Friday, June 28, 2013

Styling the bump: 24 weeks

We're back to typical June weather here in SwitzerFrance (60s, grey and rain), after that warm spell we had a week or so ago.
Just goes to show that you can't really ever put away your cold-weather-ware living here in the Jura Mountains.
Jacket: H & M (non-maternity)
Dress: Anthropologie (non-maternity, tag says "Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday") - by far the most versatile piece in my wardrobe at the moment. I'm anticipating this fitting me all the way to the end, though it's function will most likely change from that of a dress to that of a tunic with leggings by the time I'm huge.
Skull Belt: No brand, found at a little shop in Manhattan Beach, California
Leggings: American Apparel (non-maternity)
Rain boots: Chooka, from Gilt
A la prochaine friends...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A man and his breakfast.

My husband has a love affair with breakfast. C'est vrai.  
So much so that whenever we spend a considerable amount of time back in the United States and people ask what we miss about France, Doc, without hesitation says "my breakfast."
No offense to all of the bagels, frittatas and hash browns of our favorite brunch and breakfast establishments from coast to coast, but the man only has eyes for his french breakfast.
This passion for his french breakfast has confused family and friends alike, that is, until they've tried it. Two shots of espresso in a coffee cup, fromage blanc mixed with a muesli of almonds, dried blueberries, dried groseille, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips, and french bread with the best salt butter around. Throw in his web comics and you've got a very happy physicist au matin.
This just means that by the time we move back to the United States, whenever that may be, we need to have figured out how to make our own yogurt, fromage blanc, and salt butter, because that pasteurized stuff just ain't gonna cut it.
How about you? Do you only have eyes for one breakfast?
A la prochaine friends...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Prenatal yoga rant.

Yesterday was a momentous day for me here in Thoiry, in that I practiced Bikram yoga for the first time since I was 4 weeks pregnant.  
As you can imagine, as a Bikram yoga teacher, the thought of not practicing for 20 weeks while pregnant is something that has weighed heavily on my mind...and aching body.
{My home away from home: Bikram Yoga Philadelphia, 18 December 2012}
I received some good advice from friends and fellow teachers however, to take the ego out of my practice, and to do what was best for me and my baby. It is common for those who practice Bikram yoga while pregnant to take the first trimester off, (Rajashree actually recommends it), however I was so sick and light-headed until week 18.5 that I didn't much trust myself to walk a block or two by myself, for fear of fainting, let alone jumping into the hot room.
Maybe I should have gone back to my practice sooner, but it just didn't feel right yet, so I trusted my instincts. Now that I'm feeling a little more like myself, and have far less nausea and light-headedness, I've been feeling ready for a week or so to turn the heaters on and get back on my mat. So yesterday, with Rajashree's Pregnancy Bikram Yoga series loaded up on my laptop, I did just that.
{Backbending homework: Ten days before we found out I was pregnant}
And holy hell did I miss my practice! Or, whatever this thing is now that is my practice. I have a completely different body then I did back in February when we had just found out that I was pregnant, and it's going to take a bit of getting used to. I just keep telling myself that in non-pregnant practice our bodies are different every single day, and I just need to listen to what my body (or, er, bodies in my case I guess) is telling me...this is no different. The postures may be different in the pregnant series, but it's also exciting to try out new things, with a new body, all while knowing I'm doing the healthiest possible thing for me and Homekid.
The other awesome thing that I've learned about in my 5+ years of practicing Bikram yoga? In addition to the natural yoga high that I and so many countless others have after 90 minutes in the hot room, the practice also seems to re-wire me in the best possible way. After the unexpected death of my cousin last year I cried everyday in class for about 6 months, but felt new once class was over. I also crave healthy things after class, like watermelon and couscous and cooked veggies and water and shrimp's just automatic. Even while pregnant it seems, because I got out of my home practice class yesterday and all I wanted was watermelon and green juice. (Sidenote - totally making some today. Pretty excited about it.) Aches and pains also slowly go away, with time. Now I'm just hoping that getting back to my daily practice will ease up the pregnancy back pain and tail bone pain I've been experiencing over the last week or so. I don't anticipate that it will go away completely, as this kid is only gonna get bigger as we get closer to October, but I'm hoping to at least get a little relief while we wait.  
End rant.
A la prochaine friends...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garage compost and a bee hotel.

