Posts By: Jenelle

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Jan 06 2013
1

Recently read… and future plans!

In 2013 I really want to try and make the effort to read more. Finding the time to read is made somewhat difficult by my commute. 10 minutes is spent standing on a bus, 5 minutes is spent standing on the train and 10 minutes is spent walking. No book time at all! Over the past few months, I have read the following and since a lot of people have been posting 2013 book lists, I now have a queue of books I am waiting to read.

My most recently read list-

Monkey Grip – Helen Garner
I had been meaning to read Monkey Grip for ages. I enjoyed it because I love the 70s and I love Melbourne, but at the same time, I feel like it has dated and I found the book frustrating to read. I am now trying to source a copy of the movie.

One Way or Another – Nikki McWatter
If you love Australian Crawl, INXS, the 80s and to know what goes on behind the scenes, this book by rock star groupie, Nikki McWatter is one you should read. I was really surprised but how good it was in the end – some parts were a bit repetitive but all in all, a good weekend read!

How It Feels – Brendan Cowell
If you grew up in Sydney, I think this book would be a must read. I still really enjoyed it. Brendan writes really well – I tend to gravitate towards female writers so it was interesting reading a book set in the time I grew up written from a male point of view.

Little Girl Blue – The Life of Karen Carpenter – Randy Schmidt
This was heartbreaking. It was so well written and not at all sensationalized. If you like the Carpenters, you have to read this. It is a view of stardom and ultimate success but also, of real heartbreak and the pressure for perfection. It was incredibly frustrating to read about all the attempts to save Karen and ultimately, save her from herself.

Patchwork Mysteries series
I LOVE this series of books and I am up to my third one. They are available through Guideposts and are set in Maple Hill, a fictional town in the Berkshires. The main character is a quilt restorer who solves local mysteries. All of the characters are lovable and even better, the first book in the series was a mystery that also had genealogy research in it. Could it be any more suited to me?

Currently ready –

Chasing the Dragon – the Life and Times of Marc Hunter. I am LOVING it!

Jan 05 2013
1

Inbox Zero #happy365

Via Flickr:
This makes me SO happy!

At work, I have had a status of ‘Inbox Zero’ for two years. For my home email, I was always ‘Inbox 40 or so’ until a month ago. It is a GREAT feeling.

Jan 04 2013
1

Normandy Battlefields Day Trip

For our last day in France we ventured out early to the Normandy battlefields.

This involved an alarm at 5am, cab at 6am and train at 7am! Our B&B owner left us a breakfast to go in the fridge so we were able to make our way to the train without worry. I love regional trains and the two hour trip was really enjoyable and relaxing. I have linked to information on each area as you move through the post.

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Our train –

Normandy Battlefield Tour

We were met at Caen by a guide from the Memorial de Caen museum and with four other people, we would be driven around the beaches of Normandy and we were also given a guided tour of the museum with lunch.

The Memorial de Caen museum –

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Our tour van –

Normandy Battlefield Tour

First stop, Arromanches

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

The Longues-Sur-Mer German Gun Battery

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

American Cemetery at Colleville Sur Mer

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Omaha Beach

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Ponte du Hoc

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

Normandy Battlefield Tour

It was a long day but something we would both never forget and as you can see, we covered A LOT of ground. The museum was really well done – the displays were clear and it was easy to navigate through the complex. The beaches themselves? I could not believe how large the area was. The cliffs that troops had to climb, the hellish terrain – it was breathtaking and shocking at the same time. Our guide was knowledgeable and passionate about the history of the area.

Driving through the small towns in the countryside was fantastic. While we were driving through these areas, our guide was telling us about how these areas were affected at the time – it was heartbreaking but at the same time, we felt so fortunate to be there to see it. It was very bittersweet.

Being only part of a small group was a bonus. We were in a small van and we could hop on and off as we wanted. This was a major factor in us doing this tour and also, we enjoyed being able to organize it from home. If you can only spend one day in this area, we fully recommend Link Paris. They did everything for us so we just had to arrive at the train. It really is not recommended to visit this area in one day, but we are grateful that we were able to do it. We didn’t get back to La Villa until nearly 10pm but it was worth every moment.

Jan 03 2013
1

Sunday in Paris

So, let’s get back to our European vacation. I know.. this is turning into the most drawn out travel blog of all time!


