Sunday, September 30, 2012

staycation {part.1}

{12th century church from my bedroom window}
Staycation 2012 began on Wednesday, 12th September when my mother (aka Eilo) and Godmother arrived at the TGV station in Aix-en-Provence, followed a couple days later by their cohorts; the two Texan sisters, Miss Vicki and JoDelle.  

You know what's the best part about having Americans come to visit? All of the American goodness they bring, like; Mac & Cheese, Hidden Valley Ranch packets, and so many magazines that I'll have to take a couchcation just to get through them all (including the People with naughty Prince Harry on the cover... Kate can have William... I only have eyes for Harry, that wee scamp).

I jest. The best part of having Americans visit, is well, having Americans visit.

When Americans (or anybody really) come to visit me and The LPV, there are certain things that I think are absolute must do's and must sees.

The first must see is of course Fifty. He has to be acquainted with any visitors as soon as possible. Sniffing and licking new arrivals is an absolute must in Fifty's book. And even though he hasn't seen his Grandma Eilo for two years (except on Skype), I'm happy to report that he recognized her right away and it took all of two seconds before he was on his back showing off his furry belly (Fifty would sell his soul for a belly rub).

The next must do is eating. Traveling all of the way from Texas to The LPV is not for the lighthearted and the best way to restore one's constitution is with some classic French Bistro fare prepared lovingly by moi. In this case, eggs on horseback (it's just a fried egg on top of a hamburger with a butter and caper sauce... not a horse in sight), served with Petit Chablis for the white drinkers and a bottle of Haut-Médoc for the red.

After a good night's sleep (aided by all that Petit Chablis and Haut-Médoc), a tour of The LPV is in order.


Visiting the house that's been eaten by a tree is definitely a must-see in my book (that thing is right behind my house... C R E E P Y). And after climbing the steep path to the 12th Century church that's tolling bell will ensure that you never, ever sleep past 7am (it's The LPV's alarm clock), you will build up quite an appetite just in time for the next must-do... Le Bar au Vin.

And after a jet lagged evening spent sipping Champagne, nibbling on tapenades, fois gras, and ham infused with truffle oil (it's like angels dancing on your tongue), while playing with the Sommelier's toddler daughter and her cat, Balthazar (both live above le bar au vin), there is only one must-do left for the day... sleep.

bisou

P.S. Stay tuned for the next chapter: Avignon and the arrival of Miss Vicki, JoDelle, and their luggage. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

back in a flash

{where Ami is}
I'm a bad girl.

I've been cheating on you.

While I've been giving you this whole sob story about being knee deep in housework, and so exhausted I may need to check myself into a hospital à la Lindsay Lohan, all the while neglecting you and this blog, I've written a post for my friend Ami and her blog Fit With Flash.

Quelle horreur!

But before you paint a scarlet A on my chest, know that I have a good excuse and my adultery stems from a kind and generous place... Ami is on a real vacation, not a boring ol' staycation like mine (that's a lie, it wasn't boring at all), an actual vacation to Mykonos, Greece, and she needed someone to fill in for her.

How could I say no? The girl is vacationing in Mykonos for heavens sake! It was either guest post for her or let the jealousy of her vacation consume and possibly, eventually destroy me.

So please forgive me, I beg of you.

And be a doll would you, and pop over and read it

I promise I'll be good from now on. 

No more cheating.

bisou

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

we interrupt this regularly scheduled program

{Tory Burch}


Well that's that. 

I'm back home from the Aix TGV station where I've left my mother and Godmother on the 7:30am North to Paris where they'll hop their flight to NYC. 

The staycation is offically over. 

I had great plans for today. Plans like beginning to tell you about what I've been up to these past couple of weeks, but honestly, that's just not going to happen. My house has been turned upside down and needs to be put back together before I can even begin to think about forming proper sentences (much less sentences that can entertain the discerning readers of Sara in Le Petit Village... you're a highfalutin lot). And I think I need to spend sometime detoxing after eating and drinking my way around Provence. 

Knock Knock

Who's there?

Gout.

I'd really like to keep that door shut for a few more years. 

Basically I'm just popping into say hi. I'm still alive. 

Oh and that foxy purse above was bought from my shopbop winnings. I felt like showing it off. 

