A trip to the Dordogne in the Aquitaine region of France is recommended if you want peace and quiet, and the chance to explore some of the country’s most historic destinations. Located in the South West of France, Dordogne was formerly the Perigord province, which is roughly broken up into Perigord Nord, Blanc, Vert, and Pourpre areas to denote the colours of rock around the region. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest post by Kat Kraetzer
A haven for intellectuals, fashionistas and loved-up couples alike, few would deny that Paris is the city break destination par excellence. The list of exceptionally famous Parisian landmarks is endless: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Moulin Rouge, the Arc de Triomphe – all essential stops on all European tours. Here are some interesting facts for you to think about next time you head out to this dreamlike city… Read the rest of this entry »
Guest post by Megan Hunt
The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of Paris’ most famous landmarks, attracting thousands of tourists each year. The building is over eight hundred years old and is located on a small island in the middle of the River Seine known as Île de la Cité. Although it is often referred to as ‘Notre Dame’ its official name is ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ which translates as ‘Our lady of Paris.’ Notre Dame is considered to be the most important cathedral in Paris as it is the home of the Cathedra, which is the official chair of the Arch Bishop of Paris. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest post by Aoife O’Carroll
As the gourmet capital of the world, and the standard bearer for cuisine worldwide, France is not somewhere you would normally associate with unusual foodstuffs, but think about it: Where else are frogs’ legs, snails, and calf’s head treasured on the menu? Recent controversy may have centred on the French appetite for horse meat, but the next time you are in France, seek out some of the following restaurants and discover just how wide-ranging the French palate can be. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest post by Rob Holman
The city of Paris is divided into twenty “arrondissements municipaux” or administrative districts, the arrondissements in ascending order form a clockwise spiral heading out from the city centre.
Although, they all collectively form Paris, each arrondissement has its own individual merits, culture and attractions. Here’s a guide to each of the 20 districts. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve said it before: I’m not much into puzzles. However, this 3D Eiffel Tower Natural Wood Puzzle looks interesting. It comes with sandpaper so you can smooth off the rough edges. The pieces are pop out, so you can just assemble them as they are, or paint them first. In other words, you don’t need to cut anything. The kit has 51 pieces.
If your kids are into Eiffel Tower stuff, this I Love Paris Eiffel Tower Sticker Decal for Kids or Living Room might be of interest. (Of course, it also works for a living room.)
I love it. I love the scene and can see it in my living room. They say it’s easy to install. I have to wonder how well these stick (you know that’s always the problem with these) but it’s definitely cute. The design measures 20 Inches x 28 Inches.
I’m all for party favors that are useful, and you can’t get anymore useful than these Eiffel Tower key chains. While they recommend these for wedding favors, I can actually see these in a variety of uses. Maybe for a costume party, Christmas party gift (on the top as an extra tag or favor) or just a cute dinner party gift (if you were doing a Paris theme night.) But they’d be cute for weddings too.
Each Eiffel Tower charm measures 1 ½” x ¾” (total size of favor including chain is 4” long). The Eiffel Tower has the word France printed on its side, and is attached at its top through a stationary ring to a sturdy silver metal chain and key ring. It’s packaged on black velvet inside a shiny black two piece box with a central cut out window top for viewing the mini tourist attraction inside. The box is wrapped and tied with a white organza ribbon and an attached “For You” tag with the message “From Paris with Love” in a postage stamp design.
I like these because they are 3D, unlike the flatter version we shared here earlier.
It’s been my goal for years to learn the French language, but of course I’ve never gotten around to it. I’m told there are several good ways to learn it quickly. Do you have a favorite? Here are some I’ve come across.
Rocket French focuses on learning the language fast and with a perfect accent. Let me tell you, I was in Paris once and if you don’t have a French accent, they definitely know you’re a tourist. So if you can speak in a similar way to the local people, that can certainly help you get around and get information.
Marie-Claire Rivière is the woman behind Rocket French, where she says that this class will help you cut your learning time in half. She also says it will be fun. Yay! Because learning a language sometimes isn’t. I’m all for fun. She offers step-by-step explanations, lots of extra French vocabulary in audio tracks, and the amazing Rocket Record to make sure you always know just what to say and exactly how to say it.
