Love French Style is a French home and interiors blog by content writer Katie Anderson. Discover inspiring French homewares, recipes and design ideas plus lots of Breton stripes.
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There are times when there seems to be so much noise on social media that it’s quite nice to just sit back and let it wash over you! I’ve not felt at all compelled to write about how I feel about the whole Coronavirus situation we are all living through, because, well, there’s not much Read the full article... The post A Few Thoughts About Coronavirus & Staying at Home appeared first on Love French...
There are times when there seems to be so much noise on social media that it’s quite nice to just sit back and let it wash over you! I’ve not felt at all compelled to write about how I feel about the whole Coronavirus situation we are all living through, because, well, there’s not much that I can say that will change how you or I are feeling right now. I planned to repaint the whole house but instead found myself mindlessly watching videos on shaping eyebrows or planting trees – looking for positive things like singing and dancing to feed my heart. There have been days when I just wanted to hide until it had all gone away, but it’s still here. There are so many people giving their tuppence worth about Corona that sometimes it’s best to lose yourself in something else for a while.
I’ve not tested positive but for me, this virus has already infected me – not with it’s contagious persistent dry cough, truck-load weight on my chest or even the high fever that leaves you with sweaty delirium. It has on many occasions infected me with a kind of riddled-with-anxiety feeling that is just there in the background all day every day and particularly virulent around 3.40am. I am hopelessly sad for people who have lost loved ones to it and equally full of admiration for all those numbers of people who’ve had it but not been counted and just bravely muddled through. Like everyone I’m concerned about what happens if someone in my family becomes gravely ill with Covid? How will I get to their bedside? Would I be allowed? When will life ever return to normal? Will I ever greet a friend with a hug again or stand and have a chat in the morning sun after school? Nothing is certain. This viral anxiety is one that I’m able to keep at bay as long as everything in my day to day goes exactly according to plan. My family are all staying at home, so that is something to relax about, they are safe, for now, and well. But at 3am a couple of nights a week, the sky swallows me up and I’m spinning with worry.
The procedure of washing down the shopping and hanging up the mask and gloves with the keys has become strangely normal. I’ve lost count of the weeks at home but what a lesson it has been in tolerance, patience, and forgiveness. I can see why the world has become accustomed to mindfulness and yoga via a daily Facebook dose – I totally get it. I have had to take many deep breaths and shut my ears and eyes to everything but the sound of the birds and the bees busy taking over the world outside on many occasions. The frogs are going like hell for leather mating in the pond over the road and the birds are singing the most captivating melodies at 5am in the morning. When everything else is so intensely bizarre, I’ve found nature strangely calming. Along with a dose of daily solitude, I’ve lost myself in the power of music finding it tearful and uplifting in one and the comfort of Zoom and alcohol on a Saturday night feels weirdly restoring. It would appear I’m not alone, many friends have expressed their awareness of having found a new joy for baking and gardening albeit with a shorter fuse than usual and dealing with surprising, unexpected emotions that come in jolts washed down with a general feeling of overwhelming responsibility. We are being asked to worry about the young, the old, the vulnerable, the economy, for life, the planet, our own mental health. We are being asked to think about everyone and everything like never before and it’s a lot on the daily checklist to get through. And breathe…
Where is this all actually going I often wonder? And to what end? We are being revealed all kinds of new information every day about the killer virus, with the unveiling of spectacularly unclear future plans delivered with about the same certainty of a spring lamb flying – no matter what part of the world you are living in. So, yes, these are strange times and never before has each and every single one of us the whole world over ever been asked to dig really, REALLY deep and above all trust with absolute certainty our own inner judgement other than now. Now that is really something. Surely we will all have to come out the other side of this, if there is another side, remarkably different to before?
