Elements of Home, Elements of Style, Favorite Places, Favorite Things

Mommy HQ Makeover: Sika Design Sofie Side Bistro Chair

I’m always looking for new ways to add style to our new home and chairs are one of the simple things that can really change the look and feel of a space. I love chairs. A fabulous chair can really change the whole ambiance of a room or area. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which chairs I wanted for our new kitchen. We decided on the French Tolix chairs…I love the industrial modern look they have, and they are actually comfortable and extremely well made. I was using one at my kitchen desk for awhile (also known as Mommy HQ) until my husband brought this bistro chair home and I fell in love. It’s pretty, right? Not just pretty, it’s just lovely, and it completes “my” area. It’s comfortable, unique, extremely well made and stylish. It’s like a little piece of French Cafe right in my kitchen. I mean, I down about 3 lattes sitting here, so it makes sense. Oh how I long to go back to Paris…pain au chocolat, espresso, red wine…Sorry, side note.

Here is the story behind this chair. My husband is the US distributor for Sika Design. Not only is the furniture beautiful, but it’s handmade, sustainable and made of the highest quality materials. Originally, my husband brought home the chair for me to see, and photograph, with no intention of letting me keep it…but once I placed the chair in front of my desk, I knew I had to have it. I mean, if I’m taking the photo and showing the world how much I love it…shouldn’t I get SOMETHING out of it? I basically told him I was keeping the chair and he’d have to take me with if he was going to take it away from me.

This particular chair is the Sofie Side Bistro Chair in Grey with white dots. I’m sort of in love with the green with white dots and the purple is pretty amazing too…but our kitchen is grey and white and this one blended in perfectly with our current decor.


Elements of Calm, Elements of Home, Elements of Style, Favorite Places, Favorite Things

Spaces: Mommy HQ

Every mom needs a space to call her own. A place that’s off limits to little hands and even husbands 🙂 A little bit of calm and organization in what is otherwise a chaotic household run by a toddler. I call this place Mommy Headquarters, or Mommy HQ. We moved into our new house about a week ago, and I have to say one of my most favorite places in the whole house is the kitchen. Not because of my love of cooking (well, that’s part of it) But also because it contains MY area. An area where my computer can sit without being harassed by a 1 year old, where my iPhone can stay docked and not hidden in a couch cushion or tucked behind a pillow, where I can always find my Burt’s Bees, keys and post it notes. I have always loved having a desk. When I was a child, I always had a desk in my room that had fully organized drawers full of markers in rainbow order, stationary, notepads and of course my diary (with the little key that locks it) When I worked in advertising, I’m pretty sure I had the most organized desk out of the whole company. It’s rare to find a creative mind that is also organized…Also rare to find a adult who still keeps a pack of markers at her desk as well as the full color assortment of Sharpies 🙂 For color coding of course!

In our old house, my husband and I shared a desk and it was a complete disaster. A CEO and a stay at home mom need their own spaces to stay organized and sane. In our new house, my husband has his own office, with an actual door, where Marielle can’t pull out all of his important documents, pull his keyboard off the desk and hide his mouse. Ahhhh…luxury. I grew up with a built in desk in our kitchen and I loved it. I have great memories of my mom sitting there with her sewing machine, or calculator and work she brought home. It was where the family computer was…back in the day when there was just one computer in a house. It was a home to school pictures, the family calendar, office supplies and the money cubby that was always full of $20s that me and my siblings would “borrow” and somehow never return with change…weird?!  So you can imagine how thrilled I was when we first toured this house because it had one as well. According to my parent’s interior decorator, people are starting to get away from putting the desk in the kitchen, because they simply use their laptops in the living room, bedroom, dining room, etc. I think that’s a problem. We take our technology everywhere. Laptops do not belong in our bedroom. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and I love being in the center of that. I find that with my own workspace, that technology stays in it’s own place, and my focus is Marielle throughout the day…not the dings and rings that my computer and phone provide. I love coming to sit here during her naps, catch up on my blog, email, Google the occasional toddler problem, enjoy my espresso and of course every stay at home mom’s guilty pleasure…Pinterest and Facebook. Once baby boy McCarthy arrives, I know I’m going to appreciate this little piece of calm and quiet time even more…even if I only have 5 minutes of free time a day 🙂


Elements of Food, Favorite Places

Favorite Places: Stohrer

I made the realization that through all my blogging, I have yet to fit any of my posts into my travel category, which is so odd, considering my husband and I love to travel and have been to many wonderful places together. I guess I live through our travels again via photographs, but in reality, I should document these experiences into words.

Paris. What can I say? It is a fairy tale, foodie’s paradise, fashionista’s live runway and wine connoisseur’s dream come true all tied into one city. Out of the places I’ve been to in Europe, it’s my favorite city. It probably helps that my husband speaks fluent French, has wonderful friends who live there and is my very own personal tour guide when we visit.

I absolutely love French food, and especially French pastry. I believe they have wonderful magical powers. My husband and I were attending a wedding in the South of France, when we learned of some sad news. When we arrived back in Paris from Toulouse, my husband knew I needed a pick me up. What better way to feel better, than indulging in fabulous french sweets? The first place he took me was to Stohrer, this incredible Patisserie around the corner from the apartment where we stay in Paris. The glass display cases are lined with beautiful pastry, colorful macarons, and picture perfect tarts. How does one even make a decision in a place like this? It was then when I spotted a glossy chocolate eclair. I’m not lying when I say it was the most wonderful treat I have ever had. Trust me. You haven’t had an eclair until you have experienced one from Stohrer. The light french pastry, filled with dark chocolate creme patisserie, topped with a layer of melted dark chocolate is pure perfection. I felt better already. I can’t do it justice by writing about it,  I can only recommend that you stop by and experience the incredible sweets they have to offer. It’s truly an experience.

The people who work there, are wonderful to say the least. My husband and I had to catch an early fight back home, and there was nothing we wanted more than fresh pain chocolat and eclair before we left. My husband ran down to Stohrer while I finished packing our things. When he arrived back at the apartment, he arrived empty handed…Before I could say anything, he informed me that the pastry chef was putting a fresh batch of pain chocolat and eclair in the oven, ahead of his other pastries, just for us, as they normally are not ready at 6 am 🙂 If you haven’t had pain chocolat right out of the oven…it’s an absolute must. Now every time we’re in Paris, this is always our first stop every morning, and our last stop before heading to the airport.

On your next trip to Paris, make sure to stop by Stohrer located at 51 rue Montorgueil 75002 Paris.

stohrer eclair