Monthly Archives

November 2008


Ribbons and Gift Wrapping Techniques

ribbons on gifts

Forgot the typical Christmas ribbons and bows that you buy at the drugstore. This year make an impression with an array of ribbons. Mix widths, colors and textures to dress up your gifts.

Buying in Bulk To Save Money

I save on gift-wrapping paper by buying them in bulk. Even if I only got one pattern, my gifts do not look the same under the Christmas tree because I decorate them differently. Imagine the little black dress; no two women wear it the same. My collection of fabric ribbons and gift ornaments becomes my accessories.

How To Tie Ribbons on Gifts including the Classic Double Bow

how to tie the classic double bow

The Canadian House and Home November 2008 edition featured several ribbon tying techniques from Alison Dawson of Mokuba, a fabulous ribbon shop in Toronto.

If you still have questions on how to make the classic double bow, watch the Holiday Gift Wrapping video on Canadian House and Home.

+ Photography by Tracy Shumate for H&H November 2008 – rights reserved


Three Holiday Gift Ideas from Russell + Hazel

russell + hazel gift list book

No more shopping without remembering the fabulous gift ideas you saw here, on other sites or on magazines with the Gift List Book ($25 USD). It is a size that is easy to carry in your purse.

russell hazel Swarovski pencils :: recipe cards

The Swarovski Crystal Pencil Collection ($72 USD) is a fine black pencil topped with a sparkling Swarovski Strass crystal. The crystal is available in one of twelve colors to match your binders. These pencils may be too stylish but they would make the envy of your co-workers at the office. Each set comes with 12 pencils and glass holder. By the way, it was featured on O list last October.

The Recipe Binder Set ($60 USD) offers the most flexible format. I like the fact that you can complement the recipe card with pictures and pieces of paper. I like the freedom of writing down my instructions as I discover new cooking tricks. I hope to see the recipe binder set under the Christmas tree this year.

As a bonus, you can download a weekly menu planner with a shopping list section. I invite you to read what I said about Russell + Hazel mini binders and wedding organizer set.

+ Gift List Book cover image by papergirlpdx of Write Now
+ Russell + Hazel


DIY Holiday Decorations | Daily Quick Links 2008.11.25

Here are a few craft projects that will look sharp for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

holiday decorations :: craft projects for thanksgiving or christmas

+ Look at the little paper flowers made by Wendy Chung of Dozi Design. Wendy resurrected a Martha Stewart’s craft project from 10 years ago. Wendy used it to create a lovely table setting for a women event at her church. Via Apartment Therapy and Crafter Shock

+ Julie Adore did three trees in felt. They would look great for Thanksgiving. You could mix that with the Fall leaves garland featured on Ohdeedoh.

+ Jeffrey Rudell created last June this modern flower silhouette centerpiece for a coffee station. Via in Craft Stylish

+ Since I was a kid, I am fascinated by little house village. Stephanie of Even Cleveland produced these little holiday houses recycle old cardboard tubes and are lit with flameless tealight candles. If you do not feel like doing it yourself, visit her Etsy store. Via Paper Shop Ink.


My Packing and Recycling Weekend

jerome sorting old computer papers

Tomorrow is the big day. The movers will arrive at 9 am to move the furniture to the new office space.

As I am sorting my 10-year of office supplies (and some relics of the past), I am glad to see a major change in our behavior. At the start of the Web, we printed almost everything articles we like. But as new digital tools as emerged, we now archive what we like online with RSS reader (I used Google Reader), delicious (they are not anymore), evernote and other tools.

Go Digital

This fact brings we joy. After a rough start, the computer age reduced my consumption of paper. Our business goal is to go almost totally digital over a year. When I will do my change of address I will ask every supplier to send me a digital invoice. Some suppliers already do but I never ask my old suppliers. I will try to convince more customers to receive their invoices in PDF.

Everyone can do a little bit for the environment. Imagine offices where we can allocate our space to sitting, desk areas and decorative elements instead of filing cabinets. If we do so, we will be comfortable in smaller spaces. At the end, this leads to less consumption.

By the way if you are live in Montreal area, we have office and home furniture to give or to sell. They are in good conditions. I assemble a Facebook photo album where you can see what is still available. Everything has to go by November 29.


