Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Happy Fall, with Tend Magazine

Are you ready for autumn? If you want to treat yourself to some great fall inspiration, I recommend the latest issue of TEND Magazine. TEND is a quarterly downloadable magazine designed to nourish a mindful life. It's a visual delight and a really good read, with loads of helpful information and encouragement for those of us who desire a simpler, more creative life, based around the comforts of home. 

Here's what TEND has to say about the autumn issue:
Yes, whether you like it or not autumn is creeping up on us, and we hope you'll join us to settle into this new season together. In this issue we have — ideas for the home, a sewing pattern for an autumnal cushion; how to make the perfect cup of tea, and a selection of good quality tea tasting recommendations; a knitting pattern for a beret – not full winter headgear, but something that will keep the chill of autumn out; the way we make jam in the UK; an easy-pour jar tutorial and canning toppers for you to print out and keep; wholesome food and herbal health includes recipes for ‘Immuno Chai’ – tea that will help boost your immune system; apples and apple cider; a whole table full of potluck desserts that will have you the hero of any party – all allergy free; a mulling spice blend; a look into the pantry at various grains; and a hand wash to keep your family a bit freer from the dreaded lurgy this season; and a foot scrub too! Outside as a family there are ideas for nature walks; what to do in the garden right now; creating a bug hotel; celebrating fire and building a firepit. The education section this issue is all about weather, and includes lots of experiments to get your children thinking about what is going on out there. We are delighted to welcome Heather Bruggeman as our interviewee in our ‘Back At the Farm’ segment, and equally delighted for formally introduce another ‘Heather’ – Heather Fontenot as our Preschool Editor, who has overwhelmed us with her contributions this issue with: seed mandalas; a fabric garland; autumn paints; sewing cards; leaf crafts and a family art project. 
Doesn't it sound wonderful? Be sure to check it out (hopefully you'll sign up for the newsletter and join the Facebook group), and when you make a purchase, I'd be grateful if you'd use my affiliate code, DCLTM15, which I've also placed in my right sidebar. Thanks a bunch--and enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Quick Trip to Paris

I'm back, at long last! For the first time since moving overseas eleven years ago, we didn't head to the States for the summer. We really needed to save the money we normally spend on trans-Atlantic travel and too-frequent/easy stops at Taco Cabana and Chipotle. But in between family yardwork jobs for some traveling teachers, we managed a few inexpensive European getaways, like this "quick trip to Paris" a few weeks ago.

Even after five years of living in Europe, it's hard to believe such a thing is possible for us. We're four hours away, but it had been four years since we'd made this trip (three for the Girl, who'd been with a friend). The Boy was headed to a four-day teen adventure camp down in Garmisch, so it was a good time for a visit.

We spent a good bit of time in the Marais, one of our favorite neighborhoods. We enjoyed both the European Photography Museum and the Musée Carnavalet, museum of the history of Paris. 

I was super-excited to stumble upon the amazing shop Au Petit Bonheur La Chance, which I'd read about several times in the past. Apparently, it can be difficult to find it open, but we hit it just right, though we were informed about 15 minutes into our frenzied treasure-hunting that the proprietress would be closing up shop "in five minutes." That was probably a good thing, financially-speaking, as I got out with only two purchases. 

After asking another local shopkeeper for a recommendation, we had lunch at Au Bouquet St. Paul, a friendly place with good food and fair prices.

To save money, we stayed outside of Paris in a boho apartment we rented through airbnb. Just a 12-minute walk plus twenty minutes on the Métro, it was perfect for the three of us, plus dog.

We even had a private deck and garden, something you certainly won't find in the center of Paris. See that little table at the bottom of the photo? It was trash-picked by Husband on a street nearby during one of this early-morning walks, and it now sits in our upstairs bathroom. 

The garden was perfect for Yoshi, except that while exploring it, he managed to tip himself backwards right into this ridiculously-tiny pond. He was not amused, though Husband and I, who witnessed the incident, definitely were. Bad dog-parents!

We finally made it to Giverny, to Monet's House and Garden. We'd been telling the Girl we'd take her there someday, ever since she was a tiny thing reading Linnea in Monet's Garden (and watching the video). 

Warm and sunny, it was a perfect day for our visit. Yay!

Back in Paris that evening, we picnicked with the masses next to the Eiffel Tower and watched the sunset. Lovely!

Back soon with more about our summer!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Around Here: Springtime

It's been awfully chilly and cloudy so far this week. Last week was pretty nice, though. We took advantage of some warmer, sunnier weather to plant more geraniums, put out some mulch in the back garden, plant some kresse, and--oh, I don't really recall what all we did. Last week is running together with the week before, when the weather was even nicer. We were outside a lot--planning, planting, and weeding. Despite the current chill (these crazy weather ups-and-downs are par for the course here in May), our garden and other parts of the village are telling us it's Spring. 

Thanks to Husband for the lovely photos (except the one with the colander--I took that while pulling up a bunch of stinging nettles from the back garden and clipping a bunch of the leaves to use later that day in a recipe).

In family news, happy healing to the Boy, who fractured his femur above the knee in soccer back in March (thankfully less major than it sounds, but the healing process takes months). And a big high-five to the Girl, who finished her freshman year of college yesterday!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Annecy, Waterlogued

I had fun playing around with some of the photos from our French Alps trip. Waterlogue is such a cool app!

Monday, April 28, 2014

An Annecy Miscellany

Here are some more photos we took during our four days in lovely Annecy, France:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Aesthetes: Eccentric in Tangier

I've been wanting to visit Morocco for quite a while. Marrakesh has been on my list, but now I know I also really, really want to go to Tangier. 

These people and their houses are nothing short of eccentrically fabulous! If you like the video as much as I do, be sure to read the article it accompanied

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Annecy, in the French Alps

This was a Spring Break first for us: we made a last-minute travel decision based almost entirely on the weather. Husband said he was not about to spend the last four days of the break (following mid-week removal of The Boy's braces!) anywhere chilly or rainy. And that was that! So we waited until the day before we planned to leave to make a decision on a country and a city. Based on something from my Pinterest Travel Love board, combined with a very promising weather forecast, we chose the town of Annecy, France, about six hours southwest of here.

Since it wasn't High Season there quite yet, we were able through airbnb to book a quirky, fully-stocked apartment in the heart of the Old Town for four nights. We stood on the living room balcony to take this photo.

Above is a view from the window that opens out onto the balcony. We overlooked the most photographed building in Annecy, the Old Prison.

We cooked and ate most of our meals in the apartment, at this long, old farm table.

There was so much good food to be had. The cheeses were, unsurprisingly, a major highlight. The Boy became a big fan of the regional Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie. We shopped for food in the Monoprix just around the corner and also at the outdoor market, which we got to visit twice during our visit.

The lake? Really calm and beautiful--it's one of the purest in Europe. You can go on boat tours or rent a paddle boat to take out yourself. Swimming is allowed in certain areas during warmer months. 

Annecy is known for its canals. It's often called "Little Venice of the Alps."

Those are my three dudes, right there. The one in the middle got hissed at by a swan. It could easily have happened to the one on the right, who as a youngster was bitten by an ostrich, kicked by a pony, terrorized by praying mantises, and nibbled on by rabbits and goats. I'd say it's unlikely he'll work in a zoo or become a rancher or beekeeper. 

But back to Lac d'Annecy. See how clear the water is? The air is crisp here, and everything feels clean. 

Annecy is just a truly lovely place, and I recommend it to anyone planning a visit to the French Alps. I'll be back with more photos.

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