Tag Archives: Women

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! ‚̧

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!

When Swan Lake meets the Torrens river

“Dancing is an art. The floor is my¬†canvas and I am the brush and whatever I create comes from the heart”.

To me, ballet is like a day dream, where the music takes you to a sweet escape and for one moment you belong to the story and everything falls in its right place. There is no need to speak, to explain, you just feel it and your imagination does the rest.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend to one of the most famous ballet : Swan Lake! Luckily a friend of mine managed to get me a ticket to the dress rehearsal at the Adelaide festival centre by the Torrens river and I really enjoyed this moment.

swan-lake-ballet-australian-ballet1I swear I could see the swans on the stage, the way they move, they were so real. The¬†main ballerina was so gracious and really into her character : sweet and fragile as a¬†white swan and her doppelg√§nger¬†charming¬†and confident as a black swan. The music was so touching, melancholic… and the end so sad… but we all already knew that, didn’t we ?!

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Swan Lake Dress Rehearsal, 25 May 2016

As it was a dress rehearsal, it was also interesting because I could see how they improve the settings, adjust the lights, how the dancers adapt and sometimes request to repeat a particular moment. When you see a ballet, the dancers make it so easy that it feels so natural that sometimes you forget all the work, commitment, dedication and hard training to complete the perfect  choreography.

What can be said about a classic like¬†Swan Lake that hasn’t already been said! Some critics would say that the storyline lacks of originality but to me, if I should say in just one sentence how I felt about it, I would say:

Sweet and Bitter as Love can be sometimes…

Girls on films

What was the last time you were excited by a party?

Something you were really looking forward to discover, something that made you feel like a teenager going to her first prom, that made your heart jumped in your chest because you could not wait. Do you remember this feeling?!

Friday, I was invited to the most original girls’ night ever! Once a month, my friends and myself host a party in our houses (we take turns, yes, we are very organized haha). We¬†generally pick¬†a theme to spice up things and make it even more enjoyable. But I must say, last Friday, Nasim (my friend from Iran) took it to the next level! She rocked it!

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Artist in progress… Nasim so focus and me being so curious!

She had this amazing idea to re-create a photo-shooting session in a studio and it was so much fun. She asked my friend Jessica (from Mexico) to come with dresses and some make up and I was told to bring my favourite dress and all accessories I could think of (such as : hairbands, hair jewels, masks etc… as I have many of them). I was so excited when I packed my bag on the night before, it was like I was going on a magic trip. ¬†And during the night I could hardly sleep because my eyes were full of shining stars ‚̧

So when the day came, I was all prepared and ready to give my best pose to the camera. Nasim had all it figured and had managed to turn the first floor of her house into a photo-studio, with changing rooms, beauty salon and photo-shooting area. The atmosphere was perfect, the music selection was good and loud, beauty products had been placed on a table. It was just perfect!

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Smile, it’s selfie time! Jessica, thanks for having my back!

We changed clothes and helped each other to get prepared. Nasim did my make-up and my hair. She took care of Jessica afterwards. Yes, this night Nasim was at the same time a make-up artist, a hair stylist and a professional photographer! She is a very versatile girl as you can easily imagine! She put the music on and the show began!

We had an exciting night, doing different pose : “give me wild, give me sexy, give me sad, give me angry…”. Jessica is a natural, I mean she was amazing, I swear this girl could be an actress! She had the perfect expressions and she knew how to play with the camera. Also it was very fun because when Jessica was modeling, I was in charge of the lighting and directing the wind in her hair (I was using a hairdryer : I told you, Nasim had it all figured). When my turn came, I was petrified (I guess due to overwhelming feelings of joy haha) and I was not that natural… Actually the picture I enjoyed the most are the ones where I am not posing or the ones where I am acting like a crazy person.

It was a great night and what makes it so great is the joy to be with friends. What makes it special is the desire to share new experiences. What makes it memorable is the pleasure to have so much fun together. The love for English language is the key that has united us, our different cultures and background are the foundation of our friendship and our friendly personalities did the rest. We are different but we complete each others so well, we are the 3 sisters (not those from Sydney), we are the world!

Now I can’t wait to see the results, since Nasim is still editing/working on the pictures. I haven’t seen them yet but I am sure it is going to be AWESOME!!!

Panic in the laundry room!

You would think that using a washing machine is pretty basic and pretty similar everywhere. ¬†If you can take care of your clothes in your home country, logically you can handle this kind of chores in any countries. Well let me tell you something, you would think wrong! You see in Europe we only have washing machines¬†with¬†horiozontal-axis !¬†They can be top or front loader depending on the size of your place, if you want to put it under a counter etc… So far I only used them and never had any issues! They are pretty simple and straightforward to use.

European style front loader

 

But that is the beauty about living in another country because all the things you took for granted or you thought you knew can be challenged even when it comes to laundry! Actually I moved to a new house a couple of days ago and I realised that the house was equipped with an American style top loader (with vertical axis)… very popular in US and Canada… and considered as evil in France (I am not even sure you can find those in my country)!

