Greetings from France! I came with the kids and have loved every minute I have in this beautiful country. I love the light, food, fashion, language, art and culture. And now, I have my favorite event to add to the list: Pari Roller. Pari Roller is a weekly event in Paris full of roller skaters and roller bladers along specified routes in the city. Every Friday, all year long, starting at 9:30 pm, skaters have the opportunity to skate on closed down roads for 40 kilometers. Since roller skating has become a new passion and hobby, I was excited to try it out and be a part of this unique and special celebration. At the last minute, I convinced my friend Jean from NYC to come with me for a portion of the trip *IF* she roller skated with me that night. Always positive and enthusiastic, she said she had not been on skates for 35 years but was confident in her ability and thought it sounded fun. Jean is an incredibly upbeat, fashionable and creative friend, so it was no surprise that she picked out an outfit that corresponded with her skates.
Jean flew to Paris with her complete outfit (on the right). I thought it would be a great idea to match her, so the DAY OF, I went to Zara and lo and behold, found the silver pants. It was like I won the lottery I was so excited.
This past weekend, I was a true jetsetter and flew to Paris for a getaway with my mother-in-law. Yes, spoiled. Yes, privileged. Yes, extravagant. But oh so fun and wonderful. As I age (thank you, 40), I realize that time together with loved ones becomes more and more important. And even though we live in the same city, I rarely have the opportunity to sit down with my mother-in-law just to be together. We had a great time, simply walking around, shopping, eating, drinking champagne, conversing, and soaking up the beauty of Paris. Here are pictures. Enjoy!
I am a giant compared to my oh so glamorous MIL….
I have been a big fan of Tabio socks for the past five years when I found them in a little store in the Marais district in Paris. Every time I went to Paris, I would stock up on them myself and buy presents too (nothing says I love you more than socks…). But I just discovered that Tabio is now sold online in the USA! Hands down, these are my favorite socks in my closet.
The socks arrive in this great origami package. A present within a present. All the little details are so Japanese — and so beautiful.
Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).
Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.
This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at me crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often.
Here are traveling tips when going abroad to Europe with kids (I need tips from you all on how to bring kids to Asia — GASP SWEAT GULP….6 months away and so nervous).
* Bring a scooter!
Below was my itinerary in Paris for my recent trip with Cruz. While it was just from my own research, childhood memories, recommendations and experiences, it worked great. Stay tuned for Friday, for tips on *how* to travel to Europe with children, and things that *worked* for us.
Day 1: Jardin des Tuileries, Ferris Wheel, Place de la Concorde, outside of the Louvre, crepes.
A view of La Place de la Concorde in the Ferris Wheel. It was great elevating and showing Cruz where our adventures would lead us the rest of the trip
I’m back from a whirlwind mother-son-Paris-adventure with Cruzzie, and I am more tired, jet-lagged, exhausted, and yet more full, cultured, and educated than I ever knew was possible. Who knew that a trip to Paris with a 6.5 year old would be so difficult and yet so rewarding! Currently, I feel like I could write a book (a best selling book, too!) about what to do in Paris with children….and I *also* feel like I could pass out from being up for 40 hours straight-and-traveling-across-the-Altantic-WITH-child. So come back on Wednesday for a 5 day guide for Parent-Child-trips-to-Paris, and until then….
Paris Guide Coming to the JGB soon!
I am currently in Paris, France (shocker, I know….my posts are either about Paris, Oregon, NYC) but this time with my 6.5 year old son. Not sure why I scheduled this trip, but I wanted to “show him the world” and have “global experiences.” I have been terrified of the agony and pain of a whiny, tired, jet-lagged child. While I have a hard enough time powering through the jetlag and not being cranky myself, my son is about 100 times more whiny and difficult than I am (#MyHusbandDisagrees). That said, here is my #1 packing secret….packing bags!
Before we get to the bag packing, I want to show you a picture of me when I was 8 years old in France. I know, right, I am the CUTEST kid you have ever seen? Mullet and perm. Why YES, that is the best look EVER EVER EVER.
Every trip to Paris, I have to stop by Bellota-Bellota, the Spanish meat / fish store right near my in-law’s apartment. While there, I stock up on super delicious (and also super expensive) anchovies and tuna.
Can of fish.
In 2014, it was hard to miss the fact that everyone Parisian was wearing Stan Smiths. And sure enough, six months after that, Stan Smiths overtook the USA. Now, Stan Smiths continue to kick a$$ in Paris, but as I learned on my trip to Paris last weekend, everyone is wearing the Adidas SuperStar shoes. So, trust me, order them NOW before they become impossible to find. Everyone rocked the look and made them look so hip and gorgeous. So do it NOW, go buy them.
Bonjour! Hello from NYC after a whirlwind trip celebrating Mother’s Day with my special mother-in-law Josie Natori! As most of you know, I have a deep profound love for Paris and feel that it is my second home (Cruzzie corrected me and said “third’ — after NYC and Oregon, so true true). As it had been over a year since I had last been there, I was dying to get there. So my mother-in-law and I (just the two of us), jumped on a plane and went there for the long weekend. And what a special and wonderful treat it was. I am currently cross-eyed from no sleep (Jet Lag and I don’t mix), and we #ShoppedTillWeDropped, but it was so special and fun; a weekend to always remember. Take a look.
