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The Cosmic Sister Sweater

A few months ago I bought some fantastic yarn on the Madeline Tosh online shop. Amy Hendrix had been working on some fun new colors and she always puts her test colors online to sell. If you watch her Instagram feed you pretty much know what is going to show up that week on the online shop. Reminds me of the days of the old Etsy updates. I'd just buy skeins without a project in mind. The colors were so inspriring and I just had to have them. I had this feeling when I saw these skeins of Comic Silver pop up in her shop. 

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I bought four thinking that I would make something for Alixe but when the skeins arrived I knew I wanted a sweater for myself and got back online and bought 8 more skeins. It's a worsted weight so i wanted to make sure I'd have enough to make myself a sweater and have a little bit extra just because the skeins were so beautiful. Funny as it was, when I ordered them Stephen West was visiting and were talking about yarns we had just recently bought and it turned out that he and I bought large amounts of Cosmic Silver at the same time. We both have a weakness for Tosh yarns. :) 


My employee, Sabrina has recently learned to knit and has really taken to it. She has knit a hat and a cowl and announced to us that she was ready to knit a sweater. Hiro was excited because she saw the opportunity for a KAL and those two set off on Ravelry looking for a sweater to knit together. All the while, I listened in because perhaps they would find something lovely that I could use my Cosmic Silver. Sabrina found Portage by Melissa Schaschwary and Hiro immediately proclaimed it was the sweater to knit. Of course, if you know me this is my style of sweater. Long with pocket and non fussy design with just a bit of technique it it to keep it interesting. Quick calculations showed that with my 12 skeins of worsted MCN in Cosmic Silver that I would have enough yarn to knit the sweater.... maybe. Luckily, Stephen has an extra skeins left over from her shorteralls he knit in Cosmic Silver and this should be my insurance skein to make sure I have enough to finish the cowl. Thank you to knitter friends who love the same colors as I do! :)

L'OisiveThé has just gotten a huge delivery of Tosh DK in 40 colors so the choices for this sweater were bountiful. Hiro chose Cosmic Wonderdust to knit her sweater in and with me knitting in Cosmic Silver the #cosmicsisterKAL was born. 


Technically, the KAL name was born on our trip to Cologne while we knit our sweaters on the Thalys. Lots of wonderful memories have already been knit into this sweater. I can not wait to finish! Here are a few WIP shots:

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I am currently two body reps in and should go for another 4 reps. Since I am knitting this sweater on a larger row gauge because it's supposed to be knit in DK I might not go the full 4 reps. I do want to have nice deep pockets so I'll have to see about that when I get there. My project details are on my Ravelry page if you want to know more. 




Eight and five and the opening of a new shop...




 I opened my shop seven years ago last week. Maximilien was just over a year old. Here he fresh new eight year old Max standing in front of L'Oisivethé today. The days that I used to bring Max to the shop in his stroller and let him crawl around the floor. Today, he knows his way around the shop like it's home. He has his markers and papers stashed away. He knows where to get his favorite juice and has his own table at the shop. 


Shortly after having the shop two years, I became pregnant with Alixe and she was born at the end of 2009. Honestly the two years after she was born were a blur of sleepless nights and working hard. I don't remember much of what was going on. Luckily, I was still blogging then and I can go back and re-read about my life. Today, Alixe is well known at L'OisiveThé. She comes in every week before her English lessons and asks for a cookie before heading off to her lesson. She organizes the toys and knows exactly which ones are hers and which ones belong to her brother. 


Seeing Alixe today on the front stoop of the shop, I realized how fast time has passed since those sleepy years after she was born. She is five years old now. Maximilien is eight. I see time speeding towards me yet I still feel young. 

No slowing down now so instead I am opening a new shop in a coupe weeks! As if I didn't have enough work on my plate I am hungry for more. I realized as my children keep hitting important milestones I have not been very good at taking notes. For the most things I have a good memory but there are the little things that I don't want to forget. I have decided to revive my blog again. I am sure no one is reading it anymore but that's alright with me... I will read it. I will be happy to have these entries to come back to later on. 


