{Bits+Bytes for the Weekend}

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

It’s a short week for us in the US since Friday is the 4th of July.  This weekend my other half and I decided to take it easy this weekend for some time to catch our breath after lots of recent travel, work and general chaos.  Some of that ‘take it easy’ time will include some reading (I’m about 3/4 done with Philip K. Dick’s The Man In the High Castle), as well as catching up on some TV/movie watching!

.And hopefully we squeeze in a few healthy activities too – which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to share my Breakfast Boost smoothie recipes! Here’s the first of a few recipes I’ve been tweaking:

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{On A Questlove for Fun}

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

If you’re here in the US, you are most likely gearing up for your 4th of July weekend, hopefully filled with plans of barbecues, outdoor fun, friends & family, and of course catching some fireworks somewhere.  So to help you get through these last couple days before the holiday, I thought I’d share a couple exciting events happening here in Los Angeles, as well as a personal task that I’m adding to my ‘to-do’ list.  That personal task may involve lots of hoop-jumping and most likely a number of LESS-than-likely scenarios, but hey – a girl can try!

First, here’s a list of some exciting happenings in Los Angeles during this holiday weekend! Continue reading

~ La Presénte ~ Treat Yo Self This Summer

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and got to enjoy some relaxing time with family and friends, near or far.  I stayed near home but certainly did enjoy some time to decompress.  The last week was an intense one at the 9-7 day job, so not having planned much was exactly what my body and mind needed this past weekend!

Summer has peaked its head out previously for us in Southern California, but this weekend definitely had more of the true summer feeling to it.  Friday night here in LA was a particularly clear evening, and I walked over to a friend’s house for a cocktail and some laughs to end the night (we actually DO walk in LA).  On my way, I was floored by the brightness of the full moon – at 8:30pm, the moon shone so bright that even the dark parts of the three block walk were still well lit.

memorial day weekend, full moon, unofficial start to summer, evening moon, moonlight, moonlit sky

even the bright happy moon celebrated the long weekend!

Having caught up on some house chores, I enjoyed a nice long walk with Mr. Bings through my neighborhood in the early evening on Saturday.  It was impossible to miss the incredibly bright purple blooming Jacaranda trees bursting on nearly every street in the area – I’m kinda proud that Forbes recognized my Miracle Mile neighborhood as being one of the best areas in LA to see the Jacaranda tree during its somewhat rare bi-YEARLY blooming season!!

Jacaranda tree, purple rain, los angeles trees, biyearly bloom, unofficial summer, memorial day weekend

the gorgeous Jacaranda trees are currently in season and bursting with color.

Finally, Joe’s Restaurant in Venice was the perfect setting for a bottomless mimosa Sunday brunch with a girlfriend, followed by some ‘treat yo self‘ time at the spa!!

treat yo self, treat yourself, parks and recreation, aziz ansari, donna, spa time, massage, burke williams, joe's restaurant, venice beach, sunday brunch, mimosas, bottomless mimosas, unofficial start to summer, memorial day weekend

this weekend I enjoyed a little Treat Yo Self! time

Hopefully the short week won’t feel so long after the extended weekend… but it was certainly the perfect unofficial start to my summer.  Next on the agenda: vacation planning!  And I’m looking for inspiration and ideas – I’m tossing around a 4-5 day vacation to Hawaii, a week-long stay in Martha’s Vineyard, a 4-day stay in Big Sur and Carmel, CA, or some other great place to get away and do lots of nothing and maybe a little (or a lot) of eating fabulous food and enjoying delicious wine.  Any ideas and suggestions?  I would love to hear them!!

Have a wonderful week, mes bons amis!!

♥ – LBH

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Celebrating Mom

Bonjour, mes bons amis et tout les belles mères!!!

Today happens once a calendar year but we should all celebrate our moms, including our figurative mother-figures as well, everyday – mais bien sur!

MomnBex_sepia

my Mom taught me more than I could ever know.

I certainly hope you enjoy your day today, with your moms, from afar, or in memory.  And as you do so, try to remember the best advice your mom ever gave you, or your mom’s best characteristic or talent.  My mom was blessed with the gift of being a fantastic cook, and she loved to entertain people at our house often.  Her warmth, joyful spirit and hospitality are all features that I strive to emulate in my life, surrounding myself everyday with family and friends, laughter and love as often as possible.

my Mom taught me that the simple things are the most important things.

my Mom taught me that the simple things are the most important things.

my Mom taught me warmth and friendship

my Mom taught me warmth and friendship

my Mom taught me joie de vivre.

my Mom taught me joie de vivre.

There is nothing like that tender and heart-warming feeling when seeing old pictures of your family, but especially your mom.  What are you doing today to celebrate your mom?  What are  your favorite memories of your mom?

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day today and everyday!

