Monday, August 7, 2017


As we are several days into August I can't believe how quickly Summer has gone by. It's crazy. This summer has been one of finding balance. Creating or trying to create routines that help my overall wellness. Some days are better than others ... progress not perfection. I competed in the Spartan Ultra Beast in Morzine in July  and had a very difficult time. I honestly thought I was prepared, but found out I was not.  So, after the midway mark I opted out and reassessed my training and goals. I did  need a boost in morale and raced the next day in the Super with a team. A decision that kept my motivation going strong and helped with my overall attitude. I left Morzine with a new found admiration and energy for the sport. Thus, I will be competing in another Ultra Beast on my home turf in California in October.

I used the moment in Morzine to reassess my eating, wellness and fitness figuring out what was lacking. And what did I discover? While I had been racing and training a lot ... my overall wellness was lack luster. Not terrible but not nearly what it should be for someone who is running high miles and racing every weekend. Now, I have been trying to create better habits pre and post race.

Eating: During the week I keep it pretty simple: chicken, salads with homemade dressings, steamed vegetables, tuna, morning smoothies, fromage blanc with kiwis and apples for a dessert, and yes I do have an occasional splurge, I am just more aware of what I am eating. I try to eat balanced and everything in moderation. I look at food as a way to literally fuel my body. Apples are my go to snack to curb cravings and water with lemon keeps me hydrated.

Wellness: I have been really trying to get up early and train before work. Getting up at 6am has changed my daily routine immensely. I am more aware, alert, happy, and focused. It's definitely not easy and the last two days I have sluggishly wanted to sleep in ... but I know how much I need the early hours in the day. I've also been trying to limit my phone use after 8pm ... it's so difficult. I often feel like I am being rude not responding to messages or emails after 8pm but it's a boundary I need to set for myself or I will just get lost somewhere in the interwebs.

Fitness: One thing I realized is that I did not run enough. Now let me explain, while I was running a trail race almost every weekend, during the week I was just not running enough, logging in trail miles to help with my technique. So, after Morzine I have been waking up early and running. My favorite is a quick reset run ... it's a run I do when I feel funky, in a bad mood, or just start to over think. I also use this run if I want a boost of energy. It's a short run for 20-30 minutes and it has done wonders for me. Waking up early has allowed me to get bike rides in as well. Biking has helped my overall endurance and leg strength something that was lacking before. Workouts lately are: trail runs, morning swims, bike rides and lots of strength training. It's been a blessing realizing how I am motivated by so many external factors but what I needed to be guided by was internal factors. I am trying to find the strength internally to stay on course, and disciplined. This alone is something I did not have before the "internal motivation", and I know this will allow me to reach my goals. Realizing "The Ultra Beast" truly is not a race with anyone but myself.

So, without further ado I thought I would share with you a little recipe that keeps me satisfied in the morning, or even as a dessert.  I typically use apples and kiwis as they are lower in sugar than berries and have more fiber, but as a treat I use berries and bananas.

Morning "motivation" Bowl
fromage blanc or greek yogurt
handful of blueberries
granola of your liking

In a bowl add a couple of spoonfuls of greek yogurt or fromage blanc. Top your yogurt with your berries and granola. I am big on eating foods that look pretty, and creating something that makes you enjoy every last bite. When you go out to eat, to brunch, lunch or dinner it's a special treat. So, why not make what you eat at home just as special. Make your meals intentional allowing you to enjoy each and every bite. Serve your bowl with a cup of tea, coffee, or water with lemon. You can also make this for on the go, put the granola in a separate container and add right before eating. No one likes soggy granola ... no one :)


Monday, June 12, 2017

the "almost" pancake ...

I am a big believer of moderation. While training diet is an essential part to everyday life and goes beyond looking good. What you eat directly is related to how you feel. However, I have found simply avoiding foods ends up making me feel frustrated, annoyed, and as if I am missing out on something. I want my overall nutrition, and workouts, to be more of something I do for the rest of my life rather than something I do just to look good for Summer or a vacation. So, over time I have found recipes that work with my sensitive stomach that are healthy, tasty, and perfect for training.

