What the cat will do while I am away…


For once, when I say “cat”…I DON’T mean Daniel.  I mean…the cat, Asher.

I meant to publish this one a while ago and got side tracked with being a blog slacker, so what better day than today?  Here are a few shots of my kitty kat at Mom and Dad’s house.  They love to call him the “mighty hunter” because he crouches through all of their trees and bushes and acts like he has any cat senses what-so-ever.  I am going to be honest….Asher is not athletic.  He can not get over my parents fence.  He can not catch birds.  He can not catch mice.  He can, however, catch a few bugs–not flies though.

He has had a fun time for the past 1.5 years living in the jungle, but now I am going to have to end his fun and bring him back to live with me!  Don’t worry, he will love that too!  Bon Ap!

We’ll be home for Christmas…and we were!


I had made peace with the fact that we were going to be alone on Christmas–in Paris–for the second year in a row.  Then, Daniel came home from work one day and asked if I wanted to go home for Christmas.  Obviously…yes.  So, a couple thousand miles later, we landed in Little Rock.

From there, Christmas “vacation” was a whirlwind.  It was wonderful to be around friends and family this year–we needed some good, old-fashioned, family time!  I am pretty much going to spell our holidays out with photos or this blog post will turn into 22 paragraphs, so Bon Ap and Ho Ho Ho!

Pre Christmas Activities Begin…

Daniel headed up to NWA a few days early to get some good bonding time in. He had such a good time with everyone!

This little dude cracks me up!

Here is Daniel's mom loving on the new addition to the family, Miss Micah.

Marley has gotten so big! The whole gang headed to Springtown for a little ice skating. I think they had an OK time!

Christmas Eve-Eve has now begun…

Merry Christmas Pappy Q! Can you tell who I get my "festive nature" from?!

Christmas Eve-Eve with the Sharpe Gals! Always a holiday hoot and a half!

Parker, is that a tennis ball you are gnawing on? (You will see that tennis ball again shortly....!)

Please notice where that tennis ball ended up! Bon Ap, Susan!

And the gift that has created monsters....The Keurig! Mom and Dad can't get enough of that thing--I mean, look how happy Mom is!?

No. I am not electrifying. That is my christmas lights necklace! And matching earrings!

Christmas Eve is here and Santa is coming to Jerry’s house!

Me and my little buddy, Miss Marley!

Mr. Reese with Granny. We were so lucky to spend Granny's last Christmas with her...we didn't know it at the time, but it was a real blessing! We miss you Granny and we love you!

And now for Christmas Morning…

Let's start with a little doggy dressing. We wouldn't want the little babies to get a chill! And...it was funny because they won't even move when you put these things on. It is the little things that entertain me...

Kindred Spirits...me and Tommy! (BIL)

There is no place like home for Christmas. We know that more now than ever! Christmas 2011 was one for the books!

Luxembourg with the Wilsons…


It has been funny watching Daniel and his best friends from college during post-graduation.  Apparently, every single one of them didn’t like Arkansas and decided that all other corners of the world are better (Boston, San Diego, Nevis Island, Paris–basically nowhere close to the great state of Arkansas).  Here’s the best part…in the past 6 months….they have all moved back to Arkansas and we couldn’t be happier to be back together.  Now….?  If Daniel and I could just get back there!

Two of Daniel’s best friends, Daniel Wilson and Kelly Wilson, were planning a trip to Luxembourg for Kelly’s 30th birthday.  Naturally, since we were so close, we were going to help celebrate the big day!  And, so, our road trip to Luxembourg, Luxembourg began.  Bon Ap and Happy Birthday Kelly!

I took this as a good sign. It isn't every day you see a cab with Christmas lights! Nevermind the fact that our GPS would NOT stay on the windshield!?

Meet Daniel Wilson. He is wonderful!

Meet Kelly Wilson. She is wonderful. I have no idea who the other two men are?

Kelly is an architect. So, naturally, we had to visit an ancient castle or two!

As far as anything ancient goes...this one was pretty much made for me. It had a craft fair throughout the entire castle. So, while Kelly became more educated...I became more broke!

Not only crafts, but they had a Barbie display. As for this Barbie display....the only word....CREEPY! Many of the Barbie's sported a haircut similar to what I would have given back in 1984!

