February 27, 2015

WORN IN PARIS // 07

Parisian style Val 1 Parisian style Val 2

On Friday, my fingertips hurt. I played guitar all day, writing a song,  finally... Another sad one because obviously that's all I'm good for. I remember when I wrote the more loving one. Damn, that was long ago. It's still my favorite song. I never would have written it had I not gone through that heartbreak, though. So it sucks how sad I had to be to get the best thing I've done. 

Parisian style Val 3
coat: Miss Sixty • bag c/o Pepa Loves • boots c/o Blowfish Shoes • hat: H&M • scarf: Benetton • skirt: thrifted

Another appearance by those boots. I've lost count of how many times I've worn them on the blog. Many, many, many. They're perfect for winter, what can I say. Right now I am quite sick. I started getting sick Wednesday, and have been getting a bit worse every day. However I didn't realize I was getting sick so I didn't take care of myself (i.e I did not sleep at all Friday night thanks to my Moose family and a lot of gin). I had to work until 1am last night and didn't get to sleep until past 3. Well today (I'm writing this on Sunday, by the way) I shall rest. Oh yes. 

February 25, 2015

HEALTHY SNACK: 150 CALORIES

Citrus salad 1 Val

I'm not a huge fan of snacks. Only because I overdo it very often. Snack, snack, snack. I'm one of those people who eats when she's bored. Or procrastinating. And god, I do that a lot. Without a job, I guess I have the time to do useless things like make a pretty fruit salad. A fruit salad should not take that long to make, jesus. You cut fruit up, mix them... and it all goes in your mouth soon enough. It made for a pretty picture, at least. And I'm a sucker for all those beautiful smoothie bowls and fruit salads that appear in my Instagram feed... but I don't want to forget simplicity. In these days of beautiful food art, I forget that sometimes I should just bite into an apple and eat it. Instead of cutting it into uniform shapes and arranging it to look like an f-ing masterpiece. It. is. just. an apple. 

This isn't. This is orange, grapefruit and banana with a drizzle of yogurt and agave. Delicious! 

Ingredients
1/4 orange
1/4 grapefruit
1/3 banana
+ plain yogurt, agave, bee pollen, lavender, orange blossom water, pistachio (optional)

Citrus salad 2 Val


February 23, 2015

DÉGUSTATION DE PATISSERIES // 06

SA chou 1 SA chou 2

Sadaharu Aoki


choux au matcha – I got this when I was going through my huge pastry phase. When I was eating three to five pastries a week. Valentina, the damn idiot on a sugar high for an entire summer. I went to Sadaharu Aoki to get my matcha almond croissant (the one I love oh so very much) and decided to get this as well. I wasn't in the mood to eat it the same day, so I put it in the fridge. I thing I ate half the next day and the other half the day after. This was my own mistake. You want to eat éclairs and choux as fresh as possible. However I did like the choux. It had a good matcha flavor and the pastry cream was nice and... creamy. I have made matcha éclairs though, and I think this was just as good as mine. It's gigantic, if you can tell by the picture. 


Laduree 1 Laduree 2 Laduree 3 Laduree 4

Ladurée


éclair au chocolat – now for the iphone pictures (sorry)... I took a friend and her family to Ladurée to try the macarons and they also wanted an éclair. It's Ladurée, so I'd never actually tried anything other than macarons. The chocolate éclair was fine but nothing out of this world. It was a simple, good éclair. I wouldn't recommend it over the other places that make only éclairs. If you go to Ladurée and have the choice between a macaron and an éclair, stick to the macaron. 

macarons – this is what people stand in line for. For the first few (many) years in France, I only knew of Ladurée macarons. If you invited people over and wanted to give them a little something fancy for dessert, you bought a box of Ladurée macarons. I see why they're famous. These macarons are definitely delicious. While the vanilla doesn't stack up to the Pierre Hermé vanilla or some other ones I've tried, the flavors are classic, elegant and delicate. The boxes are so beautiful and you can't not feel fancy when buying some. There's always a Pierre Hermé-Ladurée "which is best?" fight going on. For good macarons, classic flavors, and something everyone knows, Ladurée. For the best of the best, Pierre Hermé. 


February 21, 2015

LES COCOTTES

Les Cocottes 1 Les Cocottes 2 Les Cocottes 3 Les Cocottes 4 Les Cocottes 5 Les Cocottes 6 Les Cocottes 7

Les Cocottes
135 rue Saint-Dominique 75007, Paris

My dad and I went to Les Cocottes on a slow Saturday afternoon in August. Yes, this was a long long time ago. I found it on Paris in Four Months and it looked good. It was one of those days where I wasn't feeling overwhelmed with all the choices (there are many - my list is LONG, people). I knew that I wanted a caesar salad (because that's all I want, ever) and they had that on the menu so it was kind of a done deal. Sometimes you have to make a choice and stick with it, you know? 