President Brie Log Simplifies Entertaining

president brie log with croutons

I received a few weeks ago a sample of the new Brie log made by the established French cheese maker President. The taste is the same as the original round or wedge format.

My husband and I ate more than a half log as appetizer one Saturday night. We put onion jam (confit d’oignons by Chez Bernard) that I bought from a fine shop at the Farmer’s market. It tasted good but the onion jam we used was too strong. I feel the mix would be divine with the milder taste of home cooked caramelized onions. This is why the onion puree that we made for the Parisian burger is a better match.

Shaping the Brie as a log simplifies the service of cheese as an appetizers. You will be surprised how little time it takes to prepare in advance perfect looking canapés when you only have to slice.

Goodies for the Hostess

If you plan a party, download the cheese flavor template cards on the President Web site that you can print on a card stock. You will also find tips on how to make a cheese platter.

I selected three canapés recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

new president brie log

Brie, Chutney and Red Currant – recipe by President

  • Place President Brie slice on a cracker
  • Top with 1/2 teaspoon of chutney
  • Garnish with 2-3 red currants

Brie, Cherry Tomatoes, Pepper and chives – recipe by President

  • Place President Brie slice on a cracker
  • Place half cherry tomato on cheese
  • Top with a thin slice of yellow pepper and chopped chives

Brie and Onion Puree canapés – recipe by Kim Vallee

  • Place a Brie slice on a crouton (baguette size)
  • Put 1/3 teaspoon of onion puree or a mild caramelized onion jam

President provides more easy gourmet recipes for appetizers, salads and sandwiches. You can watch the videos on some recipes They suggest easy, stylish food presentation for entertaining.

Like they say you can not stop innovation, especially when it works so well.


Vintage Tea Party Theme for a Baby Shower

 vintage tea party buffet table

Get inspired by this adorable tea party for a baby shower or a ladies get together.  Hosting a tea party is not cheaper than a dinner party but can feel as grand. It is a great socializing event.

Mix pastels dishware with classic ornamentations to create a vintage atmosphere. Stop by the flea market to assemble your dinnerware. Grab different plates and flatware. Simply make sure they share a common element.

UK retailer Bombay Duck sells a Vintage Tea Party collection in pastel blue, pink and cream. What I like is that you find everything you need. The collection extends from dinnerware and serving ware up to flatware. In fact, it becomes your checklist.

vintage tea party at bombay duck

+ Vintage Tea Party Bowl – £6
+ Vintage Tea Party Tea Plate – £6
+ Vintage Tea Party Dinner Plate – £9
+ Vintage Tea Party Teapot – £15
+ Vintage Tea Party Milk Jug – £6
+ Vintage Tea Party Sugar – £9
+ Vintage Tea Party Mug – £5.50
+ Vintage Tea Party Large Serving Bowl – £15
+ Vintage Tea Party Serving Plate – £15
+ Vintage Tea Party Silverplate Spreaders – £28 for a set of 4
+ Vintage Tea Party Silverplate Tea Spoons – £24 for a set of 4
+ Vintage Tea Party Silverplate Sugar Tongs – £15
+ Vintage Tea Party Silverplate Cake Slice – £28
+ Vintage Tea Party Cake Stands – £29.50 for set of 2

Setting the Mood

Play old-fashioned music. As the hostess, you wear a vintage style dress. If like the suggestions of hiring a tea leaf reader

Menu Ideas

You can bake ahead a Lenguas de Gato Cookies and a lemon or orange cake. I found these two easy and inexpensive recipes on Cookstr, a new food Web site featuring recipes by established Chefs. I want to thank Vanille of At Down Under for introducing to me Cookstr.

If you wish to host a tea party, the Joy of Cooking provides good insights. You can also refer to a tea party menu I composed earlier.

MEDIA buzz

At Home with Kim Vallee featured in Singapore Home And Decor Magazine

At Home with Kim Vallee featured in Singapore Home And Decor Magazine

When we say that the Web has no frontiers; it is true. I am so glad to report that my blog is featured in an interior design magazine from Singapore. I am on the December 2008 issue of Singapore Home & Design. I want to thank Ruth Chan for this honor.

