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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday Walks: Paris

Would you like to walk through Paris? I haven't been to Paris in over twenty years, so this isn't an "I walked here recently" post. It's an armchair travel post (join me on Twitter all this month for more of that!). I mentioned Monday that I love museums, and Musee d'Orsay is a favorite.
From Wiki Commons
Not only is the building spectacular, but so is the collection of art, like this Renoir:
From Wiki Commons

I also went to the Louvre, which was also spectacular, but more crowded. I did get a peek at the Mona Lisa.
From WikiCommons
Paris is a lovely city to wander, and one of my favorite memories, aside from the museums and cafes, was finding enchanting spots, like the gardens outside Notre Dame.
From WikiCommons
If your tour style would be for food instead of museums and gardens, a food blog I follow, What's Gaby Cooking, recently did a post on Paris: Gaby's Guide to Paris. (And if you're looking for new recipes, hers have proved tasty so far, especially the brown rice cilantro burrito bowl.)
Have you been to Paris, or do you want to go? Tell me about it! 
On Friday, I'll review Hallmark Movies Now and share movies set in Paris that I watched to supplement my research for Paris Interlude (on sale January 16-20 for 99 cents!)

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Musings: Paris, Giveaways, and More!

Paris--Picture via Pexels
I've been thinking of Paris lately. :) Probably because I've been posting articles for Jet Set January on social media, and musing on my favorite travels. I've only been to Paris once, back in 1993, and it was an experience--the maze of streets, the Seine, the old buildings, the roses blooming outside Notre Dame, the museums, oh, the museums! (I love museums.). The Musee d'Orsay was a favorite, mostly for its collection of Impressionists. Today is Berthe Morisot's birthday; she was considered one of the great impressionist painters, and you can see why:
File:Berthe Morisot - Le Berceau.jpg
The Cradle: Image via Wikimedia/Musee d'Orsay/Public Domain in the United States

I'll post more on Wednesday about museums and Paris. Also today, coincidentally, is a giveaway from Clean Wholesome Romance (part of the month-long Forever Yours Clean Romance Event I'm participating in--if you click, you can enter the kick-off giveaway until February 3, 2019) featuring author Jennie Goutet, and her book A Friend in Paris. Last I looked, the book was only .99cents on Amazon! It sounds like a good read, especially if you like sweet romance set in Paris. There's also a $25 Amazon/PayPal Giveaway (and more information on Jennie's book) if you click through the link at the end of this post. My book set in Paris, Paris Interlude, is also .99cents this week on Amazon (1/16--1/20). Check them both out and happy reading!

A Friend in Paris by Jennie Goutet
Friendship between a talented young artist and her handsome French neighbor is a promising start—until it’s not enough.
April promised her dying father she would study painting in Paris, but friends are few, her budget is tight, and her landlord increasingly won’t take “no” for an answer. Then she meets Victor.
Victor is as chivalrous as he is wealthy, and if it weren’t for him, April would have already left the City of Light behind. Too bad Victor still has eyes for his ex-girlfriend, who is now back on the scene and wants to get married.
Although April and Victor swore to remain just friends, magical Paris seems to weave a different spell. The more their connection deepens, the more it becomes difficult to keep a proper distance. Or to remember why they should.

Do you enjoy books set in Paris and other European cities? Tell me some of your favorites!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Finds: Christmas Movies

Even though I wasn’t feeling particularly festive this year, I ended up watching a pretty big (for me) line-up of Christmas movies. Aside from the usual White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life, I took advantage of a few evenings of Netflix and Hulu availability to watch some modern romance-centric movies.
via IMDb

I started off with The Princess Switch (2018) on Netflix, which is a cute and sweet movie suitable for teens and up. This is one of the best of those I watched—all the leads are likable, and the supporting cast is solid too. 

Then, on Hulu, The Rooftop Christmas Tree (2016) turned out to be better than I’d expected; though predictable, I enjoyed the romance between the two lawyers who have to work together, and seeing Tim Reid, who starred in a few shows I watched when I was younger.

Next was Naughty and Nice (2014)—I really like Haylie Duff as a therapist-turned-radio host, who spars with a banished DJ from Los Angeles, and her mom, played by Maureen McCormick. There are some cute scenes between the leads, as well as with the secondary characters. I like how the male lead grows and brings joy to Duff’s character, and she grounds him in something more than his previous shallow lifestyle. 

His and Her Christmas (2005) didn’t hold much appeal for me, though I was interested because it’s set in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is about two journalists who clash in print before they meet. There are sweet moments, but overall, it falls flat, and it throws me out of the story when they’re clearly not in the San Francisco area (I imagine this happens a lot, and I don’t spot it with places I’m not familiar with).

The Christmas Calendar (2017) is another predictable but sweet tale, of a lawyer who takes over her late grandmother’s bakery just before Christmas, and is left a mystery Christmas calendar that engages the small town. I watched it while doing some baking of my own.

The March Sisters at Christmas (2012) left me disappointed, and is more suitable for adults (language and suggestive situations), even though the cast was good, as it didn’t ring true to the March family for me.

By then it was twelfth night, so I switched over to checking out a free trial of Hallmark Movies Now, which I’ll talk about next Friday.
Via IMDb

Overall, I recommend The Princess Switch and The Rooftop Christmas Tree for something to watch for the romantic in you, or even with your family or friends. I’m hoping to catch more next year. Did you have any holiday movie favorites this season?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday Walks: Pescadero, CA

Late last September, I went to Pescadero with a friend, and we walked around town and on a nearby beach. It was a grey day, but still beautiful (my pictures don't do it justice).

The shell in the last picture was so tiny but vibrant. We also enjoyed a picnic with some cheese and delicious garlic bread from a local market down the street from Duarte's Tavern, where we'd planned to eat lunch. But, it was crowded and rather than wait the thirty-plus minutes, we went to the local grocery/deli and got our own food and ate at the beach. I keep a blanket and picnic supplies in a plastic bin in my trunk for just that kind of spontaneous happening. Do you like picnics, or do you prefer to eat inside? I guess at this time of year, a picnic is pretty risky, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. 😊 On Friday, I'll be back with something more seasonal: holiday movie favorites from 2018.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday Musings

Happy New Year! I've set some intentions this year, among them to have theme months (this month is Jet Set January--I love armchair travels! Please find me on Twitter or Facebook for more--and I'll have a special giveaway for newsletter subscribers as well--you can sign up in the box on the side of this post), and to blog more. I plan to post every Monday (Musings), Wednesday (Walks), and Friday (Finds--in movies, TV, and books). In case you don't know, I don't like surprises in content and language, so I promise to let you know what my favorites contain, in case you also like to know. 😊 I thought about also posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays (recipes and thrifty tips), but I decided three days a week would be enough of a challenge. Some other intentions are to be kinder and let go of old fears. Do you have any special intentions or goals this year?
Wishing you a year filled with love and cozy times!