Welcome to my blog!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Paris Flower Market

Bonjour, Mes Amis!
When hubby and I visit Paris, one of my favorite things to do is admire all of the gorgeous flowers at the various street markets, as well as the many flower shops that seem to be on every street corner!
 I was drooling over these amazing hydrangeas!
Notice the bouquets below?  They are all self contained and ready to give in little pouches of water!
 Love these cheery sunflowers!
 I can almost smell all of these beautiful blooms!

 Another thing I love is the little chalkboard signs that everyone uses to display the type of flower, as well as their cost.
 I snapped the shots below at the flower shop across the rue from our hotel.  Aren't the tiny metal pails filled with flowering plants on the ledge adorable?
I also really love the potted cedar, which seems to be very popular in Paris.
 Ahhhh, peonies!  Love!
 More potted cuteness!
 The roses were just amazing!
 Just look at this perfect blossom!
 Aren't these pale lavender hydrangeas pretty?
Believe it or not, I have lots more flower photos from Paris, that I will be sharing with you in the coming days!
Hope you all have a tres magnifque weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Climbing the Eiffel Tower

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hubby and I just returned yesterday from 5 wonderful nights in Paris!  For months, I had said that for my "big" birthday, I wanted to climb the Eiffel Tower, so that is exactly what we did!  But first, I'll back up a bit and tell you a little about our adventures getting there!  
Last Wednesday evening, we were sitting on the the plane in Detroit, next in line for take off.  We were super excited of course, and could hardly wait to become airborne. Well, the captain made an announcement that there was a mechanical problem, so we would be returning to the gate and have it hopefully fixed. We all had to get off, and were told to return in 2 1/2 hours. Not very happy, but at least we got to get off the plane!  So, 2 1/2 hours later and back in our seats, the problem supposedly fixed, and again next in line for take off. Wouldn't you know, but the captain made yet another announcement!  "Sorry folks, seems that the mechanical problem was not fixed after all, we will be returning to the gate.  This flight will be cancelled."  
Since hubby and I fly standby (he is an airline retiree), we always have a back up plan.  Well, wouldn't you know, but our back up flight had already left!  Darn!  Disappointed, we were about to head home, when we noticed a flight to London at the very last minute.  It was a very full flight, but thankfully we managed to get seats just before they were about to shut the door.  We knew that we most likely would be able to catch a flight to Paris if we made it that far!
(flying stand by means being very flexible, even if you don't always want to be!)
Well, things weren't looking so good in London, but long story short, we finally managed to get on a flight to Paris, and made it there!  12 hours later than planned, but we made it, yeah!
My "big" birthday was Monday our last full day in Paris. The day was beautiful, around 70 degrees and sunny, perfect for climbing the tower!  I was so happy that the weather had cooperated, as it had been unseasonably cool, and rainy while we were there.
It had been several years since we climbed the tower, and I was in much better shape then (not to mention younger!).  But, I was determined to climb it!  You have two choice when visiting the tower, you can either take an elevator all the way up, or climb to the 2nd level, then take the elevator.  It is 350 steps to the first level, then another 350 steps to the second.
The photo below is a view from the first level, looking way up!
 After about 6 flights of stairs, I thought I had overestimated myself, maybe I just wasn't up to this!  My thighs were on fire, and my lungs were burning!  So we stopped for a few moments every few flights to catch our breath.  Whew!  Once we made it to the first level, I was so happy!  I knew that I could make it to the 2nd!
 Here we are, so happy to have some of the climbing behind us (I think this is at the first level).
 What amazing views!
 And here is the view from inside of the glass elevator, headed up!
 And up!
 Oh, this is what it looks like inside of one of the towers, when you are climbing.
 I zoomed in for all of these shots, as in reality everything looks much, much smaller when you are up at 
899 ft!  We were so excited to finally be at the top of the tower, and I was happy that I reached my goal after all!
 In the above photo, you can see the Seine River, as well as the Grand Palais (the large glass roofed structure).  In the photo below is the incredible Arc de Triomphe.
 Below you can see Sacre-Couer, a cathedral which sits on the highest hill in the city.
 This is what it looks like when you look straight up to the top, which is at 1,050 feet!
 That's Champ-de-Mars below.
 Hotel des Invalides is the large building in the photo below.  It was built as a military hospital, and is where Napoleon was laid to rest.
 After spending alot of time just admiring the incredible views, we took the elevator back down to the 2nd level, then from there climbed down the 700 steps.  Going down sure was alot easier than up!
 Near the base of the tower are many pretty little ponds and gardens like this one.
 And this unique grotto.
I'll be sharing lots more photos of our trip later this week.
 Here is the best part of coming home, our Katie!
We could hardly wait to pick her up from the "pet resort" yesterday!
And we couldn't believe how much she had grown in a weeks time!
Looking forward to getting caught up with all of you!

Au Revoir!

Monday, May 20, 2013

We're Paris Bound!