By the way, seeing the Queen clock inspires me to find a cool red silhouette clock for the office. Inform me if you see something similar.

DesignDotCom Dec 2008

No More International Boundaries

On that same article, I found out about vPost, a service provided by Singapore Post. No more disappointment because your favorite online shops do not ship overseas; like it is the case for the Queen clock. The service gives you access to a US, a UK, an European or a Japanese shipping address. vPost will forward your packages to your Singapore address within a week. I wonder if and when a service like that will be available in Canada.


David Rocco’s Cookbook Hits the Stores

david rocco\'s dolce vita cookbook

I received my copy this morning from Amazon. The book delivers over 365 pages of beautiful photography, lifestyle and recipes.

David defines dolce vita as “being present in those moments in life that bring you joy.” So basically it is about happiness. And happy moments often happen with friends and family over a meal. Remember this fact as you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner.

Pure and simple

Italian cooking relies on simple, fresh ingredients. Italian recipes enhance the flavours in a few steps. This is because the Italian cooking that survives the passage of time are the cooking of the farming class. David Rocco’s Dolce Vita cookbook is filled with such recipes.

The text is written over different backgrounds. Although it is charming, it can be harder to read on a few pages. But most of the time, the contrast is more than enough. Fans will recognize several shots for the TV series. There are also new pictures.

Food and Drinks

There are a few cocktail recipes including my favorite: the Negroni which is equal parts (typically 3/4 ounce) of sweet Vermouth, gin and Campari.

I learn of a variation that I will definitely try. Negroni Sbagliato replaces the gin by Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine that is not made with the “champenoise” method.

Both drinks are build as a short drink over ice and garnish with an orange slice.

You can meet David next Saturday, November 22, from 1 pm to 2pm at Costco, Woodbridge. Get directions

For my part, I will try his hot version of Spaghetti Al Limone tomorrow. I already have a bottle of white wine that pairs well with the citrus taste.

+ For Canadians: David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Cookbook – $25.17 CAD
+ For Americans: David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Cookbook – $39.95 USD


Gogoglass Annual Sample Sale is November 29, 2008

annie michaud working in the gogoglass studio

I will not miss the Gogoglass Annual Sale event since I usually find unique Christmas gifts and stuffers at an unbeatable price. For less than half price, you get beautiful handmade items with little, sometimes not even noticeable imperfections. This is why it is best to arrive early.

This year, an orange mortar and pestle is on my list. Last year, I bought an orange lemon reamer. I adore it; how it works is second to none. In fact, I bought several lemon reamers for my gift exchanges. I am a fan of Annie Michaud; I featured her work a few times already.

Come to meet Karine and Annie at their glass blowing studio on November 29, 2008 from 10 AM to 5 PM. If you see me while you are there, come say hello.

Get directions to Gogoglass – p 514.397.8882
385 De La Commune Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2Y 1J3

+ Top image from Bonsecours Market


Shopping at IKEA for the new office

shopping at ikea

With the walls in two tones of blues and the doors painted red, I selected red to be my accent color. Our furniture is beech veneer with a few black pieces.

I went to IKEA tonight to purchase the new IKEA 365+ BRASA pendant lamp in red. I like the shape. I checked the inventory online and they were supposed to have it stock. Unfortunately, there were two black lamps plus one white but no red lamp in sight.

I was glad that I noticed a red KULLA pendant lamp in a dining room setting as I entered the store. I like the fact that the cord and the ceiling attachment were also red. Moreover, KULLA has a plate covering the globe. Since we will walk under the pendant, hiding the globe is a tempting feature. KULLA will do.

I stocked a few red storage boxes, 5 light blue eating bowls and red small SALONG vases to decorate a black and beech Expedit bookcase that we already have. I plan to make a row of light blue bowls and a row of red vases.

I also bought 3 red RINGUM rugs for the entrance hall. It will be like the 3 points of etcetera. I will show you the end results once we settled down in the new office.

+ KULLA pendant lamp – $99 CAD
+ IKEA 365+ BRASA pendant lamp – medium $49.99, large $69.99
+ KASSETT Magazine file – $4.99 CAD
+ KASSETT Box for paper with lid – $11.99 CAD for 2
+ RINGUM rug – $9.99 CAD