love

You are who you surround yourself with

Wilferd Arlan Peterson once said: “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.

 
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Energies are contagious

Relationships are precious as belonging and feeling loved is one of the most important need for humans. We make room in our big hearts to welcome new people while we are still keeping old friends in, we give time to so many different personalities than sometimes on the road, we start feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Everyday we cross path with so many diverse people without realizing their energies affect us in different ways, wether they are positive or negative.

Did it ever happen to you that you were full of joy until someone with a negative vibe enter the room and steal that happiness away from you? Yet that person did not physically took it from you with her/his bare hand but it feels like it! Energies are contagious, so it can be really tiring for the mind to deal with negative ones.

Letting go of a relationship

They said who we surround ourselves with, we become… And they are right. Our life is too important to through away the opportunity of becoming who we want to be and having the life we deserve because we are making the mistake of spending time with people who don't share the same values or don't bring anything positive in our life. Fortunately we can take the decision to sort out our relationships, choose who we want to spend quality time with!

Last year we went to a workshop about femininity and the speaker said something I will always remember, she made us do an exercise that changed my all relationship: “Close your eyes, look at your life, think of all of the things you have accomplished and scanned them out. How do they make you feel?” I thought about Scandaleuse, my life in Canada, my family, my friends and my relationship with my partner at that time. All of them felt fantastic except for the last one. I felt sad, stressed, had knots in my stomach… it was at that moment I took the decision to stop that long term relationship I was in. He wasn't a bad guy and I was really in love but something wasn’t working anymore and love wasn't enough to fix it. So I had to take the hardest decision of my life and I don’t regret it.

 
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You need to know yourself first!

  • Visualize the life you want and find people who share the same values.

  • Listen to your guts and feel how people around you make you feel.

  • You feel something is wrong, identify the cause.

  • Talk to the person about how you feel.

  • Look for a solution but don't hesitate to check out if you feel like it.

It is such a difficult step but 100% needed if you feel that relationship is bringing you down, whether it comes from a good friend, a lover or a family member. When it comes to your feelings and happiness, you have the right to be selfish. It does not matter if the person is nice or depressed, if you are in love or staying because it is convenient, you cannot let the fear or guilt dictate your needs. It is time to think about how you want to feel!

 
 

Coffee Talk - Living far Away

A little bit more than 6 years ago, Juliette and I took the decision to leave France to move to another country. Canada was not the first choice but you guys know that already (if you don't, you can find the story on how we met, here for part one and here for part two). Even though living away from your home country can be difficult sometimes, it was the best decision we ever took!

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Why did we decide to change country?

We both knew for a long time we will not do our life in France as it never really felt like Home. Don't get us wrong, France is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage and a delicious cuisine. But the mentality is not the best. It is not in our culture to be welcoming or supportive with each others, especially in the business industry or between women. There are a lot of competition and jealousy.

Since our goal was to open a photography business, we also knew how difficult it was to do it in France as there are a lot of rules to follow for administration and the market for photography is really competitive. Launching Scandaleuse in Toronto was a piece of cake!

What did we learn since we moved away?

  • Living far away make you realize how much your family is important

The most difficult part is being far away from our families. We made the “selfish” choice to chase the life we want at the expense of not spending time with our loved ones and missing out precious moments. We all know the quote that says: “We don’t choose our family… blablabla” but we have the tendency to forget that family is important. It is really easy to forget because of the drama and tension present in every family… Sometimes you just need to walk away to realize how much you care and love them.

Every choices we make in life have consequences. Be aware of it but stick to your desires, trust your guts, make the choices for yourself and do not have regrets because at the end your family just wants you to be happy!

(What if they are not happy and don't understand?… Well this gives you an other good reason to be selfish)

 
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  • Living far away opens your mind

Being photographers give us the freedom to work and travel everywhere in the world. We believe travels feed your soul and warm up your heart but it is when you live in another country that your mind truly opens. You see the world with new eyes and don’t have other choice than getting out of your comfort zone if you want to adapt to that new culture. And since you are building new routines and put yourself out, you are more open to meet new people and extend your list of friends.

  • It takes a lot of courage

It might not seem like it but taking the action to live in another country is BALLZY! Moving away usually means starting from zero and learning a new language, new skills and a new culture. Not everyone has the luxury or the will to start over, so If you ever did it you should be very proud of yourself. If this is on your bucket list or you get the opportunity to try this experience then don't think twice, even if it is scary. Sometimes this is the little push you need to become the best version of yourself and live the life you want.

Now go live your life, whatever that means to you. For us, it was switching countries: Is Canada our Home? Yes. Do we regrets leaving France? No. So thank you Canadians for being so welcoming and humans, you make us wanna stay here a little bit longer ❤️

 
 



How shifting your mindset can change your life

We are strong believers that a positive mindset is the key to happiness, whatever that word means to you. You might not realize it but the way you think impact any decisions you make in your life. Our fears, hopes, beliefs, any emotions we feel, positive or negative, change drastically our perspectives.

It is in the human nature to look for happiness, but we often don’t know how to reach it. This results in feeling lost or stuck in our own life. But what if we were telling you that any of us can live a successful and fulfilled life?

Would you believe us if we were to tell you that you are the only one who can decide to be happy?

 
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Get it right from the get-go

We are not saying it is an easy process, no one have their sh*t together and we are all faking it until we make it. But all you need are the good tools and practice.

  • Have goals, big or small.

