Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Beignet Recipe to Love

  Similar to doughnuts but without the wait,  Beignets are a tasty treat to make for any time of day.  I was originally going to type "breakfast" or "dessert"  but I thought to myself...

 "When aren't beignets good?"

  You can make these to eat right the same day, or prepare the dough, and after the first rising, put them into the fridge for the next day.  You can even freeze them at that stage and later take them out to thaw them out before frying them. 

  This recipe is a good basic beignet recipe that you can eat as is or add different flavorings if you are feeling creative.  For example, the last time I made them I added 1 T of ground cardamom and it was pretty tasty.  If you want pumpkin beignets, just add 1/2 c. of canned pumpkin to the wet ingredients and 2 T pumpkin pie seasoning to the flour when mixing.

  Full recipe is at the end of this post.

  Here's how I make beignets:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why I Always Bring My Own Car Seat for Rental Cars

  We rented a car seat from the car rental company once.  

  The car itself was nice but the car seat that came with it looked like it had definitely seen better days. Maybe it was even made in the 80s, judging from the oddly patterned fabric it was covered in.

  It reminded me a bit of the Velveteen Rabbit.  Like the Velveteen Rabbit, there were worn off patches on the arm rests from where little hands had grasped them.  A few stains around the edges of the seat spoke of tasty little snacks previous occupants had enjoyed while strapped in to the car seat.  Yes, it had been well used, but unlike the Velveteen Rabbit there was no love inspired in me by looking at it!  Tossing it into a fire would have been an improvement.

  From then on, I have preferred to buy an inexpensive booster seat to take on our trip which I don't mind leaving with the car at the end of our trip, if I want to lighten our load a bit as we travel back home.  I like having a car seat that I know is clean and safe.

  This picture at the top is one I took after we turned in our rental car at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris just this last August.  Those are the car seats they use, all piled up in heaps on the ground!  I thought it was kind of yucky to think of strapping one of my kids into a seat that had been stored this way.  I don't know that this is how all rental companies treat the car seats, but it's something to think about.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Britax B-Agile Stroller Accessories Review with Video

Doesn't everyone take pictures of their stroller on vacation??

  The Britax B-Agile stroller has to be one of my favorite baby-related purchases of all time.  I bought it ahead of my family's trip to France this last summer because I wanted a lightweight stroller that would be easy to fold as well as being simple to navigate anywhere I took it.  The stroller has performed beautifully since I bought it.  I have added some accessories that really make it even nicer,  and I wanted to share my experience of them in this post.      

  A video I made highlighting the Britax stroller accessories that I like and use:

Monday, October 14, 2013

French Riviera With Kids - Antibes Musee Picasso

  Antibes is an ancient city used since the days of the Roman Empire.  In fact if you want to see some Roman history while you are in France (known as Gaul in those days), this is a good city for it.  We went to Antibes for half a day to walk around a bit and to visit the Musee Picasso.  This Museum was a home (Chateau Grimaldi) in the 1920s when Pablo Picasso came to stay for 6 months, and most all of the Picasso works here are from that visit.  There are many other artists' work here, in fact they outnumber the Picasso stuff.  If you have a stroller, there is a small elevator.

 Bell tower of church by the Museum:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Contact Lens-Friendly Cleansers For Face and Eyes

  Most of the makeup that I use include ingredients designed to make these products long-lasting and smooth-wearing.  I'm happy with the makeup when it's on, but when it comes time to take it off, it doesn't go away.  I find that even when I have washed my hands between using the products and handling my contact lenses there can be a film that develops on the lenses and despite using a cleaner, I just can't get it to go away.  I wear Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses.

  I finally found a cleaner that works for me, and so I wanted to share it in case someone else out there is having the same difficulty:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How To Tips For Blonde Eyebrows

 When you have blonde eyebrows, they are basically invisible to everyone.  If they are overgrown, it's only noticeable to you.  But if they are groomed, it does look nice...

  See what I mean?

  The results are less dramatic when your eyebrows are blonde, but if you can find the times, it's nice to make the effort.  The most important part of grooming your eyebrows is tweezing or waxing them. If you do nothing else, this will make your eyes look more awake.

   I usually tweeze my brows and the best thing that I've found is to use a pair of "crab claw" tweezers.  Their shape helps you to grab the brow hairs better and I think it hurts a bit less than traditional straight tweezers.

Friday, October 4, 2013

YakPak Backpack

This summer a nice person at YakPak sent me a backpack to try out.   It's sturdy, the bright pattern makes it stand out, it has zippered pockets and bottle holding mesh pockets on the sides and the straps were wide enough not to dig in. Our trip to France this August was the perfect opportunity to use it as the kids' entertainment backpack. Now that we are home, my 1st grader uses it as her school backpack.  The minute she saw it, she was like, "Ooooh!  Can I use that???"  It's about as big as she is, but in first grade you don't carry a lot of heavy things, and it's working perfectly for her :).