Feeling overwhelmed? You’ve got your back!

In difficult times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, resourceless and alone. There is nothing great about this! If this is where you are right now, remember that you have all the tools you need to feel great again. The trick is just to think of these again! Here is a quick list of things that you can do to feel good again.

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  1. Pamper yourself. Mix your favorite ingredients and make a face mask, take a bath, burn some incense while you read, prepare yourself a colorful salad, or wear your favorite socks. Take a few minutes to take care of yourself. Be selfish for a few moments and you’ll soon feel better!
  2. Do something you enjoy. When we’re feeling low, it’s easy to feel sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. In those moments, I try to push myself to do things I normally enjoy like painting, reading or baking. These simple joys usually make me feel content and take my mind off of what is bothering me.
  3. Sit. There’s nothing more powerful when you are feeling low to recenter yourself on the present moment. Sit down straight and take deep breaths. Observe these breaths and relax your body. After only a few breaths you should feel refreshed and more ready to face your feelings.
  4. Connect. With billions of people in the world, it is quite impossible that you are truly alone at any given moment. I often find that when I feel overwhelmed, writing or talking to friends and family cheers me up. Other times, it’s good to be in the company of strangers at a workshop or to go people watching at a coffee shop. Whatever you do, remind yourself that you are not alone!

I hope these tips help you out. If you are feeling low, I’m sending you happy thoughts! Try out these few tricks and you’ll soon feel like yourself again. The truth is, everyone feels low sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Take your time, take care of yourself, and things will go just fine.

If you want more tricks and support on building wellbeing habits, I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for a planner I’ve written, the Leafy Planner. Take a look!

Abstract: My new Netlfix obsession\\\ Abstract: Ma nouvelle obsession Netflix

(version française plus bas)

A few days ago, Netflix launched a new show called Abstract: The Art of Design. It is taking me all my willpower not to binge watch all the episodes at once, so I thought I would share it with you in case you are wondering what to do this week.

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Abstract is made on the same model as Chef’s Table (another Netflix obsession). Each episode follows a designer and goes over how they became designers, what challenges they faced and what important events molded their careers. I find it so inspiring to see how great contemporary designers came to be so great. As each episode also covers different types of designers (graphic, shoes, scenography, architecture, and many others), it’s really interesting to see how each discipline works.

One of the things that I find to be incredibly fascinating is to see the work process of each designer. I feel like it’s a good reminder to see how much work, reflection, and trials there are before an idea comes to life.

I really recommend this show to anyone who is looking for some inspiration, hope or to learn about daily objects. I’m pretty sure anyone can learn something from this show, or at least be amazed by how different artists work. I’m certainly smitten.

(For those of you who are wondering where the recipes are, some new things are coming up really soon; I have just been a very lazy and busy cook this week!)


Il y a quelques jours, Netflix a lancé une nouvelle émission: Abstract: The Art of Design. Il m’a fallu rassembler toute ma volonté pour ne pas regarder tous les épisodes d’un coup, alors je me suis dit que je partagerais ma nouvelle obsession au cas où vous chercheriez quelque chose à voir cette semaine.

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Abstract fonctionne comme la géniale émission Netflix Chef’s Table (une autre obsession). Chaque épisode présente un designer et explique comment cette personne en est venue au design, quelles difficultés ont été surmontées et quels évènements importants ont modelé leurs carrières. Je trouve ça tellement inspirant de voir comment les designers contemporains célèbres en sont venus à être les grands designers de notre époque. Chaque épisode couvre aussi différentes disciplines de design (graphisme, chaussures, scénographie, architectures et plusieurs autres) ce qui permet aux spectateurs de voir differents aspects artistiques.

Une des choses que j’aime le plus de cette émission, et qui est vraiment fascinant, c’est de voir le processus créatif de chaque designer. Je trouve que c’est une bonne façon de se souvenir combien de travail, de temps, de réflection et d’essais sont requis avant qu’une idée ne prenne vie.

Je vous recommende vraiment Abstract, surtout si vous cherchez un peu d’inspiration ou si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur des objets de tous les jours. Je suis certaine que vous apprendrez quelque chose ou que vous serez fascinés par le travail fabuleux de ces artistes. Je suis vraiment sous le charme!

(Pour ceux qui se demandent où sont les recettes, plusieurs arrivent: j’ai simplement été une cuisinière un peu débordée cette semaine!)

