Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Ah! Summer at the beach! Last Saturday we crammed the kids in the car and headed for Watch Hill, Rhode Island - a little over an hours drive. You know how kids are - they all get along for about 3/4 of the trip and then it turns ugly ;-) But soon we arrived - no blood had been shed. We paid our $20 for parking - OUCH! and headed for the dunes, and the beautiful sands of the beach at Watch Hill.
THIS is what summer in New England is all about!

My girl's walking through the dunes to the beach.

How's this for a summer house?

Or this one!

Olympia Tea Room - Carousel - Beach - Dunes

Watch Hill Light House

Sunset, Watch Hill

Love the beach? An 1800s home on Cape Cod.

Paris - La Ville-lumière!

It's been one year since I married my wonderful husband and I can't help but think back on our honeymoon in Paris - the City of Light, the city of love. We rented an apartment online with Isabelle's Apartments and chose a place in the 5th arrondissement near La Sorbonne University called "Moliere". In the month of July the sun is up until 10pm. We walked the streets, sat in cafes, drank wine and truly enjoyed ourselves. I spent three years in Paris in my 20s and the city was as magical as I remembered it. Even my French returned to me and seemed to float effortlessly from my lips - especially after a glass or two of Bordeaux!

"Moliere" Apartment near the Sorbonne University

Clapton Live!

Had a date with my husband last night and saw Eric Clapton live at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The man once referred to as "God" (don't mean to offend anyone here) played for two and a half hours and I must admit he and his band were incredible. I have also recently read his biography and in between, above and around all the sex and drugs, is the rock and roll. He is a man obsessed with music and hearing him play for the first time just blew me away. He is, the real deal.

(Clapton 1970s)

(With Patty Boyd Harrison Clapton)

Meow, meow, meow, meow...

A few months ago we went to the farmer's market for some fresh vegetables. Little did I know my husband was a sucker for stray cats . Consequently, we brought home more than fresh vegetables that day. Malnourished with a scratched eye, we didn't have the heart to rush "Penny" to the vet to get her fixed, and after a few all night excursions (who knew she was a floosie), she found herself in the "family way". We, of course, were in denial. Perhaps she had swallowed a grapefruit! I scoured the internet reading up on the signs of impending labor. Not necessary in the end. As she snuggled up to me at midnight one night, she was panting with her mouth wide open and seemed to be experiencing some "discomfort". (I never have figured out why they use this word to describe labor pain - no offense but some man must have coined the term.) In the next two hours I stayed by Penny and saw her through the delivery of four kittens. The whole experience seemed very familiar. (I have three kittens, I mean kids.) My husband slept through most of it - yes, definitely experiencing deja vu now.... ;-) They are just a week old, still cannot walk and have barely opened their eyes. Thought I'd just let you have a peek!

The day we found Penny at the market!

Restaurant Design!

Many of you out there are into home design but I wonder what your thoughts are when it comes to restaurant interiors. A friend of mine, Chef Jesus Seoane, has just taken over the kitchen at this fabulous new restaurant, Barça, in Hartford, Connecticut. It's located in a renovated factory space turned design center with residential loft apartments that are absolutely gorgeous. (I know, I've had the tour!) Let's face it, Hartford is not a bustling metropolis à la New York, San Fran, or even Baltimore, (BTW, I love Baltimore), and restaurant design is usually limited to small store front type spaces. Additionally, Hartford has it's share of urban issues and launching any business here, especially a restaurant, is a leap of faith. Fortunately, developer Carlos Mouta, an area real estate mogul/restaurateur has hedged his bets on Hartford! Did I mention the food is fab!

Chef Jesus Seoane

Paella for one - yum!

Another creative Connecticut restaurant: Still River Cafe in Eastford, CT

"You like me, you really like me!"

Sorry, I couldn't resist doing an impersonation of Sally Field's famous 1985 Oscar acceptance speech for "Places in the Heart". What all this is really about is receiving the "I (Heart) Your Blog" award from Laura over at World in a Pan. She is lucky enough to live in my favorite city, Paris, and shares with her readers one incredible meal after another. I have a mind to jump on a plane and crash one of her many dinner parties. I'd bring a bottle of wine of course. Pictured below is Laura's latest tour de force - a birthday celebratory dinner for her friend Martine. Definitely wish I was there!
The lovely Laura

Slow cooked Leg of Lamb with garlic and Potatoes en-robe-de-champ

A Chateau Haut Bergey 1989 with French Cheeses

Raspberry Macaron Cake

Additionally, I am to name 7 of my favorite blogs. Of course there are many but I've chosen an assortment that I check in on regularly despite my busy (read: crazy) days.
#1 - Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic. She lives in my other favorite city, New York, and I live vicariously through her day to day adventures in the Interior Design world. Here she is (on the right) with Mrs. Blandings in a little Kansas City get-together.

#2 - Laura at Fifi Flowers Design Decor. She resides in sunny Califor-NIA and is the most prolific painter I've ever seen, producing one charming work after another, inspired by exotic, worldly locals & chic interiors. She also makes beautiful note cards, bookmarks and such at her etsy shop. I believe this drawing is a self portrait.

#3 - Melissa at The Lil Bee. Another who calls NYC home. Like myself, she is an event planner, although she works for herself (yes, I'm jealous), and always has something fab and fun to read about - like her recent trip to Miami!

#4 - Julia at Hooked on Houses. I'm an old house enthusiast and Julia is a connoisseur of all things "house", including real estate, architecture, decorating, celebrity homes, etc. She has a huge following and recently hosted a now famous house tour that was a great success.

#5 - Robin at Bird-In-The-Hand. Robin is my best friend but this in no way makes me bias toward my appreciation of her blog. She always has something fun and insightful to talk about and has loyal followers across the blogosphere. Here she is below, featured as a major installation at MOMA!

#6 - Heather at Beauty That Moves. Heather is another Connecticut blogger that I've had the pleasure of meeting. She creates beautiful bags and accessories which she sells at a local farmer's market as well as at her etsy shop. Her blog features her simple but beautiful lifestyle as a mother to a young daughter. Reading her posts with all their beautiful photos is like a trip back home.

#7 - Meghan & Maureen at Two Ladies in Waiting. What can I say about these two? Again I've had the pleasure of meeting them. They live in the same historic Hartford, Connecticut building as Bird-In-The-Hand. They are loads of fun - in written word and in person - are madly in love with each other, obsessed with their dog Boddington (who happens to own a collar styled by Heather, above), big wine aficionados and very vocal about their politics, opinions and the like, Meghan being the most outspoken and outlandish (read: troublemaker). Their posts always make me laugh. Below is Boddington attempting a little cross-dressing I assume.
"It's never too late to be who you might have been." --George Eliot