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Reader Questions Answered

woman waking on the street and sharing Reader Questions Answered

I love being able to connect with readers on Instagram. These questions came in during a recent post and cover a variety of topics. I hope this helps you get to know me a little better.

Reader Questions Answered

Favorite Travel Outfit?

I am the opposite of most people that go for comfort when traveling and wear sweats or athleisure. I typically wear jeans and a nice sweater or shirt. Comfortable travel shoes are key, my Madewell sneakers or boots in the winter. Traveling to Paris is a long day, but I like to look put together when I land.

Advice for a breakup?

Breakups are hard. One of my good friends always tells me you have 24 hours to hit rock bottom, cry and eat all the junk food you want but pick yourself up and move on. This was such good advice. Grieve for your loss and move on.

I watched a lot of tv when I went through a breakup, “Friends” and “Gilmore Girls” were my comfort foods.

I recently watched “How to Be Single” on the plane home from Paris and cried. You have to carve out some of the cheese with Rebel Wilson but I loved the overall message. I feel there is so much of a focus in the US on being paired up with someone. The best advice I got from someone who got married later in life was to enjoy being single, I always kept our conversation in the back of my head.

Take yourself out for dinner, dress up, cook, do all the things you want to do. Work on yourself being happy alone. You don’t need someone to complete you. Finding a partner that compliments you is what I think it is all about.

Favorite neighborhood to stay in Paris for a solo traveler?

I would stay in the center of the city. Use your street smarts when it comes to feeling safe. If it is dark and you don’t feel comfortable walking home, take an Uber. Your safety is worth a few extra dollars. When I am out with friends and I still have my camera with me, I always take an Uber back. Check-in with your local hotel front desk and ask for desk hours. Some hotels will lock their front door for safety after a certain hour. I wrote this post on safety tips for solo travelers.

When did you start learning French? What is your current level?

I started in Middle School and took it through High School and some of college. The real learning comes in when you are in France practicing the language with native speakers. I was alone and didn’t know anyone for the first couple of months back in 2013 and I would ride the metro and repeat the stops to myself to learn the correct pronunciation. Repetition is key when it comes to learning. The French have always been patient and kind when it comes to speaking and learning the language when I am visiting.

Favorite French recipe?

I love a good madeleine out of the oven. I have been making this recipe for years and will add fruit, lemon, or chocolate to the base of the batter depending on my mood. So, I hope to make these for my niece and nephew over the holidays.

Camera for beginners?

I owned a Canon Rebel and started with that years ago. They continue to make great models and it is a great SLR (single-lens removal) You can play around with the camera and learn with this one and slowly start to make an investment in better lenses and a better body. The price point for a kit lens and body is under $500.

What are your tips for making friends as an adult?

This is so hard especially if you don’t have kids to make friends with other parents. I work from home alone so my dance studio is where I found great friends as an adult. Find an activity that you love doing and find friends that way. As crazy as it sounds, I met a lot of my friends as adults in Paris in the ex-pat community mostly on Instagram. I recently did an Atlas Adventures trip in Paris and so many of the girls went solo and met great friends that way. Whitney has a ton of trips planned in 2022 if you love to travel and want to make new friends.

A favorite vintage clothing shop in Paris?

I don’t know the name of any personally but I know the girls from my latest Paris trip did a few Airbnb local tours and they found some great vintage shops.

How do you make money? Just curious if it is all photo sales? Influencer for products?

A majority of my income is through The Print Shop. I also run an Etsy store and license my work with big-box retailers. I used to live off my Etsy sales but after an algorithm change a few years ago, I had a wake-up call and I realized I couldn’t depend on one platform. Also, I do make money from the blog through affiliate partnerships but it isn’t enough to live off at this point. I don’t do a lot of sponsored ads or run advertisements on the blog. I could make a lot more money if I did more sponsored ads and advertisements but I only want to share what I truly love because your trust as a reader means more than anything.

Recommendations for elegant cocktail bars in Paris?

The Ritz, George V, Le Meurice, Le Crillon are all great for a cocktail in Paris. The average price is going to be around 30 euros so don’t have sticker shock. You are paying for the experience and the ambiance. If you are looking for something a little more hip and trendy, check out this recent blog post with a list by arrondissement. I haven’t been to a lot of these places but the article has an in-depth explanation of each.

Best arrondissement to stay in Paris?

I think that it all depends on what you are looking for in your visit. I love The Marais so, in a perfect world, I would stay right in the heart so I could have my favorite markets, streets, and restaurants all close by. It is very Parisian to stay close to your own neighborhood. It is rare to hear a Parisian will travel far for a baguette or croissant as we do when we are visiting. Their favorite boulangerie is typically right down the street from where they live.

What are my favorite cities other than Paris?

Florence will always have a special place in my heart as that is where I studied abroad in college. I love Positano and wish I could visit every Summer.

How do you wash your bangs in between full hair washes?

