Monday, June 27, 2011

No Words Can Describe



Dear Friends,

I'm going to have a few days of silence on my blog, as my 3 1/2 year relationship with the kindest and most loving man I've ever known is coming to a pause. I'm going to be traveling across country to California to be nearer to my Mom, but not before stopping a few days in Tennessee to see my Dad and grandparents. Please allow me a few days to mourn a broken heart.

Thank you.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Pool Days

Fashion Friday


Bright dresses are one of my favorite things about summer. This new dress from Bershka I picked up in Nice is just that... bold, fun, and flirty.





Dress & Shoes - Bershka
Scarf - Zara

Secret: The truth about doing these fun little shoots outside in the humidity is it's tres difficult. After just doing hair and makeup, then stepping outside, you need a whole crew to do immediate touch ups!


I'm curious to know what are my reader's favorite posts? I know I have a variety of food, travel, photography, lifestyle, and some fashion. I know some of my favorite bloggers are ones that showcase a glimpse into their personal life with their own photos and some food and fashion of course! Please participate in the poll on the sidebar or leave a comment... I'm curious!


Also, come back Monday, I'm going to be starting up Dream Jobs again, a segment I started a few years ago. But this time I'm going to give YOU the links to real dream job listings that are currently up for grabs!!!

Have a great weekend my friends!


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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Charming Nice

Travel Thursday



Fortunately for lack of motivation, I never uploaded the pics from the last couple of weeks of my trip from my handheld Canon, which I used for restaurant pics, the shameless self pic for proof I was on location, and the occasional video clip for enjoyable moments. Though the quality isn't the same as the DSLR, I think these are actually more special... and so glad they were preserved.

There is something so beautiful about big ships in the turquoise ocean.


There was either a show or movie being filmed while I was in Nice. I ran into the crew on both days. The first day I passed them outside a restaurant near the market by the opera and beach. The second day they found me, as I was eating outside a Mediterranean place. I had a front row view of them doing makeup touch-ups inside a bakery, then a few moments later the attractive actors were doing 'takes' walking down the streets of Old Town Nice.



Here is one of my clips on the beach...



Happy Traveling!!


P.s.  I have a new project in the works for an online magazine, and you will get to see much more of France that has not been seen on the blog! 
It should be available on July 1st for the first issue. Stay tuned!


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Girlfriend Gatherings

Good Eats Wednesday


It doesn't matter what you eat, the same is true no matter in the U.S., France, or anywhere else in the world... getting together with your girlfriends for a drink and your favorite food beats anything!

My sweet American girlfriends I met in France.

Foie Gras Burger in Bourgueil, France.


What's your favorite place to meet up with girlfriends?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer

I don't know about you, but the first few days of summer automatically lifts my mood, even though it has already been Hot, Hot, Hot in Florida!

Here are some ways I like to enjoy the summer...


Enjoying a good book in colorful Adirondack chairs by the beach!


Trying new Mediterranean restaurants
& staying cool with healthy and refreshing smoothies!




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Monday, June 20, 2011

Extra, Extra!




You may have noticed on my sidebar that I have some out-of-print magazines for sale!




If you love browsing old magazines, I have a set of 10 Cottage Living magazines (available HERE), and other varieties like Traditional Home, Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart Weddings, Elle Decor, Glamour, The Writer, Photography How-To & more. All magazines are in good condition.

View ALL my available magazines HERE, auctions end tomorrow... get your bids in!

Plus I have almost the first 2 years of Domino magazine!! Which as you may know is no longer in circulation, and it's hard for me to let go, but it's time! These are not currently on eBay... so if you are interested please email me: nicoletterenee@hotmail.com otherwise I'll be placing on eBay soon starting at $100 opening bid.

Have a great week!


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I apologize for my absence... I swear I wasn't on strike.

My laptop completely crashed on Thursday with what appears to be no option of system restoration, so I'm open to suggestions if anyone has suggestions about malware attacks please share! I've restored to a previous date a couple times, but this time no such luck, and don't want to lose all my photos from Europe.

But all is not total despair, I'm excited that I'm now the proud owner of an iMac desktop, once again! So I'm hoping it will be an investment and excited for a fresh start.


With that, I just want to wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day and thank him for all his support, and just brag about how cool he is...



Cool Facts About My Dear Old Dad (as he refers to himself):

1.  He is a retired undercover cop (if I could only show you those photos of his exciting career)! He used drop me off at school in his undercover car, came to my school with his partner in third grade for show-n-tell and their briefcases of paraphernalia. His office is lined with photos of old busts, celebs he's met, and a certain President he served and protected while passing through town.

2.  He makes his own wine... and cans his own sauces & jams.  I love his tomato raspberry jam, which I've posted about HERE.

