Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Little Story About How We Moved

This is Tangiers, which we visited briefly during our Spring Break trip to Spain in April. 

It's a very photogenic place. I'd love to go back. But that's not likely to happen anytime soon, as we aren't living in Europe anymore.

Early this year, Husband decided he could no longer agree with and support various initiatives and behaviors of the administration in his school and in the (enormous) System as a whole.

Rather than burying his head in the sand and hating his job for years (which, believe me, some people do--because this overseas teaching gig is an awfully good one), he chose to resign.

Some people thought he was crazy. Many other applauded his having the guts to unlock the golden handcuffs.

Thus began our search for a way and a place to return to some semblance of reality as U.S. citizens, not semi-expats.

Please understand that we lived overseas for twelve years and enjoyed most of that time immensely. But with one child in college in the States and the other nearing high school graduation, we realized that it could be good for us to go ahead and try to find a place to settle down in the U.S. The toxic atmosphere in the school just made the decision a lot easier and even more timely.

We began doing research online--lots of it. We knew we wanted to return to somewhere in the South; that was our starting point. We also knew we wanted to start a small business, built around some of our wonderful European flea market finds.

To make a long story a little shorter, we found fantastic renters for our German house (we'll go back to check on it yearly until we decide to sell), and we found Greenville, South Carolina. It's a very cool place these days, and there's tons of natural beauty right here and nearby. We moved in June and opened our little retail shop in August. Husband is also working in real estate.

Actually, though, we got used to small-town life in Germany, so we chose a small town on the edge of Greenville--a very cute place with a name that suits us and our story: Travelers Rest.

I hope you'll join us in our latest adventure by checking out our new blog and social media pages. Of course, if you're in the area, please visit our shop! And thank you for reading Fairytale Hausfrau!

cozy global comforts
vintage and new
5B S. Main St.
Travelers Rest, SC

Instagram: @homebodysc

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Romania in June: Malancrav

In June, we went to Romania for the wedding of Romanian friends of ours here in Germany. Following the wedding festivities (and were they ever impressive!) in their small hometown, we ventured to several other cities and towns before heading back to Bucharest for our flight home. Certainly among the most atmospheric places we've ever visited--anywhere--was the village of Malancrav, home to one of the restored guesthouses belonging to the Mihai Eminescu Trust. The Trust is dedicated to the conservation and regeneration of villages in Transylvania and The Maramures, surely two of the most unspoilt regions of Europe.

We had this lovely traditional home all to ourselves for a night, and amidst the clip-clop of horses and the curious stares of villagers, we truly felt like time travelers. 

For the rest of this post, I think I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Back soon with more from Romania, plus more recent destinations.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Fairytale Video

This sweet little video from Anthropologie just might inspire you to start some Fall baking. Naturally, I love the fairytale-like setting in beautiful Prague. I've been to Prague once, many years ago. I do believe it's time for another visit.

In the meantime, here's a pumpkin dessert I want to make this week:

Also, I have an Autumn Love board on Pinterest, if you're in the mood for that. Come visit!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hello Again, Florence!

I finally made it back to Florence, Italy. I was in Firenze twenty-five years ago for a college semester and loved it, so when Husband and I backpacked around Europe for our first anniversary five years later, I had to show him around.

It's hard to believe that twenty years later, I'm showing my daughter around. The Girl is here as part of the same program, and I traveled with her from Germany to Milan, then on to Florence to get her situated in our university's villa, surrounded by olive trees on the outskirts of the city. Before heading out to the villa, we had almost two days just to roam around the city and soak in the beauty (and, ahem, eat an undisclosed amount of gelato). The Girl is already loving it, and hopefully we'll get down there to visit her again sometime before the end of the semester.

Santa Maria Novella, a favorite Florentine church of mine (and yes, we also visited the SMN Apothecary--not to be missed!)

lovely detail outside this pizzeria

Very interesting art display in a window--wish there was a shop attached! I'd like to have one of those lamps with Florentine scenes.

Fountain of Neptune, in the Piazza della Signoria--still a favorite spot of mine despite having to dodge (other) tourists and their cameras

The Girl, indulging in a four-euro (gulp!) espresso and a bit of people-watching

The Ponte Vecchio, on a beautiful day

sunset over the Arno

Ete Bistro, such a delightful little boho place for a light dinner and drinks--the owners are so kind, and the tasting platter is delicious and filling.

Il Duomo, I've missed you so! You're still so terribly photogenic.

Ciao, for now--see you again, soon!

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!
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Disclosure Time

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