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A French Woman’s Little Black Book

A French Woman’s Little Black Book

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Every French woman has one.

It is what allows her to look chic and perfectly coiffed, to host the most magnificent of dinners and to be the consummate hostess.

This carnet d’adresses contains the detail of every boutique, seamstress, butcher, winery, florist, salon and food shop she holds dear.

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French society post monarchy was based on equalizing the population.  Never again would the classes be at such extreme odds.

However being equal doesn’t have to mean that all things are equal and no one knows this more than a French woman.

To share a name with you is a sign of respect….of letting you in to her circle of trust.  It doesn’t happen easily and it definitely does not happen if you ask.

You must be patient.

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France is a word of mouth country.

Many of the best places to eat, sleep and shop are not found on the internet.  These are locations whose names are passed along verbally.  Their reputations have been built over time and they have a steady, comfortable pace of business.

In other words, they are happy with what they have and prefer to retain the quality and service that they are known for.

To find these sources you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to unearth them.

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Do I have my own carnet d’adresses?  Absolument.

It was built up over years of travel and refined by years of living here.

The time spent driving around France allows me to scout out and test possible additions.  Some addresses make it in to my book.  Many do not.

After all, a French woman must keep her standards high, n’est ce pas?

All photos via my french life board.

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Home From the Hunt

Home from the hunt.

imageAll images via FleaingFrance on Instagram

France is a beautiful country.  From the gentle rolling hills to the stunning blue skies, there is beauty around every turn…..but not always cell and/or wifi service.

I love scouring brocantes and out of the way places for treasures…..but I also love getting back to my own surroundings.

I’m looking forward to a lazy weekend…..coffee, puppy time and catching up on things.

There will be more photos to come next week so be sure to check back.

New items are in the shop and there are more to come on Sunday.

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Living Authentically – What Does it Mean to You

Living Authentically – What Does it Mean to You?

Moving to France meant basically started over with everything.

Shopping was a guilty pleasure and I reveled in all the amazing places that I could immerse myself creatively.

FleaingFrance Living Authentically

About a year and half ago I received an email that made me stop and ask myself the question that led to this post.  A request to source 100 vintage white plates for a Los Angeles restaurant made me challenge my way of living.

Was I living authentically (or my version of that) and if not, why wasn’t I doing this for myself as well?

I decided to take inventory of what I had wanted to accomplish when I first set out to create FleaingFrance.

My goal was to indulge in and share my love of French vintage treasures with those in other parts of the world.  I wanted to create an environment and live a life style that was true to that goal.  I decided then and there to begin to adhere to that mission statement.

My first challenge to myself was that I would not buy anything new for my home unless I could not find something I liked better in the brocante.

In other words, I decided to live my brand.

How to go about making a change?

One of my qualifications was to stick to a particular color palette and that wasn’t the easiest of tasks to accomplish.

Cookware proved to be the most difficult item to find and that lasted for well over a year.

Luckily, a last minute stop in Lyon after a weekend of sourcing provided a gold mine of finds.  Voila, my kitchen was well stocked and at a fraction of the cost of a single new item.

FleaingFrance-Living Authentically

Was it easy to break my old habits?  I can not tell you how many times I would catch myself picking up a new bowl or plate that caught my eye.  It was a habit.  After a few times it was easy to question, do I really need this or would I rather put that money in to a piece of antique faience?

The latter option always won out and now I am rarely tempted (Astier de Villatte and Anthropologie initial mugs are my exceptions to that rule ) to even look at new.

Unexpected Benefits to ‘Living Authentically’

The one thing that I didn’t expect was how much I love walking in to my kitchen.

I am greeted with the view of stacks of old white faience plates, platters and bowls of ironstone, antique silver cutlery and clear wavy glasses lined up on the shelves.

I’ve found that I even enjoy the cleaning process.  Washing vintage pieces and seeing the patina that develops with each and every use makes me happy.  I like knowing that every piece has a story behind it….and will have history added to it long after me.

FleaingFrance Living Authentically

Mostly I am proud that I was able to change my buying habits (and how simple it was) and start living the way I originally set out to.

Living Authentically….. authentically French, authentically vintage and authentically me.

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