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Day 1: Plans for Being Home

Today is my first day of unemployment.

I gotta say, I underestimated how quiet it would be around the house. I've been playing Amazon Music stations on Alexa in the kitchen as I've been getting to my various tasks for the day, but it's still pretty lonely.

Anyway, there's so much that I want to get done in the next two weeks, I'm not really thinking too much about the solitude. Besides, I have the dogs to talk to ... when they're awake.

I've been working on new lists and looking over house project lists that I've made in the past. I'm this-close to creating a spreadsheet or Gantt chart! There's just so much I want to accomplish.

So, here I am: Brimming with time and anxious to get so much done that it makes this all worth it. As I see it, I've silently asked my family to put up with a little less income for a while, so I owe it to them to work my hardest to make that sacrifice worth it.

I'm starting with smaller reorganization projects in the kitchen and office -- with the target of making the house more functional. If you know me, you know that I hate when spaces are not used to their maximum usage potential. If I open another cabinet and have all the tupperware spill out, I'll lose my mind.

Then, there are painting projects, furniture projects and decluttering that are in the plans, as well. I'll chronicle as much as I can here.

Day 1 and I'm just so excited to dig in and go go go!


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Let's Get Honest About Paris and Food

I'm just going to say it: Paris isn't a foodie destination.

I know, CRAZY right?! But after traveling to a few other European cities, I'm struck by how limited the food options are here in Paris and now I can't unsee it.

But first ...

Yes, you can find French bistros on almost every corner, and some are fantastic and some are so-so (there's honestly no way to tell). So, if you're in the mood for an omelette, a salad or a cheese sandwich (croque) -- and have a few hours to tuck into a nice meal, because service will be traditionally slow -- than, you're all set. (Though, you can't sit outside on the sidewalk terrace unless you want to inhale second-hand smoke. Blah!)

And YES if you just want a delicious baguette sandwich or a pastry, you are in the right city because they are everywhere, and usually delicious. The baguettes and butter here are the best in the world. No competition.

(So, as a tourist, you're all set. But after 11 months ... well.) 


Holiday Gift List Round-Up 2018 Edition

With the holidays fast approaching, I'm of course doing some online shopping, as I do every year (although with a lot less vigor considering our nomadic state and not seeing my siblings, boo). So, for your clicking pleasure, here's a round-up of really worthy gifts for the people on your list.

Tentree is a company that plants 10 trees with every item you order. And my lucky number is 10. So. Win-win. Last year I ordered this sweatshirt from Wholesome Culture, another eco brand, and have it on steady rotation.

4Ocean sells bracelets for $20 and for each sold, they pull a pound of plastic out of the ocean. I got them for everyone in my family to thank them for putting up with my plastic reduction efforts this year and the sacrifices they make because "Mom won't buy it because it's wrapped in too much plastic."

I love the journals from this small business called Letterfolk. They have pretty letterboards, too but the journals are beautifully made and you know I lov…

London Weekend for Potter Nerds

This weekend we were in London. We love London, and not just because we can understand the language and all the signs, menus, etc. Though, it's so nice to be in a country where there isn't a language barrier.

We planned this trip months ago, with tickets on the Eurostar train and the Harry Potter Studio Tour in the Warner Brothers' lot just north of the city. All in celebration of David's birthday! Yay!

Although the train turned out not to be the time-saving, aggravation-free mode of transportation we were anticipating, the weekend was a lot of fun.

On Friday, once we arrived (the girls missed school), we walked the neighborhood and headed to St. Paul's to climb to the top. I didn't make it, thanks to my fear of heights or, more specifically, falling, but the rest of the family did and got some great photos.

On Saturday, we spent the morning getting lost in Harrods, including buying a few souvenirs and holiday gifts. Then we had lunch with a colleague of David&#…