Friday Five : Five Summer goals

Happy Friday everyone ! Thanks to Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the link up to this week’s Friday Five, where the theme is Summer Goals.


Here you can find their blogs :

Mar on the Run

Eat Pray Run DC

You signed up for what

I always try to make goals and objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, within a given Time), …the measure part is very important. Rather than just say “eat healthy”, I make it specific… eat 5 veggies a day. SMART goals help me with accountability. So here goes…

1. Get caught up on my sleep by regularly going to bed one hour earlier and / or napping on weekends. At the end of June I always have accumulated a huge sleep deficit. Recent nap with cat sleeping on me. Too cute.

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2. Exercise at least four time a week. I want to stay active and take advantage of the long days, even if I can not run as often as I would like …. When I vacation I have been taking long walks and also doing Zumba (you can tell I am learning, I am going in the opposite direction of everyone else !).

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3. Spend more quality time with each of my girls, and my husband. All year long it is go go go. In the summer we can actually sit. I have been having breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday with them for the past 2 weeks. Its wonderful. We actually have time to talk about lots of important teenage topics…

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4. Read two new books in August, finish two I started. I am so busy all year, I never seem to have time to finish a book. So far, I just finished The Light Between Oceans from M.L. Stedman and Six Years from Harlan Coben . The Light Between Oceans was beautifully written and I cried at the end. That is a sign of a good book !

  • On my Kindle, started but not finished : Mile Markers from Kristin Armstrong, Inferno from Dan Brown, Eat the Yolks from Liz Wolfe
  • Want to read : Replay from Ken Grimwood, The Orphan Train
  • Reading : The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – I love this kind of self awareness / self help book. This one is a very easy read and explains where habits come from and how to alter them. So far I really like it.

5. Visit a city I have never been to. This weekend we are going to Bayonne & Biarritz… two cities I have never seen. There is a huge festival in Bayonne this weekend. Info here : Bayonne Festival

I am not big on crowds, but everyone says its great. We’ll see what happens, but most of the pictures I have seen look like this (photo credit from the above website) :


So here are my five summer goals, will check in end of August to see how well they were met !

Are you a napper ? What books are on your nightstand ?

Obsessive planning out the window

I am an obsessive planner in my personal and professional life. This is probably also considered type A control freak !

At work my agenda is perfectly organized. My meetings are planned out, I know what I need to do for when, who I need to talk to and what I need to prepare. I pride myself on being on time for deadlines, meetings and I am one of those people ” you can depend on”.

In my personal life, it is the same. Just ask my husband… the first thing I ask on Saturday morning, or when we go somewhere… ” What’s the plan ?”  I need to know where we are going, what we are doing, who we are doing it with, where and what we are eating. I will map out routes, check the weather, adjust timing if needed.

That is who I am. I function much better with structure, knowing what is coming up, what I need to anticipate bringing, making or seeing.


On vacation though, this behavior is forgotten. Thrown out the window. Abandoned.

  • I get up when I want
  • I eat what I want, when I want
  • I take naps
  • If I feel like going for a walk, I go
  • If I want to do Happy Hour, I do
  • If I don’t want to do dishes, I don’t
  • If we want to go visit something, we do
  • If I prefer to stay at home and read, then I do that
  • I don’t wear a watch
  • My smartphone is not attached to my hip


Boy does it feel good. And I don’t feel guilty !

It started off like this, and currently, vacation is looking like this :

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(Even if I admit, I have checked the weather and planned out my workouts…)


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Are you a planner or do you just go with the flow ?

Vacation fitness and food


Hello ! How is your weekend going ? We are starting our second week of vacation at a resort. I felt lucky as there are many fitness options to choose from.

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Here are some fitness and food highlights from this past week.

Fitness :  I tried to add variety and give my foot (a bit of) a rest from running

  • Sunday : 45 minute run / walk around the golf course / in the woods
  • Monday : 45 minute step class + one hour walk
  • Tuesday : LesMills class (30 minutes CXWorx + 45 minutes BodyBalance)
  • Wednesday : 5K run / walk + BodyBalance
  • Thursday : 45 minute step class
  • Friday : 30 minute CXWorx, 45 minutes BodyBalance, 45 minutes Zumba
  • Saturday : much needed rest ! 5K walk at slow pace


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I had never tried LesMills classes. I had heard about them from US bloggers, mainly from Annette at Enjoy Your Healthy Life (with a recent post on how she learns the choreography). They do not offer it at my gym so I was excited to be able to try it. I really liked both of the classes and the music is GREAT. I would say BodyBalance is a mix of yoga, pilates, stretching and tai chi … great for vacation and stress elimination.