The happy couple...

Each night on our way to dinner, we had to trek over this pedestrian bridge. I was terrified of this thing. It was so high, so old, and so long. I could feel my heart rate jump when we started. Ugh....are you suuuure it is the only way to eat?!


Countdown Begins: 15 days


Seems like I am always counting something down these days.  How many days ’til we go to Rome?  How many days ’til Daniel comes back to Arkansas?  How many days ’til Christmas?  How many days ’til Zach Brown Concert?  How many days ’til Saturday?  You get the point.  Well, this time, I am counting down the days ’til my little fur babies belong to ME again!

My parents have been the best for the past 1.5 years to watch Miller and Asher and take such good care of them–probably better care of them than I do.  BUT…it is time for us to be reunited!  15 days and I will have my babies back home in Little Rock (well, with the exception of Daniel, but I will take what I can get)!  I can’t wait!  Bon Ap!

Affectionately: Monkey Doodle Butt

And...Asherilious Maximus

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I have always…and will always….LOVE Valentine’s Day!  I don’t understand the haters?  What is there to hate about a day devoted to everyone you love and who loves you?  To all of my friends and family, Happy Valentine’s Day–I LOVE YOU!  BE MINE?!

Daniel and I are headed to Rome this weekend for a Valentine’s getaway, but I thought I would surprise the world’s best husband with a little treat when he woke up.  He loved it and I have a special dinner planned for him as well (courtesy of Picard Frozen Foods–thank you very much :)).

I wish you all a wonderful day full of hugs, kisses, and love!  Bon Ap and XOXOXOXO!

A box of chocolates and a love letter for my love.

And...my love himself!

This week’s mishap…


As usual…something went wrong when I went to the market.  Let’s see….what has gone wrong at the market in the past year?:  1) Credit cards (all of them) didn’t work with their machines.  2) Who the hell knows how to weigh the fruit here?  3) Setting off the security alarms for no known reason  4) Dropping my cart and all of my purchases on a baby (yeah, that was a real highlight).  And…now…

#5…In an attempt at being a good wife, I ran to the market to get my husband neopolitans (a dessert he was craving).  Needless to say, SOMETHING had to go wrong.  Instead of buying him a package of neopolitans, I somehow ended up bringing home two huge loaves of neopolitan.  I tell ya….nothing goes right for me at Carrefour Market.  I am not going to miss that place!  Bon Ap!

Excuse this photo...it is just bad.

Happy slicing, Daniel!

Take me to the theatre…


Since we had a few extra days to burn the weekend of Thanksgiving, we decided a return trip to London was in order.  This time, we decided a little culture was the main event–the theatre (said with a very British accent).  In all honesty, it was all part of my secret personal agenda since July when I gave Daniel a voucher for 2 tickets to The Lion King for his birthday!  Since then, we added another little diddy to our must-see list:  Phantom of the Opera.  Both were such amazing choices and if I had to pick between them…I honestly don’t know which I would choose? (OK–probably Lion King).

"MYYYYYY Tapenga. Boga ditchu muba"

Lyceum Theatre

Her Majesty's Theatre

And the view from the "not-so-cheap seats"

Needless to say, going to the theatre was the main objective, but we still had time for some extra activities too.  I LOVE a good zoo and London’s was pretty darned good.  Highlights included: giraffes, lions, tigers, penguins, and reindeer (the one and only, Comet).  Comet, coincidentally, flew in from the North Pole just for the weekend!

Comet! Where's Rudolph? Or Dasher? Or Dancer? Or Vixen?

One other incredible experience that I can’t leave out…afternoon high tea in London.  My life will never be the same.  As Daniel puts it, “I live for the pomp and circumstance”.  He’s right…I loved every last bit of it–right down to the last drop–ha ha!  I love the tea.  I love the cream in the tea.  I love the little, bitty teapots.  I love the scones.  I love the little cucumber sandwiches with no crust.  I love the crumpets.  It was wonderful and I truly wish I could do high tea every day of my life!

All-in-all, I would say London is one of our favorites and we may never get back, but we sure do have some memories that we will never forget!  Thank you, London, for being awesome-tastic!  Bon Ap!

