Sunday, 26 June 2016

summer projects

Planning the summer itinerary..  I have three projects that I want to build..  I wonder which one, if any that we will have time to do?

1. ELIOO system
2.  Bee Hive   or maybe one from here...
3.  phone controlled - life sized BB8

I am also updating a challenge blog once a week with challenges for engineering, science, lego (taken from legoquest blog) sewing, cooking and art.  Check it out on

I am feeling the need to write again, so my hope is that I will finally get back onto the blogging bandwagon!

More from me tomorrow!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

settling in...

We have been here 9 days.  For 9 days I have waited for our air freight shipment on the idea that I would be able to provide a larger range of dinner options once I had a frying pan and a pot.  (I do have my Instant Pot, so we are able to make a lot already!).  I did hand carry a tea pot on the plane, so we have been able to make tea and coffee.    Yesterday, our air shipment arrived.  This morning, little man asked for some scrambled eggs.  Seemed like a simple thing to do, but, alas, it wasn't.  I put the pan on the stove, and the numbers kept blinking..  What does that mean?  It has a digital display, and it had been working just fine with the tea pot....   

Ahh.....  each burner says 'induction' on it.  I had gotten lucky with the tea pot in that it is, apparently, magnetic, so it will work with the induction cooker.  Hm...  Now what to do?  Purchase induction cookware, or purchase a new cook-top to work with my current pots/pans?  Which is cheaper?  Will our landlord even let us swap it out?  

Since I do most of my cooking with my Instant-Pot and my Thermomix, how many pots and pans do I NEED?  Can I make do with a small few that will work with the induction range top?  

What do you think?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

We have arrived in France!

So it turns out that we had an adventure getting to France and beginning to settle in.

Here is Layla checking out our luggage - Yup!  It's soft enough for me to travel in.  :)

 On the plane!

At the airport in Tampa, we found out that the research that I did into the cats kennels wasn't thorough enough.  I had called Air France for the specifications, but Delta (our first leg carrier) wouldn't accept them.  So...  We waited for an hour and eventually had to purchase new kennels for the cats to fly in.  3 times we've flown internationally with our animals, and 3 times they have made us purchase their kennels at the airport.  I think it's a conspiracy to get our money.  Also - why do kennels say "airline approved" when they are not?  

Chai, our ragdoll, wasn't very happy about flying.  We know this because he was shaking badly.  However, our other two cats, Oreo and Layla, were not scared at all. Oreo was a little on the noisy side though, voicing his opinions through the cage.  Layla did try a few times to lift the outside handle in a Houdini attempt, but, thankfully, she was unsuccessful.  

Once we cleared up the cat situation, the rest of our flights were quite fine.  However, little man left his retainer on the plane, and now is without.  I am attempting to get another one made through our dentist at home, but this will take a while.
Here Chai is - curled up in his new favorite spot - in a closet in a tiny shelf - where we can't reach him.  :)

Little lady and little man are currently sleeping on sleeping bags on the floor as our air shipment, with their blow up air mattresses hasn't arrived yet.  We went on a shopping spree today, buying a toaster (yeah!)  a washer and dryer (don't have to haul it all to the coin laundry!) and beds for each of them.  Mattress shopping in France is a little different than back home.  All of the places we went to actually MAKE the mattresses and somalier (the bottom part that acts like a box spring but has the screw attachments to add legs onto and is covered in fabric).  This can take 4-6 weeks.  We got lucky though in the last store we were checking, because they had 2 single bed returns and could deliver on Saturday!  A single bed here is just a tiny bit smaller than a twin bed at home.

Today, I had to do some of the immigration paperwork and this required me to find the post office, make some copies of our passports and mail a document.  During the copy portion, I remember telling myself "Do not leave a passport in the copier!"  and do you know what I did?  I left one.  On the way back to our new apartment we stopped off to buy some groceries before heading home.  I noticed that I only had 3 passports and had a complete panic attack.  I ran back to the post office and, luckily for me, the post office personnel had kept it safe for me.  Phew!  Crisis averted!