My race schedule is jam packed so it is imperative I have a breakfast that keeps me full but not feel heavy. Several years ago, I realized I had a small dairy intolerance and that I am sensitive to eating carbs. Now don't get me wrong, if I crave pasta before a big race I eat pasta. But, I do not have carbs in my everyday diet ... I don't need them nor do I really like them at every meal. I grew up having great breakfasts. My dad would make French Toast with peanut butter before schoool. On weekends he would yell from the bottom of the stairs ...."breakfast is ready" ... I can still hear him!! My sister, brother and I loved Saturday morning breakfasts. There was not a dull or quiet moment at our table. We pretty much would argue who would get the next pancake or French toast, while poking fun at each other.  And my mom  .... she makes the best blueberry pancakes. The kind of blueberry pancakes that are perfectly crispy on the outside, light brown, and when you take a bite fresh blueberries burst with summer flavors.

 I happened to have found and adapted a recipe that still gives me the nostalgia of pancakes but with no carbs. I call them my "alsmost pancakes" and they do not disappoint. It does take me one or two pancakes to perfect as I always always make a royal mess out of the first pancake on the grill. These pancakes are perfect while training, on race day, or on a slow Saturday morning. They have three ingredients and are super simple to make. The banana is a great source of potassium, the eggs are a perfect protein, and cinnamon, well I put it in almost everything.

So without further ado ... "the almost pancake"

2 ripe bananas
1 egg
a pinch or two of cinnamon

1. In a small bowl mash your two ripe bananas ... I do so with a fork
2. Mix in your egg and make sure your mixture is well mixed and bananas are well mashed
3. Sprinkle in your pinch or two of cinnamon

4.Use a medium sized pan and put a little bit of coconut oil or I typically use a little bit of butter. It's my way to get just a little bit of dairy and fat. Once your pan is ready pour your batter onto your pan. Let cook about 5-6 minutes. The batter sometimes breaks apart but if you are patient the batter will stay firm. They are definitely not like the consistency of other pancakes but do fill the void in a healthier way for me. Flip your pancake one or two times making sure the center is cooked.

5. Drizzle with maple syrup, honey, or I use agave

6. Pair with a cup of coffee and enjoy

These pancakes again are my go to, my fuel, and keep me full and feeling strong. Wellness and Fitness isn't just about your workouts ... I don't believe there is one solution for everyone. Everyone is different so find what foods work for you, what workouts make you feel alive and vibrant ... and do them.

So in true fashion, Breakfast is Ready!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Coffee and Photography Stroll ... Annecy, France

I am so excited to announce a "Coffee Tasting and Photography Stroll" I will be putting on for fellow coffee and photo lovers in Annecy, France. I have had this planned for some time now but wanted to wait till the weather and timing were right.

I recently met up with a blogger and photographer visiting Annecy who emailed me directly because of a post I did on Brumes Coffee. We met for coffee, then I took her and her friend on a market tour where we tasted local cheese, I shared what wines to pair their cheese with, and helped them with speaking to the locals in French. We finished with of course, more coffee. I shared that I was planning on doing a coffee and photography tour for other travelers, and she gave me the nudge to do so, saying, I must. For me, this is the reason I love blogging, writing, and sharing.

Why photos and why coffee? These are two of my favorite things and they happen to go hand in hand. Often when visiting a new place it is hard to find the "best" coffee or the secret spots for dreamy photos. Well, after several requests to give small guided tours I decided ... why not share my love for coffee and photos with the community.

 I have photographed professionally for the past 7 years and before coming abroad to France photographed and styled a National Best Seller, "The Seasoned Life" by Ayesha Curry. I have an eye for details, a love for good food and coffee, and photography experience that I want to share with you in a fun, natural, candid setting. What better way than walking through Annecy, France and drinking coffee.

