Friday, November 7, 2014

Murrieta Holiday Boutique Extravaganza!

Don't miss out on the Holiday Boutique Event of the season!  I have gathered up twenty of the best vendors in the Temecula Valley for your shopping pleasure.

Guys, forget the mall! Let one of our hostess' walk you through and help you make the perfect choices for every special lady on your list!

Forget the hustle and bustle of the mall and the same ol gift.  Here you will find unique and hand crafted quality items to fill your stockings and gift to those that mean the most to you.

Beautiful Botanicals Bath and Body is made with quality ingredients, organic butters such as Shea,  Mango and Cocoa to naturally fragranced body mist.

Deck out your little darlings in stunning tutus, beautiful bows and chunky beaded jewelry made for a princess, by Shiny Little Fireflies  Or select to have a Memory Bear or Quilt made from the special clothing you have tucked away in boxes by The Paper Pincushion. A true treasure to remember.

The Paper Pincushion

Treat yourself, your mom, sister or BFF to a day at Glow Advanced Skin Care. Be one of the first 50 guest and will receive a coupon from Glow for 50% off your first signature facial or body treatment!

Strut Boutique will be here to help you choose a perfect outfit for your holiday gatherings this season or something for that special someone on your list.

Need Jewelry? No Problem!  Melissa's Shockingly 5.00 Nickel and Lead Free Jewelry will be here to help you accessorize your outfit, At 5.00 per piece you can get something for everyone!  And don't forget to let Crystel with Origami Owl help you design the perfect locket for your mother or wife, or chose a new charm to add to her collection.

Stop by La Couronne Catering and pick up a delightful Croissant and a cup of coffee or mimosa to start your morning of shopping or a gourmet lunch and a glass of wine.


Plan ahead for your holiday baked goods!  Let Becky's Bakeshop bring you gorgeous sugar cookies to share with your child's classmates or for your holiday table. Or choose Cupcakes & Cakes by Frosting Fanatic. Order early for your holiday needs or grab some to go!

Frosting Fanatic
Becky's Bakeshop

See our Facebook Page for more vendors!

Free Swag bags sponsored by Bay Alarm Home Security packed with special offers and samples to the first 50 guest.  Free entry.  Hourly Give a Ways and a grand prize raffle at 3:00pm

Our vendors are prepared to take debit and credit cards. Doors Open at 10:00 am. Don't be late!

Forget the Mall!  Shop Small~

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Christmas Tree Decorating: The Foundation

Christmas Tree Decorating: The Foundation

Click Here For the Workshop Event Page
Second Date Added, Saturday November 8th.  Time TBD

 Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro (Murrieta)

The Art of Decorating a Christmas Tree

Join me Saturday November 8th at Noon or Wednesday, November 12th and I will walk you through how to decorate your Christmas tree like a pro. I will show you how to assess what you already own and how decorate a Christmas tree that will be the envy of your family and friends. Learn the simple tricks to ramp up your holiday decorating with little to no expense. For more information or to reserve your space contact me at

12:00-2:00 pm $20.00 Nov 8th or Nov 12th

Space is Limited, Fee Due by Nov 3rd for the first class or 8th for the second class Pay Pal Billing OK.

Assessing your ornaments/decorations
Deciding on your colors and theme
Formulating a Plan
Finding your Inspiration

A) Hobbies
B) Colors
C) Music
D) Movies
E) Collections
F) I Love _______

How to change your theme and/or colors each year
Choosing / Using large ornaments
Tree Tops
Ribbon, bows and mesh

Decorating more than one tree in the home

A) Anchor color
B) Common themes

Placement and Layers

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sharing on Facebook: The Daily Dilemma

