Our French Lifestyle

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Dreams really do come true, at least sometimes with just a little patience, and this is something I have had to wait for for nearly three years. But today, that dream comes true.

Well actually, two dreams came true – it’s been quite a week! We finally have a website (yes, you read that correctly), our very own space on the web; read on and you will find out all the details!

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But first – there are the chickens! More hens, to be precise, but with a difference. When we first moved here we always wanted chickens, and that was the easy part to fulfil; within a couple of months we had a happy poulailler with happy hens. But then I saw a photo – I can’t even remember where – of blue eggs. At that precise moment I didn’t even know blue eggs existed, but I instantly knew I wanted some!

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The other thing I always dreamed of ever since we first lived in France full-time was some form of website about our French lifestyle. I had no idea what I wanted at first, or how it would even work, I just knew that I wanted to share our life here. It started with this Blog, nearly three years ago (unbelievable to think it has been going so long already,) and then finally, today, after months of hard work, long nights staring at the computer, and far too little sleep, I am really really excited to be launching Our French Lifestyle

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If you visit and like it, please bookmark it and go back and visit often! Here is the link….. www.ourfrenchlifestyle.com

 

I have to pinch myself to actually believe it is true. But it’s not just for me, it’s for all of us; because without you there would be no blog, and if no one read a word that I wrote or ‘listened’ to my ramblings, then there would be no point in anything. Without all the comments and encouragement, the emails and conversations, and the help from so many other fabulous bloggers, I probably wouldn’t be doing this today. So thank you to each and every one of you. But above all, the one thing I know is that I’m (well, the entire family are) still just as passionate about French life as we were the day we moved here….perhaps even more so now, and it’s time to take sharing it one step further.

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Now, if you just like blogs, then don’t worry – the blog will continue just as it always has without any changes, and I will continue to post every Thursday and occasionally on Sundays.

On the new website however, you’ll find a much more eclectic choice of ‘Frenchness’ to enjoy.  First, there is a shop, selling all sorts of things for an enhanced French lifestyle, or for a lifestyle that you want to be enhanced with ‘Frenchness’. We’ll be selling whatever takes our fancy, as and when we find things to sell be they antique, vintage or brand spanking new and modern. There may be other European goodies in there too that we find in France. We’ll ship worldwide and if there is anything you want but cannot see, you only have to ask and we will do our best to find it for you. Make sure you check back frequently as stock will be continuously changing and do check a few times today, it has been something of a race against time to get this up and running today and we are still adding our starting stock!

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You will also find recipes, tips for entertaining and all sorts of lifestyle features which we will be adding to frequently. We have several guests lined up who will be writing for us including a nutritionist who will be giving expert advice in an informal way. And just to get the ball rolling we have a few ideas for your autumn table as our first article.

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But most exciting of all we hope we might get to meet some more of you, for we’re really thrilled to start offering short luxury ‘foodie’ breaks in our guest cottage; these can be weekends or mid-week, and they will centre around learning the art of selecting, cooking and then eating our fresh local fish and shellfish. Our area is the Oyster capital of the world. They are very much tailor-made for each individual and are ideal for two people which makes it a very personal experience. Full details can be found on the website under the heading Luxury Breaks of course!

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But going back to the chickens for a moment; growing up on a farm in southern England blue eggs didn’t exist when I was little, or at least certainly not amongst our farming friends. But as soon as I knew I wanted some I started to do a little research. Now if we lived in another place in another country, it might be easy, a few phone calls and a short drive and my wishes would come true. But here, in France, it is not that simple, as I found out. Special breeds do exist but not in our area, or at least none that I could find! I would have to travel quite a distance. I thought I had it sorted, we were heading to Normandy last spring to collect some Lavender Araucanas, a very long way to go and I was totally mad I know, but I was up for it and so were the children, even Roddy just shrugged and smiled, this is how desperate we had become! But the circumstances of the breeder changed and she stopped selling hens. Our plan to have blue eggs was in tatters once more.

But yesterday, over two years since my search began, we became the proud owners of two Araucana hens, delivered to us from a farm in the centre of France. It has taken a great many emails, a great deal of planning and a lot of belief that one day this would happen. Now I am not counting my chickens before they hatch, excuse the pun, we don’t have blue eggs yet, for we have to wait another two months or so until they start laying; these are young girls and we must continue to be patient, but when they do lay you will be the first to hear about it!!

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On top of all of this excitement I also want to say that I have literally been blown away by the wonderful comments and stories so many of you have shared on my last post about the War and Armistice Day. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for writing so much; I have read and reread all the comments several times and they have brought tears to my eyes as I know they have to several of you too. What a fabulous community we are.

