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Since you normally would say Spring has sprung would it be appropriate to say Fall has fallen? Autumn is in full effect here in Paris land, but oddly it doesn’t quite feel like it. Hear me out. Americans go crazy over Fall. We have two major holidays in Autumn-Halloween and Thanksgiving, we start school in the Fall. At home in NC we have the Harvest Festival and the State Fair, and there are pumpkins and fall decorations everywhere. Here, no one here seems to give two toots that the season has changed. It’s rather confusing. I’m used to being bombarded with scarecrows and front porches covered in mums. And where are all the pumpkin flavored things? Also…the French don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s a bit of a bummer for myself because I loooooove Halloween. And this will be my fourth year not being able to do anything fun on Halloween-yay..

It’s just strange not feeling the change around you. I feel like at home people are excited for Autumn and a new start.

But just because Parisians aren’t enthused for Fall doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful here. The leaves, of course, must acknowledge my favorite season and are swiftly turning into yellows, oranges, and rusts. I think I take pictures of leaves on trees, on the ground, and blowing in the wind on the daily.

Daniel’s mom stopped by for a week long visit too! Unfortunately, I was incredibly sick with some weird French flu so I was quarantined to the apartment most of the time she was here. We all got to spend the last couple of days together though, which was nice. We took a hike up to Montmartre and viewed Sacre Couer.

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I’ve also been doing lots of knitting recently! I was in a bit of a funk the last few weeks, but I’ve gotten my mojo back. Above are pictures of me working on my new project the Blom shawl by bmandarines. It’s a wonderful knit so far-very addicting. The yarn itself is driving me crazy (in a good way). I love the color, the weight, the feel of it. It’s called Fonty BB Merinos. It’s 100% superwash merino and made in Creuse, France. I will definitely be picking up more of this soon! All of the colorways were exceptionally beautiful. I also have a feeling I’ll be making more of these shawls.

And here are some pictures of Daniel, his mom Susan, and myself at Sacre Coeur. Daniel and I are always on our own so it’s special when we finally have a picture together that’s not a selfie.

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So far Fall has been good to us (minus being sick) here in Paris and it’s just getting started. Hope you’re all enjoying your Autumn and had a happy Halloween! We ate scones and watched Hocus Pocus.

Daniel and I went to Amsterdam last weekend so a post will be coming shortly! It was basically the most amazing city I’ve ever been to. Daniel and I agreed we should just live there. 😉

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Since last post Daniel and myself have moved into our new apartment, where daily life has settled into a steady rhythm. Daniel started his new job and I’ve started castings and photoshoots, so there’s less adventure walks and tourist destinations, but more daily strolls up and down our bustling street, trips to the market, and lots of pastries.

One thing I love about living here, especially on our street, is the market. Everyday I venture to the fruit stand that sells relatively (all European) local produce and grab my daily fill of veggies and fruits. There really is something about going to the market, and walking languidly through all the produce and taking time to sniff the bottoms of peaches for ripeness, tear off a piece of lettuce for tasting, and sometimes if you’re lucky the seller will give you a cherry or two to try.

Everyone here also is very conscious of waste-they bring their own bags and(or my favorite) baskets, to the market for toting their booty home. It’s very reminiscent of times long past. There’s no flourescent light bulbs, no “booping” sound of the register as it scans the barcode (i’m looking at you walmart), and no freezers. Just wooden stands of nature’s good stuff, and cobblestone streets. On Sunday there’s even traditional dancing in the square.

The market doesn’t just have produce either. There’s the Fromagerie (cheese shop), Poissonnerie (fish monger), and the Boucherie (butcher shop). It’s a very lively scene that unfortunately just can’t be captured by a camera. If you ever find that you are in Paris, do yourself a favor and go to a market. You won’t be sorry.

One other favorite past time of mine (and Daniels!) is the daily visit to the café. After work you can find most Parisians at their favorite local café sipping a café au lait or a cocktail. You’ll also notice that chairs are normally facing outwards toward the street for optimal people watching. Sitting atop the great hill we live at the bottom of, there is a charming square. In the center lies a bubbling fountain with each side of the square facing inwards. Each of those sides houses a different café. That is where you’ll find us for our digestif (alcoholic drink that is consumed before or after a meal to leave just the right end note). Yesterday we even left our phones at the apartment and believe it or not, were forced to talk to each other ;).

