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23 August 2011


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Thanks for the tour, it was a nice break.

How much would it be if I went into Laduree and ordered one of everything?

Just looked up Saint names, you could take St Parfait, April 18, and throw an ice cream party with your big American smile.

I so enjoy these posts. I like what you said about the shawl, they got that, sometimes that's just the way it is :)
The best part was seeing the linen with my initials on it! JM, now that was a treat. I'm wondering now if it's a napkin, pillow case....

Merci beaucoup for this beautiful roundup of Frenchness, I thoroughly enjoyed it. No, it made my day! I miss Provence immensely.

The linens put my heart aflutter!

Comparing your writing to, for example, this article in the New York Times linked to below, I ask myself my no American newspaper has asked YOU yet to write a (regular) column about Living in France:

Alan Cowell, France Tries to Define Frenchness


"I ask myself WHY ... " - sorry!

Hi S

Why isn't that a name to live up to!


Loved that you mentioned the French custom of packaging fresh pastries in pretty boxes tied up with a ribbon. While we were in Paris last month, my très Parisienne mother in law made us laugh when she told the story of her "spat" with the boulangère next door that morning. MIL has been patronizing that shop for years. Apparently, Madame la Boulangère was grumpy that day and she refused to tie a pretty ribbon around the box, claiming she was out of ribbon or whatever. MIL's arms were full (baguette, etc, you know, the basics) and she refused to leave the store until her pastry box was tied up properly with that dang ribbon! Monsieur le Boulanger had to interfere and finally located some ribbon under the countertop... Ah, these crazy French! Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle.

In Poland we also celebrate name days. I wrote about it here http://polonicahomeagain.blogspot.com/2011/05/name-day-imieniny.html .
I had not idea jeans (denim) originated in France, it seems so quintessentially American!
What is that thing called Comisisons? Is it a big shopping list or a list of orders?

I love hearing about all of the differences between the cultures!

I love when you do this, Corey! The denim fact was new to me and so interesting! It would be neat if you did a post like this weekly.

They are the most unique breed ever, those French, non? Eternal mystery to those who weren't raised there.

And plus, I WANT THOSE WHITE DISHTOWELS WITH THE RED STRIPE!!!! I've been adding red to my normally all-green (Fire King Jadeite collection) kitchen because I got my first Le Creuset pan (red) for Christmas. A pan like that deserves to be decorated around!

ok...now i want everything in this post but mostly that cool blue shirt. sorry about McDonalds. When I went to paris the only”french” thing i tried to say was friets and it was in a Micky D’s. so sad. cheers to yu and your wonderful Blog St. Corey.

...Corey I love your blog (even if I don't undestand everything, I am French and don't speak fluently english)... I love your photographs, too, of course I love you... but I have to put something right : only BOYS come from cabbages... little girls come from...ROSES - well, that's what we say...
(I agree with everything else!)

thank you Corey,
this is why i love to read you, you share the simplest things which mean so much. I always feel like I am reading an oldfriend just one i have not yet met. Love the photos and the words and you and yours!

Well, you know my real initial! Thanks for all of the French info. A birth day and a feast day-what a great idea.

Thank-you Corey! I dream of living in France.

Perhaps yet another book idea is for one filled with the little details like these that no one ever thinks to teach, but are important to learn if you are visiting or moving to France. (Accompanied by your beautiful photographs!)

Very interesting article..."What makes someone French?"...

Corey, have the French treated you differently? I have heard for many years that the French are very rude people...especially to Americans...mainly because we don't speak French...and when we try we speak it very badly.

Also I see many ads for learning to speak French in 10 days...is that really possible? Or is what we are learning merely phrases like "thank you" or "please" or "where is the bathroom" or "how much does this cost"?

How long did it take you to speak "good conversational" French?

Also, why DO the French hate us? Is it because of WW II?

I love all things French. The fashion, the furniture, the material...everything...The language is beautiful and all antiques are of good quality and very beautiful...

Loved reading all of these peeks into French living (also loving the photos).

Great post! Be back soon!

You could do to it, I just know it. Consider playing this at the party to please the Frenchman in your life:

mon petit chou......loved today's post... so filled with interesting facts. Many things reminded me of what I liked most about my first experience with the french: their sensibility. I so wish we lived in that way here (Canada) but to have one's soul bathed in such a way was the best part of my trip to Paris.