Guest Blogger: Daniel goes to Cognac, France


Let’s play a little blog trivia.

Q1:  In what country is the product cognac produced?

A:  France – Cognac, France

Q2:  What country is the world leading consumer of cognac?

A:  The USA, by a significant margin!

I would personally like to give a shout out to the hip hop community back in The States.  Your mass consumption of the “yak” in rap videos and strip clubs has single-handedly kept Cognac, France on the map.  Without you this trip would not have been possible.

The trip began with yet another three-day weekend to burn.  And since no self-respecting long weekend should be spent in Paris…David, Wes, and I headed down south for some hip-hop fun of our own.

The first stop along the way was La Rochelle and the Ile de Re’.  A beautiful spot on the Bay of Biscay just off the Atlantic Ocean.

Just hangin' out

The next stop on the trip was Rochefort, where they are recreating an old French frigate called L’Hermione.  The original ship set sail from France in 1780 bound for America to aid in the Revolutionary war against Great Britain.  They are building the ship in the original dry dock using original tools and methods.  Interesting stuff for my fellow nerds out there.

Finally, we made it down to Cognac to taste the Eau de Vie (water of life).  Our first distillery was Baron Otard–a large, famous, and expensive company known worldwide.  While not as famous as Hennessy and Remy Martin, Otard spends big money on advertising and the price of the bottle showed it.

That's a lot of cognac

Wes looking at the reason Otard cognac is so expensive

This bottle (the one behind us...not in our hands) cost 3,200 euros!

The next stop was the house of Guillon-Painturaud, a small, intimate place that paled in size compared to Otard but was much easier on the wallet.  For example, a bottle of XO cognac (aged more than 25 years) at Otard would easily cost you $150.  Ouch!  The same product at G.P. was $60 and twice as smooth!  Besides, our new friends at GP let us try EVERY product on the menu for free…while the cheapos at Otard charged us $12 for the tour and we only got to taste two low-end cognacs!

Drinking cognac from 1969 straight from the barrel. Life is good!

Our bounty from the weekend! We bought so much at GP they gave us a free bottle! Maybe we have a problem...

…the post wouldn’t be complete without Bon Ap!

Thanksgiving in Paris (Deux)…


It was our second year in Paris for Thanksgiving.  If you have been reading for a while, you will remember the huge, elaborate Thanksgiving we created last year.  This year…not so much.  One day, while dining at Breakfast in America, we came across this….:

2011 Thanksgiving invite (posted to restaurant window)...


2010 Thanksgiving invite (created and sent by Tina)...

I am not going to say it was better or worse than last year, but it sure was easier!  We had the turkey, the potatoes, the gravy, the stuffing, the dinner rolls, the cranberry sauce, the pie, and even….THE FOOTBALL!  We did not have to figure out how to make broccoli casserole without broccoli.  Or haul our freshly baked dishes up the side of a mountain to get to the party.  All-in-all…it was a great way to spend our last Thanksgiving here.  Bon Ap and I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Our festive menu...

We even had cute name cards at our table...!

Le American Futbol (sans big screen TV)...

And the group that helped make 2011 Thanksgiving special this time! From left: McCarney, Fern, Justin, Me, Daniel, and Jeremy. Turns out, I think Jeremy might try to bring Thanksgiving to France. This is his second year and he seems to enjoy it!

Fondue Virgins…


Believe it or not, I have never tried fondue.  I am not sure why.  It is all of the things I love to eat most:  bread, meat, cheese.  I suppose I have been hiding under a rock for the last 31 years of my life, but I am out from under that rock now and can not get enough of the stuff!  Great, just what I need…another way to gain weight in France!?  But, what is the phrase….c’est la vie!

Once I returned from my October trip back to Little Rock, Wesley Welch was here and conned me and Daniel into going for fondue and wine (from baby bottles).  I have to hand it to him…it was one of his better ideas!  We met people from quite a few corners of the world, made friends, and hellllloooo…drank wine from baby bottles.  From what we all remember, it was one. fun. night!  Bon Ap!

Pot of ooey gooey goodness!

Bottle of ooey gooey goodness!

Apparently we thought there was only one good way to take a photo that night...BOTTOMS UP!

And our new friends...Wes #2 and Brooke!