Lèvre: lip in French, new video (recipe demo with Smokey)
How to say Christmas Tree in French?


window shutter box lace wooden chalet clay pots rooster  in Queyras (c) Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for the encouraging feedback you sent in, following Monday's video! I learned so much from your comments and am reminded to just keep on keeping on! If you haven't yet, check out our Youtube channel--and look for the "subscribe" button! Today's picture was taken in the Queyras valley, near the French Hautes-Alpes.

douze (dooz)

    : twelve

les douze apôtres = the twelve apostles

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav file

Et vous, que faites-vous le 12-12-12 à 12h12? 
And you, what are you doing on 12-12-12 at 12:12? (--TFI.com)

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

In the kitchen this morning, I overheard Jean-Marc talking to our daughter, Jackie.

"Aujourd'hui, c'est le 12/12/12."

His words reminded me of the very special day. It's my mother-in-law's birthday! I think we'll call her at 12:12 and tell her twelve times that we love her. On t'aime! On t'aime! On t'aime!...

And then give her 12 good reasons why:

Elle est très drôle.
She is so funny. 

Elle est très intuitive.
She is veryintuitive. 

Elle est sensible.
She is sensitive. 

Elle est courageuse.
She is courageous. 

Elle fait le meilleur gâteau au chocolat du monde.
She makes the best chocolate cake in the world. 

Elle raconte les meilleures histoires.
She tells the best stories

Elle a de très bons goûts de décoration.
She got great taste for decoration. 

Elle est très fidele en amitié.
She a very faithful friend.

Elle est généreuse.
She's generous. 

Elle est attentionnée.
She's considerate. 

Elle est très discrète.
She is discreet. 

Elle fait la meilleure tapenade.
She makes the best tapenade.

Listen to the above text. Hear Jean-Marc list une douzaine qualities of his mamanDownload MP3 or Wav file

Happy Birthday to my beautiful belle-mère. Thank you for the dear children you have given me and thanks for sharing your son with me!


mother-in-law kiss france wicker chair antiques blue bottle french

Chez ma belle-mère. At my mother-in-law's. Picture taken by Jean-Marc.

french yogurt cake golden retriever tile floor bake fruit prunes
Time to make some cake! Smokey and I added prunes to this one. Click here for the famous yogurt cake recipe--the easiest, fastest cake to make! You probably have all the ingredients on hand...

Metro cuff
Paris Metro Cuff! It also makes a wonderful conversational piece -- to wear on your wrist.  A wonderful "conversation piece" for your wardrobe. Order one here.

   French christmas music
French Christmas Music: "Mon Beau Sapin", "Sainte Nuit", "La Marche des Rois", "Petite Ville Bethléem", "Il est né Le Divin Enfant". 
Order CD here.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

mary paulson

Kristin,I had a wonderful mother-in-law . Now for the last twelve years I have been blessed with a wonderful, generous, thoughtful daughter-in-law. How lucky can a woman be?Enjoy the day!

Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

Bonjour Kristin,
What a nice list for your mother-in-law! Have a great day!


Dearest Kristi,

Thank you for this precious post. I must giggle when I realize that you are coming back to yourself full force lately with lots of post's and now the video's...I know for sure that the main reason you have found your way back is because of all your wonderful friends here in the comment box. They have nursed you back to life when you were begining to fade from too much stress in your life.

I would have recognized your post if I had found it on a scrap of paper in a subway without your banner or name - a post full of love and joy for life - a post that shows us all what is important in life - and most important a post that shows us how easy it is to find love in every situation. This is your genius. This is your core. Isn't their a French word for heart that sounds like 'core'...?

Your last few stories have been outstanding - loved the vision of you walking into your bathroom and feeling like you were in a dollhouse in an Alice in Wonderland movie a few days ago. I loved the commenter who suggested you call that contractor back and give him hell - little did they know it was Jean-Marc and his brother Jack. How funny is that...of course that's always the type of work you get when it is practically free...ha-ha. But in the end you did get a great story and memory from your bathroom.

Ah Michael France, your beautiful belle-mere....and I am in full agreement that you have the most wonderful mother-in-law in the world. Michael France always thanks me when I see her for letting Kristi marry Jean-Marc - and then says in English, 'I loove Kristi'.

Even though it has been a sacrifice for me to give you up to France - I am always so well repaid by our French family and the love they have showered upon me. Please print out your story in French and present it FRAMED for our beautiful Michael France when you next see her. She will treasure that gift forever.




Our dear Kristi,
This is such a warm and loving tribute to your dear belle mere that, once again, (as always) you have wrapped my heart in smiles.
There is no greater gift from God (besides faith and health,of course) than a close,devoted family.
Michael France is blessed to have you (as you are her),and dear Jules (who is awesome!)
My wonderful Mama passed away when I was 20 (she was only 52); my belle mere became a beacon in my life.
I feel wonderful ties binding all of us at FWAD together,privileged to share in your life. THANK YOU!!
Love, Natalia XO

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm ~ Applegate, Oregon

Such a loving birthday message to your dear mother-in-law! Happy Birthday!

As we’ve been away at the coast, I hadn’t had a chance to view your posts (or the gypsy wagon I am in love with!). I am wondering if we are watching the same video as I see none of the bad angles or you looking old (?)! Nor a sign of an ungraceful gesture detected! Good work Kristi and Smokey too!

Keep your spirit and your mind aloft! You will have this next procedure behind you in no time with barely a trace, but with more love in your life and gratitude in your heart!

Mary G

C'est mon anniversaire, aussi!

Cheryl in STL

Joyeux anniversaire à ta belle-mère! Thanks for the sweet post.