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I will leave you now because today is Hetty’s birthday and I have a cake to bake! Please go and have a browse around Our French Lifestyle, (book yourself a weekend break and treat yourself to some French goodies for your home!) and come back and tell me what you think; I would really welcome any ideas you may have, any advice and your thoughts. Because above all, lets build this together.

 

133 thoughts on “Our French Lifestyle

  • Before I go any further I believe I have to hide the credit card from Amy. I shall be back later.

    Or does Amy have to hide the credit card from me???

  • Fabulous you very blessed lady! My mother kept chicken. We ate fresh eggs every day and sometimes when there was no money we would take some of them to the little country store and exchange them for food. My favorite part was when she ordered baby chicks. They came by the mail carrier out into the country where we lived. Mama would put them in a box lined with news paper along with water and feed. She strung a light across the top to keep them warm. We children played with them as we loved the sound they made when we held them in our hands. There was a problem because they became our pets and when mom wanted to cook one for our supper it was hard on us. Are you going to cook the chickens ?

    • How fabulous, we eat fresh eggs nearly every day too, if no one has time to go shopping at least I know there are always eggs plus they are organic and free range, what could be better. We have hatched our own chicks three years in a row now and it is so much fun, those baby chicks and the noise they make are adorable, I agree. But no, we have never cooked them and I don’t think we will, your mother is a braver women than I am! xx

  • The site looks exciting. I will certainly be following along from here in Florida. Nice to see the recipes also. Good luck with you new venture and the new chickens also. I will be awaiting the blue eggs.

    Sue in Fl.

  • Just had a look at your website, it looks really interesting. Blue eggs sound amazing but for now, I just wish I could get two brown eggs. One of my two hens keeps eating hers and I’m struggling to break the habit. Hope it goes really well.x

    • Thank you! Ahh I feel your pain, we have not had this problem, but I have heard of it and we have faced lots of other chicken related problems, it is never all plain sailing. Keeping my fingers crossed that you can find a solution. xx

  • Congratulations on the site! Regarding this post, do you have a recipe to share for the apple dish pictured at the beginning of the post?

    • Hi Mimi, Thank you so much. the apple pie is really easy and is one of my favourite quick desserts as it is completely sugar free. It literally is just puff pastry which I cook blind for about ten minutes. I peel and chop about 8 apples, preferably two or three varieties as this adds to the sweetness and put them in a pan on a very low heat with a tablespoon of water. Simmer them for about 15 minutes until they are quite soft and then puree them. I spread this over the pastry and top with some thinly sliced apples and bake for about 20 minutes at 180C/350F. If you want it a little sweeter you can always sprinkle some sugar over the top before baking. Enjoy xx

      • Thank you so much for the recipe. You are so kind to respond so promptly. I can’t wait to try it after my next visit to the grocery store. It may grace our Thanksgiving dessert table next week along with pumpkin pie!

        • Thanks Mimi, I would be really honoured if you had this on your Thanksgiving table, it is really easy and can be prepared in advance which is always a good thing!! Have a lovely weekend xx

  • Lovely website! I will visit often.

    When I was very young, I remember going somewhere with my father to buy baby chicks. To this day, I can still remember the drive home, sitting next to my dad and holding the box of chicks on my lap, listening to their sweet little, “peep-peep-peep” sounds and sticking my fingers through the air holes in the cardboard box to feel their soft yellow fluff. Best of luck with your new pair of young ladies , and fingers crossed for blue eggs!

    • Thank you so much Lynn, there is nothing quite like those tiny little chicks is there, we have hatched them three years in a row now and we all just love holding them, too adorable for words and the peep peep peep sound is fabulous. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for the blue eggs! xx

  • I wish you every success. Its a big step going into the lifestyle market, selling, cooking. You wont get bored. And it could lead to great things, especially if you run classes and vacations. Just as aside, would you be interested in French cheese articles? I have started writing for a couple of other sites and as cheese is my passion and food photography, I would love to contribute. Next year I finish my barn kitchen and have no excuses not to cook with all the fromage I can get my hands on. Let me know.

    • Thanks so much Judi, we’ve done this sort of thing for many years before, pre-children days and not in France, so we know the hard work involved! Plus we have had the gite full every summer since we have been here and absolutely love welcoming guests here; I guess we both just enjoy people! Would love to talk more about your passion for cheese, do send me an email. Good luck with finishing the kitchen, that will be a real treat! It is amazing how we cope with almost camping facilities, we did it when we first bought the house here and I still remember the excitement when we finally got a kitchen, it was so perfect I almost didn’t want to cook in it! xx

      • We are very keen to look into buying another property to rent out. Not so much as holiday retreat, but for writers, cooks, bloggers, photographers to run courses from. I think once you have run a business, you never get it out of your system, you just get better and make decisions faster. I will drop you an email.

