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Posts from the ‘travel’ Category

Salvador and Gala Dalí would approve

Who would have thunk that when you look at a Spring egg, you could ponder Salvador and Gala springing from an egg on the Costa Brava in Spain? Early performance art at its best. Check it out here!


Touring the city of Venice

Glass, lace beads and paper. Our Montessori students examined a Murano glass vase made with black glass infused with smaller colorful pieces of glass. We looked at hand woven lace. We created our own marbled paper which was later turned into bookmarks and electric votive candles. All while touring the city of Venice in our imaginations!marbled paper

Scents of Spring at Macy’s Flower Show in Chicago

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Need a delightful break from the grey weather? The sights and scents of the Macy’s Flower Show in Chicago will lift you from the doldrums and tickle your fancy! Located on the 9th floor of their State Street store, children and adults alike will enjoy the painted elephant and beautiful vignettes representing India and southern Asia. This free show runs until Sunday, April 7th. You don’t want to miss this!

A Hidden Gem in Dominica

Sari Sari Falls Dominica

Sari Sari Falls Dominica

Located on the East coast of Dominica, Sari Sari are one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Dominica.

Looking for a place to stay while exploring this magnificent island? Check out Roots Jungle Retreat for memories of a lifetime.

A Most Romantic Museum in Paris Evokes Passionate Love

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By: Jen

If you’ve seen the recent film Midnight In Paris, you will recognize the rose garden with Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker. His cameo scene includes actor Owen Wilson and friends admiring his beauty. The Musée Rodin is a most romantic museum. It is small and accessible, surrounded by gardens. Within the garden, Le Café Du Musée offers a place to relax and dine. The museum shop sells many fabulous books and I loved their jewelry so much that I purchased two pieces for myself. The perfect gift for my husband was a porcelain espresso cup with a Rodin sketch found inside the cup! I had not one person but myself for this visit. It was a time for quiet contemplation.

You Feel His Heartache
The Musée Rodin is located in the former Hotel Biron which was one of Rodin’s residences. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the rose garden. The museum collection pays homage to Rodin’s form of the human condition. There are moments where you feel his heartache. Rodin was also a voracious illustrator, creating over 7800 drawings in his lifetime. He was a collector of beautiful antiquities. A van Gogh painting hangs in one of the salons.

Camille Claudel Is The Eternal Idol
Much of Camille’s work is shown on the first floor of the museum. Camille and Auguste had a profound influence on each other. To learn more about Camille why not rent the movie Camille Claudel. It is very emotional but just being in the Musée Rodin is emotional in of itself!

Intuitively We Know He Is The Thinker
The Thinker was originally conceived as a doorway element in a much larger schematic that Rodin was creating, for a decorative arts museum. Rodin’s Thinker is Dante, the author of the Divine Comedy. He sits above, contemplating his work over all the characters in the doorway composition.

After my trip, I showed photos of The Thinker in it’s rose garden environment to my Montessori students, along with three hand sculptures that are displayed inside the museum. We discussed what a sculpture can be made of and the differences in texture. I asked our students what the first sculpture was about. They intuitively knew that he was “thinking”. The explanations are indicative to the age group. Maybe he was thinking about basketball, a friend’s party that he was to attend, or about the next piece of art that he was going to create. This is my favorite part of our lessons! The children relate to the art in the context of their own lives and own personal experiences. They have a lot of ideas and make connections with the art. Some remembered seeing this image in other places like on a cd cover or in their dentist’s office! Getting comfortable talking about art will enable our children to feel confident when stepping through the doors of an art museum as they mature into adulthood.

79 rue de Varenne
75007 Paris
tel: +33(0)1 44 18 61 10

Tuesday – Sunday
10:00 am – 5:45 pm
Gardens close at 5:00 pm from October 1 – March 31

Metro Line 13

Happy Valentines Day!

frosted moonlight

by: Jen

by: Jen

Life is a mosaic! 2013 will add more color!

By: Jen

Located in the Macy's State Street store, Chicago, IL, USA

Marshall Field and Company Building
Macy’s Department Store
111 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60602

Thank you to all of our followers and supporters during our first year of blogging! It’s been quite a discovery and we feel a great sense of accomplishment to have started this project in 2012. Just before the holidays, I had a wonderful opportunity to take my youthful nieces on a little trip down memory lane. We visited the historic Marshall Field and Company Building in Chicago. Macy’s now owns this landmark… long gone are the days of stellar customer amenities once known to Marshall Field’s customers.

