I got 99 problems, but a stitch ain't one

I've managed to start my second knitting project this week, the Lula Hoop scarf from Wool and the Gang. The wool is pretty chunky, which I love, and the feel of it in my hands as I knit combined with the swirling grey and black pattern makes for one very calm Lou. I started on Tuesday evening and am now up to stitch 85 (of 122), so yes you could say I am addicted...

However, I think we're going to have to call this one the Loula Hoop scarf. Can you see on the right that the pattern is odd on one row? Let me explain...The pattern requires stocking stitch (one row knit, one row purl) but I was either too zen, or too excited about the lovely wool, that I managed to knit two consecutive rows of purl. *GASP*

I'm secretly hoping that my friends like the finished product because I'd love to start knitting stuff for them.

Tell me of your knitting dreams / adventures.

Bon weekend, Lou xx

Feel Good Friday

It's Friday and in Paris the sky is clear and blue. I wish I was outside enjoying it but I'm happy to make do with seeing it from the office window. So once again, the weekend is almost upon us. This is helping me feel good about the fact that today is Friday. What do you have planned? What have been the highlights or lowlights of your week?

Something I have been doing a lot more of this week is listening to Classic FM, in particular to John Suchet and Jamie Crick. I've also started trying to find a piano teacher - it's not so much about learning the piano as I did plenty of that at music school - but I want to have some motivation to practice at home and have conversations about music again. Who knows, it may even lead to some chamber music opportunities! But I shouldn't get ahead of myself...

As for the weekend, well I'm very much looking forward to a bit of cooking and baking. I've been a little more active on Pinterest recently - it's a wonderful source for recipes. In particular, healthy recipes. Here are my choices which I'll be trying out this weekend.

Roasted cauliflower and kale pie with potato crust

Image source and recipe

Naked chocolate cake

Image source and recipe

I'm also going to be meeting Hannah, an American blogger in Paris, for brunch at Rose Bakery. I'm excited to hear Hannah's story and how she ended up in Paris. Rose Bakery is wonderful  - I really like this place! They do wholesome and healthy food and the cream cheese on their carrot cake - well, let's just say I would marry it if I could (sorry JB.)

I've updated my Paris board on Pinterest, with some of my favourite places to eat and drink. With each discovery I'll be sure to update my board so feel free to have a look for ideas on where to go in Paris. 
Finally, something which perked me up this week. I got a haircut! It's the shortest I have gone in a while but I really really like it :) 
 

FACE

Have a happy and healthy weekend folks! Lou xx

Les péchés mignons / Guilty Pleasures

This week has been a bit of a funky one. One of those where you make a conscious effort to sit down at the end of the day and go through all that you value in your life. It's important to give yourself a perspective check from time to time and remember all that you have going for you. Maybe this is just something that happens to me, but I find that if one thing happens to be going wrong in a particular area of my life it very often leads to me thinking that EVERYTHING is going wrong in my life. This is not a particularly great feeling or a place that I want to stay when I find myself there. These days however, I have a much better handle on realising that this is not very rational thinking and know how to get myself out of this mood.
Self-awareness people, it's a wonderful thing!

We all have our guilty pleasures, those little things that soothe us at the end of a bad (for whatever reason) day. I thought I'd share a few of mine here with you. Feel free to share yours with me, I'd love to hear them!

Pinterest

Books. I love reading. I have memories of being in bed as a child, taking the book I had hidden under my pillow and using my glow-worm to read. It most probably ruined my eyes forever and I'm sure my mum knew exactly what was going on, but I'm glad she encouraged my sister and I to read so much. For me, reading is like travelling in the sense that it doesn't just bring me immense pleasure but I can feel it broadening my mind and teaching me many things about the world.
The guilt element to this pleasure is that I am pretty much incapable of walking in to a bookshop and coming out empty handed...This has led me to seriously investigate in to (finally) getting a library membership here in Paris. That will make up another wonderful post #powertothebookworms

Pinterest
Tea. Infusions. Red, green, white, peppermint, earl grey, English breakfast...I'm a bit of an addict. Plus it goes so well with reading! Current favourite: Twinings Peppermint and Nettle. Much like books, I spend too much money on tea.

Sandra Bullock romantic comedies. I think my top two would have to be Two Weeks Notice and The Proposal. Betty White. Ramone (Oscar from The Office). I remember seeing this at the cinema when it came out with Andrea and we were not expecting to laugh as much as we did.
Ramone...


Pinterest

Food was obviously going to make an appearance in my guilty pleasure list. I can't just restrict this to the Popelini choux (pastry, think profiteroles with flavoured cream fillings) although these would obviously be very near the top of my list. There's also éclairs (L'éclair de génie) and carrot cake (Rose Bakery) and all the delights that you can find at the boulangeries here (head to Liberté or Du pain et des Idées for something extra delicious and special).
This is why you will often hear me saying "I could do to lose a kilo or three"... 
Lou xxx

The soup song

This post isn't actually about the soup song, it's just that I currently have a soup on the hob (sweet potato, turnip, carrot and onion) and it has been one of those uninspiring days...so a typical Monday basically! I had a really nice weekend though, which consisted of watching The Hunger Games (1&2), lots of snuggles with JB, really good pizza and so on, all set to a backdrop of grey skies and rain.

Oh, I also started and finished my first ever piece of knitting. A snood (pattern from Wool and the Gang). The finishing off was a little tricky and therefore my snood will not be winning any awards but it keeps me warm and comfy. I'm also proud that I no longer start a row with 29 stitches and somehow have 37 at the end!

Any excuse for group activities

JB and I heard about the HBO television show, True Detectives, from some friends recently. It stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. It's really really really really really good. The episodes are an hour long and the pace is rather slow, so make sure you're perky when you're watching it otherwise you'll most likely drop off...

Oh and I did a voiceover for a friend's ad...check it out. I felt like I was Lake Bell from "In a world". Have you seen that movie? Do you think I should pursue a career in voiceover work?! Just kidding.

I started re-reading "Bossypants" by the wonderful Tina Fey this morning on the metro. Much like "Is everyone hanging out without me" and "Running like a Girl", this book has me cracking up so often that I'm sure my fellow passengers think I'm a little crazy. In the chapter where Tina shares her experiences whilst working in the Y.M.C.A. she makes a comment which I wholeheartedly agree with: "...that's the kind of trouble you get when diverse groups of people actually cross paths with one another. That's why many of the worst things in the world happen in and around Starbucks bathrooms".

Some of the most random/freakiest things have happened to me whilst in a New York Starbucks. Like the time the girl behind me asked if I could not flush the toilet after me as she needed a urine sample, had I taken any drugs recently? Or the heated argument between a young couple, where he said he would break up with her if she got a nose piercing...we were at a communal table and the young guy opposite me wrote some messages to me on his coffee cup as he saw I was listening intently (subtlety is obviously not my strong point). I had to leave after 30 minutes of this show, so I left him my email address on my coffee cup and he updated me the following day. They stayed together. His mum was also at the table and had witnessed the whole argument...It is a crazy world we live in my friends.

Anything crazy like that ever happened to you in a Starbucks somewhere in the world?

My soup is ready and I'm starving, so off I go to have my dinner. I hope you're all having a fun evening!

Lou xxxxxxx