A Few Things

February 4, 2011

DIY Valentine Fruit Stickers

Bonjour, Friends! This is Gabrielle, writing my very first post from France. We are here. Almost unpacked. And happily, our internet access is now up and running — just in time to send you off for the weekend with a Friday Few Things post. : ) Since this is pretty much my first internet interlude of the week, I have almost no links to share with you. Instead, I’ll share a few things I’ve loved about our week.

But first, did you see the Valentine Fruit Stickers by Twig & Thistle? For bananas, oranges, apples and pears — genius!

Second, here are my Babble posts from this week:
- Is Norwhal the new black?
- My daughter will be getting one of these for Valentine’s Day.
- Super fun: DIY Scratch-off Valentine Cards.
- A boy-approved, no-sugar valentine idea.
- Beyond my budget, but fun to daydream about.

- Despite the crazy Tuesday snowstorms, our flights from both Denver and Montreal left on time. And thanks to the Sabeys and the Lattins, our airport arrival went super smoothly.

- Our kids were such great sports about the challenging travel days. It is hard for kids to be patient and uncomplaining when they are running on so few hours of sleep, and in unfamiliar places.

- The van we rented (a Renault Trafic) is surprisingly big. We were able to fit all of our luggage, plus 8 people! I was thinking we’d have to make 2 trips from Paris to Normandy, but we made it in one. A happy surprise.

- The weather was unusually warm on Thursday — the day we arrived at La Cressonnière. It felt like Spring. (Confession: I immediately started daydreaming about an Easter egg hunt on the Great Lawn.)

- There is a treehouse. It is possibly the sweetest tree house that has ever been built. It is already beloved by my kids.

- Our landlords made so many thoughtful preparations for us. Big things, like overhauling the art studio so we could use it as a home office/creative space. And small details, like stocking a table in the studio with art supplies for the kids and stools for them to perch on.

- The mother of our landlord came to the house before we arrived. She made sure a fire was waiting in the hearth and left a cake and a jar of homemade raspberry jelly. Delicious.

- Our internet is working and our desktop computer made it across the ocean in one piece. Which means I can now download our photos (if I can figure out where I packed the camera cord…).

- A crew of talented Guest Moms + talented assistant Melanie shared and arranged such great content while I was unavailable.

- Lastly, we are almost adjusted to French time. At least, I am pretending we are.

Next week I should be up and running and back to my regular schedule. I can’t wait to tell you more about the move and the over-nighter in Paris and the house and well, just everything. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meagan February 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I hope you’ll give us photos of the tree house!


2 Heidi February 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I can’t wait to hear all about it! I have missed your regular posting (even though the posts lately have been great)! What an adventure!
Your landlord sounds incredibly thoughtful–are people even like that in the states?? ;)


3 andrea @Dwelling on the Positive February 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I hope you find that camera cord- I can’t wait to see pictures of the house!


4 Lucie B. February 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

So happy you all arrived safely!!! How did June do on the flights? When can I plan my weekend stay with you guys? LOL Can’t wait to hear all about France!!


5 Miet February 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Glad everything went well. Enjoy Europe!!


6 Megan February 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I have been holding my breath all week waiting for your first post in France! I can’t wait to hear more! Its funny how reading about your family’s adventure seems to be sparking a similar adventure in our family. How exciting, I know it will be more than you can put into words but the next year of Design Mom is going to be amazingly inspiring! Thanks for the insight into such a big change – its nice to know the world is within reach if you just reach for it! Also, good job as parents for giving your kids world experience while their minds are still young and vibrant. That is truly an amazing thing to do for them. They will have a brighter look at the whole world now and forever.


7 naomi February 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I was so hoping to hear from actual you today!! Glad you are there safely. I loved the little (and big) things the homeowners did! Such hospitality. How wonderful. Looking forward to the pictures.


8 liz stanley February 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I’ve been holding my breath too so see how everything went. So glad it’s gone well so far!


9 Patricia C. February 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Can’t wait to hear and see more! What an adventure. Thanks for taking us along :) How are the kids adjusting?


