“Say Bonjour to the Lady” Party at The French Library December 7th

Come have a glass of bubbly and meet Florence Mars, author of Say Bonjour to the Lady: Parenting from Paris to New York, for a reading and discussion at The French Library (3811 Magazine Street in New Orleans) 5 – 7 p.m.  Thursday, December 7th.

The book is a delightful, illustrated volume that captures, with wit and style, the often amusingly stark contrasts between French and American parenting styles. And 25 percent of the book’s royalties go to the Epic Foundation, a charity founded by Flo’s husband Alexandre Mars.

A French native who’s called New York home for nearly a decade, Florence and her family are making plans to move back to France next year. But she relishes any chance to visit her friends down South.

“People in New Orleans are creative, interesting, welcoming, crazy—everything I’m looking for in people,” says Mars. “I haven’t met this kind of crowd in New York; maybe I’m not looking in the right place!”

Where does she think New Orleanians fit into the parenting paradigm?

“I have the feeling parents here don’t organize their entire lives around their children’s social schedules, but the other way around, which I find super healthy,” she says. “In New York, it’s all about scheduling play dates and sleepovers. In New Orleans, going to a friend’s house to hang there for a few hours with the kids seems to be fine—just like in Paris!”

NYC vs. NOLA

“People here are so welcoming, compared to New York. And the New Orleans way of life seems very French: food, wine and the idea of having a good time—which resonates deeply with me,” says Mars. “I LOVE the fact that people here are not afraid to ‘waste’ some time having a conversation, instead of always networking. In New York, almost all conversations need to have a purpose. This is SO sad.”

MUMS vs. MOMS

“I hope New Orleans moms will recognize themselves somewhere in the middle, between the overly rigid French mums and the some of the over friendly American moms,” says Mars. “The truth is, there is no good mother, no recipe. We are all trying and failing every day. What our children learn from their parents really is: perfection does not exist, and that’s ok.”

Presented by Chandon and The French Library, the event is free and open to the public. For more details, email thegrownups@thefrenchlibrary.com or call 504.267.3707.

Zippy GREEN JUICE + Healthy KID SMOOTHIE

Even though it’s crazy healthy, sometimes it feels a little bit self-indulgent to spend a whole hour prepping and making my favorite green juice—especially since the strong kick of my beloved ginger and turmeric is not for everyone. My kids are always game to try it, but then they say, “It’s too spicy!”

So, I always add an extra (sneaky) step in the process to make sure everyone in the house gets some green goodness from my efforts. I make one batch mild green juice (without ginger, turmeric or cilantro), reserve half of it to make my “spicy” green juice afterwards, and mix the other half of the mild juice with frozen fruit to make a smoothie for the kids. Step by step instructions below.

MAKING THE MILD MIX + SMOOTHIE

Here’s how I do it. In the first batch, I put the following* in my juicer:

  • 1 container spinach or baby spinach
  • 1 container kale or baby kale
  • 10-12  baby carrots
  • 3-5  broccoli stems
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 lemons (skin off)
  • 2-3 apples (Braeburn apples are my favorite!)

I pour about a cup of the mild mix into the blender, and then I add in frozen fruit: cherries, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, raspberries (and sometimes a little plain yogurt or orange juice) to blend into a smoothie for the kids. Depending on the season, you can also add pears, plums, blueberries—just whatever your kids like.** (I used to try to sneak in the green juice when they weren’t looking, but now they know I do it. I never get any complaints, as long as the smoothie is berry delicious!)

If I’m making a big batch of juice, I also pour some of the mild mix into an ice tray. Later, I put the green cubes in a container and keep them in the freezer to use in future smoothies.

MIXING MY SPICY GREEN JUICE

To finish my ‘spicy’ green juice, I put the following into my juicer:

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
  • 2-3 thumbs of fresh ginger root (peeled)
  • 2-3 fingers of fresh turmeric root (peeled)

I add this spicy mix to the mild mix reserved from above, and voila: the BEST, most refreshing green juice you’ll ever taste! Enjoy!***

NOTES

* I choose organic produce over conventional whenever possible.

**Two ingredients I always avoid when making juice and smoothies: bananas and celery! Although I like to eat bananas and celery each on their own, I find that when I put them in a smoothie or juice, the taste is so strong/dominant that it masks all of the other delicious flavors/ingredients I use.

***It’s best to drink green juice directly after juicing, but you can also keep some in the fridge, as long as you drink it within 24 hours.

My WEIRD DISCLAIMER

Dear Friends, Family and Stranger Readers:

This is a note to tell you that I’m going to be doing some weird stuff in the coming days. Just a little piece of information to keep in mind, in case you find yourself questioning my sanity at any point in the near future.

It’s not that I’m suddenly and randomly trying to come up with oddball ideas in pursuit of some specific agenda. Rather, I’ve finally decided to actually follow up with and experiment with a handful of the hundreds of ideas that have been bouncing—at an increasingly zealous rate—around in my head over the past few years. And there are a LOT of them.

To get to the point: I’m done with being too timid to do a little experiment for fear of being called crazy. No longer will I hesitate to pull the trigger on a project just because I’m not sure exactly how it will turn out. To quote one of my favorite thinkers, Seth Godin: I am fully aware that this might not work. And I’m okay with that.

“At some level, ‘this might not work’ is at the heart of all important projects, of everything new and worth doing… it is either a curse, something that you labor under, or it’s a blessing, a chance to fly and do work you never thought possible.” —Seth Godin

So if you see something I’m doing that doesn’t quite make sense or that seems whack, please do not panic. I am ok. I am not off my rocker. I’m just floating a few ideas to see what they might become. Some of them might seem quirky or cheeky or just plain weird. So, of course feel free to look away. Or if something you see interests you, maybe take a closer look.

A few things that might be coming down the pike in the coming weeks: products with backstories, the cashing in of my social media v-card, collaborative art projects, the “birth” of a new artist (a fictional composite persona with a LOT of strange ideas), and some random, unsolicited advice (just tips and tricks).

I am also aware of the fact that it is entirely possible that no one will even read this post. I am not what you would call a marketer. But since YOU have read all the way up to this point, let me say thank you for the privilege of your time.

Cheers!

—Kara Nelson

Copyright 2016 Kara Nelson WorksAll Rights Reserved