Wednesday, December 13, 2017

China Adoption Dossier Submitted!

We have completed all the paperwork to adopt from China. This photo comprises most of the documents we had to collect and send to the adoption agency. I repeat: most of them. Not all. There are, indeed, a lot of documents.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Go Gray With Grace: Avoiding the Pixie Cut

My hair started going gray at the age of 17. When I was 35 I was nearly a full silver fox on top. I wanted to embrace the gray, but did not want to do a pixie cut to achieve it. So what to do? Here is a solution: #ColorMeGray

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

And Our Next Adoption Will Be From.... *drum roll* .... China!

We have decided to pursue a second adoption! From China this time... which, actually, has been on my 'bucket list' since I was in high school.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Words from the Adoption Trenches: Almost a year after we brought our daughter home

It has been almost a year now since we met "J" and adopted her. I have been quiet on the blog-front because we have been dealing with becoming parents. i.e. - no free time! :) But here is a post about our first-year experiences, and some advice and words of wisdom, which I hope will be useful to other adoptive families about to embark on the same journey.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sentencia - We're officially a family! (Colombia Adoption)

Today was our 'Sentencia', which is the day that the judge signs your papers, and your adoptive child is officially a part of your family.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Integration Period (Colombia Adoption)

After Encuentro, when you meet your child, then families have the 'integration' period for a week. Our 'integration' week flew by fast!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Encuentro Today!!!! (Colombia Adoption)

Today was our 'Encuentro', which in Colombia is the name given to the day a family first meets their child they will adopt... after months of waiting, everyone meets in person.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Flying to Colombia!

We got notice the end of February that we could buy our tickets to travel, and that our Encuentro would be on March 8th.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Approved to Adopt J!

We were approved by the Adoption Committee in Colombia the day before Xmas to adopt J! What a great holiday gift!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Adopting from Colombia: Dossier Submitted!

Last May we realized that our adoption process in Ecuador was not moving forward and the agency was completely, COMPLETELY, incompetent we chose a new agency and began pursuing a concurrent adoption, but in Colombia this time.

We decided to adopt a little girl, "J", who just turned 8 years old. J is living in an orphanage near Bogota. Our Translated dossier was submitted today, which we had been collecting since last June.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Things that Sabotage your Happiness

The pursuit of happiness is probably the one thing all humans agree they want. So why is it so hard for some to find and feel happy or content? There are some specific aspects of human nature that can contribute to that, and we will cover a few here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

DIY Green Tea Aloe Oatmeal Face Mask for Acne Rosacea

This very nourishing face mask is filled with ingredients that are proclaimed to help reduce scaring, heal skin, nourish dry skin, and negate acne rosacea. I have acne rosacea myself, and it has helped calm and soften my skin.

DIY Nourishing Lip Balm

This is an easy to make nourishing lip balm recipe made with all natural ingredients. Add in colors and voila, you have the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Make Your Own Luck

My grandmother used to love saying, "If I did not have bad luck, I would not have any luck at all." But, the reality is, we often make our own luck - and by how we approach our lives, we determine, ourselves, if we will have good or bad luck.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

DIY Milk-free Strawberry-Basil Yogurt Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I am, sadly, lactose intolerant. I was not so until my mid-30s. Since I was living in France at the time I was sure they would bus me out of the country if they found out. So, I ignored it for a few years, hoping it would go away. But, now I create dairy-free deliciousness instead.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Finding some Zen in the Adoption Process

A couple-friend of my husband's came over for dinner. We have not known them long, but they did know we were in the process to adopt a child in Ecuador. They had just returned from their honeymoon, and, already, she was pregnant.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Marital Bliss & Avoiding Those Fights over Lame Stuff

I told a friend recently that my husband and I were going to burn our Monopoly game. She asked why? I answered, "Because we could not get through a game without ending in a major row!"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro on the Rongai Route

Most people start climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro on the South side in Tanzania by taking the Marungu Route. But, we took the North side of the Mountain on the less used Rongai Route and really preferred it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Favorite Paris Eats and Drinks

Here is a list of some of my favorite places to eat, drink and be merry in Paris, France.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Some Billiant Posts on International Adoption - Must Reads

I was watching the movie 'What to Expect When Expecting' and was horrified at the inaccurate portrayal of the adoption process. They barely took a chip off an iceberg. Let's look at the reality of this...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Our Favorite Things to do in Dubai

