Saturday, August 21, 2010


Looking through my old stuff, I found some wonderful postcards that I have collected along the years.  Every time I visit a place, I buy a postcard and write my travel journal on the back about that particular place and that particular moment.  It's a great way to put a memory down.  I have plenty of postcards that I found of the places I visited in Europe, Polynesia, South America and Asia. I even found ones of Canada and ones throughout the United States!  My favorite ones are the ones my friends sent me.  Here's a cute one from my pen pal in Japan....because of this, I found her again on facebook!

I even had a co-worker who used to collect those free postcards at the cafes and actually make something fun out of it by cutting and pasting pictures of her friends on it! She would give it to us on our birthdays or Christmas or "just because".

When my friends or family would ask me what I wanted as a souvenir from the place they were about to visit, I would just answer "A postcard!" It's such a great memory!  Looking at them just reminds me of the foods I ate, the way the place made me feel - it just really helps me to remember that place!  Until this day, I continue to collect them and I store them in a postcard album, it shows me the picture on one side and what is written on the other.  Sometimes I use them as bookmarks....when I run into a postcard and I read the back, it really puts a smile on my face!

OneRepublic - All The Right Moves

Good morning! Here's my song of the day...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What did you eat this summer?

It's summertime and all we want to do is eat, drink and sleep.  For me that means eat junk food, drink lots of liquor and sleeping in! Well, I don't eat much junk food but when you're invited to a barbeque or a family party and you're throwing a dinner party in your backyard, it's so much easier to slip up and forget about watching what you intake!
Of course, along with all that said is a Pastis in one hand and a glass of wine in the other-yes, I'm guilty and I forget to drink water!
After coming back from France and eating all the cheese....well, I feel like I haven't had any energy and I have to get back into the groove of things.

This is why my friend, Margarita, who is a certified health coach, is here to remind me of just that.  She can help you balance your lifestyle and reach your health goals while still enjoying life. I suggest you subscribe to her newsletter to get these Healthy Tips.  Click here to start!

Help, Margarita, I just came back from France!!!!

Tomorrow, August 15th,  is the Feast of the Assumption, it's a Catholic holiday that is highly celebrated in many countries.  We have dinner guests coming over tomorrow but we are going to keep it "simple and healthy" by serving a shrimp and vegetable appetizer, lightly deep fried smelt, a fish entree accompanied by my famous Ratatouille, and some fresh strawberries and melon for dessert....well, okay....I'm going to make a Cherry Clafoutis too. So, the next time you throw a dinner party, remember to keep it balanced by adding lots of fruits and vegetables in the mix. Thanks, Margarita, for keeping me on track!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Plumeria Frangipani

The Plumeria, also known as Frangipani, is usually in bloom from the months of March through October, depending on the weather.  When I see a plumeria, the first thing that pops in my head is Hawaii.  In the Polynesian islands, you will find all sorts of colors~white, pink, red, yellow and even a deep red/orange blend.  Here on the mainland, we use our rings to symbolize our relationship status, in the Hawaiian culture women wear this to show their relationship status - over the left if taken, over the right if single or "seeking a relationship". Plumerias are also used to make fresh leis.  You will see these flowers everywhere at the Hawaiian events; on jewelry, print designs and they even sell silk or ceramic Plumerias for over the ear all the way down to a toe ring!  It looks like the real thing...but it doesn't smell like the real thing!  The Tahitians also use this flower to scent their monoi oils, which is great for moisturizing the skin, the ends of your hair and can be used as a massage oil. The Hawaiians are surrounded by so many beautiful flowers, the Plumeria is one of the more important ones to them.  When you look carefully at many of the ancient artwork and tattoo designs from Hawaii, you will notice that if it doesn't stand alone, it's always right next to a Hibiscus, Hawaii's state flower.  To them it's a symbol of Spring, so we can associate it with birth, life, and the coming together of everything good.  The Mayan's also have many ancient carvings and art work with this flower on it.  To them it represents the sun ~ there are many connections to that flower through Aztec text and glyphs. It's the symbol of procreation and life, much like it is for the Hawaiians.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Ricard, also known as "pastis" of Marseilles, is a yellow aniseed-based aperitif.  This was invented by Paul Ricard in 1932. Paul's father was a wine merchant in Marseille and took his young son to many bistrots where pastis was "brewed" in the back of the shop. Paul decided to distil his own and sell it to bistrot owners. His pastis was like many others but he added an ingredient others lacked – promotion and clever marketing. He called his pastis "Le vrai pastis de Marseille", and soon it became the best known, best selling pastis in the city.  For us Americans, we think of a tall, cold beer on a hot summer day, especially when the sun is shining, but for the Frenchies it's a refreshing pastis. This can be served with some great appetizers but it can be as simple as chips, nuts or olives. You can find this at your local Beverage & More, or if you go to France, be sure to buy a bottle or 2 at the duty free counter (it's less expensive)! Alcohol content is 45* proof. To serve it you put about 2.5 to 3 cl in a glass and add about 5x its volume of water (it turns a milky yellow), add an ice cube or 2 but be sure to add that last to avoid crystallization.  "Pastaga" is the slang word for pastis and pastis is also a word meaning mixed or confused in the local dialect of Provence. Wow, sounds all confusing huh?  Well it is "l'heure de Pastis" chin, cheers, sante!!!

Off to the market...

Wandering through a traditional open French market is one of my favorite things to do when I go there.  Most cities and villages have their "market days" twice a week.  You can find anything from fruit, vegetables, charcuterie, cheese, olives,  and even shoes and clothes! "Le marche" is an integral part of life in virtually all French towns and large villages.
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