10 KarinS February 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I’m tearing up reading about how lovely your hosts have been to you and your family. What a magical adventure you’ve embarked upon!!


11 Jennifer James February 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I love that you’re in France. Have a wonderful time!!!


12 Tarin@ The Virginia Library Project February 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Viva la France! Can’t wait to see the treehouse!


13 Chris February 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Yay!!!! It all sounds exhausting but exhilarating to read. Glad you all made it safe and sound and so excited to read with you as discover & adventure together!!!!


14 Kristin February 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm

So glad you all made it there safe and sound! Viva Les Blairs en France!


15 Erin February 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I am rarelyget jealous but your new adventure totally has me green with envy.


16 Deb February 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm

It sounds like a DREAM!!!! Enjoy every minute. Looking forward to living vicariously through you!


17 Robin February 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I teared up, too, reading about your arrival and your landlords and the mother of your landlords! How wonderful your arrival must have been. Can’t wait to hear more.


18 stephanie smirnov February 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm

It’s so good to know you’ve all arrived safe and sound. Your French adventure seems charmed already! I can’t wait for all the posts yet to come.


19 Karen M February 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

There was a fire and a cake and a jar of homemade raspberry jelly waiting for you?!? I think I would have shed happy tears over our good fortune. After a start like that, I think you’re in for one amazing year!
So glad you’ve arrived safely.


20 jody February 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Awesome! Glad you are all safe. Can’t wait to hear more.
(P.S, we decided to go with “Charlotte”… born Dec 19, only 2 hrs after we arrived at the hospital!)


21 noelle February 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

since you wrote a bit about the norwhal for your wall you would love to see the bbc human planet show or clips from their website. there is a great clip about these eskimos and getting a norwhal for food. i’m sure this seems like a strange comment but i’ve not spoken the word “norwhal” twice in my life and then this past week between your post and bbc’s human planet i’ve got norwhal on the brain twice this week!:) have fun in your new home away from home!


22 Whitney Hartmann February 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm

So excited for you and to hear about your new journey! What a dream come true. I would also go in a heart beat! Here is a little V-day cheer from the states!

The first few are my sweet babies!!
Take care, stay warm, be safe, and enjoy every minute!!!!!


23 bdaiss February 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Hurray for settling in! It all sounds so wonderful. Looking forward to the tree house photos. And Paris.


24 Jes February 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

AHHHH!!! Such adventure!!! Like Peter Pan – but all grown up and fabulous :-)


25 Elizabeth February 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Oui Oui Gabrielle! We are so happy to hear that you made it safely and happily! I would have cried tears of joy upon entering a new home where my new landlords (and family!) did such wonderful things.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us,


26 Karena February 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Gabrielle, very fun, I love the links!!

Be sure to come and join my amazing Giveaway from Splenderosa!

Art by Karena


27 christy February 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Yes. Tree house pics sound divine!


28 Cari February 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Am delighted to hear that you have arrived safely! I read your “first” post with a smile…French hospitality and a treehouse to boot—absolutely wonderful! Can’t wait to live abroad (vicariously of course!) with you this year!


29 Jen February 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I’m absolutely dying to hear about EVERYTHING. Spare no details please!!


30 Katherine in Paris February 5, 2011 at 12:52 am

Bienvenue en France! How did you fly with 6 kids! I suppose the more kids you have the more they occupy and help each other? I would love to hear any plane tips. Good luck with the jet lag. After the 4th day it usually gets a lot easier for the kids.


31 Laura Gaskill February 5, 2011 at 5:10 am

Wow, congratulations for making it through that journey – the organization + patience required to bring your whole enormous, wonderful family overseas boggles the mind! I admit I am feeling a bit jealous, both about being in France and the spring-like weather, sigh. I will have to live vicariously through you for a while! Congrats again, good luck with all of the settling in!! xo Laura


32 dunski February 5, 2011 at 5:18 am

exciting! Can’t wait to read all about your experiences! And to see more pictures of your house and of course of the treehouse. I’m glad that you all arrived safely and very glad, that you made it in one trip from Paris to La Cressonière! Soyez bienvenus en Europe!


