Songs, Movies, and Jean Dujardin

I mean really right now, you cannot get away from that guy if you tried. He’s everywhere, stalking my life in Paris.

First here…..

Isn’t the dog the best part?!

Uggie is so frickin’ adorable and reminds of Tiffany (which makes me miss home and these two very much)

Obviously they didn’t know that I was screen-shoting them while we were Skyping and yes, that is my French homework in the background. I will give you a lot of props if you can read it and translate the bits that you can see without using Google Translate.

But back to my point, you are simply not French if you do not love Jean Dujardin right now, it’s kind of Kate Middleton (oh I’m sorry Duchess Catherine Middleton) in England, you either love her or you’re going to the Tower (Anne Boleyn style).

(BTW—> check out this blog-I love Kate Middleton, but even I find these photos quite hilarious….now I just to show it to my mom who is slightly obsessed with the Royal Couple….just slightly…)

http://katemiddletonforthewin.tumblr.com/

So….as I was saying before, liking Jean Dujardin right now is like being obsessed with Kate Middleton or French chocolate (aka the best thing ever!), but it’s a basic part of my life now. We watched a spoof secret agent comedy of his on TV this past week and his movie “Les Infideles” is completely full in cinemas and the ads are following me everywhere. And I literally mean everywhere, that’s the one thing about Europe, I never really watch television here but when I do, the advertisements are for food and the like, but everywhere you walk is a movie poster, and it’s the same five movies everywhere that you see. So it kind of forces to go and see the movie because you are so tired at that point to even fight against that movie that has been haunting you for the past two weeks in all of the Métro stations in Paris.

I’ll see it eventually, but Léa, my French “sister” told me that it will be sold out for a while, so I will wait like everyone else and rent some movies….

like “Arthur” (the original from 1981, heard the  Christopher Cross song in a restaurant in Arles, bought the song, now I want to rent it and watch it again because it reminds me of my Mom)

“Hugo” —> heard its adorable and very much a delight to watch

“Cafe de Flore”: Vanessa Paradis, I want to see it just for that reason and its in French)–> le ultimate point of this whole semester

“Sound of Music”: How could I not? It’s my comfort film and I’m here in Europe after all.

Currently watching “Father of the Bride”: ALL THE TIME, I never could tire of that movie, I just put it on in the background and listen most of the time while I’m doing other things and now I know every word (but I am not one of those people that if we were to watch the movie together that I would say all the lines out loud at the same time as the movie)

I just say them in my head….

Happy March everyone! And go eat your pancakes if you didn’t already-apparently February 29th this year was National Pancake Day and 24-hour Disneyland day,  that sucks that I missed them. Oh well, this weekend somehow involves making breakfast goods of a yummy nature….and trying to think of trips and when to go to EuroDisney like the tourist that I am. Now to make both you and me drool over breakfast food that just isn’t the same here in France. Although we do have crêpes,…..hmmm which one is better 

Crêpes or Pancakes?

(Source)

(Source)

Here’s to a fantastic Friday everyone!

Advertisements

just blink once and it’s March!

Frankily, I think every day about what my life is supposed to be like in the future, all the steps that I have taken and experiences that life has put me through. I cannot help but feel a smile come across my face whenever I look back into the past. I know that we make things seem glossy and pretty when we think about the past as if everything was perfect and we were “supposed” to experience that horrible or wonderful thing for some “amazingly profound” reason. But hey if I think this way…It can only make life that much better. 

Image

That’s the very sad view that I “had” to look at while running this week…isn’t that awful?<— (;

Thanks iPhone for letting me take ridiculously cool pictures while I’m running. Speaking of….

I ran tonight with my French host family, the Madame, and my “french sister”<—that’s what I like to call her. And it was awesome, the best (one of the best experiences that I have had while living here. The night is perfect for running in Paris (oh my gosh, enough already), but it’s so true. I was grinning like a dumb fool the entire time, I wonder if my French family thinks I am on happy pills sometimes because if I don’t say anything for a little bit I just smile and think about how much I am enjoying myself right now. But it was wonderful and we ran 9 km. Booyah for running like 40 km this week! My calves feel like the Hulk right now, but I am cloud nine right now. 

