A great anti-itch aide.


In French the word for chicken pox is vericelle, but I keep saying vermicelle which are noodles slightly thicker than angel hair pasta. So my child has the noodles. Yup, really bad noodles.

The week after school ended my 3-year-old came down with a pretty bad case of Chicken Pox. There’s really not a lot that needs or can be done except ride it out and try to keep her comfortable. To soothe her skin and stop her from scratching, the best home remedy we’ve found is good old coconut oil.

The high level of lauric acid in coconut oil has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. So not only does it help to reduce the itch, it protects the skin from any further infection. The oil also helps to reestablish the skin’s acidic balance and reduce inflammation. Whenever Miss Noodles has a bad itch, we just slather some coconut oil on her and gently massage her untill the urge goes away.

While conventional wisdom has it that the blisters should dry up and scab quickly, Read the full post »


 Quaint country interiors in moody blues.

Lisbett Wedendahl - Krop Creative DatabaseCottage blues

Cottage bluesCottage blues










All above: Lisbett Wedendahl

Cottage blues

Cottage blues










Walnuts farm. Photo David Merewether

Cottage blues

Livs Sandvik Jakobsen for her amazing house & style blog Livs Lyst.
Cottage bluesCottage blues
 Light Locations via sfgirlbybay
Cottage blues Cottage blues
Adrian Briscoe’s ‘Sophisticated Rustic’, styled by Gabby Deeming.

Cottage blues

Blue rustic wood interior. Credit unknown.

For more quaint rustic country, visit my Pinterest board Eclectic Cottage.

Related articles:


Summer starters.


My husband has gotten a head start in the courtyard planting raspberries, figs, grapes and herbs. When the house is ready, the garden will be too!


Our thyme has really taken off. We have some great parsley too. I think this purple flower is Lesser Periwinkle – Petite Pervenche and that it’s intertwined with Curly Dock which I’ve read you can eat. Also coming in nicely is our Framboisier “Sumo“. So big and tasty!

garden collage

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Following the D-Day celebrations, the party continues.

Bayeux, France

Last year I wrote about how wonderful it would be if Our Tour was inhabitable enough to enjoy the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Bayeux. Well, tant pis.

We weren’t lucky enough to have been in town during the commemorative ceremonies, but my beau parents were and they said it was crazy. A few weeks later and the town is still a buzz with all the energy the visitors, events and decorations brought to this corner of Normandy.

flags normandy

French home, flowers

Bayeux, France

The cathedral was lit up in multiple colors. A beautiful jeux de lumière.

Notre Dame, Bayeux, FranceNext year, yes, next year…


So much left to do.


Looking around Our Tour we see the progress we’ve made, but also how far we have to go. While we’ve tried to restore many of its ancient features, sometimes in an effort to make it into a modern dwelling we’ve had to forgo others.

Case in point the huge boarded up fireplace that was in the space where our daughter’s room will go. The original idea was to work with it as a charming decorative feature, but the weight it was putting on the floorboards and the space it was taking up made us decide otherwise.

We took the large stone mantel off and placed it in the courtyard. It made such a nice makeshift bench that we’re contemplating later stripping the paint and turning it into a real bench.

renovating a 17th century townhouse

When we dismantled the mantle we saw that the side stone pieces that were holding it up were of a lesser newer quality. We took them out too. Further opening up the fireplace we found the vestige of another much older fireplace.













We cleaned out the shoot which was just a mess and then with a heavy heart covered it up with cement blocks. It just wasn’t feasible or practical to restore.


So much to do before Our Tour is inhabitable. The stress is mounting as our goal is to live in it this year!

There are places that we just don’t have the time or money to restore and will have to keep in its grungy state for a while. Like the inside of the tower stairwell. Un jour we will restore the stone masonry like we did to the outside and we’ll recut new stones to fill out the severely worn steps. Un jour. But for now we just have to concentrate on the basics (like heat, hot water and plumbing!).

renovating a 17th century townhouse  renovating a 17th century townhouse







In memory 1944-2014.

An American tank crew in Avranches, Normandy, Summer 1944 by Frank Scherschel

Blue beaches murmur waves
Splashing old, rusted war remnants.
A sea bird flaps wet beaches
Where the sea swells and crashes gently on wet sand,
Retreating back erasing all footprints.
The men stare the distance,
At blurred memories through tears.
Trickling down their cheeks dripping softly,
To merge with the sea like before.

Excerpt from ‘Harbingers’ by Curtis D. Bennett


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