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Thoughts on Dating An American Like You

Dear Cutie,

After recently getting back from what I believe to be one of the most incredible, wild, fun, and memorable road trips I’ve ever taken so far to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona visiting sights like the Vegas’ strip and the impressive Hoover Dam, hiking the Angel’s landing of Zion Park and visiting the breath taking lower & the adventurous upper Antelope Canyons, as well as a stop and climb on rocks at the stunning Horse Shoe Bend, I am delighted to share with you (and my dear readers & friends) my thoughts on dating an american guy (like you), a topic that has been feeding countless debates for lots of conversations I’ve had with my fellow French expats. Continue Reading “Thoughts on Dating An American Like You”

Thoughts on Resilience

WARNING: Be aware as what you are about to read is a serious (rather lengthy) post, thus it is extremely recommended to take some breaks in between accompanied by a glass of wine or beer or tea or whatever you like. Consider yourself being warned 🙂

So why resilience? Don’t we need to learn to not only survive but thrive in this environment?

I hope after reading this post that it will be in any ways helpful to you when dealing with stress and how to overcome life obstacles. This post tries to define resilience, improve your awareness of stress and have the ability to manage it effectively. I hope to identify the components of resilience and recognize our inherent potential to recover and grow following setbacks. With this lengthy post (go grab some drinks!!), I hope to share strategies and let you partake on my recent experience in building resilience so as to be able to apply these in your own personal life.

Continue Reading “Thoughts on Resilience”

How to Nail a Beach Date (Part 2)

Hello Everyone! It’s the end of summer I know but it’s never too late to revise and complete the list for what to pack on a beach date, right? So shall we get to it!

If you’ve missed the first part of this series, don’t feel bad and head over here!

Beach date essentials
  1. Cool Pair of Sunnies: I used to stick to a classic pair of black or a tortoiseshell which never falls out of style—it’s neutral with a subtle pattern but I wish to take more risk with my style. Have you seen the cat-eye sunglasses that are an effortless way to nail a vintage look like the iconic Gucci cat eye sunglasses. My crave! Alternatively you probably have seen me parading around festivals this summer with this mirror lenses pair from Anthropologie. Indeed, I don’t have to break the bank whenever trying out a new style I am unsure of (my trick!). Also since I seem to always lose/break them, a cheaper pair of shades isn’t a terrible idea after all in adding a dash of style update.
  2. An Oversized Straw Hat: I love that nostalgic flair when I wear my Lack of Colors wide brim boater! A reminiscence of the young Coco Chanel wearing hers with a breton top by Deauville.
  3. Entertainment like a book (if you want to be have a solo moment) and paddle board (if you want to be with friends). I personally like to play beach Volley Ball but when going out on a date, I’d opt for swimming together.
  4. Something Colorful: a bandana for style or ethic bracelets.
  5. Cover ups: I like a light men’s button up shirt tied at my waist because it’s the sexiest thing to wear right now! The one I am wearing is from Steven Alan.

Extra: Water Bottle: I like using my refillable water bottle because the planet doesn’t need more  plastic waste at the shores (not pictured).

These photos were taken during my trip in France at La Baule (in the Pays De La Loire) and what you are seeing is the Atlantic ocean. It was a beautiful trip so stay tuned as I’ll soon update you with many stories to share 🙂

La Baule, Pays De La Loire, France by my sister

California Road Trips

A few weeks ago a ‘crazy’ friend from Holland was visiting San Diego for 3 weeks. We seemingly partied every day (my liver began to fail!!!). Summers in here can be a hell lot of fun between pool parties & BBQs, playing beach volley ball with the hotties, eating at the Farmer’s market (now our thursday’s ritual), making bonfires, night (drunk) biking in Pacific beach, clubbing in downtown, bar & brewery hoping (we love our IPAs but Euro guys just hate it I know), go karting, hanging out in arcades, I mean the list goes on but one of my ultimate fav things to do in California is definitely… a road trip.

I’ve been to Palm Springs many times before (for instance read here on Coachella) but this time we drove to different sites. We cruised through Pine Valley then visited this colorful site called the Salvation Mountain, a man made hill out of paint and cement in honor of God. We then continued our journey along the sight of the beautiful Sultan Sea to later visit Mount San Jacinto, a wilderness park. Temperature was skyrocking high (45°C) so I was glad to wear my wide brim boater from Lack of Colors.

The park was 10834 feet high (3302 m) in altitude so we took the tram that rotates on itself and uniquely allows visitors to get a 360 degrees panoramic view of the wild while going up to the mountain. We hiked, jumped, climbed rocks, (intentionally) got lost a few times, took naps on giant rocks, drank a lot (wait why do I start to sound like a drunkard hmm??!), and star gazed at night. The view over Palm Springs was phenomenally beautiful. Later that night as we finally came down to get our rental truck (and about rentals as Johan said, ‘Don’t be gentle. It’s only a rental!’ He has plenty of impertinent phrases like that and drove it without much care indeed. Remember I mentioned he was crazy…), we had an improvised Bachata dancing in the middle of nowhere with his Columbian friend.

Have I mentioned to you guys that I’ve been learning Bachata for a few months now? Well, now that you are informed my friends, the idea behind was that I had to do this since I last broke this French guy’s ankle on the dance floor the last time we danced at this latino club in Barcelona on New Year’s Eve and I solely blamed the tequila! Adrien is forever mad at me but I know he will trust my dancing next time with my new skills (I hope!). In either case, I am so looking forward to my Euro trip next week and can’t wait to see/meet some of you guys there. Let me know how your summer is going so far. Many beaches & bikinis, (perhaps lots of drinks like me too?!). Comment below 😉

UnPacking

Sorry for the silence on my blog but lately it’s been so hectic with work, school, and travel…my life.

