Sunday, September 25, 2011

Au Petit QuinQuin

The title is in French but this blog post is not! lol. Chris and I ventured out to France last week and drove for 7 hours until we ended up at a very cute hotel near Mont St. Michel. We didn't know what to expect from the hotel but I am sure glad we stayed there!! As some of you may know, we love to save money even when we shop for hotels and Chris found this wonderful hotel on the internet and the price (55 Euro)!!! A GREAT DEAL, considering we have four people in our family that are traveling. We thought we were getting a double bed and a cot but instead we were surprised to find a double bed and bunk beds along with a cot!!! WOW!! The hotel was quite simple but very nice!! The staff was wonderful as well! They spoke English to us the whole time we were there and made us feel at home. The drive from Mont St. Michel was only 12km. Not very far!! Chris did a great job!! I do recommend this hotel and I suggest if you book it, do it through the internet, you will save more than 30 Euro on your stay! The cable is in French but no big deal because really you are there to sight see right, not stay in the hotel to watch tv. The hotel only had 19 rooms so it was very quiet and I loved that it felt like we were staying at a bed and breakfast.
Let's talk food!!! The hotel has a restaurant on the first floor and it was DELISH!! For dinner Chris and I had chicken and potatoes, the best I EVER had in my life, Chris agrees. The chicken was so soft and the potatoes, amazing! Oh yea, I had a salad as well, with warm cheese...I had never seen a dish like this before, I still cannot figure out what kind of cheese it was but it was a mix between blue cheese and ricotta. For dessert Chris and I ordered an Apple cake. The boys shared a kids meal of chicken and frits (french fries) but don't say French Fries, lol. They garnished their chicken with veggies in a shape of a smiley face, even though it was cute, my kids refused the veggies! For dessert they both had a crepe with chocolate on top, the crepe was delicious but I must say the chocolate tasted like it was burnt. Maybe it was supposed to smell like that...I don't know. ALL in all, it was fabulous!!
Breakfast was also delicious, I fell in love with their homemade jelly and croissants! Chris and I ate 4 maybe 5 of them together...we ended up purchasing a jar of Plum Jelly before we left (2 Euro) which is about $2.50. I highly recommend this hotel!! It was a great stay!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sofia Talks: Knockers for the Troops (FB)

There has been so much controversy with this Facebook Page and I am not surprised. If you have not visited this site, then you wouldn't understand right away. The first time I heard of it was from a fellow blogger and I thought, you know I am going to check it out. There you will find a whole load of women's cleavage shots, I am not talking about butt crack and armpit cleavage I am talking about BOOBS!!! It seems appealing right, for the man in uniform, but women are making an uproar. Some women completely support the site by posting their own pics. Military wives also support the site by posting their pictures of their cleavage. Does this cross a line???
I made a video on my channel about making a site for the lonely wife back home and the female troops fighting the war, maybe a little eye candy for them?? I have been receiving mixed reviews and yes I am aware there are sites out there for the lonely Military Wife. I personally don't believe that Military Wives should be posting their cleavage shots or any other racy photos on a PUBLIC site. For one thing, your husband's superiors could be viewing the site. YOU represent the man in uniform you are married to, anything you do may be a reflection on your husband. I don't support men in uniform who think it's cool to post their wive's boob shots on a PUBLIC site where other troops can get a rise from. Fine, single soldiers need to have fun too. I get it. Boundaries are being crossed on this site. I am wondering what the Department of Defense thinks?? Is swinging in the military accepted?? Is it considered cheating?? Are sites like this allowed to be viewed when deployed??
I have many beliefs one is that I am responsible in protecting my marriage. I cannot sensor anything that is public on the internet, television or anywhere else. That is not my job. MY JOB is to talk about this in my relationship. Is it acceptable for me?? How would my husband feel if I showed my cleavage off? Some men are ok with showing off their wives and later they start wondering why phone numbers start appearing in their cell phones, why they are dating outside their relationship, or other suspicious behavior starts happening. Not all of this will happen, that isn't what I am saying, but what I am trying to say is that once you OPEN that door....other things can happen. Facebook doesn't lead to cheating. Your partner leads to cheating.
Women and men often believe that FACEBOOK, PORN, and other sites are to blame for infidelity. NOT TRUE. The person has the choice to participate or engage in cheating. Social media today causes a lot, it causes an OPPORTUNITY....but ultimately the person has the final decision.
My concern with this website is that underage people are not banned from the site, nor are they banned from posting pictures. This is a BIG DEAL. It becomes a legal issue.

