Paris

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

     Bonjour!!!  Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  It’s just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our Parisian apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I’d stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty – we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day….that is until you’ve seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing…here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

 

Our apartment had the best location – right by the Louvre.  We were located in this “Passage” which is pronounced by the French like “massage”.

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Pont des Arts bridge – I know the locals hate the locks, but I found this bridge to be breathtaking!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

I ate as many crepes and chocolate croissants as I possibly could!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

 

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Notre Dame was breathtaking!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

DSC_0476Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Everything was so much bigger and better in person!

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Loved all the vendors along the river…

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

One of our favorite restaurants was right by the Eiffel Tower.  Seriously, I don’t think they could have better pizza in Italy!  We went back our last night to the same restaurant and to the Eiffel Tower to see her light show and then sadly back to our apartment to fly back home…

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Who are these cheesy tourists???

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - atthebeachwithkris.com

Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  Its just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I'd stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty - we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day....that is until you've seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing...here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  Its just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I'd stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty - we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day....that is until you've seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing...here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

This was the ceiling of Galeries Lafayette – a Parisian department store that makes you wish you were a Kardashian…or at least had a Kardashian budget…

Our trip to Paris was beyond.  As in not enough adjectives to describe my love for Paris.  Like I kinda want to move there.  Its just the most beautiful city.  Loved the food, the shops, our apartment, the sights and believe it or not most of all I loved the Eiffel Tower.  It was just so much more in person. And the views of the city from up top are incredible!  We walked 12+ miles each day and only once took a taxi.  We were total tourists, snapping selfies in berets and always getting bumped into when I'd stop on the sidewalk to take pictures of all the beauty.  Speaking of beauty - we were there for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week.  We saw these 6 foot tall, 100 pound models that were some sort of genetic freaks of nature.  You might think you are looking good, or having a good hair day....that is until you've seen a Paris Fashion Week runway model!  Enough of my blabbing...here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

The people watching was divine.  I came home determined to be more “French” or “Parisian”.  But I think you are just born with it.  The men dressed from the pages of a GQ magazine.  And the women seemed so effortlessly chic – even without makeup!

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

Sister and I fell in love with (and wanted to keep) every Parisian baby we saw – the kids there were just the cutest!

Paris - www.atthebeachwithkris.com

 

     My next post will be about our day at Normandy!  (I apologize for the huge photos – something is wrong with my blog and I can no longer size the photos.  It gives me a headache trying to figure out what is wrong – so I just went ahead and posted anyway since so many people have been begging for my Paris post!!!)

~Kris

 

Sister’s Famous Recipe ~ Scotcharoos

     Most of us have a recipe we are famous for – and Sister is famous for her ooey gooey/chocolately/deliciously sinful “Scotcharoos”.  She makes them the best and everyone loves them.  If you haven’t tried a Scotcharoo before, you do not know what you are missing!

Sister’s Scotcharoos

Ingredients:

1 C light corn syrup (*sister’s secret – add an extra dollop of syrup!)

1 C sugar

1 C peanut butter

6 C Special K cereal

Frosting:

1 C butterscotch chips

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

     In a non-stick pot, stir together sugar and light corn syrup over medium heat until it boils.  Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter.  Once mixed, slowly add the cereal.  Once all cereal is coated, spread in a 9×13 non-stick baking pan.

     Now, make the frosting to spread while still warm.  Mix the two chips over medium-low heat until smooth and fully melted.  Pour over the bars and spread.

     There is nothing better than a warm, just cooked Scotcharoo.  Nothing.  (Well, maybe Grammy’s Almond Bars – stay tuned)  They won’t last long enough to store them, but if you are the kind of person with massive amounts of will-power,  just cover and store at room temperature.

*I should tell you that I think  Sister’s “secret” is to add a little extra corn syrup – then the bars are that much more gooey!  But she would never tell – I think she likes all of her neices and nephews begging her to make these for them…its an “auntie” thing…

XO!

~Kris

Happy Mother’s Day!

     Happy Mother’s Day, Peeps!  A special shout out to some of my favorite mothers…of course my own mom who just drove 3 days cross country by herself, hopefully entertained with the 3 road trip cd’s I made for her. (Yes, we still kick it old-school with cd’s.)   I guess you don’t really appreciate your mom fully until you have kids of your own.  Then you appreciate and apologize.  Profusely.  And for Sister…who has the patience of Jobe with her child and who is raising one of the best citizens of the world that I know.  Kudos for that – it was ALL you.  And for Sister-in-law…who never raises her voice or loses her cool and who is raising three of the best kids that I know.  I love my niece and nephews exactly 1 degree less than my own children.  And for my other relatives and friends – mothering is a tough job and thank you for doing it so well and for being my role models.

