Redefining unconventionally romantic places: the hidden chic village of Yvoire

I planned this summer to discover as many picturesque hidden places in Europe as I can. I have this guilty pleasure of drinking a coffee or sipping from a glass of wine somewhere with a breathtaking view. It just calms me down and makes me feel very peaceful.

Last weekend I went to Yvoire in France, at the Leman/Geneva lake, and I discovered this old small medieval city that seems like part of a fairytale. It has small coquette houses, chic little restaurants and cafes, antiquities shops, art galleries, a small castle and a beautiful lake side and port that simply took my breath away. It is something particular and honestly really romantic for a stroll or a romantic dinner. I was in love with the place, with the view and with the atmosphere, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different and particular.

Below there are a few photos of my day in Yvoire, mostly taken in the afternoon:

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When was the last time you felt gratitude for your Health?

10464181_10154310648300624_3889549413207100201_nWe live in this world where being wealthy, successful, beautiful, in the perfect romantic relationship/marriage and going in amazing/exotic places on vacation are the aspirational elements of life. These are the first things that go through most people’s mind when faced with a wish or desire: “I want to be successful!”; “I want to be rich!”; “I want to be skinny!”; “I want to look like a model”; “I want to meet the perfect man”; “I want to have a good job”…and so on. It all comes down to ” I want to be HAPPY”, and usual being happy is associated with being loved, rich, travel, be able to do your passions, have the dream job …

However, few people associate Happiness to also being Healthy, because for most…health is there…a given. l_97a43e90-146f-11e2-8023-9b3024d00006Few people wake up being thankful for the fact that yet another day has passed by and they are healthy, they can see, they can walk, they can breath. Ironical how the best gift life gave us which is also the prerequisite to do all those great things we dream of is perceived as the least important. It’s simple, we take it for granted. It’s there, but we don’t see it, because we haven’t lived without it. But when it leaves us…it sure hurts a lot!

We only start appreciating health when it starts to shutter or it becomes problematic. Then we think back, and all we wish for is one more day as a fully healthy person. Most of the things we do on a daily basis affect our healthy being, and more often than not we know it but we do not care either because we are young, or because we want to be beautiful, or because we do not really acknowledge it: we drink, we eat unhealthy, we stress, we smoke and so on. One day, these superficial decisions when we thought health was the least of our worries will come and bite us back.

No one is invincible, and under current living conditions in this world, no one stays healthy by practicing on the go, skinny bitch, fast food or stressful lifestyles. So, do something about it. Change at least one thing that you know hurts your body in one way or another.

Here are some suggestions. Just pick one every week to work on:

  • Go to the gym or start running
  • Wake up every day and be grateful for being healthy
  • Stop eating fast food or fried food
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Stop stressing about every little thing because things will be ok in the end
  • Sleep enough
  • If you have an office job, take frequent breaks, walk
  • Drink lots of water
  • Stop dieting!
  • Stop drinking sodas!
  • Quit smoking
  • Love and respect your health!
  • …and many more

    Next time you start complaining about the fact that you are not rich enough, happy enough, loved enough, lucky enough, think deeper! Are you healthy? Yes?! Then be grateful! You are lucky, you are blessed! If you are healthy, the rest can be solved one way or another!

    Start practicing gratefulness for your health every day and take care of your well-being before it is too late. It will also help on your positive thinking. Because when you feel your world is falling apart, you know you are at least healthy and it means a way more than you give it credit for!
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Weekend fling: boyfriend … JEANS

Living in Switzerland taught me to slightly adapt my style to comfier clothes, and honestly I developed a small passion for boyfriend jeans lately. I can wear them with loafers, sneakers or flats for a relaxed get-away or add high-heels/pumps for a night out.

So, there you go, worthy emotional attachment you can develop this summer – a pair of boyfriend jeans 🙂

You can go for the ripped off look or the classic ones. The point is you can play around with the style, matching them with a short tee, a bustier or a comfy loose t-shirt.

