As the cold takes hold in Europe and winter is just around the corner - I can already see snow from my window in the Alps – I’ve chosen to warm up with a destination that is simply my favourite place in the world.
Having lived almost a decade in Australia has given me the chance to visit amazing places and for me who loves the beach, the sea, and the sun, it has been a real blessing.
No surprise that I stayed in Greece after my Solo Wedding in Santorini…
But without further ado, let's take a look at the map to see where exactly Hill Inlet is located:
This inlet is located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach - one of Australia's most famous beaches - on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays.
This archipelago - mostly uninhabited - lies in the Coral Sea, between the northeast coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
Obviously, to get there, the boat is essential, whether it’s a big yacht, a sailboat or a small motorboat, the important thing is to arrive at the destination.
I’ve had the chance to go there a few times and each time it has been an extraordinary adventure both from a human point of view and by the beauty of nature ...
(FYI all photos are mine, without filter or retouching)
Covering an area of nearly 109 km2, the island enjoys a tropical climate.
It was populated by the Ngaro aborigines for 8,000 years before being expelled under British colonisation.
The name Whitsunday was chosen by James Cook when he discovered the island in 1770.
To access the best viewpoint of the island, you’re going through the forest, a nice walk that allows you to learn more about the many wild species of the island: birds, plants, varans, rays and reef sharks.
I never tire of this extraordinary view with multiple shades of blue and crystal clear waters.
Beauty in its purest and natural state, no filter or retouching, here any photo is a postcard...
And even going back to sea level, one continues to be amazed and enveloped by this wild nature, so vibrant and yet peaceful.
Thank you to keep preserving this amazing place!
And of course, you noticed this magnificent white sand, as far as the eye can see ...
So thin, it sings when one stepped on.
You can leave me here anytime; this is my heaven on earth!
My Previous Articles:
Have an amazing week!
Love & Joy,
After showing you 2 Art exhibitions I love, “Florae” and “Water Lilies by Monet”, this week I talk again about my Solo Wedding in Santorini, to tell something very intimate that everyone experiences at least once in their life: shame and blame.
Three years already that my incredible story was revealed in the international press, still so much to say, to share with you.
An adventure that never ceases to take me on unknown and exhilarating paths ...
And recently, I was interviewed again, but this time by a bestselling American author who is currently writing a book, and the discussion we've had inspired me the text below, which I’ve chosen to share with you:
"When my fiancé left me, I was ashamed, embarrassed, I know I shouldn’t have been, but I was.
Have a fantastic week!
Next article: November 13, 2021
Love & Joy,
This week, I chose to stay in the flowers theme, my last article Florae is still making me dream...
And I take you to the magnificent Orangery Museum, in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, to admire the latest work by one of the most important impressionist painters: Claude Monet.
He wanted it as a place of meditation, silence is requested, but in front of so much beauty one can only be moved and be silent.
There’s only one other place where I feel so peaceful, and that is on the island where took place my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
Here, the artwork depicts a garden at different times of the day from sunrise to sunset.
No horizon or frame to get lost in this scenery and it doesn't take long to be completely absorbed by this lush vegetation.
Installed on the curved walls of 2 large oval rooms. The total ensemble measures nearly 100 linear metres (328 ft) over a height of 1.97m (3.28ft), in other words not far from 200m2 (2,153 sq ft) of art on display.
The light is natural, overhead, coming from the ceiling as in the artist’s studio.
Nothing is left to chance, Monet decided the location of the 8 panels, the space between them, he planned the smallest details.
However, he has never seen the result, the Water Lilies were installed a few months after his death in 1927.
Born in Paris in 1840, Monet was a French painter and one of the founders of Impressionism.
He spent the last 30 years of his life painting water lilies, no less than 250 oil paintings, and it took him 15 years to paint those on display at the Orangery.
His ultimate work, dedicated to peace, started in the midst of the First World War, therefore he did donate it to France.
So important to him, that suffering from cataracts and almost blind, he had an operation to be able to finish them off.
He died in 1926 at the age of 86 from lung cancer.
I’m sure you are captivated by this spectacular work.
Keep this meditative and calm mind until next week.
And a great video at the end of the article, for those who want to discover more…
Have a wonderful week!
Love & Joy,
In my last article Last Quarter, I explained how to end the year serenely, well why not go see this magnificent and free exhibition “Florae”, at the Hôtel d'Evreux, Place Vendôme in Paris, until November 14, 2021.
Organised by Van Cleef & Arpels in collaboration with Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa and architect Tsuyoshi Tane.
On the theme of flowers - and you know how important they were at my Solo Wedding in Santorini (reread my article Flowers) - the jewels on display, or should I say the artworks as they are so incredible, come from the private collection of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Obviously, we’re talking about pieces of fine jewellery encrusted with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones and materials, some of which belonged to princesses ...
Mika Ninagawa, born in Tokyo in 1972, is a world-renowned Japanese photographer and director. She has worked with many famous artists and won prestigious awards around the world.
Her universe is pop, colourful, dreamlike and is inspired by nature's beauty.
A magnificent association between her photos and the jewels presented.
All this magnified by an aesthetically luminous presentation by Tsuyoshi Tane, Japanese architect and scenographer.
Here, he chooses to make us move through a plant labyrinth in an intimate atmosphere.
You quickly feel possessed by this unique garden, you lose your bearings and surprise yourself to gather nectar from flower to flower (from photography or jewellery) ...
And how not to dream in front of so much beauty, poetry and brilliance (besides, it wasn’t always easy to take pictures because it shone so bright!).
I can imagine myself perfectly with one of these necklaces around my neck ...
Don't forget to book your time slot online before your visit: LINK
And you can always count on the house's watch collection to inspire you to be on time for the rest of your life!
I’d like to thank Van Cleef & Arpels for their kindness and generosity, and for giving us once again access to their incredible talent and know-how.
A video at the end of the article to tell you even more about this magnificent exhibition.
And to come on October 21, an exciting online conference by L’ECOLE School of Jewelry Arts "The four seasons of the Jewelry Garden" broadcast live from the Florae exhibition!
Register here, it's free: LINK.
Read my previous articles:
Have a fabulous week!
Love & Joy,
And here we are in October, after the start of the school year, I always find it interesting to take stock of the current year so that I can concentrate and refocus on this last quarter!
I’ve just returned from Paris where I had a wonderful stay again, I can't wait to tell you about my discoveries but in the meantime, here are my tips for happiness to end the year in style, perfectly aligned with your mood, your desires, and your energy.
And to help me for this article, I’ve chosen to use 3 of my videos.
"Sometimes to act is to do nothing" L.
1 / Everything comes in time
My experience taught me to be patient and not to envy people.
There’s no need to rush anything, appreciate what you have already.
Dreams demand time & resilience, if you really desire them, they’ll come true…
"Don’t be jealous and above all don’t compare yourself to others." L.
2 / The Red Ball
At the end of the year, we want to achieve all the goals we set for ourselves, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves and stress for nothing.
Not to mention the season changed, and our body must readjust as well.
There’s no point in forcing things, on the contrary, take more care of yourself, relax and stay open to opportunities.
Don't miss life because of the Red Ball...
"Each flower blooms in its own way, we are not that different." L.
