Friday, June 14, 2013

"You like me, you really like me!" (*)

Katharine Hepburn's four Academy Awards
(National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC)

For the last three weeks, I have been reviewing French movies for the Seattle International Film Festival: Thank you for following this budding movie critic and for encouraging me along the way. 

I was ready to move on and start writing about another fun topic, namely my summer travel plans, but then I heard the news: I had been nominated for two Liebster Blog Awards by fellow bloggers, Michel, of Our House in Provence and Michael, of Je Parle Américain.

Liebster Award: It's all about paying it forward!

Michel and Michael. Two bloggers, both American. The first one owns a house in the charming provençal village of Sablet, where he lives part of the year with his wife Shirley. You will enjoy reading his colorful posts about the small towns and villages he visits along the way; the second one, a 40-something guy who relocated to France several years ago, married a Frenchman, and now chronicles his Parisian adventures. Pay them a visit when you get a chance!

I have received a Liebster Award before, and while I feel honored to see my blog recognized by this community, I am also aware of the steps involved in accepting a nomination: Revealing 11 facts about yourself (not 5 or 24, mind you... 11!) then answering 11 questions by the blogger who nominated you; finally, nominating 5 deserving blogs (preferably with fewer than 200 Followers,) linking to their blogs in your acceptance post, and posing 11 questions, etc. 

Phew. You get the picture:  Nobody in Hollywood - and I mean NOBODY - has to work this hard to receive an Academy Award or an Emmy. That, mes amis, is a fact.

I realize this post may include more personal information about this French Girl you will ever care to hear. I am proud of my little blog, and what we have accomplished so far, mostly thanks to my faithful readers. But I have decided to add a little twist, to make this visit worth your while. So while I go through the steps of accepting my nomination, I will also share the limelight with favorite ladies of mine, all award-winning actresses. They are the shining stars. Love them all.

Audrey Hepburn. Grace Kelly. Backstage,
Academy Awards ceremony (1956)

But the Liebster Award is patiently waiting for me. I, too, need to step into the light and claim it. 

Part 1: Eleven facts about French Girl in Seattle.

1. Once upon a time... French Girl in Seattle was born in December 2010 during our annual visit to Paris. Two and a half years later, we have reached close to 400,000 pageviews. Over 700 readers (mostly American and French,) have signed up to become French Girl in Seattle's "Most Faithful Followers," here, or on the blog's Facebook page. Merci à tous! 

2. Discovering my creative self...I have never considered myself a creative person (I am not crafty at all; can't carry a tune or play an instrument; and can't hold a drawing pencil) Still, French Girl in Seattle has taught me I could be creative in so many other ways. I value the learning experience involved in researching my stories; the hours spent writing; the connections and friendships developed along the way. The blog - and the community around it - have become trusted friends in difficult times. I am grateful for that.

3. I was born... in the lovely city of Toulouse, in southern France. Even though I have not returned in years, I am planning on getting re-acquainted with my Gascon roots in the coming year. There could be worse things in life than hailing from the same region as Cyrano de Bergerac or D'Artagnan!

Audrey Hepburn, Best Actress, Roman Holiday, 1953

4. As I was growing up, I lived in several French cities with my family. From Toulouse to Lille, via Montpellier, Lyon, and finally, Paris. This traveling life showed me the benefits of being adaptable, curious and outgoing. I was lucky to always make new friends along the way. This came in handy because...

5. Eighteen years of my life have been spent in the United States so far.  One year in Atlanta, as a foreign exchange student in the mid 1980's. Seventeen in Seattle, WA. I don't spend nearly enough time on the East Coast, which I explored for years during my summer vacation in my 20's. I miss it.

6. Even though I have lived in [American] suburbia for the last 13 years, I am still a city girl at heart. People watching from a café terrace on a busy street is one of my favorite pastimes. 

Grace Kelly, best actress, Country Girl, 1954

7. I love movies. My life would not have been the same without movies (if my best friends are tired of hearing me quote favorite characters, they have been kind enough not to tell me... yet.) 

8. Three reasons why I am a lousy French woman: I don't like to cook. I don't know much about wine. I don't own a single skirt or a pair of high heel pumps (sorry, Christian Louboutin!)

9. Three reasons why I am a real French woman: I love and use accessories. I understand the concept of doing things in moderation. I am frank and forthcoming.

