Category Archives: French Things

Vintage Inspired Bridal Shower

Hi all!  As many of you know, I’ve been away from blogging these past months while I  planned my bridal shower and wedding.  I am happy to say that it all came together so well and I can’t wait to share photographs!

Today, I am starting with my vintage inspired Bridal Shower from October.  It was a fun day and yes, I did most of the planning and decor myself.  It’s in my blood, so no ‘surprise’ Bridal Shower for me!

My theme was Vintage French Cafe Chic, complete with Edith Piaf as my soundtrack.  I had a great amount of help from my best friend Lisa (who even baked the cake) and my Mother who helped select William Hallet Bar & Bistro as the location. The venue itself was an inspiration with damask fabric wallpaper in the perfect shade of golden yellow.

You’ll find links to many products that helped bring the event to life and the other half of the items were Estate Sale finds!  Side note:  I was partially off “photographer” duty that day, so most of the photos below are by my lovely friend at Nicole Renee Photography!

Photo 2: The perfect shade of grey striped straws are from beve! paper straws.  The “guess how many jelly beans” game had some leftovers for guests to snack on -  Jelly Belly’s three flavors:  Birthday Cake Remix, Coconut and A&W Creme soda.  My favors from Beaucoup were housed in the perfect mini muslin bags by Jennifer’s Cookies.

Photo 4:  The tulle puffs by Shanz Party Decorations looked so cute paired with a trio of vintage signs I found at The Screen Porch.  The flower arrangements I created myself with assorted vintage mason jars filled with off-white and blush spray roses, baby’s breath and craspedia.  Every table had a different vintage doily under the centerpiece.

Photo 5:  My Aunt treated me to gourmet sugar cubes by Chambre De Sucre.  The kids were eating them like candy because they were so pretty!

Photo 6:  One of my favorite elements were the handmade paper heart garlands from vintage french books by La Mia Casa.  They are now re-purposed and hanging over my bed.

Photo 7:  Another fun shower game was ‘guess my age’!  The photos were stored in mason jars and labeled with tags I created with my Cavallini & Co. Rubber Stamp set.

Photo 8:   More info. on the advice cards (not fully pictured) by Yellow Brick Graphics to follow.

It was a great day.  I can’t thank my friends and family enough for their love and support!

Posted in Event, French Things, Photography, Vintage, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Little Guide To Paris

I was reading Pocketful of Dreams recently and the author Michelle requested some recommendations for her upcoming trip to Paris .  It got me thinking of my own trip a few years back and inspired me to share some of my favorites!  It was a wonderful experience and I recommend doing it once if you can.  If you don’t think you’ll find yourself there soon, grab a warm cup of tea or a glass of red wine and enjoy the photos below!  Bonne Journé!

1.  Take to the Water.  Do this early in the trip to get a better idea of how the city is laid out.  The views of the Eiffel tower are amazing but I was particularly fond of seeing the many bridges around the city. 

2.  Indulge!  There are endless bakeries and pastry shops in Paris, go in all of them and snag a little treat!  Keep your intake moderate and take solace in the fact that you will be burning calories walking the beautiful streets of Paris.  I do highly recommend spending an afternoon at Angelina’s for a hot chocolate.  It’s worth taking time to sit in their formal dining area to thoroughly enjoy.

3.  Act like a local. While there, we discovered on Wednesday evenings Parisians gather at the Pont des Arts with wine, cheese and circles of friends.  It was a lovely way to spend time and I just adore the thousands of locks attached to the gates on the bridge.  Next time I go back, I will be married and would love to leave a lock behind for me and George!

4.  Get lost, literally.  I can’t stress enough how some of the best sights I saw were by accident.  This particular photo below is from a small street behind Sacré Cœur but there are hundreds of little gems hidden behind the tourist attractions.  Schedule time not only to see the big sights but to explore the surrounding area as well.

5. Spend a full day at a Flea market.  There are plenty to choose from but I’d highly recommend Marché aux Puces de Paris Saint-ouen.  I spent a full day and couldn’t get enough of the endless treasures.  Even if you’re not a vintage lover like me, I think it’s the best place to pick up an authentic souvenir from your trip.  Safe Travels!

Learn a little bit more about me and my love for all things French HERE.