Having concrete goals will give you the motivation to move forward in your future, and make you feel excited about taking decisions while pushing you to adapt your routine.

Once you've lined up these ideas, you need to learn to identify non-toxic from toxic goals. How? Ask yourself "why" you are aiming for that specific goal. Is it for yourself? Others? Is it too intense? Unachievable ? Is it compromising your health? Always remember to be your own measurement system instead of comparing yourself to others.

  • Implement positive thinking and statements:

Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, acknowledge them by asking yourself WHY you are having negative thoughts and WHERE do they come from. Then, as trivial as it may sound, smile and twist it positively instead of making yourself feel worse:

"I am stupid… NO: I am smart!”

“I hate my acne… NO: I am beautiful!"

“I cannot do it… NO: I have been through worse than that, I am strong!"

The more you start making these statements, the more you will believe and see them. This is the power of manifestation, if you repeatedly keep saying negative things then those things are what will come to light. It works the same way for positive statements.

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Make it a habit while looking at yourself in the mirror (because it feels good to look at yourself right in the eyes):

I radiate beauty.  I radiate power. I radiate prosperity. I radiate love. I radiate light.

I am strong. I am confident. I will be successful.

I am beautiful. I have a great body. I love the way I look.

  • Learn to not be afraid to fail:

We all failed when we were kids, from the first step we took to all of the times we fell, it was part of our learning process. So failing as an adult is just as normal.

Failure means you keep learning, experimenting, progressing towards the life you are building, so instead of feeling ashamed we have to embrace it!

Grow, unlock other possibilities and achieve more than you could think!

  • Feel inspired not jealous:

Step away from negativity and jealousy by opening your mind, feeding your soul and surrounding yourself with like-minded people and people who are a few steps ahead of you too.

Keep learning, think about your goals, listen to yourself, learn to eliminate what doesn't work for you.

Just remember, you cannot compare yourself to others since you do not have the same life and aspirations.

There will always be parts of yourself that you are working on and you often think that "it will be better over there, and I will only be happy when…” but guess what?! Once you get over there, chances are you will face similar feelings of obstacles. Unless you break the cycle with everything we just told you.

Forgive yourself for making mistakes and take the pressure away by acknowledging that you are doing your best in every moment with the tools you have. That's how You will see a significant impact and change into your life.

Thank you @lianalewis and @edenalexwine for bringing your beautiful minds to this blog.

 
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You do you & I do Me!

Disclaimer: This blog contains sarcasm from a community of Scandals who doesn't give a damn when people try to bring them down. We will live our life the way we want it!

As you may know, we created a new project called "If I Had Listened” where women talk about a time they decided to trust their guts rather than listening to others. We realized too many of our Scandals were having (or have) a hard time starting new projects because of all the negative feedbacks they were getting from people around them.

Those behaviours will always happen because some people believe they know you better than you know yourself and will not hesitate to tell you the choices you have to make and how to live your life.

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Decide to not give a damn!

A few weeks ago, a classmate from trade school in France commented on one of my Instagram stories in which I was pole dancing, with a very thoughtful question:

“But why are you doing this? Showing your butts and everything? Really I don't understand…"

What a deep question and great way to develop a new conversation. I have to thanks this type of people because they make it really easy for me to use my french sarcasm!

So here I am, in my underwear, upside down on the pole, practicing one of the move we learnt. Then I got this message which blew my mind and reminded me of those school topics about philosophy and existential questions: Who are WE and why are we ALIVE?… So I asked myself, why am I doing what?

  • Why am I upside down on a pole?

  • Why am I half naked in my apartment?

  • Why am I living in Canada?

  • Why do I define myself as a woman?

My brain started to think, too many interrogations, not that much time to answer… My mind couldn’t take it anymore. I finally replied to him with the answer that was the most appropriate to that question: "For the pain!”. I guess not everyone understand sarcasm:

"Pain?? What are you talking about? I am talking about this way you have to show your butt to everyone… What is the point? I just want to understand why you are doing this… Or the same with the videos where you film yourself and other things… Honestly I don't understand!”

 
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"… the way you show your butt to everyone…” I am not gonna lie, I had to take a deep breath to stay calm. I had three options: I could have let my anger out and tackled him with my words. I could have wasted my time by starting a debate on how we live in a sexist society where it is inappropriate for women to show their body but normal for men and how it is important to change mentality around that topic. Or just ignored him, which I did, because I knew that guy was only criticising instead of trying to really understand and change his way of thinking and beliefs. So I kept my cool, told him I would not go into details and wished him a good night.

What we learnt since we opened Scandaleuse is that if people refuse to understand, you will not make them change their mind, so what even bother. It will only create frustration on your side and a big waste of your time!

Deciding of your own life doesn't make you selfish

There is a big difference between not caring about others and not caring about what people think of your way of living, it does not make you selfish or pretentious if you decide to not give a damn. You know you cannot please everybody, you can LISTEN to what people have to say and acknowledge their thoughts and ideas but at the end YOU decide if you want to apply them. You want to wear only blue clothes, go for it. You don't want kids, nothing wrong with that. You want to work in the sex industry, you do you my friend (no pun intended - or maybe a little!).

To quote one of the biggest poet of all time (love ya Hi Fashion!):

I don't care if you don't like my hair
Because I know it's amazing
And I don't give a damn if you don't like my tan
Because I know it's amazing
I don't give two hoots if you don't like my boots
Because I know they're amazing
And I don't give a sh*t if you don't like my tits
Because I know they're amazing

What you do with your butt, how you dress, the way you live your life and who you decide to be concerns you and only you. Don't let others dictate who you are just because they believe it is the only and right way to be in our society.