Why Coffee?
As a former Barista and avid coffee drinker, I know what good espresso needs and should to taste like. I also have become a pro at finding cafes that make you want sit, dream, read, talk, and relax. I want to share my tips and tricks for photography while we sip tasty coffee. How to take better iphone and camera photos while out and about, traveling, eating, or adventuring. My goal is to help you create a story with your photos while enjoying the present moment.

The details: Saturday, June 17th 9am -10:30am
Price and what it includes: 19 euros, (Coffee at two locations :) a small practical guide to photography, and an hour and a half walking tour)
Where: Annecy, France (exact location will be emailed once registered)
Languages spoken: stroll will be in English and French
What will we do: We will go to two of my favorite cafes, there we will take photos, enjoy coffee, and afterwards go on a small walk where I will show you some of the sweetest spots Annecy has to offer, perfect spots for photos. I will give you tips and tricks on how to take better photos, and offer suggestions and critiques.
What to bring: Small journal for notes, camera or iphone welcome 
Who should sign up: locals, visitors, coffee lovers, photo lovers, dreamers, travelers

Intention: To find a way to build a community through sharing what we love about coffee and photography

For registering please email me at: coeurdelaphotography@gmail by Wednesday, June 14th

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Coeur de La's Half Marathon and Race Day Tips

A friend recently wrote me for some half marathon tips for race day and coincidentally I received several emails during that same week, if I had general tips or advice for race day. Like many runners, I am always on the lookout for more tips. I google, pin, search, and ask for tips myself. After consistently running races for the past year (every weekend) I have ran enough miles to feel comfortable sharing some of my race day tips.  I hope they help you, and feel free to share these with your other running buddies. My best tip is to: 

listen to yourself, learn as you go, and over time you will find what works for you.
 I still get race day butterflies, feel anxious the night before a race ...
I think that will always happen for me. 
Those race day nerves show me I care, allowing me to show up,  
and run.

My Half Marathon Race Day Tips ... but you can use them for any race

In General: have fun and make it fun ... I like to run dedication miles to people who inspire, motivate, or encourage me. This helps me put my race into perspective that in the end it is just a race, that life is the big picture. One of the best races I have ran was a 10k trail race in France where I actually made podium, coming in first. I ran that race for my sister. She had recently been running and started training. She inspired me with her photos she would send showing her new joy for running. So, I ran for her.

Bring water, I run with a light weight water belt and for longer runs I use a camelback so I never have to stop at water stations. If you do grab water, grab water towards the end of the water station,  you will bypass everyone at the first portion of the water station.

Race Goal: Have a goal to keep moving, even if it is slow towards the end, make it a goal to move.

The Start: The first 5k of any race or start you will have a surge of adrenaline to run fast, it's adrenaline and others will be running fast too, but keep your pace. It's a half marathon you will make up that time at the end.  

Your race, your pace.

Mantras: Create a mantra you say to yourself: for example you could say your race, your pace. Mantras are quick reminders to stay present. Stay positive. Stay focused.

Sipping Water: Drink water at every mile sign, even just a sip. I do this because if I start getting negative it usually means I am needing fuel, or my body needs water. Remember when you start to get thirsty it's too late. Keep hydrated.

Properly Fueling: Bring race fuel and bring your own. I have a sensitive stomach and there are only few Gu's that set with my stomach. Use whatever you have been training with. I also love (this is for long long trail runs over 30k-40k) eating dried apricots or a piece of bread.

What you Wear: Wear clothes you've been training in, sometimes there is a pressure to get a new race outfit but no no wear what is comfortable. After 11 miles, chafing does happen, and new outfits will move. You will have no idea how they feel on you while running. Are they comfortable or not?  I once wore a new bra and oh my the story is not pretty.

Music: If you run with music try resisting for the first 5-6 miles, and use it at the end, it is great motivation and something to look forward to. I don't run with music but when I did this was a very good way to get a bit of energy at the end of the race. When I am not running to music at the start of the race I am more present allowing me to take in the sights and sounds of the race start.

Your Time: Don't get stuck on a specific time, just be so proud you signed up, and are doing what others would maybe be afraid to do. Focus on times the more you run, the more you train. If you are a runner and you don't meet your race day time, reevaluate your training, set new goals, and move on.

