Feminist Book Club - All you need for a Fab Feminism Introduction!

Feminism – a positive and peaceful revolution that aims at liberating all humans from oppression, at obtaining equal rights between men and women – is a cultural, social, economical and political posture; it should not be taken for granted and must constantly be applied and fought for. I hope those books will offer a fantastic introduction or greater precisions on the field of feminism and that they will motivate and inspire you to fight for a more equal and just world. #iamafeminist, what about you ?

So grab a nice cup of tea, your favourite home clothes, your pet and maybe something to munch on while you eat those books away! Go to your fav book store to get as many as you can cause we’re never culturally woken up enough 😉

PS: My best recommandation to get the best intro are in bold in the article! Have a lovely read darlings.

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what a feminist is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat." (Rebecca West)

- EASY TO READ -

Reclaiming Our Space – by Feminista Jones (EN)

We Should All Be Feminist – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (EN/FR)

Feminism simply explained, this book is based on a TEDtalk Chimamanda gave in 2012. Quick and very easy to read, I believe all human beings should lay their eyes on it. Seriously, go get it! Drawing on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often-masked realities of sexual politics, she explores what it means to be a woman now. It’s a wake up call and rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Americanah – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (EN/FR)

Moi, Tituba sorcière noire de Salem – by Maryse Condé (FR/EN)

Women & Power, A Manifesto – by Mary Beard (EN/FR)

In this brave book, she addresses the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly and way too often attack and demean women. Tracing the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial, she shows that women have been prohibited from leadership roles in civic life, public speech being defined as inherently male. Beard draws illuminating parallels between our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship to power—and how powerful women provide a necessary example for all women who must resist being vacuumed into a male template. If women aren’t perceived to be within the structure of power, isn’t it power itself we need to redefine?

Dictionnaire des féministes – by Christiane Bard (FR)

Bad Feminist – by Roxane Gay (EN/FR)

Women Who Run With The Wolves – by Clarissa Pinkola Estés (EN/FR)

A personal favourite. Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women’s vitality can be restored through what she calls “psychic archeological digs” into the ruins of the female unconscious. Using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, Dr. Estes helps women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype. In other words, she connects women back to nature, she tries to explain how essential it is for women (and men eventually) to reconnect with this powerful force and acknowledge our intimacy with nature itself. One of the most adored ecofeminist author in the world!

We Are Afghan Women, Voices of Hope – by Georges W. Bush Institute (EN)

A Room of One’s Own – by Virginia Woolf (EN/FR)

The Color Purple – by Alice Walker (EN/FR)

My Life on The Road – by Gloria Steinem (EN/FR)

Sorcières, la puissance invaincue des femmes – by Mona Chollet (FR)

Ouh, j’en suis tout excité! Ce livre est un petit bijou pour les personnes désireuses d’en apprendre plus sur les sorcières et leur univers. Quel rapport peut-il bien exister entre féministes et sorcières? À première vue, elles partagent beaucoup plus de points communs qu’il n’y paraît. Mona Chollet explore trois archétypes de femmes accusées de sorcellerie. Les femmes célibataires, sans enfants ou veuves, qui furent particulièrement incriminées et destinées au bûcher. L’auteure sonde ce qu’il reste aujourd’hui de cette figure, à la fois victime et rebelle, dans l’inconscient collectif. Elle explore de manière générale des thèmes clés comme la culture ou la création de vérité (épistémés) à des moments clés de l’histoire, la maternité, l’individualisme, la sécularisation, la nature, l’écoféminisme, le spiritualisme, etc. Tant de thèmes essentiels à cette vaste culture féministe. Enfin, il sera aussi question de la vision du monde que la traque des sorcières a servi à promouvoir, du rapport guerrier qui s’est développé alors tant à l’égard des femmes que de la nature : une double malédiction qui reste à lever.

Beauté Fatale – by Mona Chollet (EN/FR)

I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings – by Maya Angelou (EN/FR)

There is nothing more valuable than your story – this is the only thing they’ll never be able to take away from you…Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. An autobiography full of wisdom and essential life lessons.

La face cachée d’Eve: Les femmes dans le monde arabe – by Naoual El Saadaoui (FR/EN)

Tu seras une femme! – by Anne-Cécile Mailfert (FR)

The Last Girl – by Nadia Murad (EN/FR)

Myths of Gender – by Anne Fausto-Sterling (EN/FR)

Très Intime – by Solange (FR)

"I don't have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life." (Kerry Washington)

- LARGER THEORETICAL CHUNKS -

Women, Race & Class – by Angela Davis (EN/FR)

Reclaim: Recueil de Textes Écoféministes – by Émilie Hache (FR)

Le Ventre des Femmes: Capitalisme, racialisation, féminisme – by Françoise Vergès (FR/EN)

Le Mythe de la Virilité – by Olivia Gazalé (FR/FR)

Gender: In World Perspective – by R.W Connell (EN/FR)

Gender Trouble – by Judith Butler (EN/FR)

Qu’est-ce que le genre ? Dans ce livre, Judith Butler affirme que le genre n’exprime pas une essence, une disposition naturelle — le sexe —, mais qu’il est l’effet, naturalisé, stabilisé et sédimenté d’une performance. Cela veut dire qu’il n’y a pas de genre avant ou en dehors des pratiques qui le produisent, de manière soutenue et répétée. Le genre se répète, s’intègre, se performe, comme un rite ou une tradition, en-delà de l’hétérosexualité obligatoire. Cette affirmation radicale a des conséquences fondamentales sur notre manière d’envisager le sexe biologique, les identités de genre, le désir et la sexualité. La question n’est plus tant d’abolir le pouvoir, le genre, ou même le sexe, de faire table rase, comme si c’était possible, mais de les reprendre « de travers », par le détournement de sens, le foisonnement des pratiques et la subversion des identités. Dans ce livre désormais classique pour les recherches féministes, les études genre, les études gaies et lesbiennes, et fondateur de la théorie queer, Butler cherche à identifier les tactiques, locales, pour subvertir l’hétérosexualité obligatoire en exploitant les failles de ce régime politique.

