Bonjour and happy Friday!
I have had the most wonderful week full of productivity, long nature walks, delicious food, connecting with friends, and being really aware of what I am grateful for. Some weeks I am more centered in gratitude than others and this past week was definitely one of those weeks. I had all kinds of good thoughts, but also took a moment and appreciated little items that add pleasure to my daily life. When I returned from Paris I really made a commitment to myself to stop and notice just the small things, the simple treats that add joy to my everyday. SO, I love to share and write a blog post dedicated to a few items bringing either joy or simplicity. Basically, adding to the quality of my life. (yes, that is me above…I just got my pictures back of a photo shoot I had in Paris! The photographer is my new hero and if you ever need a recommendation e-mail me and I will be happy to share her contact info.)
Within my gratitude week something I consider a very small little miracle happened. I love days where you feel like the universe is playing a game with you. Here is what happened in a nutshell.
I was in a department store selecting items I needed and a total stranger (sweet lady) came up and asked me if I was ready to check out because if so she could get me 30% off my purchase based on her membership to this particular store…It was buy something and “your friend” gets 30% off their purchase. Well she decided right there and then that I was “her friend” Score! So thoughtful, I thanked her very much and was on my way after saving $18. Next I stopped at the grocery store, while checking out it prompted me and asked if I wanted to donate to the homeless shelter for Christmas. Of course I will be donating and giving back, especially when a total stranger had just donated to me. So I put that $18 back into the world and donated it to the homeless shelter. Okay so onto my next errand, I stopped at my local CVS and while checking out the checker said…”oh awesome, you are my 75th customer….you get 25% off your purchase today” WHAT?! So yes I saved $26.00 on this purchase. I really love days like this where you really feel this utter sense of the world working in your favor AND at the same time you are helping the world. “The universe definitely was watching me and looking over me today.” That was my closing thought on the day….
Just thought I would share that to put out some good energy! Onto my five favorites so far this month…
For starters this facial cream is hands down one of the best I have ever used. It hydrates my skin, protects it and most of all my skin feels soft and smooth when I use it!
Hope in a Jar (found at Sephora)
My second item is something I have everyday (No not champagne :)- good guess though). As soon as I get home from work I have a glass over ice. It is so refreshing, bubbly and I cannot get over how much I love the taste.
Sparkling Mint Mineral Water (found at Whole Foods)
*You can add fresh mint sprigs and a squeeze of lime to have a mock Mojito!* Seriously good. They carry many flavors- try them out. Mint is my absolute favorite.
Thirdly, I have to mention a wonderful cookbook I just devoured. I cannot wait to start making some of the recipes in this book. Beautiful photographs, descriptive food narratives and the recipes look wholesome, artisan and wonderful. Every recipe has a beautiful picture to accompany it…
This is a real existing bakery close to my neck of the woods in Santa Monica. I will be frequenting this establishment in the near future!
I absolutely loved the yogurt in France. There is something about it and the word to put on that is quality. The yogurt is rich, creamy, delicate, flavorful….and flavorful without all of the additives that line our grocery shelves here in America. I am not saying there are not good quality yogurts here in America…there are, just read the labels.
I have found one that I believe closely resembles the yogurt I ate in France.
I would also like to point out that in France they don’t do fat-free or low-fat even. The yogurt is made from whole milk. The trick is to have a 4-6 oz serving not a whole tub of 0% fat, sugar laden yogurt.
Saint Benoit Creamery Yogurt (found at Whole Foods)
Okay and last but not least…I have been really taking the time to have what I call “aperitif time.”
This is the hour when I get home from work where I usually pour myself something pleasurable in a nice crystal glass. I also have just a few nibbles of something delicate and delicious. This is a customary french past-time and we recognize it here in the states as cocktail hour. I take this time to look over my day and transition into a relaxing evening. Sometimes I just pour a glass of mineral water (above) and often I will also have a glass of champagne or on a cold day, a nice cabernet. Of course, I also have a small bite to eat…something small as not to spoil dinner. This is an amazing little treat I found combining three of my favorites…dried apricots, almonds and goat cheese.
Here is the recipe for the small bite I mentioned above.
Well, that is going to complete the post. I am leaving for Chicago in a couple of days for a food and wine show. I am getting ready to bundle up and I will report back when I am home! Have a lovely weekend!