Your Breathing: Breathe, and breathe out any negative thoughts, open up those lungs. This helps at the end of the race when one's breathe is shallow and short. Try to create a meditative easy rhythm with your breaths.

Last but not least: Remember why you run, why you signed up for your race, and then simply run. I hope these tips help and I would love to know some of your tips if you have your own. Leave a comment so we can chat, share, and motivate each other to keep ...  running. :)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Spartan Races ... fight through your fears

Spartan Races what are they and why do them? Usually, when I tell people I am doing Spartan Races I get puzzled faces. Spartan races? Insert really strange look of confusion. I then will proceed to say it is just like a run, more trail running with obstacles. Ohhhhhhhhh, ok typically says the person. Why do you do that? Ha. My response back is usually, why not? This year my life has been filled with races, training, and more races. Last July I registered and finished the Beast in Morizine (my first Spartan Race) and was hooked. Right after, I quickly registered and completed the Super and Sprint in Barcelona, to now only being a week a way from my first race in the Competitive Heat in Paris, where I will be doing a Super and Sprint in one day. Being that Spartan Races are a huge part of my life I thought I would explain what a Spartan Race is, why I do them, and maybe inspire you to register for one yourself. I really caught the bug for Spartan Races after doing Spartan's first Sprint in the snow at Valmorel in France.

 Here I registered for two days of racing. I don't know the exact number but I am pretty sure I was one of the only few along with my fave training partner to register for two races in two days. Two days of running in the icy, cold snow, with obstacles, burpees, exactly what was I thinking?

I will be completely honest with you ... the first day was very challenging. This California girl is really just not use to the snow. I ran with a team and thankfully they offered words of encouragement, motivation, and were there to literally pick me up when I fell. This was enough to get me to the finish line, and boy did it feel great. That evening I laid in bed thinking, "why the heck am I doing another Sprint tomorrow?" I contemplated making a thousand excuses but knew in my heart I would be so disappointed if I didn't race. What I have learned doing these Spartan Races is to: not let fear dictate one's decisions in life. 

Often our fears are unrealistic, not rational, and often worse than the actual outcome. 

So, I laced up my shoes, wore my special waterproof socks that actually did nothing after an hour of running in the snow, and was determined to finish the race. Annnnnnnnd thank goodness I raced. The second day was incredible, challenging, but oh so incredible. I completed every obstacle and did not have to do one burpee (and for my fellow Spartans you know what this means). It is the best feeling. But, my greatest achievement this race was keeping my mental game strong and focusing on the present moment. 

 I was sore, tired, bruised, but I was able to race again. 
I pushed through. The moment I jumped over the fire pit, and crossed the icy finish line I realized: Wow, I can push through. 
Push through moments that are less than ideal, 
push through negative thoughts, 
and push through future challenges that may come.

It is pretty surreal to me when I list off the races I have done in the past year. I had this crazy idea to do an Ultra Beast (this July 1st) but I had no idea how much I would change physically and mentally during the time training and racing in between.

 I thought I was strong before, but I was scared. 
Scared to fail, scared to fall down, scared to try big things, scared to even try 
but what I can say now is:

I am still scared but I do the things I am scared of, and that is why I love Spartan Races. 

*this is not a sponsored post, and are all my personal opinions :) 
however if you do want to Sponsor me email me at:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Let Life Flow" ... Emilie of Naoussa Studio

I am a big believer that there is nothing by "chance" in life. That the people we meet are people who are pivotal factors in one's journey. I also have come to realize that with time being fleeting the people who you associate with, call your friends, and engage with daily directly shape who you are. For example, how you feel ... they can lift you up or bring you down.

Moving to a new country was intimidating and often a little isolating in the beginning. Making friends felt impossible and especially trying to do so in a new language. How was I suppose to create friendships without being able to express myself?

