Friday Five

This will be my last Friday Five for a while, because it’s my last Friday before I leave for Paris. !!! C’est incroyable! Who knows what my posting schedule will be like once I get there; I’m not making any promises or commitments beyond writing (offline) every day, no excuses, walking down to the Seine (at least) every day, rain or shine, and subsisting on as much good, stinky cheese as is humanly possible. If I can’t pull a Friday Five together on the regular, you’ll forgive me, oui? I promise to make it up to you in as many photographs of Paris as you can stand.

Let’s get right to it. Here are my top five picks for this week:

1. Amazon’s “Smile” program:

ff425_asI just found out about this program and I had to share it with you: every time you shop at Amazon (and who doesn’t shop at Amazon?), start at and Amazon will donate .5% of every purchase you make to a charity of your choice. They give you a few popular options up front, like the Red Cross, Charity: Water, etc., but also the ability to search for a specific organization. I chose Programs Employing People, a local non-profit that helps adults with mental and physical handicaps with vocational skills and job training. It’s near and dear to my heart, and a cause that I support regularly anyway. .5% doesn’t sound like a lot, sure, but considering you don’t have to do anything other than start at a different url and shop as you normally would? Think about how much good you could do at the holidays!

2. This beautiful passage, from “Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lightman:

“In another house, a man sits alone at his table, laid out for two. Ten years ago, he sat here across from his father, was unable to say that he loved him, searched through the years of his childhood for some moment of closeness, remembered the evenings that silent man sat alone with his book, was unable to say that he loved him, was unable to say that he loved him. The table is set with two plates, two glasses, two forks, as on that last night. The man begins to eat, cannot eat, weeps uncontrollably. He never said that he loved him…The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone.”

It stopped me in my tracks as I read it on the bus, and my only recourse was to put the book in my lap and stare out the window. Sometimes a book can strike you like that. (It helps that this book was my dad’s).

3. Speaking of books…


I’m on track to hit my goal of reading 30 books this year! I should finish “Einstein’s Dreams” this afternoon on the bus home, which will get me to 15 so far. I don’t know how much reading I’ll get done in Paris (though I am bringing a few books with me) so I wanted to front-load as much as I can. Who knows, maybe I’ll be reading French language books while I’m over there (ha!).

4. This adorable (if I do say so myself) photograph:

Paris Elevator, 2012

Taken in the hotel elevator on our trip to Paris (and Belgium) in 2012, only recently rediscovered. Please disregard our appearance (my hair! what?!), we had just arrived after flying all night to Brussels and taking a train to Gare du Nord. Oh, Jamal, what am I going to do without you for so long?! Sure, we’ve had plenty of practice, what with his four or five trips per year to India, but he swears it’s different because this time I’m the one leaving. He’s coming to visit me at the end of May, and I think I can keep myself occupied until then (hint: baguettes. oh, and writing!).

5. This Unreal, Luxurious Apartment in Paris:


A coworker happened to see the listing for this apartment near the Arc de Triomphe open on my computer and said, “So that’s where you’re staying in Paris, right?” We laughed. I said, “Who lives like this?” She paused, gave it some serious thought, and finally said, “Beyoncé.” For nearly $4.5 million dollars, this is certainly a Beyoncé-worthy abode. (That skylight!!)

What are you up to this weekend? My brother is having a birthday party tomorrow, and I’m having lunch with my best friend on Sunday. Make it a good one, kiddos!

25 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. Oh God you’re going to stink of cheese by the time I see you. You’re going to have reblechon oozing out of your veins. Maybe I’ll get a hotel after all ;)

    I can’t actually believe you’re going in a week, that’s insanely exciting!!

    Oh and I very much approve of Orwell, he is a bit of a hero in this household. xxx

    1. I’m like a moth to a flame when it comes to stinky bleu cheese. It’s genetic, my dad was the same way. And! My oldest niece tried Rocquefort on Saturday and loved it, which was a delightful surprise. But yes, keep a safe distance ;)

      Two days! Ah! xo

  2. Totally doing that with Amazon next time. And Einstein’s Dreams might be one of my most favouritest books of all time. My copy is currently out on loan but I don’t anticipate ever getting it back. Eeks can’t believe you’re almost there. And can’t wait for the posts that come from Paris!

    1. I found my copy in a box of my dad’s books, and the cover had been burned into my memory from childhood, because it sat so prominently on his bookshelf. It was a beautiful read!
      I promise lots of photos from Paris! Maybe no Tuesday Tunes or Friday Fives, but photos out le wazoo! xo

  3. Ooh I’ve never heard of that Amazon program – I’ll definitely be trying that out. And I can’t believe you’re leaving so soon for Paris – excited for you!!

    1. I only found it recently, and immediately felt guilty for all the shopping I’ve done before it! Ha. It’s a really good program, and every little bit helps a non-profit.
      And yes! Two days!! I’m so anxious. xo

  4. as long as you post pictures of paris while you are there, i am all set whilst you are away. i have heard of the amazon smile program because i seem to be on amazon every single day. i picked charity water because i didn’t realize that you could pick something else. not that i don’t i love charity water, i do – but i might look for something not in their top list.

    that photo! what are you talking about your hair? i love it. that photo is so sweet, you look gorgeous and you both look filled with love. and that apartment! oh my gawd! i would definitely roll around on that floor crying if i could just live there for one day. xo

    1. Done and done. I don’t want you guys to think I wouldn’t post AT ALL, just maybe not all my weekly recurring series. Photos? Photos I can deliver ;) And considering this blog really is my main way of keeping in touch with everyone (family, too) it wouldn’t be right for me to abandon it totally! I couldn’t. I need to document my trip somehow!