Remember my last post when I said that I'm lucky to have a husband who listens to my crazy ideas? Well, this past weekend was a doozy in terms of getting merde done, and that was not limited to Doc refinishing the second-hand dresser/changing table we bought for the nursery.
For the last 2 years, somewhat to Doc's chagrin, I've been making compost in our garage from our crazy amount of coffee/espresso grounds, fall leaves and the occasional food scraps.
It definitely took some trial and error, with a fair amount of error, but we've finally gotten a method down that not only works, but that we can both be (mostly) happy with.
So don't let anyone tell you can't make compost indoors, it just sometimes takes a little patience and understanding. Here's how we do it: Whenever we finish a bag of soil, that becomes our new compost receptacle. We start out with a thick layer of just coffee grounds and dead plants/leaves in the bag, and then once a good solid layer has been made, we begin adding in occasional egg shells, avocado skins, apple cores, etc.
It is definitely a delicate balance however, so we try not to overdo it with the kitchen leftovers. If you're not careful the compost can (and will) burn through the bag and leave a smelly mess on your garage floor. So waiting until a third of the bag is full of coffee grounds and leaves/dead plants is a good point to start adding other kitchen leftovers. We then turn it with a little spade or shake the bag once a week, and about 8 months later - compost!
And not gonna lie, it's a really cool feeling to use compost you've made on your plants. Now that we've successfully made compost two years in a row, we're going to upgrade our system by using small trash cans or paint buckets. I'll keep you updated on how that goes! 
So that was one thing we did this weekend.
Also, in an attempt to try to stop our friendly bees from making little holes in our terrace table and chairs, Doc made a little bee hotel this weekend.
We've noticed the bees literally chomping and gnawing away at the wood this summer, and we think they want to make little holes in which to let their little larvae grow. So we made them a bee hotel to try to save our furniture. We're not sure if it's going to work, but we saw similar bee hotels in the Geneva Botanical Gardens, and figured we'd give it a shot.
Doc used our crappy little IKEA drill to make some starter holes for the bees, and then placed it in a corner of the terrace. I'll keep you updated on whether or not the bees take to the hotel...
Have you ever made a bee hotel? Did it work?
A la prochaine friends...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Things making me happy right now: 23 weeks.

Slow drip coffee. Thank yous and mercis galore to my doctor for giving the go ahead to have one cup of coffee a day. Needless to say I've found the biggest mug possible and drink it over a period of about an hour.
Non-maternity clothes that still fit. I've been patting myself on the back for the last two weeks for the smart purchases that Past Honey has made. Thank you Lululemon, American Apparel, Puella, Onzie, Petit Bateau and a host of blousy silk shirts from Cynthia Rowley, Rory Beca and SYLK. You make a girl still feel normal and stylish, despite an ever expanding baby bump. I'll never complain about any of your high prices ever again. Fingers crossed that as I enter my 6th month of pregnancy on Thursday that you all still fit. (Please please please!!!)
Les soldes. Hell ouai, it's on it's way. Can't wait to dig in and pick up some affordable/adorable clothes for Homekid, and maybe a little something for mama while we're at it.
A husband who listens to my crazy ideas and helps me follow through with them. I'm really good at coming up with plans and projects, and sometimes not the best at following through with them in a timely fashion. Doc on the other hand is Dr. Efficiency. He painted the dresser for the nursery this weekend, and as soon as we can decide on new drawer pulls I'll show youse that before and after.
Fig trees. They just make me happy. And several of ours are getting figs, despite the cold weather we've been having.
Fig tree pen pals. This is pretty much exactly as it sounds, except that the pen pal is not an actual tree, but my mom. Today I received a healthy little stack of pictures (taken from a disposable camera, bless her little heart) of my fig trees and the rest of The Beach Orchard back in Southern New Jersey. I can't wait to continue to receive my little monthly updates via the snail mail!
{You know some weather is rolling in when the Salève completely disappears!}
On that cold note, thank you for the cooler mountain weather France. The lightning and thunderstorms at the end of last week were awesome, and helped bring the temps down. I've got enough discomforts to deal with right now, and it's nice to wake up not covered in sweat.
Being serenaded to sleep at night by cowbells. There really is nothing like it.
Books in English.
Wild poppies. They're blooming everywhere right now in our little village and I just love them to pieces.
{I think he's holding the crib right there?}
Nursery planning. It's safe to say that both Doc and I are in total nesting mode, albeit in our own little ways. I've been making etsy shopping lists and planning the room out in my mind, while my physicist husband went ahead and measured out the dimensions of the room, and then proceeded to make to-scale paper cut outs of the furniture we already have or have picked out. To be honest I'd have been surprised had he not done that.
Things that I'm not loving right now:
It's officially difficult to put socks on. And shoes.
I miss unpasteurized yogurt.
And unpasteurized cheese.
And unpasteurized salt butter.
And dried meats.
And I'd kill for a nice glass of dry red wine.
Or a Jura white.
And maybe two cups of coffee.
I also miss running.
And my bike.
And hiking. Damn I miss that mountain behind us.
I could also deal with not being completely exhausted all the time.
And the back spasms.
Le sigh.
A la prochaine friends...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Turf war.

