Tag Archives: Culture

Yoga at the beach

When I was living in Paris, many people would talk to me about the benefits of practising yoga. Life in a big city can be stressful between your job, the commute, busy people and so little time to enjoy life. I was curious about it and I thought maybe I should try and see by myself how it feels. So I enrolled to a class and it was good but I did not connect with it and I stopped after a few sessions. Some of my friends were surprised as they really believed that it would fit with my personality but sometimes all it takes is to meet the right person.

And it happened… with patience… many years after in another country actually. Life, work and opportunities took me to London (UK) for a year and this is where I met the most amazing yoga teacher you can imagine. And have you also noticed that often the best things that happen to you in life, are very often the ones that you were not looking for. It is like sometimes, life has little gifts for you. And this is what happened to me with Mieke ūüôā at that time I was really not thinking about yoga or anything and I found a card in my letter box and I was about to throw it directly in the bin, but some words caught my attention ¬†because I could relate to them. And this is how I started yoga sessions, 5 times a week with the adorable Mieke. And you can’t imagine how much it helped me at a time I needed it the most in my life. At the beginning I remember it was challenging because it was in English and I did not know the names of the postures etc… but then I got used to (watching her mainly and associating images with words) and now I can’t imagine yoga in another language than English, funny isn’t it?

Now that I am living in Australia, I still practise sometimes yoga on my own thanks to internet and when I find the time to do so. It is a very calming and grounding activity that I highly recommend. Besides I must say that with this beautiful weather I had the opportunity to go and practise yoga at the beach and it was a great experience with all these beautiful colours, the sound of the waves rolling on the beach and this beautiful sun in this vibrant blue sky. It was like a dream and practising yoga in such a beautiful setting made me feel very grateful. Besides I had the opportunity to teach some postures to some of my friends (Jessica from Mexico and Liliana from Venezuela) and they really enjoyed it! It is a good way to feel connected with earth and feel your stress leaving you as you are embracing yoga with all of your heart, letting go, no where to go, no where to be, just in the present moment!

Namaste! ‚̧

Let’s go crabbing!!!!

What could be better than sitting¬†on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day ūüėČ

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Let’s go to the jetty!

Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.

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Sometimes it feels like your own private desert island!

I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.

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Catch me if you can ūüėČ

But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need¬†is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with¬†line¬†and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!

So lucky to be surrounded by my international friends!

Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!

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Thank god, I have been working out lately and it shows!

We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.

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Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!

We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore¬†beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ‚̧

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But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing¬†is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it¬†very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!

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I would have never imagined that eating crabs  that I caught could be so much fun!

These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ‚̧

Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep ūüėČ

 

Twinsters

I don’t watch TV very often but I do have a Netflix account where I can watch on demand films and TV shows (speaking of the latter, did you hear about the Gilmore Girls being back?!!! I don’t want to gossip but I bet Rory is pregnant and Lorealai is freaking out.. as for Luke I am sure he is going to propose to L). I like to think of my life here in Adelaide like a good “old” GG show, by the way still haven’t found Luke’s Caf√© but I am still looking and opened to any recomandation ūüėČ

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This is the kind of food, Luke would definitely serve! You can enjoy this breakfast at the Royal Oak in North Adelaide.


Lately, as I was browsing on Netflix, I decided to have a look at the documentary section and one called “Twinsters” (fusion of the word Twins and Sisters) caught my eye and I decided to go for it. So basically, the story line is that in 2013 Samantha Futerman, a 25 years old American Asian girl living in Los Angeles and using youtube to post funny videos received a life changing message via Facebook from Ana√Įs Bordier, a French Asian fashion design student living in London. Actually Ana√Įs friends watched a video on youtube featuring Samantha and they were so surprised by the identical appearance of the 2 girls that they encouraged her to contact her copycat! After a few Skype sessions, the girls discovered that they¬†shared much more than just the same face: it turned out that they were both born the same day and both were adopted in Korea shortly after they were born!!! Could it be possible, could they by any chance be twin sisters?! This documentary is about the journey of Samantha (American) and Ana√Įs (French) discovering¬†about their past, their history and the bond that they may share together through social medias.DSC_0057

I believe it is a real sweet story and I really enjoyed watching it, witnessing the different emotions these two amazing girls (and their respective French + American families) explored. What stroke me the most while watching this documentary is how life found a way to reunite these two girls that shared different lifestyles, cultures and mother tongues. It is like no matter what, it was meant to be. How perfect it is that Samantha Futerman (the American) was making cool and fun videos on Youtube that will be seen overseas (and obviously in UK) and what were the chances that Ana√Įs Bordier (the French) would decide to study fashion design in London and become fluent in English. Even if the two girls were raised in different countries and not sharing the same mother tongue, they were able to communicate straight away in English together which made the relationship between the 2 way easier. They both chose artistic careers, one being an actress and the other being a fashion designer, they are so similar and so different at the same time… so interesting to hear about their journey.

