Genève, sweet Switzerland

I've been here for 4 months now, and I'm glad to say I feel at home!
It's fairly easy to navigate the city- and I think I might love it.

Especially now, at Christmas time. The streets are eerily quiet, and the city's submerged in fog. In fact (my family might get tired of hearing me say this) but when I'm outside I feel like I'm walking in a dream. Did I mention all the christmas lights? They add to the whimsicality, shining through the fog.

My gorgeous friend from Lyon visited me for this first (extended) weekend of Christmas break, which was a great opportunity to spend time with the camera while exploring. 

Boréal Café

Lac Léman

Record Shop

Place bel-air 

We mostly spent time traipsing in the streets, but also went thrift shopping, record shopping, and to explore cadés and restaurants (yes, it was slightly expensive- but the mochaccino I'm drinking is worth it). 
Christmas is in two days, and as much as I love foggy weather, there has been no snow. Not even in the nearby mountains, which is alarming given that my family going skiing in one week (actually, if I'm to be honest I'll admit I am sort of relieved- this means we can take walks instead (more photo opportunities!) and sit around in Chalets while I read my book).

More photos to come! 

Goodbye Lyon

If you don't know me in person then you are not aware that just a few days ago, my family moved from Lyon, France to Geneva, Switzerland. The moving process overall was OK, but mentally I am still in a state of shift. I'm excited about starting at a new school, and living in this amazing city, but obviously leaving your home is destabilizing... I feel like I'm neither here nor there. All day I've been having pangs of sadness thinking of the distance between my friends and I. I miss looking out my old window and seeing the beautiful Saône river. But rather than going into details, here are some photos of my neighborhood that I took during my last days in Lyon... They'll probably be going on Instagram soon. :p

Been gone

Hi guys,
I know I've been gone. I apologize.
I've had many, bigger things than my blog on my mind this year, but I am not going to use that as an excuse for not posting.
My excuse is... I was not motivated. And that is so, so unlike me. I definitely did not enjoy reflecting on the fact that I was not motivated, so I started to neglect thoughts about my blog altogether.
For a long time I felt guilty about the neglect. But now I realize that feeling that way is stupid. Projects start, projects end. And it's OK!
However, lately I've started to miss the blogging, and connecting with other bloggers. So I am going to start writing again occasionally- that is, only when I feel like it.
And I'm not going to write for an audience; I am going to write for myself.
I will no longer count followers, and I will rarely advertise my posts on social media.
This blog will be a trace I leave... a collection of thoughts. I think I have many interesting things to put out there.

xo, Carmen

Forever by Judy Blume~ Book Review

Like last year, my family took two weeks of vacation for Halloween and traveled to the States. It was super fun to see my family and to re-connect with my American side.
Sadly, I think it was my last year trick-or-treating, because quite a few adults looked at me funny when I stood at the open door with my nine-year-old brother and tween cousins.
Anyway. One thing I always look forward to when going to the States is book shopping... There is no anglophone library or bookshop here in Lyon, which means I never get to browse around for new releases in the YA world.

I bought and read several books during those two weeks, and brought even more back home.

Today was a good day for reading. I got my wisdom teeth pulled out yesterday (yes, it was very painful, and the anesthesia made me feel quite foggy for a while there, but so far I seem to be surviving), and I read Forever by Judy Blume in less than 24 hours.

I heard wonderful reviews of that book, and I must say, it was not exactly what I expected.
It was definitely a great read. I was pulled into the story, and was definitely heartbroken when young Katherine and Micheal's relationship falls apart... I think it's a story that most people can relate to.

The only thing I did not adore was the pace and tone of Blume's writing. Am I the only one who feels that way? I don't remember her other books, such as Tiger Eyes or Are you there, God? it's me, Margaret containing so many ellipses.

Forever is a story about instant first-love, and first sexual encounters... and what happens when "true love", isn't, in fact, true love. It's a story about love, but also about moving on.  Even though the story is set in the 1970's, it feels as though it could have been set in the 2000's. I think the story is timeless.

It might not be a story for everyone out there, but if you're into teen romance, you should give it a try.

