April 6th

Today a brief ode to one of my new favorite English bookstores in Paris: WH Smith.

I must say, I feel mild guilt about proclaiming this spot as one of my favs since it is a British bookstore chain, but I do love it. Now, there will always be a very special place in my heart for Shakespeare & Co’s boho charm and for Galignani’s more subdued, historic glamour, but I adore this little shop (which happens to be a metro stop up Rue Rivoli).

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I think I love it best because it’s so unpretentious. The staff are friendly, and it emits that warm glow that all book lovers find irresistible (particularly on a cold, grey Parisian day). It reminds me of an English bookshop I used to frequent when we lived in Rome and therefore has an odd comfort that the others can’t match. More than any other shop, I love to just whip in here and see what’s new, browsing as long as I please (even when it’s busy it’s not too busy) before heading home.

Sometimes I buy something, sometimes I don’t, but I rarely miss an opportunity to visit it when I’m in the area.

Bonus? It offers an AMAZING selection of magazines including a number of new independently published beauties. After weeks of popping in (and months of not being able to justify shipping charges) I recently got my hands on Cereal, a new indie style and travel magazine that is so unbelievably gorgeous. They also have various magazines with numerous foreign language counterparts, so I can get my English or my French fix (or Italian if I’m feeling brave). And to top it all off they have a number of truly delectable snacks (because, why not). Many come from niche British brands I’ve heard of but never seen, and it always takes all my strength not to walk out of there with a Cadbury chocolate bar. When I took a friend last week we ended up leaving with mince pies!

If  you are on Rue de Rivoli and are an anglophile or anglophone craving some solid reading material and a warm environment, I highly recommend swinging in. The bilingual staff are always willing to help you with anything you need, and be sure to check out the shelf dedicated to their top picks if you’re indecisive.

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April 2nd: Nose

Today’s weather was ugly…it’s been super grey and rainy lately—not the sort that leaves you running for your umbrella, but the cool, obnoxious misting that is so infuriating and leaves you feeling exceptionally dirty. Yuck. So I was in need of something a little uplifting for the instagram feed.

I’m actually cheating slightly since these photos are from the other day, but I promise the weather was just as bad and that I was so busy I didn’t have the opportunity to take remotely interesting or exciting photos. Seriously guys the most eventful part of my day was being stared at by a French professor as I ate my sandwich in the teachers lounge—seriously, though, WHAT was his problem? So I thought I’d share two shots from my recent (and long awaited) trip to Nose—Paris’ finest fragrance and beauty concept store.

The concept is simple. Want a perfume but maybe not the same one EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG is wearing? Come to Nose and let the experts help you find your perfect scent. Ain’t nobody got time for that? It’s even easier! On their website you can create an account and fill out “perfume diagnostic” where, by identifying fragrances you’ve enjoyed in the past, you will be provided with suggestions of 5 other scents you may like. You can read descriptions of them and then order all 5 for a total of 10 euros (to be shipped or picked up in-store) and try them out at home. Once you’re done, you can go and pick up the perfume with a 10 euro discount. Or, if you don’t like any of the samples, you can annotate your profile and start the process again!

As someone who’s long been interested in perfume and had trouble finding that signature scent, I was super excited to try this out. I chose to pick my samples up in-store, but they do ship and are remarkably prompt. I ordered my sample pack plus two samples I was curious about after browsing the site.

I’ve been slowly testing them over the last few days and I must say all are lovely and unusual (in a good way). Two are too sweet for me, but that actually makes it easier to tailor things down. I’m excited to see which one I fall in love with, I’ve already worn one twice and I haven’t even sampled them all!

In the meantime, if you’re in Paris any time soon, you should definitely check out this shop. It’s already one of my favorite Parisian finds.

April 1st

Inspired by my dear and beloved mother, this month I thought I’d try something new on the blog—a month of daily photos documenting my life here in this beautiful city. I’m heading home at the end of April, and I can’t think of a better way to document my final days and get me outside to enjoy every second. So…be prepared for a lot of short posts. Let’s do this!

Today brought a perfect balance between lazy and productive. Morning involved a trip the the elementary school to teach, followed by a leisurely lunch and wander around the 6th with a new friend. And because I was in the 6th there were two things I truly couldn’t resist…

Pierre Hermé. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen me documenting my determination to taste every flavor he has for sale. I’ve tried about 10 now and I can honestly say there isn’t a single one I didn’t like. More importantly, there are a few that I find utterly irresistable.

Today’s flavor was Jardin des Prés—a delicate mix of honey and meadow seed. Perfect for spring!

I also swung into Oh My Cream! since my friend wanted a few samples. There is much more to be said about this fabulous beauty concept store…it’s one of my favorite discoveries here and one of the few beauty shops that’s generous with samples. Danger danger!

Macarons were munched in front of Saint-Sulpice, a lovely spot for a quick break from shopping. Even with the chilly weather, it made the perfect end to a lazy afternoon.

‘Till tomorrow!

M

Parisian keepsakes

I’ve been missing Paris a lot lately. Talking with friends from the program, I think we all are. At some level it feels like a distant dream that is impossible to reach or recover. On the other hand, it feels tantalizingly close, like we can blink and be back among the boulevards and boulangéries.

So, although it’s no anniversary or anything special, I thought I’d share a list of some of my favorite finds in Paris. I never did much shopping, but here are some of the things I decided were too special to give up entirely: Continue reading

Winsome Watches

I love watches. There’s something about these little tickers that totally floats my boat – it’s the one jewelry-ish thing I love shopping for, and cannot live without.

Because I’m curious, I looked (from the outside) at the Cartier watches. Jewelry stores scare me, and I never have the guts to go in. Also, I’m sorry, but no watch is worth $3000 euros. Do people actually pay that much? Continue reading

Wish List

Remember how I told you all that I am a poor student who can’t afford things but still likes looking? That still holds true, but now I find myself coveting the beauties that I’ve been seeing during my long strolls. Rainy days are the worst in this department, because I cannot control myself. I walk by stores, end up ducking in to avoid the damp, and then see things that I want. Luckily Parisian sizes are discouragingly miniscule. I never want to try anything on because I don’t want to know how much bigger I am than my American size. Continue reading