La Ville Lumière

There are some things in this world that simply cannot be quantified. Namely:

-The boundless creativity of certain lucky individuals.
-Love.
-Why the perfect desk calendar and/or planner can make or break an entire year.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop obsessing over the first two (or try to do so a little less), so I’m choosing to focus on the last one.

Enter Rifle Paper Company.

Rifle Paper Co. has magically managed to coalesce the beauty of all three of these things with its 2016 Travel the World calendar. I found it while browsing the very frou frou reclaimed wood tables at Anthropologie, and the lover of all things wanderlust and pretty inside me snatched it up with visions of effortless office productivity and bohemian-chic sophistication swirling in my brain, and and bought it without so much as a smidgen of remorse. It now sits on my desk and makes me happy every single day.

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My guess is that the Travel the World calendar is meant to inspire horizon-broadening trips an enviable getaways with its splashy colors and luxe paper, and rightfully so. If you ask me, most of us could use a bit more texture and variety in our lives.

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As luck would have it, January’s dedicated destination is none other than La Ville Lumière, or for those of us who snoozed through French I and II, Paris. I call this luck, because Paris also happens to be one of my favorite cities in the world–and most memorable trips.

Rainy Paris

Even on a rainy day, there is an undeniable romance to Paris. In fact, dreariness only accentuates that meandering desire to lounge, flanee, and languish in the storied nostalgia of its cobbled streets. Despite the fact that the bridge of love is actually crumbling under the weight of so much passion, it’s fun to imagine another universe where you and your lover lounge with a picnic beside famed monuments without a care in the world. Hopefully, with a bit of saving and planning, you’ll be lucky enough to live this image into reality one day like I did–and meet some wonderful new friends along the way.

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To write a single blog post about Paris would not only be difficult, but also silly, empty, and a downright waste of time; there is far too much to dive into– let along understand on a single trip. Too much wine to sample, too many cappuccinos to drink.SomeplaceParis2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead, I’ll focus this post on one single aspect of my time in Paris: the croissants.

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Oprah once told me and 877 gillion other impressionable women that croissants were Satan incarb-nate, packing more calories per bite than any sane, health conscious human should ever consume. But Oprah did offer one exception to this rule: Paris. Croissants were only to be consumed in their homeland, as any other version would pale in quality. Up until visiting Europe, I’d heeded her advice. But once I arrived in Europe, I decided to buck my master’s directives, and consequently gorged myself on the delicious pastries. Paris or not, I figured everything probably tasted better in Europe, and that Barcelona was close enough.

And even as I welcomed the return of a buttery treat gone too long, and celebrated our reunion and my own entrance into flavor euphoria, I foolishly underestimated what was to come.

Croissants in Spain are good.
Croissants in Paris are paramount.

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Queen O was right–they were worth waiting for, and quickly became my favorite thing.

The next time you are in Paris, eat at least one croissant every day (two is better). Savor ever bite, and eat it while walking to ward off any lingering feelings of health guilt (or don’t. Those are stupid and worthless. Bury them with chocolate and happy memories of a beautiful place).SomeplaceParis3

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

megan_sig

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Sensory Overload

[originally published in The Tulsa Voice]

Millicent Brasserie a bizarre curiosity. The new multi-sensory restaurant, hidden behind the humble façade of a non-descript Broken Arrow strip mall, treads dangerously close to an acid trip, with just enough over-the-top class to keep it grounded in high dining.

Chef Vincent DePaul Tran’s concept is essentially a Michelin Star-inspired discotheque with a 9-course dinner, where fog machines and strobe lights set the stage for carefully plated tasters packed with curious combinations. The name of the game here is stimulation of all five senses, and Tran and his team make good on that promise, with A/V light shows, video reels and a loud soundtrack. Continue reading

Fool’s Bold

Some days, I feel like a fool.

A silly, young, pathetic, naïve little fool.

