Love French Style is a French home and interiors blog by content writer Katie Anderson. Discover inspiring French homewares, recipes and design ideas plus lots of Breton stripes.
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Well-Being Tips For February and A Big Welcome to Lucy Thompson A fresh year, a fresh new start and what better way to head into 2021 than with a conscious effort to be kinder to yourself in these difficult times. I am thrilled to introduce well-being expert, yogi instructor, breathwork and massage professional and nutritional Read the full article... The post Forward Facing February with Well-Being Expert Lucy Thompson appeared first on Love French...
A fresh year, a fresh new start and what better way to head into 2021 than with a conscious effort to be kinder to yourself in these difficult times. I am thrilled to introduce well-being expert, yogi instructor, breathwork and massage professional and nutritional therapist, Lucy Thompson to Love French Style Blog.
Lucy runs the successful yoga school and café, French Yoga Garden in Charroux in Vienne, France and organises retreats, yoga sessions and online classes for her many students. Lucy and I are going to be sharing her advice and tips for well being on various themes over the next few months and we really hope they help you to put things into perspective and achieve everything you dream of this year.
So, if you quite rightly thought that this year you already had more than enough to deal with to be setting yourself unrealistic goals and resolutions then we hope that the articles we are going to share with you allow you to move forward in a positive, gentle way.
Over to you Lucy –
Thanks Katie – I am super excited to be contributing here on Love French Style. I am a self-confessed pop-health geek! There I said it – there’s no denying it! After spending 20 years in health and wellbeing communications, working with experts and working on anything from HIV Clinical trials to the London Marathon – with ‘A’ lister skincare on Vogue in the middle – I’ve developed quite and ear for fad vs fiction. I love a good health story but I love it even more when there’s some science to back it up and more so when I see something really working for myself or others. So in this blog I’m not going to be to professing or mandating health protocols in anyway – think of me more as a curious curator, holding a hand out to catch and then offer up the latest thoughts, advice and considerations in health and wellbeing. I’ll be discussing topics and teachings from not only my own disciplines but new thoughts, developments and tips from other health related fields and from other leading experts to do with the mind, body and breath, insights to help all of us live our best lives.
We are now entering a whole new year and almost a whole year living with Coronavirus. It’s been long and hard for all of us and many of you may be finding it hard to move on from 2020 and everything that it brought to you. For some of us, that may be a case of having so many restrictions on our everyday lives that we may now feel anxious about the future. For others, we may have actually lost family or friends to the pandemic and are struggling to cope with that loss.
Whatever our situation – we’ve all lost on some level but hopefully gained on others. Perhaps gained some personal time, cracked projects you never had time to tick off your list, had more family time, learned a new skill etc. With any new year there’s often a sense of renewed hope and we must keep that glimmer alive. However, I am totally of the school where we need to keep things real and play our own part in shaping our futures – I say let’s give ourselves some credit – take back some power and play a role in making things better this year…..and things don’t change unless we do things differently. Or for a moment making it personal – things won’t change for you unless you do things differently!
But where do you start? Here we are going to deep-dive on how we can change…if it’s even possible to change to make things different in our lives and what we can do to shift mindset and get things moving again…..
Well change starts now – February is a great place to start. The best time to start I feel….A few year’s ago I stopped making new year resolutions – people are meant to evolve and learn, adapt and grow all the time – that’s the joy of being human. So once we stop being overly optimistic and putting tons of pressure on ourselves to crack something in January, whether that’s to stop drinking and get fitter or simply to start a new habit – then we can give ourselves a fighting chance. Why? Well often we’ve over-indulged, clocked up some impressive sofa time and have generally stagnated – we are not in the right mindset to go from feast to famine, from all to nothing and we need time to digest the closing of the year. The weather is rubbish, it’s cold and as we’ve often raced to the end of the year – often no proper building blocks have been put in place to give ourselves the best chance of success.
So what can you do to change your chances of success? With January now out of the way, take this time to build a good foundation for the year ahead to avoid falling into the same mindset that may have held you back last year.…mindset is key so let’s start there:
⁃Take a bit of timeout to take stock. We’ve all been affected in some way or another by the extraordinary external forces blindsiding each of us during 2020-21. So take a moment – think about what you want to ditch from last year, whether that’s changing a habit, changing your behaviour or changing your job, just have a look back and see what served you well last year and what didn’t.
