April in Paris...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

it is that time of year ... the time of year when, until 2008, I would get itchy feet and dreamy-eyed for a trip to Paris, my favorite city.

you've heard all of the reasons to visit Paris in April ... the gardens awash with daffodils and fruit tree blossoms ... the beautiful Parisiennes flaunting their spring finery ... those glorious sun-filled afternoons where the entire city seems to have snuck out to play hooky.

Temperatures average in the 50s and one of the best ways to appreciate the abundance is to select one of the ubiquitous cafés and stake your claim on some prime, people watching real estate. Treat yourself to a café au lait and pain au chocolat while you enjoy the parade ... or, if it is the right hour, a glass of red to sip.

April is the month for packing layers.  You can awaken to a gloriously brisk morning, sun yourself over lunch at a sidewalk café and reach for your umbrella that afternoon as you dash to the metro.

It won't be too late to check out the Banlieue Jazz Festival or the Foire au Trone (funfair), similar to a county fair with rides and such...

Whatever you choose, daydreaming or actual visit, I'll be there along with you as you indulge in another April in Paris ...

Back by Demand! A good old fashioned rummage sale and sidewalk BBQ at Mignonne!

Friday, March 27, 2009

So Much Fun We're Doing It Again! ... And Again! And Again!

Special "Earlybird" Hours 

SATURDAYS 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

3/28/09 and ALL the April Saturdays!

We've done our Spring cleaning to make way for new goodies!

We cleaned out our front and back rooms to bring you a fun Saturday with 


And best of all 


Don't miss our special guest

with great price points!
All hand hunted and HI- Fashion!
***dressing rooms available***

Hallmarks of rustic Italian décor

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Continuing with the theme of international décor, we thought we'd share some tips on Italian style, both rustic and country.

* Italian country homes typically have whitewashed walls, or you may find warm terra cotta tones selected as accents.

* Textiles and bedding are whites, creams or neutrals and are most often dense cottons which stay cool in warm weather and can be laundered easily (think freshly laundered sheets flapping in warm sunshine ...)

* Generous use of natural woods ... both exposed ancient beams and in massive furniture pieces. Dark wood tones are prevalent.

* Flooring is commonly stone or tiles ... again in shades of terra cotta and reds. With warm Italian weather, cool tile flooring is a balm during those summer seasons.

* Exposed brick and stone is guarded or restored in old Italian country homes, providing an authentic rustic atmosphere.

discover some French décor blogs ...

Monday, March 23, 2009

We've added a new section to our sidebar, International Blogs We Love.  Currently, we've shared some of our favorite French décor blogs.  As we add other finds, we'll update you.

Une cigale à Paris, author Mathilde Dugueyt provides this summary of her blog (roughly translated): "Small pleasures and some grains of sand: between Paris and the South, I take you along the road with me. Streets paved with fields of olive-trees, zinc counters with shaded terraces, from the Seine to the Mediterranean, here are my notes from wandering…"

You'll find art, décor and a few travel tips as you surf.

Dans l’air du temps, author Cassandra. Reflexions on fashion style, décor, beauty and cuisine.

le blog deco de mademoiselle, author Karine. Young and fresh takes on décor, garden and a splash of fashion. Lots of color, interesting and economical ideas focusing on small details ... that can transform a room.

Courage, readers, as these blogs are in French. But the pictures convey the ideas and inspiration ... and if you really want something translated, drop us a line or a comment and we will accommodate!

bon surfing!

French Décor Trends

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not too surprisingly, les Francaises appear to be moving towards nesting this year too. As quoted from Marie Clair Maison, in observation of the Maison d'Objet show in Paris ... "Simplicity is the major trend of the show, a way of life that becomes a legal entity, a desire to retire to the countryside to the detriment of the city, a new way of eating organic and local reflected by objects borrowing naturalism. Productions are artisanal, the material is visible or recycled (wood, rope and twine, straw, wool, newsprint), with a touch of handmade and environmental considerations (bamboo, traditional manufacturing, fair trade) ..."

Hot design trend 2009 includes eclectic self-expression and use of hot hot colors. Judging by these photos, les Francaises concur!

Got a cool furniture piece you want help in transforming to a French-inspired masterpiece? Give us a call, Johnelle's expertise will help pave the way.

coming soon ...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You'll be wanting to join us for a good old fashioned time at Mignonne!  We're doing a bit of our own spring cleaning, bringing out bits and bobs, this and that at INCREDIBLY LOW PRICES ... prices so low we probably couldn't calculate the percentage of reduction! 

Warm spring weather has gone to our heads and we're having a yard sale ... except we don't have a yard so it will have to be the sidewalk!

There will be fun 'eats', cool treasures to find, and a surprise guest with vintage items you won't normally find at Mignonne ... we're talking some East Bay Vintage clothing treasures!

So keep your eyes peeled here to get the scoop ... coming soon at Mignonne!

Green Spring Cleaning

Monday, March 9, 2009

It is that time of year, when we start to get spring fever and are ready to chase away winter's residue and welcome in spring freshness!

Many of us want to accomplish our spring cleaning without the use of harsh chemicals or creating harmful waste.  

Here's a few tips for getting tough on winter grime while going easy on mother earth:

Vinegar is the answer to many of your cleaning chores.  It can be used straight for especially dirty chores, or diluted with water.  Diluted vinegar is safe for many flooring surfaces ...  including linoleum, ceramic tiles and wood floors. Vinegar is a great cleaner for glass ... wipe with a clean cloth.

