Time for reflection

I've had a lovely peaceful day on my own with no pressing chores to do.....such luxury! It has meant I've had time to reflect, so I lit a couple of candles (above and below) and thought about this year just gone, and about the year ahead, so full of possibilities....

I'm not really one for making New Years Resolutions, but there are some things I plan to do, or to continue to do this year. This includes restarting my 'gratitude journal' where I jot down one or more things that happened on any given day, for which I am grateful. Simple things like my son making me laugh, someone giving me a compliment, or even just being able to enjoy a wonderful meal. This helps me focus on all the good things in my life, of which there are many, but which I sometimes have to remind myself.

I also plan to record my achievements in the same journal. So often we forget how much we do in any given year, so I plan to write these down as I achieve them, so I can look back at the end of the year and realise that I have done some good things. Again, they could be simple like being a thoughtful daughter, or more practical like installing french doors in my living area or painting the front of my house (yes, I plan to do both this year - you've got to hold me to it now!).

Other than that, I plan to light candles more often....

take more picnics.....

Geoff Lung

And have more fresh flowers around the house. Simple, joyous things.

John Gruen

And part of my plans for this year is to continue this blog and keeping in touch with the wonderful, fascinating and inspiring blogs and bloggers. I hope that is part of your plans too.

May your year be full of all the things that you wish for. Health and happiness to you all.

Laid back luxury

Do you have some time up your sleeve over the Christmas holidays and feel like getting away? How about whisking yourself off to Marrakech, Morocco and staying at the Dar Seven?
After the chaotic hustle and bustle of the maze like streets of Marrakesh, come back to the tranquility of the Dar Seven, where dinner awaits you in a candlelit courtyard.

After a hard day of hitting the markets and haggling for your own little pieces of Morrocco in the form of exotic lamps, mother of pearl in laid mirrors and sequined slippers, you will be able to slip into these soft sheets.

Or these. Note the exquisite metal work on the windows and the gorgeous shutters. Over looking a street with donkey drawn carts passing by and street vendors shouting out their wares, no doubt.

But not before you have a bath....or a massage or treatment by Fatima.

Check out this light fitting below. I'll be searching the markets for one of these to take home.

Well, I've picked my room. Light the candles, I'm arriving soon.....

Joyeux Noël!

Happy Holidays to our family, friends, customers and supporters! We have closed the doors on our 3rd Holiday Season in the Old Oakland community.

While 2008 has been a challenging year for us all, we are appreciative of the support and patronage our customers have shown us. Small businesses like Mignonne will make it through the tough times with the support of the community.

We look forward to 2009 and another year of being part of Oakland's diverse family. Kim will be returning soon to France, on a mission to discover new small treats and treasures to share with you all.

We plan to have our next shin-dig in January! We are excited to usher in 2009 and Change Change Change! as we welcome a new president, a new direction and a New Year!

We'll post more details soon, until then ...

Thank You ALL and much love from Johnelle and Kimberlee!

Merry Christmas To All!


Christmas blessings

I'm terribly fickle. After having bought a whole bucket load of deep red, matt baubles this year, I think I'm going to go for a restrained white, green and silver theme next Christmas. So the red baubles might stay packed away next year, but they'll come out another Christmas.

I think visiting all the ethereal, white white white Swedish blogs have inspired the more restrained palette. These lovely pictures helped inspire me too....

All images from Better Homes and Gardens

An understated doorway sets the scene....

Mercury glass baubles....
A twinkly tree, all aglow in white and silver...
...white cashmere stockings, lots of mercury glass candlesticks and baubles, and a dash of tasteful greenery....how beautiful.....

A black sideboard set with silver, glass and white crockery....fabulous.....

A room with just the subtlest touch of Christmas greenery.....

A simple pinecone in some snow-like substance with candles all aglow....

But now I have to be honest with you, people ....I'm a bit of a Christmas Grinch. The over-commercialisation of Christmas gets to me, the crowded shopping malls drive me barmy, and the fact that I only get to see my son for part of the day makes me feel sad and lonely. I also only get two Christmas presents - a $20 family Kris Kringle, and a $10 work Kris Kringle (which I usually end up donating to charity...naughty me). And this year is my first Christmas without my father who I loved so much.
But you know what? If that is the worst I have to contend with, I'm doing pretty well. There are so many people out there who have so much less than me and would tell me to stop being so ungrateful. So this Christmas I'm counting my blessings......
I'll be spending time with my son who I adore.
I have a well enough paid job that enables me to lavish my little fella with lots of fantastic presents which I know he is going to love.
I'll be with my lovely mum and my family.
We will have a bountiful table and we'll be eating yummy white chocolate cheesecake for desert (made by moi). I'm a white chocolate fanatic!
I'll be able to have a sleep-in on Boxing Day because my son will be tuckered out and sleep late.
I earn enough money to buy my own fabulous Christmas present!

