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

Links for le weekend


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