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14 février 2012 2 14 /02 /février /2012 12:34

Dear readers,

 

Here, in the peninsular part of France where the Little White House is, we're on Winter break. So what do you think I'm doing? Painting? Reorganising the office area? Changing my windows? Doing the laundry? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! I'm fighting a nasty angina. The temperature makes me dizzy and oh, so weak I can barely type...

I wish having a fever was as sexy as when it's only metaphorical...

 

Et voilà, les vacances sont arrivées, je devais en profiter pour commencer à "dérosir" la chambre d'amis, trouver un super menuisier pour changer mes fenêtres, repasser la tonne de lessive qui attend sagement sur le lit de la dite chambre d'amis, trouver une solution pour le coin bureau... En fait, je suis mise KO par une angine... Je suis toute faiblarde et je souhaiterais qu'avoir de la fièvre soit aussi sexy que dans la célèbre chanson de Peggy Lee, mais là je ressemble plus à une poupée de chiffon en jogging affalée sur le canapé.

 


 

Speaking of fever, do you believe an ad for tiles can be hot? Well, look what I found when researching stone tiles...

 

Justement, en parlant d'attitude sexy, vous auriez pensé à faire une pub pour du carrelage aussi sexy, vous?

 

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, you can keep your wig on...

 

Je ne sais plus ce qui m'a attirée le plus lorsque j'ai vu cette pub: les perruques ou le carrelage... (comment ça, ne me dites pas que je suis la seule à trouver les perruques sexy?)

 

Just imagine if the brand sold bathtubs, what the ad would look like...

 

Funnily enough, these was on of my floor ideas when remodelling the Little White House... More on that when I can think straight...

 

If you want to have a look at wonderful stone tiles, you can hop on lapidica's site... But if the tiles are all gorgeous, they didn't come up with clever ads for each pattern!

 

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 


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11 février 2012 6 11 /02 /février /2012 18:51

  Dear readers,

 

I come here today to make a confession (it's okay if just reading this, you burst into song, I know two just popped in my mind typing these words...)

 

I'm addicted to Wedgwood since I visited the Victoria & Albert museum when I was 16 (yes, that was a long time ago!).

 

Je dois vous avouer que j'ai un faible pour les objets en biscuit Wedgwood depuis mon adolescence.

 

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Most of my friends believe it's very "kitsch", but I'm with Milan Kundera here, and I love "kitsch".

 

La plupart des gens ici trouve ça vraiment trop kitch, mais, tant pis je préfère le kitsch au bling-bling.

 

So let's open the drawers of my little "Happiness of the Day " (that's how these little desks are called in French) - sorry about the blurry picture taken on a rainy day, a year ago, just to show it off to my mom...(Also, the bedroom is still in the previous owner's state... )

 

Ouvrons donc quelques tiroirs de mon petit bonheur du jour...

 

Now, look what's been on it for a few months now...

 

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Now, having read all these posts about pictures being manely about lighting and being the stubborn spirit I am, I had fun taking a picture at night.

 

 

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Let's open one more drawer, shall we?

 

Un souvenir d'une journée faite de petites folies avec ma Maman...


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It's Hope on her anchor, a very old Wedgwood design, though the brooch itself is only in its thirties!

 

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The last of my Wedgwood treasure is perect for Valentine's Day!

 

 

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There's one more Wedgwood item I can't show you yet, but I'm so very excited about it (and the story behind it).

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House xxx

 


PS1: I wasn't offered anything from Wedgwood to write this post. All the items are second-hand... But I'm all for a little gift from Wedgwood if they feel like it!

 

Wedgwood ne m'a pas sponsorisée pour cet article, mais si jamais l'envie leur en prenait, j'accepte toute proposition...

 

PS2: I was re-re-re-re-watching The Bodyguard while writing this, so any typing mystake can be blamed on Whitney's then beautiful voice.

 

Bien sûr j'écris cet article en regardant pour la énième fois The Bodyguard, ce qui peut expliquer des erreurs de typo.

 

PS3: There's a nice white kitchen in that film and Kevin Coster's silk tie are just perfect!

