Thursday, September 23, 2010

"I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink..."

Ughhh so I had a horrible sleep again last night. Must be the city or something but I have not been sleeping well. I go to bed and wake up what I feel like is 5 minutes later and its 1:00am, then 2:00am, then 5:00am, then 6:00am, 6:10am, 6:30am, 6:45am, and finally 7:00am and time to get ready.

I felt like a zombie this morning on the way to take the little one to school. I had my running gear on and thought if I went to the park after dropping her off it would wake me up. Well, I was just too exhausted to start running. I walked home and then started doing some errands around the house. On my walk home however, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotions and almost broke into tears, not really sure why. But to help subside my feelings as soon as I got home I started cleaning. For those of you who know me all too well, when I get stressed, worried, or upset I start cleaning. I guess its a bit of a distraction for me.

Now I am typing this post, listening to some music, and trying to keep myself busy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Busy bee update!

So the last few days have been a bit busy! Sorry for no posts!

Sunday: I was sick with what I think was the flu :( So I was in bed all day, sleeping on and off, and watching TV online.

Monday: I woke up and felt great! Went for a run after dropping the little one of at school, did 4 laps + running to and from park! Pretty pumped :) Then after a busy day, I went out for dinner with a friend. We decided to hear to Sacré Coeur to watch the sun go down and have a few Heinekens on the steps overlooking the city! It was absolutely beautiful (however my camera doesn't take good night shots so I don't have a photo of the city light up at night... trust me tho... it was BEAUTIFUL!!)
(Sacré Coeur lit up at night)
After hanging out at Sacré Coeur we decided it was time for dinner! We found a quaint little place (don't remember the name) as we wandered back down the hill. The sign said they served food with a "southwestern twist" so we thought.. hey why not! Well, I decided to get a salad with tomatoes, warm goat cheese and what I thought was a side of fries... OH BOY WAS I WRONG! It was a salad... well tomatoes and goat cheese were on it... under a MOUNTAIN of potato chip like fries! So I had to dig under all the chips to eat my salad. Needless to say... I ate about half and enjoyed the bottle of Rose we ordered! And then it was time for dessert which I have not had in France yet (unless you count pain au chocolat, Maison du Chocolat chocolate, and ice cream dessert)... so I decided I would! Yummm fresh crème brûlée!!!! It was deliciousssssssssssss! 

Then I came home slightly tipsy and skyped with my mom and dad. And well... lets just say they were entertained! Ha ha! Sorry mom!!

Tuesday: Jill took me to find a few stores not to far from home which was great! Alison White is my new favourite store here in Paris! Such neat trendy stuff!! I bought a few things... boots, flats, a hat, and a shirt! Then she took me to the FNAC which is a big department like store for books, electronics, and so on! It was pretty neat... and as of next week I will have a european charger for my MacBook so I don't have to keep using an adaptor. I also went grocery shopping and hit the markets for some fresh fruit and veg! :)

Anyways! Thats about it for this week! Oh and today we went to the Racing... which is a really neat Country Club type place in Paris. It reminds me a bit of Lake Joe Club or Muskoka Lakes back home. Here they have 2 olympic size swimming pools, and a like a million tennis courts! Its a really neat place!

Still a few days left to go! So I will be sure to keep updating! :) 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Crimes in Paris - Check it out!!

Hey there!

So I thought I would make a post about an awesome band who has been working so hard on their new album. Check out this video by a Canadian band called Crimes in Paris! I went to grade 8 graduation with the lead singer (well left my graduation and went to his with him... ha ha ha!), and went to high school with all these guys! They are sooooooo talented! I remember even in public school all these guys having a passion for music and being in various bands together, which spread throughout high school, university and now they are really following their dreams and being quite successful! I know they are going to be something big!! I can feel it! Thanks again for posting the video on my wall Rayce!! :)
(Crimes in Paris - Modern Ghost Stories)
Click here to check out their video for "Running Ink"!!
Check out their WebsiteMySpace and Twitter!
To buy their new album Modern Ghost Stories on iTunes, click here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What a lovely day... :)

Today was such a great day! Nothing major happened, however I am just in a really great mood! Maybe that post yesterday helped me get a weight off my shoulders that needed to be lifted, not sure! Anyways, I am feeling great!

I started my morning off with Vegan Overnight Oats (thanks to Oh She Glows). They are so good I have been eating them the last couple of days for breakfast! I made a slightly modified version since I cannot seem to find chia seeds ANYWHERE in Paris, and I added some vanilla extract & cinnamon too. But they taste great!!

