Bon Bout D'An! Something French to wish others this time of year
To Be Had: to Fall for Something Hook, Line, and Sinker in French

Two Most important French words of the Year from the Champs Elysées

French cat chat lily long-haired feline
From our home to yours, Bonne Année! Meilleurs Voeux. That's Mom's re-domesticated cat, Lili, in her own mini "condo" (her zebra pillow on the old trunk), chez Jules.

Today's Words: Amour, Paix

: Love, Peace

Listen to all the French words in today's story via the sound file below. Then scroll to the vocabulary section and check your language comprehension.

Click here for the audio file

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
Amour et Paix

In Paris, one million people descended upon Le Champs Elysées to bring in the New Year. The radio news went on to share the two most overheard wishes from the crowd: AMOUR & PAIX. The French were cheering for Love and Peace in 2023!

Well, if that wasn't a sign. Earlier in the morning, January 1st, this lève-tôt stood in front of her kitchen window, looking out at the black sky. I was quietly searching for a meaningful word for the year. "Patience" seemed like a good one. Then there was "gratitude".... Better yet, was there an antonym for "grumbly"? Because in Twenty-Twenty-Three I want to quit grumbling. No more "Who put an empty plate back in the fridge? Grrr! Who left shoe prints all over the clean floor? Aargh! And does anyone ever clean up after me? Harrumph! (That last thought stopped me in my grumblesome tracks. One day someone else may indeed have to clean up after me... Attention à ce que tu souhaites!)

Over coffee, I opened up our daily devotional to read to Jean-Marc. The opening scripture was opportun:
"And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Or maintenant ces trois choses demeurent: la foi, l'esperance, l'amour; mais la plus grande de ces choses, c'est l'amour. 1 Corinthians 13:13

LOVE! Mais bien sûr! Amour is the perfect word 2023--for eternity. Amour overrides all others--Indeed, love covers a multitude of sin. Think of it. Have you stumbled lately and been forgiven? Does anything feel better than forgiveness? What is the power behind le pardon


Love softens. Love is a balm. Love energizes.

It motivates
it never hates

Love humbles us
it opens us

it repairs and restores
Love opens up doors!

Love wizens
shows new horizons

Love is simple, unafraid, willing to risk
Love is an unfinished poem... a broken stanza, this one.

Love is everything.

A Love Year to all. Forgive yourselves and forgive others. Let's move ahead, amoureusement, two steps forward--one step back. All that matters is to keep on The Love Track.

Heart, heart, heart,



In French History: "The Elysian Fields"
Regarding the Love-cheering crowd or foule on the Champs Elysées in Paris... Did you know:
"The origins of the Champs-Élysées can be traced to 1640 when space was cleared to plant a line of trees, which would later become an avenue. The name translates to “Elysian Fields” from the Greek mythology, meaning resting place of Greek gods and dead heroes, similar to the Christian paradise." --Introducing Paris

Mimosa in la ciotat france
Jean-Marc spotted the first mimosa of the season on January 3rd, while on our walk. I am (or used to be?) allergic to the fluorescent yellow flower but enjoy a vase full of these blossoms when offered by a neighbor. 

bonne année
= happy new year
meilleurs voeux = best wishes, Season's Greetings
l'amour = love
la paix = peace
le (la) lève-tôt = early bird, early riser
attention à ce que tu souhaites = be careful what you wish for
opportun = timely
mais bien sûr = but of course
le pardon = forgiveness
amoureusement = lovingly
la foule = crowd
la barbe-à-papa = "Daddy's beard" or cotton candy (photo below)

Un cafe gourmand
Sweet of the Week, No. 5: "Le Café Gourmand" - "Coffee with a dessert selection" is a popular entry on a French dessert menu. It's a perfect choice for fence-sitters. Help me name some of the mini-desserts on this plate from Restaurant Le White in Serre Chevalier. I'll begin with that pink cloud you see over the chocolate mousse. The French have a delightful term for cotton candy: la barbe-à-papa (Daddy's beard).

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Our dear Kristi,
Bonne annee!! Toutes les benedictions de Dieu!! Et je vous envoie mes meilleurs souhaits pour 2023!!
Thank you for another wonderful post!
There absolutely is no better way to start the New Year!! You give us inspiration, honesty and hope!
Arms around you tight!

Debra Lesser

Thanks for the lovely message, Kristi! Happy New Year to you and your family!


Bonne et heureuse année, Kristi!


Dear Kristi - a wonderful reminder to LOVE!
1 Corinthians 13 has been an important and game changing chapter in our marriage journey. To love - after all - is a choice, an action, and not a feeling. It takes hard work and our will to really keep the love light on! And your guide (la bible) is proven and true. Happy New Year to you and yours. ♥ ~Beth

Owen Evans

What a fantastic picture of the cat! I thought it was a Dutch old master painting at first. Love to you in 2023...


Thank you Natalia - I could not say it better. Love and Peace in all our hearts. Thank you Kristi.

jean b palmer

Happy New Year Kristi to you and loved ones.

Your picture of Lili moved me enormously. Brought tears to my eyes. Lili is a beautiful being; so glad your Mom and she found each other. Both beautiful beings!
Thank you for your lovely poem re the power, importance of love - so true. You are a treasure.
Take care.


