Paris, Part Deux

PARIS PART DEUX

On our last day in Paris, we did two things I’d been wanting to do the entire time: shop and buy macarons! It was still drizzling, but the wind had died down and we weren’t soaked through, so we ventured out. Here’s the email I sent my parents that day:

The weather was slightly better today, so we ventured out to the Galerie Vivienne. The verdict is that you both would love it. We went to the Galeries because people have said that they transport you back in time. It’s true. They were built in the Belle Époque era and they feel very classic.

Galerie Vivienne

We had lunch at a cozy cafe. I had a delicious Caesar salad and James had the (don’t freak out!) boeuf tartare.

Cafe at Galerie Vivienne

I found a wonderful boutique called aBis that had lots of Rifle Paper Co. stuff. I bought a pretty bracelet, a little purse for Jolie, and a scarf for Rebecca’s birthday. 

Here’s my bracelet:

Bracelet from aBis

Afterward, we went to Laduree to get Macarons as omiyage. We chose the St. Germain store because we were told it’s less busy than the one on the Champs Elysees. There was only one customer in front of us! I bought a TON of Macarons to take to work, only to come home and find out that they don’t last very long and may fall apart on our journey. So fingers crossed that they make it!

Laduree St. Germain

Laudree Macarons
We decided to have dinner at Nagoya again because tonight I was well enough to enjoy it. The oyako don was deeeelish! James had udon–also delish. 

Nagoya

On the way back to our flat, I took a picture of the charming flower shop in our neighborhood. 

Flower Shop in Montparnasse

Au revoir, Paris!

Paris!

Paris

We recently got back from Paris, where we arrived just in time for historic rain and, yes, flooding! We have impeccable timing. While we didn’t get to see everything we had hoped to see, what we did see was exactly as charming and as dreamy as we had hoped for. 

One of the things that made our stay so special was the lovely Airbnb apartment we rented in Montparnasse. We highly recommend it for anyone traveling to Paris, as it’s centrally located, near a metro station, within walking distance of a whole bunch of great restaurants, and completely comfortable. I chose it because it has a tiny rose garden. The owner of the apartment could not have been nicer. We arrived to fresh croissants and baguettes, which we promptly devoured with a bit of raw honey.

Airbnb in Montparnasse

I wrote my parents an email on our first and only sunny day there, which I’ll include here:

We are having fun in Paris! Last night, we went to a restaurant called Spring. My friend Kim just came to Paris a few months ago and she recommended it. She told me to say hi to her friend Jonathan who is a sommelier. He was delighted and he said that he loves Kim even though she doesn’t drink wine. They all took a picture with me to send to Kim:

Spring Paris

Afterward, we walked through the courtyard of the Louvre. 

Louvre Louis

Today, we had lunch at a little cafe called Madame. It was delicious! The waitress’ dog was there, which I thought was very sweet because he was so well behaved. But then I took this picture of him and ten seconds later he peed on that wall!

Cafe Madame

We still had coffee before leaving:

Cafe Madame Coffee

Then, we tried to go to the Luxembourg Gardens but just when we got there a thunderstorm rolled in! So we ducked into the Musee du Luxembourg, where we saw lots of Monets and Degas’ and other paintings. My favorite things were these birds in the gift shop:

Luxembourg Museum

Then, we decided to walk to a store I read about called Merci. Halfway there, we ran into a little stationery store where I found a card that reminded me of Auntie Shirley. I promptly forgot it was in my hand and walked off with it. When I returned to pay for it (flustered), the shop owner gave me a discount for “being so kind.”

Stationery Shop Paris

By the time we got to Merci and I took this photo outside, they were closing! They were very rude about it, in fact. But at least I got a good picture out of it:

Merci Paris

And while we were waiting for our Uber, this dog and his owner walked up to a bakery and the dog just waited outside while the owner went in for his bread. He didn’t move at all! We’ve seen a lot of very well-behaved dogs off leash here. I don’t know how they do it, but I wish they’d teach Kona.

Good Dogs in Paris

We just got back from a delicious hole-in-the-wall Chinese place where they make their own noodles. We saw the guy pulling them. We ate them too quickly to get a photo.

And now we’re back in our cute apartment to go to bed! I had to take a shower because my feet were black from all the walking we did today. I think we walked about eight miles in total, so at least we’re burning off some of these calories.

P.S. We found a flower shop that had more peonies together than I’ve ever seen IN MY LIFE. And they were ALL beautiful!!!!!

 
Peonies in Paris 

More Parisian adventures to come!

Love, Joy

Simple Recipe: Pineapple Strawberry Palmiers

Pineapple Strawberry Palmiers

When my sister and I were kids, my mom used to make these pineapple strawberry palmiers for us to share with our classmates on Valentine’s Day. They were always gobbled up within seconds. So when Maggie taught me how to make palmiers a few weeks ago, a flood of happy (and sweet) memories came rushing back and I knew I had to share this recipe with you.

With the help of store-bought puff pastry, these little desserts are a snap to make. Crisp, flaky cookie with pineapple cream cheese and a strawberry on top? I don’t really know how you could go wrong.

