Pardon My French

Many people visit Paris for the first time and report back that they found the French rude. Did it ever occur to these people that they could have been making a huge faux pas? (Literal translation – An embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation) Chances are as an uninformed tourist, they did.

One of the great things about Google and bookstores, is that if a person just brushed up on the local etiquette, way of life and a few phrases, they would be treated better.

See photos below contrary to the running shoe rule. French women have embraced it!

Here are a few more tips from an American that now lives in France:

I hope this helps out anyone that is heading to Paris, or anywhere in France for that matter – these simple rules apply all over the country.

I also have to remind people ( Americans really) that the French still hold a bit of a grudge – I have been mistaken for an American and have to say “Je suis Canadien” in order to set them straight. Seems they still wish you all joined in the Second World War sooner and want many of the tourists from USA to stop expecting things in France to be just like in America ( as told to us by a Frenchmen ). I recommend you speak in a lower tone, and follow all the above advice, and they will react better. It is important to note – Waiters are paid a living wage in France and thus, should be treated as equals, they are definitely not someone working in a bistro while they go to school.

My husband and I hanging out in the Marais for dinner. The table is yours for the night in French establishments.

Credits: some excerpts and photos – Pinterest

Bone Broth

I roasted an organic chicken last night for dinner and after eating, removed all the meat off the bones (I will make chicken salad with that) and popped them in a crock pot along with some garlic, onion, celery, lemon (skin on), and peppercorns along with water and left it to cook overnight. The result is a delicious and nutritious broth for lunch today. Here is a break down of the health benefits by Petes Palio Website. Www.petespalio.com

Here is a recipe from the GOOP website http://www.goop.com

As you can see, there are several benefits to bone broth so next time you are going to throw away those bones, toss them in a crockpot and make yourself some broth.

It’s All Black And White

As I write this, I am unsure if I will actually make it to France in May. The Covid Virus has shut down most of the world and traveling is heavily restricted. None the less, I remain optimistic that I will be sipping a Cafe’ Creme and eating Croissant soon enough and with that, I will continue to plan my travel wardrobe.

Those who know me well can attest to my penance for a black and white wardrobe. With a carryon suitcase in tow, everything needs to mix and match easily for me and this colour combo does the trick. The white shirt and black skirt combo really goes the distance and continues to look fresh all vacation long. Yes, I do have things dry cleaned when I travel if they really need it, but I can throw the shirt in a washing machine and hang to dry easily enough and most likely won’t need to clean the skirt the entire vacation. Here are a few photos courtesy of Pinterest that will give you some packing ideas.

Black and White is Ageless
Mix a black skirt with a black long sleeve tee for a casual elegance.
Tan accessories pair nicely with black and white
Take it up a notch with some pretty flats.
A great travel sandal that will do the distance from GEOX http://www.geox.com

As you can see, this is an easy look to pull off without taking up too much suitcase real estate. As always, I encourage you to plan your outfits in advance. I will devote an entire day to trying on different items and mixing and matching them six ways to Sunday to maximize my travel wardrobe, but minimize the space it takes up. If you do manage to get away this spring or Summer, Take the time to pack wisely and Bon Voyage!

A SNEAKER THAT CARES

The Vegan Vaja Campo $190.00 CDN

Two guys from France were doing an audit on a Chinese factory that made running shoes in an attempt to utilize a company that not only treats it’s employees fair, but also provides them with safe living conditions. All seemed okay when they visited the factory, but they then asked to see where the employees lived, and that’s where the story takes a dramatic shift. The employees were living in stacked bunks crammed in a small space and the bathroom facilities were deplorable, so they decided to take matters into their own hands and make the sneaker themselves. That became the beginning for the creation of a sustainable shoe that was also made with safe ingredients ( many runners are poisonous to the environment) and VEJA was born. Not only is Veja sourcing their own materials, they are a Certified B Corp and the cost of making their product is five times more expensive to produce, yet they keep their costs down by not advertising! Regular runners have a budget that is 70% advertising and 30% goes into the making of the shoe and goodness knows how those employees that make the shoe are treated.

Fair Trade and responsibly sourced materials are Vejas mantra. All sneakers are sourced and produced in Brazil.

Sneakers for both Men and Women

At the end of the day, we all wear sneakers of some kind, maybe we should start to focus more on supporting companies that care about what goes into making that shoe, then what page they pay to be on in a magazine.

Please visit http://www.veja-store.com to read up on how VEJA sneakers are made. Photos taken from the VEJA website and Pinterest. Available online and in YYC at Gravity Pope http://www.gravitypope.com and Holt Renfrew http://Www.holtfenrew.com

The Leather Veja Esplar
The Veja Campo (Vegan)
The Veja V10

Breton Style

When I travel, rather then bringing home some souvenir that will gather dust on a shelf, I like to buy a pice of clothing to wear that will remind me of my visit. Case in point will be my upcoming trip to Normandy, France for a nautical hit.

Saint James, the birth place of nautical gear, is made from sheep with a type of wool that has been raised in the salt marshes of the Normandy area. It provides an ideal strain of wool that has been keeping folks warm and cozy on the Atlantic for decades. In 1858, the Striped Breton Jersey became the official uniform of the French Navy, and was worn by CoCo Chanel before she was even a designer. Several decades later, it is a fashion staple “must have“ that many clothiers knock off, so it’s an easy to achieve this look without actually owning the original. Check of http://www.saint-James.com for prices and details. Ships Ahoy!

Photos – Saint James website.

The official French Navy Uniform
Coco Chanel wearing the Breton Jersey

Big Apple Shopping

Last week I was in New York to see my niece perform in an Off Broadway Cabaret. I’ve been to the big apple several times, so I did not feel the need to sight see, and instead chose to destination shop. High on my list this time was The Real Real, a high end consignment shop with a great online store, GOOP, Gweneth Paltrows brick and mortar boutique that offers many of her favourite non toxic beauty essentials and clothing showcased on her website of the same name, Uniqlo, a Japanese owned store full of great basics, and finally Ralph Lauren. I managed to get a little something at each store that still fit into my carry on. Although New York is an amazing place to shop, many of the stores have closed. Soaring rents have driven many away and I even bared witness to seeing Barneys of New York closing out.

Sure the biggies, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman are still around, but several for lease signs are posted all over Bleecker Street and the toni upper east side. SoHo on the other hand is brimming with stand alone stores from just about every designer including big skiwear lines like North Face and Rossignol. Here is where I went:

The Real Real – 80 Wooster Street. (SoHo) This location is the best

Uniqlo – 546 Broadway, New York ( SoHo)

GOOP – 25 Bond Street, New York ( NoHo)

Ralph Lauren Men’s – 867 Madison Ave, Ladies across the street 888 Madison Ave, ( Upper east side, by Central Park )

Uniqlo SoHo location
I purchased a packable light down jacket here.

Picked up the Face Glow and natural Goop perfume at GOOP.

The Real Real is THE place to go for high end consignment apparel, handbags and footwear. Also has a men’s section downstairs and a Cafe with a patio that has a tree that was planted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue location, right by Central Park oozes posh casual elegance – I would literally live in the store if I could.

The end of Barneys
SoHo Shopping Area
Pouring rain in New York so dressed to keep warm.
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com