Tag: beauty

Healthy (and not so healthy!) happenings

Last Friday we had friends over for dinner. Real foodie friends who love wine, love France and with whom we can have the most interesting of conversations. I made a simple six course French style dinner, we played old records and drank a little too much wine. Before we realized it, the clock said it was 3:30 AM — a very good sign, but boy did I (we!) pay for it the next day! No Saturday lunch at a nice restaurant, no wine. Only rest, rest, more rest and some green juice thrown in for good measure.

The main was duck confit, new potatoes with whole pink garlic and parsley and my favorite tomato salad.

I take comfort in knowing I’m pretty much a saint most of the time. Well, if you don’t count the fact that I do enjoy wine and refuse to believe it’s bad for me, in moderation. And to me, moderation usually involves a glass of wine with dinner, unless I’m detoxing my liver — like I am now. The same goes for sugar. If I want to bake a rich dessert once in a while or add sugar to my one cappuccino on Saturday, I do!
I started eating a mostly organic diet about four months ago, and recently, I turned it up a notch by making the switch to organic makeup, toiletries and household products. Luckily, I found a great company called BioAmable here in the Netherlands (PS: not a soul paid me to say this) that offers a huge line of organic/natural/green products. Ordering from them is always a joy. Everything is described in detail, and I get the coolest samples and even a handwritten thank-you card with each order. Fabulous service!

This time I ordered neem shampoo. Neem leaves are wonderful natural medicine for hair and skin. I also ordered Benecos blush, a Benecos lip color and two natural deodorants.
Benecos is a German line of organic beauty products. These are my first two: The blush, in Sassy Salmon, is a very pretty brownish pink (you can’t see that too well in the photo, unfortunately!). The lip color is Rusty Rose and applies like a dream! So rich and hydrating!
The deodorant is from Crystal Spring. It contains aloe vera and does not have aluminium chlorohydrate, alcohol, parabens or fragrance. I haven’t tested it yet, but I love the idea of an all natural deodorant.
The sample was the Kale Detox face wash by Pacifica and a brightening serum by PHB Ethical Beauty. I recently tried the PHB mineral powder and it’s a beautiful product — although the color is a bit too dark for me. I’m taking it to France though, where hopefully, the sun EXISTS!!

I know, what the heck is all of this beauty talk doing on the blog of a France loving food blogger?!?! Well, I suppose I just wanted to share my new passion for organic beauty products with you, one that blossomed from a new passion for organic food.

Here’s some of our weekly food shop, purchased at Ekoplaza, which I suppose is like the Dutch version of Whole Foods. We don’t eat much meat during the week and our main sources of dairy come from kefir, skyr and goat milk yogurt.
Chia Breakfast
Here’s a great product I recently started adding to our breakfast. You’re supposed to make it like you would oatmeal, but I simply add a few spoons over our dairy, fruit, chia and nut mix every morning.

And because I know you want a recipe, I am going to share a cookie recipe I recently came across thanks to Dr. Josh Axe. If you haven’t heard of him, go check out his website — fantatstic source of information about health! The recipe was posted on his Facebook page and comes from the Food Matters blog. Imagine making a cookie with only four ingredients and no sugar or butter! I must admit I was a bit concerned about the taste, but they’re really nice! I will be adding some dark chocolate next time, or perhaps some dried apple and cinnamon. I didn’t make 8-10 cookies like the recipe says though, but six large ones. You can find the recipe here.

Bananas, peanut butter, oats and raisins! That’s all you need to make these chewy, yummy cookies! My teen is going to be very happy when she comes home from school.


There’s beauty in even the simplest of things. Little corners or moments of unexpected joy that sometimes capture our attention and warm our hearts. I try to keep my eyes open to that beauty everywhere around me. Noticing a delicate flower that is really a weed, or how a bird flies in and out of its nest with a continuous supply of worms for the life that lies within. These little things — or, I should say, big things — are meaningful gifts that are always there. Begging to be acknowledged.
I find a lot of that beauty in my garden. A space where we spend time drinking good wine and making even better plans. When we bought our house some eight years ago, I immediately fell in love with the garden. Hydrangeas, lavender, roses and little corners I couldn’t wait to decorate and fill with new life. Soon, we planted our cherry tree and apple tree. Then came the thyme and rosemary, and even more lavender. It wasn’t long before I was planting vegetables, too.
But as the years passed, what was once a neat little garden became a little too lush for our liking, despite all the time we put into keeping up with its explosive growth. So instead of buying more gardening equipment, we agreed to enlist the help of a professional gardener — who will be giving us a clean slate this Friday. Everything will be drastically trimmed, buffed, and if need be, pulled out. At first I found the thought depressing. All those beautiful plants we so lovingly put it would soon be gone. But they had done their job, and it was time for new beauty to sing its song once again.
I spent the afternoon outdoors under a blue sky, doing some trimming of my own.

I usually harvest my lavender somewhere at the end of August/beginning of September. Our five lavender bushes, which once produced enough lavender to spread around the whole house and would abundantly be growing around this time, are now nearing their end. I picked the prettiest flowers I could find.
This would be a scene from September. It’s early June.
The only plants that will stay are the hydrangeas and all the trees, including our apple tree. Last year we hardly had a harvest, but this year already looks promising.
A few wild flowers to add beauty to my mantlepiece… and keep the angel company.
I prefer that Pastis watches me from here. Otherwise, he commands all my attention. Trying to chew on twigs or check out insects (which he knows he’s not supposed to).
I harvested a good handful of rosemary, one of my favorite herbs. I see rosemary chocolate mousse in the near future.
wild flowers
Weeds can be so pretty…
Wine in my favorite spot. A perfect way to round off a perfect afternoon.