french life / la vie française

15 Perfectly French (and Authentic) Christmas Gifts

15 Perfectly French (and Authentic) Christmas Gifts

If you’re in Paris before the holidays, skip the souvenir shops and buy your loved ones a special, quintessentially French present. Or you can always use the internet to deliver a little France to you. These are my favorite French gift ideas this year.

French Favorites: Diptyque Carrousel

French Favorites: Diptyque Carrousel

UPDATED WITH 2018 CARROUSEL INFO! The theme this year is “Légende du Nord” and is the work of Pierre Marie. The carrousel features three spirit characters that have been invented by Diptyque, as well as two compass medallions.

Paris is for (Book) Lovers

Paris is for (Book) Lovers

Even on vacation a girl’s gotta read! Paris has got you covered with great spots for reading or picking up a new book whether you live here or are just passing through.

How to Get Your Securité Sociale & Carte Vitale in France

How to Get Your Securité Sociale & Carte Vitale in France

Once you’ve lived in France for three months and established residency, you’re eligible for French national health coverage — Woohoo! But to reap all the benefits, you’ll first need a numero de securité sociale and a carte Vitale.

Attending the French Open: BYOBaguette and Mind Your Manners

Attending the French Open: BYOBaguette and Mind Your Manners

Went to my first French Open this week (or Roland Garros to those in France) along with bunch of sober, well-behaved French people eating food they brought from home. Quite a sporting event culture shock for this American.

Wannabe French Girl Beauty: The Epilator

Wannabe French Girl Beauty: The Epilator

Imagine 48 mini tweezer heads on a revolving cylinder. Now imagine running it over your skin as the tweezers rip your hair out from the root. This is not a torture device, but a popular hair removal tool used in France that is virtually unknown […]

French Etiquette: Silent Communication Using Silverware

French Etiquette: Silent Communication Using Silverware

When eating at a fine restaurant in France, there is a silent code diners use with forks and knives to talk to waiters. A sort of sign language via le couteau and la fourchette.

The American Guide to French Weddings

The American Guide to French Weddings

You’re invited to a French mariage in a castle. Awesome! Before you go, there are a few key differences between American and French weddings to learn. Know what to expect so you can be a good guest.

Why Do French People Respond in English When I Speak French?

Why Do French People Respond in English When I Speak French?

It’s a frustrating, but common occurrence for expats in France — You ask a question in French and the response comes in English. You try again in French. Still English. But don’t freak out, French people (most likely) aren’t doing this because they’re rude or […]

10 Differences Between French and American Work Culture

10 Differences Between French and American Work Culture

As I learned, bouncing into your new job with your American working style and enthusiasm probably isn’t the best way to proceed. But good news, some of the differences are wonderful!