Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Bonjour Monique:)

Time to retire the above..they served me well for quite a number of years♥

The diamonds !

Remember when I made the watercolor watch?
I sent the original link of the person who created the original to an artist friend ..guess what?
He made one..I saw him here and he showed me..his is so much better it has compartments.
I think it is fantastic:)

every day..subtle changes..nuances..clouds..sea.. NOT where we stay..just a couple of the homes along my stretch..
all different favorites are the plantation looking ones like the yellow one.
I am partial to yellow homes:)
We stay in something I guess the size of their living room..or less..oh less I am sure..maybe the butler's pantry;)
Some..are so large..the fronts almost encroach the front road.
maybe 15000 ..sq people we know have a 9000 sq ft one..and these look far larger.
And I have rarely seen people there.
I guess it's a home here and a home there.

Apart from home..and the Cape..or Maine..this is my favorite place in the world.I guess because I feel at home.
I love France..Italy..I could live in Provence if my whole family could come:)
.. here I feel at home.
It's not a's humble..but that's what we sea :) all day long..
the sea.. shore birds..sometimes dolphins..manatees..jumping fish...
we eat in..because we like to..why leave this?:)
No housekeeping... we make our beds and clean the space  ourselves..
I am not big on hotels..too much flafla for eyes would be round as saucers when we went on business events ..I had never seen such luxury..The Cloister at Sea Island..I was 20 and pregnant and we arrived at this unbelievable yes younger..all that had a different appeal.
I like to wear extremely casual clothes here..flip flops and a pair of knock off black Toms.
To have to dress up would take all the purpose of our totally laid back no obligation trip.
Plus I am not into ritzy.At all.
Have you noticed we eat better at home?
And Jacques and I..find..   that too much food is served..and numerous courses are not for us either.At our daughter's homes..we overeat:) but we eat for hours in our favorite company.

One day many years ago..I went to the Ritz for tea..I must admit that was a fun little thrill..
But I have not been back.
I have no idea why I am like this...but so is Jacques.
He has not worn a suit in decades.Except for our two daughters weddings:)
The people we see..are all so good to sea:)
We all know we care..but we all know we like our spots of privacy.
It is a well managed happy marriage♥s..
 ..they are all sooo nice.

Before I get into my Christmas mode w/ cookies and tourtiè is such a different life real cooking..easy quick things..
no baking knives that cookie stamps ..nor cookie pie plates..
I can handle that ;)Here.
I did buy a precious set at Williams -Sonoma online though:)
Cookie stamps..

..and great is customer service in the states?

Pretty darn good..
ours has taken heed I think and is quite good too:)

This year we FLEW.I will never drive again..for 30 years we have driven..different months ..seasons.. but always drove..except a few times when work didn't permit to leave etc..and Jacques drove..I way..
We used to do it in 2 days..13 hours..13 hours..  in our way younger days..we drove direct..26 hours..

but 3 days 2 nights....just got to me..and admittedly to Jacques..
You have no control over traffic..the weather..downpours and and sleet and crazy snow in Nov!
Detours and road construction..
White knuckling it is not for me..


Blablabla..I write and talk way too much..;)

I often tell have taken the exact same photos for years on end..but still..the views..make me want to click away to remember..again.

I learned my lesson years not use my best cameras on the beach:) Sand and cameras..don't get along..
when the Littles are with us I sometimes make an exception..but on our own..I take the point and shoot..
as you may have guessed none of our beautiful boys joined us this year..
They went on a trip to Mexico and loved it..Room service..beaches..pools..Oli won that top in football..:)And he is the soccer player..looks pretty fantastic.At their ages and their parents much fun.

Above photo..courtesy of Caroline,our daughter

Noah will be at Disney in March:)It's Spring break and he and his mommy make the most of it as it is her Spring break too..I gotta give it to her..she uses travel points she accumulates during the year..makes all the arrangements..totally impressed..I never would have done something like that on my own.

