Summer in the city
My absolute favorite season in Paris is early springtime, when it's still chilly and the sky is pale blue. But summer isn't so bad either, especially in August when all Parisians are on holiday, shops are closed and the streets are empty... until la rentrée in September.
Last week was warm and sunny: perfect for a refreshing lemon & mint & ginger lemonade at the Used Book Café at Merci. Or some fresh fruit juice from their temporary Vitamines Bar. Do you recognize the vintage letters by Kidimo?
Sweet green peas
The other day I picked a few beans from a field. At home I watched more closely and realized it were green peas! I cooked them and ate them straight away. They were so very delicious and sweet and had the most beautiful pale green color. Now all I want to do is go back for more. Of course I also planted a few peas... let's see if they will grow. Have a very happy weekend!
Urban Jungle Bloggers #10
This month's Urban Jungle Bloggers topic is a tricky one for me: creative plant pots - how to dress up your plants. It's tricky because I'm such a Betty Basic! I love plain plant pots with basic shapes and one color. Igor and I shared a few of our favorite plant pots on Facebook this past week and it was fun to check out some less ordinary plant pots. The main reason I only use simple planters at home, is that my jungle is always growing. Friends & family offer me new plants, cuttings or seeds and I'm always in lack of more plant pots. So in stead of painting my plant pots, I decided to virtually decorate them to see what it would look like.
My Euphoria plant (which is actually not a cactus but a succulent!) makes me euphoric: I thought he died, but actually he's growing new spikey ears!
As you can see my favorite prickly pear started growing in 3D in stead of 2D so it became too voluminous for our kitchen counter top. But he seems happy in the sun in our cinema room too:
I really really really prefer my plant pots plain & simple, because my plants are the real stars:
As a very subtle decoration I like to add shells from the beach (or other small objects, like Lego figures and baby succulents) to the little pebbles:
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by 2 bloggers: Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). Every month we share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs and green tips & tricks. You can find additional inspiration on our Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board and keep up-to-date via our Facebook page. Want to join? Subscribe to our monthly topic newsletter or use #urbanjunglebloggers on twitter and instagram. Let's bring some green into our homes and blogs!
► For more creative plant pots also check out: Eclectic Trends /// Emilia und die Detektive /// Wanesia /// Mamlo Connection /// Style Space & Stuff /// Vivere a piedi nudi /// Colourliving /// It's nice here /// Makelight /// Pinspiration /// Mouseblossom /// Craftifair /// Look, Pimp your Room! /// La Madre Selva /// Junifaden /// IDA interior lifestyle /// Blog a Cavolo /// My home is my Horst /// Hipaholic /// Volle Lotte 1 2 /// Interiornovice /// Knobz /// Svala Design Studio ///
Kidimo in Paris
If I'll ever make it to Las Vegas, I want to visit the Neon Museum. It's basically a huge collection of old and newer signs that contributed to the history of the gambling capital of the world. From the pictures I've seen online, it's pretty rad (if you like signs of course). But if you can't make it to Vegas, or you prefer decorating your home or office with nice letter signs, there is Kidimo in Paris. I've been a longtime follower of Nicolas Flachot's work online and had only seen Kidimo's popup shop at Merci a few years ago. But last week, sweet Lauren reminded me he also has an awesome store so I went for a little visit. A true letter nirvana.
I didn't buy any letters, because we still have a few Restaurant letters left and very few walls. But I think we will use some in our new bathroom!
Nicolas collects lots of French letters: some that you recognize immediately (like the Casino grocery store one below), some from Eastern Europe or Argentina. All ready to form new words, like r e s p i r e (breathe):
Last week Kidimo opened their Cave of Ali-bla-bla at night! Can you image what it must have looked like? Neons lighting up everywhere <3 (here's how!)
Oh and please, if you decide to buy some words at Kidimo, choose something else than "home" or "cuisine" or "bath". Make a word that truly means something to you or that has a beautiful look or sound. I've seen way too many ugly signs with bad typography. You're worth it!
