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Friday, January 2, 2015

Musings & A Book Review. A French Girl Friday Post

Always drawn to all things French

I was going to start a journey through a new book for French Girl Friday, but decided it might be a bit more fun to take a book break and share a few musings on why I do French Girl Friday Posts; what draws me to read book after book trying to gather tidbits on adding a bit of French to my life, finding my inner French girl and hopefully this year actually learning French. When did it start? How did it start? Why this small, or perhaps not so small obsession with a place that I more than likely will never get to visit, The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas being the closest I shall ever get to seeing the Eiffel Tower. 

I can recall being a young girl and reading Madeline , the little girl that lived in Paris in an all girls school. I read each and every one in the series over and over. As I grew, I saw my first movie with Audrey Hepburn on television , Funny Face, that took place in Paris, I was hooked. The Romance, the beauty, just the over all feeling it evokes, how could I not be?  In High School I was in a writing class, and my first short story was a murder mystery that took place in Paris, I did countless hours of research to get the details correct, and this was before the internet! It was around that same time I discovered Chanel No. 5 at a drug store and knew that one day I was going to wear such wonderful perfume. As a teen I fell in love with all things vintage and retro as well and pearls. I wore pearls for the first time in Jr. High, my Grandma's and I remember how lady like and proper I felt, later finding out that Coco Chanel was known for her pearls, I bought every length of string faux pearls I could swing on my meager allowance and would wear them quite often.. the inner French Girl was already working. 

 As I got older the inner French girl had to take a back seat to Motherhood and all things that go with it, but as my children began to require a little less attention and I could spend a little time on myself and started to look for my fashion identity again, I would pour over Fashion magazines and the fashions of Dior and Chanel always caught my eye, and I dreamed of one day of if not owning, capturing the spirit of their designs in what I wore. Not sure I have achieved that, but I have time right? I also began to really want to feather my nest in a more pulled together way and thought I tried many styles I was always drawn to anything with a French flair, not just Parisian, but also Provence with it's bright an cheerful colors.  I also began going to Las Vegas as our girls got older and once the Paris Hotel was built it was the only hotel I would stay in, still is. When there I could stroll through the shops, eat the food, and the music, ahhh the music! I could not understand any of it, but the day I heard Edith Piaf in a gift shop and was told what it was and found that I could buy the CD, I was hooked and to this day , in fact right now as I type this out I am listening to her. It always relaxes me and puts a smile on my face. I now listen to several French artists, mostly from long before I was born, not knowing any current artists and always having loved music from long ago.

Dior 1950's

As years have gone on I have read real accounts of people who have lived in Paris or Provence, such as Peter Mayle and his Year in Provence ( and following sequels), along with fictional books that take place there.  I have watched French and American films that transport me this far away place, watched movies about Chanel, each one that has come out. I  became a fan of the food, or at least a lot of it and not just the sweets!! I finally have my Chanel No. 5 that I wear on a regular basis,  and of course I have done the French Girl Friday blog series many times over the last five years that I have written this blog. You can find all of them along with the links that they include for the books under the labels section to your right. 

I do not think this love affair with all things French will ever go away. It is not that I am ashamed or wishing I was not American , I am not sure I could make it in France if given the chance to live there, there is so many wonderful things about being American, I am very proud to say that I am American. However, that being said, though I may never make it to France, I will always make it so there is a little bit of France in my daily life and continue to bring out my inner French girl to add just a bit of the way they savor even the most simple of things in life.  To add the polish and simple elegance to what I wear , the romance of it all , how could I not be a bit of a Francophile? Yes, I think the love affair shall continue for the rest of my life. 

So I mentioned a book review in the title.  The above pictured book was to be my latest choice in which to blog about. I brewed a large cup of tea and sat down with it the other day, and was eager to begin making notes for the first blog post of my journey through it. One of the problems with ordering books off line and not being able to flip through them before you get them it is hard to tell if you will indeed enjoy reading it. The reviews were hopeful and the description intriguing, that being said, I instantly decided this was not a book in which I wanted to blog about. It was not that it was not a good read, and it had it's moments and tid bits that made me continue to turn the page and read to the very end. It was a quick read, I finished it that same afternoon. I just found it lacking some of the charm and ease that I have found in some of the other books I have profiled and it was not written in such a manner that I could figure out a way to share my journey though it with you.  Written by four real Parisian women, it contained some interesting and new insights to their world, life lessons to be gathered and stored away and some already learned facts from other books as well.  In many instances, I found myself saying " Well I guess I will never truly be Parisian...or even be anywhere close to wanting to be...." ,. That being said, as I did read it and did not just set it to the side to be donated to the local used books store, I do recommend it for a good afternoon at the coffee shop or laying on the couch while the rain/snow falls outside with a hot cup of tea and a French Macaron or two. You may find it on Amazon


  1. I also admire the french and am currently watching a movie about Violette Ledruc, a writer I hadn't known before and friend of Simone de Beauvoir. It's well acted and beautifully filmed. It's called 'Violette' if you're interested. xoxo -Sonia

    1. Forgot to hit reply, so made separate comment below, want to thank you for leaving a comment, rarely see any, so made my day!!

  2. I think it is very American of you to have some French pieces in the quilt we make of our lives.

    1. Well said Bernadette. Thank you. I rarely get comments here.

  3. I love that you transport yourself to France via movies, music and Chanel No. 5! I hope someday you will be able to make the trip to France. I've been thinking a lot about Paris lately as I was there about this time last year. It was nice being able to wear a long coat and boots. Living in a sunny southern California town it was a novelty for me. Like Groundhog Day every day is the same, sunny! Definitely not a complaint but the contrast in weather was nice. French onion soup tastes great in cold weather. I watched Joyeux Noel for Christmas. Great movie. I also saw "Violette" and enjoyed that as well. My favorite French languages song is Charles Aznavour's Quand tu'aimes. If you haven't heard it check it out. Such a beautiful song. Really enjoy your blog, btw. Bonne Année and may all your French dreams come true!

    1. Dear Lieeil,
      What a delight your comment was! How grand that you have been there. My health keeps me close to home, but my heart and imagination are always traveling to France, not just Paris. Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will be writing them down.
      P.S. Thank you for leaving a comment, it so rarely happens and just makes me smile. Do you follow my FB page? Hope to see you there.


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