My monthly inspiration

Here’s my monthly inspiration before Benoit and I fly to Wisconsin on Sunday (Three days away already!?).  Talk about feeling rushed and nervous – we just kind of started packing and still need to clean everything which will happen Saturday night, I’m sure.  Wish us luck! Xx

my Monthly Inspiration

Things I like | People + companies who inspire me 

Simply Earth

This company is based in Wisconsin (which I think is pretty cool), and I found them through Instagram.  They sell essential oils and also offer a subscription box that’s all DIY.  While I can’t give a testimonial to their products as I haven’t yet been able to try them, what sparked my interest and love for them is that they also use their company as a platform for talking about human trafficking, and they donate 13% of their profits to causes that help stop it.

LoveChock Chocolate bars

For my birthday this month I got two chocolate bars from this company.  Not only are they one of my top vegan chocolate bar picks for taste, but also for the environment-their packaging is 100% compostable.  This is so important to think about because plastic is terrible for both our health and the environment (it seeps into the food that’s in it and its chemicals causes harm to our planet and creatures).  So thank you, Lovechock, for spreading the Plastic Pollutes message and coming up with an alternative!  They also have really inventive flavors such as cacao nibs with sea salt, blueberry and hempseed, and almond and baobab.

Baking with vegetables

img_1054

I love trying out new recipes, and I’ve recently been interested in using vegetables (squash, sweet potato, beets, etc.) in baking. For the past few years for my birthday I like to kind of go all out with choosing a cake and do something  different.  So when I found a cake on Pinterest that uses beets and chocolate, I knew that it was what I wanted for my cake this year.  I got the recipe here.  Also I should mention the best vegan chocolate frosting I’ve ever made, which has avocados in it! Super creamy and delicious.

The One Part Podcast

I started listening to Jessica Murnane when I was pregnant with Benoit, fell off the podcast bandwagon (how that’s possible I’m not sure) and started up again this month. And now I’ve been listening to this podcast all. Month. Long.  Mainly when cooking.  You know, when you’re home with a baby all day you can go kind of crazy and listening to podcasts bring back a little sanity in me.  Adult conversations and all.  So the hostess, Jessica Murnane, interviews different figures in the wellness (mainly plant-based food) community.  I’ve appreciated being able to listen in on conversations and advice from people who are doing such inspiring things.

Local Milk blog

Another oldie but goodie.  As in, I was totally into her blog back when we were living in Ireland three years ago when I found her through the blog farmette, and all of a sudden (okay, due to her being interviewed on the One Part Podcast) I started reading her blog again and seeing what she’s been up to lately.  She is a food blogger (though not plant based) and now her website is focusing a bit more on life and wellness.  Her moody photography is just gorgeous, and that along with the fact that she makes amazing things is getting me to dapple in the art of food photography.

 

Who or what inspired you this month?

 

Advertisements

A creative life: BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

img_0930

I was in the Marseille train station, waiting with my husband to catch our train to Paris.  It was our first trip without our son Benoit, and leaving him that morning was hard to do.  Now that we were at the train station, though, I was starting to feel excited and a bit, well, my own person again.  I had a desire to start making things.  And to read something.  I realized I haven’t done something by myself in over a year.

We walked into the bookshop and I knew I wanted something in the field of creativity. And in the small English book section, I saw this book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, right alongside the newest Harry Potter book.  As an avid Potter fan I was torn between the two.  But with Big Magic I figured I could at least finish it during the train ride, and besides-it was probably a sign that moments before I was thinking about creativity and then I run into this book that offers advice on the matter?  I would always remember and know where to find the Harry Potter book, but who knows when I would come across this one again? So I chose Big Magic.

Big Magic discusses pushing past certain obstacles in order to live your most creative, inspired life.  Obstacles such as fear, permission, perfectionism.

