Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bring on the presents...

...ou non...
C'est Axelle et je suis un peu triste parce que je n'ai pas reçu beaucoup de cadeaux.

Oui, je sais. Christmas isn't all about the gifts. I hate to break it to you, but I look forward to the presents. That's the most exiting part! I spent the holiday with my dad and stepmother since my mom doesn't celebrate Christmas. I love the food my dad prepares, and I love sipping chocolat chaud as I open all of my presents as soon as the clock strikes midnight!

My dad has this problem- he never knows what to get me! He gets me some pretty lame stuff, to be honest, but lame stuff is better than no stuff. I cringed when he handed me a pink bag that wasn't even stuffed with tissue paper. Was that it? Was that the only present that I got? I did my best to avert my gaze so that I'd be surprised whenever I pulled out whatever the heck was in that poor excuse for a bag.

I first pulled out a pair of ballet slippers. "I know you wanted a new pair," my dad told me. NON, PAPA. I WANTED NEW POINTE SHOES. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. UGH. New slippers weren't going to help me! My pointe shoes were falling apart. I frowned and said, "Merci."

The next items I pulled out were much better. My dad got me a set of glittery gel pens and a journal. He knew I loved writing, and those items would definitely get a lot of use. Still, those things aren't like Christmas gift material. That's the kind of stuff I'd buy for myself if I had 10€ lying around. 

My stepmom noticed that I looked disappointed, so she approached me and told me that she'd take me on a shopping spree. She is seriously the best. I don't know what I'd do without her. She's the one person who actually understands all of my problems and helps me through them. 

My dad, however, didn't look too happy. Every year, I try not to get my hopes up. I always do, though, and it crushes me in the end. I have this wild imagination that just kills me sometimes, and today was one of those times. I hugged my dad and told him that I loved everything he got me, even though I was disappointed. Hey, I am a great liar when I need to be! Unfortunately, he knew that. He told me that he knew I was unhappy, and I couldn't work my way out of that one. I sighed and said that, oui, I was. I looked at my brother's pile of gifts, and he got all of this awesome stuff. 
My dad patted me on the back and said, "Axelle, I tried, and I'm sorry." I guess that's all that matters in the end: he tried. He didn't even have to do that. There isn't, like, this law that involves cruel and unusual punishment if you don't get your daughter a Christmas gift. 


So, I think I finally learned my lesson that presents aren't everything. I need to give the middle-aged man a break; he tried his best. I need to be more appreciative for what I have instead of focusing on what I don't. I have a good family, good food, nice clothes, expensive dance classes, and a roof over my head. I'm lucky. I just don't always see it because I get so carried away. Everything did work out fine, and I think my dad forgave me for acting like a spoiled 6-year-old. 

A la prochaine!
Axelle

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let the gift-giving begin!

Bonsoir, tout le monde et joyeux decembre ! C'est Sabine. C'est le mois de ma naissance et du noël. Oui, je suis heureuse !

Since Christmas is approaching, Julieta and I did some holiday shopping. Afterwards, we returned to her room to do some wrapping.

We broke out the bags and ribbons and were ready to begin the fun disaster that is gift wrapping.

Julieta lined a Christmas-y red bag with some white tissue paper. 

I plopped the gift in the bag and covered it with the remaining paper...

...and I embellished the bag with pretty silver, blue, and red ribbons to make the bag look more festive.

I took a picture of Julieta posing with the first (completed) wrapped present.

Julieta got to work with wrapping two other gifts. Both gifts were so cute, but I can't say what they are! That would ruin the surprise, especially if the recipients read this blog!

While Julieta was doing that, I put together a Christmas/birthday gift for a friend. Isn't the bag the cutest? My friend Lilly sent it to me.

Julieta chose a pretty floral ribbon for the last gift she wrapped. I think it would make a fun hair ribbon after the gift is unwrapped.

Here we are with our wrapped presents! We still have to shop for other people, but this is a good start. 

