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Champagne and Cupcakes, a lifestyle blog by The Paris House

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Simply the most beautiful parties and ideas designed by The Paris House, inspired by The World Is My Playground Workshop, Entertaining and design ideas from around the world

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No Excuses Just Do It, Fitness Is Beautiful

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The Paris House starts everyday with a Killer workout!! Just finished an hour step workout. Now I can Rule the world and so can YOU!! , No excuses, see your doctor and start getting fit NOW!! Beauty starts on the inside and it feels great to be 43 years old have 3 kids and still fit into your highschool jeans. This is because of a lifetime of fitness. The best part I feel even better than I did when I was 17!! Look out 50!!!!It Just keeps getting better. Its never too late!! check out our fitness over 40 video!!

The Paris House, April Newsletter, Happy Springtime

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Newsletter Archives
Dec 2008 Jan 2009 Feb 2009 Mar 2009 Apr 2009
April 2009

The Paris House Designs
16 West Springtown Rd,
Long Valley, NJ 07853
908 876-9816

The Paris House April 2009 Newsletter - Happy Springtime

Spring is in the air at The Paris House and we are busier than ever getting our new online lifestyle magazine updated with great ideas for you and your entire family. We will treat our website just like a monthly magazine with new additions each month plus keeping everything archived to make it easy for our readers to locate a recipe, craft or anything in past issues they may be interested in.

Easter is only a couple weeks away. I just love this time of year. Many of our spring bulbs (3,500 plus!) are pushing up through the earth. The buds are on the trees, the air smells fresh and filled with the promise of new things to come!! Check out some of our Easter pictures for great table setting ideas. We usually look to the style of a Parisian candy shop combined with a local farm to inspire our Easter table and decorations.
I'm preparing a huge brunch this year. Delicious fresh squeezed Mimosas, smoked salmon asparagus crème fraiche quiche, Italian ham pie, sweet potato soufflé, ricotta pie, Easter bread and a cheese cake. Many of these are what my Italian grandmother Carmella made every year and I love carrying on this tradition in our home. We also celebrate Passover at my Mother in Law's home and we are lucky enough to eat another fantastic holiday meal during this wonderful time of the year that really seems to fill many of us with the promise of good things to come.

Let the kids have some fun decorating this cute Easter Bunny Cake!

We are constantly updating the site with new additions. We added our new BLOG, “CHAMPAGNE AND CUPCAKES”, click on and go directly to our main blog that gets updated several times a week. We chose the name because it represents our love of celebrating life, a good party and the happiness cupcakes bring to almost everyone. Try a nice glass of Champagne during dessert with a delicious cupcake with chocolate mascarpone icing!!

We will be adding The Paris House Boutique that offers a few special “finds” in a very limited quantity. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and “stop by” our online boutique from time to time to see what great finds we will be offering from our travels around the world.

The Paris House is continuing to write for The Well Fed network on The Cooks Channel. It is easy to go directly to our articles by clicking on The Well Fed Network on our website. We write about products that enhance our cooking, great recipes from our travels and wonderful ideas and recipes to add to your repertoire. Check out our Irish Whiskey Baileys espresso coffee ice cream recipe.

Interior Design is always on our mind, click onto our blog (moblog) where Chic meets Antique and read how we are mad for Modern, elegant, chic and antique design. We love to mix it up and we stay miles away from predictability, read our blog to see how we do it.

DANS LE JARDIN (in the garden)
Dans Le Jardin (In The Garden), The Paris House is happily working away in the garden. We are getting ready to start the new formal rose garden complete with a stone fountain and hopefully an antique iron gazebo to stop and “smell the roses”. We wintered over all of our dahlias and plan to add a new cutting garden.
I hope the tubers survived being indoors covered in a vermiculite and peat moss mix. This saves a lot of money each year and helps expand your cutting garden. Try and save as much as you can. Many hardier annuals such as Gladioli and Dahlias can be dug up before the hard frost in the fall and stored in a cool dry place over the winter to be planted back in the garden in the spring. “More than anything I must have flowers”, Claude Monet once said, and with this strategy you will have more and more flowers every year!