I have heard a statement regarding Facebook more than a few times. "Facebook isn't real." Well, I can only speak for myself and those that I share my page with.  It is real.  What ever I chose to share with my Facebook family is likely a real event, place, thought, deed, photo or current world event or feeling.   My family is real, so are my kids, my job and my friends.
I try to maintain some kind of order on my page and I am very selective about who is invited to be on it.  On my personal Facebook you will not find my boss, managers or other colleagues.  My own kids are only allowed on it because they are adults, otherwise I do not allow children on my page. So how do you handle request from a child?  First you have to decide if your page is child friendly and consulting with the parents if they are not your own would be wise. Allowing a kid on your page now forces you to be extremely cautious about what you post which maybe difficult if you typically post with abandon.
So what about your boss or a manager?  What do you do if you get a request from them?  While some request could be ignored, this maybe one that you want  address personally.  You could say; "I received your Facebook Friend Request, and I hope you understand, but I declined.  My Facebook is strictly for family and close friends and I chose not to use it for business."
It is your job to keep your Facebook privacy settings dialed in and to understand how they work and how fan pages likes and groups work.  Before you like a page or become part of a group, you must first ask yourself, if this is something that you want to explain to a child, friend, parent or colleague.  Don't think that just because someone is not your friend that they won't see it.  Facebook privacy settings are becoming more and more complicated by the day.  What you may think is private isn't anymore, such as what you post in a public fan page or group.
Respect your friends
Here are some basic rules of etiquette to follow.
Ask before checking your friends in anywhere.
Ask before tagging pictures.
Ask if you can post a picture on your page of your friend BEFORE you do it.
Do not Friend Request people you do not know.
Don't extend invites for events without the host or hostess permission.
Before you spread more false rumors do a fact check.  Snopes is a good place to verify some of the false FB stories that pop up. Such as the one that Facebook is going to start charging a monthly fee.
Don't post important or bad news such as a death in the family.  Call those that need to know before it hits the Social Media Outlets.
Use caution when posting on a friends wall. If you think it might cause a problem or be misconstrued by others, then don't post it.
Use caution posting links on a friends wall.  Keep in mind this will post in all of your friends news feeds.  What might be all right for one friend, may not be appropriate for all of them.  Some links may be best shared in private messages.

Are Proper Manners Lost in a Modern Society?

I like to think that minding ones manners and proper etiquette would come naturally,  but is doesn't.  Like anything it must be taught and practiced. Emily Post quoted:
"Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them."
When I was four, my mother taught me how to walk with a book on my head, how to properly use my utensils and behave in front of company.  She taught me the importance of the thank you note, and how to be gracious.
Coco Chanel
She gave me the best advice via Coco Chanel; "Remove one accessory before leaving the home." and "A girl should be two things: Classy and Fabulous."  How you outwardly appear to yourself and to others does reflect on how you behave.  Being well dressed in public is a means of showing respect to those that are keeping your company.
In today's world, manners and proper etiquette seems to have fallen by the wayside. They are not current in today's fast paced world of iPhones, Facebook and E-mail.  The idea of putting pen to paper for a proper thank you is unheard of in most circles.
Children by and large are with out manners, they are coddled and excused for every inconceivable behaviour by their parents and live in a world of self entitlement.
Rather recently I encountered a family in a crowded restaurant. A boy and a girl with Mom and Dad. They were maybe seven and nine years old.  They sat quietly having a very civilized conversation with each other.  They said "please" and "Thank you" to each other.  I was so impressed, I made a comment to the mother on how very well-behaved they were.  She smiled at me and said "Thank you, I demand it, even at home." and she thanked me for noticing.
The gentleman
Proper manners and etiquette is hard to come by in adults much less in today's youth, even I falter, we all do.  However, being completely unschooled in civility is unnecessary with every technology and topic available at our fingertips.
When we don't know directions to a destination we Google it. Why can't we Google "How to write a proper thank you note?" or "Which fork is the salad fork?"
Pen & Paper
So what are the most important manners and rules of etiquette in my world?  Here is a list of my top 10
Using your phone in a restaurant.  It is rude to those that you are with.  If you must take a call step away from the table to some place private.  Spending the entire meal on Facebook is simply inexcusable. Turn off your phone and enjoy your company.
Rude treatment to servers. How one treats their waiter or waitress speaks volumes to how they treat people in general.  If you have received bad service from a server then it should reflect in your tip, not in your treatment towards them.
Crying or badly behaved children.  We can never expect that a baby or young child is going to be perfect at every turn.  However, in the event you are in a store, restaurant or other public place and your child becomes unruly or crying because she has missed her nap time, the best rule is to take them out of the environment to someplace private, such as the car, until they calm down.  If they are old enough, this is a teachable moment.  Telling the child that you will have to go home if they don't behave and following through will teach them to mind during the next outing.  On more than one occasion I have had to take my meal 'to go' due to a too tired baby.  There is no need to disturb other diners or to make a public scene.
Using capital letters in an e-mail, text or social media post.  It is the equivalent of yelling.
Not sending your RSVP to an event regardless of how the invitation was received.
You sent an RSVP for an event and said you would be attending then didn't show. Almost completely inexcusable.
You received a gift and didn't send a written thank you note.
Chewing gum or eating while talking to someone on the phone.
Asking for gifts.  No matter what the occasion, it is never proper to ask for a gift (even for a wedding.) Gift registry is nothing less than "requesting" a gift which is rude.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