Undoing Gender – by Judith Butler (EN/FR)

Caliban & the Witch – by Silvia Federici (EN/FR)

The Traffic in Women – by Gayle Rubin (EN/FR)

Gayle Rubin presents and explains the concept of the “sex/gender system,” which she defines as “the set of arrangements by which a society transforms biological sexuality into products of human activity, and in which these transformed sexual needs are satisfied” (28). To explicate on this idea, Rubin infuses concepts within the theories of Marxism, anthropology, and psychoanalysis. Within the essay, Rubin provides layer after layer of analysis, her end goal being to explain what the sex/gender system is, to locate the genesis of the oppression towards women, and to provide what would constitute a true feminist revolution. In a nutshell, it’s a tough read but is essential for those who’d like to understand more about the production of inequality, the economy of gender oppression and inequality, the fabrication of sex/gender categories, etc.

Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader – by Gayle Rubin (EN/FR)

Le Deuxième Sexe I et II – by Simone de Beauvoir (FR/EN)

Le Deuxième Sexe porte sur les différentes raisons de l’infériorité de la femme dans la société et dans presque tous les domaines hors de la maison. Cette œuvre affirme que ce sont les hommes qui gèrent le monde et que la femme a la tentation de se consacrer entièrement à son mariage et à ses enfants, au risque de limiter sa liberté. Cette situation vient simplement du fait qu’elle ne se sent pas capable ou bien qu’elle ne désire pas rester célibataire pour des raisons économiques et/ou sociales. La société, les parents, la religion, tout réaffirme aux femmes qu’elles sont inférieures aux mâles et qu’elles devront avoir un mari. Le développement des filles par rapport aux garçons et au monde qui les entoure leur démontre à elles et à la société que la femme n’a pas les mêmes capacités que l’homme. Beauvoir parle de toutes les circonstances qui amènent les gens à croire à l’infériorité des femmes et des effets que cela a sur le choix des femmes de se marier et d’abandonner leur propre carrière. Une brève introduction pour un texte qui est presque considéré comme fondateur des pensées actuelles – un bijou essentiel à votre bibliothèque et votre conscience…!

Tapestries of Life – Bettina Aptheker (EN)

Mémoire d’une jeune fille rangée – by Simone de Beauvoir (FR/EN)

King King Theory – by Virginie Despentes (EN/FR)

The Feminine Mystique – by Betty Friedan (EN/FR)

Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire.

Sister Outsider  – by Audre Lorde (EN/FR)

The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House – by Audre Lorde (EN/FR)

The Bridge Called My Back – by Rosario Morales (EN/FR)

This book is a testimony to women of color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, “the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.” But those poems and writings do more than simply revisiting the hopes, fears or accomplishments of women of colour; they shed light on problems all women, no matter their intersection, face today… By taking into consideration the existence and individualities of a plurality of women (aka. intersectionality), this book reveals itself to be a must, a treasure of culture and an mind-blowing eye opener.

Femme, Réveille-toi – by Olympe de Gouges (FR/EN)

Masculin/Féminin I et II, la pensée de la différence – by Francoise Héritier (FR/EN)

L’Ennemi Principal: Économie politique du patriarcat – by Christine Delphy (FR/EN)

- WITH ILLUSTRATIONS -

Beyoncé est-elle féministe ? – by Margaux Collet & Raphaëlle Rémy – Leleu (FR)

Pourquoi y a-t-il des femmes nues partout ? Que faire si j’ai été harcelé.e en ligne ? Où sont les femmes dans les livres d’histoire ? C’est quoi des trucs de meufs, c’est quoi des trucs de mecs ? Amour, désir, sexe, tout pareil ? Pourquoi n’y a-t-il jamais eu de femme présidente de la République en France ? L’association osez le Féminisme ! répond dans ce livre engagé et sans tabou à 10 questions autour de l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes pour lutter contre le sexisme, permettre à chacun.e de se réaliser sans injonction, et encourager la réussite des filles et des femmes. Et montre qu’il est possible de construire un monde juste et libre pour toutes et tous.

Modern Herstory – by Blair Imani (EN)

Comme un Million de Papillons Noirs – by Laura Nsafou & Barbara Brun (FR)

À cause des moqueries, Adé est une petite fille qui n’aime pas ses cheveux. Accompagnée par sa mère et ses tantes, elle va découvrir en douceur la beauté de ces papillons endormis sur sa tête, jusqu’à leur envol final.

Julián is a Mermaid – by Jessica Love (EN)

And Tango Makes Three – by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (EN)


Spring Cooking Class - 2019 Edition

Nous voici donc en 2019, et qui dit nouvelle année dit nouveaux ateliers de CUISINE! Les deux premières éditions seront focalisées sur les produits de saison, avec un menu plein de saveurs et de couleurs printanières!

La première édition aura lieu le 31 Mars à 17h30, aux Papilles à La Fête, Nyon

Au menu vous aurez:

  • Houmous et Dip aux Petits Pois et à la menthe
  • Crackers aux graines faits maison
  • Patates douces farcies aux légumes de saison
  • Crumble revisité et petits pots de crème au chocolat

Nous mangerons tout.e.s ensemble après avoir préparé ce festin! Il ne reste que quelques places donc dépêchez-vous!

Prix de l’atelier: 85 CHF tout compris

Pour s’inscrire, écrivez un mail à l’adresse suivante avec en objet “Spring Cooking Class”: marius@glowryus.com!

En tout cas j’ai hâte de vous y retrouver et de passer ce moment avec vous! Si vous ne pouvez pas venir à cette édition, ne vous inquiétez pas, une autre arrive bientôt!

