October 31, 2013

fleurs de nice

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today i picked up these beauties on my walk back from class. i saw them and fell in love but i decided not to buy them because i didn't see a price and flowers at the market can get pretty pricey. i kept on walking but i had that feeling you get when you know you are going to regret something. i looked at the flowers at a few more stalls, thinking maybe those would suffice but none compared. i knew i had to go back and get those flowers. so i turned back around and tried to recall where that vender was. when i arrived, the stall was closing up so i got there just in time and to my surprise, they were only 2€ a bundle! i got two bundles and because the vender was closing for the day, he gave me a bundle for free! i walked back to my apartment with a huge bouquet and an even bigger smile and people were smiling at me because they probably thought i was in love! and i was... with my pretty flowers! so now i have flowers all over my room (the bouquet pictured is only a third of them!) and the resolution to buy flowers from the marché more often.

October 30, 2013

a nice day

I've had a few people ask me lately about what a day is like for me in France so I decided to do a post about it. Obviously everyday is different but this is a pretty typical day for me. When I did a post of what a day in New Zealand looked like for me, I used black and white hipstamatics so I decided to stick with that theme for this post. also I'm doing the times in military time because that's what I use here. for example: 14h is 2pm (the h stands for heures). here's a little sliver of my 'nice' life

6h - the time I wake up usually varies but i'm definitely an early riser. today I woke up at 6h to do yoga. in new zealand, i got in the habit of waking up and working out and that has stuck here too. but what's even nicer here is that i have my own space and i don't have to awkwardly workout in the common room *cringe*

8h -   the lady I live with leaves at 8h so usually make breakfast and read my devos in the tiny kitchen once she's gone. breakfast has become my favorite meal of the day and I usually have quinoa with fruit, oatmeal, soy yogurt with granola or sweet potato with banana and honey (trust me, so good!). this morning I took the yogurt with granola and fruit route. I also had coffee from the nifty nespresso maker in my kitchen. I love espresso and it's been nice to have it so handy.

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9h - I leave for class around 8h40 to 8h50 depending on if I am walking or taking the tram. the tram stop is right near my house which is nice for when it's raining or I'm running late. my walk to class is probably one of my favorite parts of my day. I normally listen to music (lately, lots of Joni Mitchell, Bon Iver, Joshua Radin, Cœur de Pirate and Nirvana) and admire the pretty scenery. I love this old hotel I walk by on the street my class is on and there are lots of darling fruit stands and bakeries along the way too. 

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10h - class time! I love my teacher! she is adorable and hilarious and really likes the way I write so I end up doing most of the work on the board which keeps me on my toes. we do lots of speaking as a class and have discussions on all kinds of topics. everyday has a theme and today's was french television. some other interesting themes have been falling in love, blogging, applying for a job and social media. 

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11h - usually around 11h, we get a break. occasionally, I'll go to the market and get dried fruit or to the local patisserie to grab a macaron but usually I just stay in and chat with friends. my closest friends in the class are erika (my class partner from spain), stefan (from iceland), hugh (from scotland) and marsella (from brazil). today was stefans last day, which was très triste, but he may come back to class next year. or I could always visit him in iceland, which is now on the top of my list of places to go. my friend nina left the class last week to go to school in monaco and the week before that, my class partner vincent left to go back to amsterdam. it's always so sad to see people go. 

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12h - for my first month, I stayed in class for 4 hours but starting this monday, my classes went down to 2.5 hours. it's sad because I love being in class but it also gives me more time to explore the town. here are a few pics from my walk home.

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13h - I usually end up having lunch around 13h because I often run errands or just slowly meander home after class. today, I had homemade mexican sweet potato stew. I do all my cooking at the beginning of the week so I don't have to worry about what I'm going to eat during the week, much to the dismay of the woman I live with (its very uncommon in france to make your meals in bulk all at once). I've noticed having things preprepared also keeps me from going out to eat when I'm too tired to cook. I usually go on pinterest and read while I'm eating lunch.

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14h - today, I had a few meals to make for the rest of the week. I made pumpkin soup and pumpkin hummus because it's pumpkin week on the meal plans I use. I swear these meal plans have been such lifesavers and have also kept my grocery bill down, which is quite a feat considering food is so expensive here. I often catch up on tv shows, listen to my church's podcast or blast irish music while I cook. I've discovered that cooking is so relaxing for me and my meal prep days are some of my favorites. 

16h - after I have some downtime, I do my homework, which I usually have quite a bit of. normally it's not too taxing but I have had quite a few papers and presentations. I love doing my hw on my bed because I have a pretty view of the courtyard. I also often do my homework in coffee shops but today, I'm staying in because I want to save money and I already had a coffee this morning.

