Annecy, France

During my big trip to France with my kids, I wanted to add a small town experience.  A friend of mine who always offers the best advice whether it is about dry shampoo, restaurants, where to travel to, or parenting recommended this town.  Through experience she has earned no questions asked when following her recommendations. Even my husband knows it will be good if Toni recommends it.  So when she raved about the French town Annecy, it immediately went on our trip itinerary.  I am so glad I listened.   It is so incredibly WONDERFUL.  It is a town very close to the Swiss border and is a picturesque on a lake surrounded by mountains. I was told this is area is considered the Pre-Alps.   As soon as we left the train station I was hit with the feeling that the quality of life here is what I would imagine it would be if I lived in a snow globe. A charming snow globe.  The air was so clean and the lake was crystal blue.  People seemed to be leisurely enjoying their lives.  I saw families picking up their kids from school, then walking onto the playground on the Lake to meet friends.  And people slowly enjoying cafe meal.   The pace seemed much slower and more enjoyable. It somehow felt so magical that I couldn’t believe any worldly problems could exist here, just like living in a snow globe.  It felt so happy.

Annecy, France

Annecy, France

We spent 2 nights in Annecy and enjoyed every minute.  We  just did a lot of wandering, eating, and inspired by the locals took it slow during our two days here.  We sat by the lake a lot and the younger kids played at the park.  I would have liked to bike around the lake, but it didn’t happen, hopefully there will be a next time.

Annecy, France

Annecy, France


In Annecy we stayed in the center of the old town in a lovely, clean airbnb, with just the right amount of room.  It was just a couple minute walk from the lake and right in the center of all the shops, and only about a 10 minute walk to the train station. I really enjoyed the windows and the views out onto the street, canal, and a restaurant next door.  Not that I spent time starring at people while they ate at the restaurant, but there was something very happy catching glimpses of people enjoying a meal through the kitchen window.  My kids loved the layout with one bedroom with bunk beds, another bedroom with double bed, and then the living room had a fold out sofa that folded out into two twin beds.


Annecy, France

Our apartment was on the middle floor of the wood structure attached to the building.

Annecy, France

This is the hallway to our apartment entrance.

Annecy, France

Peeking in on the restaurant across the way from the kitchen sink.


Underneath our apartment there was a Falafel Restaurant, Ali baba.  It was yummy, affordable, and fast.  It was perfect for big lunch to keep everyone happy.  We went three times :).  We also had a couple lovely meals along the canal, where the setting was a perfect compliment to a fresh margherita pizza (a staple for us).  And gelato, they had that too, in so many flavors, SO MANY.  No one ever got a bad flavor.

Annecy, France

Getting to Annecy from Paris was my most brave endeavor on the trip. I strongly encourage everyone to try the train, I just think you might need to have a bit of a sense of humor about it.  I found that buying  2 day Eurail passes for us was hundreds of dollars cheaper than just buying train tickets for our trip. However, figuring out how to get all the QR codes that I needed was a challenge I hadn’t anticipated.  We ended up needing to transfer trains once each way, so we took a total of 4 trains. Some trains needed reservations, some didn’t.  Some trains had assigned seating, some did not. It was a lot.  We sat in someone else’s seats once.  We also sat in First class instead of Second like our purchased tickets.  And I never had ALL the right QR codes, one for our Eurail pass and one for reservation.  But everyone and every conductor was so kind to me, especially when they saw that I was traveling with 4 kids.  No one was really helpful, because it just didn’t seem like anyone really knew how to use the Eurail app.  I was able to present enough information to show that I was fully paid, but it was never exactly what the conductor was looking for.  However they made us feel welcome and we didn’t get kicked out of first class.  I would do it again and again, but know was not going to be perfect.  And also it should be noted the time between connecting trains is not very generous, we made it both times but its quick. Make sure you are prepared for a mad dash.  Everything in France seemed to operate at a leisurely pace, EXCEPT catching a train, then it turns to pandemonium.  But again, totally worth it!! Embrace the pandemonium and you will likely have an exciting story to share.

