Ma Vie Francaise "Soirée in Paris"

After spending most of the afternoon vacuuming, scrubbing toilets and ironing pillowcases (I draw the line at sheets!) in preparation for my Swiss father-in-law's visit, I felt like Cinderella freed from her chores when I donned my clothes for the "Soirée in Paris" organized by Ma Vie Francaise yesterday evening. Since I've still got quite a bit of work to do before Werner's train rolls into Gare de Lyon around 7:00 pm, I thought that I would introduce you to some of the interesting people I talked with last night and invite you to take a look at their websites. I'm sure that you'll like what you see!

Ma Vie Francaise - an online magazine and global community of Francophones and Francophiles that hosts events in Melbourne and Paris. Their website is full of articles on French culture, escapades, gastronomy, mode and design, and the art de vivre.

Paris Cheapskate - Want to know where to find cheap eats, cheap drinks and cheap thrills in Paris without spending a lot of money? Take a look at Jenna's blog. You'll be hearing more about this talented writer in a future post because we had a lot of fun recently at a By Terry make-up workshop that reminded me of a girls' sleepover.

Peter's Paris - Meeting Peter was a real thrill because I started reading his blog before I moved to Paris. Not only is he a blogger, but Peter also volunteers for Paris Greeters, one of my favorite organizations. Last night, I seized the opportunity to ask if I could join him on a future walk. Imagine my delight when he agreed!

Time Traveler Tours - Bringing history to life through stories and games, Time Traveler Tours are interactive mobile iTineraries that transport time-travelers to a seminal moment in the past with a narrator/tour guide whose actions help shape that time. 

The Best Places in Paris - If you're studying French, be sure to check out  this bilingual blog written by a delightful French woman who reveals all of her favorite places in Paris. I already found one secret place where I want to go for lunch - La Maison de la Culture Arménienne.

Aussie in France - You may remember Fraussie from when she hosted the bloggers' breakfast in her lovely apartment overlooking the Jardin du Palais-Royal. As a longtime resident of Paris, her blog provides informative and fascinating insights into the French way of life. I guess that it helps that she's married to a French instead of a Swiss man!

Paris Weekends - This is another name that you'll probably recognize from the bloggers' breakfast. Not only does Abby's blog provide a wealth of information for visitors to Paris, it's also a great resource for expats who are looking for day trip ideas, weekend itineraries and more. Plus, Abby always has spot-on restaurant recommendations.

Caroline Nin - Even though I didn't have the chance to talk with this engaging Parisian cabaret performer, her beautiful voice provided the entertainment for the evening. I had one of those "pinch me, I can't believe I'm really here" moments when she sang Edith Piaf's "Padam". She's currently performing at the Lido in Paris.

I don't know if it was the wine or the excitement of leaving my chores behind, but none of my photos turned out very well. Thank goodness that professional photographer Steve Wells was on hand to take pictures of the very enjoyable soirée. Perhaps you'll see some of them soon on the Ma Vie Francaise website.


  1. Now Mary Kay, I'll share a professional short cut with you here: only iron the top third of the top sheet, as it's the only section which will be seen when folded down. Also, if the bed has good sunlight falling on it, put the bottom sheet on, just almost dry, and smooth out the wrinkles while it's on the bed. The heat of the sun will do the rest. And my favorite ironing sheets trick is to iron them fresh from the freezer. Yep, freezer. Take the linens out of the dryer just short of completely dry. Fold properly and store in plastic bags in the freezer until you're ready to iron, say, while watching the Olympics or Roger Federer play tennis. The heat of the iron and the coolness of the linens--voila, great pressed sheets!

    Okay, now, onto the blogs--goodness, so many to see. Thanks for the library, I'm going to get started.

    Have a wonderful visit with your Father-in-Law, and don't forget how to peel the fruits.

    1. Joseph, I had to laugh when I read your very helpful comment. Even though I have a fairly good-sized freezer for Paris, it's stuffed full of frozen food from Picard. I don't think that I would be able to fit a pillowcase in there, much less a sheet! I will, however, follow your advice for letting the bottom sheet air dry. And at some point, I'll be able to try the freezer trick...even if it means that I'll have to iron some sheets in the process!

      No peeled fruit or tomatoes - we decided to make things easy and eat out while my f-i-l was here. One place that we went was to the legendary Le Dome for seafood. According to the taxi driver, it's where Mitterand used to eat lunch every day.

  2. Yes, it was such a lovely night! It's always good to see you, Mary Kay, and here's to many more classy (and girly) experiences in Paris!

    1. When I finally left, I couldn't believe how late (for me!) it was. Definitely the sign of a fun evening. It was great to see you again, Jenna!

  3. A most enjoyable evening I agree. I'm looking forward to the next one!

    Joseph the Butler, that is a very interesting way of producing perfectly ironed sheets. I should try it for my new gîte though I might have trouble explaining to my guests why one shelf of their freezer is occupied by mysterious white items in plastic bags!

    I can remember being told how to determine whether clothing (or linen) needs ironing: the "15 minute test". If, after 5 minutes of wearing/using it, it looks the same as before you ironed it, don't bother!

    1. Ha! I can just imagine your guests comments as they study the sacks of sheets in the freezer.

      As for the 15 minute test - I used it yesterday to determine that I am no longer going to iron Stephane's linen trousers. They didn't even make it to the 2 minute mark!

      Isn't it an amazing world? If you would have told me 3 years ago that I would be spending evenings with people I met online, I would have laughed.

  4. Only buy easycare items, use small bit of fabric conditioner and hang up on hangars a soon as I take things out of the washer....but then I am a slut and hate ironing!

    However Joseph the Butlers tips are good to know for when the Queen, (or another blogger) comes to visit! LOL!

    Oh my, so many more blogs for my list...this is becoming a full time job!

    Love Denise

    1. Denise, I really think that you should write a book with a catchy title, something along the lines of "Suggestions from a Slut" or "Housekeeping for Whores".

      Just in case someone other than Denise is reading this comment and is confused, please click here to read her post "I want to be a slut".

      We missed you at the soiree - Jane was there and your name came up quite a few times!

    2. oh my, I have to go see, NOW!

  5. It was so nice to meet you and such a lovely evening !

    Thank you for quoting my blog in your post. Now I am hoping to find some more free time over the summer to write about all those lovely places I have been exploring lately ;)

  6. hey, great article, and thanks for the link.

    be well


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