RECIPE // Making makis.

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I’ve been in love with makis and sushis ever since I first ate them, someday, a long time ago. I’ve eaten it in many places and different occasions and quality varied. I definitely did not love the sugary glue-full ones that you can find in supermarkets and even some Asian restaurants. I did love the ones I ate in China though, except for the one sushi that had a whole load of wasabi hidden under the salmon. I loved the ones I ate in Turkey too. However, it’s the Makisu, I told you about it in this article that made me go crazy for the Asian dish.

I learned to make makis at the “salon de l’alimentation” in Brussels, in 2014. Me and my boyfriend were in there, hoping for free food but such a thing was unfindable. We came across the maki stand where one could pay 5€ to learn the making of makis and then get to eat its creation. I was seduced. And so I learned.

You will need.

To make makis, you need a rolling mat, round or sushi rice, rice vinegar, nori sheets and things to put inside. Where to find the first four in Brussels? At the Asian supermarket in the city. It’s located Rue de la Vierge Noire 2, 1000 Ville de Bruxelles.

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Preparing.

You must start by cooking the rice. Instructions are on the package but if you buy this one (which is pretty good quality and price), you’ll need to add a glass and a half of salted water to every glass of rice you use. 500g are pretty much good for 10 sheets of nori, aka 80 makis. Make it all boil and when it does, stop the fire, cover up and let in rest until all the water is absorbed. This lasts approximately 15 minutes. When it’s done, take the cover away and let it rest 10 minutes. Then, proceed to add rice vinegar and salt. Not too much but still enough. Taste it and if it tastes too much vinegar, add a lot of salt and mix.

While the rice is cooking, you need to prepare everything else. I personally like salmon (raw), chicken, omelet, shrimps, avocados, Philadelphia, carrots, cucumber, peppers. You need to cook the omelet and the chicken, and cut everything into slices.

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When everything is ready, set yourself. Unroll your rolling mat with the white lines vertical in front of you. Place a sheet of nori on it. The lines you see on your nori sheet should be horizontal. Place a bowl with water in front of you. Wet your fingers so the rice does not stick and take a load of rice with them. Place it on the sheet and blend it over. The sheet should be covered with rice until the fourth line. Pay attention to the sides that needn’t be forgotten.

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When this is done, just place the things you want in your maki in the center of the rice rectangle, forming a line across it. If you want, you can first “draw” a line with Philadelphia, aioli or any other sauce you’d like to use. I’ve seen people use a mix of mayonnaise and wasabi. The more ingredients you add, the more difficult it will get to close your maki and make it look graceful.

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When you wish to close it, grab the end of your maki and the rolling mat at the same time. Hold the food inside with a finger, especially if you put a lot of it, so that it doesn’t fall off. You will bring this end to the line were your rice ends. Keep it closed with one hand and pull on the end of the rolling mat with your other hand. Do this at different points so that the maki is really tightly closed. Bring back your maki and the beginning of your rolling mat and roll once again. Then pull. Your maki will be tightly closed.

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Once this is done, it’s time to cut (unless you like to eat it like a burrito). Take a good knife to do it. You will first cut it in half, in the middle. Then cut each half in halves. And then once again. That way, you make sure the maki pieces are even. You can eat your makis right away or put them in the fridge.

I hope my explanation was clear enough. The pictures are here anyway if you have any trouble with my words. If you love makis, you really should embark into this adventure of making them. The process obviously takes some time but it can be quite fun, just do it in front of a film if you’re afraid you’ll be bored. If you try to make your own makis, tell me how it went!

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RECIPE // Garlic “stuffed” tomatoes.

garlic tomatoes

You know how much I like garlic and vegetables. If you don’t love those, you’re going to get so bored with me today. My third recipe is yet another garlicful vegetable one (okay, that’s a fruit but still). I have been meaning to post it on the blog for a few months but the problem was that I always forgot to take the result picture which is kind of inconvenient when trying to make people feel hungry about your plate. Well, I finally came to my senses and took the picture. My brother’s friend really looked at me strangely, like I was a crazy person taking photographs of the meal.

