One Hundredth Post!

I’ve had this blog for a little under two years now, and today I finally hit my centurion milestone.

One hundred posts.

It doesn’t feel like I’ve written that many (probably because almost a third were dedicated to my {Thankful November} 0f 2011), but going back through the past two years to write this post was a treat.

It’s hard to believe how much has changed in my life since that first post back in March 2010 when I declared that I’d rather be in France. [If you’re curious about why I chose that as my url and the namesake of this blog, check out my first anniversary post.] For the first few months, I was pretty nervous about having a blog, worrying that I’d spell something wrong or that the whole thing was a silly idea, and it took a while for me to develop some sort of identity for this outlet (which drastically changed a year later). I was so terrified of my job finding out about my alternate career musings that I didn’t dare mention the fact that I was litigation attorney at a large law firm in New York City. Mass lay offs were rampant in the industry at that time.

It was only after I received a copy of Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking that I realized how much I love cooking French food and dedicated my posts accordingly. Like with the blog, I entered the field of French cuisine hesitantly. My first dish was boeuf bourguignon, and it was delicious.

I made some wonderful dishes during that first year, including a beautiful savory gâteau de crêpes. I learned how to slow-cook scrambled eggs during my “Petit Déjeuner Pour Une,” and I’ve been using that technique for Sunday brunches ever since.

It wasn’t all success, however. My massive failure at macarons still stings, and I haven’t gotten up the nerve to try again.

Of the past 99 posts, two have maintained internet relevancy. Strangely enough, my early short post on the movie Amelie is a constant source of daily traffic. The other staple is the tutorial I posted on building a hanging window herb garden. It had a brief moment of fame when it was posted on Reddit last year, and it has gotten slow and steady traffic from other urban herb enthusiasts ever since.

As I progressed with my French cooking, I developed an obsession with making the perfect roasted chicken. This led to four separate posts on the subject:  Perfectionism and Poulet Rôti; The quest for perfection continues…; Third Time’s The Charm?; and Roasted Chicken, Revisted. I still think a great roasted chicken should be in every cook’s culinary arsenal. It is cheap to make, is versatile, and always impresses.

The theme of my posts started to shift when my boyfriend and I took a trip to France in April 2011: On The (French) Road…; On The (French) Road… Again; Roadtrip Update: Cote d’Azur; Au Revoir, La Belle France… For Now.

This wasn’t just any trip. Although I didn’t write about it at the time, I had been laid off from my law firm right before we left. When I started this blog, I also started putting together a plan to quit my job at the firm, move to France, and open a bed and breakfast. Seriously. When we went on the trip, I suddenly was no longer fantasizing about what I would do instead of my current job. Instead, as uncomfortable as it was at the time, I was forced to really consider my options and make a decision.

My life took an even more unexpected turn when I happen to take another trip that summer with my mom: Napa: The Game Changer? I had never been to California before, and even though I always suspected I would fit in pretty well on the west coast, I never realistically thought about moving there.

Let me tell you, it was love at first sight.

The sun. The fresh air. The cool, laid back people. I was sold. It didn’t hurt that Napa and Sonoma reminded me a lot of the French vineyards I saw outside of Bordeaux. Steve was already on board for a change in location, and he immediately signed on for California.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there was that fateful day when I met Arthur for a cup of coffee and ended up getting a job at an amazing bakery in New York City’s Upper East Side. Over the course of that year, the dream of opening a bed and breakfast had been replaced with visions of more complex entrepreneurship, preferably involving food. Working at the bakery was an instant affirmation. I loved the food. I loved the customers. I loved the business. And for the first time, I really started to see my layoff from the law firm not as a failure but as a necessary step towards something else.

Six months later, the chapter at the bakery came to a close, as did the much bigger chapter of my life in New York City.

I chronicled the move, which spanned a month, in four parts: The Big Cross-Country Move, Part I; The Big Cross-Country Move, Part II; The Big Cross-Country Move, Part III; Home Sweet Home?.

The amount of change that occurred between April 2011 and April 2012 still boggles my mind. Most of the time I forget how much had to happen for me to be where I am right now. When I get nervous about the changes still to come, I just try to take a deep breath and have faith that the same windy road that led me here will continue to lead towards wherever I am supposed to be.

The rest of 2012 was not without its fair share of events. I agonized over finding a job to sustain myself while I figured out what I was doing, and I ended up with two. The restaurant gig only lasted a few months, but it offered a few good lessons and friends. My role within the legal job has changed a lot, but I can’t imagine a more perfect employment situation for where I am right now. Somewhere along the way, I realized my business pursuits would be more enjoyable and probably more successful if I shared them with someone of equal passion and different skill set. Cue Arthur.

I don’t even want to mention my biggest failure to date, but I guess any list of ups should also include the downs.

And here we are at one hundred. Thank you for coming along for the ride. It’s impossible to predict what the future will bring, but I suspect the second hundred is going to have a new bout of twists and turns, so stay tuned :-)

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