⁃Disassociate yourself from this – whatever happened, whatever you want to let go of you can – learn from your past experiences and let go. Try not to use your past as a reason to explain who you are, or as something that is fixed and unchangeable. If you still look at a past event or experience and think that happened to me or I am the way I am because of that – then you are excusing yourself and still living in the past. Recognise that you are not the same person anymore and you can change.
Professor Ellen Lenger (1) of Harvard’s Psychology Department – talks brilliantly about this in her book ‘Mindfulness’. She talks about how we all get stuck in patterns and don’t update our own filters and narratives about ourselves. We give ourselves labels….for example people who label themselves as depressed don’t see variability or change in themselves – they don’t see when they are not depressed only that they are, chronically so. And this sort of shapes a person and so they can begin filtering out things that don’t fit that narrative, making it even harder to change. So you can see that our own internal dialogue is really key here.
So how do we get out of this rut and start to change…well imagination is key – beginning to imagine and see yourself as being different, in a different state and dropping those labels. See a better future self and frame it as something possible – it’s much more motivational and powerful to aim for something positive than avoid something negative. Very few people actually imagine their future self. Try it and see if it works for you and let us know. The better view of your future can then become the thing that helps you to drive change, changes your behaviour and help you to putt steps in place to get you to where you want to be. Tell people about it – enable them to make you accountable to your vision, to help you and support you in your quest for change.
Dr. Benjamin Hardy (2) is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work and Personality Isn’t Permanent. He has a free challenge on his website at the moment called: The Create Your Future Self Project – why not give it a go and see what happens and let us know: https://benjaminhardy.com/
And in the meantime here are six key things to consider when you find yourself slipping into negative thought patterns – or stuck:-
⁃Dial down venting or talking about a situation all the time – it only keeps it in the present
⁃Think about issues or roadblocks and even negative thoughts and emotions as something that is happening in the third person – also known as ‘distanced self talk. For example I could say: ‘Calm down Lucy, you are just angry – it’s not the end of the world’. Talking to yourself like this – as if you were another person altogether – isn’t only calming but it may also enable you to reframe what seems like an impossibility as a challenge, one to which, with your own encouragement, you may be able to rise.
⁃Keep learning from your mistakes and trying new things, small adaptations can make a big difference
⁃Seek out support – doesn’t have to be formal….a good place to start it to join groups online – people who are doing what you want to do or be, and as your own mind starts to change it’ll become easier to connect with more positive people
⁃Consume positive media – I feel we really are what we read and consume so keep it positive and helpful and in line with where you are heading
⁃Develop a simple plan of action and break it down into really small steps and just start. It’s not enough to simply write it out as it’s just a thought until we do something to make it happen. Even if it’s a mistake, you’ll still make progress, and that will keep you focused on creating positive change.
So let’s go for it – come on Spring, we’re getting ready for you!
Ref 1. https://harvardmagazine.com/2010/09/the-mindfulness-chronicles
Ref 2. https://benjaminhardy.com/if-youre-not-getting-what-you-want-in-life-read-this/
The French Yoga Garden, Charroux Vienne. Yoga and well-being retreats in France.
Thank you SO much Lucy, we can’t wait to hear from you again very soon X
The post Forward Facing February with Well-Being Expert Lucy Thompson appeared first on Love French Style.
Cocooning – Cosy French Style Home January is a notoriously miserable month isn’t it? If you love a cosy French style home, you’ll love our top tips on adding warmth and texture to your living room this winter. The French word cocooning is often used to describe the art of self care at home through Read the full article... The post Cocooning – 5 Ways to Create a Cosy French Style Home appeared first on Love French...
January is a notoriously miserable month isn’t it? If you love a cosy French style home, you’ll love our top tips on adding warmth and texture to your living room this winter.
The French word cocooning is often used to describe the art of self care at home through furnishings, a bit like Hygge.
We’ve shopped on line for you to find the most elegant French style home accessories to create a little French cocooning, here’s 5 of our favourite finds.
Comfy, cosy, soft what’s not to love about a natural sheepskin throw? Add a beautifully soft sheepskin throw to your living room and instantly feel a cosy vibe. We think this one is just the ticket, click on the image below to buy.
Nothing’s more cosy than a nice velvet cushion to add tactile luxury. We love these ones, why not mix and match the colours to suit your mood. Click the link below to get yours.
