Enchantment Learning & Living Blog

Welcome to Enchantment Learning & Living, inspirational blog about the simple pleasures, radical self-care, and everyday magic that make life delicious.

On Chile Roasting in New Mexico

It is that time of year again.  Not quite summer anymore, nor completely fall, but some season in between.  School is just around the corner and markets are full to bursting with summer's bounty.  You find that you, too, are beginning to wind down from the limitless summer of late nights reading and long days writing, into the solid routine of teaching.  It is that transient month of living up your free time and getting ready for the fall. 

But nothing tells you that the season is changing more than the smell of green chile being roasted.  In all the places you've traveled, the things you've seen, nowhere on earth is there chile roasting like in your home, New Mexico.  You watch as they pile a sack full of ripe chile into the caged roasted and fire it up.  Soon, the chiles are cracking, their tender skin peeling and charred.  The air is perfumed with the smell of this roasting fruit, a smell akin to burning sage or hot spices.  This is the smell of your land.

All at once, this smell alone brings back a flood of memories: family Friday night green chile stew with fresh tortillas and beans, a micro-brew and good conversation; the soothing fall ritual of peeling sacks of roasted chiles to freeze and put by for the year, hands tingling from the spiciness; the bouts of homesickness when you lived away, cured only by your makeshift attempts to roast chiles in your oven.  It is the smell of pure comfort and nourishment, of home and self, the spice of the earth buried in the veins of the chile and your skin.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

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A Love Letter to Summer Monsoons

You quiet my mind as you feed the earth.  The strength of your thunder, the flash of your lightening all serving to soothe the storm inside me.  Your wet rain kisses my skin, filling the cracks and crinkles of my parched mind as it soaks into the dark soil grounding my plants, burrowing deep into their roots even as it brushes their upturned faces.

You send a hush over the city, making the land, the traffic, the day-to-day bustle slow down whether it wants to or not.  You wind your way to your fullest expression, clouds gathering in force behind you, a welcome promise of a calm, settled evening.  I watch those dark clouds race across the horizon punctuated by your low grumble that warns the city of your strength, inviting the day to bow before your might.  There will be no late night frolicking or even an afternoon reading on the porch; windows are securely fastened shut, door tightly closed.  Inward I must go. 

Your crackle and light sooth me to sleep late at night, the downpour of rain finding me in my dreams.  I would run out and dance in you, if I could, if it weren't for the thunder and lightning.  I content myself with listening to your wild symphony--the only noise that can draw me away from my book and my place on the couch to simply stare out my window and listen and drift on the song that is my summer monsoons, my healing balm that washes over my soul.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Making Limoncello

It is your way of distilling sunshine in a bottle, of capturing the salty, bright air of Capri and the golden light of Tuscany.  It will forever be your first time in Florence, savoring the sweet lemony digestif at midnight on the Palazzo Vecchio, only half-believing that there you were in the heart of a city you had only ever read about.

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Now, as you peel your lemons, you think back to that first night and how smoothly that limoncello went down, a cool, clean tonic on your throat, the perfect antidote to a year of uphill climbs and dead ends.  The heaviness in you had lifted, carried away by the soft midnight breeze and kept away with the lively conversation of your late-night companions and the music floating across the piazza.  It took the bitter peel of a tart fruit and a long year and turned it into something soft, gentle, enjoyable. 

You do this now too--taking those seemingly unusable pieces and shaping them into something beautiful.  You work your way carefully around the lemon, making sure to shave off the outer skin but leave the too-bitter white flesh untouched; it will not do to let a pith-soured rind steep in your brew.  This elixir must be made up of light and fresh starts.

As the weeks pass and your mason jar, full of lemon peels and spirits, darkens to a rich golden hue, you consider the time it takes to make something worthwhile, to let it cure until it is ready to be finished off with sugar and water.  Remove the peels too soon, and you are left with a weak drink, more sugar than citrus; too long, and the fruit's oils overtake everything else, saturating your drink with the sharp taste of harsh moonshine.  No, the timing is everything and only the golden color of the concoction tells you it is ready.  It does not listen to fixed days or firm dates but arrives at perfection in its own time.

You admire your first batch of limoncello when it is complete, almost hesitant to take that first sip. But when you do, overlooking the quiet evening from the comfort of your patio, it is perfectly chilled and reminiscent of those long, slow nights in Italy, unrushed, unfettered, the taste of sweet lemon on your tongue.  The taste of present sweetness birthed from past bitter harvests.  