Annecy, France

Annecy, France

I had really good for me fortune that our stay in Annecy overlapped with the monthly flea market.  As far as I can remember it was purely a coincidence, but who knows maybe I subconsciously lined up our dates to make shopping in the flea market possible, that is highly  likely.

Annecy, France Flea Market

Whatever the case, I sure was happy I was able to shop the flea market.  It was an experience to treasure.  I don’t think I will ever get over the charm of the setting AND then to add my favorite pastime of flea market shopping.  It was the best.  I found a lot of good things, and in my opinion the prices were the best that I have shopped in France in comparison to Paris and Provence. I found a couple paintings and dishes.  There was an incredible booth with copper pieces, I had to bring something home from there.  I ended up purchasing a stunning large pitcher, the copper with its large scale got me.

Annecy, France Flea Market

Flea market finds from Annecy, France

Here is the pitcher styled at home with some of my other finds from Annecy.

I felt like I hit the jackpot with linens.  There was one booth that was fully stocked with beautiful, clean sheets, tea towels, and handkerchiefs. I was in heaven.  And I admired all the antique furniture pieces and dreamt about having an apartment there to furnish.  I highly recommend this market.

Annecy, France Flea Market


Annecy is very special and I am so glad I got to experience it. I hope to be back.  My kids loved it too.  This is a spot that I think any and all ages would enjoy.

Annecy, France

If you would like to know more about our travels to Paris you can find it in this post.

Merci beaucoup,



The Makeover of Two Settees Part Four: The Decking

We have arrived at the final part of this series of DIY reupholstering these two settees, which is replacing the decking or the bottom part of the settee fabric.  I recommend reading all the directions before beginning.


1.I began this project by cutting out a piece of natural colored duck canvas that covered all but approximately 3 inches on the outside of the seat, as pictured:

I found no need to remove the previous fabric on the bottom because it was in good condition and I could cover it up.

By using the duck canvas, I was able to use less of the vintage hemp linen.  If you notice most upholstered pieced with removable cushions have plain fabric on the bottom pieced together with the fabric that is showing on the outside (and likely the more costly fabric).

2. I then added at least 8 inches of the hemp linen fabric to all the sides, it needed to be enough fabric to cover a couple inches on the seat and to pull through onto to the sides and nail in place with a fold.

I did a lot of estimating and piecing fabric together for this process.  Because of the look I was going for, I was able to piece fabrics together, which made the process much less exact.

3. I sewed the strips of hemp to the canvas with a double seam and created this fabric piece to cover the entire bottom of the seat:

4. Next up is tucking the fabric around the legs and arms of the settee.  This is the trickiest part in my opinion.  Proceed carefully.  I love using these scissors for the process of slowly cutting into the fabric so that the fabric lies flat, but not too much that any cuts in the fabric are visible.  I always try to over estimate on the fabric needed and then make more cuts where in order to get the placement right.

5. Once I am pleased with the way the fabric is placed and tucked under, I flip up the front strip, and do a quick whip stitch at the seam on the bottom to the fabric on the seat.  I use a curved needle and upholstery thread to do this.

6. Now that is secure, it is time to tack the outside bottom to the frame.  I like using carpet tacks for this and I also like my lightweight upholstery hammer to minimize damage to the wood frame.  I fold the fabric under so no raw edges are exposed and hammer into place.

This is another case where I did not mind everything not being quite exact due to the slightly rustic look I was going for.  There were times I need to add a fold to the fabric to get it to lie flat and I was just fine with that.


Remember where we started from?

Thank you for checking out this post.  Feel free to contact me with any questions at




