Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Tag: paris

Shopping Adventures!

Hi Blog!

What?! Monday again?!

On Friday, Tom and I went to dinner and a comedy show with some friends. We saw those guys from that old improv TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” It was hilarious.

Stephanie and I went shopping on Saturday and I bought this old blanket chest. I love it.

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I guess I never finished telling you about our cross stitching adventures in Paris. I looked up some stitching shops to visit before the trip, but we didn’t manage to go to any of them!

One day though, we were out strolling near the hotel and spotted what looked like a fabric store. We stopped in and, lo and behold, it turned out to be a fabric, knitting, and CROSS STITCH store!!! Quelle surprise! They had a whole floor dedicated to cross stitch stuff! In a terrible moment of irony, my phone battery chose that exact time to die. Luckily, Tom was there to snap some photos.

I almost couldn’t focus. There was so much to see!

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Evenweave and linen in every color…

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They had a ton of pre-finished items just ready to be embellished with some cross stitching. Cute pouches of every shape and size!

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And pretty kitchen towels!

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There were soft stitchable bath towels in lovely colors…

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And a whole wall full of embroidery books!

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I had never seen the Rico design books in the US before and promptly fell in love. It was reaaaaallly heard to pick just a few items to buy.

I ended up getting two books, filled with the most gorgeous designs.

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So tasteful…

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And modern…

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Le sigh…

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I also bought a pre-finished runner and a tablecloth that was made specifically for stitching some of the designs from the books. I love the pretty texture on the tan one and … swooooon… white swiss dots! Who doesn’t love swiss dots?!!

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Can you tell how excited I was to find this store?

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The rest of the trip, I carried my stitching stuff around Paris in hopes of working on it during any down time. There ended up not being any until our final day at the Luxembourg Gardens.

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There were a lot of people milling about reading and sketching and relaxing. Can you imagine a dreamier place to stitch?

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I worked on last year’s 12 Days of Christmas stitch-a-long because it is small and portable and not too confusing, especially amidst so many distractions.

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Oh… is someone selling baguettes? Oh… do I smell crepes? Oh… should we walk over there for a quick Cafe au Lait? You know, distractions.

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I also stitched on the flight home and managed to complete Days 1-6. Quick aside, can I say what a treat it is to sit on your butt for 7 hours while watching movies (of your choice) and cross stitching while people bring you booze and food? Other people think that flying is a pain, but this tired working mama says “Bring it on!”

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I think I’m calling this project done for now and try to do a little finish work so that they are ready for Christmas. It only took two years to complete 6 days. I guess I’m not so good at stitch-a-longs.

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Anyhoo, that wraps up the Paris recaps. You’re probably tired of reading about the trip by now, so this week I’ll move onto more exciting things like Soccer practice and Chili making. Haha. Until then!

Louvre Love

Dear Diary,

For our Summer vacation, we visited the Louvre. It was big and breathtaking.

We saw the Mona Lisa.

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We read a crazy statistic that 80% of people who go to the Louvre just look at the Mona Lisa and then leave. That seems like such a waste because there was so much more to see.

Those of you who have read my blog for awhile know that I love history and have a mild obsession with Henry VIII of England. Well, you can imagine how much I nerded out when I spotted this painting!

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Do you know who this is? It’s Anne of Cleves! Henry the VIII’s fourth wife! Back in the day, you couldn’t just ask someone to send a selfie when you were checking them out to be your 4th wife, so Henry dispatched Hans Holbein to paint Anne’s portrait. Henry liked the portrait enough to commit to marrying her, but when she arrived in England he was not pleased with her looks at all!!! So, what’s an obnoxious spoiled King to do but marry her anyway then annul the marriage in 6 months in order to take up with that trollop, Katherine Howard. What a jerky diss! But the best part is that Anne won out in the end. She got a nice settlement from Henry and they actually ended up becoming friends and confidants. She outlived him and all of this wives. Go Anne of Cleves!