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Small Batch Limoncello

Limoncello to me will always be my first night in Florence, sitting in an outdoor cafe on the Palazzo Vecchio at midnight with my mom and some artist friends drinking this delicious after dinner digestif.  This was my first time ever traveling abroad.  The drink became the embodiment of everything I love about travel: sweet and surprising, with a whisper of that country's everyday routine.  I spent the remainder of my trip in Italy finishing off my nights with this limoncello nightcap, as the Italians do to close out their meal.  The lightness of the lemons acts as a palate cleanser as digestive (where the drink title "digestif" comes from).  Even now, I love to enjoy a bit of limoncello on my patio using my favorite traditional shot-glass sized limoncello cups that I purchased from Capri. 

My mom and I enjoying some limoncello in Florence!

My mom and I enjoying some limoncello in Florence!

Imagine my delight when I found out how easy it is to make this drink!  This liquor is actually made from lemon peels rather than the fruit itself.  They soak in vodka or another clear spirit for anywhere from a week to a month and then the ensuing lemony spirit is mixed with water and sugar.  I let my peels steep for almost three weeks, as the longer you let the steep, the richer the lemony taste of the drink.  The important thing is to make sure that you use organic lemons since you need a chemical free peel to soak in your alcohol base.  This drink is best served chilled, usually after dinner or a big meal.  My family typically enjoys this on Sundays after our pasta feast.  You can also use it as a base for other cocktails--but more on that later. 

I prefer to make this in smaller batches because I like to play with the amount of lemon peels I put in each batch.  Since it is so easy to whip up, these small batches are ideal for this sort of experimentation.  I often use more lemon peels (almost double) than is traditionally called for in this recipe, because I like their brightness more than the sugary taste.  After trying limoncello all over Italy during my stay, I found that this drink ranged from light and crisp (ideal) to super syrupy (yuk!), so I made sure that my recipe stayed on the awesome side of this spectrum.  I also used raw organic sugar, making my final product come out darker than the traditional drink--more like a rich honey hue than a bright lemon yellow--but it still tastes delicious.  Don't discard the lemons after you peel them; save them instead for some homemade lemonade. 

Ingredients:

2 cups good quality vodka

1 3/4 cup water

1 1/4 cup sugar

6 lemons

Remove the peel from your 6 lemons using a vegetable peeler.  Make sure that you are getting the peel only and not the bitter pith. Place peels in a mason jar and pour vodka over them.  Seal jar and let sit for at least two weeks and no more than one month, shaking the jar periodically. 

Freshly peeled lemons with peels soaking in vodka...

Freshly peeled lemons with peels soaking in vodka...

...and same peel & vodka steep three weeks later.  Notice the darker hue that tells you it is ready.

...and same peel & vodka steep three weeks later.  Notice the darker hue that tells you it is ready.

Once the peels have steeped and you are ready to finish your limoncello, strain the alcohol from the peels and discard the peels.  Heat water and sugar in a saucepan on medium-hight until sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  Add sugar water to your alcohol and stir.  Store in two airtight mason jars and let cool complete in the fridge for at least four hours before drinking.  Lasts for up to one month in the fridge.  Makes about 4 cups of limoncello. Enjoy!

The final product, ready to chill in the fridge!

The final product, ready to chill in the fridge!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

5 Things I've Learned about Everyday Magic from Blogging

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Yesterday's blog post found me in awe of the fact that I've now completed six whole months of daily blogging, or as I like to call it, daily meditations on the magic of everyday life.  Writing every day like this has been one of my many (and perhaps most important) routines-as-rituals. It has made me hyper-sensitive to the magic of daily life and seems to have conjured more magic!  So in honor of this epic month that marks the halfway point of my year of daily blogging, I've decided to share with you five things I've learned about everyday magic from my blogging in the hopes that it inspires you to pause, look around, and see the magic in your life.

1.  The more you stop to appreciate the little things, the more inspiration you find for a happy life.  It's true--the more time I take to slow down and appreciate life's simple pleasures, the more they seem to find me.  Or perhaps they were there all along and I have only just begun to pay attention to them, like those synchronous moments that chase away negativity or simple enjoyments like preparing a dinner party.  In either case, blogging regularly on everyday magic allows me to look high and low for things that make my life awesome.

2.  Self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.   This is a huge lesson.  In this world of moving too fast and putting the needs of work or others before yourself, it is easy to think of self-care as the last and least important thing on your to-do list.  Yet as I began my writing journey, I found myself writing more and more about healing as art.  It made me realize that one of the things I've been cultivating through blogging is a greater sensitivity to myself and the needs of my body, mind, and soul.  The more I focus on this, the better I feel.  Best of all, I realize that when I resisted over-committing myself to demands of work and others, I am more productive and useful--and cut out unnecessary busyness.

