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 blessing 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,
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,
Haute Couture fashion week has just ended in Paris, I was obviously very inspired for this new article.
Last week, I spoke about Jean-Paul Gaultier's exhibition Love is Love, a retrospective of these bridal outfits (Link Article fashion-exhibitions.html) which started in Montreal (Canada).
Montreal which is full of fantastic museums, a city that I’ll show you soon.
However, for today, back to childhood, something that everybody knows but with a little twist.
I would like to dedicate this article to my youngest follower, Olivia, who will turn 10 years old this year.
This is the largest permanent Barbie Haute Couture collection, more than 1,000 dolls dressed by the greatest designers in the world: Barbie Expo, in the heart of Montréal.
And let's start with the brides, who knows maybe my solo wedding in Santorini will inspire Barbie one day (Article my-solo-wedding-behind-the-scenes.html) ...
Barbie will be celebrating her 60th birthday in March, I would like to age as well as she does. And yes since 1959, the famous doll inspired millions of children.
She also inspired brands, Barbie, 11½-inch tall is surely the smallest fashion model in the world.
But also, movies, shows and celebrities inspired her.
Many designers have created unique outfits for her, including me and not always to her advantage hahaha.
This great exhibition reminds us of history and geography too:
Barbie is all about a magical world where imagination has no limit ...
Note that this exhibition is completely free and that all donations are donated to the Association Make a Wish Quebec.
And to discover more, here is the website of Barbie expo: expobarbie.ca/en/
Short story: a girlfriend offered me my first Barbie for my 6th birthday, and a very special one, Barbie Dream Glow, whose stars on her dress shine in the dark. One of my best memories. It's as if today my friends offered me a pair of Louboutin! The lesson that I learnt then, choose well your friends! Lesson I have obviously forgotten on the way, since no one offered me some Louboutin hahaha.
No article next week, I'll be travelling to find other interesting topics for you. And for those who are not fashion fans, I promise, the next article will be on a very mouthwatering topic! But I don't tell you more ...
Have a lovely week end!
Love & Joy,
Some of my friends made me dream (and warm) with their holiday pictures (Tahiti, Maldives, Cape Verde), so I thought that a bit of sunshine and scenery would be great!
Remember in the first article about Crete (crete-episode-1.html), I talked about the capital city Heraklion.
If Santorini is my beloved island because of my solo wedding (Articles www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding), Crete also has a certain charm and today we are heading to my favourite city, further west, still on the north coast, to Rethymno.
Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete with more than 55,000 inhabitants.
It was built during the Minoan period and as Heraklion, this city has experienced a succession of cultures and civilizations (Byzantine, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman) as evidenced by some vestige.
It’s a charming city that I particularly like because it’s very pleasant to wander through the cobbled streets of the old town. There’s a sweet life here, a mixture of ancient city and seaside resort.
It’s a lively town with trendy shops, and for party goers, Rethymno is a student town so it provides an attractive nightlife with many bars and clubs.
The main attraction is undoubtedly the fortress, it’s still called by its Italian name the Fortezza because it was built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but the Ottomans seized it in 1646.
Thus the St. Catherine Chapel coexists with the mosque of Sultan Hibrahim, two monuments still preserved.
The view from 1307 metre length of ramparts also offers a breathtaking view of the sea and the city.
After so much stroll, beach is relaxing, and if Bali is the famous name of an Indonesian island, Crete also has a beach with this name.
It stretches between Heraklion and Rethymno and has four distinct beaches: Livadi, Vankotopos, Limani and Karavostasi.
A small video from the sky to enjoy this beautiful beach.
I hope you enjoyed this little Cretan getaway, there will be others this year, Crete is an island full of gems and next time we’ll talk about mythology!
Have a lovely weekend!
Love & Joy,
First article of the year and I can only be proud of last year and excited of the one to come.
Many things have happened in my life over the past two years, and I thank you for the support and love you bring to me every day.
2018 was the continuity of 2017 with the freezing of my eggs in Madrid (Article gift-from-science.html).
