Le Reve Patisserie and Cafe in Wauwatosa

If there is one restaurant in my hometown that I have been talking about getting to for ages, it’s Le Reve. I finally accomplished that goal on Saturday. My friend Danielle and I get together at least once a month and we planned ahead on a shopping and Le Reve date. Both of our husbands don’t like French food (or so they think) and so I had the perfect dinner companion to go with.

Oh and please excuse my iPhone photos. I wish I could have brought my DSLR, but that just wasn’t possible because we went shopping at Mayfair before and after dinner!

We got there around 5:15 and found the restaurant busy, but nowhere near as packed as when we left. I would definitely recommend going early!

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Isn’t the interior adorable?

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We were seated upstairs and it was cozy, yet not cramped at all.

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Danielle was shocked by how small her diet coke was, but I told her it must have been the kind they sell outside the US that isn’t sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

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We started with Crostini de Brie and literally said oooh and aaah as we ate it. Total comfort food!

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I ordered a crepe with vegetables (legumes printaniers) for my entree. It was tres bien!

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We both still had room to share a dessert, so we ran downstairs to check out them out and decide on what to get. They were all so beautiful!

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We finally settled on a Gateau de Noisettes–a Hazelnut Cake. The sweet older couple next to us teased about which of us would get the sole raspberry. Danielle got it. I preferred to have the toasted hazelnuts. I am a huge hazelnut fan. Have been ever since I lived in Europe.

I only wish I could have snapped a better photo. This was an amazing cake!

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I also ordered some macarons to bring home with me. Can you believe that I had never had macarons before? I have always admired how pretty and petite they are, but never had the opportunity to try one. Not even in Paris.

I had to dig out my DSLR on Sunday and shoot some photos of these gorgeous and delicious cookies.

Le Reve macarons

pink macaron

green macaron

While I thought the pink was pretty, I actually preferred the green and cream colored cookies.

pink macaron

I hope to get back to Le Reve very soon! I’d love to try breakfast or lunch there next. Or maybe just go for dessert and coffee sometime.

Le Rêve Patisserie & Café
7610 Harwood Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 778-3333

7 things I learned over the weekend

Reflecting back on the weekend, I realized that I “learned” a lot and wanted to share those things with readers, as quirky as some of them are.

1) My current khaki colored pants should not be worn anymore. I wore them shopping on Saturday and the view of my backside was not pleasant. The pants I was wearing just aren’t flattering anymore, if they ever were. I’m on the hunt for a new pair. Also: I must do more squats and butt toning workouts! I am sharing something I don’t like about myself because I want to change it.

2) Cleaning out my closet is kind of therapeutic. I switched my summer clothes out and brought out the fall and winter items. I also simplified my shoe selection for the new seasons. I am happy to also report that I have a pretty big Goodwill pile and I will also attempt to sell some items at a consignment shop soon. I need to go through this process more often.

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Karma decided to sleep in the middle of my laundry/sorting pile.

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3) My husband is amazing. I knew this already, but that guy spent most of his weekend digging out old, moldy caulk and redoing the entire tub and window. We also spent a fair chunk of time at ACE hardware in the caulk aisle and had to make two separate trips there. Fun! Glad that project is done. Can we buy a new house now?

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4) Buying a new pillow helps me sleep better. It has already forced me to be more of a back sleeper, which is great. I tend to sleep on my side or stomach and then I get these huge lines on my face in the morning. I know those can’t be good to keep getting long term. And hooray for the pillow I picked out being only $10 on sale at Target.

5) Showering at the gym isn’t really that bad. Since the caulk had to dry for 24 hours, I had to shower at the gym after my workout on Sunday and while I have always dreaded it, freshening up there wasn’t that bad. It just takes being organized with my supplies.

6) It took a visit to a French restaurant over the weekend to realize that my French comprehension and pronunciation is better than I thought. While I have never taken a formal French class, spending time in Switzerland with French Swiss classmates, traveling in Paris, and my natural language skills helped me feel more confident with the language. I even managed to pronounce the dessert my friend and I ordered correctly!

7) And finally, don’t use a priority mail box for certain situations. Due to this, I spent about 45 minutes in the post office on Saturday. I have to credit the two ladies I worked with at the post office though–they were kind and patient. I am happy to have found a decent post office near our house.

It wasn’t the most relaxing weekend, but I felt like I accomplished a lot and at least I got out of the house to enjoy shopping and dinner out with a friend. More on that in my next post.

What have you learned about yourself or life lately?

