Paris

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

     Bonjour!!!  Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  It’s just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our Parisian apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I’d stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty – we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day….that is until you’ve seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing…here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

 

Our apartment had the best location – right by the Louvre.  We were located in this “Passage” which is pronounced by the French like “massage”.

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Pont des Arts bridge – I know the locals hate the locks, but I found this bridge to be breathtaking!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

I ate as many crepes and chocolate croissants as I possibly could!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

 

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Notre Dame was breathtaking!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

DSC_0476Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Everything was so much bigger and better in person!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Loved all the vendors along the river…

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

One of our favorite restaurants was right by the Eiffel Tower.  Seriously, I don’t think they could have better pizza in Italy!  We went back our last night to the same restaurant and to the Eiffel Tower to see her light show and then sadly back to our apartment to fly back home…

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Who are these cheesy tourists???

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  Its just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I'd stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty - we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day....that is until you've seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing...here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  Its just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I'd stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty - we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day....that is until you've seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing...here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

This was the ceiling of Galeries Lafayette – a Parisian department store that makes you wish you were a Kardashian…or at least had a Kardashian budget…

Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  Its just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I'd stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty - we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day....that is until you've seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing...here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

The people watching was divine.  I came home determined to be more “French” or “Parisian”.  But I think you are just born with it.  The men dressed from the pages of a GQ magazine.  And the women seemed so effortlessly chic – even without makeup!

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Sister and I fell in love with (and wanted to keep) every Parisian baby we saw – the kids there were just the cutest!

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

 

     My next post will be about our day at Normandy!  (I apologize for the huge photos – something is wrong with my blog and I can no longer size the photos.  It gives me a headache trying to figure out what is wrong – so I just went ahead and posted anyway since so many people have been begging for my Paris post!!!)

~Kris

 

Paris? Oui Oui!

 paris is always a good idea - audrey hepburn quote - at the beach with kris

I’m the luckiest girl – my mom surprised us (me, my sister and sister-in-law) over Easter with these cute JCrew shirts…

jcrew tshirt oh la la - at the beach with kris

And the news that we are taking a girls trip to Paris in September!  We’ve rented a darling apartment right in the heart of it all.  And who isn’t inspired by everything French?  Here are some photos of our quaint little Parisian flat – our pied-a-terre for the week…

paris kitchen - at the beach with kris

paris kitchen -  at the beach with kris

 paris kitchen - at the beach with kris

 paris at the beach with kris 8

paris bedroom - at the beach with kris

paris bedroom - at the beach with kris

paris at the beach with kris 16

paris at the beach with kris 15

paris at the beach with kris 4

 paris at the beach with kris 5

     I’ve spent a lot of time googling Paris and have decided that I need to pack as lightly as humanly possible so I can bring back a purse, a pair of shoes, some perfume and some art – plus Christmas presents!  I will try to find some cute pants with an elastic waist band so I can eat crepes every single day.  I saw they have food trucks in Paris that serve crepes all day, all night.  Speaking of clothes – apparently Parisian women would NEVER be caught in public in their yoga pants!  Shut the front door!!!  I guess these women are way too chic and dress nicely AND in high heels for pretty much all occasions.   Good thing I have a few months to prepare!  This is how I picture myself looking in Paris….

french women dress like this - at the beach with kris

 

beach photo of the paris girls - at the beach with kris

And then there is reality – my sisters have a better chance of looking like that than I do – this is us in a beach selfie over Easter.  They can’t be too mad that I posted this considering they look adorable and me…not so much!

 

If you’ve been to Paris and have some favorites you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

~Kris

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Merry Christmas!

  

merry christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!  2 professional photo shoots and I still didn’t have a card.  What’s a girl to do – especially one like me who usually has her Christmas card photo locked down by July?  (Man plans, God laughs)  We got a real tree this year – the first time ever – and we took an impromptu picture at the beach with the kids and the tree strapped to the roof.  I made the card myself and had it printed in a metallic finish from Nations Photo Lab (first time ordering and I loved the quality!)

Florida has been very warm, unlike most of the rest of the country.  Sister sent me this from North Dakota…

national I hate florida day

Today was 75…just saying!