Anyhoo, this is the ACTUAL PORTRAIT of her painted by Hans Holbein that started all of this drama. I just about died standing next to it!!!

Speaking of disses. I had to take a picture of this painting. It’s nice enough, right?

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Until you see the title which is “Portrait of an OLD LADY at 44 years old”. This 44 year old was not pleased.

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Tom liked this one. I wonder why? (insert eye roll) But look at the lady in the background embroidering. That’s redeeming.

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This has always been a favorite of mine.

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And this. Swoooon.

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I can’t imagine what it would be like to paint something so huge.

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Some of the halls were truly over the top.

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You can definitely picture this guy galavanting around in these rooms.

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You can’t tell from my sucky photo, but these colors were so rich.

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And, of course, Rembrandt.

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And check out the size and detail of this tapestry. Perhaps inspiration for my next project? Ha!

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Next up… Parisian cross stitching adventures…

Until then, hope you’re having a great weekend!

Ooh la la

Hi Blog.

Sometimes when I have a lot to write about, I get overwhelmed and avoid writing altogether. Actually, that applies to pretty much every area in my life, not just writing.

But today I’ve decided to JUST DO IT, so here goes…

Our trip to Paris was pretty great. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but here are some of my favorite memories.

I KonMaried my suitcase. Don’t ask how it looked on the way home. Let’s just say that KonMari would not have been impressed.

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On the first day, we went to Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre. Sacré-Cœur creeped me out a little. I don’t know why, maybe just the thought of all the stories held within those walls.

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I insisted that we walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I took the same photo when I was there in January, but this one is better because Tom’s feet are in it too. Everything is more fun with my partner in crime.

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Notre Dame is pretty impressive. I couldn’t get over how old it is (construction began in 1163!!!). Can you imagine carving all of this by hand! With no electricity!

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I am ashamed to admit that I may have checked Pokemon Go while at Notre Dame (I know… I know) but Pikachu FINALLY showed up! And the worst part is that I was so busy taking pictures of him to send to Littlest at home that he GOT AWAY!

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One of many random stately buildings.

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Le sigh. So charming.

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We enjoyed strolling on the quais along the Seine. They had set up a little “Paris Beach” on one of the quais which was kinda weird and hilarious. Here is Tom mid- “Bonjour!”

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We ate and ate and ate… bone marrow and escargot and fois gras and Tartare de Filet de Boeuf (i.e. RAW STEAK) and more baguettes than I could count (needless to say, I fell off the gluten free diet).

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I was particularly fond of the super indulgent flower-shaped gelatos.

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When we go out to dinner in the US, I always try to convince Tom to same-side-sit with me and he refuses, but in France, EVERYONE same-side-sits! In fact, they MAKE you same-side-sit even if you don’t want to!

We spent a full day at the Louvre and LOVED it (sorry for the excessive capitalization) but that deserves an entire post of its own because it was AMAZING (there I go again). The gardens! The artwork! The history! MON DIEU!

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Yeah, the Eiffel Tower. So cliche, but what can you do?

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And! You better believe that I had some cross stitching adventures! More coming on that too!!! Here’s a teaser.

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Le OMG! French cross stitch patterns! I died and went to heaven!

En Français

Bonjour mes amies! Where to even begin?

Tom and I just got back from Paris! It was très incroyable. Originally he was going to join me for a few days only, but changed his plans and ended up staying for a full 9 days! Wheeee!!!

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We had a lot of adventures. There was sight seeing! And snail eating! And cross-stitch goody buying! And art admiring! And French language botching! And people watching! And walking! So much walking! I logged 145,883 steps on my Fitbit. Crazy!

There are a gajillion photos to wade through, but that will have to wait for another day while I catch up on work, and hear about the boys’ first days at school, and give Charlie some extra tummy rubs. Il n’y a pas de place comme à la maison!