Although I LOVE receiving gifts as much as the next girl, I also have a lot of fun choosing gifts for friends. I get so excited when I find the perfect gift- I know I have to buy it! I have had one of my friend's gifts since this summer. It was just so her; I couldn't resist.

Have you done your holiday shopping yet? Who did you shop for?

~Sabine

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Style Collages!

Salut, tout le monde! C'est toutes les filles qui écrivent!
Sabine will write in blue, Aurélie in pink, Sandrine in purple, and Axelle in yellow!

We recently discovered the distracting fun that is My Style Collage. Needless to say, we decided to make some.

I'll present mine first. Obviously, I photoshopped it so that the girl would have brown eyes like me. Here's an explanation of what I chose and why I chose it.
I personally think the white fluff ball skirt that comes with that sweater outfit is terrible. It looks like a giant cotton ball. I don't like the boots. The leggings are cute, and I am IN LOVE with that sweater. I will own it someday, I swear! I also chose the black coat because I received that as a birthday present last year! I also love the watch; I wear it almost every single day. Of course, my signature glasses had to be in this! I chose the desk because I love school and learning, and the chocolate lab is in the photo since I have one of my own. Her name is Cocoa Chanel. 
The adjectives are pretty self-explanatory. I love to sing. My dream is to be an international pop star, but since that won't happen, I guess I'll settle for clinical psychologist. I chose smart because, um, I think I'm smart. I get good grades....that's something...? I am adventurous because I love traveling and languages. 
The nutcracker is in the photo to represent your twin sister, right? *winks*
No, Sandrine, it just happened to be in the photo with the jacket.
Whatever. Your loss!

So, there weren't any likenesses of me. Not everybody can be as good-looking as I am, je sais
Here are my choices and explanations: I have that cheetah-print dress, and it is definitely one of my favorites. However, the flats that come with it are gross. I wear the boots that are shown in my collage with it. Did I mention that I am a total boot addict? I LOVE BOOTS. I have way too many pairs. I really want an awesome black pair with gold studs. Maybe for Christmas or my birthday? That ballet outfit is totally inaccurate and looks like something a five-year-old would wear to play dress-up, but seeing as I am a future professional dancer and ballet is my life, I HAD to include it! I also steal that black jacket of Sabine's, so it made its way into the collage. The nutcracker is PERFECT, considering I'm a dancer AND currently rehearsing for The Nutcracker. Earrings are there because they are my obsession, and I love doing hair, which explains the hair stuff.
I AM SO UPSET  THAT YOU GOT A BETTER ROLE THAN ME!
Start caring more, Axelle. Geesh, leave me alone for once.
I'm on to you, Sandrine.
Cool. You won't discover anything.
That's what you think.
Leave me alone. Get a life other than obsessing over mine!
I'm not obsessing over yours. It's more like I am trying to figure out stuff about you...
End this. Now.

Mine is very pink, but there is nothing wrong with that!
Actually, there is something wrong with that. Everything is wrong with that. Pink is the most saccharine color of them all, just like you, I guess. Yeah, too much pink exists. You've proved that by making this collage. 
Okay, Sandrine, that is your opinion...anyway, like Sandrine, I would love to be a professional dancer! Ballet is my passion, my life, my everything. I happen to own that cream dress in my collage, and I love it. It's definitely my style. I really want that pretty pink lace skirt! Ugh, I haven't seen anything that cute. My adjectives correspond with my hobbies and me. I chose "dancer" because that's what I am! I am also a musician and just adore playing my flute! I love fashion, clothes, and all that fun stuff!
You can't be a fashionista and only wear freaking PINK. The only fashionista you'd be is a Barbie doll clone.
Pink is just a color; the style of the clothes matters as well as the color!
Pink is gross. I rest my case. Excuse me while I vomit.
Sandrine! 
Ta gueule, Sabine!

