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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes~ A Home To Adore

Thank you all SO very much for your kind comments regarding our upcoming move to the Fort Worth area.

So many delightful Texas bloggers have already laid out the welcome mat.

Reality is setting in and I am purging cabinets and closets like crazy. A garage sale is planned for August 2nd. Whew~ so much to do!

It truly is an exciting and daunting process.

Of course I have already been looking at houses on the internet.

Would you like to see my favorite?

This home was built in 1920 and sits in the historical district of Fort Worth.

I would probably paint the upper walls of the formal dining room a soft, light color, but just look at those floors!!!

The kitchen is full of light. The bottom white cabinets are original to the home.

You just can’t recreate some of the delightful elements found in a historical home.

For those who were wondering “Yes, the Fashionista is moving with us.” The Dallas area is actually a prime player in the fashion industry and there are great opportunities awaiting her. She would sleep in this room until she found a place of her own.

There is even a little guest cottage in the back for Grandma Jingles to live in. She is currently being fitted for her 10 gallon hat. :) Grandma Joyce has opted to remain in the Jacksonville area. The cottage needs a bit of work but OH WOULDN’T THAT BE FUN!

I’ll just sit in the garden and scheme awhile as to how I can talk the present owners into lowering the price to half of what they are asking.

I am thinking that if I tell them that I REALLY love the house they will do it. :)

Laura

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Perfect Place to Stay in Provence~ Mas Predon

Just 7 kilometers outside of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France is the tiny village of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès. Here you will find a charming bed and breakfast: Mas Predon.

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It is located on the Avenue d’Arles and a large sign marks the driveway.

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There is a large parking area and a well worn path that leads to a series of buildings. On your right is a small shed and just behind it is separate guest quarters.

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The L’Olivier studio has its own kitchenette, patio and charming shuttered doors.

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However we walked towards the main house where we found our handsome, charming and knowledgeable innkeeper, Guy.

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Upon our arrival he gave a tour of the lovely grounds and pointed out that our bedroom would be the room on the upper right.

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We entered through the second door which was flanked by lovely potted olive trees.

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We had booked the “Soleil” room which had two well appointed beds.

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The bathroom was quite modern with numerous amenities.

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There was a dresser as well as a writing desk. The French doors led to a small balcony…

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…and a beautiful view of the manicured gardens.

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At the left of the property was a small cabana that housed an outdoor kitchen to include a refrigerator and grill available to all guests.

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There is also a lovely covered seating area where we enjoyed breakfast one rainy morning.

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Although the pool looked quite inviting, it was still a bit cool. I plan to go back some summer to take a plunge.

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Looking back towards the main house, which is several centuries old, you can see the large flagstone patio. I sat outside here several mornings using Skype so that I could share the lovely view with Mr. Décor.

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My cousin, Linda, and I also enjoyed several lovely breakfasts here as well.

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Béatrice, the lady of the Mas, is a master in the kitchen. Every morning we enjoyed her freshly squeezed juice, a variety of homemade breads and jams, as well as a medley of Viennese pastries accompanied by coffee or tea.

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Mas Predon is extremely quiet and peaceful. Wifi is available. Guy is happy to provide you with travel suggestions, maps and dinner reservations. I would recommend that you have a command of basic French in order for good conversation. Mas Predon does not take credit cards but there is a bank right up the street with an ATM happy to dispense Euro’s. :)

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At the end of the week I felt that I had made two very special new friends. Guy and Béatrice you are true treasures and are missed very much!

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If you happen to visit, please tell them “Laura INGALLS says hello”. They really enjoy “Little House” which is shown regularly in France.

Laura

The Mas Predon website can be found HERE.

I was not compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family,Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Stars At Night Are Big and Bright…

Life can be such a wonderfully exciting and wild ride.

After months of waiting, wondering and praying if Mr. Décor would ever find a job the answer came swiftly.

Earlier this week my dear husband left on a whirlwind interview tour across the United States. Before he had even returned home there were two prospects and a large looming Monday deadline to make a choice.

After all that waiting… it was then Hurry! Hurry! HURRY!

It seemed as if life was occurring faster than I could pray.

We had to decide between a life in Manassas, Virginia (near Washington D.C.) and Fort Worth, Texas.

Talk about apples and oranges!!!

There would be NO time to visit each location in person. It was akin to throwing a dart at a dartboard.

I had lived in Dallas for two years in the 1990’s. I loved my church and still have two wonderful friends there. (Hey Kelly and Pam!) One of my favorite places on earth is the Dallas Arboretum.

I have traveled to Virginia to visit my cousin in Arlington and loved my time at Colonial Williamsburg.

On more than one occasion this past week I pleaded with God “What do we do??? Where should we go???”

As you may know God’s timing is very different than man’s timing.