I hope that you had a great week too!

Bonjour mes amis!

Hi Friends!

I am back from Paris! I have so much to tell you!

The Northeast was hit with a big blizzard while I was away.

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Part of me was happy to avoid it, but the other part was sad to get pics from home and know that I was missing the excitement and sledding and cozying up indoors that blizzards bring. Shoveling – no. Hot cocoa by the fire – yes.

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As much as I was dreading the trip, I ended up (kinda) enjoying it. For once, we ended up with some free time for a little sightseeing.

I bought a selfie stick at the Eiffel Tower. So américaine of me! It was worth the 5 euros for the amount of laughs we got. Here is a photo of me saying “How the heck do you work this thing?” while it was snapping away at us. Most of the pictures were some variation on this theme.

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The sightseeing was whirlwind.

Of course, there was the Eiffel Tower…

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And a million pretty buildings…

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And statues…

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And the Seine…

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We took a stroll down the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe and huffed and puffed all the way to the top.

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I thought I would die, but OH MAN(!), it was worth it! The sun was setting when we reached the top and it was nothing short of spectacular.

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There’s that tower again…

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Everything lit up after the sun set. It was breathtaking. They don’t call it the City of Lights for nothing.

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View from the top (gulp… that’s a lot of stairs).

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We walked and walked and walked… over the river and past the palaces and down the quais. It was quite an unexpected adventure for a country mouse like me.

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I logged 29,469 steps on my fitness tracker in one day, which has to be some kind of record! It made up for all of the cheese and wine and crepes. Maybe.

As fun as it was, it is sooooooo great to finally be home. Yay HOME! My bed! My cat! My boys! My Tom! My strange routines!

By the way, someone got a hold of my selfie stick and it’s his new favorite thing. As you can see, our technique still leaves some room for improvement.

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See you in September.

Here we are in September already. We had a nice visit with my parents and are now trying to get back into the swing of things and into our Fall schedule.

Coal waiting for Tom to get home. Those two are best friends for sure.

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Then boys started school yesterday. It’s amazing how fast the years go by. Here they are yucking it up at the bus stop with their little buddy.

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It’s nice to have the house back to ourselves, but part of me misses having everyone around. My parents and I have had a difficult relationship over the years, but I think age and health have softened us all a bit. Whenever they leave, I always wish that I had been just a bit nicer or spent a little more time with them while they were here.

The night before they left, we had a big dinner at our house. I tried grilling salmon on a cedar plank for the first time and it was delish. The real hit of the party, though, were my Mom’s cha gio. They are my most favorite food ever, hands down.

Biggest organized a bingo game. The competition was fierce and we had a blast. I loved looking around and seeing our families (dysfunctional as they are) laughing and enjoying each other’s company. It does a soul good.

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Tomorrow I leave for Paris and I am equal parts excited (It’s Paris!) and dreading (There’s so much to do at home and at work and it’s the first week of school and I’ll miss my family! AAAK!), but I will try to be in the moment and make the best of it.

Have a great week, friends!

Ooh la la.

Bonjour! Are you wondering why I’m speaking French? Why… because I’m going to France of course! In 3 weeks! For work!

At first I was excited about it, but then I realized that it would be whirlwind and that Tom couldn’t join me and I was less excited. The last time I went to Paris for work, I only got to see the Eiffel Tower from the car. Boo. I don’t mean to sound thankless though, because Paris is still Paris. Bien sur, mes amies!

I can’t believe that Summer is winding down already. The boys only have 2 more weeks of camp. Then we have a week with my parents visiting. Then school starts. Yikes. I will be Mom to a 2nd and 4th grader! Say what?!

When we were on the cruise, we read aloud from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every night before bed. Now that we’re home, we have moved on to Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. We’ve only just started, but so far it’s not as good. This seems often to be the case with sequels.

I took no pictures yesterday, so will end this rambly blog post today with this:

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