Monday, January 24, 2011

Update Monday

Before I start a new week of blogs I thought I would fill everyone in on what's happening in France (and the US). This past week  John, Sadie, and I flew to NYC and then drove to our future hometown- Mechanicsburg. My parents met us there for the weekend and to pick up the doggie. We had a great time looking around the town, trying some local restaurants, and making multiple trips to Target. ( oh... I missed it so much..)

John and I spent the week saying," Everything is so cheap. This is so cheap. If we bought this in France it would cost 3x's this." I think we might be in trouble when we move back to the states... We are going to have "it's so CHEAP-itis". Oh me. And the food! Dear goodness those portions are out of control. Who can eat that much? Yes, it is good.. and spicy... and less expensive... but seriously. My dinner one night fed me dinner and then John and I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. 3 meals from one dish.

But man, did we love the spice. Missed that heat. 

We found an apartment! In two days we saw about 8 apartments and found a place we really liked. It will be completely renovated and we will the very first people to live there. Hard wood floor, new kitchen cabinets, stainless steel appliances, washer and dryer, and it is DOUBLE the size of our french apartment. For less money per month.

So now we are back in France for a month, finishing up the move, selling everything we need to sell, and saying our goodbyes. Crazy how fast time goes by!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Floods and Thoughts

Good morning guys! Special request for you! I have a friend named Annie (Hi Annie!) who lives in Brisbane, Australia who could really use our thoughts and prayers today! As many of you know, Australia is dealing with some record flooding and many people are displaced or missing. All I ask is that you remember them as you go through your day and, once this is all over, remember all Australians who are recovering from this event. 

Annie wrote a blog about the flooding a couple of days ago that can be seen Here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That Dorie.. She's good.

When you start looking at food blogs online, there are a couple of names you are sure to run into- David Lebovitz, Dorie Greenspan, and Pioneer Woman, just to name a couple. And, I have to say, they are quite good at what they do. But that Dorie. She might be the cream of the crop. 

I know.. I sound 80 years old when I say that. I'm probably the closest to a 50's housewife you'll ever meet... I also say "shoot", "my goodness", and "oh dear" a lot. But really, this could go into a whole other post. 

In the winter, I think we all love the taste of a warm muffin in the morning. With a hot cup of coffee, I really don't think there is a better breakfast. (but I am a little partial... ) Since I know we all love a good, wholesome muffin, I am always on the lookout for new recipes. This recipe was posted this summer and has just been waiting around for a frosty winter morning. After our recent trip, I decided it was time to try it out.

Leaning tower of muffins! Yuuummmmmmy!

Oatmeal Breakfast Bread
-can also be made as a loaf

1/4 cup Brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped Pecans (or other nut)
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
    - Mix together in a small bowl

2 Large Eggs
3/4 cup Applesauce
1/2 cup Melted Butter -let cool for just a few minutes
1/3 cup Oil 
1/4 cup Buttermilk or whole milk
1 1/4 cup Flour  - I split this and used 3/4 cup Whole Wheat and 1/2 All purpose
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Tbls Brown Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup of Dried, diced Fruit. ( craisins, raisins, apricots, apples, figs. I used Apricots and raisins)
1 cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal

-Heat oven to 350 F. Line your muffin pans.
-Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, butter,oil,vanilla.
-In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. Add one spoonful of flour mixture to the fruit, toss to coat. 
-Stir oatmeal into the large bowl with the flour mixture. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture. Stir carefully, just until everything is mixed. Add fruit, stir again, gently so as not to over mix.
-Pour into lined muffin pans, add topping. 
-Bake for about 20-22 minutes, until golden brown. 

Eat! And, try to stop after one or 2... 
Recipe adapted from here!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's Christmas!! Again!!

Hurray! I have good news. Not really good news for you guys.. sorry.. but it is good news for me! This year John and I ordered several of Christmas presents for each other from the US because my mom was sending us a Christmas box. We thought she could just throw in a couple of extra things for us along with all the goodies she was shipping over anyways. It was shipped with PLENTY of time to get here, over two weeks. It normally takes 9 days for a package to reach us.

It just arrived today. Over 4 weeks. Yeh. and 2 weeks late for when it should have gotten here.

Have I said that I don't like the French poste? I don't. They are s   l   o   w. 

Anyways, We get to have Christmas again this evening. YES! I LOOOOVE that part of this story!

Now, if I can just wait until John gets home to open it. I'm getting a little itchy.

Pictures are finished from the recent trip! I will blog more about it as I have time, but here is the link

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I have mentioned this in other posts but haven't directly stated it. Big changes are happening at Le Maison De Halliburton. Most of you know, but in case you don't, we moved to France in March of 2009 for a two year contract with John's job.. which will end in March of 2011. Things have been happening behind the scenes over here and as of February 19th, we will be residents of Pennsylvania. 

Yeh. I know. That's soon. The to do list is getting longer by the minute. I'm actually not even sure I have time to write this.... humm... oh well. I like to procrastinate. Makes life more adventurous. 

Did I tell you that NEXT SATURDAY we are going to the states for about a week? We will see the town we will be living in, tour where John will be working, take Sadie to my Mom and Dad (Hi Mom. Have I said thanks? Thanks. You guys are awesome.), and hopefully find a place to live. So, that takes a week away from all of the fun stuff we have to do here. 

My head might explode before it's all over with. Prayers are appreciated. 

Now.. I'm off to check some things off that list...

Last Journey

 Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful start to 2011. Wow. 2011. 2 years ago I was getting ready to move to France. This year, I am getting ready to move back to the states. Time definitely flies when you are having fun! 

Speaking of fun, we just got back from our very last Europe trip... for a little while...John had wanted to take a road trip, I wanted to got to Austria and Germany, so we compromised. On Christmas Day, the three of us packed up Ruby the Little Red Volkswagen and headed off to Austria. Over the river and through the woods we went, across Italy, up into the mountains where we finally arrived in our snowglobe town of Reutte. It was the whitest Christmas I will ever have. Just amazing. 3 inches of snow on every tree branch, at least 1 foot of snow on the ground, and when we arrived it was snowing again. I was one happy lady.

This trip was much more relaxing that say.. the Paris trip... just because we only had a couple of things planned for each stop. We stayed in lovely hotels, read books, went hiking, saw the "Top of Europe"- Jungfrou, and the inspiration for the Cinderella castle- Neuschwanstein Castle. All in all, one of my favorite trips. (Really, we haven't gone anywhere that we didn't love. I think anywhere in Europe would be lovely.) 

I am still in the process of photo editing but here are just a few!

Sadie, very happy because she got to come. 

 On the way!

Christmas card pic! Best of 5... 

In Reutte. 
On our way to Germany! 

 One of my favorites so far. Taken while we were walking to the castle. 

 I wish you all a wonderful first week of the new year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

I read this a couple of weeks ago on another blog and it's been on my mind ever since. Not many people could read this and accept it but I think there is something very valid and... different about this blessing. I pray that this opens our eyes to the problems there are and that we will all be foolish enough to think we can make a difference.