3 Lessons from a Traditional French Home

ideas, Uncategorized

Disclaimer: I have never been to France, however, these are lessons I have taken from the book Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of making a Home

1. Have Dedicated Rooms:

As supposed to open floor plans in a modern American home, the traditional French home keeps each room a separate space. The reason for this being that every room is a dedicated space for a particular activity. The kitchen is for cooking, living room for entertaining and so on. The French believe that it is important to focus on one stimulus at a time. One should not cook while talking to friends but rather make them separate events. This type of separation in activities allows for us to be more present in the moment and truly experience each part.

2. Your Entry Way is Important:

Your entry is the room you enter as you walk into somebody’s home. In the states, it’s usually a place to take off your shoes or hang your coat. In a traditional french home, your entry way is much more than that. This is a place where you showcase your favorite art or photograph. It’s a place to showcase an event that has transformed your life. Only one’s favorite pieces or important experiences is shown at the front. It is a great talking point for people who come in as it says a lot about the person’s home in which you are about to enter.

3. Control and Mindfulness

Everything in moderation. The author of the book describes how her French husband came to New York with her, didn’t change what he ate, yet he had gained 15 pounds within the first year of moving. Turns out, we have much bigger portions than the French. Who knew? In their culture, it is frowned upon to eat without control. Food is eaten mindfully as is the consumption of alcohol.

Which of these ideas do you think could benefit you in your home?

Thanks for reading,

Coco

If You’re Bad at Remembering History, Read This.

Advice + Inspiration, Travel + Adventure, Uncategorized

You can teach me about the same war twenty times and a day later I will have already forgotten about it.

Does this sound like you?

Yesterday I was at the airport waiting to board when a woman across from me asked: “so where are you traveling to?” Quite honestly I wasn’t in the mood to chat. I had an early flight that morning and this was my connecting one. Regardless, I told her and we began to chat about our travels. She was around her mid 40s – early 50s. Her shortish golden hair reminded me of my grandmother’s.

After around ten minutes, the plane began to board. Turns out, I was sitting behind her. We talked about how she met her husband on a beach in Spain years ago. She described how they are still madly in love even after having three kids. Although that is nowhere near where my life is at right now, I felt as though we were very similar.

When we got off of the plane, we were going through airport security and she began to tell me about some Dutch history. Before she went any further, I had to tell her: “I’m going to be honest I love history. I think it’s fascinating.. but I never remember it. I’ve seen several castles and battle grounds in Ireland and I couldn’t tell you one fact about them.” She laughed at me. I felt a bit embarrassed. Then she said this:

“I’m bad at remembering history too!”

“Really, so how do you know all of these facts?”

“I read children’s books”

“Do they actually help?”

” Yes, because it’s more important to understand the big picture before trying to remember the small details. I read a children’s book called the history of France before I went there. My friend and I brought the book with us and matched the illustrated pictures to the things we saw while we were there.”

“Where have you been my whole life! Haha”

“Also there’s a lot of movies that can help with that too.”

Our conversation went further, but I had never thought of doing this. Children’s books have to explain things in simple terms. Only once you get something in simple terms can you dive deeper and learn more.

This advice has really and truly changed my life. Time to go buy some children’s books.

Have you tried this before?

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Why You Need to Do More Story-Telling

Advice + Inspiration, Uncategorized

coffee_shop_CA

Okay funny story- are you ready?

I used to work at an elementary school- and boy if you don’t know what roasting is you will learn a thing or two while working there- okay that’s besides the point.

So, do you remember being in elementary school and always trying to act cooler or more mature than you were? Yes you do- don’t lie.

Anyways, in the classroom we had a book shelf filled with books that I never once saw a kid touch. Very sad, I know. One day, I decided to pull out a few of my childhood favorites and read them out loud. I just sat at a table by myself and began. No fair -warning- nothing.

At first, the kids were all snickering. “Why is ms. Coco just reading out loud randomly?” They started making jokes about the books, but then something funny happened.

Within five minutes of me reading, half of the classroom was sitting by me. They began to truly listen. No jokes- just engaged fourth and fifth graders. While the other half wasn’t gathered around, they were still listening as well and would occasionally run over to look at some pages as I told the stories.

Funny right? I think so at least. It’s because we all love a good story.

What teachers did you like the best? The ones that made connections through story-telling or the ones who just read off the bullet points and left you wondering “what’s the point”? I think it’s a pretty easy question to answer, right?

Story-telling draws people in! That’s why we love movies, hearing other people’s experiences, etc. It connects us to one another.

They also help us remember things better. I am much more likely to remember new information if it’s told in story form versus just having to memorize words and definitions.

Tell more stories! It makes people want to listen more and it makes it easier to connect with others.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk LOL.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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