2 days in Paris

In July, my friend Jenn of Anthology Home noticed that there were a couple openings for French Larkspur tour through Provence in September. These tours book up very quickly for good reason, but with all the craziness with travel during this time there happened to be an opening. The focus of these tours in addition to seeing the magical hilltop towns is antique shopping. Naturally Jenn thought I would make a good plus one for this scenario. Also this was totally on my bucket list. It was crazy how things fell into place in a matter of hours. I still can’t believe my good fortune.
As we were figuring out our flights to Provence it seemed to only make sense to stop in Paris on the way, since we had to fly through there anyway. We originally booked our stay for just 24 hours in the city, but luckily on whim we extended it to 48 hours. I am so thankful we did that, because we saw a lot less than I thought we would during our first day.
I have been very lucky to visit Paris before and I love it so much. Its not really a bucket list location for me, I could never check it off the list and be okay with never going back. I could visit it over and over again and its magic never gets old. I was so excited to show it to Jenn who had never been and I was feeling pretty confident that I was going to show her an amazing time. Well…Paris humbled me with my tour guide skills the first day. When we arrived it took us several hours to get out the airport between customs, finding the train to take us into the city, then finding out the train was not running that day, and then getting lost in the airport. But we made it and the airport sells fresh baguettes, so that helped our moods. We finally found an uber and made our way to our hotel.
First up on our list was figuring out our French health pass, that verifies we have received an approved Covid vaccine. These are required to get eat restuarants, go to museums, ride the train, and go to tourist attractions. We had applied several weeks beforehand, but never received a response, I believe they are backlogged. I found this blog very helpful. But this is an ever evolving situation. We had success in getting a permanent pass by going to the recommended pharamacy and showing our CDC card. But it looks like that is no longer an option. This blog appears to be diligent in providing updated information, so it is a good place to do a bit of research. One more note on this topic, the people that we traveled with in Provence never got an official health pass and all restuarants just accpeted their CDC cards as verification.


The pharmacy we went to was located near the Marais.  I had mapped out some creative shops I wanted to visit in that area.  I had lost sleep over how excited I was to see the ribbon shopthe whimsical antique shop, and the wallpaper store.  Well…we got lost. I got us lost. It really isn’t the worst thing in the world to get lost in the Marais, I mean look at what we saw along the way.

Every turn had something more charming then the next. But we wanted to make sure that Jenn got to see all the high points, in the end we didn’t find any of my mapped out stores except for Merci. And Merci is surely worth the hype. I love how beautifully it combines modern and vintage decor.


After we made our way out of the Marais we did a boat tour of the Seine. Now this was the opposite of my tour through the Marais, where you wander aimlessly, enjoying yourself but never actually see any big landmarks. The boat tour on the Seine packs nearly every big landmark in the city in 60 minutes. It is also a very pleasant way to relax and view everything. A perfect activity for day when you are dealing with jet lag. This is also when my phone died, but thankfully Jenn took some pictures that she shared with me.
Next on the list was the the Luxembourg gardens, getting a tiny bit lost on the way. It was the theme for the day. We only ended up with 10 minutes before it closed, but it was magic. I treasure that taste of it. It was also fun to walk through the Saint-Germain-des-Pres area, just like all the areas it is unique, you can tell this where most of the university students spend their time.



The start of day two was the Porte de Vanves flea market. MY FAVORITE. The moment I had been waiting for. We enjoyed ourselves so much. The treasures are so special and the booth owners are wonderful.

Every interaction we had people were so kind. We always attempted to speak a little French, but often they would speak English to us, and if not we could negotiate transactions by writing numbers on a piece of paper, hand gestures and smiles.

I didn’t find tons of booths with linen, but enough. I purchased a pile of heavy French linen vintage nightgowns to use for their fabric. The fabric is remarkable, and I even tried one on hoping it would fit, but no. That’s okay, I still appreciate them so much. I also bought some vintage cotton red/pink fabric that is perfect for Christmas, I have already started sewing with it, and I am love it so much.

Mon amie, Jenn, purchasing paintings for her shop.

 My favorite most unique find, were these sketches/watercolors that were done by a French decorator from the 1940s.  The detail with them is mindblowing.  It is just like everything else the France, beauty and detail are the focus.  Its like things would be beautiful even if they stopped 5 steps before, but they just keep adding detail after detail to their buildings, to their pastries, to their gardens, and in this case sketches of furniture.  Tres belle. This is defintiely the find that surprised me.  I never once thought such a thing existed, but now they are my treasure.  I did pick up enough for me and enough for my shop.


I planned out a gallery wall in my hotel.

I happily hung some up in my home.