Alongside all this worry I am equally warmed by a strange sense of optimism. Has it been so bad to live like a French recluse for a couple of months? No, not really. The garden looks nice and the dogs get walked every day and I’ve had more chats online with family and friends that I’ve lived apart from for the past 17 years than ever before. My 100 year old neighbour has made a habit of coming to my window asking me to score her a baguette from our new bread vending machine in the village – always with a joke and a smile. Having lived through the war she must wonder what my problem is, why I am loading the dishwasher for the hundredth time in my pyjamas whilst juggling with home schooling and stirring soup ferociously. She told me yesterday she had five kids all at home, “ouch” I said, “oui” she replied! The Mayor himself popped some hand made masks through while I was chatting on Zoom the other Sunday and said a hearty bonjour to la famille in England down the line – it reminded me of how he spontaneously picked me and the bridal crew up in his vintage car on our wedding day. There are some people whose warmth has really shown through in these times and each and every one of us has our role to play in just getting through. What if the theorists are right and we do end up more thankful, balanced and better for this in the long run? There’s every possibility…
Home schooling in a foreign language has been enlightening to say the least, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that our seven year old has been slightly winging it but each day he’s taking more time and enjoying the art of learning more and more. I think he’d stay at home forever if he could and he’s learnt how to play boules and the joy of dressing a lunch table. Our lockdown was lifted over a week ago here but we’ve not rushed out to a BBQ or met with friends yet. I’m anxious about that. I don’t know how to greet them when the advice is to sit a metre apart at the dinner table. Our restaurant business is still closed for now but we are busy planning a spectacular return one day soon. Things are changing slowly, not returning to “normal” by any stretch but I have noticed that people are in less of a hurry to scurry, head-down back through their garden gate and the strange, on edge silence that lingered at the drive through supermarket has now blossomed into a more chirpy, albeit masked chat. There does seem to be less of that knife edge tension in the air.
I don’t think there isn’t a person the world over who isn’t taken aback by the dedication of the medical profession during this crisis. It’s certainly very thought provoking and inspiring to see so many people so passionate about their work and saving so many lives. Writing crappy blogs seems a bit meh by comparison to be honest but this time has given me a few ideas for some future projects. So there you have it, just a few of my thoughts on it all. Above all I hope that you and yours are well, that you are happy and in some way driven to do new things and live life to the full after all this because, if we’ve learned one thing during our time inside it’s that we are only here once and we have to make the very best of it that we can. Oh and you can now totally get away with having roots and stray greys or get onboard with the whole home dyeing thing. There literally isn’t a thing you can’t learn online these days! And if that’s not your bag then enjoy the baking, frogs, birds and bees. Big loves X
The post A Few Thoughts About Coronavirus & Staying at Home appeared first on Love French Style.
Well bonjour to you all, wasn’t it a fun, festive time? But jeepers, isn’t it nice to eat a bit less once all the tinsel is away too? Are you now dreaming of your summer holidays? I’m trying to have a lean month to recover from the festivities but, as is usually the way when Read the full article... The post It’s Le Weekend :5 Favourite Winter Scoops appeared first on Love French...
Well bonjour to you all, wasn’t it a fun, festive time? But jeepers, isn’t it nice to eat a bit less once all the tinsel is away too? Are you now dreaming of your summer holidays?
I’m trying to have a lean month to recover from the festivities but, as is usually the way when you set your sights on a no spend month, there are a few things that flash at you like a beacon and hang about long enough in your online basket for you to press PROCEED TO CHECKOUT….here’s 5 of my faves.
1.Au Revoir Dirty Windows
We have had resurfacing work going on out the front of our house for a good 6 weeks now and, while the end product is going to look fantastic, it is er, taking it’s time shall we say. We have one of those French houses with mostly windows just facing South. This is quite a common design (flaw) in our region, the idea being to allow the warm southerly sun in and keep the north winds away by not having any window openings behind the house. Whilst I see the logic, it can feel a bit hemmed in at times. So, the point being is that my lovely sunny French windows to the front of the house have got extremely dirty of late and every time I attempt to clean them, they just end up looking worse.
We always used to use a window cleaner in the UK but in this area it’s not a service I have ever seen advertised for domestic properties. Result, dirty windows covered in dog paw prints 99 percent of the time. Cue practical Dad who says, ” What you need is a Karcher window cleaner “. I couldn’t really justify the spend tbh to begin with, however…
Here it is and I LOVE it. 10 minutes and the house was sparkling, including the mirrors inside. Who knew! If you’re in the same boat, don’t hesitate to fork out 48e for this set, frankly you’ll be thankful of this super little device that tucks away neatly under the kitchen sink. I think the window vac is particularly useful if you have pets and or kids, it’s very quick and easy to use and saves a lot of elbow grease. You may find you do still need to do a quick swish over with a microfibre cloth afterwards, just in a few small areas.