Sometimes a girl has to get a little foxy.

bisou
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

guestpost: ifs ands & Butts

Bonjour mes amies!

I have woken up this morning with two less visitors; my mother's friends Miss Vicki and JoDelle have left Provence and headed North to Paris and have left my mother and Godmother here to keep me company for another week.

As life begins to slow to a normal pace and my staycation comes to a close, I leave you with the final guest post straight from Germany. Please give a warm and friendly bienvenue to Alex...

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Bonjour friends of Sara, or as we say right across the border here in Germany, Hallo (or Guten Tag if you want to get extra stereotypical). I'm Alex from ifs ands & Butts (this is supposedly 'punny' because my last name is Butts). Anyway, Sara and I go way back. Not childhood back, something stronger. Our roots lie in Texas and our loyalty with The University of, you see.

But I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to ramble about whatever other topic that pops into my head right now because Sara trusts me like that. How did I end up in Germany? Unlike Sara, I did not find love (yet?). Instead, I found a love for traveling and a tolerance for children that opened up doors to the former.


1/ Interlaken, Switzerland 2/ Vernazza, Italy 3/ Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany 4/ London, England 5/ Paris, France 6/ Istanbul, Turkey 7/ Copenhagen, Denmark

Anyway, as I am super scatter brained right now and can't focus on one place or topic, I'm going to make up a travel game. It's called

Airport/plane story: because we all have one.
Just last month, I flew back to Germany from Houston. Normally I have a direct flight, but this time the family booked it for me (can't complain), so I flew British Airways with a stopover in London. Our flight was on time and we all boarded the plane and got settled. Shortly after, we were told there was a slight technical problem that would not keep us from flying, but we needed clearance from an engineering in London. Well, it was 9 pm Houston time, which was 3 am in London. Apparently there's one dude with this clearance power and he was snoozing away so we sat on the runway for over 5 hours before homeboy got to work and cleared our aircraft. The flight attendants even said it was the most ridiculous excuse for a delay they'd ever heard.

Bragging rights: What's the coolest experience you had traveling?
Hanggliding with Ed and Bernie in Interlaken, Switzerland, was certainly one of the most fun and unforgettable. I also should brag for a second on my randomly awesome Eurotrip timing. I accidentally landed in Barcelona on the day of the Spain World Cup game, accidentally ended up in Paris on the Tour de France completion and was accidentally in Copenhagen for the sommer solstice party.



Count me out: if you had the opportunity to visit all but one continent, which would you skip out on?
Here, I have to say Antartica because 1) I can barely handle German cold and 2) there's just too much to see and culture to experience on the others.

one favorite local cuisine you discovered traveling:
Turkish food - I have a whole post on it if you care, but it's basically meat and veggie and tons of oily goodness.


two places you could visit over and over again:
1) Munich, Germany - I do visit over and over again and am looking all too forward to Oktoberfest in a couple of weeks
2) Copenhagen, Denmark - I only spent two nights there, but it was just so perfect (minus the prices). It also instilled this crazy must.go.everywhere.in.Scandinavia urge in me.

three cities you still need to see before you die:
1) New York City, because somehow I decided to skip traveling the US and head straight to Germany.
2) Duba, Botswana, because I want to go on an African safari BAD.
3) Shanghai, because traveling is all about feeling out of place and I think Asia would successfully accomplish that. I really want to visit a lot of Asia, so choosing is just my way of saying that.

If you liked this game, grab this random button I made and play along. Be sure to share your link in the comments or email it to me or something. I'm not big enough to start all that link up business.



<a href="http://ifsandsandbutts.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TDZoZPq0uqg/UE9koCXFRKI/AAAAAAAAR1E/HuowepqO-No/s200/Travel+Game.jpg" /></a>


If you want to come say hi, I'd like that a lot. The thing is, I love finding new blogs but lately it seems all my blog friends are already all interconnected, thus making finding new blogs a little more difficult. Ya know what I mean?
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Danke Alex!

Stay tuned for stories of my South of France staycation.

À bientôt et gros bisous!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

guest post: A Suitcase and Stilettos

I am tired. Or as The Husband would say it; tirwed.

I feel like we have traipsed all over the earth but we haven't really, only a few stops here and there around the South of France. But nonetheless, I have been worn down by my mother and her friends. The Golden Girls have got me beat.

