Month: July 2016

Boutique Hotel Pick – Villa Cora Hotel – Florence, Italy

The five-star luxury hotel Villa Cora in Florence is  a perfect boutique hotel  I see as  the setting for my next novel…or simply a place I can dream about a story. The perfect Byzantine-Florentine decor and setting in one of my most cherished ancient cities – Florence.

Decor: Studio Remodel Options

I spent the entire weekend, at Ikea, Home Depot, several flooring studios, West Elm and the likes, trying to figure out the best remodel for our place.  I would like to switch out the wall-to-wall carpet with hardwood floors, change the wall colors a few shades lighter, and the bathroom, a complete color palette makeover. But I do have to tell you I am now on information overload, or a little overwhelmed with the options presented to us, and having a difficult time deciding which hardwood flooring to go with: In the meantime, I am torn about these options:

Food: Cake And More Cake

In light of my faithful or most loyal friend’s birthday today – he is 12 or 84 as in dog years :(.  I’ll take 12 since I can’t bear the thought of life without him aging, in my opinion too fast. Anyway, as I swallow the boulder now lodged in my throat for the sentimental thoughts going through my head, I want to share with you two cake recipes I see myself baking, and taking to an old traditional tea party  penciled in on my calendar sometime for late fall or a simple human birthday celebration.      

Lifestyle: For The Love Of Art, French Facade Art That Is…

As I said before I always end my European vacation in France. Sometimes somewhere in the French Riviera or up north to my most beloved Paris. While in either location,  I’ve often pointed out to my hubs the facade of buildings covered and under renovation, admiring the efforts the French make in keeping the neighborhood aesthetically pleasing no matter all the work involved in their renovation projects or even not so much behind the facade. This sort of art – facade painting –   I adore and certainly felt the need to share. See the before and after pics here. 

Food: Fresh Fruit Delight

I eat summer fruits in abundance, and although I enjoy every bite of the fresh ones, I sometimes crave the cooked version. To me cooked tastes better than the ripened ones. Just yesterday I bought fresh peaches from Trader Joe, and sliced up two for a snack while I watched a film I planned to review. My face soured at the thought of them being so flavorless. So I told the hubs I planned to cook the rest of them and he gave me the side eye. Wait until he comes home tonight and sees me indulging in this bit of fresh fruit cooked to perfection plus pecans (my favorite), and oh the Crème fraîche, which the recipe recommends, and of course I won’t argue about as an advocate for healthy eating ;). But if you insist, you can replace the creme for plain yogurt of course. I simply won’t be doing that in this case (I have a weakness for Crème fraîche) and know this particular dessert would taste best that way. Here is the recipe, …

Travel: London Eats While On Vacation or Anytime

A good friend of mine moved to the UK a few months ago, and ever since I’ve been trying to recruit her to become a guest writer on this very site of mine that I love so much. She’s thinking – she’s told me, and after 3 months I realize I am not going to hold my breath. Now although she lives a few hours outside of London, she frequents one of my favorite metropolitan cities quite often – on weekends – and with my recommendations has been testing out the following eateries (which I cannot wait to try when I visit her). In the meantime I am taking her word for the fact that what I think would be worth a try, she is liking every bite of it (nudge nudge). So, just in case you happen to be visiting this fair city, in a country on the brink of making some of the most drastic changes since the EU was  originally formed decades or a century ago depending on how you look at …