13 February 2013

And the Winner Is....


This is what I wanted to save until today to share with you.

Last week, I entered the Valentines Day giveaway on another très fab blog, parisian party, and I won! All I had to do was post a comment saying why I love Paris. I am thankful it was a random drawing and not based on my way with words. Anyway, Kim Petyt (the super nice blogger) is mailing my prize, "Paris in Love" by photographer Alison Harris. Pretty exciting, huh? Kim also said the nicest thing on her blog, "I hope that winning this book is a good sign that Mary will soon get her wish and return to the city of her dreams."  This sentence gave me the sensation of fireworks inside, and I'm still sparkling.

And speaking of books, Kim's own book will be out March 1st, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon.com. It is highly unlikely that I will ever get married again, but I'm dying to see inside!

We had an interesting discussion in my french class about the do's and don'ts of getting married in France. While we're at it,  my friend, Marcia is a wedding/event planner here in Austin, and she posts the most fabulous "weddingy" things on her Facebook page, Le Fete Chic.

Okay, I think that's about it for this Valentine Eve. May you be covered in le chocolat and pétales de rose tomorrow. That really doesn't sound as good as it did in my head. You know what I mean.

Happy Valentine's Day tout le monde!

beaucoup bisous ~

12 February 2013

In the Shadow of a Pancake

Boy, time sure flies when you're obsessed with all things française. Saint Valentin is but two days away! But before we get all mushy, let's backtrack.

Did you know that our Groundhog Day is France's La Chandeleur, or eat as many crepes as you can day? Well you do now. We harass hibernating groundhogs, the french eat crepes. I choose to eat crepes over disturbing poor groundhogs any day. My classmate Lisele and I took full advantage by celebrating after class at Le Cafe Crepe. It was très délicieux!

Le Cafe Crepe - Nutella with strawberries

My French Neighbor

Now we can move forward. I've been adding more and more Paris blogs, sites, etc. to my repertoire.  There is simply not enough time to read everything! I'm going to share one now, and I'll save some for later. One of my new favorites is My French Neighbor. Check out their site and "Like" their Facebook page while you're at it.

Okay, one more, Paris Zig Zag. For Valentine's Day, or any day for that matter, check out the ten  most romantic places in Paris.

Museum of Romantic Life

I have a couple more things to share, but I'm going to wait until Valentine's Day. I have des devoirs françaises to finish! 

We never did get mushy.

à bientôt ~

05 January 2013

Is this the year?...

...that my dream of moving to Paris finally comes true? I really, really, and really hope so. Either one of these apartments would suit me, unrealistic as they may be. You never know, it could happen.

I told you about my new ami français in my last post. His name is Francis, and we finally skyped  on New Year's Day. It was so fun, and also made me realize that I have a long way to go before I can communicate in french somewhat coherently. My being so nervous didn't help either. Tomorrow we are skyping again, and I am determined to do better. I've been practicing the phrases that I find most difficile.

Tomorrow is the Epiphany, and of course the French celebrate with a luscious (and labor intensive) "cake". Francis relayed l'histoire to me, and even sent me a recipe for galette!  I shall now share both with you:
(remember that there is a translate button to your right)

"Vous allez sûrement manger une galette des Rois début janvier. Mais est-ce que vous vous souvenez d'où vient la tradition ?
Retour sur l'histoire de la Galette des Rois.

Aujourd'hui, la tradition de la galette des Rois est bien plus culinaire que religieuse. Comment a-t-elle évolué avant d'en arriver à placer le petit dernier de la famille sous la table ?
L'histoire de la galette des Rois :
L'histoire de la galette des Rois remonte à l'Antiquité romaine. Pendant la fête païenne des saturnales, un roi était désigné parmi les jeunes soldats. L'heureux élu pouvait alors commander à manger tout ce qui lui faisait envie. Cette tradition a évolué au cours des siècles, prenant place le jour de l'Epiphanie, soit le 6 janvier. L'Epiphanie est une fête chrétienne, le 6 janvier, on fête la présentation de Jésus aux Rois Mages.
Le principe de la galette des Rois aujourd'hui :
Qu'on aime ou pas la galette des Rois, on prend plaisir à se réunir en famille juste pour le rituel qui va avoir lieu. Le plus jeune enfant de la famille se cache sous la table pour attribuer les parts à tous les membres présents. Chacun déguste ensuite sa part du gâteau et celui qui trouve la fève est le roi ou la reine du jour. L'élu choisit un roi ou une reine et lui remet la couronne.
D'où vient la fève dans la galette des rois ?
Avant 1875, la fève symbolisait une pièce de monnaie. Depuis, elle a été remplacé par une fève en porcelaine. Petit, qui n'a pas commencé une collection de fèves ? Il faut reconnaître qu'elles sont de plus en plus jolies. Les pâtissiers s'amusent à être toujours plus originaux ! Et toujours pour notre plus grand plaisir !
Toute l'équipede Plurielles.fr vous souhaite une bonne galette des Rois ! Vive le roi et vive la reine !"