Am I being romantic enough about this place? Ha..I know..I got it bad for Paris. ❤

In about a month we will be leaving this apartment and heading towards our more permanent place. We are sad we’re leaving Rue Mouffetard, but our new place is AMAZING. Before we saw it yesterday I was anxious it was going to be a “too good to be true” situation. We’d only seen it online, we got it for a REALLY great price, it’s located in the most sought after neighborhood in all of Paris…so yeah..it sounded too good to be true. But we walked in and there it was-the nicest apartment we will probably ever live in. We are incredibly lucky and I’m already anticipating our move in! I don’t have any pictures at the moment, but in a month be prepared for an onslaught.

So life these days has been castings, sitting by the open window reading, tea with honey, sweets and more sweets, people watching, jumbled French, soup making…ya know, the good life. I’m feeling very humbled today by this lovely adventure I’ve been dropped in.

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This Weeks Updates:

Received this whimsical shot from Marta Bevacqua..I love it because I’m all tangled up in yarn, which isn’t so different from reality.

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Books Finished this Week:

Cattle Haul by Jesmyn Ward

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Station Eleven by Emily St, John Mandel

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Currently Reading:

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Knitting Projects:

So I’ve recently started my Christmas gift knitting, which I’m very excited/freaking out about. 🙂 I’ve also got the Time Traveler striped socks going, the pink, brown, and cream shawl, and a boatload of other works in progress going. U.G.H. I’ve been binge watching The Great British Bakeoff while I knit, so i’m also drawing in some baking inspiration. Can’t wait for a real kitchen!!

And finally..Daniel started his first day of work! Well…officially it was last week but still..proud girlfriend moment.IMG_0306

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I hope everyone has a great week! I’m off to the market..

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Of the infinite packing I should have done by now, I have managed to pick which projects, yarn, and blankets I am taking with me to Daniel’s… BUT HEY, at least I’ve done something, right? I went through every skein, every WIP, every single fiber I have in my possession. From this, I have gathered that I should not be allowed within 20 feet of a yarn store.DSC_0414I did manage to weed out some yarn I know I’ll never use. I don’t really have any friends in the area that knit or crochet though, so it’s tricky. I can’t just throw it out. I’m not a wasteful person, also…the yarn would get sad 😦 . Maybe I’ll put it for free on Craigslist and see if anyone comes to retrieve it. Yay or nay? Any New Yorkers want some free yarn?

I counted my total WIP’s(works in progress/projects) and I have over sixteen. SIXTEEN! Five blankets, a scarf, a cowl, three pairs of socks, and a baby sweater to name a few. I don’t even know anyone with a baby!!!DSC_0419Packing away yarn always pulls at my heartstrings. I hate seeing it all squished up, crammed in a plastic bin. I know I’ll pull it out and it’ll smell like inflatable furniture (anyone remember those things?!). But when I pull it out it’s like Christmas all over again! You know what 7 layer bean dip is? Well it’s a dish that moms always bring to potlucks and Super Bowl parties that is 7 layers of beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and lots of other amazing things. Anywho, while I was packing my yarn into the bin all I could think of was how I was making a 7 layer bean dip of yarn. I know, I know..I’m weird, but this is just how my mind works. DSC_0423DSC_0424The craft supplies were also haphazardly packed away. Hopefully there won’t be a crafting emergency in the next week. But one can really never know!DSC_0411DSC_0409DSC_0425DSC_0402On a more adult note, I am starting to genuinely panic about all that needs to be done. I still have to pack all my kitchen stuff, all trinkets from my room, linens, and bathroom stuff. Then I need to take all the giveaway stuff to goodwill, which is literally a suitcase and 7 trash bags full of clothes, shoes, and apartment crap. I had a serious shopping addiction for the first two years I lived in New York. Then I need to pack away the pantry, and separate everything into storage and what I’m taking to Daniel’s. Then do the two separate moves, come back and clean the apartment! AHHHHHHHHH! Good thing my mom is coming today! I can’t wait to see her :)!!!!!

