Friday, 8 October 2010

What makes my heart sing: all things French

Well, lovely friends of Planet Baby, looking back, this week’s posts have been a bit heavy. How about something a little lighter – what gives me pleasure while I’m residing here on PB? Yes, somehow in the middle of all the cacophony, action and colour of life here on this planet, I actually sneak the (very) occasional moment to do something for myself. Mind you, until recently I’d almost forgotten about my alter ego, Jane the person. It was as if my identity had become submerged under a pile of dirty washing or under the bubbles in the pixies’ bath. Sound familiar?! Then, since I started blogging (only 11 weeks ago but it feels like much longer), I have started to rediscover myself and remember what makes my heart sing. So, one of my passions is all things French.
Where to start? The deliciousness of the lilt of the language, the vibrant passion, the emotion, the timeless style, the fascinating history and the beautiful contributions to art, philosophy and literature, just for starters! Not to mention the sumptuous food, extraordinary architecture, pretty homewares and just the general je ne sais pas quoi and joie de vivre. Before meeting Mr PB, I learnt French at school and then spent some time travelling around France. One of our greatest dreams is to travel there together to experience the loveliness. I can't wait to return to the gorgeous Musée d'Orsay.
So, how do I celebrate this passion on PB? Well, I mentioned that I recently celebrated my 40th birthday by holding a French-inspired lunch with dear friends. Here is our blackboard showing the menu du jour.
Yes, it's the pixies' easel!
Here I am with festive feather boa.
I was given these pretty French-inspired presents.
It's so gorgeous, it deserves a post of its own
Here's a pretty letter holder.
I can't wait to use this journal.

Since arriving in Blogland, I’ve found these delightful French-inspired blogs which you might like to peek at. Let them know I sent you!
Favourite French-inspired blogs
 The amusing Tish at A femme d’un certain age (you’ll love her alter ego, Cherie)
The dreamy à la parisienne
A foodie’s delight,  Cannelle et vanille

The inspirational Leeann at Fabulously French – do have a peek at her gorgeous online shop. And look at the pretty brocante tote bag I ordered from her which arrived today!
The delightful Dee at French bleu vintage – another online treasure trove awaits you. Sigh again.

♥ Lovely Béa at the scrumptious La tartine gourmande

The classy Si at French by design
The fabulous ex-pat Australian author Vicki Archer at French Essence
Sweet Rachel at *French Farmhouse 425* who creates French-inspired loveliness
  The talented Tracey at French Larkspur who has a beautiful eye for photography
The divine prettiness of French Blue with another sweet online store. Sigh.
Favourite French images
I’ve also been collecting pretty French images on We it. Here are some of my some of my favourites – enjoy! There are so many, I think I’ll have a recurring ‘French prettiness’ series. What do you think?
Ooh, Laduree!
And a delight found on Etsy.
Isn't this whimsical?
I adore this boulangerie
And another Parisian street scene to finish.
I'd love to know if any of you are fellow Francophiles out there! Have you travelled there, lived there or dreamed of travelling there? Maybe you have some lovely memories of time spent in France. Maybe you have French friends or family. Do share - we'd all love to hear!


  1. Lovely images of France Jane. I have been to France on numberous occasions with work, and am dying to get back there with John (who hasn't been there). We had planned to spend my 40th Birthday in Paris, but darling little Sophie sorta of got in the way of that one! LOL. I had one 6 wks trip travelling by car from Paris to Rome. Oh, such a glorious time! I too shall return one day!

  2. Every now & then i'll do a big French inspired theme for my market stall, always a success & i have lots of beautiful French printed fabrics for such an event. I love France too, my sister married a Frenchman, we can speak French together but she doesn't understand, he he he. Evil little sister. What a great idea for a lovely way to spend your 40th. I should get my thinking cap on, still recovering from the big 30th i threw myself 5 years ago, it was awesome. Love Posie

  3. My house that I just built and sold had a bit of an underlying French provincial thing happening in it. At the end of it all I was a bit Fleur De Lis-ed out and sold all the French contents. I have been stocking up on bits and pieces for my store in 2011 and once again I find myself being drawn to the Fleur De Lis thing...there's something about France and the French as Vicki highlights in her beautiful book 'French Essence'...the essence, what is it? They know how to live, to love living and everyone wants a bit of it! A-M xx

  4. I've been to Paris twice - both times with Stephen, once before we were married and then once with Ina when she was 15 months. I haven't been up the Eifel Tower and I haven't been to the Louvre, but I really love the parks in Paris, both the old and the contemporary, and I haven't visited them all yet. I also really love the food markets and the way they shop daily for fresh food.

    Next time I'll be going to Vaux le Vicomte and Versailles, and oh yeah, le Louvre!

  5. love the pictures ... especially the one with the hot air balloons and the one of the birthday menu (on the kids art easel)!
    Oh, how i love all things French too x happy weekend Jane

  6. Thank you Jane for the be included in such wonderful company is very touching. I look forward to reading and seeing much more of your blog, xv.

