Capture the Colour

I am always game for a new photo competition.  Capture the Colour was brought to my attention by a great blog known as Continental Breakfast.  I love the opportunity to acknowledge the work of other bloggers and share photos based on a theme.

For this challenge, the blogger simply shares photos that he/she thinks represent each color.  Then the blogger nominates five blogs to encourage their submissions.  I hope to see these amazing bloggers  share their perspective:

Postcards from Around the World

Clicky Chick Creates

Jean’s Photography Blog

Tvor Travels

(Pre) Concept-Break Your Journey

Here is my view:


Yellow and Blue


Au lapin agile red room with piano man at the cabaret




white night1



Paris by Métro: Place Monge


Place Monge at a Glance



Sights Within 1 Kilometer:


Arénes de Lutéce-130m

Arab World Institute-800m

Île Saint Louis-1km


Grande Mosque of Paris-300m

Jardin des Plantes-700m



Place Monge Market-38m


Rue Mouffetard-230m

Hemingway’s Home-270m

Philippe Auguste Wall-450m



Sorbonne/Latin Quarter-1km

Jardin de Luxembourg-1km

Sight Details


Arénes de Lutéce: There is not much left from this Roman Arena, but it is a unique sight to visit.  As you stand in the center, imagine you were a gladiator waiting for his fate to be revealed.

Arab World Institute: The goal of the institute is to build an understanding between different cultures.  The unique architecture holds art, history, and a library to bring people together by banishing the lack of knowledge about the culture.

Île St. Louis: This island is home to the best ice cream in Paris: Berthillon.  Walking the streets, you feel like you are in a village making it is easy to forget that you are in the city center.  Hear the accordion player in the background as you window shop with your glacé in hand.


Grande Mosque of Paris: Inside the mosque you will find a charming café.  The pastries are 2 euros and the tea is 2.50 Euros.  The tea is a nice combination of mint and chai.  Look around and you will feel like you are in Morocco.  The mosque has a lush garden area with blue tiles that appear to be meditative waters.  This is a place perfect for reflection and thought.

Jardin des Plantes: Greenery surrounds you in this escape from the city.  The garden has a nice combination of trees, flowers, and other activities.  Take a walk through the zoo, or visit the natural history museum.  Maybe you can even join those practicing tai chi.

Seine/Quais: If you walk north, you will eventually run into the Seine.  Find a good spot on the Pont de Sully and watch the ebb and flow of people travel down the river.  The quays along the Seine are perfect for strolling or a picnic.  Life is good watching the world go by on water.


Place Monge Market: Markets look so inviting in the rain with their covered roofs and warm lights.  I find this market to be one of my favorites in Paris.  It is small enough not to be overwhelming, but it was bustling, so I knew the produce was good quality.  The smell of roasted chicken permeates the little enclosures until you walk past a cheese stand. Then, a new odor takes over.  Visit this market on Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday.


Rue Mouffetard: The street is lined with fromageries, boulangeries, and every other “geries” you could wish for.  The restaurants have character whether it is German style or a true French bistro.  You could also consider grabbing a sandwich and finding a nice park bench to hold you as you chomp on your baguette.  I would not recommend visiting this street on Monday since most shops are closed up.

Hemingway’s Home: If you are fan of Hemingway or have read A Moveable Feast, stop by 74 Rue Cardinal Lemoine to see where he lived with Hadley.  Step back in time as you imagine an apartment without heat or a toilet.  Hemingway even used a slop bucket at times.  Close your eyes and hear the noise of the drunkards stumbling around after their cheap brandies back in the 20s.  Can you smell the odor?

Philippe Auguste Wall: If you want to see a peak into historical Paris, continue down the street to see a glimpse of the old Paris wall.  The Louvre was a fortress and its wall protected it from invasion.  This segment of the wall is part of what is left from the original.

Saint Étienne du Mont: The church is closed on Mondays, but open every other day.  If you look above the door you will see Saint Etienne being stoned, hence being the patron saint for headaches and migraines.  Although the church is named after Saint Etienne, it contains the relics of Saint Genevieve.  She is the patron saint of Paris. You may also recognize this sight from Midnight in Paris.  Perhaps a stop on the steps at midnight will take you back to the 1920s.

Panthéon: The Panthéon is the resting place for many famous French such as Voltaire, Marie Curie ,and Victor Hugo.

