This morning Cachou and I were on a mission. We had to reach La Grosse Cloche before 11am.
You see, The Big Bell rings only five times per year and today was one of those days!!
The bell sounded today to commemorate Bordeaux's liberation from Zee Germans in 1944. She sang to us for at least 10 minutes, it was lovely! I thought about a couple of things while she played her music, particularly... what did the Frenchies do when they heard that bell sound? Did they come out onto the streets and start cheering? Did they open up a bottle of wine and champagne they kept hidden? Did they have a parade?
I imagined a scenerio much like the famous photos of New York City after the war. I also thought about the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, especially the line, "Everytime a bell rings, another angel gets its wings!"
According to our local paper, SudOuest, the 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. On 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 11:00.
For centuries, she has announced major city events, such as the early harvest and fires. She also sounded during the visit of General de Gaulle in Bordeaux April 10, 1961. La Grosse Cloche was built in the 15th century and was built in the Gothic style.
Hello everyone! I hope you are eating well and taking care of yourselves!
Yesterday, I was tempted by some sinfully delicious French chocolate pastries. No, I did not partake, I did however take a big ole whiff, then passed it right along.
Lately, I find that my lifestyle choice has become an obsession. I am constantly conscious of what goes into my mouth, also the quality of ingredients and I am listening to my body. I simply look at it as taking care of myself and basic self-respect. It is one of the many life lessons France has taught me. I look at it this way... Bordeaux is beautiful for me everyday, I find it only polite to return the favor!
I also notice that I become irritable, but never ravenous, if I am late with my meals. Again, I attempt not to go more than six hours between meals and if my belly growls, I feed her. I feel in tune with my body, finally, we seem to be on the same page!!! My clothes are getting saggy baggy and as I have mentioned in previous posts, my underoos are starting to fall off. Oh vay!
All in all, I feel good, no matter what the scale says. Little by little, bit by bit, patience and perseverance is paying off.
Remember life is too short to eat bad food! Until next time: Love and take care of yourselves!!!
Last week's weight: 145
This week's weight: 144
Well hello there!
Today's post is about some of my favorite spots in Bordeaux! I am in constant awe of my city's beauty.
She is beautiful for me everyday, it is only polite to return the favor!
That being said, many of these photos do not do these beautiful (and historical) sites justice, however you can click on the photos to enlarge them. I hope perhaps one day you will be able to see them for yourself. You'd be happy you did!
This is my favorite historical site in Bordeaux.
Palais Gallien is one of the most awe-inspiring structures in my beautiful city.
The city has it blocked off, so you are unable to walk around by yourself, however I believe they offer free tours where you are able to roam around.
The structure is the only visible remains of the Roman city Burdigala. It was built in the 3rd century, construction started in 254 and completed in 268 and the stucture is said to have held more than 20,000 people!
I think the reason I love this site so much is because I have never seen anything so magnificent. I can only imagine the events that took place here, the crowds cheering, the fashions, the smells!
Place de la bourse - The Three Graces
This monument is located along the Quai.
It is beyond beautiful.
Built in the early 1700s, the original statue was of King Louis XV, however I believe it was destroyed during the French Revolution. It went through a couple more facelifts, until 1869, when the "Three Graces fountain" representing Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, the daughters of Zeus was put in placed and stands to this day!
I call them the guardians and greeters of my city. Even though France annoys me on several different levels everyday, I cannot hold a grudge because of her beauty. The Three Graces remind me that everything will always be alright!
Musée d’Aquitaine -- The Venus of Laussel
This is my favorite piece inside the Museum of Aquitaine. The Venus of Lauseel is more than 25,000 years old and is considered part of the Gravettian Upper Paleolithic culture.
She is holding a cornucopia that has 13 notches drawn upon it to perhaps represent the 13 full moons or menstrual cycles in the year.
She is no bigger than two feet tall and was carved on limestone. She was found outside of Bordeaux in 1911.
The Museum outlines the history of the Aquitaine region, which its ancestory beginning with cavemen, through the Gallic phase, then the Romans, to slavery to today. Bordeaux history is so rich and flavorful, much like our wine!
Place des Quinconces
This is one of the largest squares in Europe.
It was laid out in 1820 on the site of Château Trompette. The trees were planted (quincunxes, hence the name of the square) in 1818.
The fountain is beyond beautiful!
Many people have picnics on the steps or on the nearby grass just to enjoy the view! This photos was taken in the early spring, the city shuts off the fountain during the cold season.