I have days where I can’t get it together. Days where, try as I might, I can’t make my senses work in tandem to produce results. I can’t find the club soda in the bottom of the machine, even though I’ve just watched it fall out of the rungs in front of my eyes. I can’t help but get to work exactly six minutes late. I can’t cook red meat without setting in on fire and drying it out like a brillo pad. I can’t remember to put my gym shoes in my bag—twice.

Some days, I spell ‘restaurant’ wrong, over and over and over again, even though I’ve been spelling that shit out my whole damn life.

Some days I try too hard. Some days I think people are being awful, when really, they’re just being… people.

I hate feeling foolish.

Somewhere along the line, I learned to associate foolishness with weakness. Playing the fool. Acting ‘a fool. You sure fooled me. “That there’s fool’s gold.” To be a fool was to be willfully pathetic.

In my quest to be bold, I’m learning a lot about what it means to fail, and to be fooled. Failure is such a terrifying absolution—one that feels so finite, so done, with no hope of undoing. Failure is the dreaded end that comes at the hand of foolish choices. And of course, foolishness is the gas that fuels the fire of failure.

Don’t you ever just get sick of the eminence of failure? Doesn’t your neck ever get tired of watching your back all the time?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m a damn fool.

I’m the kind of fool that gives money to people who ask for it on the street. I’m the kind of fool that thinks things will come together. I’m the kind of fool that asks questions I already know the answer to, just because it helps me a little bit to hear it said aloud once or twice. I’m a fool in love, in war, and in the wine store. I buy the $15 bottle because the label’s pretty and I like to feel fancy on a Sunday night. Sue me.

But here’s something I’m learning: there’s a little bit of fool in EVERYONE.

There’s the organic fool, who pays three times market value for food at Wealthy Living, because it makes them feel better to “know what’s on their plate.” (I can tell you what’s on my plate too—five Dove Dark chocolates, a hunk of Cabot cheese, and some spilled wine—heavy on the GMO). There’s the birth control free fool, the grin and bear it fool, the speed dating fool, the gambling fool, the up in da club fool, riding dirty fool, the religious resurrection fool, the let it ride fool, and the worst fool of all—the self-important fool.

I’ve known a few of each of these in my life, and I’ve been them myself more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve kept them as friends, colleagues, teachers, and enemies, and I’ve foolishly let them ride out their faults, thinking they might turn it around. We never do.

Know this: people will let you down. They will toss you aside, or maybe just edge you out politely. Later on down the road, they might even run back to reclaim you, grappling around feverishly in the dark once they’ve realized what they’ve lost. The trick to compassion is learning how to balance this omnipotent assurance with your own self-respect. How to love, without ceasing to be loved.

Know this: fault happens. Foolish choices happen, and then the aftermath happens, and everything goes off just the way you failed to plan it. Foolish choices? They’re a thing, but they aren’t mistakes. They’re gloriously ugly, cracked, edgy, chipped out pieces of the grander mosaic of your life. You’ll cut your finger on them every now again, but you’ll put on your big gal band-aid and move on—onto the next foolish mess.

Some days I feel like a fool, but there’s a boldness in knowing, and in being willing to admit and accept my foolish status. When being a fool means allowing yourself to fully open up to the wholeness and wildness that comes with trial, error, wisdom, and chance, foolishness gives way to certainty—the ability to accept your shortcomings, and embrace your power.

 

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

 

-The wisest of words from the grandest fool of all.

Hello from New England!

Whirlwind. Waterworks. What the hell? Wistful feelings. Wonders. Where am I? Where is my purse? Why not? Wow.

These are just a few things that have characterized the past month for me. 2014 has been a year of travel, thus far, along with great experiential growth, thrilling possibilities, and a little bit of sadness. Such things tend to show up together, it seems.

I’m writing to you from beautiful Vermont—or New Hampshire. Or somewhere in between. The dried-out trees, budding greenery, blue-tinged ice sheets and bright-white, patchy blankets of snow are melting together into a blur of color and place, and it’s beautiful. I’ve always found a decent bit of comfort in the in-between, and in the act of revisiting. It feels very good to be back in New England. Continue reading