 
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It ain't about time, it is about priorities!

Scandals, we need to talk! We have a big nowadays' problem (well we have more than one: #zerowaste, #prayforsudan, we unfortunately could add more to the list) and this problem is called “I don't have the time". It sounds familiar, doesn't it? Isn't it a sentence we hear more and more when we try to meet with friends or create professional collaborations?

 
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The “I am too busy” symptom

Don’t get me wrong, with all of those life opportunities people are getting busier and it is fantastic. Travelling is easier, we have so many tools to realize our projects and ideas, even dating is one swipe away from being effortless. It will be a nonsense to not grab life by the balls! But unfortunately we have the tendency to use “I don't have the time” too often as an excuse instead of being straight forward and saying “No”.

As humans being time is all we have, life is only about the time we have left before it is too late. So it is not truly about the time, it is about priorities.

It is fine to not wanted to be part of whatever someone is offering you but remember, no mater the excuse you have, it is always better to be as honest as possible without hurting the person's feelings or ego. If you have time to watch Netflix, then you have time to do anything else (priorities my friend!). If it is too difficult for you to say “No”, you can always find alternatives:

  • This is not a priority for me.

  • Let me think about it and get back to you if I change my mind.

  • I don’t have the budget for it.

  • I would prefer to enjoy some me-time tonight.

But honestly, you don't even have to give an excuse, you can decline politely: “Thanks for thinking of me but I will pass” (with a friendly and cute emoji). After all, you don't owe anything to anyone.

 
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The importance of saying “NO”

Two things happen when people do not dare to decline:

  • They disappear, cut communication without telling you what was the problem. FYI, this is unacceptable, rude, unprofessional and happened to us too many times. We hope for you guys you will never get stood up and if it did happen to you, we are sorry cause it sucks!

  • They don't put the effort to do the work they are supposed to do, which creates delays and unnecessary stress.

It is important to see any relationship as a win-win situation. Being honest and telling someone "No" will save you a lot of headaches, plus you will not waste the time of your interlocutor who is probably trying to plan things around YOUR schedule to make his/her project comes to life. If this person is ready to make time for you then you have to do the same…

Not rushing your decision to be part of it or not will help to avoid any negative issues. Take a couple of days to think about it, you do not have to give an answer right away! See if you want/can actually be part of a project or event. If it is for a professional collaboration for example, ask yourself what you can bring to this new business relationship and how does it benefit you.

Commitment is a virtue

If you commit to something avoid changing your mind in the middle of the road, unless you have a very good and honest excuse. The lack of motivation should not make you run away from your responsibilities!

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Do not let procrastination take over!

Procrastination is a big and scary word, nobody likes to be told or think they are being lazy. But we all know how easy it is to let ourselves go in any aspects of our life: relationship, life goals, business… It does not mean we are actually lazy or we do not care anymore, usually it is something we build with time and without noticing. Slowly but surely we have been developing bad habits and at some point it just hits us, trust me when I say it is an awful feeling!

Starting 2019 with "Panache”

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I wanted to start 2019 in style, so beginning of January I wrote down a lot of new goals in my notebook, I especially wanted to work on being more self-disciplined and I was 100% motivated to achieve it. One of the first one was to travel alone: BAM! Two weeks later I was in Costa Rica by myself, celebrating my birthday and making new friends (I even met a new gorgeous scandal for a boudoir shoot). I came back to Toronto with clearer thoughts, new ideas and ready to conquer the world!

By the way, this feeling happens when you get out of your confort zone and try new experiences. Yes it is scary at first but once it is done, you feel so powerful and confident; you can do everything.

Hit me baby one more time

I kept that fire inside me until about two weeks ago when I started feeling down, unmotivated and not really healthy. Then few days ago it just hit me (and man, it was painful, I felt guilty!): I realized I have been letting myself go for a few months. Yes I was full of ideas and new goals but I wasn't working to make them happen. Business was busy, which was a bit unbelievable for winter time, so I focused on the tasks I had to do, I focused too much on the short term and forgot about long term plans. I have slowly been pushing back projects I was supposed to work on or business skills I wanted to learn. Those bad habits affected not only my business life but my personal one too:

  • I stopped cooking healthy meals (I am a vegetarian so I have to be careful to replace properly the nutrients I don't get from meat anymore), the result: iron deficiency = a week an a half of intense migraines and fatigue.

  • I replaced reading by watching tv shows (Netflix is temptation!).

  • My workout has been the same for the past 2 months instead of learning new fitness and aerial silk tricks.

  • Do you remember my 2019 goals I was talking to you about? Well I haven't opened that notebook since I wrote them in!

To make it short, I STOPPED LEARNING…

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Your brain is a muscle

We always remember to feed our body. If we don't, it doesn't take too much time before having a low energy, headaches, dizziness… But we have the tendency to forget our brain is a muscle we need to take care of. We need to work it out and feed it with knowledge if we do not want to see negative effects on the long term.

When you make your passion a business, unfortunately you can easily lose your creativity, you have to challenge yourself all the time: I am not gonna lie, it can be very tiring… So you take a break, you relax. And it's when you let go too much you start building procrastination. All it takes is to find the perfect balance between work and pleasure. I am not able to remember the last time I watched a documentary, discovered a new photographer, went to an art exhibition or learn something new. I am not a lazy person, I am the opposite: always working hard, curious and motivated. But somewhere and for some reasons on the road, procrastination showed up and stayed warm and cozy.

