Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Husband's Birthday: Episode 2

The day after The Husband's birthday, or the calm before the storm, as I like to call it, we were all about relaxing. I knew that the BBQ I was throwing (with the aid of mon petit helper, Honey Jr) would be a doozy and a quiet night was in order. And it was quiet, until Brother-in-Law unexpectedly dropped off La Petite for a few hours. But honestly, I'm not really going to complain about a few hours with this bugaboo, now am I?

{I <3 cuddles}

No, no I'm not.

Plus Fifty loves her too. He licked her head a bunch and then sat back and laughed about it. See him laughing.

And Saturday wasn't just going to be a doozy because of the BBQ... a couple of Irish friends were in Nice for the weekend so of course I told them to get yee to Aix and we will collect thee (yeah, I told them just like that). So before the BBQ, we went to Aix to pick up them up, which of course was a perfect excuse for The Husband to enjoy the all you can eat beef carpaccio that he loves so much. I mean, it was his birthday weekend and all.But because he would be eating loads of merguez and chipolata that night, he stopped at only four plates (very sensible, isn't he?), instead of his usual, gazillion. And you know I don't do trips to Aix without visiting my friend Zara, where I grabbed these...

and this...

Because I like to think everyday is my birthday. H O L L A.

High on raw beef and Zara we headed back to Le Petit Village where I vanquished the boys to the bar for the afternoon (I'm sure you can imagine their distraught faces). I even released Honey Jr from work duty and told him that he had been replaced and his services were no longer required. Shockingly, he didn't fight me on this.

After we (we being my lovely Irish friend, Child Bride and me) got everything ready, we snuck off for a quick apéro at Le Petit Bar (the boys were at a bar in another village... guess they were afraid that Le Petit Bar would be out of Heineken, or pastis, or water). Amazingly, there was Rosé available and ready for consumption (I'm thankful for small miracles). My Irish friend was in awe of the low cost of €1.50 a glass (wine does not cost €1.50 a glass in Dublin. No it does not). So I'm thinking that was the small miracle she was thankful for.

We ran back home a few minutes before 7:00, turned on the music, poured ourselves a drink and waited. We figured the boys would be back any second before the guests arrived but they weren't (Are you surprised by this? I wish I could say I was). They were beaten by these two...

{old school}
Allow me to introduce you to Ginette and Odette (or Starsky & Hutch as they are sometimes known). Odette lives to the right of Honey Jr, and Ginette lives to the left of us. Best. Neighbors. Ever. (Hence their BBQ invite).

Then the boys finally got back and this one went straight to bed...

It was like, 7:15. 

For the record, his face didn't look like that when he arrived. 

But that's what you get for falling asleep at my BBQ.

Episode 3 coming soon.



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Husband's Birthday: Episode 1

{Please Note: this photo has nothing to do with this post, 
it has been included simply because The Husband looks dapper in it, 
and everyone deserves a dapper photo for their birthday}

Oy vey, I'm dehydrated and badly in need of a vacation to recover from The Husband's birthday weekend, but it was so worth it. His birthday was actually Thursday and it was awesome (and the weekend too), and I'm going to tell you all about it, but in more than one part, because it was that big, like Star Wars (hence the post title).

You know how when it's my birthday (aka International Day of Awesomness) my mother phones me first thing in the morning to sing Happy Birthday (although this year it was via Skype), and I both love it and cringe at the same time? Well this year The Husband got the birthday treatment for the very first time. She phoned him night time Texas, morning here, just before he left for work. He was really excited. But then I told him that now she'll do it every year for him and he said, "Every year? Good thing my birthday isn't everyday." (He did actually love it... but you just have to experience it to feel the C R I N G E )

And since it was his birthday, and in my house your birthday means you get to choose whatever dinner you want and it will be cooked for you (except this no longer applies to me since The Husband cannot cook at all, so I cook my own birthday dinner, which totally sucks... I wonder if Honey Jr is a good cook...), I was cooking Swedish Meatballs. I guess The Husband's 1/4 Swedish part was hungry. And then I made an icebox cake because it was way too hot to be turning that oven on.

So we ate outside and Honey Jr came over for some cake and then the moment that I had been waiting for finally happened... presents!
The Husband is a big kid with zero patience and has been asking everyday what I got him, and I know that he was searching the house (and Honey Jr's too), so I had to be really tricky with the hiding place, and I can't even tell you guys where it is, because sometimes The Husband does actually read this. Suffice to say, he never did find them and that made me happy. But what made me even happier was wrapping his presents in wrapping paper from a household goods store here called, Casa, like so...

