Trials and Tribulations
How's it going?
Today's post is more of a rant. Won't last long, I promise, but I just got to get it off my chest.
In the past, I have written many posts about living in France, most positive, but there are some days, I just want to backhand them right in the mouth. There is nothing more I can't stand than French people, talking. Does my head in!
I keep to myself most days. I don't like going out unless I have to.
Work is obligatory, and I like that because I'm telling French people what to do, training them, so to speak, on being better people. I've been successful.
Random French people are rude, annoying, stupid as shit, unaware, and selfish, which makes for a dangerous situations. Plus, one in five French people suffer from mental illness. It's a war zone out there. Seriously. I have been harassed several times on the streets, and been approached by scavengers wanting money or cigarettes. I have seen pedestrians hit by vans, I've seen fights break out, I've seen a man attack a woman on public transportation, I've seen a homeless man attack a passerby.
French people are miserable, (it's well documented, look it up!) but often too stupid to do anything about it. If they do get help, services are at capacity and often turn patients away, suffering. Poor bastards. And the cycle continues and cowardly acts, like the ones above, happen on the daily.
Despite these situations, I feel safe most days, I stay away from large crowds, only do what I have to, keep appointments, and go on nature hikes.
When dealing with random French people, I keep to myself and limit communication. I am polite and kind, but my time is precious and limited, therefore I am not wasting it talking to a moron possibly with a mental illness. No thank you! There have been times when I've engaged in bad behavior, just read my I hate France section. Now, I just ignore bad behavior or if I do engage, I just laugh in their face or tell them to shut up, and sashay away. These incidents don't happen too often, which is good!!
It's sad to refer to French people in this manner, but whatever, it is what it is, and I just have to navigate my way around. It's the only thing I can do.
Take care of yourselves and be your best you.
French trials and tribulations
Hello my darlings!
Today, I wanted to share with you an email I received recently.
I love receiving letters, I love reading about my fellow human's experiences living in France. I love to read their thoughts and opinions!
From the emails I have received, all positive, we share our stories about our French struggles and victories. Listen, living in France is no cake walk! It's hella hard! Why? Because according to doctors, 1 in every 5 French person is mentally ill. Let that marinate!
Check out this article by The Local.
Sometimes, I truly feel like an alien, like ET attempting to adapt to Earth while slowly dying. It's a lonely experience, depressing even, but like ET, there is magic.
We must remain kind, true to ourselves, and positive to help ourselves and our fellow humans to be better. I recently wrote a TOP 25 LIST of what I love about myself. Everyday, I read it and align myself with those positive affirmations to radiate goodness. You should do the same. Take some time for self reflection, journal writing, or doing one of your favorite activities. Focusing on what you love to do, will quell those homicidal thoughts!
So without further ado, meet Giuli. He took the time to write to me and has this to say:
I just came across your blog after typing on google “I hate France” hahah. I read some of your posts and I feel EXACTLY the same - and possibly worse since I’m in Paris. I am Italian and have also lived in the US. I had the disgraced idea of coming to Paris for work. I feel here many people are really disgusting, mean, frustrated, close minded etc... nothing works, everybody is so sloppy, nobody gives a shit, etc... ZERO I say ZERO Hygiene, zero safety, and let’s be honest, food is crap, unless you put your salary on a dinner - in which case you’ll have good food in ANY part of the world. Come to Italy if you wanna have good food. That said, I’ve known amazing French people, and my gf is also French (but she is the kind of French that hates France! ) As a contrast, I felt so good in the US, and I will get back there as soon as I have the chance - if ever. Anyway, thanks for writing that, it makes me feel less lonely in my thoughts.
Cheers to you, Giuli! Cheers to you!
His email is the first thing I read after waking up this Monday morning! Talk about putting me in a positive space! Thank you for reading, I appreciate it!
Have a great week and take care!
Style means being prepared
Today's post is about decluttering, reusing, recycling, organizing and reorganizing your armoire.
Spring is right around the corner, that means SPRING CLEANING!
My hope is to inspire you to reorder your closet. As the Equinox approaches, this is a time to also get balanced, allow Mother Nature to show you the way! Reordering your armoire is a great way to start your Spring cleaning.
