Disney Magique

Oh my, has it taken me a while to get back into this blogging thing.  My husband has been gone for nearly two weeks on a business trip which has left little time for anything other than surviving.  That however is a post for another time.

Last year when Cornel and I had to go to Paris (for yet another embassy trip) we decided to take Nathan to EuroDisney.  It was such an amazing trip and we couldn't wait to take Nathan back.

Since we had to make a return trip to the Embassy we decided to take advantage and go back.  This would be a little different of course since we would also have a baby on board.  It is one thing to take a toddler to Disney, but taking a newborn was a whole different ball game.

Nathan had no idea what to think at first and I think at the beginning he was in pure shock.  It didn't last long and soon he was having a great time, screaming and laughing.

We had booked a character breakfast like we had done last year to show Nathan the characters.  Since he was so terrified last year we didn't really want to push it, but figured this way he could enjoy them from afar while he ate his croissants.  We were shocked when he wanted to go right up to Mickey and even wanted to give him a hug.  Who was this kid?


Not wanting to feel left out, Noah also wanted to get in on the action.  His first picture with Mickey at only two months old, he is going to have some high expectations in the future.



The rest of the trip is what Disney is all about.  Elephants were ridden; tea cups were spun and aliens were shot; we saw shows, played dress up in the souvenir shops (you know you've done it) and just took in the Disney magic as a family.

Since the breakfast had gone so well with Nathan we decided to do a dinner with the characters too.  We headed over to the Disneyland Hotel and their uber fancy restaurant to enjoy a wonderful dinner (with wine, yummy yummy wine).

I can hardly explain how teary-eyed I became when Nathan ran and gave Mickey the biggest hug and just started kissing him.  It was truly the sweetest thing.

And again Noah didn't want to feel left out of the dinner shenanigans ... (I carried him for most of the trip rather than dealing with the gigantic newborn strollers).

On our last day at Disney we just took our time and did a few of the things we wanted to do again before leaving.  Our plan was promptly disrupted when Nathan noticed Winnie the Pooh.  He was just standing and waving at him, and so we decided to brave the half hour l one to see him.  So much for getting an early start home.

Unlike with Mickey, when we finally got to see Pooh Nathan acted like he didn't even care.  He calmly walked over, gave him a quick hug and then posed for his picture. Check out his crossed legs and his glance away for the camera.




We did however snag the first picture of the four of us, so thanks Pooh.

Allin all, it was a great trip.  My mom is so heartbroken that she has missed out on two Disney trips with her grandson(s) that she has decided to take Nathan to Disneyland in California over Christmas vacation.  This kids is nothing if not spoiled.  I think Cornel and I will take advantage and head to Las Vegas instead.
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Paris in the Springtime

When Nathan was only four months old we took our first family vacation to Paris.  We rode a train for three hours and had no idea what to expect traveling with a baby, especially to such a big city.

It ended up being an amazing trip.  The weather was beautiful and Nathan was such a trooper.  This would be the first of many wild adventures.

This past March, with Noah being only two months old we decided to give Paris another go.  Not only would we be traveling with a much smaller baby, we would also have a toddler in tow.

Luckily, Paris is an amazing city in the Spring.  Summer can be cold and winter is typically rainy; but Spring is when it truly shines.

We spent a lot of time indoors, but we did enjoy nice views of the Seine.

A nice walk down Rue de Rivoli.  Nathan's first brunch at Angelina's where we ate delicious warm pastries and bread while we enjoyed a nice cup of their famous hot chocolate.

There were views of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Place de la Concorde.

Like all of our trips to Paris it was magical and the kids had a great time.  This is definitely our favorite place to spend a Spring vacation, and the perfect place to enjoy as a family.



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Mommy style

I realize that I haven't done one of these posts since I was pregnant over three months ago!!

I am happy to report that I am down to my pre-pregnancy weight even though nothing seems to be where it used to be.

I have put away all of my maternity clothes and have been wearing my non-maternity jeans since getting home from the hospital.

The bad news is that now with two kids I hardly have the time or energy to wear something other than yoga pants.

Since we were going to Paris last week I knew I had to put in more of an effort.

We left Monday night after Cornel got off work. Since we were counting on a long drive with both kids I went the comfy route.

Hoodie & Jeans: Abercrombie / Tank: Old Navy / Shoes: Tod's


As for what I wore in Paris...this pretty much sums it up. Isn't this the cutest accessory you've ever seen?

And this last one was after coming home where I have had to take over the daycare drop off.

Shirt & Jeans:  Old Navy / Boots: Zara
I don't know if I will get back in the habit of doing these posts but hopefully it will help me stay out of the yoga pants and take a little care of myself.

pleated poppy

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Noah is three months


My sweet baby Noah how can it be three months? You are growing up much too fast.

We are only mini months away from your first birthday and you will no longer be my baby.

You have already changed so much. You live to smile and coo and you have begun to giggle out loud.

You still love tummy time and I think you might be rolling over soon.

You had your three month check up and handled your shots like a pro although it still breaks my heart to watch you cry.

We are still breast feeding and it is getting easier. To be honest I am surprised we made it this long. I hope we will be able to go a few more months.

This month was a big one for you and you officially became a US citizen. We took our first big family trip and you handled the traveling like a champ. This will come in handy living in this family.

It has been one full month and I can't wait to see what the next one has in store. We love you Noah.

And again, for fun here is Nathan vs. Noah at three months:


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Where in the world....

Did you miss me? I had the best intentions to have posts scheduled last week but I am not that organized.