We have also made the decision to invite my 92 year old Grandma “Jingles” and Eric’s 90 year old “Grandma Joyce” to live with us. (Only Grandma “Jingles” has committed at this time.)

There was no clear answer.

I turned to the internet. (It’s ok to laugh. I know that sounds absurd.)

I sought information on two key areas.

Housing and schooling.

What I found regarding housing and the cost of living was that Manassas was three times as expensive as Fort Worth.

Given that the job would have approximately the same salary this gave us pause.

Then there is Sweet Boy. Like many of you, our children’s education is VERY important.

Using sites such as GreatSchools.org and USNews we looked at test scores, parent reviews, etc.

Public schools in the area of Manassas were scoring 2’s, 3’s and 4’s while Fort Worth had 8’s, 9’s and 10’s (ten being the best).

Still I kept thinking about Proverbs 28:26~

“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.”

I told Mr. Décor I was going to put out a request for input. I did just that via the blog and facebook.

He spoke with a longtime friend with children living close to Manassas.

It became pretty clear where our future was.

So we’ll have about a month to find a home, sell this one and pack up. No pressure.

We are looking in the Keller and Colleyville School Districts but are open to suggestions.

A new adventure awaits!

Laura

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, July 18, 2014

Should We Live in……Fort Worth, Texas or Manassas, Virgina?

This past week dear Mr. Décor has been on yet another whirlwind tour of job interviews. It looks as though we will either be moving to Fort Worth, Texas or Manassas, Virginia.

So help us decide!

If you live in either area (or close by) please share your thoughts.

We would love input on the cost of living, fantastic schools and great neighborhoods.

Fort Worth…

Or Manassas?

I have been doing research using such sites as GreatSchools.org etc. but thought you might enjoy playing along.

Laura

Beautiful Things to do in Giverny after you’ve seen Claude’s Gardens (Major Eye Candy!)

After you’ve ridden the early train from Paris to Vernon, taken the tour of Claude Monet’s home and strolled his gardens you might then think “I’ve come all this way, now what?” Even in doing all that I just listed my cousin and I found ourselves finished by 11:30 am.

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So we decided to find a café and have a leisurely French meal. A short walk down Rue Claude Monet found us at the Ancien Hotel Baudy. They had set up a few umbrella’s for al fresco dining and it looked quite inviting.

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Not to mention the charming maître d’. 

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While you could order a la carte we were starved and opted for the prix fixe (fixed price) menu. As this was going to be our main meal of the day it was worth the splurge.

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For my starter I opted for “Summer Freshness in the Feta Cheese” just because the translated description made me smile. It had a delicious almost salsa consistency of tomato, fresh parsley, cucumber and feta cheese with a light cream sauce. Heaven! (I apologize for the overly red tone of the image, it was unavoidable due to the umbrella overhead.) Some of you might look at the image and be afraid. Don’t, just put it in your mouth! The French are famous for their over the top food presentation. Go with it.

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For the main meal I selected the chicken roll with mushroom sauce and potato au gratin. My mouth is watering once more just looking at this picture!

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Then came dessert. Home made apple crumble. I am saddened to report that my delight with this delicious experience had me eating the evidence before remembering to photograph it. :) After paying the bill we asked our waitress for directions to the ladies room and she directed us to go past the hotel bar and into the back garden. Upon entering the courtyard and its accompanying grounds I almost forgot the original reason I was in this enchanting place.

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Charming vignettes abounded.

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I loved the faux bois trunk planter.

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Spying some charming steps and being naturally curious I made the climb that beckoned me. (The hand rail was also an amazing metal faux bois.)

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I found myself in a lovely artist studio.

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This made sense as the artistic community, to include Cézanne, Renoir, Sisley, Rodin, and Mary Cassatt among others, followed Claude Monet to the sleepy town of the Giverny and needed a place to stay. This historic property fit the bill.

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Climbing the additional stone steps up on the side of the hill I found numerous areas of beauty.

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I might also have had a passing thought as to just how I could carry this table and chair off with me.

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From there we visited a few artist studios and I now wish I would have purchased this charming rooster bell.

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Continuing down Rue Claude Monet we stopped in at the village church which I had written about previously HERE.

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From there we went to the small, but wonderful, Giverny Museum of Impressionism. At the time we were there it was an exhibition aptly entitled “American Impressionism: A New Vision”. I discovered many new to me artists that are now treasured favorites.

“Near the Beach” ~ William Merritt Chase, Shinnecock, 1895

After an enjoyable apéritif in the outdoor museum café it was time to catch our train home.

“Three Sisters~ Study of Light” ~ Edmund C. Tarbell, June 1890

I hope you have enjoyed the week in Giverny. Next week we will head to Provence.

Laura

Ancien Hotel Baudy 81 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny, France

Musee des impressionnismes Giverny 99, rue Claude Monet 27620 Giverny, France

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Classy Clutter, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family,Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home,The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,The Dedicated House