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PrintPrintWe kicked off 2013 with a bang. It was cold as can be and winter strolls were charming as ever. The new year always feels unexplainably refreshing. A new number associated with the time. It always takes a while to get used to saying the new year… I already feel myself not being able to spit out “fourteen” easily. We also celebrated the birth of a close friend.

Winter-Sunday-De-quelle-planète-es-tu-3Olivias-Birthday-@-Puces-de-Batignolles-De-quelle-planète-es-tu-2february-de-quelle-planete-es-tuFebruary was as cold as can be. Evenings were spent indoors, and in nice places with nice people. We added some more holes in our walls to add more frames. As always. Jean-Laurent Gaudy took pictures of Louis and I in our apartment, and I am just obsessed with them.

Celebrating-Birthday-@-The-Club-De-quelle-planète-es-tu-1 Weekend-5MEG_LOUIS_Couple_GALERIE_JeanLaurentGaudy_050[Photo above by Jean-Laurent Gaudy]PrintMarch was slow, and my Master’s program was approaching its end. I spent most of my time missing Colorado’s awesomeness.

Denver-Beer-Hop-1-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-6PrintApril the weather started warming up. I had a great time tasting new flavored cupcakes at Sugar Daze, and also had the opportunity to go to the Lillet Rosé launch party which was pretty amazing.

Cupcake-Tasting-at-Sugar-Daze-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-12Rosé-is-the-new-chic-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-11 Rosé-is-the-new-chic-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-8PrintIn May I really started to hang with fellow Elite Yelpers. We had a hoot in May on rue Crémieux. In late May, Louis and I embarked on a journey to Denver for a month, which was so refreshing. The snow still capped a few mountains from the most recent snow. We discovered Denver’s best, and spent a lot of time with the family.

UYE-Yelp-Paris-Photoshoot-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-21Garden-of-the-Gods-De-quelle-planete-es-tu_10DSC_060410 Denver-Summer-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-15PrintWhile in the states, we went to Honolulu for a few days to visit a close relative. With sunshine, hula dancers and Kona beer, we were in paradise. Once back in Denver, the family and I surprised Louis for his birthday with dinner and ice cream. This was also the month where Louis and I went to a baseball game for the first time together.

24-hours-in-Waikiki-Hawaii-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-1 24-hours-in-Waikiki-Hawaii-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-61 Home-run-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-15PrintJuly in Paris was all about adventure and pretending to be a tourist. There were picnics, late night drinks on terraces and also a visit from a very dear friend.

THE-CLUB-De-quelle-planète-es-tu-blog-21De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Printemps-view-4 Champ-de-mars-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-13 Serres-dAuteuil-Paris-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-26PrintI started my new job in August, so I didn’t have much time for free-time adventure, but I did have the opportunity of discovering the Musée des Arts Forains (Funfair Museum), which is to this day one of my favorite places in Paris.

25PrintI am often up in the 10th at Chettinadu, and in September it was the neighborhood that hosted the annual Ganesh Festival. I also spent a few days in Amsterdam, one of my favorite cities, with dear friends.

24 Amsterdam-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-4Amsterdam-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-9 Amsterdam-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-40PrintOctober was also one of those really busy months. In retrospect I realize that because of it being a busy month at work, I unfortunately didn’t have much time for adventures to share on here… my blogging most consisted of reminiscing over old photos. There were, however, some wonderful events with fellow bloggers which made the weeks fly by.

Cold-Hand-Winery-Launch-at-Le-Forvm-x-PÜR-FOOD-PARIS-by-De-quelle-planète-es-tu-12PrintNovember consisted of fun-filled weekends: one homemade sushi night, one weekend in the countryside for my birthday and a magical Thanksgiving. It was also my first ever surprise birthday party that my honey organized, which made me feel truly blessed to have such wonderful, supportive and inspirational people in my life.

Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-31Birthday-Weekend-De-quelle-planete-es-tu_06 Birthday-Weekend-De-quelle-planete-es-tu_17Birthday-Weekend-De-quelle-planete-es-tu_65Thanksgiving-in-Paris-2013-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-24PrintI celebrated 4 years with Louis, my favorite person in the world. Also, Christmas beer. End of story. We spent a weekend in Essen, Belgium, for the Kerstbierfestival with my bestie, Ana, and her homme. The following weekend was back in the countryside for the coziest Christmas of all time.

Anniversary-cake-by-Sugar-Daze-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-01Kerstbierfestival-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-18Kerstbierfestival-2-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-03Kerstbierfestival-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-07Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-12De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-15The year really was equipped with new opportunities, transitions and adventure.  I have mixed emotions when I think about the year, which I’m sure is how all new years approaching feel…. I met some wonderful new people, and also had to bid farewell to two close friends who have recently left the city of lights. As wonderful as change is, I hope for more steadiness in 2014, and that the adventures will continue. I learned so much about myself this year, kicking off my career and testing my limits. This blog has blossomed into something I never imagined, and I couldn’t ask for a better creative outlet.

I hope that your 2013 was magic, and that there will be many good times to come in 2014. Happy New Year!

Brasserie-Lipp-and-Saint-Germain-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-00When my aunt was in town for a few days, I had to get my mother-in-law’s recommendation on a typical (but beautiful) Parisian Brasserie on Rive Gauche for lunch…so she suggested Brasserie Lipp. Located across from the iconic Café de Flore, this bustling Parisian hotspot was a wonderful discovery in my eyes.

The art deco interior left sparkles in my eyes, and the grub was honestly so delicious. The menu took some time to navigate, but I finally went with the plate of the day, sea bass on a bed of steamed leeks. It was sublime, and perfect with a glass of white wine. They offer some of the most classic French dishes to their aimable clientele; Andouillette, Pieds de Porc (yes, pig feet… a true delicacy according to Louis), Steak Tartare and various fishes depending on the season. If you enjoy salads as a main dish, I would not suggest this restaurant as it says in bold at the top of the menu in perfect English: “NO SALADS FOR MAIN DISH”. Ouch.

Sometimes these borderline cliché brasseries really do the trick with friends or family in town. The small square tables with white tablecloths and mega Parisian waiters dressed in black and white really made my day. The art deco interior has so much charm, and makes you feel like you’re in one of those 1960’s French movies that you had to watch in French class in high school.

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Brasserie Lipp
151 boulevard Saint Germain, 75006
Tél: 01 45 48 53 91 (Reservations recommended)
Métro: Saint Germain des Prés (4) / Mabillon (10)

Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-11
I often get asked for suggestions of where to stay in Paris by readers or by friends of friends. It’s a difficult question to answer as Paris has been my home for the past half dozen years, and I never really vacationed here. However, one tip I always share is to rent an apartment instead of staying in a hotel. Hotels can be lovely, but part of Paris’s charm is experiencing it like a local does. When you rent a little apartment you can have your little kitchen and such and actually feel like a Parisian.

Habitat Parisien offers a variety of different apartments across the city of lights. A few weeks back, Louis and I packed up our weekend bags and spent a few days “away”, in their Monsigny apartment, located in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement.

I’m quite fond of  this area because it is so central, situated perfectly between boutiques on the Grands Boulevards, the Opéra, the Palais Royale and not to mention next to one of my favorite streets, rue Sainte Anne. It is an area where most things are walking distance, which is my favorite way to see the city.

This weekend away in the 2nd turned into a Parisian adventure filled with jaw dropping sights and homemade sushi with friends thanks to the neighborhood’s Japanese ambiance.

Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-10Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-09Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-01 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-06Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-07Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-03Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-02Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-40           Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-29 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-24 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-25 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-26 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-27 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-28   Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-19 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-18 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-17Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-12 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-16 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-15 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-20 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-21 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-22 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-23  Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-08   Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-05 Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-04     Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-13Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-14Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-34Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-35Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-30Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-38Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-37Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-32Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-39Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-31Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-33Habitat-Parisien-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-36
The Monsigny apartment can comfortably sleep four people, two in a double bed in the mezzanine, and two in the pull-out couch if need be. It would be perfect for a group of four friends, or a family with two kids. The weekend we stayed there was particularly chilly, but the beautiful and spacious patio must be dreamy as can be in the summertime… the perfect place to enjoy a pain au chocolat in the morning.

