I always knew that our life in Manhattan with the girls was a bit complicated, but being at my parents in the French countryside for the summer vacation, I am getting to see the extent of that. We traded the subway for a bike. We traded the top notch children’s museum for my parent’s backyard, filled with treasures and opportunities to discover. We traded fancy brunch restaurants for the old walls of my grandmother’s farmhouse, where we spread homemade blackberry jam on thick slices of crusty bread. Life, simplified. Life, as good as it gets. We fill our days with simple little moments that I know the girls will remember and treasure for the rest of their lives. Childhood in the making. We pick flowers, anytime, anywhere. We dip our fingers in unharvested honey from my dad’s beehives. They play with my aunt’s dalmatian puppies. We pick cherries at my grandma’s and raspberries at my sister’s. Through their eyes, I rediscover myself, I rediscover my own childhood. And it’s exactly what they say: you can take the girl out of the French countryside, but you can’t take the French countryside out of the girl.

PS: For more pictures of our vacation in France, follow my Instagram feed here.

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L: Paris apartment via Au Coin du Monde |R: Watermelon soda float via Bon Appetit.

Do we all need a little something to cool off? It’s been really warm here in France since I arrived with the girls last week - we’ve been trying to cool off whatever way we can. Thank goodness we’re not in NYC anymore though, my poor hubby is still there stuck in our apartment. With no AC. During a heat wave. Yikes! In today’s {live here, eat that}, loads of wood and neutral colors for this gorgeous Paris apartment. Something about it makes me feel cooler, maybe because I associate wood and neutrals with Scandinavia, where temperatures never get crazy hot – and THAT’s the understatement of the year, my friends. Oh, and while we’re making ourselves at home in this pretty little home, shall I fix you this yummy watermelon soda float? It’s on me, I insist :)

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Hi guys, missed me at all? :D Sorry I went missing, last week was just crazy with packing and traveling to France – I’ll be in France with the girls until mid-August to visit my parents. Surprisingly, the plane ride was really smooth. I was traveling alone with the girls and expected delays and lost baggages and juices boxes dumped on my laps, but none of that. I guess having low expectations helps! Over the years I have to say that I also got better at packing for our trips. I used to pack so much, so worried we’d miss something, but now I cut it way down – the fewer bags we have to haul around the better, and really, we rarely miss a thing! There are some things though that I always take with me on the plane to make the flight more enjoyable – why, traveling with toddlers ain’t a spa treatment?! Just a few beauty essentials that are really compact, but make a hell of a difference so I don’t feel like a zombie when I walk off of the plane.

Are you traveling abroad this summer? Any travel essentials of your own? I’d love to hear what you pack with you!

1. I am in love with Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm I use it when I travel, but also throughout the week when I don’t feel like putting lipstick on. It hydrates your lips really well and gives them just a hint of color. 
2. Long overnight flight? Try this coffee bean anti-puff eye cream, like magic!
3. The best thing to flight greasy hair when you don’t always have a place/an opportunity to shower – hair powder by Lulu Organics.
4. I don’t like wearing perfume when I travel, a bit too stuffy, but rosewater on the other hand is refreshing and it smells divine - Rosewater balancing mist by Jurlique.
5. A mini electric toothbrush, a must!
6. Drink drink and drink, that’s the best thing you can do to help your body cope with traveling! Love the Bobble water bottles, they have  a filter so you don’t have to worry where you get your water from!
7. The air in the cabin isn’t great, and my hands always feel so dry after flying for few hours. L’occitane’s cherry blossom hand cream is great, and smells so good!

Makeup bag available at Modcloth

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To my US friends – hope you’re enjoying the day off! As far as I am concerned I’ll be somewhere in the city kissing my girls and sipping on a strawberry daiquiri. If you don’t live in the US, well what can i say…sorry to be bragging, but off to work you go ;) Have a great day, friends – I’ll be back on Monday!

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Gloria from Little White Whale and I.

Summer always seems to bring hundreds of parties and celebrations. I love how people are taking the opportunity to set up their own photobooth and capture silly portraits of their friends whatever the party. I keep finding the cutest photo booth backdrops on Pinterest too! I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous fresh flower backdrop, but since it’s a bit outside of a lot of people’s budgets (mine included!), my friend Gloria and I thought of this really cute but inexpensive photobooth backdrop made with wood contact paper and tissue paper flowers.

