Sunday, January 29, 2012

Check Out Her House- Chez Kim

Creeping fig on the stone in Kim's front. J'adore!
 Remember a while back I said I'd have a new feature called, "Check out her House"? Well, sorry it took a long time, but it's here. Just like I promised, I'm highlighting my friend and neighbor, Kim's house. (Yes, there's two of us Kims on the court.) I just love her style and her house is equally as chic. Kim's the mom of 3 and a high school French teacher.

Kim in front of her cute home.

Her love of France is evident throughout in many small ways. Her home is pretty, but also a cozy family home that is enjoyed by two high school boys as well as a younger daughter and football loving and hard working husband, and their dog, Ruby. One peek at Kim's home and you'll see it's the small and personal things that really make her house. Enjoy!

Come on in...

Typical Kim she usually has a coffee and some kind of cute scarf on! Her dining room at Christmas.

Her kitchen counter is cozy for hanging out and chatting over cappuccinos! Like the neutral colors.

Great wall color here.

Art in her kitchen.

She has little vignettes like this all over.

This sitting area is a nice spot to have a cocktail or just curl up with a book.

Adore this ottoman.

Kim has an antique Louis Vuitton trunk that was her Grandfather's. It's still has his initials on it and stickers.

Pretty special.

More lovely spots.

A handy leopard padded bench and hooks keep everyone's stuff.

Ruby their Boston Terrier! We love her.

Kim's desk in the kitchen. Scarf and baseball hat on chair. She is the only woman I know who can wear them together and look chic!

A close up of Kim's pin board. Sweet and she runs marathons!

Seriously coveting her pillow! She also has a custom made padded headboard. Perfect for reading!

Great hanging lamp in her bedroom.

She recently redid her bath. It's beautiful with crema marble counters and pretty sconces.

A tray on her bathroom counter.

Her yard in Winter- still lovely.

Kim's husband Jim built her this arbor for a hammock.

I love her address numbers by the door.

A little French sign..

Thanks Kim for letting us have a peek!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dinner en Famille


Sorry, it's been a bit crazy around here and I haven't gotten to blog at all! My youngest is in a play right now and parents are also required to volunteer 25 hours!  Next week it's going to get even crazier.

Thanks so very much to all of you who stopped by to read, What We Could Learn From the French. I really loved all your notes and comments. It has been my most read post so far, thanks in part to Jennifer Scott and her blog,  The Daily Connoisseur. I especially loved hearing about how everyone is trying to put a little French lifestyle into their daily living. Most people I heard from really liked the French habit of a nightly family dinner as a ritual. One especially inspired me from a new friend and dress designer, Andrea. Andrea is a mom of grown kids, (a son at West Point and a daughter who is a NYC actress) who recently started her own business designing A-line dresses.  Her dresses are classic and beautiful and I hope to have a post about that soon. She wrote to me personally, but I asked her if I could share it with you too. She kindly agreed.

FABULOUS post Kim! I have been living the 'French' way for many years now and find it particularly satisfying. Mind you, I have a husband who does all the hard work, for which I am truly grateful. When I was a young mum like you, I made sure that by the end of the day(before he got home) the house was picked up, kids under control, music on, wine corked, candles lit and a homemade dinner ready to be served. Even now that the kids are out of the house, I still stop what I am doing to cook dinner, set the table, light the candles and savor the evening. Such a respite gave , and still gives, everyone in the household the energy and will to face the next day. I also never volunteered or worked during the hours that my family needed me to be available for whatever reason and always made sure that household chores and duties were a priority. Far from being a dull way to live, it freed up time for reading, planning and executing dinner parties and a host of other activities that made life for our family very enjoyable, regardless of where or how we were living, our income and general stress of living and working in America.

What I like the most about Andrea's letter is that she found a way to make her life as a mom enjoyable and not a drag. She motivates me to make life fun. It's all in the attitude that you assume. Some of us have jobs and even less time to get a family meal on the table. What I think the French do, and we can too, is just make the family meal a non-negotiable event that is going to happen no matter what. It may be late, because we have school (like our play!), sports or dad working longer hours. Of course there is going to be a night here and there that it isn't going to work. If you can never make it work, then maybe you need to have your family doing less.

I also love Andrea's point of volunteering not so much that it interferes with your home life. After all, isn't that what it's all about? Some volunteer so much at their kid's school and sports they don't even have time to make the family come first. A lot of times we moms are guilted into it. We have to be strong and just say no. You only have so many years together as a family unit and boy do they go by quick. I think I'd rather have my sons remember our family times together than if I was the mom who volunteered the most. As my oldest son fills out his 9th grade class choices tonight, I am shaken to think that I have only 4 more years with this precious boy in my care and home.