Did you know that you only wear 20 percent of the clothes in your closet?
That means 80 percent of your clothes are just hanging there.
I work as a personal stylist, part of my job is to rearrange your closet to maximize your closet's potential. It's a two step process.
First, we will shop in your own closet to put together new outfits, pictures are taken, accessories are chosen, and your bag/briefcase organized. We will also get rid of outdated clothing, and donate the rest to charity.
The second step is a shopping spree. I am paid for my time to take you to the shops to purchase quality items that accentuate your features and assets.
My clients are serious, professional people, but don't want their look to be stern, but rather classy, and most of all, comfortable. Style and comfort is the goal.
Today, I'm giving you a sneak peak into my little armoire, I'll share some styling tips and tricks, and give you some food for thought.
I use wire hangers. Mommie Dearest would be so upset! But, I couldn't care less.
I love shopping as much as the next girl, I like to be well dressed, stylish, classy, yet comfortable, approachable, and elegant. I don't follow trends, I buy clothing that accentuates my assets, but doesn't distract from my features.
Most of my clothing has come from clothing exchanges, meaning they were given to me, or come from top notch second hand stores. I also love thrift store boutique shopping, I love to find little treasures and one of a kind pieces.
I recently reorganized my closet. It took a few hours, but I managed to sort it out.
My clothes are now organized by outfit, much like prepackage meals!
I choose it, put it on, I know it looks good, then five minutes later, I'm out the door.
I eliminated the "I've got nothing to wear" statement from my life!
Turns out, for a small closet, I have a lot of clothes! I made wise outfit choices, even adopted a 'uniform' outfit, to maximum time efficiency, as I am working hard at being on time.
I am a lazy person, but in order for me to be lazy, I must prepare to be lazy.
I want everything to be in place so my fingers can easily find what I'm looking for.
There is nothing more that I love doing than nothing itself. Sure, I have appointments to get to, but the quicker I'm out the door, the quicker I can get back to doing nothing! Maximum efficiency!
I also attempt to have keep a positive outlook on life, but I'm also smart enough to know that it takes action to remain positive. Being in a positive space, for me, means that I'm dressed well, I've put on my face, that I'm sleeping well, eating well, and taking care of myself. I make an effort to reflect positivity, so that positivity is reflected back at me.
As silly as it sounds, putting on a well fitted ensemble is the one of the first steps to making positive changes in your life. It takes the same amount of time to wear a frumpy outfit or a nice outfit, the difference is how you feel.
I know when I look pretty, professional, and comfortable in my clothing, I am ready to tackle the day. Looking frumpy makes you feel frumpy, period.
My little armoire is now well organized, everything is in its proper place, and easy to find. I decluttered as well, retiring 10 items. I also picked out accessories to enhance my ensembles.
The reason I decided to reorganize my closet was to maximize time.
As I mentioned above, I am attempting to be on time. I usually run 3 - 15 minutes behind schedule. I hate this about myself, but sometimes it can't be helped: weather conditions, public transportation problems, waking up late. It's a work in progress, but working on efficiency is never a waste. Now that my closet is organized, I feel a weight has been lifted from me, now, I'm not wasting time trying to find something to wear. Now, I pick, put on, get out! And that makes me happy!
I hope you take the time to reorganize your closet. Need help? That's my specialty.
Hiring a personal stylist, like me, will educate you, and that knowledge will serve you forever. Believe it!
Be positive. Take care. Dress well.
Cashew's Pet Project!
Hope all is well.
Today's post is all about Cashew.
If you lucky enough to have the unconditional love from a pet, I am beyond happy for you.
Loving a pet is a pure joy. There is nothing better. A pet doesn't are how much money you have in the bank, or about the car you drive, all they care are about is you. You are their whole world. Deserve their love.
We are not worthy to deserve animals, they are innocence personified, they are pure, they are love, they are all things good, they are God. How lucky are we to make our furry friends part of our family. I can't imagine my life without Cashew, and I know when she passes, it will be difficult, but the sting will be lessened as I KNOW I gave her a GREAT life.
