Un autre surprise...?

Salut, tout le monde! C'est Sabine, et je suis heureuse parce que j'ai reçu une enveloppe mardi.

Je l'ai ouvert, et j'ai souri! C'était un suprise de mon amie, Lucie! Lucie est de Lyon, mais elle habite maintenant en Californie. 
Lucie surprised me with the gray sweater that has been on my wishlist for awhile now. I am beyond thrilled; that was definitely very nice of her. 

She also sent me a stuffed bunny. She has the exact same one, which is cool. I thought that the bunny would look cute next to the stuffed pig that Lilly gave me. I love having stuffed animals that remind me of my good friends.

I tried the sweater on immediately to make sure it fit. It looked very nice paired with my gray pants and new, shiny gray ballet flats.

Merci beaucoup, Lucie! Je suis heureuse que tu sois mon amie! Je t'achèterai un cadeau, je te promets!

Have you, dear readers, ever received a surprise gift from a good friend? What was it?


PS: I have a surprise for all of you. Somebody new will be posting to this blog, and I cannot wait for you to meet her!

Nous avons quitté les États-Unis...

Oui, tout le monde, nous allons retourner à Lille! 

I am not very excited at all, but Sabine is. It's nice being away from my family and people from my "old" life. Plus, my mom is just the most controlling person ever, and I can't stand her. Sabine doesn't like her, either, but I seriously don't like her. I'm not looking forward to another school year of her nagging on me for my grades (I seriously don't care about school; I want to dance professionally or style hair and do make-up), my attitude, and my actions. I think she needs to find a better job or something so she can focus on her own life and not get so involved in ours! I'm also not looking forward to being around my brother, who hasn't talked to me for years. One could say it was my fault, but I don't like to take the blame. He could just get over it and move on with his life. 

I'm excited because I get to spend time with my friends again! I've missed them so much! I'm also looking forward to spending time with my brother and his new girlfriend as well as being in more advanced classes at school. I'm not excited to be around my mom, either, but I'll try to stay away from her as much as I possibly can. I already began studying and reviewing my Spanish. I was going to sign up for German, but seeing as I've studied Spanish the entire time I've been in the States, I would like to continue with that. I really fell in love with the language and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. I want to impress my teachers and show them that even with an education that isn't as advanced as the French system, I can still study hard and know just as much as what is expected of me.
Of course, Sandrine hasn't been studying. She came home from ballet class and fell asleep. Mère nagged on her for not preparing for the school year.

Ta gueule, Sabine! Don't make me look bad! I already said that I hated to study. You don't need to be a geek and reinforce it...

Désolée! I also wanted to apologize for the lack of posts. We've been busy packing, unpacking, and doing other things. We have many posts coming up, and we will share them with you soon- keep checking back!

Sabine et Sandrine

(Note from the person behind the scenes: They are not actually in France right now; this happens every fall when I head back to college. Just to clarify.)

Nous avons une gagnante...

...et notre gagnante, c'est...
Félicitations! You can email us with your information at chtiblog[at]yahoo[dot]fr! If you are under 18, please be sure to have permission from your parents.
Reese was the winner of our 200th post giveaway. We determined our winner by giving each person who left a comment a number. For example, the first person who commented was number 1, the second was number 2, etc. We then used an online random number generator (random.org) to generate a random number. The number generated was our winner.

If you didn't win, no worries. We'll be hosting another giveaway in October when we celebrate four years of blogging. The winner has until Wednesday to claim her prize. If she doesn't by then, we'll randomly select another winner. 

Thanks again to all those who entered!

Sabine et Sandrine

Fun with technology

Bonjour, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est moi, Sandrine. Je DOIS vous dire que J'ADORE Instagram! C'est un app pour l'iPhone. On peut faire des photos, et on peut aussi les partager avec des amis.

Enough about Instagram other than I love it. Here is my latest Instagram photo, and I am showing off my newest shirt. Isn't it cute? Ha, it's not exactly what I wanted, but seeing as we are apparently on a buying hiatus until September, this handmade shirt had to do. However, I'm not sure if I truly like it, which is why I donated to the giveaway.

I also put another photo on Instagram. Malorie took it of me, and I'm having fun with another fun thing- a webcam.

Of course, the webcam made me look terrible! The quality is awful! AWFUL!

