Monthly Archives: November 2011
These little guys are puff pastry bundles filled with apples.
190 degrees C is equal to 375 degrees F…my guestimate was correct!
Oh , I also need to mention that you only need to make this recipe with 2 apples, not three…or just increase the number of bundles you make. I made six in the video and used three apples and there were a lot of apples left over.
Yoga class is a place to relax and stretch out all the day’s stresses. It’s an escape into you body. The last thing it should be is a fashion competition! So with that I present you with some yoga class fashion etiquette.
Please note that almost everything that I suggest is “unacceptable” is completely necessary in HOT YOGA class where the only thing you want to be wearing is nothing. It’s completely understandable when you arrive at hot yoga in booty shorts and a bra. Other than that please follow along…
Yoga Bottoms-Loose long pants, leggings, Lulu’s, Root’s yoga pants, cropped pants, track pants and loose shorts are all very acceptable choices of bottoms.
Yoga Tops- Anything that covers your midsection is acceptable. Long sleeves are great for the start and end of the class when the room seems a little cooler but just remember to wear something appropriate underneath. Wear tank tops or t-shirts of any fabric that feels comfortable to you. I wear a plain grey tank top from American Apparel. Yoga bras with tops over them are great as well! Tops can be loose or tight just remember to cover your midsection!
For Guys- Wear anything but your underwear and please wear a top.
Please don’t show your bottom. Imagine what it is like for the rest of the people in yoga class when you are in the front row, holding a downward dog in short tight shorts. The only time this is acceptable is during hot yoga when everyone is too focused on not dying from the heat that they would never even glimpse at what anyone else is wearing.
Please don’t show your tummy or your breasts. Yoga bras are awesome but they are made to help support you while allowing you the freedom to stretch in every which way. They are meant to be worn underneath your clothes. If you are doing hot yoga, feel free to wear only an appropriate bra. Cropped tops may “look” sexy and stylish in your head but you can keep them out of the yoga class.
For guys- You need to wear more than just underwear.
PERSONALIZE YOUR STYLE:
I love when people wear clothes that have “relaxing” prints like lotus flowers, Buddhas and words such as “Peace” and “Love”. I also love bright colours and funky patterns. Try out fabrics such as hemp and bamboo to see which one is the most comfortable, can absorb your sweat, and allows you the most flexibility.
Personally, I keep it low key in yoga class to let those yogis’ wardrobes shine! How will you personalize your yoga wear? If worse comes to worse and you cannot decide what to wear, just be yourself!
Thanks for reading!
p.s. Does anyone know of any small, independent companies that sell yoga clothes? If so, let me know!
I have officially started a new cooking show called “The Cooking Show”. The bolognese sauce is my kick-off recipe and I hope you enjoy the video! I’m pretty much being super natural in this video and f.y.i. I make the sauce from beginning to end!
Here is the full written recipe that makes 6-8 servings. Please write to me and let me know how the sauce turned out!
Oh and p.s. 350 grams of ground beef is 3/4 pound!
Thanks for reading and watching!
Sincerely, Yummy Laura
There was no sleeping in for Max and I on Sunday morning. We had a mission and the mission was to get to the weekly market early and catch some great deals…a.k.a buy some produce and maybe flowers. We were pleasantly surprised when a marching band passed us on the street as soon as we arrived at the market! This was just the beginning.
After the marching band passed we joined the crowd of people, kept our wallets close and started browsing the hundreds of vendors, smelling the sweets fragrance of flowers and fruit, playing with antique goodies and then buying some groceries after the amusement wore down.
In France, market places are a common occurrence. Actually they are more than a common occurrence, they are the norm in all the cities. There are market places back in Canada but only 1 day a week for 3 months of the year. The 30 or so vendors in those markets only sell fruits or vegetables. I remember visiting the market with Max’s mother and asking her which month it ended. She told me it never ends and I was shocked! Flabbergasted! But mostly excited.
Lille has a massive outdoor market 2 days a week, every week, all year long! There are hundreds of vendors selling a variety of goods and I am extremely fortunate to have access to this!!
