The Art of Living



 The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.  Havelock Ellis

Magical Things

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.  Eden Phillpotts.

I adore simple pleasures, like the idea of my red sofa, outside where I can sit and watch the birds sing.

Secret wishes, and magical things.

My Secret Wishes

My deep love for the mystical leaves me longing for dark rainy days at an outdoor pier, walking alone in the cold rain ,taking beautiful pictures .  Or living in an old light house by the sea and watching the sun set every night 


while waiting for my true love to come home from the sea , knowing soon he will come back to me. Secret wishes photography.


                                                           I took these photos  at Lake Michigan , Chicago, Sept 2009.

Paris Cafe Event

How to recreate my Paris Cafe day. I start with black and white French letter extra-large cappuccino cups, a french coffee press , fresh coffee,  black and white linens,antique silverware and  fresh soft yellow  flowers.  Paris Cafe events are perfect for luncheon with  the girls…

girl’s birthday party’s,and french tea’s.  Baskets add a nice rustic french touch.

Details, details, details,  that’s what turns a boring event to extraordinary event.

(umbrella from  )

The final touch hang black and white umbrellas from the ceiling for a little whimsy !

Everything is simple but there is a certain je ne sais quoi  that defies translation. What is the secret of the French style ?  Simply chic….and elegant. Where is my little black sweater, and my hat , all of a sudden I feel so very French Chic.

Hope everyone has a simply chic week !

Paris Cafe



A morning cappuccino with my sweetheart,  a walk along the city streets, my old jeans ,  my grey hat,  and my favorite sweater, ah a  perfect day at the Paris Cafe. If there is a city that seems profoundly feminine, it is Paris, where you can find bargains at the Clignancourt flea market, or spend the day at a park or Chateaus. Romance is everywhere you  look, where you feel special , and beautiful, everyone should spend a day in  Paris.

My Paris event here.

San Juan Capistrano Shops

My favorite place to get great items for my events, and my home, San Juan Capistrano, California. A very romantic old town, and as a California romantic…I love to come here and just linger. It’s a wonderful place to take the  out of town guests and  I  do a little shopping for myself.



And one of  my favorites is A Touch of Elegant, right across from the Mission, and what a beautiful elegant shop it is. Just look at some of this items.




What a fun and clever way they display  items…



Now let’s take a look inside…..


candles, candles, candles, how simply magical


mirrors , crosses and candles, group so beautifuly  together.



The old brick walls are a nice background…




 earthy …




 A must see shop .   Across the street  is a design shop called “Whim” another magical shop filled with unusal things.




 The outdoors was as lovely as the indoors.


 A  birdcage just outside the front door, and a fountain filled with fish.



An outdoor statuary including a  mystery st..

Hope everyone has a wonderful week !

My Travel Photography


My trip to Scotland was magical, I loved staying at this castle. We drove up to this castle at midnight , and knock at the big door,  I felt like I was going back to the sixteen century. The fireplace was bigger then me. I love the fall colors, the cold air, how enchanted I felt, like a queen for the day. I think everyone should spend the night in a castle, and be a king or queen, even if it is only for one day. I use my travel photos for note cards and invites.

Winter Whites.

I love winter whites for New Years day, and for all of January, and through out the year.  It’s perfect and easy entertaining, with  white candles, napkins with snow flakes, and all my old sliver and whites wares.  I’ve bought a lot of white dishes  and serving wares  at tag sales, and flea markets for little money . I have a collection of candle stick holders, all shapes and sizes, when you group them all together it creates a stunning display.  I alway use a french press for my coffee, with a little whip cream and raw sugar, or nuts as toppings, and homemade cookies, are always fun and easy to make. This year we are having a casual ham pot luck gathering. I am making a ham, and everyone is bringing a side dish. Everyone feels part of the cooking, and people love to help, and you’ll get a lot of help cleaning up too. So keep your gathering, simple, elegant, and easy. I love” Holiday Entertaining ” ,by Williams-Sonoma, it’s perfect for all your entertaining,and you’ll find yourself having a lot more partys !

 Happy New Year to you, from my home. Cheryl