Tag Archives: inspiring

Happy Mauvember!

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When Spring looks like a French Autumn, the only thing you can do is put a hat on, grab your bestie and chill out with a latte! Nasim (from Iran) and I are always on the same page when it comes to enjoy life at its best!

Spring has been so lazy to come this year. We experienced a lot of morning showers, grey sky, wind and some severe storms in September and October. In one hand, it was a bit depressing + there was a “major” water leaking in my house (one morning I woke up and water was coming from the ceiling, click here for the full story) but in the other hand, it is really good for mother nature because the trees and flowers look amazing right now with beautiful deep and lively colours. I guess you can’t have it all!

These past few days, spring is back on the track and it feels good to wake up with a big bright sun in the bedroom. I like to ride my green bike in the parks with this beautiful weather and explore new places whenever possible. In Australia, you have to wear an helmet (it is the law) and I must say when the weather is warm (sometimes around 40 something) I miss to feel the refreshing wind in my hair when biking! But again, I know this is for my own good so I am just going with the flow…

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A romantic vision of a young girl with a white dress walking on the Jacarandas’petals on a sunny spring day.

Maybe you will think I am a fool but one thing I was really expecting was to see the Jacarandas blooming! They are my favourite trees and their romantic purple flowers appear the first weeks of November announcing that spring is here and summer is only a month away. This year, because of the strange weather, the Jacarandas only started now to spread their vibrant colours in the whole city. Their mauve flowers petals are falling on the pavement like confettis and it brings a “je ne sais quoi” to the streets of Adelaide. Someday when I will own a house with a garden I will plant a Jacaranda tree to gaze at it!

At the moment, my friend Jessica (Mexico) is encouraging me to practise “mindfulness”. I started doing it in London with my yoga teacher and I must say it is a really calming and grounding state of mind. We are so busy with our everyday lives sometimes, worrying about the past and the future that we forget to fully live the present moment. Maybe it will seem odd to some of you but sometimes just taking the time to stop for a minute and gaze at a tree or a flower can make a big difference  in the rest of your day ❤

Just try it and tell me in the comments below how it felt!

Twinsters

I don’t watch TV very often but I do have a Netflix account where I can watch on demand films and TV shows (speaking of the latter, did you hear about the Gilmore Girls being back?!!! I don’t want to gossip but I bet Rory is pregnant and Lorealai is freaking out.. as for Luke I am sure he is going to propose to L). I like to think of my life here in Adelaide like a good “old” GG show, by the way still haven’t found Luke’s Café but I am still looking and opened to any recomandation 😉

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This is the kind of food, Luke would definitely serve! You can enjoy this breakfast at the Royal Oak in North Adelaide.


Lately, as I was browsing on Netflix, I decided to have a look at the documentary section and one called “Twinsters” (fusion of the word Twins and Sisters) caught my eye and I decided to go for it. So basically, the story line is that in 2013 Samantha Futerman, a 25 years old American Asian girl living in Los Angeles and using youtube to post funny videos received a life changing message via Facebook from Anaïs Bordier, a French Asian fashion design student living in London. Actually Anaïs friends watched a video on youtube featuring Samantha and they were so surprised by the identical appearance of the 2 girls that they encouraged her to contact her copycat! After a few Skype sessions, the girls discovered that they shared much more than just the same face: it turned out that they were both born the same day and both were adopted in Korea shortly after they were born!!! Could it be possible, could they by any chance be twin sisters?! This documentary is about the journey of Samantha (American) and Anaïs (French) discovering about their past, their history and the bond that they may share together through social medias.DSC_0057

I believe it is a real sweet story and I really enjoyed watching it, witnessing the different emotions these two amazing girls (and their respective French + American families) explored. What stroke me the most while watching this documentary is how life found a way to reunite these two girls that shared different lifestyles, cultures and mother tongues. It is like no matter what, it was meant to be. How perfect it is that Samantha Futerman (the American) was making cool and fun videos on Youtube that will be seen overseas (and obviously in UK) and what were the chances that Anaïs Bordier (the French) would decide to study fashion design in London and become fluent in English. Even if the two girls were raised in different countries and not sharing the same mother tongue, they were able to communicate straight away in English together which made the relationship between the 2 way easier. They both chose artistic careers, one being an actress and the other being a fashion designer, they are so similar and so different at the same time… so interesting to hear about their journey.

