Re-define Your New Year’s Resolution

new years champagne glassBien sûr, we all have personal goals we set at the beginning of the new year, as a way to re-group our energy and establish our solitary desire for something….well, new or different in our lives. We all know, too, that generally speaking, most new year’s resolutions aren’t realized and fall by the wayside — becoming a dead end journey for whatever reason and usually without much consequence in the upcoming year.

But, how about making a life resolution?  What is your heart and soul conveying to you, and are you listening to your inner voice? With the resolution to circumvent obstacles and take/make a different path along your life’s journey, taking even baby steps can lead you to where you truly resolve to be.

What I have learned is that achieving resolutions is not all or nothing, as in getting from point A to point B: there are intermittent twists and turns and stops along the way, which may end up being your new resolution end point. It is possible to take the journey and live your authentic life — learn how in “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France.”

(trailer video below)

Two latest reviews on Amazon:
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for!, December 29, 2013

I first discovered this delightful book on a midnight run through the Kindle bookstore. It was the last night of a wonderful week in Nice, France and, unable to sleep, I was browsing my smartphone looking for ideas on how to spend more time in Nice. Well the author managed to do just that and she penned an interesting book on the journey that eventually led her to retire in Nice. Kim’s path is uniquely her own and probably not duplicable by anyone else. The principals, however, could be embraced by anyone with a dream, or even a “Solitary Desire.” Kim consistently moved in the direction of her dream – even if it was only a baby step. She also always said “yes” to unexpected opportunities and did not let the inevitable bumps along the way detour her. The book is a quick read – I read most of it on the plane trip home. It left me inspired to apply her ideas to my own life and to make my own dream come true. This is an entertaining and unique book. Also, if your path leads you to Nice, check out the author’s other book “Sun, Sea and Savoir-Faire – Travel Focus on the French Riviera.” Enjoy and maybe we will meet-up in Nice!

5.0 out of 5 stars Francophiles, Unite!, October 31, 2013

This is a delightful account of how Kim recognized her goal and set out to accomplish it! For those arm-chair Francophile dreamers or those following Kim’s lead, it will entertain and encourage you! Thanks for sharing it, Kim!

Find book (available as e-book & paperback) HERE

Book Trailer Video:

Italian Restaurant in Old Nice

Located at 13, Cours Saleya in Old Nice, La Favola is a “ristorante italiano,” where I recently met a friend for lunch.  It was a warm, sunny day so we sat on the terrace and enjoyed the views on the Cours Saleya – even in low tourist season, people watching was interesting.

I ate the “plat du jour” fixed price menu: filet du loup (sea bass fish) and basmati rice – nothing fancy, simple but good, and of course, accompanied by a glass of white wine. A nice lunch on a nice day in Nice!

Do you speak Versaillais?

Match the English phrase with its Versaillais equivalent.

(Trouver la phrase correspondante.)

1. Fancy dress ball                              a. Palefrenier

2. Sutler                                                 b. Tapisserie

3. Farrier                                                c. Bal paré

4. Scoundrel                                          d. Dauphin

5. Coach                                                  e. Cuirasse

6. Harpsichord                                      f. Vivandier

7. Groom                                                  g. Maréchal

8. Frill of a shirt                                     h. Jabot

9. Tapestry                                               i. Manchettes

10. Armored breast plate                    j. Hauts de chausses

11. Eldest son of the king                    k. Faïence

12. Crockery                                            l.  Rigole

13. Small channel                                 m. Carrosse

14. Breeches                                            n. Clavecin

15. Huntsman                                        o. Ecurie

16. Candlestick                                      p. Cavalcade

17. Parlor                                                 q. Bougeoir

18. Chancellor                                       r. Chancelier

19. Arbor                                            s. Levée et couchée du roi

20. Rising and retiring                        t. Salon

21. Horse procession                           u. Bosquet

22. Stables                                               v. Chasseur

23. Foil                                                     w. Fleuret

24. Marsh                                                x. Gredin

25. Cuff ruffle                                        y. Marécage

26. Hamlet                                              z. Le Hameau


Answers :

1c; 2f ; 3g; 4x; 5m; 6n; 7a; 8h; 9b; 10e; 11d; 12k; 13l; 14j; 15v; 16q; 17t; 18r; 19u; 20s; 21p; 22o; 23w; 24y; 25i; 26z

(Source :

Noël 2013

Some holiday photos taken while shopping and strolling through Place Massena in Nice – festive, fun & nice!  Sunny days and warm temperatures have been a nice holiday present, to boot!


