Monday, February 29, 2016

Day 29 Feeling Fine ;)

It's the last day of Blog every day in February or Blogbruary as I awkwardly titled it. I am happy that I actually did post a blog every day this month. I was honestly surprised that I didn't use more posts from this list since I like the questions plus I assumed I'd be more stumped for content. I'm definitely planning on posting more from now on; hopefully, a couple times a week. I enjoy having the blog posts to look back on. :)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

DAY 28 Shop your stash

28. Shop your stash and share what you find.

I feel like it was way too quick to look through my make-up and pick out 5 items that I know I haven't used in the past month. I think that means it's maybe time for another clear out and give away and sell a few things. Anyway, on to the make-up. :)

Nars duo in Sugarland - will be perfect for spring
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin - honestly forgot I had this as I use the Original
Estée Lauder Pure Color Eye Shadow in Ivy - so pretty!
Chanel Quatuor Bouton in Les Folies Noires (Eyeshadow Quad) - great for smoky eyes
Sephora Smoky Kohl in 06 - love this on my waterline as it's less harsh than black and looks great with brown eyes

I'm going to make a conscious effort to use these items this week. :)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I have nothing to say...

I sat down to type at the beginning of the day to try to get my blog done before the day kicked into gear. And, I realized that I don't really have a blog topic for today. Strangely, I have loads of ideas floating around my head, but nothing comes up to post today. Not saying every other blog post is oh so interesting and certainly nothing of dire importance, but I still want to post things that are of interest to me. So, today, I've decided and though I've actually taken a few sentences to say it: I have nothing to say today except HAPPY SATURDAY!
I'm going to go and try to be productive now. ;)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 26 already

Wow! This month has flown by! I can't believe it's almost over. The sun is shining, but it's still a bit chilly. A welcome change from all the rain! :)

This marks the end of my daughter's first week back to school. It'll be a weekend of working on the house. I've been tying up loose ends this week so hopefully we'll get some time to relax in between DIY. Maybe we'll even get in a nature walk or something. ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What I Ate

I keep wanting to blog what I eat in a day, but somehow manage to forget to take photos. I partly want to do this because it will be interesting to look back on and partly because I find them interesting to read. Hopefully, I'll manage to keep it up every one in a while just for kicks. ;)

When I got up I had hot water with lemon

Then I had a pure fruit smoothie, 

 worked out, then had a plain yogurt with muesli.

Homemade ham and mushroom calzone

Green salad (not shown)

Vanilla orchid tea and a no bake cookie

My mother-in-law dropped off some homemade veggie soup so we had that as a starter.
I made Broccoli Rice Casserole as a main course.

Not too bad I guess. Not a particularly healthy day, but I picked today not knowing what I was going to have to show a more realistic day. I have been finding it difficult to limit my refine sugars, but I am working on it. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"I Know This Mom..."

You know how sometimes you come across something and it seems like it was put there for you right at the moment that you needed to see it?
I just had one of those moments while I was over on Joyful Abode reading an article called "I Know This Mom..."

It wasn't the talk about not judging another mom which spoke to me, but the part about changing and recognizing that we as moms are different and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I think we all have in common that we want to be the best mom for our kids and that's what I feel my focus needs to be on and not the "woulda, coulda, shouldas". So, this was a good reminder for me. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A day at the castle

Well, not the castle, obviously. ;) One thing I appreciate about France is most larger cities (and some smaller ones) have castles. Growing up as a fairy tale loving little girl, visiting them has always held a kind of magic. My daughter is finally old enough to be more aware of her surroundings and especially appreciate our brief visit last week.

There were birds around the moat and everything was very green with the sun then rain repeat weather we've been having.

It was difficult getting proper photos while keeping an eye on my little one.

There was also this giant egg that I didn't have a chance to read about. It'll be something to look forward to on our next visit. :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter Vacation's over!

Today it's back to business as usual...well, sorta. My daughter started back to preschool this morning. She loves it and is happy to see her classmates.

It'll be a busy morning for me trying to get things done while she's at school. I've got to get some organizing, etc., done for getting the upstairs moved in. Plus the "usual" cleaning and stuff.

By the way, we are still without a microwave since it caught fire so heating up leftovers is a bit trickier, but doable. I suggest it's probably better for us, too. ;)
We thought we found one to order online (for much cheaper)that we saw in store, but it's a little big for our microwave cubby. So, it's back to searching again.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Healthier" No Bake Cookies

These are so yummy and quick to throw together. They are slightly healthier than other recipes that include butter and adapt well to variations. They don't look like much, but they are tasty, filling, and good for snacks.

