I Have Confidence In Me


Life has been pretty hectic, lately, so I’ve decided to put all my would be little updates together in one post. Being an au pair is about as difficult as I thought it would be (and I’m a pessimist, so…). I’m just so glad that I have a couple of years of nannying under my belt so I know that this is normal. Never was there a child and nanny who immediately became best friends with the stranger their parents suddenly tell them to obey. There’s always a transition period, and unfortunately that’s what I’m going through right now.

That being said, I love the little town I’m living in. I wish there were more people my age, since it seems like everyone here is over 50 years old, but the city itself is absolutely beautiful. I’m kind of ok with it being more quiet here, even though I’m used to living in the city. That being said, I miss Seattle with all my heart. But, here’s to making the most out of the relatively short amount of time I’m going to be in France. Can’t wait for this to become the best year, ever!

1. We got a puppy!!

Meet our new Sussex Spaniel, Joplin! (Yes, the same as Janice) He’s such a sweet boy!

10590491_10203956793293590_6712465464439155762_nYes he’s the cutest, but he’s also a bit of a brat. This makes the grand total of dogs in this house four, and I’m hoping that will be the last of them. Even though I love dogs, having four running around all day is a bit draining, especially with a howling pup.

2. I visited a castle a couple weeks ago! 

This is a video I found that shows the castle I went to the weekend before last. I loved taking pictures, but (of course) video is always so much better. Enjoy!

3. Artists I’m currently in LOVE with:



This is my next book purchase. It’s called “Parissiene” and is by Dominique Corbasson. It’s a bit pricey, ringing  up at almost $40, but the illustrations in it are to die for (and, it’s only sold in Europe). Basically it’s going to either be my birthday (which is coming up! September 19th!) or Christmas present to myself. I can’t wait!

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I saw this book reviewed online and decided to give it a try! It was originally written in French and is illustrated by one of my new favorites, Isabelle Arsenault. The story was beautiful, and I am absolutely in love with the illustrative style. This book was also my first experience with free 24 hour shipping via French Amazon. It was a win all around 🙂

4. Every time I get nervous about my job…

^^This is the song I started singing in the airport on my way to France (completely subconsciously), but, of course, there is also the original which I was first inspired by. This song is running through my mind again and again. Spirit of Julie Andrews, help me. (Original version below)

5. We started school! 


The first day of school was yesterday and I don’t think any of us could have been more excited. The past week and a half I’ve been with the kids 7am-8pm, which has been brutal. But, I’m glad with the school schedule, I now have some free time to get things done during the middle of the day. Hurray for freedom!

6. Phrases for the day: 

You’re in trouble = Tu es en difficulté

If you don’t sleep, there will be no chocolate with snack = Si vous ne dormez pas , il n’y aura pas de goût de chocolat avec le snack.

Why is she crying? = Pourquoi elle pleurait?

Play nice or don’t play at all = Joue gentil ou ne pas joue du tout.

Calm down = Calmes-tu.

How was your day? = Ta journée s’est bien passée? or Comment était ta journée?

Where does it hurt? = Où est-ce que vous avez mal ?

Don’t hit your sister (brother) = Ne frappes pas voter soeur (frére)!

My French is not very good because I’m American = Mon français n’est pas très bon parce que je suis Américaine.

France In Color

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Taking walks is a huge part of the culture here, in France. It’s the cutest thing to see all of the old people on their walks, or biking with their significant others. Everyone drives in Seattle, but here no one seems to mind taking the longer distance. I’m not sure that I’m onboard with the idea of two walks per day (I love walks, but maybe not that much), but I love grabbing my camera and taking some shots with the kids while we’re out and about.

Bumble Bees


Yesterday was the first day that I watched the kids, alone. All three of them. It was pretty hectic, I’m not going to lie. They are all extremely high energy, and the semi-barrier of language made communicating with them a little hard, all around. But aside from them trying to kill each other over UNO and rugby tackling during soccer, it was fun to be able to paint, play some soccer (aka football) and get out of the house.