Today I leave you with Megan and life in Norway. Take it away Megan...

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Hi everyone!  I'm Megan from A Suitcase and Stilettos and I'm so excited Sara asked me over to blog for her readers for a day!  I just hope I can keep you half as entertained as she usually would.

For those of you who have not stopped by my blog, I am an American living in Norway.  Scandinavian life was a major adjustment in some aspects, and a not so major adjustment in other aspects.  And while I hardly consider myself a foreigner anymore as I officially like sardines, I can still recall those days before I had adapted successfully to life in the north.



Snackin' on sardines.  I promise I smiled afterwards.

Little adjustment?  Not having American football accessible.




 Mr. All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

This would be a major adjustment, but I have found my "ways" of accessing the games.  The waking up at 2am to watch them is another story. 

Big adjustment?  Finding smoked sheep heads just peacefully laying on the ground.  Now, granted, this was from a food festival.  But still...nothing about this is normal for an American city-girl.




Little adjustment?  Hanging out near glaciers and their 'run-off' (my old Geology teachers would be so proud I remembered that term).  Really...it only took me about 5 seconds to get used to it and embrace it.



Big adjustment?  Dang sheep.  Or are they goats?  I really have no idea.  But I do know that I never saw animals just hanging out in the middle of the roads in the US.  Unless they were on a suicide mission.




Little adjustment?  The rain.  While it does impact you more than you know, you learn to live with it and don't really think about it much anymore.  Although my rain boots (seen below) do have a hole in the bottom and I need to get that situation fixed...






I actually think my dog hates the rain though.  Or just me for transforming him into the Gorten's Fisherman.

Big adjustment?  Trying to not say 'This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!' every time we are on a road trip.  How can one seriously not be mesmerized by such a landscape??



Thanks so much for having me Sara and I hope you're enjoying your time away from this beloved blogosphere!  And thanks to all of you all for reading a little glimpse into my expat life here in Norway!  Be sure to stop by and say hi sometime!
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Tusen takk Megan!
(that's thank you very much in Norwegian btw)

I'm out.
As Lil' Wayne would say;
Now gonna take a nap man, its nap time. 
I'll holla back at you at snack time.

bisou

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

guest post: Inspired Design

in·spi·ra·tion·al [in-spuh-rey-shuh-nl]  
1. imparting inspiration.

in·spi·ra·tion [in-spuh-rey-shuhn]  
1. an inspiring or animating action or influence

in·spire [in-spahyuhr]  
1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence

Today I am introducing you to the always inspiring (and very sweet) Debby from Inspired Design and her Inspirational Girls series which today, I'm chuffed to say, features me. (It's all about ME ME ME!)

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Hi Everyone! It's Debby from Inspired Design and I'm thrilled to be guest posting for Sara today! If you are familiar with my blog, then you already know about my Inspirational Girl series. Today our inspirational girl is Sara herself. Sara never fails to make me laugh. She makes me want to live her charming little life in le petite village alongside Fifty and the entire cast of characters that surround her.
How about you? Would you like to pack it all up and move to the French countryside? I'll meet you there! Thanks for having me, Sara!
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Many thanks Debby!

And as always, thank you to all of you who pop over here to see me, 

you inspire me too. 

bisou

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Folly of French Kissing {giveaway winner}



Congratulations to Kristen who was lucky number 54, and since 54 was the number randomly generated by random.org, she's the winner of a copy of Carla McKay's, The Folly of French Kissing.

In other news I'm absolutely wrecked.

I've been traipsing about Avignon, Gordes, Forcalquier market, and Cassis and I'm in desperate need of a nap but it's not to be... tomorrow is Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Les Baux-de-Provence...

... no rest for the wicked.

A bientôt mes amis!

bisou
 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

guest post: tales from the chambre de bonne

Je voudrais présenter Mademoiselle Ella Coquine.

Ella lives in Paris and is the author of tales from the chambre de bonne, one of my absolute must reads (there is simply no one as delightful as Ella). And since Ella has such a way with words, a certain,  je ne sais quoi, if you will, there is no way that any introduction I attempt to give her would do Ella justice, so I'll let her introduce herself with this blurb from her blog... 

Formerly the diary of a heart broken gal wandering the streets of Paris after a broken engagement, Tales from the Chambre de Bonne continues to follow the "Blog Opera" of a brazen Italian-New Yorker trying to find her way home in the City of Light.

