Friday, April 29, 2011

My Life in France - The Tough Stuff

Happy Friday all!  I actually started packing just a tiny bit yesterday.   whoo hoo for me!  And then my husband leaves this morning for a long road trip. hmph. Go figure the last two games before I leave are really out of town!

Oh and I wanted to tell you about this awesome giveaway that is going on today!  The Pomegranate Basket is having their first giveaway over at Craft Couture.  I think you should all check it out!!  Why do I care so much, you ask?  Well The Pomegranate Basket is totally awesome!  And the cute lady, Tammi.  She's my mom.  So you know she's awesome! :)  So show some love :)

I know I said I was gonna write about interracial, intercultural marriage.  But honestly, that's a big task and I just wasn't feelin' it.  So maybe next week. Or maybe not. I don't know.  Okay, on to today's topic.
A lot of people are fascinated by our lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, it isn't always in a good way.  Sometimes, probably more often than not, people think I am crazy.  Because people don't often think about the things that might be hard for me or different or crazy. It sounds romantic to live in another coutry, learn another language etc etc. And for me it is. I choose to like it. But don't be fooled, it is not easy. Let me break it down a bit.
St Etienne, our city this year

I have two kids. Mothers out there know how hard it is to raise kids. Most of the time we have other mothers around us, and back home I do too (but thank God for facebook!), to help us, give opinions, and offer different suggestions as to rearing kids. I personally love it, once it is offered in a humble, loving way, bring it on! Here I don't have that. I don't have people who think the same way. I do know other moms and might ask for advice, but I am not sure we are raising the same type of kids. I want my boys to grow up strong and independent and able to 'handle business'.  These kids have binkis at the age of 5 and higher and it is just weird to me. They also have their little favorite toys and they are called doudous.  Yes, you read that right, and it is pronounced that way.  And they have them until they are in grade school.  France isn't exactly known for the toughest nation... But who knows, just a thought.
Tae and his cousins at Halloween '09

Think about a grocery store run. Easy, right? Just run right in, grab what you need and bounce. Wait, I don't know where it is. Okay, how do you say 'where is the peanut butter?' Wait, they don't have peanut butter here, how do I describe peanut butter? 'beurre de cacahu├Ętes'? Il est quelque chose american, il s'appelle peanut butter?' (it is something american, it is called peanutbutter) Yep, not so easy anymore! Now, lately, I am a lot better at my French that I don't have problems too much any more.
Okay, so I have a few friends who do not speak english. We have nice conversations and I am getting a ton better. But here is the absolute worst:  I am trying to explain something and they just stare at me. They cannot understand what I am saying. What? Seriously, you can't understand? Man, am I that bad? I was so encouraged with this whole conversation, and now I feel as stupid as ever. Or, here is another one. They make a joke in French, but I didn't get it, and I laugh just to get out of asking what they meant. But then they catch me with the fake laugh. ugh stupid again. Or I studied at home and thought I learned something new and then I try it with my friend.  She stops, stares, and then says in French 'I know what you were trying to say. It's just wrong.'  Um thanks.

Or when I get Tae from school and the teacher asks me or I have something to ask. It is hard.  It is just every day things that people wouldn't think of that I have to.

Obvisouly the hard things like missing family and friends back home. But that isn't so hard for me anymore.(sorry mom!) I love my family. But I know that someday I will be back living close to them. And when that day comes, I will enjoy it. But I don't want to spend my time here wishing I was somewhere else. How silly would that be? I want to experience everything and make sure I have no regrets from the time we lived here.

Oh and down side of learning another language. I am already a horrible speller. Now with learning another language, I can't spell anything. So disregard my mistakes. And I can't find words in English sometimes, like it is hard to sometimes put a sentence together because I think in French too.    

Don't worry, I will do 'a good side' installment!  Oh and happy Royal Wedding Day!  I so wish I was there.  So close and yet so far...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Girlish Whims Giveaway {WINNER!!!}

And the Winner of these beautiful babies:



Megan at The Mrs.!  Megan Said:  I like my girlish whims on fabo!!!

Congratulations Megan!  I will be e-mailing you shortly!

Thank you everyone who has played along, love it!!

Have a great Thursday!

Sponsor Feature ~ Recipes from Scribbles and Smudge!

Hello everyone!  Today Tracy from Scribbles and Smudge is here to share with us some recipes that you must try.  I am serious.  I would cation you though, they are addicting!  Read on!

Hello readers! First, I'd like to thank Natalia for inviting me to be a sponsor on Ma Nouvelle Mode - fist pumps, shimmies and shakes for you and your awe-sizzome blog! My name is Tracy and I've been working on my blog, Scribble Smudge, for a little more than a month. My husband and I were married last December, so I thought I'd play up the part and write about my adventures in the kitchen, in my new marriage, and in life. I am a triathlete, teacher and avid camper, so there's a lot of madness rolled up into one blog. Today, though, I thought you might like a sweet recipe (or three). I hope you enjoy.

