vendredi 31 décembre 2010

7 hours to transform this...! Before

I took this shot a couple of minutes ago, yes, what a mess. I promise, it isn't staged to make it worse, it really is a mess. This is our 2nd floor landing which leads to Gaby's, Alexis' and MK's bedrooms. The idea is to finish this room today (a little more stripping, painting of ceiling, walls and woodwork and varnishing floor). As I am an eternal optimist I am hoping to finish it around 4ish, or at least before 2011 knocks at our door...Yikes, better get started.
Oh yes, this space will be home to their shared computer, a present this year.

Update 18h30 Have I finished? No way, just painted ceiling and changed my mind about the dominant colour "orange" which just doesn't go, so the choice is between bright yellow or red bus red. But nows time to chill out at home, with those I love, and we are eating raclette...yummy

mercredi 29 décembre 2010

3rd Bedroom "Alexis'" almost there

I bought 2 chairs (one above) for 16 euros and painted this one dark grey and the other one bright yellow (in MK's room)

A little more varnish, a computer to move out onto the landing (when finished...yes I have started that) and window frames to paint and blinds to buy.....list is at least a little shorter:) but Alexis' room to getting there and he loves it!

Alexis loves his skittles (bought in local thrift shop).

mardi 21 décembre 2010

Christmas has come early

New chair in bedroom and downstairs a new imac.
Our room is ready to paint sometime in 2011, we've even bought the curtains, but until then I shall sit in my rocking chair and read, surf and watch the world go by, when time and children allow. And in 2011, I'm going to learn to knit (again).

Floor finished..sigh of relief

The job I hoped to finish weeks ago, was delayed due to the fact that I was sick for a whole week , which is unusual for me. Anyway, I managed to finish the floor and the painting the other day, now I just need more varnish but have unfortunately been housebound due to an abundant snow fall (third time in the last couple of weeks).
I'll post better photos tomorrow, maybe even Alexis' new red bed (thrift shop find), when I have finished...yes you guessed....painting it!

lundi 13 décembre 2010


No baking today, MK made pompoms, well we made a pompom each using wool that had mini pompoms already on it, the result was a bit OTT, so we kept the second one "wreath" shaped.

Alexis' bedroom is coming on, I'm sanding and need more bands, lots more bands (used 4 up till now). Painting and varnishing should swiftly follow and he should have his room back for Thursday...still looking for a locker type wardrobe and another bookcase (found a bed, just have to decide between grey or red paint..)

mercredi 8 décembre 2010


The snow has stopped and so have I. J'en ai marre. Fed-up.
Take a look and the photo....what a mess.

Lets be positive, only another 6m2 to go, but that will wait for tomorrow.
Tonight Gaby's making Nigel Slater's Courgette Crumble so all's well that ends well.


It's snowing again and it's sticking, but I'm too busy scrapping glue of floorboards, this time in Alexis' room, which incidentally one of the biggest bedrooms in the house (over 22m2) argh, hence my silence, as I really want to finish this room, and the landing and Charlotte's room before Christmas (one can dream).

I'll post some photos tomorrow.

(Photo taken from our bedroom looking towards other neighbours house beyond).

lundi 6 décembre 2010

Now I like Mondays

Marie-Kate eats at home on Mondays. It's nice to have some one to one time with her, we make lunch, sometimes cakes(cupcakes today) and get to read a couple of books.
She's crazy for garlic croutons with or without soup, today she ate so many and said she'd have keep her cupcake(s) for after school (too full).
Cupcakes waiting for little hands at 4.30 (MK took this shot)

Lucky for her that I'm the only one at home this afternoon and that I am trying to cut down on all things sweet.
French lunch breaks last 2 hours, so you can fit in lots to do, eat, talk, play lego and read. MK often chooses the same books. She knows the stories off by heart but never gets bored of any of them. Her favorite sofa book right now is The Man who walked between the towers, the pictures are awesome and the story poignant.

I've started my Christmas "book" shopping on Amazon and as always, have ordered the Caldecott medal winner from this year and the Newbery one too, along with a couple of honor books. I know I'm English but I usually prefer American literature to British, especially for children.

dimanche 5 décembre 2010

M-K's Rocky Road Cake

One thing I miss about where we lived before is our neighbours, Dédée and Robert. Last night, we ran out of icing sugar, I really could have done with Dédée to save the day as MK's Nigella Lawson's inspired cake would have looked better with a snowy sprinkling of icing sugar. 850km is a little far so we had to do without...

Une chose qui me manque de notre vie précédente à Sanary est la présence de nos voisins Dédée et Robert. Hier soir nous étions à court de sucre glace, j'aurais aimé pouvoir demander à ma voisine, tant pis 850 km est un peu loin, donc on a fait sans...

A window with a view

Living in the heart of a village is new to all of us. For the first time, the youngest children can walk to school which is a stones throw away while the older three catch their school buses on the same road.
Our next door neighbor raises hens and each morning his enormous rooster Chirac. He usually begins to crow around 4, and then he continues intermittently all day long (and probably all night, but I'm fast asleep).
A famous impressionist painter once lived in the house almost opposite ours, over a hundred years ago. If the house were just a little lower, we'd be able to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, instead we see the house, which is architecturally appealing to the eye, so I'm happy with that.