Bon jour, Mes Amis!
Guess what?  This week hubby and I are headed to our very favorite city in the world, Paris!  
I have a "big" birthday coming up next week 
(I won't tell you which one it is, but it is quite the milestone!  Yikes, where on earth did the time go?)
and rather than having a party, I told hubby that I wanted to be climbing this on my big day:
 We'll be hanging out here:
 Shopping at our favorite markets..............
 Eating lots of this:
 Spending lots of time at sidewalk cafes.........
 Eating lots of this.........
 And visiting favorite cathedrals.
We always fly standby (hubby is retired from the airlines), so keeping our fingers crossed that we make it on our flights!
I will be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you when we return!
Au revoir!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Demi Johns and Thrifting Finds

Bon jour, Mes Amis!
It's such a beautiful day here at the chateau. Sunny, mild temps and no humidity! Sure wish we had more days like this!
Today I thought I'd share with you a few fun finds that I discovered at a church rummage sale yesterday.  This particular sale happens every year, and is worth getting up early for!  Most church rummage sales around here are mainly just a bunch of junk!  And often so overpriced!  But this sale has tons of goodies, and great prices, too!
I was super excited to find this adorable little vintage demi john!  At only a quarter, I just had to bring it home with me!  The cork was broken in two, so I removed it and will replace it with a new one.
Love it!
 I created a little vignette on our kitchen counter, along with the white wine basket carrier (another garage sale find from a few years ago).  I just had to paint it and add the little wine list tag!
 The demi john below is actually a reproduction that my mom gave me a few years ago.

 (darn, sure wish there was a way to hide that unsightly outlet!)
To the right of my new little demi john is another vintage one, again a yard sale find from a few years back.
I've also added a pretty blue and white plate to the vignette, a gift from my mom.
So I guess now I have an "official" demi john collection!
 I was also excited to find this vintage wire basket.  Not sure what it was originally used for, but I loved the shape and quickly scooped it up! I gave it a good scrubbing, and will be putting it in my Etsy shop.
 For it's photo shoot, I couldn't resist displaying my demi john's inside!
 Love that look!
 I could hardly believe my eyes when I spotted this large vintage mirror at the sale!  Good thing we got there early:)  There aren't any maker's marks on it, but it is similar to Syroco, and in excellent condition.  Of course I will be painting over that oh so gaudy, and oh so shiny gold!  It too will be making it's way into my shop!
 And last but not least, I couldn't resist sharing a photo of Katie, napping on the sunroom floor!  I picked up the little stuffed doggie at the sale for her, and she loves it!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Drab to Fab Makeover & a Fun Win

Hope you all had a great Mother's Day weekend!
It's hard to believe that the middle of May is already upon us, isn't it?
Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recent "drab to fab" makeovers.
Of course I have to show you a little "teaser" photo first!  I love finding unique frames that I can transform into chalkboards. 
 Sometimes of course you have to look past what is, to what could be.
Are you ready to see what it used to look like?
I immediately was drawn to this large hand carved wood frame, with a linen looking inner fabric border.  I just knew it would make a gorgeous chalkboard, with a little tlc!
Wow!  Does this photo scream 1970's, or what?  I did feel a bit sad thinking that someone (a family member?) didn't value the photo of the little girl enough to keep it.
It actually hailed all the way from Prince Edward Island, Canada. What it was doing in a thrift store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will remain a mystery!
Ok, I am totally dating myself here, but I remember when this young girl's look was in style!
As a matter of fact, I wore a dress very similar to this, when I was a junior bridesmaid in my older sisters wedding!  My mom made all of the bridesmaid's dresses, in baby blue polyester!  They had long sleeves, and plenty of lace like in this photo.  And can you believe that my sister's wedding dress was polyester as well?  Yep!  That was the 70's for you!
 Ok, I'm getting a bit off track here!
Are you ready to see the "after"?
 Wow, what a difference paint makes, don't you think?
I knew right away that I wanted to paint it my favorite shade of creamy white.  Hubby cut a masonite board for me, which I then painted with many layers of chalkboard paint.
A bit of distressing, and I think the frame is so much happier, don't you?
I've placed it in my Etsy shop, if you care to take a peek!

 Awhile back, I was thrilled to win a giveaway of a Ramsign enamel sign, over at Trisha's, of 
(thank you again, Trisha!)
 Well, I was super excited when the package arrived in my mailbox the other day, all the way from Denmark!
Rather than choosing our house number (since I didn't want to leave it behind when we move, whenever that may be!), I decided to go with our wedding anniversary date (an idea I got from Trisha!).
The sign is even nicer in person than I thought it would be!  It is made from a heavy, high quality enamel, in my very favorite blue and white!
Here I created a little vignette, along with our wedding picture.  Hard to believe that this August we will be celebrating 13 years!  We were married on the beach in Kauai, at sunset!
(whoops!  I just noticed that you can see a reflection of my pjs in our wedding photo!  I snapped the shot while I had my pink puppy pjs on!)
Time sure flies!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!