In our “The World Is Our Playground, entertaining and design ideas from around the World” section we have updated with some fun places to visit in The Delray Beach, Boca and Palm Beach area. Watch the travel video and read the article to find great places to eat, shop, visit fun places for the kids, try our Florida farmers market inspired recipes and more.

We have added my favorite link “Family Fun, and pets”. This section gives fun ideas, crafts, child friendly recipes, pet keeping with kids, travel ideas and great ways to spend time with your family. No matter what I do, there is nothing in the world I would ever rather do than spend my time with my husband and children that is why I love running The Paris House, it is a something that my family is a part of and I love having a lifestyle business that centers on my loved ones.

Fashion updates, the hot color this spring and summer is Orange or Tangerine as I like to call it. Lucky for me that I purchased a gorgeous tangerine patent leather handbag with beautiful gold chain hardware last year on vacation. I guess I will be "au courant" this season. My bag may be in a trendy color but the style is every bit as timeless and classic as I like to dress and accessorize. Try adding color to your wardrobe, it is youthful and uplifting.
As far as fashion goes we love Louboutin, check out our moblog on Louboutin shoes. He is a master of his craft and his prices reflect it, they may not be the most practical purchase during a recession but they are an investment to last for a long time and all my fashionista friends see his shoes as a true work of art.

The Paris House loves Kate Somerville products, try her Exfoliating Mask, it is wonderful. All of her products are great and will get your skin glowing and ready for summer with no need for any makeup, just a great moisturizing sunscreen.

I also love the new SPF 20 from L'Occitane that is part of their Immortelle Biologique line. I used it every day in Florida, I like color on my body but not a tan on my face, only a health glow. This line really delivers the goods and moisturizes like crazy. It leaves your skin dewy and protected all in one!!

Now is the time, if you haven't already starting to get bootylicious (sorry, I just couldn't resist using that word) for summer and all its revealing attire that comes with those steamy sultry nights out on the town and those sunny hot days poolside, you need to get on the fitness wagon and do something to feel good and look good!

We have added a “Wellness” section to our fashion, beauty and fitness page. To us Wellness is living beautifully starting on the inside first. Each month we will add special little quotes and sayings that inspire us, helpful healthy tips and anything we feel will help us all achieve “Wellness” in our lives. We are also stressing wellness when it comes to the sun and our skin. Limited amounts of sun certainly help us feel well and help our bodies absorb vitamin D, but too much and not using sunscreen causes wrinkles and skin cancer. Use caution and sun protection, your skin will thank you.


We are reading a lot of garden books in great anticipation of getting in the garden. I like the great masters of the garden such as Gertrude Jekyll, Suzy Bales, Tasha Tudor, The one and only Andre Le Notre of Versailles, to name a few. These books always leave me filled with many ideas that start on a grand scale and quickly turn into realistic plans for my garden.

In addition to the garden books our book selection this month is Adriana Trigiani's “Very Valentine”, it is a lovely story that feels both old fashioned and modern at the same time. It takes place in NYC‘s Greenwich village, where a young women is trying to save a dying craft and maintain her beloved family's business and pursue her passions in the process. It is a fast moving easy read novel.

We are giving our Paris talk and presentation soon and we welcome all you entrepreneurial women and men who would like to use the Paris House as a platform to promote your business. Also, if you like to write and would like to contribute an article to our online lifestyle magazine to help promote your business, let us know!!

We are always trying new and revisiting our old favorite businesses in the area that we enjoy. I can't say enough about the Mendham Spa, my friend told me about it and she always looks drop dead gorgeous (yes, Kerry, I ‘m talking about you!!) The blowouts are beautiful, great cuts and great color. Give them a try you won't be disappointed.

