FF: Winter shorts

It was -18C here yesterday, and -15C on Wednesday when I wore these shorts. But I have decided long ago that the Canadian winters were not going to stop me from wearing cute clothes. After all, as long as I’m not going outside for too long I don’t need to wear that much under my big coat / scarf / hat boots combo.


I apologize for my sleepy look, I’ve been extremely tired this week :(


It’s funny, I used to hate shorts. To me they were only for the gym and tourists in the summer lol

But a couple of years ago I tried on a pair of short in the winter with some tights and loved it. There has been no going back since. With a nice pair of fleece tights, it’s even warmer than some trousers.

Seriously, if you haven’t yet, try out some fleece tights this winter :)


Since it was the Scotsman’s birthday that day, I wore a nice bodysuit (is that the right word for that piece of lingerie in English?).

I closed an extra button for work and then opened my cardigan at the bar ;)


Shorts and boots are from Mango (I bought them in France) and the cardigan is from my local supermarket, from the kids department! Tights and the bodysuit are from H&M, they have some awesome well priced lingerie.

Do you like shorts? Would you wear them in the winter?

To be a woman…

Let me start by wishing my American friends a happy Thanksgiving :) Have a great week-end friends.

I have been going back and forth all day about writing this post for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s very personal, and for two it’s a holiday in my neighboring country.

But, I’ve decided that since I kept thinking about it I might as well write it. And it always makes me feel better / less alone when I read that others go through similar things to me, even the less fun / glamorous stuff.

I’ve written somewhere here about being diagnosed with PCOS. And one of the effect is having irregular cycles. It’s all well and good, but it’s also accompanied in my case by a monster case of PMS. The kind that made my doctor advise me to take some supplements to help.

In the last 2 weeks, I have been tired and craving sugar. I have struggled with working out and I have been (very) moody.

When I try to work out, I get hot flushes and get faint. When I eat, I go from having no appetite to craving all the sugar. With my mood, I go from loving wife to crying mess in 2 minutes.

And now, my back is so sore that I can barely get up / sit down. My chest is so sore that the smallest contact makes me wince in pain. All that and no sign of my actual cycle.

At least this time I don’t have too much anxiety. I know the last couple of cycles were preceded by 2 weeks of severe anxiety and stress. And while I knew it was hormonal (rather than real stress) it was still really hard to deal with.

So why am I telling you all that? One reason let’s face it is to unwind. To write it down is to acknowledge it and vent my frustration. But I also want to share what helps me with you.

Physical activity is hard for me just now, just the other day I nearly fainted in the pool! But I still try to force myself to go for a gentle swim, a bit of rowing on our machine or at the very least some walking. Now is not the time for lifting, boxing and HIIT workout,  but gentle exercise is good for the body and the soul.

Eat healthy, while indulging. Since I don’t want to completely deprive myself of cheese and sweets, I have been making my own treats. And I have been accompanying them with fruits / veggies and whole grains. It’s all about balance.

Rest: I am very tired because of this damn PMS, so I have been listening to my body and resting. Simple enough, even though it means staying home and going to bed early for a few days (boring).

Apologize: Cried for nothing? Got angry at your friend / partner / dog (lol)? Say sorry, explain you’re not quite yourself and move on.

Heat: heat packs, the fabric kind with rice inside you put in the microwave, are the best. I wish I hadn’t forgotten to bring mine to work today. I could have hidden it under my desk ;)

He’s been warned: no booby touching unless it’s very gentle. And now is the time to pull out any super soft bra and top.

And to think they call us the weaker sex. Most men I know think they are dying when they have the flu haha And let’s not even talk of what we go through to have a baby…

Rant over

Do you have any tips on how to “survive” this fun time?

Also, meanwhile in Canada: Bear attack


Before I stop sugar…

… we need to celebrate the Scotsman 30th birthday!

He’s pretty picky when it comes to food but I know he likes my “Buche de Noel” (Christmas yule) so I made a birthday version ;)


And while I’m not sure about the chocolate ganache yet (taste test is tonight) I used my usual recipe for the biscuit:

4 eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour (if you want to be more precise and bake the French way that’s 125 gm of each).

Beat the egg whites until stiff (like for a meringue)

Then beat yolks with sugar until they whiten. Then add flour.

