A Few Things

August 30, 2013

commission by Paul Ferney

By Gabrielle. Painting by Paul Ferney.

Hello, Friends. How are you? Can you believe it’s Labor Day Weekend? Are you ready to greet September? We have absolutely zero plans for Labor Day at the moment — and it feels so good! I’m still trying hard to lay low and take it easy. But I wouldn’t say no to cooking up something like this. (That post has my mouth watering!)

Even more than Labor Day, homesickness is on my mind. On Sunday, my brother-in-law Paul Ferney gifted us a painting of La Cressonnière — complete with our vintage Renault out front. I cried like a baby when I saw it. Sometimes the homesickness catches me off guard and washes over me like a wave. I’m working on a post about some of the specific things we’re missing (spoiler: lots of food is on that list), and some of the happy surprises about our new community, too. Oh. And the schools! I can’t wait to tell you about the schools.

While I finish up my work before the long weekend, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

-  Now’s your chance to get your own Paul Ferney original! He’s currently offering really affordable custom paintings through The Commission Project. They make an amazing heirloom gift. If you order now, you’ll get the painting in time for holiday giving.

- I’m dying! The funniest reviews on Amazon.

- How to kiss a girl.

- Laura Mayes of The Queso is one of the first blogs I ever read. And she’s still a favorite. The blog has been especially great lately. I spent an hour last Saturday catching up on her posts, and it was a really good hour.

NYC Field Guides: What to do in NYC, pulled together by people you might think are cool.

- 6 beautiful ways to use wallpaper in your nursery.

- One of my dear friends, Lisa Clark, produces and stars in really funny parody videos. Live out your Footloose fantasies with this one.

- The world of Lisa Frank. She is for real.

The Compliment Fairy.

- I updated my right hand sidebar with lots of back to school posts. Yay!

- Stock up for next summer — J.Crew is offering an extra 30% off final sale items with code HELLO30. (I’ll take the polkadots please!)

- If you really love calligraphy.

I hope you have a marvelous weekend. I’ll meet you back here next week. I miss you already.


P.S. — For those of you who have emailed asking how I’m doing, thank you! It really is nice to be thought of. Finding a doctor has proved more difficult than I hoped. I’ll try to write about it next week.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barchbo August 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm

So many great things you’re sharing. Personally, I am hungry for school-related information. I’ve been thinking of your kids as they adjust to new schools. I hope it’s been great.

I’ve been thinking of you, too. It’s so generous of you to share your story with all of us. XOXO


2 Design Mom August 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

We love the schools! Can’t wait to get it all written up. My first impression of the high school is that is was the coolest high school in America.


3 Mara August 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Regarding your P.S., I have found that Kaiser is the easiest overall health care plan in the Bay Area. You can see a doctor same day. It has a lot of critics, but I love it. It’s really simple to navigate. Good luck to you!


4 Design Mom August 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Thanks for the tip, Mara. I really appreciate it.


5 Anne August 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Thank you for the link to the funniest Amazon rewiews! Still LOL! You made my day!


6 Design Mom August 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Ben Blair sent those to me. I laughed for days! He always find the best stuff.


7 Janet August 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Oh my — that painting is so lovely!! Gorgeous! And the amazon funniest reviews — hilarious!!! I laughed so hard, I almost started crying . . . at work! Have a lovely weekend!


8 Design Mom August 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

That painting is treasure. I cried over it, and I cried for completely different reason over the Amazon reviews. : )


9 Tasha August 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Lisa Frank interview…cool! She seems to live in a wonder world, and good for her! I recall purchasing some of her items for my students and still am drawn to her bright, happy stickers! They’re a bit funkadelic like the old 70′s stickers I placed on my school notebooks as a child…awesome! I respect and love to see original art and am amazed at the early process (in any artistic field) of creation…the time and effort! Fun!


10 Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty August 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Those amazon reviews have me cracking up. I am going to have to share it next week in my weekend link roundup. My favorite so far (I haven’t read them all) is this: “As shown in the picture, the slices is curved from left to right. All of my bananas are bent the other way.”


11 Azra August 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I can’t wait for the next week post about the schools. France got under your skin? I can see why. :))
Take care and have a fabulous weekend.


12 Shannon August 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Those reviews are insanely funny! Can’t wait to share them with my crew….

Paul’s painting is exquisite. I would have cried, too.


13 Elizabeth August 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm

I still have some Lisa frank stationary from almost 30 years ago. As a kid, it was too precious to use frivolously and as an adult it seems to stay with us every move. Maybe I should let my 9 year old daughter use it.


14 Debbie August 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

I love the painting! Such a thoughtful and sweet gift from your brother-in-law. Thank you for the video link for the compliment fairy. I ended up watching the ball pit video which Erin also linked on that post (at the bottom of the post) and loved that one as well. It is a big smile inducer if you have not watched it yet! :)


15 Nora August 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I thought that once I moved “home” after living in Europe for 3 years, that I would feel a big sigh of relief. But truth was that I loved my new found, but briefly experienced, home abroad. It was idyllic and exciting, beautiful and slightly exotic. I went through a strange period of unhappiness – nothing was as pretty or thoughtful or wonderful as back there. I missed the people (some of the best friends I had made), food and places. Gradually I started to appreciate the big grocery stores, customer service and familiar shops again. We did go back a few years later for Christmas and it was magical to feel so immediately connected to that place. I had two countries to call home.


16 annie@mostlovelythings September 1, 2013 at 8:33 am

Why is moving so darn hard? We’ve moved quite a bit and my daughter is a freshman in college four hours away. When I saw this Charles Dickens quote from Evan Robertson’s “Illustrated Quotation Project, I knew I had to get it for Madeline….For anyone that has ever lived and loved a place and left it behind…


17 annie@mostlovelythings September 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

I didn’t mean to publish the reply…

the quote is by Charles Dickens…”One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind”


18 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux September 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Those amazon reviews are priceless!! I was reading them after everyone had gone to bed in my house and it was hard to keep my chuckles to a whisper!

Sounds like you are experiencing some reverse culture shock..it’s beautiful how open you are about how you are feeling – I hope things are getting better. Sending positive thoughts and good energy vibes your way.

Looking forward to hearing more about the schools there.


19 Angie September 2, 2013 at 11:30 am

I love your blog and have been reading a while. I am sorry you are going through a hard time. I am an American and I live in Germany–for the past 5 years! Recently, we were faced with an opportunity to move back and I was literally freaking out (we decided against it)! Although I miss the States so much, I also realize how wonderful living in Europe has been for us and our 3 kiddos. Our 1 yr old was born over here. I know one day our time will come to an end here. I just hope that you can carry your experience over and appreciate it as you transition back to the American lifestyle. Its like a reverse culture shock or something, but before long you will get back in the swing, Im sure. We try to go back as a family once a year and I have to say its often quite strange to say to the least, but super fun and I miss Target!! is that strange? Enjoy your time back stateside. Peace and lots of good vibes, Angie
Take care of yourself!


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