February 16, 2018

Le Bien Être: Finding Joy in the Present Moment

"Vous n'avez pas besoin d'attendre [un changement] pour ressentir dès maintenant une certaine couleur, une certaine version de ces émotions que vous recherchez."

- Clotilde Dusoulier 

I heard this quote yesterday on Change Ma Vie, an excellent podcast en français hosted by Clotilde Dusoulier. My translation:  You don't need to wait for a change to feel a certain color, a certain version of the emotions that you are looking for. I am currently waiting on something in my life. The anticipation is a beautiful thing, an exciting feeling. Yet in anticipating, I also find myself projecting forward often, thinking about how wonderful things will be when what I await finally arrives. I envision myself overwhelmed with feelings of excitement and contentment, overflowing with inspiration, rejuvenated and full of new energy. 

Clotilde's words reminded me that I don't have to wait for what "will be". "Will be" are words that describe the future, but I am right here, right now, in this present moment. It is possible to feel excitement, contentment, inspiration, rejuvenation, and energy NOW. They may not manifest exactly as I imagine them in my vision of the future, but they can exist today in their own color, their own version. 

As I sit here on this Friday evening, heading into a three day weekend that's kicking off with some quality girlfriend time, I feel content. I feel excited. Clotilde's podcast inspired me and that inspiration gave me a renewed sense of energy, a desire to get these thoughts down so that they might inspire you, too. I believe that if we pause to notice the joys in our every days (because sometimes for me noticing the not so joyful things seems to come more naturally...), we can see that in a way, we already have that which we seek. It may not look how we have pictured it in our minds eye, and we may need to reframe our thinking, but I bet you, in some form, it is there. 

None of this to say stop dreaming or anticipating. Not at all, and Clotilde does a beautiful job of making that clear as well. For me, it was just a lovely reminder that all we really have is the present moment, so why wait to cultivate a life you love living using what you have, where you are? 

You can listen to this episode of Change Ma Vie here. Not only is it an excellent way to integrate the French language into your daily life, the inspiration provided might very well change votre vie.

Warm wishes for a beautiful weekend from me to you,

February 14, 2018

Le Bric à Brac (n°7): Odds & Ends

Bonne Saint Valentin! I'm keeping it short and sweet today, and spreading the love of some of my latest favorites with another edition of Le Bric à Brac. Enjoy! 


LOVE is in the air. Brooklyn in Love. Amy Thomas's latest book was released on Tuesday, February 6. I preordered, received my copy in the mail, and can't wait to dive in! I absolutely adored her first book, Paris My Sweet, where she tells the tale of her year in Paris, listing must stop shops for delectable sweets along the way. Either would be the perfect way to treat yourself this Valentine's Day. :)


French Frye in Paris Facebook live tours: This one was recommended to me by a reader. Merci Cheryl! Corey Frye is an American tour guide in Paris. On his French Frye in Paris Facebook page, Corey has been posting 20-30 minute live Paris tours, but you can also enjoy the replays. Episode 1 took me to the steps where Owen Wilson sat in Midnight in Paris, past the Panthéon, and finally to the Medici Fountain in the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg. A little bit of Paris wherever and whenever. A sweet treat indeed! 

Speaking of favorite Paris spots, I've made some updates to the FdSTL Paris Guide. As I reminisce on past travels and collect ideas for future travels, this list grows and evolves. My hope is that it can give you some ideas as you plan your next (or first!) trip to the City of Light. 


The Simple Sophisticate podcast with Shannon Ables: If you've been here since the start, you know I talk about blogger and podcaster Shannon Ables often. She has been a big part of my journey, so I am constantly grateful that she continues to follow her dreams, sharing beautiful inspiration each day. Shannon's podcast The Simple Sophisticate comes out with a new episode every Monday. Lately, this has been a treat as I commute from work to school on Monday afternoons. You can also enjoy fresh content daily on her blog, The Simply Luxurious Life. I cannot recommend her enough. It is so fun to connect with her as a fellow Francophile, but her inspiration reaches much further, touching anyone who seeks to live their best, most contented life. 

And there we have it! I hope today's post provided you with a few unexpected treats to savor this Valentine's Day and beyond. 

Warm and loving wishes from me to you,

February 2, 2018

Le Bric à Brac (n°6): Odds & Ends

Bonjour readers and bon weekend! It has been quite a while since I've done a post in the bric-à-brac series, a series titled after the French phrase for knick knacks or odds & ends. For anyone new to the blog, it is here that I "collect" various things that I'm loving or want to recommend so that you can enjoy them too! I've also created a link under "Posts by Topic" on the right of my page. This will make it easy to scroll through the bric-à-brac archives. 

Now for today's odds & ends (note that these are my personal recommendations, not paid): 

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream: I picked up a travel size of this when I visited the Caudalie store in Paris' Montmartre neighborhood (I wanted everything, but since I traveled with a carry-on I could only purchase certain sizes). I keep this on my nightstand and absolutely LOVE it. It works miracles on my dry hands in the winter. I also have a bad habit of messing with my nails/cuticles. While the only real cure is to kick the habit, this cream heals and restores. It also smells amazing and does't leave a greasy feel. 
My bkr water bottle: I have had my eye on these water bottles since I spotted them in a shop in Copenhagen. This was a little birthday gift to myself. :) I love this water bottle because it is glass, which I prefer to plastic, and the smooth silicone sleeve keeps in protected. I purchased mine from a company that is all things natural beauty, Petit Vour. They describe the mission of bkr in the product description: "... no matter what you put on your face, if you aren’t hydrated from the inside you won’t glow." I know, I know... it's just a water bottle. But it gets me excited about drinking water. Sometimes it really is the little things. 

Clotilde Dusoulier: I've mentioned Parisian Clotilde's book Edible French here on the blog. I'm also familiar with her well known foodie blog Chocolate and Zucchini, though I only recently subscribed (I don't know what took me so long!). I can't wait to receive her posts in my inbox for food with a little Parisian flair. Clotilde was a recent guest on one of my favorite podcasts, the Earful Tower (click the link for the episode) where she and Oliver talked Paris food markets. They also discussed her new book Tasting Paris, set to hit shelves on March 20. I know this will be one I add to my francophile library. And wait... there's more! I also listened to the first episode of Clotilde's self care podcast, Change Ma Vie. I really enjoyed the content and the best part - elle parle en français. I am always looking for authentic ways to integrate French into my every days, and this podcast provides a wonderful opportunity to learn more about a topic I love AND practice my French. 

Pear Salad: When I bring this to lunch, my colleagues think I'm pretty fancy, but it's actually very simple. I purchase mixed greens (usually Organic Girl) and some near ripe pears. When the pears are ready, I slice them thinly and layer them on top of a bed of the greens. Then I add a few dried cranberries, some freshly grated parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. It's easy and delicious, and when I prep it the night before (dressing on the side) it makes for a smooth morning and a delightful lunch break. 

There you have it, my odds and ends for this week! I hope you discovered a treasure. 

Warm wishes for a beautiful weekend from me to you,
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