my 35th birthday

birthday-party-terrain

 

As of 8 AM this morning, I am officially 35. This number doesn’t define me, but I’m proud of my age. Proud of what I’ve accomplished so far in life, both professionally + personally. I understand myself now more than ever, and grow more comfortable in my own skin as each year passes. I’m surrounded with incredible friends and family who inspire and strengthen me. I have two beautiful children that have defined unconditional love for me now and forever. I have a husband that adores me and demonstrates it on a daily basis. This weekend, he managed to throw me a surprise party that moved me to tears. I’m still overwhelmed, in the best possible way! I treasure my friendships and am so grateful for them. You know what else I’m grateful for? You, my dear reader…thank you for being here! You make me feel special every day.

merci paris

merci-paris

merci-shop-fiat

For a memorable shopping experience in Paris, you simply must visit Merci in the Haut-Marais. From the moment you enter the courtyard, their trademark red fiat creates a cheery + modern atmosphere. The concept store opened in 2009, brought to you by the founders of my favorite French children’s label, Bonpoint. Merging design, fashion, dining, and incredible art installations under one roof is no easy feat, but they pull it off effortlessly. The best part–their net income is donated to socially disadvantaged children in Madagascar. A design mecca with a philanthropic vocation? Yes please!

merci-paris-decor

The lofty home furnishings section of the store makes my heart go pitter patter. I could have spent days devouring every item. From design classics to avant-garde conversation pieces, there is something for everyone. I wanted to buy sheets in every color of their delicious linen. While most of it is beyond the reach of my wallet, I didn’t leave without a few affordable souvenirs (I recommend the postcards, illustrated maps, and stationary items).  Of course, their online store (launched in 2013), ships to the states! Don’t miss grabbing a bite at one of the three cafés in their space…my personal favorite is the used book café, with a cozy + comfortable vibe. I still think about the dippy egg dish and rose lemonade I had, along with the delightful company of my friend Amy. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo.

oeuffs-en-cocotte

merci-cafe

Each visit is unique, thanks to their frequent floor moves and artist installations. The red fiat changes seasonally as well, and is always a fun surprise. You never know what you’ll see, from holiday decor, to boats, to a giant wig! If you’d like to see more photos, head over to steller for my latest story, and be sure to add Merci to your next Paris itinerary!

Merci | 111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris

bon weekend

brass-leaf

 

While the weather may not yet be crisp enough, fall is officially here! I think I smile more at this time of year by default. I yearn for the autumn color, falling leaves, hot apple cider, and yes, even pumpkin scones at Starbucks. For some reason, I also feel extra creative + crafty this time of year. So this weekend, I’m throwing on a cozy sweater and getting out my supplies. I might even cook…say what?! Here are some crafts + recipes that have me inspired for your weekend reading.

BON WEEKEND!

white bean chili

leaf hunt wreath

fall flower projects

gold leaf brooches for fall

apple blackberry crumble recipe