Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Joyeux Halloween!

Bonjour, tout le monde! C'est Sabine!
Although Halloween isn't commonly celebrated in France, dressing up is fun regardless! We don't do the whole trick-or-treating thing that Americans do, but some people do host occasional parties. Aurélie and I are having our own "party" of sorts on Saturday night since she has never celebrated before, and I want to introduce her to this fun, American celebration. We're going to watch some horror films and do other stuff that can be deemed as "scary". I thought it would be more fun to do that on Halloween night, but since it is going to be a sleepover, we had to choose a day that wasn't a school night. 
I'm dressing up as Hannah Montana this year. I was Miley Cyrus a couple of years ago, so I figured I should dress up as Hannah...even if it's just for a sleepover with my best friend. 
Here's a photo of me, my costume, and the inspiration behind it:

Aurélie doesn't know what she is dressing up as yet; hopefully, she'll know soon. I'll be sure to post about the party this weekend.

Do you celebrate Halloween? What are you dressing up as, if you decide to dress up?

~Sabine

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mes lunettes

Bonjour, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine, et je dois vous dire un "secret". C'est pas vraiment de secret, mais j'ai des lunettes.
So, I seriously have no idea why I said that wearing glasses was such a big secret. It totally isn't. I don't even wear the wretched things all the time. I just wanted to post photos of me in my glasses because you'll rarely see it. I was actually BEING THOUGHTFUL (ahem, Sabine) and giving everyone a behind-the-scenes look that they may never get to see again!

Since this is Thursday, let's start with a "throwback". What? Every Instagram user knows that Thursday is "Throwback Thursday" in which you are supposed to post old photos of yourself. I might as well do this on the blog, so here I am when I used to wear green contacts. Yes, I gave into the colored contacts phenomenon. I regret it now because those contacts have to be the most disgusting, despicable color on the planet.

Normally, I don't wear glasses. I wear contacts. I've only been wearing glasses because I have a sinus infection, and my eyes are killing me. I have nothing against glasses. I mean, they aren't geeky or anything; they can totally be a fashion statement. I just don't like them because they make me break out, and I don't want to deal with glasses-induced zits.
Here I am with my glasses on. They match my shirt, which is fabulous. I did that on purpose.

Here I am with Sabine. She always wears her glasses, though she went through a stage in which she hated them. Now, I don't give her much credit at all, but she definitely makes glasses look good. That sounds weird, considering we are identical twins, so I should make glasses look good, too. However, they just aren't really my style. Plus, it doesn't matter if her glasses give her zits because she can hide them with her bangs.
 

So, that was my post. Enjoy it because I don't think I'll be rocking the glasses anytime soon.

Bisous,
Sandrine

Monday, October 15, 2012

¡Tengo que estudiar!

¡Buenas tardes, todo el mundo! Es Sabine y quiero hablar un poco de español hoy. ¡Necesito practicar!

So, I've been doing a lot of studying and homework for Spanish class recently. It's almost ridiculous. To break up the tedious task of studying, I decided to decorate my Spanish notebook. It took, like, half a minute to do, but I think it looks nice and totally me.

I also looked back at a paragraph I wrote when I first started learning Spanish. I've definitely expanded my vocabulary since then, but still, this paragraph is good for somebody who just learned the language at the time. It was rather easy for me to learn Spanish because it is a Romance language, so it shares many similarities with French.

I stopped looking back at previous work and focused on the conjugations of ser and estar and their usages for an upcoming quiz. I already knew the conjugations perfectly, but sometimes, I had trouble differentiating between the uses- both mean "to be"! I also had to make sure I knew the conjugations that went along with "vosotros". "Vosotros" is typically only used in Castilian Spanish (European Spanish/Spanish from Spain), so I never had to memorize the conjugations while in the States! Looks like I have to catch up on that.

Spanish is such a beautiful language...especially when spoken. It's sad when people don't see the beauty of it. Sometimes, I feel that people romanticize the French language and overlook any other foreign language; therefore, they only see French as being beautiful. (D'accord, I'm French, and French is my first language, so I don't really see the language how Americans/others see it.)

So, tout le monde (o todo el mundo), do you know Spanish? If not, do you know another foreign language? Which one?

~Sabine

PS: This post was partially inspired by The Spicys! Hablan un poco de español también.

Monday, October 8, 2012

La cuisine belge

Salut, tout le monde! C'est moi, Sabine!
It feels like it has been awhile since I posted, but I'm going to share something fun I did last weekend. Any guesses on where I am in this photo?

You can't tell? No worries! I went to a Belgian restaurant, and this is a photo of me outside. I wanted an excuse to wear my new dress, and going out to eat was kind-of a reasonable excuse, right?

Before I share some photos, there are a few things that I need to explain. In America, French restaurants typically serve foods that are somewhat "stereotypical" or more well-known to Americans. Some of these dishes are also "Americanized", too.