Add elegance to your cosy living room with the warm glow of a candle light. Silver or gold metallic candle sticks bring an air of vintage charm and calm. There’s something very restorative about natural lighting during winter. We love these above…
The French art of cocooning is to wrap ones self up in warmth and comfort during the long winter months and to indulge in some self care.
What better way to enjoy a detox tisane than from vintage style teaware in front of a roaring log fire. How about this beautiful silver teapot for your very own cosy French style cocooning?
Put your phone down and pick up a book. Flammarion Press who we recently featured here on Love French Style Blog have the most amazing coffee table books. Have a browse through their collection, I’ll be running another fabulous competition with them again soon.
We’ll pop the kettle on X
*this post contains affiliate links
The post Cocooning – 5 Ways to Create a Cosy French Style Home appeared first on Love French Style.
2 Stunning French Style Books Are you a lover of all things French? How about beautiful French style books? Here’s your chance to win TWO amazing publications bursting with French Style here at Love French Style Blog. I am just so excited about this Flammarion Press Book Giveaway bundle I have for you! In this Read the full article... The post Flammarion Press Coffee Table Book Giveaway! appeared first on Love French...
Are you a lover of all things French? How about beautiful French style books? Here’s your chance to win TWO amazing publications bursting with French Style here at Love French Style Blog.
I am just so excited about this Flammarion Press Book Giveaway bundle I have for you! In this first coffee table book giveaway, I have two great French style books available that will look right at home in your living room.
The first book in the French book giveaway is a beautifully curated cookery book to inspire your French style meals and the second is a very stylish book all about French Botanical Art to add vintage French charm to your home décor .
I am so honoured to be working with Flammarion Press on this competition to bring you thhe opportunity to win these lovely books. Flammarion Press publish French books and have several that are English Language. These gorgeous publications I have to give away today are from the Flammarion English Language Collection.
The book giveaway is only available for postage in the UK, so, if you’d like to win some swoon worthy books for your home then read on!
Oh la la! What, a beautiful book. Miss Maggie’s Kitchen Relaxed French entertaining is written by the super talented Héloise Brion and combines everything we all love about France!
Cooking, lifestyle and entertaining all weaved into one in a classic French style with a modern twist. This is Héloise Brions’s début cookbook with 100 recipes to add a little French charm to any occasion. It is stunning!
If you are a fan of Rustic French Style and classic French cooking then you are going to adore this book. Miss Maggie’s Kitchen is a French cookery book with easy to follow recipes like like Bream Tartare with Mango, Watercress and Almond Soup or the divine sounding Decadent Pecan Cake. Simple but delicious French cooking to try out at home and just the most beautiful, rustic French style photography to accompany it.
I think you are going to absolutely love this French recipe book giveaway!
What could be a more elegant coffee table book to leaf through with a lovely café au lait on a sleepy Sunday than this book brimming with botanical art? French vintage plants and flowers to inspire and decorate your home and walls with. J’adore!
Deyrolle French Botanical Art by Emmanuelle Polle and Albert de Broglie has 21 vintage French nature prints inside. Let me tell you, they are absolutely beautiful too, you’re going to love the rustic French touch they will bring to your home. This really is a very exciting opportunity to win two lovely books in one.
What’s not to adore about the exquisite botany of the plant kingdom? From exotic fruit to palm trees and conifers, these iconic French vintage prints with bring plenty of rustic French style to your home décor.
Why not curate your own gallery of affordable, finely reproduced art in frameable sizes?
It’s so easy to enter this book giveaway, just follow the simple instructions in the little gadget below for your chance to win not one but two beautiful coffee table books from Flammarion Press.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway closes on 24th December 2020
UK Delivery Addresses only
Full terms and Conditions are in the Rafflecopter Widget above.
Do Dogs Make You Happy? Do dogs make you happy? So many of us own dogs and choose to share our hearts, homes and sofas with our four legged friends. So what is it that we find so enjoyable about owning a dog? Should I get a Dog? Firstly, owning a dog isn’t the right Read the full article... The post Do Dogs Make You Happy? appeared first on Love French...
Do dogs make you happy? So many of us own dogs and choose to share our hearts, homes and sofas with our four legged friends. So what is it that we find so enjoyable about owning a dog?
