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  1. Fun Fashion Friday: Animal Print

    December 12, 2013 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    You voted Animal Print as the theme for the most recent Fun Fashion Friday (aka Audience Particpation Friday).

    My seven-month-old daughter Margot even joined the fun.

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    (I'm sporting a denim shirt, black skinny pants from the GAP, black andkle booties and my leopard infinity scarf from my favorite affordable accessories place in town: Hurs!)

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    Leopard infinity scarves were all the rage.

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    And animal pattern accessories made an appearance (see La's bracelet)!

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    This Friday we're going with funky/bold jewelry (as requested by Vica).

    Do you want to play? Send pictures to katy@katymallory.com.


  2. Savvy on Career: Episode 1

    September 16, 2013 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    Last month, I re-entered the workforce after 12 weeks of maternity leave. This milestone is bittersweet, as I miss my little one and feel guilty leaving her at daycare, but at the same time, I know I enjoy my company, job, coworkers, etc. In fact, I may be in the minority of people who love their job. Every day is different. I am proud of our company. We have a hard working, innovative employee culture. Big fan.

    But there was a time, not terribly long ago, when I had been laid off and was looking for a job that I could love. It was 2009 when lots of other people were being laid off, too. I have a pretty good story about that time in my life, which I realized I never shared with you all. So here we are; Savvy on Career: Episode 1.

    That's right. It's STORY TIME, friends.

    Some friends of ours own a franchise location of a local fast casual restaurant (the kind where you order at the counter then someone brings you your food think like Chipotle or Doc Green's). The corporate office for this restaurant chain had a job opening for a Marketing Manager. Our friends helped me get a food in the door, and because my experience was fitting enough, I found myself having a phone interview with the hiring manager.

    The conversation was brief, but good enough. Opportunity to travel some, move up, get to know franchisees and help them with marketing… sounded good to me. At the end of the call, the hiring manager (let's call him Bob) said, "Okay, before we go any further in the process, I want you to do a little homework and send it to me."

    "What kind of homework is that?" I asked.

    I didn't anticipate the breadth of his answer  which red flag number 1 (or 1, 2 and 3 depending on how you look at it). "Make a packaging label for a line of our products that will soon be available in Costco. Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for our brand. Oh, and create a social media strategy we could roll out with our franchisees. After you send me that stuff, I'll decide if we want to bring you in."

    Ummm. okay. I can do that over lunch. Ummm. Not. Considering I was somewhat desperate and feeling guilty about not contributing to our mortgage, groceries, etc. I decided to go for it. But I did at least call back a few days later to say that if I was going to invest my time in these ideas, it seemed only fair that Bob would listen to be present them in person.

    He obliged (blessing or curse?) and I went in a week later to meet Bob and present my ideas. My friends were telling me that it wasn't fair that he expected me to be a social media guru, market analyst, graphic designer and employee communications maven all in one. I saw the opportunity to try lots of new things.

    I arrived at headquarters. After Bob showed me to his office, I waited in there for 20 minutes while he did god knows what (red flag 2). He eventually came back and asked for me to show my packaging design sample. That was relatively uneventful; he noted that I followed the brand standards in terms of logo, colors, etc. We moved on to the SWOT analysis.

    Naturally, I started with the Strengths. I talked about the booming business happening in the fast casual segment, the low turnover among franchisees, etc. I stopped after going through my list to ask: "Having reviewed my ideas, what strengths might I have left off my slide?"

    I didn't see this coming. Bob looks side to side, thinks for a minute, then points two thumbs at himself and says, "Well… me."

    Having just seen red flag 3, I wasn't sure he was joking or serious or crazy or what. I just stared at him and no one said anything, until I said, "Okay, on to the weaknesses." I talked about how the restaurant's regional name may not resonate in other parts of the country. I spent a few moments on key competitors with better name recognition, and how the franchisees who refused to remodel their stores were bringing down the brand. Not much fanfare on this stop in our journey.

    On to the Opportunities. I touched on expanding the company's bakery line in big box stores (Costco, Sams, etc.). We talked about the evolving brand. Like with Strengths and Weaknesses, I stopped and asked the hiring manager if he had any questions, feedback or other Opportunities he wanted to share. He pauses, shrugs, reaches under the desk, grabs a stuffed animal pickle and strokes the top of it. He says, "yeah, uh, this pickle could be our mascot."

