Living

August 2014 editor's letter: Bonjour!

Editor-in-chief Karine Ewart shares some of the reasons why French women are so fabulous — and why we Canadian women are oh-so fabulous, too.

Chatelaine August 2014 Cover

Photo, Erik Putz. Food styling, Ashley Denton. Prop styling, Catherine Doherty.

I am writing this on a flight back from France, where I just spent 12 days on holiday with my husband and four children. As family vacations go, this one went better than expected: Almost two weeks without injury, drama or tears equals success in my books! One of my favourite moments was when my 12-year-old daughter, Milla, announced she wanted to live in Paris someday. I think that dream might have something to do with French women. On our trip, Milla and I made it our mission to decipher their mysterious ways of being so fabulous. Here’s what we came up with.

1. They take pride in their homes. Whether they live in a tiny apartment or a penthouse, there are always fresh flowers, pretty linens and open windows.

2. They believe taking the time to look their best isn’t a luxury but a necessity. And it doesn’t matter whether they are joining a friend for coffee or attending a business meeting. It has made me recommit to my personal standard, which has always been “How would I feel if I ran into George Clooney right now?”

3. They approach health differently. Healthy living means everything in moderation. A little exercise, a little alcohol, a little indulgence.

4. They eat differently. My family and I couldn’t stop talking about how delicious everything tasted. I believe the answer to the often-asked question “How do French women stay so thin?” is that they eat only local, flavourful, fresh food, and they understand portion control.

I miss France, but now that I’m back, looking at this issue of Chatelaine, I realize we have all the inspiration we need right here for our own Canadian fabulousness.

1. Home: We are thrilled to announce our paint partnership with Home Hardware to launch the Chatelaine Everyday Extraordinary Colour Collection, page 46. Here’s your chance to take advantage of home editor Emma Reddington’s impeccable taste.

2. Style: “Denim Is a Girl’s Best Friend” (page 34) channels Marilyn Monroe, a true icon.

3. Life: Our new advice columnist, the amazingly chic and life-smart Claudia Dey, page 76, is also a journalist and playwright — and a fashion designer.

4. Health: I hope this month’s “Keep Strong and Carry On” (page 66) will encourage all of us to remember that being positive is the best gift we can give ourselves.

5. Food: Speaking of delicious, the recipes by Claire Tansey and the incredible kitchen team epitomize freshness and flavour. (And their slow cooker feature on page 98 will allow you to stay cool in the kitchen this summer.)

So, while I’ll always have Paris, I couldn’t be more proud of being a Canadian. Please share with me your thoughts on this issue, what it means to be a woman in Canada and your own summer holiday plans.

P.S. We’d love to have you join us on our first-ever Gourmet Getaway to stunning Prince Edward Island. Alongside a Chatelaine editor, you’ll get to experience all the best bites and sights the East Coast has to offer. Spots are limited, so sign up today.