strawberry season

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Tis the season for strawberries, and if you live in the country, strawberry picking! We’ve taken the kids almost every year to our local orchard – this year we managed it just in time, right before the heat wave. The picking window is always brief, which is part of what makes it so special. Henry and Marie were giddy to have a fresh patch to pick, frolicking and filling their baskets (a handful ended up in their bellies first). There’s nothing better than biting into a fresh juicy berry in the field, warmed from the sun. While it’s still not “officially” summer, we welcomed it with smiles and berry-stained hands.

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la fête du muguet

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Today is La Féte du Muguet, a French holiday which dates back to the Renaissance. The tradition is to give your loved ones Lily of the Valley for happiness, good luck, and to welcome spring! While it’s a bit hard to find in the states, I stumbled upon these beauties last spring in Milford, PA at Grey Towers, the home of Gifford Pinchot. A few fascinating facts about him: he traveled to France to become the first American trained in forestry, helped to develop (and lead) the U.S. Forest Service and was a renowned conservationist, and became governor of Pennsylvania in 1922. I’m always happy to stumble upon links to France like that, especially in my own state. Bon #1ermai, as they say, and if you’re looking for even more of a (daily) Francophile fix, join the global community of @thefrancophiles on Instagram!

we’re moving!

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Bon weekend friends! My apologies if you came here from Instagram hoping for some juicy, life-altering news. We are indeed moving, but not abroad as we had expected when we sold our home two years ago. We’ll be staying in Chester County, Pennsylvania which we love (and where we’ve been for 8 years now), but moving out of our industrial loft and into an apartment complex. This will be another temporary move (1-2 years) which we had hoped to avoid, but we decided the pros outweigh the cons (I’ll spare you the list). Our current home has been a refreshing change of scenery for the past two years, a fun challenge as an interior designer, and a super pinterest-worthy space. Speaking of which, I’ll be sharing more of it before we move (or soon after). It’s funny how a hard deadline like moving can light a fire to get things done.

This time around the kids are old enough to grasp the idea of moving and that home is wherever we are. The walls that surround us don’t define our family, and that’s been a big lesson for us all. As we did before, we’re involving the kids with as many decisions as possible to better equip them emotionally for the move. The fact that our new place has an awesome pool and is dog-friendly is already helping to soften the blow…and yes that’s a hint that we’re looking to add a furry member to our family soon! If you have children and have any tips to help ease the stress of moving, please share. Also, if you’re interested in some goodies from Henry + Marie’s closet (as well as a few random items from mine), follow @shopfleurishing on Instagram – there are many items already listed, with more to come. Spring cleaning is in full effect!

image courtesy of ashley lynn fry photography

 

santa express

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We might have to call 2016 the “year of the train” for us – we’re on a roll! This was our first experience at the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster – I think it’s going to be a new holiday tradition. One of their most popular events is the Santa Express Train, which has been happening since 1959! I couldn’t wait to give the kids the experience, and I was pretty excited myself, having never been on a vintage steam train. We had the pleasure of being pulled by the #90 locomotive, circa 1924, and rode in the passenger car #58, circa 1911. After geeking out over all the equipment (I have my Dad to thank for the interest), we boarded the train and anxiously awaited the arrival of Santa.

 

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a christmas tradition

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Cutting our own Christmas tree has become quite the tradition for our family. I grew up cutting fresh, and have such happy and hilarious memories of the event – it’s incredibly nostalgic for me. Even though we’ve been doing it since before we welcomed Marie + Henry into our lives, it became so much more special with them in tow. It’s hard to believe this is our fourth year doing it as a family! They are just so big now, I can’t get over it. I mean, we let them both carry the saw this year – that speaks volumes. Their bond is truly unbreakable, their friendship and love so very precious.

 

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