Chateau le Stelsia

These are pictures from my recent trip in France. We went to visit the Stelsia castle (which is also a hotel), and spent a lovely time visiting the garden. It was a feast of colours!

castle le stelsiacastle le stelsia 1castle le stelsia 2castle le stelsia 3castle le stelsia 5This is my mum in front of one of the patios.

castle le stelsia 6There were some nice sculptures.

castle le stelsia sculpturecastle le stelsia sculpture 1I love the esplalier fruit trees in the potager garden.

castle le stelsia potagerYou can see more photos on their website: www.lestelsia.com

 

 

Graze snacks summertime range review

I am participating in the Graze Summertime challenge and have been sent their new summertime range to try and wanted to share my review with you. To be honest, this is not the 1st time that I am trying Graze snacks as I used to subscribe and have them delivered at work when I used to work in an office. I like them a lot, as they are convenient and handy. It was really great to always have some healthy snack at work.

graze snacksI really like that each pack now displays either the calory or protein content. I try to eat more protein (as I don’t eat much meat) but never know if I am eating enough protein everyday, so it is useful to know how much extra protein I get when eating one the Graze snacks.

Each individual pack is enough for one serving (although, sometimes I feel greedy and eat 2 packs!) and some are more fullfilling that others. For example, the flapjack is very satisfying as a snack when I am really hungry but other packs like the summertime punch are lighter and are good for nibbling on in between meals.

There is quite a large choice to chose from (over 100) and at the moment you can get your 1st box at half price: https://www.graze.com/uk

The Graze snacks are great for instant gratification. But, I also buy other seeds, nuts and dried fruits in bulk, which I use for cooking and baking. I organise them in glass jars on an ikea shelf (yes, I know that nuts are better stored in the fridge but I have no space left in the fridge and I eat them up quickly).

nuts dry fruits kombuchaDisclaimer: I received the Graze snacks in the picture for free but the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Lately

Oops, it’s been several months since I posted here. I haven’t forgotten about my 2016 planners, I will take some pictures and will show them to you next time.

I’ve been streamlining my life recently. The stress of trying to conceive got to much, so I have decided to take it easy this year. I want to focus more on little things that bring me joy and happiness, and at this time that means babysitting for family members (I love babies!), gardening, cooking and working on my house.

Here are the newest installations in the living room/sewing room:

An Ikea Varde shelving (the same one I have in my kitchen and also on my kitchen windowsill) for some of my books. This shelving can handle a lot as there are about 100 books there. And my little collection of magnetic butterflies. I am having fun putting them everywhere, like on that pink metal plant pot on the shelving).

ikea varde shelving bookshelfAnd an Umbra invisible bookshelf in a little corner of the living room. This is a very clever little thing as you cannot see the shelf itself, you just see the books. My partner liked it a lot so he bought another one for himself (a double one for his blue ray discs).

invisible bookshelfbottom of invisible shelfI need to find more storage for my books as my collection keeps growing and growing. I grew up in a household full of books (the norm when your father is a writer and a professor), so books are a treasure in my own house. At the moment, I am into spiritual books and wholefood cookbooks.

Do you also hoard books? Please share any of your book storage.

 

New year resolutions and the law of attraction

Happy 2016 everyone! I’ve missed writting in this little blog of mine. The last 6 months were spent focusing on my health, I am now endometriosis pain free and have started a fertility treatment after nearly a year of tests (it does take that long due to the well known NHS – national health service – waiting time). You can read more about my journey in my other blog endometriosishealing.wordpress.com if you want (warning: I am very candid in that blog and talk about things that may be TMI – too much information – for some, such as menstruation etc).

I have been trying to conceive for a while and this year my main goal is to get pregnant and hopefully have a baby end of this year or next year. I am learning to accept that it will happen at the perfect time. I have spent enough time trying “naturally” and am now on the next stage of simple fertility treatements (ovulation inductors) and if that does not work there is IVF or adoption. My doctor has said that my best chance would be to have IVF with ICSI and egg donation, I want to try simpler fertility treatements before going that route as I do not qualify for free IVF on the NHS and the cost here is about ¬£10.000.

lara casey powersheet

This is in my 2016 planner. It is part of Lara Casey powersheets, and you can download and print your own copy (free) here: http://laracasey.com/2015/12/24/2016-goal-setting-part-five-make-it-happen.

Talking about goals and new year resolutions, I really like this channelled information from Abraham Hicks:

“ESTHER: Abraham, How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions? And how would you approach a New Year’s Resolution if you were in our physical shoes.

ABRAHAM: They are a wonderful idea. They fall into the same category as Segment Intending or Positive Expectations or Deliberate Creation. Most New Year’s Resolutions, like any new decisions, are made from a rather clear awareness of what you do not want or of what has not gone well, and so, in order to set your New Year’s Resolutions into motion with enough momentum to keep them going, it is necessary to spend some time lining up your energy with your new decision.

Many people make resolutions, and often by the first or second day of the new year they have gone back to their old habits, and then they feel discouraged. Every day provides a wonderful opportunity to set forth your clear intentions. You do not have to wait for a new calendar year. Find a comfortable place where you will not be interrupted by. Write at the top of your notebook page: My Dominant Intentions: Then write four sub-headings: My Current Intentions Regarding My Body, My Relationships, My Home, My Work. Then, write a general description of how you want to feel and be, regarding each of the four categories. Be general and easy. Let these words come easily from you.

