May 31, 2008

Ohhhh Freakin' A!!!

I don't usually utter those words... though they're technically not bad, but after Alex and I bought our brand spankin' new bikes from Decatalon tonight (25 minutes before the store closed)- BOOOM... Alex blew a flat!!!! When we got home, we decided to take a quick test run through our quiet neighbourhoon... and one block before we got home, Alex's front tire was flat! On closer inspection, he found a rose thorn stuck into the tire- "the culprit!" We were soooo bummed... I don't know if it's bad luck or just par hasard, but it means we can't go biking together tomorrow as we had planned! It sucks!!! Plus, the very first time out!! Can you even believe it?!! Well, we decided that tomorrow, he will take my bike out and I will go rollerblading so that at least we can get out... if it doesn't rain, that is! When is this stupid weather going to improve... I'm sooooooooo sick of this weather!! AAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Happy Sunday to ya'll........ - Leesa

OH NO!!!!! I'm past my photo quota!!!

Just tried to upload some pix and got a message saying I'm past my photo quota... So, now... I gotta PAY!!! I'll check it out and I'll be back... Don't you worry!!!

----------Leesa

French poppies!









May 30, 2008

RTL DISCO concert with Andrea, Ferbent, Alex et moi!



On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting a Paris Blogger, Andrea (Aussie in France) and her hubby, Ferbent for a night of Disco at Zenith.... It was pretty fun, and everyone was really into it. Lots of young people, I was surprised since disco is the music of my youth- the 70s pretty much constituted my growing up years from ages 6-13 ('71-'79) smack dab in the middle of Hollyweird, Ca. Looking back into time, these years had a big effect my life and musc preference- Until of course... the year that Disco died (for me) it was in 9th grade- when Rock 'n Roll took a strong hold and I played frisbee with all of my disco records... except for maybe Donna Summer.... But, I can clearly remember throwing my disco albums to the wind, as the soared down Formosa Ave. I have had regrets of "wasting" my disco records like this... I was soooo in love with disco as a kid- learning all the hit dances and lyrics and going out "clubbing" in L.A. to all the hot underage dance clubs... I remember that in L.A. from age 14-17 you could go to a number of clubs, and be among those your age with no adult supervision. Oskos', Florentine Gardens, Club 321, and Dillions were the most popular underage clubs me and my friends frequented!! Soooooo much fun!!!!! This was a from about 80-83 but they were still playing a lot of disco back then... also New Wave...

For Justin

I used to watch this show EVERY night religiously in the '80s. I think I kept my French "grace a" this show... Good luck with your French!!

May 29, 2008

Cool Toilet


I just LOVEEEEEEEEE this crazy toilet! I always loved having a freshwater aqaurium for most of my life... but THIS is just tooooooo cool!!!

A rose is but a rose... and a pretty one at that!

Great to see old friends!



My last night in San Diego was spent at a little Brasilian resto in Pt. Loma, Brasil by the Bay. My friend's band, Samba Chops, plays there so I called up a few of my friends to check it out! It was such a nice surprise to see a few other friends whom I had not anticipated on seeing, but who had been a big part of my past- Sunday night "Brasilian Night," at Cafe' Sevilla... It was great to see some of my old friends before leaving the country! We had a very nice time!!

May 28, 2008

Looking on Craig's List PARIS...

So, as I was browsing Craig's List for possible summer jobs and to help look for an au pair for one of my parents here locally, I come across this ad... Is it JUST me, or do ya'll see something dreadfully wrong with earning $50 per week spending money?? Granted room and board are covered, but it not like living in the city of Chicago... It's living in the STICKS!!! For one year!! What the hay??? Does this not seem wrong??? That's like saying about 35 euros a week...!!!!!!! YIKKKEESSS... What says YOU??
Here's the ad I saw....
American couple looking for French female to help take care of delightful elderly mother (wife's mother). Job includes helping her dress, make meals, housekeeping, drive her to activities and be her companion when necessary. Beginning English is OK. Wife is a fashion designer and speaks Fluent French (lived in Paris 15 years) so can help au pair to become fluent in American English. She travels frequently to New York and Paris for business. Husband is employed in finance.

We live in the country, on a farm in Iowa (state next to Illinois, we are 5 hours west of Chicago) and would prefer someone who likes both the country and city life. We travel alot around the states with 'grandma' and au pair would come with us.