I love animals. I would and could pet every pet out there! I want to know everything about your dog, cat, rabbit, chickens, rats, snakes. I want to know about their personality, their breed, their names, let's just say I NEED to know!
As I get older, I have to admit, I enjoy the presence of animals more than humans. Humans suck. No offense. But we do, if I had super sonic hearing, their sense of smell, their vision, their essence - I would be a GODDESS.
That's why I decided to start a business to pet as many animals as possible, and be paid for it!
CHOUCHOUTAGE MAISION is a pet sitting, walking and training service. I want to help people out, pamper their pet, be happy, and if I can do that while putting a little money in my pocket... MAZEL TOV!
If you are going on vacation or need a helping hand with your pet, I'm only a email away.
My pay rate is as follows:
25€ per day/cat
35€ per day/per dog
45€ per hour for training
Kiss your pets for me, and tell them I say Hi!
If you are in Bordeaux, look me up, Cashew and I would be happy to send some time with you!
I'm only an email away.
Take care of yourselves,
Beauty Rituals and a Recipe!
Today's post is about my Sunday spa day and rituals!
Every Sunday, I scrub, rub and oil up.
I also take the time to give myself a pedicure and manicure.
Sunday self care is a routine I've keep faithful to for years.
In the past, I have made my own beauty products, masks, and toners.
I am not a chemist, but a naturalist meaning I use whatever is around me, usually found in my kitchen, I'm not whipping up lipsticks or eyeshadows, though not hard to replicate, but I just don't.
I love long hot showers with lots of suds, I call it Cleopatra time, and I take the time to condition my hair, shave my legs, scrub between my toes, get into all the nooks and crevices to make sure I smell like a tropical island.
After I get out of the shower, I towel dry, then reach for my body lotion that contains glycerin, and slather it all over to improve elasticity. I then put on deodorant, I use a deodorant rock that seems to do the trick, no problems as of yet. Then spritz on my favorite French perfume before reaching my my daily lingerie and dressing robe.
Depending on ingredients in my kitchen, I usually give myself a coffee facial mask to exfoliate the dead skin cells off my visage and gives me a glow that can compete with the moon!
To make a coffee facial mask, you need the following ingredients: old coffee grounds, one egg, milk and honey.
Mix until a paste and apply to your face in a circular motion and leave on for 20-30 minutes, then hop in the shower to rinse off!
Your skin will be squeaky clean and fresh! I also saved you a trip to the esthetician, so spend that extra hundred bucks on yourself! Buy yourself a new outfit!
Do you have a self care ritual?
I hope I have given you ideas, make your next shower a spa treat! Just use your creativity and imagination, just take care of yourself, afterall, no one else will.
Life after 40 is all about maintenance, so take care of your meat muppet and nourish yourselves well. Drink water, eat colorful meals, and play.
Peace and be wild!
PS: I'm currently listening to Prince and Nicki Minaj, smoking a cigarette and drinking sparkling water. I'm trying to quit, I have diminished the number of smokes I inhale, but it's a process!
Hello sweetie darlings!
I recently hired a life coach. Why? For several reasons, I just needed another brain to get me out of my loops and time sucks.
We started last Friday, and so far, I have been doing what she has asked of me, but we've only just stared.
I'm not sure what to expect, other than to be taken out of my comfort zone.
We shall see what these next 10 sessions will bring, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you one of the exercises she wanted me to do.
When she first proposed it, I thought it was a little stupid and didn't realize the point. Now, I do.
The homework assignment was to write a top 25 list of the things I like about myself.
Lame, right. At least I thought so. But it was an exercise of changing my thinking.
Instead of focusing on all the things I don't like about myself, here I was given the opportunity to really think about what I love about myself.
I thought it would be difficult, but after the first few things I wrote down, it started flowing and less than 15 minutes later, the assignment was completed.
So without further ado, here is my list. Maybe it will inspire you to make your own.
TOP 25 LIST OF WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF
I wrote down my love list on a nice sheet of paper, written down with a special pen.
As I was writing down my love list, a wash of emotions came over me, like little charges, I felt good. I felt happy. And content.