2.A Grey Roll Neck
Strictly a purchase from December and 19e99 that I have worn time and time again. I love grey for winter, so nice with jeans and the lovely green coat I found in Mango. I really love pulling this softest soft grey roll neck on with a slick of red lippy and if you buy one thing in the sales, then why not let it be this. This particular jumper I found in H&M on Black Friday but there are loads about and it looks just as good with a skirt and boots as it does trainers and jeans. A really great, versatile piece.
3.Butt Lifting Jeans
Talking of jeans…I seem to be suffering post 40 with wide yet flat arse syndrome…not such a great look. But, you can forget spending an arm and a leg on expensive jeans with built in butt lift – I have found a super pair available in varying leg lengths at Next Direct for 27e. With a lovely soft fabric, generous waist and slightly raised pockets on the derriere I do find these to be a nicely flattering fit and delivery is super quick, within 24-48 hrs. Available in several colours too.
4.Reverse Sun Damaged Skin
Do you know, without sounding down on myself, because I’m totally not and feel very thankful for good health and a family etc, but, living in a hot country has been disastrous for my skin. For the first 10 or so years living here, I loved getting a tan and rarely used an spf above 15 on my face and frequently stretched out in the sun sizzling. BIG MISTAKE. A pregnancy later, zooming past my 40th birthday and continual exposure to blue light from a phone and PC, natural very bright daylight 10 months of the year and the remnants of melasma from being pregnant and careless with sunscreen, it is no wonder I have a few skin issues.
While I wouldn’t say that my skin problems were dreadful thankfully, I do look at other people’s skin who live in cooler climates and they definitely look less wrinkled. So, I’m not adverse to the idea of botox ( have you tried this?) but my first attempt at rectifying the brown spots and wrinkles is with a series of repairing treatments. The first thing I am trying is Cicabio 50+cream by Bioderma. Apparently this neat little, slightly green coloured cream is for use after facial operations, laser treatment and things like that but it can also be used to repair damaged skin by the sun. So, at 7e I thought it was worth a try. It has a lovely texture, not too greasy and I think I am seeing improvements after only a few days. Fingers crossed!
5.3 Meals a Day
As you know, I have dieted on and off for years and always, always end up fatter in the long run. Last year I discovered I had rather a lot of gallstones, fat, fair and forty and all that hahahaha! So I had to drastically cut out animal fats and as a result I slowly lost weight and, while I could do with losing another 5kg or so I’m not in any rush to go on a crash diet, here is why.
At the beginning of January last year my husband fell extremely ill with undiagnosed diabetes and ended up in intensive care. It was extremely traumatic and very touch and go in the first few days of him being admitted. However, I’m so proud of how far he has come, fast forward a year, he has changed his lifestyle and eats a good and balanced diet. In return he is fitter and lighter on the scales than he has been in years. To lose weight and keep it off takes time and small changes that fit in with your lifestyle. I recommend things for your house and your lifestyle that I love but truly, in my view, there is nothing more precious than your health and happiness. Having been through this ordeal and then having to keep an eye on my own diet I do think that the kg that you struggle to lose over a week by starving yourself and missing out on a few of life’s wonderful moments shared just isn’t worth it – noone would even notice. If you do anything in 2020, be kind to yourself this new year. Don’t make pointless resolutions, hold yourself to ransom on weight, exercise, achievements and career goals, everyone’s path is different. If you look long and hard enough at who you are, you will probably find that you’re already pretty bloody fabulous anyway X
Coucou, c’est moi! How are you settling into this wonderful, freezing cold, rainy pooey weather? It’s so bleugh isn’t it? Ho hum, it’s just weather I suppose. Here are a few things to brighten your weekend…have a good one X 1.Davines Shampoo So, after my experiment with co-washing a few weeks ago, my fine hair Read the full article... The post It’s Le Weekend! A little Winter Pick-me-Up, White Leather Trainers and…Farting! appeared first on Love French...
