photo via garance dore
In 2013 when I packed up my apartment and put my life into storage I had every intention of not coming back the same person. I barely traveled and worked a corporate job. I was ready for adventure and change. I had no idea how much life would change with one big decision. I returned to the States and I am not the same person that left. If I am completely honest I grew out of a few friendships after my time abroad. Things change and so do people. I have been thinking about this post a lot and if you have ever lived abroad you might be able to relate. If you have any to add please feel free to comment below. I would love to know more about you!
1. I stopped watching TV. You may know the only shows I have watched really since 2013 is "Gilmore Girls" and "This is Us" The best people watching is at a café in Paris. I could spend hours watching and observing from style to behavior. I never had the desire to run back and watch TV. After returning to the States I kept busy and I rarely turn it on. I am actually thinking about replacing my TV with this mirror from Anthropologie. It will get much more use than my dust collecting TV. If you are wondering just how old my TV is I believe I purchased it in 2006? It surprisingly still works.
2. I eat full-fat foods. I used to be a skim/fat-free kind of girl but after living in France those things are hard to find. When you look at the French girls are all eating full-fat yogurt and drinking coffee with regular milk and well we all know "French Women Don't Get Fat". So I switched and I can't imagine drinking skim milk again. It tastes funny! I have had to special request full-fat milk when ordering coffee these days because it isn't something that is always put out which is so odd to me. I also make my own yogurt. It is easier than you think and just takes a little prep work and this machine.
3. Less is More. I truly believe in the "Fewer Better" idea. One classic bag, a great pair of shoes, and the perfect red lipstick. I used to have a closet full of bags and shoes and would only wear my favorites over and over. It works out better if I buy one good quality item instead of 10 poorly made.
4. My Skincare got a makeover. I was never one that wore a full face of makeup but living in France made it easy to work the natural look. Instead of focusing on what was in my makeup bag my skin care became more of a priority. I am a skincare junkie if you didn't know.
5. I carry cash. If you take a look at your wallet chances are you are low on cash. I used to charge everything from a quick coffee to a pack of gum. Who carries cash these days? In Paris you can't buy a baguette with apple pay or a cup of coffee so carrying cash is essential. This also helps me budget a lot better. If I know how much I take out of the ATM and see how quickly it goes it puts things in perspective. I like to give myself a daily budget of cash when I am traveling and try not to use my card because of the extra transaction fee.
6. I notice the little things. Life moves a lot slower in France. Ask anyone that has sat at a café the service is slow amongst many other things. When things don't move as quickly as they do back home you learn to notice the little things. My favorite days were the ones where I got lost and discovered a new street or completely new arrondissement. This is how I find my favorite photographs for the Print Shop too.
7. I used to hate Sundays when I worked the corporate world. I had to grocery shop and do laundry because I knew Monday was going to be a long one. In Paris, most grocery stores are closed on Sundays. The Bastille market became a tradition for me. With or without friends I love walking the market and picking up what I need. I came up with a whole Sunday routine I enjoy and have actually started looking forward to them. Keep in mind I don't live the corporate life anymore and Mondays are my busy shipping days. There is always a trade-off.
Now I write Links I Love and it has been a joy to look forward to Sundays.
8. I am not a huge drinker. I currently have a bar cart with unopened liquor! In France, it was easy to order a glass of wine even with Lunch to compliment my meal. This is something I brought home with me and when I cook at home I love to pour a glass of white wine. I really wish wine was cheaper than water back in the States when dining out. It is easy to find a glass for $15 while in France you can find a decent glass for 5 euros.
9. I wish I was fluent in French but I am not...yet! (update, I am working on it) When I am in France my mind switches back from French to English as I absorb as much as possible. There are some words that I completely blank on what they are in English or vice versa. Does this happen to anyone else?
10. I probably walk more than the average person. I have no problem walking to the grocery or if it is a little extra exercise to walk instead of taking a car even on the coldest days. In France, it is normal to walk a lot and an apartment on the fifth floor with no lift is just part of life. I always find it amusing how far you actually walk underneath the metro. If you transfer at a big station like Chatelet you may have to walk pretty far from one line to next. These are my favorite walking shoes for Paris that are a game changer.
