I adore all things French: wine, croissants, face cream (which most often is naturally organic and sans parabens), the laissez-faire attitude, strong coffee and sexy accents.
Champagne and veggies
Last night M and I returned from four days in the French West Indies: St. Martin and St. Barth…together make one of my favorite places in the world and one of the few that get a repeat visit every year. I just love the combination of warm sandy beaches and
cigarette smoke French culture. Oui Oui.
In order to get into the spirit of all things French I reread an old favorite: Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl (I just saw that it has some pretty unfavorable reviews on Amazon, but I find it very entertaining.) Debra is a California girl who lived in France for ten years with her hubby. Her cheeky guide is full of quotes, anecdotal stories, French vocab and suggested entertainment. Among my fave tips for finding your own inner French girl:
- Focus on quality versus quantity~whether it’s friendships, shopping for clothes, cooking a meal or buying toys for children, excess is not best.
- Live in the moment and don’t bother to multi-task~how very un-American and probably impossible in some workplaces, but entirely possible at home. It kind of goes along with quality not quantity.
- Simplify and enjoy life~turn off the tv and find pleasure in a good book or bubble bath. While your at it, ditch the to-do list on your day off.
I took a page from Debra’s book on this trip: no laptop, email, phone or facebook. I brought only a backpack and a small beach bag filled with clothes. I used this yoga mat, which isn’t great for flowing through vinyasas but works well enough for a few warrior poses and a nice long legs up the wall. In my opinion it was a little too hot for any more than that this weekend. I skipped blow drying and hung out in flip-flops the whole time (shiny and silver of course).
The kitty who napped on our balcony…I called her Jean
Playing French was fun, and although I’m happy with my American citizenship status I hope to hold onto some of that carpe diem.
Here are a few other fun accounts of French life:
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke: A British bloke is hired by a French company to open a tea house in Paris. A realistic novel that makes me laugh. Check out the sequel as well.
French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano: How to enjoy food and stay thin. And yes she eats plenty of meat and cheese, but anyone could use the helpful hints for mindful eating 101. She also has a sequel. I own and reread both occasionally.
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz: The tale of an American chef that moves to Paris. This is where I got my favorite vinaigrette recipe that I make all the time (vinegar, oil, garlic, Dijon mustard).
Next up for me (it’s on hold at the library as I type): Bringing Up Bebe
What are your favorite things French?
I love classic style and an emphasis on pleasure