Wishing you Champagne dreams and Chocolatines in 2019!
Wishing you heaven in 2019!
As the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, I was cuddled up with my little family, in full party dress, on the couch! The Champagne had been popped a few hours earlier, and we rung in the new year with giggles, hugs, and kisses. It was nice.
We did have a plan to go out into the city to share a drink with the locals, but our oversized couch and heater won out. These inanimate objects seems to know what I like, and I like to be comfortable and warm.
Our Christmas was just as lovely, and comfortable! We overindulged and were overly spoiled, it was more than one could have wanted.
I hope your holidays were memorable and filled with the warmth and comfort!
Do you believe in making resolutions for the new year?
I guess you can say I do, I make them, but they are simply a continuation of what I been doing throughout the year. I plan on getting back into the gym, as summer bodies are made in the winter. I have to adhere to a stricter eating regime, as I did eat more than a lion's share of sweets and chocolates!
As you may or may not know, I used to be morbidly obese. I am now a healthy weight, in fact, I have lost 90 pounds, from my heaviest weight, which was 215 pounds.
I looked like an apple. Now, I look like an hourglass.
It was a process, and one that was achieved by making daily resolutions to be healthier. I worked hard to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but as I mentioned, it is a process of trial and error, and being consistent, that was how I was able to drop the weight.
Being healthy is a daily commitment, and one that should be discussed with a doctor. Because I am getting to be of a ripe age, shifts in my health have warranted the decision to be stricter of my self care regime.
I lost weight by adhering to the low-carb diet, and reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution book. It is what worked for me, maybe it would work for you too?! Who knows, give it a go!
I wish you and yours all the very best in 2019. Be safe out there, and take care!
A tour of Bordeaux
Discovering the city is just a step away.
Recently I booked a fun tour that showed off all my city's hotspots, before settling down for a hot chai latte!
Plan on visiting France?! I highly recommend it, and while you at it, book me for a personalized tour.
You tell me what strikes your fancy, then I work my magic to enchant you! We will discover together what little secrets my city holds!
Contact me, and let's make it happen. It will be a pleasure.
Have a good one, and see you around!
A whirlwind tour of Place de la Victoire
Hey y'all! How you doing? Fancy, I hope.
Since you haven't visited me in Bordeaux, I figured I would bring Bordeaux to you!
Check out the video of Place de la Victoire. It's quite exotic. It has mixture of French, Egyptian, and turtles! Never you mind the killer track by Nicki Minaj in the background, I feel it provides more to the exotic ambiance.
I was coming home from the gym this particular evening, and thunderstorms were moving in on the city.
It was windy, and city litter danced it's way across my feet the entire evening. When I eventually made it home, it had already begun to rain. It was the kind of rain you'd expect on an autumn evening, but here we are still in the center of summer.
I was waiting for the tram to take me home, the video starts there, then does a 360 degree turn where you'll see the Aquitaine gate, then a 16 meter high helical obelisk.
The obelisk weighs in at more than 50 tons, and made up of six blocks of red Languedoc and bronze marble. At the base of that are two bronze turtles, adorned with bunches of grapes.
The video may not have captured that, but trust me it's there.
Guess you will have to come out for a visit to verify! I'd be happy to welcome you!
Place de la Victorie is a cool area, sometimes holding concerts or shows. Mostly I see vendors selling sunglasses, and other touristy things like purses and t-shirts. It's a busy place, always packed with people of all ages. It's a good place to people watch.
There are a lot of open terrace bars, restaurants, and cafes around, plus cool little thrift stores, beauty salons, cell phone and computer repair shops. Rue St. Catherine, one of the longest shopping pedestrian streets in Europe, ends at Place de la Victorie.
It has a cool vibe. I shall be traveling through there more, as my gym is located in this area. It's quite a trek, but I shall look at it as an excursion, and it'll be a pleasure.
After a summer filled with travel, laziness, and joy, I can only wish the same for you.
When was the last time you went on a proper vacation?
I recently read an article about how taking a mini vacation helps set your life right again.
From my experience, I can tell you I feel more in control despite things being out of my control. Allow me to explain.
