Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


I know I am supposed to be working on my book and not blogging but this is just a quick little posting about the shop!

In 2008, when I first started collecting pieces for my antique shop in Santa Barbara named Circa, the second stop after Paris on our buying trip was the South of France. There is a little town in the middle of Provence that is known for its antiques. Luckily, it’s only 30 minutes from my house! The antique dealers always have charming pieces without the overinflated Parisian price tags.

Over the Christmas holidays, on a quiet Sunday, I had time to peruse each shop without the frenzy of the summer tourists. Truly, there were some remarkable pieces… Statues, chandeliers, mirrors, daybeds, and my favorite… Accessories.

I had my eye on and took home two pieces for the shop that I think you will love as much as I do! In my humble/not so humble opinion, I don’t think any home should be without a gilt mirror and a little chinoiserie no matter the style of the house. These pieces always work. So here we go…

The first piece is a Louis XVI style giltwood mirror. Circa 1890. I love everything about this mirror. It’s a perfect size, not too big, not too small. Would work over a chest of drawers, over a bar table, in the bathroom, over a dressing table, even in an entry hall. The musical cartouche gives it that little something special adding to its charm. Octagonal shaped with the perfect gilt. It is in mint condition for its 19th century age. Measures 33" tall and 19.5" wide. The interior mirror measures 16" tall and 14" wide. The price is $1200 which includes packaging, shipping, insurance and tracking number. Let’s take a  look…

The second piece that I have for you this week is a dropdead gorgeous gigantic antique chinoiserie tray. Napoleon III. Circa 1870. Papier-mâché. Gold trimmed. Mint condition. Beautiful scene of China men and women wearing traditional dress, enjoying themselves in the garden. The colors and details are what make this tray extraordinary. Birds, chrysanthemums, tea service, fans, pomegranates, Chinese lanterns, junk boat, beautiful dresses… Colors of black, gold, persimmon, ivory, reds and blues. This would be a great cocktail tray, appetizer tray and beautiful to display. Measures 22" tall and 28" wide. Because of its large size I assume that it was used as a tabletop as well. The price is $990 which includes packaging, shipping, insurance and tracking number. Let’s take a look…



Okay, let’s talk about price. The price of these pieces is indicative of its value. These are forever pieces and hopefully pieces to pass down. French antiques are not cheap… Never have been, never will be. However, the price for these pieces is considerably less than what you would typically find at antique stores or online. I have been selling antiques for half my life and I know a good piece for a good price when I see it. I have built good reputations with the vendors and I have learned to negotiate from the best. The prices include shipping so you don’t have to worry about anything… I will take care of the details.

Voilà! The shop is open. Click HERE to shop. These pieces are under the antiques category. Email me if you have any questions.

*I have been a busy bee working on my book. I hope to have it finished at the end of February but I will be back to blogging regularly mid-February.

Not that you asked but since we are friends I’m going to tell you…

I finished all seven seasons of The Good Wife.

I just started season one of Downton Abbey.

I’m going to a dog show on Saturday hopefully to find a little a little puppy because Teddy and I need something to cuddle.

I actually got a stomachache watching Sarah Palin endorse Donald Trump but laughed out loud at one of the newspaper headlines that had a picture of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin that said, “I’m With Stupid.”

Because I am a lover of all things Real Housewives… I watched Real Housewives of Potomac and cringed because it was the worst reality television I’ve ever seen in my life short of 16 and Pregnant and Honey Boo-Boo.

My husband is going to make me the Barefoot Contessa’s beef bourguignon this weekend. Do you know it calls for an entire bottle of wine?

I am looking into a supercool new app called Share The Meal, that, through the World Food Program, supplies vouchers for food for pregnant and nursing mothers of Syria. Go HERE!

And that’s it! What have you guys been up to?



That Day in St. Tropez…


Over the weekend, we took a little drive to St. Tropez. I always say that I would never be caught dead in St. Tropez during the summer but, as I am apt to do, I changed my mind and I decided that I would be caught dead in St. Tropez any day, any season. Why? Because it is fabulous. It’s basically Paris at the beach and what could be better than that?

I have had a long love affair with St. Tropez since I was 18 years old. You can read all about it HERE. I decided that I wanted to take Gracie there this weekend with my husband so she could see it and remember it with me. At this point with my ALS, I am all about creating memories with Gracie and David. Gracie hates this because it usually involves us waking up at the crack of dawn, taking a road trip, sightseeing and taking a lot of pictures of her. Not exactly what a 20-year-old wants to do with her parents every weekend. Ask me if I care…

So off we went to St. Tropez. It took about two and half hours to get there from our house and we made it just in time for the farmers market in the famous Place des Lices. I remembered it well from my youth… Vegetables, fruits, roasting chickens, Provençal spices, olives, the beautiful trees, the older gentleman playing pétanque… Heaven on earth. Even though it was the dead of winter, the sun was shining and it was wonderful.


We took a little walk through the village. 90% of the town was closed which was just fine for me because there were no tourists. It was actually great because I could “see” and appreciate the town much better this way. It was quiet and peaceful and could not have been more charming. Let’s take a look…


We stopped by the little museum, Le Musee de L'Annonciade, which is in a converted 16th century chapel and has works by Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Bonnard and Vuillard…


The only restaurant that was open was a teeny tiny Thai food restaurant on the harbor. We were starving so we ordered everything…Nem (fried spring rolls that you wrap in lettuce and mint that you dip in a tangy /sweet sauce), shrimp pad Thai, and Seabass wrapped in coconut leaves with vegetables. Absolutely delicious! The restaurant only had four customers so the service was great!

