Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summers in France

Summers In France is a fabulous read.

Along with photos of gorgeous interiors, there are recipes, tips on how to be a gracious hostess and guest, and information about the amazing markets near Ms. Ireland’s summer home in the Tarn-et-Garonne region of Southwestern France.

I really appreciated the before and after photos.   Ms. Ireland has taken a rundown farm house and turned it into a wonderful home.

If you’ve seen Ms. Ireland on the show “Million Dollar Decorators”, you know she has a very vivacious personality.  This comes through in the book.  It’s clear she loves to entertain and to make her guests feel at home.

The house is beautifully decorated but there is nothing stuffy about it.  It’s not easy to pull off the combo of comfortable yet chic.  I’ve flagged quite a few pages in this book.

Sigh,  I cannot wait until I can have my own home in the countryside.

“Soon Come.”

This Caribbean expression is very similar to the Italian word, domani.   Technically,  domani means tomorrow, but in Italy it could mean months or years from now.  The concept of time is very different.

Soon come is the same thing.

“When is your tio (uncle) visiting from the States?”

“Soon come.”

When I was a child, I assumed this meant that the gentleman would be on the next flight.  No, he may arrive tomorrow, or December 2013.


Yesterday, I met with my clients and their builder.  The house is moving along.

“When will the exterior be finished?”

“Soon come”.

It’s not easy to build on a tiny island thanks to the elements (hurricane season is no joke), sourcing of materials, and high labor costs.

Depending on a variety of factors out of my client’s hands, the house could be done in eight months or ???.

We’ll see.   Soon come.

For those who don’t watch NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”, here are two clips explaining what the heck the title of this post is referring to.

Not having a steady paycheck is of course one of the major downsides of starting your own company and/or being a writer.  Your landlord doesn’t care if your latest script is hilarious.  If it doesn’t sell, you can’t pay your rent.

Another downside is the lack of structure.  I work from home.  My laptop is always around.  I don’t take the weekends off.  I feel guilty if I’m not working on novel number two, tweaking the AGD business plan, finishing a rewrite on a spec, working on my TV idea pitches, etc.

The thing is, I’m producing diminishing returns.  I’m fried.

I finally hit the wall last week.  While I do have a slew of pitches coming up, (which I have no control over), I have to get some kind of schedule in place.

I also need to treat myself once in a while.  I have been so severe with my budget, it’s insane.  I can account for every single euro I spend.

I have no desire to have credit card debt or to be irresponsible.  But I cannot continue to live the way I’m living.   Something has to change.

So, I’m going to loosen the reins a little.

Treat. Yo. Self. 2012 has begun.

I’ve written about Wonderfool the spa and concept store before.   One thing I really like about Wonderfool is how they highlight Iocal artisans.

A few weeks ago there was an aperitivi at the store and several of the designers were there.

I had a chance to speak with the très chic Daria Reina the Creative Director of Chez Dédé, a French-Italian label.  She and her partner Andrea Ferolla started the company a few years ago.  Inspiration struck the luxury goods communications consultant and the art director while they were on the island of St. Barths.

At Wonderfool they sell only their bags, but Chez Dédé also makes scarves and bracelets.  Their scarves for men, Les New Yorkaises, would be perfect for my boyfriend, if I had one.   The colors are striking and I hope they start to design some for us ladies as well.

Each bag is name for an island or a beach they have visited.  One of the newest editions is their Grand Tour bag.  It’s sporty and sophisticated. I LOVE it.  It’s a perfect bag for a longer trip.  You can fill it with mementos of your journey.

Another addition to the collection is the Taormina bag.  Made with a stunning Sicilian red, this bag inspires me to book a trip to Sicily pronto.

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The craftsmanship is remarkable. Not only are these bags gorgeous, they are well made.  Daria said it was important to her and her partner to make the bags in Italy.  I’m sure Chez Dédé would make a lot more money producing the bags elsewhere. I appreciate their commitment to pay artisans well.

I’m not completely anti-fast fashion, but I’m doing my best to avoid it. I’d rather own a few things of excellent quality than buy a bunch of things from Zara/H&M/Top Shop that fall apart after two washings.  Also, I have the worst figure for fast fashion.  What looks cool on my thin and/or tall friends looks, well, cheap on me.

I adore these bags and not just because I’m an Island Girl myself. They are very “Stylish Simplicity”.

I was telling one of my friends that I couldn’t decide which one to get.  One of the bigger totes (Ciao Portofino!  Bonjour Cap Ferrat!) or the cute smaller Salina one?  I will decide after my birthday next month.

Chez Dédé


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