À très vite,


Autumn Equinox Retreat - Megève 2019

Je vais essayer d’être concis mais je ne peux pas réellement contenir ma joie et mon excitation… J’ai le bonheur de vous annoncer que j’organise ma TOUTE PREMIÈRE retraite de yoga, en collaboration avec Quintessence Retreats. Situé à 1h30 de Genève, dans les splendides montagnes françaises, à Megève précisément, c’est la Ferme du Passieu qui nous recevra pour cette micro retraite de quatre jours. Un menu végétarien fraîchement préparé par un chef, un lieu idyllique, trois heures de yoga par jour en plus d’activités sportives et extérieures signées Quintessence Retreats. Et pour couronner le tout, une cérémonie de pleine lune (je ne vous en dis pas plus) qui clôturera ce magnifique séjour.

Autumn Equinox Retreat

Marius Diserens x Quintessence Retreats

11 Sept. – 15 Sept. 2019
Check-in à 17h
Check-out à 11h

Thème

Alors que l’été touche doucement à sa fin, l’arrivée de l’équinoxe d’automne nous invite à retourner à notre “soi” profond, à faire “l’état des lieux” de nos rêves et intentions de l’année en cours. La nature nous pousse à récolter les graines que nous avons planté en début d’année et contempler le fruit de notre travail, ainsi que de lâcher prise sur ces choses qui ne nous servent pas, que nous tirons derrière nous.  Notre thème clé sera « observe, accept, release, transform », qui se cristallisera à travers les cours de yoga + une cérémonie de pleine lune en fin de séjour. Plus on se connecte avec les cycles de la nature, plus on se sent en connection avec soi-même, aligné.e avec son soi profond.

Lieu

La Ferme de Passieu, à Megève, dans les montagnes d’Haute-Savoie. Un petit coin de paradis où la nature verdoie et qui vous offrira non seulement une énorme bouffée d’air frais mais aussi un lieu aux énergies puissantes qui vous aidera à profiter pleinement de cette retraite. Un endroit propice au lâcher-prise et à la guérison. Une ancienne ferme totalement rénovée pour accueillir un espace commun magique, une piscine intérieure avec jacuzzi et hammam, un patio extérieur, un espace pour les cours de yoga et encore d’autres merveilles à découvrir…

« observe, accept, release, transform »

Nourriture

Cette retraite sera totalement végétarienne, sans gluten, ni lactose, ni sucre raffiné et alcool, avec des plats cuisinés par un chef spécialiste qui sera sur place aussi. En plus des trois repas inclus dans la retraite vous pourrez avoir accès à des boissons et autres petits snacks durant la journée. Je me ferais un plaisir de cuisiner aussi quelques douceurs pendant le séjour.

Journée Typique

7.30 – 9.30:           Yang Yoga Practice
9:30 – 10:00:         Petit-déjeuner
10:00 – 11:00:       Me time
11:00 – 12:00:       Activité Quintessence
12:30 – 13:00:       Lunch
13:00 – 14:30:       Me time
14:30 – 16:00:       Activité Quintessence
16:00 – 18:00:       Me time – offre de soins et massages
18:00 – 19:00:       Yin Yoga Practice
19:30 – 20:30:       Dîner

Pendant la retraite vous sera aussi proposée une cérémonie de clôture autour du thème de la pleine lune, ainsi que plusieurs choix de workshops à définir ensemble (un pendant le séjour). Je resterai à votre disposition pour des petits moments ensemble, des questions, des précisions, en one to one ou à plusieurs, ainsi que des astuces de cuisine 😉

Yang Yoga Practice = Flow, Pilates, Mandala

Yin Yoga Practice = Yin, Gentle Flow & Meditation

Prix par personne (Programme 4 nuits/ 4 jours tout inclus)

Chambre Deluxe: Dès EUR 1320.- par personne
Chambre Superior: Dès EUR 1244.- par personne
Chambre Friends ou Standard: Dès EUR 1020.- par personne

N’hésitez pas à me contacter (marius@glowryus.com) pour plus d’information sur les types de chambre. Pour le prix entier du séjour, multipliez par deux! 🙂

Ce qui est inclus

Deux pratiques de yoga par jour

Un workshop à définir ensemble

Les activités sportives Quintessence

Petit-déjeuner, Lunch et Dîner

Eau, thés-tisanes, cafés et snacks

Méditation et Atelier d’écriture

Espace spa

Soutien et conseils d’un collectif (en français et en anglais)

Cercle d’ouverture du coeur et cérémonie finale

Ce qui n’est pas inclus

Massages et soins

Transferts

Vols ou déplacements

Pour réserver

Envoyez un email à marius@glowryus.com ou contact@quintessence-retreats.com. Un acompte de 50% doit être versé pour réserver votre place. Nous vous transmettrons toutes les informations relatives au déplacement, etc. par email. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour toute question ou précision.

Hâte de vous voir très vite…

Love


Creative Living: Nadine Ammari – A Green, Organic & Sustainable Beauty Brand Creator

Business woman, fierce human being, talented creator and innovator, gifted mother, loving wife – Nadine seems to have all best hats! I am thrilled to have had the luck to interview her and represent her more than incredible natural beauty brand. From her best business tips to spiritual and beauty advice, as well as personal insights and stories, she’s revealing everything to us today! Enjoy the read…

Good Morning! First things first, what’s your name?

My Name is Nadine Ammari.

So Nadine, what do you do & where do you live?

After working as a holistic aesthetician in my green beauty concept store & spa in the very heart of Zürich for many years, in late 2016 I launched with my own luxury organic beauty line Namari Skin, right before the birth of my son. Just a few months ago my husband quit his job and we are now running the business together, sharing work and childcare equally.

Since two years we live in the countryside of Zürich, Switzerland, enjoying the green and calm environment with our two-year-old. Both my husband and I have roots in southern countries and feel most comfortable in warm climates, so at the moment we are looking for the perfect mediterranean place to settle down before our son starts school.

I was raised by a single hippie mom, part time living in communes, sharing a big farm house with like-minded people.

What were you doing before creating your own green beauty brand if I may ask?

