Le Petit Chef – Watch your miniature chef on your table

One might not know that the movie Ratatouille is one of my favorite animated movies of all time. I love France, I love food and the creation of such and anything miniature, but rats, not so much. Remy, does get a pass as this movie has a cute story line to it. In saying that, wouldn’t it be great to see something miniature like Remy make your dinner?

Blague à part, let me introduce to you a fun restaurant where one can watch their meal being made, sort of. This fun 3D projective grill show will make you forget you are even waiting for your meal. Based in Cambrai, France you will be treated for a feast for your eyes. Check out the two creation videos below created by SkullMapping. How cute is it when the chef gets on a jet ski and rides around your plate?

Le Petit Chef
1 Rue des Docks, 59400 Cambrai, France
+33 3 27 81 47 46

Au fait, could you bring this restaurant to Colorado Springs/Denver asap? Merci. I should check out local French restaurants. I usually don’t go to fancy restaurants, but when I do, it’s usually French. I’ve been learning to cook French foods this past year anyways, so when I heard about this restaurant, I had to blog about it and share it with my subscribers.

Vive la France! Bon appétit!

The Lantern Festival 2015 Colorado

Saturday night we went to Fountain, Colorado to attend the Lantern Festival 2015. This was an event that had been planned for about 3 months and I couldn’t wait for it! I’ve always wanted to see one of these lantern festivals and didn’t really know that they had them here.

Attending a Lantern Festival is a fun yet very spiritual experience at the same time. Many people attend lantern festivals as a symbolic way of “letting go” of their past or any regrets that they may have. Many others such as myself wanted to symbolically honor our loved ones that have passed away by “letting go” of a lantern towards heaven as if sending a message of love. As some of you may know, I lost my adoptive mother on Thanksgiving Day at 11:30 am after her battle with breast cancer. I was there by her bedside when she passed away. Her birthday is the day after Christmas, so the holidays can be a little tough for me. Early October this year I also got news that my youngest sister passed away due to medical complications. I have 4 sisters so losing a sibling was new to me and only brought up sadness of losing someone special. On a good note from this news, I got in contact with my older sister in Brazil so we now write each other via Facebook. She will be raising my youngest nephew (3 months old) from my sister who passed away. I got to see new pictures of all my beautiful nieces and nephews. I think I’m also a great-aunt!

I almost got hit by unsuspecting lanterns trying to float up. One minute I’m minding my own business and the next I hear someone yelling, “Watch out!” as I turn around just in time to duck a lantern flying past me. The lantern landed a few feet away and someone picked it up and let it fly up. This was happening everywhere, not just me. Another time a lantern floated by, but not towards me. There was laughter and much chatter among everyone, the air was filled with harmony and love. I can’t pin point the feeling, but it was a positive one. Susie Brown was the guest singer and I just love that girl; she’s just one of the most talented and simply gorgeous singers out there! Her songs are great; I just wish I was closer up to the stage to see her. I may have gotten a haircut a year or so ago like hers. Check my twitter photos to find the picture. You’ll see me rockin’ the black hair and short bangs there. Anyways, check out her Twitter and Instagram profile and follow her like me!

Attending a lantern festival was on my bucket list and I’m so glad I finally went to one. If you ever get a chance, check out one out by your city. Trust me, you won’t regret it, it’s one of those moments you won’t ever forget.

Until next time my darlings. xoxo

Exploring the tallest sand dunes in America

This past Saturday we went here to the sand dunes in Southern Colorado. It was a long 2.5 hour drive from my home up in the Northeast Colorado Springs home. Driving there was fun and my anticipation was getting the best of me. I kept thinking what it was going to be like once I arrived. I thought perhaps it would very hot, sand would be blowing all over and into my hair. I knew the dunes were going to be big, but nothing prepared me to how huge they actually were and how long it would take to just climb just halfway up a dune. Sand dunes are nothing new; they are part of my childhood. In Brazil, we’d go to a beach and this particular beach had 4 story high sand dunes that my friends I would slide down in plastic bags into what we called “Coca Cola Lake” because it looked like soda. Another vacation in Fortaleza would consist of riding in a dune buggy up and down the dunes and screaming our heads off. I thought it would be fun to check out “the biggest sand dunes in the USA”.


