Family Halloween Ideas

Two years ago, when we lived in England I was in charge of organizing the Boot to Boot (the British version of a Trunk or Treat). As I planned the event I also started working on our family Halloween costume. Up until this point we had not done a full family theme for our Halloween costume. I had so much fun coming up with an idea and seeing all of the costumes come together. Now that I have two years of family costumes I thought I would share my tricks for having the whole look come together.


It seems like an obvious choice, but we went with Harry Potter. My oldest had finished reading all of the books and she was a little bit obsessed. The baby has super blond hair and was our vicious little Draco Malfoy. We taught him how to say “My father will hear about this.” Garrett was our Harry Potter, Bennett rocked the orange hair as Ron Weasley, Addison was the perfectly precocious Hermione. Jon went for Snape with enthusiasm and I enjoyed being Bellatrix Lestrange.


We might have had too much fun with this costume. Snape’s wig and cloak was from amazon. I found black velvet blazer at a charity shop. fullsizeoutput_e81d

Living in England made the uniforms for the kids pretty easy. I just went to Marks and Spencer and bought uniforms. It should be easy enough to find a white button down and a uniform style pants or dress. The ties and capes were an easy find on amazon too. The orange hair spray helped complete the whole look. Don’t skip the little details!fullsizeoutput_e81f


Last year we were back in Texas and we were ready for another family costume idea. We went through quite a few fun ideas, but most of them were a little pricey for 6 people.

We decided on a family of pirates as we already had a few pieces. Bennett’s Captain Hook costume and a few of the swords came from The BOOtique Costumes. My jacket and skirt and both of our head scarves were thrifted finds.



We had too much fun, but so did our kids and that is what matters most. At one point as we were dodging thunderstorms and racing from house to house Malachi looked at us and said he was having the best Halloween ever.



These mannequin legs were an antique show cast off. My family thinks I am crazy for keeping these legs in our garage through the year, but this pay off is so worth it. A pair of striped tights and cowboy boots and our front door looks festive and fun.

Our bucket of candy waited for trick or treaters while we were out and our turquoise bucket held non food treasures so everyone was included.



For this year Halloween will be here before we know it and I am already working on putting together our best look yet. I will go through our existing costume stash, start looking at thrift stores and estate sales for specific pieces and make sure to visit my favorite local Bootique.



Do you dress up with your kids? Do you have a family theme? Do you have a favorite source for costumes?

I can’t wait to trick or treat with this crew again this year!

Warwick Castle

Since my last post we have moved into our rental home here in England. We are still getting settled and I am not quite ready to do a tour of the house. The antique markets here are done until after Christmas so I am at a stopping point for the holidays.

For now I am going to share today’s adventure. I love looking at pinterest for travel ideas. There was a list of Chateaux near Paris that was great for us to use as a guide. Today we used this list as our guide. We decided on Warwick Castle, loaded up the car and 1 hour and 20 minutes later we were parking.

The walk from the parking lot to the entrance was a bit long, and the littlest legs couldn’t keep up with our enthusiasm. I am happy to say we didn’t bring a stroller on this adventure and what a liberating feeling.


The crowds were fairly small today and we were able to enjoy many gorgeous views of the castle and grounds.


A trip down to the river was my favorite place.


This little bridge was something magical.


Inside the Great Hall I was of course drawn to the examples of china from the castle.


The Great Hall was going to be closed for a wedding in the afternoon. How gorgeous is this setting?!


Such a special place with so much history.


Shortly after I took this picture our littlest man held his arms up and I carried him up the next flight of stairs. Wow, he is getting big.


Stained glass always gets me. I love these pops of color from inside the castle. img_1328

My crazy crew! I love exploring with them.


The peacocks were fun to see around the castle grounds and we made our way to the peacock garden at the end of our visit.


Bennett was having a nice little visit with a peacock. dsc_0830

It was interesting to see how the peacock knew he was safe behind the fence.