So here's my cute little second shop.... we will soon be painting the facade. After posting a small vote online the outside of the shop will be a sunny yellow. You can see the swatches I made last week while it rained and the middle yellow is the color for my shop front. I want to have a happy, inviting color to catch people's attention. My beloved L'OisiveThé will not change. It will remain the cozy tea and yarn shop like it has been for the past seven years. This new shop which we are calling "L'Atelier" for now will be a knitting haberdashery shop and yarn shop. I will hold knitting and crochet classes here and there will be always time for you to come in and knit a few rows with me. I will be at this shop full time. The Atelier is only 300 meters from L'OisiveThé. We timed with with Alixe today and we can sing Do -Re-Mi from The sound of Music three times walked briskly from L'OisiveThé to the Atelier. :)

I'll post more progress photos as this week lots of things will be completed. Trips to Ikea and LeRoy Merlin are planned. We will starting building the inside of the shop so I can fill the shelves with yarn and neat knitterly thing. Once this shop is open, my orders of new haberdashy items will start to arrive. I can't tell you how excited I am to have little knitting notions to sell! 

What brings you back...

Seeing my last blog post from February really hits me that I have no time to blog these days. I really miss it and want to get back to it. So many little life things that I want to remember and I know that my tired Mama brain won't be able to remember it all. I revamped the design of my blog. Taking down the sidebar and the blog her ads. I don't know what happened to them but theyr disappeared. Probably due to the fact that I haven't blogged in five months. Five months! So much has happened in the last five months... Maximilien turned six, L'OisiveThé turned five, the yarn portion of my business has really taken off and my kids have finished another school year.

Last day of Grand Section & Petite Section

Alixe will be starting Moyenne Section and Maximilien will be in CP (first grade) this fall. My first born in first grade already! Time is just getting away from me. How do we make it slow down? 

It's been a super busy time at L'OisiveThé the last few months. Lots of yarn activities with the new classes that I started in the spring and collaborations with my friend, Cécile on crochet projects. I have started crocheting and find it very addicting. 

Love my Babette! Almost done! Babette!! #loisivethe #crochet @koigu1

The fact that there is only one stitch to manage at all times is very fun. I always find myself easily picking up where I left off where as in knitting it isn't always the case. My first project is The Babette Blanket by Kathryn Merrick. A twist on a classic granny square blanket. I never got tired of making the same square over and over again especially since I used 32 different colors of Koigu KPM and KPPPM. 

The kids have expressed intersted in learning to knit. I started Maximilien off with a French knitting doll. He loves it. He puts it down and comes back to it regularly and just this morning before leaving for day camp he asked to do a few rows. I love seeing my children being fascinated by new things even if it makes us late in the mornings it's worth it. 

Just a few more rows said my son before leaving for day camp. #knittingmamaisproud!

I always seemed to try to not talk about work too much on my blog. I don't even really remember why... but since my life is pretty much all about working and taking care of the kids I might as well blog about both instead of just trying to filter it out. Things at the tea house are going well. We are getting ready to close for the summer holidays and that will be a nice break of the routine. We will be re-doing the floors next week and after that I will be able to spend a couple weeks without thinking too much about tea house business. Maybe just a week without thinking about tea house business... fall is knitting season and I have to get things lined up for the Marie Claire show in November. Time as I mentioned before is going by fast... in every aspect of my life. 

Mollie Makes visits my tea house.

I recently friended a UK based American expat named Leigh who was visiting Paris on a extended trip. We hit it off from the start. She has a cute blog and an even cuter daugheter named Lois who Maximilien took a liking to immediately. Lois doesn't speak French but that didn't keep her from making fast friends with Max. You would never believe the conversations these two had a mismash of French and English and lots of laughing and wrestling. Lois can keep up with the boys for sure. No wonder Maximilien likes her so much. Leigh approached me about doing an article for a UK based magazine she contributes to. I was happy to let her come and snap photos of the shop and ask me a few questions about L'OisiveThé. This was weeks and weeks ago and I had forgotten about the photo shoot until right before Leigh's return to London she mentioned to me that her article about L'OisiveThé would be coming out in the May edition of Mollie Makes. I had no idea what to expect so when I was shocked when I received a tweet from a friend of a friend who lives in the UK about the article. Keris was so sweet and she scanned the FOUR page article about my shop! 

