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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How has your week been? You may have seen that I painted the fireplace a very very dark charcoal colour! It was an itch I just had to scratch! Time will tell if it stays that colour come springtime, we will see! Loving the cosy vibe of it for now though. Aren’t people strange? Today Read the full article... The post It’s #leweekend : French Writing, Stylish Rucksacks & Sublime Santa Maria de Novella appeared first on Love French...
How has your week been? You may have seen that I painted the fireplace a very very dark charcoal colour! It was an itch I just had to scratch! Time will tell if it stays that colour come springtime, we will see! Loving the cosy vibe of it for now though. Aren’t people strange? Today I was driving on a fast moving dual carriageway where I saw a man casually walking along the side of the road with traffic speeding past him at over 70 mph. Bizarrely, whilst he didn’t seem to be concerned for his own life, he was wearing a fetching waterproof cape to keep his clothes dry.
In other news, I turn 42 tomorrow, yikes, how did that happen! Although my dear friend yesterday said ” you don’t look a day over 27 ” I’m holding onto that for dear life! Merci ma belle!
Here are a few cheeky bits and bobs for your perusal this weekend, whatever you’re up to have a great one X
So, I have spent a lot of this week teaching Woody how to write in cursive French writing, which, as I am sure any foreign parent in France would concur, is pretty but also pretty hard! One thing I have noticed since living in France is that most people have the same handwriting, apart from the Drs who obviously go to a whole new planet to learn to write, no matter what nationality they are.
Woody is 6 and the teaching technique is so different from how our friend’s kids learn in the UK – they seem to start the reading and writing much later but then it’s boom, all learnt in a flash. At what age did yours learn the joined up writing? We have a way to go in this household before we master it French styly!
A Stylish Rucksack
I have the absolute joy of meeting up with my troupe of ladies next week for our annual general meeting. Well, it’s more of a liver destruction programme to be fair…anyway, for my travels avec enfant on the eurostar I wanted some luggage that was a bit easier to manage. You know, like not having a suitcase that keeps falling over, getting shut in the metro doors etc etc.
I found this lovely stylish rucksack on Amazon and I am SO pleased with it. It even has a candy striped red and white inside….parfait.
The Midlife Kitchen
So, three weeks ago, yes three weeks ago a couple of friends and I started out on The Blood Sugar Diet by Dr Michael Mosley. I won’t lie to you, the first week was hell after a summer of rosé wine and croissants dropping down to 800 cals a day – I could have eaten the actual fridge itself. Alas, a few weeks in and I am now actually feeling good at long last – and a couple of kilos lighter.
Just before I started the low calorie regime, a lovely friend of mine got me The Midlife Kitchen by Sam Rice and Mimi Spencer, the lady who co-wrote the cookbooks for the Fast Diet. I love this book, I tend to skip over the Matcha tea recipes – that’s just not my bag, but there are plenty of fabulous healthy recipes here to enjoy. I really love their Thai Midlife Mussels and there’s a gorgeous French inspired recipe for a whole chicken cooked in the oven with lentils plus a great recipe for raw jam yum yum.
What I love about both of these books is the absolute lack of low fat products, I HATE them. I have tried and failed on other commercial diets for this very reason. I just can’t see the justice in eating a sugary 0 calorie sloppy yoghurt when you could have two heaped tablespoons of thick and creamy artisan Greek stuff. So, if you’re in a dieting rut, I would thoroughly recommend checking these books out, I’m very happy with them. One word of caution, go easy on the wine – on a very low calorie regime, it’s not good the next morning!
Santa Maria de Novella
A year or so ago I saw lovely Trinny Woodhall talking about natural room fragrances and how she loved a pot pourri made by Monks in Florence. Santa Maria de Novella is the best thing I have discovered from live Instagrams by far, in years! Obviously, the tease of the Tuscan blend of herbs and olives was too much for me to resist – by crikey it is fabulous.
Try to block from your mind images of the rancid artificial pink stuff or even worse the orangy one from the 80s you used to find in loos as a child. This stuff is brown, and wet when you open the packet but fills your home with the most incredible aroma that lasts months, I am a total addict. They also sell beautiful candles, lotions and potions for men and women and traditional remedies. I just LOVE it!
I buy all my treasures from them at La Pharmacie de l’Ecusson in Montpellier which they deliver swiftly with a beautiful hand written note. Orders over the phone are possible.
Looking for a new apero to try? I am loving these two drinks – delicious pea and hay are the main flavours of Seedlip Herbal alcohol free gin for the booze free days. I love this with ice and a slice served with thinly sliced radishes with seasalt and toasted almonds, or for party time, this very pretty Tsarine French Champagne – of course with smoked salmon, and cream cheese roll ups. Santé!
