25 June 2010

100 in 2010: Progress Two!

Hello again, friends!

I'm come bearing news of success, though it may be small.

I completed goal #1 (which probably tells you the numbers had nothing to do with the importance of the goals) which was buy board shorts! I love wakeboarding with one of my best friends, Jordan, and you need a good pair of board shorts to do that. I got mine at Old Navy, as seen here.

I also completed #74, which was consolidate the dorm room. When my parents came to pick me up after my freshman year, my Mom's jaw dropped because we had two hours to get it all in the car... I'll let you figure that out on your own. This year I was almost completely packed when my Dad arrived, plus, I got a storage unit on the cheap, so there was way less that had to come home! Score.

#95 is also done, but I don't know why I didn't write about it when it happened! Last year I bought a ruffled denim dress that is trimmed with zippers, so for my fashion forward look, I wore that, some wild tights and a pair of heels. It was wild, let me tell you. I'll look for a photo.

I have finished another book, so that counts toward #6 and that book would be Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge. I really enjoyed it, and it will actually help me with some of the other goals. If you are looking for a good read, I would fully recommend it.

That's all for now, I'm going to be having a busy summer at this rate!
You can read the original list here: 100 in 2010
Check out the first progress here: Progress One!

19 June 2010

True Colors

Noticed the change around here? While I would like to say it will be permanent, you might have also noticed I like to change the look relatively often.

If you are also a blogspot blogger, then you too have seen this new development to the blogspot world. For those of you who aren't, Blogger just introduced a new feature called 'Template Designer'. It's pretty exciting.

Though Blogger has always allowed a its users to alter the look of their blog, this new option includes pre-created and very polished options, which can be tweaked by the user in many ways, colors, background photos, and size of various elements, to name a few.

I'm a sucker for good design and nice color combinations, so I spent about an hour looking through my options and settled (for the time being!) on what you are looking at right now.

So how do you feel about it? If you use Blogger, have you played with the new feature? If you aren't, are you likin' the new look?

As usual, it's time for the French Phrase of the Day!
(Insert trumpet fanfare here.)

Today our phrase is related to yesterday's je ne sais pas.
A favorite saying of Christelle's is "We never know!" and the French equivalent is: On sais jamais! This is pronounced as: ohn say jahmay. The 'n' is nasal and the 'j' is like yesterday as well, very soft.
There you are!

A bientot!

I hate that song that I used for the title of this post. It ranks up there with Kumbayah... ugh!

18 June 2010

A France! - Jams Pt. 1

While I could easily write an entire post about jams and jellies, I won't do that today. Music - and let me tell you, the french like their music. They are always singing or whistling, and they don't care if other people hear!

Here's the lowdown from me on French music:

The French love a good beat, on the two big music stations we've listened to, nearly every single song is upbeat and fast-paced, regardless of the language. Some examples that I hear very often are Pyromania by Cascada and In My Head by Jason Derulo (cheers to Steph Barber!) for the English speaking side of things, and Désolé by Sexion D'assaut (which I love) and Je Veux by Zaz, both in French.

They appreciate thoughtful lyrics, also regardless of language. An example of a song that does not have that quality? California Girls by Katy Perry (Slightly questionable video, but kinda funny). It is still played, because its really catchy, but lyrics... everytime it comes on, Christelle and I mock Katy Perry's perky head bob.

The best combination of these songs is one that is upbeat with an uplifting message. A current hit is Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). It doesn't hurt that it's the official song for the FIFA World Cup this year! The first goal they show? The French team! Another classic (which has been covered in French by Julien Clerc) is Let the Sunshine In from HAIR! It's a personal favorite of mine, and I love the French version too.

Want to know more? Listen to one of the popular stations here: NRJ, which I prefer, or Radio ISA, which plays a larger variety and more French music (They have a Shania Twain dance remix!).

Voila! But before we go, French phrase of the day!
Today the phrase is je ne sais pas, which means "I don't know!"
It's pronounced as juh nuh say pah, with that first j very soft, almost a sh.
We say this a lot. :)


10 June 2010

Obsession: Octopus

Octopus, those friendly and mythic sea creatures have always been a favorite animal of mine. In fact I think of a lot of marine life is awesome, things ranging from beluga whales to manta rays, but my favorite marine animal is the octopus.

[personal photo, rocky point!]

Luckily for me, the rest of the world seems to think they are pretty cool.
So today, a brief round up of octopus and the trinkets that are in their image!

