Monday French Reading

I woke up today to the sound of obnoxious morning traffic, unusual for our quiet little street off of the main boulevard. September 1st, also happening to land on a Monday, unofficially marks the end of glorious summer vacation for the French, and the beginning of nothing more exciting than the daily grind of work… 

I got up, tied my hair in a bun, put on my glasses, and sleepily made myself a cup of coffee in the kitchen. When I came back to the salon, I came across my boyfriend’s French version of the Harvard Business Review. 

What better way to get ready for school than a proper dose of Business French!

Let me tell you, the French translated version of the review is a wonderful way to brush up on your French. Here’s why:

  1. Due to the international nature of business, French business words are similar in roots to their English counterparts, with some even adopting the word itself (“marketing” and “business plan”, spoken exclusively in a French accent of course). For this reason, especially for those with a business background, it’s easy to decipher the meaning of foreign business words.
  2. Business writing prides itself in simplicity, both in verb usage and vocabulary. French written verb conjugations are notorious for their variations, with some changing up the verb so much that it can become indecipherable. Verbs are kind of important in understanding a sentence, so having conjugations in mostly present and past with an occasional conditional?  It can’t get better than that. 
  3. The review is translated from English after all. Even though my boyfriend claims it’s perfect French, I still find it oddly similar to the sentence constructions of the English language…

So there’s my Monday French reading with a business twist. Any other recommendations for brushing up on French?

A Little Something

It is a little acknowledged but universally true fact that every girl has at some point in her life experienced a sudden fluttering in her chest the moment she sees a little object of something or another, that for a thoroughly inexplicable reason, has wholly and irrevocably captured her heart. "Oh my gosh, this. is. SO cute!". 

Immediately following our vacation at the end of August, we will move in once and for all to our new apartment! And so these days I've been scrolling along Le Marais, little streets filled with boutiques of every kind (especially home décor), contemplating which and what kind of arrangements would be appropriate for our new home. White or color picture frames? Paintings or modern art? Eclectic or matching? Wholly white silverware or with some fine detailing? It is really quite difficult shopping for a home you have yet to live in. 

While we bought most our furniture already during a massive trip to Ikea last week (we decided on the two primary colors so far: white and wood. It's going to be contemporary on the modern side with a splash of light wood hues), I'm still scoping out where I can buy the little things.

I love things that have meaning, so everytime I look at them, it reminds me of a moment or event in my life that made me feel something. This diffuser that I bought on Tuesday is small and simple, but it will always remind me of three things: 1) my friend in New York, 2) the girl at Jo Malone, and 3) that things are always better when you wait for them.

Diffuser for the Home: English Pear & Freesia by Jo Malone

I was first introduced to Jo Malone by a friend in New York, who begged me to smell the scents at their store. I had a coup de foudre with English Pear & Freesia, which reminded me of a little girl playing with clean linens her mother had just washed. It was so simple, fresh, and pure, not to mention the gorgeous black and white packaging with a small black bow. I left that day thinking I already had one too many perfumes. 

Many months later, I was now in Paris, and saw their stores everywhere. Each time I would go in and smell the scents, but would never buy it. I never had a reason.

Finally, this week, it was an Asian girl working there who greeted me. Soft spoken and with a lovely smile, she had none of the motives of a typical sales person. She was genuinely interested in sharing the scents with me, and we began talking. I soon learned that she was a student studying in Paris, just like me. We also liked many of the same things. 

When I couldn't decide on the perfume, I saw the room diffuser that was the perfect décor item for our new apartment. A scent in the foyer that I'll come home to everyday and be able to share with W and friends (who come over for tea, hehe). And even though the girl and I never exchanged contact information, I know I'll never forget her. 

And what do you know, I scented our room that night and W absolutely ADORED it!