Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, October 31, 2011

C & I spent some time this weekend catching up on American TV (my contribution to English weekend LOL), which of course meant lots of Halloween-themed shows and ads. C finds the whole concept of Halloween funny, so when I got into bed last night, he jumped out from under the covers and said: "Treats and tricks!!"

Me: That's not what the kids say!!
C: Hmm.....Treats or tricks?
Me: Nope, try again.
C: Treat or trick?
Me: Nooo, it's trick or treat silly!
C: ?? But why would you start with the threat first??

Which is a good point - Why DO we start with the threat first?

Secondly, C also acts as an interpreter for other police stations on the side. Most of the time, it's a couple hours here, a couple hours there. But this past Saturday, he ended up getting called in during the middle of the night and then again from 10am to 10pm. Meaning the poor guy spent his entire day hanging around a police station for a couple hours of translation. He also unfortunately missed out on Karina's surprise birthday dinner.

When I came home that night, I asked him what ended up having for dinner since he's not really allowed to leave the station while he's there. He said that he'd eaten a few things from the vending machine and then once he got home, he made "some lenses and some corn and some peanuts". (My making C try new things now means he also eats some REALLY strange combinations of foods when left to his own devices).

Of course I knew what he meant, but I wanted to tease him a little bit, so I said "Lenses?" and he was like "Oh, is that not what you say?" While I was laughing, he thought for a bit and said "Hmm....maybe it's lee-tle beans? Which of course led to more laughter and saying "Noooo, it's lentils my dear."

There's never a dull day in this household, I tell ya.


Friday, October 28, 2011

This post probably won't interested a lot of you, but I did want to talk about our prestataires - I had a hard time finding recommendations from people, so I'm going to put mine down here in case they might be useful to someone else out there.

I got my hair done by a French woman who worked for a fancy French salon in NYC for ten years, and I'm really happy with how my hair turned out. She doesn't have a website (and she wasn't necessarily the most reliable person in the world), but if anyone is interested in her contact info, just let me know.

The hair piece I had in came from Etsy shop called PetalnPearlBoutique. They make all kinds of hair clips, head bands, combs, shoe accessories etc that can be customized to match either your dress or your bridesmaids' dresses. They were so much fun to work with and I'm really happy with how mine turned out. Plus their prices are super reasonable, even with shipping to France.

The make-up lady came recommended by Heather, and I loved that she was Finnish. She doesn't have a website either, but she was very professional and absolutely lovely and I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

My flowers came from Au Nom de la Rose - they were very willing to customize the bouquet to match my dress and I found their prices very reasonable for wedding items.

I had my dress alterations done by Grain de Coton, again for very reasonable prices, especially for Paris. As a side note, this store also rents wedding dresses and wedding accessories, so you can either rent a dress there or rent out your wedding dress if it's just sitting in your closet collecting dust. I believe she also offers to sell them for you as well.

The pictures were taken by two photographers - the ceremony and the dinner/party were taken by L's husband B. As you can see from the pictures, he did a really nice job, so if anyone is looking for an English-speaking photographer, give him a holler!

The pictures that were taken around Paris were done by Isabelle Nery - she also caters to Anglophones and she does a lot of family and engagement pictures for American tourists. She was nice, but I did sort of feel like she didn't really take the time to get to know us as a couple, so she was trying to force us do things that were really our style. But one of her pluses compared to other photographers we'd met with was that she had a driver/assistant who drove us from site to site so I didn't need to trek around Paris in my wedding dress. And we did get some really beautiful shots from her too, so I can't complain too much.

The cake came from Cat at SugarDaze. She mostly does cupcakes, but she also bakes and decorates American-style cakes for weddings, birthday parties, baptisms, etc. Our cake was delicious and I really loved how it turned out - I'd recommend checking our her flickr page for more examples because she is one creative lady and I guarantee you will leave hungry!

Lastly, we had the wedding dinner at 138 parnasse. We've been eating there for a few years now, so we know the owners, and they did a great job for our wedding dinner. Their son recently took over though and upped their prices by a ton, so I'm not sure if we'll continue eating there on a regular basis or not. But even with the higher prices, it remains one of those restaurants where you can go and be assured of getting a good French meal with great service to boot.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The outakes

I have no idea why the hair lady had to do this to my hair before combing it back, but it sure made for some funny photos:

My hair will likely never have this much volume again
Yo, listen to me, I am the Bride!

Karina also took a few pictures right before the ceremony starts that I found really funny - they make it look like I am really upset and yelling at C:
Hold up, what's going on here?Even Animesh is starting to look concerned...
What makes it even funnier is that I have no memory of what was going on in that moment that would make me look that way, and neither does C.