The love list follows me around everywhere, as it is kept in my agenda, which is one of the three staples I carry in my tote bag.
While getting ready to start my day, I take out my love list and read it out loud before leaving my house. It has become a daily pep talk to help me tackle the unknown. I like to read it while having my morning coffee.
Have you ever made a love list? How about a gratitude list?
I recently done both and I can tell you it helps get me out of my negative thought patterns and self deprecating humor. Maybe it will work for you? Try it, and let me know.
I will also keep you posted on my life coach therapy sessions, after all, everybody needs help!
Take care of yourselves, eat well, drink well, and all shall be well.
Frenchified for Life!
Hello from Bordeaux, everyone!
Living in a country that is not your own is hard. Identity crisis hard.
Hello again, my name is Jenny and I am an immigrant.
When I first moved to the area, oh some eight years ago, I came armed with my Amer-I-CAN positive attitude and work ethic. At that time, I was overconfident for my personal mission to strive, survive, and thrive in the land of Oh la la. It's been a trying experience, but as long as I'm good to myself, all shall be good.
Today I’m talking tips, tools, and tricks to help you better blend in with the natives!
I recently had a video chat with my dear friend, Erma. She lives in Las Vegas, and recently started a new job. She is jolly, happy, and kind. She makes me want to be a better person.
During our conversations, she said: You're French. Or something to nature!
She saw that I went native.
Here are the tried and true tips that worked for me: Improvise, adapt, overcome.
I observed my fellow French citizens, and just copied their mannerisms. I dress like them, eat like them, speak like them, act like them. I do my best to speak French, and I'm polite. I find speaking the native tongue is essential, as are manners.
This has helped me adapt to different situations with positive results.
At the moment, I am currently taking French lessons to brush up on my vocabulary. By observing and learning daily, I can easily overcome obstacles that may arise.
I'm also a happy go lucky type of person. I do my best to remain neutral and calm, polite and positive. This is my state of being. Maybe you can adopt the same.
Even though I sound like the French, dress like the French, and no matter how much I may mimic the French, I am not French. I don't feel French.
In fact, most times I feel like an outsider, because I am, but that's what I love about it.
I bring a new perspective, a whiff of something different and delightful.
I hope I helped. Just be observant, calm, cool, and positive! Easy peasy! It's a step on the right path of living your best life.
Take care of yourselves and be cool!
How are you?!
Today's post is personal.
I'm inviting you to take a sneak peak inside my bag of tricks.
I'm a personal stylist and trainer. Everyone around me dresses better and loses weight. It's two of the billions of benefits you get when you hire me to help you.
I will share with you some of my secrets and show you what I carry with me everyday!
I carry a canvas tote bag that pulls double duty, as a purse and briefcase, and didn't cost me an arm and leg! I adore this bag, it is my go to purse and works for me. I bought during the July SOLDES (sales) for 11€ about five years ago. Best purchase ever. Versatile. Pragmatic. Classy. Comfortable.
The three staples are my wallet, my agenda/journal, and my make up bag.
Inside my wallet, I have my ID and cards, plus I try to keep 50€ cash on me at all times. I also carry a nice pen a friend gifted to me.
My agenda/journal is my lifeline. I'm a planner, I write down my appointments, coffee and lunch dates, and I usually write down what happened during the day. My agenda was also a gift, from one of my clients.
Also always with me, is my makeup bag. I keep mascara, two lipsticks, hand sanitizer, and a small vial of French perfume inside my witch themed pouch.
I also carry a flashlight, my keys, my bus and gym pass, tissues, and hand lotion.
I sometimes lug around my umbrella, a bottle of sparkling water, my notebook, paperwork, and when I need to go shopping, it doubles as my grocery bag!
I work as a personal stylist, and I often tell my clients the three most important pieces are one's under garments, they must be of quality, bras and panties, and a bag.
This is the foundation of building a stylish and quality wardrobe ensembles.
My clients are no nonsense type of people. They are serious and professional, and want their look to follow suit, but not at the expense of being perceived as stern, but rather comfortable, approachable, and classy.