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American style top loader

Why evil? First, they are said to ruin your clothes! Maybe it is just a legend because I have some American and Australian friends here and their clothes look perfectly¬†fine to me ūüėČ But still… it is strange for me, I mean¬†take a closer look at it, there is a big plastic pipe with rigid tails (called agitator) right in the middle where you are going to put your clothes…weird… I strongly advise to use a filet for your underwears if you don’t want to see your favourite panties ¬†dancing around on this plastic agitator thingie like a striper on a poll stick! ¬†Second thing, it does not heat the water (contrary to Europe) the hot water comes directly from the tap so good luck if you need to wash cotton sheets at 60-90C, I assume it is impossible. I have heard that they are not ecologic because they use so much¬†water and the spin cycle is so slow which ¬†can be an issue during winter time where you can’t put your clothes to dry outside…. But one of their assets seems to be that you can wash bigger amounts of clothes at the same time (I am not convinced so far) but maybe I did it ¬†wrong…

My first attempt using it was not very successful because I was given the wrong informations OR I got it wrong (it happens to me a lot, remember English is not my mother tongue so sometimes I think I understand and obviously I don’t). Anyway I thought that the detergent had to be poured in the cup on the top of the plastic pipe. At the beginning everything looked ok and the cool thing is that you can open the washing machine when it is working and it does not stop (contrary to Europeans ones) and it is funny (or weird) because it is like the washing machine is literally peeing water on your clothes… I know… not glamorous!

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The image speaks for itself… a little cascade!

Well I learnt the hard way that the cup was obviously not dedicated to detergent since bubbles started to ¬†come from the evacuation hole on the floor. I panicked a little bit because I did not know what was going wrong exactly. I switched it of,¬†I mopped and did some researches on the internet to discover that the cup is NOT for the detergent but for the softener! In this kind of machine, you have to remove the top of the agitator¬†and pour the detergent inside it and then replace the cup on the top and pour softener¬†into it if you wish to! During the¬†cycle, at a specific time, the vibration of the machine will “force” the cup to release the softener… I swear it is easier than it looks like! Thank god, thanks to internet now, it is easy to find videos of people using their washing machine and see how it works exactly, so if you are curious to see what does an American style top loader look like and how it works, have a look at this educative video¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT5la5GdNZA

“Laundry day” is never fun, especially when it turns into a bubbles circus and you end up mopping and praying it does not expand! I hope this post will be educative and help foreigners to use their top loader washing machine! Good luck and don’t worry for me, now I am an expert at it haha!

More than a jeans!

Do you know what is the most common fear for people living abroad? No matter the origin, colour, religion… it is always the same obsession!¬†You would think: the language to master? the new culture to adapt? missing your family so much that you can’t breath?¬†I won’t deny that these are part of the concerns too but the most common fear is actually and surprisingly: gaining weight!

When you think about it, it does make sense! Afterall when you move overseas, you have a lot of free time when you arrive, meaning a lot of opportunities to taste local dishes, an enormous curiosity to satisfy and the desire to discover everything about your new culture and food is definitely part of the plan! But all these little culinary experiences have a price and soon before you realise you have gained 1 or 2 size and it can be more if you have abused of comforting food!

I have a little trick in order ¬†to avoid this unfortunate experience! I have the perfect weapon that I always have in my wardrobe! Please I hope you are not thinking of Bridget Jones’slim panties! Please… No! My secret weapon is actually a pair of jeans that I used to wear in my early twenties! It has even a name: it is called the “Sienna Miller”! Why this name? because when I bought it, there was a big black and white poster in the shop featuring¬†the beautiful Sienna Miller wearing this exact same jeans! She was absolutely gorgeous ‚̧ with her beautiful curves sublimated in this mythical denim pants!

Wherever I am going, I always bring my “Sienna Miller jeans” with me! I can’t really wear it anymore because it is 15 years old, very used and full of holes but I can assure you it works better than a scale. Whenever I am in doubt about my figures, I just have to fit the SM jean: if it fits it means I can still enjoy cakes and candies, if it does not then it leads automatically to more walking and less treats! It is as simple as that and so far it has worked for me wherever I lived and despite my love for St Viateur bagels in Canada, my obsession for scones with marmalade and cream in England and my sweet spot for Lamington in Australia!

In conclusion, a scale can lie to you because these are just numbers… it can be water retention, hormonal etc… but the Sienna Miller jean will always be true to you showing no mercy to extra kilos!

On the rocky road again

Easter time is all about chocolate and you would think that now you can wait until christmas for your next chockie shot… but can you really get enough of those little treats?! I really doubt it!

Luckily for me, I live in Adelaide: Haigh’s chocolates paradise! Forget about Willy Wonka’s factory because here it’s not just a story, it is the real thing! They have just celebrated their 100 years anniversary and it is too bad they did not organise a chocolate lottery for this special occasion ūüė¶ Anyway,¬†I am in love with their chocolates but the one that drives me literally crazy is: Milk Rocky Road! I could eat it all day and then probably cry a river because my jeans don’t fit anymore. What can I say, it is my secret weakness, I must say they are¬†absolutely delicious! Imagine¬†cubes of light vanilla marshmallow mixed with cherries, sultanas and almonds, tossed in chocolate. The first time I tried them was¬†in September 2014, only a couple of days after my arrival to Australia and I still remember the flavour on my palate ‚̧ what a delightful¬†surprise when you think that I am not a big fan of marshmallows!¬†I¬†am not sure you can find “Rocky Road”¬†in France, well I have never heard about them before. On the contrary, it seems to be easy to find those little treats in Australia, Great Britain or America (with slightly different variations).

So if like me you are a chocolate lover and you want to know¬†what Rocky Roads taste like, then here is an easy recipe from the famous Chef Jamie Oliver himself! In this recipe, he uses dark chocolate (healthier option) but I prefer the non diet friendly version with milk chocolate ūüėČ

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/rocky-road-kill/#owepoyEMDyxbMiaw.97

My tip: should this not be easy¬†for you to find golden syrup in your country, I think it is ok to¬†use substitutes such as Agave syrup, Maple syrup or molasse. Careful with the dosage since you don’t want the result¬†to be too sweet. Please feel free to let me feedbacks in the comments section as I am curious to know how it went, if you liked it and if you have any tips to share.