Have I finally found my twin?!

Au Pairing in Paris

 

I’m happy to take a comparison to Rihanna any day but unluckily I rarely hear that and usually hear ‘hello lady gaga’ – yeah I don’t know why either. 

Over the weekend the metro stations seem to have been plastered with posters for ‘En route!’ (French title for Home) the new Dreamworks release. A few people have commented that I look similar to Rihanna’s character ‘Tip’. The skin colour and hair are where the similarities end as she has green eyes, no birthmark and is a cartoon character… 

But it’s nice to have a new twinny, especially as part of the movie is set in Paris. Woo France represent. 

Mary 

X

 

I’m lovin’ this.

Au Pairing in Paris

If you’re a bit of a peace and love hippie like me then you’ve probably stumbled across ‘The Secret’ at some point. Before I bore you with the details just go and read the book.

If you can see past the cheesy American ‘live your dreams’ tone of it and have an open mind, it can honestly change your life. Anyway, it asks you to start each day by stating what you’re thankful for. If you smush up 7 days worth of gratitude into 1 post then this would be it. (Obviously I’m thankful for family, health, food, water, a job etc but here I’m just stating the material stuff. Sorry not sorry.)

What I’m lovin’ this week.

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Watching

THIS Mcdonalds advert. I hate to admit I still can’t shake the very small Maccy D’s habit as I hate everything it stands for (but it’s so convenient god damn it!) but I’m lovin’ (get it?) their new Just Another Day ad campaign. Watch the video here.


Apping

Duolingo gets so many rave reviews and it’s totally worth the hype. I think most language learners have tried it before and I’ve recently rediscovered my love for it. It’s a free language learning app that teaches you the basics of French, German, Spanish plus loads more useful languages You can do it online on a desktop, on the mobile app or on a tablet. I personally prefer it on the tablet because you can interact with other users and track your progress easier. It’s a bit addictive if you’re into repetitiveness and earning points for achievements. Download Duolingo here


Listening 

Love this song; SBTRKT ft Sampha –  temporary view

This is added to ‘the DJ better play this tonight list’ along with 7/11 and All Day. Rihanna – Better have my money

My cousin Sheri cam to visit and we ended up singing the whole weekend. We’re both awful and get dirty looks on the metro but we don’t care. Now this is stuck in my head.

And lastly, Laura Mvula – She (MJ remix).


Dancing

Saturday nights in Paris can be a huge hit or miss, especially when you’re new here so I’m always pretty happy when we find a new decent place to go out. 1979 is surprisingly now one of my favourites. Free entrance before 1am, happy hour til 1 and RnB, hip hop and soul til 6am. No ones there to pick up girls, no ones throwing up in the corner, no ones crying in the toilets; everyones just going nuts dancing. I may have told the DJ I love and respect him (hahaha so deep) a few times before.

Find it on 49 Rue Berger, really close to Chatelet Les Halles metro. Make sure you sign up to the email invitation to get free entrance and grab a Mojito for €6 before happy hour ends, they’re pretty strong. Defo catch Paris A Le Groove if you’re into dancing all night and those genres of music.

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Exercise

Running is so much better when the weathers not miserable. I hope I can fit a few more long distance runs in before I leave because I love love love the parks here. Judit and I did nearly 4 miles last night but I think I spent more time on the sofa chatting to Bethany when we got back than actual running.

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Reading 

I’ve nearly finished ‘Not that Kind of girl’, Lena Dunham’s autobiography. It’s real funny but lemme chat about that next time

Not a book but this Buzzfeed article made me cry. Buzzfeed get a lot of stick for their publishing style but I think it’s credible that they can post the most pointless but relevant magazine style posts next to interviews with Barack Obama and this heartbreaking story of a MP living with HIV.

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Random – PINK

I re-dyed my faded pink back section and added more magenta to almost my whole head after seeing the Printemps 150ans decorations… See the pics here. It looks brighter in real life but I know how quickly it will fade. Oh and I made my blog pink. Obsessed right now.

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I like that I can hide it if I need to. Business when up, Party when down. Oh yeeeah


Phew, that’s everything I’m lovin’ this week.

