A Day In Bordeaux

So, it turns out Bordeaux is like Paris only better. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Paris, but I’ve had the benefit of visiting with someone (my mum) who speaks almost fluent French and once lived there. Paris is incredible if you know where to look, but if you don’t it can be underwhelming, a bit dirty and smelly, overpriced and very touristy.

In Bordeaux, it wasn’t any of those things and I didn’t need to rely on a guide to make the visit worthwhile.

We spent just one day there mostly wandering and eating – I really want to go back and spend a few days there. It’s a beautiful city.

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This might be the most French photo I’ve ever taken. I almost missed him rolling his cigarette, had to move very quickly!

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Women Leading – Onetenzeroseven

Today I want you to meet Sophie, who creates beautiful things that she sells on Etsy and blogs about it at Onetenzeroseven.

I met Sophie through Daisy and just like her, she is an unstoppable force. In just five years, she has built a brand. For two of those years she’s been self-employed full time. When I’m around Sophie I feel really good about myself and my own goals – a testament to the sort of person she is.

She’s also the Co-Captain of Etsy Team Leeds!

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How long have you been creating, making and selling?

I’ve been creating and making for as long as I can remember. I still have a sketchbook from being around 8 years old, filled with really terrible sketches of a clothing line I was desperate to create back then, haha. Some day maybe I’ll make them a reality! I started selling about 5 years ago when I opened up a shop on Etsy and I’ve learned and grown so much since then. It’s crazy to think about where I’ll be in another 5 years.

To you, what is ‘creativity’ really about?

I think being creative is taking what you have and building something really incredible for yourself and the people around you. It doesn’t have to be artistic, you can build something from anything. Creativity is seeing possibilities where other people might not, it’s building a family with strong values, it’s climbing the corporate ladder, it’s looking at your life and deciding where you want to be and setting of on a journey to get there, even if it seems a million miles away. You have everything you need to live your dream life, you just need to be a little creative.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business?

Do it now. Do it yesterday. It’s the most incredible feeling I’ve ever had. Even if it seems right now that it will only ever be a little side hustle, to build something with your own hands is like nothing else. It can seem overwhelming and you’ll want to have everything perfected before you let your creation out into the world, but the best advice I could ever give is that “done is better than perfect”. It’s no good to have the best idea in the world if you keep it all tucked away to yourself. Pick a point and just start and you will build and grow from there. No one is an overnight success.

What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?

I don’t really believe in discipline, I’m more of a breaking-the-rules kind of gal. When it comes to working hard, though, I believe if you truly love something and want something so much it hurts you will stop at nothing to make it happen. When I was working full time there were occasions where I would work on my business until 4am and get up at 8am to go to my day job. It’s not something I recommend of course, but it was necessary to me at the time. I didn’t really go out and see friends, I didn’t spend money on luxuries like clothes and holidays, for me the most important thing was to build my business and so what may seem and sound like discipline was just pure passion and determination. Now those days are behind me and I have the fully flexible life I dreamed of!

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Chateau Des Granges

Some more photos from my French trip today. We arrived on the Saturday night and had a restful day on Sunday, only venturing out in the evening for dinner. The French are exceptionally good at salads and pasta dishes – check out the beasts below!
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On Monday we drove to Courcelles, Saint Jean D’Angely, to see friends of my parents who are now running a B&B at their French home. Their property is called Chateau Des Granges and it is absolutely stunning, the husband and wife team have done an incredible job.

They took on a big challenge – the property is very old and needed lots of work, if I remember correctly they said it was built in the late 1700s.

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We were treated to melon and Pineau – a local dessert – after a very hearty meal.
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Views of the four acres of land
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Chateau Des Granges from the garden
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I love this lamp!

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It would make a magical venue for a wedding. The bedrooms would fill up very quickly but there is so much space in the garden guests could easily camp! Definitely doable in the warm summer months.

We arrived back at our holiday home late that evening so this was the only day of the holiday that I didn’t swim.

Women Leading ~ Runawaykiwi

Today I want you to meet Rebecca who blogs at Runawaykiwi.

I can remember the first time I found Rebecca’s blog. She writes about expat life perfectly, always nailing with honesty and stacks of humour what it’s like to be in a big city far away from home. Even though she was in London from New Zealand, and I was in Melbourne from the UK at the time, I related to her writing SO much.

She’s still in London today and still writes as sharply as she did back then.

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1. What has been your favourite thing about blogging so far?
Being a creative badass. My blog is my domain, and not a single person in the world can tell me what to do with it. I can write what I want, when I want and fill it with as many creative swearwords as I want. It is very rare to have such a magical little bubble all to myself. My blogs only purpose is to help me express myself and help me make sense of this crazy mess called life.

2. What advice would you give to someone thinking about a year abroad in a big city?
Oh 100% do it. It will be the hardest year of your life, and you will struggle …hard. But you will grow more as a person than you ever thought possible. And added bonus you will become more sure of just exactly who ‘you’ are. Not it is not easy, but do it any way. Oh and you get to try cookies from other parts of the world. Treats make it all better.
3. Has your new YouTube series ‘What the f*ck am I doing with my life?’ made you famous yet? I wish! Actually scratch that no I don’t. As with most things I do it is just a little bit of randomness to make me smile, and hopefully make other people smile too. And there it makes gin tax deductible which I consider my greatest achievement in life.
4. What do you think is the best way to introduce more discipline into one’s life?
Figure out what is important. If you find you are not sticking to something it really can’t be that important to you right now. So either stop being so hard on yourself, or find a way to make it more important.
Drinking Coffee

A Simple Gin Cocktail

You’ve probably seen Rock Rose Gin doing the rounds in blog land recently, I know I have! I love gin and was very grateful to receive a bottle of this Scotland made elixir. Rock Rose Gin is distilled by Martin and Clare up in Scotland using natural botanicals such as juniper berries, rhodolia rosea, sea buckthorn and rowan berries. It smells (and tastes) so fragrant!

I love that this small business has such a lovely story behind it, and I also love the aesthetic of the branding.

I wanted to try this gin in style rather than a regular gin and tonic, so I googled simple gin cocktails and found a corker. It’s SO simple.

For one glass you need:
~ The juice of one lemon
~ About 5ml of cold water
~ A couple of tablespoons of runny honey
~ A 50ml (double shot) serving of gin

Mix the honey and water together first, then mix with the other ingredients. You’re supposed to shake all of the above in a cocktail shaker with ice, but I didn’t have a cocktail shaker, so I stirred it vigorously and chilled my cocktail glass in the freezer for five minutes. Works just as well!

This was the end result:

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So delicious, highly recommend! Perfect for this warmer weather too. I’m making more of these tonight for my house mate and I!