Once you turn into the National Park where the Sand Dunes are, you think you are there right? Not so. You then drive 19 more miles to see the dunes! Just as you turn a corner you suddenly see them rising up from the horizon like a mirage of a different land. Just beyond the dunes you see a stark contrast not just in color, but in topography of the Rocky Mountains, guarding the dunes from behind as if to control the sands to not move any closer to them.


There is a visitor’s center which is lovely and some information about the ever changing sand dunes and how they change. From this vantage point you can see how big the dunes are and as I looked closer I saw tiny little dots moving up and down the dunes. People! How small they appeared! I couldn’t wait any longer and wanted to join them and start walking as far as I could up the dunes.


After parking the car, you walk down a little trail surrounded by local bushes and trees which then opens up to this scene above. Once seeing the dunes in front of me, I felt like I entered planet Tatooine (Star Wars reference for all you Star Wars fans out there like myself). The air was very cool and not humid at all. Even the wind was gentle and starting to cool my already forming sweat beads on my forehead from the blazing Colorado sun. The sand here is a little too soft and hard to walk on. I noticed there were several types of consistency in the type of sands we walked on. It took about 15 minutes or so to get to the dunes from this point.


Halfway there! Good thing we brought water!


Our view from the first dune we climbed!


Taking a rest. I lost count all the times I had to take off my shoes and dump mounds of sand from them. Yes, I know I could have walked barefoot, but you never know what lies beneath the sand that could cut your feet. By this point, you are already an hour away from the parking lot in walking distance. pic15WPAmandasCamelot2015

As I surveyed the vast land before me and thought how I am the mistress of my dune domain, I drew this heart. Love.

Sisterly love.


As we continued to walk up another dune, I came across these footprints that just begged to be photographed. This part of the hike was easy to walk on as the sand was firmer, but the ascent was still a bit of a struggle.


Even though this picture is darker than the others, I still like this picture. Depending where the sun was and the glare, some pictures came out darker or lighter than the others. This picture gives forth a solemn mood yet it’s so delicate and soothing.


This is a view looking towards the parking lot and the surrounding mountains.


We walked along this ledge of a sand dune to get to another sand dune. The other side just dropped several stories below. This was taken coming back trying to beat the sun. Much to my surprise, some people were heading towards the dunes.


Heading back. What a view!



This couple were ahead of us when we were ascending the dunes. Going back they booked it to the parking lot.


Remember that one photo where I mentioned it dropped several stories below from a ledge? Here is a better view as we approached it. It wasn’t scary at all walking along it, but once you slide down the side it’s hard to climb back up because the sand just carries you down. No bueno.


Stacked pancake clouds! Made me hungry. Anyways, if you look real hard you can see people on top of the dunes or walking up the dunes. We noticed many dogs were also climbing up the dunes and happily barking at other dogs, playing in the sand. The sound of a cute laughter of a little girl filled the dunes, something was making her laugh so much. If she had continued any longer I would have been creeped out. It was just great just sitting there and listening to everything. Everyone seemed happy. The thing we noticed was that as far as they were from us, we could easily hear what they were saying and talking about. Sound just traveled so easily between the dunes, it was not uncommon to hear several conversations all at once yet be so far away from everyone! According to my very unscientific estimate, everyone was about a good 45-60 minutes walk away from each other.

Overall, it was a great day and a place I’ve been wanting to go for a long time. I was not disappointed.

This blog post is dedicated to my youngest sister.

Be on a lookout for a video I’m working on. I’ll post it on here as soon as I can.

For more information about the dunes, check it out here: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Weekly Photo Challenge: My happy place


Our weekly photo challenge this week is to showcase a place we are happy at or happiest at. I chose this photo from the waterfalls we went to a few weeks ago. It is here by a waterfall that I feel a piece of home come alive. I could go on an analogy explanation about how it relates to life, but I won’t. It just gives me wonderful memories of my childhood and also of my precious time spent with my mother. Let me explain.

