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A Picnic in Provence

  A picnic in Provence

Anyone who has been to Provence knows the south of France has the most stunningly opulent markets. Delicately viened melons, the softest greens and figs so lush they break open in your market bag revealing their dark red seed. Cured meats: wild boar, sun-dried tomato, olive, chèvre. And the cheese… I die for the cheese.

Today’s adventure, a picnic overlooking the ruins of a famed chateau, tucked just above the mountainous village of Lacoste. On the menu: oysters which I shucked myself, washed down with a coupe of Champagne, followed by sticky red grapes, figs, olives, saucisson, and cheese.  I arranged everything on a beautiful blue and white picnic blanket I found in the market and lay peacefully watching the sun fade off the vines of the valley and appreciating the rich flavors of Provence. Delectable. 

Un samedi parfait.

A picnic in Provence A picnic in Provence

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A Picnic in Provence

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It was perfect. A picnic in Provence where it is so simple, so easy, it’s practically laid out for you! Bouncing around visiting the little ancient villages perched on hilltops you are bound to bump into one of the farmer’s markets that migrates daily from town to town. Stalls of cheeses, cured meats, fresh eggs, provencal olives, rustic breads, almond based sweets and the most delicious seasonal produce all lined up for discovery. There is no flashy marketing, just the country staples.

It brought me such joy.

We’d pick up a bottle of local wine which, in this region, is treated much more like a casual daily ritual than a precious commodity. More like an expression of joy from the earth and the community, and the simple pleasures of life. I bought an old monogrammed linen sheet from a yard sale which provided ample space for all our accompaniments to rest in afternoons under cherry trees, or hilltop vistas, lying down for a nap or to read a book, or even just listening quietly to my Renoir playlist as I watched the clouds roll by in all their funny shapes up there in that big blue sky.

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Below, caught in the wind under the cherry trees in a Reformation floral dress and Maison Michel hat

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Portraits of Each Other

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In line with all the sentiment I put into our anniversary picnic, mementos from our life together, I chose this Pablo Neruda poem, a souvenir from our time in Santiago, Chile, to read to Kevin over our picnic spread… a verbal anniversary card if you will…which now unfolds into our visual history with these intimate and simple snapshots of each other capturing this time alone – he & I on the beach with nothing but the sea.:

“I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   

or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   

I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   

secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

 

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries   

the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,   

and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose   

from the earth lives dimly in my body.

 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   

I love you directly without problems or pride:

I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.”

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Romantic Beach Picnic

The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach.

For our 2nd anniversary this past Monday I wanted to do something low key, but utterly romantic so I planned a surprise sunset beach picnic for Kevin. I tried to get as creative as possible and make every aspect of the picnic a walk down memory lane.

For starters, instead of a blanket, I used a rug we bought together from the flea market in Paris which gave the scene a more formal feeling. I then surrounded the rug with clusters of sandalwood incense we bought on our recent trip to Bali. Everywhere we went on the island, this beautiful and sexy smell drifted by our noses; now it reminds us of those unforgettable sunrises from only a moment ago. I made it personal with our monogrammed glass hurricanes lanterns flanking the view of the setting sky. I brought our go-to Pinot Grigio by one of our favorite studio clientsEcco Domani, which brings back such fun studio memories – one of our first shoots at our new place. Just as I was talking about yesterday with “upgrading the everyday”, we toasted another year of marriage with monogrammed stemless wine glasses, formal, lovely, and personal (plus much less likely to spill on a sandy beach setup!)

Kevin *loves* crab, so I asked my friend Molly when she was over for dinner for a crab salad recipe that would go well with the Pinot Grigio for our picnic (recipe below!). I also had lots of beautiful fresh finger foods from the farmer’s market such as morning radishes with a little pile of Maldon salt, a couple of flaky, yummy farm stand cheeses, the most beautiful petite blackberries, an avocado, salami for depth and to finish it off – grapes. So classic. And just so there were no pesky bugs around, I threw down some citronella candles in terra-cotta pots. To finish it off, I had our assistant Carly stop by and snap a few photos of us together, just like we did 2 years ago when we said “I do“.

We sat on the beach and sipped wine, took black and white photos of each other in an intimate dance we’ve been doing now for years, shared food, and watched the colors of the sky paint their way into darkness. Happy Anniversary to my husband, thank you for my beautiful anniversary gift (scroll down to see!) I’ll cherish forever which will remind me of this magical era of our life and cheers to forever, wherever that may take us.

Thank you again, Ecco Domani, for the memories…

  The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. (more…)



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