The first step is to notice

Procrastination's guilt is an awful feeling. So when you catch yourself procrastinating for too long you have to change your activity right away, just stop and do something that feels right! If this step is too difficult for you then ask someone in your loved ones who will let you know if you f**k up. I try to not beat myself up because nobody is perfect but I refuse to use it as an excuse to stay in this vicious circle.

The secret against laziness:

Some of you are probably gonna feel disappointed because I know you are waiting to read an advice which will change your life… Please do not hate me but unfortunately there is no magic trick! You have to force yourself to do stuff! Whatever it is you try to achieve, you have to kick your own butt to be successful. FIND YOUR OWN MOTIVATION.

 
 

Use your brain!

Never stop learning, think, have ideas, keep yourself active, build up your energy and consider your body as a temple because if you are not healthy then it will be difficult to be proactive.

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How people's words can have an impact on your mind and body

Language is a powerful tool which brings people together and help understand each other. But unfortunately it can easily be transformed and used as a weapon. Since humans have the tendency to criticize others (because it is apparently easier than giving a compliment), this weapon put in mischievous hands can be extremely painful. It is really difficult to know the impact our words can have on others but is it so difficult to be more careful and taking the time to be aware of it?

 
 

I can say I am pretty confident with my body but it wasn't always the case, especially in middle school. I am glad I choose to go to photography school as it helped me to become self-confident.

I wish sometimes I could be curvier, taller, have thicker wrists, get more tan, have a beautiful skin… but this is my body and I cannot change it, so I decided to cherish it because it is precious and I now don’t give a freaking damn about people's critics.

 
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When your “supposed-friends” show their true colors

I always been really thin: tiny body, tiny bones, boobies which are still hiding from the world (still looking for them!) and for a long time I was ashamed of that. Of course people liked to remind me of it:

-“You look like a garden gnome hahaha!”

- “I should not talk about that in front of you, you are like what… 14?!” (I am 19 dude but thanks-what an ass!")

- “Are you not ashamed of not having boobs?”

- “Are you sure you don't suffer from anorexia?”

… I could keep going on and on.

Most of those awful sentences came from friends or people I knew and every time they broke me into thousand pieces. Until a classmate told me the worst one “your mom should be sooo ashamed for giving birth to an anorexic girl. What an embarrassment!!”.

That sentence was the last one I let putting me down: F**k that! Never again I will let words break me.

Relax, it was just a joke!

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The famous: “I was joking!”… I am pretty sure we all went through that and maybe we did it too without realizing it can be painful for our interlocutor. Do not get me wrong, as a french person I love sarcasm and bad humour that makes me laugh even though it is directed towards my body or my intelligence. Lets take my family as a an example, I saw partners or parents with their kids, pocking each other and making jokes about the way they look, their personality: "Don't take it badly, it was just a joke!” they say.

Yes it was probably… a joke but for some reason that day, those words sticked to your mind. Maybe it wasn’t the first time you heard those words or maybe you were already having a bad day and was feeling a bit down. When a loved one reminds you several time per week “how flat you are”, “how curvy you are”, “how sometimes you can be stupid", even if they say it with a touch of humour, you ended up believing those words and not in yourself anymore.

Yes jokes are funny but do not forget also to tell your loved ones every day how much you love them, how strong and smart they are and how successful they will be.

“Et mademoiselle, t’es bonne, tu baises?”

Disclaimer: Ladies and gents caution, coarse language coming.

Translation: “Yo miss, you're hot, wanna f**k?” (no kidding, I heard those words in the street).

I never really had any problem since I moved to Canada and I wish I could tell you the same for France but I would be lying. You see, France is like Tinder's nightmares in real life. A lot of men have the bad habit to harass women in the street and we heard them all. From “I am gonna eat that ass!", "B**ch I am talking to you!”, “Nice legs, at what time do they open?!"… to “I am gonna rape you!”, when you are victim of street harassment for years, it gets very easy to stress about the idea of going out by yourself. And they say apparently french women are very difficult to approach… - Cough - Really? I wonder why!

The worst sentence a guy told me in Canada was “You're gonna get in trouble with this body!”, I am not gonna lie it scared the crap out of me (I was walking in a very quiet street with nobody else around) but I played it cool and thanked the guy for his “compliment”. At some point he left after wishing me to have a great day.

Please gentlemen, think twice before hitting on a girl and watch your language!

When people make your day

Fortunately, a lot of people have the ability to cheer your day up with hilarious and unforgettable compliments and honestly those are the ones that counts. So for you and exclusively, here are the best ones people ever told us:

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- “You have very nice collarbones!”

- “Your hair smell like sex!”

- “If I have to compare you as a car, you will be a Porsche”

- “Wohh, where did you get those eyes from?!”

- “If we take my friend's legs, this table as my body and my face, would you love me?”

What about you? What is the best/worst/unforgettable compliment someone ever gave you?

Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

We all feel how winter in Canada can be tough sometimes, the lack of heat and sun after few months starts to have a negative impact on our mood. So it can be a great idea to take few days out of the country: one of us went five days to Costa Rica and it was incredible. The goal of that short trip was to get away from Toronto and take some me-time… You guys know how hard workers we are and how it is difficult for us to disconnect from work. Well we have to confess, it was hard to not take the opportunity to do a boudoir shoot in paradise and work with a new lady… So we had to do it :)

We posted a message on a facebook group about a boudoir shoot idea and Heidi was one of the first to reply. Even though we did not know her, she was the one who stood out and we new from the start we wanted to shoot with her. What a meaningful encounter: her story was inspiring, we always love to hear about other business owner's experience and life. Plus she has an incredible personality, beauty… PERFECT COMBO!

 
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Meet Heidi

Everybody has a story, I think that’s one of the things I enjoy the most about meeting people in Costa Rica. Here we are in this little beautiful country, together, talking and forming friendships, discovering how much we have in common and yet we all have a different back story about what led us here.

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

I went there for the first time to celebrate my partner’s and my 50th birthdays.  We planned a double vacation – some skiing and boarding in Whistler for the first week, and then straight to Costa Rica to learn to surf. Tamarindo….such a neat place! My partner could already surf and had tried it in many other exotic locations, but this was a first for me and I don’t even skateboard or snowboard… Yikes! Well, I survived surf camp and could actually say I could surf afterwards!

That first trip led to another and another and another, at least twice a year, enjoying the beach, training every day, surfing and always pondering eventual retirement and speculating about what little business could be started here to fill a niche.

At first we thought about a coffee shop, or more specifically, a mobile coffee cart – because at that time there were only a couple in town. Needless to say in 5 years there are probably 14 now…. so that was a good pass!

How Gilliepops was born

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One thing that seemed to be lacking was treats of any sort that weren’t laden with sugar or milk and specifically cold frozen treats. Popsicles… Yes, that became the focus and ultimately Gilliepops was born, named after my late daughter, who passed away a few months after our first trip here.

Lots of brainstorming, creative thinking and marketing ideas, and in November 2017 I arrived in town with a bicycle, a cooler, my Vitamix and a couple of giant duffel bags filled with popsicles sticks, moulds, labels and packaging supplies. It was new and exciting, and at times very disappointing and stressful. I ate a lot of tuna and eggs that’s for sure but what an amazing experience! I even added gluten free baked goods to my repertoire and it seems the tourists and even locals can’t get enough of them. It’s awesome!!

Thanks to social media

Business here in Costa Rica is done differently that in North America.  It’s less formal and much of the communication is done either on Facebook or Whatsapp.

Because of the dependency on Facebook for business, I’m forced to check it daily and post often to encourage awareness of the availability of gluten free products here. This is when I saw Fanny's post about her visit to Tamarindo. I sent her a few suggestions, I think because I knew she was from Toronto. When she mentioned being a photographer and looking for someone to photograph while she was here, I jumped at the opportunity – there are almost no pictures of me here because I’m on my own. And what a beautiful place to be photographed.

Its been a couple of years since I’ve done a photo shoot and never when I wasn’t ready to compete (I’m a physique competitor), but I thought it would be nice to be captured as my regular self, my natural self, a little smoother and softer… tan lines and all…! The shoot was amazing – the view from the location we chose was so beautiful and the pictures she took are so flattering and beautiful.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met one of the Scandaleuse's team, the time we got to spend together talking an sharing our stories.

 
 

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Dealing with trauma via boudoir photography

A few months ago, we flew back to our home country, France, to do one of our Boudoir Bash in Paris. We met a lot of wonderful Frenchies there, including the exquisite Nora. The first time we talked with her on Skype, she opened up right away about her motivations to do a shoot and her story moved us.

 
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Having someone telling you about her past is quite emotional and this is why we love being boudoir photographers. It gives us the opportunity to work and help people to win back their confidence and even better, their self-love.

We are no therapists but we know that in some cases, photography can help heal consequences of a traumatic event such as abuse, assault, harassment and other traumas who have left you confused about who you can see yourself.

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My name is Nora, this is my story…

“Let's start talking about my fear… I know, pretty unusual for people who know me!

My biggest fear is actually one of my family member, so it makes it really complicated to move forward, to liberate myself from this situation. Even though I haven't seen this person in years, I know that, deep inside, we might see each other again.

Yes, I grew up but I still have that fear to see his face, the way he looked at me, or even worse, to awake those bitter memories of his physical and psychological hits.

All of those years by his side can be summed up with tears and this feeling of helplessness against a man way stronger than me. To me, it sounds like a trivial story, so I tell myself “there is probably worse stories than mine.”

I grew up surrounded with machismo & the “alpha male” spirit. One day I had no other choice but to escape this life. I gathered up my strength and I left. I needed to get away as far as I could from this person, this source of fear. It was love that helped me to take this first step and put a temporary "band-aid” on what was haunting me.

Inevitably, the consequences of this sitution with this member of my family remove completement all of my self-esteem.

Being constantly put down during the first decade of your life makes you forgetting about who you are very quickly. However, time goes by and we try to rebuild ourselves after all, even if we have to put our loved ones aside.

I do not have this person in my life anymore. I have been with someone who listens to me and understands my past, who pushes me to thrive as much as I want for the past few years.

With time and maybe without noticing it, I was attracted by those women who are self-confident and whom by art, politic and culture were able to accept themselves the way they are. This is how I had the idea to use boudoir photography as a way to heal myself.

 
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The Boudoir Shoot

What an unforgettable experience! A moment of peace where I was able to forget about my problems, all of my "flaws” and more importantly, my demons. It was just a magical therapy!