It's all beautiful and natural here  w/out a fancy lens:)
My friend Brenda..Gene's lovely wife..contemplating the beach:)
She had been..I ran in to get my camera..and she wasn't:(
I asked her to go back for 2 minutes..:)Imagine..Gene is an artist..yet he bought a frame for this:)

Prima Tropicals.. pencil and Artist Loft brush that I LOVE..I have had it for a while..3 yrs handle ..perfectly pointed yet roundish..and small.Scott towels..a small yogurt container of time..a mechanical pencil..because I did not bring a sharpener..:( And my Micron was dry..:(
Kilimanjaro paper from Cheap Joe' came with my travel kit last year..I did pick up another small block in Fl.
I am so impressed with these Primas..that I also bought Decadent Pies..ap $15.00 I love the granulation..the bright vivid colors I used soft colors..quite a bit diluted.
I can safely say that I think I have enough watercolors to last my lifetime and more..oh way more..but feel so lucky to enjoy doing this ...that with photography..and baking..I am set to hibernate.

I painted quite a bit..every day  a little something..a card for our UPS gentleman..a card for our manager here.. did a few Christmas vignettes in a new journal..all copied except one and the one I didn't  copy is my very least(oxymoron?) favorite..sob.

And Brenda:)

And then the wind and whitecaps appeared one day under the most brilliant sky and the sound of the surf♥

And I loved it all just as much.We get to see the most glorious sunsets..every night..and they are all different also~
I don't think anything beats babies and nature...and kind hearts like this one..oh please look at it..♥It made me cry..

And then we have the other end of the spectrum..yikes:(:(
I can't believe  it.
Black Friday..Cyber Monday..Cyber Monday continues..

you know..our Thanksgiving is WAYY before the US one..yet..we have Black Friday when they do..and Cyber Monday too..they jumped on a bandwagon.
I used to love Boxing Day..when we were in the need to get things..
now if I's to be with my girls.

and then..this made me smile:):

If my wife was a Transformer..her name would be Amazon Prime.

Photo credit: Brenda

Photo ,courtesy of Jacques.(He bought a mini Ipad:).The guy who does not even use a cellphone..nor owns one..when he worked..he had one..the size of a brick . a big a faux leather case.
A bit like a big walkie talkie:)



  1. Oh Monique, what a trip. We love the beach too and if I could, I'd live on the beach. Something so primal about it. Those big houses are often corporate houses to be used by employees and clients. Some people buy them, mark their days on the calendar, then rent them out for the rest of the year. A friend has nearly closed down his law office and lives off what he makes from renting his beach house. I think I'd be staying so much I wouldn't make any money. I went back to read about your watch; I had forgotten about it. You are so clever. I know you missed all the littles, but I bet it was still wonderful. My kids and littles next favorite place is Disney World. Loved seeing all your photos. I can almost hear and smell the ocean.

    1. Me too could live on the beach:) What's not to love right?
      Except one is falling in the ocean it seems..the deck has wtaer up to it..I wonder what the insurace and taxes are on those huge properties?
      I like little Florida towns..Anna Maria Island etc..:)
      Noah LOVES Disney..he is the one that likes toys and animations his mom:)
      Love the sound of the surf too..and those glittery diamonds!

    2. Water up to the deck? The houses are built on stilts in the Gulf of Mexico or have garages on the first level. Must have been high tide. Oh yes, the insurance is very high, but they figure it in on the rental costs. It is amazing to think of the world below the sea that we don't see;) We always eat sea food at the beach - so fresh. I haven't been in a few years so I need to plan a trip as long as my weenies can go.

  2. I had to read this twice Monique...what a lovely post!
    I share your sentiments about the cooking and cleaning while on vacay...we have one or two special places that we do indulge ourselves, but usually dining o our patio..while watching the sunset... suits us just fine!
    Your painting is the muted tones of is a treasure for sure!
    Safe trip home...I guess you have snow in Quebec...not a flake here in Southern Ontario...rainy and 12c today!
    Your littles will be waiting with open arms...♥️
    Linda :o)

    1. I remember that you two like to eat in also!
      I HOPE for snow Dec 25!:)

    2. Missing the beach....won't be long!


  3. dianeNovember 30, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    What a wonderful trip. Love your photos. I have always ALWAYS had a love affair with the beach. The sounds....the smells...absolutely everything about the beach I love. I have always wanted a little cottage at the beach. Maybe someday?
    By the way, you had me at tourtieres :-D
    diane @

    dianeNovember 30, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    What a wonderful trip. Love your photos. I have always ALWAYS had a love affair with the beach. The sounds....the smells...absolutely everything about the beach I love. I have always wanted a little cottage at the beach. Maybe someday?
    By the way, you had me at tourtieres :-D

    1. You made me smile at: "you had me at.."
      Absolutely maybe someday a home on the beach for one knows what the future holds..and I hope it holds some great joys for you.x

  4. its all so beautiful, did you say where in Florida? I miss the ocean so much, so i love seeing the trips you have taken, because you capture it wonderfully. I love how you describe how casual you and Jacques are at the beach, it sounds like a wonderful time.