Sorbonne/Latin Quarter: The Latin Quarter is best known for the two major boulevards: St. Michel and St. Germain des Prés which are a little beyond the Sorbonne.  There is plenty of shopping and eating to be done on these streets, but sneaking in and out of the side streets reveals a picturesque, hidden side of the Latin Quarter.  The area gets its name from the Latin-speaking students of the Sorbonne.

Jardin de Luxembourg: The gardens flowing out from the palace are one of the many living rooms for the Parisians.  While pacing through the gardens you may come across a group of older men playing pétanque, a little tike riding a pony, children chasing their sailboats on the pond with their sticks, or a fountain revealing danger for two lovers.

Suggested Walk:

This walk is a bit long, but it gives you a variety of sights in a loop.  I suggest going on this route the day the Place Monge Market is open, otherwise, I would not walk back to Place Monge.

Travel Journey of the Week: New Orleans

New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the United States.  It is so different than any other place across America.  The mixture of cultures in this region has created something that can only be found in the delta.  Have you been to New Orleans or have thoughts about New Orleans?  Here is how you can contribute:

1. Each Sunday, a place will be set as the theme (it could be a city, landmark, national park, etc.)

2. If you are familiar with the place and would like to contribute, you will write a post and title it Travel Journey of the Week: New Orleans.

3. Your post can be any medium that works for you; videos, photos, descriptions, itineraries, personal memories, poems, ticket stubs, etc.

4. Finally, be sure to provide a link back here so everyone can connect and share their own take on the place:

Travel Journey of the Week: New Orleans

What do I think of when I think of New Orleans?  Food!  To mix things up a little this week, I’m sharing a recipe from The New Orleans School of Cooking.  If you are spending some time in New Orleans, taking a cooking class will definitely enhance your trip.  I learned so much about the cultures that have come together to create the famous dishes with their unique flavors.  The class offers history, humor, entertainment, and a tasty meal.


Makes 12 Servings

¼ C. oil
1 cooked chicken, cut up or de-boned
1½ lbs. sausage

2 heaping tsp. Joe’s Stuff or Creole seasoning
4 C. chopped onions
2 C. chopped celery
2 C. chopped green pepper
2 C. chopped green onions or tomatoes (optional)

1 tbsp. chopped garlic
4 C. long grain rice
5 C. stock or flavored water

For brown jambalaya: 1 – 2 tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet
For red jambalaya*: 1/4 cup paprika (*You may also use 2.5 cups stock and 2.5 cups tomato juice instead of 5 cups stock/flavored water.)

Season and brown the chicken in oil, lard or bacon drippings over medium to high heat. Add sausage to pot and sauté with chicken. Remove the chicken and sausage from pot, leaving the drippings in the pot.

Sauté onions, celery, green pepper and garlic in the drippings until tender. Return chicken and sausage to pot. Add stock and Creole seasoning and bring the mixture to a boil. (If using Kitchen Bouquet for brown jambalaya, add 1 – 2 tbsp. For red jambalaya, add approximately 1/4 cup paprika, stock and tomato juice.)

Add rice. Stir and return to rapid boil. Stir again and remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let the jambalaya rest for 25 minutes. Remove cover and quickly turn rice from top to bottom completely. Add green onions and chopped tomatoes if desired.

For seafood jambalaya, add cooked seafood when rice is turned.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

IMG_6208I am really excited about the photo challenge this week.  My favorite kind of places are overwhelmingly colorful and bright.  Today’s post features all those photos that bring color to your life.

The Life of a Centerfold

CatalogI had to share this with my fans.  If you follow Rick Steves, you know that he has a tour book that comes out each year.  His marketing team asked me to share a blurb about my favorite moment on my trip.  That little piece is now featured in the center of his tour catalog.  I’m officially a centerfold!  As I’m sure you can imagine, I am thrilled.

This is only the beginning of my thoughts being published…

Calendar Art

Calendar ArtIf your traveling on a budget or trying to eliminate baggage weight, you might want to consider the versatility of a calendar as a souvenir.  Calendars typically don’t take up much space, and the right one can become inexpensive art.

I found a calendar in the Cinque Terre that reflected the vibrancy and color of the coast.  Not only am I enjoying each month, but I have started to frame the scenery.  It is not complete yet, but when I am done, I will have a great gallery of art prints that cost me about $40.

Do you have any souvenirs you’ve bought that have served more than one purpose?  I’m all about purchasing souvenirs that can be constant reminders of memories.  To discover other meaningful purchases, check out my video on making the most out of souvenirs.

