Category Archives: flowers

Springtime in Paris

Bonjour y’all! Who doesn’t love April? NO ONE. That’s who. Here in Austin the  jasmine is in full flush and wildly redolent (all except the jasmine on my fence at the lake, which was burnt by the freezes and looks really skimpy and sad). Iris are still standing proud and roses have loved the recent rain and are showing off bigly.

My Paris-heavy Instagram feed has reminded me how much I loved springtime in Paris when I lived there. Of course, spring in Paris was well-earned and frequently took its sweet time getting there, making it even more of a celebrity than it is here. Hooray for spring everywhere, whenever it chooses to arrive.

I think we all deserve a little Paris this morning, so I gathered some of my favorite pictures of Paris pink, a color that embellishes Paris in springtime like pink frosting on an elegant confection. Enjoy.

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Have a good week, my friends.

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Filed under fashion, flowers, France, Paris, springtime in Paris, Uncategorized

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!

The Day O’ Love blew in to Austin with cold rain and grey skies! Dreary, yes, but it’s good to know that winter isn’t already over in these parts.

I gathered these photos taken in Paris on or around Valentine’s Day in the years I was there. Let’s break out some red wine and pretend we are back in the City Of Light for a while!

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Valentine’s Day was not the big commercial event it is here. No surprise, as every day is romantic in Paris, n’est-ce pas?

I took this last photo today here in Austin, or as I like to call it, the “Paris of the South”. It may be grey outside, but I got some raucous color going on in my house!

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I hope you are able to spend some time with people or things that you love today.

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Leaving So Soon, May?

Bonjour from my new “office”, and by “office”  I mean the porch of my lake house, now offering a view of a very full Lake Travis, which is a most beautiful thing. Hallelujah.

Lots going on in these parts. Spring has been sassy, bringing bounteous rain, flowers, and unexpected cool snaps. Although many folks around here are weary of the rain, we can’t help but be grateful for every drop, and hopeful that it doesn’t disappear again.

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Tomorrow we move all of our stuff from Paris into our new Austin house, even though a large part of that house looks like this.

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After ten months, we want to get our things out of storage, even if it means cramming  all the boxes and cartons into bedrooms and studies and moving it around again when we finish this project (which could be a glimpse into eternity). So that’s my day tomorrow. You?

Later in the week we make one last trip to our Houston townhouse, which we will pack up and vacate next Monday. It will be strange to no longer have a Houston landing spot after so many years. Fortunately we have friends and family there who will offer us beds occasionally. Right? Hello???

Mark and I have been exploring the Austin restaurant scene, which like many other parts of Austin is totally different from when we lived here in the early 2000’s. We are keeping lists of places we have gone and places we want to try, and both lists are getting longer each week. We have already learned that reservations and/or off-peak dining times are crucial at all of the trending eateries. Even with advance planning, the search for parking places at many cool spots can mean that you walk into the restaurant in dire need of a house cocktail STAT. But if you make your reservation well in advance and get lucky on a parking spot, you are likely to enjoy many a fine meal in Austin, Texas.

True Food  is one such place. Turns out there is one in Houston (and other places), but we never discovered it. The Austin location is in a corner of downtown that is being redeveloped and still feels a bit awkward, but no doubt will blossom into something lovely in no time.

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Def try the cocktails.

The interior was sleek and handsome, but all those shiny hard surfaces meant lots of noise bouncing around. We scored a table on the patio that suited us fine.

My favorite dish of the evening was the Mushroom Lettuce Cups. Bonkers good, and not something I would be tempted to make at home.

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Something I have been cooking lots of at home is this Roasted Broccoli. There are endless variations on this theme and all are quick and easy. I make a bit batch, and what we don’t eat that night gets gobbled up on salads or on rice or grains later in the week. Trust me- you will never let your broccoli near the microwave again.

Mark and I loved watching a six-episode show called The Night Manager on Apple TV. Lots of glamour, hard-bodies, and gorgeous European locations. And with only six episodes, you don’t have to commit to a long-term relationship. Yea.

That’s all for now, friends. Thanks for keeping me in your radar. I’ll be back. Just like the fruit flies I finally got rid of in my kitchen this weekend.

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Filed under Austin, Austin dining, cooking, flowers, Paris, Uncategorized

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Paris has been much on my mind the last few days, probably because of the senseless tragedies that continue to be inflicted upon Europe. While missing Paris, I am also reminded that this time of year can be difficult there. You are sooooooo ready for spring (which according to Instagram has arrived in just about every other place in the world), and yet there you are, still wearing your tired sweaters and boots and hating them. It was also difficult to be so far away from home on Easter, and so I’m extra happy to be home to celebrate Easter with family this year. I’m making jambalaya for our Easter feast, because I am ready to swap out the ham tradition (never been a big ham fan, myself) and I think jambalaya could be up to the task of supplanting the pig in the middle of the table. I hope so, anyway.

