• Bugatti type 35 Jean Luc Decluzeau Salon du Chocolat 2022 colleensparis
    Events and Trade Shows,  Food, Drink & Health,  Going Out,  Life in Paris & France

    The Salon du Chocolat 2022 Offered Fashion and a Chocolate Bugatti

    What do you do with 400 kilos (881 pounds) of chocolate? You build a Bugatti Grand Prix type 35, of course! The Bugatti was one of the numerous creative chocolate sculptures at the Salon du Chocolat’s 27th edition in Paris at Porte de Versailles.  The event is always scheduled for the last weekend in October. When I arrived, I headed past the chocolate sculptures, the chocolate tastings, the bean-to-bar stands and straight to the fashion parade of fifteen chocolate-covered dresses and costumes. The announcer was loud and clear, so the event had begun. With two afternoon start times, I would still see everything.  At the world’s largest event dedicated to cocoa, I…

  • ham and cheese sandwich the croque monsieur at the grocery store
    History,  Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France

    How did le Croque-Monsieur get its name?

    Le croque-monsieur (croak-missyou) is THE real French sandwich. It is not just a ham and cheese sandwich made with two pieces of bread. It is toasted and it is famous. Le croque-monsieur is one particular sandwich that has made it's way from the brasserie and bistro to the microwave in France. Diners take photos of meals exquisitely arranged on the plate. Not many take a photo of a sandwich. These foods, however, do share something in common. They are available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

  • Pere Noël-Father Christmas-Santa Clause at the Bastille, Paris, France
    Christmas,  Let's Explore

    Father Christmas at the Bastille in Paris

    One day walking through the Bastille plaza, I saw the Christmas trees being set up around the green July column. By the next evening, purple was once again the sparkling color lighting up the Bastille July column. For the Christmas holiday, Pere Noël was riding the merry-go-round and another day he was dancing with a marching band. Every day is different in the Bastille!

  • Image of Le Figaro newspaper small business owners
    Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

    Paris: Shopping for Essentials – Who decides?

    Thinking about the holiday shopping ahead? France is working through a vocabulary issue: what is considered essential shopping and what is non-essential? On the morning breakfast show, Télématin, Gabriel Atal, a government spokesperson, said it was unfortunate the government chose the legal form of the word, essential. In other words, deciding what is or is not essential is very controversial. Small businesses are hurting in November Monoprix, a mini-department store (grocery, household, parapharmacy, clothing, toiletries, etc.) was fully open during the first 55-day lockdown. This time, to be in solidarity with the small business, certain departments are cordoned off: books for example. However, magazines are sold because the magazine kiosks and…

  • Image of Nathalie from Bring France Home in her shop rue de Birague
    Practical Info,  Specialty shops

    Bring France Home and Support Small Businesses

    “We’re still here,” said Nathalie as she dusted the Paris dust off the shelves and products. Bring France Home is your Made in France shop on rue de Birague and online. Click on the categories at the bottom of their webpage to fill your shopping basket! The Eiffel Tower jewelry (category “jewels”) is unique to Bring France Home from their neighbor jeweler: Galerie UBU. Nathalie is optimistic for this year, but her shop and others need the international tourists back to survive. Chamber of Commerce (CCI) research in October 2019 showed that 80% of a shop’s revenue came from international tourists...... Click on the title to read more and watch…

  • Going Out

    Foire de Paris-shopping for home fashion

    Making the annual pilgrimage to the Paris Home Show (Foire de Paris) is now mission accomplished. However, we are going back for more.
Last year we made contact with the interior architects and chose the style for the new, smaller sofa bed (canapé lit) and chair.
After numerous vacations and conferences we are about to squeeze in and firm up our renovation plans to upgrade the nearly hundred year old electricity to accommodate the......

  • Image Post Card Croissant French flag card Made in France Colleen's Paris
    Let's Explore,  Specialty shops

    Quirky Paris Souvenir Ideas – Made in France

    While wandering around BHV/Marais I noticed bits and pieces of hardware, wall paper and cleaning products made in France. Across the street at City Hall's Paris Rendez-Vous boutique concept shop I found unusual souvenirs made in France. A while ago, I found Bring France Home near Place des Vosges that only sells souvenirs made in France. Are you looking for quirky Paris souvenir ideas and inexpensive?

  • Chair with stack of books about Paris and Champagne, Hemingway, Angels
    Books & Guides & Writing,  Practical Info

    Prepare Your Visit to Paris, France

    Suitcase? Check! Camera? Check! Walking shoes? Check! Reading material? Prepare in advance with some book ideas! Language? Brush up on that French grammar! Frantastique is my Wednesday exercise. Then when I go shopping or chat on the street, those proper verbs just slide right out ... still studying though! Some of the books in my library are Paris walking tours. They provide enough material to stroll through Paris and explore. Another prepares you with a story and history for your Champagne tasting. David Downie's books are walking tours of history. Each chapter of each book weaves a tale of discovery. Tilar J. Mazzeo's book whisks you into Champagne history with…

  • Image from Foire de Paris 2018 website with dates
    Events and Trade Shows,  Going Out

    Jounaliste, Influenceur or Pigiste for Foire de Paris

    It is time to prepare for another gigantic Paris home show. While applying for my 2018 Foire de Paris press accreditation, I found a new category. Joining the list of journaliste (journalist) and pigiste (free-lancer) is the influenceur*. Usually I think of the marketing influencers for Fashion Week. But if you love to cook, design, check out the future through inventions, are curious about appliances and world cultures you probably follow an influencer on social media. The first Foire de Paris, was held in 1904 at Carreau du Temple in the third arrondissement. The annual event moved to its present location at Porte de Versailles in 1924. You can read more about…