{I'm tricky}

You see, I knew that The Husband would take one look at that green paper and his face would scrunch up as he thought about unwrapping like a cheese plate or something. And he totally did and seeing that face was my little present to myself. Because sometimes I'm a wee meanie.

But I gave him lots of nice summer clothes which he really liked. Mostly because he didn't have to do the shopping himself. And that was his real present. Which means another present for me is not having to endure the shopping huffing & puffing. So that green package is really the gift that keeps on giving.

Isn't it nice how that worked out?

(more on The Husband's birthday coming soon)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Too Much Cheese in Le Petit Village

I'm sure the title of my post probably has you all like, W HA T?! C'est ne pas possible! There is never ever too much cheese in Le Petit Village, especially for those of you who know that here, sometimes we get crazy with it and do things like a Raclette and a Fondue all in one sitting. Because yeah, we're that crazy.

O V E R C H E E S E D.

Allow me to explain: My darling Aussie blogging buddy, B, of Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Cheese, came to Le Petit Village for the weekend. Oh, and she brought her husband, M, with her (so as not to be confused with my friend, M, La Croupier, we will be referring to B's Husband, as Aussie M, and also, please do not confuse B with Honey Bee, Honey Jr's elusive brother. Although I doubt you will since I rarely post about him - although he is set to make an appearance this weekend for The Husband's birthday party. So B is Aussie B. Sorted).

D I G R E S S I O N.

So Aussie B came to Le Petit Village and brought Aussie M with her so The Husband would have a playmate (Honey Jr was in Barcelona for the weekend leaving behind one lonely husband, and a very depressed Fifty).
We talked, we drank some wine, we talked, we ate, we talked, we walked around, we talked, we picked some cherries, we talked, and yeah, we drank some more wine. It was brilliant.

This is the BBQ lunch which we had to move inside because it rained buckets and then a thick cloud same and sat on top of Le Petit Village. It was basically Nazi Ghost Zombie weather, so all the better that we stayed indoors.

And this is the heart and kidney that Brother-in-Law brought to the BBQ. 

G R O S S.

For the record, I would have preferred flowers. Or a nice bottle of wine. 
(Fifty got half of the heart. I've never seen him work so hard at chewing something before). 

Making an educated guess that Le Petit Bar would be closed that evening, we drove to a nearby village and it's new wine and tapas bar. That's right, a wine and tapas bar has opened only a village away. It's a, down the mountain, topsy, turvy kind of away, but I don't care, this place is like gold dust. It reminds me of my old Dublin hangout La Cave. The Husband is of course regretting his decision to bring us there because guess where I'm going to want to go every weekend.

{It's mine. All mine.}

We shut the place down.

After a late start Sunday morning (re: we shut the place down), we toured Le Petit Village before heading to another super duper tiny village (If Le Petit Village is 'petit', this place is 'trop petit'). For some reason, The Husband wanted to show us the spot where some monk threw himself off a cliff hundreds of years ago (I really don't understand either).
It's called, Saut du Moine, literally Jump Monk.

There's The Husband pointing to where he thinks the monk would have fallen.

W E I R D O.  

And this is the spot where the monk was supposed to have thrown himself off the cliff (personally I would have attempted to stop the monk instead of merely making a note of where he was jumping from, but that's just me). 

After walking along the edge of Saut du Moine, we stopped at the the trop petit bar. This place was tiny. But surprise, surprise, it was open, and had plenty of Rosé. 

 Trop Petit Bar : 1

Le Petit  Bar: 0


P.S. You can read Aussie B's take on the weekend here
And you should, it's really good. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

this actually happened

The Setting: Le Petit Bar Friday night
The Players: The Parisian and me (and The Husband, kind of)

The Husband and I popped in for l'apéro. I let The Husband sit down and I went up to the bar to order (any chance to practice my French, you know). The following is what went down;

(except in French of course)

Me: One Coke and one Martini Blanc please.

The Parisian: We are all out of Martini Blanc.

Me: OK, a glass of Rosé then.

The Parisian: No Rosé

Me: Um, how about a Skinny Girl Margarita? You remember, it's the tequila with the limes and stuff?

The Parisian: Yes, I remember, but I don't have any limes.

Me: Fine, just a beer then.

