Thursday, 31 March 2011

PARIS HIGHLIGHTS

Our 3 day Paris adventure was full of loveliness.

We fit a lot in for three days & this being my second time to Paris, It felt great to be more selective.

I can't say I love Paris yet, just like London I need to spend more time there and experience more than just the hot tourist spots. But, I like it a lot! It's a huge city and like London and New York you can't help but feel alive in it.


I met up with an old friend in Paris. She suggested I come back for a proper Paris shopping trip which would be fun but very dangerous. I did a good job of staying away from anything fashion except for the purchase of a few scarves which you can't avoid if you try.


There are men selling these Eiffel towers all over Paris, I bought five little Eiffel key chains for 1 Euro. *deal* My last time in Paris I picked up a medium size Eiffel Tower for a fiver and it's sitting on my bedroom fireplace, I love it. They  have upped their game since the last time I was there, they now light up and glitter!








This is Steve and I at the back of Notre Dame. We walked through the park and then went to find a cafe which you also, can't avoid in Paris. You just crave it! It doesn't take long to get hooked to the Parisian way of life. I've been missing my favourites so much in the two days I've been home that I picked up baguettes, croissants & cheese at the grocery store yesterday. (not good)

I told myself they were for Connor and Steve this weekend but who am I kidding as soon as Steve leaves for work tomorrow I'm breaking out the butter and jam! My Mom suggested I make Monte Cristos with them- thanks MOM!




La Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre  has some amazing views of Paris. It was worth the hill climb on our bikes. If you don't want to climb the steps or take the path they offer a cable car.

On our last day we rode our bikes down to the Eiffel Tower and took a trip to the top. The day was so clear and the views were spectacular. We could see all the way over to Montmartre. I had a wonderful trip and I think Paris is somewhere you always want to go back to and find out more of it's secrets.






Thank you Love, for taking me to the most romantic city in the world! I love you. xoxo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAYNE

Today is my beautiful friend & bridesmaid Jayne's birthday and I am seeing her this afternoon to celebrate her special day.

I can't wait, I love birthdays and I have some sneaky surprises planned for her. maybe the waiters will sing!

The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. - Lucille Ball


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

THE BEST WAY TO TAKE IN PARIS

I fulfilled my dream of owing a Pashley Princess this week in Paris. OK, not really but close enough. We rented Velib Bikes, a government sponsored company providing the largest bike sharing system in the world with 1800 stations and more than 20,000 bicycles.


  We started this particular ride in Montmartre near our hotel  and ended at the Eiffel Tower.


 I raced around the Arc de Triomphe feeling super human and full of life!  It was  scary at times as there is an obvious dislike for riders in busy areas but they have great bike lanes along most routes. I found the pedestrians more disrespectful than the cars. This was an excellent and safe way to discover Paris. Each bike comes with a lock and a basket. There is no law about wearing a helmet in Paris and they don't supply one, so you might want to bring one with you. 


Quote-“Bicycles are becoming fashionable, and the more bikes there are in a city, the safer it is, and the more the city will give space to bicyclists,”  


Thank you Velib for giving us a different way to see Paris! 

Friday, 25 March 2011

PARIS TAKE TWO

"It's never too late to be who you might have been."
  -George Elliott

Thursday, 24 March 2011

LES PUCES DE SAINT-QUEN

I am planning a day at the famous Les Puces De Saint-Quen hoping for endless sources of surprises this weekend. The  most famous flea market in Paris, known to everyone as Les Puces (The Fleas) It covers seven hectares and is the largest antique market in the world. receiving between 120,000-180,000 visitors per weekend. With all this great advice I found I can't wait to get there!

History of the Flea Market

The history of the flea market dates back over two centuries, when rag and bone men scoured through the garbage of Paris at night to find valuable junk to sell on. They were called 'crocheteurs' or pickers. The romantic term was 'pêcheurs de lune' or fishermen for the moon. Many set up their temporary stalls within the Paris walls, in sleazy neighborhoods but because these neighborhoods were full of pickpockets and thieves, they were chased out of the city walls to Clignancourt, Montreuil, Vanves, etc. The largest of these flea markets is the one at Clignancourt but the other two continue to this day.
The rag and bone men gathered outside the walls of Paris at the Porte de Clignancourt and set up temporary stalls where they hawked their wares. Eventually, they formed groups of stalls to attract more customers. The more enterprising traders began to 'trade up' in terms of goods and eventually it became popular for Parisian collectors and antique dealers to shop there for bargains.
In 1885, authorities in the town of Saint Ouen made a significant move to pave the streets and clean up the area, marking the official starting year of Les Puces. Several areas were designated as official market areas and a fee had to be paid to set up a stall there.
The markets grew until Monsieur Romain Vernaison transformed the acres he owned into a series of covered huts; voilà, Marché Vernaison was born.
Then an Albanian named Malik (rumored to be an Albanian Prince) bought a restaurant on rue Jules Valles and transformed the building into 100 stalls, forming the Malik market.
The Marché du Biron was formed in 1925, with two long rows of stalls and is known as one of the more expensive markets.