        • Judi, this is one thing I have discussed many times with my husband. We have a really beautiful house and a v. large garden. Should we leave France, could we let the house with many of the precious things in it? We never thought it was possible, unless you are, such as Susan, on the premises or very near by. I couldn’t bear if anyone would add more damage to the original 1920 house. I would, if the possibility arises’, even wish to let it fully furnished, incl. Rreal rugs, De Sede sofa and beautiful oak ‘armoires’ made by master cabinet makers (furniture I couldn’t afford to buy anymore nowadays but which is light and timeless classy)…. My heart says YES, let others enjoy it and my brain screams NO, it will all be damaged… I’m torn apart!

          • It’s a tricky one! I would struggle to rent out our own home, as you say, carpets, furniture, people on holiday are in holiday mood, I would worry about et glasses full of ice on antique furniture, an absolute no no, etc etc. But the gite we have nothing to worry about. A good real rug on the bedroom floor but the furniture is vintage rather than antique, the leather sofa is new, top quality but it is replaceable and pretty tough anyway. The art however is all original, but it is hanging on walls and the lamps are good quality. I think it is a case of finding a happy medium! I often hear of people who do house swaps, could I do that? It is such a brilliant idea but I know I could never ever do it! xx

        • I agree entirely with that and I also think you are on the right wavelength. I have done a lot of research on this subject as we would love to buy a second property to rent out as we absolutely love renting out the gite. We have certainly got better at it! Do drop me an email, it would be good to chat and I think we could certainly bounce some ideas off one another. xx

  • Congratulations on having two dreams come true! I love the look of the website, and am especially glad you’ll have recipes there for us. The Etsy shop offerings are charming. Best of luck with it all, and the blue eggs!

  • Oh, Susan, how exciting! And, I absolutely love that it seems to be a family effort. Is that correct? The new website is very easy to navigate and your offerings look delightful! We have an early Thanksgiving here in the US this year and I am frantically working to get the house ready for our guests but will mark the calendar when it is “just us” again to have a leisurely look through everything. It will be wonderful to have something(s) in the house from you, as you have come to feel like a friend. Thank you for that. Oh, and, your beautiful fall table inspiration will definitely be part of our quick but beautiful decorating for our Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for your blog, your e-friendship and your new website. xo

    • You are quite right Anne, Izzi was hugely instrumental in the development of the website, we could not have done any of this without her and all of the children have been so incredibly enthusiastic and encouraging, which means so much to me. Something that was easy to navigate was the number one priority, I cannot stand it when I get lost on a website! You too have become a friend online, I love it when I see your name and in advance I wish you a very very happy Thanksgiving, it is such a special time of year for American’s and I really do love that everyone enjoys so much time with family and friends, enjoy it all and don’t work too hard! xx

  • Your little Araucana hens look like they may surprise you with early eggs. The eggs will be smaller. Araucana chickens don’t like to be cold and will, in our area, stop laying in November and will not resume until it gets warm again in the Spring.
    Araucana roosters are beautiful but will attack children , dogs and grownups as they get older. If you don’t want chicks a hen house will do well without a rooster.
    Have you put out a dish with broken shells? They need calcium for digestion.
    Most of all have fun and if you have a hankering for a chicken on sunday , pick one out at your market.

    • We would love to have the eggs sooner rather than later, but we can also be patient! We already have a flock of 10, 9 hens and a rooster, we have quite a few Pekin Bantams because we love them and so we are used to small eggs! Our rooster is a Frizzled Pekin Bantam, and each year we hatch a few eggs of our own when one of the girls goes broody! We also have some Marans, a local breed from here which produce very very dark brown eggs, so we have eggs of all colours and sizes except the elusive blue! We could never eat our own chickens, I grew up on a farm and we never did at home either, they were purely hens for eggs! Thanks so much for all the thoughts and advice, always welcome. xx

  • Congratulations ! I wish you much success. I will enjoy exploring your new website. You bring so much joy into our lives with your sharing and your writings. Thank you so so much.
    Bouquets of best wishes to Hetty on her birthday.