3 / Let's grow together
I made this video in early 2021 and I'm so excited to continue to share my experiences with you.
Like flowers and nature, keep growing at your own pace and keep blooming!
"Celebrate every victory, big and small!" L.
Let’s keep going with the flow, let’s have an open, positive and compassionate attitude, towards others but especially towards ourselves.
And let's not forget to be grateful, for everything, big and small things, all the people in our lives, big and small victories ...
Enjoy what you have, enjoy the moment.
I am so grateful for all the love and support I had this year, both personally and professionally.
I met incredible new people and had access to amazing opportunities, not to mention some ongoing collaborations that I’ll tell you about very soon.
That’s why there’ll be no article next week, I have a few imperatives with my Solo Wedding in Santorini, regarding some exciting projects to come.
In the meantime, reread my previous articles:
Watch all my videos here: LINK
(also available on YouTube and IGTV)
Discover my new page: My Solo Wedding
"Reflect… Meditate… Dream..." L.
In this last quarter of the year, let's take some time ...
Don’t focus on what you haven’t accomplished yet, realise everything you’ve already done, including all the unexpected things that turned into amazing opportunities.
Even more than usual, I take care of myself, my body, my mind, I cherish & nourish them beautifully.
Is there something you really want to achieve this year? Yes. So, keep the faith and don't give up.
Celebrate your growth, your resilience, your patience, your self-discipline.
Fill your heart with love, compassion, hope and courage.
You are a wonderful being, capable of the very best.
Have faith, you’re going to finish this year in awe!
Have a great week!
Next article: October 16, 2021
Love & Joy,
Three years ago, my story went viral around the world, and I even went to the biggest Greek TV channel to talk about it.
I was not prepared for it and yet I did not shy away from the unknown and accepted with great humility that my experience was brought to light.
My light, the one I discovered thanks to my Solo Wedding in Santorini, the one that grows and accompanies me every day, the one that I gladly share with all those who cross my path.
An incredible adventure which has already given me so much and continues. And more and more great people I meet.
I am filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude, all of this would be of no value without you.
Considering the number of articles on my Solo Wedding in Santorini and the ever-growing interest in my story, I thought that adding a page entirely dedicated to it was now welcome.
It’s still under construction but you’ll be able to discover it next week!
You’ll always find all the articles on the blog, from the most recent to the oldest, in the Solo Wedding Category: LINK.
Accessible from the home page OR on the blog page (on the right side).
You can also access the Book page from the menu to find excerpts from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini, an entire chapter is even published, as well as the list of articles with an excerpt.
There are also texts and videos where I explain my book and my interest in writing.
Have a great week!
Love & Joy,
After my article last week on the Air Festival , I wanted to share these other photos with you.
I’ve already mentioned this city before, reread Christmas in Dubai and the Desert, but this time, I'm going to show it a bit differently.
As a reminder, Dubai is in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, in the Arabian Peninsula, between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Before my Solo Wedding in Santorini, I lived in Australia, and I regularly transited through Dubai to visit my family in France.
The UAE is a federal state created in 1971, with 7 emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain.
The city of Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.
With more than 3.1 million inhabitants, it’s the most populous city in the UAE out of the 9,700,000 in the country (of which 90% are immigrants).
But Dubai is also the country's first port and the economic capital, while Abu Dhabi is the federal capital.
Focused on luxury tourism, Dubai is particularly famous for these extraordinary constructions such as the towers: Burj Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab which I spoke about extensively in my article Christmas in Dubai.
And seen from the sky, one can only admire, with Burj Khalifa a bit in the fog, yet it easily stands out from other skyscrapers ...
Another architectural feat, Palm Jumeirah!
An artificial archipelago in the Persian Gulf in the shape of a palm tree, made up of a trunk 1.25 mi (2 km) long on which the monorail circulates, and 16 palms which house a thousand luxury private villas.
This magnificent palm tree is surrounded by a 6.84 mi (11 km) long crescent, where you can find palaces and luxury hotels such as the famous Atlantis hotel (re-read Christmas in Dubai)!
But Palm Jumeirah was to be the smallest palm of an initial project of 3 palms along the coast.
In the same spirit, we also find another incredible archipelago, the world, which as its name suggests represents a map of the world. Unfortunately, no photo of the whole set, much too large, and visible from the International Space Station!
All these islets require a lot of sand, dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf and fitted out with dikes and canals to counter the swell while allowing the renewal of the water, and thus avoid the proliferation of mosquitoes and algae.
Some projects have been started and never completed; others continue despite successive crises. We haven’t finished discovering the landscape of these unique archipelagos ...
But back to the city, from the air, we realise the colossal construction that this city has required.
Although some writings reveal that Dubai already existed in the 11th century, it was not until the 18th century that it was considered a city. And thanks to the very important pearl trade at that time, its notoriety developed widely.
Then, with the discovery of oil in the 60s, the city changed dramatically, and from the 90s, incredible infrastructures and skyscrapers sprang from the ground to give the city we know today ...
And by the way, what I haven't mentioned but which you may have noticed in the photos is my mode of transportation: a seaplane!
A city always on the move and in constant search for novelty, an incredible new space has recently opened its doors: Deep Dive Dubai.
This is the deepest diving pool in the world, 197 ft (60m)!!
Designed as a submerged city, you can visit it and have fun while being under water ...
Until we visit it, we’ll watch the video at the end of the article 😊
And to reread my previous articles:
Have a fantastic week!
Love & Joy,
After a long stay in the capital, as I mentioned it last week in my article A Glimpse of Paris, I was happy to reconnect with nature, and more precisely in the mountains, in the French Alps, where I grew up (reread Childhood).
I even had more fun as an airshow was organised at the Alpe d'Huez, and you know how much I love everything that flies!
Reread my previous articles:
A magnificent day in a sumptuous setting and the sunshine, life is good!
As a child, with my family, we used to go often to this kind of event, during them, I had my first ride in a hot air balloon and in a helicopter.
It actually reminds me that after my Solo Wedding in Santorini, during my Honeymoon, I flew by helicopter over the island at sunset, such a magical moment!
Plane is different, thanks to school I had flying lessons when I was 8. And today I no longer count my miles as a passenger!
But before I take you into the air, let's take a look at the ground.
All kinds of stands, a flight simulator on Mirage 2000, in air combat mode over Dubai for me, adrenaline guaranteed, and I won’t see my photos of Dubai in the same way anymore (reread Christmas in Dubai).
But above all there’s a model of the Alpha jet of the Patrouille de France, the Air Force’s aerobatic display team...
Throughout the day, breathtaking demonstrations on different types of aircraft, recent and old, and an unfailing admiration for these pilots ...
And yes, the runway is a leap into the void!
So incredible and magnificent, aerobatics…One or many planes ...
It makes me want to try, next first time on my list for sure!
But also, a helicopter rescue demonstration, it wasn’t the first time I saw one and yet it’s always impressive ...
I skydived before, however I’ve never tried paragliding, and this lively performance excited my curiosity!
And of course, the Patrouille de France (PAF)! Created in 1931, this is the oldest aerobatic display team in the world.
Composed of 9 pilots including a replacement (8 airplanes). And a whole team behind them. Being able to see one of their shows is a beautiful opportunity.
