The magic of Christmas

· Decoration, Fashion, Food

This year, the Christmas hype started way early (I feel like we’ve been expecting it since end of august!) but I managed to wait until november to progressively get into the mood : first with the department store windows, then with the amazing Mickey Mouse birthday weekend at Disneyland …

But I waited until december to bring the Christmas spirit into our home ! In this post, you’ll get a glimpse of our 2018 Christmas decoration!!

 

O Christmas Tree

If you compare with last year, the 2018 christmas tree is a bit taller : it wasn’t a conscious choice : we didn’t measure it before bringing it home! But it’s not a bad thing, as there was more space for our decorations.

We only started decorating a tree 4 years ago, but it’s a tradition we’re not ready to let up : it’s so soothing and it brings such sweet magic to the whole month of December.

 

Nutcrackers  brought from Hamburg and Stuttgart Xmas markets
Mug Villeroy & Boch
Bagpipe player brought from England

 

We spend long hours in the evening admiring our tree (and after our refurbishment works last year, the tree now has the perfect spot across from the sofa), and I love it. I just wish I had taken more time to prepare a homemade advent calendar (it’s a perfect gift for your SO and/or a friend), but I’ll try to do it next year!

With regards to our Christmas decorations, we used the same ones as last year and added our finds from this year : a queen’s guard, a kilt-wearing bagpipe player, a telephone booth in embroidered cloth, all souvenirs from our UK roadtrip.

Animated nutcracker BHV Marais
Bell and reindeer Villeroy & Boch

Stars and ball Swarovski

 

I also love Villeroy & Boch‘s traditional decorations : the first (the reindeer and the gingerbread man) were gifted to me by my friend Sylvain last year , and this year I added the ball and the bell to my collection.

My favorite decorations are the wooden ones by Christian Ulbricht, brought back from our trips to the german chistmas markets. The details are so precise and cute that I try to add to my collection each year : this year I added the sleighs (driven by Santa and a christmas angel) to our star and cuckoo clock.

Reindeer and gingerbread man Villeroy & Boch
Mickey decorations Disneyland Paris
Wooden decorations Christian Ulbricht

 

Let’s not forget the Disney decorations that I have been collecting as I visited the parks over the years. Gingerbread Minnie seems to have caught your eye on Instagram, but I’m not sure she can still be bought !

Wooden decoration Christian Ulbricht
Ball Swarovski

Fake candy canes from Japan

 

Each decoration has its little story, which is why we’re so happy to unpack them all each Christmas season.

 

The Christmas wreath

Pouffe La Redoute intérieurs
Mug Villeroy & Boch

 

This year, I asked Clémentine, the founder of Peonies flower/coffeeshop to create a wreath for me. It’s made with dried plants, I wanted it to be natural, festive, but not too much so … the result lived up to our expectations.

We chose to hang it on our reindeer head next to the kitchen. Yes, OK, you can’t really see it anymore, but let’s just say that our reindeer chose to go hibernate incognito in december.

Xmas wreath Peonies Paris

 

A Holiday Table

Oak table E Galina pour AM.PM
Oak chairs AM.PM
Mirror Maisons du Monde

 

I’ve only started enjoying setting a pretty table for the holidays since last year. Then again, having a real dining room table (instead of just a coffee table) changes everything!

Last year, I was missioned to prepare the Christmas Eve dinner for my family. This year it won’t be the case, but a couple days earlier, I had some friends over for a pre-Christmas dinner and I snapped a couple pictures of the table before my guests arrived (…that way I was sure to enjoy the evening and not bother everybody with my blogger/instagramer tendencies, haha!).

Candlestick holders Maison Sarah Lavoine
Glasses La Redoute Intérieurs
Plates Habitat
Linen napkins La Redoute intérieurs

 

The decoration is pretty similar to last year’s, but I used pine tree branches instead of eucalyptus, and added a couple pine cones here and there.

The result is voluntarily simple and natural, and I’m very glad I chose to invest in these golden candlestick holders, that bring elegance to the whole! I chose to leave the linen napkins untouched : no decorations or napkin rings.

I’m still using my white porcelain crockery that I’ve had for years : it’s often tempting to invest in more colorful tableware, but I’m afraid I’d get tired of it, and I just don’t have the space to spare! I’m a minimalist by necessity, hehe! It forces me to be more creative with the rest … and all in all, it’s simplicity I’m most attracted to.