Anyway, may I present to you the garlic “stuffed” tomatoes. I keep calling them this name even though I do not really stuff them. I cook them with their inside flesh and just add everything on top.

What you will need.

An oven plate, preferably a glass one. Olive oil. Garlic powder. Breadcrumbs. Tomatoes.

I usually use up to seven or eight tomatoes when cooking for four people. However, don’t forget that I do not cook carbohydrates with it. Those are usually alone besides the main dish which is generally meat or fish.

What you will do with all of these.

First, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then pour some olive oil inside your plate. You don’t need to pour a lot because you can spread it with a cooking brush. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. It’s best to cut one tomato at a time and place it in the plate. That way you can make sure they all fit in. Before you place it in the plate, put some olive oil on it with the brush. Of course, place them with the cut part on top.

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After they are all placed, take a tea spoon and your garlic powder. Pour half a teaspoon of this on each half tomato. When this is done, pour a whole teaspoon of breadcrumbs on them, thus covering the garlic. Lastly, pour very quickly olive oil on the tomatoes but it does not have to wet all the breadcrumbs.

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When this is done, you can put your preparation in the oven for 40 minutes. I tried using real garlic pieces once but they kind of roasted which did not taste great.

This meal is great to serve which grilled chicken, salmon or another fish for example. I love this recipe because it’s pretty easy to accomplish and doesn’t need much ingredients. The cooking is quite long though but it gives you more time to prepare the meat or fish, without worrying about anything else.

I hope you’ll love it as much as I do. Tell me how you liked it when you try it. May we meet again for another post. ■

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RECIPE // nappa cabbage and duck breast marinated in herbes de Provences.

dusk breast and nappa cabbage

No outfit this week, only a small, simple and healthy recipe that has nappa cabbage (or pe-tsaï) as main ingredient. I’ll also explain to you how to give a pleasant twist to a fillet of duck breast.

To begin, what is a nappa cabbage?

It’s a cabbage variety (riiiight?) made green leave and white stems whose texture looks like onion’s one. Not only is it very good but it also has very few calories. Indeed, it contains only 12 calories per 100 grams.

How do I prepare it?

There are only two ingredients: the cabbage and three cloves of garlic that you chop in small pieces. You tear off the stems and approximately cut the green part form the white part with a knife. After having proceeded on the whole cabbage, cut the white part in small squares. In order to do that, begin by dividing the stem in two with an incision in length then cut those two new pieces in a lot of smaller pieces that shouldn’t be any longer that 1,5cm. I know my explanations are clumsy but I’m unfortunately not (yet) an expert when it comes to writing recipes.

The second step consists of cutting the leaves in smaller pieces. There’s not special technique here, just take the whole bunch of leaves in your hand, try and maintain it in one place and then try to make squares out of it. They do not have to be small, 4 centimeters is perfect. The goal is for the leaves to adopt a spinach aspect once cooked.

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pe-tsai

chou chinois recette

ail garlic

How do I cook all of this?

Put a pan on the stove (I think this is the word) with some vegetal oil (olive oil is okay too). Once the oil is hot, throw the pieces of garlic in it and let them cook a few seconds while trying not to let them burn. Once they’re turning brown, you will not feel anything other than this burned garlic during the degustation.

Then add the white squares and let them cook for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to mix vigorously with the garlic so that nothing burns. After those 5 first minutes of cooking, add the leaves over and mix everything so that the leaves can cook properly. Let them cook for 5 minutes and the preparation is over. The white part will have cooking for 10 minutes.

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nappa cabbage

What about the duck breast?

To get the same result as I did, you need to buy a fillet of duck breast. The preparation consists of cutting the fillet in small slices like in the pictures (scissors do it well) and cover them with a “sauce” on both sides of every slice. This sauce is nothing else that a mixture of a lot of olive oil and herbes de Provence. They truly give a lot of taste to the meat and make entirely disappear the taste of blood or simply duck that the meat could have. Some carnivores in the family complained but personally, I prefer the duck this way!