What else should I be listening to, watching, reading, going to etc? Let me know in the comments.

Mary, x

Bouche bée

Europe

If you know me well, like really well you might know that I’m not a big fan of birthdays or Christmas. CELEBRATION SCROOGE. But when you’re away from home it’s nice to make an exception and try and celebrate with your closest mates if time, work and money all permit. So in December I surprised Rhiana in Nottingham for her 21st and a few weekends ago I travelled to Skipton to surprise Fran for her birthday.

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When I went to Nottingham I’d had a few weeks to plan it, I kind of knew the area and had met most of Rhiana’s friends already which made the planning a little bit easier. Fran’s birthday was another story as I’d had it set in my head that I really couldn’t make it (was gutted). It wasn’t until 2 days before that I had a ‘why the hell not’ thought and frantically booked and planned it with her friend Hanna (who’d I’d never met!). Luckily all coaches, trains, eurostars and car journeys between Paris and the tiny village of Elslack went to plan and the surprise played off pretty well if I do say so myself. I was so grateful to Hanna for keeping quiet and helping me pull it off. And obviously I was so happy to see chummy Fran and celebrate her 21st with her.

See my video to see her priceless reaction. Good tiiiimes

Maz x

Total eclipse of a cloud

Au Pairing in Paris

   IMG_0034I remember the 1999 eclipse really clearly. I was 4, we were up the Eiffel Tower, funny glasses on our tiny faces ready to see the sky go dark. Fast forward 15 years and by weird coincidence I’m in Paris again; we’re (Carys, Frankie, Evie) on the steps to the Sacre Couer, there’s a thick fog over the city and its cold as ever. We eat our pain au chocolats while we wait patiently. As I left the house I’d grabbed my sunglasses and a pair of 3D glasses in excitement, not that they had any purpose in this situation.

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Nothing happened anyway because it was too foggy and cloudy but at least we made the effort, that’s counts towards something right? After discussing our weekend plans and walking down the hill we bidded au revoir to Evie and headed to mega-tack paradise Tati. I was looking for hair dye (bored of this caramel/brown messy dip dye/subtle ombré thing) but we left with patchouli candles and mango incense. Standard.
 
I couldn’t think where to get my bright hair dye, Frankie suggested Chateau D’eau because it’s full of crazy black hairdressers who sometimes stock crazy colours. I got harassed by the black men outside the metro who wanted to lead me to a hairdressers and actually went with one and repeatedly asked for ‘colouers fou!’, I was sent in the direction of MGC and the genuinely friendly shop assistants kitted me out with peroxide, a brush and a bright magenta dye and even helped me chose between the colours. I wanted a silvery purple they had on display but they didn’t have any in stock 😦 next time.
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So that was my eclipse morning. Zero success with the sun and the moon but so ready to go home, do my hair and watch a tacky movie.
 
Aside from today I’ve had a pretty good week (with zero pictures to show for it). I met Lucie and a few of her friends at ‘Coolin’ an Irish bar on Rue Clement for St Patrick’s day. We queued for a lifetime to get a bottle of wine which is totally unirish of us but shows we’re really accepting the French culture. I went for a drive along the Champs Elysee listening to heavy Indian pop music, don’t ask. Enjoyed the rare sunny day on Wednesday and took the kids to the park on their bikes. J chose to walk and carry his rugby ball the whole way (almost half his size) but not actually play with it at the park. And yesterday I saw sophy and Chris who are on a little birthday break for a few days. We went to a bar with bargain price beers and Desparados and had a little catch up. I found my cat friend on the way home, our late night cuddles are becoming a bit of a ritual now. But you can’t hug every cat.
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Maz x

KanYAY at Louis Vuitton Foundation

Au Pairing in Paris

I’ve seen Kanye a lot. I’d say I’m a fan but not a mega devoted one and like most people I much prefer his old stuff to the the new angry, aggressive, vain Kanye. But he’s a good performer so I wasn’t going to turn down the chance to see him in Paris. A group of us had our eyes peeled for an announcement of a surprise gig because of his last minute performance at KoKo in London so we got tickets; Matita and Rachel went on Sunday and Amrita and I on Tuesday night.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation is an amazing, grand venue so we already high hopes. I was running super late because my host mum was late coming home from work, the train line I needed was closed and I had to wait ages for the RER (I watched the fat rats run around the platform while I waited). From Les Sablons I sprinted to the foundation, it’s surrounded by woods so I went between the trees in the dark like I was in a freakin action movie. Amrita had already gone inside and the queue was so crazily long so I managed to blag my way very near the front with a group of excited americans.
 