Bon weekend x
The post It’s #leweekend : French Writing, Stylish Rucksacks & Sublime Santa Maria de Novella appeared first on Love French Style.
We’re having an unusually hot week here in France, but the light has changed and the mornings are dark so Autumn is not far off. I really like this time of year; hot enough for a t shirt during the day but cool enough for a warm blanket in the evening. Time to pack away Read the full article... The post La Rentrée Pour Les Mamans appeared first on Love French...
We’re having an unusually hot week here in France, but the light has changed and the mornings are dark so Autumn is not far off. I really like this time of year; hot enough for a t shirt during the day but cool enough for a warm blanket in the evening. Time to pack away the summer stuff soon and bring out the long sleeves for Autumn!
I love H&M France, it’s one of my go-to stores when I need some seasonal staples or accessories. Here are a few lovely items to mix and match from their current collection to see you through September and October. X
A lovely snuggly looking sweater with a nice deep V neck for day or evening
An obligatory and so versatile CWS
Some autumnal blingage…
I just love this. Full stop!
I have a pair of these in black and a striped version and I have worn them so much this summer, lovely with a t shirt tucked in or a silky shirt.
Love these mules for switching any of these looks from day to night…
I just really like this T shirt and it’s a bargain at under a fiver – sort of harvesty isn’t it?
I am lusting after a pale grey coat for this winter, I think it would look so nice with all the animal print around.
I really like the way these platform pumps add height while being casual.
( This bag is gorgeous and has a lovely blue contrast lining, swoon )
Happy Shopping and happy rentrée to all you Mamans x
So my little Woody Woodpecker has just gone into CP which is the start of “real’ primary school here in France. It seems to have gone so fast his early years. He really did NOT enjoy the first few years of French Maternelle, I don’t think he found enough to keep him interested. The French Read the full article... The post How Our Children Mirror Us appeared first on Love French...
So my little Woody Woodpecker has just gone into CP which is the start of “real’ primary school here in France. It seems to have gone so fast his early years. He really did NOT enjoy the first few years of French Maternelle, I don’t think he found enough to keep him interested. The French school system can be hard on those who do not immediately conform. The first years in Maternelle are spent learning to sit and listen, not something Woody has ever really enjoyed doing. Then all of a sudden, last year with the right ( amazing ) teacher, we saw an incredible change in Woody. This is SO me, I have always done my best for people I really love and admire…and far less for those I don’t!
You remember that favourite teacher who was strict but brought out the best in you because you really wanted to please her/him? Well, Woody was lucky enough to find that teacher last year. He went from being a very timid little student and one who cried at any kind of criticism to one who asked questions, became popular with the girls and began to shine. I’m so pleased that this year he seems to have found the same bond with his new teacher.
Last year I accompanied Woody and the rest of the class swimming each week where, once again with the encouragement of the teachers he went from flustering about in the pool to jumping in at the deep end. He is a little boy who never ceases to surprise me. Almost in tears he dreaded leaping into the deep blue pool but once he achieved it, he was back in jumping in and out over and over again. We signed up to do the intensive swimming course in the summer and what happened next was just so funny.
The first week Woody showed little to no interest in swimming and spent a lot of time looking at the ventilation system at the pool as well as the gigantic drain at the bottom of the deep end. There were several children taking part, one who was terrified about jumping in and looked like his world was caving in around him each time the instructor asked him to jump, another who just couldn’t quite get the hang of swimming above water at all, and, then Woody.
So, on week one, Woody enthusiastically sat at the side of the pool learning the basic moves for breast stroke. When he got into the water, I flushed as I realised he had NO idea that the moves he had been learning on dry land were the same ones he was supposed to use in the water. He honestly had made no connection whatsoever. The teacher wasn’t sure at the end of the first lesson whether it was worth continuing. This made me laugh so much because it reminded me of being at school and learning how to do maths but having no idea what it all actually meant. We went back for another lesson anyway and I told Woody to listen carefully and stop looking at the drain.
This time he got straight into the pool and swam a width of breast stroke. We had tried to have a practice in our neighbour’s pool but he refused to play ball. I gave up and let him put his Swim Fin back on. ( If you’ve never heard of one of these then check them out, this really helped Woody get swimming faster ). So, I was quite surprised when he managed to move across the water using the newly learned breast stroke and a single noodle. He had obviously been practicing it in his head. The first week he was just stationary in the middle of the pool flapping around like a duck with clipped wings. Bless him, I thought, he’s going to take all day to get to the other side.
About six sessions later, he was swimming beautifully around the pool using the movements she’d taught him and she was so pleased with his progress that she asked him to jump in the deep end unaided and swim. Knowing that’s what he had to do to get his ” Diplome de Natation“, Woody, without any hesitation jumped in and began swimming. His head looked the size of a pin as he set off down the huge 25m pool. I couldn’t look.
