Check it:

The Paris Plan:

1. Create every day.

2. There is Paris outside your window.

3. Listen. (No earbuds!)

4. Exercise.

5. Eat.

6. Don't freak if you gain 5 lbs.

7. Speak French daily.

8. Don't buy into the fantasy.

9. Don't forget the men.

10. Leave the city sometimes.

11. Know your numbers.

12. Read lit about Paris.

13. Wear the right shoes.

14. Embrace the unexpected.

15. Sometimes forget the rules.

Tuesday
Sep162014

It's Here! Meet "Flea Market Fabulous."

During the summer and autumn of last year, I had the great honor of helping Lara Spencer--anchor on "Good Morning America" and host of "Flea Market Flip"--write her second book. It's called "Flea Market Fabulous" and it's just out today! Check it out here and in bookstores.

Last night, Jonathan Adler (who wrote the book's adorably colorful intro) hosted a party for Lara in his Soho studio. It was the first time I saw the printed book in action. Kind of surreal...


Also surreal: getting to watch Lara spread the word in various media outlets. So far, I've seen the cover on GMA as well as "Live! with Kelly and Michael" and "The View," and it's been featured everywhere from People and Redbook to Domino and Domaine. It's this project we poured our little hearts into for a long time, suddenly come to life, like magic, in front of lots and lots of people. Lottttttttts of people.


It was a meaningful, super creative (and in some ways, very intimate--we spent lots of time together!) experience with talented people: Lara, plus designer Jen Chu, photographer ChiChi Ubiña, editor Dervla Kelly, plus teams of amazing folks, from Lara's "Flea Market Flip"/"I Brake For Yard Sales" cast and crew to everyone at the publisher and even to Lara's sweet family. A real team effort.

Gosh, we hope you like it. Let me know!

And P.S. before you ask (because everyone does), here's the real scoop: yes, she is as nice as she seems. No, she wasn't a diva (not even close). Yes, her house is awesome. Hell yes, it's fun to follow her around a flea market. And no, she didn't phone anything in, ever; she really might be the hardest-working person I know.

I'm proud to be part of such a personal project. Lots of love injected in those pages! Please keep an eye out for the book wherever you are. And be on the lookout for possible future collaborations. (Paris fleas, anyone?)

Thursday
Jun262014

Photos I Almost Forgot: La Promenade Plantée in Paris

Can't believe I almost overlooked these pics! Back in May, Paris' Promenade plantée (also called the "Coulée verte") was bursting at the seams. The elevated park--built in 1993 on an old, unused railway--reminded me a lot of NYC's Highline. I really dig a smart urban greenway like this, especially when it's heavy with roses juuuuuust after they've hit that spot where they're big and bloomy and juuuuuust before they're about to depart for the season. It's slightly dramatic, slightly sad, and completely dreamy, all at once.

Monday
Jun232014

Here's how to deal with leaving Paris

#1. Don't write about it on your blog, because if you do, maybe then it means that you really did leave.

(Hi. So, I really did leave.)

I've been back from my three months in Paris for a few weeks now, and I think I've been avoiding M-Dashing because it feels real any time I write about something on my blog. But it is real: I am back on U.S. soil, back on N.Y.C.'s gritty streets, and back to feeling like, "Okay, so what's next?"

While I suss all that out--because it's going to take some real time--I've got loads more to write about Paris, so expect additional posts coming up. I'd love to share more about what I learned, what I saw, and, ahem, what I ate. (Because heaven knows my waistline is still dealing with that last one. The Paris Plan #5 and #6 4-EVA, y'all.)

And speaking of The Paris Plan, I'm doing my best to incorporate those guidelines into life here in New York. It's not always easy. (#7 comes straight to mind, because, what do I use there instead? Something about embracing/not masking my own actual Southern accent within a sea of Northern ones?) (Oh Lord have mercy, we'll just discuss that later.) But I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks to everyone who read along during my adventure. Thanks also to those who helped make my adventure so--I don't even know what adjective sums it up--memorable? Magical? Monumental? Whatever m-word it was, it was all a gift. All of it.

