Friday, November 27, 2009

Last post for a few days!

Hi Guys, I am getting ready to go and wanted to let you know that I won't be posting for the next fews days. You probably won't catch me here until next wednesday. I will be kissing Vince, packing, shopping and standing by for flights until then. Wish me luck, I'm on my way.....

Love and Hugs

Number One reason I can't wait to get to Canada!

To spend time with you people silly! My Family and Friends I love you so much and can't wait to waste away the hours listening to you talk.
I love you!
Love and Hugs

Why Canada rocks and I can't wait to get there!

Hugs and Kisses and the free for all that is Canadain Friendlyness. I am in a barren land of polite smiles and nods overhere. I can't wait to get back to my people who all live with their hearts on their sleeves. I am going to smother all you with my hugs!

Personal space. Space to move on the subway and in the street. I'm gonna take deep breaths and expand my arms all the way out without hitting a single person in the head. And roam around my families and friends houses with ease unlike my usual persona, "Samantha the humongous bull in a china shop."

Here's to Shopper's drugmart and the Atlantic Superstore with the NSLC attached to it. I miss shopping in stores where I can get everything I need. Such a luxury!

Acutally wearing my comfy pants outside and not feeling bad about it. Hell I might even pair those comfy pants with the above sweater and feel pride and joy when Canadains pull me over on the street to compliment my sweatshirt. HA!
A few more:
Chit chating with friendly strangers on the street
Brown and white sugar and that's it. I have had a hell of a time baking over here. I am clearly missing something. I thought Brown sugar was in everything?!
Love and Hugs and see you all soon!
Pic credits-

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things I will miss about Paris- Part 2

1. My handsome, kind, wonderfuly perfect French boyfriend!

2. The outrageous architecture everywhere. It's like a dream and you have to squint and make sure you are really seeing what you think you are seeing. And then you realize Yes! I live in Paris! It's not a dream!

3. The wafting smell of butter on every street corner coming from the boulangerie. I am not lying. They must be flowing on a river of butter in the back it's that intense. I love it!

4. The gorgeous elegant stylish Parisian women that inspire my fashion everyday. I have never walked out of the house wearing comfy pants.

5. Watching the Eiffel tower from my street as I walk home everyday. Nuff said.

And a few more....

The fact that my French was improving leaps and bounds…I was actually able to get into the conversation with Vince’s family

Watching skinny french women walk home with a baguette in their left hand eating off the top of it with their right hand. Stumps me everytime.

On the same topic, here there is a lack of diets and diet advertisements and crazy plastic surgery looking women brainwashing me into believing I need to look the same way. Also there are hardly any gyms and the freak attack health nuts that go along with them. I never overhear people talking about cutting banana's out of their diet because they have too many calories. Or people taking about getting up at 4 in the morning to take a spin class and run 25miles before work. Parisians aren't afraid of food and fat like we are and it's sooooo refreshing.

Perfume! Everywhere! You can wear it in public over here, gasp I know. Come over and wear your beautiful expensive scent where ever the hell you want.

Next up, the list of things that gets me so excited to come home to Canada!
Love and Hugs
Photocredit: pic
pic 3- cache.graphiclib.viator

Things I will miss about Paris- Part 1

This post is dedicated to my Mom who has been reminding me through my bluey haze these last few days to keep my eyes wide open and enjoy everything they see.....
1. Lots of cheap wine and Champagne. I mean we got this beautiful bottle of St-Emilion 2005 Grand Cru for 10.00 euros. Can you imagine? Back home it would be like 65.00 bucks easy.

2.Exhilarating bike rides around the Arc De Triomphe. I know it's big and beautiful but riding your bike so close to it really makes you appreciate it that much more.
3. Bike riding with my Velib card. I love that I bike or walk everywhere. It's a cheap and easy and I always feel healthy after a brisk ride outside.
4. Cobblestone streets and alleyways. I don't know what it is but everytime I see one my heart swoons. Does anyone have the same reaction? I also love the way car tires sound on cobblestones as they pass me on my bike. Sounds so....Parisian!
5. My daily morning pain au chocolate and espresso. The pain is so flaky and warm and buttery and the coffee so strong and cheap. I love the smell of an espresso quicky brewed at the counter of a bar. I know I am supposed to love the muffins or donuts and coffee from Tim's but I'm sorry to say I think you've got a convert on your hands Canada!
The second pic is borrowed from:
The fourth pic is borrowed from:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Champs Elysee Christmas Market Part 2