As I mentioned above for a while I had a bit of a shopping addiction (no friends in new york, depressed about job, lonely, long distance boyfriend fueled the fire). To get rid of as much stuff as possible I had a rooftop yard sale with my friends this past weekend! It was a grand ole time and I got rid of right many clothes and even a painting and a mirror. I made whopping $56 and was happier than a clam, but unfortunately I still have so much stuff I could probably start my own thrift store. photo-33Danny boy and I ventured out in Brooklyn one night, which to be honest is quite rare for us considering how much we love a comfy bed and Netflix. We were walking about the trendy hood of Williamsburg when we just could not find a place we both wanted to eat. We were cold, hungry, wandering aimlessly, on the verge of being hangry when all of a sudden we both looked up and saw this odd Japanese looking structure.

D: “What’s that place?”

V: “I dunno..some Japanese place, but I don’t know anything about it and I’ve never seen anyone go in or come out before”

D: “Let’s check it out.”

V: “Okey doke”

We go inside and it’s AWESOMMMMMEEEE! They for some reason had an opening and we were seated right away. The restaurant has no windows by the way, so we can no clue what to expect. The host leads us to our table when we realize everyone gets their own cute little private booth/room! It’s Japanese tapas style and we ordered to our heart’s content. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I still don’t know the name of the place..oops. But man was it a fun adventure. Sometimes the best places are the ones you would never go to in a million years. I sure do like being pleasantly surprised. This weekend was extremely satisfying. 🙂photo-34

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At the moment, daily life for me consists of waking up, tea and breakfast, castings, and then home I go to do more packing, cleaning, and organizing. If you haven’t heard I am moving again. This will make four moves in less than four years.

Ask anyone who lives in New York, and they will most certainly agree that finding an apartment and moving in New York City is the biggest nightmare EVER. I am not exaggerating, people. For the time being I’m moving in with my boyfriend for a few months until I have enough money to officially move. Most apartments here require first and last months rent, and a security deposit, which amounts to your monthly rent. This is not including paying for movers, and a broker. So by the time you are moved you have spent anywhere from 6,000-10,000 depending on how much your rent is, how much moving costs, and the broker fee you agreed on, which is around 12-15% of your YEARLY rent.

Did I mention my boyfriend has four roommates who are all guys, all of them students? YEAH. So this should be interesting. The next couple weeks will be crunch time for me. Luckily, my wonderful mom is coming to help me move. She’s a saint. Stressed out me is not pretty and somehow she still comes every year to help me move and deals with my ‘tude. Thanks mom!

One of the hardest things about this whole situation is having to decide which stuff goes into storage and which will come with me to the Dude Palace. Obviously, some yarn will have to go into storage 😦 . Also most of my kitchen/baking stuff. Sigh…

Okay enough about moving, I have been on a cooking/baking roll (pun intended?) these days! I’ve made a 5 spice cranberry upside down cake, vegan chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, and attempted to make a pavlova (more on that disaster later). I’ve also been trying out new recipes and cooking out yingyang. I don’t always get pictures of everything. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the process and not have to stop every second and photograph all the steps. Sometimes I just eat the dang thing before I can even think about pictures. Sometimes the outcome just looks so horrendous I don’t even want it documented (pavlova I’m looking at you). That being said, the kitchen makes me feel so contented.

Here’s a peek into my week.DSC_0360DSC_0314DSC_0277DSC_0250Daniel and I are trying to do weekly menus. We’re hoping it will eliminate the whole “it’s 8 o clock, what do you want to eat, I don’t want to cook, let’s just get takeout” situation. The good news is I love looking at recipes. I love looking through cook books, I love trying new things, so this will be pretty easy, me thinks. Or at least, I hope so. DSC_0354DSC_0292DSC_0380DSC_0373DSC_0313DSC_0273Yesterday I made Danny lunch and brought it to him. It was spectacular weather, so we sat on his office roof and ate up some Greek style pork chops, and Israeli salad. I also brought the vegan chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, and some garlic hummus. SO GOOD, PEOPLE! It was such a wonderful treat to get to have lunch together. DSC_0332photo-30DSC_0303DSC_0324DSC_0348DSC_0312DSC_0238Daniel and I also had a rainy day adventure this weekend. We ate breakfast at the smallest Jewish diner you ever did see, we walked all the way cross town and had coffee and hot chocolate on the Highline, walked through Washington Square Park, and then came home to warm snuggly blankets, and hot soup with sandwiches for lunch. image-274photo-31I finished a book also! I finally finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and I must say, I loved reading this book. You know when you come across a book you love reading so much that you don’t ever want it to end. This was that book for me. Such a spectacular read!