My week at a glance

Wow, this week flew by! I can’t believe it’s Friday tomorrow, hooray!

Here is what I have been up to.

Thanks to Partners Hub, I got to try all sorts of various chocolate milk with my work lunches all week.

The Horizon was my favorite.

Horizon Chocolate milk

Lala chocolate milk

I have been enjoying looking at the beautiful mum plants planted along Wisconsin Avenue on my bus ride to and from work. I need to buy some mums of my own next year. They are just so pretty. I love fall!

Mums in Milwaukee

I found a cool new book at the library this week. I have been enjoying looking through it so far. I always like to check out magazines I don’t subscribe to, like Cooking Light.

Fitness for Geeks and Cooking LIght

I have been eating Sassy Cow ice cream for dessert all week. I love this salted caramel flavor!

Sassy Cow Creamery Salted Caramel ice cream

I got to get away from the office for most of my Thursday and spend it at a conference held at the Harley Davidson Museum. I didn’t get to go in the museum yet, but the buildings and grounds themselves were cool to walk around!

Harley Davidson Museum

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It seemed like all of my shoes were falling apart this fall, so I have been buying a lot of new ones, including these lovely $12 black patent flats from Target (they were on sale last week). I am not usually that keen on patent, but they look nice and dressy for work. I wore them today and they were very comfortable. Much better than heels!

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No photo to show, but Craig and I went to yoga tonight and it was great. We hadn’t gone together in a while and it was fun to practice with him. While my usual favorite teacher wasn’t there, I enjoyed the new poses our substitute teacher came up with, especially the ab ones.

I hope your week flew by like mine did! It’s almost the weekend!

Brunch at Blue’s Egg

I finally got to Blue’s Egg in Milwaukee today and it was with a bunch of lovely Milwaukee area bloggers!

Blue's Egg blogger photo

From left to right: Inger, Alysha, Erica, me and Molly.

Karis is not pictured here, but she was with us too! She was nice enough to take this photo and share it with everyone.

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I had tried going to Blue’s before (twice in fact) and the wait was always so long! In fact, Karis and I met there at 9 a.m. today to get our names down on the waiting list for a 10 a.m. brunch time. I think it probably is best to get there right when they open, around 7 a.m.!

I had a Red Stag Cinnamon Cider cocktail and it was tasty! 4 out of the 6 of us had this drink!

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I ordered one of the daily specials, which was a raspberry crepe with a side and I chose fresh fruit.

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Next time I go to Blue’s Egg, I want to get there early, try something savory instead of sweet and have a latte. I am already looking forward to my next brunch there!

Oh and it might have been packed today because it was recently voted Best Breakfast in Milwaukee according to OnMilwaukee.com.

Blue’s Egg
317 N. 76th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53213
(414) 299-3182
http://www.bluesegg.com

Milk Unleashed App and Giveaway!

I’ve got a giveaway for you today!

Milk Unleashed wants to give you a variety pack consisting of four shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Hershey’s, LaLa, Horizon and Organic Valley.*

Check Out the Milk Unleashed Blog App Here.

Milk Unleashed app

The app has On-The-Go Games and Tips! Even cruising down the freeway can be an adventure! With these fun games and tips you can have some family time even when you are out on the road!

On-The-Go Snacks! Have you ever wanted to try the world’s best smoothie? Well Milk Unleashed is here to make all your dreams come true! Find out the best snacks to grab that will make your next outing even more thrilling!

*Milk will be chosen by random from the previously mentioned brands.

To enter (who doesn’t love free milk!?):

1) MANDATORY: Go to the app page and check it out! Come back here to report on your favorite On-The-Go Games from the app.

2) OPTIONAL: Take the Family On-The-Go Quiztacular and post your results in the comments section!

Good luck! I’ll pick one winner on Thursday, October 4 at 8PM CST and e-mail them directly, so please include your e-mail address when you comment.

The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Alysha!

Gutsy Book Club

I know most of my readers probably don’t struggle with Irritable Bowel Disease like I do, but if you have ever suffered from any digestion issues at all, you may be interested in the Gutsy Virtual Book Club I’ve joined through Sarah’s blog. One of my recent goals has been to learn more about colitis and digestion in general. This book club came into my life at the perfect time.

This month, we are reading No Guts, No Glory by Steven Lamm, M.D. and Sidney Stevens.

No Guts, No Glory

I started reading the book during my lunch break and learned so much thus far. I enjoy reading medical books and learning more about our amazing bodies.

Loved this quote from the first page of the book!