Firstly, owning a dog isn’t the right choice for everyone. At times when there’s yapping, chewing and general misdemeanor going on in the house I’ll be the first to mutter to myself” why oh why?”
But, coming home to the waggling tails waiting the other side of the kitchen door or snuggling up on the sofa together with the dogs leaves no doubt in my mind that I couldn’t be without them.
Here in France, the winter season is the worst time of year for abandoned dogs. It really is heartbreaking the number of puppies and older dogs that are left alone around Christmas time when owners no longer want them anymore.
Whether or not you should get a dog, or whether a dog will make you happy, you need to be very sure that you’re in it for the long haul with them. Once you own a dog, they very quickly become part of the family so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly and they are most certainly not just for Christmas nor any other time of year.
Our two dogs are rescues from SPA Mornac, you can view the dogs they have available to adopt here.
Whether a dog is the right pet for you probably all depends on whether or not you have positive memories of dogs throughout your lifetime. I grew up in a household of cats, dogs, ponies, chickens, gerbils and pigs, so I suppose I was always going to have a home with pets in adult life too.
I’ve always found dogs are intuitive, respectful and loving, everything you would look for in the qualities of a best friend. Look at Wilbur above, welcoming our second rescue, Winnie into the house. It’s like he knew she needed to know the same love as him. I just love that.
Dogs require more looking after, company and exercise than a pet like a cat so you need to be sure that you can commit to a lifetime of this, plus dog hair on your coat! In return though, the lifetime of friendship and company is well worth everything you put in.
If you’re wondering, will a dog make me happy? Well the answer is probably yes. Despite the dog hair and chasing of the postman ( why is it they all hate him? ) researchers believe that owning a dog can have a positive impact on health and well-being.
According to the experts, even a small amount of interaction with a dog can release the happy hormone oxytocin and leave us with a sense of well-being. owning a dog teaches us and our children a lot about caring and patience, two key skills for life. It’s no surprise that dogs are often used to support sensory awareness to children and adults in a caring setting.
For me, there’s a general unspoken understanding between dog and human. They may love us for the titbits and the walks but there’s a huge amount of communication that goes on between pet and humans.
My first adopted dog, Audrey stayed with us 12 years and during that time she ate a bed, chewed her way through a windowsill and generally caused utter mayhem wherever she went. Her preferred pose was to stand up on her hind legs to greet us or anyone else who came into our home, usually dragging them to the ground with her in a frenzy of licks.
I’m pretty sure that we made her as happy as she made us, inspite of all this chaos!
Do you own a dog? Do dogs make you happy? I’d love to hear X
There are very few rose skincare products that I don’t love. A good quality rose water lotion is one one of my favourite French skincare must haves. Rose water, cornflower water and witch hazel hydrolats are an integral part of a traditional French skincare routine. Natural botanical toners each have their different uses and the Read the full article... The post Rose Water Toner Benefits appeared first on Love French...
There are very few rose skincare products that I don’t love. A good quality rose water lotion is one one of my favourite French skincare must haves. Rose water, cornflower water and witch hazel hydrolats are an integral part of a traditional French skincare routine.
Natural botanical toners each have their different uses and the benefits of using floral waters on skin are numerous. This very simple, but natural facial treatment is so under rated. Floral waters, especially rose water is an extremely efficient part of a simple skincare routine.
Read on to find out more about the many Rose Water Toner Benefits.
You may have already seen rows of pretty looking floral waters among the parapharmacy? French beauty products are often great natural skincare choices and a good rose water is a firm favourite.
In the summer, a spritz of chilled rose floral water will instantly refresh and cool summer skin. In winter, dry skin can be kept hydrated and soft and protected from the harsh elements.
Very often, the skin on the face is actually perfectly hydrated first thing in the morning yet we strip it dry with more washing. There’s no need to actually use a cleanser first thing unless you have a skin complaint that requires it.
A natural floral hydrolat will give your skin all the nourishment it needs on awakening. Simple as it sounds, a rose water toner is the perfect preparation for skin, however basic or complex the rest of your skincare routine is.
In short, yes. A rose water toner is very good for skin. Floral waters, when made naturally and preferably without alcohol, are especially good for dry and reactive skins.
Rose water has naturally hydrating properties, antioxidant benefits and can be extremely calming to sore, chapped skin.
