Saturday, January 30, 2010

Special Occasions

Isn't this fantastic? I had never seen such lifelike mannequins before. When I saw this display in a gown shop in Atlanta, I thought these were real people!

She looks a little sultry for a bride, but imagine this dress in any other color and she would steal the show.

I think the company that is manufacturing these mannequins is definitely onto something.

Clothes can come alive when displayed properly. And isn't that how we all imagine ourselves when shopping for a new party dress...At a special occasion, laughing, drinking and being truly alive?

May your life be filled with special occasions (and the dresses to wear to them!) xo Anne

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Want Candy

A few years ago, my husband went on a business trip to Luxembourg. When he and his colleagues were talking about what to bring their wives back from the trip, he mentioned that I had asked for some candy.

The rest of the trip, the guys kept pointing out fancy chocolate shops to him. "Here's one" they'd say, "This one looks good." But he never bought any.

Finally near the end of the trip, they happened into a grocery store - pay dirt! He loaded up on the candy you see here.

"Really?" they asked, "That's what she wants?" He didn't know quite how to explain that it was the color and foreign language on the packaging that I was after, not the actual candy.

I hadn't met his team, so he tried to explain that I love packaging and wanted to photograph the candy wrappers, design a magazine cover around it and turn it into a DELIGHT tote. You get it, right?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I love love love the sunset silhouettes of my nieces on the shore of Lake Michigan.

This is two sets of sisters. What I think is facinating, is that their body language is so similar, you can easily to pair them up!

For me, it is moments like this that make me grateful to be a photographer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Orchid Fever

This "grotto" is actually inside a 4,000 square foot greenhouse run by the American Orchid Society in Delray Beach, Florida.

Can you see the dots of raspberry and white throughout the picture? Those are orchid blooms (on their spikes)hanging among the fern and foliage around a waterfall.

I am going to buy an orchid today. I need a touch of color in the house and I can always count on an orchid in the Wintertime. Though I am linking you to the orchid care page, I will also tell you a watering trick my friend taught me last year.

"Once a week, set 3 ice cubes on the moss and allow them to melt." That is all the watering I did, and my orchid loved it.

Do you have orchid fever?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Visit to Poilane

When I first enrolled in Patricia Wells' cooking class in Paris, I poured over her web page and memorized the sample itinerary. I was so excited that I tried to bide my time by studying "all things French" until class began 18 months later (With only 7 students per class, registration is sometimes a year and a half out).

As the trip approached, my friends and family would ask questions about what I thought we would do in class and where I thought we would go. Every time I got to the part where I said I thought we would be touring Poilane Bakery, I got choked up. My eyes would water and I would smile and stall while I tried to compose myself. "A bakery?" they would ask. "Are you talking about a bakery?" Because they could not fathom why I would be tearing up. I am a "happy cryer," you see, and my emotions hit "tilt" every time I thought of the history of Poilane and the fact that I would get a behind the scenes look.

Poilane Bakery on rue du Cherche-Midi has been carving the now famous "P" on each Poilane Loaf (see above) for Parisians since 1932. I had heard about this bakery, the "P", the ovens, even eaten the bread, for years, yet in my prior trips to Paris, I had never actually made it inside the store front.

Well, it was simply the best field trip I have ever been on. I loved visiting the store, touring the original (and still operating) basement bakery, meeting the bakers and having tea & cookies under a chandelier made of bread. I have been writing all about my experience in my upcoming book (Paris: Delight in the City of Light) and I just had to share a bit of it with you today.

The Poilane website
is interesting because it bridges old baking traditions with modern ideas. Click the "Bread & Games" tab and download a pdf to build your own paper Poilane (a mini-replica of the store)! Now that fills my criteria for something that is both beautiful and interesting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brownies & Stickers

How lucky am I? My dear friend, Angie, invited me to go sticker shopping and then surprised me by making "Chocolate Bar" brownies for our post-shopping snack. Is this a friend or what?

We had coffee and brownies in her dining room and part of the fun was choosing my plate. She has a collection of antique plates on a shelf that rims the dining room and on special occasions she lets each guest chose their plate.

We reviewed our purchases (I got lots of stickers for my calendar; She got some gorgeous papers for scrapbooking), planned a field trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Brownies & Stickers might not sound like a prescription, but it was just what the doctor ordered.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Escape into a good book, that is. This month my "escape" is into the stack of books I have been wanting to read. At the moment, I am reading 3 different books: a nonfiction title about a group of friends that support each other in their quest to be "writers" (The Wednesday Sisters), a novel set in New York City in the 1940's about a woman's struggle between marriage vs career (Lucia, Lucia) and a character-filled saga of life and love in a small Irish village (Echos). I can't recommend any quite yet, as I am still in the throws of all three plots, but I can say this, I am enjoying myself immensely.