Add 1/4 of the whites to the mixture and mix well. incorporate the rest of the whites softly.

Spread the “mousse” on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper or aluminium and cook at 400F for 15min (keep an eye on it, it burns quickly!).

Once cooked, turn in on another sheet of baking paper or aluminium and peel off the sheet it baked on. Once you have peeled it, put it on again and roll the genoise (cake).

After it’s cooled down, open it up and spread it with your ganache. Or if you’re only making a roly-poly cake with jam for a delicious dessert / after school snack.

That’s it :) Simple and “light”.

My other little project is a pair of slipper I made. I was inspired by a pair of easy open slippers I made in crochet before, and decided to turn them into comfy booties.



I added a couple of cute buttons on each side and I’m ready to cozy up inside while it snows. (Fred refused to come back in this morning lol)


What kind of cake do you like for your birthday? 

I made myself a delicious “fraisier” (strawberry cake) for mine (on my profile pic)


I tried it: eating junk for a week

Ok, I am exaggerating a little here, but I have to admit that this last week (and week-end) have been far from glorious on the food front.

And while I ate a lot of food in France, it was a lot of quality food. And the kilo I gained, I lost 3 days after coming back. And more importantly, the food I ate was eaten joyfully.

The thing is, stress / crazy hormones / fatigue and the winter season have all lead me to crave sugary / greasy / greasy and salty foods. And while I don’t see anything wrong with baking a brioche and making lemon curd, I could feel that I pushed it too far this week.

It ended with some fries and chicken nuggets from McD as well as a doughnut on Sunday. These are foods that I don’t even enjoy. And it made me realize that eating like that was not only making feel physically tired and bloated but also wasn’t helping me cope with my stress at all.

What helps me is going for a swim, spending time with people I love and making stuff.


I was really happy to find a 2 pieces pool swimsuit (instead of a beach bikini) while in France. It’s perfect for swimming since nothing tries to “escape” ;) I got myself a 1 piece to, but I like 2 pieces swimwear better.

The Scotsman’s birthday is on Tuesday, so we have both decided  that starting on Tuesday and until Christmas we would be more careful again. We are not going on a diet, we are not restricting ourselves. We are only going to be more aware of what we eat, and we are going to make sure to incorporate healthy foods on our plates again.

Cause you know, December is also the perfect month for baking a storm, and I don’t intend to miss out on that ;)

I also intend on making working out a priority again. I’ve been slowing down on that front, and since I don’t bike to work anymore (it’s winter here!) I feel (and see) the difference.

Ladies, do you prefer 1 piece or 2 pieces swimwear? Do you sometimes feel the need to reset your diet / habits?



In my October goals I showed you a knitting project I was working on. I am delighted to have finished my scarf :) I took it with me to France and finished it there.

While in Metz, I also made a crochet beret for my step-mum, and she loved it. The inspiration actually came from a beret my 3 yrs old niece was wearing haha

Once I came home, I decided to make one for myself too with some grey wool I had left over. Sadly, the design (which worked great with thicker wool) didn’t work out as well with the thinner grey wool I was using. Not to worry, I just kept going down until I made a hat instead ;)

The lack of natural light in the morning means the pictures are not the best… But it should give you a good idea of what they loo like.



The scarf is made with a wool that is actually a mix of alpaca and silk, sooo soft! And the hat is VERY warm since I made it with virgin wool.

And since it’s – 10C today, I’m very glad to have them :)


The patterns couldn’t be simpler, and I made sure to spell them out without the normal abbreviations (since they are what I found most confusing when I started!):

  • For the scarf ( I used 4 balls of wool): Cast on a multiple of 4 until you reach desired width (my wool was for size 4 needles). Then knit 2, purl 2, yarn over. Repeat until end of row and then start over on next row. That’s it :) It gives a lovely aerated rib pattern.
  • For the hat / beret: Make a magic circle and add 10 stitches. Then double your stitches in next row (2 single crochet in each) making it 20 stitches. Same thing for the next row making it 40. After that, 1 single crochet in each stitch and 2 single crochets in the 5th stitch until end of row (making it 56). After that, 1 single crochet in each stitch and 2 single crochets in the 7th stitch until end of row. After that, 1 single crochet in each stitch and 2 single crochets in the 7th stitch until end of row. Keep on increasing that way until you reach the width you want for the top. It’s then time to decrease, using the same principle. If for instance you increased up to 2 single crochets in the 18th row, start by decreasing at the 18th stitch (by joining 2 together), then on next row decrease at 17th etc. Once you reach the diameter of the person’s head, start going down. I.E: single crochet in each stitch. For a beret I went down 3 times, for the hat 10 I think.

