Monday, July 22, 2019

A Little Bit About Me...

Bonjour! You may be wondering just who is this loud, chatty Vicki Lesage. Maybe you heard about one of my books, or maybe you even read one (thanks!). Perhaps you came here to learn a little more about me. Cool.

I'm a just-turned-40 gal from St. Louis who lived in Paris for more than a decade. I'm now back in the suburbs of good ol' St. Louis with my French husband and two kids. We loved living in Paris. We didn't love cramming four people into a one-bedroom apartment. Now we have much more space to cause trouble in!

I wrote a few books about my life in Paris. Feel free to check them out! You can also read my blog posts or visit me on Facebook. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Master Bedroom Makeover: Before and After

When we bought our house a few years ago (I can't believe it's been that long since we left Paris!), it had recently been flipped. This was a mostly good thing because most things looked good. And since the previous owners had done all the rehab, we didn't have to live in a construction zone for months. Yay for move-in ready!

However, we never loved the master bathroom. It was something we knew we'd need to update at some point before selling (which we're not planning on doing anytime soon) and we figured, why fix it for someone else? Let's fix it for ourselves now so that we can enjoy it!

The bathroom wasn't bad per se. It had a new vanity, new toilet, fresh paint, and some nice-looking wainscoting. So why am I complaining?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

New Release: Confessions of an Expat in Paris

It's here! If you like books about Paris (and I assume so, since you're on my website), then you'll love my latest release:

From champagne bottles to baby bottles, this memoir offers a humorous glimpse of an American expat’s years abroad…

Party girl Vicki moved to Paris hoping to drink wine and fall in love. She accomplished both goals, but not without bumps along the way: romantic encounters gone awry, uniquely French situations threatening her sanity, and two adorable yet tireless kids keeping her on her toes.

Journey along with Vicki as she gets her feet wet, settles in, and finally finds her way in Paris. All with a drink in hand and a smile on her face. Until she must make a decision: Should she stay in her adopted city (with all its ups and downs) or should she return home (with its different ups and downs)?

Discover the real Paris through Vicki’s eyes as she shows you the funny side of life, love, and raising a family in the City of Light. And each chapter is paired with a delicious cocktail recipe! Enjoy drinks like the Sangria Spritzer, Pretty Good Bloody Mary, and Teeny Bellini.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to pour yourself another drink!

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it (and living it)!

Availabe now:
Amazon US (ebook)
Amazon US (paperback)
Amazon UK (ebook + paperback)
Amazon Canada (ebook + paperback)
Amazon Australia (ebook + paperback)
Amazon India (ebook + paperback)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fireplace Makeover: Before and After

When we first moved into our house about two years ago, it was pretty much perfect. And not just because it has five bedrooms when my family of four had previously been crammed into a one-bedroom apartment in Paris. (But mostly because of that.)

The most perfect part? My Photoshopped grass.

The house had recently been flipped, so we have a new kitchen, new bathrooms, fresh paint, newly refinished original hardwood floors, and lots of other nice stuff for a house that was built in the 60's.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

I'm in Croatia!

A while back I was interviewed by Magda Dežđek of Sensa Magazine, a Croatian women's magazine, about French parenting. Like I know anything! Below are my answers in English, which she then translated into Croatian for the actual article. I hope I'm as funny in Croatian, ha!

View the original article in Croatian

French kids have a reputation of being very well-behaved. Why is that?
I think it’s partly true and partly just reputation. It’s true that at mealtimes you won’t see kids running around restaurants as much (or as loudly) as you would in, say, the U.S. But I’ve definitely seen my fair share of tantrums and naughty attitudes!

Why are French parents so strict?
As an American, I think even my parents were somewhat strict, and their parents even more strict. I feel like only recently have Americans loosened up their parenting styles to what we see today. It seems the French haven’t done that (yet).

What are the most common rules and boundaries (regarding sleeping, eating, playing, manners, studying) that children need to obey?
It seems most French kids have a bedtime that is pretty well adhered-to. You rarely see French kids snacking between meals, and I think that helps them stay behaved during meals because they’re actually hungry and will sit and eat! They almost always say hi, bye, please, and thank you – something their parents do as well, contrary to the stereotype that French people are rude. I don’t know as much about the schoolwork since my kids were 2 and 4 when we moved from France to the U.S.

