Simple Pleasures: Paris State of Mind



What could possibly be more appropriate to commemorate my time in Paris than Part II of my Paris Photo Diary? The answer is nothing, my friend, nothing at all.

Hard to believe that an entire year passed since I was wandering those lovely cobblestone streets, lounging in Parisian cafes and indulging in espresso, macarons, eclairs, and more macarons {OK, who are we kidding – a whole lot of macarons}. Honestly, if it wasn't for the photos {and the 12 extra pounds}, I'd think it was all a dream. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the best time of my life {because around here, we celebrate everything}, I decided to share my musings on a topic near and dear to my heart: embodying a Paris state of mind.

For a reason forever unbeknown to me, my husband refuses to drop our life in the States and move to Paris {how unreasonable, right?}. As a result, I'm left with the task of infusing that elusive Parisian "je ne sais quoin" {that certain something} into my wardrobe, home, workplace and personal life, because, baby, Paris is a state of mind, and just because you're out on a farm in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean you can't live the oh-so-dazzling life of a true Parisienne.

If there ever was a culture for whom life itself was an art form of the highest degree, it's the French. The mysterious ease, the "joie de vivre" {joy of living} attitude, the ability to savor the most mundane of experiences from the moment they wake up until they fall into bed at night – these are the qualities that make Parisians such enchanting individuals. Just imagine what could happen if you adopt a Paris state of mind and decided to live every day with the same passion and elegance, regardless of your circumstances!

So, without further ado, here are 10 tips for embodying a Paris state of mind:

  1. Infuse your life with sensuality {not to be confused with sexuality}. Don't buy into the illusion that one day, when you finally get it all together, you will start enjoying life. It's an illusion – that day never comes, because there will always be one more thing on your to-do list, one more problem to resolve, one more this and one more that.
  2. Find joy in life's simple pleasures, such as a cup of coffee, a good book, or fresh cut flowers.
  3. Unplug from technology, and reconnect with humanity face to face. Be honest, when was the last time you had a conversation that didn't involve emojis? Yes, technology saves time, but what are you saving that time for, if not for valuable human interaction?
  4. Speaking of time, don't waste it on unnecessary interactions and forced relationships, or trying to prove or justify yourself to someone. Be kind, assume others know you have good intentions, and move on.
  5. Wear nice shoes and remember that living life confined to your comfort zone {or your tennis shoes} in no way to live.
  6. Let go of negativity – whether it's doubt, or unhealthy habits, or the tendency to complain, or people that suck the last drop of positivity out of you. It's time to look that joy-killer in the face and say, "Not today, buddy! Today I choose happiness."
  7. Embrace your femininity. Dress like the heroine of a dazzling adventure that you are.
  8. Never apologize for your presence or opinion. Learn how to unequivocally own your value, words and emotions – and only apologize when an apology is due.
  9. Accept your physical appearance. The French know no age or weight limitations to sensuality. Why? Because they know that you don't have to be 23 and wear size 2 to feel "bien dans sa peau" {good in your own skin}. As a fellow blogger recently said, "Fall in love with yourself every day – no, every hour! Seriously, adore the heck out of yourself. Every. Single. Inch. And. Cell. Let the assurance of your own self worth radiate from the inside out."
  10. Maintain an air of mystery. As the French say, "Pour vivre heureux, vivons caches." {To live happily, live hidden.} Fight the urge to tell every passerby your sob stories or personal dramas. Ain't nobody got time for that! Tap into the secrets of that oh-so-elusive French appeal and bring a little mystery into your life {and stop annoying the heck out of Every. Single. Person. You. Meet.} The world and its citizens thank you in advance.


Now, I realize we may not have ended on the most positive of notes, but here's the part where you speak up. What would you add to the list? How do you plan to infuse the Parisian "je ne sais quoi" into your life?







Posted in SIMPLE PLEASURES, TRAVEL and tagged .


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  9. J’adore this post!

    I think I might add…

    11. Simplify.
    Less is more. Cultivate a capsule wardrobe where every single piece looks fabulous. Declutter your home so you only own what you absolutely love. Rock “le no make up look.”

    12. Entertain.
    I want to host a dinner party effortlessly and confidently like a Parisienne!

    13. Seek beauty.
    The major thing I took back from my trip to Paris was how beautiful it was. Sure, the bridges and buildings, but the people and pastries too. I try to make things little and big pretty.

    What do you think?

    • Hi Michelle, I completely agree with your points! For me the advice about beauty is synonymous with points 1 & 2, but you do bring up an interesting point about our innate desire as women to beautify the world around us, which is essentially what this blog is all about!

      Simplifying your wardrobe and entertaining can be summed up in the idea of getting your priorities in order, i.e. spending time with people who matter – whether over dinner or coffee or a simple, face-to-face conversation is a higher priority than, say, spending that time on your appearance.

      XOXO, Oksana

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