For those who follow me on Instagram, you know I was back in London, so an article on one of their beautiful monuments.
Last year I went to the Palace of Versailles and shared with you its opulence and grandeur. This time this English residence is its opposite, no gilding profusion or extravagance, its royal occupants wanted it warm, big enough but not huge, and through the ages this palace has been improved.
This castle has been inhabited since 1689, it is now separated into two parts, one where the Princes William and Harry reside with their families, and the other open to the public.
A video of the Royal homes at the end of this article.
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was born, raised and lived in this residence until her coronation in 1838.
But this is also where she met her beloved Albert (Prince Albert of Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha) whom she cherished all her life.
And for fans of romantic stories, I recommend the Victoria series with Jenna Coleman in the role of the queen.
Click At the age of 18 she became Queen, a heavy role for her frail shoulders and yet she was going to demonstrate to the world that she was destined to reign for a long time (63 years, 7 months and 2 days).
She then moved to Buckingham Palace and became the first sovereign to reside there.here to edit.
Royalty means jewels of course, it reminds me my Solo Wedding in Santorini. By the way, I hope you liked my last article Birds Paradise, magnificent exhibition of brooches.
The ones Victoria wore were second to none, including the 105,602 carats Koh-i Nor Diamond (displayed at the Tower of London), a symbol of British power in India, because we must not forget that Queen Victoria was also Empress of India.
In this respect, she had a real attachment to this country, from which she learned the language and the culture. She even befriended Abdul Karim, an Indian servant. Friendship that cinema has brought to the screen in the film Victoria and Abdul (with Dame Judith Olivia Dench).
The family was very important to Victoria, she shared her reign with her role as mother and grandmother. She will never recover from the death of her husband and mourned the rest of her life by adopting black as colour. She even kept the room in which he died and came often to reflect.
20,000 new laws under 24 different governments.
Her era saw the invention of the steam train, steamboat, bicycle, car, telegraph and telephone.
At her Diamond Jubilee, 3 million people came to see her.
Without a doubt a Queen that everybody will remember ...
It is hard to talk about Kensington Palace without thinking of Lady Di where she lived, even after her divorce until her tragic death in 1997.
A gallery is dedicated to the outfits created by David Sassoon, her favourite fashion designer.
You will notice on some sketches the annotations of the princess.
Next article next Saturday.
Have a good week!
Love & History,
Let's keep dreaming, after my article last week on Madagascar, today a topic that will delight lovers of art and beautiful things.
I mentioned this wonderful exhibition in my article My Birthday in Paris, here is today an article which is entirely devoted to it.
You know my taste for luxury and especially jewellery, my Solo Wedding in Santorini is the proof, either by my Wedding Dress or my Wedding Ring, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to nourish my soul and my spirit.
Coming from two private collections and some of the Van Cleef & Arpels' heritage funds, "Paradis D'oiseaux" (Bird Paradise) is an exhibition celebrating the art of jeweller’s craft through bird brooches created between 1850 and 1960.
Everything begins with inspiration, with art for example and especially painting but also the work of naturalists, and documents of all kinds that awaken the creativity of the jeweller who first creates sketches ...
The majestic and exotic peacock is one of the most represented birds in the art, so it’s not surprising that we find it in this exhibition.
Exceptional materials to make these unique pieces: diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, feather, shell, onyx, coral, enamel, turquoise, pearl, amethyst, topaz, aquamarine, garnet, gold, platinum ...
Birds of all kinds including the swan. And if you remember, I was wearing a tiara with two swans for my Solo Wedding in Santorini!
After the exhibition, I’ve visited the Ecole des Arts Joailliers (School of Jewelry Arts), supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, a sublime space with several workshops and salons to learn but also to discover the history of Van Cleef & Arpels.
This school is accessible to all, it doesn’t provide a qualification but makes the public discover (including children and teenagers) the art of jewellery with its 10 crafts: draftsman, model maker, gems expert, jeweller, foundry, setting, lapidary, engraver / sculptor and case.
I invite you to discover their courses for yourself or to offer, an original experience that will take you to the heart of one of the finest French craft: the haute-joaillerie.
For those who would like to learn more, at the end of this article a video about feathers and jewels.
No article next week because I have my new passport and I'll be travelling, I'm so happy!!
Follow me on Instagram @blogaboutl to know more ;)
Next article: 21st of September.
Good week to you all!
Love & Jewellery,
If you missed my article last week about my Solo Wedding in Santorini, find it here: My Wedding Gown.
The school holidays are coming to an end and already many of you are thinking about their next break!! Nothing more normal, so I thought that some travel photos could inspire you ...
After my articles on Paris and London, or Brussels, Athens and Madrid, which haven’t failed to demonstrate you that I’m a city dweller in search of culture and entertainment, the fact remains that I also adore the silence and the sea.
I’ve already mentioned this beautiful country of the Indian Ocean in my articles Favourite Animals and Sunset, but Madagascar is also a lush nature with incomparable beauty.
With an area of 587,000 km2 (226,642 sq. mi), it’s the 5th largest island in the world, after Australia, Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo.
Madagascar is one of my best trips, it was one of the countries I wanted to visit because of lemurs, I'm so happy to have also discovered its beautiful beaches.
And you know me enough now to know that my travels always goes with culinary adventure. Besides, I previously described the Menu of my Solo Wedding in Santorini, so yummy!!
In Madagascar, seafood obviously ...
Sometimes to discover a little paradise, it takes long hours in a 4-wheel drive on an unlikely track in the mountains, or a small boat in the mangrove, but it’s the traditional pirogue that I prefer to be even closer to the wild vegetation…
Madagascar is also people of great kindness, 26 million inhabitants belonging to 18 different ethnic groups (population equivalent to Australia for comparison).
To discover their daily life is learning their culture ...
The fauna of the island is rich in unusual animals, lemurs, but also zebus. The zebu is an essential domestic bovine in Malagasy life.
I'm waiting desperately for my passport to be renewed (and yes, passports have an expiry date, and you, do you know when it’s yours?) I can’t wait to go on a plane!!!
To travel is opening your mind to different cultures, to tolerance, to love.
A beautiful video below to fall in love with Madagascar...
Next article on: September 7th!
Have a good week!
Love & Travel,
I've always liked to stand out and I like it even more when people remember me, so yes, my dress style sticks to my personality, nothing is left to chance, and all occasions are good to show me.
Of course, I was able to enjoy a lot at my Solo Wedding in Santorini, well, enjoy is almost a swear word given the circumstances of the time - my ex-fiancé deserted 3 months before our wedding – let’s say that my ceremony allowed me to reveal myself in all my splendour and my authenticity reinforced by beads, rhinestones and lace.
Although I can hardly compete now, Miss Spectacular (nickname given by my friends) resurfaced from time to time, often rather in fact, check my previous articles My Birthday in Paris and My Birthday in London, or even Hat Designer.
Queen one day, forever a Queen ...
My dress was found at Brides of Brisbane, in Brisbane, Australia, where I lived for 7 years.
This is an Atelier Pronovias, a Spanish brand well known to all brides and brides to be.
I’ve tried it randomly, it was far from the style I was looking for and yet we found each other.
The delicacy of the lace, the fragility of embroidery, all the little beads and rhinestones sewn by hand, the femininity of the cut and the size of its train, that's what made me fall in love with this dress.
A meeting that was going to change my life...
I couldn’t wait to wear it ... and even more after deciding to marry myself. We know about retail therapy, but being sublime in a dress is also a good therapy!
In my article Thank you I speak of the importance of thanking people, then once again a huge thank you to the talented Alexander Hadji who took these beautiful shots (website https://hadjiphoto.com/).