Shortly after, I recieved an email from Mollie Makes with the hi res scans of the article and I'd liket o share with you now:

Thank you, Leigh for the wonderful write up and fabulous photos. The day the photos were taken it was a gray day and you would never believe it from the photos she took. Somehow she managed to get a good photo of me as well! I love all the little aspects of my shop she captured. I'm starting my fifth year owning L'OisiveThé and it's still as fun as it was the first day I opened. I love the new people I meet on a daily basis and am grateful that I am doing something I love. 

A busy week at the tea house

I did not even see last week go by with all the activities going on at the tea house. I clocked a 60 hour work week. It's been a couple years since I've done that. I'm way out of practice and my body reminded me of this around the 50 hour mark. Thank goodness my husband was able to help me out with the evenings and picking up the kids from school/creche. Why so busy? We had several things going on last week, I hosted Ysolda Teague for two days as she did a book signing for her new book, Little Red in the City and stayed for knitting night on Wednesday night. Then Thursday she was back again to teach her masterclass on how to make the perfect sweater. If you ever have a chance to attend this class I recommend it. It really taught me a lot about yarn selection, the importance of swatching and how to measure oneself correctly to knit the right size!

All incredibly fun and rewarding days at the tea house but before we go to the fun stuff we had to deal with some no so fun stuff like my toilets breaking or to be more precise someone breaking my toilet! On Sunday two weeks ago, someone broke my toilet. Talk about a major pain, we had a plumber come in pretty quickly. He tried to fix the toilet without replacing the whole thing but after an hour of working on the toilet he realized it had to be replaced. We had already gone two days without a toilet. Yeah, fun times explaining that one to my customers. Most were understanding and some were not. Ah, c'est la vie. Something I've learned owning my own business is that when one thing breaks two other things follow right along and do the same thing. The next thing to go was my coffee machine. Out of the blue it made all the fuses in the tea house blow in the middle of brunch service ON A SUNDAY. If you have ever been to the tea house on Sunday at brunch you know what I'm talking about. Tea house full with people waiting for their coffee, obviously. After 15 minutes of trying to figure out what the heck was the matter we realized the coffee machine plugged in AND turned off was still making the fuses blow. Bad sign. Coffee machine is off being repaired. We have been coffee-less for four days now. It's very sad because the coffee at the tea house is excellent and I can't bring myself to drink coffee anywhere else. So, what is next to break? Something important, right? My oven! The confection fan has decided to be a diva and will not turn when needed. Sometimes it turns and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know how to make cakes without the confection portion of my oven. Baking our savory tarts and puff pastry is okay without the confection fan but not the same. Looks like I will have to shell out some euros for a new oven soon. Something I just hadn't counted on... and it's the end of the trimester for us. if you own a small business you know what this means? Time to PAY! Taxes, rent, salaries, every thing the government likes to tax us on all falls at the same time in October. Why not add a new toilet, oven and espresso machine on top of it? And I have two beloved employees leaving us and must fine replacements... when it rains, it pours.

I still love being my own boss, though. :) 60 hours, a new toilet, coffee machine, oven, etc.. It's all for me to deal with but you tend to forget the tedious stuff like this when you get to have good days of making people happy. The two days Ysolda visited I was thrilled to have her. Not only because she's an inspiration to me but that I was able to bring this opportunity to my customers: the knitters. They were so pleased to have a chance to talk to her and ask her questions and just knit with her. The feeling is addicting. I love making people happy. I am so grateful that I get to do this everyday in my job.

So, instead of dwelling on the back office stuff going on at the tea house I'm going to share some photos from Ysolda's book signing and knitting night. Such a fun night to be able to spend time with someone who has really changed the face of knitting. Ysolda has accomplished so much at her young age and really is an expert. Listening to her talk about the importance of swatching and knitting maths, as she says, really changed my views about these two aspects of knitting that I sort of shy away from. And one more thing, Ysolda is the nicest person I've met in a long time!

Waiting for Ysolda to arrive...

Prepping for Ysolda's book signing

Tricothe: Sept 21, 2011

Tricothe: Sept 21, 2011

Trying on Ysolda's sweaters at her trunk show.

Tricothe: Sept 21, 2011

Love the mismatched buttons on the Laika

Tricothe: Sept 21, 2011

See more photos form Ysolda's visit here.

