Paper Flowers Fun

Paper flower globe

For years I have been working on lightening up the interior of our home.  Letting go of the rich reds and golds and replacing them with warm whites, creams and blues.

I  finally reset my home for summer…I know, it’s almost fall but you guys I have been behind since November!

I really wanted something soft in the two vases that flank the TV on the mantel in my family room.  I looked high and low for something that was the right color and size without breaking the bank and ultimately, I decided to get crafty.

It was so much fun I wanted to share the project with you.  I hope you will forgive the shadowy photos, it was a very late night project!

supplies for paper flower globes

To make your own paper flower globe, you will need a 7 7/8-inch Styrofoam ball, a large package of paper flowers in assorted sizes, a package of tiny paper flowers with pearl centers and a hot glue gun with plenty of glue.

how to make the start line

Place the ball in your container and draw a line around the top of the container.  This will be your start line.

paper flower globe start line

Start gluing flowers around the start line.  Be sure to vary the flower size, overlap the flowers slightly and only glue the center so the petals are free.

Paper flower ball

Once you have gone around the start line, start to fill in the blank space with flowers and again be sure to vary sizes and overlap, this gives the surface texture.

working on the paper flower globe

I could not resist leaving my fur baby in this shot.  He is sleeping close to the action!

A tip for getting the flowers just right and not burning your fingers is to use the eraser end of a pencil to press the center of each flower into the ball while the glue cools off.

finished paper flower globe

Once the ball is covered with flowers above the start line, go back around the globe and add the tiny pearled flowers to the center of some of the flowers.  This adds a little sparkle and more texture.

mantel

 There is no hiding that big TV, but I am really pleased with the look of my creations.

You can cover these Styrofoam balls with many things to create a look you love.  Seashells, moss, small bits of tile, crushed flowers or herbs like lavender…so many ideas and so little time!

What would you cover a globe with?

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Getting Creative with Seashells

decorating with seashells

Nothing screams summer more than seashells.  I bought loads of shells years ago when I was throwing a 50th birthday party for my husband, you guessed it, the party was beach themed.

decorating with seashells

The seashells were packed up in boxes on shelves in the garage until one day I came across them and thought…huh, these might look good in my house!  Ever since then, I’ve been decorating for summer using these shells.

decorating with seashells

I’ll have to admit; I really hate to put them away when fall creeps in because I enjoy them so much.

decorating with seashells

This year will be especially hard because I am only now getting the place set for summer…no judgement, please!

decorating with seashells

I’m sharing the pictures because I thought you might enjoy them too!

decorating with seashells

This little bird made her next in a bed of seashells.  She makes me smile!

decorating with seashells

Stay tuned for next week, I am going to share a fun paper craft with you!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

decorating with seashellsDecorating with seashells 9

Peach Blueberry salad

Inspired Weeknight Meals- My Favorite Go-To Recipe

Peach Blueberry salad

It is hard to believe that in only a few short weeks kiddos will be back at school!

The lazy days of summer will soon be in the rear-view mirror and we will all be back to our schedule.

As we slide back into a routine, does the question “What’s for dinner?” ever haunt you?

I have to be honest, I often dread that question too and my job is creating fabulous food!

Mediterranean chicken

Coming  up with something that tastes good and does not take all day to prepare night after night can be a challenge!

Parmesan green beans

Weeknight Meals is a fun class that offers great new recipes and inspiration to help you get dinner on the table night after night and feel great about it. There are still a few seats open so register TODAY by Clicking HERE.

fluffy biscuits

Thursday, August 22nd 6:30-8:30  Weeknight Meals- Wonderful everyday meals designed to inspire YOU and have your family begging for more! Fresh foods made in a matter of minutes answer the question “What’s for dinner?” To get us in the mood to cook, we’ll start the fun with Red Berry Vodka Spritzers. Our fresh and bright Peach and Blueberry Salad is a great compliment to any dinner.  A meal fancy enough for company, but easy enough for everyday is Succulent Honey Bourbon Pork Loin with Mango Salsa served with irresistible Potato Pancakes. And how about fluffy Honey Butter Biscuits that work with ANY meal? One Dish Wonders are a favorite strategy for busy people.  Just assemble ingredients in a baking dish or pan and slide it in the oven and dinner is served!   Mediterranean Chicken, is one of my favorites, so colorful and drenched with flavor.  Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetable covered in melted, bubbly cheese is a hit! Jazzed up Roasted Potato Nachos are so good you better make extra! Parmesan Green Beans make a great side to any protein.  For dessert we will do a classic, moist White Butter Cake with Fudge frosting, OH MY!  BONUS Salmon recipe added to this class! Class fee $59.00

I have added a BONUS salmon recipe to this class since My guys have been catching fish like crazy.  It will come to you right from the Kenai River in Alaska!

