Friday, May 29, 2015

Bridal Shower Gifts... Gifts for the Bride!

With wedding season coming up, I know we will all be going to a bridal shower this year.  Instead of doing a #weekendwhimsy post this weekend, I thought instead I would share some of my favorite gift ideas for the bride-to-be.  It's kind of like weekend whimsy because it does include a bunch of links for my favorite gifts!

I like to focus on things that pamper the bride and help her get ready for the big day!
Bridal Shower Gift ideas for the Bride!

//1// A cute bridal chemise, such as this blue one from Oscar de La Renta is sure to be a win.
//2// A signature scent for your wedding is a must - I love this Jo Malone London Orange Blossom Cologne (no duh, look at my blog name!  Did you know orange blossoms were worn in the floral wreaths of Victorian era brides??) 
//3//The bride will surely love Kate Spade "Mrs." Necklace
//4//This makeup bag is see-through and makes it easy to find your make up: Wedding belles makeup bag
//5//The bride could light this lovely Voluspa Bourbon Vanilla candle while she relaxes in a bath
//6//Help the bride catch some much needed sleep the night before with a Cosabella Lace Eye Mask
//7//This nail polish color is the quintessential bridal color: Essie Nail Color, Mademoiselle
//8// This Verbena Body Salt Scrub helps clean the skin so it's smooth and silky
//9// Once you've scrubbed with the salt scrub, apply this luxurious L'occitane Almond Oil for baby like skin!
//10// The bride can place her pretty rings in this cute Amore ring dish
//11// A wedding wouldn't be complete without a Hanky Panky Bridal Keepsake & Tossing Garter Set
//12//Skin care is uber important, this Here Comes the Bride pampering kit from Philosophy is nice.
//13//I had this handy little kit at my wedding, it has lots of essentials in a small container,  check out the Mini-emergency Kit For Brides
//14//And of course, a cute set of panties are a must! I like these: Hanky Panky Bride & Mrs Signature Lace panties

What is your favorite gift that you have either given or received at a bridal shower?? Share your ideas in the comments! Other ideas below...


EDITORS NOTE: oops, I accidentally hit the wrong button so this published early. I guess you will get two posts for Friday but none for the weekend. Sorry!

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
Post contains affiliate links.

Friday Favorites #3

I am back with another week of Friday Favorites. I have been having fun writing Friday Favorites as it gives me a chance to write about things or share this that aren't quite long enough for a whole blog post.
Salad You Need to Try
healthy white bean salad
One of nice things about Summer is that fruits and veggies are fresh.  I found a salad recipe on Pinterest and it was so good I have to share it with you. It is a white bean salad with avocado, tomato, and onion.  That's it. Super healthy and super tasty.  Adding this to our Summer line up.  Because the dressing doesn't have any mayo or yogurt, it would work well for a BBQ.
Lemons

When life gives you Lemons...
When life gives you lemons (or when your Uncle does)... You make lemonade. And lemon cake. And lemon flavored zucchini. And salad dressing with lemon. I made this lemon cake which was so incredibly good.  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa and surprisingly it uses Greek yogurt in the recipe to help cut the calories. All the other pound cakes call for 1-2 sticks of butter! Yikes!
my lemon cake picture as proof I made it!
French Country Group Boards
join a group board!
I have just discovered group boards on Pinterest.  I know I am late to the game with this.  It is so confusing to try to figure out how to join a group board!  So I started a new one, French Country Decor with easy instructions on how to join!  I know there are a few others out there.  That's ok.  I also started a new google plus community that doesn't require an invite. Can you believe no one had done that yet?

Favorite Shoe
the valentino studded pink flats
I don't know why but I have been loving these caged studded flats by Valentino. I have been seeing them everywhere online and in the store. I just love them! It's like a delicate ballerina flat went punk.  I also love them in all black. Only problem, I know these will look terrible on my feet!! All pointy shoes do! When you wear size 9.5, the point easily makes your foot look like a size 11 or 12! A dainty shoe turns into a clod hopper! I guess this will remain on my lust list.