The list of all providers in my article 1st Anniversary and find all the articles of my solo ceremony here: Solo Wedding.
I’m currently looking for a literary agent and a publisher but exclusively here is an excerpt from the chapter My Dress from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini:
Believe in yourself, love yourself! You're stronger than what you think...
Next article on August 24th!
And to finish a timeless song to recharge us with positive energy!!
Love & Style,
I’ve talked a lot about my stay in Paris to celebrate my birthday (Read my Birthday in Paris), today it’s all about London!
Although I’ve visited this European capital several times - including during my hen’s night one month before my Solo Wedding in Santorini (for those who don’t know yet I married myself in 2017 after my fiancé broke off our engagement) - I’m always happy to come back again whether it’s by plane or Eurostar.
And as every time, the party lasts several days, so many things to tell you ...
Of course, my friends are indispensable in my life and even more during these moments so unique that I organise as much for them as for me.
However, I would like to say a big thank you to Milan, friend and manager of Elba Bar, who took good care of us. Being able to celebrate my birthday while admiring the city from this rooftop bar, which has a splendid view, and sipping delicious cocktails, will remain an unforgettable memory.
Having become addicted to pina coladas, this place became my lair in London.
To pursue in this friendly and festive mood, Circolo Popolare was the perfect Italian restaurant. Recently opened, its relaxed and magical atmosphere with all these little lights everywhere, matches perfectly with its authentic and refined cuisine.
I’ve done a lot of things in my life but I’m still surprised in many ways, and when the whole team of the restaurant comes to sing me Happy Birthday in Italian, I melt like mozzarella on a pizza ...
With these wonderful days, basking in the city's parks is pure delight, the Regent's Park for example.
This 166-hectare (410 acres) royal park is one of my favourites with its lake, numerous bridges, flowers and Primose Hill where you can relax and admire the city...
Or Hyde Park, a 142-hectare royal park opened to the public in 1637 joined with the 111-hectare Kensington Gardens.
Here you’ll find many statues, sculptures and monuments, including the Lady Di Memorial Fountain, a large oval granite fountain where families can come and wade. But also, the Albert Memorial in memory of Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria, measuring 47.5 metres high.
It’s also in this park where the Kensington Palace is, the current residence of Princes William and Harry (with their wives and children).
I’m glad that I’ve chosen the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel to stay, a great location with a friendly staff and a good breakfast buffet. No doubt that I’ll stay there again next time.
Not far from there is Baker Street, does it remind you something? And yes, this was where lived the famous detective Sherlock Holmes in the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Museum in his honour restored the house the way he lived with his objects of everyday life. A small townhouse with 3 levels, the first with Sherlock's room and his office, the second where Dr. Watson and his housekeeper Mrs. Hudson resided, and the last level staging the famous prisoners and cases of the detective.
Get ready for time travel!
It's already time for dinner and let’s continue in this nostalgic atmosphere by going to Covent Garden Market at Buns & Buns.
A souvenir from Picadilly Circus on the way is highly recommended (you'll notice that Chris Hemsworth is gazing at me hahaha).
I saved the best for last.
Although I’ve organised many adult only parties in the past, and especially for women, some will recognise themselves! I never had a show for me, it was time to fix that ...
I chose one of the most incredible shows of the moment to honour me: Magic Mike Live!
Inspired by the two movies Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, which take place in the world of male striptease, Channing Tatum wanted to offer an alternative / suite to the movies by choosing to highlight the talents of each dancer (watch the following video). I must say that Channing is not part of the show.
This show for over 18 combines good music, a spectacular performance and a great sense of humour, reinforced by Adonis bodies, unicorns (it reminds me of my article Unicorns) and an unexpected staging. In addition to London, this show is also in Las Vegas and Berlin.
The temperature rises very quickly in the room, no way to be bored, and when it's over we want more (it reminds me of something hahaha).
However, that evening the show wasn’t complete, unfortunately half of the dancers were ill. "The show must go on" then makes perfectly sense!
I’d like to say a big congratulations to the team that night, the artists but also all the people behind, you have achieved an incredible performance!
We had free cocktails and free tickets as compensation, which is extremely generous and appreciable.
I’d also like to thank Emma, Customer Services Manager, for her kindness and outstanding professionalism.
I'm going back to London in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see the show in its original version!!
And what are you waiting for to take your tickets?? 😉
(The following video is for adults only)
London it's also Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, Riverbank and the London Eye (the Ferris wheel), Westminster ... And shopping on Oxford Street… I promise you’ll discover more in another article, until then, a video at the end of the article to make you discover or rediscover the main sights of London.
A reminder: no article next week, I give you more time to read during your vacation.
Next article: August 10, 2019!
Have a good summer and remember to stay hydrated!
Love & Water,
This is another year, time flies, not so long ago I was just a little girl looking for fun and discovery ... In fact, I haven’t changed!
Last year I happily celebrated my birthday in Santorini and talked about the stressful journey I had just experienced to freeze my eggs (Read again Article Gift of Science).
I am a July’s baby, so summer and the beach are necessarily my elements.
However, this year I chose two European capitals to blow my candles with dignity: Paris and London!
Why twice? And why not?? Who said that it was necessary to stick to a single party, I celebrate my birthday as many times as my friends wish to celebrate, and I have lots of amazing friends!!
So, for this new unforgettable evening, my friends have chosen a fancy place, beautiful and terribly romantic: the Bubble Bar with its terrace on the roof of the famous Moulin Rouge!
By the way, remember I already told you about it in my article Christmas in Paris.
Ambiance guaranteed, the perfect place to quench your thirst and dream in good company.
Well, the day after a party is usually painful, and in these conditions I need comfort and my favourite address is: Ytime Paris (55 rue des Archives in the Marais).
With its big teddy bear and Californian (or Australian) atmosphere, I take a bath of tenderness and light, and I revive myself with matcha latte and cookies.
We owe this beautiful place to Yazid Ichemrahen (Teddy's Dad), a talented pastry chef with an international reputation. And don’t be fooled by his handsome fashionable look, he’s a sensitive and fierce man.
Originally from Epernay in Marne (yes this is the region I talked about in my article Champagne), he grew up in foster care, experienced loneliness and violence, but it’s also at that time that he discovers his passion for pastry, a dream that led him to the light.
By the strength of his courage and determination, he worked with the greatest chefs and in 2014, he became World Champion of Frozen Desserts.
Since he’s a consultant, created his brand Ycone, and has just opened his second Ytime boutique in Paris (12 rue du Poteau in the 18th), and others to follow very quickly.
This concept store is his identity, passionate about surfing and escape. Cookies and brownies remind him of his childhood with his aunt and uncle. Ytime for the generation Y, his generation (he’s 27) and thus a healthy selection of salads, poke bowls, smoothies to consume on the spot or take away.
And because it's summer, take advantage of this beautiful sun to relax with a picnic on the banks of the Seine, happiness ...
The search for excellence always, fresh products, top quality, and no less than 200 tests to find the cookies to his liking.
He still has so many dreams in mind, he doesn’t wait for success, he runs after!
Thank you Yazid for this beautiful meeting, you are the perfect example that we must fight for our dreams, and you are a great source of inspiration for me and for so many others ... The best is yet to come for you, good luck!
When I'm in Paris, I like to walk around aimlessly and enjoy the magic and romantic atmosphere that only exists here.
There are always incredible exhibitions in Paris, and there are 3 at the moment that I liked a lot:
• Tutankhamun - The Pharaoh's Treasure, until September 15, 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette
• Helena Rubinstein - The Adventure of Beauty, until August 25, 2019 at MAHJ
• Maison Van Cleef & Arpels - Bird Paradise at the Ecole des Arts Joailliers
Don’t worry I’ll talk about it more in future articles ...