German sausages cooked for the masses
Kitschy christmas hats for sale

Stopping for a beavie

The line up for Vin Chaud

Here are a few more pictures of the market. They have this pretty ferris wheel set up in Concorde square signalling the start of the market. Hopefully next weekend we will make it all the way to the top and see the christmas lights hanging from the trees that line the Champs up to the Arc. Ohhhh so romantic! Only 5 more days in Paris! :(
Love and Hugs

Champs Elysee Christmas Market Part 1

Good morning Every body! Last saturday Vince and I found ourselves down on the champs for the christmas market. They have little chalet type huts set up from the metro concorde to franklin d. Most of the vendors are selling christmas kitcsh or hot wine and food. Vince and I loooove hot wine. It's basically mulled red wine. This year however we made a new discovery...white hot wine! It was delicious. After a glass of warm winey goodness we headed along the shops and poked our heads in the food stalls selling crepes, raclette, tartiflette, grilled salmon and german sausages. Yummmmy! Vince and I are both on a diet though so it was just hot wine for us. :( oh and roasted chesnuts! Have you ever had them? They are rich and kind of reminded me of Carribean bread fruit. Totally unexpected and very Christmasy, thanks Vince.
Love and Hugs

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wistful friday afternoon

Tuileries Garden
View from my lawn chair in the Tuileries garden

Pretty teal tourist I couldn't resist taking a picture of in the Tuileries garden

Bike parked and ready for action

Good afternoon you guys! I am getting pretty sad about leaving Paris next week. Don't get me wrong I am over the moon excited to get back to Canada especially during Christmas time but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little melancholy about my new city and having to leave.
So this afternoon I rode my bike around the Arc de Triomphe (again) and down the Champs Elysee. They have all these outdoor makeshift chalets set up down the Champs with Christmas stuff to buy kinda like a German Christmas Market. I stopped for some cassoulet and got back on my bike and rode to the Tuileries garden and pulled up a chair. I ate my lunch and read my book with all the others sitting and lounging. It was 15C today and I didn't even wear a coat. Needless to say everyone was outside! After that I meandered down through the 1st and 2nd arrondissements window shopping and drinking coffee. I finally got back on my bike and went to Merci. It's a concept store in the Marais that I have heard so much about. Designers donate their goods and a portion of the sales go to charity. I was not disapointed. I wanted so badly to take pictures in there but was too chicken. Everything was so painfully hip from the simple flooring to the come into my living room style. It was so hip it wasn't hip and then was hip again, you know what I mean? Man the French are so good at not looking made up while actually being made up. It's that "je ne sais quoi" that I will surely miss.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Love

So I have listed the books I have read and finished and a few I haven’t to the right of this blog. I love reading book lists on other people’s blog like Simone’s. I am astounded at her list of “books read in 2009” It’s as long as the list of books I read in my lifetime. I came to reading late. I think I read my first book voluntarily when I was 22 years old? I always thought people who read books were so cool, but I was too lazy. Eventually all that laziness and jealously pushed me into reading something. It was the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. My new friend Donna Folmer was reading it and I wanted to be just like her. And so it started. I felt so good when I finished a book. It was like all the things I did in my past that I never finished and felt guilty about couldn’t touch this. I felt smart and started reading the book section of the Globe and Mail writing lists of books I wanted to read in the future. I started making mathematical equations of how many books I could read in one year and then for the rest of my life. (HA!) I then would record every book I read on a piece of paper and keep it in each book I was currently reading just like a player has a list of his/her sexual conquests. I think they do that right? Anyways…. That’s how I remembered and posted all the books on the list of this blog.
So if you get the chance to read through my book list and have any suggestions of future books for me to read or even want to share your lists or critiques of the books I’ve read I would love to hear them. (I'm looking at you Britt, your ferocious reader you!) Also there are a few questions in my book list that I need the answers to. Thanks guys!
Love and Hugs

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Diamond Boyfriend

I am really hard on myself. If I don’t live up to my expectations then I violently kick myself to the curb. That’s it. No second chances! And I need to do the tasks I think up for myself fast! I often feel useless. I loathe myself when I fuck up. Even if I can’t find something I knew that I placed somewhere I am so mad at myself. I want to be perfect in my eyes. I feel guilty constantly. I never finished university. I have nothing to say when people ask me what I do…especially Vince’s parents. When I buy something for myself I am guilty about the money I spent that wasn’t my own. I play the game of what I want and how I don’t deserve it in my head all day long.

