What do you recommend in Paris for a first-timer?
Enjoy the city, soak up the culture and the food. Try to stress less about crossing all the boxes off for seeing the most monuments and museums. Sit at a café and people watch. I wrote this guide for a first-timer in Paris.
My high school friend Colleen recently asked me about doing a book club for the blog.
I did one year one and it was so fun! I have struggled with reading these past two years and I just picked up and read a few books this summer. Is anyone interested in a book club?
Best things to see in both Chicago and Paris
In Chicago, I love the Art Museum, lakefront for a walk, and the Green City Farmers Market. You can see all my favorite French-inspired spots in this blog post here. In Paris, I love Palais Royal, walking the Seine for sunrise or sunset, and people watching at café. I also love visiting the Bastille market in Paris on a Sunday. You can see my perfect day in Paris here.
Paris beauty products or food items you highly recommend that are shippable?
I wrote a blog post about 25 French items you can buy in the US. Skincare is a fun one that I love and I am passionate about. There are a lot of great French skincare items available in the US including Klorane, Avène, Sisley Paris, and Caudalie. For food items, I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to Where to Find French Foods Online.
When I am traveling who takes my photos of me?
My friend Katie Donnelly does all my Paris photos. She is amazing and available for booking if you are in Paris. In terms of other travels, I ask waiters, strangers sitting next to me, or friends to do a quick snap.
What is Spring Weather like in Paris?
It all depends. I have spent just about every spring in Paris and the weather is always different. Plan for rain, sun, and pack layers and at least one or two sweaters for chilly days. I love a leather jacket or trench coat as a spring jacket. You can see this post on what to pack for Paris in the Spring or get my full packing list by the season here.
Summer Rain Boot Recs?
I would go for a waterproof Chelsea boot. I have these rainboots from Aigle from France that I bought a long time ago and I still wear them.
Favorite nespresso pods?
I have the Vurtuo nespresso machine. I love Melozio, Giornio, and my favorite was the biscotti for the holiday of last year. I typically go for the medium not too bitter blends.
What is a favorite place you want to travel to but haven’t been to yet?
Greece!! I wanted to go for my 30th and that was almost 10 years ago. I really hope I can go for my 40th or sometime soon. I want to do the islands, swim in the water, and eat feta and olives.
Have I ever considered moving to Paris?
I lived in Paris off and on from 2013- 2015. I never had a VISA to stay over 3 months so I went back and forth any chance I got. At this point in my life, I don’t think I would move back to Paris but you never know. I think the pandemic put a lot of things into perspective and I would miss my family way too much. I love seeing my niece and nephew and being a part of their lives. Not seeing them for almost 18 months while they are little really was hard for me.
Are you still planning a trip to France this fall?
As of now, the girl’s trip is still on. I am keeping a watchful eye on France and the delta variant and we will make a call when it gets closer. A lot can happen in 6 weeks one way or the other.
What did I do before this?
I did a training program after college to be a Buyer/Manager of a department store. I lasted less than a year after graduating and ended up being a merchandise coordinator for Sean John. It was so different from what I ever thought I would do. I was there for about 3 years. I was a brand representative for a shoe company selling in the midwest and I was laid off 6 months after I started in 2008. I started my Etsy shop a few months later and felt it was a great opportunity to chase my dream job as a photographer.
The best advice when traveling to Paris for the first time to speak a little French?
Try to use as much French as you know. Always bonjour, merci, and au revoir. You are bound to make mistakes but the French will appreciate the effort. It’s also polite to use basic French words and always bonjour when entering a shop.
Do you still practice your French? How often and what tools/resources do you use?
Yes, I practice daily on Duolingo. I squeeze it in over lunch or before bed. Watching French shows on Netflix helps too.
How did you start as a blogger? And how did you decide on its focus and audience?
I never thought I would be a blogger. I had so many requests for Paris places to eat and drink and all my tips I thought it would be better to do it with a blog. I had no idea what I was doing and I learned as I went. I knew I wanted the blog to be about Paris and a French-inspired lifestyle. I wrote about the inspiration behind the blog in this post here. I totally forgot I wrote this 4 years ago. The blog just celebrated 5 years this July.
Do you have French heritage?
I don’t. I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and my parents were both born and raised in Ohio. My grandparents were both Russian.
When did I first become interested in photography?
I started photography in high school developing my own black and white film in the darkroom. That was over 20 years ago. I never thought photography could be a career. This was way before e-commerce started. I share my photography journey in this post.
Do I know places in FL that can help Frenchify my weekend?
I am working on an upcoming post for French cafés near you. If you have a favorite French spot for a croissant or macarons in your city feel free to drop it below and I will add it to the post.
Traveling to Paris in October but I am concerned about flying. Any advice on the flight?
I traveled to Italy in July and it was one of my first flights of the pandemic and my first international flight in almost 2 years. You are required to wear a mask the whole flight except during bites and sips. Not everyone follows this rule. The mask you wear is up to the airline. I wore my fabric Januu mask most of the flights but when I returned on a shorter flight via Luftansa I was asked to remove my fabric mask and replace it with a surgical mask. You are given antibacterial wipes to clean off your seat. You can also pick up wipes at your local grocery or pharmacy. Cover your seatbelt, headrest, and tray table with a good wipe. I also recommend sanitizing your hands when returning from the bathroom. Since the flight is overnight, you can wear a sleeping mask and a face mask and do your best to sleep a majority of the flight.
If you feel comfortable and you are nervous about flying during the pandemic, you can always double mask. I have done that before and it was totally fine. Just make sure to cover your nose and mouth. It sounds simple, but if you have been around you know we can always use a reminder.
I always like to do a good shower after a flight. I feel like plane clothes are dirty after sitting in them on an overnight flight.
Can you share a migraine remedy update?
I have been doing well knock on wood. To get you up to speed I wrote this post on my migraines. I try to keep consistent with sleep 100% of the time. I wake up and go to bed just about the same time every day even on the weekends. I set a bedtime reminder on my phone and watch to power down and get off technology. My phone won’t buzz until 6 am in morning when I am awake. Drinking lots of water throughout the day helps and I take daily vitamins. Fresh air and walks with Henri get me out of the house and away from technology for a bit in the middle of the day. I still get them from time to time and I know I need to catch them quickly before they get worse. But consistent sleep has been the best treatment.
No W. just wanted to tell you I lived the Frenchify your weekend in Chicago Post.
Will you be doing an Italy calendar?
Yes! They will be available for pre-sale the week of September 15th. They are currently with my designer Caroline now and I can’t wait to share them with you. If you want to get on the email list to make sure you don’t miss the pre-sale price, you can sign up here.
Thank you so much for your support! If you have any other questions. Feel free to drop them below. xo