Tomorrow July 14 will be the French national day, and my article last year paid tribute to the firefighters and especially to the firewomen (Read Article Superwomen).
There will be many fireworks organised everywhere in France, and I love that, so I give you at the end of the article the Paris fireworks 2018.
No article next week, during the summer holidays, I publish only twice a month, but believe me I'm preparing a very exciting article with my birthday in London!
Next article: Saturday, July 27
Love & Freedom,
Although still very busy with my literary and artistic activities (Article Saturday), I really wanted to provide you an article this week.
Some go on holiday in a few days, others are still thinking about their destination, any occasion is good to get away and the subject of the day was then found.
Here we go again in Crete; I chose to show you Chania but the old city part to be able to admire its ancient vestiges and stroll in its paved streets with countless small shops and taverns.
Chania with 3 times less inhabitants than Heraklion, is the second largest city of Crete (about 55,000 inhabitants). Until 1971 it was the capital of the island.
Just like Heraklion or Rethymno, the city crossed the ages since Antiquity and the wars and invasions with: Minoan period, Byzantine period, then Venetian (the fortifications around the city date from this time), Turkish (construction of many mosques, fountains and public baths), and finally Ottoman.
Thus, we still find today the influence of all these cultures: the mosque of the Janissaries, the Venetian port with its lighthouse of the 15th century, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of 1860, the Roman catholic cathedral ... But the city also has several museums very interesting like the Archaeological Museum.
Boat trip in Souda Bay, a few kilometres from Chania to enjoy a pleasant sea and make a stop on Marathi Beach, the only beach on the north coast facing south, watch out for sunburn!
In April 1941, 25,000 soldiers, mostly New Zealanders and Australians, have been to Souda to fight against the Nazi occupation. The Allied military cemetery designed by architect Louis de Soissons is here to remind it us.
And now I am taking you to one of my favourite beaches, on the west coast of Crete: Elafonissi.
With its crystalline waters, white and pink sand, this beach is the perfect place to relax on a hot day ...
And it reminded me of the beautiful beaches of Australia (Article Brisbane).
At low tide you can even walk to the island of Elafonisi directly opposite.
Feel free to re-read the previous episodes:
Crete, Episode 1
Crete, Episode 2
Crete, Episode 3
No article next week, I'll be away to celebrate my birthday with lots of fun (July 1st), I'll tell you (almost) everything in my next article on July 13th!
Good week to all and happy holidays!!
Love & Sea,
Many of you are waiting for my new article every Saturday and I thank you for it. It's very exciting to know that you like my stories and adventures ...
However today, no article strictly speaking because I lacked time to prepare it. You have probably noticed that I’m also less present on social media, don’t worry this is only temporary and I’m going to explain why.
First, I finished my book about my solo wedding in Santorini, and I'm in search of a literary agent and a publisher, which you can imagine, it’s time and energy consuming, but I’m very excited and can’t wait to take the next step ...
In addition, I’ve been selected again for an art contest, remember last year I was a finalist for the international art magazine 1340. This time it's an Italian Art Gallery who noticed my photos for the Banditto Residency Prize. If my work is selected, I’ll be invited to work for ten days in their workshop in Tuscany with other international artists. A unique chance especially because I always dreamed of going to Tuscany!
Add to that some escapades in France (Article Childhood), where I saw family and friends, and enjoy summer which is finally here.
Don’t think that I have no more time for you, on the contrary I gather full of anecdotes and fun adventures just for you. For that matter, I’ll be in London very soon ...
Have a good week!
Love & Sun,
Recently I show you pictures of my childhood, to know myself it’s imperative to know where I come from and to remember what has built me over the years. So, I continue this adventure with you today.
I grew up in the Alps, and although for many years now I live near the sea, I never get tired of seeing my beloved mountains again.
My daily routine then: ski, pastries and raclette!! Hahaha
Raclette is a specialty with melted cheese (we use a specific device that all French people have) served with boiled potatoes, cold cuts and gherkins.
Of course, with this type of diet I’ve never won a ski race, but I can already give me a fashion reward, definitely very stylish from all my 7 years of age...
There is a place where I spent a lot of time as a child and where I had my first foot bath: Annecy Lake (Haute-Savoie - France).
With its area of nearly 28km2 (approximately 15km long, 3km wide and 41m deep on average), Annecy Lake is the second largest lake in France of glacier origin after Bourget Lake in Savoy (45km2).
Around the lake or in the old town, strolling makes sense ...
One of the reasons why I’m back in France, it’s for the birthday of my young sister! Happy Birthday!!
The years pass but we remain the same cheeky monkeys always ready for giggles.
Conflans (Savoie - France) is another medieval city that I love, not far from where my mother was born and raised. Its fortifications protected the entry of the Tarentaise.
Tomorrow is Father's Day in France, so I wish a lovely day to my daddy!!
Have a good week!
Love & Family,
P.S.: the video is my sister’s favourite song!
With the articles about my Solo Wedding, as well as many Travel articles, I’ve already shared photos of sunsets, however, summer is coming in the northern hemisphere, and many of you are looking forward to the holidays. I thought that a little taste of adventure would be good.
I mentioned in my article Single that I travel alone, it doesn’t stop me from admiring sunsets with delicious cocktails and having fun!
Here a few just for you:
When music & dance accompany a beautiful sunset, I'm over the moon ...
I visited Thailand many times but today I chose the province of Krabi, in the south-west of Thailand, very popular with locals with its sandy beaches and sugarloaf mountains in the Andaman Sea. This province includes more than 80 small islands including Ko Lanta and Phi Phi. It also has many national parks with waterfalls and caves, ideal for walks, bird watching and climbing ... Its sunsets are among the most beautiful of my travels and it gives magical nights.
Hamilton Island (Australia)
When day and night are of equal beauty ...
Country I've already mentioned in my article Favourite Animals, and one of my most beautiful travels.
Finally, to be perfectly relaxed and feel already on vacation, a small video that will put you in the mood!
Love & Sunset,
When I was little, 3 years old to be exact, I thought that we could have as many companions as we wanted, I had so a smooth and reassuring teddy bear since my birth, and a solid and popular Kiki that everybody envied me. Two were better than one visibly. Finally, I still have the same dilemma today, I haven’t found a man who is protective AND desirable hahaha!
My first wedding when I was 5 years old, I completely forgot about this episode of my life, I believe that I was already traumatised by ceremonies. No doubt I didn’t understand why there was only one boy by my side hahaha, and especially why I couldn’t have my teddy bears with me...
A few years later (a few decades to tell the truth), I married on Santorini Island, not with one man, nor two (hahaha), just with myself. I had bet on the wrong teddy and he abandoned me 3 months before our wedding ceremony (what my teddy bears have never done, they nicely wait for me in a box). Fortunately, life had taught me to bounce back and stay positive in any situation, well, I had experience, we had lost friends and toys with teddy and Kiki...
On May 27, 2017 my Solo Wedding was held in Santorini, since, my story has been viral around the world (check out Media).
Time flies so fast, it seems to me that my article 1st Anniversary was written yesterday!
My second wedding anniversary thus, I’m so proud and happy, and more challenges to come, keep following me to know more...
And this month of June, I'm proud to celebrate Pride Month for the LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer), with many parades and events around the world.
I’ve already mentioned my support for this community in my article Superwomen 3; it’s up to everyone to make our world better and to fight against all forms of discrimination, open your heart to open your mind!
Happiness is made every day with your own rules, always be proud of who you are and pursue your dreams!