    Throw the red flags everywere. Is this a joke? Was he joking with me? Flirting with me, some combination of the above? I think it was around then that I blacked out. I barely remember going over the Threats, then sharing with him social media ideas — then the dude ushering me back to the main conference room to give my same presentation to the owners of the company. Wait, how did that happen?

    Thank goodness somebody mentioned more than 50% travel. That was an easy out, as I was not on board with being away from husband/friends/family quite that often. I politely (or eagerly?) declined talking any further about the opportunity.

    About four years later (while at a new job — thankfully not that job), I was telling a client of mine this story. We compared notes and it turns out her sister worked for this guy (in other words, I interviewed for the position her sister vacated). She said her sister and her were pretty sure "Bob" wore the same pants every day for a few months sometime in 2009 and slept in his car following a nasty divorce. Or did I just hit him on a bad day?

    The all-too-obvious moral of the story is that sometimes no job is better than a job working for crazy. And if you have to jump through too many hoops in the interview process, there may be a red flag (or seven) in waiting…

    What's your worst job interview story? And how do you feel about that amount of pre-work for an interview?

    Speaking of work, remember those days not too long ago when I used to take pictures of my outfit? Ha. Those days feel like a distant memory. Long gone are the ten minutes of spare time, fancy camera tripods and white balance and shutter speed adjustments. This is my new reality (iPhone selfie with hair I washed two days ago and slept on). I haven't ironed anything in five-plus months…

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  3. Margot’s Nursery: Source List

    August 9, 2013 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    So, I've been a quiet blogger. This is the longest silent stretch I've had in my four-plus years of blogging. Shame on me!

    Well, I'm back. Back-ish. I have a new title in addition to blogger and full-time employee: mom.

    Speaking of being a mom, a few months ago, I said that I don't plan on this blog becoming a mommy blog. That's still not the plan (note: no offense to parenting-centric blogs; I read and enjoy many of them)… but being a mom has pretty much been my world for the last three months and I'm head over heels for our little babe, so it's only natural that some of my content will be related to being a mom now, and forever. That said, I would imagine my mom-esque content will still be true to the theme of this blog: affordable shopping with possible a little bit of "style" mixed in.

    One of my big projects this year was creating a fun and personalized space for our little girl (who arrived on May 12 — Mother's Day! — weighing 6 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 20 inches long). I didn't want a "bed in a box" type room with matchy matchy bedding, curtains, decor, etc. Dan loves the zoo (seriously, you'd think he's an eight-year-old boy when he's at the zoo… he gets SO excited) so we decided on a jungle/safari theme. Some pinks were okay with us, but I didn't want a look that was over-the-top frilly girly.

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    I thought I'd share what we found and where it all came from. Being bargain hunters, big sources were Craig's List, Etsy.com, Amazon.com and eBay. Online shopping is a big time saver for me, as who has time to deal with Atlanta commutes and run around to the mall chasing down items when you can easily have them delivered to your doorstep? Plus, it's like you're winning when you FIND the item then you get giddy all over again once it's delivered. #WinWin

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    1. Probably the most epic buy(s) of the nursery. Dan found this Pottery Barn Kids dresser (with changing table addition/extension) — plus a matching bookcase and crib — on Craigslist. They were asking $1,200 for the three new pieces (well over half off retail). Since they'd been listed for a while, he offered the sellers $800. They took it! Score! Dresser no longer available on the PBK website, but this one is similar. Moral of the story: make an offer!
    2. My Uncle Tom made this mirror for us. Most of our other furniture is darker wood, so it worked out perfectly that this framed mirror happened to be a very similar color to the Craiglist Pottery Barn furniture. Thanks Uncle Tom!
    3. Roman shades were made custom from a great seamstress I found on Etsy.com. They're durable, have blackout backing and I got to pick out the fabric! Check out KODesigning's shop on Etsy here. The material is from Fabric.com, which is a great source for affordable fabric. They offer inexpensive swatches of many of their fabrics.
    4. Since baby clothes are small, I opted to get this teeny basket from Home Goods instead of a traditional, larger clothes hamper. Plus, when it gets full, it's a directive to get some laundry done (I don't love doing laundry and make many excuses not to do it). Dan calls it the "snake charmer basket."
    5. My mother-in-law gave us a super sweet little rocking chair (see below). This was especially neat because my MIL had one in her daughter's room and wanted Margot to have a similar chair. (She purchased the chair in the Panama City, Florida, area — where my husband is from — don't judge! I will try to find out where it's from.)
    6. Fluffy shag rug is from Overstock.com. A great deal for $100. Super cushy and thick. (Note: the listing on Overstock shows a $125 price tag. There are TONS of coupon codes for Overstock on the interwebs, so do yourself a favor and look one of those bad babies up. I used a new e-mail address and got a new customer discount of 15%.)