Even better when you can meet them afterwards and talk to them ...
Their work, talent and kindness are a real source of inspiration.
Although I lived in 7 countries in the world, I’m French, born and raised, and watching the PAF always gives me chills!
Thank you to all, the pilots, the teams, the organisers…
No matter how old we were, everyone had sparks in their eyes!
For a day I thought I was a pilot, a wonderful memory and a good way to keep my mind in the clouds & keep dreaming...😊
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Love & Joy,
Many of you asked me what I did during my last trip in Paris, and although I shared a lot on my social media, I don't blame you for being curious!
So, here it is, I’ve chosen to give you a glimpse and of course many of my visits and experiences will be the topic of specific articles ...
To be honest, I never tire of talking and commenting on this magnificent French capital which amazes me every time.
Here’s a summary I made in Paris:
And yes, I wore a Chaumet tiara, well let's be more specific, a metal replica, it’s still magnificent and obviously I couldn’t resist the temptation to try on a few diamonds (Chaumet)… You know how much I love jewellery, reread My Wedding Ring.
For those who are familiar with the place, you recognised La Samaritaine in the background, after 15 years of closure and an incredible renovation, this department store has reopened its doors to the public and I had the immense privilege of discover it in a unique way. Of course, an article will be dedicated to it ...
Museums... Here are the ones I visited this time:
And also churches...
I also had the opportunity to see 2 magnificent exhibitions organised in collaboration with Van Cleef & Arpels:
In addition, I went to admire the incredible Van Cleef & Arpels Private Collection, Place Vendôme (photos not allowed).
I’d like to warmly thank Van Cleef & Arpels for their hospitality and kindness, and I look forward to seeing you again!
I also let myself go with the wind, walking through the streets and parks of Paris ...
Besides seeing my friends, I made many new ones.
Especially Thibaut, an incredible artist who did my portrait based on the photos of My Solo Wedding in Santorini!
Because Paris is all of that, luxury, art, architecture, history, beauty & new friendships ...
And also, some pleasure! 😊
It’s been a while since I last talked about my Solo Wedding in Santorini on the blog, yet I do talk about it every day and many of you are curious about everything ...
Today, I’ve chosen the venue, of course you’ve already seen many pictures and I’ve mentioned it in my article Wines of Santorini.
However, there are many details that I haven’t yet shared with you, especially you’ll discover a new excerpt from my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini, at the end of this article 😊
“It's penicillin that heals men, but it's the good wine that makes them happy.”
So, no wonder I chose a vineyard, especially since you know how much I appreciate wine.
To tell the truth, out of the dozen proposals given by our wedding planner, we had selected 2, and yes, it is rare that I mention it, but my fiancé had participated in this selection phase.
He had chosen an elegant villa on the cliffs, and I picked a vineyard.
We wanted the same location for the ceremony and the reception, with a view of the caldera of course.
In 2016, I set foot on this island then unknown to me, to visit and decide on the location of the ceremony.
When I discovered Venetsanos Winery in Megalochori, I knew it was the perfect place!
(These photos were taken in 2016 during my first visit 😊)
"Give me some coffee to change things that I can change. And wine to accept those that I cannot change. "
A year later, I had a lot to accept!
My fiancé had just abandoned me, our wedding was almost fully organised, I was excited to return to Santorini, I couldn't bring myself to lose that part of happiness.
The best decision of my life ...
And I have to say this venue was absolutely amazing for my Solo Wedding in Santorini, I couldn't have asked for better!
Excerpt from My Solo Wedding in Santorini or How he saved my life, by Laëtitia Nguyen
Already from the car park, I could not believe my eyes. The view of the caldera was breathtaking. A large stone staircase led to a magnificent terrace, the place for the ceremony, I imagined myself completely, holding my father’s arm to go down the stairs to join my future husband, with the sea as a witness. It was elegant and classic with these old stones everywhere, there was a big circle of seven metres in diameter, in pebbles drawn on the ground, perfect to determine the dance floor, and to suit any choreography.
Thanks again to all the providers of my Solo Wedding in Santorini:
Dress: Atelier Pronovias, Shop Brides of Brisbane - Brisbane City (Australia)
Alterations: PQ Fashions, Brisbane City (Australia)
Shoes: Edward Meller (Day), Christian Louboutin (Evening)
Ring: Antique Cameo, Shop Precious Stones Brisbane (Australia)
Jewellery: Cassandra Lynne (U.S)
Tiara: JJ's House
Clutch bag: Forever New
Jacket: Yves Salomon
Hairdressing, Makeup, Manicure: by myself
Wedding Planners: Divine Weddings Santorini, Maria Alexandrapoulos & 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: Wine from Venetsanos Winery, Champagne Cuvée Clovis (Maison Batillot & Fils, France)
Wedding cake: Petranart, Megalochori, Santorini (Greece)
Fireworks: Skylight Santorini Fireworks, Santorini (Greece)
Accommodation: Ampelonas Apartments, Imerovigli, Santorini (Greece)
More pictures in my article My Solo Ceremony.
Read all the articles of my Solo Wedding in Santorini: HERE.
More excerpts from my book: HERE.
Next Article: August 28!
Love & Joy,
After my article on art with the Louvre, I wanted to choose another universe that I love, you know how much I love theme parks!
Last year, family & fiends took me to Gallic territory to celebrate my birthday and I had a great time despite the cool and capricious weather for a month of July ...
From the height of his 7m (23ft), weighing no less than 4 tons, Asterix observes the arrival of visitors, perched at a height of 30m (98ft)!
It was one of his dads, Albert Uderzo, who had the idea of a theme park in 1981. However, it will take 8 years of reflection, preparation including 2 years of construction, before his dream was born in 1989.
Since 2002, the park belongs to the Compagnie des Alpes, a French company that manages several ski resorts including Méribel, where I grew up, but also other tourist attractions such as Futuroscope, Walibi and the Grévin Museum.
Today, Parc Astérix is in 3rd place (number of visitors) in France, behind Disneyland Paris, the Disney Studios and ahead of Futuroscope.
Rich in sumptuous decor and full of humour, you immediately feel immersed in Gaulish country and in a good mood ...
Obviously, none of this would exist without the boundless imagination of the French comic book creators, René Goscinny, screenwriter and Albert Uderzo, designer.
Friends for many years, they chose to create historical characters, Asterix, Obelix and all the indomitable Gauls were born in 1959.
Gauls who resist the Roman Empire thanks to a magic potion made by their druid Getafix.
Albert Uderzo continues the series alone after the death of his friend in 1977, then since 2013 Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad are in charge of perpetuating this great adventure.
Albert Uderzo died in 2020 at the age of 92.
And a fabulous story with 38 books, translated into 111 languages and dialects!
And nothing is funnier than looking for all these characters across the park ...
Look, it looks like Queen Laeti is visiting.
Asterix and Cleopatra is one of my favourite books and here it is widely represented with a whole universe dedicated to it:
But my favourite area, Greece of course!
Since my Solo Wedding in Santorini, you know I’m kind of half-Greek now 😊
Of course, what I also like about this park are the rollercoasters!
