LouLou meets...Making Magique

First photo  

Paris has its fair share of expat bloggers/writers/photographers/creatives, which is great for my series,  and today it's Haleigh Walsworth's turn. The blogger behind Making Magique, Haleigh hails from the West Coast, has a gorgeous fashion sense and is a freelance writer and photographer working in Paris. I hope you enjoy getting to know her a bit more below.

Hi Haleigh, how did you end up in Paris?

Hi Lou! I moved here to finish my Bachelor's degree at the American University of Paris and ended up never leaving.

Why did you first start your blog, Making Magique, and what motivates you to write?

My blog came to life as I was taking a lot of photos and wanted a space to share those with people. The writing came later on when once I became interested in telling stories.

Could you tell us a little bit about what you do here in Paris?

I am a freelance writer and photographer, predominantly in the beauty and fashion industry. I just wrote and photographed a Paris guide book, photographed a lifestyle book for Penguin and am currently working on a book of my own personal stories and photographs, all of which is keeping me incredibly busy, as you can imagine!

You write a weekly column for Lancôme – what are some of your beauty essentials?

I am a huge fan of a good C.C. cream, so would definitely include that in my list. What else? A nice lip stain in a popsicle-like pink, an eyelash curler, a good face scrub, my Clarisonic and Neutrogena facial soap.

Flowers on table - copie

You recently wrote about turning 25 and how you feel in your body as a woman (I loved it)? Where do you turn to for style inspiration?

Ironically, the very youthful Dakota Fanning whose style I just love. Vintage photos of Bardot and Birkin are also a huge inspiration for me and I am a big fan of Diane Kruger's style.

One thing on your Paris bucket list?

Easy - a balcony with a great view!

Le Bon Marche - copie

If you could move anywhere in the world for a career opportunity, where would you choose to go and why?

Probably somewhere in Asia because it is the only place in the world I have yet to discover.

One thing you miss from home that Paris can’t replace? One thing you would miss in Paris if you ever left?

One thing I miss about home is driving along the beach with my music turned up nice and loud :) I would miss everything about Paris if I ever left.

 I’ve been listening to the BBC4 Desert Island Disc podcasts recently. So, in the very unlikely scenario of you being sent to a desert island, please tell us:

- one book (or magazine) you’d choose to take with you; probably Walden by Thoreau, not because I particularly love it but I think it could teach me how to be happy at being alone on a desert island.

- one luxury item;  a fantasic down pillow.                                    

- one piece of music; a Sigur Ros album because I think it's the only music suitable for spending large amounts of time staring into the distance.

- one social media application you’d like to keep. Instagram, so I could live vicariously through people not stuck on a desert island.

Thank you to Haleigh for taking time out of her busy schedule to be a part of the series. The photos in this post are from her Instagram feed which you can find here.



LouLou meets...Lisette Loves

DSCF1557 It's Friday, I'm really happy about that and I'm also really happy to bring you a new LouLou meets interview. Today it's the turn of Lisette Loves, a lifestyle blogger based in the UK, who I have been following for a while now. What I like about Lisette is her cheery attitude which is perfectly demonstrated through her Thankful Thursday series, but if she needs to be serious she has no problem with that. Girl is also a passionate baker and foodie, so that automatically makes us friends. Hope you enjoy and happy weekend! Lou xxxxx

Hi Lisette, welcome to the blog! Can you tell us why you started Lisette Loves?

I actually began Lisette Loves because when I was in my second year at university one of my best friends and housemate, Laura, was diagnosed with cancer. It was a place to escape to - my own little place where reality could fade away a little. I also found great comfort in the blogging community, everywhere I turned there were so many kind words and so much support. Having a blog is like have a little online scrapbook.

What motivates you to blog?

I can't even explain it. I just love it. I feel like I don't need anything in particular to motivate me, I just really enjoy taking photographs and so blogging feel so effortless.

What do you like about the British blogging community?

We keep it real! Particularly the lifestyle blogging community, lifestyle bloggers can throw the nitty gritty in with the beautifully curated outfits and delicious looking recipes. We always make time for each other and help each other out when times get tough. I've always been supported by the blogging community, in times which were almost unbearable and I owe so much to them.

peanut butter brownie8

The reality of living in any big city, even one as pretty as Paris, is that there will be things which are not so agreeable about it. Could you describe some positive (and negative) aspects of daily London life, based on your personal experience of the city?

Positive? THE FOOD! Oh my lordy, the breadth and quality of food available is unreal. I love living in such a 'melting pot' city where so many cultures blend together to create the most incredible food scene. Another great thing is that each part of London can be so unique, it is almost like a different city depending on what part of London you are in. The worst thing about London is probably a mix between the horribly sweaty morning commute and the lack of starlight. Having lived in the countryside I still feel a sense of sadness when I look up at night and can't see the stars because of the light pollution.

Your favourite recipe (both to eat and photograph)?

