As I write this blog post, I am waiting for the internal European borders to re-open to fly to Italy. While we wait for life to become normal again, it is getting harder and harder for those which normal life is associated to regular cross-border airport trips – whether it is to hop on a plane for business or personal purposes. The bubble I live in at the moment (Brussels) is quite international, and it is an issue for many non-Belgian people here. At the same time, not everyone sees a problem in delaying the opening of borders when we are fighting off a pandemic. And fairly so: we are talking about one of the worst public health crises our generation has had to face.

For the first time since 1945, our freedom has been dramatically limited. At some point, France made you carry a certificate specifying the reason why you were out every time you would leave your house – even to fetch a baguette at the baker’s located 200m away. Our daily freedom was materialising into a simple piece of paper. While according to the country we live in, we have experienced different restrictions and different timelines, according to our financial, familial and mental situation we have lived the confinement in many ways. We joked that introverts were coping better than extroverts as we were strongly encouraged to stay home at all times. As health workers still fight to protect all of us, some might say our only job is to sit and wait, and that we shouldn't complain; which is to a certain extent understandable. The reality is, a couple of months in, everyone seeks freedom of movement and the possibility to gather with their family and friends – more than ever.

The world as an open border

Focusing on the European case, what strikes me is the extent to which I took the benefits offered by the Schengen area for granted, up to the closure of borders. In total, 26 European states belong to this European Union zone, where all passports, visas and other types of border controls have been abolished since 1995. As a matter of fact, I was born in France in 1992 and never got to know how the world was without open intra-European borders. 
 
I came to wonder: to what extent has the freedom to travel from one country to another shaped our lives
And in particular, mine?

I am particularly addressing how easy it is for you to live in any of the EU countries if you wish to do so. Through Erasmus+ (the programme allowing students and professionals to study and work anywhere in the EU), the European Union has enabled millions of people to discover what life looks like in another country. It has led to the full realisation that the language you learn at school can lead you to communicate with another culture, and to enrich you up to an unexpected level (in-between parties). In particular, many have become accustomed to the idea of living abroad, finding themselves asking for foreign residency. Or found love and more: according to European Commission’s estimates, we’re talking roughly one million babies born to Erasmus couples since 1987.

The sky's your limit

Since my first year at uni, I became curious of a life abroad. I remember I was dying to spend a year in the US but as it didn’t pan out, I chose to go and live in England during a gap year as a French language assistant. Soon after I would live in Scotland for 6 months. Then, I went to Italy and fell in love with the Eternal City. And while I desperately wanted to stay, work opportunities were scarce; I reluctantly chose to move to Belgium to build myself a career in public relations.

But despite hard times, I was holding on. After all, Ryanair flights could get as low as 20€ over the winter period. From the Belgian capital, to catch a flight to Rome was cheaper than to hop on a train to Lille. It looked like the whole air ecosystem adapted to the shrinking of territory – caused by the pushing out of its own limits. The only reason why I was living in Belgium – if not to benefit from a top-notch professional environment – was because I could get out of it quick and easy. The possibility to move to Rome exists within periphery of my twenties, a permanent asterisk attached to the city I live in at the moment.

Back to essentials

But to put a halt to a deadly health hazard, governments closed down the borders. I no longer had this possibility. Just like many people, I was stuck in my flat alone for a few months with no possibility to meet my family, boyfriend, friends. FaceTime and WhatsApp video were the way to go. For my pro-European generation, seeing this freedom taken away is traumatising. Would we live abroad if we couldn’t go back to the people we love without hurdle? Could long-distance relationships even work?

Looking forward, we may be facing a one-in-a-lifetime pandemic that will turn 2020 into an exceptional year. Maybe we will not be confronted with the issue again. However, it does give me - and for sure many others - food for thought. Taking into account the expected rocketing of flight rates and the sustainability element, are we getting back to a more traditional way of thinking, to an “out of sight out of mind” mindset? Is it the time to end a “transition period”? Can’t we just overcome the complexity and just be where we belong instead of travelling non-stop? At the end of the day there’s no right or wrong answer – just a choice.

One thing is certain: as I am incredibly fortunate to be living in a democracy which grants me the power to go wherever I fancy, I can spend more time gauging the freedom we benefit from. With such power comes great responsibility, the one to shape the future we truly wish to have. There’s no such thing as having too much freedom if we make the right decisions. 

I feel I could go on and on on the topic and write a whole chapter on it. But instead I'll leave you with these questions: would you be working and living where you are if there was no freedom of movement (in which case, you got it sorted already)? Did the confinement change your perspective or encouraged you to take a step towards the life/job/etc. you wish to have?

Copyright: Pinterest (here)


We Were Free Until We Weren’t

Sunday, 24 May 2020

,

As I write this blog post, I am waiting for the internal European borders to re-open to fly to Italy. While we wait for life to become normal again, it is getting harder and harder for those which normal life is associated to regular cross-border airport trips – whether it is to hop on a plane for business or personal purposes. The bubble I live in at the moment (Brussels) is quite international, and it is an issue for many non-Belgian people here. At the same time, not everyone sees a problem in delaying the opening of borders when we are fighting off a pandemic. And fairly so: we are talking about one of the worst public health crises our generation has had to face.

For the first time since 1945, our freedom has been dramatically limited. At some point, France made you carry a certificate specifying the reason why you were out every time you would leave your house – even to fetch a baguette at the baker’s located 200m away. Our daily freedom was materialising into a simple piece of paper. While according to the country we live in, we have experienced different restrictions and different timelines, according to our financial, familial and mental situation we have lived the confinement in many ways. We joked that introverts were coping better than extroverts as we were strongly encouraged to stay home at all times. As health workers still fight to protect all of us, some might say our only job is to sit and wait, and that we shouldn't complain; which is to a certain extent understandable. The reality is, a couple of months in, everyone seeks freedom of movement and the possibility to gather with their family and friends – more than ever.

The world as an open border

Focusing on the European case, what strikes me is the extent to which I took the benefits offered by the Schengen area for granted, up to the closure of borders. In total, 26 European states belong to this European Union zone, where all passports, visas and other types of border controls have been abolished since 1995. As a matter of fact, I was born in France in 1992 and never got to know how the world was without open intra-European borders. 
 
I came to wonder: to what extent has the freedom to travel from one country to another shaped our lives
And in particular, mine?

I am particularly addressing how easy it is for you to live in any of the EU countries if you wish to do so. Through Erasmus+ (the programme allowing students and professionals to study and work anywhere in the EU), the European Union has enabled millions of people to discover what life looks like in another country. It has led to the full realisation that the language you learn at school can lead you to communicate with another culture, and to enrich you up to an unexpected level (in-between parties). In particular, many have become accustomed to the idea of living abroad, finding themselves asking for foreign residency. Or found love and more: according to European Commission’s estimates, we’re talking roughly one million babies born to Erasmus couples since 1987.