Flea Market Tips

  1. Choose a central meeting point and time after you arrive there so that members of your group can wander off in different directions depending on their interests. Then you can join each other and share your discoveries and purchases.
     
  2. Go to the Flea Market in the morning as it becomes very crowded in the afternoon.
     
  3. Hide your wallets under your shirt or sweaters around your neck. You don't need a lot of cash anyway, as most dealers accept credit cards.
     
  4. Don't bring your passports to the Flea Market or miscellaneous credit cards that you won't use: we have never needed our passports to buy there because antiques do not have VAT for the detaxe refund. We do charge antiques on our credit cards, so bring the essential ones.
     
  5. Negotiating: remember that everything is negotiable.
  • It helps to have someone like a husband around, who is great at saying in a loud voice that we don't need this mirror at all, it's too expensive, etc. If the dealers think they might lose the sale, it speeds up the negotiation.
  • Sometimes pull out your calculator, punch a few buttons, look up and say: ‘It doesn't work at €900; can you do it for €750? They think your a dealer and must have the lowest possible price.
     
  • You don't have to complete the sale on the spot; get a mobile phone number and call the dealer the next day to negotiate. If they haven't had a big weekend (and with the Euro at new highs against the dollar, business is very slow) they are more willing to give a good discount.
     
  • Contact a shipper, such as Hedley's Humpers beforehand and they can give you tickets to mark antiques and pick them up the next day for shipment home. This also allows you to negotiate the next day via the dealer's mobile number; you simply call Hedley's afterwards and arrange for them to pick up the item.


    How to Get to the Flea Market

    Take the métro to Porte de Clignancourt on Line 4 and follow the crowds towards the large concrete overpass. If you are looking for antiques, don't waste too much time looking through the clothing, African objects and household goods on streets along the way. The market and neighborhood is very colorful and you will love the diversity of personalities, stall keepers and products for sale! The 18th arrondissement, where the Puces are located, is in a poorer part of Paris and the market gets very crowded. As mentioned above, you want to watch your wallets and you can safely stroll around here during the day.
    Rue des Rosiers is the main street which you walk down in order to go into the separate markets. The individual markets tend to run into each other. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

THANK YOU BLOG

 For giving me an outlet!

 I would assume most people find all sorts of therapy in their blog as well as reading others. My blog has helped me stop obsessing about the things I can not change. It is my happiness diary.

I am heading out to join the Ramblers this morning on a 6 mile hike. It's been a few weeks, it will be nice to catch up with everyone.

Happy Welly Wednesday- can't wait to jump into my wellies even though it's sunny!

Monday, 21 March 2011

MESSAGE


Sentimental & Sweet- I will always try to remember my first everything.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A TASTE OF IRELAND

We had a great time with many laughs. We were captivated by the Irish charm, enchanted by the beauty, seduced by the Blarney & the Bulmers and blessed with fine weather.-C









Tuesday, 15 March 2011

IRELAND BOUND

For the great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad. For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.” G.K. Chesterton

Laura and I are off to Ireland in the morning. First stop Cork to get our kiss on, then off to Dublin, the city of intoxicated madness for Paddy's day. This will be my third visit to Dublin for St. Patricks day. I'm looking forward to showing L the ropes. ;) Road trip pictures to come. See you in a few... xo


LIVE ENCHANTMENT

I went to see Peter Katz last night at the Louisiana in Bristol. I think fate played a huge part in this encounter with this enchanting musician. I was online looking for new music and came across Peter and listened to a few of his songs. After searching him on Google, I found out he was a few days away from visiting Bristol on his European tour.

The concert was chilling and I truly felt blessed to be part of such an intimate audience. I smiled so much my cheeks hurt today. Not only do I think that Peter is a gifted singer & songwriter, but he has an amazing heart as you will all see when you take the time to see him live!

Not only was I lucky enough to hear Peter live, I also had the pleasure of listening to two other performers, who are local: SAM EASON & BEN MAGGS. I look forward to seeing both again. In my opinion, you would be lucky to see any of these guys perform. I look forward to catching many more shows and following their careers.

I'm still on a super high from that concert and will be for a long time.  If you can believe this, I saw them all for a tenner- shameful. I was lucky enough to get a CD from Peter & Sam so I'm still singing along with them.

PS. I wasn't going to go for fear of flying solo... For all those who couldn't make it you totally missed out, but I'm pretty sure all these guys will be around for a long time.


Monday, 14 March 2011

CUSHIONS I ♥

Angella Eisman  makes these one of a kind & eco-friendly cushions out of recycled sweater knit. You can purchase these & some of her other fab designs at That Funky Boutique. Now, if only I could figure out how to make them. 

