Clay Creations, Ceramics for Sale!

Tonight is my second Ceramics sale!

I’m hoping to have as much fun tonight as I did last year manning a table of my ceramics at Oheb Shalom is South Orange, NJ’s One Stop Shop Fall Shopping Event from 6 – 9pm. I’ve made textured dishes, great for jewelry, watches, candy, soap, candles, soy sauce, olive oil, salts or anything else that needs a pretty place to rest. I’m also selling bowls, small vases and trivets. New this year–adorable jars.

Wish me luck, hon!

Charming and Comfortable Hotel Tardif in Bayeux, France

This gorgeous courtyard leads to the main entrance.

Hôtel Tardif, Noble Guesthouse in Bayeux, France

gets my vote as the most charming place I’ve ever stayed!

Hubby and I arrived in Bayeux early in the morning after crossing the English Channel on a ferry. Friends had recommended Hôtel Tardif (shout out to Deb and Dave) and, right away, owner Anthony Voidie welcomed us, answered our questions, and even had our room prepared earlier than anticipated. After a delicious breakfast (think crêpes, croissants, and amazing coffee), we were ready to explore the town. But wait, there was so much to see in the guest house and grounds. Hubby had to convince me to leave since I was enamored of the decorating details and, hon, you know I love details! The fireplace, the fabrics, the fresh flowers…oh so lovely!

From the hotel’s website:

 Enjoy the priviledge of a stay in a  historic monument dating of the 18th century, in the heart of  medival Bayeux.

   Our guest house of charm is nestled in the former park of the botanist Moisson de Vaux, where many species like Magnolias were first acclimated in Europe. A peaceful location, between the Bayeux Tapestry museum, the cathedral, many restaurants bars and shops.

If you want more autonomy you can also opt for one of our  furnished tourism accomodation located on the street.

  You can easily reach the famous landing beaches, Omaha Beach, Arromanches, the Caen Memorial, Honfleur, Le Mont-Saint-Michel.

     This private mansion reflects a glorious past with its wood paneling, fireplaces in marble, a remarkable staircase, some rare centuries old trees …  


Small Business Saturday, Published In Elegant Lifestyles Magazine

Thanksgiving’s around the corner…

…and so is Black Friday, the official start to the holiday shopping season. The second article I wrote for ELS is “Small Business Saturday Turns Ten!” which talks about the inception of SBS and what some local towns have planned. In Summit, NJ where I work at a children’s boutique (What do we sell the most? Think lots of kids’ dressy outfits and matching pj’s!), there’ll be carolers, a horse and sleigh, hot chocolate, and more, throughout the season. Tell you what, hon–feeling a holiday spirit makes all difference whether you’re working or shopping.



Style Essentials For Every Season, Published In Elegant Lifestyles Magazine

The November issue of Elegant Lifestyles Magazine is out!

While I was doing research on classic clothes, guess what I found? Clothes that were designed for British and French militaries which became popular when soldiers returned home. Truly functional to fashionable! Camouflage is certainly a print that’s worn by U.S. soldiers and also stocked in stores. The most interesting info was how men’s watches transformed from pocket watches to wristwatches (future post for sure).

Find Your Inner Superman, New York City Marathon

Yesterday was the perfect day to watch the New York City Marathon!

Trains heading to Manhattan were packed as Hubby and I rode in to see our son. He signed up in honor of his college friend, Alex, who was paralyzed in a ski accident a year and a half ago.

Alex is an inspiration and a real superman! He raced in a wheelchair!

Even if you don’t know someone running in the marathon, it’s awesome to watch. The energy, music, and spectators make New York City a five-borough block party.

While fundraising, Teddy sent this out:

I’ll be running the NYC Marathon with a group of friends to support research for spinal cord injuries. The Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation did a ton to help our friend Alex as he recovered from his accident last winter and we’re pumped to be able to give back to them and anyone else affected by paralysis.

We have been training hard and fundraising like crazy and are all excited to get out and crush the race tomorrow. With your generous help, our NYC Marathon Team has raised a total of over $360k for spinal injury research already! We are trending towards being their highest fundraising team in organization history.

Alex wheelchair-racing!
Teddy, in white baseball hat, passing 88th Street and 1st Avenue.
Friends Jenna and Meg join sister Hannah to cheer Teddy on. The sign says, “The Fastest Ever Triplet!! Go Teddy!”
Stopping for a quick pic at 95th Street and Fifth Ave.
Funny signs! “Smile, remember you paid to do this!” “All for a magnet, 26.2” and “Consider this practice for the zombie apocalypse.”

Bayeux, France in Photos, Part 1

Macarons bigger than Oreos!

Hubby and I are now in Paris and today we’re headed to Giverny!

I’ll have lots to post when we get back to the U.S., but in the meantime, here are some pics of Bayeux, France. We rode a commuter train from London to Portsmouth, England and, from there, crossed the English Channel on an overnight Brittany Ferry from Portsmouth to France.

Bayeux feels like a step back in time. We had visited Bath, England which is also historic, but Bath is filled with stores that you see everywhere which, in my opinion, takes away from the town’s authenticity. Bayeux has plenty of stores–our Normandie tour guide called it bourgeois–but they and the cafes seemed individually owned rather than international chains. The village is filled with quirky shops:  a ceramicist’s gallery that includes her studio (throwing wheel, bags of clay, and unfinished work right behind a half wall, just my kind of place!); a tiny home goods shop with beautiful, velvet bed covers and pillows; a shop just for hats; shops featuring locals artisans; a needlework store or “Broderie” that recalls the town’s famous tapestry; and a shop that sells merchandise adorned with poppies–so specific to the region.

Bayeux is a town on the Aure river in the Normandy region of northwestern France, 10 kilometers from the Channel coast. Its medieval center contains cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and the towering, Norman-Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame. The famed 68-meter Tapisserie de Bayeux, an 11th-century tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman invasion of England, is on display in an 18th-century seminary.


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Travel Bug Part 2, Crayon Box Burano, Fishing Village

Burano, Venice, Italy
Burano, Venice, Italy

This is a re-post of the 2nd part of Crayon Box Burano in honor of travel!

Hubby and I are off to England and then France for a whirlwind anniversary trip. We’re not the only ones in the family who will be abroad. Morgan’s  going to direct a music video in Tokyo and is there now! She packed up and left within 48 hours of finding out. (“Mom, I guess you can do that when you’re 25 years old.” My response, “True, true.”)

Shout out to our amazing children along with my dad and Hubby’s mom, who are treating us to this vacation.

Hon, happy and safe travels whenever and wherever you go.

Crayon Box Colored Homes

Burano, an old fishing village in the Northern Venetian Lagoon, is famous for its brightly colored homes as well as its lace-making. Legend has it that fisherman couldn’t recognize their houses through the fog, so they painted their homes bright colors.  It’s said that house colors have been with families for centuries. Today, if someone wants to repaint his house, he must send a request to the government, who will let the him know which colors are permitted for that lot.

When we toured the islands of Murano, Torcello and Burano, I’m glad our vaporetti, or water taxi, stopped at Burano last. It was definitely the jewel-in-the-crown.

Previous Post:  Crayon Box Burano, Venice, Italy (Part 1)

Striped curtains match house colors.
Striped curtains match house colors.
Many houses and buildings are adorned with religious wall plaques.
Many houses and buildings are adorned with religious wall plaques.
Laundry lines are a common sight.
Laundry lines are a common sight.
Pink up close.
Pink up close.
Colorful canal.
Colorful canal.