So shall we lose ourselves in some Paris for a few minutes?

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See- don’t they look cold under that stunning tree?

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Yep- there was a reason those chairs were empty on April 4.

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Eventually the lighter scarves come out again!

Eventually the lighter scarves come out again!

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Wisteria!

Wisteria!

Ridonculous ranunculus.

Ridonculous ranunculus.

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OK. Enough of that. Don’t we all have grocery lists to make? Eggs to stuff? Jelly beans to eat*?

I know I do. Can’t wait to see myimage

*Just reminded me of the time one of my precious kids all dressed in Easter finery took my hand, opened it up, and spit a sticky mass of half-chewed black jelly bean pulp in my palm. I totally understood the impulse but ick.

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Filed under flowers, France, Parc Monceau, Paris, springtime in Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

Saturday Morning At The Market

I got up early Saturday morning, borrowed a hotel umbrella, and walked over to President Wilson Market.The vendors and customers were exchanging New Year’s greetings (“Bonne Année!”), and people appeared to be in good spirits despite the misty rain. It felt like everyone was happy to be back. I know I was!

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Let’s begin with a few shades of pink, shall we?

This fancy Vespa was parked near the market.

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I am not familiar with this pink lettuce but it's gorgeous!

I am not familiar with this pink lettuce but it’s gorgeous!

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These heads of cabbage were gigantic!

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The scallops always look so fancy in their beautiful shells.

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It all looked so good- I wished for my little red shopping cart more than once.

It’s nice to revisit familiar scenes here, but always a little bittersweet that I am now just an observer. But I am not complaining! I loved my life here and I am excited about returning to my life in Texas in a few weeks. In the meantime, observing is not half bad, n’est-ce pas?

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We’re In The Monet

Oh what a day we had in Giverny! Our Fat Tire Bike Tour met on platform 22 of Gare Saint Lazare, and we boarded the train for a forty minute ride to the village of Vernon. We picked up our red bikes there and visited the market, where we gathered provisions for a picnic before riding the bike trail to Giverny. This is the second time I have taken this bike tour and I think it’s wonderful for people of all ages. The only kicker is that you have to hope for a pretty day, because the tour will go rain or shine. Thankfully, we had lots of shine!

our chariots for the day

our chariots for the day

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Vernon

hollyhocks at the bike garage

hollyhocks at the bike garage

cabbage and rosemary with a side of shallots

cabbage and rosemary with a side of shallots

picture perfect picnic spot

picture perfect picnic spot

I always look for these old signs in France.

I always look for these old signs in France.

driveway in Giverny

driveway in Giverny

The small rooms and passageways of Monet’s lovely house were packed with tourists. Fortunately my friend and I had both been there before, so we hurried through the house, taking only a few pictures, and then lingered in the fabulous gardens.

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Everyone loves the kitchen! I couldn’t stop myself from taking a few pictures, even though I no doubt have the very same photos in my photo stream from five years ago.

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The gardens were in full bloom and were staggeringly beautiful.

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We arrived back in Paris just in time for a glass of rosé before our 7:30 dinner reservation. It was definitely a day to be toasted.

Cheers!

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Filed under Fat Tire Bike Tours, flowers, France, gardens, Giverny

Window Peeping

Tis yet another bright and warm day in Paris, while Texas is getting more rain. We could use some here, actually. The city is looking a bit dry and dusty. Sprinklers are on in the parks. I cannot keep the layer of dust off of my furniture because the windows are open day and night,which makes me very happy in every other respect. Dust mites are a small price to pay for the heavenly breeze that has been keeping our apartment nice and cool.

I have been admiring lots of store windows on my walks. I cannot ever capture them without glare, though, as the sun has been shining 14 hours a day for weeks. So just ignore the reflection, s’il vous plait.

This store, Brunelli Cucinelli, always captures my eye with its creative windows. The theme this month appears to be summer gardens.

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lettuce love!

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Like at home, white is making a big summer splash here.

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I have never been inside this church, Madeleine, so I don’t know about its windows. But right now it has a glorious floral display across its front steps.

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This was a nice window in the Henckels kitchen store.

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I peeped in a closed up place the other evening and admired this bicycle, propped and waiting for the new day.

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Finally, Printemps has some lovely mechanized windows right now- and it’s not even Christmas!

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Filed under flowers, gardens, Paris, Paris windows, Uncategorized