Requirements: Knowledge of cooking, driving a car, and warm caring person.

1 year commitment minimum, all expenses paid including airplane ticket to states, plus $50. week spending money. 1 full day off per week plus lots of hours the other days (elderly take alot of naps and do not need as much attention as children)

Please send as much information about yourself (with photo if possible). I will be in Paris from May 8-17 for interviews.





May 26, 2008

If I had a sister, it would be HER!!!!



This is my ALL-TIME favourite dog- a soft-coated wheaten terrier!  My fav. dog, Penny, in San Diego, is one!  Whenever I go to visit Penny at La Pensione in Little Italy, I always say we have the same hair sytle!!!  These dogs are sooo sweet and have a great temperment!  As soon as Alex and I get a house, we will get one!

Myrtille vs. Bleuet

        One of these pics is of blueberries, the other, bilberries! Your guess is as good as mine!
        (*Not my pics, I got them on the web!)

I just learned tonight that myrtille does NOT mean blueberry, which I had been led to think for a while now.. but it means bilberry... and bleuet is blueberry.  I don't really think bilberries are marketed the same in California... 'cuz I don't ever recall buying a cartoon of bilberries... or having a bilberry muffin or bilberry pancakes.  But, honestly, I don't see much of difference in them- physically speaking.  I had to google it, though, to see what I could learn, and there are indeed some differences... But not interesting enough for me to note here in this post... Just simply that there are some differences between the two!  So, for all you American expats out there in France... when you reach for that muffin myrtille @ Starbucks.. it's NOT really a blueberry muffin... Oh the disillusionment I am now facing!! Just thought I'd let you know, since it's something new to me!!  

Happy Memorial Day!

Being a typical American (a sucker for any holiday), I wanted to wish all my fellow Americans/expats a very Happy Memorial Day. This holiday is not observed here in France, and I am not sure of it's equivalent... someone help me out, please. I never really "celebrated" this holiday back home other than having the day of from work and being happy about it... But let's pause for a moment of silence to honour all the courageous men and women all over who have given up their own lives for a cause they believed in. That being said, I am TOTALLY anti-war and it's just sad that human beings cannot settle their differences peacefully/live in peace without causing pain, death and suffering to others...

C'est fini!!!!

Jet lag and U.S. income taxes!! YAYYYY!!! It's going to be a good week!

May 25, 2008

Picnic in the parc for the 5th July...



Oki, this is just in the works but I sent out an email to most of the people I know (rather, the people whose email addresses I know). So, on Saturday, 5 July- there will be a picnic at the Parc de Sceaux (in the Ville de Sceaux- RER B). I haven't picked out the exact spot, but I will most likely go to the parc with Barbara to map out a good spot. It will either be off of the Parc de Sceaux or Croix de Berny sortie... We'll see... It will be a potluck- I am currently doing some research on good picnic dishes- such as pasta salads, potato salads, sandwiches, fruit salads, etc... so I will get back to everyone on this... My motto: "Keep it simple and NO stress!" Anyhow... I am planning for this to be a combo- French/American celebration (and of course welcome to all other countries) but since it's the 4th July/14 julliet, I thought it appropriate to combine the two and have the best of both worlds- esp. where food is concerned!! If you are interested in going, please let me know via email or comments... and as things unfold, I will give out more details. I welcome everyone and you are most certainly welcome to invite all family members and friends. The more the merrier, in my avis! Hope you can all make it there!
Cheers, Leesa : )

The Party - Birdie Num Num

This is a classic Peter Sellers film. I highly recommend it to everyone!

This is for you, Linda!

One of my fav. bloggers, Linda from "Soulamouse cerchant la vie dans le monde" posted about accents the other day... So, I went searching on Youtube and found this gem! Not only do I think Steve Martin is a RIOT, but this scene is EXTRA HILARIOUS! Enjoy....

Uttanasana- Standing Forward Bend


Oh, it feels so good to do yoga! I used to do this pose with great ease but ever since I injured my back, my yoga practice is much more constrained and limited. However, this doesn't stop me from doing what I can, I respect my body and it's changes/limits. I recognize that I am working under different conditions. It's important for us to respect and follow our body as it talks to us!
Namaste....

In need of a bike!