Find all the articles of my solo wedding here: Solo Wedding.
Have a good week!
Love & Pride,
In my series Superwomen that you now know, I keep mentioning people who show exemplary courage to create a better world.
I have largely mentioned in my article Thank you, how important and beneficial it is to thank people. I’m going to continue today.
Mother's Day will be celebrated in France tomorrow and I wanted to take the opportunity to pay tribute to my mother, but also to all those women who are still part of my life today and are in my heart like my other mums.
My mummy, a brave woman who put love before all and everybody. A woman who fought against her family, racism and prejudices to build the family and the life she wanted.
Women have always guided me and served as role models, nothing surprising while in my turn I want to show the way to new generations and be an example.
Catherine: a very elegant woman who showed me that you could be a mother and a businesswoman. She saw me as a newborn, growing up and becoming the accomplished woman I am today. A golden mentor who supported me in my studies and my career choice, and showed me the way to follow.
Laurence: my professional mother, I always called her like that because she’s the same age as my mother and has always supported me well beyond her role as my manager. An extraordinary example that you must be human to be a good leader, and my course of action throughout my career. Once she told me that if I wanted to have a child, I shouldn’t worry about my responsibilities because she would replace me if necessary ... How many women would like to have such a support?!?
Debra: my Australian mum! At 10,000 km from my family and friends, alone in a new country and city, both in the office and at home, she took me under her wing and considered me as her own daughter. She attended my graduation in Australia, a great moment of pride in my life and an unforgettable memory.
Françoise: my French mother in Brisbane who taught me to shout to exteriorise my emotions! I don’t go on a rollercoaster ride without thinking of her, and theme parks have become my favourite place to evacuate frustration. Try, you won’t regret it!
Marie-Paule: Christmas without her is not Christmas! Protector of traditions and family values, she always helps people in need. She took me at home while my ex-fiancé had just left me, I will be eternally grateful.
France: my Tahitian mother with incarnate wisdom, full of positive energy and who always has solutions for everything. I speak to her when I feel down, she always has the right words to boost me!
Thank you all for being here for me and for guiding me in my quest for happiness and serenity.
A year ago I was in Madrid and I started the treatment to freeze my oocytes, I don’t know if I’ll be a mother one day, but there is no doubt that I would like to bring to others as much as these women gave me in my life.
Becoming a mum can be a difficult journey and being a mom is an even bigger challenge, but the joy and satisfaction of contributing to this world by raising a new generation, is an exciting choice for many of us.
Read or reread Gift from Science.
Women, mothers, expectant mothers who everyday help, raise and support others; a strength, a courage and that maternal instinct that we don’t honour enough, don’t change anything, you are wonderful!
Happy Mother’s Day to all these Superwomen!
Love & Joy,
Let’s start this article with a new magazine cover: Take 5 (Australia), a special edition in May with another two full pages of my story. Go and grab your magazine. Thanks to Veronika for giving me this picture.
I was planning to talk to you about pottery today because it's Mother's Day in many countries (except in France), however, several women confided in me this week and I needed to express their anger and frustration:
Being single is not a sin!
So, here I am, I’m going to debunk a lot of misconceptions in this article, because many singles (women but also men) are tired of hearing the same aberrations again and again ...
I remember once, I had just started a relationship with an Australian, and one of my friends surprised us tenderly clasped at a party, she came to accost me later and said: "I didn’t know you wanted to be in a relationship ... " Of course, I always dreamed of finishing alone and being devoured by my cat - which I don’t have by the way!
Many of us are single by choice, not that we want to be sologamous the rest of our lives (even if some make that choice), but because we want to find the right person, the big love, and nowadays it’s damn hard to find!
We don’t want to be with someone just because society and millennia of religious and moral dictates say we need to, we are very happy single and we are looking for a partner who will be really incredible to change this status. No question of lowering our standards or changing ourselves for anyone, the man or woman of our life will love us as we are, and we are amazing!
"Everyone is looking for the right person but no one is trying to be a good person. " Unknown author
How many singles who tell me that their family, friends, colleagues try to find them someone ... I admit that on this side I have no problem, my relatives have already told me that they didn’t know anyone in my league, hard to stay modest after that hahaha.
Of course, these same people will argue with marriage and children, again, not everyone is aspiring to these sacrosanct values, then I’m living proof that you can get married and consider having children alone!! And besides I'm happy! Reread my articles My Solo Wedding, Gift from Science and Happiness.
Even today we are judged by our marital status, after 30 years old, regardless of the success of our career, the money on our bank account or the number of marathons won, people still think that if you’re single, you’re not accomplished, they almost insinuate that you’re failing in life. Nobody ever asks you if you are happy.
Besides, how many people believe that because we are single, we are necessarily desperate? I had a comment recently from a woman who told me that she was surprised to know that I was single (and moreover married to myself) because I looked very happy and balanced. She, on the contrary, married and mother, looked like at the end of her tether ... Happiness is a personal quest and no code should define it.
"By being happy, we anonymously spread the good in the world." Robert Louis Stevenson.
I’m often asked how I do to go out alone. It’s not because I’m single that I must stop living, and for me out of the question to put my life in parenthesis. I go to the restaurant alone, to the cinema, opera, ballet, museum, concert and horseracing alone, I even go to bars alone!
By the way, the last time I’ve been to New York, I went to the prestigious bar of the Baccarat Hotel and drank a delicious whiskey, comfortably seated on a velvet bench to admire the huge Baccarat crystal chandeliers above the bar. A memorable memory!
Again, from my articles you know that I’ve also travelled all around the world on my own, and how much I have at heart to achieve my dreams, I don’t wait after anyone to do it or help me. I'm not saying it's always easy, I have to motivate myself and kick my butt all by myself without the support of a partner, but it also gives me the freedom to do things at my own pace.
Some articles to read or reread:
Christmas in New York
In the air
Strangely people's perception of me has changed after my solo wedding, no one asks me anymore if I have a boyfriend or if I'm looking for someone. As if to have married to myself, affirmed my quest for happiness and its accomplishment. I’ve always led my life as I wanted and I’ve never waited for people to validate my choices, but today I feel more respected and listened to.
So, to all singles around the world, I'm here for you!! Always be proud of who you are. We are neither monsters nor criminals, we are sensitive people with a heart, we just need more time to find our soul mate. And in the meantime, we continue to enjoy life!!
One of my friends called me Miss Spectacular this week, a nickname that I like a lot, then the song of the article was found "This is me" (from the movie The Greatest Showman):
“I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I meant to be, this is me!”
No article next week, I'll be on the plane (alone!) For new adventures ...
Have a good week and have a Happy Mother's Day!!
Love & Pride,
I’ve already discussed with you the benefits of music on me in my article Freedom with a beautiful performance by Joshua Edelman at the end (listen absolutely!)
I talk a lot about ways to reduce anxiety in recent weeks: Thank you! , Be Positive, Happiness!.
Well, I have to admit that writing a book is stressful, especially telling a story about a drama of my past.
Music is essential in my life and it has been even more so in the last two years. So, you noticed that many of my articles end with a song. This week, I would like to go deeper into the subject and talk about its incredible healing power.
It’s now proven that listening to music influences our brain and therefore our mood. Its benefits are multiple: antidepressant effects, reduces pain, reduces stress, activates memory, helps concentration, acts on motivation, and generally makes us more positive and happier.
So, do it!
