Posted at 9:05 am , on June 6, 2019
I can’t believe this French lifestyle book hasn’t popped up on more Francophile book lists.
This book is like reading a day in the life of a French person and the day revolves around the importance of meal times. If you’re someone who is interested in what the French eat day to day, this is the book for you.
The author who is a French chef believes a happy life is found in the little things you do daily. So why not pause and make the little things a little special like the French do. I agree.
I bought this book electronically, but this is a book I see myself referencing often, especially since recipes are included. And as convenient as electronic books are, they do not compare with holding a real book in your hand and thumbing through the pages. It’s the little things.
Here are some takeaways from the book.
- Take a few moments and enjoy breakfast.
- Use cloth napkins.
- A French cafe au lait bowl almost requires you to take your time with two hands and enjoy the warmth and coziness of your morning beverage.
- Grow something you love to eat and share it with others.
- Grow an herb garden
- Set fruits and veggies that need to be used out in a pretty bowl or pedestal that as a reminder.
- A state of the art kitchen doesn’t mean good food. Alot of the kitchen aesthetics and tools aren’t needed. The author himself has a very humble kitchen.
- The kitchen is the heart of the home.
- Eat seasonally and go to farmers markets if you can.
- If you are pressed for time during weekday lunches, pre-pack your lunch; leave the office and relax while you enjoy your meal.
- Even if you do not leave your house to go to work, you should schedule time, sit down and have a nice lunch.
- An aperitif and a quick nibble before your lunch and dinner is a nice ritual prior to your meal.
- Picinics are wonderful, but eat at a bench, picnic table, pop up table. No one wants to eat food on the ground.
- Entertaining should be relaxing and pleasant for everybody. Doing alot of prep the day before will help.
- Set a pretty table. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Some table linens, candles, and flowers go a long way in presentation.
- Not confident about giving a big dinner party? Start small with a couple of people.
- Take a 30 minute nap after meals, guilt free!
- Sandwiches are great meals when you use the best ingredients. Don’t skimp.
- If your dinners begin later in the evening like the French, have a snack/treat around 5:00pm. (The French have ONLY one snack per day around 5:00pm called “goûter.) This snack is often a sweet treat, such as an eclair. Indulge!
- MY final takeaway from this book: Meal times are not only for eating, but to take pauses in your day either on your own, with others, or with family to appreciate good food, each other, and life.
Posted at 10:04 am , on June 5, 2019
City Market has arrived in Monterrey. I actually only went because I was told they have gourmet tea and a tea shop I would probably like. I was in for quite the surprise. I had no idea it would be such a nice, huge, two story grocery store and then some. It felt very European to me.
An amazing deli section.
Along with food, City Market has a pharmacy, spa goods, home goods, and flower sections as well.
Restaurants too. A tea room, cafe, sushi bar, Italian bar, and wine bar with a stained glass ceiling. Trés bien!
Posted at 8:51 am , on May 27, 2019
Have you heard of the speaker/author/storyteller Brené Brown? She’s been around for awhile, but I’ve just discovered her. She is a multi-degreed, shame/vulnerability researcher. I’m currently reading The Gift of Imperfection which is the book she recommends to read first. Instead of self help “How to…”, she’s more of what’s in your way type of gal, with a down to earth way of talking and lots of stories.
If you’re interested, but don’t want to pick up a book, she currently has a special on Netflix, “The Call to Courage”. It’s worth a watch. There are also multiple videos on YouTube.
Posted at 11:23 am , on May 26, 2019
Yesterday, a good friend’s daughter of Sr. Elizondo got married. It was a beautiful event as they always are here. There’s definite differences between weddings here and wedding back in the U.S based on my experience.
Weddings are typically a much more formal affair in Mexico than in the United States. The weddings here have a full mass, attire is always formal with most women wearing midi or long gowns. There are normally 250-500 people who attend, and the wedding can last until early morning with breakfast sometimes served!
Some other differences are Mexican weddings have no bridal parties, they start in the evenings and the dinner isn’t normally served until around 9:30-10:00pm. The first thing done at the reception is the “first dance” and immediately after is the garter and bouquet toss. The reception decor is elaborate with ALOT of toys handed out such as light up sticks, whistles, boas, hats, etc. The elaborate affairs become more like raves after a certain hour. They do not give out favors; however, flip flops or slippers given to women seems to be the norm. The cake cutting happens late in the evening and it’s not the attention grabbing event that it is in the States. Actually, I don’t think I’ve actually seen any cutting of the cake by the bride and groom. One last thing I am thinking of is a Mexican wedding would never have you pay for your drinks. They always have an open bar.
My favorite part of the wedding we went to was the fireworks during the couple’s first dance. It was so pretty.
Posted at 8:28 am , on May 20, 2019
The memoir of a girl brought up in a family of survivalists, extreme religion, little to no home schooling, mental health issues and physical abuse. At sixteen, she decides she wants to go to college and gets accepted. Life outside of her home is a dramatic wake up call to what the world is really like.
A recommended read. The story of this family is fascinating, almost unbelievable.
BTW: I also read Normal People. This book is up for multiple awards and the author has received huge praise. Unfortunately, this book felt like a YA book to me and I just wasn’t interested in this love story.
Posted at 2:03 pm , on May 8, 2019
Sr. Elizondo’s daughter is getting married. The custom here in Mexico is that the parents of the groom-to-be come to the parents house of the-bride-to-be and formally ask for the daughter’s hand for their son. This meeting is called Pedir a la Novia. Traditionally, the parents of the bride would dictate the terms of the wedding. These days it’s just a great way to meet the immediate families of both parties.
For this occasion, we will be serving merienda. Basically, merienda is the serving of appetizers between lunch and dinner. Here’s the menu I have come up with.
- Individual Caesar salad bites
- A cheeseboard
- Chocolate covered strawberries
- Mineral Water
- Champagne (for a toast)
Since this is my first hosting of a Pedir a la Novia AND a merienda, I’m sure I’m overthinking everything. Then again, I would rather have everything be too much than not enough. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.
Posted at 2:10 pm , on April 30, 2019
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the true story of two people who fall in love in Auschwitz. Like this review, the book never goes too deep into the love story or life in the camp. It’s a good read, but I didn’t feel invested in the characters or the story.
Posted at 10:08 pm , on April 29, 2019
I recently watched Ricky Gervais’s series, “After Life” and I loved it. I watched it a second time and I loved it even more. Every episode is funny, heartbreaking, and honest while giving some beautiful life advice.
Posted at 7:56 pm , on April 19, 2019
My new sing-a-long music obsession is Lizzo.
Posted at 3:41 pm , on April 3, 2019
A memoir written by a man who suffers from a massive stroke. He then wakes up from a coma as a quadriplegic whose only communication with the outside world is his ability to blink his left eye. He has help writing this book using an alphabet his nurse and himself devise.
A quick, thoughtful read you can pick up at anytime as each chapter is it’s own story.