Posing in front of the lens made me realize that the qualities I was admiring in others were also part of me. I was able to win back what I thought was gone forever and shout out to the whole world “I will never feel ashamed to be myself anymore.

This magical moment had a real positive impact on my life and I don't want to stop here as I have more ideas to keep feeling unstoppable. I have to say it would have been much harder without Fanny and Juliette's help.

“I am beautiful”

Thank you to the man who I have been sharing my life for the past 5 years, it is because of him I am still thriving!


FRENCH VERSION

Je m’appelle Nora, voici mon histoire

Commençons par parler de ma peur, chose inhabituelle pour ceux qui me connaissent je sais.

Ma première peur, la plus grande, est un membre de ma famille. C'est donc compliqué de s'en défaire, de s'émanciper, car même si je ne l'ai pas vu depuis de nombreuses années, je sais qu'au fond de moi nous nous reverrons un jour sûrement.

Oui, j'ai beau avoir grandi, j'ai toujours cette hantise de revoir son visage, son regard et surtout de réveiller amèrement les souvenirs de ses coups tant psychologiques que physiques.

Tout ce temps à se côtoyer durant toutes ces années se résume aux pleurs ainsi qu'à un sentiment d'impuissance face à un homme bien plus fort que moi. Mon histoire me parait banale et je me dis alors "qu'il y a certainement pire que moi".

J'ai donc grandi dans ce contexte de machisme, du "male alpha" à la maison. Un jour j'ai eu la force de m'enfuir loin de cette vie, je n'avais plus le choix, il fallait mettre une réelle distance avec ce qui incarnait cette peur, une rencontre amoureuse m'a confortée évidemment dans cette démarche. Ce qui m'a permis de mettre dans un premier temps une sorte de "pansement" sur ce mal qui me poursuivait. Fatalement, ces déboires familiaux, dû à cet individu principalement, m'ont enlevé toute estime de moi.

Être constamment rabaissé durant vos premières décennies de vie vous font "très vite" oublier qui vous êtes, mais le temps passe et on tente malgré tout de se construire même si cela implique de (se) priver (de) ses proches.

Je ne partage plus ma vie avec cette personne avec qui j'étais partie à l'époque. Depuis quelques années je suis avec quelqu'un qui m'encourage à m'épanouir comme je l'entends, il a particulièrement su m'écouter et me comprendre. Inconsciemment peut-être, je me suis doucement intéressée à ces femmes qui s'assumaient, s'acceptaient au travers de diverses façons (art/politique/culture). L'idée d'accepter mon image et de faire un shooting photo m'est alors venu.

La séance Boudoir

Une expérience inoubliable ! Un moment où j'ai oublié tous mes soucis, tous mes (potentiels) défauts et surtout, tous mes démons ! Ce fût ni plus ni moins une thérapie magique.

En se prêtant au "jeu de l'objectif", j'ai pu constater que ce que je pouvais admirer chez les autres, je pouvais aussi l'apprécier et le retrouver chez moi. Je pense avoir, presque malgré moi, crié aux monde entier "je suis moi et n'en aurais certainement plus honte !".

Ce moment "magique" m'a réellement fait du bien, m'a donné d'autres idées encore et rien de tout ça n'aurait été si parfait sans Fanny et Juliette.

" Je suis belle "

Un énorme merci à l'homme qui partage ma vie depuis plus de 5 ans, grâce à lui je grandis encore!

Bridal Boudoir

For our Scandals who are getting married, have you heard about bridal boudoir?

It sounds like just a detail to add to your endless to-do list, less important than shoes, flowers and the other millions tasks you need to take care of. As a result, boudoir shots are either overlooked or done very quickly the morning of your wedding if you or your photographer remembers.

 
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WHY NOT TAKE MORE TIME AND BOOK YOUR BRIDAL BOUDOIR SESSION BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY?

BRIDAL BOUDOIR = PRETTY NEAT YOU TIME

Let's face it: wedding planning can be very stressful. From finding the best venue to the problematic seating chart (you know, uncle George having a feud with aunt Roberta while your 14-year-old cousin would rather die than sit at the kids table...), it feels like there is no ending.

That's why we believe every bride should take one day to take care of herself and relax: spa, massage, karate class (everyone has their own way to calm down!). A boudoir session can definitely join that list of cool stuff. It's a great way to have fun and think about you and only you.

HERE ARE 4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD DO A BOUDOIR SESSION BEFORE YOUR WEDDING:

1) YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO IT.

Secretly or not, we are 99% sure this is something you've been curious about. What's better than using the fact that you are getting married as a reason to finally do it?

2) YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL LIKE A BAD-ASS

You will definitely leave your shoot feeling like Beyonce. We see it with all of our clients: they first come excited and a little shy, they leave rocking that pavement like it's a cat walk, with their hair is slow-motion. That's exactly what you need. And we all love Beyonce.

3) YOUR PARTNER WILL JUST LOVE IT.

Just picture your partner's blushing face and adorable smile when he/she will see your photos. There is something so special about giving this gift to the love of your life.

4) YOU ARE GOING TO BUY EXPENSIVE LINGERIE/VEIL FOR YOUR BIG DAY.

Might as well make it count. That pair of cute panties you bought for the night of deserves more.

You can even involve your partner for a couple boudoir shoot if you want to try something unique, he/she also needs to relax, in a romantic way...

INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

Most of the time, it is done indoor,s usually at the bride’s home, friend or family house or in an hotel room. But because we love to offer you something different, your session can be done in beautiful lofts: from bohemiam artsy to moderm minimalist, it's your choice!

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If you feel adventurous, we can take you for an outdoor session. Depending of the weather and your taste, a boudoir shoot can be done in a beautiful garden, in the forest, on the beach, in the water or in even the street, for creative and beautiful images.

ONLY ME, MYSELF & I?

This is totally up to you. Some women like to do it by themselves, others feel more comfortable with someone they know. If you feel like sharing this wonderful experience, here are some ideas:

  • With your partner: Such a great way to bring your relationship to another level of intimacy. Bring your lover and a bottle of wine, we vow to create a romantic atmosphere.

  • With your bridesmaids: those sessions are so much fun and can be very creative. You just need to bring your girls, your lingerie and props and some drinks (yes a bottle of wine works here too) and we are good to go!

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

You decide what is the most comfortable for you and the vibe you have in mind. Here are few tips to help you started:

  • Classic: white lingerie, veil, garter  and bouquet

  • Fancy: corset or bodysuit, lace, stockings and heels

  • Natural: simple lingerie, oversize sweaters, knee socks, light makeup and barefoot

THOSE ARE JUST LITTLE TIPS, FEEL FREE TO MIX AND MATCH IDEAS, WEAR COLORS, BRING JEWELRY OR GO FULL NUDE. THERE ARE NO RULES, LET YOUR IMAGINATION DO THE WORK!

 
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Birth Control Pill: A little devil

Disclaimer: In this post I am talking about my own experience and feedback about the birth control pill. I am not a doctor and this should not be considered as legal advice. You should seek appropriate counsel for your own situation.

Ladies and gents (I do have some hope that men can also be interested by that topic!), today's blog post is about my experience with the birth control pill, why I decided to stop it and it's impact on my body 11 years later…

When I Sold My Soul For Beauty Purpose

2007 was a great year: first boyfriend and sexual blooming, beginning of adulthood… This was the reason I started taking the birth control pill, “Jasmin” if I remember correctly. Unfortunately when I was 17, I had a lot of migraines and also a strong acne, “Jasmin” wasn't strong enough for my body. So I decided to follow my gynecologist advice which was to go for one of the strongest hormonal pill, perfect against acne and migraines: Ladies and gentlemen, the famous “Diane 35", let's sadly acclaim it.

Big mistake! But I was young and looking for an easy way to feel prettier. I was really ashamed of my acne, all I wanted was to get rid of it. I just wished my doctors would have told me about the risks and side effects of those pills…

 
Before taking the pill

Before taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

5 months after taking the pill

 

The Results Were Beyond Expectations

If there is something I cannot complain about, it is the result and efficacy: my acne was gone few months after I started taking it and the migraines were less intense, it was honestly a relief. On top of that, they helped regulate your menstrual cycle and the main purpose of that pill was also a success, I never got pregnant. You got it, I am not complaining about their efficacy against pregnancy. The birth control pill is a great contraceptive as long as you don’t forget to take it. Unfortunately the side effects and risks on the woman body are pretty scary.

But for 11 years I was never aware of those side effects. This is why the "pill” is sneaky: you usually do not feel how unhealthy it is, at least I never felt it.

So why did I stop?

As you may know, two years ago I became vegetarian and it is now important for me to take care of my body and be careful with what goes in and out. It is my way to feel confident and respectful of it! Stopping the pill was obviously another step towards taking less chemical, since I did not want extra hormones in my body anymore (If you wanna learn more about this topic, I found this very interesting article).

To make it short, the birth control pills is a combinaison of two hormones: estrogen and progestogen, that eliminate ovulation and prevent pregnancy. It changes your natural hormone balance, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.

I also never like having to take a pill every day because I have sometimes forgotten to take them (oh and I guess reading about those women who died from blood clotting in their legs, sudden blockages in their lungs, bleeding in their brains and chest pain before death, did help me with that decision…) Anyway, in January 2018, I took the decision to change contraception and go for a non-hormonal copper IUD. I went to my family doctor to talk with her about that decision, her advice was to stop the pill and wait until my next period to have the IUD inserted. Which I did…

Another big mistake, I should have never ever stoped the pill right away! In one month, I went from 11 years of intense synthetic hormones to natural ones. Of course it was a shock for my body, my doctor should have told me about it. The consequences? I developed a strong acne in a couple of months and my menstrual cycle was all over the place. I feel like a teenager again and I now have a lack of confidence because of that acne. It has been less than a year I changed contraceptive and my body is slowly getting use to it, but it will take few years before the level of acne decrease.

 
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Why I like non-hormonal contraception

First of all, big shout out for the Copper IUD, it is so convenient. I am not gonna lie, the insertion was painful but it lasted only a couple of minutes and I do not have to worry of getting pregnant for the next five years. What if I want a baby in two years? The doctor will just take it out!

My body has changed a lot since I switched birth control method and I have now “real” and natural cycles, which includes unfortunately: cramps and irregular, heavier and longer periods. But it also had 3 positive impacts that are really worth it: I am feeling less emotional, my sex drive increased a lot and I am more lubricated (don't laugh, it was pretty frustrating in the past!).

I have no regrets of that change and do not plan to go back to birth control pills. There are so many contraceptives on the market, you should not have any problem to find the perfect one for you. Talk with your doctor or gynecologist about it and most important: do your own research.