Mugs Rabito
Gâteaux et crackers brought from BHV Marais

 

Here is another example of table setting … for a Christmas teatime! One of my dreams is to celebrate Christmas in England or to enjoy London during Christmas time at least once in my lifetime : and it’s quite achievable, as I’m sure you’ll tell me! In the meantime, I’m inspired by British teatime traditions.

Crackers, mince pies and lots and lots of Christmas tea, here are the key ingredients to feeling a bit more British! (let’s not forget to add watching Bridget Jones and Love Actually, my favorite Christmas movies!)

 

… and the Christmas spirit!

I wish you all a very happy and joyful holiday season – enjoy it as much as you can, whether you are Christmas adepts or not. I don’t really know why, but my love for this time of the year, with its sparkly atmosphere, only gets bigger every year.

I look forward to spending more time with friends and family during the upcoming weeks. I’ll try to slow down even more, and I’ll tell you we will see each other soon in 2019! Take care of yourself and of your loved ones … (English translation by Marine)

 

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My Outfit

Pajamas La Redoute (already seen here)
Reindeer slippers offered by a friend years ago
Necklace Minetta Jewellery

« Volume russe » Eyelashes extensions Les cils de Marie (already seen here)

These days #2

· Art, Illustration

Here is the second episode of my column « These days » initiated last May. People following my stories on Instagram already got a preview but here all in one place all my last discoveries and activities drawn with a few markups.

 

The musical exhibition at the Philharmonie of Paris

I discovered this exhibition on a rainy day, which couldn’t be better to warm up this day! What a surprise we had to experience this interactive exhibition as it was possible to wear a costume like a performer of musical (Mary Poppins anyone?) and to attend a lesson of tap-dance.

As a spectator you won’t be disappointed neither because a lot of videos (even of one shown on a giant screen) allow to discover the backstages and secrets of the shooting. The perfect « Feel Good » exhibition !

 

“Fendre l’air, art of bamboo in Japan” exhibition at the Quai Branly museum 

I’ve really made the most of this « Japonismes » special event before it ends in a few months. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to attend the private viewing of this very inspiring exhibition about Japanese bamboo art.

Initially created to highlight the flower art called ikebana used during tea ceremony, these baskets have witnessed the Japanese creativity along the century (willing to show off in front of my guests mixed to the know-how).

A good overview of the mix between tradition and contemporary: the finest art and technical achievements created with bamboo: a real pleasure for the eyes.

 

The Christmas Market in Stuttgart

I recently had a childhood friend gathering (we’ve known each other for over 30 years… we’ve been getting in touch since elementary school!) in Stuttgart in Germany.

I already had the chance to discover Christmas Markets in Hamburg a few years back: it comforted with the idea that German know how to celebrates Christmas tradition!

Local treats (sausage, praline, crepes and sauerkraut…) and Christmas decoration booth: a magic and end of the year festive ambiance… and in such a good company !

I brought back a lot of memories in my head and others to decorate my Christmas tree.

 

The Mucha exhibition at the Luxembourg museum

This year, I’ve really committed to spend more time with my friends, even though it would mean to put my work life a bit on the side and this kind of day was in line with it.

So I spent one day with Alix to explore the exhibition of Alphonse Mucha at the Luxembourg museum. Here again, a source of inspiration with the famous Slav artist, that everyone knows for his pieces inspired by women and flowers.

We really enjoyed to go into details for each of his so poetic and astonishing creations.

I would recommend you to book a ticket to avoid the line if you want to see it.

 

The Dirty Dancing 30 yo party

One of my favourite movie just turned 30 years old! And to celebrate this birthday and the new DVD/Blu-ray + exclusive bonus, I got invited for a very nice movie karaoke night!

The first time I watched Dirty Dancing, I was probably 11 year old, and it was a VHS and french voices… so I almost know all the french adaption by heart. Back in time my passion for Patrick Swayze was unlimited. What a pleasure to watch it on a big screen!

The DVD blu-ray has new unseen scene of the casting, scene cuts and documentary that I will most probably take the time to watch during the holiday season… it will be the good timing to spread my knowledge about my Proust’s madeleine.