In this market you can find:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Cooked foods (chicken, potatoes, Chinese food, Indian food, Moroccan food…the list continues)
- Stylish clothing for cheap (5 euro tops, 15 euro dresses, 15 euro shoes…and seriously stylish!)
- Meats and cheeses
- Art (paintings, sculptures…)
- Housewares (dishes, linens, appliances…)
- Body products (make-up, shampoo, soaps…)
- Things babies need
- Bread and bread products
- Cookies, cereal, basically everything you find in a grocery store
And that is just the beginning of the list.
What I have not seen at the market:
- Live animals being sold
- Vitamins and supplements
- Large purchase electronics (TVs, computers)
That’s about it.
- The food is seriously cheaper. For example, 1 carrot at the grocery store cost me 64 cents. The same carrot cost me 20 cents or so in the market.
- It’s fun to scope out the best produce and have the option of what to buy.
- The variety of goods changes every week. One week you may unexpectedly find just the knick-knack you want for your home.
- You can meet the people who are producing and selling the food. I have a “thing” about only wanting to buy food from happy people because the food probably tastes better! I bolded that because I think it’s a pretty valid point.
I’ve been told that this is just the beginning! The South of France has even larger markets with an even greater variety of goods…which I’ll be reporting on sometime during this year long stay in France. I’m sure that these markets sell live animals…how else could a market be larger than this one?!
This whole market thing is a great benefit of living in France but even if you don’t live here and just come to visit, you MUST visit a market. I guarantee that the least you will get is 200 handfuls of fun! At least.
P.s. Watch your purse!
Thanks for reading!
I recently decided to change my skin health regime after reading this article. What I did not do after I read that article was go out and buy all those products listed, but instead do a little bit of research, mix it with my own knowledge and the information I learned from that article and create my own regime.
Here is the regime:
1. In the morning, before I have a shower I incorporate DRY BRUSHING into my routine.
The skin is the body’s largest organ! Not only that but it is the body’s largest elimination organ. It eliminates tons of toxins from your body everyday through sweat and dead cells. When you dry brush you are stimulating this organ, the lymph system, and exfoliating all of those dead cells.
If you don’t know a lot about the lymph system please read about it here. It is such an important system in our body responsible for defending you against infections and even cancers. If it is not moving, it’s not eliminating and you are putting yourself at risk.
Here are some other attractive benefits of dry brushing:
- It helps improve cellulite…Excessive storing of fatty tissues which causes a build up of toxins is a contributor to the cause of cellulite. That along with genetics, hormones, etc. etc. Dry brushing is a detoxifying exercise and therefore can only help the situation. In this article, the woman states that she saw her cellulite reduce in six months of dry brushing.
- It’s pleasurable! Yes, dry brushing feels great! I love that I get to massage my body for ten minutes every morning and it feels good knowing that my body is saying a huge, “Thank You!” because of it. Personally, I like the feeling of being scratched too…
- Improves your body odor…You smell because you are toxic. Seriously! Eliminate those surface toxins and eliminate your smell. Easy!
Some resources about dry brushing are as follows:Dry Brushing Helps Eliminate Toxins and…Cellulite?,How Skin Brushing Helps With Cellulite,Dry Skin Brushing For Full Body Health
2. After my shower I rub OIL everywhere!
Especially in the winter, my skin dries up and itches like mad. Since I started applying oil after my shower, my itch has reduced and my skin is silky everyday. I like using coconut oil as from the advice taken from the article mentioned way at the top of this page. The coconut oil warms up when I leave it in the shower (or when I rub it between my hands) and I can give myself a warm oil massage afterwards.
The nutrients from the oil penetrate the skin and the massaging relaxes my body and mind. It’s a win-win situation from all angles.
Other oils you can use are: Sesame oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, or almond oil. The reason I use coconut oil is because it reminds me of summer and sun (with its coco-nutty smell!) which is nice to remember when the weather gets cold.
I took an Ayurveda course about a year back and learned a lot about the benefits of hot oil massages everyday in nourishing and balancing the body.