What Vince says is that I am an extreme idealist. He doesn’t see me as the fuck up that I see myself as. For some reason all the university, money and time I have wasted doesn’t mean anything to him. He is proud to be with me, believing that my quest for a fulfilling career is noble and strong. He sees me as on a bullheaded quest for the meaning of my life. All through this year and a half of unemployment and continuous support from Vince has made me realize that he is a true diamond. He’s always full of great ideas for jobs I could do when I am totally in the dumps and feeling so worthless. I feel like his belief in me is never ending and unyielding. It's so overwhellming and completly pure. And you know what? I never used to believe him but now things are changing. If he sees something in me that maybe I do too. I feel like something is going to happen I just don’t know what? I wish I could figure that out and get on with it already!
We’ve decided to take things slowly as to not overwhelm me. We are going to start with a driver’s license and professional French lessons in January 2010.

I have changed a few of my wants from:
I want a job where my soul feels happy.
I want to be proud of myself.

I want to wake up with a happy useful soul. And then I will be proud of myself.

Love and Hugs from the luckiest girlfriend alive!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Doin' it!

I am an Artist
I am a Nurturer
I am a Leader

All according to the November issue of Oprah magazine. I’m a total sucker for magazines with a self help lean. Reminds me of my dear friend April and her tough love campaign. I always knew when I was with her I would have to answer the tough questions about myself and even though I was too nervous to ask them myself I secretly loved when someone else forced me to answer them. So when I saw the issue with the title, “Who Are You Meant to Be?” I couldn’t resist.
So the results of the test on page 186 by Anne Dranistsaris PHD were as above.

Apparently my true self is begging to be. And so….

According to the quiz:
1. I am an Artist who is striving to be creative. Even if I don’t have a singular artistic gift I am still drawn to the arts, anything creative and have a unique way for looking at the world. I need depth and authenticity in my relationships. I don’t care so much about adapting to groups or societal expectations, apparently my independence and sharp intuition propel me on my own path.
1.A) What “Artist’s” have to watch out for: When fear of conformity overrides my creativity I assume the role of the outsider and blame others for it. This lone-wolf stance is supposedly protecting my vulnerability. I also dramatize my emotions which interferes with my creativity. (hmmmm sounds about right eh? I’m soooooo dramatic!)
1.B) How I can tap into it: As long as I genuinely express myself I will feel like the person I am meant to be. How I do that is irrelevant.

2. I am a Nurturer who is as caring and supportive in my personal relationships as I am in my job. Unselfish and altruistic by nature, I often anticipate the needs of people around me before they are aware of them. If there is one thing that brings me satisfaction it is tending to the needs of others.
2.A) What a “Nurturer” has to watch out for: When I am doing things for people only so I feel valued I can become resentful. (so true!) So before giving my time to everyone else I should make sure to take care of myself. Also I should practice waiting until people actually ask for help. While I may be able to perceive what a person needs that doesn’t mean they want me to attend to it. (Whoa super hard)
2.B) How I can tap into it: It’s important for me to be genuinely of service in acknowledged ways. Volunteer work has my name written on it as well as many careers such as nursing, teaching, healing and social work. I shouldn’t feel pressured to run the company or lead the project, I may be more comfortable as some else’s right hand (Uhhh no not so much!) I will likely find working with other people more meaningful than flying solo.

3. I am a Leader who approaches everything as though I was born to be in charge. (HA!) I am confident, assertive and decisive, I know what I want and I go for it. (double HA!) I also look out for family, friends and community- I feel I know what’s best for them – and have no fear of confronting anyone who challenges my ideas (wow that’s why I annoy myself so often! Who do I think I am?) Taking the driver’s seat I generously donate time and energy to people and neighborhood projects.
3.A) What a “Leader” has to watch out for: When I feel threatened, or others refuse to go along with my ideas I can become confrontational and domineering. I have to practice letting someone else take charge on occasion. I could also try mediating; it can help me become aware of my controlling impulses and ease the anxiety that may be provoking them.
3.B) How I can tap into it: I will discover my purpose when I take control of my environment. I must find a decision-making role. This could mean anything from producing a play to spearheading a global campaign for something I care about. In work I am suited for leadership positions in education, government, industry, finance (HA!) religious institutions or politics. (Hmmm remember when Political science was the cool class to take in university? Anyone who was anyone was taking that class! Whoops not me) Anyways, apparently I can find satisfaction anytime I am given the autonomy to do things my way.