Every week I have a different favourite! I think my favourite recently has been my pancakes recipe, but generally speaking I tend to have one favourite photo from each recipe. My infused honey was another one of my favourites to photograph because I had all morning to do it so it was lovely and relaxed!

Your favourite comfort food recipe?

MASH POTATO! I know it isn't really a recipe, but when I feel sad or stresses mash is my best friend. Creamy, smooth mash with a dollop of mustard is always amazing.


Your favourite cookbook?

At the moment I would have to say my favourite cookbook is Hemsley + Hemsley. The introduction to the book goes into huge depth about why and how you should eat certain things. It is so informative and interesting, and I read it cover to cover the day I received it.

One thing on your bucket list?

To go to a Costa Rican sloth sanctuary! Generally speaking one thing on my bucket list is to go on adventures. I didn't do regular gap year of travelling but I would love to give it a go.

I really admire that you’re in a long-distance relationship – do you have any tips for readers on how you and your boyfriend make that work?

Being really honest - we always make sure if there is anything we need to talk about, we do and don't ever bottle it up. Making sure you don't give up your own life is something else which is really important. My boyfriend loves golf and I make sure that he regularly plays at the weekends. While he is doing that I will go for a walk or spend the morning with my friends and family. It seems minor but over a long period of time you run the risk of resentment boiling under the surface and no one wants that!

pecan pie

I’ve been listening to the BBC4 Desert Island Disc podcasts recently. So, in the very unlikely scenario of you being sent to a desert island, please tell us: 

- one book (or magazine) you’d choose to take with you; 

Perhaps a little controversial and not for the reasons you might expect - The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Religious views aside it is the way Dawkins puts our existence into perspective. The thought that in a billion, billon planets in the Universe if there was a one in a billion chance of life in the universe there would still be a billion other planets which could potentially hold life! How crazy is that thought!

- one luxury item;

Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm. I cannot go without it!

- one piece of music; 

Gahh I can't decide! Fleetwood Mac Go your own way or Hozier Foreigners God 

- one social media application you’d like to keep. 

Instagram, hands down my most used social media application.

Massive thanks to Lisette for taking the time to be a part of the series and for sharing some of her beautiful photos with me. I think she would love you to go and say hello on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube.

LouLou meets...Daisy de Plume

hosting a THATLou, from Andi Fisher - copie I'm delighted to introduce Daisy to you all today because she is such a gem. Passionate about art, history and Paris, Daisy always has a story to tell and she happens to be a great story-teller. I first met her when she invited me to participate in one of her treasure hunts, where I was partnered with Lisa (mentioned during the interview) and we had a lot of fun despite not really knowing what the heck we were doing! It was so much fun in fact that I rallied a few friends to do the Halloween hunt with me last November at the Louvre, which was a pretty magical experience. Daisy's energy is infectious and her enthusiasm is the real deal. I'm looking forward to our future coffee dates in the park with Storsh (her son) and hearing some more of her wonderful stories! Over to you Daisy...

How did the name Daisy de Plume come about? It was actually el Argentino, my husband’s creation. When I knew I wanted to start a company my friend Kasia, who was instrumental with her advice and expat-entrepreneur mentoring, reminded me that I’d need to be comfortable in the public. So to maintain a bit of privacy I played around with all sorts of names. Daisy is my childhood name (what my mother, friends, husband and son know me by) but officially (on paperwork and by current and former office-mates) I’m Charlotte or Charlotte Louise. I guess I’ve always had many names going on, so the de Plume part fell into place quite naturally.

Daisy, could you tell us how you ended up in Paris? It’s a long story which I wrote about quite fully for Misadventures with Andi here but the gist of it is that I took a three month sabbatical from my life / magazine job / identity in New York and never actually returned. That was ten years and a husband, son and several funny jobs ago.

What was your motivation for starting THATLou? There are several factors. My mother was an art historian who always had museum games up her sleeve (to keep me quiet, to allow her to actually visit with her treasures) as I was growing up. Then as I was old enough to go the Met without her, my friends and I saw the museum (and other city’s museums) as a playground. Recently I told Lisa about how my closest childhood friend Abbey  and I used to bring 25 pennies to the Temple of Dendur to skip them across the lovely still pond surrounding the iconic Egyptian temple. Another element – strangely – was having Storsh, my toddler. It was some sort of chemical or biological kick in the butt to do something interesting with my life, to do something that stimulated me. I’m interested in company strategy and business on a theoretical level, and have always been able to talk the talk of being a company man, but my heart is too cynical to believe in it or to care much about climbing someone else’s corporate ladder. Yet I have a need to be devoted to something fully, so starting the company has been a natural next step (with a lot of work, but it all feels right) and we’ll see how far I can take it!

