Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Assorted Happy Things

"Happiness is an attitude. 
We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. 
The amount of work is the same." -- RL Bond
Happy August!  
There's my bookshelf where I keep my little treasures including these souvenirs from my Paris trip: a print of a painted letter by Édouard Manet to Isabelle Lemonnier from the special exhibit at the Musée d'Orsay, the snow globe I had to smuggle into the airport (seriously, did YOU know they were illegal in your carry-on?) and wooden spools with silk from the 1900s I bought at the lovely Parisian flea market we visited.  I'm searching for happiness now and I've heard the theories about finding it already there inside of you, but in the meantime here are some things that have made me smile recently.  Fortunately for me, it's a long list.
This is my favorite sculpture in the entire world: La Valse (The Waltz) by Camille Claudel in the Musée Rodin in Paris.  Camille was Auguste Rodin's much younger student, muse and then mistress.  When he left her she eventually destroyed many of her works and years later died alone in a psychiatric hospital.  A tragic story, but such a beautiful piece, I really feel the tenderness in the pose.  I found the replica below on Amazon and even though I prefer the more rustic quality of the original I want to keep this near because to me it captures what love should feel like.
And Suzanne sent me an inspiration for what love should be.
Here's a glimpse of the Patisserie Pain de Sucre on rue Rambuteau, now my favorite bakery ever.  From the tart with the tiny fraises des bois, the millefeuille, sables, crystallized cilantro and more, we loved everything we tried and went back several times.
More incredible sweets at Ladurée, which gets my award for best packaging ever.  So lovely and so many things to choose from that I'm thrilled that the 1st US location is opening in NYC on Madison Avenue. Does anyone know if the doors are open yet?  Let me know and I'll meet you there immediately.
For my Mom's birthday I brought her some hydrangeas in variegated blues (her favorite color) and a chocolate cake with homemade strawberry jam and cream cheese frosting.
Mila, oh, Mila...she's pretty, but feisty.  I think we're still getting to understand each other, but here was a precious, calm moment.
Tiger, one of the resident cats at the flower market on 28th Street cracked me up with his size and general Garfield-esque demeanor:
and I laughed even harder when I saw this picture of his summer makeover on the Facebook page of G. Page Flowers.
[photo by G. Page Flowers]
There were plenty of sour cherries at the Fulton Stall Market one pretty Sunday morning
for my Sour Cherry Preserves from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff.  
And I got some tasty pickled strawberries from Anarchy in a Jar at the Smorgasburg the same week my friend Eric brought me Raspberry Red Chile Jam from Heidi's Raspberry Farm in New Mexico.  Yum yum...
And even more yumminess!  Thomas Haas chocolates from Vancouver from Louise.  What great, tasty friends!
And Louise wasn't done, she surprised me one sad day with pretty perfume samples from Bond no. 9, don't they look like little candies?
I love giving presents and it's time to return the favors, so I bought a little kit of Meri Meri baking gift labels from The Brooklyn Kitchen. Don't worry, Eric, I didn't head there without you, they just had a small booth at the Smorgasburg, but not enough canning supplies, so we have to head to the real store soon.
And here's the beginnings of a surprise present: a beautiful Liberty of London craft kit from Purl Soho...oh what will it be...?
I kinda liked the shout-out I did for my July birthday post, so I just want to say thanks to friends who've reminded me to feel extra special lately when I've needed it.  So, hugs to Rachael, Louise, Eric, Aimee, Suzanne, Lee, Seth, Jenny, Meredith, Liz (x 2!), Kerry, and I'm so excited about new friends too!  Vivian, Lisa, Carol (& Carole!), Donna, Stacey & Bill, so nice to meet you all and looking forward to next time.  Most of all, thanks to my Mom for her HOURS of listening to me, supporting me and even staying with me for the past two days, you're amazing and I love you.


Suzanne said...

BIG hug right back at ya! You are stronger than you know. You're going to realize it soon and then kick some ass! Here's to many more spa days, sleepovers, cocktails, NYC restaurant hopping, cupcakes, French treats, etc. together!! Life is a sequence of eternal "somethings-to-look-forward" to. <3

Suzanne said...

BIG hug right back at ya! You are stronger than you know. You're going to realize it soon and then kick some ass! Here's to many more spa days, sleepovers, cocktails, NYC restaurant hopping, cupcakes, French treats, etc. together!! Life is a sequence of eternal "somethings-to-look-forward" to. <3

Rachael said...

I second that big, humongous hug right back at you! Love you girl... we can get through anything, I'm always here for you.

Vivian Jang said...

i love the quote! you send positive vibes and i love it! so glad to have met you and now have you apart of my life journey!

la domestique said...

Love all your happy pics, and I'm totally with you on Laduree- the packaging and the macaroons! It's a great idea to focus on all the small moments of happiness.

San Jose Love said...

The sweets from Laudree look delicious. And I don't know about those pickled strawberries, sounds kinda weird. Lol at Tiger's makeover. Happy belated birthday!

Helen said...

Whoa Jen, so many awesome things in this post! Who couldn't be happy if they had all of those great memories. I love the chocolates... too pretty, I'd have a hard time eating them. (But would def gobble them up in the end ;)

youngmi said...

sending happy thoughts your way :) and i love the kitties! especially the garfield/lion kitty.

Craftiness NOW said...

thank you ladies, ALL of you, you all mean so so much to me.

K @ Aurora Blythe said...

So many beautiful things in this post! I so crave one of the delectables you found at Laduree. Looks like a very happy birthday! =)

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