The cooking is simple. Put a “grill” pan on the heat. Once it’s hot, lay the slices flat on the grill so that they do not overlap. There is no nedd to add any fat element such as oil or butter because, well, there already is oil on the duck itself and also because the duck breast has a lot of good fat that is very effective for cooking. Do not take of the fat part before cooking. The cooking itself is very quick. Let the meat a maximum of 5 minutes on the heat and that is only if you want it well-done. Of course, do not forget to turn every slice in the middle of the cooking.

carnard aux herbes de provences

fillet of dusk breast

The post is already over and I leave you with it to return to studying. Consider this article as a compilation of two recipes and not a unique one as those two preparations can be eaten with several other food. I’m personally a fan of this type of meal: meat or fish with vegetables. So many different combinations are possible. I hope you’ll try it and overall, like it. If it’s the case, don’t hesitate to give me your impression. May we meet again for another post x

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dusk breast and chou chinois

Favorite restaurants in Brussels #1.

Hello lovely readers! Being from Brussels, I thought it might be interesting to present to you some of my favorite restaurants in Brussels. Being a student, I haven’t been to much, except with my parents with whom I went to a lot of restaurants. Here is a list of the restaurants I really enjoy in Brussels, my favorite ones for now.

The Makisu. It’s a sushi restaurant, probably the best there ever was. I’ve been there with my boyfriend a lot and we like to order a full table for the two of us. Their makis are original and delicious and well-fournished and cheap. The best one in my opinion is the dragon roll which is just extatic. It contains a fried shrimp. Also try the slammin salmon and astro boy. It’s not exactly a restaurant as you cannot reserve and you have to wait it the line to order and then go to a table to wait for it to arrive. There are two in Brussels : one at Bailli and one more in the center. The price is between 5 and 6€ for a set of 8. We usually order 5 sets for the two of us.
Rue du Bailli 5, 1000 Ixelles // their website.

The Imperial. It’s a Chinese and vietnamese restaurant near where I live. I’ve there a lot ever since I was born. I used to eat sauted noodles (which they make better than anyone) but now I prefer ordering multiple entrées. They’re the only ones I know who make love triangles (chicken triangles in a banana leaf). This restaurant is really amazing and cheap. I once tried eat for 60€ with my boyfriend and we just couldn’t do it. We even ordered wine but we couldn’t go over 45€.
20, Mutsaardplein, 1853 Brussels

The Hemgie’s. It’s a burger restaurant in the center, near les galleries de la reine. Their burgers are just amazing. The price range is between 14€ and 17€ a burger. It is okay since they are wonderful. My personal favorite is the route 66 with bacon, an egg and barbecue sauce. The serve it either with a portions of fries or with a salad (which is the best salad I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant). Yeah I’m enthusiastic. The atmosphere is cosy yet chic. I love the sober grey interior. There are two in Brussels, one at Bailli and one in the center (the one I give you the adress to right here).
Rue des Dominicains 12, Galerie des Princes, 1000 Brussels // their website.

The Skievelat. In the same street as the Imperial, it’s a small dark cosy restaurant. It can get quite noisy at night but I don’t mind it. It’s not very lighten up and there are candles on the tables. The food is great, traditional. I often take their garlic scampies, their chèvre-guacamole-salmon salade but they also make great “plat du jour” as a cod with spinach or vegetables lasagna. It is just all well served and delicious. There are two in Brussels : one near my home and one at Sablon.
Rue de Wand, 49 – 1020 Bruxelles // their website.

The Brasserie du Heysel. It’s an expensive restaurant near the Atomium. I only go there when my grandma invites us. They serve classic french food. I like to take avocado with shrimps and then a sole meunière. The restaurant is huge with a beautiful terrasse. Only go there if you’re rich or celebrating a big occasion.
Romeinsesteenweg 650, 1853 Strombeek-Bever // their website.

This is it, there are only five for now. I’ll present to you another list in the future. I’m apologize for not having a picture in every restaurant but you can easily find some on their website. If you come by Brussels, try and eat in one of those, maybe you’ll meet me in there. See you soon for another post !

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What’s in my bag ?