Here are two of my favorite comfy looks for the weekend:
Wearing Mango boyfriend jeans, Ash sneakers, PNK Casual t-shirt, Raybans, Michael Kors bag
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Wearing Diesel boyfriend jeans, Zara shirt, Raybans, Ash sneakers
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Change your status from SINGLE to FREE

977654_601018243250227_641692438_oI don’t pretend to be an expert in matters of the heart, dating or relationships, but I had my share of experiences: good, wonderful, neutral and some also painful or less pleasant. And I have learned a few things to keep me always going, positive and to enjoy life no matter what!

We all get to experience the whole array of feelings during a lifetime. And it’s ok. We survive! Because sometimes the pain is there to remind you that you are alive, and that you have so many other things to be thankful for than an in love lost mind and a floating heart.

I decided to write this post because I noticed how every girl in this world, more often than not when she goes over 27 years old, she starts to be freaked out by the idea of being single at any point in time. I have learned that being single for a while is actually very beneficial for a woman: she gets to understand better what she wants, how she feels, she can take better care of herself, she learns to rely solely on herself…she feels FREE. And I believe feeling free to have fun, enjoy life, date whoever who want is a gift, and it is a gift of youth that you rarely take back or relive like you do it in your 20s.

The problem is that the fear of being single can drive people to stay in bad relationships or settle for less-than-desirable partners! Such settling reveals a sad paradox: those who most closely link happiness with being in a relationship may, out of a fear of being single, reduce their ability to find happiness within a romantic relationship. So, why would you want to do that to yourself? You could stress about looking for Prince Charming or staying in a toxic relationship under the excuse that you are working on it (for 3-4 years at least) because you think being alone is worst, and consequently see your best years going to waste, or you could enjoy life, your passions, take care of your self, book a trip with the girls in a party destination and live it up!

My group of single girls in Marbella last summer 🙂
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And believe me, independent girls that do well on their own and that are self-confident (basically not needing a man to identify themselves), end up much better, actually get the happy ending insecure and clingy girls desperately look for, and as a bonus they are more attractive. The moment you actually and truly enjoy your single life as a woman and your attitude shows it, that’s the moment you will see guys being attracted to you. And this is because you will seem relaxed, enjoying living and honestly you are a small pray again. Because no matter what anyone says or what your ideal view of a man is, men like to hunt! If there is no hunt, there is no interest. Easy to get is not at all attractive. Ok, don’t make it impossible either, men get bored or scared – just make it interesting, pleasant, mysterious and don’t melt right away (at least not in front of the man). The idea is to know people, experiment, have fun, be relaxed, patient and enjoy their company without always thinking about future steps, framing the connection with the guy into whether it is a relationship or not. Give the guy the freedom that you enjoy, make him feel it, make him like to spend time in your world because it is relaxing, there’s no pressure, and if there is a strong connection, both of you will feel it with out naming it or built expectations. It goes naturally.

However, if you stress out about getting 30 and being single, you will always send bad signals, desperate ones, or react in ways that will push men away from you. Plus, you have to try at least once the experience of being really single and on your own, but enjoying it to the extent that you are really not looking for a guy to marry or have kids with – but for experimenting new things and feelings, and living your life as you want.

Step away from what society thinks or how it pressures you. The most important thing is to be happy with yourself. A love can always go wrong, a partner can always leave you, but you have to be able to see the sunshine in your life which actually comes down to being healthy, living and breathing. Your existence should be a joy as a standalone!