I give it 3.5/5 stars.


To wear shorts or NOT to wear shorts?

Before it gets too cold, I want to share my opinion on a topic which, I believe, most girls/women can relate to in this modern day.
The topic is, to what extent should shorts be banned in school? Do they deserve to be looked down upon?

What stirred up these questions for me is the fact that one very, very hot day, I was stopped by a counselor at the entrance of my school, to discuss the length of my shorts.
"Your shorts are much too short", she said. "You will have to stop wearing them to school".

Although I did not argue with her, my immediate thoughts were "why ME of all people?! Half the girls are wearing shorts today! Why did she have to embarrass ME?"
And then I started wondering, why should I even be embarrassed? Indeed, it WAS a very hot day, and half the girls really WERE wearing shorts.

For the record, I wasn't wearing those types of shorts that reveal your butt. Yes, they were short shorts, but paired with the appropriate shirt and shoes. It was clear that my intention wasn't to be provocative.  I DO agree that teens, at school, shouldn't dress provocatively. But I think that the rules should be revisited.
      According to the rules, girls shouldn't wear short shorts, in the simple measure of avoiding harassment. Well, I think something is very wrong with that rule. If it's a hot day, and short shorts are more comfortable than long shorts, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT PROVOCATIVE, a girl should be allowed to wear her shorts without having to worry about being harassed. That is something that needs to be changed in GUYS, not girls! Guys have to learn to control themselves!
Girls shouldn't be discriminated against for showing some skin! Skin is human. The guys who will supposedly "harass" somebody wearing shorts NEED TO LEARN that YES, women have bodies and YES, they are allowed to do what they want with them and YES, they demand to be respected.

Don't you agree?

Why reading makes me happy

Hey y'all. Today I wanted to talk about something that's been on my mind.

Lately, I've heard many statements regarding the act of reading. Statements like "reading is boring"; or "I just prefer to spend my time on more... interesting activities".

My instant reaction to such statements is usually something along the lines of  "WHAT?! How can you NOT like reading???"

The fact is, it comes as such a shock to me that someone would purposely AVOID reading a book.
Well, because... reading has always been such a big part of my life.

Book Addiction.

I strongly believe that someone who does not enjoy reading just hasn't found the right book.

Reading is definitely not a burden. Reading is an escape from reality.
Reading is a pleasure which you'll never need to feel guilty about. Reading is relaxing, entertaining, AND educational.
Yes. Even when you read girly-gossip novels, you are exercising your brain.You are learning about language, words, and writing.

Reading is NOT just an activity for awkward introverts. Reading can save people (ANYONE who knows how to read, really) in times of crisis and despair.

Reading can have a social aspect, too. I read this quote a while ago...

 "Seeing someone read a book you love is like seeing a book recommend a person."

It's true. Books bring people together.

Heaven on earth ❤️

It makes me sad when someone says "I don't read" or "I have no time to read". Because most people CAN make time to read. And you SHOULD make time to read! It will reward you in so many ways!

I don't think I'd be who I am today without my books. :)

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Switzerland ☾part 1☽

I've been in Switzerland for 10 days now and have come to this conclusion: Switzerland is NOT boring! Whoever came up with THAT idea! The food is amazing, the lake is beautiful, there are many sporting opportunities, and the Swiss are so friendly. 

I've been spending a lot of time in Geneva with my mom, exploring the different neighborhoods, interesting museums, and, um, FABULOUS restaurants and cafés. Hehehe. 
But we've also done some more outdoorsy things, like kayaking on the Lac Léman, hiking near St-Cergue, or taking a ferry to the French town across the lake, Yvoire. 
There will be a part 2 to this post, because I don't want to make THIS one very photo-heavy.
See for yourself :)

      •Rainbow over Nyon, Switzerland•

      •A small-town art gallery in Nyon•

     •Lunch at the Red-Cross Museum•

          •Flags of the UN, Geneva•

  •A peacock walking through the parc•


   •Iced coffee and vegan sandwiches at the Boréal Coffee Shop, Geneva•