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 festive champagne glass

Specialty Shops near Nice Opera

Near Cours Saleya and across from and within the same block of the Nice Opera on Rue St-François de Paule, these four specialty shops are historically Nice for nice gift ideas – whether for someone else or for yourself, for the holidays or all year ’round!


“Symbol of eternal life, the olive inspires our philosophy.”

Courtesy of Alziari website

Courtesy of Alziari website


A candy/chocolate shop, established in 1820, where Queen Victoria shopped for candied fruits. I also love to visit this shop to look at the retro tile flooring and the lovely display furniture, not to mention the gold covered chocolates in the rear of the store.

candy store


Specializing in a variety of olive oils, flavored vinegars, olives, and other cooking delicacies, this shop is inviting and client-service oriented.

olive store


Soaps, candles, diffusers, and fragrant home items can be found in this charming shop.

compagnie de provence

Along with the December Christmas market in Place Massena, the shopping center of Nice Etoile, and the many small art studios in Old Nice, there is something to be had to suit everyone’s tastes,or to simply faire du leche-vitrine (window shop)!


French Riviera dreamin’ on such a winter’s day

In case you haven’t yet visited the French Riviera, here’s where I live – a dream-come-true paradise all year ’round!   Where do you call home?

5 Course Meal for 3 Year Olds!

There has been a big movement to stress to children the importance of food with regards to French culture, to battle the increasing influence of fast foods. This video really highlights the efforts being taken to teach 3-year olds about food – a major French cultural icon!

France’s Gourmet School Lunches featured on CBS Sunday Morning

New car parking in Nice

The long-awaited car park underneath the Quai des Etats Unis in Nice has been inaugurated. The new facility was created to replace the former car park that was demolished to make way for the Promenade du Paillon.

With a total capacity of 455 cars, the new ‘Parking Sulzer’ is located between the old town and the sea. With a combined surface of 2,600 square meters, its six underground levels were gradually opened to the public since early November. The sixth and final level was inaugurated by Mayor Christian Estrosi on Wednesday morning. (December 11, 2013)

The project started in September 2011 and cost the city over 15 million euros. But the new parking area is a necessary replacement to the ‘bus station’s’ car park, which was demolished as part of the Promenade du Paillon’s construction, which started in 2010.

This new car park is another step in the right direction in the city’s fight against the lack of parking space. A study done last year estimated that about half of the traffic inside Nice everyday was due to motorists looking for a place to park their vehicles.

In an effort to please residents’ and visitors’ sense of aesthetics, a new garden was built on the surface area above the car park. Covering nearly 2,000 square metres, the new green area features 3,500 plants and 36 palm trees.

The south lane on the Quai des Etats Unis had to be closed to accommodate for the new car park. As a result, traffic was redirected to the north lane, which is being rearranged for two-way traffic. Construction should be finished by the end of January 2014.

Meanwhile, the city is also implementing a smart parking system where motorists will be guided to free parking spaces by their smartphone’s GPS system. Currently operational in the Notre Dame neighborhood since March, the system should be up and running in the whole downtown area by the end of 2015.

Source/Credit: Stan Aron for The Riviera Times

Lebanese Restaurant in Nice

One of my go-to places for non-French food, is a Lebanese restaurant, where many of the neighborhood locals eat. The “Beyrouth Restaurant” is at 12 rue de la Buffa, is family run, and has great food and polite service. It was good that I got there at Noon for lunch the other day, as within a half hour, there was not a seat to be had!

I always order their vegetarian plate (choice of falafel or eggplant) and the variety of textures and tastes served is absolutely delicious! The menu includes “thé à la menthe” (tea) served with fresh mint – a great way to end the meal!

Learning French – Oui, French Today!

Of course, one can learn a language at any age, although it has been proven easier to do before the age of 13,  due to the brain’s stages of development.

I went back to university as an adult to earn a B.A. in French – a “fait accompli” in three years time; the focus was mostly on learning to read and write French. Bien sûr, there were the required grammar classes and a lot of literature classes, but surprisingly not many French conversation classes. So, learning was how to speak textbook French, which is not always what’s truly spoken.  Afterwards, when I lived and worked in Paris, this all became amusingly quite evident (read about it in “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France” – available on Amazon)!

Spoken French is like spoken English, where words are slurred together, spoken quickly, and includes slang.  I have a good friend who takes lessons via skype with French Today (click on the image icon on the left sidebar on my blog for direct access) to improve her speaking ability, and she highly recommends the company.  They also have a variety of listening programs & lessons in communicating in modern day French.

What a great idea, as well, to give as a gift to a Francophile friend!  Let’s speak French (Parlons français) and oui, let’s speak French Today!