4.5 km long, the Quais of Bordeaux is idyllic for a nice stroll along the waterfront, or whatever your fancy, such as: biking, rollerskating, or skateboarding! You can also stop off for a bite to eat, a drink or have a picnic and people watch. Also located on the quai is a skatepark and further down from that, closer to Saint Michel, there are sand volleyball courts, basketball, a roller rink and other outdoor activities to practice your favorite sport!
During the summer, huge cruise ships dock along the Quai where people from all over the world enjoy my lovely city.
Cathédral St. Andre -- Place Peyberland
This photo only does it partial justice. I love just sitting in here, surrounded by so much history and beauty, it brings tears to my eyes.
It was consecrated in 1096 by Pope Urban II.
In 1137, the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine then fifteen years old, was wed to the future Louis VII, King of the Franks.
When I read this meme, I brayed like a donkey!!
It was just too funny and I couldn't resist sharing, I hope it gave you a little chuckle!
Truth is, I am eating well, afterall, life is too short to eat bad food!
I feel much more in tune with my body meaning I eat three times a day, attempt not to go more than six hours between meals, and if my belly growls, I feed her!
So what am I doing?
Well... simple answer - I am eating REAL food!
I cut out sugar, bread, pasta, and other starchy foods and I am feeling fabulouso. I have noticed I am sleeping better and my body seems to be on farmer time since I am waking up (without an alarm, mind you) at the crack of dawn, needless to say, I AM NOT a morning person!
Why am I doing this?
First, I am not getting any younger. And second, I knew that if I continued eating the way I was, meaning eating processed (chips and soda are my favorites!) crap, I would have to exercise more just to compensate for the foods I ingest. Sorry, I don't see myself working out for more than 2 hours every day. EVER! I also started thinking about my health and the havoc eating bad foods would have on my body. I envisioned my quality of life as a mature woman and I asked myself some hard questions, mainly: Will I develop diabetes? Will I be able to walk up a flight of steps without joint or chest pains? Do I want to be in constant pain? No, thank you. We all know that pain doesn't allow you to be yourself. So just like that, I made the decision to respect myself.
I know that I must have faith and I also know that this path will be filled with temptations and detours, I'm not stupid, but I am also smart enough to know that quality over quantity will always be the better choice.
This past week, hormones reared its ugly head, which can cause weight stalls, however I am walking around as if there was sunshine coming out of my bum!!! I feel good... I eat well... therefore, I must be doing something right!
Last week's weight: 145
This week's weight: 145
Happy Eating everyone! Yay!
Happy Sunday everyone!
Today's French food for thought are oysters or as they say in French, les huîtres!
This morning, after church, my sweet husband and I rode our bikes down to the Quai or waterfront to an open air market to make our purchase of those delicious treats!
As usual, there was a long line of people waiting to take home their oysters for the traditional Sunday meal.
Eating oysters on Sunday seems to be a French tradition, but I don't know why?! It is just something that Frenchies do.
But, as the expression goes, enquiring minds want to know! So, I decided to ask the French expert in my family, my sweet husband.
I asked and I quote, "Hey Chouch (pronounced shoosh, short of Chouchou) Why do the French eat oysters on Sunday?"
His reply and I quote, "Why not?!"
Of course, right! How French of him, non?! I then decided to do an internet search for some answers, however I didn't find anything interesting.
I already knew that oysters are considered an aphrodisiac, since the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite herself persented herself to the world on a half shell... off the coast of Cyprus, of course!
And did you also know that oysters contain dopamine? Oysters are not only good, but good for you! They aid to control brain function and influences sexual desire!!! Oh la la!
Of course, oysters are an aquired taste. I love them, especially with a squirt of lemon to bring out their natural flavors. I love the taste of their milk, their saltiness and freshness. I just love them and I could easily have eaten more than a dozen all by myself! MIAM!!! Soooo good!
If you want to add a little French flair to your life, go on and enjoy the delicious and fresh tastes of oysters on a Sunday! Who knows, maybe Aphrodite will pay you a litttle visit! wink-wink!
Dedicated to all my fellow Americans!
My three year French anniversary came and went with typical French flair... nothing special! In fact, I almost forgot about it and when I realized it, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "BOF!"
I am writing this post for those Americans (with their positive attitudes and stars in their eyes) who are wanting to visit France!
