From the category archives:

France

Le Menil Scelleur

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Friends! I have some big news: We bought a house today. A little French cottage! We can hardly believe it!!

It might not feel like big news if you’ve been following along. Because we first saw this house last August (so long ago!), and we’ve been under contract since February. The house has been uninhabited for decades and has mostly been used as a barn, so there were some questions about whether or not the house could be legally inhabited again.

But — hooray! — the questions have been resolved. And we became the official property owners today.

Now the hard work begins. We start with a phone call to the electric company to visit the property and install a meter. And then we go from there! When we hatched this plan, we assumed we could quickly buy a house and spend our last year here renovating. Hah! Reality check: We leave in a month, and if we manage to get electricity installed and roof repaired before we move, we’ll consider that a triumph. : ) We keep thinking we’re crazy to take on a project like this, but we LOVE that it will keep us connected to the area in such a real way.

Today, during the closing, as we signed the official papers, the previous owners gave us the photo at top. It’s our house circa 1900 (compare it to this photo). And it’s actually a postcard, with an address label on the back. When I saw the little family, I started to cry. What a treasure to be able to picture the people who lived in this place oh so long ago. (And the collar and cut on the son’s jacket — it’s so French! It just does me in.)

Tell me: Does this project make you gasp with terror at the amount of work (and frustration) ahead for us? Or gasp with inspiration at what it might become? Maybe some of both? I’d love to hear your renovation stories!

P.S. — I detailed more about what it will take to redo this property here. And you can see more images here, here and here, if you’re curious.

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A Few Things

June 7, 2013

French Country Road  |  Design Mom

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends! How’s it going? Are you ready for the weekend? For us, I think this is the first weekend in months and months with absolutely nothing on the schedule. That feels good every once in awhile! Perhaps we’ll visit the beach tomorrow. Or maybe work in the yard. Or maybe just do nothing at all. How about you? Anything you’re looking forward to?

While I keep grinning at our empty weekend calendar, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

- They’ve dressed alike for 33 years. Thanks, Caroline.

Why wooden toys?

- They sell organic baby clothing and take it back when outgrown! Thanks, Diana.

- Swim season is here, we all need to review this.

- Hello Summer!

- Maps that show how Americans speak English differently.

- It’s about bugs. But I unexpectedly teared up!

- Is the internet like a child’s brainThanks, Lori.

- Nomadic teenagers. I’m not even sure what to think.

- On my Babble column this week: Throw a Water Party! — 16 Ideas.

- And 18 Gifts you can DIY for Father’s Day.

- Last month, the Deseret News asked me to write up something I learned from my mother. I just got the link yesterday, if you’d like to take a look. (The last 2 photos in the slideshow go with my segment.)

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

kisses,
Gabrielle

P.S. — The image at top was snapped last weekend, walking from from our community Vide Grenier (tag sale).

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Jacadi Summer Sale

June 6, 2013

Jacadi - French Clothing for Kids

This post is sponsored by French clothing line, Jacadi. Get up to 50% off in their Big Summer Sale!

Jacadi Paris

By Gabrielle.

Here in France, Jacadi is THE quality brand for children. If you’re trying to get a sense of how a little French boy or little French girl dresses — for school, for the holidays, even for summer vacation — taking a peek at the Jacadi windows will tell you everything you need to know. The style and styling of their clothing is quintessentially French. Very traditional lines with modern touches. Details that make each piece feel special. And so well made that you’ll be handing them down to your future grandchildren.

Happily, Jacadi is sold in the U.S. as well, and even more happily, the Jacadi big summer sale just started today. So we can all get a little piece of French style at a deep discount — up to 50% off!

Design Mom's Favorites from Jacadi's Summer Sale

Here are some of my favorites from the summer sale. For baby girls, I love the scalloped booties (so French!) and the gingham dress.  For toddler boys, I’d pick this peacoat (and save it for the fall) and these Euro swim trunks. (Fun fact: In France, board shorts aren’t allowed at public pools, so the boys run around in swim trunks like these.)  For school age girls, how about this pleated skirt — or this gorgeous drop waist dress would be perfect if you have a wedding to attend. For older boys I like the color block hoodie and the tab sleeve tee. And for tween girls, I’d would pick this double-breasted cardigan and retro-striped dress from the Mademoiselle Jacadi line.