Here’s a few things I did to build up this thinking:
– Wake up every morning, look over the window and find something beautiful to admire and enjoy (believe me – it is summer, so it is easy to do so) – this can be the sun, the birds singing, a lake, a green park, a blue sky, children playing and laughing, whatever makes your heart tick, anything at all.
– Look in the mirror and smile! You may not be perfect, but you are unique and beautiful! And if there is anything you want to improve about your image, this is the time to do so. You are single, so you have time to focus your energy on becoming a better self: go to the gym, massage, dye your hair, eat healthy, run, focus on your passions, start dancing – experiment things on your body that now you have time for and for sure will make you feel better.
– Always be busy. The point above will give you ideas on how to fill your schedule, but also Go out! Meet people! Laugh, enjoy, socialize, go to the movies, go shopping by yourself. Keep yourself busy!
– Eat out with friends, meet them for lunch in the lunch break, go dancing, go on holiday with the girls (I guess this is my favorite part!).
– When you meet guys, do not look for Mr. Perfect! He does not exist! Go out, have fun, you don’t have to marry the first guy you date! Discover people, listen to them, gather moments (not mushy memories!).
– No need to feel bad next time another friend gets married, has a child or receives a romantic surprise – because honestly, at one point you will have all of those. Just not now, because you still have some living up to do! Can you honestly say you have done a lot of crazy things? So why waste time on trying to worry when the Perfect Family or Relationship will be?! Go with the flow! Your life is wonderful without any strings attached, without crying babies, or a guy to monitor you or tell you how to dress or what to eat or when to come home.
– Most importantly: Stop picturing or planning your future when it comes to your love life! Live in the present!
– And last but not least: Practice positive thinking! Always! A happy woman is a woman that will convey happiness around her and will find happiness so matter what life throws at her!

So, there you go! If you are single, and worry deep in your heart about it, STOP it and enjoy your living! Get out there, live, admire beauty around you, feel grateful for all the nice things in your life, and for other forms of love than romantic one that you are surrounded by (from friends, family, your pet 🙂 ). Book your trip with your girlfriends, look out for yourself, do crazy things! Be Your Happy Self and you will attract happiness!

A touch of a sandy beach and real waves… in the Alps!

Apparently the surroundings of the Geneva lake and Alps do not cease to amaze me in the French part of Switzerland. I honestly believed life in Switzerland is dull, especially in summer. Well, I am being proved wrong every weekend. Besides the fact that Cote D’Azure is reached within 5 hours by car, Provence in 3 hours by car, the Italian Riviera in 4 hours by car (and I refer to car rides as this is how you can leave unexpected somewhere), and besides the amazing views on the lake you have from Geneva and Lausanne, and Mont Blanc shining in the scenery, there is this mixture of Alpine and Meditarean climate, mountains, pine tress and palm trees, that makes life here simply…amazing.

I grew up with a love for the water, the sea, the beach and summer.  In fact once moving to Lausanne, in the Alps this is was on of my worries during the summertime – where would I enjoy on a weekend basis the sea, like I did in Romania. So imagine my surprise when we decided to go for a Saturday stroll on the French side of the Geneva lake, on a sunny day, and we spotted from the car a multitude of kites from kite surfers in the sky. So we followed the trail and ended up on a sandy beautiful beach, and a warm windy lake with…waves! – this is Excenevex Plage in France (a small town right before Yvoire – another wonderful place I will write about, on the Leman/Geneva lake). The scenery below made my eyes pop like a little kid’s in front of candy…or Disneyland. 

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The beach, the kites, the sand, the joyful chocolate Labrador I took care of these days…

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Towards the end of the day…

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I was hyped! This small golf mimics the seaside incredibly: a lot of young people, kite surfers, beach volley, football on the beach, beach bars, music. There are parts of the beach sectioned off for swimming as well as pedaloes and another one for other water sports, such as kite surfing. And what is particular and amazing is the fact that this all happens at the base of the Alps! I think nature was very generous on this area! So there you go, all I needed for summer, an hour drive from Lausanne, and 20km away from Geneva. 🙂

This pretty particular spot lies between Thonon les Bains (near to Evian) and Geneva.  It is close to the pretty village of Yvoire, a medieval coquet village, with a scenic port side and small chic restaurants perfect for a small romantic get-away… I will write about it soon because it deserves its own post!