This is the view you get if you look out through the children's bathroom window, it once was the village hall but now it's the village school ( I said it was quite close). This is one of my favorite views.

vendredi 3 décembre 2010

Happy Children

It snowed enough yesterday for the children to have a snowball fight(the girls are above throwing snowballs down on Alexis) and then be so tired afterwards that they were all asleep before 8pm (let it snow more often...).

Paint or not?

I found this cute little bedside table for MK at a local thrift shop.
Can't decide if to paint it or not, we shall wait and see. Marie-Kate loves it.
Oh yes, it only cost 10euros!

(I haven't yet painted the radiator)

jeudi 2 décembre 2010

1st December

One of my most fond memories from Christmas as a child was waiting for Mr and Mrs Christmas to be unpacked for another year. Christmas only began when they were wound up for the first time to turn around to music, it was magical. I wasn't allowed to wind them up though.
Mum gave me Mr and Mrs Christmas during one of my recent visits back in the UK. Apparently this eldery couple date back to the early 50's, even if they are a little kitch, I still love them so, and my children do too. And guess what, I let my children wind them up so they can see them turn around as if they were dancing.

Yesterday we decorated the Christmas tree. We seem to have lost a box of decorations between Sanary and here so the girls made some salt dough stars and snowball shapes and then painted them gold or silver or both.
When Charlotte and Gaby were younger (5 and nearly 1) they made an angel for the top of the tree and there is always a fight about who should put it on the top of the tree ( our teenagers excluded for the first time this year, way too grown up for that, in their opinion...sniff, sad really).

This year Alexis had the honor. Our tree is so tall that he needed a chair and a papa to reach the top!

mercredi 1 décembre 2010

Snowy House

It's been threatening to snow all morning and much to the children's delight after lunch it began(not enough to make a snowman use yet, maybe it might even stop...).

Our house is right in the heart of the village, this is a view from the garden looking down on it. On the right is our future summer kitchen. Where the roof is lower on far left hand-side of the house, you can just make out the triangle topped shutter , well, this will be our future studio, it's actually very big (36m2), but it's the last thing on our lonnnggg list.

In our garden we have two outside caves that were used (this one the sure) to store beetroot).

The other cave is behind that wall, I find this one a little creepy.

Don't suppose we'll be dining outside for a while.

mardi 30 novembre 2010


Gaby's cat drawn in Art class, she got a 17, I think she did great.
Qu'en penses-tu Dédee?

Christmas Spirit

Gaby and Marie-Kate made our advent calendar this evening (the walls are bare still as we haven't had time to go to Brittany to pick-up all our art work from Mamie and Papy's...besides that, probably better off painting before we get them back).

And then papa brought back the 2m80 Christmas tree, tomorrow we will have to go and find the decorations in the basement.

lundi 29 novembre 2010

J'ai Froid

View from stairs of the little bit of the garden (there's a well behind the low stone wall)

It snowed a little during the night, only a little though, much to the children's disappointment.
It's really cold and my children who aren't used to such cold weather are now faced with having to wear hats and gloves, my my what fun I had trying to get Marie-Kate to wear them for school...boy she's so stubborn

The temperature hasn't risen above -2°c all day.

M-K's blue bedroom

The bedroom wasn't finished on Friday, I was way too optimistic. After a weekend of getting the glue off the walls, cleaning et cetera....painting all Sunday and Monday it was time to seal the wood. Still lots of finishing touches to make like paint the bookcase, hang up art, and school board ( I found on of those school blackboard's which in fact is green in a second hand store, which is made up of three parts, the biggest part is in the entrance and the two others which are smaller will go in MK's and Gaby's bedroom.

I'm not going to paint the desk, luckily, M-K likes it as it is, too.

More photos when the floor is completely dry.

vendredi 26 novembre 2010

M-K's Bedroom

I started chipping and scrapping the cement off the floorboards last weekend and phew I've finally finished. I've a third of the room to sand still, and then I can strip the walls ( the green wallpaper is lovely in comparison with the black woven wall covering in Alexis' room and the same but in brown in Gaby's...sorry no photos, stripped that off the first chance I got).
Impossible to finish today, but I'll give it a go...

Update at 17H15.... was a little optimistic, got started late as I had to wait for a chronopost parcel ( we have a telephone after a a 3 month break). Anyhow floor sanded, and half a room stripped and I did clean out the grout between most of the floorboards too..tedious job!
Tomorrow will be more productive, I hope!

mercredi 24 novembre 2010

New arrival in our entrance

I wasn't going to even think about painting the entrance until the top floor was finished, however our new Milton console table has just arrived so I think I'll have to put this job on the list just after Marie-Kate's bedroom which I am doing at the moment (luckily only 12m2 of cement to chip off the oak floorboards).

jeudi 18 novembre 2010

This New House

Going to have to change that plastic door handle real soon

We put the house on the market in Sanary in June and sold it on the 28th July after probably 50 visits via PAP and real estate agents.
It took 6 long weeks to sell, something of which I'm not used too, as all the houses I have ever owned (three) before sold within days and only after a couple of visits. These house were in the UK, perhaps that's where lies the difference.
Anyhow, here we are in the Yvelines. We bought the first house we visited, and it wasn't even on our list. We visited 7 more just to be sure but we were all smitten by this house, despite the work that would be needed.

house and shutters to be painted next spring

I am working on the floors, which is tiresome, and we have the painting to do everywhere!

25m2 just in this bedroom