To make you need:

- 1/3 oats
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 small banana
- dash of cinnamon
- tiny dash of vanilla extract

Put the banana in a bowl and mash it up, then toss in the oats, almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix it all up put in the fridge overnight. In the morning I added a tbsp of almond butter, and a tbsp of agave sweetener!! I LOVE AGAVE SWEETENER! I was addicted to it at home, and so it was one of the first things I searched for here!

This is what the finished product looked like (sorry its not a pretty photo... it tastes better than it looks lol!)

Then I went for a run in Parc Monceau after dropping the little one off at school, did 3 laps today rather than just 2, which made me happy! The Parc is about 1.04 kms (.64 miles), and my house & the school are about the same distance away. So running from the school, then to the house after added a bit more onto the trek making it about a 5.24km run (I am very happy with that considering I barley ran this summer and I didn't run too my my first 2 weeks here). So this week I have run Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday and plan on going again tomorrow and over the weekend! I am really enjoying it so far (if you are travelling to Paris and want to go running, check out for tons of different maps of routes in pretty much any city you can imagine!).

Post run/mid morning I had some lovely "apple cupcakes" again... another steal from Oh She Glows... only I did mine with cashew butter, and some unsweetened shredded coconut sprinkled on top :) YUM!

After doing some errands and making lunch for the little one, I made some lunch for myself... a little spinach, mushroom and egg scramble topped with some couscous mixed with olive oil (odd combo I thought, but delicious!!!).

Then I had a wonderful Skype date with both my brother, and my mom! These really made me feel great after the last few days of feeling a bit home sick. It was nice to chat with both of them and my mom and I had a really great conversation about my blog post from last night and how blogging is such a great outlet! Thanks mom :)

Anyways, after all of that I ended up at Parc Monceau with the little one after school for a play date with her friends. So I took my book (currently reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls), found a good bench and sat and read while the little lady played her heart out with her friends.

Now its time for some dinner, and a night to relax - no babysitting tonight which is nice! :)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have been thinking a lot about happiness lately and what makes me truly happy.

In Elizabeth Gilberts words:

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

This quote from Eat, Pray, Love has always struck a chord with me.. maybe because happiness seems to be something I am always searching for. Seeking for what makes me truly happy - which I know that my family and friends make me happy, but there always seems to be something missing - a spark, an amber, something that I am passionate about .... yet I can't seem to find it. Part of moving to Paris for me was the idea of travelling around the world looking for happiness.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the opportunities I have been given and the amazing life I have considering many people never have the opportunity to do the things I have done, and see the places I have seen. However, I feel that in life, we should all LOVE what we are doing, otherwise... why are we doing it??

My brother has always had such a wise approach to this, even had it tattooed on his body, Love Gives Life Within... in short meaning don't do it if you you don't love it. Which seems to be ringing true for our generation as I search through blogs, and see friends quitting jobs and school to travel. Our generation... would rather be happy, than unhappy working a job we hate b/c its what we think we are supposed to do... at least I would. Yet I feel as tho we are also forced by society to think we NEED lots of money to live adequately. Does MONEY=HAPPINESS? I am really starting to think/know otherwise.

I have always thought that no matter what career I had, it had to be something that paid really well. However, now I am questioning if money is worth more than my own happiness... (my answer should be no).

So how do I figure out what I want to do and how I want to live my life?

Well, I guess this is my stepping stone. This blog... a stepping stone for me... a place to talk about trying new things, learning, loving, laughing, crying, and doing. Maybe through venting my feelings via this "diary" or "portal" I can learn new things, and eventually figure out what it is that I am really, totally and utterly passionate about! I want to stop talking, and start doing. And this blog is going to make me accountable!

Let's see what happens! :)

If you care to follow along, please do! If not - I don't mind! Thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to the blogging world!

So, I haven't posted in a while as I have been super busy over the last couple of weeks!

This post is an update of some of the things that I have been up to :)

Week of Aug 30th-Sept 3rd:
This week was a bit hectic. I was somewhat thrown into the mix of the daily activities of the family I live with. For the first portion of the week I had some company which was nice. A family friend of their who happens to be close in age to me had been in the country with the family all weekend and came back to Paris for a few days to tutor one of the boys in Latin. It was nice to have someone to chat with who spoke english and had somethings in common with me (mainly not being between the ages of 8-12 or 40+) ha ha!! Anyways, during this week I went out for my first evening out in Paris. We decided to head to the St.Germain area which is a largely student populated area. Lots of pubs, bars, trendy shops and restaurants. We wandered around for a while until we came across a neat little pizza place that was absolutely PACKED... on a WEDNESDAY night! It would be about a 20 minute wait so we put our names down and decided to head to a little bar that the guy I was with had been to and said was his absolute favourite bar in Paris. So... we walked in and walked down these windy stairs to what seemed like a dungeon or a cave, with loud accordian music and people dancing on tables! It was hilarious and honestly one of the coolest things I have ever seen! So we order our "cups" of wine... YES I SAID CUPS... ha ha and sat chatting about our lives until we finished our wine and were off to the restaurant. Dinner was awesome! We shared a freshly made small pan pizza with mozzarella, palma ham (aka prosciutto) and mushrooms and a side of calamari. OMG SO GOOD! Oh and I forgot - a bottle of rose! HA HA! How can I forget the wine!

