Vivent les Vacances!

Valfrejus Mountain

It’s winter vacation in Paris, and we’re off to the Alps for a week, to a small little ski town called Valfréjus. I’m bringing books, papers, and my computer, so I can get some real work done, but what a beautiful setting to be in to do it! These photos are from the Valfréjus website, but I’ll be sure to share our own photos (and maybe even some video of Seth snowboarding?) as soon as we return.

Valfrejus Chapel
This is a chapel you can walk to from the slopes. I’m not sure how old it is, but I’m looking forward to visiting it. It’s interesting how it seems to be built right into the mountain.

Valfrejus Slope
The slopes…Not being a very good skiier, I think I’m more interested in the photo ops, the hot chocolate, the heated pool, and the raclette!

Paris Blogger Party

Richard Nahem of the excellent Eye Prefer Paris blog hosted the second annual Paris Blogger Party on Saturday night. Richard has an amazing apartment with 2-story windows and design elements resembling things I’d only seen in Soho window displays. We had a wonderful time, but forgot a camera, so check out his post about it and the roll call of the fun Paris bloggers that attended.

Barcelona Water & Graffiti

It’s a strange combination, I know, but there were a few other photos I wanted to share from Barcelona and there isn’t really anything tying them together!

Barcelona Marina

First, some photos of the marina. There’s a large floating walkway and pier that offers great views of the city.

Barcelona Fish

There were lots of visible fish out at dusk.

Barcelona Sunset

Sunset View…

Barcelona Pier & Walk

The second group of photos are some shots I took of graffiti we saw around the old city.

Barcelona Graffiti 1

Barcelona Graffiti 2

Barcelona Graffiti 3

These paintings of faces looked a little more deliberate than graffiti, but it’s still an interesting juxtaposition between the older building with its wrought-iron balcony, and contemporary artwork.

I think that’s it for our Barcelona travel photos! Happy weekend.

A Valentine Treat

Flowers From Julie

These beautiful flowers are not Valentine’s related, however: they’re from my friend Julie, who gave them to me a week ago. Admire how beautiful they still look!

When we were kids living in Los Angeles, our favorite treat in the whole wide world was fresh strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar. So simple, yet so delicious. I didn’t have sour cream (or crème fraîche), but yogurt was just as good. I’d take this over the chocolate-dipped variety any day. Happy Valentine’s Day to us!

Strawberries Brown Sugar

Gaudi’s Barcelona

What’s a trip to Barcelona without a dozen or so pictures of the unusual architectural works by Antoni Gaudì? Here are some of my favorites:

Gaudi 1
The Casa Milà

Gaudi 2 (Night)

The stained glass was especially beautiful at night…

Gaudi 3 (Night)

Gaudi Cathedral 1

I love how the Sagrada Familia Cathedral looks like a sand castle. It is slowly being covered in mosaics, so one day will be quite a festival of color.

Gaudi Cathedral 2

Gaudi Cathedral 3

Gaudi Cathedral 4

Gaudi Cathedral 5

Wikipedia has this cool list of Gaudi buildings if you want to see more.

Barcelona: Old Buildings

Barcelona is well-known for the architectural marvels by Gaudì, but I thought I’d share some photos of older buildings that make the city a multi-layered historical wonder. Of course, we went without a guidebook so I can’t tell you what all of these places are called, so if you’re familiar with them, feel free to share!

Barcelona Old Church 1
This church looked to be at least a few hundred years old. It reminded me of Spanish colonial architecture we saw in Mexico a couple years ago.

Barcelona Old Church 2

Barcelona Old Cathedral
This was a curious sight: What appears to be an old cathedral or monastery is missing an arched passageway that must have been there once upon a time.

Barcelona Old Cathedral 2
Carvings in Latin that used to be inside are now exposed to the street.

Barcelona Water Fountain
There are still many public fountains like this one throughout the old city.

Barcelona Steeple and Narrow Street
The steeple of the church of Santa Maria del Mar rises above this narrow street.

Barcelona Fountain Sisters
With my sister, Laura.

Barcelona Square
We liked this square lined with palm trees.

Barcelona Fountain Night
The fountain, lit up at night.

Marie Claire Idées Spring Issue

We are back from a wonderful trip in Barcelona, and I have a lot of blogging to do about that. But first, look what came in the mail today! Probably one of the best ever issues of my favorite magazine, Marie Claire Idées.

Marie Claire Idées Spring Cover

Why is this one so awesome? For starters, there is a whole section on crafts inspired by cabbage and broccoli. Who would’ve thought of that? A crochet cabbage purse? Awesome.

Marie Claire Idées Spring 1

French samplers always seem to look cooler than the ones I grew up with. While I am not as ready as my friend Julie is to take on one of these, I do think the cross-stitch looks chic, and quite lovely over the beige fabric.

Marie Claire Idées Spring ABC

Maybe I’m getting a little excited for nothing big, but as some of you know, I have been collecting teacups from all over the world for the last 15 years. This issue devotes eight pages to English teacup-inspired crafts, from candelabras to mosaic dressers to a lamp made of stacked teacups and pots. Heaven!

Marie Claire Idées Spring Teacups

As always, the photography is very inspiring and makes me want to paint the walls pink and embroider every cloth in sight. I’m looking forward to reading the article on organic and natural cosmetics, as well as turning your kitchen “green” (literally and figuratively), with lots of crafts using recyclables. But first, I should really get back into organizing my Barcelona photos!