Surefire French Learning Package
One thing I like about this package is that they focus on the most commonly used words and then go from there. They also use different techniques in learning and memory so you can fully absorb it all. You’ll get five components:
Component #1 – French Link Words Book
Component #2 – French Matching Game
Component #3 – French Flashcard Program
Component #4 – Memory Boosting Report
Component #5 – Daily Memory Booster
I like the flash cards and daily memory booster. I’m a visual learner and this could be a good way for me to learn.
Audible French – Online French Course
One thing I like about this course is that it focuses on what you’ll need to converse with the locals when you travel. I think that’s what most people want to do. They want to travel to France and just want to be able to talk in a convincing way with the people there.
The cool thing about this program is that it says you can learn it all in just a week. That’s right, seven days! Think of all you have to do before a trip… wouldn’t it be nice to really learn French in just a week?
Easy French Lessons
This systems says you can learn French in just minutes a day, and the bonus is that it has round the clock (24/7) support and assistance. That could come in helpful.
How to Really Learn French
This program seems to help you amp up your French beyond just the “restaurant French” that helps you get around when you travel there. They say few French people master French grammar sufficiently to be truly fluent in French because the expressive power of the language far exceeds what is needed in the modern world.
French, Conversational: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs
I’ve heard a lot about the Pimsleur approach. This particular program has:
- Sixteen 30-minute lessons of spoken French language instruction. These sixteen lessons are the same as the first sixteen lesson of Pimsleur’s 30-Unit Comprehensive Program.
- Each lesson includes an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures and includes practice for vocabulary introduced in previous lessons.
- Essential grammar and vocabulary. Topics include: greetings, numbers, meals, shopping, telling time, scheduling activities, and asking and giving directions.
- No mindless repetition! Converse with native speakers in natural (and useful!) conversations.
- Easy, fast, fun and effective language acquisition.
- Completely Audio – anytime, anywhere. No computer necessary! Unlike expensive software programs which tie learners to a computer, Pimsleur courses are available in CD or mp3 format to meet your needs.
- Receive an instant credit of $150 to trade up from the Conversational to the full Level 1 Comprehensive CD course.
Since so many of you love things having to do with Eiffel Towers, I thought you might like these brand new books that are coming out in the next few weeks that have to do with French food.
The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes
by Rachel Khoo (Author)
At the time of this writing, this one is the top rated “Hot New Release” in French Cooking, Food & Wine and it has five, five-star reviews. It looks interesting! Mark your calendars, it will be released February 5, 2013.
Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry
by Christophe Felder
This book has “All the classic French pastries made accessible for the home cook, with 3,200 photographs.” I like photographs in cooking. They draw you in and make you want to try a dish much more than a description. This book will be released February 26, 2013.
The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France (P.S.)
by John Baxter
I love this description: “Part Grand Tour of France, part history of French cuisine: an irresistible journey, from Paris to Provence, to find the perfect meal” Release Date: February 26, 2013.
Patisserie at Home
by Will Torrent
With this book, Will Torrent aims to take the “fear factor” out of making French pastries at home. I love that idea, and of course this book is on my wish list. The only downside? I have to wait until April 11, 2013 when it’s released.
A Taste of France: Regional French Cuisine
by Gabriel Gate
I love everything about this book, from the concepts to the cover. Doesn’t that cover just say “French” to you? Join Gabriel Gaté tours France and “uncovers” classic dishes from each region as he makes his travels. I love that idea. Release date on this one: March 19, 2013.
French Lessons: Recipes and techniques for a new generation of cooks
by Justin North
As if the description wasn’t fabulous enough to get this book: “French Lessons is a comprehensive guide to mastering French cooking, from classic dishes to simple and modern interpretations.” The best part? It includes American measurements. Yay! Mark your calendars for March 26, 2013 when it will be released.
French Cook: Sauces
by Holly Herrick
I’ve always wanted a cookbook that focused solely on French sauces. I have some down pat, and others I struggled with, so you bet I’ll be picking up this on. Publication date: March 1, 2013.
Paris to Provence: Childhood Memories of Food & France
by Ethel Brennan, Sara Remington
There has been a lot of buzz about this book. The cover alone gives me the feeling of sitting at a beautiful French countryside table outside with a group of beloved friends as favorite dishes are passed from one person to another. Mark your calendars for April 30, 2013 to view this one.