♥ – LBH

~ La Présente ~ For Mom

Bonjour, mes bons amis!!

My parents left a box of old photos so that I could eventually digitize all of the pictures. And as I sat at my laptop this evening to write a post with gift ideas for Mom, I remembered that box. Before I knew it, I had spent over two hours looking at hundreds of pictures, trying to remember events and dates, laughing at the memories I could recall, and holding back a tear or two. Or three.

Photographs are against some religions because of the superstition that cameras or photos steal a soul (or something like that). While I respect the belief, I also feel that this means truly missing one of the best ways to keep family and friends close to your heart, no matter their distance. My mom lives 2500 miles away, and yet in the last two hours of seeing her face through the years, the vacations, the family reunions… I was immediately reminded that my mom is always close.

I couldn’t help share a few of my favorites. There really is nothing like a mother’s love…

mothers day, mom, mother, feeding ducks, tenderness, a mother's love

our Moms never stop caring for us, no matter our age.

mothers day, mom, mother, feeding ducks, tenderness, a mother's love

our Moms show us what tenderness and love means.

mothers day, mom, mother, feeding ducks, tenderness, a mother's love

our Moms are our SUPERWOMEN!

mothers day, mom, mother, feeding ducks, tenderness, a mother's love

our Moms’ happiness is our own happiness.

  • It’s not too late to make some amazing DIY gifts for your mom!
  • Your gift doesn’t have to be crafty – whip up something delicious and easy in the kitchen!
  • Give your mom the gift of time: hire a local maid service while you take her out of the house for a few hours.
  • If your mom loves movies and TV shows, set up Mom with a 6-month or 1-year Netflix service.
  • If your mom loves to cook, sign up and take a cooking class with her and learn to cook a few new exotic or ethnic dishes. Check Yelp for some local cooking classes in hers or your area.
  • THE FAIL-SAFE: Treat your mom to a brunch at home with some fun recipes like a Bacon, Egg and Toast Cup, or any of these other great simple recipes. (And clean up after, too!)mothers day, mom, mother, feeding ducks, tenderness, a mother's love, mothers day brunch recipes, martha stewart, brunch recipe, bacon egg toast

What are you doing for your Mom this Mother’s Day?

♥ – LBH

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Bonne Annee 2012!!

happy new year 2012 bonne annee
{flickr: Alexandre Dulaunoy}

Bonjour!!  Bonne Année!!

I hope you had a safe, festive and delightful holiday season with friends and family, and if you enjoyed it as much as I did, your pants are fitting tighter but your smiles are bigger.

champagne new years eve glasses celebration bonne annee

I spent New Years Eve at home with a few wonderful friends, laughing and looking back on the year, enjoying a few cocktails (which didn’t help in the fight against my cold – boooo), and watching the ball drop at midnight while my eyes grew heavy.  What a perfect evening it was!

black eyed peas new years Hopping John Hoppin' Jon
black eyed peas!
mustard greens collard new years soul food
slow stewed mustard greens

Yesterday was spent with a few mimosas here and there, a little cleanup, and some New Year’s cooking.  The black eyed peas simmered, the mustard greens slow stewed, and the whole roasted chicken definitely kicked off the new year right!!!

reflection window granite counter new yearToday is the last day of holiday rest, and it’s wrapping up nicely with more relaxing, a little shopping (there are some AMAZING sales still happening, ahem, SAKS), a matinee and a beer.  It is, after all, 79 degrees here in our LA winter (I know, just AWFUL!).

I’m trying to keep my goal for 2012 simple: be better.  A better friend, partner, worker, listener, cook, daughter, sister, person.  Be a better me.

What are you doing to kick off the New Year?  Any resolutions to help guide you, any bad habits to kick, or any new habits to start?

Here’s to a fabulous start to your year, bonne ami!

♥ LBH

Owl La Mode!

Have you noticed lately??!!

owls popular facebook christmas ornamentHibous are very ‘owl’ la mode!  I personally have always loved owls.  Ever since I was young, I was fascinated by the birds who I would hear on occasion late at night, who seemed to fear nothing, especially the dark, and who I never saw sleeping.  So mysterious, fascinating and so belle!!

Currently, owls are enjoying a bit of celebrity.  They are now Christmas ornaments (like the cute ornament shared on Facebook above), they are made into candles, tea cups and tea pots, and they accessorize hair products, storage cases, jewelry, and anything and everything possible.

owl tea pot tea cup Swarovski crystal clutch magnifying glass candle sewing box christmas ornament candle pin ringclockwise from top left: Japanese tea set from Japantown/San Francisco ~ Swarovski crystal clutch from Butler & Wilson UK ~ LBH‘s personal sewing storage from Joann Fabrics ~ owl rings on Pinterest ~ ceramic candle from Cost Plus World Market ~ owl pins on hats ~ owl ornament ~ magnifying glass from Etsy

If you, like moi, love hibous, here are a few great links for all things owls (and one that is just kinda hilarious and true…)

♣  DIY owl Christmas ornament from Camille Styles

DIY owl christmas ornament by camille styles♣  design*sponge lists a number of delightful owl ornaments for your belle hibou holiday!