This week has been hectic, but also so so sweet.

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After Milano I ventured to Paris this Summer to do more work related activities, but perhaps you were wondering..”What does a model do in her spare time?”

“Does she eat celery and smoke copious amounts of cigarettes?”

“Does she party her incredibly small butt off at the club?”

“Does she go to fancy restaurants with major celebrities?”

“Does she go on huge shopping sprees with all the LOADS of money she has?” (HA..this one makes me laugh the most..if only..)

Well..no. I don’t do any of those things.. In my spare time you can usually find me knitting socks, watching Adventure Time, reading books, baking pie, wandering aimlessly, or laughing at my own jokes. Here’s my spare time from this Summer in beautiful Paris.

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While in Paris I rediscovered a love of mine. Growing up books were always a big part of life. My parents both read to me as a wee babe before bedtime. I have special memories of my mom reading to me as a toddler in the wooden chair in my room with a stack of Little Critter and Dr. Seuss books piled up high. I also can recall my dad reading me Harry Potter as I would fall asleep and ultimately learned how to read from those magical novels. In high school I was the kid who got in trouble for reading until 3 in the morning on a school night. And then I moved away from home and was in a bit of funk, not only with reading, but life. It’s hard to read when you’re unhappy, and to be honest, just not enjoyable. AND FINALLY this Summer I picked it up for good. I mean..of course I’ve read a book here and there in between life, but now I just can’t stand to go a day without a read.

Here’s what I managed to read in Paris..and I’m quite happy with it. I try not to rush through books…but sometimes I get in a tizzy to know what’s going to happen. If you’re a reader you know what I mean. I’m also bad for reading half of, or most of a book and then going to a different one because I just don’t like the book. I’ll finish them one day! I was also only able to find one book store in Paris, aside from the few touristy, very very VERY expensive ones, that sold books in English des livres Anglais. Therefore, the choices were a bit limited, but I enjoy classic books anyways.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (My favorite of the group!! Mr. Rochester ❤ )

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup

3/4 of Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (I don’t know why I just can’t get through this book. It’s very clever and witty but I just don’t ever crave reading it..it’s always a chore 😦 )

1/2 of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (SO MANY DESCRIPTIONS AND POINTLESS FACTS)

Be expecting lots of books, yarn, and baking in the near future. My month in Paris was a lovely one indeed. It was very rainy, chocolatey, and cozy.

Au revoir!

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Milan has been treating me well thus far. The flight over wasn’t bad, the weather’s been wonderful, and the model apartment is great!! This month long stay is off to a great start, my friends. Today is my first day off since arriving so I’ll be spending the day eating gelato, taking in some sights, and some meandering the streets. I can’t wait!!

I’m living in a model’s apartment whilst here, which is basically an apartment an agency owns that girls can stay in while they are traveling or staying in a country that is not their own. Some are nice, some are terrible, some you get your own bedroom, some you do not. This particular apartment is very very nice, huge in fact, but I am sharing a bedroom dorm style. I has one single bed, and a bunk bed. My roommate has the single bed and I have the bottom bunk which is just fine with me because I made myself a little bed fort.IMG_3969They won’t let us tack anything or tape anything to the walls, so I had to get a little crafty with all the photos I brought from home. I stuck them in the slats of the bed above me, so whenever I’m in bed all I have to do is look up and there’s my beloved memories!IMG_3970My first day of castings here was intense. I wore brand new sandals (HUGE mistake) and leather pants (minor mistake), and ended up sweaty and with blisters and sores all over my poor feet. I ended up doing the math and I walked over 14 miles or 23 km. I am not kidding. I think I could survive a post apocalyptic event after having survived that, all while carrying a 15 pound bag and no water or food!