The view from the apartment. There is just something so special and glamorous about the buildings there. #BuildingEnvy
Last Paris marathon post — Promise! I just have to write one little more blurb to not have post-wedding-depression…and then back to Fashion, Fun, Family, Food, Funky! But now…fitness (get it, things that start with “F”) OK. Some more pictures!
I am the farthest thing from a cool cucumber when I start a run. Hello anxiety, hello nerves. I couldn’t stomach much the morning of — I only ate half as much as I normally do pre-run, but somehow it didn’t matter. I also ate 5 GU energy packets throughout the run (miles 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 22). And yes, I am a geek with TWO fanny packs. Each had their own purpose, so I rocked two of them, making myself double cool.
Thank you so much to friends and family far and near who supported me along the way to complete my 3rd Paris Marathon (4th overall) on Sunday morning. Over the weekend, every other minute I received an email, text, or phone call to say “Good Luck” and it truly meant so much to me (and still warms my heart). So thank you. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all of you, so huge hug, kisses, air kisses and high fives!
This time around, instead of doing a recap of the whole marathon (it is the same kind of emotions — success, heartache, determination, etc…), I am going to tell you what worked and what didn’t work. If you are considering running a marathon, pay attention!
Thanks to everyone for all your encouragement and support in regards to Ken becoming a rock star for the day…..Still feeling buzzed and pumped by the experience. Seriously, I am in love with the guys of OAR….and now I can’t stop listening to Peace. On repeat. Ten million times in the last 3 days. Call me obsessed. Watch out, Babers, you have COMPETITION. Anywho, back to reality. That reality, is socks. Yep, socks.
My mother’s go-to-present for everyone in the family is socks. Handmade knitted socks, skiing socks, everyday socks, fancy socks, socks, socks, socks, socks. As a result, I am fond of socks. I can never have too many and am always on the lookout for the new, best, prettiest, cutest sock (odd, quirky, and so me). So it was a perfect coincidence when I stumbled upon a sock store in Paris in October (was that really 2 months ago??). And not just any sock store — but a hip, high-end, and luxurious store. Tabio, is considered the hot and trendy sock. The sock is actually made in Japan by a crafts person. They come in all shapes and colors: ultra trendy, thigh highs, as well as models in cashmere, angora, lace, super soft wool. To view the various sock options, go here.
One of the pairs of socks that I purchased. Of course, it looks avant garde, tie dye, and artsy. It is the perfect thickness and height (not too high, not too low…Goldilocks a la socks).
Since Natori doesn’t make kids’ undies (TEAR!), the kids are forced to wear a different brand. I know, the horror! If only Natori made underwear for kids, we would all be set for life! Thankfully, Petit Bateau, a French company, makes the perfect substitute. Almost as good as Natori undies for grown ups….
The boxer briefs for boys. Love the packaging, style, and colors.
Paris has so much to offer….food, clothing, chocolate, beauty products, you name it. On our recent trip, I visited (thanks to a friend’s recommendation) the most insanely beautiful and luxurious fragrance and skincare boutique, Buly 1803. Originally founded in 1803 by Frenchman Jean-Vincent Bully, who was known for his signature perfumes and scented vinegars, it was reopened in April 2014 by Victoire and Ramdane Touhami on the quaint Rue Bonaporte in St Germain de Près. It maintains an old vibe with some new, modern flair (they took out the second ‘l’ in Buly to make it similar, but different). This place is incredible — old school, antique, and classic, but with new skin care concoctions that draw on the virtues of natural ingredients. All of the products are made without parabens, phenoxyethanol or silicone! What is not to love?
Even though I am done with marathon training (well, for NYC 2014…not forever….I am hooked), I still am hungry all the time. Especially for chocolates. Specifically, French chocolates. Recommended by a friend on our recent trip to Paris, we stopped by Jacques Genin, a well known French chocolate and caramel maker in the Marais. And let me tell you, it is worth the hype. At first, I thought that all high-end chocolate tastes the same — good, delicious, and decadent. But once I polished off the box of Jacques Genin’s, I realized that it was HIS chocolate that was oh-s0-flipping-good. He opened up his own chocolate store / tea house in the Marais neighborhood in 2008. It is beautiful and chic — an Hermes version of chocolate.
Oh my god, Parisians are stylish. Every lady I saw on our recent 3 day trip to Paris, appeared to be the most chic, beautiful, elegant, and hip person ever. It didn’t matter if they had a pretty face or skin, but their clothes and the way they carried themselves was so a la mode and fashionable. Instead of looking at the buildings or monuments, my eyes were always focused on the people. Hands down, the best people watching city in the world. In any case, it came down to the Parisian styles. AND DAMN, those ladies know how to look good! They are truly my fashion icons. I don’t want to be like Gwyneth Paltrow, instead I want to be like the average Parisian woman.
