4th of July

It's not a celebration without yummy food!
 Turkey burgers!
The perfect summer lunch :)
I discovered a super easy way to make a layered drink, and you can do it with any color combo you want (of course we went with red, white & blue).  The secret is in the sugar content of each beverage!  Start with the drink with the most sugar and top it off with the least amount of sugar.  In order for it to work you'll need to fill the glass with ice first, and then pour directly on the ice so the layers don't blend.  We started with cranberry juice (the most sugar) then added blue Gatorade (still had sugar, but not a lot) and finished it off with diet sprite (no sugar)!  The kids were impressed...and it tasted good! 
It was so nice that Aaron didn't have to work and we could just spend the day goofing off...

...and this is what "goofing off" looks like: 
 We went down to Thanksgiving Point for fireworks. 
When referring to these two we just say "the littles".  They're the sweetest little littles ever!
Aaron and the kids played frisby in the parking lot...we're all about safety!
It was a fun day!
One of the highlights of the 4th was wrapping up Violet's potty-training-boot-camp, as we call it!  We did it in three days!

I may have bribed her with candy..., and a cell phone...
...and gave in to her every request (no matter how silly or gross)... like a blankey for her lap... 
BUT she's potty trained and I couldn't be happier :)


Bon Appetit

Aaron and I could definitely be considered the type of people who live to eat...not the other way around.  So when planning our trip to France, we were just as excited about what we'd eat as what we'd see.  All of these pictures are of the food we ate while in France.  And all of them were taken by Aaron's cell phone, so excuse the quality :)  I will do my best to remember what it is we ate!!!

This was a duck pate of some sort.  The menu was in French, so we knew we were getting duck, but we didn't know how that duck would be served.  It was good.  You can see my mint diabolo in the top left corner.
I think this is chicken, but it could have been turkey.  I can't remember what we finally decided it was :)
CHEESE!  If you're going to France you have to get a cheese platter.  My favorite is camembert.  I also had some really strong goat cheese.
This was an apple dessert that Aaron had.
Croque Madame = grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a sunny-side-up egg on top.  The waitress made fun of Aaron for ordering a "madame".  The Croque Monsieur doesn't have the egg.
At this restaurant we did a lot of second-hand smoking.  Thankfully, we were outside or it would have been a lot worse.  You can see the soccer game on behind me.  People were watching these games everywhere!  They were in the finals.
This was really interesting, and turned out to be really good.  It was a croissant type bread with escargot inside.
And since it was a snail, I had to get my picture taken while eating it (this one's for you mom :)...yum!
Yummy pasta: 
Aaron's pizza.  It had bacon and potato on it...weird:
Quiche Lorraine!  I'm usually not a fan of super-eggy things and didn't think it would be that spectacular.  But it was on my list so I ordered it.  It turned out to be one of the best dishes I had there...LOVED it!
My favorite drink there is called "Diabolo".  It's basically a lemon-lime soda with flavored syrup.  Mint was my favorite flavor and once it is mixed it's bright green.  Pschitt is the name of the soda...so funny!
We also opted to sit outside if there was a choice.  That's another part I love about France...the street cafes!
This was the most delicious steak I've had in a long time, and it was cooked perfectly!  It came with a special sauce and we couldn't figure out the ingredients, but it was good.  And FRENCH fries...imagine that :)
The following pics are of the food we had at Le Jules Verne (in the Eiffel Tower).  This was an appetizer that was really fresh and springy tasting.  It was a cucumber and cream type dish.
Another appetizer: lobster in shell fish sauce...and caviar.  Ooooh la la!  It also had wedges of mandarin oranges.  I would never have thought to combine those flavors, but it was so good.
Marinated artichokes:
Talbot (fish):
Veal.  This was one thing I didn't like very much.  It may have been more my conscience, though....
This dessert had a very unique texture and it was puddled in ewe's milk...that tasted like coconut.  I think it was a pistachio and raspberry concoction. 
 Yummy ice cream:
Ooooh!  That chocolate cakey thing was sooo good.  I think it was also hazelnut.  Aaron and I were so full at this point that we could hardly finish it.
And to top it all off they brought us macaroons and some other delicate little desserts.  We couldn't eat them!  So I took a bite of each and nothing more.  I just couldn't fit another bite!
The next day we had Greek food!
And more escargot!
 Tomatoes and mozzarella:
And this guy is making our crepes!
The French put just as much effort into the presentation of the food as making the food.  It's an art form, and everything is just so pretty!  But not too pretty to eat :)  Most of my breakfasts were croissants and breads and yogurt and fruit.  I'd also have fruit juice and sometimes chocolat chaud (hot chocolate).  I got used to drinking sparkling water and now I really like it.  My favorite food EVER is creme brulee, so of course I had a few of those too!  Their ice cream is very creamy and reminds me more of gellato. 

And of course you're all wondering how much weight we gained (so rude)  I can happily report that it was only a few pounds.  Thankfully, we walked as much as we did or it would have been A LOT MORE!  I can honestly say those few pounds were soooo worth it!


FRANCE 8 - Museums & Au Revoir!

On our final day in Paris, Aaron and I had a few museums that we wanted to go to.  We had been to the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art on a trip four years earlier, but we hadn't been to the Musee d'Orsay yet!  This museum was once a train station built in the late 1800s,... and it's HUGE!  I had no idea!  It was so fun to see the art in person that I had studied in college,... pieces by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Suerat, Van Gogh, and an entire expedition devoted to Degas!  We weren't allowed to take pictures of the art, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say it was AWESOME!

We also went to a museum we didn't even know was there before this trip...another museum of modern art.  Some of it was really cool and another part of it I didn't like at all.
When we were done perusing the museums, Aaron and I had a chance to just walk around and take in the sights.  We walked past the National Assembly and it looked like they were getting ready to escort someone important.  We didn't wait around to see who...

Hotel des Invalides
Aaron has been to France soooo many times that we've lost count.  So when it comes to knowing where the best place to buy a crepe is...he's what you'd call an expert!  So we bought our crepes (northern side of the Eiffel Tower right by the bridge...ssssshhhh:) with nutella, banana, and chantilly and sat by the Seine to feast.  They were oh so yummy!  Check out the size of those nutella jars!

We walked up to Trocadero to take in some final sights of Paris and the Eiffel Tower...and said au revoir!

I was sad to go, but soooo ready to be home.  I couldn't WAIT to see the kids!!!

It was later this evening that we started to get phone calls from friends about the fire and evacuation.  You can read about that here.


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