Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hello, Santa? It's Me Again...

I'm scared to look at my phone bill this month. I've been calling the North Pole like nobody's business and I'm pretty sure that zone isn't part of my calling plan. But what am I supposed to do when my son is being naughty and he calls my bluff?

I call the big guy up north.

And... it's really not working for me. At all. My three-year-old son is totally on to me.

Check out the full article: "Hello, Santa? It's Me Again."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Kindness After the Paris Attacks

Immediately following the November 13th Paris attacks, I was contacted by a few different sites to write an article about it. Being less than two miles away from where one of the attacks happened, and living in a city where the effects of the attacks continue to be felt, it seemed I was a decent candidate to write about them.

I was flattered. But I was also at a loss for words. I couldn't really figure out what I wanted to say about it. What was different about my experience? We'd all gone through it in different ways, some much more affected than others.

Finally, I was able to put something in words, taking on the angle of a parent with small kids.

I shared my story over on TODAY Parents: "Kindness After the Paris Attacks". Give it a read and feel free to leave a comment!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What to Give Santa? What About This Tasty Cocktail...

This month, Bon Bon Break has a lovely theme: Giving. Their posts range from funny to heartwarming, from interesting reads to helpful tips. And the theme is sponsored by Water Aid, an incredibly worthy cause. (Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.)

So why am I yakking on about it? Well, besides being a big fan of Bon Bon Break AND charitable causes, I also wanted to share a post I wrote for the theme. Here's a teaser:

With two young children in my house, there’s a lot of focus on what Santa is going to give them. But what about what we are going to give Jolly Ol’ St. Nick? My kids better be careful or they’ll end up with lumps of coal in their stockings. And last I checked, that wasn’t anywhere on their lengthy wish lists.

Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Read on for the rest of the story and the recipe!

Monday, November 2, 2015

8 Things to do Once the Kids Go to Bed

The other night Mika had to work late. He NEVER does that. Which means I'm NEVER alone with both kids on a busy weeknight. I had to pick them up from the creche/school and get them both home. Uphill, sweating, as Leo pointed out one motorcycle that was broken and EVERY MOTORCYCLE IN THE ENTIRE CITY OF PARIS that was not broken. There were a lot.

Then I had to cook them both dinner. Then give them both baths without them drowning. Then get them to bed without them screaming.

I realize a lot of parents fly solo all the time: single parents, parents with a spouse in the military, or parents with a spouse who works late or works a different shift. That's not me. I'm totally spoiled because I almost always have Mika by my side to help! He's awesome!

I was sure the evening would be a disaster because even regular evenings are tough. But the kids were angels! It was amazing! For a second I wondered if I'd picked up someone else's kids from the creche/school!

Then I had a little time to kill before Mika got home. What to do... Luckily I wrote an article about it on BLUNTmoms! Check out 8 Things To Do Once the Kids Go to Bed if you find yourself with a few surprisingly peaceful late-night moments.

Here's a taste:

4. Catch up on your email. Then get distracted by an article about leggings or vaccines or belly wraps, and blow through the rest of your free time without clearing a single email from your inbox.

Because, yeah, with all the things I could have done with my free evening, that's how I ended up spending it. Check out the full article for the other 7 ideas!

Article on BLUNTmoms

Friday, October 23, 2015

6 Apps That Should Totally Exist

Are you reading this on your phone?

If yes, then you're totally going to love this article.

And if not, your phone probably still isn't too far out of reach, so I think you'll still like this article.

Check out my article, 6 Apps That Should Totally Exist, over on Sammiches & Psych Meds, because seriously, these apps should totally exist!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Time for Christmas already?

It's not even Halloween yet and I'm already talking about Christmas? I'm the worst! But I just can't help myself because COCKTAILS.

Yup, that's right, my latest book, Christmas Confessions & Cocktails is not only about Christmas but also has 25 deliciously festive cocktails. So it would be a shame to make you wait for those. I'm really just looking out for you.

