Bonnes Fêtes!

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One day left! Are you ready? With nearly all the shopping done and a safe arrival to Spain, I’m taking it easy with some Christmas movies and delicious cookies for the next few days. Here’s wishing you a  Joyeux Noël from the delightful shop windows on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris that we were lucky enough to see (such unbelievable crowds!) on a little jaunt out to Paris a few weeks ago. Here’s wishing you lots merry-making in the last few days before Noël!

Besos, Dianne

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Links for le weekend

noeldijon2011

Twelve days until Christmas! Dijon has been enveloped in a frosty Narnia-esque fog all week making for dreamy white landscapes, we’ve enjoyed our first hot wine of the season, the company Christmas party was last night, and I’ve got a million and one great ideas for presents for the people I love…it really is starting to feel a lot like Christmas! As the last weekend in France before we hit the road for navidad in Spain I’m looking forward to heading back to Marche de Noel with some friends, finishing up some last minute shopping, and baking some cookies for a cookie swap with students next week. What will you be up to this weekend?

Here are a few great ideas and links I’ve enjoyed lately…

I brought some mint extract all the way from the states to finally make these Homemade Thin Mints from SpoonForkBacon for Christmas this year, can’t wait!

Simple ideas from Rachel Khoo to make holiday entertaining easier.

LOVE that West Michigan is Lonely Planet’s NUMBER 1 travel destination for 2014!

Dear Santa, please bring me a summer castle in France like la Socelière. Thanks.

Things Parisians do, ha!

A few easy DIY pressies from Love and Cupcakes: Lavender Sea Salt and S’mores Hot Cocoa.

And in case you’ve missed any of my holiday posts, here are a few of the most popular…

Gingerbread Traditions and recipes from France and the USA.

Warm and Bright: Christmas in Oviedo, Spain

Under the Christmas Tree: Books for the Francophone

Thanks for reading! Bon weekend!

Besos, Dianne

Creative Christmas Trees for Expats

When you live abroad having a Christmas tree becomes a little more difficult. Here in France finding a tree is no problem, markets and flower shops have adorable little fresh trees for sale and bouquets of branches and holly are easily available. Since we’re usually off to Spain for the holidays though buying a tree is out of the question. Living as an ex-pat I’ve also started to live more minimally, meaning packing up lights and decorations from suitcase to suitcase isn’t going to happen. But living abroad doesn’t mean you can’t add some Christmas cheer to your place, so I’ve put together a few non-traditional tree ideas that are expat, minimalist  and travel friendly while still bringing lots of Christmas cheer! Which do you like best?

If you can get your hands on some pine branches these old bottles filled with branches and a few colorful ornaments are the perfect solution. I did this the first year we were in France, and not only was it pretty but it filled the house with the delicious smell of pine! (image via Enjoy your home)

These Oragami ornaments from How About Orange are budget friendly and would look adorable on the branches or a mini tree.

If you can’t find a tree why not make a light tree, so simple but the perfect festive glow for a small space. (from Apartment Therapy)

Another space saver from Apartment Therapy, make a washi tape tree on the wall. I’d fill it pics of the people you love who are far away. (from Brit and Co.)

Or why not make a paper tree? This tissue paper tree from Curbly is elegant and fun.

Finally, on a smaller scale a paper Christmas tree forest to fill up a window sill or put on the table would be lovely too.  Add some glitter and tea candles to make it sparkle. (DIY at Julep)

Ex-pats, do you have a tree or do you have another non-traditional solution?

Besos, Dianne

(Title photo from Le Petite Cuisine)