Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Product Randomness!


31/10/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

Happy Reformation Day! Happy Halloween!  Happy Celebrating!  May you all be safe and well today!

I got to thinking one day that there are some things here in France that they do pretty well!  At this point, I'm guessing you think I'm going to tell you about...

Croissants

 or
Cheese

or
Wine 

oh my!


No, no, my thoughts are much more random than that today...

I'm thinking about Products that we buy at the store here...

Take a look at this packaging...


You snip that little piece on the lower right off and then you just squeeze your soap into your soap dispenser to refill it!  I think that's pretty clever, and I don't have to wait for all the soap to slowly move down the big plastic jug.  Just squeeze like toothpaste and it's all out!  Do they have anything like this in the U.S.?  If so, I've never noticed it before...

Then, take a look at these washcloths...


It's like a pocket to put your hand in, and you can hang the washcloth up on the little loop!  Clever, isn't it?

Then there's trash bags...



No waste, but the label (and these are good in quality).  I think maybe Home Depot or somebody like that sells trash bags this way, but it just seems smart to me to not sell it in a box.  Less waste...

Although...


there's one set of products
I was happy to find here 
that comes in the familiar box like in the U.S...




...because, I am a HUGE Swiffer Fan!!!

Then, even though we're enjoying all that France has to offer,
avoiding purchasing Snickers Bars,
and Dr. Pepper,
and even Old El Paso products...


...there are two familiar food products that I broke down and bought...


 
We haven't even opened the popcorn yet (too much good French food!), but we have tried the Golden Grahams, which (by the way) were made here in France (see it on the label in the lower left corner?).  The Golden Grahams are much less sweet than in the U.S.  Still, a nice little reminder of home!

Well, since this is kind of a random post today, I will show you some photos from a purchase at the Boulangerie last week...


Bet you're wondering what's inside that triangular package...


Okay...I'll end the Suspense...

Raspberry Tarts!







...and they were good!




 I hope you have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Closeups!


30/10/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

I hope you are all well, staying healthy with the cooling temperatures, and enjoying these final days of October!

Today, I'd like to count down my top ten closeups from our time in France!  You will probably recognize many of these shots, but I'm throwing in a few never before seen on my blog new ones!

By the way, thank you for your patience with me last week, while I digressed with a "Bakers Dozen Countdown".  It was a Hit, so if you want to look back, click HERE...

Now, let's get to the Countdown!


Top Ten Closeups!!!


#10

Didn't mean to scare you off right away, but I don't think I shared this photo of Jewelius!
#9

I pass this frequently and smile every time!

#8

I do enjoy Coffee, especially when they give you a little cookie with it!!

#7

Shot this in a Cathedral, and couldn't get over all the detail!  Amazing!
#6

Just look at the beauty in the Swirling Rose!
#5

Dr. J took this photo!  I love how he captured the beautiful couple in the background!
#4

I'm still in love with this photo Dr. J took!

#3

Shot on the Rodin Museum Staircase!

#2

Captured this one just walking the streets in Paris!

#1

Still my favorite!  I think I just like the way the light and haze play together on this one!

I guess I am a little biased to "Scrolly Wrought Iron Things", aren't I?

Well, I'm no professional photographer, but I am dreaming up plans for something to do with some of these photos when we return to Texas...

Do you have a favorite?  Again, it was a tough choice for me...

I hope you have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

Monday, October 29, 2012

Teatime with no Tea...


29/10/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

So, I got invited to join my friend, Karin, for Tea the other day.  Now, I'm not usually a big Tea drinker, but she mentioned a little Tea Salon that sounded nice, and I was happy to be out and about.

First, we decided to do a little walking and shopping, so she showed me a place to buy things inexpensively...which in the end was helpful because I was able to get a little plastic suction cup soap holder for Jewel Jr.'s Shower.

Hold on...

Oooops...back up the truck!  I promised my son...you know, the one I always call, "Jewel Jr."?  The one whose name I just mentioned, so I just remembered something...?

Well, he requested a Name Change a little while back, and I had kind of forgotten...whether it was completely planned on my part or not, I'm not sure... 

Why does everyone want to change their names anyway? 
I'm lovingly coming up with these beauties...

Okay...Jewel Jr. is a pretty prominent player on my blog, so I will grant him this one wish...maybe for a nice backrub or something...this is his request...