And knowing that I tested many of them around the world, I can tell you with certainty that this park is full of great surprises.
Oz Iris at 40m (131ft) high and more than 90km/h, the Tonnerre de Zeus, certainly one of the most impressive that I’ve seen because it’s an entirely wooden construction, 84km/h and above all a vertiginous drop of 29m (95ft). And I've heard that the Tonnerre 2 Zeus is currently in progress ...
Goudurix, my favourite, 7 times upside down at 92km/h and up to 36m (118ft) in height, or 12 floors of a building!
But also, the Trace du Hourra, the Cheval de Troie and the last one, Pegase Express, rich in new technology, it combines thrills with great fear… but I won't tell you more…
Be prepared to be thrilled!
But we also have the right to do more relaxing rides ...
And after such a day, the souvenir shop is essential ...
Anyway, wonderful memories and an unforgettable Gallic adventure!
As a reminder, during the summer vacation (July-August), I only publish 2 articles per month.
But find my daily photos of Paris on Instagram ...
Next Article: August 14, 2021!
Love & Joy,
I promised you several articles on the Louvre Museum, so here is the 2nd opus.
Passionate about art, the Louvre Museum is an incredible place to satisfy my curiosity as its treasures are countless.
We’ve just celebrated Bastille Day in France, and for the occasion I wanted to honour French painting.
And to start, I chose " La Liberté guidant le people " (Liberty leading the people) by Eugène Delacroix.
Although this painting refers to the riots of July 1830 which led to the abdication of Charles X, and not to the French Revolution & the Storming of the Bastille, that we celebrate every July 14, this painting remains an important symbol of the French Republic.
We see the tricolour flag as well as Liberty wearing the Phrygian cap.
Delacroix is one of my favourite painters and this incredible artwork (260 x 325cm) is exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris among other of his masterpieces ...
I’m planning an article which will be entirely dedicated to him, so much there is to say about this extraordinary artist.
Another painting that attracts many visitors: The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault.
Another French romantic painter, this spectacular work from 1819 (491 x 716cm) also tells a historical event: the wreck of the frigate Méduse of the French colonial navy.
She stranded in 1816 off the coast of Mauritania on her way to Senegal to transport equipment and personnel. On a makeshift raft, 147 people tried to survive for several days, cannibalism included. Only 10 people ultimately escaped death.
The painter has researched extensively and even met survivors to create this disturbing and magnificent work that cemented his reputation.
Still in the historical context, a once again very famous painting: The Coronation of Napoleon.
Painting from 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, one cannot miss this neoclassical work of 621 × 969 cm!
Obviously representing the coronation of Napoleon I and Empress Joséphine in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1804 and not at Reims Cathedral like the previous Kings of France.
No less than 191 people are faithfully reproduced in this artwork.
The artist realised an almost identical second painting, which is now on display at the Palace of Versailles.
Jacques-Louis David, a very influential painter, has been the master of two generations of artists.
I’d like to conlude with Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres and another important event in French history: Joan of Arc at the coronation of King Charles VII, in the Cathedral of Reims (1429).
Ingres, disciple of Jacques-Louis David of course!
I’ve previously talked about Reims and its history:
I hope that with this article you discovered or rediscovered some gems of French painting.
For those who wanted to see the Mona Lisa, I invite you to reread my Article Louvre Museum.
No article next week I’ll be settling in Paris for the summer! Which presages many new adventures and exhibitions to tell you.
But you can still re-read all the articles about my Solo Wedding in Santorini: LINK.
Obviously, I’ll stay active on my social media:
Next article: July 31, 2021!
Love & Joy,
If you follow me on my social media you know I celebrated my birthday with style, and even royally!
This is always a celebration that I particularly honour, and since my Solo Wedding in Santorini I must say that I've certainly followed this rule (re-read Time Travel).
And after Santorini, London and Paris, I was planning to celebrate it in Milan, however with the current situation, I preferred to stay in France and do it with my family in the Alps where I grew up.
However, being born in July, a summer baby, I chose an aquatic atmosphere ...
After the cancellation of Milan, the mermaid theme immediately came to my mind, yet I'm not a particular fan, you know I love Unicorns (read my article Unicorns).
And in Disney's Little Mermaid, I much prefer Ursula, the wicked octopus.
I admit I like the vilains a lot: Cruella (101 Dalmatians), Maleficent, the Evil Queen (Snow White).
My shrink would definitely have something to say about it if I had one.
In short, while this decoration is normally easy to find in specialised stores, it turns out that the main suppliers for this theme are American and weren’t able to supply the shops with the Covid ... So, I had to be creative to satisfy my marine desires.
Siren comes from ancient Greek, and in Greek mythology this is a half-woman, half-bird creature (hence my wings at the beginning of the article), while in the Scandinavian culture she’s half fish (as in The Little Mermaid, the tale of Hans Christian Andersen).
While it’s true that on ancient Greek pottery they’re clearly distinguished as birds, in my recollections in Homer's Odyssey they are described as naked women by the water ...
In French, the same word is used “sirène”, while in English, "siren" is used for Greek sirens, and "mermaid" for others.
In both cases, they’re associated with the sea, and the myths, tales and stories about them are still fascinating.
I decided not to discriminate anyone, I’m the Queen of all, sirens & mermaids 😊
I love organising events and decorating is my thing. So, I was able to please my heart & the result reached my expectations:
"Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail."
For those who know me, well you never get bored with me ...
Then, polaroid photoshoot with accessories, nothing better to relax and have some good laughs.
The guestbook required a little effort from my guests, they had to paint a picture of their choice and add a note.
And the Under the Ocean Game, blindfolded, we had to stick a unicorn in the place chosen by the other participants (back of the turtle, fish, seabed…). Everyone loved it, young and old alike! And my mum won!!
Ocean Water to rehydrate and Seaweed Juice to refresh (love the colourings!).
(Fake) crabs, octopus, stars and real Greek dishes (Greek salad, pita, spanakopita) to remind us of Ulysses and the Odyssey.
Obviously, the cake, well the cakes ...
My pastry chef, my sister!
Mermaid tail, bikini and rubber ring, everything you need for a mermaid at the beach despite a rainy day ...
I had never had a themed birthday party like this before, there is no age for having fun ...
Thank you to my family and friends for a wonderful birthday party, yet another unforgettable year, looking forward to what next year has in store for me!!
My previous articles:
And I’d like to end this article with the caption I posted on my social media on my birthday:
Happy Birthday to me!!
Have a fantastic week!
Love & Joy,
PS: Luca is a wonderful movie ;)
Today, there’s the LGBTQIA+ pride in Paris, as a fervent ally of this community I wanted to honour them this week!
Long called gay pride, today we only say pride, to bring together everyone and no longer just homosexuals.
And for those unfamiliar with the term LGBTQIA+, it means: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and more, as the acronym can have even more categories, in its full form:
One of the A's stands for Ally, like me, for all those who support equal rights.
But if you only remember the first one, that's great!
(The photos in this article were taken in Paris in June 2019)
While many cities around the world have already celebrated it, more will take place in the summer, an event always eagerly awaited and even more so this year as many were cancelled last year.
The first march took place in June 1970 in the United States, to commemorate the Stonewall riots in New York.