Oh, look, it's my least favorite collage. Actually, wait. It's a tie with Aurélie's pinkpocalypse. 
Looks like somebody's jealous!
Oh, jealously isn't even a word I would use to describe myself when it comes to you. I'm actually furious with you for being so invasive.
Once I uncover the truth, I will stop being invasive. I am an investigative journalist.
In. Your. Dreams.
I'll keep dreaming, then. ;) Anyway, thanks to Photoshop, I have a little Axelle likeness! Yay, photo editing!
So, I put the tutu and leotard in my collage because I am a dancer! I have no desire to dance professionally. I just take ballet because I obviously have nothing better to do with my team. I mean, I do. I can try to uncover people's life stories. Anyway, I chose that gold dress because I thought it looked pretty. I'd look nice in it. Not sure why I chose the snowman. It was cute, and I felt bad for it. I chose the food to take up space. That stupid collage maker didn't have stuff I actually like to do.
LIKE STALKING ME.
I don't stalk you! I spy on you.
And you wonder why we aren't friends?
I don't need you as a friend, anyway.
SANDRINE, STOP FIGHTING WITH PEOPLE!
I'm not fighting! I'm having a constructive argument with Axelle!
The only thing constructive is...never mind.
I hope you enjoyed this post! We probably won't do anything like this again because of my sister being argumentative and stuff (though I do agree about the pink overload...sorry, Aurélie!).
C'est bien, je sais que tu n'aimes pas rose! '
Oh, I see how it is! It's fine if Sabine says it, but if I say I hate pink...
You've lost your laptop privileges, Sandrine!

Anyway, if you make a collage, let us know! We'd love to check them out!
Unless you get crazy with the color pink. In that case, I won't check them out.
Who needs Sandrine? I'll still look at them!

Sabine

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Nutcracker/No Life Season!

Salut! C'est Axelle! Comment allez-vous, mes chers lecteurs?

I am actually very happy to be blogging right now because as the title indicates, it is "No Life Season"! In other words, it's Nutcracker season. You know what that means, right? I have to have a life most nights of the week. I can't read or write or do anything else that I love. It's all ballet and putting the minimum amount of effort into my homework. Hey, it sounds worse than it is. I always get good grades.

Back to ballet. Er, The Nutcracker. Er, the reason I have a life now. Er, the reason why I haven't written any quality material in the past week. As the actual performance nears, my life becomes all about ballet. It's especially hard since I am in my school's pre-professional division, and the instructors push you. I don't really like being pushed. This also means that the instructors HATE students who are late. Well, unfortunately for them, I am late almost every single day.

Here's why I was late today. To be honest, I'm a forgetful person, and I forget everything. I normally don't think of these things until after the fact, but today, I remembered to double-check!

Before I left my mom's small, in-no-way-luxurious apartment, I turned around because I had this hunch that I forget something. Pretty strange. I never feel like that, even when I do forget stuff.

I looked through my dance bag. Guess who forgot their tights?! That wouldn't have been good. 

They were right where I left them- hanging from my sock drawer.

I also found a pretty plaid hair ribbon. I have to accessorize my bun, you know!

I arrived at the studio five minutes into class. Since it is "socially unacceptable" to wear your dance clothes on the street, I still had to change. Unfortunately for me, I discovered that the tights I grabbed were BRAND-NEW TIGHTS. That means that they weren't stretched out, they were tight, and they were hard to pull on. The struggle was real.

At least I chose a leotard that was a size too big for me. That was pretty easy to tug on.

I guess I forgot that I forgot my pointe shoes! My instructor was going to be furious. I'm a reed flute in this year's performance, and that is always done en pointe. I put on my old, canvas slippers and hoped that nobody would notice...

We were now fifteen minutes into class, so I didn't put my hair in a bun. I just tied it back with a ribbon.
\
Not only did I get screamed at for being late, I was also in trouble for not putting my hair in a bun. My instructor sent me into the dressing room again and demanded that I at least put my hair in the bun. She, fortunately, didn't notice my lack of pointe shoes.