French parents are not ‘obsessive’ with kids like other European nations. For example, they need to have their “grown up” time in the evening and “grown up space” (so that children’s toys are not allowed in the living room). Can you explain that or maybe give me some examples?
I had always heard this before having my own kids but I never managed to make it work for me! My husband and I are what the French call “fusionnels” with our kids – we make them way too much the center of attention and don’t always leave enough time for our own needs and space. Although when you have four people crammed into a tiny one-bedroom apartment, space is all relative anyway!

Is it true that they don’t hesitate to small acts of violence? And, on what occasions?
It could be true but I haven’t really seen it.

I’ve read also that French kids are more patient (and, even so that they don’t have ADHD like in other countries). How are French parents “training” children’s patience?
If you find someone who knows the answer, could you share it with me? I feel like I observed most other French children having patience but couldn’t figure out what the parents were doing differently than me. Even the parents I asked couldn’t really articulate it. I’m guessing it has something to do with the above, where they (consciously or subconsciously) don’t put the child at the center of everything.

French mothers are not plagued by guilt. They do not spend time second-guessing themselves, how so?
I think a lot of American parents feel they need a “parenting style” and many research a lot before having kids. Whereas I feel like French moms don’t put as much thought into it, they just seem to do whatever their parents did or whatever comes naturally to them as far as parenting. Therefore they don’t feel the need to question it because they’re not even really thinking about it. And it seems to be working for them!

One of your books is about potty training in France, can you tell me more about it?
Sure! I wrote Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer while I was on bed rest for 14 weeks with my second child. I wanted to write a follow-up to my first book, Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, which was about moving to France and falling in love. Once I had kids, a sequel was a natural step! The book’s title is a bit misleading – my kids were too young to be potty-trained at the time I wrote the book – but the sentiment is still there: It’s all about the ups and downs of having kids in Paris. It’s a mostly humorous account of what I went through, with some heartwarming bits thrown in.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl now available in audio!

It's here! Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is now available in audiobook format. Woo hoo!

The narrator, Em Eldridge, did a wonderful job – she sounds more like me than I do! And a big thanks to Tantor Media for producing the audiobook.

If you give it a listen, let me know what you think! Happy listening :)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl coming soon in audio!

I have some exciting news: Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is being produced as an audio book!

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl coming soon in audio!

I'm thrilled because, as all of us busy people know, there's just not enough time in the day! I love to support other authors' work and travel to different worlds through the pages of a book. But there's also laundry and bills and buying Leo's 8th pair of shoes for the month because that kid is inexplicably rough on shoes.

Enter audiobooks. I listen to them while I run, which has the added benefit of encouraging me to run nearly every day so I can find out what happens next!

So I'm pumped that one of my own books will be available soon in audio format from Tantor Media. I got to pick the narrator (she's awesome!) and production is underway. Stay tuned for a release date!

In the meantime, here are a few of my recommendations for some truly fab audiobooks:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Kentucky Derby Party Recipe: Mint Julep Brownies

We were invited to a Kentucky Derby party at my aunt and uncle's house, which was a great excuse to get dressed to the nines (or the sevens or sixes as our case tends to be these days) and throw on some crazy big hats. And we brought some delicious Kentucky Derby-themed Mint Julep Brownies (recipe at the bottom).

But first, photos of the big day:

Say, "Always Dreaming!"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The New Maison

We've been in the US for a few months now, and in our new house for a few weeks. The kids (and honestly, me too) still call it "the new house" even though now it's really just "the house." I guess we're all still so excited!

So here are some pictures of our new abode:

OK, I *might* have Photoshopped the grass a bit to make it just a smidge greener. But I swear this is what it's gonna look like by the time I'm done with it! I also might have Photoshopped our two fallen shingles back into place. If only the actual fix were that easy...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Je T'aime... Maybe?

A while back, I met up with fellow expat-author-living-in-Paris Lily Heise, who penned Je T'Aime, Me Neither. We had a fab afternoon filled with quite a few drinks and lots of laughs, and wrote about it on our blogs (along with some tips for going out in the Marais).

Now, two years later (how has it been THAT long?!?) she and I are back: Lily with her new book and me to tell you how much I loved it!