Here is the recipe I used for my Ladies Luncheon. I tweaked it a little bit from the original version, I let it simmer for an hour on a very low heat to work all the flavor in of the basil. And I used a good quality Organic soup and tomatoes. Delish!

2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans tomato soup, undiluted {I used An Organic From Roots}
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes Drained
2 cups of Half and Half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
Toppings: fresh basil leaves, freshly ground pepper, Parmesan cheese 


Cook first 6 ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately with desired toppings

If you have time. Allow to simmer slow for an hour, add the Half and Half, heat through and serve or chill

Chill overnight and serve cold 

Serve with Green Garden Salad

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Flowers From My Garden: Creating an Easy Flower Arrangement

Step out into your yard and take a look around, you probably have something that is suitable to cut. Here is a simple bowl of flowers made from what was in my garden.  So what's in your garden?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thank You Notes: When to Write Them and Why.

A month ago I celebrated my 50th birthday.  It was quite the affair, and small by no means.  I am blessed to have had 60 plus people sharing the evening with me Mardi Gras style.  The music, Creole food, and of course the famous Pat O'Brians Hurricanes.  Ooohhh La La~

Soon, there was a table over flowing with gifts for the birthday girl. No, I did not add "no gifts" on my invitation. My friends do what they want and adding it is no different than adding "Registered at".

Finally after all the hoopla, getting my house back in order and beating down the flu I was ready to write my Thank You notes.  Writing a personal note to each guest that kindly thought enough to buy me a gift was rather rewarding.  It gave me a moment to contemplate the gift and the thought that my friend put into finding it.  It was a private moment for me to tell them how much I appreciate their friendship as well as the gift.

Oddly enough, the reaction to the notes was amusing.  One friend told me she couldn't remember the last time she had received a hand written note in the mail.  That alone is kinda sad.  What has become of us...?

I try to keep up with Thank You's when appropriate and keep them on hand. It makes me feel good to let my friends know that their thought, gift or deed has not gone unnoticed.

Once upon a time letter writing and cards were nearly a daily affair in my life,  It is an art that has been lost due to technology.  Nothing  says "thank you" like a pen to paper, the scroll of a friends writing...

Do's and Don't  for Thank You Notes;

Do write them out by hand.

Do not write the same thing in each card.

If it was an important affair, Wedding, Shower, or other large event, mail them.

Make your card personal, acknowledged if they traveled to make your event, note the gift and how you will use it.

It is ok to leave a note to the host or hostess when attending a smaller affair, such as a small birthday gathering or Bar B Que for them to find later. I am famous for tucking notes into my girlfriends bags when they are not looking.

