Hello, Chicago!

Fall in Premonotory Park

Trans-Atlantic flights, endless packing and unpacking of boxes and suitcases, and all the stress of job and apartment hunting have marked the last five months, but I can finally say we are settling into the new life ahead of us in the windy city, Chicago. I have to admit, adjusting back to the American way has been a struggle (reverse culture shock is always even more shocking…) and starting from scratch again has been trying, but I’m excited to explore this new city and make it our own, live just steps from Lake Michigan and be just a short drive away from my family.



Being in the midwest for this gorgeous fall has also helped to make the transition smoother, and my new neighborhood, Hyde Park, is brimming with places to enjoy it. This weekend we finally had a chance to stop and relax with old and new friends in one of my favorite new places, Premontory Point. Lots of people stick to the Northside of the city, but if you have the chance to spend a sunny day at this park on the Southside, it is well worth it. Jutting into the bluest blues of Lake Michigan, the park is a paradise of lush green grass, shady trees – that happened to be peaking with their golden color this weekend- and one of the best views of the complete Chicago skyline. We spent the early afternoon with a simple brunch picnic of veggie frittata, roasted squash, cheese and baguettes, and some sweet apple fritters and homemade cannelés. Can you guess what I brought ;)

picnic in the park2

Fresh air and warm sunshine, good food and golden leaves, and, best of all, great people. Welcome to Chicago!

Besos, Dianne

The Journey Continues…


Time has been moving way to fast, we’ve been counting down to our last days in France, and suddenly there are only days left. We’re finally making the big move back over the pond and I have to admit that my absence from the blog has been on the one hand because there has been so much to do to finalize things here, and on the other hand because I’ve felt like by avoiding the topic it would somehow stall time.


IMG_20140525_004427But, the days keep moving and we’ve had a last weekend to Paris, a last picnic on Lac Kir, the last wine tasting, the last nuit des musees, the last tea at Comptoir des Colonies, the last jog to the park, the last morning at the market. Every experience has been priceless, gorgeous time filled with incredible people and places; Dijon, Burgundy, and France will always hold a special place in my heart. Fingers crossed I’m back sooner than later. Merci, Dijon!


And, while I’m sad to think that Paris won’t be just a 3 hour drive away, that a bottle of Burgundy wine won’t be quite in the budget, Eric Fevre baguettes (the best in Dijon) and Pierre Hubert pastries (the best in the city!) will be a plane ride away, I am also so eager to go back to family and friends who’ve been too far away for too long, and back to enjoying all the things that have come to mean so much more to me since I’ve left. Nerves, tears, joy, sadness, excitement, suitcases…this beautiful journey continues.

Bisous, Dianne

French Pharmacy Favorites

french pharmacy

Time again to share a few more of my favorite products from the French pharmacy. After two years these are the products that I keep going back to and use regularly. And, bonus, they stay on budget at under 20 euros each…

1. Nuxe Aroma Perfection Cleanser:  a gentle fash wash that I use every morning for clean and fresh skin. 12 euros

2. Phyto Shampoo-We use the everyday shampoo for a light wash that leaves your hair soft and clean. 10 euros

3.  Roger and Gallet Eau de Toilette– I use it as a perfume or after shower spray. The scents are refreshing and keep you smelling lovely all day. I’m loving Fleur de Figuier right now. 15 euros for 30 ml

4. Nuxe Gentle Gel Exfoliator with Rose Petals– really gentle, I use it about 3 times a week to get an extra soft glow. I love that the exfoliation is natural, not a plastic bead (this report about exfoliating beads is pretty disturbing). 8 euros

5. Laino Tonifying Masque – I get 2-3 uses out of each packet, and love how my skin feels and looks after. Can be used 2-3 times a week, I use it about once a week. 1.50 euros

6. Bioderma Micellaire Water–  apparently too much water can be bad for your skin, so this stuff cleans it without the need to rinse after. I was a little skeptical at first, but have to admit, I’ve seen a change in my skin since I stopped rinsing morning and night. I use it at night to take off the day before bed- it even takes of eye make-up in one sweep perfection. 10 euros

7. Lierac Sunific Vitamins– I’m not really sure if these made me any tanner than usual since I’m pretty pale to begin with, but I like that no matter what they are filled with good for your skin sun protecting vitamins. 15 euros

See round one of my favorite little beauty luxuries here!

What are your fav beauty products?

Besos, Dianne