    • Thank you so much Susan and a big thank you from Hetty also. I so hope you enjoy the website, we are really excited with it, but I am also excited to keep the blog the same as it is, this is what I enjoy so much! xx

  • This is tremendous news and of course I shall take a peep at the website and doubtless, duly bookmark it. I am currently throwing many gifts that I have gathered for my daughter who I flit off to see tomorrow and my mind is not really on the game but I did want to say heartfelt congratulations and that when in Massachusetts I look after blue-egg laying hens. They are darlings but I didn’t know what their type was. The eggs are delicious, your blog is delicious and doubtless the website too. Félicitations and un très bonne anniversaire à Hetty! Eat plenty of cake – you’ve earned it! 🎂 xx

    • Merci bcp! Peek when you have a free moment, but far more important get yourself off to Spain tomorrow and have the most fabulous time, lucky daughter and lucky you. If we get the blue eggs you will probably here me whoop for joy all the way over on your side of France, I can’t quite believe it might just come true now! Go, don’t spend a moment online, enjoy and have fun xxxx

  • Congratulations and much success with the new venture! It will be fun to follow along – and glad you intend to keep the blog as well.

    Re egg color – I was told by a very wise and dear Russian friend who keeps chickens of all sorts (as pets) that ear color is a designator of egg color. I guess I was aware chickens have ears but had not known this fun fact! I have always wanted chickens – in our suburban area of Atlanta it is legal to keep up to 20 hens if your “yard” is one acre minimum (ours is). No roosters! [One challenge for us is we live on the edge of a national forest and are frequently visited by foxes, hawks, raccoons, possums and all sorts of other varmints that might consider pet hens a handy snack. It is a chore to keep goldfish in the fish pond – egrets and herons snatch them as quickly as I put them in.] You can also have two milk goats! I assume these are hold-over ordinances from an earlier time.

    Enjoy the birthday celebrations! They come too quickly these days for me.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks so much Steven, chickens and ears, well yes I suppose they must have ears because they hear, but it’s not something I have ever thought of either and how can one see the colour of their ears? Hmmm, I am going to have to think about this a bit more! Foxes, hawks etc are a real problem for chickens if you are in an area prone to them, I have heard of them even taking a hen in the daytime which is just not playing fair. There are foxes here but not so many that anyone has to worry during the daylight hours, at night certainly though, and come dusk we shut them in. What a shame for you though because it is so much fun keeping a few hens, we really do enjoy them and they are so peaceful to watch as they go about their daily business. Goats, now they are another matter, they are fun and lovely but so destructive, I will leave goats to other people, I value our garden too much! Birthdays seem to come around quicker and quicker don’t they! xx

  • Many congratulations Susan for your dreams coming true. Happy Birthday Hettie; hope you are having a lovely day. I’m just off over to the website now with much anticipation! xx

  • Wow! Congratulations. I wish you all the very best of luck.
    And a very Happy Birthday to Hettie.
    I do not know how you manage to fit everything in 24 hours, you are amazing.

  • Congratulations and I love the new web site. But I had a big chuckle when I viewed the photo of your daughter holding the chicken…..at the ink writing on the back of her hand! My granddaughter, who lives with me, is 11 and daily comes home with something similar written on her hand. So many things we have in common though many miles away!

    • Thanks so much Janis, so glad you like it, as I said it is a dream come true for me. I laughed when I saw the writing on her hand too, kids will be kids! She is the only one of the girls who writes on her hands and she does it every day! So many things we have in common, tell your granddaughter she is in good company! xx

  • WOW, what great news. I know of quite a number of ‘imports’ who rent out their homes, 2nd / 3rd homes/flats/stables/extensions but you’d win me immediately and hands-down because I simply love you. You exude such enthousiasm, joie de vivre, energy, laughter, hard work without complaining – and I can’t wait to head over to your new website…. Not that I need ANYTHING at all – I am pondering for weeks now how to reduce my stuff. I do love cooking, I always (well frequently) have guests, I enjoy company, and am wide open to discussions on nearly everything. I only wonder occasionally if your days might count 36h or more? I’m often exhausted just reading all the things you’re doing, and you have 5 kids and pets, and garden, and tennis….

    Evie sends her love from Hero Husband’s iPad…. She is a star and I slightly enhanced the light in her eyes so that the glass of red wine is twinkling even ‘lustier’ when I get started. She is a great joy in my small life (that’s Evie, not the Red…). Wishing you every success and much joy with your new endeavours.

    I seem to remember that I’ve seen blueish eggs and I think it was at my Exeter girlfriend’s place. Will have to ask her – sadly all her chickens eventually get beaten and eaten by intruders. So far they have always replaced the kill by foxes and badgers but they are beyond sad every time they loose one or even a whole batch. They also have now a chicken palace on high wheels. They have a huge ‘park’ and push/pull the hen house to new places, in the summer in the shade of trees, etc. Badgers had previously been digging holes under the fences; they should have been employed during the war to ‘spy’ out intruding German chickens!!!! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Kiki! I love the comment about the complaining, you know I once read many years ago, in the 90’s I think, that the late Queen Mother’s motto was “never complain, never explain” and for some reason it struck a chord with me and I adopted it. There are many times when I am doing something I really don’t want to be doing, especially when it involves a sporting event with one of the children and I am standing outside shivering, my teeth chattering and wondering what on earth I am doing there, and I think, “never complain”. It has actually served me rather well for many years now! Dear Evie, I cannot believe she is the start of HH’s iPad, she would be soon happy if only she could understand! She’s certainly special that one, just to add to our already hectic life we really hope to breed from her in the spring, but that is another story!! Me, I am always a glutton for punishment, but remember, yes we have five children but that also means five helpers, for we are truly very lucky they are all very helpful.

      Love the idea of badgers spying on German chickens, made me laugh out loud! We are really lucky that we don’t have a major fox problem here, and nor does anyone it seems in the area, I see chickens free range everywhere I go, often all over the small lanes too. Fingers crossed it remains that way. xx

      • You know not all is bad with my friend’s chicks…. They have something like 1000m2 of healthy grass-land to shoe about. OUr friends’ place is absolutely huge, they have various styles of ‘gardens’ (Japanese, stone, etc) and more trees, shrubs, bushes, places to gather, have parties etc than I ever thought possible. So these are VERY lucky and HAPPY poules by all standards and the few times I ate one of their eggs, they were absolutely the bee’s knee, or do you say ‘the hen’s tooth’ in this case? 🙂 xoxoxoxo

        • They sound like our chickens, I guess our’s have around that area too for just ten of them, and loads of trees for shelter and shade and oh what fun they have, scratching around, never any bare sandy soil with no grass and yes the eggs are amazing. They particularly love this time of year because the persimmons are ripening and fall from the tree, their morning ritual as soon as they are let out is to all run for the persimmons (kaki) and have their fill! The hen’s tooth, the bees knees, whatever, they are delicious!!! Xx

          • I know the word kaki…. always struggle with the other. My first and undeniably best kaki were those on a (otherwise terribly sad) visit in the Bergamo region where the ripe fruits fell on our table where we sat and had a meal…. They were plopping open and hell to eat but I’ve hardly ever tasted anything so deli & sinfully good since. All other kaki ever after were fine but just ‘so so’. Need to come over and taste them at your place 🙂

          • Yes you should come and taste ours, we have so so many, we never manage to eat them all, we have them all over the kitchen as they ripen indoors in two to three days and if they are not ripe enough then they tend to be a little astringent. Hope you have had a lovely weekend, stunning weather. xx

  • Many congratulations on your new website Susan! How exciting for you, it looks great, as does your rental cottage, so many rentals can be a bit shabby, but yours is as expected, very stylish & comfortable too. Wishing you every success with your new venture, & Happy Birthday to Hetty, hope you all enjoy the celebrations. xx

    • Thank you so much Janet, the cottage really is very comfortable and cosy, I have spent many happy times just sitting in there looking out and watching the chickens in the distance, I could happily live there if we didn’t have children, plus it would be so much quicker and easier to clean! Hetty says a very big thank you, a great fun evening was had by all xx

  • Wow, can’t say any more and I y’a e just spent nearly an hour reading every single word on your website, it is so good and easy to naviagate which is a big bonus, some look nice and then turn out to be a nightmare and it really puts me off but your is perfect. Well done

    • Thank you so much Shari, that is just what I wanted to hear, ease of navigation was one of my major concerns, I wanted a clean and simple look and one that was straight forward. It looks as if we achieved that, thanks entirely to Izzi, our eldest daughter, without her help, none of this would have been possible. xx

  • Your guest cottage looks absolutely lovely, I agree with janet’s comment some can be a little shabby or the furniture looks uncomfortable but yours really does look so beautiful and stylish and cosy all at the same time. I knew it would though and hope you will show us more. I would be over for a weekend in a shot if I weren’t so far away, South Island, New Zealand and it’s a long way to come for three nights! But lucky people who do enjoy your breaks I am sure they will be a huge success.

