Friday, January 19, 2018

Finally Wifi

Wifi, cable and internet and all that handy stuff is now set up in the new apartment.

All we need is a working thermostat (heat is working fine, just can't tune it) and an oven, and we should be rolling!

Stay tuned for new posts coming soon!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Little Oddities From the Temporary Apartment

Although we have some experience with the quirkiness of a European apartment, it's a whole other thing to inhabit one for a few weeks. Not difficult, just a few things to get used to.

For example, the kitchens are closed off and, in the case of our temporary apartment, a bit far from the family rooms. I'm getting used being in my own quiet space when I sort the dishes or grab a snack. And I'm digging not having to look at dirty dishes from my sofa.

Also, the toilets get their own rooms, called water closets. I won't go in to more detail (and no photos). It's just odd, especially for the girls. No bidet here, so didn't have to have that conversation with them.

My favorite thing, though, is the "maid's entrance" in all the kitchens. Back when these building were constructed, the servants entered through a twisty, narrow back staircase that lead from basement all the way up to the attics, where their bedrooms would have been located. Nowadays, the attics are mostly rented (to students, I was told) and those back staircases are no longer used -- too dangerous and some are boarded up. But the stories they tell!

I like the interesting use of space in this apartment, too. Like the water heaters are suspended above a water closet and another in a closet. It sure beats taking up floor space, but it's funny to look UP to see...

Using All the Space!
The internal windows with views of the side of the building, or courtyard, also remind you you're in an old building in a busy city.

And let's not forget the individual architecture that makes each one of these beige buildings in Paris so unique and beautiful. Gazing at each building while walking through the streets is one of the reasons I love this city so much. They're even pretty from the inside ...

There Are Two Rounded Windows In This Apartment
We've got about a week left in this temporary flat before we're officially in our permanent residence. I'm grateful that we could spend the time here, among these antiques and creaking wood floors, for the chaotic transition time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Setting Up a Kitchen In a Foreign Land

Everyone Knows the Darty
We ended up with an unequipped kitchen by chance and by default.

While we would have preferred to have a completed kitchen, we eventually decided buying new appliances for our kitchen here wouldn't be a deal-breaker.

As it happened, we saw a ton more apartment than we originally thought and, once time ran out, we went with the best apartment for us, location and space-wise. And it ended up not having any appliances. So there we are. 

A Darty, the French Best Buy, just happens to be located down the street and once we had measurements and pictures of the spaces, we hit the store and hoped we'd find a salesperson who spoke a little English. With luck with did (limited, but he was very kind) and we quickly bought a set of the necessary items. 

The upside is, they're new and modern. They'll be easy for us to figure out (not like the ancient washing machine in our temporary flat) and we know who to contact if they breakdown. The downside, our language skills are limited, so when the washer and dryer didn't fit in the space intended, even though our salesman said it would (Arggh!), there really wasn't anything I could say. Or the oven didn't include "feet." Why?! 

Current Status
The other challenge is our apartment doesn't have internet hooked up and, like everything else, is taking a while to set up. That's the theme of this whole move, everything is taking more time than we planned. So, the day the appliances were supposed to be delivered, I sat in an empty apartment with no idea when (or if) they'd show up. And ... the delivery was late. It made for a frustrating day. 

And we're still, at this moment, missing a fridge. 

In about a week, I'll be sitting in a fully-equipped apartment with internet and all our things. It's just this set-up/transition time that's challenging my calm.

But, my mantra: "If it were easy, everyone would move to France." 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Little Treasures From the Temporary Apartment

While it's not home, this temporary apartment has been comfortable and full of little treasures and oddities. One day, while the girls were watching Barbie Life in the Dream House episodes on NetFlix (I name the show because I want to embarrass them as teenagers), I took some pictures around the apartment.

The Dining Room Chandelier 
This Antique Cookbook Is a Pretty Color,
But I Can't Find a Publication Date.
This Gentlemen Keeps An Eye On Us From the Main Hallway
He's Not in Great Shape, But He's Interesting. A Priceless Masterpiece Maybe?!
The Plaster Details Are So Pretty! This One Is In A Bedroom Above a Mirror
The Marble Fireplace in the Dining Room
Marble Flower From the Bedroom Fireplace
This apartment is privately-owned and rented out by a leasing agency. So while it's been comfortable, it still feels like living in someone else's home. And we're looking forward to spreading out in our own space with our own stuff. Very soon.

