June 23, 2014


Dublin 1 - steve Dublin 2 - Fumbally Dublin 3 - steve Dublin 4 - Cork Dublin 5 - Cork Dublin 6 - Dara Dublin 7 - Ger Fumbally Dublin 8 - Ger Dublin 9 - Forest Avenue Dublin 10 - Steve
This is a strange age. For the longest time I thought everything in my life was pretty much figured out and under control. What I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it, and who I wanted to do it with. But it's not. Nothing is. Everything that was "figured out" has slowly been crumbling down and it's scary and exciting and kind of sad. Anything new usually means letting go of something old. And I'm doing a lot of that these days. Old ideas, values, possessions, people. I'm told I'm young, and I'm finally accepting that. Kind of. Being stubborn hasn't been working out great. I think I'll just let things happen.

My week in Dublin was the pinnacle of what I've been calling the "strange age" and now I'm open to anything, really. It was full of highs and lows and ended a few days earlier than anticipated. Luckily it's easier to remember the highs, so I'm left with good memories. The last day was especially sunny and was very hot and I was wearing all black and felt like my jeans were melting.  I had the best latte at the Fumbally that day. My last night there was one of the funnest and I only even remember two thirds of it – in a good way. Some lovely people made sure I had fun and was taken care of during my week in Dublin and I thank them all. They make me want to go back. But not  quite yet because I'm off to Colombia now. And off to do yoga and focus on myself for a while. I promise, S. Vx

June 21, 2014


Once again I apologize for the mix of good camera photos and really ugly iphone photos. I mean, the Atelier de l'Éclair photos that follow are so unappetizing, you're going to have to trust me. However, what really matters here tonight are the pastries. If you are on your way to Paris, you will want, nay, need to visit some of these places and get what I tried, because oh my god. 

Sadaharu Aoki Sadaharu Aoki 2 Sadaharu Aoki 3 Sadaharu Aoki 4 Sadaharu Aoki 5 Sadaharu Aoki

matcha almond croissant – If you're coming to Paris, you're probably going to be getting some croissants... and you definitely should (not just anywhere though). Sure I like croissants but I think the ones with the almond paste inside are so much yummier (if they're not too sweet). This is the best croissant I have ever had. Obviously it's not your regular croissant. But it is so worth it. Get it. 

Symphonie – I rarely get this kind of pastry. I'm more of a classic éclair/macaron/milleufeuille kind of girl. This was pretty good and definitely interesting. It had some nice flavors but it was a tad too sweet and I'm glad I split it with Kady because I would have been on a ridiculous sugar high had I not. 

Eclair Atelier 1 Eclair Atelier 2 L'atelier de l'éclair

Oh god. These pictures are awful, I'm so sorry. But the éclairs themselves are to die for. Especially the vanilla and the caramel au beurre salé. If you go to l'atelier de l'éclair and only want to get one: caramel au beurre salé all the way. Seriously delicious! They also have savory éclair style sandwiches which I haven't tried. I guess if it's lunch time and you're hungry, why not? 

June 19, 2014


Like a Dream :: Francis and the Lights

This is absolutely amazing. I love the simplicity of the video and the upbeat, beautifully simple song. You'll thank me! Give it a listen... 

June 18, 2014


dara's camera - dublin
I got home from Dublin past midnight last night and went to bed right away. Exhausted. Today I woke up with one thought in mind. I need to refocus. I've been on this endless path towards a minimalistic lifestyle for ages. My first step last year was to grab a few small bags and put in really old clothes to give away... then I grabbed a huge bag and put in all the clothes I wanted to sell. It made me feel better to sell the clothes. That was a year ago. I've sold a few dresses at a brocante in Paris but the truth is I'm really bad at the whole thing and I definitely don't know where to start as far as selling clothes online goes. So after a year of having a pile of nice clothes to sell, I finally took some of that out as well and am ready to donate them. I don't really care about the money anymore. I care about being happy and what will make me happy is to have less

My goal is to be able to access most possessions easily. I don't want things in boxes in the back of the closet or under the bed. I don't want to forget I own things and not be able to find things because there are just so. many. things. Everything should have a place and everything should be useful. It's not easy but I've made huge progress today. 