Ever since Starbucks starting selling those darling little cake pops, I've been wanting to try a recipe of my own. So, I visited Bakerella's blog and found something comparable: cake balls. Essentially, cake balls are cake and icing mixed together and rolled into bite-size balls, then coated in white or milk chocolate and decorated. Y to the um.

Starbucks' Cake Pops

Bakerella's Red Velvet Cake Balls

Well, since mine didn't come out perfectly round and I didn't have enough chocolate to coat each ball entirely, I decided to rename mine cake bites. When I brought them to Easter dinner yesterday, my 7-year-old cousin shouted, "These are the most delicious chocolate dessert muffins I've ever had!" Then he ate nine of them. 
Here is the recipe, in red velvet, coconut and chocolate flavors. 
p.s. It took four hours to make three different varieties. I would suggest making one or two batches at a time (each recipe made about 40 pieces); rolling balls isn't my idea of a hip Saturday. 

p.p.s. Cake bites are highly addicting. As someone who has never tried a cigarette, I now feel like I know what tobacco addicts go through. 
p.p.p.s. I'd like to thank Doug for taking the photos for this project (my hands were covered in either icing, crumbled cake or chocolate for the better part of the day), and for always zipping into the kitchen whenever I needed a taste tester. You hard worker, you. 

Red Velvet Cake Bites
1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed)
1 package white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)
Cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)
Red food coloring 
White sprinkles
Wax paper
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely (about 30 minutes in the fridge - don't skip this step!), crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet (should make 45-50 pieces).
4. Chill for 1-2 hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate over stove, being sure not to burn. Add 7-8 drops red food coloring until pink.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and top with sprinkles; lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Chocolate Cake Bites

1 box chocolate cake mix (bake as directed)
1 package milk chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)
Chocolate frosting (see recipe below)
Multicolored sprinkles
Wax paper

Same as red velvet recipe

Chocolate Frosting 
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. evaporated milk (make sure you don't get dry milk like I did! Luckily almond milk works, too)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.
Coconut Cake Bites
1 package coconut cake mix (follow instructions for baking)
Vanilla frosting (see recipe below)
Coconut flakes
Wax paper
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with vanilla frosting. 
Please ignore my awkward armpit sunburn. 

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet (should make 45-50).
4. Chill for 1-2 hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Bake coconut flakes on 375 for about 15 minutes; press the top of each cake bite into the coconut flakes and place on wax paper. 

Tracy's Vanilla Frosting (My FIRST original recipe!)
1 stick butter, softened
3 tbsp. almond milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients on medium speed until incorporated. 

There you have it!  Messy, but soooooo worth it.  Thanks Tracy for sharing.  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, click here.
Have a good day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We Want to Know!

Hello again everyone!

I know second post of the day.  But I saw this and had to participate!  So don't judge.  Read on.  Thanks! :)

Oh and if you haven't, enter the GIVEAWAY I have going on right now!!!!!!  Ends tomorrow.  Okay, now read on.
I saw this over at Living in France (WARNING: she doesn't actually live in France!) and thought it looked really fun and that I would try it!  It is hosted by Impulsive Addict, Janette, Mamarazzi and Seriously Shawn.  Check out there cute button!

So here we go!

{1} What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Are you an eyes or a smile person? Maybe another body part?
oh geez, I don't know.  I guess it sounds kinda cheezy but the face as a whole.  I never notice teeth unless they are awful.  Which in France, is quite a bit...  I used to coach junior high volleyball and if the girls got their braces off they would come to me all excited 'anything different???'  me: 'um, new hair?'  whoops!  Sorry ladies!
{2} If a movie was being made about you who would you like to see cast to play you? And would your movie be a comedy, drama, romantic-comedy, action film or a horror movie?

It would be a romatice comedy for sure.  With the craziness that is our life I think if you put music to it at the right places, we already got a movie!  Except my husband.  Ya, not Mr. Romantic.  More like the 'I told you I loved you when I married you.  I'll let you know if it changes' kinda guy.  But hey, he's hot.  And I would have to have Brooke Sheilds play me.  People have always told me that I look like her.  What do you think?

{3} Does your high school yearbook include a senior comment section? If so share what you said about your future goals. Have you met those goals? If you do not have a yearbook just share what your goals where when you were 18 and if you have met them. If you’re brave enough include your Senior Picture!
My goals?  I was a stupid 17 year old girl.  My goals were to go to beauty school and marry my high school sweetheart.  I did neither of them and I am so thankful.  Not that they were bad.  My highschool sweetheard was a nice guy, but my husband is the best man I know.  And I still want to go to beauty school to do hair, but I am sooooooo glad I got my degree instead of beauty school.  Thanks mom and dad!

{4} What latest trend simply baffles you?
Skinny Jeans on boys.  If your boyfriend can wear your pants, there is something wrong.  And MC Hammer pants.  They look like you are wearing a diaper.  Or depends.  They are awful and super popular here.  yuck.