    • Thank you so much Francesca, it is indeed rather a long way for you to come for a long weekend! We have always rented the cottage out in the summer and thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many fantastic new people so it is rather fun to be offering new things as well now. I have spent many hours sitting and just spending time inside, making sure that everything is as I would want it to be and it really is very comfortable and cosy, I could happily live there myself. xx

  • Very exciting!! I will be visiting yiur new website tonight. My neighbor Judy has been bugging me to get my passport and we talk often about visiting you! Okay, okay. In the works!
    Congratulations on your new venture!
    Xoxo

    • Thanks Nancy, please let me know your thoughts, I hope you have lots of fun browsing around, we couldn’t have done any of it without Izzi who has helped so so much. You MUST get the passport and you must come and visit, we would all love it so much xxx

  • Hi Susan, CONGRATULATIONS!! On your blue egg chickens and your wonderful new site. To be able to live the French way of life through you is great😀. I just wondered if you are going to have a Pinterest button? I would love to be able to reference gorgeous recipes and your foodie cottage! I have a board – places to get to and yours is where I want to go!!
    Live the dream😃

    • Thank you so much Kim,I have set up a Pinterest account but have never done anything with it. But I will, I will make sure it is operational by the end of the weekend so please do check back. I will work on it as other people have asked too. I am truly flattered, thank you. We are living the dream, sometimes it is really hard work but then that’s life isn’t it, nothing is ever perfect, but we make the very most of it. xx

  • How right you are, I like to think I can cook fish quite well but I am not confident in choosing it unless it is recommended and prepared by the fishmonger and I daren’t even consider cooking shellfish. But this, gosh what a wonderful break it would be, am going to discuss with my husband tonight and see if we can make a quick getaway prior to the kids all coming for Christmas, I’m shaking with excitement just at the thought of it. Are the Christmas markets good, so many questions I think I had better email! May I just add, brilliant idea.

    • I am not overly confident in choosing fish either, thank goodness I have Roddy who is a complete expert and will often get into very long conversations with the fishmonger. Or worse still tell us what we are eating in a restaurant is not actually what they say it is at all but instead we have been fobbed off with a cheaper species of fish! Would love to meet you and for you to come and join us here, I am sure you would leave feeling very confident. December is a lovely month here, everyone is very festive but not over the top and Rochefort is an absolutely must as is Saintes and La Rochelle. The markets are small but great fun and very friendly. I will tell you all via email and once again look forward to welcoming you here. xx

  • will there be an option to get emails when there are updates to the website, similar to what you do with the blog? I mean I’d love to check the new website regularly but I have enough things on my plate without having to add a new item to my routines.

    • Interesting comment Mike and one I have to seriously consider, actually Roddy said exactly the same thing. We shall have a discussion about it this weekend and see if we can come up with something and I will of course let everyone know in the next blog post if we can do something. Thanks for suggesting it. xx

    • Mike, I second you…. Susan, I shall only allow myself to read the new post in a few days because when I open the ‘updates’ in HH’s iPad, it blocks the whole mail upload…. 🙂 Aren’t you popular with the boys and the girls!!!

  • Congratulations Susan on your dreams come true! What wonderful news and so exciting for you and for all of us too! I absolutely love your website and your cottage just says “come” and I Idefinitely will!! It is gorgeous.
    As for your idea of a shop, what a great idea and a lovely reason to browse all those brocantes and tease us tragic lovers of all things French with temptation!!
    You are amazing and I wish you every good wish and lots more for a wonderful new adventure.
    As for those gorgeous chooks … ❤️!
    See you in 2018!
    Bisous xox💐

    • Thanks so much Susie, we are really excited about it all and can’t wait to keep developing the website more and more. It is great fun browsing the brocantes but it is also even more fun to have a reason to buy things now, everything is always more interesting when one actually has a reason to try and source something. Fingers crossed for blue eggs, maybe when we see you next year, we will have a selection! Can’t wait. xx

  • Oh my, blue eggs, please post photos. Website is just excellent, next year I hope to come and stay and make the most of a ‘foodie’ weekend, an excellent idea and the cottage looks simply stunning.

    • I promise I will post a photo the moment we have a blue egg, I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed! I am so glad you like the website and it would be a real pleasure to welcome you here next year, the cottage is very cosy and very comfortable and it is a lovely area with so much to do. We look forward to meeting you so much. xx

  • Wow how exciting for you and your family Susan. We wish you every success in your new adventures. Looking forward to seeing your website develop. Congratulations Susan.

  • Congratulation! Felicitations! Won’t we have fun! Added to the ‘favourites’ list . . . . you betch’a , as we say Down Under !!!!!!

  • Exciting news and well done, Susan & Roddy. I took a peek at the website and it’s great! The cottage looks so warm & inviting. Does it have it’s own WC & shower? Also, I have an item I might like for you to search for. What is the best way to contact you about that? Thanks and congratulations!

    • Thanks Kathleene, the cottage is so warm and cosy, I could happily live there myself! It has a lovely shower, seperate WC, fully equipped kitchen and bedroom and a stunning private courtyard garden. We would be delighted to search for something for you, why don’t you send me an email at frenchlife17@gmail.com and we can chat further. Hope you have a lovely weekend, and thank you once again. Xx

  • Oh my goodness, your site is beautiful and I love the recipes. I could also cozy into the cottage just about now! I’ll be back there to visit–and in the meantime await your blue eggs!

