I think Vanessa Paradis has such an angelic voice, and she looks like she's still in her 20's... how does she do that? This is the french version of the title song in "Monster in Paris", but honestly the video is so worth watching...


I have to recommend this movie to you because it is after all shot in Paris and the voices are of two of my favorite singers (Vanessa Paradis and Sean Lennon). Even in the french version, the voice of the monster is that of one of my favorite french singers called M.
Amal has already watched it several times on DVD so need I say more? :)



Amal and I had a Dr. Seuss painting session this morning. We went to see "The Lorax" last friday and absolutely adored it! One of our most favorite things were the truffula trees :)
So in honor of the movie and of Dr. Seuss, we did a little painting today. Amal was more creative and added his favorite character from the movie, the hungry bear, and another Dr. Seuss favorite, the Cat in the Hat. I just stuck with the trees :)

If you have the time to go see it, please do. The music was also really good by the way. Here's the trailer:


I just made the most amazingly easy and light chocolate cake. My mom had found the recipe on a cooking website we like to look at once in a while called Marmiton, a french site for recipes with whatever's left in your fridge. What also made us want to do it was that it only took 15 minutes to make, and 10 minutes to bake :)

The ingredients are very simple:
100g milk chocolate (I used Colatta)
4 tbsp flour
4 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius.

I made a step-by-step with pictures below:
1. Put your chocolate in a bowl then put the bowl in a pan with boiling water. Heat the chocolate until it is melted.
2. Mix the flour spoon by spoon. Don't forget to sift your flour so you don't have lumps.
3. Once mixed, you will have a thick chocolate dough.
4. Put you egg whites (+ pinch of salt) in the mixer and mix until hard.
5. Slowly incorporate the egg whites into the chocolate dough. Slowly is the way to go here. You want the mixture to be fluffy.
6. Put your mixture in a pie plate about 10-15 cm in diameter (smaller than your usual pie plate).
7. Bake for about 8 to 11 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, your cake is ready!

This recipe makes for 4 big slices.



I can't believe my luck of being able to see the Tim Burton exhibition when I was in Paris. It had started 2 days before I arrived, and it will be the only one in the whole of Europe so it's going to be on until August 5th, 2012.
I've always thought of Tim Burton as being this quirky, weird, talented director but my respect for him has tripled after seeing this exhibition. He truly is a genius! And he's been so consistent with his art and just believes in it and dedicates himself. There are hundreds of paintings, sketches and drawings (even on tissue paper and newspaper!) which really emphasizes the fact that he lives and breathes his art.

the 2 photos above found via this site

Watch the trailer for the exposition, made by Tim Burton himself:



Just like the title of one of my favorite movies, I recently spent 2 days in Paris. It was so short, and I was so tired of walking everywhere, trying to see (and eat!) all the things I had missed. But it felt so good to be back!
What I miss the most about Paris:
- being able to walk around
- the smell of crepes filled with nutella
- sitting at a terrace cafe and seeing people walk by
- the art, which is just everywhere!
- my friends, of course :)

I made a selection of photos for you. Just some pictures I took while walking around: the shops I saw, the food I ate and the friends I met. I feel so lucky and blessed to have been able to go back, even if it was just for 2 days.



This song has been in my head during my whole trip to Brussels and Paris. Actually, the version I hear is this one, but I thought this acoustic version was absolutely fantastic. Enjoy!


Last Sunday, My-Lan, Luu-Ly and I went to Maastricht on a girls' trip by car... I had never been to Maastricht before and I discovered a really nice city to visit. The nice thing about Maastricht is that it has quite a big area of car-free streets where you're free to walk around, see some shops and munch on waffles... You have a really nice place to sit next to a church, if my memory is correct, where during the summer, you can hang around till late at night (it's photo #4).

I love tulips

Love the wicker basket!

My-Lan and Luu-Ly

The hangout area

Eating waffles with Luu-Ly



So My-Lan (or Mimi as I call her) and I ended up at a tapas restaurant in the Halles St Gery area, in the city center of Brussels drinking sangria and eating the best artichoke hearts and also shrimps cooked in herbs. I came back to the hotel around 11.30 at night I think; you can't rush a 5-year reunion! :)


Yesterday, I had a meeting in the morning then a free afternoon session where once again, I met up with My-Lan and we did a little bit of shopping and a lot of walking. The good thing about Europe is that you can afford to eat good calories-filled food because you're going to burn it off walking all the way home anyway...hehehe...
Yesterday, we ate cake and had coffee at Paul, one of the nicest pastry shops I know from Paris, the millefeuille was delicious...

Teatime at Paul

We walked around Grand Place, did some shopping at Rue Neuve, had dinner at a greek restaurant eating gyros and ended up in Halles St Gery again, at a terrace cafe (freezing ourselves) having a good old belgian beer :)

A store front near the Grand Place



You have nooooo idea how amazing I feel right now :)
It really feels weird to be back here, in Paris this morning transiting and now in Brussels... Though I was here 5 years ago with Amal, now that I'm here on my own, the nostalgia is really coming back... Nothing's changed: the smells are the same, the cold, the people on the streets, the french accent, the belgian accent.... the only thing that's changed is that I've been called "Madame" twice!! Argh,  that I still can't accept :)

The best part of this morning was the train ride from Paris Charles De Gaulle airport to Brussels... As the train left Paris, I put on the song "Holocene" by Bon Iver and it was magic! 
The scenery was all plains with fog and you could see the cold, bare trees... beautiful...

getting ready to face the cold 

Once in Brussels, I had some time off before the Engineers Without Borders contact person came to fetch me to meet the team. Since I hadn't had lunch, I decided to go find a supermarket... I found a Carrefour Express (yes, they have those here!) and bought myself a sandwich, a bottled water made in Belgium called SPA, and as a dessert, I got myself my favorite rice pudding... it's the best in the world, hands down!

Tonight I'll be seeing My-Lan and that's gonna be another story: the reunion after 5 years without seeing each other... stay tuned :)