Jewelius!

So, from henceforth, youngest son (aka Jewel Jr.) will be known as Jewelius!

No more name changes now...that's it!

Back to the Tea story now...no, I'll back up to before I even met up with Karin...

It was just a 15 minute walk to meet Karin.  I passed all the Familiar Sites...

For some reason, this little wrought iron piece always "speaks to me" when I pass it!

Get a load of those Red Leaves, especially against all the white of the buildings!

Check out what a foggy day it was!

I always think this fountain is adorable when I pass it!
We met at a tram stop, and walked and made a couple stops...as I was saying...

This is where we went next...


...and guess what was just in front of the Tea Salon?


Yup!  That adorable fountain!

We went into the Tea Salon...and guess what?  We didn't even have Tea!

I had some nice french-pressed coffee, and Karin enjoyed some Hot Chocolate infused with some Ginger...


Check out those awesome Doors behind us...sorry, nevermind, I'm getting off the subject...still smitten by my Countdown this week...

It was a Quirky Little Place with bookcases full of books and an opportunity to sketch on empty pages of the Menu Book (...which I certainly didn't take advantage of, since I can't even draw a stick figure...), and you could write Poems on a back wall.  There was even an old fashioned cash register that the owner still uses!  We met a couple of American Students from Tennessee after having our...

"Teatime with no Tea"!

All in all...a very nice afternoon!

What do you prefer...Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate?  I'm so glad they served Coffee in the Tea Salon, but maybe next time, I'll actually order Tea!

Have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan
(Proud Mother of Jewelius!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

All Creation...


28/10/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

Today We Worship the Lord
together with...
ALL CREATION!!!



Have a blessed day!
Jan

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Is this a Hassle?


27/10/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

Living in France has been great for me because...I am unemployed!  When asked what I do here, I say...I Play!!!  (Well, I am still handling the U.S. bills, and cleaning the apartment, and making the meals, and doing the laundry...so I still do a fair amount of work...)  Everyone thought I would be bored, and go crazy after the first week here, but honestly, I can say...

I am not bored!

If I have a few minutes where boredom might set in, I can always look at Pinterest.com for some fun, especially since the weather's getting cooler, and I'm not traipsing around the city like I was.  I hadn't really looked at Pinterest much before we moved to France, but here I am, without my Recipe Box, and all my well-loved cookbooks, and I'm trying to come up with new and unique things to feed my family for dinner.  I don't have to do all French cooking, although now that I've been clued into a French Recipe website, there will be some new things coming...

I'm really not a Foodie!  My love is Decorating and Crafting, but creating with food is fun too...it's just that the creative project is usually...

GONE TEN MINUTES AFTER THE PROJECT IS COMPLETED...

but, that's why we have to take photos, right?


Well, a few weeks ago, I pinned a photo of some Potatoes that sounded easy to make...and my family loves Potatoes...so I tried to make them...and guess what?

I've had repeat requests!


So, I'm sharing my photos...
they are called Hasselback Potatoes,
and they are no hassle at all!


Prepared for the Oven!

...and 40 Minutes Later...

Yum!
Don't they look fancy, elegant and fun to eat?


Would you like to make these yourself? Click HERE, where I'm sharing the link from the Pinterest post.  I omitted the garlic this time.  They could go with almost any meat dish, but the other night, we just each ate a Hasselback Potato and a nice, fresh Garden Salad!!!  (Are there any rules that say we have to have Meat every night?)

Simple and easy dinner...and it looks like I really fussed.  (It's really not as hard as it looks to make those nice, thin slices either, but Dr. J was impressed!  Let's just keep that our little secret, okay?)

Have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crocheted Charm!


26/10/2012

Bonjour mes amis!

Many of you know that I come from a Family of Crafty People...okay, now don't run with that in a bad way.  My Mom, Grandmas, Great-Aunt, and several Aunts have/had talents like you can't believe, in many different Crafts...

As a young girl, I grew up sitting on the sofa visiting with my Grandma on Long Island, racing against her to crochet those Lovely 70's vests!  Today, we might look back and go "ewwwww" to those vests, or who knows, maybe their "stylin'" now...yes, yes, I think so...but in an updated kind of way.  Anyway, those were good memories for me of a sweet connection with my Grandma!