 

XO,

Kris

In Pursuit of Perfect Hair – My Never Ending Saga

Sister and Sister-in-Law do not need to read this post.  You see, they have perfect hair.  They roll out of bed looking like they stepped off the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog or a Pantene commercial.  Sister-in-Law always makes fun of her “Britney Bun” – she has a knack for just twisting her hair a few times and voila, she is ready for  a white dress and a veil.  Me?  Not so much.  You would never guess when you see me most days in my ponytail and yoga pants that I spend a lot of time and money on my hair.  And I mean never.

I have fine hair, but lots of it.  It is dry.  It is frizzy, especially in the summer in Florida.  It is curly in the back and underneath and straight on the top and the sides.  It is thick on the top and thin on the ends.  It is schizophrenic.  It is…gray.  I might despise gray hair more than crows feet.  So every 5 weeks, I color the roots darker than my natural color to cover the gray, I highlight it and every other time I get a Keratin treatment.  But those treatments work best for people who don’t wash their hair that often.  And since I roll out of bed looking more like Medusa than a Pantene commercial, I wash my  hair once a day.  I use sulfate free products, I use Keratin protection products, I use frizz abatement products, I use Moroccon oil products…you name it, I have tried it.  But I have finally found a product that actually works!

Dumroll please….Its called “Its a 10“.  My hair dresser used it last week and I walked out with Pantene commercial hair.  It was so sleek and shiny – it felt like silk.  So I bought my own bottle, still skeptical that I could re-create the salon effect and it WORKS!!!!  I tried it on daughter last night – she inherited my hair, except even curlier and frizzier and thicker and she walked into school today with shiny, silky, smooth hair!!!

When I was Googling this to find a photo to share with you, I saw they they also have the product with Kertain in it – I will try that the next time.  If you suffer from any of the hair struggles that I do, invest the $18 and buy a bottle!

 And while on the subject of hair – I will tell you about one more miracle product…the Wet Brush.  It is hands down the best hair brush on the market.  I love this brush.  If I could only take 3 things on a deserted island, I would probably take the brush.  And if you have kids who scream like mine does when I brush her hair, buy this brush.  They are $15 at the salon, but I have started ordering them from Amazon for less.  I have lots of friends and family hooked on the Wet Brush!

Thank you for all of your wonderful e-mails!  I realize that it was impossible to post comments on the blog lately so that should all be fixed now.  Every time I checked my e-mail I was getting 100’s of spam blog comments and it was starting to drive me crazy.  So I called my “guy” and asked him (in my nicest mean voice) to “stop the insanity” and I didn’t realize it was then impossible for you to comment.  So with a new spam filter in place and my fingers crossed, you should now be able to post comments again so please comment away – I love to hear from you!!!

Happy Hair Day!

~Kris 

The Black Eyed Peas Benefit Concert!

Lets Get it Started!!!  I promised you the fun part of my Labor Day Weekend in Minot, North Dakota! Josh Duhamel is married to Fergie and together they organized a benefit concert for the Minot flood victims.  Groups like the Black Eyed Peas play in HUGE concert venues all over the world – they don’t come to small towns like Minot, ND – but how great that they did.  Josh pulled this concert together in only 5 weeks – tickets were $100 each and the website gave the option for people to buy tickets for flood victims.  The concert broke all attendance records for this venue – even beat KISS!  Josh really is a hometown hero for all he has done for Minot.

Before the concert, we were lucky enough to have VIP tickets for the pre-party.  Wait, make that VIPeas!

And I got to meet Josh and yes, he is even taller, nicer and the most gorgeous creature on earth better looking in person!  (Do you think the kids and hubby would mind if I make this our Christmas card this year?!?!)

Inside the VIPeas was food from Josh’s Minot Restaurant, 10 North Main, drinks, live music and an auction of Fergie’s clothes and shoes and an autographed guitar that was played during the concert that sold for almost $5,000!  Fergie’s clothes are tiny and she wears a size 7 shoe.

Before the concert, the jumbotrons were showing photos of the flood damage and victims.  Then the face of the cutest little blonde girl came on the screen and in her sweet little toddler voice said “I just want to go home”.  Followed by a big sigh.  We all had tears in our eyes and chill bumps on our arms.  Remembering we were there for much more than a concert.

Josh came out and started the show and introduced the BEPs.  He said he didn’t do much other than call his wife (loud crazy cheers from the crowd) and asked her to do a concert.  So she called the Peas and within 5 seconds it was decided.  They made the concert very personal and even had a song written for North Dakota.  Fergie did a solo from her album “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and she looked beautiful.  Many outfit changes and a different hairstyle with each outfit.  The concert was awesome – my only complaint was they didn’t play longer.

My mom has spent a good part of the summer sewing blankets.  She is famous for her blankets with her grandkids but this was a whole ‘nother kind of project.  She sewed 160 blankets with a custom designed “Minot” tag inside and with some of her friends, delivered them to 160 relief workers set up on cots in a group of campers.  These folks have come from around the country to help and I know their living conditions are less than lavish.  With winter setting in, I  know how much they will love these blankets.  Thanks, mom!!!