I was originally working as a child nurse for 8 years before putting my dream (and barely escaping a burnout) of working in the green beauty industry into practice. Back then, this market was very little in Switzerland and it was a big and scaring step. But looking at my history it was no wonder I did not fit into the role of a nurse in a conventional medical surrounding so this tremendous change was exactly the right thing to do.

Why sustainable, organic and green? Or do you have better words to define the focus of Namari Skin?

I think a lot of my passion for everything that respects and honours our precious nature (that is what living sustainable and “green” is all about for me) comes from my childhood. I was raised by a single hippie mom, part time living in communes, sharing a big farm house with like-minded people. We used to make fires in the garden until late night while listening to shaman music, I was mainly dressed in second hand clothes, had my first Reiki attunement at the age of 9 and we spent most of our holidays camping in the woods. Aches and pains have been cured with herbal remedies and the only doctor I ever had was a homeopathic one. Which led to the fact that I always had a strong connection to mother earth. The trust in the healing forces of plants is something that I was literally born with. As for Namari Skin (and the rest of my business) it is not only about supporting people to go clean and healthy when it comes to skin care, it is also about sharing my connection to nature and my feelings regarding all her creations and creatures. And most important, it is about strengthening people’s own connection to themselves and their heart. Because this is where all the love, respect and gratitude come from that makes people conscious and caring for how we treat ourselves, each other and our precious planet. In shorter words: I just care about a lot more things than skin, although skin is my main obsession.

How did the idea come to you?

When working as a holistic aesthetician, I came across a lot of very beautiful designed and well performing products but there has never been the one line that suited my skin (or standards – I only work with vegan products) perfectly without any ifs and buts. We also needed to find a solution on how to combine work and parenthood in a way that allowed us to take care of our baby within the family. I eventually launched my own product line, basing on the formulations and ingredients that I was using already for myself and some clients while step by step giving up the brick and mortar business and personal services.

I used to get a lot of my inspirations – not only product wise but also in terms of visual appearance - from the health food industry and from ancient herbal remedies that I know since childhood.

I am interested to know more about your creative process? How did you start? Where did the creation happen? Where did you find your product?

I did – and always do – start by researching ingredients that address a specific skin concern/meet specific needs that I can’t cover with my already existing products. I choose ingredients that are available in the highest possible quality, that are whenever possible (which is the case for 98% of our ingredients) from organic farming or wild harvest, fair and sustainable sourced. Once I come across an ingredient that theoretically meets my expectation and my gut says yes to it (I work a lot with just listening to and trusting my gut!) I start developing a product by combining different ingredients while at the same time working on a one of a kind scent experience. Offering not only special textures but also amazing scents is part of my signature. Once I seriously start developing a product I become unstoppable. For weeks, maybe months I can’t stop thinking about (and playing with) ingredient combinations, scents, textures, colours and even names and texts. It’s like having “creative boosts” that come from somewhere I can’t really explain and it always feels like something magical and uncontrollable that just happens to me rather than “I’m doing it”.

Where does the inspiration come from?

I used to get a lot of my inspirations – not only product wise but also in terms of visual appearance – from the health food industry and from ancient herbal remedies that I know since childhood. Our packaging and some of the products are also inspired by art, like gold leaf and watercolour paintings.

Lately I also feel very inspired by Mediterranean life and everything sunny, beachy and boho/spiritual but it seemed difficult to incorporate theses aspects in our existing concept. During our last stay in Ibiza I realized that I am captured in a self-made prison of beliefs on how we have to appear as a brand to reflect our origin and the price segment in which we operate. Since Switzerland is the total contrary of these “alternative” things I was struggling a lot with how to fit it all together in one big, harmonious picture without losing the “swissness” in our story. It was a real mindf**** that was going on but I think I am finally able to let go of these narrowing beliefs.

I know being its own boss and running its own company is quite challenging, especially if you have to couple it with being a mum! How do you ground yourself or find yourself?Read more


Sweet Swiss Escape at "l’Hôtel du Léman"

***French version below***

This little journey starts in Nyon, at 3.32, when we jump on a train going straight to Vevey, through the beautiful Lavaux vineyards and more precisely up to the “Hôtel du Léman”. On board of the train, we ride along Geneva Lake (“Leman Lake” for a proper translation)’s gorgeous shores, end of summer’s sunrays reflecting on the wide windows. A fresh breeze stroking through our hair once in Vevey, announcing the autumn temperatures but also the most perfect little digression from our day-to-day lives.

Once at the hotel, it’s love at first sight; an old yet modern looking pink structure, renovated and extended to welcome a kind of typical yet charmingly original Swiss hotel, overlooking the entire lake. At the horizon, Vevey, Montreux and the very beginning of Valais, exactly where the sun will peek out from in the morning.

Room 105. We were not expecting this. A spanking new bathroom, two separate beds (you can make one out them, quite certain about this…) but most importantly, one of the sole balcony offering such a magnificent view over the lake and our gorgeous Swiss landscapes. If you’re doubting Switzerland’s beauty, look no further and book a room round here…

How about we all celebrate love no matter its nature or expression ?!

After a short walk round the gardens and the vineyards directly attached to the hotel, we’re off on the patio, where an aperitif is served to us, along with the visit of a ginger cat that couldn’t make this evening better (except he was meowing as if he had just seen death or something). A delicious dinner follows – with local and seasonal products only, a pleasure for my eyes and tastebuds. Vegan options were lacking but they were very kind and transparent with all the ingredients used. Laughs, good wine and delicate time spent with a dear friend – this has no price.

We would have loved to celebrate what looked like a wedding with the people downstairs but preferred make our way up to the bedroom for an early, just so that we could wake up and admire the sunrise. To my surprise, I later noticed it was two men celebrating their wedding, which tells a lot about the establishment’s open-mindedness. How about we all celebrate love no matter its nature or expression ?!

Yellow, orange and blue lights spreading their beautiful shades all over the sky just before our eyes.

We woke up at dawn, took our fluffy blankets and sat on the balcony just to admire the most gorgeous sunrise – yellow, orange and blue lights spreading their beautiful shades all over the sky just before our eyes. We would have loved to spend some more time in the region and take the opportunity to ride the bikes they lend at the hotel but didn’t have time to do so.

