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“Paris is Always a Good Idea” – 5 favorite things off the beaten path

"Paris is Always a Good Idea" - 5 favorite spots off the beaten path

I mean, who doesn’t love Paris? I’m one of those hopeless romantic souls out there who couldn’t help but fell in love with Paris.

But it didn’t happen suddenly though. I was falling in love the more I got to know the little streets, little museums, or as we say all things off the beaten path.

Having visited and lived there at many points in my life, I’d like to share with you my five (of many) favorite things to go and to do in Paris. We all know the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, but there are many more little museums and cafés that are undiscovered by most tourists.

Here are some of my favorite things to do…

1. Musée de la Vie Romantique

museedelavieromantique

This little museum gives you a gives a glimpse of Paris life of the upper classes in the late 1800’s. In its previous life, this museum was a private home of a painter Ary Scheffer, one of the prominent artists of the time. Many famous figures were entertained here were – Frédéric Chopin, Eugène Delacroix, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Alphonse de Lamartine, Franz Liszt, Gioacchino Rossini, Pauline Viardot, Charles Dickens, Ivan Turgueniev, and Charles Gounod.

It is located down an alleyway, which makes a perfect oasis in the bustling noise of Paris. There are two buildings, one featuring a permanent collection (free admission) and the other hosting visiting exhibitions (Minor entrance fee). It also houses a little tea room in the beautiful garden setting, which offers a good selection of tea and dessert and a little peace and quiet. I love bringing a book and reading in the garden, occasionally looking up to soak in the beautiful setting and imagining what life was like back then.

2. Musée Gustave Moreau

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http://www.musee-moreau.fr/

 

This museum was originally owned by painter Gustave Moreau. Three years before he passed away, he decided to turn his studio into a museum that houses his drawings, paintings, watercolors, and sculptures. You will love the second floor with its spiral staircase, which houses his paintings. I was an art student, so I would spend all day there sketching in this room (see photo). The elaborate details in his paintings never fail to put me in awe.

3. Musée des Arts et Métiers

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If you love machines & technology then this is the museum for you! It houses all kinds of awesome things – like the very first camera, printing machine ..etc.

I spent many hours there and could have spent many more.

When you visit, do check out their website before to see when they offer free admissions.

4. See movies!

May sound simple but Paris is a – movie capital of the world.  It is said that there are more than 500 different movies playing in Paris and almost half are in English (with french subtitles). You can use a french website dedicated to movie programmation which is call “Allociné” .  An English language movie playing in English with French subtitles (not dubbed) will be marked VO or VOST.  There are also an enormous number of films dubbed in Spanish and other languages. It’s a fun thing to do for a rainy afternoon or a Sunday when you want to take a break from the tourist crowds.

5. Take a walking tour!

One of the best way to get to know a city is by walking. And what can be better than having a knowledgeable guide touring you around!

Click on the link above to find my favorite walking tour! There are many routes you can take, so make sure you spare a few days (only a few hours a day) for the tours. And don’t forget to tip the guide at the end!

I hope these five ideas will make your trip interesting and worthwhile! For those who have been there and have your favorite spots, please share! I would love to hear about them!

Love xoxo,

Veronica

Inspirational Talk : Aimee Mullins

My Favorite Inspirational TED TALKs

“I think of Shakespeare Shylock – ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?’ It is our humanity and all the potential within it that makes us beautiful.” – Aimee Mullins

Being in an industry that defines and redefines beauty quite regularly, I can’t help but agree with Aimee completely. I’m sure everyone of us has been there where we challenge the world about concept of beauty, where we define our own idea of beauty. 

It’s almost my full time job to listen to inspirational talks. The talks and the exeptional individuals behind them give me strength and inspire my daily. I hope today Aimee will inspire you as well.

Who is Aimee?

According to TED – “Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs — she’s got a dozen amazing pairs — and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.”

