Thursday, November 18, 2010

Paris Apartment Search



The time to search for an apartment for my research trip has finally arrived--at least it's getting close. I'm hoping the debt crisis in Europe causes the Euro to drop like a hot rock in January and I will be able to find more for my money.

Finding an apartment in Paris for a couple or a small family is relatively easy and almost always a better value than a hotel. Having a third child in our case, and a grandparent or two coming to help with the kids, however, narrows our options in a city like Paris (or any other big city where space is at a premium) and the search becomes incredibly time consuming.

Here are a few websites I'm using at the moment. I've rented from 3 different agencies and my favorite experience has been with Paris Attitude. I've also rented directly from an owner. I was nervous about not having the safety net of an agency, but spent a lot of time cross-referencing the apartment and the owners on google and other sites. It looked completely legitimate so I went for it; it was one of the best apartments I've rented.

Even if you're not traveling overseas in the near future, it's fun to look through these sites to see where Parisians live and at what price.


Agencies I've used (no problems with any of them). These sites are all in English:

Paris Attitude
www.parisattitude.com

Locaflat
www.locaflat.com

Ah Paris!
www.ahparis.com

A few more:

www.parisianhome.com

www.haveninparis.com

www.feelparis.com

www.parishideaways.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cranberrry White Chocolate Chip Cookies


I haven't been in writing mode for the past few weeks. Actually, I have been working rather frantically on my day-job writing, but small-batch travel has taken a backseat. We took the kids to Disneyland a couple of weekends ago, so I will post on that--but for now, here's a recipe.

Fall is here and all I want to do is bake! Baking is quiet, focused work--a moment of stillness in my noisy, kid-filled home. It's work that provides almost instant gratification and is enjoyable even in my perpetually sleep-deprived state. I made these cookies last night and they were a hit!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use a whisk, spoon or mixer to blend these ingredients together:
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter (both at room temperature)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated raw sugar
2 eggs

Stir in:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries
12 oz. white chocolate chips

Use a small scoop or tablespoon to place on cookies sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. I like these on the lighter side.
(photo: acorns & apples)