Friday, August 30, 2013

La rentrée!

Salut, tout le monde! C'est Sabine! Aujourd'hui, j'ai acheté beaucoup des nouvelles choses pour l'école. C'est ma première de lycée, et j'ai un peu de peur !


As many of you may know, I will be starting lycée (the French equivalent to high school) this year. In France, we have four years of collège (middle school) and three years of lycée. The education system in France is highly centralized. It does not work like it does in the US. You know how schools in the US differ on when students go back to school? In France, every student goes back on the same day. This year, our first day is September 3rd. Every student in France has the same break for Toussaint and Christmas, but our winter and spring breaks vary by zones.

We call our back-to-school period la rentrée. During la rentrée, everybody does their back-to-school shopping and prepares to go back to school. My mom took Sandrine and me shopping today. I saved a lot of money throughout the year, so I was able to buy a lot of cool, new stuff! Sadly, I'm now broke.

For my books, I bought a nice cartable. It's like a backpack, only more rectangular. We don't do backpacks in France. You have to carry a cartable to school...no "if"s, "and"s, or "but"s! Remember how I said that the education system was very centralized? Well, it's even like that when it comes to school supplies! In America, students can express their individual personalities with fun notebooks and binders and so in. In France, you get an extremely specific shopping list. This list gets as specific as the weight, color, and dimensions of notebooks, etc! We use gray pencils without erasers. We use pens WAY more than pencils. Don't even think about turning something in if it isn't in pen (and in the right color of ink). The most famous pen we use is the stylo à cinq couleurs. You've probably something like that before. We don't erase: we use white-out. EVERYBODY has the exact same school supplies as you do. There is no expressing individuality. Everybody's school supplies are the same. 

Now...onto the fun stuff...clothes! I bought this awesome belt to go with several outfits. It's definitely an investment piece since it'll go with a lot!

I love this cream lace tank I found! I got it on sale for a fraction of the original price! I can't wait to wear it!

I got a new basic black tank and an off-the-shoulder lace top.

I found this pretty white tank on sale, too. It will be a great piece for layering.

I'm IN LOVE with the short-sleeved black cardigan I bought! It is perfect for the weather now!

I also found this adorable striped tunic. I've been wanting something like this for years!

The infinity scarf I'm wearing now is also new. I love it! 

So, dear readers, when do you go back to school? Have you finished your back-to-school shopping? What do you think I should wear on my first day?

~Sabine

Friday, August 23, 2013

Accessorize it (and follow Sandrine on Pinterest)!

Salut, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine!

When I attended the Global Outreach program in the US this summer, my friend Chrissa and I went shopping. There is a cute accessory store in America called Icing, and some of the items I saw looked enticing. I suggested to Chrissa that we go check it out. Needless to say, a few minutes later, I came out with new earrings and a hairbow!

My new earrings are sterling silver dangles with faux diamonds. I love that they go with almost everything.

For those of you who don't know me by now, I am obsessed with fun hair accessories! They really spice up the fun hairstyles that I find on Pinterest. 

Speaking of Pinterest, did you know that I have my own Pinterest account? FOLLOW ME to catch a glimpse of the things I love. If you have a Pinterest account, too, let me know your URL so I can follow you. 

Do you like hair accessories? What types of hair accessories are your favorite?

Gros bisous,
Sandrine

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Chance of a Lifetime

Coucou, c'est Aurélie!
Last month, from July 8-July 18, I had the time of my life dancing at l'école de danse de l'Opéra National de Paris's first summer ballet intensive. 
This is the first time that the school has ever really opened its doors to the general public. The school is typically very private, which is definitely more French in nature. It's so common to hear of elite ballet schools in the US, for example, hosting summer intensives, but that isn't the case in France. I considered it to be a great honor to step into a "private" world. 


It was nice to be surrounded by people who were just like me. Everybody who was selected to attend seemed to want to have a professional dance career someday. At first, I was worried that I wasn't going to have anybody to hang out with. Sandrine was definitely not an option. She's deemed me as serious competition since we first started dancing together, and that is one of the reasons that we were never and can never be friends. Sandrine doesn't like to befriend competition, and she saw the other attendees of the intensive as competition, so she mostly kept to herself and pushed herself to be the best. Rooming with Sandrine wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, either. She kept to herself and didn't talk to me. I was fine with that. I really wasn't sure what to say to her, either.


Overall, I had a wonderful experience. It was nice to work with the school's instructors and improve upon technique that would prepare me for a professional career. It was an eye-opening experience inside a world that has intrigued me since I was a little girl, and it confirmed that dancing professionally is what I want to do. Even though I had fun, it was challenging, which kept me on my toes (figuratively AND literally). 

Have you ever had a life-changing experience? What was it?

Bisous,
Aurélie