Le Mervetty: The Taste of Paris in Beverly Hills

As a former ballerina, this of course, caught my eye!!

I love that  Anna Pavlova is their muse!!

In keeping with our family tradition of Sweet Saturdays, The Beans and I had the unique pleasure of visiting a lovely new French patisserie by the name of Le Mervetty last week. We were so excited about it, we invited Sugar Bean’s best friend, String Bean, to join us, so she is making her début at A Calibama State of Mind in this post today! So make her feel welcome, y’all!

Now, back to our outing…

If you’ve not yet visited this elegant little gem at 319 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills, I highly suggest doing so immediately. You will not be disappointed! The first thing we noticed is the bright, inviting decor. It absolutely makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Paris, and are about to experience French desserts at their finest. The attention to detail is stunning, right down to the Eiffel Tower and precious packaging. But see for yourself:

Yum!!

Yum!!

Sugar Bean and her BFF, String Bean showing off their treats!

Sugar Bean and her BFF, String Bean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let them eat cake!

Let them eat cake!

Now this is definitely not an ordinary bakery, and I can assure you neither this Southern gal, nor any of The Beans, had ever tasted anything like their delectable treats! The unique desserts, properly known as merveilleux, are available in five flavors (Chocolate, Nutella, Coffee, Praline and Speculoos) and three sizes: Le Petit Mervetty, Le Mervetty and Le Grand Mervetty. Being from the South, I naturally went straight for the one covered in crushed pralines, and it was quite honestly like eating a meringue based, cream-filled cloud of airy sweetness.  So light and fluffy you’ll swear they’ve been whipped up by angels in Heaven! Let’s give credit where credit is due though,  and throw the spotlight on chef Etty Benhamou, who makes these confections on-site, everyday. Oh, and they take special orders too! Which was fabulous news to me, because as soon as we walked in, Sweet Pea’s eyes went directly to their house specialty, Le Pavlova, and wants one for her birthday next month! 

Le Pavlova...ooo la la!!

Le Pavlova…ooo la la!!

 

And if a picture is worth a thousand words….the ones below are worth millions…which is what you’ll feel like after you visit Le Mervetty and taste the sweet perfection they deliver to your taste buds!!

Sugar Bean had Chocolate

Sugar Bean had Chocolate

Butter Bean had Chocolate

Butter Bean had Chocolate

Sweet Pea had Speculoos

Sweet Pea had Speculoos

 

And the grand finale was String Bean and her Le Petit Mervetty flavored with Nutella!

The face of sheer delight!

The face of sheer delight!

 

 

Le Mervetty 319 North Canon Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210 310-804-9409

Le Mervetty
319 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310-804-9409

I love dolphins. Really…I do!!!

Anytime the thought “Mama would have loved this” crosses my mind,  I know whatever it’s in reference to is a keeper. So when that was the first thing I said after seeing the trailer for “Dolphin Tale 2” I knew I needed to share it with y’all. In fact, I’m not so sure there wasn’t some sort of motherly, ‘divine’ intervention behind me being asked by GraceHill Media to sneak peek the trailer and give my thoughts. After all, the film IS due out on September 19, 2014, and that happens to be Mama’s birthday! If she were alive, I could take her to see it in celebration of her 82 years on Earth. Unfortunately, that’s not possible…so I’ll just take The Beans in her honor, and remind them how much she would have loved it 🙂 Although I haven’t had the privilege of  seeing the entire film yet, The Beans and I saw the original Dolphin Tale when it was in theaters back in 2011. All four of us were laughing, crying and cheering simultaneously. It’s just that kind of movie. So to say I am excited for the sequel is an understatement! And with the original cast (Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, and Winter the Dolphin) teaming up again to help save a new member of the Dolphin Tale family, –Baby Hope–this film promises to be just as wonderful as the first one! Don’t take my word for it though; watch the trailer for yourself below…. and check back here as September draws closer, because I might just be participating in a Dolphin Tale 2 giveaway of some kind!!

Dolphin Tale 2 OFFICIAL POSTER

 

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Is God Real or Pretend?

I know what I believe: a very emphatic, loud, resounding YES MA’AM!  I mean, if you read this post , you’ll understand that it’s by His very Grace that I’m alive. In addition, I believe He is a loving God, who through the Christian principles and teachings I’ve chosen to follow from The Bible, compels us to be compassionate, tolerant, non-judgmental and forgiving. And also that, as Glennon Doyle Melton, of Momastery  puts it…“God is forever tries.” In other words, no matter how many times we sin, or how bad the sins are…if you ask Him to come into your life and forgive you….He does. No questions asked.