Kidimo /// 227, rue Saint Denis /// 75002 Paris /// +33 685 42 93 42
My exploding jungle
It's been a while since I showed you some pictures of my jungle. Most of my plants seem to be extremely happy to be back in the greenhouse again, after spending a few months in their winter storage. My Purple Heart plant above surprised me with its first and one & only purple flower! It opened on an afternoon, I forgot to take a picture and it's pink and closed ever since. I think it's maybe a one-day-flower?
This fellow really amazed me. He grew 16 new ears! It's a brother of my favorite cactus:
Even Dwjareb doesn't understand how the Aloë Vera plants became so big:
The nasturtium plant is everywhere in the greenhouse. It grows fast and we have new Indian Cress flowers every day. I think the entire plant is now about 25 meters long and it makes the entire greenhouse smell very sweet:
Some of the paddle cactus leaves I planted in the soil (not in a pot) last year, started growing new ears (in the back):
And the potted ones are happy too:
I hope for all of you Urban Jungle Bloggers, that your plants are thriving too! And if not, maybe a nice new plant pot will motivate them to grow bigger? Please feel welcome to join the new edition of Urban Jungle Bloggers this Thursday, as it's all about creative plant pots. More info on our Facebook page.
More pictures of my urban jungle: here, here and here :)
Les carrelages de Saint Samson
Last weekend was pretty eclectic. While we spent an afternoon at the races in Chantilly, we also drove to the western part of the Oise, to visit an old factory where they produce terracotta floor tiles.
There is something about old factories, the beautiful decay, old signs, red bricks, the history. Remember the Sugar Factory? Well, this terracotta factory is very different, because it's still "alive"! Two young brothers fell in love with the place and decided to develop its activities. They still produce traditional French tomettes like they did in the 19th century. Can you believe they even produce their own electricity?
While we're currently still in the middle of choosing the tiles for our bathroom (and more particularly the wall finishes) it was nice to see how these 100% natural and 100% French tiles are produced. It's really just "earth". I really loved their wall plaster in beautiful colors like mouse grey, honey and liquorice. Unfortunately it's not suited for bathroom walls...
Before hitting the kiln, the clay needs to dry for a while. In French these clay balls are called: pains d'argile, clay breads:
It's so nice (and romantic!) that somehow there's not a better more way to produce these tiles than how they did over a century ago. And even though the craftsmen master their skills, when they open the kiln after firing the tiles, it's always a surprise. As one of the workers says: "we don't make custom made, we make something old and traditional". All of these tools are still used on a daily basis:
Les Carrelages de Saint Samson /// 4, rue de la Briqueterie /// 60220 Saint-Samson-la-Poterie
more info in English here
Prix de Diane in Chantilly
This weekend we had a little break from our bathroom renovation and spent our Sunday at the Prix de Diane Longines in Chantilly, at ten minutes from our home. It wasn't my first race course, but my first Prix de Diane. So I brought my biggest hat (an oversized Yohji Yamamoto fedora) and had lots of fun people watching. Pick nicking with heels, hats and bubbles is something else!
Oh and actually I planned to shoot some fresh faces for my Styloise series, but the people I approached were all from Paris. Bummer!
Super easy Cherry ice cream
We had a busy and hot week so I made this very easy ice cream... twice! First with some beautiful strawberries from a local farmer and then again with these pretty cherries. Both flavors tasted really good and refreshing and it's actually a pretty healthy treat too. So I decided to share the super easy recipe today. You only need 4 ingredients! Fruit, water, coconut milk and sweetener (sugar, honey or sugar substitute).
First prepare the fruit. This is where it became a little messy, but I loved the color of the cherry juice so much!
Look at that deep red color! I added water and a little bit of sucralose to the splashed cherries. But you can also add sugar, honey or agave sirop.
Then blend the cherries and add half a can of coconut milk:
When the mixture tastes good (add some more water or honey or cherries if needed), pour it in the ice machine. If you don't have an ice maker, use a metal bowl that you put in the freezer and wisk every 20-30 minutes. I set the timer on my phone to remind me. It took about 2 hours. But an ice maker is slightly better because it creates ice with less ice cristals, which means more creamy.
