A new city (and continent) to me, one where two of my closest friends grew up: discovering Rio de Janeiro was the perfect kick off to a new year with a fuzzy heart. I tried really hard with my basic Portuguese (aka random phrases), but most of the time it came out like Spanish with a German accent. I’ll need to work on that for next time.

The thought that in the minds of those from the Southern Hemisphere, December, January and February are the warmest of months will always intrigue me. I’m sure it’s the same the other way around when Northern hemisphere folk associate June, July and August with summer heat. Funny.

We should probably all just stop taking everything so seriously.

I have a thing or two to learn about packing for a tropical vacation. I even forgot to paint my toe nails. 

Coconut water is one if the greatest beverages on the planet.

A good book and the beach is a recipe for getting a sunburn. I just finished Big Magic and boy did I like it. 

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If you’ve followed my blog or know me you probably know I get a cake every year for Louis and I’s anniversary. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want an excuse for some cake?! This bad boy was done by none other than Cat from Sugar Daze (the only place I’d ever order a cake from in Paris). This year it really hit me, holy smokes, how has 6 years gone by so fast? This cake was dedicated to my boyfriend’s acceptance of my addiction to vintage teacups and glasses. Something about traditions makes me a happy girl, I mean, if we didn’t have that, what else would we have?

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How do you visualize a year? As long as I can remember, I always feel like a year is such a long period time, until I would think about it in terms of days:, 365. Three-hundred-sixty-five days seems so short. It my head it’s a linear view, January on the left and December on the right. The night between the 31st of December and the 1st of January visually I guess was sort of a transported leap back to the beginning. Anyways, a quick detour to insert the Rent song, Seasons of Love.

2015 was a pretty rad year. It was my second year as a financially independent professional, which I’ll probably stop counting in the coming years. It was less transitional than 2014 was, and particularly sticks out in my mind, when I look back, as a year filled with familiar faces passing through: the Ying to my Yang came for a week of Parisian summer shenanigans, Mom in town for nearby adventures and exhibitions, an old roommate stopping through, a childhood friend passing through on her way home from her Peace Corps term, also two very inspirational pals came to town for what turned out to be an unexpectedly heart-wrenching weekend for the City of Light. I’m genuinely happy that I was able to take a couple of little trips: to Munich to visit one of my favorite Brazilians, to Brussels with a dear friend, to the Canary Islands for a sun-filled and much needed getaway with my lover, a weekend in London to sew my bridesmaids dress with a bride-to-be for her wedding next summer, Christmas in Bretagne with my in-law’s at a family home filled with so many memories.

Throughout the year I was able to reconnect with so many people I care about a lot, which is unfortunately not possible every year for various reasons… Is it sad to think we’re already making plans for next Christmas?! I haven’t really set out my goals for this twenty-sixteen, but I do like the idea of a theme that my friend Anne told me about. One of my main goals is to keep my head as much as possible in the present, to take full advantage of the simple moments with the people I’m surrounded by. I have a tendency to think too far into the future and let it overpower my present. I’ve also ordered a bunch of books I plan to read and keep my mind churning with podcasts. These two points will have to somehow fit into the theme I’ll define my year by.

I sure hope the years don’t increasingly seem shorter and shorter as I continue to get older… Happy New Year, folks!

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It’s been a busy time these past weeks, which seems to always be the case when the holiday season rolls in. My days are better when they start with a coffee. The weeks that fly by with celebrations and seeing friends, which is infinately nice. At the office I’ve been playing my Christmas playlist over and over which makes me even more excited about the holiday festivities next week, even though my French boyfriend always asks why we have to watch The Family Stone or the Grinch every Christmas. It just is a must…

Unrelated, but I was feeling a bit nostalgic last week and thinking about memories of my elementary and middle school self: band practice, my brother picking me up in his navy blue pick-up truck after jazz bang let out, adventures at the local country club where we’d order candy and curly fries on our parents’ tabs with the other kids in the neighborhood, endless nights of running through the local golf course sprinklers and jumping on the trampoline texting boys. I have vivid memories of long summers staying up “late” with friends watching music videos on MTV. That is, before YouTube and direct access to everything and beyond. We had to watch what felt like hundreds of them before one that we actually liked came on. You know, some Britney, Blink 182, No Doubt… the memories! I got to thinking the other day, there are few things more moving than a great music video. You know, a good song and beautiful movements and visual storytelling to make a good song even more intense. I’m a sucker for that. Sometimes I even get goosebumps or teary-eyed, not even kidding…

A couple of music videos that I find to be quite rad:
The Love Within // Bloc Party
Flesh Without Blood // Grimes
Wildest Dreams // Taylor Swift
Magic // Coldplay
I Really Like You // Carly Rae Jepsen
Hopeless Wanderer // Mumford & Songs
Countdown // Beyoncé
In A World Like This // Backstreet Boys

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It’s been a tough few days here in Paris, but I wanted to squeeze out this little post that has been ready for quite some time, documenting a weekend away to visit dear friends.

I made it to London weekend before last to visit a close friend for a very special crafty couple of days. She is an avid sewer and is getting married next summer in her homeland of Sweden, and one of the cutest details to date is that she’s having all of us bridesmaids sew our own dresses! Basically she chose the fabric of her dreams and we all chose a pattern to whip up when in Londontown.

Obviously, being the beer obsessed lady that I am, the weekend started out with dinner at a newish brew pub called The Temple Brew House, where I indulged in a big fried fish with heaps of chips (you know, fries, ehhem) and of course… BRITISH CRAFT BEER. The trip was short really only having Friday night to Monday afternoon, but since I don’t really know London at all – aside from the touristy stuff I did when I was a preteen – I was happy as a clam with some strolling.

We attempted the super popular Breakfast Club restaurant and failed (the line was twice as long as the meal would have lasted), so we continued on to have eggs elsewhere at one of London’s infinite trendy-open-all-the-time-with-gluten-free-options-and-fresh-juice places. When you’ve got good company, any spot will do. Brick Lane was packed with both the young and the old, punks and preps, feasting on grub at what used to be the Truman Brewery, now turned street food Oz. The vintage shops were underground and vinyls were everywhere. I could definitely get used to this type of daily life, on the condition that the currency I earned was pounds (fudge, so expensive…). Before heading back on Sunday evening for a dinner in, we popped by BrewDog, where I basically consumed a full meal in beer: Pumpkin King followed by Siren’s Caribbean Chocolate Cake. Pure magic.

Something about London made me very happy. A certain je ne sais quoi. I’m not quite sure if it was the savory breakfast everywhere, the unpretentious pub culture or the brick buildings and markets… I guess I’ll have to go back, hehe.

LONDON PLACES:
Brewdog // Tap room
Brick Lane // Vintage clothing & vinyls hotspot
Canteen // Grub spot
Kew Royal Botanical Gardens // Big lovely park
The Temple Brew House // Microbrewery, pub & restaurant