For a true Ayurvedic massage you would need to choose the oil that corresponds to your dosha. A dosha is kind of like a body type and there are three of them. You may not only be predominately one of the doshas and can switch between them. They are vata, pitta and kapha and based on symptoms and habits you have, you can discover your dosha. Once you discover your dosha you use the corresponding oil to help put that dosha into balance. To discover your dosha type click on this article: The Dosha Quiz. To discover what oil would best suit your dosha, read this...the oils for the doshas are listed on the left hand panel.
3. I don’t use tap water to wash my face! I use ROSE WATER!
When I went to the organic shop in my neighbourhood, I discovered that they had a whole shelf-full of “nourishing cleansing waters” meant to replace normal soap and water to clean your face.The extra soap and water can lead to drying and this method I’m suggesting is just as effective at cleaning you up!
Note: I use only organic products if they are going on my face. My face is so close to my eyes, ears, mouth and nose to be wanting to put any chemicals near it.
I chose rose water because the package said that it was best for dry and sensitive skin types. Plus the smell of the rose reminds me of a perfume my grandma once brought back for my from a trip she went on and all these nostalgic feelings come back when I use it. That is a valid reason in itself for using the rose water.
I use it alone with a cotton pad to wipe down my face every evening (and sometimes in the morning).
4. Rub OIL all over my face.
You may be thinking, “Your face too? Wasn’t the oil on the body good enough?” I just want to make sure that my face is well hydrated so that when I am forty I can look back and think, “Good thing I kept my face hydrated in my early twenties”. And face it, winter time prunes us all out.
There are some people out there that swear that slathering oil on their faces has helped them get rid of their acne. I can only speak from experience and I know that as soon as I see a break-out coming on, I do the opposite of what society has told me to do: I moisturize! The breakout never happens. I was told once ( a very long time ago) that the reason this works is because the skin breaks out because it is dry…the dry skin clogs those pores causing break-outs. Since I started using the oil, my skin has been flawless…FLAWLESS!
I use wheat oil because it is good for dry skin. My organic store has a ton of different oils including olive oil and other plant oils, all for the face, and all for different skin types…EVEN OILY SKIN TYPES!
Yes, it is even great to use face oil if you have oily skin! Even if you try it and are uncomfortable with it, you have nothing to lose!
I have been committed to this regime for 2 weeks now and have seen major improvements including:
- No breakouts
- Silky smooth skin EVERYWHERE
- No itching
To recap the regime:
- Dry brushing before your shower
- Applying oil to your body after your shower
- Cleansing your face with a cleaning water
- Moisturizing your face with a face oil
One more tip: HYDRATION via drinking water or tea can moisten your skin from the inside out!
Thanks for reading!
Sincerely, Yummy Laura
In France sparkling water is tres populaire. When you go to a restaurant and ask for water, if you don`t specify tap, they bring you a bottle of sparkling water. This is quite known. It is also very inexpensive at the grocery store, usually around 30 cents per bottle.
The grocery stores here also sells what seems like hundreds of flavours of this syrupy stuff. You can buy it in almond, lemon, mint, etc. My favourite flavour is the grenadine mainly because it reminds me of Shirley temples at Swiss Chalet but also because it makes for the best pop (or soda as they say in the states).
Max bought the grenadine syrup to mix in with milk which I find quite disgusting. I on the other hand reaped the rewards of this purchase when I all-of-a-sudden remembered that italian sodas were made out of this very syrupy stuff plus one other ingredient…And I’ve been hooked to this drink ever since.
Here is how to but it together:
You will need:
Now the rest is a synch.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the grenadine in the bottom of a tall glass…
Add in a small handful of frozen berries (totally optional!) and then pour in the sparkling water…
Make your own soda pop at home and you know exactly how sweet it will be, what flavour it will and what is in it!
And that to me spells out YUMMY!
