Summer box of goodies


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:


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


Kitchen Staples

Bonjour mes amis! The weather in Paris is getting decidedly worse by the day and the flat gets absolutely freezing sometimes, so to cheer myself up I’m going to tell you about a few of my coup de couer, (meaning favourite) kitchen items. Not only are they extremely handy and practical, I think they’re lovely to look at too!


Monsieur Mixer

Living on a budget, I definitely could not afford one of these trendy blenders like a Vitamix, and even the cheapest brands in Paris are still really expensive, so I used to use a hand-held pulverizer to make all my smoothies and soups. It still worked a dream but I was limited with how many ingredients I could use and the quantity I was able to make. Then it broke. So when the unofficial-in-laws asked us what we would like for Christmas I immediately knew what to suggest, and guess what? Joyeux Noel to me because they bought it for us early! The boy came home with the blender in one hand and patisseries in the other on the weekend, what a doll. Christened it with a melon and banana smoothie, yum!


Lady Shaker

About a month ago, we did a big shop at a Zodio, which is a French home decoration store/warehouse with an amaaazing array of items for every domestic need. I wasn’t too keen on this little cocktail shaker at first, preferring the classic silver type but now I absolutely love it. It includes 4 recipes on the sides with all the measurements so you’ll never get lost whilst shaking up a storm, unless you’ve had a few too many…


Madame Théière

When I was working for a family and teaching English to their two little girls here in France, I always admired their théière, a cast-iron teapot with a large, deep strainer set within for tea leaves. They originate from Japan where they are called tetsubin or kyūsu , and are traditionally hung over a fire to boil water. They come with tiny handle-less cups to drink from which are very efficient at burning your fingertips so be careful! As a tea lover, there’s nothing better than sipping in style.

IMG_0685  IMG_0673

Papa Pestle (& Mortar)

The Boy was sooo keen to get this and when someone is that adorable you just can’t say no. Pestle and mortars have an ancient, apothecarial feel to them, (yes I’m making up words now, feel free to join me) which should really make no sense anymore in our modern world. However our porcelain pal was a cracker at smashing up M&M’s when we made our crêpes last week. Modern medicine at its best!


I know these names are so silly, but once I started I was on a roll!