Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Markets in Europe 2010

Living in Germany is so wonderful, especially when it come to experiencing the culture here. Christmas is by far one of the most wonderful times of the year, first because we are priviledged to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and secondly, we are able to celebate European style with Weihnactsmarkts (in Germany), Marché de Noël (France) and Christkindlemarkts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and pretty much most European countries.
We have been blessed to be here for 5 Christmas seasons now and we have taken in new markets every year. We have been to ones in Belgium, all over France and Germany and one in Venice, Italy. Each one brings a new and surprising treat to the senses as you experience a little more of Europe. This year we have only done 3 so far; not because we are tired or bored, but because our family has welcomed our 6th family member (Brayden Luke Noggle born on 11 December 2010!) With me being so pregnant at the start of Christmas Market season, we didn't want to travel too far incase I went into labor. Now that Brayden is here, we plan on taking in the Valkenburg Market which takes place in the caves in Holland and maybe a few more before the season is over.
I wanted to share some pictures and you can see for yourself just how magical Christmas time is here in Europe. Our first market was to Koblenz, Germany; the 2nd was to Metz, France and our last one prior to Brayden's birth was to Rudesheim, Germany on the Rhine River. All were beautiful and unique in their own way.
Hope you enjoy the photos and if you ever come to Europe, try a winter vacation so you can experience a little slice of Heaven.
For more information on dates and times check out these websites:
Koblenz Weihnactsmarkt 2010
Andrea and the kids ready to take in Koblenz
Large Pyramid with vendors selling the famous Gluhwein in the cute, collectible mugs that I like so much!

Where we ate dinner-it was very good

Selling the famous Schneeballen (yum!)

Frohe Weihnacten

Scott and the kids enjoying the market

Selling the famous Schiwboggens that you see in all the German windows

Brats on an open fire

Koblenz 2010

Scott getting his Maronen (chestnuts)-the one main reason he enjoys these markets:)

Lovely vendors

Frohes Fest (Happy Holidays)

The kids excited to eat their Lebkuchen (gingerbread) Heart

Metz, France 2010

Unique and beautiful lights strung between the buildings down the streets

Happy Christmas; this was a Cheerful stall

All the stalls at this French market were just beautifully painted

So chic!

The colors were so vibrant and lovely

One of several carousels

Check out the beautiful lights down this street

And this street! It just kept getting more lovely

Here we are infront of the massive ferriswheel and ice skating rink

This awesome chandelier hung at the end of one street at the entrance of the town

Alot of towns light of the trunks of their trees, these were no exception standing out in bold blue

Everyone loves to ice skate

So frenchy looking, maybe b/c we are in France. Yummy potatoes

More beautiful street art!

Doesn't it look like snow? There was wiring above with sparkling stars in the netting; really neat

Ahhh, the breathtaking famous Metz Catherdral, even more magnificent all lit up!

We ate some famous french macaroons on the way home-yum!

So many lovely stalls with handicrafts

I liked this stall with the cute balcony

Rudesheim Weihnactsmarkt 2010

The sign says it all!

The kids ready for another market and just about to eat from pomme frites (french fries)

I liked all the hanging lanterns in the one section; thought it was totally Pottery Barn style!

Andrea and kids infront of the famous life size manger scene

Everyone enjoying the food and festivities

Loved this stall with a picture of the Last Supper

A beautiful building here-now a restaurant

My friend Dianna and I purchased these fur wraps! She and her family met us there for a lovely evening.

Looking down the famous "Drosselgasse"

Another beautiful building that sits right on the Rhine River bank

Friday, October 8, 2010

Give Thanks

In Everything Give Thanks! 1 Thessalonians 5:18
A little bit of fall inspiration to remind us how blessed we truly are!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cottage Laundry Room Makeover

It has been forever since I have made a post, not because I haven't wanted to, but life has just been so busy. We have been working tirelessly on our home to make improvements and to make it guest worthy. My cousin and her family came to visit and before they arrived, a fresh look throughout my house was my goal.
This post however is in regards to my laundry room. When we first moved in I painted the beadboard in white which I liked, but at the time I was on a brown/blue kick and since those are not colors I normally used in my home, I thought the laundry room would be a great place for them. I never really liked the finished products, but other projects always took priority until now.

As you can see from the first 2 photos my laundry was a mess, however it did not always look like this. I failed to take "normal" photos of the room and only thought of it after I had already started moving things around. I had tried painting the ceiling when we first moved in, but the paper on the ceiling was old and so it started to peel and of course I just left it for "another day". Also the light broke when my husband walked right under it and I never replaced that either.

I like brown and blue, but it made this room too dark.

This is the other side of the room that we stored food on wire shelves and a small drawer freezer.
After clearing the room, I started by painting everything white-my favorite color!
More white paint-thankfully the weather was fabulous, so I could leave the window open for ventilation. Here is Scott starting to grout tile.

In between my painting, Scott regrouted the floors. The tile was still in great shape, so we save no need on spending the additional money for new tiles-but now it has a lightly, fresher look.
Instead of putting in an expensive ceiling, we bought foam squares that just glued to the ceiling-cheap, easy and nice fix. I also replaced the old light with a chandelier that I had stored in my closet. I have been replacing "cheaper" Ikea lights with ones that I pick up at flea markets so this light was one that had been replaced by an antique on in my dining room.

Instead of keeping the room all white, I painted inside the frames that I had in the old laundry room a warm sage color.
More sage
The previous owners did put up this "European beadboard", however there was always this 1.5" ledge all the way around, so we used 14" (not sure the exact size) wide boards all the way around the room for a decorating ledge. We just mounted them with brackets every few feet for stability. I also reused the same brown shelves that I had previously to display all my black toile trays that I have collected over the years.

The finished room. I was still able to display all my vintage laundry wares, such as an old washboard and sewing spools. I also searched many months to find glass jars for my powder detergent. Once I found in France for 6 euros (the large one) and the other in Tongeren, Belgium for 10 euros.
I also collect old apothecary/pharmacy jars, so I figured this ledge was a great place to display them.
I added a light for evening "work", I just like the glow it leaves!
One of my favorite things in my laundry room are those 2 jars of buttons. They were my grandmothers and I remember sitting for hours at her kitchen table just looking through them.
I still have work to do on the window side of the room, however I thought this was a great place to display this very old and heavy, green stained glass window that I picked up in France for 10 euros!
My old glass detergent jars, also the box that holds my yummy fabric softener was a gift from a friend. She found it for free, but to me it is priceless.
We moved our refrigerator into our work room to give us more storage space. I wish I had more time to find a vintage cupboard, but this one serves the purpose and make a wonderful cabinet for dry food storage. I also need to finish above the window, but all in due time!
We also purchased cabinets and a countertop for the other side of the room. I can now store all paper goods easily. I hope to get cabinets above real soon and use the countertop as a sewing area.
I wish I had a great way to hide the pipes, but for now, painting them sage kind or hides them.
Well there you have it, my remade laundry room. Aside from a few more storage cabinets and a window treatment, my cottage laundry room is complete and I actually enjoy doing laundry. I find myself putting away the clothes a lot soon b/c I don't want to see baskets just sitting around filled to the top. I hope you enjoyed my little tour!!