Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wandering Wednesday - Chateau de Chambord, France

I have been missing Europe so badly lately. I am seriously craving it - just to go back and wander around a medieval village with cobbled streets would be my idea of heaven right now. Especially if I had a nutella crepe in hand... And lucky for him, but not so lucky for me - Mitch is back in Europe this week, enjoying one of my favourite countries; France... You could say I'm a teeny bit jealous so I thought I'd wander on back to one of the first French castles we visited in 2007 - Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France.


Chambord may not be quite as famous as nearby Versailles, but it is absolutely spectacular. When we arrived, there was a dressage competition on and (being a horsey girl from way back) I loved seeing the riders warming up in the chateau grounds.



Many castles in the Loire Valley allow you to wander the grounds for free and only charge if you wish to enter the castle, but Chambord isn't one of them. You pay the 11 euro entry fee to enter the entire property, but it's really a small fee given what this castle has to offer - it is after all, the largest chateau in the Loire Valley.







One of the things that really stood out to me about Chambord was the design of the double helix staircase - I vaguely remember reading at the time that it was thought to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci.



It's from this staircase that Mitch snapped one of my favourite travel photos (which is now proudly displayed in our living room black & whites).


There are many castles in the Loire Valley, so many tourists only stick to Versailles as it can be reached by train from Paris but honestly - there is nothing quite like hiring a car and driving around this beautiful region in the summertime. We only spent a few short days here but have always planned on going back when we do another big France road trip.

Have you been through the Loire region?


Happy wanderings :-)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Insta-Recap: The Birthday Month


The Birthday Month - an Insta-Recap. From the beginning of the month until his birthday on the 16th, I took a daily photo on my iPhone of Mr Oliver to document his birthday month. This is a tradition I began last year (although this year I moved it from the blog to Instagram) and one I plan to continue each year. One thing I learned when taking photos of this kiddo each day: he is most certainly NOT camera shy!!!

Want to follow la petite lulu on Instagram - click here!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

34/52


"A picture of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Oliver: Reading his favourite book with Dadda - there is a little bug hidden on every page (a little like Where's Wally?), Ollie loves to flip the pages and shout WHERE'S BUG! before showing us where it is. This kid loves to read!

Linking up with Che and Fidel as part of the 52 Project.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

The cutest tees on the block {mama case prints}

I have a real treat for you today... Stop what you are doing and go check out mama case prints!


The talented woman behind these creations is Kacie, a fun Texas mama who not only designs & screen prints these t-shirts, but also blogs over at mama case. I've been a fan of mama case prints ever since I first discovered Kacie's blog and shop.

Her designs are simple but effective - not to mention unique. Personally, I'm not a fan of cartoon-y things and SO many baby & childrens shirts are full of them! The designs at mama case prints are a breath of fresh air, especially for boy mamas as we all know how hard it can be to find cute boy clothing!

The first thing that stood out to me about this shirt was the quality. Kacie uses American Apparel t-shirts which are not only super soft but also fit true to size. Mr Oliver debuted the shirt at his birthday party last weekend and being a 2 year old, he had smooshed cake on his side within about 5 minutes flat but I have to say, the shirt washed really well and didn't lose its shape or colour.


These shirts would also make a sweet birthday present or baby shower gift. Although I didn't get to take a proper photo of the packaging (I got a quick one on my iphone, put it down for a minute and came back to discover Oliver had ripped open the paper, thinking it was another birthday present), orders come gift wrapped which is perfect if you want to have it sent directly to the gift recipient.

The design I chose for Oliver was the woody wagon in aqua. I felt like it had a Californian, surfer feel to it so thought it would be perfect for our boy growing up in California!


I loved how the logo is incorporated - it's not too big, but adds a sweet touch to the back of the shirt.


Although the woody wagon is my personal favourite (it was a hard choice though!), Kacie has plenty of other designs. Some of my other favourites include the add subtract multiply divide tee...


The ABC 123...


The high five 5th birthday design (click on the link & check out the back!)...


And who can resist the Best Friends charm set! This version would be perfect for twins, but there is also an adult/child set. Super cute!!!


I love hearing the story behind people's work, so I asked Kacie a few questions about how she got started and where her shop is heading.

* What made you decide to open your Etsy store?

- I had wanted to learn how to screen print for a while and as my son's first birthday snuck up, I decided to finally teach myself how so that I could make him a one-of-a-kind shirt! It was my first design and still one of my best sellers!

* Where do you draw your inspiration from for your prints?

- I was an elementary school teacher for 7 years so that - combined with being a mom - brings me a lot of inspiration. I love the kiddo brain and how much it can absorb daily so a lot of my designs are just about being an incredible and curious kid.

* What is your favourite design & why?

- Right now, my favorite designs have to be the sun and the moon. They are so bold and I cut the original designs from construction paper so I like the little imperfections that make them unique.


* Are there any new items you are working on?

- I will be adding long sleeves, cardigans, and sweatshirts for fall/winter along with new designs! SO excited!!

mama case prints is offering la petite lulu readers a 10% discount for the next month - just use the coupon code MAMALULU10. Happy shopping!

Want to go say hi? You can also find Kacie at her Blog | Shop | Instagram | Facebook | Bloglovin'


--- Disclaimer: I received the featured product as part of a review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions expressed are entirely my own ---

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Are you a small business owner interested in being featured on la petite lulu? Pop me an email at luana@lapetitelulu.com to discuss!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wandering Wednesday - Park Guell: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona (or Spain in general) is one of those places that I only got to spend a few short days, but I've been dying to go back ever since. The mediterranean part of Europe is most appealing to me and I just loved the feel of Barcelona. It was warm even in February, the streets were bustling, the shopping was great and the tapas... Mmmm! Barcelona is a big city, with a lot of sights so today I wanted to wander on back to Park Guell - aka the gingerbread house park.


Park Guell is another masterpiece partially designed by the famous Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. It was originally built with the intention of being a gated community - although this never came to fruition, I can only imagine what kind of community this would have been to live in. The park absolutely is beautiful, but the architecture is pretty full on - it actually reminded me a little of Disneyland...











Park Guell is a lovely spot to spend a couple of hours in Barcelona - it's busy, but it's fun to wander around and enjoy the sights. My favourite part? The view! The pavilion in the last photo gave beautiful views over Barcelona, all the way to the ocean.

Have you ever been to Barcelona?


Happy wanderings :-)

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Choo Choo - looks who's 2!

Although last Friday was his actual birthday, we had a little party here at home for Mr Oliver on Sunday afternoon. You know, I had been feeling a bit so-so about having a party - a combination of exhaustion & really missing family was making me second guess myself, but I'm SO glad we did it. The look on Ollie's face when everyone was singing happy birthday & he blew out his candle was priceless.

His true birthday started with some present opening in Mummy & Daddy's bed, before he ran out to the living room to his big surprise...




We hid the rest of his presents around the room and although I wasn't sure that he would want to leave his train table to look for them, he really got into it! It was fun watching him get excited about his presents this year, as last year he was still so little and I had to do all the unwrapping!




Oliver had requested a train cake for his birthday, so we did a choo choo party. With tasty treats, decorations, great company and of course - THE Australian Women's Weekly train cake, it was a really lovely afternoon!











Thank you to everyone who came & celebrated our big boy with us and also to everyone who sent him birthday wishes from afar - we felt the love and I know Mr Oliver did too!


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