Watch her inspirational TED TALK here:

Soup Kitchen Sponsored by Borboleta Affair & The Ocean of Wisdom Foundation

Charity Projects

Hi everyone,

Today I want to share with you photos of my latest visit to Chang Nai school in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Some of you may already know that a portion of proceeds from Borboleta Affair go toward funding many wonderful projects to improve the lives of underprivileged students in the north of Thailand.  By buying our bags, you are a part of this wonderful journey of giving and positively influencing the lives of hundreds of students, I thought you would want to see first hand the positive effect you have on them.

photo 1 With every order from Borboleta Affair, I set aside proceeds to donate to the breakfast project at the Ocean of Wisdom Foundation, a registered nonprofit I founded in 2007. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the donations go straight to those in need. The story of why I started this foundation can be a topic of another blog post. Today let’s talk about this wonderful breakfast project.

photo 2

About 4 months ago, we started a soup kitchen campaign to feed breakfast to the whole school (90 students). For the past 7 years (that’s how long I’ve been running the foundation), I was so hooked on using our resources to improve the educational programs there that we didn’t realize the students were coming to school hungry. Some bike for 45 minutes, some walk for over an hour, to get to school everyday. Most parents are hill-tribe and are day laborers, so they don’t really bother feeding the kids in the morning. I learned from a teacher that some kids have to stay hungry until lunch time. Lunch is supported by the government, but not breakfast.

Knowing that kids have to stay hungry for at least 4 hours a day breaks my heart. For you lovely mothers out there, imagine your own child being hungry for a very long time. I’m not a mother (yet), but it still hurts knowing any child is not fed when he/she needs to.

We all know how important breakfast is. It’s the way to start the day right. It’s how you fuel your body to be ready for what the day may bring.

(more…)

Inspirations Behind our Vivienne Clutch Collection

Collection Inspirations

blue clutch styling

A few years ago I visited the Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It’s located in a beautiful historic canal house (from 1666!) near Rembrandtplein. This museum boasts a collection of more than 4,000 bags from the 15th century right up to the present!
Being a “crazy bag lady” (what many of my friends and family call me), every minute spent in the museum I felt like I was walking on clouds.

This “Vivienne” wristlet / pouch was inspired by some of the delicate velvet pouches / hand embroidered silk bags from the 17th century I saw at the museum. I’d also like my designs to be cherished for a long time, like those beautiful bags, so I chose very high quality materials for the Vivienne bag. The flap is made from high quality linen imported from Italy. The body is made from my treasured collection of fabrics handpicked from my trips from all over the world. I love to support local artists and weavers whenever I can.

The fabric for this particular bag is from handwoven super soft cotton scarves from a local weaver in Siem Rieb, Cambodia, which makes this bag unique and one of a kind. This bag reminds me of an absolutely amazing, mind blowing trip to Angkor Wat, and I’m so happy to share with you a piece of my memory by sharing the fabric from the trip.

This little pouch / wristlet is a perfect size to hold your daily essentials – change, cell phone, lip stick, make up etc. It has a little pocket inside to hold your credit cards as well. The Vivienne bag will be a perfect bridesmaid purse as well.

Features You’ll Love:

♥ Hand embroidered initials of your choice.
♥ One of a kind, unique design
♥ Made from high quality linen from Italy – Flap and interior.
♥ Body made from treasured piece of fabrics which made this bag one of a kind and unique.
♥ Perfect size for your daily essentials & help you organize your purse.
♥ High quality chain.
♥ Zipper closure to secure your belongings. Magnetic button to secure the flap.

brown clutch mainlemon clutch bag 2

gray clutch 3blue clutch maingray clutch 2 lemon clutch bag 4

Man Crush Mondays

Man Crush Mondays

Fashion to me is not merely about following trends; it’s about experimenting and having fun with new ideas and with available resources.

Here is Monday’s inspiration for you…

via Bill Cunningham | Strutting

What can I say? You gotta love New York..

I hope you are having an inspiring Monday!

VR