All the Boots You Need for Fall

When it comes to Fall fashion, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s always boots. From ankle booties to knee high styles, they’re my favorite part of cool weather fashion. But are you unsure of where to start with your boot collection? I’ve got you covered with the boots you need for Fall!

Buckled Up

Edgier boots and booties are having a major moment this Fall. Add a touch of toughness to your style or fully embrace the leather-clad moto look by trying a pair of buckled up boots!

fall 2014 boot trends

Zappos / Nordstrom / Target / Nordstrom / Target 

Equestrian Style

Do you have more of a classic style? Then timeless riding boots are a must-have. The clean lines will work with everything in your wardrobe. Bonus: this classic will never go out of style!

fall boot trends 2014

Target / Nordstrom / Zappos / Nordstrom / DSW

Suede

Suede leather boots and booties are another always-classic style, but what makes them great for Fall is the added texture. They are a simple, easy way to add interest to any Fall look!

suede boots fall 2014

 

DSW / DSW / Target / Nordstrom / Nordstrom

Stacked Heeled

Even if you’re not a high heel fan, you can still rock a pair of stacked heel boots. The thick, substantial heel offers plenty of comfort and stability along with a little height!fall boot trends 2014

 

Nordstrom / Nordstrom / Nordstrom / Macy’s / Nordstrom 

Tell me: what’s your favorite style of boot for Fall?

5 Minute Makeup Tutorial – Doing the Minimum for a Maximum Effect

I don’t know what your mornings look like, but in my house, the chaos is real. Between getting the small people (and myself) out of bed, breakfast, helping with hair and uniforms and getting out the door for carpool, I often don’t have too much time to dedicate to makeup….however, full disclosure, I feel better when I at least do something.

5 Minute Makeup Routine

So, just for fun, here is a look at what and how I do my basic morning routine. Because it’s me and I love the ‘show-and-tell’ aspect of video (and because I KNOW seeing me without any makeup to start must be at least vaguely entertaining), I put it all together for you here. Why is the video a little more than 5 minutes? Because I talked through the entire process instead of just doing it.

Here are a list of the products I mentioned (and love).

BareMinerals Concealer, Bare Minerals Broad Spectrum Powder, Mac Cream Colour Base Blush, Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, Bare Minerals EyeShadow, Cover Girl InkIt Eyeliner – Cocoa Ink , Younique Mascara and Buxom LipGloss in Dolly. As for Makeup Brushes…. you could do an entire set like this one from Sephora (many of mine are from there) or you could do the individuals. This slanted brush is what I use for blush and this is the one I use for powder.

What are you favorites and how do you look your best in the least amount of time? I’d love to hear your tips as well.

For more ideas… hop around to visit a few of my friends – all of whom wanted to share their very own 5 Minute Makeup Routines.

Ever curious about how other women are doing it? Check out these other 5 minute makeup routines:

Jodi from Mom’s Favorite Stuff, Nicole from Momtrends, Kate from The Shopping Mama, Whitney from Mommies With Style,  Melissa from Married My Sugar Daddy, Jo-Lynne from Musings of a Housewife, and Laura from Hollywood Housewife.

So…come on, share your tips and tricks!

5 Tips For Creating A Back To School Evening Routine

Hi everyone! Kasey here from All Things Mamma! This week I’m talking about how to stay sane when trying to do homework and after school activities with your kids. This is something I’ve definitely not mastered, but I’m getting close! With now, TWO kids in school – one in 1st grade and one in 3rd, there’s double the homework, double the take home papers, double the after school actives and double the meltdowns! (maybe triple if you throw in an occasional meltdown from me! haha!) Here’s 5 tips for organizing your evenings better so that everything gets done and there’s no surprises in the morning right before you head out the door for school!

5 Tips For Creating A Back To School Evening Routine

1. Have a designated drop zone. The very first thing I have my children do when they walk in the door is to hang up their coats, shoes and backpacks in a designated area! This is important, believe it or not. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had too many mornings of running around trying to find a hat or a mitten than I care to admit. This solves that problem!

2. Unload and repack. As soon as the kids are in the door I have them unload their book bags of anything that doesn’t need to go back to school tomorrow – homework, graded papers, lunch boxes, sweaters, etc… This give me a chance to go through through it all in case I need to have something ready to go back the next day and to also evaluate how they did with the lunch I sent. Did I send enough or too much? Was that jelly and cream cheese bagel sandwich a hit or miss? It’s all out on the table so that we can see what needs to be accomplished that evening before bed.

