Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pas de Sunday Brocante!

No-- no brocante today.  It's my birthday!  I have had a fabulous day--sunshine, a long beach walk, good food, lovely messages from friends, a bit of 'retail therapy' phone calls from family back in the US, 'French Guy' cooked dinner and now I am settling in for a 'chic flick' with some macaroons and a glass of champagne....C'etait une journee parfaite!

Will catch up with you all soon!  'Les garcons' are off school for a week and I have a few lovely things that I have been holding back posting yet on Etsy... so keep an eye on it!  I am predicting a great week ahead! (Especially now since I have gotten this 'one year older' thing behind me!)

Bonne semaine mes amis!  Hope you had a wonderful Sunday too!

A bientot!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October bliss....

This is my favorite month of the entire year... well yes, it is the month of my birthday, so that is part of it.  But I also love the first chilly days of the season, the fresh clean air, the leaves blowing around.  This past weekend was the first really fall-like weekend we have had--it was just gorgeous.

Here in Normandy the first true sign that fall is approaching is les pommiers which are absolutely loaded with apples--it looks as if they might just bend over and touch the ground.  Basse Normandy, where we live, is in the Calvados region--'Calvados' is an apple brandy, served both as an aperitif and also as a meal ending 'shot'...and it really does pack a punch!  When I am in the mood--I much prefer 'Pommeau' which is the girly-liquor version of Calvados--which is a mix of apple juice and brandy; milder, sweeter and not so strong....

This past weekend--the gorgeous October weather inspired us to make plans to hang around outside and throw an impromptu "Paella" party--not so French, I know--but we LOVE paella and have been dying to try out our pan that we bought at 'Sur La Table' in Seattle, right before moving.  ('Sur la Table'--French, non?)

Here's how it turned out ....

You may notice the vintage bottle drying rack that became the centerpiece for the table.  I couldn't resist using it--and that night it was fabulous with the little tea-lights lit.

If you think I seem to be procrastinating about sharing Sunday's brocante adventure--you are right.  On Sunday morning--after waking and recovering from the soirĂ©e of the previous night (ie-cleaning up)....I let 'French Guy' chose the venue for the day--a small sale in Le Havre.  Small?  Yes.  Sale?  Yes.  Brocante.....or even remotely 'French Vintage'  I am not letting him chose again.  It was a total was a very well organized (and indoor!) junk sale; perfect only if you were looking for used toys, clothing, kitchen appliances, or baby equipment--not so much for those of us looking for shabby, chippy, cottage, farmy, Frenchie.......Quelle dommage.  'French Guy'--you are fired.

Well that's it then mes amis.  I would say 'tune in this coming Sunday'--but I am not sure what the day will bring--this next Sunday is my birthday!  Remember? Another reason why I love October?  So I may just have to be forced to stay in bed on Sunday morning where I will be served hot coffee and warm pain au chocolate ...surrounded by my perfectly behaving, bright and cheery 'enfants'....who present me with hand-crafted birthday cards that I read while sipping my Mimosa...all while having my feet massaged.......ah, well.....a girl can dream.

Bonne Semaine, mes amis!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunday Brocante -- Cormeilles

This may have been the brocante-puce of the season!  The fall season, that is!  Complete puce-bliss!  As I mentioned in my previous post, I was searching for a sale that was not in the books...normally I refer to my trusty-guide for Basse Normandy, but this one I learned of via a road-side banner that we passed last week.

I had never been to Cormeilles before last Sunday--it's a sweet little town 40 minutes from where we live, and I most definitely would go back!  There are plenty of shops, cafes and a few very good antique stores and brocantes ...

 This was one of those days when from the moment we arrived, I knew it would be a great day!  Why?  It was a HUGE puce!  It spread from one end of town to the next and within minutes the first thing I spied that I knew I had to have was .... wait for it, wait for it.......a bird cage!  Well bien sur!  (You know how I am about bird cages!)  So I bought it instantly!  It is a few hundred years old, has layers of paint on it, a few bent wires and beacoup, beaucoup--charm!  I found another one--which went on the 'dream-list'--it was taller than me and I will have it someday in my little French garden---I will! (But not today).

The one I bought is on the right! The one I wished I bought on the left!

Oh, and there is my 'Patisserie' sign!  I have followed it all summer--have seen it at more than a few brocantes--I have never asked the price, but I am sure it is tres cher, because it never sells and instead keeps showing up every weekend at the sales... I am not only waiting to be able to afford it, but also to have a house large enough to place it high on a wall.... J'adore!  It's for me....someday! I am certain.

Under threatening cloudy skies, we stayed almost 3 hours--trying to see it all.  In the end I came home with a fabulous large green 'herisson' (French bottle drying rack), a few red-striped antique linens, a wicker covered jar, and a white- shabby-chippy-perfect French flower bucket... in addition to the bird cage! (the little one...).  We even indulged in a little puce 'street food' of Merguez sausage and pomme frite....while heading back to the car just in time to dodge a few sprinkles....

Hope you had a bonne Sunday too!

A bientot mes amis!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Return of Fall

Fall is here ... again.  We just finished an almost two-week string of gorgeously sunny and warm (80ish) days.  Happy me, I never got around to putting away my summer wardrobe.  Yesterday, October 4th., I had on white shorts and a t-shirt--I know shame!  It is after US Labor Day--and I am still in white!  But it is so summer-like here in Normandy--a treat to have this weather while my Boston-parents were in town...but now they have left (les sigh) and I have to say I am okay with the slightly grey and cloudy weather that has arrived this morning to see them off.

Last Sunday, as predicted, we went to the brocante in the churchyard of Saint Catherines in Honfleur.  It was a good showing of the 'pros', but really, only one precious thing caught my eye....

These guys .... mais, quelle dommage.... they were a bit tres cher for my budget at 200 euro, I just couldn't swing it.  Then after walking away, everything else I saw seemed less than interesting.... which was okay because I was really enjoying the stroll with my parents, French Guy and Petite Fille.

The rest of the weekend we spent exploring around ... with the weather so great, jumping in the car and just going for a walk around a nearby town makes for a perfect afternoon.  We had an amazing lunch, beachside in Villerville with my in-laws and my parents and then later a light-dinner of bread, cheese and cold meats to end our Sunday.....summer-like, non? 

This Sunday I am going 'off the book' and going to a 'puce' in a town about 30 minutes from home we have not explored before.  Stay tuned for details!  I am excited!  Until then, with Mom and Dad leaving this morning, the next few days will be spent getting back to the normal 'routine', doing a few loads of laundry, editing some photos (yes! still working my way through the wedding shots!) and working on my new blog!  Yes--I am launching a French-food and culture blog---soon, after the catch-up!... and still adjusting to my new laptop....

Bonne semaine mes amis!  See you again soon!