The sky's your limit

Since my first year at uni, I became curious of a life abroad. I remember I was dying to spend a year in the US but as it didn’t pan out, I chose to go and live in England during a gap year as a French language assistant. Soon after I would live in Scotland for 6 months. Then, I went to Italy and fell in love with the Eternal City. And while I desperately wanted to stay, work opportunities were scarce; I reluctantly chose to move to Belgium to build myself a career in public relations.

But despite hard times, I was holding on. After all, Ryanair flights could get as low as 20€ over the winter period. From the Belgian capital, to catch a flight to Rome was cheaper than to hop on a train to Lille. It looked like the whole air ecosystem adapted to the shrinking of territory – caused by the pushing out of its own limits. The only reason why I was living in Belgium – if not to benefit from a top-notch professional environment – was because I could get out of it quick and easy. The possibility to move to Rome exists within periphery of my twenties, a permanent asterisk attached to the city I live in at the moment.

Back to essentials

But to put a halt to a deadly health hazard, governments closed down the borders. I no longer had this possibility. Just like many people, I was stuck in my flat alone for a few months with no possibility to meet my family, boyfriend, friends. FaceTime and WhatsApp video were the way to go. For my pro-European generation, seeing this freedom taken away is traumatising. Would we live abroad if we couldn’t go back to the people we love without hurdle? Could long-distance relationships even work?

Looking forward, we may be facing a one-in-a-lifetime pandemic that will turn 2020 into an exceptional year. Maybe we will not be confronted with the issue again. However, it does give me - and for sure many others - food for thought. Taking into account the expected rocketing of flight rates and the sustainability element, are we getting back to a more traditional way of thinking, to an “out of sight out of mind” mindset? Is it the time to end a “transition period”? Can’t we just overcome the complexity and just be where we belong instead of travelling non-stop? At the end of the day there’s no right or wrong answer – just a choice.

One thing is certain: as I am incredibly fortunate to be living in a democracy which grants me the power to go wherever I fancy, I can spend more time gauging the freedom we benefit from. With such power comes great responsibility, the one to shape the future we truly wish to have. There’s no such thing as having too much freedom if we make the right decisions. 

I feel I could go on and on on the topic and write a whole chapter on it. But instead I'll leave you with these questions: would you be working and living where you are if there was no freedom of movement (in which case, you got it sorted already)? Did the confinement change your perspective or encouraged you to take a step towards the life/job/etc. you wish to have?

Copyright: Pinterest (here)


Copyright: Vogue Portugal, April 2020

I don’t know if this is your case but I have become hungry for many podcasts lately, and even more during this self-isolation time. But some have started to discuss the global pandemic we are in, and I tend not to listen to them as I’m trying to limit the amount of negative information I come across. However, I made an exception for the one by the Business of Fashion (BoF), which is always a pleasure to listen to – and for the first time a special Covid-19 podcast edition was incredibly compelling to me. It discussed the impact and responsibilities of fashion media companies during the crisis we are going through. So, as you can see, it inspired a blog post on the matter.

An unexpected response

I’ve spent quite some time getting extra insight on what the crisis meant for the fashion and luxury industries lately. Because contrary to one might think, they have been exemplary in their reaction as to the pandemic by getting involved. Who would honestly have thought that, among others, names such as Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy would step up and produce hydroalcoholic gel to be distributed to hospitals, Burberry would produce chirurgical masks and Gucci would donate over 2 million euros to fundraising campaigns to slow down the spread of the virus?

Whether it regards medical equipment production (e.g. masks and medical suits), substantial donations or promises to maintain 100% of their employees’ salaries, so many brands are participating (to have a view at the full picture, this article by Vogue Paris is a great directory of what fashion labels are doing). For a sector that is sometimes perceived as frivolous, which products are deemed unnecessary and general attitude way too pompous, I guess we’re all happy labels are stepping in. On the economic side, the impact of the industry is not to be underestimated – for example, the Italian fashion industry weighs 90 billion euros and employ over 600,000 people across the country (if you’re interested in the topic, you can read more here) – so shutting down manufactures is to have heavy consequences.

Displaying your value

Nonetheless, the reason I particularly admire how the industry deals with the crisis is the approach with which everything kicked off. Of course, at some point getting involved became necessary for some as so many were doing so already. But I don’t recall anybody incentivising LVMH to start donating or making hydroalcoholic gel to help hospital staff stay healthy, or maisons such as Chanel to embrace the social perspective by avoiding layoffs and maintaining salaries. For all that, did the industry have a role to play, in essence? The question is open. In my opinion, they didn’t have to. Such a response was issued early in the crisis and reflects a genuine human standpoint. Closing down manufactures and cutting off your perfume production to help is not just a marketing technique aiming to improve your reputation, but a genuine decision to help.

If the fashion and luxury industries took action, it is only normal that it would reflect in the media disseminating their news. According to Dazed Media founder Jefferson Hack, the pandemic is also an ‘infodemic’: it is easy to get sucked in by fear. As we know, the media influence people’s mood. This is why so many, including me, stay away from any sort of non-necessary information. It can also change the way people feel through the tone of a story, in a positive or negative way.

Copyright: Vogue Italia, April 2020
A striking blank page as no words are sufficient to describe the drama.


In sync with the audience

The Milan fashion week (18-24 February 2020) is where the acknowledgment of the issue among fashion circles started to rise. At the heart of Lombardy, Italian fashion people started to inform one another and foreigners of what was happening in the region and rumours spread until it all became real. That’s why fashion media companies actually reacted before governments. I recall Condé Nast sent their employees based in Milan at home to work from there before it became mandatory by governmental decree.

Traditional fashion media should always bring value for their audiences, otherwise they grow out of sync. They used real time feedback in terms of understanding where their audience was at and kept the world of fashion informed of what was happening (e.g. Vogue Business, which I peruse 24/7). Speed of adaptation is indeed key for media, and outlets have taken up the challenge. They also highlighted cultural programming, as an effect as culture being cancelled IRL.

When social media ramp up positivity

When it comes to social media, the clarity of purpose had to be redefined in times of crisis – one of them being to adapt the content and disseminate content accordingly to the mood of the audience. The Covid-19 crisis seems to have triggered a reset that allows a new set of values to come forth. Times are evolving quickly on social media platforms since it started. Twitter, which is known to be quite a place for haters, is bringing a large amount of positivity and support forward. The initiative and hashtag #AloneTogether is an example.

All in all, most say that they don’t expect business to be back to normal as usual – whether it is in terms of business, advertising or media. Or even fashion trends, as some expect a return to a more minimalistic fashion for the following seasons going along the humility brought by a crisis. Most importantly, I hope that the change brought by the crisis will directly target sustainability and bring it closer to the centre of fashion creation.

Art as a necessity

Although people might reckon art and fashion unnecessary, I think we need them more than ever every time such a challenge emerges. Fortunately, if you didn’t think that culture thrived in time of crisis, I would suggest downloading Tik Tok and scrolling up and down for a few minutes to realise how creative people can be. (Yes, I’m using Tik Tok as a reference for culture because it is!)

Do you think the fashion world reacted accordingly and in a timely manner, according to you?

Listen to the BoF podcast here.

Copyright: Vanity Fair Italia, 11-18 March 2020

What Role do the Fashion Industry & Media play in the Covid-19 crisis?

