Monday, January 12, 2015

Paris will always be Paris.

This week, my heart and prayers and healing thoughts go out to dear Paris, City of Light.

Yesterday, over one and a half million people joined hands across the streets of Paris to show unity and hope for the future.  Forty world leaders came to Paris to show support for the beloved City of Light.  And ordinary citizens came out in the frigid cold to say Je suis Charlie.  Je suis Paris.
After all, Paris belongs to all of us.  And she is more than a city that resides in France--she is a place we hold dear in our own hearts.  Whether we come from Kansas or Cancun, Tokyo or Tuscany, we have joined together with sadness yes--but also with bright and hopeful hearts.
And yes, there is always hope.

Spring will come and we will once again find beauty and delight in Paris. 


This is how we push against the darkness--through light, and through laughter.  
We rebuild confidence through simple pleasures and ordinary moments--

Picnics along the Seine.
An afternoon at the cafe on the Boulevard St. Germain.
Lifting a glass of champagne at Cafe Ruc on Rue Saint-Honoré.
A stroll through the Tuileries.
Buying a new scarf at Printemps.
A visit to the Eiffel Tower.
Paris will always be Paris because her beauty can never be diminished.
Through the tumult of the centuries, she has remained strong and dignified--shoulders back, 
and her head held up high--oh, and with perfect posture, bien sur.
This after all, is Paris, City of Light.  City of Hope.


Dear mes amies--stay strong and keep dreaming.
With love,
Jamie






Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bonne Année!

It's almost New Year's Eve, dear friends.
And it's time to say au revoir to 2014.   
(Photo by Lo Charme e un nodo da stringere con stile)

Have you ever wondered how the French celebrate their New Year's Eve?  Well, they are a lot like us and will attend a party--either a small, intimate soirée or a big ball.  There's always dancing, and of course there is always champagne!

And oftentimes, there's foie gras.
French women get dressed in something pretty and elegant.  (Bien sur!)

New Year's Day is called Le Jour de l'An.  It's a time for family and friends to exchange cards and gifts and share their dreams and hopes for the new year.  One of my favorite holidays is the Epiphany, January 6th.  Perhaps it's because of the traditional cake Gateau des Rois, which is delicious and fun because it includes hidden little ceramic trinkets.  
But I think the Epiphany is my favorite because it's the day my daughter was born--31 years ago!  Now that's something to celebrate!

Please tell me how you enjoy your own special holidays this time of year.  Do you get dressed up?  Do you drink champagne?  Do you write resolutions?
I'd love to hear about it, mes amies!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Come Meet Me in New York City!

Bonjour, mes amis!
Guess what--
I will be at the New York Times Travel Show on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 24-25
and I'd love to meet you there!
If you happen to be in the area of The Big Apple, this is an amazing and spectacular show with lots of seminars on travel, insider hot spots, tour tips, and travel freebies!
You'll meet fun-loving, adventurous people--just like you and pick up lots of great travel information.

Plus, I'll be there and it would be such a joy for me to meet you and say bonjour!

Thanks to The Traveling Professor (I'm a guest at his booth) I have a limited number of
free tickets to the show.  They're a $17.00 value.  If you'd like one, please send me
an email at Jamie@JamieCatCallan.com as soon as possible (there is a limited number) and I'll give you the details.
I would love to see you there!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

French Women and the Secret of the Stairs

It's not too soon to get ready for the Ooh La La! Paris Tour in May.
You can start now by practicing going up and down stairs.  Here's a typical French staircase.
Trés elegant, n'est pas?
(photo from Paris in Four Months)
It may seem a bit daunting--the winding stairs, the marble floors the circuitous nature of the steps.  But you know, it's very French and I do believe this is how  French women stay slim.
The next time you approach some stairs, just pretend you are the heroine in an Edith Wharton novel! Hold your head up high, think beautiful, mysterious thoughts and above all, take your time.  (This was taken at The Mount, Edith Wharton's estate in Lennox, Massachusetts.)

And this photo is from Printemps, the famous French department store in the heart of Paris.  The mirrors create a bit of an optical illusion, but you get the idea--lots of stairs!
All this is to say, walking up and down stairs is excellent preparation for an Ooh La La! Paris Tour in May!

I'd love to hear how you get ready for a Paris Adventure, mes amis!  

P.S.  I will be at The New York Times Travel Show in New York City on Jan. 24-25, as a guest of The Traveling Professor.  If you'd like one of my 25 complimentary tickets to the show, please let me know as soon as possible.  I'd love to meet you there!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

French Women Love Ruffles

It's true, French Women love ruffles!
I saw lots of women with ruffles while I was in Paris last summer.
Sometimes the ruffles were very subtle and appeared in a pretty scarf or an accent on a pocketbook.
And sometimes, the ruffles were just a little flair at the hem of a dress.


You can also find flamboyant ruffles in evening dresses.  Ooh La La!

Whether they're subtle or spectacular, ruffles are always fun and flirty.
Even nature loves ruffles!

And you can even find ruffles at the patisserie.
And while the Ooh La La! Paris Tour ladies were shopping at Bon Marché we noticed that French lingerie is full of ruffles (and silk and lace and ribbon trimmings, bien sur!)
Don't you just adore ruffles?  My plan:  find a polka dot scarf with ruffles!  
How will you add a few ruffles to your life?  I'd love to hear about it, mon amis!

Photos of red ruffled dress from Simply Feminine.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

French Women Love Polka Dots!

Last week I met with Madame Poupie Cadolle in New York City.
Her grandmother invented the modern day bra and her mother, Alice, actually created undergarments for Coco Chanel's non-corset styles of the 1920's.
And now, her lovely daughter, Patricia, is part of the Maison Cadolle legacy.

Please notice how Patricia is wearing a polka dot dress.
I told her how much I liked her dress and she laughed, saying oh, French women love polka dots!  
And then her mother, Madame Cadolle agreed.
I was so pleased and excited by this, because I love polka dots too!
And you know what--my French-American grandmother loved polka dots.  She owned a beautiful navy blue silk suit with tiny white polka dots.  I had forgotten about that until that very moment.

And so, mes amis, I encourage you to try out polka dots.
You can start by wearing them underneath a pretty cardigan.
Or you can be more bold, and wear a skirt or dress with polka dots.
Aren't they whimsical and fun?!
I haven't worn a polka dot dress or skirt in many years, but now I'm going to reconsider and begin my search for cute polka dots!
But who sells them nowadays?
Any suggestions to help with my polka dot search?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, mes amis.

Photo of Madame and Patricia Cadolle by me, polka dot photos by Simply Feminine.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

French Women Dance

French Woman Secret #109:
French Women love to dance.  After walking, it's there favorite form of "exercise", although they don't really think of it as exercise per se, because they take so much pleasure in it.
And French women will find any excuse to dance--not just in a studio, or club, or even along the Seine (where the French hold dance parties during the warmer months), but also at most dinner parties.  They'll find any excuse to dance!
And you, mon amis?
Do you find opportunities to dance?
P.S.  I took this photo during my French Lessons with Madame M.