On my balcony

· Decoration, Fashion

This summer weather in Paris isn’t really good but since we came back from Bali early July,  we wanted to focus on our balcony decoration to be able to enjoy during sunny days.

Our balcony is a tiny space, about 5m2, looking at a rear-courtyard and facing others building (only advantages, haha).

 

Exotic inspiration

The idea was to caulk us to enjoy a bit of privacy during aperitives, diners or tea times.

Our trip to Bali gave us plenty idea to decorate with greenery, indeed after spending so much time at veggie/vegan cafes with exotic and relaxing ambiance…

“Cat” mug Kinto

 

Therefore, we would like a cozy and green cocoon in the middle of grey-concrete: a vegetal and woody space where we can feel good.

It’s actually the spirit we would like to give our entire appartement, in the middle of a “peint/floor” renovation project= after years of procrastination, finally, we decided to refresh the overall.

 

Green Mission

We already had a few pot plants with this balcony refurbishment but we decided to add more, higher in order to decorate but also to hide us from the neighbours.

This Japanese style wood panels idea comes from my dear lovely SO, who found them at Castorama and customized them with wooden sticks. He also added small bamboo blinds to slightly filter the light.

Macramé plant hanger from Ubud market, Bali (similar here)
Rattan chair La Redoute intérieurs

 

We hung up our new plants on macramé woven basket found at the Ubud market (it’s possible to make them yourself but a memory from Bali is a good excuse for laziness, isn’t it?).

Squares of artificial turf along the length of the balcony for the ultimate touch of green with no need to be taken care of.

Gardening set Kikkerland

 

Balcony furniture

Rattan Plat holder La Redoute intérieurs
Rattan chair La Redoute intérieurs

 

For the decoration, we had been lookingfor a while for a bistro style table. This one is a bit providential with its marble shelf and it’s sculpted stand in wrought iron: perfect size for our small space and to have lunch face-to-face.

 Add rattan seats… and our balcony turns into a Parisian cafe.

Rattan chairs La Redoute intérieurs
Bistro style table La Redoute intérieurs
Golden cuttlery AM.PM
Pineapple tea infuser Rice

 

We are really happy about the new layout of this outside mini-space, which is for now our second cosy space along with the bathroom (the living room, doesn’t look anything close to this and I don’t even talk about the rest in total renovation!)

We just hope that summer will come back a bit more often for the coming days as our own cafe terrace hasn’t been opened often lately: the waiter(tress) and clients have started being a bit grumpy. (English translation by Quiterie)


My Outfit

Top Mademoiselle R
Mom jeans Only (already seen here)
Sandals Nomadic State of Mind

Bracelets Dinh Van, Thomas Sabo, Louis Vuitton
Ring Papyrus Atelier B
Earrings Soko
Necklace Minetta Jewellery
Watch Cluse

Eyelashes extension « Volume russe » Les cils de Marie (already seen here)
Eyebrow crayon Brow Drama Pomade « Châtain » Maybelline NY
Lipstick “986 Melted Chocolate Mat” Gemey Maybelline

Ubud Monkey Forest

· Fashion, Illustration, Travel

The Ubud Monkey Forest is one of the most popular places in Bali I had heard about before going. It’s super-touristy, which can be annoying, but we just couldn’t miss it, and wanted to make up our own minds.

To be quite honest, I’m not really an animal person (even less with wild animals), and I was a bit apprehensive at the idea of meeting all these free-roaming monkeys

But the place was magnificent, and as long as you follow a couple of simple rules, it’s fine!

 

The forest

The forest is right in Ubud‘s city-centre, it’s a 15 minute walk from Ubud Palace. It’s best to come early at the opening, to steer clear of the flood of tourists that pours through the gates later on in the day.

It’s a very large forest, but it’s pretty easy and quick to navigate.

Monkeys are there to welcome you as soon as you enter, and you are quickly surrounded by giggles and shrieks from asian teenagers and clumsy or bold moves from courageous and/or boasty tourists.

The Pura Dalem agung (=The Temple of the Dead !) in the middle of the forest

 


Staying serene while surrounded by monkeys

Recommandations are posted everywhere in the forest : here’s a summary so you can prepare!

Don’t panic : a sudden movement can scare and stir up the monkeys. They don’t easily climb on people, except if they think you have food on you. If it’s the case, drop the food so the monkeys cast their attention elsewhere.

Don’t run : if monkeys come near you, don’t speak loudly or shout. Stay calm, and it should all go well.

Don’t look the monkeys in the eyes : apparently to them, it’s a sign of agressivity.

Don’t hide (or show) your food : now is not the time to whip out your picnic basket or to eat chips while admiring the view, you will no doubt end up with a rather furry and invasive entourage.

Don’t bring or bring out a plastic or paper bag : monkeys will be alerted just by the noise, so be prudent.

Beware of your belongings : sunglasses, earrings, large pieces of jewelry : the monkeys will try and come for them.

