|| 26 September 2022
In the part of the world in which I live, spring cleaning can be perilous. Spring is tornado season, and if you try for major cleaning of your home that time of year, you may find yourself interrupting your work to dash to storm shelter — or at least have a power outage that leaves your vacuum cleaner and other electrical cleaning devices useless. Fall is a better time of year for major cleaning and decluttering.
For the past few days, I have been Fall Cleaning. Luckily I found a couple planning a garage sale who were willing to take all my too-good-to-put-in-the dumpster items.
Such a liberating feeling to see all that stuff hauled away.
Now I am on Round Two finding even more items to throw or give away. And always I am on the lookout for items that bring back unpleasant memories and depress me — and make me long for comfort foods. Those things MUST go.
be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone
|| 18 September 2022
A Sense of Duty
When I was 8 years old, I watched the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on our family’s living room television. Now, 70 years later at 78, tomorrow I will view the queen’s funeral streamed to my laptop computer.
So much has happened in those 70 years in Queen Elizabeth’s life — and in my own — and in your own.
Since her death at 96 on 8 September, we have seen much ritual and pageantry that continue long-established traditions. With our advanced technology, wherever we are in the world, we can share in this ritual and pageantry more deeply than was possible at the death of any previous British monarch.
From her earliest years, Queen Elizabeth II maintained an deep and unfailing sense of duty. Even as her aging body and declining health made fulfilling her heavy schedule more difficult, she never quit. She amazed us with the amount of public duties she continued to carry out despite age, despite Covid, despite grief over her husband’s loss — and despite the distractions of some of her family member’s lapses.
One big difference I note in the USA of today from that of 70 years ago, is the loss of a sense of duty such as the queen demonstrated. My hope is that, as we watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, that many will find inspiration for a renewed sense of duty to country stronger than personal petty concerns. We need it.
|| 15 September 2022
Another Response on New Focus
We are at the middle of September and here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie we are having lovely hint-of-autumn mornings — though afternoons require air-conditioning to be comfortable. My purple wildflowers (still unidentified) are blooming again. And they are spreading which pleases me very much.
Ann Leslie in New York has added her “deux centimes” on the subject of the change in focus on the website. And I have added comments, More . . .
|| 5 September 2022
Today an update to the responses to the announcement of a new focus of the Chic & Slim website. You can read it here.
Also I was dismayed to discover that I had either accidentally replaced the page with the links to Previous Nouvelles with an older one — or I had not updated the page since March 2021. Good grief !
In any case, I have been updating that page, and now there are links for the Previous Nouvelles up through October 2021. More to come soon.
Many of these links that I have added to the Previous Nouvelles list are information our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat has sent from her visits to France. At least two of them have information about that wonderful Droguerie Legrand.
Note: You may have to click on the reload button on the Previous Nouvelles page to get the updated links to display properly.
|| 28 August 2022
A New Focus
Today is the 25th anniversary of the publication of the first Chic & Slim book. That book, and the six Chic & Slim books that followed, revealed techniques chic French women use to stay slim and dress in their unique chic style.
Using these techniques, in my mid-20s I was able to shed 55 pounds. When I published that first Chic & Slim book in 1997, I had been slim more than 25 years.
Now at 78, I have stayed slim more than 50 years. Additionally, I continue to enjoy good health.
But in the USA, the UK, and numerous other countries in the world, the percentage of older women who are overweight and obese is alarming and growing. And those extra pounds are not only making it more difficult to look chic, they also contribute to health problems that diminish quality of life — and some of those health problems are life-threatening.
For 25 years I have been writing about how French women stay slim. But for numerous reasons, it is time for a new focus.
First, of all, I am out of touch with France and French women. From the media and the reports of our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat who does visit France frequently, with the exception of some Parisiennes, French women are not as slim — nor as chic — as they once were. Nor do they provide the role models they once did. (Kat has emailed some photos of obese French women she has encountered out shopping that you would think were taken at your local Walmart.)