3. Snack time! The kids have been at school all day and it’s time to refuel before taking on the rest of the evening. I always make a yummy snack that will get my kid through until dinner to avoid any meltdowns or grumpiness!

4. Homework. After snack I give them some time to unwind and run around but then I have them dive right into their homework. There are two reasons for this. 1. They have plenty of time to focus or get help, should there be any issues and 2. They aren’t up at 9pm in a panic trying to complete it. There’s nothing worse than trying to do a bedtime routine while your child is doing their last math problems that they can’t figure out and are on the verge of tears. That’s no fun for anyone. So, we get it out of the way so that we can enjoy the rest of the night.

5. Pack Up. After homework we start to pack up the backpacks for the next day. We put homework, notes and supplies back into the bags, along with anything else that needs to go back. PE shoes, snacks, water bottles, etc.. Then, there’s also no running around searching for that missing library book right before you head out the door in the morning! This is also a good time to check the calendar to see what’s going on. Is it music day or art? Will there be soccer practice after school or will you be home for the evening? It’s always a good idea to know what’s going on so that you are prepared.

There is so much to do these days that it’s imperative to plan out your evenings or it will never get all accomplished and you’ll be up at 10pm at night while YOU try to do everything that your kids could have helped you do earlier in the evening. I think it’s super important, no matter your child’s age, to teach them to be responsible for themselves and their own things. It will save you time, energy and will pay off in the long run!

How do you organize your evenings at home with your children? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below.

Don’t Hold Back Your Motherhood

Guest writer, Emily Chapelle shares her thoughts on Motherhood:

 Feeling a little unsure, Mama?

Pinterest got you down?

Don't Hold Back Your Motherhood: SoDamnDomestic + ExtraordinaryMommy

Do you play WITH your children more than not, wear them 6 hours a day, sleep in a family bed, and allow your kids to self-wean? Are you afraid your “super involved” parenting will cause neuroses in your children, and they’ll be dependent on you until they’re 45?

Do you kick your kids outside to explore the neighborhood the way you did when you were young, encouraging them to develop problem-solving skills and their own judgement? Are you terrified that if you let your children exercise their independence, others will see it as neglect — or worse — your kids will actually get hurt?

Do you read your kids classic children’s literature because you know it will spark something within them? …and then wonder if your kids will become lonely bookworms with 14 cats?

Or do you read them stories starring yellow sponges, cartoon girls with backpacks and monkeys, and ill-proportioned dolls who have come to life, because that’s what they bring home from the library, and dang it, at least they’re interested in reading? … and then wonder if you’re slowly killing their brain cells with manufactured, rather than authored, stories?

Do your kids each get to pick out a “fun food” or two (corn dogs, sugary breakfast foods, sticky fruit snacks, packaged cookies) every week at the grocery store, because they like it, it tastes good, and you don’t want them to feel deprived? While you witness obesity, diabetes, and heart disease taking over our population, do you cross your fingers that your children will be spared?

Do you only give your kids organic / paleo / vegan / raw food grown by fairies in a meadow shaded from any human contaminants, harvested by centaurs and unicorns? Do you close your eyes and hope your kids don’t feel deprived and end up bingeing on candy corn and chili dogs every chance they get once they’re older?

Feel your feelings, Friend.

Worry your worries, if that’s what you need to do.

But know this.

If you’re concerned for your children, it means you love them.

If you’re trying to act in their best interests today, it means you’re being present.

If you’re watching out for their futures, it means you have foresight.

If you’re anxious about how and where your children will fit into this world, it means you’re aware that the world is complex and changing.

For your children, you are the best mother in the world.

Don’t hold back your motherhood.


Emily Chapelle is an expert homemaker, having set up 7 homes in just as many years. She helps busy and overwhelmed women change their homes from chaotic to calm, 15 minutes at a time, so they can focus on their true priorities. She shares home organizing tips, decluttering your life, time-management for homemakers, and other homemaking topics at So Damn Domestic. Her ebook, Finding the Awesome – 3 Steps to Doing More & Stressing Less, has been downloaded over 2,137 times, and you can get it for free.