My professeur de français told us how much she liked galette, but she never mentioned the hidden bean, nor being crowned King or Queen for the day. Fun and yummy goodness all in one!

Recette de la galette des rois par olivier Berté by Coulisses-du-Chef

Don't laugh, but I am going to attempt to make une galette.

bonne année - à bientôt ~

28 December 2012

Three Days Late (trois jours de retard)

Happy three days after Christmas or Joyeux Noël trois jours après.

I'm pretty sure no french person ever uttered these words. Have you noticed that I'm pretty sure about a lot of things? But this I know, the French are all about manners and decorum. In the unlikely event that one forgot to wish another a Joyeux Noël, the apologies would fly in a frenzy de la passion.

I regret that I have had too many irons in the fire to post something before Christmas, but alas, c'est vrai.  What has been stealing my time you ask? As most of you know, I have a pet sitting business, Your Place or Mine (shameless advertising). It gets quite crazy at this time of the year, yet I can't seem to say no. This year, I was forced to turn down two clients, though it pained me to do so.

Back to Paris - This is the first time in its history that an ice skating rink has been set up at the La Grand Palais. This is one link on which you must click. The photos are incredible.  I'm still trying to find time to try out the ice skating rink at Whole Foods in Austin.

La Grande Palais - Paris
Whole Foods - Austin

Other fun french news - I've been talking (actually writing) to a real live Frenchman who lives just outside of Paris. I shan't reveal his name, but c'est très français.  There is usually only a small window in which to "talk" due to the seven hour time difference.  He writes to me mostly in English, and I to him in French.  The idea is to correct one another's mistakes thus helping us learn each other's respective language.

The French are on a much later schedule than we are, so that helps a bit. My french class does not resume until January 19th, so this is excellent practice and will keep me from forgetting everything I've learned so far. And get this - he sent me a voice message. What a delightful surprise! At first, I only understood every fourth word, but it sounded incredible. I've listened to it numerous times. Yes, I sent him one as well. It only took me twelve takes to get it right. It's fun having a French friend!

Anyway, that's what's been going on in my fabulously french focused world. I hope your holidays have been filled with wondrous delights. Speaking of, here are some delightful images..

Trail of Lights - Austin

Zilker tree - Austin

La Grande Roue de Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

bonne année tout le monde! happy new year everyone!  

22 November 2012


Hope everyone had a lovely le Jour de Merci Donnant. Literal translation: Day of Thanks Giving. 

Just wanted to share this fab photo, courtesy of the French Embassy in the US. I don't recall seeing a more impressive dinde (turkey) than this fancy feathered fellow. To be honest, I haven't seen many turkeys.

Did you figure out what glouglou means? Hint: The turkey says....

bonne nuit ~

11 November 2012

Poppy Day

photo by Eric Tennin - Paris Daily Photo 

Today is Veteran's Day here in the U.S., a federal holiday honoring armed service veterans. It coincides with  Remembrance Day or poppy day as it's called in England and other commonwealth countries, as the poppy is used to commemorate the day. France does not have this tradition, but here is a drawing by artist Fred le Chevalier found in Paris. It may not be a poppy, but let's pretend that it is.  

Note: The Germans signed the Armistice  November 11th at 11:00 in l918.

photo by Laura Skelding

To commemorate Veterans Day in southwest Austin, students at St. Gabriel's Catholic School are planting flags. This year, the 3,000 flags will be on display honoring the U.S. service members who are currently living in Texas. When the display is completed, it will represent over 1.7 million veterans currently residing in Texas.