When we left off, we had been to Rome, Venice and had arrived in Paris. We had a busy first day and got to see history in the making with the French election results rolling in. After an early night, it was time to discover more of Paris on Sunday.

We were up early (again!) to get to Notre Dame for the high Mass. It was lovely being able to walk through the park to the train station when there was hardly anyone around –

Paris

Paris

Even though Mass was all in French, it didn’t matter. Bill had printed us French – English Missals so we were set to follow the liturgy. The music and atmosphere was beautiful and we were able to spend time after the Mass in the Cathedral without a crazy amount of crowds.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

When we were wandering around the back of the cathedral, they had some displays about the history of Notre Dame. There was one photo that both had us saying the same thing.. “That is Alec Baldwin!” What do you think?

Alec Baldwin lookalike

Bill tweeted Mr Baldwin with the photo and asked what he was doing at Notre Dame… and he got a reply saying “I hang out there a lot!”

After Mass, we made a mad dash to Sainte-Chapelle. This ended up being the longest queue we encountered on our whole holiday.

Sante-Chapelle

We waited outside for about 45 minutes and then when we got through the gates, it was about another 30 minutes. We were desperate to get a sneak peak. Much of our own church, Queen of All Saints was modeled on this chapel. When we finally got in, it did NOT disappoint! Stained glass windows surrounded us at every angle. It was absolutely beautiful. These pictures do not do the chapel justice.

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

We then decided it was time for lunch – so we ended up at a random bistro on the river where I had the most amazing Croque Monsieur EVER!

Parisian Bistro Lunch

Bill got quiche and it was as good as my sandwich –

Parisian Bistro Lunch

I need more nutella crepes. Every day. Without fail.

Parisian Bistro Lunch

They also had free wifi so we were able to FaceTime mum and dad and have them ‘virtually’ with us. Here I am showing them the Seine… crazy huh?

Parisian Bistro Lunch

After lunch, we wandered into a local homewares shop for some fun shopping and we picked up some prints for the kitchen and some cute espresso cups and tried to be ‘locals’. What was so funny is here we are, looking for French inspired things for home when all over the place they had prints of New York City, cups with Yellow taxis and so many other things with New York on them… it didn’t really make sense!

We then wandered to the Pont des Arts bridge and we took out the padlock that we had carried with us through our whole trip and put it straight onto the bridge. Awwww! Love time! I love you so much Bill!

Pont des Arts

Pont des Arts

Pont des Arts

After that we just wandered and wandered until we ended up waiting for our bus around the Arc de Triomphe and attempted so many self portraits of us but with our gigantic heads we were always blocking the main view. Gah!

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Here I was back in the same area and being a dork in 1999 –

I am such a tourist

After all our walking, we started to head back to La Villa Paris.

Paris

I loved our little neighborhood!

Our neighborhood in Paris

Our neighborhood in Paris

We wanted to grab dinner locally and get a head start on packing all our stuff. We had an early day on Monday as we were doing a 15 hour day long day trip to the Normandy Battlefields and then we had to leave for London early on Tuesday morning. No rest for us!

Jan 02 2013
1

Korres Lip Butter- yum!

This is pretty much a PSA.

I was prompted by a blog that Emily put up recently to talk about Korres Lip Butter.

This stuff is awesome. I use the Jasmine one and it has a subtle almost caramel flavor. It stays on my lips and it actually moisturizes them as well. It just works perfectly and I find that with Jasmine the tint matches anything I have on my lips already. I will always be faithful to Stila Lip Glaze and Smith’s Rosebud, but for the size and the quality of Korres, you really can’t go wrong. You can tell by the reviews on Sephora that I am not alone in loving Korres.

I’ve only ever used the Jasmine shade, but I promise to be a bit of a risk taker and try the others. Definitely a good buy!

Korres-Lip-Butter-in-Jasmine-401
Jan 01 2013
0

Bare trees with mini fairy lights #happy365

I love how they look in the crisp winter air. Keeping the Christmas Spirit alive!

Taken at Zuccotti Park, Financial District

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I am taking part in Happy365 – where a group of us on Flickr take one photo a day of something that makes us happy… so you’ll be seeing these posts from me too!