La beauté de chez soi

Cet été, j’ai déménagé de Lausanne à Nax, d’une ville à un village, du bord du lac à la montagne, d’un appartement moderne à une ancienne grange rénovée et je n’ai jamais été aussi heureuse chez moi qu’aujourd’hui. Mais pourquoi ?

Vivre à 1300 mètres d’altitude dans un village de 1000 habitants m’apporte encore plus de sérénité et d’apaisement que le bord du lac. Le silence est absolu, tellement que mes amies accros aux bouchons d’oreilles pour dormir la nuit les laissent chez elles quand elles viennent me rendre visite.

En montagne, l’air y est pur et me procure une sensation de bien-être. Quand je ne suis pas dans mon assiette, j’ouvre la porte de mon salon, je sors dans le jardin et je prends une grande inspiration. Je me remplis alors d’une énergie nouvelle et me sens à nouveau bien. D’ailleurs, comme dans les maisons en bord de mer, j’ai envie de laisser portes et fenêtres ouvertes au moindre rayon de soleil pour remplir mon intérieur de cette fraicheur.

Tout comme moi, mes œuvres d’art respirent mieux. Le bois du chalet qui date de 1869 et de multiples petits recoins apportent intimité et sentiment de cocooning qui mettent en valeur ma collection.

En altitude, et tout particulièrement en Valais, le soleil me semble plus présent. J’ai laissé derrière moi la grisaille de la ville, qui a son charme et son romantisme, mais je préfère la chaleur d’un rayon de lumière sur mes joues.

Et quelle liberté ! Je peux mettre la musique à fond et chanter à tue-tête ou partir à pied me perdre en pleine nature pour des heures de randonnées dès que le cœur m’en dit.

Encore un petit détail, la cuisine est ouverte sur le salon et je peux ainsi préparer des repas pour ma famille et amis tout en étant avec eux, en toute convivialité.

 

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The beauty of lingerie

In two weeks, my husband and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and this past august we celebrated our 16thanniversary together. There are a million reasons why I love Guillaume but ranging in the top ten is definitely the fact that he buys me beautiful lingerie. Come to think about it, I haven’t had to buy a single underwear in over 15 years.

I love picturing Guillaume in a boutique, choosing outfits for me, imagining how I will look in them. It does wanders for my body image. It makes me feel desired and makes me want to be as desirable as possible for him.

Feeling sexy and beautiful underneath my clothes is not only for Guillaume, mainly it is for me. At work (I work in a hospital) I usually can’t wear sexy clothes (especially not in the O.R.) but wearing lingerie underneath my scrubs makes me feel attractive and asserts me in my womanhood. It also contributes to keep me giddy all day, as if I was constantly holding a very crispy secret all to myself.

Thanks to Guillaume I have the most exquisite drawers of lingerie with all the colors of the rainbow. Not only bra and underwear but thong, bustier, corset, lace, briefs, tulle, push-up, shorty, body suit, full cup, half cup, soft cup, nightdress, suspender belt and much more. Some of my favorite brands are Simone Perele, Aubade, Chantal Thomas, and Agent Provocateur.

Whether it’s your hubby or yourself buying lingerie, I strongly advise you start exploring.

Another thing I love about my husband and that does wanders for my body image is that he is a photographer and loves taking pictures of me. But that will be a story for another post.

La beauté de rester un enfant à jamais

Ce jeudi, c’était le 1eraoût, la fête nationale suisse et bien que j’aie trente ans, je l’ai vécue comme un enfant de cinq ans. Je ne me souviens pas, étant petite, avoir fait des feux d’artifices le 1eraoût. Premièrement j’habitais en ville, donc difficile de faire ça sur le balcon au milieu des immeubles et deuxièmement j’entends d’ici mon père dire : « c’est dangereux ! ». Mais mon mari me raconte que passé le 25 décembre, lui et son frère n’attendaient qu’une seule chose : le 1eraoût, pour pouvoir faire des feux d’artifices dans leur jardin. Cette année nous avons fêté le 1eraoût chez mon beau-frère qui a maintenant deux garçons de cinq et huit ans et, grâce à ma belle-famille, j’ai découvert combien incroyable peut être une fête nationale.

