Tag Archives: France

Age of Opulence

Age of Opulence - blue dress Marie ClaireAge of Opulence Marie Claire - black and white eiffel towerAge of Opulence - gold jumpsuit - Marie ClaireAge of Opulence - Marie Claire - sparkly eiffel tower

Fall weather often gets me thinking about Paris and the semester I spent abroad there. For me that meant surviving on baguettes and cheese and trying to dress French chic on a budget. But these spreads from the October issue of Marie Claire Australia have me thinking about a different kind of Paris. One with bold colors, rich fabrics, fabulous backdrops, and over the top dresses. So…do over?

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Le Repose

Paris cafe coffee notebook moleskin France

This week I was transported back to life before blogging. I took a little break. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t want to. But honestly, it was lovely.

I got together with my three best girlfriends whom I studied abroad with in Paris. We all brought our moleskin journals that we wrote it almost every day while in France. We documented stories and quotes, fears and silly dreams. It was all there. We reread them out loud and laughed so hard about Berlin bar crawls, our host families quirks, and outrageous things said over too much wine and too little sleep. Our trip didn’t involve tweets, and we don’t have our crappy little French pay-by-the-minute phones with text records. Our four months in Paris live together in five collective notebooks. Seriously, how special is that?

It was refreshing to go back to that. Except for a few instagrams here and there – did you see all the meat I ate in Texas?? – we went back to enjoying each other, exploring, and falling over laughing.

I didn’t get frustrated at myself for not reading any blogs. My feed currently says I have 2945 unread posts. I stopped feeling guilty for not posting every day. I’ll get back into it and pick up just where I left off as soon as I’m back in DC. It’s going to be ok.

Have you taken a break away from something that’s such a big part of your life before? Even if it’s for a day…I totally recommend it. You’ll return inspired and motivated. And will have a little more appreciation for life’s simpler pleasures. La vie douce.

{Image by me}

Déjeuner du matin

I once had to memorize this poem by Jacques Prévert for French class and every once in a while I find myself repeating it. It’s a very sad poem and often I can relate to its loneliness. But I also love the simplicity and slow motion of it; and especially its setting in a Paris café in the rain. It has a beautiful quiet rhythm in French, but if you must, you can find the translation here.

dejuner du matin coffee cafe poem jaques prevert

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler

Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder

Il s’est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis son manteau de pluie
Parce qu’il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder

Et moi j’ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j’ai pleuré.

{Image thanks to: danske}

Croissant Flakes

Let’s talk about croissants. (After all, I just learned that it’s national croissant day!)

croissants French France Paris

They’re one of my favorite food groups. So many varieties and sizes. Oh, I could eat them all day long. But, here’s the thing about croissants…they’re a giant mess! When I eat them I get flakes all over myself. When I lived in Paris, I’d casually stroll down my little neighborhood in the 17th arrondissement, taking in the gorgeous homes and nibbling on a warm buttery croissant. I was so cute and Parisan, except that I had croissant flakes all down my black outfit and stuck in the crevices of my scarf. I can’t recall how many times I thought to myself: “How do the French do it? How do they eat these things every day and not make a mess?” I was sure the flakes spelled American on my chest.

Most Sundays, I head down the street to the Dupont Farmer’s Market and along with some seasonal produce, I pick up a croissant or two from Bonaparte Breads. I really recommend you add one of these croissants to your Sunday routine (and save an extra one for Monday morning too) – they’re fantastic and totally bring me back to those Paris streets. But every time I bite in to one of them…flakes everywhere!

So, I guess flakiness could be a sign of a good croissant. I’ve pretty much have learned to embrace the flakes. Or possibly I’m eating them wrong? What do you think?

Something to ponder on this Monday morning…

{Image thanks to: France Ruffenach Photography in the Country Cooking of France}

Christmas in Paris

A few weeks ago I almost bought two plane tickets leaving today for a long weekend in the city of lights. And I really mean almost. I was only a few clicks away from a celebratory trip in a shared favorite foreign city. Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t buy those tickets.

But that’s besides the point. Christmas in Paris is a pretty magical time. I had so much fun looking through my photos from four years ago and remembering the elaborate decorations, quirky traditions, great shopping and twinkling trees on every corner.

I’ve yet to find that enchanting, holiday spirit in DC this season. (Except for listening to James Taylor/Justin Bieber Christmas music on repeat.) I’m hoping that this weekend I’ll get a chance to explore a few neighborhoods, shop at festive local boutiques, bake some batches of my favorite cookies and really start to feel the Christmas cheer.

What’s getting you in the spirit this season? Decorating the tree? Sharing some cookies and cocoa with a friend? Reading all of the fantastic gift guides out there? Sending out your holiday cards? Or are you still waiting for a dusting of snow?

Have a lovely weekend, no matter what city you’re spending it in! (Although if you’re actually in Paris – well lucky you!)