Posted in French Things, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Vintage Tins

I’ve been admiring vintage tins lately on Etsy and couldn’t wait to share my favorite finds.  The lemony sweet selection above makes my heart skip a beat, specifically the French “Allumettes” which means matches.  It can be found HERE at LeBox Shop.   For some floral fun, this 1950′s candy tin from Jacklom3 can be found HERE.  I think it’s the perfect place to keep my secret button collection.  Finally, this cheerful trio also from LeBox Shop can be found HERE.  They can hide away small kitchen trinkets like toothpicks, rubberbands and items that get lost in the drawers!

Below is a pastel collection of tins suited more for a vintage chic ladies room!  I just love the tall French En Vogue talcum power tin from 1924.  It can be found HERE at MeshuMash.   Next, the lavendar “bath powder” tin from Alice’s Pocket is so very Marie Anntoinette.  Find it HERE.  Last but not least, this little green gem was used for cough drops but it is the perfect size for storing bobby pins and hair clips.  Stop in at Rhubarb & Apples Vintage, especially if you’re a UK reader – HERE.

Posted in Etsy Find, French Things, Gifts, Home Decor, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Blog Artistique: JoliCassoulet

"Loves me, loves me not, loves me, loves me not… Loves me !
I knew it anyways."

If you are looking for a witty french blog infused with fashion and art, look no further than JoliCassoulet.

The lovely Laure and Claire teamed up to share their creations weekly on JoliCassoulet, which quite honestly, makes me smile.  Their aesthetic for fashion is superb and showcased regularly with their collage illustrations.   The witty French quotes are translated into English but the French handwriting makes each piece even more chic.  J’adore JoliCassoulet!

Names: Laure and Claire
Occupation: Sorbonne University Students
Hometown & Current City of Residence:  Paris, France

- Darling, what are you thinking about?
-Peace on earth…

How would you describe your work?     Illustrations of elegant, slightly brainless and extremely frivolous girls.  JoliCassoulet captures their profound and philosophical discussions on manicures, fashion trends and men.  Because whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all shared their thoughts at one point or another!

We try to render their Parisian spirit with a touch of humor, class and eroticism.

These are not meant to be taken too seriously of course, just to enlighten your day.  All we need to do this are pens that we both use in different ways:  Laure writes, Claire draws, and here comes JoliCassoulet!

"Do you think it’s a sign God might be testing me? He’s small, unattractive and completely broke…and yet I’m falling for him."

What is your favorite place in Paris?:   Saint-Germain-des-Près.  Sipping red wine at “La Palette“.

Name your top three current obsessions:

  1. Mixing prints.  New trend this summer that we find very inspiring.
  1. LEBANON:  Love everything about the country: the amazing landscapes and historical sites, the hybrid and chaotic atmosphere in Beirut, the nightlife at Skybar and B018.
  1. Don Draper:  Do we need to explain why … ?  We’re so excited for Season 5!
"Was he looking at my legs or my poodle? We have talked about this Kiki, I love you but you are not allowed to outshine me."

We asked Claire from JoliCassolet- What is your favorite spot in your Little Maison:  My wardrobe.  But recently it has become Patrick’s favorite spot.  We share a common interest for fashion – he is the brains behind each outfit I put together.

Check out how cozy Patrick looks below and don’t forget to stop by the blog HERE and LIKE JoliCassoulet HERE on facebook.

All Artwork © 2012 JoliCassoulet

Posted in Art, Fashion, French Things | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekend Street Art

Long Island City (Queens), New York

Art can be found everywhere.  I am particularly drawn to art that pops up in unexpected places.  This beauty above made an appearance in my neighborhood over a month ago.  On further inspection, it is paper applied with an adhesive to the brick wall.  It’s simply brilliant and makes me smile daily as I travel to and from the subway.

Paris was filled with street art and murals.  One of my favorites was found on a small street in Montmartre while my friend Annette and I visited Sacre Coeur.  I’d love to know if it is still there.

If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE me on facebook and FOLLOW me on twitter.  Much more to come!

Found in Montmartre - Paris, France

For more artistic inspiration check out my past post HERE about Artist, Jessica Durrant.  She’s fabulous!

Posted in Art, French Things, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Modern Vintage Interiors

French, vintage, modern interiors – YES, please! 

On my weekly walk through Barnes and Noble I picked up this new book by Sebastien Siraudeau;  French Flair:  Modern Vintage Interiors.  At a staggering 736 pages, this beauty is more like an encyclopedia and needs to be enjoyed over the course of an afternoon with a warm cup of tea.

Enjoy a few snippets from the book below and stop in at Amazon HERE for your very own copy.  It’s tres chic!

Want more French Inspiration? 