 

PS4: Behind the scenes... The picture you were never supposed to see...

 

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Please, don't focus on the mess or on the darkness of the picture or even my still wet hair, but have a look above the dining-room door...  Because the mirror is beveled, in the picture it looks like I have a transom, nice, hey?

 

Donc, vous n'étiez pas censé voir cette photo, mais le hasard fait que le biseau du miroir a créé un imposte virtuel au dessus de la porte de la salle-à-manger. Pas mal pour se faire une idée, non?

 

PS5: Sorry the PS part is actually longer than the post!!!

 

PS6: Joining some parties (with my wet hair!)

 

  bloggeritaville

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6 février 2012 1 06 /02 /février /2012 21:14

Hello there,

 

We are experiencing some mild cold here... I consider myself lucky as it seems Brittany is the only "warm pocket" in the whole Europe, warm being a generous word for our 2°C!

 

Bon, d'après ce que j'ai compris, je ne dois pas me plaindre puisque la Bretagne est, une fois n'est pas coutume, l'endroit le plus "chaud" du moment avec ses 2°C!

 

Still, I kind of spent the weekend curled up on my not-so-comfortable-but-to-be-changed-in-a-not-so-near-future sofa (we're not afraid of long names, are we?), catching up on some late (ok, very late) episodes from The Vampire Diaries... A hot guy or two (or three or four) couldn't hurt with that cold wind outside.

 

Enfin, d'après moi, cela reste trop froid pour jardiner ou courir les brocantes et j'ai donc passé une partie du weekend à corriger mes copies rattrapper mon retard dans mes séries préférées.

 

And I couldn't help but notice some more set gorgeousness...

 

Et je pense que vous ne pouvez pas continuer à vivre sans observer cet adorable salon qui apparaît dans l'épisode "Mascarade" de The Vampire Diaries. Si vous préférez lire en musique, le clip suivant est celui de la chanson qui apparaît dans l'épisode...

 

If you want to really be in the mood, this is the song that's played in the episode "Masquerade":

 

 

 

Most people who watched this episode probably wondered "Is Elena/Katherine/Bonnie... (insert here name of any character) going to die?"

 

I really didn't understand what was happening to the characters as I kept pausing the video, drooling over the Lockwoods Mansion...

 

Today, just for you, are some pictures of the upstairs sitting-room that gets trashed in yet an other life or death situation....

 

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Somehow the "atmosphere" of the room seemed peaceful to me... until everyone tried to kill each other, that is. I loved the "withered" colours.

 

J'ai adoré l'atmosphère sereine qui se dégage de cette pièce aux couleurs fanées... Enfin, les personnages, eux, se battent, mais c'est un détail...

 

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The wall paper is the very first thing that caught my eye, as it looks very beginning of the 19th century to me. Here's a close-up:

 

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Wait! Who staked the wall-paper? Anyway, you missed the heart.

I love the sea-on-a-stormy-day colour.

 

Quelqu'un a abimé ce papier peint délicieusement vintage...

 

Have you noticed the transom? I have a thing for transoms, so I did...

 

Cela fait un moment que les impostes vitrés au dessus des portes me travaillent... Je sens que cela va apparaître un jour ou l'autre dans ma maison.


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On the right armchair, there's a beige and red cushion that keeps the colour-theme going.

 

 

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The red sofa is the perfect touch of colour. I love that it's not too bright and therefore keeps the atmosphere of the room serene (excpet for those people fighting...). Huh... Did someone slew the coffee table? Well, it wasn't the best feature of the room...

 

The three-drawer side--table is adorable, wish I had a close-up on the drawers... I wonder how the lamp is lighted as there is no wire that I can see...

 

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Katherine, sweety, there's a line between high heels and too-high heels... You just crossed that line. Nice ponpons on your cushions, Mrs Lockwood.