Game of Thrones
*SPOILER ALERT*
You know it wouldn't be a Friday Favorites without me writing about my current favorite show- GoT!  This week, entitled "The Gift" gave us a gift... Cersei in jail! It's not like she didn't have it coming!!  When she put the High Sparrow in command, did she really foolishly think she could imprison the Tyrell family without having the High Sparrow turn on her?  Religion will eventually rule the Iron Throne, for now.  As for the wall, Sam needs to like with Gilly. And Sansa I think is going to eventually try to kill Ramsay with the tool she stole while he was busy trying to show off his power.  What out, the little bird is going to get you!  As for my old hero Jorah, he got to give his Gift (Tyrion Lannister) to the Khaleesi much earlier than I expected, but I'm afraid it's not going to be good enough.  She's still pissed at him and probably won't ever change her mind. Can't wait for next week!
sorry Cersei #notsorry
Laduree Paris Review
I *finally* got my first post from my Paris post up and running!  These things take time.  I'm still salivating over the pictures that I took.  If you haven't seen my review already, check it out, because I review things like this pretty Lily of the Valley macaron!

ALSO, I JOINED instagram!!!  You can follow me by clicking the link!  It is full of pretty pictures that I don't post on the blog (at least most of them).

Thank you for stopping by!!
You can also follow me by clicking on these: bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.

Foodie Friday & Everything Else  at RattleBridge Farm
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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Laduree Paris - Tea Room, Macaron, and Pastry review!!

As you all know, I've been a little bit obsessed with Laduree's macarons.  One of my top priorities when visiting Paris was to visit the Laduree tea salon on the Champs Elysees.

Not only do I have their Sweets Recipe book, I had poured over numerous websites trying to decide what I was going to eat when I arrived!  Now settle in, I have a lot to say about Laduree!
a review of Laduree Paris

Monday, May 25, 2015

On Joining Instagram

Yes, TWO posts in one day.  I had a lazy Memorial Day weekend which meant LOTS of time for blogging!I've decided to link up my instagram account to my blog!

I have been debating about this for several months now. I don't blog for money; I blog for fun. I already have a full time job and don't need to worry about more visitors to help generate income.  But what I do have are my internet friends, who like pictures. And I like pictures.  So I thought, let's share more pictures!

One reason why it took me a long time to come to this decision was because of anonymity.  Yes, I am scared that I will attract creepy people.  I wanted to protect my family because they don't have any say about me blogging.  But then I realized I don't have any pictures of my family on instagram anyway.  I don't have kids so I don't need to worry about them either.

I am a little nervous because I frankly haven't told many of my friends or family that I blog. I don't know why, I guess I feel, embarrassed?  I don't know why I feel that way, but I suppose it's because I normally am not so open about my love for decorating and travel and antiques with the ones I hang around the most.  I guess that's a silly reason not to want to share my most favorite things with the ones I love he most!  I am sure more of my friends and family will now discover that I've had a blog running for nearly 2 years now. Hey guys! Welcome to my blog!

Even though my instagram was not shared with my blog, it was shared with other instagrammers whom I don't have any relationship with.  So the decision was then made.  I shall share my instagram with my blogging friends!!

You will notice I have a feed going back almost 2 years now.  I've been busy!  Follow me on instagram here!!  I love new followers and I can easily follow you back since instagram is super easy to use.  And no, I won't try to sell you anything. I already told you I don't do this for a dime. (Yes I know I have affiliate links but if I'm being honest I haven't seen a penny!)

You can also follow me on the other social media sites by clicking on these: bloglovin, instagramtwitterpinterest, and google plus.
A preview of my instagram...

French Bench

I got this French bench a while ago and never blogged about it!

This bench was from the Restoration Hardware Outlet store.  Yes, they have an outlet store!  You can find most things in the store at 30% off normal price... but sometimes there are defects.  You also have to keep going back as they get new shipments in every week if you're looking for something.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekend Whimsy #10

Good Morning!  I just had a nice week of much-needed vacation as I had literally worked every single day for 3 weeks *except* 1 day. Le SIGH.  But this week I had some nice R&R first at the Ojai Valley Resort Inn and Spa then a little stay-cation at home full of cleaning and... blogging!!

Since I've had time to do some blogging, I thought I would mention that I am trying to adhere to a blogging posting schedule... Mondays, Wednesdays, and then Friday Favorites, followed by Weekend Whimsy on Saturday.  That's FOUR days a week! Woo!!!

In case you hadn't noticed, I changed my #weekendwhimsy header to an ocean theme... picture taken in Maui!
Enough talk, on to my links for the weekend...

