Yearly Archives



Toasting to the New Year with Fine Sparkling Wines

great tasting sparkling wines

Now that the best Champagne houses built estates in the Napa Valley, we can enjoy the Champagne taste for less. My favorite is the Roederer Estate Brut, the first California sparkling wine produced by Champagne Louis Roederer.

Mumm Napa is a popular choice amongst Champagne lovers. Looking at the comments on, it proves my point that Champagne and sparkling wines made using the methode champenoise pair well with almost every meal.

I read great reviews about Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad from Spain but I never tasted it. Some people rate it 1 point better than my Roederer Estate Brut

My most intriguing discovery is certainly a red sparkling wine. I never made a toast to a glass of sparkling Shiraz. The sparkling Shiraz by Seaview from Australia pairs well with a hearty dish. Other wine makers also make sparkling Shiraz. This is something to bring as a hostess gift to lovers of Shiraz.

Seaview Brut is a white sparkling wine made with the authentic methode champenoise. It is more my taste.

You can see that you do not have to break the bank to enjoy a divine bubbling toast. Happy New Year! I wish you health, joy and happiness for 2009.

+ Roederer Estate Brut $18.29 USD at
+ Mumm Napa Brut Prestige $19.99 USD at
+ Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad on sale at $21.99 at


My 2008 Posts in Review: April

I do not know if it is spring that inspired me but green living made my headlines often in April 2008

raw food and eco-friendly party tips :: reusable shopping bags

+ To celebrate Earth Day, I gave you my tips on how to host an Eco-Chic Dinner Party. Raw food was on the menu.

+ I listed my favorite Reusable Ultra Compact Shopping Bags. After months of usage, the Flip & Tumble is still my favorite for its ease of use. The Envirosax gained places. Its large size, compared to the Flip and Tumble, comes handy.

 gourmet and fresh organic baby food :: cake decorations

+ Better eating habits are part of the overall green living movement. The Ready to Serve Gourmet Baby Food by French maker Menus Bébé illustrates parent concerns for healthier baby food. In the US, pomme bébé produces small batches of fresh organic baby food. Get directions to pomme bébé in Newport Beach, California.

+ April coincided with my 500th post. I featured the stunning and artistic cake creations of I Dream of Cake, a cake maker located in San Francisco to commemorate this event.


My 2008 Posts in Review: March

As a blogger, I think it is a good exercise to take the time to go over what you accomplished over the last 12 months. Here are my favorite posts from what I talked about in March 2008.

bold colors :: siphon coffee in san francisco :: google zurich office

+ As I talked about color trends, I was delighted to showcase elegant way to put vibrant, happy colors on your walls.

+ The best ever coffee I ever tasted was at San Francisco. It comes from the siphon bar at the Blue Bottle Coffee on Mint Street. I took a video of how they make their famous siphon coffee.

+ The Zurich Google Office gave me ideas for party décor. The least we can say is that it is an imaginative workplace. This is a popular post.

c. quoi brunch tableware and serve ware

+ My best find in March was C. Quoi. It provides exceptional elements for a brunch table. I wish we were able to get in North America the products from this amazing French design studio.


Ultimate Gift Wrapping Stations

ultimate gift wrapping stations

I wrote twice about gift wrapping stations. I still have to fulfill this dream in the comfort of my own house.

After the biggest wrapping session of the year, I felt the need for a better system. I do not have a bad system. It is just that I need to put back everything on their shelves once I am finished. I wish for a spot where everything is accessible with pegboards and a couple of professional metal stands to put my big paper rolls.

If you do not have a room to spare for craft and wrapping projects, you can install a pegboard in a closet. The Container Store sells impressively useful workstations. You can opt for a mobile solution to neatly store your wrap paper rolls, totes, tissue, ribbons and gift accessories.

Mobile Storage Solutions

Ideal for a small space, the Gift Packaging Workstation with the foldable legs can be stored under a bed or on a shelf. It features some clips to hold a gift wrap roll on the top surface plus on the side, a ribbon dispenser and tool caddy.

A cheaper option is the Hanging Gift Wrap Organizer. Hang it on a closet rod, a hook or slide it under a bed.

+ Gift Wrap Station at Pottery Barn
+ How to set up a gift wrapping station in a craft room

+ Photo credits: the Pull-Out Storage Central and the Repurposed Wrapping Station – photography by Veronica Toney for Better Homes and Gardens
+ White elfa Mesh Gift Wrap Cart on sale at $139.38 USD at The Container Store
+ Gift Packaging Workstation $99 USD at The Container Store
+ Hanging Gift Wrap Organizer $21.99 USD at The Container Store


My 2008 Posts in Review: February

I traveled a lot last February. I went to Toronto for the IDS show, Boston, Vancouver, New York and San Francisco.

how to select a centerpiece

+ I am proud of the good tips I gave on How to select your centerpieces

uncluttering your home :: meeting bea of La Tartine Gourmande :: Gold Floor at Copley Plaza

+ Last February, I wrote that I secretly dream of a clutter free home. Last fall, my husband and I removed the stuff we did not want or need anymore. It feels so great being in the house now.

+ I had the chance to have brunch with Béa of La Tartine Gourmande at Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge. You can watch a performance by a singing chorale from Harvard. If you did not read the good news, Béa gave birth to a cute little girl December 25.

+ I had the pleasure to stay at the Gold Floor of the Copley Plaza while we were in Boston. Fairmont Gold Supervisor Nicholas Apostolides gave us in the tour. Watch the videos to discover the well-stocked kitchen and the library room.


