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Friday, August 27, 2010

French Girl Friday....

So as promised , I am starting a new series. Based on the book Entre Nous, A Woman's Guide To Finding Her Inner French Girl. Written by Debra Ollivier . Each week I shall read a chapter, seven in all.

I decided to start the day off with a French feel...well a kitchy idea of it. I had my coffee, "Fine European " coffee from , well , a not so French place, the corner gas station....what can I say it fit my budget. I then had a Croissant for breakfast , while I sat outside, in the warm morning sunshine , watching people, and sharing my breakfast with the birds. The music of Celine Dion playing over the speakers ( she is at least French Canadian LOL) . It was a great way to start my day. I shall not bore you with in betweens today. 

When I finally had a chance to sit and get started on the book, I set the stage. I popped in the Edith Piaf CD, MA VIE , and gathered my book and a nice cool drink and began reading. Chapter One La Tete. 

Each chapter is divided into several subjects, with interesting little boxes with notes about music, movies, French ladies, American ladies that had thoughts on French ladies and summations of the sections the chapter is divided into; making my posts easier to come up with. I shall share the summations and perhaps a portion of the actual sections here and there, and then my thoughts. This seemed the best, other wise you are just reading Cliff Notes, and what fun would that be ? 

~"Borrow A Page From The French Girl's book: Self Possession....
Find your center and live there. Resist the pressure to be some one you're not; instead focus on fully developing who you are. Don't get thrown off course by the prevailing winds or trend . Engage in real in the moment pleasure, not mindless entertainment. Feed your mind . Cultivate impressions and opinions . Know what you think." 

** Now I think I have some of this down, and quite a bit of it , well I just do not. I think maybe that has been my problem all these years. I did not know who I was. Or I thought I did not. 

I was a daughter. I was told who I should be, what to do, who to become, and I rebelled as most teens do. Always just searching out the worst friends and boyfriends to be with , and morphing into who they were on some level. 

Then I was a wife. Very quickly after a Mother, and I tried to be who society, and family members and then my Church family said I should be in that role. I changed to fit their rules, expectations. I just have always done this. Through my entire life. I even had a friend once that kept telling me she "KNEW" who I was , what I liked and did not like, and what was me and not; I was so confused and even still rebellious that I kept trying on new "hats" and yet nothing really fit. I thought as I had often done , " who am I?" And I would continue to change to fit others ideals of who I was. It makes for a very confused and upset inner being.  

Just yesterday I was posting that I did not know who I was , simply because our youngest was moving out, and my husband no longer needed me to be the perfect little wife as he is never home, and I do not have friends here locally to dictate how I behave, dress, and do in my daily life. I was searching for me. Yet, as I turned each page of this book, I was reading sentences that sounded as if she was describing me....HMMM, maybe I have known me all along, and "she" has been suppressed on a regular basis, and just needed to be let out. 

~The second part to that initial section was actually titled "She Seeks Sensuality".  It is actually not what you think. It touched on it in that latter part of the paragraph. The book says " ...a premium on experiencing pleasure: pleasure in ordinary moments. Pleasure in extraordinary moments.
.....Sensual satisfaction in the moment, from feeling an almost tactile pleasure and evocative power in the seemingly mundane. " 

* This is the part I think I am doing quite good at, and nearly always have. I love the simple things, I always find pleasure in them ( well except grocery day when I have to go to Wal Mart and fight the noise and the crowds) ; it is even reflected in the subtext of my blog. I just have never been a girl who needs all the hoots , bells and whistles to enjoy things. So Good for me!!! 

~The next section of Chapter One.... "Borrow A Page From The French Girl's book: Discretion. 
Think before you speak . Leave somethings unsaid. Respect secrets. Consider your life your personal currency- and invest it wisely. Resist the impulse to turn over other people's stones. Cultivate the art of saying NO with mindfulness. Make decisions from your own center. Be wary of shoulds. Exercise deliberateness in all decisions. Stay on the high road but make room for compassion. Bring unconventional  wisdom into your life. Go gently against the grain. "

** Now, as both an American, and especially a blogger, I really have to work on this. I can see the validity of this, I truly can. It is just easier to say you can be this way than to do it. One part had mentioned putting two American's together and you will know the other's life story in 5 minutes. Goodness, how true this is, and I have experienced it time and time can happen in a chair at the doctor's office. In line for coffee. On Facebook and time and time again in reading blogs. I am not sure I shall want to adjust this fact too much...whatever would I blog about if not including my life, just all fashion, travel, food, decor perhaps....there is enough of that out there. 

I am however getting better at saying NO. I used to be a door mat, and never liked being so. I said YES, even if my head , heart and mind was doing quite the opposite. That is not to say I do not sometimes still give in. I am a work in progress on this front for sure! 

~"Borrow A Page From The French Girl's book: Time 
Don't take short-cuts. Don't multi-task . Do one thing at a time. Remember that time is not money, it's your life. Let go of the desire to fit everything into one day. Take time for yourself. Invest your time in what is personally relevant and meaningful, because investing time , in the eternal scheme of things , passes swiftly. ( Remember how fast you grew up, how fast your children grow up?) Keep each thing in it's place. Work at the office, play at home. Toss the digital watch; go analog. "

**My gracious!!! How as American's are we going to master this?? This is a toughie for sure. I am far too ADD not to do several things at once, split my time in so many ways that I need more of me and making my head spin. But I shall try. I really do have it quite easy now, with no one home and not too many things on my plate each day demanding that I try to achieve them all. So , maybe , just maybe I can master this rather quickly.

So that is basically the first chapter, in the proverbial nut shell. OHHHH WAIT! There was one more section ...
"Shop Like A French Girl " 

~The basics that I got from it, " Buy less and buy the best you can afford" . It  is something that is hard for me as well, not only cause of being raised  in America, but also being a bargain hunter; wanting more bang for my buck . I love all my purses and shoes and shiny pretties in my jewelry box. So this will take some work for sure!! 

So until next Friday please enjoy this classic .....

Jusqu'à notre prochaine rencontre mes amis , au revoir (  Till next we meet my friends, good bye ) 
* Thank Goodness for iGoogle for translations!!!


  1. Thank you so much... I adore Edith Piaf and loved every second of this... what a great journey you're on... I'm so looking forward to your postings... come visit when you can

  2. It sounds like a great book! Certainly some good advice to live by ;)

  3. P.S. LOVE your french girl look! ;)

  4. This looks like a very interesting book! I think we Americans would benefit greatly from bringing a little more French sensibility into our daily lives. (And I agree with Angie: you are pulling off that look very nicely!)

  5. I need to take some of those lessons!! I really need to work on saying NO! I am too much of a giver.

  6. Definitely some good stuff here ... and the "Do One thing at a time" is something I have been focusing on very much so lately. I used to be so proud of being a multi-tasker, but found that I missed SO MUCH because my brain was all over. Good Good stuff, dear!!

  7. This is a true joy! Maybe with a little help from you, my french genes can finally be proud!


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