Kristin -

Vis-a-vis the videos. Are you using a separate microphone? If not, you should try that. Pin a "lavalier" mic on your blouse and it will get just your voice and a lot less "room noise." Just a note from someone who's been making commercials for 30+ years!



What a blessing your mother-in-law is to your family. You are very lucky.


Dear Kristi,
How very touching and tender, it brought a tear to my eye, especially the photo which just oozes love and care. It's so precious of you to share these dear very personal jewels with us, and that we can be a part of your dear family life which not all of us have in the way that you do, 12.12.12 seems a very special mysterious date, and so I wanted to take a moment on this date to wish you and your family 12x12x12 blessings, abundance and love. Also give Smokey a pat and a love, I just loved the cake making session and her participation in the video was so cute. I will give this recipe a try and think of you and Smokey as I do!

Alyssa Ross Eppich

Good for you! I have a wonderful MIL(as they say here online) and I love her very much. She has been nothing but kind, and she bears many of the same characteristics you outlined for your MIL, too. Bravo for her and for you and for your mother-in-law, Kristin!

Zoe Willet

You're forgetting your English! Those are plums in your cake.


C’est toi qui est généreuse, Kristin! To have and express such appreciation for one’s belle-mère is unusual. But hardly surprising in a spirit a generous and appreciative as yours.


First of all, I love your posts! You're a great writer and have attracted a great following. Secondly, I can't put my finger on it, but you don't seem as happy in your new place. There was lots of hype and lots of excitement around the move, so if I am totally off-base, please disregard. Maria

Linda Meier

I too have the most wonderful belle-mere. Born in Egypt, raised by a Swiss nanny, she was a great partner to travel with for 3 weeks in France a few years ago. Not to mention, it was her who introduced me to French Word a Day by gifting me the book also many years ago. She turned 89 on 11/11(12) and she is really more my friend and sister than mother. My husband says she sealed the deal on my marriage to him...I am so lucky to have all these years with amazing Grace!!


What a wonderful way to celebrate your mother-in-law----the 12-12-12-12-12 idea was great. I agree with Jules that you should print it on some pretty paper and frame it to present to her. How lucky you are to have such a wonderful mother-in-law. Bon anniversaire to her from California.

Lin Powell

A lovely tribute for a very lucky mother-in-law.


A touching post for your mother in- law and comment from your mother. Thank you for the pleasure your books and blog have given me. Warm regards

Sue J.

bon anniversaire to your belle-mere. keep writing :)

Jim Chen - Taipei

Happy Birthday to Michael France from Taipei.
Thanks to her and you that I get a good day to practice my beginner's French 12X12... times!

Agree with Jules' suggestion for frame it out. That is a great idea. Like your video: noticed some slight nervousness (from Smokey as well). Can't hold my smile - it is for this big family!

mimi taylor aka cigalechanta

two beautiful women of different generations but both with big hearts.
I might add, what a beautiful dog who is smiling,


Michèle-France is blessed to have a kind, nice and pretty belle-fille comme toi, Kristin.
For Zoe Willet above, I think Kristin did not forget her English. She was using the French word "prunes" for plums in English. And the English word "prune" is "pruneau" in French. Ce sont les faux amis, just like Raisins in French means Grapes in English and Raisins in English means raisins séchés in French.


loved thr post! it's so nice to see something positive in a cynical world. refreshing and lovely. and the pic is fabulous! vraiment!!

Irene Tanedo

Such a gracious and kind-hearted belle-mere you've got, Kristin, just like you. I belive she is all praises for you too.
Thanks so much for your posts and blogs..my day is complete whenever I open my laptop and voila..there you are.
Keep safe and your loved ones always

Julia - Falling Off Bicycles

So sweet, as is Jules' response! How fortunate you all are!

Kristin Espinasse

Mom, I love your comment! Your notes are stories, every one of them. It is true, too, what you say about our friends here in the comments box. We need to figure out how to get everyones picture up. Only, each person needs to do it him/herself. (Try clicking on the box icon and see if it prompts you to upload a photo? That would be great!

Zoe and Millie, thanks for your help. I kept brainstorming for the word for that fruit. You are both right: plum. ...Now to put the French word in italics--then it will make sense.

Maria, I appreciate your intuitive spirit. I have no regrets for our move... but am apprehensive for the period we will soon go through, to renovate this sweet home. But all I need is an attitude adjustment! After all, it should be a fun and creative project. Now to be patient and enjoy the process. 

Thanks, Ron, for the great tip! Im googling lavalier and other microphones now. YouTube has some great videos on sound, and on video making (I am also learning about lighting!) That being said, my goal is to keep it real, and keep it simple. Well see if I stick to this goal! 

Thank you, all, for these lovely notes from around the world. So exciting to read your words! Thank you for your generous support and encouragement. Wishing everyone a peaceful rest of the week.


Kristin Espinasse

P.S. Happy birthday, Mary! And to all the December babies here, Joyeux Anniversaire! :-)

Pat Cargill

...and those descriptives can be said of you as well, sweet K.

Nancy L.

Mother's In Law can be such a Blessing!God Bless you and Yours! Now a little "promotional" note:
the Paris Metro Cuff advertised at the bottom of your post? I got one as a gift last year from a friend! Very cool! The company makes them of metros around the world (London, Berlin, NYC etc)...I am giving ones of the NYC Subway to several of my French friends for Christmas this year! LOL


This is such a sweet tribute to your belle mere and I really love the photo. So heart-warming! Thanks for sharing with us.

María E. Sastre Wirshing

You have a wonderful mother in law.
Please make a video of her famous chocolate cake.
I will be baking the yoghurt cake on December 31 for my family.

Have a great 2013 and blessings to your dear family

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