Here are some other fun (er, low quality) photos I took:

That's all for now. I thought I'd share my new shirt in a different and exciting way. Do any of you like Instragram or playing with your webcam?

Do you want to win the shirt I'm wearing? CLICK HERE!


200th post and a giveaway!

Salut, tout le monde! C'est moi, Sabine!
Today is the day I make my 200th post on this blog, and I can't thank my readers enough for putting up with me this long. Hopefully, I'll be able to continue writing and share more of my adventures and experiences with everyone. Oh, and I also hope to let more of my friends write on this blog, too. You'll just have to wait for that. ;)

To celebrate, I thought I'd share some more about me and a little bit about why I started this blog. As the founder of this blog, I thought I'd go ahead and answer the questions.

Tell your readers why you started a blog and why you keep doing it. 
When I started this blog back in October of 2008, I was going through a rough time in my life. I had just discovered some devastating news relating to my sister that explained events that happened to me during the school year. I was still in France at the time and was having difficulties with my mom and people at school, so I felt the need to write. Writing has always been an escape of mine, and I have kept journals since I was at least six. I thought I might as well taking the journaling digital, and since I knew I'd be heading to an American boarding school in December of 2008, I thought I'd practice my English some. I still keep a handwritten journal, too, and that is usually for more personal things. 

Describe a usual day in your life. 
During the school year:
I wake up at 6:15, wash my face, and eat breakfast. Breakfast for me is usually an Americanized version of a tartine and some orange juice. If I'm feeling like Lilly, I'll gorge on donut holes. Then, I get dressed and put on makeup and walk to the school building with Lilly and Malorie. My schedule for next year is as follows- I have Algebra II first period (I'm on the advanced track, which is why I'm in Algebra II as a 9th grader p), 2nd period Honors English, 3rd period Spanish III, 4th period AP Biology, homeroom, lunch (I usually eat a salad, some cheese and crackers, and a muffin for dessert), 5th period AP US History, 6th period phys. ed., and 7th period psychology. School ends at 3:15, and Melanie and I usually meet Lilly in the library if she needs homework help. If not, we head back to our dorm rooms to study and do homework. After homework and studying, we have free time. I hang out with my friends, but if I want quiet time, I read, write in my journal, email or Skype my friends back in France (if they're awake, that is!), and definitely listen to music. I oftentimes listen to Miley Cyrus or the latest French pop. I head to dinner around six, eat with friends, come back to the dorms and shower, and do whatever I feel like doing before bed. Sometimes that's more studying, sometimes that isn't. I go to bed around 10, and I always listen to music before falling asleep because it relaxes me. I also sometimes talk to Lilly before I go to sleep, but she keeps me up!

During vacation periods:
I have the same morning and evening routines, but in the day, I do various things with friends or do some stuff alone. We can also go home during summer break, but I choose not to for obvious reasons.

Explain what your blog means to you. 
This blog definitely means a lot to me. It became more than a way to practice my English and get my feelings out- it became a way to meet new friends, to learn about other cultures, and to explore the daily lives of others. I'm grateful for all of the friends I made, and I hope to make many more. If you haven't commented on my blog before, don't be afraid to drop in and say "hello"! I'd love to meet you.


Bonjour, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine! I'm going to tell you about the giveaway. Oui, this is the first giveaway that we have done on this blog, and it is kind-of my idea. To celebrate 200 posts and almost four years of blogging, I am being nice for once and giving away part of my wardrobe.
Do you like the shirt I'm wearing? If so, it could be yours! Here's how the giveaway works. Pay attention and read the following! Don't ask questions until you do!!!
1. Leave a comment on this blog post, and tell us your favorite post and why you like our blog.
2. Come back on August 17th and see if you are the winner.

Winners are chosen at random. Only enter once. PLEASE REMEMBER to ask parental permission if you are under 18 because if you are the winner, we will need your address so we can send your prize to you! We will provide our email address on the 17th so the winner can contact us.

Here are some additional photos of the shirt. It is made of a white and blue knit and closes in the back with snaps.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and enter!

Être libre

Salut, c'est Julien.
Être libre- en anglais, c'est-à-dire "to be free". La vie est pas toujours facile. Il y a des difficultés, et on se sent quelquefois pris au piège. Il y a aussi des petites choses qui sont heureuses: un sourire d'un ami(e), un cadeau, ou une danse...
...une danse: la plus heureuse chose dans ma vie...