Anyways, here are the biggest hits of this little end-of-summer getaway: (1) A magical place overlooking the entire lake, perfect for weekends with friends or your loved one 😉 (2) Included free tickets for transportation as well as major price reductions for the museums in the Lausanne and Vevey regions + you can rent bikes! (3) An open-mindedness and kindness that you unfortunately do not see everywhere, two things quite essential to me. (4) An attention to details + seasonal and local food. Options were sometimes lacking, especially for breakfast, but at least we know it’s fresh and of a high quality. (5) A gym + a sauna that you can use whenever… (6) A quiet place where you can easily stop just for dinner or for a drink, no need to stay overnight or for the weekend!

Be my guest and go visit their website, it’s got all the information you’ll need, whether this is for you or when you have some friends visiting. A spot I’d recommend, so would my friend!

***Une Escapade À l’Hôtel du Léman – Vevey***

Nous embarquons à 15h32 à bord du train partant de Nyon, pour une petite virée suisse à l’Hôtel du Léman, perdu dans les vignobles du Lavaux. À bord du train, nous longeons les abords du lac Léman, un soleil de fin d’été s’y reflète et fait miroiter les montagnes françaises à sa surface. Une brise fraîche se glisse déjà dans nos cheveux une fois arrivés à Vevey, annonçant avec elle l’automne mais aussi le début d’une petite parenthèse magique, juste le temps d’une journée.

Une fois arrivés à l’hôtel, nous sommes rapidement charmés par les lieux : une ancienne bâtisse rose, rénovée pour accueillir un hôtel d’une grande qualité, comme surplombant le lac lui-même ; à l’horizon, les villes de Vevey, Montreux mais aussi le début du Valais, derrière lequel le soleil se réveillera d’ailleurs le lendemain matin.

La chambre 105. Et bien autant vous dire tout de suite que nous ne nous attendions pas à cela. Une salle de bain flambant neuve, deux lits séparés (que l’on peut facilement coller j’en suis certain…) mais surtout le balcon, qui offre une vue imprenable sur le lac et l’horizon décrit ci-dessus – un rêve qui nous fait vite retomber amoureux de la Suisse et de ses paysages si l’on doutait de leur beauté encore.

Des rires, un bon vin et surtout du temps partagé avec une amie très chère – ça n’a pas de prix.

Après une petite promenade dans les jardins et une petite descente dans les vignes en contre-bas, nous nous dirigeons sur la terrasse, où l’on nous sert un apéritif puis sommes comblés de la visite d’un mignon voisin : un chat roux miaulant à la mort de peur que l’on oublie sa part – un petit amour. S’en suit le repas – une succession de trois plats faits à partir de produits locaux et de saison, un plaisir pour les yeux et les papilles. Malgré le manque d’options végétaliennes, j’ai été ravi par leur volonté à nous renseigner sur les ingrédients et la provenance de ces derniers. Des rires, un bon vin et surtout du temps partagé avec une amie très chère – ça n’a pas de prix.

J’avoue que nous serions bien allé danser avec le couple qui célébrait son mariage dans la salle des fêtes, mais nous avons préféré faire les paresseux et nous diriger directement dans notre chambre (soyons clair, ils ne nous auraient pas laissés !). J’ai été doublement surpris par le fait que c’était un couple d’hommes qui célébrait ce soir là leur union – ce qui me renseigne bien sur l’ouverture d’esprit de l’établissement mais aussi sur les possibilités d’un futur plus acceptant dans notre société (?).

Bref, au lever du jour, nous avons embarqué nos couettes et avons profité des lumières jaune, orange et bleue du soleil levant sur la grande terrasse, avant de prendre le petit-déjeuner. Nous aurions bien voulu prendre le temps de visiter le Lavaux avec les vélos mis à disposition mais il était déjà le temps pour nous de quitter ce petit coin de paradis.

Enfin, voilà les points forts que je tire de cette escapade et de cet établissement : (1) Un lieu magique perché au-dessus du lac parfait pour les weekends en amoureux-ses ou entre ami-e-s. (2) Ils offrent des tickets gratuits pour les transports mais aussi d’énormes réductions sur les musées de la région de Lausanne – Vevey ainsi que la possibilités de louer des vélos ! (3) Une ouverture d’esprit et une grande gentillesse qui est très importante pour moi lorsque je visite de nouveaux endroits. (4) Une attention aux détails, à la nourriture de saison et locale ; même si les options manquaient un petit peu – surtout au petit déjeuner – et bien l’on sait que c’est une marque de fraîcheur et de qualité. (5) Une salle de fitness ainsi qu’un sauna pour les personnes désireuses d’une parenthèse transpirante… (6) Un endroit calme où l’on peut aussi simplement s’arrêter dîner ou boire un verre, nul besoin d’y passer la nuit ou le weekend (ou juste pour caresser le petit chat parce que on se l’avoue il est vraiment mignon !).

N’hésitez pas à aller voir leur site pour plus d’informations, que ce soit pour vous ou des amis qui visiteraient la région, que vous veniez de suisse, de la région, ou non ! Un endroit que je recommande vivement…et mon amie aussi.


Namari Skin - Fall in love with this organic, Swiss made & cosmic Natural Beauty Brand

My skin has always been a sensitive subject, for I’ve suffered from mild to severe acne and always had some redness due to the weather, temperatures and quality of the air I was living in. Those that learnt how not to regard nor give importance to their daily imperfections, spots and reddish skin will understand – it is tough sometimes. Especially in a society that wants us to embody some kind of epitomised figure of perfection, that’s almost giving more legitimacy to the flawless ones, infusing our daily interactions with expectations. With a beautician mother, I swear we’ve tried almost everything and as frustrating as it can be, I guess time is our best friend and “waiting” is a required part of the process. But it does not mean we are left powerless…cause I’ve never felt more empowered than when using Namari Skin’s products!