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But beyond that, it makes you reflect on your own story, your family, the bond you share with them, your relationships. It makes you appreciate even more the luck to have  grown with your siblings. What it feels like to have a sister, a brother (maybe both). What they mean to you and by extent what life would have been like without them. It is a special and strong bond and nobody can deny that.

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I have a sister and a brother (I am the eldest), we spent all of our childhood together but our adults’ life separated us geographically. My sister lives in France, my brother is an air pilot in Canada (yes girls don’t get too excited ūüėČ ) and I live in Australia. As you can imagine, it is not so easy to see each other and to give you an example I have not seen my brother since 2013! ūüė¶ I know it sucks… I miss my sister (and her kids a LOT) and my brother too of course. I am hopeful that in the future, as our respective lives settle down we will live closer from each other.

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When I see them¬†(especially after a long time apart), it is AMAZING! ¬†I¬†‚̧ family reunions and to catch up with everything I missed since last time. Luckily, I come from a big family and I have also many cousins ¬†around my age or my brother’s age. It is hard to feel lonely or depressed when you are around your family! Each year, during summer time, a¬†“cousinade” is organised (we made up this word in French) but basically it is a “cousins party” where all cousins (on my mother side) are invited for a barbecue and drinks at my aunts place and it is really¬†fun! Christmas are also pretty fantastics¬†and are celebrated several times in the same week since the family is huge! Each year my family (on my father side) organise an unusual christmas dinner to spice up the routine and so far we had a Mexican, a Texas, a Caribbean and I believe last year it was an Australian theme christmas : AWESOME and so refreshing!!!

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“Family is not an important thing. It is EVERYTHING!” – Michael J. Fox

I really can’t wait to come to France and pay a visit to my loved ones ‚̧ and I wish all the best to Smantha and Ana√Įs!

Sunny one so true, I love you!

For¬†an Asian street food¬†vibe, Sunnys’shop located on Prospect road will blow your mind.

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Spring time is the perfect time for some street food vibe!

Prospect is full of surprises and today was no exception. It is so closed from the CBD, it takes me only 35 minutes to get there with my bike (and I go very slow) so no excuses! ¬†Each time I go, I discover a new shop or a cafe that I¬†fancy a lot! And today Sunnys’ shop took my heart away ūüėČ

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“I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine, take me away, a secret place, a sweet escape…” at Sunny’s place¬†ūüėČ

As I parked my bike, I could not help noticing this lovely dark pink and blue frontage. It reminded me a bit of the cafes and restaurants in the Grenadines islands. It felt so welcoming with these cute and lively colours, a holiday spirit was floating in the air.

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Soft inside, crunchy outside. God I love Bahn Mi ‚̧

I ordered a chicken lemon grass Bahn Mi ‚̧ It was DELICIOUS! In a very quick and short way, it is a vietnamese baguette sandwich but in an authentic¬†and poetic way it is so much more. A Bahn Mi is the fruit of love of two distinct civilisations, the Viet and the French.¬†For the history note, France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887,¬†which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! Let’s say that the French baguette was part of the happy legacy from ¬†that time. ¬†So when you think of a Bahn Mi sandwich, you have to picture¬†a fresh and crunchy French baguette filled with the colourful beauty of Vietnam: Fresh herbs, carrots, chili, a bit of mayonnaise and then you can add chicken, roasted pork or meat. It is so tasty and so aromatic, it is in my opinion the best sandwich!

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A lovely gem born in Prospect!

Sunnys’s Bahn Mi is wonderfully fresh and tasty, soft inside, crispy outside. The staff is super ¬†friendly and the vibe in this little shop is soooo good. I checked the menu and there are so many dishes I wish I could try because everything looks so yummy and the price is reasonable. I wish next time I turn up to this restaurant, they will be serving Vietnamese coffee (my new found passion)!