Daily gratitude

I love that my customers email me to ask if I'll be in the tea house on a certain day because they want to come to lunch and see me at the same time.

I love that every Tuesday the same customer comes to have lunch and if he can't make it he sends me a text to let me know. He also sends me texts when he's on vacation to tell me he misses L'Oisivethe and our weekly chats about current events.

I love being able to help customers find the perfect yarn for a project and seeing that they are genuinely satisfied and pleased with their purchase.

I love that I have customers who make it a part of their vacation to come to L'Oisivethé and have tea and spend time at my tea house.

I love that I have customers that return year after year to visit me since I open L'Oisivethé three years ago.

I love that all the shop owners on the block consider me one of them and greet me with bises everyday.

I love making my customers feel important by just bringing their orders to the table before they even have to ask.

I love my repeat yarn customers who keep coming back just to touch the yarn and talk knitting with me.

I love that my customers with babies feel confortable enough to let me cuddle their babies.

I love that parents bring their kids to L'Oisivethé to play while they sit and have tea.

I love that I feel gratitude everyday while I work. Boy, I am one lucky gal.

Back to work...

It's been a busy, busy time for us the last month and half. Maximilien started school. Alixe started going to the creche. And Mama went back to work. It's been a booming time at the tea house I feel that my customers are happy that I am back. En tout cas, I am super happy to be back. My body was sore and achy the first two weeks of working the lunch service again but I got my groove back pretty quickly. The yarn business has been on semi-hold the last year I've been on maternity leave. But now that I am back I threw a bit of elbow into the renovations at the tea house (of course with big help from Julien and my brother, William) and things are starting to take form.

Tricot Matin, Special Yarn On Stage @ L'OisiveThé

I've started hosting a Saturday morning knitting group at the tea house. A very good time slot for me since a) I'm already up! b) the tea house is closed in the mornings so it makes it a private time for JUST THE KNITTERS c) having two knitting sessions during the week is AWESOME.

Tricot Matin, Special Yarn On Stage @ L'OisiveThé

Today was a special edition of Tricot Matin to celebrate the launch of the Yarn On Stage yarn program. Knitters got up early this morning to come to be the first to get their hands on the 10 limited editions yarns from ten of today's most popular indie dyers. I had kept the box closed for three days, I have to say that I was pretty excited putting out the yarn this morning. Though I didn't have time to knit one stich for myself today (which is just fine by me because I have my Weds nights) I was so happy to serve breakfast to happy knitters and help them choose the right colors for their projects in mind. I can't tell you how happy it makes to sell yarn to happy knitters.

Hopefully you can get a feel for the cozy Tricot Matin we had today and if you're in Paris and you're looking for a place to knit come and join us!


19 of 30 - Knitterly things

SG SilkMerinoLace_Ultraviolet 

Sweet Georgia's Silk Merino Lace in Ultraviolet. Now available at L'Oisivethé

I haven't written very much lately about the tea house here on my personal blog.  I maintain a blog for the tea house here. And use Twitter and Facebook to post updates of things happening at L'Oisivethé. But lately things have really been taking off for the tea house and it's a part of my everyday life so I should include it in my 30 days. As many of you know, I dreamed of opening my own knit café in Paris. The first year I had L'Oisivethé, I ran only the cafe portion of the business.  Trying to learn every aspect and reworking the work processes to my standards.  I took my time incorporating the knitting portion of the business. I did market research and contacted potential  yarn vendors in the United States and a year and half after I opened my business I received my first shipment of yarn, ShiBui Knits. And 6 months after that my next shipments which increased my yarn stock to include 3 more North American brands, Lorna's Laces, Dream in Color and Sweet Georgia and I'm looking to secure one more at the end of the year. It's a very exciting time at the tea house. Sometimes it's hard to process it all with the arrival of BB happening at the same time. 

After I learned to knit, I'd sit around and fantasize about how it would be so awesome to just sit around and knit for a living. I am not an awesome knitter. I would categorize myself as an intermediate knitter who likes to try new things. As much as I love the actual gesture of knitting I love the who culture surrounded by knitting. Someone said something so true at knitting last night, they mentioned that we may not all be friends in real life but because of knitting we have a common interest and because of this common interest we'll always have something to talk about. It's very true but at the same time, I feel like because of knitting I have had a chance to meet people that I wouldn't normally of had the chance to meet and because of that I have made a whole new array of friends that I enjoy spending quality time with. And all this through what I do for a living... I am very grateful for what I have. I thank my lucky stars everyday. 

