.  Now I have the best and most convenient post-it-note ever!!

Here are a few pictures of this very fun and very easy project:

creative kids children chalkboard wall kitchen DIY home improvement projects crafty postit note practical wall paint{before-during-after}

Now I never have to worry about jotting down a quick note to myself that I’m out of milk, peanut butter, olive oil, paper towels or anything else that I notice I need throughout the day of cooking, cleaning or other.  And not like when I was a kid, this girl will never get in trouble for drawing on this wall!

You can find chalkboard paint at your local home improvement store like (my personal favorite) Lowes.  Depending on the size of the wall you want to paint, it can take you a few minutes to prep the wall with sandpaper and tape the trim, and twenty minutes to paint a first coat (it will go on very streaky and thin, but that’s okay – a second or third coat will cover it beautifully).  After an hour or so, you can paint a second coat, and after another hour a third if you need it.  Then two or three days later, you can christen your chalkboard wall by writing on it with chalk and wiping it off, thereby dusting it and making it ready for your everyday scribbling, drawing and reminder note writing!

creative kids children chalkboard wall kitchen DIY home improvement projects crafty postit note practical wall paintDo you have a chalkboard wall?  Where would you paint a chalkboard wall?  And who would use it more in your home, you or your kids??

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, bon ami!!


Tickled With Turquoise

Bonjour, bon ami!!

It has been a busy week for me, but I’m happy to say my mom is here resting with me and with the family, and we will be visiting her longtime doctor for a second opinion and hopefully some good advice on how we can keep her healthy and vital.  Thank you all again for your kind thoughts and prayers – it has definitely helped!!

In between all of the chaos, I’ve been feeling a bit blue – not a sad blue, but rather a soothing happier blue, like turquoise.  Perhaps it is because of all of the gorgeous images I’ve run across lately.  In fact, I’m already feeling the ‘bedroom makeover’ itch because of a few of these pictures.  Take a look!!

lacquer box boxes DIY crafts home decor design turquoise shabby chic
{centsational girl}
turquoise dresses couture glamorous runway models formal fashion elie saab backstage
{this is glamorous}
tiffany's tiffany box turquoise cupcake engagement ring glamorous unique ideas proposal
turquoise room decor style design details blue ideas shabby chic
{ciao bella}
little girl playing with bubbles turquoise dress cute style


happy happiness make others happy quotes words of wisdom
turquoise kitchen design decor ideas color bright happy organized
DIY turquoise teacup tea cup candles shabby chic decor ideas design vintage victorian party
{everything fabulous}
npr pictures amazing nature underwater seaweed photography
turquoise bathroom budoire bedroom design decor style ideas shabby chic glamorous

turquoise color decor coffee cup churros breakfast sweet ideas shabby chic
beautiful model makeup turquoise window photography vintage hairdo blinds
jcrew j crew turquoise dress shirt dresshirt green clutch fashion style ideas inspiration spring
{everything fabulous}
turquoise dress ideas glamorous fashion style spring model beautiful clemence poesy david oldham photo shoot photoshoot

Well I’m off to be with the family and make sure my mom takes it easy.  Perhaps we will do a little shopping since we’re so inspired by this beautiful turquoise color this week – a little bedroom or kitchen makeover?

Here’s wishing you all a beautiful ‘turquoise’ day in your own belle vie!!


She’s Crafty: Project Harmony Continues


running chick on sand beach cute animal animals baby photography

{ running around like crazy!! }

I’ve been a bit busy with my 2012 Project Harmony work, and before I knew it some days had passed without updating the blog!!  Apologies for that… but I’ve made great progress recently!

After revamping my desk area, I started tackling my closets, which is no small feat.  But until I find a few last things to finish the closets, I’ve tabled them for now…  Instead, I’ve moved on to a project that I started a while back.  A couple months ago, I found a great article about saving a drab desk chair from becoming a curbside tragedy.  I knew I had to do something with my own horrible black boring desk chair, and so the day after Thanksgiving I found a great fabric, and this past weekend my better half and I performed minor surgery – and voila!  We are sooo happy with the results!!

desk office chair reupholster reupholstery reupholstered DIY craft sewing home improvement decor
{ aint she cute?! }

The desk chair will also now be invited to come out when visitors are over!!

It was definitely a project that required two people, just to make sure the reupholstery fabric was taut.  It was also very helpful to have a handyman to take the chair apart and put it back together afterwards.  Removing the original fabric was very tedious – there were lots of staples holding it on, so removing them all was impossible.  But be sure to use a canvas or upholstery fabric so that it is strong enough to handle the staples and tight pull.

desk chair office reupholstery reupholstered fabric DIY craft home improvement sewing
{ chair back }
desk chair office reupholstery reupholstered fabric DIY craft home improvement sewing
{ absolutely necessary: staple gun and hot glue gun }
desk chair office reupholstery reupholstered fabric DIY craft home improvement sewing
{ seat }

 After we finished the project, we realized we were bitten by the reupholstery bug – we can’t wait to find our next chair needing a facelift!!

