It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…Art?





I had the day off yesterday, so I went to the museum. As you do. It’s usually closed on Mondays but was open specially for the holiday, I’m sure to attract tourists in town for the long weekend. I’ll write more about it tomorrow, but I did want to share these hilarious Christmas cards I saw in the museum gift shop on the way out (because, as my father always said, “Every good cultural experience must end in a retail experience.”) Photographer Ed Wheeler inserted good ole Santa Claus into famous works of art, and the result is simultaneously fantastic and bizarre. Look at him go! Hanging Christmas lights on Monet’s bridge, overseeing a Degas dance class, practicing his can-can in at the Moulin Rouge. They are $12.95 for a pack of ten, and I’m sorry to ruin the surprise, but these are the holiday cards I’m sending out this year. How could I not?

Paris & Presents


la vue de Sacre-Cœur, via Jamal

He made it! He’s home! With a cold (obviously), lots of laundry, lots of photos (yay!), and most importantly, lots of presents! Before he left, he made the mistake of casually asking me, “Is there anything you’d like from Paris?” To which I rattled off a list that sounded something like, “Ohmygodyes, I need macarons, and those Monster Munch things, and you know how much better their butter tastes, and what about if you brought back a few baguettes or some cheese and maybe–” and then he cut me off, regretting deeply his offer. But he didn’t let me down. In fact, he even surpassed my wildest expectations about what he could possibly bring back from his short solo vacation in the greatest city on earth (he did not bring back the Eiffel Tower or a French person, but we’re going to give him full credit anyway).







He really outdid himself with this one. Remember this design of Auguste Rodin from the Musée Rodin gift shop? He brought back a kids t-shirt with the adorable little drawing on it. You know, for our future (HYPOTHETICAL) child. I simultaneously wish I could fit into it and that we had a kid right now. That Jamal. He is the sweetest.


And of course, the pièce de résistance: macarons! From the Ladurée on Rue de Rivoli, 15 macarons in salted caramel, rose, pistachio, lemon, vanilla, blackcurrant and violet, and chocolate.


I think we all know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

I’m off Monday for Columbus Day, and decided to make it a four day weekend by taking today off, too. I’m spending the day writing and doing laundry, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. We have a friend’s wedding tomorrow! What are you up to? Have a good one, kiddos!

Galeries Lafayette, Sur le Toit


Jamal sent me this picture yesterday, and it’s safe to say my heart exploded. He had asked for some itinerary options for the rest of his afternoon, and I suggested visiting Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann, the 10-story department store opened at the turn of the century. Knowing he’d be hesitant to visit just for the shopping, I said the view from the rooftop alone would make it worth the trek. And boy, did it ever.

He lands back home tonight, with hopefully a ton of photos for me to share with you/cry over.

Thoughts for a Wednesday


I awoke this morning to a text message from Jamal. If there is anything more divine than waking up to, “Macarons: procured!” I’ve yet to experience it. So yes, Jamal is in Paris and I’m split somewhere in the neighborhood of 80/20 when it comes to my happiness/jealousy ratio. I talked to him this morning and he’s having the best time; he bought cheap bleu cheese from our local fromagerie on Rue des Abbesses, stopped in for a coffee break and stood at the bar with the other old French men while drinking his café. He went to our favorite street near the Eiffel Tower, bought himself new mustard at Maille. Last night in French class, my teacher told me I was “more advanced” than the class level, so that’s basically the same thing as being in Paris, right? Right.

I’ve been writing up a storm these past two weeks. It’s one line at a time (bird by bird) usually (most recently: “But that’s it. You don’t know they’re bad until the end.”), but on Sunday as the afternoon light faded, it was 3 whole hand-written pages on my sofa, the scratch of my pen against the paper the only sound in the room.

It’s been a good two weeks sans fiancé, honestly. As good as can be expected. I vacuumed a lot. Ate Halloween oreos before dinner if I felt like it. He’s in Paris until late tomorrow afternoon, and while I’m really, truly thrilled he’s there, enjoying our city and falling in love with it on his own, I’m ready for him to come home.

With macarons, naturellement.