Paris by Métro: Charles de Gaulle – Étoile

ArcCharles de Gaulle – Étoile at a Glance

Lines: 1, 2, and 6

Arrondissement: 8th/17th

Sights Within 1 Kilometer



Thomas Jefferson Home-650m


Parc Monceau-1km


Arc de Triomphe-0m

Sight Details


Champs-Élysées: There aren’t as many places to visit near this métro stop, but the sights are quintessential Paris.  The Champs-Élysées is an elegant boulevard filled with high end shops and tourists.  Most big cities have a street like this, but somehow the French make it seem a little more elegant.  This boulevard looks especially patriotic near the Bastille Day.  Enjoy window shopping for a Renault or the perfect Louis Vuitton.  My money never leaves my purse, but it is still a spectacle to see.

Thomas Jefferson Home: The patriot’s home was shared with his slave, Sally.  It is believed that he fathered several children with her.  If you enjoy watching movie’s featuring Paris, you may want to see Jefferson in Paris to see Paris during a different time period with one of America’s most famous rebels.

Ladurée: We’ve all heard of the famous French macarons, but this is supposed to be the place to purchase some.  A line is typical, but the passing views of the interior along with a sample of macarons is a good way to introduce yourself to the French dessert.

Parc Monceau: I almost selected a different métro stop to expose visitors to one of my favorite areas in Paris.  Luckily, I was able to include Parc Monceau, but there is so much more to see beyond the 1 kilometer.  If you want to see the scenes of the Impressionists, this is the area you need to visit.  To learn more about this beautiful corner of Paris, view my post about my Paris Walk with the Impressionists.


Arc de Triomphe: Arches are popular in Paris, but this is the one you’ve been waiting to see.  It is big and elegant.  The roundabout surrounding the arch is enough to cause anxiety, but fortunately there are underground tunnels to safely transport you to the center.  Visit the tomb of the unknown soldier, and walk around viewing the boulevards that were designed with a military influence.  Think of the history that the arch has seen.  I get chills when I think of Hitler marching into town and occupying the city.  If you’re ready for a climb, go to the top for some of the best views of the city.


Am I missing something?  I’m not as familiar with this area of Paris, but if you think that something else should be included, please let me know!

Travel Journey of the Week: Ireland

FenceI know the topic is extremely broad this week, but it fits my thoughts.  I am in need of a place that offers healing and kindness.  When I was there for a long layover this past summer after I found out my mom was on life support, I felt rejuvenated and ready to handle any situation that stood before me.  My challenges are different right now, but I bet the affect of visiting the Emerald Isle would be the same.  Have you been to Ireland or have thoughts about Ireland?  Here is how you can contribute:

1. Each Sunday, a place will be set as the theme (it could be a city, landmark, national park, etc.)

2. If you are familiar with the place and would like to contribute, you will write a post and title it Travel Journey of the Week: Ireland.

3. Your post can be any medium that works for you; videos, photos, descriptions, itineraries, personal memories, poems, ticket stubs, etc.

4. Finally, be sure to provide a link back here so everyone can connect and share their own take on the place:

Travel Journey of the Week: Ireland

Ireland has such a unique place in my heart because it was my first trip abroad.  I went with my aunts, mom, and grandmother the summer before high school began.  I never knew people could speak English so differently than me, yet I felt so connected to them.  The places we saw combined natural beauty with unique architecture that I had  never seen.  I went home dreaming of my experiences and craving more.

Digital cameras were pretty much nonexistent then, but my dad let me take his good 35mm camera.  Here are some photos of the trip that I have scanned.  I apologize for the quality of the images, but I think they still get the point across.  Be sure to check out the captions to find out more.

Photo Books Now for Sale

portfolio pictureI’m so excited that Zenfolio has updated themes and products.  Mpix is their primary printing company, and they print with amazing quality.  They are now featuring books as one of their products.  Can you imagine your empty coffee table filled with hand-selected photos that reflect your personal interests?  Or even better, imagine hiring me to travel with you to take your photos, and creating a coffee table book from that ;).  A girl can dream, can’t she?

create a bookIf you are interested in creating a book, I suggest you browse my photos and add to your favorites first.  Then simply select “create a book” and choose what kind of book you’d like.  From there, you can access all of your favorites to compose your book.

Even if you have no intentions of buying anything, I’d love for you to check out my portfolio and tell me your thoughts.  Maybe even leave a guestbook comment if you are feeling super generous.  Some of my favorite moments are when I realize that I can capture an image that someone else would appreciate.  Happy browsing!