That says it all really.
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{Alliance Anglaise}
I came to Paris three years ago with somewhat of a stable knowledge of beginner’s French. Preparing for this big move took almost six months of crash coursing the basics as I inundated myself with French culture. To absorb the language, I went full immersion and would only listen to French music, watch French films and even force my French co-workers to invite me out with them in an attempt to chime in on their conversations. Looking back, I'm almost positive that  sounded like an idiot. Who could possibly be conversational in another language after six weeks? Upon my arrival in France, I did find that my preparation paid off, as knowledge of the basics presented solutions for every day problem solving.

Should I come face-to-face with a wine crisis, meaning that there was none, and the market was closed. Pas de problème! I could efficiently ask someone where the closest market was. Or how about if my stretched out ballet flat slips off my feet, falls through the wooden stairs of Pont Solferino leaving me no choice but to watch it float down the Seine like it did yesterday? Pas de souci! I could hobble into a nearby restaurant and politely ask them to call me cab, as I balance on one foot.

Still wanting to excel in my French, and to not just assume that I would figure it out once I was here, I decided to continue my studies in Paris and my determination to become a fluent speaker. Attending a new class would be a fresh start, and I had high hopes that I wouldn't have the same problems that I had in New York. In New York, our teacher was distractingly good-looking, making concentrating on our lessons increasingly difficult with each passing class.  Whenever he would call on me, I reverted to my inner-fourth grader and  would turn a deep shade of red, nervously drop my pen and refuse to respond, ignoring the fact that it’s generally a requirement to speak in a language class.  It was uncomfortable for him, me, and not to mention the rest of the class who knew that I was majorly chaud for teacher. Expectation # 1 in Paris: Hope that new French teacher will be a wretched old shrew.

A week before class, I took an online placement exam, was pleased with the level I was put in, and arrived wide eyed and bushy-tailed for my first French class in Paris! Bonjour la France! Unlike my New York class where there was a maximum of nine students, my class in Paris had over thirty, taking away the intimate learning atmosphere I had grown accustomed to. The teacher on the other hand, exceeded all expectations regarding my request. Madame Cours was certainly wretched, in her late sixties, and wore a purple mohair sweater where somehow the fuzz from it managed to find itself on her two front teeth. She was skinny, pursed-lipped and cold. Her icy demeanor gave me the sneaking suspicion that she couldn’t care less about the joys of teaching her language to hopeful foreigners. She skipped first day introductions, ignored the fact that we had actual names, and slammed a cassette player from 1976 on to the desk for us to listen to awkward dialogue while she read the latest copy of the French tabloid Oops!. After the recording, she asked the class what had happened in the dialogue between the hotel clerk and Madame Martin. The students all competitively spoke over one another, desperate to answer her inane questions, and getting flustered that their attempts to gain her approval were blatantly ignored.  I found their enthusiasm completely useless. Didn’t they pick up on the fact that she didn’t care about our progress, and was far more concerned with the reunion episode of Secret Story? How was I the only one privy to her indifference?

Week three of class was just as painful as the week one; no one spoke, only the click from Spain in the corner, and even though we were familiar with each other’s faces, our regard for one another ended there. On a sunny autumn day in Paris, Madame Cours began the lesson with a topic on stereotypes, “Les Stéréotypes” to accurately paint the picture. To get the ball rolling, Madame volunteered some typical stereotypes of the French and allowed us to participate with some of our own observations. There was a mention of berets, baguettes, snails, and smoking. In my opinion, a few of the key cliches were left out, but since it’s a classroom, there is a responsibility of the teacher to keep it a politically correct platform and to not offend other cultures. Fair enough. We moved on to Spain and breezily mentioned guitar players, siestas and bull fighting. We all nodded in agreement. Suddenly one of the guys who we all thought was part of the crew from Spain reveled that he was actually from Columbia. Talk about throwing us a curve ball. The class being a bit stumped finding a friendly stereotype, offered that when we think of Columbia, we think of the heat. That’s it, according to to our class, the  only stereotype associated with Columbia is that it’s just really hot there. Moving on. Australia had its surfers, and Russia had beautiful women and vodka. Everyone expressed respectful and complimentary stereotypes of everyone’s home land.