    1. It's on the gulf side:) My favorite side for some reason..and the people here are all so darn nice:)Thank you Jenni.

  5. What a gorgeous place. I'm so glad you're enjoying your time away.

    1. It helps to have the sea:)I imagine I would even love the sea in Maine winter:)

  6. What a glorious, wonderful holiday! So pretty - I will have to look this up on the www. I understand about the driving after you get a bit older. It's harder for some reason. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely place!

    1. It does! I think a day trip is more than in 6 hours..but beyond that..not so sure anymore!

  7. What a lovely post. All of it. I knew you must be away. How wonderful that you flew this time. Driving, the journey is always so stressful. For me I would rather fly or take the train. I live when you talk about your painting and your supplies. You are such an artist. I just sit and paint. I have my favourite brushes I like for certain things. I wear them out. I like my water colour pencils most of all I have many many many pencils. I have not had time to paint in a while. Life has gotten too busy with hospital visits your weekend painting of your friend. I am not surprised a frame was purchased! What a treasure. As a child I would have loved to go to
    Disney. Now I am too long in the tooth.I look forward to seeing what you cook over the holidays. I did .you sparkly nails today. They look nice I am pleased you had a lovely time away, just you two. Must have been like a second honeymoon! Namaste! xoxo

    1. Sorry for words that don't make Sense! Am on my phone and it has a mind of its own!

    2. Lol I can't type on anything:)
      I know your time is limited..with what you are going through:(
      It seems that there are a few couples..people going through hardships.
      You are handling everything like a star..Plus your missionary work this past year...
      If anyone can cure Todd through her faith and's you Marie..I think you have a direct line..:)
      Glad you got sparkles..if I can find the bows..I will send you will need cement though:)

  8. No, you never talk too much, nor can the photos ever cease to amaze and inspire me. You have such a trained eye for beauty. I love seeing your bit of FL. I've only been a few times, and only once to the FL Gulf. It is so much cleaner and scenic than the TX Gulf.
    Happy times in happy places ~ the good life!
    December greets us tomorrow. Let the cooking and decorating begin. I'm busy here at home today pulling out the Christmas things.

    1. I will pull out Christmas TOMORROW!
      Sarah..thank you for your nice always~

  9. It looks like a lovely place. Did I miss where it was?

    1. The gulf side of nice you know the area?

  10. Haha! My son sent me that joke about the Transformers, after I posted that picture of the Amazon boxes on my porch. My kids had to put them in the garage for me, since I was out of town! What a joy to shop that way and I keep telling hubby I save because I buy one thing, not a cartful of things.
    What a lovely vacation. I just can't get enough of the ocean, but welcome back to stress and prep. I did get my house done before we left for Thanksgiving, so that helps, but didn't get as much shopping done. I hate the crowds!

    1. Exactly with all your boxes!Have to say Amazon is traveling in snow..excellent customer service!
      You are one of the most prepared girls I know!

  11. Ah, Nana - I love your trips to Florida - I can smell the salt water and feel the breezes - and glory in the gorgeous seaside colors! Just beautiful.

    1. Katrina..the people we see here are just all such nice individuals...the view too.
      It is comfort to us.Than you'

  12. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Monique! You are not so far away from me. I'm in Myrtle Beach, SC right now. Oh, we stayed at the Cloister on Sea Island many years ago and yes, it was so lush! Have a great vacation!

    1. Oh my friend spent so many holidays at MB..what a place to live in ..some beach friends live in Hilton posh the Cloister..I hope it still is..Thanks Laurie!

  13. These photos are good for the soul. The last two days we have had dreary rain, even if needed. I kicked off the Christmas season with my annual wreath making workshop with Beth's mother in law. Safe journey home or welcome back home.

