Across the ocean

Well, as I`m sure you have all noticed, I`m not doing very well with this daily blogging thing. Maybe I will get better at it, maybe not. But I just hope I keep it up. So Let me tell you about last week.

At one point I made falafel from Bon Apétit March 2010. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Falafel-with-Hummus-357351 Wow, it was excellent.

Falafel balls before frying

Frying in vegetable oil

Falafel with arugula, hummus and corn tortilla

I bought some red plumbs from Africa. I had never seen these before and they were sweet and juicy. I finished that last two this morning.

African Plumbs

The weather is getting much nicer and a lot sunnier. It`s amazing how much better I feel psychologically when it isn`t dark and rainy all the time. The courtyard of our apartment building looks pretty with the plants that are turning green.

My courtyard

On the way home from my bank I noticed a man very carefully painting the word Café on a new restaurant. This struck me as very Parisian. I don`t remember ever seeing someone hand painting words on a restaurant in the US. I`m sure it happens, but this is an example of the French love of and respect for detail and beauty. C`est beaux ca.

Getting ready to open a new café

Finally blue skies

Michael`s tower

Paul, Eve and Elise are back from NY city. While Michael was babysitting he built a tower. Most toddlers would have knocked this down before it got this big. But Elise is mature for her age. Once the tower was completed Michael put a coat on Elise to protect her before she knocked it down.

On Friday I had a delicious lunch while hanging out with Elise and Michael at our place. We listened to a Paul Simon Album, The Rhythm of The Saints, to which we all danced. I like when the three of us hang out, I feel like it is a glimpse of our future with our own children.

Curry, ginger pumpkin soup, tuna salad, bread with chèvre and a delicious pinot gris from Alsace

Elise cooking

Now it`s Sunday and I have an entire day to relax. It feels good. I love Sundays, except, they are the times when I am usually the most homesick. Even though I love living in Paris, and I am truly going after my dreams, it is a real sacrifice to be so far away from my family and beautiful Boulder, all the things I grew up with that comfort me. I miss and love you guys!

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Chèvre, Lemon-drops, and Rodin

It`s Thursday morning and I`m eating a bowl of oatmeal to which I added raisins, peanut butter, cinnamon, milk and honey. It is exquisite. I have school later today, from 11 to 1pm. It`s my first week at this school, CampusLangues. It`s more layed back than the Sorbonne, which is good for me because I need to have plenty of time to build my personal training business. I want to tell you about last weekend, which Michael started off by eating some chips out of a mug with a spoon.

This is a Michael classic

We went to a party Saturday night. The theme was, Anti-Capitalist Transatlantic. I made a caramel sauce that was meant to go with a apple cocktail. The mixture did not work out at all. So I ended up making lemon drop martinis, which people loved.

Before the party, I had two trainings. I rode the metro.

Some stations have these automatically closing and opening doors to enter the train.

After my last training I went to pick up some cheese at a nice dairy shop in the 19th.

Chevre with herbs

I came home on the train and snacked on this delicious cheese and ciabatta bread from one of my favorite Boulangeries, Eric Kayser, while making the caramel sauce.

So delicious

Michael and I rode the train back to the 19th for the party, where I failed to take any pictures because I was busy bar-tending. Also, I was very tired and didn`t feel like talking to people. I just wanted to hide out in the kitchen. I wasn`t a great party person that night, but I still had fun. Thank you Katie and Céline! They had a very nice buffet spread. My favorite part were Katie`s brownies. Oh my gosh, perfectly moist. I ate three.

The next morning Michael and I continued our Sunday tradition of pancakes. I made coconut buttermilk flapjacks. They were extremely fluffy and filling.

I`m cooking these, while Michael reads the hobbit outloud.

We had scheduled a date for Sunday, to go to the Rodin Museum because it is free the first Sunday of the month. It was sunny and mild outside. We started out on our walk to the Musée.