Then, I remember staying over at my Great Aunt Margaret's House. She had one of those enclosed front porches with all the windows that looked out onto a busy street...and she happened to have a bed out there, so sometimes I got to sleep there overnight.  I'd wake early with the sun.  She kept a stack of old Workbasket Magazines on that porch, so I would pour through them before anyone else woke up.  I began to love to crochet, and those magazines provided patterns and ideas.  It was the original "Pinterest" for me!

One of my first complicated Crochet projects was a Toy Lion for Girl Scouts.  I think I got a badge for it!

My Mom was always crocheting or knitting, so there was always yarn around.  To this day, we enjoy working our needles together at Christmastime on cold evenings.  My Mother's projects are always more complicated than mine, but we both enjoy it, and get excited talking about new projects together.

My Aunt Alice also did crafts, and I remember when she moved near us in New Jersey.  I was so excited, because I got to spend time at her Apartment making stuff with her.  She even gave me a Challenge...if I used scrap yarn and crocheted all the Granny Squares for an afghan, she would buy the black yarn for the border.  I had no income at that time, so I met her challenge, and still have that afghan, to this day...albeit, it's stashed away in a Antique Blanket Box.

All of the time I've spent crafting and crocheting has stayed with me over the years, and here I am in France, with free time to work on things.  I did bring Crochet Hooks with me...

Soooo....first thing...I made these...because ya gotta have Coasters, right?



Ooooh!  See the blurry buds on top of my Kalanchoe that recently got a Haircut?
***Just one 2.5 oz. skein of Lily Sugar and Cream yarn made these 6 Coasters (FYI...for you fellow crocheters out there)!

Then, I made some Baskets and Napkin Rings with Jute...



Whoops!  Now you can see where we keep our stash of wine corks!
Most recently, I purchased some cloth napkins to add a charming crocheted edge (if I were home in Texas, I would have sewn them myself)!  Before I started, I figured I better do a practice run, so I tried the technique on a hand towel first, and it came out pretty good, see?

I probably shoulda ironed the towel before it's little photo shoot...

I think it came out sweet!
 And now, here's the Before Napkin, plain and boring...





During...



and Now the After...



and in more detail...




...and Ready for Use!




I'm pleased!  I've made six of these so far, but plan to finish 8 of them altogether...

If you would like to tackle this project yourself, you can find very clear and beautiful instructions with "You Go Girl".  Click HERE to learn to secure the blanket stitch, and HERE to learn how to crochet the pretty scalloped edge.

I think these napkins will get lots of use while we are here...
(but not when we have Spaghetti!!!)...
...and they will be a great memory for me to bring back to Texas with me.

Over last weekend, I was invited by a friend to go to a Lace Sale, because she said she knows I "like that kind of stuff".  (Uhm...YES!)  So, I geared up my wits about me to travel on my own, and put the address into the GPS, and I was off...

(I know this sounds like a simple thing, but there are still so many unfamiliar areas here for me,
and it is still a Big Deal for me to take the car out into the unknown...it's getting better, though...)

Anyway, I'm getting off subject...

I did get to the Lace Sale, and let me show you the loot I found...

All Old Lace!

Do you remember my post Empty Attic?  You can view it HERE, if you like.  Well, the Lady who raises money for the Orphans was at the Lace sale with a table of goods, so I did my best to support the Orphans.  Wouldn't this wide lace look pretty on the top edge of some Christmas Stockings?  I'm gonna see what I can do...


I've passed on a love of crafts to my daughters, and we plan projects to do together sometimes...now I even have a daughter-in-love to share with as well...Yeah!  Ms. Emerald loves to Crochet, and she's quite talented.  While I need a pattern for everything, she's a Free-Style Crocheter.  Here's a little bit of her handywork...


A Unicorn Toy for Ms. Sapphire's Puppy!

She's made numerous Scarves for herself and her friends!

This Afghan took a while, but she got it done!

...and you gotta have School Spirit!
Most recently, Ms. Emerald completed a Wedding gift for the Diamond Duo, my older son and daughter-in-love, and here she is presenting it to them...Smiles all around!


Sorry for such a lengthy post today, but I enjoyed my little Trip down Memory Lane, and maybe some of you enjoyed some memories of your own, of a special Grandmother, Mother or Aunt.

Until next time...have a "Jewel" of a day!
Jan

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