Thanks to my friends at @ecolabo (check out their Instagram and website – a treasure when it comes to sustainable and eco-friendly living) I’ve discovered the following brand: Namari Skin. It is not your simple organic, sustainable, Swiss made and natural beauty brand – it offers a genuine cosmic experience with scents and perfumes you’d want to bathe in, proposing morning and evening rituals while pushing you to create your own and bringing healthy and sustainable beauty to a brand new level. This olfactory experience is brought to its ultimate best by the minimalist and elegant black packaging, marked with her emblematic feather, that I absolutely love.

Those products have been life changers when it came to the quality and look of my skin. I feel like I can finally – slowly but finally – fight those acne bacterias I still have within my skin cells with quality products whose scents are just out of this world. I’ve never ever felt that for other products before and am so glad to have them on my bathroom shelves. And so many of my students got seduced too…

Skin care which is not just about correcting flaws without regard for losses, but is part of the greater good.

Nadine Ammari, the founder, creator and fabulously talented soul behind Namari Skin, says it herself: “Skin care which is not just about correcting flaws without regard for losses, but is part of the greater good. Skin care that takes place in the constructive exchange with human, animal and nature and which interacts with body and spirit” (taken from namariskin.com). Her brand celebrates your skin in its purest form, making self-care a sensual and loving holistic experience.

Those traits highlighted here are just manifestations of resistance in our lives – ways to protect ourselves from life instead of trusting the Universe, its love and protection.

They not only offer an online shop but also skin consultations, a real SPA experience in Zürich as well as a cosmetic and overall wellness shop Qosms of Namari (qosms.com). Here’s a quick overview of the products I am using daily and why I absolutely love them (+ some of the ingredients for you to see how natural they are!).

Scents that will bring you on a sensory journey across a million valleys, mountains and oceans.

- SORBET -

Nadine says it’s a “poem in a jar”, well no doubt that if it could talk, it would most certainly refers to itself as the QUEEN! This delicately smooth pale pink butter melts into your palm to protect, sooth and nourish your skin in depths while providing an exotic aromatic experience. Want a glowing and healthy complexion?! Look no further! I am using it daily and my skin’s never liked anything more before.

- TAU -

This is my personal favourite and the one that pushed me into Namari Skin’s universe. “Like a meadow dew on a dawning day, its concentrated plant extracts and aromatic herbal oils infuse the cells with protecting antioxidants and create the experience of a blossoming spring garden”. I don’t think I need to add anything else to this, except that I am using day and night, every day, to seal in hydration, fix make-up or a refreshing pick me up!

- ELIXIER -

A liquid gold serum whose smell will bring you on a sensory journey across a million valleys, mountains and oceans, containing ingredients like turmeric vanilla up to prickly pear seed oil. “A beauty gem for a radiant and silky smooth complexion” and the most perfect oil to sooth a skin in winter, bring it warmth and provide it with vital nutrients. I always massage my students’ faces with it at the end of our classes and they all ADORE it.

- STAUB -

A magical power as they say, which is a mix of Moroccan Rhassoul clay, ground hibiscus blossoms, genuine silver and micro-algae. It boosts circulation and eliminate impurities only to rejuvenate our skin. A gentle resurfacing and detoxification of the skin that takes a vital place in my Sunday Skincare Ritual (based on what’s recommended on Namari’s website).

- JUWEL -

Her last creation, an essence of perfume that literally is a cosmic experience on its own. A fresh crystal roll infusing my skin with aromatic beauty every night is the most perfect start of a night full of mystical dreams. AND IT STAYS ON YOUR SKIN FOREVER! In love with it, I highly recommend it for all you delicate souls out there…

Christmas Special: As Namari Brand Ambassador, I am super proud to announce they are gifting a 10 ml discovery & travel size of ELIXIER with every order from CHF 150 – simply add “GLOWRYUS” to the comments at the checkout*​

*Valid until Dec. 24th, 2018 as long as our stock lasts. Exclusively available via namariskin.com.


What’s the Universe and what’s the secret to attracting everything you want!

I am almost sure this is not the first time you are reading the word “Universe” on the Internet. I am not going to explain why this concept has taken us all by storm or how life changing believing in its power would be for you. No. What I want to do with you today is try to explain what it is and how to understand it in a capitalist society that is always asking more of yourself. Efficiency. Tirelessness. Strength. And so on…

Put simply, the Universe is the energy of love, an energy that is within us and round us, an energy that connects us all together and empower us. It is a magnitude, a presence, that we feel within ourselves and that helps us in the achievement of our purpose. You do realise you have a mission on this Earth? Well the Universe it the energy that helps you carry on this mission, this purpose, with love and compassion.

You might have experience synchronicity at some point in your life, right? Not a mere coincidence, no. Not if it comes round when you actually think about, or if it shows up repeatedly in your life. There is a meaning in those “events”. A Course in Miracles says “You need not do anything. You don’t need to work miracles or make anything happen. You merely align with your true love nature and allow your eyes to see what you desire.” There you have it – miracles are a habit, and the habit of simply being in presence of love and joy, releasing the pressure and surrender is what aligns us with the Universe. It is the Universe.

The Universe is the energy of love, an energy that is within us and round us, an energy that connects us all together.

Attract everything that you wants...

There are multiple ways we try to control our lives and when we are what we sometimes call “control freaks”, well, we are usually the ones that deny it the most.

Consider those bullet points. If you could tick most of them, you might want to read what’s next…

1. Planning everything thoroughly, not letting space for the unexpected
2. Trying to fix things and people, instead of embracing who/how they are
3. Controlling to such extents that you’re starting to develop addictive patterns – food, alcohol, work, self-destructive actions just to name a few – to avoid the main situation
4. Chronic stress, denying ourselves from joy, seclusion, physical conditions, etc.
5. Praying for outcomes when you should be praying for the highest good for all
6. Being so committed to a goal that you’re ready to destroy your way there in order to achieve it

Those traits highlighted here are just manifestations of resistance in our lives – ways to protect ourselves from life instead of trusting the Universe, its love and protection.

