Hello my fellow Francophiles!
Summer vacation is still in full swing, at least on this side of the planet, and lately, my social media feeds have been overtaken by my friend's back to school photos of their children. Those mini minions are just so sweet and doe-eyed, cute little monsters, you just can't help but to adore them.
Today's post is about me just wanting to check in and let y'all know that all is good, how I'm slowly getting back to the grind, oh... and how to live your best life.
No pressure, right.
I also have a recipe to share and invite you to send in some of your favorite recipes and your thoughts. I would be delighted to have a correspondence with you and welcome it with pleasure. Please feel free to contact me.
Read Time: 6 minutes
In France, the year REALLY begins in September, it follows the school calendar, which has its ups and downs, but it's like that.
During July and August, my beloved Bordeaux is brimming with tourists coming to partake in the sweet fruits of my region, and it is also a ghost town. Many businesses close down for a couple of weeks during the summer, because it's summer and vacation time. Obviously, right?!!
And besides, all work and no play, makes Jenny a dull girl.
And honey child, one thing I am NOT is dull. Dullness denotes a lack of imagination, and our imaginations are infinite.
The family has recently returned from a glorious vacation in the Pyrenees mountains. We stayed in a little quaint village, St Lary. It was great. My fondest memory? My French family, including my eight year old nephew, LOVING my cooking!
Being in the mountains surrounded by the beauty of France, well, it simply glorious, and know I am so very privileged to be able to experience this sweetness, despite the bitterness. I didn't want to leave.
When I was a kid, I remember our librarian or perhaps I was daydreaming (memories are relative) a story about the magic mountain people. An ageless clan of magic-makers and who lived in harmony high upon the mountain peaks, but one day, was forced down due to war, and as they descended the mountain, they slowly began to age with each step.
I was reminded of this story while I was there, because everything around me was so mysterious and magical and beautiful. I was transported. It was cool. I loved every moment I was there, and I wish the same feelings for you. Come visit, I implore you.
In fact, you should go be with Mother Nature more. Pack some water, some food, and just walk or run around, observe and wonder and breathe. You may be surprised what transpires.
I also recommend choosing and participating in healthy activities that makes us giggy-happy, because why not?! Then, invite some of your loved ones along for the ride, because sharing is caring! It is one of the many ways to live your best life.
One has to make the effort for lasting change. We all know humans are social beings, we must rely on one another, to help each other, this is encoded on our DNA.
Isolation = Death.
To live the best life, one must make changes, choose differently/better, and most importantly, chop away at the inessentials. By making and taking the time to make yourself a priority, transformation is inevitable. Choices = Transformation.
Where and how to begin?
I recently watched an interview with Juan Mari Arzak, the godfather of San Sebastien cuisine. San Sebastien is located in Spain and the city embodies all of life's best qualities: beauty, timelessness, charm, and excellent cuisine.
Don't we all strive for beauty, to be timeless, to be charming, and to feast on the best of the earth's bounty? According to Senor Arzak, "all of life's problems can be solved by cooking."
And right then, the hard, sweet, bitter truth of it all is just that. Eat.
"Let food be thy medicine." - Hippocrates
Eat better to transform. To fully master your ideal of beauty, timelessness, and charm, eat well!
It's that simple, my darlings! And keep it simple too! You know yourself better than anyone, so find something that will appeal to your fancy and expand on that.
Me for example, I'm a hardcore Texan with Las Vegas flair, so my food choices reflect that. BBQ and martinis, please! The Atkins Diet worked perfectly for me, and I ended up losing more than 90 pounds/45 kilos.
Listen, you gotta eat, so if you feel resistant to the immense amount of time it takes to ponder on your health and well being, and then taking the necessary steps to follow through, please know that you are worth it and deserve it.
Taking care of yourself is God and Mother Nature's joy. So, start cooking, good-looking! Put on some music, pour yourself a drink, and salsa up something good to eat.
Enjoy your tasty feast solo or invite a friend. Make this a habit. Again, you gotta eat, so eat well, n'ahmean?
N'ahmean = do you know what I mean?
I would love to hear updates, see some dinner party photos, and would love to know your favorite meal recipes, send me an email and let's begin a correspondence. Or tweet me - @fabinfrance. I am only a tweet or an email away.
Eating better may also require spending more money, and depending on your situation, you must become creative to come up with some savvy solutions. To that I say: get crafty!!! Again, you gotta eat! "All of life's problems can be solved by cooking."
Figure it out. Allez-hop! You can do it.
In less than a month, Summer will officially come to end, and even though I don't have to be back at work until the second week of September, I reflect on my seven year Frenchiversary (7 years on French soil, oh la la! ) and how much I have changed and grown and ugh, it's all so annoying, and wonderful, but I'm home.
France changed me. I'm still baking, so to speak, but I'm NOT DONE yet. I have many more laughs and tears within me, so bring it. I'm right here.
Eating well is our superpower. It defends us from disease, it nourishes us, allows us to grow, and to perform at our highest capacity. So, be creative with your meals too, and again keep it simple. Need additional help? Eat more protein and veggies that are every color of the rainbow! By the way, it is the American Heart Association that promotes that healthy ideal, and I concur!
Chicken, Tomatoes and Green Beans! Oh my!
A tasty recipe for one and all!
Stove to table time: 35 minutes
Chef's comment: Super duper easy and tasty! I made the green bean side dish for my French family while we were vacationing in the mountains, and they LOVED it!
They remarked on how tasty, simple, colorful, and how stunned they were because they NEVER thought about adding tomatoes to green beans. Bizarre? But tasty! Besides, I truly believe that the way to one's heart is through the stomach!
RECIPE: Pan fried chicken breasts served with a Texas sized portion of green beans and tomatoes!
Chicken breasts - they are on sale somewhere!
