My First Moleskine

Mon Premier Moleskine

[My First Moleskine]

I carry a notebook with me at all times. And a blue pen, too.

You never know when inspiration will strike, when a good idea will suddenly pop, when a silly or profound thought will cross your mind, when you will witness a situation or overhear a conversation that just begs to be jotted down. It has become such an important item to have by my side that I feel like I’m missing a limb when I forget to take it.

So far I have never lost one, but I always carefully inscribe my name on the first page, several means to find me (postal address, phone number, email address, precise geographical coordinates, astral convergence) and a hopeful, polite note asking whoever finds it to please please return it to me.

Although I go through them one at a time, I am a compulsive notebook buyer — I can’t resist the charms of smooth pages and pretty covers and delicate bindings — and I always have a series of them on a shelf, quietly waiting for their turn. I usually buy slim ones so they don’t weigh too much when I carry them around, and so I can often experience the thrill (and pressure, too) of breaking into a brand new notebook.

For quite a while now I had felt the burning desire to have a Moleskine notebook — the legendary notebook that Hemingway, Matisse and Van Gogh used to write and doodle in (is it blasphemy to refer to Vincent’s work as doodling I wonder). This itch did not escape my ever-thoughtful sister’s attention, and she had the lovely idea to get me a Moleskine carnet de croquis as a gift on Chocolate & Zucchini’s first birthday.

I am therefore happy to announce that my behind-the-scenes thoughts for this blog and other projects will now be recorded on high-quality, chlorine-free, ivory white, 9×14 cm pages of drawing paper, while other bits pieces and odd ends will be safely slipped inside the expandable inner note-holder. There may even be a little doodling involved, one never knows.

Things Clotilde Loves

OXO Digital Scale
OXO Digital Scale

A trusty food scale for precise cooking and baking measurements

  • $49.95
Edible French
Edible French: Tasty Expressions and Cultural Bites

French food and French language brought together at last!

  • From $12.65 / 16.65€
  • weeee, nice to know Im not the only notebook addict in the world. I usually love plain hardbound covers although i love some with eccentric cover design. I was introduced to moleskin when i was young then at some point the production stopped or i cant find anything moleskin. When i came to germany i rediscovered moleskin again and have been sketching and drawing on it since.

    nice gourmet blog… the moleskine entry is the best one though :-P

    have a nice week ahead.

  • Pim


    That’s my favorite notebooks as well. I have quite a collection now of used ones from my past trips and meals. It’s always fun to go back and read my own scribbles, it always made me feel as though I was transported back in time.


  • there must be a notebook-blogger correlation, I have a moleskin as well, and long before that a ‘thing’ about notebooks in general. Congratulations and enjoy!

  • ana

    it’s my first time on your blog, and i like it already :) i also thought i was the only notebook addict in the world… your moleskine looks beautiful. i’ve been craving one of those for too long, but i just can’t seem to find them in portugal… :|

  • welcome to the club! i am never with out my purple silk moleskine and my original design namiki vanishing point pen. a lovely journal and a quality writing implement is such a comfort! even now, i can see you tucking little bits of ephemera in the little accordion pocket in the back of your moleskine and securing the treasures with book’s little elastic band. what does my little pocket contain? the label from a wheel of sheep cheese, a chocolate wrapper, a business card from a tibetan lama, two memory card for cameras, a few stamps with clouds on them, and a picture that someone drew of me on the back of a check from a sushi restaurant.

  • Mats Flemstrom

    I guess it is not exactly the same thing as carrying a notebook, but, after several years of cooking meals that were huge successes and saying to each other “Let’s remember this one”, my wife and I put a huge logbook (like you would find on a ship) in the dining room and now make an entry of each show stopper. It’s great to refer back to. And you are right that the actual book/log quality makes a difference.

  • Welcome to the Moleskine club Clotilde! For years before blogging I was using my Moleskine notebooks exclusively to journal my days and trips. I keep one in whatever bag I am carrying with me for the day, every day.

    Other than the ruled notebook (the small ones) I love my little Moleskine Memo Pockets (for receipts, metro tickets and business cards) and the Sketch notebooks are perfect for trips (for drawings and watercolours). Highly recommend those too. I never part with them either. I’ve been saving my old ones for years and love to go back and read them every so often.

    Enjoy your first Moleskine and be forewarned: they are so perfect you’l never want to use anything else! A tip: Keep a few new ones in stock. I take a brand new one with me for every trip/holiday. It makes it easier to keep your travel writing organized and easy to go back and reference to.