That may leave you asking, "Then what is true French food?" This is very hard for me to pinpoint because every region in France has its own style of cooking. There isn't just one dish or one drink that accurately represents France as a whole because like I said, this varies from region to region.

With that being said, while Belgian restaurants in America are more along the lines of stereotypically Belgian (in a native's perspective), they are the closest to what is more commonly eaten in my region, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. They are definitely closer to typical northern France cuisine than French restaurants in the States, I will say!

 
Something I want you to notice is the variety of beers. Belgians definitely enjoy their beer, but hey, so do those who are from my region of France! Yeah, I know that most people associate France with wine, but that is a sad cliche because beers from the Nord are excellent; I'd eagerly choose them over wine any day. I know that beer gets a bad reputation in America, but Belgian beers and Northern France beers are not like the beers in America. They are more crafted and gourmet. If you are ever in the Nord of France, I would suggest a brand of beer called Ch'ti. There are others, of course, but that is probably the most common.

Many beers are even flavored. I think it would be fun to try all of the different flavors...but not on the same night, obviously!

On to the most important thing...the food! Belgian cuisine is very similar to the cuisine of the north of France, which I've talked about on my blog before. I'm sure that all of you are most familiar with waffles. In Belgium, though, they are typically a dessert...not a breakfast food. They aren't deserts that you would find in an upscale restaurant or even most restaurants, though; they are more typically found being sold by street venders.

Let's talk about French fries...which are totally not French. They originated in Belgium. ;) That also helps to explain why they are such a common snack food in Belgium and then became that way in France (particularly my region!). They are commonly sold by street vendors, and they are wrapped up in paper cones. You get your choice of delicious dipping sauces; mayo seems to be the most common- the Omniscient Being hates mayo with a passion, though I like it! I guess it is just acquired tastes? Anyway, les frites also come with a fork because eating with your hands is so American. Lilly would kill me for saying that since she is obsessed with "finger foods"!

No frites for me, though, as I was in the mood for a meal, not a snack. I ordered Waterzooi/Waterzoï (Flemish/French spellings, respectively). It is a relatively common dish in the Nord of France, and it happens to be a favorite of mine. It is made with seafood or chicken. The kind that I had at the restaurant was seafood because the Omniscient Being is weird about chicken. That's no fun; I absolutely love chicken! Chicken is awesome! She is seriously missing out, right? Anyway, aside from chicken or seafood, it is made with vegetable broth thickened with eggs and cream. Some veggies are included, too, particularly potatoes. Pieces of a baguette are eaten with this, too, so you can dip the pieces in the leftover broth. Or, you know, if you're Lilly, you could just tip the bowl and slurp the broth. The Omniscient Being is probably an offender, too, but in the comfort of her own home. That's so gross and a little impolite. Regardless, the broth is probably the best part.

Of course, going out to eat is only fun if you eat desserts, too. What is pictured below is mousse au chocolat and what the restaurant calls a "Flemish Sundae", though I'm pretty sure there's nothing Flemish about it. It looks like the typical, good old American sundae to me. The mousse was made from 85% Belgian chocolate, but I'm scared to know what that other 15% was. Belgian has the reputation for its chocolate, and I don't blame anybody for thinking of chocolate when they think of Belgium. Chocolate is probably better than Waterzooi broth; that says a lot. Did you know that the bowl that my mousse was in is edible? That is definitely the best kind of bowl! Although real (100%!!!) Belgian chocolate is better, this was pretty delicious. I think these deserts were more Americanized, but like I said, that can be overlooked when you have a chocolate bowl!

I hope you learned a thing or two that you could use to outsmart your friends. ;) Overall, the meal was delicious, but now, I feel obligated to ask a few questions. I really want to hear your answers. Would you be interested in seeing a Waterzooi recipe/cooking tutorial on this blog? What are your favorite types of restaurants?

A bientôt!
Sabine

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mes 7 Choses

Salut! C'est Aurélie! Comment allez-vous aujourd'hui?
A friend, Samantha Parkingon, nominated this blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Things around here have been extremely busy, so instead of playing by the award's rules, I'll just mention seven things about myself. Some you may now already, some might be new. Here I go...


1. I am an only child. I’m sure that this is glaringly obvious by now, but I thought I’d mention it again just because I feel like it says a lot about me sometimes.

2. The reason I am so devoted to working with young children who are struggling in school, with ballet, or with playing the flute is because I know what it is like to struggle. Although I’ve never struggled with ballet or playing the flute, I certainly have struggled with school. Unlike Sabine and Sandrine, I’m not naturally academically gifted. All of my good grades are because of hard work and dedication. It’s something I’m very proud of. When many people would just give up, I fought my troubles. I want to inspire children to do the same…and I want to show them that quitting isn’t the answer.

