Well hello there!
At the beginning of the year and weighing in at 167 pounds, my goal was to reach 135 pounds. Today, I achieved that goal. The victory is sweet, however only temporary. I am in the process of organizing my next course of action and will attempt to achieve that goal on Spring Equinox. Honestly, this fills me with excitement and gives me that little kick in the pants feeling of wanting to fly! My heaviest weight was 215 and as I have mentioned in a previous posts, I sometimes feel like the scale is lying to me. That said, perhaps a new exercise routine will help whip my brain into shape too!
How did I do it? At the beginning of the year, I attempted to do a low carb my way type of eating program. Needless to say, it didn't work. The scale fluxuated too much for me to really see results, plus I found it frustratating to be down 3 pounds one week, then up 2 the next. It was in August that I decided to revamp my eating habits. I reread Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (2002 edition) and it clicked. I have stuck to a routine of eating adequate protein and fat based foods with a heavy emphasis on veggies. The first couple of days, I did have sugar withdrawl symptoms, so I was lightheaded and foggy, then on the third day, I was good. I allowed myself to eat like a gourmand on Dr. Atkins premissable list, became quite the little chef in the process... and lost weight! I was (am) in hog heaven!
What did I eat? For breakfast, usually bacon and eggs with grated aged white cheddar cheese on top. Lunch, I love eating taco salads, the spicier the better! Dinner, any protein and veggies. My favorite meal is duck breast with loaded broccoli, complete with butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon crumbles!
What I mainly stay away from is sugar, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, and any type of processed foods. I do eat them on occasion, but since my tastes have changed, (love that benefit!) I don't crave them.
What type of exercise did I do? I walked and/or rode my bike everyday. My feet and my bike are my main source of transportation.
Until next time... take care of yourselves, eat well and Happy Thanksgiving! - Jenny
Hello! Now that the holidays are around the corner, I thought I would put a list together of some of my favorite French movies. Go on and curl up with a cup of coffee and maybe an eclair and just escape in these movies!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and stay warm! -- Jenny!
La Regle du Jeu -- The Rules of the Game, directed by Jean Renoir.
Think Game of Thrones 1930s. I really enjoyed this movie, it held me captivated, even though the film is just a bunch of people talking and talking, (boring, right? Au contraire!) they are PLOTTING! The movie is about social classes and the desire to become something more.
Lila dit ça -- Lila Says, directed by Zaid Doueiri.
This film is provocative, in every aspect. The film is about a boy and a girl from different cultures and orgins and how they change each other's lives, forever.
This movie was cute in every aspect and with such style! The movie is about a competition.
La femme Nikita, directed by Luc Besson.
Like all good cult classics, it is dated, but nonetheless riveting and classy. I will be watching this again over the holidays!
C'est arrive près chez vous -- Man Bites Dog, directed by Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel and Benoît Poelvoode.
This film is disturbing and thought provoking, that said, this film stayed with me, even though I have only seen it once. It is about a serial killer who is followed by a camera crew. I'll let you make up your own mind.
Astérix and Obélix: Mission Cleopatre, directed by Alain Chabay.
This film is so wonderfully dumb, I loved it! The beloved comic strip Astérix and Obélix in live action! Having lived in France for going on four years, I have picked up some Frenchisms, therefore this movie had me snickering and smiling every ten minutes! This movie is the epitome of French humor.
Jeux d'enfants -- Love me if you dare, directed by Yann Samwell
Oh love, look what you've done to me! It is the message of this movie! It's something alright! It is crazy, sexy, cool type of movie.
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulin, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
I will never get tired of this movie. The wit, the comedy, the style, the magic!
My two favorite scenes: When she was on the roof pulling the cable and interupting an important soccer match on the TV. When she speaks to the blind man and describes everything around them, then he glows with happiness. Yours?
I write this as I am lounging in an oversized leather chair that is so ugly and so comfortable, I find myself debating moving from it. Yes, this chair is my own personal cloud that squeezes me with comfort and joy. See the dilema?
