Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunday visit with friends, Normandy style!

Lord have mercy!  I mean that!  I am just miserable mes amis!  I have to say--I have been down with the lovely shared snottiness of 'les enfants' and even at this moment my head is pounding,  my eyes are tearing and my nose is running (sorry for the details!)  I have not posted since last Friday--almost a week ago---Ooh la vache!

Not for lack of wonderful things to post about, I promise you--and I will!  But along with the heady-sinus thing I have also been having some 'interesting' days and moments in the past few weeks (and sadly, not all good) that have kept my mind elsewhere.  There have been a lot of talks with the 'BIG-Guy' up there and a few moments just concentrating on the next breath....  so there it is.  Such is life--times like this do come and go, and focus on what is important does return as the result.

 .... and today-- I want to focus on the joy of friendship--hugely important, non?  Way up there on the top of the list!  Remember in my last post (yes--it was a while ago so maybe you should go back and take a peek to refresh!)  I mentioned that mon amie, Kim was coming for a visit.  I have to confess that prior to last weekends visit, I knew Kim only as a very lovely lady who shopped at Sunday Brocantes and who is an interior designer in Kentucky.  We had several chatty exchanges and shared blog posts and thanks to the closeness allowed by Internet---we became friends.  So when she mentioned she was coming to Paris in September-- I was excited! I didn't count on plans to meet-up to work out--but I certainly hoped we might!

We live a two hour train ride outside of Paris so not exactly convenient to the city of lights--but do-able for a day trip if you are game!  And Kim and her sweet 'mari' Tim--were!  

In fact--I think she could be a travel consultant or tour guide in her next life because you would not believe all that she squeezed in (aside from the day trip to Normandy!) on their short trip!  I am pretty sure they did not miss ONE landmark, venue, market.....oh, except maybe for Napoleon's tomb--because that is what they missed out on by coming to visit me!

I won't tell too much about the visit--I would rather show pictures!  Kim, I am sure, will do a blog post on it and I will share the link--so you can dream about the ultimate trip to France as well!

The plan for the day; markets, brocantes, a stroll around chic-Deauville, lunch, more walking, antique shops .....

We walked them all over our 'neighborhood'!  And did you notice not one....not ONE...picture of me and Kim?  Oh, the curse of the photographer!  She has promised to email one to me thank goodness!  As soon as she gets her bearings back and things settle and the jet-lag cools off I am sure!  (And has time to go through her 1000's of pictures that SHE took during her trip to France!)

More soon mes amis!  I am off to brew a strong cup of tea--and maybe sneak in a little nap!
Hope you had a great week so far!

A bientot!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bon Friday!

I had planned on posting another 'French Verb Friday' submission today but I have been waylaid in my plans for yesterday and today due to one-----going on two, sick kiddos.  Middle Garcon came home from school at lunch yesterday sick and the afternoon's plans quickly dissolved away!  It just wouldn't be the proper start to the new school year without the first snotty-cold now would it?!  And today 'Petite Fille' is quite cranky, so I hate to say it... but.... I have a feeling that this cold is being shared within our family.  

So hence I am a bit cranky too and will postpone the post and just bid you a fond 'bon weekend' instead and catch up with you on Sunday or Monday-- unless by some miracle the sky opens up and angels descend to take my place as Mommy for the rest of the day and into tomorrow to nurse and take care of 'les enfants'.... so I can squeeze in some quality blogging and editing and posting time.... but alas... I believe in miracles, generally... but not this time.

And now I am rambling.  I am stressed.  My throat tickles.  Is that a headache I feel? Noooooo!  I have to be well this weekend because I have a very special visit from a far-away AMERICAN friend on Sunday!  Yes!  All the way over here in France--a cher-amie, Kim (from La Belle Epoque Home) is coming to visit on Sunday to tour around my little hometown, have lunch, hit a market or brocante or two....and I wouldn't miss it for the WORLD!  

AND......I would be remiss not the mention that the fabulous Second Shout Out officially launched or 'Grand Opened' on Wednesday!  (and had record sales--congrats to them!!!)  You can see my storefront over there--a work in progress--I am adding new pieces as much as I can--but I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful marketplace and have a few great blog posts dedicated to SSO coming up next week!

Okay--that's it then---off to take several packets of Emergen-C!  

Stay well mes amis!  I will see you again soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brocanting in Fall

Did you notice the change in the air a few weeks ago?  Although we are still officially in the "end of summer" for a few more weeks (as much as some of us are in denial --- Oui--moi!)  A few weekends ago I opened the shutters of our bedroom and was greeted by a distinctive fresh change of season 'chill'.

'Les Parisiens' arrive in Normandy just for the weekends now, not for the week, donning sweaters tied stylishly on their shoulders and tourists wear layers of cardigans and rain jackets -- just in case there is a sudden change of weather--and there usually is!

There is still a pretty full schedule of weekend brocantes.  In fact, instead of just petering out--they seem to end the season in a bang.  The last few weekends have been packed and despite the sudden change or pending change of season--the weekend flea markets are full of vendors and well attended.