I was a finalist in a photo contest for the international art magazine 1340 (Link 1340art.com/), magazine that wants to display my photos since.
But also, a huge step in my life and my reconstruction, the creation of the blog that many of you follow now (Article why-a-blog.html), and some of my readers do not fail to remind me when I'm late in my publications! Thank you for your loyalty.
Incredible surprises came out of this, like my story that went viral in the international press, with icing on the cake, the cover of Closer UK and a TV interview on Alpha TV with Eleonora Meleti (Article 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html).
Life is surprising, and the universe keeps showing us the way, but you have to know how to open your eyes and your heart, and that's what I’m learning to do day by day ...
Journalists don’t get tired of my story and another article in a British magazine is coming soon.
2019 should also see the publication of my book that I’m finishing writing. Another dream that I intend to achieve, and which I hope will definitely change my life. Some passages will be online soon!
Thank you to my friends for sharing some of the highlights of their lives in 2018.
Congratulations again to the happy parents: Chrisa & Kosta, Fay & Mike. Both couples have each a beautiful little girl.
But more babies coming in 2019, and many more celebrations!
One of the favourite moments of my year was certainly the wedding of my little sister in Champagne, a year after my solo wedding in Santorini (All articles here www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding).
And also, the wedding of my friends in Paris, Christophe & Arthur (Article superwomen-3.html).
Not to mention all the beautiful people that I met and that led to new amazing friendships.
Many trips in 2018 and many articles to read or rediscover.
Around the world: Gran Canaria, Madrid (Article rainy-dayin-madrid.html), Athens (Article rainy-dayin-athens.html), Crete (Article crete-episode-1.html) with a new article to come, Santorini (Article santorini.html), Brussels.
In France: Annecy, Albertville, Grenoble, Lyon, Reims (Article champagne.html), Paris (Article disneyland-paris.html), Versailles (Article palace-of-versailles.html).
I wish lots of new adventures in 2019, and keep dreaming, it’s the first part of the journey!
I wish you all an excellent new year, rich of good surprises, beautiful people, iron constitution, love in gold and glittering joy!!
And Happy Epiphany!
Love & Joy,
P.S: for those who are in France, please keep me a piece of Epiphany cake 😉 or send me photos!
After my Christmas articles around the world, New York (christmas-in-new-york.html), Paris (christmas-in-paris.html) and Brisbane (christmas-in-brisbane.html), you understand how much I love this festive season.
Whether in the streets, shops or houses, Christmas magic is everywhere for our greatest joy, including in Reims (France).
But if there’s a place where you can really show off, it's at home! And the shops have understood that very well, because every year, we are tempted again and again to buy new ornaments even if our garage is already full of boxes.
And this year, I’ve bought a sheep for the crèche (hahaha).
From the famous Christmas tree to the dining table, including outside and every square millimetre of our interior, madness takes us and no question of leaving a single decoration not used in its box.
But finally, plates are stealing the show!
Every year, I become the Christmas tree fairy, how do you not know this fairy? Well, that's my tradition, you have the right to copy, I'm happy to share.
I like to believe that the tree is decorated with a thousand decorations, in a few seconds thanks to a magic wand, while the truth is, it takes two days minimum ...
You know it from now on, I’ve kept my childlike innocence, and I’m a fan of Frozen, which is very convenient to find ornaments.
Obviously, in Australia no real tree but Santa is still giving us presents.
Last year, I’ve also created a Santa’s Village with plushes.
When I start, it’s difficult to stop me and I admit that I love this period, because it lets my creativity express itself (a little too much sometimes hahaha).
From the fairy, I can quickly turn into a diva too, who said that the decorations were only for the Christmas tree?
Well this year, I think I'll be more in pyjamas, it's also good to relax, to eat chocolates and watch Christmas movies, well wrapped in my duvet.
