Links for le weekend


Convento de Vilavella, Spain

The rentrée is in full swing! We’re back to Dijon, suitcases are unpacked, the fridge is stocked, and I got back to work this morning and taught my first class this morning at 8am to a great group of students; not a bad way to start the academic year. We’re off to the Back to school concert downtown with some friends this evening, and then getting back on the fitness track this weekend with some much needed exercise and some yummy veggie dishes. The start of September always feels like a fresh start after the summer, don’t you think? What are you up to this weekend?

If you’re in the surfing mood, here are a few fun links  from around the web…

If you’re in the states enjoy Labor Day weekend! If you’re having one last summer cookout David Lebowitz’s rosé sangria is the perfect way to add some French and Spanish style to your soiree.

Maybe we’ll look for one of these wild French swimming holes this weekend and take a last summer dip!

Getting kinda excited for the cool weather since I saw the new coats out at Zara. I love this gray one!

Also pretty happy to get back to the city marché to keep the fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies; The French Market cookbook would be the perfect companion!

It’s time to get back to my French studies. I like to practice with the News in Slow French podcast, it’s the perfect way to brush up my French and get a dose of the news.

And, in case you missed these posts from A Beautiful Journey…

My favorite little foodie luxuries from the supermarket to stock up on while you’re in France – perfect for easy to pack pressies too!

I finally got to help Diego with the drive from Spain to France since I finally got my Spanish driver’s license this summer, here’s a look at how I got it.

Finally, some more apartment inspiration from France: Easy Parisian Elegance

Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments!

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Bonne Weekend!

Besos, Dianne

At home: Modern Marie Antoinette

I’m on my way back to France today. We’ll be on the road for a long 17 hour drive from St. Jacques de Compostelle back to Dijon.  I’m sure by the time we get to our apartment tonight it is going to feel like a palace and we’ll be sleeping like royalty after being away … and then we’ll wake up again in our Ikea clad abode.*

Thinking of kings and queens, I can’t help but go back to the extravagant bedrooms in Versailles – matching fabric on the walls, beds, and chairs, gold molding, curvaceous lines, baroque busts and candelabra, all together it can all be a bit overwhelming. But, lately I’ve been leaning more towards the opulent versus the minimal (too much Ikea, maybe?) and I’ve noticed a few Versailles style details in design magazines and blogs lately. If you’re leaning toward the opulent too, here’s some inspiration to give your place some modern French royal flair.

1) Find a few fat, curvy, voluptuous tables. Paired with modern details or a bright color they seem just dreamy enough.
2) Add some plush, gold rimmed chairs. Upholstered in rich velvets or bold patterns they could go classic or original.
3) Put up some opulent yet playful wallpaper. Rich, organic patterns make a space look so posh. And, I love those flamingoes!
So, what do you think, modern Marie Antoinette, yay or nay??
* I actually love our little place. Finding an apartment in France coming soon!

Palm Beach, Florida


Growing up in Michigan one of the typical spring break vacation destinations was Florida. Orlando’s theme parks beckoned, grandparents wintering down south awaited, and our parents needed a break from all the snow. But now that I’m older, Disney is no longer on the Florida visit list, instead a trip down to the Keys to relive a one of the breathtaking sunsets my dad always dreamed of, a walk down South Beach to take in some pastel Art Deco, or a stop on Calle Ocho top the list. This year our first stop in the States was Florida. With most of my Venezuelan family there, we stayed with my aunt, uncle, and grandma. Most days consisted of eating, laughing, more eating, time at the pool, and then eating some more (so much amazing food – must detox soon!). It was perfect. But aside from all the family time, we also took a trip to Palm Beach.



I’ll admit I didn’t know what to expect when my aunt told us we’d take a day trip to Palm Beach.  Driving over the bridge and onto the island that is Palm Beach endless rows of palm trees welcomed us. I was immediately impressed by the stunning historical architecture giving Spanish Colonial the symmetry of Art Deco  with terracotta rooftops and dark woods next to stucco and soft pastels. We parked at Worth avenue and took a stroll down the palm tree lined avenue. We window shopped at the designer boutiques (Worth Avenue is Florida’s Rodeo Drive) and got lost in the chraming “vias” that are tucked off the avenue and overflowing with lush plants, iron balconies, and sparkling chandeliers.

As we continued east, the Worth Avenue clock tower welcomed us to the endless sandy beaches. The beige marble towner is like a reclic recovered from the sea – a perfect example of the harmony between the tropical landscape and the spectacular buildings.


We drove the coast line back south, passing incredible historic mansions built in the 1920’s that drip with the grandeur, details, and grace of a time past and represent some of the most important architects of the era. Most were quiet and still as we drove by, and the emptiness brought out a such a sense of Gastbyesque longing, that I couldn’t help but imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda partying at more than a few of them.

After a cloudy day at Palm Beach, somehow the day ended with an impossibly orange sunset that turned into the pink South Florida dusk and something I never expected began to happen, Florida’s endless soft beaches, pastel pink skies, tropical humidity, Latin heritage, architectural history, and palm trees enchanted me, and those heavy green palms somehow became the green light on the other side of my bay…