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17h - after I'm done with my homework, I usually explore the town, meet up with friends or just chill in my room. today, I went to the beach because it was overcast and I knew not many people would be there. it was so calm and pretty and peaceful. I'm not usually the biggest fan of the beach but I love the beach here because it feels so separate from the hustle and bustle of the town and it's a great place to get away. And there's no sand! just small little pebbles (see pic above).

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18h - I walked around the town and explored the park that just opened on Saturday. Nice seems to get prettier and prettier everyday.

19h - dinner time! the french eat dinner pretty late which is something I have been accustomed to even in america because of my years of getting home late from dance. I have also taken up the French way of eating big meals for breakfast and lunch and a small meal for dinner so I usually just have a salad or simple soup. tonight i had a simple salad with soy sauce, quinoa and chickpeas.

20h - after dinner, when i have nothing else to do, i usually read. i've been reading les mis lately which i am in love with! my goal is to read it in french someday. i also usually catch up on emails and fb and look at my blogroll during this time. most nights, i have things to do at the church or go out with friends but i've been learning to really appreciate my downtime too. 

22h - for some weird reason, i go to bed really early here. last night i went to bed at 9. its probably because i wake up so early but i'm liking this schedule. so that's a day in my life. cheers to doing it all again tomorrow and if you got to the end of this very long post, kudos to you!

October 25, 2013

fall(ing)

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eating / excellent macarons and all things nutella
drinking / espresso by morning and vanilla tea by night
practicing / french. lots of french.
mastering / the art of the weekly meal plan and conjugating verbs.
learning / something new everyday
playing / irish music on pandora and lots of nirvana
finishing / my homework every night before bed. a skill i wish i would have adopted in high school.
reading / a scandalous freedom by steve brown and les miserables (when in rome, right?)
walking / just about everywhere. vieux nice is my favorite place for a stroll
cooking / stews and soups and all things pumpkin (from my homemade pumpkin puree)
wearing / stripes and scarves and knee high boots.
working / on homework and drawings and keeping my space (both virtual and actual) neat and tidy
traveling / around the city by bus thanks to my nifty new bus pass
wanting / to find canned pumpkin and continue feeling blessed daily by this wonderful experience
//photo via pinterest//

October 15, 2013

four years

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i just realized that this month, i've been writing this blog for four years! wow! though i've only been writing regularly for around two years, this blog has always been such a fun way to record my life, starting with fashion posts then to documenting my travels, my baking excursions and just the day to day of my life. i write this blog not so much for others to read (though you are all greatly appreciated) but more as a life log for myself. i mostly write this blog to try to capture fleeting memories in the ways i know best: through photos and words. i write this blog for the moments when some friends and i get lost in the woods in christchurch, new zealand. or for magical birthday celebrations with two of my best friends. or to commemorate my first summer job. or for my first thoughts when i arrived in new zealand. or to document my photos from the summer in europe that changed my life. or for my week spent in new york city after i broke up with my boyfriend over the phone which ended up being one of the best weeks of my life. or to remind myself that sometimes, it really is the little things that make life great. this blog holds so many memories because at the end of the day, thats what this blog is for. i've had many people ask me over the years why i blog. its hard to put into words exactly why i keep writing here but i know one thing. i blog to remember.

//my favorite blog headers from my first fashion blog to now//

October 11, 2013

nice living

highlights of living in france so far:

1. day trips to surrounding cities. so far i've only been to monaco but there are so many quaint cities just a bus ride away. i'm going to the alps this weekend for a church retreat and i'm planning on going to cannes with a friend in a few weeks.

2. walking everywhere! since nice is pretty compact, i can walk almost anywhere within 20 minutes. though i do have blisters to show for it, i love walking here and admiring the beautiful people and architecture.

3. homework at fnac and emilie's cookies.

4. eating in the old town with friends. even though old nice is the more touresty part of town, there are a lot of great places with traditional nicoise food. and i also found socca, which is my new favorite thing to eat and its usually only a few euros!

5. classes alliance français. the highlight of my day everyday is going to class. my teacher is hilarious and quirky, the class is challenging but not so much so that i'm lost and the students are all so much fun to get to know. we are all from different parts of the world which makes it extra interesting. my class partner is from sweden but he has lived in ireland most his life, one of my friends in the class is from iceland and loves sigur ros too and i think the girl who sits next to me was a russian mail order bride! other students in my class are from australia, saudi arabia, brazil, china, thailand, africa and a few other countries around the world. we joke that we have every continent represented.

6. getting settled in. nice is finally starting to feel like home. my room feels really homey and i've been making quite a few really nice friends from school and church.

so excited to see what the rest of this year brings because if its anything like these past couple weeks, it will be by far the best year of my life
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