Tonight, inspired by Andrea, I set our dining room table instead of our kitchen one. I lit candles and had music during our dinner. It was a hectic night with one son planning his high school classes and another needing to be picked up at 6 from play practice. I did the dinner in parts, my husband picked up my actor, and finally I got us all at the table somewhere around 6:40, much later than usual, but we were together. The boys really appreciated the candles and I swear tried to behave nicer and engage in our chat about the day. It was worth it when they both said. "Thanks Mom that was great." This is far from a perfect house and most nights involve kids complaining about their food and me feeling unappreciated, so this was encouraging!

A Paris dinner party. Pinterest

All this talk got me thinking of a French experience a few years ago. I remember one night in Paris, the first time we rented an apartment for a week with our kids. It was a humid evening and we had our balcony open. The rush hour traffic died down and it seemed suddenly everything got quiet and then we could hear the very distinct sound of plates, forks and conversations float throughout our little street. My husband Max and I were thinking how interesting that we could hear everyone sitting down to dinner. It seemed as if the entire block stopped time to begin their evening. I recall thinking that everyone was having a dinner party, but now I realize it was just their families they were enjoying.

Thanks Andrea and all who have given me the inspiration to change our family life in this happy way!

I always love your comments and thoughts. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Globes Recap!

The best accessory a girl could have!  George Clooney with Stacey Keibler.

Last night's Golden Globes were seriously the most boring award show, fashion-wise, for a while. It just seemed like something was missing, namely excitement. Many stars looked like the same repeat of themselves from another award show. People are too scared now of being unique and it really shows.
No one really stood out and with all the stylists, designers and stars. Why?

One dress I really thought was pretty was Charlize Theron, who was in Dior. Lovely color and hairband, but would the girl crack a smile please? Anytime, the camera panned to her she did not look like she was having fun. Pink seemed to be the winning color last night as all the pretty dresses were some shade of blush.

Smiley Charlize in Dior.

Kate Beckinsale beautiful in Roberto Cavalli.

Jessica Alba in a very similar Gucci gown.

Viola Davis very pretty.

Reese Witherspoon, looked a bit bombshell, which is a departure for her. I liked the look, but the top of her dress did not fit her well. Where are the stylists these gals pay so much for? Isn't that their job?

Reese in Zac Posen.

Tilda Swindon, a complete fashion iconoclast, managed to look glamorous and radical at the same time. I admire how she always manages to be beautiful, but fierce. The bare face helps and her David Bowie hair. This woman is no Barbie doll wanna-be and I love her for it.

Tilda in Haider Ackerman. She had amazing cuff bracelets on too.

Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang was perfection!

Okay lets talk turkey now. Sorry, but hated quite a few, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, who claimed her 2 year-old chose her tie-dye look dress. Time to get a new stylist, mom. The pony-tail was not attractive either. Angelina Jolie,  you just confirmed my suspicions that you are part vampire with that horrid monster movie dress. Scary. Claire Danes' dress was just plain unattractive and it also did not fit her in the chest, where she needed some cover and support. Kelly Osborne's purple grey hair really got all the attention for her. She has a nice shape now, but the dress has ugly shoulders and another ill-fitted top. Don't these ladies have help with their under garments? I'm talking the right bra here. It's not a rubiks cube.

Umm, no.

Scary Angelina Jolie in Versace.

Love Michelle Williams, but this looks frumpy.

Adore Elizabeth McGovern, but not this dress or maybe she needs a bra?

Kate Winslet. This just wasn't flattering I thought and she is so beautiful.

Claire Danes in not pretty J. Mendel. Hate the hair and makeup.

Sarah-Michelle Gellar

Madonna. Had to include this because I am sick of her biceps, okay? Just ugly at her age. Alright, already we know you workout too much. I like the top, but it was too small and let's not even talk about her cheek implants!

You will probably see the same celebrity photos all over. Here's a few that I really liked that may have not gotten a mention!

Dreamy Colin Firth. Had to add him. Why? Because it's my blog. :)

Zooey Deschanel in Prada

Livia Firth (Colin's wife), sigh, in sustainable Armani.

Heidi Klum in Calvin Klein
Helen Mirren, 66 and still looked better than most!

Jessica Lange looked classy and fresh for her age.
Diane Lane in Reem Acra. Un-botoxed and lovely.
Julie Bowen in a pretty almost Mad Men inspired look.
Maria Menounos . I loved the yellow and she stood out.

Let's hope the Oscars is a little more exciting!
What did you think? I love your comments and opinions!