That was my eventful practice. Do you any of you guys dance? If so, are you going to be in your studio's production of The Nutcracker? What role are you dancing?

I will hopefully post performance photos at some pointe! (See what I did there)?
~Axelle (:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New to blogging, but not to writing!

Bonjour! Il y aura un nouvel auteur de ce blog...MOI, Axelle Aubain !

I heard that I get to practice my English by writing on this blog. EXCITING! Where do I begin? Hmm, well, hopefully, you caught onto my name: Axelle Elise Aubain. I'm a half-French, half-Algerian girl with BEAUTIFUL curls. Most people with curly hair want straight hair, but I don't!

I'm sure you're wondering about my name, especially since I said I was half-Algerian. My dad is French, and my mom is from Algeria. For conformist purposes, my parents didn't want me to have an Algerian first or middle name. The French don't take well to foreigners, as I've been learning for years. I am a French citizen who was born and raised in Lille. However, since my parents' divorce five years ago, I've been living in Roubaix every other week and half of school vacations. It's a little living situation called une semaine sur deux. There's even a movie with that title, and I suggest you watch it. I can relate.

Let's talk about my background for a second. I live this this country called France. This country loves secularism and assimilation. Because of this, it is my dream to live in New York City. I know what you're thinking: why NYC? We French think of NYC like you Americans think of Paris. It's a magical idea. Anyway, I want to live in a place where it is okay to be different. The American Dream sounds beautiful to me. 

Let's now talk about secularism. What is secularism? Have you ever heard of laïcité? Here's the deal. In France, we keep things secular. That is just a fancy way of saying that we believe in the separation of church in state. Sometimes, we believe in it so much that we think any expression of religion is bad. You cannot wear anything that indicates your faith in government-run places. For example, think twice before you wear that cross necklace to school. Most importantly, think twice before you wear your hijab, or head scarf, ANYWHERE. You definitely can't wear it in government-run places, but even if you wear it to places that aren't government-run, you are going to face discrimination and many prejudices. There is a fear that Muslims are taking jobs and the French don't like that many Muslims do not integrate into French society. 

That leads us to the main problem about being a Muslim in France: lack of assimilation. Many French (not all, of course) resent that Muslims are not integrating into the culture and society. Many Muslims refuse to assimilate. Stereotypes do feed into it (thinking that all Muslims are terrorists, etc), but the biggest role is that Muslims just aren't as open to assimilation. That, in a nutshell, is why the United States sounds like an awesome country. The US doesn't push cultural and societal assimilation. Since the US was founded by immigrants, immigrants are accepted and welcomed.


How does any of this play into my problems? I'm a girl with no faith. I feel pressure from my mom to practice Islam, and I feel pressure from my dad to be a non-practicing Roman Catholic. What's worse is that I feel pressure from society to avoid Islam. They don't know the true Islam, though. The religion is about love, and it is actually more similar to Christianity than most people think. Those terrorists aren't true Muslims; they are extremists. I'm just so torn on this. I want to believe in something, but it's so hard when I'm being pulled in several different directions. Religion is important to my mom, and that is why the issue is so important to me. I eat halal foods when I'm with my mom, and after spending time with my mom, it's hard to be with my dad who likes to serve alcohol, which is strictly forbidden by the Qur'an.

I just don't know how to be true to myself AND how to be true to my parents. I don't want to upset either one by my choices.

Enough about that! Let's talk about ME!!! I'm clever, sneaky, nosy, and lazy. I admitted to my faults. I love to get into people's business and eavesdrop on conversations, all of which is HIGHLY frowned upon. I used to think it would be cool to be a private investigator. I ALWAYS find out the truth about people. My methods have yet to fail me.
I'm a dancer. I've been taking at the Ballet du Nord's studio since I was a wee little Axelle Aubain. I'm pretty good; my teachers and fellow dancers say so. However, I'm lazy and don't put as much time into ballet as I should. That sometimes leads me to get really crappy parts in productions.
I'm also lazy when it comes to school. I do just enough to get decent grades, but it's not like I kill myself over it.

