I wanted to, first of all today, share some things that are in my heart about the recent events in Paris. I am sickened by what happened, and my soul weeps over these constant events in our world. I saw this on facebook and I think it's very fitting:
I continue to pray - as I'm a very spiritual person and a person of faith - and I truly believe in the power of it. Especially if many people can come together and pray as one for a need in this world. So I want to ask those that do pray, to please pray for peace in this world. I also believe in the power of just being a person that puts out good in the world: caring words, kind actions, concern for others - you can make a difference in this world. I firmly believe there is SO much good everywhere too. It's just overshadowed by a lot of the dark and bad. Those are the things that often make the stories on the news and other media. Please, focus on the good - it's out there....share it with others. Believe in it.
I was very blessed to take a trip to Europe with my Aunt Mary Jo 16 years ago. The year before I became a mother. This trip holds some of my most treasured memories and it was the most amazing trip I have ever gone on up to this point in my life. We went to France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland. We spent one whole week of the trip in different cities in Poland staying with family that live there. It was incredible! It is the reason I got into scrapbooking, as the first scrapbook I ever made was this one. I wanted to put together a scrapbook of the trip to have a special keepsake of our adventures. Here are some photos from the Paris section:
This is me on that first day we explored Paris and I couldn't believe we were actually there! Can you see my joy? Arms outstretched. Lol! I had 4 years of french language and studying about France in school, and always dreamed of going there one day. I'm standing in front of a little garden area next to Notre Dame. There were tulips everywhere. It was Spring in Paris and it was amazing!! I have photos of the Eiffel Tower too - we went up in it at night so photos were dark. It was amazing, and just walking up to it was beautiful. Lilac bushes everywhere. I equate the scent of lilacs now often with the Eiffel Tower.
Another shot of Notre Dame along the La Rive Gauche (The Left Bank).
We took a train ride, past gorgeous fields of lavender (looked like a story book), out to Chartres - a charming town with one of the oldest cathedrals in the world. Chartre Cathedral was so gothic and amazing - like right out of a medieval movie.
This is a photo of my Aunt sitting outside Chartres' steps. After the cathedral tour we sat out on these stone markers and enjoyed our lunch of bread, cheese, fruit and drinks I had picked up in the farmer's market in Paris earlier that day. That is how we started most days: while my Aunt was in the hotel getting ready I would take my market bag and walk to the market up the street to practice my French and buy some local, cheeses, breads and fruits from the vendors there. We would put it all in our backpacks and go on an adventure for the day and share our lunch wherever we were at that time of day. Dinner would then be at a restaurant or buying a filled crepe at a crepe stand. My Aunt loved jambon et fromage (ham & cheese) - I loved hazelnut spread and banane (banana). I remember hearing things about the people of Paris being cold and distant. We didn't see that at all. If we needed help and asked someone they were so gracious and kind and helped us. They seemed to especially appreciate my efforts to speak their language...no matter how poorly it came out. Lol
I think we could have spent weeks in the Louvre - but we only had part of a day. It was incredible! We did see the Mona Lisa (it's REALLY small) and the Venus di Milo, but I was most impressed with Winged Victory.
We took a train a different day out to Versailles for a tour there. It was beautifully ornate and gilded. Notice the Hall of Mirrors photo I took (a little dark) - but I cannot even begin to share how incredible it was to walk through such a beautiful and historical place. Goose bumps!! The grounds were amazing and vast and beyond description. We ate our picnic lunch that day under a huge storybook looking tree next to "Hamlet" which was the peasant town area on the grounds where Marie Antoinette often dressed up as a peasant to blend in and would visit there and basically "play peasant" for the day. Amazing memories I'll never forget.
I think my love of Paris rubbed off on my daughter as that is what she chose as the theme for her room when she graduated to a "big girl" room a few years ago. I think reading a lot of Fancy Nancy books helped too. Lol! We finally did find a bed spread for her too (FYI to those whom have followed her room adventures in my previous posts) and I will fully share her room after we have our new carpeting. It's not a toile spread, but it works for now and she likes it.
When my daughter asked me about the events in Paris - I wasn't sure what I should say. I tried to explain it to her in a non-scary way, but I was honest with her. However, I mostly shared with her my love for that City. How incredibly beautiful it is, and how if she still wants to go to school there one day (she talks about doing that a lot) - I would gladly come spend time with her there. I think we need to keep dreaming, traveling, meeting new people, living full rich lives. Because if we don't, than the bad guys do win. They'll never win if I can help it. Je t'aime Paris.
I follow "french words" under instagram and this was the word that came up a few days after the attack:
Love that! After all, Paris is the City of Light - and I believe it has a bright one ahead.
Sorry that was so lengthy, but thank you for letting my share. Now on to the giveaway update. I am still planning to have a giveaway in honor of my recent one year blogaversary!! However, it will happen next week. I will do a post next Tuesday about what I will be giving away (as I'm still accumulating items). I will share a sneak peek of one of the items I'll be giving:
I love this binder book I picked up a while back - thinking of it for this, at the time, future giveaway. Many of you have commented on your love of the cookbook I'm making for Annie and I thought this binder and pages would be a wonderful way to create one of your own. The lined pages would work beautifully for recipes - plus they're cute! I'm planning on including my recipe for my sugared pecans - as well as a container of the sugared pecans themselves! I will also be including a scrapbook quality marker/pen, scrapbook adhesive and some stickers. I'm also planning on including some holiday goodies - as well as local items from my area. So stay tuned next week when the giveaway will officially begin!! Blessings to All. xo