Last weekend we took a fun weekend trip with 4 other couples to New Orleans.  If you ever book a trip to Nola, make sure its not the weekend of a Saints game and go to dinner ridiculously early.  We made a few jokes about a senior discount, but it turned out to be a great call because we avoided most of the debauchery you’ll see should you venture out later.  It was a great weekend and the French Quarter was decked out in her Christmas best…

new orleans

new orleans lights 1

new orleans tree

3 cities

new orleans nativity

I bought this nativity set in New Orleans to add to my collection…

We got back from Nola just in time for a neighborhood progressive dinner party.  The dessert house was gorgeous and decorated impeccably, and they had brick floors.  I want.  Every single time I try to get brick floors, the flooring store talks me out of it.  #never again

brick floors

Today I was in charge of serving breakfast foods to 140 fourth graders at son’s school on pajama day.  What a bunch of cutie patooties!  Then a Christmas lunch with my mom and some friends.  I tried to be festive, sporting my furry vest that is on a fine line between super cute and super ugly… but its 75 degrees out –  and on a side note the weeds are about to take over my yard…in December…

fur vest

I’m hosting around 40 friends and family for Christmas Eve.  #crayiknow  I will likely be decorating up until the minute my guests arrive.  I think the late Thanksgiving threw me for a loop.  Here are a few Instagrams of the house so far…

wreath and new doors 2

I have been knee deep in re-decorating since July.  I ordered new interior doors and these crystal knobs from Emtek that are sooo pretty and feel so good in hand.  Its the details!  I had my eye on this Smith & Hawken wreath at Target and yesterday it was already marked down 50%.  #mine

tree

We are enjoying the real tree after my quest for a faux flocked tree didn’t pan out.  Next year for sure…

sled 1

I bought two sleds at antique shops years ago – now I need an old pair of ice skates.  Perhaps ebay in July?  Some poinsettias would be nice too #aintnobodygottimeforpoinsettias

front door 2

Sled #2 – such cute photo ops on the beach when the kids were wee… 

front door

This is a real wreath decked out with a lighted burlap bow #yesitscrooked

paper whites

My paperwhites started to droop so I tied them with a red tulle bow.  I just read you need to feed them a bit of alcohol and it stunts their growth! #toolatethisyear

christmas chandelier

Stole this idea from a restaurant in town – so easy and so pretty at night!

Have your selfie a Merry Christmas!!!

new orleans selfie

~Kris

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More Kitchen Dreaming…

     I’m still obsessed with renovating my kitchen – I have big plans people.  If only that money tree would start blooming, I could get started.  You might look at my kitchen and think it looks pretty good, but we re-faced the builder grade cabinets a few years ago and the insides aren’t holding up so well.  Plus its not very functional.  I want a HUGE island where at least all 4 of us can saddle up – right now only 2 of us can.  Thanks to Houzz and Pinterest, I have quite a collection of ideas and inspiration.

 If money were no object, I’d get a French stove.  You know, for all the macaroni and cheese I cook…just call me Julia Child.   I mean isn’t she gorgeous?  She’s all that and a bag of chips!  But she probably costs more than my entire appliance budget…

I want all white shaker cabinetry with some killer hardware.  If money were no object and I were Type A enough to deal with the maintenance, I would get some Calcutta Gold marble counter tops – maybe just the island?  I die for the towel bar too – genius!

 

Speaking of towel bars – check out these vintage towel bars on this island…and  I spy a french stove in the background…  Seriously if you see one of these on Craig’s List or eBay, let me be your first call…

A white apron sink is definitely happening…

    

 I have a serious crush on this white backsplash tile…

I need a big island with recessed seating like this….

    

 Wouldn’t some woven basket kitchen storage be divine?

These sink drawers slay me – I must have them…

    

 I have the perfect spot to add a little office space – this is definitely happening….  I think this photo is the most re-pinned on any of my boards!

     Last but not least – my kitchen dining space.  Right now I have a large black Rachel Ray dining set – I’m tired of the black so I think I will chalk paint the table and chairs and replace two chair with a bench just like this one…  (I found this via Pinterst on a new blog that I love and you will too…Vreeland Road, check her out!)