Cute Café on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed walking that day. Michael is the best Parisian tourguide I know. He walks so much that he always take me on interesting streets.

Crossing to the left bank

At one point I made eye contact with a little dog, (a King Spaniel or something?) he looked at me so sweetly, I couldn`t resist him. I walked up to the man holding the leash, and said, Est-ce que je peux caresser ton chien?” He said I could pet him if I wanted to. The puppy`s name is Lou-lou and he is one-year-old.

He doesn`t really want me to hold him, but I insist, for the photo.

Come on Lou-lou, look at the camera

Good Boy Lou-lou! Lou-lou- " Aide-moi Papa."

We saw many amazing sculptures at the Museum. Everything there is Rodin`s work.

Done in bronze, Child with Young Mother, or something like that

Art people think this was inspried by Michelangelo`s "Sleeping Slave"

I liked this one, Michael thought it was strange looking.

Yoga?

Michael told me to take this one for Kim because she is such a beautiful dancer.

This is called fish woman

The Thinker lives in the Museum`s garden

On the way home we saw an interesting translation of the title of the American film, No Strings Attached

Street Art on the way home that I really like

It was a nice weekend together.

International Potluck

Last Thursday was very fun, especially that night, because I had a potluck at my place with some of my new and older friends. In the early afternoon I had an appointment at the Préfecture de Police to renew my carte de séjour. This process entails showing them lots of paperwork. They look it over, then, in my case, generally tell me the paperwork is not sufficient and I need some other papers, (despite the fact that the papers I have were perfectly fine for their standards three months ago.) But I don`t get upset about it anymore, I just expect to have to come back multiple times. So, they rescheduled me for March 24th.

Next I went running. I was lookin good. Got lots of attention from homeless drunk men, and some not homeless men.

Later that afternoon I went shopping at Les Enfants Rouges, a chic covered market in my hood.

Little shop at the market

After buying the potluck ingredients I hopped on the metro with my chariot (rolling cart that carries my groceries. Mine is camouflage!) to go train a group of three lovely ladies on the left bank.

I really like this statue outside of Arts et Métiers metro entrance

I was so excited to finish the training and get home for the potluck. Around 7pm I started making African curry soup. The guests arrived at 8pm. We ate next door at Paul and Eve`s since they are out of town. I don`t think they would mind, otherwise I wouldn`t publish this. Love you guys!

À Table

We had some bread made by a Turkish woman that I bought that morning. The woman was on the street next to a large sidewalk market. She had two kinds of bread, fluffy and flat. We had the fluffy.

Katie, Michael, Natacha

Beautiful Anne-Gael

It was very fun. I look forward to our next meal together. Sometimes I feel like I live for dinner parties.

Nature in Paris

I got a cold on Tuesday, but thankfully it wasn`t a very bad one. I felt half way better by Wednesday.

I had a cold on Tuesday.

Breakfast-cornflakes with almonds and bananas

Lunch-Tofu, mushrooms, broccoli and quinoa

I had lunch and breakfast. Then Michael and I got ready to go on a walk up the Canal Saint Martin, one of my favorite places to exercise in Paris. It was sunny and chilly.

Along the canal

Café by the canal

Cute baby clothes boutique

Stalingrad

Le Sacre Coeur seen from Stalingrad in the 19 ème

Flower blossoms are starting to appear in the city

Contrast

I took the shot above during our walk. At this point we were close to the periphery of Paris, much of which is an eyesore. When I am in parts of Paris like this, I long for nature.

I would like to see many more gardens like this one, spread all over Paris. In a couple months this plot will be brimming with life.

We reached our destination which was a large community center in the 19ème. The following is a large carousel hand crafted by Parisian artists.

Wild Carousel

insects and a bull

This community center is called centquatre. Inside we found lots of people preparing for a large culinary exposition that would be starting the next day. There were hundreds of cookbooks in all different languages. The cover of this one is a photo of France that I`ve been seeing since I was a kid. It made me want to come to France.