Mothers Day, planning a special Mother's Day and celebrating the beauty of being a mom
The Making of a Formal Rose Garden
The Paris House is planning a magical 4th birthday party, join us next month to see lovely pictures of of our Lion King/Circus themed party. Enjoy table setting ideas and a special birthday luncheon, a tour of NYC and Broadways Lion King, followed by a quick stop to one of our favorite bakerys and dinner at Rosa Mexican. And a special Homemade birthday cake by Bunny Cakes of The Paris House!! Its always a spectacular event at The Paris House Designs!!
New recipes
Updates on our Champagne and Cupcakes Blog
Updates for The Well Fed Network's Cooks Kitchen
Travel story on Vermont
Video and photo updates
And more

“We Only Have One Life to Live,
It is Important to Live It Beautifully”

Michele Rosenthal, Editor in Chief & Owner,

The Paris House on line lifestyle magazine and “Champagne and Cupcakes” Blog

Copyright © 2008 - The Paris House Designs- All rights reserved
Designed by A+ Web Design

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The Breakers Shrimp Crab Quesidillas

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The Breakers Never gives me their recipes, I tell them I write for The Well Fed Network, I tell them I'll mention them and there fantastic cuisine, it just doesn't matter, they don't part with anything. Every year, I ask for the gorgonzola truffle french fries recipe and every year they omit about 3 ingrediants from the previous year, no biggie , I figured it out , that will be in another blog. I don't think they do this to be difficult. They are just very busy catering to the Palm Beach jet set crowd ,who probably aren't asking for too many recipes, they most likely have their personal chef whip up whatever they want. Now I am not saying this with any disrespect, I just love love love to cook. Most of my best recipes are my adaptation of those I find on my travels. You know, I probably don't want the whole recipe from them anyway, it is so much more fun to break it down, test it , taste it , perfect it. Isn't any form of success so much sweeter when you have earned it. Well this incredibly simple recipe isn't loaded with flavor, it isn't going to jump out of your taste buds screaming "tex Mex" Arriba get me a Corona ASAP, no this is all about the sweet buttery fresh as can be shrimp and crab. Please don't try this at home, unless you are using impeccably fresh seafood. If not then load it with 5 different cheeses, jalepenos , salsa, spices, sour cream , and everything you have available. This was fabulous because the chef used a lot of restraint and let the seafood be the star here, the co stars were just a little bit of cheddar cheese and some small diced fresh tomatoes. on the side was sour cream lightly seasoned with adobe and topped with a sprinkling of fresh sliced jalenpenos. They also added a small amount of homemade gucamole. These accoutrements just added a little something they didn't steal the show like some supporting actors can do. They enhanced it like they are suppose to do. I reluctantly passed one of my wedges of quesidillas to my husband to get his thoughts. He took his first bite and said, "Wow, that is delicious, the seafood is so fresh" Sometimes simple is simply perfect!!

I use organic flour tortillas from whole foods for this, you can also use corn tortillas.

some grated cheddar cheese

some small diced fresh tomatoes

I little sautee my shrimp and crab meat in a little olive oil ( I use olive oil because it is healty and I would like to live to 100, you can use vegetable oil which will be lighter and not over power your seafood)

then just put the seafood and a handful of cheese between the tortillas and sautee in a little oil until golden on one side and flip.

serve with the sides I mentioned above, I have a delicious fresh qucamole on my website, check out party planning section or recipe section for the recipe and the video, it is under "How To Chop An Onion"

I hope you like It

they just stop you in your tracks

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you could be having the worse day or the best day. just a smile from your child, or they come up to you and just give you a kiss or hug spontaneously, they may tell you your are so pretty, (even when you haven't showered, changed out of your filthy morning workout clothes and it is now 8pm, gross, but hey it happens) Your child still thinks you are the most wonderful, beautiful, funniest, talented being on the planet. These moments and the endless other sweet and adorable things they do just fill your heart with so much love. Where does all that love come from??? Its endless it replenishes itself continuously, makes more for every child you have, never borrowing from the previously born child!! Oh, being a mom is such a beautiful gift and I can really say and mean this , all three of my kids are being so very very quiet now just like little angels!!!