Here's to more adventures soon. Stay tuned.

Wednesday
May212014

Dangerous Liaisons, as told by a former member of the safety patrol

This is my Paris bike. (I know--I didn't tell you...I have a bike.) When I ride it here, there is no helmet involved.

This is a piece of cheese. It is from the local outdoor food market. It is unpasteurized. Also, it is delicious.

These are eggs at the grocery store. They are displayed on a shelf and are not refrigerated. (Neither is the milk.) Both are currently in my apartment fridge.

Every day, around every corner, Paris does anything it can to assault my safety-focused American upbringing. It shakes me up, challenges me, and secretly thrills me. Put simply, there is a looseness here that isn't in the States. It's a pffffft attitude--a sort of recklessness (for lack of a better word) Americans don't naturally have.

The first time I noticed it was on the metro. [And I know it wasn't just me, because at least two other American friends visiting me commented on this, too.] On some of the older subway trains, the doors have to be manually opened via a pull handle if you want to exit. With a casual flick-click, Parisians boldly open them and hop off before the train comes to a complete stop in the station. (I know! Clutching the pearls here, too!)

You see this characteristic above ground as well. Drivers of cars, of buses, of anything, don't seem as uptight as we are. People ride around on bikes and skateboards and scooters without helmets. At the grocer, eggs and milk sit on shelves, not in refrigerated sections. And in my stomach, unpasteurized cheeses and butters made with raw milk have moved in and set up camp like they never could have in the USA.

Now, I don't mean to imply that Paris is some sort of free-for-all danger pit. Obviously not--no no. I liken it more to a proper young lady who has a wild streak that comes out in subtle ways--whether it's in a dizzying waft of her perfume, the way she purposefully wears a dress that's slightly too clingy, or the way you know, beyond all doubt, that she will totally pickpocket your wallet one evening when you bend down to give her a long, slow kiss goodnight.

It's seductive, experiencing a daily life that is less "safe" (because, really, let's do remember to put that word in quotes). It's turned out to be just another way Paris titillates and fascinates me. It adds to the romance. It makes me want to linger. And it makes me want more.

The Paris Plan - Achieved Today: Rules #2, 8, and 14.

Tuesday
May202014

My Paris To-Do List: One Week Left!

Well, that went by fast.

I've got one more week in the City of Light. (What? Where did the time go?? Ahhhhhhh!!) Here's what I am hoping to get done between now and then. (And not surprisingly, it's mostly food-focused. But whatever. It's Paris.):

  • Try breads and all things carb-y from Du Pain et des Idées. 34 rue Yves Toudic, 75010
  • Take a day trip to Claude Monet's garden at Giverny, about an hour outside of Paris.
  • Get breakfast at Claus, as recommended by Susan at Fleurishing. 14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001
  • Snack on caramels from Jacques Genin. 133 Rue de Turenne, 75003
  • Ask Nichole to confirm for the nth time how to seriously get Bordier butter back to the States.
  • Eat dinner at Septime. Or Semilla. Or Le Richer. Or anywhere else Lindsey tells me to go.
  • Shop. (I never bought myself any clothes! Gasp!) Ask Kasia for last-minute recommendations.
  • Hope for a few more Paris sunsets like the one above. The daylight is lasting until 10pm around here right now--total magic!
  • Figure out just how quickly I can get myself back. Because I am positive I'll be leaving my heart behind...

Le sigh.

The Paris Plan - Achieved Today: Rule #2.

Wednesday
May142014

Here's how #5 leads to #6

Bikini season is going to be brutal.

The Paris Plan - Achieved Today: Rule #6. Though I am not sure I am happy that I've "achieved" it. And I am certainly not claiming I am not freaking out!