 

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Katherine collapsed so we could see the carpet, that she stained in the most dreadful way. Still, we can appreciate how the carpet goes with the unity of the room: grey-blue, beige and some red highlights....I seriously wonder if the red highlights were brought to this room just to match Katherine's lipstick.... I don't recall the room from any previous episode... And I bet the people on this show are just crazy enough to have done that... Her eye shadow also matches the carpet... Perfection or ultimate craziness of TVD crew?

 

Alors, là, j'en perds mon latin (et ce n'est vraiment pas le moment), mais le tapis (merci à Katherine de s'être bien écroulée dessus) reprend à la fois les teintes de toute la pièce (couleur mer enragée, beige et pointes de rouge) mais en plus cela correspond d'une part à la couleur de son rouge à lèvre et de son ombre à paupière (si je vous jure sur ma grande photo, c'est pile poil ça)...

 

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They also managed to stain the hardwood floor... This is going to need some major sanding now... Does whisky stain? I don't drink enough to know....

 

Mrs Lockwood never complained about the mess of the room... Maybe she just wanted to redecorate it anyway...

 

If you want to see the kitchen set of the same TV show, it's equally gorgeous and it's here.

 

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House xxx

 

 



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29 janvier 2012 7 29 /01 /janvier /2012 18:58

Dear readers,

 

I don't understand how you're still here, but according to the "blog statistics", you're even more numerous when I don't write.

 

?!?

 

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I'm beginning here a series on  KITCHENS.

 

Je commence ici une série d'articles sur les cuisines.

 

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The posts should cover a little bit of everything: from dream kitchens for inspiration to down to earth problems...

 

Cela devrait être varié et aborder tous les problèmes que je vais croiser sur ma route en concevant ma cuisine...

 

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I'm not making any promise as I guess the posts will just go along with the problems I will have while planning my future kitchen.

 

Je ne promets rien quant à la régularité des "épisodes"...

 

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The series should be as organised as the above kitchen, but will probably turn as messy as this one - sorry, dear owner, you will probably kill me for saying so:

 

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I hope you will feel free to add your ideas and your adice in the comments, even if it means daring to use your French  to understand how to send your comment... I'm still working with overblog about getting a bilingual blog!

 

Surtout, n'hésitez pas à glisser vos conseils dans les commentaires, si vous avez eu la chance de survivre à cette étape difficile qu'est la céation d'une cuisine!

 

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You can always begin today by trying to guess whose kitchens are featured on this post... And don't you dare to only guess picture # 5!!!

 

Pourquoi ne pas commencer par un jeu: mais à qui donc appartiennent les cuisines de cet article? Et interdiction de penser que vous êtes quitte en ayant trouvé la numéro 5 seulement !

 

Magali, from the Little White House xxx

 

 

The kitchen party is going to:

  HappyHomemaker20111-39a-1

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

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23 janvier 2012 1 23 /01 /janvier /2012 20:48

Dear readers, wanderers and all,

 

I've been away for a while, so I'm not sure I really know where to begin...

 

Maybe I should explain why I was away. Because the Little White House has eaten more budget than planned last summer, I have agreed to work some extra hours as soon as one of the schools I'm working in asked me to... It keeps me really busy.

 

And when I say busy, I mean "up until midnight" busy. What I've been asked to teach is "Latin language and culture", something I did study... But ten years ago, so my memories are a bit fuzzy. I love a challenge, though. I love the feeling that washes through me  when I'm learning.

 

And yes, French school is not afraid of contradictions: "You can speak English? Why don't you teach Latin?"!!!

 

I try to be a good girl and study every evening, but clearly if Ian Somerhalder spoke Latin, I'd be fluent in a week!

 

2012 a apparemment plein de projets pour moi... Mais les projets ne se concrétisent que si on leur donne un petit coup de pouce... Du coup, je travaille beaucoup et je blogue moins... Je dors peu aussi car devoir prendre des décisions va souvent de pair avec quelques insomnies!

 

2012 might have something else in store for me as far as work is concerned and that also keeps me up at night, balancing all my options deciding on something different every night... Aaaaargh! I would tell you more, but I'm very superstitious, so you'll have to wait... I have wonderful people around me, family, friends and colleagues, who try to help me get to the right decision without putting any pressure on me... And I feel really blessed for that.