We enjoyed a day of Ferris Bueller like antics and as we were getting ready to burst forth into the cold night, I asked the kids to look up and to our delight, we were awestruck by the Tiffany Favrile Ceiling which is located in the cosmetics department on the fifth floor. This ceiling is the first and largest built favrile glass mosaic in the world. The hand applied design includes over 1.6 million pieces of glass.

Louis Comfort Tiffany created and patented this type of iridescent glass. The material was first produced in 1896. During production, the pigments were poured into the molten glass thus imbedding the colors into the glass.

Life is like a mosaic! 2013 will surely add more color and more pieces into all of our stories. We wish you a most beautiful design in the 365 days to come. Happy New Year!

Working the Green Room with Chess Squares

Sockers FC U12B MDL Champions

Sockers FC U12B MDL Champions

By: Jen

Once again my youth sports experience has tickled my right brain thinking!

Some years ago, I met a local mom who cheerfully presented the very best scones to sleep deprived parents along the bleachers during warm-ups for our first season of tournament team baseball. These delectable treats were a lovely offering. I made a mental note as I watched the summer unfold with our sons team. This gesture brought everyone together.

The days that lead up to a sports tournament supply you with the long laundry list (literally) of items and tasks that need to be completed before our teams hit the field, pitch, court, whatever the venue. It takes a lot of effort to get to your destination and sometimes you forget to eat.

I brought Chess Squares to the “green room” during our latest Nike Classic Cup 2012 soccer tournament. It’s really the awards area for the winning teams. Your volunteer task is to shuttle dozens of teams through the awards process. The volunteering adults, our tournament director, photographer and the very enthusiastic Jeff from Ford Motor Company loved this recipe. It brought this unlikely group of personalities together and the men want the recipe! Who would think that five ingredients could bring such happiness? Our director says that every bakery in St. Louis has this bar cookie. So here it is! Simple and successful.

Chess Squares

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 300°.
Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan with butter or non-stick canola oil spray.
In a large bowl, blend the cake mix with the melted butter and one egg.
Press this dough into the bottom of the pan.

In another bowl, blend the eggs and cream cheese and carefully add the powdered sugar. When it reaches a smooth consistency, pour over the top of the crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top layer is golden brown.

Bake these squares in a 9” x 13” disposable aluminum pan if you will be traveling with these. It works like a charm!

Lastly, a shout out to Jeff from Ford Motor Company who emceed our event. You really had the crowd going! I wish you safe travels and a little R & R to indulge in your culinary creations. It was great meeting everyone!

Halloween’s Month

Author: Jen Schmidt

Green and gold collide
One is the victor
The other one dies

Bright sun descending it’s light
The crow feather reflecting blue and black
Bonfire takes flight

The finality of summer… comforted by a maple bacon muffin in Union Pier, MI

By: Jen

Our truck is packed with all the sand, bags and unopened wine known to mankind. We must say goodbye to the beach… In a desperate attempt to soothe our souls we go for one last walk with the family and our beloved mutt. Of course it couldn’t end there. Our dog was bitten in the ear by one of its kind. Nothing like a slight medical emergency to end the holiday. The silver lining to the story is that my usually very calm husband was realizing that our last day at the beach would need to be cut short, in order to care for our dog. We needed to get home.

“Well I’m stopping at that new Nani’s Café on the way out of town!” he proclaimed…

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I sat in the overpacked truck. He brought the menu out for me. Feeling so flustered I just ordered the Chicago Style Dog. He chose the BLT Dog. My brother-in-law picked The Mexican Dog. They brought me a maple bacon muffin– just for kicks. I took a bite of the muffin. I never got out of the truck so fast! Forget that our dog had my fashion scarf wrapped around her head to alleviate an injured ear. I had to get into Nani’s to talk to whomever made this most unbelievable muffin! Who made these extremely tasty hotdogs?

I met Nessa and Reyna– the proprietors of the new Nani’s Café located in Union Pier, Michigan. Their coffee was excellent. The muffin was decadent. The dogs were what dogs should be! The bun was buttered, the dog was kosher and the toppings were a new twist on familiar ingredients. Peppery fresh arugula complimented the BLT Dog! When we arrived home and after unpacking all the memories, my husband shared…

“You know, I’m still thinking about that hotdog.”
Oh yeah? I’m still thinking about that muffin!

Why not take a step back in time and go get a frosty mug of rootbeer this Labor Day weekend. That should take the edge off of this great summer coming to a close. Happy Labor Day to all!

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