Sunday, 19 April 2020

,
Copyright: Vogue Portugal, April 2020

I don’t know if this is your case but I have become hungry for many podcasts lately, and even more during this self-isolation time. But some have started to discuss the global pandemic we are in, and I tend not to listen to them as I’m trying to limit the amount of negative information I come across. However, I made an exception for the one by the Business of Fashion (BoF), which is always a pleasure to listen to – and for the first time a special Covid-19 podcast edition was incredibly compelling to me. It discussed the impact and responsibilities of fashion media companies during the crisis we are going through. So, as you can see, it inspired a blog post on the matter.

An unexpected response

I’ve spent quite some time getting extra insight on what the crisis meant for the fashion and luxury industries lately. Because contrary to one might think, they have been exemplary in their reaction as to the pandemic by getting involved. Who would honestly have thought that, among others, names such as Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy would step up and produce hydroalcoholic gel to be distributed to hospitals, Burberry would produce chirurgical masks and Gucci would donate over 2 million euros to fundraising campaigns to slow down the spread of the virus?

Whether it regards medical equipment production (e.g. masks and medical suits), substantial donations or promises to maintain 100% of their employees’ salaries, so many brands are participating (to have a view at the full picture, this article by Vogue Paris is a great directory of what fashion labels are doing). For a sector that is sometimes perceived as frivolous, which products are deemed unnecessary and general attitude way too pompous, I guess we’re all happy labels are stepping in. On the economic side, the impact of the industry is not to be underestimated – for example, the Italian fashion industry weighs 90 billion euros and employ over 600,000 people across the country (if you’re interested in the topic, you can read more here) – so shutting down manufactures is to have heavy consequences.

Displaying your value

Nonetheless, the reason I particularly admire how the industry deals with the crisis is the approach with which everything kicked off. Of course, at some point getting involved became necessary for some as so many were doing so already. But I don’t recall anybody incentivising LVMH to start donating or making hydroalcoholic gel to help hospital staff stay healthy, or maisons such as Chanel to embrace the social perspective by avoiding layoffs and maintaining salaries. For all that, did the industry have a role to play, in essence? The question is open. In my opinion, they didn’t have to. Such a response was issued early in the crisis and reflects a genuine human standpoint. Closing down manufactures and cutting off your perfume production to help is not just a marketing technique aiming to improve your reputation, but a genuine decision to help.

If the fashion and luxury industries took action, it is only normal that it would reflect in the media disseminating their news. According to Dazed Media founder Jefferson Hack, the pandemic is also an ‘infodemic’: it is easy to get sucked in by fear. As we know, the media influence people’s mood. This is why so many, including me, stay away from any sort of non-necessary information. It can also change the way people feel through the tone of a story, in a positive or negative way.

Copyright: Vogue Italia, April 2020
A striking blank page as no words are sufficient to describe the drama.


In sync with the audience

The Milan fashion week (18-24 February 2020) is where the acknowledgment of the issue among fashion circles started to rise. At the heart of Lombardy, Italian fashion people started to inform one another and foreigners of what was happening in the region and rumours spread until it all became real. That’s why fashion media companies actually reacted before governments. I recall Condé Nast sent their employees based in Milan at home to work from there before it became mandatory by governmental decree.

Traditional fashion media should always bring value for their audiences, otherwise they grow out of sync. They used real time feedback in terms of understanding where their audience was at and kept the world of fashion informed of what was happening (e.g. Vogue Business, which I peruse 24/7). Speed of adaptation is indeed key for media, and outlets have taken up the challenge. They also highlighted cultural programming, as an effect as culture being cancelled IRL.

When social media ramp up positivity

When it comes to social media, the clarity of purpose had to be redefined in times of crisis – one of them being to adapt the content and disseminate content accordingly to the mood of the audience. The Covid-19 crisis seems to have triggered a reset that allows a new set of values to come forth. Times are evolving quickly on social media platforms since it started. Twitter, which is known to be quite a place for haters, is bringing a large amount of positivity and support forward. The initiative and hashtag #AloneTogether is an example.

All in all, most say that they don’t expect business to be back to normal as usual – whether it is in terms of business, advertising or media. Or even fashion trends, as some expect a return to a more minimalistic fashion for the following seasons going along the humility brought by a crisis. Most importantly, I hope that the change brought by the crisis will directly target sustainability and bring it closer to the centre of fashion creation.

Art as a necessity

Although people might reckon art and fashion unnecessary, I think we need them more than ever every time such a challenge emerges. Fortunately, if you didn’t think that culture thrived in time of crisis, I would suggest downloading Tik Tok and scrolling up and down for a few minutes to realise how creative people can be. (Yes, I’m using Tik Tok as a reference for culture because it is!)

Do you think the fashion world reacted accordingly and in a timely manner, according to you?

Listen to the BoF podcast here.

Copyright: Vanity Fair Italia, 11-18 March 2020

In my previous blog post on how you can make the most of your time when stuck at home, I forgot to add that one of the options would be to cook a nice traditional pasta alla carbonara. Note the presence of the word traditional, as my people - the French - took the liberty of re-interpreting it in a more creative way by adding cream in (and making the Italians scream).

The carbonara is a typical Roman dish, which alongside the cacio e pepe and amatriciana may well be one of my favourite pasta recipes of all times. When in Rome, one restaurant, the trattoria Da Enzo in the Trastevere neighbourhood (Via dei Vascellari 29) if you want to live a great life experience. In the meantime, you can replicate the recipe in your own kitchen :)



- INGREDIENTS - 


Here is what you need (the portions are for two people): 

  • 250 g of spaghetti or rigatoni 
  • 30 g of pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 yolks 
  • 70 g of guanciale meat
  • salt and pepper

Now, I know that the cheese or meat might be difficult to find in your local supermarket if you don’t live in Italy but strive to find these exact ingredients (e.g. pancetta is not the same as guanciale, grana padano is different from the roman pecorino). The secret is to only use the eggs yolks without the whites, and not add any additional ingredient (no cream or onion).


PREPARATION

1.

Put some water to boil and pour the pasta in a saucepan. I personally prefer rigatoni to spaghetti for this recipe, but you do you. Keep in mind how long the pasta will cook for, as it should be ready at the same time as the guanciale. (My favourite is Rummo’s rigatoni, which cook 13-14 minutes al dente).

2.

Cut the guanciale in small lardons and start cooking them in a pan on a low heat. No need to add oil or butter to cook it in; it will free its own fat as it gets crunchy (around 7-8 minutes).

3.

In the meantime, mix the yolks with the pecorino cheese in a bowl. Then, add up to 40 g of water (I would recommend taking the water from the saucepan in which your pasta is cooking). It should now have a creamy consistency – add salt and pepper.

4.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it back into the warm saucepan (but out of the heat). Add the guanciale in (and its fat, important. Sorry not sorry for your diet) and mix it to the pasta. Then, add in the egg-based preparation into the saucepan so that it mixes up nicely with the rest. 

5.

