I want to wrap my arms around France and give it a big hug!

Today France is celebrating Bastille Day (it is 14 July there now).  Lately, there has been a longing in my heart to return to the beautiful country.

I consider myself a Francophile who speaks broken French (but hoping my son will be fluent one day). I have been fortunate to have visited Arles, AixenProvence and Paris on separate occasions. On our last trip (before Oster), my husband tried to get me out of the capital to visit amazing sights such as Normandy, Saint-Julien-Du-Sault, Avignon, Dordogne…seriously the list goes on.  Anyway, I couldn’t step onto a train to leave Paris. I asked him to go on ahead and keep me behind but being the awesome husband that he is he stayed with me. I just couldn’t leave the city.

I would like to share some photos with you of a beautiful country that I will get back to again (when Oster is a little older and I’m back at work 🙂 )! I’ll even stray away from the city so we can enjoy what the rest of the country has to offer.

Happy Bastille Day!

The Sunshine Award

discover and devour has been nominated for The Sunshine Award by iGameMom and Blessed with a Star on the Forehead. I would like to give a shiny bright “Thank You” to both ladies for the nomination.  If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of seeing what iGameMom is all about, take some time and peruse her site. She provides info on all of the current games your kids are playing and Apps that help enforce your child’s learning.  She lets you know the deals on certain Apps (even free ones) and she reviews them for you. iGameMom is a wealth of techno information. She even wrote a post on how to child-proof your IPAD!  Thank you, iGameMom.

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead shares intimate thoughts and experiences and always leaves the reader at the edge of her/his seat!  She writes in an interesting way that really makes light of relationship “situations” and posts about the seriousness of love.  It is truly a feel-good site to visit. Thanks, Blessed with a Star on the Forehead!

The Sunshine Award comes with a few rules:

1. Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog

2. List 10 facts about yourself

3. Nominate some other fabulous bloggers

4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated

5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

10 Facts About Me:

  1. My first job in high school (besides babysitting) was selling vacuum cleaners over the telephone.
  2. One thing on my bucket list: visit all of the Major League Baseball stadiums.  I love attending baseball games.  So far, I’ve been to 9 different ballparks.
  3. One of my favorite things to do on a summer morning is enjoy my coffee out on our patio.
  4. I have a soft spot for muscle cars. One of my favorites is the 1969 Chevy Chevelle.
  5. I am an avid reader of France and France Today.
  6. I love the sound of children’s laughter.
  7. When I found out Oster was allergic to milk, I eliminated all dairy from our refrigerator and pantry. I am now a proud drinker of almond milk.
  8. I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning: Grape Nuts.
  9. I have NO PATIENCE for intolerance or ignorance.
  10. With the help of discoveranddevour followers, I have successfully mastered cutting Oster’s fingernails! Thank you!!!!

I nominate the following blogs:

The Cherbie Life – insights from a mom and educator about love, family, and life.

LadyRomp – this site is all about inspiration. She posts an uplifting message every day to share with her readers.

sleepingshouldbeeasy – great discussion topics can be found here. The writer shares tips and strategies about infants/toddlers.  She has an endless supply of fantastic information.

dutchgoesitalian – Letizia lives in Italy and shares gorgeous photos of her travels. She also shares simple yet delectable recipes.

High Needs – this blog is inspirational, as the author writes about her experiences to educate others on babies with high needs.

Travel Lady with Baby – this blog offers great travel tips, strategies on how to travel with an infant/toddler, shares fashion trends and cool gadgets to try. Always a positive read.

mamacravings – this site shares what the author craves for. It’s unique and fun to read.

Versatile Blogger Award Thank You

discover and devour has been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award! A big warm “Thank You” goes out to Chris at The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy for the nomination. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing what he’s all about, take a look around his site.  Chris is creative, humorous, and down-to-earth.  His blog is quite unique, as he posts photos of his son in different places everyday.  It’s literally an adventure to see his son grow over time.

~ Rules for nominating a blog ~

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.

2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

4. Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.

5. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award

Note: According to the rules, if you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

7 Things About Myself:

1)    I have terrible depth perception when I wear my glasses! It’s worse when I’m driving at night.  It’s even at its worst when I’m driving at night while it’s raining. Hence, I am a contact lens wearer.

2)    Before Oster came around, you would have found me in my kitchen mise en place-ing and cooking for all hours of the day (even after a long day at work).  The kitchen was my sanctuary and it is slowly coming back into my life.

3)    I am a Francophile! I am in love with France. Its culture, food, fashion, language, and lifestyle.  Their politics are also quite interesting to follow.

4)    I am addicted to office supplies (note cards, Sharpies, paper clips, folders, note pads, Post-It notes, card stock, seriously the list goes on…)

5)    I have a prized Pez collection of over 200 pieces (that are now Oster’s)

6)    I worked in the television industry for 3 years prior to becoming a high school teacher.

7)    My school’s Board of Education just granted me an additional year of maternity leave!

I nominate the following blogs (in no particular order). There are so many wonderful ones that I have recently discovered and have been currently following and it was truly a task to pick only 15.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do:

1)    The High Heel Gourmet

2)    railcitybaby

3)    mamacravings

4)    sleeping should be easy

5)    Happiest Baby in the World

6)    Travel Lady with Baby

7)     love library


9)     The Sunday Mood

10)    Peace the consciousness, the transitoriness, your existence.

11)    QCSupermom

12)    Read Schmead: Tales From the Book

13)    From Marian’s Kitchen: Dairy-free & Spelt Living

14)   400 Days ‘til 40

15)   A Detailed House

Weekly Wednesday Book Review: The Orphans of Normandy, a true story of World War II

I chose this book in honor of Oster’s great-grandfather who landed on Omaha Beach after the Allies secured the area in 1944.  As part of the 83rd Infantry Division, Oster’s great-grandfather was a battalion surgeon working the front lines.  When France was finally liberated, his division celebrated in Paris with the other troops from USA and France.

A number of World War II picture books tells a sad story.  Although this book briefly documents over 40 days of hardship, it has a happy ending.  I felt this children’s book was appropriate based upon the story, images, and ending.

When the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, 100-orphaned girls were forced to escape their school in Caen, France.  They left to travel south by foot.  Many days passed, they hid in many places, and the girls even had white flags (used for protection) to carry with them throughout their journey.

The illustrations in this book are original drawings created by those orphans.  French language is written on the drawing (right side of book) and an English translation is on the left side.

One of my favorite pictures is of the army trucks driving through the liberated French town the girls were in and them waving to the soldiers.  It reminds me of the story Oster’s great-grandfather has told us many times…when the trucks drove through Paris, the children followed and waved to him and his fellow soldiers.  It’s empowering to see a similar experience captured in the eyes of an innocent child.

A very real story of survival.

Oster (at 3 months) with his Great-Grandfather.