Van Gogh Times Two




Opening at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC this week is a retrospective of some of Vincent van Gogh’s greatest works…and their répétitions, the replicas he worked tirelessly on to perfect. The exhibit showcases 13 of his paintings, copies and rough drafts and all, and even includes “new technical evidence, such as X-rays and high-resolution digital imagery, [to] firmly to resolve questions about the sequence of these works that have confounded scholars” for years. Some scholars even dismissed the répétitions as fakes, as the process of duplicating artworks, once the only way artists learned to paint, became a taboo bordering on forgery.

The exhibit was inspired by two specific paintings, “The Large Plane Trees” (Road Menders in Saint-Rémy)” in the Cleveland Museum of Art, and “The Road Menders” in the Phillips Collection. They are so nearly identical it is believed van Gogh might have even traced one. But which one came first? The curators believe that due to the density of brush strokes, “The Large Plane Trees” was likely painted outdoors, on the scene, where he would have been struggling to get the details just right, and is therefore likely the original. Fascinating! Who knew Vincent was such a perfectionist?

There are also six (SIX!) versions of his famous postman, and you’re encouraged to spend a lot of time examining the differences in each iteration. “When you compare van Gogh’s different versions of a design stroke by stroke, you start to relive his creative decisions. It’s a strangely mystical experience. It’s as if you’re absorbed into the intensity of his genius,” said conservator William Robinson. I can’t imagine a better thing to be absorbed by.

French Kitchen Illustrations





How cute are these illustrated posters by artist Géraldine Adams? Born in France and now living in California, Géraldine is harkening back to her roots with these delightful drawings. I’m hard-pressed to pick just one; in equal amounts I love le fromage, le pain, et les macarons, but I think the cheese illustration in particular might end up in our kitchen. Now all I want is some Roquefort.

Loving Lately

It’s been entirely too long since I did a Friday Five (um, as in February, oops!) and as such, I have quite a few things that have been on my radar. I couldn’t pick just five, so here you are: a Friday Nine/things I’ve been loving lately.


1. Hermès Un Jardin Sur le Toit / 2. Pajama Set / 3. Plate / 4. “The Art Forger” by B.A. Shapiro / 5. Klorane Oat Milk Shampoo / 6. Bouclé Blazer / 7. Ladurée Brioche Candle / 8. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm / 9. Renoir “Les Grandes Boulevards”

I’m not allowed to buy anything this month per my 26 in 26, and though we’re only four days into the month I’m doing really well! Unless you count buying toothpaste. So while I’m not going to be purchasing anything in this round-up anytime soon, I’m still allowed to dream, right? That Renoir print in specific might just adorn my wall come November. And I’ve found a sneaky way to circumvent my own rules when it comes to that Hermes perfume, which smells DIVINE, by the way: Sephora gives out free sample tubes if you ask.

What are you up to this weekend? I’m having Aisling and Audrey over for brunch on Sunday (I’m making waffles!) and other than that I will be, you guessed it, writing! Have a good one, kiddos.

What Makes a Good Book?



A little book update: I’ve been writing this book for a over a year now (a whole year! my god that went fast!) (inconsistently at best, there were more than a few months when I didn’t touch it at all) and have only managed to eke out 65 pages, or 27k-ish words. Only. I know that’s an accomplishment not worth diminishing, but sometimes it feels like nothing instead of something. Why can’t it go faster? Why can’t I get it all out of my head and onto paper? I’m toying with the idea of joining a writing group this winter, for moral support alone. There are fits and starts to this whole process, and then periods of quiet so buzzingly loud it makes you crazy. The silence is the worst. I’ve been sleeping with my notebook and pen in bed next to me, just in case the all-too-frequent midnight burst of inspiration wakes me, and I can capture every word (even if they don’t make sense in the morning).

But I’ve been wondering: what makes a good book? Is it just relatable characters? A believable plot? Flowery prose? There is no universal equation, as everyone wants and expects something different out of the books they read, and it’s why some people love one author but hate another, despite that author’s mainstream popularity. What do you want out of a book? Do you want to recognize something inside of you within those pages? Do you want an escape? A nicely resolved, tied-up-with-a-bow ending? Or is it enough to read something and know someone wrote the very best book they could? Is that enough? Have I worn you out with questions?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.