HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING IDEAS

FIVE IDEAS FOR STRESS FREE HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING

I love celebrating the holidays with family & friends. With every passing day it has become more about spending time together than receiving another thing. Small intimate gatherings where you can share laughter and create new memories. The goal – no stress and lots of fun.

#1 Champagne/Wine & Raclettes

Said to have Swiss origins; Raclettes are a traditional wintertime meal.  Raclettes consists of cheese melted on a heated block or paddle, scraped off, served over small boiled new potatoes and meat (not obligatory but traditional).  Accompanied by wine, beer or a beverage of your choosing.  Do not forget the mustard and/or other condiments of your choice.

Raclette Makers are a staple in most homes in France. They can also be found at Williams-Sonoma &, of course, Amazon.com

#2 Sunday Brunch

Brunch is always fun.  A possible menu would be A frittata, Lox & Bagels, Salad, Fresh bread and an apple tart. Plenty of coffee, tea & cider to go around and a nice bottle of champagne to celebrate.

One of my all time favorites. Create a desert bar filled with platters with “petite” deserts & a selection of Hot Chocolates and ciders.  This is easy fun and who doesn’t like desert.

#3 Hot Chocolate/Cider & Dessert Bar 

One of my all-time favorites. Create a desert bar filled with platters with “petite” deserts & a selection of Hot Chocolates and ciders.  This is easy fun and who doesn’t like desert.

#4 Tea Party

This is a little more work but I always like tea parties where everyone has to wear a hat (Think Alice in Wonderland).  Menu is tea, finger sandwiches and deserts.

#5 Holiday Movie Night

Make a list of the top 5-9 holiday movie titles. Pre-party, everyone gets to vote on their favorite. The top 2 or 3 (depending on their length) are on slate to be watched.

Food? You can go really simple and have pizza – I like homemade pizza but ordering out always works.  Pop some popcorn and you are ready for the evening.  No stress no mess.

Let me know how you choose to celebrate your holiday celebrations with your family and friends.

Happy Entertaining

Toni-Lee

City Girl Gone Country

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Gustave Flaubert 

DSC_4317Say hi to my new neighbors –  I think I interrupted his lunch


DSC_4315He is just as interested in me as I am in him.

90% of the boxes have been unpacked, the wall paper has been removed, painting – for now, has been done, windows washed, and my beautiful Balinese bed has been received.  After some tense moments of how to actually get it into the house, it would not fit through the door, and thanks to three of my neighbors,the men not the cows, it makes its new home in my living room area.

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The new home of chez ZDS still has to be organized – but I am getting there. Hopefully, I will be settled in soon but for now off to the market to stock the refrigerator.

Before I forget,sending out thanks to my team of “It won’t fit” distress call responders – Bruno, Johnathan & Yannick.

Choi for now.

 

Toni-Leebicycle small

Moving On

Autumn (2)

I have been wanting to write this for sometime but I needed to process my decision. My life in the south of France has been a dream for me. The sun, the sand, the friendships, and the way of life.  It is therefore, with mixed feelings, I have made the decision to move on. Time for me to pack it all up and discover other regions of France.  So, off I go to start a new adventure in Bretagne.

As a result, I will be away from the site for awhile. Settling in, setting up my atelier, redesigning the website & taking some time to design a new collection.

In the interim, I will continue to check in on Instagram & Facebook – stop by and say hello.

So signing off from the sunny Cote D’Azur.  You will be missed.  See you in Bretagne. It is not Au Revoir…. it is

À bientôt.

Bisous à tous.

Toni-Lee

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Marché Provençal

teas

 A cornucopia of teas for “Tea Time”

 

Herbs, Herbs & More Herbs!!! – Sel d’Al gues –

salt done

 I think I will have to take some home with me today.

Market day!!!  It is more than just picking up a couple of things and then going home exhausted and a little annoyed at the process.  Market Day here is an experience.  There is food cooking, babies crying, lines, flirtations, food sampling, fresh foods & impromptu discussions on “how to cook it”, along with various vendors selling non-food related items.  The sounds, the action & the smells ahhhhh a lovely day at the market.

Need I mention the colors.  It is a painter’s pallet of the south of France.  The reds are deep and rich, the yellows are the color of the sun.   The wagons of vegetables, fruits, teas, soaps, herbs and tables of flowers – they all speak to me.

An overload to the senses. But I will be back again next week for another fix.Now home to create something delicious for lunch – but not before I stop for the wine & bread.

Au revoir  for now.

à bientot …….

 

Toni-Lee

 

What is Luxury To You?

Luxury ……… lux·u·ry – [luhk-shuh-ree, luhg-zhuh-]  

 

The other day the topic of Luxury came up. What is luxury?  Can luxury be bought?  Can it really be defined?  Is it an object, an experience a memory or a feeling?   Is it a Hermes leather and cashmere blanket?   A bottle of MOËT ET CHANDON À EPERNAY FONDÉE EN 1743 CHAMPAGNE DOM PÉRIGNON BRUT MILLESIME – VINTAGE 1996? Mmm……A perfect cup of morning coffee sitting across from the one that you love?

The definition of luxury is very personal.  It can have a price tag or it’s value can not be measured. During certain periods of my life luxury was free time. Time to enjoy those that I loved. Or perhaps something as simple as a beautiful fall day at an empty beach, wrapped in a soft sweater with a good book.  Sound familiar? My conclusion? Luxury can not be simply defined, put in a box or, at times, have a price affixed to it.

So I leave you to ponder the question – What is luxury to you? Me, I am off to spend some luxurious time laughing and talking with my friends.

Au Revoir for now.

à bientot …….

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Toni

 

 

A SPRING DAY

        Signs of spring are all around.

spring has sprung 2

Spring is back

Spring is here photo 1

 

Oh how I have awaited your return!!!

Enjoy your day.

à bientot …….

 

Toni-Lee