Tadaaaah, there you have it: homemade ice cream that tastes really good. The only disappointing thing with the cherry ice cream is the color. While I loooooved the color of the juice, the final result has a rather boring antique pink hue ;) But yummm!
I wish you a nice ice cream worthy weekend!
Our bathroom renovation #1
I almost can't believe our very temporary bathroom lasted for almost 10 years! It is so hideous that I never showed any images of it on my blog. Or wait, yes I did: as part of the ugly truth ;)
When we moved in, our bathroom was the first "project". The former ladies room of the factory (in pink) became our toilet, the men's room became our bathroom. The project basically consisted of adding new plumbing, installing a new toilet and a shower cabin. No fancy bathroom furniture and for the first 7 years: no heating either. That's when we learned how to shower with showergel that becomes solid below 5°C.
Well anyway, we have been dreaming of a real bathroom for a very long time. And right now, we're finally, finally in the middle of the real renovation! Like the rest of our home, we do everything ourselves (including plumbing & electricity) which means it takes a little bit more time, but it's exciting and hopefully worth it!
This is the plan, before & after:
Right now, all the walls are down and above the old ceiling we found a cute "Valstar super limonade" bottle cap. With a very convenient opening for a drinking straw. I guess the guys that built our home in the early 1960s must have been thirsty:
Well, we are thirsty too, because it has been pretty hot the past few days. Our 12 m2 bathroom has 3 huge windows with a total glass surface of 10 m2. And those windows don't open... So it feels like a greenhouse and it's too hot and dusty to do anything.
This is the plan: a double sink, a double walk-in shower, a smaller toilet and enough space for toiletries and towels, the washing machine & dryer. It currently looks a bit like our own Beaubourg (Centre Pompidou) with the red & blue plumbing:
We didn't expect a few walls would result in SO much debris. Our walls are 3 meters high, that's probably why ;)
It's very dusty, and I couldn't help but add a little <3:
Wally really loves the messy bathroom. His favorite is rolling in the dust. We think he secretly always wanted to be a white cat.
Our temporary shower is currently in the former laboratory, but the toilet is still working. A little bit strange without walls:
We thought by now, after 10 years of dreaming, we would know what we'd want to do with the new bathroom walls: tiles, stucco, tadelakt or concrete... but it's the only thing we haven't really decided upon. So we'll first build some walls and a new floor and decide later ;) Until then I'll keep pinning inspiration to my Pinterest board. bathroomrenovation
For more before & after pictures of the renovation of our home click here.
Frozen Indian Cress
Do you recognize this? That you want to try something because you saw it somewhere, without knowing where you saw it?
That's what happened to me last week when I wanted to freeze a bunch of Indian cress flowers. One of my Nasturtium plants is growing so fast that we can't keep up eating flowers in our salads. The plant has tentacles in all directions growing fast through our greenhouse. It reminds me of my melon plant last year!
So finally I realized I saw the #frozenflowers project on Emily's instagram. It was fun to try and it looks pretty cute, although the flowers don't taste as fresh & fruity anymore after freezing them. But it looks great in a glass of water... or a cocktail! Cheers!
This weekend I was in Amsterdam to attend a friend's wedding. And while I hoped I could squeeze in a little time off in the city, I was too busy to help with the 9 layers weddingcake my sister created for the happy couple. Which was fun though!
Somehow I never fell in love with Amsterdam. Well over a decade ago, before moving to France, I even worked here, but I think I need more time to go beyond the clichés of agressive cyclists:
the beautiful canals:
Amsterdam gable galore:
and the Amstel:
So I made plans to come back very soon! Of course I'll include some libary love (at the Public Libary), water love (at Stella Maria Maris, a new water & care brand) and meet up with friends for real friendship love ;)
What about you? Do you like Amsterdam? Any suggestions of places to visit that could make me change my mind?
@joelixjoelix on instagram