Joie de Vivre

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

Fresh veggies

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

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8 Comments

Filed under Books, Happiness, Travel & Leisure

8 responses to “Joie de Vivre

  1. How funny, I have Bringing Up Bebe on hold at the library too! I’m 5th in line but the queue doesn’t seem to be moving and I’m getting very antsy to read it but refuse to spend the $25 bucks to do it! I’m with you though, I love all things French! 🙂

  2. Adorable, adorable post. I love the romantic french language – studied it since Grade 1 and it never bores me! I also love cafes, crepes & espresso. Lavender dressing. Of course, wine. And one of my all-time favourite books, Le Petit Prince. Between the two of us, I’m sure we could go on forever.

    • Ooooh, I forgot about crepes! I’ve never had lavender dressing but it sounds like something I need to google asap. Plus, thanks for the book suggestion! By the way, I’m reading Bringing Up Bebe and it’s awesome. Can’t put it down.

      • Le Petit Prince is one of those classics – we had to read it a few times in school and it’s filled with all sorts of hidden life lessons. I will look into Bringing up Bebe now! 🙂

      • I’m not sure how or why, but it sounds like a French Alchemist to me

  3. I totally forgot another French obsession: St. Germain Elderflower Liquer
    http://www.stgermain.fr/index2.php

  4. Pingback: Eskimos & Their Babies | veggievinyasa

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