Our quick jaunt across Europe {Southern France}

Mar 26, 2015

After spending about ten hours in the city of love (and eating our weight in croissants, macarons, and baguettes) we hopped on a high speed train headed to the southern coast.
I absolutely adored every ounce of France.
Josh slept through most of the ride, but I was too excited to let jet lag win the battle!
I didn't want to miss a single chateau, the vineyard, or farmhouse.
Every inch looked like a piece of art. 
We took a rental car from the train station in Montpellier to Pezenas, where Josh's family had a vacation home rented for the week.
We spent two nights with the Kerrigans in the cutest darn villa around.
The natural sunlight and fresh coastal air blowing in through the windows was probably my favorite part.
The villa required absolutely no need for electricity and air conditioning (but it sure was nice to have some wi-fi).
Our first night, Josh and I wondered down to a nearby hotel bar to have a few drinks and catch a world cup game.
. . . followed by a quick dip in the pool

It's safe to say that breakfast was my favorite thing about France.
Carbs with a side of carbs (and a dollop of Nutella) 
The town of Pezenas was quite the cutie.
I loved it's cobblestone streets, which no cars were allowed on, and it's bright buildings.
My first (of many) nutella crepes

Sister, sister (in law)
For our second day on the coast, we visited the city of La Grau du Roi.
We thoroughly enjoyed our fair share of France's 1664 beer.
I finally got to stick my toes into the Mediterranean, sort of.
This beach was more of a public, city beach.
It's not necessarily what you would imagine when you think of beaches on the southern coast of France, but we loved it nonetheless.
We even got to see a (semi) real live bull fight!
It was basically a "flag football" version of a bullfight, but still, there were real bulls and real bloodshed!
. . . and it was insanely hot
While in southern France, we managed to get some beer drinking practice before we got to Germany.
We woke up early on day three and took a train (or four) to Switzerland.
Train life is rough, I tell ya.
Next stop: Interlaken, Switzerland!

It should be noted that one of our train stopovers was in Dijon, France and I did in fact have a sandwich with dijon mustard.

A not so blank space

Mar 1, 2015

For the last two years I've been hunting vintage marquee letters at every antique shop I visit.
I have a thing for quotes and lyrics, and I've always wanted a piece of wall art that would allow me to swap quotes in and out as I wish.
My dreams have finally come to reality!
Last weekend, mom and I were doing some antique shopping in downtown Mckinney and I FINALLY found my letters!
It felt like Christmas morning.
I found the perfect collection of mis-matched shapes and sizes, just like I envisioned.
I quickly took off to Home Depot, in search of small, thin strips of wood to line the letters on.
I ended up finding the perfect solution in the crown molding/siding section.
The "L" shape of the trim made the ideal shelf to hold the letters.
The pieces were a bit long, so we finally had an excuse to use my new skil-saw!
I get my first power tool and Josh wouldn't even let me play, he insisted on doing it himself.
After we trimmed them, I stained the pieces a dark walnut, to match our bed and chest of drawers.
I have an extraordinary fear of hanging things on walls, which is why we have excessive blank wall space like this.
It was a bit of a challenge for me to choose exactly which blank space I wanted to fill, but I ended up settling on the space between our bedroom door and our chest of drawers.  
I do have to say that I'm pretty darn pleased with the finished product.
I've got a mile long list of potential quotes and lyrics to display, and I'm hoping to change it out weekly.
For the first display I chose lyrics from my favorite Head and The Heart song "Coeur D'Alene" 

Follow along on instagram @em_kerrigan if you would like to keep up with the weekly quotes! 

