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.
But, 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.
With sunny weather and warm tempertures, I’m getting serious about hitting up the local flea markets for a few little things to take home. I’m on the hunt for: 1- The perfect old mirror, gilded or simple, that will add some French elegance to a corner of my home, 2- Beautiful copper wares (which are far to expensive for me to buy new), I’m keep in my eyes open for the perfect cooking set or molds for my future kitchen, 3- gorgeous old plates inspired by the plates over at Manger, and I won’t pass up some beautiful silverware either 4- French linens, for tea towels or tablecloths, a little red detail or “D” monogram would be the cherry on top.
There are a few options to find the second-hand treasures you’re looking for in France:
- The first, and easiest for a tourist to find, is the traditional Flea Market (Marche des Puces) In Paris there are a few famous ones, and in smaller towns, like Dijon, there are always the vendors out with their goods on market days. You can find old dishes, sliver, jewelry and antique postcards and stamps here on a consistent, weekly basis.
- Another easy option for a tourist are Brocantes. They can be big markets, or simple shops selling antiques in town. Take a peek inside to find beautiful antiques sold by knowledgeable vendors.
- If you have a car keep your eyes open for a Vide Grenier, literally empty attic sale. Like a garage sale, the vendors at the vide grenier are average people out to sell their stuff – clothes, bags, kitchen ware, jewelry, antique books. The prices are usually really low, but it is a toss-up if you’ll find anything good.
- If you have a car it is also worth it to find the closest Emmaus. A charitable organization that gives proceeds to help people in need, the Emmaus is the place big and little pieces. You can find beautiful old wood furniture for less than 50 euros, old books and comics for pennies, traditional baskets, glassware and dishes. The emmaus will be packed on the weekend, but is full of treasures for the finding.
- Finally, if you have an internet connection check out Le Bon Coin, and online second-hand market where you can find anything you are looking for (or furnish your apartment if you are moving to France!) for really good prices. The only thing is you will need a car or someway to pick up your goods from the vendor.
Happy treasure hunting! I’ve got my fingers crossed I find everything on my list, stay tuned to instagram for updates!
Happy Spring! Here’s a little peek at the amazing, unusually warm, spring colors that have been enjoying here in France for the last two weeks. Aside from amazing bread and cheese, another little luxury of life in France is an abundance of affordable, fresh flowers. There’s at lease one florist in every quartier whose bright bouquets are daily displayed on the sidewalk and whose doors are open even longer then the bakery for the last-minute date or hostess gift. You can get a bunch of roses for about five euros or a bunch of tulips for three; take them as they are or choose a few different bunches to create a unique bouquet. When you take them into the shop the first thing they ask is “Pour offrir?”, and with a simple oui and at no extra charge they arrange even a three euro bunch of tulips into a pretty package ready to take as any kind of gift. I’ve made it a habit to stop by the florist for a fresh bunch every few weeks, and even if it is only three euros it makes the house feel a little more luxurious. One of the little perks of the French joie de vivre.
Flowers may be pretty inexpensive around here, but I’ve learned few little tricks to keep my flowers fresher longer:
- Change the water every few days, it keeps the flowers happy and keeps any swampy stink away.
- When you notice a few blossoms are starting to get limp, downsize your bouquet. Instead of throwing all the flowers away, separate the blooms that are still strong. Find some smaller vases, glasses, or old jars, cut the stems down and make a few little mini bouquets to for around the house to make the colors last even longer.