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Make your life a dream...

Paris graffiti street art

Fais de ta vie un rêve, et d'un rêve, une réalité
[Make your life a dream, and a dream a reality] 


Berthillon: Ice Cream Anyone?

Berthillon glacier
Berthillon glacier
Berthillon glacier
Berthillon glacier
Berthillon glacier
Berthillon glacier

So I finally made it to the beloved glacier Berthillon on Île Saint-Louis (the smaller of Paris' two islands on the Seine)... it took me a while but it was worth waiting for, and necessitates returning to again and again...

Berthillon uses only natural base ingredients - milk, sugar, cream and eggs; flavors come from fresh sources like berries, cacao and vanilla bean. So far, I've tried the fraise des bois (wild strawberry - seasonal), chocolat and agenaise. The scoops may be small, but the intensity of the flavors make up for any lack in size. They really are heavenly.

Although there's lots of competition around the city, most consider family-owned and operated Berthillon the best ice cream around. If you can't get to the little island shop, fortunately the ice cream is widely available around Paris; just look for the famous Berthillon signage.

This year marks its 60th anniversary as an official ice cream parlor so they've created a fancy ice cream dessert named la "60". If possible when you visit, get your scoop (or two), head west along the quay towards Place Louis Aragon (at the tip of Île Saint-Louis) and enjoy the view :)

Address: 29-31 Rue Saint Louis en L'ile, 75004
Hours: Tue-Sun, 10am-8pm
Note: Cash Only, Closed mid-July through the end of August


An Afternoon in the Country... (Part I)

French countryside
French countryside
French countryside
French countryside
French countryside
French countryside
French countryside

The other weekend, we visited my father-in-law in Southwest France, where he lives quite literally surrounded by nature. Taking a walk around there always reminds me that poet William Blake was right about finding a Heaven in a Wild Flower ...


Blog Tour: Photos, Inspiration + Friends


This post is a bit off the norm for this space, but I found it worthwhile and hope you don't mind me sharing. My talented photographer friend, Kim (of Little By Little Blog), invited me to take part in a virtual blog tour where I answer four questions about my creative work and process. Everyone participating in the virtual blog tour answers the same questions and at the end, I'll introduce you to a few (hopefully new to you) blogger friends...

1. What am I working on?
Moving to and getting fully settled into Paris took longer than expected... this meant also having to temporarily close my Etsy shop for three months (it's now open again though!). So my first priority is to get back into a rhythm of shooting regularly, improving on The French Kiosk and continuing to build a more focused body of work.

Collectively I'd like my photos to better reflect a more specific feel - to celebrate the quiet, the often overlooked simple details that surround our everyday. It can be really challenging because everything has the potential for beauty (especially here in France). At the end of the day, I'd like my work to be my signature, clear and defined.

I'm also excited about new products I'm working on for my Etsy shop that I will be sharing soon. And lastly, I'd love to find time to take some more photography workshops and courses,... I've still got so much to learn.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
I love that photography is such a democratized field, almost everyone can shoot and share their photos and with so many outstanding photographers out there, it is difficult to stand out.

I've always been drawn to the poetry in details and their magnificent way of telling a story without further context. I also love the interplay of light and shadows and the way sunlight can act as a paintbrush in almost any setting. That pull is inherent in why and how I photograph, what moves and inspires me. I am hoping that is reflected in my work and ultimately defines what makes it different.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Photography is something I've loved since my teens, ever since I took that first snapshot and watched the image come alive in the darkroom. I remember the Doisneau Kiss by the Hotel de Ville I hung in my college dorm that I loved so much for capturing such a wonderful moment (not realizing later it was staged - eek!). Early on I photographed purely for the pleasure of documenting what I loved around me and places I traveled. Until it became a passion, a need and compulsion... I read somewhere that pursuing our passion is like breathing - it is essential and life-sustaining. I believe that.

4. How does your writing/creating process work? 
Almost every big and little excursion involves a camera... my favorite thing to do is wander and observe, and I shoot what inspires and compels me. I photograph exclusively in digital format (ever since becoming a mom) and because I'm almost always with my boys when I'm out, I have to capture as quickly as possible in a few number of shots. This can be challenging but is more or less ingrained in my process now. A lot of my time is then spent sifting through and processing photos in Lightroom - a virtual darkroom that is as appealing and magical to me as the physical darkroom once was...

