Resolution...Starting Now

Bon lundi!

I hate New Year’s resolutions. Not only do I never keep them, but I don’t understand why wait until an arbitrary date of January 1st to decide to make a change. I’m all for being aware of things to improve on all year long and then striving to meet those goals.

I’m not even talking about big picture things, like revamping behaviors or starting up an intense exercise plan. I’m thinking about the little things that seem insignificant but add richness to life. Like sunsets.

I was in the Jardin des Tuileries two evenings in a row for various reasons at the end of the afternoon. (Sunset is now around 5:24pm as the days get shorter.) Standing there, watching the sky turn bright orange before evening settled in over Paris, was just so beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring all at once. And I got to do it twice in a row to solidify my resolution firmly. I want to make a concerted effort to see more sunsets!

It's not a huge resolution, or an overhaul make-over of sorts. And maybe it’s part of getting older and learning to appreciate making time to not fill with busyness. But it’s one thing I hope to witness more because it adds richness to my life and is a simple mercy that God allows me to take pleasure in.

Do you have anything you hope to do or accomplish starting today?

Gold and Glitz: The Restored "From Louis XIV to Louis XVI" rooms in the Louvre

I've found a new favorite section of the Musée du Louvre. There's a lot to choose from and despite my annual membership I still have more ground to cover. But for now, I declare the newly reopened section entitled "De Louis XIV à Louis XVI" (From Louis XIV to Louis XVI) one of my preferred series of rooms to walk through during a visit.

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How to Celebrate Bastille Day 2014 in Paris

July 14th is La Fête Nationale for France, an important national holiday. In English we refer to it as Bastille Day because it commemorates the storming of the Bastille (and thus the beginning of the French Revolution). If you're lucky enough to be in Paris for this holiday, you have many great options to celebrate some liberté, égalité, and fraternité!

Here's how to join in the celebrations and make the most of being in Paris on Bastille Day:

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Canvas-Worthy Paris

A classic chicken and egg quandary. What came first, the idea or the Canvas on Demand Groupon? Either way, the result is what matters. My husband had the idea a few years ago to select a picture from each destination we travel to and have it made into a canvas to hang in our home. We were still newlyweds, were starting to experience symptoms of being bitten by the European travel bug, and had lots of bare space on the walls of our apartment in New Jersey. 

We breathed life into our decorating project and a full guidelines emerged after some thought. The photos are taken by either of us, cannot have us in the picture, and traditionally have been all been scenic outdoor shots.

We both love to take pictures and snap lots of them each year. But we know that a stroke of exceptional inspiration has occurred when one of us exclaims, "This may be canvas-worthy!" when behind the lens. 

Paris is quite a photogenic model who is not camera-shy in the least. After going through countless pictures from this incredible year here, I have selected 10 pictures that I think have that "canvas-worthy" potential. So without further ado, I present to you the best of 2013:

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