So all in all a really good experience and now I can’t get this song out of my head:

“Sunny, thank you for the sunshine bouquet,
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all,
Now I feel ten feet tall,
Sunny one so true, I love you” – Boney M.

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Sunnys Shop

106b Prospect Road

Prospect Adelaide 5082

Tel (08) 8420 08 88

www.sunnyshop.com.au

Good morning Vietnam!

At the moment, it seems that I have a thing for¬†vietnamese food and I can’t get enough of it. When you think of it, it is not that surprising, Vietnamese and French cuisine have history.

It all started in¬†the 17th century with the arrival of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam. But it did not stop there, then¬†France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887 which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! So naturally when you stay that long in a country, you leave pieces of yourself in several ways: be it architecture, culture, words, names and of course cuisine. I find it fascinating to discover¬†(and taste) the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine (the tasty baguette sandwich called Bahn Mi is one of them). For sure it is different comparing to what I am used to in my home country, and sometimes it is hard to make the link¬†between the two countries but there is something magic about all these flavorful dishes¬†and I can’t help being attracted to them (maybe it is in my DNA).

For those who know me well, I often go to Central Market in China Town. Most of the times to buy herbs or lemon because the quality and the price is much better than what you would get in the supermarkets and also the atmosphere is really nice and friendly.

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In the mood for vietnamese food ūüôā

Last time, I went there, I remember it was a beautiful day and as I was feeling a bit hungry I thought I should pass by Little NNQ and see if it was not too crowded. This is a vietnamese restaurant and it is quite popular so it can be tricky to get a good seat sometimes. This place has been recommended to me by John’s vietnamese friend, his name is Phong and lives in Adelaide (and John is American from California who happens to know a lot of people everywhere because he has traveled and worked in so many countries). Luckily the odds were with me and there was a lovely table by the window and the friendly waiter told me I could sit here. As it was a beautiful day, the large windows were opened so it was like I was sitting at the terrasse outside watching people passing by, cars honking and for a minute imagining I was in another country, in a galaxy, far, far away…haha. As things were going well for me, I decided to continue playing my luck and I asked the waiter to choose his fav dish for me. Besides, as I felt adventurous, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee. Normally I’m not the kind of coffee drinker type (I am more into chai or matcha latte) but I’m always happy to try new things and this was the opportunity to get the true¬†vietnamese experience… besides one coffee can’t hurt, can it¬†?!

My dish was a combination noodle salads. It was very colourful, tasty, crunchy and pretty healthy I believe. So I really enjoyed it and I really recommend it! But I must confess, my favourite part was definitely the Vietnamese coffee as I’ve never had this kind of experience before. By the way, I apologise I have not a lot of pictures to demonstrate the technique but I think I was so overwehlmed by this experience that I completely forgot to document it, my bad¬†!

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Time to relax and catch up as the coffee is slowly dripping into the condensed milk!

First the coffee was served in a slow drip filter tool. So basically, the coffee was slowly dripping into the condensed milk in the glass just below it (one drop at a time, so it is a long process). The waiter explained to me that in Vietnam locals would use this time to chat and catch up with their friends while waiting for the coffee to fully drip through.¬†Once it is finished, all you have to do is to transfer¬†the content in¬†a glass full of ice cubes, and enjoy your ice coffee with a straw. ¬†So basically drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation with their friends or relatives. I ‚̧ the concept, I must say and I can’t wait to renew this experience with my friends next time!

Just so you know the Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste (always Robusta, twice as strong caffeine wise, so be prepared to jump like a kangaroo after that ). Once again, it is one of the many heritage from the colonists period. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s, they also brought with them condensed milk as they could not get fresh milk in Vietnam and they also brought phins which is a slow drip filter that sits on top of a cup. Since that time, it has become a tradition in Vietnam to enjoy coffee this way. It is more than just coffee, it is an invitation to relax and chat. ¬†I think that the combination of the bitter coffee beans allied with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes just work perfectly! I think I have officially became a Vietnamese coffee lover ‚̧

So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese food, why not go and try Little NNQ with some friends and indulge yourself with a Vietnamese coffee while chatting remaking¬†the world. Vietnamese coffee will boost your body while relaxing your mind, call it magic or mystique, the choice is yours ūüėČ

Little NNQ

125 Gouger Street

Adelaide SA 5000

http://www.nnq.com.au/littlennq/

Easy like a Sunday morning!