And now I have the great pleasure of introducing some very talented blogger friends. They will be sharing their creative journeys on their blogs Monday, May 26th.

The Daydreamer of The Daydreamer's Diary
In love with words, foreign languages and cultures, I have been blogging as The Daydreamer since 2009. I enjoy taking in every detail I can lay my eyes on: a face, a sentence, a picture, a cloud... and share them in my personal blog, The Daydreamer's Diary. I use clouds as my means of transportation above our world; they help me put things into perspective, contemplate reality from different and unexpected angles (dont' you just love surprises?), and with an added touch of poetry. In my wildest dreams, writing and curating a blog would be my next job. The quest is on in the real world. Wish me positive alignment of the spheres.

Melinda Larson of C'est Ma Vie
Multi-talented... iPhotographer | Writer | Francophile | Traveler | Sailor | Teacher | Coach | Marquette alumna | Auntie | At home in Wisconsin | In love with Paris

Maria-Angelique of The Good Life
An island girl living in the Midwest who has found a place where she indulges in a way of living she secretly longed for but never fully realized. Her blog summarizes her love for running, faith, fitness and nutrition... all the things that constitute a good life to her.


Reflection: Questionnaire de Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust Questionnaire

I came upon this postcard the other day - a questionnaire that the French writer Marcel Proust answered in the late nineteenth century (twice - first when he was 13 then again at 20) revealing bits of his character, thoughts and dreams. The questions have been used and published many times in various forms, and I always find the interviewee's answers interesting, but I think what is especially intriguing and useful are our very own answers and how they change and evolve over time, with greater understanding and wisdom and experience. When faced with a challenge or personal dilemma, it helps to know who we are and what we believe in.

Some of the questions are just fun little facts, but others really get you thinking... have you tried answering them?

My principal character trait. 
The quality I desire most in a man. 
The quality I desire most in a woman. 
What I value most in my friends. 
My principal character weakness. 
My preferred activity. 
My idea of happiness. 
What would be my greatest misfortune.
What I would like to be.
The country where I would love to live. 
My favorite color. 
My favorite flower. 
My favorite bird. 
My favorite prose authors. 
My favorite poets. 
My favorite fictional heroes. 
My favorite fictional heroines. 
My favorite composers. 
My favorite painters. 
My real life heroes.
My heroines in history. 
My favorite names. 
What I detest more than anything. 
Character traits that I most despise.
Military act I admire the most.
Reform I admire the most.
A natural talent I would like to have.
How I would like to die. 
Current state of mind. 
Faults of which I am most tolerant.
My motto.


Happy Busy Hands

Paris Rue Mouffetard Series on Hands
Paris Rue Mouffetard Series on Hands
Paris Rue Mouffetard Series on Hands
Paris Rue Mouffetard Series on Hands

Just a few of the many busy hands at my neighborhood market on Rue Mouffetard - from the boucherie (butcher shop) to the fromagerie (cheese shop) to the poissonnerie (fish shop) and of course to the boulangerie-pâtisserie (bakery) where my son's picks keep his finger sliding from one end of the glass window to the other ;)


Sharing a new Realité...

Paris via Instagram

One thing my sister made me promise her when I moved from the United States to France was to every now and then take her along with me on little trips and basic errands around the city (via Instagram or FaceTime), so she can see and hear what I see and hear, … ultimately so we don't feel very far away from each other. Being able to do this has helped me tremendously, and at the end of the day, however enthralled and excited I am about living in and experiencing Paris, it is always multiplied when I get to share it...

Odd thing is my family was still in suitcases up until a few days ago, so a huge part of me can't yet shake the feeling that we're just about to finish our vacation then head back to the States. I'm still (and likely always will be) playing tourist and snapping photos - and in utter disbelief that this is my new home and that my days visiting, exploring and lingering are not in fact numbered. It takes me a moment to grasp the reality of this,... even as I write it here.

I do miss many many things about the US, but for now Paris is home. Paris is home! And I intend to savor the slices in each moment of every day... and to share as much as possible.

This set of Instagram shots is from the last couple of months, as Paris awakened to Spring and my palette awakened to the extraordinary variety of delicious French breads and cheeses :)


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