Now, go back to the first category, focus on the topic, and sit back, relax, and daydream about this. Imagine your body looking just as you would like it to look. See it in your mind’s eye. Try to imagine how that beautiful body would feel. Move it, in your imagination. Take it for a walk, dress it in something that pleases you. Appreciate its stamina and flexibility and clarity. Spend as much time daydreaming about this wonderful physical vehicle as you can. Stay in your vision until you feel refreshed, and continue to be there as long as you can. Now, go to the second category, and do the same thing. Bring an image of the most significant person in your life experience and see that person with you. Feel appreciation for that person. Mentally speak your appreciation. Imagine that person loving you back. Praising you, and complimenting you.

Feel your mutual appreciation and admiration. Stay within the vision until you feel refreshed. Now, go to the third category, and feel appreciation for your home. Make mental pictures of your home as you want it to be. See it orderly, if you desire that, and beautifully furnished, if you desire that. In an easy and carefree manner, imagine it however you would like it to be. Take pleasure from your vision and stay there until you feel refreshed. Now, go to the fourth page, and gather a mental picture of your work. Feel appreciation for the excuse it gives you to flow energy toward something. Acknowledge how expansive it is, and feel appreciation for its ever changing nature. See yourself expanding and thriving. Stay there until you are refreshed.

There is no right or wrong way to approach this. The thing that is important is that you choose areas of your life that matter most and that you conjure positive images that thrill you. And as you do that, you have not only resolved, in your own mind, how your New Year will be, but you have notified everyone and everything in the entire Universe and you have solicited their assistance in achieving your intentions. And from that moment forward — the entire Universe will conspire to assist you.”

free law of attraction plannerThe sheet above is also in my 2016 planner, it is from the Law of Atraction planner, which I really like and am going to use this year. You can get a free 1 month download here: https://manifestationplanner.com/main-productpage (click on the Try it for free orange case).

susannah conway unravelling the year ahead 2016

I am also working through Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the year ahead 2016, a great workbook that¬† I highly recommend, I printed the cover in a 160gsm card paper and had fun coulouring it (with Staedler triplus fineliner pens). You can download a copy here (free): www.susannahconway.com/2015/12/were-coming-for-you-2016

I will show you more of my diy 2016 planner next time.

The garden in may

If you follow me on flickr, you may have already seen some of these pictures.

This is the first year that the garden stayed green all winter long, thanks to some plants such as perpetual spinach, kale, corn salad and parsley. A quick and cheap way to have greenery in winter is to buy one pot of parsley from the supermarket and plant them everywhere (there are usually about 20 plants or more in a single pot). Parsley is very hardy and you can harvest it all winter long. Plant them before it gets cold so that they have time to establish (I usually try to plant them after I have pulled out my tomato plants, in the same pots or raised beds with added fish/blood/bone fertiliser to revitalise the soil).

Also some plants did not die, which makes me happy as it means I won’t have to buy new ones this year. I am particularly happy with the lemon verbena, vietnamese coriander and rose scented geranium (all 3 were bought from Sarah Raven last year).

Beginning of may:

This is the small raised bed behind the peach tree. The tulips were finished and the perennial wallflower plants were lovely.

DSCN0126The midget apple tree is full of flowers (and now have loads of fruits). It is underplanted with strawberries.

DSCN0127The columnar cherry tree is also flowering.

DSCN0130The wisteria is flowering for the 1st time. I want to keep it as a standard tree so need to prune it more.

DSCN0152End of may:

Seedlings are being hardened off during the day and go back indoor at night.

I want to have lots of beetroot this year so have sown plenty of them.DSCN0238I also want some melons and watermelons so have sown more than usual in case some don’t make it.

DSCN0235The berries in the backgarden raised bed grew lots of super long branches so I had to train them horizontally on some bamboo canes above the mini wall. The plant with the purple flowers is a comfrey, I use the leaves to make a liquid feed for my other plants.

DSCN0213Some volunteer colombine and pineapple mint in the spring onion pots.

DSCN0215A corner of the garden near the pink potting shed.

DSCN0217Only one fruit on the apricot tree I planted last year.

DSCN0233A corner of the back garden. The big cherry tree is full of fruit. And the red flesh apple tree also has plenty of fruits.

DSCN0210I love this cotinus grace. I have never pruned it so it stays airy.

DSCN0241I lost 2 fruit trees in the side yard (due to a drainage problem) so will replace them but this time they will go into a big pot in the same spot. The opal plum from Aldi has some fruits on it, can’t wait to taste them.

DSCN0228And finally, this geranium maderense that I have sown from a seed is flowering for the 1st time.

DSCN0222How is your garden this spring?

 

Brittany

I’m just back from a little trip in Brittany (France). The reason was to attend a family reunion. Every 2 years, families from my dad’s side who live all over France meet up for a 4 day long week-end. It is a nice time for all of us to catch up with each other and spend a bit of time together. Not everyone can come as it is impossible to agree on a date when everyone is availabe. This time, there were about 50 of us. We usually rent a whole gite (self catering accomodation) and this time we rented the Maison Familiale Rural de Rumengol.

20150509_160354This is the building where the bedrooms were. Each room is for 2 persons. I love that wooden facade.

20150509_160240The view from the bedrooms.

20150509_160325One of the dining rooms is in that lower building.

20150509_160202

dining roomThere were lots of people I haven’t seen in ages. I took this picture just before we went for a walk in the nearby forest.

20150509_160552We also went to the nearby beach in Saint Nic (a shortwhile drive from the Maison familiale).

20150509_171204

20150509_17111520150509_182606It was so lovely to see everyone after a long time and I really enjoy those kind of areas in France (the countryside, beach towns and little villages). I hope to go back soon.

PS: I just found out that my 14 years cousin Irina has a blog (in french with a bit of english) since she was 11. You can read it here: vintagedream.canalblog.com

I’ll be back soon with lots of pictures of the garden.