New Year New you

The ideas and opinions expressed here are those of a funky Canadian chick whose first language is French. We cannot be held accountable for her cool outlook on life nor any spelling mistakes and creative phrasing she may come up with...

 

Rita versus Juliette.jpg

 

Ah! I love these two pictures. Both of them were shot in Paris. 3 years apart.

And yes, it is the same person. Me.

BTW, this is NOT how I dress normally, in BOTH cases. On the left, meet RITA, a character I created in 2013, to make a friend laugh when showing up at her place for dinner.

On the right, this is my enhanced self, beautifully dressed, styled and posed in the moody staircase of a Paris apartment. Let's call her JULIETTE. 

The real me lies somewhere in between. But I could be either or and many more. And that's where all the fun starts!!

I have always been fascinated by the amplitude of possibilities that are available to us, at pretty much all times. Every second offers a decision opportunity. And when we look at it closely, since day one, our life has been shaped by micro decisions here and there. 

The upside is that this allows us to alter the course of our life too. In a bad or positive way.

New year is always a time of reflection. You hear in the social medias, some friends have created a vision board for the year to come, with inspiring quotes and images supposed to help them make their dreams come true. Others, you realize at your next dinner together, are no longer eating cake or drinking wine.

I love it! 

I love it that at this time of year - or it could be at any time- humans have a desire to influence the course of their life. How we keep up with those so called resolutions can be a different story, but still, it is worth making them - resolutions -, if only to maintain hope alive.

Yesterday, I decided upon a set of daily actions I wish to take, you guess it, every day. In our family, we call it "The Daily Questions".

It is a set of either "yes and no questions" or "grade on a scale of 1 to 10 questions". My son gets to ask these questions to me, every day - the lucky guy gets a buck for doing so. This way, if I've had a bad day and would rather retreat discreetly, he remembers and comes to me unfailingly with the survey.

Here are a few exemples of the questions/actions I have decided to implement on a daily basis.

After all, life is made of a succession of days. Each day has a huge impact!!

Grade on a 1 to 10 scale

Did I do my best to:

eat mindfully?

manage my stress?

to be a good listener?

to respect my boundaries?

Yes and No questions

Have I drank enough water?

Have I walked 10 000 steps?

Have I practiced guitar for 20 min?

You get the idea. The answers are entered in an excel file, but you could also just keep the records on paper. You can ask your spouse or a friend to survey you and you can survey them in return. And they can do it for free!!

I will not get yesses, and tens all the time, and that it absolutely fine! One thing is certain, I will do better with this system than without. And the reason is simple, I often simply forget to drink water, or to take my vitamins. 

This will serve me as a little reminder.

I am also hoping it teaches my son that he too, can take small steps to shape up his life the way he wants it to be.

On this, I wish you all a very happy healthy New Year with my signature wish: may this year brings you closer to who your dreams!

PS: I can turn every Rita into a Juliette! If you need a makeover, come over!! That's what I do, that's what I love!

 

 

 

A Very Imperfect Christmas

The ideas and opinions expressed here are those of a funky Canadian chick whose first language is French. We cannot be held accountable for her cool outlook on life nor any spelling mistakes and creative phrasing she may come up with...

Only 2 days before Christmas and still so much to do!

Or maybe not.

Ok, easy to say, I am not hosting this year. But I am pretty sure I would be surfing the same wave as Ms.Cool if I were. Why? Well, a tiny bit because I am more experienced and organized with planning events nowadays, but mostly because I do not really care anymore if everything is perfect. Or rather, my idea of perfection has changed. 

Who cares if the house is beautiful with fragrant bread in the oven if you open the door to your guests with a heart pounding out of fear and stress?

Who cares if you have a gift for everyone if most of them have been bought thoughtlessly only for the sake of not coming empty handed? You will have most likely wasted your money on something that will end up never being used. Speaking out of experience from both the receiver and the giver sides here...

If Christmas is all about children, then we can take a few hints at how they see things to help us steer our focus on the right stuff.

Do you remember as a child how you would barely notice Grandma's wrinkles when she smiles, but you would be scared to death by Uncle Joe's stare when you touched the Christmas tree? Should I mention how freakin' blind you were to dust, stains on the tablecloth and mismatching cutlery?

