Francophile Read-Joie de Vivre

I can’t believe this French lifestyle book hasn’t popped up on more Francophile book lists.

This book is like reading a day in the life of a French person and the day revolves around the importance of meal times. If you’re someone who is interested in what the French eat day to day, this is the book for you.

The author who is a French chef believes a happy life is found in the little things you do daily. So why not pause and make the little things a little special like the French do. I agree.

I bought this book electronically, but this is a book I see myself referencing often, especially since recipes are included. And as convenient as electronic books are, they do not compare with holding a real book in your hand and thumbing through the pages. It’s the little things.

Here are some takeaways from the book.

  1. Take a few moments and enjoy breakfast.
  2. Use cloth napkins.
  3. A French cafe au lait bowl almost requires you to take your time with two hands and enjoy the warmth and coziness of your morning beverage.
  4. Grow something you love to eat and share it with others.
  5. Grow an herb garden
  6. Set fruits and veggies that need to be used out in a pretty bowl or pedestal that as a reminder.
  7. A state of the art kitchen doesn’t mean good food. Alot of the kitchen aesthetics and tools aren’t needed. The author himself has a very humble kitchen.
  8. The kitchen is the heart of the home.
  9. Eat seasonally and go to farmers markets if you can.
  10. If you are pressed for time during weekday lunches, pre-pack your lunch; leave the office and relax while you enjoy your meal.
  11. Even if you do not leave your house to go to work, you should schedule time, sit down and have a nice lunch.
  12. An aperitif and a quick nibble before your lunch and dinner is a nice ritual prior to your meal.
  13. Picinics are wonderful, but eat at a bench, picnic table, pop up table. No one wants to eat food on the ground.
  14. Entertaining should be relaxing and pleasant for everybody. Doing alot of prep the day before will help.
  15. Set a pretty table. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Some table linens, candles, and flowers go a long way in presentation.
  16. Not confident about giving a big dinner party? Start small with a couple of people.
  17. Take a 30 minute nap after meals, guilt free!
  18. Sandwiches are great meals when you use the best ingredients. Don’t skimp.
  19. If your dinners begin later in the evening like the French, have a snack/treat around 5:00pm. (The French have ONLY one snack per day around 5:00pm called “goûter.) This snack is often a sweet treat, such as an eclair. Indulge!
  20. MY final takeaway from this book: Meal times are not only for eating, but to take pauses in your day either on your own, with others, or with family to appreciate good food, each other, and life.

Current Read-Living Forever Chic

A new francophile book on the shelf! (I still can’t help myself.)

Living Forever Chic by Jamie Cat Callan gives insights, lifestyle, and practical information to obtaining a French way of life. She covers everything from beauty and dress, to decor and entertaining. The tips in this book are definitely worth a read for any woman.

Current Read- My Twenty Five Years in Provence

BABD357B-B6CD-4E43-9CE5-2ABEF3741DC8

Peter Mayle’s look back at his life in Provence and the affection he had for his chosen homeland. As always, his writing is full of charm as he brings you into the rhythms of Provence living.

This nostalgic book being his last before he died seems a fitting goodbye. Nobody did it better. RIP.

7312552D-7FB8-423C-B2EB-6D47BC777174

“A Year in Provence” is my favorite Mayle book, and probably one of my favorite books in general. He and his wife decide to move to France and he details the beauty of Provence, the struggles of being an expat, and the characters of the village all with love and humor.