Montmartre is a part of Paris that stands alone. It is its own quaint, sweet and delicate little town in a big city.

Charming doesn't do it justice because it is a village straight out of a movie. First, the Sacre Coeur basilica a sight to behold. Then you dabble off to the side of the of the basilica because it is a little bit crowded and you kind of want to escape it...only to discover the sweetest little town that has such history.

We actually used Rick Steve's book and followed his walking tour and spent half the day wondering the streets and discovering some amazing secrets of this town while freezing our booty's off.

Right off the side of Sacre Coeur there is a harpist who has been playing at this location for years and he plays so beautifully it is hard to believe. It was so calming and overwhelmingly beautiful to hear his music while being surrounded by a place like Montmartre and overlooking the rest of Paris. The trip up there was worth it just to hear him play.

The allies of the town are lively and full of good food, caricature artists, tourists and art. We discovered things like Picasso's studio, La Masion Rose and Au Lapin Agile (where Picasso and other famous writers and artists frequented), one of Van Gogh's apartments, the Moulin Rouge and so many little gems this place holds.

I adore this little town.


Food. Glorious food!

If you like to feast, come to France (or Italy) and apologize to your stomach in advance. 

People ask me "what are you up to?" and it seems like I am always answering "eating".

Baguettes, croissants, pan au chocolat, pastries, tarts, cheese... the list is endless but most likely it is a baguette and cheese. On top of that, I am bringing home tarts from school almost every day. 

I am not complaining about this at all. I love that this country is built around food. Sharing meals, enjoying a sweet pastry each day, savoring a fresh baguette and scouring the fromager for their best cheeses. I think it is great because food brings people such pleasure. It is satisfying and most importantly, it brings people together. The average French family has a full 3 or 4 course dinner each night with their family and they all stop whatever else it is that they are doing and all come together around the dinner table. I think that is very admirable. 

So, in French tradition my mom and I have been taking on French cuisine. We usually pick the restaurant by walking by the windows and deciding that one is cuter than the other and then we have our winner. We have had some good and some not so good. Unfortunately, the famous Cafe de Flore was extremely disappointing but we have found some gems too.

One of the cutest restaurants I have ever seen is right around the corner from my apartment. The Petit Chalet is quaint, charming, welcoming and delicious. The waitress was so gracious helping me with my lack of French and was kind enough to help me sort through the word vomit that was pouring from my mouth while trying to order.

Oh, and I discovered that Fromage Blanc is amazing.

Bon Appetit!


The City of Lights

This city sparkles.
Literally and metaphorically.

This city's got swag. That something else. It has charm oozing out of each ally way and bistro.

The Siene, the pigeons, the cafes, patisseries, boulangeries, fromager, street lights...it is all so charming.

The dog poop everywhere...not so much.

But literally, the city actually sparkles. The Eiffel Tower anyway.

It is everything you have imagined and every time I see it I am still amazed. Sometimes I find myself just walking on the street and I look up to see the Eiffel Tower on my left and the top of the Notre Dame on my right and I just can't help but giggle to myself and think "is this really my life?".

It is surreal, incredible and humbling all at the same time. I am unbelievably blessed to be living here in Paris and studying pastry at such an amazing school. It doesn't even seem real sometimes. I hope you all can experience this feeling of being part of something so wonderful and so much bigger than yourself.

Paris is unlike any other place and it is impossible to describe it words. It is a feeling, a sense of being and it makes me smile to my core to know that I am a part of it.


Back to School

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

My first full week in Paris was a whirlwind. It was very busy and full of fun, exciting sights, delicious food and pastries, cheap wine and jet lag. The nine hour time difference has taken its toll but I will hopefully be into the normal schedule this coming week. I have so much to tell you all about but I am going to start with the first week of being a student again! 

My hand is legit sore from taking 4 hours of notes over 2 days. If that isn't pathetic, I don't know. I have obviously been sitting at a computer screen since college and not with pen and paper. We have an ever changing schedule that consists of mainly pastry lab class (working in the kitchen). We also have bakery class (my first one tomorrow!), French lessons, French history/geography, art class (please help me!!!!),  and theory lessons. Theory lessons is where I exercise my out of shape hand.

The first two days were an orientation and then on Thursday and Friday we had our first pastry theory and lab classes. It was a blast! Once we all got over how ridiculous we may or may not look in our little uniforms we proceeded to make tartes aux pommes (apple tarts) and flan Parisian. Things are harder then our Chef makes them look because he doesn't even blink and all the sudden he has a beautifully made tart and then looks at us "any questions?" like we completely followed every movement he just made without fail. 

Our chef is SO cute though. He is one of those people who are funny just by being themselves. He is entertaining and an expert in French pastry. My classmates are awesome as well. They are from ALL over the world: Australia, Taiwan, India, Germany, Poland, China, USA, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa...it is pretty amazing!

It is going to be an awesome and intense five months and then probably even more intense when we get into our internships in the summer. I am just trying to take it a day at a time. I am really happy I made this decision to come here. I am feeling pretty distant from people at home but having my Mom here is definitely helping ward off the full blown homesickness but I just remember that I am living my dream right now! It is going to be 2013 before I know it so I am trying to soak everything about Parisian life up because it might be the most incredible place in the world!!


Je t'aime

9 years ago Mike and I began the love affair of a lifetime. I was 14 and he was 15 and we were awkward. We had science class and english class together with some super strange teachers but they were a good source of entertainment for us. 

It was one of those typical high school romances where your heart races and you just can't keep the butterflies under control when he looked at you. Winter formal came around and my build-a-bear won him over :)

This year is a challenge, as you can imagine. I already miss him and little muffin Tay so much but this year is also going to be an amazing one. I am accomplishing a dream in Paris and he is living it up with his friends in Colorado. All good things. 

I love you babe.
and I love us :) and Tay, obvi.

I love you and miss you SO much and can't wait until April 18th when we take Europe by storm. Thank you for everything :)


This is my new home. New reality. 

And I love it!

Today was the orientation for school. It was great and intimating at the same time. I am so excited to begin classes and labs but am slightly terrified about my lacking language skills. They may have put the fear of God into me to be fluent in French before my internship begins in 5 months. Eek! Anyone have suggestions on how to tackle that one?

I am feeling more at home each day. Paris is the most beautiful city. The people are so incredible and interesting here.

{for the record, they are sweet people, not rude!}

And most importantly, the food is UNreal! Everything I have had has been mind blowingly good. The chocolate chaud is so thick it looks like the fudge topping that you put on your ice cream sundae. The baguettes have crunchy outside but are fluffy as a cloud on the inside. The wine is cheaper than water. It is heaven.

my apartment :)

I have walked most of the city by now {my new form of exercise} and nothing is any less striking. The streets, the street signs, the old french couple walking with baguettes under their arms, the angry looking man smoking a cigarette out front of a cafe..it is all so charming. Plus the fact that I live a 2 minute walk from the Norte Dame, that isn't too shabby either.

It has been unusually cold in Paris since I arrived. It is probably 15 degrees with a breeze. Considering I have been born and raised in Southern California, lets just say its an adjustment. I am taking it well, I would have to say. My mother had to go out and buy another space heater for the apartment and I drink a bottle of wine at night to warm me up, but other than those quirks we are handling it great!

Tomorrow is day two of school and first thing is my French test. They want to test my skills...or lack there of. Wish me luck! By Thursday we will be in lab actually creating things. Check back for my first baked goodness!