I have adopted 'vacation mode' to the organization of my business life, and I can tell you, I'm being productive.
I'm relaxed, I feel happy to go on a 'work excursion,' as if I'm meeting old friends, best part, I'm getting paid for it! I have slowly started working again, I accepted two new clients, who are beyond charming and kind. Hence, work is a pleasure.
"But, with the sweet, comes the sour." Practical Magic.
I recently had a life annoyance, problem at the bank, and instead of being angry and losing sleep about it, I decided and adopted the attitude, everything will work out eventually. I also did what needed to be done to avoid being burnt, twice. Damn banks. It was a clerical error of timing, but who pays the fine? ME!
It's cool though, bosses do what they gotta do, even if they don't like or agree with it, it's just business. Hence, productiveness pays off, eventually.
Hence, the husband. That man gets my goat. Does anyone know where that expression come from? I should look that up.
Ugh. That man. What can I say? Other than, please pray for me! I need patience and more charm, please. Thanks!
Hence, go on a vacation! Not only does it improves mental health, heart health, reduces stress, and improves relationships... According to Forbes, the workplace benefits of employees taking vacation time include: higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits, listed above.
I went on one vacation last summer, of which, I am very grateful. This year, I have taken five vacations, because I deserve them.
My year was so jammed packed, and I felt overwhelmed more than I would have liked, so THIS YEAR, I have decided and have executed a new routine. I will make my exercise and eating routine a priority over business to see what the results are. This is huge for me because I feel I am battling the old expression: business before pleasure.
France is on a different timetable. The year really begins in September and ends in June, with July and August reserved for vacation. It's just like that.
I have decided to put pleasure before business. Since we already know the health benefits, plus Forbes lists the benefits of vacation for work place productivity, ummm, doesn't it just seem like a no-brainer?!
Why not? What could happen? Me.... having a banging body, clarity, and precision in my future?!! Me? Gotta stay positive and test the hypothesis, you know!
Taking a vacation is essential. Be bigger than your excuses and just travel, even if for a couple of days. Don't think, just do. Give yourself no choice. Go on.
During my vacation, I did have some negative feelings which cropped up: sadness, loss, anger, loneliness, and fear. But I'm glad it happened on vacation because I was able to leave those emotions in a place that was not my home. I feel if I was home and received the news of my beloved aunt's passing, my home would be the resting place of those emotions making my home heavier, and darker.
This year, I went to London, England. It was great! London showed me love, and I loved her right back.
Then I went to Lorient, in the northern region of France to visit with family.
We were there during Bastille Day, and watched the fireworks with the locals. We took a long seaside walk along the beach. It was here when I received the news of my aunt Aurora's passing. She would have liked Lorient, but I'm sure she would have said Corpus Christi, Texas was better. And, I would have agreed. Texas is my home state, and Tex-Mex food is unequivocally the best, ever. France has wine, but it's really American, look up phylloxera.
Then, I was off to Scotland for two weeks. (At first, I typed years. Hmmmm, Freudian slip/typo there?) I was in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and it was awesome. The people were so kind, and friendly, and open, and cool. Had Scottish whisky, ate haggis, went to the Highland Games, kayaked Loch Lomand, saw Mamma Mia, went shopping, and ate well! I could live there, despite the bipolar weather conditions, IT WAS COLD, but only for two years, tops.
The Man and I then jetted off to the French coast. We went to Lacanau, about a 45 minute drive from Bordeaux. We visited friends, chilled out in hammocks, went swimming, ate well, took in fresh air, and met new friends. It was just what the doctor ordered.
My final vacation will be headed to my country honky tonk for some rest and relaxation, pool side!
Then, back to the routine of putting pleasure before business to tackle the new year.
Before I leave you, I found some information on 'to get your goat.'
A commonly repeated story which purports to explain the phrase's origin is that goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne'er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, that is, they 'got someone's goat', the horse became unsettled and ran badly. That's just the sort of tale that gets the folk etymology juices running. Let's just say that there's no evidence to support that story.
I wish you nothing but the very best, be fabulous, be positive, be you.
Thank you for reading.
