Christmas in Paris

The lights are sparkling on rues all over the city. Chestnuts, or marrons, are in almost every pastisserie and boulangerie across town. And department stores like Le Bon Marché, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette have put their most magnificent trees on display.

We aren't heading home for the holidays, but...

Living in Paris: It's All About the Dossier

When I first announced to people that we would be moving to Paris, the comments were always the same “The wine! The cheese! The bureaucracy!” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in my research, one thing kept coming up: the dossier. 

What is a dossier? 

It’s essentially a file of documents that prove your value to various institutions (banks, landlords, utility companies)...

November 2015: Tiny Victories of the Month

A few posts ago (this one here), I wrote that living in Paris has made me appreciate the tiny victories rather than simply waiting for the big ones.

In honor of celebrating the small victories, I've decided to do a roundup at the end of each month to highlight them. They can be lighthearted or profound, simple or complicated. The only criteria is that they have to feel like an accomplishment - basically anything that I want to give myself a high-five for...

The start of the holiday season! Thanksgiving à Paris

Though it’s our first Thanksgiving married, it's not the first one we've spent together. We’ve had Thanksgivings with other families, with groups of friends, and one on our own, prepping for a Big Sur road trip. But this one was a bit different - we are in Paris, France, and obviously, Thanksgiving does not exist here.

But like so many other Americans abroad, we wanted to do it anyway. We have...

Facebook & France: In Support of Social Media Solidarity 

Over the last few days, I keep stumbling upon petty declarations that say supporting France on social media is stupid, meaningless and egotistical. This refers to things like changing profile pictures, posting the Peace for Paris image, or uploading personal photos of the city.

I’m not sure what triggered the nastiness, but the mass of pessimistic press around Facebook & France bothers me. I suppose I’m just as bad responding to all these negative Nancys, but I haven’t....

Attacks on Paris #parisjetaime

Last night, we were sitting at home, watching the end of the France-Germany game when we realized what was happening in Paris, our new home. Suddenly, we were bombarded with messages from friends and family making sure we were okay. 

With the French news on, we began to piece together what happened with help from the internet. Many of the attacks occurred in Republique, a mere 15-minutes from our apartment...

Turning 30 in Paris

Saturday was a pretty perfect day in Paris. It was sunny with few clouds in the sky. The weather wasn’t too chilly and the half-bare trees stood tall. It was also my 30th birthday.

With the two of us halfway across the world, alone, there was no big bash on the books; Steve and I were planning to celebrate together with an easygoing day: coffee, a visit to Place de Vosges and a few glasses of champagne. 

I did feel a little bit of cultural pressure to be angsty about “getting old,” but I wasn’t dreading the oh-so ominous 3-0. So I asked a good friend what...

Just for Halloween: The Catacombs of Paris

Happy Halloween my friends! In Paris, Halloween is well-known, but not well-celebrated. Save for a few parties and costumes, it is not the occasion that we Americans are used to.

There is no trick-or-tricking. The multitude of costume parties are few and far between. Costume shops sell scary costumes, almost exclusively. And restaurants and cafes serve lots of potiron (pumpkin) soup.

One thing that does fits into both the Parisian and American ideal of Halloween is...

Motivated By My Tiny Parisian Kitchen

I like to cook. A lot. I find the repetition of certain tasks relaxing, the smells intoxicating and at the end, I have something to show for my effort. Unfortunately, I haven't always been consistent in the kitchen. 

While living in LA, I would only be motivated to cook something delicious when I knew Steve was driving down for the weekend. I'd find something online (Smitten Kitchen is my go-to). I would spend Friday evening prepping for dinner. My roommates would pull up a stool, watch me chop, mix and sauté. We'd chat and drink glass of wine, awaiting Steve's arrival.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges

Yesterday, I decided to revisit Le Marché des Enfants Rouges. It's an open air market on Rue Bretagne, 3rd arrondisement. Steve and I stopped in a few weeks back for lunch at a Lebanese stall. If you visit, you;ll see there are tons of stalls to explore - a variety of restaurants and the regular stands selling seafood, fromage, produce and more. Now that we live closer...