Not ready to take the boozy plunge yet? Here's some early praise for Christmas Confessions & Cocktails to help convince you:

"I loved it--it had me laughing out loud as I nodded my head with familiarity. The perfect way to kick-start your Christmas cheer."
- Aimee Horton, author of Survival of the Christmas Spirit
(Follow her on: Website | Facebook | Twitter)

"Bubbly and delicious, with a surprisingly delightful kick, Vicki Lesage's hilarious and heartwarming collection of stories is the perfect holiday cocktail!"
- Kathryn Leehane, author and humorist at Foxy Wine Pocket
(Follow her on: Website | Facebook | Twitter)

"From pot-luck shaming to creepy Christmas caves to mutant flying insects, Christmas Confessions & Cocktails has absolutely everything you need to make your season hilarious! This latest installment in the Confessions series from writer and humorist Vicki Lesage is full of hysterical Yuletide tales and delicious cocktail recipes. The perfect holiday gift for the person in your life who loves to laugh!"
- Sarah del Rio, author, editor, and the woman behind the curtain at humor site est. 1975
(Follow her on: Website | Facebook | Twitter)

Monday, October 5, 2015

8 Ways Substitute Teaching Prepared Me for Parenthood

Back in college I was a substitute teacher. You'd think that would mean it was the kids who were doing all the learning, but I learned quite a bit myself...

Today I'm over on BonBon Break with 8 things in particular I learned. If you count this as learning:

#5 Don’t let them pit you against their regular teacher/ the other parent.

“Mrs. Brown lets us talk while we write our essays.”

“Dad lets us eat pizza and candy for breakfast.”

“Mr. Elliott said it’s OK to eat Cheetos in chem lab as long as we share.”

Don’t be fooled! Your subs said it to you, now it’s your turn to say it: “Well, I’m not Mrs. Brown/ your Dad/ Mr. Elliott!” And go ahead and confiscate all that pizza and candy and Cheetos for yourself.

Want to find out the other 7 things I learned? Check out the full post: 8 Ways Substitute Teaching Prepared Me for Parenthood

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Real Me

When Mika and I went on our first date, who could have known we'd end up getting married? Yet now here we are, celebrating our four-year wedding anniversary.

Which is about four years longer than you'd think for someone who shot guns and talked incessantly about vomit on their first date. I'm a real crowd-pleaser, I am.

Happy anniversary to my loving French hubby!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Resistance is Futile

Nearly four years ago, I married the man of my dreams. Which means about four years ago I had my bachelorette party, during which I attempted to dance on the bar but fell off the barstool before that awesomeness could even begin. And that means it's been three years since the bruise on my shin went away.

Yep, you read that right. That blasted bruise lasted for almost exactly a year. Which, in hindsight, was about what I deserved.

Singing all night long: Totally awesome
Dancing all night long: Totally fun
Dancing on bars: Totally unsafe
Falling off bars: Totally embarrassing

But, hey, you only (usually) have a bachelorette party once, right? Totally worth it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Win a trip to Paris!

Ah Paris, the City of Light. Show of hands... who would like to go to Paris? OK, and out of you (I can't see you because it's the internet, but I assume almost all of you have your hands raised), how many would like to go for free? Now I'm sure ALL of you have your hands raised!

Well I've got good news for you. You can enter to win a trip for two from Fat Tire Tours. Don't waste another second:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Debutante Ballin'

I've got a guest post over on The Debutante Ball, which is a site that almost seems too classy for the likes of me! So go ahead, check me out in my new digs.

Need some reasons?
1. Learn how I work and sleep at the same time.
2. Find out what scares me the most.
3. Get a sweet recipe for Aperol Spritz.
4. Enter for a chance to win a copy of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl.
5. Do you really need more reasons than that?!?

Get clickin': 5 Confessions + 1 Sweet Recipe. Thanks, and good luck in the giveaway!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five Glorious Minutes

Sometimes sleeping five extra minutes is all you need. Or, if you have young kids, it's all you can realistically hope for.

And sometimes getting a five-minute break from all their loud, adorable, obnoxious, sweet noise makes all the difference in maintaining your sanity.

So check out my story, Five Glorious Minutes, on Mamalode as part of their theme for July: Dive In. And stay cool this summer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why we love France

Is it hot enough?!? This is only the beginning! I hope everyone's having a great summer so far. On my side of the pond, it's almost time to celebrate Bastille Day, and this year, the Paris Writers’ Connection (yours truly included) has banded together to share brief snippets of what they like about Paris.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Only 19 Steps?

Summer's here, and if your kids are anything like my adorable, squirmy little ones it takes a million steps before you can get the sunscreen on and the kids out the door. Nineteen steps, to be precise.

Thirty minutes of lathering up for ten minutes of fun before they get bored

Today I'm over on BonBon Break with all 19 of those steps. To give you a taste, here are #3 and #4:

3. Slather the first kid up with sunscreen while the other one gets into your nicely packed beach bag, spreading all its contents on the floor.