At the same time, I respect what you believe. Even though your answer to this question may be vastly different from mine. That’s perfectly fine with me, because differences are what make our world a unique place to live. I’ve never been one to force my beliefs on anyone, and I don’t plan on starting now, on the 42nd anniversary of my birth (yes, today is my birthday). The various religions of the world and their individual teachings and guidelines have always fascinated me. I’ve even sought classes on the History of Religions, only to enroll and find out it was not going to supply me with the knowledge I was seeking, so I dropped out. Oh well. I suppose as an eternal student of life, I’ll just have to keep looking. But anyway, enough about that.

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The reason for my post today is simple. I was asked by TLC Book Tours to review a book entitled “Is God Real or Pretend”, by Jennifer Horsman.

Is God Real or Pretend? is the story of young Franklin’s engaging and enlightening journey to answer this age-old question. Franklin’s grandmother, Dr. Wendy Knowles, a professor of astronomy, first provides Franklin with the basic scientific means of determining what is real and what is not and how science distinguishes questions it can answer and those it cannot. Franklin’s mission of discovery continues as he meets a kindly professor of Greek mythology who offers a historical-cultural prospective on the question. Here Franklin meets the Greek Gods and their timeless myths.

Once armed with these new ideas, Franklin meets with representatives of the world’s five major religions: Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. These knowledgeable teachers from the great religions charm and delight as they shine positive lights on their religion. Franklin asks probing questions, while learning to appreciate and admire the diversity and beauty of these religious beliefs and traditions. Ultimately, Franklin’s dynamic school report on the immensity and magnificence of the universe becomes the backdrop for thinking critically about religion and questions about God.

This book is designed for anyone and everyone, young and old, religious or not, who wants to know more about these five great religions. It’s the most unforgettable and exciting journey, one every thoughtful child (and the curious adults in their life) will enjoy.

REVIEW

Being the mother of The Beans –Sugar, Butter, and Sweet Pea– and having just concluded a glorious holiday season during which they were all three baptized in a beautiful ceremony, our family lit the last candle of Advent–the Christ Candle — at our church’s Christmas Eve service, and then witnessing them open the gifts Santa brought them on Christmas Day…..my biggest issue with this book is that on page 2 it clearly states “SANTA CLAUS IS NOT REAL.”  WTF? Seriously. For a book that is geared towards a young audience, that’s just…well…wrong in my honest opinion. And to think, I almost read it to my youngest two children, who still whole-heartedly believe in the magic of Santa. Talk about dodging a bullet inevitably designed to break a tiny heart! Now, I realize not everyone allows their children to believe this myth based on the assumption that it’s ‘lying’ to them. And hey…to each his own. But I, for one, plan to allow mine to enjoy the magic for as long as they choose to. They grow up fast enough. Besides, I’ve witnessed Christmas miracles in my life that could only be explained by belief in both God and Santa Claus. So there.

All that being said, the book does an effective job of explaining the 5 major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It talks about each one separately, outlines the major rules or principles its followers abide by and explains the differences between the faiths. At the same time, the author manages to highlight how the various religions are similar in their teachings on an elemental level, which I very much enjoyed. In addition, the book addresses the existence of God from a scientific perspective, discusses the history of Greek Gods, or polytheistic belief, and talks about Agnostics, or those who are unsure whether God exists at all. The language is easy to understand, and it flows well, which is definitely a plus for a book about religion. All in all, an interesting read full of useful information.

In the end, Franklin, the curious child at the center of this story, says  “I learned that religions all have different ideas of God, but that God still remains mysterious,” and, “All religions try to help people be better.”  Both valuable points, I believe. However, ultimately he decides he likes “the scientific way of knowing best.” For me, this is not the conclusion I would prefer my children to settle upon, but that’s likely because I feel the presence of God in my life, have a strong faith and want my daughters to grow up with the same. Because often, at the end of a particularly challenging period in one’s life….hope, belief and faith may just be all you have to cling to.

Think I’ll tuck this book away from the eyes of The Beans until they begin asking questions. For now, they love Jesus with all their hearts, and believe God is very real….which is fine by me!

The Beans just after their Baptisms.

The Beans just after their Baptisms.

Jennifer Horsman is the author of many popular books for both young readers and adults. In addition to a B.A. from UC Irvine in Social Ecology (don’t ask; no one knows what it means), she has spent a lifetime reading about religion, philosophy, history and science.

You can find her books at www.JenniferHorsman.com, or by clicking on her picture below.

Author-JHorsman-photo-taken-by-Ken-Mooty-199x300

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Put it in the universe.

EmmaCate3 EmmaCate2 EmmaCate1

I was going to wait until tomorrow to jump back up on the blogging horse, but then something happened in the car today that reminded me of happy times, prompting me to start early.

So here I am.

You are likely wondering why these pictures are leading this post, right? Or not….but I’m going to tell you anyway.

