Saturday, December 26, 2015

Made out of love

Oh my! Oh my! Already holidays time! Our Highness and Little Mowgli have required, aside the reaaall Xmas tree, a Xmas stall. Your wishes are my orders, my Lords (I am too kind). As a reward, they made me this snowman. Fantastic !!!!




Friday, November 20, 2015

Inside out - Upside down

My B-day is coming next week. I decide to treat myself with a tarte tatin, an upside down buttered and caramelized apple pastry. This pastry dated from 1880s and was invited by accident. 
Happy B-day to me !  




Sunday, November 8, 2015

A l'attaque !!

It's been a while that I'm looking for a castle for my son. I'm not certain about the material: wooden or plastic one, definitely not a paper one... This is until I found this one from Hema store. I think it would be fun! a sort of "2 birds in 1 stone": the colouring part for Our Highness and playing with the castle for Little Mowgli. It's a go-go craft project/toy. 
It's a glossy paper, better use marker (or acrylic paint). It took, Our Highness and I, 2 half days to get to the end of the colouring part. To get everything sturdy enough and to avoid to get it undone, we tape every side.  
We play together bad vs good knight from yesterday (Little Mowgli called it so). At the end of the day, happy kiddies! 



Our Highness chose the colour palette.And the story board is in the hands of Little Mowgli. 

Once upon a time, yesterday actually, there were two knights, Green and Pirate. They are really bad knights but for real hé. They wanted to go inside the castle and burn everything because it's their job. 

What they didn't know it, it's that inside the castle lives the black knight and his horse. This knight is the strongest because he has a sword and an axe. He is the "baddest"of all and stronger than Green and Pirate. They smashed the door and the black knight killed them and the end. 


So much violence in a 15 minutes story! I will keep a close eye on Little Mowgli for a while.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

En amoureux

My DH surprised me with a dining out, just the 2 of us followed by a nice evening "stroll" in a bateau-mouche along the Seine. It was so nice not to have to share the DH/daddy. I could have him for a couple of hours, just selfishly for me. 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Feeding the Planet, energy for Life

We visited the Milano Expo 2015. This year theme revolves around innovation and food on 1.1 km sq. Each 145 countries has its own build pavilion. The weather is extremely hot, we're attacked by mosquitos. And there's no many seats (unless in cafés) and scarce cool down points. Nevertheless, we're having a good time with our world tour!

Little Mowgli's drinking milk from a cow. 


Albero della vita or the tree of life

The supermarket of the future where everything is datafied. 

I didn't fully understand the idea of food + innovation at the Netherlands stand. It was mostly food /bar trucks. 
The French pavilion was awesome: fish and pans hanging from the ceiling. 
We ate French fries and chocolate in Belgium where they grow their greens vertically (Japan's already been doing it).

Brasil was challenging : escalade a fishnet under 32°C. 
The sun shines bright and colourful in Ecuador.

We went also in Kazakhstan and in China. 

Dancing in Vietnam.

Playtime at the children park with water.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Alligator attack

We've been hanging around the all day : gardening, baking, crafting. As the time elapses towards la rentrée (2 weeks to go), our Highness got a super meltdown. She got a clap on her self-esteem, she was crying and saying she won't be able to make it through the year because the difficulty at school only will get higher and higher, etc. I was hurt. I'm suffered myself of low self-esteem and I didn't know I was projecting on her. Parenting is a constant self questioning and adjusting. If you have ideas, I'm all ears. See you later, alligator!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mais c'est fou!

I luuuv crafts store. It nurtures my obsessive collector side and compulsive organizer, I buy things I don't need, I just want to own them and I luvv to see that everything is organized by shapes and colors. A delight!!!

After my long walk between gigantic aisles, I came home with shrink plastic - princess pattern. It comes with a pattern, shrink plastic sheets and a chain. You will need a pair of scissors, freezer paper and an oven.
First, you trace the drawing on the plastic sheet, cut the coloured drawing and put on a freezer paper in the oven. It curls and shrinks before getting flat again. However, I will recommend when you take them out of the oven, to flatten them under a dictionary or a phone book for a while.
See results hereunder.



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Killing time

We're getting at the end of July. The kiddies got full and busy days playing, crafting, shouting and just being silly. The challenge lies ahead as we still have a month to go before "la rentrée": inventing activities, sightseeing, ... Any ideas of activities to do in Belgium ? 
We went for Belgian culinary and tradition must. Our Highness took a belgian waffle "revisité" and Little Mowgli fell in love with a giant ice cream cone. (The separation was painful, tears and stamping were involved). 

There are two kind of Belgian waffles: gaufre de Liège and gaufre de Bruxelles. 
1st one is a waffle from Liège. A heavy consistency with pearl sugar, it gets caramelized when baked as it should be. 
2nd one is a waffle from Brussels. A light consistency that you eat with icing sugar. However, with time you get variant version : with chocolate, with whipped cream, etc. 
Here (in the picture), we stand halfway between the 2 version : not with pearl sugar, heavier consistency than Brussels waffle. Original packaging but the taste is not there. 

