Mon sapin de Noël violet

Salut, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine, et j'ai acheté un sapin de noël violet. Pourquoi? Les sapins d'autres couleurs n'est pas jolies! Le violet est la meilleure couleur, je trouve. 

Let's sum all of that up in English: I bought a purple Christmas tree because normal green Christmas trees are lame. Why have a green one when you can have one in a fun color? Green trees are for living rooms, plus they are so trite. Colored trees are more suitable for bedrooms. I could have chosen a pink or silver one, but pink and silver are lame colors, too. Purple is my favorite color, and it is clearly the best color. That is how I ended up with my purple tree.

Oh, it's totally MY purple Christmas tree, too. I bought it with my own money, and Sabine has no interested in helping to decorate it, either. It's not like I care, seeing as she wouldn't do it in a neat way. I had this all planned out. To begin, I stretched out the branches.

It fell on top of me! My stupid-yet-beautiful-and-unique tree fell on top of me! It actually kind of hurt!

However, there was no time for pain! I had some major decorating to do. I began by looking at the ornaments I purchased. They were nothing special, but the colors were fun and went with the tree. The sparkly purple ones were obviously my favorite, and they were on top nonetheless!

My mom is an interior designer/decorator/whatever, so she knows how to decorate. Because I've watched her decorate the tree all these years, I knew how it was done. With my tree, you have to alternate colors and make sure that it's "even". By that, I mean make sure that certain sections of the tree don't only contain one color of the ornaments. Spread it out, too! Make sure you decorate the back of the tree, even if it is a pain and nobody will see it. I started out with my favorite bulb:

Now, putting ornaments on the tree is a little bit tedious, and it gets super boring after a few minutes. The best part is definitely putting on the tree topper! The topper for the main tree is an angel. My parents decided on that since Sabine and I were born so close to Christmas (our birthday is December 19), the tree needed an angel. My brother said we had a star topper prior to my/Sabine's birth. We are apparently our parents' "Christmas angels", which is how the angel topper came about. 

However, since I will be an étoile (principal dancer for le ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris, plus étoile literally means "star"), I decided to buy a star topper for my tree. It was between a pink, silver, or purple one. Silver seemed to bland and uninspiring (and purple was too "matchy"), so I chose a pink star.

It was NOT easy getting that star on the tree. It took more effort on my part!

After that hard work is finished, it's time to plug the tree in, turn off the lights, and let its beauty illuminate the room.

Here I am posing next to all of my hard work:

I'm seriously in the mood for Christmas and my birthday now! I cannot wait until the gifts are piled up underneath!

If you celebrate Christmas and have a tree, do you enjoy decorating it? If you have a tree, I'd love to see photos of how you decorated it!


Bonhomme de pain d'épices

Bonjour et bonne fête, les Américains! C'est Aurélie! Sabine a visité chez moi, et nous avons fait les biscuits. 

Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in France, but Sabine told me all about it. She particularly told me about pumpkin pie, and it sounds delicious. I had no idea that people actually used pumpkin for desserts prior to speaking with her about the holiday. 

I have a lot to be thankful for. For one thing, Sabine got over what I said about liking Julien. In fact, she said that it's best if we move on and forget about it. I agreed. I didn't want to talk about it, either, and let it get in the way of our friendship. I truly am thankful for our friendship; Sabine is truly the closest thing I'll ever have to a sister. I'm also thankful for my great, supportive parents who have always been there for me and paid for my dance classes and flute lessons. I am thankful for my other friends and other family members, too. Even though I don't always realize it, there are so many great people in my life. 

Though, based on what Sabine said, I feel like many Americans are just concerned about the food. Some of it sounds good while some just sounds interesting...

The idea of Black Friday is funny, too. I seriously LOVE shopping, as does Sabine, but I'm not sure I could do it. I especially couldn't just camp out near a store. 

Anyway, Sabine came over to my house, and we made TEN DOZEN gingerbread cookies. Oui, 10 DOZEN. Of course, we weren't planning to eat all of these in one night. Though, they were so good that I would if I could! We have to save some for Sabine and Sandrine's birthday. That was the whole point of making them. 

If you can read French, CLICK HERE to read a cute story about a gingerbread man.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what did you do today? I'm not familiar with the holiday, so I would love to hear more of your experiences. What are you thankful for? Do you like gingerbread cookies? I wish I could send some to you guys!