     

     Before the kitchen of my dreams, I’m going to tackle a more realistic project – changing out some of my builder grade interior doors.  I had picked out some wood interior doors for the beach house and can’t get them out of my head.  One of these days I’m going to order them for my main living areas and they are going to sport this shiny hardware from my all time fav Emtek…

     We just returned from a 2 week escape on the vacay of a lifetime to Alaska with the entire family to celebrate a milestone birthday for my mom!  Husband and I said repeatedly it should be a requirement for every US citizen to visit Alaska.  There are not enough adjectives in my vocab to describe the beauty and awe of Alaska!  Did you know it is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas?  (the locals have lots of Texas jokes)  One of our tour bus drivers told us we would retain only 10% of what he told us, so don’t hold me to specifics of this other morsel, but there is a canyon way larger than the Grand Canyon in Alaska!  Alaska has more coastline than the entire US combined!  It is pristine and perfect and beyond your wildest dreams.  We arrived in Fairbanks and then traveled to Denali National Park – we were so lucky with such awesome weather and were able to see Mount McKinley – which is covered by clouds 70% of the time.  The waitress at our Lodge in Denali told us the week before had been cold & rainy and the mountain was covered by clouds – she was waiting on a man who was on his FIFTH trip there to see McKinely!  Poor guy, we just roll in and saw her in all her glory for 2 straight days!  We then ventured to Talkeetna (my favorite town if I had to choose) to catch our glass sided and topped train for 5.5 hour train ride through more spectacular Alaska scenery to Whittier to board our ship.  My only regret was we had no time to spend in Whittier (translation I really wanted a t-shirt)  – this place is so remote and the conditions so firece in the winter, the town has less than 200 year-round residents.  They all live in the same apartment building which has a tunnel to the only school – last year there were 2 graduates, the year before only 1!  The summer workers in Whittier are called “Half Wits”, lol.  It is spectacular, nestled in between mountains and glaciers in Prince William Sound.  One of these days when I get my photos edited, I will do a full post or two dedicated to this amazing trip!  Just looking  at this picture of Whittier makes me wistful…  (Mark my words when the kids are in college, I want to live in Alaska for a summer.)

You can find original links and more kitchen photos on my Pinterest board here.

XO,
Kris

 

North Dakota

     We just returned from our annual trek to North Dakota.  We soaked up the great temperatures, low humidity, family and everything to do with the lake.  You could offer my kids a trip anywhere on the planet and they would choose North Dakota every time.  They love every minute of their time spent with their cousins – most of that time spent doing water sports – tubing, wake boarding, skiing, knee boarding and paddle boarding.
 
     If my younger self could read this post, she would wonder if I had been brainwashed and had Stockholm Syndrome.  But here it goes anyway…North Dakota is BEAUTIFUL!  Growing up there I couldn’t wait to leave – I hated being cold and wanted to live in a bigger city.  Now I realize how lucky I was to grow up in the best place possible and I can also appreciate the beauty of the land there.  Our lake is tucked in the “Turtle Mountains”.  One morning I woke up at the crack of dawn with my mom and we traveled around random roads looking for some great places to photograph.  Every year I say I’m going to do this and every year I don’t.  Next year I want to photograph church steeples – there are so many old churches in the middle of fields, in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe oil wells – did you know North Dakota is only 2nd to Texas in oil production?  Google “The Bakken Oil” and read for yourself.  People are flocking to my state for high paying oil jobs.
 
     Enjoy the photos while I assimilate myself back into the “real world” – the one with a job and humidity and kids who don’t start school for a few more weeks…then I will post the finished Beach House photos and tell you about the darling family of 4 who moves in next week!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
~Kris 

A “constant state of relaxation” in the Bahamas

     We took the kids (and 34 of our closest friend came too!) on a cruise to the Bahamas for spring break!  Yes, we are living the life of Riley over here.   Back when I was a kid, we got 2 days off for spring break – we prayed it wouldn’t blizzard – and we drove to the state high school hockey tournaments for the weekend.  Pretty much the same thing, right?  Yep, the kids are spoiled.  But jeez – 2nd and 4th grade are NO joke.  Their homework rivals a lot of what I did in high school.  4th grade math scares me.  I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader –  at least not a 2012 5th grader!  So the kids really deserved a break.  And I deserved a break.  Nothing like all-you-can-eat food 24 hours a day for 5 days – I just wanted a break from packing lunches and cooking dinner.  I mean really…do these kids need to eat 3 times a day EVERY day?  We returned home with the kids in full detox of 24-hour “free” ice cream.  And don’t get me started on the warm chocolate melting cake.  That alone is worth the price of the cruise.