I found Amrita sat on the floor of a separate room where they were previewing the new ‘All Day’ video. It was cool to see an exclusive but the video was nothing special, just a camera following Kanye looking tired, rapping to an empty room. We got pushed into the auditorium and waited about an hour for Kanye to bless us with his presence… While we waited we watched everyone get excited by anyone who went to sit in the VIP section, Kris Jenner, Kendall, Cara Delevingne, Lily Donaldson, Gigi Hadid and Joan Smalls all showed up and spent their whole time taking selfies. No surprise there.

When Kanye finally showed up (didn’t actually wait that long. He usually leaves audiences waiting for at least 2 hours) he had nothing on stage, no musicians on stage and no gimmicks. He played his most popular songs from his last album; Blood on the Leaves went down well with all the frenchies screaming ‘blood on zee leeeeeeves!’. It was so squished at the front so we moved to the mosh pit while Kendall and Kris filmed clips and uploaded them to their instagrams. Probably judging us for being so sweaty and disgusting. We both agreed that the second half was much better than the first, all day, all of the lights, good life, can’t tell me nothing, touch the sky etc!

Even though the stage was bare, some songs were accompanied by surround graphics of trees and waterfalls. It was all very arty but didn’t fit that well with the music (in my opinion). The crowd annoyed us a bit with constant selfie taking, not really knowing the old songs and generally filming the whole gig. Like watching it all through their iphone screens. Not Ok frenchies. My favourite part of the night was when Amrita and I were the only ones to ‘get low’ during All Day. Literally us just jamming on the floor while everyone looked on in confusion. 

Kanye was awesome, the venue was amazing and we loved how intimate it was but I think that was the last time I’d see Mr West. Especially as half of the audience were more interested in what the Jenner/Kardashian Klan were up to.

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Mary x

 
 
 
 
 
 

Pairs in Paris 

Au Pairing in Paris

Back to Paris; friends, work and overpriced beers.

On Friday I went on a run which turned out to be the furthest I’ve ever ran (that I can remember), 15 miles! I intended to do 13 but realistically aimed for 11.5. I ran to Bois de Boulogne and ended up doing a few extra laps of the park because I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. I’d heard that this particular park was popular with ‘ladies of the night’ (lololol) but it wasn’t until I saw how many there were that I believed it. I promise you I saw about 10 definite prostitutes and suspected another 5 or so. This was at 2 in the afternoon!!! To make things weirder there were loads of men suspiciously walking around, stinking of alcohol and cigarettes. there were little man made shacks between the trees and expensive cars parked sporadically on the walkways. This is the weirdest park I’ve ever been to. I know what you’re thinking, I’ve obviously come to a dodgey area. But seriously it’s a nice area, right next to the new huge Louis Vuitton foundation and surrounded by grand houses. And it’s a family park with kids everywhere. Why are there so many prostitures!?

