Bonne année et bonne santé!

When the French declare "Happy New Year," they often drop the "new" and say instead "good year."  As 2012 was not the finest year on record for my family, I am hoping not just for a "new" year but also for a "good" one.  Wherever you are, whoever is by your side, whatever you sip to ring in 2013, I wish you, as my French friends like to say, a "good year and good health."


Flowers (and vino) for Friday

Santa brought me a very lovely Trader Joe's gift card this year. Rather than stocking up on peanut butter or cereal or some other essentials, I splurged on pink gerber daisies and a bottle of Seismic Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (and it's quite "quaffable" as my dad would say). Thanks, Santa, for indulging me in my favorite Friday treats.  


Breakfast Break: Caramel Apple Oatmeal

Even here in Southern California, the land of perpetual sunshine, it's been quite chilly lately.  When I wake up and see frost on the windows, I need something warm and cozy for breakfast.  My favorite Trader Joe's quick-cook steel cut oats are wonderfully nutty and belly-filling on a cold morning, but during the holidays I like to add an extra decadent touch.  


On Gratitude

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The art of saying "thank you" is vanishing.  Carefully-written letters of gratitude have been subbed for impersonal texts and e-mails.  Sure, we are all rushed, but none of us is truly so busy as to miss an opportunity to let gift-givers know we appreciate them and their thoughtfulness.  


Seasons Greetings!

Have yourselves a merry little Christmas, darlings!  
On this Christmas eve, may love surround you, delicious treats be on your table and treasures from Santa beneath your tree.  Hoping the joyous spirit of the holidays remains with you all through 2013.


Flowers for Friday

My friends, here are few festive red tulips to brighten your morning and make your day sparkle. As you spend the day preparing for holiday festivities, don't forget to do something lovely for yourself.  A bunch of flowers will certainly perk up a winter's day!


Cocktail du Jour: Cava

Lately, I am pausing to realize that every day of life, every day with loved ones is to be treasured and celebrated.


Flowers for Friday

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." -Norman Vincent Peale
Today I didn't even have to treat myself to my Friday flowers.  One of my dearest friends (she is my Thelma, I'm her Louise) brought me this festive bunch of red and white blooms with lots of evergreen tucked in the bouquet too.  
What a lovely surprise!


Pretty Monday: Noël

When the city of lights is sparkling even brighter with Christmas twinklies, there is no more magical place on Earth (sorry, Disneyland).  


Dinner Time: Chinese Chicken Salad

Sometimes amid all the heaviness of winter foods, a nice crunchy, summery salad provides the perfect cure to your casserole overload or post-Thanksgiving puffiness.  One of my dear friends recently gave me a version of this recipe and its bright colors and fresh taste were just what I needed on a gray December day. 

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