As for me, I fell in love with it.  And it got my ass in gear.  All of the excuses I’ve been giving myself for why I’m not doing something, anything-this book kicked to the curb.   I won’t say too much, but here are some of my favorite quotes that were “aha” moments for me, and perhaps you may also find them helpful:

On drawing negative, destructive conclusions (rather than positive ones):

“People convince themselves they’ve been robbed when they have not, in fact, been robbed.  Such thinking comes from a wretched allegiance to the notion of scarcity-from the belief that the world is a place of dearth, and that there will never be enough to go around.”

On taking your life into your own hands:

“I think it’s a mighty act of human love to remind somebody that they can accomplish things by themselves, and that the world does not automatically owe them any reward, and that they are not as weak and hobbled as they may believe.”

On perfectionism:

“Perfectionism stops people from completing their work, yes-but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work.  Perfectionists often decide in advance that the end product is never going to be satisfactory, so they don’t even bother trying to be creative in the first place.”

 

 

My Monthly Inspiration (#1)

img_0138

Welcome to My Monthly Inspiration, one of my favorite posts I do in which I look back at the month and share people, groups, things, podcasts-you name it-that have inspired me in some way or other.  And I think they might inspire you, too!

There are people or things that can inspire us every day, and this month I had the brilliant idea of finally taking notes in my bullet journal so I don’t forget them!  I also keep a notebook handy when I go out in case I see something while on-the-go and I can quick write it down.

My Monthly Inspiration (#1):

The Slow Home Podcast 

It was either  when I was doing an online search on all things minimalism or through someone on Instagram that I found this podcast.  I am just starting to listen to Podcasts and I’m happy that this is one of the first that I’ve discovered.  Brooke and Ben talk about slowing down your life and focusing on things that are truly important to you.  They interview many fascinating people who are also choosing to live this way.  As a plus, Brooke’s voice is incredibly calming and I could listen to it all day (weird? Maybe).

Making (instead of buying) your own whipped body lotion

I stopped buying lotion a couple years ago.  I now prefer oils, shea butter, or coconut oil and they all work very well.  But I was intrigued by the whipped body lotion recipes I’ve found and decided this month I would give it a go.  I loosely followed a recipe from Wellness Mama, mixing coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil, beating it for 10 minutes, then storing it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.  I prefer this texture over straight-up oils, which can leave your skin feeling greasy for awhile after application.

Hannah Theisen of Life + Style + Justice

While doing a search on fast fashion and what happens behind the scenes in the clothing industry, I came across Life Style Justice.  Hannah’s blog discusses all things ethical as well as social justice.  What got me excited was that she chooses to write more than about ethical clothing but articles that shine light on important topics such as worker exploitation in the fashion industry, as well. This year she says she wants to focus more on human trafficking, which I find to be an underserved focus. Brava, Hannah!

Amanda Schenkenberger of Move the Mountains

Amanda has a brilliant blog and store all about Bible journaling.  What I find especially inspiring is the fact that she offers FREE monthly Bible journaling prompts and guides for you to follow along with or work at your own pace.  She also makes and sells Bible journals, supplies and Bible studies.  For the month of February she’s offering a journaling series called Worship is more than a song – you have until the end of January to sign up on her website if you’d like to participate!

Kelly of Copper Moon Mama and the Sacred Legacy Arts team

I follow Kelly on Instagram and I adore reading her thoughtful posts that encourage women to be their best.  She also shares on all things conscious consumerism and minimalism.  She also is the founder of Sacred Legacy Arts, an online store that specializes in creating jewelry from your most treasured memories (breast milk, flowers, fabric, and more).

And last, but not least…

the Red Kuri (or Red Hokkaido) Squash

OK, so I didn’t discover find out about this squash this month, but as it’s winter and pumpkins are in season and all I’ve been using it a lot.  I saw it for the first time about a year ago when we were living in France, but didn’t really cook with it until about five months ago – basically because I wasn’t sure what to do with it!  In France it’s called potimarron and it’s very popular.  My favorite way to use it is in soups.  It has a really creamy texture to it and you can even leave the skin on, if you like (make sure it’s organic).  My all-time favorite recipe for it is from Half Baked Harvest, called Thai Pumpkin Laksa.  I have a picture of it posted on my Instagram account if you want to go see it.  YUM.

What inspired you this month?