Tag Archives: Travel and Tourism

Weekend away: Oregon wine country

Hi there! How’s it going? Okay, so I promised I would be back with some pics from our little weekend getaway. I have to admit that my big camera was left in the hotel room because I am so addicted to Instagram. It was fun to capture the moments in a spontaneous (and easy) way with my phone!

We stayed in the historic town of McMinnville at the 3rd Street Flats. They are beautifully decorated, European style flats full of gorgeous decor, charm and local art. The complimentary bottle of wine and chocolates didn’t hurt either. Love this place and would stay again! We could walk to all the restaurants, bars, cafes, tasting rooms and shops!

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That first night we ate at the beautiful and romantic La Rambla! Spanish Tapas and fancy cocktails. Yes, please.

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Now don’t laugh but the whole point of this trip was, yes, to be romantic and go wine tasting but it was to also work on the re-design of my blog. I rarely ever get Chris’ undivided attention (and talent) so I took advantage of the situation and we parked at the Cornerstone cafe to geek out together and actually get some things accomplished! Grace & Ivy will be new and improved very soon! ;)

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After a little hard work, we had to go play and taste some wine so we packed up our laptops, hopped in the car and ended up in the tiny town of Carlton.

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We stopped into two places we had never tried before. Absolutely loved the French style Burgundy wines at Scott Paul!

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And a ten sample (yes ten!) wine flight with chocolates was a delight at Seven of Hearts!

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That night we got all dolled up and dined at Thistle. I LOVED this place. Intimate, delicious, charming with a totally vintage vibe. I was right at home.

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What a wonderful treat to get away with Chris! It felt amazing to recharge, re-connect and get inspired.  Thank you to my fabulous brother and his beautiful fiancée for taking our kids for the entire weekend!

If you haven’t gotten away with your partner lately…try and plan something. It is so worth it!




Filed under family, photography, Stories, Travel

Remembering Rouen

Hello there. Hope all is well with you. It’s been a long while since I got the chance to sit down and go over my pics from Paris but when my parents were here I got to do just that! Accompanied by a large mug of tea and my kitty cat on my lap, I perused the hundreds of shots from my adventure in France. Oh, Paris…there is such a sweet spot in my heart for you. Reliving those amazing days made me feel so grateful for the experience.

I wanted to share with you some of the images I captured while in the medieval city of Rouen. We caught the train from Paris in the wee hours of the morning and arrived in Rouen at 8 am to shop a flea market on the outskirts of town. After unearthing some fabulously priced French treasures, we wandered back into the city center. To our immense delight, it was absolutely beautiful and charming! A time-warp to another century with stunning architecture and wonderful boutiques and cafes.

This is the majestic Cathedral Notre-Dame, which was under restoration when we were there…such amazing Gothic architecture!

It doesn’t get much more French than this lovely bakery…

As we strolled through the main square, accordion music filled the air…thanks to this lovely lady.  We stopped a moment to listen to her robust voice and added to the euros in her hat.

Rouen is famous for it’s hand painted Faience ceramic ware that dates back to the 1600’s. This is a tradition that is still seen today…can you see the artist in the background painting away?

Here is a shot of the Gros Horlage, an astronomical clock that dates back to the 16th century.

As you can see, Rouen was a magical experience. So different to Paris, with its own history and character!

Okay, so here’s something I love…serendipity! Let me explain – a couple of months ago, I happened by a garage sale in my neighborhood. Nothing looked that interesting but then a small framed print caught my eye…it looked so familiar to me. I bought it for $2.00 and put it fondly on my desk.

I was so drawn to it, obviously it looked French but there was something else. I decided to do a little research and discovered this is in fact an etching from Rouen, depicting one of the very streets I walked down and the Church of St. Ouen in the background! It was like I was meant to have this little piece of art. Now it hangs in our entryway, so I see it everyday and remember Rouen.

Have a beautiful weekend!



Filed under Art, Paris, photography, Stories, Travel, vintage

Paris by Night…

Hello friends.

I am sorry I have not been blogging much lately. After a whirlwind of nesting energy, I have gutted closets, cleaned out drawers and reorganized just about everything I could get my hands on. My husband and my house appreciated it but my back did not…so I’ve been trying to take it easy this week. Hormones are pretty damn powerful, that’s for sure!

Anyway…I finally got around to editing some more shots from my Paris trip and I wanted to share them with you. Paris, at night, takes on another level of beauty and grandeur…

I can see why they call it the City of Light! Isn’t she beautiful?

