Plage Mala

May 31, 2008

Have I told you about my favorite beach? We found it on our honeymoon in the South of France. The son of the owner of a restaurant we went to a few times told us about it and how to find it. It's on the little windy road between Nice and Monaco -- you know, the one Princess Grace died on. Anyway, I know what you are thinking: the romance of the honeymoon and the place made this beach better in my mind than it really is. That is probably true, but this beach is so special. You have to hike down a little path to get to it and then there is a small sandy beach with a little bar and restaurant, which means you can have an espresso brought to you when you wake up from your afternoon nap. {Quick aside: the downside of European beaches? you usually have to pay to use them and there are the speedos....... the upside? you get lounge chairs to lay on and towels and you have a cute Frenchie serve you lunch. I say the Euro beaches win out every time.} Anyway, as you can see from the photo, the water is unbelievably clear and it is surrounded by the most beautiful white-washed cliffs. Needless to stay, we spent many days reading, swimming and napping on this beach, despite our ambitions to see more of the area.

Why am I bringing all of this up now? It was almost 4 years ago, after all. Well, when I was getting my haircut this week, I was busily catching up on all the celebrity gossip magazines (I weaned myself off of Perez, but that is another story), and lo and behold, there in Star Magazine were Brad and Angelina and the crew (with The Edge of U2) at Plage Mala. Boy that couple really knows how to live. See for yourself:

A Little Ditty From C-Man

May 30, 2008

C-Man loves to smell our wine when we are having a glass (or two or ten) at night. It makes him feel very special and grown-up. I guess it also makes the husband a little proud or something too, as evidenced by the little conversation I overheard last night:

C-Man: "Oh Da-ya, let me smell your wine!"

Husband: "OK, here you tell me what you smell, son." {You just know he's thinking his two and a half year old budding sommelier child prodigy of a freaky kid is going to say something like "Santa Rosa plum, near the pit" or "Morrocan pommelos grown near the sea."}

C-Man: "It smells like hot dogs!"

Have You Tried This Yet?

I must admit, I have been a sucker for all things promising brighter, smoother, fresher, all-around-prettier skin. However, I have managed to curb the impulse buying of said products once I understood that those are easy promises to make, difficult promises to deliver on. {Great marketing scheme: promise something every woman desperately wants, yet make it impossible for anyone to ever prove your product doesn't work.} This, however.....I am going out on a limb different. Meet Weleda Skin Food. It is your new best friend. The company website says it "intensely hydrates and cares for the skin." It also has anti-blemish, organic Pansy in it (who knew?). I know, I just said that you can't believe the propaganda writers for these products, and you still can't. However, I can tell you that this cream is so moisturizing without being at all greasy. And it gives you that pretty, healthy, just went for a work-out sheen. I'm sure it's just a temporary fix, but when I'm getting ready to go out for the day after being interrupted by Baby J three times during the night, this concoction really gives me the little boost I need. The bonus is its scent: it smells just like a freshly-peeled orange. Even my husband says " smell so good," when I get in bed at night after putting it on. Bonus.

Until I Can Afford an Orla Kiely Bag

May 29, 2008

Isn't this the cutest little journal you've ever seen? I just adore Orla Kiely, but her stuff is well, pricey. And I have a hard time paying those prices for things that aren't basics. Too darn practical, that I am. In the meantime, I bought the prettiest little journal with her "Multi Stem" print on the cover. The pages have the "Rowan Olive Tree" print down the sides. Actually, I bought it as a graduation gift for a friend who also loves Ms. Kiely. But sometimes buying a gift for someone is almost as satisfying as buying it for yourself, right?

Sangria: The Perfect Summer Drink

I want to share an old recipe that has come with me to many picnics, lots of beach outings and countless dinner parties. It's one of those drinks that people always, I mean always, like. It is refreshing, yet potent, and not too sweet. I especially like to serve it to people who claim they don't like "fruity" cocktails. They are the ones that fall hardest for it. One side-note: this drink goes down very easily and sneaks up on you (especially when you are drinking it in the sun on a hot day).

Sara Moulton's Sangria

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. brandy

1 orange, halved and sliced

1 lemon, halved and sliced

1 bottle Spanish wine (I have used many different types -- all on the cheap side from Trader Joe's)

Put the sugar and brandy in a pitcher. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add citrus slices and pound with the back of a wooden spoon (or a muddler, if you have one of those). Add the wine. Ideally, let sit for at least one hour. Serve over ice with or without a splash of sparkling water.

{I will often make a second batch after finishing the first -- you will probably run out, like I said before -- by just adding the sugar, brandy and wine to the fruit at the bottom of the pitcher.}

I Heart J-Baby

Would You Please Take a Look at This Kid?

May 16, 2008

This is C-man, waiting oh so patiently to dig into his chocolate cupcake ("the one with the nuts, Mama!"). And no, I didn't let him have all three, nor did I give him that espresso that's sitting right in front of him. When I showed my husband this picture, he said he could just picture our little man in a Parisian bistro in 20 years. I hope that is where he ends up.

A Great Gift For a New Mom

May 15, 2008

I figure I have a little bit of expertise in this area, having been a new mom and having given countless shower and new baby gifts over the years. This is a classy, beautiful and original that will stand out in a sea of onesies, receiving blankets and stuffed animals (don't get me wrong, those are all great -- and highly useful -- gifts). This is something that a new mom probably would not buy herself, but she will love it so much.
Yes, it is a "Baby Book" of sorts, but without the typical Winnie the Pooh type themes and cutesy graphics. The images are intimate and beautiful. The artist, Nikki McClure, uses an x-acto knife to cut her designs into the paper. The images are intricate and rough at the same time. Her website says her art is a "bold language that translates the complex poetry of motherhood, nature, and activism into a simple and endearing picture." No matter how many times I've looked at the pages in the journal, I am moved by the way she is able to capture the feelings of being a mother in such a simple and understated way.
Oh yeah, this book is so cheap I feel like I should send the artist a little something extra..... $12.95 at

First Up, A Simple Warm-Weather Dinner Idea

May 14, 2008

With another warm weekend forecasted, I wanted to share my friend Nichole's recipe for Shrimp Ceviche. It is one of those recipes that belies its other words, people love it way more than they should given the minimal effort that goes into making it. It is really delicious and always puts me in the summer-time mood. Bonus: you can stock most of the items to have on hand for this recipe.

Shrimp Ceviche

1 lb. peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, cut into small cubes (I buy the frozen cooked jumbo shrimp from Trader Joes and thaw it according to the package directions)

4 (or so) tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped

1 avocado, diced

2 limes, zested and juiced

1/4 c. olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper to taste

In a serving bowl, mix lime zest and juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss gently (you don't want to smash the avocado). Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors develop. Before serving, check for seasoning. You may need to add more lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips.

Be sure to make these margaritas with your ceviche:

Pomegranate Margaritas (from Gourmet Magazine)

1 c. fresh pomegranate juice

1 c. good white tequila (don't waste the really good stuff on these, or any, margaritas!)

1/4 c. triple sec

Stir all ingredients and serve over lots of crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of orange. Makes about 4 good sized drinks -- enough to get the party started for four people. :)

Well, It's About Time

I have been meaning and meaning to start this blog for more than a year now. But...I guess life has gotten in the way. I wanted to start this as a place to organize my ideas, chronicle my life and keep in touch with the people I wish I could spend more time with. This blog will be a smattering of many topics, mostly having a domestic connection.....for that is where I spend my time and energy these days, at home with my two kids. But also, I wanted to start this blog as a way to connect to the outside world.
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