That said and perhaps it is a sign of me growing wiser, (snicker) I find myself thinking of today's date. November 11th. It's Armistice Day. A national holiday. I also remember thinking a week prior, YES! I have THE DAY OFF!!
Fast forward to today, and the date hits me. November 11th. Armistice Day. I thought of Veteran's Day and of all the fine men and women who have served in The United States Armed Forces. Then, I thought of France. I remember that it was on November 11, 1918 the first World War ended, but sadly no more. So, I researched historical facts and I began to think about about the men, women and children who died. I thought about all those families shattered. I wondered if city laid in ruins. I thought about my French students, (I teach English) who told me about their lives during World War II. And I thought about my sweet cousin, Andès Aguilar Jr., who died in Iran in 2006 at the tender age of 21. I thought of all that and I am grateful, in every sense.
Armistice Day marks a signed and agreed upon armistice treaty to end the World War I hostilities on the Western Front. The war officially ended at 11 minutes past the 11th hour on November 11, 1918. World War I ended, not on some battlefield, but in a railway carriage between Marshal Ferdinand Foch (Allies) and Matthias Erzberger (Germany), near the town of Compiègne in the Picardy region of France.
Armistice Day is a public holiday in France, admistration and some civilian businesses are closed. Special church services are held to remember those who died in World War I and subsequent wars. Military parades to war memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris are also organized. Public figures, including France's president, lay wreaths and flowers at war memorials. Many people wear black or dark clothes. Armistice Day generally has a solemn mood, because it is a day for remembrance and gratitude.
Information collected from various online publications including, The Corpus Christ Caller Times and Timeanddate.com
As most Americans, I love Halloween. How can one not? You get to dress up and go door to door for and get free candy! Living so far away from home, a Halloween party in France, is different. Slowly but surely, American culture is seeping its way into French life. Earlier in the week, there was a zombie walk, I passed by a school, where several children were dressed in costumes, I saw my tram egged, and several adults in costumes walking the city streets. I guess the saying You Are Home, has a ring of truth.
Halloween night, I invited my students (I teach English) to a night of ghost stories and an apéro at Bordeaux-USA, a 50 year old association located in the heart of our city. The association was created to improve Franco-American relations.
Aren't they sweet?! I was very proud of them for getting out of their comfort zones and wanting to improve their English skills. That's me there in the center, the only one in costume! By the way, I am Aliénor d'Aquitaine!
That night, we listened to ghost stories and celebrated among friends and Frenchies alike!
An I HATE FRANCE! Post
I recently received a letter from someone whose life long dream is to live in France. I didn't know how to respond since all the the voices in my head screamed at her at once, "NOOoooooooo!"
If you wish to make the transatlantic jump to the land of Ohh la la, best be prepared.
First and foremost, France is a country of RULES... rules that seem to change from one month to the next, yet stay the same. France, and her people, have a long history, and no matter how hard you try, you CAN'T/WON'T change a system that has more than a million years of tradition. I hate it. I understand about living the dream, however, as with any dream, comes the reality!
Second, where will you live? Paris?? too expensive. In the country?? -- be prepared to become a shut in. Living in France, you become a realist, therefore think LONG and HARD before jumping ship. When I first arrived, I had stars in my eyes and thought everything would be hunky-dory with my Amer - I CAN do attitude, sadly, this is not the case. Unless you have millions of euros, be prepared to suffer. Suffer in a sense of experiencing things you never have before, things that seem like common sense to me and you, suddenly become complicated, and suffer in the attempt to speak the language WELL enough to be taken seriously, and also be discriminated against just because you are a foreigner.
Third, Will you purchase your home or find a place to rent a place? Your best bet is to find an American company that specializes in housing for foreigners, it's easier that way.
Fourth, If you are moving to France, in all honesty, respect, and from the bottom of my heart...HIRE SOMEONE TO HELP YOU or RENT A FRIEND! Sounds silly? Seriously, just do it!
