Summer in France...

We're just back from a super amazing vacation in France - one week at this gorgeous little beach house in the town of Montalivet on the Atlantic coast, where Jude and his friend Hugo spent the week playing in the sand and sun and generally getting up to tons of hilarious 3 year old shenanigans.  There is nothing more relaxing on a family vacation than kids that are happily occupied!

At Plage du Pin Sec - endless miles of beach, shells to poke, surfers to watch...

Much time was spent doing absolutely nothing...

Or doing really important stuff like coaxing snails out of their shells...

We took the ferry to Royan to visit the Zoo de la Palmyre (completely amazing - the animals are close enough to touch in many cases - quite a different experience from the average American zoo), reading books before long afternoon naps, our bedroom window at the beach house (above which were roosting a family of doves - there's nothing quite like a late afternoon nap with the breeze in the curtains and the sounds cooing doves in the background)...

A brief pause in Bordeaux on our way to catch the train the Paris...the fountain at Place des Quinconces...

Oh how I LOVE Paris - every time we go, it just blows me away all over again.

The night before we got on the train to France, I told Jude (grooming him to be on my side for future campaigns for more French vacations) that we were going to spend a whole week eating gateaux, glace, fromage and croissants - he couldn't sleep he was so excited - and we did.  Macarons galore, chocolate every day! Vacation rules dictate that is is perfectly okay to have éclairs for lunch - who can resist a display like this after all?

Visited the Dynamo exhibit at Le Grand Palais - a pretty fabulous exhibit of notions of space, vision and light run through the abstract art of the 20th century which involved a lot fun of kinetic, op and light-based art which was a big hit with the toddler set. Here Jude enjoys a pretty remarkable installation piece that blurs the line between two and three dimensions.

Other highlights included the Galerie d'evolution in le Jardin des Plantes - literally like stepping into a cabinet of curiosities, hitting le Marais for the annual sales (held twice a year in January and July), le Musée de la chasse et de la nature (one of my all time favorite museums in the world), the carousel at Jardin du Luxembourg, and taking the Batobus down the Seine to get home one afternoon (touristy stigma aside, it was turned out to be a great way to get home after slogging all over Paris in the sun and Jude loved the boat ride.)

This adorable map from Herb Lester - Paris en Famille - a little guide to kid friendly places to check out in Paris, came in handy and had some great suggestions.

Free Printable! Picnic Party Invite!

If you're summer hungry like us you're already planning your next outdoor occasion. We are dreaming of warm afternoons, gingham blankets and our favorite snacks. Well the time has finally arrived and so we've created these festive printable picnic invitations just for you! They're perfect for any summer event and can be printed right at home. The address label stamp is also printable, or take it to your local stamp shop and create a lifelong keepsake. You can download the templates here!

Picnic Invitation

Address Stamp


DIY Fourth of July Tea Towels

If you can believe it, July is right around the corner and friends and family are starting to make plans for the fourth. Whether you celebrate each year with a blow-out bash or keep it simple at home with close pals, it's always fun to have some festive decorations on hand. There are lots of quick and inexpensive ways to throw together some red, white, and blue, but why not go the extra mile this year and try something worth keeping. These firecracker popsicle printed tea towels relive those nostalgic childhood memories of chasing down the ice cream man and indulging in a sweet summer treat. Super easy to make and totally washable, you'll be glad to have them for next year!


Pencil, craft knife and cutting mat (a magazine will work), plastic coated freezer paper, masking tape, red, white, blue, and brown acrylic craft paint, foam brushes (or cut up some sponges at home), iron, white tea towels (we used flour sacks) and this handy Popsicle Template

How To:

Step 1. Print your Popsicle Template on your home computer.

Step 2. Cut out a piece of 8.5" x 11" freezer paper and trace the template. Be sure you trace with the plastic side down.

Step 3. Place your traced paper on a cutting mat or magazine and cut with your craft knife. Be very careful!

Step 4. Place your cut out freezer paper on your tea towel (plastic side down). We suggest using some masking tape on the corners to prevent it from shifting.

Step 5. With your iron hot, slowly smooth the paper onto the towel. Watch as the plastic seals itself to the fabric. Be sure to get all the bubbles out!

Step 6. Using your foam brushes and paint, dab each color in their designated spot. Don't forget to put a piece of paper under the towel as the paint might leak through.

Step 7. After your paint has dried, carefully peel up the paper and watch the design appear!

Easy, right? These tea towels would also make the perfect hostess gift if you're the one attending that big bash. Nothing says Happy Independence Day like a handmade gift.

For more fun DIY ideas, visit our website here!