Especially that sometimes, it happens that I take Christmas too seriously and I become too Christmassy! Hahaha
I don’t have a chocolate Advent calendar this year, so I’ve prepared a plate full of chocolates and stop people who already think that there are more than 25 chocolates! When we love we don’t count, and I have a lot of love for chocolate, and coffee too (Article to reread coffee-addict.html ).
Each family has its own traditions, some decorate their Christmas tree in November, others on Christmas Eve. Some trees are artificial, coloured or not, of all sizes. Sometimes presents are much bigger than the tree. Others don’t have a tree…
In Spain, a predominantly Catholic country, the crèche and its characters are taken very seriously, check the wall of a department store in the photos below.
Everyone builds their own world, pursues family traditions and invents new ones, even more with the arrival of new partners or newborns.
A tradition that I discovered in Australia and that I kept, Christmas crackers. They are part of the Christmas table decoration and are placed on the guests' plates.
We must crack the cracker with our table neighbour, the person who keeps the cracker, wins the prize that is inside. Obviously, the gift is a function of the price of the cracker, usually a trifle but it's funny.
Fortunately, only 3 days before to open the presents! I can’t wait for Santa to deliver me from my intolerable wait. I need to know among the 8760 wishes from my list (365 days per 24 hours, a gift per hour and day 😉), which one he has chosen!
As for the tree, everybody has its own rules, some families open the gifts on December 24, others on the 25th, and still others at any time.
This is the whole principle of Christmas, to share, to give, to receive and above all to express our love for each other.
Sometimes, however, we don’t really know what Santa Claus was thinking about, kitchen knives for Little Miss Trouble, fortunately no incident to regret that night.
And when we were very very nice during the year, we can have surprising presents under the tree ...
My favourite bar is in a festive mood too:
Thank you to all the people I love who sent me these beautiful pictures:
Santa Claus has asked me to help him this year, so no article next week, everyone will be too busy, see you next year!
And at the end of the article, two of my favourite singers who celebrate peace, freedom and love.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas 2018!
Love & Joy,
After New York (see Article christmas-in-new-york.html ) and Paris (see Article christmas-in-paris.html ), I had enough of snow and cold, so for this new article, I take you to the sun, and to a very special place, a country dear to my heart, Australia!
As you know, Australia is in the southern hemisphere, which means that it's summer in December.
Some say it's great, others that Christmas without snow isn’t really Christmas, for my part I loved every Christmas there and I have a merry memory about it, because far from our families and from our traditions (and snow), we learn to invent new customs and discover those of our adopted country. Nothing more exciting than novelty!
For 7 years, I’ve spent Christmas in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, and for nothing in the world I wouldn’t have missed this, because this city comes alive for the occasion and in summer, nothing more pleasant than hang out at night in the light of Christmas decorations and fireworks. It’s undeniable that I have kept my childlike innocence and I look forward to this time of the year that speaks to this part of me.
What I love:
• Picnic on the sand watching a Christmas movie on a giant screen, with children playing in the pool and the illuminated city in the background. Of course, I'm talking about open-air cinema at South Bank, Brisbane's artificial beach, where Christmas movies and cartoons are projected every night.
• Discovering the short-animated film projected on the magnificent facade of the Brisbane City Hall. The Christmas tale changes every year, and this year, it’s about a little girl who would like to live a white Christmas (it doesn’t snow in Brisbane). So, she goes to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole with her kangaroo friend, but soon she misses the warm weather and her swimming pool! I miss them too!!
• Having a wander through the beautiful enchanted garden of Roma Park, looking for Santa's fairies and elves. Absolutely magical! There is a long queue every year so it's better to be prepared, but it's a beautiful display.
• Admiring the fireworks every evening at 8pm from December 20th to 23rd. Brisbane is famous for its fireworks, including the Riverfire, held annually to close the September Brisbane Festival. But I must admit that Christmas fireworks is special and angelic with its own music and songs.
• Watching the Christmas Parade on Queen Street.
Everything I’ve mentioned is FREE, the Brisbane City Hall and its partners are happy to offer its residents and visitors these shows and entertainment for the festive season, so enjoy!