Then I heard her clapping and whooping with joy. ” I’m so proud of you Woody” she said.
He made it. Then did it again, and again.
It’s funny isn’t it how different kids are. There was one boy at the class who was so confident that he could dive underwater and retrieve rings from the bottom from day one but he just didn’t seem to have the patience to try to perfect his breast stroke to swim without wearing himself out. He did eventually make it to the end of the pool aswell in the end. Once everyone was home and dry the instructor took me aside as she wrote out Woody’s first ever certificate of achievement and said, ” seriously, I have never seen anything like it “. She was astounded with how quickly he had learnt to swim and with such incredible determination. That’s my boy!
He is a funny mixture of me and his dad in equal measure and it is not so surprising that he is a kind but feisty little fellow but with a great capacity to achieve, but only if he puts his mind to it. I was quite shocked to see so much of myself with him this week at the pool. I remember being about 14 and taking part in some county cross country trials. I started off well but then ran a mile in the wrong direction ( yup, that not really understanding things again ) but I made my way back and caught up with the rest. I was very short for my age so my little legs had to work very hard indeed. But, I caught up, and won! I was never really academic at school but I tried VERY hard. It made me laugh seeing Woody with his incredible sense of pride at achieving his goal, not something I have ever seen him do before. I used to feel great when I achieved something like that and I was so proud of him. Mr Love French Style is pretty tenacious too, he literally NEVER throws the towel in on anything! So I guess you could say one thing we seemed to have passed on to our little guy is to never give up whatever you do.
Let’s hope the same can be said for his school year too X
How did your kids enjoy getting back to school? Did you hit the gin?
Every now and again when you click on one of those Instagram follow suggestions, you come across a real gem. Laboté Paris custom made botanical skincare is one of them. An exciting, fresher look at skincare products, made to measure in Paris. What’s not to love about that? The brains behind the Paris based skincare brand Read the full article... The post Laboté Paris – Custom Made Botanical Skincare Products appeared first on Love French...
Every now and again when you click on one of those Instagram follow suggestions, you come across a real gem. Laboté Paris custom made botanical skincare is one of them. An exciting, fresher look at skincare products, made to measure in Paris. What’s not to love about that?
The brains behind the Paris based skincare brand are a group of talented pharmacists based in Rue Madame 75006. After completing an online video conference with one of their skincare experts or filling out a quick skincare questionnaire online, your cutaneous profile is created and used to formulate your very own personalised skincare products from natural, botanical ingredients. The skincare questionnaire and advice is available in English although delivery is within France only for the time being.
I absolutely LOVE everything about Laboté from their concept, to product, packaging and customer service.
During the course of your online consultation where you’ll be asked a few quick questions about about your skin, routine and environmental factors you can also choose the consistency of your new skincare products and the colour you prefer for the packaging. I LOVE that, don’t you?
So, I am starting out my new “fresh” skincare routine with Laboté Beauty wave which is a fantastic customised botanical cleansing oil. I wear soft contact lenses and tend to avoid oils because they put everything in soft focus for me for days due to deposits on my lids and lenses! I got the bamboo wash mitt with my oil which is great for deep cleansing, boosting circulation and wiping away makeup. An extra rinse around the eyes ensures no oil is left on your lashes causing problems with smears and grease patches. The results are amazing, this is a fantastic makeup remover, full of fresh botanicals as you can see above and leaves skin nicely hydrated after rinsing.
For the morning, my pharmacist recommended using Eaux Florales which are steam extracted essences from flowers rather than the full cleanse. I’m currently using Mauve water from a farmshop and the smell is INTERESTING! However, Laboté will be launching their own range of floral waters in Autumn so I can’t wait to try one of theirs.
I am also now using the Laboté Beauty Shot Serum which, unlike any others I have tried before, is of a milky consistency. It has the most amazing scent, like a bouquet of fresh flowers and I have noticed a real improvement in my skin tone in a short space of time. I hope to try the day and night creams next month.
You are provided with a list of ingredients to avoid which is shocking when you then see how many products contain them!
As you can see, the shelf life on these freshly made cosmetics is way shorter than those you find in store. When you visit a Laboté store, you won’t find many bottles on the shelves as each order is processed, made and delivered to order from the laboratory on site. Fresh petals and extracts galore, divine.
I make a real effort to feed myself and my family unprocessed foods as much as possible so it makes perfect sense that I should do the same for my skin too.
All the botanical actives are listed on the skincare reference sheet which is delivered with each order, along with skincare tips and advice uniquely tailored for you. In my list were things like Aloe Vera, Calendula, a cocktail of antioxidents to slow down ageing plus a mattifying powder for my shiny bits!