Fireplace ashes can be added to your compost pile and balance the acidity.

Cleansing scrub can be prepared at home with four parts baking soda, one part vinegar and your choice of essential oils to scent as you'd like. 

Carpets, pillows and upholstery can be freshened with baking soda.  Sprinkle on, allow time to absorb odors and then vacuum.

Borax is another earth-friendly cleansing product with many uses.  Its great for tackling the fridge ... mix a teaspoon of borax, three tablespoons of vinegar and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle and voila! a great cleansing mix which will eliminate odors and bacteria.  This solution is also great for cleaning shelves and counters.

Natural room fresheners can be as simple as an open box of baking soda to absorb odors, to fresh rosemary sachets.  Grinding citrus peels and ice in your garbage disposers immediately freshens the air and helps maintain your disposal system.  Indoor plants improve air quality, three plants to 100 square feet will make a significant difference!

Essential oil organic lavender, mixed with hot water (1 tsp to 1 cup) makes a natural, homemade germ-killer.

There are also many wonderful product lines that are lighter on the environment, and easier on you.  Mignonne carries a rotating variety of Caldrea home products that are environmentally sensitive.

Bienvenue Printemps!! Welcome Spring!!

A Smart and Savvy Sale Weekend at Mignonne !!

Choosing to be frugal in today's economy does not mean having to compromise on style!

Mignonne inroduces new prices throughout the store and a special 25% off all furniture this week-end! Let us help you feather your nest with flair !

Our repurposed furniture is eco-friendly and our prices are econo-savvy!

What more can you ask for?!

Cool Vintage Theatre Chair!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Check out this way cool theatre chair, which could serve as an art installation or functional conversation piece in your home.

Cast iron and wood, the seat adjusts up and down. This chair could be affixed to the floor, would make an interesting subject for painting a hot color ... or even painting a quirky scene on the seat or back.

Of course, Johnelle can assist with bringing your vision to life!

This spring, individuality, color and fun are the hot trends and this cool chair could serve as your palette for all three!

Do you know about Yelp?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yelp is a fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great (and not so great) in your local community, or interesting places you have visited. You already know that asking friends is the best way to find restaurants, dentists, hairstylists, and anything local. Yelp makes it fast and easy by collecting and organizing everyday people's recommendations in one place!

Yelp is differentiated from other similar sites by their Yelp Elite members. The more reviews a member makes, the larger their chance to become an Elite reviewer. And reviewers also benefit from feedback and reviews of other members.

Yelp doesn't pay for reviews. Instead, the site motivates members through the praise and attention that their reviews receive from others. “Yelp is about the reviewing experience,” co-founder Mr. Stoppelman explains. “It is like a blog with a little bit of structure.” The site deliberately focuses on the reviewer's experience. “We put the community first, the consumer second and businesses third,” Mr. Stoppelman commented. (quoted from New York Times 5/12/08 article). Yelp boasts millions of viewers and a plethora of reviewers in major cities throughout the U.S. The opinions are as vast as their member community and really reflect the local personality of each area.

Whenever we are headed on a trip to a U.S. city, we take time to check out Yelp to get a feel for the scene ... whether it is restaurants, lodging, art, nightlife ... you name it, you can probably find an opinion. Of course, the next question is whether or not to trust that opinion!

Yelp started off in San Francisco (mais oui, bien sur!) and after the first year ... branched off to other major cities. Yelp is not limited to restaurant reviews, but focuses on the community at large. So you will find information on retail venues and service spots, in addition to restaurants and bars.

Yelp has now expanded to London, so I'm dreaming and hoping that Paris will be next! If so, I intend to go for Elite as I have much to share on the topic of Paris!!!

Mignonne is featured within the Yelp community and we currently have 14 reviews. If you'd like to read our reviews, or comment upon our store ... just click HERE.

Introducing ... the Je Suis Mignonne "Sidebar"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First time blog visitors may not be aware of all of the information Je Suis Mignonne presents in our "sidebar". A blog sidebar (the space adjacent to the main posting area, located either to the left or right) gives the blog author the opportunity to present information which is relevant to the overall theme of the blog ... and which doesn't update or change as frequently as the main posting area.

On the Je Suis Mignonne blog, we present a variety of pertinent information:

1. The definition (and pronunciation) of our blog title, which is in French.

2. A slideshow presenting updates on press our boutique has received, or media we have been featured in.

3. A listing of the store's featured artists (these rotate every month or so).

4. Mignonne boutique opening hours (these may change with the seasons).

5. A search tool for our blog ... if you remember reading about a certain topic, or are searching for a product or theme, input the keyword here and chances are you will locate information on our blog.

6. Contact information for purchasing 'online' for Mignonne ... until our online features are activated.

7. A summary of Mignonne's design services.

8. A description of our store and blog.

9. A tool you can use to subscribe to our blog, which will update you when 'new' news is posted.

10. Interested in a left coast beach getaway? learn more about Kim's Seaside cabin and how to rent it.

11. Highlights of Mignonne's soap, candle and men's product lines.

12. Site links for décor blogs we love and artists we have have featured.

13. Updates on who has recently visited our blog.

14. Our blog archive, check out the many topics you can read about on Je Suis Mignonne.

So you can see, our sidebar is worth a second look! Feel free to check it out further ...

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