Waiting for the bus, never looked so good… Paris, je t’aime!

No matter where you live, it’s so easy to get caught up in life’s little details. We run from one appointment to the next and living in Paris is no different… except that when we do actually pick our heads up, we’re blessed with views like this.

Pont Neuf, Paris by Bellanda

Pont Neuf, Paris – Photo credit: Bellanda

 Waiting for the bus, never looked so good… Paris, je t’aime.  I really need to look up more often!




Paris, on My Mind…


it inspires both dreams and dreamers…

and I’m forever caught in its eternal beauty.

It’s not often that I share my artwork on this blog, however, I feel in this case it is more than appropriate. 

Paris, on My Mind - Artwork by Bellanda

Paris, on My Mind – Artwork by Bellanda

To the dreamers of the world,

My latest creation is dedicated to you… for you make the future worth living.

Thank you!

For more information about Paris on My Mind, please click the photo or visit:  https://atelier-bellanda.pixels.com/featured/paris-on-my-mind-bellanda.html

Natural, safe & straight out of Paris!



DayDry Probiotic Deodorant

As some of you know, I’ve been struggling with health issues over the last couple of years. I have an autoimmune connective tissue disease. In order to slow down the progression of my illness, I need to take anywhere from 9-15 medications a day. This got me thinking that maybe I should be trying to reduce the other chemicals that enter my body via deodorants, etc. I’ve decided to share my story here, in case some of you are in the same situation as I found myself in, or if you are just trying to limit your exposure to aluminum salts, paraben, etc. In addition, this is the perfect place to share it, because my story has a Paris twist!

I began looking for natural personal hygiene products for myself and for my pre-adolescent children. They are at the age when this kind of thing becomes an issue, and I wanted to limit their exposure to chemicals out there as much as possible.  I know we can’t stop everything, but this is an area where we can actually protect them from the start.

Thus began 8 months of hit and miss research which left us feeling deflated. I searched blog after blog for ideas and recipes. Out of desperation, we comically began trying to make our own homemade deodorants. Yes, you can laugh. Thank goodness my dear sweet man felt the same way about all of this as I did, or perhaps he would have had me taken away as lunatic as I applied concoctions of essential oils and baking soda or when I rubbed fresh lemon juice on myself. I must have looked very sexy with the occasional pulp that escaped and got stuck under my arms.

It was a crazy adventure, but we took it on as a family and it left us laughing more than once as we compared nasty little rashes or embarrassing body odor stories. Nothing we made or found on the market worked, and if it did work, it left us with skin irritations. Finally, we came across a product made in France… Paris to be exact! Who knew we would find something so close to home? I knew I loved this city!

DayDry Probiotic Deodorant & Wipes

DayDry Probiotic Deodorant & Travel Wipes

DayDry probiotic deodorant actually worked! It is all natural, with no chemicals and no side effects. DayDry uses probiotics to fight the proliferation of the bacteria that causes body odors, without stopping perspiration (which is actually good for you). All four of us started using it, and couldn’t be happier. It doesn’t stain clothing. It doesn’t sting, and most importantly it works!

Now, the only problem I have is that when we are confronted with wafting body odors from others, my daughter can’t understand why I won’t go up to total strangers and tell them that they don’t have to smell like that if they use DayDry. She gives me that look and says, “So, you’re just going to let them go on smelling badly? That’s not very nice of you.” Trust me, if there was a way to tactfully tell those people, as they are pressing up against me in the Paris metro or on a bus during rush hour, I would!

I did, however, begin to talk about it with friends and family. I even talked to my pharmacist about it and she loved the probiotic aspect of the product so much that she added it to her pharmacy. Somehow I felt like I was doing my part to help people. When the owners of DayDry found out, they asked if I’d be interested in doing some part-time work for them from my home via Internet. After their success in France, they had decided to launch their products in the North American market.

They’ve just set up an English Facebook Page DayDry North America – Facebook Page & an English Website DayDry Website.

Let me know if you have any questions. Hopefully, this can help you out. I still can’t believe we found it, in of all places, Paris!