 

The Japonisme exhibition at the museum of Arts Décoratifs

Another exhibition! I can’t stop! This time I got invited by the leather good brand Le Tanneur to attend the exhibition Japon – japonismes with a private visit, before the opening of the museum.

Here again, pleasure for the eyes guaranteed with a few pieces of art, fashion or in term of graphics inspired by Japan.

We can find regrettable the poor scenography (I was discussing about it with one of you on Instagram and we were saying that it looks like an auction house but… only my opinion). However, the content of the exhibition and the collection are very rich which is self-sufficient. (English translation by Quiterie)

Happy 90 Mickey !

· Fashion, Food, Travel

I was invited to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday at Disneyland Paris last weekend. I’ll let you imagine how euphoric I was when I received the invitation (it’s art deco style and so gorgeous I’m thinking about having it framed).

I’ve known Mickey since I was a kid but we’ve only really been close for the past 4 years. I was so happy he thought of me for his 90th birthday celebration! (Haha, I haven’t smoked any Alice in Wonderland mushrooms, I promise).

During these 2 days, I also got to wish Minnie a happy birthday (she was more discreet about it) and I noticed she was a real organisation queen : she gave me her tips and 10 COMMANDMENTS for a great birthday bash …. and great it was indeed! I’ll share them here :

 

1. Great care to the decoration you shall give

For this very special birthday, the park had adorned it’s most beautiful Christmas decorations (Mickey is lucky of have been born a month before the holidays!).

 

The castle is majestic as always (I think it’s the most beautiful one of all the Disney parks in the world) and Christmas and birthday spirit mix as soon as you walk in.

The Christmas tree is impressively huge as always and even more beautiful when it lights up at nighttime. There are Mickey garlands all over Main Street. There is some serious party preparation under way that’s for sure!

 

2. Surround yourself with your best friends you shall

All of Mickey’s friends were present for the birthday party. I even got to meet them before the festivities started and snapped a souvenir photo.

I talked fashion with Minnie (she had noticed my bag) as well as preparation for the big evening ; she was a bit stressed out so I tried to get her to unwind by reminding her it was her birthday as well : Relax and enjoy Minnie!

Goofy, cheerful and always the jokester, had dressed up as Santa Claus and welcomed us in a decor that we’re not used to seeing in the park : it’s pretty unusual to see the castle from this angle, right?

Daisy was waiting for me near Cinderella’s Inn (pro tip : the area is always pretty quiet if you picture where it is in the park). I must have missed Donald by a couple minutes only, but running into his girlfriend is always pleasant.

 

3. On a special dresscode you shall decide

On the invitation, it was strongly recommended to wear a Christmassy and/or Mickey Mouse related outfit for the reception. I’m starting to have quite the collection, I preciously save these items for my visits to Disneyland.

The Mickey Mouse tennis shoes I have are probably the best Disney investment I made, as is this faux leather bag I found in Thailand. They are very understated but that Mickey touch make them special, which is why I included them both in my outfit of the day. .

For the evening, I borrowed a Mickey T-shirt from my S.O and added these graphic earrings I had ordered from Couture Kingdom. They are pretty fragile and heavy, but I really liked the design and I’ll be keeping them preciously for my future Disney outings, or even for daily life.

In both outifts I tried to take into account the Mickey/Minnie color code : red, black and white. I could have added some green, but it’s not really my color!

 

4. Privileged time with your guests you shall spend

Mickey decided to spend some time with each of us and it was the best idea ever, since it would have been difficult to chat with each of the 900 guests during dinner!

We met up at the Walt Disney Studios. I found a last minute gift that I recommended he open later when he’d have more time.

He complimented me on my bag (he and Minnie have the same fashion sense!) and we snapped a couple pictures of our meeting. I think it’s the first time I got to spend so much time with him…it might not be visible and it might be childish (but let me reassure you, I’m quite ok with that), but I was a bit emotional!

 

5. Treat your guests to open-air shows you shall

A FantaStitch christmas !

 

The weather was gorgeous during this weekend, which really helps when you’re celebrating a birthday like this one. The festivities kicked off with a fanfare. Stitch really set the mood with Minnie during a “FantaStitch Christmas” show in front of the castle.

 

At the end of the afternoon, we saw the fabulous Christmas parade. I never get tired of it : I feel they mix things up a little each year which helps in keeping the surprise and magical feeling intact.

