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I had been doing 5-liter batches from when I started to homebrew early last year. Not so long ago after Louis and I’s move into a bigger apartment with gas burners (the simple things in life), I decided to bump it up to 20-liter batches. I’ve still got my 5-liter carboy so I can do small batches whenever (clonebrews, here I come), but I wanted to get used to a more classic quantity referenced in books I have. I’m pretty thrilled to say that said, I’m learning from every single batch: best practices, figuring out what when wrong in my brewing process, why for example this batch photographed above was so damn bitter. It’s quite exciting to understand what is actually happening during the brewing process… I was always horrible at science when in High School, and chemistry god forbid… I was nulle. Anyways.

I have some new goals this year now, one of which being to disconnect from work when I’m home, which is directly linked to the fact that I want to take advantage of hobbies where I’m not glued to my phone. Ha! Things like riding my bike to work, homebrewing… giving my eyes a break from screens. I want to take advantage of the long summer days. I plan to brew 2 times per month. One recipe. A Pale Ale. Until I get it the way I want it to be. Let the games begin. To my Paris friends reading, your tasting expertise will be very much appreciated.

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Every summer since 2009, bike lover Parisians get together dressed up as if it was really la belle époque and go for a ride from a Paris destination to the Bois de Vincennes (humongo picnic destination on the long grass where you feel far far away from a city). It’s just spot on. Red lipstick, curls, long skirts and brogues, flat-top hats, mustaches and suspenders… these Parisians know what they’re doing.

This year, I was so thrilled to be in town for the picnic, as I always had LLB’s coverage of the event in mind. The summer heat has finally arrived, so heading down to south eastern Paris was the perfect excuse to soak up sun sun with some lovelies. It was absolutely adorable to see everyone all dressed up, with or without their vélos. I will admit that I’ve been really good about biking everywhere, so I was so pumped to actually be a part of the ride from République to Bois de Vincennes… but after extensive biking in the canicule Friday and Saturday, my legs simply couldn’t take it to literally go to the polar opposite end of my little Asniérois nest. Oopsie daisy. Perhaps next year, with a groovy basket and ensemble and baguettes all over the place.

Magical company of Lauren, Ylenia and Flo, Lali, Rachelle, Gemma, Emily and Sophie.

Ride Béret Baguette on their Facebook page.

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It’s been far too long since I’ve done my Sunday reads and link shares. Here we go, one way late. In honor of Paris Beer Week this past week, a little nostalgic photo of a random 6-pack from a local liquor store in Colorado with a couple of my favorites.

I’ve been stepping up my homebrew game. Follow more with #megbrew on Instagram.

In case you haven’t already seen it: Anne collaborated to create this epic map of Small Shops in Paris.

Can we just talk about cherry blossoms for a minute? via Ambitieuse.

Had the pleasure of viewing the Parson’s Paris senior collections. Incredibly talented students. Check out what was up on Twitter.

Crazy roads across the globe. via Mashable.

Food for thought. The eternal nature of storytelling. via Fast Company.

So jealous of my buddy Rachel’s most recent off roading trip in Moab.

While dreaming of American landscapes, I finally got around to putting up my little post about 7 Hours in Dallas with my favorite Texan.

Inspiring ways to take mozzarella sticks to the next level. via Buzzfeed.

Haleigh’s Marseille post has got me wanting to head down South. via Making Magique.

Funny, as I sit and compile this post, I realize that this time last year I was in the exact same spot.

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Oldie but a goodie. Fondation seems to be a place where friends meet. That local spot where people know they can go and be cozy and have a delicious flat white while strolling in the Marais. While it’s not usually on my coffee shop stop ins due to location, we made it out one morning for a special lady‘s birthday. I took a few pictures that morning, and the more I look at them, the more I think they’re worthy of sharing, as it was indeed the perfect little pre-work get together (psssst Fondation is one of those open at 8am places, which is curiously not as easy as you would think in Paris!)

Fondation Café
16 Rue Dupetit-Thouars, 75003
Open everyday, weekdays from 8am

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I know, another post from the countryside, but I can never really resist, I love sharing this beautiful place.

Can I take a quick detour to talk about life as a workin’ girl real quick? This 4 day weekend in particular, I really needed a little getaway to rebuild my sanity. It’s hard to disconnect with work sometimes. In Paris the days can feel long when the sun isn’t shining and it seems like sometimes days consist of waking up, going to work, leaving work, going home, whipping up something to eat, and then going to bed. Just to start all over again. It’s probably not a healthy cycle, but it’s so easy to get caught up in it when work is busy and the days fly by… one minute it’s Tuesday afternoon and the next it’s Friday EOD. It find it increasingly important to know when to say, “no, this can wait until tomorrow”, wouldn’t you say? There will always be something to do or to advance on within a project. I’ve decided that I need to stop and smell the roses, cos I certainly don’t want to be that person that can never do anything fun because of work. Do you have that fear of your career taking over a little bit too much? Work is a lame excuse for not making it to fun times or to not spend enough time with dear ones, or cancel on people unexpectedly (of course sometimes it happens and you can’t do anything about it), even when working for a beautifully creative and notorious luxury house. I think these coming months for me are going to be about adapting my productivity within my project scopes and daily missions, controlling my reactions and recreating balance in the case of stressful times. Thank goodness the people I work with are snazzy souls. But it’s time to take it easy and just ride the wave, sweet Jesus, I’m only 25… *giggle*

That said, this long weekend was pure happiness: filled with sunshine and for the occasion of a double birthday celebration. The camellias were in bloom and we had the barbecue lit for every meal, which is just the best. When in the countryside, I sleep like a baby. The nights are darker and the stars are brighter. There’s a whole different level of quietness. It’s a place to disconnect and have time to relax and just think about all things lovely and spend time with my in-laws. I look forward to spending many many summer weekends here now that’s we got la bagnole.