Just Be You.

Everyone in Paris that I have met so far have all come from such diverse and foreign lives than what I had always known at home. The first thought when I’m surrounded by people of different lifestyles would be to try and find something we have in common to create a sense of comfort between us. I expected that it would be difficult to find a common ground but that was the complete opposite.

Is it possible for two people from completely different lifestyles to have such similar dreams and desires in life?

I have met some pretty amazing people even in the short time while I have been here. People who maybe in the beginning I felt almost intimidated by the life they come from and trying to compare it to my own. The great thing about when i’ve had these feelings of maybe not being up to their standards is that i’ve felt comfortable enough to talk to them about it. Talking and sharing my feelings is something that is a whole new concept to me. I grew up as a very closed off independent person. It may have to do with the fact I was an only child for 7 years of my life or that i’m a natural born leader, nevertheless I’ve been able to go through life satisfying my needs myself without the essential need of help.

I’ve already grown so much since being here mentally. I have a new outlook on trust and relationships in general and have learned that hey it’s okay to talk to people, they really don’t bite and you might actually take something from the conversation. How is it that a girl that comes from a village consisting of more cattle than people can somehow have a bond with a city born new yorker? To me, it seems so foreign and out of reach but let me tell you, it’s possible if you allow it be. Once I accepted that fact that people see me for me and who I am now, I’ve felt like a new person. I’m taking chances and hoping for the best because if I don’t than how will i ever have the opportunity to experience the best things in life if I’m stuck in a life of comfort?

Since being here I have met people that come from all different cultures over the world and it’s been the complete opposite experience getting to know them than I expected. When you think about it, as au pairs abroad we are all here for basically the same reason, to travel and learn about a new culture.
If you are an au pair here and expect to make money, you are in the wrong job line, sorry. Unless I’m just missing out on something because so far I’m farther behind financially than when I came here and this is while receiving a weekly pay. Do I Care?Could care less, i’m living life and having a great time while doing it.

Liebster Award

Thank you聽simaroseblossumfor nominating me for the Liebster Award. This is the first time i’ve actually understood what to do when being nominated with an award so I figured I would give it a shot!

The award aims to expose new bloggers and help mark their blog in the blogging world.聽Here are the rules to accept.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Post the award on your blog.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Write 11 random facts about yourself.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Nominate 5-11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

Facts about me:

1. I had never been to Europe until this past year and now I don’t want to leave.聽

2. I trust people way to easily than end up getting hurt

3. I miss watching hockey desperately and being that hockey sister

4.聽I am always cold and find it hard to keep warm

5. I don鈥檛 have any plans on pursuing a career anytime soon

6. I grew up not wanting kids but now that I鈥檝e realized how amazing they really are I can see myself having a big family one day

7. I am missing 9 adult teeth, good old genetics.聽

8. My favorite movie is UP

9. I started working at the age of 13 and haven鈥檛 stopped since.聽

10. My parents are both my biggest role models in life for different reasons

11. I鈥檓 obsessed with mustard鈥 obsessed

Questions:

  1. What was your favorite weekend trip?

I鈥檓 going to have to go with my most recent one to Rome. To begin with, it was my first European weekend trip and also got to spend it with a great friend! I loved how different the city was than anything I was used to. The wine was delicious, pizza was huge and the weather was to die for!

  1. When did you know you caught wanderlust?

I honestly got the craving to travel my last trip that I took to Cuba. It was during my first year of college so I was obviously under a lot of stress and when I went away I truly und how relaxing and fulfilling travelling can be. I was so intrigued to learn about their culture and to discover the difference between the simple life I was living to theirs. Coming to France, I really wanted to make sure I was able to be immersed in their culture to really feel like I was one of their own. 聽

  1. Who do you want to vacation with?

I love vacationing with people that are excited to explore and not necessarily have a set plan of where or what they are doing. I think it would be super fun to vacation with 聽my 2 closest friends here in Paris because that鈥檚 exactly what we have been doing here so far, so I can鈥檛 even imagine doing it over again in a new country.聽

