New Beginnings

January 16, 2023 • InspirationLife

it’s been a year and a half since i last opened my blog editor and started typing away. it’s been an interesting but extremely challenging time, both personally and professionally, and i just didn’t feel inspired or motivated to keep this place going. and to be honest – that feeling didn’t start after my previous blog post, it began much, much earlier. perhaps one day i’ll pour my thoughts and feelings about this season in my life into writing, but not today. today i just want to celebrate what is coming. if 2022 was the year in which i broke everything down to its core, 2023 will be the year in which i start building again.

and to be honest, i’ve frequently wondered if this space should be one of the parts that i keep around. i started blogging when i was 15, which will soon be 23 years ago. it’s always been a means for self-discovery, a platform for experimentation and – importantly – a way to connect to likeminded people. obviously the past couple of years all of these things haven’t been as present, but i would very much like to return to my roots on here.

as tempting as it is to make promises or to tell you all more about what i’m working on behind the scenes, i am not going to put any pressure on this project. already, just in thinking about what this place could be or mean, i’ve reconnected to very special people who never cease to inspire me. they’re helping me create this new beginning, and every morning i wake up i am giddy with excitement for what it could come to mean again in my life.

in the meantime, i would like to share a little piece of the inspiration board i’m putting together. for the new blog, sure, but also as a visual excercise in trying to figure out who i am – or at least what i care about and what my unique approach to these subjects could be. i’ve listed the sources of the photos down below if any of it really speaks to you. in which case i hope you’ll continue to follow along on this blog and this journey of mine!

from left to right 1 // picture by louise roe on instagram 2 // polaroid of hotel des academies et des arts taken by me 3 // paris fashion week street style 2019 taken by the style stalker 4 // street style image via pinterest (tried finding the original source but was unsuccessful – if this is your image, thanks for letting me know) 5 // vintage bergbom chrome floor lamp via the audo 6 // black-and-white photo of the facade of the ludlow hotel in new york 7 // selfie polaroid at hotel des academies et des arts taken by me

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


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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.


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