BLOGGING | The Liebster Blog Awards!

Today, I have an exciting post to share with you! I have been nominated by the lovely Mona from Curls & Cakes for the Liebster Blog Award, which is made to get to know better the bloggers you enjoy reading. I am so happy that Mona nominated me, because I've been following her through Instagram and then her blog for a while, she makes the best cakes and has the cutest wardrobe ever! (click here to read Mona's Liebster Blog Award post). 
I'll start by sharing eleven randoms facts about me, and then answer the Q&A. Keep reading, and I hope you'll enjoy!

| Eleven Facts About Me |

1. I am of Portuguese origin (but I was born in France).
2. I have another blog, written in French, in collaboration with a friend of mine.
3. I chose to study German in secondary school, and I loved it. Then I completely lost track and I've forgotten pretty much everything I knew! :(
4. My favourite book of all time in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and I will get a tattoo of one of the quotes I like best in the near future.
5. When I was in my first year of secondary school (I was then 11), I wrote a short story called 'The Ghost of the Library' with my friend (who happens to be the friend with whom I'm writing a blog now). We were so proud of that story!
6. I love Art and History, so museums and historical houses are my favourite places in the world. Sometimes I just want to talk about Marie Antoinette or Roman temples, and then I remember that I might bore people to death!
7. I have a guinea pig called Charlie and he is the cutest! Here is a photo because why not.

8. I love British period dramas. Currently, I'm watching Outlander, I'm not too sure about the storyline, but I still enjoy the characters and the beautiful Scottish scenery.
9. I am a Harry Potter fan, and I'm a Hufflepuff! 
10. My favourite cities are Rome, Winchester and Paris. 
11. Tom Hiddleston is my celebrity crush, and looks like the perfect English gentleman to me! :P (funnily enough, I actually met Tom on Monday and my life is complete now!)

| The Q&A |

1. What inspired you to start a blog?
I had been reading blogs for years before starting my own, and seeing other people having fun and enjoying the process of writing a blog, I thought why not me! I really wanted to write about things I like and interact with people who have the same interests as me.
2. Who is your favourite style icon?
I don't have a style icon in particular, I used to read fashion magazines all the time when I was younger but I've detached myself from that slightly. But I'd say I love Kate Middleton's style, she always looks so elegant and timeless.
3. Can you name two of your favourite bloggers and explain why they are your favourites?
This is such a hard question! If I have to pick two, one has to be Louise from Pandora. She's a French blogger and her style and lifestyle is inspired by art of the past decades (and centuries). She does the most beautiful photoshoots! The other blogger I'm choosing is Carrie from Wish Wish Wish. I love her style, and she seems to be a fun and lovely lady!
4. What's one wardrobe essential you can't live without?
My wardrobe essential would be a pretty lace dress. Lace is my absolute favourite, I've got several lace dresses and they just look good no matter what - a lace dress and a pair of low boots (or sandals in the summer) and you're ready to go!
5. How would you describe your blogging style?
I don't have a particular style of blogging, in the sense that I can't choose just one topic to blog about. I like to talk about beauty, about fashion sometimes, and of course I love to share about places I visit and love. That is just me in written form, basically! 
6. What is your greatest achievement apart from blogging?
This is a tricky one, but I'd say that my greatest achievement for now is that I've found what I really want to do in the future, I now know where I want to be and I speak up for myself. Being insecure is awful, and in recent years I've really grown to feel accomplished and that is my greatest achievement!
7. What was the last book you read?
I've actually just finished Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson, about the life and customs of an English village and its hamlet in the 19th century. It is a very informative book - well, if you want to know about rural life in 19th-century England haha.
8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I'd go to the Harry Potter park in Orlando (just like Mona actually!), that is one of my goals in life basically! :P Or I'd go and visit ancient Roman settlements in countries like Libya, Lebanon or Syria. Of course this is not quite the right moment to go there, and I'm not sure I'll have the chance to go one day but I'd love to see Roman archaeological sites outside of Europe.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself living in England, and teaching French there. Hopefully I'll have written my first novel by then (I have the ideas, all I need is to put them into words) and I'll still be blogging, of course!
10. What was the first movie or book that made an impact on your life?
Obviously, it is Harry Potter both in film and book form! I have a bond with the Harry Potter saga that I can't explain, but this world just makes me so happy and I know I'll always have that in my life. It is not just books, it is a lifestyle! :P
11. What advice would you give someone who just started blogging?
I'd say, don't try to imitate other bloggers because what they do is cool. It is most likely not going to turn out as it does for them, basically because they are unique and so are you! Enjoy the whole process of blogging, write posts you enjoy and speak to people. Communicate with them, answer to your comments, engage in conversations! That is how you really take part in the community.

Now, my nominees for this award!

~ Roisin from Roisin Grace
~ Georgia from Blossoming Daydreams
~ Fleur from Fleur Danielle
~ Rebecca from Rebecca Coco
~ Sarah from What Sarah Writes
~ Ana Céline from Ana Céline Labod
~ Shaira from Shaira Manalo
~ Imii from Nettle & Blackberry
~ Anna from Anna in Wonderland
~ Victoria from VIP XO
~ Farihah from Cutie Pie Frizzy

That's it for this (very) long post, I'm glad I was able to do it and I hope you'll enjoy getting to know a bit more about me! If you've done this post too, leave it in the comments and I'll check it out!