I promised you some excerpts from my book, so here's the first one:
I could not have gone through all this without music and its tremendous healing power. I did not know how to express my sorrow and get it out of my body. When you are devastated and think that you will never see the light again, your voice is extinguished. These are the words of others, of all these fabulous lyricists and artists, who extract this evil little by little, note after note. When finally, the voice of someone else seems to speak for us, and comes to describe our pain, our malaise, our emotions, we are already half healed. Like a magic spell that would cancel a curse, or as Stendhal said: "Good music is not mistaken and go straight to the bottom of the soul to seek the sorrow that devours us."
James Bay, I'm absolutely obsessed with this artist right now and I probably listen to him 20 hours a day, the rest of the time, I'm trying to sleep ...
This 28 years-old English singer, songwriter and guitarist, with two albums to his credit, hasn’t stopped since 2014 to demonstrate his talent, and received many awards.
By the way, if you took the time to listen to the song last week - Us - it was a duet with him and Alicia Keys.
His latest song Peer pressure, a duet with Julia Michaels, is addictive!
James inspired me a text with his song titles (you can click to listen to them):
Craving to Slide into your arms, no Peer pressure, Just for tonight, with our Scars and Best fake smile, Hold back the river, Running, Need the sun to break, For clocks go forward, because I believe in Us!
Have a very good week!
Love & Music,
Last year at that time, I described you Happiness. This time, I would like to talk about the incredible benefits of saying thank you, one of the pillars of positive psychology, and therefore one of the answers to happiness.
Studies have shown that gratitude brings multiple beneficial effects in our lives, whether in our relationships to others, in the family, the couple, but it would also have a positive impact on our health, our sleep and our mood.
This is not surprising since a thank you brings great joy, both to the person who receives it and to the one who says it.
It’s one of the most important components of meditation, and many psychologists and coaches encourage people to remember at night 3 happy moments of the day and to be grateful for them.
For those who wish to go even further, keep a journal of gratitude, write in a notebook the happy things that have happened to you and the people who are associated with them. Feel free to read your notebook from time to time.
I can’t stop to say how grateful I am for the amazing people I meet on this journey. So many people who support my dream and encourage me to inspire others ... You don’t know how much your energy drives me and moves me. Thank you! You are my world!
Little anecdote, recently I take the bus and the driver is in an execrable mood, he just had an altercation with a passenger. I have to repeat three times my bus stop, he’s grumpy and aggressive. It’s not always easy to keep a positive attitude in all circumstances, yet when I leave the bus, I say thank you with a big, sincere and sympathetic smile.
I don’t know if my thanks changed his mood, but for me it was the way to not change mine!
To thank people is not only a form of courtesy, it’s also a way of preserving inner peace.
Review my article Be Positive to complete your quest for serenity.
Actually, when my favourite café (Little Kook Athens) becomes my favourite movie:
And if there is one person who knows better than anyone the recipe for happiness it’s her. A spoonful of sugar!?! I think I had enough sugar for a few weeks hahaha!
Thanks to my friends from Athens, Rachel, Evangelia and Emanouela, you are always there for me, feeding my soul with so much light and pushing me out of my comfort zone. You are incredible, you are my spoonful of sugar!
Thank you to Yulia, Maria, Nikos and Pavlos. Beautiful human beings who once again, demonstrated that being positive attracts the right people in my life. Your kindness, your honesty, your generosity and your sensitivity are a bless to this world.
Finally, I thank myself for accepting every challenge in life with grace and joy!
Open your heart to open your mind…
To all my Greek friends celebrating Easter this weekend, I haven’t forgotten to buy my red eggs!
Have a wonderful weekend everybody!
Love & Gratitude,
I spend more time in the plane than in any other type of transport. I always have my head in the clouds and if you doubt it, check my Travel Articles.
It's simple, I like it so much that I had thought of becoming a pilot, until I went to Flight Experience Paris for a very special adventure.
This is a flight simulator on a Boeing 737, many pilots use it for training, but it’s also a great tool for stress management or for people who are afraid of the plane.
Almost every airport in the world is available, so you have an infinite choice of flights.
Everything seems very real, and if you look at the pictures, outside is fake! We flew in good weather and thunderstorms. Sensations guaranteed!
I wasn’t in charge of the controls, I accompanied my brother-in-law, however it was enough to realise that I prefer to be comfortably seated in the back sipping champagne hahaha.
There are 16 centres around the world, so don’t hesitate to try a Flight Experience.
But if there is one mode of transport that outweighs all the others, it's the helicopter. I was 6 years old the first time I had a ride, since, every time I can, I take the opportunity to satisfy my pleasure.
And today, I take you to a magical and timeless place, the Grand Canyon in the United States. It was one of my dreams to fly over by helicopter, and my wish was fulfilled in 2016. Just to talk about it, I have goose bumps, so magical ...
Embark with me to discover by the air, the splendour of this territory.
Grand Canyon National Park, founded in 1919, covers 4,927 km2 in the north of the state of Arizona in the United States.
The Grand Canyon, 277 miles (446 km) long, with an average depth of 4,265 feet (1,266m) and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, offers a great spectacle with the Colorado River running below.
This is an incomparable geological richness, although the period of its appearance continues to be questioned, 17 million years old even up to 70 million years old (the dinosaurs’ era)! The mystery remains unsolved ...
I’m a fan of the U.S. and have had the opportunity to go there many times. I told you a lot about Christmas in New York.
This time, I was in Las Vegas, and of course a limo took me to my helicopter Sundance!
From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, we have time to enjoy the flight and the many sights: the Strip Boulevard, Hoover Dam, Fortification Hill, Lake Mead, the Grand Wash Cliffs.
You had a glimpse of Las Vegas. Don’t worry, an article is planned this year to satisfy your curiosity.
Not to mention that next year I'm celebrating a new decade, and some of my guests have asked for Las Vegas for my Birthday party. So, I added it to the long list of possible venues, and I’ll keep you posted...
Have a wonderful Easter everybody!
Love is in the air ...
A different article this week but I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Even though spring is here in Europe, many of us suffer from anxiety at this period. The fault of lack of sun, a life too hectic, daily obligations, and all kinds of things that take our energy without us knowing how to gain it back.
Anxiety is defined as the state of mental disorder caused by fear of danger. By extension it means a big worry. I won’t go into detail today, but you should know that 4% of the world's population suffers from anxiety, which represents 275 million people.
I’m intimately convinced that being happy calm our anxiety, but the key to happiness is through inner peace and this is where we go in circles ... What should we listen / treat first?
Without knowing the answer, I chose to work on both sides.
After my Solo Wedding in Santorini, I was asked several times, including by reporters (Article Life Changer), how I was staying positive. I’ve already partially answered this question in my article Happiness, but I’m going to tell more today.
In the book I'm currently writing about my solo wedding, I dedicate an entire chapter to this topic, and it starts that way, answering the question, how do you stay so positive? I say, "I didn’t have a choice! ".
We aren’t born optimistic, we become so, we build ourselves so, by experience, hardships, failures, loss of loved ones ... We learn that there are tomorrows and we must deal with it. Obviously, we can stay hidden in bed, or behind an invisible shield of misfortune and bad luck, and declaring ourselves unfit for happiness for the rest of our life. If we’re able to do that, we’re also able to take care of ourselves and to become happy, and today many techniques and methods are there to accompany us.
I’ve been practicing positive psychology for a very long time, but also hatha yoga that I taught, and then I added meditation.
These different techniques taught me to reduce my stress, to listen to my mind and body, to breathe literally and figuratively.
But above all, I learned to surround myself with the right people and avoid those who take my oxygen.
Books, social networks, life coaching, motivational speakers give you many tips to help you live better, so explore and find what works for you.
The greatest issue of our modern society, it's not taking time for ourselves, even on vacation. How many of you put an alarm clock? Or have a list of things to do? You have to learn to take breaks and decompress. Easier to say, well, I know all excuses are good, especially the lack of time.