33 Courtney February 5, 2011 at 6:38 am

A treehouse? How WONDERFUL!!!!


34 Ana February 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

So lovely. Thanks for sharing those links. Off to see them all. Tell us all about your Paris adventures!


35 Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves February 5, 2011 at 7:55 am

I can’t wait to hear everything!


36 juliagblair February 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

How amazing and wonderful that the internet is working. I’m SOOO eager to see some pictures! What a great adventure. Millions of thanks for sharing!

love and delight!
julia b


37 Hannah Stevenson February 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

Wow Gabby sounds enchanting…and your landlords sound almost too good to be true! Raspberry jelly? Fire in the hearth…WOW! I can’t wait to see the pictures. So glad you all made it safely and in one piece! :)


38 sarah February 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

I’ve read your blog forever and love it! Two years ago, my husband and I spent the summer in France with our three children. It was the most enchanting and amazing adventure.
I am so eager to hear all about your life and adjustments to living in France. I would love to be in your shoes! Please post lots of pictures!
In a few months we are bringing the family back to meet up with old friends and spend a week in Normandy (they also took the leap and left the American West to live their dream in France). I simply can’t wait!


39 Michelle February 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I’m so excited for your adventure! It sounds amazing already, exciting about the treehouse, that and the giant lawn, what more could a kid ask for?


40 Rachael February 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I’m so happy you all made it safe and sound. Reading this is making me miss my days studying in Caen so terribly, but I’ll keep living vicariously through you all and saving for my return someday!


41 UpsideUp February 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Happy happy day, Gab. So glad to hear you all made it in one piece. Please post a picture of the tree house!!


42 Riikka February 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Love the stickers!!! Such as amazing idea, great pressie for someone who doesn’t like the usual frumpy/pink Valentine’s stuff. :)


43 Becca February 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I loved reading about your arrival, too. I love France so much and I’m so happy for your family. Bon courage!


44 Destri February 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Oh I can’t wait to hear all about it! Pictures!!!


45 Pamela February 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Do you know how envious I am!!! I’ve been begging my husband to see if he could swing a gig in Europe! Can’t wait to follow along on your adventure!! Glad you all arrived safe and sound…


46 Wida February 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I, too, am very envious! I bet you’re loving it right now!! Time for soaking it all in :)

Have fun! Enjoy some good French cuisine for me!

Missing Amsie Blog


47 Ninou February 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

The weather WAS extremely nice here on Thursday, it really felt like Spring was finally here! What a shame it’s cold again, but I’m sure it won’t stop you from having a wonderful time! I hope the jetlag is not too hard on you and your family… I’m looking forward to reading about your experience in my country! :o)


48 Natalia February 6, 2011 at 4:28 am

So glad you have made it and it has all gone so well. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.


49 juliagblair February 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

It’s Sunday! I’m eager to learn about your first Sunday in France.
Guess it’s 5:00 PM there. Our day is beginning a bit late! 9:00 AM!
A wonderful new week for all of us. Keep smiling and blogging!!!


50 Dina February 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

It’s sounds like your “proprieteres” are wonderful-the French are such gracious hostesses and always make me feel very welcome in all the small details they pay attention to. I can’t wait to hear about the school your children will attend-local or international? A family I used to teach moved to the south of France a few years ago with their 3 children and all are completely bilingual now.


51 Danielle B. February 7, 2011 at 7:49 am

So so happy for you all. I’m glad the kids (and you & hubby!) made it in one piece and had such a beautiful house/property waiting for you!


52 Sara February 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

Can’t believe you had a post up with such details so quickly!! You truly are super woman :).

Sounds like the perfect arrival! Have so much fun getting to know your new home!


53 Gayle Trini February 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Oh so good that you have arrived safe and sound happy!
What an adventure living in France :)


54 Wendy Blue Lily February 8, 2011 at 1:56 am

Thank you so much for this post, I was just posting about what we should pack for our 9 month world tour… this luggage tip is priceless. Can’t wait to see you in France!


55 Suzanne from pretty*swell February 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

So glad all is well! Can’t wait to read more about your adventures!!


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