Now go make love and viva la sexualidad!!

 
 

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Kiss your body insecurities goodbye

Isn't it a great feeling to feel the positive evolution in body positivity? Do you guys see it too? From articles I read or friend's conversations, I have the feeling that people and especially women are more self-confident. Man, how powerful is that?! Even though we still have a lot of progress to make, we are slowly getting there.

The importance of confidence

Most of the people I meet know about their qualities and are confident about either their sense of humour, their kindness, their intellect… But I have never met a single person who is in love with 100% of his/her body. We always feel judged, always have the impression people are looking at us. Do you want to know the truth? People don't care… or at least most of them don’t (honestly who cares about judgy people). If you love the way you look and accept what mother nature gave you, it will be easier to conquer the world: being self-confident shows charisma which is a powerful quality to be successful in life.

I never said it will be easy

I am not 100% confident and writing this blog is making me think about the parts of my body I do not like and why I don't like them. Our past traumas are usually the reasons why we are so picky with ourselves.

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There are two things I do not like about my body. The first one is my wrists (oh gosh I know it sounds stupid but it is a fact). I see them so tiny and I never been able to like them. Not that I am ashamed and try to hide those wrists but I never felt confident about them. Why? If you have been following us for a little while, you may have read the blog post in which I was writing about my teenagehood and how photography changed the way I see myself. I was a skinny and insecure teenager and kids in my middle school were mean so I got a lot of insults about anorexia. Their words still resonate in me sometimes.

The second thing I do not like is my recent acne. Last February I decided to stop taking my birth control pills to switch for a non hormonal birth control device because I want to take care of my body, go for something more “natural” and stop ingested those crappy hormones. Well I wanted to go natural: I got acnee… Yay! (unhappy smile). Two months after I stoped those pills, I developed a severe acne and felt awful about myself. I totally lost my confidence and sex appeal. Why? Same as previously written, it reminded me when I was fifteen and brought back all of those bad memories.

How to change your mindset

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The only way to accept those parts of your body you like the less is to look a them, stop hiding them and talk positively about them. When I look at my wrists I stop telling myself they are too skinny, instead I decided think and say loudly they are cute. For my acne, I try to not use make up to cover the pimples. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I look at every pimples and tell myself it is not so bad and they will eventually disappear with time.

You can also learn how to highlight and showcase your imperfections. the good news is that it could be fairly easy: you just have to decide to change a negative mindset to a positive one.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND GO LOVE EVERY FREAKING INCHES OF YOUR BODY!

Entrepreneur life - The importance of taking a break

Our summer, while pretty amazing, is also a bit overwhelming. Our shoots, a business trip to France to organize, the boudoir and wedding editing a bridal show to get ready for, a lot of new scandals to meet and our upcoming, it is keeping us busy. And you know us, we do not plan to stop there!

With everything on our plates, we have less time to take care of ourselves. It feels like our bodies are taking a hit, our aerial silks level is in a free fall, we are hairier than Chewbacca and our dinners are mostly made of pasta and cheese... It is time to take some me-time!

 
 

Working for yourself: Beauty and the beast

The positif side

We all dream to enjoy our life and have fun while the money magically appears in our bank account. If you want to be able to follow your own schedule, make your ideas come to life and take a vacation whenever you want... Well you wanna be your own boss. In other terms, you want to create something on your own and be free financially. I believe working for yourself gives you more chances to get to that goal rather than working for a company other than yours.

The side effect

But this need of freedom requires A LOT OF WORK. This is why, as an entrepreneur, it is very difficult to take the liberty of having a 9 to 5 schedule. Especially for us, Juliette and I live together and work together from home. Our personal and professional life is all mixed up so it is quite difficult to have a regular schedule (and it is not something we truly want). But in this case you have to be careful this lifestyle does not become more of a curse than a blessing. Without realizing it, you start working everyday from early morning to late night, think about work almost all the time, forget to take days off and eventually you burn out. 

Even though you love what you do, being all the time in a business mode is stressful and ends up by being a poisoned gift.

How to find the perfect balance

 
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Force yourself to chill the hell out.

You and only you can decide to take a break from work. Feeling overwhelmed and being too stressed out will eventually make you weak and sick. Trust us, you will be more productive if your body and spirit are fully rested.

Day off is your ally

If you cannot or don't feel like taking some vacation, then take at least one day off per week. For at least one day, do not think about work, do not open your emails, do not connect on your social media. Instead spend time with your loved ones, go in the nature, cook or bake, watch some movies or tv shows, catch up with friends, paint, read, make love... Those little pleasure are super important if you want to be healthy and happy.

Not everything is urgent

Our biggest problem? Thinking every tasks needs to be done as soon as possible. The truth is, when you actually look at your to-do list, a lot of things can wait an extra 12 hours before getting done. Don't get us wrong, we don't encourage you to procrastinate, just to prioritize what is actually on a strict deadline and give yourself a breather for your other duties.

Ask for help

If it is too difficult for you to disconnect from work, then ask a friend or family to help you with this task. People will be more than happy to spend time with you and be here to remind you today is your day!

One of our solutions? Borrow your friend cottage for three days in Tiny Ontario, buy two bottles of wine, cheese and dessert, get naked and enjoy the weather

Our three days break was very relaxing even though it wasn't 100% work-free. But it is a beginning and we remind ourselves everyday that... a lot of things are actually not that urgent.