I know everyone doesn’t necessarily have the energy or the mind to practice methods with long-term results, so today I would like to share with you an easy, positive thinking exercise that only takes a few seconds a day!
It would have been proven that it takes 21 days to change one's mindset or habit. The controversy exists and the researchers "seek" the truth ... In the meantime, I just decided to believe it and it worked, so I continued.
Just repeat a positive sentence three times a day, in the morning when you wake up, during the day and before going to bed, in a calm environment.
I give you a list of positive thoughts, for you to choose at least 21 that you like (a different one each day), or to write others with your own words. Know that this process works for any type of goal: lose weight, quit smoking, improve self-confidence, find the man/woman of your life, get a promotion ...
And do not settle for 21 days, keep applying it afterwards as I did. Every day, I read some positive quotes and affirmations.
Positive attracts positive, so be inspired and stop doubting, you can do it!
• I have confidence in myself and in my intuition to have the life I desire
• I deserve to have time for myself
• Every day I am naturally more relaxed
• People like who I am
• I have the courage to ask for help when I need it
• I accept that everything is not perfect or planned
• I am an exceptional person
• I attract positive energies
• I accept happiness in my life with open arms
• I can recognise toxic people around me and get rid of them
• I learn to breathe literally and figuratively
• Being alone helps me refocus
• I take time to think about solutions before stressing unnecessarily
• I am grateful for happiness in my life
• I deserve to be happy
• I am grateful for my past mistakes as they made me, and I am proud of who I’ve become
• It is beneficial to do nothing
• Every problem has a potential solution and if there is none, it does not matter
• I am relaxed and confident
• I forgive people from my past and I move on with an open heart
• Today I choose to be happy
• I have confidence in the future
• I am proud of who I am
• I am connected to an infinite source of happiness in my life
• I am strong and courageous
• I am grateful to have found inner peace
• I trust my instinct in my words and actions
• I have lots of love in my life
• I enjoy life without stress
• I know how to listen to my body and my mind
• I am full of positive energy
• My life is open to joy
• I forgive my past mistakes and I show compassion for myself and for others
And I couldn’t talk about this without applying it to myself, so no article next week, I'll relax by attending some amazing exhibitions to feed my soul and my curious mind ...
Next article on April 20th!
Love & Happiness,
My best friend was in Brussels last weekend, so I thought to talk about this beautiful city this week.
On the northern border with France, just an hour and a half by train from Paris, it’s a perfect getaway with these beautiful Spring days.
After Madrid, Athens and Paris, let's discover together this other European city.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium with nearly 180,000 inhabitants, but it’s also the headquarters of the European Union.
Rich in history dating back to the Roman period, this city has preserved many buildings and remains of all ages, giving it a nostalgic and timeless charm.
Walking around the different areas of the city, you’ll travel through time, discovering the countless artistic and architectural vestiges: the Brussels Stock Exchange, the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the Royal Conservatory, The Fountain of Minerva, the Palace of Justice, the Porte de Hal, the European Quarter, the Museums of the Far East ...
But also, the royal district with the Royal Palace of Brussels, the Brussels Park, the Mont des Arts, the Parliament, because as a reminder Belgium is a constitutional monarchy. And if you wish to see the residence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, you’ll have to go to the Royal Castle of Laeken which is in the North of the city.
For a panoramic view, nothing better than the Atomium, built in 1958 with 102 metres high.
Brussels is also full of atypical museums such as the MOOF Museum, the Museum of Musical Instruments, and the Magritte Museum.
Many festivals are held all year, don’t hesitate to check in advance.
Just like Montreal, which I mentioned in a previous article (montreal-canada.html), Brussels is full of culinary specialities.
My favourites are:
Let's continue the visit not far from the Grand-Place of Brussels, with the most famous attraction: the Manneken-Pis.
Small bronze statue of 55.5 centimetres dating from 1619, and whose name means little man who pisses. It’s disguised throughout the year and it has no less than 1,000 different costumes (costumes that you can see at the Museum of the City of Brussels), so there is little chance that you see him dressed the same when you visit.
But it has its female equivalent too, Jeanneke-Pis much less famous and yet it is padlocked. This bronze statue of 55cm was created in 1985 and it's at Impasse de la Fidélité in Brussels.
And for those who wish to immerse themselves further, a video at the end of the article.
Have a good week!
Love & Chocolate,
It was the International Day of Happiness on March 20th, so I hope you are happy! And for those who seek some advice, read again my article happiness.html.
Me, if there is anything that fills me with joy, it’s shoes hahaha.
I already told you about my passion for shoes, and the ones I wore for my solo wedding in Santorini in my article shoes-forever.html.
So, you aren’t surprised that today I’ll tell you about one of the most renowned designers: Manolo Blahnik.
His shoes are all handmade in Italy and require 50 different steps.
Manuel Blahnik Rodríguez, a 76 years old Spanish stylist, was born and raised in the Canary Islands, in Santa Cruz de la Palma, before studying in Switzerland and Paris, then settling in England .
The Art of Shoes (El arte del zapato) in association with Vogue Spain, at the Museum of Decorative Arts of Madrid, traced its career, its major creations and its various collaborations, with 212 shoes and 80 original drawings from the personal collection from Manolo Blahnik.
I attended a lot of exhibitions in Madrid last year, as I already mentioned several times on the blog:
This exhibition is without a doubt one of my favourites because it highlights all the genius and inspiration of this designer with unparalleled imagination. Whether materials, textures, shapes or colours, everything invites to travel and a universe without limit ...
He’s also very inspired by nature, corals, flowers, fruits. The model Ivy drew attention in 1973, green sandals created for the fashion show of the English designer Ossie Clark. Shortly after, Manolo Blahnik opened his first store in London.
There’s a word that transpires in all these creations, this is elegance. No wonder he's one of my favourite designers.
And when shoes become jewels ...
It’s therefore not surprising that he collaborated with Sofia Coppola for her movie Marie Antoinette. And yes, the beautiful shoes of the Queen, it's him! You’ll find the video at the end of the article.
Feel free to change shoes to get off to a good start! 😉
Have a good week!
Love & Shoes,
Where were you a year ago?
Me, I was in Crete and I officially put online my blog (Article why-a-blog.html )!
I was visiting friends between two attempts to freeze my eggs in Madrid (Article gift-from-science.html).
If you had asked me where I will be in March 2019, I would have been unable to answer you, and I certainly wouldn’t have told you in Crete. Even though I spent a lot of time in Spain last year (Articles rainy-dayin-madrid.html & las-palmas-canaria.html), I never really left Crete because I keep coming back ...
So many things happened ever since. We can accomplish a lot in 12 months. Be proud of what you have undertaken and have confidence in the future, we’re going to continue to grow up together.
Where will I be in March 2020? No idea! Keep following my adventures to find out.
Meanwhile, the subject of this week was obvious: Crete for a new episode.
As a reminder I've already talked about Heraklion (crete-episode-1.html), Rethymno (crete-episode-2.html) and their surroundings.
I told you in the previous episode that I will talk about Greek mythology.
Long before the Gods of Olympus, Cronos and Rhea, both children of Ouranos (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth), ruled the Universe. They had five children: Hestia, Demeter, Hera (that I’ll talk more in a future article), Hades and Poseidon. All eaten by their father Cronos, because his parents said that one day, he would be dethroned by one of his children.
Then Zeus was born, but while Cronos was about to swallow him too, Rhea exchanged the child for a big stone wrapped in a blanket. Cronos didn’t notice and Rhea went to hide the child in an underground cave, safe from the world and his father, on the island of Crete.