Mouth over mind

Bonsoir! C'est Aurélie (qui est terrible avec le blog)! 
Ballet, flute lessons, school, and working with children has kept quite busy and unable to blog as much as I'd like, but I'll get better with updating. I promise. :)

Sabine and I had plans for a Halloween party, but that didn't work out exactly as we had expected. Instead of trying to make the night more reminiscent of the American celebration, Sabine came over and helped me to learn Spanish. I'm currently in the middle of redoing my room, so things were kind-of a mess.

Sabine brought her favorite grammar book, and she tried to introduce me to stem-changing verbs! I was a little freaked out, seeing as I couldn't even conjugate a regular Spanish verb! While I'm exited to host an exchange student from Spain, I sometimes wished that she were from Germany since I actually know German. I realize that the student will be coming here to improve her French, but I'd like to practice my language skills, too.

After doing this for half and hour, I grew bored. I hate to say that because Sabine was very nice to help me out, but I just couldn't focus. I wanted to do something fun or have one of our usual serious conversations. I haven't had one of those with Sabine for awhile, and there were many things that I wanted to get off my chest, beginning with Julien.
Julien was a good friend of ours, but I couldn't help but like him as more than a friend. I felt that we were very similar personality-wise. We were quiet, reserved, and somewhat shy. We both hated getting up in front of the class to give presentations, and we weren't always content with our families. He was a good person to talk to, seeing that he always listened and gave good advice. As much as I hate to admit it, I have told him things that I have never even dared to tell Sabine.
I never talked about my crush on him. In fact, I never talked about any crush that I have ever had in the past. I was too shy about it, and even thinking about my crushes at the time made me blush. However, I was going to mention it to Sabine because I wanted her advice. She was always pushing me to be more outgoing (even if she wasn't always), and she provided me with useful advice most of the time. 
"Sabine," I began. I felt my hands become clammy, and my stomach ache. "Je dois te dire quelque chose."
Sabine laughed. "Ah, dis-moi tout!"
"J'aime Julien," I replied.
"Plus qu'un ami?" Sabine asked, her smile turning into a frown and her enthusiasm fading away.
"Ouais," I nervously said. Sabine looked at me and then at the ground.

Sabine stood up and looked away from me. Her voice sounded upset. "My mom just texted me. I have to go. I don't want to get in trouble or anything."
I patted her on the back. "Sabine, since when do you listen to her? You've always spent the night regardless. What about those movies we were going to watch? What about teaching me more Spanish?"
She sighed. "Maybe another time. I'm not in the mood to face one of her bad moods."

"Text me tomorrow or something, okay?" Sabine said as she left.
"Are you sure everything is okay? We can talk about things before you go," I suggested, trying to make things better. I knew why Sabine was leaving, and it certainly wasn't because of her mom this time.
"We can talk later. Look, I really have to go. My mom keeps texting me." Sabine murmured.
"A demain..." My voice faded. 

After Sabine left, I sat by the door and sulked. Her mom never texted her. She didn't even have her phone with her. Sabine's mood changed when I began talking about Julien. Did Sabine have a crush on Julien, too? I assumed so, based on her actions, though she never told me! Although I wouldn't have known, I still felt terrible bringing it up. I could tell that Sabine admired him, even if she didn't tell me. I just wasn't thinking. I didn't want another friend to come in the way of our friendship. I didn't even want to think about it...not until tomorrow, anyway.

Have you ever said the wrong thing to a friend? How did you resolve it?


Basketball, biology, and black eyes

Bonjour, tout le monde! C'est Sabine, et aujourd'hui, je vais vous dire beaucoup des choses de mon dernier jour d'été.
The following incident should have been posted about months ago since this was basically what happened during one of my last days of summer, but life (and other posts) got in the way.

I'm just going to be flat-out honest, seeing as honesty is the best policy. I hate sports. I mean, I absolutely hate them. There is obviously nothing wrong with playing sports. Micki is a fantastic athlete as is Julien's little sister. Sports just aren't for me, and they always result in some injury or crisis. This particular injury resulted in both.

I particularly do not like the sports that are popular in gym classes. Line soccer and basketball have to be the worst. At least Lilly and I got out of playing line soccer, though. Sort-of. When our numbers were called, other people took our numbers for us and played in our places. However, Jess, being the little weasel that she is, told the PE teacher on us, and he made sure that we played. Lame. Why would Jess care, anyway? It wasn't like Lilly and I actually tried hard enough to ensure that our team one. I mean, it's gym class...not the Olympics!

The most recent failure was basketball. The stars of the basketball team (Kailey, Hayley, and Kaya) are also three of the rudest people I have ever met. Not only do they take stupid basketball way too seriously, they try to victimize everybody who is terrible at it. Considering Lilly and I never really try, we put ourselves in a bad position. Kailey thought it would be funny to throw the ball at us, and it ended up giving me a black eye! 