Quand Duffy appears in the Santa sleigh 😉

 

At nighttime Goofy introduced us to his “Incredible Christmas” with a mix of real and virtual scenes as well as a cascade of fireworks.

Goofy ‘s incredible Xmas

 

 

6.Let your friends organize suprises you shall

On saturday evening, we had been told to head for the Walt Disney Studios park. Mickey was clueless (even though the scene before the Terror Tower wasn’t very discreet!).

He was expecting to see Minnie but found himself with a whole cast of castmembers/dancers (in synch with his outfit for the evening) and all his friends : Goofy hyper as always, Donald, Daisy and Pluto.

They all joined the scene to dance, sing and wish him the happiest birthday ever. Mickey was very surprised indeed, knowing that the show stopper was the intervention of sweding singer Zara Larsson, who sung 2 of her songs.

Zara Larsson live !

 

I wasn’t expecting any of this either and really enjoyed dancing to “Lush Life” and “Symphony” while reminiscing how I had danced to Lollapalooza this summer.

 

7. A performance to impress your guests you shall prepare

Mickey likes receiving gifts but also giving them : he and his Christmas Big Band treated us to a very impressive performance : I didn’t know he was such a good tap dancer, or that he was such a gifted drummer!

 

Mickey’s Christmas Big Band !

 

This show was simply one of the best I have ever seen in the park : song, dance, a Gatsby style decor… it was constantly moving and the rhythm was incredible! The vocal performances were very impressive and the Christmas songs really set the mood for Christmas.

 

8.Invite your guests to discover traditional specialties

Chip & Dale at the stove ?

 

Enough of donuts, popcorn and other specialties from Uncle Sam’s country? More traditional stands can be found in front of the Ratatouille attraction, at the Walt Disney Studios: Crepes, pancakes, raclette sandwiches and other regional “lightness” of “L’Hiver gourmand”(=Gourmet Winter) are to be enjoyed there.

“L’Hiver gourmand” specialties

 

9. Ask Pierre Hermé to bake your cake you shall

Minnie managed to order a birthday cake from Pierre Hermé! I had no idea : Minnie you’re really the best!

The best pastry chef in the world and his team prepared a huge structure with giant macaroons and “Mickey Zest party” pies.

“Mickey Zest Party” pies by Pierre Hermé

 

These pies can also be eaten in the park (at the Walt’s as well as at the California Grill) during this time of the year.

I loved finishing the dinner with this citrus touch. and since Pierre Hermé was dining at the table next to us (yes it’s surreal) I got to talk to him again, 2 years after meeting him for the first time, and he is still just as adorable!

He felt pretty emotional when he gave Mickey a piece of pie : I think we all connected with our inner child this weekend!

 

10. Magic to the party you shall add

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree ! ♫♪♫ “

 

The fact that the birthday took place in the 2 Disney parks is one of the reasons the magic clearly operated this weekend, but I found that each moment brought us closer to the pinnacle of magic : unusual encounters, awesome weather, nonstop shows and an exceptional dinner!

This dinner took place in Studio 1 of the Walt Disney Studios, which is the studio with the retro/neon light decor that you go through when you are heading to the park.

Free range chicken supreme with Champagne sauce, ginger flavored sweet potato gratin
and seasonal vegetables

 

The dinner with table service was up to par with the cake and unfolded to the beat of a jazzy voice that sung christmas carols from a balcony above us.

I had already been lucky enough to take part in exceptional events in Disneyland Paris, but this birthday surprised me over and over again.

The “Best Birthday Bash” mission was clearly a success. Once again, let’s wish Mickey and Minnie – let’s not forget the humble instigator of this fabulous party – the happiest of Birthdays! (English translation by Marine)


My Outfit

1. Coat Munich Japan (already seen here)
Cashmere jumper La Redoute (already seen here)
Pants Close (already seen here)
Ears Minnie ShopDisney
Earrings Tiffany & Co (already seen here)
Sneakers Moa x Disney (already seen here)
Bag ESP Thailand

 

2.Blazer Ba&Sh x La Redoute (already seen here)
Tee shirt ESP Thailand
Pants La Redoute (already seen here)
Babies Electra Repetto (already seen here)
Earrings Couture Kingdom
Eyelashes extension « Volume russe » Les cils de Marie (already seen here)

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