Pineapple Strawberry Palmiers

Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry
1 block cream cheese
1 can crushed pineapple (8 oz.)
Strawberries (sliced thinly)
Sugar

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle a cutting board with sugar and lay the thawed puff pastry on top of it. Sprinkle more sugar on top of the puff pastry. Use a rolling pin to flatten the pastry a little. This gets the sugar nice and embedded into the dough.

2. Take one edge of the pastry and roll it toward the middle do the same with the other side. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, stir together the cream cheese and pineapple. If you can find pineapple cream cheese, even better! That’s what my mom uses but for some reason it’s more readily available in Hawaii than in Massachusetts. (No idea why!) Slice your strawberries.

4. Take your puff pastry out of the fridge and slice it into quarter-inch pieces. Place about two inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake for about six minutes, turn, and bake for about six more minutes. Oven temperatures vary, so keep your eye on them. They should be golden brown when they’re ready.

5. Assemble: spread a dallop of pineapple cream cheese on the cookie. Top with two slices of strawberry.

P.S. Want more easy peasy recipes? Right this way!

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Schoolhouse Electric Giveaway!

Schoolhouse Electric Giveaway!

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’m constantly wavering back and forth between staying in our condo or moving into a single-family home. But ever since we redecorated our bedroom, I’ve been leaning toward staying because I’m falling in love with our home again. Next on my list is the kitchen, which is fine but bland as anything, and I’ll be turning to the stylish accents of Schoolhouse Electric!

Funnily enough, I hadn’t known about Portland-based Schoolhouse Electric until I’d left the city. My friend Kirsten Neiman of Restored Style fame took over their PR awhile back, which got my attention because Kirsten has better taste than pretty much everyone I know.

Schoolhouse Electric Giveaway!

Since then, I’ve become a huge Schoolhouse Electric fan girl and I’m thrilled to be partnering with them for this 14 Days of Holiday Love giveaway! If you’ve got your eye on one of their fabulous pieces, you absolutely need to enter to win a $100 gift card. Here are five ways for you to enter:

1. Visit the 14 Days of LOVE giveaway Facebook page.
2. Follow @Schoolhouse on Instagram.
3. Follow @FrockFiles on instagram.
4. Share your favorite Schoolhouse Electric item on Instagram and be sure to mention the giveaway and @FrockFiles and @Schoolhouse.
5. Visit Schoolhouse Electric on Facebook.

And, since I couldn’t resist, I’ve created a roundup of the things I would love to see under my Christmas tree this year, for me or for James! Okay, so the chair would be pretty obvious all wrapped up. But a girl can dream, right?

schoolhouse-collage
Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I’ll be announcing the winner on Sunday, December 7th at 10am EST on Instagram and contacting the winner directly. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t miss the rest of the 14 Days of Love giveaways!

Nov. 28 Melissa Creates is giving away a Shop Melissa Creates Gift Set
Nov. 29 Make+Haus is giving away a $150 gift Blurb gift card
Nov. 30 Design Improvised is giving away $150 Home Decorators Gift Card
Dec. 1   Handmade Mood is giving away a Kate Spade New Year’s Planning Pack
Dec. 2   Oleander and Palm is giving away a pair of Sven Clogs
Dec. 3   A Girl Named PJ is giving away a Nandi Necklace from Tulsi Project
Dec. 4   Frock Files is giving away a $100 gift card to Schoolhouse Electric
Dec. 5   Living on Love is giving away a luxury home throw and a toddler-to-teen blanket from Saranoni
Dec. 6   Everyday Reading is giving away a Lily Jade bag
Dec. 7   Lia Griffith is giving away a $100 Michaels gift card
Dec. 8   Melissa Creates is giving away 2x $50 gift cards to Sassy Steals
Dec. 9   Dream Green DIY is giving away a $250 Minted gift card
Dec. 10 The Caterpillar Years is giving away a $50 gift card and 2015 calendar from DLK.
Dec. 11 Oleander and Palm is giving away a Cricut Explore Machine

Simple Recipe: Oyako Donburi

Simple Recipes: Oyako Donburi

Every day, as I drive around and look at the bare trees and the piles of snow that are either growing or melting, I have to stop and remind myself that it’s still fall. Winter hasn’t even begun in earnest! But we have the lovely distraction of the holidays, which means things are busy, busy, busy and there’s even less time to think about what’s for dinner.

That’s why I’m so grateful to Lindsey for sharing this recipe with me! Oyako donburi is Japanese comfort food at its finest. It’s a mound of rice covered in an broth made of sweet and savory ingredients that flavor bites of chicken, and the whole thing is then thickened with egg. The dish is incredibly quick to whip up, and I love that it requires ingredients that we typically have on hand anyway.

Oyako donburi has come to the rescue multiple times in the past few weeks, with its warm, hearty goodness, and I’m sure it will continue to be a weekly staple for us in the coming months.

Simple Recipes: Oyako Donburi

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup low sodium shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 tablespoon sake
1 small onion, cut into strips
3 well-beaten eggs
2 cups rice
Green onion to garnish

Instructions:

1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and simmer in the chicken broth until it’s cooked through.

2. Add the shoyu, sugar, and sake. Stir to combine. Add the onion and simmer until they’re translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Pour the eggs over everything and cook until just set, about 2 minutes. Spoon over rice and serve hot!

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