Monday, January 21, 2008

Paris addresses for moms

Saturday mornings, there is no laying around the house in our pyjamas. Ella and I are always up bright and early to get her to her dance class. I don't know if I have mentioned here what a great little dance studio I found over in the 5th. Its called the Atoll de Danse (35 rue Galande. for info, call Cleo at 06 26 82 41 45) and its a run by a trio of women. On Saturday morning, they have a class for 2-3 year olds. Calling it "danse class" is probably exaggerating a bit. Its more about movement and music, with a bit of tumbling thrown in. There are only 4 little girls and Ella just adores it; she spends all of Saturday wiggling around the house, repeating the exercises that they did. This week, it was apparently something about "Marchez, marchez, marchcez, saut!" ("Walk walk walk, jump! ad infinitum...) Its a bit expensive but it suits Ella so well, that I don't even worry about the price. If anyone would be looking for a class, I could not recommend this place highly enough.

The only problem with her class is that it lasts one hour and I am always at loose ends, trying to find something to do while I wait for her. Its just far enough from our house that it is silly to come home; all I have time for is a quick coffee and I have to get my coat back on to fetch her. Over in the 5th, there isn't really much to do in the way of shopping, unless I want to buy groceries at the market. I thought I had finally hit on a good plan- I would spend the time getting my nails done! I love having a manicure. When I try to take care of my nails myself, they are always a mess. They are too soft so I can't let them grow long and I can't seem to paint them without smudging atleast three nails in the first ten minutes. I feel a bit embarrassed to have my hands out sometimes when we go somewhere nice, my nails and cuticles are in such bad shape. But its not really enough of a priority that I would go out of my way to schedule a manicure. Thats why this is so perfect.

Except that there are apparently ZERO places in the 5th where you can get your nails done. I spent 45 minutes wandering in circles trying to find a place near to her danse studio where I could get a quick, cheap manicure. I gave up on that idea and would have gone anywhere that even offered the service. Finally, I asked at a pharmacy and they sent me Sephora at 79, Blvd St Germain in the 6th. Its not too expensive at 26 euro and its not too far from the studio, but generally, I prefer to go to small local places than big chains like Sephora. I made an appointment for the next week, since it was nearly time to go pick up Ella, and headed back. Then, when I was about 100 meters from my destination, what do I spy wedged between two giant cafe awnings? Why, a small beauty salon! I had peaked around the corner earlier, but hadn't noticed the window, hidden behind chairs and umbrellas from the cafe on the corner but in fact, it was exactly the type of place I had been looking for. Its called L'institut (88, blvd St Germain) and for 35 euro you can get a thorough manicure with hand treatment. Its a bit more expensive but they were really helpful and said that they were rarely busy that early on a Saturday so I wouldn't even have to make appointments- which, for me, is perfect. Its silly, but I HATE making appointments for things like that. Since I always seem to be running 10 minutes late due to little miss E, I'm already stressed out enough about being late for important appointments. No need to stress out about stupid things like my nails. Now hopefully next week, I'll be reporting on what a wonderful job they did. But then, its kind of hard to file nails badly, right?

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