A Welcome Home Gift Basket

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My sons went online and ordered a food gift basket that they had delivered to our house while we were all away on vacation. They used their own money to order the gift basket. You know how it is when you come home from a late flight to a home with very little food and you are all tired. Well this is a great idea and thanks to my wonderful sons we had a lovely basket of delicious snacks to enjoy. Keep this is mind the next time you travel.

Florida, The World Is My Playground Workshop,

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Delray Beach Florida
We go to Delray about once a year for about 7-10 days to get away and relax. Unlike many of our trips to Europe, Alaska, Asia, Nova Scotia and the vast majority of places we have travelled to, Florida is one of the few places when we really just relax. The beach is beautiful, peaceful and a place my family can easily stay at for five hours or more. It’s amazing how time flies when you are on the beach talking, swimming, playing in the sand, reading, walking along the beach and just staring at the ocean.

We are all very busy these days and sometimes you just need to relax. Delray is a great place to do that.

Our condo has a beautiful pool that the kids love to swim in. There is a great biking/running trail outside the condo to get some exercise in early in the morning before hitting the beach. After a day in the sun and sand we always go to our favorite stop, Kilwins ice cream and candy shop. Its heavenly sweet candy smell lingers outside before you even step into this sweet shop. The owner always remembers us from year to year which just adds to the special feeling you get when you return each time. My favorite, the macadamia caramel chocolates!!

One of my favorite places to take the kids is Butterfly World; this is a spectacular butterfly and bird sanctuary that has lovely gardens to stroll through. You can spend several peaceful hours walking around the grounds and having a casual lunch in the outdoor café.

Publix is the local grocery store to stock up on the staples and of course there is a Target nearby. A great place for all you foodies is “The Boys” it is a Farmers Market combined with a great wine store, amazing cheese shop featuring cheeses from around the world, great seafood, delicious bakery and amazing produce. Just take a walk through and let the great ingredients inspire you to cook a great dinner. (see recipes below)

There is a great playground for the kids, a pottery place, in case it rains, fantastic shopping in Boca and out of this world fantastic shopping in Palm Beach, the Calypso store is wonderful and one of my favorites, The Breakers, an old world gloriously upscale resort with the best gift shop I have ever been to in a resort. It is a great place to shop and have lunch.

Some shops I love in Delray are The Snappy Turtle, a clothing and specialty gift shop that has been there for around 30 years and I have been shopping there around 22 years! They have Harvey's on first another charming gift and accessory shop, and The Love Shack, which caters more to the teenage crowd, although I have found a great dress or two there!! Salutation's is my favorite stationary store in the world, I even have them ship my cards and gift wrap to New Jersey. A must stop is From Rohm with Love, an enchanted floral, and garden gift shop, that is filled with beautiful objects and fragrant plants and flowers. I always find something for my home there and our online boutique.

Some fun places to eat are Rosalitas for good Mexican food in a casual environment. I enjoy the Acapulco Fajitas; a delicious dish filled with scallops, shrimp, and chicken, vegetable all sautéed in a light wine butter sauce. Bush’s can’t be beat for the view from the outdoor dining area. It is situated on the inner coastal and the kids enjoy watching the draw bridge go up to let all the boats pass by. The lobster is great. Two great casual bar/restaurants are Boston’s on the Beach and The Upper Deck; they are casual and have decent food and reggae night once a week. We bring snacks and drinks to the beach and order our lunch each day from Luna Rosa’s Café; I order the chopped salad with Cajun grilled shrimp almost every day on the beach.

Please view our recipe and blog section for some recipes that were inspired from our travels to Florida:
Asparagus delight
(on Blogher)

Chopped salad recipe with cajun blackened Shrimp
(on Blogher)

Crepe with berries and mascarpone cheese
(on Blogger)

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Fun Fact: Who Is the first to ring in the New Year?

The First place in the World to ring in the New Year each year is the remote Island of Kiribati in the South Pacific. It took us 14 hours to fly to Hawaii and then another 36 hour boat ride to Kirabati. It was very intereting and even more so, because of its uniqueness to The New Year!!

Photo: Crafts I purchased at Kiribati with my family a few years ago.

