Mother’s Day Gift Ideas-2015

Lovely Lily of the Valley

Lovely Lily of the Valley

It’s almost May 1st, or May Day, a holiday widely celebrated in Europe. My favorite part of this fête nationale in France is the muguet, or lily of the valley, that delicate flower with droplets of blooms that resemble little white wedding bells. You can enjoy its fresh, redolent scent in Diorissimo, a signature fragrance of the House of Dior. Christian Dior’s favorite flower was, in fact, le muguet, one of the most beloved symbols of happiness in France. On le premier mai en France, most everything is closed, but you can still find all kinds of bouquets of muguet sold throughout–from street corners to flower shops.

Telluride Truffle Mother's Day Gift Box

Telluride Truffle Mother’s Day Gift Box

Telluride Truffle Spring Gift Box

Telluride Truffle Spring Gift Box

Ruth's Toffee

Ruth’s Toffee

Pink Champagne from Henri's Reserve

Pink Champagne from Henri’s Reserve

Voilà there’s one terrific gift idea for the lovely lady in your life for this Mother’s Day. Read about many more at my Online Shopping page. Many of the online boutiques I feature actually showcase European goods or goods of such fine quality that they could pass for European made. Telluride Truffle and Ruth’s Toffee are such examples and indeed the quality of their products rivals some of the delectable treats I’ve sampled from France’s top chocolatiers. What mom wouldn’t be thrilled to receive some sweets from these two Colorado-based confectioners! Pay close attention to the instructions on my Online Shopping page to receive a 10% discount on online orders from these two purveyors and all others highlighted on that page (and below).

Nothing says holiday like bubbly, especially when it’s champagne. Send mom a beautiful bottle of champagne rosé from Henri’s Reserve to celebrate her. I promise she’ll be tickled pink.

Alpine Treasures for the Ladies from Alpen Schatz

Alpine Treasures for the Ladies from Alpen Schatz

If you’re looking for something more everlasting such as a piece of jewelry or a lovely home decor item, read what I have to say about Alpen Schatz and Quel Objet, two charming online boutiques on my Online Shopping page that sell a highly curated selection of goods from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France. Quel Objet just received a fresh shipment of authentic, made-in-France espadrilles; not only are they beautiful but the quality is far superior to espadrilles made in China or other far-flung countries.

Espadrilles from Quel Objet

Espadrilles from Quel Objet

I'll Take Three!

I’ll Take Three!

For a gift of great sentimental value, consider an autographed collectible from The Autograph Source, an Aspen-based find that takes unique gift ideas to a different level. In Breckenridge, Colorado, there’s a lovely lady that handcrafts beautiful soaps. I sent my mom a pretty package of these creations from the Fresh Soap Company last year for Mother’s Day. Here also, you can receive 10% off by following the instructions on my Online Shopping page.

Susan Rahmann (Dressed in Her Creations) with Her Mom

Susan Rahmann (Dressed in Her Creations) with Her Mom

It’s always nice to have a fresh top or other fun clothing piece for spring. Pick up one for yourself and/or your mom at Rahmen + Co., Susan Rahmann’s Telluride-based clothing company that uses primarily textiles crafted from bamboo.

European Dog Collars from Alpen Schatz

European Dog Collars from Alpen Schatz

Another way to touch mom’s (or anyone else’s) heart is to show love and affection for their pet (s). Send a stunning collar and leash from Alpen Schatz or a cuddly, organic toy from Purrfect Play. You can bet there will be tail wagging and purrs all around. This is also a wonderful way to honor all the fur baby moms that are often forgotten on Mother’s Day.

Remember to pay close attention to the instructions on my Online Shopping page to receive a 10% discount on online orders from all the purveyors highlighted here and on that page.

Adventure Travel for Mom

Adventure Travel for Mom

If your mom is an adventuresome type, consider offering her a gift from my Adventure Travel Love for You and KOTO.  Most of the tours and excursions are for Telluride, Colorado, although you can also choose from an exciting bike trip in a number of stunning regions across the U.S. You might even want to make that a trip à deux; or in other words, go ahead, accompany her.

A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France

A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France

Perhaps your mom is more the type to read about a bike adventure than to do one. If so, she’ll surely like one that takes place in France and involves romance, food and wine, travel and more. Yes, you guessed it:  order a copy of my travel memoir, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, in either paperback or eBook. Many are enjoying it and it definitely qualifies as a fun, summer read.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Mom and Me

Mom and Me

Valentine’s Day Shopping 2015

Hearts and Flowers Dog Collars for Your Precious Babies at Alpen Schatz

Hearts and Flowers Dog Collars for Your Precious Babies at Alpen Schatz

Matching Leash from Alpen Schatz

Matching Leash from Alpen Schatz

Organic Catnip Toy from Purrfect Play

Organic Catnip Toy from Purrfect Play

Tomorrow is February 1st. And you know what that means…it’s almost Valentine’s Day! I’m a hearts and flowers kind of girl, so I can’t help getting all mushy around this holiday. And as I get older, the list of people–and pets–I acknowledge on this holiday grows. It’s not just about romance. To me, it’s a solid occasion for expressing love. And what better way to express love, than to offer a card or a gift to say I’m thinking about you? This is especially true for someone that lives far away.

