Friday, November 29, 2013

Sad Wallowing Day

Happy Thanksgiving tout le monde!

You see, I can still say Happy Thanksgiving because for me it hasn't happened yet. At my house it will be happening tomorrow, which means that yesterday, while my American brethren were stuffing themselves silly with turkey and pumpkin goodness, it was just a plain old boring Thursday for me, except it really wasn't. It wasn't because Thanksgiving Thursday is my least favorite day of the year, it makes me sad and homesick. So instead of going about my usual routine, I now take to wallowing.

My wallowing basically means that I exclaim I'm taking the day 'off' and I do whatever strikes my fancy, with a healthy dash of laziness. This year's Sad Wallowing Day, kicked off at 6AM when I woke. Tea was made and I took to the couch, flipped open the laptop and treated myself to a viewing of last year's Thanksgiving Day parade on youtube (fast forwarding through the boring bits).

I did some laundry and ironed. I'm one of those weird people who likes to iron, I find it relaxing, plus, I can catch up on some TV while being productive. This ironing session consisted of The Vampire Diaries and Elementary (I find Jonny Lee Miller adorable).

My Sad Wallowing Day got a bit cheerier when I received a Happy Thanksgiving tweet from a rugby player that I fed last Thanksgiving. But this isn't just any rugby player, this is a rugby player that if he had been drawn by Disney,would have been Prince Charming. Seriously, even Gregory thinks he charming (actually, Gregory said, and I quote; "he is so charming I want to punch him"). So yeah, Prince Charming tweeted me and I got heart palpitations, swooned and immediately called Mrs. London so we could giggle about his charming perfection.

I decided on the very un-Thanksgiving like lunch of frozen pizza. I was hungry and even making a sandwich can seem like a pain in the tookus on Sad Wallowing Day so frozen pizza it was... in the interest of full disclosure; I had a beer too. Pizza is one of those things that I really like beer with.

I watched Giant, my favorite Thanksgiving movie ever. Not that Giant is a Thanksgiving movie, it's when I watch it for some reason but there is that one adorable Thanksgiving scene so I guess it can kind of be considered a Thanksgiving movie.

And then Gregory came home early which was nice because not only was it Sad Wallowing Thanksgiving, it was also the fifth anniversary of the day we met. That's right, five years ago yesterday, this happened.

So that was that but now I've got to get my skates on... since tomorrow is Thanksgiving at chez moi, my trusty sidekick Mrs.London is on her way up from Toulon (with Fifty's trusty sidekick, Napoleon) to give me a hand. We have lots to do before Honey Jr and Honey's Honey arrive with their hungry bellies tomorrow afternoon for my very own Le Petit Village Francegiving.

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P.S. Last chance to enter my giveaway!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

expat escapades {round 13}

Remember those 'most likely to' awards in school, like most likely to succeed and most likely to be famous? Well today's round of Expat Escapades is a 'most likely to'. I just feel like it.
. . . . . . . . . . 

The award for most likely to make me wish I lived in a big city goes to Gina at Sweet Serenity. Gina took us on a stroll through London hitting up some gorgeous bits, and I don't mean touristy bits, I mean the bits that you see when you live someplace... pretty store window displays, bright flowers stalls, a busy shopping street... it's London eye candy at its finest.

But thanks to Gregory, I don't live in a city, I live in a tiny village (thank you Gregory [insert sarcasm font here]). Of course as much as I do wish I lived in a big city, I wouldn't go back and change things for anything, especially after reading Kate's French Dating Horror Stories post. It without a doubt wins the award for most likely to make me happy I met Gregory.

So even though I live in a village when I'd rather live in a city, I'm still in France, which lets face it, isn't a shabby place to be, just ask Anna. Anna lives here too and her post about tasting the first Beaujolais Nouveau of 2013 wins the most likely to make me appreciate living in France award, because we live in a place that goes absolutely cray cray, every year when the first wine of the season is bottled, sold, and sipped. It's a wino thing.

But with all of that French goodness like wine comes a trade off, like with television, I have to say, it's not the best here. So the award for most likely to make me nod my head in agreement goes to Louisa and her post, The Wonders of Italian Television. I guess Italy is in the same boat as France on this one... the good wine, bad TV boat... in fairness, it's not a bad boat to be in.

I'm sure Jessica would agree with me. Jessica took a Vespa tour in Tuscany and if that doesn't win the award for most likely to make me want to go on holiday right now, then I don't know what does.

If I did get to go on holiday, I'd love to bring all of my friends from back home with me because I'm missing them right now (i.e., the Thanksgiving Blues) and Alex's Onesie Party certainly didn't help, so the award for most likely to make me wish I could hang with my girls goes to Alex (it also makes me really, really wish I had a onesie... Santa, take note). 

