scout paris 
What is the best thing about traveling? Meeting new people and the experience of a new place. This trip was unplanned. Due to the snowy mess in Paris, I found myself stuck in Iceland--in Reykjavik to be exact. The one day layover gave me the chance to experience this beautiful city. I can't take credit for this photo. It's by my new friend Alexia Betancourt. Thanks Alexia!
The view from the pier in Reykjavik

Christopher DelMonaco's inspiring designs are pretty, whimsical, and delicate. I thought it is the perfect way to send my Christmas love to everyone. Have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year! 
Lunar eclipse in Reykjavik
After a long journey to New York, I finally made it home to spend time with my family and friends for the holidays. 

It took me three days to get home because of the snowy weather in Paris. I spent 2 days in CDG airport and a day in Iceland. 

I was able to see the lunar eclipse and spend the morning in Reykjavik. Iceland is a beautiful place--the food, landscape, design, and people. 

It ended up being a special experience that I will never forget. 

A view of Chateau de Chenonceau
I went with a couple of friends on a day trip to the Loire region. It was nice to get out of the city for the afternoon and enjoy the fresh air.

The Cityrama tour brought us to visit Chateau Cheverny, Chateau Chambord, and Chateau de Chenonceau.

The grounds, architecture, and interiors were absolutely breathtaking. They were also decorated for the holidays, which was a real treat. 

The tour was amazing. It was well-organized, the guide was interesting and informative, and I never felt rushed. We also had a lovely lunch that was included in the price of the tour.

I suggest this day trip to anyone who wants to see another part of France, but doesn't want to commit to a whole weekend away from Paris.

The Cityrama tour company just posted a fun video of the trip!
The snow that blanketed Paris for a day or two was beautiful. I was told this is a rare event. The snow washed away very quickly, but it was pretty while it lasted. I have a feeling it will visit again. For now, here is a photo of Paris in the snow.
La Tour Maubourg and Invalides
This photo is a reminder that even on this rainy winter day, we can all find a little dose of happiness. I found mine in Natur'elle Fleuriste's store window display of beautiful blooms with a pretty reflection of Paris.
Natur'elle Fleuriste, 67, avenue de la Bourdonnais. Metro: École Militaire.
Is modern design more your style? Take an afternoon to visit EdificeAlessi, and Voltex where you can find the best in modern decor. Even better--they are all conveniently located on Boulevard Raspail. Metro: Sevres-Babylone.
Bold chairs by Rexite at Edifice. 27bis, blvd. Raspail. Metro: Sevres-Babylone.
  • This bi-level home furnishings boutique is the source for eclectic design.
  • What can you find? Everything from streamlined chairs, sofas, and dressers, to tables, lighting and decorative objects.
  • Collections from Vitra, Desalto, Edra, Cassina, Flos, and Pastoe. 
  • Prices? One word. Expensive. 
  • 27 bis blvd. Raspail. Phone: 01 45 48 53 60. Closed Sundays.

The Alessi shop in the 7th Arrondissement.
  • This is where modern meets whimsy and innovation. 
  • The Italian company has a varied selection of flatware, tabletop, and kitchen items.
  • Must-have items: A Philip Starck juice press (about $50), a tea kettle by Michael Graves ($150), and M. Mirri glace cups ($40). 
  • 31, blvd. Raspail. 01 42 84 46 38.

It's all about mod lighting at Voltex.
  • Sculptural light fixtures of every kind with a modern edge--chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, desk lamps.
  • The showroom features high-end designers including Flos, Kartell Bourgie, Piperstrello, and Dalu Artemide. 
  • The small showroom is lighting overload, but Voltex is the source for a fixture that will be the focal point to a room.
  • The store is also known for their inventory of outdoor and Indoor furniture, but it's sold at other locations
  • 29, blvd. Raspail. 05 34 30 91 19. 

Highlights of what you can find at the showrooms....

Votives at Sentou on 58 Boulevard Raspail.
The shops are all located on Blvd. Raspail. It's in close proximity to Le Bon Marche department store.

But, if you walk the other way towards Blvd. Saint-Germain, it will feel like modern design row.

If you have time, Sentou is another super contemporary home store with futuristic decorative objects, furniture, bedding, and rugs. The store is located at 58, Blvd. Raspail. If you are in the market for rugs, make a stop into TouleMonde-Bochart at 29, Blvd. Raspail.

Metro: Sevres-Babylone or Rue du Bac.

Le Petit Bazar is located at 126, ave. Emile Zola. Metro: Emile Zola.
It's all about kids at Le Petit Bazar--an incredibly chic children's clothing, home, and toy store in the 15th Arrondissement. 

French children are known for being so well-dressed. One visit to Paris and you will see firsthand how on trend these kids are--thanks to their parents of course.

So, it's no surprise that Paris is home to many fashionable boutiques specializing in little ones.

Le Petit Bazar is a find. The boutique has a sweet selection of clothing and accessories for boys and girls, as well as unique handmade toys and baby furniture. 

The eco-conscious parent will be pleased to know that the shop only carries organic clothing, shoes, and accessories. 

The shop carries a line of organic children clothing.
Stuffed animals, dolls, handmade cars, old-fashioned games, and scooters are mixed with cribs, pillows, bath products and whimsical decorative objects. 

Le Petit Bazar has a warm, communal atmosphere with its cafe in the back of the store. Customers are invited to sit down and enjoy organic (known as bio in France) snacks and drinks.

Parties are often planned in the cafe or in the lower level. Mothers are also welcome to use the nursery in the back room of the store. 

Parents and kids are welcome to linger at Le Petit Bazar's cafe. Metro: Emile Zola.
just the details...
  • Le Petit Bazar is exclusively for little ones. Address: 128, ave Emile Zola in the 15th Arrondissement.
  • It's open Monday from 1:15 pm -6:15 pm; Tuesday-Saturday, 10am -6:30pm. Closed on Sunday.
  • Metro: 10 line. Emile Zola or Charles Michel. 
  • The shop carries children's clothing and accessories that are either organic, bamboo, or fair trade.
  • There is a nice selection of handcrafted toys and modern decorative objects. 
  • Enjoy a drink and snack at the store's cafe.  
  • Use this map to guide you to the shop.

I Was In Paris is located in the Carousel du Louvre. Metro: Louvre Rivoli.
If you're not a fan of the typical souvenir shop and on the hunt for a hip Paris t-shirt or trinket, visit I Was In Paris at the Carousel du Louvre. 

This shop reinvents the boring souvenir with elegant Eiffel Tower figurines, paper goods, baby items, bags, accessories, and clothing.

Most of my souvenir tees are usually reserved for bedtime. So, it was nice to find that I Was In Paris carries Paris-themed clothing and accessories that are trendy enough to wear in public.

I loved their selection of stylish fitted sweatshirts, tees, hats, baby bibs, onesies, and kid's t-shirts. 

The prices are a little higher than the other shops that you will find across the street from the Louvre. But, the inventory is fun, fresh, and well worth it. 

Prices start at $20 for t-shirts, $40 for sweatshirts, start at $15 for a cosmetic bag. Smaller items (keychains, stickers, postcards) start at $5. 

I Was In Paris is located in the Carousel du Louvre (the mall in the Louvre) at 99, rue de Rivoli. The mall is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. Metro: Louvre Rivoli.