Thankful Thursdays – My Paris Story at WH Smith

My Paris Story, The Paris Women of Success

Becoming a published author was something I have wanted for myself for a long time.
Becoming an International best-seller is something I had never even considered.
Having something I wrote on display in one of my favorite bookstores in the world, Paris’s WH Smith among some of my favorite memoirs and stories about France, had never crossed my mind.

All of these things happened in 2014. Thankful.

Mardi Gras, a.k.a. Carnaval

Mardi Gras was something I grew up hearing about, but never really celebrating apart from our school’s pancake breakfast every year. When I was in grade school, we went to New Orleans for Spring Break, which lined up pretty closely with the city’s massive Mardi Gras celebration. Needless to say, at grade school age, I was a bit young to be taking in the sights and sounds that accompany a traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration. As I recall, we came across remnant beads and masks strewn about the ground throughout our week down there.

As an adult dating a Dutchman from the South of the Netherlands, I was quickly introduced to Carnaval. It took me a couple of years at least to recognize that this celebration, akin to Halloween with the costumes, was their version of Mardi Gras. Falling every year around the time of Ash Wednesday, I soon recognized that this was a celebration had a Lenten connection, and therefore was religious at its roots. If you’ve ever been to a Dutch Carnaval celebration, you’ll know how surprised I was to discover that a celebration wrought with such debauchery and craziness could have any “pure” roots! After all, Lent was once a time of fasting (before it’s “I’ll just give up one thing” iteration of today) and reflection, not raucous partying.

Still, Carnaval week has been a fun part of my Dutch cultural integration. Although the music is among the worst I’ve ever heard, the atmosphere and the dancing are hard to beat. And it makes up for me having missed Halloween for the last 10+ years.

Beautiful image by Marco Gaggio on Instagram of Venice's version of Carnival

Beautiful image by Marco Gaggio on Instagram of Venice’s version of Carnival

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Carnaval in Roosendal, NL

Romantic Paris Magazine Collaboration

Romantic Paris Magazine

I’m very excited to report that this month, Falling Off Bicycles photography will be featured in Romantic Paris Magazine. Founder Krystal Kenney and I share a love for Paris and all its charms. I am so thrilled they asked to feature some photos of mine.
Romantic Paris Magazine was started with the goal of sharing France with more people around the world. Based in Paris France, each issue covers inspiring stories of successful women in Paris, photography, trends, recipes, art, boutiques, and help from planning experts. They wish to help people to feel a part of this beautiful country and prepare them for their upcoming visits.

Be sure to check out the Magazine, full of, yes, romantic ideas for your time in Paris, plus ideas above and beyond for the single traveler and the Paris newbie. February issue is due out around February 26.

Follow Romantic Paris Magazine on social media:
Twitter: @krystal_kenney

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Clementines au Marché

Painted in Waterlogue

Waterlogue Wednesdays are to share a few of my photos made into watercolors with the Waterlogue app, that I so love. I’m always so happy when citrus season hits again, and to go to a Paris marché and find a basket full of clementines with one of those cute little signs makes the season all the more delicious.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Red Balloons at Trocadéro

red balloon project, Julia Willard

For the last few year or more, I’ve been playing with my now-favorite app on my phone, Waterlogue. I’ve been sharing them on my Facebook page for a while and occasionally here, but why not make it a weekly thing? What do you think?