Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring in Paris?

i bought these crab apple 
branches last night..
almost took out a few people
on my walk home.
i need some sign of spring!

it was 28 degrees this morning
here in paris.
so done with winter.
and i love winter.
but i'm done.
i'm ready to shed the
puffy coat.

decision making has 
never come easy to me.
i'm always the last to order
at a restaurant. 
trying to decide
even which restaurant
to go to
is enough to make
me crazy.

but, i did make one 
decision recently.
i'm not sending griffin
to preschool next year.
after months of 
mulling this over
i know that this is 
what is right for us.

believe me
there have been
and there will be days
that i wish he was in 
school for a few hours.
but that day will come
sooner that i know
and i'll have hours
and days
and years ahead of me
to spend my days
with out children.
and i'll wish for these days.

i did a little rearranging 
the other day.
i decided we needed a game table.
(thanks for the idea mom!)
we've been having fun
working on this puzzle.

griff and i at angelina
last week on my birthday.
angelina has THE most amazing
hot chocolate.

good mail days
make me happy.
even if i receive 
my mags a month late.

i will never tire of leopard.
i adore seeing older women
in their leopard here.
and speaking of fashion..
parisian women sure do 
love their furs.

my phone has been
indispensable since moving
to france.
my google translate app
is a must
and if i don't have time
to translate 
while shopping,
i'll snap a picture and 
go home and do it.
i'm sure the other shoppers
find me strange
snapping pictures of 

griffin's hiding place.

(image unknown)

i've been busy this week
planning our next trip.
can you guess where?

bon weekend mes amis!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Paris Flea Markets and Etsy

with the temperatures 
rising even just a bit
i decided to head up to 
the marches des puces
st ouen..
the largest flea market in europe.
i hadn't been since last fall
and i was itching to get back.
and we've been looking for a
new desk.
i got such a great deal on this
desk and i love it!
it was exactly what i was
looking for.

i also picked up this 
great chair.
goes perfectly with my desk
don't you think?

i spent hours walking
around the stalls.
i picked up some other 
treasures that i'm now
selling on
come visit me!
you can find me

Friday, March 22, 2013

Jardin du Luxembourg and Crazy Collections

will stayed home "sick" today.
it was sunny and 55
so we hopped on the metro
and went to one of my favorite
spots in paris..
jardin du luxembourg.

soon enough
those trees will be green

and the urns will be
filled with colorful flowers.

there is a really great
playground here.
you have to pay a couple of euros 
to get in
but so worth it. 
there are other playgrounds
that are free...and
puppet shows, carousels,
tennis courts,  model sailboats
to rent..
we spent hours here today.

we also went to lunch
at cafe louise on 
boulevard saint germain.
the lunch was terrific
but what i loved most of all 
was the water carafe.

i'm actually a bit obsessed
lately with the carafe d'eau.
i asked the waiter if he'd sell
me one.
he looked at me strangely 
and said no.

in ireland
steve and i started 
collecting beer glasses.

the first night in ireland
steve and i had a guinness
of course.
the glass it came in was cool
and we asked our waiter
if we could buy one.
he said..
in a great brogue..
"just take it..
everybody does"
so the rest of the trip
in each of the pubs
and with each beer we
we asked for a glass..
and they all just gave them to us!

i have started quite a few
like matches.
i don't smoke
but i love my glass jar
filling up with matches
of the restaurants
we've visited.

i know.
now when i 
leave a restaurant
i'm asking for matches,
water carafe's and 
beer glasses.
my kids are really

a couple of my new
cookbooks i can't 
wait to dig in to.

and speaking of books..
i recently finished 
jane eyre..
which i LOVED
and can't believe 
hadn't read before.
i also picked up
The Girl You Left Behind..
by JoJo Moyes.
she also wrote
Me Before You
which i went on and on about.
This one was just as good.
I loved it
and highly recommend it.

Bon Weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My New Art

thank you all for 
the birthday wishes yesterday!
i feel so loved

hannah gave me this 
for my birthday.
she made it in art class
isn't she amazing?

i have such admiration
for people with artistic talent.
mainly because i have none.
hannah gets hers from steve.
i do so wish i could 
draw something!
when we're out at a restaurant,
steve will draw all kinds of 
things for the kids on the 
placemats or napkins
while we wait for our food.
when they ask me to draw
something it's basically a 
smiley face.

i love art.
i love going to museums
and learning about art.
maybe someday i'll take an art class.
until then..
i'll leave the art to the 
like my beautiful daughter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