Yesterday afternoon was spent at Decathlon checking out bikes! While in San Diego, Alex and I saw TONS of really coooooool beach cruisers. I never noticed it before (maybe it just became popular recently) but there were tons of light pink, mint green and baby blue cruisers for women. I fell in love with the pink, girly-girl cruisers. To have one would be any beach girl's dream.... I felt all of my So. Cal blood rushing to my brain as I wondered how I could possibly find a bike like this in France... I don't know if it's possible. I haven't seen ANYTHING like it in our area... I'm sure this is because we are not a beach community here in 92! Maybe I could find one in the So. of France- Biaritz or Dax... who knows?! I would LOVE to own something like this here... but if I don't find one this week, I'm going for the BTWIN bike (light green) I tried out at Decathlon yesterday. It was just perfect in every way- except that it wasn't pink! But, I think that it is surely the Rolls Royce of bikes, and I am sold! Next week, we will go pick up our bikes and I will have a new toy/MOT! I'm very excited! Anyone else out there in Blogland have a bike and use it regularly for both recreation and transportation? I'd love to hear from you...

May 24, 2008

FDA warns of harmful nipple cream!

And I thought the soaring prices of gasoline in the U.S. was one of their big problems.. Not to be taken lightly... this one is very serious and I am glad they caught it... Just read this on CNN.com

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned women not to use or purchase Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises Inc. of San Rafael, California.

The cream, promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe dry or cracked nipples, contains ingredients that may cause respiratory distress, vomiting and diarrhea in infants, the agency said. The potentially harmful ingredients in the cream are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol.
"FDA is particularly concerned that nursing infants are being unwittingly exposed by their mothers to this product with dangerous side effects," said Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Additionally, these two ingredients may interact with one another to further compound and increase the risk of respiratory depression in nursing infants."
The company has stopped selling the cream. The FDA said consumers should stop using the cream and consult a doctor if they experience problems or believe that their infant may have experienced problems due to the product. Mothers whose children may have suffered adverse effects because of this product should contact the FDA's MedWatch at 800-332-1088.

It just goes to show you that their are so many harmful chemicals being sold on the open market and that the general public really has no inside knowledge if these products are potentially dangerous and harmful. Frankly, anything with chemicals that can be ingested easily by an invent should never have been allowed on the market... Is the FDA less strict now or what?

Soaring gas prices and a flailing economy!

One thing I noticed when I was in San Diego was the rising prices of gas! On an average of $3.89- $4.20 a gal., gas prices in California are still much lower than what people pay here in France! The most frequently asked question of my friends to both me and Alex was, "So, how much does gas cost per gallon in France? Is it more expensive than here?" To which I would respond, "Oh, it's about 1 euro 30 per litre so about $8 a gallon!!" People were floored when responded. I think it gave them some source of comfort to know that even though the price of gas keeps going up and up in the U.S., it's still MUCH cheaper than here in France!! People whom I spoke with there were just in shock that gas is sooo expensive here in France. One thing I mentioned is that in France, our public transportation system is so efficient, you don't really NEED a car to get around... In San Diego, you REALLY need a car because everything is so spread out... and public transportation is not very advanced. I will have to say that with the San Diego Trolley, there are many more places San Diegans can get to without driving their cars, so that is one big plus going for the city. I used to take the trolley from Little Italy to the Mexican border in about 30 minutes or so and it cost on $1.55 a few years ago. That's pretty good! Another thing that a lot of Californians have against them is that soooo many of them drive these huge utility vehicles... What a waste! I know they are nice and all, and maybe some large families feel the need to have them... But if you hope on any rode in San Diego you can count MANY more SUVs than smaller vehicles... and those thing EAT up gas!! I don't think there are as many SUVs in France as there are in just LA/San Diego alone!
Another issue people are talking about in California is the flailing economy... I hear that a lot of people are foreclosing on their houses... NOW is a great time to buy, but if you owe a lot of money on your house, you're in trouble! I don't really know how the economy is flailing there because for me, it's still sooo much cheaper there than here in France! I mean, $3.40 for a soy latte at Peets/Starbucks in San Diego really beat out my 4 euro 50 soy latte (Starbucks) in France!! I noticed the prices of things, such as food has gone up a little bit there... but overall, the French pay MUCH higher prices for sooo many things here in France. Plus, we have to content with that lux tax at 19.6% when the sales taxe in San Diego is about 7.something! I know that one this trip, my euro went MUCH further than my US dollar... but I didn't want to use my euros over there because I know I will need them here this summer when I am not working!! So, I just used my money from my U.S. bank account and did a good job of giving a boost to the U.S. economy during my 4 week visit!!! Rest assured... the U.S. economy may be shaky now, but I think people are handling it by curbing their "unnecessary" spending and cutting back on using their car as much. We'll see what's in store for them...