Well I still have a couple weeks left in the 2012 PH, and I will have a couple more updates in the next couple of days to share with you.

How are your 2012 home improvement projects progressing?  I would love to hear about your projects – help me keep up my motivation for these last two weeks!!  😉

Until the next progress report – continue living la belle vie, my lovelies!


Duly Noted…


In the blink of an eye, another week has passed faster than most of us can keep up.  But it has been a great week for me, and I’m ready for a great weekend to boot.

A little (okay, a LOT) of self-realization and lists this week:

country picni river bank shabby chic elegant dinner party


1.  as much as I love a big fast paced city, I always yearn for some country

houseplant house plants plant decor style

{plush palate}

2.  just like Plush Palate, I also think the best way to bring life and vim to any space is through plants and flowers!

frame mementos picture decor home idea

{everything fab}

3.  I could always decorate my walls with some wonderful mementos as opposed to pictures – new weekend project for me!!

chocolate lavender pie recipe dessert

{sunday suppers}

4.  I MUST make this chocolate lavender pie STAT…

bedroom makeover paint dark walls decor remodel color


5.  my bedroom needs a major facelift, like this one – another weekend project on the list!!

corner chair reading sitting decor design shabby chic


6.  speaking of bedroom, I MUST find a new sitting/reading chair for the corner.

beadboard wallpaper installation bathroom DIY decor design

{Centsational Girl}

7.  where can I find some beadboard wallpaper?

yoga pose stretch exercise calm relax flexible


8.  I need to get back into a regular yoga routine.

eiffel tower paris travel europe vintage


9.  thanks in part to my better half and my dear friend at The Scarborough Faire, I really do love the French.

romance intimate couple hands love loving embrace arms soulmate


10.  I can be a pain in the ass – for putting up with me, my better half deserves lots of my thanks and love.  I would be lost without him and his love.

This weekend will be a busy one: a surprise dinner for my better half because he deserves it ~ I’m continuing my 2012 Project Harmony ~ enjoying a “Thanksgiving in January” dinner party ~ hosting a small dinner party where I’ll be cooking my very first rib roast… Every day that I open the freezer and see it sitting their patiently, I start salivating like my dog!!!!

What great plans do you have for the weekend??  Be sure to do something positive for your community on Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  After all, we have much for which to thank him, and still much work to be done.

Have a wonderful weekend, bon ami!!


A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll

Bonjour, lovelies!!

This evening as a few office friends and I left our 9-5 gigs, I mentioned running to pick up a few things after work, like mason jars to begin making preserves.  It is Meyer Lemon season, after all!!

And just as the words came out of my mouth, the thought crossed my mind that if it weren’t for the concrete jungle in which I live, one might never know I was much of a city girl, let alone a bit of a country girl too.

country picni river bank shabby chic elegant dinner party

One work friend asked where I am originally from, and my answer, “San Diego,” was met with a bit of a chuckle, since San Diego certainly isn’t thought to be very ‘country.’ However, if you ask anyone who was born (in the 70s or earlier) and raised in San Diego, they would actually tell you a different story.  I grew up in a small town of less than 40,000 people in a northern suburb of America’s finest city, where there was a lot of open farmland, even a fully functional (and quite pungent) dairy, avocado and citrus groves – a little bit of country surrounding the small growing metropolis.

I know that it is because I grew up with things like fresh local eggs, produce and open land that deep down inside, during those evenings of never-ending brake lights, stop-and-go traffic, and blaring sirens as background music… I yearn for the country, even though I always thought of myself as more of a big city girl.

little bit country little bit rock & roll city life traffic jam countryside peace quiet
{dontcallmebetty; wsj.com}

So while my life is currently rooted in one of the world’s most exciting cities, I try to bring that little bit of country into my concrete & steel world.  I can’t wait to start canning the Meyer Lemons for baking and cooking!  And in getting in touch with my country side, I have found a number of great links with instructions, recipes and tips:

~ Introduction to home canning and preserving

~ 85 Recipes for home canning fruits & veggies from A-Z

~ The Kitchn’s roundup of 5 great canning websites

If you aren’t into the whole sterilization/hot water canning/pickling procedure, here are some gorgeous and novel (and relatively easy!) ideas for mason jars outside of home canning:

mason jars herb garden idea unique decor DIY indoor
{Camille Styles’ adorable and practical mason jar herb garden}
wedding ideas mason jars unique shabby chic lighting candles parties decor homemade DIY
{shabby chic and elegant mason jars for weddings & parties}
mason jar jars lighting ideas unique DIY party wedding decor shabby chic
{beautiful & easy DIY mason jar lighting ideas}

What do you do to bring a little bit of country into your fast-paced city life?  Any suggestions for this country-turned-city girl?

