Monday, August 31, 2015

A Bathroom Remodel!

Today I'm sharing with you a bathroom remodel!!  This guest bathroom is actually at my Parents' house... they did all of the work themselves.  
Unfortunately I do not have a "Before" photo... but let me describe what it looked like before:
builder grade oak cabinet, white tile counter top, and for the floors the cheapest tile you could get. 
Here's the after!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
French bathroom renovation
Isn't it beautiful?? 
I love the walls... they are actually wallpapered! You can kind of tell in the pictures that the wallpaper has a little shine on it... so you when you walk through the bathroom the light bounces off and shimmers!
Look at the beautiful floors! They are calacatta marble!  My parents did all of the work themselves.. including cutting and laying the tile.  Don't you just love the herringbone pattern they laid the tile in??
calacatta marble herringbone tile floor
Now this bathroom is a Jack and Jill bathroom. What they noticed though was that when you opened the doors they would swing way out into the room and take up a bunch of space.  So... they made their own doors. They cut a door down the middle and made a little double door. Isn't that a great idea? It is space-saving and it is super cute!
open double door
Closed double door... how cute is the little double doors closed? I like the grey-blue on the doors too!
One last look... isn't this bathroom so cute??  (The bathroom does have a toilet and a full shower/bathtub too but I don't have pictures of them).
They saved money on this project several ways: One, they did all of their own tile work.  That saves the most amount of money. For the pieces from RH, they would scour the RH outlet store once a week when they'd drive by. You can sometimes pick up pieces for 25-30% of their original price. Most of the time though it's about 50% off. They hung their own wallpaper too!

The source list:
Sconces - Horchow
Chandelier- Horchow
Vanity and faucets - Restoration Hardware
Tile floor- Calacatta Marble

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
linking up at: amaze me monday The Scoop!  2 Bees in a Pod,  Metamorphosis Monday's Inspire Me Tuesday Wow us Wednesdays! Creative Ways  Share Your Style Thursday Favorite ThingsTablescape Thursday's Your Turn to Shine The inspiration gallery Home Sweet Home Feathered Nest Fridays Foodie Friday & Everything Else Best of the Weekend Sunday's Down Under

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites #13

It's Friday! Can you believe it's the last Friday in August already? It seems like yesterday we hopped in the car and drove up from Southern California and permanently moved!!

Pumpkin Week!
If you follow my blog, you will know that I announced I will be hosting a Pumpkin Week Sept 14-18. I will feature a bunch of different pumpkin related posts!  On the finale of pumpkin week I will host a pumpkin themed link party where you can link up your favorite pumpkin posts!  How much fun is that? I will also pin all of the posts to my "All Things Pumpkin" Pinterest board!  
Are you excited? Bookmark my blog, follow me on bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.... just so you remember to come back and party!
Salted Caramel Snacks
I was at Costco this week and sampled these salted caramel baked corn crisps.  Obviously they were good, as I know have a Costco-size bag of them at home! They hit my sweet tooth without all of the calories... and they were just the right flavor I was in the mood for as we head in to fall. Don't you think salted caramel tastes better in the Fall and Winter? 

Golfing!
This past weekend we visited my parents house in Reno and went golfing! They live near a golf course and my husband and I decided to go visit and get a round of golf in.  I hadn't swung a club in over 3 years... my husband hadn't played in 4 years.  We were really rusty. Granted, I'm always really rusty since I never took golf lessons. In fact, I don't have my own clubs.. I just use my husbands. We're cheap like that. Anyway, it was pretty fun! I like driving the golf cart but despite driving I still got 7500 steps in on my FitBit and we only played 9 holes! Pretty good! I think it is something we could continue playing in the future.
Do you play golf?

Making S'mores with Ghirardelli
While we visited my parents we made s'mores as they have a fire pit in the backyard. I did take pictures but they all turned out blurry... apparently I can't hold a s'more and try to operate a camera.
Anyway, instead of milk chocolate we tried ghirardelli milk chocolate squares filled with caramel. It was pretty good!
 We *almost* tried this chocolate which now in retrospect I think would have been really yummy!
 With Fall coming up though, I think the pumpkin spice chocolate would taste delicious too!
Alright, that will do it! See you in SEPTEMBER!!

I'd love for you to follow me: bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.

Five on friday at A Liz Adventures .
Friday Favorites at the Diary of a Real Housewive
Oh Hey, Friday! at September FARM

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Early Fall Centerpiece Decor

Well, I've started to put away Summer and decorate for Fall.  I'm not quite ready for decorating with pumpkins just quite yet, but I think transitioning into Fall colors is a good idea.  
I put up some harvest nutcrackers... the wine maker and the sunflower nutcrackers as I think they go well with the harvest theme.
 I just love how the fresh sunflowers pop against the Mackenzie Childs courtly check teapot and candlesticks! Don't you think it looks nice?
 I like how the brown dog, teapot, and acorn wreaths all go together too. I am really enjoying this centerpiece that sits on the island in the kitchen.  I have some string lights that are little leaves that you can kind of see in the picture.  They are more noticeable at night!
Are you ready for Fall? I'll admit... I baked some pumpkin bread yesterday. It was delicious!!