Coucou, c’est moi! How are you settling into this wonderful, freezing cold, rainy pooey weather? It’s so bleugh isn’t it? Ho hum, it’s just weather I suppose. Here are a few things to brighten your weekend…have a good one X
So, after my experiment with co-washing a few weeks ago, my fine hair did end up a tad fluffy! I was due a cut and colour at my favourite salon in Angouleme where the colours they use are from natural haircare brand Davines – so this time I invested in some of their shampoo and conditioner to get my tresses back on track too. Ever come across Davines? They are a fab brand, family owned, sustainability, natural ingredients and a commitment to great hair are just a few of their brilliant selling points. It’s nice to know you can colour your hair these days without using harsh ingredients and better still to know that you can maintain the healthy hair glow with products at home to match.
My new favourites are Nounou Shampoo and Conditioner and a fabulous volumising mousse call Liquid Spell which is awesome. Go treat yourself!
2.White Leather Trainers, (hell yes!)
Why is it that just before Christmas when you are supposed to be squirreling away for presents do you always see gorgeous things to buy for yourself! I have of course abstained but as soon as Spring emerges through the bleak dark days I am going to be treating myself to a nice new pair of white leather trainers. I have had a pair this past year from Boden and they were SO comfortable but have the toes scufffed like I’ve been playing in the playground at school hahaha. How does that even happen to grown up shoes? Is it driving? No idea. Anyway, I thought these White Leather Trainers from Zara look quite cheeky with a ruffled tongue?
3.Magnesium and B6 Supplements
Confession time! A couple of times a year I find myself very tired and run down. I’m very energetic in short sharp bursts, problem solving and getting stuck into projects but sometimes I overstretch myself and go pluff in a heap. Over the years my lovely French Dr had prescribed me courses or cures as they call it in French of Magnesium and B6 to give me a little boost. I’m currently on a cure now and already feeling the benefits.
So, if you so happen to be feeling the same way perhaps ask your Dr or Pharmacist if you could try the same? Do check though as some medicines like blood thinners can react with Magnesium I think.
Oh excuse me! It wasn’t me but my 7 year old. Just a quick heads up to the other Mums out there? Why do 7 year olds guff so much? He even did it in front of the Dr whilst having a flu jab the other day, I mean really?
Are you into having a Prosecco? Is there a reason you walked away from French Fizz? I’ve made many a bad Fizzy wine choice with French wines, some leave you with a disastrous headache. So, I have a couple of hints to get you back in love with French bubbles.
1.Always go No Sulfates, this is ghastly for giving you that blocked up nose thing and then headache the morning after, go organic too if you can.
2.Try a Cremant de Bourgogne or Cremant d’Alsace, I really do find these to be the best over the Saumur varieties.
Chin Chin, have a super weekend X
The post It’s Le Weekend! A little Winter Pick-me-Up, White Leather Trainers and…Farting! appeared first on Love French Style.
Woohoo, it’s Friday. Superb, time for a nice glass of Chablis soon. Hope you’ve had a good week? Gee whizz did it rain! Feels chilly too doesn’t it? I’m really struggling with the mess of two hounds this week. How do people in Country Living have a fluffy cream home with dogs everywhere but no Read the full article... The post It’s Le Weekend – Cream Soda Hair, Oversized French Mirrors & Swearing in the Library! appeared first on Love French...
Woohoo, it’s Friday. Superb, time for a nice glass of Chablis soon. Hope you’ve had a good week? Gee whizz did it rain! Feels chilly too doesn’t it? I’m really struggling with the mess of two hounds this week. How do people in Country Living have a fluffy cream home with dogs everywhere but no mess?
Here’s a few things to have a gander at during your time off. Have fun X
So my little chap is now 7 and many of his friends are beginning to have hobbies. He doesn’t really seem ever so interested in Rugby or Music Theory so I’m just letting him go with the flow at the moment until he finds something he enjoys – otherwise it’s just a massive waste of money.
Did you have a hobby at his age? I was just into ponies and gymnastics, a bit of flower pressing and that’s about it
I’m wondering if there’s something we can enjoy as a hobby together? He tried horseriding and was great at it but got bored very quickly, maybe we could run together? I like the idea of a family hobby or is that just some cheesy daydream? Any ideas?