Six Important Tips for Making a Big Family Move Easier

For the last 7 – going on 8 years I have moved across the globe at least two times a year. A little background – my husband is a professional basketball player in France and his season is about 10 months out of the year. So each August, we pack up our lives in southern California and head to France. Then each June, we pack it all up again and move back. We are in our 8th year of doing this and this is the very first time that we have returned to the same city, same house, same school etc.

It’s quite a big trip, as you can imagine. The flight is anywhere from 12 – 26 hours depending on the city and the stops. The biggest challenge is preparing and helping my kids move to yet another city and integrate into the culture. I know I’m not the first mother who has had to make a big move – even though this one includes the additional component of an entirely different culture. A move like this can be tough even with out the cultural and language barriers so I wanted to share some of the tips and advice we’ve gathered that have made our moves easier. Hopefully this will be encouraging to you as well!

Tips to make a Big Move easier on you and your family

tips for making big moves easier

1.) Prepare

While I can’t always say that I practice this little piece of advice – I’m often found frantically shipping last minute items the day before we leave – I do suggest you prepare as much in advance as you can. When you put a plan in place, consider not only the ‘packing’ portion, but plan for your travel and your initial arrival. While you can’t foresee everything that might come your way, do your best to research the culture, area, state,or city in order to  ease the transition.

2.) Think Ahead

What will you be doing there? What will you want to have with you from home? Consider family and children’s activities, sports and the seasons so you can plan what you will need, and what you and the kids will have to look forward to. As you sort out your options, you can prepare mentally for both the excitement and challenges that await.

3.) Let them help

If you have kids and they’re going to be moving too, let them be a part of it. It is harder on kids when they feel as though they have no say and they are simply being dragged from one home, one part of the country to another. Ask them to share what they would like to discover in your new city, what are activities appeal to them, even how they’d like to set up their new room. They deserve to be a part of the process. Let them know you are in this together.

4.) Get out there

Once you’ve moved, get out there! I can tell you from very personal experience that it’s very easy to live in a city and not experience it at all. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to just sit at home and watch what you’re friends are doing on Facebook. Shut the computer down, go out and discover your new city. Pick one thing a day or week or month – whatever is doable for your family – and make it a point to do it together. At first, it might feel like a hard thing to do, but it will help you feel home before you know it.

5.) Family bond

We often get comments like “oh your poor kids!” to be living the life we live. Yes, I would say it’s probably hard for them from time to time but I also want you to know I believe kids are resilient. This doesn’t mean we disregard their feelings, but we recognize this is my husband’s job, the way he supports our family. We have to move. So we try to make sure that our family is as solid as it can be and that our kids know no matter what city, state, country we live in, the can always count on mom and daddy. Always. Kids can do amazing things with their parents backing them.

6.) Integrate

This may sound the same as #4 but integrating is different. You want to get out there and discover your new home, but you also want/need to integrate. Make friends, get involved in groups, sports, activities – whatever! I recognize the challenge here, but also the value. When you add a new language to the mix, the level of complication can increase, but the more effort you make, the more likely you are to love your new home.

Well, that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed these tips and that they’re helpful for you or maybe someone you know making a big move in your life right now. If you have any of your own tips to add, please leave them in the comments! I’m sure we’d all benefit from them!

 

Inspiring Creativity in a Concrete Child

Watercolortherapy2

Image by Wendy Speake

 

Yesterday, I was elbow deep in dirty dishes. Feeling a little exasperated at the frequency with which I am constantly cleaning my home, I sighed in annoyance. I glanced up momentarily and caught a glimpse of my six year old tearing through the house dressed in full Ninja garb. Moving in obvious stealth mode toward his brother’s room, I could not suppress a smile.

I absolutely adore it when my children play dress up.

I find few things cuter or more endearing than a child in costume, fully consumed in a make believe world. I was that child, constantly flitting through the stories inside my head as I faced great adventures. I get that child, and my heart swoons just a little whenever I see him lost in imagination.

Not every child is bent this way, though. My daughter is 100% concrete. She is not given to imaginative fancy, and her brand of child’s play will almost always be centered around real life situations. She is so concrete that a reading tutor told us that she would likely be much more drawn to non-fiction books than fiction books.

“She doesn’t see word pictures in her head,” were the tutor’s exact words.

It’s taken me some time to get used to this. I struggle to identify with her brand of play because it is so different from that which I conducted as a child. In fact, her idea of a good time is to go do pull ups in the garage, or back flips off the couch.