What do you think? Do you crochet/ knit?

I learned watching tutorials on youtube, so if I did anyone can ;)


I never thought of walking as a proper physical activity. Sure, it’s better than sitting on the couch, but let’s face it, it doesn’t make you sweat the way a good run does…

However, living where I do I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing scenery right outside my door. And the more I walk (with Freddie of course ;) ) the more I realize how good it is for the body, but also the mind and the soul.

Sure, I might not break a big sweat, but I still get to shake my legs, let my mind wander with each step and feed my soul with the incredible scenery.

When I don’t walk to the supermarket (because sometimes you need a car to bring everything home!) I make a point of walking around this little lake at the back of the store.


And I remind myself of why I made the choice to live where I do!

Then again, I also enjoyed walking in the city while in France, admiring the architecture and doing some people watching as I went…

Do you enjoy a good walk?

Surviving daylight saving hours

I had started working on this post Friday before I heard of what was happening in France. And it’s even more relevant now that I find myself in need of more comfort.

I don’t know about you but I find it really difficult to adjust to having much shorter days and cold rainy weather in November. I feel at least in December the Christmas spirit brings a little more joy. It’s really been hitting me since I came back a week ago and I’ve just been tempted to hide and wait until Spring to emerge again. It might not be such a bad idea after all ;)

But since I’m not a bear and I can’t just hibernate, here are some strategies that work for me:

  • Keep on spending time outside: I know, we wake up in the dark and then come home after work in the dark. But making the effort to get some fresh air (OMG I sound like my mum) is a great mood lifter. Plus I don’t have a choice when I am confronted by that:
  • Slow down: after the summer months where we spent a lot of time outside, running from one place to the other until late and doing a ton of activities, it’s nice to relax.  After a cold walk outside and a long day at work it’s nice to be able to cozy up at home.
  • Make your home a haven of relaxation: Scented candles, a hot cup of tea, some nice music etc. All these things contribute to having a nice atmosphere. And there is something really pleasant about being at home in a cocoon.
  • Do something you enjoy: Ne it reading, crafting, playing video game etc. Whatever you like doing at home, I find this dark cold weather really conducive to those more introspective and quiet pastimes. Personally, I am enjoying doing a bit of knitting and crochet aswell as reading up as storm.
  • Make yourself comfortable: Fluffy fuzzy socks, soft yoga pants, plaid cover etc. Make yourself comfy! And no it’s doesn’t have to be terribly unattractive. After all certain yoga pants are rumored to give you a great ass haha And for me, there is nothing like snuggling on the couch with your other half and just relaxing
  • Eat healthy: When the weather is cold, it’s tempting to gorge on rich foods. But while a big salad might not be as appetizing as a few months before, a giant bowl of soup or some roasted veggies nicely do the trick :)
  • Stay active: after all this talk of cocooning, I still maintain that it’s important to both our physical and mental health to stay active and keep up with our fitness. If you don’t want to run outside for instance, nothing stops you from going to the pool or going to a gym class. I am looking forward to workout at home as well. It helps keep the bugs at bay as well!

How do you keep yourself motivated at this time of the year?

Paris <3

I don’t normally comment on the news or politics on this blog, I feel it’s not the place and not necessarily what I want to do here. But today my heart is very heavy with what happened in Paris on Friday.

I was working on Friday afternoon when I got a text from the Scotsman telling me something was going on in Paris and he was thinking of me. Then my boss called me and said Paris was all over the news.

Thanks to the magic of internet, I was able to listen to the French radio and follow what was going on in the French media. I have never been so thankful for Facebook and to see all my friends and family in Paris checking in.

I am also very thankful for all of my “non-French” friends who checked on me and asked how my loved ones where doing. It’s heartwarming.

My week-end was consumed by mundane things like cleaning the house for one of our friends coming for a couple of days, but I still felt the need to pause and reflect. And when I found the pool packed, I went for a run in the freezing rain to think. Exercise sometimes really is a great way to sort out my thoughts and emotions.