French chicness. I want to be the girl with the rolled jeans, top bun, striped shirt, and bag. She is cute — just her BACK alone is cute.
Sorry for the silence on my end. It has been a whirl-wind week with Parent Nights, kindergarten applications, marathon tapering, and a trip to Paris. YEP, a trip to Paris. I think Ken and I are the only people in the world who live in NYC who are planning to run the NYC marathon (this weekend), who decide to leave the weekend before for a quick adventure to Paris. Nothing says “rest” and “don’t do anything out of the ordinary” more than a 3 day trip 5-days-till-marathon with 7 hour per day walks and rose wine. But hey, you only live once. Crossing my fingers that this fun and beautiful trip will not hinder my marathon experience or expectations. Perhaps wishful thinking, but I am happy we did it. And since you haven’t seen enough pictures of Paris recently on the blog (here and here and here and here and here), here are some more. Enjoy!
Eiffel Tower — haven’t seen you in 4 months. Still as beautiful as ever.
Our two favorite meals during our 3 day stay in Paris were both lunches, excluding the random baguettes with ham, butter, and cheese I ate throughout the stay (THAT is my favorite meal in Paris). French food at its finest, take a look!
Located in Place de la Madeline, this restaurant has been open since the 1920s. It is a classic Parisian restaurant that is elegant, dignified, and quiet. The food is seafood based, although it has a little bit of everything. Definitely worth visiting.
Smoked salmon on top of a (gigantic) blini, with creme fraiche on the side. Rich, filling, and beyond delicious.
Sorry for the silence on my end — went to Paris for our 7th anniversary — ate, shopped, slept, walked, parlez francais-ed, and came back to NYC. All in the span of 3 days. Holy jet-lag-where-am-I-what-language-should-I-speak. So much fun!
In Paris, even their cars are more elegant and chic.
Greetings from Paris! Ken and I are sneaking away for a few nights (sans kiddos, but with in-laws for part of the time) to celebrate our 7th anniversary. Amazing how time flies. Feels like it was just yesterday we celebrated #5. While we are groggy and jet lagged, flying without kids is a vacation in and of itself. Here are 7 things we did on the flight that we can’t normally do. Stay tuned for more from Paris next week!
#1. Pre-flight. Belgian fries and a beer. As opposed to buying toy airplanes and changing diapers. Nice.
AHHH Pareeh……How I really love thee. If I could, I would move there in a heartbeat. I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time there in my life time — as a child in the summers with my dear and lovely French family (I went to a French immersion school, and lived with an exchange family for the summers) to my adult life with the Natoris and their beautiful apartment. It is unlike any city and I am in love. Here are the highlights of my trip this past weekend for the Paris Marathon! A whirlwind trip, that will forever be remembered!
Obviously, the main reason I went to Paris, but just one of the many activities I did over the weekend. The route was incredibly scenic and beautiful!
Place de la Concorde
I did it, again! Thank you to everyone in my life who supported, encouraged, motivated, inspired, cheered, and helped me through my journey of running the Paris Marathon. The run was an unbelievably challenging and rewarding gift, and would not have been possible without everyone in my life. An incredibly huge shout out to my fabulous mother-in-law who traveled from Japan be there for me, as well as my beloved father who traveled from Sweden. Would not have been the same without them (Ken was in NYC taking care of the kids — thank you!), and I am forever grateful of their love and support (and how amazing is it that my parents and inlaws get along so well? Makes me want to cry, I am that lucky of a girl).
SO, I did it!!! Thank you to all the people who supported, cheered, and encouraged me to complete one of my lifetime dreams. I ran a marathon! In Paris. In my goal time. It was heavenly. Almost as heavenly as a fresh, hot Parisian pain au chocolat…
The map of the race. Unbelievably scenic and beautiful!
Off the plane. HELLOOO BAGUETTTTEE!!!
First stop. Running Expo to pick up my bib number! EEK!
Saturday preparation lunch. HELLLOOO BAGUETTE. Encore!
From our Saturday walk (I went with three friends, who all ran and finished!) A quick sightseeing excursion before the WHOLE REST OF THE DAY ROLLING, STRETCHING, and PREPARING FOR THE MARATHON THE NEXT DAY! double eek.
Stairs (5 flights) up to where we were staying (thank you Mrs. Natori!). Can you imagine how we would cope post-marathon if the apartment building didn’t have an elevator? THE HORROR! #firstworldproblems
Dinner pre-race. Carbo-loading. Yep, eating spaghetti. And I despise pasta. But you do what you gotta do!
Friends joined us for dinner.
Ok, I am really bad at selfies to begin with, but a seflie of me and my pre-race jitters is even worse. But I had to include it.
Do you believe that my mother-in-law is a fashion designer???? Can’t you tell by my look? HAWT DAWG!
Pre-race! Left to right, my friends Brad (one of Ken’s best friends from growing up), Jenny, and me in the hood with the snarky face. Picture taken by Pamela. We all finished!
Yep, I took this on the run with my camera. It was one of my “rewards’ for finishing a mile. Pretty picture even with the runners in it.
I MEAN, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS RIDICULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL SKY AND SUN AND VIEW?