Second, after 25 years, I am really really tired of writing about French women.
So a change in focus is coming. The emphasis going forward on this website will be on what Anne Barone has done to stay slim these 50 years — and how new challenges to our health and appearance have been met as they presented themselves.
Of course, the basis of The Barone System is French techniques that I began to study a half-century ago. But since I live in the increasingly obese USA, to stay slim I have had to use techniques not necessary in France with French culture and French health care helping women avoid some of the pitfalls.
I know that many of you are dedicated Francophiles and will miss a primary focus on French women. But then, some of you may be as tired of French women as I am. In any case, I hope you will find the new focus useful — and entertaining. — Anne Barone
|| 7 August 2022
Kat’s After-Paris Reflections
Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat has recently visited Paris. Here are her reflections on the fashions she saw being worn on her July 2022 visit after she returned to her home in London. More . . .
|| 2 August 2022
Kat in Paris - Report 5
The two photos with today’s (5th) report from Paris by our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat are my favorite of all the photos she has sent from her recent visit.
The photo taken on the café terrace is such a “Paris” photo. Chic, slim young woman — and at the next table this attractive man slouched down in front of his Macbook Pro writing his novel? Or checking on his stock portfolio? Who knows?
Is the young woman in the black butcher’s boy cap plotting a way to attract this guy’s attention?
It’s Paris, there are always possibilities.
The train station photo of the little black and white dog traveling with his mistress is so delightful. And so French.
Summer 2022 in Paris. More . . .
|| 31 July 2022
Kat in Paris - Report 4
In today's report from Paris by our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat, she focuses on footwear. More . . .
AnneNote: Once upon a time in Paris it was easy to distinguish tourists (especially American tourists) from French citizens. But now that French chic information has become so globally available, sorting tourists from citizens visiting the city is challenging. Sometimes the tourists can look more French than the French.
Tara sent a link to a column that New York Times Fashion columnist Vanessa Friedman wrote in response to a request to advise ‘how not to look like a tourist in France.” Vanessa Friedman wrote this column immediately after she spent Fashion Week in Paris in early July 2022. You can compare this advice with our correspondent Kat’s observations in her visit a few weeks later.
Merci, Tara, for alerting us to this article.
NY Times article How Not Look Like a Tourist in France?
Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat’s fourth report from Paris focusing on what women in Paris are wearing on their feet this summer. Paris Report 4
|| 28 July 2022
Kat in Paris - Report 3
Here is yet another report on Paris, Summer 2022, from our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat. Merci, Kat, for your photos and commentary. More . . .
|| 26 July 2022
Kat in Paris - Report 2
Today, the second report on Paris Summer 2022 from our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat. Merci, Kat, for all the photos and commentary. More . . .
|| 24 July 2022
Kat in Paris - Report 1
Thursday I was carrying my laptop into the living room where I was planning to write that day’s Nouvelles. Unfortunately I tripped and fell headfirst. The computer hit the floor and my nose smashed into it.
By the time I got the nosebleed stopped, it looked as if murder had been done.
Fortunately ice packs prevented any bruising. My nose is still slightly swollen on one side and sore. But that Arnicare gel is proving as good at relieving nose pain as it did relieving back pain. The computer so far is working.
While I was here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie having accidents, our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat was in Paris observing the scene there. She has been sending back her photos and comments in installments. Assuming that I will continue to have electrical power in the extreme heat next week, I plan to post new material from Kat every day or two.
You can read Kat's first report. More . . .
|| 17 July 2022
20 Years a Chic & Slim Reader
I received a lovely email from a longtime follower of the Chic & Slim website. Kate wrote:
Dear Anne, I just wanted to say hello and to thank you for all your wonderful Nouvelles over the years. I have been following you almost twenty years, and I feel like you are a friend. You have helped me find my own style and how to keep it as I approached my 50's and now my 70's (starting in October!).
Your wildflowers are lovely, thank you for sharing them, and I will look forward to more photos of your garden and your missives during the summer.