Don’t ever try to catch a monkey (especially a baby one) : let them touch you if they wish, but the contrary is more brazen. If you touch the babies, you will definitively not become the mother’s best buddy.

It is forbidden to feed them peanuts, cookies, candy, bread or any other type of food, except for the bananas you can buy in the forest.

Careful with your children : it’s a common rule, but one that especially applies here.

 

Keep cool !

Rangers are all around, so if anything happens, they’ll intervene quickly, don’t worry.

Some of you could be a bit taken aback by the rules, but I can assure you that if I managed to stay rather serene in this place, you will too.

I still have a couple destinations in Bali to tell you about. Until then, enjoy the weekend! (English translation by Marine)


My Outfit

Customized tee-shirt I wore for Take That concert ;-))
Dress worn as a skirt Close (already seen here and here)
Sandals Les Tropéziennes
Bag brought from Ubud market, Bali (similar here)

Bracelets Dinh Van, Thomas Sabo, Louis Vuitton
Ring Papyrus Atelier B
Earrings Young Frankk
Necklace Minetta Jewellery
Watch Cluse

Eyelashes extension « Volume russe » Les cils de Marie (already seen here)
Eyebrow crayon Brow Drama Pomade « Châtain » Maybelline NY
Lipstick Lip Paint Lacquer “105 Red fiction” L’Oréal Paris

Kintaro, my japanese canteen

· Fashion, Food

Here is a Japanese address in Paris that I’ve been thinking about showing you for a while as I’ve been going there for the past 5 or 6 years, always with same pleasure.

You saw it on Instagram but I had never wrote about it here. First because I do not always carry my SLR camera with me and also because the place was closed for renovation.

 

A new Kintaro

For me, Kintaro is the place without pretention but where you know you will always eat well. I rediscovered it a few days ago with a brand new decoration for my biggest pleasure.

Indeed, the restaurant used it be made of two parts, one side a bit “pigsty”, and the other one more confidential but without real soul. It was not really a problem as the quality of the food was always good but the idea to merge these 2 sides and to refine this space was actually quite beneficial.

I now have that feeling that waiters are more welcoming and much more open to talk compared as before (so it’s must be true, our environment influences our state of mind).

The spaces are more delimited and displayed as a canteen to look more spacious and standardised, with a central “kitchen” from where you can admire the fried noodles.

 

Ramen, soba, udon, everything is good

 Calpis and salad of cold ramen noodles

 

In this canteen you won’t find sushis, but all kind of noodles: ramen, soba, udon, fried, soup, to deep… You can also find rice dishes (donburi) and curry plates. In a nutshell: daily Japanese food without fuss.

During winter time, I often choose the Nabeyaki udon, a pot of noodles, veggies and shrimp tempuras: an excellent invigorating dish when temperature is -2°C.

And when the temperatures are warmer, I love choosing a salad of cold ramen noodles (which are not always on the menu I think): Healthy and so good (the texture of the noodles is perfect).

This day, my SO chose a dish of sukiyaki style caramelized beef.

Sukiyaki style beef

 

Gyozas are not as tasty as the ones from Hakata Choten (which are really the best in my opinion) but are still good enough as pleasant starter.

Gyozas

 

As per the dessert, nothing transcendant to talk about (pretty much the same as all asian restaurants) but the neighbourhood offers other nice choices (Cf. Aki Boulanger, Aki Café or Chatime).

 

I hope you will enjoy this mini food report with this address, which is for me a “safe bet” for the past few years.

New make over and convenient opening times (open everyday, even August and Sundays!) very enjoyable when the need of exoticism makes itself felt. Itadakimasu ! 頂きます !

PS: make sure you mark down the address in Opera neighbourhood as it exists others Kintaro in Paris, which are far from being authentic. (English translation by Quiterie)

 

KINTARO
24 Rue Saint-Augustin
75002 PARIS
Métro : Opéra, Quatre Septembre


My Outfit

Tee shirt ASOS (2014) (already seen here)
Pants Mango (already seen here)
Sandals Nomadic state of mind
Bag brought from Ubud market, Bali (similar here)

Bracelets Dinh Van, Thomas Sabo, Louis Vuitton
Ring Papyrus Atelier B
Earrings Mango
Necklace Minetta Jewellery
Watch Cluse

Eyelashes extension « Volume russe » Les cils de Marie (already seen here)
Eyebrow crayon Brow Drama Pomade « Châtain » Maybelline NY
Lipstick Lip Paint Lacquer “105 Red fiction” L’Oréal Paris
Nail polish Color Show Preppy Woman “470 Runway Rose” Maybelline NY

First steps in Ubud

· Fashion, Food, Travel

New atmosphere, we are continuing our balinese trip in the city I enjoyed the most: Ubud. Apart from the Monkey forest, (that I will be talking more about in a future blog post), I didn’t know anything about this city, so it was a real discovery.

Once again, our list of visits is highly incomplete, due to our very laid-back vacation rhythm, which meant we missed out on quite a bit. But here are a couple ideas, addresses and tips for a great stay in Ubud. Enjoy!