Tell me, Friends, is Jacadi a brand you’re familiar with? I was introduced to their clothes when I lived in New York, and my friend Kathryn gave me a Jacadi hand-me-down — a sweet little dress. I still have it! Both Betty and June wore it. And maybe their kids will wear it too. : )

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vintage French school book

By Gabrielle. Vintage French school book here.

Today is one of the first really warm days of the year (really warm in Normandy means low 70s : ) and we’re starting to think about summer. But alas! It’s not time yet. The school year here goes all the way through June!

So I thought it would be fun to share one more update about our educational experience in France, before the school year ends and we move back to the U.S.. And if you’re curious, here’s a link to earlier posts about French school. I’m going to try and cover topics I haven’t mentioned in earlier posts, and this time, most of the updates relate to middle school — because 3 of the kids, Ralph, Maude & Olive, are all in middle school.

- One thing that it took us awhile to realize: at our middle school and high school, called college and lycée, there are no substitute teachers. If the teacher can’t make it that day, they just don’t show up. The students will be in class, and if the teacher hasn’t shown up  a few minutes in, the Class Delegate will go to the office to find out what’s up. If the office informs them the teacher is out for the day, the students will go to “perm” which is study time. (Fun fact: Oscar is his class delegate. He had to prepare a speech — in French, of course — on the voting day. So cute!)

Lots more tidbits about our French school ahead.

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Happy Memorial Day

May 27, 2013

American Military Cemetery in Normandy, France

Image and text by Gabrielle.

This is the 3rd Memorial Day we’ve spent in France. Last year, it aligned with a French holiday, so we had Monday off. But this year, the kids are in school, the stores are open, and it’s business as usual today. How about you, are you enjoying a 3-day weekend? Were you able to do anything meaningful to commemorate the holiday?

I’m reposting this image from last year because it’s one of my favorites. I snapped it during Memorial Day weekend at the American Military Cemetery here in Normandy. For the holiday, the caretakers placed an American and French flag at every single one of the 10,000+ graves.

The cemetery is always a humbling place to visit, but seeing those carefully placed flags waving in the ocean breeze just about did me in.

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours. Wishing you happy gatherings with friends and family! And a perfectly grilled burger. : )

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A Few Things

May 17, 2013

paris - spring 2013

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends. How are you? I hope you’ve had a wonderful week! My family was so delighted to be back to a normal schedule. Housework isn’t always on my thumbs up list, but this week I found such contentment doing the everyday normal stuff — getting the laundry and ironing done, making beds, staying on top of the dishes… Sometimes regular old life is my favorite.

We’ll be doing some Olive Us shooting in Paris tomorrow, so I’ve got some prepping to do (I’m sure we’ll be instagram-ing if you’d like a sneak peek). While I get things ready, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

- Homemade fruit leather. Yum.

- Back online after a year without the internet.

-  Negative Space Animals. Thanks, Sara.

- We see what we look for.

- Brother & Sister bedroom done right.

- Remember the Strategic Plan poster we all loved? Well, good news, use the coupon code “DOINGTHINGS” for 20% off any prints in Baltimore Print Studio’s online store. The code is good till May 24th at midnight.

- This may be the most relaxing commercial I’ve ever seen.

- Olive Us just turned one! A year ago yesterday, we shared the first Olive Us episode. It’s called Garden Day.

- Are you a graphic designer? Get super fast feedback on your design here.

- It’s the end of the school year, so I’ve gathered up lots of Teacher Gift Ideas.

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

kisses,
Gabrielle

P.S. — I snapped the photo at top when I was in Paris yesterday. I was there visiting the US Consulate because we had a tax question. Sigh. Not the most fun reason to visit Paris, but the city was lovely all the same!

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Images and text by Gabrielle.

Friends, I’m kind of freaking out about how wonderfully Episode 23 of Olive Us turned out. (Sorry for the brag!) It’s called Le Petit Chaperon Rouge which is the French way of saying Little Red Riding Hood. This video is stunning. It’s simply magical. Oh. And it’s all in French! Entirely narrated by Betty, who also plays the girl in the red cape.