I travel loads. I travel maybe a week or two at a time and always take enough clothes. And I never find myself missing any of my possessions at home. So why do I need it all? Why do I have it if it's so easy to just leave it and walk away? 

Here are some articles I've found helpful:

And please! If you have any advice or any thoughts, leave a comment and I will most definitely read them because I will take any help I can get. This is making me happy.

June 15, 2014


Paris is lovely and all, but 85% of the coffee here sucks. Café allongé is what I'll get if I'm at the usual french café but give me the option, and I will choose a latte, a flat white or, well yeah, just a regular black coffee at one of these lovely places. Now, all of a sudden, all these wonderful little cafés are appearing out of nowhere. For some reason, most of them are in the Marais, but not all. My dad and I are really into coffee, good coffee, so whenever we go out for a walk, we look up cafés in the area. Here are three places we've been to and will definitely visit again. (Apologies for the iphone pictures)

Holybelly (10e arrondissement)
Fondation cafe (3e arrondissement)
Loustic (3e arrondissement)

Holybelly 1 Holybelly 2 Holybelly 3 Holybelly 4


Owned by a friend of a friend, this café is really pretty. The lights and decoration remind me a bit of The Fumbally but they definitely have their own vibe. I've read that their food is amazing (here is their menu) but so far I've only ever had their coffee which I can see is made with love and passion by Nico! I've been wanting to go back. Soon, soon...



I have to be honest, I only went once and it was six months ago so I'm having a hard time remembering this place. However it has rave reviews and the café itself had a nice feel to it. Once again, I've only tried their coffee so I cannot tell you about their food but the coffee was good. I had the filter kind. 

Fondation cafe 1 Fondation cafe 2 Fondation cafe 3 Fondation Café

Last but not least, Fondation Café. The place was TINY but the coffee was great and the guys who worked there were very nice. And I think the one guy was French. I know I've lived here for 10 years but I still get surprised when French guys are that nice. It reminds of that David Sedaris piece where he keeps going to this one shop in Paris because the owners are so nice to him, and he'll buy stuff he doesn't need just to go back. I got that feeling with this place. I think by now you're expecting this: no, I didn't try their food... but I really liked looking at it. 

June 13, 2014


parisian style 2 // 1 parisian style 2 // 2 parisian style 2 // 3 parisian style 2 // 4 parisian style 2 // 5
coat: Mango • jeans: AE • bag: Madewell • jeans & boots: not sure

Anyone else love Marc Maron? I've been listening to his podcast for over four years and now I'm so happy he has his own show on IFC. A lot of time when I'm feeling down, I remind myself that Marc Maron is out there, living his life with remarkably similar problems to my own, and if he can do it, well, so can I. Thanks Marc. 

Also loving on Madewell: 

Also loving on Mango:

June 10, 2014


I am obsessed with this. It takes me back four years to when I was studying for the French bac at the American Library in Paris. I would listen to this over and over and I just loved it. Please enjoy. Vx

June 7, 2014


Another edition of nice tattoos. Still trying to figure out the next one I want. These are mostly big tattoos that I doubt I would ever be able to get but I think they are amazing! Tattoos by Pietro Sedda, Peter Aurisch, and others I don't know. That is the only problem with Pinterest... over half the picture links send you to Tumblr! Well, the other Pinterest problem is being sucked into the Pinterest world for hours. Here we go, enjoy!

 photo handkuss-web1.jpg  photo b33747f510de56da2bd2d44357543591.jpg  photo f5a5b8ef91dd6649813e4d21f5cdf8e9.jpg  photo 193d523f0342831587bb7704ed205302.jpg  photo be9c70860f5d9c1177384fb6bc0c53c9.jpg  photo c990f7988c9704c38f782ea7bd17f527.jpg  photo 7de220b92b899c00bfa60d5f032c4c04.jpg

June 6, 2014


1. Sit down to eat. 
I never thought this was that important but it truly is. Slow down. Never eat at the fridge with the door open (like I do too often). Sit down and enjoy your food.

2. No distractions
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if I watched less TV shows, I would be skinnier. In all honesty, I feel hunger 50, maybe 60% of the time I actually eat. So a lot of the time, I'm just eating out of habit or gluttony or laziness... No distractions, be aware!

