"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, May 20, 2016

Flower Power, un avant-goût...

"For myself I hold no preferences among flowers,
so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous."
- Edward Abbey

I am so excited to finally be working on my next Postcard to Paris... 

A beautiful, tranquil place - blooming with glorious colors and lush fragrance - that looks and feels like it should be located on my beloved rue Cler... 

I've had my eye on this lovely artist for awhile now, avidly following each and every FB post of her gorgeous creations. I can't wait to introduce you and I know you're going to love her.  Stay tuned...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

beautiful day

"The heart is in bloom. Shoots up through stony ground...
It's a beautiful day. Don't let it get away." - U2

The Midwest has been in the full grip of winter. 20 degrees, a chill that rattles through to the very bone, gray cloud filled skies - for weeks. But today nature gave us a reprieve - 62 degrees, brilliant warm sunshine, billowing clouds softly floating across the sky. I was eager to get...out.

"Can we just go already?!" - Coco

Every morning Coco lays on a chair in my kitchen - next to the coffee maker, patiently waiting for my coffee to finish brewing so we can either cuddle a bit before I leave for class or go to my atelier where she curls on my lap while I work. But not today. Today Coco sat straight up, wiggled her booty and thumped her tail so hard I thought she was going to fall off. She knew. Somehow she knew that, even though it was 25 degrees the night before - today it was warm, the sun was shining, I wasn't going to work and leaving her behind, we weren't going to be spending the day in my atelier, and she couldn't wait for us to get on with it already.

"Go outside. Don't tell anyone and don't bring your phone."
- Charlotte Eriksson

I grabbed Coco and my camera, put my top down and we hit the road. My plan was to capture this beautiful day, really. But as I drove further and further west, into horse and farm country, slowly cruising down a completely deserted tree-lined country lane, the shining sun was so brilliant on my face, my body. I was moving through stillness and there were so many gorgeous images: A horse slowly walking through a field; long dead brown crumbly leaves, that had somehow survived the winter, swirling around, up and over my car; the soft balmy wind blowing my hair every which way. I just took it all in, reveled in each sensation, at some point I realized that some moments aren't meant to be captured.

A hot simple meal, a good book, Coco curled on my lap

Our final destination was my favorite little town, on the banks of the Fox River. I parked, took Coco on a very long walk, then lunch at our favorite cafe. Coco is such a well-mannered lady, the owner kindly allows me to bring her inside. I spent a few hours at table in the corner, with a good book, discreetly feeding my girl tidbits (that bit of pink on my lap is not a napkin - it's Coco ;-} Then another long walk, this time in town. Up and down streets lined with homes built during the Civil War and not long after. There's even a gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright house! I left my camera in the car - more than content to file away the day's images to precious memory. It felt like Paris and I have not felt Paris in so long. It was a beautiful day...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Friday, February 12, 2016

amour rouge: finishing touch

"Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life."
- Leo Buscaglia

You've got the major stuff covered: flowers (yes, gents deserve flowers too ;-} a card or, better yet, a handwritten love note; reservations at a romantic restaurant; an after hours jazz club (slow dancing with your love) and of course something fabulous to wear. Valentine's Day is all about the color red  but you don't want to over do it. How about wearing this gorgeous color as a finishing touch? 

Finding the perfect finishing touch presents a unique challenge to a French Girl's Wardrobe: something(s) unusual, but gorgeous; a bit decadent but elegant; a teeny bit practical, yet still carefree, fun and vibrant; not too expensive and easy to find at the last moment. No worries mes lovelies, I've got you. It's all in the details...

I usually lament the ubiquity of shopping malls but, in this case, I'll make an exception. Each item on my last minute Valentine's list is readily available at your local shopping mall and/or local store.

"Fashion is architecture; it is a matter of proportions." 
- Coco Chanel

#8 Pirate 
Le Vernis Nail Polish, $28 - Chanel

Love, Love, LOVE Chanel! For 107 years Chanel cosmetics has been serving the most beautiful, high quality, vibrant, pure pigments. This true red will look fantastic!

#14 Framboise
Juicy Tubes Lipgloss, $19 - Lancome

Ya'll know I'm a big fan of a 'naked face' - flawless face, super sooty lashes, softly defined eyebrows, faintly blushing cheeks, and pouting red stained lips - perfect for any occasion. But for Valentine's Day I'm really feeling a richly tinted lipgloss slicked over a nude lipliner. Lancome's Juicy Tube line is my absolute favorite: it comes in a gazillion shades, is super glossy, is flavorless, takes a long time to wear off (even when sipping and eating) and you can kiss freely and often and not leave your lipgloss all over your lover's face. 

*dab a tiny bit of your favorite red lipstick on your cheeks.

Red Velvet & Organza Flowers
$12.50, Mary Not Martha

You can find inexpensive yet elegant red fabric flowers at any artists supply store. Pin them to your coat, your purse, the wrist bands of your gloves, or pin them in your hair. 
Et voila, instant Valentines!

Ruinart Brut Rose, $75
Yes this is a serious splurge, but you are so worth it.