I am very thankful that all my loved ones are safe, but I know it’s not the case for everybody. My thoughts are with all of those who have been affected but also for all the victims of terrorist acts all over the world. I wish I could say I understand their pain, and I wish I could take some of it away, but sadly pain is a very lonely burden sometimes.

My thoughts are jumbled today and I am afraid I am finding it hard to express the sorrow and grief I am feeling.

Selfishly, it’s in times like these that I wish I was in France, close to my family and friends, able to share our feelings and finding a mutual understanding in our pain. The French part of me hurts and it’s hard to move on today when my whole country is in mourning.

As time goes on though, I realise more and more how precious life and love are, and I am thankful I was able to spend some time with them all a couple of weeks ago.

What I do know is that I still believe that tolerance, solidarity and love are our best defences against acts like these.

We have to keep on living and loving freely.



FF: More leather

For some reason leather seems to be the fabric of this fall season for me. It all started with the faux leather dress I am wearing on my profile picture. I then got the pleather leggings, the shorts, the moto jacket and now a skirt!

I don’t know why I keep being attracted to this material, but I’ve really been enjoying wearing all those garments.


The latest addition is this little skirt with zippers.

I think wearing it with a soft ping jumper softens it a bit… And while I love how light it is, I think it’s time to put it back in the closet until the Spring since it’s snowing here!

IMG_2720 IMG_2713

Tucked at the front, lose at the back :)

I was so excited to bring some new stuff from France that I wore it on my second day back and took some pictures first thing in the morning.

Of course I also wore it in France the day after purchasing it lol I don’t know about you but I always get really excited to wear new clothes.


I think that’s the first photo of my brothers, my dad (on the right) and myself together that was taken since I was about 18!

Do you have a favorite fabric? How about a color you love?

Holiday recap part 2

As I mentioned yesterday I really wish I had taken more pictures! I even realized when I left that I didn’t take any pictures with my step-mother and step brother and sister even though I stayed with them for the duration of my stay!

Still, even without a ton of pictures, to recap my stay in France without a little chat about food wouldn’t be right. The last time I went back 3 years ago I had a wisdom tooth pulled out. It was much cheaper than doing it here in Canada at the time, but let’s just say that eating was the last thing on my mind afterwards.

This time around I made the most of it and gained 1 kg in 2 weeks haha It started with croissants that my friends got in Paris and my dad bought at their local bakery on my first day in Metz and then at the week-end. I do get croissants here once in a while but they are not quite the same. The same goes for the bread, especially the delicious award-winning baguettes from the bakery next door. I had a laugh at the train station when I left, the whole station smelled like a bakery (a fake smell of course) oh so French.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there was also all of the cheese :) Good cheese is so expensive here, and I kept joking that I knew I had been too far for too long because I now think Cheddar isn’t that bad. Sacrilege! Everyone, from my friends to all the aunties and uncles I visited had a nice cheese platter ready for me, with so many delicious choices. I even brought a couple for myself, they are so much more affordable at home.

When my stepmother said we would have a raclette, I wasn’t surprised. It’s basically melted cheese you put on some potatoes and charcuterie in your plate. Try not to salivate ;)

What surprised me is when my best friend (we’ve known each other since we were 7 – she’s in the blue / green dress) and then 2 friends from University showed up! My stepmum and brother had organized a surprise diner for my 30th birthday!


It was so much fun to chat for hours about girly stuff like shopping and make up haha Of course we also talked about some deeper stuff, but my girlfriends here couldn’t care less about that kind of stuff so it was great to be completely girly and futile for a few hours.

Some other foods I enjoyed were a couscous made by my stepmother, some brioche and chouquettes. Why can’t I find these here?

Going back also involves eating some less traditional things we ate growing up. I briefly mentioned that I grew up eating a strict macrobiotic diet on the blog before. It’s an entire post for another day. But when my brother and I were allowed once in a while to eat certain tofu sausages or cereal “galettes” it was like a party. So now, every time I go back I make the most of it and buy some.

Is there a specific food you love from your home town / country?

The one I love most I think are mirabelles, I talked about them here. Apparently, if you plant the trees in a different regions the mirabelles don’t taste the same and after a few years the tree starts producing a different kind of plums.

There goes my dream of growing them in my garden….