 

Ubud Palace

You’ll find the Palace where the royal family still lives in the city centre.

The part that is open to the public isn’t very big, but it has very interesting architecture, door ornaments and sculptures.

While I was writing this article, I realized we completely missed out on the Saraswati temple, which is right nearby – it looks like it was quite a view, rising in the middle of a sea of waterlilies (but here’s what happens when you wing it!).

So I’m sharing the info with you here, along with pictures of Ubud Palace – forgive me?

 

Neka Art Museum

Located 20mn away from the city centre, on top of a hill, this museum will please newbies and art-maniacs alike.

It’s collection encompasses both balinese artists and artists from the whole world, who were inspired by the balinese culture.

The place is as pretty on the outside as it is on the inside, which is great to mix browsing and cultural visits.

On our way back from our visit, on the road between the museum and the city centre, you should alsolutely add in a small detour and head to the very photogenic Campuhan Ridge walk (that we missed as well, we were so intent on heading back to the hotel to lounge by the pool!)

 

Ubud market

This should interest a lot of you : I got quite a lot of questions about the rattan bags I brought back from the market.

As I was telling you, if there is something you should be bringing home from Bali, it’s bags.

When I see the prices here in Europe, I’m appaled … even if Bali isn’t next door and that freight costs should be taken into account, the margin is just soooooooooo high.

I read you needed to get there early to benefit from “Morning prices”. The first sale your seller makes sets the trend for the day.

So he/she will be more flexible with the prices, because the first sale of the day must go well (and happen!) ! Oh, and distinctly ask for “Harga pagi” (=morning price) to show that you’re not a newbie.

A tourist is hiding in the picture above…

Here are some basic rules (even if I don’t consider myself a great negotiator) :

♦ Look at the products that interest you, but without too much insistance or enthusiasm (Po Po Po Poker face !).

♦ Ask the seller the price, just to get an idea (don’t hesitate to cut said price by 30%) and counter with your price.

♦ FYI, the medium sized round ratten bags I’m carrying here and that you see everywhere can be negotiated between 200 000 and 300 000 IDR (12 to 20€). The sarongs (balinese fabric that you can wear tied around the waist or neck as a skirt or dress) are between 40 000 and 200 000 IDR (3 to 12€) (depending on the quality).

♦ If the seller doesn’t accept your price, act like you’re leaving, and most of the time, he’ll call you back and accept your price. If he doesn’t call you back, remember his price for a new negotiation in the next booth (you’re bound to find the same bag in the next meter or so).

♦ You can also decide to stay flexible in your negotiation, and accept the seller’s price, knowing that his/her quality of life is no doubt much inferior to ours : it’s more about making it a matter of principle and trying your hand at the bargaining game. If you want to be supportive and pay your bag 30 or 40€, go ahead, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

♦ Sellers in Bali are pretty friendly, and won’t be mad if you decide not to buy anything (there is always an exception that proves the rule : For us it was a vehement “Bad luck!” from a lady I had finally not bought a bag from – the pattern wasn’t to my taste). Just keep on smiling (and I so far haven’t felt any of the “bad luck” she wished upon me).

 

My yummy adresses

Healthy/Vegan options are plentiful here as well. Here are my favorite places. (Thanks Laura, Angie, Julie for the recommendations).

 

THE ELEPHANT (Hotel Taman Indrakila, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, UBUD)

Rosella Kombucha

 

Located on the road towards Neka Art Museum, the place is perfect to admire the view from the top of the hill. The decoration is plant based and exotic, perfect to cool down.

Fresh fruits, yogurt & lemon curd crepes and strawberries

 

The crepes were very tasty (and hearty) and I am now officially addicted to Kombucha (fermented tea, very beneficial for the gut).

 

THE SEEDS OF LIFE (Jl. Gootama No.2, UBUD)

“SOL bowls” (Zucchini noodles, Nori, kimchi, spirulina, tempeh, gomashio…)

 

I’m going to end up doing yoga with all the healthy places I keep going to for food! Healthy here isn’t incompatible with yummy : huge Buddha bowls and gigantic chia puddings to enjoy while sitting on cushions on the floor (…pretty difficult to get back up afterwards!!)

SOL Jar (Chia pudding, muesli bar, dragon fruit smoothie)

 

CAFÉ WAYAN (Monkey forest road, UBUD)

Nasi campur and Gado Gado

 

Great address where you also eat sitting on the floor with cushions. We went at sundown, and couldn’t admire the surrounding greenery, but it was very pleasant nonetheless.

The nasi campur was delicious, and there was a great choice of extremely delicious vegan pastries (like the hazelnut and pecan tart, which was wonderful).

 

WARUNG IBU OKA (in front of Ubud Palace)

There are at least 2 or 3 of those in Ubud, and they serve grilled suckling pig (Babi guling) with crispy skin. Just make sure you get there early.

 

Stay tuned for the next episode !

(English translation by Marine)


My Outfit

Dress Close (2016) (already seen here)
Hat Brixton
Sandals Vero moda
Basket R Edition

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