After spending a month of pure gluttony in France, eating everything from unlimited loaves of crusty French bread to rounds of fresh goat cheese, I am back home and facing the consequences. I refuse to get on the scale, but I know by the utter snugness of my pants and my inability to button certain shirts that the pounds are ever present. I need to do some damage control before the holidays and my eldest daughter’s wedding arrives.
I knew that this was my fate before leaving France, so I thought ahead and purchased a French food magazine with loads of vegetable recipes that were rapide and facile-quick and easy. Right up my alley. I decided that instead of bringing the delicious tradition of eating cheese and bread home with me, I would bring home another and more healthy French tradition…eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. The French use a huge variety in their cooking and the presentation is always beautiful. The health benefits are just as important as maintaining a healthy weight. (more…)
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I think I’m pretty easy going when it comes to my chocolate. I like it dark; very dark (my favorite); milk; white; with nuts; with fruit; cream filled…well, you get the picture. But what is it that attracts me (or anyone) to the chocolate or pastry? Is it the brightly colored packaging with the beautiful bows or the intricate dusted designs on the tops of glossy chocolates? Is it the perfectly molded chocolate with the nut or fruit garnish that hints of the flavors inside? Or could it be the luxurious textures of chocolate and confections that are assembled like a glorious piece of art? (more…)
So here was my theory: eat, drink and walk everywhere like the French do and start looking like the French. You know the look. Long thin arms with a delicate bra strap exposed that somehow just looks so sexy; gangly legs looking so perfect in colored skinny jeans; dresses that seem to just lightly drape on their bodies and hair swept up so effortlessly and little makeup that adds such a touch of chic. Sigh.
Almost three weeks into my experiment of living like the French and I am finding major flaws with my theory. My reality is this: my arms are still wiggly and my wide bra straps aren’t very sexy; the skinny jeans I brought are now difficult to button and I can continue leg press a small truck with my legs; my dresses are far too conservative and rather boring; my hair still looks like I just pulled it back in a pony tail and when I go sans makeup, I look like I just woke up. (more…)
The drive up the Cote d’Azur, the French Riviera, to Nice has got to be one of the world’s most beautiful of waterfront drives. That and the North Shore Drive up the coast of Lake Superior in Minnesota- that happens to be one of my favorite of coastal drives (yes, I am a native Minnesotan. But it is beautiful!).
The blues of the Mediterranean Sea are striking. Blue-greens turn to turquoise and turquoise to deep royal blue hues that blend with the crisp blues in the skies. The beaches are full of people sunbathing in partial birthday suits. Beach umbrellas are scattered throughout the pebble beaches that stretch into Nice. Modest fishing boats mix with palatial yachts and the occasional cruise ship can be seen off in the distance.