Cristal and Wood

You might be aware of my passion for earrings as I dedicated a whole article to some of my earrings in my early blogging years (which makes me realise how much progress I have made in two years when it comes to photography). 
I have recently welcomed a few newcomers to my collection and I have to say that those two play on a different level of earring cuteness.

Vous êtes sûrement au courant du fait que les boucles d'oreilles et moi, c'est une grande histoire d'amour. J'avais même posté un article sur ça aux balbutiements de mon blog (qui me fait réaliser à quel point j'ai progressé en photographie).
Ma collection a récemment accueilli quelques petites nouvelles et je dois dire qu'en terme de mignonnerie, celles-là jouent dans la cour des grands.

The cristal earrings* come from a massive and very old French, family-owned shop which has been specialised in cristal for more than 130 years. Obviously I don't live in France anymore so the internet is your saviour if you want to check what they have in stock: home decoration, cristal jewels, you name it.
Personally, I really like these ones as they are typically the type of thing that I wear: elegant and simple. For me, they are perfect to add the final touch to a smart outfit but they can also work with any everyday outfit too.

The wooden earrings have been on my shopping list for about a year and my other half probably started feeling sorry for me as he just ordered them out of the blue. Salomé is an artist who makes elegant and modern wooden jewellery and honestly, I could buy the whole website. She is also a really kind and thoughtful person: my parcel got lost on its way to Spain and she was kind enough to re-send it to me without a question AND she had left a kind little note in my parcel thanking me for my patience!

Does any of these two babes tempt you?


Les boucles d'oreilles en cristal* viennent d'un immense magasin spécialisé dans la cristallerie tenu par la famille Vessiere depuis plus de 130 ans. Comme vous le savez, je ne vis pas en France mais ils ont aussi une boutique en ligne où trouverez forcément votre bonheur, que ce soit de la décoration ou des bijoux en cristal.
Personnellement, j'adore ces boucles d'oreilles car elles sont typiquement le genre de choses que j'aime porter: élégantes et sobre à la fois. Pour moi, elles sont la touche finale de n'importe quelle tenue, qu'elle soit chic ou décontractée.

Les boucles d'oreilles en bois étaient sur ma shopping list depuis une bonne année et je pense que mon copain a fini par avoir pitié de moi et me les a commandées. Salomé est une artiste qui crée des bijoux en bois modernes et élégants et si je m'écoutais, j'achèterais toute sa collection. En plus d'être talentueuse, elle est aussi super sympa: mon colis s'est perdu dans les méandres de la poste espagnole et elle me les a renvoyées sans même chercher à comprendre. En plus de ça, elle a laissé dans la boite un petit mot pour me remercier de ma patience!

Est-ce qu'une de ces deux petites merveilles vous tente?


*Product offered by the brand / Produit offert par la marque.

My 7 Steps to Success: How I Turned my Life Around

Happy new year everyone!

I wish you all the best and sincerely hope that you will be successful in anything you attempt this year. 
I have had this article ready for about two weeks but was hesitating publishing it as I am by no means a motivational guru. I just wanted to share with you these little things and positive thoughts that have helped me achieve my goals. I won't pretend that I have come up with a magical formula that turned my life into a fairy tale. Like anyone, I have had rubbish moments but I think that I have learnt a lot from past mistakes and I have dramatically changed my mindset and my life in a couple of years. 
A few weeks ago, I shared a very inspirational video on my Facebook page which made me think about the things that I have done to achieve my goals and which have been working. 
I think that I could sum it up into 7 steps/principles which I would like to share with you for the start of this new year. Obviously, this is what has been working for me but I am sure that a lot of them make sense and can be applied to anyone.

⭑ 1. Don't listen to others and believe in yourself only...
I have known what job I wanted to do since I was 14. I have also been very clear on what I would study at Uni. In school, I was one of the top achievers in my cohort so for a lot of people, "ending up" studying languages was a waste of my time. I was called "a poet", I was told that I would end up jobless, that I was wasting my potential, some people kept asking me when I would stop studying to get myself any job because what mattered was to be able to pay the bills. Regardless of that, I completed my Masters (after a little detour by a nursing school but I'll explain it better in my next point). I had also planned to live abroad after Uni and again, I had to put up with people's opinion on that. "What will you do there?", "Who is going to pay for your rent?", "Find yourself a real job in France first and then you can just travel like everyone", "Stop being so naive", "You're not going to succeed" were the type of comment that I heard on a regular basis. I never listened and went to the UK where I got the opportunity to complete a second Post Graduate. Today I can say that it is, by far, the best decision that I have ever made in my entire life because it changed it completely and I have shut everyone's mouth around me. 