Champagne Cocktails to Celebrate the New Year

pomegranate champagne cocktail recipe

pomegranate champagne cocktail recipe

In a previous article for, I told you about the first ever Champagne cocktail, the Classic Champagne Cocktail introduced in 1899. Hollywood movie stars during the 40s and 50s were fond of the Classic Champagne Cocktail. Visit for the Classic Champagne Cocktail recipe.

Another option for toasting to 2009 is Jamie Oliver’s Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail. Watch the video to get the recipe.


My 2008 Posts in Review: January

I will spotlight 3 or 4 posts that affectionate for every month. I selected them for what they mean to me. January 2008 marked the start of traveling every weekend for 2 to 4 days. It as exhausting but also a lot of fun. You will be surprised that I selected one post from my weekend getaways.

favorite posts of january 2008

+ The authentic taste of the Mexican food and the margarita at Taqueria Canonita were divine. Watch my reaction when I take the first sip of my margarita on The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

+ The Egg candle holders by Michelle Mason were one of my best finds of 2008.

+ Igloofest 2008 was a success last year at the Quays of Montreal Old Port. Even if it was -25C outside in Montreal the night I went with a group of friends, we all enjoyed Dancing under the stars.

books from my best of  january 2008

+ Because I believe we should teach at a young age how fun it is to make your own food, I invite you to read again Ideas for Baking with Kids.


2009 Tableware Trends

It is that time of the year where we are looking at what the future will look like. I want to make my own predictions. I am starting with tableware.

2009 trends in tableware

With the current state of the world economy, I think that comfort food will continue to be hot. Exotic patterns and a fresh take on traditional patterns will ornate our table.

The casual chic trend is here to stay. We would not indulge in expensive formal dinnerware set that we used once in the blue moon. Look at wedding registries, the formal dinnerware is less and less on the list. Instead, most couples opt for registries at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn.

Gold accents serving ware like shown here with the stoneware Cargo Raisin dinnerware by Calvin Klein is a nice example of how to dress up an everyday set.

I illustrated some of the 2009 tableware trends. I hope you enjoy them.

+ Debbie Travis predicted that Blueprint, a pattern inspired by French and Delft blue and white style will be hot for Spring and summer 2009. The shown plates are Crate & Barrel. Via styleNorth

+ Cargo Raisin by Calvin Klein, $874.50 CAD for 12 settings (48 pieces) at William Ashley

+ I wish the porcelain Maya Dessert Plates and Tea Cups were available in North America. It is a beautiful Egyptian pattern in green and gold that are dishwasher and microwave safe. £29.34 for 6 plates, £46.92 for 6 cups and saucers at Zara Home

+ Large Double-Handled Soup Bowls, $29 USD for set of 4 at Williams-Sonoma


Asking Questions about Los Angeles

questions on places of At Home with Kim Vallee

I will visit again Los Angeles next January. Here are a couple of places I enjoyed when we went last year:

+ Breakfast at Toast Bakery Cafe in Los Angeles – get directions
+ Delightful sushi at Gonpachi in Beverly Hills – get directions

I want to say a big thank to the guys at Praized Media for setting the Questions application for At Home with Kim Vallee. Questions is a great add-on to Places.

Asking for your Help

I am looking for your insights in the best places to eat so I asked two questions on Places. If you know a good place in the LA area for breakfast or to eat lunch, please share it. We will rent a car so we can travel a little, if it is worthwhile.


Black+Blum Brings Tasty Humor Inside your Home

fruit loop :: salad plant ::mr and mrs hangup by black+blum

Located in London, UK, Black+Blum is an anglo-Swiss partnership that joined forces in 1998. I think they made cool stuff.

I shopped at the boutique of Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal. I found at the contemporary art museum art boutique many of the brands and products I talked on AHWKV.

As a bonus, it does not cost a lot to out a smile on the face of the recipients with any of the Black+Blum products. For people who needs gifts for upcoming birthdays or hostess gifts, keep Black + Blum in mind.

I bought the fruit loop bowl ($40) for my sister in law. The salad plant ($30) set was really popular this year. When it does not store upright the leafy salad servers, the flowerpot can be used for mixing plus serving your salad dressing. Both are made of melamine.

I bought for Jerome and I the cutest couple clothe hangers, Mr & Mrs Hangup. You can infuse a mood with the way you place the screws. $30

spudski by black + blum

As I researched this post, I spotted Spudski, the cutest potato masher I ever seen. It is based on the old fashioned ski pole. I wish I saw it before. I want one for the ski cottage. $14.80


Modern Design Tableware by Eno

Eno Studio is a French brand build around delivering fresh design housewares at a price range accessible to most. A group of talented designers assure the uniqueness of the collection. You will find items for every room of the house.

I only found the European online retailer Made In Design that carries the full Eno collection. Gladly for us, it ships to Canada and the United States.

my favorite tableware by eno

+ A beautiful grinder in white marble designed by Laurence Brabant. £29 at twentytwentyone

+ Plancha by the Industrial Designer Emmanuel Gallina mixes a Bamboo platter with a porcelain plate. I want 2 or 3. £28.17 at Made in Design

+ Marie Rahm and Monica Singer of Polka Ms & Ms designed an extensive white bone china dining and food preparation collection. I like to own the Small Breakfast set that includes a cup with plate and lid. £21.67

+ Coll slow is a tea light dish warmer made of alabaster stone. It is gorgeous. Every hostess needs one or two dish warmers. My double tea light candles is so practical for large pot and pan. £93.90

Candle Holders

eno candle holders

+ Sebastien Bergne imagined the Multi candle pin. This is an elegant candlestick for pillar and taper candles. It is an original way to add punch to basic candles. £27.45

+ Arik Levy designed these stunning tall candle holders. He also created the votive holder. The tall model is available in black aluminum, white alabaster and silver plated brass. From £22.43 to £49.01