we’ve been in switzerland for almost ten years now, and we’ve lived in vaud for nearly six of those, and there still are still a lot of places we haven’t discovered for ourselves yet. firstly, because we are creatures of comfort and routine – once we find a place that both us and the kids like, we keep returning to it. secondly, because we tend to spend a lot of time abroad – at least we used to. now that we have cut back so drastically on our travels, we have a lot more free time to explore closer to home, and that’s how we finally ended up at nyon plage. it had only been on my to-do list for about three years…

the lake is definitely this region’s best feature, and the added advantage of our particular nook in the region is that we have a beautiful view of the alps right behind the lake. there are quite a few places where you can enjoy these gorgeous views while having dinner, but few are so close to the water as the restaurant of nyon plage. we initially headed up there just for l’apéro, but we loved the vibe there so much we decided to stay for dinner, too. there is a nice little patch of grass and a narrow rocky beach beside the restaurant, which i want to head back to one of these days as long as we’re having this beautiful indian summer.

i’d be lying if i didn’t admit that i love this place probably even more for its photogenic backdrop to spontaneous snapshots, than for its food (which is ok). i was so happy we ended up there the ONE day of the year juliet was into twinning with her sister and didn’t fight me to wear all pink and glitter instead. and i couldn’t have picked a better day for them to wear my favorite GRO COMPANY print of the past season, they matched the background perfectly. even though at the time when i was taking the photos i was frustrated because neither of them would sit still or look into the lense, but the photos ended up being perfect portrayals of who they are, and they are definitely ending up on a wall in our living room soon.

Happy 4th Birthday Juliet

May 6, 2019 • KidsLife

please tell me – HOW is this girl four years old? i know every mother and their mothers are full of clichés, but every day that i’m a mom myself, i understand them a little better. it’s all true. every new thing they learn, you celebrate and you mourn at the same time. you celebrate their kindness, their wittiness or cleverness, their self-confidence. ironically, at exactly the same time you mourn their growing independence. the looming reality that one day they won’t wake you up in the middle of the night anymore to sleep next to you. they won’t need you as much anymore. they won’t believe every word you say, they won’t want to copy every little thing you do. it’s a constant struggle between being proud of the humans they are becoming, and sad for the little babies they are leaving behind in their past.

so, i get it now – why parents make such a big deal out of the birthdays of their kids. if you put enough energy and concentration into the decorations, the cake, the gifts, the songs, the surprises, the cards and the balloons, you might just be able to make it through the day without an emotional breakdown. the more you concentrate on creating the magic that will cement that smile on your kid’s face, the less time you have to wax on nostalgic about the day they were born, their tiny fists that disappeared into your hand, their tiny toes that wiggled free from their baby blankets, their tiny cheeks that turned red with frustration when they got hungry.

kids, if you are old enough to read this and you feel embarrassed about the big deal your mother still makes out of your birthday when you turn 14, 24 or 44 – imagine the embarrassment if i wouldn’t have a party to plan. every time you let your mother bake you a cake, you’re saving yourself from much, much worse.

anyhow, turning four is huge for juliet. she definitively crossed the line from tiny toddling toddler into a real kid. suddenly she wants to ride bikes, sleep in a big bed, and go to school. i’m so grateful for the swiss school system, which starts in september the year you turn four. i feel like she is more ready for that big change than i will ever be – if i could have it my way she’d go to daycare forever. instead, i am watching her learn how to count in three languages, and draw ever more elaborate pictures. i listen to her complicated stories that weave fantasy and reality together in fantastic fables. i learn from her about unicorns and farm animals like they are part of the same universe. she tells me she wants to be a mom when she grows up, as well as an ‘educatrice’ and a doctor. she’s simply listing all the female role models in her surroundings – that in itself makes me proud.

for her birthday, she really wanted a shop. and a unicorn. and nail polish. she’s a girl’s girl, what can i say. and i love nothing more than to see that absolute joy in her eyes when she sees her deepest wishes fulfilled. if only i could do that for the rest of her life. that’s not probable, so i’ll have to soak in every minute of every year while i am still a godlike creature in her world, able to make any fantasy come true.

photos by stephanie duval • flexa shop, register and groceries via MYLITTLEROOM.CH • juliet’s skirt and cardigan from SOFT GALLERY and tee from EMILE ET IDAmeri meri balloons, veja sneakers, nailmatic fizzy ball and soap via HET LAND VAN OOIT • tableware from POMAX • if you have any other questions, leave them in the comments


Filter through posts by category.

The Road Less Taken

Travel through posts by city.


my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


site by —
matthias deckx