Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bonjour Happiness

Bonjour Happiness, watercolor sketch, 9" x 11"

A week ago I went to hear Jamie Cat Callan talk about her newest book on finding your inner 'Frenchiness'...
'Bonjour Happiness'
Jamie was recently injured in her car (by a possibly texting driver) but she reminded us, "You can still have joi de vie whilst hobbling around in a leg cast". Jamie is nothing if not an optimist.
The French have recently adopted the cheesecake as a favorite dessert.
But they've always had the best 'cheesecake' of all - matching lingerie. Jamie says"your lingerie MUST match and be frilly' or just furgettaboutit if you wanna find your inner French girl.
Jamie proceeded
to do the 'French' scarf demo
For us.
There was a REAL French girl present to concur with Jamies' scarf instructions.
"DO NOT ever wear your scarf the way the sales guy in the street shows you"Non JAMAIS!"
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
French Girl agreed.
Jamie says, "French people do not have an expression for 'the pursuit of happiness'.
"They do not chase after it. Rather they take things slowly. Jamie says, "You must cultivate your own 'secret garden'. That place where you can refresh your senses and recoup.
Jamie says, "Learn the Galic shrug when presented with a difficult situation.
Simply shrug your shoulders casually, "C'est la vie."
Bien sur there were macarons on hand (merci Mad Mac).
I asked Jamie what she thought of French men, since the DSK episode. Jamie said, "That's in the next book."
I shrugged and said, "C'est la vie..."


  1. "Bonjour, Happiness" is a fantastic book and Jamie is a wonderful, inspiring force of nature. I was lucky enough to take a writing course from her in Auvillar last September, and learned so much from her (some of it was even about writing!!)

    I wish I could have been there to learn more from her and to meet you, too!

  2. I gotta read this book!

  3. Never lose a moment in time to take in happiness, wherever it presents itself. So true.

    I was wondering yesterday about that gorgeous looking half-sphere topped with raspberries! Cheesecake, the French way, grandious! :-)

    Love what Jamie says about the inner French girl. I imagine the outer inner wrapping must match also the inner macaron. Or something along that line .... ;-)

  4. The book looks interesting as well as all of those wonderful pastries you have been showing the last couple of days.:-) I love your sense of humor and enjoy reading your posts.

  5. Merci beaucoup for the wonderful blog post, Carol!!! I am so honored to be a part of the Paris Breakfasts!! Your blog gives me a lift every morning and inspires me to continually channel my inner French girl (not to mention to enjoy delicious pastry!) Ah, you offer the world so much happiness, so much joie de vivre!! And to Paris Breakfast readers--if you blog and would like to write about Bonjour, Happiness! Please let me know and I'll send you free review copy. Merci and love, Jamie

  6. La Joie de Vivre – it is true that I find it is easier to have it in France than in the US as the culture is different. I’ll put this book on my list. I read all the posts that I had missed on your blogs. So many luscious cakes! I like the French chocolate cakes, with Grand Marnier. Here I think they are too sweet and not creamy enough. While in Paris I went back to look at the office where I worked before coming to the US in the 60s – it was rue Lincoln at the corner with the Champs-Elysées. There used to be a café near my office at this corner where I would take a café crème in the morning. I was surprised that it had been replaced now with the Ladurée place (which looks old but can’t be) I went inside and bought some macarons but I did not like them as much as the cakes. I enjoyed your pictures of Venice – you have a good eye for the interesting shot.

  7. Sounds fun! Love all your petits fours and sweet treats, Carol.

  8. French Girl5:14 PM

    This is so fabulous.
    So fun and delicious and just heavenly!
    I love how you put these exquisite and rich and imaginative
    layers of color and sweetness (with the occasional tarty twist)
    together to form visual French pastry!

  9. Justinian5:19 PM

    I don't know why everyone wants to be a French Girl?
    Not every French girl is Catherine Deneuve bien sur.
    And French men are obviously no piece of cake..

  10. Great painting, Carol.
    The book sounds like it is a fun read. I like the premise.
    I love the pastries, as always.

  11. Loved the study of at the top of Financiers Pastries 2 and today's, but the next picture below, of the champagne being poured, made me wonder whether you have done any pictures on a champagne theme, perhaps the Perrier Jouet bottle, or another of some other fashionable champagne house?

  12. That is so funny - about french men! All women can still be fabulous on their own.

  13. I have said this before, the new watercolors with lots of pastries are just beautiful. I am imagining one in my kitchen as soon as I get some $ in my pocket!!! I checked your Etsy store but they are not there yet?!
    I loved the reading suggestion, I need that book now.
    PS: did she show her lingerie, too?
    I love LOVE scarves!!! Have a big drawer full of them!
    Have a great day Carol!

  14. Bonjour Carol...really more of a bon soir at this hour.

    I'd not previously heard of Bonjour Happiness, and will have to see if my library will order it.

    I agree with so many of the earlier comments, about your beautiful watercolors, about certain French men, about recognizing happiness and encouraging it in our lives.


  15. I am in danger....I may tie my scarf the way the salesman tells me to do it - but only because he's never told me how so I could inadvertently do it the WRONG way! Help!

  16. Oh, Carol, I feel out of it...what was the DSK episode, please excuse my ignorance. I am loving the pastry grouping watercolors...they make me hungry. And thank you for introducing us to Jamie and her book...what perfect fun it all looked...I would love to blog about Jamie's book, but I haven't posted in a while...maybe all I need is some "Bonjour Happiness"!!

  17. Great sketch! :)

  18. Jenny:
    D.S.K. referrs to Dominique Strauss- Kahn, the very naughty Frenchman currently under house arrest till trial for doing who-knows-what exactly to a New York hotel cleaner, but his history of misbehavior towards women is legend (or so they say).

  19. What a fabulous post. I can't wait to get my hands on this book! She seems like a great writer with a fabulous personality.

    Ps. I love your top sketch!! I am in love with it Carol!!

  20. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Ah, I must look at this book, even as a man I'm always improving my joie de vive.

  21. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Bonjour,I just download Bonjour Happiness in my E reader, since I don't have access to book store easily. Great techonology. Alors aujourd'hui it is all about reading.

    Have a nice weekend to all.

  22. Megan in Portland10:05 AM

    like the chef Eric Bedoucha....

    And what's wrong with a petit four addiction? Such a trifle.

  23. Ooh, I just love the shrug, c'est la vie, about DSK, it's what I'm going to do now!

  24. Anonymous6:28 AM

    So how do you tie a scarf !!

    Please explain !! ;)


  25. Just checking whether Yellow Bird was still patiently waiting for his share of the pastry bounty! ;-)

    Very sweet and beautiful painting, Carol.

  26. fantastic and inspirational! XO

  27. There is a lot of reasoning in her perspectives as well as that of French Women Don't Get Fat books. If you don't feel you look good you won't feel as good and that's down to the undies.
    A few too many cheesecakes might do that to you too.

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  28. Should pick up the book.

    Love reading your blog. Have added it to my blogroll - hope you don't mind. Look forward to seeing you at 'I Know A Little Place: Paris'.

  29. I've added the book to my "must read" list - thank you!

    Absolutely LOVE your blog! So charming & delicious!

  30. Anonymous5:46 PM

    For days now I have been thinking about your advice to talk to strangers. And I notice how people just don't do it anymore. I"m now making a concerted effort to do so. And I'll feel more french doing it!


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