bonjour spring brunch

Hello Again!
Our Happy Spring and Happy April continue this Saturday with Home & Style!! by MMK.
This Spring Weekend, let’s
Bring Your Table to Life…with a little April in Paris!! We all love Paris…and miss it!!
“Why, oh, why do I love Paris?” Cole Porter asks??
Is it Wine, Women, and Song?? Or?? L’Amour, L’Amour – A little romance?

A First Trip is usually memorable, but Paris particularly so…
Who doesn’t remember their first view of the Seine and the night lights of the Tour Eiffel and Arc de Triomphe!
The brilliant design of the Musée du Louvre (a little photo I took) and courtyard Pyramid by Chinese-American
architect I. M. Pei? All so ahh beautiful and inspirational!
I won’t even mention the YSL Boutiques and the amazing Parisian Shops!! For now…
Business has taken me there many times; I am happy to say!
Soaking up art, culture and the simple joys of life made every visit a very personal, inspiring pleasure!!!!
Mine was a whirlwind 1 st trip as a young Home Furnishings Assistant – the 1st Bloomingdale’s ever sent to assist a Buyer (my boss charmingly, never let me forget it). It took me to London, Paris, Limoges, Rome, Florence, and Venice and spoiled me for life!

Since then, I have returned numerous times for the famed Maison & Objets Gift Show that is held several times a year. During my years creating Retail Products and identities for Stores & Museums, the city became a love to last a lifetime! All things French have become a lifelong passion…needless to say, this will not be the last you hear from me on this love!!!!!!!!

So why do you love Paris?? What brings Paris to life for you??
Antiques, Champagne, Design, Scent, Film, Food, Fragrance, Literature and Music, of course!
Is it a sparkling flute of Champagne and Vin (Sancerre – peut-être), scent of Lavender, vision of colorful blooms from a stroll through Les Tuileries Jardin? Maybe your vision comes from a French Film (American in Paris, Belle de Jour, Sabrina, Midnight in Paris), or is it from the extraordinary images of its fabulous Art, Museums, and Monuments? Inspiration abounds with the simple joys of life! We want to relive it and bring it Home Again!!

While we remember the charm of Parisian streets with luscious Patisseries, Cafés, Shops, and Florists on every
corner, let’s let Springtime in the air conjure those sweet memories.
Let’s let them inspire your Springtime Brunch and seduce everyone to be in love with love…
starting this weekend with your table!

Cheers to…
A chic Parisian Café style Brunch together for a travel-inspired Spring Weekend!!
It could be a celebration of the Season – charming, fun, and festive with lots of colors.
No matter where your “Gourmet” selections are prepared, having wonderful dinnerware makes even “ordering
and take out” appear very special!! Your partner, family, and guests would never believe that you have not spent hours or days creating perfection in the kitchen…when your presentation is so gracious and welcoming!!
I am happy to help!

Maybe it is a menu that begins and ends with Champagne or Mimosa’s to toast the Season or an engagement!
I am big on celebrating…bubbles for sure; Perrier works too!!
Croissants, Pâtisseries, Mariage Freres Teas – lovely with a fabulous Quiche Lorraine or Salade Niçoise!!
Season with a bit of Herbs de Provence and voila!! The Herbs arrive in a charming crock to refill or collect!!

Colorful Floral Dinnerware
Vintage MMK by Stangl shown – is actually Made in America – wonderfully cheery and chic! I found these
charming Stangl pieces on a Museum trip to Washington DC antiquing (or trying) during a major heatwave…it was so hot I sat thru 2 movies to keep cool! I have added Fruit Salad Plates and some charming serving accessories, including a Pitcher that is fun with Flowers!

All of these designs could be great fun with Rattan Charger and accessories. A rattan tray would be perfect for
dining alone or Breakfast in Bed…
They are earthy and casual, handwoven, lacquered, and charmingly versatile year-round. I am a big lover of multi-use, seasonless too! Maybe it is my Midwest practicality showing through!

Bamboo Fiber Plates might also be cheery. Designed by Sally Eckman Roberts in a variety of themes.
Fun! They are Shatter-Resistant, Biodegradable, and even dishwasher safe, so very 2021!!

More these next Saturdays…
Fleurs – Film…Oscars are coming!! Enjoy the week!! Happy April!! xoxo MMK


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  1. Amy wrote:

    Although the post is about Paris, do I spy the lemon sitting on a Stangl plate in the photos??? So few people who didn’t grow up in New Jersey know about Stangl.

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hi Amy….Absolutely, I love my Stangl Collection. You are quite right…believe fleurs are universal!! I am happy you “spied” them!! Undoubtedly, you grew up in NJ!! In fact, my niece B and her family are in Maplewood!!