I'm not as good of a friend as I'd like to be, but I'm working on changing that. Maybe.

I talked about the bad. Let's discuss the good. I am OBSESSED with writing. Writing is basically my life: it is my way to communicate my thoughts and ideas. I love creating and imagining things. I keep a very active journal, and I also write my own news articles. I want to be a journalist for La Voix du Nord someday. I even daydream about starting my own magazine for strong, Muslim women living in France. My brother, Benjamin, loves the stories that I write. I used to write stories just for him. He thinks I should be a children's author. We'll see!

That's all about me, for now! If you are still craving more, be sure to read my profile! If you have any questions for me, leave them in the comments! I would LOVE to answer them!

A tout à l'heure!
Axelle

Friday, October 11, 2013

Double-take

Salut, tout le monde! C'est Sabine, et ce soir, je suis allée à une boum. 

Julieta invited me to go to a party with her. The party was for some girl she was friends with, and Julieta assured me that I would like this girl the second I met her. I, however, wasn't so sure. Julieta seemed to love everybody, including the people I couldn't stand. 

Julieta laughed and asked if she should introduce herself to new people as "Julie Alonso". I had to laugh back. Julie Alonso was Julieta's alias because many students and teachers struggle with the "h" sound at the beginning of her first name and "s" at the end of her last name. I assured her that she would always be "Ulieta Alonso Moralé" to me. I asked Julieta why Aurélie didn't join us, and she said that Aurélie was upset with her. Aurélie asked her how she felt about the flamenco classes she was taking, and Julieta said they weren't as advanced as the classes she is used to. Well, of course! Julieta is from Sevilla! I guess that upset Aurélie, but Aurélie is ALWAYS over-sensitive. It drove me nuts, even though she's my best friend. 

Julieta told me to wait her while she found her friend. Er, she shouted. That's more accurate than "told". I tend to hate stereotypes, but there is some truth in them. Julieta is loud compared to us French, and the Spanish have a reputation for being, well, loud. It's something that I'm not used to, and it startles me. I guess I should be use to it, having spent several summers in the States with some very rambunctious friends!

She made her way through the crowd, and I felt nervous. I sometimes felt uneasy meeting new people, especially in large social settings. I love spending time with my close friends, but I really need my alone time, too. I also like to stay with my friends in these situations, so I didn't like that Julieta ditched me...even if it was only for a few minutes!

Finally, she returned with a girl and proudly declared, "Sabine, I want you to meet Sabine Brindeau! Are you sure that you and Sandrine don't have a long-lost triplet!"

I wasn't sure what she meant by that until I made eye contact with the girl. Woah. Not only did she have my hair (but with thicker bangs), she dressed like me, too.

"Are you sure we aren't related?" She giggled. I nodded "no". Who was this girl? Where did she come from? And how did Julieta of all people know her? Seriously, Julieta can't even name all of the students in our math class. I don't know how she'd meet my creepy lookalike who is probably secretly evil and wants to destroy my life. I'm pretty sure that's how it works; I've watched a lot of movies. 

"Um, who are you?" I stammered, unsure of what else to say. I was too creeped out to say anything else. 

Without making eye contact, she laughed. "Je m'appelle Sabine Brindeau. Je t'ai déjà dit cela!
Well, duh. Of course I knew her name! But who was she? How did she know Julieta? What is she doing here? I've never seen this girl a day in my life! I go to a large school, but I'm pretty sure this girl doesn't go to my school. Needless to say, I did what every angry person does. I further questioned her.

