Monday, February 28, 2011

Simply Chic

I can't get over the stunning Fall 2011 Collection from Edelweiss By Sarah. So classic, so feminine, so accessible. I'm in love with practically everything and couldn't possibly choose just one thing to add to my closet. I'm starting to think that I may go bankrupt before the year is even half over! But in all honesty, wouldn't it be worth it?! oxox

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bottoms Up!

Hello darlings! I was flipping through a recent food magazine and came across these unique bottle openers from World Market. Aren't they the most charming things you've ever seen?! Not only do they look vintage and beautiful, they're a steal at under $10 a piece. I'm definitely getting a collection for my kitchen. And to make them feel a little more French, use one to pop open a bottle of Kronenbourg beer. I'm obviously more inclined to suggest a less common, fancier brew, but most of the nicer bottles in the French region have cork tops. Cheers! Chelle

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Party Prep

Hello darlings! I promised you I would post a few photos from the Oscar party I threw last year, and here they are! I wanted things to be simple yet elegant, so I kept the menu to a couple stunning hors d'oeuvres, some beautiful champagne cocktails and a fun popcorn bar featuring a variety of flavors of the classic movie snack. Everyone is still raving about the lamb stuffed cucumbers (an idea I actually borrowed from a cocktail party I attended at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles), so I'm including the recipe — which I completely made up based on what I tasted at the cocktail party — below. Enjoy!

Curried Lamb with Cucumber, Crème and Orange


4 to 5 good sized English (seedless) cucumbers
1 orange, zested
1 small container of crème fraiche (which is the French version of sour cream. If you can't find it in the specialty cheese case of your grocery store, you can substitute regular sour cream)
1 pound of ground lamb (you could also use ground chicken, turkey or beef)
curry powder
ground cumin
salt and pepper


Slice each cucumber into into one-inch rounds. Using a spoon, gently hollow out each round to make small cups. Meanwhile, brown the ground lamb in a skillet. Season with the salt and pepper, curry powder and cumin (use as much or as little as you'd like. I love these flavors, so I used about one tbsp of curry powder and 2 tbsp of cumin). When the meat is done cooking, spoon a little into each cucumber cup. Top with a dallop of crème fraiche and garnish with orange zest.

Using a photo frame to display your menu is a quick and easy way to elegantly let your guests know what treats are in store for the evening!

Garnishing each champagne flute with a thinly sliced star fruit gives your drinks added pizazz and reminds your guests why they're gathering: to honor the stars, of course!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Moderne Love

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I almost (almost!) posted a rather risque piece about helping you all find the perfect lingerie. Believe you me, I found a ton of sexy things, including some cute little panties that had suggestive French sayings on them (so cute!). But at the last minute, I realized the post might have been just a bit too (gasp!)  scandalous, so I'm giving you a different kind of V-Day treat: some information about the magic of French relationships! We all know the couples of France just have this air of casual allure, and guess what? It's becoming even more casual! According to the New York Times, these days, the French are opting for civil unions (called PACS, or pacte civil de solidarite, in France) in place of marriages, as becoming husband and wife entails such a heavy, religious contract. And with PACS offering couples all the basic legal necessities (shared insurance policies, shared taxes, shared debts, etc.), it's an attractive option many French couples have decided upon (for every three couples who choose marriage, two choose civil unions!). What's more, the civil unions are also available for everybody, whether gay, straight (or in between, haha). Just something to ponder on over the weekend, loves. Hope you have a super romantic next couple of days, and Happy Valentine's Day!

oxox, Chelle

Thank you to for extra information for this post.
Photo credit:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Take A Seat

With the Oscars right around the corner, you're probably going to need a few extra chairs for all those guests who'll be dropping by for your big shindig. Buying extra furniture can be expensive, and cheesy folding chairs look tacky. But this do-it-yourself seat looks sleek, modern, and can be put together with just a few simple, inexpensive purchases from the hardware store! Thank you for the wonderful idea, which was taken from the book Home From The Hardware Store by Kathleen Hackett and Stephen Antonson! Instructions follow...



The only time-consuming step in making this chair is cutting the shelf supports. Unlike the table, which is all right angles, this chair is designed to conform to the way we sit, which is always leaning back slightly. To achieve this, the chair base is smaller than the seat. If you want to make a perfectly square chair, make the sled legs 18 inches long.


2 plated steel slotted angle shelf supports, 3' x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" each
9 plated steel slotted angle shelf supports, 18" x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" each
2 plated steel slotted angle shelf supports, 15" x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" each
18 zinc bolts and nuts, 1/2-20 x 1/2" each
18 flat washers, 1/2" each
18 lock washers, 1/2" each
18"-square piece of 3/4" plywood


Phillips-head screwdriver
7/16" wrench

1. Arrange the 3' lengths on a work surface, flat edge down, so that they are parallel. Position an 18" piece on either end so that the edges are flush, and place another 18" piece 15 1/2" from one short edge. Fasten them together by sliding a flat washer onto the bolt and inserting it into a corner hole from the underside of the frame. Slide a lock washer onto the bolt, followed by the nut, and tighten with the wrench. This is the back of the chair.

2. Position an 18" shelf support on each end of the ledge of the support in the middle of the chair back. Fasten them to the frame along the inside edge and middle support, using the washers, nuts, and bolts as you did in Step 1. Fasten a third 18" shelf support across the front of the seat in the same manner.

3. Attach the 15" shelf supports to the outside of the bottom of the frame. Fasten an 18" piece across the front of the base.

4. With the chair front facing you, tilt the frame by pulling the seat toward you and pushing the chair back away from you. Attach the front legs as in step 3, mounting the remaining two 18" shelf supports to the outside of the seat and base frame. Once it's completely assembled, work around the chair to tighten each bolt.

5. Set the plywood into the seat frame so that it rests on the bolts; it will be slightly higher than the edges of the frame (see 5a), so that your legs are not touching the frame when you're seated. If the plywood resists, use a hammer to tap it into place.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taste Of Spring

I have a friend headed over for dinner tonight, and since we've both had it up to here with all this cold winter weather, I decided to make something light and springy. I caught this shrimp with orzo pasta recipe on TV a few months back and gave it a little whirl. All the fresh herbs and lemony pop give it a bright flavor that's perfectly reminiscent of spring. And since it's supposed to be served chilled or at room temperature, it's the perfect dish for company, as I was able to make it hours ahead of time and can now give all my attention to my guest, where it belongs! With a bottle of French pinot gris and maybe a store bought pear tart for dessert, we're all set!

* French Charmed Note: Taste test for seasoning on your own rather than relying on the measurements in the recipe. We used slightly less salt and pepper, and it was perfect!