Friday, January 27, 2012

Parking with a view

Blue sky Versailles
This morning I had some errands to do. I was running late, I got stuck in traffic and it took me half an hour to find a parking spot, but when I did, this was the view from the car park! Life's not bad when the Château de Versailles is part of the daily grind!

This was what I needed to pick up. Some lovely Liberty print covered buttons from a stitcher's treasure trove on Rue Hoche. There is a rumour we will get snow this weekend, just what I need to cozy up and finish the little Citronille tunic these buttons are intended for.

Bon weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A homework station

We spent last week trying to organize the house a bit and empty out a few more moving boxes. We've been here six months - we're not quick unpackers! The challenge in this French house is that although all the rooms are spacious there is absolutely no built in storage. We have been slowly creating solutions with a variety of Ikea products and I'm happy to report, there are now shelves in the linen closet, cupboards in the laundry room and India finally has the desk and book shelf we promised her before we moved!

Whilst researching ideas for India's room I came across this idea for a Homework Station on Apartment Therapy and knew we needed one of those for ourselves. The girls do their homework at the dining table but the room, you've guessed it, has no storage for pens, pencils, paper or text books. Despite there being approximately 1000 pencils in the house, when it's time to start homework, invariably not one is to be found!

Homework Station
In the spirit of the original post, I looked around for a box to upcycle and this wooden wine case lurking in our cave was just the thing.

I used a couple of empty Bonne Maman jam jars to hold pencils, colours, erasers and the always elusive glue sticks. There's a pair of scissors in there now as well. Now everything has a place and the box fits neatly on top of the radiator when we're not using it.

I even sharpened all the pencils!

Pencil Case
The red folders are these super well stocked Caran d'Ache pencil cases that Keith brought back as a gift for the girls when he used to travel through Geneva airport a lot. They were pricey but the quality is amazing. We've had them for three years, the leads in the pencils don't break, the markers still work and the eraser is the best. Everything you need to get your homework done, if only you would remember to put everything back once you're done and not lose it all. Hopefully our new Homework Station will keep everything in place... I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A wintry Eiffel Tower

Over the Christmas break, we made a point of getting out of the suburbs and visiting Paris a bit more. Although we spot the Eiffel tower all the time as we drive around we hadn't been back for a visit since we first arrived and the girls were complaining that they were the only ones at school who hadn't been up to the top! We set out in bright sunshine, but as we drove towards the city a thick fog descended and this is all that we could see by the time we arrived! Unperturbed we waited in line with all the many other tourists who had also not been put off by the brouillard.

Despite knowing just how far the fog had descended, for some reason, I still decided to pay extra for us to go all the way up to the third floor. We ascended into a cloud, the view was non-existent and the effect of being so high up but not being able to see into the distance was vertigo inducing. We made a quick descent via the stairs to the first floor to find the real reason we had braved the Eiffel Tower on such a dreary day - the ice rink.

There is a tiny ice rink right there on the first floor with, I'm sure, magical views if you choose the right day! Your ticket into the tower grants you free access to the ice rink but you earn your time on the ice with the wait in line. Just as we joined the back of the long, slow moving queue we saw the lights on the tower sparkle (a magical event that happens for five minutes every hour on the hour when it's dark). We saw the lights sparkle from the inside twice more before the girls finally got on the ice. It felt a little less magical after waiting for two hours in the cold, but once we've decided to do something, we do it!!

The Tower sparkling - not quite so magical from the inside!

There was at least hot chocolate and vin chaud on sale to keep us warm.

Poor fourth child.

Zamboni? Quoi?

Once they did finally get on the ice, the big girls loved it. Plenty of others had given up the wait so it wasn't crowded and they got to have their annual Christmas ice skate. Not the finest skating conditions, but worth it to say you have skated on the Eiffel Tower!

The ice rink is open until January 31st so you still have time to experience it for yourself if you happen to be passing!

Friday, January 6, 2012

This Moment. Double Rainbow: Hôtel de Ville, Paris

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Joining in with Amanda and friends at SouleMama

Double rainbow
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