♣ apparently Hippogriffhugger is not happy about the recent owl heyday…

♣ regardless, I want my own pet hibou who is just as adorable and delightful as this little guy!

lovely owl video youtube

Have a great Tuesday, bon ami!

♥ LBH

End-of-Year Events Not to Be Missed!

Bonjour!

The end of 2011 is fast approaching, and I’m sure you, like most, are nearing the “frantic mode” in preparation for the holidays.  But don’t fret, my pet!  There are a few fantastic events happening in LA, NY, Portland and SF in the next few days with some great buys, ideas and inspiration to get you through the last few days of 2011.  Check them out!!

antiques, los angeles antiques, big daddys antiques, vintageThis Saturday December 10th, a LBH favorite, Remodelista, is partnering with Big Daddy’s Antiques to bring a number of great buys from local designers for the Remodelista Holiday Market.  The event is free, the parking is plentiful (and free), and the inspiration is endless!!  You can find more details here!

portland bazaar, bazaar

For those in the Portland area this weekend, the Portland Bazaar is going to be a BLAST!!  This Saturday and Sunday only, you can peruse, buy and even join a workshop to learn how to make some of the amazing crafts and handmade designs made by local artisans in Portland.  I can only imagine all of the awesome clothing, accessories, vintage items, delicious food and drinks and more!!  One of my favorite bloggers (Design*Sponge!!) helped produce the Bazaar, and will be there handing out free coffee and tasty Pine Street Biscuits.  Please say hi from LBH!!

apartment therapy, holiday party, kiosk, evening partyApartment Therapy is hosting another Apartment Therapy Design Evenings event with the founders of Kiosk, featuring a design presentation to kick off the evening, pieces from various world travels and an evening of design delight!  Be sure to RSVP on Meetup.com, AND if you are a designer or student and would like to feature one of your works, make sure you email Herma (herma@apartmenttherapy.com) for details.

Oh, and did I mention there will be a LiveStream of the event for us who can’t make it in person?  (Don’t you just love the internet??)

There’s a new West Elm store in LA!!  A few other favorite bloggers, D E S I G N L O V E F E S T, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and Mrs. Lilien will be there hosting this lovely little party next Thursday!!  Check out West Elm’s chic-but-bank-friendly pieces, enjoy some tunes and cocktails, and meet a few lovely people!!

Be sure to RSVP at westelmRSPV@gmail.com by December 11th!!

renegade craft fair, san francisco, handmade crafts, holiday fairNot to be left out is San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is hosting a number of events in December.  One of the biggest is the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale happening next weekend December 17th and 18th, a giant showcase of all things indie-craft.  Find tons of handmade and independent designs and goods (perfect to help ease the “frantic” in your holiday planning!), enjoy a number of activities and of course great food and drinks.

Well, I obviously have a lot of prepping to do with all of these great events happening!!  What other not-to-be-missed events are happening near you??  Do share!!

Have a belle weekend, bon ami!!

LBH

Bourbon Gets Personal…

beckyoinla | flickr:celieknob creek | serious eats | pottery barn

What’s better than a deliciously smooth bourbon, either mixed or neat?

A PERSONALIZED BOURBON GIFT!

And now, Knob Creek is offering personalized labels on their bottles – how much more perfect could this get?

Order yours today on the Knob Creek website here.  How easy was that?

LBH

Another Thankful Weekend

Another long holiday weekend has sadly passed by too quickly, but I certainly hope you had a chance to relax, enjoy time with loved ones, eat delicious food and enjoy some cocktails!  And if you were brave enough to face the craziness (and pepper spray??!!) of the extended Black Friday – Sunday, well – you deserve all of the awesome deals you got, and a medal!

I have noticed that my excitement for holiday bargains, especially those immediately after Thanksgiving, has waned with time.  I suppose it is the exhaustion that moves me to prefer staying closer to home on Friday, but this year, a few bargains were just to good for me to avoid!

Here’s a peak at some of my weekend steals:

Rebecca Minkoff Canvas & Sequined Clutch (a 65% discount!!)

New fabric for an upcoming DIY project/soon-to-be-blog-post!

♥ Some great jewelry steals on Gilt!

What amazing deals did you find this weekend?  Do share!

Here are a few beautiful, delicious and delightful posts I was glad to catch over the busy weekend:

Here’s to hoping you have a FABULOUS CYBER MONDAY (my alarm clock is set early!!), and a wonderful week!!!

LBH