Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ice Cream, Jello and Cake!

Dad (Papa) fixing Hannah's hair.

Even Hannah can't bear to see Papa eating Ice Cream, Jello and Chocolate cake! (Now I know where my eating habits come from. Thanks Dad.)

                   

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Minute Party Planner

"I'm thinking about having a little Christmas Party on Saturday." my older sister tells me on Thursday. In less than 2 days she throws together an amazing party filled with friends and family.

The entry table greets guests with sparkly champagne.
"They drink?! When did my babies turn 21?"

Hannah and mommy.

My sister, her husband and guests

Hannah and Daddy.

Family (me, my brother, mom, sister and my nephews)

a few more  guests...

the spectators...
the performers...

more champagne and goodies.
My sister can do amazing things, throwing together a last minute Christmas Party is just one of her talents. Everyone had a wonderful time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas in the Desert

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Las Vegas desert landscape at Ethel M's.
An evening at Ethel M Chocolate Factory

Three of my favorite girls in the world (my little sister and her girls)

Strolling in the Christmas Garden...
Christmas Time is near...

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Sunshine!

Paris does not have much sunshine in November while Las Vegas always seems to shine, but nothing seems brighter than my favorite little bundle of Sunshine! My 2nd Niece, who now calls me "Florence", as she hears her mother call me. 
Hannah

I have no title of "Aunt Florence" with her, but today I give her the title of Thanksgiving Day Sunshine.

Hope you all have a Thanksgiving filled with just as much sunshine in your lives.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Home for the Holidays (and my sister's Birthday) at the Last Minute

Since my sister is not going to go anywhere or do anything special for her 50th birthday this year, I’ve decided last minute, to bring Paris to Las Vegas and share a few of my favorite Parisian things with her.
Luckily a friend, (like an Angel) helped me book a last minute flight.

If my life were a movie, The scene begins as I board the Delta flight. The attendant looks at my boarding pass and points to a seat in the First Class section. "She must be mistaken." I think to myself as I show her my boarding pass again. She kindly points with a smile to the seat in First Class. It wasn’t a mistake. "Maybe my friend who booked the ticket really is an Angel?" hmm.

As I moved the neatly folded small duvet, full sized pillow, travel kit (which included socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a sleeping mask and other goodies), and stereo headsets from the seat to settled in, a second flight attendant offered one of six glasses of champagne she held on a silver tray. “Uh, No Thanks.” I replied.

This was all beginning to feel like a dream, as I was still in a daze at how I managed to actually make it on the plane in the first place, after oversleeping, showering and dressing in 10 minutes and catching a taxi that flew like a bat out of hell to get to the airport. The movie continues...
Delta Airlines First Class, any movie I choose and Warm nuts for starters....mmmm!
Shortly after takeoff, the flight levels off; linen covers are placed on the tray tables, warm nuts, champagne, wine, water, sodas are kindly offered. I have to pinch myself as my dream of flying First Class 11 hours International is being realized. Dinner was served on china with silverware.
 Dessert Tray-"Am I dreaming?"
A few hours after dinner, I was awaken by a the warm sweet smell of chocolate cookies that were baked in flight, filling the cabin with a wonderful aroma. The cookies were served on china with a glass of milk. I pinched myself again. Eleven hours later, the wonderful dream ended as we arrived in the States.
A few favorite things from Paris arrived at my sister's dining room table.
Nearly midnight, I arrived at my sisters house to wish her a Happy 50th Birthday and to share a bag of "Paris" with her. Although the intention for the last minute trip was to surprise for my sister for her Birthday, I was just as surprised by the journey that seemed like a wonderful dream.

The journey continues as I plan to spend the next few months with my family.

I Hope your Holidays are just as wonderful!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for a Carte de Sejour (Resident Permit) in Paris!

The morning started with a taxi ride to the local "Prefecture" (local authorities) where the last process of "Renewal of authorisation to stay" in France began.

Taxi Ride to renew Visa
almost there...
Although I had an appointed time of 12 noon, arriving 45 minutes early was enough extra time to calm my nerves and realize that my French was "good enough" to get through the reception and sign-in process.

Twenty-five minutes after signing in and sitting in the large modern waiting room, the announcement: "Mademoiselle Florence, guichet dix (window 10)." was understood perfectly.

At window 10 I presented the following 5 Items: Copies of my Passport Photo and Visa pages, 4 Black and White head shot photos, a copy of my electric bill, a bank statement, birth certificate and translation.

In just under 2 hours, the process was successfully completed with the woman at window 10 explaining in broken English, the actual resident permit card would be ready for pick up near the end of January 2012.
Voila! Success!


Temporary French Resident Permit
"It's beginning to look alot like Christmas"

To make the afternoon even better, more signs of Christmas was a nice surprise at the end of my walk to La Defense. I will be sure to return when this Christmas village open! I can hardly wait. 

To top it all off, it was nice to take a break and make a toast with a friend among swanky Parisian surroundings.

A Wonderful Day!
Ah, a new life begins again in Paris...

Can you guess what I'll be thankful for on Thanksgiving, next week?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Random Night Connecting in Paris

"This better be worth missing a Bikram Yoga session." I think to myself as I head out the door to meet my French friend Florence, for an International networking session hosted by Alicia Summer of Let's Connect in Paris.

