A visit to the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysées


Somehow we always end up paying a visit to the market on the Champs-Elysées every year. This year it was during a walk home after a pleasant lunch at Tokyo Eat at the Palais de Tokyo and exhibition visit to see the Serge Poliakoff exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.


The first thing I spotted at the market (that runs from the rond point des Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde) was a booth with these candied apples. Don’t they look so tempting?



I love passing by the stands selling mulled wine. On a freezing cold day it’s so nice to have while we walk! On that day, however, it was far too balmy to take one.


There are lots of family and children-friendly activities at the market, including roller coasters (above), children’s Christmas trains, ice skating rink, slides, etc.





Of course there are many things to buy! I’m quite partial to a snowy Christmas snowglobe.


Or some waffles to go.


Little Miss was fast asleep on our walk so she missed this nativity scene. Oh well…. I suppose there’s always next year’s Christmas market to look forward to!


#MummyMondays: My favourite ornament


This is my favourite Christmas ornament, made just before last Christmas when Little Miss was only 3 months old by Helen of Made With Love,

It’s the ornament I put on last and the one that I can’t wait to see on the tree.

Little Miss’ foot is still small but she’s grown so much already. It’s a lovely reminder of how quickly time flies and how important it is to live in the moment and cherish this precious time with our little ones.

Some #MummyMonday links for you:

Encouraging your children to give more via The New York Times

7 reasons not to buy your child an iPad for Christmas via The New York Times

First children are smarter but why? So interesting via The Atlantic

What I currently listen to while Little Miss babbles, when she should actually be napping via YouTube

The importance of strapping your baby in their highchair via Babble.com

A top 100 parent blogger list compiled by Babble.com

This made us laugh, the hipster baby name generator via Cup of Joe

Christmas forest cake toppers from Oh Happy Day

Cute kids alert: Mombini


Two weeks ago we attended a playgroup at the newly opened Mombini in the 15th and I think both Little Miss and I both had a coup de coeur for this baby-café. Opened recently by a Franco-Italian couple who met in London, Mombini is high on colour, eco-friendly products, and has a great play space for the kiddies/coffee and tea area for the mummies and daddies.



Little Miss especially loved this wall of magnets, which reminds me I wanted to get her an alphabet set for our refrigerator.


Be prepared to go on high cute alert!




Naturally Little Miss was everywhere, trying to grab everything!

Until she spotted this wonderful invention… Thank God for stairs! One of our favourite distractions for busy little people…



We’re definitely looking forward to our next Mombini playdate. I don’t know who liked it more, Little Miss or me…

Mombini, 22 rue Gerbert, 75015, Paris. M° Vaugirard.




The last few days have been insane and I feel like my to-do-list is getting longer and longer, with no end in sight! We’ve finally put up our Christmas tree and Little Miss is in love with it. She can stare and stare at it endlessly it seems!

I also bought some personalized Christmas stockings from Pottery Barn this year and hanging them up was the highlight of my weekend! LOL

Some #MummyMonday links for you:

Thinking about starting new family traditions? Some suggestions for you! via The Art of Manliness

Ever wonder how ancient civilisations dealt with baby waste? via Slate

Are parent bloggers lying? via Babble.com

Thinking about a present-free Christmas via Babble.com

10 things you might miss about the Toddler stage via Babble.com

Holiday decor from Martha Stewart

Rainy days: where to go? The 104!


Now that Little Miss is a real little toddler it’s so important that we get out of the flat so she can run around and find new things to discover! The other day, on a rainy day, we met some Mummy and baby/toddler friends at the 104, a community centre that has a place called La Maison des Petits, which is a free drop-in centre for the little ones.

As it was a wet Wednesday afternoon there was already a queue for the space when we arrived — as they can only allow 30 people in at one time — so we took our number and waited outside in the 104 common area, with break-dancers and students from a circus school practicing around us.


Little Miss was so excited when we finally got it in! She loved having the room to run around and check out all the activity areas, which included painting, drawing, reading and playing in a special wet area (with cute little waterproof aprons provided).



IMG_5030La Maison des Petits has several childcare workers on hand who are there to help out and advise if any issues come up. While the 104 is not just next door to where we live, it was great to be able to go to a drop-in place for her to really run around in and be stimulated by different activites and children!

I’m waiting for our next rainy day to head back!