⭑ 2. ...But accept that you made the wrong decision and try again.
It's ok to acknowledge that you have taken the wrong path and to start things all over again. For instance, when I was in Lycée (equivalent to 6th Form), I had chosen subjects which I slowly started to hate. I went to the Educational Adviser's office during the Summer holiday to tell him that I wanted to change to do business and sociology instead. I was told that I could not go up a year while changing subjects and that doing my year again was a real shame so I'd better stay where I was. As I wouldn't take no for an answer when it involved my future, I insisted and got what I wanted. When I went back home to tell my dad that I was going to fall one year behind, I thought he was going to have a heart attack but I did not care because I knew what I wanted and that was all that mattered. 
Later, between my Bachelors and my Masters I had a moment of doubt (which I have mentioned here). At that time, I thought that the path that I was taking was not compatible with living abroad so I started considering a job that could potentially give me some flexibility even though I had no real appeal to it. That's when the idea of becoming a nurse came to me. Everyone who knew me was wondering why on earth I had chosen that path and my family advised me against it but I still took the competitive exam to enter the nursing school and enrolled - in France, the selection is done at the start so once you're in you are sure to graduate at the end of the three-year course. I think that from early enough though I realised that this job wouldn't fulfil me but I gave it a chance and kept going. After a year wondering what I was doing there, I left. At this stage, I had "wasted" two years but never regretted it. You might think "you just said "don't listen to others" but if you had listened to your family, you wouldn't have wasted your time at the nursing school" and that's a fair point. But I disagree with this for two reasons: I prefer trying and thinking "thanks but no thanks" rather than "what if?" and never get an answer. The second reason, and the most important to me is that this experience made me realise that I wanted to do what I liked, and nothing else.

⭑ 3. Take risks.
This might be linked to what I have just said, but I do believe that if you never take risks then you can't really achieve anything. Taking risks involves the possibility of failure and that's why some people find it so hard to just go for it. It's normal to have fears. Even if you are determined, people's negativity can make you doubt slightly at times. But if your fear of living a meaningless and mediocre life is stronger than your fear of failing, you have done half the journey. There are always millions of excuses not to make a change in your life: kids to feed, a family that would disapprove in your choice, a rent or a mortgage to pay, the fear of losing a stable situation etc. but we all have examples of people around us who ended up having to make a change because life was sort of forcing them to. They would not have taken the first step themselves because of all the reasons I just mentioned, but because they had no choice, they did it anyway. What I have learnt from observing people in this situation is that most of the time, their only regret was to not have done it sooner.  Joanne Rowling once said "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case you fail by default." Honestly, I am not sure I can add anything to that.

4. Don't compare yourself.
You probably have heard the saying "comparison is the thief of joy" (I'm in the mood for a few quotes today!) Well, I completely agree with it. Usually, when we compare ourselves to someone, it is only to torture ourselves with this idea that they are more clever, successful, beautiful... than us and while we are doing this, we completely forget what makes us special. In other words, we are focused on them rather than ourselves. I have a very simple example for this: when I stopped reading feminine press a few years ago, I noticed that it matched the moment I stopped wasting my time with complexes. It might not be the only reason as I also just grew up and evolved, but at some stage, I was not interested in this self-flagellation anymore and I just wanted to take a more positive approach towards myself because nobody else was going to do it for me. This video sums it up better than me.

5. Have high expectations for yourself.
I'm going to be honest: I'm an absolute control freak. I love when things are done to perfection and I am very hard on myself. Unfortunately for them, I have the same expectations of others, whether it's at work or in everyday situations so I can be quite rigid and opinionated. When I think that what I'm doing is not good enough, I barely cut myself any slack until I'm happy with it.  Be careful though: even if I believe that having high expectations for yourself is a key to success, it is important to find the right level as it can easily turn into a chronic "I could still do better than that" problem (which I sometimes have).

⭑ 6. Be organised.
As Benjamin Franklin put it (last quote, I promise!) - "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail".
If you are all over the place there is a chance that you miss deadlines and important things to do. The chance is even bigger that you don't manage your time properly and end up producing very average work. For me, one good way to tackle the problem is to make lists. Lists are great to gather your thoughts and ticking boxes is very satisfying. They are also a good way to avoid procrastination. A good friend of mine once told me "I don't need lists because it's all in there" (insert head emoji) and I told her "That's precisely what I want to avoid". I don't want to constantly have a gazillion things cluttering my mind so instead, I put them on paper to be able to focus on other things and I come back to my list when I need to.