So weird…

She’s athletic and energetic, and she generally has better things to do with her time than to engage in child’s play. This is baffling to me, but I also deeply admire her for it. She possesses a discipline that most children her age don’t understand. 

That said, I do believe there is something magical about engaging a child creatively. Even my concrete child can be creative – she just needs someone to draw it out of her.

Art has been key in helping us inspire a little creativity. When she wonders what to draw, I ask her to imagine the craziest world she can think of and create that. At first, the best she could come up with was adding a few squiggly lines on her landscape photo and calling them “twisty flowers.” Eventually, though, I convinced her that it was okay to color the sky purple, the grass blue, and make a “chocolate” river with a brown crayon. It’s not her first inclination to change things up, but she’s more willing to give it a try now.

Another key to inspiring creativity in a concrete child is reading good books. Read books that invite your mind into a new world. One of our favorite books as a family (which was also my favorite book as a child) is The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards. (Yes, Mary Poppins herself). Never has a book quite awoken my imagination, or the imaginations of my children, as this one.

Really, any of the classics will work, but for the concrete child, a book that centers more on real children facing fanciful situations is preferable to tapping into creativity.

Finally, play with your concrete child. Some kids just need to be taught how to use their imaginations. They need to hear someone make up funny voices, create unrealistic and daring scenarios, and to give them the freedom to expand their minds beyond the here and now.

For those of you who, like me, are raising a child with a propensity to live in a concrete world – I encourage you to prod a little creativity into her imagination. Don’t try to change her natural bent, by any means. You simply want to enhance it with a little fun. This will give her the tools she needs as she moves forward in life to really expand and grow as an individual.

What about you? How do you help your concrete child expand and grow creatively?

Image Credit

How to Build a Better Breakfast AND Put YOUR Face on a Cereal Box

Last month I had a party at my house. And not just any party: a breakfast party. Right before school started, the kids and I invited dozens of families we know – from school, from sports, from our neighborhood – in to our home and decided to show them how to build a better breakfast by recharging their traditional bowl of cereal.

Back to School Cereal Recharge Bar

Cereal is such a quick, simple go-to meal. But what about spicing it up and adding extra flavor, extra nutrition with fruit, nuts, even spices? Or how about combining some of your favorite cereals and then adding something sweet?

Back To School Cereal Recharge Sides2

We offered a few menu options but then encouraged our friends to be creative…..even asking them to share their ‘recipes’. We were amazed by all of the combinations everyone tried – from experimenting with lemon zest and yogurt to pistachios, blueberries, mini chocolate chips and definitely marshmallows.

Back to School Cereal Recharge Rethink

To make it more fun, we chose winners from all of the recipes submitted- but didn’t tell them until this week what they had ‘won’.

Our favorite recipes are below (feel free to try these at home!)

Sydney’s Special Charms – Special K Red Berries, Rasberries, Blueberries, Marshmallows and Skim Milk

Christa’s Fruity Delight – Special K Chocolate and Strawberry with almond butter, strawberries, blueberries and skim milk

Megan’s Chocolate Chocolate Marshmallow – Special K Chocolate and Strawberry with bananas, apples, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and 2% milk

Clearly Special K was a favorite. Now…on to what we decided to give them for coming up with these recipes:

How to Put Your Face on A Cereal Box: ExtraordinaryMommy.com

Their very own Kellogg’s cereal boxes!

I will be honest – It was so much fun preparing this as a surprise and then gifting it.

How to Put Your Face on A Cereal Box: ExtraordinaryMommy.com

And even more? Now telling you how you can do it as well. Did you know that YOU can put your face on a Kellogg’s cereal box? Or even on a Pop Tart box? (the Pop Tart boxes can be personalized too!)

How to Put Your Face on a Cereal Box: ExtraordinaryMommy.com

It is such a fun and unique gift – and SO EASY.  You start on their website, follow the instructions, upload a picture, wait less than two weeks and carefully fold the box together – ta-da! You can choose Frosted Flakes, Corn Flakes Team USA or Honey Smacks.

Seriously. Building a better breakfast with inspired cereal recipes AND putting your face on your cereal box? THIS IS FUN.