Je n’en reviens toujours pas. On a commencé par allumer des pétards dans une petite brouette, ça pétaradait de partout comme des pistolets au Far West. Puis il y a eu les Vésuve, des volcans miniatures crachant des étincelles de plus en plus haut pendant un temps infini, comme si le Vésuve lui-même était en pleine éruption. Enfin sont arrivées les fusées – les vrais feux d’artifices – et le bouquet final. Les dernières étincelles fusaient dans l’air avant d’exploser en couleurs et en sons. Excitation totale mélangeant émerveillement, appréhension et fascination. Je ne sais pas qui était le plus excité : les neveux de mon mari ou moi-même ? Et je n’arrive toujours pas à croire que toute cette magie, c’est nous qui la produisons…

Je me suis rendue compte, ce soir-là, combien c’est important de rester officieusement un enfant lorsqu’on devient officiellement adulte. Non seulement cela nous permet de continuer à être fascinés par la vie : ce qui semble être un rien pour un adulte nous fait rêver et nous rappelle la chance que nous avons d’être sur cette terre. De plus, lorsque nous sommes fascinés, nous transmettons ce sentiment tout autour de nous et cela fait du bien aux autres aussi. On rappelle ainsi à ceux qui auraient un peu trop grandi que la vie est belle et que si l’on regarde bien, chaque jour on a de quoi avoir des étoiles pleins les yeux.

Alors, restons enfants ! Et ceci même si certains n’ont de cesse de nous répéter qu’il faut grandir !

That one special pair of jeans

We all have that one special pair of jeans we love. That one that makes our legs look longer and thinner, our buttocks look rounder and firmer and our waist look smaller. We wear down those jeans until they have so many holes, we decently cannot go outside in them anymore. When we finally decide to part from them, we shed a little tear because we know how difficult it’s going to be to find another magical pair of jeans.

For me, that one special pair of jeans has always been from the brand 7 for all mankind. Every time I enter another store that sells jeans, I always try on a pair or two thinking that maybe this time will be different, but each time I come out empty handed.

For my past two birthdays, my husband bought me jeans from 7 for all mankind and to no one’s surprise, they fit me perfectly. He got me crops that I don’t usually go for, but it seems that whatever the crop, they fit me just right. This year, the gift was even more tailored made for me than the previous ones because the brand created a new crop, the Roxanne crop, and surely that’s the one my husband got me. So now, not only do I have that perfect pair of jeans, but it has my name on it, literally.

Another advantage of the Roxanne crop is that, it’s either made specially for small people or maybe it’s supposed to end above the ankles on tall people, anyhow, it’s the first time I haven’t had to shorten my jeans.

What about you? Where do you find that one special pair of jeans?

Mountain life requires daily sun protection

On May 30thI turned 30. I celebrated with my friends and family in Nax, a village at an altitude of 1,300 meters in the Swiss mountains, where I am moving to next month. These past four days we discovered the area all together and it was amazing.

We hiked many trails around Nax. No need to take the car, you just come out the front door and start walking. We tasted delicious wines in the middle of vineyards at Simon Maye et Fils and Magliocco. We hiked our fist Via Ferrata, a protected climbing route. We swam in crystal blue mountain lakes and brunched outside in the yard of the house we had rented for the occasion.

The common theme linking this weekend’s activities was the sun. The region of Switzerland I am moving to, called the Valais, is known for many things, one of them being its micro climate. The sun shines more than 300 days a year.

I realized this weekend that if I want my skin to look as good at 40 than it does at 30, I’m going to have to change my skin care routine. I will no longer be able to use sunscreen only on vacation (as Ada describes it in her latest blog post) because I will be exposed to a burning sun on a daily basis. I need to integrate sun protection into my daily routine. Not only once a day, but every time I go outside or even get into my car (I just realized my car does not have UV protecting glass), and not only on my face, but neckline and hands as well.

I do not want to wake up in ten years and realize my skin is full of wrinkles, spots and redness I could have prevented by better skincare. Hence, the Alchimie Forever Protective day cream SPF 23 is definitely getting placed on my bathroom shelf and in my bag so I can reapply regularly throughout the day.

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The beauty of art

We choose to express our personality in many different ways. Some people use jewelry and other accessories to express their style (read Ada’s latest post “Jewelry Styles for Music Festivals”), some use clothes, others use words or music, I use art. Each painting, sculpture, photograph, video I own tells a story about me in a way I’m incapable of sharing otherwise. If you want to know who I am, all you need to do is to look at what is hung on my walls. For me, this is the beauty of art.

Here are some pieces of my collection and what they say about me.

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In Michaela Spiegel’s painting I see darkness, sensuality and sexuality.

91258a_38f6a33072e74993a076635618077fa4In Dana Hoey‘s photograph I see energy, youth and freshness.

img_5892.jpgIn Mounir Fatmi’s drawing I see religion and life and death in an operating room.

img_5909.jpgIn Rita Natarova’s paintings I see my obsession for the human body, I feel I can touch and smell it piece by piece.