When I was a child my mom would take me to waterfalls deep in the Amazon jungle. It was there that I would play with my friends under the falls and swim about. Sometimes we’d even take a picnic and fry fish over an open fire on a sand dune island. What others may think as a piece of paradise to be swimming in fresh water surrounded by jungle trees, blue butterflies and an abundant amount of sunshine to dry you off, was normal for me growing up. As I grew older and got into my teens, my friends and I would visit our other friend who would then take us to a secret location where another waterfall was.

By the time I was in High School and in my Senior year, we took a 2 week Senior trip all across Brazil, from the tip of the Amazon to Argentina where we saw the amazing “Foz do Iguacu”. If you haven’t been to a World Wonder, you have to go there. I’ve been there twice. Imagine the scene where all the elves lived in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and that is what it’s like when you first see Foz do Iguacu. I was blown away. These waterfalls are not to be messed with, they are hardcore. They are rough! One of the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life and to this day I can’t believe I did it, was to go on a little motor boat with 8 other people and go to the edge of the “Devil’s Throat” waterfall. I suppose I was feeling like a dare devil that day because I didn’t blink an eye when asked to go on the boat. We all wore life jackets, but now that I think about it, if that little motor on that boat gave out we all would’ve gone over the waterfall; I wouldn’t be sitting here writing on this blog to live to tell about it. Here’s a video to show you exactly how magnificent these waterfalls are.

When I came to the USA, my mom and I went to the Canadian side to see Niagara Falls and it was pretty nice, not the prettiest, but definitely massive in the amount of water you witness causing a thunderous sound as it pounds the rocks below.

So you can imagine my delight when I’ve been able to visit two waterfalls here in Colorado Springs (both within half an hour away from where I live), Helen Hunt Falls and this one, Seven Falls that is pictured above. I was so excited to be there at those waterfalls and to just bask in the sun and listening to the water. These falls are in the mountains and this Brazilian girl never experienced hiking and seeing such beauty before, that’s why I enjoyed myself so much that day. Waterfalls in the mountains…. truly a gorgeous experience and one I can see over and over again since I live so close to them.

It’s a piece of home away from home where I grew up. And it’s a great thing. Oh. I found some old pictures from when I visited Iguacu Foz. Check them out below.

Iguacu Foz
This was taken at the edge of one of the waterfalls, “Devil’s Throat”. The thundering sound of the water was immense. The mist from the falls also caused one to get immediately soaked within minutes! This ledge was pretty cool and one I’ll never forget.

Iguacu Foz
This was my High School boyfriend (now ex of course, but he was my first serious boyfriend) and I posing next to the falls. I look at this picture and think how long ago this was, almost twilight years when I was just a wee thing and naïve to what the world would present to me once I graduated from my senior year in a few months back then. Anyways, yes, it looks dangerous but in actuality we were never in danger. There were plenty of rocks near us, but they don’t show up in the picture. This is also the days before I colored my hair brown, haha. I definitely want to return back some day, it’s truly a spectacular place to walk around.

I love this picture that I took. These kids were my school friends ranging from grades 9-12th grade. Some of them came from Japan, Switzerland, USA and Brazil. My school was next to a German/Swiss school, so many of their students came with us on this 2 week trip. It was a lot of fun!

Dating & Marriage: He seems perfect, now what?


Let’s say you’ve met the perfect person, the one you’ve been waiting for all your life…or so you think. How do you know if you should pursue the relationship farther? Here are some key questions to discuss with your significant other. I’ll answer with what I would say, if I were in a relationship (which I’m not, I’m very single). Let’s say I’m in an “ideal” relationship now (hypothetically), this is how I would answer. These questions are good and really do make you think if it’s a promising future with your loved one.

What are you like when you are mad?
This is key in knowing if you are willing to live with someone who will have outbursts for the rest of your life. Are they cool and collected? Do they walk away and slam doors? Worse yet, do they get physical? Some of these questions remind me of when I would be with my clients and I’d discuss relationship problems with them. I now remember asking them these questions, but this was more of an assessment of a domestic violence situation or warning signs of abuse in a relationship. My last job consisted of Social Work duties with clients.