To know all about this season, visit these websites:
Christmas in Brisbane is mainly about friends and cooking! I’ve even had a Greek meal and I ate caviar for the first time!
But everything is turned upside down, we eat strawberries instead of clementines, we make barbecues instead of chimney fires, and we play bowls in shorts instead of going to the ice rink ... Very confusing at first but we accustom, and I admit it’s rather nice to wear summer dresses at Christmas.
Pavlova is the traditional Christmas dessert in Australia. It was created in 1920 in Australia or New Zealand when Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured these countries. It’s composed of a very crispy meringue outside and soft inside, covered with whipped cream and fruits. Perfect in hot and humid weather! However, mixing cultures is great, and some of my French girlfriends are very talented in yule logs!
If I remember these different Christmas, where have I been for my first Christmas? Noosa on the Sunshine Coast = beach. The second year? Coolangatta, Gold Coast = Beach ... Well, so many places here: the coasts, the islands, and of course the Great Barrier Reef.
And yes, the beach is part of the tradition in Australia. In general, families celebrate Christmas at the beach around a nice barbecue and watch Santa Claus surfing the waves. He has the right to relax after the crazy night he had!
You’ll notice how white the sand is, and it’s very fine too, like flour. However, there are certain places where swimming is strictly reserved for a certain population, these V.I.P.!
Don’t forget to send me a photo of your Christmas tree or to tell me about a tradition that is important to you: email@example.com
And thanks to those who have already done it.
Have a Merry Festive Season everyone!
And for those who want to see more about Brisbane, here's a beautiful video of the city:
I hope you’re feeling the Christmas spirit after my last article about New York (christmas-in-new-york.html). Today, I chose another truly magical city for Christmas: Paris. And you'll see, we'll go back in time, at the Belle Epoque ...
First, breakfast at the Café de Flore founded in 1887, a famous place to cross a few celebrities, and as it seems that I’m becoming one (Check page Media), it’s perfect.
I like to walk in Paris in winter, the air is fresh and invigorating, the light is peculiar on certain days, cold and bluish. And without the leaves on the trees, we see monuments and buildings differently ...
As a reminder, the Eiffel Tower was unveiled in 1889 during the World Fair in Paris. It consists of four pillars forming a square of 410 feet side, and it’s 1,063 feet high.
Unfortunately, no ice rink this year. Skating 187 feet above Paris was an unusual experience though!
However, we’ll be delighted with the almost 30,000 square foot of temporary ice rink (from December 16 to January 9) installed in the Grand Palais and titled for the occasion the Grand Palais des Glaces (The Great Ice Palace). For sure, a historic and magical place to slide...
However, to relax, nothing beats the beautiful Christmas shop windows.
Since 1909, Paris has automatons in its windows and every year, machinists and creators amaze us with great creativity and genius.
By the way I don’t forget to go shopping! And some stores, well, attract me more than others with their paintings of undressed Adonis.
A break from time to time, we are in the capital of world gastronomy!
In addition to admiring the illuminations, there are countless things to do in Paris at night, as in any major European city: restaurant (again, yes, I know!), theatre, concert, ballet ...
• The Moulin Rouge (Red Mill), so French! Created in 1889, the same year as the Eiffel Tower. Why a mill? There were about thirty on the hill Montmartre to grind grain, corn, plaster and stone.
• walk to Montmartre and admire the Sacré Cœur by night, this basilica was officially achieved in 1923.
• but also, the Bouglione Winter Circus, perfect for families, a 42-meter-diameter building inaugurated on December 11, 1852.
A little recap in a video:
Of course, I couldn’t conclude this article without talking about Disneyland Paris. The park lights up even more at this time of the year and Santa Claus doesn’t miss the opportunity to come. We have already visited together the park (To read or reread disneyland-paris.html) so in this article, I offer you a small video that puts us in the mood, we could almost smell Christmas by watching it.