BIGGS_BD_01.jpgIn Janet Biggs’ photograph I feel the power I used to feel while horseback riding.

img_5864.jpgIn Andrea Mastrovito’s painting I see my fear of being ordinary.

DSC_8796.JPGIn Abdul Rahman Katanani’s tree I see hope and defiance.

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In Eli Stertz’s picture I see loneliness.

corrected+POLLA+FIRE+POEM+7.jpgIn Robert Montgomery’s fire poems I see the freedom in love and the fear of being captured.

cache_33063970In Ornela Vorpsi’s drawings I can feel myself in my husband’s arms and I see my need of physical contact.

img_5903.jpgIn Mat Collishaw’s superpositions I feel the beauty that can be found in violence.

img_5877.jpgIn Conrad Bakker’s painting I feel my anxiety to be lost in our society.

img_5865.jpgIn Elke Krystufek‘s photograph I see positivity and enthusiasm.

La beauté des préliminaires, la force de la poésie.

Je ne sais pas vous, mais moi j’adore les préliminaires. « Le commencement : on est à l’origine de quelque chose. L’attente : le principal est encore à venir. La préparation : en vue de ce qui est à accomplir. La fondation : sur laquelle la suite va s’édifier. Le jeu : on passera ensuite aux choses sérieuses. L’exploration : le temps des décisions viendra après. L’ébauche : de ce qui prendra une forme définitive. »

Voici les mots décrivant l’exposition Préliminaires montrée à la Villa Dutoit en mars dernier. Je suis tombée sous le charme d’une pièce en particulier, réunissant le travail de 2 artistes : Patricia Terrapon Leguizamon et Barbara Polla. L’une créant des sculptures de seins, l’autre un poème érotique qui retranscrit parfaitement selon moi la beauté des préliminaires (Just before Love, à lire ci-dessous et à retrouver dans le New River Press Yearbook 2019).

Les préliminaires poussent à l’imagination et à la curiosité. Il y a d’infinies possibilités de désirs et de jeux, de manières de découvrir son intimité et d’explorer son corps ainsi que celui de l’autre.

Les préliminaires sont romantiques. Ils obligent à prendre le temps. Ils font sortir des stéréotypes répétitifs et ennuyants qu’on retrouve partout en image dans notre société.

Les préliminaires offrent un moment de liberté. Un temps où on ose exprimer sa sexualité et tester différents désirs sans trop les avouer juste pour voir la réaction de l’autre, juste pour savoir si on peut continuer dans cette direction ou non. Si c’est non, on oublie et on passe à autre chose, sans jugement.

Les préliminaires c’est différent pour chacun et à chaque instant. Ils peuvent être doux, crus, lents, rapides… D’ailleurs dans de prochains blogs je vous parlerai de deux accessoires que j’aime tout particulièrement : la photographie et les sous-vêtements.

Just before Love me donne envie d’écrire des lettres enflammées à mon mari, comme James Joyce le faisait pour Nora Barnacle. La poésie a une force particulière avec laquelle elle arrive à nous faire voyager et à nous stimuler avec ses mots, ses sons et son rythme, d’une manière qu’on peine à recréer dans notre langage de tous les jours.

Bonne lecture !

 

Just Before Love

Just before love
He likes to smoke a joint
Then he looks at me
And wants me to play
With my eyes and my smile
As if I were to go
Far away with another
As if I were to dance

Just before love
He likes to watch girls
While touching his balls
And then he looks at me
At my mouth at my lips
Ajar and wet and pink
Playing with my tongue
And my fingers in my mouth

Just before love
He likes me to sniff
From neck to ass
Along his vertebrae
His axilla and to kiss
And to sniff him all over
As if I were an addict
And needs to feel the need

Just before love
His nipples erect
His hair on his thighs
He likes me to ignore
Just for a while then adore
That he is all erect
Erection everywhere
Now show me your tits

Just before love
He touches himself
And likes me to Watch
And let me know
I can do it myself
You know look at me
You from below
From everlasting snow

Just before love
Lick it all up
You know, there
Deep in the rainforest
And your tongue everywhere
Let me let me let me
Grasp and strangle
And drown in your night

Just before love
Close your eyes close the world
Comes the night comes the sky
Come, come baby come
Then leave me alone
Alone with myself
Unwillingly and slow
Waiting for death

And after love
Let me let me let me

… and dance again

 

Barbara Polla

I tested sauna and winter swimming.

Recently my sister Cyrille made me rediscover a magical place in Geneva called “Les Bains des Paquis”, which offers a multitude of activities, including sauna and winter swimming.