Little Mowgli chose a traditional vanilla ice cream. And fell in love with a sandwich.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Quick !!

My friend and I planned this tea time for a while. We, both, have busy husbands and the only common date was today. As I was so disorganized the whole week, it just slipped through my mind.
In 40 minutes, I made 2 tartes Tatin. It's an upside-down pastry with caramelized apple and butter on a pâte feuilletée + with a vanilla ice scream scoop. So quick, so yummy!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Quality time with DH

My DH and I went shopping and sightseeing around Paris. We decided to stop and tried Café Pouchkine on Haussman in 9e. 
Nice decor with a few chairs, if you want to sit down and enjoy a quiet moment, I suggest you try the other one on 3e or 6e where for the latter, you can have lunch. I advise you to make a reservation though. It is always crowded. 
As the price is concerned, it is average for this type of patisserie (from 6-8euros a piece)
I usually don't like mass production but I must admit it is nicely done and the staff is really client-orientated. In one word, cafe Pouchkine = worth the try.





We had a Diadema (crumble, lemon/jasmin cream) and a classic mille feuille (very "gourmand" but the biscuit was to caramelized to my taste overpowered the vanilla cream).

Friday, May 15, 2015

Greenery

You are what you eat, right! Every saturday, we go to the local farmers' market to do our grocery shopping. We fill our cart with colourful veggies and juicy fruits, we try also to eat fish once a week and not too much of meat and poultry. And finally, we buy cheese and bread. 
There are economical reasons to buy local products and what's in season. But above all, it's the taste & slight flavour, along with the smile of merchants. I luuuuvv it! 
Once in a while, we slurp on a coffee while watching people come and go or buy flowers. 


This Saturday, we bought the early crop of beans and peas. 


Peas, runner beans and beans 


We've got work to get all the peas out of the pod. Fortunately, I have 4 little hands to help me.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quality time with daughter

Today is a day off. I spent the whole day colouring with my daughter. I'm amazed how she can stay focus for 30 minutes straight.

The other day, my morale was a little bit down : too much professional/personal issues to deal with.
She asked me why I looked so miserable. To which I replied : Nothing in particular, it's just an off-day. She said : Oh mommy! The world would be much more better off if everyone sees life in colours. I have so much to learn from my daughter.



Monday, May 11, 2015

Artichoke cure

My husband suffers from redness between eyes and lower forehead (rosacea, psoriaris, ?). After analysis, the nature of the skin rash and the cause are not determined. He tried cortisone based creams and other lotions. However nothing seems to work. We turn to alternative medicine : drink 2L of artichoke juice everyday. 
Today it's the beginning of his cure. Let's go to the market and buy artichoke.
The preparation is quit simple : cut the stem, fill a pot with enough water to cover the artichokes, boil (20-30min) and drain. Do it 3 times. 
Time and a lot of drinking will tell us if it works. Keep in touch.


Beautiful artichokes


Clear to dark green from 1st to 3rd time

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The political pop-art

I was clearing some space on the computer when I bumped into pictures of several works of Keith Haring. I always like the artist for his political activism, for being honest and truly himself, for not being afraid to go against the flow. And he expresses it with a huge bang: bold lines and vibrant colors, from simple, suggestive to agressive shape, however filled with a poignant message and a touch of humour. 

Thank you, mister Haring!!





This is my great work of all: my kids!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

R.I.P.

I suffer from chronic cold extremities : mainly fingers and toes. They're cold at touch even during warm weather, when the airco is on and it's worsened during winter of course. 
I'm not in agonizing pain but it is extremely awkward when you have to shake hands or you happen to touch someone's hand when reaching from the salt and they remove their hands instantly like they were getting an electric shock. As the old saying, cold hands mean a warm heart. I mean literally and figuratively. 


To hold my feet warm, I wear ugg boots. And oh my! They are comfy and so warm! However, after 3 winters, they have been put into good use and now may they rest in peace. The thing I don't understand I got a hole in it. How so? It's still a mystery...


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring cleaning reward

As every year, spring comes to knock on our doors to remember us to give the casa a good scrub. Still can not decide what to do with all the outgrown clothes, neglected toys, unused craft supplies or unread books. Some items still have the label on, some cost a fortune and other has a sentimental value. It just breaks my heart to see them find another home for a penny or to never see them again. I resign and postpone the emotional and painful job for another year. In the meantime, just relax and enjoy a green tea and biscuits.
What about you, how do you manage the clutter? and how you get to the decision? 


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Plain vanilla cream eclair with chocolate topping

Back to my years of childhood in Belgium, I always waited sundays with great excitement for an "éclair" : a vanilla filled "pâte à chou" with a chocolate topping and "muizenstront" (literally mouse poo) or chocolate sprinkles. 
You can find them at any bakery in Belgium. The best are the one filled with a pastry bag w/ a fine & long tip. Personally, I found the one cut on the side (to be filled with vanilla) are a shame. It's just the reflection of an impatient baker/pastry chef who doesn't master the art of pastry. 



Sweet heaven!


I'll tell you my experience of eclair in France in a future post. Have a nice day!