And here for you, the song of the latest Disney movie, The Nutcracker and the 4 realms, so as not to lose our childlike innocence, and wait patiently before the arrival of Santa Claus.
Have a good week!
It's December 1st and Christmas is coming! I’m excited because I love this time of the year with its various traditions, all its lights and its performances. No matter the country or the city, there’s always something unique to discover.
All this month of December will be dedicated to this festival in different cities of the world.
Europe has already had its first snow and the city that we’re going to discover too!
I’ve been to New York several times and I love this city. But if there’s a time of year when this city is even more magical, it's Christmas time! And I was lucky to realise that dream last year.
Everything you see in movies or series is very real, New York is adorned with its best ornaments to delight everyone.
So, sit by the fire or wrap yourself in a warm blanket and follow me:
Whether in the stores, in the windows, in the street, in the Christmas markets, or in Central Park, magic is everywhere and takes you in its whirlwind of light, colours and enchantment.
The magnificent Rockefeller Center Christmas tree shines with 50,000 led lights, and this year it has a new very shiny Swarowski crystal star, made of 3 million crystals for 900 pounds.
The shops creatively compete every year to transport us to another world and they succeed very well:
But when it snows outside, and we start to get cold, better continue the adventure inside, it's just as magical, and it's a good excuse to shop at the same time!
I also like to take refuge in building’s lobbies, each entrance is decorated with care, don’t be afraid to venture, most of the time you’ll even find a coffee shop to relax, and you know my addiction for this drink (Article coffee-addict.html ).
The lobby decoration of the Empire State Building is my favourite, a mini museum on a few square meters.
The very famous 5th Avenue with its luxury boutiques decorated like nowhere else.
But if there’s an event not to be missed in this street, it’s the light show on the facade of the department store Saks. At the end of the article you will find the opening video 2018.
Central Park, with or without snow, is a unique place to wander and daydream, or in my case eat the famous cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.
The reason why I really wanted to go to New York for the holidays, it's due to my passion for art and dance. I’ve always dreamed of seeing The Rockettes and their very famous Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Hall, with its 36 dancers lined up at the same time on stage. And in December 2017, my wish was fulfilled!
I took the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Radio City Hall, I’ve discovered its history, seen behind the scenes and met a Rockette.
The building was built in 1932 in the Art Deco style and it’s an integral part of the Rockefeller Center. And the show has been performed since then, which means for 86 years!
Even today, it’s the largest theatre in the world with a capacity of 6,000 people.
The Christmas tree chandelier at the entrance is in Swarovski crystal, 10,000 in total!!! It measures 35 ft tall and 17.5 ft wide, and weighs 3,000 lbs. I can assure you that it’s massively brilliant and impressive. Its installation takes 2 days.
Obviously after all this, I need a break, cocktail, cookie and burger, perfect combination!
Before concluding this article, I would like to request your participation. You have already decorated your Christmas tree or you’ll do it soon, so send me its picture at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will publish my favourite trees in the article of the 22nd of December!!
Wish you a lovely Christmas season everyone!!
The opening light show of the Saks 5th Avenue to enhance our Christmas spirit (from the 16th minute):
My parents have just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, so it brought back good memories of my own wedding!
You have seen a lot of the magnificent official photos of my solo wedding in Santorini (Photo credit: Alexander Hadji), whether on my blog (all the wedding articles here www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding), in the press or on TV (see all or see again Media). Then, I thought you'd like to discover behind the scenes of this very special day.
All my guests are here, not all those people in the line, even if the number of shoes say the opposite ...
Why is there a half-naked model on my roof? I said no distraction!!
While everyone is starring at him, I remain serious in my preparation.
Initially, I had to have a makeup artist and a hairdresser, but when I decided to marry myself, I chose to pamper myself. I wanted to have this intimate moment, time to refocus myself, to be in harmony with my inner self.
Only my two witnesses were allowed to disturb me. They came from time to time, checking that everything was fine, that I needed nothing, and taking pictures of me in action.