~Kris

Porky, Peaches and Dog

      My wonderful blog readers – please keep reading until the end to understand this title!  My Labor Day weekend was so incredible, I have decided it will take 2 blog posts to cover it all!  Today’s post will be the serious side of my weekend, tomorrow’s post will be the fun side!  So let’s backtrack to Thursday morning at 9am – the kids have just left for school, I’m in pj’s and ponytail sitting at my computer when my mom calls.  Lets backtrack further to my post about Josh Duhamel and The Black Eyed Peas coming to my flood ravaged hometown of Minot, North Dakota for a benefit concert on September 3.  Well, my mom calls and said she woke up at 4am and  thought this is a once in a lifetime even and Kris needs to come!  So she booked a ticket for me with her frequent flier miles (don’t you love moms!) and just 18 short hours later, I was on a plane with one of my best girlfriends (who is never spontaneous by the way!) and off we were to North Dakota for the concert!  So you guessed it – tomorrow’s post will be all about the concert, my time in the “VIPeas” Suite, meeting Josh Duhamel, touching Fergi’s clothes and the wonderful moments I experienced at the concert.
     But today is the serious side – the aftermath of the horrific flood that destroyed more than 4,000 homes and businesses and most of them without flood insurance.  Many of these people have nowhere else to go – most people do not have money to just go buy a new house and leave their old one behind.  Not to mention there are probably less than 10 homes on the market due to the huge oil boom in North Dakota.  Tent cities are set up, campsites are packed with campers, hotels have zero vacancies, shelters are full and winter is about to arrive.  Winter in North Dakota is COLD – I would not want to live through a winter in a camper.  Schools have been destroyed and temporary portable classrooms have been set up.  No library, no cafeteria, just a teacher, the kids and a portable classroom.  There is so much suffering yet so much spirit, hope and goodwill everywhere you look.
     On Sunday, my sister (I call her Saint Kara) volunteered us to work on a Salvation Army canteen truck to deliver meals to the flood victims.  You see they are out there working on their homes day in and day out.  No electricity, no running water…heck, no windows or doors on their homes!  They use a porta potty and I think the highlight of their day is hearing the honk of the horn of “Sally’s Truck” coming to deliver 2 meals a day.  I promise you – I will never look at a Salvation Army bellringer the same way again.  I will turn my purse upside down and dump it all in.  They really are a salvation.  On Sunday we delivered 178 meals on our route.  Our driver was Bob – he drives along these flood ravaged streets, beeping the horn and the people come out of their houses, covered in dirt and dust and muck and with much gratitude accept a meal and a bottle of water.  Although most of the day was spent with either a tear in our eye, a lump in our throat or a knot in our stomach – we had fun.  And wished we could do more.  So much more.  Bob was driving us down one street and I saw a little girl, probably 8 or 9, come running after us waving her hands for us to stop.  And not far behind was her little brother and her mom.  With huge smiles on their faces, excited to tell us their FEMA trailer had arrived.  Home was back for them – even if it is a small, white FEMA trailer, planted on top of their yard filled with dead grass and trees and next to what is left of their home.  The pride was everywhere – people had already built decks around their FEMA trailer, they put up address numbers on their trailer, a pot of flowers, a mailbox.  Home.
     Here are some photos I snapped of our day with my little point-and-shoot camera, hanging out the back door of the Salvation Army canteen truck.  My sister (Saint Kara) dished up the hot dog and bun and passed it to me.  I dished up sliced peaches and passed it to MK.  She finished with a side of pork-n-beans and topped the hot dog with chili.  So we have new nicknames…”Porky”, “Peaches” and “Dog” and hence the blog title!

This is Dog and Porky

This is me with our trusty driver, Bob – what a great guy!

This is what is left of the Minot Country Club dining room

And this is what is left of the Minot Country Club kitchen

You can see this little boy in the corner of the picture carrying meals we gave to his family.  That is his dad planting rose bushes and flowers by the fence of their bed and breakfast, The Dakota Rose.  It was so poignant to see him planting these flowers when surrounded by dead grass, dead trees and destruction.

I saw this on the Salvation Army truck but we drove by too fast and I couldn’t take a picture.  I went back yesterday, Labor Day, and found the “house” with the American flag.  They propped up their front door so they can still receive mail, they have an incredible sense of humor (for rent) and time and thought to hang up an American flag for Labor Day.  Wow.

Are you still there?  This is a teaser photo of Fergi – stay tuned for that post tomorrow!

 Sorry for such a long post today – I could have written for days.  Want to help?  Here’s how:

Donations can  be made online at www.thesalarmy.org, by calling 800-SAL-ARMY or by mailing a check to The Salvation Army,2445 Prior AVE N, Roseville MN 55113. Be sure to designate your donation “Minot Flood.”

Thanks and God Bless Minot!

xo “Peaches”