Thanks for citizenship Sarko! (No seriously, thanks - it made getting married a lot easier LOL)I call this my ANTM face - how that for some smize-ing Tyra??
I cannot tell you the number of people who were completely oblivious to us and who had no problem with being in the background of our pictures. It was hilarious - like here we are sharing a romantic kiss while the jogger behind us is complaining that the owner of this stand stepped out for a minute and how is she supposed to stay hydrated if she can't buy a bottle of water??Mutiply that by 20 other people walking on through in various get-ups, and it made for some pretty funny pictures!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

We also had pictures taken at various sites around Paris. We started off in the Jardins de Luxembourg, as a sort of hommage to my shoebox & C's favorite park:
And then moved on down by the Seine:
After that, we took a few pics on the various bridges:And down by the peniches:
In front of the Institut de France:
Then it was on over to the Eiffel Tower:
And finally a few more bridge shots:Whew! That's enough smiling for one day.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Le Best Of

Heading into the Mairie - can you see the relief on my face that I wasn't too late??
Have children. Many children. And have them in the 15th. Salle de mariage ceiling
The ringsWe did it!'"Can you spare a dime lady?'' Do I look like I have a dime on me??The wedding car (ie. the reason I was almost late to my own wedding)
My favorite photoTrying to make C let me feed him some cake - can you see the hesitation in his face?Time to crash into bed, complete with the pillows my aunt sent us(after spending five minutes explaining the jeu-de-mot to C that is)

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Scenes from the South of France, part IV

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scenes from the South of France, part III

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Harcourt Studios

A few weeks back, there was a bit in Heather's Secrets of Paris Newsletter that caught my eye. I've always heard about the Harcourt Studios, and how the stars & bourgeoisie of Paris loved getting their picture taken by them, and now it's finally accessible to us normal folk thanks to a few photo booths they have set up around Paris.

It took them over a year of research to develop a booth that could reproduce their infamous lighting techniques, and now you can get the same result for 10€ instead of paying 1000€+. The first booth was put in at the MK2 Bibliothèque and now they've installed a second one at the Franck et Fils boutique in the 16th.

C went to try it out the other day, and I really like the results, even if he wasn't too happy with the photo. He is a giant, so the seat in the booth was much too high for him, which meant the lighting was a bit off and he had to scrunch down in an awkward pose to take the picture. I however think he looks like a handsome 1930's police detective (though I admit I may be biased) :Speaking of photos, we finally got the links to our wedding pictures, and I can't wait to go through them this weekend! I'll post a few once we've had a chance to pick out our favorites.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Since C & I won't be going on our real honeymoon until December, we decided to do a mini-honeymoon in a fancy hotel and at least spend one night away together. I really wanted to find a hotel with a view of Paris, and it was actually a lot harder than one would think. (Unless we wanted to spend 1000€ night - um, no thanks). We ended up booking a room at the Concorde Lafayette, and they very kindly upgraded us to one of their few rooms with a full-on view of the Eiffel Tower once they realized we'd just gotten married.It also had a lovely over the room tops of Paris:
And I liked the little extras, like a funny fruit bowl:and the flower petals in the bathroom:We had champagne while enjoying the view:
And then watched the sunset over the city:
By some miracle of God, I did not get any early morning phone calls for work and we were able to sleep in and recuperate from all of the wedding craziness. And then we went down to have what has to be THE best hotel breakfast I've ever had. It was delicious and amazing - they even had three different kinds of cheddar to choose from. Combine that with another nap and a late check-out and you've got one happy Ksam. So two thumbs up for the Concorde Lafeyette - and I'd definitely recommend checking out their newly redesigned top-floor bar once it reopens in a few months.

As a side note, does anyone know why the Eiffel Tower always shows up so small in pictures? It was as close as in the second picture up top, but it always ends up looking much farther away on the camera.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Friday, October 7, 2011

A hungry bride is a cranky bride

The day of the wedding, the hair & make-up "artists" arrived not long after I woke up, so I didn't really get a chance to eat. I also didn't realize that once my make-up was done, I wouldn't be allowed to eat or drink. It was early, and I'm telling you people, I needed caffeine. Note to future brides - either eat a lot beforehand or buy some straws!!

So to pick up from where we left off, after the wedding we headed over to the park to drink a glass of champagne and take some pictures. My dress had a long train and it kept getting stepped on, mainly by C, so I wanted to attach it up. I had a few friends attempt to do it, but it wasn't really working and since I couldn't see anything, I wasn't much help to them. I was starting to get a bit cranky on an empty stomach, so I just let it go and went to take pictures.