One of the French speaking knitters last night announced jokingly, "Ca ya est! le tricot est à la mode! " according to some major fashion magazines who have declared this lately. We all had a nice little chuckle over that because many of us who have been knitting for years already knew this! 

3 of 30 - I love cookies

I think cookies are the perfect dessert. They are small and you can eat a few and not feel too guilty. I always feel guilty after eating a big piece of cake or a dessert drenched in crème anglaise. Though so good I don't full enjoy because later I'm thinking I shouldn't have sopped up all that crème anglaise

But then there's the cookie and its perfect companion the glass of milk. My favorite is lait frais by Candia. I drink at least 3 liters a week. Milk has been something I've craved this entire pregnancy. 

So, after going to the Casino tonight I decided I needed to bake a batch of cookies. I have been curious about using pumpkin in cookies since I love it so much in bread and cakes. I whipped up these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies tonight and they are light and airy cakey-cookie goodness. Coupled with a glass of milk and you've got one happy pregnant lady. 

3 of 30 - I love cookies

I'm taking a batch to knitting tomorrow night to let the knitters have a taste. I feel like I should add more spice to the mix but I'll wait and see what everyone else thinks. 

A few photo notes. I shot this with my 50mm f/1.8 lens and my speedlight SB-600. I haven't used my speedlight very much because I'm sort of intimidated by it. But it seems that I don't think to pick up my camera until the evening and the sun sets in Paris now about 5pm! So, I charged up my batteries for the speedlight and walked about the apartment and shot away. I'm pleasantly surprised how well this photo came out. I tweeked the exposure a bit in ACR but that's about it. I'm no pro but I think I'll start toting the flash around with me and try to learn as I go. 

Off chasing seagulls...

Chasing seagulls

We're back from our week of rest at the sea. A week full of eating plentiful plates of seafood and crepes. Late night knitting and sleeping in until 10am. Chasing seagulls and sloshing around in our beach boots all the while the sea air washing away the wear of the big city on us. Time away always makes me realize how much the city wears on me but being away too long makes me miss my beloved City of Lights. It's good to be back...

Contemplating the sea

As upcoming projects are starting to unfold unravel... March will be a month of great things. A second birthday to celebrate, wedding anniversaries, family visits and a great new direction for the tea house.

Knit, knit, knit...

I'm happy to have knitting back in my life again. For a while there I was juggling so much that I did not have time to eat or sleep let alone knit. But things are starting to settle down and I'm prioritizing my time better and back to the knitting needles I am.

For the past month, I have been showing a local artist's dou dous in the tea house. I had heard about her work from a friend in the neighborhood and had to have her show a little expo at the tea house. Her name is Eve and she runs Lili Grenadine, creations pour enfants. Hip, stylish handmade creations for your little ones.  Eve asked if I'd knit a few objects for her show and I was very happy to oblige. I pulled my friend, Irene, into it and we both turned out, in my opinion, some very cute creations for little girls.

Lili Grenadine Gallery Show (12 of 21)

Lili Grenadine Gallery Show (6 of 21)

I'm very excited to be showing these FOs at Eve's gallery show and I thank her immensely for the chance to do this. And who knows? Perhaps this could turn into something for the tea house. It's not like I have enough on my plate, right? But for now, I'm focusing on my Christmas knitting... and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new needles!

Une tranche de vie

Today, I met a delightful American gal named Juliet who is friends with my friend, Sarah. Who I must say is as equally delightful as well. Juliet and Sarah happened to come in at the tail end of a huge lunch rush. I was a bit flustered after cranking out 17 couvert today all in the span of an hour and a half.  During this time I was quite lost in my work. I was on auto pilot making lunch, cleaning up, going through my scone recipe in my head while life on the other side of the bar was buzzing around me.  Juliet captured perfectly what was going on on the other side of the bar while I was busy working in the kitchen. The funny thing is I was actually aware of all this going on.  And it was such a pleasure to read her accout of this afternoon. This is a slice of life of my tea house.

