Lisa Anselmo-Author-My (Part-time) Paris Life-photo Carla Coulson

At L’Atmosphere, 10th Arrondissement, Paris. ©Carla Coulson

Two cities. Two homes.
One story.

Lisa Anselmo has spent most of her professional career in magazine publishing, working on such iconic brands as Allure, Mademoiselle, InStyle, and People. She’s been everything from a creative director to an opera singer, but ultimately, she has followed her passion for storytelling and inspiring people.

Anselmo started traveling to Paris regularly more than ten years ago—at first, to cover the fashion trade shows for a lifestyle website. But soon, she had cultivated friends—both Parisians and expats—and eventually built another life across the ocean. After losing her mother to breast cancer, she was motivated to make her other life official, buying an apartment in Paris’s Right Bank. 

In 2014, she decided to leave her day job, and now splits her time between New York and Paris, where she writes full time. Her experiences inspired this blog, and the memoir My (Part-Time) Paris Life, a candid narrative of a woman searching for hope and healing in the city she loves. 

Also follow her story, here:
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Read about how it all began.
Read the story from the first post.
Buy the memoir.


Are you a writer or a speaker? Coach with me.

Get a sample of life in two cities with these top posts:
10 Things I Miss About Paris When I’m in New York
Feathering my Nest (Fearlessly in French)

A Tale of Two Cities
(Parisian) Life Interrupted
How Paris Does Groceries
Lisa’s Hood
Door Closed, Window Open
A Nomad in Paris


©Lisa Anselmo Author My (Part-time) Paris LifeThe memoir, My (Part-Time) Paris Life, published this fall by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press

Lisa Anselmo wrapped her entire life around her mother, a strong woman who was a defining force in Lisa’s life―maybe too defining. When her mother dies from breast cancer, Lisa realizes she hadn’t built a life of her own and struggles to find her purpose. Who is she without her mother―and her mother’s expectations?

Desperate for answers, she turns to her favorite city―Paris―and impulsively buys a small apartment, refusing to play it safe for the first time. What starts out as an act of survival sets Lisa on a course that reshapes her life in ways she never could have imagined. Suddenly, she’s living like a local in a city she thought she knew, but her high school French, while fine for buying bread at the corner boulangerie, goes only so far when Paris gives her a strong dose of real life. From dating to homeownership in a foreign country, Lisa quickly learns it’s not all picnics on the Seine, and starts to doubt herself―and her love of the city. But she came to Paris to be happy, and she can’t give up now. Isn’t happiness worth fighting for?

In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love and Wild, My (Part-Time) Paris Life a story is for anyone who’s ever felt lost or hopeless, but still dreams of something more. This candid memoir explores one woman’s search for peace and meaning, and how the ups and downs of expat life in Paris taught her to let go of fear, find self-worth, and create real, lasting happiness in the City of Light.

Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press


©2023 Lisa Anselmo. All rights reserved. This blog and all original content, including photography, are property of the author unless otherwise noted. No part of this blog may copied, repurposed, pinned, published or distributed without permission, and proper attribution to “Lisa Anselmo, My (Part-Time) Paris Life,” with a link-back to original content.

12 responses to “About

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I thought I would contact you as I am a casting producer looking for expats renovating their properties for a new series called House Hunters International: Renovation.

    The original show, ‘House Hunters International’ is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America and the Travel Channel in the UK. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

    Here are some examples of the show that you can watch on Youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reYI3L3lC-c – Barcelona from LA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOiump3__Mo – Vienna from California

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tblIVLw0coE – Panama from Pennsylvania

    We are working on an exciting new spin-off show called House Hunters International: Renovation and we are looking for expats who have recently bought fabulous properties and are about to embark on some imminent renovations. Ideally they should be outgoing and fun and have bought a property within the last few years. We are looking for people throughout Europe and I thought perhaps you might fit the bill!

    We are looking to film this Summer and for the renovation projects to take up to four months so perhaps a new kitchen, a small extension, an entire style makeover etc. We have some budget that would go towards finishing the project which makes it a little more interesting!

    Please do get in touch if you may be interested in the show.

    Best wishes,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter’s Street, London N1 8JD – +44 20 7704 3300

  2. Hello. I just discovered your blog and can’t wait to start from the beginning and catch up on your Paris life. I have a dear friend who is living a life parallel to yours. A media sales rep (integrated sales as they now say) for 20+ years, she too dreamed of a Paris life. She planned, saved and last April executed her dream. She sublet her Chicago apt and rented a Paris apt (St. Germaine area) for one year. She now emerges herself in French lessons, plays host to envious visiting friends and explorers her wonderful French life. I’d love to listen to that conversation if you two met. Wishing your joy, love and good health!

      • Hi Lisa: I used to live in Paris and think your website is great and very helpful. I am arriving this April to visit after being away for a few years. Would love to meet you for coffee/lunch if you are available. We can share stories about water leaks, etc. Please contact me if interested. Thank you, Elle

  3. Hello, Lisa!
    It’s Dawn B (former horn player) from Mt. Olive. I was doing some Paris-googling since one of my daughters (yes, daughters) is in England this year and plans to visit Paris over spring break…and came across your blog!
    I’m sorry to read about your mom; I remember some gatherings (post-Pax?) at your house, and always enjoyed her presence. A lovely lady who never seemed to mind – and even seemed to enjoy – a houseful of theater teens…(which, now that I have my own, I really appreciate!).
    Do you have any suggestions on places to look for a decent youth hostel for my daughter and her friends? You two should also meet some day – she, too, sings opera!
    Glad to read you’re well, and wishing you many beautiful memories of your mom!

  4. Hi Lisa I just came across your blog and love it! I live near Nice and bought an appartment in Paris a few years ago, so a part-time Parisienne also, well not strictly as its in Vincennes which is a beautiful area. I can so relate to your comments about being near a Monoprix and Picard, and Nation which we often walk to when up in Vincennes!
    I wish you many happy moments in Paris

  5. Hi Lisa,

    Today, I watched the HGTV episode where you went house hunting in Paris… You said one line in that episode that resonated with me, the one where you said that the loss of your mom left a hole in your life. My mom died over 2 years ago and I am still trying to find a reason and a way to fill the void she left. I am glad that you have found your purpose and a reason to go forward.

    After my mom passed away, so much more happened and it has all affected me more than I would care to share with even my closest friends. I am not beaten yet but I am finding it difficult to get out of the funk that I have fallen into. But that’s neither here nor there. I am writing now because your story resonated with me and I take comfort and hope in the life and happiness you found in Paris. Thank you.

    I hope you are well and blessing upon you and your Paris life. 🙂


    • Thank you for sharing your story, Anna. I’m very touched, and I can say that I fully understand. The grief of my mother’s death hung on me for years. It’s been five years since her death (I can’t believe it), and I still think of her every day. I’d built my whole life around my mother (not healthy!), so her death brought me to my knees. I got through it by finding a new purpose in life, and this helped me immensely. For me, that little apartment truly lifted me up, and gave me something that was forward-focused. From there I built a new life full of projects that rev up my soul. I talk a lot about my journey in my memoir, and writing that was also a very healing process. If I were to give you advice, I’d say to plan some little events and trips in the months ahead, something to look forward to. A colleague recommended this to me, “Look-forward-tos” she called them, or “LFTs.” “You need an LFT,” she’d say. It’s a little thing, but it can help you feel sunny inside to have plans in place, keep you forward-focused, too. May you find some wisdom in this blog, and help and hope in the book if you read it. Life will get brighter and happier. I promise. L


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