 

Apples with Tahini

I got up at 6am yesterday, then rode my bike across town to train Clare. She is tough! I work her pretty hard. She barely complains and is in better shape every time I see her. We did an intense cardio workout along with some core work, finishing with leg strength training. We didn`t have time to stretch because Clare realized she needed to end early. I really like to work on flexibility with my clients, so a final five to ten minute stretch session is important. Next time Clare.

I left Clare`s and cycled home contemplating my bed. I didn`t really feel like going back to bed, but I had gotten about five hours of sleep, which means I would not feel very good for the entire day. As soon as I got home I climbed up the little wood stairs back into bed with Michael for another hour sleep. I woke up and had a second breakfast, did my daily twenty-minute meditation and then one hour of yoga. Michael helped me learn how to practice going into a back-bend from standing. The technique is to start in a squat and go into a back-bend, then to slowly increase the height from which you go into your back-bend. Any other suggestions for this?

In the afternoon I had a meeting with a new friend, Destiny. We met at Starbucks at Place d`Opera. Man, is it beautiful! The only Starbucks I`ve been to with old murals of angles on the ceilings and black marble columns. Destiny taught me how to go ahead legally with my training business in France. She is very organized and has somehow managed to pick through the French paperwork and figure this out. Thank you Destiny! I will keep you all updated with how this goes.

Next I had a training at my apartment with a semi-new client. She is around 25-years-old and is training for her first half-marathon. We do a one hour session of cardio and strength training once every two weeks. In between our meetings, she is following a beginner runner plan slowly building up her mileage with a combo of walking and running. I`m very excited for her to finish the half-marathon in October.

I really failed with pics yesterday. Sometimes it`s hard since Michael and I are sharing a camera, but as I gain more clients I will be able to afford things like a camera for myself! In the afternoon I had a snack:

 

Tahini with Apples

 

It was tasty, but if you have a nut butter, use that instead. Michael had a snack too:

 

Michael eats bread out of a mug.

 

 

I always tease him about the way he eats bread and oil, his favorite snack. He puts his bread in a mug, and often uses a fork to eat it. I love you Cheri!

I promise better pictures next post!

Fudgy Walnut Brownies for a trying day

I used to not think Mondays were hard. I thought of them like any other day of the week and it seemed that it was 9 to 5 boring adults who made up this, “Oh, it`s Monday, boo hoo” thing. But lately, they have been less than easy. I don`t even work a normal schedule, such as, yesterday, Monday, I didn`t even work. But the day was hellish. Part of it is in my head, “It`s Monday, so I need to get serious and be bored again until next weekend.” What a unecessary thought. I`m going to think of a way to improve my Mondays. Any suggestions?

So I got up yesterday and finished off the granola with Michael. Then he left for the day with the camera. We are taking turns with it. But in order for me to agree with being separated from it all day, he let me take pictures of him!

Michael`s b-boy sitting stance

I did a hard-core body rock workout after he took off while listening to U2. The are between my chest and arms are still sore.  http://www.bodyrock.tv/2011/02/28/the-trainer-who-loved-me-workout-beating-personal-best/

After exercise I quickly ate my leftover italian sausage and shrimp pasta with freshly grated Asiago, then biked to my new business coaches apartment. She is a woman who s her own business in Paris for twenty-five years. She is from the US.  So far, all of her advice and support has been very helpful.

After our meeting I rode home in the bitter cold, with a darkening sky, not wearing enough clothes. I made brownies. Another recipe from Feb 2011 Bon Apétit. I had them for dinner, with red wine and then milk. Only try this dinner if you have had a very hard day and the thought of cleaning produce horrifies you. The recipe claimed that I would eat the entire pan, but I only ate half of it. I watched a movie, Scoop, while eating. It`s a Woody Allen film. Not one of his best works. Then I went to bed. Nest Monday I WILL feel better!

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.