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Hello lovely readers! I wish women could, as for men, get out of the house without a bag whole of diversified stuff. I wish we could go by with only a wallet in the pants and an organizer in the hand. But that’s not the case and that’s why I offer you today a look inside my bag, the one that I take to university and mostly everywhere. It is a huge bag that I found at Zara last year and I chose it because it could contain my computer. It is perfect and it’s only inconvenient is that people can see inside it because it does not close from above. Here is a list of all the things I put in it most of the time.

1. An Esprit umbrella, red to color my usual all blacks. It’s an essential in the rainy weather we face in Belgium.

2. A wallet from SIX, simple, cheap, beige with two compartments because I need a lot of space in my wallet.

3. A small makeup bag I got with Glamour. You can see what it contains on this post.

4. A broken brush with a scrunchy (such a weird word but that’s the only one I found) around it. I take this one because it does not take so much space.

5. A hand cream because when it’s winter time.

6. A small mirror I got at HEMA for very cheap.

7. Tissues because well, it’s always useful.

8. A bottle of water because we need 8 glasses of water a day. A bottle is only 4 glasses so I often don’t drink more than that.

9. Lip balms Lollipops.

10. Gloves because again, Belgium is freezing.

11. Sunglasses from I am. My eyes are very sensitive to sunshine and sometimes, I can’t quite open them when the daylight is too bright, even with clouds in the sky. It’s not often the case in winter but I still have to get them out sometimes.

12. A Hairagami bunmaker that works amazingly. It makes making buns just that easy. Its resting form is round so it does not take a lot of space. I’m not one to tie my hair in the morning but this is perfect to avoid tired flat hair after a long day.

13. The Filofax my boyfriend offered me a few days ago. I already made it my own by adding up my blog planner sheets, creating a sticky notes page, putting up a pocket full of pens and placing the dividers.

14. I almost always carry a newspaper with me. It’s part of my information and communication cursus to read the paper every day. Of course I don’t, but I try to read as much as possible, I still have to summarize one for my fellow students.

15. A USB key in case I’m at the university and need to print something in a hurry. I just transfer it to the USB and go print it.

Well, that’s it. This is what was in my bag today but I take most of these objects on a daily basis. This gives you a good view of what I do every day (class, class and class) and what are my essentials to go through the day. I want to apologize for my lack of activity, be sure that I’m not giving up on what is such a source of joy for me (and I hope for you too in a way). I can’t post more than once a week, unfortunately, due to my very busy schedule but I’d never let a week pass without posting.

I’ll see you very soon with a new post. If you have post ideas that you’d like me to cover, don’t hesitate to share them with me. Also, if you’re doing your own bag post, send the link and I’ll definitely check it out!

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RECIPE // Mediterranean white fish.

Hi again dear readers! Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite and very personal recipe called “Mediterranean fish”. I named it this way because it’s essentially made of olive oil, tomatoes, fish and garlic. Actually I just made a recipe that my mom got from the internet better. The original one did not use garlic but onions. And I cannot eat a meal that smells like onions all over.

INGREDIENTS FOR TWO PEOPLE.
500g white fish (cod is optimal, but I also use coalfish)
2 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
A lot of olive oil

Bonjour mes chers lecteurs ! Aujourd’hui je partage avec vous ma recette favorite et très personnelle que j’appelle “poisson méditerranéen”. Je l’ai appelé ainsi car il est composé essentiellement d’ail, d’olive et de tomates. En fait, c’est l’amélioration d’une recette que ma mère avait trouvé sur internet. L’originale n’utilisait pas d’ail mais des ognons. Et je ne peux pas me nourrir d’un plat qui goute et sent les ognons en puissance.

INGREDIENTS POUR DEUX PERSONNES.
500g de poisson blanc (du cabillaud, mais j’utilise aussi du lieu noir)
2 tomates
2 gousses d’ail
Du sel et du poivre
Beaucoup d’huile d’olive.

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First, preheat your oven at 200°C then take a plate like in the picture, put a layer of olive oil in it and with a brush, extend it to the all surface. Then cut two cloves of garlic in little pieces and if possible, make the pieces even smaller with a machine.