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But beyond that, it makes you reflect on your own story, your family, the bond you share with them, your relationships. It makes you appreciate even more the luck to have  grown with your siblings. What it feels like to have a sister, a brother (maybe both). What they mean to you and by extent what life would have been like without them. It is a special and strong bond and nobody can deny that.

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I have a sister and a brother (I am the eldest), we spent all of our childhood together but our adults’ life separated us geographically. My sister lives in France, my brother is an air pilot in Canada (yes girls don’t get too excited 😉 ) and I live in Australia. As you can imagine, it is not so easy to see each other and to give you an example I have not seen my brother since 2013! 😦 I know it sucks… I miss my sister (and her kids a LOT) and my brother too of course. I am hopeful that in the future, as our respective lives settle down we will live closer from each other.

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When I see them (especially after a long time apart), it is AMAZING!  I ❤ family reunions and to catch up with everything I missed since last time. Luckily, I come from a big family and I have also many cousins  around my age or my brother’s age. It is hard to feel lonely or depressed when you are around your family! Each year, during summer time, a “cousinade” is organised (we made up this word in French) but basically it is a “cousins party” where all cousins (on my mother side) are invited for a barbecue and drinks at my aunts place and it is really fun! Christmas are also pretty fantastics and are celebrated several times in the same week since the family is huge! Each year my family (on my father side) organise an unusual christmas dinner to spice up the routine and so far we had a Mexican, a Texas, a Caribbean and I believe last year it was an Australian theme christmas : AWESOME and so refreshing!!!

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“Family is not an important thing. It is EVERYTHING!” – Michael J. Fox

I really can’t wait to come to France and pay a visit to my loved ones ❤ and I wish all the best to Smantha and Anaïs!

Bikeway To Hell

Sometimes I have crazy ideas and luckily for me I have always awesome friends to follow me in my euphoric projects. So it is no surprise that when I decided to go to Henley Beach by bike to celebrate my birthday, my friend Nasim (from Iran) was part of it! For those who have been following me and paying attention, last year, for my birthday I got a beautiful green bike that became my fav. transportation mode to go to work, school, activities, market etc… So it makes sense that this year I wanted to take it to the next level and go on a bike trip from Adelaide CBD to  the beautiful Henley beach.

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Adelaide’s parks are full of surprises. Look at this party setting with permanent balloons floating all around! Happy birthday to me I guess!

The river Torrens Linear trail is known to be pretty easy, flat and scenic. Imagine yourself biking along the river, in the parks, with the beautiful and majestic trees swaying in the breeze, the enchanting colourful birds singing along the way (have you ever heard a Cockatoo?! not very melodious lol) and the nature surrounding you like a comforting cup of tea on a Sunday morning. I really believe, this is worth giving it a try and we are so lucky to have many bike trails here in Adelaide. It is a good way to discover a city and its surroundings. Besides it is very easy to rent a City Bike in Adelaide for free, so no excuse!

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Nasim, in a very sporty attitude, ready to hit the road, no stop signs, no limit, nobody to slow her down on her bikeway to hell 😉

Nasim and I met first at San Churro for breakfast. I guess we both  needed a good dose of sugar to boost our bodies before hitting the road. At the beginning, everything was really nice and we really enjoyed it. Nasim was even considering buying a new bike to do that more often. I mean it is an healthy and fun way to exercice. We stopped many times to take funny pictures, to gaze at the landscapes, to relax… But what I did not consider is that even if this trail is said to be easy, it is quite long and you need at least a bit of practice. So basically I think it took us about 3 hours (maybe more) from the CBD to reach Henley Beach. When we arrived there, I think Nasim was about to collapse.