 
As I tried to erase what I’d just seen, I made my way home and although the last 3 or so miles were difficult I reached home with energy and actually didn’t feel like I was going to die. I ran further than the race I’m training for so it gave a bit of extra confidence. 
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On Saturday night Evie, Carys and I had planned to go to the Brazil themed night at Le Bellvilloise but unlucky Evie had hurt her ankle so thought a night of dancing wasn’t really the best idea. We went to hers anyway to predrinks and catch up on holiday stories. The night was pretty decent but as soon as me and Carys arrived I remembered I had a huge carnival headpiece I should’ve worn, ah mayn. Although the drinks are crazily overpriced I really like the club and the Brazilian music was really fun to dance to. They had some drummers and professional dancers on stage, afterwards the male dancer came and joined us normos. He was crazy and we had a little Beyoncé/Brazilian dance off. We left the club to get the first metros home, I found a cat on my way home which looked like it needed cuddles. It then tried to follow me home. No kitty, the cuddle was enough.
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Yesterday I was so overtired but wanted to exercise so compromised with a power walk to la defense, about 4 miles away, to try and find a dress to wear to my Grandma’s party. I didn’t end up buying anything but did get stopped on 3 different occasions by women asking if I worked in the particular stores. I was wearing running leggings, a baggy top, a bright red sorts jacket and trainers. With no make up and scruffy hair! This happened in Spain too when I was wearing sports clothes, am I missing something?! IMG_1784
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This evening me and Carys saved our cents and watched Maid in Manhattan on DVD. I’ve realized we basically are J Lo, just au pairs not maids, not in love with any senators and we don’t have that booty. But apart from that ya know. 
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‘Although we serve them, we are not their servants. What we do, Miss Ventura, does not define who we are. What defines us is how well we rise after falling.’ – Quote from Lionel in the movie. So deeeeeeep.
Pairs in Paris. 
 
Mary 
X
 

Serial for breakfast.

Au Pairing in Paris

I swear to the lord of time that he’s doing something to speed it up these days. This week has just gone by so quickly and the weekend is almost over already. Noooooo!

This week I rediscovered my love for podcasts. Evie recommended Serialand shut the front door it was so good! I know I’m late to the party because it started in October but I got seriously hooked and listened to the whole series in about 3 days. Serial is “about the basics: love and death and justice and truth. All these big, big things.” – a podcast questioning the investigation into the 1999 Murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland. Everyone has their own opinion but I wish it came to a conclusive ending as my theory is that Adnan is innocent; 15 years is a long time to stick to your story. If I were in his shoes and guilty, I definitely would’ve cracked at some point!

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I used to listen to Scott Mills’ podcasts religiously but don’t enjoy them as much when I’m not in England as they’re usually discussing TV shows that I’m obviously not watching when in France. I did download Jenna and Julien’s podcasts, they just talk rubbish but some episodes are hilarious. I like how they don’t take it seriously; they’re just sat at home having a normal conversation. So yeah, I’m back on the podcast hype.

When and my friend Kevin and I went for drinks on Monday we were told we couldn’t get a drink without also getting some food, so crepes all round. Lulu, by Canal Saint-Martin, was pretty cute. Lot’s of mirrors in the toilet to make you feel uncomfortable though…

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On Wednesday I made a rule of no TV all day (am I a fun sucker?) because I wanted to be more productive with the children. J & P actually slept at nap time which was a surprise. F and I made some beaded bracelets, did some colouring in and they all danced around the living room until it was bath time. I’m very excited for the weather to improve so we can spend Wednesdays at the park or take the scooters and bikes out, at the moment it’s just too cold to go and have a nice time outside!

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I also managed to chat to one of my bestest buds from Cape Town, Thami, on Wednesday, I spoke to him on the phone for the first time since May! It was so nice to hear his voice and he enjoyed gloating about the crazy hot weather in Langa. He asked when I was coming back to see him and the kids at the kindergarden… I wish I had an answer to that

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Thami & I in Langa-hoooood

On Friday I ended up at a small dinner party, lucky me being the only English speaker amongst a close group of friends who were all quite a bit older than me. I had more crepes and ended up having a good time. Saturday was quiet and Hakim and I went for a drink in the evening while he was shocked at how many foods I don’t like or haven’t tried. ‘France has the best food in the world and you only want to eat Margherita pizza?!’ – yeah, pretty much sums up my life. I rushed back home to babysit and Carys came round for an overdue catch up, she gave me a notepad and cute pen for a belated Xmas present (n’aaaaw!) and it was lovely to see her. The children were so sleepy that when I went to put them to bed they were already half asleep whilst brushing their teeth.

FullSizeRender-3I need to go for a long run today but I’m procrastinating as I know it’s going to be so difficult as I’ve had a lazy week 😦 Life’s hard when you’re trying to be fit.

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p.s. is it weird that I love the colour of the pea soup I made?! When I say made I mean heated.

Onto I ebay I go to find a pea soup coloured jumper.

Mary

biz.