Did you check out my announcement yesterday?  I'm having a Pumpkin Week... ends with a pumpkin themed link party Sept 18! Check it out here

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
linking up at: amaze me monday The Scoop!  2 Bees in a Pod,  Metamorphosis Monday's Inspire Me Tuesday Wow us Wednesdays! Creative Ways  Share Your Style Thursday Favorite ThingsTablescape Thursday's Your Turn to Shine The inspiration gallery Home Sweet Home Feathered Nest Fridays Foodie Friday & Everything Else Best of the Weekend Sunday's Down Under

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Announcement: Introducing Pumpkin Week!

Guess what?! I had this really exciting idea!  As you may or may not know, I LOVE pumpkins. I love pumpkin patches, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin shrimp (j/k). So I thought, why not host a "PUMPKIN WEEK"?
Pumpkin Week will start Monday September 14 and end Friday September 18. I will feature pumpkin recipes, decorating with pumpkins, and even more pumpkins!

Pumpkin Week will end with a big finale on Friday September 18 with a pumpkin link party where everyone can link up their favorite pumpkin-themed links! Doesn't that sound like fun???

Additionally, I'll be pinning EVERY SINGLE POST at the linky party to my new "All Things Pumpkin" Pinterest board! That means more social media exposure for you!! Help me spread the word out to #pumpkinlovers 

Spread the word on Twitter:
Tweet: Visit Pumpkin Week Sept 14-18 at http://bit.ly/1C9bvrw ends with a #linkyparty on Sept 18 #pumpkinweek @LePetit_Macaron

Follow the new Pinterest board:
Follow Peonies & Orange Blossoms's board All Things Pumpkin! on Pinterest.

I'm excited!! Are you??
sums up #pumpkinweek 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Renting an Apartment in Paris

Today's post is about the place we stayed in Paris. We rented an apartment this time around, which we have never done before! You see, our favorite hotel has closed down and we had to look for an alternative place to stay. Le sigh. So the search began. I have read about staying in gorgeous apartments in Paris, but I was a little iffy on how it actually worked. Well, truth be told, it was pretty easy.
How to Rent an Apartment in Paris - a guide and review!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Favorites - #12

It's Friday!!  I saw this little meme and thought it was funny... 
Dior and I
Have you heard of this documentary? It premiered this year. It's about Raf Simons' debut designing for Atelier Dior.  He was in a new position at a new company, and he had to design an entire haute couture collection in 8 weeks.   The documentary goes through the process while narrating excerpts from an autobiography of Christian Dior.  
I really enjoyed this film. It was interesting to see how a concept turned into a reality.  If you like Project Runway, then you will love this documentary. It's like Project Runway, but for real, with a much bigger budget! 
I wanted to share with you some pictures of the famous floral walls from the haute couture show of that season.  Raf had an entire apartment covered floor to ceiling in fresh flowers. Can you imagine how it smelled?  




Paris Maps
This week I received in the mail "Paris Maps".  They are these pretty hand drawn and watercolored paintings from Carol Gillott, an ex-pat living in Paris.  Also, she runs a cute blog, Paris Breakfasts.  While they are only copies of the original art work, every month she has a new issue. It's so much fun getting them in the mail! Additionally she includes little business cards from Paris... so you can pretend you were there! You can purchase both Paris Mail and Paris Maps here.

Fall
I was at Homegoods this week and couldn't help myself.. I bought this cute table runner and little pumpkin candles. I haven't decorated the rest of the house yet (as when it's 106 outside it's hard to think it feels like Fall!) but I am starting to get in the mood. I will admit I will miss the long Summer evenings.
Mackenzie-Childs Wallpaper
Did you know MC came out with wallpaper?  While I'm not too sure I would use it, I certainly think its cute. I really like the polka dot paper! What do you think?

Hope you are enjoying these last weeks of Summer... while I know the start of Fall isn't 'til the end of September, in blogland Fall starts around... now!
I'd love for you to follow me: bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.

Five on friday at A Liz Adventures .
Friday Favorites at the Diary of a Real Housewive
Oh Hey, Friday! at September FARM

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fresh Fruit Frangipane Tart

I have never tried to bake a tart before but I have always wanted to give it a shot! Well let me tell you, this was a bullseye! They were delicious!!
Fresh Fruit Frangipane Tart Recipe

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Guide to Eating in Paris

I have found that you have been enjoying reading my Paris posts.  Today I am writing about eating in Paris.  These include things that I believe are a must-try!  I'll tell you how to save some money while eating in Paris and I'll give you some tips if you are a vegetarian headed to Paris!
A Guide to Eating in Paris
a raspberry tart... enjoyed on my birthday!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Is it Friday ALREADY?! Where'd the time go???