Take care and until next time, safety first.
PS. Have you decided where you will go on vacation yet?
Today's post is about my summer vacation.
Read time: 5 minutes
How are you? Fantabulous, I hope!
Oufff, honey child, I've been here, there and over there.
This is the first time in a long time that I have truly enjoyed a vacation, just so happens I have five vacations planned for this summer to make up for lost time. And I deserve it!
I'm not going to lie, my summer has been both stress free and stressfully overwhelming. On a very personal note, I recently lost my beloved aunt, Aurora, which has left me feeling beyond sad, lonely and scared.
She passed away on July 14, while I was in Northern France visiting and vacationing with family. I received the call at 5am. It was brief, heavy interruption, that has since manifested itself in four different outbursts, complete with anger, fits of tears, feelings of hopelessness, and of being lost. I was quite distraught. But, I'm better now, I am pleased to say. Because I have been traveling around, visiting, and discovering new experiences within new places, meeting new people, and enjoying life.
I'm also exercising, have been making plans for the future, checking off items on my to-do list, and attempting to remain optimistic in a pessimistic world.
I feel happy and productive.
As I mentioned above, I've been places. Specifically, London, England - Lorient, France (Northern region) and Scotland - Edinburgh and Glasgow.
In a nutshell, it was great! I met new people, saw the sights, shopped, visited museums, walked everywhere, ate well, and soaked up the atmosphere, and that was just my London trip! Surprisingly, it never rained in London. It was clear blue skies and sunny.
It was so vast and tiring and so much to see, I feel I have to go back one more time to truly soak up more the big city flavor. I was only there for a week, but what a week! Check out your chicka, I'm going places!
'Ello England! Love London, yeah!
Then it was off to Northern France for a couple of days! We went to Lorient, a beautiful seaside village that was so charming, I was tickled pink. We visited family and ate well, we were spoiled and like the ocean, we just went with the flow. I enjoyed long walks along the beach, visited a church where I lit a candle for my beloved aunt, had a drink at a seaside terrace, and hung out with the locals to watch the fireworks for Bastille Day.
Scotland is magic!
Scotland was amazing. Different vibe, relaxed, fresh, friendly, and overwhelming. I was there for nine days. And it was cold. Almost 15 degrees cooler than Bordeaux, and windy, and rainy. Other than that, what a country! The people were beyond friendly and kind, and everything was nice, really, really nice! I highly recommend it!!
That's all for now, y'all! I hope to keep visiting new places and discovering new things! I wish the same for you! Just go, don't think, just do and see what happens! I did, and I'm feeling good.
See you on the flip side. Take care and travel.
Much love and respect,
People be trippin! Don't fall, y'all!
I hope you are taking care of yourself and feeling fine!
Today's post is acerbic. You've been warned.
First, let me be clear that I am grateful for this wonderful life. I am able to partake in this wonderful privilege of living overseas and having a different experience that is broadening my mindset. That said, there are some things that I just don't get. Such as: Why people are such nobheads?
With the vast amount of information and knowledge out there from your fellow humans, out in internet land, at the library, or your local café, I don't understand. Which is what leads people to be nobheads, not understanding mixed with laziness.
There I said it. Let that sink in.
First of all, EVERYBODY is busy. You are not special, you are not a delicate snowflake, you are not better than anyone else. Instead you are MORE than that. You are more than the color of your skin, more than the country you were born in, you are simply MORE because you are a human being.
Every human being wants to the same thing: love, food, joy, shelter, peace, safety, dignity, and happiness. Therefore, I don't understand modern society.
Honestly, with all the injustices in our world - starvation, homelessness, poverty - it makes me so very sad and so very angry how 'modern society' disrespects us on a daily basis, and we are forced to accept it. Why?
Why are our fellow human beings dying of starvation? Why are our fellow human beings without shelter? Why are our fellow human beings steeped in a cycle of poverty?
Anyone of us can be in the same situation at ANY given time, you are not exceptional, therefore one must not judge others. But we do! And it's fun, right?! But is it really?
