Gratitude.

Be grateful for the things you have, no one knows how long they will be there for. 

Last week was a stressful week for us. Awaiting the decision for the apartment, fighting our way against others to be able to rent a place just like everyone else was difficult ! It made me realize how I react when things are out of my control. I do not cope well and it makes me incredibly anxious ! So my plan to tackle this reaction is to let go of anything I do not control, and take ownership of the things I can.  I am grateful for those things I have, my physical and mental health, my brain, my circle of friends, my job. And anything that I can’t control, I let go of. 

Stress at work ? Let go. If you are doing the best you can, don’t let stress of management overwhelm your own self. You are doing your best. 

Stress in your relationship ? Let go. If you are doing your very best, communicate your worries and if this isn’t enough, you are in a relationship with the wrong person. 

Stress in your family ? Let go. You can’t make others understand your decisions or your way of life. If they don’t accept or see your point of view despite you doing the best for your own self, then you are wasting energy trying to prouve yourself.

Financial stress? Let go. Money is a flow of energy. Dueling too much on how little money you have will result in not having more. Focusing on the positive : I have to pay bills because I am lucky to have a roof or a car may sound silly but it is the truth. Be positive with money and always talk to yourself or other in a positive manner, believe it yourself. You are going to be rich you will afford your holidays or your dream house. Make a plan and manage your finances. You will be ok. Work a little more and spend a little less. Find out how you spend your money maybe you are spending money to compensate a lack of love ? 

Focus on yourself, focus on your feelings and your happiness. I thing it is important to remind ourselves that there are many  aspects of life we will not have control over or very limited control: our mental or physical health, fertility, lose of a loved one.

Thanskfully, there are aspects we do have control over: how we use our spare time, finding what makes us happy, choosing our circle of friends, managing our finances, choosing our career, the place we live etc…yes some of us may forget about it but we make the choices and it is easy sometimes to say ” i have to be here for x y z ” 9 out of 10 we have created excuses to make us feel better about choices that make us unhappy. 


I am trying to focus 90% of my time on those things I have control over, doing plenty of stuff that fills me with happiness, ( cheap thrills like coffee, reading a book, walking outside, taking photos ) surrounding myself with great people and design the life I want. Focusing so much on taking ownership of this life i want so that when life decide to challenge me with unplannned event, i hope to have enough strength to overcome it. 

Those 10% left will happen. But they will not be the focus of my life and it will not overwhelm me. 

Altrincham.

I am delighted to write about Altrincham today ! 

I have to apologize for my absence but I have had to fight my way to an apartment in Altrincham. Let me tell you this “battle” was not easy and it took a lot of time and energy. We are finally at the end and I can confidently say, we are moving to Altrincham !!!

So why Altrincham ? Tram-ing to the city is easy – less than 25 minutes – and easy access to motorways….But those are the boring reasons ! 

To me Altrincham is: the Markets: local good real food, small community of fabulous people, vegan treats etc. I am really excited to move to a family orientated area, with plenty of exciting new places to try ! It is also closer to friends &  I can’t wait to have them around for diner and wines !

Here is a sneak peak of the markets, which is my favorite Sunday morning activity with friends and family. 


So next month, I will be writting a full on post all about new life in Altrincham ! 

On the road to the big 3.0 part 2.


I don’t know what is going on, I am very excited to reach the big 30 number.

My mind feels like I have reached that age when it is finally time to settle. Wisdom? Maybe. I was restless before because I wanted to do things before time ran { what a silly belief } I have travelled and accumulated short term contracts to feel free. I never saw myself signing a phone contract let alone saying yes to a man. At times, it started to worry me. I was scared that I would never be satisfied and that I would always need entertainment to feel alive. I worried I would get bored. I have realized that I am and always will be free. My life is mine and I will always be the one taking decisions. I am the master and I can makes changes. Always. You have the power and you must start with taking control of your mind and thoughts. Stop complaint & start acting !

Today there is a very different feeling going through my mind. Today for the first time I want to invest. For the first time, I don’t want to run away and book a flight but instead I want to see my savings account get bigger, I want to invest long term rather than buy quickfix. I want stability and I can’t imagine growing old without him. 

There is no where I would rather be than at this exact place at this exact moment of my life.

…Maybe that is called living in the present. 

It feels lovely, it feels like peace.

I am thankful and proud of my little self, I have plenty of faith in this life. It is beautiful.  

On the road to the big 3.0 part 1.

Hello friends ! This post isn’t about food ! I just wanted to write a little bit about the changes I feel happening everyday on my little journey that is called my life, growing, learning and enjoying it as much as possible. 

On Saturday, as I was enjoying brunch with someone I care about more than words can explain- my other half- a song I hadn’t heard for a long time came on. It was ” 7 seconds” by Youssoun Dour and Neneh Cherry. We both started singing along and both thought what a tune !! 

That very moment I was enjoying a bagel, listening to that great song and smiling at life with him, I thought “Man I just love this moment”.

So today, Monday, I downloaded that song. And I am just sat alone enjoying my little post work out coffee, I am listening to this song and it takes me to this happy moment. 

Find those simple little moment and put them in your little happy box. Cherish them. Keep them secret or share them. But whatever you do, hold onto them when you are sad. I am not saying life always turns out perfectly, but sometimes timing is important and if life is harsh, maybe it is just to teach you a lesson. Take time to reflect and analyse what is it you have to learn. 

Keep your box full of those simple things. Let it be a smell, like the one of coffee that comforts me every morning. A photo that you can keep in your wallet. A song you download on your phone. And anytime you feel like you are out of balance, stressed or full of negative emotions, take 5 minutes one to one with that ” thing” and let the feeling of it running thru your mind & body until you smile again.