I’m dividing my personal top tens in half today and presenting you with a top 5 list. I could give you a half-bum list of the ten things I love about fall but I thought, “Why not give them an absolutely AMAZING list of 5 things instead?!” And so here it is…
1. Clementines are back in season. Yumyum yumyumyum. Sing it with me! Yumyum yumyumyum yumyumyum yumyum yum. Yumyum yumyumyum yumyumyum yumyum yum. I could go on with that song forever because they are so convenient and YUMMY!
2. I can drink tea again! In the summer, when I attempt to drink to I end up hot flashing and seriously regretting it. And hot flashing is something that happens very rarely in my life (also happens when I am scared out of my pants about something) so I know that tea drinking shouldn’t happen in the summer. So yay for fall when the weather is cooler and my body says a big “Thank You” afterwards!
3. Migrating birds. I never have my camera with me when a huge swarm of birds flies overhead but I’ve seen this 5 or 6 times this fall at least. It’s such a beautiful sight!!! There are more birds flying over France right now than I have seen in my lifetime (in Canada)…they are all flying to Spain where it is nice and warm.
4. Fall fashion and the fact I can wear my boots again. I love layering in fall and completely miss how cool my awesome boots look when I can’t wear them in the heat.
5. Leaves!! Need I say more. Okay I will say more. Why are they so beautiful and smell so darn good??
Here in Lille, France I have spotted an interesting phenomena with leaves and cars. The same phenomena happens in Canada but with snow and thus I am completely entertained when I see this along the streets…
The cars are buried in leaves!
What’s your FAVourite part of fall?
Sincerely, Yummy Laura
Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was one of the first chicken recipes I learned as a young teenager and I was quite surprised to find that the French (where the recipe originated) make it much differently than I do. I’ve made the recipe even simpler than it already was so that you can make it every night of the week. And trust me please…it tastes great! Authentic Cordon Bleu? Maybe. maybe not, but I can definitely guarantee a taste fit for royalty!
You will also need salt and butter.
Lay your chicken breast flat. The poultry lady at the market cut the breast very thin for me but if yours isn’t this thin just pound it down a little…
Now place 1/2 slice of ham in the middle of the breast on its widest part…
And do the same with a 1/2 of a slice of swiss cheese…
This is where my recipe differs from the one they eat in France. apparently (info. coming from my most handy French source) the cheese inside the one they make is really creamy.
Here is the part where I cheat, to save time. Roll the chicken up so that the ham and cheese are in the middle. Usually you would slice open the breast and stuff these ingredients inside. I’m impatient and like results now and rolling is pretty fast.
The butter thing is apparently another difference. Max was telling me that every Cordon Bleu he has had has been breaded.
When they come out sprinkle them with salt…
Et voila! Just drizzle them with the melted butter left on the baking sheet!
Three months earlier I was sitting on my high stool behind the cash desk at the clothing boutique I worked in, browsing the internet for anything that caught my eye, glancing at the clock every few minutes to see if it was time to leave for lunch. I was bored and it was a boring job. At the time when the position of working in this high-end boutique was presented, it was perfect and exactly what I wanted. I wanted to use my knowledge of the fashion industry that I had gained from school and apply it in real life. I had worked with another woman for months when the relationship between her, the employers and me went sour. She decided to leave, to everyone’s relief. After that, I just slipped into the position of manager naturally and loved it…to start. The job started getting boring when I mentally “checked-out” after making a decision to move to France, and then switched my focus to obtaining a visa and learning the language instead of working hard at my job.
Max and I had been dating for 8 months by this point and becoming closer than ever. He just finished his semester a month earlier and was trying so hard to get a job in the Toronto area to stay an extra 4 months for the summer. If he couldn’t find a job he would lose the credit for the entire school year and have to repeat it; therefore it was quite an important quest on his part. I did what I could to support him: translated French reference letters, corrected his resume, suggested places that were hiring and all seemed to be looking up.
Within 2 weeks of searching, Max found the job he wanted selling high-end clothing just like me. The employer informed him that he couldn’t start until his work permit was approved by the government. He had already applied for this permit weeks earlier and both of us expected that it would have arrived by then but there was no sign of it anywhere. Every two or three days Max would call the government and ask where his permit was and why it hadn’t been approved yet. It wasn’t until it was too late that they finally told him that the immigration sector of the government was on strike and there was no chance of his permit being approved any time soon. This was devastating to both of us. We wanted to stay together during the summer time but I knew, and so did Max, that he had to obtain an international job in order to pass his school year. If Canada was blatantly blocking this opportunity he had to go to another country and obtain a job asap!
