Monday, August 27, 2012

The Sweet Life

Oh, the sweetness and its many forms. One of my favorite pieces of advice during my 40 days of yoga cleanse was from Ali of Just BE Wellness, our nutrition coach for the program. Ali suggested, in those moments during our cleanse when we wanted/craved/were dying to have something sugary and artificially sweet, we go towards sweetness elsewhere. Perhaps a long walk at sunset, or a pedicure, or a tea date with a friend.

In those moments when nothing sounded better than a fat slice of peach pie or a vanilla frosted doughnut, this piece of advice was often hard to channel. Sure, a bubble bath sounds sweet but methinks a chocolate milkshake sounds a tad (eons) better. Sweetness of life versus sweetness of dessert? Um, the latter, please. By the end of the cleanse, however, this practice of finding the sweetness in life was a crutch in moments of weakness.

Reach for the cookie? Or reach for the coastal hike. Reach for the tart? Or reach for that unique quality of time. The kind that cannot be reached simply because you know where it is, you know your way. Your arm is not nearly long enough. It's the kind you can't find unless you get very, ridiculously lost. Reach for the sugar? Or reach for the sweet?

Don't get me wrong. Chocolate's divine. In fact, I think I'll have a piece of dark chocolate right now. One minute. Be right back. 

Mmm mmm. That was nice. So, so delicious and delightful. But so are the flowers and their color and abundance. I feel them in my heart, my skin, my soul. The chocolate barely made it past my throat. It didn't help me speak. That was me. It helped me feel content in the moment, but it didn't help me write these words. Words from the shape of things. The light on the mailbox, shaped like a woman holding tight to her hat, as the wind threatens to blow it away. Light on the mailbox, a shadow. Uncertain and always moving.

With open hearts, we find ourselves in places unexpected. Places we weren't so sure we'd fit into. Places surrounded by unfamiliar territory. The shadow on the mailbox. One minute there is a shadow. One minute there is another shadow, of a bottle of wine. Upside down. Empty of drink, but full of a lifted hand. Around it. Outside of it. Outside but full. Dark, and also, a sun.

Where am I and how did I get here? Let's not get started on the salty. The crunch, the crack, the crumble of that taste. One bite, OK, yes, one bite. But this time it bit me.

You've reached a new narrative where sweet is salty and salty is a jet stream and someone is holding your hand. They let go. OK, normal, this has happened many times. We all had to cross the street alone for the first time. We all have a first time of everything. You imagined yourself an Edwardian lady, knowing nothing of what that means. But how glorious a thought. Let yourself flip through the pages of this new narrative and see how it feels. See how it feels in your hands, place it on your lap and flip through it as it's close to you. It bites, alright. It bites.


Soon everything around you will smell like lavender, or the soap you used as a child. You are in a stranger's shower. You're a guest, you rented this place for the weekend. Your hair smells like the lake (unfamiliar) you must wash it with new soap (unfamiliar) and you will feel clean after it all (familiar). But not. They use a different flavor than you do. An unfamiliar scent is refreshing, but who says clean. Who says we must always be clean. You turn the water on, lather up, and wash your face. You wash your hands too as a result of this. This place, this sense of place, this wonderful unknown.


The sweet life. An inedible sugar, all sweet, the goodness of it. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer + Caught in the Moment

Summer is the season of outcomes: you lay in the sun, you get a sun tan (or if it's me, a burn). You go on vacation, you come home relaxed (and hopefully with many souvenirs in tow). You go out for your dinner, only to realize it's after nine (you've been following the late sun, setting in your actions). You're full of ideas and plans for the future, then get caught in the moment and decide to put everything off until the Fall. School starts for some, the future for others. Let's stay caught in the moment a little longer, you say to your summer self. The moment is plentiful:

It comes in the same color, but different sizes and shapes. Some on the vine, some harvested and ready to be consumed.


Consumed in the moment, you let yourself stare off into space. The moment passes but you catch another and another and the moments never leave you. Many moments can be caught. Many moments to be caught in.

Eyes wide, the moment is sweet. Life is sweet and good. If it was food, it was be a rose praline brioche. If it was silence, it would be the kind with the beating heart. If it was home, it would be the kind full of family, the scent of dinner, and an open window, letting in the still breeze of the backyard.

