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autumn comforts.

Although we have been in our apartment for now almost a year, I still recognize with gratitude that for the first time in this French life of mine I finally have my own space. With my own things, my own furniture, my own knick-knacks. Never did I think it would have taken over three years to acquire this kind of "status", but I guess it makes sense considering my life here has been far from linear. 

What I missed most when living in these temporary crash pads was seasonal entertaining and decorating, something I never really bothered to do as my heart wasn't invested in a place that I knew I'd be leaving in six months. With those days behind me, and to kick off the autumn season on Friday, I hosted a small dinner party celebrating what I believe to be the most wonderful time of the year. Because autumn isn't marketed as ferociously as it is in the States (is it me or has everything gone pumpkin in America?), I had to make do with what Paris has to offer. Let's see how she did...



After our dumpster-dived dinner in the 20th, we found a stack of these old Parisian windows in front of a building set out for the trash. We only managed to take two (they're heavy!), which now add a warm country feel to our apartment. As for the leaves, I had my teen-age students color and cut out them out, which bought them twenty minutes of Wii time. Evil, I know. 


I find the little glass jars that yogurts and honey come in just charming. They also make great storage jars or in this case, DIY vases.

Apéro table for snacks and bubbly.


On a recent trip to Marché Saint Pierre, the fabric district over by Sacre Coeur, I picked up a few yards of burlap and orange silk leaves to transform our table from an Ikea finding to a rustic autumn table. Since the party, I've taken the large piece of leftover scrap and am using it as a runner down the middle of the table for an autumn-light look. Autumn-light? Now I'm just making stuff up.


No fall feast would be complete without autumn accoutrements like pumpkins, cabbage bouquets, and such. There lovelies were picked up at different marchés around town (I had to go to a few). So is it me or are the cabbage heads totally "Little Shop"? I'm waiting for one to open its mouth and demand, "Feed me Seymour!

Aurel's homemade pumpkin and crème fraîche soup which involves a rather violent pumpkin massacre in the kitchen.
As you can imagine, these guys are not that easy to open.

Why on earth is there a sparkler shoved in our cheese? 
Because cheese should always be celebrated.

For dessert, our guest Allison (who also whipped up our wedding cupcakes) made almond-buttercream frosted Halloween cake.
Boo!
We've been eating it for breakfast since.

So what do you think? Did Paris pull off that autumn vibe?
I think so. She made me work for it by running around town,
but I wouldn't be in Paris if it was easy!

It's been a lovely weekend.
I hope yours is just as toasty!
Happy Sunday!

24 comments:

  1. Ah this is so lovely! I don't think autumn is otherwise as appreciated here in Paris. My festive apartment transformation only got as far as a pumpkin placemat my mom sent me from the States :) but it's the little things.

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    1. My first autumn here, I was shocked at how subtle it was and how it wasn't marketed like in the States. "Back then" Starbucks here didn't even have PSLs. Talk about deprivation! It was a Parisian nightmare! I'm totally kidding..

      I figured if I want an Americanized autumn vibe, I'd have to do it myself. No more waiting for marketing teams to on board...plus it's cheaper. All of this cost under 40 euros.

      Your placement sounds sweet. It is the little things. Maybe pick up a little pumpkin somewhere? : )

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  2. Looks like such a lovely party! And those Parisian windows?! To die for. What a great find!

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    1. Thanks! The windows really were such a find. Aurel wasn't sold at first (mostly because they were freaking heavy) but we had the car and I INSISTED. He gets it now. Sometimes it pays to be a pushy wife. : )

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  3. Omg, looks like something out of a magazine. You know you're more than welcome to come visit chez moi, but I would be embarrassed of my unadulterated IKEA chic and laundry draped over every available surface!

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    1. Aww Gwan. So sweet. Thank you. :*) I'd love to visit you one of these days! How are your new digs? And hey, Ikea rules! Our table and chairs are Ikea and don't get me started on our bedroom (which you've seen, lol!)

      I hope you're well and getting settled in nicely!

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  4. I love your window-decorations! So much better than digging dinner out of the bins!

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    1. Yes! We took Victor's idea and customized it more to us. Windows, okay...but dinner, NO! Still in shock over that...

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  5. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out! Move over, there's a new kid in town!:)

    This is absolutely lovely! I can totally relate to the whole seasonal theme, especially an autumnal one. I can also understand why you could never invest your energy into fixing a temporary place. I never felt the least bit of desire to buy even a candle to decorate our little home in The Hague. I used what was there and got two oversized b & w Ikea pics of Paris and Amsterdam because I wanted to in Canada, but didn't have the wall space, but that was it.