I hope you, my lovely blogger friends, who brighten my day, every day, have lots of blessings to count too.
Merry Christmas to you all.
Catherine xx

Now that's a window seat

Like half of the people on this planet, I'm rather busy preparing for Christmas, so this will be a short post today. After I've done this post I'll be wrapping the last of the Christmas pressies and then making cheese biscuits. My grandmother always used to make cheese biscuits at Christmas time, and when she passed away I picked up the tradition. They are like a savory shortbread - melt in the mouth with a sharp cheese flavour. Yum!

Anyway, I spied this window seat in the current edition of Australian House and Garden, which came out today. While I am not a fan of louvred windows (a little modern for my tastes), the soothing natural colours and the stunning sea view took my breath away.

Enjoy, Catherine. xx

Toast of the Town!

T'is the season ... the party season! and we've got cool vintage barware, sparkly new glasses, bar and wine books, funky winestoppers crafted from old vintage doorknobs ... well you get the picture ... we've got what you need to entertain in style ... gift your favorite lounge lizard ... and bring in the New Year with flair!

Stop by SUNDAY, December 21st and pick it all up for 30% OFF our already affordable prices.

We've got the mimosas waiting!

Don't Miss Out on a Week-end Of Last Minute 2008 Holiday Savings!

Mignonne is helping you with the final countdown to 2008's Christmas. We'll be open everyday until Christmas ... including Sunday AND Monday.

Our daily hours will be 11:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. through Christmas Eve.

This week-end we'll have hot coffee and wintery treats, along with 30% Off Savings on all store items (except local artists). That's right, Saturday and Sunday you can stop by and finish checking off your list with unique gifts you won't find at the BIG BOX stores.

We have GREAT stocking stuffers, beautiful candles, luxurious soaps and lotions, robes, music c.d.'s, AFFORDABLE original artwork from several local artists, men's shaving lines, baby gifts like French bibs, Oaklandish onesies, handmade toys, Robeez footwear, French baby books and more. You'll find holiday decorations, our usual terrific vintage glassware and we've even got a jump start on spring with a few new lines. All at AMAZING pre-Christmas SAVINGS!

Support MIGNONNE, your local Old Oakland gift boutique, SAVE 30% on beautiful treasures, receive FREE Gift Wrapping and enjoy some Christmas Cheer as you finish off the season with ease.

Hope to see you there!

Aussie Christmas

Christmas in summer must seem strange to those of you who live in the northern hemisphere, but to those of us born into it, warm weather and Christmas go hand in hand.

Lunch tends to be casual, often a great big buffet of seafood and cold foods, although I do like the traditional hot turkey lunch myself. And Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a huge bowl of cherries to dip into.

Some people even head off to the beach for lunch, with a game of cricket afterwards to stave off the afternoon sleepies.

While others just have a barbie in the backyard, with champagne and beer in plentiful supply.

I'm loving this table setting here below - with the gum leaf table centrepiece and gum leaf star in the background. Very Australian! I have been looking for ages for a eucalyptus wreath, but no luck yet!

One day I hope to have a white Christmas. But in the meantime, I'll put on a summer dress and some thongs (translation: flip flops), help myself to a long cold drink and sit back and enjoy another warm Christmas Day.

Images from Tara Dennis, Viva Terra and Australian Better Homes and Gardens.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

There are three companies I know of that specialise in selling all things white. The first is London's The White Company - the original and the best. They sell high quality products, all white or pale toned - right up my alley.

Here's what's on my wishlist from the The White Company. First up is crisp white cotton sheets (see above). Great sheets are a true luxury you can enjoy everyday. But I'm also wanting....

......at least three of these simple, ribbed glass votives.....

.....some gorgeous fragrant oils for the bath, so beautifully packaged I probably couldn't bear to open them......

......a mother of pearl bowl, just because I love mother of pearl. This would look great on a small table in a bedroom, filled with a string of freshwater pearls......

....a peony-scented white candle.......

....and finally, some beautifully scented laundry products, to turn the mundane and everyday into a pleasurable ritual.

There are two Australian online companies that have followed The White Company's lead and specialised in all things white and pale. They don't have anywhere near the same breadth of products, but still offer some interesting items. First up is White Home. I'll take this silver platter......

....or perhaps this one instead. Imagine it holding a group of candles of different heights and votives....

....a wickedly indulgent cashmere throw, for when those afternoons reading on the lawn gets a little chilly.....

....and a white butler's tray. Always come in handy.

Last but not least we have Whiteport. Here's what's on my wishlist from this company....

......some soft-toned candlesticks.....

....a grouping of white jugs......

.....and a vintage-style clock.

Now I would be a happy woman if I got any one of these products.
Know of any other companies that specialise in white? If you do then let me know.

Thanks to all for a terrific evening!

Our 3rd Annual Holiday Reception was filled with holiday fun and good cheer! Johnelle and I truly appreciate the support of friends, family, and community throughout the year. We couldn't do it without all of you and we're looking forward to another year in Old Oakland!

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