 Louvre through Musee d'Orsay's clock - copie

The reality of living in any big city, even one as pretty as Paris, is that there will be things which are not so agreeable about it. Could you describe some positive (and negative) aspects of daily Paris life, based on your personal experience of the city?  I think anyone who lives here will agree that a big minus – in Paris or France altogether – is the bureaucracy. It wears one down, from the Titre de Séjour to the Carte Vitale, and I don’t even handle the business side of THATLou which I understand from my clever husband is a headache. I rattled on about it to poor Lindsey here. Positives are abundant though – from food, wine and appreciation for living (‘being’ opposed to ‘doing’) to the aesthetic, which I think the French do better than anyone. Everything’s just so pretty, I don’t think I’ll ever feel numb to it. I hope not, at least!

You have 24 hours left in Paris before you move away. What would you choose to do? I’d be sure to touch on a few parks with Storsh and his trotinette – Square Montholon, Square du Temple, the trampolines of the Tuileries, our precious Jardin du Luxembourg in which he’s spent so much time while my husband and I were building THATRue. I’d have a few hours of alone time at the Louvre to say goodbye to my old friends. I’d love to have a meal at whatever my flavour of the moment would be with el Argentino, perhaps Floyd’s in the 10th Arrt’s rue d’Enghein with its secret back room. A debauched bottle of Grand Cru Chablis with friends at Benjamin le Caviste. A midnight walk along Canal St Martin that can be so perfectly peaceful. The reality of course would be mad packing and stressing at La Poste ,and fighting at the bank, and not noticing a bit of Paris because I leave all moves to the last minute.

One thing on your Paris bucket list? I am past the point of raving in catacomb-like tunnels below Paname’s surface, but it’s a huge regret that I passed on opportunities to investigate the underbelly of Pourrie Pourrie before I reached my current dotage. It’s not even for the actual parties, it’s just the fact that they exist down there and I haven’t been, which makes me wish I were down there scouting out their labyrinthine street art. Truffaut’s Baisers Volés has a great scene where a very important love letter crosses town to Montmartre via pneumatic tubes across these subterranean streets. A whole world exists down there without me….

cloud over louvre, color 2014 - copie

Which city would you be prepared to leave Paris for, and why? Buenos Aires / Shanghai / Hong Kong out of personal interest but London or NY are more likely (I’ve already lived in both places). London and NY are where my nose is headed at some point in the 5-year plan before we need to take Storsh’s school seriously.

As I only live on the other side of the Channel, I feel lucky to be able to get home so easily. I know it’s not as simple for other Paris expats. What's the one thing you really miss from home that Paris cannot replace?  The NY minute does boost one’s energy, whereas I’ve always seen my move to Paris as an early (and very welcome) retirement. But I don’t think it’s the pace which I miss. Sadly what I miss about NY no longer exists. I miss the stoops of the West Village, where we’d have yard sales, sell lemonade and have snow ball fights as children; smoke and gossip as teens; as adults we’d share a bottle of wine with silver goblets because we’d broken too many glasses in the past and pissed our families off with shards of glass, and have to hear about it for weeks on end. The village was a tight community and when someone sat on another person’s stoop the proprietor didn’t mind (I know from smoking on every street between Charles and Jane, except my own, as a teen). Now there’s this money money money that has changed the environment and made it commercial (Bleecker street being key in the Village’s corruption) and hardened its residents into an un-welcome-ness that breaks my heart when I think about it. I guess I’m nostalgic for a NY that no longer exists, but I should instead be celebrating this. After all NY is - and has always been - about the future and money and ambition, and it is that certainty that keeps it as it is. If the average joe (which is all the Village consisted of growing up) are pushed out to the outer boroughs or even the suburbs, then so be it.  The disparity between those who have and haven’t is supreme. Perhaps it was this way when I was a child, too, and I see my past with rose-glasses, who knows.  But I miss the sense of community that I was raised in.

I’ve been listening to the BBC4 Desert Island Disc podcasts recently. So, in the very unlikely scenario of you being sent to a desert island, please tell us: 

- one book (or magazine) you’d choose to take with you Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or TS Eliot’s 4 Quartets

- one luxury item Hermès un Jardin sur le Nil perfume

- one piece of music Beethoven’s 9th or Handel’s Messiah

- one social media application you’d like to keep Instagram

Quick Fire questions

Favourite patisserie? Paris Brest / Boulangerie Louvard at 43, rue Miromesnil in the 8th (they repeatedly win best baguette year after year).

Favourite metro line? Line 5, crossing the Seine.

Rive Gauche ou Rive Droite?  Droite.

Red, white or rosé? White (Chablis).

Favourite Parisian café?  Epicerie de la Cour or Ferme de Charles – mainly because the tree-lined Cour des Petites-Ecuries allow for Storsh to trotinnette to his heart’s content.

Favourite French film?  Truffaut’s Baisers Volés.

Favourite Paris museum? Would you like to hazard a guess?

A huge thanks to Daisy for sparing me her time (I know she is always very busy doing something) and sharing some of her lovely Paris photos for the post. Why don't you say hello to her: she's on Instagram and Twitter.