//1// This French Tea Party theme is soo incredibly cute.  I cannot believe how cute the croquembouche is with the flowers! (what's more amazing is I spelled croquembouche right the first time!) EDIT - I fixed the link, it should now go to a tea party and not an Irish Wedding!

//2// Since it is Memorial Day weekend, I decided to take a little internet tour of Ralph Lauren's All-American homes... check out his Bedford NY home and Colorado Ranch!

//3// While the phone cameras are getting really nice, this article highlights why we still need a "real" camera.  I can attest to this, the photos I shot of Paris with the DSLR are much nicer than my iPhone ones!

//4// Since I know all y'all gonna be BBQ'ing at some point this weekend, why don't you make some of these grilled garlic parmesan fries. I never met a potato I didn't like.

//5// I have seen these Twix Cookies all over the internet and they are haunting me as they look so good.

Well, that's a wrap. Have a nice Memorial Day. RIP Grandpa, Oma, and Opa.

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Favorites!

I had so much fun with last week's Friday Favorites that I decided to do it again!!

Pretty Peonies
I just *love* peonies (um, obviously as my blog name is peonies & orange blossoms) and I FINALLY found some. They were Trader Joe's for a reasonable price.  So I snapped them up.  They have been so pretty watching them open up!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Patriotic Table Decorations for Memorial Day

With Memorial Day just around the corner, I put together this patriotic tablescape with the red, white, and blue in mind!

Patriotic Table Decorations with red charges, blue plates, and white placemats!

Monday, May 18, 2015

What to Wear during Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the kick off to Summer! Bring on the BBQ!  I put together a little mood board on things I would like to wear this weekend.  Of course, with it being a patriotic holiday I'm loving all things red, white, and blue!

What to Wear during Memorial Day Weekend

//1// A tunic shirt: Love this red and white Tory Burch Tunic 
//2// A chambray dress: This Chambray Dress would be nice to enjoy a BBQ in!
//3// Fun necklace: Spruce up your outfit with this red Kendra Scott Pendant Necklace 
//4// Red handbag: Lovin' this red tote!
//5// Jean shorts or overalls: Feelin' like a trendsetter? Rock these Madewell Short Overalls
//6// Fancy Sandals: I like this bejeweled Leather Sandal
//7// Maxi dress: You can eat as many chips and burgers as you want in this Maxi Dress. This dress is fun too!
//8// Fun tennies: Since #ihaveaconverseproblem, of course I picked some patriotic Converse 
//9// This red, white & blue dress is cute and is flattering on all body shapes Eliza J Fit & Flare Dress 
Of course, you could always wear a patriotic t-shirt, like this one!

Note - the pictures above are not the same as the links as I have updated this board to reflect May 2016 picks! 

Are you following Peonies & Orange Blossoms on social media? Join the community...


Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekend Whimsy #9

Here are some links across the web that I have enjoyed reading this week. I'm headed to Ojai this weekend.  I'm so excited as I have never been out that way! I'll likely do a trip report when I get back!

//1// This 15th Century French Farmhouse remodel is so incredibly cute and adorable... I've saved all the pictures onto my computer for design inspiration.

//2// These floral walls are so incredibly beautiful... if you like pretty flowers than take a look!

//3// I have been wanting a basket for my bike for a while and I think these ones are so adorable I think they might just work!

//4// Do you have an orchid that has lost its blooms and now looks dead? Here is a whole website dedicated to orchid care. 

//5// I just love these custom French wooden doors, don't you?

//6// Are you thinking about getting chickens?  Here is a guide and choosing your urban chicken breed. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Favorites!

I'm trying something new today.  It's called Friday Favorites.   It seemed like a fun party!


I'm partying with Erika, Andrea, and Narci .

PARIS POSTS
I know I've been back from Paris for TWO weeks but I took a gazillion million pictures and I'm having a hard time picking and choosing and sifting through them.  A trip report is coming... SOME DAY.  In the mean time, I'm still pretending like I haven't worked the past 6 of 7 days in a row (with 2 more to go, yes I need to leave for work soon) and instead pretending I'm eating some macarons in the Tuileries garden...

YES this was real life two weeks ago. 
See, I can't make this stuff up. Look. Look at this below, a SWAN in a real fairytale village.  I promise when I get my pictures and posts up you will want to read them!
#isthisreallife?

