May 20, 2018

A romantic Royal Wedding

Last time I watched a Royal Wedding I was a teenager sitting on a camping chair staring into a tiny little TV hanging over the camping supermarket's cash register surrounded by Italians who were cheering Diana on while she walked down the isle. It was 1981.

Fast forward and today her little boy Harry is tying the knot. I am sitting in my Parisian flat surrounded by my family (Italian) who cannot keep quiet even though I am pleading with them to let me listen to the commentators.

Switching between BBC and CNN it turns out the latter just can't get their facts straight, how could they... Royal etiquette and British tradition is a complex labyrinth... but at least they should know that there is a bride and groom's side of the congregation!

So back to BBC and I am glued to the TV for the rest of the day along with two billion other viewers across the globe.

The church flower decoration was spectacular, the gospel choir amazing and... the eclectic American bishop saw his door to fame open and catapulted himself through it. I just wish BBC would have shown more of the Royal's reaction... for a Brit with a good sense of humour those 15 minutes were priceless and cringing at the same time.

Every wedding dress should have a story and Megan's touch was my favourite detail of their romantic wedding. Her stunning Royal Wedding dress was complimented by a veil steeped in British history and symbolism. The five meter long veil made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza made tribute to her mother-in-law the Queen, by symbolising all 53 nations included within the Commonwealth.

Lesotho was represented by a spiral aloe, Bangladesh was symbolised by a white-water lily and Grenada had a bougainvillea. Australia was represented by golden wattles, and Nigeria had a yellow trumpet. England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were respectively represented by a rose, a daffodil, a flax flower and a thistle.

In addition to the flora of the Commonwealth, Megan also selected two personal favorites. Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity...

...and yes she DID curtsy to the Queen as she left the chapel only you can barely see because some genius decided on a wide shot!

(Source:Supplied)

May 19, 2018

Las Dalias Hippie market

Back in the Sixties, the paradisiacal beauty of Ibiza attracted a large community of hippies and artists from all over the world, searching for the perfect place to create and express their art. Slowly but surely, these artists started meeting up to exchange and sell their creations, and thus were born the hippy markets in Ibiza.

Las Dalias must be the most famous one. A colourful, eclectic and vibrant market full of local fashion, handcrafted leather, funky art, unique decor, amazing jewellery and plenty of quirky "solo en Ibiza" finds... all bathed in a distinct aroma of sandalwood incense!

The story goes that Las Dalias started back in 1954, when a local man opened a dancehall and held the opening party on November 4th. It’s was the day of the patron saint of Sant Carles, the town in which Las Dalias is held and it wasn’t until the 80’s that it became an official Hippy Market.

Joan Mari continued to throw parties at what soon became a restaurant and local facility for weddings, baptisms, and all kinds of local events. They became so legendary that even Bob Marley is said to have eaten at Mari’s table – followed of course by a spontaneous jam session.

31 years after Joan Mari began bringing the local community together under his dancehall roof, a small market was opened. It was Valentine’s Day, 1985 and there were just five stalls. Today, the markets hosts over 200 stalls and on some days receives over 20,000 visitors…

Authenticity, especially in an island such as Ibiza, is difficult to account for. And nowhere is the question of authenticity more apparent than in the hippy markets that dot the island.

Some might think Las Dalias is an assault on the eyes but I love it! Bright colours aren’t just woven into the folk dresses but into the canopies of each stall. The Ibizan sun, when it can find a gap in the canopies, is refracted in the mirrors set up for shoppers to try on jewellery and headbands. Turqoises, pinks, oranges, teals and sandy yellow tones crowd the edges of each walkway.

So next time I come to Ibiza, I’m coming with an empty bag and spending my first day at Las Dalias buying clothes for the rest of the trip”


Authentic since 1954


Dream catchers in Ibiza's fetish colour


Flower power all the way


If I were 20 years younger!!!


What time does Happy Hour start I wonder?!?


I am taking this chair home for my kitchen!


Cuteness in every nook and cranny.


Ibiza vibes 


Which part of the body are you suppose to put these?!? 


As hippie as it gets...


Flashback to the 1970s


Local hang out


Stalls cramped under and around the trees.


This cookbook has my name written all over it!