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I think at this stage, Nasim had enough… this pic was taken sometimes between her collapsing and then having lunch.

We rested a bit, walked on the beach (well deserved), took some more pictures and ended up in a restaurant with a view on the seaside. It was good to relax and chat about this little adventure. Despite the fact that we were both exhausted, there is no doubt that this bike trail is wonderful and the feeling you have when you arrive closed to the beach: awesome! All these little houses facing the beach, the white sand, the blue sky, this is the dream picture ❤

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Adelaide and its surroundings are so beautiful. Sometimes I can’t believe I live here!

As we started to make our way back, it appeared that Nasim had no more juice. Her body hurt, she was not feeling well and soon riding her bike became a nightmare. We tried many things, we switched our bikes, I encouraged her… but when the body shuts down, there is nothing that can be really done. And sadly for Nasim, this was over. I was getting a bit worried because it was in the late afternoon and the sun was slowly vanishing on the horizon and I started to worry picturing us, walking in  the dark woods next to our bikes, the gloomy shadows of the trees, the scary sounds  of the nocturnal birds and the silence of the night surrounding us like a dark trap. BOO!

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The power of the mind is funny sometimes, what was magic a few hours before became suddenly scary. I started to feel bad because this was my whole idea, what on earth was wrong with me, we are talking about maybe 23 km and it is not like that we are used to ride our bikes that much. Nasim suddenly quit cold turkey and called her husband to pick her up in the middle of nowhere. There was not enough room in the car for 2 bikes and I felt I had enough energy to go on and reach my home before the night comes. So it was me all alone against the clock haha!

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Last smile before scratching my belly on the tree (natural scrubbing… yes you bet!)

As I was riding back to the CBD, I could not help feeling grateful to Nasim for joining me in this crazy but funny bike trip. I felt really happy about the whole day. All in all it was one of the best birthday activities I have ever had 🙂 I liked it despite of its unexpected events:  Nasim thought at some point she had broken her bike, a lady advised us to be careful with the Magpie attacks, a guy asked me for the time and I thought he wanted to steal my bag, I scratched my belly climbing in a tree for a scenic picture… and all those km that obviously we were not trained enough for.

It is all those little moments that make also good memories and you know what now looking back at it, Nasim and I really enjoyed this beautiful day together because we laughed, we had fun and we experienced with delight our very own bikeway to hell. Life does not have to be perfect to be fun, it is its imperfections that make us smile and stick to our minds forever… Life goes beyond the beautiful pictures and selfies that we post daily on social medias… it is living the present moment, experiencing feelings, the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the laugh and the tears. It may not be always perfect but it is the REAL deal and it is up to you to make it count! I am sure if we had to do it all again, Nasim would jump on her bike in a matter of second to join me 😉

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect” ❤

Colour the world, colour your mood

Lately I have been obsessed with coloring books for adults. It’s the new trend and it is nearly impossible to miss them when you are in a Bookshop. Anyway I own a few of them and I really enjoy using those books whenever needed. I believe coloring has a grounding effect.

It all started when my friend Ana (my former Spanish teacher from Colombia) offered me a postcard from the artist: Johanna Basford! When it comes to coloring book, this girl is a GURU, believe me! Her work is amazing: have a look at “Secret garden” (my fav), there is so much poesy in her art, she managed to create a real enchanted universe.

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Colouring book for adults “Secret Garden”, Johanna Basford

So I started with her books and her postcards that I would share with some friends. Sometimes we would go together to the café, with some pencils and we would colour some beautiful magic scenes while chatting. It turned out to be very effective, especially when we were stressed or worried about something. It acted like a colour therapy session and it was a very calming and a comforting activity.