11. French Butter. Yes, it needs its own number. If you have ever had it you will know what I am talking about. It is a serious thing for me. I wish we had better options here in the US. I was at the store with my Mom a few years back and I saw European butter and I flipped out and started filling my cart. My mom asked me "What's wrong with Landolakes?" Last year my family came to Paris to visit so I bought some French butter and a few baguettes. We finished an entire butter in a matter of days. They were only staying another day but I was asked to go get more butter to fill their bellies for one last day. (future post idea my favorite french butter)
12. On the topic of food, let's talk about French cheese. I grew up on Kraft Mac and Cheese. Don't get me wrong for a good portion of my life I thought this was pretty fabulous. After moving to France cheese became a big part of my life. There is an actual cheese course. Sign me up! I can easily make a party out of wine and cheese and I am always trying to make the perfect cheese plate.. If you have ever been to a fromagerie you will know there are hundreds of cheeses to try. I won't ever tackle them all but I can at least try, right? Oh in case you are wondering the stinkier the better! I always have a comte in the house.
13. My style has changed. The first time I lived abroad in Italy I am pretty sure I left half of my wardrobe back in Florence and traded it for European style. It happened to all of us! I wish Instagram was around back then because the photos would have been amazing! I love my Lululemon don't get me wrong. I wear it everyday to workout. But if I am not working out I will put a dress on in the Summer or a sweater and jeans in the Winter. I would say I am in between the stylish French and the American athleisure trend.
14. I grocery shop almost daily. I am single so it might be easier to meal plan than having a family. My schedule changes daily and I can be out with friends one night and eat at home the next. Since I work from home when I am not traveling I cook a lot. I don't plan out what I eat so far in advance I am at the grocery the day of thinking what I will have for dinner. My food is fresh and my fridge is rarely stocked. I know the staff at the grocery store and in the Summer I am a regular at the market near my house. I don't own a microwave and I rarely use the freezer. This is very different from the way I was raised buying a week or month in advance.
15. Don't take travel for granted. When you live abroad you know how easy it is to book a last minute trip to a different country or city. The same time it takes for me to go from Chicago to Florida to visit my family is the same time you can get to London from Paris via the Chunnel. Train travel is SO easy in Europe and even on a very limited budget, you can explore a whole different culture.
Bonus: Patience is so important. In the US we are so used to getting things done quickly and efficiently. This is not the way things always run in Europe. Even going out to eat can be a lengthy slow process. The first time I dined out solo in Paris, the waitress told me to slow down. Before giving me the bill she put a stack of magazines on my table to read. Life shouldn't be rushed it should be enjoyed. If that is one take away from living abroad over all the others it is a good one. I can always be reminded of this one.
This post does include affiliate links which helps contribute to my coffee and croissant research. Merci!
Earlier this month I wrote about what to pack for Paris in the Autumn, one of the staples in my wardrobe is the white button-up. If you are in Paris, Chicago, or NYC the white button-up is a great way to pull together an outfit. My friend Alexis asked me how do you pack a white button-up? I always pack a wardrobe bag when I travel and it keeps everything neat and wrinkle-free. It also helps keep my outfits organized. Here are a few simple and classic ways to wear a white button-up. I used this white JCrew one I already had in my closet.
It was 70 degrees last week so this look could totally work up until about Friday. But in the Winter months, I wear this with a pair of heels and tights and it's not a problem. I had my eye on this faux-leather mini skirt all winter and it sold out from JCrew but it is now back in stock.
Once the weather gets cooler right about now it's great to layer. I love throwing a white button-up under a sweater for some added warmth. I am cold all the time so I also put a white camisole under as an added layer. I love these sweaters from JCrew that come in every color. They are having a 30% off sale now so you can stock up for the Winter.
Welcome to the first entry into the Paris Diaries. The idea came about while I was planning my latest Paris trip. When I first moved to Paris in 2013 I blogged daily. It wasn't about anything so specific but just about where I went and what I saw. I took people on my personal journey. Life got crazy and I stopped blogging for a while. So here I am 2016 and I started Every Day Parisian. There are a lot of different parts to the blog but I wanted to make sure that you had my personal point of view. I decided to introduce my daily blogging while I am back in Paris so you can see just why I love it so much.