It was a nice walk from Invalides and extremely close to the Eiffel Tower. I can never find a good reason to hang around the Eiffel Tower area. There's not much there. So it was pretty cool to see it again. It's just... there. All tall and touristy. 

Les Cocottes is part of the Maison Constant - right next door is Café Constant and the uber-fancy Le Violon d'Ingres. The restaurant itself was pretty small but it wasn't full of people. Then again, that is Paris in August if you're not a tourist and know where to hide. We sat at the bar which was not the best place to sit because the waiters were louder than us, doing all their work right in front of us. It's different when it's the cook and you get to see them prepare food. THAT is cool. We ordered everything to share. We started with the caesar salad which was yummy. Good tasting, though not seasoned enough. I thought the dressing was a bit on the heavy side but my dad thought it was perfect. Opinions. After that we shared a lobster ravioli bisque which was insanely good. I'm drooling over it right now... Last we shared pigs feet. I'm guessing the meat was in the potato skins. I liked it and thought it was fun to try something new, but my dad only thought it was okay. There was no room for dessert so we left and walked around Paris all afternoon. When passing Café Constant, my dad looked at the menu and said next time he definitely wants to try that one. Next time it is!


February 19, 2015

STAY COOL... YOU'RE IN

Valentina Duracinsky Coolin Paris Hendrick's Gin
The past few nights have been great. All the anxiety from last week is gone; I feel like a new person. I have new friends, and possibly a new job in one of my favorite places in Paris. Everything seems to be going pretty well in my head. My number one priority is work. I just want to work and work and work. I want the full time position at this place, and I want to be an extra at the Moose, and a blogger with a revenue, and a photographer, and a writer, and a musician, and a pastry tour guide, and an assistant to other bloggers... those are all the titles I've worn in the past two weeks. It's a lot but I'm still hard on myself. I haven't written any new songs in over six months. I haven't finished a book in ages. I have been eating like a pig, snacking like crazy. I haven't been going for runs or been taking showers first thing in the morning like planned. I haven't been blogging enough. You have no idea all the posts I have in mind, and the things I have lined up. I just need to sit down and actually finish them... I should push through those moments of laziness and procrastination and get small jobs done, and not think too much of it.

I haven't done enough.
But I am exhausted.

Maybe I'm too hard on myself. I don't really know. There's not that much time to sit down and think about my feelings. All I know is that I want to keep working hard, and spend the rest of my time with people I like, people that make me feel good. And with gin.

Gin Drink Valentina



February 17, 2015

MUSIC FOR THE SOUL

Let's go back to Ireland. A friend of a friend. She's obviously very good at what she does.

February 12, 2015

WORN IN PARIS // 06

Parisian Style 1 Valentina D Parisian Style 2 Valentina D

On a sunny day. On a cold day. Because all the days are cold – it is winter, Valentina. Why do you let the sun trick you into thinking you'll survive without a hat and gloves? You will freeze. But it's okay. Because once summer comes you'll be complaining about the unbearable heat. Remind yourself to enjoy the weather, even if it's hard. Cold weather has benefits. You, too obsessed with burning calories, should be happy because the cold does just that. While you walk around Paris or go on one of those ephemeral runs, your body is working hard. Appreciate that. And isn't it great when after days of rain or awful grey skies, the sun unexpectedly comes out and it just brings a smile to your face? 

Parisian Style 3 Valentina D Parisian Style 4 Valentina D

Maybe this was not the right coat for the winter but after days of anxiety and ups and downs, green – damn bright green! was needed to remind yourself to stay cheerful and colorful despite life not being that great. Life isn't always great. But Eleanor Roosevelt is teaching you to be a leader. Find yourself first, know yourself yada yada yada. Only leaders wear green velvet shoes, after all. 