After dinner, neither of us were ready to head home, soooo we decided to look for a few neat bars to go to. We walked into one that seemed DEAD, order 2 vodka red bulls and sat down at the bar. Next thing I know, we are walking back to use the bathroom and realize there is a room at the back of the bar with a dance floor and tons of people having a blast! Needless to say, we joined in on the dancing! After about an hour or so of that - we both had an urge to do some Karaoke (this is when the night all changed)... needles to say... the guy I went out with is a cute baby face type - has a girlfriend - and is just a genuinely NICE guy... well the bar we ended up at (as per directions from a few people in the streets) was a blast, we were dancing and singing and so on... when I finally realized that I had one drink bought for me... and my friend had about 20 bought for him... by the guys were were chatting with... ha ha! I think you can figure that out for yourself! So my first experience out in Paris ended at a gay bar and was the best night ever!! I danced my little heart out until 4am with TONS of guys and sang some phenomenal tunes! :) A night for the books! Thanks B! :)

The next morning B woke up to a horrible headache, and Latin tutoring to do! HA HA meanwhile, it was my first full day out and about with the kids and errands to be done. Good thing I have some of my fathers genes when it comes to hangovers, bc I was able to tackle the day without feeling to horrible! B on the other hand was strugglinggggg!!

The remainder of the week was pretty simple - took the boys to tennis/squash, continued to help packing, went to the park, went on the trottinets around the neighbourhood and so on.

Weekend of Sept 4th-5th:
During this weekend I was invited to the french country side by the family I live with. They have a Chateau in a small town called Ande in the northern part of France. Now, even after seeing photos of their home there prior to departing from Paris I was in awe of how beautiful their property was! It was literally as if I were in a fairy tale! This place is absolutely GORGEOUS! Here are a few photos so you can get an idea of what my weekend looked like:
Needless to say, the weekend was nice and relaxing - even tho I was working (it was one of the boys birthdays so there were lots of his little friends there for the whole weekend). It was nice tho, b/c while the kids entertained themselves playing footie, swimming, catching butterflies, and what not, I was able to sit with a nice warm cup of tea and read in the gorgeous sunshine, oh and also pick tons and tons of fresh plums from the trees in the yard! :)
Sunday night my weekend at Ande ended, and it was time to head back to Paris. I compare the drive to a long weekend Sunday night or Monday in Muskoka when ALL the city folk are heading back... i.e. NUTS!

Week of Sept 6th-10th
It was nice to get away so we could arrive back in Paris fresh and ready to tackle the next week of crazyness!! Time for the boys to head back to boarding school! Since they were to head back on Wednesday, the first portion of the week was quite busy with last minute packing, hair cuts, watch repairs, and so on and so on. Finally the boys were off and by the end of the week the usual routine was starting to form. In my time off I did some more adventuring, wandering, bought a HOT & VERY FRESH baguette with the little girl I am taking care of - she said it was the HOTTEST she has ever bought before - which made me feel special!! HA HA, Anyways - time for the next weekend update!

Ohhh and I also went to Merci - it is a concept store where by the profits from the items you purchase are actually given to local charities. It's the largest one in Paris, and is owned by the couple who own Bonpoint (the high end children's clothing store). Its such a neat store!
I really enjoyed browsing around from room to room to see all the neat things. They sell clothing, kitchenwares, books, jewelry, perfume, shoes, flowers, furniture (check out the lightbulb lamp below - yes it is made entirely of lightbulbs!) and beyond! Its sooo neat! They also have a little restaurant/cafe inside as well which is really neat too!
Weekend of Sept 11th-12th
So this past weekend was quite again. Saturday I ran in Parc Monceau, then did some wandering around near Place du Clichy, and found some Charity Shops (bought a pretty sweet blue suede vest and a nice scarf... then wandered around St.Germain and found some American stores like Sephora, Starbucks, Mac, etc.... which are handy to know about incase I really miss home. Otherwise, Saturday was pretty plain. Oh also did some grocery shopping at the market.

