Be Worldly · Uncategorized

A Day In The City! Gotta Love San Francisco!

Had never been to San Francisco before and this city definitely didn’t disappoint! The weather was a bit chilly, but nothing a light jacket couldn’t solve. I was a bit disappointed because I couldn’t get tickets for the the Alcatraz tour ***SILENT CRY***, apparently you do have to book that tour way ahead of time as it is such a popular attraction, so I settled from seeing it from far away… for now! Even though I didn’t get to see Alcatraz, there was plenty to do for a full day packed of activities. Here is a recap of our visit for and things for you to do when visiting:

Golden Gate Bridge and City View

There are several stops where you can park to see the bridge, glance at the entire city and even take a look at the Alcatraz Island. Definitely great for pictures although keep in mind that San Francisco does tend to be pretty foggy due to the water in its surroundings, making the heat rise, so it is hard to get the perfectly clear image of the full bridge a lot of times.

Quick Iconic Stops

Other iconic places we visited to check off the list are:

The painted Ladies – some beautifully colored Victorian houses from the 19th Century. The park across the street provides a beautiful view of the houses as well as the city itself.

Lombard Street – This is a short drive or walk at the crookedest street in the world. It is also a very beautiful street as there are tons of beautiful colorful flowers everywhere!

The Palace of Fine Arts – This is an incredible architectural master piece at a park. It s so peaceful, breathtaking, and just perfection. There was nothing going on when I visited, but they do have various community events throughout the year.

Full House House – Now, if you don’t have visiting this place in your bucket list… you are a psycho! lol I do feel for the neighbors though.

Pier 39 – Fun and delicious food right by the ocean, nothing more perfect!

Unique Activity

The Ice Cream Museum recently found a permanent home in San Francisco and it is a really cool place to get some sweet treats, learn about the history of ice cream, have some family fun, take colorful fun pictures, and even swim in a sprinkle pool!

Food With a View

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Cheesecake Factory rooftop restaurant in downtown San Francisco while enjoying the view of the city. Rooftop dinner or partying is definitely a must!

I fell in love with this beautiful fun city for sure and can’t wait to go back. What’s your favorite city to visit?

Stay true – Chantal

Be Beautiful · Uncategorized

Chocolate Obsession Body Scrub

As if chocolate wasn’t fabulous enough as an edible, it is also serves as an amazing and deliciously smelling body scrub! All you need are three ingredients, Cocoa powder, sugar and olive oil. Just mix all the ingredients together, gently apply on the desired areas in small circular motions to exfoliate the skin, leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse. The antioxidants in the cocoa will help restore elasticity to the skin, fight ageing, provide hydration, and its properties will also help reduce skin breakouts. Bonus point, the caffeine in the cocoa powder can even give you an energy boost!

Enjoy this delicious treat 😉

Stay true – Chantal

Be Well

Happiness Takes Work

Be happy! it sound so easy, so jolly and care free, but why is it so hard to feel happy sometimes? Because being happy takes work. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about working to buy the next thing you think will make you happy; it is not about material things. Things will not make you happy long term, they just satisfy an immediate want or need. I am talking about what it takes to feel whole, to feel at peace, to feel relaxed, to make you smile from the soul. Being happy starts from within you, it starts by you taking care of healing your soul, to love the amazing person you are, the capacity of love in your heart, the acceptance of those things you can’t change, and the drive and motivation to change those things you can change. Being happy is giving your loved ones the time they need to feel loved and cared for and do the same for you in return. It means building meaningful relationships, taking care of your body and your mind, exploring and nourishing your curious and adventurous side. Stop thinking about what you can get that will make you happy and start thinking on what you can do to work in your lasting happiness. Change your mindset and your daily actions, you’ll see the difference.

