ready for a road trip

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you know that friend who makes you laugh when it’s totally inappropriate? the one who tells it straight…the one who gets you out of your comfort zone and is one of the people you’d pick the phone up for anytime day or night?  come to think of it, that’s all my girlfriends, from grade school to college and beyond, i have a handful that are my rocks. the one i’m referring to in particular is my homegirl, liz. we met in nyc at 26 and 27 and are now 50 and 51. from the streets of new york to sunny, funny florida, we’ve seen each other through the highs and lows of life cause for some reason we never live far from each other. for about a year she’s been hankering for more space, moving north a bit, having a place where she could let her animals run and play. i’m sort of set in my ways thinking that i’d never have the quality of life I have with my piece of the pie in the sky. but she’s the kind of girl who can make anything happen and voila, changed my perspective. she set up some appointments to see some houses for sale and rent so tomorrow we’re taking a road trip to check out what life might be like in melbourne beach. maybe where i am is not the be all, end all, after all.


i’d never heard of it (other than yesterday when the billion dollar lottery winner was announced. over the holidays i drove all the way up north and noticed there was so much i haven’t been exploring.  there are tons of flea markets and sales going on but i never seem to get past west palm so this will be a much need day of exploration and adventure.


it’s a town of only 3k residents but the images of it are gorgeous. i couldn’t help but google it to see what it was all about

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turns out it’s historic. and below is a working couple who live there so it can be done! anyway we just need to get away for the day and dream



but it is an artsy town and I like that in a community

Historic Melbourne

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well i’ll keep you posted, i know this was a totally random post on day 11 but it’s the weekend and i want to do something fun and carefree. oh it’s 4 minutes to 12 and i have to announce the winner of the collars hold on…Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.58.11 PMthe winner is suzanne! email me at

oh one thing before i go there’s one minute left…these blog posts won’t be going to the subscribers anymore, i didn’t feel right about inundating anyone for the next year so if you’re here, that is great, i couldn’t be happier to be in such wonderful company!

January 16, 2016. Florida, Melbourne Beach, paris apartment project, the paris apartment project, TPA Project, Travel. 6 comments.

on the road again

6203241042_39307c2a11_b bonjour! coming to you today from the beautiful and now fully enjoyed and only semi explored jewel of a town, biarritz, france. this is a place i’d never been but fell madly in love with and could actually consider living in one day. magical, transformative, chic, serene, inspiring, healing, infinte in its own right and in all that surrounds it… elegance-3 it’s actually travel day and  i’m pressed for time and apologize for having to rush through yet another post. this one is a little image heavy because once again i got sucked into what what supposed to be a quick inspection of vintage photos of beach fashion in biarritz. well, opening that door led me to a magnificent (and time consuming) world of beauty with an introduction to photographers, artists and muses. fairchild-archive-biarritz-beach-suit-by-schiaparelli-february-1934 pleasurephotoroom-biarritz-beach-suit-by-schiaparelli i could talk about who’s who and what’s what but instead tried to add the links where i found the photos. they’re wonderful links and collections of  fashion,  lifestyle, creativity and the joie de vivre. they’re as interesting as some of the photos and i hope you click their links to enjoy an even deeper look into this chapter of the past. rppc-97

i’d been obsessed with an overview of the town since i heard we were coming. a history buff, i always wonder how it began, who put the first stake in the ground, how that could have happened with no real tools but pencil and paper, hard work and vision. 6202725575_821c9b56e9_b the deeper i dug today the more i learned about people, perseverance, beauty, photography and style and life. 400ddd953eacf88e2f187cff941a4c3b first of all, such a little can tell so much in a photograph

1276c361e84e03d618fc694954b2e441   4e6738b63a283afcde7cff637ab0fd15 37409155dad42a8bbb494dec15d7ee98 Chanel sports ensemble, ca. 1928 Design by Coco Chanel second of all, style is transcendent, whether city or beach, the following photos show how it’s done. i wish i could repack my bag and start over. i overpacked and have a new perspective on what i’ll bring traveling next time! tumblr_m6qxp0TgVk1qf6jy9o1_r1_500 seeberger+brothers+elegance+history+of+street+fashion   a302bbda7e3950d6081c288d899c60c7   5713210652_e512fe9bfd_o missmoss-the-seeberger-brothers 3e72408c953321ac1d76234bd937ce28 IMG_0817 61eee14c289b3a4f76bb5654cf22180d

thirdly, there’s the master, Jacques Henri Lartigue – Casino de Biarritz 1918 i knew of him but have a new appreciaton for his attention to detail and simplicity.