    1. It is good for the of our friends had been unwell..upon leaving she is so much better!How nice that tradition!

  14. Beautiful photos - there is nothing better to restore the soul, than sand and sea. We went to Amelia Island, Florida in October, just days after hurricane Matthew, to attend a wedding. The wedding was at the Ritz Carlton, so that is where we stayed. Very overrated in my opinion. The food and wine were very overpriced. Like you, I prefer to cook at home. Love your watercolors💕

    1. I miss your posts..the beauty of them all..thank you for your nice words..
      Happy Holiday season to you and yours.🌲

  15. A beautiful escape from realité
    Mille merci!!

  16. We will be heading to Florida in February for 6 weeks. I agree; cooking in is preferable to expensive restaurant food that is way too much in volume. How nice that you could get away before the Christmas rush. But looking forward to your seasonal posts. Your watercolors are lovely Monique.

    1. Hard to get Florida out of your heart once you have been to a spot you love..
      I always love coming home too and believe..a plane helped..gotta say Delta is a wonderful airline.

  17. Monique, I love all your ocean pics. Your watercolor, spectacular! I love going to the beach, it's so relaxing. Thanks for sharing your trip. Next time, can I go please:) Love the boys photo on the beach too!
    Hugs, Jody♥

  18. It is such a beautiful location where you stay, Monique. Casual vacations are the best and how we like to relax now too ;) Cooking in our golf clothes or warmups. Sunsets are so beautiful over the water. That's the nice thing about the Gulf side too. Loved the teddy bear video and the other one - Ai,yai,yai! Cyber gal here too! I love having boxes at the front door. John had the same 'brick' LOL. Beautiful photos, my friend! And Brenda by the sea watercolor :) So glad you had such a wonderful vacation. ♥

    1. It's all in the views..the sea and the would enjoy everyone.
      Oh that teddy bear video..sniff sniff..what a kid!
      Thank you Susananaxxx

  19. No wonder you love it so much...Lucky are we who are in places we love....Maybe some winter I will spend a little time in the south...for now, I LOVE your photos!!!! Nature and also, how about those ubrellas!

    1. Home sweet home..and home to adorable..will write in the AM..loveeeee SB..envelope..card..note..bread..stamps.x

  20. Isn't it fabulous to just "be." To be in a spot that you love (and water is always the best) where it smells good and looks pretty. I'm like you -- give me casual any day. And always fun to cook in unless going out is really special or unique. Your setting is wonderful and I can imagine -- especially since today is very cold and very gray and very damp -- how lovely that sun and water would be. Your bird pix are great and I'm so delighted you painted. But then, I knew you would!

    1. I am home sweet home..spaguetti an meatballs and Christmas tree tomorrow I hope..
      Thanks for enjoying my little holiday post..cheers and here is to 2017 painting:)

  21. What a gorgeous place. I'm so glad you enjoyed your time away. There is no place like the sea :-) We are going to my nieces wedding in Marco Island in February.

    1. So many weddings!:)
      A travel time for you..Feb is nice there..:)

  22. Lovely, all of this. And I am behind on my blogging friends' adventures, so I will now finally catch up just enough to say that I love Noah's portrait of you from a couple posts back. :) What a treasure--him and his drawing both. ♥

  23. "Blablabla..I write and talk way too much..;)
    Oh no you don't. I love read your thoughts, see your pictures. All a taste of your heart and soul. I still can't believe those marathon drives you used to do.

    1. Me more marathons for me..even though we were delayed and had to change planes..better on the ground than in the air I said..
      so I bought 2 extra batteries for the Sony;)
      So handy to bring to Fl:) Will write soon..:)

  24. Painting and photography but are awesome.. And the way you wrote, as if you are talking with the person who is reading your blog.. love the way of your writing..

    Please visit:

  25. Cool, great vacation, Monique! We love Florida in the winter, esp Tampa Bay area and Key West. The beach, casual clothing and food, it's all great. Nice watercolor of Branda! There's something so beautiful about watercolors, and I love how you captured her.

  26. Thanks so much pam..I have yet to see Key West.I know I would love it!

  27. I guess I don't have much to add, Monique. It's all why I live here. :)
    However.....I do lead a social life. I'm not married and it'd be pretty lonely if I didn't. It involves dressing up, dining out and parties as well as meetings, book clubs, garden and antique clubs. Not a constant thing, however, and I don't have to do anything if I didn't want to. I'm old enough to have Emeritus status. That's the best life. I decide. (Well, for the most part. We all have obligations, don't we?)

  28. Amazing photos Monique! Thank you for sharing the link about the teddy bears...very heart warming. :) We need more Campbell's in this world.... xo