First, fulfill your need to know more about the octopus and its elusive underwater lifestyle on Wikipedia: Octopus. (hey! I can cite that as long as this isn't a research paper, calm down.)
Then see if you can watch live octopus video at the Hatfield Marine Science Center's Octocam!
(I'm particularly excited for that one.)

In need of some octopus accoutrements?
Find yourself an Awesome Gold Octopus Necklace, or the slinky black Octopoda, or have the sweet Baby Octopus Necklace dangle from your neck.

Not so much for the jewelry? Oh, there's more my friends.

Clothes to reveal your love for the octopus? (And my friends who love bicycling, you're welcome!)

Maybe a bag or a nice purse?

Or I'm a fan of home decor...

And, voila! None of these people asked me to feature their items, I merely chose cute things as I browsed Etsy. :)

So I hope you enjoy, and perhaps have a desire to at least check out a real live octopus, if not wear a replica around your neck.

Before I go, french phrase of the day!
Today's phrase is ça va? Which means "How is it going?" Or "Doing alright?" Though directly translated it literally means "It goes?"
This one has a fun letter with a tail, called a c cedille, and is pronounced very simply: sah-vah?

Until next time!

07 June 2010

A France! - Say Whaaat?

Hello again!

Today my entry will be on sounds in France. Though it seems as though certain things wouldn't be affected by language or related to language, already in my few days here I have noticed a difference.

In the US, in general we all use the same words to signify certain sounds. Those of you who paid attention in English in high school will remember that these are called Onomatopeia. (Side note: I spelled that right on the first try!)
Some common examples are "Achoo" for a sneeze, "WaaaaAAaaaa" for the siren of a police car or firetruck, or "Boom!" for an explosion. I will admit the written version of the siren is rather weak. My apologies.

I was suprised to learn that in France, these sounds are not the same! I think since I am in the house with a baby around, I might be more exposed to it, but here are the ones I have heard so far:

"Atchoum!" for, as you might imagine, a sneeze. And when someone sneezes here, they actually enunciate the M!
"Paaaaaam, pooohhhn" for the siren. This one makes sense because the siren actually sounds like that here. I will perform this sound at your request when I am back.
"Boum" is nearly the same as its English counterpart, but they really pronounce the "U". Little Achile being the typical boy, says this very often. He crashes his toy trucks together and says it over and over, "Boum! Bada bada bouuum!"

Your french phrase for the day is: à tes souhaits!
à tes souhaits is the french equivalent of "Bless you!" and I have been saying it alot! There is a lot of pollen out now that the summer has arrived. This is pronounced like: ah tay'soo-ay. But you say it very quickly!
Won't you look smart, blessing people en français?

Til next time,

03 June 2010

A France!: Some History

Bonjour mes amis!

Today I think it is pertinent to give you a little background of my trip. I probably should have thought of this a week ago, but you know what it's like before you leave on a trip -- crazy! So here's the deal:

When I was about three, my parents opened up our home to a young french exchange student, Christelle. She lived with us for the summer and had a wonderful time. We all kept in touch over email, and actually visited her once after taking a family bus tour of Europe. Fast forward to today, a few months ago, I asked Christelle if (being a french minor and general lover of france) I could come and visit her for a month to become fluent in the language and just be in france. She said "Mais, oui!" and the planning began.

After saving all of my paychecks for a few months, I bought my plane ticket and just two days ago, I arrived at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. After taking the TGV (which is the european speed train: Train de Grande Vitesse) I settled into Christelle's apartment in the city and soon met her husband Yann and their sweet bébé, Achile.

Though Christelle works in Grenoble, her husband Yann works and they live in the nearby city of Voiron. Both cities are full of old buildings and more history than you could imagine! So for today, only some photos of the cities. I don't want to fill you with too much information in one day.

Oh, and here's a bonus! Everyday that I post in France I will share a french word or phrase with you.
So for today, le petite dejeuner. Le petit dejeuner means breakfast and is pronounced like: luh p'teet day-zhu-nay.

C'est bon, non?
Until tomorrow!

01 June 2010

Bonjour à France!

Bonjour mes amis!

For the next month, all of my posts will be coming to you from across the pond. Lucky me, I get to spend a full month with a close (and very generous) family friend, her husband and their super sweet bébé! My posts will be mostly the same, but with more photos of the city and the various frenchie things I encounter.

It should be noted that the keyboard here is different. Many of the symbols do not require the shift key, and the q and a are switched among other things.

No photos for this first post, I haven't taken many nor have I had the chance to download them.

All in all, it is very exciting, and I hope by the end of the month I will have you all convinced to come to France right away!

à bientot!