A castle peaking out from the trees is so fun.



The trebuchet was great for the kids to see as they learn more about history and battles.



This is my super handsome husband in his element. He loves history and castles and spending time with his family. I am so thankful for him and the adventures we get to have together.


The sunset was amazing and I was thankful to be able to capture some of the beauty.


I hope you enjoyed this peak into today’s adventure. Our life is never boring and I love sharing all the fun we have.

Joyeux Noel and Merry Christmas 2014

This year we stayed in France for Christmas and we didn’t host either of our families.  It is always difficult to be away from home at the holidays, but we were able to host an open house for our church family.  It was so nice to be a place that people could come and eat good food and enjoy good company.  I had so much fun I forgot to take a single picture.  I did take this picture of my bottle carrier after everything was cleaned up.  I found the metal carrier at a local thrift store, but the bottles are from Ikea.  I filled them with water and it was the perfect set up for our party.  The cups fit in perfectly too.


After all of our friends had left and the presents were all out the peace in our was wonderful.


There is a special magic to celebrating Christmas with small children.


This manger set up has been one of my all time favorites.  Celebrating Christmas in a different culture makes you think about what the season really means to you; what is  important and what you can do without.  Celebrating the birth of our Saviour is the only thing that really matters, but I am thankful that we are able to do special things for our friends and family.


Christmas morning we were up and around by 6:30.  Our kids are early risers so this was not a surprise.  The kids were so excited about everything they got.  This moment for me with all of my children around me was the best moment for me.


And then the sun came up.  I love having a house full of early risers.


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Local Christmas Lights

In November the towns in our area bring out the trucks with ladders, block traffic, and hang their Christmas lights.  Seeing the lights during the day gives you just a taste of what they will look like all lit up.  My mother is here for a visit and she really wanted to see the lights at night.  She was here last year, but left before the lighting season.
Last night we all piled into the car and drove around to look at some of the local lights.


I love looking down the street and seeing the lights leading the way.


You can see all of the detail in this close up.


This was one of my favorites.  The globes looked like they were floating.


This display is beautiful during the day too, there are giant pearls hanging from the top.


These were very elegant looking.


These last few were all in the same area and it was just beautiful.


The mairie’s office, or town hall.


This is across the street from the Mairie’s office.


You can see the ice skating rink right here, we are planning on coming back for some fun here!


There were some beautiful lights that I just couldn’t capture because there was no where to stop, but it was a beautiful night to drive around and get into the festive season.

Bienvenue to Brocante Treasures!

Hello, My name is Amy.
Just over a year ago my family was waiting to find out where we would be making our next move.  I was 3 months pregnant and living in Oslo, Norway at the time.  We had a few ideas of where we might be going, but when my husband called and said our next home would be Paris I thought he was lying.  By July we were on a plane from Oslo to Paris and ready to settle our 3 children in and get ready to meet #4.


Our first year in Paris was so much fun, we welcomed a new baby and traveled and settled in to our new home.  I have always loved vintage treasures.  When we lived in Texas I loved to collect old things and clean them up or repurpose them.  Living in France has taken my love of collecting to a new level.

The word brocante is a French word that refers to second hand trade.  When I see the word Brocante on a roadside sign I get so excited.  A brocante usually looks like a flea market, tables and boxes and piles of gorgeous old items.  There are other names like vide-grenier, foire a tout or march au puce.  Each of these events has a slightly different selection of old items, but they are all a good time.

As I have spent more time visiting different brocantes I have amassed a collection of French vintage items.  I have started collections like I never thought I would be able to. My hope one day is to be able to share my treasures with others, people that are not able to get to France to wander the markets on their own.

I do most of my treasure hunting with my family in tow, that means my husband and 4 children in tow.  We see a lot of beautiful places in France and beyond and we have a lot of fun.




I hope you have fun coming along on our adventures and enjoy sharing in my treasures.