And because we need to make dinner TONIGHT, below is one of my all-time favorite go-to’s.  Orange Glazed Salmon, and oldie but goodie and perfect, since we are in salmon season.

Orange glazed salmon

Orange Glazed Salmon

1-2 pound salmon fillet

1 orange

¼ cup brown sugar

2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place salmon in a baking dish, salt and pepper the meat.  Drizzle teriyaki sauce over fish.  Zest the orange and mix the zest into the brown sugar, rub the sugar paste all over the surface of the fish.  Cut orange into slices and place on top of the seasoned fish. Bake uncovered for 13-18 minutes until fat from meat bubbles to the surface. Sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving.

Dior gowns at the DMA

Two Magical Friday’s

Dior gowns at the DMA

As promised, a recap of the ATOP summer event, A Day of Dior, and in case you missed it; how to create your own Day of Dior.

Silk floral Dior gown

I had 2, sold-out events, both on Friday’s in July.  We met at the Dallas Museum of Art and begin our day together.

Dior gowns

The exhibit Dior from Paris to the World, is a feast for the eyes.  Each room, more beautiful than the last.

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I had seen the exhibit in Paris more than 2 years ago and was moved deeply by it. The Dallas exhibit is very different than the one in Paris.  One of the unique features of the Dallas exhibit is the inclusion of artwork in many of the rooms.  Seven pieces of artwork that are part of the permanent DMA collection, and 2 that are borrowed, are incorporated in the exhibit.  The artwork, like Monet’s “Water Lilies” seen here, help to create a particular mood in each room.

Dior gowns at the DMA

The painting called “The Abduction of Europa” by Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre, along with the Dior gowns, created a dream-like experience.

Day of Dior 11

Next, a delicious lunch at Bistro 31.

Bistro 31 menu

Good food and…

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Great company!

Dior boutique.

And finally, to the Dior boutique for stories about classic products at Dior.  Learning the history and back ground of this iconic brand was definitely the highlight of the day.

 Champagne ands sweets at Dior

Champagne and sweets in the salon made it very special too!

Dior Swag 6

And the day was capped off with treat bags given to each guest of A Taste of Paris. A good time was had by all!

The land in Burgundy France.

I am thrilled to share that A Taste of Paris will be offering quarterly, French Inspired events.  After the success of the first event, A Day of Dior, I am more convinced than ever that YOU want events like this!

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What’s next?  A Taste of Paris presents: Burgundy, France comes to McKinney, TX!  All of the details and only 15 tickets available by clicking HERE.

 

Glass of champagne.

To Create your own Day of Dior:

Book Tickets in advance for the Dior exhibit

Make a reservation at your favorite French restaurant for lunch after the exhibit.

Plan to make a stop at the Dior boutique for a little shopping.

Stop off at your favorite sweet-shop for a treat.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Dior SWAG for A Day of Dior Guests!

Dior Swag bag

Last Friday was the first A Taste of Paris- A Day of Dior event, and today will be the second.

Rainbow windows at Dior exhibit at the DMA.

What a feast for the sense!

Stay tuned for the full recap of the event coming next Tuesday with plenty of photos and a how-to create YOUR own day of Dior!

A huge part of the joy in putting this event together was crafting an amazing SWAG bag for each guest and I’d like to share it with you now!

Dior goodies

All kinds of goodies from Dior  Beauty were included in the gift bags along with a gorgeous Dior fall look book.

Lombardi gift cards and pop champagne.

Gift cards for Lombardi Group, one of my all-time favorite restaurant brands were given as well as POP Pink champagne splits, perfect for a girly touch.

The little dictionary of fashion by Christian Dior

This pretty Little Fashion Dictionary by Christian Dior was a true throw-back and a must for any Dior event.

6-pack of mini cupcakes from Bird bakery.

Nothing cures a sweet craving quite like a 6-pack of mini cupcakes from Bird Bakery and when they are inspired by Dior, well, they are extra tasty!

Kiehls 2

Kiehl’s, the luxury skin care line, got in on the action too, and shared these lovely gifts with participants.

Dior red dress cookies

And for just a touch of whimsy, Dior red dress cookies by @sugarcomacookies.

Dior Swag 5

Don’t you just love getting goodies?

Have you heard?  The A Taste of Paris fall event is live and tickets are selling quickly!

