Week 7 - Storytelling: Love Story

“I love Paris in the springtime. I love Paris in the fall. I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles, I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles. I love Paris every moment, every moment of the year. I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris?” - Cole Porter

Make us feel the love in this week’s photo. Tell a love story in one image. #dogwood52 #2019dogwood52 #dogwoodweek7

Make us feel the love in this week’s photo. Tell a love story in one image. #dogwood52 #2019dogwood52 #dogwoodweek7

Links I Love - February 2019

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

love lock.jpg

February Celebrations

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” - Oprah Winfrey

This weekend, we are celebrating a belated Valentine’s Day + an early birthday with a few of my favorite things…

This weekend, we are celebrating a belated Valentine’s Day + an early birthday with a few of my favorite things…

Lake Park Bistro
Pink Tulip
Brunch at my favorite  Lake Park Bistro

Brunch at my favorite Lake Park Bistro

Remember  her ?

Remember her?

MAM After Dark

MAM After Dark

A sneak peak of  Bouguereau & America  at the Milwaukee Art Museum (I’ll show you more in April.)

A sneak peak of Bouguereau & America at the Milwaukee Art Museum (I’ll show you more in April.)

Week 6 - Inspiration: No Filter

“O my love’s like a red, red rose…” - Robert Burns • Happy Valentine’s Day!

#2019dogwood52 #dogwood52 #dogwoodweek6 #nofilter

#2019dogwood52 #dogwood52 #dogwoodweek6 #nofilter

Currently • February 2019

I leave for Paris next week, so this month’s Currently feature is mostly about planning and packing.

Espresso w/Paris napkin

READING: Maybe it’s because I’m headed to Paris again, but I am currently on another Hemingway binge:

I am loading up my iPad with books to read on the plane. Let me know if you have any favorites to compliment my trip to Paris.

WATCHING: Nothing new.

PLANNING: Daily Paris Itineraries

It really isn’t about planning every moment of our trip, but, to maximize our time in Paris, I do like to organize days in walking tours that include attractions, favorite restaurants, and shops in the same neighborhoods. Here is my Google Map for our week in Paris:

  • Saturday, February 23: Arrival, outdoor market (avenue Président Wilson), Eiffel Tower, and possibly a boat ride on the Seine — that is, if we don’t get waylaid by protesters.

  • Sunday, February 24: Île de la Cité and the Left Bank — Notre Dame, bouquinistes, Latin Quarter, Luxembourg Gardens, Saint-Germain, and le Bon Marché

  • Monday, February 25: Champs-Élysées, Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and dinner at Le Soufflé

  • Tuesday, February 26: Marais: Village Saint-Paul, Place des Vosges, Canal Saint-Martin, Père Lachaise

  • Wednesday, February 27: Montmartre, Opéra Garnier, and shopping in the Grands Magasins and la rue de la Paix

  • Thursday, February 28: Shopping and strolling in the rue de Rivoli, the Palais-Royal, and Galerie Vivienne with stops for lunch or an apéro at 228 in Le Meurice (because it’s 2/28!), tea at the Ritz, and a cocktail at Bar Hemingway. What a great way to celebrate both my birthday and the end of our trip.

PACKING: For Paris…

  • I love my new Delsey Paris Cruise Lite hard-side carry-on. It’s always an adjustment to pack a new bag, but I tested this one on a recent trip to Florida and it’s so convenient. My only regret is that I checked my bag (since my fellow travelers were checking theirs) and there are already scuffs on it. Maybe a darker color would have been better.

  • I also love eBags Packing Cubes to keep my things organized.

  • Yes, I do like to carry-on whenever possible. To me the benefits outweigh the inconveniences:


    • You are responsible for your luggage in airports and on the plane. The greatest challenge for me is finding a kind soul to help me store my carry-on in the overhead bin — Oh the joys of being vertically challenged!

    • You have to limit your liquids and gels to a quart-sized bag. This makes you really rethink what you can do without for a week or so. Do I need all those facial serums? Can I use hotel shampoo and conditioner? How many hair products do I really need? Can I get free samples of my favorite fragrance, face cream, eye cream, etc.? (Yes, thanks to my favorites at the Nordstrom Chanel counter!)


    • You are responsible for your own bag — no one throws it around.

    • You can access anything you need while you are traveling.

    • Your luggage won’t get lost.

    • You must limit what you buy. Before purchasing anything, I consider if things are too heavy, too bulky, and over 3 oz. of liquid. This keeps me from taking home too many books, Diptyque candles, French pharmacy cosmetics and culinary delicacies (wine, mustards, etc.), and expensive fragrances (maybe a con because I love these things, but definitely a pro for my budget).