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Video: Upstate New York
Do something fun and come up to Upstate New York anytime of the year for a wondeful vacation. There is so much to see and do: beatiful mountains, towns, farms, orchards, old fashioned places to eat and shop, fishing, skiing, arts & culture, ...

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I love Paris

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Video: Vermont
The World can be your Playground too! Come and discover everything Vermont has to offer: shops, outlets, skiing, canoeing, arts & museums,...

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Pictures from all over the world
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Planning an Irish Fest at home

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Planning an Irish Fest at Home
Posted by Michele Rosenthal March 16, 2009

Madaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso is a staple in my home. There is nothing better than a fabulous cup of freshly brewed espresso, especially after dinner in some quaint little cafe in Europe while you are relaxing and people watching. While I’m drinking my espresso, I silently think that I can never recreate this feeling and taste at home. You know what? I can’t, so I don’t even try, well at least not that hard. It is so much more than that perfect cup of espresso. It is, as I mentioned above, the feeling that goes along with each precious sip. The warmth, perfection and the special place you are in the World, it all adds up to one wonderful cup of espresso. It all feels magical and it is.

I stumbled across the Madaglia D’Oro Espresso when I was watching Giada De Laurentis make brownies on the Food Network. She added some of the powder to her brownie filling and then later in her icing. I ran out to the grocery store and started using this more and more over the last few years.

St. Patrick’s Day is rapidly approaching and it is that time of the year again when I break out my Waterford crystal coffee mugs that I purchased at Blarney Castle in Ireland several years ago. It seems that every March 1, I start planning a festive St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I set a beautiful table inspired by Ireland’s lush green countryside with a layer of crisp creamy white Irish linens on my old farm table. Dinner will be served in our sunroom that still has exposed 200-year-old two-foot thick stone walls, many plants that we winter over and a running fountain. If one tries hard enough they may conjure up the image of a babbling brook in a lovely Irish village.

I put a row of topiaries down the center of my table and if I have them I like to add a few small potted violets. Of course, lots of crystal, some are my beautiful Waterford pieces I have collected and some are much less expensive pieces from Pier 1 imports, Bed, Bath and Beyond and even Wal-Mart.

For dinner, I prepare a salmon dish usually in a chive sauce and always corned beef and cabbage with some potatoes and a salad. For drinks, I put out a variety of Irish beer. After dinner, we move to the family room for some delicious homemade Irish coffees by the fireside and great conversation with family and friends. This is often our last fire of the season and I want to savor every minute.
I checked out my cookbooks recently looking for a great coffee ice cream recipe. I decided to use my espresso instead to really give this dessert some depth and intense flavor. I took out my trusty Madaglia D’oro Instant Espresso and added it along with Bailey’s Irish Cream and some Kilbegan’s Irish whiskey I found while in Ireland. This ice cream is a dessert, after dinner drink and after dinner coffee all rolled into one. I like to serve them with long silver spoons so you don’t miss one delicious drop. When I drink them fireside I can close my eyes and dream of the lovely people I met in Ireland, the charming thatched cottages, and splendor of The Cliffs of Moor. This is a time of year when everyone is a wee bit Irish and where a little dash of Espresso never hurts!

Bailey’s Irish Expresso Coffee Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of brewed espresso coffee, chilled- I used Madaglia D’oro
2 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 Tablespoons of Irish Whiskey- I used Kilbeggan
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of sugar
Pinch of salt

Mix the first 6 (wet) ingredients together in a bowl.

Add the sugar and salt together in a separate bowl, mix and then add to bowl with milk and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours and then pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the maker’s instructions. This took me about one hour in the machine. Then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze over night or until firm, at least 3 hours.

Serve a few scoops of ice cream in a glass coffee mug, top with hot espresso and some whipped cream and serve with a spoon.
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The Paris House Boutique is opening

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WE travel the world and bring back one of a kind beautiful items from all over. The Paris House has just opened our on line boutique, you can find us at at our online lifesyle magazine, Check out our April issue for fun Easter ideas, recipes and table settings