Bonne année !


Bonne année à tous et à toutes !

It’s hard to believe I last artsdevivre’d almost two months ago. Eep. Things happen. Like life. Since I made that lovely coq au vin, we’ve been busy in our little corner of the world … D re-did our kitchen while I was in Michigan visiting my niece, nephew, brother and sister-in law for Thaksgiving.

La nouvelle cuisine

It was so sweet and thoughtful of him to take on such an aggressive project, and actually finish it (well!) in only five days. It’s so fun having the open cabinets I’ve been admiring for months on Pinterest. And the chalkboard paint is a super-fun bonus, too! 

I took on a few projects of my own (not nearly as expansive as re-doing the kitchen). I gave our front door a makeover, transforming from typical grey ~

Grey door

 ~ opting for a cheerful green ~

Green paint

I felt pretty nervous at how bright it was, but was ecstatic with the result ~

Green door

I love the contrast of the green door and black shutters. It was even more festive with this simple DYI wreath I hot glue-gunned together ~

Wreath

It was a bit perkier the first week in December than it is now (pesky gravity), but I’ll supplement it with additional ornaments next year.

We of course did the usual holiday rigamorale, spending time with friends and family (in person and on face time), sending and receiving holidays cards and well-wishes. 

Cards

I’m pretty militant about online privacy, which is why this one is blurred out. You get the idea though 🙂

I tried out new recipes ~

Christmas roast

~ learning how to improve ones like this simple roast via my personal favorite, the Barefoot Contessa (you really should cut a roast this thick in half to optimize a medium-rare temperature). I was fine with the end pieces, but the middle was really too rare for my family’s liking. I shockingly succeeding at intricate ones like an authentic French Bearnaise sauce. The key is to continue stirring for quite some time. (I think Maman and I together put in about 35 minutes.)

We celebrated NYE Charm City style, and were so ecstatic to happen on a small-time ball drop in Hampden, ‘hun. So fun and festive, I couldn’t believe we haven’t been attending annually.

I’d lost my motivation for artsdevivre the past couple months. I’m an habitual comparer of myself to others and was feeling frustrated with my utter lack of knowledge of photography and graphic design. I can’t give the time to this blog that I’d like, what with my job that actually pays me. But I started to really miss this whole process, from brainstorming, to documenting, to writing and publishing. So me re-voilà les amis. I don’t promise perfectly taken photographs (I’ll still be sticking with my trusty iphone, instagram and diptic for now), or super funky layouts but I do promise (most importantly to  myself) to continue documenting all the little daydreams and real-life experiences that add up to create the artsdevivre in our lives. 

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Fall colors


I’m such a nerd for fall. Temperatures dropping spike my energy, I feel more clear-headed and everything seems just a bit more vibrant. Maybe it’s because of the gorgeous colors every-which-where. 

Like these fuchsia mums …

… or these orange ones …

… or these green and yellow accented gourds …

… which I think are sprucing up the coffee table nicely.

What colors are you enjoying this fall?

 

 

 

 

Le week-end


TGIF, les amis ! I shouldn’t complain about my first five day week in two weeks, but I will a bit ~
Je suis fatigu
ée.  I love this graphic via My Little Paris, which sums up my sentiments exactly.

What are your plans this evening?

Autumn in Burgundy


With the leaves beginning to turn, I’m thinking of quiet villages and inviting medieval architecture, both of which abound in the French region of Bourgogne (Burgundy). There’s something about this paysage that lends itself to the raucous oranges, yellows and reds of autumn. Do you agree?

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Festive table setting


I love this table setting from my cousin’s wedding last weekend ~

I usually tend toward a more antique aesthetic, probably because I love nothing more than my Gramma Rose’s china I use every day ~

 

… so that when everything is all put together (and I actually have table linens, etc), I’m thinking of a setting like these …

Retro table setting

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fresh

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textures/colors

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Some of those are a bit springy, but it’s got me thinking about setting the perfect Thanksgiving table, which I’ll be handling this year. I’m on the lookout for more inspiration. What is your favorite kind of table? Simple, antique, elegant, rustic, eclectic?

Fall foliage


Most of my wanderlust is geared towards international destinations to places like here, or there. But with the nip in the air and the first leaves falling, I’m dreaming of a road trip right here in my stomping grounds on the East Coast. It’s hard to beat dramatic views like these …

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I’m craving a quick weekend to Charlottesville, a stone’s throw from Richmond, and not too many hours from Baltimore. Where have you seen the best fall leaves?

Kitchen organization


I get really annoyed with all that extra stuff – dish and hand soap, lotion, matches, kitchen candles – that tends to clutter up my counter tops, so I’ve been keeping all the runaways all together on a tray. Only thing is the one I have is oddly shaped for its purpose ~ 

So, I need a new tray. Par the course for moi, pulling the trigger and making a decision is not easy. 

Colorful? Love all of these.

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Coral print? I’m not sure about the shape.

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Sparkly? Yes, please. My inner bling is craving this not-so-subtle gold and pink number. 

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Per the usual, I’m leaning towards the least practical option. However, I think I should follow the advice I give my students and “go with my gut.” Long live sparkle.