35 French Recipes For Your Slow Cooker – The Easy French Recipes Collection (The Slow Cooker Meals And Slow Cooker Recipes Collection)
by Pamela Kazmierczak
This book is actually out, so you won’t need to mark it on your calendars. I love the juxtaposition of French recipes that you can do in the crockpot. Don’t you? That’s such an American idea. But I’m putting this one on my wish list. I wish it was available as a hardcover book with photos, but it’s only on Kindle. Still, I’m getting it.
Guest post from Sharon Falsetto
I recently had the trip of a lifetime visiting the south of France on an aromatherapy study trip; as part of that trip, I spent a couple of days in Paris on the way home. Paris is renowned for its sense of fashion, art and, to some extent, its fragrances. However, none of these come cheaply. But discovering scents in Paris doesn’t have to be all about those designer fragrances. Here are some of my favorites scents of Paris that are relatively cheap – or free.
Paris Coffee Houses and Cafe Bars
There is nothing quite walking along a Parisian boulevard and smelling the fresh fragrance of coffee in the morning. Parisians are not known for rising early (eating late is more their style), so breakfast, or le petit dejeuner as it is known in French, is perhaps not the grandest meal of the day. However, sit yourself down at an outside cafe bar table, order a coffee and soak up the fragrance of coffee only as it can be enjoyed in Paris. I am not a big coffee drinker – but I always seem to have the craving for one when I walk past one of these particular Parisian places!
Paris Bakeries and Patisseries
Fresh bread – a scent that is becoming a rarity in big town America; however, even in a large city such as Paris, you will find some small boulangerie or patisserie if you venture down the right side street. And, just to add to your scent-ual delight, you will find the irrestible pain au chocolat in French bakeries – bread with streaks of chocolate running though the middle. A total indulgence at a relatively small price!
You are never far from flowers, in various shapes and formats, in the city of love and lights. However floral arrangements – and even single red roses – are expensive in a city such as Paris. Head over to the nearest public garden to enjoy flowers in all shapes, sizes and scents, depending upon the season. Paris has several public gardens which are free to enjoy; these include:
- The Luxembourg gardens
- The Tuileries gardens
- The Palais Royal gardens.
All of these public parks have benches and chairs where you can literally pull up a chair and while away an hour or two among the natural garden scents.
The Paris metro is full of scents and sounds – although not always of the best variety! Beneath the city lies a complex yet functional system that carries commuters from point A to point B within minutes. Along the way, you might come across such experiences as struggling musicians, subway flower shops and fruit stalls, all combining to make your sojourn underground a melody of scents and sounds.
Paris in All Seasons
Paris is a city that never ceases to seduce me each time I am fortunate enough to cross paths with her; perhaps it is the familiar scents and sounds that make me feel at home but whatever the reason, and however long I go between visits, I always feel like I am coming home.
About the Author:
Sharon Falsetto is a UK certified aromatherapist living in the United States; she owns her own business, Sedona Aromatherapie, offering aromatherapy courses for the beginner and creates custom aromatherapy blends. She also writes professionally, predominately about aromatherapy, and has been published in Aromatherapy Today, The NAHA Professional Journal and 928 Brides. Sharon offers a professional aromatherapy writing service for other aromatherapists and aromatherapy companies.
For more information, visit www.sedonaaromatherapie.com
Really adorable Eiffel Tower from Pixar, isn’t it? The package includes Eiffel Tire, Tomber the Informant push vehicle and Finn McMissile push vehicle with sounds, along with 2 pieces of GeoTrax Snap-Lock tracks. You can press down on Finn McMissile vehicle for movie phrases! And CRASH! The car leaves the track and crashes through the gate!
It probably wouldn’t surprise you if I admit that I have several Eiffel Tower necklaces, but I love the look of this one. It’s relatively inexpensive too.
The necklace is sterling silver with “black-diamond” gems. Now, I’m not sure these are real diamonds or not (I’d guess not), but it’s a cute necklace nonetheless. It comes with a blue suede cloth pouch.
I actually bought one very similar to this at a flea market, but I like the black color on here better. This Eiffel Tower Paris Tea Light Candle Holder Wrought Iron 15″ High is heavy, but perfect for putting a tea light in and getting a nice little glow.