I feel my tote bag hits all of these points.
If you are looking to update your wardrobe choices, I can help. But ask yourself, are you a serious, professional person who is willing to be coached? I not only want you to put your money where your mouth is, I want you to surrender to the two step process of a makeover overhaul.
I have a two step process. I first declutter and reuse existing wardrobe choices to make new outfits. Pictures are taken, accessories are chosen, bag is organized. It is during this time where we donate or throw out old clothes that do not match my clients fashion inspirations.
The second step is a shopping spree! I am paid for my time to accompany my clients to the shops to chose pieces that will enhance their wardrobe. Sometimes thousands of dollars are spent, sometimes only 50€! Just depends on my client's budget!
I really enjoy helping people feel better about how they look. I feel dressing well is a form of politeness and self respect.
We have to take care of ourselves, after all, no one else will. I want you to be healthy and happy. I want you to feel great, look fabulous, and exude positivity. And if putting on a outfit that makes you pop does the trick, then DO THE TRICK! And, I can help!
Have you ever thought of hiring a personal stylist? Think about it. Why or why not?
If you need help or have questions, I'm just an email away! Contact me, let's talk. It would be a pleasure.
I hope you have a nice day. Take care of yourselves.
My French Fiesta!
Hello my sweetie darlings! How are you?
Are you taking care of yourselves? Eating right? Exercising? YES, you better be! I want healthy happy readers, you hear me!
Whip up a healthy meal full of flavor and color, then go out for a walk to help with digestion! Easy peasy, Ron Weasley!
About me: I attempt to do the same, been eating a lot of sugar lately, but I cut back and have been reaching for safe snacks, like a pear or banana, that is both sweet and a safe choice. I do have to admit, ice cream and I have been cheating together lately. It's a love affair that I cannot resist. But, I must calm down, summer is approaching soon, and I have to be bikini ready.
I have been working out, I walk regularly, and have lifted weights a few times this week alone. I try to be active daily. I'm about to turn 45 year old, so maintenance is top priority.
My morning routine is as follows: I usually roll out of bed between 8 - 9am, sometimes I kiss my husband before opening the window shade. I then walk over to Cashew, curled up usually on the couch, and kiss her. Then coffee.
It's a tried and truly routine to get me in the right head space. I usually start work at 10 or 11 depending on the day. I like to have a stress free morning that gives me enough time to scroll through social media, drink my coffee with my morning cigarette (I'm so French!) take Cashew out for her morning business, feed her, take my morning shower, put my face on, get dressed, get organized (if I haven't done it the night before) and out the door I go!
During the week, I often book social engagements. One has to have friends, and maintaining relationships is essential for a happy life! I meet up for lunch or coffee, and sometimes a weekend getaway.
I recently spent some time with my sweet friend, Heather. She is Scottish, reminds me of my Mom, and like my Moms, she is a good cook.
She invited me out to her country home to relax and listen to the birds, watch movies, drink margaritas, gin and tonics, and pet her cats, while wearing a full length mink coat for warmth.
Yes, you read that right. I was draped in fur, feeling warm and luxurious. Her family was in the fur trade and business, it is one of several pieces she owns, and graciously allows me to wear. She uses them as blankets in the wintertime.
Her family were taxidermists as well, so she has some wild pieces displayed in her home, I think it's a leopard head. It's wonderful.
I love Heather. She's just cool, but strict. Her way is the way, and she has never steered me wrong, nor have I gotten lost. I feel safe with her. She accepts me, fabulous flaws and all.
The weekend went quickly, but not before learning something new! I learned to make TORTILLAS! For a Texican at heart, I was over the moon. Here I am in France, learning how to make flour tortillas from a Scottish woman. She showed me her Bread Bible, a thick cookbook for all things bread, and flour tortillas was listed!
Flour tortillas are time consuming, but easy to prepare and just four ingredients. You also have to just get in there too, mashing it all together to make the dough.
Our French fiesta was in full swing! Heather mixed the ingredients to make the tortillas, then I took over, while she made margaritas! My job was mixing the dough, roll out the tortillas and cook them. And I did it! I also made guacamole, and it was delish!