Serve your pasta onto your plate and add – if you like it – a bit of parmesan cheese and extra pepper. Now close your eyes, imagine a warm summer evening breeze and picture the Colosseum in the background. I think you’re practically in paradise.

Buon appetito :)

Recipe: Pasta alla Carbonara

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

,

In my previous blog post on how you can make the most of your time when stuck at home, I forgot to add that one of the options would be to cook a nice traditional pasta alla carbonara. Note the presence of the word traditional, as my people - the French - took the liberty of re-interpreting it in a more creative way by adding cream in (and making the Italians scream).

The carbonara is a typical Roman dish, which alongside the cacio e pepe and amatriciana may well be one of my favourite pasta recipes of all times. When in Rome, one restaurant, the trattoria Da Enzo in the Trastevere neighbourhood (Via dei Vascellari 29) if you want to live a great life experience. In the meantime, you can replicate the recipe in your own kitchen :)



- INGREDIENTS - 


Here is what you need (the portions are for two people): 

  • 250 g of spaghetti or rigatoni 
  • 30 g of pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 yolks 
  • 70 g of guanciale meat
  • salt and pepper

Now, I know that the cheese or meat might be difficult to find in your local supermarket if you don’t live in Italy but strive to find these exact ingredients (e.g. pancetta is not the same as guanciale, grana padano is different from the roman pecorino). The secret is to only use the eggs yolks without the whites, and not add any additional ingredient (no cream or onion).


PREPARATION

1.

Put some water to boil and pour the pasta in a saucepan. I personally prefer rigatoni to spaghetti for this recipe, but you do you. Keep in mind how long the pasta will cook for, as it should be ready at the same time as the guanciale. (My favourite is Rummo’s rigatoni, which cook 13-14 minutes al dente).

2.

Cut the guanciale in small lardons and start cooking them in a pan on a low heat. No need to add oil or butter to cook it in; it will free its own fat as it gets crunchy (around 7-8 minutes).

3.

In the meantime, mix the yolks with the pecorino cheese in a bowl. Then, add up to 40 g of water (I would recommend taking the water from the saucepan in which your pasta is cooking). It should now have a creamy consistency – add salt and pepper.

4.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it back into the warm saucepan (but out of the heat). Add the guanciale in (and its fat, important. Sorry not sorry for your diet) and mix it to the pasta. Then, add in the egg-based preparation into the saucepan so that it mixes up nicely with the rest. 

5.

Serve your pasta onto your plate and add – if you like it – a bit of parmesan cheese and extra pepper. Now close your eyes, imagine a warm summer evening breeze and picture the Colosseum in the background. I think you’re practically in paradise.

Buon appetito :)


Here we are, most of us confined all around the world because of the coronavirus outbreak. If introverts are rejoicing and extroverts having panic attacks already, we all wish the situation to get back to normal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we should stay safe at home. 

However, living at home 24/7 is not as easy as it sounds – it can be a real work/life balance struggle for those who are working from home, or a complete bore for others getting tired of binge-watching Netflix. Or maybe you already work from home on a daily basis and this doesn’t change your habits much. We’re also not all equal depending on where we live, if we live with a partner, family or alone, if we are stuck in a tiny flat or living la bella vita in the countryside with a huge garden where one can sunbathe during coffee breaks.

The main challenge I see when locked indoors is maintaining a good mental health and a high productivity level at work. Just like a lot of other people I’ve been in touch with since the beginning of the confinement, I’ve had fluctuating moods as to what I am feeling about all this. However, I am convinced that we can train our minds to be stronger and positive if we put some effort in (although it is okay if we are not so from Monday to Sunday). It’s all about perspective. Being forced to stay at home can be a source of opportunities. 

Here are some tips I have gathered to make the most of my time stuck at home. Not everyone is in the same boat but I hope they will be useful to some of you!


Set up the path to your productivity.

If you’re working from home, get dressed (and put some makeup on if you usually do). I don’t spend as much time as if I were truly going out of course, but it has proven its point. At the end of a week where I spent most of the time in my loungewear makeup free (as I thought it would make a real difference to my skin – it doesn’t), I was kind of not feeling it. I started a new week this way and so far, so good.

Create a routine and break it when necessary.

You will find comfort in getting your body and mind used to a certain routine every day, according to your natural rhythm. Wake up at a regular hour, whether it’s 7am or 10am. Make your caffè espresso or pour in your favourite green tea to kick off the day. (I don’t put my video on in online meetings taking place before 9.30am as I have developed a passion for eating buttered toasts while going through my emails and reading the press until this time since last week.) Apart from when my workload is substantial, I finish work at a regular hour to help my brain make a real difference between work and personal life day after day. When it comes to my evenings, I do different activities according to the day (have online aperitivi with friends, write, read a book, study for a course, watch Netflix, etc) so that I don’t fall into the daunting side of a routine. 

Set yourself a reasonable to-do list.

I love making lists for everything – that’s a fact – but making one to plan out my day enables me to witness my progress. Also, having small purposes makes me go through the day. Your phone's notes app is an excellent paper-free outlet to do so. The risk with making lists however is wrongly gauge the number of tasks or amount of time spent doing those tasks, which would end up making you feel overwhelmed. 

Workout. (I know.)

I was already bailing out of the gym right before the crisis; however, I recognise I feel much better when I exercise. I follow a 10mn abs, 5mn butt and squat workout sessions every other day, as well as a lot of stretching and yoga. It energises me and make the backpain due to stress or bad posture fade away. Apparently, it is much better to exercise a bit often than go for an intensive session once a week. Between a healthy diet - as we have more time to cook at the moment - and a bit of exercise, your summer body should be finally within reach. (You're also allowed not to give a damn about this last point.)

Disconnect.

I realised that, just like a lot of people, I was addict to my phone and the endless scrolling on Twitter to check the latest news. I can’t recall the amount of times when my brain unconsciously craved an instant of distraction and made have a peek at my Twitter or Instagram notifications, thus making me lose another 10 minutes of precious focus. Which led me to realise also how complicated it is to focus for real nowadays – in Netflix’s documentary on Bill Gates, I learnt that he would go and lock himself in a cabin for a whole week with no contact whatsoever to read, think and jot down his thoughts on paper (definitely mastering confinement). Not that we all have a cabin to hide away at, but we have the possibility to put our phone on mute and forget it in another room for 3-4 hours. I’ve been doing that whenever I really wish to focus or relax in the evening - not during standard working hours as I have to remain available at all times - and it has really helped since I don't see the word coronavirus 26 billion times a day.

Catch up with family and friends.

Whether it is via Messenger, FaceTime or another medium, keep in touch with your loved ones. As I live alone and that my family, boyfriend and best friends don’t live in Belgium, I’ve actually found the trick: have online lunch with different members of my family or friends every day. Lunch time is perfect for a break, as I might not want to spend two hours on the phone with several people after a long workday.

Buckle down what you've been postponing forever.

Deal with your unpaid invoices, finish the book that you liked but never turned all pages of, sort out your wardrobe. Or do something you never took the time to do, like thinking about your life (if you’re brave enough). You can also answer the Proust questionnaire if you've never done it - Vanity Fair covers questions here.