Is everything ready?? It seems that yes, especially do not forget anything. Uh who forgot his bath duck?? One of my wedding gifts ... Maybe the model on the roof would like to use it with me? What, we don’t have time for a bath? It's stressful to get married!!!
Some even have last-minute homework, such as copying a speech or preparing the last payments, and yes, a wedding this is that too! Fortunately, my witness is an accountant.
Everybody is on their way to Venetsanos Winery, my guests in a car, and I’m in a beautiful black Mercedes with my sister.
If my official photos are amazing, in fact, it takes a lot of time and organisation ...
The location, the position, stop thinking that we have forgotten the umbrella ... And tourists, go away, we are hurried here! Not to mention climb the cliff for the sunset, flat shoes essential! One more thing, don’t think I have vertigo ...
And thanks to my super sister who played the assistant, the flying veil this was her job!
Before my wedding, I thought that a photographer was just taking pictures, in fact it's an invisible man who moves without being seen and goes into improbable positions without nobody notices him.
Sometimes we want to do things and it takes longer than expected ...
After a few hours and many bottles, we don’t really know why or how we take pictures ... Even the DJ is gone ... Ah no, he’s with the bride and the wedding planners.
Goodbye Venetsanos and back to the hotel where without my crown and shoes, I continue to drink champagne! I had to relax before sleeping ...
Another big acknowledgment to all the providers of my solo wedding:
Dress: Atelier Pronovias, Boutique Brides of Brisbane - Brisbane CBD (Australia)
Alterations: PQ Fashions, Brisbane CBD (Australia)
Shoes: Edward Meller (Day), Christian Louboutin (Evening)
Ring: Antique Cameo, Boutique Precious Stones Brisbane (Australia)
Jewellery: Cassandra Lynne (U.S)
Tiara: JJ's House
Clutch: Forever New
Jacket: Yves Salomon - Paris (France)
Hairdressing, Makeup, Manicure: myself
Wedding Planning: Divine Weddings Santorini, Maria Alexopoulou & Katerina Panagopoulou, Santorini (Greece)
Venue: Venetsanos Winery, Megalochori, Santorini (Greece)
Celebrant: John Kavallaris, Santorini (Greece)
Photographer: Alexander Hadji, Santorini (Greece)
Flowers: Betty Flowers, Santorini (Greece)
DJ & Light: Multimedia Events, Santorini (Greece)
Catering: Spicy Bites, Santorini (Greece)
Drinks: Venetsanos wine, Champagne Cuvée Clovis (Maison Batillot & Fils, France)
Wedding cake: Petranart, Megalochori, Santorini (Greece)
Fireworks: Skylight Santorini Fireworks, Santorini (Greece)
Hotel: Ampelonas Apartments, Imerovigli, Santorini (Greece)
And to conclude this article, a song that always puts me in a good mood!
Love & Light,
The summer holidays seem far behind us, so I thought it would be good to remember some good memories to brighten our autumn days.
Today we fly to Crete! Another island in the Aegean Sea, just in front of Santorini santorini.html. If Santorini is dear to my heart after my solo wedding , Crete has become my second home.my-solo-ceremony.html
Crete is the largest island in Greece with an area of 8,336 km2, with 1,046 km of coastline and more than 600,000 inhabitants. It's the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica.
Often cited in Greek Mythology, Crete is believed to have been inhabited for 130,000 years, and has experienced several great periods of development, associated with very different conquests and cultures: prehistoric period, Minoan era, Mycenaean civilisation (remember the mask of Agamemnon rainy-dayin-athens.html), Roman Empire, Byzantine, Venetian period then Ottoman, and finally attached to Greece in 1913.
Rich in this history, we find the traces of these civilisations in many parts of the island.
There is so much to say about Crete, so this article is the first in a series of a few episodes, in order not to miss anything of this beautiful destination. And to begin episode 1, the capital Heraklion and its surroundings.
Heraklion is the capital and largest city of Crete, with more than 140,000 inhabitants, making it the 5th largest city in Greece. Heraklion is also the largest seaport of the island and the main link to the mainland, not to mention the many ferries that serve Athens and the other islands of the Aegean Sea.