     

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    7. These jungle/safari prints (also from Etsy) are one of my favorite parts of the nursery. The seller has (had?) lots of types of prints available (like dinosaurs, farm animals, maps), with TONS of colors to choose from. So when I realized I wanted the nursery to be feminine jungle/safari, I knew I had to get these prints. It looks the seller I purchased mine from ("AlleyKids") looks to not be on Etsy anymore. (Update! Susan from Alley Kids let me know her prints are available on her website now: http://www.alleykids.com – check out her stuff! Super cute.)

    8. While not my original choice for fabric, this green/white gingham glider (that came with a matching ottoman) ended up being a great find. Dude, gliders are expensive! But they are a must for nuserys, especially nursing moms. We found this bad boy (or girl?) on Craigslist also. SOMEHOW new ones are about $1,000. Here's a new one on Wayfair.com. Highway robbery, right? We considered getting ours re-upholstered, but that would have been an additional $300-ish. No way.

    9. The little lampshade and brown baskets with safari animals are identical in design but came from two different places. I found the shade on eBay for $5, then my mom found the two little baskets at TJ Maxx and used them for a baby shower. She had a feeling they were similar to the shade I already had, but we had no idea they were exactly the same. Worked out great. The lamp base is Pottery Barn Kids via eBay.

    10. These fabric cubes are from Amazon (manufacturer is ClosetMaid) and come in a million colors. They are hiding the chaos of books, toys, loveys, etc.

    11 and 12. (Bookcase and crib) See item #1 (part of the Craigslist baby furniture jackpot previously mentioned)

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    14. Love these custom name letters (also from Etsy; see shop The Pattern Bag). The sisters who run this store are so nice, communicative and detailed. In fact, they are very disciplined about putting a cap on the number of orders they can fulfill monthly because they want each order to be just right. I sent Chantel and Cherina pictures of Margot's sheet, curtain fabric and art prints and they came back to me with pattern, color and design ideas to match. Their orders really are custom and awesome.

    15. We had a little trouble finding a floating shelf to match the nursery furniture. This floating shelf (we bought it from Home Depot and had it delivered free to a local HD store) wasn't right on color-wise but was close enough. It's also available on Amazon.com but is about $8 less at Home Depot. (Shocking, right? I thought Amazon's pricing was almost always best!)

    16. Carter's Jungle Jill music mobile. I don't know why I had to have this mobile, but I did. It only plays music for about two minutes before it stops and you have to wind it up all over again. At least it looks cute? Anyway, I probably wouldn't recommend it to a friend because of the short time the music plays and mobile animals rotate. I try not to think about the other things we could have purchased with that $50.

    17. Crib. Part of the CL deal-of-the-year Dan scored (see item #1). Dammit, I already numbered the crib as item #12. I'm too lazy to rejigger my photoshop pictures, so I guess I'll just leave it on the list twice. Whoops.

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    18. Monogrammed pillow was a gift from sweet Etsy shop owner Stacy (see store Hearth and Home) as a thank you for a big order she did for our kitchen (linen roman shades). This was Dan's favorite item for the nursery. It was the first thing that came with her name on it (about six weeks before Margot was born), which made having a baby feel much more real. Similar pillows in Stacy's shop retail for $35 plus shipping. Also, she did a great job with a custom window seat cushion for our kitchen. (Note: Fabric for this monogrammed pillow was also sourced from Fabric.com.)

    19. Carter's safari brights sheets. Sadly this item is out of stock on Amazon and essentially anywhere else on the interwebs, but here's some info about the sheet on the Carter's website. Even though I'm listing this item almost last, these sheets are the first thing we purchased and the inspiration for the rest of the nursery.

    20. Disney giraffe print mesh/breathable bumper. I know the experts say that bumpers of any kind aren't totally safe, but I'd rather have these then wake up to see our little one's legs sticking out between the crib bars (which has already happened).

    Ooops… forgot a few items: The picture frames are from Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Kohl's, etc. I wish I could link to them but who knows where the heck they originated. Each frame was under $10.