Spring time is my favorite season here in Adelaide. It is not too hot, it is not too cold and when walking in the parks, all the colours are so vibrant. I have never seen a sky that blue, a grass that green, a flower that orange, a bird that colourful. Every day is the perfect excuse for me to take my bike and wander around.

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The best way to enjoy Adelaide is by bike!

One of the many things I enjoy the most is to go to the market. But I have my little routine: it has to be with my bike (so rainy days are excluded) and I like to have a purpose like : today I need to buy parsley or triple cream cheese or blueberry muffins or god knows what! Give me a mission and I am on my way!

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Take the time to smell and gaze at these beauties!

There is a cute little market on South Terrace, I discovered it lately and I really think this is the perfect spot¬†to meet friends for brunch. It is called the Market Shed on Holland street and it is a lovely place to be on Sundays! It has a cool vibe with its local fresh products and its intoxicating scent of freshly ground coffee ‚̧ Besides there are bands playing live music and it has this “je ne sais quoi” in the air that makes it so welcoming.

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Feeling down?! Have a kermit!

If you are into healthy drinks, may I recommend this kermit beverage. It is full of vitamins with oranges, apples and seasonal greens (Kale, Spinach and broccoli). Delicious without guilt, so the perfect combination!  Besides green is the colour of luck so it is a good start for a perfect day!

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Fiesta on your plate, fiesta on your palate!

There are many different stalls and food from all other the world are well represented. Lately I ¬†have been obsessed with Mexican food (probably related to the fact that one of my Bestie is from Mexico). So my eyes were caught by this stand. I mean, look at it, it is so colourful that it is already a Mexican party in your plate before hitting your palate! I am instantly attracted to it but then, I can’t help it and there is always the same old question “Is it spicy?”. Let’s be honest, I am French and apart from pepper, spicy is not really my thing ūüėČ

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Feeling zen!

Aren’t these terrariums adorable?! The simple fact to gaze¬†at them is already a blessing. Maybe someday i will buy one but I am not sure it will survive the trip by¬†bike! Actually I have a green succulent at home (a present from my colleagues), I put it on my desk and I really like it. It is hard to explain but somehow I find it very calming.

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I confess, if that exists, I am definitely a chocolatarian!

At the back of the market, there is the real deal: Belgium hot chocolate! I tried it once with my friend Cathy (from China) and we both felt in love with it! Besides the guy working at this stall is soooo nice. Don’t hesitate to have a chat with him, you won’t regret! As a matter of fact, he comes from Brussels, he used to work in a Bank and he decided to change his life, to come to Australia with his wife and start his chocolate business! Sweet!

So next time, why not sit and relax at the Market shed on Holland Street and take it easy as a Sunday Morning!

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The Market Shed on Holland

1 Holland Street

Adelaide SA 5000

open every Sundays from 9am to 3pm

Colour the world, colour your mood

Lately I have been obsessed with coloring books for adults. It’s the new trend and it is nearly impossible to miss them when you are in a Bookshop. Anyway I own a few of them and I really enjoy using those books¬†whenever needed.¬†I believe coloring has a grounding effect.

It all started when my friend Ana (my former Spanish teacher from Colombia) offered me a postcard from the artist: Johanna Basford! When it comes to coloring book, this girl is a GURU, believe me! Her work is amazing: have a look at “Secret garden” (my fav), there is so much poesy in her art, she managed to create a real enchanted universe.

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Colouring book for adults “Secret Garden”, Johanna Basford

So I started with her books and her postcards that I would share with some friends. Sometimes we would go together to the café, with some pencils and we would colour some beautiful magic scenes while chatting. It turned out to be very effective, especially when we were stressed or worried about something. It acted like a colour therapy session and it was a very calming and a comforting activity.

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Texturing and colouring¬†my breakfast bowl: a good¬†way to start the day happy and zen ūüôā

It is a combination of little things that separately are just details, but when all combined, it is like a ritual where all your senses are activated. The colours that are dancing in a farandole in front of your eyes, the paper texture under your fingers, the soft  sound of the pencils pressed on the paper, the delicate smell of the drawing in progress and the taste of gratitude as the image starts to appear more and more alive.

 So now I extended my selection to other colouring books such as: Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford, The mini Mandala by Susanne Fincher, the little book of Mindfulness colouring by Holly Macdonald. I really enjoy them as they are a great help to meditate , to relax and sometimes to escape .

What about you? Have you ever tried it? Tell me all about it in the comments below. I can’t wait¬†to hear about your experiences when it comes to coloring books ūüôā