Green beans - Canned, drain water OR fresh string beans, snip off the ends
1 medium sized tomato
Olive oil, butter, salt, pepper
Additional spices optional, depending on your taste!
Directions: Oil and butter (a pat) the pan and fry up and season the chicken breast to your liking. While cooking, dice the tomato. Once chicken is done, remove and set aside on your dinner plate. Lower stove heat and add another butter to the pan, once partially melted, add the green beans to cook for a few minutes before adding the diced tomatoes. Cook together for a few more minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and EAT!
I like to add lime and paprika to my greens to add more flavor and kick! But, to each their own, so add your favorite spices and savor the flavor!
I hope I have inspired you to get in the kitchen! I can honestly say cooking has transformed my life, and I wish the same for you too. Because when life is grinding you down, you are going to need the energy to fight the good fight, and energy comes from good food.
The life grind takes us all in the end, but it is how we go that makes life remarkable.
The largest portion of my monthly budget is food. Food costs money. Good food costs more money,but if you consider the benefits of health and happiness as an investment, then you'd struck gold! Then of course other life's bills, so I must work.
As we head back to school, I too am readying myself for new opportunities and new friendships!
Working in France has it's moments. Since I am an immigrant, I am faced with lots of social road blocks, simply because I'm not from around here. It's ok though, life is what we make it and as my cooking skills have become more creative, so has my approach to making money.
The American in me has a strong work ethic, but since I'm not from around these parts, well I have no choice but to offer my talents. Sadly, Queen of France isn't a real job.
I work as a Guide. I guide my clients and students to discover something about themselves and my beautiful city of Bordeaux.
I am a tour guide, a belly dance and yoga teacher, a personal fashion stylist, and I am an English educator.
FRENCHIFIED FUN TOURS: If you love good food and good wine, France is a must. My beautiful city of Bordeaux is perfection in a nutshell. It is just what your stomach needs and our city is Bacchus approved! Come walk in the foot steps of our American founding fathers and delight in the fruits of my region. You won't regret it.
You also won't regret booking a personalized tour with me, Jenny!
This is how it works, you book me and tell me what YOU LOVE, then I CREATE a tour tailored to your tastes! I'm only an email away, so contact me, and we'll figure something out.
When in doubt, shimmy it out!
DANSEYOGA: During the summer months, every Friday, I teach a fusion of dance and Yoga, hence DanseYoga, at a local park. Friday because it is Venus' day, the Goddess of LOVE! And we could all use and benefit from her APHRODISIACS! DanseYoga is about connecting to your body by dancing and stretching with LOVE!
I incorporate different dance techniques and common dance moves that everyone knows, highlight it with Belly-dance hip movements and shimmies... and everyone is happy and feels as timeless, sexy, and flexible as Tina Turner... rolling on the river!!!!!!
This class is FREE*. It pleases me to share my time and talent with others, but I do require you to reciprocate if you want to participate, (treat others as you would want to be treated) by choosing two options from the list: *1. a hug 2. a bisous 3. a monetary tip 4. wine 5. food
Interested in coming?!! Well, come on down!
Starting in September
DanseYoga - Mondays - 12h20 - Chantecler, 19 rue laGrange.
Parking is available. Chartrons - tram C arret Paul Doumer
For more information, please contact me.
Tongue Twisting Communication Education!
ENGLISH and FRENCH EDUCATION!
My sweet husband (who is also a French and English prof) and I, want you, to COMMUNICATE WELL.
Teaching our fellow Frenchies and Anglophones the tongue twisting fun our native tongues is so funny! Ohh la la! The stories and good times!
I didn't think I would like teaching as much as I do, it's THE HARDEST JOB I've ever had. In. my. life. But I feel teaching requires that certain something, and it's not for everyone, obviously. Besides, we all remember our best and worst teachers, no?
Our students are the apples of our eyes, our teaching methods, although different due to our personalities and styles, are successful because we make learning English and French relevant and fun. In fact, our students have been complimented on their spoken English WORLD WIDE because of our teaching methods! And when they relay those compliments to us, our hearts swell with pride and admiration and happiness for them. And for us too!
Interested in improving your French/English language skills? It'll make more intelligent.
Please contact me, and let's figure something out together!
Dress your best!
Ask Jenny! Book Jenny!
FASHION, LIFESTYLE, WELL BEING GUIDE
Having grown up in Texas, I spent my summer vacations in Corpus Christi, where my aunt owned and operated her own beauty salon. After more than 50 years teasing and whipping hair into submission, she closed her doors and retired. I grew up watching her work. I watched her movements, her eye for detail, her service skill set. She embodied Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, her scissors her magic wand.
Years later, I worked as a journalist and private investigator. It sounds more glamorous than it was. Mostly I was just sitting around watching people, which is creepy, but cool. We've all done it. I just got paid for it.
When I lived in Las Vegas, I worked as a news and traffic reporter. My shift began at 6am and end at 2pm. Since I was already awake, and because I needed extra Las Vegas money, I successfully launched, The Complete Package, and became a personal image consultant. My clients not only looked fierce, they felt fierce.
After encouragement from a friend, who she insisted I start consulting in Bordeaux, I decided why not?! So, I have!
My clients testimonies are beyond kind, but I feel I only enhanced what was already there. My service includes organizing new outfit ensembles from your closet, cleaning out the outdated and unflattering clothing, and accessorizing for proportion.
In fact, everything comes down to proportion. Think about that.
Sometimes, we forget how beautiful and unique we are. So I'm here to remind you. There is NO ONE like YOU, except YOU! So, showcase yourself, if you want and I'm here to help if you do.
Thank you for stopping by for a spell. Take care of yourselves.
I wish you good food, drink, creativity, health, beauty, charm, and may you forever be timeless.
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...