In the 6 or so years that I have been blogging - I have never taken such long breaks between blog posts. I am of course sharing my time in Paris on Instagram and Facebook - but in the past month the need to blog every day wasn’t really there. Oh, and first off, thank you all so very much for your kind comments from my previous post - happiness was not something that I expected to find while here, and it’s just so lovely and such a pure reminder that after going through a truly horrific event, you can find love, kindness and happiness again. It’s not at all something that was something I expected to find while here, but it’s such a welcomed addition to my life.

I thought when I came to Paris a I would want to be blogging every day - that I would have new place to share with you everyday and that I’d be overflowing with ideas. To be honest, that huge spark of inspiration sort of didn’t happen. What happened is that I took a huge step back and have learnt to value my time a little more and to simply enjoy a moment. And I think I needed that more than a lightning bolt of inspiration. I needed time to breath, to sit in a cafe and read, to meet some truly wonderful new people who have become fast friends (or, as they call it, my Parisian family) to walk until I couldn’t walk any more, spend far too much time in galleries - and heaven forbid, get bored! I can’t remember the last time I was ever bored, and it’s honestly such a welcomed, luxurious and selfish feeling - one I don’t think I can entertain for a long period of time. But to be bored, in the sense that you don’t know what you’re going to do with your day or within the next hour or so, is actually really nice. Plus, if there is anything that Paris teaches you is that life is meant to be lived, enjoyed and spent in the moment - not always looking towards what needs to be done. When you’re with friends in a cafe, you’re with them - you are not on your phone, their time and company is incredibly important and you respect that moment with them. It’s honest, pure and so refreshing.

The past month has been in a way the mental holiday that I desperately needed - and I am now starting to get the inspiration back to share this incredibly beautiful city with you. Plus the weather here has been so hideous that it hasn’t been wise venture too far from your apartment or local cafe - I have already ruined two paris of shoes getting caught in the rain - so there has been a lot of needed downtime. So with that - I thought I’d share a collection of my favourite photos that I have shared on Instagram during May - and a few things that I have learnt from my time in Paris so far. Thank you all again so much for following my Fresh Start with me and for your endless support, you truly have no idea how much it means to me. x

‚ÄčLearning French

Soooooo - from the outset you know that it’s going to be difficult to learn a new language, but it’s so much harder than you expect. Even when you see, hear and gradually speak French every day. It’s just so tricky to learn a new language, and it’s now something I’m becoming really frustrated with. So I think the time has come, that I need to enrol into a few classes, but more than that, find the courage to just start speaking - and accept that I will make a lot of mistakes along the way. But in the end, my goal is to speak, learn and understand this beautiful language - mostly because my heart hurts every time I listen to a conversation that I can’t understand or walk into a book shop and can’t read the beautiful stories on offer. If anyone has any advice, I’d absolutely love to hear it.

You learn how to eat like the French

The French know, love and have a huge respect for their food. And it’s so easy to see why - the food here really is incredible. Every patisserie, boulangerie, cafe and restaurant tempts you with their creations - from classic homestyle French food, to a technically incredible and perfect pastries and desserts it’s so hard to not want to try one of everything that you see. But then after a while you learn the art of French balance and most importantly, how they respect the food that they eat. Nothing is wasted, everything is enjoyed, and more than that, nothing is considered to be ‘bad’ for you. It’s all about balance.

For example, bread is considered the devil in New Zealand - but it’s apart of life here and is eaten at every meal. A baguette is bought from your local boulangerie every day, and is eaten with dinner (most of the time to mop up any delicious sauces from the meal that you have cooked, or had cooked for you) and is then sliced in half, toasted and topped with salted butter and jam for breakfast the next day - and then of course is used for sandwiches, or to simply used as a vessel for your favourite cheese. Food is such a huge part of life here and it’s such a pleasure to really enjoy it.

Of course, your body starts to change because you’re eating a little more, or adding a few more sweets to your day - but then you learn the art of the balance. If you have a big meal for lunch, you have a very light meal for dinner. If you catch up with a girlfriend for coffee and cake during the day - that is classed as lunch and you have a small meal for dinner. And you do not snack or eat on the run. Each meal is to be enjoyed, and that’s where the simple art of living, balance and enjoying a moment comes from. Plus, you of course walk everywhere - and then when it’s sunny, you run. And to be honest, I have never felt better physically since coming to Paris.

Your beauty regime changes

French women are incredibly well known for their beauty and style - but the simple ‘secret’ is that they wear very very little makeup. They really look after their skin and you quickly notice that in any beauty shop, there are far more skincare products than makeup. Skin here is allowed to breath and heavy foundation or powder really isn’t the norm. I was quickly told to wear less makeup (I don’t wear a lot anyway, but by Parisian standards it was a lot) and I instantly panicked - I would never ever think of going out in public in New Zealand without a at least some foundation. But here your skin is left almost completely bare, but your eyes and lips are the feature. A few generous coats of mascara a light definition of your eyebrows and of course a red lip is all you need. And to be honest I really love it - it was really strange to start with, but my skin has improved so much since and it’s actually really lovely to see your face for what it really is.

These are just a few of the wonderful parts that make up this beautiful culture, and it really is such a true pleasure to be leaning them first hand. So, fingers crossed the weather improves for June, as I truly can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for me. x