Here are some things you can do on a regular basis to work on your happiness:

  • Exercise – you’ve heard this one before and it is true. Even if you do a light workout to get those endorphins going, it helps.
  • Sleep enough – please try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Your body and your mind will thank you, plus you wake us in a better mood.
  • Go outside – even if you just go for a quick walk during your lunch, go out, see the natural light, breathe the fresh air and appreciate your surroundings.
  • Build a strong support system – surround yourself with people who truly care about you and you care about, people that will be there no matter what and that will push you up and encourage you.
  • Social gatherings- with family or friends. I know you want to go home, get in bed and binge-watch a show, but make sure to spend time with those you love.
  • Good deeds – volunteer to help others, it will give you a great sense of satisfaction and you’ll be doing something good for someone else.
  • Meditate – this will help you relax, quiet your mind,be aware of your breathing, and help your body and mind to connect.
  • Smile and or laugh – of course we are not always in the mood to do this,, but smiling or laughing generate more smiling and/or laughing from yourself and/or others. You can also brighten someone else’s day with this.
  • Find what you are passionate about and do it as a hobby.
  • Take time to appreciate what you do have material or not. Be grateful!

These are only some things to get you started, but it is all about acknowledging that everything takes work, accept it, work on it, and have a positive mindset. Everyone has dark days (some more than others), just make sure you see the light at the end of the tunnel and you walk towards it. If you struggle with this, it is okay to ask for help, bring a partner along in your journey to happiness and work together. You are not alone.

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

This Zucchini & Squash Meal is the Bomb!

I haven’t been a vegetarian all my life, in fact, I’ve only been a vegetarian for a little over a year. It was a very personal decision that I had been considering for the longest time and I am very happy with it. I was already not a great cook and the switch to vegetarian has made it even harder… why? Well, now I have been needing to figure out how to get everything my body needs with this new lifestyle, how to not get bored eating the same things over and over, and how to expand my taste buds by trying other foods that maybe I wasn’t as crazy about or willing to try before. Sadly, I am still not a great cook, but I am making progress and I just absolutely love sharing my small cooking accomplishments with you. The below, is a small twist on a dish my mom used to make (hers involves pork), hope you try it and tell me what you think!

I will not be using measurements for this recipe as it is all based on personal taste. If you are a big fan of any of the ingredients, just add more of it.

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Frozen corn
  • Jalapeño pepper (I used half of one without seeds to not make it too spicy)
  • White or yellow onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese
  • Avocado
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and jalapeño. Once finely chopped, put it on a pan with a little olive oil at medium-low heat and cook them until the onions are golden.
  2. Chop the tomatoes in small pieces and add them to the pan.
  3. Cut the zucchini and squash in small pieces and add them to the pan. Mix occasionally to allow all of the ingredients to cook and not stick to the pan.
  4. Once the zucchini and squash are cooked but still firm, add the corn and salt to taste.
  5. Add some cheese and mix, allowing it to melt on the other ingredients.
  6. Serve with a side of sliced avocado. You may garnish with a bit of extra cheese on top, some greens or anything else you like.

Super easy, very quick to make and tastes delicious!

Do you have a cool vegetarian recipe for me to try? Post it in the comments and I will give it a go.

Stay true – Chantal

Be Beautiful · Uncategorized

Great Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Chamomile tea is definitely one of my favorite teas to drink, especially at night time to help me sleep and when I have a stomach ache or sore throat due to its antibacterial properties. What many don’t know is that chamomile tea is super useful for many other things, including skin care. Chamomile tea is a great natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant that can help treat skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and acne. It also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles scars, dark circles and tightens pores.  

Here are a few ways you can use chamomile for the above benefits:

  • Boil 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile or 1 bag of chamomile tea in a cup of water. Let it cool down and using a cotton ball, dip it in the tea and apply on your face with gentle taps after your face wash. Do not rinse your face, let your skin absorb the tea. If you have areas with a skin condition, you can place the soaked cotton balls or squares on them and leave them there for a good 10 minutes while the tea is still a bit warm.
  • A nice face mask can be made with ¼ cup of chamomile tea, ¼ cup of rosewater and 2-4 tablespoons of honey (just enough to make the mix a bit thick). Cover your clean face with the mix and leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off.
  • To reduce eye puffiness and dark circles, boil 2 chamomile tea bags in one cup of water. Let them cool down a bit, but while still warm, squeeze the excess tea out of the tea bags and place them on your eyes (make sure you cover the dark circles). Leave them on for 10 minutes and let your skin absorb the tea.

