Italian Coffe on my induction stove

Yesterday was a lovely day. I had a nice, relaxing Sunday. I once again enjoyed my homemade granola for breakfast. Also, Since Eve and Paul are out-of-town, Michael and I get to use their stove-top Italian coffee maker each morning.

 

Delicious fair trade espresso

 

As you can see we have a two-burner induction stove which came with our apartment. Before I moved to Paris I thought induction stoves were rare and expensive, but they are very popular in Paris. Not sure how much they cost, but they boil water, or any other liquid faster than I can prepare a bowl of cereal with fruit. They just take a little getting used to. In my dream kitchen I will have one gas stove top and one induction.

After breakfast I worked on my blogs. I have another one at blog spot called, In Honor of My Life. It`s my life story. Eventually it will catch up with this blog and my whole existence will be recorded! I made phone calls to many family members in the U.S. I only managed to get a hold of my Grandma, Gigi and my sister, Kimberly. It was nice to talk with them, as usual. In the evening Michael got home from his long walk. One of his favorite things to do it walk all over Paris when he has a free day. We ate leftover pasta from yesterday and watched a movie called, The Blind Side, with Sandra Bullock. It`s a touching story. I recommend it. Then, we went to bed and slept well. Not an exciting day, but restful. I`m ready for the week.

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Bon Voyage et Bon Weekend

 

It`s Sunday morning. I haven`t had breakfast yet. My wonderful husband is doing the dishes from last night, and then I will make coffee and enjoy a bowl of homemade granola, which I prepared yesterday before starting work.

 

Toasted Coconut, Second Try

Mixing Oats, Canola Oil, Honey, and Sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toasting Walnut halves, pumpkins seeds and pine nuts in butter

Granola with vanilla yogurt and bananas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for Friday, I trained Eve in the morning. She, Paul and Elise left for NY city yesterday at 5 am, so I spent extra time playing with Elise on Friday. I`m going to miss her!

 

Elise in the morning

 

 

Kristin and Elise

 

After my one and only training for the day, I did a Pilates/Exercise ball workout at my place and went to my Ragga dance class in the evening. It was fun and my wonderful teacher had added in some moves to the routine inspired by some b-girling I taught her. I felt special. Also, in the afternoon I went shopping for my granola ingredients on Rue du Faubourg Saint- Denis, where there are inexpensive, good quality produce stores, which also sell many types of nuts and seeds.                                                         

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis

 

 

 

Produce at Fbg. Saint-Denis

 

 

Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis

 

On Saturday I woke up at 8.30 after eight hours of sleep. I feel so much better when I sleep enough. Then I did the granola thing. That recipe comes from Bon Apétit February 2011, which after waiting two months, I received in the mail on Thursday. Kimberly bought me a subscription for my birthday in December.  BA`s got great recipes, but they aren`t the quickest with oversea travel.     

While enjoying my granola I prepared for my three upcoming trainings. The first was a group class which varies from two to four people. Everyone in this class in bilingual so I teach the class in English. We usually do kickboxing, core work and finish up with an intense cardio challenge, inspired by Zuzana at BodyRock TV.

 

Getting off the metro to train Juliette and company

 

It was raining so I took the metro around all day, instead of riding Apache (my mountain bike). She got to rest in the warm storage room with the other bikes all day.

 

By Metro Bibliothèque F. Metterrand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I headed to Nancy`s for a training consisting of cardio, upper body strength training, and to finish, spinal flexibility work based in Kundalini yoga.

 

On the metro

 

 

 

Top floor of this apartment might be nice to own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After training Nancy, I was starving! I stopped at an Organic Boulangerie on rue de Monge and picked up what turned out to be a very mediocre ham, cheese and butter sandwich. I also purchased a chocolate macaron, not that good. It really is hard to find a superb macaron in this city. I don`t usually buy them at random Patisseries, but they looked very nice at this particular shop.

 

Chocolate Macaron

This little lunch fueled me for my next class with my Colombian clients, who kindly allow me to teach the class in Spanish, so I can practice. I have lost a lot of my Spanish ability since moving here, but I am starting to get it back by teaching in this language. We did lots of kickboxing, core work and timed cardio challenges. I was very tired at the end of our session. I took the metro to Ledru-Rollin in the 8ème. I was planning on going to my dance class after picking up a few items for dinner, pasta with sausage, shrimp and pepperoncini, another recipe from this month`s Bon Apétit. I went to Nicolas, a wine store chain in Paris that carries some hard to find spirits, picked up a bottle of red from Chile and a bottle Mezcal to make Mezcalritas. I love the smoky flavor of this agave based liquor. Next I walked through the rain to one of my favorite covered markets whree I used to shop when I lived in the 8ème, last year, Le marché d`Aligre. Here I got my dried spices, herbs, and bottled spanish peppers (couldn`t find pepperoncini) at a small boutique in the market where a lovely young woman works. She remembered me from when I used to frequent her shop. She was very impressed that I had succeeded in starting my own personal training business. She also thought my French had improved. I really appreciated her encouragement. Sometimes it is very draining being an immigrant, uplifting words always help.

