Ma Vie en Rose
Love List for April 27, 2012
Ohhh Gérard!!! I'm Depardieu over you!
How to be good to yourself - Just Read!
After reading two books in three days, I decided to re-read The Count of Monte Cristo. Perhaps, I should rephrase that, I read half way through the book and didn't pick it up again until this week. I decided to start at the beginning, again. Hence, re-reading it.
Mr. Dumas takes me there. I can relate to his characters, because I am his characters, in some way or another.
I am Edmond. I am Mercedes. I am Danglers.
I am Mr. Morrel.
The novel is offsetting, being more or less 1000 pages. However, the bittersweet adventure, the character's transformation and rich story keep me flipping the pages.
Be good to yourself - read a classic!
Ma Vie en Rose
Love List for April 20, 2012
Happy Friday everyone!
Today, I wanted to share with you some of the items that made my transition a little less stressful.
I moved to Bordeaux, France more than a year and a half ago. When I first arrived, it felt as if I was on vacation. The weather was beautiful and my French family was supportive to make my transition easier. At that time, I suffered from annoyingitis, meaning I had that 'fresh off the boat' syndrome, I'm sure I was difficult to bear and my harsh American accent destroyed the peace.
So, to adjust to French life, I threw myself into French life by taking an immersion course, I learned the lay of the land, tried to translate eveything so that I could file it under Frenchified in my brain. At home, I did things that made me happy and now looking back, it was a time of avoidance. And with all of my toys, books, and new recipes, I was living the life of leisure, but avoiding the outside world. Still....
I drank a lot of wine! How could I not? I'm living in Bordeaux!
I also read every single Harry Potter book, back to back. Yeah, that took some time!
I learned how to cook a quiche! It came out perfect and everything!
I also busted out Big Bertha. Every dispute we get into, she always wins.
Alas, I signed up for a sewing class this summer.
We shall see who gets the last laugh, Bertha.
Alas, our little dog, Cachou is what motivated me to get back out in the city and deal with the locals.
Thanks Cachou, I raise my wine glass to you!
The movie is a outline for life...
I was watching the movie The Devil Wears Prada the other night and I discovered striking similairities to Meryl Streep's character, Miranda Priestly and France.
Living here can be compared to Andy's character about transformation and finally self discovery.
France is Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor of Runway Magazine.
Miranda, the perfectionist she is, pushes the main character, Andy, to go in circles and keep up. Andy transforms (with a delicious new wardrobe and new attitude) and as she becomes more efficient at playing by the rules and eventually breaking them, her personal life seems to go up in smoke.
French life as frustrating as it may be, changes
you/me in a way that is an internal struggle for enlightenment.
By all means, the movie is no oracle, however fun, as it is, girly, delivers a powerful message: outsmart the devil before he outsmarts you, then walk away.
If you can.
Cachou was born and abandonned by her mother.
She was found wandering the streets in a subarb of Bordeaux before being picked up by my mother in law's neighbor, Martina. After a car ride to the vet, to the grocery store to pick up a leash and collar, she was given to my mother in law in hopes that Chouchou and I would adopt her. The phone call came towards the end of the day for a invitation to meet the dog. For my sweet husband, it was love at first sight. He was transported into the future and saw himself hunting, playing and couldn't imagine his life without this little dog. For me, I was more logically. I thought about training, food, time, her quality of life.
As we drove home with our new bundle of joy, I knew then that our lives would never be the same.
After having a difficult time adjusting to French life, it seems Cachou came right at a time that we needed her the most. She took our attention away from daily French frustrations.
Our lives have become better because of her. We exercise more, we use training play to teach her new tricks, we potty trained her in under a week, we taught her how to fetch, we take her hiking, to the restaurants, running errands around town. Cachou is our constand companion around town!
She has made our lives richer with just a wag of that tail!
(guest post from Dianne)
In the (near) 4 years that I've lived in France, I've never really tried to fit-in or "become French." Don't get me wrong, I love my life here but it's taken a lot of time, hard work and struggle to get to this point. So maybe my nonchalance has helped me in overcoming the hardships that often present themselves to ex-pats.
My dear husband believes that I've adjusted and "integrated" well into French society, despite my meager command of the language. Perhaps to many, having a job is the sign that you have "arrived" but paying the bills hardly bridges any sort of cultural divide, in my opinion.
"BOF.... " - Maya
Even though my road to settling in has been bumpy, I do know someone who's adjusted swimmingly to life in France and that's my dog, Maya.
Since the day we arrived, Maya has been enchanted with France. The weather suits her and the air is cleaner (than Taipei, where we moved from and where I first met Maya). The French are crazy dog friendly and she's incredibly spoiled by friends and family alike. So, comparing our experiences, I'd have to say that Maya has fared better.
Here are 5 reasons why my dog is more French than I am:
2. She takes a really long time to get to know people but she is quite polite and will always greet you when you come home or wake up, and see you off and wish you a good day when you leave. She is well-behaved at a restaurant and enjoys chillin' at the cafe. She also likes people watching, so she fits very well into the local sidewalk cafe culture here.
