Tournesol

Tourte de Blettes: an Unusual Sweet-Savory Dessert From the South of France

One day, as we were wandering the lovely open air market and back alleys of Antibes, France, we popped into a little boulangerie to grab a quick casual lunch. I spotted something that looked like it might fit the bill, a pastry stuffed with greens, so I thought it must be savory. What I did not realize until later was that what I thought was flour on top was actually powdered sugar, and that it was more of a dessert than a lunch entrée. Enter tourte de blettes (Swiss chard tart): a very unique southern French street food item with a sweet-savory filling.

An Escape to Remember in Beautiful Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is the picturesque stretch of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea in the South of France, creating the perfect playground for the glitterati during summer months. We were looking for a peaceful seaside escape, not glitz and glamour, and we found it at the tail end of shoulder season in charming Villefranche-sur-Mer.

It’s Berry Season, and Most Farms Are Still Open

Here in the Northwest, we have the perfect climate for growing a variety of berries, which begin to ripen as early as May with the first strawberries. Growing your own berries, visiting a U-pick farm, and foraging for wild berries are all still viable options even with coronavirus restrictions. Also, with their abundant health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties, now is a better time than ever to stock up on these superfoods. Read on for more about popular varietals, U-pick options, and foraging.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade, During COVID-19

A few weeks ago, during a heat wave, my son told me he wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money for a new LEGO set. Easy, right, just a simple activity that most of us participated in as children. Yet, times are not normal, and we needed to think creatively. Instead of telling him “no,” I thought maybe we could have a curbside pickup or delivery service, and I looked online for inspiration.

Take a Mini Vacation in Stunning Cannon Beach, Oregon

I’m a big fan of mini vacations. Getting away for three or four nights by car is just enough time to recharge and explore an area, but not so long that you will be derailed from bigger travel savings goals. We have taken many trips like this along the West Coast, including two to Cannon Beach, Oregon, and when I first took in this spectacular coastline I wondered why I would ever need to step on a plane again.

A Smoothie a Day: Healthy Everyday Smoothie Recipe

I’m sure there are a million smoothie posts out there, especially on health and wellness blogs, and for good reason. They are healthy, easily modifiable, use up leftovers, and are a great way to sneak nutritious foods in to your child’s diet.

Kid-Friendly Daytrips in Provence, France

After four nights in busting Paris, we were excited to board the train at Gare du Nord, and experience French country life. Prior to this trip, I had only visited Paris, and I was truly unprepared for the diverse beauty of the country. In Provence, we discovered treasures in a lively open air market, took in panoramic views of the countryside, stepped into a medieval castle tower, swam in the shadow of a Roman aqueduct, hiked among red rock formations, spotted ancient white horses and pink flamingos, and even retraced the footsteps of one of my favorite artists.

Exploring the “City of Lights” With Kids

When I planned our trip to France, I knew that we must spend some time in Paris, but that I would probably need to adjust my expectations. I could imagine a trip where I was able to linger in cafes, browse shops at leisure, spend hours in museums, savor restaurant meals, maybe even take in some nightlife. Yet, with two elementary kids in tow, that simply wasn’t going to happen. We ended up approaching Paris with an open heart and an open agenda, and the end result was four perfect days.

Breathtaking Family Hikes in Sedona, Arizona

I’ll admit, prior to my first trip, I didn’t really get the Arizona thing. I’m used to a lush green northwest landscape, and I imagined a parched desert wasteland with a stray cactus here and there. Yet, I was intrigued by the red rocks, and I had heard good things about Sedona. So I decided to book a family spring break trip to Arizona. The breathtaking beauty and endless blue skies won us all over, and I can’t wait to return!