Expat care packages are the best (and a holiday exchange?)

Written by Diane. Posted in on life in France


Happy Halloween! It’s a low-key day in these parts. Halloween isn’t a big deal here but still hoping to get a few trick-or-treaters so my Snickers bars won’t go to waste. Anyway, let’s talk expat care packages. You know, those awesome boxes of goodies from home that loving family and friends send because they care. Any expat will tell you how a care package makes their day, and I was lucky enough to have received a care package recently…


How living abroad changes you

Written by Diane. Posted in on life in France, travel


On my recent trip back home, I was visiting a friend when she called my name to get my attention. It went in one ear and out the other — I didn’t even react. “Diane?” she repeated. And only upon hearing it for a second time did I jump to action and reply. No, I wasn’t lost in my thoughts or out of earshot. In that moment, I just didn’t recognize Diane as my name. That’s because for the past three years, I’ve answered to “Deeanne.” Or the French pronunciation of my name (the French and American vowels don’t jive). The “i” in French is pronounced “ee” and my name sounds very similar in French to Deeanne. But more than my name has changed.

Has living abroad changed me in other ways? Of course, and maybe you can relate.

Read on for more on how living abroad changes you!

Finding a pumpkin in France (and carving success!)

Written by Diane. Posted in on life in France


It’s Monday, glorious Monday which means the weekend is over. Boooo!!! But the good news is that we found pumpkins to carve! Finding jack-o’-lantern-style pumpkins to carve in France often proves difficult. There are all types of gourd-like pumpkins and squash varieties, but good ol’ orange pumpkins to carve? Eh, not so much. After an hour of striking out at garden centers, we decided to head to a nearby harvest festival where these beauties were for sale (dammit, don’t ask how much the trio above cost. How much are pumpkins these days in the U.S.?? Just curious). We spent the afternoon carving them into creations that will definitely confuse the neighbors (no one really carves pumpkins here). So score for that.

And in other news, check out 5 foods in French grocery stores that’ll make you say WTF. With pics of it all after the jump…



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