With a coffee spoon, take half the cut garlic and put it in the plate, try and spread the pieces all over the surface. Salt and pepper heavily both sides of the fish and then place it in the plate. Pour olive oil all over your fish and then put the other half of your cut garlic on the fish, all over its length.

Premièrement, il faut préchauffer le four à 200° et sortir un plat comme montré sur la photo. Au fond, mettez une première fine couche d’huile d’olive que vous pouvez étaler avec un pinceau. Ensuite, coupez deux gousses d’ail en petits morceaux et si possible, hachez les encore plus petits à la machine.

Avec une cuillère à café, prenez la moitié de l’ail et étalez-le au fond du plat, sur toute la surface. Salez et poivrez fortement les deux côtés du poisson et placez-le dans le plat. Versez de l’huile d’olive dessus et étalez l’autre moitié de l’ail sur le poisson, sur toute sa longueur.

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Then cut the tomatoes in little pieces, optimally in 8 and pour them all over the fish. Pour olive oil again. Your fish has to be quite immerged in the olive oil so it can be tender but not too much or it will shattered into pieces if you cook it too long.
Ensuite, coupez les tomates en petits morceaux, en 8 ou en plus et placez-les au-dessus du poisson et un peu partout dans le plat. Versez de l’huile d’olive à nouveau. Le poisson doit être immergé dans l’huile pour être tendre mais pas trop non plus au sinon il commence à se désintégrer si on le laisse cuire trop longtemps.

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When your oven is ready, you only have to put your preparation in it and wait 20 minutes. It’s okay if it cooks a little bit too long, I never had a real problem with it even though it can become too tender and lose pieces.

This is one of my favorite recipes and the one that I’m most proud of. I consider it very healthy despite of how much olive oil it contains. It’s very simple and uses only basic ingredients. Well, it’s a basic not so basic.

I hope you will try it and hopefully love it, I see you soon for another post!

Quand votre four est prêt, il ne vous reste plus qu’à y mettre votre préparation et attendre 20 minutes. Il peut cuire un peu plus longtemps s’il y a des problèmes de timing, ça n’a jamais été un problème pour moi-même s’il peut devenir trop tendre et se désintégrer.

C’est donc une de mes recettes préférées et celle dont je suis la plus fière. Je la considère comme très saine malgré la quantité d’huile qu’elle contient. Elle est très simple et n’utilise que des ingrédients basics. C’est basic mais pas complètement.

J’espère que vous l’essayerez et que vous l’aimerez, je vous retrouve bientôt pour un autre post !

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Resolutions for 2015 !

I wish you again a happy new year, even though it’s started for two weeks now. I see a lot of people sharing their resolutions and I really want to share mine with you. I’m trying to make them possible and concrete rather than recycling the same as every year.

1. I want to spend more time with my friends and cherish them more. I’ve been spending most of my time with my boyfriend for two years now and I’ve neglected my friendships. My boyfriend happens to be my best friend but that doesn’t mean he has to be my only friend. I want to invite my girls over for some sleepovers when I have the occasion and propose meetups.

2. Related to the first one, I’d like to get more sociable. I’ve never been the most outgoing or popular but I used to communicate well with people. I’ve become quite socially awkward and feel like I’m not confident enough anymore to form a friendship with someone or bond with people. I’m never really alone so I don’t make the effort to get to bond with other people than my boyfriend. People tell me that I’m cold but really I’m not (maybe you’ve heard of the bitch resting face) or at least I don’t want to be. And that’s pretty sad. I want to get back that part of me.

3. I want to grow my blog which is a project I really want to commit to. I’ve opened so many blogs that I didn’t commit to because I didn’t feel good enough or I didn’t have the consistency. I want to commit to what I love and this is writing about beauty, style and lifestyle. It kind of gives sense to my life to communicate about those things that have such a daily impact on me. I’ve just found out about blog planners and after looking through so many that didn’t fit me, I decided to do my own. It’s pretty simple and plain (just as I love), functional and adapted to my way of blogging.