As I tell you I plan on blogging for 10 straight days I am already thinking I am crazy. My days are long and exhausting but I really want to do this. Instagram is fantastic and so are individual blog posts highlighting some of my favorite places in Paris but there is nothing like getting the play by play.
So to bring you up to speed. The last three weeks I spent in Miami with my sister, niece, and new baby nephew. I have the flexibility in my job that I can work anywhere so it was really important to me that I spent time with my family during this exciting time. I read a million books to my niece and snuggled my nephew while he napped on my chest. It was the best! I arrived back in Chicago with about three days to spare to get ready for this trip to Paris.
I have a lot of projects planned and so many blog ideas to teach you about Paris and share some of my favorite spots as well as learn about new openings. I can't wait to catch up with old friends and I have a friend that happens to be visiting Paris at the same time so I plan on giving her the royal grand tour.
If you are wondering why I am going back to Paris, the answer is simple. I found a $500 plane ticket this Summer and I couldn't say no. This will be my third trip to Paris this year and I am SO excited to get back. It has been a whole six months since my last trip. I spent two weeks in April part of the time was with my family visiting and the rest was a solo trip.
The black and white photos in this post were taken by my friend Anastasia from I heart Paris She was so kind to take these photos of me in Paris. I can't believe a year has passed since these were taken. When I look back they make me smile so much and bring tears to my eyes. I am usually behind the camera in Paris so to have some beautiful photographs of myself in Paris truly is the best gift.
SO much has happened since this time last year. I was dating someone at the time who didn't stick around. Which I promise is a very good thing! He actually came with me to Paris in January but we broke up not too long after. I have actually really enjoyed being single the last couple of months. I finally have my freedom back and for so long it was a bad relationship I find myself so much happier now than when I was with him.
I really can't wait to show you around Paris. If you have some favorite places that you want to see in Paris with the Autumn leaves feel free to comment below. I will be working double and triple time trying to capture the Autumn colors and collect images and stories for the blog. But I can honestly say although these trips are crazy busy they make me so happy!
When thinking about the chicest, the most classic, the most timeless article of clothing that could possibly be worn, my mind immediately goes to the Little Black Dress (or LBD for short). The silhouette can be changed, and you can dress it up or down with the accessories of your choosing, but this iconic piece of clothing just might be the most important thing for a woman to have in her closet. Surprise, surprise: the LBD was perfected and shot into stardom by the French.
In 1926, Coco Chanel sent a drawing of a simple black sheath dress to American Vogue. Before then, black was a color reserved for mourning clothes, and it was actually considered improper to wear an all-black outfit unless you were in a mourning period. Things were gradually moving away from that, and Chanel jumped at the chance to turn such an elegant and neutral color into an accessible piece of clothing for any woman to wear. All about comfort and simple silhouettes, Chanel started a revolution with her design of the LBD that continued to gain popularity long after her death.
From Audrey Hepburn’s elegant black sheath dress designed by Givenchy for her role in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in the 1960’s, to the minimalist-grunge era of black mini-dresses in the 1990’s, to the multitude of shapes, lengths, and fabric choices that we have today, one can see just how easy it is for the classic Little Black Dress to be customized and reinterpreted. However, the fact of the matter remains: this black beauty is here to stay.
What began as a military uniform is now one of the most chic articles of clothing you can own... behold, the striped shirt! Also known as the Breton Stripe, this pattern hit the mainstream after being worn by the French navy in the 1850's. The design was originally a white boat neck shirt with long sleeves and 21 navy stripes to represent each of Napoleon's victories.
Inspired by her visits to the French coast, Coco Chanel channeled her love of the striped shirt's simplicity into designing a striped top of her own for her nautical collection in 1917. In the decades following, the striped shirt would be seen on the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, and Marilyn Monroe. The clean look of a striped shirt, and the timeless look that works on lovers of minimalism and extravagance alike, is one of the world's most beloved wardrobe staples.
In fashion today, there are endless variations of the striped shirt; varied sleeve lengths, necklines, stripe width, and colors gives us many options when picking one of these classic tops for ourselves. Below, we've featured Every Day Parisian's founder, Rebecca, in a few of our favorite striped shirts. Make sure to check out the links below to see other variations of this top that we can't get enough of!