Sunday I ran in Parc Monceau, and then later that day met up with a friend of a friend and spent the afternoon having lunch at Cafe Hugo, wandering the streets, eating the best ice cream in Paris from the Berthillon Ice Cream Shop (I had coconut & OMGGGGG SOOOO GOOD!), walking along the Seine, checking out both the inside and outside Notre Dame, and searching through a great little english book shop called 'Shakespeare and Company'. It was a great day! Lots of walking, but you hardly notice all the walking you do when your in France.... maybe because everything you look at on your walk is just so beautiful!!

Here are a few photos of Notre Dame:

Week of Sept 13th-17th
The rest of this week hasn't been too too exciting, Monday was a day of errands, Tuesday I had my medical exam & VISA appointment at the OFII office and ohhhhh what a fun experience that was -NOT! Needless to say, plenty of sitting, and waiting, and sitting and waiting. Boo what a bore. Oh well - have my full VISA approved and can now officially by French government policy stay in France for a year. Yippy! After that I took the metro to find this huge and awesome health food store I was told about by Gillian Young (Check out her site sooo great! She was an au pair a few years back and is writing a complete guide to Paris for girls looking to be or who are au pairs!). Anyways, I had found her through another site that I have been visiting a lot lately which is Oh She Glows, and she emailed me with a list of great places for shopping and eating out! I am currently addicted to both these sites/blogs :)

Anyways, thats about it for this weeks post!! Sorry it is SOOOOOOO LONG! I just thought I would update everyone with everything that has happened since I haven't posted lately!!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

I light a fire in my new shoes

Well, today is day 3 in Paris! I have gotten a lot of rest since I have arrived - with jet lag and such - and my first day being so long - I NEEDED IT! Last night it was tough to sleep. I was up until 3:30am watching TV online. Don't know what it was, but just couldn't sleep. However, got up in time to put out the garbage this morning (FYI - in Paris, garbage pick up is 2 days a week, one of them being Saturday... @ 8:00AM!!! ugh). Couldn't get back to sleep after that, so I decided to go for my first run in Paris. Now many of the blogs I read prior to my arrival indicated that you will rarely see locals running in Paris, its much more of a tourist thing... however, I learned quickly this morning where all the Parisians run... Parc de Monceau!! There were tonnnnnnns of people running there this morning. Now maybe that is because it is a Saturday, I am not sure, but those blogs are definitely WRONG! However, I did not notice many people running in the streets. I guess they like to run in circles around the beautiful parks in Paris, and who wouldn't!! It was honestly one of the most beautiful places to run. The photo above is simply of the entrance. Took it when I was with the children. Also a neat little thing... when I was on my way to the park, one of the streets I would normally take was shut down do to a movie being filmed there! Which is really cool! I don't know what show it was, but the side streets were filled with black transport trailers and black wires all taped along the sidewalks, with large cameras, and props! So that was pretty cool!!
Anyway, beyond that, my day is going to consist of some shopping and wandering!
Au revoir!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Au Revoir Canada, Bonjour Paris!!!

So I have arrived in Paris! :) Today was a wonderful day! After landing at Charles de Gaulle at 9:40am, getting through customs, getting my luggage, and finding a cab, I made it to the house by 11:30am! Great timing! To my surprise when I arrived, the children I am staying with left immediately and returned with a surprise for me - my first taste of Paris - pain au chocolat! So we sat, had tea and ate our pain au chocolat! For an 8 and 10 year old, the two were just like miniature adults! So proper, polite and helpful! Within 20 minutes of spending time with them I felt as if I had known them both for years - old souls, I guess!! After eating the delicious treat I got a tour of the house, then we went on a tour of the neighbourhood. We went to their favourite bakery, met their favourite cheese man (had some wonderful emmental & mimolette), their butcher, their dry cleaner and went to the market to get fresh produce. Following that I had my first experience with Monoprix. Basically a miniature version of Walmart - they have a grocery store, clothing, pharmacy stuff and so on. This is apparently the best place to get random things like deodorant (where an actual Pharmacy will charge 12 Euros = $20!!!!!). After our day of adventuring, I took the kids to Parc de Monceau (my new place to run). We played tag for an hour and had a great little time! Then we went back home, and out again to run some more errands - one of which included a stop at La Maison du Chocolat!! They have the best chocolate I have ever tasted!! After that I got settled in my room and finally unpacked! Long day! Need to sleep soon since it is 10 pm!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a new beginning that is my life, I'm turning to the rythm of the night...

Well... the time has come. Tomorrow is the big day - I am officially moving to PARIS, FRANCE! How exciting! Today has been a stressful day of packing and running last minute errands, but now I am sitting on the couch, watching MTV, likely for the last time in a year! How exciting right? What a way to spend my final night in Canada! I am nervous for the flight, but I am so excited to experience a new country, culture and language!!