Do not use e-mail or other social media to send "Thank You's" for important events.

Spell names correctly.

If you do not like the gift, keep it to yourself.

Do not over thank someone.  Make your thank you appropriate to the gift or deed. Sending a text is fine if your friend bought you a coffee, sending her a 25.00 gift card to Starbucks as a thank you is "over thanking"

Lastly, be genuine.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Plan a Ladies Luncheon

There never has to be a reason to have lunch with the ladies other than to visit.  I make it a point to gather a few girls every 4 to 8 weeks to my home to eat, have a glass of wine and enjoy a meal. While it would be much easier to meet at a local restaurant, it's just not the same.

Creating a menu and an intimate ambiance is something that can not be done in a public place.  But in your home, you can create any atmosphere you dream up.

For my last luncheon I carried over my Mardi Gras theme from my birthday by using bright beads as beautiful napkin rings and repurposed the center pieces... again. With several yards of pink organza for the table, it made for the perfect ladies casual lunch.

I opted out of using the china and instead used my daily dishware for the menu of comfort food. (But I didn't skip out on the proper place setting and glassware.) The menu was as follows.

Tomato Basil Bisque
pork and spinach quiche
Organic greens with a light Italian dressing
Sourdough with olive oil dipping sauce
Fresh grapes and strawberries
Raspberry Thumbprints
Rich chocolate cake.

Regardless if you dine on the patio or in a dining room, the atmosphere is relaxing and what the goal is for me, is to create deeper bonds without the hassle of ordering, bickering over the lunch tab or worrying about whom may over hear the ladies conversation. It is our time to get out all of aggravations of everyday life, talk about the future and most of all laugh. It is my opportunity to show each one of my friends how much I value their company and friendship.

Creating a luncheon may not be for the faint at heart.  The devil is certainly in the details and it's the little things that make such an impact.  The girls loved the beads used as the napkin rings which quickly became bracelets and went home with them.

The evening before I laid my table and this take no less than an hour, ever. The glasses and flatware need to be spotless, the napkins pressed and folded and the dishes are to be placed and spaced properly.

Prepping as much as possible the night before will allow you to concentrate on the cooking on the day of your event.  Here, I was completely finished with preparing my meal by 11:30 am, the kitchen was clean the quiche was in the oven, leaving me more than enough time to get myself ready and relax before my guest arrived at 12:30.

Have fun.. what are you waiting for? Have fun and if you need a little help, It's ok, I've got you covered!

Facebook La Petite Affaire

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creating Your St. Valentine's Day Affaire

3 weeks until Valentines Day? Yes, and the good news is, this year it falls on a Friday.  But never the less, in your hustle and bustle you will most likely find yourself running out at lunch or on the way home from work to pick up a bouquet of half dead and expensive flowers and box of chocolates.  Nothing says  "I forgot all about you"  Like this last minute gift.

Valentines Day is a holiday that we don't want to pass by with out sharing something special with those who mean the most to us.

A romantic dinner with the whole family makes everyone feel special, or just something for you and your wife or husband.  The point is, to spend the time to make it special.

Dinner out at a crowded restaurant on Valentines Day, is not my idea of romantic, but dinner at home for two is!  The possibilities for romance at home are endless.  From Appetizers and wine before, dinner, to a professional massage, a warm candle lit bath scented with lavender oil and rose petals. While this may sound cliché, when was the last time you had a truly romantic night just you two?

Make it an old fashioned family night, a romantic dinner with the kids.  How special will they feel having a candlelight dinner with mom and dad even if it's over Mac and Cheese? Set the table properly with all the necessary flatware, glassware, and folded napkins.  This is a great opportunity to teach proper dining etiquette and make them feel special and grown up. New jammies for everyone with Valentine candy for the kids, Fun lighting and a movie... oh what family fun!