This is getting caught in the moment. When you have no reservation and that's absolutely fine. You wait for the table, you wait again and you wait longer. Longer this time than ever. But that doesn't matter. There's a set of eyes to stare into with your eyes. And a voice to hear and your voice to speak and suddenly you are sharing. There is no need to call this waiting at all. Give me no reservation, please. This summer, this one reservation-less summer.

Drink it up, this moment. Pour four glasses of it. This means there are four people, together. Three with you. You make up the four. These people love you. Or you just met them. You'll drink the wine and stay together, off to another bar, or you'll go home alone. Either way, you drank it up. And either way, you're not alone.


You dangle one more minute, thinking of this moment. How far off is the next, you might ask? A day trip? A yawn? A smile then a laugh then a howl then a deep breath. Dangle longer, dangle down. Don't let the moment pass, or let it pass. Let the moment pass and invite the new one to your door. Greet it. Open up to it. Let it in, or maybe you never locked it out. The door was never locked. It let itself in. The moment came into your kitchen while you were making dinner. It crept up behind you, while you were stirring pasta sauce. It put its arms around you while you were tasting for flavor, and you didn't even flinch.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Colors of Summer







Sounds pretty good to me! Keep it coming...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Granola Groove

The other day I asked myself, "Why did I stop eating granola in the morning?" It used to be my go-to, drizzled on top of soothing, delicious yogurt. Full of hearty ingredients. The oats. The nuts. The dried fruit. Oh, yum.

It only took a few moments before I realized what the deal was. For years now, I've been using my beloved Barefoot Contessa's recipe and, sadly, I think I may have overdone it (sorry, Ina). One day, I just didn't feel like it anymore. I guess that's what happens when you eat something at the same time every single day of your existence. Now, instead of granola, I've been having plain cereal (exciting I know) - healthy, but not the heartiest, coziest breakfast. However, these past few weeks I've really been missing my morning granola fix. I'm ready to get back in the granola groove, but I'm hesitant to return back to that somewhat tired recipe.

Inspiration came to me this very morning while browsing through one of my favorite blogs, Buckwheat to Butter. Jen posted her recipe for an Almond-Apricot granola. Newly energized and ready to bake again (a new granola), I'll be heading to Rainbow and straight for those bulk bins in no time. Thanks, Jen, for this incredible recipe. I also love the detail about the noyaux. Who knew!? Or, rather, who noyaux!? xo

Photo from Jen Taylor's blog Buckwheat to Butter

Friday, August 10, 2012

Found Fashion in France

Mais oui, there is more! I wouldn't say that the idea of fashion is taken lightly in Paris nor would I say that the residents lack a sense of style. Quite the opposite. Whether through a store window, around the corner from the boulevard, across the dinner table over wine or cloaked on a mannequin as real as life, I couldn't help but be inspired by the array of different looks that surrounded me during my time in Paris. Here are a few highlights (I almost just wrote "from my dream!") from what I've seen! 

Wonderful hats at Marie Mercie on rue Saint-Sulpice.

My head to toe look on a fancy free day.

Socks, tights and legwear at Tabio on rue Saint-Sulpice.

More love, south of the ankle, at Repetto in the Marais.

Ballerina inspiration.

What happens when you ask a hair stylist for an up-do with a braid...

...and what happens when a hairstylist is inspired by the bow on your dress. This look is called "Lady Gaga Bow."

A Haute Couture design from I R A K L I. Walking into the store (nestled between the Palais Royal and Le Louvre), I didn't expect to get so much attention from intern Louis. But he had a lot to say about the store's president and founder, Irakli Nasidzé's designs. Here's a brief excerpt from the sweet email from Louis, which I received later that day:

"While staying true to his artistic nature, Irakli designs collections suited for today’s modern woman. With inspiration coming from travels, different art forms and the minimalistic flight of birds, cloths aspire to purity and elegance...As for the collections, the spirit of I R A K L I is in the imagery of the birds: Simplistic, pure and elegant. The clothes are made using the highest quality fabric available, with threads coming from Italy or Japan. They are then weaved into a knit that breath and live with the women it dresses."

Of course, how could I go to Paris and not stop into Agnès B (above).

Same goes for Isabel Marant (above).


Finally, Poem, Sweet Meg found glowing with Sylvia Beach Whitman - proprietor of Shakespeare and Company and a woman who is as stylish as they come. Sylvia is dressed in Dries Van Noten. By far, THE fashion highlight of the trip!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Going to, with all of my brunette, non-French, non-bombshell power, try to channel this vibe for the weekend to come! Wish me luck, and bisous.