What I’m lovin’ about Paris

Au Pairing in Paris

Just a quick post about my fave things in Paris; my first fortnight has been so good and I can’t quite get my head around how much I’ve done alongside working and studying.

Feeling very french in my beret and moustache

Feeling very french in my beret and moustache

So here’s what I’m lovin’ about Paris (so far!)

– Because it’s a relatively small city it’s actually easier and quicker to get around than London.

– It’s perfectly fine to be drinking from a bottle of wine on the street in the middle of the day (I’m not an alcoholic, I promise)

– Baguettes! all day everyday

– Most people can speak English. Obviously I’m trying to learn French but it’s good to know English is there as a back up

– Street style

– You can always smell something delicious  when you walk down the street. Pizza, crepes, bread, cakes etc etc

– My travel is paid for so I use any excuse to get on the metro and explore

– It’s difficult to get bored of the sight of the Eiffel Tower

– Metro parties. Although terrifyingly dangerous, loads of fun

– Clothes shops are amazing

– Casual Sunday picnics with 1000 people

– Sephora. It’s like another world

– The kids I look after can be so sweet; an impromptu hug or giggle outweighs the tantrums

– The weather is fab fab fab at the moment

– French people have the best names

– I’ve met some of the loveliest people here already

– The little dogs…

Aaaaaand I think that’s all for now!

Mary x

First week in Paris – 8th September 2014

Au Pairing in Paris

I can’t believe I’ve only been in Paris for 8 days. I feel like I’ve settled in so quickly, met loads of lovely people and seen some cool stuff and can’t believe I’ve got pretty much a whole year to explore this amazing city.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Au Pairing is a completely different world and it’s been a bit strange to fit into my role but I’ve found meeting up with other Au Pairs has been really helpful. Last Sunday I went to my first ‘meet up event’ in Paris; a big picnic organised for international students and au pairs in Champ De Mars, a park directly in front of the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t know anyone there so just sat down with the first group I saw and discovered a few English girls. We all chatted for hours over baguette and some amazing (my new trademark!) Blanc Peche wine. It might be Paris’ version of Lambrini (cheap and sweet) but I don’t care as it’s so yummy. I was so happy I plucked up the courage to go as I met some awesome people who I’ve already seen a few times again since then.

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My actual ‘work’ has been enjoyable, I’m learning a lot about the children and they seem to be getting used to me as their new helper/playmate/friend.

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One of the biggest challenges here is managing my time and motivating myself to work. Some of you know that I’m studying a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course at the moment and I’ve completed the classroom courses so now the rest is online. It’s 120 hours split into about 7 different units; you learn each unit then have a review at the end to test your understanding. I’m in the early stages of it; it’s interesting but difficult to find the right time to do it. I’m also trying to re learn some french using the duolingo app and website, which are both fab. On top of these i’m supposed to be applying for french lessons at a language school for 1 day a week. I obviously want to learn more french whilst here but the cost of these language schools are a bit crazy so I’ll maybe do some more research before booking. So this is my ‘workload’ but there’s a ridiculous amount of other stuff I want to get done this year;

– I’d love to do some dance teaching as I hate coming completely out of the dance bubble

– I need to get my exercise on and stop being so lazy, the plan is to join a netball club

– More photography. I haven’t touched my DSLR in weeks (I always use my mini panasonic but actually setting up a photo is painful for me now) and that needs to change ASAP

– More diary writing as I love that feeling of reading back over great / average / crappy times, months or years later

– More fashion show, events, gigs, parties, meet ups etc!

– Less time worrying about not fitting it all in. And just doing it.

Mary 

x

today's view from lunch

today’s view from lunch

Fashion Frenzy – 31st May 2014

Africa

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I’ve just returned from a truly fantastic evening of mingling with such talented designers, singers, dancers, models, rappers, photographers and general fashionistas at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town. The night was jam packed with creativity and there’s so much to report on that I’m actually going to save it for a separate blog post. I have heaps of photos and info on how to find the designers work so watch out for that all in the next day or two!

I want to thank the host Mampho Smouse for putting on a great night; it really introduced me to young creatives in the area and I can’t wait for the next show! So like I said, I will upload all the content within the next few days. I’m off to Namibia tomorrow morning so I’ll write a real review of the evening as soon as I can find a decent wifi spot 😉

Stay tuned 😀

Mary x

marymandefield@hotmail.co.uk 

The Grand Daddy of all fashion shows! – Tonight in Cape Town

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Are you looking for something fun and fashionable to do tonight in Cape Town? If so, then I definitely recommend heading down to the Grand Daddy Hotel tonight from 6pm as fashion house owner Mampho Smouse is putting on a fashion show to present this seasons hottest trends from label Smouse Blazer. There will also be a presentation of Sihle Ndlovu’s latest work at label Faith Avenue; enough fashion to make any girl (or guy) super excited. Sithembile Msutwana will be holding his own on the DJ decks and ensuring all guests enjoy their night. 

I will be there helping to photograph the event as well as interviewing some of the designers and will report back on how the night went. I will be joined by some of Cape Town’s most beautiful models, players in the fashion industry and the night will be covered by a variety of Cape Town’s media outlets.

Message Sithembile for a ticket for just R80 (0724890200) or buy on the door for R100

31 May /  6pm – 12am / Grand Daddy Hotel, Long Street, Cape Town

I hope to see some of you there!

Mary x