Tuesday, September 6, 2011

C'est la Rentrée - Resolutions and a Giveaway - 2011


Hello blogging friends old and new, C'est la Rentrée! This means Back to School, but also so much more, here in France. Those who've been following my blog know about, and have even picked up the idea of, Rentrée Resolutions. The idea here in France is that a fresh start, a great new idea or a brave challenge, are things best started in September when the school year begins. It works for me and this will be the third year in a row that I've linked resolution-making to a giveaway. This year, I'm giving away copies of books that have been influential to me: But you have to make a choice! I'm offering two books, possibly new, possibly good-condition secondhand - that's very much in-keeping with my own thrifty ways, and I hope you'll see the environmental/cost advantages of getting the prizes secondhand too. The first set to chose from are all fairly frivolous, because where would we be without fun in our lives? I think resolutions should have fun in them too - I'll tell you mine later.
So, from the first set, you can choose from the following three books: Emily Chalmers and Ali Hanan write great books and work with a great photographer! This book was bought for me by my mum shortly after she came home from hospital a few years ago, and shortly before I started my blog for her. It's been influential to my style, but even more, has opened my eyes to possibilities... The style is not to everyone's liking, but it gives ideas...
This second book is a must if you ever go vintage shopping in France. It would also be good for someone who just wants to dream about the possibility, as the photos and descriptions are as lovely as the information is useful!
This third book is by a fellow blogger! I love 'murder lite' and I love Sharon's blog (she's The Queen of Fifty Cents - a must-read thrifting blog) and her book is also super - really good, friendly characters, dogs, antiques and an entertaining mystery. This one I would buy for you new, because the author is a blog-friend!
Now we come on to the second set. These are a bit less frivolous, but there's a light touch to all of them, too - easy to read and easy to take onboard the ideas.
If you haven't heard me mention this one, have you ever read my blog before? It was recommended to me by another fellow-blogger who had found it influential, and in my case it has been a blessing to read through the last few years - hard times have been easier to cope with, and easier to understand, whilst great times were better-enjoyed because of what I was reading and learning!
Of course another blogger put me in the direction of this one! I've given it to friends and family since - it's very unassuming and fun, and manages to look at green-living on a month-by-month basis without making it all seem like hard work.
And finally another blogger's book! The Happiness Project blog is a real biggie, not like mine or Sharon's, but reading the book and the blog you do get to feel you know, like and can learn from Gretchen Ruben. Like Anna Shepard's book it's divided into months and gives the writer's own thoughts and experiences as she attempts to appreciate her already-good life all the more. As that's pretty much the goal of my blog, I have found this book really helpful in clarifying how we either make the best of things or can, quite accidentally, get bogged down into letting a lot of the good stuff slip by us...
So now, for the rules. Leave a comment to enter, telling me which of the 'frivolous' books and which of the 'worthy' books you would like. If it just so happens that you already own all of these books, you could always just say, 'Surprise me!' and if you win I'll send you something else! But ideally, choose two and tell me what they are. Tell me why, if you like! If you'd like to copy the giveaway button at the top of the page and link to me from your blog that would be most appreciated, but I'm not doing the complicated 'two or three entries' thing. Anything for a quiet life! The same for becoming a follower - if you don't follow already, it would be lovely for you to join if you're intending to come back, but your entry doesn't require it.
And finally, what are my Rentrée Resolutions for this year?

Enjoy life to the full (I have a tendancy to plan ahead/worry ahead, instead of living in the moment). Actual examples of how I can do this (Ms Ruben says we need concrete resolutions!) are to spend time with the boys where all I do is have fun with them, instead of wondering what I'm going to cook for lunch later, and also to listen fully to Ben when he's talking to me, instead of planning either my own response or (a theme emerging here) lunch. And just to stop thinking that something bad is going to happen! Where does that weird little black cloud of dread come from, to spoil the happiest occasions? As you can see, I've already thought this one through. It's really an on-going resolution...

Watch the cable news once a day, as all my previous resolutions about keeping up with the news have proved flawed. Maybe this year we'll get it right!
Keep on going with my scrap books (magazine cuttings, not scrapbooking as such), but also don't feel bad when I don't keep up with the scrap books!

Keep going to the library! And maybe a bit more often...

Do a short session of toning exercises at least three times a week - I'm working more and have less time for the long bike rides I used to do regularly.

So that's it! If you'd like to tell me a resolution of your own, as part of your entry, I will very much appreciate reading it. But all you really have to do is leave a comment with your choice of two great books! Very best of luck to all of you. I'll close the giveaway and announce the winner in a week's time - Tuesday 13th September.

I'm now deleting any 'non-entry' comments just to make sure I enter the correct number of entries into the 'hat'...


marigold jam said...

Oh Floss what a super giveaway. Should I win I'd love either of the Flea Market books from the first group or Simple Abundance from the second. First flea market book because I enjoy making do and mending which was a motto I was brought up with and my mother was a master at doing just that so it would remind me of her (almost 10 years now since she died and still sadly missed of course!) and Simple Abundance because I read it years ago and enjoyed it and would like to have a copyu of my own.