The apartment, that is located on the ground floor, has such a cozy feeling with its big beige stone walls and large windows opening to the private patio. It’s simple and charming, all you could ever need for your stay in Paris. The little kitchen is equipped with everything you could need to cook a bit, and the bathroom features the highlight in my eyes: a bathtub.

STROLL SUGGESTIONS:

→ Walk up and down rue Saint Anne. If you like Japanese food, stop by Higuma for lunch.

→ Stumble into Ace or K Mart on rue Saint Anne for groceries to make your own Japanese feast back at the apartment.

→ Go down by the Palais Royale, and wander through the gardens and passages couverts. Pop in Serge Lutens and smell their incredible perfumes.

→ Stop for a coffee at Le Nemours in between the Louvre and Palais Royale for a café crème and people watching on the terrace.

→ Take in the view of the Opéra Garnier from afar, walking closer and closer up Avenue de l’Opéra.

→ Wander to the top of Printemps for a breathtaking view of Paris. On your way up stop at Ladurée for a macaroon to munch on while up top.

→ Pop in the Galeries Lafayette to see the stained glass dome. They’ve got a balcony, too.

Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-01Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-07Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-06Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-05 Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-08 Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-09 Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-10         Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-03Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-02Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-04La-buche-de-noel-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-01la-buche-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-FASTChristmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-13Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-14Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-15Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-12Christmas-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-11This Christmas was so magical.

We indulged in the traditional French Christmas grub – both savory and sweet – and I shared a bit of my American traditions by making my step dad’s all-star deliciously epic breakfast strata, which I must say was quite impressive (recipe for a breakfast strata à la française coming soon).

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas filled with warmth, loved ones and some champagne.

De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-01I love Christmas. Everything about it. It is an excuse to dive into commercialism, eat tons of yummy foods, feast upon dishes that take hours to prepare, and in general to be around family and watch Christmas movies that bring tears to your eyes. Being away from a Colorado Christmas and waking up to a fresh coat of snow and my mom’s epic stockings stuffed with magical surprises isn’t exactly easy to beat. The nostalgia kicks in when the Christmas music plays, and I frantically try to impress my in-laws by making my step-dad’s infamous breakfast strata.

De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-03 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-04 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-05 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-06 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-07 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-08De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-02 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-09 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-10 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-11 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-12 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-13 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-14 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-15 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-16De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-29De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-26 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-18 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-19 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-20 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-21 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-22  De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-24 De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-25    De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-23De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-28De-quelle-planete-es-tu-Christmas-Eve-27Christmas in the house where I grew up is scheduled around traditions. We watch the same movies, eat the same things and do the same things, together without questions asked. It’s what I like about it. However, adding in new traditions is just as wonderful, and a Christmas in the USA will just have to do every other year.

On Christmas I tend to think about the past Christmases, and daydream about the future Christmases. Like how next year we will be back in Colorado and a my little baby nephew will have been born and will be crawling around all over the place and playing in the snow. I’ll get to cuddle with my mom on the couch while eating Ben & Jerry’s and watching The Family Stone, like every year. It makes me teary eyed just thinking about it. I guess that’s what’s so great about Christmas, is you never just think about the present one.

We are at the most beautiful house in the world this Christmas, feasting and enjoying each other’s company. We are staying warm and dry from the cold rainy weather on the other side of the walls, and are treating ourselves to excessive amounts of chocolate, spooning all on one bed to watch movies together and listening to the Michael Bublé Christmas album. My father in law is spoiling us with his many cakes and desserts that are just as beautiful as they are delicious. We ran into the town center of Montargis to get some last minute gifts at the Praslines de Mazet shop, a specialty of the town (and they just opened a second boutique in Paris!), oysters from the street market, and fresh baguettes for the upcoming feasts.

This Christmas is perfect. Every Christmas is perfect, and I am so lucky to get to be a part of such a fantastic family. The only thing missing is the snow.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.