    You're right: cheese should be celebrated and so should life in general! Gratitude is so very important:)

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    1. Hahaha! Yes, the new Martha Stewart even though yesterday I burned her baked sweet potato chip recipe and set off the smoke alarm! I have a ways to go... ; )

      Thank you! It's so toasty and comforting here. There is a constant stream of TSF Jazz playing in the background, we have been having beautiful weather which casts a golden glow in the living room and the flowers and pumpkins are still holding up serving as the perfect props to my autumn dream. I never want to leave!

      Yeah, with places that are so temporary (especially when you're living with someone else's furniture) doesn't exactly inspire home decorating. It was always depressing because I would visit home design blogs and would see all of these cute ideas that weren't worth trying out using the canvas of someone elses apartment. I also lived with other people's things here like clothes, books and suitcases. Glad those days are over! : ) Thankful everyday.

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  6. The sparkler in the cheese. Now, all of your ideas were lovely but come on, that is just brilliant!! And I know that Duchesse's last sentence is right but I have been so homesick today. I know you understand--maybe I need to have a little fête de l'autumn too?

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    1. Thank you! I can't help but put on a little show when the cheese comes out! We keep the house stocked in sparklers for this reason exactly. I'm glad you appreciate it as much as I do! It's okay to feel a little homesick. We all do, it's just finding familiar comforts that normally breaks that funk. I think an autumn fête is in your future. Please post photos if you do. I'd love to see your interpretation!

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  7. Ha, over in my crafty life, we Brits have been gently poking fun at some of our American friends that have pumpkin *everything* going on right now ;o)

    Still, loving your autumn vibe there, especially those windows, they're fab!

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    1. I swear every year things get more and more pumpkin! We have pumpkin everything in the States from beer to coffee to ravioli to pancakes. We're unstoppable. I love it! But I can see it looking a little excessive to you guys!

      Thanks for liking the deco! It means a lot coming from such a crafty gal such as yourself. : )

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  8. Honestly, what I think I liked the most is that you put your 1999 picture on the wall. I think it's really fitting that you placed the menu board right beside the picture. It's your new life hanging out with your old life.

    I recently went to a Carrefour that I don't know very well and I must have spent at least 20 minutes going round and round looking for chapelure. I couldn't believe I couldn't find any. I thought of you the entire time. I finally asked somebody working there who couldn't find it either. We finally located them on the bottom shelf. I had walked by there a million times but hadn't noticed them.

    Just wondering, what's your favourite cheese?

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    1. Aww, thank you. To be honest, it wasn't strategic, but looking at the placement of that photo, it's in a perfect spot. Thanks for noticing!

      The chapelure is like hidden, right??? They don't make it easy here! I guess we really are supposed to be making our own, eh? : )

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    2. Oh and my favorite cheese, there are so many, but I generally towards Tomme, an aged Comté, Saint-Nectaire, Selles-sur-Cher and in Italian cheeses: Smoked Mozz, Pecorino or Parmigiano.

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  9. You definitely rocked the Autumn vibe, well done! And way to go turning the teenagers into little workers. If all they need for payment is wii time, you can get a proper little sweatshop going! x

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    1. Hahaha I figured you'd appreciate me putting my kids to work! These kids torture me with all of this Wii business, they're relentless, so I figured I'd bargain with them! They did a great job too!

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  10. Last year I was in Boston in the "fall" and I was amazed how Americans celebrate Autumn. (I much prefer the word autumn to fall) it was so lovely worh all the apples and pumpkins and stuff.

    What a lovely idea to decorate your apartment now you have your own home.

    I'll be moving to a two bedroom apartment soon from a three bed bungalow and would appreciation your wisdom of how you live in a small apartment and stay sane....and keep your marraige sweet! Love Denise

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    1. I go back and forth between saying autumn and fall, I do love both words. But I have heard saying fall is strictly American, am this correct?

      Hmm, well I think the first tip is to not consider your apartment as small. I never do. It's the biggest place I have had in Paris! So that keeps the harmony because we are so grateful for our space!

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  11. really really fantastic...love those windows..that was a score.

    the burlap idea is genius...I'm stealing it...:)

    love your bowls and plates...


    perhaps an offshoot blog is called for...with decorating tips...

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    1. Thanks Deb! I really love the windows too. I used to collect old windows in my apartment in LA, but couldn't bring them back to NY. Too heavy. So I'm continuing the tradition but with Parisian windows. The other one is outside of the kitchen.

      The burlap really transforms the table! Try it. An off shoot blog would be fun, I just don't think I have enough ideas! : )

      I'm glad you liked the table!

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  12. First, you had me at eating cake for breakfast. Fav thing here, Brit hubby doesn't get it. Second, Halloween and Fall are my two favs and that they come at the same time is just magic! Your apartment is beautiful, and filled with the joys of the season...beautifully done. I still carve a jack-o-lantern every year, and light it on the night, but,of course, here in France profonde, no trick-or-treaters :-( I miss New England most of all, this time of year, and yes, you are correct, the English and Irish only call it Autumn.

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