I picked up some shrimp at the seafood stand. Then I went to one of my favorites, the italian stand. They have many wonderful imported items that I haven`t found elsewhere in Paris. I waited in a fifteen minute line which consisted of 4 people; The French like to take their time with quality, at the end of which I decided I would not be going to my dance class a half hour late. Just as well, I was exhausted. I then took my sweet time to pick out several sumptuous items: Italian sausage, a huge cut of Asiago cheese from a giant wheel, Di Cecco penne pasta, and two bottles of tomato sauce.

 

Italian Cheeses

Dried meats and prepared pastas

A rainbow of pastas

 

Finally, weighed down with all my fine purchases, I headed home. The lighting was beautiful when I left the market.

 

Outside Le Marché d`Aligre

At home Michael and I enjoyed our Mezcalritas during a photo shoot of me removing shrimp heads, and cleaning out their poop and veins. Myam myam.

 

This pasta better be good!

 

 

 

 

Shrimp always come with heads in Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took about one and a half hours, and then my reward, an exquisite pasta dish which I will definitely make again.

 

Sauteing and boiling

Pasta, Chilean Cab and green salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael and I ate while watching, Annie Hall, an older Woody Allen film. I liked it very much. Diane Keaton is in her thirties in the movie. She was great back then too. Well, I look forward to dinner tonight, hopefully some friends will join me. I`ve got plenty of pasta to finish.

 

Sisyphus

Sisyphus is the name of a character in Greek mythology, and, it is also the name that my sister and I call each other. I chatted with her on Gmail yesterday, which reminded me how incredibly much I miss her and living close to her, like I used to, in Boulder, before moving to Paris.

We love rhinos.

Come back to Paris Kimmie!

I was telling her about my goal to open a gym or fitness studio in Paris, before I come to the States to open a second business. That is the tentative plan at least. I love living in Paris so much for many reasons, but one thing that keeps me here despite the lack of nature and abundance of gray skies, is that I am surrounded by French and other languages. I study Spanish and Italian as well. Living in Western Europe is a great way to be able to practice all three. One of my most important goals is to eventually have a home in Europe and one in the USA. That way I will be able to spend plenty of time with my family every year. I wish I could have my cake and eat it too, meaning Kimberly living in Paris, but, alas, she loves Boulder, and with good reason.

Yesterday morning I got up at 6am, prepared a training for one of my clients who lives across town, Clare, then I rode my bike through the dark Paris streets, it`s nice to have the streets more to my self at that hour, as fast as I could, was running late, to Clare`s flat. I made it in 16 minutes, my best time yet. We did a sweat dripping kickboxing workout plus some core work and stretching. I am very impressed with Clare`s fitness and willpower. Since she has started training with me, her fitness level and increased rapidly because she pushes herself so hard.

After our workout I rode home and went back to bed! For three hours, at the end of which I received a phone call from a new friend, Ariane, asking where I was. I had forgotten our lunch date at 12! She was very understanding. I rushed over to the 20th on line 3, only five stops from my place. She lives in an adorable neighborhood, unfortunately camera was at home charging. We dined on an exquisite vegetarian lasagna. The texture was delicate and the eggplant perfectly cooked. I had two huge helpings. Ariane and I talked for several hours and then I returned home. Since I had taken no pics all day I decided to share with you my bed and a poem.

A poem on the wall by our bed

Our cozy loft bed above the kitchen.

Rain on my roof

I like listening to the rain on the roof in my fourth/top floor apartment. I`ve been hearing it all day. Ever since I got home from my trainings.  This morning I rode over to Rue de Monge to train Nancy at 9.15 . She is an amzing woman, 65 years old and in better shape than most 30-year-olds. So I trained her and that was fun. Then I went to Vivien`s place at Place d`Alesia and had a training. Vivien just got back from a week of skiing so her legs were very tired, but she still pushed herself. She always does.

Vivien and Me

Then I went to get groceries at Biocoop and came home to see my cheri, Michael, who took this picture of me.

 

Me in my biking/training gear, returning home from a session with Nancy.

Next I made lunch for Michael and me. Then I studied French. After that, I needed nap. I went to sleep fantasizing about designing and sowing dolls and stuffed animals. I really do love those things. I eventually fell asleep listing to the rain on the roof. I woke up with a jump, about an hour later. I thought I was late for a training. I had to stop and think, calm myself down, and then realized that I had no more trainings. I started my Italian study while enjoying a cup of mint tea to warm me up. I feel cold getting out from under the covers after a nap.

 

I studied French and Italian today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After studying I did yoga. I lit candles and put them all around the room. I played some calming music. I had a nice session, holding my headstand for 10 breaths, I usually loose my balance before that. During the last two breaths I actually relaxed, then I fell. After yoga, it was time to start working on din din. Here we have salmon filets cooked in olive oil, with a sauce of maple syrup, balsalmic, soy sauce and corn starch. The other items are baked potatoes with butter, chevre, mushrooms shallots, and fresh dill. We watched The Portrait of a Lady while eating. Now I will go to bed and listen to the rain that is still tap tapping on the roof.