 

 

 

2017

(Version en français plus bas!)

What a year!

2016 has been one of the toughest year I went through so far. A lot of changes, a lot of questioning, a lot of doubt. A lot of crap too: getting my identity stolen, car repairs, health issues.

Mainly, a lot of great stuff too, if I squint my eyes, and reflect for a while.

I learned a lot more about myself, about what I was capable of accepting, what was off-limits. I also know now what I want my professional life to look like. I also did a good job cutting off relationships that were one-sided, unbalanced or barren. I reconnected with my creativity in ways that are self-rewarding and exciting.

Not so bad for a single year.

Now that it is the final day of 2016, I thought it would be a good idea to share my goal-setting routine. Like many other people, I’m taking this opportunity to celebrate what goodness 2016 has brought me, and to say goodbye to all the negative things it also carried. I looked at 2017, and asked myself: “What do I want from this year? What do I want to say about it at the end? What is important in my life?” With these questions in mind, I set out priorities. These are going to be the broad areas that I want to nurture and pay attention to in the next few months. From these, I was able to derive some clear, realistic, specific and measurable goals. Finally, to make myself more accountable, I drew trackers in my bullet journal already for the WHOLE year. It’s all starting tomorrow, and I’m pretty excited.

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When working with goals, I found out through time that it might be a better idea to keep them to myself. I read a bunch of studies, and it does make sense. I feel a lot more accountable when I have my goals written somewhere, a tracker and only me to answer to. It might sound counterintuitive, but I feel like when I share one of my goals with others, it often feels like it is less “shiny”, less important. So this year, I’m keeping them for myself as long as possible.

I hope you find time in the next few days to establish your priorities and to write down your wishes and goals for next year. Take a moment to reflect on this past year as well. After all, we do learn from history!


Quelle année!

2016 a été l’une de mes années les plus difficiles. Beaucoup de changements, de remises en question et de doutes. Beaucoup de soucis aussi: mon identité qui a été volée, des réparations de voiture, des problèmes de santé.

Beaucoup de bonnes choses aussi, si je plisse les yeux et que je réfléchis pour un bon moment.

J’en ai beaucoup appris sur moi-même et sur mes limites. Je sais maintenant de quoi ma vie professionnelle idéale aura l’air. J’ai également fait un bon débroussaillage dans mes relations pour ne garder que celles qui m’apportent réellement quelque chose de positif. J’ai retrouvé ma créativité de façon intrinsèquement significative.

Pas mal pour une seule année.

Maintenant qu’on en est à la dernière journée de 2016, je me suis dit qu’il serait peut-être intéressant de partager ma routine de motivation de nouvelle année. Comme beaucoup de gens, je prends cette opportunité pour célébrer toutes les bonnes choses que 2016 m’a apporté et pour dire adieu à toute sa négativité aussi. J’ai réfléchi à 2017, and je me suis demandée: « Qu’est-ce qui est important pour moi? Qu’est-ce que je veux que cette année m’apporte? Qu’est-ce que je veux pouvoir en dire dans 12 mois? » Avec ces questions en tête, j’ai écrit mes priorités, les choses vraiment importantes de ma vie. Ce seront les grandes lignes à partir desquelles j’ai établis des objectifs spécifiques, mesurables, clairs et réalistes. Finalement, pour me rendre encore plus responsable de les atteindre, je me suis même préparée des grilles de suivi dans mon journal pour TOUTE l’année. Tout ça commence demain, et je suis plutôt excitée!

goals2017

Lorsque je travaille avec des objectifs, je me suis rendue compte avec le temps qu’il était une meilleure idée pour moi de les garder privés et même secrets. Je me sens beaucoup plus responsable de mes objectifs lorsqu’ils sont simplement à moi. Les partager les rend moins important, mois “reluisant” en quelque sorte. Alors cette année, je les garde pour moi le plus longtemps possible.

J’espère que vous trouverez un peu de temps pour établir vos priorités et écrire vos vœux et objectifs pour cette nouvelle année. Prenez aussi un moment pour réfléchir à cette année qui se termine. Après tout, on apprend de son histoire!

 

Go check out Go Study Annie!