Recipe here

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

Unnecessary amount of lipsticks me

Currently going through my make up and clearing out things to give away or bin. I try to stay on top of it so I don't waste things by them getting expired or too old to use. I'm trying to reorganize a bit as well.

Current mood:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Un petit peu, mais pas trop

My daughter often says the phrase "un petit peu, mais pas trop" which loosely translated means "a little bit, but not too much". Sometimes it doesn't apply since she likes to say it as an answer to yes or no question. Although we, of course, correct her when necessary, we still file that under "cute things 3 year olds say". :)

She frequently does random things like putting her stuffed Princess Peppa in a stroller and asking me to take a photo, for example. She insisted that the bottom of the stroller be pulled up like a cover. Don't ask. I don't get it either. *lol*

I'm discovering the joys of parenting as well as the challenges as I go. It's interesting to commiserate with other parents who have kids in a similar age range. They all have their own little personalities, of course. I'm learning that my little one has quite the imagination! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Microwave on fire

Last week, though my posts didn't reflect it, I had one of those weeks. Including, but not limited to our microwave catching fire, the floor installer calling in sick, botched measurements, etc., etc. etc. My blog is a "happy place" for me and I like to keep it light. But, sometimes, I have to take a minute because everything in life isn't always rosy. We do the best we can with what we have. In my case, I pray. In good times and bad I cling to my faith.
Like many, I've had my fair share of knocks and hard times. I must admit they really make you appreciate the good things in your life not that I couldn't do without them, mind you.
And, not be cliché again but...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Magic Cookie Bars

When I was kid, Magic Cookie Bars were one of my favorite treats that my mom made. I recently got a craving for some, but didn't have the ingredients, namely graham crackers. I usually use digestive biscuits as a substitution since they have a similar flavor, but I didn't have any of those on hand either. That's when I went searching for an oat version. I came across the Gluten Free Magic Oat Bars from Gluten Free Easily and tried them out. So delicious! I've made them a few times since then and they are always a hit. Plus my 3 year old can help which is always a bonus. :)

Photo doesn't do the bars justice, but here's one anyway.

These are little too easy to put together. ;) I only put nuts on half when I made them for snack/tea time last week.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Monday ;)

Okay, so that's not really a thing, but here are a few photos from our Valentine's Day weekend. :)

 A chocolate bouquet and a flower bouquet from my husband and daughter

A very messy cake I made and decorated with my daughter

 Chocolates from my friends who came over this weekend

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today we're celebrating by going to a family style grill restaurant. We haven't had many date nights since we bought the house. Not much time and when we do have a babysitter, we use that time to, you guessed it, work on the house.

So, on Valentine's Day we are taking our daughter with us to a restaurant that it's appropriate to take children to. Nothing fancy, but we are all looking forward to the outing.

Hope you have a lovely Sunday whether you celebrate or not. Today is a good excuse to tell dear ones we love them. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Busy Day

We have friends coming over for lunch so I've some preparation to do. Nothing fancy. It's just a casual lunch after having them come help us do some work on the house.

I really enjoy setting a nice table and making as many things from scratch as possible. Unfortunately, time doesn't always allow for that. Since we are able to have people over more frequently here, I've been trying to get better at being more relaxed about the whole thing.

And while I've never tried to be a "Hyacinth Bucket pronounced Bouquet"--I'm not nearly pretentious enough for that--I do rather like the idea of things being "just so" in my own way.

Just mentioning her, makes me want to break out my DVD boxed set of of Keeping Up Appearances. Well, worth a watch especially if you like British-style comedy. I used to watch it on PBS with my mom along with Are You Being Served, Black Adder, As Time Goes By and along with a few others whose names escape me right at the moment.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sun, then sleet, then rain, repeat

The sun came out for a while. Then, it sleeted, then rained.  It's currently grey outside. Not fun.

Current mood:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bad Dreams and Sleeping memories

Sunday night I had a slightly disturbing dream involving a friend who passed away last year. When I woke up, I looked at the time and calculated the time difference so I could call said friend. It took me a couple seconds and waking up a bit to realize that I couldn't. I wasn't able to sleep after that really. I was a bit shaken, yes, but I was able to hold on to a clear image in my mind of what my friend looked like, how her voice sounded, etc. for a good while after that. Even though the dream was slightly disturbing in that my friend was deathly ill in it, it enabled me to see her again.

I know this is a bit strange, but I've started to cherish such dreams about her and others that I've lost along the way.