I also tried my VERY FIRST Zumba class. I KNOW…. with the craze, it is hard to believe I had NEVER TRIED IT ! Zumba has been present in France for a long time, and they have it at my gym, but I was always intimidated because my coordination has gotten worse with age. But I did it and its easy to understand what everyone loves about it. The music is great, its fun, not (too) hard on knees /joints because lots of it is low impact and even if you are not coordinated, you just go with it.

I was supposed to end my week with a 10K race today, but we are having major thunderstorms this morning and pouring rain. I had laid my things out, and would have run in the rain, but between the thunder and high winds, I backed out. I am on vacation after all.



Food : My eats this week were pretty low key. The kitchen here is minimal, so our possibility to cook is limited. I have added some variety to my breakfasts.


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Egg, sausage, pancake

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French toast, nectarine, yogurt

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Pancakes with almond butter, cantaloupe, yogurt













With my daughter we were in the mood for French Toast… in French, it literally translates as “Lost (or wasted) Bread” or Pain perdu. French bread goes stale after a day or so, thus the bread is “lost”. So that it is not thrown out, I just mix eggs, milk and throw in some cinnamon. Using stale bread works better than fresh bread, as fresh bread often falls apart. Yummy !

Not sure what we are going to do today, as it is still raining…. the rest of the week looks pretty nice.


How was your week ? What is on the agenda for the weekend ?

Do you like French toast ?

Do you like to run in the rain ?

Friday Five : Five Summer Favorites

Thanks to Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for the link up to this week’s Friday Five, where the theme is Favorites.


Here you can find their blogs :

Mar on the Run

Eat Pray Run DC

You signed up for what






My favorites this week are Summer Favorites… everything I love about this wonderful time of year !

1. Fruit. Melons, cherries, nectarines, I love it all.

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2. Happy hour. I rarely drink but in the summer love a glass of rose wine or champagne. Having a drink when its hot out and seeing the condensation bead on the glass = summer.

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3. Sandals. I actually like my feet and do a lot to take care of them so I can wear sandals. From May 1st to Sept. 30th.

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4. Toe nail polish, which goes perfectly with number 3. I change my polish every week and alternate from bright colors to dark.

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5. Grilling.

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…and technical this makes six, but summer means vacation. Here is the link up to my last two vacation posts, first vacation weekend and why I look forward to vacation all year. Need I say more ?



What do you love about summer ?

What color nail polish do you prefer ?

I look forward to this all year

In France we are very lucky to have 5 or 6 weeks vacation. I work hard all year and with technology, I find I am rarely disconnected from work… checking emails early in the morning or before going to bed, preparing a presentation on the weekend…. the barrier between work / home is blurred.

For most of the year, I do not mind that much. I love my job, I run a business unit, am responsible for clients and manage a big team, so staying connected is what I am paid to do.


However, for three weeks a year, I disconnect. I do not check email (though work knows how to reach me if need be), I don’t wear a watch, nor do I wear make up. These three weeks in the summer are the moment for me to rid my body of all the built up stress and tension, and I am a better person, a better boss and a better employee for taking this break. And I don’t feel guilty at all.

Week 1 I usually spend getting caught up on my rest. Seriously, I go to bed at 10 p.m., up at 7 and take one or two naps a day. Week 2 I am feeling much better physically and emotionally, and week 3 I feel I can really take advantage of my vacation. If you have never taken three weeks off, try it.


Here is what has been going on this week :

1. Very little cooking. Garbage salads are high on the agenda. Anything in the fridge, throw it onto a plate.

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2. Exercise. I always vacation where there are fitness classes or bike / walking trails and paths. I have been too tired to run everyday, but am getting some kind of exercise in. Walking, running, step class, LesMills Body Balance…

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3. Reading / sudoku. Books, magazines or doing soduko. My concentration comes back and I can actually sit down and read a few chapters ! Rare during the rest of the year.

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4. Family. Perfect time to connect with my girls and husband.

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5. Very little technology. And if the phone rings, I don’t answer. I will listen to messages at the end of the day.

6. Leisure walks. 

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The next couple weeks will probably be pretty much the same. We might do some sightseeing, we might not. Depends on my mood.

And that’s what I wait a year for.

To  take my time, to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want.

My definition of vacation.


What do you like to do on vacation ? Are you a planner or do you prefer to play it by ear ?