      Haha, my hair is ridiculous! My bangs are pinned back, there is an Alfalfa curl on the side of my head, I just can’t. I needed a shower and a brush, haha. We’re all our own worst critics ;)

      And I LOVE that you totally ‘get’ me re: rolling around an empty Paris apartment and crying, haha. xo

  5. J’aime beaucoup ta photo avec Jamal, vous êtes si mignon ! C’est incroyable, prochaine vendredi tu est déjà à Paris!!
    Moi je viens juste d’atterrir de Màlaga et je crois que j’aurais besoin de tout le weekend pour me faire à l’idée que les vacances sont juste finis :(
    Enjoy your weekend :)

    1. Aw, merci, Eva! Nous n’avons pas beaucoup de photos de nous, donc je l’aime. Nous avons été tres joyeux! C’etait notre premier voyage ensemble. :) C’etait important!
      Bienvenue chez vous! J’espere que vous avez beaucoup de photos et souvenirs de votre voyage á Màlaga (c’est le ville où Picasso est ne, oui?). Désolee! Je sais que les vacances sont le meilleur. xoxo

      1. Eh oui, Picasso était espagnol et il était né à Malaga. Je commence à me mètre dans le rythme petit à petit, merci!

  6. I’ve been doing that Amazon program for awhile now, and I love it. I’m so glad they reminded me for the first few times or I would have totally slacked. It’s too easy to slide into old habits. And I bet you do some reading while you’re there. Even though it’ll be new and wonderful and Paris, it’ll still be new and just you, and there’s nothing so settling (as we both know) when things are new and just you as a good book.

    A dear friend of ours left this morning for a week in Paris to celebrate her 50th birthday. (Can you believe we had to talk her into watching MIP before she left… long story.) It makes me happy to think that you’ll be there together. XO

    1. I navigate to probably once an hour out of habit, and now I have to change the address. It’s worth it, but you’re right, old habits die hard! I am bringing two books (“The Sun Also Rises” and “Beautiful Ruins” and I’m sure I’ll browse a bouquiniste or FNAC or something for some additional reading material). A good book, with the windows open, on a quiet weekend morning, in my Paris apartment? Mon dieu, be still my heart.

      Oh fun! Happy belated to your friend. But wait. Why was she averse to MIP?? Who in the world?? xo

  7. I can’t believe it’s so sooooon! As for reading, idk if you believe in Kindles? I feel like not. However, mine did save my life in France because you can download ebooks from the Free Library website, so you’ll always have a huge source of English books, should you like / want / need them. (See what I did there? I’m so proud of myself…) And there’s always Shakespeare & Co! Also, the picture of you and Jamal = adorable.

    1. Eeek I know! And you’re right, I’m anti-Kindle, but I do have a Nook tablet we got on Black Friday that I use for Duolingo and Netflix, haha. I am planning on bringing it with me (and watching the Veronica Mars movie on the plane!) so I will have it as a resource! Thank you for the tip about the library books. That’s nifty! I think my mom used their rental books on her Nook before, too.
      Excellent pun use, there, girlfriend. Slow clap. xo

  8. I’m convinced there are no bad apartments in Paris. None, there can’t be with it being Paris and all! I’ve recently started using Amazon’s Smile program and it’s great. I shop there anyway, so helping out charities can justify my unhealthy purchasing.

    1. None! I mean, that’s not true, there are some hovels you can buy for $75,000. You know, 6th floor walk-ups, 80 square feet, half the room is an angled roof, shared bathroom in the hallway. And you know what? I’d STILL buy it and live in it happily! xo

  9. Sooooo excited for you Erin! Take lots of pictures and don’t forget to keep us updated on all the cheese (and saucisson??) I recently discovered that Amazon ships to Australia (they don’t have Amazon here…. devastated my entire shopping existence) so I will be sure to check out the smile programme.

    1. doesn’t exist? That’s crazy! I couldn’t live without Amazon, so thankfully they do ship to you at least!
      I promise to take lots of photos. Lots! You’re a pretty experienced world traveler, any tips or tricks for me?? xo

    1. I promise! I don’t want to make it seem like I won’t post at all, just maybe not a Friday Five or other recurring features. I absolutely will 100% post so many photos you’ll be sick of Paris by the time I get back ;) xo

  10. Oh Erin, you HAVE GOT TO keep in touch somehow….How the heck else are we supposed to live vicariously through you? No seriously, will you have Instagram? So exciting! (Oh, and thanks for the Amamzon tip!)

    1. Pinky promise!! I think I sent you guys into a panic for no reason: I promise to keep posting! I just don’t want to commit to a Friday Five every week, mostly because I’m sure I’ll have hundreds of photos to inundate you with instead! ;) I will be Instagramming, too. I’m so excited!! xo

  11. I STILL cannot believe you are going to Paris! You have to keep us abreast of your adventures over there. Ah you must be dying…so close!!!

    1. On the outside I am a picture of calm and togetherness. Inside?? TOTALLY freaking out!! Ah! Two days away!! I promise to share as many photos as you can handle. xoxo

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