Wednesday, October 8, 2014

paris, part II

And now, the real highlight of the our trip to Paris: les sweets. 

Those closest to me can attest to my incessant sweet tooth and excuse for anything sugar-laden. {I have dessert after breakfast most mornings}. And there's no place outside of Paris that takes baking to the same level of lethal seriousness. Nothing compares to stepping into a traditional French boulangerie. The sweet, buttery aroma of croissants. Each creation set out on display behind pristine glass, artfully crafted and almost too delicate and lovely to eat. Before our trip, I spent an entire afternoon cataloguing the top Parisian bakeries to visit. From petit-fours and tarte tatin to rum baba and a macaron face-off, here's a run down of the few sugar stops I'm still daydreaming of.

1. Gérard Mulot

Mr. Mulot was right around the corner from our rented apartment in the 6th arrondissement. And in full disclosure we may have stopped there on more than on occasion. What struck me most about this little patisserie was the gorgeous, vibrant colors. Signature bright green oversized pistachio macarons with red raspberry centers, bold jewel-colored cakes and rainbow fruit tarts. And of course, the macarons. After some time of deliberation I chose the salted caramel, a perfect mix of sweet, salty, chewy and melt-in-your-mouth delectableness. 

 2. Angelina

We had to make a stop (or three) at the infamous home to Coco Chanel's favorite afternoon drink. Angelina makes world-renowned chocolate chaud (hot chocolate). It was a delicious and welcome treat, even in the heat of summer. Although I would venture to say this wasn't as much a drink as it was a rich, decadent and oh-so filling liquid dessert coma. Somehow after an entire pot we also managed to down a "real" dessert. The mont blanc, a merengue topped with chestnut puree, is the house specialty they've been serving since the early 1900's. I'd highly recommend it. That is, if you can stomach it after the pot o' chocolate chaud.

3. Ladurée 

Another Parisian treasure best known for it's infamous macaron is Ladurée. There are quite a few around Paris, but luckily for us one was only a few blocks from our doorstop. It wasn't until we ventured to the location on Champs Élysées that we realized it was not only tea salon, but a cocktail lounge. Yes, you heard correct. Macaron inspired cocktails. At €19 a glass you wouldn't want to make it your drink for the night, but it was definitely worth a trip. I opted for the classic rose macaron martini, while the dude tried pistachio, his personal favorite. I didn't think joy could be packaged up more perfectly than in a delicate macaron, until they made a libation out if it. 

4. Pierre Herme

Last but not least is the more contemporary name on the Parisian delicacy list. While Ladurée is best known as the classic and refined staple of Parisian bakeries, Pierre is better known as the rebellious, but equally luxurious, younger brother. In fact, Herme once held the reigns at Ladurée but his flair for adventurous flavor was a bit much for the conservative crew at Ladurée. It wasn't long before he took his own creative path and set up his own shop, first in Tokyo and later in Paris. After reading about Pierre pre-trip, I knew that I'd have to compare the old world to the new, macaron-speaking. In the Laduree vs. Mulot vs. Herme macaron showdown, I'd have to vote for Laduree. I must have a flair for the conventional, but even the most creative of macarons can't top that classically French staple. However, I will tip my hat to Pierre. the "Picasso of Pastry" for keeping flavors interesting. Where else could one find blood orange or milk chocolate passion fruit crammed into a macaron? Only at Pierre. Only in Paris. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

paris, part I

Since the dude and I were officially hitched, we've decided to make a few life changes. First, we're packing up our lives and moving back to Chicago. Second, since we're leaving one life to start anew, we decided to embark on a little holiday we've always dreamed of: a month in Paris. We had both traveled briefly to the City of Light before but both felt a few days just doesn't do this place justice. We wanted to feel like we truly did Paris and had the time to soak in the beauty (and an offensive amount of macarons) without rushing from museum to monument to museum.  And so, we rented a modest apartment in the 6th arrondissement, not to far from the Notre Dame, the Seine and the Louvre. It's truly been the perfect spot to discover all that gives Paris that certain je ne sais quoi.

{locking it in}

{love this guy}

{picnic al fresco}

{cafe pit stops; highly required with this amount of walking} 

{first stop was Laduree - 2 blocks from our apt!} 

{stopping for smells along Saint Germain}

{view from Sacré Cœur}

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

wedding day.

We've passed the six month mark of our wedding. It's funny how long it takes to really sink in. I've only recently started responding to "Mrs." and still feel awkward referring to the dude as my "husband", but with each day it's feeling more real. Still, looking back on the photos of the day always puts a smile on my face. What a lovely, sun-soaked, joy-filled day with those I love the most in the world. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Megan & Josh | Victory from One Tree Films on Vimeo.

In the wedding planning process we debated getting a videographer. It's an investment that seems like a lot on top of the wedding - yet I can promise you it's unbelievably worth it.

After viewing the final product, I can't imagine not having these moments captured. Michael from One Tree create a beautiful story of the day, that just felt like us. That joyful feeling from the day sets back in every time it plays. I'm sure the dude and I will be watching it even decades from now.

Monday, October 7, 2013

a happy engagement.

After a whirlwind of a summer, starting a new job & wedding planning (and then getting hitched!), I'm excited to settle back in our new happy little life together. Here are a few of my favorites shots with the dude and the chunk. 

photographs by Allyson Cheney of epagaFOTO.

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