Monday, June 3, 2013

June 2013 Life's Lessons for Women: Audrey Hepburn

There are very few women in the entertainment industry (relatively speaking) who garner the respect and admiration of everyone the world over.  One such woman, however, was Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey was an amazing woman in more ways than one.  We'll be exploring her life and learning from her this month.  To give you a "taste" of her elegance, beauty, and wit, I've created the following Printable just for you:

This is my gift to you so you can start thinking about this extraordinary woman, and seeing what attributes you share with her, because mes amies, I know that you probably share many.  Please respect that this is for personal use only ... however please feel free to share this link with others so that they can participate with us as we learn from women, past and present, throughout the year who created lives of beauty.  Who were able to see what true beauty was and who exemplified it in their deeds and actions.

I have to thank Karen at for sharing the lovely pink background that I used for this graphic.  However, the quote is pure Audrey.  I adore this picture, which was taken at the time that Sabrina (the original movie) was being promoted

So ... look forward to a month of goodies, wisdom, paper craft tutorials, laughter, maybe a few introspections as well ... while we learn from one of the most gracious women who was a style icon as well as an advocate for the beauty and strength of women!

Have a wonderful week mes amies!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ...

This month has been a bit crazy for me, thus ... my blog has suffered some.  However, I have been able to keep up with my Facebook page, so if you haven't signed up for that, please do!  That way, no matter what, you'll have access to all of my freebies, updates, and info.  I have actually posted quite a few Freebie Fridays there, but you can find all of them on my Pinterest page, so I encourage you to follow me on Pinterest so you can look back through all of the Freebies I've given over the past months.

This month we are learning from Katharine Hepburn.  I have had a wonderful time getting to know her.  She was something else, and quite an inspiration regarding the strength of women.  Her mother was a Suffragette and her father a physician (urologist) who tried to promote awareness of sexual disease and health.  With this type of liberal and strong background, it's no wonder that she led such an influential and extraordinary life, filled with fortitude and lack of concern for what "normal" women were supposed to do or not do.  She had no idea that there were boundaries that couldn't be crossed, or barriers that couldn't be broken.  And because she believed in herself, she became the number one top screen legend of all time by the American Film Institute in 1999 ... quite a tribute!!

So, in honor of Katharine, here is tomorrow's Freebie Friday (click for the full size, and then right-click to save to your computer ... personal use only), I hope you enjoy!!

One of Katharine's four Oscars (out of 12 nominations) was for the movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" - and it is easily one of my favorites, hands down.  So, without further ado, and with Memorial Day (for my American friends) in mind, I thought I'd share a recipe with you that is one of my favorites for summer and cookouts.  I'll be sharing several recipes over the next several days.  What do you usually have for your Memorial Day or Outdoor gatherings?  Here's one of our family favorites:  


courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa:

4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 med. onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature. 
*In a pinch, because, let's face it, sometimes we just don't have time, or are lacking some ingredients, I have done the following with the same spectacular results:
  1. Parsley is not imperative, but you will want to add more basil instead.  I will have a stronger flavor, but in my opinion, you can never have too much basil (personal preference)
  2. I have used a vidalia onion or green onions in place of the red.  I do not recommend a white or non-sweet onion.  It will be too strong in relation to the other flavors.
  3. I have used Paul Newman's Balsamic Vinaigrette when I realized I didn't have enough white wine vinegar from the last time I had made the recipe.  It was still heaven!!
  4. I have used flavored feta with great results.  My favorite:  feta with sun dried tomatoes in it.
  5. I have tried not cutting the tomatoes when I was in a hurry ... wasn't nearly as good, I promise it's worth the time, otherwise the flavors of the dressing just don't do their "thing well enough."
  6. It is CRUCIAL that you let the salad sit at room temperature for least 30 minutes, if not 45 to an hour.  When serving this for a Barbeque, I make this salad first, cover, and just let it sit on the counter until we are ready to eat.
Bon Appetit!!