Diktaean cave is located at 1,025 metres altitude, not far from Psychro above the Lasithi plateau.
We have to climb 800 metres of slope on a stony path to reach the entrance of the cave. All along, the view overlooking the Lasithi plateau is beautiful and soothing. And for those who prefer, donkeys are available for ascent.
Once at the top, you just have to go down the innumerable stairs that takes us to 800 metres deep with a small lake. Legend says that Zeus was bathing here ...
And as I was going to visit a mythical place, I wore my favourite t-shirt with the hope of seeing a unicorn!! (Article unicorns.html).
Then we go up all the stairs and we go down the hill ...
Zeus may have been hidden in another cave on the slopes of Mount Ida, still in Crete, but I haven't visited it yet.
Zeus became an adult and wanted to free his brothers and sisters. Stories diverge but Cronos regurgitated all his children as well as the stone.
After many battles, Zeus became the King of Gods.
So, you have to be patient in life, everything comes at the perfect timing…
It is said that wisdom comes with age, but just like a tree, one must first have roots well planted to grow, flourish and resist storms.
This brings us to the charming little village of Krasi, still close to the Lasithi plateau, another very symbolic place in Crete since a huge plane tree sits in the middle. This tree is said to be over 2,000 years old and would be the oldest tree in Crete. It was declared a monument of nature in 2011.
No wonder that in the past, many artists came for inspiration here. Notably, Nikos Kazantzakis, a famous Greek writer (1883-1957), whose famous novel Zorba the Greek was adapted to the cinema
Hope you enjoyed this article.
I take this opportunity to wish my friend Emanouela a very happy birthday!
Χρόνια πολλά! φιλάκια πολλά!
Have a good week!
Love & Patience,
And long live the carnival!!
I hope everyone had a good Mardi Gras and enjoyed the festivities of your city or the surrounding area.
I would like to share with you a carnival I enjoyed during my travels, Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.
While last year my body struggled with European cold weather, after 10 years spent in tropical countries, I escaped to the Canary islands to warm up.
There, the carnival gives rise to several weeks of colourful festivities and music, including the parade of 'murgas' (in Spanish), carnival troupes composed of dancers and musicians. Atmosphere guaranteed!
I’ve watched the parade on the beach of Las Canteras in the heart of the city of Las Palmas.
Two kilometres of golden sand and pedestrian path sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Any reason is good to get there, whether to bask, surf or for a concert at the Auditorium.
Really there is worse as decor...
Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and has nearly 400,000 inhabitants.
The historic centre of Vegueta is absolutely charming, it takes us back in time, with its old buildings, museums and palm trees, hence the origin of its name because the city was built on the site of an ancient palm grove.
The surrounding area offers nice views and above all you can visit the coffee plantations, and you know my addiction for this delicious drink (Article coffee-addict.html)!
I hope you enjoyed this little getaway. It made me feel good…
And to keep the mood, and because I wish I’ll go to the carnival of Venice one day, watch below the opening video of the carnival of Venice 2019!
Have a great weekend!
Love & Dream,
One of my friends has just had laser vision correction, so it reminded me of memories, and I congratulate her!!
I travel for lots of reasons and you’ve already read a lot about it, especially with the article my-favourite-animals.html.
However, the reason why I’ve been to Montreal is very different. In the past 2 years, I’ve been dedicated to accomplishing personal goals. Too many things that I left unfinished for lack of time or motivation.
The laser eye surgery to get rid of my myopia was on my list and it was done in 2017.
Friends advised me to go to a well-known clinic, Lasik MD which is everywhere in Canada including Montreal. I had never been to Canada before, and I really wanted to discover this country. With cheaper rates than in Europe, the difference allowed me to pay a week's holiday there. I didn’t need more to make me cross an ocean...
From my first phone call for information, then to making appointments and tests, and finally to surgery, everything was perfect. The staff at Lasik MD Montreal was very friendly and professional, they almost made me forget that I was there for a laser procedure, especially when the surgeon hugged me after the surgery to tell me that everything had gone well.
An impeccable organisation thanks to a very accessible team, which allowed me to complete everything in four days! My preoperative consultation took place on Tuesday, the laser correction on Wednesday, a last check on Friday and on Saturday I could fly back to Europe. Hard to be more efficient.
I had already consulted before but like many people I was a bit afraid, and I kept postponing. I regret not having done it earlier, there was no fear to have, the operation only lasts a few minutes, and the world is so much more beautiful without eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Between us, I didn’t find the operation pleasant, let's be clear, it's a bit like going to the dentist, it doesn’t necessarily hurt but it's uncomfortable. The two hours that followed were painful for me, a burning sensation that prevented me from opening my eyes but that's it. I had no other inconvenience or complication. It’s definitely worth doing.
The next day, I saw life as I hadn’t seen it for 25 years, and I had already forgotten what I looked like with eyeglasses!
The icing on the cake was obviously to discover Montreal, a cosmopolitan city, vibrant and friendly, with a hundred festivals a year, many exhibitions and great museums ...
Remember, I already told you about this city for Jean-Paul Gaultier's exhibition (Article fashion-exhibitions.html) and Barbie Expo (Article barbie-exhibition.html).
I enjoyed my stay there, a cross between the United States and Europe, a mix of history and modernity, but where they speak both English and French. Montreal is part of the province of Quebec where French is the official language. It’s the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris.
Last week I told you that you couldn’t die of thirst in Santorini (Article wine-in-santorini.html), actually in Montreal either, given the number of bars, pubs and clubs in the city. But above all, you can’t starve!
I highly recommend trying poutine, a typical Québécois specialty prepared with French fries, cheese curds and a brown gravy. This is the classic recipe, but many restaurants have created more, such as La Banquise which now serves about 30 different recipes ...
The smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s, an institution in Montreal, created in 1928. Expect to queue in the street before to get a table.
Don’t forget pancakes and maple syrup!! Some shops offer maple syrup tasting, take the opportunity to discover the different kinds.
And many more, bagels, crêpes…
After so much food, a walk is recommended, again the choice is not lacking, whether in the beautiful park of Mount Royal or along the St. Lawrence River.
This city was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1535, a mountain he named Mont-Royal, that's where Montreal comes from. It is now Canadian second biggest city after Toronto, with more than 1.7 million people.
Here time stops, we relax, we breathe and we enjoy!
Montreal was a wonderful experience, as much as one from a personal and cultural point of view. This city is full of energy, no wonder it was voted the best student city in the world in 2017.
Shortly after, I took the plane to realise an even bigger dream, the freezing of my eggs in Madrid (Reread Article gift-from-science.html).
Now your turn to make your dreams come true...
Have a good week!
Love & Dream,
After talking about dinner (Article wedding-menu.html ) and champagne (Article champagne.html ) at my wedding, I want to tell the wines we had.
When we think of Santorini, we imagine the white facades and the blue-domed churches, the cliffs, the caldera, but what we forget is the vineyards. And yes, the island is full of them, nearly 1,500 hectares, and it’s one of the oldest vineyards in Europe, no wonder that its wine has become so famous.
The vines are shaped in a circle to form a sort of nest, called "kouloura", this method protects them from wind and sun. Two elements that are very present in Santorini.
For the place of my wedding, I had the choice between the chapel or the vineyard, completely by chance I chose the vineyard hahaha!
Venetsanos Winery in Megalochori. Located on the cliffs overlooking the caldera, and producing delicious wines, this was the perfect place for my solo wedding in Santorini.
White wine, red and rosé (unlimited) to satisfy my guests. Not to mention they were treated to a tour of the property and a tasting while I was doing my photos.