Parisian Style 5 Valentina D
coat c/o Tulle • bag c/o Lodinatt • earrings & bracelet c/o Smadar Edri • dress: thrifted • shoes: André 



February 10, 2015

MUSIC FOR THE SOUL



Music. More music. Because it's the middle of the week and we need something to get us through. Right? Yes. So here's yet another Tom Waits song. I've started to get worried that I don't actually remember which songs I have already shared. Maybe this is the third time I've shared this song. Is that bad? (nope)


February 9, 2015

DÉGUSTATION DE PATISSERIES // 05

Cafe Pouchkine 1 Cafe Pouchkine 2 Cafe Pouchkine 3 Cafe Pouchkine 4

Café Pouchkine

macarons – one vanilla & one vanilla/medevick cream. Since Pierre Hermé doesn't always have their absolutely amazing vanilla macaron, I've been on the lookout for the second best vanilla macaron in the world so I can survive during those difficult no-PH times. I had heard of Café Pouchkine but never actually seen it... which is weird because I've been going to Place des Vosges and it. is. right. there. It's in front of Amorino – maybe it went unnoticed because I was always looking at the long line, thinking "man... people love ice cream". As you may see above, Café Pouchkine has a ton of interesting looking pastries, and I most definitely will try one soon, but all I can talk about at the moment are the macarons. And I am here to say that I approve. These are good. Really delicious. Was the vanilla one Pierre Hermé territory? No, but it was still immensely enjoyed by yours truly here.

SAoki 1 SAoki 2 SAoki 3

Sadaharu Aoki

almond matcha croissant – again, yes. It's a good sign when you go back for more. The first time I got the almond matcha croissant was with Kady one morning... We shared one. It was a lesson in sharing because I really didn't want to. The croissant was delicious. Damn, my mouth is watering even though I'm in more of a pizza mood. I loved that the inside had a delicious, almost boozy taste. I ate the whole thing (though I didn't feel super good about it) and know that I'll be back again for more!

PH 1 PH 2

Pierre Hermé

coconut, lime, ginger & coriander macaron – Pierre Hermé is always changing the macarons they have. This past summer (and maybe now? I really have no idea how they decide these things) I tried this macaron twice. It was that good. Always interesting, always worth it. PH, I love you.




February 8, 2015

SUNDAY LINKS: FEB 8

Valentina Duracinsky Office
That is my office. I wake up every morning around 9, don't bother to shower because I'm an expert at putting things off, make myself coffee, a quick breakfast, and sit down to blog and write and do whatever other jobs need to be done. It's an okay office. The coffee is Colombian and free so it's the cheapest place to work. (hashtag workingfromhome)


there is hope in this world

lemon olive oil cake. GASP

I love podcasts so so much (you have no idea). Criminal is a new-to-me podcast I'm really enjoying!

I'm dying for all of Ottolenghi's cookbooks....

love this print

citrus cake. Yes another one

hmmm... why don't I like spotify? Easy

molly yeh, you are truly amazing. THIS CAKE

bulls are color-blind?? I feel so stupid. I lived in Pamplona, and everything

maybe I'll need this one day. One day... one... day... [insert pathetic crying Val]

Bjork is always right

fig-pecan macaroons sounds great! I'm going to make these...

this chicken, this chicken, this chicken... all chicken please

well hello there burger, I'd like to eat you

and then this salad. which looks amazing and healthy



February 5, 2015

WHERE AM I

Where Am I? Valentina Duracinsky

My friend told me I needed to find myself. Again. This seems silly. "I'm right f-ing here," I always urge to say. But not this time. I was quiet and said nothing (for once). Where am I? Other than being a redhead 100-pound woman sitting on her bed, wearing a sweater and grey striped pants, in her messy room full of objects – some sentimental but most ordinary and unnecessary, in a popular city in France, in Europe, on the planet Earth... other than that primal physical sense of being in the world... yeah, no, I don't know where the hell I am.



February 1, 2015

SUNDAY LINKS

Paris Bastille :: Valentina Duracinsky
It's been one long, long week for me. I've been spending most of my time working. I've realized how productive I am in the morning, getting up at 8:30 and working straight until 12, and how after lunch time, everything seems a little bit harder to finish, and I find myself taking many more dance breaks than usual. I've been listening to loads of Juan Luis Guerra, Romeo Santos and salsa choke. Once I start dancing, it's hard to stop. Here are some interesting links for the end of the week. Vx


how to clean pretty much everything in your kitchen

this is hilarious... graphs about things in life that are TOO true

Michael Pollan writes incredible books. Watch his Edible Education lecture

how a national food policy could save millions of lives

wow... creepy ceramics by Ronit Baranga

30 healthy habits to change your life

closet detox: cheat sheet

Meatonomics: the bizarre economics of meat and dairy

wait, what? is this real? Canada's got it right...

ever seen a green roof? very cool!

book lover? I relate to that first one. hahaha... ok, sad.




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