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These past two months have been pretty intense with my new rhythm… new job, new habits, the new season rolling in (spring was halfway here and winter never fully came in my opinion. Where was the snow?) Needless to say, I’m ready for summer and some good ol’ vitamin D.

With all of the energy being put towards the new job, I know I’ve been a bit missing in action and perhaps my posts haven’t been as full of heart as they have been before or should…the weekends away give me a chance to have some deep sleeps uninterrupted by bizarre noises coming from my building’s courtyard, and to get away from the stress that everyday life in Paris brings: tourists blocking all of the bike paths on my route to work, intensely long lines at the supermarket when you’ve only got 2 things in your basket, with caissières who don’t have a care in the world, bourgeois pricks that take eternity to enter their damn pincode in the card reader, lines out the door for the boulangerie. With all of these everyday things that make me bite my lip just a little bit, a weekend just outside the city does my soul some good.

My father-in-laws garden is being prepared for the season, camellias and other various flowers are in full bloom. Even with some rain showers, or in the dead of winter, this place has a magic touch.

I do love city life and wouldn’t change it for anything, but only if it involves a few breaks out in the countryside. Even the shortest of breaks away from the hustle bustle allow us to recharge.

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For those of you that have seen the movie Taken, rue de Paradis in Paris’s 10th district is where all the bad stuff happens. Well, in real life, it’s actually a pretty snazzy street with some nice restaurants and bars. Ok, so I get that it’s not the BEST neighborhood at night and all, but for Parisians, let’s be honest, it’s a hotspot. The whole Strasbourg Saint Denis area with its weird pockets of sketch but still awesome places to go out… it’s like a big melting pot. And rue de Paradis has a bar I happen to really like: L’Ours, or The Bear.

L’Ours after work is crowded. But if you stick it out just for a little bit, it’ll calm down. If you’re hoping to catch up with a friend, you’ll want to grab a seat so the crowdedness won’t affect you. Anne and I made our way there one evening ever so slightly beating the afterwork crowd.

I was distracted by the adorable wallpaper, but l’Ours has got far more to offer than just a well-decorated cozy space.. they’ve got a killer happy hour and as equally killer meat and cheese platter (as seen above). It’s also a rare find to have super kind bar staff, so L’Ours has many many stars in my book.

L’Ours
8 Rue de Paradis, 75010
Métro: Château d’Eau (4)

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Now that the second Mother’s Day has hit, la Fête des Mères, I realized I should write a little note on the subject. I’m somewhat obsessed with my mom. I’ve got pictures of my mom all over my walls: pictures of her on her wedding day with cake all over her face, pictures of her as a high school cheerleader in the 60s, portraits of her in her atelier, notably one where she is gazing into the camera and holding up her paintbrush circa 1980, pictures of her hippy self with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop… I just love them. Photographs now may not be what they used to be, and are certainly less charming, which makes me realize that I have got some keepers. I wonder about what our old photos will look like in the future. I feel like with the digitalization of everything nothing will ever be able to naturally grow old. We can always just reprint a photo if the sun fades it. Frustrations.

I’m not sure I can accurately express how grateful I am to have been raised to be so open minded and passionate by such an open minded and passionate woman herself. She also always told me to be patient, which she knows she isn’t either, but it’s the reassuring part of motherly goodness. As a kid, and even now, with something as simple as a look in the eye with a certain intensity, I could understand a full message, which was usually involved with me being in trouble or being a brat, sigh. She would braid my hair so tight the night before I’d go skiing and she’d pull so unintentionally hard that my scalp would ache – apparently her mother did the same to her. She made us delicious breakfasts and dinners that when I try to remake them now are never as delicious solely for the reason that they weren’t made by her. She has a joie de vivre that I admire with all of my being.

I just hope someday when I’m a mama, I am as half as snazzy as the one pictured above.

Happy Mother’s day, to all of those mothers out there.

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Ivy Chang featured me on her Inside Kitchen Project series a few months ago. When she asked I knew exactly what I wanted to make: my mom’s French toast that I grew up eating.

It’s insanely simple and quick, but so delicious. I have memories of running up the stairs like a crazy person and plopping myself on the high metal stools we had in our kitchen, in pajamas, with a ginormous glass of OJ, as soon as my mom yelled down to tell us breakfast was ready. I always stacked 2 slices of French toast, covered them with maple syrup and cut them in a grid of 9 squares. Why you ask? I have no idea. But hey, it’s funny to think about. This recipe always hits home for me, it’s quick and hearty and brings back so many memories of breakfast at home in the Rockies with the family.

Ingredients:
– 8-10 slices of your favorite sandwich bread
– 2/3 cups milk
– 4 eggs
– 2 tablespoons cinnamon
– A smidgen of vanilla extract
– Maple syrup (optional)
– Berries & bananas (optional)

Instructions:
1. Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl.
2. Melt a bit of butter in your skillet.
3. Soak your bread slice in the egg mixture, both sides.
4. Place that bad boy on your skillet and leave until golden on both sides.
5. Serve with maple syrup, berries and banana slice to taste, with a big glass of juice or a cuppa Jo.
6. Enjoy.

Discover more Inside Kitchen posts over on Ivy’s blog.

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted on spaces. I wanted to share Olivia‘s space because it was so filled with personality, even despite it being her new home in Istanbul.

Upon our arrival, Olivia already had crystals and candles laid out, her favorite posters up on the walls and little plants placed left and right. She’s one of those people that makes her space her own naturally, and effortlessly. Her free spirit and lifestyle is shown in the way she dresses up her apartment – it is dreamy and filled with nature and light. I just think it’s magical.

How to make your home reflect yourself? In a new city how to make your house your home?

Follow Olivia and her adventures in Istanbul, and her business Cleopatra’s Bling on Facebook and Instagram.