Monthly Archives

May 2008


The $50 Deli-Flower Challenge by New York magazine

The $50 Deli-Flower Challenge by New York magazine

The $50 Deli-Flower Challenge by New York magazine

Watch this video where New York event planner and designer David Stark creates cute flower arrangements from flowers available at the Deli shops. I was surprised to see how the boring carnations could become a lush backdrop for a floral arrangement. You can learn a few simple tricks by watching how David Stark gave style to ordinary carnations, daisies, gerberas and roses.

Another Concept

For the same challenge, artist and landscape designer Paula Hayes arranges lilacs and alliums on a vase she designed. Even though these two flowers are part of my favorites, I did not like what she did with it.

Look in your own backyard

Our lilac tree is in bloom right now. Lilac smells so good. I will find the time tomorrow to show you my own arrangements. Hopefully, I can create something that I will be proud of.

New York magazine converted everyday objects as flower vessels. This is another way to easy give a punch to a simple bouquet. Check out the post on Apartment Therapy NYC for more ideas.

+ Via: PlantTherapy: The Everything Guide to Flowers [Apartment Therapy NYC]

+ Derivations on the Lilac Flowers


The Art of Repetition Elevates a City Park Wedding

brian and melissa photographed by stella alesi :: style me pretty

Style Me Pretty leads as a real wedding showcase destination. Today, Abby Larson featured the wedding of Paul and Melissa who got married in a city park in Austin, Texas.

The wedding was beautifully executed on a budget. I granted you that Paul is a landscape designer so it is not really a true DIY flower arrangement project. Still with practices and a good eye, you can aspire to reproduce something similar.

The Art of Repetition

These tabletop and event décor pictures illustrate very well a design principle that I cherish. I am talking about the art of design repetition. I favor duplication with variety to exact replication.

For this wedding, fruits and leaves are used over and over. Since they are reinterpreted on each station or function, you are surprised and seduced even more by the theme repetition. That leads to a sophisticated, carefully planned wedding party design.

The simplest materials and objects can be elevated to elegance. I hope these pictures will encourage you to experiment at your next dinner party.

Check out Style Me Pretty for more details on this inspiring wedding decor.

Photo credits: Stella Alesi Photography – rights reserved
Via: Real Wedding by Stella Alesi [Style Me Pretty]


Eco-friendly Baja BBQ Firepack

baja bbq firepack by Mike and Maaike for lazarri :: wood chipsI just read on Moco Loco about a new eco-friendly product. We used propane BBQ at home. But I crave for the real BBQ charcoal taste. Last year I almost gave in but after checking the negative effects on the environment, I decided against it.

But now I have a solution that will leave me with great taste and a clear conscience. Baja is an eco-friendly instant charcoal packaging developed by Mike and Maaike for design annex / Lazzari.

Baja renders your barbecue experience simple, clean and chemical free. It is simple to cook on the BBQ since Baja heats the natural lump charcoal to the right temperature without the aid of chemicals or lighter fluid. The coals are ready to cook within 15 to 20 minutes from lighting.

When you go at home or if you go at the friend house for a Bring your Own Food outdoor party, Baja is much better than regular charcoals for you and your neighbors.

What are the advantages of mesquite charcoal?

  1. Captures the delicious flavor of natural wood smoke
  2. Searing at high cooking temperature retains natural juices, aroma and succulence.
  3. Burns hotter and lasts longer
  4. 100% natural product

About Lazzari

Located in San Francisco, Lazzari is the largest, oldest and original producer and distributor of premium mesquite charcoal in the USA.

Add wood chips for additional flavors. Wood chips work well with charcoal or gas grills.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Baja BBQ Firepack designed by Mike and Maaike
Learn more: 100% Natural Lazzari Mesquite Charcoal
Via: Baja BBQ Firepack [Moco Loco]


The Summer Workshop Sale at Gogoglass

gogoglass salt container :: mortar and pestle ::  glass fruit tray by annie michaud

Remember the bold color glass kitchenware from Annie Michaud and the exquisite home accessories from Karine Bouchard.

It is that time of the year: Save and stock a few gifts for the teachers of your kids or hostess gifts.This Saturday, June 7th, 2008 is the biannual workshop sale of Gogoglass.

How this event works?

You can get pieces with little imperfections at a fraction of the regular price. I bought an orange lemon reamer at the same type of sales last Christmas.

The event has an educational side since you watch live artists creating pieces at their Marche Bonsecours workshop in Montreal Old Port. The event is from 10 to 17 o’clock.

To understand what is so special about their work, I invite you to read what I wrote when I visited their workshop last Christmas. I first introduced Annie Michaud’s blown glass kitchenware in August 2007.