104, La Maison des Petits, 5 rue Curial, 75019, Paris. M° Riquel. Tél: 01 53 35 50 00.

Miss Dior in Paris


I’ve decided to bring Little Miss to more art exhibitions recently, so two weeks ago we paid a visit to the Miss Dior exhibit at the Grand Palais, showing the work of 25 female artists inspired by the house’s first fragrance, Miss Dior.


Unfortunately for us the queue was longer than expected — even though we arrived at the opening hour! I debated trying to bypass everyone but pangs of guilt held me back, so Little Miss and I reluctantly joined the line.

After waiting 30 minutes in the cold we made it to the next obstacle, the stairs! A massive flight of steps leading into the Grand Palais and then another flight up this winding staircase (below). Strollers had to be checked at the inside entrance — oops! Off to a bad beginning…


But at the top of the stairs Mr. Dior was waiting for us… and a large, open room! Perfect for little legs that had been strapped in under a rain cover for the last 30 minutes.



This large painting (above) by Liang Yuanwei, China’s representative at the 2011 Venice Biennale, was inspired by this Dior Haute Couture dress (below). Sublime.



The art work obviously flirted with the girly as well, like this carbon fibre pink bow (above) from Portuguese artist, Joana Vasconcelos, and this feminine installation (below) by artist, Nika Zupanc, allowing visitors to enter and sit on the dainty bow chair in their own Dior room.



I would have liked to peek in this Lee Bul installation, a hanging pod covered in hanji paper, but Little Miss was already going ballistic! Too many of the works of art (see below, by Maria Nepomuceno and Alyson Shotz) were on the floor, so without a stroller, I was forced to hold on to her as she tried to wiggle and kick her way back to the ground. Not fun!




My last attempt to tame the beast, after failing with the Shirin Neshat short film of Natalie Portman, was to let Little Miss free on the steps leading up to a selection of portraits of Mr. Christian Dior by artists such as Bernard Buffet and Marc Chagall.


Once she was a little calmer I dragged her downstairs and off we ran for our bus home! I was so happy to get her back in the stroller!!!

Lessons learned: next time I won’t hesitate to pull the baby card and jump the queue as she was definitely overly energetic after spending the 30 minutes outside under the rain cover, plus I will definitely avoid exhibitions that have unguarded works of art on the floor! I hope Dior will think of babies and also handicapped persons in future as well. This was the most baby-unfriendly exhibit I have ever attended! Let’s hope we have more luck with the next one!

Miss Dior, 13 to 25 November, at the Grand Palais, Paris.

#MommyMondays: Jingle Bells are ringing!


Christmas is my favourite time of year, so I’m overjoyed to see the lights and decorations up everywhere! This is the window at Ladurée at the place de la Madeleine, which has just recently re-opened after a few weeks of renovations.

This week I’m hoping to get Little Miss’ picture done with Santa as well as set up our Christmas tree. Ho, ho, ho, jingle bells are here!

Some #MommyMonday links for you:

The other face of family planning in 3rd world countries… via The New York Times

Love this: starting a year-round family gratitude wall via The New York Times

Enough… from Hands Free Mama

Ooh, want to see this! city.ballet via Cup of Jo

Want these for Little Miss: J. Crew’s glitter lodge moccasins

We just received our custom Christmas cards from Moo.com

Mommy Mondays: Here comes the… Turkey!


We celebrated American Thanksgiving this weekend with our “Thanksgiving crew” it’s our 4th year running and even though some of couples are now back living in the States and others travelling a bit, we love our group celebration tradition!

This year we had two toddlers (Little Miss and her very first friend), one mother of a new born baby (baby stayed at home with his grandma) and one bump. Next year there will at least one more baby, we can’t wait for future editions!

And now some Mommy Monday links for you:

A recent survey declaring an ideal age for having a child is nonsense! via Babble.com

‘Tis almost the season… 20 unique Advent calendars from Babble.com

Loving the Bugaboo Wool collection via Babyccino Kids

Cute peek-a-boo printables via MonBabyCheri

Napping with puppy… oh so cute!! via TwentyTwo Words



DH had a business trip in Philadelphia, so on our recent trip to the U.S. we spent 6 days in the city, taking the an AMTRAK train from Penn Station in New York. DH was travelling with work associates and out of the city quite a lot, so my mother flew down from Toronto to stay with us.