That said, we have all heard those horror stories about the French and their 'quirks!' Bless their hearts! Today's post was written to give you a heads up on what to expect and what to do! This will ENSURE that you WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME in my adopted country, however, YOU MUST BE CONSCIOUS OF THESE FOLLOWING UNWRITTEN GUIDELINES!!
1. Having YOUR COUNTRY's expectations in France...
This is not America, honey, so WHY are you complaining and nagging about how it is soooo different?! WHY!?!
Am I guilty of it? Absolutely, however I am also SMART enough to know that I am not in Kansas anymore! Perhaps you should do the same.
2. Learn a little bit of the langue!
Before making the transatlantic flight, learn a couple of greetings and phrases, even if it is just bonjour, bonne journee, bonsoir, bonne soirée, ça va, merci and s'il vous plaît. Pssst.... I'm going to tell you a SECRET.... The French find our American accents charming when speaking their language, SO ABUSE IT! I do this EVERYDAY! I have made the most serious Frenchie crack a smile with my accent!! THIS IS MY SECRET TO MANIPULATING FRENCHIES! Shhhh!
For FREE French lessons, check out Coffee Break French on ITUNES, I have it downloaded and still listen to it often.
3. SHUT UP!
When walking in the city during lunch time, I can always tell who the Americans are just by the sound of their voice. No, I'm not talking about the accents, I am talking about HOW LOUD they are! Seriously, I was 2 blocks away and I could still hear that annoying accent. That's right, I said it, IT IS ANNOYING! Frenchies like their privacy and have respect for each other and their food during meal times. They are NEVER overly boisterous. Do the same!
4. When in Rome, do as the Romans!
Unless you bumped your little head and recently lost all your memories, I am sure are very familiar with this expresssion.
The same applies here in France! WHEN IN FRANCE, DO AS THE FRENCH! Simple, huh!
One of my favorite things to do is people watch (why do you think France is FULL of sidewalk cafés?) and by observing the natives, I am able to mimic their habits. Do the same! EASY PEASY, Ron Weasley!
5. France isn't Burger King, you CAN'T have it your way!
You have no idea how many times I wanted to kick a Frenchie for telling me NO! I would be the kick-punching champion of the universe! The only way to have it your way is to do it yourself, HANDS DOWN!
Frenchies don't have time, much less care about WHAT YOU WANT! Who cares?! You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are simply a means to a end. It's harsh, yet is it really?!!!
So what does that really mean... it means when you are in a restaurant, order from the menu, do not ask the server, "can I have this, instead of this..." The answer is NO! Ohhh and customer service doesn't excist either. That means YOU have to pay attention to what you are doing AT ALL TIMES!
If you really want customer service, you have to pay for it! That means eat only at Michelin rated restaurants and stay in 5-star hotels!
6. Dress to Impress!
France = fashion, fashion, fashion! If you want to be taken seriously, then you must dress the way you wish to be addressed!
Common sense, no?! This means do not dress like a tourist... NO tennis shoes, NO t-shirts, NO work out clothes!
Look under the So Stylish! section of my site for fashion tips that will help you blend in with the natives. Trust me!
7.. Mind your Manners!
When entering a shop, ALWAYS say BONJOUR and when leaving ALWAYS say MERCI, AU REVOIR! Of course, say Please and Thank you... S'il vous Plaît and Merci. If you feel that someone is being rude to you, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING! Simply look down your nose at them (think Bette Davis!) and walk away. Remember, they don't care who you are, WHY should you do the same?!! To be honest, I have only had to do this twice and it had the desired effect! Now, if only I can get that song out of my head! ENJOY!!!
Hope this helps and doesn't discourage you from visiting my fabulous adopted country! France is magical and beautiful and I promise that you will fall hopelessly in love with her and so shall she! I hope to see you in Bordeaux! I'll be here, waiting for you under the clock near the Grand Théâtre! Until next time, take care of yourself and eat well!
Hello everyone! I hope you and your loved ones are well and in good spirits.
I have continued a healthy regime and even though the scale refuses to budge, (145lbs, ok, last week I was 146!) I am noticing that my clothes (especially my underoos!) are saggy baggy! Woot-woot!
Even last night, my sweet husband said with his sexy French accent, "Your neck... you are like a girafe." Thanks Chouch, however my goal is to be a fox!!!
