Salut, quoi de neuf? We’re back in curfew mode along with 50+ other departments. Inside by 9 p.m. is the new government order as of last week as virus cases continue to rise at an alarming rate — 52,000 yesterday! How are things in your neck of the woods?
Monday Mishmash 10/26/20
If you’ve been reading Oui in France for years, this Monday Mishmash post might feel like a blast from the past. It’s a conversational roundup-style post where I’d update you on happenings around here, share some fun links and let you know about anything else going on. A few years back, I stopped writing Monday Mishmash posts regularly in favor of a newsletter (you can sign up at the top of the page or below this post right above the comment section), but maybe it’s time to dust off MM every now and then.
Are you looking forward to the holiday season this year? I know it’s only October, but we would have had our flight to Florida booked for months already at this point. It’s been a terrible year in so many ways — including not being able to go home for Thanksgiving like we usually do — but for some reason, I’ve come to terms with being in France this holiday season and am looking forward to it.
I am going to decorate, make special recipes, and celebrate the spirit of the season in all its glory because I can’t let the pandemic win. You know that I love winter, that my birthday is New Year’s Eve and that I get so excited for the holiday season but it never feels as special to me in France. This year, I want to try to change that because COVID can’t steal Christmas too. Nope.
In other news, I’ve committed to actually making my office functional. It’s our third bedroom and for the last seven years, I’ve more or less worked from the couch or kitchen table 90% of the time. I don’t know why except I felt like turning the space into an office was too big of a task for me to do alone, an expense, and I kept putting it off. My “office” has been lightly decorated — nice curtains, rug, and desk. The rest is half storage and half mess. I’m finally doing something about it. It took me long enough, but now is the time.
I started by putting up twinkle lights, not just for Christmas, but because I love the vibe. My college roommate and I had them as part of our college dorm decor around the bathroom mirror and in our bedroom, and it made getting up at 4:30am for my part-time job so much more chill. So here’s to throwing it back to my NYU days.
Anyway, I ordered some other things I needed to make it look less bare like some shelves, wall art, and a bookcase. I think I’ll add plants too. Maybe go the artificial route since I’ll most likely kill living plants. I’ll see how it goes and report back…
Speaking of chill, I was also sent this Gingko Smart Book Light for consideration in a gift guide that’ll be coming in November, but I couldn’t resist sharing it now. It’s the same vibe for me as my twinkle lights and is not just a cool decor piece but a functional, glowing light in the shape of a small book that goes beautifully on a shelf, table, or wherever you want to add a little light. It’s surprisingly bright for its size and can be displayed a couple of different ways, as shown above.
Also, I found these fun vintage-style posters at my local tabac last week, and after sharing them with you on Facebook, I realized you could get them on Amazon. They make great wrapping paper too!
If there’s a curfew where you live too, maybe you’re in need of a few suggestions on what to watch, read and listen to. Here are a few things I’ve enjoyed recently:
Watching: 1) Little Fires Everywhere. This show on Amazon Prime starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington blew me away. It’s set in the 90s and is a drama that tackles race, family issues, class, and so much more. 2) Lenox Hill. This documentary series on Netflix follows doctors at NYC’s Lenox Hill Hospital and was expertly done. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. 3) French picks: Engrenages and Dix Pour Cent.
Reading: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottllieb. A funny but vulnerable book written by a therapist about her life’s ups and downs that ultimately show us something about our own lives.
Listening: Real Crime Profile & Casefile podcasts. I’m a true crime junkie, what can I say. I need to stop listening to the before bed. Weird dreams, man, weird dreams… French pick: Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini’s personal development podcast en français called Change ma vie. She speaks clearly and at a normal speed, so it’s a great choice for French learners too.
What you might have missed on the blog & YouTube
-You are in control: I shared my backstory about how I ended up in France along with a reminder that we are in control of our choices. This post resonated with a lot of you and I’m so glad.
–French Advent calendars for 2020: My top Advent calendars for this holiday season including a French language one for couples.
–What a boating vacation in Charente is like. Last month, we had a fun family trip on the Charente River.
–Amboise winery spotlight. You can’t go to Amboise without sampling the wine!
–Getting it out on paper. Why journaling is more important to me now than ever.
–Foreigners reveal the easiest and hardest parts of life in France. A collaborative post where readers shared their thoughts with me.
-7 Things you can do in France but NOT the USA
-9 Things you can do in the USA but NOT France
-A weekend in Amboise seeing the Loire Valley chateaux
-My favorite French eating habit
-Are you making these mistakes in Paris?