Why White Dishes Work

1.  Food looks good on white dishes
2. White dishes from around the world can be easily mixed 
3.  Add trendy, heirloom or seasonal pieces with white dishes
4.  White dishes look great on display

Our Renovated Kitchenin our 1950's beach cottage, has 
storage shelves on either side of the French doors leading to the patio.  
The industrial styled baker's racks are from Noir.

The ceramic rooster above, and these plates 
were purchased from the Sazón shop  
while we were on vacation in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Sazón is a cooking school and boutique housed in a lovely 18th century casa.  

The platters are from various places such as Williams-Sonoma.  
This classic French porcelain platter is from Pillivuyt and is chip resistance.  
We have also bought several

Pillivuyt and Apilco dishes from the restaurant supply store A. Simon in Paris.

These "French" (made in China) country bowls are from Wisteria.

This darling turtle bowl was a house warming present from my brother.  
It is from the hand crafted Italian Vietri line.
My sister gave us this beautiful Vietri shell platter.

Here Italian Vietri and Mexican Sazón bowls are along side a French Limoges pitcher.  
Everything is easy to access and put away.

Do you display your serving pieces?

"Please stop blogging and take me for a walk!"

Best Wishes,
Mary Ann
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Participating in White Wednesday at Faded Charm.


Gift Package, s'il vous plaît

"Un paquet de cadeau, s'il vous plaît."  
Say those words in a shop in Paris and your purchase will be nicely wrapped.
I love that, don't you?

When wrapping your own presents, it's more fun when you are organized.
My friend, Claire has lovely gift wrapping supplies in deep drawers next to her office.
Her ribbons and accessories are easily visible.

This organized wall would be great if you have the space, 
Better Homes and Gardens

but for now 
I would settle for some organization from the Container Store.

My sister has a cart like the one above.
Or, this box below would be great for under a bed or in a closet.


"A Gift Wrapped Life" is a beautiful blog for inspirational ideas for your paquet de cadeau.

The Paper Source is a favorite place of mine for luxurious supplies
for all ocassions...

Almost as much fun as selecting fabrics for interiors.

These tags from Paper Source are on my
 Christmas gifts this year.
Here, I've added an ornament and fragrant rosemary from our garden.
Have any clever gift wrapping ideas of your own? 
How do you organize your wrapping supplies? 
Best wishes, Mary Ann


Christmas On The Dock of the Bay

Every December, the Christmas Boat Parade lights up the Newport Beach harbor
for five consecutive nights.  
There are all sizes of vessels from multi-million dollar yachts, to electric boats and kayaks.  

Last night, we had a great view of the parade from Cindy's and Jim's home 
decorated for "Christmas at the Beach."  

FUN in spite of the drizzle...
thanks in part to Cindy's Glühwein (recipe here)...German for "Glow Wine". 

Merry Christmas,
Mary Ann

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Cozy Ski Condo for Christmas

This is  Mammoth Mountain, in the high Sierras in California.  

Here we have a small but comfortable mountain condo filled 
with family photos and all the necessities to cook great meals,
 play games, watch movies and basically "hunker down" when we are in from the slopes.

It's a different feel here than from our lighter beach house.

I pulled out some Christmas decorations in preparation for when 
we come back with our son and daughter in a week.  
The French industrial coffee table is from Wisteria.

This little guy came from a toy store on Boulevard Malesherbes 
across the street from where we lived in Paris.

The Williams Sonoma Home bed is covered in Ralph Lauren linens and custom embroidered pillows.

I bought the antique maps for 5 euros each at the Porte du Vanve flea market in Paris.  

My cousin gave us this rocking chair that he inherited from his law partner.  
It is topped with a WS Home cashmere throw blanket to ward off the chill.

We are having lots of snow today in Mammoth!    
I leave for Newport Beach tomorrow 
but will return soon to have a cozy Christmas and 
great skiing with my family.

Warm wishes to yours,
Mary Ann

PS.  I am so proud of our daughter who graduated from college in May 
and has a great job in NYC.  
Above is a photo (stolen from her Facebook page) of her first urban Christmas tree!

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Need an Elegant Gift Idea? An Orchid is Perfect.

 An orchid plant is great as a gift for the holidays or 
as a birthday, get well, housewarming or hostess present.  

Plain orchid plants can be relatively inexpensive when purchased at Home Depot or Trader Joe's
(or your local nursery) and placed in a decorative container such as a wooden basket or pot.
Then, add elements such as

Moss and a decorative bird...

Tie with ribbon, raffia or twine to twig, bamboo or chop stick stakes

pebbles also make a good looking base

Attach moss where the stakes are tied for a more organic look.

A pretty white ceramic shell with green moss is perfect in a bathroom.

Notice the turquoise Chinese wooden pot with moss 

and white coral at the base.

Here an orchid is potted a in mercury glass vase in a powder room.  

In a bedroom, an orchid in Chinese pottery complements this colorful vignette.  

Think about your options for containers with what you already own
(or find them inexpensively at Home Goods, Target, flea markets or garage sales).
We buy some of the decorations at a wholesale floral store but
you can find moss at Pottery Barn and decorations at craft stores like Michaels.

Take care of your indoor orchid plant:  They like very bright filtered light.
Allow the soil mix to get almost completely dry between watering, then water throughly.
Feed with liquid  fertilizer every other watering.

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Best to you,
Mary Ann