And that's when my very first Gallic huff and puff slipped out. The Husband is totally proud.

I guess I'm kind of French now.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Me and The Husband-sur-Mer

Fuzzy wuzzy was how we awoke on Saturday morning. I have long suspected, but I now know for sure; Champagne is my kryptonite (woe is me, right?). Two glasses are fine, anything more and I turn into a big ol' M E S S.  
I heard Honey Jr outside so I stuck my head out the window and begged him to make me some coffee, he said no, he was in a hurry (bee emergency, I'm sure) so that sucked. 

The Husband and I were headed to Cavalaire-sur-Mer for the weekend. His close friend, The Croupier (aka M) lives there. This trip to the beach and casino had been promised to me for two years so I was pretty stoked (fuzzy wuzzy, but stoked). 

Off we went with The Husband assuring me that he knew where he was going. But sure enough about thirty minutes outside Cavalaire we were lost (our GPS is not dependable, it's like; "tourner à gauche" and we're like, uh, where?). So the huffing and puffing started, and I got annoyed because if you don't know where you're going why are you faking it? And all that huffing and puffing was not helping the champagne bubbles floating around in my head. And I totally would have printed out some google maps if he had just said that he didn't know how to get there.
(Note to self: print the google maps anyway).

But we made it just in time for lunch.
(OK, a little late, but whatever). 

Give me one good reason why Rosé can't be sipped from a martini glass?
It's festive, isn't it?
(except the glass is finished in like two sips, that's kind of a good reason).

And how cute is that little picnic table on the piece of fake grass... 

(they think I'm nutty photographing everything all the time)

We went for a walk to have a look around...
Look at those palm trees (you just know Fifty would love to lift his little leg on one of those), and all the boats... we were definitely not in Le Petit Village anymore.

{check out how super tiny that Smart Car looks}

And we did some shopping (being on holiday and all) and I bought a hat and The Husband bought a new swimsuit even though he almost didn't. After five minutes of looking he did his normal, huff and puff followed by, "later, later." But The Croupier knows him as well as I do and the two of us strong armed him into getting one. Thank heavens because his old one was U G L Y. 

And then I saw this swimsuit and fell a little bit in love...

But naturally it was the most expensive suit in the shop (because picking out the most expensive item in a shop is a special talent of mine). I'm thinking that with my age and all I should have at least one one-piece. Like who do I think I am frolicking around in a bikini at my age? Cam Diaz I am not. But I didn't buy it, even though The Husband being the sweetest man ever said I should (he scored points for that one) but I have more important things to spend my money on right now (like birthday presents for The Husband... six days away if you're interested). 

Proof that boys drink Rosé too... 

And love chocolate. 
This is The Husband's dessert... 

Which I didn't even have one bite of, because you know, I have a bikini to frolic around in. 

And because I'm not all fluffy nonsense all the time... 
check out this beach...

In August 1944 Allied troops landed here as part of Operation Dragoon to liberate France. 

As soon as I bump into a Nazi Ghost Zombie, I'm totally going to tell him where I was and that he can suck it.  


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Year With The Parisian

It's been one year since The Parisian arrived in Le Petit Village to grace us with his unreliable presence and take over Le Petit Bar.
When he first arrived, I had high hopes for him. See, the previous owner, a strange little man from up north somewhere, wasn't very local friendly, and would tell The Husband and me that he was too busy to serve us ice cream as he rushed from tourist to tourist. That's plain poppycock so we all stayed away, and let him close up the shutters at the end of the tourist season. If he was too busy to serve us ice cream in the summer, well then we didn't want anything in the winter.

So when The Parisian arrived with a smile and promises of cocktails we were all so excited (the cocktail promises were for me and I was really the only one who was excited about that). But then it wasn't long before he began to let us (me) down, like never having the ingredients on hand to make a Mojito. F A I L, especially since it was chalked on the menu. Eventually he erased it along with my cocktail dreams.

And of course there's all the times he forgets whether or not you've paid your tab and then he runs out of stuff;

"I'd like a whisky and coke please"

"Sure, but I don't have any coke"

"Whisky please"

(This was an actual exchange between The Husband and The Parisian. Once again... F A I L)

Add white wine, Leffe, Heineken, and Rosé to the list and you get the picture (a bar in Provence not having Rosé is like a pub in Dublin not having Guinness, it's poppycock).