⭑ 7. Have long-term purpose.
Of all the points that I mentioned, to me this is the most important and I think that this is what helped me get where I am today. It is directly linked to the video that I mentioned in my intro and to my points 2 and 3. What is worse than sticking to something that you don't like for months or even years only because you are too scared to make your situation worse or simply because you can't admit that you were wrong? A lot of the time, people simply dwell on short-term satisfactions not to have to look at the bigger picture. Their life does not make them happy but all they want to focus on is the nice dinner they will have after their horrible day at work, or their Friday night out with their friends to forget about their rubbish week. I don't think that wishing your life away is the solution and I refuse to be the type of person who sucks it up for too long when my personal situation does not fulfil me. So if you feel like you don't have purpose, read my third point again.

What are your personal steps to success?


Chia Porridge: 3 Recipes

You might have heard about chia seeds, but just in case you never have: they are awesome. 
Chia seeds are tiny seeds that contain so many good things for your body. They are rich in protein, vitamins and contain a lot of Omega-3. They swell in contact with liquid therefore you only need a tiny amount of them to fill you up (which is good because you don't want too much Omega-3). 
I currently have chia porridge every morning and I love it. I often like to change what I eat for breakfast and chia porridge is very easy to adapt to your taste. 

But let's start with the base of the porridge. All you need is to mix 250 Ml of vegetal milk (almond, soya, coconut, you name it) and 2 table spoons of chia seeds, making sure that you stir it from time to time. I usually prepare the base the evening before and do the rest in the morning.
Now that you have your base, you can add whatever you want to it. Don't have any idea? I have three for you that have been tested and approved by me or my partner in crime.

Any of these are tempting you?


Vous avez peut-être déjà entendu parler des graines de chia, mais juste au cas où vous ne connaissez pas: elles sont fantastiques.
Les graines de chia sont de toutes petites graines qui contiennent énormément de nutriments. Elles sont riches en protéines, en vitamines et en Omega-3. Les graines gonflent au contact du liquide donc vous n'avez besoin que d'une petite quantité pour vous rassasier (et ça tombe bien car il ne faut surtout pas abuser des Omega-3).
En ce moment, je me fais des porridges de chia tous les jours pour le petit-déjeuner et j'en suis fan. Normalement, je suis du genre à me lasser rapidement et l'avantage ici c'est que toutes les combinaisons sont possibles.

Mais commençons par la base du porridge. Tout ce qu'il vous faut, c'est mélanger 250 Ml de lait végétal (de soja, d'amande, de coco... c'est vous qui voyez) et 2 cuillères à soupe de graines de chia. N'hésitez pas à remuer de temps en temps histoire d'obtenir une consistence parfaite. Généralement, je prépare ma base la veille et je fais le reste le matin.
Maintenant que vous avez votre base, vous pouvez en faire ce que vous voulez. Vous n'avez pas d'idées? Ça tombe bien, j'en ai trois pour vous, qui ont été testées et approuvées par moi ou mon mec.

Est-ce que l'une d'entre elles vous tente?


 Cacao, banana, blueberry and sunflower seeds porridge.
You need:
- 1 tea spoon of raw cacao powder to mix in the base as you make it
- 1 sliced banana
- A handful of blueberries
- 2 tea spoons of roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 table spoon of cashew butter
- 1 table spoon of skyr yoghurt (available in Aldi)
- Desiccated coconut

 Cacao, banane, myrtille et graines de tournesol.
Il vous faut:
- 1 cuillère de cacao cru à mélanger à votre base
- 1 banane coupée en tranches
- 1 poignée de myrtilles
- 2 cuillères à soupe de graines de tournesol grillées
- 1 cuillère à soupe de purée de cajou
- 1 cuillère à soupe de skyr (trouvable à Aldi)
- Noix de coco déshydratée

⭑ Raspberry, coconut and chocolate
You need:
- 2 table spoons of coconut cream to add to the base
- A handful of raspberries
- A grated square of dark chocolate
- 1 table spoon of cashew butter
- Desiccated coconut
Currently my favourite!

⭑ Framboises, coco et chocolat
Il vous faut:
- 2 cuillères à soupe de crème de coco à ajouter à la base
- 1 poignée de framboises
- 1 carreau de chocolat rapé
- 1 cuillère à soupe de purée de cajou
- Noix de coco déshydratée 
En ce moment, c'est celui que je préfère!