3.  It takes time and energy to cultivate an appreciation for everyday magic--but it's so worth it!  This next lesson might sound counter-intuitive, but I realize that it takes work to see the magic in things.  A lot of people want that joie de vivre just to happen, but it won't if you spend your time dwelling on past lives or negative things.  Living well means cultivating a mindset and lifestyle that breeds happiness and enjoyment; there's no room for regret, looking back, or fussing over things you can't control.  It's everyday conjuring it its simplest form.

4.  Writing about everyday pleasures is like being a big flirt with life.  No joke.  When you wake up with the intention of enjoying every little bit of your day, it's hard not to feel like a flirt--always playful, always inviting unexpected fun, always ready for anything.  In many ways, it helps you shed your inhibitions about who you are and aren't, what you should and shouldn't like, what you can and can't do.  There's simply nothing left to do but be the fullest expression of yourself--totally liberating! And yes, sometimes it means you get carried away enjoying things like polka dots or your garden's first tomatoes--but that's just part of the magic!

5.  Life lessons are about the journey, not the destination.  I know it sounds a little cheesy, like something that belongs on an inspiration-gram, but what's wrong with that?  Sometimes we need to get lost in the desert or revisit old lives in new cities.  Part of finding the magic in everyday life is enjoying the learning process--what you learn about yourself, your relationship to others, your growth as a living, breathing being.  It's not about perfection or reaching that one ah-ha moment; it's about being willing to embrace--and enjoy--the messiness that is life.

...and I know I said I was only going to talk about five things I've learned, but I'm going throw in a bonus, and maybe the most important, sixth lesson:

the more you look for magic, the more it finds you.

What magic have you found lately?

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Ruidoso

View of the mountains.

View of the mountains.

It is more mountain than town, more sky than buildings.  The sun is closer here, practically coating your skin in its hot embrace before it has even reached its highest point in the sky. The air is fresh and dry, sweeping away any serious thoughts or unnecessary tasks as you gaze out at the lake.

View of the lake at Inn of the Mountain Gods.

View of the lake at Inn of the Mountain Gods.

Time, too, seems to slip away here as you forget what day it is, what hour, during long morning nature walks and afternoon naps.  The roads are home to trucks and deer--those graceful animals seen foraging along the roadside, loping back into the woods--and you find your mind wandering, drifting past those roads into the wilderness, as surely as your car wound deeper into the mountains only a day or two before.

Deer getting ready to cross hiking path.

Deer getting ready to cross hiking path.

During one of your morning hikes, you stumble upon a family of deer. They stand in a grove by the street, almost ten in all, their long ears leaning forward to take in the sounds of the woods, to figured out who you are.  They are no more than a few yards away.  As if deciding you are no real threat--yet still wary--they slowly take off across your hiking path, long legs taking them deeper into the woods, far away from the presence of humans.  You marvel at their grace, grateful for this sighting.

Deer running past Carrizo walking path.

Deer running past Carrizo walking path.

You marvel, too, at the resiliency of the land, scarred over by fires that consumed so much forest, charred and blackened trees standing like ghostly sentries guarding the town, memories of a too-hot summer, a too-hungry fire.  Yet you see it, once you look past the blackened branches: new growth, little flares of green making their way up out of the blackened soil, ready to heal those wounds.  The earth knows no other way but to keep moving forward, to keep planting and tending its seeds.

Ruidoso after the fires.

Ruidoso after the fires.

And even as you know you have only experienced the surface of the town--a local nail salon and a steak house--you admire its long line of shops down main street and the way nature seems to take even those building over, as if the heart of the town lies at its outskirts where the hints of urbanity fade under the caress of nature.  Yes, this is a place more mountain than town.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On a Night Spent in Your Hotel Room

Wine on the patio.

Wine on the patio.

You know one of the greatest luxuries of staying in a hotel (other than room service) is spending the night in your room, perfectly wrapped in a hotel robe and enjoying take out, TV, and long, sometimes nonsensical conversations with your sister.

You spent the afternoon goofing off--pedal boating and walking around the lake after she finished her last conference day--and now all you both want to do is hang out in your hotel robes and chill.  You drank club soda and lemon--the drink cool and refreshing on your lips after being in the heat--while you wait for your take out (take out because evening room service menu was a meat-lovers delight, but less attractive to your veggie sensibilities).  Then it's a short walk back to the hotel room where you immediately cast off your clothes, shower with those delicious orange- scented hotel soaps and get comfy.

