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Café & Madeleines


sugar cubescoffee, café

There aren't many things the French will compromise on when it comes to food and drink, and un p'tit café is certainly no exception. At home, our espresso machine runs throughout the day from early morning until the late evening hours (apparently my husband's nervous system is immuned to the stimulating effects of caffeine - he sleeps easily and like a log). I grew up having instant coffee so a full-bodied expresso with all its density and aroma is a real treat. 

And to properly accompany this very addictive beverage, a sweet madeleine will do, merci... 

Are you particular about your café?

Carte Postale :: Paris Rooftops | Les Toits de Paris

Paris rooftops, France

There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.
–Ernest Hemingway 

This photo of Paris' limestone buildings and mansard rooftops I shot from a seat on La Grande Roue (Ferris Wheel) - at the Place de la Concorde, Jardin des Tuileries. On the hilltop beyond is the Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart Basilica).

Discovering Paris by foot is my absolute preferred vantage point, but I love a bird's eye view and Paris gives us many opportunities for this! How about you, how do you like to discover a city?

Flea Markets | Brocantes & Vide-Greniers

Vintage siphon bottles

Lot of silver forks ("le tout" on the paper means "all")

Brocantes (French flea markets) and local vide-greniers (literally means "empty attic" which is what the French do at theirs, as well as clean out their garages and childrens' closets) always remind me that: 1-we love rummaging through other people's things; because 2a-we're voyeuristic; and 2b-find folks' old discarded stuff useful/beautiful or at least think we can breathe new life into it; and 3-we all love a good treasure hunt and bargain!

The wares at last year's Châtillon-Coligny vide-grenier were wonderful. I picked up some vintage postcards and L'Illustration magazines from the early 1900's that I'll be sharing with you here soon.

What I lament is not being able to buy furniture or bulky items like these beautiful siphon bottles, but nevertheless it's a feast for the eyes and a walk through history so it's always fun browsing and dreaming... 

Do you like brocantes? Are you a casual browser like me or a professional buyer? Do you have a strategy when you go... Oohh I'd love to know...

Citroën 2CV


2CV, Citroën, France

The iconic 2CV (Citroën deux chevaux, a two horsepower economy car) is rarely seen in France anymore, ... but on side streets in the smaller towns and villages, you can still catch a glimpse. Sometimes they're restored and shiny like this one I spotted in the town of Versailles (not the chateau). But often I see them with parts missing along the road or inside empty barns, lost and forgotten. I think they're beautiful, in a magnificently worn-down kind of way... 

Seashells from the French Atlantic Coast | Les Coquillages



Though I wouldn't call myself a collector, one of the things I can't resist picking up from my travels are seashells. They're natural reminders of fond memories.

The large shells on top are particularly special because they're the only ones not handpicked by the seashore. They're Bulots, or French snails bought for lunch from the local seafood market in the seaside town of Saint-Jean-de-Monts (in the southern Vendée département of the Loire region). During the meal, I marveled at their beautiful shape and size. Originally coated in a lichen green/black, I reboiled them twice and bleached them under the sun until they revealed their magnificent warm golden skin...

Isn't it wonderful how the sea provides such beautiful trinkets? Are you a collector and if so, I'd love to know what you collect...

Mamy B's Teapot


This vintage teapot was used by my husband's maman during her school age years in the 1950's. She said back then when it didn't work properly, she would take it to get fixed and reshined. It still looks beautiful, non? It's hard to believe it was sitting in her garage waiting to be discarded ...

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