May 23, 2008

Toned-down French tv...





So, I'm watching tv right now, "Little House on the Prarie," a childhood fav. and on comes the famed Orangina pub.  Well, I have to give it a "G" rating, as it was mighty toned-done from it's normal "R" rating... and it's only a darn commercial!!!  Maybe because it's midday and the full ad is just too racy for daytime tv... It's just an orange juice, for Peet's sake!  There nothing sexy about it... in my avis!!

It's MESSED UP!!!

ARGGGHHH!!! I know it has a lot to do with the fact that I went BACK to sleep at 9:30 a.m. and didn't wake up until 2:30 p.m. + the jet-lag I am suffering from but YEESH... it's 2:20 a.m. and I cannot fall asleep... I'm not even tired yet!! Alex has been asleep since 8:30 p.m. He didn't even have dinner tonight... And me, I can't get to sleep... I am just reading everyone's blogs!! How long does it take to get over jet-lag when you are returning home?? I know it takes longer than when you are going somewhere and jet-lag seems to be gone by the 2nd or 3rd day...

May 22, 2008

I need my blonde back!!


When I went back to S.D. I had Wendy redo my highlights... She did a super job... my hair was really blonde so she toned it down with some lowlights before I left... Now, looking back at the pictures, I am really missing the "blonde" look... First thing Alex said to me about my hair when I got back was that he preferred the blonder look, too!! So, if anyone knows a good coiffure in Paris, please let me know.. I think I am going back to blonde... It makes me feel younger and smarter!!! Plus, I get away with more as a blonde!!!!

Shall we dance, rose scene.

Takes your breath away.....

Shall We Dance? Movie Clip

OMG!!! This scene is soooo hot!! It's very sexy!! I have goosebumps!

Could life get any better???



Dinner with Richard Gere while my husband sleeps!!  I must be feeling nostalgic/sentimental upon my return from the U.S. because I am actually getting goosebumps AND shedding a few tears while watching "Shall We Dance!"  How bizarre... I also scarfed down a big plate of Kraft macaroni & cheese and now I'm thinking... Who's going back to the U.S. so that I can ask them to bring me back some more boxes of this stuff??!!!!!  Look, it even comes in ORGANIC!!!

Hubba Hubba- HUNK!!!!!






One HOT guy, Richard Gere, who has just gotten more and more better looking with age... I have always been a fan of Richard Gere, since I was a teen... even though back then he was MUCH older than me! I have always had a HUGE crush on him!!!  I love watching his movies... Tonight, I am watching, "Shall We Dance," which is a remake of the Japanese film.  I just LOVEEEEE this movie and he is soooo adorable.  Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandan also star in this film.  I highly recommend this film

Still posting on my Cali blog...






Hey ya'll, I'm still working on my Cali blog, Rockin' in Cali! So stop on by... I will be working on it 'til I've posted all my trip pix... which will take a while. These photos were taken in San Diego at East Mission Bay Park (right where Alex and I had our wedding reception) just 3 days before I left Cali. Tyler, my dear friend and AWESOME yoga instructor, guided us through an hour of yoga just before the sunset. As our class was coming to an end, the sun was making a grand exit!! It's such an incredible feeling to practice yoga outdoors, you really feel one with the earth.

What tree is this, please?






I know a lot of trees and flowers but I have NO idea what this one is... I figured I'd just throw it out there to you all and see what I get! I loved this tree... and the flowers were sooo fragrant. It really looked like wisteria but I know it grows on a vine not on a tree! Maybe it's the same family. Even the leaves were similar... Let me know if you know! Thanks!!!!!!

Parc de Sceaux with Barbara!











My favourite park and I got to share some beautiful weather with a great friend, Barbara (Home in France). I am fortunate that Barbara and I are practically neighbours, so it's very easy for us to plan a nice walk in the park... Can't wait 'til I get my bike so I can do the tour en velo... should be fun, too! We spent a gorgeous afternoon strolling in the park. Thanks Barbara, I always have a nice time when we get together!