Paris truly couldn't be any more beautiful. We made it safe and sound to our hotel in the beautiful St. Germain area early in the day and started our lazy Parisian adventure around the Champs-Élysées where we filled ourselves with plenty of baguettes, cheese, and wine. I couldn't help but snap a ton of pictures. I can't help but be in awe.
Earlier this month, I emailed Joy who recently moved here from Los Angeles to give her a big welcome to the neighborhood. To my delight she replied and to my disbelief she invited me to dinner at her house the following week!
The dinner was in support of and the brainchild of Anna Watson Carl of The Yellow Table. While I didn't know much going into dinner, I quickly learned Anna's story. An established personal chef from New York City who's lived and worked in France, Anna's long dreamed of writing her own cookbook. But, instead of waiting for some big publishing house to make her dreams come true, Anna took things into her own hands and set out to self-publish her own cookbook through Kickstarter. She spent the last year testing, developing, styling, shooting, and editing recipes to create a beautiful cookbook that aims to bring people together around the dinner table. She was on an eight-city road trip to promote her cookbook and New Orleans was lucky to be one of them!
The dinner table, it turns out, is really where the magic happens. There I met six completely kind and talented women -- Joy, Summer, Rebecca, Anna, Elise, and Hannah - who all instantly clicked while eating Anna's delicious food at Joy's beautiful French Quarter apartment. Anna and Joy did a wonderful job recapping the dinner so hop on over to their sites to find out why that night was one of the best dinners I've ever had the honor of attending! *pinch me*
After you do, please do as I did (4 times!) and support Anna's ambitious journey. She's so close to the finish line! I don't think there's anything I admire and respect more than someone who takes the road less traveled and so brilliantly makes their dreams come true.
You might say I'm a walking oxymoron because on the day of our country's birthday, I'll be on a flight to the City of Lights! What brings me there, you ask?
Well, one of the unexpected, wonderful, pinch-me things that happened since The Big Quit was signing a dream client who's given me a dream project.
We're opening a lifestyle/concept store this fall. And while I can't spill all the beans just yet, I can tell you we're going to Paris on a buying trip to source the best brands a Francophile like myself can only dream of getting here in the states. Legit moment #405323 of Is This Really My Life?!
Dreams really do come true! But dreams don't work unless I do so I'll be sure to keep you guys posted via Instagram. If you have any suggestions for the world's laziest travelers, do share! I'm the people watch, eat a baguette, no agenda / get lost type.
Have a Happy Independence Day + Au Revoir!
Not only am I the middle child of seven, but both my mom and dad come from equally large families. We could easily form a small village. While most of my generation continued their family business or pursued highly esteemed careers in law or medicine, there were a few of us who decided to do things our own way. We partied a little too hard, grew up a little fast, and maybe dreamed a little too much. It wasn't easy when the majority didn't root for us, but we came to accept and relish the fact that we are the black sheep of the family. Hard to understand and easily judged.
Though we've lived separate lives in three different states, our lives actually developed in parallel and I'm happy to report we didn't turn out so bad. Today, there's an incredibly talented designer who's worked for the likes of Alexander Wang, Gap, and Marc Jacobs, a natural entrepreneur who bravely forewent college to launch her first business at the ripe age of 18, and the creative consultant. Not only have they built their dreams from the bottom up, they turned out to be the kind of women you want your future daughter to be. The brave, self-sufficient, and compassionate type, with a sense of humor to boot.
New York City and New Orleans flew down to Miami to celebrate the entrepreneur's first pregnancy and have decided to never let another year go by without making time for each other. There's just too much trouble left to make.
image via: mk
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If you saw me last October, you wouldn't have recognized me. I looked like I aged ten years in eight weeks and my body was malnourished from a lack of sleep. I was severely stressed from a job I took in order to move back to New Orleans. It was miserable being back in my favorite city and closer to my loved ones, but not being able to enjoy it because I was working so much. I decided to quit but only to move to another job. I thought, surely, it was the job that made me miserable! It seems, over the past six years I've become a perpetual job quitter. I reasoned "I'll be ok doing 'good' or adding value to x's business while I save enough to work for myself."
That never happened.
While I was going through the motions of the daily grind, I became increasingly irritable. Envious of people who wake up doing what they love. I always knew I wasn't made to work for a corporation or a technology firm or a school system where buttons needed to be pushed. Fitting a mold and following a formula never made sense, but I just felt a pressure to. To have an appropriate answer to 'What are you doing now?' Sure, I got the big job title and comfortable salary, but life didn't feel good.
And I became a jerk. I stressed about petty things and didn't enjoy my life. It took immense consideration, but I decided to wrap up my job respectfully and quit 100%. No more committing myself to anything that I don't want to marry into. You see, good things don't just happen - Newton's First Law of Motion. It was and is time to funnel all my energy into the next chapter.
I don't have a safe plan and I don't have savings. There is an easy way out but that's always been a non-negotiable for me and I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't terrified. But, the minute I decided to stop waiting was the minute things started to move. Moving in ways I never could have imagined or planned. There's almost too much to tell y'all in just one post, but since quitting I've woken up every day asking is this really my life?
It is! And I can't wait to share with you all the great blessings that are unfolding.
*The title and this post was inspired by this Freakonomics' podcast.