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August 31, 2012

Long Weekend Wishes & A Favorite Thing of Mine

Hello friends of My Petite Maison this cozy weekend... September 1 already.

In honor of this, I'm in my cozy, white socks, ready to nest and savor this time of year. 

I want to wish you and yours a cozy, wonderful weekend with your family, friends and loved ones from here, and if you're celebrating the long Labor Day weekend in the States, enjoy that extra day! It's all very good, isn't it, this time of year?

For Saturday, I'm joining in my friend, Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage's ~ A Favorite Thing party this weekend.  

It's been a long time since I've joined in an event and I'm hoping to meet some new kind souls.  I hope you'll visit with Claudia in her old cottage too.  She's one of my oldest running blog friends and I always feel at home with her, although we don't check in with each other every week, or for that matter, every month or more.  Claudia's a "home" feeling, realness and I cherish our friendship.  It was a sunny day for me when my oldest blog friend, Rachel introduced me to Claudia.

So without further adieu, this is my favorite thing:  

My chippy, old porch filled with plants...

I love being outdoors and I've found over the last year or so, I've needed to be outside a lot... to think, at times grieve and just be with life.  My porch and garden have been that to me... lots to do and hours to spend listening and feeling the breezes blow by ~ being one with nature and an old 100+ year old house/porch that needs a lot of work.

So that's my favorite thing/place to be.  Thank you for joining me today/this weekend.  I'm looking forward to meeting with others joining in too.

Wishing everyone a happy, safe weekend filled with all the people, pets, places you savor in your heart.

August 30, 2012

Indoor Studio Puttering & Collecting Cafe au Lait Bowls

I'm spending the day cleaning things up a bit and puttering.  Puttering is a favorite past-time at My Petite Maison.  Puttering is always relaxing to me, you too?  I could putter forever, I think and be really happy at it.  One of my favorite times to putter is late at night, when my family's in bed, safe & sound and I'm happy as a bug in a rug... just moving items around & around.

Vintage lace et Vintage Frames at My Petite Maison

Wanted to share a couple photos of the light, or lack of it in my indoor studio today.  We're having really warm (hot) weather today, because of the heat, I'm keeping the shades closed as much as I can, even though I savor natural sunlight that usually flows all through My Petite Maison in Wine Country.

Pippi Rose is keeping me company today while Bechet takes naps.  She loves my feminine, white tufted chair, as do I.

Here's a better photo, now that she's come out a bit to see what I'm up to and what I'm moving around:

The little stuffed dog is a toy we brought back for Zeke when we were in Italy.  We found it in a cheese shop and I had to bring it to him.  I think the lady that sold it to us was very sad to see it go, she was so sweet about it though - nice people all over the world, you know?

Speaking of nice people, we attended our town flea market last weekend and met two new French women that sell antiques.  I purchased a few things for my store and a few things for our Maison too.  We almost missed the faire, I was thinking it was this upcoming weekend.  It truly couldn't have been more perfect stumbling onto the show and meeting up with old friends and meeting new contacts too.  We even met a nice couple with two Great Pyrenees there as well.  Some days, I just feel the Sun in shining on me, saying this is your day, go for it!  Love it!

I've been able to add to my long time obsession of café au lait bowls.  I think I'm going to need a bigger kitchen, but honestly love the charm of my Paris sized one here that spills out to the gardens.  

Some of my vintage & antique café au lait bowls from France

One more shot (these are all from my iPhone, spur of the moment)... hope you don't mind.

Some of my favorites, the 2 gold & white larges ones from the 1930s France.  Never seen others like them.

Hope you're having good days and getting some puttering in your days as well.

PS... I will be adding new items to My Petite Maison the week after the long Labor Day weekend.

August 24, 2012

Good Weekend Wishes & Miso Dressing

Hi everyone.  I can't believe another week has passed and we're into another beautiful weekend of good fun.  Trying to make precious time count here and at each moment savor the goodness of being alive in this world.  Always.

My Vintage Tufted Sofa • Purchased for a Song in Perfect Condition & Summer Straw Hat

I want to take a moment and thank all the new followers to My Petite Maison • the blog.  You are so very welcome here!  Thank you ~ Merci ~ Grazie from me.

Candlelabras in my boutique for purchase

We've been spending so much time at Farmers Market downtown and our natural food store here.  I savor being able to walk everyday for our food.  What's for dinner tonight?  Let's see what's fresh at the market... or in our yard • jardin!

I have wanted to share my recipe for one of the house • Maison favorites here, my miso dressing.  I will share it today, but also let you in on my brand new find (that's store bought).

This is my miso salad dressing recipe:

1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons red miso
1 dash light sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 green onions (white part only) finely minced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1/2 - 1 tsp. organic tomato paste or freshly minced in season tomato (large size)

Place all ingredients in mortar & pestle or a food processor and mix until a thick but smooth texture Taste and add a little more low sodium soy sauce if needed.

My dressing is easy and tastes amazing.  Here it is below (sorry for iPhone photo, a bit blurry) on super fresh greens:

Taken quickly with my iPhone, right before dinner.  Miso salad dressing & fresh greens
 But, I have to tell you, friends... I found this dressing at our natural foods market about 3 weeks ago and had to try it.  I had looked at it a few times and finally decided to give it a try.

I can't lie - it's amazing.  Really amazing.  NaGo salad dressing, highly recommended and you can find it here - I purchased our bottle at Shelton's Natural Foods in town.

I like my miso dressing, a bit bold so I still add the tomato paste that I add to my homemade dressing to this one as well.