Today, I wanted to talk about unpacking instead of creating a post related to packing and trip preparation for a change. What I like about whenever I unpack is the retrospect and the fact that I can quickly judge from unzipping up my carry on what’s dirty and needs laundry aka worn a lot aka success packing item versus what’s still clean.

Above is a quick snapshot of what I had packed for a week and half throughout Europe (Amsterdam//Paris) with activities ranging from work (officially it was supposed to be a short business trip in the Netherlands) then I went to France to visit my family so a lot of casual wear and some visits with my new niece from Seattle strolling around Paris, and the countrysides for wine tasting and lots of picnics in the region of Loire Valley.

Since I travel in a carry on, I tend to pack light so I usually prepare an approximate mental list of daily outfits that fit most situations to make sure I don’t take too much. Overpacking is definitely uncool perhaps even Un-Parisian Chic. I pack a very edited selection of pieces that are versatile and can be mixed and matched to work for meetings, days out, and nighttime. I then pack the shoes in cotton bags (that usually comes from buying Chanel or Isabel Marant) and my dressy outfits in garment bags (usually comes for free with APC purchase). My makeup essentials are packed in a pouch (here is a bright pink Chanel pouch given as a gift from my favorite people at the Chanel counter in Eindhoven), which can later be used as a clutch. I also love the packing travel bag from Aesop that is discreet and practical to store the little bottles. I’ve learned to keep a travel case with a duplicate of all my beauty products and french pharmacies, that way it’s always ready and that is one less thing to think about. My tip is to be friends with a French Pharmacist because I always get tons of free full size samples of all my beauty products (same with Chanel’s skin care and lip sticks and perfume and more), so I never had to buy more for travel.

My favorite packing pieces are generally a well-cut blazer or a leather jacket, a warm jumper, a good pair of jeans, a white shirt, and a Breton top. But this time with the weather forecast in mind (unlike any other times where I was mindless), I decided to swap my favorite Caroll blazer with a knee long colorless overcoat from Beneton which I purchased in Eindhoven the last time I forgot to pack a jacket. I am truthfully a catastrophe when it comes to packing for Europe but with the frequent trips I began to learn (hopefully). I feel I can pat myself on the back this time for having a warm hat to wear, a long coat, and a pair of ankle boots for the brief low temperature moments but luckily unlike last year during the same period, this trip was surprisingly warmer than expected so I also packed light shirts and my favorite Sessun skirt.

I wore my black jeans and my tailored black cropped trousers from Gerard Darel to work paired with a nice statement top and my Repetto pumps on repeats. After work, I threw on my leather jacket and my Isabel Marant boots then I was ready to go out and grab a drink with friends. It’s important for me to be comfortable, so I stuck to comfy, basic pieces that I mixed with strong pieces from the current season’s collections like the APC casablanca red top. A very comfortable fabric, boxed cut, bateau neckline and some gold hardware details top. This blouse is cut with a 7/8th sleeve length which reveals my wrist just enough skin to show, which I am fond of.

Paris & Loire Valley, April 2017

The Isabel Marant Boots (in brown shades) are so chic and comfortable to walk around Amsterdam’s cobbles streets. I love them so much and make any outfit far more chic. My Sezane leather jacket was also a key garment for making any outfit instantaneously cool and I love the feel of the texture as well as the cropped fit. Lastly, the Chanel flats finally returning home since they had to be resoled in Paris chez le Cordonnier Minuit Moins Sept (Galerie Véro-Dodat, 10 Galerie Véro-Dodat, 75001 Paris). Top quality soles and craftsman work, they gave these footwear a new life 🙂

Onto next: On my wishlist includes the Cat eye Gucci sunnies as my Rayban’s are scratched. A travel bag as the Celine trio is really versatile during my travels and can hold a bunch of stuff but it’s getting beat up quickly so I am looking forward to the Celine seau or a new leather tote. I currently carry my backpack because my laptop is huge! It’s a workstation for CAD designs but I no longer do mechanical engineering work so may be requesting a smaller laptop that will nicely fit in a tote.

Packing (again!!) to the Coachella trip this week. I do want to take some time to share more about my travel (adventures) next time hopefully because clothing topic is ok sometimes on the edge of boredom to me. In my mind, talking relentlessly about clothing and building my wardrobe was intended to support my hectic lifestyle and I hope to avoid navel gazing if possible since life out there has so much more interesting and fascinating things to offer. Catch up later!

Vive l’Amour

Hi everyone! I am euphoric to write my first post here.

Are you celebrating love this month? I am hearing yes? Ok, so today let’s talk about l’amour ahhh. But firstly, what is love? Does anyone know? Please don’t laugh I’m serious… because I was asked this philosophical-hard-to-answer-question the other day. And here was my attempted answer well… love is when Arjen cares for me when I don’t feel well (also when I feel well hmm anywho). My friend surprised by my unexpected response replied… that’s what any good friends would do and then proceeded with another question: then what is the difference between a friend and a lover? Hmmm I started scratching my head and got my mind a bit fuzzy and I blame the margaritas. When a situation like this arises there is really only one smart thing to do…. Continue Reading “Vive l’Amour”