La Dolce Vita…

Summer has been very busy, with vacation days, beach days, pool days, birthdays and  lots of party’s and events,  I can hardly catch my breath. When I finally get some alone time I can honestly say I enjoy every minute . This special night  I gave Leonardo a big dinner and warm bath and put him to bed early. And this evening I decided to create a quaint alfresco dinner just for myself….la Dolce Vita (the sweet life) , complete with dishes I never use and lots of candles.

I bought these french blue and  cream  dishes at a flea market in Pasadena.  I love to find old gems like these plates. .. with a touch of yellow…Simply earthy.

I brought outside all my candles from the house.

 I decided to make a simple meal, a chicken spring salad and mint tea .

This salad is simple to make, fresh greens, cucumber, green grapes and grilled chicken. Topped with lemon , celery salt and olive oil.

I even bought a card for myself , and I wrote the menu on my chalkboard…

I enjoyed my alfresco dinner and I read my card over and over as I ate. Spending some quality time with ourselves is a perfect way to spend a summer evening. I had a cup of chai tea and strawberrys for desert .  After all  the work we do for our kids, we deserve to treat ourselves  !

la Dolce Vita … Ciao ! Thanks abeachcottage for Good life Wed.

Welcome Dine with the Spirits…

The early 20th century was really the golden age for Halloween . The  Halloween  balls and galas would start off the winter season, and thus became what we know today as our  Halloween party’s and  celebration. So many people ask me why I love Halloween. Well, my mom’s birthday is Oct 30th and every year when I was young, my mom would make a grand celebration on Halloween, complete with a beautiful decorated table and extravagant foods and deserts. My mom is a wonderful cook. I still to this day call her to ask her for  some of her wonderful recipes.  I think maybe that’s why I became a kitchen designer.   I only wish I had half her talent. I love my dinning room, I painted the walls a rich Merlot,  it is a separate room so this is where I  love to have chic dinners, or set up  buffets.   I like to use a long white table-cloth to add some drama. I have a very ordinary chandelier so I took the shades off and added some white sheer ribbons and some spider webs . If you look close you can see tiny bats sleeping in the webs.


Here I will set up wines, wine glasses trim in silver, the ice bucket,  blood orange  punch,  fruits,  cheeses, crackers, and meatballs in my antique silver tray. 




I use a jewelry mirror tray I found at a thrift store, and added some candles,  jars with creepy ball globe lids, and a big spider globe.



I am going to put green and black olives in the jars. 



I love to serve blood-red pomegranate and pears with crackers and cheese.



and candles , candles , candles, everywhere, that’s what creates a creepy chic event, why should the kids have all the fun.

 And Happy Birthday Mom !

Next post the party… join us Oct 31th at dusk ….   

Simple outdoor set up



I had a few emails asking me how I set  my outdoor dining table , well I make it simple by having my picnic basket (bought at a thrift store for ten dollars) filled with my white plates, silverware, wine glasses, cloth  napkins and I get the salt and pepper, and carry everything  outside, I add a white table-cloth and set  the table . Sometimes I use my picnic basket for dinner rolls.  I always have my white  milk picture filled with white roses from my garden . How simple is that ? I am having a large party on  Monday so I am off to look for some chairs at the local thrift stores.  Thanks for the emails !  


My Spring Table

 I love to change my linens for spring, and then   head to my local farmer’s market for some fresh flowers . I only spent  five dollars for this bunch of flowers, which makes my dining room table more inviting.

I love my flower man. He’s at  old town Temecula on Saturdays  and Canyon Lakes outdoor mall  on Sundays.

Look how fresh and beautiful his flowers are!  Next I take out my old thrift store silver ,white  napkin and  dishes,  and my vintage napkin rings I bought for three dollars each.

But sometimes I think the table looks better without a table clothe or placements.

I use my gravy boat for everything, salad dressings, sauces etc.

And my silver rim wine glasses, I don’t care if I drink apple juice from them, I love to use them for  spring.

I love my vintage napkin rings, they are missing some stones, but that makes them even more beautiful.

My Decorating Style


I love old things, mixed with new things  to create rooms that are unique. I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money to create beautiful rooms, and I don’t. Each week I will post a room in my home, as I think it’s much more interesting that way. Today I am posting my guest room which is downstairs, and I love to sleep here. All my wall are a soft pewter green, and I have dark furnishings, with white accents. I love rich tapestrys and have them everywhere. Their is also an animal print everywhere, as an accent only. My office is a circle room, decorated in brown and pewter green and gray.  I will post my office next. Hope you enjoy.

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 !

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