The cause of my despair

I wanted to let you know that I am so, terribly mad. At YOU!
Yes, I'm furious! Why go and disappoint me like this, when I had so much faith in you? I can't believe you would do this to me, and all those around me... How DARE you run off with winter, leaving spring to be a grim and gray grievance! How dare you hide behind the clouds, giving the sky a monotonous coat?
No matter how scary the world is, you've GOT to face it! Show yourself! Stop being such a coward!
Bring the sunny rays of spring back! We're seriously missing out here!
Here I am, on this rainy patch of the earth, bundled up in a sweater, writing to you, when I should be out on the balcony sipping pink lemonade, and bathing in vitamin D!
So, Sun, please give my words some consideration...
Or I might just have to move permanently to the Canary Islands.

5 ingredient granola bars

Searching around on pinterest, I came upon this recipe for no-bake, healthy, five ingredient granola bars.
It caught my eye, it called my name. I had to make these.

What's not to love about an easy, delicious, healthy granola bar recipe?
And did I mention delicious?
All the good stuff is packed into these little bricks of heaven: dates, almonds, oats, peanut butter, and honey. And when I say good stuff, I mean good for your taste buds AND your health. These bars are filled with protein, healthy fats, fiber and much more! Only great things can come from eating these.

The prep time is supposed to be 10 minutes, but as it often happens to me when I try a new recipe, it took WAY longer than that. That's because I didn't have the good sense to read the recipe through before embarking on it! When the time came to add the oats to the almond-date mixture, I had to wait 15 minutes for them to toast before stirring them in (you don't HAVE to toast them, but it's recommended if you like the flavor. I think it was worth it.) Oh, well. Live and learn.
Also, I didn't have a good almond-chopping technique... that slowed down the process as well.
I used honey this time, but you can veganize this recipe by using maple or agave syrup (I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to use honey or maple syrup... they both sounded so yummy! I'll try maple syrup when I make these again.)
My bars don't look as thin and rectangle as they do on Minimalist Baker (which is where the recipe is from) but hey, they're pretty dang awesome.

I have a feeling I'll be making these again and again, as they are the perfect snack to carry around if you need a boost of energy.

Irish Dancing

Is it nerdy that I have a sudden interest in Irish dancing? I was introduced to it during my vacation in Fuerteventura, in one of the night shows which was an interpretation of Riverdance. (If you've never heard of Riverdance, which I hadn't either, its a "theatrical show consisting of traditional Irish stepdancing, known for its rapid leg movements" according to Wikipedia)
The music enchanted me; It was magical. Look at the video below. The dancers look so light on their feet and like they're having so much fun! Isn't it amazing how fast they move?
 I feel like joining them on stage.
Not that I'm able to prance around like that.

The good news is, I might be able to take classes. Believe it or not, the former leader of Riverdance teaches classes right outside of Lyon! Is it a sign that I must take Irish dancing classes? I mean, how fortunate is it that I am so close to one of the most successful Irish dancers in the world?
Quelle coïncidence!

Swan lake

Where I live, swans lurk around. You see, I live in the city but in a very ecological and green area, the windows of my apartment facing a marina of river water! When it is warm, boats are parked in it. When it is warm, people walk along the water having lighthearted conversations which put smiles on their faces. Kids zoom down the street in their roller blades or bikes while people sit in cafes, watching them while sipping their lemonade. And when there are people, there are swans. Often during the winter, when I woke up and looked out my window, I could spot two regular visitors glide down the marina. But now that Spring has come, they are around here everyday, night and morning. Sometimes people throw them crumbs, which is probably the main reason for their visits, but I think they also love the attention they are given. They must adore being admired and pointed at. They must know they are beautifully elegant creatures. How graceful they are when they lift their wings and dance about!
This morning I had a great surprise. Paddling behind those two familiar large white birds were four little cygnets. Oh how cute they are! Fluffy all around, little black beaks and teeny tiny black eyes to match their gray coats. Three are of a darker gray and the last one is more of a grayish-white. They are just adorable! I took hundreds of pictures.
This is honestly the sweetest thing I have ever seen. How loving towards their parents those little creatures are! They move as a truly unified family! I still can't take the smile off my face.

Liebster award!

Hi! :D
I'm in a really good mood today because I have two days off from school AND the weather has turned awesome... so I went on a picnic followed by a long bike ride! Ahh. The good life.
To top it off I'm excited to announce that I have been nominated for my very first blog award!
Thanks Stacey <3
The Rules:
 - Link back to the person who nominated you.
- Answer the eleven questions your nominees has nominated for you, list eleven facts about yourself and set eleven questions for your nominees.
- Nominate eleven bloggers who have less than two hundred followers and who you think really deserve it.