Hi Kristi,

Bonne année and I love this post so much! LOVE is a wonderful word for 2023! I have never picked a word for the year, but I think my my word is going to be JOY. I would love more joy in my life and your blog sure brings me joy so thank you!

Sending love across the miles to you and your family!


julie camp

Lili, a still life. Refreshing paws. Yes, your beautiful photo and message speak to my silent self. Love.


Great posting. Since returning to America in mid-2022, I have been making café gourmand for our guests. I serve only three desserts…a chocolate, a lemon, and a fruit and even brought back slate plates for that purpose. I use my photos from restaurants over the years to garner new ideas for plating. It has been a delightful way to remember our years in France in a special way.

Carmen Clarke

Bonne Annee a toi et a toute la famille! ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for the beautiful poem.

Susie Bates

Wonderful words to start this or any day! Merci, Kristi. Being a leve tot and morning devotion reader, I'd love to know what devotion you start your day with? Merci en avance, Susie


Love this poem from Corinthians… keep on the love track, indeed!


Just what I needed to hear/read. Merci.
Bonne annee!

Marianne Rankin

Bonne Annee et Meilleurs Voeux a tous les Espinasse et a Jules et a Lili et aux autres animaux . . .

J'espere que cette annee sera particulierement heureuse.

Judy Feldman

Bonne Année, Kristi! The poem you posted is beautiful! Something to remember all year long. Bisous, Judy

Ellen Ahrendsen

Well if this wasn't exactly what I needed. Before I opened this, I searched "meditation for word of the year." Instead of starting the meditation, I opened this and read it first. Now I know it was meant to be. L'amour et paix sont mes mots pour 2023. Merci Kristi!


Moi, aussi,Kristi, merci pour les meilleurs mot pour l'année 2023! Je peux toujours compte sur toi pour les mots parfaits.
Mon cadeau à toi c'est regarder le poème de Tennyson qui s'appelle, "Ring Out, Wild Bells!" C'est joli ce poème et c'est plein des mots merveilleux.

Dawn Johnson

One of my favorite bible verses for sure. The older we get the more important those gifts become and indeed Love being the greatest of them all. What a sweet uplifting post Kristi, may your family be richly blessed in the coming year and can’t wait to hear of the new plans.

Ruth Hartz

A very meaningful blog to start the New Year.
Bonne Année, Bonne Santé, Amour amour amour

Ruth Hartz

Marilyn Louise Whalley

A lovely message Kristi. And peace and love to you and your family in 2023. By the way in Australia our word for cotton candy or la barbe a papa is “fairy floss”.
Cheerio, Maz

Leslie NYC

Lili is an angel in disguise.

Natalie Shaby

Bonne Anne Kristi
What a wonderful post for us your faithful readers ! I appreciated this poem from Corinthians so much!
Your words are the perfect gift to start the new year. Thank you for reminding us all to keep on the love track❤️

K. J. Laramie

What a combination for the heart, mind, and soul. Focusing on Love and that exquisite photo using an ethereal, gorgeous cat, an old trunk, and a zebra pillow (undeniably Vermeer quality), you have elevated this New Year greeting to extraordinary heights. Your talent never ceases to amaze…
Happy New Year to Everyone!

Kathleen Bidney

Bonn Année Kristi,
The words we use at Christmas and try to carry into the new year are Hope, peace, love and joy. We do need more love in the world…love your neighbor as yourself. Unfortunately, we all seem to harbor negative feelings, grumble as you said. We need to stop criticizing and send out good vibes instead.
As for you desserts: pâte à choux and a fruit tart.
We are hopefully coming to Provence again this summer. It has been a few years. Hope to see you.
Hope, peace, love and joy, Kathleen


Thank you for sharing your word for the year and your thoughts. I like you have been struggling with extending grace to others. God has given me grace and mercy so who am i to withhold it from others? Love, without we are clanging symbols. Blessings friend.

Patricia Sands

Wishes for peace and love everywhere and, in particular, to you, J-M, Jules and all the family. Bonne Année!

Cerelle Bolon

Dear Kristi, Before I say another word, I have to say that your photo of Lili is truly like a painting! Jules should venture to paint this as I think she could do it well, and we all would love to see it!
Dear friend, life goes on quickly and I am surprised to find that somehow I have become 85. Strange, as I don't remember that happening at all. It seems that I was just 25 and marrying my dear Bill! Well, that was long ago, but I still remember LOVE, romantic as well as loving friendship.
Wishing you a beautiful year full of visual and perfume delights of the land and friendship of so many, and love of your husband and family and Jules...and some from me, too. From Arizona with love...Cerelle

Patty Cargill

Dear Kristi ~
What a beautiful and inspiring post today, especially the 1 Corinthians French translation. The snap of le chat is amazing, reminds me of an old world painting. Lovely! Bonne année 2023❣️

Toujours dans nos coeurs,
Patty - from the cloudy, breezy SW Virginia Blue Ridge mtn

Diane Heinecke

The Holy Spirit must inspire you, Kristi, because your message resonates with so many of us readers. Wishing you and your family love. That's what our broken world needs too. Bonne année!

Bette Goode

Your mum’s cat is very pretty. I’d love to hear Lilli’s story. Happy New Year to all at your house.

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