I want to live my dreams in French

I want to live my dreams

I want to live my dreams

Do I dream in French? Oui.

And when I do I speak it well. Fluently.

I use it to buy fresh bread at the bakery :: la boulangerie. Warm, butter-filled pastries at la patisserie. Delicious and dreamy.

I have other dreams too.

One of them – you may guess – concerns writing.

La vie de l’écrivain :: the writer’s life.

I have written since I was a child. I wrote poetry in the shade of baby redwoods and composed ee cummings inspired poems. I paid more attention to the shape of the poem than the content.

I made up my own words. I was happy, content.

I have fallen in and out of love with my writing career over the years.

Poetry.

News reporting.

Magazine writing.

Press releases.

Marketing materials.

I published a book under a nome de plume last fall, and am currently writing the second book in the series.

My dream is to make a living as a writer. A simple living would be fine :: une vie simple serait bein. Très bien.

Et alors:: And so, I am making big changes, très grands changements,  in my life to see what I can do with more time to dedicate to my craft.

My art, my passion.

My dream in French. :: mon reve en français. 

Avec Amour,

Jessica

certains de mes préférés choses ::some of my favorite things ~ Paris Breakfasts blog

Salut, ça va? :: Hello, how are you?

Today I would like to share one of my favorite french-themed blogs with you.

There are so many good ones out there I am limiting my sharing to one at a time ::   un à la foie. 

La premier, in no particular order, is Paris Breakfasts, by Carol Gillott.

I just love her! Not only is her blog filled with gorgeous photographs of paris style, streets, treats and special spots, her commentary is charmant and makes me feel like I am in the company of une bonne amie. 

But wait, there’s more! Carol Gillott also offers subscriptions for monthly watercolors of Paris. She has been a watercolor artiste since her mother taught her at age 5 and now she lives in Paris and creates these sweet scenes for us to enjoy.

You can subscribe at her Etsy shop.

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Why not have a little taste of Paris delivered to you each month?

It’s like having une amie française, a french friend, send you an illustrated letter each month.

Sign me up :: Enregistre moi!

With love for all things French :: avec amour pour toutes les choses françaises,

Jessica

The Latest News :: Dernières Nouvelles

Bonjour!

Did you know you can follow me on Instagram? It’s easy – @dreamsinfrench.

I am also getting started on Pinterest:

I have been trying to figure out an easy way to send my Instagram posts to the blog instantly. Pas très facile. 

So today I will give you the update in one big, beautiful post.

16 juillet 

I took this photo and then used the filters to bring it to black and white – it turned out so beautifully.

I especially love the contrast of new and old and the reflections from I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid.

The Louvre

The Louvre

17 juillet

This photo was taken in the Notting Hill neighborhood in London. We were on our way to the Portobello Road market when we passed this cheeky building.

Fait vous regardez

Fait vous regardez

18 juillet

My talented fille, M., took this exquisite photo. I love the color and the perspective.

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swings on the Eiffel Tower :: balançoires sur la Tour Eiffel

19 juillet 

I was inspired to try painting watercolors of  some of the gorgeous buildings and other images we saw on our trip.  I thought this would make a beautiful watercolor.  In fact, it actually looks like a watercolor already.

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Here is another that would be a great watercolor :: voici une autre qui serait une grande aquarelle.

Le Fleuriste

Le Fleuriste

Perhaps someday I will have the time to live la vie de l’artiste.

Until next time :: jusqu’à la prochaine fois, 

Jessica

Bastille Day :: La Fête Nationale

Yesterday was Bastille Day – La Fete Nationele in France.

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Of course, I had to celebrate here, at home, even if no one else knew what was up.

I started by wearing the tricolore, bien sûr. If only I could master the outfit selfie I would be able to post pictures (perhaps I need to borrow my daughter’s selfie-stick. The one she bought in Paris and we made fun of her for.)

In any event, I had my red and white striped maxi-dress with my blue flats and office-appropriate tailored denim jacket over top. With my jaunty blue and white Paris scarf, of course. Très mignon, if you ask me.

In my way to work I stopped at a local bakery for some croissants [Stay tuned: I will be posting the results of my Quest for the Best Croissant soon.]

This stop was at The Buttery.

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Flaky outer layer – yummers!

