I have already introduced you to one fabulous blogger who takes me to Paris through her blogs. Well, the second one is the very stylish Deja Pseu of Une femme d'un certain age. I have had so much fun learning all things French through her writings and trips to Paris. Please grab another cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a talk with my blog friend, Deja Pseu.
1. How long have you been blogging and what is the vision for your blog?
I've been blogging now for just a little over 5 years. I started blogging because at the time I couldn't find any style blogs that focused on women over 50. I decided to write the blog I wanted to read.
2. Tell us just a little bit about yourself...
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and eventually worked my way south to Los Angeles. In between I lived and worked for a couple of years on the East Coast. (NYC and Princeton, NJ).
I like LA better than I thought I would. ;-) I'm a department head for an administrative department in the entertainment industry. I've been married for 17 years (can't believe that; it's gone by so quickly!) to a wonderful man who puts up with my blogging habit (including my need to do periodic Retail Reconnaissance) and is willing to go along to meet up with other bloggers when we travel. I have one child, a 14 year-old son with special needs (cerebral palsy and cognitively challenged) who teaches me about joy and patience daily.
3. When did you first visit Paris and what did you take away from there the first time....your most poignant memories?
I'd dreamed of visiting Paris since I was a young girl. I'd taken years of French language in high school and college but never had the resources to actually travel there until 2007. The thing that struck me most the first time was how visually stunning everything was. Art wasn't just in the museums; it was everywhere: beautiful architecture, bridges, parks and even the buildings undergoing renovation had been given a decorative facade. Parisians are so visual, and make the effort to make everything visually pleasing. I was also struck by the juxtaposition of old and new, and the fact that not all Parisians are uber-chic and slim. Like any metropolitan city there's a lot of diversity. The people were so friendly and helpful. And the food, OMG. You have to try pretty hard to find a bad meal in Paris. Culturally, what struck me the most is the reverence for the feminine. In our culture, the feminine is often denigrated, but in the French culture it's revered. If French women have a certain allure and mystique, perhaps part of that comes from living where being a woman is valued. Women don't have to act or dress like men to be successful or respected. Vive la différence.
4. How often have you returned and what do you love most about the city now?
We've just enjoyed our 5th visit. The last two trips to Europe we've mostly visited other areas but have spent 2-3 days in Paris primarily to see friends, shop (clothes, accessories and skin care for me, chocolats for my husband), eat, and see exhibits of interest at one of the multitude of amazing museums. I feel as though I could spend a month in Paris and still not see everything I want to see. What I love is that Paris now feels familiar and comfortable. We know how to get around, we have friends there, and can visit without feeling like we "must see" certain tourist attractions, so we can just go and wander and relax. One of our very best memories of this last trip was sitting at an outdoor cafe under an awning, eating sandwiches and sipping wine during a gentle rainstorm.
5. What do you believe is the number one challenge for American women today?
I think the number one challenge for women today is economic security; being able to save for a comfortable retirement, and having sufficient health care. Other than the economic challenges facing us all, I think we have challenges living in a culture that fears aging… that values women primarily based on their sexual attractiveness, and encourages consumption as a way to achieve it. Even women of great achievement are criticized for their appearance and their style choices, and we still live in an ageist culture that doesn't value the contributions of our elders.
6. What is your best styling advice?
When in doubt, go with the simpler choice. Build your wardrobe around neutrals, use accessories to change things up.
7. What is your best beauty advice?
Day: Moisturize and Sunscreen.
Night: Remove your makeup thoroughly, then moisturize. Never go to bed with makeup on.
Makeup: Don't overdo it, but if you can handle dramatic, go for the red lips. (I'm still working on that one.)
Product: Clarisonic. Has made a HUGE difference in the clarity and texture of my skin.
A few pieces of great fit and quality that suit your lifestyle are better than a closet full of the latest designer fashions. Stick with what works for you, but be aware of current trends and incorporate selectively (often with accessories) to keep your look updated and current. Allure and seductiveness are possible at any age, and not dependent on flashing a lot of skin or wearing 5" heels. Femininity can be powerful; think subtle and strong rather than flashy and loud.
Isn't she fabulous? Hopefully, you will add her to your list of go to blogs. Also, make sure your visit Katie's Thursday Blog Hop on Thursday and the other Paris Party Bloggers!!