3.  He gives pretty good advice, even if I'm too stubborn to take it sometimes.

4.  He has ALWAYS done whatever he could to fly out his daughters each summer and Christmas... which is something he may not know how much I appreciate and recognize that makes him a winning Dad.


My Step-father is pretty cool too!



He was a volunteer firefighter, which HERE is an article accompanying this photo of him in his glory days. He has always loved my mother unconditionally, no matter how difficult she may be at times (I guess she can't help the fact she's a Gemini, no offense to my Gemini readers :) He is also the biggest CHOCO-alohic I know, and has always treated me like his own daughter.


Happy Father's Day to all!


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Les Quatre Pins B&B

"The Four Pines"
Grolejac, France
Travel Thursday


While in Dordogne, I stayed at Les Quatre Pins. I found this peaceful bed & breakfast on Visit France. Quietly tucked away in the heart of the Dordogne region just off the road from the small village of Grolejac (about 10-15 miles from Beynac, Sarlat, Le Roque Gagac, and Domme) it is convenient for exploring by day and relaxing by evening and night, and evenings here couldn't be more peaceful.


 

One thing I really enjoyed about the French country was the sound of birds chirping and singing all evening long. But there was something special about Les Quatre Pins, and that is it's owners Helen & Stephen. Originally from England, it was nice to finally converse in English, and they welcomed me as a long lost friend, going above and beyond to invite me to dinner and social evenings like at the local Hotel bar for traditional Friday evenings. 



Photos above from Les Quatre Pins website.



My stay was particularly special because it was my first stay in a bed & breakfast, even though it's been a dream of mine to own and run one for many years now. I'm so glad Les Quatre Pins was my first, and I'm grateful for the friendships I made. Here is my last night when we all ordered our own pizzas for dinner! Can you spot the fried egg pizza, again?

 

Even the cows were comforting to me especially when they "came home" in the evenings to the farm across the street. I grew up feeding the cows with my grandpa, so it definitely reminded me of some wonderful childhood memories.

For English & Americans seeking refuge and peace in the Dordogne region, I highly recommend Les Quatre Pins! (To book, visit HERE.)

Happy Traveling!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tea Time

Good TEAS Wednesday
Teas of My Travels


When traveling I like to purchase non-traditional souvenirs, particularly for my kitchen. A couple years ago, the theme was Christmas ornaments, this time it was "teas-to-go" though I generally ordered hot chocolate at the actual locations for "research" purposes. I've been very excited to share my tea collection with you!

I found this darling chalkboard in Domme, France which has great artisan shops.



The British Teas: FORTNUM & MASON Trio: Royal Blend, Earl Grey Classic & Afternoon; HARRODS: Afternoon Loose Leaf Tea.

The French Collection: Secret d'Hilgarde tea from the Fortresse Royale du CHINON, my favorite tea strainer from Teavana, Honey from the Thursday Market in DOMME, & Tisane Relaxante from Chateau de VILLANDRY in Loire Valley. 

Teapot from Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.


For more of my tea posts check out the Macaron Party & some of my favorite teas!


 Bon Appetea!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrations

 & Announcements


Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday, but she'll be traveling so I want to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today and dedicate this post to her...

I'm so excited to share something I'm super proud of and brought tears to my eyes when I got a little package in the mail this weekend. I've mentioned it before, but my friend Kori from Blonde Episodes wrote her first novel, Murder on the Boulevard... which I'm super excited to read... but to see my name on the dedication page was the exact encouragement I needed & the closest I've gotten to my own name on a book... yet! It's empowering to know that in some small way my humble little blog has impacted someone else in some way and makes it all worth while. Plus it encourages me to forge on with my own writing.




So, Mom I dedicate my dedication to you. Thanks for all you support and encouraging me to follow my dreams, even when it terrified you that I left all stability behind, you always held you tongue and willed me to put my dreams first.


Happy Birthday (tomorrow)!


P.s. If you saw my post on Facebook yesterday about my cousin, he survived a 100ft fall and is going home from the hospital today! We are so grateful! You can read the articles HERE or HERE or watch the KNVN News clip HERE.

P.s.s. This week has been outstanding for blog views! Surpassing records each day... Thank you!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hyde Park

Street Style


When people ask about my favorite part of my trip, it's too hard to narrow down. But I was the happiest was in London. Each day I took at least 30-60 minutes to just be out in the park. Sit and people watch. Lay down and stare up at the sky through trees. Each time was a completely different experience. On this day in April, it was the onset of warm sunny weather... one of those first days of spring where everyone flocks outside, showing skin, and lapping up sun rays in the hope of a blissful summer.



Do you remember how you spent your first days of spring?

In case you missed Water Walking in Hyde Park, check it out!


Have a good week!

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