Keep living your best belle vie, bon ami!!


Progress Report: Project Harmony


As many of you know, I am in the midst of PH 2012, aka Project Harmony, and my early successful results were a precursor to my continued progress in this project!!  As promised, I am here to update you on the liberating results thus far:

~ the mini home office ~

footnote: You’ll notice there are no ‘before’ photos.  This is because my office space/corner was such a disaster, I couldn’t bear to actually use it as an office.  It was more a place where opened and junk mail went to die… So I’ll let you use your imagination for the ‘before’ state.  Here is ‘after’!! (I’m sooo happy!!)

home office declutter new year space new year resolution organization organized storage
{clutter free and dandy!}

And yes, that is my furry children’s window perch to the left, formerly a quilt covered leather bench, that has since been claimed by said furry children.

Now my office area isn’t an eye-sore in my living room.  Instead, it is a pleasant little corner near windows where I can enjoy my cup of coffee or tea while I work, with storage for all necessary and wanted items, made cozy with personal knickknacks and photos. The missing element to this project is my reupholstered office chair (a current WIP!).  Updates to that coming soon!

Here are a few more touches to my newly revamped office area:

ikea expedit kassett home office declutter new year space new year resolution organization organized storage box
{Ikea Expedit 2×2 shelf; Ikea Kassett Magazine Box}
ikea home office declutter new year space new year resolution organization organized storage
{Ikea Kassett CD Box}

home office declutter new year space new year resolution organization organized storage
{got a lil’ nuts with the label maker!}

~ bathroom organization ~

I didn’t realize that I needed help with some bathroom organization and storage, until my better half and I bought the wrong shelving unit from Ikea this weekend.  We accidentally bought a small ‘Billy’ 3-tier bookshelf which didn’t fit the Kassett magazine boxes.  So before disassembling the thing, we tried to find a home for it, and a home we found in the bathroom.  Now we have a small space to hold guest towels, extra supplies and even guest toiletries, a number of which I happen to come across during this project!  Overnight guests have use of new disposable razors, face wash, lotion, new toothbrushes and floss.  Who needs a Holiday Inn?

bathroom storage billy bookshelf bookcase shelf guest toiletries towels declutter solution
{perfect little bathroom shelf}
bathroom storage billy bookshelf bookcase shelf guest toiletries towels declutter solution
{great storage solution for guest towels & toiletries}
bathroom storage billy bookshelf bookcase shelf guest toiletries towels declutter solution
{necessary -ahem- reading materials}

I can’t wait to share the big changes in the hallway, linen and bedroom closets!!  A lot of purging happening at the LBH HQs, and as much as I thrive in a random and somewhat chaotic world, this small bit of organization feels AB-FAB!  Speaking of, did you catch the all new 2012 episode of Ab-Fab this past Sunday on BBCA??

How are your decluttering and organization projects going?  I’d love to hear about your progress!!

For now, I’m taking a little Ab-Fab break with a glass of Bolly at my new desk (I WISH!), and I’m looking for things to file, throw or give away.  I can’t wait to post my next progress report!!

Until then, may you all continue to live la belle vie, bon ami!!


1 Down, 51 To Go


Can you believe one week has already passed in the new year?  I can’t… the week was a bit short at the 9-5 since we didn’t return to the office until Tuesday, but still – I awoke this morning thinking it was Thursday, and then smiled in delight when I realized it’s Friday!

I’m still in the process of PH (“Project Harmony”) and will have LOTS to update you over the weekend and next week.  In the meantime, 2012 has started off ‘magnifique!’ thus far and so I thought I would share some of my Fri-Delight and inspirations from week one visually.

snow provence france french essence

eiffel tower paris french essence{french essence}

the glamourai chicken rescued dog

{the glamourai’s amazing story of Chicken}

never too late quotes words of wisdom wise
{dream and dress}
little girl holding baby chick precious fragile cute kids animals

{a well traveled woman}

picnic for two landscape romantic kiss kissing couple


black cat spooky cute kitten miles sneeky


dramatic lighting design interior decor lamp light fixture

{this is glamorous}

table setting romantic dinner party

{the sweet light}

couple in bathtub romantic love bath bathe

{wit and delight}

funny cat in create ready to go travel kitten kitty in box


kitten in arms anxious film

{daniella marie}

handwritten letters vintage love postage mail


What do you have planned for this wonderful weekend?

Happy Friday, lovelies!!