Next up ... little oddities ...

Monday, January 8, 2018

Delirium Moves in

Week three of NO SCHOOL and the kids are officially crawling up the walls. And pushing us to the ends of our patience. Not having their toys, own spaces and the usual activities, with the addition of some sleep deprivation and the frustration trying to find things in a different country ... and we're all losing our minds. A little.

Luckily, school orientation is on Tuesday, and they start back on Wednesday. HALLELUJAH!

Not to be a trader to my own children, but I'll get A LOT more done without them tagging along.

Plus, this is the state of my kitchen (in the permanent apartment) .... so, there's some work to be done ...

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Our Slow First Week in Paris

Today marks one week in Paris! Cue the trumpets!

So ... what have we been doing here for the last week? Well, not a lot. You guys, it's still winter break and the kids are home and "bored." And we're in a temporary apartment. So, any semblence of a daily routine is not even possible.

Also, we're still combating "sleeping in a new time zone" syndrome. Which has some of us staying up way later than usual ... and some of us (me) sleeping until 10am! We're not groggy or sleep-deprived during the day, we're just all struggling to get to sleep or to stay asleep through the night.

Not to mention, we're all suburbanites, so these city and apartment noises take some getting used to. The kids are doing better than we thought with all the little noises, the creaking floors and the upstairs neighbors. Though, it's cutting into all of our uninterupted sleep.

In some way, our days are spent doing what we'd be doing in Illinois: going to playgrounds with the girls, watching movies, running out for groceries and other household needs. And hitting restuarants for dinner or lunch. It's winter here too, so it's chilly and it's been drizzling off and on since we arrived.

But, we're also in a new place, so we're exploring the nieghborhood, going on adventures like seeing the Eiffel Tower and using the Metro -- and getting out for walks to culivate our "city legs."

We're also looking for movie theaters that play "VO" or Voice Original movies, but we've discovered some films haven't made it here yet.

We'd love to be setting up "home" but since we're in our temporary place -- and I'm not keen to add more items to our eventual migration into our permenant place -- we're doing a lot more research than actual purchasing. We did get a Brita, so we have filter water and a Nespresso coffee maker.

So, one week in and we're moving slowly, which is probably a good way for us to transition into a new city. Next week, when school starts and we start moving into our apartment, life will get busy and hopefully we'll be well-rested, acclimatized and ready to welcome to faster pace.

Related posts:
More "Paris move" posts

Top Ten Posts of 2017

Let's look back at the top 10 posts of the year ...

1. My Paris Purse Predicament - read it here
I'm not a fashion blogger by any stretch of the imagination, but my Paris purse "crisis" was one of my most-viewed posts of the year.

2. The Fox on the Wall - read it here
There's something fun about documenting a funny craft project for a post. And this one turned out so cute. Was glad others thought so, too.

3. Cabinets Need Color - read it here
Our basement remodel was fun to document, as well. Though the big things happened in 2016, there were still some outstanding projects at the beginning of this year ... and, let's be honest, there's still a little punch list.

4. What I'm Digging at the End of January - read it here
5. and the June edition - read it here
I like putting together these roundups of my favorite things. They're an easy way to share all the

6. Packing for 7 Days in London - read it here
This post was inspired by Pinterest and all those really well-laid out fashion capsules I love. Without Photoshop or any similar photo program, I had to do the capsule IRL (in real life) and I think it turned out kinda kitsch.

7. My Top Influencers for 2017 - read it here
Inspired by the Forbes Influencers list I was looking at for a copywriting assignment, I thought I'd come up with my own list. I do love my lists! This one might get its own page at some point, because I love introducing people to worthy sites and folks to follow.

8. My Mantra These Days - read it here
This year I was really struggling with being a new stay-at-home-mom or to use the more loaded of the term "housewife." So I wrote about it a few times. This is the shorter of the two.

9. The Mom Purse Summer Tote Project - read it here
Again, not a fashion blogger, but this summer I did a three-post series of my tote bags. The first two were viewed, but the Mom purse was the most popular. I can understand, who doesn't want to peek into someone else's purse. Plus, purses do well!

10. The Fireplace Project Version 2 - read it here
Once the basement was done, this was my big DIY home project for the year. I still love the way the fireplace turned out, and this is the post that turned it all around for me. If it wasn't for the advice to leave the molding, I'm sure I would have had to call in a professional.

Happy 2018 everyone! 

Related posts:
All my "year end" posts