As for me, when I get angry, I suddenly clam up which is opposite of how I usually am, which is being outgoing. I clam up because I’m thinking over the ordeal. I’m processing what I want to say next. Then I speak and have my say. He would have to give me a few minutes to gather my thoughts. I never shout or yell. That’s just not me. I try to use the words, “It makes me feel…when you do that” instead of using “you” to start accusations because that just puts the other person in defense. It brings the attention to you instead.

-Do you understand each other’s love language?

This just means, do you guys know how each other wants to be shown love and are you comfortable with it? Let’s say your significant other is not the romantic type, but you are. Will you have misunderstandings with that? Will you want him to change? What if he shows you his love in other ways? Find out now, before it becomes a problem, that way you both understand how you show your love to each other and what to expect.

I for one am a very romantic person. I’d prefer someone I like or love to be romantic as well. Maybe the other person writes music or draws to show his love and affection, I need to know this so I can understand how he thinks and shows it. Some people cook to show their affection to the one they adore. I haven’t had anyone cook for me in a very long time, but when that day comes, I’m just going to melt like butter.

-What rules or guidelines do you live by?

People from all over the world believe in many different faiths and rules. Are you willing to live with someone with very opposite rules that you both live by? Or do you want someone with similar rules and faith?

As for me, I go by three rules that I strongly go by. Respect, love and being true to yourself. How can you possibly respect someone you truly care about if you don’t respect yourself first? Respect yourself enough to say, “You know what? I’m a good and decent person, I don’t deserve to be spoken to that way or treated that way by you.” A person without self respect would allow bad things to keep on happening to them. To love yourself is a biggie. Not to be mixed up with arrogance. To love yourself can also mean to nurture yourself when you feel down. Being true to yourself for me means to be who you are-simple. Don’t change for anyone else. If you have certain principles, stick and stand by them. I’d want someone with similar rules such as that that they follow.

-What things are you willing to give up for the other person?

Are you willing to have a long distance relationship? For how long? Are you willing to move to another State to be with someone? Do you want kids? What if they don’t want kids? What if they smoke and you can’t breathe because you have asthma? What if you hate dogs and they have 4 dogs? What if they have a crazy family? Are you willing to put up with them because you love your other half that much? What if they don’t want to get married for the next 10 years?

If someone said I had to give up blogging and stop interacting with my subscribers to spend more time with them, I wouldn’t do it. Blogging is fun and it makes me happy to share my thoughts. To take that away from me would be like ripping my right arm off. If they had a job that made them transfer to another State or country, yes, I would be willing to move in a heartbeat. Just to be near them, I would go to the moon if I had to. Ok, maybe not. I’d get bored up there.

-What happens when trust is broken?

That “T” word. Talk about what would or will happen if someone breaks it-trust. Are you the type who will end all if the other is caught cheating? Or are you the type who will try and work it out? Better to talk about it now then to find out later so that you’re on the same page.

Out of all my past relationships, I’ve only trusted two significant others, Brian and Andreas. Both of these guys had a natural way about them that made me trust them completely and we had no issues during our time together. They both were very open to their female and male friends about me and I never once felt threatened by another female. I had complete trust in them and they with me. Cheating to me is a deal breaker, of course. I don’t give second chances with that.

What else other than love keeps you together?

Yes, having love being the glue that keeps you together is all great, but there is more to that special connection right? At the end of the day, are you both team players and lovers? Do you push each other to be the best that you can be? Are you also friends? Do you have similar life goals?

I’m very competitive and playful, so having someone in my life who has a streak of competitiveness and silliness would be a dream come true. I’m also an adventurer and explorer. Having someone with those traits would be great to have to add more “glue” to the relationship or marriage. Similar life goals & interests is a huge must have for me.

There are just some helpful questions to have answered if you are thinking of pursuing a life long commitment together. I’m not trying to be a psychologist here obviously, just some random late night thoughts of mine to these questions. Some food for thought so to speak.

Until next time my loves!



Amanda’s Midnight Potion (Halloween)


2015-09-30 20.46.56

Hi guys!