I have been filling up my little box and today, I can hang onto many “things”. I never feel alone, because when I have some spare time with myself, I have my “things” and I feel fulfilled. The road is always going to be bumpy, but I trust it will lead me where I am supposed to be. 

Yoga for the soul. 

Coffee and yoga go together like avo and poached eggs. 

Say those two words to me and I feel completely zen. 


I have very often practiced yoga on my own. I can never follow a class. That is because I like my yoga to be free, I learnt the poses that helped my own body and I do my own flow at my own pace. I rarely have time to do it 1 full hour, let alone finding time to go to a class. I don’t say no to it, because you meet some cool yogis but I will admit I don’t go very often. 

Instead, I prefer my yoga first thing in the morning before eating, it is usually a 30 minutes stretch & warm up, which allows my body to slowly wake up. 

In France, I used to take my mat by the beach, and most of the time the flow ended with me lying on the floor listening to the waves. It is all part of it, if your flow involves just laying on the floor “babypose” style, then it is ! It is YOUR flow. You don’t have to impress anyone, just do what you want. Lying down, breathing slowly already has huge benefits for your body and your mind ( Many of us don’t even know how to correctly inhale and exhale…!)

If you work out a lot, use this time to stretch your muscles. Stretching is incredibly important for the health of your joint and muscle. Extend them and release all the tensions tengled in there. You are not a piece of wood, your body can slowly become more and more flexible and it’s is pretty amazing when you feel every part of your body responding and adjusting as you warm up and go deeper into a pose.

Yoga is not about doing that headstand perfectly or the split. People taking pictures of it either do it to see progress, or need encouragement and I support it ! If you feel proud of yourself because you are getting closer to your own little yoga challenge then do it !!!! Do whatever you want & feel proud that you are doing something for you, your body and your mind. That’s always healthy.  

Aperitif, Mediterranean ways…

 

In France, we have what we call “Aperitif” ( Apero ). The Apéritif moment is considered as being a perfect, convivial pre-dinner time to relax and socialise with a drink and some nibbles.

What makes an Aperitif special in my heart is that it is a time to share & enjoy food and drinks with our loved ones, which I believe contribute to a healthy lifestyle too. Our aperitif are a big business and we usually never open a packet of ready made food, unless it is very very last minute… but even that is rare because what kind of French does not have some leftover baguette to toast with garlic olive oil, some hard cheese and some olives laying around the house ?? Aperitif can be simple, all that matters is the company and the drink really !

 

The French aperitif can include well-known liqueurs and cocktails: strong alcohols such as Whisky and Bourbon, Suze, Pastis and Ricard, Porto, Martini and cocktails like Punch and Sangria. Many flavoured wines (Truffle, Walnut, Raspberry and even Dandelion wines!) account for regional aperitifs, especially in the French regions producing rich fruits like Midi Pyrenees. On special occasion, which it usually is when I go home, we have Champagne.

 

 

cecile wedding
Cecile & Sebastien’s Wedding, July 2016. Myself, Cecile and Emily my sis in law

 

 

Apero time can be tricky and can be un healthy. We have it so often in my family, I had to find some ways of enjoying that time and make everyone eat healthy. I like to have a big platter with a mix of green olives, dried tomatoes, raw veggies with good dips. Of course, for the meat and cheese eaters of the fam, we will have some good “Sausisson” and some Gruyere too. If you have children around your table, you will definitely want them to snack on as much veggies as possible rather than crisp and salted peanuts !

Mediterranean diet is healthy one because it typically features plenty of grain products, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits and moderate amounts of wine. The fat in this diet is mostly monounsaturated from olive oil.

My favorite dips as you will guess : Home made Guacamole, Hummus, Olive Tapenade (a Provencial green or black olive paste) and Aubergine Caviar.

This summer, I will try to impress my loved ones with a dip newbie: Beetroot Hummus. Yep, I stole this inspo from Australia & my Melbourne friends at Another Heart to Feed 🙂

{You will quickly realize Australia plays a big role in my every day inspiration }

Beetroot Hummus:

beetroot hummous.PNG
Beetroot hummus

 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 4 beetroots
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend till smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour. Eat with toasted flat breads, cucumbers / carrots / celery stick.

“Tchin Tchin, Sante, Cheers”

 

Bananas.

Raise your hand if you too go crazy for bananas ! Here are some fun recipes that will help you use your bananas if they have turned brown too quick !

I will un-friend anyone saying  ” bananas are too high in calories I don’t eat them “.

I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. Bananas are amazing. That’s it. Some geeky knowledge here:

  • They contain high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. So if you are going to be negative about bananas, you are wrong.
  • Eat two bananas  to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar before a work-out. Yeah, of course if you don’t work out, then maybe that’s the reason you count calories ? Bananas are the perfect snack for any active person. Just be active !
  • Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.
  • Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
  • Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
  • Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
  • Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
  • High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.
  • Constipated? High fibre in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
  • Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
  • Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.

We could go one and one about bananas benefits. Now, if you, like my beloved one, buy 20 bananas on Mondays and see them go brown before you had time to say ” Bonjour” on Tuesday morning, then you need to find ways of using those wonderful babies.

Idea 1 – Banana Pancakes.  3 mashed bananas + 1 egg. Freeze them & toast them in the morning.

Idea 2- Frozen banana slices. To use in frozen fruits bowls or smoothies. Chop them up, place in a freezing bag, and freeze.

Idea 3 – Banana Treats – Recipe on separate blog post

Idea 4 Banana Chips: chop up the bananas, squeeze lemon juice over and sprinkle pink salt, bake in oven for 2 hours but turn them all up after 1 hour. Keep in a sealed container, although you will probably eat them all as snacks like I do ! Perfect in Granolas, coconut yogurt or fruit bowls.