This is such a fun question! When I cut bangs years ago I had no idea what to do with them. Once I learned this simple technique it was a game-changer. You want to dry wrap your bangs. I used to wash my hair daily before bangs. Now I can go days without washing with a little dry shampoo or a ponytail or headband. I will tie my hair back and do a quick rinse and wash off my bangs with my Klorane shampoo. You want to dry your bangs first thing after drying off from the shower. Mine dry very quickly so this is time sensitive. Create an x with your brush pulling the hair from one side to the other adding heat with the blow dryer. This helps give them a little fluff and they aren’t so flat. I typically use the same flat brush, but you can also use a round brush. In between washes, I throw a little dry shampoo on my brush and run it through to soak up any oil.

What’s the next trip?

Florida first for Thanksgiving to see my family. Paris is planned for December if it remains safe and I am healthy. I have dreamt of Paris at Christmas for SO long. This is my Christmas bonus to myself.

I’m off to Paris for Christmas. What are some holiday must-dos?

There are so many fun festive things to do at Christmas in Paris. I am working on an upcoming blog post in early December that will share ideas. I currently have a personal google document. If you want some ideas before early December, you can check out this blog post. Visit the Grand Magasins (large department stores) Galleries Lafayettes, Bon Marché, and Printemps for their Christmas windows. There will be Christmas markets in The Tuileries, Les Halles, in front of the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame

Love you and your page! Any similar Francophile friends or bloggers to follow?

Thank you! I love Shannon Ables from Simple Luxurious Life, Rue Rodier, and Vivi and Margot. She recently moved back to France and her house hunting was incredible. Also, Ann Street Studio.

Paris jet lag- stay awake when you get there or nap?

Push through as hard as you can. It is always easier for me to fight jet lag on the way there than to come home. I wrote this post which has some helpful tips!

Favorite place to stay in Paris?

I love a good boutique hotel. It’s so hard to choose. I love Pavillon de la Reine for the location. Also, I just stayed at Saint James Paris which was on my bucket list.

Favorite Christmas song?

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. I could listen to it on repeat.

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  1. Hi Rebecca,
    As a Chicagoan, and Francophile, I’ve really been enjoying your blog. My Wife and I have been to Paris many times but it’s always been Sept/Oct. We are going for 10 days over Christmas this year, and cannot wait to experience the city festooned in all it’s holiday glory. I’ve done a fair amount of research on what will be open/closed over Christmas and I’ve found many adventures to keep us busy, but I look forward to your upcoming blog post in December. We spend much of our time in the Marais, so maybe we’ll see you there!
    bonne journée, Doug

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    I’m awaiting the arrival of your “Pont des Arts” bridge print. A friend of mine at work recently lost her husband and one of the bucket list items was to see Lovelock Bridge when visiting Paris. I started investigating and after seeing everything online, yours is such a beautiful representation. I am also trying to fabricate a small version of the bridge for her back yard garden that her husband had been fond of. As your print will arrive today I plan to give it to her prior to Thanksgiving. My wife likes to say an “Unbirthday Present”. Like a, just because kinda present. Safe travels to you to Florida. Thankyou for sharing your beautiful ART!

    Paix et amour, Bruce

  3. We have been in Paris before Christmas in the lead up, which is really wonderful. But the day itself could be a disappointment. It will be dead, as Christmas is a family day and many restaurants are closed. Things really pick up again a week or two later during the winter sales. But I do envy you for being there. The food windows are the best as well as my favorite store in the world, Hermes.
    On a personal note, mini bernadoodle Zoe arrives tomorrow. I am both nervous and excited.

    • Congratulations on Zoe! Tomorrow is Henri’s first birthday. 🥳 I know you will enjoy having the little lady around. We hope to see you sometime in Chicago! xo

  4. It seems that many of your readers are madames or madmoiselles, however, je suis un homme et marie. I love your blog and look forward to it every week. It makes my day and gives me so many ideas. My ancestors are French and immigrated from Courcival, France (near Chartres and Mamers to New Orleans in the earyly 18th century. I first visited Paris in 1985 when I was 40 years old. I have revisited France many times since then and have spent winters in Villefranche sur Mer and St. Remy. We were there the day before France shut down due to Covid. By the skin of our teeth, we were able to take the train from Avignon to Lille and then to London. Lucked out and grabbed an American flight out of Heathrow to Dallas the next day. I was secretely hoping I would be stranded in Provence. Keep up your good works, Rebecca. it would be tres bien to meet you. As Melody Gardot sings, “Maybe one day I will see you; maybe one day I will see you soon. Merci beaucoups toujours! DG

  5. This summer you recommended the Positano Car Service and I want to let you know that I used them in September/October 2021 for four trips. As advertised, they provide luxury cars with English-speaking drivers. The gentlemen also were early for the arranged pick up times and they provided commentary (tour guide knowledge) about what we were seeing along the beautiful Amalfi coastline. Thank you for this mention in your newsletter.
    I have plans for a solo trip to Paris next April and enjoy your suggestions too. I’m familiar with Paris but always appreciate more info.

  6. Rebecca,
    I am seeing another surge in Covid now. Is it safe to travel to France at this point? Also, are you going to be having any tours in 2020? I am also a solo traveler in my 60’s who would love to travel with other women of like age. Do you have any suggestions how to find them? I love your site and blog and have bought some of your work which I have framed in my home. I look forward to your blogs. You are a doll and so informative!!! xx Deb