Jacques-Henri-Lartigue1 08c4258816f40e1a4449f4578de14db0 please know that i’m not sure about every single photo and that the credits are completely correct but you can always use google images if you want to double check on some. Jacques-Henri-Lartigue-VO32-540x486

i was just eager to get them posted cause my egg timer is running out and so is the juice on my laptop. so from here i’ll just say i hope you enjoy this slice of life on the beach, my own camera was lost on the first day here so i really haven’t taken any photos. in a way i don’t mind cause these have really struck me. i’ll definitely look at shooting my own images in a new way once i get another real camera in my hands.

dc53e4aaa7ac95ecbf1d3e806a5d59d7     Jacques-Henri-Lartigue-540x1215 Jacques-Henri-Lartigue-1932-540x318 0de0b0a0498a357beb158bb780b4166d Everyday Life in France in the Early 1930s (21) p53   810e3465b7d7f9dcf87ea3a5677c51ad   p51 Jacques-Henri-Lartigue-1927-540x269 f0b8c354bef6c829c141233e66a5817a Elegance: The Seeberger Brothers and the Birth of Fashion Photography seeberger5 tumblr_lsyr0z9lwA1qbeumgo1_400 c9b91f9f73ecb7ddf94702c60ef85497 Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.39.34 AM add5f1d1862b523c3ec5e80060925b94 11abd4c9dcfc9fa039ea83b5a85cf813 5ee40fa2d518e06377da6d4d7471a2b8 901d0e87d915a6bcfe56abc81100cca2 a208edc9ad0e083dbdf3fdc41d9e05b6 802f803221fb80d8c2fbd487090ef8a3   86f2dbf1a14e4c70712e924192fc1444 f2b5f5069b86be4aaf330341e501b994



Lili Damita – 1933 – Biarritz, France – Photo by the Seeberger Brothers   1934-deauville-seeberger-cape deauville-seeberger-bathrobes 1938-deauville-seeberger Léon Gimpel - France (10) French Women, ca. 1920s (13) ARTS003629 c8ba701c6d27067ce85b762e99606416   aa0220601989179cd5a106bdc7261835 et alors, the time has come to go…our trip is on its last leg and we’re heading to london today. i hope to post from there but it’s been a whirwind and hard to sit down and fully focus on writing. i hope your summer is going well and that these photos were inspiring if you’re a photography buff. my wish is that  all of our photos with friends and family are ones to remember! bonne journée!

June 28, 2015. 1920's, 1930's, Art Deco, Artists, Biarritz, Côte d'Azur, France, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Renee Perle, South of France, Travel. 12 comments.

i’m back in love again

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in love with life, that is! bonjour toute le monde,  i hope spring has officially sprung for you. i have to admit it’s been a super long time since i’ve had the urge and/or sheer will to blog. upon a little self analysis, i found it to be a case of the old ‘overwhelmed and burned out’ combo. but tonight i stayed in and surfed the net (for the first time in awhile) and voilà
my passion for my business, blog, blog buds, travel, exploration and a general sense of WaNdErLuST came flooding back! there’s so much running through my heart and head tonight that i hope my hands can keep up!

so…since i’ve got to start somewhere let’s go with this…it’s a site called which has the most unbelievable, one of a kind travel experiences imaginable. you can choose locations throughout the world and are hosted in some incredible venues from castles to chateaus to B&Bs in exchange for everything from gardening, decorating, painting, management, teaching english, horse care, babysitting or construction, JUST to name a few. beware if you visit the site, it’s utterly addictive and will pull you in deep!

since i fell victim to the delicious guilty pleasure, you can kick back and do a little armchair traveling to see if any of these experiences would pique your interest. this kind of barter could be a good way to see the world. i couldn’t post everything i fell in love with and kind of ended up focused on europe but did come across so many other amazing things in jamaica, south america, india, indonesia, malta, sardinia, capri, the us, canada, british columbia and more. just mess around see where in the world you’re drawn. here are some of my favorites:


Help with a rural tourism project in Mazzarino, Sicily, Italy

We are a rural tourism project about natural farming, simple living, yoga and outdoor activities. We are starting in Sicily, in a small organic farm.
We will be building a yoga platform, creating accomodations for guests and of course farming, doing yoga and surf, running workshops and other things.
We are a young team of professionals with our rural tourism project in mind.
If you’re curious to join, just contact us.