I lived in Abu Dhabi just over 2 years, and we went to Dubai a lot, as it is about a 2.5 hour drive, so spending the weekend in Dubai was never unreasonable. So here is a short list of some tips, and a list of the things you might want to do in Dubai if you are passing through on a layover, and you have limited time and only want to hit biggest attractions.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back on Track

Seems we are back on track finally to adopt again... after many hiccups this year due to moving back to the US from abroad.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Sad Day

We had been hoping to adopt this 3 year old boy, but we have been told he was adopted by someone else before our dossier could get approved.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Video of our Dhow Cruise in Musandam, Oman

These are the highlights of a day cruising the fjords of Musandam, at the very north-east end of the Arabian Peninsula, by the Straight of Hormuz. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Keepin' the Motivation

An international adoption comes with so many hoops-of-fire to jump through. Wait. I mean, hoops-of-radioactive-fire-breathing-dragons! Keeping the motivation and positive drive is essential to remaining on top of the stress of the process.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ecuador It Will Be!

After a lot of deliberation, and getting more information on the in-country requirements and time to adopt, we have finally chosen one program and country: We will be adopting from Ecuador with Illien Adoptions International. WOOT! :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Choosing a Country for our International Adoption

We knew we needed to choose the country before the agency, since not all agencies work in all countries. For us, it was very important that we feel an affinity to the culture and environment of the country.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Starting our Own Mini United Nations Through International Adoption

I am now 40 years old, and as long as I can remember, long before “Brangelina" made it popular, I wanted to do international adoption and to have a multicultural family.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Santa Race in Paris France Not to Be Missed!

The Paris Santa Race is the running event NOT to be missed! Imagine 10,000 Santas running the streets of Paris; Children lining the streets in awe.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Barcelona: Gaudi the Gaudy

We were excited to see that flying from Paris to Barcelona was not only cheap but the city itself isn't overpriced either; a welcome relief after the high costs of Paris, London and Zurich.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The French Rude? Myth or Reality?

Ask anyone which word they would associate with "French" and chances are the answer will be "rude".

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cutest French Village: St-Cirq-Lapopie

Want a weekend in a small French village that rates high on the coolness factor? Then you'll definitely want to hit St-Cirq-Lapopie. It's a small French village experience with so many outdoor and countryside things to do that you'll fill your weekend, end to end, and still not do it all. There is no end to the things you can taste, see, experience and do in this cute village in France.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Running Races in Paris France

Are you a runner, and do you want to participate in a race during your stay in Paris? The city has a large number of running races to offer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

L'heure Verte - Absinthe Delight!

Absinthe: is it a nectar from heaven or pure evil? While the debate as to its value goes on the question of its popularity in European history does not.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Standing in line: understanding order in chaos

One of the frequent complaints I hear from expats living in France is that "the French don't know how to stand in line".

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jazz in Paris' Parc Floral

From jazz festivals to botanical collections, this park is a "must do". Music in the open air of Paris' parks and gardens? Sounds delightful doesn't it? That's because it is.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

24 hours of Le Mans

It's the kind of dare that you only do after too many drinks. It's easy to imagine a few friends around a table on a late night, with empty beer glasses in front of them, slurring:

-- I bet I can drive further than you in 24 hours!
-- You're on!
-- Dude we totally have to do it!
-- OK! *burp*

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bike Ride up Mount Ventoux in France: 6500 feet!!!!

In the middle of Provence, this giant stands alone in the plains of Provence, and can be seen from over a hundred miles away. A regular pass on the Tour de France (we have chosen the route that the Tour usually takes), it has its share of legends and drama.

French Customer Service: An Oxymoron?

I can't even count how many times I have heard the complaint, from expats living in Paris and visitors alike: "The French! They have NO sense of customer service!" Well, as a Frenchman, I can safely say that there is no point in trying to debunk that.

Lac du Portillon Hike in the Pyrenees Mountains of France

Discover the Pyrénées' low-altitude, medium-altitude, and high-altitude lakes in just one day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fuji 100C Dry Transfer Process

 My detailed process for doing a Fuji 100c Transfer (formerly Polaroid Transfer)... now a dry transfer method (it was a wet transfer method before). 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Interview with Jef Aerosol: French Urban Artist

Paris, like most cities, is "chalk full" of urban art. And a lot of it, in Paris, is made up of the work of Jef Aerosol.