marche aux puces (flea market)!

ok, i've been saving one of the best parts of our trip to paris until now. i was proud of myself for having done a little research before we left about where to find a great flea market ... i was envisioning finding some magical box of old french treasures that would create amazing jewelry or totally transform our house into a subtle yet amazing french chateau farmhouse. well, between a very tight budget and being entirely overwhelmed at the wonderful-ness of it all (not to mention wondering how i'd get it all home on the plane) i didn't purchase a single thing.

when we first got off at the correct metro station and began walking in the direction towards it, i was immediately disappointed. we were besieged with people selling fake designer knock-off sunglasses and belts, and booth after booth of the typical cheap imported crap. we might as well have been in new york or any other large american city. was this what i flew for 7 hours for? was i wrong to expect to walk into marie claire maison?

then we turned a corner.

the crowds thinned a bit. we heard a man playing the stand-up bass and singing and the sunshine became brighter and warmer (not kidding).






this was my favorite section of the market... we stumbled into it from the back and saw this entryway sign on the way out:


many of the vendors had set out snacks such as grapes or crackers and cheese or mini pastries for their passers-by. some of them were just hanging out, making a day of it, sitting at the chairs and tables they were selling, having a glass of wine together. of course, many had their little dog making himself right at home beneath the chair or even snuggled up on a blanket on top of some heirloom antique furniture worth thousands of euros.



the space that these few pictures are from, i could have literally moved right in and lived in. just outside the door at a corner cafe, there were a few guys playing guitar and accordion, singing the jaunty little songs from chocolat (i literally thought to myself, that sounds like the song from chocolat. wait, that is the song from chocolat!)


hmm, who can that handsome tourist be that snuck into the last one there?


authentic french blue toile and wood with a story to tell (in other words, aged by actual time and wear, not purposeful "antiquing"). take that, shabby chic.



so these are definitely why i'm feeling a huge burn to completely redecorate my house! just look at that huge crusty bread. is it bad that i'm making a resolution to drink more wine? also, i'm renewing my plan to fill my house with all mis-matched creamy white dishes and to re-cover my dining room chairs.


it's amazing how a visit to a different culture can completely refresh and renew you. we still came home to the same old stresses and frustrations that day-to-day life can and does bring, yet i'm craving a change that i know i can initiate in myself. even just looking at these pictures makes me want to go read a book and drink a glass of wine... to stop and enjoy life for a minute. to work hard and appreciate an occupation, but also to relish in the downtime. to linger over a meal. to have coffee and dessert and to stop rushing. i've written about it before, but it's still a goal to live more intentionally. to stop letting time "get away from me" and to do it all in a house that reflects our tastes, to quit waiting around in case we move. i'm going to start by ordering some large prints of these photos to hang in my dining room! i hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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