Monthly Archive for April, 2007

Girls Night In… à la française!

canapes1.jpgForget about Speed Rabbit Pizza- how about this menu for your next Girls Night In?: Fresh foie gras with an apple grape sauce, Cream of Jerusalem artichokes with shredded crab and Vermouth and fennel risotto with lobster tails- all prepared by… you! Margot Kinsey is a professional chef who gives cooking demonstrations (in English or French) chez vous for you and up to 5 of your friends. Her step-by-step classes can be conducted in English or French, and are tailored to your comfort level in the cuisine. Choose from her seasonal dinner or canapé menu, or work with Margot to create a special menu just for your party!

Les Cooties! A Cute French-themed Wedding Favor


Remember cootie catchers? They were those folded paper “fortune tellers” that usually made the rounds during 5th grade recess. Well, they’re all French Wedding Favorgrown up and are now making the rounds on the wedding circuit. I saw these cute cootie catcher favors in the April/May 2007 Brides Magazine UK- they’re from a British company called Cox & Cox, and are available for around 25€ for 30 favors. Unlike their kiddie counterparts, each “fortune” of these origami favors is a romantic French saying.


If you like the idea, but aren’t planning a wedding, how about customizing your cooties? (Didn’t know you could, didya?) Caroline’s Fortunehearts is the DC-based company of graphic artist Caroline Armijo. She designs personalized cootie catchers that you can download and print at home. These are great for weddings, showers or birthday parties- and are only $30 for the design and the rights to print as many as you want.

Cootie Catcher Favor

it all starts with the invitation: parisian stationery stores

paris-paper-storesNow, I know most people don’t get all giddy when it comes to stationery, but I do- that’s just how I roll! A persons’ stationery tells you almost as much about them as their shoes do.  Are they casual?  Funny?   Serious or just Plain Boring? Do they walk the walk and talk the talk (letterpress text on 100% cotton paper stock), or are they all talk and no action (generic clip art on 28 lb. Hammermill)?  Everyone knows the value of having good quality, well-designed business cards. But what about social stationery and invitations?  Getting a tepid invitation to a “fabulous” party is kind of like meeting a handsome French doctor, then noticing that he’s wearing Birkenstocks and socks – the potential is there, but you’re not sure if you want to make the effort to see it through.

With this in mind, it’s time to get thee to la papeterie!! First stop, Caractére in the 16th. round-invitation.jpgThe Manolo of paper shops! From stunning couture invitations to luxurious Italian leather desk accessories- this store has it all. Maybe you want a classic look for the Sunday brunch that you’re hosting- have note cards or invitations engraved with your monogram, or select a motif from their huge imprimerie catalog.  If your style is more contemporary, you have the option of choosing a custom design from one of their exclusive graphic artists, like Veronique Deshayes. They also have a huge pen selection, including the Mont Blanc Greta Garbo (the signature stylo of style maven, Tamiko Zablith!)…

Le Must” in Paris fine papers is Marie Papier in Montparnasse- if you’re a paper-holicmarie-papier.jpg like me, this is as close to heaven as you can get. Marie Papier is stocked from floor to ceiling with notebooks, albums, Japanese writing papers, single stationary sheets and envelopes in a whole host of colors and textures, announcement cards, pens, pencils, inks and gorgeous packets of note cards. In addition, they offer a bespoke invitation service, offering a multitude of papers and styles to choose from.

If you’ve got an itch to go completely DIY with your invitations, you must make a detour into l’Art du Papier. There are several of these stores around Paris, as well as an online store. They carry rubber stamps, inks, boxed stationery sets and scrapbooking materials, as well as the full line of Artoz papers. If you’re starved for inspiration, l’Art du Papier also hosts in-store classes and demonstrations.

While I appreciate the thought behind an e-invite just as much as the next girl, nothing beats the nostalgic jolt of excitement that I get when I see a hand-addressed invitation in my mailbox. These days, a paper invitation carries the same significance as a visiting card from a gentleman caller must have in Victorian times. In my book, a nice paper invitation = a party that’s not to be missed!