Friday Favorites

Friday, February 24, 2017

I have been at a work conference this week -it ends tomorrow night. It's great to spend time with my teammates. I do have the best team in the world -no kidding. I hope your weekend is joyful and productive!

Ways to help refugees in the US.

Speaking of, maybe I should ask my son's school to print these.

Good tips to talk to your children about money.

I've just started reading this and am so encouraged when listening to this.

I want to do the same in my house!

I might try to make some of these recipes soon.

Always missing my Paris!

Confession... I love the suburbs!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Joe and I have lived together in Bordeaux, Los Angeles, Orange County, Seattle, San Diego, and now we’re back in Orange County. I never thought this would be where we’d settle. I had imagined London, Paris, or Bangkok -somewhere urban, filled with culture, diversity, and museums, all within walking distance of the metro. I still daydream a bit about these places but it seems that we’re here to stay. We live 20 minutes away from every core member of Joe’s family and spending time with them is our great joy -the kids and ours! I never thought I would say it but I love where we live- LOVE IT.

It’s absolutely white, posh Suburbia -it seriously looks like the set of Desperate Housewives, complete with cast and probably plot! I have to say I did cringe when we moved here. Moi, an elitist French woman, moving to the suburbs? Non merci. I fought the idea quite a bit. Intellectually I had a very hard time considering this move a good idea. I looked into diversity (terrible!), schools (excellent!), walk score (dismal!), houses (lovely!). In the end, we decided that if we were to live in Orange County it would make sense to be as close as possible to Joe’s family in an environment that was nurturing for the boys. So we moved to this slice of suburban paradise, and boy am I glad we did.

For one, the boys love living here. There are so many children their age in the neighborhood. Our oldest Léo can walk to our next-door neighbor or a couple of doors down, knock, and instantly have friends to play with. It’s perfect. We can walk to daycare and school. There are green areas to play everywhere -it’s just perfect for them.

I, on the other hand, thought that I would not mix well with the people here -especially with women who probably don’t work and vote Republican. And it’s true that the majority of the moms I know fall into both categories. But I have completely enjoyed them and learnt to tone down my dumb assumptions (how judgmental can one be? Very, apparently). On the contrary, I appreciate our shared parenthood experience and share in the humor and pain of raising little ones, exchange recipes, joke about needing wine at 2pm. Our conversations are simple, yet so friendly and joyful. I also found like-minded friends- staunch liberals who, when I waver about my commitment to this place, remind me that change happens locally, slowly, and that we must do what we can where we are - one conversation, one march, one town hall meeting or one library event at a time. What is not to love in that?

Friday Favorites

Friday, February 17, 2017

There is a storm coming this weekend, so like good people living in Southern California, we're probably going to stay indoors a lot. We're also going to a birthday party, I am leading a book club discussion at my local library, and we're spending time with family. I hope you have a relaxing and re-energizing weekend. Here are my weekly favorites:

This blog's title made me laugh (NSFW). But it's also super informative.

Portraits of strength at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu (I volunteered there for a bit in 2008)

5 things to do to raise good kids.

I want these pants!

I finished this book -I recommend it.

My new favorite podcast. I feel smarter in 15 minutes per day.

If I had time, I'd fill this planner up.

6 free personal finance courses -because who doesn't need that?

(Photo of Lake Kivu I took while in Bukavu)

The Things They Do...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This month we’re talking about love! I started last week with the things that save my life daily -little things I love that make life so much more enjoyable. Today, on Valentine’s Day, of course I must talk about my family. I met Joe in October 2001. We married in April 2005 right after I moved to the US -in February, happy US anniversary to me! Leo and Jude were born in 2011 and 2014. We are a really lovely family I have to say. Some days I think I am not meant to be a mom: I am too selfish, not patient, not smiling enough. I am not the best wife either: I nag a lot and I am not very attentive. Most days I just want to be in a cave and read. But I am a good enough mom, a good enough wife. And these two boys and one man are my strength. I love spending time with them, growing with them, and witness their lives. Also, they’re fun as heck. Here are some things they do or say that I love:

Friday Favorites

Friday, February 3, 2017

This weekend I'm going to an all-day workshop in LA organized by SURJ. Sunday is Super Bowl, so Joe is going to his brother's while I'll spend time with my sister-in-law. I hope you have a fun weekend ahead!

Stay outraged - but keep your sanity!

Meet these four women, refugees from Syria.

How to be a good parent. I particularly follow the wine on the couch guideline.

I'm starting this book today.

And these books are great for children as we celebrate Black History Month.

This rug is on my wish list. So simple but the color is amazing.

You guys! I made this recipe this week and it was delicious.

This article makes me miss Paris!

(Photo by Nick Karvounis)

What is saving my life these days

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Today I am linking up with fellow Modern Mrs. Darcy readers to list what is saving my life this season. A lot is making my life feel out of control and dark, so this is a good exercise in remembering to breathe and enjoy the little things.