You even splurged on an overpriced 1/2 bottle of wine from the hotel gift shop.  You enjoy some of it while overlooking the hotel grounds on your patio.  It is your last night there, and you relish an early evening in, lingering over the beauty of your natural surroundings while you wait for your sister to finish showering. 

Then you spread out on the floor--a whole swath of carpet left conveniently unadorned, perfect for your indoor picnic.  You giggle over bad TV shows and movies as you eat your taco salads and makeshift desert (chocolate tokens left over from the previous night's dinner).   Then, the best part of staying in really, you are ready to tuck yourself under the plush covers of the hotel bed knowing that the next night you will once again be sleeping in your own.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Staying in a Hotel

It has been a long time since you have stayed at a hotel--maybe a year--and even longer since you were in one state-side.

For you, there is always something vaguely glamorous about staying in a hotel.  It doesn't matter if it is a place tucked into the heart of the mountains, like the one you find yourself in now, or in a corner of a big city or nestled in the center of a small Italian village.  There will always be something exciting about checking in and viewing your room for the first time--the crisp sheets straining across the bed, the little toiletries lined up along the bathroom mirror.  It speaks of adventure and the mystery of other places distilled into those little travel-size hotel lotion bottles that you used to collect as a child as if taking one of those nondescript containers would somehow allow you to bring a piece of that hotel luxury home with you.

It is the room service you cannot wait to indulge in now--a whole meal, breakfast, delivered to your room on a fancy cart, complete with the local newspaper.  You feel glamorous, maybe even like Grace Kelly, as you wrap the hotel bathrobe around you and open the door for your breakfast delivery (although you know you probably look far less polished).  And while you miss your morning coffee on your porch, you find they have a patio here too, so you drink your coffee overlooking the lake and greet the local birds--starlings you think--twittering around you.  A walk by the lake is in order for the day, as is some exploration of the grounds. 

There is no tarnishing the allure of a relaxing hotel stay, forever imprinted in your mind as an exciting time of exploration--a carry-over from the over-active imagination of your childhood. And even as the adult you hopes to find some reasonably healthy meals at the hotel restaurants or in town (never a childhood concern) and marvels at the same-ness of most hotels, the whimsical you still looks forward to the new experiences and sensations, a few days of being a visitor wherever you are, to let the day take you where it will.

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Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On a Road Trip through New Mexico

Your car is newly washed, polished, and shined.  Your tank is full.  You have your stash of tunes and another of snacks.  Your bags are packed.  You have the perfect company: your sister.

Now there is nothing but the open road before you, hours of cruising and giggling and singing along too loudly and out of key to country music.  You only have one stop--Ruidoso--but you have summer in your soul and miles of open space spread out before you, making it the perfect little road trip.

The desert has graced you with a cool morning and the promise of a sunny day.  Let no one tell you your desert is nothing but dust and an almost colorless brown blanketing the earth.  As you cruise you see the mountains glow their purple glow in the distance; the dry sierra brush surrounded by little wildflowers of yellow, pink, and white; and scattered short trees--forest and silvery greens--fanning out on either side of the road, reminders of how much you love your desert.  Further still, you know you will see the plateaus and hills wearing their red and brown and yellow stripes, their bellies full of clay and history.  The sky itself kisses the hood of your car with its turquoise lips.

Deeper still you go, stopping only to fill up the tank and empty your bladders, climbing higher into cooler temperatures and greener lands.  After time away, it is good once again to feel the road under your wheels, the expanse of this glorious desert in your heart.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Saying Goodbye Old Lives in New Cities

 

It started in Versailles.  There you were looking at centuries old rooms coated in luxury, stained by the violence of excess.  You found an older version of yourself--the one who once would have eaten up every little decorative touch in the royal bedrooms and every morsel about Marie Antoinette--tucked into a corner by the window, staring out at the Hall of Mirrors.  There was your reflection of someone long gone, that you who used to make your living memorizing these facts of another age, another culture, a ghost not completely sure she had passed on to another realm. 

You saw her again roaming the ground of this palace, lost in the excess.  You watched as she searched for Marie Antoinette's cottage, the place the queen played peasant, desperate for a glimpse of something real after the painful glitter of the palace.  Yet she was also painfully eager to put her stamp on the place as if to legitimize her past studies after viewing what she'd only read about in books.  But you reign her in.  You are weary of this empty place, this soulless husk of a time long gone.  You let this old remnant go over escargot in the Rue Cler, happy once again to be who you are, where you are.