 

And we took some adorable pictures together underneath the Eiffel Tower, just like tourists should (:

 

I feel like such a bad….blank for running with my Marathon (5 time!) running Madame, who will be running the Paris Marathon in April. Which I will be here for, so that I can run the beginning as well<—so siked! (really way tooo excited for all this business—thank you to all those blogs that I love to read, Runner’s World Magazine, and Forrest Gump. Yes if Forrest Gump can run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours, then I can continue to train and eventually run a 1/2 and full marathon one day). 

I must say that it is much better sometimes to:

A) Run with a partner (or in my case–>two)

B) Give yourself some space from the music and the iPod

C) Run in PARIS at night (Ridiculous-absolutely indescribable)

Ok, I’ll stop now and actually finish my French homework for tomorrow. (:

Image

My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” 

 -Forrest Gump

 

 

Just do it!

To make this semester, and this entire year abroad, a full circle, I chose today to look back at the some of the amazing opportunities, memories, and events that I have had the privilege to be a part of.

And with this being a day of great reflection, I wanted to make this an opportunity for myself to improve upon the person that I strive to be everyday.

It is no longer a matter of saying the things that I want to do, to become, but actually taking the moment to live them out. To take that extra step and really make these days count. There is a glass half full and I am only choosing to see it this way.

To see it any other way would be to miss a grand opportunity, a chance to do or see something truly extraordinary. As of late, the newness of being here has faded away and my class schedule sometime seems like a killer, but it’s really not all that bad. Whatever way I want to see it is how these next months until JUNE are going to play out.

-A list of ordinary pleasures-

(that I consider essential to a complete experience of Paris):

 1) Order a croissant and/or pain au chocolat —at Poilane, perhaps ( I know-it’s been a month, I must be somewhat crazy to have not eaten one yet)

2) Try a religeuese (look it up, they look delicious!!)

3) An eclair (um, yum!)

4) Have brunch at Laduree (Courtney’s recommendation)

5) Relive the Fall semestre and enjoy a meal on top of the Eiffel Tower

6) Run in the Jardin du Luxembourg

7) See the Cezanne exhibit at the Musee du Luxembourg

8) Fully explore the Louvre

9) The Musee d’Orsay

10) The Museum of Romantic Life

11) Eat a crêpe in Paris at the Eiffel Tower

12) Sit outside on a sunny day in a sidewalk café

13) Go see Montmatre and Sacre Coeur

14) Eat lunch at Colette

15) Travel France

16) Visit Bruges and Brussels

17) Explore a hidden garden or passageway

18) Go, shop, and attend an outdoor food/antique market

19) Attend Mass at a Different Cathedral once a week

20) Shop-just Shop period, because if you don’t buy anything, it’s really fun to “window shop” in Paris

21) Get a Parisian haircut

22) Picnic outdoors (when it’s warmer!)

23) Attend a new museum exhibit once/twice a week

24) See a film/movie (French and Non-French) once per week

25) Eat lots of good food and keep trying new places in Paris.

Bonus: 26) Start acting like a tourist again and take a ton of pictures….everywhere 😉  (why not?)

27) Schedule a trip to Italy (hahaha I wish!)

yup, this is what made my day all better

(source)

Too Much to Ask For

This post and a million other tiny things put my recent musings into perspective.

(part time princess)

Um yes…because this is me that we are talking about. But I don’t think that the first truly quote truly defines me, it sounds ideal, but is it really?  Well when all else fails, I’ll do what T told me to do and put hands together and pray. I won’t always remember the moments, but I will remember the people who stuck by me and got me through it all. Now i’m signing off. I can’t sit any longer…..

What I should be doing….tomorrow after the dental appointment…maybe this week is more likely. Check out that nail polish!