When you are working on a blog or on an Instagram account and trying to build an audience, each milestone is important. Every new subscriber or follower is a personal victory. Well, my cousin has recently reached 50 followers on her instagram Go Studie Annie. Congrats Annie! To celebrate, she suggested that we did a Q+A collab. So, we exchanged questions and here we go! You’ll be able to check out the interview she did for me on her blog.  Before you get to read her answers, I’d like to introduce her a little bit. Annie is probably the most resilient person I know. She lives with very serious health issues, but she always stays positive and curious about everything. I’m extra proud to see where she is now and can’t wait to see where she will be in the future. She is a true model of courage and perseverance to me, and my only regret is that we live so far apart. I really hope we’ll be closer in the future to make exciting blog posts, go journal shopping and practice yoga together. So, without further ado, let’s get on the fun stuff: her interview!

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1. How did you get into bullet journaling? What do you like about it?

 

Well you see, I have always watched a few YouTubers to gather some information of how the system evolved with time for them and read a few blog posts as well. I would watch Kara from Boho.Berry and read a few posts from Anne, my cousin on MyLightHeartedKitchen! I loved how she incorporated recipes of her’s into one page and then adding  a to-do list into her weekly spreads. Anne sparked my interest one day from her post and I just HAD to get my hands on one of my notebooks and try it for myself!

2. What pages always come back in your bullet journal?

 

I LOVE to listen to music. When I have a favorite song on the radio, I would ask Siri “What song is this?” and then take a screenshot of her answers. This took up so MUCH room on my phone, so I decided to a “Song Title” section not too long ago! Hmm, maybe I should turn this into a page, don’t you think?

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3. What pages were introduced, but ended up being unused?

 

Ahh, this is a good question!  To be honest, I am still in progress of evolving my bullet journal to fit my needs. I tried to work in blocks for my monthly and weekly, but that never worked for me. I’m actually keeping these pages as a simple list now! Another thing that I have tried with my bullet journal is the page tracker. Honestly, I only added in this page because of the designs that people made with their tracker.

4. What are your top 5 studying tips for other students?

 

I am NO professional advisor, but here’s what I would recommend for students:

  1. NEVER ever turn work in late.
  2. DO NOT be shy when it comes to asking questions.
  3. ALWAYS remember, if you can work on your favorite hobby for long hours, you CAN study for long hours. Never give up!
  4. Study in SMALL groups. No, not big groups. You’ll lose your focus on studying and venture into something else so easily.
  5. TRY YOUR BEST TO NOT PROCRASTINATE, trust me, it’ll save you time and energy!

5. What are your top 3 motivational tips for students?

 

 

Put your phone on silent,  don’t forget the “Do not disturb button” as well, or hide it if you have to! If you’re feeling lazy that day, put on some tunes that correspond with the subject you’re studying for! And my number one motivational tip for students would have to be, NEVER GIVE UP. Cliché, I know, but think back to why and who you’re doing this for.

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6. What do you like about yoga?

 

I actually have been enjoying yoga from the moment I was introduced to it! Yoga is a way for me to massage my back and neck while exercising. Yoga also helps me deal with the weight on my shoulders. Another great tool from yoga is that it creates a break time for me while studying! We all need a break once in awhile, right?

7. Do you see yourself practicing yoga for a long time? Why?

 

Yes! Yes I do :D. I love how yoga works with my back muscles. Yoga has been helping with my neck lately as well! You see, I had back problems a while back and am still affected by the weather. Yoga helps me to relax my neck and back muscles just a little more when I need it to.

8. What’s your favourite hobby?

 

Oooh, my favorite hobby. I love crocheting and knitting. I have become one with the needles actually :P.

9. What inspired you to pursue this hobby?

 

I love the reaction that I get in return when I send off my gift(s) to the person. I see pure joy in their smile and that always makes me happy. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing someone smile <3.

10. Who’s your favourite youtuber?

 

Hehe, I could go on AND on with this one! I have so many that I love watching right now, but I’ll cut the list down to three. For now, I am watching LustreLux, Chrillsims3, and Bubzvlogz. These three always entertain me with their work of art! I sometimes watch Lustrelux for her beauty tips (which I can never accomplish), Chrillsims3 for his interesting story lines in The Sims, and of course, Bubzvlogz for her adventurous life with her little family.  

So, I hope you enjoyed reading her interview. You can visit her blog to read mine. While you’re there, say hi to her! You can also find us on Instagram @gostudieannie and @mylightheartedkitchen if you’d like more daily musings. Finally, let me know if you’d like me to do a Q+A post with your questions!