Pommard 1 (1)

Chateau Pommard, one of the most prestigious wine houses in Burgundy will be making a trip to McKinney, TX this fall; for an exclusive VIP event for A Taste of Paris guests only.  For more information on this exquisite event and for tickets CLICK HERE

Hope to see you there or at a class this Fall!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Bastille Day Menu for your own Frenchie Celebration

Bastille-Day-Paris-02.jpg

The French celebrate their independence on Bastille Day, July 14th each year.  This is the day the French Revolutionists stormed the Bastille releasing its prisoners.  It’s considered the turning point of that conflict which ultimately overturned monarch rule in France.

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There is always a parade down the Champs Elysees with the beautiful Arc de Triomphe as the centerpiece and plenty of fireworks once dark falls on the city.

Glass of rose wine.

It’s a great excuse to pop open a bottle of rosé and invite a few friends for a simple dinner.

Hot July temperatures call for lighter dishes Like Ham and Avocado Tartine, a pretty salad and a sweet treat like my Chocolate Madeleines.  Enjoy!

Prosciutto and avocado tartine

Ham and Avocado Tartine

4 slices rustic bread toasted

1 clove garlic

1 avocado

4 slices deli ham or prosciutto

1 cucumber sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rub each slice of bread with garlic clove and discard.  Place bread on baking sheet and toast on both sides for about 3 minutes. Mash ¼ of the avocado on each slice of bread, season with salt and pepper.  Add cucumber. Place ham on top and sprinkle with crushed red pepper and plenty of salt and pepper and serve.

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Purple Flower Salad

2 mini purple lettuce heads

1 cup carrot matchsticks

1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 dried cranberries

Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of both salt and pepper

½ cup olive oil

Hold each lettuce head firmly in your hand and cut the bottom root off.  Hold the head firmly as you run cold water through the bundle to clean the lettuce.  Place bundle in the center of a serving platter and release it so the leaves form a circle.  Repeat with second bundle on top of the first one creating the flower petals. Place the carrots in the center of the lettuce flower and spread them out a bit.  Mound the yellow peppers in the center of the carrots.  Next, place the walnuts then cranberries on top of the vegetables; you will create rings of color. To prepare the dressing, add vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.  Add olive oil in a steady stream whisking vigorously until it is all mixed and you have a silky dressing.  Serve the salad with the dressing on the side.

Plate of chocolate Madeleine's.

Chocolate Madeleines

¾ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup flour

¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

3 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Extra butter and flour for preparing pans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour madeleine pans well, and set aside.    Melt ¾ cup butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add cocoa powder to butter and mix well.  Stir in sugar and then eggs.  Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Spoon a walnut sized portion into each madeleine shell.  Place madeleine pans on a baking sheet and into the oven for 14-18 minutes until edges are set and tops are puffed.

 

There is still space in Herbs Fresh from the Garden at the Arboretum, hope to see you there!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

Red or White?

Wine Burgundy

Do you prefer red or white wine? I know when its hot outside many people drink lighter wines.

rose champagne 2

I simply prefer reds, the darker, thicker and richer they are the better!  The truth is, I have not always been a wine drinker.  In fact, I never drank wine other than sparkling’s, until about 16 years ago.

4 champagne glasses

I was invited to a big birthday party for a friend, I won’t tell you what number we were celebrating because I reserve the right to keep mine and my friends ages a secret!

French wine and cheese 2

The menu for the birthday dinner was set.  The choices were beef or salmon.  I never order salmon, since I am lucky enough to have a freezer full at all times due to my husband’s annual Alaskan fishing trip.  And the drink choices were red or white wine; naturally I selected the beef filet and my first ever, glass of red wine.

  Wine glasses

The label was Dynamite Cabernet and there was definitely a flavor explosion happening in my mouth. I never looked back and have been an avid red wine lover ever since.

Burgundy french wine corks

I discovered rosé wine in a similar way.  About 4 years ago when I was researching for my first ATOP group trip to Provence.  I was sitting at a seaside cafe eating mussels and frites with my sweet friend Donna who happens to live in Australia.  She suggested that we order wine with lunch…OK why not!  After that first glass of French rosé I totally understood the phrase Rosé all Day!

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I have not had that same light-bulb experience with white wines but I am hopeful!

Wine on boat

Tell me, are you a red or white wine drinker and if white is your jam, what label?  Maybe I will give it a try and be converted before summers end.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annick Goutal- Intoxicating, Fresh and Feminine

Store front of Annick Goutal Paris

On my most recent trip to Paris, I had a surprise for my A Taste of Paris Goes PINK group. Every French adventure reminds me to embrace and share the things I love.