Love this quote from No Guts, No Glory

I also liked this passage:

“Unfortunately, most of us, like our doctors, don’t spend enough time thinking about our guts. Patients come to me every day asking ‘How can I keep my heart healthy?’ or ‘What’s the best kind of exercise for losing weight?’ They’re worried about Alzheimer’s, cancer, high blood pressure, and other big-name maladies. Sure, plenty walk in with abdominal complaints, but what they want is relief from the distress and a cure for what ails them. Rarely are they concerned about preserving and enhancing the health of their gut. Nor do most fathom their responsibility for keeping it in shape.”

I rarely thought about my digestive system until at the age of 24, I couldn’t keep food in my stomach. I was in graduate school and needed food to fuel my brain, yet I couldn’t keep it down. Believe me, after 8 years of seeing many gastroenterologists, going through numerous colonoscopies, missing social events, experiencing bad days, abdominal pain and being on many expensive meds–you pay a lot of attention to your gut when you feel like I have all of these years. I look forward to reading this book and learning all I can to help me heal my gut. I also think this is going to help me ask the right questions when I visit my gastroenterologist next week.

I hope you can join Sarah’s book club and get in on the discussion via twitter or her blog!

Fall colors and falling

I felt a little cursed this weekend. All around me, people were falling and nothing seemed to be going my way.

I won’t get into too much detail, but my dad took a really bad spill while we were out hiking yesterday. He’s in a lot of pain, but will be ok with lots of rest and ice over the next couple of days/weeks. I witnessed it and that was no fun, especially because I couldn’t do anything to stop him from falling.

Despite what happened, we had a gorgeous day to experience the fall colors at Lapham Peak.

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After I left my parents’s house, I went to the mall to use a coupon that offered $50 off a purchase of $100 or more. The store that offered it was a mess. It felt like Black Friday or Christmas Eve in there. I couldn’t find a thing I liked or that worked with all of the coupon restrictions.

I headed upstairs in the store to check out their coats and an older woman who was about 7 steps below me fell on the escalator and hit her head. It was my first time seeing someone fall on an escalator like that. I work in a place where kids always fool around on escalators and they are not the place to be doing so.

She was fine in the end and I was shaken up because I had already witnessed a bad fall. It was not fun to witness two older people hurting themselves in one day.

Onto happier things, like comfort food!

I made pancakes this morning and topped them with fresh raspberries and the raspberry enlightenment from Penzey’s, which was a great combination! Craig didn’t have the fresh raspberries and wasn’t as impressed with the raspberry sauce.

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Craig and I went to Target (my happy place) this afternoon and I found these, so into the cart they went. They are really good and super sweet, so I couldn’t eat too many without feeling sugared out. I compensated by buying spinach and eating a big salad for dinner and packing one for lunch tomorrow.

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My work is having a bake sale fundraiser for a co-worker who got hurt in a bad accident a couple of months ago. So, I put on my apron today and baked Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Yes, our kitchen floor is totally 60’s and not my fav and I have a hole in my slipper. I wear these LL Bean slippers out until they are completely unwearable.

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Here I am baking–thanks to my sweet hubby for taking photos.

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mixing up the muffin batter

I just realized it’s my first time making anything for a bake sale! I am glad the muffins turned out really well and I hope there are a lot of pumpkin fans among my co-workers.

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I got to the gym twice this weekend. I managed to work hard enough yesterday that I feel some muscle fatigue today. I attribute it to the squats I did with weights and on the bosu with just my body weight. My knee has been aching lately, so I am trying to be careful and yet build up the muscles around it to make sure I don’t injure it.

I ended the weekend by shopping online. My black boots are falling apart on the bottom (seems to be a theme with my shoes lately) and so I bought these beauties in black. I have been looking everywhere for new tall black boots, but they have to be flat, comfortable and look sort of European to me (this is how I define it instead of “cowboy boots”/American), etc. I just hope I love these when I get them in the mail and that they fit great. I have better luck with shopping online lately, so I took the risk and figure I can always return them.

Time to get ready for bed! I can’t believe the weekend is over already. I hope next weekend is a bit more calm (and this week is too).

Red Mango event today in Fox Point

While I wish this post was about actually going to Red Mango in Fox Point for some delicious frozen yogurt, it isn’t.

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Instead, I am happy to share this opportunity for any locals who can attend an opening party and blogging event today, Saturday, September 29th from noon-4.