I did, however, get a feel for Milano, and saw some beautiful streets. This one in particular had a canal running alongside it and was lined with older buildings.IMG_3979I even ran across a building with an elevator that had a full blown couch in it!!!!! IMG_4018I think the above picture says “Come sit with me on my luxurious velveteen couch, you fool!” in a 20’s movie accent. IMG_4016Yesterday was a much better day as I didn’t have to walk very much, but unfortunately my poor feet were incredibly tender so I had to walk very slowly. I did make myself a nice breakfast burrito for brekky though! And I started to actually knit something, the first time I’ve knit anything since arriving.IMG_4013I’m making myself a pair of mittens with this Purl Soho merino twist yarn I received with the raffle basket I won for the NYC Yarn Crawl. It’s  incredibly soft and easy to work with. I’m absolutely loving it…I just wish it wasn’t so darn expensive!IMG_4037IMG_4046The apartment has a wonderful little balcony that I loved sitting on and working away with my needles and yarn!

And of course a trip to Italy is nothing without high quantities of gelato!!! Just go ahead and prepare yourself for lots of upcoming gelato porn. This one was vanilla with swirls of nutella! Swoon..

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I’m hoping to see some sights and doing lots of knitting today, so I will have more loveliness to show next time!!!

 

Ciao!!!!

 

I’m not sure if I told anyone on here or not, but I’m in Milan! I’m here for work for about a month, then onto Paris and London. I haven’t updated the blog in a REALLY long time (I’m ashamed), but to be truly honest I was so freaking busy and stressed out I just couldn’t make time. Not that I’m here though, I have time! The past two weeks have consisted of packing, cleaning, and I even went home to North Carolina for Mother’s Day weekend, which was THE BEST. /IMG_3834

I’ll start there. On Thursday I secretly took the train home (yes, 10 hours worth of train) to surprise my sweet mother for Mother’s Day weekend. And I just wanted to see her and my entire family and my home. The day before I left I realized I didn’t have a gift of any sorts for her. To be frank, I didn’t think I was going to get to go home. So I delved into my yarn stash to see what I could make within the ten hour train ride. I considered fingerless mitts, a coffee mug cozy, and some bunting, but finally set my heart on the Swan’s Island Sasha Cowl. I was given the amazing yarn through the NYC Yarn Crawl with the basket I won as well as the pattern. I had always thought it was cabling, but then realized it’s just lace (which i can actually do!) Here’s a very blurry picture of the train progress..it’s hard to take a picture in a moving train I’ve learnt.IMG_3774And my mom loved it! It was a very easy and fast knit. Turned out beautiful, possibly my favorite make to date. I knew I’d finish it pretty fast so as a treat to myself I bought a skein of Koigu in a  color way I’d been eyeing for a while. It’s so colorful, bright and happy! Who wouldn’t love it?!

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I love the fact that it looks like colorful spaghetti!!!

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Makes the most lovely hexipuffs, doesn’t it? I almost have 20 hexipuffs! YEAH ONLY A BILLION TO GO!

Okay so when I got home my sister picked me up from the train station and we surprised my mom in the parking lot of Chick-fila. Hahaha we had to do it somewhere! She was so happy and surprised and it just totally made the 10 hour train ride worth every second. I hadn’t seen any of my family since Christmas so it was just the most wonderful time being home. The next day my mom, and sister, and I spent the entire day together at a train station turned plant nursery and shopping at the mall.IMG_3852

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I just feel like this picture below is so standard for anyone who lives in the South. Everyone has several pictures where they are holding a styrofoam cup. Why? Because all the hotdog/burger joints use them. And they’re always filled with sweet tea, but I’m weird and don’t like ice tea..I know, I’m not Southern. HA!IMG_3860

Here I am watering my mom’s glorious garden! It’s so big and wonderful. I’m so jealous. I wish I could dig my hands in the dirt and have pretty flowers to take care of. It was so wonderful feeling wet dirts in between my toes and taking care of mother earth!!IMG_3874

My best friend and I also went strawberry picking!!! She’s the best person I know, seriously. Fun fact..we have the same first and middle name! How crazy is that? She’s the only person I know who I could sit in the middle of a strawberry patch with and just have a conversation about life.

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Before I had to go to the airport my whole family and I went to Waffle House and had breakfast..they’re so wonderful. It broke my heart to have to leave 😦

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I miss home and everyone who comes along with it. I miss driving and singing birds. I miss sleeping with the window open and fresh air. I miss spring flowers and friendly neighbors. I miss thunderstorms and watching science tv shows with my dad late at night.

 

I miss home every single day.

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