I love the idea of resolutions and as you will know from my September post I too like to make a fresh start in September. Like you I want to do more living in the moment instead of in the future whether it be meals to plan or accidents waiting to happen - I am getting better at it but "could do better"! And to take time to do the things I want to do as well as the ones I need to do so that one day I will have my memoirs written and family scrapbooks made and who knows maybe even a patchwork quilt!

Serenata said...

Oh I am so excited about this Floss (as you already know) I have planned my post, and will post it tomorrow now as I've just written a blog post for today. Wonderful books of which I have two already, thanks to a recommendation by you (Simple Abundance) and another(The Happiness Project) given to me by a blogger friend. If I were lucky enough to win I would love the 'How Green are my Wellies' and 'Flea Market Style' the novel sounds interesting as well, but I have a pile of novels to work my way through already!

Love your resolutions, always very much like mine, it that there is often a recurring theme! ;-)

Thanks so much Floss for doing this, it really gives us a new and positive way to view this time of year.

Michela said...

Hi Floss, welcome back :) I've enjoyed reading your holiday post!
May I be cheeky once in my life and enter your lovely giveaway?! I'd love to have the chance to read something in English! (Frivolous "Flea Market Style" and worthy "How green are my wellies?")
I'm going to put a link to you on my sidebar, thank you for popping my name into the hat (make sure it's a thrifted one, LOL!)

P.S. my resolution is to take long walks as I've been doing since this Summer, but I'm finding it very hard because it gets dark everyday earlier.. :(

Isobel said...

Hi Floss!
What a coincidence! I am doing a book giveaway too and will be posting about it still this week. :)
I love your resolutions. I should be exercising more too, but there seems to be always something in the way. :(
I'd love to enter your giveaway. My choices of books would be Flea Market Style from the first set and How Green are my Wellies from the second. :)
Have a great Tuesday!!

Alix said...

What a great giveaway - I will attempt to put the button in my sidebar! If I were the lucky winner, my choices would be 'The Flea Markets of France' as I missed out on my vide grenier fix this summer (everyone MUST know by now - I keep mentioning it!) and the 'Simple Abundance' which sounds so lovely. Hope 'La Rentree' goes well for you and yours - the school where I work is back today and it is pouring rain and blowing a hoolie!

Angela said...

I'm halfway through Simple Abundance [your recommendation] but would love a Flea Market Book - or the green wellies one.
This summer I have resolved to grab every opportunity which presents itself to live life abundantly. I am NOT going to be an old lady in a rocking chair who says "I wish I had done that when I was able" - even if it means going into the North sea wearing my underwear or running fully clothed through fountains.
blessings x

LissyLou said...

i would love a copy of flea market style and how green are my wellies? please. i have wanted flea market style for a while now. I already have simple abundance and the happiness project, i love them!! The green wellies one sounds just my thing too.

I like your resolutions - mine are to get my house all sorted (boxes that have not been opened since we moved and i broke my foot),and take a bit of time for me now both boys will be at school. xx

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Hello Floss, and happy September. I am so glad to discover there is a name for this idea of making resolutions at the start of the school year, as this is exactly what I do, and I am half writing a post on it - so thank you!

Great giveaway too, I Flea Market Style and The Happiness Project already, but I would love the opportunity to win the Parisian Flea Markets book and How Green are my Wellies - both sound right up my street!

One of my resolutions is to remind myself of what I was taught about crochet on the brief course I did, teach myself a bit more and to make a blanket for one of the kids. I only have one square done so far - but think I've remembered what I'm supposed to be doing!

fee @ chipper nelly said...

oh floss - funny! My resolution looks much like your #1 with the names changed!

And count me in the giveaway - I would take any of the above but would pick Flea market Style and the happiness project.
How kind you are
fee x

Lorrie said...

The start of a new school year has always seemed the best time for resolutions to me, too.

What a lovely giveaway. I would choose the Flea Markets of France and the How Green are my Wellies.

Sarah said...

Happy Rentrée - hope the boys' start to school has gone well. I started school yesterday - starting PGCE in secondary science :)

I spotted a Sussex brocante (!) last weekend when visiting my in-laws (there's a blog post about it here - I had to google to find out that I was right about my spotting! http://interestingantiquetextiles.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-brocante-in-east-sussex-chapelle.html), so my choice from your first set of give-away books would be the French Flea Markets book.

And this year (because of the PGCE) we are living more closely within our means, so I'd pick Simple Abundance I think, which I might look out for if I don't win.

Hope you have a good start of term x

Vintage Jane said...

What a great giveaway. I would love the French Flea Markets or How Green are my Wellies. The flea markets book really appeals because I dream of visiting a French flea market (I have never ever been to one) and hope to soon. As for resolutions - well, I started a new job on Monday working 5 days a week and I am going to try to be more organised with the housework in the limited time I will have!! Have a good week. M x

Autumn Mist said...