A few days after we found out the news that the work permit would not be arriving, Max sat me down to tell me that he had booked an airplane ride to London for the following week. As he is a citizen of the European Union, it wouldn’t be necessary for him to have a work permit to work in London and it would still be considered international work experience. It was a wise decision on his part but once he told me I was completely crushed. I supported his decision and knew from the bottom of my heart that this was right!
I had booked my appointment with the French consulate in Toronto months earlier and I was scheduled to meet with them a three days before Max would take his flight. If there was one thing I wanted it was to obtain the visa before Max left so that we could be sure that we would be together again and have something to look forward to. I knew that if they ended up approving me I would reunite with him on September 15 exactly 3 months away.
The day for the appointment arrived. The morning of, I checked and double checked that I had every single document I needed plus all of their copies. I dressed professionally with clothes I had picked out a week before and ironed at least three times in that week to make sure they were perfect. I blow-dried my hair, which I never do, I might add because it takes me 35 minutes, and I put on some subtle make-up to look give off a grand impression to whomever I would be meeting with. I filled out all of the forms and wrote an eager cover letter in French to express my desire to live in their country and my ability to speak their language (the reality that I have very little ability to speak their language hit when I arrived in the country).
Max met me downtown Toronto and we were off to the appointment. I entered the office on the 20th floor of a building right in Yorkville village. The security guard let me in and I was led directly to a woman at the desk. I handed her my papers, she quickly scanned them and smiled at me and then said, “You have to have these documents dated for exactly 365 days apart.” She meant that I had to have bought an entire 365 days of insurance as well as a return ticket dated exactly 365 days from the day I would be leaving. I had booked the insurance and plane ticket for two weeks shy of a year, for the practical reason of wanting to go home before the new French school year begins in the first week of September. I smiled at her and asked her what I could do, knowing that I wouldn’t be given the visa on the same day, my heart slightly crushed. It had taken me three months to book an appointment with the consulate and I couldn’t wait another three months to find out if I could go or not. Plus, I heard that these visas were only given out to a certain amount of people and who knows if there would be any left by the time I could rebook an appointment.
“Just purchase some extra insurance and email us the new receipt.” She interrupted my thoughts. I took a deep breath. Not as bad as I thought it would be!
“I will!” I replied, completely relieved. Then I left the office to tell Max that I had to go do a little more “administrative work”, email the consulate these new papers and wait ten days for the result! He would be leaving in less than three days so I deemed it impossible to find out whether or not we would for sure be meeting in September before he left for London.
Back at work a few days later, as I was browsing countless websites for anything that caused my heart to pitter-patter a little faster or maybe my brain waves to jump with stimulation, Max walked into my work, coming back to me after running an errand to grab my passport from the consulate because I was unable to leave work. He was due to leave the next day and I was feeling less than happy and mucho less than excited. I just wanted him to stay. I wanted the stupid government to end their pointless strike and give my well-deserved boyfriend his freaking work permit. The reality I had to accept was different.
“Hey,” I said, less than enthused, looking at him as if he were about to go to war in the middle east or something.
“I have 2 pieces of good news for you!” He was unusually excited but I wouldn’t budge and join him in his excitement. “Number one: I have your passport!”
“Thanks babe.” I replied, “I really appreciate this!”
“Wait!” he said, “Let me tell you the other news.”
“The 2nd thing is that you have your visa!”
“What?!” I yell. “I do?!”
“Yes, you do!”
“But how? Why? Are you serious?!” I stumbled though all the words. He looked at me and I understood where the excitement in his eyes was coming from. I would end up seeing him in September after all and I found out before he left! Two birds killed with one stone!
Little did I know that what I was to go through the next three months would make obtaining the visa and learning French seem like a cinch!
To be continued…