3. I definitely have a little bit of a crush on one of my guy friends. I cannot believe I just admitted to that! I won’t be revealing any names, though…

4. I sometimes consider Sabine to be my sister. Why not? We’re very close to each other, and we literally tell each other everything. She has somewhat of a “wild side”, but I keep her sane. She couldn’t thank me enough for that; I’ve seriously saved her from getting in trouble on several occasions. We also always have sleepovers; we watch movies, paint our toenails, sing karaoke, and just talk about life. We sometimes like to bake random treats. For example, Sabine’s friend Lilly sent her a recipe for Oreo brownies. Oreos are practically nonexistent in France, so we’re waiting to make these whenever we can actually get out hands on Oreos. Melanie also sent Sabine a recipe for peanut butter fudge, but peanut butter doesn’t really exist in France. It might be nice to try, but Sabine says peanut butter is really disgusting; she loves Oreos, though, which makes me want to try them!

5. When I grow up, I would like to dance professionally for l’Opéra National de Paris. Of course, one’s career as a professional dancer is usually very short, so there are two things I’d like to fall back on. I’d love to play the flute in a professional symphony orchestra. I’d also love to become an English teacher and a dance instructor. There is just so much I want to do!

6. People think that I look like Marion Cotillard (even though her eyes appear to be more of a gray color), and I take that as a great compliment because she is my favorite actress ever! My favorite movie that she stars in is La Môme, which most Americans know as La Vie en Rose. I wish I could sing like that. I also like her other films, but that one is my favorite.

7. Here is the big news/surprise I briefly mentioned in my previous post- my family is going to host an exchange student from Spain next year! I’m very excited; I cannot wait to meet her! However, I don’t speak Spanish, which is why I’m trying my hardest to learn.

Merci beaucoup, Samantha! We really appreciate it!

Gros bious,
Aurélie

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Truth Never Set Me Free

Salut, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine!
Before you read this post, it make make sense to go back and reread the posts that I linked to below...just so you won't be confused. I meant to post about this earlier, but hey- other things have popped up.
1. La Picarde

I was packing to head back home, and all of my clothes were in disastrous state. Leave it to limited storage space to do that!

I couldn't find my favorite gray leggings, and I was certain that Sabine had worn them for gym class and forgot to return them. That made me angry, considering she has her own pair.

Naturally, my first instinct was to run up the stairs while screaming, "Sabine, je vais te tuer!" It was practically one of my trademark phrases. I'm sure I use it at least five times a week.

Unknowingly, Malorie was waiting for me. "Sandrine, we need to talk before you leave," she sputtered. "I have to come clean now and tell you the truth. Your friend Ophélie is dangerous."


I laughed, "Yeah? So? She hasn't harmed anyone. I mean, she has, but nothing serious. She just plays a few dramatic pranks."
Malorie cornered me. "Listen to me," her voice grew firm and angry. "She wanted to hurt you."

"Well?" I asked. "Tell me what happened!"
"Remember when you went to the hospital and had a hard time remembering things?" Malorie said nervously.
"What about it?" I asked. "I mean, it was awful! I lost my green contacts because of it!!!"
"WHO CARES?!?!?!" Malorie raised her voice. I have never heard that girl scream a day in my life, so this was a new experience for me. I laughed it off in my mind. I'd definitely have to record that. "They were UGLY and TACKY anyway! What's important is that you're still alive. Ophélie pushed you down the stairs, and you suffered from a concussion. I don't know why she did it. In fact, I don't know why she pushed you instead of me. I was the one arguing with her then!"
That I did remember. They got into a heated argument, which is a typical Ophélie thing to do. I nodded in agreement when Malorie said that, but I was confused as to why I was the one who was pushed down the stairs. Nothing made sense to me; I was hopelessly confused.

"Why did she push me?!" I asked angrily. "You know, Malorie, I'm confused!"
"Aren't you disturbed that your friend would do that to you?!" Malorie responded. "That's the bigger issue!" 
I rolled my eyes. "Please, don't do this to me. I don't care about that right now. I'm not disturbed. I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION. This isn't one of those 'lost in translation' moments, either, so don't blame the fact that English is my second language!"
"Sandrine, I don't know why she did it! She just muttered, like, a paragraph in French and then pushed you. I don't speak French, so I don't know what she said."

The sad thing was, I was still conscious when Ophélie was speaking to me, so I should technically remember what she said as she pushed me. I probably didn't take it seriously because I never take anything she says as being serious. I turned to Malorie before I left. "Thanks, but I don't see why you made such a big stink about telling me this." Malorie's mouth hung wide open, and she only managed to tell me that my friend was dangerous.


So, that was what Malorie was dying to tell me. Maybe I can piece this event together alongside the note that she left me and figure out what is going on? I'm hopelessly confused, and I'm starting to get the feeling that this is more than one of her elaborate pranks.

Stay tuned...I'm going to soon be sharing what a little research can do...

Bisous,
Sandrine