insider tips: SIGHTSEEING – Paris

insider tips: SIGHTSEEING – Paris



So, you’ve spent an entire day inside the Louvre, a half-day at Musée d’Orsay, and you’ve walked around the Jardin de Tuileries. You’ve waited in line to take a peak inside the beauty that is Notre-Dame, and you’ve most definitely picnicked in front of the eiffel tower. You’ve seen the catacombs and Sacré-Coeur, and you may have enjoyed a show at the Moulin Rouge. You’ve eaten baguette, croissant, and pastries to your heart’s content (for now!). So what next? Here’s one insider tip for you my fellow traveler.




The Promenade Plantée, also known as Coulée Verte René-Dumont, is a 4.7 km (2.9 mile), elevated garden/walkway in the 12th district of Paris. Resting 10 meters above the busy streets, atop the remnants of the Vincennes railway tracks, it would be easy to miss this hidden gem if you didn’t know to look for it!

Gratefully, my husband lives within walking distance, so I came here for a run and some outdoor exercise on my recent trip. For a step-by-step video of that workout routine, click here!


I am beyond blessed to have been introduced to this beautiful greenbelt on my very first trip to France. I make it a point to go for a run on the promenade every time I visit. In a city filled with so many people, it’s a luxury to feel the solitude you experience while walking through this park. This was my first time seeing the city during springtime, and this garden has never been more beautiful! My heart was so happy being up there with all the flowers and greenery, like cherry trees, lavender, rose bushes, and those cute little white flowers I don’t know the name of.



The promenade is just east of the Opéra Bastille, and runs parallel to the avenue Daumesnil. It sits atop the Viaduc des Arts, which is a row of very nice art studios and boutique shops. I’ll often finish my run on street-level just to peak inside the windows and catch a glimpse of artists, or some of their unique work!



Jardin (garden) de Reuilly-Paul-Pernin intersects the promenade. My first summer in France, I caught a ton of local Parisians sunbathing there.






This is where you enter, near the Opéra Bastille. There’s also elevator access!



(Fun for me because I’m a nerd. Possibly boring for you if history isn’t your thing, so feel free to keep scrolling!)

  • It was the first rail-to-trail park constructed in an urban area. The next being New York City’s High Line in 2009!
  • Designed by landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Phillipe Mathieux, the Promenade Plantée was inaugurated in 1993 as part of then-president Mitterrand’s ongoing Grands Projets. The projets included the Louvre pyramid, and the Opéra Bastille.
  • The eastern portion is reserved for pedestrians. The western portion is open to cyclists and those on foot! If you’re a cyclist or rollerblader, hit that sh*t up!
  • The Vincennes railway line began in 1859 and closed in 1969.
  • More elevated gardens will be popping up all around the world: London, Washington DC, Toronto, and Rotterdam.

Future travel destinations? I think so!


Traveling can be exhausting. You’re trying to do so much in such a short period of time. You’re balancing personalities, and preferences. You’re outside your comfort zone. I love all that. So much. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a break from it for like an hour. Exercise does that for me. It’s my me time. I cherish it.

So if you need a respite from the insanity, come up here alone, take a walk or a jog, or just sit with your favorite treat and zone out.

And if alone time isn’t your thing, bring your travel companions and experience this spot together! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Would you want to go here? Or did you already know about it? Feel free to comment below!

Have an amazing day!

XOXO ~Michelle~





Put doooown the credit card! Chances are you have an online shopping window open on at least one of your devices right now. No shame. I understand. I’m just as guilty (hello, my name is Michelle and I spend way too much time on Amazon and Revolve). It is the digital-age after all, and making a purchase is just a click away, but we don’t always have to give into those nasty, little impulses! Sometimes, we need to search no further than our very own closets or dresser drawers.

| TIP #1 |

revamp some old pants

Yup, that’s right. Those pants I’m wearing are from love culture, and I bought them 3 years ago. They began their lives as non-distressed, regular black jeans that I purchased for no more than $40. I’ve worn, washed, and purposefully chopped those puppies into what they are now. Those holes definitely weren’t there when I bought them, but hole-in-the-knee black jeans got very big, and I couldn’t resist the trend. Given that I already had two pairs of black denim (dressy and casual), I saw no reason to purchase another, so I pulled out my scissors and got to cuttin’! Save that money for something else you reallllly want–maybe an adventure instead of an item! And if you plan on doing this yourself, make sure you actually cut over the knee. It would be a shame to end up with holes on your thighs or on your shins, and possibly a pair of pants you don’t want at all anymore.

I have a pair of blue jeans that still fit, but I don’t wear enough–I’ve probably had them 4 years–and I plan on turning them into cut offs for the summer! I’ll write a post about that when it gets warm enough (which seems soon! yay!).



| TIP #2 |

buy classic pieces

It is oh, so tempting to get sucked into every fashion trend. You’re looking at perfectly styled photos on Instagram and Pinterest thinking, “I can wear that!” and other times, “helllll no I can’t wear that!” But those outfits that do leave you drooling, wide-eyed, and full of adrenaline are the same outfits that cost a fortune and will very likely go out of style by next season. If you decide to splurge, be sure and spend your money on a classic piece. A staple item. Something that never goes out of style. In fact, I highly recommend spending extra dough on the pieces that make up a great capsule wardrobe. Like that belt I’m wearing. It’s from b-low the belt, and it’s got a great western vibe to it. I like that it’s not too wide, and it can be dressed up or dressed down. I wore it to a nursing symposium with some slacks a few weeks back, so it truly is versatile. 