 

Je profite de ce petit article pour remercier les gens formidables, parents, amis et collègues, qui m'entourent et me conseillent pour m'aider à prendre les bonnes décisions, sans pour autant jamais me "mettre la pression". Je me sens vraiment épaulée.

 

The blog is still on my mind: I have about a post a day written in my head... But I don't have time to type it. If only I could type while driving!

 

The house is still evolving and I'm very aware of the fact I'm late to show you tons of things... But I'm also late on so many projects... Seriously there's a poor mirror that's been waiting for month to be repainted!

 

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So I thought I would begin to show you some of the transformations you've missed... The side garden! The first picture is 18 months old. The place used to be a very old and very shabby (not chic, though) henhouse.

 

The henhouse was removed...

 

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And I was left with an ugly job. That part of the garden had been used as a dumping ground years ago ,  the way it was often done in the counrtyside. So every weekend, I would take a big plastic bag and fil it with various stuff from old paintbrushes to empty beer bottles...

 

Alors, juste pour vous prouver que je n'ai pas été inactive à la Petite Maison, voilà un résumé en images de l'évolution du fond du deuxième jardin au cours des 18 derniers mois!

 

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There, after a few full plastic bags, it was already looking better...

 

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Same part of the garden: a gardener helped me to level the ground and he aslo dug for me the holes for the pear tree and the apple tree.

I had thought it would be fun to choose the trees by myself... Stupid little blond amateur-gardener!!! It sure was fun until I tried to stuff the two trees in my European sized car! To be true there was a moment when I thought I would let one of the them on the parking lot!!! But after lots of swearing (I amazed myself at how many words I know) and some bleeding (my hand, none of the tree was harmed in the process).

 

I just love going to that part of the garden now!I proudly call it my "orchard".

 

Clearly I'm not done with the garden, but this was a very big step completed in 2011.

 

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House xxx

(For some reason my usual signature won't work tonight... and I still have homework, so I give up!)

 

 

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12 décembre 2011 1 12 /12 /décembre /2011 18:40

Please hum the title with this melody in mind:

 

 


 

And don't blame me if it's raining on your house! (There's a saying here in France that off-key singing brings rain!)

 

I should have started on my Christmas decorating two weeks ago. I was actually just stepping into my first shop, looking for some white feathers for an idea I had, on the last Friday of November, when my cell phone rang. It was one of the schools I work in telling me the "inspector" wanting to see me on Friday 9th.

 

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Now if you're not familiar with the French school system, here are a few words, so you can understand why I still haven't even hung a single wreath.

 

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As teachers, we have a syllabus, but we're pretty free as to how to use that syllabus. But every once in a while, an "Inspector" comes to check what you're doing with your pupils and asks for a complete file on your work.

 

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Being the free spirit I am, I teach using all kind of different materials from Glee episodes to the funny "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" song. So I was a bit  (okay, a whole lot, like crazy) worried that the Inspector wouldn't really like my way of teaching.

 

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I spent the whole week preparing all kinds of papers for the Inspector, explaining how I had been working the last years, from how I teach prononciation to how I teach writing skills...

 

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Finally Friday arrived and all went well, I'm pretty sure it's because I was wearing my Mom's lucky silk scarf that I've always worn for my exams.

 

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The next day, my Mom arrived for the weekend and I decided that we deserved a very nice dinner... You may notice the absence of white feathers, mentioned above, on the table... I never found the time to go back shopping for those.

 

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And yes, the candle is completely awry and I can't remember why... No, I didn't drink that much... I guess the culprit is the cat, who happen to sometimes jump on the table!!!

 

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All pictures were taken in my under-renovation dining-room, with candle light, featuring my usual plates, flutes that used to belong to my grand-mother, Cherub candle-holder I bought in an attic-sale for 2 euros and repainted, and my very first brand second-hand silverware. Can you tell how proud I am of that last item?

 

We had a very nice girls' night.

 

And now let's the decorating begin! And I'm off checking everyone's blogs as I'm very behind in reading your Christmas posts!

