Summertime sadness? Somewhat uncertain

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Talking about the weather is generally seen as a time-filler; that awkward smalltalk you’re forced to engage in with the granny at the busstop, waiting for your number to pick you up. But in their way, climatic conversations kinda make the world go round – we like to share what we got up to during our weekends in the sun, complain endlessly when we’re caught in the rain and leap for joy when school is cancelled because of the 2cm of snow on the ground (#onlyinEngland). And doesn’t the weather have a natural impact on our food choices? People try as much to eat seasonally, swapping their strawberries for pumpkin as soon as the first auburn leaves crackle underfoot. BBQ in November? I don’t think so.

Which brings me to something I’ve been pondering today – am I sad to see summer go? It came so late here in Paris, where normally even in late-May you’d see les femmes chics getting out their espadrilles. But we were weighed down with a seemingly endless cloud of humidity and tropical wetness that drove everyone insanely crazy. After a few weeks then stuck in a heatwave, we’re now in a kind of limbo of will-it-won’t-it. Today we went to Les Fermes de Gally to pick some fruit and vegetables, trapped under a grey sky yet dripping in the thick moisture. I need weather that is actually going to commit – autumn, I’m waiting for you with arms wide open.

*Apples, variety of squash, squash blossoms (so excited to cook with these!), green peppers, apples, carrots and salad all hand-picked this morning by us at Les Fermes de Gally.

Summer box of goodies

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About a week ago (or maybe two), my MIL received an unexpected package in the post. It was a box of assorted beauty products put together by the big chain supermarket in France Monoprix, and probably sent out to those with the loyaly card just in time for their summer vacation. She said that as she didn’t really have a need for the products she preferred to give them to someone who would use them – that’s where I come in!

I’m definitely not someone to spend a ton on beauty products – for example, the only make-up I own is mascara and about 2 lipsticks. That I never wear. And my last tube of mascara finished about 6 months ago and I still haven’t bought a new one. As far as hair goes, shampoo and conditioner are enough for me. Suncream? Sometimes. I have an extremely lax ‘routine’ so to speak, but I’ve just never accorded that much importance to all these expensive, designer products because it’s not something we grew up with.

However, I’m not one to turn down a gift *chuckle chuckle* and as I don’t buy such products on a regular basis I guess I can enjoy these. Here’s what was inside:

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From bottom left:

Pacifica Persian Rose Solid Perfume, a waxy substance that you rub on your skin as perfume (vegan, no animal ingredients, animal cruelty-free, zero parabens);
Bioderma SPF 50+ pocket-sized sun cream (paraben free);
Nuxe ‘Prodigieux’ golden shimmer shower gel (paraben and sulfate free);
Erborian Bamboo Waterlock hydro-pumping skin mask;
Compeed adhesive foot plasters x 5;
Mini bottle of white wine (!!);
Foot file;
Batista dry shampoo (vegan and not tested on animals!);
Caudalie Divine Oil for body, face and hair (zero parabens; sulfates or animal-derived ingredients)
Taaj Micellar Water, cleanser and make-up remover (zero parabens);
Nail file;
Phytoelixir cleansing care cream for hair (botanical and nautral origins).

I was ready to post this and then started reading up on some of the ingredients in the products and was interested to see that some were 100% vegan, others not tested on animals, others with no sulfates or parabens. I’m not a crusader on these types of issues, and nearly all of the time I’ll blindly choose products that just do the job without getting into the politics of it, but I do think that consumer-consciousness is important. It’s not always a wallet-friendly approach that everyone can take on but I guess wherever we can we should make an effort to buy animal and human-friendly products that are good for us and our environment.

OK rant over 🙂 I’m off to check on my brioche that has been (I hope) slowly rising in the kitchen. The result – check the next blog post!

Aman x

A Work in Progress

It’s been a while folks, I know, but I’m pretty much over the ‘omg it’s been soooooo long im soooo sorry I’ll do better’ routine.

Getting back to basics, I’d started this blog to document my trials in the kitchen when I was at a pretty ‘simple’ time in my life, i.e. I was still working as a PA in a fairly low-stress professional environment with standard working hours and Louis was still doing a lot of work and research from home into his own food-based business. This meant that even though both of us were working full-time, we were still able to have and enjoy our free time together without the stress and anxiety of our jobs getting in the way. Coming home and getting in the kitchen never felt like a chore and I never felt tooo exhausted to create something interesting and blog about it.

Ever since I got this great new job as a communications assistant in an international organisation, (praise the Lord that this even happened!!!), I’ve definitely had a lot more responsibilities to take into account which I am so grateful for but of course these are bound to take a toll in other areas of your life, mainly the free, non-working time. During the super busy period of getting our economic publication finalised, I would literally wake up, work and then sleep. That’s basically what it felt like, and as Louis’ business is getting ever serious, it left little time to unwind.

And to be honest (I know I shouldn’t start a sentence with ‘and’!), I was just really lacking in any cooking inspiration. I quite simply had lost interest in anything more complicated than “I need to eat to function”, I wasn’t interested in the funky accounts I follow on Instagram or the blogs I usually spend hours trawling over. It just became something I had to accept for while – I wasn’t going to force writing articles and posting pictures if I didn’t really and truly want to. The OCD-ness in me got quashed once I accepted the fact that I wouldn’t have a neat, chronological account of posts on the blog (you’ll see there are more gaps than posts for 2016), but hey, there are actual real life problems to sort out.

So what is the point of this post? Well I’m not here to say bye-bye to blogging, actually it’s re-bonjour! This past month and a half has been very calm, so much so we even spent a week in Bordeaux relaxing and this weekend we’re making an impromptu trip to Normandy. I’ve started feeling a lot more inspired by some new as well as some old faithful blogs that I’ve been following for a while, to start using my time more efficiently and consciously so I can incorporate other personal goals into my everyday life. I’m not sure I want this blog to be 10000% just about food – as much as I am a private person, I feel that sharing other aspects of my life and routine that interest me can be just as thought-provoking for you too. There’s no recipe attached to this post, just me, myself and words. For now 🙂

Aman x