A Few Things

February 25, 2011

artist in studio Toast

Hello, Friends. Did I tell you about our date last Friday? It was a total failure — but it made me laugh. Since it was our first date here, we were hoping for dinner at a charming bistro or something very classic and French. We left the house about 8:00 and headed to the center of our little town, but everything was closed. It was like Christmas day — not a soul anywhere. We explored the streets till we came upon the only two restaurants with any lights on. One was McDonalds. The other is called Buffalo Grill — and it’s American themed. There are menu items like the Arizona Burger and Alabama Burger and there is country music playing. Hah!

I’m sure there are wonderful date spots near by — if not in our town, then in one of the surrounding communities. We’ll just have to keep hunting. : ) If you have any advice for hot dates in the French countryside, we’d to love to hear it. In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you.

- I want to be an artist (see above).
- Are you ready to think garden?
- Very helpful, Gwyneth. Thank you.
- Make your own cakestand.
- Polka dot dress remake.
- I want to feel like this.
- Scrap pallet wall.
- Love this packaging.
- Pinwheel earrings.
- Honored to be included in the Say 100.

My Babble posts from this week:
- I lovely love my family.
- My pillow crush of the week.
- How to say cluck cluck in French.
- Do you favor kimonos or onesies?
- Free! Adorable paper doll download.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chic Done Cheap February 25, 2011 at 6:55 am

Have a good weekend!

-Chic Done Cheap


2 Kari February 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

Those french beauty products look amazing!


3 ginger February 25, 2011 at 7:27 am

I don’t have any date advice, but I have to tell you my husband (who is also Leslie of Room Somewhere’s brother), went to Paris on his mission, and served where you are for a while. He told me a story once of this American themed restaurant, so I just asked him if it was Buffalo Grill, and yes, it was! Elliott was there with all his companions (Americans) and all the patrons in the restaurant were eating their pizzas with their forks and knives (and requisite glass of wine). Elliott and his companions ordered 4 large pizzas amongst the 4 of them, and then proceeded to eat them with their hands (American style!) While they were eating, they saw this family that kept looking at them and were obviously talking about them. All of a sudden the little 8 year old boy of the family said really loud, “And besides, they’re so dirty!” (en Francais, bien sur) Haha, my husband said they all got a good laugh out of it, and went and talked to the family when they were done eating.
Anyway, my husband is very jealous of your adventure. We are hoping to spend a summer soon there with our family.


4 Anita February 25, 2011 at 8:10 am

Bayeux cathedral sound and light show–the town center was hopping til midnight! (this was in August, it probably doesn’t happen year round)–and the tuna pizza at Sprint Pizza is fantastique.


5 Andrea -- StuffWeMake.com February 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

FYI, the link to the scrap pallet wall is broken…


6 Design Mom February 25, 2011 at 9:08 am

Thanks for the heads up, Andrea. Should be all fixed now.


7 adventuresinbabywearing February 25, 2011 at 9:13 am

Oh hilarious! We ate at a Buffalo Grill (I think? or maybe it was Indiana Grill?) when we were in Paris once… It was after we walked forever and just needed to decide on a place to eat. So funny. Hope you get a good re-do!



8 Kate Reymann February 25, 2011 at 9:15 am

Patricia Wells wrote a Food Lovers Guide to France back in the ’80′s. I am sure a lot of places got very popular or are now out of business but it might be a good jumping off place. Have fun!


9 nicky February 25, 2011 at 9:31 am

haha, my husband and i ate at Buffalo Grill in Paris on our honeymoon! we were so young and craving a cheeseburger and it was close to our vacation rental. glad you skipped it b/c it was not so good :)


10 Dani Henriksen February 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

Oh how I love Fridays on Design Mom! I love the idea of introducing young children to foreign language through animal sounds. So fun. Also, I can’t believe everything was closed on a Friday night. Of course the only two restaurants open were American! When will we ever learn how to relax like the French?


11 ChantaleP February 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

That’s a classic date night! lol. Occasionally, Murphy’s Law dictates we each experience date nights like these. ;p I wonder if the McD trio is the same there as here? I love that Lovely Love My Family print and in fact, I’m awaiting the yellow version in the mail to arrive shortly! Have a terrific weekend. I’m new to your site and I’m really enjoying it.


12 Alisa February 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

a date in the countryside? Good luck. If you’re not in Toulouse or Paris or Nice most places (at this time of year) are closed or only open on weekends. Same here in our village. Buttoned up. My advice is wait until spring/summer when things are open. Welcome to France!


13 jen February 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

aha! that’s the first lesson we learned when we moved to the french countryside! everything is closed much more often than it is open! the french know how to take things easy.
and one more thing: you will also soon learn that it’s very difficult to find a good french restaurant, contrary to popular belief! if you want anything other than omelettes, blah salads, gallettes and croque monsieurs (these all, obviously, can be prepared well and sometimes even be delicious, but in general, this is the standard, boring, and mediocre fare of the majority of french restaurants)– i recommend doing some research in guidebooks like michelin.


14 Miss Stovetop February 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

LOL, hilarious @ the date night story.

The Babble links appear to be broken… all of them?