In an effort to be more social I signed up for a yoga event with Summerlab Events (more on this later). I was nervous because I knew the yoga class would be entirely in French, and socializing in French at the time wasn't the easiest. But, upon arriving the atmosphere at Yoga Searcher was inviting and warm. Olivia from Summer Lab Events (I will introduce her on here soon) created a morning yoga event reminiscent of yoga events in California. I immediately felt excited and happy to meet new people.

The yoga class was inspiring but what stood out was the instructor, which now gets me to the point of my post. Emilie, one of the best yoga instructors I have ever had. Her presence, knowledge, and the affirmations that she offers to her students in her practice are incredible. I introduced myself before class and she made sure to say things in French and English. Immediately, I knew she was a bright light, someone who makes people feel better after meeting her. Not to mention, her yoga classes are the perfect balance of mediation and flow. I thought without further ado I would share Emilie's bio with all of you. She is one talented lady that I feel like the world needs to know :) And if you are visiting Annecy, France you must take a class with her.

My name is Emilie, I am 25 years and 9 months old and I define myself as a poet novice botanist. I have difficulty with the fact that our profession or our activity defines us. I love poetry and nature so this is the best definition I have found for me at the moment. Otherwise, I practice and teach yoga, and I create things. I am very happy to introduce myself to all of you.
General background in yoga
 I have practiced yoga for almost 10 years. I teach Hatha and Yin. It is a discipline, an art, and a philosophy that accompanies me in every part of my existence. It is also one of my most precious friends who teaches me a lot about myself and about the world around me!
My first yoga experience was a disaster, I think I was not ready but I also believe it depends a lot on the teacher.  He or she must give you confidence. I graduated 200 hours in India, in Goa, and another near Geneva.

Why I teach
 Two years ago, during an internship in Greece, I had the "revelation" that I had to teach, that the time had come. I started because it was obvious. It fills me with happiness. However, when the students thank me for a lesson at which they feel good, I want to tell them "it's not me, it's yoga.
 Yoga, like life, is magical.

Fun facts about me
1) I have a cat that sticks out it's tongue constantly. It is both funny and tragic, since it missing a piece of the lower jaw. It had a fall from a 3rd floor ... however that does not prevent it from devouring his croquettes, so everything is well! 

2) Even if I have a little difficulty in admitting it ... I was the one who asked my husband to marry me. We celebrated our one year in India and I asked his hand (to marry me) in a tuk tuk ! Of course, I forced him to re-ask the next day, where he dropped to one knee.

3) I am phobic of the papers ... This is really embarrassing for a French girl ! I really struggle with administrative tasks. I would love to have someone take care of them for me ... :)

I've traveled extensively on every continent since I was a little girl, thanks to a travel agent mom and a dad passionate by adventure. This has become a kind of addiction to me. The journey opens horizons, pushes us out of our comfort zone, and to be more attentive. I like the feeling of a change of scenery. I also like to go home after a trip!

Why I travel
Travel is a constant question. The people we meet, the flavors, the landscapes, the climates help encourage a type of rethinking of what we think we know. I'm passionate about that. I also travel alone, I spent 6 months alone in India. When no one is available to go with me, it does not bother me to pack my bags for a solo weekend. It is very different from a couples trip or with others, but I invite everyone to do the same at least once !

1) Naoussa Collection
About 5 months ago, I launched my collection of yoga mat bags, Naoussa Collection. They are inspired by the world and travels. 

I would like people to see them as bags not only for yoga but also for life, that they can slip their drawings if they are architects, their sports outfit,  or a bouquet of flowers 

2) Radyoga 

Radyoga! This radio should be broadcast continuously and everywhere. I created it with my friend and associate Boris, who is a great guy.

We wish to transmit well-being and happiness through this radio. In addition, on the site, you can buy items like decorative objects, or draw recipes and tips to make you feel better. Learn more on our website : !!!