Indeed, on June 28, 1969, a police raid took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village (NYC). A bar frequented by gay and transgender people. Recall that at that time in New York, it was forbidden to serve alcohol to homosexuals, as well as to cross-dress.
Only this time, the police face a rebellion. Five days of riots followed. 2,000 participants and 400 policemen were reported during the first night.
This event undoubtedly gave birth to the LGBT movement in the United States and around the world.
This is why June is considered Pride Month in many countries, and every year since 1970 more and more cities around the world have joined the movement.
You probably noticed this month, small multicoloured flags on the internet, social media, some store windows ...
This is the flag of the LGBTQIA + community.
It was created by an American, Gilbert Baker in 1978. The first 2 flags were hand-stitched & dyed by the artist and used in the march of San Francisco on June 25, 1978.
Each colour represents a particular word:
Originally the flag had 8 stripes, the pink (sex) and turquoise (magic) have been removed to facilitate mass-production.
However, the colour brown (inclusivity) and black (diversity) were added in 2017 for more inclusion towards people of colour.
The video below tells the story of this flag very well:
In my article Superwomen 3, I talked extensively about same-sex marriage around the world, as well as the right to parenthood, and all the inequalities that still exist.
I recalled in my article Superwomen 5 that lesbians in France are not allowed to freeze their eggs or to have IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about donating blood, because in most countries in the world, homosexuals and bisexuals are not allowed to donate blood or under certain conditions such as several months of abstinence before blood donation. (Australia, United States, France…).
The UK made a change to their law about ten days ago, allowing people in a monogamous relationship for more than 3 months to donate blood without restriction.
France is expected to allow anyone over the age of 18 to be an unrestricted donor next year.
Still too many laws are unequal and inadequate today, it is up to everyone to support equal rights for all.
Today is also the birthday of my godchildren, Hannah and Noam, the twins of 2 amazing dads!
I witnessed the difficult journey for them to become a family, the laws, the disappointments, the failures and finally these 2 miracles.
Love has no gender, colour, religion, border. Love is Love.
So today, I'm not just celebrating their birth, but also determination, courage and love ...
I am proud of you, I love you!!
Reread my articles from the Superwomen Series here: LINK.
But also, all the articles of My Solo Wedding in Santorini: LINK.
No article next week, it's my birthday on the 1st of July!! I'm going to celebrate for a few days...
Next Post: Saturday July 10
Love & Joy,
I’m very excited because I’m going to spend Summer in Paris again. I love this city, so romantic and inspiring, it's no wonder that many artists and authors created here.
So this week, I'm taking you again to the French capital, to visit my favourite garden: the Luxembourg Gardens.
Created in 1612 for Queen Marie de Medici, to enhance the Luxembourg Palace that she chose as her residence, this palace occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, is today the place of the Senate, which owns it, gardens included.
It was transformed several times over time, in its current form there’s a French garden, an English garden, separated by a geometric forest, but also a rose garden, greenhouses with orchids, an orchard with old apples and even beehives.
Everything is conducive to daydreaming in these 25 hectares of greenery and art / architecture.
What I love most is its collection of 106 statues spread all over the park, like witnesses of time and history.
Among these the Greek actor, a bronze sculpture of a man with a mask on his forehead and a manuscript in his hand, you know how attached I am to Greece, my country of heart since My Solo Weddding in Santorini.
And yes, this is the Pantheon in the background (read Article Pantheon Paris).
Or even the bronze model that was used by the sculptor Bartholdi for the Statue of Liberty (statue mentioned in my article Spring in New York). He actually gave it to the Luxembourg Gardens.
Many activities are available in these gardens, tennis, bowls, ponies for children, exhibitions etc.
But my favourite thing is to relax, sunbath, wander, have a coffee, watch the clouds as I said last week (reread Superwomen 5), and of course to write ...
Without forgetting what makes all the charm of this magnificent place, the large pond where children play with small sailboats.
So restful and calming.
Spending time here, you’d almost believe you're at home like a Queen ...
My previous Articles about Paris:
Have a fantastic week everyone!
Love & Joy,
Since last week I spoke again about my egg freezing in Madrid, I thought an update on this very personal topic was a good idea.
As a reminder, I received this Gift from Science one year after my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
And for this article, I’ve chosen to use my photos of clouds, all the photos are mine, like for my article Meditation.
The sky is a great source of artistic inspiration and to me it represents hope.
Hope I wish to radiate and spread in this patriarchal world ...
First of all, I’d like to point out that in June 2021, France is still one of the 3 countries in Europe (Austria and Malta) that don’t allow egg freezing for singles and lesbians!
In 2019, a law was passed to allow all women to use this procedure, unfortunately this law was rejected by the Senate recently, and right now we have absolutely no idea when it’ll be possible one day ...
As we celebrate Pride Month for the LGBTQ + community of which I’m an unconditional ally, it seemed important to me to recall this system anomaly.
At the present time it seems unthinkable that single women and lesbian women can’t freeze their oocytes and use IVF!
However, women who rebel, like Teresa Xu, a 31-year-old single woman who went to Chinese court in 2019 - another country that bans freezing for single women - to demand equal rights.
Unfortunately, again, no hope was obtained. An injustice even more outrageous since Chinese men can freeze their sperm, which is not the case in France, no gender discrimination on that side (good or bad, the debate is open!).
After 40 years of IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and 30 years of freezing technique, we’re moving too slowly.
And more and more women who travel to foreign countries (myself included) to have this type of procedure, which is sadly reminiscent of the case of abortion.
Not to mention that the cost of treatment and travel is not accessible to everyone.
Incredible women who never stop fighting for our happiness, Australian Dr. Debra Gook opened the world's first egg bank in 1994 at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne (Australia). After 5 years of intense research, she’s the one who discovered the technique of freezing oocytes.
Despite this great advance, the medical world was reluctant, yet the practice of freezing sperm dates from the 1970s ...
Then another woman, Dr. Eleonora Porcu, Italian, decided to follow in her footsteps, followed by Dr. Nicole Noyes in the United States.
Thank you to all these women, and the men who support them, who support us, for making a difference and offering future generations the freedom to choose!
Reread my previous articles:
And I’d like to highlight my Superwomen series:
Keep your head in the clouds, the only place you see the sun, stars, and rainbows!
Love & Joy,
While I’ve just renewed my vows and celebrated the 4th Anniversary of my Solo Wedding in Santorini (read the Article again), here I am celebrating another anniversary, just as unique and special: the freezing of my eggs 3 years ago!!
I’ve explained extensively why and how it all happened in my Article Gift from Science, I invite you to re-read it:
And for those who follow me for a long time, you know that I made this wish come true in the magnificent Spanish capital: Madrid.
That’s the reason why I’ve chosen to show you more this city that I adore, and where I lived for several months for the success of my cryopreservation.
If there's one place I've spent a lot of time, it's the Retiro Park, located in the heart of Madrid and very popular with locals, especially on sunny days.
First, with its large rectangular ornamental lake adorned with an imposing bronze equestrian statue from 1904, the place is romantic and relaxing for a rowboat ride.
Or the many gardens, perennials, French flowerbeds or the rose garden that I told you all about in my article: Rainy Day in Madrid.