Take some time to let your mind "escape" this Winter, you'll be glad you did.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lilly Pulitzer Perfume

When Lilly Pulitzer introduced a line of fragrances last year, I instantly thought bull's eye! I had been searching for a light fragrance that said Vacation and if any brand can master that mood, it's Lilly.

With brightly colored glass bottles (love the printed ribbon "scarf") and names like Wink, Squeeze and Beachy, they have created the perfect addition to any pink & green occasion.

I gave gift sets of Wink & Beachy for Christmas (Santa brought me Squeeze!), and although it is dark and cold now, I know that once Springtime hits everyone is going to love wearing them.

Sometimes the right thing to do is wink.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Humble Pie

Apple, blueberry or cherry? That will be the big question this weekend because Saturday (January 23rd) is National Pie Day.

The American Pie Council has a web page listing the events, contests and recipes in honor of the occasion. If you are the mood to bake Saturday morning, my favorite apple pie recipe (called "Trick or Pie" on Halloween) is easy and delicious. Or stop by the bakery department of the grocery store and take your pick.

Then when your family says "What's the occasion?", you can tell them all about it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sundays with Jane

PBS' Masterpiece Theater is putting a little romance into our long Winter nights. The Sunday night schedule for the next few weeks is filled with matchmaking, honor, tea, dancing, mothers, etiquette and pretending to read books by the fire. Are you in?

Emma (a new adaptation): January 24, 31 and February 7th

Northanger Abbey: February 14th

Persuasion: February 21st

I love to fill my weekends with friends, adventures and a bit of housekeeping, but by Sunday night I am ready to sit down and relax. I am looking forward to spending some snowy nights with Jane Austen. Won't you join me?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tea from A to Z

I was invited to a Chinese Tea Tasting at Goldfish Tea, an independent tea house in town.

Five of us sat on seats at a wooden tea bar (imported from China) and listened intently to the who/what/when/where and why of tea.

The star of the show was camillus sinensis, the plant from which all tea is made. Over the course of an hour, we steeped a white tea called "Silver Needle" (quite grassy and clean), an oolong tea called "Ginseng Oolong" (with a sweet aftertaste that surprised me) and a black tea called "Keemun A" (that I would have liked with milk, but that's another story).

Our guide knew tea from A to Z and took great care in explaining everything from how the leaves are rolled & dried to the proper way to store our tea collection.

I really had a nice time and left with a pouch of Ginseng Oolong, a bamboo tea scoop and some new friends. The next time you are presented an opportunity to learn from an expert, I say do it. It just might be a moment of delight.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Color of the Year: 2010

Today is dedicated to the "Color of the Year" for 2010: Turquoise!
Every year, Pantone (known as the world's "color authority") announces the color of the year - it's affect on mood, use in fashion and interior design and where you can expect to see this color within the next twelve months.
After two weeks of "breathing space" (meaning that the Christmas decorations are all put away and I have yet to introduce any color or pattern in my base decor of neutrals), I am ready to enhance the house with color, texture and flowers again.
In deference to Pantone, I will try to incorporate some turquoise in the house. Dishtowels? Pillows?
I wish I had made a poster of this photo from last Summer. This image of "Sand Patterns" would look gorgeous over my white couch!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Go to the Coast

I love that items and elements from "life on the shore" are becoming popular touches in interior design. Keep your eye out and I think you will notice this more and more.

Framed shell images, heavy white "coral" pieces for display on a bookshelf, even shells themselves to fill a vase or arrange on a table.

My weakness is shell-covered boxes - I practically have a collection by now and I think that they are gorgeous! I'll photograph one soon to show you.

The next time you are looking for something to add interest to your living room...go to the coast.


New features for 2010...

I've added the "Share this on Facebook" and "Tweet This" feature to my blog (in the sidebar on the right).

Now when the mood hits, you can connect your friends to whatever I am talking about with a click of the mouse. Voila!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Knot Typical

This is knot your typical resort store...unless you are on the coast of Maine, near Bar Harbor.

When Angie & I were tooling around Northeast Harbor trying to get our bearings (thank you, Garmin), we drove past this amazing marine store. I thought the ropes in the window were just beautiful and all week I kept telling her:

"The ropes...I've got to get a picture of the ropes."

We finally made it back there in the daylight and this is the result. It is exactly what I had in mind...the colors, the textures, the giant spools.

To me, this photo represents the love of boating, and all I can say is "Ahoy!"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vanilla Atomizer

Who wouldn't like having a vanilla atomizer in the kitchen?

