Saturday, February 16, 2008

Basic French

As I was avoiding my enormous pile of graduate school work this morning, I came across this link on Melanie Mauer's blog. I've seen lots of stores and shops that claim to have French products, but most of them are super pretentious and annoyingly sophisticated or they're kitchy and not authentic. This site blew my mind, being one of the only sites I've seen that fit neatly in the middle of that spectrum.

The first gasp out of my mouth occurred when I clicked on the housewares section and the first item up was the Cachou Reglisse. My husband, an authentic Frenchman, craves these breathmints (although I don't see how black licorice freshens breath, these tiny monsters make me gag!) and whenever he goes to France he stuffs his pockets with the little yellow tins and savors them when we get back home. His Dad sends him some every once in a while and you'd think it was Christmas morning! I'm so glad I have a place to go where I can buy them for him!

The Petit Pocket Bunnies are another favorite find. On my first trip to France when I was 15, I stayed with a family who had four kids. The youngest, Clement, had a few of these knitted animals around the house and you could tell that most of them were hand-me-downs from the older sisters. Kids can love the heck out of these for quite some time! I was so excited to see them on the site!

Other favorites include:
These willow baskets...

and these Rattan bags, although I bet I could find some similar housewares at Target!
One more item that made me gasp, though - these little wollen slippers!
Sylvain has a pair exaclty like these in a different color and they are so old and tattered. When we went to visit his family for Christmas, they had his old pair at the house (that they wouldn't let him take home to the States) and a brand new pair for me (which also had to stay there)! In France, you have to take off your shoes at the door and everyone has their own pair of house shoes to put on when they get home. The lining is super soft, and since all the floors are hardwood or tile, these little gems make your feet all snuggly and warm when you're at home. Unfortunately, this site only has slippers for children, but if they ever have them for adults, you can bet we're buying them!
So, thank you Melanie Mauer, for linking me to a store that makes me feel like I'm in France! I showed Sylvain the site this morning and he was rather impressed, which says a lot, because he usually turns his nose up at things like this. Silly Frenchman.

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