Weekend In Saint Germain-des-Pres

 One of my favourite things to do is to attend mass in French, especially in Paris. There is this mix of solemnity, tradition, festive and so classical way they celebrate mass there. Maybe because most of the churches in Paris are old, historical and  traditional that makes it so special. One of the Churches I discovered was the L'Eglise Saint Germain Des Pres located right at Boulevard Saint Germain and Rue Bonaparte in the Left Bank. The Church is an active Parish. I was lucky enough to attend Sunday mass there. The Church was built as a Benedictine Abbey in 543. Last December 2014, the Church celebrated its 1000 millennium. No wonder inside it is dark and old with Gothic ceilings and pillars.  I thought that the ceilings and pillars might need some cleaning. But then, it might be hard to clean the place since it is an active parish where Sunday mass were packed and many activities are held in there. But it's dark interior adds character to the Church since it is so old. Add some angelic choirs singing and the procession of the holy candles carried by sacristans which adds a spiritual solemnity to the whole experience. Then afterwards, just cross the street and have lunch at the famous Les Deux Magots then go shopping at the Louis Vuitton boutique right beside it. Paris always fascinate as there are always places to discover. 

Let us participate in Earth Hour tonight.
Turn off power tonight from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

It's Finally Spring!

 The long awaited Spring is finally here! Although here in Toronto, it is still quite chilly with the snow and ice blocks still melting. We just hope that the temperature will continue to rise in the double digits soon so that we can wear our Spring clothes and shoes. This Spring I am inspired by the Valentino Resort 2015 Collection. I just love the mixing of the butterfly print khaki spring coat with the lace dress and espadrilles with studs. Suede is back again this Spring too. We see suede even in skirts that have an A-line silhouette. Of course, Spring will not be complete without any floral and lace dresses. Then any little black dress is perfect for any season. But for this Spring, I am  obsessing on these Valentino espadrilles with the rockstuds that are available at Holt Renfrew.  I can't wait to wear skirts and espadrilles again this Spring. I am excited to see the flowers and our trees blooming again and butterflies flying all over. How about you, what are you inspired by and excited about this Spring?
Valentino Espadrilles at Holt Renfrew.

  Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
The dry seasons in life do not last. The Spring rains will come again. 
- Sarah Ban Breathnach 

It's All Green

The colour Green is so popular and so chic in both fashion and in interior design. Green is showing up everywhere in both the fashion collections and in interior design as featured so cleverly on Canadian House & Home magazine's, Runway to Rooms. Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, patron saint of Ireland, which is symbolized by all Green, the colour of the Green Irish Isles. Green is also the symbol of prosperity. Even the Hermes Green Birkin is so chic and goes well with denim, white, black, beige, grey and even with navy blue. I like this colour now. I would probably try to wear more green this spring and summer. How about you? Do you like green? Do you use green in both your fashion and interior design? Try it, for a different pop of colour in your lifestyle.
 May you have a smiley day!

Photo credits: Vogue.comCeline Spring 2015Jil Sander Fall 2015Saint Laurent Spring 2015Hermes BirkinStyle.comAnya Hindmarch Smiley Ebury.

A Fun Night At Sip And See

A fun open house event, Sip & See, was held at MoRoCo Chocolat  last Wednesday night to celebrate the product launch of their partnership with  Tea Squared.  It was an event attended mostly by Event Planners, Bloggers and Industry insiders. When we arrived, we were welcomed with cocktail Prosecco drinks made with grenadines, vodka and raspberry. Then we were offered several dishes of mini-hamburgers, cheese balls, tuna tartar eclair with caviar and a dish of their specialty macaron made with goat cheese and beets and bacon cheddar. Of course, all of the dishes were delicious and made specially by Chef Brad in their kitchen that night. 
With all of these endless food and  Prosecco cocktails, we were offered a free tasting of the premium teas from Tea Squared which is a Canadian company specializing in the wholesale of premium teas. MoRoCo Chocolat has formed a partnership with Tea Squared to supply them with their premium teas for their Afternoon Teas, regular restaurant menu and for their Special Events. This event also launched their Special Events with some samples of what MoRoCo Chocolat can offer for any special event like an engagement party, a Birthday party for him or for her, Baby Showers, Bridal showers or any event that you can think of. Last Wednesday night was a fantastic and magical night with all of the food, the macaron, chocolates, popcorn, cotton candy and drinks offered to their guests which were all made in house at MoRoCo Chocolat.  It was a fun night of Sip & See. 
 Yes, that's a pure white chocolate fondue fountain. There were lots of macaron and both dark and white chocolates all made in-house at MoRoCo Chocolat.
 Welcoming Prosecco Cocktails.
 Tuna Tartar Eclair with caviar made by Chef Brad.
 One of their Special Events table. A Table full of chocolates and macaron. Believe me, even the shoes are chocolate edible.
 The purple macaron is filled with goat cheese and beets and the white one is cheddar and bacon. 
 The Mr & Mrs Wedding vignette here with more chocolates and macaron.  
 Afternoon Tea Special with cotton candy served in a tea cup. Their Truffle macaroni and Cheese is one of the best in Toronto.
 A party spread here for the Gentlemen. The men are not left out here.
 Everything here were all made in-house at MoRoCo Chocolat. 
Of course, I spotted a Celine Trapeze Bag fitting right in here at the event. MoRoCo Chocolat truly knows how to have a spectacular and magical party. 