3. She's like most of the French when it comes to the weather. They flock to the parks, beaches and waterfronts at the first hint of sun. For Maya, from the moment the sun shows it's face, she's out to greet it.
4. She has more French friends than I do. Even if they are of the canine and feline variety, she still statistically outnumbers me in this department. Hands down.
5. She loves French cuisine (and snack foods as well) and she also loves to be in the kitchen, where I am often tripping over her because she's waiting for magical goodies to fall out of the sky. On separate occasions, she has mischeviously rewarded herself with a box of chocolatines, a tray of brownies, an endless amount of bread (from brioche to weapon-worthy baguettes to plain old sliced loaf bread), 200 g of nutella, half a liter of olive oil, leftover casoulet, not to mention the not-quite French cuisine stuff recovered from the dustbin like dirty diapers, rotted meat, dangerously brittle cooked bones...
In fact, we've learned to stop leaving leftovers in the oven because Maya's figured out how to open the oven door and use it for what is wasn't designed for - a step stool to get onto the kitchen counter. I'm tellin' ya, "dog-proofing" is really just a professional term for "outsmarting the dog." Yes, it comes to that in my household.
Maya is part of our family and is constantly pushing the boundaries of what she can get away with. And that's why I love her. And that's why having a dog is the cat's pajamas ;)
Editor's note: No treats were used during the photos shoots. Maya is a natural born talent.
French Femmes have more Fun!
These are some secrets and sensations, that I have observed and have picked up from my French femmes.
Many of their secrets are nothing new, however the proverb of "if it is not broke, don't fix it' applies 100% here!
I have started implimenting some of these over the counter pampering techniques at chez moi, so perhaps it time to spoil yourself, and do the same!!! Ohhh la la!
So without further ado...
Bleach Your Feet!
Add a cap of bleach to your pedicure warm water, at your discrection, of course!
After verifiying with my Aunt, who continues to whip and tease hair like the devil for more than 50 years in her salon, told me it will help kill any fungus that may lay underneath your toe nails, is a cure for stinky feet, can remove nail stains from dark polish and eat away at dangeling dead skin cells.
It will also leave your skin very smooth and soft. Family knows best, and it seems the French do as well.
Olive Oil is the best invention on earth, other than woman!
Have an problem? The answer is Olive Oil.
Ok, olive oil is not an oracle, but it sure is a God send!
Dry hair, dry body, foot scrub, dry lips, face scrub, body scrub, you can put it in your ear to help with earaches, you can you can eat it, you can use it for furniture polish and to brighten up leather furniture, you can give it to the dog for a shiny coat and help their digestion,
the list goes on! Wear it, Ingest it, Use it...
I keep a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil on my vanity to use as a moistureizer!
Soon, I will list a 'at home' beauty regime of products that you will find right in your pantry.
Always be well groomed! Get that hair styled, girl!
Your hair is your crowning glory, so therefore showcase it.
Invest in yourself and in a good cut that will flatter your features, and most important you must be willing to make the effort to fix it everyday!
This is why I have long hair, I would love a short French bob, but because of my face shape, its not my best look, and most importantly, I don't have the time nor patience to fix my hair everyday, and I'm ok with that! :D But, I do make an effort to keep my mane in good condition with olive oil treatments and hair accessories, and recently, I purchased a gel spray that makes me feel like Farrah herself, may God rest her soul.
and Make Up...
Lots of mascara and lipstain! Simple and pretty. Their faces already glow from all those olive oil treatments!
Quality over Everything!
I had a friend who said that he didn't have money to buy cheap things.
Goes to show, its true.
Never purchase below quality goods. Buy something that will last for decades, that way you will be sure to get your money's worth! This includes pots and pans, furniture, cutlary, dishes, clothing, shoes, jewerly, handbags, and other household items.
Be the female version of James Bond!
Stock up your bar!
Always have the good stuff on hand just for you or that impromtu house call!
I was surprised that many of our French friends just popped by (without calling, the horror!) and it was something normale, like the sky is blue! However the French woman in me, whipped up an apero and drinks before our guest got comfortable. My husband was so proud! An apero is assortment of different foods. It is to your liking, yet note that most consist of nuts, chips and dip, a vegtable tray, cheeses, bread, and some meats served with wine or beer to drink.
Most impromtu guests bring something to share, so it eases the tension off the hostess if her bar is not stocked.
Indulge in Pleasure!
The French has this wonderful and very annoying trait of doing whatever they want. The vulgarity! They don't count calories, they eat all of their dessert, they smoke like firefighters, and they eat carbs and real sugar and real butter.
And it is something normale, something comme ça, or it's just like that.
So take a page for the French recipe for life and do what you want, but remember, pleasure does not equal gluttony!
Find the line.
Mine keeps moving.
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...