Thursday, April 19, 2012

French party.

Last weekend we attended a party at a gorgeous french apartment in Limoges. The theme was essentially "take off your shoes and lounge".

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Les Petits Mouchoirs

Thank you to Katy for introducing me to this amazing French movie. Can someone help us understand why it never came out in the US?

This place

Our last weekend in Limoges flew by and Katy and I are both in glass cases of emotion. We threw an American style party and watched the french rejoice while holding the infamous red solo cups*.  And here are some classier pictures:


It was sunny that one time!
*Red solo cups directly imported from NY. Or as they call em..."goblets rouges"


My old blog posts got deleted. Which made me feel like my life was erased forever.* Luckily I've forced my family to receive email versions of my blog every time I post and was able to recover them.

*dramatic blogging statements

Wwoofing part II

None of the following pictures depict the actual physical labor that was involved during my farm vacation. In the hopes that you don't assume I just wandered around vineyards the whole time:
Mixing lime, sand and water to create toxic mortar
Mortaring the walls of a 500 year old house
Cleaning out the chicken coop (poop)
Tending to the farm crops.

And now pretty pictures.

Macaroons recovered from dumpster diving.
Second most common site at the farm. 

First most common site at the farm. Large tea and a cookie. 

Day off brunch. 

Troublesome apples!!!!

Chateau de la Riviere

Posted By hp to Le Blog at 3/12/2012 05:20:00 AM

Valentine's Day in France

image from here

I wouldn't have known yesterday was Valentine's Day if it weren't for Twitter and daily deals websites.  Supposedly Valentine's Day is recognized and "celebrated" in France. I haven't seen the color red anywhere, no pink candies, no cards for sale, balloons etc...(where's the commercialization?!?!).  One of our french friends even has a dinner with a friend tonight and didn't realize the potential significance of the date.

Well... Katy and I need our colors. And our candy. And our romantic comedies. And to express the standard girl love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day.  To celebrate we had a special lunch of baguette, cheese and red fruit jam, with a special Madeline and coffee dessert.  Our Valentines Day color themed dinner started with a rosso Martini and cheese aperitif, then some salmon and rose wine and a dessert of chocolate and special cookies. 

Fear not friends. Tomorrow I am having my students make Valentines Day cards and showing them pictures of the Hallmark craziness and spreading the love. 

Posted By hp to Le Blog at 2/15/2012 09:04:00 AM


Last weekend, Katy, Eric and I ventured down to the Ville Rose (or "Pink City").   Maybe I'm getting too used to Limoges but I was in love with Toulouse the moment I figured out it was pink for real. All of it.  Toulouse has the energy of a city lively with University students, and close to Spain and the to the sea. If anyone out there's thinking of studying abroad in France...this would be my absolute first choice for you.

Saturday we ate lunch at a place recommended by the NY Times in the little old quarter of Toulouse.  We got a set two course meal with wine for eleven euros. Oh but we had to order the fois gras as a second shared appetizer (yeah I'm into that stuff now). The main course was some sort of fish concoction that we found out later (luckily) was shark. I may or may not have mercury poisoning down the road. 

So cold even the moving fountain water froze. 

The Cuban festival?

All I want when it's cold out is a huge big coffee or latte or hot chocolate. The word "huge" in France means the size of a normal (small) mug for us. I resort to always ordering cappuccinos because they come in the biggest cups. And they come with scoops of cream and chantilly on the top. I need endless warmth and goodness! 

A short film

Katy and I made a video to enter this contest for, a trip planner and trip review site, to win a free trip. This video neither answers the questions proposed in the guidelines nor makes any real sense. Which is why we like it. It's probably entertaining only to us...if they like it then they will like us. I'm posting it here so you get a chance to meet my Katy and Eric and see a little of our apartment and Toulouse. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

On Living with Boys...


1. Don't leave tasty food hanging around.

2. Tasty foods are more at risk for consumption by males. Therefore, buy "untasty" or "healthy" foods. Foods with lower risk include: quinoa, fat free milk, nuts, anything with pink packaging, lentils, spinach, any vegetable really.

3. Disguise "tasty" food in "untasty" food containers. Put precious eggs in a large empty low fat yogurt tub, delicious flavored dessert yogurts in an old white wine box. Most anything can be hidden inside these yogurt tubs or old wine boxes. Except milk. And taking the label off the milk to try to pass it off as a "mysterious untasty substance" may work at first but they catch on after about a week. Still trying to figure this one out.

