The Missing Puzzle Piece

For months I have been looking for a throw blanket. Since my couch is plain dark gray, I wanted a bright pattern.  I originally wanted this one, but have been forbidden to by anymore Unikko print.
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I wanted pinks and reds…and when I was in Finland, I picked up green and yellow Unikko fabric for pillows…so I wanted the pillows to match the pillows, of course.

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I looked all over France and Finland for such a colorful blanket that was also made with wool and cotton. But couldn’t find anything suitable. That’s when I went to the Internet and found the English décor store:

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 Designers Guild. I feel in love with their Cereste Blossom , a delightful woven blanket which was hand painted and had all of my colors!  What drew me to their shop was their quality of design and product.  

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 I couldn’t be happier with my new blanket…which is great for cozying up during a Facetime chat! 

Wedding Car

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Paris is so photogenic. It’s no surprise why so many brides and grooms want to have their wedding here. 

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It’s common to see Japanese brides running all over the city.  But one Sunday when adventuring with my little camera, I saw many, many white cars. I never found out why they were here, probably for a wedding. This city is always up to something! 

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Palais Royal

I went to a new jardin in Paris.

Palais Royal. It’s gorgeous.

I love that its hidden.

Perfect for reflection.

Paris by Night.

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I had a dilemma on March 20: to forgo le jour du Macaron and go back to my empty house OR go all the way across town to the Publics Drugstore on the Champs Élysées. 

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It was late and I hadn’t been home all day…and chez moi sounded pretty great. But, I thought, If could do the normal routine (wake up, go to work, go home etc.) anywhere.

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But I live in Paris. I must make the most of this city. So it did. And I’m glad because, Paris at night is beautiful. Plus I got a salted caramel Pierre Hermè. 

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So my fellow faux-Parisians: remember, we are the luckiest that we are living here, don’t take it for granted! 

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Blog Collaboration with Marimekko Blog

I recently collaborated again with the Marimekko Blog: 8 Ways to Use a Marimekko Unikko Container.

 Click here to see the article! 

Enjoy! 

Happy Reading! 

The Perfect Fifth.

My Sunday: 

More and more, I am becoming La Femme du Ve. As I thought I would be the happiest back in the 6th or my dream arrondissement, the 7th. I am quickly finding out that the 5th is the perfect place for me.

I love my out door market, Marché Mouffetard.

From the cobblestones to the live accordion music to the wine and cheese tastings, this market has become a staple to my Sunday agenda.

I usually end up walking to the Seine because the walk is so pleasant.

The sun just sets this city on fire.

Have a happy Sunday! See you at the marchê!  

Cafés like back in the day.

The reason why cafés became so popular wasn’t because of the food or the drinks that they served. No, it was because of the chauffage. Electricity is expensive and when you are a starving artist, you can’t afford it. So the artists found out that it was cheaper to by a coffee, beer, wine…and camp out in a warm café all day to work, meet people and just live. 

And voilà, centuries later we are still meeting in cafés. With problems with EDF, I too, found suffrage in cafés with friends or just to charge my phone. Oh là là quelle adventure as my landlady phrased it. But looking back on my week without power, it was fun to go back in time, if you will, and live like the artists I look up to so much.  

Lenten Penance

This past week I learned the hard way that neither my landlady nor myself had been paying my EDF bill. Oops, way to go grown-up Lauren. I was without electricity for an entire week.  Rather than, pouting and thinking that it was the end of the world, did the opposite. I became more social and made lunch, dinner, coffee, drink plans with friends.  

Some places that I liked: 

no wi-fi, perfect place to meet friends. 

Located on a small winding rue in the Marias, its a great place to people and waiter watch. 

And I went exploring around Paris.  

Even in the rain, exploring was very pleasant. Remember, always have your umbrella. 

And although now tout est bien I’m proud of myself that I stayed optimistic.  Also, it was a great Lenten penance…when people ask me what I’m giving up for Lent, I say “electricity”!  

Have a fabulous Friday! 

Gâteau aux carottes

When I was a wee-little thing, I had carotenemia. I love carrots and sometimes you just need carrot cake, unfortunately it’s not done that often in France.  

However, I have found bakeries that do serve the (somewhat) healthy nutty goodness.  After doing some delicious research I’d like to share my favorite places in Paris for carrot cake! 

Sugar Daze.

It’s a favorite among the staff and family at Sugar Daze.  If you need another reason, it comes with a gummy bear on top. Is this what they serve in Heaven? 