3) Yoga & Meditation for all ... Community classes

For me, yoga should not be reserved for an elite who has money. Of course, people who work a lot are often stressed, but there are also people in difficulty, unemployed or students who do not allow themselves to go to yoga classes. That's why I created the community yoga classes, the price is free from a minimum of 5 €. Each month, the profits are donated to a charity. 
Do not hesitate to come, Thursday from 16h to 17h at the Studio du Pâquier in Annecy!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Update on Training

I had all these grand plans to post more about my training for the Spartan Ultra Beast that I will be doing this coming July, however, with so much training I am too exhausted to blog. Thus, I decided to give myself a break and post when I can.

The training has been difficult to say the least. Lots of running, several injuries (a mild stress fracture in my foot and a back injury however both have healed up) but I have remained steadily on course.  Training for such a big race, balancing life, work, and scheduling workouts has been challenging. I also have found that people are either completely supportive or don't care how training is going. For me, it's like knowing a friend who is a mom and never asking ... how are your kids?(ok maybe not the same, but I imagine it would feel that way).  Training for this race is a huge part of my life that I somewhat expected to have people as pumped on my goals as I am ... but that's not the case and you know what ... that's perfectly ok. This race is my goal, not theirs and on race day I will be doing the race.

In the past month I have ran a marathon in Milan, Italy, a 28k trail race (the longest trail I have ever done) a half marathon, and then coming up a trail marathon (luckily I have the BEST training partner). It has been easy for me to compare times and I start to feel like I am running too slow. Then I overthink and get discouraged about my overall performance ...  so I pause and try to put things into perspective. I list out the actual races that I have done and I begin to see that ... it is a road to an Ultra Beast. The training, the miles,  and everything in between matters.  I am training for something big. Recently, I got really sick and my body literally shut down and forced me to rest. So, while I've been resting I have been craving juice. More specifically, orange carrot ginger juice ... it's incredible what your body knows it needs. My little recipe of my "rest up juice" reminds me that rest is just as important in training as logging in the miles, lifting the weights, and hitting the trail.

One of the first things I bought abroad was a 40 euro mini juicer (nothing fancy) that makes a tasty juice. An important thing to remember when making juice is: drink your juice when it's fresh if not it will loose nutrients and vitamins the longer it sits. Feel free to add lemon to your juice, ginger, or mint for natural stimulants. I am not an expert but I do know and pay attention to how my body feels before, during, and after a workout. I believe in moderation and eating/drinking what your body craves. Ok, now for the recipe :)

3 large carrots washed and peeled
Ginger root peeled and chopped (I use one small root as I like my juice potent) use it to your liking and sparingly if needed
5 oranges peeled
1 small apple (green is my favorite)

1. Put all ingredients into your juicer, one piece or two at a time.  I try to vary between carrots and oranges, so my juicer doesn't work too hard.

Super tip: I use a plastic bag in the back of my juicer where the pulp goes. This saves time cleaning. You can also use the pulp for baking muffins or as compost in your garden.

2. I pour the juice into old jam jars ... this definitely comes from my days at UC Santa Cruz and I still have that hippie in my soul. I loved carrying around a jam jar hiking to class .... ah some of the best of times.

3. Drink your juice as soon as it is juiced. I use to think I needed to drink my juice cold but you get more nutrients if it is warm, straight after juicing... fresh is better.  I also add a little turmeric or cayenne to my juice, but do as you want.

4. Cheers and happy juicing

And remember, wellness is all about taking care of yourself. Knowing what suits "your" body and listening to your gut, literally your gut and doing things in moderation.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Murmur ... Annecy, France

"April Showers bring May Flowers"

There are some places that you find that really just take your breath away. This happens every so often for me, and it usually happens when I find a place that exudes inspiration. A place that is so thoughtfully created you want to stay for hours.

 Murmur is is just that ... a shop created with heart. Every little detail is thoughtful, playful, and true. I believe when a place is created with authenticity, passion, and love ... you can feel it.

 Tucked away on one of my favorite streets in Annecy, Murmur sits perfectly, quietly, waiting to be discovered. Inside Murmur, you will find seasonal flowers, boquettes, and a plethora of other sweet things. Sweet things such as: jewelry, cards, candles, and more. Every little corner has a thoughtfully created vignette.

 I love spaces that allow you to escape from your everyday routine and ... dream. Murmur does just that.