Of course, you would have appreciated a beautifully decorated table and nicely wrapped gifts, but a nice giggle over a burned and ugly cake could have been just as heart warming... and still can be! 

And as much as I love gifts, I am also a big big fan of giving them all through the year, when you find the right thing for the right person, or just because!

So, here I am now, heading to our friends for Christmas. Half of my luggage is a bag of dirty laundry that I plan to wash once at theirs. We will probably arrive late. I do not have a gift for everyone although I also brought my camera, so this will be my main contribution this year - portraits - a gift that the children will appreciate later on! But god, am I so happy to see those lovely faces! There will be laughter, there will be yelling, (4 adults, 6 kids, 2 dogs, 1 rabbit, 2 birds and a mouse), but there will also be lots of yummy food - or at least some - and lots of jolly chaos to be remembered for life!!

So I will not keep you longer because you probably have a lot to do - be it preparation or simply celebrating.

Have a merry Christmas and holiday season! And be joyful - not a bitch!! :)

See you in 2017 with many fun and exciting surprises!!!

And for your eyes' enjoyment, have a look at that beautiful cake below. I made it last year, in January. I've made many nicer ones - obviously - but this one remains my favorite :)

 

I want it all!!!

 

The ideas and opinions expressed here are those of a funky Canadian chick whose first language is French. We cannot be held accountable for her cool outlook on life nor any spelling mistakes and creative phrasing she may come up with...

Actually, this might become my new motto, or the underlying theme of my blog: I WANT IT ALL!!! Nope, has nothing to do with my wish list for Christmas although 'tis the season. It really has to do with my huge appetite for enjoying life at its fullest!! I want to look back at my life later and say: gosh!!! did I enjoy it!!!

Enjoying life and taking wide hungry bites at it come in different forms: whether you make time everyday to express love and kindness to the people around you or simply sing out loud while riding your bicycle - ignoring other riders' puzzled look, you are consciously carving your life out of this powerful raw material you have been given: time!! Making the best out of it - making it yours.

We have all heard it before: enjoy the present moment, bless that day you were given, live as if there was no tomorrow. Sometimes, it takes a while for these words of wisdom to hit home.
You might step outside of your comfort zone once and realize just how "alive" that made you feel or you might witness the premature death of a loved one and say to yourself: that's it! No more postponing, no more excuses, I've got to start living NOW! 

Well, although I've felt these urges in many sporadic sprouts in my life, I am definitely riding one big wave of lust for life at the moment. The beauty is that it eventually becomes a self sufficient beast that feeds itself on its own waste!! ...hmmm, maybe not so convincing of an image. Let me explain: like any major action we want to make, it does require a fair bit of energy to get started - to actually transform a thought into something concrete, a desire into a satisfied need. The law of inertia. But once you get started, oh my, does it give back tenfold! You soon get on "a roll" and start swinging from fun to fun,  like Tarzan swings seemingly effortlessly from vine to vine! 

How do you get started, you ask? Well, I am pretty sure you know how!! It is that little calling you have felt for a while, but ignored because it was silly, unreasonable, too daring or simply seemed impossible. Well I say: give it a little try and see how it feels. Dare to be, dare to do!
BUT remember to stay loving and respectful all the while. This is really not about being selfish to the point of hurting deliberately other people. But it is also not about keeping yourself from living the life you want because of what people are going to think. Let them think while you do!!!

So, I am super interested in finding out how YOU live YOUR life intentionally? How do you carve your destiny, day by day, step by step? Tell me what you did recently that made you think: "oh god! I so rock!! " or "LIFE so freakin' rock!!"

Now, before I leave I will tell you what have been my latest achievements:


- first of all, a little vanity!! I've decided to wear nicer clothes (ok, my wardrobe is still limited - or is not as diversified or elegant as I'd like it to be, but I try to make the best out of what I have!). I am young and beautiful and I want to enjoy this as much as I can while it is still here, so I can be a happy grandma in sweat pants later on- and without regrets!!


- I do sing out loud when I ride my bicycle!! Not only is the ride more fun, but it is also a very good challenge for the breath. It is also a very effective way to learn to let go of what people think of me.