 

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House xxx

 

 

PS: Gosh! You must have been singing, because it's pouring here tonight!

 

PS2: Now, I'm ready to party!

Making The World Cutter

 

 

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20 novembre 2011 7 20 /11 /novembre /2011 16:55

I must say I'm utterly amazed that I still have readers, though I haven't been a good blog-partier lately nor have I been much of a writer actually. So maybe it's time to tell you what's really happening at the Little White House.

 

This is not an easy post to write, so please pardon my English, which is not perfect when I get emotional. Corrections most welcomed in your comments!

 

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Last summer I discovered that the house was actually roting from all the water it was absorbing. There were various reasons for that and trying to think fast, I decided some major renovation was needed. It was a tough summer, but in September I thought the worst was behind me.

How naive I was!

 

The stone wall began to show sign of humidity as early as mid-September! I must say my first reaction was to panic and I seriously thought I'd better get rid of the house and that I was way over my head believing I could run the renovation of such an old house!

 

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Before completely loosing my mind with worry, I did what always works for me when the situation seems to get out of hand: studying. I spent lots of nights reading things on the Internet about humidity and how and why  water travels in old walls. I avoided forums as much as I could, because people are most of the time so negative on them... But I studied architecture sites. A big thanks has to be given here to the Canadian government : they have great pdf documents that really simplifies things and it was a great start for me. (I wasn't promised a Canadian citizenship to write this line!!!)

 

I even got in touch with a "humidity professor" (it does exist!) from an architecture school. He wasn't very pleased with me at first for having the guts to phone him... But after a few minutes, he thawed out when I told him that I had read his entire website and the page he had written on wikipedia... After an hour and a half (that's how long the phone call lasted!) he said that I had done my homework better than most his students!

 

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Knowledge made me stronger: I guess it's always true, whatever the subject is. I understand my house better, I realized that what people say about modern houses does not apply to my very old house and that the house and I will both find a way to figure things out only if I take the time to know it.

 

Good news now : as of mid-November, the walls are not as wet as they were in September and the humidity level in the house is correct for a seaside house. This means that a lot of the rampant humidity that I had in September was due to the new slab slowly drying and that the draining system I had done in the summer does work, at least a little! 

 

So here was my confession: it was hard to write as I always have a feeling that all of you meet only success when renovating your houses. But I guess it's kind of a relief to explain why there isn't much decorating going on in the Little White House right now... Though I have a few things up my sleeve to show you later.

 

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Thanks to all of you who come and visit the Little White House. Your visits and your comments make my day when times are rough!

 

Pictures (of very poor quality are they are not artistic pictures) are all of the same wall: 1) during the summer - 2) right after the renovation - 3) I removed the bookcase to be able to "study" the humdity in the wall - 4) taken tonight, the wall seems to be better. I guess you can't even see but the bottom inches of the wall are slightly darker...

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House

 

 

 

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30 octobre 2011 7 30 /10 /octobre /2011 15:52

As some American bloggers are facing the first snow storm of the year (no, I can't forecast the weather, but I'm really good at reading everybody's blogs! ), we are blessed with the warmest autumn around here.

 

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The stone bench is the best place to relax when it's warmed by the sun!

 

When the sun comes down, it's time for good hearty food.

 

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Like a mapple and nut  pie... And a hot herbal tea, with herbs just picked up from the garden.

 

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Occasionally, it gets quite cold in the eveving...

 

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Then the bathroom heater is the place to be. Please tell me your jaw dropped when you noticed the wonderful job the previous owner did with the painting of the wall !!!

 

Thanks to all of you who send well wishes to my kitty... I had to give him a medicine for three weeks; unfortunately, the medicine didn't exist with a "mouse" flavor, so it was not that easy to get him to swallow it! You can imagine that there were dark cat medicine stains on all my clothes...

 

A very special thanks to the vet who always kept his calm, even when I called him three times a week and stayed at the clinic after the usual closing time because I was finishing work late and I wanted him to check on my cat... I know that kind of human being is not so common.

 

So here's our motto for now:

 

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Wishing you all a calm and happy autumn...