Once we got home though, I wanted that darn train pinned up. And we were still struggling to do so, and Bridezilla reared her ugly head again. I was about ready to take a pair of scissors and cut the damn thing off myself (especially since there were a few footprints on them & I didn't want them to show in the pictures). I may have said a swear word or two. But we finally got it figured out and I was able to sit down for a few minutes of peace and quiet (and grab a quick bite to eat) before we had to leave for our picture session.

We took pictures at three spots - Luxembourg gardens (in a hommage to my shoebox), down by the Seine (luckily you can't smell pee in pictures) and over by the Bir Hakeim bridge (note to tourists - if you see people taking wedding shots, get out of the background!).

We'll have to wait two-three weeks to get them back, but hopefully they turned out nice. L's husband also took pictures for us at the Mairie and in the park with his fancy new camera - the few he's sent so far have been beautiful, and I can't wait to see the rest. And Karina and MG posted a few to Facebook as well, which I know my family back home appreciated.

We went straight from the pictures to the dinner. It was a bit confusing since I'd forgotten the list containing everyone's dinner choices in the car, but everything worked itself out and hopefully everyone had a nice meal. A few of C's friends gave short speeches - including one about a husband went on a honeymoon without his wife because they didn't have enough money to pay for two tickets and another who said "Mariage ensoleillé, mariage éternité".

And then it was back home for cake and champagne. We had Cat over at Sugar Daze make the cake, and she did a lovely job. The bottom layer was chocolate and the top layer was red-velvet:
I also have to give a shout-out to Sophie for helping C's dad navigate Paris with the cake and for decorating while we were out taking pictures. Thank you that, and for pushing us to have a reception afterwards (even though organizing it was a pain in the ass lol).

Thank you as well to all the guests who came from both near and far to share our special day with us - we are so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful friends!

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

The one in which I almost miss my own wedding

Well here, I am, five days into married life. I haven't had much time to write since my family was here and they wanted to take advantage of their last few days in Paris.

But last weekend ended up being an absolutely lovely weekend and the weather - omg, the weather - who would've thunk it?! A rainy wedding wouldn't have stressed me out (after all, mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux right?), but I was hoping it would be nice for our picture session, so I jokingly told C I was going to do some positive visualization, ie that I was going to picture us walking out of the Mairie under a bright blue sky. It became kind of a joke between us - because really, what were the chances of it being uber nice on October 1st? But I still kept doing it - every day, for just a few seconds, I would imagine our wedding day being bright and sunny, with not a cloud in the sky. It's not that I really believe in that kind of stuff, but I always figure that throwing positives out to the universe can't hurt. And what do you know - we had a clear day with a high of almost 30°C!

Despite everything going on, I think I managed to stay relatively calm bride, minus two small Bridezilla incidents. The first being when we were on our way to the Mairie, but got held up because we couldn't get the gigantic mercedes out of the garage. I was sitting there, as we inched forward and reversed, inched forward and reversed, watching the clock tick by.


Did I mention I was supposed to be getting married at 11am?

Um yeah.

We finally got the car out, and we raced over to the city hall. My mind was racing as well - like "How could I be late for my own wedding??". And then we get there, only to find the parking lot in front of the city hall was full! (As a side note, most Vinci parking lots will let you park for free on your wedding day and on your birthday). My poor brother - who has never been to Paris before, let alone driven in the city - was left to fend for himself and find a parking spot while I jumped out of the car and ran over. Luckily they were running behind and he found a spot easily enough, so I was able to breath for a few minutes and say hello to everyone before we were ushered inside.

The ceremony itself was short and sweet - though the Adjoint Maire did make a few too many references to having multiple children for my liking. Have children! Have many children! And have them in the 15th! It was one of the things he'd asked us last week, and now I'm curious to whether or not he would have married us had we said no. He also leaned in to give me a bisous afterward, and it lasted just a little bit too long....Those of you in the countryside will know what I'm talking about. Like when you show up at the village bar and you have to make the rounds to say hello to everyone, and all the greasy old men at the bar insist on leaning in for a kiss that is accidentally-on-purpose way too close to your mouth.

And then it was over and we had a piece of paper saying we were married. It's actually kind of funny when you think about it - that this tiny piece of paper can carry such weight and be a legally binding document. Like one second you're not married, and then *bam* you are.

How about that?

In the next episode: A hungry bride is a cranky bride....

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