This year I want to be about crossing things off my to do list. Visiting places I’ve said I’d visit for a little while (when feasible, obviously). We are so lucky in Europe to be so close to so many beautiful places. The more I think about it, my list for French towns and regions to visit is getting longer and longer. Neighbor countries are doable over a weekend, which is just fantastic if you can work it into your budget.

I’m happy to say that I’ve already planned trips for #1 to #3, but that the others are a couple of the close and far destinations that I’ve certainly got on my mind, amongst many many others on this humongously diverse earth. Thank goodness Pinterest is an infinite source for list lengthening.

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Travel is a bit of a weird thing, though. I was very lucky to travel heaps as a kid as my father lived in the Middle East. I’m so grateful for this. But I’ve noticed a “thing” in the work environment, in particular when my team was looking for an intern: some people put their travels on their CV. Literally a list of countries (sorry to any readers who do or have done this). To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. As freshly graduated twenty somethings, travel comes down to three things in my opinion. One, you have the means to travel heaps thanks do daddy and mommy. Two, your parents took your traveling a lot as it is a passion of theirs and they found it important so when you can you do it. Three, you decided to travel on your own or work really hard to save up and have the means to be able to take even small trips because you’re anxious to see the world and discover different cultures. Anyways. I know many people who are so passionate about traveling and who have worked hard to be able to afford to travel, and I know how I find it so important to go to different parts of the world if you are able to. But for some this remains a luxury. Bref, I just don’t think a list of countries visited shows much on a CV out of context (ie. study abroad, backpacking…). Whatever.

Discover my travel dreams board on Pinterest here.

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IMAGE SOURCES (FOUND VIA PINTEREST): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

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This past holiday season I spent in my hometown with my family. I was welcomed home to a fresh sheet of powder and a baby nephew that I had been so anxious to meet since my brother and his wife welcomed him into the world last February. There were new places to discover, new beers to taste and familiar faces to see. It was full on family time to the most extreme level, and I couldn’t have asked for a better kind of Christmas.

It seems like the world turns at a faster pace when you’re away, and when you come back you realize how much has changed and how everyone has grown. And not to mention how much a city you used to know so well has evolved. It’s rather funny to think about, actually. I’m sure there’s the reverse side as well when I see my mama once every year, a year is such a long time and I’m sure I’ve grown every time I see her.

It’s like a breath of fresh air to all be together again for the holidays — my little complex, unique and happy modern family — as being far away isn’t always easy.

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I hope your weekends are all off to a good start. The past 10 days have been pretty intense with work on my end, but finally things are starting to calm down. As I munch on some praslines for my sanity, I had the urge to share this adorable shop here on the blog.

I discovered the Praslines de Mazet from my in-laws. As they live in Montargis (at that really awesome country house) and my father-in-law grew up one town over, every special occasion involved a little pastel-colored box from the local shop, Praslines de Mazet. With coffee, as a gift.. there always seemed to be a box or bowl around the house. I go gaga for their pistachio praslines. The shop in the town of Montargis (about an hour and a half from Paris) is stunning: the dark wood with stained glass, shelves filled with treats and bowls to grab a taste… I always thought it was the most charming little shop and loved getting loved ones gifts from there. Not to mention the precious packaging… oh la la.

It’s safe to say that ever since they opened their second shop in the heart of the Marais with the same codes of the original shop, sporting the Paris-Montargis on their yellow storefront, I get my Mazet fix a lot more often.

Praslines de Mazet
37 Rue des Archives, 75004
Tél: 01 44 05 18 08
Métro: Rambuteau (11)

 

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Breakfast is tough in Paris. Le sigh. They’ve got their boulangeries down pat, with a wealth of choices at the break of dawn…and I’m definitely not saying I don’t adore those, but what about sit in breakfast places, with savory or sweet? Somewhere that doesn’t just care about being cool that is just open early with yummy food for a quick pop in before work? After breakfasts out in the states over Christmas break, I realized how much Paris is lacking something in that area. Perhaps my American needs are too much for the Parisians. No but really. There are honestly only a handful of places where you can dine in get something other than a croissant before work in this town! Not to mention that ironically the new stuff opening is all in one area (cough, 11th) so unless you live or work in the 11th, it’s not worth the trek for that pre-work treat and espresso outing. I don’t want a 24euro too-huge-to-finish-brunch. I just want eggs or a breakfast burrito!

One thing that is nice though, is that there is always room at Ladurée. I’m not one who splurges often on things like macaroons (although, I do adore them!), but a simple breakfast at Ladurée is always cozy and spot on: 2 fried eggs, delicious tea, or french toast if you’re feeing crazy… (Just to be clear, don’t worry, their fried eggs don’t cost as much as their pastries). Plus, I’ve always been a fan of the boho chic and vintage atmosphere of Ladurée, topped with its pastel paneled teacups and silver teapots. Darling Hana met me at the Ladurée on the Champs for a breakfast one chilly morning. It was the perfect setting for a girly catch up. There’s always that perfect table for two if you’re going on a weekday before work.

If anyone knows anything about the coming of age of Parisian breakfast, do fill me in. Until then, excuse the quick rant, I’ll stick to my handful of spots that I know for sure has eggs or a yummy treat and that won’t be packed with people with beards in the AM with a huge wait. Still waiting on a legit bagel place.