Valentine’s Five Years Later

Word of the Day: bonheur (bawn-er)- happiness

It’s been 5 years since I posted a Valentine’s Day post- the same amount of time I’ve known my husband. Coincidence? Probably not!

My first post as a married woman is on Valentine’s Day, which is absolutely obnoxious and cliché, I know.  But I’m not going to write about romantic love today.  After watching You on Netflix (which I assume was made because someone decided dating wasn’t terrifying enough), I think anything about romantic love is not the Valentine’s post that 2019 demands.

2019 needs happiness and joy and…

…Sparkly hearts!



Let everyone you love know it today!


Paris Toute Seule

French Word of the Day: toute seule (toot soul)- all by myself (but not like the Celine Dion song)

I went to Paris almost exactly a year ago (and I’ve been working on this post almost as long).  These were a lot easier to write when I was a student with hours of free time.  This “real job” thing is no joke!

My Paris femme, Jenna, was studying there for her dissertation, and I wanted the chance to go and reminisce about all my old haunts without having to go to every single tourist destination.


Obviously, my other goal was to have as many pain au chocolat as possible.  Which I did.


And what trip to France is complete without a proper crepe?




I still managed to take photos of the classic places…


…But I was more interested in my old neighborhoods.  I spent most of my days wandering around them all and winning all the Fitbit step challenges.


And some wonderful friends.


I even got to see some family 🙂


All in all, a wonderful trip!  And I wanted to go back before I’d even gotten on the plane.

À bientôt Paris!

Many Thanks

French Word of the Day: inattendu (awn-ah-tawn-doo)- unexpected

When I wrote my last post, I wasn’t expecting anyone to actually read it.  I thought maybe two people would see it and that they’d both be related to me.  I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive comments, conversations, calls, texts, and emails.  They’ve meant a lot, so thank you to everyone who read it!

You made my heart go like this:

IMG_0428 (2)
That’s “soaring” in case the imagery is unclear.


Now I have a LOT of half written posts that need to be completed, so I hope everyone’s ready to revisit trips I took three years ago.

To be continued…

Nouvel Appart

French Word of the Day: hipster (eep-stehr)- hipster (it’s hard to find a direct translation for this)


I’ve finally vacated the suburbs and moved on up to the north side (of Chicago).  I’ve been without the internets for 2 months, but we just had it installed so I’m back at long last.

My coworker, Rocio, and I have moved into a place only 15 minutes from our place of work.  I’ve missed city living since leaving my beloved Paris.  (Driving everywhere?  No, thank you.)

We found an apartment whose previous tenants were hipsters, so you know it’s all artsy.  I’ve made a guide for those looking for apartments in the near future….


How to tell if the apartment you’re viewing is currently owned by hipsters:


  1. Brick wall with a bike hanging on it
  2. Lack of furniture
  3. Scent of pot
  4. Typewriter for purely decorative purposes
  5. Bookshelves filled with obscure, artsy books
  6. Stacks of vinyl records
  7. Clutter everywhere
  8. Unmade beds
  9. The current tenant, glaring at you


Feel free to add to this list.



French Word(s) of the Day: bonne année (bone ann-nay)- Happy New Year!

I always want to say the direct translation of Happy New Year, which is bonne nouvelle année, but the French cut out the “new” part.  You’re just going around saying “Happy year!” to people.  Really, you could mean any year, but I guess the French have evolved beyond the English-speaking world because they just KNOW what you mean.

Michelle’s cat is wishing you a pleasant 2012!

Hooray for Hollywood!

French Word of the Day: acteur (act-tur)- actor

Alyssa and I got in some Hollywood time during  my trip.  Hollywood and Disney basically define my life.  Due to the amount of celebrity sites I go on during downtime at work, I know more about who’s dating who/divorcing who/having whose baby than anyone probably should.

If you don’t believe me, you should know that the tour guide was checking all his celebrity gossip info with Alyssa and me by the end of the trip.  “I think Blake Lively is single now.”  “Um sir, actually…”

I’m not ashamed.

Now for some paparazzi-esque photos of star homes!  I love cellphone cameras because they let you take really awful, tiny pictures of things you could probably just Google image search, but your phone lets you know you were ACTUALLY THERE.

Tom Hank’s house!  (And Alyssa’s hair.  It just couldn’t resist Tom’s siren call.)

This one of Julia Robert’s house is really stalkerish of me.  You can’t even really see it…

Ringo Star’s gate proving that I really will take a picture of anything related to celebrities.  (Although really, check out those stars!  I want hearts on my gate.)

I believe this needs no introduction.

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was next on our list.

My feet are really this small.

Gregory Peck and I have put our hands in the SAME PLACE.  Of course, so have millions of other people (and their germs), but I’m choosing to ignore that.

The stars I took pictures on the walk of fame show both which stars I like and which ones no one was walking over at the time I wanted to take a picture.

People don’t walk on Doris because you can’t walk on pure happiness.

I made people stop walking on this so I could take a picture of it.  TOM SELLECK (circa that time on Friends when he dated Monica), I LOVE YOU!!!!!

The day ended with Vivian’s apartment from Pretty Woman.  Did any of you know it was actually a hotel?  I had no idea because I don’t pay attention.

All the celebrities talk about In-N-Out Burger.  We don’t have any in the Midwest, so I had to try it for myself.  Turns out, it tastes… like a burger.  They have a secret menu (although not secret anymore because I just told you about it) that only cool people know about.  My sister ordered off of that one because she’s a cool Californian now.

It’s on their website, so really, it’s the worst kept secret ever.

And with that, I’m out.  (I’m so clever with that pun.)