Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chinon: Castles and Brocante

Our second day on vacation we got up early, not a problem for our family, ate pancakes and headed out on an adventure.  All of us, except for Jon, were battling a runny nose and cough.  This little guy was finally starting to feel better.  He loved exploring around our house.

I had fun exploring too, the house and grounds were amazing. 

The morning drive was just beautiful.

I mean, how beautiful is this?

There is a brocante at this chateau on November 1st.  It is about 2 1/2 hours from our house, but I am still considering driving out for it.

We made it to Chinon and headed in to the castle, or what was left.

We could not have asked for a better day.

The sun was definitely shining.  My family does not like the sun in their eyes.  

Much better, we got things turned around.

Garrett makes me laugh, he loves to pose when he sees the camera.

This picture makes me happy.

This picture makes me even happier.

The views from the tower were gorgeous.

We had a lot of fun exploring.

And posing.

The medieval town of Chinon down below.

There was a guest book that the kids signed.

The ceiling in one of the buildings.

One of the old towers.

There were many stories from this castle, the knights Templar traveled through here and Joan of Arc came here for a meeting.

Jon got a good workout carrying Malachi in the backpack.

I love this picture, weary sight seers.  

On our way back to the car.

From there we headed down into the town for this, a monthly brocante.  The vendors were set up along the river.  There was a playground just across the street and I got to listen to the squeals of joy from my children as I shopped.   I walked away with as many treasures as I could carry and it was awesome.  

A New Adventure

You are going to see a lot less photos like this on the blog.

Don't worry, I am not going to stop collecting treasures.  I do have a new place to share my finds with you.  Brocante Treasures is my newest project and you can find me at
This is where I am going to share my shopping adventures, loot shoots, and anything else I find interesting.  I will still be sharing our family adventures and pictures of France here.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Toussaint Vacation 2014

In France in October the schools all get a 2 week break for Toussaint.  Addie and Ben's school only gets one week, but we are making the most of it.  We scheduled a couple of days days in the Loire Valley so we could explore a chateau or two.  Jon got home from a business trip on Saturday morning and we all loaded up and drove to Orleans and then on to Amboise, only 3 hours of driving for us. We checked in to our house just outside of Amboise and then headed into the city for dinner.  

Amboise is a beautiful little town.  We were able to find great parking and we had fantastic weather.

Finding a place to eat is always a challenge for our family.  We like to eat dinner earlier than the French do and that always leaves us searching.  Thankfully we found this great little place that started serving dinner at 6.

Another challenge eating out in France is the lack of high chairs.  Malachi does okay eating in his stroller, but I do miss high chairs when we are out.

While we were waiting for dinner Jon and the kids climbed the steps up the Chateau d'Amboise.

Here is our view during dinner.

I took over 800 pictures in just a couple of days.  I will be bombarding you with more posts of all the chateaux we visited as soon as I can upload all of the photos.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekend Brocante Treasures

This past weekend I got to go on a couple of great shopping adventures.  Saturday morning I made it to the Porte de Vanves and Sunday was a Brocante at a local village.  The Porte de Vanves was great as usual, but the brocante stole the show this time around when it comes to deals.   Both shopping trips were planned so that I could go and help show some friends around the markets.  I have spent a significant amount of time maneuvering my way around the different shopping experiences here.  It was fun to share what I have learned with friends and help them find treasures of their own.
Here are a few of my new treasures.
Yes, my tea tasted better out of this beautiful cup.  The cup and saucer were made in Japan and the edge of the cup is amazingly delicate.  

I have amassed quite the collection of copper since moving to France.  This was my latest addition, the utensils inside are so fun!

I have a new appreciation for copper. This was my find of the day. #france #brocante #vintage #copper #cuivre

Here is my giant new Le Creuset dutch oven.  I found this at the local brocante and I am so glad i had my rolling market bag with me.  It is so heavy there is no way I could have carried it with everything else i got that day.  I am trying to decide what to make first.

I was trying to set up a few things for a photo op and my helper came in to tweak a few things.

This is an aluminum suit case, a demi john from the 1960s, my very first demi john,  and a rusty old French typewriter.

This little guy is getting so big!  Less than 2 weeks until he turns 1.

His hair is too much, I love it.

I hope your week is getting off to a good start.  I am starting the week off with a sick kiddo, it can only go up from here.  

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10 on 10 October, kind of

I had every intention of doing 10 on 10 last Friday.  I even lugged my camera across Paris so I could take photos.  Unfortunately I ended up having such a busy day I didn't have time to eat lunch, let alone take pictures.  I was a good day though and I will share what I have.

The GPS was loaded up and ready to take me into the city.

Malachi fell asleep on the way there and got a decent morning nap in.  

This is where my parking garage was, just across the street from Les Invalides.  The amazing views and rich history are balanced with the parking garage with out a single elevator.  I was a lot less impressed with the sights when I had to carry my baby, stroller, and all of my MOPS stuff up 2 flights of stairs.  

This is the first year of MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, here in Paris.  You can find us on Facebook at MOPS Paris.  We have a great, small group of english speaking ladies that meet once a month at the American Church in Paris.  We meet in the catacombs and this was my view during our discussion.  I know how lucky I am to get to live in an amazing country and still have the ability to meet with and be encouraged by other believers.

And from there my day became a race from place to place.  As each of my kiddos get bigger their schedules get busier and busier.  I hope I can keep up!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mon Garde-Manger

I found this great garde-manger or food keeper in a little shop in Honfleur during my brocante tour with Cat, from Rabbit Hill Farms.  We had seen a similar piece earlier, but the color of this one just made my day. 

I brought it home and found several pieces that I have collected that were the same color. 

It is interesting when you start collecting.  I have been collecting anything and everything as I travel around Europe.  I don't have this color any where else in my house.  I obviously need to find a place for it because I seem to enjoy it.  

Right now it has a place of honor in the living room and every time I walk by it I smile.  Isn't that what all of these beautiful things are for? 

I hope you have a wonderful week! 

Welcome Fall to Paris

Bonjour, the temperatures are finally cooling down here in Paris and fall is here.   

This is our dining area with places all set for a fall table.

I found these plates while on the brocante tour a couple of weeks ago.  When I first saw the stack of plates there was a rabbit on the top plate.  My mind immediately went to Easter, but as I looked through the rest of the plates I saw much more fall inspiration, there is a stag, a boar, a pheasant, and the rabbit.

The vintage French canning jar is filled with pinecones and chestnuts that the kids have collected for me.

The orange books have a deer and a shotgun on the side, those were a recent find from the Foire de Chatou.  

I love the scale of my toy horse on top of my black hutch from Norway.

And just around the corner is the our fall mantle.

I hope you are having a beautiful fall.  

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