The first thing to know (if you don’t already) is I put the ‘fan’ in FANactic when it comes to all things associated with the Dave Matthews Band. I’ve been a stalker fan since they’ve been a band (1991), and have attended an obscene number of shows. There are some very uncanny coincidences associated with my love for all things DMB.

~~ Dave and I were both born on January 9th, although he is 5 years my senior.

~~ He has a song titled “Dancing Nancies” which I used to think was about me, until I read somewhere that it’s about male transvestites in the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

~~ His charity organization is called “The Bama Rags Foundation”. I’m from Alabama, but he is not.

~~ My first choice for college was a small, private liberal arts college in Virginia called Sweet Briar College. I applied and got in, but couldn’t afford to go, and instead accepted a scholarship to the University of Alabama. Dave met his wife at Sweet Briar College.

~~ I haven’t missed a tour since they started doing them, and often attend concerts alone if The Man is busy and I can’t find a running mate.

~~ When I turned 30, I said to The Man, “On my 35th birthday, if we have more money than we know what to do with, will you please hire Dave to play at ‘our’ party?”  He said, “Of course, Baby Girl.”  **Side note: I did end up meeting Dave, but it wasn’t because The Man hired him, and he wasn’t playing at our birthday party…lol. Through a strange twist of fate, a dear friend was able to hook me up with a gig working as an extra on the single episode of “House” Dave played a role on, and ironically enough…we taped the day after I turned 35. I made sure to introduce myself, even at the risk of being tossed off the set. He knew exactly who I was (apparently he’d been told I would be there?) and wished me a happy belated birthday.

Anyway, the pics above were from the 2nd crazy coincidental meeting we had. Below are a few facts leading up to these photos:

1. These pics were taken in 2007, on Sugar Bean’s 8th Birthday at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.

2. About 3 weeks before these were snapped, a publicist friend of mine who knows of my obsession, called and said he was having brunch with another friend who used to be Dave’s publicist, and wondered which show in LA I was attending on that tour, in case she still had connections and could set up a meet and greet. I told him the show in Irvine, because Sugar Bean was going with me as her birthday present. Unfortunately, he called a few days later and said she no longer had an “in”. No worries.

3. Exactly 2 days before the concert, while I was in hellish traffic on the 405, my cell phone rang. I answered, and a girl named Lauren said she was calling from “The Warehouse” (the official DMB fan club…which I am a member of) and wondered if I was attending the show in Irvine later that week. I told her I was planning on it, and then she asked if I would like to meet Dave before the show. I think I muttered something to the effect of “Oh holy hell…did Alfred put you up to this?”  She said she didn’t know an Alfred, but my name had been randomly selected by the fan club as the winner of a pre-concert “meet & greet”…for reals. I continued to grill her, until I was satisfied I wasn’t being Punk’d, and promptly wet my pants, grinning from ear to ear all the way home. YES. THAT REALLY HAPPENED.

4. I took that t-shirt away from her once we got home and promptly stored it in an air-tight container. It’s never been washed and she will only get it back at my death.

Photo_092607_001

How about that grin???

Proof positive that it pays to put things into the universe if you REALLY want them to happen, huh?

Now…why am I telling you all this? Because I want to. And because it’s relevant to the happy time I was reminded of today in the car.

Each time I gave birth, I was listening to music through headphones. Guess what artist was playing? If you answered “Dave Matthews” you win a gold star! Now, in fairness to each individual life I brought into the world and because each of the The Beans has her own unique personality. Despite the fact, I didn’t know what each bundle of joy would be like once she was born, I chose a different song for each one, and put that on repeat until they entered the world. They all know what their song is, both by name and when they hear it, as well as what their sisters’ songs are. Call me crazy, but it’s an important detail in my estimation.

Sugar Bean’s song is ‘Jimi Thing’, Butter Bean’s is ‘Trippin Billies’ and Sweet Pea’s is ‘Rapunzel’. Of course these are also 3 of my all-time faves, hence why I chose them 🙂

Anyway, today when I picked Butter Bean and Sweet Pea up from school, ‘Jimi Thing’ was playing on the stereo, and was quickly identified by Butter Bean as Sugar Bean’s song. Oh, and if you are wondering if I’m “that mom” who rocks out with the windows down while in carpool line….I TOTALLY AM. Wouldn’t have it any other way. But I digress. Back to the conversation that ensued:

BB: This is SB’s song!!

Me: Yes…it is 🙂

SP: What’s my song again?

BB: Rapunzel

SP: Right! Now what is that song about? Princess Rapunzel, or another Rapunzel?

BB: Mama, what’s it about?

Me: Oh…I’m sure it’s about Princess Rapunzel (smiling devilishly).

Thank God they didn’t inquire about the meaning behind ‘Jimi Thing’, right? 

 

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