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I Can’t Bake.

It’s true, my personality does not allow me to bake. I am a fly by the seat of my pants type of girl and this is not conducive to baking. All of that measuring and precision is not for me. However, I do recognize a good cake when I see one. My cousin is a great baker, a temperamental baker, but a baker nonetheless. She usually makes all of Gracie’s birthday cakes and they are always amazingly clever. But what you have to go through while she is baking the cake makes it almost not worth it. Almost. Why are bakers always like that? They are probably just frustrated with all that measuring and precision but just won’t admit it, so it just festers inside of them and they take it out on unsuspecting cake eaters. But we still eat the cake so we are the enablers. I learned all of this from my friend Tom; he’s a therapist. We literally speak for hours a day about everything and nothing and solve all the world’s problems and wonder why everyone isn’t perfect like us. But anyway, back to cake and The Art of Entertaining.

To finish off a party, bringing out a cake, is just glorious. Just glorious! I prefer a homemade cake with homemade icing. It’s always a good idea to add a little “pièce de résistance” to your cake. Flowers, fruit or a supercool cake topper. Yes, I said it… Cake topper. There are some chic cake toppers believe it or not. Look look look…


And don’t forget the cake plate! Look look look…


If you want to see more fabulous cakes, cake toppers and cake plates, check out my Have Some Decorum Cake Pinterest board HERE

So on Saturday, we went to that fancy antique show I told you about. I have been to about, without exaggeration, 4 to 5 billion antique shows in my lifetime. This was one of the best. It even smelled good.
My husband and I got into a bit of a tiff/argument/discussion because I told him that I had heard that the antique show had so many valuables that it was insured for $50 billion. He disagreed and said, “Not 50 billion. Maybe 50 million.” My friend Tom, the therapist, always says to me, “Ellie, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy.” I want to be right so I said to my husband, “No, it’s 50 billion, douche bag.” When we got to the antique show, we went through the Graf jewelry booth and saw numerous flawless 50 carat diamond rings, in addition to Picassos, Mirós, 17th century boiserie, Boulle furniture and Roman statues. My husband looked at me regretfully and said, “You were right. It’s probably $50 billion.” It’s so good to be right AND happy.
Here are a few photos.


On Sunday, we went to the “other flea market.” It was way out in the 14th arrondissement so we took an Uber taxi. As soon as we got there I felt like “something was not quite right.” I couldn’t breathe very well so then, of course, I started to have a panic attack. When this is happening, I usually try to distract myself and I tried, I really tried to let the flea market be my distraction. Did not work. There were too many people, too much junk, the smell of french fries in the morning, and cigarette smoke mixed with sweaty French people. This has happened to me before. One year in Mallorca Spain, Diandra roused all of us at an alarming hour to go to the local farmers market. Within 30 minutes of us getting there, I was sitting on the curb, clammy, head hung low, sipping a Spanish version of Sprite and having a nervous breakdown. Why? Because Diandra bought Spanish ham at one stall and then a live bird at the next stall and then some cheese at the next stall. It was about 300°, we were hung over and the last thing you want to see is salami and animals co-mingling in repressive heat. I thought I was going to die. I should have known better yesterday. My husband tried to calm me down yesterday by trying to buy me something. This trick usually works but I didn’t even want anything. Except, now looking back, I really wish I would’ve had my wits about me because I really wish I would’ve bought these gorgeous yellow dishes. Now I’m going to spend a lifetime looking for their replacement. I did catch a glimpse of the stamp of the bottom. Martres France. There was also a little painting I should have bought but I didn’t have the energy to even take a picture of it. I just wanted to get the f*ck out of there. We summoned the Uber taxi. Nothing available. Apparently, Uber didn’t want to come to this flea market either. So we just started walking. My husband even admitted that he did not feel right at the flea market. We both decided that this flea market had bad mojo. We walked all the way home. From the 14th arrondissement to the 1st arrondissement! The only good thing about the day was that I saw these beautiful abandoned train tracks on our walk home. But besides that, the whole day was  hell. Note to self: stay in your comfort zone.


Stay tuned for the final installment (for now) of The Art of Entertaining. Hint: invisible tape.