Wishing you a glorious day, Kate
Merci, Kate. 20 years ! I am always delighted to know that readers continue to enjoy the website, and I am especially glad when it helps you find your own chic and slim personal style.
be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone
|| 10 July 2022
Cool Summer Salad
With our scorching 104 to 110 F. (40-43 C.) temperatures this week, the weather called for cool summer salads.
Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat sent the photo with the comments:
According to cookery writer, Trish Deseine, this is what chic Parisiennes lunch on — accompanied by a glass of vin blanc, bien sûr! It is the signature dish of the Hotel Costes, off the Champs-Élysées, and consists of lightly cooked green vegetables and lettuce, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and fleur de sel de Guérande. Not many calories there . . .
I serve this dish often, as a first course, in summer, and plan to find out if it is still served in Paris!
If you think this chic French women’s lunch is lacking in protein, it is not. A half cup of green peas provide 4 grams, and the green beans another gram.
Fleur de sel de Guérande is a finishing salt — to be sprinkled on at the time of serving to add taste and a bit of glistening.
A cool and chic summer lunch.
Merci, Kat, for photo and information.
|| 3 July 2022
Parisian Chic 2022
Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat has alerted me to an article in British Vogue featuring Amélie star Audrey Tautou wearing a great example of French chic. One that could be worn by chic slim women of almost any age.
British Vogue says:
The 45-year-old French star – one of creative director Alexandre Mattiussi’s favourite actors – opened the show, staged in Montmartre at dusk for maximum magic, as Catherine Deneuve and Carla Bruni watched from the front row (on bistro-style cane chairs, quoi d’autre?). Dressed in white jeans, ever so slightly slouchy boots and a silky shirt – all topped off with that classic trench – Tatou was a vision of Parisian chic.
True, British Vogue should have spelled Audrey Tautou’s name correctly. (It’s Tautou, not Tatou.) But the photo of Audrey Tautou is great.
|| 26 Jun 2022
My Aunt Midge was an honorary aunt, but since she considered my mother a sister. I was, by extension, a niece. When Aunt Midge died at three months short of 100, a number of her possessions came to me. Among them was her postcard scrapbook begun (by her Aunt Stella) almost as soon as she was born.
The scrapbook is now more than 110 years old and very fragile. Crumbling in my fingers as I ever so gently turn pages.
In the photo above you see the scrapbook open to Paris postcards sent to Aunt Midge by her father, an American soldier stationed in Paris during the time between the Armistice in November 1918 and including the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
The postcards feature familiar sites: Notre Dame, Place de la Concorde. L'Opéra de Paris and, lower left, a charming little French girl with the gorgeous hair.
A couple of days ago our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat altered me that she would be making a summer trip to France — a trip that would likely include a visit to Paris. We hope Kat will send us some “Paris postcards” that will include photos of some chic French women she spots there.
|| 12 June 2022
Pain Relief For A Sprained Back: Arnicare Gel
It's HOT. The forecast for the afternoon high here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie is for 108 F. (42 C.). That is the bad news. For the good news I will tell you that my back injury has made great progress toward healing. I want to recommend to you an article and a pain relief product that were helpful to me in case you should find yourself with lower back pain from an injury. More . . .
|| 2 June 2022
French on Vacation Food
Today an update to the previous Nouvelles about chic Frecnch vacation style. The focus is on food. More . .
|| 29 May 2022
Chic French Certain Age Holiday Style
About a week and a half ago I injured my back. But I am happy to report that I am finally getting the pain under control. At a future time I will share with you what I have learned about treating pain from back injuries — with reminders about how to avoid injuries. But our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat is still traveling and she has shared some chic French certain age fashion information. Photos also. More . . .
|| 22 May 2022
Machu Picchu Chic
Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat has been traveling in South America. This week she emailed that she had climbed Machu Picchu, the historic Inca city in Peru — and survived the climb. Kat included a photo. More . . .
|| 12 May 2022
Weather Alert Radio
Recently when i mentioned in a Nouvelles that I had stayed up late to follow the weather, I received helpful information in an email from Sandy who also lives in an area where severe weather is a too-frequent problem. She wrote to recommend a device that can give you warnings directly from the national weather service. Merci, Sandy.