PARIS | Science at the Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes is one of my favourite places in Paris. It it only a few streets away from my university, and I like to go there to chill in-between classes when the weather allows it. The place is not only a garden, but also an architectural treasure, with these beautiful buildings and temple fronts inspired by Greek architecture (and mostly built the 19th century). These buildings are all museums, centred around science: botany, geology, paleontology, zoology, greenhouses... visit the Jardin des Plantes and you'll surely learn something new. There is also a zoo, called the Ménagerie, in which you can observe gorillas, frogs, panthers, cute red pandas (see photo above in the post) and crocodiles (amongst other species). What more could you ask for?

The Mineralogy gallery has recently reopened, after years of renovation. It has a nice collection of all kinds of minerals, from rough stones to polished gems and gold and giant quartz and so on. The stones are displayed in categories, with short and understandable information about how they came to be, what they are composed of, etc. If you're into gold and shiny stones, you'll love it! The gallery is not overly big so it won't take you the whole afternoon, giving you time to explore other galleries.

My favourite gallery is the Paleontology gallery. It has an incredible display of skeletons of all kinds of animals, big and small, and also human bones. The second floor is dedicated to dinosaurs and prehistoric fossils and species. It surely puts things on perspective to see all living beings that way! If you like weird science curiosities, you can also find all sorts of animal limbs and organs in jars, amongst which a two-headed baby chicken. Now that makes you want to go there immediately doesn't it? :P

If you take an afternoon to explore the Jardin des Plantes, you'll probably have some time to spend wandering around in the gardens themselves. In the spring and summer particularly, there are so many different types of flowers and plants to observe along the endless alleys. It's a place that is worth visiting several times, at different times of the year, because the plants change so quickly, they grow and blossom at such a pace that in two weeks' time, the garden can look very different and can leave you with a very different perspective than on your last visit.
So if you want to discover something different than the Paris of the Louvre, of painters and sculptors, go there and see what the Paris of science is all about! ;)

Have you ever heard of or visited the Jardin des Plantes?  


BEAUTY | My Empties #1: Body and Skincare

Even though I blog about beauty, I don't always remember to keep my empty products to mention them on my blog. So this is my first Empties post, because I've finished quite a few things these past weeks and finally remembered to keep them! Hopefully, I'll be doing more Empties posts in the future, if you're interested in reading them.
Today I only have body and skincare products to show you, most of them have their names in French but I'll be sure to find their exact names in English for you! 

~ Dove, Silky Nourishment Body Lotion for normal skin: when I want to get a basic body lotion, I always go for Dove because it is a great brand, with quality products and quite cheap too. I've tried several of their body lotions, and of course, I loved using this one. The scent is really 'clean' and light, it leaves the skin feeling soft and with a slight shimmer to it. I'll probably rebuy it again at some point.
~ Lush, Tea Tree Water Toner: I bought this product mainly because I heard a lot of good about it, but now that I've used it for a while I think it is not something I actually need for my skin. Even though this toner is quite pleasant to use (I used it in the mornings and evenings), it did not change anything about my skin. Using a toner is a real plus, but in the future I'll try something a little different. If you want to purify the skin and if you do have some acne, then this product might be good for you because it is said to really disinfect the skin. If you don't have any particular problem, then this won't make any visible change!
~ Nivea, Aqua Effect Refreshing Facial Wash Gel for normal and combination skin: phew, I always struggle with the name of this one! This is my to-go face wash, I've been buying it for years and this is still my favourite. It is very gentle on the skin, smells great and does the job quite well. If you want to find a good and cheap cleanser, this is the one!
~ Garnier Fructis, My Curl Perfecting Mousse: if you have curly hair, you'll know that there are two groups: the pro-mousse and the anti-mousse. I am in the first group, and can't do my hair without using a curly hair mousse. This is the one I use the most, and I like it because it does not stick to the hair, does not make it clumpy, and actually holds the curls. The only thing I don't like about it is the smell, but other than that it is a good hair mousse!
~ Christian Lenart, Eau de Roses (Rose Water): I mention this product not particularly because of the brand itself (which is French, so I think you won't find it in other countries), but rather for the product. Rose water is great to use as a toner, to include in your morning and/or evening routine. It smells amazing (for those who do love roses, of course), and it is really refreshing. I actually preferred using the rose water than the Lush tea tree water! I'm sure you can find something similar in other brands and countries, check it out in your local drugstore!
~ Givenchy, Dahlia Noir Eau de Parfum: I don't own many perfumes, because I like to use the same scents as some sort of signature. I usually change perfumes twice a year, for spring/summer and for autumn/winter. Dahlia Noir is more of a spring scent to me, I'm not good at all at describing scents but this is based on mandarin, pink pepper and mimosa (with core notes of iris and patchouli), a deep floral scent, very feminine and 'grown up' - not on the sweet and light side, if you know what I mean. I love it so much, and would consider getting it again next year.
~ Givenchy, Live Irresistible Eau de Parfum: again a Givenchy perfume, but a sample this time. I think this perfume is new on the market, and I'm glad I got to try it out because it smells amazing! It has notes of rose, pineapple, and is the right mix between a fruity/floral scent and a sweet, girly scent. Go and have a sniff, this is a good one!