Going to the Ranch
You know what I love about Summer? Going out to the Ranch.  Just about 10 minutes from us is a large farm operation that grows a multitude of vegetables... including fresh corn!  They pick truck loads and just dump it in the back (as you can see). We've been eating this corn all Summer long. We've slowly watched their corn crops come down as the Summer carries on.  We get most of our fresh fruits and veggies here. It's really fantastic! This isn't just "buying local" this is like... micro local! ha!


A Cute Box
I got this cute Quimper box in Napa not too long ago. It was full of Breton shortbread cookies.  Honestly, I bought the cookies for the box. Do you ever buy things for the box? I admit, I have a box problem. And a bag problem. Why can't I get rid of my designer shopping bags??

Fall is Coming
I've noticed that Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma now have sneak previews of their Fall inventory.  I was flipping through a Bethany Lowe catalog that was mailed to us... I thought these two things were cute: an owl lantern and a "Boo" garland with vintage Clapsaddle characters

New Shoes!
I bought a new pair of shoes... these pretty Christian Louboutin pumps! I don't know why that red heel is so alluring, I guess it's called good marketing!  I am hoping they fit! They're supposed to arrive this weekend! And yes, I am aware these shoes are insanely expensive - that's why I found them used. It'll be our little secret.
Perseid Meteor Shower
Did you catch the meteor shower that started this week? Every summer, the Perseid meteor shower occurs.  The night of August 12 and August 13 produced the best conditions because there was a moon-less sky!  My friend, husband, and I sat outside here in the country and did some star gazing for several hours.  I think we saw approximately 30-40 shooting stars! It was amazing!  If you missed it, it still continues tonight. So look outside after sunset! While star gazing, I also use this cool iphone/ipad app called SkyView... it shows you constellations, satellites, and planets! There is a free version and a paid version - I received the paid version for free as it was one of Starbucks' gold members perks - if you are a Starbucks gold member, check it out and download it for free! (I was not paid to write about this).
not my photo, someone took a cool time-lapse of the meteor shower!
Well, that'll do it for this week! See y'all on Monday... where I'm going to talk about eating in Paris!!

You can also follow me by clicking on these: bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.

Five on friday at A Liz Adventures .
Friday Favorites at the Diary of a Real Housewive
Oh Hey, Friday! at September FARM

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

10 Favorite Beauty Products

10 Favorite Beauty Products
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

I thought I'd put together a list of my top 10 favorite beauty products that I use (almost) everyday. I like reading other top 10 lists from people, so I hope you enjoy this one!

1. Clinique Superdefense daily moisturizer spf 25 - I have fair skin.  What I love about this moisturizer is that not only does it help my splotchy dry skin, but it also has sunscreen in it! The sunscreen is not oily. I have been wearing this everyday for years! You need to wear sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer and wrinkles!

2. Clinique Even Better Eyes - My biggest beauty problem is dark circles under my eyes.  To start, I apply this product which has a little makeup tint to it but also contains a moisturizer for the next step. It also helps reduce puffiness and redness.

3. Bobbi Brown Color Corrector - I have two different concealers from Bobbi Brown for my dark circles under my eyes. I work long hours and at all different times of day.  On top of that, I have chronic allergies that add to the dark circles under my eyes.  I first put on this concealer under my eyes. It uses a pink-peach base that neutralizes the blue under the eyes.

4. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit - after I put the color corrector on, I use the creamy concealer kit. It contains another concealer that you use around more of your eye (not just the dark spot) and then you seal it in with a pressed powder.

5. Nars blush color in orgasm - this has been my favorite blush ever!! This is also Nars' #1 seller in blush color because it looks great on most people. It has a little bit of shine to it so if the light hits you right you get a nice glow to you!

6. Clinique High Impact Mascara - I love this mascara. I like that it goes on a bit heavier than some other Clinique mascaras, but it is not chunky. It goes on smoothly. This is great for an everyday look. I often find a lot of other companies' mascaras are too chunky for my eyes.

7. Aveda Phomollient Hair Styling Gel - I have been using this styling gel for years. It helps tame fly-aways, gives my roots a little volume boost, and smells good too!

8. Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Sea Salt Texturizing Spray - I love this sea salt spray. It's the cheapest sea salt spray I've found and works well for the messy beach hair look.  You can spray it to your curls to help them relax a bit. Oh, did I mention this spells like a coconut tropical paradise??

9. L'occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - this, hands down, is the best hand cream I've ever used.  My hands are constantly dry and this hand cream works wonders. Creams are more hydrating than lotions. This one has a nice scent to it too. I think I've been using this beauty product the longest out of all of them!

10. Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne - My favorite perfume/cologne for the moment. It's so nice and refreshing. I just love how refreshing all of her perfumes smell. I also use the nectarine blossom and honey scent too!

What is your favorite beauty product? Leave a comment!

*Post contains affiliate links.
Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
linking up at: amaze me monday The Scoop!  2 Bees in a Pod,  Metamorphosis Monday's Inspire Me Tuesday Wow us Wednesdays! Creative Ways  Share Your Style Thursday Favorite ThingsTablescape Thursday's Your Turn to ShineHome Sweet Home Feathered Nest Fridays Foodie Friday & Everything Else  Friday Favorites with A Little Bit of Everything,Five on friday at A Liz Adventures .Friday Favorites at the Diary of a Real Housewive Oh Hey, Friday! at September FARM Best of the Weekend



Monday, August 10, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Mixed Greens Salad

I thought I would share with you today one our favorite salads! My husband and I eat this salad frequently and I thought I'd share it with you all today! We used to eat this salad at our favorite lunch spot in St. Louis - Companion Bakery... but when we moved we couldn't take the salad with us... so we copied it!


This recipe doesn't have a lot of measuring... if you need more you add more. Just add until it looks "right" to you. Usually each person gets 1-2 handfuls of salad mix.

Ingredients - serves 4
  • several handfuls of Spring salad mix (or spinach tastes good too)
  • 6-10 fresh strawberries, diced (number of strawberries depends on size)
  • crumbled blue cheese - as much as you want
  • diced pecans - as much as you want, if you're feeling decadent you could caramelize them!
  • 1/4 red onion, diced (to decrease onion taste, rinse chopped onion in water!)
  • Brianna's strawberry vinaigrette
Directions (there aren't many)
  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix! 
  2. Add a few of the extra toppings on top for looks. Done!

Fresh Strawberry Mixed Greens Salad
Yes I know, it's another salad recipe. I know you don't want to eat salad. You came here to read about MACARONS! Not salad. Salad is for rabbits. 

But I wanted to give a shoutout to this salad dressing which tastes REALLY GOOD on salads with strawberries in it! It's a blush wine vinaigrette and it's amazing. FYI I wasn't paid to rave about this dressing. I just like it.
Think you're going to give it a try? Do you have a favorite salad recipe with strawberries in it?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Weekend Whimsy

Before I include the links for this weekend, I have an important READER ANNOUNCEMENT:

I have noticed over the past several weeks readership of weekend whimsy has significantly declined.  The other posts of mine are doing just fine :-) But I don't want to keep spending my time on something if you aren't interested.  I am partially wondering if the decline has to do with the fact that everyone is busy on the weekends because it's Summer and the weather is nice out.

I think what I might do is just put this weekend whimsy on hiatus and resume it in the Fall when the weather sucks and more people are inside on the weekend!

French journalist parodies high fashion by copying their looks in the real world- it's kind of amusing.

Some photographers show how birds see our world... it's really neat.

Check out this beautiful wedding in Rome - that cathedral! WHOA.

Tour this beautiful Provence guest house!

How online retailers predict your perfect outfit

... and that will be it. Weekend Whimsy shall return this Fall.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Favorites!

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
grumpy cat on Monday and then on Friday! hee hee.
Zinnias!
The zinnias in the garden have been blooming like mad for the past month. I shot a few pictures with my iPhone this week.  Aren't they so pretty?? I want to cut them and put them in my tulipiere but then I won't have any zinnias in the garden... so I've left them outside!


New oven & Baking
We got a new oven and new stove this week.  Our previous oven here sucked. It ranged in temperature from 250-350 degrees even though it was set at 300!  The old stove only cooked at hot and hotter... there was no "simmer".  This week my husband made a dutch baby pancake in our new cast iron pan in our new oven!  Doesn't it look delicious?

Now, can someone tell me, why are there 3 names for this pancake? Dutch baby. Swedish pancake. German pancake. Which one do you call it?
My new Favorite lotion
This here is my new favorite lotion: black honey by archipelago botanicals. It smells so heavenly!  I love it! Check it out here
Little French Bud Vases
Everytime I walk by the table and see this little bud vases I bought in Paris it reminds me of my trip over there this Spring.  Aren't they cute??  I wrote about my favorite places to shop in Paris this week, you can see that post here.  
Mango Black Tea Lemonade
I tried Starbucks mango black tea lemonade this week (with half the sweetener)... it was really good! It was really nice and refreshing!
Well, I saw this meme and thought it was kind of funny...
Thanks for stopping by!!!
You can also follow me by clicking on these: bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.

Friday Favorites with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love
Five on friday at A Liz Adventures .
Friday Favorites at the Diary of a Real Housewive
Oh Hey, Friday! at September FARM