Friday, February 15, 2013

Party in Paris

Paris Party 1
It was India's twelfth birthday this week. She wanted a simple celebration with a few friends. This is where we went. The ice rink in front of the Hôtel de Ville. An impressive backdrop for what was probably the easiest birthday party I've ever planned.

Paris Party 2
Seven girls and I set off into Paris on the train after school on Friday. I'd packed snack bags to keep them going until dinner and threw in a few party favours I'd picked up in Super U that morning. The masks were a surprise hit. The girls wore them on the train, in the metro and the whole time they were skating, much to the amusement of commuters and passers by!

Paris Party 3
The rink at the Hôtel de Ville is the last of the Holiday Season's temporary ice rinks in Paris to remain open. It costs just five euros to rent skates and the crowds have gone at this time of year. After dark, lights on the roof sparkle all night long.

Paris Party 4
It was a cold night but the girls were happy skating for an hour while I watched and worked on my night photography.

Paris Party 7
People come from all over the world to see the view from our local ice rink!

Paris Party 5
Once they we were done skating we warmed up with some street snacks, churros, nutella crêpes and the biggest Barbapapa (cotton candy) I've ever seen that was inhaled before I could get my camera out to snap a photo!

Paris Party 6
India has a pretty sophisticated bunch of friends, but they couldn't resist the carousel this night, especially as they got this beautiful double decker ride all to themselves.

Paris Party 8
After the fun at the Hôtel de Ville, we braved the metro once again to get to our dinner date at Chipotle. The beauty and cuisine of Paris is lost on these girls most of the time, what they really want is a good burrito and a Dr. Pepper. This was my first visit to the Paris Chipotle which opened last May and it was the perfect place to take these girls for a birthday dinner. The servers were patient while they slowly made their choices (in English) and then changed their mind. We had a big table tucked away upstairs all to ourselves and no one cared when the noise level rose - and rose!

Paris Party 9
It's not always (ever?) easy being a parent to a sixth grader. We are finding it a challenge as we navigate this path for the first time, but on this night the girls smiled and laughed and were polite and couldn't believe it when I said yes to all their requests for treats. For my birthday girl I was happy to indulge.

Paris Party 10
And the highlight of the party? Checking out the cool shoes on the last day of les soldes!

India was born on my 28th birthday so you can do the maths and figure out that this year's number was a big one for me! Not content with Paris on my doorstep, I'm getting on a plane in a few hours to spend the weekend with Keith in Rome. It's our first visit. If you have any must do's please let us know.

Bon weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We love Mondays


The girls had a couple of extra days off school this weekend while the teachers did some Professional Development. They (the girls not the teachers!) decided this would be the perfect opportunity to go to Disneyland. They pooled their pocket money, did chores without complaining and convinced me there would be no queues on a wet February Monday. They were right. The waits were short, the rain stopped and everyone had a great time. We met up with some friends, so while they took the big girls on the scary rides, Florence and I hung out in Fantasyland. She doesn't watch the Disney Channel or know who the princesses are but she was beside herself with excitement to be there! And the best thing about Disneyland Paris? Nutella Crêpes!

Happy World Nutella Day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Quoi de neuf ?*

* What's new?

Old House
This week, I met another blogger friend for real. Virginia and her friend Mary came to visit and we spent the afternoon in picturesque Marly le Roi where we found this vieille maison. Watch out for lots more photographs from the charming streets of Marly on Virginia's blog Paris Through my Lens.

Baby Mama
I signed Florence up for Maternelle (French Kindergarten) which she will start in September. I had expected to have to deal with a mile of French red tape, especially as we don't have some of the required documents on the registration form - no Carnet de Santé or Livret de Famille, but my substitutions were deemed perfectly acceptable and the whole registration process took me less time than it took to buy our evening baguette. I can't help feeling that was too easy - we will see when I attend the compulsory parents meeting in June! I hope she likes it. She could do with a break from looking after her family of seven!

Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur seen from the fifth floor of Le Marché Saint-Pierre

I had a wonderful day out all by myself shopping in the fabric markets of Montmartre and somehow managed to stumble into an excellent French bistro for lunch in a sea of tourist traps at the foot of Sacré Coeur.

I needed fabric for a dress I'm making for my niece's christening. Whilst searching the web for design inspiration I stumbled across this film at Baby Dior. Le sigh...

Not sure how long that link will last so here's another film for the Paris lovers. Check out the girl in black. Her dress. Her hair. Turns out India wasn't so far from a Dior outfit at THAT Bar Mitzvah after all!

Four girls
And last but not least, I am thrilled that Jillian over at Jillian in Italy interviewed me for her A Kid's Life series. I found her gorgeous blog one time when we both linked up to Love the Place you Live at Design Mom. It turns out that as well as loving where we live, we also have a love of sewing, photography and twin girls in common! It was such a pleasure and very thought provoking to answer her questions so hop on over to see what I had to say about our life in France. You might find out something you didn't already know.

Bon Weekend!
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