Have you ever tried any of these products? Leave my your thoughts in the comments, I hope you enjoyed this post!


BEAUTY | Review: Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask, Lush

We all know by now that Lush fresh masks are always a good product to have in one's skincare routine, but the thing is there are so many of them that we don't really know which one to choose! Today I'm reviewing the Love Lettuce mask (Balançoire in French, which means 'swing' as in children's playground swings - don't ask me why it is so, I'm still wondering too!). It's the second time I've bought it, and as I'm quite happy about it, I thought this might be of interest to you!
Love Lettuce is an exfoliating mask; it has ground almonds so it is very gentle and does not hurt the skin as some other exfoliating products do. It is aimed at combination and oily skins, but I think it would suit all skin types. What I also like about this mask is that it doesn't leave the skin feeling dry, it has almond oil and lavender oil to moisturise the skin and balance the exfoliating power. I feel like it really helps to clear out the skin, to get rid of small spots and imperfections when used regularly (by that I mean at least three times a week). 
To use it, you have to apply the mask and then leave it a few minutes, but don't wait until it is dry to wash it off - it has to stay damp the whole time so when you feel like it is getting dry, spray some water on it. I'd say ten minutes is good enough, then you can wash it off gently while exfoliating your skin. Every time I use Love Lettuce, my skin is soft and purified, and it seems to be brighter too. 
I need to mention the scent of course - it smells of lavender, basically when I smell it I feel like I'm in a lavender garden. It is very fresh and would be a cool product to use in the mornings. 
Don't forget that Lush fresh masks have to be used quite quickly because they are made with fresh ingredients, and they have to be kept in the fridge in the meantime.

This is my favourite face mask ever, and I know I'll buy it again in the future - if you try it, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

Have you ever tried Love Lettuce? What is your favourite Lush face mask?


FRANCE | The Château de Fontainebleau

If you have read my last post, you'll know that I took outfit photos in beautiful but mysterious gardens recently... and in this post, it's all going to be revealed to you! *excitingly clenches fists*
I love, love, love castles. Obviously, who doesn't? But if I could, I would visit every castle in the world and thoroughly enjoy it. My favourite is Versailles, and I'm hoping to go there once more very soon, but a few weeks ago I went to the Château de Fontainebleau, a beautiful castle south-east of Paris. It was the first time I went there, and I was surprised at how big and furnished it was! There, you can visit lots of different rooms, each has its own atmosphere, theme and use (everything is explained of course). The castle has evolved throughout the centuries and artistic eras, from the Renaissance to the Second Empire. Fontainebleau is a great piece of French history, and a place to visit if you want to know more about it.
Plus there weren't many people there, honestly it felt like we owned the place! It is a much more pleasant experience than visiting Versailles if you're afraid of crowds. In Fontainebleau, you can take the time to look at everything, to sit in the almost empty rooms, or to wander in the gardens - and of course, don't forget to take photos along the way!
In the photos above, I hope that you can get a glimpse of the intimate and quiet, but still awe-inspiring, atmosphere of the place.

Walk around in the gardens, and you'll stumble upon swans a few fountains and flowers. The English garden is very peaceful, and I'm sure having a picnic there and stay for a whole day must be a nice way to spend a day trip. You can also jump on a boat and befriend (if you dare) the family of swans living in the lake. Or let your inner child out and have a big hide and seek game in the gardens - who said we're too old for that? ;)

Have you ever visited Fontainebleau, or another castle that you particularly liked? ♥


FASHION | In the Woods Somewhere

Dress: Frocks in Swing Time
Sandals: New Look
Bag: Pimkie

I didn't know how to call this post, and obviously you'll notice that I'm not in the woods at all, but hey why not after all (ten points for the person who knows the song which inspired me this title!). You'll see where these photos were taken in an upcoming blogpost, stay tuned because I have many more beautiful photos of that place to share with you! ;)
I mainly wanted to do a sort of OOTD post, to show you this amazing dress I got a few months ago in England. It was at a Vintage Fair in Henley-on-Thames, and it is my first retro dress. Yay! I'm in love with retro and vintage, but as you may know, this style is expensive and I just cannot afford to get a full retro wardrobe. But I fell in love with this dress and had to pick it up! It is handmade and was created by the lovely brand Frocks in Swing Time (find out about their work on their Facebook). It was £35, and well worth it. The material is thick and not see-through at all, the print is pretty and of course, the shape is great, kind of 50's style (it would look even better with a petticoat). I feel like a princess every time I wear it!
I'd love to know what you think about the dress, and if you like that retro style as well!

Any thoughts about where these photos were taken? I'll share that with you in a few days! ;)