And then my turn was up, The United States. Suddenly the whole room was staring at me in disgust, and the only things that came to the minds of my classmates in regard to my country was obesity, tax evasion, greed, filth, hormone-fed products and George Bush.

Okay.

Not even wanting to indulge in being offended, my brain could only focus on one question. Where was all of this vocabulary suddenly coming from? These were the same people who twenty minutes ago couldn't speak in the past tense but were now somehow able to say tax evasion and free-range poultry in French? Did I skip a class? If I knew it was this kind of game, my last hour wouldn’t have been so painful listening to obsolete cliches, and would have certainly mentioned Pablo Escobar, the famous coke lord from Median when Silva confessed that he was from Columbia! I would have loved to been able to say that in French! The neglect for my needs was mounting. Being more confused than irritated, I tried to negotiate the direction this lesson was going with Madame Cours, and requested if we could narrow it down to New York where perhaps the stereotypes would be less general. Madame Cours looked at me and gave me a curt “Non.” Clearly she was getting evil pleasure out of this and hates America. Clearly. The topic of stereotypes was immediately dismissed, never to be mentioned again, and Madame had us revisit our plus-que-parfait which she called horrendous and accused us of not absorbing a thing in the three weeks she had been teaching us.

I never continued onto week four of class and just found a French boyfriend who made the learning process much more enjoyable. While my plus-que-parfait is far from parfait and my subjonctif could use a fine tune-up, leaving that class was best thing for my sanity as well as my bank account. I do sometimes wonder whatever happened to my fellow classmates. Did they stay in class? Are they still in Paris? How's their French? As I approach my three year anniversary in France, I look back on these moments that were once the bane of my existence, to now,  funny anecdotes of a time I am now nostalgic for.  I long for the days of being naive, and curious, but remain enchanted and grateful to be living in Paris; a city I now call home.

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Merci Ella for entertaining my readers while I'm sitting on the port of Cassis, sipping crisp, white, local wine and stuffing myself with fresh seafood. 

It's a hard life but somebody has to live it.

bisou

P.S. Today is the last day to enter my Folly of French Kissing Giveaway. Click here to enter. Bonne Chance!

Friday, September 14, 2012

guest post: the boot

Salut mes amies!

Today I'm in Avignon, touring the Palais des Papes and the Pont d'Avignon. But while I'm walking the cobbled streets of the medieval, walled city, I'd like you to take a trip to Barletta, Italy with my friend Marissa from The Boot.

FYI: sometimes when I read Marissa's posts, it feels like I'm reading about my life, except it's in Italy, not France. I just thought I'd share that with you. Carry on.

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So, I live in Italy. Barletta, to be exact, with its miles of beaches, cobblestone streets, daily fish markets, kids playing soccer, vespas beeping, castles, palm trees and good-looking people grocery shopping in heels. It's easy to imagine that, right? You'd be surprised, though, that even after four years, I still have to pinch myself on a daily basis. Here, just for you, are the best things about living in Barletta:

1) My street. Everybody knows everybody, ladies chat from their balconies, there are two cats that everyone communally takes care of and I'm known as "the americana." Once I got stuck in my building because the front door wouldn't open, and my neighbors saved me. Would that happen in America? I think not.


2. The food. This is a clichè and a half, but seriously, the food in Barletta is un-baleev-able. From super thin crust pizza to fresh caught seafood to locally grown vegetables to melt in your mouth pastries. It's all good. And my fruit and vegetable guy is hilarious.


3. The people.  Italians are beautiful. Amazing skin, gorgeous hair, polished outfits and lots and lots of high heels. They love to stroll (to see and be seen) and I still get a kick out of their ability to be so put together everyday, all the time.


4. The market. Produce is so cheap at the market that you can go with pocket change and come back with bags of the freshest fruits and vegetables. So fresh you might even find a friend in your chard.



Merci beaucoup for having me here today, Sara! If you want more tidbits of my Italian life and great new recipes to try, please stop by the boot sometime! Ciao!

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grazie Marissa!

à bientôt tout le monde

bisou

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

staycation, all I ever wanted


My staycation commences in t-minus nine hours.

In t-minus nine hours, my mother and Godmother arrive at the TGV station in Aix-en-Provence.