My favorite part of yesterday was stopping to find time to look some insects. I know it sounds frightfully interesting, of course. But I definitely took some videos of flys (which allow you to get SO CLOSE, here) and some photos, also. After we went to the park, we also found a little flower garden where there were tons of bumble bees (an American name which the kids thought was HILARIOUS), and as the kids found the biggest ones, I hopped around on my camera trying to get the best shots of the fearless insects. Here are some of the fruits of this labor, and some other adventures from yesterday:

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The Holy Trinity


Like any given Sunday in the life of moi, this morning I went to church. Being a Christian, and it being Sunday, that fact is a fairly unexciting statistic. But, what made today different, was that “going to church” meant going into a gigantic medieval style stone structure filled marble carved statues (we’re talking 8-10 feet high, including a skeleton reaper which is #hellapunk) in a small French town. Oh, and that it was Catholic. Which I am not.

Now you may think there would be some cultural differences for an American Protestant girl who ducked her way into a party where no one speaks her exact verbal or spiritual language, and you would be right. But overall I felt incredibly refreshed by the experience. The reason I was there in the first place was because it’s the only church within 30 miles of where I live. Not gonna lie – the lack of options is kind of a bummer.

The church service was as traditional and conservative as you could probably find anywhere, complete with a pipe organ and higher than usual pitched singing. It reminded me of church coronations/marriage scenes from Elizabeth or Ever After. But, overall I loved the service. It was pieced together with biblical scriptures and interval hymns (In French, of course, which was amazing) and I loved that it constantly engaged those who were there to worship.

Afterward, I stopped by the flower shop across the street and bought a little purple flower bush to bring some life to my room. It worked. I’m so much happier seeing my little plant ward every time I walk in the door. It really is just the best for someone, like me, who is obsessed with the natural world.

The final excitement for the day happened when I logged in to my favorite websites, Hulu and Netflix, to relax for the evening. Then, to my utter astonishment, from BOTH websites, I was told that they did not work within the country I was operating. As in – there was NO Netflix, Hulu or Pandora in THIS WHOLE COUNTRY. Try to grasp my horror. It was quite severe and really couldn’t have been worse. I’m not ashamed to say it, I adore all of these websites, and being able to relax and watch a movie is essential to bringing together my feeling of home.

I’m starting to realize more than ever that, sometimes it’s the littlest things that make home feels like home. Like Netflix. Or a random little shrub in your room.

I am sorry to sound like a spoiled American brat, but when I first found out I would have no access to Netflix, Hulu or Pandora I was pretty seriously considering booking it out of France…ok, so I wasn’t, but I was pretty upset. I don’t have many of my movies with me here in France, so it’s really important to have these resources. Would I die without them, no. Would I be a lot less happy about life? Yes. LUCKILY, I have amazing friends who let me in on the secret of Chromzising websites and making them work with Hola. I couldn’t be more happy.

Today has been a full and relaxing day, overall. I actually had the guts to tell my host family I didn’t want to go with them, the kids and their grandparents to the park, a decision which needed to be made since it’s my day off and they keep trying to “include me” on these days – which is nice…but I’ll be with the kids this week 7am-7pm every day (school doesn’t start until next week) so I think I’ll have quite enough kid time for the week without going out on my day off. Instead I stayed home and wrote letters to any and everyone I could think of. I ran out of postcards, but I plan on getting more on my next trip outside this petit-chateau.

Also, if you’ve asked me to send you a letter/postcard please please be patient. I’m mailing out the first bunch today, but there are still some people I’ve missed that will have to go out the next time I have the courage to go into the post office and ask for stamps.

Oh, yeah…I have a sauna in my bathroom. As in, the bathroom is only for me and there's a sauna in it. Awesome.
Oh, yeah…I have a sauna in my bathroom. As in, the bathroom is only for me and there’s a sauna in it. Awesome.