Merci, tout le monde!

It's a beautiful day outside, and there is no better day for my hundredth post! I guess I should take the time and say this now, since I was too excited to address this in my last post. My readers' support means the world to me! Going into this almost three years ago, I never thought I'd gather the support and love that I have received. For somebody like me, who has dreamed of being famous since she was eight, being nominated for an AGPT Academy Award is both surreal and enthralling. I still can't get over it; I feel like my favorite actresses, Miley Cyrus and Marion Cotillard! Both girls are awesome and real. I totally aspire to be like them! Anyway, if you haven't already voted in the PT Academy Awards, maybe you could vote for moi? (S'il vous plaît?) You don't have to if you don't want to, bien sûr, but your vote is appreciated.
Anyway, here is my publicity poster, made for me by Daily Alexandria photographer/graphic artist Nellie Maureen O'Malley. The colors look nice with my blog, je pense.
Speaking of posters, check out the movie poster to the American version of LOL, starring Miley. The original French version was fabulous, so I'm sure this will be good. The preview should be online soon. I can't wait.
This weekend, I rewatched some of my favorite French movies, including Jeux d'Enfants (which is one of my personal favorites since Marion is in it) and Hors de Prix. I should talk about Jeux d'Enfants and convince people to watch it. It's great. I love how Julien (the male lead) originally marries a girl named Christelle Bouchard. It was very cool to hear, since Bouchard is my last name and my Parisian aquaintance is named Christelle. I just thought that was great, but little coincidences like that are always fun. Anyway, Marion's character, Sophie, and Guillaume Canet's character, Julien, are probably two of my favorite characters in French movie history. They make a hilarious couple, and their game is quite amusing...
Also, I think Guillaume is just the cutest! I also admit to having a crush on Jérémy Kapone from the movie LOL (he played Maël, if you were wondering).
France definitely has the cuter actors. :)

What's Not to Like?

Salut! Je dois vous dire quelque chose chouette!!! Je ne peux pas la croire...

Before I share the exciting news, I should first give some probably already obvious background. I started this blog almost three years ago with the intention of documenting my life in America and comparing it to my life in France. I never intended for it to be successful or read a lot, but I guess my faithful readers have proved me wrong.

I, Sabine Aurélie Bouchard, have been nominated in the AGPT Academy Awards in the category of Best Writing.

 One of my reasons for coming to America was to establish a name for myself and hopefully become, well, the next Miley Cyrus. (My parents don't know this. The less they know, the better. They think I just wanted to expose myself to more of the world and improve my English, which I do, but I still can have a hidden agenda.) I have waited so long for this to happen, and now I feel like my dream is taking off. I dream of being in the spotlight. I dream of my chance to shine. Life in the spotlight. Designer clothes you wear one time. Autographs and 90,000 screams. You party all the time. Wouldn't you want that, too? Who could blame you? What's not to like? I could be living the life of the Edwards girls one day!

Oh, if only Aurielle were here! I mean, it's nice celebrating with Lilly and Melanie, but Aurielle is my best friend after all.

And of course, some people on my end are not happy. The people who fall into the "Sabine is such a loser; she does not deserve this at all" group are as follows:
1. Ashley Edwards
2. Alyson Edwards
3. Alyssa Edwards
4. Sandrine Bouchard (my oh-so lovely twin)
5. Nicki Fleming
6. Vicki Fleming
7. Micki Fleming
8. Jess McConnell
Oui. Ashley is more upset than Alyson. You probably don't believe that at all, but it's true. Ashley is WAY WORSE than Alyson. Way, way worse. Unlike Alyson, she actually has a brain and she knows how to use it. Add money to the mix, and she is completely dangerous and untrustworthy. Alyson is your stereotypical, absent-minded heiress. Ashley is not. She knows what money can get her. She knows how to hurt others.

Oh, and Jess. She's just jealous. I'm so tired of her and her incessant bragging...I wish she would just disappear.

This calls for some California dreaming. L.A. anybody?
Oh, I also received some heart-shaped cookies for Valentine's Day. I only had one. Lilly, on the other hand, ate about six...

Lille et le Nord-Pas-de-Calais

I've been meaning to do a post on my hometown and Nord-Pas-de-Calais forever. I oftentimes feel that Americans think Paris is the only city in France (Ava...), which isn't true. France has so much to offer. (Side note- no offense, Christelle or any other parisiens.)

To clarify myself, city-wise, I much prefer Lille, but when it comes to weather, I prefer Paris. I obviously have a preference to my hometown and what it has to offer. I like the layout of the city better, but then again, it's what I'm used to. However, I will say that Nord-Pas-de-Calais is notorious for dreary, cold weather. Sure, it does rain and become cold in Paris, but it's nothing compared to the North. 

DISCLAIMER: Before I start with discussing the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Lille, I will say that Paris has nice things to offer. I am in no way trying to bash Paris, but it doesn't have the same special feeling that Lille does. This warning is for Christelle, who (according to Lilly) will come after me with a chainsaw after she reads this.

To begin, I will give a brief background on the Nord-Pas-de-Calais...
This is the region of France I am from. It boarders Belgium and contains two departments- Nord and Pas-de-Calais. Lille is the Nord department, but it is also the largest city in the whole region. The second largest city is Calais.

