Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Paris...maybe one day...

I dream of going to Paris....

In the meantime I aspire to the French way of cooking...simple fresh and using what is in season.
There are many wondeful books on French cooking and I have my favourites...

Ina Garten and her husband love Paris and have an apartment there,
she has such a passion for food and I adore her enthusiasm for life itself.
I watched her cooking show religiously when it was on the Food Network
her home in the Hamptons was "to die for!"

This book gives insight into the philosophy of French life and cooking
there are a few recipes
but it is more of a how to book.

Aspiring to be stylish here...

A colourful romp through French Markets and Fishmongers
by the creative and talented author Joanne Harris
richly illustrated
with easy to follow directions
some of the ingredients are not found locally
so substitutions are required.

I follow and read many books and blogs on France and the French way of life.

I am adopting some French habits
and dreaming of Paris.

This pursuit has lead to some changes...

I have focused more on my skincare, 
I am indulging in facials more frequently
I do a spa facial every few months and an at home one every month.
I use the exfoliating Bio Gommage by Physiodermie followed by the Burt's Bees Clay Pore Refining Masque and then finish by dabbing on Dr. Hauschka's lavender oil.
This takes about 30 minutes 
 I relax with a cup of herbal tea
when I have finished.

I have rethought the use of makeup too
I now use lightly tinted Dr. H foundation, 
eye liner to draw attention to my eyes
 mascara and 
lipstick or gloss in a berry shade
as I am keeping things on the light side I felt I could add a bit of colour on my lips.

I am dressing simply and as a result acquiring less.
I am paring down the wardrobe 
the local Hospice Thrift shop has been receiving my cast offs!

I am using accessories to add interest and colour;
Hermes scarves
sterling bangles
 layers of pearls
vintage brooches and pins
(but not all at once!)

I now choose garments with a critical eye
I study the construction
the seaming, 
the details
the cut
the fabric
the weight of the cloth
does it flatter?
will it last?
do I love it?
does it reflect the image that I want to convey?

I am by no means "there" yet
I am so enjoying the foray into the French Way...
if you have any fabulous French bloggers or books to assist me in my quest please let me know.
 (The French themed blogs that I follow can be seen on my sidebar at the bottom.)

Merci beaucoup!


  1. Oh you'll have to go to Paris. And you and the Mr. can take a bateau mouche ride up the Seine:).

  2. I use Ina's Paris book a lot - and Laura Calder's French Food at Home book - lots of very simple but yummy meals.

    Ina is on the food channel on Sunday mornings at 9am.

    I am chuckling because I have a lot of the same books!

  3. Dear Hostess, I do so hope that you fulfill your dream of a trip to Paris one day. HOWEVER, Paris is crowded, often dirty, expensive and the food is not always as good as one would believe it should be. In the short time I have been following your weblog I have already reached the conclusion that you are very chic and have no need for all things french to make improvements. They are not necessary.

  4. I appreciate the steps you have outlined above to adopt a more "French" approach to life....found Edith Hope's comments interesting, too!

    Yesterday - or the day before - I actually added a French Link to my tabs on my "thrifty style blog! I, too, enjoy reading & assimilating various French-inspired habits into my life and home.

  5. hi leslie,

    i think you are darling as is! i have 3 french women that are my clients and trust me, you are classier than them all!

    i have all those books up there too. and my dream is to spend a summer in the south of france. i'm saving towards that goal right now.


  6. I would say you have it all happening here. I have the last book, it's a keeper, isn't it? Well done you!!!


  7. I always enjoy seeing a reading list from bloggers I follow. Thanks for sharing what you're reading.

  8. I have never visited Paris. Is it a mere coincidence, that nearly all the blogs I follow, are kept by French lovers, are you all in love with Paris? I have surly missed something. I agree with Edith Hope. You are so sweet being just you!

  9. I adore this post Hostess! You are inspired by the same things I am. It doesn't matter to me if Paris is dirty and the food isn't great. Of course I want to visit again one day, but in the meantime I can create my own Paris movie in my head and I am its chic star, as you are in yours. Why not elevate our life a little and enjoy the gentle silliness that French dreaming brings.

  10. What a great variety of comments on this post. Thank you!
    I appreciate your words so much...I feel that I am a work in process...
    I do not lie awake at night and think French Chic...I merely try to adopt ideas and ways of living that reflect the woman that I want to become, an improved one at 55...I may never get to Paris...just like I will probably never own a Chanel or Hermes handbag...but a gal can Fiona says!

  11. I love the book Joie de Vivre; we ate at his restaurant in NYC a couple of years ago...very simple, fresh and delicious!