For my first wedding anniversary I opened the bottle that had been offered to me by Venetsanos, just to plunge me into the atmosphere again...
Certainly, a place that I recommend, for a visit, a tasting, shopping, photos and why not a wedding??
More information on their website: venetsanoswinery.com/
One of my favourite white wines is from Santorini, and that before I go to this enchanting island.
There are 3 grape varieties for white wine: assyrtiko, athiri and aidani. When assembled, we discover the Nykteri, a dry white wine to taste absolutely.
For red wines, count on mandilaria and mavrotragano.
Some houses also offer rosés, like Venetsanos.
But the island's most famous wine is Vinsanto, a sweet wine made from late harvests. Some may sometimes prefer the Mezzo, less sweet.
Feel free to visit Santo Wines, the Santorini Wine Cooperative, established in 1947 with 1,200 members. The view is also splendid and you can relax while enjoying a wide range of wines from the island.
And for those who want to know more, visit the Koutsogiannipoulos family Wine Museum in Vothonas. Eight metres deep and 300 metres long, this magnificent museum tells the story of viticulture in Santorini since 1660, as well as all the stages of its making. A wine tasting is also offered at the end of the visit.
Discover the vineyards of the island, you won’t be disappointed. Nothing is more extraordinary than enjoying good wine while admiring the incredible sunsets of Santorini.
One thing is certain, you cannot die of thirst in Santorini hahaha!
Have a lovely weekend!
Love & Wine,
I hope you had a good Valentine's Day! After my declaration of love to chocolate (Article chocolate-sweetheart.html), here is another topic my heart enjoys.
I rarely choose my travel destinations at random, it may be for the beaches, the architecture, the history, all of this, but there is certainly a reason that has often been chosen, it’s my passion for animals.
My article this week is about those who fascinate me and who led me to cross the globe, to sit on beaches all night, to catch a monumental allergy, to swim with an injured knee, to push away my fears and to dream of more wonder!
Prepare to be captivated in this animal world tour:
Obviously, it’s quite easy to see them in captivity, many zoos and water parks take care of them. You can even see some at Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates.
Penguins are aquatic birds that can’t fly, and they live in the Southern Hemisphere.
But like all animal species, our greatest pleasure is to be able to admire them in their natural habitat, and for that Australia is the perfect place!
So, on Phillip Island, not far from Melbourne, you can see little penguins very close...
Turtle is often associated with longevity and wisdom, some can live up to 150 years!
It’s an animal easier to meet because it’s almost everywhere on the planet, and most of you I'm sure have already seen one.
They live in different types of habitat, which generally classify them in 3 categories: terrestrial (called tortoise in the U.K.), aquatic (called terrapin in the U.S.) or sea turtle.
My favourites are sea turtles, unfortunately many of them are threatened with extinction. I’ve been to two islands that help and have programs of protection: Heron Island in Australia and Crete in Greece which I have already spoken to you several times (read Article crete-episode-2.html).
Heron Island is located on the north-eastern part of Australia, on the Great Barrier Reef, making it an idyllic destination for sea and nature lovers. Here, you not only swim among rays and sharks, but it’s also the preferred place for Green sea turtles and Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta, its scientific name). I was lucky enough to go during the turtle nesting and hatching season, a unique and magical experience.
In Australia, you can observe lots of animals, which makes this country the most beautiful animal park in the world.
I feel that you’re very curious, don’t worry, an article on this wonderful country is scheduled for 2019.
For now, let's talk about lemurs. It’s a suborder to primates, hence great similarities with the monkeys. These small creatures, which number no less than 101 species, are for the most part unfortunately in danger of extinction, due to deforestation and poaching.
They are very sociable and therefore live in a group. Many of you have seen DreamWorks Studios' animated movie Madagascar, and without a doubt, they look and act like in the movie, it's so impressive. Just for your information, there are penguins in this movie too!
In my life, I rode a horse, a dromedary and an elephant. I swam with giant sea turtles, sea lions, sharks and rays. I saw polar bears, and I also met some Komodo dragons. I cuddled koalas and kangaroos and fed wild dolphins.
I still have 2 dreams to realise ... See pandas in Sichuan (China) and admire unicorns!! (Read Article unicorns.html). Which do you think I'll do first?!?
Don’t hesitate to choose your holidays according to the animals you like. Nothing more incredible than discovering them with your own eyes!
Have a good week!
Love & Joy,
Just a year ago I started my blog, with for Valentine's Day an article about my solo wedding in Santorini (read Article my-solo-wedding.html).
To celebrate this anniversary, a new magazine cover with a 2-page article in the February special issue Take a Break UK! (Check here Media).
So after talking to you a lot, in 2018, about my declaration of love to myself (Article life-changer.html), I then told you my longest love story with coffee (Reread coffee-addict.html), but I must admit that the true love of my life it's chocolate!
Not a day without eating chocolate. And at certain times of the year it even becomes my main meal hahaha.
I think I was born covered with chocolate. My mom worked for a chocolate maker when she was pregnant, so all these chocolate vapours must have influenced my metabolism!
But let’s talk about its origin:
The first traces of chocolate drinks date back to 1900 BC, the word chocolate comes from the word 'nahuati xoxolati' which means bitter water. Europeans will discover it in the 16th century thanks to Christopher Columbus.
Chocolate was considered as one of the first medicine and the first chocolate makers like Nestlé were chemists.
Chocolate as we know it today appeared at the end of the 19th century after the discovery of new techniques invented by Coenraad Van Houten, Henri Nestlé and Rudolphe Lindt. The major brands we know today were born at this time: Lindt (1845), Nestle (1866), Cadbury (1868), Hershey (1893).
Some figures for your general knowledge:
The annual world consumption of cocoa represents more than 4 million tons per year, ie 127 kilos per second!
Six multinationals, including Nestlé, Mars and Cadbury, account for 80% of the global chocolate market.
Europeans alone consume about 50% of the world's cocoa, 85% of which is imported from West Africa. Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are the biggest consumers (between 10 and 11kg per year per inhabitant). France arrives then with a little more than 7kg per year per inhabitant, then the USA with 6kg. And far behind, the Greeks consume about 2kg.
Brazil is the only country that produces and consumes chocolate.
Some 50 million people around the world depend on cocoa for their livelihoods.
But how do we make chocolate?
There are 3 varieties of chocolate: black, milk and white.
I love them all, it depends on my mood, the weather, my hormones, and there are so many choices that I don’t get tired of enjoying this wonderful pleasure wherever I go.
Besides, I visited the Valrhona factory in Tain l'Hermitage (France). The paradise of chocoholics since in addition to the museum / manufacturing that retrace all the steps, you can enjoy as much chocolate as you want! Be careful of indigestion, it requires some training ...
The greatest chocolate makers, pastry chefs and chefs around the world use Valrhona chocolate for their creations. And connoisseurs are not mistaken because even the owner of my favourite café in Crete, Crumb (Heraklion), uses chocolate Valrhona for the chocolate truffles!
My cousin recently reminded me how good chocolate is for health and she’s perfectly right!
It’s good for the heart:
It's good for the brain:
Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants which are 4 to 5 times more effective than in black tea, there are 2 to 3 times more than in green tea and 2 times more than in red wine .
As you know antioxidants can protect many types of cancer, they slow down the signs of aging, strengthen the skin's resistance to UV, increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce bad (LDL) (for butter cocoa only because palm oil gives the opposite effect).
I therefore recommend deliciously to offer chocolates for Valentine's Day! Think of all the people you love and especially yourself! You deserve it, spoil yourself!!
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Love & Chocolate,