We ate to our heart's content and I didn't even need dessert. We ate well, drank well, and all was well.
I learned to make tortillas! They were quite tasty and airy! I did a good job, I am pleased with myself. I'm pleased because I attempt to do something new everyday, or to try something new. I feel it keeps me healthy.
As I mentioned, we ate well. Then watched Meet the Parents with Ben Stiller and Robert Deniro. We had a good time.
And you? I hope you can find the time to do something new. Make the time. It'll be good for you.
Take care and talk soon. Thank you for reading.
A Delicate Situation
Hello my darlings!
How are you? Good, I do hope!
Today's post is long one! So grab your drink and get comfortable, because I have a story to share, and I could use your advice.
My French life hasn't been La Vie en Rose recently, but I am attempting to remain classy and graceful.
I've been feeling especially uncomfortable due to a delicate situation that I will explain in detail, but before I do, I have a happy announcement to make!
I am pleased to announce CHOUCHOUTAGE MAISON, which roughly translates to House of The Pampered Pet.
I am entering a new phase of my life where I want to work with and be surrounded by animals. I am an animal lover! I have been the proud parent to dogs, cats, and rats. I gave them a wonderful and spoiled life, and it was reciprocated!
I have been wanting to start a pet business for a while now, 10 years, the idea first came to me when I lived in Las Vegas. My dream was to have a dog kiosk at a fancy outdoor market or mall, selling dog wares from clothes, leashes, collars, toys, and fancy dog treats. I would still love that, just one thing at a time.
When I lived in Las Vegas, I worked as a journalist for a local TV station, then transitioned into newsradio, doing traffic and news updates during the morning and afternoon drive times. I also had a side business, THE COMPLETE PACKAGE, where I worked as a personal stylist, something I continue doing to this day.
I have a variety of interests, hobbies, and different ways of profiting off of my talents and desires. Plus, I have the time since my husband and I of 11 years are childless.
CHOUCHOUTAGE MAISON is a pet sitting and training service. I mostly work with dogs and cats, but I wouldn't mind snakes, horses, rats, or hamsters! In fact, I'm open to all animals!
My services include cleaning out litter boxes to making sure food and water bowls are filled to walking your dog to teaching some basic commands.
I decided to set my prices as follows -
cat: 25€ per day
dog: 35€ per day
training: 45€ per hour
I have to admit, I put the cart before the horse, meaning I just went for it without setting up the proper paperwork to make it a official business. I plan on taking all the time necessary to make sure everything is on the up and up, no matter how long that takes. Actually, it's seems pretty simple, it may take an afternoon, but then again also weeks, because I would like to take a business class that city hall offers.
As I mentioned, I just went for it, creating my ads and placing them around my neighborhood and online.
I am pleased to report that I have recently landed my first client, and may have a second one lined up. This gives me great hope and confidence for the future!
I am so happy with my new business venture, I feel good when I just think about it, and I plan on smothering all of my paying clients in hugs and kisses!
And who knows, maybe one day, I'll have my fancy dog kiosk, it'll just be in France!
All is well that ends well. My delicate situation has found closure, but not before a month long back and forth where egos were bruised and foul mouthed language was used freely!
Here's the story:
I did the job of watching for cat, Mysha, for three days. Everything went off without a hitch.
Money was the aggravating factor. My client low balled me, perhaps because she is cheap or is having financial difficulties or both. I responded with a fairer rate that was competitive and just. She got upset.
Turns out, the cat developed eczema, most commonly caused by fleas. I don't have fleas, nor does my dog, we comb her frequently and placed her on a flea and tick treatment year long. She is an active dog, often going on nature hikes, and needs protection.
Mysha had to go to the vet for treatment, which caused my client more money and delayed payment to me by five weeks.
I am an understanding and tolerant person, and responded to her situation with empathy. I reduced the rate to what she originally proposed, to create a win-win situation. I finally received payment.
Maybe the situation would have been avoided all together if perhaps I wasn't so greedy. Oh well, lesson learned. Thank you, next.
So, what do you think? Should I just shut up and take what is offered, the first time around?
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...