Paris est toujours une bonne idée

For the first time in over five years, I’m returning to Europe!  In my early 20’s, I traveled a lot- between two semesters studying abroad in Australia and England, and a long-distance international relationship, I was able to explore cities all over the world.  In fact, I started blogging when I created “Lauren’s Road Less Traveled” as a way to document my nomadic lifestyle.  Oh, how things change :)

Alex is taking French classes right now, and I knew I wanted to visit Europe again before my graduate program started, so we figured that we either go now, or wait another three years until my graduate program is over. We found $650 roundtrip tickets last year and pulled the trigger!  Plus, my dad is currently living in London, and one of my best friends from Washington D.C., Anne, is living and teaching in Aix-en-Provence, so we’re hitting two three birds with one stone!

We’ll be gone for 10 days, and we’re using that time to see Paris, London and Lyon.  It only makes sense for a foodie to visit the Food Capital of the world, right?  Our train tickets and hotels are booked, but we’re still planning our days.  And that’s where y’all come in to play.  To all the Francophiles and UK expats out there – where should we visit?  What are your tips for visiting France?  Anything you can offer will be super helpful!

Here are some of the things I’ve googled so far:

Most comfortable, but stylish, walking shoes for travel
How to pack for 10 days of travel in a carry-on
Best neighborhoods to visit  in Paris & London
Weather in Europe in Spring
Best restaurants to try in Paris, Lyon and London

Merci beaucoup!


San Francisco Recap: my friends are goofs

The photos in this post are totally random, but are a good representation of my time in San Francisco with my best friends.  There is something really special about our annual reunion trip (Year 1: Las Vegas; Year 2: Boston; Year 3: New York; Year 4: San Francisco.)  These four girls have known me for over half of my life - they know the good, the ... read more


San Francisco Recap: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters

There's no hiding my love affair with high quality espresso.  Lattes and cappuccinos are my favorite, especially when enjoyed in a cozy cafe with good friends.  A few weeks ago when I was in San Francisco, we were all in dire need of a break and a little caffeine fix.  We decided to try out Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters after reading positive ... read more


Graduate School Update: staying positive through adversity

I've wanted to write this post for a long time, but each time I sat down to share the updates on my graduate school applications, I froze.  I try to keep this space positive, mostly because we all face our own personal struggles every day and no one wants to read about someone else's complaints.  But each time I sat down to write, all I could focus ... read more


Crosstraining for a cause

Hello friends and happy Friday! As many of you know, I am running the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile race in April.  As a Social Runner and a participant, my goal is to raise $500 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit international organization that helps to treat millions of children across the U.S. and Canada. When I was ... read more


Mocha buttercream cake

A very special someone turned the big 33 in early December.  It seemed only natural to have a belated birthday celebration featuring his favorite dessert: chocolate + raspberries.  I spent the majority of my Christmas morning making sure this cake was perfect (and, it almost was :) ) For the ... read more


Hot chocolate cookies

You're welcome.  For what, you ask?  For introducing you to your new favorite holiday cookie ↑.  One bite into these babies and your taste buds will sing to the taste of rich, warm, melted chocolate and gooey marshmallows.  These decadent cookies are perfect for any holiday party or gift.  They may ... read more


Pumpkin Pie!

As I sit here typing, I'm enjoying my second third piece of pumpkin pie today.  With only two weeks until Thanksgiving day, I didn't want to take any chances on a recipe that I hadn't tried first.  Plus, we will also be buying a pie through the Slice of Life© program and I didn't want it to show up ... read more


Cranberry oat muffins

A few years ago, when I was living in Southampton, England, I searched the entire city (it was small) for cranberries.  I kept leaving stores empty-handed, but I eventually found a bag in the frozen department.  At the time, I was making cranberry-orange cookies to share with my friends at a ... read more


White chocolate pumpkin almond bark

Another pumpkin recipe, you ask?  Yes, I apologize.  I go all out when it comes to fall and holidays and anything themed.  Our Halloween decorations were up in my apartment in early September.  I it. Even if you're not a fan of pumpkin, these small bites will satisfy your sweet-loving ... read more


Butternut Squash Soup

Happy Monday, friends!  Did you have a nice weekend?  Alex and I went on a little weekend getaway to Williamsburg, VA with his family.  It was so nice to escape DC for a few days, especially because it was only a 3-hour drive from the city. Per usual on vacation, it was difficult to avoid rich, ... read more


Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race Training: Week 3

Happy Monday everyone! This week was a fun one in terms of training, although I took a few more rest days than I would like.  I didn't run as much as I was supposed to either, but I did a lot of cross training!  The ridiculous photo ↑ above is my 'I just ran six miles before 9AM and I'm high on ... read more



Hello! Things have been a little crazy around these parts lately.  I just returned home from a girls' reunion trip in San Francisco and I'm up to my neck in school work/job work.  Let's add some Cherry Blossom 10-mile Race Training on to that, why don't we. ;) I really did have every intention of ... read more

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Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race Training: Week 1

Hi friends!  I'm back from my unintentional hiatus to share the beginning of a weekly series with y'all.  If it's not obvious from the title of this post, I'll be sharing my experience in the Potomac River Running Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race training program.  As part of my prize package as a Social ... read more


ClassPass: Washington, DC

I'm a little late to hop on the ClassPass bandwagon, but in case you haven't heard of it yet, or are on the fence about purchasing a membership, here are some details: ClassPass is a $99 monthly membership (price ranges from $79-$99 depending on the city,) that gives holders unlimited access ... read more

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Let’s Talk Nerdy: Sugars

This post is part of my Let's Talk Nerdy series. I hope you find the information helpful and thought-provoking. (Please read my disclaimer regarding the nutrition-related information shared on this blog.) We know too much is bad for our health.  We know it tastes good.  We know it can give us ... read more


5 Tips for Staying Healthier Over the Holidays

photo via It's that time of year...when delicious smells fill the house, spiked eggnog and mulled wine call your name, and your eyes (and stomach) bulge at holidays party buffets.  We all know this time well - when we excuse overindulging - and make up for it after the New Year.  If you're looking ... read more


Let’s talk nerdy: Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats

Based on my reader survey, the majority of you wanted more nutrition-related information (YAY!) on the blog.  Because the information presented in this post is a little science-heavy, I've decided to turn it into the first post of my new 'Let's talk nerdy' series.  I hope you find the information ... read more

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Food Labeling: what it really means

Happy Wednesday, friends!  Today, I want to talk about food labeling. One of the most important things we can do when grocery shopping is to not only read the labels on food, but to understand what they mean.  Being informed consumers will help us make smarter and healthier food choices. ... read more