I hope you have another good day of capturing great photos for all to enjoy to accompany your ever thoughtful text.


I have but only one question, how do I get my hands on that fabulous cork screw?!! lol

Love your posts chickie!

I wonder if the word, "commissary" came from the same French word? The Commissary is where people who serve in our armed services can buy less expensive products..and no tax.

Such a lovely post, and interesting links to thought-provoking articles. I was happy to find both my daughters' name days, and the lady with the hot pink pashmina has become my latest style inspiration! Whatever one might think of the French, good and bad (like any nation), what is captivating to me is their deep appreciation of beauty and quality of life. In the simplest to the grandest things.

Hi C.L.

A fortune.

Laduree's large macarons (about 3 inches across) are around three euro each ($5. The small ones (about the size of a silver dollar) are 6 for around 6 Euros.


Hi E

A pillow case I no longer have.


Can never get enough about French!
Love Love the blue kitchen towels and all the towels. And the sheets. And that beautiful blue shirt. Yes. I am trying to figure out how to get my paw on them.


Found my name day, July 26 - St Anne - on Ask.com. With so many beautiful churches in France and the many blessings - Lourdes, and all the wonderful Saints from France - St. Terese a fav - I probably would spend time visiting all these sites. How far are you from Lourdes?

Hi A

About nine hours on a train.


Hi T.

I sold last year!
You will have to check my online shop more often.


Hi B
I have never felt that I was treated differently or rudely by the French because I am American. I do not think the French or any more rude than the Americans. I think they are misunderstood, or/and their actions are compared to what Americans would do in the same situation. Comparing two cultures that way rarely ends in a good way.
I have never felt that the French dislike Americans, at least not in my circle have I ever felt like that.


So many interesting facts! I am glad that the sun has arrived - I hope it stays for a while as I will be there in 2 weeks!!

It has taken me a lifetime to learn to speak French well.

Hi G,

Oh!! I love that. Roses for girls and Cabbages for boys! But Chelsea could have never fit into a rose!


Hi J

I will aim for once a month, and then see.


This was my first visit to your blog and I feel as if I just made a short trip to France... I can't wait to visit again!

So interesting!
My Mom has a big Monalisa print on the way to her bathroom and I have always have had a postcard of her in my bathroom. Did not know about King Francis the I, and that we were carrying on a tradition!!!

Loved this!

The woman in the scar/shawl thing...simplicity at its best. A lesson in dressing.

thanks Corey

St. Corey, I laughed out loud at FH being all french in your face. You do have a way with words.

I love this post - so fascinating!!! When I first came to Japan and discovered a favorite sweet called Chou Creme (shu kureemu in Japanese) I thought it was so funny. Who wants to eat something called shoe cream? I am ever so grateful that Japanese love French pastries!

The thing that struck me most about this post was the fact that your house is over 400 years old! That's double the age of the United States itself. One of the things that attracted me to Japan was the long history and ancient customs. Yet, in modern Japan people build houses out of what looks like 2x4s and cardboard, then tear them down 30 years later and start over. Blows my mind. I would so love to see your maison du village!

I'm assuming that it's totally modernized as far as the baths and kitchen go. How would you compare your kitchen with one in a typical American house?

This was great! Really enjoyed learning more about France. Met a couple from the South of France today in the U.S. they were delightful.

C, love this post! I read it with my 13 yo son who then went on to read yesterday's post about Annie. He was captivated! I think it's so cool how my whole family loves to read your posts and follow what you are doing.

Wonderful post Corey. The tidbits and historical crumbs you shared were fascinating...the Mona Lisa in a bathroom! Lol! Loved the linens!

Denim? Not American? Wow.

You write with such love! My six year old can't wait to travel to France one day - thank you.

I recognize that chateau! And that bottom too perhaps.

Hmm I think my baptismal name was given as Maria, as my given names are not affiliated with any Saints.
I might have to see when that is!
Thanks for the really interesting information Corey!