Simone Signoret, Best Actress, A Woman at the Top, 1959

10. I have developed an unhealthy obsession with: Nutella; caramel-flavored desserts; les Fraises Tagadala Deuche (the 2cv;) Coco Chanel.

11. You can take the French Girl out of France, but you can't take France out of the French Girl. Whoever said "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," was absolutely right.

Vivien Leigh, Best Actress, Gone with the Wind, 1939

Part 2: 

French Girl in Seattle answers 11 questions by fellow bloggers Michel and Michael

1. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

Coco Chanel (I'd be certain to stay very quiet and listen the whole time...) Do I REALLY have to say why?

If Coco was not available, then I vote for Monsieur Gustave Eiffel

2. Name your favorite restaurant. 

I once had a memorable meal "al fresco" at Château Eza, in Eze Village, on the French Riviera. I don't get impressed easily, but Château Eza blew me away. It was not just about the food (delicious,) service (French waiters at their knowledgeable, professional best,) but also about le cadre (the environment.) Oh, la, la!

Sophia Lauren, Best Actress, Two Women, 1962

3. What makes you smile more quickly than anything else?

My black cat, Felix, a.k.a. "The Puma." Cats are funny, whether they intend to be or not.

4. The best quality in a human being?


5. What infuriates you more than anything else?

Selfishness. People who think of themselves first; act without thinking, and do not consider the consequences of their actions, and their impact on the people around them, (relatives, friends or total strangers.)

Elizabeth Taylor, Best Actress, Butterfield 8, 1960

6. If you had to live during any other period of history, which one would it be, and why?

I guess I am a little bit like the character played by Marion Cotillard in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris: I would have loved living in Paris during la Belle Epoque. I could have attended the 1889 World Fair; would have been one of the first visitors to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. I would have splurged on a decadent meal at the Ritz Paris, prepared by the great Auguste Escoffier!

7. What would be your dream job?

I have always dreamed of running a big hotel. I would also love making a living as a travel writer. Or as a writer.

8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

My friends could answer this question for me: Nissa la Bella. Nice, of course. This Southern belle has it all: the Mediterranean. Proximity to Provence, and Italy. Exceptional weather. City life. Not too big, not too small. Nice, definitely.

Julia Roberts, Best Actress, Erin Brockovich, 2000

 9. What movie or TV show do you hate that everyone loves? 

Any reality TV show. They are too painful to watch. I'd rather spend time with a good book or a favorite movie. 

10. Who is your favorite author?

It's a tie between John Steinbeck and John Irving. And I would choose Fitzgerald over his friend Hemingway.

11. Favorite quote?

Any quote by Coco Chanel. I can relate to so many of them...

"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." 
Coco Chanel

Helen Mirren, Best Actress, the Queen, 2006

And finally...

Part 3: French Girl in Seattle's 5 nominations

This is why the Liebster Award was created: to showcase excellent blogs with fewer than 200 Followers. Pay them a visit and help them grow! 

Dear Blogger friends: To claim your Award, follow the steps detailed at the beginning of this post, and answer the 11 questions above, or just improvise... To quote Katharine Hepburn: "If you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun!" :-) 

1. My friend Sandy, of Southwest Chards, lives in a beautiful part of the country. She delivers some of the most colorful and sunny posts out there in Blogland... They have often cheered my up through the long, wet, Pacific Northwest winters.

2. Craig, of Boris in Ayshire, has lived around the world, including in France. But now, he and his partner, and their cute dog Boris, are back in Scotland. Everyone who reads Craig knows who the true star of the blog is... (Note to Craig: We need more photos of Boris, please :-) 

3. Alison, of Flartopia, "French teacher by calling and training, a cubicle rat by default," chronicles her life in North Carolina... NC has never looked so good...

Marion Cotillard, Best Actress, La Vie en Rose, 2007

4. You like to travel? Follow Sandy, of You may be wandering. Oh, the places you'll go!

5. Finally, Pam, of Views from My Kitchen Sink... except Pam's kitchen sink overlooks the Eiffel Tower... well, not really, but she still lives in a beautiful Parisian neighborhood. Pam chronicles her family's life in the City of Light; takes beautiful photos; and keeps an open mind about these crazy French people...

Voilà, les amis. Mission accomplished. I have accepted my two Liebster Blog Awards. 

Thanks again for nominating me, Michel and Michael.

Good luck to the blogs I have nominated today. Pay it forward!

A bientôt.

(*) "You love me, you really love me!" -- Sally Field, upon receiving the Best Actress Academy Award for Norma Rae in 1979.