(part time princess)

(source)

I’m trying not to care

I’m trying not to care, but I do. I still worry about the same things as I do all the time, but everything, especially being here in Paris, is a little muddled right now. Right now though, I am simply contemplating the decision to either face plant it into bed or organize my computer, life and email for another hour after today was a very successful day on the homework front since I had a little dental disaster…..more to come on that later. I just want it all to be over and then I think I can calmly rationalize the situation a little bit. Tomorrow….tomorrow. I suggested to Christine that after my appointment tomorrow that we go and get smoothies, so nothing is too hard on “tooth”…and surprisingly we found a really cool “underground” smoothie place in Paris. NO english was used on the website woo! (that means its truly “authentic” in my mind at least)

Trying to think about attempting a run before school tomorrow but if that doesn’t happen in the morning, I have to go think about this all in the evening.

Meanwhile, I am going to continue picturing my life looking like this in my Burberry jacket, strolling along the streets of Paris, with a perfectly coiffed, yet messy bun. Thank you, Tessa.

photo 1, photo 2

Practicing Gratitude

This subject headline popped up in my inbox throughout the entire day and I could not stop thinking about it. The run that I went on this morning really fueled this thinking. I felt so grateful to be running, to be using my legs and making myself stronger and healthier. It really made the day wonderful, no matter what happened throughout the day, I had my run. And of course, I am also aware that a run in Paris is no ordinary run. I am aware of the fact that it starts to seem “normal” to you after you have been living here for a month, but really it is truly extraordinary.

Even in the gloom of winter, it's beautiful

Simply for this reason (and the fact that the weather is sooo much better than it has been for the last two weeks!), I am so glad that kicked myself in the bum and got out there to run today. I have been craving it actually after 10 straight days of walking and Bikram Yoga, I was definitely ready for a change. I rounded out my morning workout with a little NTC (Nike Training Club app for the iPhone) in the Tuileries and then I ran home because some weird guy with a black backpack was staring at me and following me around the entire time that I was in the Tuileries. I knew better than to stick around for any longer than I needed to, and even though I kept moving the entire time he kept watching me, sooo long story short, I did exactly what my French Madame told me to do in Paris and I bolted home!

NIKE!

Sticking out like a sore thumb...pink Nikes and proud of it!

I was greeted at home by a very thank you from my French family for the Valentine’s day treats that I gave them-Conversation Hearts (accidentally en espagnol!) and some macarons from Pierre Hermé! [Pierre Hermé or Ladurée? (la-do-ray—> pronounication according to my French teacher)]

I was so excited to get back and reward my workout with a quick bath, which was also nice because it was not in a crowded and dirty Bikram Yoga locker room! I inhaled an orange and ran to the metro then ran to my art history class at the Louvre. I was in such a hurry that I wished I had listened more to the little kids singing on the métro. They were so cute, but I was trying to hurry and meet my professor that I couldn’t stick around for long.

After studying Ingres, Delacroix, Géricault at the Louvre….

(sorry for the blurry pictures-this is a fast moving art history course)

Liberty Leading the People (aka the cover of the Coldplay album, which means there was a bunch of tourists taking obnoxious pictures all around it)

My friend Christine and I had a whole conservation about what kind of stuff the employees at the Louvre have to deal with everyday like how many times per day they have to tell all the tourists to turn off the flash on their cameras!

And finally, the Louvre could not be complete with a portrait of Napoléon,

I have found that a consistent theme runs throughout the cities that I have studied abroad in…everywhere in London there is a statue of Queen Victoria and everywhere in Paris, there is something dedicated to Napoléon. A little self-possessed, but I think that definitely made their point, even I am reminded of who they are every single day that I live in these two cities. (bahaha “A Tale of Two Cities”-maybe it’s actually time to completely read that book for real this time)

Today’s art history theme was a lot of death and dying, in “a grisly and ‘ROMANTIC’/’REALISM’ way,” you know the usual art history topics.

Since we are a small group, we headed over to our new (but expensive!) favorite food court at the Carrousel de Louvre for lunch—> I was so hungry at this point with a not very good breakfast this morning!

I am still craving Falafel after smelling it on Sunday, but I couldn’t bear to have it here again after last week’s debacle at a Mediterranean restaurant there. The rest of the food was good and filling, but the falafel tasted like paste or pure flour, it was definitely not  “L’as du falafel”–> I am going back this weekend before Lent! I need it! (besides it’s vegetarian, yummy, and the falafel pita is crammed with veggies!)

