Today we celebrated the 60th birthday of Julie, one of my Romancing the Home girls. She is my rock- the one everyone calls in to cover absences, the cleaner, the absolute organizer and the one that follows the rules---------- and I wanted to do something special for her big birthday. She is such a special person in my life and I am so lucky. About 16 years ago, she was a customer, shopping in my store. I remember her buying a leather bound book and she said to me " If you are ever looking for someone- I would enjoy working here"- and I hired her on the spot! It is a decision that I will never regret. I love this girl!
Since the weekend of her birthday is Super Bowl , we decided to do brunch. I had my favorite florist, Twigs, create the flowers, while I concentrated on the food. I wanted to set the theme as a "virtual " week in Paris. So I decided to turn the kitchen into a French Café.
I took Twigs a collection of pink and turquoise opaline glass . Julie's favorite colors are pink and blue.
Pink Opaline glasses - so pretty and so hard to find.
Love these turquoise votives used for the party.
She created several little arrangements so that I could place them in several locations.
The ones above were on the patisserie stand on the kitchen island.
Vintage tumblers were dipped in cranberry juice and then dipped in
Raspberry and Rosemary sea salt.
Sea salt was placed in the black swan salt cellar that my dear friend, Mariterese gave me.
A grapefruit liqueur ,Pamplemouss Rose, from France made by Cartron was chilled and poured in the salt rimmed glasses.
A fresh squeezed grapefruit taste prevailed- delicious little aperitif for brunch.
Fresh berries ready to go on honey vanilla yogurt parfaits with apricot granola.
Tarragon egg salad in little champagne glasses, topped with crumbled bacon, pear bread, strawberry bread in little pink wraps on the 3 tier stand.
Close - up of the Strawberry bread wrapped like a present on a 3 tiered tray.
Bacon and Eggs the easy way - egg salad with crumbled bacon and a sprig of fresh tarragon.
A pink opaline vanity piece substitutes for a votive on the breakfast buffet
French Toast Bread Pudding with fresh raspberries and whipped cream- great recipe.
An over night recipe - no hassle and very good! I finally found 12 gold ramekins just before the party! I have been looking for them for years.
Fresh hot chocolate croissants from Trader Joe's- right out of the oven.
You simply cannot beat them for taste, a wonderful smell in the kitchen and convenience.
We made brunch casual - served in the kitchen and eat where you want!
Laid back and easy for a snowy Sunday morning.
Mariterese sent a special delivery of macaroons from a Belgian bakery in Chicago-
and trust me -they were divine!
I decided to set up my hotel serving cart for the dessert course and covered the salted caramel chocolate macaroons with the French patisserie cloche.
My friend Gail gave me this old hotel serving cart about 5 years ago and I love serving dessert on it!
Simply decadent taste- just look at the filling! These little babies are about 3 inched wide and 1 inch thick and have a gooey yummy filling.
Of course Mariterese sent enough for an army, so everyone got to take a couple home.
Next it was time for some lovely wrapped presents.
Several of the girls gave Julie flowers from Twigs in special containers.
I love this blue opaline vase that Katha found.
Vintage flower bows- I just love ....
Absolutely exquisite Venetian dish - I realllllly did want to steal this !
And look at the divine Venetian perfume bottle.
Julie has this awesome blue and crème toile paper in her powder room. I can just see these in there.
Another exquisite floral with the little bee pin on the quince stem- can you see it?
Such a clever idea from Jill.
A pretty Strawberry Crème cocktail for " after the gifts"!
We spent the afternoon on a virtual tour to Paris- lots of photo-shopped pictures with our faces super imposed on great bodies ( not ours!) - found ourselves as fashion models, super wealthy shoppers and jet setters in the City of Lights- Paris- with all the fantasy pictures synced to the big flat screen in my family room. We sat back on the sofas and drank Champagne and laughed and sometimes wondered- could I really look like this if I lost weight????? Or maybe if I was 10 inches taller????
Nope- no way ever! Can I have another croissant please??!!!!!!!!!!!
Just a lot of laughs and memories between friends.
Happy Birthday Julie- I love you!