In the first heat, taking refuge under the 15,000 trees in the park is a real breath of fresh air. Moreover, built between 1630 and 1640, it was for a long time the royal secondary residence.
Today there are 2 palaces, the Crystal Palace built for the colonial exhibition of 1887 and the Velazquez Palace, both rich in know-how and architecture that serve as an exhibition hall.
And with the many fountains and statues present in this park, it’s a really pleasant and peaceful place.
Another area where I walked daily, the Royal Palace.
In its surroundings, you’ll obviously find the Almudena Cathedral, to which I devoted an entire article, many gardens including the Plaza de Oriente located between the Palace and the Royal Theatre.
Old or modern buildings, strolling through Madrid is always fascinating and you sometimes come across architectural surprises such as the Temple of Amun.
Temple built in Debod in Egypt and dating from the 2nd century. It was donated by Egypt to Spain in 1960, as part of the safeguard of the monuments, which were to be flooded by the waters of the Aswan dam.
Another very famous place, the Plaza Mayor, which is always crowded.
From 1590 to 1854, it changed and transformed many times to finally retain the style that we know today, with an equestrian statue of Philip III dating from the 17th century.
This square measures 423ft (129m) by 308ft (94m) and is pedestrian only, which is in fact a privileged place for meetings, it’s also surrounded by many restaurants.
Strolling the surrounding streets immerses you in the historic atmosphere of this vibrant capital!
And at the end of the day, nothing better than going for a few tapas at the San Miguel Market.
In these sumptuous covered market from 1916, a heritage of Spanish know-how for iron architecture (like the Crystal Palace), you can taste all kinds of specialties and delicate meals prepared by the greatest Spanish chefs, but also international and Michelin-starred chefs.
For more than a decade, this space has been considered the first gastronomic market in Madrid.
No wonder then to find caviar as much as traditional paella ...
Bon appétit !
This city with its many famous museums is exciting for lovers of history and art. I’ve already introduced several of them with some very fascinating exhibitions:
I hope you enjoyed this walk as much as I enjoyed sharing my memories with you ...
Have an amazing week everyone!
Love & Joy,
One more year has passed, I just celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary!
You know I always prepare a special post for the occasion, but this time I did so much more, I felt the need to renew my vows, and I wanted to share this magical moment with you today.
Obviously, I couldn't celebrate an event like this without being perfectly myself, which means, designer dress, makeup and accessories!
And as a nod, I chose to wear the nail polish, lipstick, earrings and shoes from my Solo Wedding in Santorini...(Check again my previous articles Shoes Forever & Solo Wedding-Behind the Scenes).
Shoes: Louboutin - Dress: Anne Fontaine - Bone Cuff: Elsa Peretti for Tiffany - Bracelet: Adolfo Dominguez - Earrings: Cassandra Lynn Bridal - Crown: Forever New - Beauty: Chanel, Dior, M.A.C.
“Love yourself to change the world. " L.
I loved this moment alone to take some time for myself and prepare.
However, I was nervous, I had decided this time to share this intimate experience of my life, I was going to take my vows on the Internet…
If you follow me on my social media,
you must have seen my video, to watch or watch again so:
It's funny, I still remember every detail of my wedding, the memories are still so fresh, yet I had forgotten how empowering it was to take my vows, so full of meaning and transformation.
I feel rejuvenated, revived, and even more protected and guided by the Universe.
Once again, I have just filled my heart and soul with love, peace and joy, convinced that the best is yet to come ...
Very sensitive in nature, I couldn't help but shed a few tears right after.
And after so much emotion, I obviously needed a little comfort.
No churros to celebrate my birthday this year, but I made myself a chocolate cake for the occasion!
I also received some pretty flowers from my family, and since in France, 4 years it’s the Wax Anniversary, I lit a beautiful candle as a sign of new life ... (Apparently flowers in the US & silk in the UK).
When I put my ring on my finger 4 years ago, I said these words:
"This ring is the symbol of my rebirth, a promise that I will understand myself more in order to become a better person."
And what a rebirth ...
So many amazing things have happened in my life since:
I’m so thankful for my family, friends and all the people who have supported me since my Solo Wedding in Santorini.
I never would have believed such an adventure was possible.
Reread my Articles:
And all my wedding posts available here: LINK.
"Open your heart to open your mind!" L.
And at the end of this article, the song that accompanied me to the altar on May 27, 2017 ...
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Love & Joy,
While some are starting to reschedule trips, me for example! I thought that a summary of my articles on the subject would be welcome. Indeed, in 3 years, I’ve already shared many of my magnificent travels.
Maybe this gives you some ideas for your next vacation 😉
Obviously, I start with my country of heart, Greece, which witnessed my self-marriage, but also the birth of my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini:
Rainy day in Athens
For lovers of cities, museums and architecture:
The other country that is dear to me because I lived there for 7 wonderful years, Australia:
Christmas in Brisbane
North Stradbroke Island
In the Air 3 (Sydney)
And then the exotic destinations, you know how much I love the sea and the ocean:
Las Palmas (Canaries)
Other amazing places:
Without forgetting where I grew up, the French Alps: Childhood.
And at the end of the article, my last video: Go with the Flow.
Where I explain that I lived in 7 different countries in the world and that none of them was part of a plan ...
Because that's how I see my life, seize the moment, live the moment and let the universe guide me to discover all the beauty and magic of our beautiful planet!
Don't forget to think of me on May 27, it’ll be the 4th anniversary of my solo wedding 😉
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Love & Joy,
Last time I took you to the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, to Fiji.
On this Ascension long weekend, it seemed appropriate to show you another jewel of Christian architecture, and what is an unrecognised basilica and yet highly prestigious in many ways.
You know how much I love to share with you my interest in architecture, art, and history ...
The Basilica of Sainte Clotilde of Reims, bears the name of Queen Clotilde, Queen of the Franks and wife of King Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
Clovis, remember that is the name of the champagne at my Solo Wedding in Santorini (reread the article).
This magnificent basilica, in Greek cross shape, surmounted by a dome, was built between 1896 and 1905, by Alphonse Gosset, architect from Reims, with a national and even international reputation since he participated in competitions abroad (like one for New York).
Neo-Byzantine in style, he was inspired in particular by the model of Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul (Turkey) that I had the chance to visit.
This very fashionable style in the 19th century, also reached its peak with the construction of the incredible Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris.
Much more modest in size than St Remi Basilica or Reims Cathedral, and of course Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, it’s no less majestic from floor to ceiling.
Whether it’s the tiling with fleur-de-lys and doves, or the stained-glass windows depicting Joan of Arc and the baptism of Clovis.
Or the incredible ceiling under the dome which symbolises the celestial vault.
You will not remain indifferent ...
What I love most about this basilica is its baptistery.
Isolated next to the entrance, circular in shape and carefully decorated, it was used for baptism.
Moreover, the Basilica of St. Clotilde was originally erected to celebrate the 1,400 years of the baptism of Clovis, a baptism which took place at the Basilica of St Remi, remember my article.
But what makes all the richness of this basilica are the relics kept in its crypt!
It represents 1,600 Saints of France with 403 reliquaries and 2,100 relics.