- I have joined a class of hot yoga. It is god damn hard at times, but it does wonder to my body and mind. And it makes me proud of myself - which pays high dividends straight into my joy jar.

- I make sure I spend time with my beautiful children pretty much every day and I cook them dinners with lots of love - if not with skills :P

- I hug my wonderful husband with my most tender heart when he sleeps very deeply and has no clue I'm all love for him!!


Simple, simple joys. What are yours?
 

This is it!!!

The ideas and opinions expressed here are those of a funky Canadian chick whose first language is French. We cannot be held accountable for her cool outlook on life nor any spelling mistakes and creative phrasing she may come up with...


This is it! This is it! My favorite time of year!! This time culminating with so many more milestones then just the start of the school year. 

In the last months, I have been guilty of a very common sin: I have put my life on hold. Of course not completely, but a fair bit. You see, I have known for almost a year now that I would be moving from Germany to the Netherlands, precisely in Amsterdam. I knew the move would happen sometimes between the end of the school year and the beginning of the new one, aka "in the summer"!! For the longest time, there were still lots of unknown variables, like what school the kids would go to, where exactly we would move, in which neighborhood. But with the move of my photography business, there were also lots of complicated logistics.

Moving is never an easy task, especially when moving in a different country. Add to this the following elements and you have the perfect recipe for Overwhelmus Discourageatum:

the German language, the Dutch language, the extensive German bureaucracy, the extensive Dutch bureaucracy, Amsterdam's crazy hot housing market, Amsterdam's crazy English school market, insurance companies (German, Dutch, Canadian, all of them), ...Oh I could go on and on and complain, and whine and vent.

But I won't, because today, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Both of my amazing-oh-so-charming-smart-irresistible-funny-freakinly-lovable-yet-slighty-too-enclined-to-spend-their-summer-in-a-dark-den-playing-on-their-phones-kids, as of today, are back to school - because, yes, we eventually found an appropriate school for each of them. I have now pretty much settled into my new studio (Thank you Nerita for subletting me your beautiful space while you are on maternity leave! ...must be photographing newborns that got you this silly idea of having a child!! ;) Check out her amazing work at www.nclp.nl) and well, we are still in temporary housing, looking for a new home in Amsterdam's crazy hot market. But I can cope with that. After all, as I was riding my bicycle this morning for my daily dose of fresh air (uh-uhm) and adrenaline, I could only understand why everybody wants to live here!!! I love my new city!!

So, here I am, after months of transitioning, of telling myself 'I'll do this later, once this is done, or when that's over", I am now starting to reap all those wonderful feelings that come with "a new start"!

And I no longer feel like I am waiting for something. That's always a good one to get rid of...Isn't that what they call "living in the present moment"? Well, let's do it! NOW!

Happy beginning of the school year everyone!!

My Beauty Motto: being beautiful naked!

The ideas and opinions expressed here are those of a funky Canadian chick whose first language is French. We cannot be held accountable for her cool outlook on life nor any spelling mistakes and creative phrasing she may come up with...

So....long time no talk, right? Last time I wrote (New Year Resolutions) was in January and my intention was to write at least once a month...I need to get my act together otherwise I'll have to add "be more regular and consistent with my blog postings" to my list of resolutions next year...

So here we are, blog number 2, this time on one of my favorite topics: beauty....but not any kind of beauty, no, naked beauty.

If you remember, on the top of my list of resolutions, under the subtitle Health, was 'being beautiful naked". I promised to give more details. Here they are.

So, what do I mean exactly by "being beautiful naked" and how is this health related, you ask.. Other than being slightly on the sensational side, this well selected appellation can serve as a motto, a slogan, a mission statement. By naked, not only do I imply without clothes, but I also mean without makeup, without props, without help, just myself, feeling beautiful.  It is a bit of fantasy, but it is inspiring. And there is room for interpretation....and also room for a few cheats ;)