Help at a Spiritual Eco Village in Sicily

We are a couple living in the mountains in the Maddonie nature reserve, an hour ride from Palermo in Sicily.

We like to define ourselves as ‘the first spiritual ecovillage in Sicily’. This place is a very strong energetic point, and the winds are changing often.

We are in the process of becoming self sustainable.

We are musicians and artists and so music and creativity are very present and alive here. The place was created by Toto, a Sicilian musician, with a dream of creating a space for personal healing. We try to follow the changing currents and be attentive to ourselves and to others who surround us. We give support to each other in difficult moments and a big laugh in moments of joy. We practice energetic work such as reiki and every once in a while hold a sacred Native American ceremony called Temazcal – led by Toto, who has walked the ‘red path’, the shamanic journey.

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Speak English in Exchange for 4 star accommodation in Spain

Our company organises programmes that bring together a group of volunteer native English speakers and a group of Spaniards for a week in a four star hotel.

The goal of the programme is for Spaniards to speak English and improve their capacity to communicate in English.
Volunteers get free **** hotel accommodation and meals during the week.

In exchange, we ask you to take part in activities such as one-to-ones, telephone calls, group conversations, etc.

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Lavender farm in the beautiful Lot valley near Toulouse, France

Ian and Suzie (a Kiwi and Brit) have established a lavender farm in the beautiful Lot valley about 1½ hours north of Toulouse. We have 2,500 lavender plants, which we tend by hand, and would dearly appreciate some help in the spring and autumn. We have travelled and lived all over the world, and got the inspiration for our lavender farm in New Zealand. We now produce our own essential oil which is 100% natural. We are looking for a sincere, energetic couple/two friends who like working outside with plants and would enjoy helping us tend the lavender and garden. By way of variety, you might also like to help with small building repairs and painting jobs on the property – our “To Do” list is shrink-proof!

We would really appreciate help with the maintenance of our 16th century chateau and organic vegetable garden in Crozon sur Vauvre


We are an English couple who live in a 16th century French chateau. In summer we sometimes have music courses and concerts, in which the house is filled with people and music. The rest of the time it’s more relaxed, with friends visiting and parties in the evenings. The winters are much calmer! We love hosting new people and filling the house with music and laughter. We would really appreciate help with the maintenance of the chateau. This includes gardening, especially in our organic vegetable garden, and painting and decorating inside. During the workshops help with cleaning in the kitchen would also be great. Just let us know what area you prefer to work in.

Come and help out with a chateau in Burgundy

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This is an amazing chateau with lots of history. It is buzzing with energy, used to be a monastery long ago, then owned by nobles and artists and still seems to have a special feeling. It is peaceful and nature surrounds it like its clothing. The views are spectacular rolling hills and its pureness touches everyone’s heart alike.
We have big beautiful outbuildings (gallery, event space) that need looking after and finding inspiring activities to do with them will be a pleasure.
This time we are going to maintain it as a bed & breakfast with possibilities as an art, workshop, culture center with a touch of holistic, already established by the high quality of life it offers. We lived in Bali for a while but nothing can beat this place and its magic…come and share it with us.

I am a sculptor, photographer, jewel-maker, writer. My two sons (21 and 23 years) are into creating modern music compositions and we intend to use it! They studied in France, Holland and Bali, making them internationally wise and cool to be with. We are planning something special and invite passionates to experience this with us.

Burnand has a micro climate and nurturing grounds for 21 exotic orchids, making it a protected area. We will serve travelers going down south and who are smart enough to stop over and enjoy Burgundy’s secrets. This is the real France…we are aiming for people from all over the world.