I love this photo.

à bientot ~

28 October 2012

Zombies in Paris

thought I'd show you what Parisians are doing this Halloween. Seems they are getting into the spirit of the holiday. My teacher, Madame Didnee, told us that France didn't much participate in Halloween in years past. Can you believe Paris Zombies still manage to look fabulous? I can.

I threw in another scary tidbit from another part of Europe. I can't get it out of my mind, so I'm attempting to embed it in yours. ;-} (that's my attempt at an evil, I'm just kidding smile.)

translation below
L’occasion annuelle de venir  trimbaler vos carcasses faisandées à l’air libre dans les rues de Paris approche ! Combien de zombies répondront à l’appel ?Vous étiez environ 2000 l’année dernière, est-ce que le nombre de morts désireux de marcher fièrement dans les rues de Paris continuera de croître ? Des stands de maquillages gratuits, animés par des maquilleuses et maquilleurs professionnels et amateurs seront à la disposition des « manifestants », même si vos propres créations sont plus que bienvenues ! La séance de maquillage se déroulera devant le dernier bar avant la fin du monde Avenue victoria à partir de 14h (le long du théâtre du châtelet). 

Remember, French doesn't always translate wellCalling all you other corpses, the date of the Zombie Walk this year is formally arrested October 13! annual opportunity to come lugging your faisandées carcasses in the open air in the streets of Paris near! zombies How to answer the call? You were about 2,000 last year, Is that the number of deaths willing to walk proudly in the streets of Paris continue to grow?Of stands makeup free makeup and led by professional makeup artists and amateurs will be available to the "protesters", even if your own are more than welcome! The make-up session will be held before the last bar before the end of the world Victoria Avenue from 14h (along the Châtelet Theatre)

 Paris Zombie Walk 2012

How to transform yourself into a Zombie

Tutorial d'un zombie by QRM_production

Now for  the Brits
The final episode of Doctor Who was weeks ago, but every time I see a statue around town, I'm afraid to look away. Trust me,The Weeping Angels are seriously scary. I'm not the only one who thinks they're creepy, see for yourself -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0XvSKupIQ4 

Lovely while you're looking at them.....
...fretfully frightening when you look away

I think we're going to see a lot of this type of costume here in Austin.

scary - effrayant
ghost - fantôme
candy - bonbons

Happy Halloween and à bientot ~

19 September 2012

Squash or Stomp?

The French say *squash. We say stomp. Sounds about right; stomp seems to have violent undertones (in my opinion). Anyway, get this - a couple of weeks ago in Paris, the grape harvesting party of Mélac was held in the 11th arrondissement. And I do mean party! The restaurant set up 500 tables - c'est beaucoup! Food was plentiful, and the wine festally flowed. Besides sausage, ham, and cheese, seems that Parisians are quite keen on Aligot (ah-lee-go)which is made from mashed potatoes blended with butter, crème fraiche, crushed garlic, and melted cheese. After reading recipes, I'm quite keen on it aussi, and just might attempt to make it. I even found one for Aligot and Bacon Pizza! Back to the party. Kids get to squash the newly harvested grapes into giant buckets. I suppose adults can squash, as well. Wonder if the trottoirs (sidewalks) of Paris are covered in purple footprints...

photo by Eric Tennin  http://www.parisdailyphoto.com

photo by Eric Tennin  http://www.parisdailyphoto.com

In Austin, Water 2 Wine, a local winery, will be the place to be for a grape stompin' good time this weekend! I wonder if I can find anyone to go with me.. I shall be in the mood to smash some grapes come Friday. There will be merry music, awesome appetizers, and wonderful wine of course. The stomp and 2 t-shirts are free if you buy a batch of their premier wine. Batch? Is that the proper term? Doesn't really sound very wine-like to me. You can even put your footprints on the t-shirts!  Ooh! Les t-shirts avec mes empreintes pourpre (purple footprints) will make fantastic Christmas gifts.


Do you see what I see in the background?

* Squash it is.
écrase - crush, smash, mash, squash, run over
rembarrer - squash
se serrer - squeeze, squash, pack
s'empiler - squash
réussir à faire rentrer - squash