In the morning, I like to flavor nonfat plain (or FAGE nonfat plain Greek) yogurt with vanilla and a touch of sugar. For me, this means fewer calories and better flavor. The trick was always pouring in the right amount of vanilla for a single serving.

That is when I dreamed up today's suggestion. Fill a brand new MISTO sprayer (intended for olive oil) with vanilla! After giving it a quick pump, you can waft a fine mist of vanilla over whatever you are making. It works like a dream, smells heavenly and allows you to add just enough vanilla to a recipe.

Making granola? Mist vanilla over the mixture of nuts and oats.
Making a smoothie? Mist vanilla into the blender.

Today's photo is to remind you to pick up some apples at the grocery store. Breakfast is a chopped apple mixed with non-fat "vanilla" yogurt and a touch of honey.

Vanilla contribution to modern cooking.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fondue Night

Last night, the Junior League of Birmingham hosted a social event to help members to mix and mingle.

It was a cold January night, but my friend Corinne and I bundled up and headed out for a night of fondue at The Melting Pot.

I absolutely loved it. A room full of new and old friends, glorious cheese fondue and (my favorite) this flaming "turtle" chocolate fondue with caramel and pecans.

Our table of seven talked and talked - about movies, books, travel and our personal projects for the year. As I sat there, I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to be a part of this outstanding organization.

I had a room full of smart, fun-loving volunteers and all the time in the world to talk to them - fantastic.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12 Days of Valentines Day

People all over the world are thinking about the 12 Days of Valentine's Day already.

I know this because they are Googling "12 Days of Valentine's Day" and coming to my site! In 2008 and 2009, I gave hints, tips and suggestions for making the 12 days leading up to Valentine's Day special for friends and family.

This is my philosophy:

The "12 Days of Valentine's Day" are about expressing joy and love for the great people in your life - spouse, parents, neighbors, teachers, friends, family.

It celebrates the fact that it is fun and inexpensive to eat heart-shaped food and wear pink. Seriously.

I can't possibly fit all the "celebrating" I want to do in one day, so the Twelve Days of Valentine's Day are perfect. It all starts on February 3rd.
In the meantime, look back at my suggestions from prior years and starting thinking about how you would like to celebrate the 12 Days of Valentine's Day. Make strawberry muffins? Put on the pink pillowcases? The tiniest gesture counts when it is done with love. And people love to talk about it, so spread the word.
And while you're at it, pick up some pink sprinkles. I know you'll use them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Restorative Cup of Tea

I love having a cup of tea in the afternoon. I've read many Rosemunde Pilcher novels (The Shell Seekers is my favorite) so I always think of having a "restorative cup of tea." I don't know anyone who wouldn't appreciate being restored at 3 o'clock.

The moment of delight you see above is from a lovely hotel in town. The mother of the "Garden Club Girls" and I went to lunch with the girls after a field trip to see a giant gingerbread house. We used cloth napkins, drank from tea cups and were very grown-up in this fancy dining room.

We thought that the tiny jar of Bonne Maman Honey was darling and all had fun dipping our spoons in. Believe me, I was restored.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I use the word "puzzling" not as adjective (meaning confusing) but as a verb (the act of putting small pieces together to make a really cute picture).

This week we have been puzzling.

I put up a card table in the family room and things are taking shape. This puzzle is a Joan Steiner "Can You Find It" puzzle of a kitchen. Small everyday items are used to look like a dollhouse-sized kitchen. Can you see the black stove? It is made from an old Walkman. And the brown turkey on the counter? It is actually an acorn. I think this style of puzzle is so fun and interesting.

My favorite puzzle of all time is of a general store! Ceaco Can You Find? - Trump's General Store

I have heard quite a bit lately about how puzzles are "good for your brain." While everyone is touting health and wellness this January, I am doing my part by suggesting you get yourself a puzzle and have fun watching it all come together.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Jewelry Management

I have seen the future and it requires jewelry management.

I make all of my own jewelry and for a while it seemed my motto was "365 days/365 necklaces." And why not? I can make each piece to be exactly what I need. But when you travel like I do, jewelry transport can be an issue.

I have created the perfect system and it is time to share it with you.

First you will need a Snapware Craft Organizer Box. (Also available in Target in the laundry section) Each unit has several levels that snap together - but the fun thing is you can snap multiple sets together to create a jewelry tower (perfect for car trip). Or if you are flying, one unit will pack in a suitcase nicely.

Next is the containers inside - I use Lookers hinged vinyl cases (shown in green) to keep necklaces safe and untangled. I have found some at a Michael's craft store (in the gift wrap section) and at The Container Store.

Squares of bubble wrap are perfect to cushion bracelets and watches. You can even buy pretty colored bubble wrap at the post office if you are so inclined - just cut to the size you need.