    Oh, and here's a picture of our little lady. We're in love.

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    Oh, and a shout out to two of my favorite moms who blog. Kelly over at Fitting Back In and Leah at Leah Case Online. Kelly's blog has some great healthy, easy recipes plus she's great at sharing her monthly and daily personal and parenting goals. She has a precious baby girl named Beckett and she's doing a great job with creating fun activities for Beckette each day, not to mention keeping up with household chores and her fitness. Reading Kelly's blog makes me want to be a more productive human! I love Leah's posts about her sweet daughter Elliot's milestones and her reminders that life is too short for us moms to be trying to outdo each other or judge one another. Check 'em out!


  4. Under Construction

    August 16, 2012 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    It's been so long since I've posted that you would *think* Savvy in the City is under construction… but I'm actually talking about our kitchen.

    We've been wanting to renovate the kitchen of our 1949 ranch since we moved in but needed to sift through a few other projects first — as well as put together a solid plan of attack. Oh, and there's that saving money up detail.

    This is our kitchen today, in all its linoleum floor, black iron hinges and paneled wall glory. Ain't she a beaut?

    We basically need to start from scratch (walls, ceiling, electrical, etc.). Anyhoo, our casa will be under construction very shortly, as Dan just got our initial building permit yesterday! We're excited to get started but are sure the path won't be an easy one (so many decisions to make on everything from sink type to paint colors to drawer pulls and more). At least we have similar styles and agreed very quickly agreed we wanted a classic kitchen with a touch of industrial (white shaker style cabinets, subway tile, industrial-looking light pendants, hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless appliances, etc.).

    You know, something not unlike the below style-wise (we don't have near this much space!):

    Photo from Shuffle Interiors via Houzz.com. If you haven't played around on Houzz, do it. Or don't do it if you don't want to lose all your spare time. It's like Pinterest, but for just house stuff, and better. A search for "shaker style cabinets" will yield like 30,000 inspiration photos to look through. Love it.

    Dan was a quick study on Google SketchUp, a free platform you can use to make to-scale, 3-D drawings. Here's our vision for the kitchen, from Dan's finger tips. We also had some great help from our contractor, Phil, and from our neighbors Becky and Andy (Becky is a designer by background and knows all about how functionality can meet clean lines, etc.).

    Beyond aesthetics and no-brainers (nicer, newer cabinets – stainless appliances, etc.), the most noteworthy changes from the kitchen of today are:

    – Moving more of the "functional" kitchen to the end (an area that was once a screend in porch) versus it being 100% galley-ish (there is nothing in this previously porch area today – no counters, cabinets – nothing)
    – Cutting down the wall in between the kitchen and the dining/living room to half wall (and around the staircase) to open up the spaces
    – Creating a "peninsula" between the kitchen and dining area with room for three stools at the counter
    – Cutting the foyer wall (the wall immediately to your right if you were walking in from the front door) down to a half door
    – Creating a window seat (the window is too low to really build a desk there)

    The below gives you some perspective re: where the kitchen is situated in regards to the rest of the house.


    I may be getting ahead of myself but I'm already trying to figure out what items we will store in what cabinets (I suppose it's a good exercise in understanding if the balance of upper to lower cabinets will work – and if everything will have a home):

    C'mon in. Take a little digital tour of our culinary construction zone:

    Pray for us in the coming months, as I would bet we start demo in early-to-mid September and will be without a kitchen for a few months. Gulp!


  5. Savvy on France: Day 1 (Paris)

    June 15, 2012 by SavvyInTheCity

     

    First of all, calling this series “Savvy on France” is a laugh. Savvy I was not. More like Fish Out of Water in Paris. BUT my hope with these posts is that you’ll 1) get some laughs and 2) be more prepared to visit to visit France (and Monaco) than this chica was.

    Okay, so day one of our vacation ended up being shorter than originally anticipated. Once we’d boarded our Chicago leg and gotten comfortable on the plane, the pilot came on the air to say that our AC was broken and the ground crew was working on it. An hour later, our AC was looking like it would be okay — but weather patterns then prevented us from taking off. Once the weather cleared up, we got in a line of 45 planes waiting for takeoff. About 30 minutes into that, the captain realized we weren’t going to have enough fuel to make the transatlantic trek. To try and make an already long story shorter, we hung out on the Tarmac for five hours before finally taking off. For those of you wondering about the Passenger’s Bill of Rights, yes, they did offer us to get off the plane after four hours… if we wanted to discontinue our journey to Paris. So we elected to stay on the plane and continue on to our destination… and eventually (hallelujah) we did get there safely.