  • ::: ceremonially approaches seattle bon vivant and exchanges the complicated, mysterious and oh so gracefully executed secret club handshake . :::

  • serena


    i love moleskines too – & notebooks in general. i always have two on the go – the year diary (week on 2 pages), & a blank, unlined one for random jottings, recipes, travel memories, etc. :) in fact, leafing through the latter right now, i see i actually have a couple of your recipes (‘from c&z’) jotted down in there – no doubt for ingredients shopping purposes!

  • clotilde,

    have you ever visited the moleskinerie? i believe it is located at but perhaps a quick google will deliver the exact address. i’m sorry i can’t be more precise.

    moleskines are so wonderful. i love how they open flat. i’m left-handed and it is quite a chore to write when the pages won’t lie flat.

    do enjoy your new little mole! and please share! maybe even at the moleskinerie?



  • hee hee, welcome to the moleskine club :-)

  • stephanie

    Excellent choice. My moleskines are my trusty companions in life. Practical, nearly indestructible, and perfectly sized, they follow me on all of my journeys, large and small.

    Oh, and the pocket is of course essential. So much so that I had to buy several of the memo pocket notebooks just to collect odds and ends. Sigh. If only they would start producing the mini ones again.

    Watch out, moleskines are habit forming!

  • Hm. Moleskine, eh? Which do you have? I’ve always liked them but have never splurged, what with no money and my kids always wanting to “borrow” my notebooks. It’s why I use the little orange Rhodia notepads to keep track of my ideas. Not quite so spendy, and I can tear out a page if need be.

    But someday! A Moleskine!

  • habit forming? i have no idea what you are talking about. the pocket sized diary, the address book, the pocket file, and the nifty little soft cover volant style with the snazzy perforated pages in the back … i don’t need them. well, any more than i need chocolate or oxygen. i can stop any time i like. i can… really, i can.

  • Jo

    You don’t say! I compulsively buy 5 notebooks at one shot and go through them slowly, it’s like I have an affinity towards notebooks. Moleskines are fabulous and stylishly sophisticated. Very nice! =)

  • Samantha

    I love moleskines too, and buy them for myself and friends. I am actually starting a co-journal with a friend in another city, one of the small pocket-sized moleskines to start. :)

    And this is for ana in Portugal, I’m sure if you contact this person you will be able to find some moleskines. I got this off of

    PORTUGAL > Arquivo – Livraria e Papelaria Lda
    Portelas 2410-855
    Cortes – Leiria
    tel. +351 (2) 44-891 580
    fax +351 (2) 44 850 201

  • When switching jobs a few months ago, I was given my first moleskine as a going-away gift, and it ranks up there with some of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I haven’t been without it since.

    Not coincidentally, the former coworker that gave it to me is now my girlfriend. Behold the power of the moleskine!

  • Moleskinerie*hearts*Chocolate & Zucchini even more.

  • Oh yes, do try a little doodling. Very good for the soul…

  • Lise

    What a high whenever I see another worshipper of our beautifull little friend the Moleskine. Another great conoisseur in taste around the world. Bon gout!
    Lise, Melbourne, Australie

  • Penny

    Hmmmm… yes, when I found I felt I had come home to my lost tribe. I cannot walk past a stationary store, even if it was on fire.

    Along with Moleskines, I have an addiction to fountain pens. Even when I fly fish, I take one of the thin little ones to record weather, hatches, flies used etc. I have another one as a fly tying pattern book, where I write down a pattern and tape in a sample fly. I take this one to all the clinics and fly fishing shows in Colorado.

    Awesome post!!!

  • Ana

    Well another thing that we both “like” (what a inadequate word for it). I was so into that sort of thing (notebooks) that I started to make them and giving them to my friends. Now I sell them along with other paper related things. So I do understand you, I have so many. And still I find myself not quite capable of passing on a beautiful notebook.

    PS – by the way it’s not the same Ana as in the earlier comment. It”s a very common name in Portugal. (I”m the one from the queijadas recipe)

  • A notebook addict too! :) I bring a small notebook with me as well everywhere I go. Quotes, anecdotes, stories — anything that strikes me I take down too. I also write recipes that I see when I blog-hop. It helps a lot especially when I go to the supermarket — I just whip out the notebook and see the ingredients to a particular recipe right there.

  • I awoke in the middle of the night after a dream and considered writing it down in the moleskine beside my bed. I drifted off to sleep instead and now I can’t remember the dream.

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.