  1. Wonderful post. It was fun learning even more about you, and I love the nod to great Oscar winners!

    1. Thank you again, Michael. The Award season has been exhausting... :-)

  2. Veronique,

    This was such a GREAT READ and I almost felt as I was walking down the red carpet with all these famous beauties! How clever of you to include your new passion and skill of movie critic in your Liebster Award acceptance post!

    I LOVE EZE! When I lived in Nice, I went to Eze regularly on the bus. A month later when my husband came to visit me, I took him there immediately AND St. Paul de Vence all in the same day. La Chevre d'or is a wonderful place and the food is TDF. I met a charming marchand of about 80 in one of the shops that after about 30 minutes of conversation with me, he went to the back of his storeroom, came out with a beautiful tapestry, GAVE it to me and when I asked him, "Monsieur, pourquoi me faites-vous ce cadeau?" He looked at me and said, "Parce que vous Madame, vous êtes adorable." Holy cow did I love that moment.

    CONGRATULATIONS CHÈRE AMIE! You are a joy to know and follow. Anita

    1. Merci beaucoup Anita.

      How wonderful that you are an Eze fan too! I can't believe you saw Eza and St Paul de Vence in one day! You do cover a lot of ground! :-)

      Loved hearing the story about the shopkeeper too. When i look at the photos of you on your blog, I can see why he would have had this chivalrous gesture :-)

  3. Cher Veronique. Thank you for playing along and answering all the questions. Of course, you did it with your usual creativity and wonderful style. A most interesting post. Bon weekend.

    1. Merci to you, Michel. I did my best! I tried to put a little spin on the story... You know how I enjoy doing that :-)

  4. Congrats! And don't you just love Helen Mirren--gorgeous! Jeannine

    1. Bonjour Jeannine. Merci beaucoup. Oui. I do love Helen Mirren. She is the closest thing to a queen in the movie industry today. I so wish I could catch her on stage this month while she impersonates Queen Elizabeth once again. Unfortunately, I will be late by a few days. C'est dommage...

  5.!! merci merci merci!! i really enjoyed reading more about YOU!
    thank you veronique! xo

    1. Je t'en prie, Pam. You are so welcome. You deserve the Award. Can't wait to hear your acceptance speech! :-)

  6. i answer the same questions asked of you? :)
    sorry, new to all of this!

    1. Well, I did bend the rules a bit (you know the French... ) so yes, you can go ahead and answer the same questions asked of me... Bonne chance!

  7. A wonderful blog post - it was fun learning a bit more about you. One of these days we two bloggers in Seattle's suburbs really should meet. . .like at Kirkland's French Bakery. . .somehow that seems appropriate~

    1. Thank you Jackie. Yes, that would be fun. I am about to fly to Europe but will be around in August. Maybe then?

  8. Congratulations Veronica!! Loved learning a bit more about you. LOVE all of the great acceptance photos, especially the gorgeous shot of Helen Mirin! Have a nice trip! xo, ebh

    1. Merci beaucoup! I knew these beautiful photos would be a hit! (They were with me...) -- Bon weekend. -- Veronica :-)

  9. Congratulations on the was wonderful chance to get to know you a bit better. I love the photos, especially the one of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly...all classics!

    And, thank you SO much for passing it along to me and mentioning my blog!!

    1. You're welcome. You deserve the Award too, and I was happy to nominate you, as I have just recently discovered your wonderful blog through Anita.

  10. Ah, j'adore ce billet Veronique! ET je suis SI contente d'avoir vu tes commentaires! Je te remercie de tous tes mots d'amitié au sujet de ma maison, mes photos et moi! Je suis un cours de poèsie et je m'en occuperai depuis tout l'été. Je te souhaite un bon voyage en Europe! BISOUS BISOUS, Anita

    1. Merci Anita. Tu vas bien profiter de ton cours de poésie... et moi je vais bien profiter de notre bonne vieille Europe!

  11. Dear Veronique,
    Thank you for a beautiful and very moving post Congratulation, you DO deserve to be honored like this!
    I can see we both love many of these women with so much style and grace!

    Art by Karena

    1. Merci Karena. These are classy and stylish ladies indeed. I thought they'd be a hit: They have always been! :-)

  12. Congratulations! What fun to read more about you and to see this amazing collection of leading ladies. Beautiful!
    Enjoy your summer, French Girl! ~ Sarah

    1. I will enjoy my summer, Sarah. I have waited a long time for it! You do the same in Texas, in that beautiful garden of yours!