Take an online course.

As I am passionate about fields I haven’t technically studied at university (fashion and PR), I had been wondering I should not do something about it to gain further knowledge and get official recognition for it. Quite surprisingly, I found out that Kering Group and London College of Fashion made a 6-week course on sustainable fashion and the luxury industry available online on the first week of confinement here in Belgium. I clearly took it as an incentive to take the leap and jump! Any skill you would like to hone or specific information to dig into? Maybe there’s an online course for it. Incidentally, some universities around the world (including Ivy League) are offering free courses at the moment (check them out here). 

And you, what are you doing to make the most of the lockdown?
#andràtuttobene


Photos credits: Pinterest

Stuck at Home: How to Make the Most of your Time

Thursday, 26 March 2020



Here we are, most of us confined all around the world because of the coronavirus outbreak. If introverts are rejoicing and extroverts having panic attacks already, we all wish the situation to get back to normal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we should stay safe at home. 

However, living at home 24/7 is not as easy as it sounds – it can be a real work/life balance struggle for those who are working from home, or a complete bore for others getting tired of binge-watching Netflix. Or maybe you already work from home on a daily basis and this doesn’t change your habits much. We’re also not all equal depending on where we live, if we live with a partner, family or alone, if we are stuck in a tiny flat or living la bella vita in the countryside with a huge garden where one can sunbathe during coffee breaks.

The main challenge I see when locked indoors is maintaining a good mental health and a high productivity level at work. Just like a lot of other people I’ve been in touch with since the beginning of the confinement, I’ve had fluctuating moods as to what I am feeling about all this. However, I am convinced that we can train our minds to be stronger and positive if we put some effort in (although it is okay if we are not so from Monday to Sunday). It’s all about perspective. Being forced to stay at home can be a source of opportunities. 

Here are some tips I have gathered to make the most of my time stuck at home. Not everyone is in the same boat but I hope they will be useful to some of you!


Set up the path to your productivity.

If you’re working from home, get dressed (and put some makeup on if you usually do). I don’t spend as much time as if I were truly going out of course, but it has proven its point. At the end of a week where I spent most of the time in my loungewear makeup free (as I thought it would make a real difference to my skin – it doesn’t), I was kind of not feeling it. I started a new week this way and so far, so good.

Create a routine and break it when necessary.

You will find comfort in getting your body and mind used to a certain routine every day, according to your natural rhythm. Wake up at a regular hour, whether it’s 7am or 10am. Make your caffè espresso or pour in your favourite green tea to kick off the day. (I don’t put my video on in online meetings taking place before 9.30am as I have developed a passion for eating buttered toasts while going through my emails and reading the press until this time since last week.) Apart from when my workload is substantial, I finish work at a regular hour to help my brain make a real difference between work and personal life day after day. When it comes to my evenings, I do different activities according to the day (have online aperitivi with friends, write, read a book, study for a course, watch Netflix, etc) so that I don’t fall into the daunting side of a routine. 

Set yourself a reasonable to-do list.

I love making lists for everything – that’s a fact – but making one to plan out my day enables me to witness my progress. Also, having small purposes makes me go through the day. Your phone's notes app is an excellent paper-free outlet to do so. The risk with making lists however is wrongly gauge the number of tasks or amount of time spent doing those tasks, which would end up making you feel overwhelmed. 

Workout. (I know.)

I was already bailing out of the gym right before the crisis; however, I recognise I feel much better when I exercise. I follow a 10mn abs, 5mn butt and squat workout sessions every other day, as well as a lot of stretching and yoga. It energises me and make the backpain due to stress or bad posture fade away. Apparently, it is much better to exercise a bit often than go for an intensive session once a week. Between a healthy diet - as we have more time to cook at the moment - and a bit of exercise, your summer body should be finally within reach. (You're also allowed not to give a damn about this last point.)

Disconnect.

I realised that, just like a lot of people, I was addict to my phone and the endless scrolling on Twitter to check the latest news. I can’t recall the amount of times when my brain unconsciously craved an instant of distraction and made have a peek at my Twitter or Instagram notifications, thus making me lose another 10 minutes of precious focus. Which led me to realise also how complicated it is to focus for real nowadays – in Netflix’s documentary on Bill Gates, I learnt that he would go and lock himself in a cabin for a whole week with no contact whatsoever to read, think and jot down his thoughts on paper (definitely mastering confinement). Not that we all have a cabin to hide away at, but we have the possibility to put our phone on mute and forget it in another room for 3-4 hours. I’ve been doing that whenever I really wish to focus or relax in the evening - not during standard working hours as I have to remain available at all times - and it has really helped since I don't see the word coronavirus 26 billion times a day.

Catch up with family and friends.

Whether it is via Messenger, FaceTime or another medium, keep in touch with your loved ones. As I live alone and that my family, boyfriend and best friends don’t live in Belgium, I’ve actually found the trick: have online lunch with different members of my family or friends every day. Lunch time is perfect for a break, as I might not want to spend two hours on the phone with several people after a long workday.

Buckle down what you've been postponing forever.

Deal with your unpaid invoices, finish the book that you liked but never turned all pages of, sort out your wardrobe. Or do something you never took the time to do, like thinking about your life (if you’re brave enough). You can also answer the Proust questionnaire if you've never done it - Vanity Fair covers questions here.

Take an online course.

As I am passionate about fields I haven’t technically studied at university (fashion and PR), I had been wondering I should not do something about it to gain further knowledge and get official recognition for it. Quite surprisingly, I found out that Kering Group and London College of Fashion made a 6-week course on sustainable fashion and the luxury industry available online on the first week of confinement here in Belgium. I clearly took it as an incentive to take the leap and jump! Any skill you would like to hone or specific information to dig into? Maybe there’s an online course for it. Incidentally, some universities around the world (including Ivy League) are offering free courses at the moment (check them out here). 

And you, what are you doing to make the most of the lockdown?
#andràtuttobene


Photos credits: Pinterest

I know, February is at our doorstep and I’m discussing books that I’ve read in 2019. The good thing is that not all of these books date back from this past year, so I would say this blog post is quite timeless. 

Reading more was one of my 2019 resolutions, and although I have not read as much as I wished to, I have taken the time to peruse many books along the year. Between novels, inspirational guides and fashion coffee table books, here are a few recommendations for you to start 2020.

THE CLASSIC

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

This novel reminded me why I loved Hemingway’s prose so much (in case you didn’t know, I have a Bachelor of Arts in English literature – not that you need to be graduated in that field to enjoy Hemingway but anyway). Set in the mid-1920s in Paris, France and Pamplona, Spain the storyline is quite original. Jake Barnes is in love with Lady Brett Ashley but they cannot maintain a relationship ‘because’ he was made impotent during the war (great and fair isn’t it). Jake loses numerous friendships and has his life repeatedly disrupted because of his loyalty to Brett, who has a destructive series of love affairs with other men although she loves Jake. The novel tackles – in the 1920s already – the topics of male insecurity, the destructiveness of superficial physical attraction, failure of communication and false friendships. Also, they drink all day and night and I am quite surprised they make it until the end of the novel. 