My other concern with the site are the MARRIED members posting the pictures. My concerns go like this:
1. Perception is Everything and don't get mad if someone judges you.
2. This could affect you in the workplace...especially if you are trying to apply for a job on post.
3.The military is a SMALL world. Someone will know you posted.
4. Just know when you post a picture under your name, YOUR name will appear. YOUR picture can be saved on other computers and copied as many times as they want...do you want POSITIVE fame, or NEGATIVE fame? Do you want to be known as SGT. BLAH BLAH BLAH's wife who posted racy pictures on a website when attending Military functions??

I as a MILITARY SPOUSE would not engage in behavior that will negatively affect my husband in his career in any way. That is my belief. As a SPOUSE I will not engage in negative behavior that will affect my marriage in any negative way.

The video below was for entertainment and I am well aware that there are already sites out there for women.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Made in Italy: Sambuca

Sambuca, a clear white liquor made in Italy. It has a smell of licorice and can be mixed with various other liquids. In Italy it is common to serve Sambuca with coffee beans to give it an inviting appearance. Chris and I personally serve it with Coke Zero and it gives it a Dr. Pepper taste. This particular bottle of Sambuca was purchased right in Italy before boarding our plane back to Belgium, not even knowing what kind of liquor we were purchasing. We made it a point to share our Sambuca with friends. To increase the flavor of Sambuca it can be set on fire for a few seconds. Some have even lit this drink on fire and inhaled the fumes...can be controversial. I personally have not tried this. I prefer my Sambuca ingested with some Ice and Coke Zero. Did you know you can even add fresh water to this liquor??? And adding ice cubes turns it from transparent to dense white!! Interesting!! Always drink responsibly.

Castle of the Counts

The family and I traveled to the Gravensteen Castle in Gent, Belgium. It was amazing to see a true life castle in front of my face. It was breathtaking, not that it is the largest one here in Belgium but because it was an actual castle. The family and I took our own tour inside and the fee was not expensive at all. Of course we could not use our stroller inside as it had many towers and stairs to climb, but I did not mind at all. The kids loved it there and so did I, it was a fairy tale dream come true. The castle itself was used as a prison in the 1100s. Some of the underground structure was scary and dreary. I almost had the chills going through there. The structure was originally built to maintain law and order. Before it was used as a prison, the castle was used as a mint. There were many purposes for this castle as it had become abandoned many times. In the 19th century a cotton plant was built there and today you can still see some of the carts they used in the garden part of the castle. The most weirdest thing I saw inside was a guillotine, where I am sure there were beheadings in...ok so the original guillotine was removed but the blade was the original blade used back then!!!!!  All in all, it was so amazing to see the history of the castle right inside and to climb the towers and structures of the castle!!!
The view from above!!! The city of Gent...which reminded me so much of Brugge, Belgium.


The North Sea

Ok so I thought it was the ocean we were at the other day. It was the NORTH SEA!!!  Christopher and I took a day trip near Oostende, Belgium...it was actually a different city I can't even remember the name to....bad memory!!  We went on a pier where I expected fresh blue waters!! NOT!! The water was grey and murky, not that of a normal ocean but the sand was beautiful!! Beach in Belgium?? Yes it exists and guess what...they were sunbathing there in bikinis, older women and men...the weather was too cold for us. Chris and I had long sleeves and the boys had sweatshirts. When we sunbathe we think 80 degree or so weather. Well not here...it was so windy and I had the chills the whole time. Another unique thing about the beach were the small little huts right on the sand...a closet to hold your lawn chairs, surf boards and things!! COOL!!! So it was cold but we had fun going to the pier in Belgium....I also snagged some sand for my special sand jars in my home!!!!


Yesterday I decided to make empanadas for the first time in my life. I was pretty apprehensive at first because it involved frying and I cannot stand to fry my food. I used ground turkey and red peppers for my filling and also used extra virgin olive oil to fry my empanadas. You can basically use any kind of filling you want, from steak, chicken to pork. I like using ground turkey, seasoning it the way you want gives it a unique flavor. I bought the pre made empanada discs at the grocery store in the freezer section so I cheated on that part. Since it was my first time...I figure I would keep it simple. They didn't turn out as bad as I thought. The texture of it reminded me of a Chalupa from Taco Bell. I used salsa and sour cream as a topping and also ate some spanish style rice. Not too bad for a first time!!! Lesson: Don't be afraid to try something even if it seems like you won't successfully accomplish the task!!!