Check out my Q&A with Karen Wheeler, author of Tout Soul HERE

Posted in Book Recommendation, Book Review, French Things, Gifts, Home Decor, Home Design, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Inspiring Author: Karen Wheeler

Last August I discovered the charming memoir, Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler and finished it in under two days.  I was instantly smitten with Karen and her adventures in rural France.  I counted the days for her second book to arrive by mail and finished Toute Allure in record time.  I am excited to dive into her third book, Tout Soul (it’s on it’s way) and was honored that she agreed to do a Q&A with me!  I highly recommend her work and couldn’t be happier to share the interview below.

More about the Author:   Karen Wheeler, a former fashion editor, is the author of three memoirs of her life in France. She also provides regular updates on her blog Tout Sweet and on Twitter.

Hometown:  Liverpool in the north of England.

Current City of Residence:  A village close to Poitiers in south-western France.

Tell us about the new book, Tout Soul.

Tout Soul: the Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France (now available for Kindle download from Amazon.com) is the third in my series of French memoirs, which tell the story of a former newspaper fashion editor who decamps to France to renovate a house alone.

Whereas my previous books – Tout Sweet: Hanging up my High Heels for a New Life in Rural France and Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France, have been described as ‘literary Prozac’ and ‘better than anti-depressants’ Tout Soul is a somewhat sadder story concerning my former boyfriend I don’t want to give too much away, but one reader just emailed to say she was in bed sobbing as she read it, and her husband was handing her the tissues. Despite this, it is still written with a lot of humor and I have tried hard to make sure the ultimate message is uplifting.

Since your first book, Tout Sweet, what has been your main source of inspiration to continue recording your life journey in rural France?

The French countryside – I’m very inspired by the colors and scents of the nature – and also by the people around me. There are some wonderful characters – not just French people but badly behaving expat Brits – tucked away in the French countryside.

Karen's furry friend Biff who makes his entrance in Toute Allure

What advice would you give someone looking to bravely make the switch in careers the way you did?

Follow you heart not your head. If your heart is telling you to do it, then you should.

Jenn at Reel Chow wants to know your favorite meal to eat out or make at home in France?

I love steak and chips with French mustard, which despite all the talk of frogs’ legs and exotic animal innards, is pretty much the French national dish.  I’m also very partial to snails cooked in parsley and garlic.

Christine at NYCPretty would love to know how living in France has changed your sense of style or influenced your fashion, beauty and wellness?

Well, I’ve had to ditch my high heels as they don’t work on friends’ gravel drives.  I would say that the clothes I wear are much more relaxed and casual – and most of the time geared towards dog walking.  I still wear a lot of Marni print dresses though.

Finally, Karen shared a photo of her favorite spot in her Little Maison:  her bedroom.   In one word she would use to describe it:    ‘girly’.  I agree.  Thanks for sharing Karen!

Don’t forget to stop by Karen’s blog HERE, follow her on twitter HERE and pick up her books HERE.

Need more French Inspiration?   Head over to Reel Chow and NYCPretty for their “French Favorites” today in celebration of Karen’s new book!  xoxo – Mandy @ LittleMaison

Posted in Book Recommendation, Book Review, Fashion, French Things, Gardening, Home Decor, Home Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Window to Paris

© Little Maison

I loved Paris and I could have walked around the city for months.  My friend Annette and I must have taken 2,000 pictures between us.  Every so often I notice new things about the collection I snapped while I was there.  Today I was particularity liking the window shots.  I hope you enjoy them too.  Vive la France!

© Little Maison
© Little Maison
© Little Maison - Mini Eiffel Tower in the rainy distance
Posted in French Things, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

French Foundation

Marché aux Puces de Paris Saint-ouen © Little Maison

I suppose my love for all things French started in the hallways of my Brooklyn elementary school.  I was 6 years old, a kindergartener with dark long braids who wore dresses and tights daily.  I remember weekly visits from Madame ‘something-or-other’ who entertained us for what seemed like an entire day with french words, songs and games.  I learned all of the body parts in french thanks to a song I recall sounding like Frère Jacques.  I am pretty sure she sang the tune but substituted the song with words to teach us body parts.  I remember ‘a la tete’ most of all and can still see her tapping her head as if it was yesterday. 

This post is my ode to all things french that I fell in love with as a little girl.  My sincerest gratitude to a very progressive elementary school for giving me such a chic start.  Merci!

Marché aux Puces de Paris Saint-ouen © Little Maison
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