FASHION INDUSTRY & DIGITALISATION

The New Fashion Rules, Victoria Magrath

I’ve been wanting to expand my collection of fashion books, and not only for them to look good on my coffee table. This year in particular, I wish to get a deeper knowledge of the industry and while I spend more and more time perusing the shelves of the fashion section at libraries, I thought that the New Fashion Rules by the curator of Inthefrow.com could be a great addition. Why I found it so insightful? Because she retraces the story of digital retail and highlights the pivotal moments of the fashion world, including the rising of bloggers and influencers, from the early 1990s to now. How has fashion been integrating inclusivity along the years? What are the innovative brands which put forward the latest advancements in e-commerce that we take for granted today? Here you go. 

THE EMOTIONAL ONE

Nos Séparations, David Foenkinos

Apologies for non-French speakers if this novel is not available in other languages, which I am not sure is the case. ‘Our Separations’ tells the story of how a boy deeply in love with a girl and about to marry her screws up badly and, becoming a cheater, loses her and spends his life regretting it. They keep meeting each other at certain moments of their life with an ever-changing life situation. The novel is my favourite among the author’s other novels. The topic is extremely French, as you find yourself making fun out of a tragic situation.

ON FEMINISM

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

This book was recommended to me a long time ago by a good friend of mine. This essay by Roxane Gay explores the concept of plurality of what feminism stands for to women. There’s not only one type of feminism (hence the term of ‘bad feminism’ for those criticised for not being in line with the traditional concept – who can be presumptuous enough to define clear lines anyway), and for one ultra-feminists shouldn’t criticise those taking gradual baby steps towards the cause. She praises it as an evolutive concept. Go and grab this book (and follow the author on twitter for spirit and laughs).

SELF HELP

The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**k, Sarah Knight

I call it self-help because to stop caring about the stuff you shouldn’t care about is a game-changer. When you realise the amount of stress you create for yourself when you’re trying to please everyone or feeling obliged to do things you eventually don’t want to do, you actually can’t believe it. This book has received a looot of coverage and you’ve probably heard about it 20 times already but if you haven’t read it yet, I insist you do. The book is slightly extreme at times, but the message is right. Stop giving a fuck about stuff that is not worth it, and you will magically have extra time to do exactly what you want to do. Bye.

Along the best advice Sarah Knight could give me last year, I am kicking off 2020 catching up with a very popular (and already a must-read) book: Becoming by Michelle Obama. I’m only 50 pages in and I am already in love with the writing of this novel. Excellent ghost writer (as you can expect when you tell the life of the former POTUS wife and extremely inspirational woman). What about you, any reading you’d like to share?




2019 in Books

Monday, 27 January 2020


I know, February is at our doorstep and I’m discussing books that I’ve read in 2019. The good thing is that not all of these books date back from this past year, so I would say this blog post is quite timeless. 

Reading more was one of my 2019 resolutions, and although I have not read as much as I wished to, I have taken the time to peruse many books along the year. Between novels, inspirational guides and fashion coffee table books, here are a few recommendations for you to start 2020.

THE CLASSIC

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

This novel reminded me why I loved Hemingway’s prose so much (in case you didn’t know, I have a Bachelor of Arts in English literature – not that you need to be graduated in that field to enjoy Hemingway but anyway). Set in the mid-1920s in Paris, France and Pamplona, Spain the storyline is quite original. Jake Barnes is in love with Lady Brett Ashley but they cannot maintain a relationship ‘because’ he was made impotent during the war (great and fair isn’t it). Jake loses numerous friendships and has his life repeatedly disrupted because of his loyalty to Brett, who has a destructive series of love affairs with other men although she loves Jake. The novel tackles – in the 1920s already – the topics of male insecurity, the destructiveness of superficial physical attraction, failure of communication and false friendships. Also, they drink all day and night and I am quite surprised they make it until the end of the novel. 


FASHION INDUSTRY & DIGITALISATION

The New Fashion Rules, Victoria Magrath

I’ve been wanting to expand my collection of fashion books, and not only for them to look good on my coffee table. This year in particular, I wish to get a deeper knowledge of the industry and while I spend more and more time perusing the shelves of the fashion section at libraries, I thought that the New Fashion Rules by the curator of Inthefrow.com could be a great addition. Why I found it so insightful? Because she retraces the story of digital retail and highlights the pivotal moments of the fashion world, including the rising of bloggers and influencers, from the early 1990s to now. How has fashion been integrating inclusivity along the years? What are the innovative brands which put forward the latest advancements in e-commerce that we take for granted today? Here you go. 

THE EMOTIONAL ONE

Nos Séparations, David Foenkinos

Apologies for non-French speakers if this novel is not available in other languages, which I am not sure is the case. ‘Our Separations’ tells the story of how a boy deeply in love with a girl and about to marry her screws up badly and, becoming a cheater, loses her and spends his life regretting it. They keep meeting each other at certain moments of their life with an ever-changing life situation. The novel is my favourite among the author’s other novels. The topic is extremely French, as you find yourself making fun out of a tragic situation.

ON FEMINISM

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

This book was recommended to me a long time ago by a good friend of mine. This essay by Roxane Gay explores the concept of plurality of what feminism stands for to women. There’s not only one type of feminism (hence the term of ‘bad feminism’ for those criticised for not being in line with the traditional concept – who can be presumptuous enough to define clear lines anyway), and for one ultra-feminists shouldn’t criticise those taking gradual baby steps towards the cause. She praises it as an evolutive concept. Go and grab this book (and follow the author on twitter for spirit and laughs).

SELF HELP

The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**k, Sarah Knight

I call it self-help because to stop caring about the stuff you shouldn’t care about is a game-changer. When you realise the amount of stress you create for yourself when you’re trying to please everyone or feeling obliged to do things you eventually don’t want to do, you actually can’t believe it. This book has received a looot of coverage and you’ve probably heard about it 20 times already but if you haven’t read it yet, I insist you do. The book is slightly extreme at times, but the message is right. Stop giving a fuck about stuff that is not worth it, and you will magically have extra time to do exactly what you want to do. Bye.

Along the best advice Sarah Knight could give me last year, I am kicking off 2020 catching up with a very popular (and already a must-read) book: Becoming by Michelle Obama. I’m only 50 pages in and I am already in love with the writing of this novel. Excellent ghost writer (as you can expect when you tell the life of the former POTUS wife and extremely inspirational woman). What about you, any reading you’d like to share?




After over two years of no blogging at all I am finally back on this little curated corner of the internet. There were several reasons explaining this break from writing - namely lack of time juggling with new responsibilities, struggling to translate who I was becoming into my editorial line, and eventually not being proud enough of the content I was producing weekly. However, I have recently experienced this surge in wanting to blog to be back into my life. More surprisingly, after mentioning the topic to a few bloggers and friends, I noticed that I was not the only one.

Nowadays bloggers are such an essential part of the luxury and high street industries that we tend to forget it all started ten years ago (how was the world of marketing even doing before influencers?). Along the years, what used to be a simple hobby developed into a fully-fledged career for some. It is, at the end of the day, only natural that platforms evolve with talented bloggers as they grow – to the extent that they now team up with established brands which were at first sceptical to entrust them.