Now don’t you worry, even if you don’t speak a lick of French, I’m betting you’ll be able to follow along with the very familiar story line. : ) If you’d like a translation, you’re in luck. Ben Blair made a pdf with a side-by-side French and English translation — you can find the pdf link here.

Little Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tv

I’m dying to hear what you think! And if your kids watch it, I’d love to hear if they enjoyed it — or if the French threw them off too much. From what we’ve seen so far, for little ones, the language doesn’t seem to matter at all! Consider this a great way to expose your kids to a foreign language in a familiar context.

I also want to say that we didn’t make this alone. Not at all. A huge thanks goes out to Miranda of One Little Minute. who put together the stunning costumes. She started with what we had in our closet, added pieces from thrift stores, then sewed the rest. She re-made the iconic red cape from a women’s red wool coat she found at a second hand shop. It’s thick and cozy and wonderful — and it kept Betty warm on the cold November day when we filmed this.

Little Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tv Little Red Riding Hood | oliveus.tv

Another big thanks goes to Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag for the title illustration. I love how it turned out! I think it would be cool to have a poster of it made for our wall. Lastly, we are over the moon about Tiger in a Jar’s vision for this episode. We think they captured the story perfectly.

Fun Fact: the forest scenes were filmed around the corner from our house, in the same trees that we filmed Christmas Tree Hunt. For the exteriors of Little Red’s house and Grandma’s house, we actually filmed at the Apple Juice Farm you’ll remember from this video. Fantastic, right? The old half-timber buildings on the property were absolutely perfect for a fairy tale!

If it’s not showing up for you in this post, watch it on vimeo here, and find all the Olive Us videos here.

Click here for more photos. It was so fun to take photos on this shoot!

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Honfleur & Deauville

May 2, 2013

Honfleur, France | Design Mom

Photos and text by Gabrielle.

This post is about Honfleur and Deauville. Two neighboring towns here in Normandy that we never tire of visiting. We’ve been to both many times, but the photos in this post are from a visit last May. Spring in Normandy is very wet, and often cold, so when the sun comes out, you can bet we take advantage of it.

Honfleur, France | Design Mom

These first images show Honfleur. It’s a small fishing port that is big on charm. And the light here is so remarkable that it won’t surprise you to hear this little town is considered the birthplace of impressionism. In fact, it’s not unusual at all to see painters with easels set up near the water, capturing the boats and flags and sails on their canvases.

Honfleur, France | Design Mom Honfleur and Deauville14

We’ve been told there are particular things to do in Honfleur — churches to visit and towers to climb — but we’ve never done any of them. Instead, we like to walk through the narrow side streets, window shopping, and stopping for ice cream. We might ride the port-side carousel or watch the boats come in. And then we’ll eat a late lunch or early dinner at one of the touristy restaurants that line the wharf — there are a dozen to pick from.

Keep reading — the umbrellas of Deauville are ahead!

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Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France | Design Mom

The Loire Valley is the region along the Loire River, a little south and west of Paris. It’s famed for its numerous castles that tower above the river. And lucky for us, driving to the region only takes about an hour and a half from our house.

Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France

So last year, on the last Sunday of May we hopped in the car after church and made a day trip of it. Our goal was to see two castles and to get a general sense for the region. We knew one day wasn’t really enough time, but figured a day trip would almost be like a scouting mission for a longer trip. The first castle we stopped at was Chateau Chenenceau.

Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France | Design Mom Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France | Design Mom

Some castles are more kid-friendly than others, and this one is probably the most family-friendly that we’ve visited — lots of options for roaming and free-ranging, and the weekend we were there, it wasn’t too busy at all.

Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France | Design Mom

There are gardens to explore, bridges and moats, a grand checker-board hall with views of the river, and on the way out we explored the garden maze and had a little picnic. Also. We took a TON of photos. So please forgive me if this feels like a photo dump. : ) Hopefully it will be helpful for anyone out there who’s considering a visit to the Loire.

Read more and see tons of photos from our daytrip — click here.

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Happy May Day!

May 1, 2013

lilies of the valley for May Day

By Gabrielle. Photo by Paul Ferney for Design Mom.

Happy May Day to you and yours!