While the region is predominantly French-speaking, the two minority languages include French Flemish (the region has a strong Flemish influence) and the Picard language- or Ch'ti.

Summers never reach high temperatures, but can often fall below zero degrees Celsius.

Now, let's move on to Lille...
Lille, as I have stated before, is the largest city on France's boarder with Belgium. The Flemish name for Lille is Rijsel. In 1668, Lille successfully became a French city under the rule of Louis XIV- le roi-soleil. In the early 1700s, from approximately 1708-1713, Lille was occupied by the Dutch. The city never formally partook in the French Revolution; however, there were riots and burnings of churches. In World War II, Lille was obviously occupied by the Germans. The most notable person from Lille would have go be Charles de Gaulle, founder of the Free French movement.

So that was a very brief history. Now it's time to discuss the city in more recent decades.
Throughout the 1960s-70s, the Lillois faced some economic hardships with the decrease of the mining and textile industries. In the 80s, Lille turned around with the opening of its automated métro system; it was the first of its kind. In 1994, the very modern Eurolille center opened, which contains parks, shops, and more. Ten years later, Lille was voted as the European Capital of Culture.

Thinking about going to Lille? Here are some places you need to see!
La vieille bourse: this building, dating back to the 1650s, was a stock exchange. It was built when Lille was part of the Netherlands, so the architecture is very Dutch. 

L'Opéra: this was finished in 1923, to replace the old Opera House which burnt down. It is just as  detailed and decorated.

La Musée des Beaux-Arts: this is probably the best-know attraction in Lille. It is a beautiful art museum, which houses paintings by Monet and Renoir (to name a few). Some even say it's better than the Louvre; I may very well agree. ;) (Sorry, Christelle!) This was personally my favorite place to hang out with friends. We sat near the fountains outside and talked, relaxed, and listened to our iPods.

Porte-de-Paris: this arch was built in 1692 to celebrate the induction of Lille into France

Vieux-Lille: the older section of Lille- it is filled with beautiful architecture and rich in culture!

I strongly suggest visiting Lille for Christmas. There is a huge Christmas market in the Place Rihour beginning in late November and lasting until late December. 80 unique stalls are set up, as well as a huge Ferris wheel. The weather may frosty, but it is still fun for everyone.

How about foods? Nord-Pas-de-Calais cuisine, like food in any region, is specifically unique to its area. My personal favorite is les gaufres à la chicorée- chicory waffles. Chicory is very popular in the region. It is also well-known for its beer. Mostly everything is cooked in a pot. Some favorites of mine include Waterzoï, which is a bouillabaisse made of freshwater fish.  I especially love carbonade flamande, a beef stew simmered in beer and brown sugar. Yum!

So...that was a quick overview of my hometown and region. I hope this was enjoyed, as it took me a decent amount of time to write this in English. Maybe I convinced some people to visit Lille?


There's miles to go, but we both know that we'll make it...

Salut, tout le monde! Je ne peux pas le croire- c'est février! Désolée que je n'ai pas écrit. J'étais très occupée.

I think a good place to begin is Super Bowl Sunday...or a night of Lilly vs. Malorie...
Keep in mind that Lilly is from Wisconsin, so she was rooting for the Green Bay Packers all the way. She even made an obnoxious sign which got shoved in Malorie's face on numerous occasions...*sigh* What will I ever do with that girl?

Anyway, surprise...Malorie is from Pittsburgh, so she was rooting for the other team. It was all-out "war". Malorie kept insisting that the Steelers were going to catch up and win, but of course, Lilly said that was impossible. Lilly did some weird victory cheer thing whenever the Packers scored.
It kind-of was; Lilly's team came out on top, and Malorie had to hear all the gloating and loudness that comes with Lilly.

To be honest, je m'en fous. I seriously just don't care about American football, nor do I really even care about real football. Yeah, I do want France to win, but I'm not crazy obsessed with it. The Americans just GO INSANE. Thankfully, Ava wasn't involved since she didn't care for the teams. This saved me from plugging my ears and cranking up the iPod.
I definitely do not consider myself to be a sporty girl; I much rather prefer the arts.

Anyway, Melanie didn't care, either (she only cares if some team called the Patriots plays), so we went and talked to Taylor. It's funny to think that Taylor once thought I was annoying; we are actually becoming quite close. (English class mishap aside...)
Melanie and Taylor have A LOT in common, too. They both love music, they both play guitar, etc. Their friendship was just very natural, as it should be. However, Taylor much rather prefers country whereas Melanie prefers pop.
Anyway, we spent the night talking about music, movies...tu sais, stuff like that.
Anyway, I am also starting to read another book in English. I know, I'm horrible about that. I would much, much rather read in French. The first English book I finished was The Last Song, which wasn't always easy at times, but nonetheless, it was a terrific challenge AND great book.
This next book may be even better...
No judging...hey, what did you expect me to read? ;) Don't you think we kind-of look alike?
Anyway, here is my favorite photo from the book:
I LOVE HER OUTFIT!!!! It definitely looks like something I would wear, too. I love Paris, obviously, but not as much as Nice (where the sun always shines). I do, however, prefer Paris to my hometown of Lille...

More on the Nord-Pas-de-Calais in my next post...