Disclosure: I am proud to have a long-time working relationship and partnership with Kellogg’s. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Trend Alert: Silver Cowboy Boots

It is hard to describe the pure chaos my small girl witnessed as she entered my closet the other day… I don’t want to scar you with the visuals, but I was knee deep in clothing I no longer wear . Shoes and accessories littered the floor from my closet to the door of my bedroom. I have been in the mood to purge, and I *think* I’m doing a fairly good job – as my floor is my witness, but like anyone (you included, I’m sure) there are just some things I won’t part with.

The earrings I wore the day I met my first country crush, Clay Walker? Those are K-E-E-P-E-R-S.

Danielle and Clay Walker

And the dress I have on in this picture with Rascal Flatts? I’m pretty sure I should box it and hang it like you would a signed football jersey..

Danielle and Rascal Flatts

Too bad I wasn’t wearing the right pair of cowgirl boots at the time.

It is safe to say the ‘perfect’ pair has alluded me for quite some time. I like to think cowgirl (or cowboy) boots are similar to that perfect pair of jeans – there is one that is RIGHT for you, but you have to look….and when you find them, you’ll just know. I’ve had ‘cowboy boots’ on my Holiday list for the last three years in a row, but no one has fulfilled that wish. I can only guess it is because they fear not getting it right.

Enter Country Outfitter. When they reached out to me, I was positive they had been eavesdropping on my recent conversations with store clerks. And because they know country, I believe them when they tell me all about the latest styles and trends: specifically silver cowboy boots.

Trend Alert: Silver Cowboy Boots

 

Want more proof Country Outfitter knows what they are talking about? Look no further than the queen of country, Miranda Lambert - or better yet, find yourself adding the very same style  silver Miranda wears on stage to YOUR wish list.

Miranda's Cowboy Bling Boot - Silver: Country Outfitter

I’m thinking silver cowboy boots will be my second pair, as I just knew I’d know the right pair for me when I saw them. And I was right. I chose Eight Second Angel’s Addie Butterfly Boot. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Country Outfitter: Eight Second Angel's Addie Butterfly Boot - ExtraordinaryMommy.com

Not only does the hue of the boot appeal to me – there is something both strong and soft about the brown leather and the scuffing, but the detail solidified my decision. A butterfly lightly decorates the front – a symbol that is both intensely significant for me and, I believe, so representative of the beauty and tenacity that combine to describe the country music and style I adore.

Country Outfitter: Eight Second Angel's Addie Butterfly Boot - ExtraordinaryMommy.com

Do you have a pair of boots you love? What is it about them that made you decide they were the ones?

Disclosure: I’m excited to be working with Country Outfitter to share this post and latest Trend Alert with you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Text4Baby and Rite Aid Offer Free Flu Shots For Moms

I cannot tell you how many hours of sleep I have lost since I became a mom – plagued with some kind of worry that I was doing it all wrong - or more pointedly, how many of those hours were lost specifically in my early days – before my sweet girl was born or right after.

I worried about my health while I carried her.

I worried about HER HEALTH while I carried her – was she safe? Moving Enough? For the love of all things did she really have enough room?

Would I hold her correctly? Put her in her car seat safely? Would she eat? Sleep?

Delaney 5+ Months

WOULD I KEEP HER SAFE?

Isn’t this question at the core of most mother’s hearts? Our sweet babies have us to rely on. We have friends, family, often times our own mothers and something else….this amazing FREE program: Text4Baby.

So simple. So genius. Such a help wrapped up in a place we access daily – our phones.

Text4Baby, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson works like this: You sign up when you are expecting and you receive health and safety tips for you and your baby every week straight to your phone (three of them) for the entire time you are pregnant and up until your sweet one is a year old. Your messages will cover topics like prenatal care, sleeping, nutrition, immunizations, mental health, safety, family violence, developmental milestones and labor and delivery.

Amazing. And yet there is more:

Rite Aid Text4Baby Flu Ad

As of today, Text4Baby is teaming up with Rite-Aid and Johnson and Johnson to give moms access to flu shots. Moms enrolled in Text4Baby will receive a text offering them a free flu shot. When you reply ‘yes’, you will receive a coupon code that you can redeem from any Rite-Aid Pharmacist. The flu shots will be available while supplies last through February 28, 2014 – and this is the standard flu vaccine.

This is the second year Text4Baby has made the flu vaccine available  – last year more than 2,000 Text4Baby moms participated.

It is so easy to sign up for Text4Baby online or Text: BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. Seconds is all it takes. Take care of you AND your baby.

This is so good.

And? Congratulations on your new little one.