And last but certainly not least goes to Casey at We Took the Road Less Traveled who wins the award for most likely to make me want Christmas to hurry up and get here. Casey went to Zermatt, Switzerland, a place that basically looks like it was made for Christmas... snow, red-ribboned wreaths, twinkling lights and a Bernese Mountain Dog (the most Christmassy looking dogs there ever were). It's beginning to look a lot like... 

But look at me talking about Christmas when Thanksgiving is a mere day away... Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends! And to my non-American friends, Happy Fill In The Blank With Anything You'd Like!

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Monday, November 25, 2013

I have a child and his name is Fifty

I'm linking up with Betsy today. The topic; 'how our dogs have prepared us for children'. Betsy has a black lab named Charlie who is every bit of a handful that Fifty is. 
. . . . . . . . . . 

When I got Fifty, I had zero interest in adopting a puppy, I had wanted a dog, not a puppy. I was looking for companionship, not the hassle of housebreaking a wee shoe destroying, roly-poly ball of fur. Plus, I liked the idea of giving an abandoned adult dog a home. After all, they are usually the last to get adopted. But luckily for Gregory and I, the lady at the shelter had her own agenda. 

Every dog that we looked at and that I voiced interest in was a no for some reason or another; "that one would destroy your house," "you couldn't handle this one, he doesn't like people,' and my favorite, "this one will be dead in a week."

After we had looked at all of the dogs, or so I thought, she brought us around to her office, and there outside, in his own little makeshift fenced in area was bitty, baby, Fifty. I took one look at him and knew he was mine which was exactly how she had planned it. He had arrived at the shelter with his two sisters and after they had both been adopted, he remained alone. We brought him home and the three of us became a family.

Then the exhaustion began. Since I'm a housewife and was home all day with him, I felt like he had to be housebroken as soon as possible, like if he wasn't, I was a huge failure. At first we went outside every thirty minutes, and then every hour, and then every two hours, until Fifty learned that outside is where he goes pee-pee. And it worked, it almost killed me I was so tired, but it worked. The only time there is an 'accident' is if Fifty is sick.

And that's how Fifty has taught me to get over ickyness. Baby diapers are no match for a grown dog with a bad tummy (and not the vomit bad tummy, that's horrible enough, I'm talking about the bad tummy that comes out the other end). It's pretty much the most disgusting thing ever, and when it happens, trust me when I say this, there is never enough paper towels to deal with it, ever. So yeah, diapers and baby vomit, not a problem. 

But when Fifty is sick, he looks at me with the saddest face and as much as I want to kill him for having sick tummy ALL OVER THE HOUSE at three in the morning, I can't be mad at him. He's my baby and it's not his fault.

The thing is, I'm not one of these crazy people that thinks Fifty is a child, I know he's not human, but he's MY child and when I adopted him I took responsibility for his well being, it is my job to make sure he is taken care of. He is innocent like a child and completely dependant on me.

He has to be bathed like a child (except outside with a hose, not in a tub with a rubber ducky).

I taught him how to share and to play nicely with others. 

And that if he doesn't play nicely with his toys, they get taken away (not soon enough in some cases). 

But best of all, I taught him the fun of playing dress up, except with Fifty, 
he always insists on being the princess. 

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mastering the Art of French Eating {review + giveaway}

When I was contacted about reviewing Ann Mah's, Mastering the Art of French Eating, I couldn't have been more delighted. This is one of those sumptuous reads that I was dying to get my hands on. The whole title just draws me in; Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris... 'French', check, 'Eating', check, 'Food', check, 'Love', check, 'Paris', check. This is my kind of book and when it arrived, I was not disappointed. It's one of those gorgeous books that I know I will not be passing on but will keep for myself to decorate an end table or nightstand to open up when I need a dose of deliciousness or to bring into the kitchen for a recipe.

Mastering the Art of French Eating is the story of Ann Mah's year Paris and her exploration of French cuisine throughout the city and the country. Each chapter features a different region and its speciality... Steak Frites in Paris, Brittany's Crêpes, the Salad Lyonnaise in Lyon and so on. Naturally the first thing I did when I opened the book was to skip ahead to Provence...

"I know it's a little, well, cliché to be captivated by Provence, a region that has made the fortune of not a few travel writers. But I am - I can't help myself. These are some of the things I love: Proud pink villages perched on hilltops. The relief of moving from sharp light and heat into cool shadows. Unapologetic ice cubes tinkling in a glass of rosé. The gusty wind known as the mistral, rough and cleansing. Unfiltered olive oil decanted into recycled juice bottles, bought at a roadside stand. Lavender-scented breezes tumbling into car windows. Tangy Provençal accents. Vineyards and fields shadowed by the looming bulk of the Luberon Mountains." 