4. Create a travel notebook. I came across it on Pinterest as I did for the blog planners. Ever since I was in age of collecting things, I collected all sorts of souvenirs from holidays. It all holds in a box that I never open. What a waste. What if I pasted it all in a notebook where I could also draw and write? It could be everything from a Starbucks bill to a train ticket, all those stuff I always keep. I chose to use a notebook that I had bought in the USA when I was 15 and that I only used a little to talk about stupid teenager stuff.

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5. Positivity. I found this idea somewhere but I don’t know where anymore. It’s pretty simple. I get a jar called “2015” and every time something good happens, I write it on a piece of paper and put it in. It can only be open at the end of the year or in case of depression.

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6. Be more active, accomplish my objectives. And I just found the perfect app (I’m using it actively during this blocus time). It’s called GoalTracker and you can get it at google play. You can add your objectives by category. There’s the numeric type where you say what is your numeric goal and in how much time you want to accomplish it (for example the number of pages of a book) and as you complete it, you see your percentage and if you’re in the shit or not aha. There’s also the yes/no type. For instance, you want to exercise twice a week. Twice a week you’ll have to input if yes or no you have done it and see if you’re consistent enough or not with the percentage. I think it’s kind of motivating for school.

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7. I want to get level B2 in German. It’s my new favorite language and I’m really putting hard work here with all the Verbotene Liebe episode I’ve watched! Language is really my high point when it comes to communication and I’d feel accomplished if I achieved this level.

This list is very long and all of these will demand hard work. I think the most difficult will be the first one because I often feel out of place and that is a hard feeling to go by but they will also be the most fulfilling once achieved and that is why I will put so much energy in them. I’ve also had the idea of reporting every month the progress I’ve made with those resolutions in a small notebook a friend gave me for Christmas. It’s a nice way to not forget about them and the best way to succeed I guess.

Do not hesitate to share your own resolutions, I want to know about them too x
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You don’t like running ? Try jumping.

As a person who wants to get healthier and thinner, I have tried many ways to achieve my goal. I soon realized running was a hell to me. So I had to find something else. Luckily, Glamour France suggested an activity that looked perfect to me. Jumping. According to Glamour, 15 minutes of jumping rope is worth 45 minutes of running. That argument convinced me. So I bought a rope. Not a 200 dollars one like they suggested in the magazine but a 13€ one that you can find at Decathlon. You should buy a leather one and not a plastic one. It’s much smoother and it hurts less when it hits your back/leg/anything. Mine is black and gorgeous (if you can call a rope gorgeous).

When it comes to environment, you can jump outside or inside. You want to practice on a flat place or you will just be unable to jump properly. I personally practice in my living room where I have enough space. It means that I don’t have to dress and go outside in the cold. I can jump do it in my pajamas (aka legging and top).

My goal was right away 15 minutes. But you will not achieve them without stopping the first time. At the beginning, I usually stopped every three minutes for about thirty seconds. You then have the time to drink water. You should have a bottle of water next to you and drink during your pauses. I almost always finish a whole liter in 15 minutes of jumping. When I say 15 minutes of jumping, I mean of actually jumping. You should use your chronometer on your phone, start it just before you start and stop it just after you start your pause.

Jumping is nice because you can vary your moves. You can jump with both feet or “run” jump with always a foot ahead, jump with only one foot or even alternate them (I guess it’s pretty difficult to explain by writing). You can even jump with joint feet to the right and then to the left. Your breath is also easier to manage than when running. Your endurance is better then. The best I could do is jump for six minutes straight without pausing. And my forehead is usually covered in sweat. But I don’t feel broken down or almost dead like when I run.

When jumping, you will need music. At least I do. I usually use this babe (yeah I didn’t look very far) but you can just pick yours by typing “workout music” or “motivational workout” on Youtube. They mostly last longer than an hour and I don’t think you will work out any longer than that.

After jumping, you can pretty much go on with any time of exercise but go easy on the legs. I usually squat and plank when I don’t have much time. Do not forget to stretch your calves or it’ll hurt a lot the next day. Anyway, that was me sharing my experience about jumping (damn I write this work a hundred times), I hope it will inspire some of you who don’t like running but still want to cardio. I must say I did not really see any “changes” but that’s because I should probably do this a little more than once every two weeks. It’s still better to do something than nothing!