Road trips have been planned, hotels booked, and restaurants reserved (and thanks to la fête nationale des restaurants that's taking place next week, we're eating at some of these restaurants, buy one get one free. If you are in France you should check it out).

Fifty has had not one but two baths over the weekend (stinky dogs from the trash need two), and is all set to see his grandma. I'm all set to see what American goodies his grandma has smuggled in her suitcase for me.

And for you dear people, well I have some goodies for you too. I've lined up five of my favorite bloggers to keep you entertained with their musing and witticisms while I'm gallivanting about the South of France. Goodies for everybody!

goody goody gumdrops

bisou

P.S. Just because I'm not here doesn't mean I still don't have a giveaway going on! Enter to win here

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Folly of French Kissing {review + giveaway}

{buy me}
... and I can tell you that they detest the Parisian's far, far more than you.
-The Folly of French Kissing 

While reading Carla McKay's mysterious and delightful romp through British expat life and intrigues in the south of France, The Folly of French Kissing, I came across countless lines that could have been written about Le Petit Village. So spot on are author Carla McKay's descriptions of small village life in the South of France that I swear, I've actually seen them with my very own eyes...

"Behind the church there was an area of pollarded trees and benches where the village elders gathered, tiny old men in flat caps who had lived in the same village all their lives and now had no need to speak to each other having long ago said all there was to say."

Yeah, that's going to be Brother-in-Law and Honey Jr. in fifty years.

However, The Folly of French Kissing does not take place in Le Petit Village, it is set in the small, fictional village of Vevey, outside of Montpellier, in Provence's sultry sister to the west, the Languedoc.

In Vevey, the locals fear the Brits are taking over and they begin an Anti-British campaign in revolt. And there are certainly enough British expats there to revolt against. There's Judith, the literature lover and anonymous published poet who is running from a secret in her not so distance past. Unfortunately for her, she runs into the lecherous Lance, an ad executive turned writer from London who fancies himself to be to the Languedoc, what Peter Mayle is to Provence. Luckily for Judith, there's the British flag waving Wuthering Heights bookstore to seek refuge in, but will disgraced journalist, Tim, ruin that safe haven for her by exposing her past?

Carla McKay weaves easily through an intricate plot of story lines with a large cast of characters who all have their secrets, lies, and liaisons to hide. Even Vevey itself is hiding shameful memories from the Resistance. (I'll give you a clue... it involves wine smuggling and Nazis... oh it's a delicious doozy!)

The Folly of French Kissing is a delectable read a little darker than the standard expat in paradise fare, but nonetheless gratifying and thrilling. And thanks to Gibson Square Books, I am giving away a copy to one lucky reader.

To enter there is one mandatory entry ** and four optional entries. 
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry)

1.** You must be a follower of Sara in Le Petit Village via GFC. If you aren't already, go ahead and click that blue box up there on the right 
2. Like this blog on Facebook
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Tweet about the giveaway making sure to add @SaraLouiseLPV to your tweet
5. Become friends with Fifty on Facebook (he really likes making new friends)

Giveaway closes 11:59pm EST, Sunday 16th September.

c'est tout!

bisou

Friday, September 7, 2012

let me tell you about my morning

{Mrs.London's, Napoleon, in Fifty's superhero hand-me-downs}
Yesterday morning that is.

It started at 5:30. I was awake and felt refreshed so I thought, OK, I guess I just go ahead and get up.

As walked into the kitchen I spotted an empty juice carton on the counter. Unhappy thoughts started racing through my mind. Unhappy thoughts like... oh no, Gregory finished the juice and I bet he didn't put another one in the fridge, because he never does.

FYI: In France a lot of the juice is sold non-refrigerated, it doesn't go into the fridge until you get home. I'm telling you this because I feel like this piece of information is vital for the story. 

But then I opened the fridge and there it was, a brand new carton of juice. The Husband had actually put a carton of juice in there! I can't explain to you what a big deal this is, it's a small victory. I, Sara Louise, have managed to teach an old dog a new trick. Score one for me. Next up, teaching the old dog to put the empty carton in the recycling bin instead of leaving it on the counter. Baby steps people, baby steps.

So after my chilled glass of juice, I sat down to check my Facebook, and I saw that little red '1' hovering above the Friend Request button... well who can that be? It was Aidan's Aunt who leaves me sweet comments from time to time. I smiled and melted a bit. Call me a sap, but it made me feel good and squishy, so confirmed I did. I'm a firm believer that one can never have too many Aunties... even adopted ones.