  1. What do you like to do on Sunday afternoons?

Typically Sundays are my 鈥渙ff鈥 day so that either means that I am lounging around the house with the family or wandering around the lonely Paris streets. I must admit Sundays are not very lively in Paris because the majority of things are closed. Last Sunday was probably my favorites so far actually, I mean who wouldn鈥檛 love a romantic boat ride along the seine at sunset?聽

  1. What is your favorite cocktail?

Lately I鈥檝e been going crazy for pina colodas. I鈥檓 really not sure where this craving has come from, maybe I just want it to feel a bit more tropical and hot, who knows.聽

  1. What song describes your mood today?
Let it go. I’m not just saying this because my girl is obsessed with frozen and I get to listen to it every day but once I actually realized what the lyrics are saying, I felt it really spoke to me. The song is about letting go of fear and blossoming into the person you really are which is kind of how I feel with my own life. With every fear I’m faced with I push forward and use my strength to be who I really am and not hidden behind my fear.
  1. What is your favorite spice?

Cinnamon by far! I put it on everything and anything.聽

  1. Which celebrities do you want to be your parents?

I actually wouldn鈥檛 change my parents for the world, nor would I want to be a child of a celebrity. I think it would be fun for a while, but their lives just seem so hectic and chaotic, and really how many celebrities are still happily married鈥β

  1. If you could study anything for free for a year what would it be?

Baking and Pastry art, something I should have done to begin with but I didn鈥檛 follow my heart and did what I thought was the responsible thing to do; now look where I am. I don鈥檛 regret my decisions in life though because I feel everything has a purpose and happens for a reason, so maybe I wouldn鈥檛 be here in France today if I had of done things differently in the past.聽

  1. What is your advice to other bloggers?

Don鈥檛 force your posts. I鈥檝e defiantly had those posts where I just write them because I have nothing better to say but they are very poorly done. I find I鈥檓 able to express my best thoughts when I least expect to but that鈥檚 just what works for me. 聽

  1. If you could live somewhere for a year where would you go and what would you do?

Oh this is a tough one. A year is a long time so realistically it would have to be somewheres with a culture relative enough to what I’m used to between Canada and France. I think New York would be an interesting place to spend a year if I was to chose a city atmosphere but honestly I think Costa Rica or somewheres south would be an amazing trip.聽

I nominate:

http://wanderlustinbarca.wordpress.com

http://cheesyadventures.co

http://parisiennehonoraire.wordpress.com

http://dreamondiaries.wordpress.com

https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/28389109/

My questions to my fellow bloggers:

1. Where would you go if you could jump on a plane right now?聽

2. What’s your favourite book?聽

3. What’s something that you have learned recently?聽

4. If you had to eat something everyday for the rest of your life what would it be?聽

5. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?聽

6. Where do you see yourself in a year from now?聽

7. Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?聽

8. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the world travel?

9. Who do you miss the most?聽

10. Why do you blog?聽

11. What’s your favourite childhood memory?聽

The moment when you’re officially part of the family

Yesterday marked a big day for the comfort I guess you could say that I feel with this family and Perrine in general.

Perrine was playing with an older boy at the park as always when he asked her who I was. She described me as being her grand soeur which means big sister to all you english folks. I didn’t say anything but continued to listen to their conversation. Once the boy figured out that I really was her Jeune fille au pair he told her that I wasn’t her real sister. You could see the sadness in her face as she thought about what he had said because realistically he was right; I wasn’t her real sister at all. Later that night when we were having our daily talk as a family during dinner she explained what had happened at the park and I could see the tears form in her mothers eyes when she said the words big sister. She explained that I am her God Sister and compared me to her God Grandparents that aren’t related to her by blood but she still considers to be family.

Now the question becomes what determines being a sister?
– I choose to spend my free time with her
– I get to wake up on weekend mornings and enjoy pancakes with real maple syrup with the family
– I’m there for her when she cries
– when kids are mean I get to be the big bad sister and are sure she’s okay
– when she falls, I pick her up
– She allows me to do her hair which only her mom was allowed to touch before
– most importantly I’m allowed to play and move her littlest pet shop animals. Not just anyone is allowed to even touch them. Big deal right there!

So why shouldn’t I be considered her big sister if she wants me to be?