 

Big Magic, a book review

A long time ago, I bought Eat, Pray, Love for my mom as a birthday present. That was a complete fail because she hated it. She thought the narrator was patronizing and silly. Oh well, that book ended up on my bookshelf, and I enjoyed it. We recently watched the movie, and it was good too. So when I went to the library and spotted Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I brought it home.

big-magic

This book focusses on creativity, inspiration and on how to include creativity in our lives. Great topic! I feel like often people are drawn to do things but will find themselves excuses not to go for it and will end up regretting it or not doing anything. Well, this book is the perfect cure for this “I want to, but I won’t” state of mind. Through short, funny and personal chapters, Gilbert explores the different ways in which creativity can be part of our lives and how we can let it be part of our lives.

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I have to say, I really preferred this book to Eat, Pray, Love because it feels more honest and more relatable to me. I really love that Gilbert uses personal examples from her path as a writer because it demystifies the whole thing while also bringing creativity to an everyday level. This is the perfect push in the back for anyone who has a project in mind but feels insecure or not qualified enough to embark on the “let’s do it” boat. Very inspiring and fun to read, this is a book to keep on your bedside table and to look at when you’re feeling uninspired. As the chapters are so short and independent, I feel like you could pick the book up, read a few pages, get creative and come back to it some time after for another shot of courage and inspiration. I will definitively put this one on my “To Find” list as I need to bring this copy back to the library soon.

Anyone else read this? What did you think of it?

The importance of giving yourself time

A few weeks ago, a mom asked me if I would give her 9 years old daughter French lessons. I accepted, however, we quickly realized that it was impossible for me and her to meet and be free at the same time. She had piano lessons, scouts meetings, math tutoring, Vietnamese lessons, and soccer practice to fit in her 9 years old schedule. This got me thinking about how I used to fill my time as a kid, and how I fill my time now. I realized that I am clearly an underachiever compared to this child. Yet, I am also rich with the most precious thing: boredom.

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As a kid, my parents were (and still are) ferocious believers in boredom. My dad always told me that boredom was the most precious thing to have because it meant that you had room for inspiration and creativity to settled in. That’s why I had the occasional ballet class, music recital, or swimming lesson, but mostly free time to fill as I liked. I spent countless afternoons at the library exploring old and obscure books, in the park inventing stories and playing with friends, at home drawing or DIYing something or another. Was that time lost? I don’t think so. In fact, I think this time was the most precious gift my parents could have given me because it made it possible for me to create and experiment at my own pace. It taught me to observe, listen and invent. It also helped me be comfortable with being alone with myself. As an adult, I think we often forget how important it is to give ourselves some time to be bored. Of course part of the reason is because we rush from one thing to the other because of work and our responsibilities, but the truth is, there is always time to be bored and listen to ideas as they start to occupy these empty bubbles of time. Here are some ways I like to fill mine up:

  • Move: When I’m in a rut and find myself whining about how bored I am, I like to roll out my yoga mat and start moving and stretching around. Every time I do so, I end my practice feeling refreshed, calmer, and more open to inspiration. I usually have one or two good ideas in my head ready to be used and put in motion as well.
  • Enjoy the outdoors: Even if it’s just sitting in my backyard or balcony and enjoying the sun or rain, connecting with nature always relieves boredom. Some people say that blue and green colors make your brain happy. I don’t know if that’s true, but being outside always seems to make me feel good. I usually also find something to do: take care of a plant, observe a bee at work, look at the clouds and invent stories, look for beautiful rocks. Of course, if I have more time hiking or doing sports outside is also a great option.
  • Create something beautiful: When I was a kid and I got bored, I would take some printer paper and my colored pencils and sit at the coffee table with the cartoons on low and draw away. I would create clothes and creatures and just enjoy this time to make something beautiful out of nothing. Of course, they were not museum worthy (not under the current standards anyways, haha), but they were pretty and fun to me. As a teenager, I discovered knitting and recently, calligraphy. Not only are all these occupations cheap, they are also quiet, calm and soothing to the mind.
  • Communicate: Some of my friends don’t understand how I have such a close relationship with my parents. We call each other every day, we send each other emails all the time, and we just love spending time together. As a kid, again, I would often seek out my dad or mom when I was bored. My dad would teach me how to draw, give me one of his books to read, go on a walk with me or simply talk to me. My mom would ask me to help her with cooking or shopping and would tell me stories of when she was a kid in Vietnam. Because I was not running from one activity to the next, I had time to get to know my parents and they had time to give me as well. Now, I like to continue to bug them when I’m bored, but I also seek out friends. Sorry about that!
  • Take care of my body: If everything else is going to make my brain explode, I like to pamper myself with a nice shower, using a fun body product or making myself a delicious meal or snack. Taking this time to take care of my body is so great because it gives it importance and recognition. It also gives me time to think and relax.