But we've grown used to our unreliable bar man and enjoy his company when he's actually there, with the bar open (more rare than it should be). And I guess he's grown used to us to, and might like us as well because a couple of weeks ago (it was a Wednesday) he declared that on the Friday he would be throwing a BBQ at Le Petit Bar to celebrate his first anniversary. I smiled and looked outside at the heavy rain (this was the week that it rained buckets... fellow South of Francers... you know what I'm talking about) and wondered if he had bothered to check a weather forecast. He hadn't. F A I L.

So the BBQ was changed to crêpes and we all had a fantastic time...

{nutella goodness}

And at the end of the night, stuffed full of crêpes and beer, The Husband asked for our tab... The Parisian's response; a deep huff and puff, with a hand ruffled through the hair... "oh, I don't know, it's been very busy, what did you have?"

F A I L 


Friday, June 10, 2011

style: memories

Thank you to Paula at Koukla Running for passing on this Stylish Blogger Award (love these!) For this edition, I'm going to share seven of my most memorable Style memories (please note; these are not necessarily 'stylish' memories).

1. My mother travelled a lot when I was a child. Instead of Where's Waldo, it was like, Where's Mommy. But she was a good Mom and when she'd return she'd always phone my teachers and ask how I was during the week. One time, my kindergarten teacher told my mother a little story (one that I was unaware had happened until my mother informed me years later).
It was recess, and I was wearing my mauve and green Gloria Vanderbilt sweater and my mauve Pierre Cardin corduroy skirt (my nickname totally should have been Muffy). It was slide time, and as I slid down, my teacher  looked up, and oops, little Sara wasn't wearing any panties! (See, little girls really do need their mommies). There I was, sliding down the slide, showing off my good girl for all of St Georges to see. I was Britney before Britney.

2. Around third grade I used to rock the Punky Brewster look. This meant one baby blue converse and one pink converse, both with actual lace replacing the normal laces. This is my childhood look I'm most proud of.

3. In 8th grade, I went to a military prep school. I didn't have a boyfriend because 1. I was in 8th grade, and 2. I was super duper awkward, but at the last minute, like literally the day of, a friend asked me if I could be his date to the military ball. Um, OK, because 14 year old girls always have spare ball gowns lying around. Well I didn't, but luckily my dorm mate and 8th grade BFF did. Her mother designed couture, and had a house in the city stocked full of neglected gowns. So my friend picked one out for me... a definite one of a kind in an orange satin. Now orange happens to be my color (I'm not making this up, orange looks good on me) but the dress wasn't exactly sized to my petite 8th grade measurements (and I'm not talking about my height). So there I am, in a $5,000 orange satin dress that's heavily beaded bodice is continually slipping farther and farther down my petite chest. My friend had the typical 14 year old answer, lets just stuff some toilet paper in there. Great idea. As I stood next to my escort looking dapper in his formal military uniform, posing for our picture with a line of other cadets and dates waiting for their turn, the toilet paper slipped down and fell out of the bottom of my dress. No, that wasn't embarrassing at all. S CA R R E D  FOR  L I F E 

4. When I was 15, I was in NYC with my friend Bun. I was wearing an outfit that's memory makes me shudder;  palazzo pants (we were all about the palazzo pants) and a pair of shoes with a pointy toe (that damn pointy toe). As Bun and I walked up the stairs of Rockefeller Centre with our 15 year old struts on (all the world was our runway), my pointy toe got caught in the wide flowy palazzo pant leg, I tripped, took down Bun with me, and then she took down the old couple in front of her in a game of human dominoes. I wish I could say none of the hundreds of people around us noticed. But that would be a lie. 

5. For my Junior Prom I wanted to be fabulous. There would be no Debs Formals dress for me. I found a picture of a Jean-Paul Gaultier dress that I loved, I sent it to my Aunt in Dublin with my measurements. She gave it to a seamstress and two months later, the dress was shipped back to me in a manila envelope (because the fabric was that thin and at the time, so was I). I'd show you a photo of the dress but that would mean I would be showing you my Junior Prom photo and that is never, ever going to happen. Ever. 

6. For my Senor Prom, inspired by this photo of Courtney Love and Amanda de Cadenet, I wore a slip. Like actual underwear. Life lesson learned: Courtney Love is not a proper role mode for teenage girls.

7. My wedding was thrown together pretty quickly, and since it was a relatively casual affair, I wasn't going to get all gowny. But I did have an image in my head and it was this...