Give chamomile a try and let me know what you think!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Worldly · Uncategorized

Wine Country… Sounds Like Paradise to Me!

While visiting some friends in Cali, we took a road trip to Napa Valley, and let me tell you, if you are a wine lover… this place is a must! We went to this beautiful castle called Castello di Amorosa, we toured the place, enjoyed the scenery, tasted some delicious wine and chocolate, purchased some adorable souvenirs, and admired some very appealing bartenders (can I get some water please? getting thirsty over here, ha!). This place was so magical, I felt like we had a little piece of Italy here in the US with the medieval style castle and the picturesque vineyards. No joke, my ultimate dream would be to retire, move to a nice property in Italy with a small vineyard, and have a cute stone house with a terrace overlooking the entire thing… just chilling and living the life, ahhhhhhhhh 😊

Their wines are very good too and the owner is a 4th generation winemaker. You can definitely see and feel the passion and hard work that go into producing these delicious wines and keeping up with the place. Not only that, but looking at their website, it looks like they are also quite involved in charitable work within their local community, which is really cool to see. I was bummed to learn you can’t purchase their wines (specially the La Fantasia sweet wine, my fave!) at any store, but thankfully you can taste their deliciousness during your visit, join their wine club subscription or purchase them online at www.castellodiamorosa.com. This place also hosts themed events during the year including a Halloween party and a New Year’s Masquerade Ball, how cool is that?! I just can’t wait to go back to this place and hopefully attend one of their events. I encourage you to check this place out next time you are planning a visit to Napa, and if you are not yet planning to visit… it is time for you to start!

If you’ve made your way to the wine country already, I would love to hear your story! What place did you visit? What were the highlights of your trip?

Stay true – Chantal

Be Well · Uncategorized

Your Journey is as Unique as You Are

Have you ever found yourself comparing your life with the life of others around you? You are not alone! We’ve all seen the bigger house than, the better car than, the skinnier than, the better life than, the easier path than… you get the idea. No matter how well others may think we are doing, we always see what we are yet to accomplish and what we are missing, never fully enjoying our now and preventing us from being happy. Many people think that once they obtain what they don’t currently have, they’ll finally be happy. The reality is, once we reach what we see at that next level to accomplish, we immediately start seeking for the next thing we are missing… it never ends! Here are some things to keep in mind in order to look at our lives in a different way and BE HAPPY NOW.

Tomorrow is not for granted

We are fully aware of this, yet we treat people like they’ll be around forever.  In the span of four years I lost my uncle, my grandfather, my niece (a 12-year-old beautiful girl), my dad, and my grandmother. I was left feeling like I didn’t enjoy them enough, didn’t love them enough, and like I could have done more to have a better relationship with them. Those loses taught me that I need to enjoy my loved ones now, tell them I love them today, spend quality time with them on a day to day basis and not on a holiday basis, to appreciate them every single day and to love fully and intensely today.

Everyone struggles in different ways

That some struggles are not out for everyone to see, doesn’t mean that they are not happening. For instance, while some people are overwhelmed and financially tight raising a family, some others may be struggling with fertility issues and not being able to start a family. Some people struggle trying

to get a big promotion while others can’t find a job to sustain their family. Everyone goes through challenging times and every struggle is important. Therefore, it is important to not compare our lives with the lives of others; we don’t know what they are going through behind closed doors.

Have realistic goals and acknowledge your successes

It is great to have goals, want to improve and grow; however, make sure to set realistic goals. You can’t just say “I want to be a millionaire and set that as a goal”; that’s to broad and farfetched depending on where you are in life. It is better to set smaller short-term goals that keep updating as we achieve milestones and that go in line with a long-term goal. This way we can celebrate those smaller successes, measure our improvement and stay on track.

Make time to smell the roses

No matter how crazy life gets, make some time to have fun, take a breather, have me time, enjoy time with friends and family, or find a hobby. The point is to do something for pleasure, be fully present and enjoy it to the maximum.

This is your journey, make the best of it!

Stay true – Chantal