Monthly Archive for June, 2009

DIY French Wedding Favor Idea: Lavender Sugar

lavender sugar French wedding favor

Here is a simple, inexpensive DIY favor idea for a French -themed wedding or party: homemade Sucre de Lavande- Lavender Sugar. Some of the finest lavender and lavender-infused products come from the South of France, where lavender is used throughout daily life. Not only is it used to sent the home (dried in sachets, or in distilled water for perfuming linens) and in soaps and creams, but it’s also delicious in cooking.  On cookies, cakes or fresh fruit- a sprinkling of lavender sugar is a great way to add a delicate French flavor to any dessert.

Sucre de Lavande

Fill a large (depending on the number of favors you’re making), sealable container with normal white sugar. Add several sprigs or handfuls of dried lavender blossoms. Seal the container and let it sit for 2 weeks, shaking the container occasionally to mix evenly.  When ready, pour the sugar through a sifter to get the blossoms out, or whirl the sugar and blossoms together through a mixer or coffee grinder.  Fill small apothecary jars with the sugar, and add a recipe or two along with the gift tag, etvoilà! DIY doesn’t get much easier than this.

A Great Online Resource for Cute Parisian Gifts

paris_hotel_boutique-logoPutting all modesty aside, I have to admit that I look pretty darn cute in a crown - and a crown isn’t an accessory that many people can easily pull off. I guess you have to have a certain je ne sais quoi to carry the look, and for some reason, it’s the one piece of headgear that works for me. Like most women who dream of the Perfect Pair of high heeled black boots, I’ve dreamed of The Perfect Crown since I was a little girl- Not too sparkly, subtle patina, understated shape… Well, today I stumbled on this gorgeous online shop called Paris Hotel Boutique, and THERE WAS MY CROWN!! It was absolutely perfect- AND absolutely sold!

The good news is that the ever-elusive Perfect Crown led me to this gem of a webshop run by San Francisco based Lynn Goldfinger-Abram. Lynn is an avid collector and dealer of vintage and antique pieces. Her shop features beautiful, rare items from around the globe, including lots of cute one-of-a-kind French pieces like opera glasses, turn-of-the-century, handwritten dinner menus and…crowns. Nothing beats spending a Saturday morning poking around a Parisian brocante ( jumble sale), but if it’s just not logistically possible, the next best thing is Paris Hotel Boutique.

paris hotel boutique san francisco

paris hotel boutique, san francisco

A Romantic Picnic and Fete de la Musique in Paris

This is going to be a very busy week-end in Paris. Not only is Sunday Father’s Day, it’s also Fête de la Musique- World Music Day, where most of Europe enjoys a day of fun, sun (hopefully) and free live music. The holiday, which actually started here in France in the 80’s, always falls on June 21st, the summer solstice, and is a chance for both professional and amateur entertainers to strut their stuff. On the Fête de la Musique, everyone seems to be in a happy mood (really- even in Paris!!), and there is music literally at every turn.  My favorite spots in Paris for Fete de la Musique are Palais Royale (where a lot of opera singers choose to sing because of the acoustics under the arches) and Place Vendôme.  This year the added bonus is that it’s also on a week-end, so most people will take advantage and spend the whole day out, wandering the streets, listening to music and picnicking in the park.

Why don’t you celebrate your own Fête de la Musique this weekend, even if you don’t live in a country that “officially” recognizes it ? A flippy sundress and a big floppy hat will help you get into a Parisian mood. Pack up a wheel of stinky cheese, some fruit, a baguette and maybe a bottle of sparkling French Lemonade. Toss it all in a basket, grab your boule set, your ipod and speakers- and you’re ready to go!


Boules set from, Duck and Raspberry Bruchetta, Hat: , Sparkling French Lemonade,

“Le Déjeuner des canotiers”- Renoir, Dress by Chloe