When you visit Murmur
A must: surprise a friend or loved one with flowers
Love: that the boquettes are wrapped in natural paper, not plastic
Pay Attnetion: flowers are all seasonal
Do: take your time, it is a space to definitely relax and enjoy

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wellness and Fitness

Wellness and Fitness
 Wellness and Fitness are two very important things for me. The two go hand in hand for me, for example, when I run I naturally eat better. When I train for a race, I feel better. I am grounded, confident, and able to bounce back from daily stresses, for me this is wellness.  

Wellness for me are the things I do other than train that allow me to be a better version of myself. 

This year I made a big goal to train and complete an Ultra Beast so naturally I need things in my life that nurture and help me succeed when it comes to this goal.  For example, my nutrition needs to be food that gives me energy, makes me feel good, and bounce back from a tough workout.

When training for a big race or setting a huge goal the people in your life need to understand and support your goals. I say this because friends, family, and the people you spend your time with are an important part of your success. Their energy and habits directly affect yours. As you get older friendships and relationships change. I have found the strongest friendships and relationships endure. My "community" is filled with people who encourage, motivate and inspire, but I have had to make tough choices because it was not always this way.

Some things I do to improve my Wellness:
Yoga: for me it is one of my favorite ways to feel grounded and cross train
Nutrition and Cooking I am always on the hunt for new and healthy recipes. I am not someone who diets. I eat everything in moderation and when I crave something I eat it. After long runs I always want some type of beef but would not define myself as a meat eater.
Reading: Continually learning and educating myself has helped in training. I try to read something every day even just for 20 to 30 minutes.
 Internet: I'm trying to be more intentional with my actions, thoughts, and words. The things I read and look at on and off the internet directly shape who I am. You are what you do, read, and say, when no one is watching.

Running I have a big race schedule for 2017 (I will share this later) and a marathon coming up in April. The marathon is a "training run" for the Ultra Beast. I grew up running, but never really started running seriously until the past two years.
Cross Training and Weight Lifting: I am so grateful to have the best training partner :) he's continually creating circuit and weight lifting workouts that can be scaled down or up depending on the exercises we are doing that day.
Hiking: my favorite way to be active and explore.
Schedule: I am working out 5-6 days a week either doing yoga, hiking, running, and cross training. This is my life and at the moment and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

I've come to the realization that to have big goals the work that you do, the things you say and repeat all affect the outcome. So, as my favorite training partner says," stop talking and start training" haha.

Stay tuned for more fitness and wellness tips as I train for the Ultra Beast.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Brumes Coffee, Annecy

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, + more Coffee

If you know me by now, you know that I love good coffee. I have years of coffee sipping experience (haha) and being a former barista I have a high standard for good espresso. Not to mention, my expectations for great customer service is pretty high. Going back and forth between Paris and Annecy I am always on the hunt for thirdwave, well made, coffee. Back in California my local cafe, States Coffee in Martinez set some high standards for me but I am happy to say I found a place to call my own in Annecy ... Brumes.

Location: The cafe is tucked away off a popular street so it literally feels as if you are discovering a secret coffee spot all your own. For the coffee lover, that feeling of stumbling upon a "secret cafe" is just as important as finding a coffee shop actually selling good coffee.  The decor is sweet, clean, warm yet minimal. I have met several friends here and I love the community that has been created at Brumes.

My favorite drinks to order at Brumes:  a double espresso with creme de lait, I can thank my friend Julie (a former barista at Brumes) for this suggestion.
A Chemex, it's one of the few cafes I have found that will actually give you your own chemex. This is by far my favorite brew method for coffee.
V60 another favorite for a good brew of coffee and perfect for a snowy morning
A petit cappuccino with an extra shot, this is my drink of choice when I am craving milk and espresso.
Espresso ... you just can't go wrong

PS coffee sipping tip:  Try not to add sugar to your coffee, the more you add the more sugar you will crave. Sugar hides the taste of good espresso.

If you have time order lunch. One of my favorite cooks, Le Poulallier caters lunches and her food is incredible. The meals are healthy, filling, and so satisfying.