Here in France, May 1st is Labor Day, but it also goes by La Fête du Muguet, which means Lily of the Valley Day. It’s a public holiday and the tradition is to give a sprig of Lily of the Valley to loved ones and neighbors. I was reading a bit about this tradition, and apparently it dates to the 1500s when King Charles IX of France was given Lilies of the Valley as a good luck token. 1500s?! I’d say that’s an enduring tradition! If you’re curious, you can read a bit more about the holiday here.

Lilies of the Valley for May Day

Will you be doing anything to mark the day? Maybe there’s a Maypole festival at your school? Or perhaps, you’ll be making these adorable May Day Baskets for your children to hang on the neighbor’s door.

P.S. — More May holidays! Cinco de Mayo is coming up fast. Here are tons of fun ideas.

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Postcards

April 17, 2013

franceDMbanner

Image and text by Gabrielle.

This is just a little thing, and maybe it’s not particularly French, but one thing we noticed after living her for about a year, was that our traveling French friends always send us postcards during their trips. It seems to be part of their vacationing habits or traditions. And of course, it’s totally charming!

Postcards and France

Postcards from Australia. From England. From Spain. And when I traveled with Caroline to New York, one of the first things she wanted to do was send postcards home to her family and friends back in France. We’ve received more postcards in our time here than we did in our last 15 years in the U.S.

I’m not totally sure why the postcard tradition surprised me. I suppose it’s because I rarely if ever receive postcards from my American friends. When I think of why Americans don’t send postcards very often, I imagine it’s partly because when Americans vacation, they often take short trips — typically less than a week — which isn’t really enough time for a postcard to reach home while you’re away. And I’m sure it also has to do with texting and Facebook and Instagram and all the modern ways we stay in touch — making checking in with postcards less necessary.

But from what I can tell, the French seem to take their vacations really seriously and stay at their destination for a couple of weeks, or even longer if they’ve traveled across the world to reach their destination. So sending a postcard makes perfect sense.

How about you? Have you sent or received a postcard lately? And have you ever taken a long vacation? Or do you squeeze them in over an extended weekend?

P.S. — Even though we don’t send them, it’s not unusual for my family to buy postcards when we’re traveling — especially at art museums. They make great souvenirs and additions to scrapbooks and journals.

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Music & The French Kids

April 10, 2013

franceDMbanner

By Gabrielle.

A few weeks ago, my friend Kyran asked if I’d write a post about what kind of music the French kids are listening to, and I love that idea! So I asked my two teenagers, Ralph and Maude, for a consultation on the subject. First, they said that mostly, their French friends listen to the same music their American friends listen too. When Adele is popular in America, she’s popular in France too. Phoenix gets lots of play in both places. Dubstep is popular at parties in both places.

That said, they did come up with a bunch of songs that their French friends listen too, but their U.S. friends do not. I had them send me links to 10 of them, so you can get a little glimpse of what might be added to your kids’ playlists if you lived in France. Some are French songs, but many are from other countries.

The links go to videos on Youtube. Be aware, a couple of the videos are sexy — might not be your thing on a random Wednesday. (I did try to create a playlist on Spotify, with just the sound files instead of videos, but I couldn’t find a bunch of the songs. Le sigh.) I hope you enjoy the list. I’m embedding the first video here, because it’s a fun one!

Elle Me Dit by Mika.

Coups et Blessures by BB Brunes.

Dota by Basshunter.

On se Connaît‬ by ‪Youssoupha, featuring Ayna.

The Night Out by Martin Solveig.

Random Access Memories Look by Daft Punk.

Vamos a la Playa by Loona.

Happy by Ft. D.Martin by C2C.

Down the Road by C2C.

10 I’ve Got That Tune by Chinese Man.

Bonus track! The kids aren’t listening to this one anymore — it was popular a few years ago. But I love it and asked Maude to learn to play it on guitar as my Mother’s Day gift last year. It’s so lovely.

11 Quelqu’un m’a dit by Carla Bruni.

One of the things I wonder about since we moved to France, is what it’s like to grow up mostly listening to songs that aren’t in your language. I hear popular songs, in English, everywhere I go here. At the grocery store and in the shopping districts. The French kids know how to sing along, sort of. But many have no idea what the words are saying.

