Ah! The City of Light. In 2011 we put all of our things in a storage unit and flew to Paris France. It was one of the scariest decisions we've ever made but has proven to also be one of the most rewarding! Here is a Paris Guide a friend wrote for us when we came to Paris on our Honeymoon. I'm putting together my own recommendations as I get to know the city better. In the meantime you can read about Things to Do in Paris and Things to Eat in Paris. Thinking about making the move abroad yourself? Read about my experience moving and living in France right here.
The lovely New York stationery company Paper + Cup has expanded here to France. Modern stationery companies are very difficult to find here in France so this is such wonderful news. Sarah (an adorable French girl and designer) met with me a few weeks ago and I was really impressed with all their beautiful designs. They asked me to take some snapshots of my day for their blog. It’s right here if you want to take a peek.
Besides the glorious Paris flea “Les Puces” the last few months I’ve been following the little Brocantes that set themselves up around the city. It is like a traveling flea market and the prices are much cheaper than at Les Puces. There was one in my neighborhood this weekend where I scored lots of new goodies. (Including a super cheap Cameroon Juju Hat!) If you are visiting Paris and want to get some deals visiting a Brocante will be your best bet. This site and this site tell you the little sales that will be going on the next few months. Come with cash and ready to bargain.
ps: I’m obsessed with these high waisted jeans from the Gap. An interesting cultural difference here in France is French men tell you when you are looking good, not in a construction-worker-holler-way, but in a flattering way. It’s actually really great to get feedback when you’ve put an effort in to look nice. They seem to be a big fan of these jeans. (And I’ll just say it since someone always asks, this is not an ad! I will always clearly mark when something is a sponsored post.)
I was in disbelief when I looked at the calendar yesterday and saw it was August 1st. That marks 6 months since we moved to Paris. I cannot believe its half over! We originally planned to be here a year but are trying to extend six months (if we can) because a year doesn’t feel like enough time. Moving here has been so inspiring and life changing. I think that I’ll always look back on this as one of the happiest times in our lives. It makes me a little emotional to think where we were a year ago. We were deep in the middle of medical bills and surgeries and trying to work 60-70 hour weeks in order to pay for them. It was a really difficult time. One year later we are living in Paris. I’m so grateful for the lessons we learned, mostly that if you are going through a hard time in your life, just put your head down and work. Really good things are just around the corner.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. I’ve become a “picnic expert” since we have them almost everyday. If you are visiting Paris here are the ingredients for a picture perfect Paris picnic. (Say that three times fast.)
1. Pick Your Poison. Perrier is my personal favorite but you can hit one of the many Nicholas stores to pick up something with a little more punch.
2. | 3. Supplies. My friend Rubi showed up to a picnic a few weeks ago with the best picnic gear. She got it all from Merci. Stop by Merci on your first day in Paris for bamboo plates, utensils, and these awesome reusable napkins that come on a roll.
4. Produce. Try to avoid the supermarket, instead go to the specialty stores. It’s like going to McDonalds when you have the option of an amazing homecooked meal. Find a produce stand and stock up on fruit and veggies (I love radishes and butter on a picnic.)
5. Baguette. Buy this right before you are going to eat it (not two hours before.) Ask for “Baguette Traditional” they are my favorite. Only buy this from a Boulanger. If you are buying it from a supermarket you get a big Paris fail.
6. Cheese! Ah the thrill of walking into a good Fromagerie. They can be intimidating and a little scary (is that mold?) I prefer mild cheeses with interesting flavors. Here are a two of my favorites to start with: Morbier and Comte. Do some research if you are braver and like stinky cheeses so you can ask to try specific kinds. (Little Brown Pen has a nice column on cheeses.)
7. Saucisson sec. Buy this from a deli or a Butcher, If you aren’t familiar with this stuff it is cured meat. They are usually hanging up above the counter and they are SO delicious. I don’t eat a lot of meat but I love me some saucisse.
Other things I like to eat at a picnic: Beignets, coquettes, chocolate eclairs, and ham and butter sandwiches. All of these can be bought from a boulanger. (Even if you don’t see sandwiches displayed most bakeries will make you one on the spot if asked.) What am I missing?
All of Paris is covered with fantastic picnic locations but my favorite locations for picnics are:
The Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower, the right bank of Ile St. Louis, and the point of Ile de la Cite. Do you know of any especially great picnic spots in Paris?
Happy Bastille Day! We celebrated this morning by meeting some friends up at Versailles for a giant picnic where everyone wore white! It was so fun.We were laughing that the French were so elegant in their patriotism wearing all white with a discreet little red, white , and blue ribbon pinned on their shirt. A big contrast to what everyone in the US wears on the Fourth! Ha! Next we’re off to watch the fireworks in front of the Eiffel Tower.