Tag Archives: sceaux

Relearning an old lesson

Last week, in my five-month letter from Paris, I said Paris’s grim and grey day-to-day life had thrown me into melancholie. As I wrote that letter, I longed for blue skies and friendly faces, but I felt they would never come. Well, ask and you shall receive, my friends! These past few days have been some of the sunniest I’ve seen all winter.

My friend Matthieu snapped these photos a couple of days ago as we strolled through the Parc de Sceaux, which I blogged about  last year. The sun was teasing us as we walked, peeking out from behind the clouds just long enough for us to notice how beautiful the park looked in its rays.

parc de sceaux 1parc de sceaux 2parc de sceaux 3

Do you see the rainbow?

It snowed a day after Matthieu took those pictures, and he went back to the park to capture it under a light blanket of snow.

parc de sceaux snow 1parc de sceaux snow 3parc de sceaux snow 5parc de sceaux snow 4

 Hm, that château looks familiar

It’s amazing how when you ask for something and actively strive to bring it into your life, it appears. I’m not just talking about sun, here. I mean that optimism and happiness I thought I’d lost. I mean friends and family who take all the clouds away. Sometimes, all you need to do is reach out to people and empower yourself in order for the things you desire to appear in your life. I’ve learned that first-hand in the past week or so, and it’s a lesson I’ll be sure to never forget.

It’s funny, though— I’d already come across this life lesson before.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.”

That quotation comes from Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I read over the summer. I shared this quote and many others from the book on the blog, but just like blessings, words of wisdom are things we need to continuously revisit, relearn and reapply.

As I continue to seek out positivity, now and throughout my entire life journey, I know this lesson will find me again and again. And thank goodness for it.

What are your favorite words of wisdom? Share them in the comments below, this girl can always use them! 

Smiles and all the best,


All photos are by Matthieu Surjous! Merci beaucoup! 



Filed under Miscellaneous, Paris, Photos

Sceaux far from Paris


As I said this past Saturday, I got to escape Paris for several hours this weekend and visit Sceaux (pronounced “so”—ha! now do you get it?), where my friend Matthieu lives. Sceaux lies no more than 15 kilometers from the center of Paris, but it feels like a completely different world.

In Sceaux, the streets are dotted with cozy houses and leafy trees. The neighborhoods are quiet, and children’s toys sit in driveways and frontyards waiting for the next adventure. In the middle of the town, there is a park and a château (Parc de Sceaux). Canals weave their way across the park, and fountains spew water into the air like geisers, their mist falling like rain upon the passerby.

And the trees. Oh my, the trees. If it weren’t for the manicured branches, I’d say this park is more like a forest. Even better, the leaves are changing colors. They come dancing to the ground like fire-red rose petals, flashing orange like flames in the grass.

I was so thrilled to escape the noise, hustle and claustrophobia of Paris, even if only for a few hours! It really makes a difference, getting out of the city for a little bit. Then, when you go back, you can appreciate once again all the perks of your sunless, starless, hyperactive Parisian life. Or you can just plan your next great escape, like me. You’re probably sick of my Paris-bashing and my nature-girl talk. But at least I’m honest. 

If you’d like to visit Sceaux from Paris:

Hop on the RER B, heading South, and get off at Bourg-la-Reine.

Check out this site for info on the town’s attractions, and this blog by Le Monde to find out all the local secrets and activities! Oui, c’est en Français, but Google Translate does a decent (as in only mostly horrible) job.

…and that’s it. Not bad for a day trip, huh?

Merci, Matthieu, pour l’invitation! Ce Samedi était trop génial!

Do you ever feel pent up in big cities? How do you cope? Leave a comment and share your tips!

Smiles and all the best,




Filed under Paris, Travel

Samedi Sommaire 1.1


Bonjour à toutes et à tous! And happy Saturday! Today has been a day of discovery for me. I had the pleasure of escaping the claustrophobic streets of Paris to visit a town just outside the city called Sceaux. It was wonderful to discover a new part of Ile-de-France and to break out of Paris’s ceaseless rhythm of “métro-boulot-dodo” (which you’ll learn about at the end of this post!). One of Sceaux’s main attractions is its park, which is full of shimmering ponds and towering trees.  I took a few pictures and once I get them all edited and sorted out I’ll be sure to share. In the meantime, here’s a chunk of my mind to play with:

Listening to:

This week I discovered Milo Greene. Yes, their self-titled album has become the new album of the moment. Their sound is raw and haunting, full of heartache and longing. And yet, it’s powerful. It is whole, meant to speak to the broken. Check ’em out. 

Wondering at: 

The incredible images over at Canadian Hiking Photography, taken by the dashing Patrick Latter. Imagine vibrant mountain landscapes glowing in the setting sun, snow capped peaks towering over iridescent lakes. That’s what this photographer gives you. I’d post a photo, but I’d like to respect Patrick’s copyright restrictions. So go see for yourself— prepare to skip a breath.

Drooling over:

Ok– I’m drooling over anything fig at the moment. And this vanilla bean ice cream with black berries and figs dessert over at Le Zoe Musings definitely fits the bill. I know it’s not the season for either figs nor ice cream, but you have to admit, this looks super fresh and yummy!

Thinking about:

The Gaza Strip. It would be very difficult not to think about the escalating violence between Palestine and Israel at the moment. Within the past few days, hundreds upon hundreds of missiles and rockets have been fired by both sides of the conflict. The victims of the fighting have been mostly civilians, several of whom have been young children. I hope these nations and the international community will come together quickly to address this issue— neither the people of Palestine nor the people of Israel can afford more war and violence.

Dreaming of:

December. Why December, you ask? Well, it means the end of all my school work, essays, exams, everything. It also means Christmas in Paris! Above is a photo of my street, Rue de Rennes, where they’ve strung blue and white Christmas lights between the buildings like garlands. Christmas is definitely in the air!

Français favori:

And the French phrase of the week is….métro-boulot-dodo (pronounced meh-troh-boo-loh-doh-doh). The translation is metro-work-sleep. This is a typical French phrase that means doing the same old thing– on the metro, behind the desk, back to bed, repeat. My past two weeks have been exactly like this. Except it’s more like walk to campus, work on campus till dinnertime, come home, sleep (eventually), do it all over again. Hence, métro-boulot-dodo captures my current rhythm very well. But as I said, I broke that rhythm today, and I uncovered new inspiration as a result.

What new things did you discover this week? 

Smiles and all the best,




Filed under Prose