Lorie and Celine at Annick Goutal in Paris

We spent a little more than an hour at one of my beloved Parisian addresses, Annick Goutal, the original location on rue Bellechasse.

A Taste of Paris perfume workshop in Paris

Celine guided us in our discovery of this iconic French brand. Fine French fragrance can’t be rushed, in some cases taking up to a decade to create.

A Taste of Paris travelers smelling fragrances

A Nose, is the name given to the highest caliber perfumer.  An artist, working with many raw scents to develop something original, that evokes emotion, much like a symphony. Celine explained the process of developing a perfume and offered us the chance to smell many raw ingredients that go into their fragrance assortment.

An assortment of Annick Goutal fragrances

My favorite Annick Goutal fragrance is Un Matin D’ Orage; a stormy morning.  Annick, the founder of the brand, was out for a morning walk after a rain storm, she discovered a magnolia blossom on the ground and pinned it to her blouse.  The scent of the flower, softened by the rain, was wafting about and from this experience she imagined the fragrance and set about creating it.  The smell of Un Matin D’Orage is intoxicating, fresh and feminine.

This is a snip of Celine explaining the NOTES of a perfume.  The first note, or head note is what you smell when the perfume is applied.  The head notes are the most volatile molecules so they fade quickly.  As the perfume dries down, you begin to have a hint of the middle note or the heart note.  These notes will linger longer and are considered the heart of the fragrance.  With a bit more time on the skin, the base notes come through and as they mingle with the heart notes, you will experience the full body of the fragrance.

Several A Taste of Paris travels that attended the perfume workshop

Body chemistry plays a role in how the notes of the fragrance mix.  That’s why a very fine fragrance never smells the same on someone else, it becomes your OWN.

Celine at Annick Goutal in Paris

Every time I spray Un Matin D’Orage, I am transported to the precious boutique on rue Bellechasse.

Sharing my love of Annick Goutal and fragrance with my A Taste of Paris travelers and YOU is a real joy!

Check out the details of A Taste of Paris 2020 Would YOU or someone you know like to fill one of the last seats?  If so, click the link and tag your friend in the comments.

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Rainbow windows at Dior exhibit at the DMA.

Christian Dior, a Fashion Legend

Join me for A Day of Dior

Friday, July 19th 2019- 8 tickets still available!

Dior office and store at 30, Montaigne Avenue Paris

In 1946 Christian Dior established his fashion house at 30, Avenue Montaigne and it still remains there today.

Dior window Spring 2019
Dior Window, Spring 2019, 30, Avenue Montaigne Paris

I take great delight in retracing Christian Dior’s footsteps as I head out with my Paris groups, we pass this address on our way to the morning train.

Dior 1947-1957

Dior was convinced that people were ready for something new after many years of war and in 1947, he debuted the New Look; a silhouette that would define the 1950’s.

Dior day suit with black skirt and white jacket and hat

This New Look with its narrow shoulders, accentuated bust, nipped waist with a wide flared “flower” skirt exudes femininity and despite the lack of practicality, people loved it.

White Dior gown with red velvet ribbon and ivy

Dior employed the very finest tailors and used the most sumptuous fabrics money could buy.

Diors fabric swatches and drawings

He understood the importance of catering to starlets and the press that would ultimately follow; after all he was making more than dresses, he was building a brand.

An assortment of white and cream Dior gowns.

Dior was the first to licences his name for other products like make-up and perfume.  The name Dior was and still is synonymous with luxury.

Join me for A Day of Dior

OR for A Taste of Paris 2020 and see Dior at Avenue Montaigne for yourself. 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

Maubert; a favorite Parisian Market

Vegetable Provence market

Market shopping in Paris is a must.  Markets run every morning in various areas of the city.

This is a quick selfie-video I took on my last trip.

One of my favorite markets is in the Latin quarter and it’s called Maubert Marche.  It’s so easy to find, just take the Metro, line 10 and get off at Maubert Mutualite, come above ground and you have arrived!

eggplant 2 market

The vegetables are incredible!

Basket of fresh herbs.

So are the herbs.

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And eggs.

wall of roses.

Don’t even get me started on the flowers; pure paradise!

 

Lorie in the Maubert market

This is me in the Maubert Marche, from what seems like a million years ago!

I would Love to take YOU there!

Make one of the last seats for

A Taste of Paris 2020

YOURS!!

Register today by email lorie@atasteofparis.net

au revoir for now lorie (002)