    Lucky for us, we bought travel pillows and slept through some of the Tarmac episode, and most of the long flight. So lesson #1: buy travel pillows. I bought this memory foam U-shaped neck pillow from Amazon.com ($15.29), which was the bomb. Dan laid claims on that one. I tried out the TravelRest Travel Pillow Reinvented ($26.95), which got good reviews on Amazon, but was a big womp-womp as far as quality goes. It kept deflating. Lesson #2: test said travel pillows prior to taking them on a transatlantic flight. I ended up buying a cheap-o version of Dan’s pillow in the airport to use, which did the job but wasn’t as a great as the memory foam version. Either way, the travel pillows were clutch for arriving as minimally jetlagged as possible in Paris.

    The Travel Pillow Reinvented was a FAIL. (Update 6/15/2012: Terri from the Travel Pillow Reinvented company called me in response to my Amazon review to say she was very sorry I didn't have a good experience with the product. She asked if I still had it on hand so we could troubleshoot the issue. Unfortunately I'd already sent it back or else I would have been open to her suggestions. She said that of the products they've had returned, none have had leaks so far – it's possible though that the air flaps weren't completely secured or  the cabin pressure affected it's ability to stay inflated. She said if I am ever interested in re-trying the product, they would love to send me another one. A+ for follow up!)

    We landed at Charles De Gaulle Airport (metro Paris) around 3:30 local time.

    Dan did a lot of research and planning about transportation in and around Paris (to be honest, he did all the research and planning — he’s a saint). So we went to find a place to buy train passes from the airport to our hotel, and a two ten-packs of metro passes we could use during our two days in the city.

    Lesson #3: Know ahead of time how to buy train passes.

    We saw ticket counters. We spotted electronic machines for buying passes. We noticed signage for two different trains: TGV and SNCF. We also saw signage for something called the RER. What the heck were we supposed to do? I waited in line for information while Dan tried to use the electronic machine. He eventually figured out what we were supposed to buy, but he couldn’t get our credit card to work (we found out later that most American credit cards don’t work at these machines, and you definitely have to have a credit card pin if you want any chance of the machines working). Eventually we asked information where we should go then went to the SNCF counter and bought the RER passes we needed. (Round trip train passes to the airport and two ten-packs of metro passes were about 50 euros).

    Made it to the metro. Phew.

    Once we got on the train, we were in business. Dan determined we should get off at the Luxembourg RER metro stop, and he was right on the money. Upon exiting the train station, I was surprised by the weather (maybe 55 degrees and rainy); I expected it to be a little warmer and dryer. BUT, when I watched Midnight in Paris (a Woody Allen movie), Owen Wilson’s character said a few times that “there’s just something about Paris in the rain,” so I was optimistic for a good (maybe even romantic) time.

    We had a super easy walk (suitcases and all) from the metro to our hotel, which looked out on the Pantheon. (Did you think the Pantheon was a historic building in Rome? So did I! Well, apparently there’s one in Paris, too!)

    Hotel du Pantheon was quaint and lovely. The staff was professional, helpful and super friendly. And while we certainly didn’t feel like they needed to cater to our minimal English, it certainly did make things easy that all the staff members spoke terrific English. Not to mention the hotel is situated in the Latin Quarter, which is an active and interesting part of town.

    The Pantheon… through our hotel window!

    After checking our bags, we evaluated our options. We’d planned to go to the Lourve for a few hours but quickly realized that plan was shot (it was 4:30 by this point, and the Lourve closed at 6). Change of plans: We decided to go explore the Pantheon. Hell, it was right next door. Also, going to the Pantheon gave us an opportunity to buy a Museum Pass. The pass that gets you into many local attractions at a discount — with the option of buying a two-day (39 euro), three-day (54 euro) or 6-day (64 euro) length pass. The pass gets you into tons of neat stuff in Paris, such as the D’Orsay (Impressionist) Museum, the Lourve, the Chateau at Versailles and more. From what we read, it was worth it. 

    So we got into the Pantheon and met a friendly and helpful cashier/guide. She sold us two-day museum passes, and since we didn’t want to activate them until the next day (it was late on Monday by this time), she gave us free entry to the Pantheon.

