It’s been a super-busy week over here for us at work with a couple of presentations, site visits, slab-hunting, and the FINAL PUSH on finishing up the condo to get it on the market for sale!!! {If you missed my last post, we’ve partnered with our Property Collective Co-founders Maura & Daan to flip a sweet 1-bedroom condo in North Arlington & are photographing it next week to be listed soon after!!  We also just found out that it is literally THE ONLY 1-bedroom available in North Arlington = craziness!!} Our team -and especially project manager Angela Bianchi- has been working tirelessly on the condo and we’ve been racing to complete it since we closed earlier this month. It has been absolute madness but one night this week we headed over to Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge Chez Francois and straight up DINED with the kids and it was just what we needed to get a breather.

 

We bought our home from the Haeringer family, creators of a charming (insanely delicious!) French restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, VA, and our daily lives are truly shaped by what Francois and his wife Marie Antoinette created here. One of their sons, Chef Jacques, now runs the restaurant and opened a more casual Brasserie in back overlooking the 6 acre property and gardens. Every now and then we love to go to the Brasser with the family and sometimes getting to see Jacques and his amazing fiancé, Carol, whom we’ve really loved getting to know since we bought our house.

 

One of our favorite things to do as a family is eat, and we like to sit a good long time. (We were there for over three hours lol!!)

 

Aurora was asleep for the beginning of the meal but when she woke up she began shoving fries/ pommes frites into my face and I couldn’t really complain.

Walking the gardens with a glass of wine is always my favorite part of visiting in the spring/ summer and even fall…

 

Chef Jacques grows much of the produce used at the restaurant and creates the most beautiful seasonal dishes around it all.

 

The kids love wandering through the “mazes” and we’ll have to go back soon when the tomatoes get over six feet high.

Aurora has on her pouty face after just waking up…

 

She loved the eggshells in the compost…

 

The basil rows are pure heaven…

 

Justin had fun “documenting” the garden and taking videos like mom and I found this one among a bunch where we’re half cut-off…

 

It’s so great for the kids to be able to take a little “break” during dinner / before dessert and run around… The land is so beautiful and it was all a part of Francois and Marie’s original vision.  When the family originally brought the property our house sits on, they’d planned to put the restaurant there but weren’t able to change the zoning for commercial and bought this property instead… and put their house (now our house) on the original property.

 

The Brasserie is surprisingly awesome for kids because they can get a little energy out on the grounds.

 

Chef Jacques took Gisele and Justin with him to the gardens to help pick cucumbers for the cucumber salads that night  (Soooooo good btw!!!)  and they were in Heaven.

Gisele gave herself a blanky babushka

 

Here’s a photo of our pretty raspberry cheesecake which was devoured shortly after.  (I literally got like a bite and a half before it was gone)

 

On the way home, I got surprised with a magnolia and it more than made my night…

 

I’m not sure I think anything on earth smells better than a fresh magnolia blossom.

We went home and visited with Dilly, our visiting duck.  He’s been on our pond for a couple of months and hasn’t moved on yet.  He comes when we call him and I’m in love…

 

I’m not sure what he is but he looks like a little brown mallard duck.  We’ve done some googling and have found some sources saying some mallards go brown after hatching season but I don’t know what he is…

 

We sometimes give him chard from the garden & he’s kind of into it but sometimes he just stares at it.

I love his little face sooooo much!! I’m dying to pet him but we’re just not at that point in our relationship yet 😉 😉

 

We headed into the creek with the girls… including Fawn & Honey Bear.

 

Before we moved in, I don’t think I understood how much we’d love having a creek.  It’s endless hours of entertainment and we all love exploring it.  On super-hot days, it’s the perfect spot to cool-off.

This girl had me cracking up

 

I love summer so much and not having to wake up and race the kids to school the next day.  There are days now that I feel like I’m never going to slow down and get to relax but forcing in time like this has been really helping with my perception of my pace of life.  I think in the end, it doesn’t really matter how fast-paced it is or how much we actually have to do, but what matters is my perception of it.  Am I feeling okay about it and like I can continue or am I feeling tapped out?  We’re really focusing on trying to make moments & family time where it doesn’t feel like there is any to make the crazy pace all feel okay. (Sometimes it works better than others 😉

 

We still have so much work to do at home but hanging out in the yard always forces me to exhale & is so good for the soul.

Gisele with her shadow, Fawn

 

I’ll be posting on my Instagram stories a bit at our flip this afternoon and can’t wait to share all the details with you next week!! Have an amazing weekend!!

And on the note of summer the 4th of July coming up, I put together a little summer picnic inspired board of pretty gingham dresses in red,white+ blue (and a little black!) that I found…  I’ve gotten a ton of use out of mine by Auguste (seen below in the Keys) but it’s sold out.   (#s 8 & 9 below are also by August and are in the same material.)  The price points are all over the map but some are on super sale.

 

Hope you enjoy!!

xo

 

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