summer daydreaming...

we know a lot of peeps are cutting back on their summer travels this year -- it’s just not a good time to be driving or flying anywhere. so instead, we may find ourselves perfecting the art of daydreaming, always a worthy pursuit. at the shop we are especially enamored with paris and italy, and this post is for the italophiles and francophiles among us. if you find yourself imagining a stroll through montmartre or along the tiber, come indulge your french or italian itch at o’suz!

there isn't much to dislike about italian culture when it comes down to it. the art, the food (oh gelato, how i love thee!), the language, and the movies are just a few of things for which italy is known. here are a few of our favorite italian goodies:

where to begin with italian cities – rome, venice, florence?!? have your pick with stone coasters from studio vertu. “this is rome” is full of lively illustrations and though geared towards a younger audience, we think it’s a fun gift for any lover of the eternal city. we always have a hard time keeping “italy out of hand” in the shop, and a new addition to our italian bookshelf is “made in italy,” a compendium of all of the amazing artisanal wares for which the country is so well-known. “the antique and flea markets of italy” is a petite and charming book detailing the age old market tradition of the region. if you really need to feel like you've made the trip over, come snag some acca kappa soap, made in italy in scents like wisteria, lily of the valley, and classic lavender. don’t forget that the ever-popular moleskine notebooks are an italian invention, and postcards aren’t just for travelers! cavallini’s postcard tin is full of classic images that are great for quick notes to your correspondents. finally, we are so, so excited about an italian paper line that is new to us, tassotti (not pictured due to the photographer’s inability to capture the awesomeness). they make amazing flat paper in all manner of patterns, from hot air balloons to mushrooms to typewriters to strawberries.

when it comes to france, we have to admit a particular fondness for paris, and in fact, we couldn’t even fit all of our favorite parisian merch into one photo, so please enjoy both of them!

oh my gosh, the yumminess of french pastries! we have two books on french culinary delights, "the gourmet shops of paris" and "patisseries of paris," both of which are sure to inspire a serious craving for the perfect brioche. if you’re feeling crafty, “simple sewing with a french twist” is a gorgeous book with lots of projects, all of which are generously illustrated. still feeling productive? get organized with cavallini’s parisian file folders, write a letter to a pen pal on the matching stationery, or stamp away with parisian-themed rubber stamps. studio vertu’s eiffel tower clock and their coasters are great homey gifts for francophiles, as are the products from la compagnie de provence, a fairly new line for us. we carry three scents in the shop, rose, verbena, and olive&lavender, all of which come in liquid soap, body lotion, hand lotion, and bar soap and are beautifully packaged. we are especially obsessed with the rose hand lotion – the scent is truly heavenly.

more parisian pleasures here – “this is paris” and "paris out of hand” to match their italian partners. lucien herve’s photographs of the eiffel tower span the 1930s through the 1990s and detail the monument from unusual and compelling perspectives. if you do know anyone making their way to paris, the city walks: paris deck and the moleskine travel notebook are handy bon voyage tokens.

so if you aren't embarking on any travels this summer, we hope you're spending at least a few lazy days enjoying the slower pace of life, reading a good book, or simply daydreaming in your own backyard. ciao for now, jessica