The best and most unusual item I organize with is the round lidded plastic box that protects a roll of electrical tape (Home Depot!). They are perfect for my earrings, pins and pendants.

So there you have it...Anne Reeves' guide to jewelry management. Helping you to stay super cute, wherever you are.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Pearls

Tomorrow I am posting about "jewelry management" - modern tips and tricks to keep your jewelry neat and organized.

As a result, I am in the mood to design jewelry and I've decided to spotlight this darling necklace.

Love it, right? It is made of wool balls and I wear it in the winter as you would wear a strand of pearls.

White blouse, pretty cardigan and this beauty at the neck. I only wear it when I feel chatty, because e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e wants to talk about it.

Watch the sidebar for 2 similar necklaces to be offered in the ANA limited edition store. I'll say what I always say...Love it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crazy or Happy?

Crazy or happy? Sometimes the distinction is blurred.

I have lots of recipe cards in different styles & designs. I love them and think they are so pretty. I find that when a friend wants a copy of one of my recipes, I actually select which card to use based on the recipe or ingredients.

The taupe & brown card (second one down in the middle) I use for recipes with coffee, Kahlua or maple. My holiday print recipe cards are on the top right - perfect for rum balls or sugar cookies. And I always write my salad recipes on the pretty "garden" one in the top center.

Now if you didn't know me and I just blurted out that I match the recipes I give out with the designs on my recipe cards, I sound a little cuckoo. But if you think about it, maybe I am just happy using beautiful papers. Happy that you want one of my recipes. Happy that a
pretty little piece of me will live on in your recipe box.

Crazy or happy? It's really how you look at it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I absolutely loved Cranford, a British mini-series about a small village in the English countryside in the 1840's. It has fabulous characters (Judi Dench as Matty Jenkyns), great acting - love, humor, honor and a cow in knit pajamas. What more could you want?

When I first saw Cranford last year, I was happily watching the end of Disc 2 (via Netflix) and promotional advertisements about other PBS series started to roll. What? Disc 3, I want Disc 3! I truly didn't want the story to end, in fact I double checked online to make sure I wasn't missing Disc 3 somehow.

Great news! Return to Cranford (with the original cast) will be broadcast on PBS Masterpiece Theater starting January 10th (Part 1) and January 17 (Part 2) at 9pm!

Now, I realize that many of you have not seen Cranford yet (gasp), but you can watch it online (for free!) at Masterpiece Theater only through January 10th. Isn't that wonderful? So no matter where you are, you can watch this charming series online and be ready to watch the sequel with me on the 10th.

No pressure, but suddenly this is what you could do Tues/Weds/Thurs night this week. There are 3 episodes to catch up with - each lasts 2 hours. Make a cup of tea and enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Calendar Girl

It's the first Monday of the year and I am getting organized. Today is the day that I look at my calendar with a "bird's eye view."

I make notes in the margin of each month of the things I would like to attend. For example, I have never been to Chicago's Christkindlmarket (an outdoor holiday market filled with handcrafted German ornaments, food and holiday cheer) that is open from Thanksgiving to Christmas. If I note it on the calendar now, I am much more likely to plan for it in my schedule.

Another big deal is the Blue Angels! Every other year they fly in the air show at the National Cherry Festival over the 4th of July. This the year and I have to make sure that I am there!

After the big events are noted, I fill in birthdays (candle stickers) and anniversaries (wedding cakes) by month. This moment of quiet planning makes my year go more smoothly. I love my Blackberry, but I really am a calendar girl.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Meditation Garden

I have been lucky enough to visit the spectacular Morikami Japanese Gardens several times and my favorite part (other than their famous bento box lunch) is photographing the meditation garden.

Look at the concentric circles in the gravel - beautiful and interesting!

Although often seen as a joke in movies, I think there would be something calming about combing the sand and arranging the elements in a desktop zen garden.

I have been thinking about re-planting my terrarium...maybe I'll add an area of sand this year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Possibilities Are Endless

Today is all about possibilities. January 1st - the beginning of a new year.

What will my "Moments of Delight" blog posts be like this year? Which flowers will take my breath away? What recipes will I create and share?

Is it silly to say that I can't wait to see my own photos?

I write this blog to share my photography, creative ideas and simple pleasures that put a spotlight on the beauty of every day life.

If you could do me one favor, it would be to suggest my blog to others. The more readers I have, the more people that I can bring delight to.

When I founded Subscribe To Delight (a gift subscription service), my goal was to bring delight to a million women, one package at a time. Think how amazing it would be to bring delight to 1 million women, one blog post at a time!

You can "forward this post", become a Facebook Fan, whatever you can do to spread the word, would be wonderful!

Thanks and Happy New Year!