Have a wonderful week! Baby Claire is due in 18 short days so I will keep you posted as best I can but if it seems I have dropped off the face of the earth – you will know why! ;)



Filed under Paris, photography, Travel

Shopping the Paris Flea Markets: Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

Hello there. How was your week? I hope it was lovely! So, I promised I would share some shots from my shopping experience at the famous Les Puces de Saint-Ouen – so here you go…

Oh, but first a little background. This expansive market is actually an entire area made up of several markets – each one, having its own personality and specialties. The entire area encompasses over 3000 vendors, so to say it’s large is an understatement. I recommend picking out a few of the markets within to focus on rather than trying to do the whole thing at once. We visited Marché Vernaison, Marché Paul Bert and Marché Biron. We may have stumbled into a few of the other areas too…but at least we tried to stay focused. One could truly get blissfully lost, meandering the alleyways and admiring the sheer variety and beauty of all the treasures to be found. A big tip…get this book!

It was a wonderful help planning this trip.

Okay on to the photos…

Almost every vendor had a little scruffy dog. Most of them had as much personality as their owners and it was quite impossible not to smile when we got the pleasure to meet these beloved French pooches.  This guy was perfectly content perched up on his antique chair!

Here are some of the amazing treasures I unearthed on that day…

All in all, it was another amazing shopping day! I have to thank my friend, Annie again for documenting our adventure with her trusty camera!

Have a fantastic weekend!


Les Puces de Saint-Ouen


Filed under Etsy, News, Paris, photography, Shopping, Travel, vintage

Shopping the Paris flea markets : Porte de Vanves Marché

Okay, so I haven’t been holding out on you…I just haven’t had much time to process everything from Paris! So many photos! The images I’m going to share with you today were taken by my dear friend, Annie. She so graciously documented our Parisian shopping adventures for me. Overwhelmed and completely giddy, I knew I couldn’t shop, barter, attempt to communicate with the vendors AND take pictures so I will be eternally grateful to Annie for capturing these.

This was the first market we hit – Porte de Vanves Marché – in southern Paris. This market has been around since the 1920’s and is one of the best! Smaller and less intimidating than the famous Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt, I felt this market was a good place to get my feet wet.

It was a beautiful, crisp, clear morning. We arrived a little before eight. Vendors milled around, unloading their little white vans. Smoking cigarettes and sipping coffee while they set up folding tables and began the process of displaying their wares. Piles of linens, stacks of ancient looking books, jingling mounds of old French silverware, tired chairs, wearing their original velvet attire, gigantic mirrors, rows of earthenware dishes and bowls, vintage postcards, photo albums, bowls of skeleton keys, sparkling chandeliers – all these magical items unfurled as the sun rose and warmed our backs.

I got to try out my French…although most of the vendors spoke a little English and were happy to bridge the gaps in our communication. I wanted to buy all this gentleman’s dishes! What a treasure trove he had!

That cake plate went home with me and sold in minutes after listing it in the shop…pretty isn’t she?

More shopping…

and a little live music…courtesy of this guy…

By mid morning, our accumulation of goods was becoming rather heavy…but nothing was stopping us! I look so serious in this shot, as I scan the tables for precious items, while my friend Sherry (behind me) looks completely blissed out – and she was carrying the really heavy stuff! She’s a brilliant shopper, such a trooper! And my thanks to my fabulous flea market photographer, Annie! Thank you girl!

It was an absolute delight to shop this market and a successful outing – I managed to come home with many gorgeous items that are listed in the store now…

Getting back to our flat was another story…after attempting to lug our caravan of treasures back to the train station, we gave up and hailed a taxi! It was SO worth it.

This week I will share some more images from the famous Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt!

Have a beautiful Wednesday!



Filed under Etsy, Paris, photography, Shopping, Stories, Thoughts, Travel, vintage

Paris streets…

Hello there. Happy Friday!

How has your week been? So far, so good over here. Got my family coming in today to celebrate Grace’s upcoming 6th birthday. Can’t believe she’s turning 6! I haven’t had much time this week to edit my plethora of photos but I wanted to share a few with you today.

While walking the streets of Paris it was impossible (at least for me) to watch where I was going…it’s a bloody miracle I wasn’t run over by a mini or ran face first into a local Parisian! I did almost walk into several poles, however – but it was all worth it – my eyes were on the absolutely gorgeous architecture all around me. Doors, windows, gates, cobblestone alleys, gas lamps, scrolling ironwork. It was a visual smorgasbord and my camera couldn’t get enough…

Okay…that’s it for now but more to come. :)

Have a beautiful weekend!



Filed under Paris, photography, Stories, Thoughts, Travel