It’s been a long, hot summer here in France but my skin is fresher looking, hydrated and I feel so good about using natural ingredients on my face. I have also not suffered from the usual effects of redness and sensitive skin that I sometimes have with essential oils.
This picture is makeup free, apart from my habitual mascara and liner and my face would usually have more red areas and a more uneven skintone. I’m no spring chicken but I am truly delighted with the results.
Fancy making a change to your skincare regime? Vegan, planet friendly products made to order could be for you!
For more information about Laboté you can visit them in store during your trip to Paris at Laboté, Rue Madame, 75006 Paris or online at www.labote.paris
The post Laboté Paris – Custom Made Botanical Skincare Products appeared first on Love French Style.
With our 10th Wedding Anniversary just a few weeks off, we have both been thinking about our big day with such fond memories. I love star constellation gifts and was wondering what the night sky looked like on our big day. So, when Modern Map Art contacted me about a new and exciting collaboration opportunity, Read the full article... The post Modern Map Art – A Beautiful Anniversary Gift appeared first on Love French...
With our 10th Wedding Anniversary just a few weeks off, we have both been thinking about our big day with such fond memories. I love star constellation gifts and was wondering what the night sky looked like on our big day. So, when Modern Map Art contacted me about a new and exciting collaboration opportunity, the timing couldn’t have been better.
In case you’ve not come across Modern Map Art, they make beautiful Night Sky Posters and Artwork to mark any special occasion. The posters feature the night sky from any location and date. So, this could be a 100th birthday, the night you met your soul mate or your graduation day – the possibilities are endless.
The night sky posters make fabulous gifts for recipients of all ages.Having a piece of art for our room that showed the night sky as it was on the night of our wedding day seemed like a lovely way to mark the big anniversary.
Modern Map Art offer several different options for their night sky artwork including colours and materials.
I chose navy on a white background and I think it really highlights the lovely constellations of that evening – especially here in Charente where the sky is bursting with stars during the clear summer evenings.
What do you think? We are so pleased with it x
It’s a well-accepted fact that it can be tough to move house, but moving abroad with kids in tow, well that would be off that chart, right? In fact, it’s not as hard as you might think, especially if you follow the tips provided in the guide below. Making Dreams a Reality One way that Read the full article... The post Le Déménagement Outre-Mer: Moving Abroad Made Easy appeared first on Love French...
It’s a well-accepted fact that it can be tough to move house, but moving abroad with kids in tow, well that would be off that chart, right? In fact, it’s not as hard as you might think, especially if you follow the tips provided in the guide below.
Making Dreams a Reality
One way that you can make that overseas move less stressful as well as cheaper is to pare down the items you will take with you before you go. Yes, that does mean that you have to get a little ruthless and only take the absolute essentials that you cannot do without.
Of course, this leaves you with another problem, and that is what to do with the stuff that you don’t want to take with you? Well, some folks sell it all and put the money towards the move. However, if you haven’t decided whether you are moving for good, or have some pieces that you would like to keep, but just aren’t practical for the new place then there is another option.
This is to rent out a space like the ones in these Bekins Moving Solutions storage facilities in which you can keep your treasured items for collection later on. Then you can decide to have them shipped over at a later date, or they will be there ready for you to unpack if you choose to move back to your home country. Having lived abroad for many years, I think it’s really important to not view it as your last move just in case you have a change of heart. Living abroad is not for everyone and family changes can influence your feelings about living far away from your friends and family.
Organisation is also super important when it comes to moving overseas. After all, it’s not like you are loading up the back of the car and then diving down the road. In fact, if you are getting your items shipped over to your new place of residence you may not see them for as much as six weeks! What this means that you need to be very clear on what you can do without and what you will need straight away.
The latter group usually consists of things like clothes, toiletries, toys for the kids, as well as essential kitchen equipment and stuff like towels. These are the items that you will need to pack in your luggage and take with you as you move, while anything else can be wrapped carefully and added to the shipping container. Preferably with an organised list of what is where so you don’t have a nightmare when it comes to unpacking everything.
Last of all when it comes to moving abroad it can be a truly momentous time for you and your family. Yes, in fact, it may well be the best thing that you ever did, but it can certainly help to set up an action plan to make the transition as comfortable as possible.
On such a plan you can include things like researching your new town or neighbourhood before you get there, as well as scheduling in regular Skype chats with family and friends that you have left behind. Something that in particular can make the experience of le déménagement outre-mer a lot easier for your little ones.
Bon courage x
The post Le Déménagement Outre-Mer: Moving Abroad Made Easy appeared first on Love French Style.
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