The detail is incredible, this is just a 5 by 6 inch sketch add look at the decor that is drawn on the shade.

these ones will be for sale on my shop site on October 14 at 7pm CST.

a quick bit of styling in my hotel room

 The man who sold me the sketches was so kind, and he threw in a couple as “presents.”  This was our first time in France that we got freebies, but it turned into a routine.  When I bought linen the shop owner threw in an extra tea towel as “present.”  Even at a gift shop where I bought my son a Mbappe PSG jersey (if you don’t know what or who that is, its a soccer thing) and the owner gave me a PSG bag to pass on to my soccer fan.  Everyone seemed happy to see visitors from America, I am guessing we were a bit of a sign that things might be getting back to normal.  

What I regret with our flea market trip is not looking into taking an Uber back to the hotel.  Riding the metro with our bags was something and climbing the metro stairs with our haul was an entirely bigger something.  But we made it.  It was a labor of love for my treasures that I did happily, but there might have been an easier solution. 

After our finds were safely back in our hotel rooms we finally made it to the fancy candle store.  We used an Uber to cut down on the chance of getting lost. The Cire Trudon store was Jenn suggestion.  This special candle maker has been in business since the 1600s, and the scents are exceptional. I was totally there for it. It was really fun to look and smell, smell and look.  Now these candles are quite a splurge.  But if you need to treat youreslf to something, this is a good one.   We really enjoyed speaking to the young woman who helped and she loaded us up of freebies.  Those freebies were very welcome to travel home with me. Lucky for me Jenn did gift me a cire trudon candle in my favorite scent.  I had used awards to cover our hotel stay and she wanted to do something special. I mean I told her she didn’t need to, but she didn’t have to twist my arm too hard.   The candle makes me very happy, I allow myself to burn it for a special two hours a week, it smells so good and even adds a good amount of scent to the room when it isn’t burning.  It reminds me of Paris. And sits in my sewing corner.  I will report back on how long I can make it last.

Then we walked to the Tuileries soaking in all the sights we passed, the Opera House, and the Place Vendome for a few.

It was perfect weather and I enjoyed one of our favorite meals sitting in the gardens eating a croque monsieur and crepe for lunch. 


Our last must see destintion for our time in Paris was Montmartre. My love for this area goes deep. Its beyond charming, all the shops and cafes nestled into the incline of the hill.  Also this is where the artists of Paris have lived since the mid 1800s, so there is a unique artisitic vibe (all of Paris is artistic, but you will feel it being a bit different here).

It is such a treat to wander through Place du Tertre.  In this square there are several cafes and artisits set up booths to sell their work, and often times there are painting while there.  I have purchased a couple of my favorite art pieces here, they are lovely and I love having the reminder of the special place. 

Do you spy what I brought home to my dining room?

We took time to walk through the Sacre-Couer.  This is a must do in my opinion, the view of Paris from its steps is breathtaking.  Also I love the feeling of peace and awe that I get inside a cathedral.  I am not of the catholic faith, but there is so much history seeped into those walls its hard not to feel something emotional when there. 

Our wonderful day in Paris came to end with eating two desserts in two different cafes in Place du Tertre.  I was full and very happy.

 In case you are wondering, we stayed in the Hyatt Etoile.  It is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Arc Du Triomphe and just a block from the main metro line that goes to the center of Paris.  It is very easy to get around from there. I like riding the metro.  I also like the hotel, it is nice and clean with good service and the best part is that it was free for us.  As a family we don’t use a lot of credit cards, but we did sign up for a Hyatt credit card years ago when they were offering two free nights at ANY of their hotels worldwide.  My husband and I used those nights to stay in Paris in the Hyatt Vendome, now that experience would be another whole long blog post.  It was very, very fancy and romantic too :).  We have kept the credit cards because we get free award nights every year at their category 4 or less hotels.  We have had some great trips because of them.  Using them for the Hyatt Etoile is a great value, its not a budget hotel. Since we had not been traveling much we had 4 nights to use, so Jenn and I each got our own room.  This was a good decision because the rooms are very small and even with two twin beds I think the beds would have been touching.  I love Jenn, but with jet lag and waking up at weird times I think we were both very grateful for our space.

                                                                              The view from my hotel room, notice the Sacre-Couer in the distance.

I am beyond grateful I got to experience this city again and with a friend that had all the same interests as I did.  Next we were headed to Provence…

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