It has been a bit since my last post. They say “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I’ve filled the last few months with plane tickets and passport stamps. I ended 2014 “the year of travel” by spending an incredible 10 days in London, Paris, and Brussels. As soon as 2015 arrived, I headed up to North Carolina to visit family then on to Las Vegas and sunny Los Angeles. Now that my life has settled down a bit before my next big adventure, I thought it would be the perfect time to play catch up.
^^Colorful blooms at the Columbia Road Flower Market in London.
^^Taking a quick snap inside the photobooth at Giada’s new Vegas eatery!
^^Every single building in Paris is so simply beautiful.
^^A carousel constructed entirely of fresh flowers inside the Wynn Vegas.
^^The incredible Jeff Koons exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
^^A casual baguette lunch across from The Louvre in the Tuileries Garden.
^^It wouldn’t be a trip to Belgium without a Belgian waffle!
^^A collection of the old Vegas neon signs at the Neon Museum boneyard.
^^A ridiculously good chocolate hazelnut cookie at Sycamore Kitchen in LA.
Most Black Friday shoppers spend their day battling crowds at the mall; instead, I ditched the retail madness, hopped on a plane, and traveled 4,000 miles across the world. Although Thanksgiving had just ended for us in America, Christmas was in full swing overseas. The big ceramic bulbs were dangling from the ceiling at Covent Gardens in London, the upside down Christmas tree was sparkling at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and fresh holly lined the window sills of chocolate shops in Brussels. As incredible as it was to spend time in a winter wonderland on the other side of the globe, there really is nothing like being at home for Christmas.
Wishing everyone a very happy and Merry Christmas with your loved ones!
^^A classic Christmas wreath outside this iconic London hotel.
^^Christmas markets on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
^^Merry Christmas….from PARIS!
^^A pink “Christmas tree” made of dessert boxes at Ladurée in Brussels.
^^Baby Christmas trees waiting to be adopted in Belgium.
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever had the chance to visit. The decadent pastries, the charming cafes, the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, the high fashion pieces adorning the windows of the Champs-Élysées…so many of my favorite things in one place. While I was in NYC last month, I stopped by the new Ladurée tea house in Soho modeled after the Paris location. Rose petal tea, French Toast, and macarons while dining under a crystal chandelier is my idea of the perfect breakfast.
Then it was out for a quick stroll around snowy Central Park, Fifth Avenue shopping, and a stop by the always stunning Bergdorf window displays. I suppose NYC is a pretty good substitute for Paris but there sure is nothing like the City of Lights.
Ever since visiting Paris when I was 18, I have always been fascinated by miniature French pastries. The little fruit tarts always appealed to me the most…something about the dainty fruit underneath the shiny glaze made them almost too pretty to eat. I was hosting my now sister-in-law’s bachelorette party and decided to make this full size Fruit Tart. I mean, what screams “bachelorette” more than this classy dessert? Hah, kidding of course….but it sure went well with our neverending glasses of wine and the girls seemed to gobble it up!
I don’t know what it is about these delicate little cookies, but I am completely crazy over French macarons. My first tasting was at the original French pâtisserie, Laduree, in New York City. These colorful cookies are not only beautiful but come in amazing flavors such as salted caramel, blackcurrant & violet, and strawberry mint.
^^Stopped into this sweet bakery in St. Augustine.
I picked up these adorable cards while making a quick trip to Barnes & Noble. Although I would love to be greedy and keep this collection of cards all to myself, I suppose they were made to be mailed away. To add to my ever growing collection of macaron-themed items, I also received this tiny trinket box as a birthday gift.
My Pinterest “Wish List” includes these stylish little dessert plates and this print that I’ll be adding to my gallery wall. And tell me this charming umbrella wouldn’t instantly brighten any rainy day?
^^Who doesn’t need macarons painted on their windows?