French people are extremely judgemental, like most people I suppose, but having grown up in Texas, then in Las Vegas, where I was accustomed to seeing and interacting with a wonderful mix of cultures, I feel I am privileged to just simply know better, (Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad!) but I also feel I am intelligent enough to know that I don't know.
Hell yes, I am judgemental... as judgemental as the sky is blue, but hear and listen my fellow humans, I judge myself harsher than I would ever, ever judge anyone else, but I do judge.
As a former journalist and private investigator, I'm a silent observer. My favorite thing in the whole wide world is to people watch, it is so much more entertaining that any of the trash on the telly. I notice people's mannerisms, I notice people's movements, their awkwardness, their grace, their choice of dress and I attempt to figure out right there what their hobbies are or make up stories about their lives. The first thing I notice on anyone is their teeth. The second thing I notice is their shoes. It's the little details.
I know I am judgemental, and even though I care about you, I really don't. Big Mama has her own issues, well, more like volumes!
Again, I KNOW that I don't know.
I work as an educator in France, which is an eloquent way of saying, I get paid peanuts to make other people smarter in my native language.
Education is a funny thing, I find. Working as a former journalist in Las Vegas, I have met an array of professionals from other educators, plastic surgeons, massage therapists, rock stars, tennis pros, strippers, showgirls, and gamblers.
I love Las Vegas. I loved living there. I started my career there. I was happy there. I met my husband there. I was really happy there.
Texas is my home state, but Las Vegas is my home town. And now, France is my country.
I can't really tell anymore if I am happy or not. I feel numb, like a zombie, just going through the motions of the daily routine, waiting.... to die.
Ok, call me dramatic, but aren't we all? Lately, I have woken up asking Death to take me. I recently turned 44, EGAD, just last week in fact, which reminded me about an Asian superstition/Chinese numerology of the number four. It's a unlucky number, because the word four sounds like or is homophonous to the word DEATH.
I'm DOUBLE DOWN DEADLY, Y'ALL! Hey, DEATH - You know where I'm at, come get me, Girl! I'm ready! In fact, in Las Vegas, well, I can't remember honestly, there is NO 4th floor, or 44 or any 4 marked on the elevators at the hotels... it's called respecting others cultures... FOR MONEY, obviously. Hey... people gotta eat. People gotta feed their addictions. Why F it up for them?!!
France has a weird disassociation with money. It's a taboo subject, which I find DUMB, for obvious reasons. Like they don't know it takes money to live!!! Or why salaries do not augment with inflation. Bitch, PUH.LEESE! UGH... but that is another subject.
Listen, the goal of this blog is just to write about my observations, and about how funny/strange/bizarre/awesome we all are, but in a cute annoying way.
I truly believe everything comes down to education... but not in an academic sense, I say this because how society conditions us to value highly educated people... wait... wait... writing plainly - most of the highly educated people I have known (know) and have met are quiet frankly, DUMB. Poor smart dumb bastards. Not all, but most. And the majority are men. But that too is another subject!
I have NO problem speaking to people... I can talk to anyone about anything and everything. Call me a chatterbox, because I want to KNOW! I want to know how you think, what you feel, I want to know YOU! What do you like, what do you love?
More often than not, we ask people what they do for a living. Seriously?! How fucking cliche!!! First of all, and in the FAMOUS WORDS OF BEN FRANKLIN, "Mind your business!" I don't care about what YOU do for a living, I care about what YOU LOVE!! So, ask questions about that! Instead of asking: Hey, what do you do? ASK: What do you LIKE/LOVE to do.! Bitches be opening up like flowers!
Who doesn't like talking about their fandoms or what moment in their lives changed them.
Me? I love the simple things: eating well, drinking well, having a good time, and being fabulous! By the way, fabulous is a state of mind and an action, one must do fabulous things to be fabulous... besides life is too short to be anything but! So be fabulous, not a drag. Oh vey, y'all!
