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Showing posts from October, 2018

Halloween in Paris

Halloween in Paris has been quite an experience. This is my favorite holiday to decorate for but there's not a cobweb or over-sized spider in my entire apartment. 
In fact, I thought the entire holiday would pass us by, but the girls are always discussing Halloween costumes, starting in November for the following year, and they'd find some reason to wear them. Which they did. 
The American Library in Paris hosted a halloween party on Saturday evening, with some "cool" teen events. They even got a few local businesses involved so the kids could "trick or treat."
So, we found a local fabric store and crafted-up some costumes. Leah was Ms. Marvel using an old dress and some cool, shiny fabric. Alice was a woodland elf with fake ears I found on Amazon. It took a bit of time, but you know I love making costumes. 
They turned out cute! And they were able to wear them to school on Friday and show them off to their friends. 

A bit chillier than we expected on Satu…

Opportunities for Independence

Ever since we moved to Paris, well, actually, since becoming a parent, I've wanted the girls to learn independence.

And living in a city is a great way to extend more opportunities for them to be independent, especially when it comes to transportation.

In a city, walking to places is simple and safe (mostly, those motorcycles are the worst!) and completely new to our daily life, coming from the suburbs.

So, Leah gets herself to school and back. And Alice is walking home from ballet class on her own. (She begged to be allowed to do this, and I am so proud of her doing it.)

Of course I made sure their street-crossing skills were good, understood the way home and all the stranger-danger stuff. Plus, Leah sometimes walks with a friend and lately she's been stopping for a chocolate croissant on the way home. It's absolutely great.

It's these opportunities, to get themselves to and from places, that I can't give them in suburbia. But it's just the thing to show them…

Can I Do a Capsule Wardrobe?

Lately, I've been reading a lot about capsule wardrobe. It just kept coming up in blogs, podcasts, Pinterest and books. (See below.)

A Capsule Wardrobe concept, as I understand it, is your limited every-day-go-to wardrobe. And it's usually 20-38 items. Total.

In theory, it cuts out the unworn clothing in your closet -- the just-in-cases, the I'll-fit-this-again-someday, etc. And, by doing so, wipe out the "what am I going to wear?" daily stress by just wearing your favorites/most-flattering in rotation. (Which you probably do already.) And you save money because you're not buying new clothes every month.
(Here's one link to How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe. I found a ton of other articles, too.)

The frugal, zero-waste, sustainable side of me loves this concept. I love the idea of simplifying my morning because really most days I do wear the same thing (jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt or a work-out outfit). But could I really trim the extras out of my closet for…

A Real Learning Opportunity Here

With the new OS on my iPhone, there's an app keeping track of how much time is spend on the phone -- have you seen this?

I had already been thinking about wanting to decrease my phone usage time -- as I find, like most people, I pick it up all too often. But with this tracker I now know I average two hours a day on my phone!!! Two hours! That seems nuts! Imagine how many other things I could do!

And why am I surprised when I now catch the girls grabbing their phones all day, too?!

So I had started stopping myself before I opened the screen or leaving the phone in another room, etc. to avoid using it when it wasn't really necessary. And I was starting to drop my usage just a little.

Fast-forward to this week, when I finally got around to fixing my cracked phone screen. We got the insurance on my iPhone we bought here so I just needed to drop it off at a store. Little did I know they would send it away to be fixed ... for "about two weeks."

So I was loaned an older And…

So That's a Pass on Keto

You know how I said I was researching this KETO diet and contemplating giving it a try? I bought two books and was reading up on what it was all about, because I'd heard some great things.

Yeah, no. Just no.

Here are a few things I decided ...

1. When you're contemplating a diet that suggests getting a tool to "test your blood" (say what?!!) to make sure you moved from metabolizing glucose to fat -- that's a red flag. Blood tools are a no-go. Also, when there's an adjustment time that includes sleep issues, hair loss and very bad breath -- also a red flag.

Sure, if I lived by myself. Or maybe a house with a bunch of other adults and a chef, like the Biggest Loser or Big Brother or something, than yes. Sure. But, otherwise, no. It's a pass.

2. The other thing I realized is that I'm exercising to create a "habit of exercising." (Remember my five-year goals?) But also to get out into the world and socialize with people. And when I started think…

Researching Food in Barcelona

We're a few weeks away from our long weekend in Barcelona and I'm so excited ... and yet I have so much more planning to do!  😬

One thing I learned from our adventure in Italy is I absolutely need a curated list of restaurants. We're not terribly picky, but we do prefer a particular type of place with a cool ambiance and fresh food. We want to try the local food (tapas in Spain) but the kids can be picky. And -- this is the big one -- we don't make good decisions when we're "hangry." It makes for some bad moments on these kinds of vacations.

To whit, I spent several hours in a google/Pinterest/tripadvisor black hole and identified a bunch of restaurants that may fit our criteria. (I'll share the list once we return.)


Then, I used my Google Maps account and flagged each restaurant I found with a green "I want to go there" pin. So when we're out and about, I can just pull up Google on my phone and locate the nearest green pin.

That's …

Let's All Celebrate Semaine du Climat

This week is Semaine du Climat in France ... or a week devoted to learning more about climate change and sustainable development. You know I'm completely on board with this!

At the girls school, they're going to be encouraging sustainable practices with a daily theme. In case you're willing to play along, here's the schedule, how they described it and my (snarky) notes:

Monday: A day without plastic straws. They'll "promote reusable metal straws as a substitute to plastic." Or, hey guys, don't use any at all?! It's a straw, humans have been drinking just fine without them for centuries.

Tuesday: A day without a plastic bottles. The school will "encourages students and staff to bring a reusable water bottle/flask to school to avoid consuming drinks in plastic bottles." Again, this really should be enforced every day.

Wednesday: A day without packaging. They'll "encourages students to bring their own containers when purchasing their …

Fall in Paris is Off And Running

At the beginning of September, I created a list of goals for our first Fall here in Paris (you know I love a goals list!) and here's the update.  (Post: This Fall in Paris I Will...)

I'm happy to report things are really starting to roll.

First, I got the girls into some (not a lot) after-school activities. Alice joined a French ballet class -- as in not one person, including the teacher, speaks English. She's learning quickly.

Leah decided to join the school soccer team, after almost two years off. And now that she's taller and so much more coordinated and confident, she's so good! I'm so happy she was willing to try again -- though, I think it had more to do with the friends who are also playing.

For me, I found a yoga class, and friend, to take weekly. And a bootcamp class through another mother at school. Then, I committed to take up a weekly CrossFit class because it's something David loves and I thought we could eventually do it together.

This seemed …