Type of help

Cooking / shopping
General Maintenance
Help in the house
Animal care
Helping with Tourists
Language practise
Art project


Need help in my artistic B&B in Arles, south of France

Workaway,Workagay…..Welcome in Arles,UNESCO-heritage town in the sunny and beautifull Provence for everybody with good heart!

My name is Eryk, I’m a french man in love with ARLES and around.
I’m using the Workaway system in order to help me finishing building my house in a artistic way: that’s why I need a team of good handyman/woman.

I work outside two days/week, that’s why I sometimes need some general help for the B&B as cleaning, check in, general computer communication etc…

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Come to the Côte d’Azur, near Monaco, help with gardening and learn French

In a wonderful surrounding, on the “Côte d’Azur” near Monaco and the italian border. Even in Paradise, trees grow too big, and weeds have to be trimmed! it is mostly for gardening that we need help, but also to maintain cabans built some time ago; we are a group of friends of various ages and origins, living on different spots of the property. I am a teacher of French for foreigners, and could help you improve your French.


Help out in a small hostel in the middle of the main street of a surfy town called Itacare, Brazil

My husband and I own a small hostel in the middle of the main street of a surfy town called Itacare. Itacare is one of the few remaining places in Bahia, Northeast Brazil, where the Atlantic rainforest meets the sea. It is famous for its surf, beaches, waterfalls, rediculous beauty, capoeira, reggae and amazing vibe.
We are a 10minute walk to 4 of the local beaches (there are many more!), 10mins to the town center and next to the bars and restaurants (because of how the property is arranged we don’t suffer with street noise).

Our hostel is very sociable and we pride ourselves on making our guests feel at home and providing lots of entertainment and relaxation. Part of what gives it that homley feel is that our volunteers are like family and enjoy being part of it and sharing it with others.


Help in Greece at a horse farm

We need all year but if you want to come in summer you should stay at least 2 months, from the end of June or July. This should then be someone with horse experience, since we need help with the horses. Also we need help with the garden and the house.
The other months, September to May, shorter stays are possible, but at least one week. Then we are more flexible with work, tell us your skills and we will see if it fits.
All the year we are happy to have volunteers with us who teach our son English while playing with him.


Help in a unique hotel in the Island of Sardina

In Santu Lussurgiu, a little village on the west side of Sardinia, there is my family’s house, built at the beginning of XVIII century by my great grand parents. It has been kept by my family throught out the generations. In 2002 my mother decided to move from Milan to this little village in Sardinia with my sister and I.
My mom has always loved this house very much and when she had the opportunity she turned it into a charming little hotel: she wanted to share her passion with people from everywhere.

Our hotel is an “albergo diffuso” which means that the rooms are spread out in different builings in order to preserve the architecture of the village. Our guests can feel like living in our community and for us it is like being part of a very big family.

Inside the Hotel, we also run a small gourmet restaurant where we only serve local foods and wine. During these years we became friend with the local producers and we often organize visit and classes for the guests in order to teach them how to make cheese, pasta or pastries.
We are partners of Slow Food association: we are a “learning center” of the Gastronomical Sciences University and many students come here to study.


Help us renovate our beautiful chateau in the Loire valley

Hi we are in the process of renovating a beautiful chateau in the loire valley, we are located in the Vendee which is the 2nd suniest part of france next the Cote d’Azur. Most of the heavy lifting is now done but we are seeking help in improving the grounds and clearing out some outbuildings. There are other bits and pieces to do in the house aswell painting etc We are looking for someone who likes outdoor work, dogs and cats and gourmet food as we have our own restaurant here!

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Caretaker couple wanted for Small fairytale castle in Loire Valley, France

and last but not least, the first image leads to this little cherry:

well that will about do it for tonight considering it’s 4am, where did the time go? well i guess i did take a trip around the world so it was kinda worth it. anyway it was fun to fantasize. if you end up going (or have ever done this kind thing), i’d love to hear about it. by the by, i posted some of this on my paris apartment facebook page as it’s been easier to share stories and links than to blog. so if you want a quick update you can get updates from over there.

ok well, good night and sweet dreams of infinite possibility!

May 3, 2015. Tags: , , , . France, the world, Travel. 16 comments.

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