Love that dress. But I didn't get it. I got this instead...

Which I think I actually love more (and am trying to plan a way to wear again this summer... I'm thinking wedding No.2... that would be fun).

Allison @ la dolce vita

Do you have any stylish tales you would like to tell?



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

oh là là, oh là là: Part 3

You see, for me, what Aidan's visit to Le Petit Village came down to was this... me having some quality girl time (it should be noted that I actually do have quality time with all the French women in my life; French Mommy, Papa's Wife, Mrs Honey, Child Bride, and M, but it's not always easy. A lot of thought goes into my French conversations, lots of hand gestures, and pointing, and intensive listening... it can be exhausting,  and after a year and a half here, I'm pretty sure that no one really gets me yet, and that kind of sucks). And having Aidan in Le Petit Village felt more like having my crazy sister come to visit than some strange lady I met on the internet (it should also be noted that although technically I met Aidan on the internet, she is not strange, well, not too strange anyway, and any strangeness is a good, fun kind of strange, not a creepy lock the doors kind of strange).

It can be easy to take laughter for granted, and that weekend we laughed a lot, and I loved every second of it. We laughed at the toddlers going hell-for-leather through the old village (after they were in safe hands of course), I laughed at Honey Jr pouting over his Playstation loss (pointed and laughed is a bit more accurate). I laughed at the Texas trash names we made up for each other... Maybelline, Lori Al, and April May June (I think April May June might be my favorite). And I laughed a whole lot on the Saturday night when Aidan, Mrs Canadian and I escaped to my friend, M's house for some 'quiet' time. I'd tell you what it was we were laughing about but I like to keep this space a PG kind of place and apparently, Maybelline, Lori Al, and April May June, don't know how to have PG conversations. So since I can't tell you, how about some photos of the weekend instead. Deal? Deal.

{the tree in front of La Petite Notre Dame all tarted up}

{Aidan and Oldest admiring the view}

{Aidan, Oldest, and Mrs Canadian trying to corral the toddlers}

{And the cherry tree where M and I took Oldest to pick cherries} 

And I'm not the only one who enjoyed the company... The Husband has a little bromance with Mr Aidan. He even joked to him that he'd let all the air out of his tires so they wouldn't be able to leave (at least I hope he was joking).

Now that's lock the door kind of strange.

Just sayin' 


P.S.  if you want to see what Aidan did with all the cherries, click here 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

oh là là, oh là là: Part 2

Maybe more than four and half hours of sleep would have been a good idea. But I'm blaming that one on Fifty for waking me up at 6:30, and Mr. Aidan for keeping the party going until 2 (I'm totally blaming him).

Saturday morning was all about one thing C O F F E E. And after that, Aidan, Mrs Canadian and I drove off to do the hunting and gathering (BBQ supplies for that evening). And of course we stopped for a little midday apéro because sometimes you have to bite the dog that bit you.

A little lunch back at the gite and then we were off for the weekend's main event... Le Petit Village's First Annual Playstation Tournament hosted by The Parisian. Two of the little kids were playing and two of the big kids (The Husband and Mr Aidan), plus Honey Jr and Brother-in-Law too. A Playstation tournament is big happenings in our little place and everyone was really excited (everyone with a Y chromosome that is). But then some twelve year old boy won and that was that. And Honey Jr pouted. I wish I was making this up but I'm not. He actually pouted. *le pout*

And because us XX people couldn't be bothered, we took the two, two year old XYers and headed off for a tour of the old village. F I A S C O. Those little boys looked at the 900 year old wobbly streets as their own personal rally track and took off at top speed careening around corners, and ups and downs, but somehow avoiding tripping over every deep crack and loosened cobble in their path with us in pursuit and Villagers shouting, "Oh là là! Oh là là!" Because we were all sure that those little two year old legs would tumble, but they didn't.

It was a Le Petit Miracle.

(Or the invisible hands of Medieval Banshee propping them up, 

because you just never know. Do You?)

To be continued...


Friday, June 3, 2011

Secrets of Love Winners...

Thanks to the genius of, the three winners of Hector and the Secrets of Love have been selected...

No. 30 Erin

No. 23 flwrjane

No. 20 Meredith

Thank you to everyone who entered.


P.S. (you know how I love my post scripts) I'll be back with oh là là, oh là là: Part 2 as soon as I can get The Husband settled. It's the second day of his four day weekend and it's been raining nonstop... C R A N K Y  
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