I realize after reading Juliet's blog today that I want to remember these kinds of moments.  Je n'ai plus la flemme*... blogging, I am back.

*lazziness aside.... I no longer feel lazy.

We're on vacation...sorta...

Well, the tea house is closed for three weeks. We are taking a break from the everyday buzz of café life and replacing it with some manual labor that had got us using muscles we don't normally use and early bed times as my husband says, "on est couché aves les poules". Though we are not running off to some exotic location and soaking in the sun on our holiday but atleast we are doing something completely different than our daily routine and that has been a welcomed breath of fresh air for us. On changes les ideés...

Yesterday, we broke down the bar of the kitchen. It was done in half of a day. And a lot of fun. Big hammers. Plaster flying everywhere. Julien acting like a crazy karate guy breaking things. Good fun. We spent the other half of the day at Leroy Merlin buying various hardware needs and I walked out with loveliest chairs for my terrasse this fall. One is fuschia. Exactly what I imagined. Morning coffee sitting on my fuschia chair. Mmmm.  You'll see....

Today, we worked out the logistics of our mesurements with our hired handyman, spent the morning working out the numbers, well Julien did. I caught up on long overdue emails and also my out of control bloglines. Afterwards, Julien and I went to lunch at one of our favorite restos (mine for sure, Julien likes the Mexican beers), El Sol et La Luna and we were back to work by 13h.  Julien has run off to the harware store again to get the bar. I finished clearing out the kitchen of all the dishes and appliances so we can install my new horizontal inox refridgerator this afternoon. It sure is purty!   After that we'll varnish the bar and head home to Max at 7pm. We are hoping to get all the major stuff done this week so at the end of next week we will be able to go visit friends in Champagne and then off on a mini tour visiting Belgium and Netherlands with my brother, William, who arrives on the 15th.

But already, the break in the routine has been a nice breather for my mind. It's got me thinking about how I want to rearrange my week starting in the fall. Since we closed Sunday, I've find time to update the tea house blog. Please feel free to follow the progress of the work we are doing there. I will also have a fun slideshow video at the end of all the photos I've taken.

Alrighty, break time over... gottta go get freezer wiped down and moved before Julien gets back.

I have been sitting here trying to figure out a title for this blog entry and nothing is coming to my mind. I have been pretty lax on my blogging lately. Yes, I have been busy but I have had time in the evenings to blog. I often log into Typepad and stair at the Compose New Post page and my fingers are stuck. The ideas I had to blog about during the day when I'm busy baking or serving tea are all lost to me.  No time to jot them down in my moleskine. Fingers often covered in scone dough or cookie batter so I can't type. And then sometime I blog block myself by thinking that what I have to say is uninteresting and who would be interested in what I have been up to?

I think I'm just too much in my head and just need to write down my thoughts so I can access them later in time.

 - Today, I walked down a freshly rain soaked cobblestone sidewalk on my way to the tea house carrying a bouquet of sunflowers, two freshly baked baguettes and today's Le Parisien.

 - I met two readers of my blog today. One person a lurker from San Francisco who has never commented on my blog who found my through another friend's blog who had linked about the tea house.   The other visitor a woman and her husband from Vancouver who has been reading my blogs for years and leaves the most wonderful comments some which have really helped me through some dark times in my life and brought smiles to replace the tears.  I was thrilled to meet her. Hugs were given. She knit and enjoyed my homemade carrot cake. Really lovely to put a face to the familiar name that often appears in my comments.

 - I baked cream scones today. Seriously, these are the best scones I've ever made. I also learned from a customer who happened to be from Australia about Devonshire Tea. I am going to rename my Thé Gourmand, Devonshire Tea instead. And perhaps I will adapt the Aussie way to pronounce scone as /skɒn/ like as in John. Just because it's so cute. But I will not be making Vegemite scones as the woman suggested I could. My taste buds have not yet gotten used to the unique taste of Vegemite.

 - I thought about how I am a mother. Last weekend was mother's day in France and to hear my husband wish my Bonne Fete de Mamans made me feel really good. This role of mother is the most natural role my life has taken to date.  Through all my fears and worries in the beginning I can easily say that I am really glad that I became a Maman when I did. It was the hardest period of my life. I had just lost my mother and knowing myself I had to challenge myself. Challenge myself to advance and live life. And I knew that my mother wouldn't want it any other way.

