"Life itself is the proper binge." - Julia Child

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This picnic spread will forever go down in my books as one of my all-time favorite meals. We sat on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower and had a luxurious spread of meats, cheeses, the best butter in the world, the sweetest strawberries and raspberries I’ve ever had, and a crispy baguette. It was chilly outside and it wasn’t extremely crowded, so it was just perfect in every way.

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I love this fella of mine. His patience and kindness blows me away. Paul Child once said to Julia, “You’re the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life.” I feel that.

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We stopped into E. Dehillerin to see where Julia Child used to purchase her cooking supplies. It was a beautiful little shop - but it would have been too hard to take anything home.

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One of the top three things that I had to do in Paris was to see where Julia Child lived when she and Paul first moved there. We walked waaaaaay out of the way, and though it was just her front door - I’m so glad that I got to see it. She doesn’t have a plaque or anything marking her time there. It’s just her door. Big and beautiful like she was.

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Paris was sweet and decadent and I’m thankful every bit of it.

Now - it’s October. It’s autumn. Winter is coming and I’m craving my mom’s hot chocolate which tastes suspiciously similar to the World Famous hot chocolate at Angelina’s. I’m happy to be home - and happy to feel so refreshed with an awakened hunger for MORE. More good times, more self-care, more pushing myself, more treating myself, more doing, and more living.

Paris, I love you.

Nous sommes à la maison! We’re home! I’ve decided that Paris is best when shared. And, the more people of your loved ones that you can share it with - the better! We went with Tess and Mac - two fantastic travel buddies. Traveling can be such a stressful experience, so it’s a special thing to find people that you are compatible to travel with. We also met up with two more friends at the very end of the trip, and we wish that we could have spent more time with them! Bonjour, Dianne and Pierce!

Tess and Mac go to Paris any chance they get and Tess is pretty much fluent in French, so everything always felt so easy. Next trip: Germany. None of us will be prepared.

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I couldn’t get over the French architecture. Every building just blew me away. The terraces, the chimneys, the doors, the windows, all of it. I forgot every art history lesson that I ever learned and just soaked it all in. I went to Paris when I was 18, and I remember taking pictures of everything because I couldn’t help myself. When I left, my memory card was full of a lot of unimpressive nothings with just a few photos that i felt any sort of connection to. I made sure to do it differently this time.

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Next-door to our Airbnb was the most delicious boulangerie where honeybees flew freely all over the pastries. The smell of the pastries would waft through the walls in the morning and it was just heavenly. They didn’t sell baguettes, because they made their bread in the “traditional” way - with the end result being a gorgeous, rustic loaf.

One of our very first nights, we went to Le Refuge des Fondus, where wine is served in baby bottles (supposedly a tax-evasion trick?). When wine is served in baby bottles - you have a pretty accurate read for how much wine you’re drinking…but it doesn’t feel like you’ve really had that much. SO - the rest of the night ends up being a shiny, twinkly, giggly blur with memories of glorious cheesy fondue, Sacre Coeur, baguettes, public restrooms, Irish bars and singing happy birthday to a stranger, another bar, a Photo Booth (evidenced above), walking miles upon miles upon miles, then a lot of snacking on leftover Thai food and curry. The next day was mainly a day of recovery. Edith Piaf said “non, je ne regrette rien.” Well, Edith. je regrette des choses.

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I think that this will always be one of my favorite photographs that i’ve ever taken. October in Paris gave me all of the autumn feelings that i live for. Lines from Madeline, French Kiss, Amelie, Paris, je t’aime, and Julie and Julia played in my mind daily, and even when something was wrong - it was still right.

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I have more photos of Parisian doors than I’ll ever know what to do with and I love them all.

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In addition to the food, the great company, the beautiful sights, the sweet smells, the warm coffee, and the cool and breezy weather…it was nice to feel “unplugged”. Even with all of the walking and the going and moving and doing - it was still a relaxing vacation.