4. They believe the "cleaning fairy" exists.  A drastic change in the cleanliness of the apartment and kitchen from weeks of pizza crusts, soda bottles, grime, dirty dishes, unwashed cooking pans, and more to spotless, shiny, and smelling like bleach in their minds only means the cleaning fairy finally came. 

5. Placing cleaning supplies like bleach, sponge, paper towels etc right next to their pile of mess doesn't send any comprehensible signals.

6. Expect strange events. (All night gaming in the dining room with full on extension cords, headsets, and battle cry's?)

7. Retaliating by eating all their cookies and Nutella is completely justified. And mostly unnoticed...I hope.

Disclaimer: This is a wide generalization based off of not reliable, not valid, uncontrolled case study conditions with some experimenter and participant bias thrown in there. We love our roommates and enjoy their company entirely. Now they know what's in all those yogurt containers... 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Still trying...

Again not in french. So hard to find. But its in Paris and she has angel voice!

Friday, April 13, 2012

french and american women

Here I am in my apartment in my winter coat wrapped in a wool blanket. The heats been out for a few days...surprise? There's still no internet or hot water either so I have been frequenting cafes and gym facilities the past week. It's been three weeks and counting since we've had these small luxuries. I guess everyone in France is still on vacation? Unsure.

I found a funny satire on French women today. Check out the excerpt:

"To maintain my figure, I eat only half portions of any food, always arranging it on my plate in the shape of a semicolon. For exercise, at least once a day I approach a total stranger and slap him. And late each afternoon I read a paragraph of any work of acclaimed American literary fiction, which makes me vomit."


"The French woman is known for being effortlessly chic. I have, in fact, offered tutorials on elegance to American women. I will hand an American an Hermès scarf and ask her to tie it somewhere on her body, anywhere but around her neck. A French woman might use the scarf to secure a ponytail, or she’ll knot it loosely around the strap of her Chanel handbag. Sadly, most of my American pupils either use the scarf as a makeshift sling or eat it. I have attempted to counsel many American women against overdressing. I told one woman, “I’m going to turn my back, and I want you to take off three things.” A moment later, when I faced her, the woman had removed her teeth, one of her eyes, and an Ace bandage."

Read the full article in The New Yorker 

Snowy Limoges

OUAH! (yay)

Last evening marked the first snow of the year in Limoges. I was hoping for a full on freak out by Limoges public transport authorities but to my disappointment the buses were running bright and early. Good thing the strike was still on! No school!

Posted By h to Le Blog at 1/31/2012 05:12:00 AM


french names
If you're like me you love hearing different names from different places.  Here, to satisfy this curiosity that you may or may not have, are some of the most popular names in France right now.*

Pour les filles (girls):

Marie Anne
Asmae (pronounced like Asthma)

Pour les garçons (boys):

Kevin (American names are becoming more popular)

*Based on no actual data besides the roll call for my Middle School and some of my french friends. 

*No actual research was performed. And by all of France I mean my Collège in Limoges.

Garden party

Our friend's perfect back garden was host to a wonderful night sipping on wine and making new Italian, English and French friends. We're now dropping no so subtle hints about our own going away party. 

Posted By hp to Le Blog at 3/29/2012 01:54:00 AM


While I was at the farm we went to Bordeaux for an evening for the sole purpose of scrounging through dumpsters for expensive macaroons. After we dropped the huge trash bag off in the car we did get to walk around like normal people for a bit. 

Posted By hp to Le Blog at 3/12/2012 05:26:00 AM


Scotland.  To start I saw colors, and heard English, and people wore practical warm yet still fashionable clothes, and everyone was nice, and I communicated very effectively, and there were thrift stores, and good take out places, and healthy food, and huge coffees, and whiskey, and it was so cheap,

In Edinburgh we couchsurfed with four girls who went to graduate school there. It was truly one of the best travel experinces I've ever had. The girls took us out to explore the city with them and even cook crêpes and enjoy rediculous british tv.  Katy and I are couchsurfing hosts in Limoges but so far no one wants to come.... But were so excited for when we get our first couch surfer!

Edinburgh feels like its straight out of Harry Potter. Well I guess because it is. JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter while she was living here and based the castle, the countryside, hogsmeade, and the Hogwarts express all on Edinburgh and Scotland. We ran around shouting Harry Potter lines and taking dramatic wand wielding pictures which probably wasn’t fun for anyone else but us.  At least it's not tourist season though right?. We took a tour of the Scottish highlands and I saw the Hogwarts express zipping through the countryside. Magic. 

The Queens summer residence

Birthplace of Harry Potter

Posted By hp to Le Blog at 3/15/2012 07:21:00 AM