You can find my black leather jump rope on the decathlon website, here.

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BRUSSELS // Primark, Nike Store and Hunkemöller clearance for us.

If you happen to live in Brussels, you probably already know it, several shops will open in the next few days and especially on the New Street. The most important of them is Primark. What is a capital city be without the famous Irish brand in it ? It’s a city where shopaholics are not totally happy. Do small prices make happiness ? Of course !

But what about the quality ? During my stay in London, I had the opportunity to buy a black fluid shirt absolutely gorgeous that I still wear nowadays (it was two years ago and a button only disappeared now), a cute sweater (that I still wear, I like to keep) and a blazer way too flashy and that I didn’t wear enough to judge. My best acquisition was my rosy nude makeup bag that I only got for 3€. I’m so looking forward to my next useful and useless purchases. Primark will open on the 10th of December.

Another arrival, the Nike Store which will also open in December. I’m not specially attached to the brand but from now on, whenever I want to buy a new pair of Air Max, I won’t have to choose from the five models Foot Locker actually has and will enjoy a larger variety in a proper Nike Store. It’s good to see that Brussels gets new brand dedicated stores, after Timberland who just opened next to the New Street. Of course, we’re far away from the five floors Nike store of some cities, but that’s okay for now.

Finally, I want to talk to you about the Hunkemöller Outlet Factory that will take place at Brussels Expo from 10/12 to 13/12. The entry price in 3€ and it’s not possible to try so you have to know your size but it’s a clearance, which means there will be real bargains. You can find the facebook event here.

All those openings and events are pleasing me a lot but I kind of regret that they take place after the Christmas I’m having with my friends. Primark is such a gold mine for small budget accessories. But it won’t keep me from enjoying hours in there in five days only.

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Girly gifts for less than five euros.

This year, a friend of mine decided that we should celebrate Christmas together, two weeks before the actual Christmas. And of course, we’re buying gifts for everyone. There will be eight of us, which means that I have to find seven gifts with a budget of five euros for each (it’s the rule). The first question is : how to find seven different gifts at only five euros? Well, it’s simply impossible, at least if you don’t want to buy useless stuff.

So do I offer seven identical gifts ? Or seven variants of the same gift ? First, I tried to find some in gadgets shops, as I call them. Those shops where you can find small original objects. But it’s impossible to find anything relevant for less than ten euros in there. I had two other ideas: underwear and beauty/wellness product.

It is probably possible to find panties at H&M for less than five euros but they’re not forcefully original or attractive. On etam.com, I successfully found panties in promotion for a little more than five euros. And finally, I paid a visit to Hunkermoller where you can find the promo : 5 panties for 23€. The only problem here is to not mess up with the sizes. A very good friend of mine had already had the idea of coming back from NY with a panty for each of us five. It’s also possible to by panties in different stores for more diversity.

What about the wellness & beauty products ? I went into three different shops : Lush, The Body Shop and Yves Rocher. In the first one, it’s possible to buy blocks of approximately 100 grams of soap for +- 5€ and the same for bath bombs. It’s convenient because they come in different colors, odors and shapes.

At The Body Shop, there were a few promotions, for example there were products that you could buy in three examples for the the price of two. It is possible to buy seven little body butter for 30€, seven shower gels for 15€ and seven body polish for 25€. You can vary the odors (even though there are not so much possibilities).

Finally, at Yves Rocher, there is a promotion on body products smelling cacao & oranger, red fruits and black fruits. You can buy a 200 ml body polish for only 4€, a 200 ml shower gel for only 2€, a 200 ml body milk for 4€ and a 75 ml hand cream for 2,50€. It is then possible to make different combinations and offer two products to each friend (even though the others are not so diverse).

Of course, I wonder if offering a pack of Yves Rocher or soaps to each of them is not very original but with only five euros, it’s a beautiful gesture that will not disappoint. Who doesn’t like red and black fruit odor, who does not like to wash herself with a great soap that you would never have bought yourself ? If you have any other small price ideas, don’t mind sharing. Good shopping to you all !

You can find the Yves Rocher promotion here, the Bath Bombs Lush here, and their soaps here.

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