I was inspired to make my own version of this fun drink tonight that is family friendly. It’s very simple. All you need are the following items:

– Blue juice
– Black sugar (store bought)
– Yellow, Red and Blue food dye.
– Plain sugar (if you want to make your own black sugar, I highly suggest this instead)
– Honey
– FAKE spiders!
– Funky or stylish glasses (mine were plastic)

To make your own black sugar, put in the amount of sugar you want for how many glasses you will be coating in a plastic cup. Add the red, yellow and blue food dyes to the sugar. Stir. Add more blue food dye to make it darker.

Place the black sugar on a plate. Lightly coat the rims of the glasses with honey to “hold” the black sugar. Dip the rims in the black sugar.

Add the blue juice.

Decorate with fake spiders and voila, you’ve got yourself Halloween party drinks for your guests!

The original alcohol version can be found here: Alcohol version

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Made with Square InstaPic


This past Sunday we went up to Woodland Park, a cozy mountain town 30-45 minutes from Colorado Springs. As we drove down one of the roads away from civilization, we came upon a long and windy road that snaked up and down fields and trees. The Aspen trees are already showing off their colors, which got me even more excited for Autumn to come. In Colorado Springs, the trees are just taking their time turning colors, but soon and one day, I’ll be blown away by the massive yellows and oranges that will suddenly appear overnight. Anyways, I whipped out my camera and took some shots. In 10 ten days, it will be exactly a year since we arrived to visit Colorado. Now I live here. Welcome to Autumn in my Camelot…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today was a Good Day


It was a good day because I found this app and I could frame these flowers! I love taking pictures, but I also enjoy framing my photos too. This elegant frame seemed appropriate for these flowers. What is the app? It’s called “Photo Studio” and you can find this exact frame for your photos on there. I’m still discovering all it has, so that’s always fun. I did use Picasa to do a quick green border around the frame.

This picture suggests romance, elegance and perhaps a little wish for the future in my humble opinion. I like to interpret things I see and photograph them, but I also like to see if my viewers also see what I see. Maybe if I take a dreamy picture, does it mean I’m in a dreamy state of mood? Yes! Very much so. I show my emotions through my photography.

So do you have plans this weekend? If you know me well by now, you will probably know that I love theater! In saying that, I’m going to a theatrical dance play called The Warriors: A Love Story. The main characters of said play is about a philosopher and a dancer who were truly in love and survived the war. My kind of play! Those are my plans for Friday night this week, just another excuse to dress up; besides the play is free. Then this weekend it’s off to see the Hot Air Balloon festival here in Colorado Springs!

It’s September already, can you believe it? I hope this month treats everyone of you very kindly.

Until next time my darlings. xoxo

Amanda’s Journal: Getting great news


Dear Journal,

I’ve been riding a wave of euphoria since Sunday night at 8 PM. I can’t stop smiling, I am filled with happiness. I received news from a woman who knows my biological mom down in Brazil. She said my mom is doing well despite having had a stroke and is currently living with my older sister. She sent me a recent picture of my mother and as I stared at her lovely face, I was filled with love and pure joy. In the picture, my mom has the biggest smile and looks like she is about to break out in a huge laugh-it’s fantastic! She has more grey hair since I last saw her, but still retains that very youthful look. My mom (my adoptive mom who raised me) said out of all my sisters, I look the most like my biological mom. So, now that we have a middle woman between us, I can get her address and be more in contact with her. I had lost contact with her, so I wasn’t sure if she was still alive or not. I’m happy as a clam right now! Knowing she is alive and well makes me want to do the best in everything I do; I want her to be proud of me.

So that’s my great news!

As a way to show how news can affect how great news like this affects a blogger as myself, I thought it was the perfect time to change my blog name from JavaGirl’s Life to Amanda’s Camelot. I have my google alerts set for my own blog name and there are some other JavaGirl(s) with questionable intentions that I didn’t want to be associated with. I had wanted to change my blog name since last year anyways, I just didn’t know to what or when. Amanda is my middle name which I love very much. I chose using my middle name because I have a very unique first name and as far as I know I am the only one in the State of Colorado who has this name and one of 6 people in the entire USA who shares this name. So, for privacy reasons, I wanted to use my middle name. Camelot comes from the second definition of the word in the Webster dictionary: a time, place, or atmosphere of idyllic happiness. I like the name camelot because I have a romantic view of life. I love all things royal, castles, old world love and art. Colorado is my camelot. I love this place! I love the mountains, the wild flowers, the air and it truly represents where I live right now. It’s my camelot; where my dreams will come true whatever they may be. Everyday will not be perfect, but they will be better and easier.