Every third Sunday there is a brocante in my favorite local town of Honfleur.  On a recent Sunday we went over just around lunch time when the crowds temporarily thin for a few hours while most people go home for lunch followed by a 'petite-sieste' (if they are lucky!)


Plenty of 'goods' and I find that I gravitate towards baskets, kitchenware and pottery... with thoughts of harvest tables and holiday decor just around the corner.

We will surely know that summer is gone for good and fall is upon us when they pack up the carousel.  Until then Honfleur remains a-buzz with weekend visitors and crowded markets and of course in any season, a favorite place to visit.

A bientot mes amis! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Best Laid Plans ....

This is my life lately.  I would say that it is just crazy -- but I actually think it is just 'life' and in the middle of the craziness I find that I am the most happy.  Funny how that is!  I had a blog post in my head today... and I totally lost it!  (Not my head silly--the blog post).  In fact I think I thought I wrote it because when I peeked at the blog just now and saw that it was showing the wedding post (aren't they just gorgeous?!) I realized that I never did post today after all.  Well until now... and now I am just rambling.

Confession--it took me almost a week after last Wednesday's post about lemons and lemonade and all that--the one that said I was off to make lemon-curd?  Well I finally made it.... 3 days later!  Yikes!  Then I had TEN egg whites left and had to make something with them--not being big on family sized white-omelets--I instead made meringues....

And they were divine!  Especially when filled with the lemon curd--which is like lemon meringue pie--sans the crust--and truthfully who needs crust anyway?!  And after having one of those typical "Mondays"... last evening I ate about 35 of them... and went to bed with a serious tummy-ache!

I will post the recipe on my food blog--a toute de suite--but be warned---completely addictive!

Needless to say, because of the wedding there was no brocante this past weekend.  I was going to post about a different kind of 'find'-- things found that I am absolutely crazy about!

Starting with two weeks ago when French guy found two white-chippy tall shutters for me, and then the next day came home with a set of giant French doors--with the old hardware and glass in tact!  All found in an area where a few old houses are being renovated...Then our neighbor brought over an old barn door--also chippy-white and all of these architectural salvage things are going to become the 'walls' of my photo studio which we are setting up in a corner of our warehouse.

We must be on a roll---because this afternoon---on unlimited trash pick-up which happens only once or twice a year--two more scores!

A green painted iron 'étagère' for garden pots (but it is now sitting in my dining room holding stacks of vintage American and French copies of 'Architectural Digest'.....2 boxes-full were given to me by a client-friend who is moving from France!)

And here is something that I think you would have to be crazy to put on the roadside as trash---a 19th century farm 'brouette' or 'wheel barrow'-- and yes it needs some TLC--but for now it will live happily in my garden!

But now I have to run!  I have a huge amount of things left on the list to get done today--and it is already 9PM!  But sheeesh!  What a day!  Tuesday is gone and I have yet to plan my week!  

Lesson for the day--the best laid plans--can always go better--or at least busier!

A bientot mes amis-- I will be back soon!  

Hope your week is off to a great start too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vive la mariée! A Beautiful {French} Wedding

It was a wedding weekend for us -- my third time attending a French wedding.  French Guy's cousin (a vintage car enthusiast as you will see!) married his beautiful- amour this past Saturday on a perfectly gorgeous sunny afternoon in Normandy.

As you can also see, Middle Garcon was in heaven about the 'wedding cars' !  A 1949 Buick Roadmaster and a 1963 Peugeot 404 convertible.  Both are owned and were lovingly restored by French Guy's cousin---and decked out for the event--bien sur!

The bride and groom are so lovely and fun, and the details of the day were elegant and classic.  Married at the 'Marie' or town hall where they live ....

 ... and then the reception that consisted of an early evening 'aperitif' with music and strolls around the castle grounds with dinner later and then of course dancing until the wee-hours of the morning.

The setting was breath-taking.  A French country 'chateau'... when we drove up, I think my jaw dropped!  Just a little place out in the country......


It was the kind of place where your mind wanders back in time, thinking of the days when the castle would have been a family home (with a very large staff!)

I have to say that as much as I was mesmerized by the architecture and grandeur, my children were most impressed with the expansive grounds--and acres of green grass!

Charming beyond words with the Normandy farms tucked into the rolling hills surrounding the manicured lawns.

Lots of exercise for me chasing down Petite Fille in heels... (mine not hers!)

After the aperitif we snuck home to dispense of the children ...  um, I mean take the children home, give them dinner, baths and tuck them into bed and leave them in the care of a sitter so we could return to the party 'sans-enfants'!  

As much as I would love to say that we danced til dawn--we left just after desert at 12:30--and arrived home at 1:00 AM....which to French standards--we are truly party-poopers leaving so soon while everyone else stayed until 4 or 5.... AM.

 Vive la mariée! --We were thrilled to be a part of this extraordinary day -- a stunning setting, a beautiful couple --- a 'belle mariage'..... lovely in every way!

Have a great Monday mes amis!  It's going to be a fabulous week!

A bientot!