Next week, I will post a few pictures of some of the meals I have created and perhaps a couple of days worth of my menu plan. To be honest, my meals are very simple and tasty, but just to whet your appetite, here is a list of a few meals I made in the past week: hachis parmentier, (which is fancy talk for shepards pie) spinach and ham frittatas, taco salad, REAL caesar salad (made with a raw egg and anchovies - my favorite!) and avocado stuffed tuna salad!!
I have indulged and have been eating as if I was the Queen herself! MIAM! Queen Jennifer does have a nice ring to it!
Until next week -- please take care of yourselves and remember this: LIFE IS TO SHORT TO EAT BAD FOOD!
Look what my sweet husband caught last night!
The fish was probably the length of his arm and he said it weighed about 8-10 pounds! Needless to say, I was very happy for him and congratulated him on his big catch. I wanted to take the standard photo of him holding up his prize catch, but he wouldn't have any of it.
Don't ask me to name this fish. What I can tell you is how is tasted! It was a white fleshed fish, and tasted light, fresh and silky! He pan fried it with butter, garlic and parsley, and it goes without saying that it was very very good! We live less than a ten minute walk from The Garonne, the river that runs through Bordeaux. He and Cachou went for a evening fishing trip and returned home with this beauty. I was very proud of him. Even though he drives me crazy, I am crazy in love with him.
I just wanted to share with you this experience, as I have never eaten a 'fresh caught' fish. I have, however, eaten fresh oysters straight out the ocean. My husband shucked them with the knife you see in the sink and feed them to me. It was one of my most memorable and most romantic moments in my life. (swoon!)
Ok, that's all! Thank you for reading and until next time... Eat well and take care of yourselves!
I have continued on a slow and steady weight loss journey. Recently I have decided to eat clean, meaning just protein and veggies, low carb, if you will.
I thought it would be difficult, since I love me some fresh baked bread and butter, but no.
I started this only a couple of days ago, however I am noticing a huge change in my cravings. Example?
Before I was (I am) an avid coffee drinker, but I have been coffee free for the past maybe 5 days, which I find odd.
I don't even miss it... yet.
My meals consist of mostly salads with meat and cheese, just basic stuff that I enjoy. I was never a huge desserts or sweets person, but more of a spicy/salty girl with the cravings of chips and dips, jalepenos, cheese, nuts, and SODA! I love SODA! Now, it's a little different. Instead of soda, I turn to mineral water with lime and salt, I get the same sensation of soda without the sugar. Honestly, I'm not having any cravings and I am not constantly hungry. I eat when my stomach growls and attempt not to go more than six hours between meals. I also am very practical, meaning when I go to the market, I spend less than 10€ and eat like a queen for the next 3 days. I also attempt to vary my meals. For example, for breakfast I will have a salad. For lunch, I will eat a protein and veggie plate (most of the time I will have leftovers) and for dinner, another salad with perhaps a hard boiled egg, some cheese or leftovers from lunch! Then the next day, I will switch it up!
I don't have time to obsess about what I am going to make or eat. I feel too much choice can lead to bad choices! I simpy buy a couple of things from the market and vary it up that way, staying within the border I have created for myself.
Wish me luck and happy eating!
I'm a southern girl, I even live in the south of France. With that said, this next admission should be obvious. I LOVE fried chicken!
Since I am also attempting to stick with a low carb regime, which can be something of a hassel living in France, since those wonderful baguettes are considered sacred!
Quick side note: I recently read that the average Frenchie eats half a baguette a day as opposed to 1900, when they would eat 3 baguettes daily. Interesting, huh!
Back to point, since starting this way of eating, I have to come up with new substitues to my favorite foods, case in point: fried chicken. This recipe I'm about to share, I found on a low carb website that I visit frequently for the inspiration.
So, without further ado...
Needed: bowl, plate, oil of your choice, skillet
Ingredients: chicken breast strips, 1 egg, dusted parmesan cheese, oil of your choice.
Prep: beat the egg in a bowl and spread parm cheese on a seperate plate. Add copious amount of oil into the skillet, and set on a medium heat.
Recipe: dip chicken in egg mixture, then roll chicken in parm so that it is fully coated. Add all the chicken to the hot oil, until cooked golden brown!
TOOO GOOOD! Loved it! In fact, I was full after eating half the plate, but I managed to finish it all. I also made and dipped my chicken in homemade ranch dressing, (sour cream with hidden valley ranch dips package) and ate it with a side salad, also with dusted parm cheese.
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...