With the succession of civilisations, this city still has many vestiges, including a part of the ramparts, which offers a nice walk: Agios Minas Cathedral, Venetian Loggia, Church of Saint Titus, Morosini Fountain, Koules Fortress, the market, the Historical Museum of Crete ...
I also like its archaeological museum with the most beautiful collection of pottery I’ve ever seen, I keep visiting it, this museum is a jewel of the island, but I’ll devote a whole article to this subject very soon.
For those wishing to discover more about Heraklion, a video is available at the end of the article that will show you all the highlights of the city.
And like any adventurous day, a break is required! My favourite places: Crumb in the centre of Heraklion that reminds me of my Australian habits, matcha latte with coconut or almond milk, gluten free chocolate cake, but also Greek specialties like spinach pie...
Then, Spyridon, a few kilometres from Heraklion, at Kokkini Hani, paradise of dessert and ice cream, and my favourite place for waffles to accompany my coffee (last article coffee-addict.html), don’t count calories here hahaha!!
Next stop: Knossos!
The Palace of Knossos is the cradle of the Minoan civilisation, known as the oldest civilisation in Europe (circa 2700 to 1100 BC).
It covered nearly 5 hectares with the only main building of an area of 3 hectares.
It was composed of more than 1000 pieces, serving as both administrative and religious centre. This also included several areas dedicated to storage, especially for olive oil, wine, wool ...
The Palace was very modern with its equipment: natural ventilation system, bathrooms, toilets and running water.
There was also a theater that could accommodate 400 people.
It’s the largest archaeological site in Crete from the Bronze Age.
The site was discovered in 1878 by a Cretan antique dealer, then in 1900 Arthur Evans, a British archaeologist acquires it and begins a large excavation site.
The palace was rich in colours and frescoes, made of stones and uncooked bricks.
In addition, the Knossos Palace is associated with the legend of Minos King, where he lived and built the Minotaur’s maze according to Greek mythology.
To better imagine the size of this palace, a short 3D video for you, you will recognize some of the pictures seen previously:
And for those who prefer a relaxing day at the beach, there are nice spots even around Heraklion:
If it’s more convenient to rent a car to discover the island, I like to use public transport, it gives me plenty of time to admire the landscape. And that's what I see when I take the bus to go shopping:
A sunset is always special, no matter where, but Crete is truly inspiring! Have a good week!
P.S.: For those who want to discover more about Heraklion:
One of my favourite drinks is coffee. And stop laughing those who thought it was alcohol, it's a hobby it's different! But this is not the subject of the day.
It isn’t known exactly how coffee was discovered, although it probably originates from Ethiopia, but from the 15th century "coffee houses" appear in the Middle East. In the 17th century, its consumption spread throughout the world, first in Italy, then in the rest of Europe and finally in the United States. Which led of course to a growing production.
According to the statistics 2017 and to my surprise, the first consumers of coffee are the northern countries: Finland with 10.35 kg per person per year, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark ... Italy is 7th with 6.69 kg, France 13th with 4.80 kg and Greece 16th with a consumption of 4.52 kg.
I have been drinking coffee since the age of 14, from espresso to long black, cappuccino and from Greece freddo espresso translated by cold espresso. I discovered this drink during my stay for my solo wedding in Santorini my-solo-wedding.html and I admit that it's very refreshing during summer. This is a double espresso shaken with ice cubes. Then served in a glass filled with 2 third of ice.
A barista friend and I had a debate lately about the history of expresso, disagreeing with its origin, I did new research to confirm my statements.
Although Angelo Moriondo created an espresso machine in Turin, Italy in 1884, the original idea dates back to 1822 when Mr. Louis Bernard Rabaut, a Frenchman, decided to use steam to extract roasted coffee. Since then, this beautiful invention has continued to be improved again and again for our greatest pleasure.