My body has become a turf war, and I'm most definitely losing. I woke up this morning for the first time realizing this, and not feeling the best. It seems like my tummy has grown overnight (yet again), and that Homekid is reorganizing my organs in an attempt to redecorate their pad. Can't blame him/her, after almost 6 months in the same place I'm sure I'd want to redecorate too.
{Jura Mountains}
{Wild Poppies}
I didn't have plans of getting out of my pajamas today, but damn this gorgeous weather we're having. Some awesome thunderstorms yesterday have brought the temps down to a non-miserable level, and I couldn't spend another day inside. So out for a 2.5 mile walk I went...
...I'm not sure if the walk helped or not, I'm beyond exhausted. But it was good to get out and stretch my legs a bit. And it's always fun seeing how the landscape around us changes day to day, kind of like my belly.

Happy Friday everyone! I'm excited to get this weekend started and have Doc all to myself. We've got some nursery planning to do and I'm pretty psyched about it.
A la prochaine friends...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

23 weeks.

Merdes gettin' real now folks.
I only have one more week to hang out in the second trimester, which I really don't see as very fair considering that pregnancy has only become tolerable within the last 4 1/2 weeks for little ole me.
And as if my body knew that inherently, today some of the aches and pains that I've heard about have begun - discomfort in the belly, discomfort in the lower back...up to this point my symptoms have been very much in the nausea/fatigue/I feel like I'm going to faint category. I'm sure Homekid is just making a little more room for themselves, as he/she won't be the size of a bunch of asparagus for very long, but I was really hoping for another few weeks of feeling, well, good.
We're also starting to get a generic list down on paper of the things we need to buy for the littlest expat's arrival, which somehow is both calming my nerves and stressing me out. How on earth are we going to have all that we need in just over 3 months?! We're trying to be as minimal as we can be, and yet I'm still a bit stressed.
So on that note, anybody have any good suggestions for newborn strollers? We already know the jogging stroller we want, but as far as a good stroller for the first few months is concerned we're open to any and all suggestions!
A la prochaine friends...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


It's that time of year again friends, that time where as an American living abroad you start daydreaming about simple pleasures such as ice cubes and air conditioners...
...because as anyone who has spent time abroad in the summer can tell you, Europeans hate ice cubes. I mean, they must, or they'd exist in everyday life, rather than just in my dreams. You will be hard pressed to find them while  here, or you will pay 5 times the price to purchase an ice tray at the grocery store.
At which point you will then have to fit it in your teeny tiny itty bitty freezer.
But I digress.
What this time of year also means for me is making a daily batch of sun tea and/or cucumber-herb-infused water to enjoy the following day.
(No ice cubes remember? No immediate cooling off effect in cette maison.) 
So here we learn patience.
And to use really fancy French loose teas to make the wait all the more worthwhile.
Bonjour Jasmin Mandarin iced tea from Mariage Frères , you were well worth the wait.
Hope everybody is staying cool as a cucumber out there, especially my fellow preggers!
A la prochaine friends...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's always cheese season in this house.

Yes, it was 30 degrees C/86 degrees F.
Yes, it was the hottest day of the summer thus far.
But could we really let our guests leave without having the raclette experience?
No. The answer is most definitely no.
{When cheese structural integrity fails.}
And they didn't seem to mind so much either.
We regret nothing.
Have fun in Germany guys, we miss youse already!
A la prochaine friends...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Snapshots of our weekend.

1. Bump-a-thon has begun. I'm continually amused and amazed by it.
3. Didier's always busy chicken stand at the Thoiry Market.
4. Rory Beca silk tank, American Apparel tank, H & M maternity, Bensimon kicks.
5. Thoiry market
6. Dinner al fresco
7. Hatch Collection Date Night Dress, Frye boots, skull belt from a little shop in Manhattan Beach.
8. Allium (?) at the Thoiry market
9. Physicist off-duty
10. Way too hot for a good hair day.
11. Rosiers on our rose tree
12. That wine barrel planter will be day.
13. Fresh cut peonies
Hope everyone had a great weekend in your part of the world!
A la prochaine friends...