There is something we hardly touch on
in daily conversations and introspections. Resistance.

The fact we all resist happiness, freedom, love and support from the Universe.

This resistance explains why we are stuck in patterns that do not bring us joy and evolution; it keeps us from thriving.

The secret is simple: the absence of resistance will turn you into an attractor of what’s great. Your energy will become an attractor for greatness, cause it sends a signal out into the Universe that you’re ready to manifest this love and positive energy. Your energy is aligning with the energies of joy and love, giving away a message of readiness.

Accept this state of being, whatever that may be. Embrace the difficulties, the challenges, the barriers, but do not let yourself get overwhelmed by them. Once that’s done, you’ll see that old wounds and issues will start to disappear, problems and obstacles vanishing from your great path.

Why? Because resistance comes from judgements and expectations we have about ourselves. Through acceptance and the realisation that we are greater than what holds us back, we heal judgment and let go of resistance. You’re just accepting who you are – you are showing love to yourself, which is the greatest present you can make to yourself. Life becomes fun, it flows. The vibration of love is so strong that it can change how you view the world, your life and others, just as well as your entire living experience.

Why do we resist love ?

Marianne Williamson wrote in A Return To Love “It is our light, not our darkness, that most frighten us”. And this has never been more true that today.

We resist love cause we have an ego, which is the complete opposite – it is fear, judgment, separation and anxiety. We are socially and culturally educated to rely on this ego as a source of safety and protection against a world of disappointment, suffering; we are afraid to hurt.

We are afraid to express our light because we live in a society where it is considered “better” and “safer” to keep our true self within, to lock our emotions in, to internalise. Well, the good thing is that this is changing. And you want to be part of the change. How could I protect myself if I rely on love, on the Universe, on something out there than I cannot grasp?

What we resist will persist darlings – you do have a choice to release resistance, cause releasing requires healing, learning and transforming; you have to be willing to look at your patterns without judgment, surrender to the love of the Universe.

Are you ready? Let’s release resistance together through those easy steps.

Accept and Acknowledge your resistance

We have to recognise our resistance, acknowledge it, because we cannot possible release something we do not consider present and active. There’s a duplicity in our brains – between peace that wants you to release and ego that pushes you into judgment and control. If we accept we are addicted to fear, it will release us from the detours it urges us to take on our spiritual path. We can start forgiving ourselves from holding on to old patterns. It’s a continuous job, and you’ll just need to show love, kindness and acceptance to yourself quickly and repeatedly.

Surrender to spiritual guidance

We are programmed, from childhood on, to believe in the fear of the world, to act on a survival base – this way, we block harm but also resist love by trying to control our lives as much as we can. All this trying to make something happen, all this control and manipulation is actually creating resistance from your intuitive voice, your connection to this power far greater than yourself. It is in the absence of that resistance that we remember the truth of who we are, that we realign and that we reconnect to the Universe, the energy of love.

A simple mantra you could repeat yourself to help in your surrender process:

I surrender my plans and goals to the Universe. I know that the Universe has my back, I accept spiritual guidance, I know that there is a plan far greater than mince. I step back and let the energy of love to flow in.

Let go of judgment

This is our strongest weapon. We believe it helps us protect our vulnerability and the essence of our existence. We fear that if we let our guard down, we’ll be under attack from all fronts; we fear that if we start loving and act upon it, we’ll be taken advantage of. But this judgment, of yourself and of others, actually separates you even more from the energy of love.

Love can actually look much more terrifying to us that fear. Cause we believe love opens the gate to suffering, emotions, unfulfilled expectations, etc. We feel like love is uncertain, that love is susceptible to more pain. But this is wrong. Act with love and it will resonate round you. Love is the antidote to judgment and to fear.

Choose joy and love instead of fear

This is simple. The more joyous we are the more light we shine upon this world and the people round us. You’ll see that as soon as you resonate with love and acceptance, people will not doubt your power anymore, they’ll feel good round you, empowered to shine their own positive energy through.

Joy is such a high frequency that it gives us and the people round us the energy to show up for our dreams, to serve our purpose with grace and love. Joy is a creative energy, joy is inspirational, joy is a release system. Welcome worthiness, acceptance and know that you are entitled to feeling good too. Pain, struggle, sweat are not requirements when it comes to success or a meaningful life.


Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

An early-autumn evening, round the equinox. Nights are getting longer, colder, and we’re all gathered round that large wooden table, tastebuds quivering, waiting for dinner to be served. The yoga retreat vibes were high, sharing laughs, heart-warming chats, positivity and love round. In a slow and delicate dance, our hosts started to place large plates under our nose – filled with an orange liquid, crowned with a dash of olive oil and radish sprouts, a mouth-watering, oriental and spicy smell coming out of them. Eager to taste it, we digged our spoons like one man – and there, replacing the joyous noise, a complete silence settled. The sound of happiness and contentment. The squash’s sweetness coupled with some delicious lemongrass, spicy ginger and creamy coconut milk – a game-changing soup. I had to ask for more. And I had to recreate it at home. So here you are. Enjoy!

Eager to taste it, we digged our spoons
like one man – and there,
replacing the joyous noise,
a complete silence settled.

Retreat Inspiration - Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Portions: 4 people.
Preparation time: 25 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients

For one portion of curry paste:

2 stalks of lemongrass, coarsely sliced
1 small red chilli
2 shallots, coarsely sliced
2 tbsp of fresh grated ginger
2 coves of garlic
4 Kaffir lime leaves
Some water

For the soup:

1 portion of curry paste (see above)
2 onions, finely sliced
1 butternut squash (approximately 800 grams), peeled and cut in cubes
350ml of coconut milk
500ml of water
Salt and pepper

Method

(1) Make the curry paste. Prepare all the ingredients like indicated above, add them all to a blender/mixer, with a little water (adjust while making the paste, start with one or two table spoons only) and mix until obtaining that paste consistency.