NEW SHOES:
For our 2 year wedding anniversary this week, my husband and I gave each other new tennis shoes.  YAY!  We both like to work out together and we both haven't had a new pair in like... 5 years. That's a long time. Especially for a shoe horse like myself. I got the Saucony Ride 7 and my husband got the Nike Zoom Structure 18.  We both love them.  Links are below.



Nike Men's Zoom Structure 18 Running Sneakers from Finish Line • Nike • $119.99
Women's Saucony Ride 7 • Saucony • $109.95

#TBT to my wedding week. Or is it #TBF? (Throwback Friday?)
I couldn't not include at least one picture from my wedding as I happen to think it was the most beautiful wedding of all time ever. ha! I'm biased, okay??

Here's a little wedding peek-a-boo...
Ok so I kinda loved my dress and shoes.  Shoes were CHANEL. OMG. drool. Dress was Monique Lhuillier. love. swoon. sigh. sigh again.
I did not have a traditional wedding cake.  We had a French gateau.  AKA"Le Fraisier".  It is essentially a French strawberry shortcake.  Confession: I don't like normal cake that much.  So we had a cake in the center with a whole bunch of mini French gateaus and sweets on a bar.
Le Fraisier French Wedding Cake // Peonies & Orange Blossoms
 Oh the flowers. They were so pretty. Peonies, garden roses, lily of the valley, sweet pea, and fuchsias.  Why did they have to wilt and die??
Wedding Bouquet Table Flowers: peonies, garden roses, sweet pear, lily of the valley, fuchsias.

GAME OF THRONES
*SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT*
Do you watch game of thrones??  I don't know why but I looooove this show.  Even though it's so gruesome.  The plot is just so good.  When I watch it, time goes by so fast. I feel like I've just sat down and then BAM. 1 hour was gone and it's over.  And that's the sign of a good show.  It makes you feel like you've left reality for a while.  Can we talk about Jorah though?  Jorah was my hero. For real.  Of course, after Ned Stark.  But Ned Died.  And now Jorah is gonna die. He's got the stone man disease. Nooooo!  I guess I have to find another hero (for now).  I'm rooting for Stannis Baratheon.  He's one of the few who's smart and seems to have a plan.





WEEKEND TRIP
This weekend my husband and I are headed to the Ojai Valley Resort for some R&R and to celebrate our anniversary.  I'm so excited.  Confession. I wanted to go here because I saw it on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  My husband was like, um, how'd you find out about this hotel? It's like, in the middle of nowhere? And I'm like, uh, I heard about it, somewhere. And then I fessed up.  I saw it on the trashy tv show you don't like! GAAH.



Last thing, a FUNNY STORY
So I was talking to one of my patients this week, a 10 year old girl.  She had just started her menarche the week before for the first time ever.  So I asked her how she liked it.  She looked at me and said "WOOF".  Her Mom and I LOL'd forever.  I'm still giggling.  Yep, pretty much sums that up.

OMG, I had so much fun writing this!   Should I do this again? Seriously though, I've gotta get to work now.

In the meantime, don't forget to follow me: bloglovin, twitterpinterest, and google plus.

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
Linking up with these fabulous link parties: Inspire Me Tuesday, Foodie Friday & Everything Else, metamorphosis Monday
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
Friday Favorites at Meet @ the Barre
Oh Hey, Friday! at September FARM



Thursday, May 14, 2015

The new shoe trend that's coming

I did a ton of window shopping in Paris.  As we all know, the Parisians are a little bit ahead of us in the fashion department.  Trends start there and eventually trickle down to the masses.  Let me tell you what's coming next in the shoe world... gold shoes.  Specifically gold flats and sneakers.

I put together a board of shoes that seemed very similar to the ones I saw in Paris just recently.  In fact, several of them I did see!   Which one is your favorite?  Click on each shoe for more details...


Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com.  post contains affiliate links.


