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August 2005

La Rentrée

Port coton_needles

We're back. Whew.

The apt was in one piece. Our cat, Léo is much skinnier.  We think that he ate his weeks worth of food in the first two days. He's been a pot de colle  (sticky) since we've been back following us everywhere we go, even to the bathroom. 

So, how was our first official vacation together? A success!

A few bickers (fights), a few nights where we had too many bowls of cider, lots of crepes and seafood, romantic walks on the beach, dancing with the waves, late night skinny dips, lots of sleeping in late, one lost iPod (his) and no drastic hair cuts. :) Click for photos.

And no thallasso therapy!  Unfortunately, the one centre that Julien's grandmother recommended was closed for the summer and the other ones on the island were booked until our last day there.  So, alas... no sea therapy for me this time. I did go for numerous dips in the ocean and soak my feet in the pools of algae during the maree basse (low tide).  I must admit that a week of swimming in 17°C water does the body good, I feel great.  We plan to go back to Belle Isle in February next year, I will definately be booking my sea therapy session in advance.

As much as I loved being away from Paris I am glad to be back. Something about the city I miss, maybe I am becoming a city girl? Who would have thought that this Kansas girl would ever think that? Glad to be back and go back to work... I am okay with this because I know that later this year I will have more vacation waiting to be spent. One week down, 4 more to go! I've definately gotten the hang of this 5 week vacation thing.

Jean Seberg is going on vacation!

OK, my hair issues have disappeared for the moment because I'm going on vacation effective noon today!  I will be relaxing at the family house located in Brittany, to be more exact Belle Ile en Mer.  I will be absent from the Internet for an entire week, what will I do? They have satellite Internet access on the island so we'll have to see... I will be spending a week enjoying my favorite crepes, lounging on the beach (two steps from the house, literally!) and every night falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean.  I think that I will never get tired of seeing the ocean, having grown up in a land-lock state (Kansas). One of the reasons I love living in France is because the ocean is so accessible in practically any direction from Paris. 

Oh, and I'm going to try this thing called Thalasso, sea air and sea water is great for your skin!

I'm out! ^^

L'Astuce Beauté: MEN

Yes, men deserve beauty tips, too! They deserve to be as beautiful as us women so I wanted to share with you my hubby's mini regiment. Shhhh... 

My man likes to keep things simple. He doesn't have the patience to keep up a disciplined regiment like I do so, I have set him up with a simple regiment with the help of Clarins, Clinique & Nickel for Men

Wash: Active Face Wash. Got to keep it light and quick, this wash lathers up fast and smells very manly (very important to most men).

Moisturize: Moisture Balm .  Again, keep it simple this is a two in one product, moisturizing and shave soother. Since most guys shave everyday (J does!) they need to pay attention to over irritation and stripping of the natural moisture balance of their skin. 

Exfoliate: A separate exfoliator may be too much for your guy.  I know at first it was tough for J to get used to the idea and he actually didn't appreciate gentle exfoliators. He wanted to feel it working.  His favorite is Clinique's Men's Supply Face Scrub. It's a menthol infused frenzy for your face and just so you know they have the exact same product for women just packaged in the classic Clinique green tube. 

Packaging is everything when it comes to most men. In J's case, the more manly it was the more he was willing to buy it. And that brings us to Nickel for men...

It was time for J to start using an eye cream.  I started him out slowly on the products, product overdose can turn one off completely... so one day while we were at Sephora, J declares that he'd like to buy an eye cream!  Imagine my excitement of hearing my man utter those words. Hee hee! So, head over to the men's section and I let him wander. I keep my watchful eye on him just in case he has any questions.  He approached Clarins, as he knows this brand but then looks to me and says he would like to try something new and asks me to suggest. I pointed to Shiseido Men but he was rather not interested in their very minimal white packaging and immediately headed over to Nickel for men.  <-- click this link! He really loved their packaging and I have to admit it's absolutely genius.  And really enjoy their products. On a whim, a girlfriend of my suggested their eye contour lift creme, so I tried it(though it was for men) and really loved it.  And that's the product that J went home with. He only needs a basic cream for the eyes, no major anti-aging cream just yet... no need to bring out the big guns yet. :)

So, if you're trying to get your guys started on something, lead them by example it worked for this guy.  J is now trying to compete with me and get equal shelf space in the bathroom.  Have I created a monster?

Where did you go on vacation?

This is a safe question to ask any French person and they will be more than happy to respond and equally happy to hear your response.  Vacation time is something taken very seriously in this country.  I am used to my 2 weeks plus stretching it to perhaps 3 weeks of vacation if I can call in a "sickie".  The French get 5 weeks.  FIVE WEEKS, People! Some companies just shut down for the month of August and force you to go on vacation. Of course, my company isn't like that being a Korean company. But still... there are French people here who are milking their vacation for all it's worth.  I must learn the way of the French vacationing.

Just today, walking to lunch I saw a couple colleagues that I don't really talk to very much but they stopped and did the obligatory bises (kisses) with me and then there was the split second of 'what-do-we-talk-about-now" when one of them piped up, "Tu pars ou en vacances?".  I explained where I was going and ended the conversation very promptly by saying that I was already on vacation in my head. Mutual laughs from both parties as they agreed they were too mentally on vacation and we parted ways. 

After speaking with another a very good friend of mine who happens to be an expat, we both agreed that this is one topic the French will never get tired of. She even has a French friend who keeps an excel document with all his friend's & colleague's vacations listed so that he knows when so-and-so is out of town and to keep track of who he's had the vacation conversation with.  I realized how handy this was after I asked another one of my colleagues yesterday (who I see rarely) where he was going on vacation and he said that the last time I saw him I had already asked him that.    So, after snickering about how the vacation excel document was a silly idea, I'm starting to think maybe it isn't that silly.

Vanilla Randomness

My favorite activity probably after washing my face would probably be sleeping.  I bought an American ELLE this past weekend (note to readers: Flare is a magazine junkie) and in it I saw an ad for Vanilla flavored Tylonol PM.  I'm reaching out to my state side readers here... what is that all about? Vanilla flavored? Don't you just down a couple pills with a glass of water and you don't really get a chance to taste the pills. Also, they were advertising them as beauty sleep aid. Hmmm...