Oh, and a little word of advice… be sure your t-shirts aren’t already imbedded with body odor from previous deodorants. Consider it a good excuse to go shopping for new clothes in Paris.  😉

Summer in Paris… the dream and the reality

Paris Romance All rights reserved BELLANDA ®

Paris Romance
All rights reserved

Paris has to be one of the most magical cities in the world.  It’s full of romance and dreams… but like many cities there is a reality of summer that one can’t deny once you’ve lived here.  At the age of 22, I started making my almost yearly summer visits to Paris.  I thought that I was immersing myself into the Parisian lifestyle by avoiding what I considered tourist traps. I wandered the streets as far away from the map yielding tourists as possible and spent many hours in cafés writing, reading and watching people.  It was my unspoken mission to get a feel for what I thought was the real Parisian lifestyle.  As I walked aimlessly, I enjoyed the quiet streets soaking in the calm and beauty of the incredibly gorgeous historical architecture.  It was pure heaven compared to that of my busy New York lifestyle.

It wasn’t until after living here for several years that I began noticing patterns and learned that the Parisian lifestyle I thought I was living so many years ago was far from that.  Truth be told, summer is probably the least Parisian moment of the year.  The influx of people with suitcases begins in July.  Then, there is that moment around mid-July when you realize that you hear more English on the streets and in the metro of Paris than French.  The suitcases become more and more prevalent as the summer moves on and in August you realize that many of the real Parisians have already flown the coop, leaving Paris to the tourists.

Vacation is considered a right that all people should enjoy in France and many companies even impose this vacation on their employees.  That said, we are not talking about the one week or even two-week vacations Americans might be lucky enough to get. Vacations here can total anywhere from one to two months.  This in itself is actually an incredible concept.  One must not leave out that vacation is taken so seriously that it even includes the unemployed, who at times go on even better vacations than the working people… but I’ll leave that subject for a later post.  😉

Many shops, restaurants and special art expositions are closed during summer and your favorite places to buy bread, meat, fish and croissants will also close at one point or another.  This in itself can be quite frustrating if you like good food and enjoy cooking.   On a more serious note, you really don’t want to get sick or God forbid need surgery in August, because of course, your regular doctors are also entitled to their vacations.  If you are smart and can hold out, you might want wait until September.

On the plus side, those quiet streets I mentioned enjoying as a tourist are actually that.  Everything slows down, especially in August, and you can truly enjoy the beauty of this city.  In addition, you can actually take your car out and find a parking space directly in front of where you want to be instead of going round and round in search of a spot only to finish by parking in a garage.  One must not forget the metro.  If you can get over those summer metro odors that at times make you squint in pain, you can actually get a seat during rush hour and don’t have to worry about someone rubbing up against you.  As for you photography buffs, summer will be perfect for you as deserted side streets photograph brilliantly with no worries of a passerby getting in the way of your shot.

All rights reserved BELLANDA ®

All rights reserved

Back in the day when I was a tourist, I didn’t have the benefit of reading blogs or typing ‘Paris in summer’ on Google.  I had to go with the flow, in ignorance of course, but in retrospect that wasn’t half bad.  I always stumbled upon something while wandering the streets of Paris that will left me in awe or made me laugh.  My mouth dropped when I saw a man-made roadblock during a 14th of July Bastille celebration.  It was actually made of police officers who stood in a line across the Champs-Élysées.  I stood there watching them and kept thinking, can’t they just use barriers?  Don’t those officers have something better to do?  Then, there was the Porta Potty with a VIP sign hanging on it during the arrival of the Tour de France.  I couldn’t understand what made it so special at first because it looked like a regular Porta Potty.  I was tempted to go inside to take a peek, but it was roped off.  When I saw the door open, I realized that this Porta Potty was exactly the same as the others but apparently just for Very Important People.  Silly me to think that they could use the same bathroom as us normal folks!

One of my very favorite discoveries was the ability to rent a bicycle in the Bois de Vincennes, as well as a row-boat that I took me around the water surrounding two little islands in the Bois de Vincennes.  Who knew Paris had such natural beauty?  Oh right, probably you since you now have Internet and Google.

Bois de Vincennes Paris, France All rights reserved ~ BELLANDA ®

Bois de Vincennes
Paris, France
All rights reserved ~ BELLANDA ®

Anyway, if you do come to Paris in summer just keep your eyes open.  Sit back, take in the sights and enjoy.  As a tourist, Paris is beautiful anytime… that is if you stop running around trying to see everything in a day.  Yes, most of the Parisians do skip town and life is indeed slower, but soak it all in… for Paris is beauty in itself.