So today, Elena, another girl in our programme, (: and I went to Salam, which is a mix of Ethiopian, North African and Indian food, and my small plate today was entirely vegetarian with aubergine, carottes, et coucous. Although it was expensive with my drink and the yummy honey-filled dessert/ pastry that I split with everyone, it was filling and really good. This time around, I would definitely get this meal again…or maybe I should finally try MacDo (McDonald’s) here….just kidding (okay maybe sometime in the future here,  apparently it is supposed to be much better here).

After sticking around with Jessie (another very sweet girl from the same programme) and oohhing and longing for everything in Fragonard…including a pillow that apparently one of my favorite bloggers from Paris also loves (Making Magique)

Great minds think alike (:

I had to head back home after buying a postcard from a really cool art store in the Carrousel.  Everything in there was too tempting, I have to be on a budget, but one day, I am coming back for one of these babies.

A heart that looks like a mailed postcard was my favorite…it’s decoration for only 39 euro. Still pondering that dilemma.

After saying goodbye to Jessie, I headed down the Rue de Rivoli towards my destination and wandered into some of the storefronts facing the Tuileries<—-ultra touristy

the sun's finally out in Paris---> thank goodness!

(I’m a dork and took a shadow picture, enjoy laughing at my expense if you wish)

I found an ornament (finally!) to add to my collection and then spotted some gifts that I definitely took note of so I could back later. Then, I took a little detour of nostalgia into WH Smith, a British bookstore (and one of the only English selling bookstores that I can find). I love all their books, I definitely want to come back and buy Les Misérables (yes, because I’m in Paris and I’m a total dork, I put it on my life list to real the whole thing eventually).

But what I like most is their upstairs department, it’s filled with British gifts, memorabilia, souvenirs, and goodies. Perfect for someone like me is struggling right now between my love for Paris and my newfound love for all these British or even remotely reminding me of London. I had a mission today, but I will be back very soon (and when my budget allows to continually purchase some beloved gifts there). Not going to lie, the other day I had a good cry when I saw all of the stuff that they had, it just reminds me o much of my time there, what an incredible semester that was.

I was in search of a new bag for my books that wasn’t so bulky like my HUGE bhv (2 euro) sac, so I managed to leave WH Smith with a very good selection of goodies and a new sac that I am very proud to carry around (and it’s reversible!)

some quality British nostalgic food that will become lunch or dinner at some point this week...where's the Chicken Tikka Marsala from Sainsbury's when you need it?

And due to the fact that my mom and I are literally obsessed (okay she is way more so than I am!) with the Royal Wedding and William and Katherine in general, for just 3,60 euro, I bought my first “Keep Calm and…” product (shocker!)

After a lot of commuting, a lot of class, texting my Mom and Christine, realizing that the expressions like  “whereabouts?” have slowly made my speech more and more British influenced without me even knowing it, and lots of French homework (is there anything else to do right now?!)….I finally sat down to a delicious dinner of courgette (Zucchini) soup and delicious chevre chaud toast salade w/vingarette and miel (honey)<—-(my new favorite dish ever) with my French family. I hope that I am getting better at speaking from their perspective, I tried explaining American grades and the meaning of GPAs to them, hopefully I made it somewhat understandable with the help of my French sister, of course!

To round out the night, before tackling a bunch of homework and emails, we all ate the delicious macarons that I bought for yesterday Valentine’s celebrations. Although I had tried three different flavors that I split with Christine over the weekend, I was in love with these new flavors and according to my French family-Pierre Hermé macarons are the best in Paris! I would definitely have to agree after experimenting with the Olive Oil and Mandarine flavor as well as a little piece of both the café and the cassis flavors, the texture and the flavor combinations of Pierre Hermé macarons are absolutely fantastic!! I still have to try and compare the Rosé and/or Frambroise flavor because that is one of my favorites everywhere, but who can complete with macarons that taste this good and have real pieces of cassis (blackcurrant) in them?! “Les Incroyables”* collection which includes “Guimauve Amande”* is still my favorite (from Ladurée) all of time, but….I am just waiting for Pierre Hermé to come out with the same flavor some day.

