30 April 2009

a visit to the french coast perhaps?

Last night while looking for a website for my favorite place that we stayed on our French driving holiday through Normandy and Bretagne five years ago, I came across Ma Maison de Mer.  I definitely think that we need to venture further down the coast this time, as it looks absolutely delightful!  I have only been to Bordeaux once, and it was in the winter, but it was still quite lovely.  Ma Maison de Mer is only 120 km north of Bordeaux and it would make for a lovely coastal driving holiday, don't you agree?

On our trip for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, we stayed at Chateau du Val in Bretagne.  I absolutely loved it (although we were there in June and my french teacher tells me the weather in Bretagne is the same as Seattle - merde!).  We fell in love with their little girl, child number 6 for them (they had three of each) and we credit them with our #4...  

The property is spectacular and the surrounding countryside is absolutely beautiful.  

~the main house is spectacular

~you can see how the property sits on the seaside

~this was the room we had, complete with lovely bathroom and fireplace

~this is the smaller of the two cottages on the property

~this is the larger cottage where we will stay with the boys next time we visit!

29 April 2009

nap time...

Although we have "officially" given up naps, we still tend to catch a few zzzz at the oddest of times...

a garden party

This summer will be the year that I throw a fabulous garden party, I just know it!  I am dying to put some of the ideas I have been collecting over the years to use and this property is the perfect place to entertain friends and family.  It also inspires me to really get the gardens cleaned up, filled up, and looking great.  Maybe I will host a small *practice* party for #4's birthday in May...

{photos courtesy Country Living}

28 April 2009

hair cuts

#s 3 & 4 had haircuts yesterday.  As you can see, my boys simply don't *pose*...

27 April 2009

Potager planning...

Well, after having to remove half of the pavers in our entry, it seems that most of the bamboo has been removed.  That was no small job!  I have leveled most of the garden, made sketches of the basic layout, and am now on to the fun part - the planning!  So far, these are the flowers I want to add~

These fairy roses above will line one side of the garden.  I want to add all sorts of cut flowers, and then the herbs/vegetables will fill a 6' x 8' section in the center.  I am trying to decide, with the odd shape of the garden, if I want to do something with rows or something that is round and has a bit of a *wheel* look to it.   So far, for the herb list, I have the following:

rosemary - which won't be part of the center as it gets so large!
french taragon
two types of parsley
two types of mint - in pots of course!
lemon verbena - also large and not part of the center
hhmmm... something seems to be missing...  thoughts?

I will keep you posted as I make progress!

26 April 2009

Le Potager

We (my wonderful man/men children & I) spent most of yesterday attempting to eradicate the running bamboo from one of the gardens.  It truly is one of the most difficult things to get rid of, and I am once again thankful that we have a tractor to do much of the ripping/pulling/digging. Have you ever seen a plant that is angry when you attempt to remove it?  Well, let me tell you, bamboo is absolutely furious...

The reason that I want the bamboo out of this garden, now, is that this particular garden gets sun nearly all day long.  It is the perfect place for me to put in a potager.  I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to have a potager on the property!  I love the idea of mixing flowers and edibles.  We currently have a garden pasture - a large area where there are two raised beds for vegetables, as well as an espalier asian pear, grapes, blueberries, thornless blackberries (although we prefer the wild ones that grow all along one side of our property even if they make us crazy with their thorny canes!), strawberries, various flowers, and 2 beds for raspberries.  The potager will be closer to the house and will be where I grow all of my herbs, a  number of cut flowers, tomatoes, peas, as well as roses.  Right now I am in the planning stages - we measured the space and I sketched it out last night.  Today we need to complete the removal of the bamboo, and then level the space, moving a rock wall a bit and adding some compost.  It is a big job but it will be so worth it when it is finished!

Below is a photo taken yesterday from the deck off our our master suite, looking down on the current state of the garden.  I am happy to tell you that most of the bamboo is gone.  However, it still looks nearly this awful...  Stay tuned!