Our quick jaunt across Europe {Paris}

Feb 25, 2015

This past summer Josh and I joined his family for a ten day adventure across Europe.
We met up with the Kerrigans in Atlanta and made that giant leap across the pond.
We started and ended our trip in the lovely city of Paris.
Honestly, I had low expectations for Paris.
I had heard the city was terribly dirty and that the peddlers and pick-pocketers were out of control.
(Looking at you sweet little old lady who acted like we dropped our ring two billion times)
All those pre-conceived notions were blown out of the water as soon as I experienced my first Parisian croissant.
I mean the Eiffel Tower was cool and all, but I never knew one thing could be so fluffy and buttery and purely magical.
I believe I had at least one for every single meal for our entire time in France.
Within our first twelve hours there, I hit all essentials of Paris cuisine: a croissant (or five), a macaron, and a baguette. 
Naturally, the highlights of the city were the food, but the sights weren't too bad either.
Here are some of my favorite of our photos from Paris . . . 
I was pretty darn impressed by this cab with a see through roof.
We just so happened to hop in it when we arrived at the train station, and it allowed us to catch our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.
Against the advice of nearly every Paris travel guide, we ate at a cafe near the Eiffel Tower.
We then learned the hard way that soda refills aren't free and that the baskets full of the previously mentioned fluffy, magical croissants aren't free either.
Who cares if they weren't free-all-you-can-eat croissants?
I'd pay $10 each for one of these cuties.
I don't think anyone would be surprised to know that my first French meal was a cheese sandwich. 
. . . and by a cheese sandwich I mean, a fresh baguette with the most incredible mozzarella.
That sounds less kindergartener-y and much more mature, right?
We couldn't have asked for better weather for our first day in Europe.
The views were phenomenal and the city wasn't even that stinky.
How cute is this little family of bladers?
I wasn't quite sure of the purpose of the little red nose on that fella.
In order to prevent some quickly approaching jet-lag, we took a quick break for a mid-afternoon snack and had our first european adult beverages.
Meanwhile, some of our gang lost the battle against the jet-lag beast. 
Sometimes I have dreams about the simple Parisian breakfast of croissants, butter, jam and espresso.
Funny story.
When we arrived back to America, in an attempt to satisfy my cravings for a French croissant, Josh went to the grocery store and returned with a tube of crescent rolls.
He legitimately thought crescent rolls were croissants.
Sweet, sweet simple Josh. 
Even though we didn't quite have time to tour the Louvre, we did have time to take cheesy asian-y tourist photos.
Oh, remember Josh's "Cats of the World" thing?
Well, he was pretty successful with finding a cat in every other country but France.
Soooooo we had to settle for a pet shop cat.
He did find an entire collection of books about his new favorite french word: chats
I personally loved the little treasure troves of vintage books lining the Seine.
I couldn't leave France without experiencing my favorite soup, which just so happens to be French.
One thing I didn't account for was the whole "leisurely lunch" thing.
French wait staff seem to have literally zero desire to get you in and out.
It often felt like an act of congress to get a check, which was ultimately fine because that just meant more wine.
After our honeymoon, Josh and I started a tradition of bringing home an ornament for our Christmas tree from each place we visit together.
Of our European ornaments, I think this one was my favorite.
The ideal mid-afternoon snack: 
A pistachio macaron and a larger than life meringue
On our final day in Paris, it had just begun to rain.
We endured the torrential downpour to see Notre Dame.
. . . mainly so Josh could take this photo.
Shortly before we arrived in Europe, a portion of the love lock bridge had just fallen.
I blame Kim Kardashian.
Our hotel was near the Arc de Triomphe, so on the way to dinner we stopped to get a quick history lesson from Mr. Nicky.
I kind of loved Paris in the rain.
On our final night, before we headed back to America and the Kerrigans jetted off to London, we had one final dinner together in the city of love.
I LOVE the Kerrigans and I couldn't be more thankful to be a part of such a wonderful family.
Traveling the world with this guy is probably my most favorite activity of all.
Paris most definitely exceeded my somewhat low expectations, but what I was truly most excited about  was visiting the southern coast of France. 
Much more about our time in France, Germany and Switzerland is coming soooooon!
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