My Blog's New Look

I am excited to share my Blog's new look and a new name. Since I started my blog in July 2011, my blog has evolved from The Style and Travel Journals to a Magazine style as my categories have grown from Style and Travel to featuring my favourite cities and inspirations in people, lifestyle, food and even Christmas. I have featured some current events, some beauty tips and several fabulous people that have inspired me. Then when December comes, we have fun discovering Christmas here in my home town of Toronto. It always feel great when something you created grows and evolves naturally over time. You see the progress as time goes on. As the saying goes, change is constant and good.  
I upgraded the template of the blog to a Clean and Responsive template so that it will be easier to download and navigate the blog when using a mobile tablets or mobile phones.  I kept my design simple for easy access and so that the main features will stand out on its own. 

To navigate the new design is easier:
  • The Header contains the social icons to connect easily with the Blog plus the Search section.
  • The Main Menu under the Blog Title shows the different categories featured in the Blog for easy access.
  • The new feature is the Slider with photos of recent posts with buttons below to navigate between the slides. Click on the Post title to read the story.
  • The Side Bar features the Translator, Archive, Popular posts and Inspirational Blogs.
  • The Footer is our Social Counter where all of the information for Contact, Social Icons for easy following and the Blog's Copyright are located. 

I hope you will continue to enjoy the Blog with the new design and navigation. Let me know if there are any glitches that you may experience. As always, thank you for your constant support and enthusiasm that you share here on my Blog. 

Photo credits: Pinterest.

A Spiritual Journey In Montserrat

 As we celebrate International Women's Day this Sunday on 8 March, I am presenting here our Lady of Montserrat, popularly know as La Morenata (the dark one)  as she is one of the well known Black Madonnas. Our Lady of Montserrat is venerated in the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat built right on top of the Montserrat Mountains near Barcelona, Spain.  As you can see, we arrived here on a rainy day with thick fog as we drove up the mountains to reach the peak. It is such a wonder that a Monastery with a Romanesque Basilica was built here even earlier than the 18th Century. 

The experience of Montserrat was truly an experience of getting closer to Heaven and God.  The Benedictine monks built their Monastery high up the rock formations of the Montserrat mountains to be reclusive, spiritual and closer to heaven and God as they can get.  A visit in the Monastery to see the monks sanctuary, the Basilica and Our Lady of Montserrat was truly a memorable and once in a lifetime experience. I hope you will be blessed to attend a mass there, to visit the Shrine, up close to say your prayers to Our Lady and then listen to the  angelic voices of the Escalonia Boys' choir. For me, it was an adventure and a spiritual journey that I will always treasure.
 Wooden statue of St Michael the Archangel welcoming the pilgrims. 
The Benedictine Monastery. 
Marble floors entrance to the Basilica of Our Lady of Montserrat. 
The whole mountain range is called Montserrat because it is composed of serrated rock formations that is 4,055 ft above sea level. 
 Entrance to the Basilica.
 Carved statues of the 12 Apostles with Jesus all looking up to Heaven.
Inside the golden Romanesque Basilica. 
We were lucky that there was a mass celebration when we arrived.
 This is the stairs entrance toward the upper chapel to be closer to Our Lady of Montserrat.
Angels carved in marble lining the entrance towards Our Lady's shrine. 
Our Lady of Montserrat was carved out of wood believed to be created by St Luke in Jerusalem. Pilgrims can rub the Globe that Our Lady is holding on her right hand while praying for their intentions.
Our Lady was originally found in a cave here in Montserrat. Then during the Napoleonic wars in the 18th Century, Napoleon's army destroyed the Monastery but Our Lady's statue was saved, hidden again in one of the caves near the Monastery. When the statue was found in the cave during the 19th Century, the statue was placed in the Romanesque Basilica where now it has performed many miracles and have established devotion from the pilgrims.

From Barcelona, pilgrims can reach the Monastery by joining a Bus Tour Group, by car or by train.

On this International Women's Day, we honour all women from all around the world regardless of our nationalities, colour, marital status and religion. We are all in solidarity to strengthen our Women's Power by spreading love, compassion and respect to everyone, just like our Our Mother Mary served as an example of goodness and faith when she lived here on Earth. 

Pamela lives in Toronto. I work in Banking in the field of Credit and Finance. The Style and Travel Journals blog has evolved into an on-line magazine blog about my experiences and inspirations on style, travel, people, lifestyle and current events. My blog features are not sponsored posts. The photographs and stories featured here are all from my own resources and experiences. [Pamela RG] (