  13. Oooooo! This is a fabulous post, Veronique! I love everything about it. Of course, you deserve the Liebster Award, and i love love hearing all these fun things about you! Maybe you'll live in Nice someday and run the Hotel Negresco? Wouldn't that be perfect for you? :)

    And that is a wonderful quote from Coco Chanel. She was one of a kind, courageous and classy for sure!

    1. My dear Mary. If I ever get to move to Nice and run the Negresco hotel, I will be, indeed, a very lucky girl. It might be difficult to fill Madame Augier's shoes, however. And I do not know that after all these years, she is even ready to retire... As for Coco, well, it is too late to meet her. But I would have liked that. Thank you for stopping by!

  14. I enjoyed learning more about you Veronique! So interestingly told. La Belle Époque era for sure. I'm still a crazy Francophile and just returned from Paris and my first trip to Provence....heavenly.

    1. Well, my dear Kim, Paris and Provence sound fabulous. I hope the weather cooperated for you. Apparently, France has been experiencing a very WET spring!

  15. So fun to learn more about you. Love love love the photos with the post. So perfect for a movie lover like you. So....what is your favorite movie???? Favorite movie star?

    1. Bonjour Connie. I am glad you enjoyed the glamorous shots of my "favorite ladies." Favorite movie ever? Tough one, but I'd have to go with "Gone with the Wind." Favorite movie star? Even harder. I can't decide. Most of the ladies featured above in the post I guess :-)

  16. Thanks for the award! I'm glad to know that my photos cheered you up during your grey winters. =) That was fun to see today. It was also interesting to learn more about you. So 'Nice''re still on the hook! Good to know! xx

    1. You're welcome Sandy. Yep, Nice, still on the hook... for many years to come I fear, and pourquoi pas?

  17. Veronique,

    Congratulations on your awards, they are well deserved.

    I think perhaps after your success as a film critic that we will see more writing in your future. With your knowledge of France I would think your travel article would be very popular!

    I have been away for a few days and have enjoyed catching up here. I will be watching two of the movies this week.

    Have a wonderful night, Elizabeth

    1. Thank you for stopping by Elizabeth.

      I hope you are right and there is, indeed, more writing in my future. :-)

      Let me know what you think about the two movies you are watching this week!

  18. Already this post made you award-worthy!! :-)

  19. congratulations on the award which is richly deserved and thanks for telling us so much in this post - have enjoyed your film reviews and like you love films too - Greetings from Nice

    1. Many thanks Catherine. How is life in Nice? Has summer finally arrived, since spring was being a tad finicky this year?

  20. Congratulations on another very well-deserved award. I remember how delighted I was when you passed on the Liebster Award to me. I enjoyed your answers and smiled as you explained why you are a lousy French woman and why you are a real French woman! Including these wonderful leading ladies was a great idea too. By the way,
    I've mentioned you in my next post ..... my recent weekend in Paris!

    1. Thank you miss b. I have just popped by to see what you had prepared for us, and just LOVED your Paris post! This definitely puts me in the right mood for my upcoming trip! :-) You were kind enough to mention French Girl in Seattle AND the iconic 2CV in the same sentence. I am flattered, truly :-) Glad you stopped by today. Will be there to read about your Paris weekend, Part 2, bien sûr.

  21. Bonjour Veronique and congratulations to your award! It was fun to find out more about you. Loved all the leading ladies, especially Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, and yes, I too also enjoy many of the wonderful quotes Coco Chanel shared.

    Happy week

  22. Congratulations, dear Veronique! Very well deserved! :)))
    I loved learning more about you....La Belle Epoque pour moi aussi!
    We share a love for films.....and indeed, you are very creative in incorporating these wonderful actresses receiving their awards into this terrific post.
    I'm off to catch up on your newest one....
    Brava! :)
    - Irina


Bonjour! I love hearing from you, my readers. To quote a fellow blogger, my friend Owen, "Comments are the icing on blogcake... Comments are the UFO in the twilight sky bearing news from other planets... Comments are raspberry vinegar in salad dressing... Comments are the cool balm of after-sun moisturizing lotion... Comments are the moment the band comes back out onstage to play an encore... Comments are the gleam in the eye across the room in a smoky bar... Comments are the rainbow after the rainstorm..." Merci for your comments! French Girl in Seattle