J'adore... an intelligent, enlightening and even witty read.
I can currently be found on the couch devouring the book Backwards in High Heels. Here is a review.
I have mentioned here on my blog that I am taking an enormous leap of faith by endeavoring to write a book. A book of my very own. A little of it revolves around a rather romantic notion of France, but mostly it is about what it means to be a modern day woman, here, in America.
It is about the way we embrace the expectations of others, struggle with our own authenticity, relish our sisterhood, live the realities of love...
The thing is, writing is lonely work. I am an introvert, so I usually don't mind. However, every once in awhile every writer looks up and wonders if they have lost touch with what is happening around them. When this happens your stomach turns topsy turvy, you swallow hard and have to ask yourself the ultimate question. Will anyone out there relate to this?
By this I, of course, mean the thousands upon thousands of words I have dedicated hours upon hours of my life to. Yeah, it is only a little terrifying to think about... now that you mention it!
Well, anyway, that was my morning.
Needing to get out of the apartment I immediately found myself immersed in the most comforting place I know... the local bookstore. Such a creature of habit. In truth, I have been there so many times that I strongly believe, on some level, I have an internal map of the place. I could work there. Looking for Edith Wharton? Not a problem. According to my invisible catalog you can find her on the far right wall, second shelf from the bottom. As you might imagine, I get terribly upset when they rearrange things.
While I was aimlessly wandering about, I realized that today I went to the bookstore for an ounce of reassurance. I needed to know that the ideas I have been putting to the page will one day find a place in this world. I needed a sign. That is where the book Backwards in Heels: The Impossible Art of Being Female comes in. It practically fell off of the shelf and into my hands. And thank goodness it did. It is an international seller. Imagine that?! And it circles around some of the same thoughts and themes that my own writing has been dedicated to. And it does so with an effervescent, straightforward approach that is so very refreshing and uniquely it's own.
What a relief to know that I might not be that off the mark after all. Women out there are, in fact, concerned about these aspects of their lives. Honestly, I could care less about there being an actual market for my work. I am more concerned with there being a real, live, living, breathing need. A need for sharing ourselves, our lives, our common circumstances of time.
J'adore... Coco Chanel quotes.
I have long believed that a girl could live an extraordinary life if she simply followed the words of wisdom once uttered by Coco (Gabrielle) Chanel.
Apparently I am not alone.
There is now a book out called The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the Worlds Most Elegant Woman. I am going to have to get my hands on a used copy, somewhere, somehow, someway.
In all seriousness, she really did say the most fabulous things at times. For example:
"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone."
Isn't that thought just perfect? It is probably my favorite. Her advice is so often impeccable, except, of course, when it comes to men. Still, if I had to guess, I would say, by far, one of her most popular adages is...
"A woman who does not wear perfume has no future." In other words, treat yourself well.
Recently, I took this sentiment somewhat seriously and literally. I am at a bit of a crossroads in my life and by golly if there is one thing I want it is a darn future. And a fantastic one at that. For this reason alone, I have been on the hunt. On the hunt for an affordable perfume line, one that isn't suspiciously laden with potentially harmful chemicals. And I think that I have found it!
Pacifica Perfume makes solid perfumes in the most delectable scents. They arrive in these adorable little tins, tins small enough to sneak into your purse. The best part (aside from the fact that they are currently only $9.00 each) is that their solid perfumes are made with organic coconut/soy wax and natural/essential oils. In addition they are completely paraben free. They do not contain artificial coloring. They have not been animal tested. They are vegan and also gluten free. Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?
Here is a link to their French Lilac fragrance. Perfect for Spring. I think even Coco would agree.
PS - I promise (cross my heart) they aren't paying me! I have just really fallen head over heals with the product and wanted to share it with you. They have so many scents... there is sure to be one just right for you. And the layering options are endless.
PSS - I recently tried the perfume spray in "Lotus Garden" - it is divine.
J'adore... fresh perspectives and the way they can turn our world utterly upside down.
Recently, I obtained a new perspective on an emotion. Envy. It seems every once in awhile, without warning, whether we like it or not, life will overnight an ounce of it right to our front doorstep.
Special delivery. No signature required.
There is this lovely artist out there. I have taken one of her courses. We have even exchanged a casual correspondence or two. About a week or so ago she left the states behind to spend the month of April in Paris.
I am ecstatic for her. I am also envious with abandon. To be honest, I am even envious of her take on envy! And I quote:
"What I have come to realize about this completely normal human emotion is that a) normal as it may be, it really sucks when you feel it and b) any time you feel jealousy, it is giving you clues to what you really want in your own life. That's right jealousy is alerting you to your dreams."
And she is right. I know she is right. You know she is right. The truth is, if we follow our envy we will find exactly what we have always wanted for ourselves.
Now that I have arrived at the understanding of this... I can't help but wonder... now what?!
If you are interested in finding out more:
Take a peek at the parisian pictures she has captured with her iphone. Also, for the creatively inclined, she has recorded a handful of inspiring podcasts that are free and available for your listening pleasure. I enjoy listening along while I am writing or painting.
Above Photo: Fickr Artist
J'adore... aesthetic indulgences and the fact that the husband and I may be moving out of the apartment and into our own little house at the end of the summer. One with a pine tree forest for a backyard.
Needless to say, I have had interior design on my mind. And my style is a mix between "Traditional" and what the French call "Boheme".
The closest translation that we have for this style here in the good old U S of A would be "Bohemian Chic" but that isn't exactly it, not really.
In the European version, there is something a smidge more elegant and effortlessly lived in about it all. Maybe it is the splash of antiques that are thousands of years old instead of only hundreds. Not that I can afford either. I am looking forward to $4 (or 3 Euro) Flea Market finds.
These days I am dreaming of collecting a set of mismatched floral china. And I have become completely obsessed with this blog - La Maison Boheme. It is well worth a look. You will see. Before you know it, you will be swooning over cheerful colors, chandeliers, and charmeuse too.
PS - Exactly what makes a house a home? Love, of course. And lots of it.
J'adore... the way Debra Olliver waxes poetic.
"The archetypical French girl is not the women you see on the cover of magazines or on the big screen. Nor is she the woman you see strolling the Rue St. Honore... She is an essence, a way of being, a mindset - and exists in us all.
She is the part of us that is free - and not bound up by the joyless strings of Puritan morality or guilt. She's that part of us that has a sense of continuity in life, that doesn't rush, that feels sexy for no apparent reason.
She is, more fundamentally, that part of us that does not want to live accordingly to what others think she should be. She is her own woman. Entirely."
In her books, What French Women Know and Entre Nous Olliver insightfully introduces us to the ocean of differences that divide the American and French lifestyles. Most importantly, she does so from a perfectly feminine perspective.
From her writing, I have learned that an alternate way of being, of thinking, of appreciating oneself exists. I think this is something that so many of us need, sometimes without even realizing it.
All I can say is, at the end of the day, I don't know of a single woman, on any side of the Atlantic, that does not like to have her options...
Photo: Flickr Artist