Tag Archive for 'kid friendly ideas'

bridesmaids or flower girl gifts for a french wedding

I was poking around online this morning and fell instantly amoureux comme un fou when I saw this site.  How cute are these croissants au beurre earrings?  And the pink macaron necklace??  But these yummy French pastries aren’t for snacking.  Secret Velvet’s miniature sweet creations are made entirely out of Fimo dough, and are available online at www.secretvelvet.com.  Wouldn’t these make great thank you gifts for a flower girl or bridesmaid who’s helped you celebrate your wedding in Paris?

secret velvet french pastry jewelery

secret velvet french pastry jewelery

kids birthday parties in paris

The last guests just left my son’s birthday party and I can barely raise myself up into a sitting position,  so rather than muster up a brand new post, I’m going to dip into the “Wayback Machine” and bring you a post from a few years ago, when I found myself in the exact same position. Enjoy.

Little Miss Bossy Throws a Party

October 7, 2007

little-miss-bossy1I woke up this morning numb from the neck down. My eyes were burning, my head was pounding and there was a drone in my ears that sounded like a thousand angry locusts. I was beat up and bruised, but I was alive.

Yesterday was my son’s 6th birthday, and we had 9 (neuf, nueve, neun, 九) wild, sweaty, sticky, stinky little boys (and one little girl) at our place for a Dinosaur birthday party. And I made it out alive.

Two things that you’ve got to know about planning a kids birthday party in France: 1) starting at an alarmingly young age (like, 2 years old- no joke) parents just drop tom-tom-nana-bday21their kids off at the door and scram. I learned that one the hard way: For my sons’ 2nd birthday, I had made all of these animal shaped sandwiches and mini-pizza’s for the “grown-ups” to snack on while we exchanged recipes and anecdotes about our ptt bout’choux. Instead, we’ve got video of me standing slack-jawed in the middle of the dining room with a platter in my hands and a bunch of whooping toddlers circling me like Comanches doing a war dance.

The second thing is that as far as theme-based birthday parties go in France, you’re pretty much stuck with clowns, pirates, Spiderman or Dora the Explorer. A few stores have started carrying some other themes, but it’s still pretty slim pickins. So that means that once a year when we go back to the US, I have to plan and buy for a years’ worth of birthdays if the kids want to have an interesting party (Now, if this were my husbands blog, he would jump in at this point and talk about how children have had fun and interesting birthday parties for centuries before The Marketing Machine (or The Man, or The Media- pick one) started selling us on the idea that we have to BUY coordinated themes in order for a child’s birthday party to be enjoyable. But this ISN’T my husbands blog, so I say, “Nyah-nyah-nyah!” to that). All of this to say that I’ve been thinking- even if just a teensy bit, about this party since June…

dinobaby-cake1So, with the two aforementioned issues, PLUS the fact that I suffer so deeply from Working Mother’s Guilt that I stayed up until 2:30AM making a birthday cake shaped like a baby dinosaur hatching out of an egg (my kids aim high- what can I say?), I think all of this warrants me getting to be the boss of the party (dare I mention that I’m also a PARTY PLANNER by profession, or should I not go there…?). I’m not ashamed to admit it- with my, um…guidance, the games were played safely and fairly, the snacks were eaten crumblessly on coordinating plates and napkins, the gifts were opened in an orderly fashion and Joyeaux Anniversaire was sung perfectly in 3-part harmony. And in the midst of all of this organized chaos, the only thing that I remember is my son shouting out that it was the best birthday that he’s ever had. So go ahead and chide me and mock me and call me Monica Geller if you want to- I threw a kickin’ DinoParty and I lived to blog about it. Cue Beyoncé: I’m a SURVIVOR, I’m gonna MAKE IT, I’m a SURVIVOR, keep on SURVIVIN’….

Where to Find Cupcakes in Paris

French Pastry in ParisIn case you haven’t already guessed, one of the perks of living in Paris is the unlimited access to French pastries.  Until you’ve experienced it, though,  it’s just not possible to imagine how incredible the sweets are here. Macaron from Ladurée, a rose and raspberry tarte from Pierre Hermé, Opéra from Dalloyau- never mind the hundreds of “unknown” neighborhood  patisseries peppered throughout the city. I spent my first few months years here literally eating my way from arrondissement to arrondissement. I have to say, though, that even though I adore the refined complexities of a delicious millefeuille just as much as the next girl, sometimes I get a hankering for an old-fashioned American cupcake. You know what I mean- a big, sweet, insanely decorated, in-yo’-face cupcake, preferably wolfed down with a cold glass of milk. I used to have to curb these cravings until I was back in the U.S., but slowly but surely, cupcake joints are popping up around Paris:

Coupe Foudre
39, Rue de Montreuil,
75011, Paris
(Their tagline says it all, “Champagne, Cupcakes and Rock’n’Roll”)

cupcakes and co.
25, rue de la forge royale
75011 Paris

(website apparently coming soon)
23 rue Rambuteau, Paris

And for the real purists, or if you prefer to DIY your C-A-K-E, take a look at:

Little Miss Cupcake. She’s the reining American queen of cupcakes in Paris, and has some great recipes on her blog.