Our new apartment has a fireplace in almost every room.  They are not useable, as they are very old, but they look nice.  As they are not useable, we figured that the flue's were covered up, but we were wrong!  Someone came along the roof and cleaned them!  We didn't know this until we went searching for Chai and found him rolling around in soot!  The dirt from the cleaning had come down the chimney and landed in the fireplace.  He thought it was fun to roll around in, and our white cat turned dark grey!  Little lady had to bathe him!

Monday, 14 September 2015

A new chapter

Ah.. Paris.....  You make my heart sing......and my head hurt!  :)  Moving is a lot of work!
As many of you know, we are making a large move in about a month's time from now, we are moving to Paris!  This is both very exciting and very daunting.  The language barrier is scary, but we are trying to remedy that (more on that topic later), and we have to figure out schools, apartments, food, and transportation.  I have stopped working for now in order to manage it all, which, nicely, means that I have a little more time for things like blogging! How I've missed it!

After our move to Florida (the second time) I started working as a teacher.  I learned a lot about myself and about teaching.  I was so busy thought, that I didn't have time to keep up with much else.

So... sit back, relax, and be prepared for tales of what life is going to be like for us very soon!


Saturday, 14 June 2014

House color organization

When we bought our house, it was all the same color.  White.. White walls, white floors, white ceilings. No color, no character.  We had no left over paint samples, so we couldn't even get a color match for touchups when we needed them (without cutting a hole in the wall).

As we began a bunch of renovations, we decided to change it up and add some color to our walls.  I went to the grocery store, bought a little notebook and titled it House Paint palate.  I added a library card sleeve to the front for the store credit cards and gift cards we received as we did the project.
Inside the booklet, I added in the swatches of the colors we chose (if we had it) , and I had home depot /lowes print us out an extra paint color sticker for my book.  Lastly, I wrote where in the house that the color matched.  

In the back of the book, i attached a button envelope (attached with 3m velcro pieces) so that  it could be removed if needed.  Inside, I put in all of the store receipts for our project.

I hope that my organization idea helps you too!  

Sunday, 12 January 2014

I've died and gone to Allergy Heaven!

It is hard to find prepared foods that fit our dietary restrictions.  Gluten free, Yeast free, nut free, coconut free, & sugar free?  Forget it!

EXCEPT!   The other day I was in the store (Nutrition Smart), and I came across a bread mix.  Always ready to try something new, I bought a sample pack.  We love Brazilian Pao bread.  It's made with tapioca flour and cheese, and it's delicious.  Guess what Chebe is derived from?  Pao bread!
It fits ALL our dietary restrictions, as well as soy, corn, rice, potato, iodine, is a NON-GMO.

It does have dairy & eggs, (and hence lactose and casein) but as we aren't restricted there, it doesn't bother me.  I mean, it's gotta be made out of SOMETHING right?  :)

So... Chebe.... my new favorite brand for bread & rolls.  Next, we're going to try their bread sticks, ciabatta, and cinnamon rolls!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Christmas Experiences

I was inspired by a post I saw on Facebook about giving your kids experiences instead of presents.  The idea being that our kids don't NEED anything, and they barely even WANT anything.  We are the type of family that kids have everything they could want and more than they NEED.  What to get them at Christmas then?  It's all fine and good to say we are going to scale back and  buy them less, but the practicality of it hasn't happened yet.  How to break that cycle?  

By giving experiences, we can solve this. They still have 12 prezzies under the tree.   They still get to open and be excited, but this time they get to experience this magic for a few hours to a day, once a month, all year long!

I began by determining 12 family friendly things that we would like to do in our area.  What am I willing to take the kids to.  What am I willing to drive to/ spend money on?  What are our current family favorites that we don't do as often? What new things might we like to try.  I researched each new thing to make sure that my kids were good / height/ weight/ and age requirements were met.  

Then, I wrote each thing on a small playing card sized piece of card stock.  On the back, I wrote any pre-requisites that I needed to say.  ( advance notice required, etc). Then, I stuck each card into a small envelope, and numbered the envelopes 1-12.  

I wrote my kids a letter describing what I was up to, and then hid the envelopes in the tree.  

On Christmas morning they will search the tree for the envelopes and each month we will pick one and do it!