15 Holly February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

French Countryside Date Advice 101

Picnic Blanket
A wheel of brie
Paper thin water crackers
Sparkling peach juice
Champagne flutes

recline on blanket under stars
indulge in your brie, crackers and sparkling juice
enjoy a romantic child free conversation with your sweet heart

The end…


16 Joanna February 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

would love to have a date in Paris. I like Holly’s idea. Cheese tray and bottle of wine. all the method mentioned by Holly. Oh I’m jealous. Would love to go there.

Have fun!


17 Murielle February 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Hi ! It’s true that winter in Normandy’s countryside will probably not give you the hottest fridays ever ! It kind of depends where you are actually… You’ll definitely find great restaurants in certain places like Deauville, Rouen or Honfleur. We’ve just spent few days in a great hotel in Lyons La foret, and they also have two very nice restaurants there (open on Fridays !). I hope you’ll find a way to enjoy a great friday night ! Murielle (from around Paris …)


18 Missy W February 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I’m just impressed that you already have date night going!


19 woodsermom@hotmail.com February 26, 2011 at 6:22 am

Hi! Just found your blog and it’s just wonderful. Our family is living in Southern Germany for a year. Our forever home is in Huntsville, Alabama. We arrived last July and leave this July 20th. It has been such a wonderful adventure. If your family would like to visit the Bavarian Alps, Munich (and so much more) just send me an email and we would love to have y’all. We love opening our home and hospitality. I have a blog, also, but is private – if you would like to be invited, just send me your email. What a blessing we are getting the opportunity to partake in, heh? I continually pinch myself!! We are hoping to go to Paris in April and my husband and I are going to sneak away, just the two of us, to Prague, in March. Trying to see as much as possible before July. We had the opportunity to extend for another year but we have 9 children and felt it best for the older ones to go ahead and head back home. God bless and enjoy your time together in Europe with your family – Terri


20 Stephanie Smirnov February 26, 2011 at 8:09 am

Let’s see, Mom 2.0 is in about 45 days. Plenty of time for you to take orders from U.S.-bound readers who are in need of swank Gwynnie-endorsed French skincare products. See you in NOLA [wink wink]


21 Jen in TX February 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Gabrielle, congratulations on being named in the “Say 100.” I’m so glad your blog is getting the recognition it deserves. You do it with grace and style!


22 Panel Çit February 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I love Fridays on Design Mom! I love the idea of introducing young children to foreign language through animal sounds. So fun.


23 caroline February 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm

merci for the link love, mrs. g!

have a beautiful weekend with the family—so jealous of your new digs overseas!


24 Rosa @ flutterflutter February 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Your timing is impeccable! I spent the night painting with friends last night at a swanky little joint… and before I left I happened to check your blog and saw the artist pic… got me in the mood!! Thanks! Have a great weekend!


25 Sarah February 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

ah good luck on the next one:)


26 katy February 28, 2011 at 2:49 am

Buffalo Grill is hilarious, isn’t it? There is one here in Luxembourg too. I took my girls there when my husband was out of town. It is a surreal experience – walking into the old Wild West in Europe. Children get their own paper Indian headdress to take home with them. Don’t think that would go over so well in the U.S. We’ve found that the French seem to be very interested in our Native Indian culture. Keep your eyes out for it.


27 Jennifer February 28, 2011 at 5:05 am

Haha! Peter and I had the same experience when we lived in a small village in the Loire Valley, although there were no chain restaurants around–just three restaurants that turned out to be seasonal and closed for the long, dark winter. We were so proud of ourselves for organizing the babysitting and getting out of the house, only to find that, surprise!, there was nothing we could eat. We ended up going for a walk and then heading home to cook dinner.


28 Amy February 28, 2011 at 9:53 am

McDonalds in your little town? I’m having a hard time getting a picture of what it looks like where you are! I was picturing charming coutryside village, but if it has 2 american restuarants it must be bigger than I’m guessing! Would love some “around town” shots. Whats the population there?


29 deborah@applesinwonderland February 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm

it must have been a world-wide date disappointment weekend. i wrote about ours, on my blog just this morning. mcdonald’s was involved. weird. better luck next time? :)


30 bdaiss February 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Ah, GP. Can we all send you a list of french toiletries to bring us? : )

I suspect your “failed” date will be one of those fabulous memories you look back on an laugh about for the next, oh, 100 years. We had a similar experience when we were in Italy. We still giggle about it. And the fact that in Italy you have to pay for ketchup at McDs. How strange!

Also – love the pinwheel earrings. And I must find a place for a pallet wall.


31 Janet Oliver February 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Hard to believe that no resto is open in France at 8:00, but then, you are in the country. In 2006 when my younger son and I were visiting my older son in Paris, we had the opportunity to travel to Moulins, a small town in the south-center of France, for Christmas dinner with a friend’s family. That was on Christmas Eve, and it was magical. On Christmas day, we holed up in our little hotel, the Kyriad (it’s a chain), and since the kitchen was closed, I walked around the little town looking for what I was certain would be open, a Chinese restaurant. No such luck, but there was a pizza/sandwich shop open and we had that for our holiday meal. One of the best memories of my life.


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