 

The LOVE for Denim shorts… my usual summer fling!

Yesterday I was reorganizing my closet and I noticed that I have over 15 pairs of denim shorts in blue, black, white, green, orange, purple… and honestly, I would still buy more.

The truth is I love denim shorts – especially the classic denim and they can be tight, high waste, low waste, ripped, or with embellishments, I can wear them casually with Converse shoes or flat sandals or at night with a pair of pumps or high heeled sandals or even at the beach with flip flops and a loose tee. Yes, I am officially hooked for years and the thing is denim shorts never go out of style, so you could nicely call them collectibles because they can make me feel comfi, sexy, stylish, and I can combine them with loose tees, bustiers, shirts…practically anything. They are my go to option (ironically inspired every time) when I actually lack inspiration in front of my wardrobe 🙂

Here are some variations and occasions of my use of short denim:
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Why I am a fool for Sunsets and Sunrises…

I have this weakness around a sunset or a sunrise on a beach, be it ocean, be it sea, be it lake actually. There is something about the power of the sun going up or down in the water that leaves me breathless every time.

I love looking at sunsets and sunrises –  it takes me away from the hustle and bustle of life.  Also reminds me how lucky I am to see such amazing beauty. The power of such views by the water helps me truly feel grateful for the blessings I have been given in my life.

Also, a sunset or a sunrise can turn me in such a romantic fool. As cheesy as it may sound, I melt in front of a sunset or sunrise with my loved one next to me, on a silent beach, and two glasses of wine or champagne. This is what I find truly divine!

When I was little, all I wanted to see was a sunset at the ocean, and then somehow life brought me to Biarritz – which is a town on the West Coast of France at the Atlantic Ocean, and I felt in love. I found this bench on a high rock there, and it was the first time as a child when I enjoyed the silence slightly broken by a seagull or the sound of the waves, and the beauty of that image. It was my favorite place for many years, and I insisted that my parents passed by Biarritz during our summer vacations in Europe so I could just sit on that bench at sunset again. I am not at all melancholic in front of a sunset, but it makes me feel alive. I feel this great vibe going through my body, and it charges me with a lot of positive energy.

Biarritz sunset – and my favorite rock on the leftImage

My second favorite place for a sunset is California – Newport Beach. My father took me to the Newport pier knowing I would love the sunset over there…and yes…it was amazing. The power of the water and the colors of the sky during the sunset help me meditate, help me think of things in a very calm manner. It is my spot to solve my thoughts and to recharge with strength no matter whether I am at a high or low point in my life at that moment. I guess for me a sunset is like a show: the breeze touching my skin, the sound of the water and waves that breaks the silence and the beauty of the scenery laying in front of my eyes in the most amazing colors.

The pier in Newport, at sunset – my other favorite spot
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This year I discovered another amazing sunset in Boracay Island, the Philippines. It was somehow different from the other two, but I had to see it every evening from the White Beach. This sunset, compared to others made me feel in love: with life, with family, with friends, with people. It somehow fed love to me more than anything else, and this is why I remember it.

Sunset on White Beach, Boracay
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I found this quote that partly explains my attraction to sunsets: “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” ~Mohandas Gandhi. And so it is, because I cannot keep being amazed on the artwork that nature can create. I pause, and I forget all the other insignificant things that may have made me upset or created me discomfort – the fact that I can live to see such beauty means I am alive and lucky!

I believe that as human beings we all actually love the sunrise and the sunset. Each of these have their own significance to us. It starts a new day, marks a beginning. It keeps us warm. It boosts our moods and makes us feel happy. And ultimately it makes us want to get up in the morning and live another day. Sunsets and sunrises can be some of the most beautiful forms of art ever, painting the skies with their myriad of colors. I’m pretty sure that everyone keeps at least a few photos of the sunset/sunrise to remind them of romantic evenings, dreams or plans for the days to follow. After all, we are all emotional fools in front of nature’s beauty…