*Thank you so much to everyone for their comments on something that we don’t know about each other! It’s fun getting to know everyone. What I really mean is that I’m glad we all hate the same things. Here’s something you don’t know about me. I never ever ever allowed Gracie to lick the cake batter because I was afraid of the raw eggs. Gracie learned the words “salmonella poisoning” before she could walk. She still hates me for that. My response: “Well guess what Gracie? Thanks to me you’re still alive.”


  1. OK, I'm not much of a commenter, but if you insist, here goes. I've only been following you for a month or so (found you from HC) and you are now the 1st blog I read. I read a lot of blogs, so that is a big deal! I love your personality, it comes through loud and clear. I especially like your references (just ordered some candles from Knorr). I've toyed with ordering some new monogramed napkins from Julia B, but I'm just not into cloth napkins. Don't judge - you don't live in a house full of boys! Plus who has time to iron napkins when there are so many good blogs to read. Until next time . . .

  2. I doNOT bake either!But if I did and I always whipped up a BETTY CROCKER cake for the BOYS birthday parties!My secret there add a cup of mayonnaise to the ingredients!I always decorated with flowers..........amazing how simple and beautiful it can be!Loved the photo you showed with the FIGS on the cake!The antique show looks FABULOUS!I recently had the same argument with my Italian husband about how much a house cost to paint!HE WON.I like being right too!Now,last year I was at that FLEA MARKET you were at!After coming from the OTHER SOIREE this would be a bit of a let down..........but I did find some treasures. My favorite and I only bought ONE should have bought them a silver sauce holder that I use for my WINTER LATTE in the mornings!You did not see big silver cups did YOU?!!I really only need one which makes it all the more special........I also found there an old top hat in its box.....the kind that fold up!I think YOU would like it! And a big silver frame from ENGLAND......with initials engraved upon it.From some ones wedding.........perfect for a CARLA photo of me and the chickens!Love the fact you walked and rolled HOME!Your train track sighting was beautiful......and just to let you know I get the same ATTACKS too!XOXOXOXO

  3. I love to bake. And drink. And drink and bake. Cake! My husband smiles. My daughter smiles. I take a bubble bath. The end.

  4. Love the terms of reference - Cake Toppers - does what it says but somehow sounds fancy all the same! I love all those fruit and flowers - although anything could be hidden underneath them!
    I make one cake - Lemon Drizzle, and not very often. Can't think of anything worse than licking out a bowl now! As a child, loved the grittiness from the sugar in the raw mixture. But can honestly say this is the first time it's occured to me that in doing so I was eating raw egg! Feel v daring now!

  5. Hi Ellie, I still love you. You are a hoot. Something about me: I like to bake but don't very much bc then I eat it, I do not like dark rooms during the day, but they are great at night with candle light, you like lots of color, I do not. (You are probably right) I love you keep your perspective. I will always remember it bc you are right about that too!

  6. Yay, yay, yay, my day is complete having your blog in my inbox! Cakes…love!!! but no, like you, I prefer less restrictive means of creating food:) Thankfully my daughter is a wonderful, enthusiastic baker, so that is fun! AND mentioning the cake plate,... yes! I was given a very elegant pedestal for our wedding a million years ago, and for every cake that is baked in our home, it is highlighted by it. A great post BTW about the market (except for the bad chi), I liked the perspective of your photos. xo

  7. Maybe what the French Queen really meant to say was "Let them eat cake batter!" :) Personally, I love to bake and have been eating raw cookie and cake batter my whole life - And I'm still alive! (Hope Gracie's not reading this) :)
    p.s. I've been meaning to purchase the Green Jadeite cake platter you have pictured - Thought it'd be perfect for the "Easy Oreo Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake" on website. It's perfect for St. Paddy's Day, when green Oreo's are available...and hint,'s a no-bake cake!

  8. Nothing says "I care about you" more than a beautiful cake. And those toppers are sublime. --Nancy

  9. oh man, i can't tell you how many times i've gotten into a similar tiff with my soon to be husband. there's something truly satisfying about being right, especially when your husband things you're not just wrong, but wildly, crazy wrong. great pics from the flea market.