So, there you have it a little sneak peek into one of my favorite jaunts. A place that makes me feel less far away and at ...  home.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Food Styling and Photography Workshop in Paris

Food Styling and Photography Workshop, Paris
February 19th, 2016 :)

I am thrilled to announce I will be hosting a Food styling and Food photography Workshop in February, in Paris. I've been wanting to host a workshop for awhile now but wanted the timing to be right, so ...

The Details: Come with me for a morning of visiting one of my favorite Parisien markets in the 3rd quartier of Paris, Le Marais. We will take a variety of photos and I will assist you in how to take photos while out and about in Paris. After spending some time at one of my favorite markets we will head back to make an authentic French Tarte aux Pommes (my absolute favorite).

You will be using the ingredients from our market perusing and you will learn how to make an authentic Pate Brisee crust for your Tarte aux Pommes. During the process of baking, I will show you tricks and tips to make your photos tell a story, pop, and visually come alive. 

What will you learn: You will learn a variety of techniques in food photography, styling, and visual story telling. We will finish the day with an one on one photo session of your tarte aux pommes and then will have a q&a session while eating tarte aux pommes and drinking coffee and tea.

This workshop is for the individual who is visiting or living in Paris that wants to connect and learn food photography, styling, and visual storytelling in a warm creative atmosphere.

About me, your teacher Caroline Egan: I am a food and lifestyle photographer from San Francisco that recently moved to Annecy, France and Paris. I have a back ground in photography and recipe creating. I photographed and styled a National Best Seller, The Seasoned Life, and have photographed for numerous publications. Over the years I have fine tuned my food photography into a passion and I want to share my skills with everyone. Formerly a baker who is diving into the world of French baking and discovering, it’s incredible. Join me for a day of market perusing, baking, and photographing.

Investment: 290 euros
Includes: Course materials, ingredients, and the 4 hour food photography and styling course
Tools Needed:  Camera (any digital camera) a 50mm lens is recommended but not required, bring your smart phone 
Date: February, 19th Sunday
Where: quaint flat in Le Marais (more details upon registration)
Time: 9am-1pm 

Space is limited, register before February 10th.

Contact and Registeration Info:

Monday, January 9, 2017

big "Beastly" goals for 2017

Rather than set a resolution, make a promise, or start a new workout plan at the start of a new year I need some type of athletic race to complete, train for, attempt, and set my vision on. Registering for "that big race" allows me to be more dedicated in running my photography business (which is honestly challenging sometimes) and being present in my daily life. A race allows me to do physical, hard work and if I don't put in the work I know I can't fake it. You can't fake hard work when race day comes. When I have a goal that seems larger than life it makes everything else seem small, small in a good way.

So, after completing several Spartan Races last year (sprints,  two supers, a beast) and racing in a plethora of trail runs, half marathons, a marathon, I had this little voice in my head saying, "Caroline, go for an Ultra Beast". No no, that's a crazy goal I said several times to that little voice in my head. Then I remembered that's how it always starts, saying that's crazy or hearing you are crazy, because when I say that's crazy, I start scheming of ways to do and succeed at the "crazy thing".

And then ... I registered for an "Ultra Beast"! I am now committed and my free time is filled with: training, running, cross training, workouts, watching workout videos, writing about fitness, and signing up for a marathon simply as a training run. It's honestly surreal. And, if I really start to think about it, I'm terrified. HA! So, my friends I have no idea if I will finish in the allotted time but I am going for it, full speed ahead.

If you are wondering what an Ultra Beast is: it's a 40k trail marathon with over 60 obstacles. I definitely wouldn't have signed up for it on whim. I feel I put in the work last year so I want to test myself to see what I can do when goals become big, so big, that you are legitimately scared. But, scared in the best of ways. 

Happy 2017 friends, I hope this year is your year. Whatever goals you have for this year I hope you do them with pride and create a habit that inspires the people around you but most importantly, yourself. It's not the goal itself that matters, it's the steps you take to get there.