Perhaps I sound like a Negative Nelly, that is not my intention, because France is sublime, however, I want you to know what you are getting into, so I will NOT sugarcoat or lie to you. It's not my M.O.
Life is hard in France, and it takes a certain type of person to run, walk, crawl, beg and be carried through this country. For all the headaches, heartache, and just plain HATE... France has blessed me with the ability to endure.
For that alone, I am eternally grateful.
Bonjour à tous!
Today, I will share with you some tips and personal observations of living la vie française!
If you are planning a visit to France, thinking about moving to France OR just what to add a little Oh la la in your life, this is a MUST DO top ten lt blend in the natives!
Forget the big name stores like Hermès or Louis Vuitton! Truth is, save your money and buy it stateside! Instead, go off the beaten path and see what you can find! If you are in Bordeaux, I recommend a stroll down Rue Notre Dame, where you will find funky antique shops, restos, and little gems just waiting to be admired!
2. Take advantage of public transportation!
You can visit infotbc.com for bus and tram schedules.
I would recommend purchasing a 10-voyage pass (its about 11€) and see where you end up!
Bus 4 takes you to the doorstep of several vineyards, including Château Haut-Brion!
3. Rent a bike!
Bordeaux has many cycling paths, and again, some that lead to the doorsteps of several wine châteaux and/or to the beach!
When my mom visited me, we rented a bike, cycled outside of Bordeaux and stopped off at a quaint bistro for a glass of rosé! We rented her bike from a local shop called Cool Bike. It was only 5€ for the day and they also rent rollerblades for 7€!
I believe we had to leave a caution or deposit of 200€ -- its normal -- and perhaps leave or show a photo ID, that, unfortunately, I do not remember!
4. Get outdoors!
A favorite French pastime is having a picnic! Picnics are acceptable anytime! I have seen people out having apéros on the Quai at 2am and it's cheaper than going out to a bar or resto! Discover a local outdoor market, grocery story or boulangerie and pick up something to share like hummus, baguettes, fruit, ham slices and some cheese, my favorite is comté or beaufort, and don't forget the wine, rosé is perfect for this occasion!!
5.Host an apéro!
What's that, you ask? It is a party with lots of different things to nosh on, like a potluck, sort of! Most guests bring something to share or drink and fun is had by all!! Again, it is cheaper than going to a restaurant or bar! Some food ideas include deviled eggs, an assortment of deli meats, different cheeses, nuts, chips and dips -- use your imagination!
6. Start Smoking!
I'm kidding of course, but as many Frenchies smoke, best get use to it! Although smoking is banned in certain areas, there are always loopholes! If you want your French experience to be smoke free, then stay home! Again, it is something you get use to it and if you don't, move on!
7. Bring a scarf!
I love scarves, however when I lived in Las Vegas, they weren't necessary. In France, they are not only necessary but also an accessory! Men and women wear them all year long, so invest in some beautiful silk ones or funky ones and wear them how you please -- around your neck, in your hair, as a belt, as a purse accesory, as a bracelet, once, I even wore mine as an anklet!!!!!
8. Don't make a fool of yourself!
I think this is universal, yeeeeettttt, Americans are way more comfortable making an idiot out of themselves just to get the party started! (Yes, I speak from experience!) Frenchies don't. They just don't! They feel and believe -- why would anyone want to be foolish?! Why!?!
9. Fashion Fashion Fashion!
French fashion is simple, elegant and above all CLASSY! French women prefer clothing that will last a lifetime, rather than the latest fads or trends. Don't get me wrong, their wardrobe consists of the latests fashions, yes, but it is perhaps only one piece that again, will remain timeless! Again, simple, elegant and classy -- ALWAYS!
Visiting France, you will walk - a lot! So hear me, do not EVER wear trainers or flip flops -- unless you are working out or at the beach, DO NOT wear them! Converse are perfectly acceptable, as are pretty sandals, NO CROCS, ballet flats, wedges, kitten heels & funky (and most importantly comfortable) shoes!
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...