Stacey's questions:
Favourite book and why?  
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Simply because John Green is the best. And the book has so much wisdom to offer. I actually wrote a whole blog post about it!
What do you imagine yourself doing when you're older? 
I want to be a writer or a Journalist!
Favourite teddy when you were younger.
Ummm... I didn't really have a teddy bear, actually. I had an African doll. :)
Twilight or Harry Potter?
Twilight, I guess, though I don't adore either of them (sorry!)
What's your favourite memory from the past?
Whoa, that's a hard one. There are so many! I can't choose! I'll just tell you about the first happy memory that popped into my brain. It was when my brother had his first ice cream, one of the times we visited my grandparents in the States. He was five months old.  My mom, my grandma, my brother and I went to the mall and we bought him his first ice cream cone and he was just ADORABLE when he started slurping at it. I'll always remember that moment!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
This is also a really difficult question for me, because I love to travel and I want to go everywhere! I think I'd choose India.
Favourite TV Program?
Friends! :D
What are you reading at the moment?
Petals On the Wind by V.C Andrews.
A random act of kindness you've done for somebody.
The most recent one I can think of is swimming to the bottom of a swimming pool to get a little kid's goggles.
Name of your first pet.
My first pets are Olive and Gaspy, and I got them a little over a year ago.
2 things that make you smile.
So many things make me smile! Cookie monster and vintage typewriters.

Eleven facts about myself:
1. I'm vegetarian.
2. I was born in Kenya, but I'm half American and half Argentinian.
3. I play the guitar.
4. I LOVE Asian food, and watermelon.
5. I used to live in Paris until I moved to Lyon two summers ago.
6. Cats are my favorite animals.
7. I want my career to involve writing.
8. I run and do yoga.
9. I could never live without books.
10. I have an injection phobia.

Questions for my nominees:
Favorite author? Why?
Are you a romantic?
Do you believe in horoscopes?
What do you eat for breakfast?
A celebrity you find ridiculous.
Pet peeves?
Favorite color?
If you saw a shooting star, what would you wish for?
If you could go to space, would you?
Favorite animal?
Sneakers or flip flops?

A list of bloggers that I want to nominate? There are so many! The problem is deciding on who would like to be nominated... If you're listed here, I love your blog, and if you don't want to do anything with this award that's all right, you'll have known that I admire your posts, and I think you deserve more followers!
Super-duper bloggers who deserve attention (my nominees)!
India @ India's Purple Dragonfly
Book Lover Recommends @ Book Lover Recommends
Georgia Brennan-Scott @ C'est la vie
Nina Marinkovic @ Read All About It
Micheline @ Holistic Chick
Rachel @ The Vegan Mishmash
Maelo Manning @ Life of a blooming child
Amber Sylvia Worsley @ Amber! 
Jade @ The Life and Times of Jade Lee Wright 


Hallooo my dears.
I've returned from my fab vacation in Fuerteventura. And I have lots to write about!
Where to start?
Fuerteventura is one of the seven islands that constitute the Canary Islands. It is in the Atlantic ocean, off the coast of Africa. I thought the word Fuerteventura meant something like "big adventure" but my dad later informed me that Fuerteventura, in old Spanish, actually means "strong wind" (is it immature of me that now that I know this, all I can think of is strong farts?).
So that's one thing about Fuerteventura. It's windy. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing! It kept us cool throughout the warm, sunny days. The temperature, in fact, was perfect. Hot enough to be in shorts and tan all day long but not hot to the point of being uncomfortable.

Our resort had two big swimming pools where my brother enjoyed water fights with a friend that he made during the trip, while I mostly sat on a chaise-longue reading through New Yorkers and several books (one of them was Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews, a novel which was popular in the 70's and that I just could not put down).
The resort also proposed great exercise classes throughout the day: I did yoga or stretching in the mornings, and either weight lifting or step aerobics in the afternoons (the funnest!). I grew attached to the animators who not only raced from one physical activity to the next all day (there must have been five different activities back to back each day) but also held a different show every night!
Some mornings I went running with my mom on a walkway beside the beautiful coast, with the natural music of waves whooshing against volcanic rocks.

We spent most of our time at the resort but managed escaping for a couple of days on an excursion to the other beautiful beaches and dunes of the island:
My brother

We ate at this little restaurant called "La Vaca Azul" (The Blue Cow) where I had a scrumptious lunch of stuffed avocados and a vegetable tarte tatin (I really want to replicate this menu at home!)

Vegetable tarte tatin
On several occasions I got to try the "mojo" sauces, typical of the Canary Islands. They usually accompany "papas arrugadas" (wrinkly potatoes, also typical of the islands) or bread:
One morning we visited the "Salinas del Carmen" salt mines ...and because Carmen's my name I had to pose in front of it, obviously ;)

And here comes the best part of our stay in the resort: the buffet! My parents were expecting the food to be of low quality, but on the contrary, it was delicious! It was so much fun to heap our plates at dinner with lots of different vegetables, pastas, pizzas, salads... there was SO MUCH CHOICE! And it changed every day.

In this buffet my dream came true.... Yes, it's a *REAL CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN*!!!
At breakfast was served the usual (toast, eggs, yogurt, cereal...), as well as pancakes and ever-changing pastries! What I enjoyed the most out of all of this was the wide range of fruits (so FRESH) and the smoothie bar. There was actually a woman blending up fruits before everybody's eyes at the smoothie counter all morning!

 This vacation was extremely fun and very relaxing. It's been so long since I could just sit and read with absolutely nothing on my mind of what needs to be taken care of.  It did me a lot of good to be in the sun, especially for my vitamin D deficiency. The turquoise sea was a little chilly but just watching the surfers go inside was enough!

I enjoyed the weather so much it didn't even occur to me that it might be cold back here in Lyon when we got back. I stepped out of the airplane wearing just a t-shirt and shorts and was so disappointed to feel the cold air bite my cheeks and raindrops trickle down my nose!