My French Weight Loss Experiment Gone Awry

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. french woman

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 Splendors of Nice and a Salade Nicoise

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. Cote d'Azur France

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A Trip to an Olive Mill in Provence

 Olive Mill

I absolutely love olive oil.  I love it on tomatoes, on pizza, in a salad, with crusty bread, in a sauté with eggplant and zucchini…the list could go on and on.  Olives themselves are a staple in my life.  I love them in breads, in salads, in martinis (one of my favorite ways!) stuffed with blue cheese and by themselves.   So when I found out there was an olive mill nearby, I knew that was a trip we had to make. provence olives

Olive trees and Provence go together like peanut butter and jelly; Laurel and Hardy; thunder and lightning.  The olive tree has been a source of wealth and food for the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures for over 3000 years.  This drought and disease resistant tree can live for many centuries.  If cut down to its roots, it has the ability to regenerate itself.  The olive tree is seen as a symbol of wisdom and peace. (more…)

Missing the Nest- Defining Homesick

It’s been over two weeks since we’ve left home for our trip-two absolutely wonderful weeks that have fulfilled me in ways that I didn’t even expect.  There have been incredible sights, delicious food, uninterrupted time with my husband and even late mornings of sleeping in.  Then why do I have that familiar pit in my stomach?  That same feeling when I went to Girl Scout camp, when I moved away to college and then again when I moved 1200 miles away from my home after I first got married.  That feeling I know so well.  Homesickness.  suitcases on trip to europe

So what exactly is “homesick”?  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a longing for home and family while absent from them.

Here is a little list that helps to define it for me even further:

1.)     Missing the sound of my daughters’ voices saying, “good morning”.  Ok, so one is off to college and the other is not a morning person, but still(more…)