Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bonjour, stylesubstancesoul!

Merci beaucoup to stylesubstancesoul for inviting me to guest blog today!  And if you'd like me to guest blog for you, just say Bonjour!

Five Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Everyday Life 

by Jamie Cat Callan

We couldn’t have a “kisses” theme without including something French, so we’re happy thatJamie Cat Callan, author of French Women Don’t Sleep Alone, is guest blogging for us today in honor of her new book, Bonjour, Happiness, which just hit bookstores yesterday.
We love the fact that the book is centered around the idea that “In America, we’ve come to think that bigger and faster is better. But suppose it is the opposite – smaller and slower is better?” As fans of slow meals, slow Sundays and slow kisses, we’re in.
Here, Jamie shares a handful of simple ways to put a little joie de vivre in your own life. Merci, Jamie! 
Take a Break
Next time you go to your favorite cafe or coffee house, stay a while, sit down, pretend you’re at a French café, and watch the world go by. Oh, and ask for your latte in a real porcelain mug rather than a cardboard cup. Starbucks is happy to do this for you, and you’ll be surprised how much more elegant you’ll fee.
Wave a Red Flag
Wear a red silk slip under your LBD (Little Black Dress). It’s a simple and slightly subversive way to feel sexy and mysterious. No one has to know it’s there but you. However, if you do feel like being a bit daring, you can always cross your legs and flash a little red.
Adopt a Pet
A cat, a dog, a bird, an iguana — it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you’ve committed to caring for another creature in your life and you’re willing to give them some time and attention. You will receive just as much love as you give; maybe more.
Consider the Power of the Pen
Write a handwritten note to a friend today. It’s very old school and will immediately bring a little joy into your friend’s life, as well as your own.  And here’s a radical thought — pay close attention to your penmanship. It sounds crazy, but your handwriting is like your voice. It’s completely unique to you. Take care of your penmanship and let that handwritten note reveal your brilliant personality.
Talk to Strangers 
Get into conversations wherever you go.  Ask the produce manager what recipes he recommends to go with the artichokes that have just arrived. Talk to your local librarian. Ask your office receptionist what she’s been reading.  Chat up the barista at your local cafe. This isn’t about flirting, so much as building a community and enjoying the simple pleasures around you. Oh, and a whole lot of joie de vivre!
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image of Jamie Cat Callan

The eSSSence of Jamie Cat Callan

Style: Vaudeville meets the 21st century.
Substance: Finding pleasure in ordinary, everyday moments.
Soul: My French grandmother is my muse.


  1. Jamie,

    I would love it if you would consider doing a guest blog !
    It would be such an honour!


  2. While these are good suggestions, they don't really apply to everyone.

    As a struggling college student, spending the cash on a cup of starbucks coffee or on a brand new shih tzu would only bring more stress to my every day life.

    Here's my list:

    1. Go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors. You'll be surprised at how good you feel after getting some sun. Go for a hike on a local trail if there are any in your area.

    2. Get a good workout. The endorphins alone will make you feel like a million bucks.

    3. Talk to strangers. Meet someone new.

    4. Write something. It doesn't matter what you write. If you take the time to write a poem, short story, or letter, you're brain will thank you for the chance to express itself creatively.

    5. Get some good rest/time for self reflection. In today's hustle and bustle world, we usually sacrifice sleep in order to cram more things into our day. The average person needs 7-8 hours of sleep to stay healthy and mentally sharp.

    This won't necessarily work for everyone. No two people are the same. However, the great thing about this list is that all of the things on it are free (assuming you already have pen and paper available.)

  3. Bonjour "Anonymous"--I love your list! I'm wondering if you'd like to offer this as a guest blog on Bonjour, Happiness! Please email me for details. xo Jamie


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