      Enjoy….wonderful especially in spring and summer!
      “Vintage MMK by Stangl shown – is actually Made in America – wonderfully cheery and chic! I found these charming Stangl pieces on a Museum trip to Washington DC antiquing (or trying) during a major heatwave…it was so hot I sat thru 2 movies to keep cool! I have added Fruit Salad Plates and some charming serving accessories, including a Pitcher that is fun with Flowers!” xoxo MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  2. Lisa wrote:

    Can you elaborate more on your time creating retail products and identities for stores and museums?? Sounds fascinating.

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hi Lisa,

      I developed the Retail Stores for the Los Angeles Museum of Art and the Guggenheim in NY. Each exhibition was an opportunity to create themes…ie, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Gehry, Mexico, etc. My experiences included traditional Retail Buying and Merchandising for Specialty and Dept. Stores, as well. Happy to share further, if you have specific questions…many thanks for your interest. xoxo MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  3. Eve wrote:

    Nice post.

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hello Eve, Kind thanks – glad you enjoyed! More to come! xoxo MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  4. Christine F wrote:

    What a fun post! I have such a plate fetish and I love anything French. Herbs de provence are yummy on scrambled eggs 😋
    Enjoy your weekend Beth

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hi Christine – Kind thanks – delighted you enjoyed the post! We all love Paris and seems you and I love Plates…and everything French too! Yes, the Herbs de Provence are great on eggs, fish…so much! I love the crocks & have the Sea Salt & Basil – Poivre aux Herbs aussi!
      xoxo Delight to be in touch! More to come-MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  5. Arina Drakulich wrote:

    Just wanted to tell you that I also recently lost my husband of 52 years.
    We got engaged under the Eiffel tower Thanksgiving 1966.
    So Paris has wonderful memories……

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hello Arina – So sorry to learn of the loss of your dear husband. Surely, he was a romanic!
      I hope your wonderful memories and all things French will be a comfort to you….always.
      Thank you for sharing…what is it they say “you will always have Paris” – indeed you will!! xoxo MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  6. Julie Greene wrote:

    Loved your descriptions of Paris! I have only had my first visit and can not wait for the second. Such a beautiful place.


    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hi Julie…thank you for your sweet words. Yes, it is a beautiful, inspiring place!! Tres chic!! I enjoy watching French Film and Music, as well. You might want to soak up the culture thru them and museum visits as well, till you can safely return again! xoxo MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  7. Andrea wrote:

    Oh Beth – pitter , patter👏

    Had to cancel our trip to France due to Covid19, but prior to that, we visited Old Quebec, in Quebec City. Like a time warp – uber French but English speaking.

    My mum passed on the love of table cloths and napkins. Home made or expensive, it matters not. Flowers from the yard or florist, candles from $store or Boutique, music from the radio or live, put them together and your guest will be transported, regardless of what you serve. They will feel loved, so thank you Beth, for helping us remember to have fun with the details during these uncertain times. 🥂

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hello Andrea – Nice to meet! Your Mum sounds like a delight and so wonderful to share these loves and memories especially with Mother’s Day coming right up! Hopefully, you will enjoy many Parisian inspired meals, days and evenings until you are able to visit again! Keep your joie de vivre and stay safe in the meantime!! xoxo Marlene

      Posted 4.19.21
  8. Hi Beth, I love Paris also, beautiful and very Romantic!!!

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hi Gloria – So happy we could share a little Paris together…we all need Beauty to make us smile and hearts be glad to be alive!! More to come -xoxo Marlene

      Posted 4.19.21
  9. RORY wrote:

    Very pretty post. Thanks for the pics. You are very inspiring.

    Posted 4.17.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hi Rory…so pleased your inspired as intended!! Thank you for sharing your enjoyment – I am delighted! More to come! Marlene

      Posted 4.19.21
  10. G. Leanette Flentroy wrote:

    Ms. Marlene,

    Very nice blog. My favorite city is Paris. Perhaps, at some point, you could tell us more about Maison & Objets Gift Show.
    Thanks much for sharing. And I look forward to next Saturday!

    G. Leanette Flentroy, Esq.
    Dublin, CA

    Posted 4.18.21
    • Marlene M. Kristoff wrote:

      Hello GLF!! Happy that you enjoyed the post and share my love of Paris too!! Nice to meet you…so close to SF!
      I’ll keep your Maison & Objets interest in mind…In the meantime, fyi, it is very cutting edge and has the latest in Parisian Home, Garden, Table, Furniture Design. Of course, it is always inspiring to attend and a treasure hunt for sure!
      Many of my favorite French Vendors – now Friends exhibit there. Open only to the trade. More later. Have a good week till we “meet” again. xoxo MMK

      Posted 4.19.21
  11. Abbey Milstead wrote:

    Love the Stangl pottery! I have my Mother’s. You short hair style looks great on you!

    I enjoy your column everyday.

    Posted 5.3.21

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