Like Tina Fey said in the movie Mean Girls... I am pusher! Sometimes I push people away. And that's ok, everybody has their own niches. It's not my intention to push people away, au contaire, I'm a LOVER! I love people, I love adventure, I love life. My love is pure, and you shall always have it, however one must love and accept themselves, just as they are and be truthful, so that they can give more. I harbor no bad feelings for anyone, nor do I hold grudges, in fact, my go to expression to myself and of course to others is: BYE BITCH! If you wanna go, then GO! If you wanna stay, then STAY! But don't be messing with the lives of others because you can, which sure, we are all guilty of that, but KNOW THIS, Karma be a coming for YOU!
Anyway, it's how I am feeling now. I hope you feel me.
Know you are loved, because you are lovable. Be kind to yourself and others, pet dogs and cats as much as you can, and be fabulous, my fellow friends.
Just be fabulous.
With love and respect,
Frenchified and JUDGEMENTAL for LIFE, yo!
FIX YOUR TEETH, BUY GOOD SHOES, EAT WELL, DRINK WELL, SLEEP WELL, DO WELL, and ALL SHALL BE WELL.
Word to your Mother. And Father!
Frenchified for Life, yo!
Hello from Bordeaux!
Spring is nearly upon us, y'all. Which makes me think of the summer, meaning bikini season, which, I have come to dread, yet equally appreciate, because it makes me feel like a bear coming out of hibernation - wanting to do some exploring and climb trees.
Life in France is good, too good in fact, as I have willingly consented to having my tongue tempted by the sweetest of French delicacies.
I'm talking about sugar, Sugar!
My Frenchies spoil me with sweets and wine, it's nearly impossible to resist.
It makes me feel like a pampered cat smacking her lips with feline delight. Yet, that delight has turned to dread, as The Scale doesn't lie. lie. lie.
Check out my video and let me know what you think, or not, do what you want.
By the way, my look is bought to you by: Fabulously Haggered, what a walk in the city can do for YOU!
B Town Down!
Frenchified for Life, yo!
Jenny from Bordeaux!
What the hell do I know?!
Hello my beauties!
I hope you are well and taking care of yourselves!
Today's post comes straight out of Malaysia!
Read time: 5 minutes
Every now and then, I get a little something something in my email. Many write to vent about French attitudes, others are words of encouragement, and one person called me a bitch. BOF! They ain't wrong. Oh well.
I received this email recently and wanted to respond to her, and also share with you something special about Bordeaux:
Hi. i am student and i would like to know about the Bordeaux big bell. How the bell ring? Is the bell an automated bell ? And why the bell only ring at 11 am? This is part of my school assignment. I hope you can help me. I really love France and I wish someday I have an an opportunity to visit France.
Bordeaux, as I'm sure you know, is world known for her wine, yes, but there is so much history to this region one must truly experience it for themselves.
I can go on and on about her monuments, churches, and museums, but what I love is to get lost on the narrow streets, and imagine about the days of yore.
Bordeaux, otherwise known as Port de La Lune, was exactly that, a port. She has imported and exported wine, spices, textiles and slaves to the world.
Bordeaux has dirty seedy secrets, filled with sailors and prostitutes and stories of kidnappings, brawls, and drunks!
But I'm getting off topic, she wanted to know about the Big Bell, well, without further ado...
La Grosse Cloche!
Isn't she magnificent??!!! I loving call her Big Bertha, don't ask me why. I do hope you get a chance to visit Bordeaux, as one should.
Here are the facts:
The Big Bell weighs 7800 kg (more than 8 tons) for being only two meters (6 feet 6 inches) in both height and diameter. Because she is short, stout and may cause cracks due to her vibrations, she only sounds five times a year: January 1 (New Years Day), May 8 (Victory Day 1945), July 14 (Bastille Day), August 28 (Bordeaux Liberation Day) and November 11 (Armistice 1918) . And always at 11:00am. Why?
Couldn't tell you. It's just like that.
La Grosse Cloche was built in the 15th century and was built in the Gothic style.
One of my fellow Bordelais, by way of Britian, Tim Pike, wrote a piece about The Big Bell. I've attached the link here.
Have a question or comment? I'm only an email away! Go on and Ask Jenny!
Happiness to you and yours and may you have rings on your fingers and bells on your toes, so you may have music wherever you go!!!
Be Kind, Be Cool, or Be Quiet!
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...