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Texturing and colouring my breakfast bowl: a good way to start the day happy and zen 🙂

It is a combination of little things that separately are just details, but when all combined, it is like a ritual where all your senses are activated. The colours that are dancing in a farandole in front of your eyes, the paper texture under your fingers, the soft  sound of the pencils pressed on the paper, the delicate smell of the drawing in progress and the taste of gratitude as the image starts to appear more and more alive.

 So now I extended my selection to other colouring books such as: Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford, The mini Mandala by Susanne Fincher, the little book of Mindfulness colouring by Holly Macdonald. I really enjoy them as they are a great help to meditate , to relax and sometimes to escape .

What about you? Have you ever tried it? Tell me all about it in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences when it comes to coloring books 🙂

Girls on films

What was the last time you were excited by a party?

Something you were really looking forward to discover, something that made you feel like a teenager going to her first prom, that made your heart jumped in your chest because you could not wait. Do you remember this feeling?!

Friday, I was invited to the most original girls’ night ever! Once a month, my friends and myself host a party in our houses (we take turns, yes, we are very organized haha). We generally pick a theme to spice up things and make it even more enjoyable. But I must say, last Friday, Nasim (my friend from Iran) took it to the next level! She rocked it!

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Artist in progress… Nasim so focus and me being so curious!

She had this amazing idea to re-create a photo-shooting session in a studio and it was so much fun. She asked my friend Jessica (from Mexico) to come with dresses and some make up and I was told to bring my favourite dress and all accessories I could think of (such as : hairbands, hair jewels, masks etc… as I have many of them). I was so excited when I packed my bag on the night before, it was like I was going on a magic trip.  And during the night I could hardly sleep because my eyes were full of shining stars ❤

So when the day came, I was all prepared and ready to give my best pose to the camera. Nasim had all it figured and had managed to turn the first floor of her house into a photo-studio, with changing rooms, beauty salon and photo-shooting area. The atmosphere was perfect, the music selection was good and loud, beauty products had been placed on a table. It was just perfect!

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Smile, it’s selfie time! Jessica, thanks for having my back!

We changed clothes and helped each other to get prepared. Nasim did my make-up and my hair. She took care of Jessica afterwards. Yes, this night Nasim was at the same time a make-up artist, a hair stylist and a professional photographer! She is a very versatile girl as you can easily imagine! She put the music on and the show began!

We had an exciting night, doing different pose : “give me wild, give me sexy, give me sad, give me angry…”. Jessica is a natural, I mean she was amazing, I swear this girl could be an actress! She had the perfect expressions and she knew how to play with the camera. Also it was very fun because when Jessica was modeling, I was in charge of the lighting and directing the wind in her hair (I was using a hairdryer : I told you, Nasim had it all figured). When my turn came, I was petrified (I guess due to overwhelming feelings of joy haha) and I was not that natural… Actually the picture I enjoyed the most are the ones where I am not posing or the ones where I am acting like a crazy person.

It was a great night and what makes it so great is the joy to be with friends. What makes it special is the desire to share new experiences. What makes it memorable is the pleasure to have so much fun together. The love for English language is the key that has united us, our different cultures and background are the foundation of our friendship and our friendly personalities did the rest. We are different but we complete each others so well, we are the 3 sisters (not those from Sydney), we are the world!

Now I can’t wait to see the results, since Nasim is still editing/working on the pictures. I haven’t seen them yet but I am sure it is going to be AWESOME!!!

Enchanted Nantu Wama

I really enjoy walking in the parks around Adelaide: there is always something nice to discover! A couple of days ago as I was walking in the North Adelaide Nantu Wama park, I suddenly noticed a hut made of wood. I could not resist getting closer and visit this secret little place! I am always fascinated by children imagination and creativity. It was nicely built and there was a whole little world inside: a door, a window, a bench and even a pot with “food”!

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The magic cauldron

I must say it was a pleasant surprise and it reminded me of this artist I am crazy about at the moment. Her name is Johanna Basford and she became in a short time very popular with her colouring books for adults! You have probably heard about “Secret Garden” or “Enchanted Forest”… or maybe not?! Well they have been sold out in NO time and it is very difficult to find them in stores especially abroad (the artist is based in UK).

