About Me

Hi! I’m Susa.

I’m an artist and world-traveler. I empower myself and others through expressing my creativity and showing the world what I hold inside.

My passion in the arts started at the age of nine when I started dancing ballet and entered my first year of art school. I got a solid training in art techniques very early on, and that has carried me all thru these years. The first time I got excited about art was when Andy Warhol’s Pop Art exhibition came to my city when I was 11.

Growing up in Finland, I had one unique passion – to become a ballerina! This followed me when I moved to Wisconsin where I danced a lot – the highlight was my role in the Nutcracker. I found out more about my talent in arts and placed well in a few competitions. This was a huge step for me since I didn’t believe I had much of a talent.

The route wasn’t easy though. I was bullied in junior high school – probably because of my devotion to ballet. Or maybe my unique eyes that wiggle discretely, a condition also called nystagmus. That left a permanent stain on my self-esteem.

At the same time, my ballet teacher kept telling me to lose weight. I felt shy and insecure about my body. “If only I were skinnier, then I would feel better in my life”, was what my young self fervently told me. This led into binge eating.

After Wisconsin, I moved to Florida to study English. Then I got a Master’s degree in International Relations. In 2002, I obtained an internship in Paris at a language school. That is where I got more into arts again and hence why I use this city as the core of my blog.

During my time in Paris, I rode the subway with my supplies and went to draw and paint on Pont des Arts. Paris rekindled the creative side in me yet I still struggled with achieving my dream to become a ballerina. I was very much into aerobics and taught it full time for two years. However, I wasn’t able to pass the physical tests and never got my French state diploma. This hurt my self-esteem immensely. It was as if my bygone ballerina aspirations had been crushed the second time. As a result, I lost weight. It was my way to console and soothe the hurt inside.

I drifted down the disordered eating slope. Thru the years I ate less and less. The feeling of empowerment “the not eaten calories” gave me was the thing that kept me loving myself. I was proud of the body I had created. But at the same time, I knew I was hurting myself – I felt physically not at my best by far – and that the solution wasn’t a lasting one.

I started teaching English in 2005 and have done, and loved doing it, ever since. I got married in Finland in 2008 to a Parisian. In 2010, on our honey moon to Miami and NYC, I truly understood that I had become anorexic and that I had to get better. I moved to Quebec City, Canada in December 2011, and it is here that I finally kicked anorexia out of my life. This left an empty place that I have been looking for to fill.

I have established my priorities. My tools for a happy life are the love of my husband, my dad and step mom’s support, a strong circle of friends, along with fashion blogging, jogging, zumba and doing art. These are the building blocks that I believe will shield me from depression, or falling back to eating disorders. Work wise I own an English teaching company Susa English. Teaching gives me fulfillment and I find it liberating being my own boss. Traveling is also very close to my heart. Having moved across the Ocean several times, and lived in four different countries has molded me into the cosmopolitan that I today am. I am a humble world citizen that tries to embrace the place and its beauty where I currently reside. I long to see loveliness in all the little things that surround me daily. Starting from Starbucks coffee thru pink evening skies ending at the top of the Eiffel Tower.



  1. n

    A wonderful blog; I don’t really enjoy fashion blogs usually but this is nice. It makes me feel good. :) Thank you.

  2. Missy Miller

    Thank you for your words on my blog..I was so happy to hear from you. After a few days of stalking your blog I now feel official enough to comment that…

    AH! I have a crush on you.
    I have no fashion sense for myself because years of ED robbed me of taking any vested interest in my appearance and YOUR blog inspires ME to step it up.

    Second of all.. I studied French in college and for a while became a serious Frankophile wannabe. And I just find it amazing that you just…you went there. And here you are.
    That takes courage.

    I know you have it. Courage and strength. And I know you will use it to treat yourself like the fabulous, (I have to add beautiful here even though looks are not important but still…do the cat calls get annoying?) woman you are.


  3. Red Lipstick Style

    such a nice introduction. I was so close to re-starting my blog last fall, but my mother had a heart-attack and I’m just lacking time for everything except work and caring for her. You are so right that we have to take time for ourselves as well, or we will start to just be barely alive. Thank you always for your beautiful inspiration.


  4. Shannon from Healthiful Balance

    I just found your blog (through the comment you left on mine) and I love it! You are such a beautiful person inside and out! Thats so cool that you’ve lived in so many places before. I used to live in Florida too and miss the warm weather and the beach so much! I’ve also been to Paris before and it was so nice! :)

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! It put a big smile on my face and made my day!!! <3

  5. Paris Karin (an alien parisienne)

    I was stopping by because I am re-doing my blog links (updating and so on) and wanted to make sure I had your link correct. I wanted to tell you how much I LOVE this introduction! I think you are a brave and amazing woman, Susa, and I wanted to send you a virtual hug. I absolutely love the way your blog has transformed over the years, and the current focus and look is just so beautiful.

    As always, best to you in your recovery, and huge hugs from Paris. You are missed here! :)

  6. Joyce

    Dear Susa,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Paris, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

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