In other "news" the weather is still abysmal and I've been singing Rain, Rain Go Away quite a lot with my daughter.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday has no clever title

As predicted, the weather is awful. We were able to run a few errands before the rain started though. There's a boulangerie (bakery) that has really good "American style" cookies. Occasionally, when we go to the next town over, I'll get us one to share. My daughter loves going and sitting at their little round café tables. It reminds me of when I was younger and my mom used to take me to a tea room. I used to love getting the Italian Cream Cake.
I was a bit older than my daughter is now when we started going, but those memories are still so precious to me. I hope to make memories like that with my daughter like that that will last a lifetime.

I've had the recipe saved for awhile and I will finally make it during Easter break. I'm leaning towards this version from Bake at 350

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Day 9 Tuesday morning

Today I've got one of my nephews, who's 6.5, coming over for the morning. It's winter vacation for all my nieces and nephews. The good things is that they all spend time at my MIL's at some point which means my daughter gets to see her cousins quite a lot during this period as my MIL isn't far.

I love planning activities to do when they come over. I especially like making something with them that they can take home as a souvenir. I find it much easier for the girls as they are much more into creative things than my nephew is. It's not a "girl things" vs. "boy things" situation; he's more in to playing games and stuff than making something.

So, maybe we'll play a few rounds of Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel, do some puzzles, dominoes, etc. It should be a fun time at any rate. :)

Btw, my daughter is 3 and loves this game! I think slightly older kids would like it, too. I found the game on a Youtuber video called Board Games for Ages 2-4

Monday, February 08, 2016

Vacation Activity Take 1

Today is the first day of my daughter's winter school vacation. (She only goes in the morning for now. ) If you're in the States, you're probably confused. Here in my little corner of France, preschoolers get 2 weeks vacation every 6-7 weeks except the winter vacation which occurs only 5 weeks after Christmas vacation. I'm still learning the French school system as my it's my 3 year old's first year.

Unfortunately, the weather is supposed to be rainy and stormy during the first week. She does play well by herself, but I always have some activities and fun things planned to do with her. We'll probably do some baking and stuff as well. She loves crafts and colouring so it should be a fun time. :)

This is one of the activity books I got that we'll be doing.

I got it on along with another activity book with folding which we have already started a while ago. :)

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Saturday, February 06, 2016

30 Day Shred Update

Nurse Loves Farmer did a really good review on 30 Day Shred. She suggested taking a rest day. It's nice to know it doesn't take away from the final results.

I missed 1 day of the first week, but I'm going to try not to let any more days get away from me. I've not been sore so far. I've been doing modified versions of most stuff.

So far so good.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Day 5 Already

5. The five products you'd recommend to a friend and why.

1. Lush Tea Tree Water - I use this as a toner and it really has helped regulate the oil in my skin without drying out my my oily/combo skin.

2. Lush Lemony Fluff - This stuff is so great for my cuticles when I remember to use it! Alternately, the ELF Nourishing cuticle Pen is pretty good, too.

3. Phytodéfrisant Botanical straightening balm - I love it for when I want to straighten my hair or kick out some of the frizz.

4. LaBello Cherry Shine Lip Balm - I'm constantly putting on lip balm and this one hydrates while adding a little color, but is not sticky like lip gloss.

5. Planters Perfect Eyes Micellar Gel - I love this for removing eye make up. Takes it off better than pretty much anything I've ever used plus it doesn't irritate my eyes. I got it on super sale so next time it comes around, I will have to stock up.

These are 5 beauty products I love and have repurchased. Not sure they are "the" products, but they were the ones that came to mind when I saw the questions. :)

Thursday, February 04, 2016

5 Photos from the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas

I really doing photo blogs and will probably incorporate more. I like documenting them to have them to go back to look at. :)

5 Photos from the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas taken in November 2013.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

30 Day Shred?

I started yesterday.
I'm going to to try to keep it up all 30 days without missing a day. It has been an effective way in the past of getting me back into to the habit of exercising regularly. How it works is there are 3 workouts: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. You do each workout for 10 days starting with Level 1. I don't know about the losing 20 pounds thing, but they are good, challenging workouts for beginners or if you haven't worked out in awhile, if memory serves.

I bought mine a while ago, but all 3 workouts are currently available on the BeFit Youtube channel if you are interested. Not sure how long they will be available there, but there are lots of other workouts, too.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

5 photos from Austin

Here are a few photos from our last trip to the States from Austin, Texas in Nov/Dec 2013 :)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Shall I try Blogbruary?

I'm really not sure how this is going to work out, but I figure, why not? Maybe it will get me back into the swing of things.

I'll will probably be using some of the blog questions from here as I think they are interesting. :)

Today's is: The one beauty product you cannot live without and why.

I'd have to say lip balm because, well, dry lips.

Anyway, here is Place du Commandant Cousteau, Nantes taken by my other half