2.Cream Soda Hair
Not as dodgy as it sounds . I’m thinking of darkening my hair up a bit because I’ve got that post summer block blonde thing going on. So, while googling something along the lines of ” where do I go from here as a blonde?” I discovered a new fancy hair colour trend called Cream Soda Hair. Oooh, it is nice…lovely bit of colour blending with dark and light contrasts but doesn’t look so done or dodgy as an ombre.
Let’s just hope nothing gets lost in translation and I end up saying Tango hair…..
3.Oversized French Mirrors
Nothing says French country more than a beautiful MASSIVE mirror. Wonderful to see your chandelier reflecting back at you in it along with candlelight and the flicker of the fire and just so forgiving in a small space. I recently bagged this huge French mirror from la Redoute and I absolutely LOVE it. Let the light in!
Get one, they’re currently on sale with 25% off!
4.Racing Green & Gunmetal Grey
During a little chat this week with my girls about home styling, I decided that two shades that I really love together are Racing Green and Gunmetal grey when combined with crisp white. I love Farrow and Ball Plummet and also Studio Green. Don’t you think this sounds like a dreamy combination?
Watch out for more on this, its now become a creative project in the pipeline!
5.Swearing in the Library!
I used to get the giggles like REALLY badly when I was a school kid. So much so I would fall about feeling like my sides were actually splitting…even worse in the library. So I found it very amusing to see some kid behaving oddly in a library this week with school. I love helping out where I can so I usually volunteer. However, there is a new kid in the class and he’s pretty wild
While being shown a new book for the whole class to read together, said boy at the back suddenly shouted randomly, in English at the top of his voice ” Woahhhhh what the f***! Cool.” Obviously the French children didnt batter an eyelid and carried on with their quiet/loud whisper reading and there were no other English speaking people present apart from me. The teacher did hear and quietly told him to watch his vocabulary. I don’t think he even realised what he’d said, probably just heard it on TV or something. I was literally wetting myself laughing on the inside mind!
Well I never! Almost beats me choosing a book for Woody to take out years ago that turned out to be the story of a willy! Only in France!
Have a great weekend all X
The post It’s Le Weekend – Cream Soda Hair, Oversized French Mirrors & Swearing in the Library! appeared first on Love French Style.
Winter really starts to kick in here at the beginning of November and each year I am lulled into the same false sense of weather security because it’s just not THAT cold until the NY. So I end up not getting the right new winter coat every time. I usually end up with something that Read the full article... The post The Winter Coat Conundrum appeared first on Love French...
Winter really starts to kick in here at the beginning of November and each year I am lulled into the same false sense of weather security because it’s just not THAT cold until the NY. So I end up not getting the right new winter coat every time. I usually end up with something that is a. about as water resistant as a sieve and b. too open on the chest and really just not warm enough.
The trouble is, the water proof coats aren’t really my thing…they always seem bulky and a bit unflattering and make me look like a javelin teacher. But then the classic coat I prefer tends to be one that buttons at the waist and then I get too cold. Oh decisions decisions…
Here are some nice ones in both styles, have a lovely day…in the RAIN! X
The Multi Weather Coat
What I like about this Zara Reversible Parka is that it is waterproof but can also be reversed so you can wear it as a faux fur coat! The only downside as far as I can see is that it is a little shiny on the water proof side and it comes up VERY big. For versatility though, I think this looks like a great option. Like dog walk to drinks in one move…
The Smart Camel Coat
So a Camel Coat is a big style statement and one of the key colours for AW19 and you can see why. This classic cut and colour combo is a winner on the chic stakes. The details to love are the contemporary shoulder shape, single button and knee length. I would make sure you go for a true camel colour too, there’s a lot of wishy washy minky colours around that aren’t all that flattering on everyone…I got one a few ears ago and it’s a very draining colour. True camel though looks fab with pink, red and monochrome, all round a much more wearable shade. This one is lined but just how warm it would be at a cold rainy bus stop is another matter?…
Ticking the Checked Coat Trend
COAT CRUSH! This is the coat I would absolutely buy in a flash…if I didn’t live my life! I adore the slightly Mary Quantesque style to this. A small downside…it’s not lined, but it is a beautiful long checked coat, swoon, swoon, swoon. But chez moi alas it would be covered in paw prints.