Mr. G and I are serious foodies. Doesn't matter the region of the world we love it all - as long as it's not too fussy, overblown, overpriced cuisine. One of our favorite types of restaurants is the b.y.o.b. (bring your own booze). These types of restaurants are usually small and cozy, and serves excellent food. Low key, sweetly romantic and you should be able to get a last minute reservation. Yelp your local b.y.o.b., stop at the grocery for flowers and candles for your table, then at a wine shop on your way. Doesn't matter what's on the menu, pink champagne goes with everything

Janey Multicolor Fashion Readers
$20-$30, Barns and Nobles

Just because my 40-something year old eyes need help reading the menu (even with contacts, le sigh) doesn't mean I can't look fabulous while I'm squinting at the list of specials. I found these beauties at my local Barnes and Nobles (from a selection of nearly two dozen styles). I bought a second pair and had my prescription put in them. Rock your style on Valentine's Day and everyday.

"Real elegance is everywhere, 
especially in the things we don't show."
- Christian Dior

The Chanel Chance line  
Eau: Original, Fraiche, Tendre, et Vive 

Chanel's Chance perfume line is my absolute favorite. Yes, $78 for 1.7 ounces is a major splurge, but if you go to a major department store the ladies at the Chanel counter always have good sized spray samples gratuitement. 

Dream Angel in Red Boheme Lace
Bra:$45.50, Panty:$16.50 - Victoria's Secret
Yes it's a splurge, but your lover is so worth it. 

Your body is beautiful precisely because of it's imperfections. Your lover knows it, loves it, wants it. So, yeah, wear that red lace!

In the end, Valentine's Day is all about celebrating the love you two share. I wish you joy of it!

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Paris Playlist #22 ~ Reminisce

"Sometimes I cry, when I can't do nothing else." 
- Chris Stapleton, Traveller (2015)

In December, Mr. G and I celebrated 30 years of loving each other. As is to be expected, reaching such a milestone, has led me to reminisce about our early years - before marriage and our beautiful three, when we were teenagers and twenty-somethings. There are literally thousands of sweet/bittersweet memories. But one set of memories have stood out - dancing to a slow jam with my love.

*For the few of you who don't know, a slow jam is a moody, passionate, romantic song - usually from the Rhythm & Blues and Soul music genres. A slow jam captures lovers' moments in time - meeting, falling in and out of love, breaking up, moving on, getting back together, a combination of all of the above. Back in the day: in a dark smokey club, on a crowded dance floor, holding each other close, his hand at the small of your back, swaying to the music, a soulful voice crooning...oh yeah. 

30 years later, Mr. G and I still love to dance - we regularly meet our friends, at our local hangout, and trip the light fantastic. It's some wonderful fun but 21st century D.J.s no longer play slow jams, even when requested. I've noticed this disturbing trend at wedding receptions too. Quelle tristesse! But just because D.J.s no longer play slow jams, and so few contemporary artists record them, doesn't mean that they no longer exist. You may have to search for them but when you find one...

A few months ago, while watching the Country Music Awards, Justin Timberlake performed with a good friend - Chris Stapleton - and they tore down the house!

"I can't drink you away. I've tried Jack, I've tried Jim.
I've tried all of them." - Justin Timberlake

Chris Stapleton's amazing voice made me want to hear more - to iTunes! That's where I found his 21st century slow jam: "Sometimes I Cry." And once you listen to it, you'll know why I had to add it to my Paris Playlist.

"Sometimes I Cry" - Chris Stapleton (Bing Lounge)

I miss slow jamming and I truly believe that slow jams make the world a better place. Besides, what's more Parisienne? So I guess I'm going to have to lead a revolution. Slow Jams for all! D. J.s get ready. In the meantime, I encourage you to create your own slow jam playlist and sway with your honey at home or wherever/whenever you get the chance. Bien Sur, I'm working on a 'Slow Jam Paris Play List.' Please send me your favorites.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Friday, January 08, 2016

start as you mean to finish...

"Write it on your heart that 
every day is the best day of the year."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mother has the most excellent sayings. One or two for every occasion and situation. One of my favorites is 'start as you mean to finish.' For me, the last and first months of the year embody this sentiment...

December 20th: Mr. G and I celebrated 30 years in love 

My Gents!
Maude's - Celebrating 30 years of loving Mr. G with the fantabulous Matt & Neal

Of course Christmas Eve and Day is all about our motley family crew...


Rory (14)

Sage (12)

Never (10)

Sweet Coco

And on every New Year's day, Mr. G and I steal away for a few hours to welcome the new year at our favorite state's side French restaurant...

I wish you all a very happy, love filled and prosperous 2016. Start as you mean to finish ;-}

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Hello December...

"When there's snow on the ground, 
I like to pretend I'm walking on clouds."
- Takayuki Ikkaku

Hello My Lovelies!
Yes, I am still here and I miss you dearly. Almost finished with a particularly challenging semester but I'll see you soon ;-}

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Walk on...

"When you walk through a storm 
hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm there's a golden sky...Walk on.
Walk on with hope in your heart. 
And you'll never walk alone."
- Rogers and Hammerstein (1945)

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