I have been living in France for quite some time and am returning regularly since we have a small house in the South of France .... but that "Denim" is "de Nîmes" - oh my God , it's so obvious... Thanks Corey, enjoy the warmth that finally came (when we were in Agde in July/August weather was very mixed ...). Love from Munich

Brenda; I lived in UK for 8 1/2yrs and was often told by our English friends that the French can be very rude.... but in general they are not, they are just French!
I am a Swiss woman, living now in the neighbourhood of Paris for a bit more than three years and now it's ME who find the French PARISIANS incredibly rude, reckless, careless, unfriendly and foul mouthed. It's BECAUSE Paris is not only a wonderful, beautiful city with magnificent views, museums, boat trips,shops, restaurants, etc but because it's about no personal space, litter everywhere, traffic and pollution to make you sick, it's a constant fight for your job, accommodation, the next metro, train or meal... and THAT gives France a bad reputation. I am a very smiling person and it shocked me beyond reason how people here looked at me as a village idiot because I said 'good morning', MERCI (never say thank you!), made smiling remarks which go down very well in UK, Switzerland and Canada where I lived too but not in Paris.
I now say France is very friendly everywhere BUT Paris, but don't let yourself be put off by it - as you will never have a chance to become Parisian, just be yourself! It's not a question of being American or not; our English friends with quite good French knowledge suffered / enjoyed the very same treatment. I was always welcomed and accommodated very friendly anywhere but the capital... So DO come, visit, just try some of Corey's tricks..., the might help!
Bienvenue en France; Love, Kiki

Corey, I wanted to comment yesterday but didn't have the time.
I never ever heard the thing about bread not being bitten into... but then I thought, we mostly automatically dont just bite into the bread but tear little bits off it.... so maybe we just never noticed!
The shawl photo is BESTEST.... and SO typical!!!! Lovely
Your whole choice of themes and your tackling of French things rings so true; I could add a few myself but won't go into that now because they concern rather the unpleasant sides that are sadly typical too (living in the larger Paris region).
The Mona Lisa remark made me grin; when in England, I had a huge (and frankly quite kitschy) painting in a baroque frame that my Hero Husband found absolutely beyond endurance. I however loved it because I have a strong love affair with all things ANGEL and this was an angel holding back a child falling over a cliff.... (well, maybe HH HAD a case....) so I put it over the bathtub in the bathroom where it rested and fogged up at every shower we took. It then fell down one day and I didn't have the heart to fix it - but it seems that having 'art' in the bathroom is not something odd... :))

can't wait for my next trip. It will be all about the brocante/vide grenier this time!!!!!!

I have to tell you something funny. After we returned from France in May, I was sitting on the sofa and wistfully said one word,"France". My husband said "get off France! It was nice, but there are lots of nice places in the world!". At that exact moment we heard the voice of Owen Wilson on TV saying "This is unbelievable; there's no city like this in the world!" It was a trailer for the movie "Midnight in Paris" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYRWfS2s2v4 I laughed and laughed and he sat there looking like a husband in a sitcom who has been upstaged.

Thank you, Kiki for reply...you are probably right...it's not ALL France...just Paris and Parisians that's the problem...Have a Great Day!

AHA! I didn't think one could speak French in 10 days! LOL!

Thanks for reply.

I love your blog and I knew about denim coming from de Neims, It was in the local paper one time under "little known facts".

I too had a 10 pound baby!Another for the list!Who won the RIBBON?Did I miss that??

Same happened to me because as a Catholic, your name must have an official saint (Merisi doesn't - not that Caravaggio lived a saintly life, he only painted saints *grin*).

My mother was accidentally baptized with her first names reversed. Only when she married did she discover the her official name was Anna Maria, not vice vera. The godmother was so nervous, she got the names switched (this was in the old days, I was born at home, with a midwife, and babies were rushed to the church almost immediately after birth, without the mother).

My mother always spoke french with my aunt as the "secret language" and wished we would not learn it as to keep it that way. She said that Louisiana French was nothing like Parisian French, but I have found several similarities.
When you mentioned a thousand old french nightshirts, I got excited! I see just the place to display them, were you serious???
I had my first child at 28, he was one ounce shy of a ten pounder. I had a bad epidural and clutched the anesthesiologist by the collar and very firmly told him to fix it! The painful situation disappeared when I saw my big cabbage patch baby boy! All worth it!

Doesn't she?! When I need a mood boost, I head to Corey's blog. Also, my six year old was just drawing the Eiffel Tower yesterday and writing "France" with curly letters.

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