    • You also have to limit what you take. To me, this really is a benefit. In Paris, black is always chic. A good capsule wardrobe is appropriate for everything from a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens to tea at the Ritz.

    Here’s what I’m packing:

    • Outerwear: The average high temperature in Paris for February is in 40’s. Currently the forecast of our week in Paris is mostly in the 50’s! However, last year’s bitter winds and snow taught me to be prepared for a variety of weather situations. A good mid-weight coat is key. I’m taking a little trench/peacoat hybrid.

    • In my carry-on:

      • 4 pairs of skinny black pants (89th + Madison) and maybe a skirt

      • 3 black sweaters: a cardigan (Loft), a turtle neck (J Crew), and a boat neck (Maison Jules)

      • 5 tops: blue tired shell (Maison Jules - out of stock, but like this in solid French blue), navy shell (Loft), black shell w/sheer overlay (no longer available), floral shell (Loft), and black boat neck blouse (similar to this)

      • 2-3 pairs of shoes (depending on the weather). My #1 bit of packing advice is take COMFORTABLE walking shoes! Poor shoes impact one's feet, back, and attitude! Don’t be a slave to fashion (even during Paris Fashion Week)! There are a lot of boots and flats that are both comfortable and fashionable. Here’s what I’m taking: black ankle boots (Blondo), black loafers (Donald/Pliner - similar to these), and black ballerinas (These are very reminiscent of Chanel ballerinas, super comfy yet very inexpensive. I’m on my second pair.)

      • Accessories: jewelry (including my watch and charm bracelet) headbands (black, leopard print, and tortoise shell), and a variety of silk and wool scarves

      • Unmentionables, pajamas, slippers, tights, and socks (Have you tried these?)

      • Personal items: cosmetics, contacts, hairbrush, toiletries (see above), contacts, Advil, band-aids, a curling rod, and maybe a hairdryer (I have to verify the wattage of the one in our Airbnb.)

      • Sunglasses, gloves, and despite what Audrey says, an umbrella.

      • Copies of my passport and insurance card

    • In my tote:

      • Wallet: passport, bank card, insurance card, and euros

      • Coin purse — I always end up with a lot of change in Paris.

      • Cosmetic touch up kit, fresh contacts, and toothbrush

      • Electronics: voltage/plug converters (I really like this one), Macbook (for editing, curating, and sharing photos as well as watching movies set in Paris), iPad (for movies, photos, Facetime with Piper and Eric, and especially books), iPhone XS with the Verizon TravelPass (for $10/day, I can use my phone exactly as I do in the US, including calls, texts, and data), Powerbeats 3, Theta 360º camera (for a school project), and charging cables. As much as I love my Sony a6000 DSLR, I will only use my iPhone on this trip. I want to focus on the daily delights that make Paris special rather than obsessing over lighting and focus.

      • Merino scarf (doubles as a blank on the plane)

      • Reusable water bottle

Have I forgotten anything? What are your recommendations for books, movies, packing, and strolling in Paris?

This post contains many links to books, movies, and products I love, though none are affiliate. That being said, if any of the companies or Paris shops and restaurants that I mentioned are interested, I would love to work on a project together!

French Friday: Encore Paris

« Jamais deux sans trois. » - Proverbe française

thé au Ritz.jpg

They say that the third time’s a charm, so I’m looking forward to my third annual February trip to Paris. Several of you have asked me if I ever get tired of going to the same places and doing the same things year after year. Well, of course I’d like to discover new places. I dream of visiting Scandinavia. Scotland and Greece are high on my list I would like to spend more time in Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy. But I need to return to France on a regular basis.

Paris feeds me literally, linguistically, artistically, and spiritually. I go to Paris to practice my French, to visit friends, to capture the beauty in both words and images. How could I ever get tired of browsing through book stalls along the Seine, sprawling outdoor markets or galleries in some of the world’s greatest museums; of sipping tea at the Ritz, cocktails at the Hemingway Bar or wine in a sidewalk café; of strolling along the Champs-Élysées or in the Palais-Royal; of window shopping (or really shopping) in the Paris’ most fashionable neighborhoods and grands magasins; of hearing the bells of Notre Dame or street musicians playing La Vie en Rose ? Ernest Hemingway said, “Paris is a moveable feast” — a feast for all of your senses, and I have an insatiable appetite!


“If you're skating on thin ice, you might as well dance.” - Anita Shreve (or take pictures!)

ice berries.jpg
icy branches

Week 5 - Composition: Symmetry in Landscape

“It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details.” - Henri Poincaré

Week 5: Use Symmetry in a Landscape to create a new viewpoint for this week's image. #2019dogwood52 #dogwood52 #dogwoodweek5

Week 5: Use Symmetry in a Landscape to create a new viewpoint for this week's image. #2019dogwood52 #dogwood52 #dogwoodweek5