About joy



Last week I came across this TED talk which I really enjoyed. It put into words what I have intuitively felt and developped with this blog: how paying attention to beautiful, colourful things around us brings joy and can make such a difference to how we feel.

Photographing beautiful plants and colours is something that I am spontaneously drawn to and where I find myself in flow, so it was interesting also to realise that certain things are universally joyful and understand the reasons why.  It also shed some light on why the bright colours of the buildings in Lisbon bring me so much joy:)

Check out the TED playlists, such as How to notice and build joy into your life, for wise words and inspiration…

Tiny steps



In the midst of these very busy and stressful weeks at work, I am trying my best to take better care of myself.

Having inspiring chats with a dear friend over lunch about creativity and self-care, in a quieter space away from the busy cantine (and sometimes even making time for a walk to get some fresh air after). Sending that email containing my truth, things that needed to be said to stick up for myself.  Spending my afternoon off getting my hair cut, then reading a book for several hours undisturbed while it snows a little outside…

For now it’s really tiny steps. Every one of them feels like a victory and I’m counting on a snow-ball effect:)

A year of joyful gratitude



Last week was the 52nd week in a row that I wrote about what I am deeply grateful for in the series I created called JOYFUL GRATITUDE! I really enjoy this ritual and plan to continue looking out for and writing weekly about big and small things that I am I very lucky to experience in my life:)

I decided to look back at these past 52 weeks, and use a lovely spreadsheet to place the things I’m grateful for under broad categories to examine what brings me joy.  The categories that most posts clearly fell under are: Outdoors, Tribe, Food, Quiet time, Travel and Nature. Interestingly most of the posts were a combination of several categories (like enjoying good Food with friends – aka my Tribe).

Outdoors was the clear number one category, a nice reminder of how important it is for me to be out and about despite my rather sedentary lifestyle. I will keep in mind for these winter months that when I feel tempted to profoundly hibernate, actually going out for a brisk walk will do miracles for my mood:)

Click here to check out all the JOYFUL GRATITUDE posts!  What are you grateful for this week??

The icing on the cake



This may be controversial, but I believe regularly eating delicious cake is part of a healthy diet.  According to me, cake is perfect for any occasion and at any time, whether it’s for fueling a creative afternoon in a cosy café, celebrating a birthday or simply for dipping in my morning coffee for breakfast, and it tastes even better when it is shared with family, colleagues or friends.

Cake is also an important way of transmitting family traditions.  My grand-dad’s speciality was making Biscuit de Savoie for us (which is a cake despite its confusing name). I miss watching him in his kitchen, patiently folding the beaten egg whites into the batter with a wooden spoon, turning always in the same direction to keep the cake fluffy (and obviously licking the bowl which was the best part!). We still use his recipe to make this amazing cake for every family reunion:)


 The pretty cakes in these pictures were made in Ahhh Toots, a stand in the Glass Arcade in Bristol. My friend Eva and I attempted to sample as many of them as we could when we were visiting in 2015.  They truly know how to make icing in the UK:)

Watching the sunrise



Stopping what I was doing to watch the sunrise (even if it was from the windy rooftop of our office building after making early morning calls to clients Down Under)