According to me:
What I am learning from this article and my near obsession with finding a fulfilling career is this. Making money at being myself is not the answer. I can do a mediocre job and still be the person I am meant to be my doing these things without getting paid for it. Seems so simple and don’t laugh at me. I know we’ve all heard it over and over before but maybe I have been just too far up my own ass or in dream land? But what if I do the job I can do right now (under the table English teacher) and then also fulfill myself in other ways, (volunteer to sit with old people in their lonely homes or take them out for coffee). Or work as an under the table waitress at a lame Irish pub where they need native English speakers and also join an outdoor photography class? Maybe after I stop worrying and debating in my mind and feeling extreme guilt I will get out there and do these things. What if while I am doing the mediocre job and the awesome extracurricular thing I actually find a niche and super cool small business idea?
Love and Hugs

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hardcore Sunday

The second morning of last weekend was even better than the last. Another morning in a row totally not hungover! Whoooohooooo! I slept a little late and Vince made me coffee and breakfast in bed. After my shower and Vince’s grocery trip we called our new best friends Delphine and Loic and asked if they’d like to join us in the Bois de Boulogne for a run through a boot camp style course there is set up in the woods. We got on our bikes and met them there. All four of us ran in between each exercise station doing such things as push ups (URGH), climbing over walls, chin ups (URGH) inverted crunches, leaning against a wooden wall with our knees bent at a 90 degree angle for 60 seconds (Yeah right!) etc. It was really fun and great to be outside with the leaves on the ground and doggies running around freely and happy. It didn’t even really feel like exercise. But right now Vince and I are feeling it let me tell you. I can barely lift my arms higher than elbow height. Damn you chin ups! (well the ½ a chin up I did, lets be honest)
So what’s going on for you this week?
Love and Hugs

Homemade Daiquiris!

Good Morning Every body! How was your weekend? Vince and I had a great one. On Saturday we met up with Vince’s sister Delphine and her new boyfriend Loic for lunch. We ate at L'Entredgeu, a neo bistro in the 17th arrondissement. We sat at a round wooden table and digged into scallops, pate de champagne, cuisse de canard, dos de cabillaud and braised deer.
Vince and I shared a bottle of Cotes de Rhone that tasted like an organic natural wine that Parisians are so into at the moment. With full bellies we parted and Vince and I went to buy his parents Christmas gift. Shhhhhh! And then to the market for coffee and fish. (we didn’t find anything great looking fish and settled on a steak from the grocery store and a side salad.)Vince is on a new diet for his sleep apnea so not stopping at the Fromagerie was a triumph for him. So proud!
Later that night we decided to try out our “new to us” blender. We mixed a banana, lemon, clementines, ice, vodka and a little grapefruit juice to make delicious daiquiris! They were smugly gulped down and we quickly made another batch. The second batch was enjoyed while settling into the couch with a downloaded marathon of “How I met your mother and 30 Rock.”
That’s it folks, Saturday night at the Dodge/Klein household!
Love and Hugs

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shelly "Parisian" Burgoyne

Happy Friday every one! I am still looking through all the pictures Shelly and I took when she was here last weekend. It always makes me a little sad to look at pictures after a trip. Sometimes it takes me a while to get through them. I know, I know I'm a mushball. What else is new? Anyways here are a few from our collection. We were tourists extraordinaire visiting the Louvre, the Notre Dame, the Eiffle tower (we went all the way to the top) and the Arc de Triomphe. The weather was a little forbidding but we plugged through with lots of hugs and beers along the way.
Oh gosh I miss her.....
Love and Hugs

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Le Refuge des Fondues

Good morning every body! Last night Vince and I went out for fondue. It was my first time and we had a blast. I've heard a lot of this restaurant "Le refuge des fondues" and wanted to check it out. It's in the 18th up the hill of montmartre down a lively street called les trois freres. For 24euros you get an aperitif drink, starters, fondue, desert and a baby bottle full of wine. Everyone sits at a long communal bench scrunched in together. The couple beside us were so nice and we ended up chatting and sharing our food with them. It was a steal and we were still full this morning when we woke up! :)
Love and Hugs