Café du Sablon, Brussels - @bonjourwhite


Is Instagramming the new blogging? 


I don’t think that anybody could assert that blogging ever grew out of style to be honest. However, one could say that the digital landscape has experienced massive developments affecting industries mentioned above, and the most visible one regards the purple camera icon. Indeed, Instagram has been hugely influencing blogging activities. If the majority of traditional bloggers started using the platform when it launched in 2010, its growing popularity and the diversity of marketing tools its developers make available also created a new type of digital influencers: professional instagrammers. Once described as micro-bloggers due to the limited number of characters of the photos’ captions, brands have grown aware that these new instagrammers are formidable marketing mediums, their messaging being both (hopefully) genuine and suited to – by definition – an interested audience, their followers. In 2019, you can easily double tap on a fashion influencer’s picture and see what clothes they’re wearing, where the accessories come from and where to buy them. Marketing at its simplest – and finest.

If brands still support famous traditional bloggers, they invest their energy and money into instagrammers. Instagram has grown to become the favourite outlet of aesthetics lovers. Alongside Pinterest and its mood boards, no wonder why it is my favourite social media channel.

From bloggers to micro-bloggers


Using Instagram at professional level on a daily basis is a lot of work behind the scenes, don’t get me wrong. But I reckon that posting pictures and collaborating with brands on the platform is still slightly less work than full time blogging. Hence why such a success: you can share and influence through a more direct form of messaging via short captions, curated aesthetics and stories.

We could be tempted to think that Instagram has replaced blogging for some time, but it would not be true. First because bloggers continue to blog, in spite of a lesser activity on their website and a lot of time spent on Instagram. Second because Instagram and a blog do not have the same aim. The audience is also slightly different, as you don’t spend the same amount of time on a picture and reading a blog post. Blog posts may be amazingly illustrated (my favourite will always be Paris in Four Months), they are always richer in content and are conducive to reflexion. Instagram is definitely more marketing-oriented and where spontaneity can be expressed more easily. Instagram stories and their 24-hour post lifespan are one of my favourite things to put online. On another note, a blog is a permanent outlet which will always be out there which success doesn't depend on any social media algorithm. I know it's hard to imagine a world in which Instagram is barely used, but think about the decline in use of Facebook and Snapchat. In a way, investing all your digital effort on Instagram only would be, as a consequence, quite risky.

Whatever the level of involvement online – from professional blogging to influencer instagramming – these digital careers are gradually being recognised by the industry and society at large. Long gone are the days when, during the 2016 Milan Fashion Week, Vogue US Creative Digital Director Sally Singers criticised bloggers and their growing influence telling them to “go find another business”. Or so the blogger community hope.


What about you, are you noticing this surge in blogging? Have you become an avid Instagram scroller to get yourself inspired? What do you think of micro-bloggers? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you have to say on this.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled as my blog and my Instagram account (@bonjourwhite) are gonna be back in the game over the next months (or so I’d like to convince myself, as I have to learn again how to stick to a schedule and post quality content regularly while dealing with a full time PR job). Stay tuned!


Queen's Gallery, Brussels - @bonjourwhite


Is Blogging Back on Trend or Was It Never Really Outdated?

Friday, 10 January 2020

After over two years of no blogging at all I am finally back on this little curated corner of the internet. There were several reasons explaining this break from writing - namely lack of time juggling with new responsibilities, struggling to translate who I was becoming into my editorial line, and eventually not being proud enough of the content I was producing weekly. However, I have recently experienced this surge in wanting to blog to be back into my life. More surprisingly, after mentioning the topic to a few bloggers and friends, I noticed that I was not the only one.

Nowadays bloggers are such an essential part of the luxury and high street industries that we tend to forget it all started ten years ago (how was the world of marketing even doing before influencers?). Along the years, what used to be a simple hobby developed into a fully-fledged career for some. It is, at the end of the day, only natural that platforms evolve with talented bloggers as they grow – to the extent that they now team up with established brands which were at first sceptical to entrust them.

Café du Sablon, Brussels - @bonjourwhite


Is Instagramming the new blogging? 


I don’t think that anybody could assert that blogging ever grew out of style to be honest. However, one could say that the digital landscape has experienced massive developments affecting industries mentioned above, and the most visible one regards the purple camera icon. Indeed, Instagram has been hugely influencing blogging activities. If the majority of traditional bloggers started using the platform when it launched in 2010, its growing popularity and the diversity of marketing tools its developers make available also created a new type of digital influencers: professional instagrammers. Once described as micro-bloggers due to the limited number of characters of the photos’ captions, brands have grown aware that these new instagrammers are formidable marketing mediums, their messaging being both (hopefully) genuine and suited to – by definition – an interested audience, their followers. In 2019, you can easily double tap on a fashion influencer’s picture and see what clothes they’re wearing, where the accessories come from and where to buy them. Marketing at its simplest – and finest.

If brands still support famous traditional bloggers, they invest their energy and money into instagrammers. Instagram has grown to become the favourite outlet of aesthetics lovers. Alongside Pinterest and its mood boards, no wonder why it is my favourite social media channel.

From bloggers to micro-bloggers


Using Instagram at professional level on a daily basis is a lot of work behind the scenes, don’t get me wrong. But I reckon that posting pictures and collaborating with brands on the platform is still slightly less work than full time blogging. Hence why such a success: you can share and influence through a more direct form of messaging via short captions, curated aesthetics and stories.

We could be tempted to think that Instagram has replaced blogging for some time, but it would not be true. First because bloggers continue to blog, in spite of a lesser activity on their website and a lot of time spent on Instagram. Second because Instagram and a blog do not have the same aim. The audience is also slightly different, as you don’t spend the same amount of time on a picture and reading a blog post. Blog posts may be amazingly illustrated (my favourite will always be Paris in Four Months), they are always richer in content and are conducive to reflexion. Instagram is definitely more marketing-oriented and where spontaneity can be expressed more easily. Instagram stories and their 24-hour post lifespan are one of my favourite things to put online. On another note, a blog is a permanent outlet which will always be out there which success doesn't depend on any social media algorithm. I know it's hard to imagine a world in which Instagram is barely used, but think about the decline in use of Facebook and Snapchat. In a way, investing all your digital effort on Instagram only would be, as a consequence, quite risky.

Whatever the level of involvement online – from professional blogging to influencer instagramming – these digital careers are gradually being recognised by the industry and society at large. Long gone are the days when, during the 2016 Milan Fashion Week, Vogue US Creative Digital Director Sally Singers criticised bloggers and their growing influence telling them to “go find another business”. Or so the blogger community hope.


What about you, are you noticing this surge in blogging? Have you become an avid Instagram scroller to get yourself inspired? What do you think of micro-bloggers? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you have to say on this.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled as my blog and my Instagram account (@bonjourwhite) are gonna be back in the game over the next months (or so I’d like to convince myself, as I have to learn again how to stick to a schedule and post quality content regularly while dealing with a full time PR job). Stay tuned!