I suppose American kids will experience more and more of that (Gangnam Style anyone?) as the internet continues to shrink the world.

Did any of you grow up mostly listening to songs that weren’t in your native tongue? Do you have any favorites from the list Ralph and Maude made?

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franceDMbanner

Text and images by Gabrielle.

Something interesting about our French school (and from what I understand, all French schools), is that needlework is part of the curriculum.

Embroidery and France

I realized this during our first year here, when (then 9-year-old) Olive’s school class completed two separate cross-stitch projects — both the boys and the girls. I asked around, and apparently, this wasn’t unusual at all.

Keep reading to see the Recette Notebook Olive made me for Mother’s Day (recette = recipe).

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Easter Candy in France

March 27, 2013

franceDMbanner

Images and text by Gabrielle.

For us, living in France means living with a general feeling of being foreigners or outsiders. (Not necessarily a bad thing. It is what it is.) When it’s a holiday, that feeling is magnified. I was thinking about that as I wandered through the Easter candy aisle at the grocery store the other day.

European Easter Candy

Obviously, all the types of treats that spell Easter to me and to my older kids, weren’t anywhere to be seen. No fluorescent Peeps (my favorite!). No jelly beans. No Cadbury mini eggs. No chalky malted eggs that you can use to paint your lips blue. No Reeses peanut butter eggs. And no egg dyeing kits either — dyeing eggs isn’t really a thing here.

That said, there were tons of holiday treat options, and I kept thinking how French adults must walk through these aisles and fondly identify the candies that define their childhood Easters. But I have no idea what they are! I have no idea which chocolate eggs are stereotypical, which ones have been sold for decades, and which ones have just been introduced as a new product.

European Easter Candy

So I end up choosing treats based solely on looks. I am 100% judging these books by their covers — or these candies by their wrappers. Today, I’m sharing the prettiest treats I’ve found. I thought you might like to get an idea of what a French child would find on Easter morning — a gift from the Church Bells, instead of the Easter Bunny.

Two of the candies, I actually picked up in Ireland. They were so cute, I couldn’t pass them up! Come see.

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franceDMbanner

Text and images by Gabrielle.

We’ve been lucky to have lots of visitors since we moved here — it’s so helpful for keeping homesickness at bay, especially for the kids. One topic that comes up whenever friends and family are in town is souvenirs.

Plane tickets, car rentals, hotels and train passes tend to eat up most of the travel budget, so visitors love ideas for gifts to bring home to friends and family that won’t break the bank. But they want something more unusual than an Eiffel Tower key chain.

5 Fabulous French Souvenirs under 5 bucks.

So I’ve made notes over the last couple of years, and have figured out a bunch of fabulous souvenirs you can find in any French supermarket. All of them are non-perishable (in case you’re jaunting to London after your trip to France), and every one of them is bargain. Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorites. Maybe they’ll inspire you to book a flight to Paris!

Click here to see all five souvenir ideas.

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Easter Egg Hunt at Eiffel Tower01

Images and Text by Gabrielle.

Have you ever had an Easter Egg hunt in an out of the ordinary place? Last year, right before my sister Jordan moved back to San Francisco from Paris, we had an egg hunt at the Eiffel Tower. I shared this instagram at the time (which, by the way, might be my favorite instagram I’ve ever taken), but I haven’t shown you other pictures, so I thought it would be fun to share them today while I’ve got Easter plans on my mind.

Easter Egg Hunt at Eiffel Tower02 Easter Egg Hunt at Eiffel Tower03

To be clear, this wasn’t an official event hosted by the City of Paris. We just found a grassy spot off to the side on the Champs du Mars (the big park next to the Eiffel Tower), scattered the eggs all over the lawn, and let our kids search them out. (If you’re in Paris over Easter with your kids, you could totally do the same thing!) But no matter how simple the activity is, doing it with the Eiffel Tower in the background makes it feel pretty darn spectacular.

More pics ahead! Keep reading.

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Playground Posters

March 18, 2013

Playground Posters for Georges Magazine Playground Posters for Georges Magazine

By Gabrielle.

I love these Playground Posters from Georges — a French magazine for kids that’s really well designed. (You might remember Georges from this post). Each poster in the series was created by a different artist. The only direction was to work in the same three colors and use the same theme: games. This means that each poster is an actual game or puzzle!

