Tag Archives: French Market

Fun at the French Market……


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more French Market field trips! I can hardly believe that our summer is practically half way behind us. The weeks have been filled with a flurry of activity, with Saturday mornings reserved for catching up around the house. Well, this past weekend, Amanda and I decided to throw caution to the wind, chores be damned, and head downtown to check out all that’s new and exciting at the French Market.

 

What I love most (other than the jewelry) is the real sense of community that the French Market provides. There are families passing through on their way home from soccer and baseball games, people walking their dogs (which is absolutely shocking to me. Our Wrigley could never be trusted anywhere that so much food is at eye level; practically a smorgasbord!), folks grabbing a cup of coffee, meandering up and down the aisles, passing time on a Saturday morning. This being our 15th summer here in suburbia, we invariably run into friends, and it’s always a treat to catch up.

 

With so many great booths, it’s hard to know where to begin. The produce is always to die for; beautiful yellow pears, robust red nectarines, gorgeous grapes, bell peppers in a rainbow of colors, and cauliflower pretty enough to use as a centerpiece! There are the greenest of green beans and broccoli and potatoes for mashing, baking and scallop-ing.

 

 

Baked goods abound with bread and pastries, as do jars of jams, jellies and barbeque sauces. Amanda and I fell in love with The Pickle Guy and brought home two jars of his garlic-y pickles that we promptly diced and used to garnish our grilled hot dogs for lunch. If you are a pickle aficionado; they are amazing.

 

I’m always a total sucker for the flowers. Whether you’re looking for perennials, a bouquet or a hanging basket, it’s so hard to decide because everything is so darn colorful and pretty!

 

An accessory girl myself, I tend to make a bee-line for the jewelry. The French Market is an excellent place to find artisans with unique pieces. It’s just fun to make a new discovery; jewels that you won’t stumble across at the mall. Of course, the purse lady has an interesting array of handbags, clutches and wristlets, while the pretty pashmina’s are to die for.

 

However, this week, my favorite stop was to MelkandCookies; freezer-to-oven cookie dough clusters. What an awesome treat for the whole family! It’s so simple, whether you take out one cluster (like who could ever stop at just one?) or bake the entire dozen, you get a warm, homemade cookie in just 9-11 minutes. As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about the idea of providing our children with the happy memories of an afterschool treat, or a tasty dessert for the whole family. My family has had the privilege of enjoying MelkandCookies as a homemade after school treat for the past 13 years! Founder and Innovator, Rochel Melka, is one of my dearest friends. If you miss her this summer at the French Market, you should check her out at http://www.melkandcookies.com/aboutus.html

 

With our pickles, produce and cookies in hand, Amanda and I had a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the French Market.

 

More shopping, more fresh ingredients, more friends, more community experiences………

 

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Off the Cuff…


As the More is More Mom®, I am all about……more cuffs and bangles! Flipping through the pages of fashion magazines, perusing the jewelry counters of my favorite shops and boutiques, watching the “E” channel, I am noticing a trend: the statement bracelet…

I am an equal opportunity hoarder. I see the potential in everything. What I love about jewelry, costume in particular, is its transformative quality. The perfect piece can elevate a casual ensemble just as easily as it can nudge a flight of fancy over the edge. It can happen with an unbelievable necklace, fantastic earrings or the most perfect, and amazing bracelet.

Drooling all over the fun pieces of the season inspired me to revisit some of my own collection. Some people associate life experiences solely by the people that accompanied them, where it all occurred, even by what they ate. But me? I remember everything in relationship to what I was wearing (frequently by what you were wearing too. Is that strange?). I wish I had other talents like having a photographic memory, knowing state capitols and being able to do fractions. Instead, I see wardrobe and accessories. At least I don’t see dead people.

 

These are a few of the fun pieces that I have collected over the years. I have a thing for texture, so I am always partial to anything bamboo inspired. I love the turquoise, yellow and cream enameled bangles, but no more than I adore the gold, bamboo sculpted bracelets. Evenings are made for a little drama and sparkly sophistication, which is why I am enamored with the large link, amber sparkler and my chunky, slide on bracelet, with rows of silver set rhinestones. Both are equally great with an evening gown or denim. What other accessories are as versatile?

You’ll be surprised when I let you in on a little secret. Pictured, there is a fantastic gold cuff with very large blue and green gemstones that I bought for under $20 from…..Target! Style doesn’t have to cost a fortune. 