Queen's Gallery, Brussels - @bonjourwhite


It’s happening! After months and months of pondering upon the matter, I am finally resuming blogging on this little corner of internet. It took me a lot of thinking of where I wanted to go with it, and after a while I put my finger on it and eventually decided to take the leap. New year, new blog, right? So please welcome bonjour white 2.0 – I have implemented a new design and new blog categories. If you wish to learn a bit more, you can click here to pop by my ‘about’ section.

Alongside this great announcement, I thought I would write on what 2020 has in stock – and more importantly on what we need to do to explore its full potential. It is this time of the year again – when you take resolutions that you will never truly stick to after a couple of weeks or better, when you actually reflect on the past 365 days to see what went well and what didn’t. Usually I can easily tell you which way it went; this time my 2019 was a fine line to walk on, being made of 6 months off and 6 months on. Closing the chapter with an amazing weekend in Naples.

Instead of coming up with random resolutions, I thought I would pick up what worked for me best this year and apply it overall. Make promises to myself instead, in order to make the most of the upcoming year. (I mean, according to Vogue Italia Virgos are to have a millesimal time ahead so it shouldn’t be difficult.)

Galleria Umberto I, Naples - @bonjourwhite


New year, same you

We all have flaws or bibs and bobs in us we would like to improve or change. But what if we were enough, already? If you feel you are not, then try to look and see why. Please do set yourself goals – quit smoking, exercise more, etc. – but keep the other 99% that make you who you truly are. Do not let anyone convince you that you are not good enough and need to overhaul your entire life. Most of the time, the person we need to convince the most is ourselves. I feel like the community is more and more understanding that self-love and the feeling of being worthy might be the key to happiness. 

Good mind, good vibes

This year I’ve particularly learnt the value of self-discipline when it comes to limiting bad vibes into my life. I truly believe that being happy starts with yourself, not the situation you are in. Although life can get hard and we’re allowed to feel low, eventually I thrive to get back to a more optimistic state of mind. I can remember watching the Netflix documentary HEAL and realising how negative I was sometimes. To the extent that it affected my health (independently from the stress that comes up at work) and how ill I was getting. In my case, I was strongly affected by the transition from Rome to Brussels; a lukewarm city where I only sought professional progress and was unable to see the bright side. Well when I chose to finally open myself fully to the opportunities the city had to offer, among others great friendships, I discovered things from a whole other perspective. Also, just like a lot of people this year I cut off toxic relationships and opened up to new, healthy ones. The people you invest your time in has an enormous impact on your well-being, whether it is on the positive or on the negative side.

Look for what drives you

In between the indulgences of the festive season, I realised how quickly time passes by. Not in a daunting way though. I just feel like I now comprehend what this statement implies: as we get older and more experienced we are not completely aware, I think, of the power we have in our hands over our own life and career. I am 27 and I feel good, confident about what the future has to offer this year – and at the same time very much aware that I’ll be the driver of change of my own life. (Apologies for sounding like a bad motivational book though). Just tell yourself you don’t need to be in a permanent waiting state to reach your objectives. Get out, find what makes you tick, live your life, be happy, don’t hold back.

Piazza del Gesù Nuovo, Naples - @bonjourwhite

At the end of the day, I live for these moments which make your heart pound; those which make yourself gape in awe, realise how lucky you are or how simple happiness can be. In a way, no real resolution needed. I’d like to dedicate 2020 to these moments. My biggest wish this year would be to travel as much for them to multiply, put myself on the path to an eventful year inasmuch as being as serene as possible. What would yours be?

Bring It On, 2020

Thursday, 2 January 2020

,
It’s happening! After months and months of pondering upon the matter, I am finally resuming blogging on this little corner of internet. It took me a lot of thinking of where I wanted to go with it, and after a while I put my finger on it and eventually decided to take the leap. New year, new blog, right? So please welcome bonjour white 2.0 – I have implemented a new design and new blog categories. If you wish to learn a bit more, you can click here to pop by my ‘about’ section.

Alongside this great announcement, I thought I would write on what 2020 has in stock – and more importantly on what we need to do to explore its full potential. It is this time of the year again – when you take resolutions that you will never truly stick to after a couple of weeks or better, when you actually reflect on the past 365 days to see what went well and what didn’t. Usually I can easily tell you which way it went; this time my 2019 was a fine line to walk on, being made of 6 months off and 6 months on. Closing the chapter with an amazing weekend in Naples.

Instead of coming up with random resolutions, I thought I would pick up what worked for me best this year and apply it overall. Make promises to myself instead, in order to make the most of the upcoming year. (I mean, according to Vogue Italia Virgos are to have a millesimal time ahead so it shouldn’t be difficult.)

Galleria Umberto I, Naples - @bonjourwhite


New year, same you

We all have flaws or bibs and bobs in us we would like to improve or change. But what if we were enough, already? If you feel you are not, then try to look and see why. Please do set yourself goals – quit smoking, exercise more, etc. – but keep the other 99% that make you who you truly are. Do not let anyone convince you that you are not good enough and need to overhaul your entire life. Most of the time, the person we need to convince the most is ourselves. I feel like the community is more and more understanding that self-love and the feeling of being worthy might be the key to happiness. 

Good mind, good vibes

This year I’ve particularly learnt the value of self-discipline when it comes to limiting bad vibes into my life. I truly believe that being happy starts with yourself, not the situation you are in. Although life can get hard and we’re allowed to feel low, eventually I thrive to get back to a more optimistic state of mind. I can remember watching the Netflix documentary HEAL and realising how negative I was sometimes. To the extent that it affected my health (independently from the stress that comes up at work) and how ill I was getting. In my case, I was strongly affected by the transition from Rome to Brussels; a lukewarm city where I only sought professional progress and was unable to see the bright side. Well when I chose to finally open myself fully to the opportunities the city had to offer, among others great friendships, I discovered things from a whole other perspective. Also, just like a lot of people this year I cut off toxic relationships and opened up to new, healthy ones. The people you invest your time in has an enormous impact on your well-being, whether it is on the positive or on the negative side.

Look for what drives you

In between the indulgences of the festive season, I realised how quickly time passes by. Not in a daunting way though. I just feel like I now comprehend what this statement implies: as we get older and more experienced we are not completely aware, I think, of the power we have in our hands over our own life and career. I am 27 and I feel good, confident about what the future has to offer this year – and at the same time very much aware that I’ll be the driver of change of my own life. (Apologies for sounding like a bad motivational book though). Just tell yourself you don’t need to be in a permanent waiting state to reach your objectives. Get out, find what makes you tick, live your life, be happy, don’t hold back.

Piazza del Gesù Nuovo, Naples - @bonjourwhite

At the end of the day, I live for these moments which make your heart pound; those which make yourself gape in awe, realise how lucky you are or how simple happiness can be. In a way, no real resolution needed. I’d like to dedicate 2020 to these moments. My biggest wish this year would be to travel as much for them to multiply, put myself on the path to an eventful year inasmuch as being as serene as possible. What would yours be?

bonjour white