**For more recipes by Ina, please feel free to go to

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lorraine's Cuisine: Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Sauce

I don't believe I've discussed this before ... but I do love to cook. I consider myself an "amateur" foodie. Not an expert ... but definitely a connoisseur of good food. And so ... since we speak about elegance, style, and beauty ... I truly believe we can't leave out some of the simplest pleasures in life:  Food.  Therefore, I decided to share some of my favorite recipes with you. From my kitchen to yours as a new blog feature:  Lorraine's Cuisine.

And bien sur ... let's just start out with a bang, n'est-ce pas? Let's go straight to chocolate ... and not just any chocolate, let's start at the mother load of all chocolate dishes up my sleeve: Chocolate Pate'.

What I love about this recipe is that it is bursting with flavor, elegance, and yet ... it truly is easy.  My fave!!  Something that takes a minimal amount of effort, but tastes like you slaved in the kitchen for ages!!  And, for those of you who are true 100% made from scratch Foodies ... I know some of this may offend ... but I'm being realistic here.  Sometimes we need elegance but don't have the time to do everything from scratch.  That's where this recipe comes in.  A realistic guilty pleasure!

So, let's get started ... I promise ... just reading this recipe will transport you to Chocolate Heaven!

      16 oz. quality bittersweet chocolate (and don't go cheap on this ... a really good one or not all all!  I promise it's worth it!)
      1/4 cup red wine or Zinfandel 

        (for non alcoholic drinkers, a dark red cooking sherry will do ... but you truly want this to balance out the flavors)
      1/4 cup heavy cream

      seedless raspberry jam

      whole red raspberries

      Line the bottom of a small, straight-sided loaf pan (9” X 2½“X 2”) or pate mold with parchment paper (wax paper also works if you don't have parchment). Combine the pate ingredients in the top of a double boiler or heavy-bottomed pan. Cook gently on low heat for one or less minute, being careful not to overheat. Whisk just until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Return to heat briefly in between whisking if necessary. Pour into prepared mold or pan. Refrigerate over night (I've put this in the freezer for 4 hours in a pinch - pull out of freezer 15 minutes before you begin dinner and it should be just right when you're ready for dessert).

      To serve: Unmold the pate and remove paper. Slice with a knife that has been dipped in hot water. Melt the seedless raspberry jam in the microwave until sauce consistency. Put a dollop (turn on your inner chef and create a swirl or zig zag) of the melted jam on a plate and top with a slice of pate. Garnish with whole berries.

      This pate is strictly for hard-core chocolate users!  Just a little bit goes a long way.  Eat slowly, letting the chocolate melt on your tongue.  It is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life!!

Now … what we all have been waiting for … Go to my Paper Crafting 2.0 page (up above) … Tevis has knocked one out of the park with her Coco inspired Paper Crafted necklace.  Here’s a teaser:


Friday, April 12, 2013

Freebie Friday 04/12/2013 and Coco's Electronic Fashion Picks

Well, Mes Amies,

I hope you are having a wonderful week! Are you having fun draping yourself in Coco's pearls of wisdom, checking out her "picks," and soaking in her wisdom? I definitely am!!

I wanted to share a few things today to help you in your quest for elegance AND style. Actually some tips that I think Coco would approve of, if she were with us today. Yes ... I'm talking about electronic fashion tips - whether you are on a strict clothing budget, maybe a little more "curvy" than the average girl, or for those who aren't quite sure yet what your style is. So let's get started!!

TIP #1 POLYVORE: For those of you who don't have a clue what to wear, what looks good on you, etc. One of the best things you can do is to not over-think it. Go with your gut. It's usually right. It's when we start looking at what everyone else is doing that we get into trouble. If we are in tune with our "true" inner self, we're usually on target. Not the inner self riddled with baggage who says "You're too fat," "You're not pretty enough," "You would look ridiculous." It's the true inner self that loves the "true you." The one that says ... "I'm worth this," "I CAN be elegant," and "I WANT to be stylish." So, as a little aid ... try out the App from Polyvore. It's awesome. It will allow you to explore looks, colors, and trends that "speak" to you, before you ever spend a penny. Whether you have Apple or Android products, there is an app for you. Check out your app store ... I promise you will love it!