My favorite organic tomato paste has always been Muir Glen.  My grandmother and I used to make our "famous" lasagna and spaghetti with Muir Glen, I don't use anything else but this brand.  You can find Muir Glen here - again, we purchased our can at Shelton's Natural Foods Market.

Off to savor time with one of my favorite people right now and our pets & a few friends all throughout this spectacular weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Please visit My Petite Maison 
in the following locations below:


On Instagram, 
I'm TracieMyPetiteMaison

August 10, 2012

Our Downtown Bakery & Creamery

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend Wishes from My Petite Maison.  Today I wanted to share something sweet and savory.

I'm bringing you a quick tour of one of the wonderful bakeries in town.  It's called Downtown Bakery & Creamery.  They make the most delicious breads, pastries, dough for baking at home, ice cream & they serve breakfasts that are amazing a few days a week.

Como Bread (right top) a favorite along with many others... pain au chocolat, anyone?

The original three partners of the bakery were colleagues at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. Their goal was to apply the sustainable practices pioneered by Chez Panisse at the bakery.

Above, from the large, round revolving bakery case... choices which are as delicious as they are beautiful.  

I have to add the people that are behind the counter at the bakery remember your name, your favorites and YOU.  The people of Downtown Bakery are truly the best!

 I've included the link to Downtown Bakery & Creamery's Menu here

 If you're an almond/amande lover as I am, you won't want to miss the almond tart or tartlets.

The lemon tart/tartlets are a favorite of our daughters.  Once when no one was looking, Zeke managed to get one off our counter in our old house.  It's the only thing he ever did that with... a love for lemon tarts that just had to be satisfied, I suppose!

 My very favorite is the passionfruit tartlet.  They are decorated with edible fleurs and seasonal fruit. 
 The bakery also carries homemade pickles and ketchup/catsup too.

How about a sugar cookie for your sweetheart?

Amazing vanilla bean bread pudding stacked one atop another...

And last but not least...
Something that makes it home quite often during the summer months (although they have it available year round) is tomato foccacia.  I've truly not had one better, even in Italy.
Tomato Foccacia from Downtown Bakery & a splash of organic chili sauce

Are you hungry yet?  We're planning to go out and enjoy the weekend by getting outdoors, moving around, walking a few miles and then enjoying some good, organic foods from local sources.

I will be back early next week to share a favorite homemade dressing and share in a place we're visiting this weekend.

This is where we eat many meals during the summer.  Where do you enjoy getting together to enjoy the Earth's bounty?

Have a great weekend!

Please visit My Petite Maison 
in the following locations below:


On Instagram, 
I'm TracieMyPetiteMaison

August 8, 2012

Summer Dreaming at My Petite Maison Jardin

Summer dreaming and tasting the sweet long days of the season is what we're doing.  Heirloom tomatoes, anyone?

Fresh out of the garden • Purple Basil from My Petite Maison's Jardin & Heirloom Tomatoes from Farmers Mkt
I love the combination of tomatoes, this new purple basil that we grew for the first time this year and just a whisp of Fleur de Sel from France.  I crush my own salt in the little mortar & pestle I've had for quite a few years.  I love crushing herbs in it too.

My "Home" sign, overrun by Sweet 100 tomatoes

I've been spending hours & hours of time in my garden.  I just can't see being locked away in the house if I have the opportunity to work outside. I think I mentioned it my last post but I love taking my laptop out with me if I need to get computer work done but the garden is calling to me in full force this summer.

Speaking of gardening, I wanted to let you know about a book that I've loved for years today.  It's called Potager (Kitchen Garden) Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Style.

Potager • I keep this book in my little garden shack for reference
The book is in seasonal sections, which thrills me for my garden and table.  Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter.  It's a book with recipes to use with the very freshest fruits & vegetables from your garden or farmers market.  You can check the book out here - Potager

So, if you're wondering where I am, that's it... My Petite Maison Jardin for now.  

Once the summer is gone, I'll get back to stocking goods for my clients & friends in the boutique, but for now, the days are calling me outdoors to work my family and pets.

French Hat/Coat Rack from My Petite Maison Boutique
 I did travel antiquing yesterday with Bechet to see how he would adapt to my antiquing habits around here while out and about.  He was lovely and I'm looking forward to showing you some of the items we found.  It was a "practice run" so to speak!

Bechet on his way to go antiquing in August through Wine Country.  We did come across this row of sunflowers while out, so beautiful!  I had to stop, get out of the car and take a photo to remember our first trip.

One more thing:  The winner of the Under Nordic Skies Giveaway is Blessed Serendipity - Please send me your mailing address and I'll get the beautiful book out to you to dream your summer days away.

Have fun in your garden this summer.  What are you growing and eating this summer?

Please visit My Petite Maison 
in the following locations below:


On Instagram, 
I'm TracieMyPetiteMaison

August 3, 2012

Nordic Weekend Giveaway {Just Because}

Happy Friday • Happy Weekend from me & My Petite Maison

I discovered this morning, I have an extra Amazing Retreats - Under Nordic Skies by Jeanne d'Arc Living.

It's a beautiful book and perfect for end of summer dreaming and decorating ideas.

If you're interested, just leave me a comment and follow my blog if you don't already do so.  I'll use a random generator on Monday to find the winner.

That's it, quick, just for the weekend.

Have a great weekend, friends, and if you're in the area, don't forget, Alameda Antique Show is this Sunday.

Please visit My Petite Maison 
in the following locations below:

On Instagram, 
I'm TracieMyPetiteMaison