    The Pantheon itself was pretty neat but also not the most spectacular international attraction I’ve seen (not that I’ve seen many though, by the way). The Mausoleum-style building was built in 1758 and finished in 1790. Voltaire and Rousseau are entombed there, among others. My favorite part was the expansive/ornate ceilings. I’m pretty sure Dan’s favorite part was the Foucault Pendulum, which shows how the Earth rotates.

    After visiting the Pantheon, we took a stroll down to the Seine River, taking note of the Notre Dame Cathedral (which we planned to visit the next day), cafes and artist/knickknack sands. I really hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast or earlier (our clocks were all screwed up) so some baguettes and cheese were calling my name. We landed in Grand Bar Cluny for a snack. (The place has one good review on Trip Advisor and one bad one. Our experience was fine. After all, we just wanted a cold beverage and an easy snack.) Grand Bar Cluny’s assorted cheese plate (assiette fromage) was perfect, including a brie, a goat and a bleu-ish cheese (and it was a really good-sized portion at 10 euros). I washed down my fromage with a Leffe brune beer (a darker version of a Belgian beer I’m already a fan of in the states, but I hadn’t tried this version befor) and Dan had a 1664 pilsner (a beer we saw on almost every tap in Paris and Nice). In the café, we heard plenty of native French speakers, and we enjoyed the little French bulldog (named “Artiste”) who roamed the place. Total bill: 25 euros.

    After a beer and a snack, our hotel bed called. Yes, it’s a shame to take a nap in a foreign country with so many fantastic things within walking distance, but we were having trouble keeping our eyes open. In our minds, investing an hour and a half in a nap would be well worth it in terms of relieving jet lag and being ready to enjoy the rest of the trip. Once our heads hit the pillows, we were out in seconds.

    We didn’t wake up until close to 8:30pm Monday, which worked out okay considering the French don’t eat dinner until at least 7:30. (Lesson #4: No early bird specials in France. Expect to eat dinner late. If you arrive at a restaurant at 7, they will likely not be open. Many French, especially Parisians, we hear, don’t eat dinner until 8:30 or later. Eating at 9 or 9:30 isn’t unusual.)

    Dan looked through our Rick Steves Paris travel book and found several good options. We poked around online (we had wifi in our hotel) and confirmed that a quaint restaurant in the book had still had a good reputation and smart wine pairings. The place also happened to be incredibly close to our hotel — score! So we were off to Le Vin Qui Danse (4 rue des fosses Saint Jacques, 75005 Paris, France).

    We had a great first true meal in Paris at Le Vin Qui Danse. I opted for a reasonably priced prix fixe three-course meal with wine pairings. After all, the place claims to have a smart wine menu. My starter was a nice piece of salmon fillet marinated in olive oil, lemon and local herbs along with mashed white beans, thinly sliced carrots and julienned eggplant. (By the way, lesson #5: in the U.S., “entrée” is synonymous with main course. In France, “entrée” is synonymous with starter or appetizer.) The main course was lamb confit, fingerling potatoes and jous. Divine! For dessert it was pineapple, cream, lemon sorbet and basil. Everything was delicious! While I’m no oenophile, I enjoyed the wine pairings. First wine was nice, subtle and a little dry: Domaine de la Renaudie (the bottle also said “et son verve de Bergerac blanc”) – 2010. I was told it was from near Bordeaux. What I have written down for the second is “et son de Pecharmant domaine de la renaude” – 2008 – but now that I’m reading my notes, it seems like I missed something. This wine was from near Burgandy and reminded me of a pinot but was bigger/bolder. What I wrote down for the dessert wine pairing is “et son verre de Monbazillac Chateau La Brie – 2005.” I was tired and probably a little tipsy at this point so all my notes say is “sweet dessert wine – tasty.” (um. Duh.)

    Also, after initially hearing our really (bad) American-sounding “bonjour,” our waitress asked (in French) if we spoke French. Embarrassed, we shook our heads “no.” Then she said, “no worries – I speak good English.” Turns out our waitress has French parents but was born in Maryland and lived in California for a while before her family eventually made their way back to France. She was funny and attentive.

    In other words, I would agree with other TripAdvisor reviews about this place — I would definitely say we had great service and food at Le Vin Qui Danse.

    We were quick to bed after dinner. I’m tired from just recapping our first day. I can’t believe how much we did from 4:30 to midnight on our first day in Paris. It felt like a whirlwind!

    More to come…