    • Thanks so much, I could happily live in the cottage, it is very warm and cosy and it would be so easy to keep clean!! Can’t wait for our blue eggs, keeping our fingers firmly crossed. Have a lovely weekend xx

  • Susan,
    Wowziers…This is wonderful! My goodness what can’t You do? Everything about this new “adventure” is simply lovely.
    It is extremely easy to see that you are one woman who truly loves life and is passionate about sharing. Thank you.
    So excited to find my way over to your village. The cottage is so inviting. In fact, everything
    Is! ❤️😘🦌🎂❤️
    It’s so wonderful; the Hay’s family commitment. Congrats Izzi on a job well done! Happy Birthday Hetty! 🎂🚓🎂
    Susan you are simply the best!

      • Ha ha, the car was rather cute, but I did wonder, hmmmm she’s a little too young to be driving and she’s not remotely interested in cars! Gigi on the other hand, although younger, loves vintage cars and always picks them out on the road!! Xx

    • Ha ha, you know that saying, “there is nothing we can’t do if we put our mind to it” and an old phrase I seemed to hear repeated to me very frequently at school “there is no such word as can’t” always springs to mind!! But this was easy really because it is something I really believe in and that always makes things so much simpler because one’s heart is in it and I am just following a passion. Anyway, let’s hope we all have a lot of fun developing this. A fabulous birthday celebration was had by all last night and here’s to a wonderful weekend for you xxx

      • So happy the Birthday celebration was a success! The children grow up so fast! Savor every moment Susan these next few years. One doesn’t want to say it’s the “best of times” but these moments and memories are such cherished treasures! ❤️

        • They do, I cannot believe we now have three teenagers and a fourth who is 21, only one baby left!! And then as you know it starts all over again with grandchildren, aren’t we lucky, family life simply is the best, the bad times make the good times so much better, for we have to be honest, there is always good and bad, it’s not all a bed of roses. Have a lovely weekend xx

  • Congratulations Susan!! It’s a great addition to your wonderful blog. I know everyone will enjoy a getaway in your in your charming cottage. Looking forward to blue eggs.

    Happy birthday Hettie💐🎂🍰…enjoy your special day, you are a beautiful young lady.

    Ali and Bob xxxxx

    • Thanks so much Ali and Bob, it’s been several months of planning to get to this stage so we are all rather excited. As you know we love life here and our passionate about continuing to share our adventures and what we learn along the way. Hope you are having fun in the south. The weather has been amazing here, cannot believe it is November and everyone is crying out for rain, unheard of! Instead we have crisp cool days but plenty of sunshine and no frosts at night, nearly but not quite. Still mowing like mad!! Xxx

  • First, Happy Birthday Hetty or “Grattis på födelsedagen” as we say here.
    Congrats on the new site. I had a quick peak and liked what I saw. A lot of work went into getting “Our French Lifestyle” up and running, excellent job. Chickens that lay blue eggs are fun. We had several Ameraucana that not only laid blue eggs, but also had dark blue legs. Once you’ve had blue eggs, all the white ones become a bit boring.

    • Tack! My only word of Swedish! Glad you liked the website, it has been a little dream come true and really enjoyed getting this finally off the ground. I am just a little concerned by your comment that once we have the blue eggs the others will seem dull!!! At least we have a mixture, tiny white ones from the bantams and deep dark chestnut brown from the Marans, so plenty of variety already, just missing the blue!!! Xx

      • I always find that the best tasting eggs are the dark brown ones… Then, after discussion with my ‘she really knows it all’ friend (she really knows so incredibly much about all her fave subjects, and by golly, she has a lot of interests ad excells in every single one), she confirmed what I heard before that the colour of the shells depends (also) on what the chicks eat. As I ony buy organic eggs anyway, it shouldn’t matter and yet, I peek into every box if the majority is brown – and then I part a happy woman with my purchase!
        What I didn’t like (bizarrely so), were the eggs of quails – they had a goût of ‘je ne sais quoi’…. and yet, they were and are the most beautiful eggs one can think of.