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Last-Minute Holiday Shopping 2014

Pretty French Trays from Quel Objet

Pretty French Trays from Quel Objet

Champagne from Henri's Reserve

Champagne from Henri’s Reserve

Romantic Treasures from Alpen Schatz

Romantic Treasures from Alpen Schatz

Phew, there’s so much to do! As I reported in my last post, I’ve been busy with a move and the start of ski season. Although I don’t have many gifts to buy, I do like to send out a few. I’m going to make it super easy and get online this morning to order original products of quality and charm you don’t find all over the internet.

Check out my Online Shopping Page for my hand-curated collection of boutiques. Read the descriptions carefully to find out how you can benefit from a 10% discount. Most of my purveyors have told me that goods can arrive by Christmas–by regular mail–if orders are placed by mid-day today. Some have even noted that Friday is the last day. And, of course, there’s always priority shipping to be extra sure of a December 24th arrival. In any event, it’s best to ask each establishment if they can indeed fill the order in time. (Some, such as Telluride Truffle, are pretty swamped.)

Go ahead and check out these lovely boutiques. You’ll be glad you did and so will your happy gift recipients. Remember to follow the instructions to receive your 10% Bonjour Colorado discount.

Happy shopping!

Organic Catnip Toy from Purrfect Play

Organic Catnip Toy from Purrfect Play

Road Tripping in the Great American West

Mt. Crested Butte

Mt. Crested Butte

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

There’s nothing like a good, old fashioned road trip to give you a terrific sense of freedom. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that you go under your own steam–that you’re not reliant on a plane, train, bus or boat to get you to your destination. The fact that you’re the captain of your ship means that you can leave when you want, go where you want and stop at whatever strikes your fancy along the way. Maybe it’s liberating because if you take your own vehicle, it’s like bringing your personal living room on the road. Whatever the reason, road tripping is so damned much fun. And there’s no doubt that it’s even better in the great American West.

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Win a Fall Foliage Trip to Telluride, Colorado

Fall in Telluride

Fall in Telluride, Colorado

Autumn in Telluride rates as one of my favorite times of the year. Since we’re located in southwestern Colorado, it’s typically sunny and warm during the day and cool and crisp at night. Known as the gold season, the aspens present a dazzling array of sunshine yellow, honey and maize while the brush, which flanks our mountainsides and carpets our valleys, turns into a rich showing of saffron, russet and ruby red.

The foliage typically peaks at the end of September, however, the scenery remains stunning here through mid October, especially if we’re blessed with a fresh dusting of snow on our breathtaking peaks. The big summer and festival crowds have gone home, so you can easily soak up the tranquility of our charming mountain destination and the outlying area whether you’re hiking, biking, fishing, jeeping, shopping, dining or just lolling on a nice deck.

Thanks to Mountain Lodge Telluride, the New Sheridan Chop House Restaurant, Paragon Outdoors/Bootdoctors and Salon 7, you can win a fabulous stay in Telluride, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. (And that’s coming from a gal who lived eleven years in Paris.) Here’s what the trip includes:

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Dana Crawford Chats About the Opening of Denver’s Restored Union Station and The Crawford Hotel

Denver's Union Station

Denver’s Union Station

I rarely write about a place without having visited it, however, in this case, I can do it with the utmost confidence. I’m talking about the newly restored Union Station in Denver and a splendid hotel housed within:  The Crawford. Both have been a labor of love of for Dana Crawford and Sage Hospitality, and Colorado is abuzz about the reopening of this landmark station and the unveiling of this unique hotel. Listen to what Ms. Crawford has to say about this enormous project, her passion for restoration and future plans in the works in my Travel Fun interview below.

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Play

Summer Sipping 2014

Chloe Wines

Chloe Wines

Summer is the season for wine festivals throughout much of the United States, especially in Colorado. June is particularly big in our Rocky Mountain state since the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is taking place this weekend and the Telluride Wine Festival—under new direction—is happening next weekend. They’re both long-established events, terrific for sampling and savoring food and libations among the pros. Typically one walks away from these festivals with a go-to list of wines, spirits and restaurants to experience in the upcoming months. They also offer wonderful opportunities for socializing among fellow foodies and wine lovers in beautiful mountain settings.

For me, however, summer sipping feels best outdoors while gazing at a gorgeous mountain vista or inside relishing a delicious dinner of grilled meats and vegetables after having done a big hike. I’ve also been known to pack a good bottle and snacks and share a near-sacred moment with someone special out in a remote place. These treasured times create memories that last the longest for me.

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The Riches of Paris and The Riches of France Now eBooks

The Riches of Paris:  A Shopping and Touring Guide

The Riches of Paris: A Shopping and Touring Guide

If you’re headed to Paris soon or are just an armchair traveler that enjoys curling up with your eBook, may I recommend my books, The Riches of Paris:  A Shopping and Touring Guide and The Riches of France:  A Shopping and Touring Guide to the French Provinces. They’re perfect for Francophiles interested in knowing more about the places they’re discovering.

The eBook versions of my classic guidebooks come just in time for spring/summer travels to the French capital and the provinces of France. How handy it is to pull them up on your mobile device or eBook reader to find out about the most interesting places and products to savor.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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