I grew up as an only child for the first seven years of my life so I can relate to a lot of what she goes through on a daily basis and the reasons why she does certain things. Thankfully my parents were able to present me with three siblings that following year because being an only child does have disadvantages. I’m thankful that I’ve been accepted into this family and to be able to share my love with this child that wouldn’t have it any other way. I see so many of my own qualities in her even at the young age that she is and can’t wait to see her grow throughout this year.

Don’t fear French Dentists

Dentists aren’t as scary in france

A week or so ago while I was eating a聽frozen banana, why I was eating that lord only knows, but anyways I felt my bottom retainer break as i crunched down on the frozen fruit. Now the first thing that would go through someone’s mind typically would be ouch but no , I was more upset that I would have to go through the trouble of finding a dentist here in Paris as an expat. I guess that’s considerable.

First thing I did? Google: English orthodontists in Paris
The first one that came up seemed extremely considerable. This dentist was originally from Canada (points on that one) and studied in the United States so I was sold on the fact that she would at least be able to communicate with me. Check her out here聽http://www.drgermain.com/

At this time I hadn’t even processed the fact that I still didn’t have my medical insurance set up so I would have to pay the full amount which was something I wasn’t used to ever having to do. Growing up, and not being part of your parents medical plan anymore really isn’t fun. I instantly sent her an email telling her my problem and how it was reasonably urgent because any of you that have had braces know that you don’t wan to go through that process again if you don’t have to.
That night’s sleep and the ones that followed were聽pretty rough and I found it hard to not concentrate on the fact there was a metal wire poking out inside my mouth. The morning after I sent a message I received a response and she was extremely generous in bumping me up to an opening she had the following week.

I walk up to where the office is supposed to be, or so Google maps led me to believe and at first I thought i had the complete wrong address. The building looked like a bank but i figured what the heck and pressed the button and entered the building. I was greeted by a young man who I thought was maybe the administrative assistant but come to find out he was my actual dentist that would be doing the work on my teeth.

Actually now that I think about it I didn’t see any other workers in the building even though there were other offices. Typically in Canada we have a hygienist聽who looks at your teeth before the actual dentist comes in but he did it all himself. I even ended up paying in the same office which was completely foreign to me.

Needless to say, I was finished within 35 minutes and my teeth were back to normal, or as normal as they can be I聽suppose. It was actually only 70 euros which may seem like a lot for a little bit of glue but I wasn’t going to ruin 3 years of braces. Let’s hope I don’t have to go back anytime soon but at least I can say I’ve been there and done it.

Have any of you experienced medical care as an expat ?

So this is what happiness feels like

The feeling of guilt is not one that I really don鈥檛 enjoy, nor do many I鈥檓 sure. I鈥檓 constantly torn between if i should feel guilty for enjoying this life I’ve chose here or relish this feeling of happiness.

At the young age of 21 I’ve moved across the ocean, alone, and the feeling of being homesick hasn’t been apparent yet, but that’s not to say I don’t miss my family. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about the people in my life that have cared for me for the past 21 years of my life, but the lifestyle I was living is something I know I will not return to. Going from a village of 600 people to one of the largest cities in the world wasn’t as big as a culture shock as I had thought. Maybe it was because I knew it was time for a change of my comfortable life full of routine or simply the fact I am now living in such a beautiful city. I’ve always had a difficult time聽expressing my emotions and feelings聽because聽I rarely can determine the exact reason I feel a certain way.

These past couple of months I have experienced emotions that I never knew existed until now. Of course I’ve felt an聽absurd聽amount of sadness and shed some tears but above聽all of that I’ve found that it is possible to wake up and experience a sense of happiness each and every day. Then I have to ask myself, what has given me these聽new found聽feelings? Is it this family? The city? My new friends? or the聽lifestyle聽itself?

This past weekend I had a聽conversation聽with a聽really聽great friend about what聽being聽successful means to the both of us. Many people would think that聽acquiring聽money has a lot to do with feeling accomplished but I feel there are so many successful pleasures聽that come before that. For me, being successful is finding the things in life that don’t聽necessarily聽feel like work but bring joy to my life. Graduating college is obviously a successful feeling but I still didn鈥檛 feel that sense of accomplishment because it wasn鈥檛 truly what I wanted to be doing at that time. My decision to come to Paris has brought me great success as I have seen parts of the world I had only ever dreamed out and have been able met lifelong friends that I hope to keep ever when this journey of my life is over.