Normally, I hate dancing, and never once did I believe that it could be so freeing. Looking back on the dance, I can't believe I even worked up the courage to ask Sabine to dance. I thought she would refuse since she was surrounded by all her American friends. I thought that she would be too shy or to embarrassed to dance with me.

Mais non. Nous avons dansé

I reached for her hand, which was probably a little bit awkward for both of us.
Elle a ri. "J'ai peur!" 
J'ai dit, "Pourquoi?"
She just giggled nervously. She didn't know why she was scared, she claimed. However, I think I did. I was scared and nervous for the same reasons she was. I knew that people would talk- that they would say something about this. Still, confidence defeated doubt and anxiety. We didn't care about what others might say or think. That would have been a waste of time. It was more important to live in the moment than let the moment pass because we were afraid of reactions. 

The dancing didn't begin well. Sabine stepped on my feet, and she lost her balance a few times. Her mom always used to say that Sabine just pretended to be highly uncoordinated, but I honestly am not sure if Sabine is pretending. I think she may be exaggerating it some out of nerves, but nothing's changed. She's still the spastic, klutzy, uncoordinated girl I knew when I first met her.

I decided to get creative and spin her, and that actually worked out well. It didn't result in an injury. She smiled at me and said, "Je me sens libre...comme un oiseau!"
Of course she'd say that, and it brought back good memories of our childhood. We were once sitting on her balcony watching the birds fly high above us, and Sabine proclaimed that she wanted to do that. She wanted to be a bird who could fly away and be free. No restrictions, no strict parents to hold her back. Free.

That was how I felt when I was dancing with her- free. Even though others were staring, we didn't care. Dancing with her was the closest thing we as people could get to being birds. She wasn't being controlled by her mother, and I wasn't being controlled by my father. It was just us, the music, and the dance floor.

Je me sens libre. Je suis libre.


La surprise du matin

Salut, tout le monde! C'est Sabine, et je suis très heureuse. 
Après je me suis levée, j'ai mangé le petit déjeuner. For breakfast, I settled on a doughnut and some coffee with vanilla creamer, since we clearly don't have chicory to put in the coffee. I don't normally eat doughnuts for breakfast, but I wasn't really in the mood to eat anything else.

As I was eating, I noticed a package wrapped in tissue paper topped addressed to me. The sloppy handwriting looked familiar, as did the tissue paper. I also had to laugh- why would you wrap a gift in tissue paper? Considering that I had an idea of who bought the gift for me, I didn't think much of it.

I flipped the card over. It said, "I bought you this so you'd be quiet...and because you're my friend." The signature was a heart followed by an L, and my thoughts were confirmed. It was from Lilly. She always signed her name with a heart and her first initial when she ran out of room. That's what happens when you write largely and sloppily. I could also tell it was Lilly because she had an unhealthy obsession with that tissue paper ever since I made her a valentine with it....and yes, Lilly would be the person to use sheets of tissue paper instead of actual opaque wrapping paper.

I couldn't help but wonder what what inside. Could it be the shimmery charcoal gray sweater that I want so badly? How about that sweater dress I've wanted since Christmastime? Or the new black dress I wanted? I couldn't wait to find out what was inside, so I pushed my breakfast aside and pulled the gift towards me.

I carefully tore at the paper- just kidding! I ripped it like an impatient child on Christmas morning! When I tore off enough paper to see what was inside, I gasped. It was something I have been wanting for quite awhile!!!

Lilly bought the LOL DVD for me! It was a movie that I have been DYING to see, and it was only released in a limited amount of theaters in the US. It just came out on DVD a few days ago, and Lilly was thoughtful enough to buy it up for me! For those who don't know this, the original LOL was a French film. It's about a rocky mother and daughter relationship and the struggles one faces while growing up. I saw the original and loved it. I could relate in some ways since I was always disagreeing with my mom over EVERYTHING. I literally freaked out when I found out that there was to be an American remake starring my favorite actress and singer ever, Miley Cyrus! Of course, I was dying to see the remake when I first heard about it!

I plan on watching it this evening and maybe even writing a review comparing it to the original. From what I've heard, there are only slight differences. The director from the original also directed the American one. I just want to thank Lilly because I am extremely happy. I never miss a Miley movie, and she realized that.

Have you ever received a wonderful surprise gift from a close friend?