3. It's going to be there later
My problem is probably something psychological. It's like I have some kind of fear that if I don't eat something right now – right now, this instant – it won't be there later. If you have the same problem (or if you're just realizing you do) then before you head to the fridge or before you finish your plate, just take a second to remind yourself that you're full and you can finish it later 'cause, yeah, it'll still be there.

4. Less is more
We eat too quickly, especially when we are very hungry. It takes some time to realize we are full. Eat slowly and remember that less is more. If you sit down to devour a huge cake, the first bite will be bliss, the second, third, fourth will be pretty good... but then, it doesn't really taste as good as the first bite, huh. Have you noticed that? Take time to notice. We usually overeat because we think we are more hungry than we actually are, and because we are not eating mindfully. Less really is more and leaving the table wanting more is better than leaving the table feeling so full the thought of food disgusts you.

5. Take control and be aware
Take control of your mind and body. Is there a part of you telling you that it's too good to stop and that you can't stop? that you might as well eat it 'cause it's right there? that you'll never be able to lose the weight anyway? Realize that you can stop and have the ability to move your arms and hands and fingers and put it away. You can just walk away!

June 4, 2014


1401703844.502054.IMG_3338 1401649659.275792.IMG_3346 1401728741.438961.IMG_3368

Kady left for the US yesterday. I'll see her again in September for my last semester at Smith. Though she had a room and a French host family in the 16e arrondissement, she stayed with me a lot which was great. We spent a lot of time trying new pastries, going out for beer, cooking, sleeping, drinking wine... drinking wine. drinking wine. and lots and lots of walking! bye Rowena x

June 2, 2014


cucumber, spinach & apple
This is an amazing smoothie. I don't eat enough greens. I probably eat more than some people, but I think I could do better. And I want to do better - for my skin, for my health... Now let's be brutally honest - we all trick ourselves into believing we eat less than we do. Especially when we're eating "healthy", we allow ourselves more little treats because we think we're doing such a great job. If you're looking to lose weight, eating pounds of quinoa and tablespoons of chia seeds and handfuls of goji berries and halves of avocado... well, sorry to tell you, that's not the answer. It's great and definitely continue eating healthy! But just because we get all excited about these superfoods doesn't mean we can eat so much of them. 

I love smoothies but I have trouble counting a drink as a meal. And very often, all those smoothies you see on health food blogs are actually pretty high in calories and are counted as meals. I'm happy to share this low calorie smoothie with you! It's perfect. Perfection à la Chandler Bing. 

(80 kcal)

1/4 cup chopped spinach
10-15 slices of cucumber 
1/4 of a large apple
2 teaspoons honey 
1/2 cup ice 
2/3 cup water

And most of the calories are from the honey. I would say 'skip the honey' but honestly this is so low cal as it is, might as well make it delicious. You could however use less honey. Maybe 1 teaspoon is enough? I liked it this way. It's a watery smoothie, peeerfect for the summer. Enjoy! Vx

June 1, 2014


 photo 56da82644c0a0c981cc2f5d7c61cd50c.jpg 
Today's links are all fitness/health related! This week I've been feeling very motivated to get back on track and to fit into all my clothes again. The summer heat excites me only for one reason and that is the usual loss of hunger. It makes not thinking about food so much easier. In the heat, you just don't want to feel stuffed and hot. In the heat, you just want to feel light as air. It's probably something that helped me lose weight last year so hopefully this year will be the same. Here are a bunch of links I find useful! Have you found anything interesting?
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Ten Workouts

Five Fitness Blogs & Channels

special lazy people posts

  • Workout you can do laying down
  • easy workouts to do at home while watching tv (like me)
  • getting back into it - we can do it, people
  • tips to working out at home
  • I have to be honest... I hate running. I reeeeally want to love it and get myself motivated to run every day, even every week, but god I hate it. Hopefully these two posts might help: 1 / 2 
  • also, let's just eat less sugar, ok?

Here is my Fitness/Health pinterest board. I don't post annoyingly often but I try to post my favorite things. Be sure to follow! Hope you had a great week and here's to a good healthy, fitness-heavy week (for me... what about you? join me! let's get lean). Vx

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