Each time I go back to Geneva (I now live in Lausanne), I include this new ritual in my visit: three 20 minutes sessions of sauna (90°C/200°F) broken up by swimming in the lake (7°C/45°F). I then take a hot shower and head to the relaxation room where I lather my body with Alchimie Forever products, curl up in a blanket, drink water and read.

Here is wat I love the most about this Nordic tradition.

It is invigorating. Every time, I come out much more energized than I came in and my body and my skin also feel and look healthier. Wim Hof, nick named the Iceman for his ability to maintain a constant body temperature in extreme cold conditions, has generated a lot of interest over the past years on the health benefits of the cold. Many interviews and scientific papers discuss effects on body fat, immunity, depression, muscles, inflammation and sleep.

It helps me with my body image. You can wear a swimsuit, but most people are naked. No one is there to judge. People are only interested in the physical and spiritual experience of the sauna and winter swimming. Being naked with others without feeling any judgment helps me love my body as it is.

It is beautiful. The sauna is on the lake, which makes you feel like you are in the middle of nature even though you are in the middle of the city. From the sauna’s windows, you have a beautiful view on Geneva and the lake regardless of weather or time of day.  The saunas are extremely clean (each part of your body needs to be resting on your towel) and it always smells good thanks to the eucalyptus water regularly pored over the hot stones (no sweaty smell).

I truly recommend this experience to everyone, even those of you who do not like the cold, you’ll be surprised, I promise.

 

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I tested laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is one of the first treatments I tried at Forever Institut. I started feeling self-conscious about my body hair around the age of 12. By then I had already set my mind on shaving, since I had had a traumatic experience with waxing. When I was 8 years old, my older sister Cyrille thought it would be fun to wax my legs as one of her “experiments”. It might have been fun for her, but definitely not for me. Thus when the time came to take matters into my own hands, I bought a razor.

Personally, I find shaving to be tedious and repetitive, it is a “to-do” that neither enriches my day nor teaches me anything. It feels like a waste of precious time. That’s one of the reasons I love laser hair removal; once it’s done, it’s that much time I get back for things I actually enjoy. Trust me, these few minutes per day in the shower add up…

My legs, underarms, and bikini have been hairfree and soft for 15 years now. I’m always ready for a last-minute pool party, always feeling my  best. My skin looks much more beautiful because it never shows that shaving “stubble”.

I’ve converted many of my friends to laser hair removal since. Here are the tips I have shared with them:

  • Winter is the perfect season for laser treatments because most of us have lost our summer tan. We have been hiding our arms and legs in sweaters and pants, and our skin has had time to come back to its natural color. This is essential in order to avoid side effects from this laser treatment.
  • Tanned skin is not to be confused with dark skin. If your skin is naturally dark, you can use the Nd:Yag laser for hair removal.
  • Don’t hesitate to use anesthetic cream (Emla), it really makes a difference. I don’t prescribe to the “no pain no gain” philosophy!
  • It takes about 7 to 9 sessions (one session every 6 weeks) for a definitive result but each treatment provides soft and hairfree skin.
  • After a laser treatment, your skin can be a little irritated. Nothing works better than the Alchimie Afterlase body milk to help to soothe that inflammation and restore comfort and softness.

 

Photo: Guillaume Varone

The beauty of the South

I love thanksgiving so much that I’ve been perpetuating this American tradition in Switzerland for several years now. Tonight, after having cooked for 25 people, I sit back thinking of all that I am grateful for. One particular thing comes to mind. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to discover the south of the United States. I’ve only been fortunate enough to travel to Louisiana and Georgia, but I plan on doing a full southern road trip one day.

I love:

  • The hospitality – Southerners always make you feel welcome and no one knows how to host a better party.
  • The “Colgate” smiles – I’ve never found people with whiter teeth or bigger smiles. Not to mention the perfect lipstick.
  • Selfcare – Southerners know how to take care of themselves and always look perfect. As my sisters and I say, “Looking good, means feeling good, means doing good”.
  • The water – It seems to be omnipresent. There’s always a lake, a river or an ocean to bring serenity.
  • The music – Whether it’s jazz or country I love it.
  • The food – The best food of the country is in the south.
  • Life’s pleasures – People take full advantage of them. In French we would say “bon vivant”, meaning someone who knows how to really enjoy life.
  • The rhythm of life – Not too fast.
  • Spanish moss dangling from trees – Pure magic.
  • Sweet tea – The best drink in a hot summer afternoon.
  • Porches – The best place to dream on a rocking chair and to drink sweet tea.
  • The weather – Hot and humid, just how I love it, and my skin does too.
  • Traditions – I have recently realized that I’m a tradition kind of gal.
  • The importance of family – nothing is more important to me.
  • The accent – My favorite.

On this note, happy Sunday y’all.

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