And yes, we had to take silly pictures in front of it :) Happy summer, friends!

Wood and flowers Backdrop tutorial

All you have to do is cut the contact paper in the length of the sheet, into bands 2-3 inches wide, and stick these to the walls. Don’t worry, contact paper is super easy to remove and won’t leave a mark.

Then, make the paper flowers. You can find loads of great paper flower tutorials on Martha Stewart’s website. We sort of made up ours as we went along, sometimes following tutorials but most of the time not, just using fasteners to hold the flowers together in the middle. Then we used washi tape to stick the flowers to the wall. Et voila!

PS: Not sure how to set up your home photobooth? This app is pretty awesome to turn your ipad into a photobooth!

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Today I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve been eyeing lately…yep, you got it, more pastels. We can definitely say that I am obsessed. Happily obsessed.

1. Simple, pastel thank you cards by Happy Dappy Bits. Perfect!
2. Literally head over heels for this bow wrap-around bracelet at Carolina Benoit. Comes in more fun colors too!
3. Love the design of this chair at Gallivanting Girls! By the way, their shop is filled with great finds for the home.
4. Be still my heart, the cutest baby sandals over at Kellsey’s!
5. To feed my new obsession with flamingos, this mini flamingo at One Eyed Dog.
6. Wood + fun colors is always a win! Pretty little scoops at Sucre Shop.

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Print by Vapor Qualquer.

Words of wisdom for the day – don’t grow up, it’s a trap. A couple of weeks ago hubby and I created this game where, when we want to complain to each other about something, we have to sing it to a a famous tune. Since we had just seen Les Miserables, he started singing: “I had a dream my wife could cooooooook”….and I started cracking up. Because, it’s true, I need to step up my cooking, and it was so liberating to talk about issues without making a big deal out of it. Another game we play is rock, paper, scissors whenever there’s a stinky diaper to change….nobody can complain that it isn’t fair that way!

As adults, we don’t do it enough – we usually take things way too seriously. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t be adults at all, but I think there is something to be said about kids and their ability to make a game out of everything, and about how they come up with simple, innocent solutions. Most of us forget how to be a child, but it’s just so good for the soul. Do you remember to play? What do you do to take the seriousness out of a situation?

PS: What Lainey told her mummy Kelle made me smile big.

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Do you like to celebrate 4th of July in style? Well then my friends, these projects were made just for you, no doubt about it! The great thing about being a French girl living in the USA is that our flags share the same colors…Bleu, Blanc, rouge for France. So when it comes the time to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14th, I’ll also be able to use them – I’ll just add a baguette, some stinky cheese and a jumping frog in the mix to make it a bit more French ;) Happy weekend, friends!

1. First things first – DRINKS! Strawberry Peach Caipirinha by Dreierlei Liebelei.
2. Printable popsicle invitations by Martha Stewart.
3. So pretty, 4th of July napkins by Paula Deen.
4.  Love this simple giftwrap for little party favors.
5. Watercolor strip bunting by Studio DIY for The Sweetest Occasion.

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With the girls being sick the week leading to father’s day,  I never got to share this little gift idea list that I had made. But it’s never too late to shower the men in your life with love and gifts, right? Shopping for guys is always harder for me than when I have to shop for my girlfriends, but here are a few things I think men will love. Happy Thursday, friends!

Images: 1.Wolf bookends by Design Atelier Article. |2.Personalized moleskin journal by Harlex. |3. Faceted walnut wine bottle stopper by Brighton Exchange. |4.Coffee scrub soap by Davis Main. |5. Bicycle wine rack at RedEnvelope. |6. Stars Wars cuff links at RedEnvelope – my husband would probably die for these!

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A girl can never have too many clothes in her closet, riiiiiiiiiiight? Back me up everybody, in case hubby is reading this :D  While looking for cute summer dresses yesterday, I stumbled across the cutest shop, Candystore Collective, and I am utterly in love with their clothes and style. Polka dots and hearts shirts? A hook and rope bracelet? You sure are speaking my language, Candystore Collective. Happy Wednesday, friends!

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