TIP #2 POSHMARK: Have a beer budget, but Champagne taste? POSHMARK App is amazing. You can trade, buy, or sell clothing and accessories to other "girls" out there in the same position. Maybe you've lost weight and want to sell items that are still in great condition but a little too big, and then turn around and buy new clothes in your new size. You can on POSHMARK. My daughter started using this app and I have been absolutely amazed at how little she has paid for some really, really nice brands. Again ... it's an app that's available in your App store, whether for Apple or Android.

TIP #3 Gwynnie Bee (for Americans only - but for those of you living elsewhere ... this would be an amazing enterprise to start in your country!!): Are you a little curvier and want one of the most amazing opportunities to expand your wardrobe exponentially, but at a regular budget price point? Then go to Gwynnie Bee's. You are, in essence, renting clothing every month. You choose how many clothes you have out at one time, but you get to turn them in as many times as you want every single month (postage included). So, quite literally, for a set fee, you have unlimited wardrobe options. However, these are not tent dresses, mes amies, they are really stylish. You also have access to a style consultant to help you figure out what suits your body style. They are now offering sizes US 10-26. Seeing is believe with this site. You can click HERE to go directly to their site.

Alright mes amies ... it wouldn't be Friday if I didn't share a Freebie Friday, so here it is. What is so amazing to me is that the dress illustration is from 1932!!!! It definitely proves the point of Coco's Pearl! As always, feel free to click on the photo, right-click to save. However, no mass production - personal use only. Feel free to share or pin so that others can come here to get their own copy and help them on their way to Elegance and feeling Beautiful!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!!



Monday, April 8, 2013

Creating our Lives

Well, mes amies ... how did your weekend go? Did you have time to take a look at your wardrobe and see if comfort still equaled elegance? I hope you did. I have to admit that this is something that I have been working on for the past several months. I happily hauled several bags of clothes off to either the battered women's shelter, the homeless shelter, or to women in my Church who needed the clothes more than I did. In return, I "had" to get some new clothes. LOL! I then proceeded to only purchase clothes that either:

1) I could foresee myself wearing 5 years from now (unless a miracle happened and I lost weight ... and then, Quelle Horreur!!! I'd have to go shopping again!!).
2) They were good quality clothing. They would actually last 5 years. With that being said, I refuse to not get a bargain, so this didn't mean that I've been spending all my money on clothes either. More about that later ... I have some great tips for you clothes horses, but that's another day.
3) They were truly "me." They accented my body type to its best advantage and they were colors that looked best on me.
and lastly,
4) They passed the "Do I LOVE it, not "just like it" test.

So ... if you're like me, you probably didn't finish the challenge I gave you over the weekend. That's okay. I still have drawers I haven't gone through. So, let's keep going, shall we? Only, now, let's add the four (4) new challenges I've just given you to the mix.

If you did try my challenge and looked for comfort and elegance (you can even change that out to excellence if you can't perceive yourself as elegant yet, but we're going to work on that, I promise!), then I congratulate you, and I also hope that you'll share your experiences. Please, when you have a moment, share your triumphs, challenges, and stories. We can all learn from and help each other!

In the meantime, I'm giving you another Coco's Pearl. It's a graphic I created for the Graphic's Fairy's Brag Monday party that I always participate in. I used her "freely given" label at the bottom of the graphic to highlight Coco's pearl (you can find her link to the right). I hope that you'll really take her wisdom to heart. Let's go forth and create our lives!!

Bonjour mes amies, and have a wonderful week!!!

P.S. As always, please feel free to click on the picture and then right-click to save to your computer. No mass production, please. However, please feel free to share via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus so that others can get their own copy and join us in our quest.