Just a few of my thought today... enough to blog about? Who knows. But I do want to remember these moments.



I am so tired.  Exhausted. Drained. 

But somehow in the morning I find myself recharged and ready to start a new day.  The thought of going to my own kitchen in my own café still floors me. 

Another weekend has come and gone. This time no petage de plomb. It was a weekend full of coffee and couples. Students and sweets. Tea tasting and Twittering.  There was even a moment where both Lydia and I were able to sit down and have lunch together (which is rare). Sunday was fairly quiet, we had a steady stream of customers. .  Right at tea time the skies opened up and started to pour down.  Within in a minute, ALL of our tables were full. It remained full until we closed. I was home by 8:00pm.

If this is my new work routine?  I must say, I absolutely love it.

Café Characters

I'm going to start introducing to the blogosphere the people who are often seen at the café.  Of course, with their express permission.  You will see some of my Paris entourage for sure and some new faces of people who I have met through the café. These people have at one time worked for the café's previous owner. And with the sale of the café,  I have inherited a lovely network of people who truly are amazing. 

I'd like to first introduce you to Louisa.  My quirky part-time server who lives next door to the café. She helps me out on Mondays and Tuesdays.  There is never a dull moment when Louisa is around.

Petage de plomb*

*Or to blow a fuse (literally and figuratively)

Yes, it happened while we were in the middle a huge lunch rush. On a Sunday of all days.  For a moment there, the café was plunged into semi darkness. Only the light from the huge windows filtering through.  The clientele seemed unphased and continued on with their leisurely conversations.  A few looking over to me in the kitchen. I smiled and acted like nothing was wrong. Except that we had no lights in the kitchen, no lights in the bathroom, no dish washer and NO OVEN. The no oven part was worrisome as I use the oven to make the main course for the brunch which is the feuilletés and quiche.  While my staff buzzed around me, I continued to make lovely salade composé for the feuilletés that had been ordered. And watched calmly as they started to pull appliances out from the shelves to figure out another way to get some juice to them. A few frantic looks from my girls, I then figured it was time to call Julien. Within 10 minutes he was at the café with Maximilien in tow.  Good thing my lovely friend, Stefanie (Thank you, Stefanie!) and her husband were there to occupy my very busy 12 month old while Julien went to work.  A few minutes later we had light! The buzz of all the appliances surged on and were fully operational. Brunch was saved and all ended well. 

I was pleased to see that the books that I had brought over the night before were getting some use. Customers started pulling down books to thumb through to pass the time.  Exactly what I wanted these books to be used for. A Spanish couple mentioned to me they were happy to find that  had put a Paris guidebook on the shelf. While they waited for their œufs à la coque they jotted down places to visit later that day.

Standing behind the counter during my very first brunch rush was really surreal. I did not see the time pass except for when the fuse blew and those 20 minutes felt like an eternity.  But I kept cool, knowing that if I did not panic my staff would not either. I told everyone to smile and act normal and that all would be just fine.  I have been dubbed "zen" by my two part-time servers.  I like that. 


Cafe corner

I arrived to work today to find this lovely bouquet of flowers waiting for me. These flowers were sent to me by a faithful reader of my blog who goes by the name of Tiffany.  Thank you so much! What a wonderful surprise to find these this morning. My eyes stung with happy tears as I read your very sweet note.  This bouquet quickly found it's home on one of my wooden tables. 

Again, thank you, Tiffany.  I am overwhelmed by your gesture.  I hope have a cup of tea with you someday soon.


I've got them. Big time. I feel like it's the first day of school or something. You know how you lay out your outfit for the first day of school. Well, I did the exact same thing. Threadless tee. Black skirt. Haven't decided on the shoes yet but I'll probably wear my old standard Converse All Stars.

The café fridge is packed. We have two of the three shipments of tea. We have good coffee. I'm going to make a mini fondant au chocolat this morning. I think we're ready to go...

I'll be twittering today from my cell phone as we do not have Internet.... yet. 

Have a good day, everyone! And if you're in Paris, stop by and say hi and stay a while. :)