I just read your most recent Nouvelles. I wanted to mention, in case you may find it helpful, that they sell rather inexpensive (~$30) weather alert radios which will wake you up if you need to go to the basement in the event of a tornado in your vicinity. When you first get it, you plug it in and tune it to your local NOAA office. Thereafter, you will receive a loud alert when there is a tornado warning for your county.
The only downside is that it will probably scare you and your cats out of ten years’ growth when it goes off in the middle of the night.
I have the Midland NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio, model WR120. Good luck!
Yours truly, Sandy
You can read more about the WR120 NOAA WEATHER ALERT RADIO on the Midland website.
|| 8 May 2022
Chic French Window Washing
When during her recent trip to France an email arrived from our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat with the subject line What you wear to clean your windows, I was not sure what to expect. Above you can see the photo attached to Kat’s email. More . . .
|| 1 May 2022
A French Collection
In a previous Nouvelles, I told you about a wonderful website for French-flavored information useful for Chic & Slim. Today I have links to information on A French Collection that might interest you. More . . .
|| 24 April 2022
Church Attendance in France
Last Sunday after I shared with you our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat’s report on Easter Sunday in France, Kat emailed concerned that from that report you would get the impression that all the French in her area did on Easter Sunday was to go to the pâtisserie to buy pastries and breads and fancy dark chocolate confections. Kat wanted to assure us that a great many French go to church — not just on Easter Sunday, but regular Sundays as well. She sent comments and photos. More . . .
|| 21 April 2022
Parisiennes on Holiday
Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat, still in France, has been on the lookout for Parisiennes holidaying in Normandy to show us what they are wearing this spring. More . . .
|| 30 January 2022
Eye Makeup Tricks for Certain Age
Once, when I was in my late 40s, I was in conversation with a woman of impeccable chic in her early 70s. The one exception to her head-to-toe chic I noticed was her eye makeup. She looked as if she had black rick rack on her upper eyelid and her eye shadow extended out onto her face.
Oh dear, I thought. Did that mean when I was her age, I would have all over the place eye shadow — and that I would have to choose between no eyeliner and a messy, zigzagged line? I need my eyeliner. I have small eyes, and without eyeliner, I look squinty-eyed and shifty.
Unfortunately, as we age, like other parts of us, our eyelids are often not as taut as they were when we were younger. This looser skin makes it more difficult to apply eye makeup precisely. What to do?
Never fear. Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat to the rescue with some certain age eye makeup advice. More . . .
|| 27 January 2022
Making French Pain Seigle (Rye Bread)
Actually I began the starter on Tuesday. Wednesday progressed to the "sponge." Now today Thursday has been dough and bake day. A long, tiring process. (I understand why those French bakers are such burly men.) But I am hoping when the baking is complete that I will think the bread worth all the work. And all the cleanup !!
I have been photographing the process at the different stages. I will tell you about the experience soon. Right now I am going to wash a LOT of bowls and pans. — Anne
|| 23 January 2022
France-Themed Website To Explore
Recently I received an email with a link to an article about those French baguette vending machines. (Merci, Adele). The article was on a France-themed website with which I was unfamiliar. Well designed and with wonderful photography and interesting articles.
If you have not previously explored A French Connection, you might enjoy doing so.
|| 16 January 2022
Susan in Hamilton is a fan of the blog That’s Not My Age created by London-based Alyson Walsh. Recently Susan sent text and a link for an article by a guest writer on the blog encouraging walking. Merci, Susan.
A walk? you say. But it’s so COLD out there!
Properly dressed, you can find a walk in the cold invigorating — not uncomfortable. I like wearing my three-layer Covid masking for cold walks because it keeps my nose warm.
Of course, when you return from your walk in the cold. a mug of steaming tea tastes wonderful.
Why walking is good for you on That’s Not My Age