        • I must admit I have never heard that eggshell colour is affected by a hens diet, I was always told and believed that their diet changed the colour of the yolks, for example a proper free range hen with a diet of plenty of greens will have far darker yolks than a hen kept inside an enclosure and fed only grain. At this time of year our hens are eating the persimmons which fall from the tree (we have so many of them) and their yolks are a really dark orange and they are so delicious! I love our hens with a passion, never knew they could bring so much pleasure and enjoyment xx

          • You are absolutely right; it’s the yolks’ colour…. BUT the feed definitely has something to do with the colour of the shells, just don’t know what was her ‘advice’. And it’s true, she has eggs with lighter and darker shells. Now I’m just feeling slightly stupid Only slightly mind you

            I probably did another huge cock-up…. My story on kakis wasn’t just kakis but also pomegranats. I’m definitely am under a spell of Senior Moments 🙂 Can’t remember anything correctly, they seem to get me more and more frequently in November, according to the 100 yr-calendar 😉

          • Ha ha, pomegranates, persimmons, kaki, does it really matter? They are all delicious! Now as to egg shells, we have all sorts of different colours, light brown, white, cream and really deep dark chestnut brown, from different breeds of chickens, they all eat the same diet, so I am convinced that the diet cannot change the shell colour but hey I am always open to learning something new and I am far from any form of chicken expert, I just love them!! Stay warm, getting seriously cold this week so the meteo says! xx

          • I wouln’t worry about it. I’m sure you’re right… I too always said to Hero Husband that I find our place here would be absolutely IDEAL fori a few chickens. AND a dog!
            But then, sadly, we were never at home long enough and not having a reliable ‘doggie- & chicken sitter’, I couldn’t live in peace, not knowing if my pets would be well looked after…..

          • I understand your concerns. Now I did learn more about the colour of chickens ears affecting their egg colour and this prompted me to go and check our two new girls, they both have the pearly coloured ears which is meant to mean blue eggs, so fingers are firmly crossed! xx

  • Excited to go visit your new site! I would love to see French Latte Bowls in your shop…I love the beautiful old ones that we will never see here in the States. Congratulations! Karen…

  • if I would have a garden I would have chicken for sure. Enviable to know where your breakfast egg comes from Even
    when I buy Bio eggs I am not sure if they really are. That alone will be a reason to visit your cooking class and stay
    in your cozy guest house. You are such a bustling woman and your new web site confirm that…good luck for that.
    Warm greetings from a very warm and sunny (still) Andalucia.

    • I know just what you mean about the eggs and it is really the nice knowing exactly where our’s come from, and watching the hen’s scratch around in a huge area of grass and shrubs. So much of this is behind what we believe in, understanding what we eat. It’s a very sunny SW France and has been virtually all of November, but not warm, in fact below average temps, hovering around 11C each day but clear clear blue skies, would rather have this than rain and grey! Enjoy your weekend xx

  • THREE YEARS!
    I cannot BELIEVE THAT!
    WELL CONGRATULATIONS is in ORDER for your new website!!!!!!!
    What fun you will have and BUILT IN HELPERS TO BOOT!!!!!!!
    Off I go to see what its ALL ABOUT!!!!!!
    XX

    • I can’t quite believe it either, where does the time go, who would have thought there would be so much to write about!! The new website really is fun, a dream come true and a family affair, now to build it into so much more. Onwards and upwards. Have a great weekend xx

  • In her book, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!” Barbara Kingsolver tells about her daughter ordering chicks through the mail, specifically for their egg color when they start laying. I didn’t realize that the spots on their heads was their ears! Please let us know if your new hens have a blue spot where their ears would be, and also if the Marans have a dark chestnut spot there? What fun to have a basket of different-colored eggs, no need for dying them at Easter!

    • I am off to look at ear colours, I am learning a lot here! It seems that we are not the only ones who hanker after blue eggs! Keeping our fingers firmly crossed and you can be sure that if and when they happen there will be photos!! Have a great weekend xx

  • this is fabulous news on the website — i seem to never get enough o your posts and input. Congratulations and I am so happy for the entire family. Definitely a work of love.

    • Thanks so much Holly, I really appreciate it. It has been a dream come true, now it is onwards and upwards to build a great website with everyone, a place that everybody wants to visit and finds plenty of interest. xx

  • Congratulations on your fabulous website and on the exciting hens that will someday lay blue eggs. Your luxury getaway seems perfect for my husband and me. We’re from the midwestern United States and we know very little about eating seafood. It seems like it could be a good way to learn about eating and preparing seafood in France — which is where we are moving in 45 days. I’ll be in touch.
    I’m blogging in my Dreaming of France post today, talking about my fear of leaving my children behind. How smart of you to move while they were still little.

    • Thanks so much it is a dream come true, the hens and the website!! Do come and join us for a seafood extravaganza, it would be lovely to meet you. Cannot believe you are leaving in 45 days, how time flies. Don’t worry, it will all work out as I said on your blog, you just have to stay strong. xx

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