Are you getting ready to ask her "The Big Question"?  This is something that you want to be memorable and special is every single way with no detail over looked!  Planning this event should be planned out as carefully as the actual wedding.  Regardless if it is a shared event with family and friends, or sitting on a park bench just you two.  Make it memorable, make it special. Don't leave a single detail to chance.

Think outside the box, and well if it is too overwhelming..., message me.  I have you covered!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Hostess Gift

The Gift
While looking around the internet for the most amazing hostess gifts, I realized that whomever is writing these articles thinks that in order to have manners and social etiquette you must have money.  Almost all of the suggestions I looked at came with a price tags of over $50.00. And many were near the $200.00 range.
I found a great page with wonderful ideas but a little pricey for most of the people I know. So I went in search of  a few ideas of my own. So let's get serious here with some realistic suggestions and a price that won't break the bank and wow the hostess.
Ironwood Cheese and Cracker Board
Cheese and Cracker Board
This Ironwood Cheese and Cracker Board is less than 25.00 at Wal-Mart.  Pair it with a great smoky cheese and gourmet crackers for casual get together.
The Aerator
This Red wine aerator is a great gift for the wine drinkers in your life.  This one ranges in price from just over $10.00 at Sears or a whopping $32.00 at Wal-Mart.  You can also find it on Amazon for just over $11.00 Pair it with a great Bottle of Red.  They really do work!
The Gift Of Yummy
Loaf Pan and Tea Towel
Bake a loaf of your famous Pumpkin or Banana Bread and wrap it in a Tea Towel of the season. Easy and thoughtful under $8.00. And you will be thought of when she has it with her morning coffee.
Art Glass Flower Vase

We love the big bold look of an art glass flower vase, but never buy them for ourselves and think little of them until we need one.  We find ourselves rushing around looking for something to put our flowers in that we just received as a hostess gift and wind up using the vase we received from the local florist on Valentines Day, less than spectacular to say the least. Keep on hand a vase or two that says WOW for a grab and go gift! A good size vase can cost as little as $15.00 and with roses from your garden is a special and inexpensive way to greet your hostess.
The Salt Cellar
Salt cellar
Salt Cellars come in a vast array of styles and materials, From porcelain, depression glass, wood or stainless steel from simple to elegant.  This is a cobalt blue depression glass salt-cellar that is available on-line for about 13.00.  Fill it with a gourmet or artisan salt, such as black, infused or smoked salts... Oooohhh La La
Note Cards
note cards
The hand written note is nearly out of style.  Why not help bring it back to life?  Give the gift of a beautiful set of note cards.  They are found everywhere and you can pick up a set of 8 for under $8.00.  Be a real gem and add the stamps, and a real friend, will add an address list of mutual friends for quick reference.  Check out these beauties from Target.
White Wine Carafe
White wine decanter
Help your hostess keep her white wines cool in the warm summer months with a beautiful decanter. Prices vary but I found this one for a deal on Amazon, Just Over $20.00.
Keeping a few items on hand will ease your own stress about bringing a hostess gift to your next get together. Pick them up when you find something at a great price and tuck them away.  You'll never be rushed and always remembered for your thoughtfulness.

Creating Your Petite Affaire

Entertaining does not have to be on a large scale or expensive.  But for some, regardless of the size it can be overwhelming.

With my love for entertaining and an eye for detail, I can assist you in planning the perfect party. Ladies Night In, small birthday or romantic dinner.

La Petite Affaire specializes in intimate affairs of less than 100 guest.  No party is ever too small. Guest between 8 and 12 are delightful. And of course, dinner for 2 for a special occasion at home is so much more romantic than a crowded, noisy restaurant.

The same thought goes into each and every event, no detail is over looked.

While food is of the utmost importance, creating the atmosphere is too often over looked.  I will walk you through how to create the party you desire or do it for you.  On a tight budget?  Let me show you how to use what you have, repurpose things that you never would have thought of.

The perfect affair is not about what you spend, but creating something special that your friends will remember.

Elegant, Fun, Festive or Romantic let La Petite Affaire create your dream event.