⭑ Banana, peanut butter, almond and skyr yoghurt
You need:
- 1 sliced banana
- 1 handful of roasted almonds
- 1 table spoon of peanut butter
- 1 table spoon of skyr yogurt (available in Aldi)

⭑ Banane, beurre de cacahuète, amandes et skyr
Il vous faut:
- 1 banane coupée en tranches
- 1 poignée d'amandes grillées
- 1 cuillère à soupe de beurre de cacahuètes
- 1 cuillère à soupe de skyr (trouvable à Aldi)

What I've Been Up To This Year

I haven't been very active on the blog this year. Actually, if you check the latest posts, I think that my new year resolutions post comes third and clearly, you can see that "being more consistent with my blog" was not quite one of them.

Overall though I have been good enough at sticking to my resolutions even if adding more sport to my routine has been complicated and I have to admit that I did not really stick to this one. I kept on attending Krav Maga sessions but that's where it stopped really.
Shortly after I posted my Resolutions article, my workload went up and up as I added some free-lance work to my already busy time table and I found it hard to even write on the blog. Sometimes my dream is to have 36-hour days...

Like I said, I think that I have been pretty good with my other resolutions especially with the one about travelling. This year, I have added Denmark, Poland, Scotland and Switzerland to my list, and I have visited the West Coast and the North of Ireland and a place in France that I really wanted to see: Oradour-sur-Glane (if you like history, you should Google it. It's fascinating). I have really enjoyed all of these trips and I have already planned new ones (including THE biggie) for next year and I might talk about them here some day. My mom's collection of touristic fridge magnets has kept growing and my dad even said "the door is so heavy it's going to fall apart if she continues".

There was one thing that I had not planned though: I moved to Spain! In February, a brilliant job opportunity came up and I just had to go for it. So here I am now, back to the roots! 

2017 has been very intense and full of changes in my life, in every single aspect of it. Some were great, some not so much but there is one other resolution I have endeavoured to stick to: keep on being positive and counting my blessings. 

How was your 2017?


Je n'ai pas été très active sur le blog cette année. D'ailleurs, si vous regardez l'historique des articles, un des derniers est mon article sur mes bonnes résolutions pour 2017. Et clairement, vous pouvez voir que "me faire plus présente sur le blog" n'en faisait malheureusement pas partie.

Dans l'ensemble, je pense avoir été plutôt bonne élève même si faire plus de sport a clairement été la résolution que j'ai eu le plus de mal à tenir. J'ai continué d'aller au Krav Maga mais je n'ai rien ajouté de plus car c'était un peu compliqué.
Peu après avoir posté mon article, j'ai commencé à faire un boulot en free-lance très chronophage et je me suis retrouvée avec peu de temps pour le reste, y compris le blog. Mon rêve parfois, ce serait d'avoir des journées de 36 heures...

Comme je l'ai dit, en ce qui concerne les autres résolutions, je me suis plutôt bien débrouillée surtout en ce qui concerne les voyages. Cette année, j'ai ajouté le Danemark, la Pologne, l'Ecosse et la Suisse à ma liste, et j'ai visité la côte ouest et le nord de l'Irlande, ainsi qu'un endroit de la France que j'ai toujours voulu visiter: Oradour-sur-Glane (si vous aimez l'histoire, je vous conseille d'y jeter un oeil. C'est fascinant). Bref j'ai beaucoup apprécié ces voyages et j'en ai déjà planifié de nouveaux pour cette année (y compris LE voyage dont j'ai toujours rêvé). Qui sait, peut-être que je vous en parlerai par ici! La collection de magnets touristiques de ma mère commence à prendre pas mal de place sur la porte du frigo et mon père m'a dit qu'"elle est tellement lourde qu'elle va se détacher si ça continue." 

Il y a une chose que je n'avais pas prévu en revanche: j'ai déménagé en Espagne! En février, j'ai eu une offre de boulot vraiment cool et je ne pouvais juste pas dire non. Donc me voilà, de retour aux sources!

2017 a été vraiment riche en changements pour moi dans chaque aspect de ma vie. Certains de ces changements on été super, d'autres un peu moins mais il y a une résolution à laquelle je me suis toujours tenue: rester positive et reconnaissante.

Et vous? Comment était votre 2017?


Jumper - H&M
Skirt - ZARA
Shoes - Fórmula Joven
Bag - Bocage
Watch - Cluse with Mesh strap
Glasses - Marc Jacobs

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