Yearly Archives: 2012

12.31.12Happy New Year

I hope you have a wonderful New Years celebration in store. After battling a MASSIVE crowd at our local Auchan we left with just a few goodies for tonight. It’s shaping up to be a pretty great night with these crazy kids.

I wish you all the best for this New Year!



12.27.12Ice Skating at the Grand Palais

I hope you had a lovely holiday filled with fun surprises and lots of time with loved ones! We unfortunately came down (the entire household in turn) with the stomach flu the day before Christmas Eve. Ughh. Such bad timing. Looking on the bright side though it only lasted 24 hours and forced me to have a nice quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which was actually much needed. We were able to fit in some fun festivities before the bug hit including what I think was the highlight, ice skating at the Grand Palais. If you have seen the grand palais you know how absolutely incredible this “building” is. We thought for sure it was some crazy kings palace at one point (hence the name) but it was built to host exhibitions etc. and never housed any royalty. I tried to find a picture online that does it justice but I really couldn’t, it is that HUGE and beautiful. This gives you a bit of an idea though:


I am very lucky to have a wonderful embassy play group each week and one of our members organized this family outing and I am so very glad she did. I don’t know if I would have done it on my own and let me tell you it was a HUGE hit with the kiddos. Going in a group is always fabulous because I feel like I have five times the sets of eyes, ears and hands ha!

Of course it was a bit pricey but your ticket included your skates and entry into the other Palais exhibits for a whole day.

Once we figured out what our European sizes were we were able to get everyone proper skates. Though we did find out later there was a smaller pair that probably would have worked better for Evie, and of course they were super cute with two little metal blades instead of one. Now we know for next year! We made our way slowly over to the “kids area” only to be turned back. You HAVE to have mittens to ice skate at the Grand Palais. “Luckily” there was a mitten vending machine right behind us. So, we  all got some new mittens!

Since Finn had been before he was a little more sure of himself then the rest. Sawyer took it nice and slow while Evie basically clung to us for dear life.

The only picture we caught of me was pretty much mid-fall as two boys drg me in either direction ha!

I have never seen these little skating helpers before but I think they are genius! There just was not near enough to go around unfortunately.

As Sawyer became more confident Evie got even more punch drunk ha!

Then she decided she was totally done and plopped herself down and started eating snow, so we knew we were done

We headed over to our friends house for hot chocolate and yummy treats. Then we dashed the kids home before we headed out to take a tour of the Christmas lights in Paris!!
Even though it rained most of the time, we sat up top in the open air saying countless times how thankful we were to be in this amazing city.
It was truly magical day

12.16.12{photography} Goldilocks and the 3 teddy bears

I have had this particular photo shoot tumbling around in my head for the longest time. I would lie in bed thinking about each and every detail. Finally I was down to the wire with the move to Paris and beating the cold. I was so excited to make the jam jar “chandelier” and find all the items for the table. I knew Miss Mallory (one of my little muses) would be perfect. She is bar none one of the most photogenic little girls I know. She was pretty shocked that I busted up a little vintage rocking chair I had used in previous shoots, but it was all for the cause ha!  To say it turned out like I had imagined is an understatement. I was literally giddy about it. I don’t really know why I have waited to share these images… I am kinda worried that I will now see Goldilocks shoots all over the place. But why make art and photography if you don’t share it? I hope you love it as much as I do.

Photography and Styling: Kelly Crawford

Model: Mallory A.

Dress: H&M UNICEF holiday line

Hair and make up: Reese Anderson

Table Items: Thrifted & Anthropologie

Table chairs: Borrowed from a lovely friend

There you have it. My version of Goldilocks. A daydream come true :)


