A Few Things

May 24, 2013

French Farmhouse

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends. How’s it going? As you can tell by the photo above, the plants at La Cressonnière have really come to life this week. This is our 3rd time seeing the wisteria make its appearance and I can’t imagine ever tiring of watching Spring unfold with this stunning backdrop.

That said, it is actually quite chilly and wet today in Normandy. Our heaters our turned up, and I wore a full coat and scarf on my errands this morning. I had to keep reminding myself this is late May! Hah! I’m craving a long walk in the countryside this weekend, accompanied by my camera. (I hope the weather cooperates!) How about you? Any fun plans? Is this the first weekend of summer for you? Will you be warming up the grill?

While I pull on a sweater (and shake my head in wonder), here are a few things I thought you might like:

- Pet pillows for people.

- Is cranky contagious at your house? Thanks, Heather.

- Another sister + brother bedroom — Scandinavian style.

- Some people might say “This is the most important app ever made. Ever.”

- Ben Blair and Ralph are in London this weekend. We’ve been watching Ralph’s videos when we miss them (here’s the latest episode of Zombie Smash, and his most recent mini-movie — less than a minute long).

- I’ve been thinking about this essay on celebrities and inequality. Have you read it?

- How to create a focal wall.

- Let’s have a tea party!

- Morgan is getting rid of 5 items in her home every day for 90 days. That is some epic Spring Cleaning.

- Party mini buttons.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Memorial Day! We don’t have a 3-day weekend here in France, so I plan to share a post or two. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


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麻花辫儿 » 幻想周末
May 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stella May 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

We’re kicking off our summer with a little camping trip to Southern Utah. Weather is supposed to be in the low 80s, and I can’t wait to get out of my office and breathe some fresh air!


2 Clara May 24, 2013 at 11:26 am

I still don’t know why, but Ralph’s mini videos crack me up. What a good outlet for a teenage boy!


3 Amy May 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Thank you so much for posting the article by George Packer. He hit the nail directly on the head. Very depressing but very true.


4 Michelle May 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Wow, that’s beautiful. You ‘re certainly living a French dream!


5 Faye Lynn May 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I agree. Looks like it should be in a move. Did you ever see The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black? If they made a summer version of the movie, this picture would be the cottage. It’s so charming.


6 Tasha May 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm

We used to have wisteria on the porch as a child hanging elegantly and I loved it! Miss that…hoping someday to have that again:) It is chilly and wet here in NY too! Yesterday I begged for the air conditioners to be placed in (old house) and today I’m forcing myself NOT to turn the knob for heat!!! I am SOOOOOO in need of a fun weekend. I plan on trying some new Pnterest recipes I’ve hoarded and playing games with family…the rest is unplanned…ahhhhhh!


7 PARIS BEE kids blog May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Such a charming picture. We have wisteria in the countryside too, on an old farm. The scent is so beautiful!

xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog


8 Faye Lynn May 24, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Now I’ve got to go find wisteria to see what is smells like. :)
I feel like I’m missing out. I wonder, does it grow in Idaho?


9 fanny wortman May 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I checked out the article about the eliminating 5 things a day quest. Intriguing but here’s a little food for thought that I hope doesn’t read too self righteous.

I used to be a purger too. It felt good, and even cathartic but there was something in the back of my mind(maybe soul) that still didn’t feel right. I then figured out that it isn’t simply the purging but more importantly the thoughtful consuming that made the real difference in my life. It is all too easy to fill up those newly cleaned out spaces with more “stuff”. It wasn’t until I stopped accumulating that I found the peace I was looking for in the purge. We can all relate to browsing the aisles of Target or Ikea and picking up the fun, shiny knick-knack because it is cheap and novel. Or, like many mother’s to young children, I would buy the cheap plastic toy during many outings with my wee ones, to find them broken or on the floor of the car a very short while later.
It wasn’t until my kids became 8 & 10 that I realized that I was teaching them to buy for the present and not invest in the future. Spending a little more on something made of natural materials, and often made domestically, started to feel closer to our values. Buying fewer things so they became more valued became a bit of an addiction. Teaching our children to it was okay and beneficial to not give into every desire felt really good. Being thoughtful consumers in a world when we are constantly barraged with advertising felt like a very necessary tool. Now they are 12 & 14 and seem to have absorbed some of this mind set already. Often times waiting and deliberating before deciding if they really”need” that new whatever it is. Somehow, it feels really gratifying to to have some empty spaces in our home. It doesn’t always happen and we occasionally succumb to the endcap while shopping but knowing the effort is being made and the intention is there is worth something. I hope this is inspiring and not pedantic or lecturing. I wish I had started this endeavor much sooner but I, like all of us, am a work in progress.


10 Tasha May 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm

“Thoughtful consuming” – There should be a class in that! Entirely well said:)


11 mom in mendon May 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Good comment. A nice contribution to this subject.


12 Lucy Mitchell May 25, 2013 at 3:34 am

Read The Enchanted April. Or watch the movie….do you know it? Its about four English women in who are seeking “wisteria and sunshine.”


13 Kimberly May 25, 2013 at 8:13 am

Right now in Southern NJ it is 57 degrees with gusting 24mph winds. We’re supposed to go to a town’s Mayfair festival in a little bit and I wonder if I’ll look out of place with gloves.


14 Tasha May 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I wore my earmuffs today:(


15 stephanie kraus May 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Hi Gabrielle, loved the piece on the creating a focal wall. That Emily Henderson it so adorable – cant stand it. BTW – very cold here on the east coast of U.S. too:(


16 Nicole May 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm

The wisteria is simply stunning. Do you have any tips on training it over the doorway?


17 Fire Wife Katie May 29, 2013 at 9:41 am

Just dropping by to say keep up the great work, and I’m happy to have stumbled upon you on instagram! Your pictures make my feed happy. :) First week of summer vacation for us here. We’re still hammering out the summertime truce — trying to get to the point where all four of our children can coexist all day without constantly butting heads (literally and figuratively.) We’ve had gloomy weather here in northern CA too. I’m loving it, as is my garden!! Anyway, carry on, and thanks for the stunning pictures!


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