(2) Prepare the butternut as well as the onions. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan and caramelise the onions, for about 5 minutes. Once ready, add the entire curry paste. Cook for about 3 minutes.

(3) Add the butternut and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the water as well as the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then cover, leaving a little space with the lid to let the steam come out (and thus avoid soup’s spillovers).

(4) Cook on medium heat (and gentle boiling) for about 30 minutes or until the butternut’s soft.

(5) Once cooked, mix with a hand-blender (or a blender, being careful to open the lid slightly to enable the steam to get out). Eat warm, with some more coconut milk, olive oil and some seeds or nuts parachuted on top. Enjoy!


"Muhammara" - A Delicious Red Pepper Dip

Before even being familiar with the concept of “netflix and chill”, I was casually spending my Saturday at home, with my cats, some brownies and a Sex And the City movie – nothing very original round here (apart that this is the gayest set ever). This is when I actually discovered about Muhammara – this traditional Middle Eastern red dip recipe that yet needs to invade our Western World. If it was attracting love and romance for Carrie, I had to try it out. I guess it ultimately does not, but that is not a big deal (trying to be funny here!). Anyways, as a hummus fan, I usually am complicated to content when it comes to dips and spread – this was until I met with this red shaded heavenly food. It is crunchy and sweet, yet owning a profound and earthy flavour.

If it was attracting love and romance
for Carrie, I had to try it out.

It is easily spreadable and is great as a side, as a dip or in sandwiches. I usually love using those specific nuts for their good monounsaturated fats and their magnesium, iron, vitamin E and antioxidant contents, which keep me awake and my brain steady and healthy (young adults should consume walnuts just because they are thought to increase inferential reasoning). There is no paprika in the traditional recipe but if you are down for a little spicy quick, you should totally add some. Hope you will enjoy those Middle Eastern Summery vibes and that you will make your belly (or your guests) very happy about this recipe!

Middle East Red Pepper Dip

Portions: One big bowl (for about 4 servings)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (220°C)

Ingredients

4 red peppers, cored and sliced vertically in the middle
35g of rye or grain bread, soaked and drained
100g of walnuts
25g of pine nuts
3 tbsp of olive oil
½ lemon, juice only
1 – 2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of chilli pepper
Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Method

(1) Preheat your oven to 220°C. Place the red peppers halves on a tray covered with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the middle of the oven. Bake until the skin starts bubbling and darkens (it must be golden-brown, almost dark).

(2) Place the baked peppers in an airtight container and let sit for about 25 minutes. Take out and peel the skin from the peppers, it should come easily. A little skin will not kill your Muhammara if it gets too hard.

(3) Place all the ingredients – soaked bread, walnuts, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, chilli pepper, salt and pepper – along with the baked peppers in a food processor. Mix until smooth and creamy.

(4) Place in a bowl, cover with more pine nuts, fresh dill, parsley or basil, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Dig in with vegetables dips, crackers or put it on anything you fancy.


Reinvented Glorious Granola

This is the very first recipe I created, three years ago, when I was just discovering all the beauties of plantbased nutrition. And it is one of my most liked and famous recipe. Therefore, I wanted to go back to it and bring it a few healthier twists to make it even better! With that mix of nuts bringing healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, all of them being essential for a healthy body and brain, that great amount of fibres brought by the oats and all the healthy sugars in it, you’ll have enough power to kick some asses all day long (well no…just throughout the morning!).

It is one of my most liked and famous recipe.

Why using coconut oil? And what is it? Coconut oil is extracted from the coconut’s dried albumen. It contains saturated fats mostly, a few vitamins and minerals. Even though dieticians have been considering it evil, it’s now taking more and more space on the supermarket stalls. The fats it contains actually are middle chained triglycerides, which are directly metabolised and used as fuel by the body, whereas animal fats are not. They are not stocked in the body, which makes them “good fats”.

It is the most delicious thing on earth,
You might touch the bottom quite quickly!

Anyway, back to our breakfast. It is true that it’s taking some time to prepare, at least more than simply buying it. But I can assure you it is the most delicious thing on earth – the proof is if I make the mistake of leaving the jar wide open next to me…I might touch the bottom quite quickly! But if you keep it organised, you’ll just have to take 15 minutes of your Sundays and will guarantee your breakfast for a week, starting each day starry-eyed!

Reinvented Glorious Granola

Portions: One large jar (round 8 – 9 portions).
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Ingredients

150g of oats
150g of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.), crushed
40g of ground almonds
25g of pumpkin seeds
25g of sunflower seeds
1 – 2 tbsp of chia seeds
2 tsp of cinnamon (+ a sprinkle of ground cloves)
½ tsp of sea salt
40g of coconut oil, melted
70g of honey, slightly melted
1 heaped tbsp of nut butter
100 – 125g of dried fruits (cranberries, gogi berries, dates, etc.), sliced (optional)
A few pinch of dried flowers (optional)

Method

(1) Start by preheating your oven to 170°C and cover a tray with parchment paper.

(2) Crush all the nuts, and in large mixing bowl, mix them with the oats, ground almonds, seeds, cinnamon and salt. Stir and set aside.

(3) In a bain-marie, melt the coconut oil and honey, until the honey’s still gooey and not too runny.

(4) Pour that sumptuous liquid over your dry ingredients, making sure that everything’s nice and coated.

(5) Spread evenly on the baking tray covered with parchment paper and place in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Take it out, stir it all and spread evenly once more. Place it back in the oven for 3 more minutes, until golden-brown.

(6) Let it cool down before breaking it in small pieces, adding the dried fruits and transferring into a jar. It makes approximately 700g, which is about 8 to 9 portions. Enjoy!

Suggestions

Here are a few flavour pairing you can try if you’d like:

1. Hazelnuts, pecans, dark chocolate (added at the end), cinnamon, gogi berries!
2. Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, dried apricots, dried banana chips!
3. Christmas Version: Gingerbread spices + Orange zest (1/2 tbsp)!
4. Exotic Versison: Ground ginger + Dried pieces of ginger!