Oh and I just got myself a new business partner or is it the other way around? We’re at the beginning phase, but things will move along fast because most of the research and bare bones of the website/store is already laid out.



Sunday with my bestfriend….


This past Sunday took my bestfriend and I to explore Breckenridge and Frisco (Colorado). The trip took two hours to get to Breckenridge from Colorado Springs, but on our way there, we ran into three storms. During one of those storm breaks, we stopped at a place where you could see miles and miles of land before you. I mean, it was one of those moments that takes your breath away. As far as the eye could see, you saw mountains and a big valley below. There was this skinny road that passed through the valley and I asked my bestfriend, “Is that the road we’ll be taking which leads straight into those big mountains?”. In my mind, I felt like I was heading into some Lord of the Rings journey.


The answer was yes. The ledge where we were standing was full of wild flowers and you know how crazy I get about wild flowers. If there is one thing on my bucket list that I really want to do is to lay in a huge field of wild flowers. I’ve never done that. Not just any field of wild flowers, but a mountain field of wild flowers. Well, here, there were wild flowers, but not enough.


We passed through South Park. Yeah, that South Park in Colorado. I’ve never been here before and it was interesting to see what it was like. For starters, it seemed to be a town where time stood still. The town seemed quiet and unassuming. There seemed to be just one main road there as most mountain town have in Colorado.


Once in Breckenridge, we stopped and had lunch. I had made a nice picnic and we munched on our sandwiches as we took in the beauty of the town. Most of the day was cloudy, so I’m sorry if the pictures seem dull. There weren’t many blue skies the day we went. It didn’t stop the towns from looking beautiful though. Breckenridge is a ski resort town, so you could see all the ski trails up in the mountains.


We were surrounded by these flowers as we ate our lunch. So pretty…


Gondolas! They looked so peaceful as they made their way up the mountain. Then this is what followed my thoughts.
Bestfriend: But do you see how high they go?
Me: No.
Me: They seem to go over a certain point and then you can’t see how high they go.
Me: (After much thought and self control of excitement) Will you please, please go on it with me?
Bestfriend: What? Are you kidding me? That looks scary! I’m not going on that thing, nuh uh!
Me: Aw, come on!
Bestfriend: No way. (Their face appeared determined to not go)
Me: Come on! We’ll have fun! I promise not to rock the gondola.
Bestfriend: Look how they sway! Is that normal? They are swaying too much! No way am I going on that!
Me: Uhhh. Maybe the people are rocking it on purpose. I highly doubt it would be the gondola itself.


A miracle happened that day. I was able to convince my bestfriend to come with me to find out how high it went from the ticket booth guy. Luckily, it was a free 12 minute ride and it only went to a certain point. That’s good. We could survive that. I was so proud of my bestfriend because they agreed to get on. I was beyond excited! It was a nice ride and I got some good shots. I video taped most of the ride, but the windows were scratched up, so I only used a few clips that didn’t show the scratches.


We finally arrived in Frisco and checked out the marina. The first time I came here back in October, it was night and I wasn’t able to see all the mountains. Frisco Bay is a place where I want to come back and kayak, but today we were just exploring it.



Some may already know I love marinas! I love any form of water be it lakes, rivers, waterfalls, oceans or even small streams. I love being out in the water and feeling the wind in my face as I ride sailboats, boats or even kayaks. There is something so pure and natural to be so close to water. I just feel so at home by water. I’m working on getting my Safety Boating Certificate so I can legally operate a boat out in the lakes. Maybe one day I’ll get my own boat.




I love using the tilt shift on my camera. It makes the boats look miniature.



This dog was so cute! His owners were throwing a stick for him to go after and he seemed so happy just to be running around.

Here is the video of our day. Unfortunately, my Windows Movie Maker was not working tonight, so I had to use YouTube for my editing. Hope you like the video! Until next time!