{5} When you walk into a room how do you present yourself? Do you walk in with confidence and command the attention of others or do you slink in and do your best to go unnoticed?
I walk in with confidence.  I don't really command attention, but I will most certainly take it!  I am just very social and will start up a conversation right away or get into one that is already going.  I have always been this way, just ask my mom...

I Spy: Jewelry and shoes, but just jewelry for me

I had fun the last time I linked up with Little Miss Momma for her 'I Spy' series.  I got to show you where I live in France, my 'hood'.  So this week is jewelry and shoes.  Since I have huge feet, the shoes part isn't all the exciting to me.  I have come to terms that I just shop at payless most of the time, and the cute huge heels are out of the question.  I am 6 feet tall and although my husband is 6'7" we don't want to intimidate the entire world.  We are already a huge contrast with the whole black and white thing, we don't need to add ginormous to it.  Although we might already be considered ginormous...

Anyway, I was excited about the jewelry thing because I will have a chance to show you some stuff I have been working on. I am loving making jewelry, it is so much fun and cheaper, and you feel so accomplished when you are finished.   So here are some things I have been working on.

This tutorial will be featured on Eisy Morgan soon.
 The necklace above I just made and absolutely adore.  The little charm at the clasp says 'fait main' which means 'hand made' in French.

Bracelet made with the left over chain from the necklace above, leftover pearls from a borken necklace, beads, and a charm I bought

I made this one from some left over beads I had and pearls from my necklace that broke.  You will probably notice that all the jewelry I have been making has those pearls.  I just thought I might as well get some use out of them!

Once again, left over pearls, beads, and a few other charms I had bought.
 Now these earrings above were my first attempt at jewelry making. So now I am aware that you use head pins to attach the charms.  I didn't have any and I was being resourceful, so I used what was left over from the old necklace!

Now I couldn't do a post on jewelry without mentioning two of my favorites.  Here is my Tiffany's bracelet Lavar bought me I think 6 years ago now.  Probably the only piece of jewelry I got from him I haven't lost yet.  Except my wedding ring.  You just don't loose Tiffany's, now do you ladies??

Probably the last thing I will be seeing from Tiffany's!
 And, of course, my favorite piece of jewelry, my wedding ring.

This picture does not do it justice.  It is really dirty and needs to be cleaned.  Although it is not huge (and I will take an upgrade aaaanytime, babe!) it is what we chose together.  I like it!

I have more, I just thought I would showcase a few.  Go check out Little Miss Momma for some more jewelry link ups!

Oh and today is my little man's first birthday!!  I can't believe he is one.  We are headed to the zoo today, yay!  Happy Birthday, E-man, mommy and daddy loooooove you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Hello everyone!

I am posting a tad bit late today because I was at the park earlier with my boys and Tae, my oldest fell and sliced open his hand.  It was pretty gnarly (sp?).  But the pharmacist and the husband said they didn't think he needed stiches.  So bandaids it is.  Except French bandaids suck. 
In other news, I have a cool craft for you all!!  We are leaving for the states in 14 days, yes exactly.  You wanna know how I know exact days?  I made a countdown for us!  Let's get right to it...
My boys had nice wooden blocks that they never played with (until, of course, I took them out to do this project.  Then they were the most interesting thing ever!)  But they are good quality, so I thought why not!  I know you can buy wood sets on Etsy, which would definitely make it look more professional.  There are always ways to make my crafts look more professional.  :)

So I started with painting the blocks black.  You can use any colors, but since mine already had stuff on them, black was the best option.  Then measure and cut the amount of pieces you will need to cover all the sides.  I used the same paper, but you can use scraps that go well together too.  Modgepodge the paper on there.  I did a second coat to solidfy it.  Let dry.

Now what I did from here I wouldn't suggest for people who aren't artists.  Like me.  If you have a Silhouette, you could cut out numbers and letters of what you want to say.  Or I think a cricut does it too.  I, however, don't have those wondeful items available to me, so I took a sharpie to it.  But you know what, it worked! 

For the base, I glued two painted black blocks together, cut a longer strip and modgepodged it on there to make it look like a base.  

You can see it on the picture, but you will need 0,1,2,3,4,5 on one block and 0,1,2,6,7,8 on the other. The 6 also needs to double as a 9.

Then once dried, set it up!  We currently have 14 more days until we leave for California!!  Whoo-hoo!

And I think the highest you can go is 50 more days unles you have more blocks. 

This could be such a cute thing to have for each season! Or birthdays.  There is so much you could do.  I still have a few blocks left in the boys set, which somehow they now love, I might make blocks to stack that say 'love' or something. 

What do you think?  But don't remark on my writing skills.  I am aware.

I am linking this up to my parties here, or whichever ones I get around to linking to!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone!  He is Risen!

I just thought I would share some family pics we took today.  In all their unedited glory.  Sorry my computer has been freaking out on me. 

My mom got the boys these cute shirts.  Mine is from H&M and my husband insisted that his yellow shirt matched...

And he didn't like my cowboy boots.  Boo.  I like them.

So what do you think?  Does his yellow shirt match the rest of us?  Mine's better, right?  Yeah, I know.  He just never listens to me...


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