Linking up with these fabulous link parties: Thursday Favorite Things ,Home Sweet Home, Pretty Pintastic Party

Monday, May 11, 2015

Beginner's Guide to Lusterware China: Lusting for Lustreware

In my local antique mall I have noticed a lot of pink lustreware come up for sale.  Now, I haven't bought any (yet), but it inspired me to go look up information about lustreware.
Wedgwood lustreware display, source
Cup and Saucer from President Teddy Roosevelt's estate source
Lustreware (or Lusterware) is a pottery with a metallic glaze that gives the special effect of iridescence.  The final glaze lustre is usually composed of different metallic ingredients.  Lustre pottery is nothing new... it's been around since the 13th century.
pink tea pot, source
large antique set, c 1820 source

It started to become commercially available around 1790.  This was when the pottery companies in Staffordshire, England (so Spode and Wedgwood) figured out how to apply gold into the glaze that then turned pink.  The gold iridescent pink pottery grew very popular. 
pink lustre tea caddy, c 1810 source

There are four principle colors of lustreware: silver/platinum, copper/brown, gold, and pink/purple.
beautiful pitcher, c 1814 source
The most desirable pieces are from the peered of 1790-1800 with the soft rose-pink glaze.
antique jardiniere, c 1820 source
I think the reason I've been seeing a lot for sale is because is was popular into the 1940's... and well, frankly, the estate sales these days feature items from the 1940s-1960s.  
antique teacup, ebay 
Not everything was plates and teapots.  Here is a hen-on-a-nest!! It has both pink/purple and copper color waves of lustre!
antique lustreware Staffordshire hen-on-nest, source
Now what to do with your collection?  You could put your lustreware plates on the wall..
pretty lustreware plates, source
Martha Stewart did... back in 1995! It's been fashionable though, since the 1790s, so she can't get all the credit.
source
How pretty is this pink table set with antique lustreware??
a table set with lustreware from Martha Stewart
I love the pink plates on the wall, but this wedding cake is also lustreware inspired.
Lustreware inspired pink wedding cake, source

Sources:
1. Lustre Ware
2. Collecting Pink Lustreware 
3. Picture sources are as listed

In the meantime, don't forget to follow me: bloglovin, twitterpinterest, and google plus.

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Weekend Whimsy #8

Good Morning!  Here are my reads for this week.



//1// A new kitchen appliance trend... French door ovens

//2// 12 Perfect plates for a setting a stunning table

//3// Making almond croissants the easy way.  It actually does seem pretty easy.

//4// How to throw an elegant tea party, perhaps for this upcoming Mother's Day?

//5// The ultimate chocolate truffle guide

//6// A recap of the fashion at this year's Met Gala, in case you missed it.




Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buying a Louis Vuitton on Paris... yes, it's cheaper!

As you all know, I had been excited for months knowing that I was going to buy a Louis Vuitton in Paris!  I know to a lot of people this isn't any big deal... who would get so excited about buying a purse anyway?  But to me, my day of shopping in Paris will be full of memories.

And yes, it's true, buying a LV in Paris is cheaper than buying one in the US (so long as the dollar is strong).
Guide to Buying a Louis Vuitton in Paris... yes, it is cheaper!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lavender French Country Table Setting

I've been inspired by my recent trip to France to make this simple French country table setting!
Lavender French Country table with burlap, dried lavender, purple goblets - Peonies and Orange Blossoms
French country tablescape

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Weekend Whimsy #7

What a busy week!  I have been working like a dog after vacation... still haven't completely unpacked and I'm *still* jet-lagged. But still, the trip was so totally worth it.

I'm so proud of myself for getting out this week's weekend whimsy.  Here are my favorite links for the week...

1// This Mexican chopped salad with fresh corn, jicama, avocado, and beans would be perfect for a Cinco de Mayo party...

2// Hermes came out with a new line of fabrics so you can feel très chic at home.

3// Spring allergy beauty tips for allergy sufferers like myself.

4// A look at the Obama state china service unveiled for the first time.

5// How many times you can wear certain clothing pieces until you need to wash it.

6// Amazing pictures of book stores across the world, I especially like the Shakespeare & co in Paris!

Stay tuned for next week, I have new posts coming up!!
Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, everyone is going to be thinking Mexican food.  Here's my Cinco de Mayo recipe round-up!

My favorite dish here is this Mexican Street Corn. It's really easy to make! 
These Black Bean Sweet Potato bites  are very tasty and a healthier alternative to tortilla chips..

You could make these Black Bean, Potato, and Cheese Pupusas for a main course or appetizers 

This Mexican corn with serrano crema is delicious! Recipe: Mexican Style Corn with Serrano Crema 

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com