when we were young

Recently I was looking through old family photos and stumbled across something my mom had saved from my elementary school years. A photo of me being creative; drawing, designing, making something; my favorite past time as a child. Along with the photo was a typewritten note from my teacher. I blushed upon reading it! Was I really such a joy, and with so much wisdom? Little did I recall. The same way I don’t remember all that much about my childhood other than that it was mostly a good one. It’s true that family always meant a lot to me.

Rereading this made me think about how honestly and purely we know ourselves as children. It’s the time in life when we are free to be, and to become, without thinking too much about what any of it means. Born to artistic parents, I followed suit with a creative mind of my own. This freedom to express was what provoked me years ago to start designing bags, to start writing (even if initially only for myself), to step off the corporate ladder and instead follow my own path of travel which eventually led me to Paris.

These words from a teacher who has so many years later left an impact, are what I will reread whenever I feel doubt or confusion as to who I truly am. This little girl knows.

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Who where you as a child? Has this impacted who you are now? Let us think about when we were young…

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“The days are long but the years are short.” This quote by Gretchen Rubin articulates well how quickly days become years. And within them we must try our best to use the time we have, wisely. (One of the reasons I decided to travel the world for a year, and continue to travel and experience all that I can in the days I have been granted.) Yet as so many of us do, I easily become wrapped up in my work, constantly doing and in turn, becoming. That topic I’ll save for another post… But is this what really matters the most in life? No, it’s the time we share with those we love, and how we treat others. So I decided to surprise my mom for her birthday, a day long journey (which became quite an adventure with an expired passport and a delayed flight) from Paris via New York to West Palm Beach. Needless to say, she was shocked and elated. What greater joy is there?

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Mom and I are enjoying these long days in the sunshine state, with dinners at home, a trip to neighboring Palm Beach (these photos capturing those moments), and of course birthday celebrations coming up. You can follow along for daily updates via instagram. Enjoy each day before it becomes a year… and see you back in Paris!

Intention

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My favorite day of the year is the first. Life is somehow reset and regardless of the good, bad or indifferent that found us in the days passed, there’s a lightness in the air, the promise of greatness ahead, a fresh start. This year, rather than make resolutions that only wait to be broken, I have chosen to live a life of intention.

I will continue to set goals and work towards them. Professionally speaking, my plans for Kasia Dietz handbags include more collaborations and private label projects, as well as collections of my own, inspired by life.  I will also continue to write, mostly about Paris and travel, and to work on my book. As Elizabeth Gilbert would say, creativity chooses us and we must find a way to make peace with it. “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.” I couldn’t agree more!

Above all else however, this year and for all years to follow, my intention it to truly live in the moment. To let go of past insecurities and future fears, to live more with my heart and less with my head, and to appreciate this wild and wondrous journey as it happens. This too, I wish for you. Happy new year!

merry everything

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It’s that time of year to slow down and look up. To spend time with those most dear to us, reflect on the year coming to an end, and the one soon to start. The past year has been challenging both personally and globally, and I for one am looking forward to beginning a new one. But first, Christmas. My Italian and I are heading to Rome for a little pre-holiday celebration. I’m looking forward to rediscover this city that I haven’t visited in nearly 15 years. And who better to explore it with than my favorite travel companion! Join me on my adventures in Rome followed by the Italian Riviera, via Instagram and Facebook. Incidentally, I was recently named one of the 20 Paris Instagram Accounts to Follow by Bonjour Paris. I’m honored!

For a little year end news, here’s my holiday newsletter. I’ll be back in the new year sharing more of life and love in the City of Lights, and who knows where 2016 will find me. Thank you for joining me on this beautiful journey.

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Wishing you and yours merry everything! Happy new year from the City of Lights!

giving thanks

Today is my favorite holiday, not because I’m terribly patriotic (though I do love my native country), or because of the copious amounts of decadent food and drink that will be ingested (that happens quite often in Paris),  but by how Thanksgiving unites us and makes us reflect on what we are grateful for in this life.

Here in Paris we celebrate with a yearly feast hosted by a friend from the New York chapter, where new faces mingle with those who have made this a tradition. There’s even one Native American in the expat mix! We share the table with French, Italian, Irish and Australian, all of us taking this occasion to count our blessings. Isn’t it so commonly said that expressing gratitude leads to happiness and well-being? After six years in Paris, I certainly have a lot to be grateful for. Though life never ceases to challenge us both personally and globally, as events of the past few weeks have proven, we must savour every day. As goes the saying, carpe diem!

I wish for you, dear readers, a feast filled with peace and love. May you carry gratitude in your hearts, always.

Chloe Lodge photographer-Kasia Dietz

resilience

Over a week has passed since the tragic events that shook Paris, and in turn the world. Life is slowly resuming while the mourning continues, as it shall for a long time to come. Winter has crept in and the city appears more quiet than normal, yet resilience and strength are felt in Parisians and expats alike. Life goes on, in strength.

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Many are asking whether it’s safe to travel to this beautiful city, one of the most desirable destinations in the world. My answer is yes! We cannot let fear guide us. We must love Paris more than ever. Here are a few thoughts from fellow Americans, including myself, via Stylecaster.

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I’ll be getting back to designing and writing this coming week, sharing what is uniquely beautiful about Paris, this city that so deeply inspires my senses. Thank you for following along on this journey, and for all your continued thoughts. Paris je t’aime.

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Fluctuat nec mergitur. “Though beaten by the waves, she never sinks.”

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