We discovered that Philadelphia is a great walking city! We did a home swap for our flat in Paris and the apartment we were staying in was located just off Rittenhouse Square, across the street from a great market and close to all the shops. We would often walk to the Square so that Little Miss could play with all the local children, who gather at this goat statue in the park. Unfortunately the shut-down was happening at the same time, so we didn’t get a chance to visit some of the more historical and important sights, but we did get this glimpse of the Liberty Bell.


And visited the nearby Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest residential street in the United States.





It rained a lot, which was a bit unfortunate. We had a particularly wet morning one day on our walk to the LOVE statue.



We passed this realistic dinosaur, who moved and growled, on the way to the Barnes Foundation.


No pictures were allowed, so this is my only sneaky shot, of a wall of Renoirs. The Barnes is such an amazing collection and our visit to the foundation was the highlight of our trip!

We found Philadelphia to be a really great city, nice restaurants, people were friendly, and I had a lot of time to go shopping since so many sights were closed! We look forward to coming back the next time DH has a work trip that will allow us all to go again.

MummyMondays: Are back!


I’ve been a very sorry blogger since this summer but we’re back now for the Fall and so I will make an effort to be more regular about posts!

I’ll share more from the Philadelphia part of our trip this week. It was great to be in New York and Philadelphia earlier in October, even if the shut-down was happening at the same time, there was just so much energy in the air — something that’s lacking a bit in France at the moment with the current government and financial climate.

Little Miss is still changing all the time and is now a real little toddler. We feel that words will be coming at any moment as she’s experimenting with lots of different sounds. We can’t wait!!

Some MummyMonday links for you:

Prince George’s official Royal Christening portrait via The Daily Mail

Are first born children smarter? via Babble.com

Doctors have re-defined “full-term” via Babble.com

Very interesting! Physically active girls do better at sciences via Babble.com

In Paris? A friend is holding a workshop tomorrow on making your own eco-friendly cleaning products

Our MoMA Moment


Aside from seeing many, many friends, the one thing we absolutely wanted to do in New York was to pay a visit to MoMA.






We spotted some Raushenberg, Warhol, and Ruscha. And Little Miss slept most of the time so we could really take the time to appreciate our visit!

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY, 10019. Tel: 212-708-9400.

A block away from the Cronut


We’re now in Philadelphia for my husband’s work but while we were in New York we stayed in Soho, a block away from Dominique Ansel and his famous cronut-making bakery.

Every morning we would wake up and pass the queues of people camping out for the croissant-donut hybrid and get in the shorter line for a hot drink and patisserie. Their coffees and chai tea lattés are served at the perfect temperature to drink straight away, love that!

As we ate our breakfast there were lots of people sitting with their blankets and sleeping bags, taking pictures and sighing over their cronuts. They did look delicious, but can you imagine camping out to eat one of these?


Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring Street, New York, NY, 10012. Tel: 212-219-2773.

When did your little one start playing with other children?


Little Miss and I have been going to the park regularly since getting back to Paris. As she’s walking now and big for her 13 months old I follow her around the park probably a lot more than French mothers, who are happy to sit on nearby benches, chatting away.


She seems to love watching what the other children are doing: especially the older children who can walk up the slide and climb up things.



But she doesn’t know yet how to interact with other children. She seems very in awe of them and happy to just toddle about watching them play.


Dear readers, I’d be very interested to know at what age your children started interacting more with other kids in play areas?

I can’t wait to see Little Miss start making her first friends!!!

Christmas at Le Royal Monceau


It was a very speedy visit, but Paris Breakfasts and I visited Le Royal Monceau last week for their Christmas press day. Once there, we made a bee-line for the Bonpoint stand, but more on that later.


The bûches de noël from Pierre Hermé also caught our eye. This chocolate one above that I didn’t try was very pretty. But the bûche Infiniment Citron (below) was divine, made with a pâte sablée au citron and a crème légère au citron — not what you would expect at Christmas, but it would make the perfect “light” finish to a heavy holiday meal.


However, the real revelation was for Hermé’s bûche omelette norvegienne (below), a new variation on his famous Ispahan flavour.


It’s sold with a small bottle of eau-de-vie, with which you douse the bûche and set a-light at dessert time for the perfect flambée show. Inside is a raspberry and rose ice cream surrounding by a light sponge cake. Note: It’s only sold at the Pierre Hermé at the Royal Monceau, so don’t look for it in Pierre Hermé boutiques.