24 April 2009

Girls weekend - the beach

Isn't this boat just dreamy...?

These are my two dear friends, beach combing...

I {adore} the rocks in our region!

Aren't these little cottages darling?

I wanted to post a few beach photos because, although the sun didn't shine much that day, the beach is always so relaxing and beautiful.  We had such a nice afternoon walking on the beach at Fort Warden, picking up rocks and, for me, shooting photos of anything and everything.

It doesn't take a lot to get me giddy...

I was notified this morning that a photo I had taken on my very favorite trip to date (to France with my handsome husband) has been used on a website for Southampton Attractions.  

How excited was I?  Very, I assure you.  Imagine if something big ever happened...


hoping for more of the same today~

Yesterday I hung my first load of whites on the line in the sunshine and warm spring air.  I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it was to climb into bed last night with those fresh smelling sheets wrapped around me.  As the sun is out this morning, I am sure I will have another load on the line today!


23 April 2009

Divine house

We found this house on the cliff overlooking downtown Port Townsend.  I fell in love with all of the little details~

From the beautiful windows overlooking the sea~

To the gorgeous corbels and incredible detail in the roof shingles~

What I wouldn't give to explore this third floor and its marvelous windows!

The garage with it's suite above, complete with fabulous decorative shingles~
(I {adore} the blue door and trim!)

And the piece de resistance is this incredible glass and steel green house with its gorgeous blue trim and divine red french doors!

22 April 2009

Photography crush, yes, again...

I know, I know, some of you are beginning to think that I am a photography whore, having all of these crushes on people I don't even know.  Shameful, really, but what can I do?  I fall in love easily when I come across something so divine.  And it isn't as if I am easy, I am most certainly not.  It is simply that there is such incredible talent out there, and the fact is, what I fall in love with is what I most want to be able to emulate.  I want to absorb my crush's ability to see the exquisite in the often mundane.  It is a gift really - a gift that I would like to acquire, somehow...

Jetty Kolobaric is an incredibly fabulous photographer that I have been watching for a while now.  I have wanted to introduce you to her, but alas, as I always ask permission first, it took us a little while to connect.  She has a wonderful blog - Food for Thought and her latest post with photos of a snail inspires me to shoot things I would normally never consider.  

And you really really must see her photography here.  Really.  You would also be wise to visit her Etsy shop~

Girls weekend - Day one!

Last weekend I was able to sneak away for three days with two really good friends to Port Townsend, Washington.  We started the weekend bright and early on Friday morning, packing up the SUV and heading to the ferry.

First stop, the coffee shop!

After we had our coffees and baked goods, we headed to the ferry terminal.  

And we were off!

One place we always drive through on our way to Port Townsend is Port Gamble, a really sweet old port town with historic homes painted the most divine colors~

Can you imagine being married at this darling church?

After we dropped all of our bags (and there were a LOT of bags...) we headed into town to do a bit of shopping!  There are some fabulous shops in Port Townsend.  We often spend hours just walking around finding wonderful things to add to our collections of "stuff"...

One of my very favorite shops is Summer House.  They always have a number of french things to see, and a great selection of CDs of which I always leave with at least one!

This trip we came across a divine little lingerie shop called Slather that had some great French lingerie~

We always end up working on some project and this trip was no exception.  I learned to felt and after poking myself a number of times, am happy to say was able to figure it out well enough to occupy myself during the hours we spent at the hospital yesterday~

My very favorite shop uptown is next to the most delicious bakery/restaurant in town.  The Restaurant, Sweet Laurette's is fabulous~

They get the *very* *best* french baguette that I have ever ever had outside of France from a bakery just around the corner~

After our marvelous lunch, we walked next door to Petals, a combination florist/gift shop/garden treasure chest of goodness~

Even the building it is in is wonderful!

We were greeted at the door by these lovelies~

And found all of these marvelous goodies inside~

And as we left Petals to go walking to see some of the magnificent houses in Port Townsend, this little garden walkway bid us adieu~