Home Sweet Maison

As my Instagram followers already know, I’ve been devouring a new book, Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home by Danielle Postel-Vinay. It is amazing!

Postel-Vinay walks the reader room by room (beginning with l’entree) to single out the little touches in each room that help give it that French mystique.  Note this isn’t “French Farmhouse” or “Shabby Chic” or “Parisian Modern” or any particular style at all. Instead it focuses on the purpose of the room and how the French tend to make it their own.

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Housekeeping Routines

When I first began my second “career” as a full-time housewife, I wasn’t sure where to start. In the corporate world, routines were already in place and deadlines helped decide my priorities. I did not want to slip into slacker mode and become the stereotypical dowdy bonbon-eating, soap-watching hausfrau.  But where to start? With my “anything worth doing is worth overdoing” approach to life, it would be equally easy for me to become a perfectionist cleaning sink pipes with a toothbrush.

Enter Flylady.

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Tea for Two (or more)

In an effort to keep my expenses low while maintaining a social life, I came up with the idea of throwing a tea party.  Hosted at my house with tea and a few snacks, it would be relatively low cost, low stress and still be able to catch up with friends.

The beauty of the tea party is that it can be scaled up or down to serve your needs:

  • half a dozen guests (or more!) or a simple tea à deux
  • casual dress, slightly fancy attire or themed vintage
  • a few cookies and finger sandwiches or petit fours, scones, soups, quiches and a large cake

For my first tea party, I kept things simple by inviting just two girlfriends (with a dress-up/vintagey theme) and limiting food to a couple scones (cut into smaller mini-scones), a few macaroons and a small fruit tart, along with several different variety of teas (avec some adorable tea infusers).

The table was dressed with a white cloth and some flowers along with some silver serving pieces I inherited from my grandmother while my girlfriends and I dressed in vintage-inspired outfits.  With Glenn Miller playing in the background, we had an absolute ball!

Based on the positive feedback, I’ve decided to keep this as a fun Girl’s Day activity going forward. It’s fun to dress up and play hostess, and definitely less expensive than going out!

For more ideas on hosting a tea party of your own, visit: