get ’em while it’s cold

She doesn’t ship during warm weather months — for good reason as chocolate melts and you wouldn’t want to waste something as special as these treasures!  Gâté Commes Des Filles the chocolate company by Alexandra Whisnant in Sommerville, Massachusetts may just be the best chocolates this side of the Atlantic.

Paris trained, Laudurée and Chez Panisse (CA) bread, Alexandra hand makes chocolates using only the freshest ingredients — often out of her mother’s garden — and highest quality chocolate that need to be consumed within days before the freshness fades. The date stamped boxes make perfect gifts but be sure to get some for yourself to make the $28 overnight shipping worthwhile.

Available in 4pc/$22, 9pc/$43 and 16 pc/$75 boxes. (shipping extra)

And if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the Boston area, stop by her new shop in the very hipster Bow Market. There you can not only get boxed chocolates but a giant cone of chocolate mousse or a chocolate frappe topped with fresh whipped cream!

I’m sensing a road trip!

all images courtesy Gâté Commes Des Filles


april showers

Take a romantic walk in the rain with one of these darling heart-shaped umbrellas. Wouldn’t they also make something great to have on hand at an outdoor wedding, just in case? Brilliant!

not your average fishin’ hole

House on Metolius — Camp Sherman, Oregon

A view to die for! The perfect spot for a wedding. And in fact, many people do get married right here. But it is also an amazing place for a romantic escape, a business retreat or best of all, a fishing vacation if you’re into that kind of thing. Whatever the reason you may go, the House on Metolius is like a dream — almost like Brigadoon when the clouds form around the basin as they are known to do.

Located along a private stretch of the Metolius River (known to be the best half mile for Bull Trout fishing in the world) this beautiful private home recently turned small resort, allows lucky guests to see just what this stretch of river has to offer — along with the rest of the almost 200 acres of private land located in the midst of Central Oregon public forest.

But beauty isn’t all there is on offer:  A lovely staff; meals cooked with local ingredients by the resident chef; sustainable practices throughout the resort which boasts 7 guest rooms in the main lodge and several free standing lodges & cabins dotted around the property that are rustic and luxurious all at once. Don’t miss the charming general store a short walk down the road where you can pick up a jar of locally made preserves. Or head by car to the town of Sisters or further into Bend, OR for more local treats.

While a warm and lovely resort, you never lose sight of the fact this was once somebody’s home — family photos and history adorn the walls, and an interesting history it is. I had the pleasure of meeting the multi-generational family and staying here recently. My only regret was I didn’t get to stay longer — oh and maybe, too, that I didn’t have someone special with me to share that spectacular view.

all photos courtesy House on Metolius

go-to wedding gifts

It’s wedding season.  Here are my favorite off-registry gifts for the happy couple. I find them fool-proof:

1. Matching, monogrammed cotton bathrobes from Restoration Hardware. Big & fluffy, they come in lots of colors — $89 ea. plus $6 for personalization  2. “For Ever And Ever” print by Rachel Castle — similar to shown, $450 unframed  3. Heart shaped Le Creuset pot to give along with your favorite cookbook — $170  4. Just Married House Wine from Swanson Vinyards. Also available in white — $25/bottle, save 10% on a full case  5. His & Hers spa treatments — if you don’t know a day spa in their area, a gift certificate from Spa Finders allows them to find the perfect place with the treatments of their choice  6. All the fixin’s for a romantic picnic. If you’re lucky enough to live in Sydney, The Sydney Picnic Company does really really nice customized picnic baskets for $135-$185. Or just be inspired by their creativity and do it yourself

image #2 courtesy of the design files, all other photos courtesy of respective websites