Café Coutume @ Suomi Instituutti

Seriously, what isn’t good here? It’s like a work of art! 

Chez moi

One day I decided to attempt to make my own. I think it turned out pretty good, for my first time…I see more carrot cake à la Lauren in my future!  

Got any suggestions? bonne appétit! 

Coffice

(n) a coffeeshop that is your office

Coutume Café at the Instituut is my coffice. I’m there every week with business meetings. It’s their coffee that always brings me back and their food that makes me stay! On a Sunday afternoon, heading over to the institute for a quick powwow with the team, we all decided to get our coffees emporter and headed over to the little park facing Mussé Cluny in all it’s Roman ruins glory. 

Picnic Season has Started!

Paris had blessed us with the greatest weather (if you haven’t noticed on my Instagram). Earlier this month, I had my first picnic by the Seine this year with some wonderful people

It was everything that a Paris picnic needs: wine, bread, cheese, friends and music.

Our picnic spot was one of my favorites: under the Pont Neuf. We watched as boats passed by the Seine and made conversation with our picnic neighbors, and at the end of the night, had an Operatic performance by Tricia. 

I love night picnics at the Seine because you are welcome to stay out on the Seine as late as you’d like. Rather than having to pack up early if you were at a garden which has pretty strict closing hours. Where’s your favorite spot to Picnic in Paris? 

Le Métro Gratuit

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Like every March in France, this March has been full of interesting events. I’d have to say that for this year, it was the free metro days.  RATP and the Île-de-France only has two days out of the year where public transportation is free: June 21 for Fête de la Musique and New Years. However, last week, Paris had free transportation for 5 days due to the high pollution. This was the first time in Paris’s history that this has happened. It was really nice! I saw more people who took advantage of getting a free ride curtsey of the city. 

The Île-de-France has now issued your impaire/ parieire days where the ending number (even or odd) determines if you will be able to drive. Do you think that Paris will change its driving rules like London has done. Making you pay a hefty price to driving in the city center? Interesting, interesting…I hope there’s more free metro days (its a hassle to take your card in and out sometimes…). Despite the pollution, the smoggy skies were absolutely beautiful! 

Le Musée de la Poupée

One of the greatest things about having a 5-year-old best friend is that you can also participate in all of the wonderful things that Paris has to offer children. During the vacances, I took my little cousin to the doll museum. That’s right, Paris has a doll museum.  I think I was more excited to go than V! 

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This little museum is tucked away in a little street next to a park in the 2ème, close to the Centre Pompidou.  It’s a tiny museum mind you, that will take 45 minutes-maximum to go through. I’d highly suggest getting the activity packet for your youngster. At the end, you can play with dolls and draw a doll of your own to add to the museum’s scrapbook book.  

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It was fascinating seeing centuries after centuries old dolls. Dolls from all over the world. The dolls from the 1700 and 1800s had the most beautiful and intreat clothing! I couldn’t help but aww at the craftsmanship of the clothing from this era! 

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Also there’s a great giftshop where you can actually purchase some of the same dolls on display, I think this was V’s favorite because she could play with the “old” dolls. 

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Le Musée de la Poupée
quartier Beaubourg, Impasse Berthaud, 75003 
Métro: Rambuteau 
Hours: Tuesdays-Saturday, 13h - 18h

A Korean in Paris

"WOW..this defiantly my bibimbap has been Frenchified ” said my Korean-American friend upon opening her emporter from Ma Kitchen.  

It’s true, I’ve never seen take-out food so beautiful. That’s what happens in Paris. Even your Asian takeout looks like an artist’s palette. I’ll defiantly be coming back whenever I need to layoff the cheese and baguette diet to get some veggies in!  Located just off Place de Liszt, they don’t really have a sign, but the queue all the way out the door and into the street should alert you. Seating is limited so walk over to the Canal, if its a nice day! 

Bon apetit, Paris! 

Ma Kitchen 

85 rue d’hauteville, 75010 Paris
Weekdays noon-15h00
Métro : Poissonnière, Gare de l’Est ou Château d’Eau

Spring in Paris

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I needed to get away from all of the touristy things that I have been doing for the past few weeks. So I channeled  my inner-faux Bo-bo and venture in the 10ème. imageTo my surprise, it wasn’t the black leather-greasy hair dark quartier that I remembered. It was beautiful.  I think even in this weather, the 19ème would be tolerable! I have a feeling that I will be posting many entries about Paris in the spring. Paris, please keep staying fantastic! 

Expats Blog