LIBERTY


My guilty pleasure this weekend has been surfing Liberty fabrics. I have fallen in love with this Liberty London Raspberry Red Clock Silk Scarf 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

BELIEVE

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
– e. e. cummings

Saturday, 12 March 2011

PETER KATZ

I just found out Peter Katz is going to be in Bristol on Monday. He's playing at the The Louisiana
I'm so there!

Friday, 11 March 2011

SO FUN


I had a wonderful time at my sewing workshop yesterday and learned some fun stuff. Sarah & Jo were delightful. If you get the chance to take one of their WORKSHOPS, jump at it! I made this cushion out of a few different scraps yesterday with a lot of help from Sarah! I can't wait to sit down this weekend and practice all the things I learned. 



Thursday, 10 March 2011

SINGER

Today is my sewing workshop. If I'm lucky I will come home with a fancy cushion. Good thing I bought some material with my Ikea gift card because I have already have a few request for making cushions, let's hope I can sew!

This picture reminded me of my Dad's first sewing machine. I'm pretty sure it was a Singer and I blew it up... oh dear, what a memory to have just before I go off to my first class.

 I really hope everything goes well today and I'm a natural because I've always wanted to be "the mother that sews." It's a good thing that I still  have a few years to learn. xoxo

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

WELLY WEDNESDAY

You can't get much happier than a pig in muck, or so we are told. But when this little piggy arrived in the farmyard she showed a marked reluctance to get her trotters dirty.
While her six brothers and sisters messed around in the mire, she stayed on the edge shaking. It is thought she might have mysophobia - a fear of dirt.
Owners Debbie and Andrew Keeble were at a loss, until they remembered the four miniature wellies used as pen and pencil holders in their office. They slipped them on the piglet's feet - and into the mud she happily ploughed.
Now she runs over to Mr Keeble so he can put them on for her in the morning.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1025428/Pig-Boots-The-worlds-porker-afraid-mud.html#ixzz1G7TRNKte

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

SHROVE TUESDAY

It's Shrove Tuesday, time to give confession and whip up a batch of pancakes!  Here is a link to some Pancake ideas from Nigella Lawson She is one of the sexiest chefs in the UK. I love watching her show. I also found this amazing Eggnog Pancake recipe by her and it looks like a holiday keeper! I wonder if I can find eggnog anywhere today?! Might have to file this one away until Christmas or maybe even until we return to Canada. I didn't see much eggnog in England over the holidays. Happy Pancake Day! xoxo

Light and Fluffy Eggnog Pancakes
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s pancake recipe.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt
1 1/3 cups Eggnog
2 eggs
Butter, for frying pancakes
Best-quality maple syrup
Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large, wide-necked measuring cup, measure out the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
In another cup, measure the Eggnog, beat in the eggs and then the slightly cooled butter, and pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking as you do so. Or just put everything in a blender and blitz.
Now, heat either a griddle or nonstick frying pan, smear with a small bit of butter and then start frying. I just pour small amounts straight from the cup (but you could use a 1/4-cup measure if you prefer) so that you have wiggly circumferenced disks. When you see bubbles erupting on the surface, turn the pancakes over and cook for a couple of minutes, if that, on the other side.
Or use a blini pan and, as just described, turn when the bubbles break through to the uncooked surface. There is a Russian saying to the effect that the first pancake is always botched, so be prepared to sacrifice the initial offering to unceremonious stoveside gobbling.
Pile the pancakes onto plate, and dribble or pour over, depending on greed and capacity, that clear, brown, woodily fragrant syrup.

CHANGE

People's lives change. To keep all your old friends is like keeping all your old clothes. Pretty soon, your closet is so jammed and everything's so crushed, and you can't find anything to wear. Help these friends when they need you, bless the years and happy times when you meant a lot to each other, but try not to feel guilty if new people mean more to you now. 


found on-Simply Quotes

Monday, 7 March 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANDACE

I miss you & I know these guys do too! 

BIRDY-SKINNY LOVE

THE SECRET IS OUT

Bristol Zoo welcomes two Asiatic lion cubs. We found out by mistake in early January that two babies had been born on Christmas Eve. On our first summer living in Bristol we purchased a one year membership. Connor and I would pack a sandwich and walk up to the zoo just to see the lions. Kamal (the Dad) was our favourite. I'm glad the cubs and Shiva (the Mom) are doing well. Have a look...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12645368



EXPECTATION

Expectation is the root of all heartache-

GOOD ADVICE


THE BATH SHOP

We went into the Bath Shop a few weeks ago and I found the perfect tub! I asked Steve if we could take it home to Canada with us. *shake head* but where in Canada will I find this beautiful four claw masterpiece for a good price?! We shouldn't have gone in the Bath store.... Happy Monday! 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

JAMIE'S ITALIAN BRISTOL

We just found out we will be going to Italy this summer and what better way to celebrate such great news than trying out Jamie's Italian which has just opened it's Bristol location steps away from our house! 

 We are clearly huge JO fans. Review: They could offer a better wine list, but other than the 2 hour expected wait, it was fabulous!

 I love sharing food and laughs with my family. xoxo