Monday, January 1, 2018

Souvenirs from Paris

I like buying things that come from other countries, but I don't want a dust collector that will sit on a shelf, and collect, well. Dust. I like a more simplistically decorated home anyway. When I travel, I want something that will let me experience that country's culture. So very often, I buy Food! Wouldn't you agree, that food defines a culture? Even in the United States, each state has a famous food that defines them... Think Texas and BBQ or Philly Steak Sandwiches from Philadelphia. Though I can't bring back a hot meal I ate, I can go into the local grocery store and pick up things the locals purchase.

I also find that Magazines/Newspapers are great souvenirs. I love seeing how each culture decorates, dresses, cooks and seeing a different language in print, is just magical to me.

Speaking of magical, when it comes to Paris-- Whoa. There are some Verrrrry cool things to bring back. My biggest Paris regret? My daughter and I both brought carry-ons! Paris requires a full size suitcase if you're going to buy souvenirs. But alas, we bought, we stuffed, we crammed and we prevailed!! We found some great things for us, for family and for friends. I wanted to share these things with you, because if you have a trip planned to Paris, you can't go wrong with ANY of these items! 

                                                                         Madeleines!!!
Oh my gosh, for a packaged food... These are DELICIOUS! There are many different flavors, of course.
My favorite was the chocolate covered madeleine, but the chocolate chip were good as well. My suggestion for these, is bring a small empty shoe box to Paris, you can keep your snacks from getting smashed, mine only barely made it home unscathed.

                                       Gaufres LiĆ©geoises aka Chocolate covered waffles 
These are divine. Like seriously, right now I can just taste them. They are individually wrapped as well, in case you want to buy a pack to share among many. I'm not embarrassed to say, that these didn't last long enough to make it back to the United States. 
The Evian with lemon and elderflower was definitely worth a journey back home as well, but liquids are heavy and well... I just had this one for breakfast.
                                                                
                                                                   Vegetable Sponges
Before we left for France, I had already decided I needed these in my life :), I love any product that is good for our planet, and these are made from vegetables! Which mean they go right back into our earth... Now, be forewarned, my sister in law was not amused by this gift, she even said to me "Oh thanks, I got sponges?!?! And I'm thinking, this is like the best thing since sliced bread! We can compost our sponges! It seems few people hold my enthusiasm for our planet. 
                                                       
                                                 Lutti Koila aka Marshmallow Bears
These were delicious. I don't know, maybe it's just that magical french touch? I'm sure the french are secretly enchanted. I know I can get chocolate covered marshmallows at home, but this was a great gift to bring home for a friends son, he loved them! 

Potato Chips
I am always amused by the Potato Chips/Crisps selection that every country loves, this flavor wasn't bad, and of course there were many to chose from. I'm being serious when I say, I have to always look at the chips! (Being American, I have to admit, we have to be the craziest for our flavors... Waffles and Chicken anyone? The British, I find are a close second... Take for instance, when Walkers did their Chili and Chocolate crisps!!)

Magazines
They need no explanation. I mean, magazines, are just cool. No... I can't read french, but I try, and I have google :) But I like seeing what other cultures want to read about. I found the French culture, to be much like ours, except the women, dress a heck of a lot better!! (I felt like the only one wearing Jeans and sneakers)
I didn't buy this one
But with the sinking Statue of Liberty and the name "Trump" in the same sentence, I could only guess the reporters are about as fond of Trump as I am. (Not very!)

Hollywood Gum
Just some fun, that will fit in the suitcase!

Candy
I found a lot of the candy that was also available in England and Ireland. Cadbury is a classic delicious chocolate sold in France. However, there are many french brands as well, I bought these. Hard caramel on a stick. They were good, and were oddly in the shape of a tear drop. Very interesting and fun to bring back. I shared them at work.

Scarves
Last but not least of my Paris souvenirs. I love scarves, I love to wear them and they never go out of style, so I often buy them as souvenirs. I also like to buy a Sterling Silver charm for my travel bracelet, but the thing is, I couldn't speak french so I didn't know where to go to get a good quality charm. I did get this pretty scarf though and I couldn't pass up this pretty purse, though it's very cliche. 

My daughter is my official travel buddy and has been since 2015, I started a wanderlust in her that continues to grow. She loves to people watch and she loves fashion. She also loves Hoodies, before traveling she kept saying she wanted a Paris Hoodie... So we got her the hoodie and a couple of bits of French fashion.

Her brothers were not amused by her choice of T-shirt. Though we are all about equal rights for women, we do love men... geeze... calm down boys!!
I told her that she has the duck lips perfected... 

She also HAD to have these shoes, they didn't have her size, so we got one size bigger, she said she would grow into them. How could I say no? We were, after all, buzzing on Paris! Both the shirt and the shoes were bought at Pimkie .. Since Hannah's favorite store is Holister, this was right up her alley. The Staff are friendly and it's easy to use your American Debit/Visa/Mastercard.  
Her Hoodie... It's her go to souvenir, and easy for me to buy her something if I go somewhere without her. 

There were so many other things that I would have liked to bring home. We will go back to Paris, and when we do, I'm bringing an empty suitcase. Seriously. Same when I go to London.. I hoard Tea, Prawn  Cocktail crisps, Cadbury and Galaxy Chocolate!

Things to put on your list for your next trip to Paris

Anaseed Drops
I wanted to buy Aniseed Drops, but I couldn't find any in the couple of shops we went into. I've read that they are a very popular and the tins are just adorable.

Chestnut Paste
I'm disappointed to say this is another thing that escaped me. Mind you we were only in Paris for 36 hours, but next time, I will go to a proper Supermarket.

Macroons
I didn't actually have Macroons on my list. I know, it's a shame. But they are everywhere now, I actually purchased some at HEB in Texas. They are not just France favorites any longer. However, next time I am in France, I shall buy French Macroons.

French Soap
I saw nothing as wonderful as these, but my research suggests, that French soap is some of the best in the world.. 

And finally...
My biggest regret for not bringing a bigger suitcase.
THE AMAZING SEASONINGS!!
I know I can get seasonings at home, but to authentically buy them in a foreign country, and just look at these bottles, everything is inviting and beautiful. I stared at them a long time, knowing I could not fit another thing in. I was even secretly wondering how many I could fit in my purse and my daughter's backpack... but I slowly walked away, knowing I would return again.
 There really had to be no explanation for these beauties!

On an amusing note...
The french children apparently love their sugar for breakfast, as much as American children!

When we were walking around one of the small corner stores, Hannah and I came upon this...
We stood there for quite some time, contemplating what this could possibly be.
Hannah said they were selling samples of blood, turns out,
It's Iodine! :) Haha... The beauty of traveling to different countries. Guessing some of the products on the shelves!

I hope you and your family have a prosperous and blessed 2018,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tammy

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