While I was seeing what my scattered to the four corners friends have been up to, I noticed a link to an article and it was entitled, Before Midnight. "No, no it cannot be. It simply cannot be", I thought. But it was. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have just finished filming Before Midnight, the final chapter in the Before Sunrise trilogy (The 1995 in me was so happy, I almost started to Tootsee Roll). DO YOU REALIZE WHAT A BIG DEAL THIS IS PEOPLE?! (I'm using caps because I'm shouting). Seventeen years after the first film, it is finally coming to a close and oh my heavens I'm old.

From there, my elated self moved on to Twitter where there was tweet for me from Marissa at The Boot that simply said "you're the woman" (I had helped her with a Downton Abbey emergency. Downton emergencies can be serious stuff you know). Let me tell you something, being called 'the woman' at an unholy hour on a Friday morning makes that unholy hour feel a whole lot better.

Next I popped on to this here space (that's my morning pattern... FB, Twitter, blog) and there was a comment from Nantucket Daffodil letting me know that I had won $100 to spend on a ShopBop purchase. Lordy Lordy that's a fantastic surprise! $100 to shop for pretty things from the comfort of my couch... why yes please and thank you for making my day.

Immediately I logged into my gmail to send Ms.Daffodil an email and there was a message from Liene at Femme au Foyer. Well Liene has just read a book called Adventure Divas and she said that I should read it too, but more importantly, I should write my own book about my own adventures, and I thought, "well isn't that a lovely thing for somebody to say". So maybe I will, maybe I will.

And that was my morning. All of these wonderful little somethings happened before 6am.
It truly was a fuzzy wuzzy fantastic way to kick off the day.

Good vibes people, good vibes. 

bisou

Thursday, September 6, 2012

la mia vita

{me in Madrid, about a million years ago}

Hey you! Guess what? I'm not here today. OK, I'm here obviously because I'm typing this but I'm also over at Nicole's blog, La Mia Vita, filling in while she gets settled into her new digs in Madrid.

By the way, Madrid is one of my absolute most favorite places in the whole world. Right before I met The Husband, I was planning on moving to Madrid. True story. But in the interest of full disclosure, Madrid was tied with San Diego and London, but then it didn't matter anyway because I met you know who and voila... here I am in The LPV.

Gee... Madrid vs. The LPV.

Huh.

So pop on over to La Mia Vita and check out what I have to say today (click here) and then be sure to stick around and see how Nicole's adventure in Madrid pans out. It's going to be fantastic I'm sure because, yeah, it's Madrid.

Laters Baby.

(That was me channeling Christian Gray)

bisou


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

fluffy nonsense


Coucou mes amies! How are you this morning?
(It's morning as I type this, 6:55am if you want to be exact about it, so I'm saying morning but feel free to change 'morning' to afternoon, or evening if that better suits you and your timezone.)

There isn't much happening in The LPV at the moment, like absolutely nothing at all, but I felt like saying hi anyway even though I don't really have anything to say, I hope that's OK.

It's been calm and quiet around here this week. It's amazing how empty Provence feels once September rolls around and the summer tourists go home. Like almost over night... POOF... everyone disappears. Does it feel more crowded in Paris now? If you happen to be in Paris can you let me know please. Thank you.

Let's see, last night I made curried courgette soup (of course I did) from the largest courgette I have ever seen from Papa's garden. This thing was H U G E  and when I was chopping it up I cursed myself for not taking a photo first because yeah, it was that big. (You can even ask Aidan, because I was on the phone with her when I was chopping).

And to go with the soup I made garlic butter to spread on the baguette because I'm a firm believer that even though butter is one of the most wonderful things ever, it can always be better by adding herbs or garlic to it to make the butter even better. I call it better butter.

Changing the subject...

I've been on a pinning kick again, because that's what happens when it's super duper quiet around here with not much going on, and when I saw this here pin, I laughed... hard.


And then I saw this one and I laughed really, really hard (snorting was involved)...

Lieutenant Dan, ice cream... ice cream Lieutenant Dan

But then I saw this... 


And I thought to myself, "hey, I know that cat, 
and I'm pretty sure he's talking about my window"

bisou

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