mardi, juin 29, 2010

my american

Craving for some American foods in France? Start shopping with and get 10% off your first order!

Ok so I still haven't ordered anything from them simply because I haven't had time and because there are just SO many choices! (that and I'm trying to watch my oh-so-girlish figure these days *cough*) But after their first blogger contest that I entered and all the wonderful things in the gift basket I thought I'd give it a second try! Plus even though Thanksgiving is a long way off it made me think that it would probably be the cheapest place to get some pecans for my pecan pie - and karo syrup! That way I can actually make the real thing this year...!
I'm totally getting tempted by the Mexican section too... god I really should have waited to blog about this after dinner! I would totally kill for some refried beans - I swear I can polish off a whole jar cold with just a spoon.
Anyway this is definitely the go-to site for American goodies, especially for us contry folk that live out in the middle of nowhere! I mean its cool that Carrefour and other stores stock English goodies for all those English ex-pats but give me some Reese's peanut butter cups anyday and you've got one happy American out here in Normandy!
Anyway my mouth is watering ... if only they carried Philadelphia cream cheese...

lundi, juin 28, 2010

Amazing tree house adventure!

Just some pics for now, more details to come....

vendredi, juin 25, 2010


Hello bloggers! I'm looking for some advice out there, especially from you guys down south ;-)

My Mom is coming to visit in October and we decided to run off somewhere together. Since neither of us has really explored Provence we're heading that direction. We'll probably be there 2 or 3 full days and are looking for a recommended B&B (not too pricey hopefully) and possibly a half day or full day cooking class (in English) and any other recommendations for the Avignon/Aix area!

We're looking to stay more inland and avoid the coastal part but other than that any ideas or thoughts would be very welcome!!

Edit: We ended up staying at the Ralenti du Lierre which was fabulous!!! Run by an adorable couple (one of whom spoke quite good English) with spacious clean and beautiful rooms with a huge freshly made breakfast. Several of the nights we were the only ones there and they made us feel so at home giving us suggestions for the BEST restaurants I've ever eaten at in the area! I'd go back in a heartbeat!

We had booked a cooking class but 2 days before the woman called to say that the chef running the class had to be rushed to the hospital so it was canceled and too late to get another one. But that's ok, we ate so well at the restaurants we pretended we had cooked it ;-)

dimanche, juin 20, 2010

Travel prices

Following Jennie's post on traveling in Western Europe here is a
breakdown of our expenses for The Scottish Vacation:
(time of travel exchange rate £1 = 1.20€ sadly much high than when
we planned the trip a couple of months ago.

2 round trip tickets Beauvais - Glasgow on RyanAir 132€

1 weeks car rental through Hertz £165 (1 exploded front tire to be
covered with Gold card insurance, hopefully not too much of a pain...)

1 week's expenses about £500 including B&Bs, entrance fees to several
castles/museums, 1 pub meal a day and gas.

Most B&Bs were around £30 per person with room rates listed as such
rather than per room. The cheapest we found was Ness View B&B right on
Loch Ness at a total of £25 per person. But the breakfasts were so
good and filling usually we would only have a banana in the afternoon
and then dinner around 6pm in a pub which would cost between £5 - 7
per person.

The UK has always been one of the more expensive places to travel and
Scotland as well is pricey. Had we been lucky and timed the exchange
rate when it was at 1.12 it would have been just that much cheaper.

I'd say all in all we spent just under 1000€ for both of us for 6
nights in Scotland, not too bad but I would have loooved to stay
longer on the Isle of Skye. That was one of the most beautiful places
I have ever been!

Sent from my iPhone

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's day to all the wonderful Dads out there (especially mine!) from beautiful Scotland.

Sent from my iPhone

jeudi, juin 17, 2010


Just a few pictures from Scotland... So far we have visited Stirling,
Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. We have seen furry cows, eaten lots of
fish & chips and great Scottish breakfasts (no haggis thank you...)
and even clipped a small curb and blew a tire...!

We're staying on the stunning Isle of Skye and the tomorrow driving
back down to visit Edinburgh before flying out Sunday.

The weather has been spectacular and I only wish we had more time..
Nows a good time for the volcano to send another ash cloud over, I
wouldn't mind having an unexpected prolonged vacation...!!!

dimanche, juin 06, 2010


Things have been going much better at work but that isn't to say that I don't need a vacation!! I haven't had a real one since I started in September! It is tough going from a teacher's schedule with 2 weeks off every 6 weeks + summer break to an office job. In France you earn your vacation throughout the first year to use in the second year. Since I started in September 2009 I earned 9 days vacation in 2009 to be used in 2010... not a lot for Franceland (you earn a total of 5 weeks vacation for the next year).
Luckly I have RTT days. Basically in France the work week is 35 hours. I work 39 hours a week (so does Mystery Guest) and when your contract is longer than 35 hours your employer has 2 options: 1 pay your extra hours overtime or 2: give you RTT days. Essentially the extra hours you work are grouped into RTT days, four extra hours a week being a total of 2 RTT days per month that you can use at any time. You could take off 4 hours a week or group them together for a longer vacation.
Mystery Guest gets paid overtime and I get RTT. Thank god for RTT! I prefer that then getting paid overtime, especially when I don't have much vacation this year. I think the total RTT days for the year are around 25 days.
For our first vacation of 2010 we're going to SCOTLAND a week from Monday! I'm so excited!! I've always wanted to go and never had the opportunity (or a weaker pound, 5 years ago it was just too expensive). We'll be there for 5 days. We've planned the first couple days (Stirling, Edinburgh and Loch Ness) but not sure what we'll be doing the other couple days, hopefully the Isle of Skye -it looks amazing out there! If you have any suggestions... feel free to through them my way!
The rest of my time off this year will probably be 1 week in August to spend some time working on the house and hanging out at the beach, 1 week in September when my Dad and step-mom will be visiting and 1 week in October when my mom comes for a week. I like that, a week off almost every month :-)
The nice thing is being able to take time off during the school year which I was never able to do before.