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.

Monday
Jul272015

Front & Center with Levo League

I am super proud to be featured in this week's Front & Center spotlight over at Levo League. Check out the profile here, and let me know what you think!

P.S. Their free career profile builder is colorful and awesome and now available to everyone. You can create one, too--it's a lovelier alternative to LinkedIn, in my opinion. Just sign up at levo.com and they'll prompt you from there.

Seriously. Look how cute it is. #getgoing

Thursday
Apr162015

What happens when your plans change?

A couple have friends have commented to me recently that they've been missing this blog.

I admitted to them that I do, too.

But here's the truth: a few things have happened over the past year that have speedbumped me, in a way. And I've been bashful about bringing it here.

Last spring, I moved to Paris for three months with an idea to come back to States refreshed and reinvigorated about living in New York City. I hoped that a set of guidelines I created--dubbed "The Paris Plan"--would put me on the right path toward appreciating my own city again.

That plan didn't pan out as I'd hoped.

Instead, those 15 rules of mine--which included a 9th about "not forgetting the men"--managed to send me back to Paris again. And again. Also again. And will do again this summer. Because I played by my rules, and didn't ignore the guy thing, I met one. A French one, in fact. And now I am finding myself in Paris part-time.

It's weird and awesome. I am smiling a lot. And I don't want to go into the details, since it's a private/personal thing. (I knooooow. But you get it.) Yet I also don't want to avoid writing here, because if you follow me elsewhere--on Instagram, for instance--it's clear, but probably confusing, that I am not in New York all the time.

So I had to say something. Moving forward, I want to say even more--specifically about the challenges and opportunities I am finding shuttling between two countries. I've learned so much about myself and how to conduct my freelance business in the last year. I've become a better traveler. I am paring down the things I own to make space for flexibility. I beginning to learn French. I am learning to cook in a foreign kitchen. I'm just--learning. Open to things. Realizing there's more. In a great place. Or places, that is.

My goal is to be here on a more regular basis and to share a bit of what's up. So you start dropping by a bit more often, too, okay? And let me know if you're ever in NYC or Paris. We can grab a bite or a beverage--I've now got a few decent coffee shops and restaurants we can scope out in the City of Light, and I'll always know where to go in the City That Never Sleeps. Plus, if there's cocktails involved, maybe I'll even give you the dish on my dude. ;)

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 NYC'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.