Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's Moving Day!!

Well, not moving day for us, just all our STUFF! After weeks and weeks of planning and strategizing and the last-minute apartment find and everything ... it's time. The movers are here packing up all our stuff for their journey across the ocean. Some will go via plane and the larger things will go via sea.
Just One of the Piles of Stuff!

We wanted to get this pack-up started as early as we could manage it, so it all got a head start to our final destination in France. Sea can take up to two months to arrive. While air is pretty fast, at about 2 weeks. But that's all pending the holiday schedules, delays, paperwork and customs.

And because we're not taking everything we can still live pretty comfortably in our house with what will be left. Though, the kiddos will be missing some of their favorite toys and stuffed animals.

So, I'm trying to be useful as the four guys load out most of my favorite things ... including toys, beds, stuffed animals, books, shoes, dishes, etc.

You guys, this is real now. We're moving to France.

PS. And check this out... six years ago TO THE DAY, we were being loaded into a moving van from New Jersey to here. Exactly to the day. Check out this past post. And here are some photos from that day.

Related posts:
More Paris moving posts

Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Shopping List - 2017

I love all the round-ups bloggers and websites do about the things they are shopping for this holiday season, so I thought I'd make my own.

Picture Gifts - For Fans of Your Instagram Feed
The Young House Love folks just mentioned this amazing daily photo calendar from the nice folks at Social Print Studio on their podcast and I had to share it. I've been using this small business studio for years to print out my Instagram masterpieces and this year I had a poster printed for David's birthday to decorate our apartment in Paris. Instagram prints are great to print out because you've already edited them, picked them as favorites (because you shared them) and are a pretty little square.

Gilmore Girls Again - For Late Fans
For whatever reason, this was the year two of my sisters decided to get on the Gilmore Girls bandwagon and binge all the shows. Years late to the party, girls, but I'm cheering you on. I watched it religiously (except for that last season, let's not discuss) when it originally aired but my sisters were naysayers. Then, this year, they're texting me about Rory and Dean ... then Rory and Jess. Then Logan. And what happens to Luke? And I'm just here nodding my head knowingly. So, in honor of these new-found Stars Hollow follower, I found this Etsy shop with a bunch of Gilmore Girl fan items like shirts, totes and, of course, coffee mugs. But seriously, Team Jess or Team Logan?

Teepees - For Special Kiddos 
Kids just naturally love their own spaces and these teepees with their fun fabric patterns are so cute! I'm a fan of all the imaginative play they create. And offer cool places to chill or read. We have a tent upstairs and the kids always make it into all different kinds of spaces: art studio, an office, a detective agency and a house for dolls. Because it was so popular, I picked up a teepee from Target (on clearance) and we'll bring it to Paris. With a few pillows and some imagination, it's the perfect little space in a city apartment. And a happy reminder of home. 

Throw Blankets - For Lovers of Sofa Snuggling
For about three years, I gifted myself with one of these holiday themed-throws each year (once they went on sale, of course). I now have three and I really love them. They're an ideal sofa size and they start kind of chilly but get really warm with some body heat. I love that. I've used them on my bed a time or two, too. I know they're not the faux fur and lux sheepskin that's been everywhere this season, but I enjoy the look of these much better. Here are this season's throws from Garnet Hill and The Company Store. I recommend either brand, just find a pattern you enjoy.

Happy Holidays!

Related posts:
All the Holidays posts
More fun Shopping lists

Friday, December 8, 2017

Success - The New Apartment

It only took four trips around to look at apartments but Dave and I settled on a "new favorite" that we hope we can snag before anyone else does. Gah!

Here's a teaser photo, I'll share more details and photos once we can safely confirm it's ours.

Yup! That Dining Room Has Roman Murals on Two Walls! 
Fingers are crossed!

Related posts:
All the Paris Move posts

Lost Apartment and Deep Thoughts on Packing - Paris Friday Update

Lost the Apartment
In a dramatic turn of events the apartment we loved and thought was ours went to another party. They got their file in hours before us and the owners felt they needed to play fair ... even though our case looked way better. So all the imagining I did with placing furniture and neighborhood research went out the window. Very frustrating.