Aren’t they cool? You can see all the designs here. And you can purchase the posters here. I thought your kids would enjoy them — no need to speak French required. : ) Wouldn’t they be fun in a playroom?

P.S. — If you visit France, bringing home a magazine for your kids is a fun souvenir!

Playground Posters for Georges Magazine Playground Posters for Georges Magazine Playground Posters for Georges Magazine

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A Few Things

March 15, 2013

French Farmhouse in the Snow

Text and image by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends! Was it a good week for you? As I mentioned yesterday, we were snowed in from Monday thru Thursday, and it felt good to have an extra big dose of family time. We did a lot of baking, kept a fire going, and read aloud as a family in the evenings. I was a little worried the kids would get antsy, because we had just finished a two-week school break, but it turned out to be quite lovely.

That said, I will not shed a tear when the snow is gone. : ) Bring on the daffodills! Bring on the forsythia! While we make our weekend plans, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

- A poster designed by a husband for his wife. (Audrey and Nick are two of our closest friends. Audrey is also the Alt Summit graphic designer. We’re so, so, glad she’s out of the hospital and getting stronger.)

Prep school photos from the LIFE archive.

- A new series of DIY videos especially for kids — like homemade snowshoes, stomp rockets, and a book with a secret compartment!

- What’s your take on terrariums?

- Interested in learning videography? This workshop by Ryan Marshall and Tiger in a Jar looks outstanding. And you get to stay at Rudyard Kipling’s estate!

- A brief history of baby gear.

- Ever wondered what Mickey & Minnie sound like in French?

- Rainbow yarn trail.

- Ben Blair sent me this link. It’s the happiest thing on the internet.

- Blown away by these numbers. Especially the computers, food, and education numbers.

- Related, I love, love, love Bono’s Ted Talk. Eradicate Extreme Poverty by 2030!

- The first issue of Vogue.

- On Babble this week: 20 ways to decorate Easter Eggs.

- Also, it’s not too late to plant wheatgrass!

- Will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend? We’ll be thinking of Ireland and maybe we’ll dye our milk green. : )

- Last but not least, a lucky pillow.

I hope you have a really wonderful weekend. I hope you make lots of good things happen! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.

kisses,
Gabrielle

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A Late Winter Walk

March 14, 2013

winter walk11

Text and photos by Gabrielle.

On Sunday, a few of us decided to take a late winter walk as the sun was setting. We walked down the road to see how high the water was in the little creek, and say hello to the sheep that live across the way. We also wanted to scout out signs of spring.

And I remembered to bring the camera! (Instagram has me out of the habit of carrying my DSLR.) So I thought I’d share a few photos from our walk with you.

winter walk08 winter walk09 winter walk10

I can’t believe how much I enjoy seeing the little lambs…

Lots more photos ahead.

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Cottage Shopping Update

February 26, 2013

Text and image by Gabrielle.

I’m a bit late posting today, but I have a good reason. Today, we put an offer on this cottage!

We’re so excited we can hardly stand it. We’ve been looking at it since last August, but the property needed some certification before we could buy it. It used to be a house, but hasn’t been inhabited for many, many years and was reclassified as a barn. So we’ve had to make sure it can be certified as a house again before we move forward.

There is one catch: all these months later, it’s still not officially certified. But. It’s so close to being certified that the notary felt like it was okay to go ahead and make the formal offer and sign all the paperwork. So, there is a chance that it won’t receive the approvals and we won’t be able to buy it — but I can’t help but be excited anyway!!!

The house is essentially a stone shell — in fact, will need to restore both electricity and running water on the property. But it’s on a lovely piece of land and has a charming outbuilding too. And it was an amazing bargain! It needs a huge (HUGE!) amount of work, but the prospect of owning it and fixing it up still has us grinning ear to ear.

As soon as it’s officially ours, I’ll be sure to share more photos, but for now, hopefully my instagram shot above will whet your whistle.

P.S. — For those of you who are curious, we’re still planning to move back to the U.S. in July. Our intention with this cottage is to use it as a vacation home and a base here in Europe. And mostly, we hope it will keep us connected to the friends we’ve made here and to this region which we love so much.

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