Photos weren't allowed, but the video at the end of the article gives you a guided tour (but it's in French, anyway images speak for themselves).
My previous articles on Reims and its region:
Here again my video with the Cathedral of Reims in the background!
Have a luminous week everyone!
Love & Joy,
While checking my travel photos, I came across May 2014, during my trip to Fiji.
Incredible holidays, I lived in the Pacific Ocean for a long time, so it was easy for me to visit exotic archipelagos, only 4 hours by plane from Brisbane, Fiji is a popular destination for Australians.
For sure, from Europe or the US, it becomes more adventurous. That’s why this week I wanted to share its treasures with you.
This country located in the Pacific Ocean includes more than 300 islands of which only 100 are inhabited, representing a total population of 936,000 inhabitants.
Of course, when you think of Fiji, you visualise the white sand beaches and turquoise waters, and don't worry, you’ll be amazed!
Nothing better than a boat to fully enjoy, can you feel the sea air??
The coastline stretches over 1,129 km (701mi) for a country with an area of 18,333 km2 (7,078 sq. mi).
Although covered with tropical forests, the islands are also mountainous with the highest peak reaching an altitude of 1,324m.
But I also took the opportunity to visit the local market in Suva, the country's capital on the main island: Viti Levu.
It’s always very interesting to discover local products, you learn a lot about cultures.
And in Fiji, there's a very popular root, from a plant native to the Western Pacific called Kava, and related to the pepper tree.
When crushed into powder, it makes a preparation for infusion, keep that in mind because I’ll talk about it later in this article 😉
What I also love is visiting villages, it's very interactive, they are all different, you learn so much about customs and traditions, and I've even been to a pottery village.
You know how much I love this craft, reread Cretan Pottery.
Fiji has preserved its traditional art and cultural heritage, handicrafts such as pottery, cloth, wood carving, jewellery continue to be passed down in the villages from generation to generation.
Made from clay and sand, potteries often have a utilitarian use. Handcrafted, they dry in the sun before being heated over a fire containing coconut shells and bamboo.
If there’s one memory that marked me more than the others, it was the connection with the locals.
In the chapter Moral of my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini, I explained I liked participating in charitable projects.
I had the opportunity to make a donation for one of the villages on the island of Viti Levu, for the construction of a small infirmary. No significant amount, but to them it was a blessing.
Most of the inhabitants were working and were not present in the village at this time of the day, but the Chief asked the children - who were at school - to come to thank and honour me.
I spent several hours, sitting in the village hall, drinking kava, the famous drink mentioned above, very sour and spicy, with an earthy taste and with anaesthetic and relaxing properties, quite a program ...
As a guest, you can’t say no, as it’s a sign of respect and friendship.
Experiencing strange things, that’s also a part of discovering new cultures.
I also listened to them play music and sing, but most of all I danced with the children!
One of the happiest moments of my life, I’m still very moved when I talk about it.
Receiving so much kindness, love and joy from complete strangers is what makes the beauty of our humanity.
You understood, if you have paid attention to the photos, whether on a boat or in a village, music and dancing are omnipresent in Fijian culture, I love this.
And after so much emotion, it's time to relax and enjoy the shows offered at sunset ...
No doubt I have a special connection to the Pacific Ocean, and I can't wait to go on a plane to discover new beautiful places ...
In the meantime, I'll just watch Vaiana again, the Disney movie I talked about in my article Merry Christmas 2020.
And also, a great video at the end of the article, a change of scenery in your living room 😉
You can also read my previous articles about Fiji:
And thank you to the InterContinental Fiji, who made my stay and all my excursions unforgettable!
Find all the Travel Articles: HERE.
And as a reminder, some of my favourites:
No article next Saturday, I’ll be very busy, I have to attend several seminars including one with his Holiness the Dalai Lama 😊
Next article: Saturday May 15th
Have a wonderful month of May everyone!
Love & Joy,
I should have been in Paris this month, unfortunately with the confinement I changed my plans but that doesn’t prevent me from showing you more of this magnificent French capital which is full of countless treasures.
I’ve chosen for this week one of the gems of France, which I had time to appreciate during my Honeymoon 2, last year.
Let's be honest, the Louvre Museum is huge, spread over nearly 250,000m2, of which 70,000m2 are devoted to exhibition, with 403 rooms, and 35,000 artworks out of the 500,000 preserved.
It’s also the largest museum in the world (in terms of exhibition area), in addition to being the most visited in the world.
So, I won't be able to show you everything at once, but today I'm going to talk about some legendary pieces of art.
First of all, the Louvre surprises with its architecture.
From one room to another, atmospheres are different, we travel in time and space, we discover all the styles of decoration, but also the history of France, and the history of its different owners of Philippe II to Napoleon III, via Henri IV or Louis XIV, but also more recently the French Presidents.
No less than 800 years of construction, transformation, and renovation ...
After my articles on the Palace of Versailles, the Garnier Palace, the Pantheon, the Louvre is a magnificent palace to discover.
It became a museum in 1793, the majority of the artworks coming from the Royal Collection, which became national property during the French Revolution.
It survived the changes of power and the 2 world wars, and continues to this day to acquire and protect artistic treasures.
Even without the artworks, I’d spend hours admiring and exploring every nook and cranny from floor to ceiling!
As you know, the Louvre is full of sculptures and paintings from all eras, and I’ll show you many of them in different articles.
But this time, I present to you my favourite sculpture: the Venus de Milo.
Magnificent marble sculpture dating from 120 BC, it’d represent Aphrodite the goddess of love and beauty (Venus for the Romans).
Obviously, you know my attachment to Greece since My Solo Wedding in Santorini, and this masterpiece of Greek sculpture adds to the wonderful creations I’ve shown you previously:
Discovered in 1820, by a Greek peasant on the island of Milo, island of the Cyclades, it was acquired by a French ambassador who offered it to Louis XVIII, and the latter donated it to the Louvre in 1821.
She was hidden at the Château de Valençay during the 2nd World War.
Today, she stands almost alone in the Galerie des Antiques, surrounded by red marble from the time of Napoleon I.
As I already explained in my article Honeymoon 2, I had never been able to have a picture taken with her before, for the good reason that there were always too many people.
This time, I had all the time and the opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with Mona Lisa, a moment of pure happiness and emotion.
In 1518, Francis I bought the painting from Leonardo da Vinci, and joined the collection of the Louvre during the Revolution.
She was moved too during World War II, like almost the entire Louvre collection, but her hiding place, the Château de Chambord.
In 2005, she was placed in the centre of the museum's largest room, protected in an air-conditioned display case due to its fragility, as it’s an oil painting on a poplar wood panel.
I'm going to show you something you don’t necessarily think of with the Louvre Museum and yet, the Crown Jewels!
It’s true that we got rid of Kingship a long time ago, and we’ve forgotten that incredible pieces of goldsmith's work, crockery, furniture and jewellery were created in the past and represent an incredible richness of craftmanship and luxury.
And to present them with dignity, nothing better than the Galerie d'Apollon created at the request of Louis XIV. Rich in gilding, painting and sculpture, it easily recalls the splendour of the Palace of Versailles, no wonder since the same artists took care of the Hall of Mirrors. Above all, this is the room that for the first time, Louis XIV associated his power with the symbol of the sun.