Le Optician

The venue was at an Obstetrician (yes!), with eye glasses and frames everywhere.
Thanks to Alica's effortless ability to successfully make connections and generate a crowd mix from age "24 to 60" (per her invitation), the night was more than worth missing one Bikram Yoga session.


Connecting in Paris

Networking...

Mixing...
The atmosphere was perfect for professional networking while there were also several opportunities for personal networking for singles with the availability of single men...for rent! (Networking with a twist).

"Rent a Man" a difficult choice.
Music was provided by a "real cutie-pie" (as described by a woman attending), LiPO. Watch 1 minute video below.

LiPO

video 
Watch one random minute with Florence, LiPO, and Florence

Although this was a typical random night in Paris, my BFF-NYC reminded me, that these are events that others want to read about.

Networking amongst a moose in Paris.
The Music Man LiPO

Ballet
Lastly, the comfy sofa was moved away, and the night was topped off with a ballet performance. Let's Connect in Paris didn't leave anything out this night. Get on the guest list to attend the next event if you're in Paris.

Random night outs are easy to create, just select a local event or accept any invitation to one, call a local BFF (1 or 2 day last-minuteish) and GO!

Share your random night out with others in a comment or link below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Looking Like Christmas.

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas on this 11-11-11 day, although this was the only light on the street so far.

ah Christmas!

The song below keep playing in my mind as all the holiday lights are starting to glow!
I love this time of year. I love the lights, the fresh chilly air, the Christmas trees, chestnuts roasting on the street vendors grills, and everything in the video.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bikram Yoga in Paris--Awesome!

My younger sister swears by Bikram Yoga in Las Vegas, my friend Kristen is a Hot Yoga instructor, and Roger has been praising Bikram Yoga since I met him 2 years ago.

Just before his last day in Paris, I joined him for my first ever Bikram yoga session. Now I understand what all the praise is about. Everything I read about Bikram yoga on the internet totally turned me against it. I had images of stinky, sweaty people in a crowded dark, damp, steamy room. No Thanks!



Those horrible images actually made my first experience that much better, since the room was indeed hot, but it was neither stinky, dark, damp nor crowded. The studio was actually very clean and brightly lit. (it's dark only in the beginning to relax before the session begins, then in the end to relax once more).

I only have two words for Bikram Yoga in Paris: "I'm Addicted!"

My 10 days unlimited session ended yesterday and I just purchased my first month membership. I would have gladly bought the 3 month session, but I will be in Las Vegas for the holidays.

Hopefully Holiday photos will show a more healthy physique.
I'm already slightly more flexible and I've skipped a few days of taking multivitamins and don't miss them at all! So far-so good.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lunch with Author Genevieve Paulson and Friends

Although Ana's friend and author Genevieve was only in Paris for a whirlwind week, while Sharon and Roger were in Paris for a whirlwind 2 weeks, we were all literally blessed to have shared an afternoon of conversation and insights with Genevieve at La Gazzetta Restaurant.

Sharon, Genevieve, Ana and Roger

Roger, me and "Belle mom".

For a taste of our conversation, check out Books by Genevieve!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Midnight in Paris Location at Noon

"Are you two going to wait there until midnight?" a couple from South Carolina asked Roger and I as we sat on the church steps discussing the Woody Allen film, 'Midnight in Paris'.

We were trying to capture just the right angle for a photo where "Gil" (the movie character waited till midnight).


"No, just until we get the right photo." Roger replied as he snapped my picture.

Noon in Paris
Scene from Midnight in Paris, When the "magic" happens. 

Waiting for the magic.
One of many beautiful locations of the movie.

Midnight in Paris Movie Trailer 

Midnight in Paris: One of my favorite movies of the year!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Roger's Birthday(s) in Paris.

"Where shall we meet?", I asked Roger who has returned to Paris with his mother and sister in tow, to help celebrate his 50th birthday.

"Pont Nuef." he replied confidently, as if he knew the most beautiful sunset would be waiting to backdrop our nearly 1 year reunion. (Has it been that long?)

"Okay, I'll be there. I'm looking forward to seeing your beautiful mom again and meeting your sister." I said at the end of dinner planning conversation.


Sunset View from Pont Neuf




(This view has motivated me to purchase a new camera to fully capture the true beauty of Paris.)
Christie, Roger, Belle mom (Sharon) and me.
Christie and Sharon
 
mmm...Roger's post Birthday dinner. Mexican in Paris!




 Roger's birthday was actually on the 20th (two days ago), but I have a feeling he will be celebrating it every day for the next week they will be in Paris. Why not?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Drawing Addict in Paris

It was another bustling Friday night when my friend asked me, "What are you going to do tonight?"
"I'm going to draw a leaf!" I replied.
I'm almost afraid to check the blog to see what I was doing around this same time last year, but somehow I think it may have been something a little more...(exciting?).

However, I absolutely love life right now. Drawing has become therapeutic and tranquil which is a nice surprise this new hobby offers. Who knew?


The week began with more drawing lessons at Madame Claude's studio, (click here for details).


Drawing lessons at Claude's Studio

Just following the lines--Drawing the picture upside down, is an interesting technique we learned.

My drawing addiction has begun. 

Madame Claude kindly reminds me to focus on techniques first, as I am preparing for my first gallery exhibition. Okay, maybe I will do a mini-exhibit blog post. Stay tuned art fans!