French ponderings.....

French ponderings.....
Dreaming of France in The Land Down Under.......

Friday, October 26, 2012

L'Occitane.. natural beauty products/ Les produits de beauté naturels

So...lets talk french....lets talk...french products....lets talk french BEAUTY products..........let's talk NATURAL french beauty products!

If you are not familiar with the L'Occitane products...well perhaps you should be :) They are as natural and organic as possible, they are 'french' products, and they are reasonably priced compared to other high end brands. Let's face it...who would know how to put together a delectable range of face, body and home products better than the french??? :)

One of their best selling face moisturisers is " Immortelle Divine cream", which has actually won an award with 'The beauty Bible' for  'The best Miracle cream".  See here.

More in my price range is the  Immortelle Precious cream..creamy and moisturising, with a beautiful subtle fragrance...mmmm I could close my eyes and be in provence right now....

Maybe you HAVE heard of the product...but did you realise that they are a socially committed brand?
L'Occitane's foundation began in 2006 and they support the visually impaired  through  a partnership with ORBIS, an organisation that fights against avoidable blindness in developing countries. Braille  is also included on the L'Occitane packaging. See below...

Speaking of the packaging...I LOVE it! It's sometimes rustic...sometimes old worldly..and not only that, they take the 'eco' approach, using recycled materials, renewable resources and design easily recyclable packaging.

Above is a fragrance called 'Pivoine Flora'...Legend has it that ..........there was a beautiful nymph named Paeonia who was so 'courted' by the gods , that a jealous goddess transformed her into a flower with 1,000 petals...a  peony  (pivoine). 

That's something else I love about L'Occitane, there are so many 'petites histoires' of their products.(little stories) such as the legend of  the perfume named Rose de 4 Reines (rose of 4 queens) This fragrance is inspired by a blend of the cherished roses of the four Queens of Forcalquier, an historical village set in Provence, very close to where L'Occitane was founded. Described as a deeply romantic opulent could one resist???


And for my  'produit favori',  Verveine, the verbena shower gel and body cream.. so fresh and sparkling,with citrus notes, its really energising.

L'Occitane aspires to be 'the worldwide reference for mediterranean well-being with unique natural body, face and home products'. Their simple values are authenticity, naturalness, effectiveness, pleasurable whilst showing repect and responsibility to man and his environment. do I know so much about them?  I've been studying up, as I will be lucky enough to share these wonderful products with L'Occitane customers  over Xmas and be paid at the same time! So I will leave you to imagine  me in  absolute heaven in one of the stores below ;)

A bientôt, Gigi

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Synchronicity / Synchronicité

Yes, I admit it, I am a believer in the law of attraction..when it suits :) , and most definately syncronicity,(meaningful coincidences) . I can't NOT, as it happens to me quite spurts, and more often than not, it targets my francophone self.

A few years ago I was looking for some inspiration via an Anthony Robbins motivational book Awaken the giant within (je vous adore, Tony!) Around that time I had been playing with the idea of getting a university diploma in French (as mentioned in this post French, an ongoing love affair ,but it really was only a fantasy floating in the  backstalls of my mind.... but there they were, three words that just stood out and stuck.  TAKE MASSIVE ACTION! No dilly dallying, no procrastinating, GET ON WITH IT, AND GET ON WITH IT IN A BIG WAY!  Ok then, Tony..I will think about it, and I did think about it .. a lot...because Tony wouldn't LET UP until I DID take massive action..Everywhere I went he would appear, in a magazine or in a movie I would be watching (Shallow Hal loved this film!) was getting 'spooky'! I phoned a like-minded friend to tell her about it and as I  was  filling her in, Anthony's face appears on the TV screen! arrghh alright! alright!  Massive action!!  Thanks Tony, I have you to thank for having a university degree in modern languages...but you are sooo pushy!!