Oh Floss, this is so funny, because I have been sitting here for ages flicking up and down this post, as I can't decide which books I'd like best! I think that points to what my resolution should be, don't you?! In the end, I decided I would love Flea Market Style and Simple Abundance, but I am bowled over by the cover of the french flea market book! Is that typical of the pages within? Any chance of a sneak peak before it goes to whoever wins it? Anyway, thanks so much for putting on a wonderful giveaway (and I'm totally with you on the library situation, I couldn't live without mine.)

Freddie said...

How Green are Your Wellies and Flea Markets of France would be my choice. The 1st one because I like the idea of not making recycling seems like hard work, in fact I could get my husband to read it as he always complain that I make him recycle and what a pain it is! And the 2nd one because looks very much like a book I would buy if I came accross it in a shop.
Bonne rentrée and good luck with the resolutions! Freddie

Fat Dormouse said...

What a lovely generous Giveaway, Floss! If I was lucky enough to win, I'd love the novel from the frivolous choice, as I strongly feel a girl can Never Have Too Many Novels!! And from the worthy selection, I think it is harder to choose...either the Happiness Project or Simple Abundance would suit me best I think.

I probably should make resolutions about re-starting my weightloss programme, as it's rather got lost in glasses of wine and bags of maltesers at the moment...But I think probably my Rentrée Resolution is to try to continue my art prayer journal on a more regular basis and to try to be more positive. I'm a bit menopausal (I hope that's not TMI!) and mood swings are bzecoming quite regular - usually on the less cheerful side of the arc!!! Still, onward and upward!

Lynn said...

hello Floss - this is a very generous give away. Until recently I would have asked for Simple Abundance - but I eventually found a cheapie secondhand copy after having it forever from the library! So if I was lucky enough to have my name pulled from the hat then I would ask for The Happiness Project as I have been following the blog and it did inspire me to start my new blog and see the positive surrounding me each day. I love the idea of La Rentree and always considered September as a new start - even more so this year as my youngest will not be going back to school but to university - gosh how did that happen?
Thanks for a lovely blog.

Nikki said...

Flea Market Style and How Green are my Wellies? would be my two choices. Love your blog and you new resolutions. Such a good idea to start new resolutions in September... works well for me especially... as my birthday is near the start of September too...

Carolyn Phillips said...

Hi Floss.

What a generous giveaway, and how wonderful that the books are well loved, highly recommended and are copies that whoever wins knows have been read and enjoyed. I think my choice would be Flea Market Style and The Happiness Project, because they fit where I am and where I am going.

I've not come across the custom of making resolutions at this time of year, but do always appreciate the fresh start at the beginning of the school year, and always use it to take a look at routines and lifestyle. This year I am also revisiting my chosen word for 2011 of Thanks and making a list of daily things I am thankful for.

Catherine said...

Hello Floss, thank you for your lovely comment. I read your latest post this morning & have been pondering various bits throughout today. I mentioned to Rob how different it would be to begin the school year now. I love learning more about other lands & traditions through real people's lives. I might have been quite good at geography had it been presented this way! I think I should tie the library resolution to a tree or something..it will never become redundant. Books ah..I have just picked up the short stories of our Katherine Mansfield today from the library. I especially want to read "The Garden Party". I am still thinking of your "brave challenge"..something sitting right in front of me I think I need to be brave about..thank you. Much love Catherine x

Anonymous said...

Bonne rentrée! I hope yours has gone smoothly, at school and home. (It's been a "big" rentrée for us, with one starting CP, one starting Petite Section. Where did my babies go?) In terms of resolutions, I've been mulling over mine since August, when I had a little meltdown over finding the right balance of family, work, sleep, exercise, online fun, hobbies, life et more life. This rentrée, I am trying to slow down and do one thing at at time, as well as accept that I don't have to do everything. Just take deep breaths and focus on a few things... Anyway, bravo to you for your resolutions and bon courage! If my name comes out of the hat, I would love the book about vintage shopping in France or the Happiness project book. Thanks for this lovely giveaway.

Thrifty Household said...

Hello Floss! I love the book give away idea. Trouble is they all look good to me. I especially like the...
-'Flea market style' because the cover holds a promise of interesting photos within
-'How green are your wellies?' because mine are red but I'd still like to know how green they are
-'The Happiness Project' because I've heard of it but never read it

VintageVicki said...

What a fab giveaway - all those books look great :) If I was the lucky one out of the hat then I'd love the French FleaMarket book and the Green Wellies one :)

Our back to school started with a hiccup but has since gone smoothly - both boys are happy to be back.

Catherine said...

A fab giveaway! Wow! I like the look of the Green Wellies or the Happiness project or the Daybook....actually any of them!!! Cx

Sue said...

Splendid idea to make resolutions now, after all it is the start of the school year and our lives seem to be governed by the school calendar! January resolutions never seem to last so I shall have another go now.

If I was lucky enough to be picked it would have to be Flea Markets of France, after all a girl needs her dreams and everyone seems to find such lovely things there. I nearly, nearly, persuaded my hubby to take me to one in Paris earlier in the year, but unfortunately it isn't really his thing. How Green are my wellies sounds really interesting too. The Happiness Project I had some time ago and bought Simple Abundance earlier this year after you mentioned it and love reading it each day. Just for once I have been very good and not galloped ahead to the end of the book!