October 14, 2017

The Paris Expat Book Club

Never the one to pass up an occasion to widen my horizons and meet new people, the Expat Book Club seemed like just the ticket. So what, if it happened to be online? Actually, this suited my fine since I could read or NOT read the book and no one would be the wiser. There was no monthly meeting it was just about the sharing.

This is what Expats do, they share!

But let's start at the beginning... on August 9th a British lady based in Germany decided to create a Facebook Expat Book Club. This group was set up to build a community of women living overseas via a love of reading. Relaxing under a sunshade on an Italian beach and very much in "book-mode" I decided right away to sign up. All of a sudden a group had been created that had so much to share that many a post was exchanged before the first book was even announced.

"Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine" by Gail Honeyman travelled all over the globe as photos kept being posted of where the various members were reading it. More sharing. More comments. More giggles.

Until one day someone asked how many members were based in Paris? Another lady inquired as to which part of Paris we were living? Turns out there are quite a few of us that are practically neighbours. I could not resist. I created an event on Facebook and the Parisian branch of the Expat Book Club was to meet at the local café in real life!

We were only four yesterday morning and the discussion veered off the book pretty fast, however, it was great meeting up thanks to a Facebook group page and finding out you do have quite a lot in common albeit coming from very different places.

This experience has proven to me once again that meeting other Expats is always interesting, inspiring and fun. Two months later the Expat Book Club has over 900 members from all parts of the world...

... and as soon as the founder has settled in her new home, we'll be happy to welcome the lady who made it all happen in Paris. Bienvenue et Merci Rebecca!

October 12, 2017

October impressions

If September was not the best month in terms of weather, October has made up for it. We are enjoying a true Indian summer and it is bliss.

Bonjour Grande Dame

Bonne nuit St.Eustache

Fashion week is in a twist

There's always time for romance 

Months with the letter "r" and seafood is back on the table

Seafood in many different shapes and forms

The little pink car that could

Taking a break in the Jardin des Tuileries

My fascination with door knobs ...

... and my love for staircases!

October 8, 2017

La Parisienne Girl Power

The month of September has been so busy I never got around to mention an event that has become a yearly tradition and one of the highlights of my Parisian routine: La Parisienne!

For many years I ran this 7km race by myself, preferring solitude amongst the 30'000 other runners but for the past two years things have changed. It has become an occasion to gather with my International Parisian friends to celebrate our friendship and engage in a good cause at the same time.

One dear friend has moved on to another destination but makes the effort every year to return for a girls' weekend and participate in the world's largest female race, La Parisienne.

It is not a competition - although some couldn't keep from setting their personal stopwatch - it is about having fun, about enjoying the departure below the Eiffel Tower, about running along the Seine, down the Champs Elysées and past the Grand Palais, about being cheered on by thousands of husbands, dads and children, about dancing along with all the bands stationed along the parcour, about a little exercising, about motivating your friend that she can make it to the end, about girl power and solidarity!

... and I wouldn't miss it for the world!

21st edition of La Parisienne and my 7th year!

Picking up the race number and the t-shirts the day before the race

Weather is not looking too good

The next morning and we are ready to goooooooo!

How to motivate 30'000 women and keep them happy!

Can you spot my name on the wall?

Running down the Champs Elysées making sure our team stays together.
We start together, we finish together!

Girl Power and friendship all the way!

October 4, 2017

Celebrating Italy with "La Famiglia" at the Embassy

When his excellency the Italian Ambassador to France and his wife invite you for afternoon cocktails sponsored by Le Bon Marché how can you resist? It was them who helped bring on board many of the Italian brands currently being showcased at Paris' most fashionable department store in an Italian-themed fall exhibition, which spans fashion, food, homewares and sport. 

Teams from the department store and food emporium traveled deep into Italian regions from north to south to unearth unique, little-known products and discover the passionate people and stories behind them. The result is a selection of the purest essence of contemporary Italy in all its amazing ebullience. 

Being married to an Italian I was lucky to receive a personal invitation to celebrate the launch of “La Famiglia,” within the closed walls - and the magnificent garden - of the Italian Embassy in Paris.  Take a look for yourselves:

Wondering what's behind the closed doors?

A simple yet stylish invitation... so Italian!

Entering a world of history mixed with glamour and fashion.

Following the orange thread and the golden shoes... Dorothy and Toto would be so jealous!

Leading straight into the magnificent ballroom

Condiments Italian style

Can I take that Panettone home with me?

Guess what this is? Hint: it tastes delicious with the panettone

A cosy spot to have a rest.

Displaying fragrances on the Ambassador's desk

Another touch of orange 

I might just use that lovely bike to ride home. 

 Grazie mille Le Bon Marché and the Italian Embassy for a lovely afternoon.

October 2, 2017

Mingling with the models...

The Grand Palais hosts the most impressive exhibitions of all Paris and is one of my favourite buildings in the city. When Place Vendôme decides to sponsor Vogue's Fashion Night Out at the Mini Palais following a private viewing of the Irving Penn photo exhibition inside the Grand Palais you know it can't get much more glamorous.

Arriving at 9 pm - late for a museum visit but early for the fashion crowd - it turned out "tout Paris" of the fashion world was mingling inside darkened exhibition rooms rather than actually admiring the photographs. My luck because it seemed Jean Paul Gaultier was also more interested in the photos than the audience and we kept on bumping into each other... literally. He was busy sharing his views with Ditta van Tesse, a burlesque character which just begs to be photographed. She did make a stunning model.

What can I say Kylie Minogue was the only person shorter than me in the entire gathering and I could not name a single one of the models. I did, however, recognise Mario Testino looking slick as ever.

As we were invited to drinks under the glittering disco balls at the adjacent Mini Palais, I ended up chatting with some business partners of past times and could not stop thinking how lucky I am to live in Paris.

It is these magical moments when through all the glitz and glamour I peak out the room and past the Ionic columns of the Grand Palais onto the spectacular lit-up dome of the Petit Palais and can silently appreciate "la grandeur et la splendeur" of this city's heritage.

Ditta ven Tesse provided for a perfect shot

The most magical view of the evening

It wouldn't be a party without disco music

When fashion meets history

September 30, 2017

A quick trip to Ibiza and back

What to do when your kids are off on a field trip and your husband has announced the upcoming work week will be the busiest one of the year? Go for little voyage yourself of course!

My destination: the island of Ibiza!

There was a mission behind this trip and given the cloudy weather this was just as well. How to cover Ibiza's market in furniture and decoration in four days. Clocking 300km and covering everything from chic lounge style to flee market vintage, this is what I found...

Wouldn't that look great in our Parisian living room?

Another exotic touch that would look good in Paris.

Mexican vibe definitely works better in Ibiza

My kind of slogan:

A dose of peace and love is always welcome in Ibiza

How quaint is this little boutique?

Not sure what I'd do with these in my living room?

A blast from the past: vinyl records

Collage of materials and colours

The local flea market called Ibiza troc

Milka cows with the colour gone wrong?!?

Total kitch and I'm loving it!

Not my style but great inspiration 

Spot the pink flamingos... #ifIhadagarden

If you happen to like the Mafia style

150 Euros for a pair of serving spoons... seriously?!?

"Grow old with me the best is yet to be"
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