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Johanna Basford’s hut from “Secret Garden”

I must confess I have never heard about this artist when I was living in London! Actually I had to come here to Australia to discover her amazing work! One day, my Spanish teacher, Ana (from Colombia) offered me a postcard with a beautiful garden scene drawn by Johanna Basford and I really felt in love with the design! I like the poesy she puts in her drawings and all the tiny details that make all the difference. It makes me dream and I wish I could create a little universe full of wonderful creatures and splendid landscapes 😉

So have a look at Johanna Basford’s lovely books and maybe next time you are walking in your garden or in the forest, you will start to see the world differently! A simple hut made of wood would become a secret and poetic hideaway in the trees ❤

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Nantu Wama park’s secret hut!

 

An angel to watch over me

I was seven years old when my mother passed away. I don’t remember much about her but to me she was a loving woman who rarely raised her voice with anger at my sisters or myself. She was also an excellent cook and despite the little money we had, there was always a lovely smell in the kitchen. I remember her beautiful hair piled on her head and her long black skirt under which I would hide when an unannounced visitor would knock at the door of our home. Unfortunately, she died very young at the age of 32. I remember the day well, for it was the first time I’d been confronted with death. My sister woke me up early in the morning saying that mum had pushed on Heaven’s door, but I could not understand. I knew mum was sick. She had asthma and could not breathe properly ; she needed to rest and it was not easy to find a doctor in the countryside at that time. But I was just a kid and all I could wonder was how she managed to get up out of bed and open a door since she was so weak and where had she gone?! My sister brought me to Mum’s room to kiss her goodbye.   Lights had been covered and, despite the lilies, there was a strange smell floating in the air. Mum was lying still and cold on her bed, her hands folded on her chest. She was different and so pale. She looked like a wax doll with her long hair by her shoulders and her eyes closed. My sister whispered to me that Mum’s new home was in Heaven now and that her soul had been set free. Now she could overhear not only what we were saying but also what we were thinking, so we had to behave and make her proud so she would always love us.

From this moment, surprisingly I was not afraid! I knew mum would always look after me and eventually protect me because she was an angel now and her spirit would always be around. I could talk to her about my life, pray to her and ask for help if I needed it, which I did quite often. I guess this thought has empowered me and helped me to go through life, which has not always been easy but she has never let me down. I survived a devastating house fire without a single scratch, I was captured by the Germans during World War 2 and by some miracle I managed to escape. I have reached 96 years of age and have never been sick in my whole existence.

But today is the saddest day of my life and I need her more than ever to help me get through this painful time. I am praying to her to welcome my son, her grandson, whom I am mourning, into her home.

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This sad story is one of my assignments from creative writing class that I wanted to share with you. We were asked to look at old pictures we owned and to write a short story up to 500 words about loss from the perspective of a person we had chosen. The idea was that the loss had occurred when the person was a child and we had to tell what happened and how it had impacted our character’s life. We were also asked to write in the first person subject past tense as it was a recollection and many years had passed since the tragedy had occurred  We had to show what the child had learnt through this experience that stayed with him to adulthood. I must say it was a difficult exercise since generally I prefer to write about fun things and loss is not really my favorite genre. It was also a bit overwhelming for me since I decided to base my story on a true family life chapter. Actually I chose my grandfather who lost his mother when he was only a child and I became his voice for the duration of this assignment. On one hand it made me sad and a bit depressed to write about these past memories, I mean I can only imagine how hard it must have been painful for him. But in the other hand I am glad I could transcribe as a tribute stories I have  been  told a  couple of times by my grandfather. His mother, my grand-grandmother, was a beautiful woman who sadly died very young from asthma and I am grateful she is a caring and loving angel watching over my grandfather in sadness and happiness helping him to go though life giving him hope and bravery.

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My grandfather’s mother who died at 32