RL Photography

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La Bruyle – my stay in the South of France

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Once I arrive in Paris its tough to get me to leave. Completely understandable given what a great city it is. I was invited to the South of France to a bed and breakfast by my friend Olivier and the owners of La Bruyle. A little four hours on the train south I had no idea what to expect but the towns we stopped in were more adorable than the next as we approached Saint – Michael de Bannieres Pascale greeted Olivier and me at the train station and immediately felt at ease with my host. Just a short ride away from the train station we arrived at La Bruyle.

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I was given an adorable pink room on the top floor a stunning view.

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Every room in La Bruyle has a theme and color with attention to detail like non other.

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I am a city girl there is no doubt but staying here I absolutely fell in love with the country simple life. Fresh air, long walks on gravel roads, and the roses growing everywhere made it just heavenly.

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Pascale and her partner Franck met in Paris and had the dream of opening up a bed and breakfast together. It took a while of searching for just the right place before they could make that dream a reality. Franck and Pascale toured La Bruyle and didn’t make an offer right away. It was not until Franck told Pascale he had news about the house that made Pascale believe it was sold and her heart sank. The news was actually that the price had been lowered and immediately she knew that it was their house. It took six years from purchasing it to creating it into what it is now. Every detail in the house was though out carefully. It was truly a labor of love and well worth it. The warmth of the house and the sweet demeanor of Franck and Pascale really make La Bruyle a little slice of heaven in the south.

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One of my favorite memories of my stay at La Bruyle was coming down the wooden staircase into the main dining room. Pascale is an incredible cook and the smells from the kitchen would hit you as you came down the stairs. Jazz music or Nora Jones played in the background as the warm sunshine danced on the tiles. Meals ranged from lamb with thyme and honey and potatoes au gratin, truffle salted butter/toast, asparagus and cheese quiche, homemade yogurt and confiture from Pascales garden. My mouth is watering as type.

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The closest town had a market where we picked up a few things for meals including the most amazing strawberries. Pascale paired them with fresh whipped cream for dessert.

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Pascale and Franck did a wonderful job about educating me about the region that La Bruyle is in. Rocamadour is a type of french goat cheese made in the region. Just a few doors down we visited the farm and the goats to pick up some cheese. The cheese course may just be my favorite part of the French meal. Walnuts are grown all over the region as well so Franck makes a delicious liquor with walnuts and we ate them along with our cheese course. This is true farm to table living in the south of France.

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Breakfast at La Bruyle was pretty special to me. When Pascale brought out the breakfast it included fresh farm eggs, bread and homemade confiture (fruit from her garden) and homemade French yogurt. My eyes lit up as I saw the glass jars of yogurt. I added a little apricot confiture and savored every bite. The eggs were soft boiled and Franck taught me the proper way to cut and dip my toast into the egg. If you think it can’t get any better it actual did by dining in the garden.

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Franck and Pascale look forward to welcoming you to La Bruyle. I know personally I can’t wait to go back. If you visit in the summer months you can take advantage of the beautiful pool overlooking the countryside. What is not to love about this place?

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Chicago Weekend Plans? I have got you covered.

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Hey Chicago! It’s that time of year again. Summer has officially begun and that means art festivals are in full swing. My personal favorite is Wells Street which just happens to be this weekend. So if you are looking for something to do this weekend. I have got you covered. Great music, food, art. You bring the sunshine I have the rest covered. You can find me at booth 243. I will have a sneak preview of my newest collection from Paris Chasing the light.

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Left Bank Light

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Chasing the light has become a passion of mine lately. I will admit I have been known to cancel plans in Paris when I just didn’t feel like sitting inside when Paris was about to put on the most beautiful light show. The buildings literally illuminate with the sunlight. This one I call left bank light since that is where I found this beauty off the streets of St Germain.

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Newly added to the etsy shop here

The thing is I loved Chasing the light so much in Paris I created a whole collection around it. It will be a little while until everything is fully put together but there will be a sneak peak if you are lucky enough to live in Chicago. I will be at Wells Street this weekend. More details to come! xo

Falling for Italy

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It seems like a long time since I have posted. I had ever intention to post more while I was traveling but time got away from me. As seen in the previous posts mornings and evenings were spent chasing the light. Since the sun was out so early in the morning and it set so late at night it meant for very long days. I promise I enjoyed every minute of it. I have so much to fill you in on. But one thing I may have forgotten to mention in all the planning I tacked on an 8 day trip through italy at the end.

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I just arrived home to the States to get ready for my big summer show and I am finally able to share a few images from Italy. If you were following along on instagram you would have seen my daily adventures. Here are a few of the highlights from Italy. I promise to share more soon but as you can see I fell hard and fast for Italy. How could you not when the cities smell like jasmine and the sea.

Paris time… chasing the light

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My days have been filled lately with chasing the light. People always ask me what my favorite thing to do in Paris and I usually say walking. I walk for hours and hours discovering new parts of the city. But lately with this morning and evening light I have picked up a new activity… simply chasing the light. If you are wondering what exactly that is. I simply follow where the light is hitting the streets and buildings. It sounds easy but its all about timing.

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You see this light isn’t so easy. Paris likes to play hiding games with the sun and can be moody at times. The sun rises around 6:15 these days so that means very early morning strolls. But they are worth it!

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Then you also have the afternoon light which is so lovely when you find a hidden courtyard in St Germain de pres.

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Just as the sun begins to set you can find the light hitting the buildings just right. Last night I found myself chasing the light which sun sets around 9:15. It makes for very long days but when the right is just right you can’t go wrong in Paris.

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New Blog look!

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I have been working on a new blog design look for a while now and finally completed it right before I left for Paris. Although the blog look is up and completed. It doesn’t seem to have transferred back to my old blog. So I am afraid I have left you all in the dark. I have been in Paris for two lovely rainy days and I hope you will all join me on the new and improved site. You can shop directly from the site read about me and my life in Paris. Thank you all for following along! Click on the photo below or click here for the direct link to see the new blog look

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Spring… to be continued

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Two years ago I spent the most magical three months in Paris which has sparked a desire to return many times over. I experienced bitter cold days, snow, and the transition to Spring. As an American in Paris I could only spend 90 days in Paris without a Visa. Spring came later than usual because of the cold temperatures so just as I was leaving Spring was sprouting everywhere. You could feel the first days of Spring in the air. Terraces were filled with patrons and blossoms were popping up everywhere. My heart was breaking as I walked onto the plane, tears running down my face as I had lost a great love. I had in a way… Paris. I pushed back my Spring trip this year for many reasons.

One being I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my family. My sister and 20 month old niece will be in this week and will be sending me off on Sunday. I am so excited to see them and honestly I love them more than french baguettes, butter, and cheese combined. From pictures that have been posted in Paris the weather is warm and the blossoms have been popping. Its pretty much exactly where I left off two years ago and I guess I couldn’t have planned it any better. I am incredibly lucky to get the best of both worlds between being with family and experiencing Spring in Paris. As an added bonus my Aunt and Uncle will be joining me in Paris/Amsterdam later this month.

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I will arrive in Paris monday morning rain or shine. I can’t wait to see what Paris has in store for me this trip. You can follow along on instagram for more photos throughout my travels.

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