Part Deux Soon

Show and Tell

  1. Yesterday, T and I celebrated the six year anniversary of us dating. We transplanted all of the seedlings that have been taking over our kitchen for the last couple of months and spent the whole day working in the yard. He is still fascinating to me and I think that he is the most fun.

  2. I’ve been researching recipes of all sorts because if all of the fruits and veggies that we’re planting actually take off…we’re going to be swimming in fresh produce. A few that I’m particularly excited for: this fig and prosciutto pizza (since we have a fig tree!), this Mediterranean recipe, and this recipe for chicken thighs in a creamy tomato sauce.

  3. I’m also reading a lot about canning and how to do it properly and safely. I’m excited to be able to give away tomato sauces, jams, pickles, beans, salsas, etc. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a closet in the garage where they stored all of their canned foods. Everything looked so pretty in the jars, it seemed like every shelf was always full of corn, okra, tomatoes, beans, peas, green beans, squash, and so much more. Because Martha Stewart is just…a dream, I’ll use this article as a guide when I start canning.

  4. Gardening dream purchases: this watering can, this hose, this iron sign, this mustard planter, and this wall planter.

  5. I’ve been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and it just solidifies my love for her. Click the photo at the very top or below for one of the many articles displaying photos that Julia’s husband took of her.

Hilton Head, SC

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This year, our Hilton Head trip held no agendas of any kind. The only expectation we really had was that we expected it to be relaxing and refreshing. We brought books with us (that we never opened) and face masks (that we never did), because we were already relaxed enough. We watched Food Network Christmas specials and took naps when we were inside. We went to the beach and rode bikes when we were outside. It was warmer than we’ve ever experienced it - but that just meant that we spent even more time inside lounging and recharging.

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We drive home tomorrow, and we are scared to look at our work schedules because we are scared that they won’t overlap as much as we’d like for them to. I’m beyond grateful for Trey and for the time together that these trips give us. I love him. I love him. I love him.

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When we get home, it’s time for Christmas. We’ve talked about how if we get a live tree and decorate it, there’s a chance that we might be taking everything down and moving it if we are able to find a house before Christmas. We’ve also talked about how we have no idea what George is going to do when he’s locked in a teensy living room with a bright and shiny Christmas tree all day long. So, this has potential to be an eventful Christmas season, and I’m up for anything and everything. Let’s GET.IT.GOING.

Mood Board

I am aching to go to the beach. Living in Florida flipped a switch in me and I have since found a love for summer. I love gathering up the necessities to spend time outside in the sun: a blanket, sunscreen, light and tasty snacks, a good book, sunglasses, a nice hat, etc.. I love the feeling of laying beside the ocean, listening to the surf and the seagulls, knowing that I have a shady beach umbrella behind me that I can retreat to. I live for summer stripes and woven baskets, I love fighting ocean waves, and I love love love yacht rock and the way it sets the tone for some serious summer fun. Give me all the Jimmy Buffett and those happy songs like Brandy by Looking Glass, PLEASE! 

SO, here I am. In the center of AL with no central AC, wishing that I could spend my days out in the sun, skipping along the sandy sea shore...but with no plans to do so in sight. So, I'll just keep daydreaming about it, and planning it all out so that when the opportunity comes, I can jump at it with my beach bag packed and ready to go.

 

"Brandy, you're a fine girl. (You're a fine girl) What a good wife you would be. (Such a fine girl) But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea."

The Three Caballeros

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We're back from Disney, and I love these travel buddies of mine. The three of us have been to Disney together countless times, but this time: it rained nearly the entire trip, Trey's Chaco's broke, we each had a turn trekking around in far-too-soggy shorts, we all had some wicked blisters, we took turns feeling under the weather, and it still ended up being my favorite Disney trip thus far. When one of us is low, the others are high and patient until the low one finds their way back up. There's empathy and kindness here, making them the very best travel companions.