February 29, 2016


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It's been a few weeks since my last post. I do apologize. This means that there are quite a few instagram pictures to share here... I've been living at the loft for almost two months now and it's been great. Most of the pictures will reflect that. 

4:40PM – I am sitting on the couch facing the window with the sunlight hitting my face. I went to the gym this morning, prepared lunch to go for my step brother and myself. We put on a few layers and walked around until we made it to the Square du Temple where we sat and ate and discussed our favorite desserts, what sports we are good at, and how to be yourself when people are constantly telling you that you're something else.  

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My puppy in Colombia died recently. He was still a baby, probably not even a year old yet. It makes me so sad, but as my mom said, at least he got some really great few months at the farm with friendly dog friends, lots of love and food every day. But I'm heartbroken. And I haven't been feeling that great these days so it's hard to not think that somehow it was my fault. Even though it isn't. They found him in the woods, they don't know what happened. I'm thousands of miles away. I'm not one to keep plants (even a lousy cactus) alive, and I don't want human babies, but I thought I'd be good with a puppy... what happened there. I don't understand. My puppy died. It's sad.

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I have two wonderful housemates, Peter and Ruth. They are both from Liverpool and I love having them. Ruth is a pescatarian like me and last night she made us sushi! It was great. Peter is absolutely hilarious and made us laugh all night long. They are both musicians too, so the loft is constantly filled with music. 

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I decided to go to Dublin last minute. I spent last weekend with Stevie, having loads of fun. Above is a picture of Stevie trying to stop me from taking pictures of my food at the Fumbally haha. He says he doesn't understand why people take pictures of their food at restaurants! To be faaaair this was a picture of my food and Stevie... ;)

Below is yet another picture of the loft. It's beautiful. It's cold sometimes (most of the time) but it's still wonderful. We project movies onto that big wall there. Movie nights are so fun and cozy and great. 

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February 13, 2016


best macarons in Paris

A little while back I started a new series on the blog called 'Macarons Vanille'. I started it because of Pierre Hermé and their strange reason to make the classic vanilla macaron a seasonal thing (or something. I still don't understand what the rules are for its return to the front and center of the display. It's so good... I wish I could get it all year long. So I started a search for the next best thing. This means going around Paris, tasting all the vanilla macarons in the city! I'm hardly finished, but it's definitely been loads of fun. 

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Let's start with my first time at Carette. mmm fancy place for sure. Right in front of the gorgeous Place des Vosges, where I spend many afternoons in the summertime, reading or listening to music on the grass looking at the blue sky. I can't do that right now because the weather is shit. It's winter. But Carette is still there, and even if you can't sit on the grass, you can sit on the terrace or inside closed doors because Carette is also a fancy-ass restaurant and café. I always laugh at places like Carette with the €7 coca-cola and the €4,5 espresso... How do they get away with it!? I've never tried the food because I don't know if it's actually good and worth the price or if it's just overpriced. Possibly both. A chicken caesar salad doesn't have to cost more that than 20€ anywhere, I reckon.

But the macarons looked good and I was on a quest to find the almost-perfect vanilla macaron (anything half as good as Pierre Hermé will be amazing!) and Carette was on my list. So I went in. The macarons were 

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Eric Kayser

At the Moose, I used to go get the bread at Eric Kayser every evening. There's nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread, I tell you... But then there were also pastries. So many pastries... I never bought anything though. Well, except this one time that I bought myself a vanilla macaron. You know, for research. 

The macaron was definitely good. See, I always wondered about boulangeries and their macarons. I only ever tried places that were KNOWN for their macarons, and was afraid that any old boulangerie might not have good macarons. But Eric Kayser's vanilla macaron was good.

If I were going to a dinner party, I probably wouldn't take a box of Eric Kayser macarons. As a gift your safest bet is to go with the big names, right? Pierre Hermé, Ladurée, Dalloyau... Then again, Ladurée are not high on my list (more of that later) but what can you do? They are the world-famous brand for macarons. Reputation means a lot in those situations.

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I have had so many macarons in my life, I didn't think it was possible to screw one up. I thought maybe macarons were just always delicious. But I was wrong. Walking around Paris with some friends, I decided to finally stop in this cute little store in the Marais and try one of their vanilla macarons. I'd never heard of Damyel but I walk around that area so much, it was as good a time as any to try this patisserie. Unfortunately, this was not good. It was too sweet and had no vanilla flavor. It was bland and like eating pure sugar. 

However, I passed a Damyel store the other day and it said "chocolatier" under the name, and reading up on them, I see they are more known for their kosher chocolate. If you've ever tried them, let me know what you think! I hardly want to discourage people from going to this shop after one lousy macaron. I bet their chocolate – what they are known for – is much better.

So that's it for vanilla macarons this week. I shall continue trying them and letting you know what I find! If you find anything exceptional, let me know! I definitely want to try all of them.

February 11, 2016


valentina apple dress

Let's start this post with a happy, silly photo. My apple dress, which I've yet to find the occasion to wear. But it's good for this happy little post, ain't it now. I started to read Leo Babauta's article "31 perfect things" and felt I had to make my own list. Reading his made my brain click as I realized that so many things – little things – are perfect in my life and in everyone's lives; we need so little more. How useful to remind ourselves about what is simply wonderful in our lives. 

These are in no particular order, just things that come to mind as I write. 

1. my family
2. my close friends
3. cheese (especially goat cheese)
4. coffee, coffee, coffee
5. BOOKS! Reading!
6. music. Listening to it, playing it, creating it
7. dance. Salsa is in my blood, but I also love ballet 
8. working out
9. handwritten letters
10. art. Appreciating it, and doing it. I can't travel without my watercolors!
11. hugs hugs hugs
12. my new room in my new loft (and my wonderful housemates)
13. travel. Always
14. learning new things
15. mangos and coconuts!
16. eating something delicious but not over-indulging
17. our farm in Colombia
18. being totally captivated by what you're doing
19. fun & friendly dogs
20. sunlight coming through the windows & sunsets
21. cooking something nice
22. listening to podcasts
23. guitars (Martin & Gibson in my opinion)
24. realizing how little you need
25. giving things away to people who need them more
26. hard work & the satisfaction you get
27. gin (Hendrick's mostly)
28. laughing so hard your abs hurt
29. nature
30. seeing someone you miss

I can't tell you how grateful I am for #12. Moving into the loft has been one of the best experiences ever. Oh and #27? Well, yes. Gin had to be in there somewhere ;)
That's my list. What's yours?

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