I like coffee so much that I don’t sweeten it, I prefer to keep the full natural flavour, but I often accompany it with biscuits or sweets of all kinds at any time of the day. And coffee is essential when I have to get up at dawn to travel for an interview (Article to read or re-read 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html).
Peppermint mocha in the United States at Christmas time is not bad either (Article to come), avoid the extra cream or otherwise we forget chocolates, some excess is ok but we still need to fit into our dress for NYE!
What is good with coffee is that I can find it everywhere, so even if I travel a lot, I always get my daily dose. I admit it’s a good excuse to meet baristas too!
Barista is an Italian word which means bartender, preparing all types of drinks. However, when the word has been introduced in the English language, it has slightly changed to describe the preparer of coffee and operator of an espresso machine. This description has been kept in French and German.
A love song to finish this article, because coffee and I, this is the longest romance I've ever had! Hahaha
I hope you all had a very scary Halloween this week, full of tricks and treats!!
I know that some were at Disneyland Paris, lucky you! Which reminds me of one of my articles disneyland-paris.html .
By the way, do you know where the word Halloween comes from?
Halloween or Hallowe'en is a contraction of Hallows' Even or Hallows' Evening, which means the evening before All Saints' Day or All Hallows' day.
My favourite place for Halloween is in Athens, it's a café called Little Kook. It’s in the city centre, close to the famous Monastiraki Square.
The decorations are incredible, I think there’s not a square millimetre unexploited. And to add to the already fussy atmosphere, a thick velvet curtain bars the entrance. Behind, one or two horrible witches are waiting for us to show the premises, and incidentally give us a table. Here pancakes, cakes, cupcakes are kings, in short, the scary kingdom of sweet! Don't try to resist, it's already too late...
Although Athens is one of the sunniest cities in Europe, sometimes it rains...
So, to complete my series of cities in the rain, after Madrid rainy-dayin-madrid.html, let's continue with this ancient city. You’ve already discovered a part last week 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html, and I’ve promised to share some of my favourite addresses. So, grab your raincoat and follow me!
This city is full of incredible museums, and to start I take you to the National Historical Museum, located in the neoclassical Palace of the Old Parliament, Stadiou Street 13, Kolokotroni Square, Athens 10561. This building housed the Parliament of the Hellenes until 1935 and since 1960, this is the museum.
Its permanent exhibition traces the history of Greece from the Ottomans to the Second World War. It’s composed of innumerable objects and relics displayed in chronological order.
This year the museum also hosted a temporary exhibition presenting the different traditional Greek costumes, in collaboration with Playmobil. A fun and original way to attract children to discover this universe.
Well, you will say that I repeat myself but when it rains, I like to eat, well, when the weather is nice also hahaha!
So, for our break, I chose Cookie Land. I love this place for 2 things: their kataifi, filaments of filo dough filled with sugar, cinnamon, almonds and pistachios, and their vaflaki (mini-cubes of waffle) with bacon and cheese! With a coffee obviously (Article to come).
Let's continue with another museum that I particularly like, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, 44 rue Patission. It was established in 1889 and is the largest archaeological museum in Greece.
It displays nearly 11,000 objects on 8,000 square meters, from early Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
Museum where you will find the golden mask of Agamemnon! But also, an impressive collection of funerary objects, sculptures, Egyptian antiquities, and a hall dedicated to the ruins of Akrotiri, a city of Santorini in the Bronze Age.
A short walk in the evening, all cities have a particular charm in the dark, but I think Athens becomes even more mystical, as if time stopped. Well, almost, because here they like to party until late at night, and cafes, bars and restaurants abound with a splendid view of the Acropolis obviously! City Zen, 360, La Vista, Savaas ... Don’t be afraid to venture, the access is made by lifts hidden in small entrances.
Back to Kimon Hotel, I like staying here when I'm in Athens, it's located in Plaka, my favourite neighbourhood, halfway between the busy shopping streets and the Acropolis. So, I can walk easily or take the metro.
And to finish this busy day, a very funny Halloween video to relax. Enjoy!