I was lucky enough to buy that green, military-style jacket at–wait for it–Target! I’ve had it for over a year, and it just keeps getting better. It’s faded nicely with wear, and from washing it, which has only given it more character. I love the collar on this jacket, and the excessive pockets. Those pockets came in handy on the plane (while I was traveling to Paris) when I was shoving my gum, headphones, ear plugs, and eye mask into them for easy storage. 🙂


The top is from H&M, and I bought it over a year ago. Stripes never go out of style! And actually, they’re quite big this spring and summer.


Loafers. Super trendy at the moment, but they also qualify as a capsule item since you can wear them at the office. I did spend a bit more on these for that reason. They’re by Antonio Melani. I’d never heard of the brand, but the shoes are very comfy. They got me around the cobblestone streets of Paris, no problems! I love the fact that they have those tiny holes all over them, making them breathable. Nothin’ worse than sweaty feet. Amiright?



| TIP #3 |


Maybe you don’t need 283,493 new shirts that you totally thought you’d wear, but then you don’t (or you do, but only one time).  Maybe, what you really need is one or two awesome new accessories to go with some great outfits you already own! It could be time to try a statement necklace. Or how about layering multiple bracelets (I do that allllll the time). That way you can mix and match so accessorizing always feels fresh and thoughtful.

A new scarf could do the trick! A scarf can entirely change an outfit, and make it feel brand new. Silk scarves and bandanas are the must-have neck attire for the last few months, and they can adorn more than just your neck. You can tie one to the handle on your purse, put one in your hair, or wrap one around your wrist to make a bracelet. The possibilities are endless, and you won’t break the bank. J’adore!





So, next time you’re mindlessly shopping online, and that little guilt-o-meter starts going off in your head, PAUSE! Take a deep breath. And think about ways to get the most out of the things in your closet! Then take the money you would’ve spent (or half of it even), and put that money toward something extra special!

I hope these tips were useful! Please comment below with your tips on how you make the most of your wardrobe! I’d love to hear from you!

Have an amazing day!

XOXO ~Michelle~

eat like a local: CAFE DES ANGES – Paris

eat like a local: CAFE DES ANGES – Paris


I just love the picnic style table cloths! So freakin cute, and they instantly give a comfy, laid-back vibe.

In addition to the amazing and varied menu, there was a brunch special written in chalk on the wall. Oh so trendy 🙂

Paris. One of my favorite cities in the world, and one I’ve been lucky enough to come back to on a regular basis for the last 2 years. One thing I was DETERMINED to do in my lifetime was to plan a trip, and travel out of the country, ALONE. Me, myself, and I. No safety net, no other opinions, no voice to follow but my own. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t coming from a place of oppression, quite the opposite. The idea sprouted at the ripe old age of 18, while beginning my undergrad studies at Cal State Northridge. Studies my parents worked hard to provide for me (thanks Mom and Dad!). I just saw the potential for growth. Self evolution. Challenge. All things I needed, and still need.

Travel changes you, whether alone or not. It forces you to be exposed to other cultures, and literally expands your mind. Not everyone has the urge to travel alone, but if you do, if there’s that itch inside of you that just won’t go away, then by all means, DO IT! And if you want to travel with friends or family (both things I love too!), then DO THAT! Follow your heart. Don’t ignore those deep wishes. I worked, and saved the money, and researched, and planned. It was a journey, every step of the way, and it changed my life. Quite literally. I met my husband on that first trip to Paris. 🙂 His Mom, my now mother-in-law, began as my sweet and kind airbnb host. She invited over her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend, and her son, Baptiste (my now husband). And, well…the rest is history! 🙂 That being said, I had an early introduction to living like a local while visiting the city of lights.

How pretty is that glassware!

Handsome devil 

So, enough about me, let’s get back to the food and this awesome restaurant in Bastille, which is in the 11th district, in Paris. Bastille is a trendy area, full of great shopping, and a ton of small cafés such as café des anges. This was my second time here (last time I got their cobb salad), and both times I was very happy with my meals. The place is always packed, so don’t be shocked if your seated within arm’s reach of your neighbor, that’s just how it goes. Small cafés, lots of people, you gotta do what you gotta do. And for me, it’s an amazing part of the experience, but for others it’s hard to adjust to since seating in LA (and across the US) is pretty spread out.

After a long plane ride, a burger was in order.

I got their veggie burger made from chickpeas. It was delicious and hearty despite being a vegetarian meal. And can we talk about those fries. I mean, c’mon. Those babies were cooked to crispy perfection. Just look at the golden brown goodness. *drool* And a salad included! No longer forced to decide between one or the other. My kinda place.

I’m not a big red meat eater, so this was my kind of burger 🙂 Chickpea patty!

Those potatoes were insanely delicious, rich, and decadent.

French weakness.Barely slept, and fresh off a plane, but nothing a fun hardo and an aperol spritz can't fix ;)

Barely slept, and fresh off a plane, but nothing a fun hairdo and an aperol spritz can’t fix 😉 So if you’re in Paris, and want to eat like a local (or you need some yummy vegetarian options) make sure to stop by café des anges! You won’t regret it! Have an amazing day!

XOXO ~Michelle ~


66, Rue de la Roquette75011 Paris, France

Café des anges, trip advisor