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Summer Vacation 2013

Above: St. Louis Citygarden

Just wanted to share a few pictures from our summer vacation. We spent much of the month of August in the midwestern United States, where I was born and raised. We went to beaches...


...and gazed at several sunsets in South Haven, Michigan...


...took boat rides on Lake Michigan...


...went to the St. Louis Zoo...


...celebrated birthdays...


...introduced my husband and daughter to s'mores... 


...went to the park (St. Louis Citygarden)...


...spent time in big cities (Chicago, Illinois)...


...and in smaller cities (art mural in Quincy, Illinois)...


...and in a Dutch village (Holland, Michigan).


Hope your summer was as enjoyable as ours.



Simon's favorite sleeping place / position of the day, until he got ejected by Bon Bon from her chair


Candy Corn Costume

I'm a member of an American women's group that organizes several activities throughout the year for children, most notably Christmas and Halloween parties. Now that my daughter's getting older (2 already seems old to me!), I'm so excited to finally be able to take her to these get-togethers.

Halloween is not celebrated very widely in France, so despite this being my daughter's 3rd, this was the first year I made a costume for her. I found this incredibly easy, incredibly cute idea for a candy corn costume here. For those of you not familiar with candy corn, click here to find out more.

I made this costume a few weeks in advance, but if you have the materials on hand (colored fleece, sewing machine or simply needle & thread), it could be done at the last minute. There are no seams to be sewn around the armholes or at the hem -- just the sides and straps. I think it took three times as long to make the purse than the dress itself! 

My daughter looked so adorable, but of course I would think that. She did receive a few compliments from moms and kids alike. The costume must have been comfortable too, because she didn't complain one bit -- no yanking or pulling on it either. Don't know if I'll be able to top it next year.


Weekend baking: quick bread

This weekend I made a quick bread based on the banana nut bread in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I didn't have all the ingredients the recipe called for, so I had to do some creative substitution -- such as peanut butter in place of some of the mashed banana -- and ended up with a banana peanut butter coconut no-nut bread that was actually pretty good.


Thoiry Zoo

A couple of weekends ago we visted a well-know zoo and park in Thoiry, a suburb of Paris. I know this picture is not what would normally come to mind when you say the word "zoo", but I cannot for the life of me find the rest of the pictures I took when we were there.

This picture is of the Château de Thoiry, the grounds on which a safari park, botanical gardens and a traditional zoo are located. I think we all enjoyed the safari park the most. My daughter loved viewing up close the animals she normally only gets to see in picture books.

It's a shame I can't locate the pictures. If I find them, Ill update this post. In the meantime, here's a link to the website: