Bonjour mon ami!
Welcome to PARIS PIXIE. I’m Tami. Lover of all things Parisian and French. I am so glad you are here. As Audrey Hepburn so eloquently said, “Paris is always a good idea.” And I couldn’t agree more.
I invite you to join me inside this blog where I don’t take myself too seriously and live my life and adventures as authentically as possible. I am eager to share with you all of the Parisian and FRENCHY THINGS I have discovered over thirty years of travel that make me smile – and, frankly, some things that don’t. So you can, hopefully, avoid making some of the mistakes I’ve made.
I will transport you digitally to the City of Light and other parts of France. Perhaps most importantly, I will share my tips on how to infuse the wonderful French “joie de vivre” (joy of living,) into your own homes and lives on a daily basis. C’est magnifique, non?
I will explore and share tips with you on all aspects of Parisian and French life and culture. I will share simple language tips, study their architecture through my photographs, explore their fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends and my favorite places to shop for it, where to stay, restaurants to try, what to do, and my best tips on how to do it, and finally, dozens of practical packing and travel tips that will help you better navigate the joys of foreign travel and make your journey easier.
Also on the site, I will soon launch eCommerce pages where you can purchase some of the French antiques I personally selected and shipped back to the states, and some new home décor items, as well as a print shop where I will sell my favorite photographs of the city I love.
Life is short. It is all about the gathering and sharing of experiences. Book a flight, cross the pond and believe as I do in the quaint and timeless magic of Paris. Allons-y! (Let’s go!)
A BIT ABOUT ME
My love affair with Paris and FRENCHY THINGS began in junior high school when I first started studying and speaking the language. I continued that learning through high school, into university, and in 2019 after 3-months of intensive, full-time study, earned my DELF A2 Diploma in the French Language.
I made my first trip to Paris at the age of 32. Why did I wait so long? I was immediately mesmerized and fell in love with Paris the moment I got off the Metro at the Montparnasse Bienvenue station and rode the escalator from the underground platform up into the heart of the left bank. My life would never be the same. In a most wonderful way.
Fast-forward about 8 years and a decision was made. Since I was traveling to Paris and other parts of France, several times a year on vacation and buying décor and art and other FRENCHY THINGS at flea markets for my own home, why not buy A LOT of things I love and sell them to other Francophiles in my hometown of Minneapolis? I opened Méli-Mélo (pronounced meh-lee-meh-low and meaning “This and That”,) on Bastille Day, July 14, 2000. Originally, the shop was 700sf with walls I hand-plastered and painted in warm, golden Provençale tones.
“Paris is always a good idea.”AUDREY HEPBURN
I had just been laid off at my corporate television sales & marketing job and was already planning to open a boutique on the weekends as a hobby – think ‘pop-up shop’ with limited hours. Méli-Mélo flourished, fueled by my desire to travel France as much as possible in search of the most beautiful treasures and most affordable antique furniture and décor items I could find. (See the links in my PRESS section for some of the articles written about Méli-Mélo.) After 2 years, I moved shop to a bigger location with better parking options. It was a 1200sf shop with creaky wood floors and walls painted in my signature dark red and pinkish-red stripes in a charming neighborhood in SW Minneapolis. Classic French music played, and I greeted each customer with a sunny “Bonjour” as they entered the shop.
It was a very busy and wonderful time. I frequently loaded my SUV, with a trailer attached or a huge, commercial truck, with help from my dear Mom, Dad, AND brother, and sold my beautiful FRENCHY THINGS at antique fairs and shows across the country. I was a founding dealer at the Chicago Flea Market, now the Randolph Street Market, and I was invited to sell at the prestigious New York Piers Antique Show in Manhattan in November 2005. I was fortunate to have the shop featured in national, regional, and local print and even made multiple appearances on local TV stations and HGTV episodes. Alas, the economic downturn in 2007 and the devaluation of the US dollar against the Euro meant I had to close the shop for good. Back to the corporate world, I went.
Fast forward again to early February 2020, when I decided it was time, at a certain age, ahem, to pursue my dream of working and living in Paris. Why not? I was there for 5 weeks to interview with headhunters to hopefully land a job and move to Paris full time. By the last week of February 2020, the onset and rapid spread of COVID-19 was determined to postpone those plans. I was literally on one of the last flights out of CDG into the USA on March 13, 2020.
Fast forward one more time, to what seemed like an eternity for all of us, to early 2021. I realized that with the digitization of the world during the COVID shutdowns, and how technology has truly changed our lives, why not share my love of Paris and all FRENCHY THINGS on a blog? I had collected over 30 years of experiences traveling to the city and country I feel so at home in and want to share that knowledge and those how-tos with all of you. In July 2021, just weeks after France opened again to travelers, I was on the first scheduled non-stop flight from MSP to CDG post-COVID. I spent 3 glorious weeks reacquainting myself with the city I know and love so well in a post-pandemic world.
Et voila! Bienvenue à PARIS PIXIE! (Welcome to PARIS PIXIE!)