After lunch, we decided to drive to some neighboring villages…Ramatuelle and Gassin. The billion dollar price tag for real estate in this neck of the woods is completely warranted if you ask me.


We drove down to the famous Pampelonne beaches (Tahiti beach, Club 55) for a trip down memory lane. I couldn’t help myself but laugh at the irony that the last time I was at these beaches I was in a bikini, drinking champagne and dancing on tables… And now, in a wheelchair, breathing machine and all bundled up because “I can’t get cold.” You can either cry or laugh at the situation. I might have done both.


So that was our weekend… St. Tropez, fabulous all year around, then and now.

*Okay, so I have made a decision… I really want to finish this book that I have been writing. I started it four years ago and I’m still not finished! Sometimes I get distracted, sometimes I get uninspired and sometimes it’s just difficult emotionally to write. However, I think it’s important that I do this for Gracie. And for you. It’s not just a book about “what happened”, it’s also a book about how I dealt with “what happened.” It’s obviously a comedy. Just kidding/no I’m not. I am hoping that the book will be reflective and inspiring and hysterical because what’s more hysterical than getting ALS at 40 years old? So, in order for me to focus and finish this book I’m going to have to take a break from the blog. Maybe a month, maybe less. I might write a post here and there if something awesome happens but mostly I will just be trying to finish the book. But don’t worry, I am never far away… I will be posting daily on Instagram. Follow me HERE! And don’t worry about the shop, I will be posting updates and sneak peeks on Instagram daily with new items, antiques and more. In fact, I have some antique goodies that I will post this week. So, just follow me and we can stay in touch!

Click HERE to follow me on Instagram!

See you soon! You can always email me to say hi if you want. XOXO

Potager...That's Fancy for Veggie Garden

One of the main reasons that I moved to Provence was for the sunshine (and to see my friends Susie and Heather). Apparently, my new ‘hood gets 300 days of sunshine a year… And is designated as a Mediterranean climate. So, that is obviously a recipe for a vegetable garden or as they call it over here in Fraaaaance, a “potager.” The exact definition of a potager is the following…"A potager is a French-style ornamental kitchen garden. It is generally planned for a small space and formal in design, with mostly vegetables and fruit and some cut flowers. “

Sounds lovely, fancy and snobby. I’m doing it. Let's take at some inspirational potagers...


So this is my new project. To build a potager at my new house in Provence. I have even given myself a title, “Garden Boss.” Since I cannot physically do any of the work I will have to delegate the work to my caregivers (as if they don’t already have enough work). But I have assured them that this will be fun!

My first real experience with a proper potager was at Château Chenonceau outside of Paris. For the whole blog about the Château, titled Spread My Ashes at Chenonceau, click HERE, but for now let’s look at the Château’s potager…



How much experience do I have in the garden, you ask? About zero. I have only created one garden in my life but I can say with certainty that it was one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever done. The joy of planting something, tending to it and watching it grow was palpable.

 This is me and the housekeeper, Francisca, in 2009 tending to our garden. Yes, I think it's best to garden in all white.
 Look how hard I'm working... Oh wait, that's Francisca.
 Moroccan mint for tea.
 Lettuces for my California Pizza Kitchen Barbeque Chicken Salad.
 Herbs for cooking and flower arrangements.

For my new garden I will have to start from absolute scratch. I have a perfect area to the left of my kitchen to create this new edible garden. First, I will have to start with the design. I decided that I want it to be in four parts with Willow edging and a birdbath in the center. Three of the four parts will be designated to my garden concept of: Green juice and ratatouille. Yep, green juice and ratatouille because that is basically what I live on (and gummy bears). The fourth part of the garden will be designated to my garden concept of: Flowers that look and smell pretty.

This is where the new potager will go...
So, the first section of my garden dedicated to juicing will have kale, cucumber, spinach, Swiss chard, beets and arugula. I also add lemon, carrots, fennel, turmeric, coconut oil, kiwi, ginger and green apples to my green juice but I will just have to buy that at the grocery store or the farmers market. I can only do so much!

The second section of my garden dedicated to ratatouille: eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash. I will get the garlic and onions from the farmers market.

The third section of my garden will be dedicated to herbs: Rosemary, thyme, savory, marjoram, basil, oregano, Moroccan mint, cilantro and I will also throw in some strawberries just for fun.

The fourth section of my garden will be for a cutting garden. Roses, roses and roses.

Considering that I probably got ALS from a toxic pesticide ridden raspberry, my garden will have to be completely organic. Should I compost? I don’t know if I think that’s gross or not...

How am I going to do all of this? I have absolutely no idea. But I am determined and I will educate myself through books, blogs and advice. Advice from all of you, my mother and my new secret weapon… My new caregiver in Provence happens to be the son of the gardener to the estate of Janet de Botton! You can bet your “Botton” dollar that I will be using that garden advice (and probably all of his tools) !
Dear Janet, can I come over? Love, Ellie

Stay tuned for updates!

*So glad you all liked the new and improved shop. The blue and white chinoiserie was a huge hit! I will continue to grow the shop week by week adding more products and lots more antiques. The shop will always be open now so feel free to shop at your leisure. Follow me on Instagram HERE to be the first in the know of new products and antique pieces and get the latest updates on the shop! All of your packages are being wrapped with love and will be sent out this week!
Merci beaucoup!