After reading that paragraph, I was hooked, Mah nailed it. With the Provence chapter comes a recipe for Soupe au Pistou, a dish that Papa's Wife makes gallons of every summer. I looked over the recipe and am happy to report that it would meet Papa's Wife's approval. Well done Ann Mah, well done.

Since the holidays are around the corner and I know that you guys would love Mastering the Art of French Eating as much as I do, I'm giving away one copy to one of you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

soirée en amoureux au bar à vin

My favorite spot for date night with Gregory is the wine bar. It's a cozy, family owned place not too far from home that serves what I like to call, 'French tapas', a plate of morsels of deliciousness as opposed to the normal entrée, plat, dessert. And since we only have a plate of tapas to eat instead of a full meal, I don't have to compete with a bunch of food for Gregory's attention (trust me, it's a problem).

We always start with an apéro (when in France and all), that means a glass of Champagne for me and a whisky for Gregory. Pierre-Edouard (the sommelier who owns the wine bar... I like to think of him as my spirit guide) knows we like to check out what we're drinking so he leaves the bottles after he pours so we can investigate. 

Sometimes Gregory discovers some new whisky to add to his whisky wish list (if he's lucky this one might find its way under the Christmas tree), and I indulge in my bubbles. But only ever one glass, two, and I'm swinging from the chandeliers.

After l'apéro, one of my favorite parts of the evening occurs... Pierre-Edouard returns to ask me what kind of wine I would like. He is usually holding his newborn in one arm while his three year old hangs off of him until she spies her cat Balthazar and chases away (told you it was a family place). We begin to have a little back and forth about what I'm in the mood for... something light, but not Beaujolais light, and nothing as bold as a Côtes du Rhône. As always, he found me a perfect meet in the middle... a Bordeaux that made my heart aflutter. 

Then comes plate of nibbles, it doesn't look like much, but trust me it is so much, just the right much. There are always the same type of things, but what those things are change depending on the season. There's a small sip of soup; during the summer it might be courgette, in the colder months maybe a potato or mushroom, but whichever it is, it's always delicious. There are bitty toasts with delectable spreads on them, some local cheese, some sort of a tart or quiche, and slices of Serrano ham. 

But my favorite part of the plate is this, le jambon à la truffe. It's ham with truffles all up in its goodness. If little Michelin star angels made ham, this is the ham they would make. I always leave it for last and take the smallest bites possible, savoring every teeny-tiny morsel that I can. If I was ever in a last meal type scenario, this ham would make an appearance on the menu.

We stay for hours, sometimes even past closing depending on if Pierre-Edouard is in the mood for a whisky or not (he usually is) and I stare at the clock wondering how much time I have left before I turn into a pumpkin.

I wanted to take a photo of Gregory to preserve our date night memory, and this photo shows exactly how he feels about having his picture taken #notimpressed #crankypants #IwouldratherbewithMrLondon.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Le Petit Village: The Family Tree

Here's it is! I have finally put together the Le Petit Village family tree to show how everyone here is related to everyone else because with the exception of a few, they (and now me) all are... ♫WE ARE FAMILY

. . . . . . . . . . 

N O T E S 

Not everyone on the tree has appeared on the blog before and to avoid explaining who they are now and naming them all(as things would get quite confusing, quite quickly) there are symbols in place of names.
For these men, an XY takes the place of their name, and for the women, XX (for example, Mr. Honey's brother who is also the father of The Cousin and Baby Cousin is simply noted by an XY). Got it? Good.

A plus sign '+' denotes a partner/spouse

Dashes '-' denote a sibling          

Names on the tree have been linked to posts featuring them, in case you are feeling particularly inquisitive. 

T H E  T R E E 

                                     XX---------------- XX
                                       |                       | 
                                       |                       |
                               FrenchNana              XX+XY   GrandmaHoney      XX ----------------------XX
                                       |                       |      ___|____                    |                               |
                                       |                       |     |            |                   |                               |
Papa'sWife + Papa + FrenchMaman          XX+ XY --------Mr.Honey + Mrs.Honey                     XX
                 |          |                          ____|____                 ____|____                                  | 
                 |          |                         |              |               |             |                                  |        
 +ChildBride                             +MrsCousin
                 |                                   |
                 |                                   | 
             LaPetite                     LePetitCousin

. . . . . . . . . . 

It's like this... Gregory and The Cousin & Baby Cousin are really only third cousins and through their mothers' sides, while The Cousin & Baby Cousin are actually first cousins to Honey Jr but through their fathers. And The Croupier is also related to Honey Jr because their maternal grandmothers are sisters. So no matter which way you look at it, everything comes back to Honey Jr... he's truly the honey that holds The LPV together.
Does anyone have any questions, comments, concerns?

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