We also tried some of the Le Royal Monceau Christmas menu that was absolutely delicious, but I didn’t take pictures as I was already late to leave. Let me just tell you that they had a tuna carpaccio mixed with foie gras that was a surprisingly mouth-watering combination!


Bonpoint had a stand to promote the new furry Christmas kitty made for little guests at Le Royal Monceau.



As well as some items from their Christmas collection, but I will share more next week as Little Miss and I will be at their Paris press day on Thursday.


Le Royal Monceau will have children’s art ateliers coinciding with some of the major exhibitions of the moment, like: Lichtenstein at the Centre Pompidou and Braque at the Grand Palais. They will also have a Japanese artist teaching origami so that children came make their own holiday origami garland!

I was very sad to have to leave so soon. Isn’t Christmas at Le Royal Monceau lovely?

Hotel Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, 37 avenue Hoche, 75008, Paris. Tél: 01 42 99 88 00


We’re back in Paris!


The pigeons we’re waiting for us when we arrived back in Paris last week… Actually we discovered these *cute?* knit pigeons at newly opened kids extension of Centre Commercial, a hipster multi-brand shop by the Canal St. Martin.


Even the stuffed toys look cooler than cool here…


I’m kidding, there’s actually no attitude here, the sales staff are extremely helpful and their stock is very playful and adorable.



It’s another dangerous shop where you want to leave with everything. especially these oh-so cute kiddie vêtements below…




Patagonia is apparently *the* cool kids brand at the moment, which gives me waves of nostalgia because when I was in school everyone was also wearing Patagonia down jackets and vests.



You get this idea, everything is très cool


Sizes 0-14 are available and brands are either hard-to-find, using eco-materials or local productions. Little Miss left with a new pair of shoes but her Daddy was gushing about everything!

Centre Commercial, 22 rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris. Tél: 01 42 02 26 08


Last week in the Loire Valley


This is our last week in the Loire Valley before we finally head back to Paris next Wednesday after spending the entire summer away.

One of my favourite things that we did this summer was a late afternoon visit to the majestically beautiful Château de Chenonceau.


The château was built in 1513 and has had royal associations in the form of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, who both left significant stamps on it’s elegant architecture and gardens.

Diane de Poitiers added the notable extension, straddling the Cher river, and Catherine de Medici added an elegant gallery atop (with this black and white tiling pictured below).



The history of the château is staggering.


Above is a chapel that was protected during the revolution by being disguised as a store room.


Catherine de Medici.



Louis XIV (above).



Vaulted ceilings.


Some forms I’d like to bring home to our kitchen!


What is even more stunning, is that the château is still entirely private, owned by the Menier family, who have obviously done a colossal job of keeping up and improving the domain. There are several restaurants, incredible gardens, a farm, gift shops.

Note: the entire site is very stroller friendly. We brought Little Miss in her MacLaren and easily carried it flights of stairs. Luckily there were no small winding staircases!

Château de Chenonceau, 37150 Chenonceau, France Tél. + 02 47 23 90 07.


A little break


I took a little break. The last few weeks have been very intense: DH’s mother passed away suddenly, meaning we had to unexpectedly plan a funeral and welcome family from far-flung corners of the globe,  I had two very demanding work deadlines, and Little Miss has been going through an explosion of super-activity.

Things are not exactly back to normal, so I won’t be back to daily blogging until September, but at least we have a little bit more time now to relax and breath.

See you back here a little more regularly!

Welcome to the Royal Baby

© Paris Match

© Paris Match

France being a republic, it’s strange and amusing to see how much attention the arrival of the Royal Baby has garnered. We were in Brittany with DH’s family and interrupted dinner to watch Prince George’s release from the hospital live on TF1 (the most important television station in France).

I thought I would add fire to the Royal Baby fever and share some #MommyMonday links entirely dedicated to everything you wanted to know about the future King of England. Long live the future King!

#MommyMonday links:

Kate Middleton’s proud moment

The Middletons arrived by taxi

Why The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge named him George

Prince George arrives in Bucklebury

Meet the family

The Prince George Effect. It’s started already!

Part 2 on the Prince George Effect.

What to buy the baby who will have everything!

Speculation on the royal baby’s future god-parents

What will Britain be like under King George, a look to the future!