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! 

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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! 

Touristy Paris.

A photo journal from early March. Enjoy. 

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I started out visiting my oldest French friends in the beginning of the week. They were staying in the 18ème with a wonderful view of the Sacré Coeur.  I haven’t seen them in four years. Thus, there was a lot of catching up to do (like telling them about The Finn and introducing me to their son). There was lots of Champagne and wine involved.   image

I went to a ballet with The Finn’s mother. I love this building so much.  It was the reason why I moved to Paris. image

It’s a toss up between Avenue des ChampsÉlysées and the 19ème…I have very strong feelings about these two places in Paris, and will try my best to always avoid them…alas…last weekend, I had to go to the Champs…and yes, I do belt “Ooooh Champs-Élysées” when on this rue. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t come here that often.  image

Oh, yes. A sunset at the Eiffel Tower. Because after all, its Paris.

Holybelly

Holybelly is another Parisian café that makes quality coffee.  Located in the 10ème,  be careful that you don’t go into Tuckshop, another great café that is similar and located on the same street…image

I first tried going with Alice on a Saturday. Their brunch-lunch menu is mouthwatering and are always on an hour wait during the weekends. So we decided to go elsewhere. My second attempt, I went with the lovely Hana for a petit pause on a rainy afternoon. The bright yellow cups made the dreary rain somehow less gloomy. And our Guinness chocolate cake was delicious (Happy Saint Patrick’s Day btw). image

And now, I’m happy to say I know my way around the 10ème. After having a picnic on the canal Saint Martin, Deanna and I decided to do coffee. And I knew just where to go! We got mini-lattes or piccolos. I thought it sounded cute so we tried it! Sometimes I’m the biggest sucker for the presentation! image

Holybelly 
19 rue Lucien Sampaix 75010

9-18 lundi, juedi, vendredi 

10-18 le week-end 

Métro:  Jacques Bonsergent