Dinner

 

 

 

Of Bread and ideas

I did not get enough sleep last night, 6 hours, I need at least 9. But never the less, my day started off well with a delicious bowl of peanut butter honey oatmeal and coffee with milk.

Breakfast.

Oh yes, and what is that random piece of something on the table, a chocolate chip cookie, yes that was part of breakfast too.

After breakfast I went to my first training, my neighbor and landlord and friend, Eve. We did a half hour session in which we decided that her three training sessions a week are going to start being mostly Pilates in hopes of helping her chronic lower back pain. Next, a session in the 5th with Nancy. I rode Apache there. She gets parked many places in Paris, but Nancy`s is her favorite. It`s like she is is a nature sanctuary.

Apache`s favorite spot

She has even adapted her camoflage to this spot. She happily waits outside here, listening to the birds singing while I train Nancy.

 

Next I went home and waited for Katie to come over for lunch. We did the shopping together at Monoprix and stopped at a fairly good bakery close to chez moi to pick up a tradition, the best kind of baguette.

Cieling of boulangerie, (bakery).

We had chicken stir fry for lunch, Michael had tofu stir fry. It wasn`t that great, but was pretty.

Eating lunch

Chicken stir-fry

 

Paris, Du pain et des idées.

Vintage cookbook up close

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the women working there actually arranged the bread in a special way before I took pictures of it.

Du Pain et Des Idées

Some of their goodies

We walked up the canal Saint Martin, one of the hippest areas in Paris. It was so pretty. A great place to picnic in warm weather.

Canal Saint Martin

Canal Saint Martin

Canal Saint Martin

 

Next Katie and I walked up the canal to go to my new French school so I could register for classes. It was a beautiful walk. We looked at one of my favorite boulangeries in

Canal Saint Martin

Yesterday was plain awful!

I`d like to let Annie explain how I feel today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jymwZyr6QCI
Yeah, so today is much better. I began my day with a kick-ass workout: http://www.bodyrock.tv/2011/02/18/give-me-a-reason-workout/ I used Zuzana`s workout plus added in my own core, weight and jump rope training. It lasted one hour and I was dripping sweat. I really like when that happens, it means I am getting a great workout. I have been getting very into Zuzana`s workouts lately because I have been reading lots of info on the web which claims that workouts such as intervals which really shoot up the heart rate are more effective in overall calorie and fat burning throughout the day. Also, her workouts are a nice change. I`ve been working out at gyms since I was in my pre-teens and I am currently tired of pretty much every gym class offered at my club. One reason is because Paris is not as cutting edge with their fitness classes as is the US, in cities like Boulder, Colorado, where I lived before Paris. The classes here, except dance, seems to be at least five years behind. I get a better workout in my apartment. I felt good during my workout, and wonderful afterwards. Right after my workout.

View out of my apartment window.

Home Gym

Next I took a glorious shower, washed my hair; I love my beurre de karité shampoo, and got dressed. I felt like a million bucks. I set out to buy some groceries.

Across the street from my front door.

This arch used to be the border of Paris proper, long time ago.

Window shopping

My orgnaic grocery store

Produce Section, take that Whole Foods

Then I came home and made a delicious salad with tender winter greens, avocado, and a rice garbanzo bean mixture on top. Michael and I had miso soup on the side to fight off the damp Paris chill, and a mediocre organic french blonde ale. The French are not known for their beer. The lunch was satisfying.

Lunch

I worked on the computer for a while, sending emails, and working on taking the next steps in building my training business. Finally, before dinner I made chocolate chip cookies. They are beautiful, chewy, caramely and crisp on the outside.

Darkness Everywhere

The sky in Paris is dark and gray today. I feel the same way in my heart. The day started off well. I made lemon-orange pancakes while Michael read, Death In The Afternoon, by Ernest Hemingway, out loud. We finished it today. It was a very looong book. I love to make pancakes on Sunday mornings. My new recipe is:
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Breakfast/recipe?id=7281358

Making the pancakes, coffee and heating syrup

They turned out well, although I prefer them with just lemon zest, not lemon and orange. I did not add blueberries as the recipe says because I am not a big fan of frozen fruit and blueberries are not is season in France.

fake smile

Fluffy goodness

After breakfast the tide of the day began to turn. I tried to post on my blog. I couldn`t get the pictures to post right, I became very frustrated and never really recovered. It`s that time of the month. Later I went to my new friend Sandra`s place. I met her at Ragga dance class. She is originally from Mexico and has been living in Paris for 4 years.

Boulevard Saint Martin


Sandra spoke Spanish with me so I could practice. She has a beautiful yellow bedroom in the 11th arrondissement. Thanks Sandra!

Then I went home, still feeling no better. Today has been horrible. I hope tomorrow is better. Goodnight everyone.