After sharing my celebratory croissants with my co-workers – and educating them on French joie de vivre – I made some small adjustments to my workspace and carried on with the day.

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Spreading the joy!

After the work, more celebrating! My sweetie and I went to a local bistrot, Au Midi,  where we enjoyed  a special Bastille Day menu.

Enjoying the evening

Enjoying the evening

Première, gaspacho de cerises et les tomates :: First, gazpacho of cherries and tomatoes.

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An unusual combination to muy palate, but it was good! The large shrimp brought a hint of orange and the greens were sharp and added a great contrast to the sweet of the gazpacho. The texture was welcome too.

Then, a perfectly cooked salmon dish with a sorrel sauce. So good!

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Finally, enfin, a tartlette of strawberries ::  de fraiseswith lemon and basil mousse. Avec un café il était une fin parfaite :: with a coffee it was a perfect ending.

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I hope you had a lovely Bastille Day and were able to add a little of la vie française to your day!

à la prochaine :: until next time,

Jessica

Favorite Books and Authors :: Livres et Auteurs Préférés

Bonjour!

Yesterday was a great day for me – I got to meet one of my favorite authors – Cara Black.  If you don’t know who Cara Black is, allow me to introduce you.

Cara Black is the author of the Aimée Leduc mystery series. Each book is set in a different arrondissement in Paris and features a strong, smart and très à la mode heroine in Aimée. 

My aunt lives in Los Gatos and was waking downtown when she saw that Cara Black was going to be doing a “meet and greet” at a small independent book shop, the adorable and charmant Village House of Books.

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Knowing that I am a big fan of the series my aunt promptly called me to give me the heads up.

I was pleased to be able to make it and am so happy I did. Ms. Black was very kind and warm and chatted with my sweetie and me for quite a while.

As we had been in Paris just a few weeks earlier we exchanged stories about the city of light and she graciously shared some insider tips with us for our next visit!

When I mentioned I am embarking on a search for an authentically delicious croissant here, at home in Northern California, she pointed us in the direction of her favorite spot in San Francisco.

b patisserie, here we come!

So,  I was able to meet one of my idols:

Did I mention we both graduated from San Francisco State University?

Did I mention we both graduated from San Francisco State University?

I got a signed edition of her new book:

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and got a free tote bag

Waterlogue 1.1.4 (1.1.4) Preset Style = Illustration Format = 6

This watercolor was created with the very easy, very cool app Waterlogue

It was a good day! :: C’était une bonne journée!

Now please excuse me, I have some reading to do :: Maintenant, s’il vous plaît pardonnez-moi, je dois un peu de lecture à faire,

Jessica

Quelques-uns de Mes Articles Préférés Français :: A Few of My Favorite French Things

Also known as an on-going subject of my blog to include other blogs, books, movies, food, ideas, fashion, bakeries, restaurants, locations, podcasts, etc.

Phew! Je suis épuisé après que la liste :: I am exhausted after that list…

When I think about it there is so much for me to share with you about my love for France. In fact, just this morning I was thinking about where my Francophile nature began. My parents were not international travelers and no one I knew growing up was French, had been to France, nor was particularly interested in la vie Francaise. 

So where did it come from? Hmmm….something to think (and write) about for sure.

What about you? Where did your love for France begin?

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Yesterday, on my Instagram page (@dreamsinfrench) I shared a small sneak peek of a piece of mail I had been waiting for…

A few friends were like, “Well, what was that? What did you get in the mail?” So here it is, a beautiful letter with a gorgeous watercolor…
 and a very sweet handwritten note from the artist.

The artist, Janice MacLeod-Lik, is also an author. I read her beautiful and sweet memoir,Paris Letters, a few months before we left on our trip. The book both got me (more, is that possible?) excited for our trip to Paris and also got me thinking about taking up watercoloring. (I will discuss the subject of watercoloring/sketchbook journaling in an upcoming post, because there is – as with most of my stories – much more to it.)

In any event, I was very excited to get my first letter from Janice. I subscribed to her letters for several reasons:

1) I love to get mail
2) I like to support fellow creative types
3) the letters are both beautiful and inspiring
4) they are fun and make me smile.

what more is there :: Qu’y at-il?

à bientôt!
Jessica