My three favorite cuffs, however, have a certain sensibility that will link them together for life. I can’t ever go to the French Market without buying jewels (even though they sell baked goods, fresh produce and beautiful flowers). Once upon a time I stumbled upon this gold, crinkled cuff, with a bejeweled bumble bee flanked by two gold floral medallions. Simply gorgeous! Then, I have a hot pink (hot pink!) enameled cuff, embellished with a gold leaf, classic, Napoleonic bee. My favorite though would have to be the burnished gold hammered cuff, a birthday gift from my girlfriend Judy, with the large jewel encrusted, happy flower. Beautiful!

As you are assessing your own jewelry wardrobe, keep in mind that thinner bracelets can certainly be stacked, ala Madonna, but a cuff is meant to stand on its own, unless you want to look like Wonder Woman (and are willing to wear a leotard while fighting crime). If you are on the prowl for fabulous new cuffs, I’ve spotted some pretty good selections;

 

Francesca’s (they are a cute little chain, so you are likely to find them at a mall near you) was chock full of cuffs and bangles; embossed silver, turquoise flowers, silver sparkles, stones, baubles, honed tortoise, all sorts of organic textures.

 

I’m an Ann Taylor kind of gal. This season they are the master of the Art Deco, rhinestone studded, bejeweled and bedazzled bracelet.

 

While White House Black Market has introduced a fabulous new line that showcase not only black and white, but also….red. I was in love with a thick pearl cuff that had a little jingle jangle quality (and I LOVE jingle jangle!)

The beast part of a season featuring statement jewelry is more reasons for more jewelry, more fashion, more style, more personality and more choices!

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When the French Market is in Full Bloom….You Know That Spring Has Sprung!


The Annual Opening of the French Market is a sure sign that spring has sprung! The French Market is a curious adventure. Each week fine purveyors set up shop to show their wares. As the More is More Mom® I am always intrigued by the notion of so many wonderful and varied products. I am certainly not one to become overwhelmed by the quantity, that actually excites me, but I do struggle with the practical matter of how exactly I would incorporate all of these beautiful things in to my life. I suppose for me it is all a matter of timing. In my fairly well organized existence, I see Sunday as the beginning of each week. By Saturday morning my week has virtually come to a dead halt (seriously, I have known for at least 6 days what I was going to prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, so you just can’t throw a monkey wrench in to my system by introducing new possibilities. I have a plan and it is written down on a Yellow Letter Size Pad of Paper (which I happen to purchase from CostCo) that I keep in my kitchen. I’m not a, “go with the flow kind of gal”. I’m not a “pencil it in” kind of girl either. To me everything is written in Sharpie…… otherwise known as permanent ink.).

I am drawn to the romantic ideal of the French Market. The fresh produce, the beautiful flowers…… In a perfect world there would be a place for all of these lovely and wonderful things;

The fruit is luscious, and makes me think that if I were a better person (instead of the extreme chocoholic that I am) that I would be serving these juicy-good-for-you-morsels with every meal. I would even enjoy a piece of fruit as a snack (do grapes that have been stomped on count as a fruit? Because I totally think they do…… except for people that are under the age of 21.).

If these gorgeous vegetables don’t scream “Ranch Dressing” I don’t know what does. I would dip them, roast them, sauté them, or grill them.

All of the beautiful baked goods make me yearn for fresh butter! You could certainly enjoy the pastries for breakfast and the Heavenly breads for lunch and dinner!

Now the flowers are a killer! I adore the sentiment of a fresh bouquet, displayed in a crystal cut vase in my home, but the practical application? Not so much. As the More is More Mom®, every nook and cranny in my home is filled with objects that make me happy. Flowers are certainly nice, but take planning and a commitment to actually enjoy…. To incorporate a bouquet full of flowers would require that I re-locate other fine objects in my home. Frankly, all that last minute switching stuff around makes me nauseous and anxious.

On the other hand, pots of flowers are a Horse of a Different Color (do you love the Wizard of Oz reference? I think I am extremely clever!). Pots of flowers can be incorporated anywhere and everywhere…..They are lovely and can adorn your entry, add charm to your back yard, or re-potted in fabulous planters, can be used in the interior of your home. They are all so yummy!

Our four legged furry friends are not forgotten at the French Market either. There is a beautiful stand set up with raw-hide and jerky type snacks for our little Hairy, Love Bugs……..

Aside from the discipline involved with utilizing the French Market to it’s greatest advantage, my complete and total downfall would be the jewelry that is offered EACH AND EVERY WEEK! Having already prepared for my weekly meal plan, I am left with nothing to do except purchase completely fabulous items that I don’t need……which for me would include nothing less than all the jewelry!!!

So you see, the idea of he French Market is intriguing……but the practical application would render me completely broke; and who needs that on a Saturday?

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