12.14.12{Foreign Service Friday} The Hobbit at a French Mansion

At each embassy there is a “team” (at least in Paris there are three, Timor only one) of people who’s jobs are making sure moral is high at the embassy. They do this through wonderful activities in the host countries, holiday party planning and other wonderful social gatherings. The team here at Paris with the help of Ambassador Rivkin (a former powerhouse in hollywood whom you can read more about HERE) brought an advance screening of The Hobbit to the Ambassadors residence. When Chris told me I was floored. I was pretty excited to see The Hobbit. Chris comes from a family who are AVID Tolkien fans, well his dad is basically a Tolkien buff. Growing up he read Chris the books making sure to do lots of fun voices. Chris has recently started reading our boys The Hobbit keeping that tradition alive. Before we got married I made sure I had read all three LOTR novels so I could contribute to conversation around the table. After we got married on our many car trips home from college we listened to the Silmarillion on CD…. well Chris listened and I usually zonked out after the first hour. Picture someone reading the Bible slowly and in a rich inviting voice. The subject matter is just has heavy as the Bible and really takes your full attention so I am still pretty hazy on some parts. So getting to see The Hobbit before it actually came out for FREE was pretty awesome.

But to be honest what I was more excited about was seeing the residence. Before coming to France I had done as much reading as possible about the embassy, its community etc. the article in Harpers Bizaare about the residence and first lady particularly peaked my interest. Needless to say the Ambassador to France’s home is amazing (pictures via Harpers Bazaar)

It is named Hôtel de Pontalba and really might as well be a hotel with how large it is. We were escorted into the guest wing of the home where I snapped a few instagram pictures (which is totally allowed, no rule breaking on my part, well, tonight anyway ha!)

When I went to the ladies room I could not believe the “powder room”

The Ambassador gave a lovely introduction telling us some fun and interesting facts about the movie and then let us know that his friend (who is the president of Warner Brothers gesh) had sent along some gifts and that if we found a sticker under our chair we had one. Well low and behold, I, who never wins anything, had a sticker!!! Yup, I got a “The Hobbit” shirt 😉

We thoroughly enjoyed the movie and will most likely go see it again in the theaters so we can experience it 3D. The residence is open for tours once a month. If you are planning a trip to Paris it would be worth looking into if perchance that date falls during your visit. You won’t regret it!

If you would like to read the article and see more pictures of the residence you can do so HERE.



12.12.12{personal} French Carousels

What is it with France and carousels? Honestly I don’t know. When I researched it I came up with zilch. At first I thought maybe they invented them. Which still might be true but the first carousel for children (not for actual testing of riding prowess with gold hoops etc) was located in Conney Island. Whatever the reason, almost every neighborhood has its own carousel and I could not be happier about that! Long day of sight seeing? No problem let the cuties go for a whirl every few hours. After several rides my kids are always begging for more. Our local carousel is one of the cutest I have seen (not that I am partial) while it seems almost brand new all the items to ride on a styled vintagely. The first time I saw it all I could think was “photo shoot photo shoot photo shoot”. Of course I didn’t get a good shot of the entire carousel but Samantha was nice enough to catch this crazy one of Evie and I:

Later we headed back with some of our lovely neighbors and their children to stroll through the Christmas festival that had been put up. (meanwhile I found our face paint from Timor and Evie demanded to be a butterfly) First the kids loaded up on the Christmas train. Sawyer was so sweet and sat next to one of our little neighbor girls who didn’t want to ride by herself. I tell you, who ever scoops him up later in life is going to be a lucky person indeed. Evie sat next to her new best friend and giggled pretty much non-stop.

After a few go rounds we headed over to the carousel.  All four boys went straight for the submarine

They stayed holed up in that all three rides.

Chloe on the other hand tried a few different ones. I think she liked the plane the best.

Usually Evie refuses to actually ride anything and demands instead to sit on whatever “bench” is available. It always seemed so out of character for her normally rather wild and adventurous personality but I never really minded. This time she upgraded to the trolley car.

Then things got really wild and she and Maddie went for the motorcycle.

After three rides we had to cut the kids off. Unfortunately the carousels are not “cheap” especially when you have four kids. We wandered through the Christmas booths for a while.

I of course bought a crepe. This time I was adventurous and got a salted Carmel instead of nutella. YUM! Though I only got a small bite as Finn soon discovered that he loooooved salted carmel too.

I hope where ever you are you are soaking up some holiday magic yourself! And if you ever come to Paris be sure to hop on a carousel!!