45 and Yes..More Ireland

after two nights in dingle
we drove north to doolin..
decked in our newly purchased 
we took a ferry and drove
scenic back roads to get there.
at one point we must have looked
a little lost 
as the driver in front of us
rolled down his window
and asked us
"where ye headed?"
he told us to follow him.
love those irishmen.

again, we arrived at our cottage
at dark
and again we awoke
to gorgeous views of the ocean
and  two wild horses in
our driveway.

doolin is well known for 
it's traditional irish music.
and the three pubs in town..
mcganns, mcdermotts, and o'connors
are where it's at.
march is a bit slow..
no music during the week
but steve and a few of the kids
were able to get out friday night
to hear some great irish music.
it was a bit late for me..
i mean griffin.

loved seeing the newton, ma 
and barnstable ma

we ate at o'connors pub 
for lunch twice it was so good.
that, and there really wasn't much
else to choose from.

griffin's pub.

we visited the cliffs of moher
in doolin.
another very cold day
but the sun was shining
and the views were spectacular.

we drove by so many 
abandoned stone houses.
i couldn't stop thinking
of the starving families
that lived in them
during the famine.

we drove through the burren
which is an area of limestone rock
covering mountains.

saying goodbye to our cottage in doolin.
we drove from the west coast to 
the east coast of ireland in
3 1/2 hours.
we stopped in waterford
for lunch before our ferry 
back to france.

we stumbled upon a small
st. paddy's day parade.
they certainly don't 
celebrate like we 
do back in the states!

we loved the sheep.
and we really loved ireland.
i hope to return someday.

i'm 45 today. 
when did that happen.
i certainly don't feel 45..
in my head i'm still 25.
griffy is taking me out to 
lunch today
and maybe to the bookstore.
i did splurge yesterday
and bought myself
clarins' double serum.
it's not cheap
but i've read good reviews
and i think it's time.

i live a truly blessed life.
i'm thankful every day for it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More Ireland

this was a very last minute trip
as we were unsure if steve could
get the time off from work.
we pulled it together pretty quickly.
here is our itinerary...

we booked our car on 
the Oscar Wilde ferry
leaving from Cherbourg, France...
about 3 1/2 hours northwest of us.
the ferry was not leaving until 
9:30 at night so we took advantage
of our time and visited Normandy.

visiting the american cemetery was emotional.

i'd love to go back with the
older kids and take a guided tour.

the ferry ride from cherbourg to rosslare ireland
left at 9:30 and we arrived at around 3:30 the next day.
it was a rough ride that night
and we were all looking a bit green the next morning.

we drove from rosslare, which is south
of cork.
we stayed in a hotel that night.
the kids loved the indoor pool.

the next day we checked out and
drove to the charming town of 

it was COLD and windy and snowing.
but the sun was out
and this being a tourist town in the summer
we had the place to ourselves.
(photo cred's to Will :)

i loved the brightly painted store fronts in kinsale.

we popped into one shop
and bought some new wellies.
we lived in our wellies in ireland!

lunch at the fishy fishy cafe
was delicious!
we had our fill of
fish and chips and seafood chowder.

and maybe a guinness. 

if you're ever in kinsale..
visit the fishy fishy cafe.
i bought their cookbook :)

full belly's
and new wellies
we headed northwest for the 
town of dingle.
(let me say that the boys
had a field day with the name 
of this town...and not just the
young boys)

we arrived
after dark at our cottage.
what a surprise the next 
morning..waking up
to a view of the  snow capped mountains,
grazing sheep all around
and the ocean.

this cottage was charming..
and cold. 
steve kept the fire going all 
night that first night
and i think the kids slept
with their coats on.

our view from the front of the cottage

view from the back

little hike up to see the sheep.

dingle also was painted brightly.
we ate lunch two days in a row
at Murphy's pub.
we loved the food,
the hospitality
and the free wi-fi.
and then went for ice cream
at murphy's.
lots of murphy's.

the next day we drove
the ring of dingle.
we followed a guide book
and it took us
most of the day.
the sights were breathtakingly

at one stop on the tour
there is an old ruined church
from the 12th century.
we got out and walked around
and as i read more from the book
it talked about an old stone that was
there 900 years even before the church
was built.
it marked a grave, indicating that this
was a pre-christian holy spot.
a hole was drilled centuries ago
through the top of the stone as a place
where people would come to seal a deal..standing on
the graves of their ancestors and in front of the house
of God, they'd "swear to God" by touching their 
thumbs through this stone.
you can still use this to renew your marriage vows..
and that's what we did.

(photo cred's to hannah :)

sun going down on 
part of the three sisters mountain range.
we loved dingle! 

more tomorrow!