Disclosure: I’m incredibly proud to be a Social Good Ambassador for Johnson & Johnson so I will periodically be sharing amazing programs with you – just like this one. The goal: to help, to make the world a little better, or maybe to tell you something you didn’t know that may be worth sharing. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone. 

Why French Women Don’t Get Fat

The French culture, to Americans, is often something that is looked upon in awe and admiration. There have been books – Bringing up Bébé, Why French Women Don’t Get Fat, French Kids Eat Everything, to name a few. We’ve already talked about French kids and food here on Extraordinary Mommy and today I thought I’d talk about French women and food….because for some reason (in fact, lots of reasons) French women rarely seem to get fat.

They don’t go to the gym. In fact, the gym in France isn’t a very popular thing, let alone gyms of the 24 hour variety. And even from my own personal experience, every time I move back to France I drop a good 5 to 10 pounds. On the other hand, every time I move back to the States, I inevitably gain about 5 to 10 pounds! Is it in the air? What the heck? Let’s take a look!

Here are 7 reasons French Women Don’t Get Fat

why French women don't get fat

1.) They walk

French women – French people for that matter – walk a lot. It’s quite common in the bigger cities to not even own a car. Even in cities like ours where public transportation isn’t as common, people ride their bikes. Overall, they are a more active culture and therefore the gym becomes less necessary.

2.) They don’t snack all day

The French are very specific about their food times. Initially, this was foreign to me as I’m a snacker. When I’m bored, tired, or watching a movie, I like to have something to snack on. The French have very specific food times. They eat a small breakfast, rather large lunch and a decent size dinner. When the kids get home from school they have a set snack time and then they don’t eat until dinner. My kids want snacks all day. Hmmm… I wonder where they get that?

3.) Their desserts aren’t really… desserts.

There have been multiple times where we’ve eaten a dinner and they bring out the dessert platter and it’s yogurt or cheese or maybe pudding if you’re lucky. I think my fellow Americans are thinking “That’s not dessert!” This could be part of the reason I gain my 5-10 pounds when I’m in America. We do dessert right! … or wrong?

4.) Fast food isn’t as common

In my city we have to drive 10 minutes to the nearest McDonalds and that is the only fast food place in our city. We live in a smaller city but it’s not as thought it is in the middle of the country. I couldn’t even tell you where the closest Starbucks is located. Whereas in the city I live in the States we have a whole “fast food row” complete with Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, and Carl’s Jr. just to name a few. And although I don’t eat at those places often, the sheer ease and availability of it all makes me do it more than here. Living here,  if I’m tired and don’t want to cook, I also don’t want to drive 10 minutes for McDo (what they call it), so I end up throwing something together with what I have.

5.) They cook. A lot.

See #2? Yes, they have their set times for eating and when they eat – they do it right! While breakfast might be small, both lunch and dinner are a more complete meal. I talked about this a little in my post about things we can learn from the French, but even at my kids’ school, which is a regular French public school, they have a full blown lunch with foods like fish, steak, lamb, soups, even ratatouille! So when the school isn’t cooking it, guess who is? The French women. I stayed with a French family last year and I swear she was in the kitchen all day. They used left overs (le reste) quite a bit but it was always a complete, healthy meal. Even living in France I could work on this one a bit!

6.) They shop more often

In France open air markets, or what we would call Farmer’s Markets, are very common. In fact, in our little town there are 3 each week! French women or families generally shop at these markets for fresh fruit often. Unlike the Americans (ehem… me) who like to shop as little as possible. But by shopping more often, even as annoying as that can be, they get fresher foods and that’s generally healthier for you.

7.) They take breaks

This will seem so foreign to Americans, but French people know how to relax. I think this definitely relates to the weight issue. In America, we take a 30 minute lunch break – if we’re lucky. In France, they have a 2 hour lunch break! Enough time to let the food sit & digest before they get back to work. They also often take walks after meals to work off what they just ate.

There you have it! Here’s the thing…these life adjustments aren’t mind blowing. They are actually quite simple, but it would require a few adjustments and a willingness to do so. I think a few simple changes can go a long way!

What do you think? Have you experienced French culture at all? What’s your take on all of this?

**Disclaimer – I have seen fat French women, so this isn’t universal. And with the arrival of more fast food chains here (slowly but surely) their culture is changing a bit so all of this is changing with it. However, we can still benefit from these tips!**