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House

 

 

 

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24 octobre 2011 1 24 /10 /octobre /2011 18:41

I live in France, you know that country that has PARIS for its capital? We don't celebrate Hallowe'en here, but we have "Toussaint" that is just... not as fun!

 

 

 

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Last year, though, I decorated the veranda and I believe with this modest "decor" I went to my first blog parties! What I had not had in mind what that some kids actually came trick or treating last year and I couldn't help smiling when I saw their faces lit up as they saw the Hallowe'en-y veranda.

 

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So I promised myself to do it again this year.

 

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Please, if you really want to get in the mood, you should listen to this music... I did while putting up the "décor".

 

Maman, appuie sur la flèche de la vidéo, la musique devrait te rappeler des souvenirs... tartaresques!

 

 


 

I danced on this music when I was young and the first time I heard it, it actually gave me shivers...

 

Off topic, I know...

 

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All the decor was made using only things I already had (budget is kept for more important things in the house!), except for the flowers, the squashes (but I'll eat them later!) and the candies (I can't give kids leftover old candies, can I? - I'm not such a bad witch!)

 

 

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The teapot is a gift from my mum. It's an old "Villeroy&Boch" and I thought the black transferware would be perfect for Hallowe'en... Roses are from my mum's garden and my own.

 

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The mirror, which made taking pictures a nightmare, is there for two reasons: it's my nod at the old superstition that if you hold a candle and combed your hair watching yourself in the mirror on the night of Hallowe'en, you should see over your soulderthe reflexion of your future husband... It can't hurt to try!

 

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Also, those convex mirrors are called "Witch's mirror" in French. Maybe in English too, I don't know...

 

I found that one a while ago in an English Charity shop run by some English folks who live in the area.

 

Wishing you all a very spooky Hallowe'en...

 

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Magali, from the Little Haunted White House

 

(I apologize if the adjectives are not in the right order, I never could learn the rule about the adjective order!)

 

 

 

So now, grab some candy or try bobbing for an apple and let's party!

 

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Here's where to party:

  HappyHomemaker20111-39a-1

satnitenew150w

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17 octobre 2011 1 17 /10 /octobre /2011 20:53

The blog is not going full speed right now... But, reading the last comment I received convinced me it was time to write again! - Thanks Marcia, for that comment, by the way... Your timing was perfect!

 

I'm slowly processing the idea that decoration  will not be on the menu at the Little White House for a long time... There's still a lot more renovation to do before I can decide where to hang that print I bought on an "attic sale" last weekend...

 

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So basically, the house is sick and I'm trying to find a cure for it. The kitty is sick and I'm trying to get a cure for him... No need to say the weeks are exhausting...

 

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So plan A for Friday night was to cry my tiredness out... Way too depressing, don't you think? So I went for plan B: cooking! Something that always manages to lift me up. Now, you understand where I was going with all these pictures!

 

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The pictures show you the ingredients needed for a favourite fall recipe of mine...

 

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"Poires au vin rouge"

 

I thought it could be a perfect recipe for Hallowe'en if you called it "Pear in hot blood"!!!

 

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It could also be "Pear in cold blood", but I like it better served warm.

 

So what you'll need for those bloody pears:

4 pears

2 cups of red wine (French, "bien sûr")

1 cup of water

2/3 cup of sugar

1 cinnamom stick

1 long lemon peel

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

 

Pour everything in a saucepan and cook until the pears are tender.

It's so easy peary lemon peely. If you're not convinced, see where I cook ALL my meals:

 

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Yes! This is what the Little White House kitchen looks like and is going to look like for a very long time... Which will give me all the time I need to imagine what I really want my kitchen to look like (glass half full, anyone?). And, hey, this not the kind of picture you see on blogs, now is it? I hesitated to show you that, and then, I thought maybe someone will feel better seeing it or someone will feel lucky her kitchen doesn't look like that!

 

 

 

 

 

Magali, from the Little White House

 

 

Those bloody pears are going to some nice parties!!!

 

th wowuswedparty

 

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