I believe that happiness is found when you are聽truly聽content聽with the choices you’ve made in order to have led to the life you’re living. Complete happiness is聽unbelievably聽hard聽to find because there will always be times when you’re not content with things happening in your life but having those moments where you feel on top of the world is something everyone should be able to experience at least once in their life. Whether that means hitting the home run in your final game of the season, or bringing a child into the world, you too can experience聽anything聽you put your mind to.

AntiCafe Review

Imagine a place where you can go for unlimited cups of amazing hot drinks (including cappuccino for all you foam lovers out there) , a variety of snacks (with聽hummus, score!) and wifi. I decided to check out this cafe after being told from a friend about it and how much she enjoyed going there.

So what is it?

I want to say that it’s a cafe but really it’s not even anything close to any others I’ve been to. You don’t feel like you’re in a typical cafe atmosphere but more like inside of a home with access to a kitchen, dining room and living room area.

What makes it so special?

So basically when you go into the cafe you get an electronic card that is programmed with the time you arrived. You’re then free to order as many drinks as you want, and enjoy the snack options they have. At the location I was at the snacks ranged from hummus and veggies to rice cakes and toast.聽You get charged 4 euros for the first hour and then an additional 3 for ever hour past that. They even offer day and month deals for the regular customers which may in fact be me in a few weeks.

My friend and i noticed a shelf ill of board games which are available for their customers to use so we opted for the deck of cards to play crazy eights. I loved the fact they have so many options for everyone’s interest. Looking around the customers ranged in age from college students catching up on their Facebook feed to businessmen working away on their laptops. Then of course there was us playing being the kids we are at heart playing cards!

I was so impressed with this cafe not only because of what it provides its customers but also the service I received. There was one man working the whole cafe and he did an amazing job at making sure everyone was taken care of. I would definitely suggest checking out this cafe if you have an hour or more and want a bit of a change of atmosphere.

You can go to their website here聽http://anticafe.eu/en to find the locations in Paris!

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So what does an au pair carry around in that big bag of hers anyways?

I started off thinking that I would only need a small bag to get me in and out of Paris each and everyday. Let me tell you how wrong I was!
First off when you think of how many things you use throughout the day and need to have with you from the time you leave until the afternoon when you come back the list starts to add up. Therefore I needed to expand my bag size because I literally spend typically anywheres from 5-10 hours away from the house on an average day and there’s things I know I will need while I’m out and about ( imagine that being said in the most canadian way possible) apparently聽I have a very canadian accent and I like to announciate my “ou”
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Wallet. Pretty sure this is essential in any purse but you must carry change in case you need to buy your host child something along the way. Trust my a 5 cent candy does wonders with a crying child.

Lulu Snack Cakes: When it’s gouter time, you’d better be prepared to have the snack in your bag. I find the french children are accustomed to eating at particular times and need to eat exactly then they are used to. Also, pack a couple extra for yourself, because you’ll get hungry too and they taste amazing.
Headphones: do not try and do facetime in mcdonalds without headphones. Enough said.
Umbrella: The weather is paris has so far been unpredictable by just reading the daily weather so always be prepared. Kids don’t like to get wet and nor do I to be honest so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Oh, and yes mine is black because when in paris, look parisian.
Portable changer: I can’t stress enough how important this piece of technology is for me. With the horrible battery life of my iPhone (I think everyones iPhones to be honest) my phone goes dead before lunch time and good luck finding a plug in Paris to charge it. Really though, who would want to sit somewheres and charge their phone when they could do it while roaming around the beautiful streets anyways. I have to admit my charger is from a 24 pack of beer and i’m not ashamed, more proud to be representing my bud light from back home. It was free, and it works like a charm.
Cell Phone: Top priority in order to survive in the world we live in today. I use it to find my way around the city on a daily basis, check out places to see and do, and just to communicate with my friends. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with the host parens if anything goes wrong.Tip: Make sure your phone is actually charging the night before and that you didn’t blow a socket in the wall. Been there, done that x5.
House Key: Okay this is pretty self explanatory why this is in my bag.
Sunglasses. Oh and I don’t have just any sunglasses either.
Gum: if you know me well enough I’m the girl who always has gum but I really am not a fan of the stuff they have here so I’ve been opting for mentos or tictacs. By the way, the tic tac packages here are huge so be prepared to make space!
Ipad: I always try and bring this if I’m going to be in paris for a while so I can read or jot down things I think of during the day. I actually bought my bag specially so it would fit my ipad because it’s one of the things I use the most throughout the course of the day.
Mini water bottle: yep it has cars on it and no I’m not ashamed that it’s made for 3 year olds. It’s the perfect size and at my school I’m able to refill it for free!
Not pictured but very important – Wine opener: you never know when you’ll need one of these especially in paris! I’m pretty much expected to have it now when we have picnics so it’s a necessity in my books.

