my 2013.

 Paris, jus t'aime!

A current trend in popular thinking is that Instagram photos are just one big show-off fest, that these curated and staged photos somehow force others, by comparison, to experience dissatisfaction in their own lives. Many of the articles touching on this have been satires (at least I hope?) but part of me suspects an element of truth to it. 

I guess I just don't understand it. I live by the rule that when we compare we despair, and the experiences of others should not reflect upon our own. We all travel on our own path, right? 

When I click on that icon, I expect to be inspired, I want to see interesting cocktails and dishes, I still want to see the damn Eiffel Tower, and I want to see my friends having amazing experiences. Isn't that a huge part of life? Being happy for others?

This year, IG is offering a fantastic best-of slideshow for users to share with their followers. Because I don't communicate with quite a handful of you on social media, I thought I would bring my favorite moments of 2013 here. Again, these are merely snippets of my year, and the in between photos (if they existed) would be washing dishes, doing laundry, watching Melrose Place (the original!) reruns, and having children cough on me.

2013 for me was about appreciating the little joys in life, so here are a few of my favorite moments. 

Okay, not exactly a "little joy", 
but how can I do a "best of 2013" without mention of our wedding?

Speaking of weddings, it only took me four months later to understand all of the Breaking Bad jokes going on.
 Why Aurelién (a big BB fan) didn't suggest that baby blue rock crystal candy as place settings was a bad idea still boggles me.
I love the show, but blue meth place cards?! Oy.

2013 was the year that I braved these rolling Parisian death traps.

Holding on tight to old friendships with the belief that it was impossible to make new ones. Relinquishing those feelings, I finally opened myself up to new friends and acquaintances here.
The result? Why didn't I do it sooner?

Organized a "Sparkle" party to celebrate 
Cara Alwill Leyba's first visit to Paris.

 Celebrated National Kale Day at Verjus.

Clinked to Juliette Sobanet at words + wine

 Caught up with the girls at the Prete-Moi Paris 
4 Year Anniversary party.

Celebrated the French translation of
Owen Martell's novel "Intermission" at Autrement Publishing House

And I also enjoyed some alone time. 
Despite my big mouth, this is actually one of my pastimes...

I also revisited some of my old haunts...

Learned what to do with this little shop of horror!

Enjoyed simple pleasures during my two week stay at my mom's...

I also spent time with my new family...
The Official Champagne Break Station
at the Father's Day Badminton Tournament.
Guess whose idea that was. 

 Spring in Fontainebleau

 Autumn in Fontainebleau

And with friends who have become family...

I finally obtained my titre de séjour.
Again, not a "little joy", but a huge relief.

 (I think he thought we were hitting on him. N'importe quoi.)

 And of course, did a bunch of entertaining....
 The indoor anniversary picnic.

  Celebrated a friend getting her French nationality!


I also realized that I am not at all funny in French.
2 rounds of Cards Against Humanity en français 
made this pretty clear.

It was a fantastic year of reflection, growing into myself by listening to my gut feeling, and truly appreciating who and what is around me. Here is to a fantastic 2014!

I wish you all a Happy (and safe!) New Year!

I thank you all for your support these past few years. 
Thank you for reading.



  1. Cool! I didn't know about the IG best-of slideshow; I just ordered mine!
    I love seeing my friends' awesome pics on Instagram- it makes me happy.

    Of course, the jealous type will always be jealous; these people have been hating way before the internet was even invented (with more severe consequences...I'm thinking of the Salem witch trials! "OMG...she's like way hotter than me and she's dating the cutest boy in town to boot...She's a witch!").

    Your year in Paris, getting married and traveling around the States is greatly captured in pictures (and in writing!) as well as the intimate moments with your friends. There's something about the pic with the two ladies in feels so sweet, timeless...and womanly. And I am constantly impressed (and transported) with your personal style, your decor and all. I just want to see more and more!

    I look forward to following your adventures and discoveries in 2014 Lisa!
    And maybe in 2014 we'll even get to clink to being Paris!

    Bonne année !

    1. Did you post your slideshow yet? I want to see it!

      Ha! LOVE the witch trial comparison. So true. Speaking of witches, do you watch American Horror Story: Coven? If not and if you have the time, you should. It's their best season yet.

      The picture of the two ladies is Jenna of Paris Cheapskate and Emma of Burnt Cream. I love that shot too. It's so ladies who lunch.

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment, for reading the blog, and for being such a fun guest at my wedding! I can't wait to catch up with you the next time you're in Paris.


  2. Love your round up :o) I forget to IG most of the time, unless I'm on holiday, so my photos are sporadic to say the least lol

    Hope you have a fab 2014!

    1. Happy New Year, Katy! Thank you for being a long time reader and commenter on the blog. I always look forward to your sassy responses to my posts. xo.

      And I love your crafty IG photos. ; )

  3. I spent most of 2013 working on not getting stuck in the comparison trap and it has really helped me gain perspective. You had a fabulous year and I'm sure 2014 will be just as amazing- without a filter! Cheers!

    1. Hi Katie, Thank you so much for your honest comment. Good for you for working through it. It's a normal human reaction that we have to work on making it a positive and allowing ourselves to be inspired. You never know, you may be inspiring someone too. : )

      I'm writing to you sick in bed with a post-holiday cold, a photo you will not find on Instagram. ; )

      Happy New Year!

  4. beautiful pics! love living vicariously through reading your blog =)

    1. Wow. Thank you so much! I hope you pick and choose which posts to live vicariously through; having the French kids cough on you, not so glamorous. ; ) Happy New Year!

  5. What a fantastic recap of an incredible year! Thanks so much for your beautifully-written and hilarious posts. Your blog is one of my absolute favorites. I can't wait for your book! Loved the pics of the amazing Champagne Social; what a night!

    Wishing you the best for a new year filled with happiness, success, health, and many, many wonderful moments. xx

    1. Hi Patricia! Wow, love the blog revamp. It looks great! Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments. Here's to another great year! Cheers!

  6. Lovely!....heres to a wonderful 2014. Happy New Year. Thanks for all your posts I really enjoy them made me "homesick" for Paris though!

    Denise, Love from England

    1. Thank you Denise. Happy New Year to you too! Are you planning a visit anytime soon? ; )

  7. Funny. In English it's "When you compare, you despair" while in French it's "Quand je me compare, je me console"!:)

    Here's to a year well lived and to a new one just as filled with goodness!:)

    Happy New Year, Lisa! And Happy New Year to all of you Ladies in the comment section!:))

    1. Je me console? Good lord. Now that's a funny translation.

      Happy New Year to you, Duchesse! It was so lovely to see you again this year. We had a blast with you two!

  8. A fantastic year dear!!!! Thanks for ringing in 2014 with us!!! You are a riot and I love having you around. And your chéri is just awesome. More charades very soon please!!!!!

    1. It certainly was a fantastic year! It sort of puts the pressure on 2014. We had a lovely time with you too. Merci!

  9. This is beautiful. Here's to an amazing 2014 and many more glasses of bubbly together! :)

  10. happy new year to one and all!!!

    1. Happy New Year, Deb! Thank you so much for being a supporter of the blog by taking the time to read and comment on each post. It means the world to me. Here's to a wonderful 2014!

  11. Your snapshots of Paris are some of my most favorites on IG:)

    Happy 2014 to you!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Alyson! And thank you!

  12. A bit late as I only now have access to real internet, but Happy New Year!! I loved this post. And I cracked up over the "blue meth" thing. Though I watched Breaking Bad, I probably never would have made the connection myself if you hadn't said something.