She shared some of her story. "I'm Sabine Brindeau. I'm from Lille, too, but I obviously don't go to your school. I was an exchange student in the United States last year, in the state of North Carolina, to be exact."
Great. This made sense. She probably knew Ava, and Ava probably sent her to harass me. Next time I Skyped with Ava, I was going to flip out. I asked her if she happened to know an obnoxious blonde named Ava Seffner, and she said that she didn't. She studied near Winston-Salem, not Mooresville. Or so she says...not sure if I can believe her. Ava will tell me the truth, though! Anyway, Other Sabine told me that she met a boy over there, and she really wants to go back to be with him. She said that Julieta thought she was nuts for wanting to meet this boy again. After all, Julieta was Julieta sin Romeo. I, however, was intrigued by this idea of a long-distance relationship. It probably sounded more romantic than it actually was, but being a teenage girl, I wanted her to tell me all about him. Maybe talking to her would make her seem less mysterious. However, I still don't know much about her. That is literally all I know. She wouldn't tell me what part of Lille she's from, how she knows Julieta, or any of the other invasive-yet-necessary questions I asked. I just know that she's in love. Aren't we all? I mean, all of us except for Julieta, I guess. 

I told Julieta that I wanted to go so that we could watch a movie with Aurélie. Although we both weren't on the best terms with her, I still considered her to be my best friend. I kind-of promised that we'd watch a movie together. We were going to watch Intouchables, a comedy/drama about an unexpected friendship. It was one of my favorites, and I was sure that Julieta, who hasn't really watched French films, would enjoy it, too. 
I did tell Other Sabine that I hoped to see her again, and she hesitantly said that she'd like to. Honestly, the only reason I hoped to see her again was to get more scoop on her background because like I said at least a million times, THE GIRL IGNORED SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. I am NEVER this nosy and involved in people's lives, but Julieta wanted me to meet this girl for a reason. It was my duty to find out what that reason was.  

As we left the party, I asked Julieta why she wanted me to meet Other Sabine. Julieta smiled and said, "You'll find out...algún día..."


Have you ever met a mysterious person?

~Sabine

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Follow @sabineaurore on Instagram!

Salut, tout le monde...c'est Sabine ! 

What's the big news? Well...

YOU CAN NOW FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM! That's right- you can follow me, Sabine, on Instagram. My username is @sabineaurore. Be sure to follow me!

My account is basically a behind-the-scenes look of my daily life. The photos are normally cell phone photos because as I said, it is more of a look into my life. After you follow me, be sure to follow the account that showcases better photos and features my friends: @thepoupeebrigade.

If you have an Instagram account and want me to check it out, leave me a comment with your username! If you follow me, please leave me a comment, too, so I can be sure to accept your request and check out your account. 

~Sabine

Friday, September 20, 2013

Surprises from Kit-Kat and friends!

Salut tout le monde ! C'est Sabine, et j'ai été occupée avec lycée.

Recently, I received a package from Kit-Kat and friends in the mail. It was a nice surprise, especially in the midst of a crazy school week! The day I got the package started out as a great day, though; the package just made it better. I wore my new sandals, new tank, and new lace shirt to school and received many compliments. I love wearing new clothes to school!

Here I am with some of the items in the package I received. Not everything is pictured. A pretty purple dress was also included; I just know Julien's sister will love it! A pretty black and pink Eiffel Tower gift bag is also not shown in the photo.

The first thing I will show you are fun hair accessories for Sandrine. Sandrine was at one of her dance classes when I opened the package, but she saw them when she returned, and she loves them! Purple is her favorite color, she wears a lot of black, and she loves sparkles. They are perfect for her.

The next thing was for me. They are cards with bikes on them. I love to ride my bike, so these cards were a perfect choice.

I literally freaked out about the next item- a Hannah Montana shirt! I can't wait to wear it. Isn't the print cool?

The next thing was wrapped securely in a striped bag. I wonder what could be inside?

I pulled out a cute Chinese figure!

They must have gotten her for me when they went to Vancouver! I have the perfect place for her in my room.

Special thanks to Kit, Kat, and their friends for the thoughtful surprises! It was nice to come home from school to a package.

~Sabine