  7. Hi Jane! Your Paris pictures have me longing to go is such a beautiful city!!! I'm right there with ya on the love of all things French :)) Thanks so much for mentioning my blog, it was really sweet of you!

    Have a great weekend ~

    :) T

  8. Loving all the French fun!

  9. Dear, dear Jane,

    Happy birthday! And thank you so much for the shout out, I am so flattered.

    Your blog is divinely charming and it always makes my happy to find another Francophile. Really, the French do know a few things about living well.

    The sweet boots in your "logo" feel very French.

    Merci mille fois,

    Tishxo (Cherie's too busy to respond, but she definitely needs all the friends she can get. . .)

  10. ~**~Thanks so much Jane!! You are so sweet!! Hugs, Rachel ;)~*~*

  11. Oh, ladies, what a delight to see all these comments this morning once I've dragged myself away from Planet Baby!

    I hope you get there soon, Jo. Without the children would be fun!

    Posie, I'll have to peek at your shop - that French fabric has me intrigued.

    Oh, A-M, I couldn't agree more.

    Sarah, so happy to share. I think I'll make it a regular thing, I've enjoyed it so much.

    My pleasure, Vicki, and thanks so much for following - I am amazed you found the time to track me down. I am a huge fan of yours.

    And Sue, so fabulous to see you here as well. I love your blog!

    Thanks so much, Tish - my pleasure. Oh, and say "Bonjour!" to Cherie from me ☺.

    And finally, Rachel, you're welcome. I hope more people find out about you now. J x

  12. Hi Jane, I'm with you - I love everything French. I went to Paris for a super-brief trip about 13 years ago as part of a whirlwind European tour. I'd love to go back. I have to admit I am totally jealous of a close friend of mine who's husband is taking her to Paris for her 40th nest year. Not fair!! *sigh*
    One day...

  13. Hi Jane
    Happy Belated 40th birthday.... looks like you received some beautiful and inspiring gifts...

    Well I have been to France twice.. sadly not for long enough each time.. but I have spent 2 months in Italy [and still not long enough!!] ... basically I like all mediterranean countries. They each have something special and unique in their style and culture.

    Thanks for popping over my way... my art is not actually paintings [I wish!] .. but photo-art using various techniques applied to my own original photography... a little obsession of mine. Have a lovely weekend.. xxx Julie

  14. Hi Jane what a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday. I dream of one day travelling & definately visiting Paris. I have 4 children, they range from the ages of 17 right down to 3 yrs old, destoying ant possibility of affordable over seas travel, but, my time will come!!
    Thanks for dropping by my blog & leading me back here, I love your honesty.
    P.S i was a young mum (22 for my first) & an old mum (37 for my 4th), theres no perfect age in my book. There are pro's & con's for every age!!

  15. Yes, Sarah, that's what dreams are for, I guess. I was last there as an 18 year old and I think next time, I will have a lot more appreciation of the place and where I want to go.

    Thanks, Julie. I loved my one week travel around Italy as well. Lucky you to have stayed two months. Thanks for explaining - you are very talented at it!

    Ah, Trish, I hear you! Patience is a virtue and all that...In the meantime, no doubt you'll indulge in vicarious pleasure by reading people's blogs who have travelled! Why, thanks! Gee, you've got both ends of the spectrum covered. Four children - well done you. And thanks for adding me to your blogroll - I really appreciate it. I'm your newest follower and can't wait to read more about your life. J x

  16. gorgeous! love the chalkboard menu and I do have a soft spot for all things frenchy! I was very lucky when I met retro daddy that he went off to work for AXA in paris for 2 years and I'd spend a lot of weekends there as I was in london. oh so tough.

    ps my baby's name is french and can't wait to share!

  17. Jane...I love that you spent your 40th celebrating all things French. Don't you look tres chic in that feather boa!

    You have featured some wonderful blogs here too. I am off to Paris at the end of the month with my daughter (17 years old). I took her older sister ( 19 years) at the beginning of the year and now it is her turn. Eurostar out of London for a long weekend. I think experiencing someone's first impressions of Paris is as enjoyable as visiting the city. Wonderful to see it thru the eyes of a child. I guess I should say young woman :))

    Jeanne xxx

  18. Oh, Corrie, you lucky duck! And ooh, how exciting, tantalising, even. Oh well, all will be revealed very soon...

    Why, thanks, Jeanne! And what a delightful trip you have planned. How precious to spend a weekend together in a foreign city like that. J x

  19. I went to school in France for a little while as a young'un and am very keen to do the same with my boys at some point! Lovely photos. x

  20. Ooh, you lucky thing, Emma! Yes, I would love to give the pixies the chance to do an exchange like I did. Although the mere thought of it is terrifying at the moment! We have a few more years to get out of the way first! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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