By fantasy, I am not referring to the nudity part... I do not fantasize about walking around naked. I'm talking about the seemingly unattainable goal. Let's face it,  every day that goes by takes me one step further away from looking beautiful - in the traditional, plastic way - without any assistance.  Age is not tender on the looks. Skin gets drier, less supple, fat start to linger on all the wrong places, hair moves from scalp to chin, veins start to creep up and twist as if they wanted to exit the body. Still, I love to hold on to this concept of looking beautiful naked because it forces me to take good care of myself. If I do not want to put concealer or blush on my face, well I got to get enough sleep, get my daily dose of exercise and fresh air and eat nutritious food. If I cannot rely on beautifully cut but expensive designer clothes to give my body an elegant silhouette, I better keep fit and maintain an A class posture. And yes, when it is time to bare it all out, I'm talking about being completely naked, whether in bed or at the sauna, then I must learn to love myself so I look good in my skin - because there is nothing else to look good into! Yes, loving myself, number two on my list of resolutions, still under the subtitle "health". Self love, the patch that bridges the gap between the fantasy of looking good naked and the more attainable reality of feeling good naked.

“Hey, good, but didn’t you mention “cheats” somewhere above?”

Oh yes I did :)

But you will have to be patient…I’ll reveal them all in due time.

Let’s just say for now that over the years, I have been keeping an eye on new technology, things that work. For instance, I had a bunch of broken capillaries around my nose that I eventually got dissolved with 2 laser treatments. So now, when I go to the beach, instead of having to wear concealer around the nose, which would probably be gone after one swim, I just have to wear a bikini...and hopefully, this one will stay on!!!

Here is more info on laser therapy for spider veins

http://www.livestrong.com/article/68314-laser-treatment-broken-capillaries/

If you live in the Vancouver area, Canada, I strongly recommend this clinic:
www.arbutuslaser.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year Resolutions

 

The ideas and opinions expressed here are those of a funky Canadian chick whose first language is French. We cannot be held accountable for her cool outlook on life nor any spelling mistakes and creative phrasing she may come up with...

I am usually more of a “beginning-of-the-school-year” than a “Happy New Year” typa girl.

There is something about the crispness of the air and in the way the lower sunlight hits trees and walls in the beginning of September that gives me renewed energy.  In January, I’m usually feeling tired or down and a little overweight from overindulging over the holidays. My body craves daylight and there is close to none. Also, I find that most people retire or isolate themselves in January, either overdosed by too many parties in December, or also feeling low and fat and sluggish. Social events are scarce. 
Albeit all this, I make an effort every year to try to join in the suggested "renaissance" feeling: I write down a few resolutions, tongue in cheek (or fingers crossed?)

Do they account for real success? Well, maybe yes!!? Because I realize, over the years, I have engaged in more or less the same internal motivational monologue and that continuity has definitely served me better than dispersion would have. Every year, I add a few bricks to last year’s foundation, slowly building a better life, a life I want to love!

So what are these constant resolutions? I hear you ask. Well, they revolve over the generic themes of the happy new year’s wishes: health, success, joy, money, relationships, etc. But many years of rewording has evolved into motto-like statements, serving me now as “Mission Statements”:

HEALTH: I divide in 2 categories – Body and mind

  • Body: Be Beautiful Naked (more on that later* – much much more on that later)
  • Mind: Love yourself enough so you do not DEPEND on anyone else’s love. (more on that later too!!)

SUCCESS: Daily success, long term successes.

  • Daily: 3 kicks-in-the-butt a day: do something you fear, do something you hate and do something new.
  • Long Term: what would a 70 year old Geneviève would regret when looking back at her life? Well, make sure it doesn’t happen! Believe me, a grumpy 70 year old Geneviève would be a real pain in the butt…

JOY

  • Beauty and love are everywhere, keep your eyes and your heart open to them.
  • Critical people are everywhere too. No matter what you’ll do. Ignore them and mind your own fun.

MONEY

Money is both real and artificial: play the game. Play it fair. Win the game. With your team. Keep expending your team (more on that later too)

RELATIONSHIPS

Other people’s successes are your successes too. Be a good partner. Be a good helper.

_______________________________

Funny I am starting this new blog (and launching my website) pretty much around New Year this year…I wish to keep elaborating on the themes above over the year…this might reinforce my commitment? And it will definitely help you getting to know me better!!

By posting this blog TODAY, I can already tick two kicks-in-the-butt! Do something you fear, do something new!! And every time I clean up the house, I do something I hate. This can also be ticked for today... HA!

Talk soon!

*later= futur posts.

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