385 de la Commune East (marché Bonsecours)
Montreal, QC H2Y 1H2

>>> Sourcing:
For Karine Bouchard : Web site of Verre Minuit – her latest creations are not there
Buy online: Web site of Annie Michaud


Win A Trip For Two To Mexico on | Contest

Meet Me in Mexico contest

Want to win a trip for two to sunny Mexico? Who doesn’t? The rules are simple to play the Meet Me in Mexico contest:

  1. head on over to and
  2. guess the destination in the photo for your chance to win.

Come Back for More Chances To Win

A new photo will be posted every week. Do not forget to return every week for more chances to win. Each weekly correct answer will enter you in a pool where a winner will be chosen at random at the end of the promotion.

Do not wait anymore to enter the Meet Me in Mexico contest. Good Luck!


I am featured on The Gazette Montreal Today

planning an outdoor party :: The Gazette montreal outdoor living section

I was interviewed two weeks by Ian Howarth for a story about planning an outdoor party.

Ian interviewed before me Kelly Deck who hosts Take it Outside on HGTV for a segment of outdoor rooms and high-end barbecues. I spoke about her show when I gave you my 5 design tips for the perfect backyard for entertaining.

You can also learn useful tips from Leslie Hoppenheim of The Party Planner who is used to plan big events. My published contributions relate to down-to-earth tips when you host a casual outdoor party.

The story is on a special Outdoor Living section included on the May 28, 2008 edition of The Gazette. There is some type to grab a copy at the newsstand. Otherwise, The Gazette is one of those friendly newspapers that published their stories online.

I want to thank again Ian Howarth for this opportunity. I enjoyed talking with him.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more:  Planning a party by Ian Howarth [The Gazette]
Learn more: BBQ & beyond: patio parties go high-end by Ian Howarth [The Gazette]


Call for Help with The Nest Magazine

featured in The Nest magazine Summer 2008

A Montreal Girl Geek told me last week that At Home with Kim Vallee is featured on The Nest magazine. As far as I know, my blog is the favorite blog of their readers and staff in the Entertaining category. Sadly for me, this magazine is not available in Canada.

I just sent an email to a Public Relations Manager at The Nest Magazine. We will see what they answer. In the meantime, I am asking for help from my US readers.

Did you read that article? Can someone send me a copy of the Summer 2008 edition of the Nest magazine? I will send a thank you gift. If you interested make sure to fill the email text box (not published) and write a comment.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: The Nest

CAKES + desserts FOOD + DRINK

Beautiful Cakes Galore by Stuff Yer Bake

cake decorations by stuff yer bake

While browsing on Tastespotting this morning, I spotted this adorable truck cake. I am even more impressed since this lorry cake is made by a Northern Irish foodie named Sarah. Her cakes stand out by the attention to details.

I explored her blog to know more. Stuff Yer Bake is not only about cakes. She also publishes recipes of meal she cooked on an everyday basis.

Sarah baked and decorated these cakes at the request of co-workers. I feel sad she lived on the other side of the Atlantic. Do you know any non-professional in Montreal (or elsewhere) who is as talented?

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Cakes Galores [Stuff Yer Bake]
Learn more:Pirate Birthday [Stuff Yer Bake]
Recipe:Crab Ravioli [Stuff Yer Bake]


Three Advanced Kitchen Gadgets

delica tray :: ameba collection by zoocreative :: large chop 2 pot chopping board

I was looking for unique gift ideas when I spotted three amazing kitchen tools at Generate. It is worth noting that this US retailer ships to Canada and the United States for free.

Serving ware by Zoocreative

First, Zoocreative reinvented the eating tray by converting two of its corners into armrests. Your arms rest comfortably on the grooves of the Delica Table tray to deliver a more enjoyable dining experience.

A table tray, a coffee tray and a small tray compose the line. The Delica Tray series won several awards including the prestigious Reddot design award 2007.

The Ameba Collection consists of a set of coasters, plate chargers and placemats. The plate chargers can be used as a trivet set. These would look great on a buffet table.

Both series are available in three wood finishes: oak, tiger and zebra. Spanish creativity is well represented by Zoocreative.

No-Mess Chopping Board

Antony Joseph created an efficient chopping board. You chop and dice your ingredients on the entire board surface.Then squeeze the handle of the Large Chop 2 Pot. That motion folds the board into a chute that guides the food into a pot. Pretty cool!

+ Delica Trays by Zoocreative at Generate – price: $67 small tray, $79 each for table tray and coffee tray
Ameba Collection by Zoocreative at Generate – price: $49 USD for 6 coasters, $69 for 2 trivets (plate chargers)
Buy online: Large Chop 2 Pot Chopping Board at Generate – price: $29 USD