Valentine’s Day: The Twelve Best Ways to Say I Love You

1) Everything’s coming up roses

2) Birds of a feather flock together

3) Each day I love you more

4) You light up my life

5) You are my love, you are my life, you are my everything

6) You warm my heart with joy

7) You have a heart of gold

8) You rock, Valentine

9) You make my heart glow

10) Ti amo

11) I’ve Got A Crush on You

12) Will you marry me?

To see more Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas, click here.  To follow our Pinterest Valentine’s Day board, cick here.

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey February 8

Did you know 2016 is the Chinese Year of the Monkey?

Mischievous. Curious. Clever. The monkey of Chinese myths is a favorite companion to children of all ages. He’s an underdog who thumps his nose (and tail) at the authorities and somehow always comes out ahead in the end.

Chinese Monkey King

Chinese Monkey King

Here ares a few of our favorites to help you start your Year of the Monkey right.

Monkey Dish

MICHAEL ARAM

Monkey Dish

$88

Dancing White Monkeys

$825
London Chic Red Plaid Flatware

Just $15: Pretty in Plaid Flatware from David Stark and Martha Stewart

Cold weather might bring back plaid and tartans, but they don’t have to make your home look like those oversized lumberjack shirts in the back of the closet.  In fact, plaids are a great way to mix things up and introduce different colors.  Says renowned NY event producer David Stark in his recent Pretty in Plaid feature for Martha Stewart:

If you’re the type of person that wants things to look cohesive, but not too matchy-matchy, try mixing different colors of the same plaid. For color mixing, pick a particular color that each plaid will have in common. For example, if each pattern contains a vibrant cherry red, it will keep your look together. These flatware sets all have the same base color — a neutral white — so they can be mixed and matched on your dinner table.

And here are the plaids he chose, in London Chic chocolate red, London Chic cucumber green, and London Chic denim blue:

londonchic_2

Q Squared London Chic Flatware

And the best part?  The stainless steel flatware has ABS plastic handles which are dishwasher safe and treated with Xtra Wash, a unique technology that keeps colors looking like new after hundreds of washes.  These are an absolute steal at only $15 per 5-pc setting!

We still remember watching the Martha Stewart TV shows years ago, so it’s a real treat to be featured in her blog now.  Thanks for thinking of us, David and Martha!

By the Water: Coastal Living’s Newly Minted Holiday Table

Does the holiday season have to be snow, snow, snow?

Not for us — we live in LA.  But no matter where you live, Coastal Living‘s holiday issue should bring a dose of beach, sun, and lime:

coastal-living-201512-cover

And their holiday table is also a seaside escape:

Coastal Living Seaside Table

Coastal Living Newly Minted Table

Featuring Herend’s CV12 Mint service plate, Vietri’s Incanto salad plate, Michael Wainwright’s Truro Gold wine glass, and Vietri’s red stripe napkin, this is a gorgeous, laid-back version of the traditional red and green.

Click here to see how you can create a seaside holiday table, or see our inspiration gallery for other table settings ideas.

A warm thank you to Coastal Living, and happy entertaining!

 

A True Thanksgiving: How Our Client Recreated Babette’s Feast

In the remote, dreary Jutland coasts of 19th-century Denmark, a pair of spinster sisters took in a Parisian woman named Babette as their housekeeper, even though they could not afford to pay her.  For the next fourteen years, Babette cooked the bland meals demanded by the sisters’ late father, whose strict religious beliefs they still followed.

Then, one day, Babette won the lottery.  But instead of going back to Paris, she spent it all making the most lavish feast the sisters and their fellow believers had ever seen.  Course after course of the most exotic delicacies were served on the most beautiful china.  As the feast progressed, its sensual pleasures overwhelmed even the most hardened souls, as the diners reconnected with each other, forgave old sins, and re-kindled long lost loves.

Finally Babette reveals that she was once the head chef of the famed Cafe Anglais in Paris.  The sisters were horrified!  Babette had spent her last cent on them and could not go back to her glamorous life again.  They sob that she would be poor for the rest of her life.  But Babette tells them, “an artist is never poor.”

This novel by Karen Blixen, of Out of Africa fame, was made into a movie in 1987 and became an instant classic.  It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, a Cannes Film Festival award, and a Belgian Grand Prix.  Even Pope Francis mentioned it as his favorite film in a New York Times interview.

Recently, one of our clients from Brazil recreated this very film after some serious research and shared her photos with us.  Her table is spectacular:

Babette's Feast Table

Babette’s Feast Table

The first course, blinis demidoff:

Babette's Feast Blinis Demidoff

Babette’s Feast Blinis Demidoff

Followed by a salad:

Babette's Feast Salad

Babette’s Feast Salad

A potage a la tortue:

Babette's Feast Potage a la Tortue

Babette’s Feast Potage a la Tortue

The main course, cailles en sarcophage:

Babette's Feast Cailles en Sarcophage

Babette’s Feast Cailles en Sarcophage

And of course, dessert!  The savarin au rhum:

Babette's Feast Savarin au Rhum

Babette’s Feast Savarin au Rhum

And to make it a really special occasion, beautifully dressed guests at the party!

Babette's Feast Dress Up Party

Babette’s Feast Dress Up Party

Did you recognize Haviland’s Imperatrice Eugenie dinnerware on the table?  This is the same pattern Babette ordered from France for her feast and is especially appropriate to the story, since the Cafe Anglais was one of the greatest restaurants during the Second Empire, when Empress Eugenie and Emperor Napoleon III were at the height of their power.

For more photos and tips on how to create your own Babette’s Feast, please see our inspiration gallery.

We hope this will help you celebrate your Thanksgiving.  Remember to be grateful for the kindness of others and enjoy the pleasures of good food, good friends, and loved ones.  Don’t forget to share your special celebration with us — just write us or instagram us with #graciousstyle.

And thank you, Renata, for having shared these stunning images with us.