In case you are wondering where we've been this week, we've been here:


But it wasn't all fun and games and we were actually there to deal with some administrative issues that arise when you are an expat.  We also learned that traveling with a baby and a toddler is easier than we thought it would be but oh my did we overpack.

I will try to catch up with all of you this week but with over 500 unread posts in my reader please forgive me if I don't comment on all of your posts.

And just for fun, while we were in Paris there was also a little bit of this...


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Cake au Comte & Jambon - {French Bread with Ham & Cheese}


This recipe has quickly become one of my absolute favorites.  A friend made it for a party a few months back and it was one of the first things to go.  My two year old also ADORES this recipe.  Perhaps it's because it has all of his favorite things: ham, cheese and bread.

This is so easy to put together that I didn't even bother to take pictures of all of the steps.  Besides, how many pictures of dough balls do you really need to see on my website?

Ingredients:

2/3 cup grated gruyere cheese (cheddar cheese would be really good too)
2/3 cup deli ham chopped
1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick or 100 grams)
1 1/4 cup of flour (200 grams)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of baking powder
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400℉ (210℃)

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl add the eggs and beat with an electric mixer.  Add the flour and baking powder and keep beating on low while you add the milk  and melted butter.

After everything is well incorporated add the ham and cheese along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Cook for 10 minutes on 400℉ and then reduce heat to 350℉ (180℃) and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Serve warm.

As you can see, by the time I got around to taking pictures, my boys had already dug right in.  Yeah...it is that good!

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Dear Nathan ...



Dear Nathan,

You continue to amaze us everyday. Everyday you are learning new words and phrases. It is crazy to think how just a few months ago you could only communicate in grunts and now you can tell us exactly what you want it don't want.

You continue to explore your world and we call you our monkey. There us no limit to what you won't climb or what piece of furniture you won't scale. You are definitely keeping us on our toes.

You got another haircut this month and you definitely still hate them. This time you began crying before we even made it into the salon. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry when you turned to the stylist finger in the air yelling "NO"! Even though you cried like crazy, you let her finish. You look like such a little man now it is hard to remember that you are still a baby.

You have also become quite the little chef.  You have always loved food (you take after your mom) but now you have discovered a love of cooking.  You drag your foot stool everywhere and get up to help with the cooking.  Your favorite is definitely using the hand mixer and of course you take your role as official "food taster" seriously.  Very few things hit the dinner table without your seal of approval.

We can hardly wait to see what you do to surprise us next.

We love you!


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A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Have you missed me lately?  Life has once again come in between me and my beloved blogging.

It has now been one week since my laptop went kaput and the French equivalent of the Geek Squad, like all things French, lacks timeliness and so I wait.  My generous husband has offered up his desktop for my enjoyment, but it is just not the same.  Lucky for all of us, he preemptively backed up my hard drive days before the crash; maybe he jinxed me.

And so I am confined to blogging and posting from my phone, so please forgive if I have neglected you.  I promise I will visit soon.

The weather here has been unbelievable lately.  You would hardly recognize Clermont-Ferrand.  The sun has been shining and one would think that Spring has arrived.  This has also contributed to my lack of focus.

We are also making a trip to the embassy in the near future for all things administrative.  Living the life of an expat abroad is not all glamourous.  In addition to the many things we will be doing at the embassy, we will be registering for Noah's American birth certificate, passport and social security card.

On a related note, you have not lived until you try to take a passport picture of a two month old.  It took three people nearly a half hour just to get a shot that "might not be rejected".  I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.


I also had to stop by the office this past week to interview for a new position.  There is nothing like being on maternity leave and having no idea what you will do next.  Here is hoping I "wowed" at the interview because his new job sounds awesome.

In in other baby news, I have an interview with the office daycare to secure Noah a place.  We have been on the waiting list since May of last year, yeah it is like that.

Hopefully life will get back to normal soon.
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Sables du citron aux framboises {Raspberry Lemon Cookies}

I have been on a lemon kick lately. Maybe it is because the light flavor makes me think of Spring.

I made these cookies as a test because the combination sounded delicious, however I am terrible at baking cookies.

Not only was this recipe super easy but they were a big hit even with the toddler! That is saying ALOT.



First mix the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder and salt.

Then in a small bowl mix the jam with the Chambord.


Chambord is a raspberry flavored liqueur and as you can see we use it often!


If you don't like cooking with alcohol or don't have Chambord you can leave it out and the cookies still taste delicious.

In another bowl combine the egg yolk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

Then cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Then beat in your egg yolk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

When everything is combined beat in the flour in two additions until the dough forms small moist clumps.

Roll the dough into a ball. From here pinch off one inch balls and place them on your cookie sheet.


Make an indentation in each cookie either with your finger or the back of a spoon.


Place a 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture in each indentation.


Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown.

I can tell you from experience that you want to keep an eye in them because they will go from golden brown to dark brown in no time!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of raspberry jam
1 teaspoon of Chambord (optional)
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter at room temperature (1/2 cup)
1/3 cups sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 350℉ (180℃) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl combine the jam with the Chambord and set aside.

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.

Beat in the flour in two additions until the dough forms moist clumps.

Form the dough into a large ball and then pinch off smaller one inch balls and place in lined cookie sheets.

Press down the center of each cookie and add 1/2 teaspoon of jam mixture into each indentation.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool and enjoy!

This recipe makes about a dozen and a half cookies. In my house they wee gone in one afternoon so next time I will double the recipe!
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