|Girls' Guide to Paris founder Doni Belau and writer Sylvia Sabes|
An expat friend recently made the mistake of asking me how I felt when I first moved to Paris at the beginning of 2011. I say "mistake" because Emma got way more than she had anticipated in the way of an answer. Barely pausing to take a breath in between exclamations, I told her how difficult it had been to meet people, how anonymous I had felt living in a large city and how busy everyone else seemed. Our conversation reminded me of the lifelines that kept me afloat during my first months. Reading blogs and websites like Just Another American in Paris, David Lebowitz and Girls' Guide to Paris was one of the ways that I started to feel like an insider, someone who knew their way around this vibrant city. When my husband asked where we should go for lunch on Saturday afternoon, which exhibitions we should attend or how to find a doctor who makes house calls, I had ready responses thanks to all of the information I had found online.
Now that I've made the transition from newbie to blogger, I was pleased to have the opportunity to give thanks to Girls' Guide to Paris (gg2p) this week. To celebrate the launch of their new online lifestyle and travel magazine, Girls' Guide to Paris ET PLUS, founder Doni Belau sent an email asking readers to support their partner charities, Ubuntu Africa and Doctors Without Borders. In exchange for a donation of 20, 50, 125 dollars or more, donors' names would be entered in a drawing for some spectacular Parisian themed prizes, including a 5 night stay at a luxurious apartment on the Ile St. Louis, a private champagne party at the exclusive Perrin Paris boutique, a silver Christofle tray, Ann Girard perfume and more. Within minutes, I had my credit card out and had made a contribution to help children in South Africa suffering from AIDS.
Last night, I was thrilled when Girls' Guide and Finding Noon writer Sylvia Sabes asked me to accompany her to the Girls' Guide to Paris ET PLUS launch party at the Hôtel de Vendôme. OK, I'll be honest. I kind of asked Sylvia if she needed a date. But, hey, at least I got to put on my high heels and learn more about Doni's latest venture. Aimed at women who love to travel and discover special places not featured in all the guidebooks, each issue of the magazine will bring information and updates on Paris and France (Doni's first loves) as well other exciting destinations further afield. Be sure to check it out!
Even though the drawing for the Parisian themed prizes was held after the launch party last night, it's not too late to make a contribution to Ubuntu Africa and Doctors Without Borders. If, like me, you've ever benefited from the useful information provided by Girls' Guide to Paris, let's help them raise $10,000 for a very worthy cause.
|Photo credit: Girls' Guide to Paris|