Au pair quote of the week

At the park:

“Do you have a Kleenex?
I need to poop, BAD…”

I was speechless because 1. were 10 minutes away from the park. 2. I had no kleenex or anything remotely similar to give her.
The poor girl wawlded for about 4 seconds before she did the whole flipping on the hand and said “No big deal, i’ll just use a leaf” and smiles as she ran into the bushes.

I’ve got myself quite the trooper.

Losing the fist tooth! – Reasons I love being an au pair

I walked to the school to pick up Perrine around 5 like I do every Tuesday, really not in the best of moods probably because of how exhausted i’ve been lately. I expected today to go the same as always. She passes me her bag, she begs for her gouter, she doesn’t talk to me because she doesn’t remember what she did during the day and then we walk home to be greeted by her rambunctious dog (or cat as I would call the thing). But NO, not today. Today was special.

Upon walking into the courtyard I saw her running towards me with her arms stretched open ready for me to embrace her into my own. She had a Kleenex crumpled in her hands which she then started to open and I stantly knew what today was.

“J’ai perdu mon premier dent!”

We both had been waiting for this day for a while as it was wiggly but I didn’t expect to be so excited when it actually happened. I couldn’t have been so happy and proud that I got to be the one there to pick her up and for her to present it in front of me.

Moments like these make me think back to when I lost my first tooth and how exited I was to share it with my own family. I’m finding that the more memories and events I’m able to experience with her in her life the closest our bond becomes. I’m able to be a big sister figure in her life that she wasn’t able to have before and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Do you remember when you lost your first tooth?

The best things in life are rarely good ideas

“The best things in life are rarely good ideas”
I came across this quote while reading my current novel Stay with Me聽by Jennifer Armentrout and it instantly made me think about how true this really is, or has been recently in my own life.During聽the past two months, I have done things and made choices that I would once have considered “bad” not even a year ago.
How do we differentiate whether an idea is good or bad? What characteristics would make one better than the other?
We base our perceptions of ideas on what were told by society is the “good” or correct way to pursue things in our daily lives. Looking back at the past several months, there were a lot of decisions that I had to make where I ended up choosing the options with the most unknown outcomes. When judged by what society would consider a good idea, I failed and chose the majority of what would be considered as bad ones, but did they turn out bad?
The three letter word Bad doesn’t even exist my my current life. I am the happiest that I’ve ever been and did I chose the “good” path or what the world thinks we all should be? Not even close.
The best things in life are rarely good ideas
  • I turned down a career in my educational field to accept a job as an Au pair
  • Bought a one way ticket to paris
  • Attached a lock on the love bridge in paris
  • Jumped on a plane to rome to spend a weekend with someone I met for two hours, at nonetheless a bar
  • Went on my first party bus in Rome
  • Became a big sister to a little girl who never had an opportunity to have one before

Now this isn’t to say that good ideas aren’t exactly what they are said to be. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the multitude of positive and responsible decisions I made the past. I went to high school, played multiple sports, graduated college, kept a close bond with my family, and even bought my first car. Every single one of those events were made possible from good choices that I made order to achieve these results. After聽college聽graduation my life felt off balance; missing a crucial聽part of happiness. I was聽living every day in such a structured lifestyle with a familar foreseen outcome. I can’t say that i ever pictured myself living the current lifestyle I am today especially in another country but I finally am starting to feel true happiness all from being聽spontaneous and adapting to change.

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