Dave is making a valiant effort to do his FOURTH apartment hunt today. Please keep your fingers crossed we find something we like. If we don't, and we go to our backup-backup plan of apartment shopping in early January, shipping of our household goods become complicated. Plus, my sanity is a stake here, people!

Temp Housing Search
Meanwhile, we're hunting down a temporary apartment for the transition between arriving in Paris at the end of the month and the arrival of our beds, and other necessities, into our permanent residence (assuming we are successful today). Why not a hotel? Because we could be there awhile and it would be HELL sharing a tiny hotel room with four people and a large amount of luggage. Also, we want to start "living" in Paris, so a kitchen, bathrooms, and some semblance of normal will help. The goal is we'd live in this temp place and use the time while we wait for our shipment of stuff to set up the permanent place.

Deep Thoughts on Packing
The fun thing about packing up to live in a smaller space (in a foreign country) BUT not having to really move out of our current space is I get to edit and bring only the items I use all the time and those I love.

And that's a very interesting exercise because what will be left after the movers leave on Tuesday will essentially be stuff I don't use very often and things I don't have a great fondness for. How often do you get to do that? Usually, all your crap, favorite or not, follows you around.

And yes, my label maker has been working overtime.

Also, I decided my decor at the new place will be lots of WHITE, so it's been fun to choose all my favorite white things (dishes, vases, serving bowls, etc.) to bring.

Maybe I'll have a really coordinated, really Pinterest-y Parisian apartment. Who knows?!

Related posts: 
The Paris Move
Past Paris Friday Updates

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Apartment Hunt DRAMA!

There was another interested renter for OUR apartment, and they got their application in hours before us. So we lost that amazing apartment.

CRAP CRUD SHOT DAMN SON OF A .... (trying to keep this PG)


Back to the listings!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Apartment Hunt Success!

Dave looked at eight flats on Friday, all the while texting and sending me photos.

We found one we both LOVED and is in our IDEAL neighborhood. We got a chance to look at it again today and fell deeper in love. So we're hoping to get the paperwork started ASAP and lock it down.

Here's a quick preview: The building's 1880s front door...

Front Door and Also Garage Door!
Once Upon a Time: The Way Horses Entered the Courtyard
And the dining room with balcony doors.
That Floor Your Drooling Over is Called Herringbone Parquet
More details to come once we get word it's ours.

Related posts:
Catch up with all the Paris Updates

Friday, December 1, 2017

Apartment Hunting, Packing and School Newsletters - Paris Friday Update

The Apartment - It's Happening! 
Have you ever seen House Hunters on HGTV? (Of course you have!) So picture the couple separated by a few thousand miles. The one actually looking at the apartments sending updates via text while the other one is in PJs on her laptop is taking notes and looking at apartment listings online. That's basically how we're apartment shopping today. So, not ideal.

But I do feel like the person in the spy movies who is furiously typing and watching surveillance feeds in the city while yelling into the earpiece of the spy "get out of there!" or "what do you see?" and "how big is the bathroom! We need two toilets, at least!"

Fingers crossed we find the place today.

The Business of Packing
Now that we don't have any parties or social events planned for the house, it's time to get down to the process of pulling rooms apart and deciding what goes and what stays. How? By making piles.

The game is to make a big mess and sort the items into piles: trash/donate, keep, pack for Paris. Then move them out accordingly.

I'm also being very focused on organizing and packing "like items" together. So I have a box of office supplies and one for household tools (hammers, screwdrivers, etc.). I'm letting my inner organizer really shine ... with tidy, labeled bins. It's kind of amazing.

But I've got only 13 days for this exercise, so the clock is a-ticking.

The Good School News
Now that's we're officially accepted and on the roster for next semester at our new school (yahoo!), I'm starting to get communications ... like newsletters and the parent Facebook group. And, guys, I'm so excited! Not only are the students doing cool and fun things, according to these newsletters, but the parents are getting together for pilates, walking tours and French lessons. Did I read something about a book club?!

I always suspected there was an expat community out there, but it's a relief to see evidence of it and be "this close" to getting involved. It might take a while for me to jump in, as I get the family settled and all, but I'm incredibly pleased to see some of the activities I could eventually get involved in.

Have a great weekend!

Related posts: 
The Paris Move
Past Paris Friday Updates