4. Tell the first kid to put their shirt back on while you round up the other kid. Don’t trip over all the crap on the floor.

Can you relate? Check out the full post: 19 Steps to Putting Sunscreen on Your Kids

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Martinis & Motherhood: Now Available!

Martinis & Motherhood... this book has my name written all over it!

Actually, it only has my name written once. Because, that's right, I'm in yet another anthology! I was thrilled to be selected as a contributor to the "Woe" section; there are also "Wonder" and "WTF?!" contributors in this delicious, honest, hilarious, awesome book.

Check out the blurb:

Stories that inspire, entertain, and make you laugh ’til you pee. Plus martinis! And not just any-old-martinis—these ones were designed just for moms!

These tales of Wonder, Woe and WTF?! share a little glimpse into the lives of other moms, who are a lot like you. Through their tales, we’re reminded to savour the little things (like capturing extra morning snuggles), to let go of the stresses (they won’t be in that unfortunate phase forever), and to be grateful for the laughs that the unexpected brings (because laughing is better than crying and it may be the only workout our abs get!).

So shake up an easy-to-make martini, put your feet up (quickly, before the kids find you) and join us on our journey as we toast to the many clink-worthy moments that motherhood brings.

And here's an excerpt from my story, "French Women Don't Get Fat":

Adding insult to injury, we live across the street from a maternity hospital. From the comfort of my apartment, clad in stretchy Size L yoga pants that will never be used for yoga, I see impossibly thin women leave the hospital with their tiny bundles of joy in their skinny little arms. Pouffiasses.

Ready for some amazing stories and tasty cocktails? Want to find out what a "pouffiasse" is? Order your copy today!

And be sure to check out the blogs of all the wonderful contributors!

Team Wonder
Lynn Morrison nomadmomdiary.com
Angila Peters detachedfromlogic.com
Magnolia Ripkin magnoliaripkin.com
Louise Gleeson latenightplays.com
Jocelyn Pihlaja omightycrisis.com.com
Alison Huff crumbsdown.com
Leigh-Mary Barone Hoffmann happilyeverlaughterblog.com
Shannon Drury theradicalhousewife.com
Patricia Mirchandani raising-humans.com
Lauren Stevens lo-wren.com
Cordelia Newlin de Rojas multilingualmama.com
Sarah Deveau doingallthethings.com

Team Woe
Shannon Day martinisandmotherhood.com
Tara Wilson dontlickthedeck.com
Vicki Lesage vickilesage.com << Hey, that's me!
Abby the Writer littlemissperfect.com
Brooke Takhar missteenussr.com
Kate Parlin shakespearesmom.com
Christina Antus christinaantus.net
Jennifer Baird-Dean thechiofjen.com
Sara Park crcrsmommyblog.com
Tamara Schroeder thattamiam.com
Kristen Hansen Brakeman kristenbrakeman.com
Lori Lu Green LeRoy theinadequateconception.com
Carolyn Mackenzie

Team WTF
Susanne Kerns thedustyparachute.com
Sarah Halsall del Rio established1975.com
Lisa Webb canadianexpatmom.com
Jessica D’Andrea Kapp jesskapp.com
Kim McDonald twobugsandablog.com
Lisa Carmody Doiron momologues-soliloquies.com
Olga Mecking europeanmama.com
Holly Rust mothersguidetosanity.com
Kathryn Leehane foxywinepocket.com
Jill Hudkins Robbins rippedjeansandbifocals.com
Kristine Laco mumrevised.com
Andrea Mulder-Slater noreallyandrea.com

Saturday, May 23, 2015

10 Great Reads as Summer Heats Up

Summer is just around the corner... what will you be reading on the beach/next to the pool/cramped up in your tiny Parisian apartment?

Check out this list of 10 Great Summer Reads, which includes a book by yours truly, Confessions of a Paris Party Girl! I've read a few of the other ones on the list, and can't wait to catch up on the rest!

Monday, May 18, 2015

6 Things Kids Learn and Adults Forget

I'm not sure what's the bigger cause of losing my mind: getting older or having kids. Either way, I've forgotten eleventy-point-five percent of the things I've learned (and I studied math so you can trust me on that number).

I at least managed to remember enough to write this article for BLUNTmoms: 6 Things Kids Learn and Adults Forget.

Here's a taste:

5. If you wear glasses, you’re still the same person. My baby daughter just learned this the other day. Her expression was priceless when she realized mommy is still mommy even with really big sunglasses on. The people of Smallville still haven’t realized that Superman is just Clark Kent without glasses (and extra-tight undies).