(Ladurée)

Yes, this is what I think about all day (no, not really, but it is definitely a tried and true topic of great contemplation and conversation). We also tried some of the Conversation Hearts (that were not nearly as fun for me since they were en espagnol) and some chocolate cake and some truly incroyable chocolate….uhhh such a good way to end the night with them.

Please tell me why I would ever want to leave here…crossing my fingers that some people that I know and love very much can come out here very soon or in the next year so we can enjoy each other and this beautiful place together!

Bonne nuit tout le monde!

 

*(literally “the Incredibles”)

*Marshmallow Almond!

The Post That Almost Never Happened

” target=”_blank”>First Happy Valentine’s Day!!

It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, it makes everyone more spirited and I truly love seeing men running around Paris today with roses and the very loooong line that I waited in at Pierre Hermé was all due to the hysteria that this day creates.

In my mind, it doesn’t matter if you are single or attached, just give someone you love a hug or a kiss, and send them your words of love! This is such a great day to tell your friends and family how much they truly mean to you!

Well, its been 27 days now that I’ve been living in Paris, and my blog has covered about 2 of those 27 days! Nuts! I have been completely overwhelmed with all of these new changes, a real class schedule (aka not the “play schedule” that my sisters claimed that I had in London last semester), and a language that dominates every aspect of my life except some text messages, my normal thoughts and musings, and my Skype talks with my mom. Those number about 2 at this point, luckily we have international texting to actually talk to each other.

Way too much stuff to catch up…but I am going to try my very best, for my own health and sanity’s sake, and to really document my life à Paris.

And in celebration of Valentine’s Day….hop on over to LC’s blog so that you can pick a classic chick flick to watch (“Favorite Chick Flicks”) or make me more jealous if you are in America right now and go see “The Vow.” It doesn’t come out until 16 Mai 2012 here in Paris and of course, it’s French titre is “Je te promets.”

I hope it’s a good one if I have to wait that long! Now, I’m trying to go to sleep while watching a Valentine’s Day tradition “Sleepless in Seattle.” I think that it’s one of those movies that I could watch a million times and never get sick of it. I love that about movies. And I can personally quote this entire scene at many a family dinner, it never get old. If you haven’t seen this movie<<—–highly recommend it. Its YOH (you’ll get it soon, if you don’t already).

“Sleepless in Seattle”

Bistrot du Coin

Our programme took us to a quaint dinner bistrot near our school for our Welcome Dinner and a first traditional meal for many of us myself included.

An aubergine, tomato, and vegetarian petite tarte. C’est très bien!

Aubergine is just the fancy European way of saying “eggplant.”

For the main entrée, I chose some traditional French cuisine from the Burgundy province of France, “beef bourguignon”, which I was sort of liked, but because the beef here is cooked way less than it is the States or even in England, I was glad the tarte had been such a good appetizer for me. Per usual form for me, I lost my phone for a little bit between the first course and the dessert course, so no pictures of the main entrée. The courses are very important to the French, so we were all served three petit courses throughout the evening.

And of course…. dessert was the best part! Everyone tasted a little bit of the different desserts on the table! There were incroyable and we could not even get close to finishing them all! The first picture is tarte aux pommes with vanilla ice cream.

A chocolate molten cake served raspberry coulis that was to die for! And I chose something that I have always wanted to try…

Profiteroles!! They were covered with a chocolate sauce, sliced almonds, whipped cream, and inside was vanilla ice cream surrounded by extra hot pastry dough in a ball shape. They were incredible and they served many that night. How could not resist that?!

Checked that off my list of things to try in my lifetime!

When all was said and done, we were so grateful for all the hospitality that our programme provided us with and made sure to thank our directors before heading out for the night for a little taste of French wine at a little place that was still open at that hour in the Bastille. It was first glass of rosé, and then I was cold and we were a little lost before we made it back to the hotel for the rest of the night.

And then I realized that I lost one of my beloved scarves from Tessa in that little bistrot, so it was an adventure during that week to be able to find that little bistrot where we ate again and retrieve my scarf! Fingers crossed that I don’t lose anything more during this trip!

Bonne nuit!