You know, at the end of that particular book, he wrote something along the lines of  ' I hope you have found some inspiration on these pages and who knows, maybe one day we will cross paths, I would love to hear your story..'  mmm sure. Tony in on the other side of the world....but nice thought :)

A few months later, My hubby and I went to the local movies, very rare occasion, especially at 6 pm on a Thursday night... it was like a ghost town  at the ticket box...there were only  two couples lined up..hubby and guessed it...Anthony Robbins and his wife! This could not be happening! I couldn't believe my eyes!... and if you are wondering if I told him my story...well no I didn't....I was too busy dropping lollies all over the floor and making a  complete fool of myself! Well shock can do this, n'est-ce pas???

What a ride! Does synchronicity chase you?

A bientot, Gigi

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Learning ongoing love affair....

Where did my love of all things french come from........? well, learning the french language at High school (many universes ago!) must have had something to do with poor poor teacher..most of the students showed no interest whatsoever in her class..but moi? ... well I sat at the very front..' and repetez ' as I was told..I was sold on it at 13.

Moving five years forward... High school done and revoir to french and a big bonjour  to adult land..

Moving another 18 years forward....married...two what was it I used to like doing when I was just  Oh yes,  studying french! From this point on I surrounded myself  with my beloved language in sorts of wonderful ways..

A great place to start/recommence is with a short course at  a local Tafe, where they offer 2 or 3 different levels. I did this for a couple of years, thoroughly enjoying it, AND the like minded company.

I then promoted myself to Alliance Francaise, an international organization that promotes french culture and language around the world, so if you are lucky enough to have one in your city, I highly recommend it, the teachers are normally  native speakers, and different levels are on offer... I go on a Thursday afternoon for 2 hours of conversation..just love it! Margaret Ambrose, an australian,  wrote a book called  How to be french, which touches on some Alliance classes. Fun read :)

At one point I got very serious about my language skills...I decided I needed a  'bit of paper' to 'prove' I could speak french!   Never having gone to university before... I  felt quite brave  looking into  courses etc.  Three and a half years of elation and frustration  later, I was armed with my 'bit of paper'. I had done it! Yay! Not only that, but I did it via correspondence, so those of you  who have thought about  taking on the challenge and using the fact that you dont live near a city that offers this.... will have to think of another excuse :)

These days I make sure I keep up  the skills by  attending a weekly class, watching the french news every morrning at 10.15 am on SBS (Im fibbing about the 'every morning' bit )  watching french films I hire from  Quickflix (great range of world films), and sometimes I play a  game on  Yabla, a fabulous site that helps with  reading, listening and grammatical skills in french. I should use it more, as I have taken out a yearly subscription, which is very reasonable...about $10 per month..not bad!  Here is an example:

I hope I have encouraged those of you who think about  learning this beautiful language, to  'just do it!'...its a wonderful  and ongoing journey, one I'm sure you won't regret :)

a Bientot

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saint Germain des Près "Je vous adore!"

One of my favourite areas to stay in Paris is Saint Germain des Pres on the left bank.The  gorgeous winding 'rues parisennes' , rather than the large 'Haussmann boulevards' , draw me back again and again. Even if I am bunked up on the right bank, I still find my way across to the other side of the Seine, to all that the 6th arrondissement offers.

The most beautiful Luxembourg gardens..... to wander around,...

To have a bite to eat...or something to drink and while away the time  amongst the flora....

The gardens are huge and there is soooo much to see, but I like going there best to sit on one of the famous green garden chairs and just watch it all unfold...

 I came across this last time.. who would have thought!

I walked over to take a photo, next thing whistles are blowing ...the fun police  (grass police actually) were onto us! They are very precious about their grass ,  so keep an eye out for  the signs that say " pelouse non autorisée!"

I've come to know Rue de Buci quite well , and definitely have a soft spot for it, with its brasseries, cafes, restaurants, 'marches' and...well  really....just the whole atmosphere of the area.

Flower market   rue de Buci

The perfect place to share  a happy hour is at Cafe du Marche, Re de Buci  with its  great vibe, great people watching vantage and very  cute overall clad waiters !

I'm just sooo touching the surface of what I love in Saint Germain..more another day!

A bientôt!