Check out the full article, and share what things YOU knew as a kid but have since forgotten (that is, if you can remember!!!).

Article on BLUNTmoms

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Parents of Preemies Day

Hard to believe this guy was a preemie, huh? Well, that's partly because he was never little even though he was born early (he was well over 7 lbs when he was born at 35 weeks)!

But that doesn't mean we didn't have struggles. 11 days in the NICU. Breathing tubes. Feeding tubes. You name it.

Today is Parents of Preemies Day, so if you are a parent of a preemie or know someone who is, help spread awareness! Here's some stuff to check out:

Friday, April 17, 2015

What will you leave behind?

I normally write humor (or at least try to!). And I tend to write creative nonfiction, i.e. memoir-style. But I recently tackled a totally different type of writing: fiction, and somewhat serious at that.

Enter Legacy: An Anthology, the newest release from Velvet Morning Press (my indie pub house). I'm thrilled and honored to be one of 14 authors in this thought-provoking short story collection.

Here's the official blurb, and purchase links are at the end of this post!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Giraffe Parenting is the new parenting style on the block

Is anyone else getting sick of all these new parenting fads? I can't even keep them all straight anymore. I just want something simple. Something like... giraffe parenting? Is that a thing? Why yes it is: Giraffe Parenting: The Latest Parenting Trend. (My article on BLUNTmoms)

Article on BLUNTmoms

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Still Just Want To Pee Alone: Now Available!

Drumroll please... I Still Just Want to Pee Alone is now available!

This awesome sequel to (you guessed it) I Just Want To Pee Alone features 40 hilarious and heartfelt stories by a group of amazing moms, me included. Wait, does that mean I just called myself amazing? The ego on this one!

Anyway, this collection of stories will make you laugh, cry, laugh-cry, and cry-laugh. You can read a quick story while waiting in line to pick the kids up at soccer practice, or sneak a story while you're in the bathroom, assuming you get a minute's peace. Which if you're anything like me, you probably don't.

Pick up your copy today, and check out my story + 39 others!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vicki Goes Camping

Did you read the title and snort out your coffee? Ah, you know me so well. This is more like me:

So don't worry. This post is not about me going camping, or even me setting one foot outdoors. It's actually about a review I did of the children's book Tovi the Penguin Goes Camping over on The Steadfast Reader. I compared Tovi's experiences with my own experiences camping. And there's even a cute (if I do say so myself) photo of Leo and Stella fighting over the book. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Still Just Want To Pee Alone

Parents rarely get time to pee alone. My kids scratch at the door like brain-hungry zombies because they can't leave me alone for THIRTY FREAKING SECONDS!

What's a mom to do? Write a story about it!

Coming March 27th, one of my parenting stories will be featured in this awesome anthology: I Still Just Want to Pee Alone.

Check it out for more info, or sign up to my mailing list to be notified when it comes out!

Hold on there cowgirl, it's not available until March 27th, but I'm too sleep-deprived to take the time to create a different image. Humor me, please :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Parisian Reputation

I've been known to complain a time or two about the French, like trying to *gasp* order coffee at a cafe or the time a taxi driver and a midwife made me cry.

The Parisian Reputation

But... if you force me to say it (like, by threatening to withhold my daily 6 cups of coffee) I could admit that Parisians are actually not as rude as their reputation. Like in any big city, there are d-bags, that's for sure. But a few nice ones save the day:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Interview with BlogExpat.com

Four score and seven years ago (er, 10 years ago) I moved to Paris. Why? How? Did I write a book about it? Why? How?

Expat Books Authors

BlogExpat.com asked me those fun questions... and here are my equally fun answers: Interview with Expat Author Vicki Lesage on BlogExpat.com. Check it out, and discover which part of my book was the hardest to write!

Monday, February 9, 2015

What makes Paris so naughty?

Heather Stimmler-Hall
Still smiling! And holding a book!
Several years ago, I met Heather Stimmler-Hall at a fundraiser for SOS Help. She was smiling, standing behind a table with a pile of her books, Naughty Paris: A Lady's Guide to the Sexy City. Um, yes please!

The autographed copy holds a treasured spot on my bookcase, as most of my new book purchases are ebooks. I admit, though, that in recent years the most I've done is flip through the pages of Naughty Paris, admiring the pictures and dreaming about getting out of the house.

Because, in case you don't follow my blog religiously (sniff), I've been busy being pregant and having babies the past few years. I hardly have time to brush my teeth, let alone treat myself to everything this glorious city has to offer.

