when apples are for the looking and not for the eating…
12 August 2011 | VA Notes Uncategorized

when apples are for the looking and not for the eating…

It’s apple time at the farm and although the fruit aren’t ripe enough for eating I have been picking branches to use as decoration throughout our home…..We don’t treat our apples so even though they aren’t perfect in size and colour they are delicious once they mature….After the decorating comes the eating off the tree

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les etoiles…..
11 August 2011 | VA Notes Uncategorized

les etoiles…..

Anita from the beautiful blog, Castles Crowns and Cottages is the winner of the Moonshined Design etoile earrings. Thank you all for your comments and emails…you are all stars in my eyes….they were so appreciated and I know that Cate would want me to tell you how thrilled she was at your response to her story

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the grown-up girl’s play room….
10 August 2011 | VA Notes Uncategorized

the grown-up girl’s play room….

Sometimes the ‘girly girl-ness’ of a space is what we need to warm and cosy up our day. This dressing room, designed as if it were a personal boudoir, just seemed to me to be the perfect space to take five…. There are a couple of days left to comment, follow or subscribe to French Essence (that

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Dressing The Mantle
26 July 2011 | VA Notes Provence

Dressing The Mantle

One of the hardest challenges when it comes to styling is dressing the fireplace mantle. First comes the very major and tough decision of what to hang above…it could be a mirror, it could be a painting or it could be an object or even an art instillation. Getting the proportions right is the hardest part and

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Pizza In Provence
21 July 2011 | VA Notes Provence

Pizza In Provence

‘Wood’ fired pizza is popular in southern France…and generally it is the kind of meal that can’t go too wrong. I like my pizzas with a thin, crispy and well done crust. I love generous lashings of tomato sauce on the base, not too much cheese and a mixture of toppings…with a little chilli oil

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The French Girl’s Suitcase
12 July 2011 | VA Notes Lifestyle

The French Girl’s Suitcase

Overheard in the farmhouse this morning… Me: Today, I think I will write about travel and how to pack. I have been thinking about how best to pack a suitcase and what are the essentials for a bon voyage. Lulu: without a moment’s hesitation…That’s simple. A swimsuit, a beach towel, sarong and sun cream….and maybe some soap…

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How Does Your Blog Grow
8 July 2011 | VA Notes Lifestyle

How Does Your Blog Grow

I am often asked blogging questions by my readers…all sorts of questions…including how to attract more traffic to their sites. I am not a technical whiz kid nor am I a computer genius and what I have learnt about blogging is simply through my own experience.

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A Sentimental Mood… About The Wedding Day
15 June 2011 | VA Notes Beauty

A Sentimental Mood… About The Wedding Day

That was me when asked to ponder the question of marriage…I wrote, My wedding day was perfect in the way that young girls dream of. My voluminous silk taffeta gown, reminiscent of Lady Diana’s, was the ultimate cream puff and my flowing veil of the finest French tulle concealing my disastrous layered haircut was long

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Letters From Corsica #2
9 June 2011 | VA Notes Provence

Letters From Corsica #2

le lion de roccapina The island of Corsica is often referred to as, ‘the Alpes of the sea’ and my first impressions confirmed this. Raising my eyes above the vivid water line of the Mediterranean and focusing solely on the rugged peaks in the distance, I could well believe that I was gazing at the

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Letters From Corsica #1
6 June 2011 | VA Notes Uncategorized

Letters From Corsica #1

I survived the crossing. Driving to Marseille through one of Provence’s spectacular storms made for a dramatic start to my Corsican journey. The Gods did take pity on me and while the heavens might have been lashing out the seas remained calm and friendly. The Napolean Bonaparte is a means to an end; she is a

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Letters From Corsica
3 June 2011 | VA Notes Uncategorized

Letters From Corsica

Have you ever had trouble sleeping? Anticipation sometimes disrupts my sleep and last night I had one of those kinds of tossy-turny sleeps. I kept dreaming about big boats and passenger ferries and the rocking of the waves and the fear of sea sickness. We are embarking on an adventure tonight; we are driving to Marseille and

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Tearing The Pages
2 June 2011 | VA Notes Provence

Tearing The Pages

Do you keep all the back issues of your decorating magazines? I do, well at least I always have until now…I think I am going to brave my conventions and toss many of them. On the one hand I feel disloyal but on the other hand I suspect there will be a massive sense of

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French Women And Lingerie
25 May 2011 | VA Notes Fashion

French Women And Lingerie

I read that French women are the biggest buyers of lingerie. What does that mean? Other than that women in general love their pretties, it simply means that some women like lingerie more than others. There are all sorts of assumptions made from this data about nationality and sexiness…a difficult one to determine and not

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The French Garden
20 May 2011 | VA Notes Provence

The French Garden

Plenty of rain earlier this year has meant that not only have the roses been abundant and prettier than ever, but also the other parts of the garden. The most important element for a garden planted from scratch, apart from constant care and attention, is time. Time is the garden’s best friend. This year our

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