     We stopped in 2 ports – Freeport and Nassau.  When you live somewhere as beautiful as I do – who really needs to take a vacation?  The Bahamas is beautiful, but their beaches were not as pretty as ours.  We are spoiled by our sugar white sand and emerald green Gulf waters.  We were in Nassau for a full 24 hours – so it was nice to not have to feel pressured to get back to the boat – I have an irrational fear of being stranded in a port waving goodbye to my ship.  We did all the usual tourist things – we bought rum cakes, drank rum drinks, sent the kids on a banana boat ride, snorkeled (those brave enough to enter that cold water) and relaxed on the beach (with above mentioned rum drinks.)

     In Nassau we saw this yacht.  Pretty nice.  We guessed it belongs to Michael Jordan, based on the “air” written on the side.  Notice the helicopter and pad at the rear of the ship.  (Our friends who went snorkeling said their boat captain pointed out mansions saying they belonged to Oprah, Tiger, MJ, etc…)

   

     I don’t think I would enjoy a cruise as much with just with our little family – definitely more fun with a group.  And if your group is 38 people – well, the more the merrier!  Everyone got along great and all of the kids rated our trip a 10 and asked to book again for next year!  If you asked my kids the highlight of their trip, they would most likely tell you the “towel animals”.  If you haven’t cruised before – your porter makes a towel animal each night when they turn down your bed and the kids get SO excited to see what animal is waiting. 

     All six of us girls/moms got massages one night on the ship.  Our attendants told us to “remain in a constant state of relaxation”.  Pretty funny/ironic thing to say to a mom, right?  Ah ma’am, can you please tell our husbands about this constant state of relaxation?  And of course tell the kids too. Yes, definitely tell the kids.

Two of my favorite/funny cruise memories:

1.  If you’ve been on a cruise you know they have a staff of photogs trying to take some cheesy backdrop photos of you to later sell you a 4×6 for 20 bucks.  One night at dinner, I let daughter go to the bathroom with 2 of her friends. They returned without her. She came back and said “mom, everyone wants to take my photo!!!” Her 8 year old friend said in all seriousness “well she does have the face of a model.”   Note to self….praise daughter less for beauty and more for brains – and a refresher course on stranger danger.

2.  Daughter and her friends are forever putting on shows for us. It usually involves some bad dancing and confusion and even requests for money before these performances. Well daughter’s friend walked up to her mother during dinner to let her know the girls had a show ready and to please alert the Captain so he could make an announcement their show was after dinner!  Note to self…always remember your children’s innocence before it gets mucked up by the world.

     We got back home with enough time to suffer from the “sways” and attempt to do 18 loads of laundry and then pack again because son had a travel baseball tournament in Alabama the next day!  So back on the road we went.  And wouldn’t you know those boys kept winning and went all the way to the Championship game and ended up in 2nd place for the tournament!  We were shocked.  Not that our boys aren’t great – but sports are very serious in the South.  We play full-pads tackle football in Kindergarten. Some of these 8U travel balls teams have kids from 3 states – only the best of the best. I would say most of our boys are average to above-average in size…. UNTIL you compare them to these other teams.  I would like to find these kids wandering around the concession stand and ask them how old they are.  There is almost no way they are 7 or 8 years old!  These kids practically have facial hair and look like they are in middle school.  So 2nd place was great – better than great!  I almost felt bad sending my kids back to school Monday morning after not getting back until late Sunday night.  Son played catcher for almost 5 games this weekend – I can’t imagine how sore his little legs were after being in catcher position for so long.  I would need a wheelchair for at least a week.  My husband mentioned to his real estate coach something about the tournament and his coach said ” the thing about kids this age – the only thing they care about is parental recognition and a snack.”  Point taken.

     Can my little ball player be any cuter?  He is a sweet chunk of boy…I want to eat his dimples with a spoon.  He is an old soul, smart as a whip, fiercely competitive, a perfectionist in many ways (except when it comes to keeping his white basbeall pants clean)…and he is the sweetest, most loving boy a mom could ask for.  He falls asleep at night after telling me I’m the best mom in the world.  I tell him he’s the best son in the world and he says “NO, you are the best momma”.  Swoon…

Now lets get back back to that state of constant relaxation… I highly recommend it…

~Kris