Lilly had also coerced me into taking a summer biology class with her, and I hate bio almost as much as I hate sports. I'm just not into science classes at all. They are super easy, but they are just boring. I have a hard time liking something I have no interest in whatsoever. However, Lilly absolutely loves the sciences- particularly bio and anatomy- and I wanted to spend time with her, so I caved. There was NO WAY I was going to walk to bio with a black eye, so I found a pair of (rather cheap) sunglasses.

I took my seat like any good student would, and I pulled out my Spanish notebook so that I could attempt to write an informative speech in Spanish about the dangers of playing basketball and the dangers of being around people (*cough* Kailey) who took it way too seriously.

Lilly then walked in and glared at me like I had some sort of visible infectious disease. "Sabine, why are you wearing sunglasses? Seriously, I don't think you're even allowed to wear those in class! You look dumb. Take them off."

"I kind-of can't, Lilly!" I interjected. "Remember when Kailey hit me in the face with the basketball?"
Lilly laughed. "That was absolutely hysterical!"
I rolled my eyes at her. "Yeah, only because you weren't the victim this time!"
"I had it way worse! She threw the ball, and it hit me right in the gut!" Lilly argued.

"Yeah, well, I have a black eye! A BLACK EYE, LILLY!" I raised my voice so that she could see I was angry and wasn't in the mood for her general goofiness.

"So?" Lilly said in the tone that reminded of an obnoxious elementary school kid. "Just say that you were in a fight against Kailey and won! Yeah, say something cool like that!"
I sighed. "That's not cool."
"Sure it is!" Lilly said, removing the sunglasses from my partially destroyed face. "Everybody wants to win a fight against Kailey!"
"She'd probably hurt me just for making up something like that! Lilly, you are absolutely crazy! Now, please stop and give me the glasses!" I squealed. 

"How about 'no'?" Lilly cooed jokingly as she stuffed the glasses into her signature pink tote bag. 
"LILLY! DON'T DO THIS TO ME!" I shouted as I stood up. 
"You have real glasses. Wear those!" Lilly retorted. "Those sunglasses are cheap and stupid looking, anyway!"
I was livid. "I realize that, but my real glasses don't hide my awful black eye!"

Lilly hid them in Alyson's locker, which probably isn't the smartest idea. For those who aren't aware, Alyson is an heiress, and while she isn't exactly the brightest, she certainly would see that something happen to Lilly for invading her property.

"Lilly, why did you do that?!" I stammered. "Do you know what Alyson might do to you?"
"What?" Lilly laughed. "Give me a black eye? It's okay; I'll just say that I got into a fight with her and won. It's believable, anyway...much more so than saying you won against Kailey!"

"Can we stop with all this fight talk? Mon dieu, Lilly, qui es-tu?" I shouted once more.

"Well, I'm certainly somebody who doesn't understand a lot of French but was lucky enough to get the gist of that!" Lilly replied. "I'm sorry, Sabine, but having a black eye isn't the end of the world. I've had them before, and they are ugly, but they go away quickly...I think. They get all nasty first and change colors, though!"
"Stop..." I said. "Just stop talking."

"What did you say, Lilly?" A voice boomed. It was Kailey. Lilly and I hugged each other tightly; we felt so cornered and afraid.

"Look at what you did to Sabine's face by throwing that basketball at her! I mean, she can't take it! She's been obsessing over it forever!" Lilly accused Kailey.
"Okay. Whatever. I don't care. I just don't want you to spread rumors that I fight with people. Yeah, I got rough and threw the ball at her face, but I wouldn't physically fight. Who do you think you are, Lilly?!" 
I nodded, secretly agreeing with Kailey but at the same time hating Kailey for throwing the ball at me.
"Well," Lilly thought. "I'm an idiot sometimes."
"I'd say so," Kailey nodded. I agreed with both of their statements.
"How did you know I even said that?!" Lilly said. "That's incredulous!"
"I have ears, stupid," Kailey rolled her eyes. "These walls are paper thin. I was in the hallway and overheard you talking to Sabine in the classroom."

Kailey walked away from us. "Bye. Hope you two learned something from this!"
"I wasn't even going to tell people that's what happened between you and Sabine! It was a joke! I was kidding with Sabine!" Lilly shouted when Kailey walked away.

That, tout le monde, was one of my final highlights of summer. I think that we learned a valuable lesson from this- Lilly's jokes aren't always funny. In fact, they are annoying and can result in confrontation from the enemy party.

Oh, and I feel compelled to ask: have any of you gotten a black eye or any other sports/gym class-related injuries before?