But you know what? It's about time I did. I only have 5 vacation days left until June, but assuming I don't use them all for strikes at the crèche or sick days for the kids, I think I might just take a day all for myself. (Side note: the Americans reading this are wondering what I'm complaining about and the French are crying over the pathetically small number of vacation days I have left.)

So, lucky for me, the lovely Heather has just released a new version of her book, updated with even more wonderful things to do in the City of Light. And even luckier for me, I have Heather here with me today to answer a few questions.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift (aww, aren't you just the schmoopiest!) I've got a suggestion for you: How about a Paris-themed book? Paris is the city of romance, the city of love. So naturally a book about it will be a hit for that special someone.

My book is being featured along with 5 other Paris-themed books in this Valentine's Gift Suggestions list:

6 Books for the Perfect Valentine's Day Gift

Monday, February 2, 2015

That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light

If you've been waiting with bated breath for my next release (side note: if so, I love you!), go ahead and exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Whew, feels good, huh?

And now, without further ado... That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light is now available!

This project has been a blast. As an editor, I got the chance to read numerous submissions and work with new and previously published authors. As a contributor, I wrote some really fun pieces that literature students will be studying for years to come. For example, in my piece "French Office Workers vs. Zombies" I pose the timeless question of who would survive the Zombie Apocalypse. If I weren't around to ask such questions, who would?

The book includes dramatic pieces and humorous pieces, true stories and fiction. It's a fun book that makes you feel like you're in the heart of Paris, seeing it all for yourself. There are nearly 30 stories from 24 authors, including a foreword by Stephen Clarke. Hope you enjoy it!

Buy Now on Amazon | Read More About That's Paris

Here the official blurb:

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Three Centimes

What can you buy for 3 cents these days? Not much. If you saw a penny (or centime) on the ground, you probably wouldn't even pick it up because the germs and dirt wouldn't be worth it.

But if you happen to have 3 cents in your pocket, I do know one thing you can buy—a plastic bag to carry your €89.99 boots in.

Because, you see, after spending €89.99 on a pair of boots (which is cheap for a lot of people but is kind of a big deal for me because I rarely buy clothes or shoes—have you seen the size of my closet?), you'd think they could just throw in the bag.

The first time I bought shoes at that place I bought two pairs. The lady asked, "Would you like blah blah blah?" in a tone that suggested I would NOT like "blah blah blah." Rather than ask her to repeat herself, like a normal person would, I just replied, "No."

These boots were made for walking, after paying for the bag
These boots were made for walkin', but first you have to get them home

Monday, January 19, 2015

French 101: Virgins and Baby Fleas

Sometimes I feel like I'll never learn French! Though I've lived in Paris for 10 years now, there are still so many words I don't know, so many times I trip up.

French 101: Virgins and Baby Fleas

I can talk about anything medically related to babies since I have tons of experience in that. I surprised myself in a work meeting recently where I smoothly discussed additions to the website, like all the steps necessary in adding new products or tracking tags.

But ask me what a baby seal is called and you'll be met with a blank stare. Though, to be fair, I had to look up what it was called in English too. (It's a seal pup. Could that be any cuter?)

My two-year-old son has mastered the French term for "garbage truck," which is good since he says it 24 hours a day. He also knows "baby seal," so he's got my French beat by a mile. Read on to find out what a seal pup is called in French, as well as an embarrasing story about confusing virgins with baby fleas: Mamalode: Virgins and Baby Fleas.

Monday, January 12, 2015

You Can't Kill Free Speech

By now I'm sure everyone's heard about the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015. It made international news, not just because it was a terrorist attack (which is obviously horrifying and shocking and newsworthy) but because 12 people were killed over a CARTOON.

Je Suis Charlie: You Can't Kill Free Speech

Free speech is something we might put pretty low on the scale of freedoms until it's threatened to be taken away. Until people are KILLED over it. The very fact I'm allowed to write this blog and write books about my partying days is a testament to free speech.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Drinking Hall of Fame

Pre-pregnancy, I was quite the party girl. Parisian bars could hear me coming a mile away and scrambled to stock up on wine and shots. I was a force to be reckoned with.

Once I have one drink, I want ALL the drinks.

My liver is much happier these days, and of course I'm thrilled to have two adorable little noisemakers of my own. But, man, sometimes wouldn't it be nice to just clean out a bar? To drink ALL the drinks? Shh, liver. No one's asking you.