There will be a blogger station with free wifi for blogging during the event! Residents will be treated to a free small yogurt with their choice of toppings and the first 100 guests will each receive a Red Mango t-shirt. There will also be a photo booth to take photos of themselves with their Red Mango creation, photos with Miss Mango, music and more. It’s their way of celebrating the new store opening in the community and thanking local residents.

I had previous plans to take my parents hiking at Lapham Peak, so that’s what I’ll be doing! I’ve never been to a Red Mango, but I definitely will check the Fox Point one out soon!

Red Mango-Fox Point location at the Riverpoint Shopping Center
8663A N. Port Washington Road
Fox Point, WI

Calmness

How is your week going? Mine has been pretty good so far! I don’t think a lot of Packer fans can say that today after that horrible referee call last night. I don’t watch football, but even I was shocked and angry when I saw that play on the news this morning. My favorite headline was “Clueless in Seattle.”

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I’ve had quite a calm come over me lately. I don’t know if it was that week of vacation I took, that I am still feeling sort of out it from this never-ending cold virus or that meditation is the cause of it. Whatever it is, I am thankful for the feeling.

To keep my calm feeling, I went for a walk outside in the gorgeous fall weather during my lunch break today. My destination was Starbucks and a Pumpkin Spice Latte was my treat.

I have only had two this season and they have hit the spot! For some reason, they taste much better than I remembered them tasting last year. I think it’s my imagination though.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (second of the season)

It was so calm and quiet at Starbucks. I just chilled in a chair and played on my iPhone and watched people.

Starbucks

This sounds odd, but I know I am not the only girl that does this. I spotted a girl who was dressed so cute in a typical fall outfit: brown boots, dark tights, a skirt and a crossbody purse. She looked effortless. I think I need to dress like that more often, especially in fall because I love wearing dresses or skirts with tights and tall boots. I looked down at my boring outfit and thought to myself, you can do better.

While walking, I listened to a great new podcast: From the Inside Out by Trish Blackwell.

Trish Blackwell podcast

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The episode I listened to was about patience. I think I am a pretty patient person, but I know that everyone could find ways to be more patient and it was a good reminder to work on that.

Dinner tonight was kind of my go-to meal: quinoa with whatever I can find to dump in it. I mixed together Trader Joe’s roasted red peppers, quark from Clock Shadow, feta cheese, various spices, sea salt and cooked chickpeas. I made enough for leftovers for our lunches too.

Quinoa with chickpeas, roasted red peppers, quark and feta

Instead of going to the gym, I took advantage of the crisp and beautiful weather and went for a bike ride. There won’t be many more evenings left to do that, so I figured I should spend some time outside.

Craig suggested I also do Wii Fit, which I haven’t done in ages. I got a half hour in on there and it felt great to have fun while playing various balance and cardio levels.

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My favorite is catching the fish in the penguin balance game. 🙂 I also did step aerobics on there for 10 minutes, which got me sweating! It was a good reminder to pull out the Wii more in the winter months, when I don’t feel like going to the gym.

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Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favorite you subscribe to? I have a mixture of fitness, travel, language, vegetarian, NPR and nutrition podcasts on my iPhone.

New scarf and Beans & Barley

After being sick all week, we finally got out of the house today and had some fun at Doors Open Milwaukee. More on that in a separate post.

I barely did anything yesterday because I pulled a muscle in my chest/back from coughing. Luckily, I felt much better when I woke up today and it only hurts a little. This virus is not leaving my body and it’s maddening.

I was sporting a new infinity scarf from yala designs today…it’s made of viscose from bamboo and super soft! The only thing I will have to be careful about is washing it and the other items I ordered. They say to launder with gentle soap, but don’t consider Woolite a gentle detergent.

my new Yala infinity scarf (bamboo)--love it!

Craig and I took a break from Doors Open mid-afternoon and went to Beans & Barley for lunch.

I wanted to choose something I normally wouldn’t make at home or find anywhere else, so I ordered a Walnut Burger.

Here’s the description from their menu: A seasoned walnut & cheese patty from Wisconsin’s Historic Trempealeau Hotel. We serve the burger on a rustic sandwich bun, with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato.

It was really delicious and a moist veggie burger. I loved the bun as well.

Beans & Barley Walnut Burger

We both couldn’t finish our meals and decided to bring half home. I loved that the boxes they gave us are reusable.

reusable container from Beans & Barley

Beans & Barley leftovers

We hadn’t been to Beans & Barley for a couple of years, so it was good to be back. I always enjoy checking out the attached market too.

Beans & Barley Market & Cafe
1901 East North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 278-7878 Customer Service / Voice