That was my too-bits on time and boredom. I hope they will help you next time you don’t know what to do with yourself!

 

Sunshine Blogger Award!

A few days ago, I was nominated by My Vegan Dairy for the Sunshine Blogger Award! How fun! If you haven’t visited this blog, you should go over there if you are looking for yummy and beautiful vegan recipes. I love how simple and wholesome her recipes are. Seriously, they all look incredibly delicious!

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It’s so much fun to receive an award from a fellow blogger. Blogging is great because it enables me to share my passion for food with the world, and I love getting messages and comments from people all over the world. I love the sense of community that blogging creates! It’s great to be recognized by other bloggers for the work that I do here. It’s the best feeling! Thank you for giving me this award!

I was really excited about this award because it’s part award, part tag. Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Here are 11 blogs I think are making the internet a better place. They make my days better and I love reading their recipes, checking out their amazing pictures or travel stories. Go check them out! They are all equal in my mind, so don’t focus on the order:

Now, this is cool! Here are My Vegan Dairy’s questions and my answers!

  1. How do you generally relax or unwind? 
    • I love yoga! It’s relaxing, energizing and it gets my mind out of my head and back in my body for a “right here, right now” moment. If I’m feeling like a complete larva, I also like to cuddle up with some tea and a nice book.
  2. Your take on self motivation?
    • Self motivation is really important! I find that I never perform as well as when I’m truly intrinsically motivated to do something. If it doesn’t come from me, I won’t do a good job. So, the key to being motivated for me is to find something I like doing.
  3. Bake or Cook?
    • Both!
  4. In food, what best describes your weakness?
    • Frying stuff up. As a kid, my mom terrorized me with nightmarish stories about what would happen to me if I tried frying stuff on my own. Still can’t do it. That’s how you make your kid a healthy eater!
  5. Favorite author?
    • I’m completely obsessed with Kate Morton at the moment. I finished reading The Lake House this week, and I can’t get it out of my head. I love that her stories take part in England and are so mysterious. I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden as well. It’s one of my favourite book.
  6. What in a daily routine bores you?
    • I don’t think I have a daily routine that bores me. I like to change things quite often even if it’s small things like switching shampoos or holding my toothbrush with the wrong hand. Variety is key to avoid boredom!
  7. What is the one thing you would want to do to make the world a better place?
    • To make the world a better place, I would ensure that every kid gets access to primary and secondary education. I think quality, non-confessional education is the key to building strong, confident and reasonable individuals that can then evolve to be assets in their communities. Education is the most important thing you can give a kid, and it should be a given that everyone has access to it. Having every kid in school would also end child labor and child marriage which are two issues that make me really sad and revolted.
  8. Do you have a sweet tooth?
    • That’s the only kind of teeth I have! My life would be so sad without chocolate!
  9. How important is your tea and coffee time to you?
    • Very important. Seriously, my tea collection is borderline pathological. I love to sit and drink a nice cup of tea. It gives me time to think, and it helps me stay focused if I’m working.
  10. On a rainy day, what would you ideally do?
    • Cuddle up in bed with a cup of tea and a good movie with my boyfriend, my cat and my knitting.
  11. Best vacation so far?
    • My one-month road trip I did a few years ago in France with my boyfriend. It was the best feeling to discover new places and to wake-up in a different place every day. I was amazed by the variety and richness of this country. And don’t get me started on the food.
  12. What is the one thing you would want to change in you?
    • I would love to be able to fly. Wouldn’t that be great?

Finally, here are my questions for the amazing blogs mentioned above.

  1. What do you usually eat for breakfast?
  2. What is one thing you can’t live without?
  3. What is your favourite herb or spice?
  4. What is one thing your are proud about?
  5. What is one thing you feel lucky about?
  6. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  7. What would a perfect day be like for you?
  8. What is your best childhood memory?
  9. If you would visit any city in the world, which one would it be? Why?
  10. What is your favourite daily routine?
  11. Who is your role model? Why?

I can’t wait to hear your answers!