A Classic Parka
I think this looks like a warm, practical and flattering parka jacket, don’t you? The parka type coats all seem to be modeled on the large size, I would say that unless you are stick thin, go a size down to reduce the bulk. It’s a nice GREEN jacket too, the wadding is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles! My only question would be, do you really need pockets THAT big?
A BEAUTIFUL Black Coat
I love the simplicity and elegance of this classic black coat. I think the oversized shape is pretty contemporary and makes a nice change from the smarter double breasted type coat of the same style. Love the wide sleeves although I suppose you could get a breeeeeze up there and the lovely longer length is very smart. A great all rounder in my book!
The Wrap Coat
This is such a lovely look isn’t it? Beautiful soft navy wrap coat made from 50% recycled wool. Nice and dressy for evening and that in between weather. Not sure how you would fare out in the rain but LOVE it anyway!
So there’s just a handful of my favourites around at the moment. I love the smartness of a dressy coat but tbh I do live in the country so may well have to go for something with a bit more practicality.
Have you shopped your winter warmer yet? I’d love to hear X
Hey you, had a good week? Where does the time go? I’ve finally put the washing away that has been living on Grandma’s bed for the past two weeks, like a new family pick and mix wardrobe ha ha ha! All tidy now… Hope it’s been good for you whatever the week brought along, here Read the full article... The post It’s Le Weekend – A Ballet Back Top, Vitamin C Serum and Sex Education appeared first on Love French...
Hey you, had a good week? Where does the time go? I’ve finally put the washing away that has been living on Grandma’s bed for the past two weeks, like a new family pick and mix wardrobe ha ha ha! All tidy now…
Hope it’s been good for you whatever the week brought along, here are a few things to try this weekend, have a good one X
1.Ballet Back Top, Jigsaw
So, for my birthday in September my lovely sister got me a beautiful ballet back jersey top. She used to work in Jigsaw and got first dibs on new lines in – lucky ducky. What I love about this top is the quality of the fabric – it’s so soft and washes really well and has a double fabric on the front. But, what I really love is the v flattering shape of the high neck combined with the shlinky dipped back.
So go channel your inner Fame – get one, you’ll love it.
2.La Roche Posay Vitamin C Serum
I love a French Parapharmacie don’t you? One of the many in my local town provides a loyalty card, yes I know, cool eh? She also has a big draw full of samples and literally fills my bag. I’m not buying anything this month, well, at least I wasn’t until I bagged some of this lovely La Roche Posay Vitamin C Serum but that’s my lot. Brownie’s Honour.
I mean, I couldn’t really resist it could I when apparently it works wonders on wrinkles? But not only that, it also contains some Salicyclic Acid too so does a little magic work on a sallow complexion too – I’m loving it so far. It does seem to be a bit more expensive in the UK but Look Fantastic seem to have the best offer around. If you are in France, do shop for this in a parapharmacie as I picked mine up for 25e, reduced to 20e with a loyalty card.
Do you ever look at Zara home? I love it. My favourite thing at the moment that has been hovering in and out of my basket ( do you do that?) are these lovely French Grain Sack Style Pillow Cases. They’re linen too which in my book makes them a bit of a bargain at under 40e for 2? I was actually thinking of having them on the armchairs rather than the bed. In any case, they’re v nice aren’t they?
No, not my new way of spending Friday afternoons!!! Boom Boom…I have actually been watching this on Netflix and it is hilarious. Gillian Anderson plays a pretty hands on (!) Sex Therapist and is a major embarrassment to her teenage son Otis, especially when she smokes weed with the school bully and confronts him about his impotence! It’s a bit rude in parts, er no, actually make that in all parts, so perhaps be mindful of who you sit down to watch it with!!! I’ve just moved onto this after binge watching Sinner, good god that was good but I walked around like a zombie after watching 5 in a row!
Stuck in a red wine rut? Try this. I was recently gifted a very nice bottle of Syrah. Not a grape I would usually go for but do you know it was delicious. It’s dark and full bodied, not surprising given it is a very dark skinned grape. This particular bottle is from the French Languedoc region as was the one I had. I think this would be awesome with steak and it tastes just as good with your portion of chocolate for the weekend!
And, here’s some trivial knowledge for you – Shiraz and Syrah are exactly the same thing. Mais Oui!
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