Today, among other things, we discover the Regent diamond of 140 carats, bought in 1717 by Philippe d´Orléans, Regent of France, and which Louis XIV had refused in the past because it was too expensive.
Along with Louis XIV's Blue Diamond, they were stolen during the Revolution, a burglary at the Hôtel du Garde-Meubles where they were stored.
The Regent was found a year later, however the blue diamond was lost and transformed to become the famous Hope Diamond (exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington USA).
If the Mona Lisa is the most visited work of art in the world, the Hope diamond is in second place, our Kings of France certainly had great taste.
By the way, these magnificent jewels remind me of my article Kensington Palace in London.
And if you’d like to know the full history of these jewels, don't miss the fabulous discussion at the Ecole School of Jewelry Art - Van Cleef & Arpels, which will take place on May 5 & 6: Link for registration (free event).
I described this wonderful school in my article:
I never tire of learning and discovering with them the incredible history of stones, metals and jewellery and I encourage you to visit their website: link.
Check my Previous articles about Paris:
And I invite you to watch the little video at the end of the article, which shows the successive constructions of the Louvre Palace, it's fascinating ...
Have a fantastic week everyone!
Love & Joy,
May 27, 2017, Santorini, Aegean island (Greece). I am about to go down the magnificent stone stairs holding my father's arm, to participate in the wedding I have been waiting for, and preparing for a year and a half. The guests are seated. The weather is capricious. However, this ceremony is special, the groom is not here. He left the marital ship three months before, and I took the decision to marry without him, to marry myself!
This week, my article is dedicated to my book My Solo Wedding in Santorini.
I'm still looking for an agent and a publisher, but if there are two qualities that are rooted in me, they are determination and persistence.
All the decisions, actions I take, no matter how difficult or how long it takes, I always go to the end with conviction and confidence.
And while waiting to be able to make you fully enjoy this book, testimonial of my unusual wedding, all the details and especially the reason for my decision, the Book page (at the top) has been updated 😊.
You’ll find all the excerpts I’ve already shared with you, in previous articles as well as videos.
And of course, the reason for this literary adventure: Why a book?
Most of all, I wanted to thank you for all the love and support you’re giving me on this crazy adventure. You’re the ones who prevent me from giving up, I’m infinitely grateful...
And to show my affection, I decided to share one of the most important chapters of my book.
My story gives some hope & courage. As for the moral, I let you discover it below (entire chapter).
(For your understanding of the excerpt, know that my ex-fiancé is called E)
Have a fantastic week!
Love & Joy,
My Solo Wedding in Santorini or How I Saved My Life
by Laëtitia Nguyen
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
And yes, it's Easter weekend, and while some of us thought of celebrating it with our family (me for example!), France is re-confined just before the school holidays ...
But let’s not lose our enthusiasm nor our faith in a better future, and that’s why I’m taking you today to visit the Basilica of St Remi in Reims.
After my Solo Wedding in Santorini, I’ve spent a lot of time in this beautiful region of Champagne-Ardennes, which includes the city of Reims, and I’ve already introduced you to some great attractions:
St Remi Basilica is almost as tall as Reims Cathedral, 413ft long (126m), like Notre-Dame de Paris and 190ft wide (58m).
It was built in the 11th century, but more construction occurred for several centuries until the 19th century, and its golden age happened during the 12th century.
It was largely destroyed during the 1st World War, and 40 years were necessary for its reconstruction (20 for the Cathedral of Reims).
Roman and Gothic in style, its volumes are very impressive and make the place very solemn.
Many items of furniture and decoration were destroyed and ransacked during the French Revolution.
However, some sumptuous elements are still present and distinguish it from other religious buildings such as:
Let's admire now the classic stained-glass windows that have withstood ages and wars, accompanied today by contemporary stained glass windows created between 1950 and 1980.
But what makes this basilica unique is that it keeps the relics of Bishop Saint Remi, the very one who baptised Clovis, the first King of France. This is the reason why it was originally built.
His tomb is majestic and beautifully displayed, although this is only a 19th century replica, the original being looted and vandalised during the revolution.
Moreover, the basilica is decorated with many chapels including the chapel of the Virgin of the Vow, and an ambulatory to accommodate the many pilgrims.
A video to watch at the end, unfortunately it's in French, but you can still enjoy the beautiful images...
Don't hesitate to re-read my articles from previous years:
No article next week but you can continue to follow me on my social media ...
Next Post: April 17, 2021
Love & Joy,
As we close this month of March, which is also a celebration of women's history #womenshistorymonth, I’d like to pay tribute to Elsa Peretti who left for another realm on March 18 at the age of 80.
Famous jewellery designer and designer, she was born in Florence (Italy) in 1940, and grew up in Rome and Switzerland.
After studying interior design in Rome, she became a model in Barcelona (Spain) before moving to New York to work for the famous American fashion designer Halston, followed by many others…
She rubbed shoulders with the biggest celebrities, Andy Warhol, Liza Minelli, Cher, but also the greatest photographers.
In 1975, she was even immortalised by Helmut Newton!
In 1974, she became a designer for Tiffany & Co. and revolutionised the jewellery industry by making silver chic and precious.
Tiffany & Co, an American company founded in New York in 1837 and you know I love this city very much (reread Spring in NYC).
No less than 30 timeless and modern collections with among the most famous: Open heart, Bean, Bone cuff, Lacquer bangle ...
She who loved to travel (alone) was inspired by know-how and techniques from around the world.
She also created many accessories and objects for the home ...
"Style is to be yourself." Elsa Peretti
Her creations for this house belongs to history, several of them are part of the permanent collections of the largest museums:
You can find her collections for Tiffany & Co by clicking here: LINK.
Elsa Peretti was also a philanthropist, in 2000 she created the Nando Peretti Foundation (NPF), a foundation in honour of her father.
Countless projects have emerged in favour of the environment, education, women's rights ...
An artist with a big heart.
The first time she liked one of my Instagram posts, I felt so blessed.
To tell the truth, I don't know if it was her or someone from her team who saw my photos, and yet it's like somehow we were connected.
She's the kind of woman I wish I had in my life. I’d have loved to meet her. Maybe in another incarnation.
This woman will be my inspiration forever ...
I'm lucky enough to own one of these famous Bone cuffs, I only wear it on very special occasions, and I wore it during my interview for the late night show in Athens.
The embodiment of strength and femininity, this cuff represents to me the modern elegance of an independent and visionary woman.
And to tell my Solo Wedding in Santorini on the biggest Greek TV channel, this jewel was essential for me, like a kind of talisman, a protection.
Check the Article: TV Interview - Behind the Scenes
I also wore it in Paris for the beautiful wedding of gay friends (reread Superwomen 3).
It was written in the 2016 Tiffany catalog:
Bold and powerful yet feminine and unpretentious, just like the women it was created for, the Bone cuff has become a mainstay in the world of fashion and design.
An incredible woman who has crossed ages, and has never stopped building / rebuilding herself, always staying true to who she was.
A great example of how creativity, art, can transcend a human being and vice versa.
Keep shining Elsa, you are now a star among the stars!
Reread my Series Superwomen:
Have a wonderful week!
Love & Joy,