Seriously wondering about the ingredients?!?


The most traditional stall of all.


Happiness comes in many colours!


Just look at his hair!!!


A lady who has probably been around since the beginning!


How can you resist?


We are alone happy family in Ibiza.


Las Dalias own groovy music playing in the background.

May 16, 2018

Colours of Ibiza

The best thing about the month of May are all the long weekends. May 1st is Labour Day, May 8th is Victory Day, May 10th marks Ascension and May 21st is Whitsun. Well, if ever I needed an excuse to escape in search of some sunshine... follow me and discover the colours of Ibiza!


We call this bay "the Pool"


Mojitos to celebrate the weekend ahead!


Hiking across the plains admiring the hues of blue and green.


Too early for the locals.


No coffee...


... before church service.


Learning the lingo.


Minimalistic architecture


Hippie spirit in Ibiza


Sunset vibes

May 10, 2018

From Paris with love...

Good things happen when the sun is out in Paris... not only does nature start to bloom but the people blossom and positive vibes start flowing in every little corner of the city. 

Terrasses are full of lovebirds, parks are assaulted with picnickers, Parisians stop wearing black and take their lunch out on the green benches, tourists tread all over each other, tour buses quadruple park, kids' happy voices resound in the alleys, there is even more dog poop on the roads, the flower shops take over the sidewalks and Paris just generally turns into a the wonderful city that it projets to the world. Artists and associations alike show off their creative spirit to plead their cause and share their passion. 

So, go outside, walk around... the Parisian call it "flâneusing". Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations... you'll be surprised what you'll find!




May 8, 2018

Let the sun shine in...

Today is one of those days that come along so scarcely Parisians know how to savour every minute with gusto. We are not spoilt when it come to sunshine in this city and it is rare that we enjoy several days without a shower. 

Plus, today is a holiday therefore the city is quieter due to less traffic. I can hear birds chirping on the trees and kids playing down below through my open balcony door... and to think only last week we were freezing at 5°C given the heating had been turned off beginning of the month!?!

A stroll through Trocadero at lunchtime to soak it all up was just the ticket...


Peeking around the corner of the Musée de l'Homme...


... to greet La Grande Dame under the beaming sunshine.


A bit of patriotism never hurts.


In search of some shade between the trees 


The trendy Café de l'Homme overpowered by the Hercules statue by 
Albert Pommier


Coffee break à la Parisienne


How many tourists do you think read this message board?


A familiar sight in Paris


Gotta love the Neo-classique architecture 


The home of architect Auguste Perret, a building considered to be one of the seminal constructions of modern architecture.


Just can't get enough of the blue sky and the Eiffel Tower!

 

I love Paris in the springtime!

May 6, 2018

Expat with Kids hits 1'000'000

It started as a challenge to see if I could set up a blog on my own with no technical help and without spending a dime. I had been slightly bored in my little town South of the Alps and therefore decided to reach out to the world... hence I leapt into the digital universe and have never looked back.

I learnt about blogging, googled some simple coding, experimented with HTML, signed up to most social media platforms and figured out how it all links up. Over night blogging became my passion and has not left me since.

I discovered a whole new community called bloggers who are happy to exchange tips and share ideas reminding me in many ways of the Expat community where you don't need much of an introduction to start conversations.

Lugano at the time was booming, many Expat were arriving from all parts of the world. The housing market was at an all-time high. What was missing was an English guide on how to find your way around the area. My niche - I quickly realized - would be the English-speaking community of Lugano whom at the time did not enjoy the luxury of an English online website about the area.

This was my party and I was having a ball!

Today, I am not the only kid on the block anymore and there are many more professional digital Ticino guides offering their services, however, this has not kept me from enjoying my little share, homegrown as it is!

Seven years down the lane and I am still happily writing posts and publishing photos on my three blogs: Expat with Kids, Expat with Kids in Paris and Expat with Kids recipes.

This week I have hit a milestone with 1'000'000 views on my original blog Expat with Kids, a funky guide filled with fun facts, international recipes, intriguing gadgets, inspiring ideas, beautiful photos and useful information about the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland: the Ticino!

Thank you readers for being part of the journey and following me over the years. It has been a pleasure! Here is to the next one million!

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