Rose water can also provide the answer on how to reduce facial puffiness, something many of us suffer with first thing – especially over the age of 40! The natural astringent in rose helps to tighten skin without drying it to reveal a more youthful looking skin.
The way to get the most from rose water toner benefits from a floral water is to use straight after cleansing as a fine mist over clean skin.
If yours is not a rose water spray then simply apply to the fingertips ( save on using a cotton pad ) and dab onto the face gently before leaving to soak in. If you’re wondering how to use a rose water at night, simply apply in the same way after cleansing and before any serums and your night cream.
To complete your floral skincare routine, apply a rose serum or rose moisturizer afterwards, better still, a rose moisturizer with spf 30.
To find the best rose water toner, look for those that are made using simple distillation and contain the fewest amount of ingredients.
When looking for the best rose water toner to buy, look for a rose toner that has only natural ingredients and a short shelf life, that way you’ll know there are very few additives included.
If you haven’t yet tried using a rose water toner as part of your natural skincare routine then I recommend it highly. You’ll soon reap the rewards of rose water toner benefits and reveal a brighter, more youthful looking skin. Looking for beauty gift inspiration? Check out these Christmas beauty gift ideas for 2020 X
Seasonal Door Wreaths are like gifting jewellery to your front door! There are some truly beautiful ways to create an elegant seasonal door wreath from smart florals to pared back foraged foliage. Why not make a seasonal door wreath part of your outdoor home decor to enjoy season after season? Fiona Lafon is a very Read the full article... The post Seasonal Door Wreaths With Florist Fiona Lafon appeared first on Love French...
Seasonal Door Wreaths are like gifting jewellery to your front door! There are some truly beautiful ways to create an elegant seasonal door wreath from smart florals to pared back foraged foliage.
Why not make a seasonal door wreath part of your outdoor home decor to enjoy season after season?
Fiona Lafon is a very talented florist living in France and here she shares her tips on choosing the perfect seasonal door wreath.
A seasonal door wreath is just one of many of my favourite types of floristry. I actually retrained as a florist in 2015 with two very young children in tow. There had been a lot of changes in the world of employment law which meant that I wasnt enjoying my job as a lawyer as much as I used to.
I decided to rethink my lifestyle, so I left law and started my own business and it was love at first sight.
Whilst I don’t have a favourite type of floral decoration I do love a seasonal door wreath. An elegant door wreath is so easy to make and can be created with a wide variety of materials.
Bright, beautiful flowers are very much my style with a particular emphasis on jewel tones.
I worked mainly as an events florist but I loved hosting workshops showing people how to work with flowers. It always made me really happy to see people who didn’t consider themselves creative, create something simple and beautiful, like a door wreath, with their own hands.
I love the variety of styles of door wreaths for all year round and I often hosted workshops on this subject back in Bristol.
I personally prefer a more contemporary door wreath. When I lived in Bristol, I used to sell eucalyptus wreaths. These had a minimalist, scandi-inspired look and sold really well.
The beauty of a eucalyptus door wreath is that they also dry beautifully and can therefore remain in the house all year round.
Im a big believer in making the most of every day and flowers are the perfect way to inject beauty daily. Personally, when it comes to creating a seasonal door wreath, I definitely prefer a more undone look. I like something that looks natural, with movement and texture.
Once you have the base of the wreath, theres no limit to how you can adapt it to the seasons. Various flowers and foliage will last differently once out of water, but you can either let it dry out naturally or replace the elements that die off with fresh pieces as and when they go.
In winter, thistle and berries are a lovely addition to pine and other evergreen foliage.
In spring I would use lovely bright flowers to celebrate the new season.
Dried flowers are great for wreaths, I have a selection at home waiting to be arraged as such!
I love using different supports for the wreath: a moss ring, a copper ring, there are so many options.
Once I figure out how to make an online video course, I would love to offer online floristry courses. I am lucky enough to be married to a garden designer and gardener , Barry from Le Jardin Contemporain. Together we are currently in the process of creating a potager from scratch.
Growing my own flowers will open up so many new possibilities for me and I would love to create a series of online courses showing people how to arrange flowers from their gardens for their homes throughout the year.
Just got to work out how to do that video first!!!!
We cant wait Fiona, thank you so much for sharing your tips with us here at Love French Style Blog.
You can follow Fiona and Barry here on their social media channels…
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