Yet this old life crosses your path again, this time in London as if a walk through Covent Garden has triggered her appearance.  (You begin to wonder if you will ever be fully rid of her.)  Here, too, she is disoriented, only half-aware that her time has passed.  Like the old pleasure grounds of Covent Garden taken over by luxury shops and tourist traps, she no longer exists except in name.  You mourn this loss, feeling history erode beneath your feet and yet are grateful for the firm grounding of the here and now--family, present enjoyment of a good fish and chips dinner, things you would have forsaken in the past to prove your knowledge, your mastery of something outside yourself.

She appears only once more, this past life, the path you could have taken had you chosen to remain a scholar-nun, wed only to your books, your research, your grip on dead things long past.  You find her in Bath; here she is only a wisp of smoke, already faded under your appreciation of the path you now walk.  She whispers to you on the Circus, the circle lined with Georgian Buildings, the hub of gossip, home to many an Austen novel (a fact, among others, she is proud to remember), yet her voice is only a rustle of leaves.  Here too, the city is overtaken with over-priced shops and sad imitations of a life that once was.  Here too, you say goodbye to the dust and memories that used to occupy your life so completely.  Here too, you turn from her.

You have left the Circus, your old self disappearing like a puff of smoke, that path you could have taken paved over with yellow bricks such as those that Bath was built with.  You watch it happen from the safety of your new path, carved from the desert stone, cured by the desert sun, nourished by everyday life.  This is your path.  As if to sweep away the last of your old life as you return home, you receive a message from your sister, a bright light clearing through the rubbish of the past: she is having a baby girl.  You will be tia, you will be autie, to a little niece.  All at once, you see what is before you now: new life, warm as the desert heat you are missing, real as your native soil beneath your feet.  Family.  The desert.  The enchantment of daily life.  This is your life.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

London in Review

London.

House of Parliament as viewed from the London Eye.

House of Parliament as viewed from the London Eye.

It's hard to describe this city.  It is home to relics of important western history and literature nestled within the bustle of modern life--traffic whizzing by, people piling out of pubs come evening time, shops upon shops lining the streets.  In many ways, London was the city that took us the longest to adjust to, whereas we thought it would be Paris, since it was the one place where we didn't know much of the language.  But London was a strange mix of old ways--that stiff English reserve as chilly as the gray, damp weather and the Anglophil worship of their colonial and literary past--and cozy Hobbit-ness, with people that like a good pint and a chat, and good curry even more.  Once we broke the surface of that off-putting reserve, we had a blast!

Fish and chips at Rock and Sole.

Fish and chips at Rock and Sole.

The first day we were there, we arrived too late for lunch, and so stopped at a nearby pub for a beer, whiskey, and nuts since that was all they had.  After hours on the plane and in the airport, it was delicious!  That night we also ate at the absolute best fish and chips at Rock & Sole, a restaurant near the Covent Garden dating back to 1871 and still using locally sourced fish.  It also had a rich history, particularly in feeding the homeless during the WWII Blitz.

Stonehenge--breath taking!

Stonehenge--breath taking!

Windsor Castle.  The greenery in place now is where the mote used to be.

Windsor Castle.  The greenery in place now is where the mote used to be.

The next day was devoted to a tour of the English countryside.  We saw Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, the idyllic Village of Lacock (the set of many films like Cranford, Emma, and even Harry Potter), and Bath (the old social center and healing waters of the 18th and 19th centuries).  While all these sights were wonderful in their own right, the most awe-inspiring was Stonehenge. 

First view of Bath after a rainstorm!

First view of Bath after a rainstorm!

It was, however, pretty cool to see a medieval castle--once I got past the cringe-worthy celebration of English colonization, my sword and sorcery nerd came out! The Village of Lacock, too, carried a charm reminiscent of old England and a slower way of life.  While so many of London's historical sites like Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden have been taken over by high end shops, it was nice to see what an older version of England looked like in this village.  Bath too, while home to many fancy modern shops, carried the echoes of Jane Austen and other writers that featured this gossip hub in their novels.  The day was perfectly capped off by dinner at an amazing Indian restaurant, Tayyab, which all our cabbies assured us was the place to go.  They were right!

Mouthwatering lamb smothered in spices at Tayyab.

Mouthwatering lamb smothered in spices at Tayyab.

Globe Theater.

Globe Theater.

The final day in London was spent touring the city.  We saw Shakespeare's Globe Theater, the House of Parliament, the Tower, and Westminster Abbey, and even got to sneak in some time to visit the Sherlock Homes Museum on 221B Baker Street!  I honestly can't believe how much we did that day because all those sights were followed up by a visit to Tate Modern and the Freud Museum, along with neighborhood hopping, ribbon shopping, and a trip to the original Twinings tea shop that has been in business since 1706.  Safe to say, I got my tea-nerd on! 

Enjoying a pint and a whiskey at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese after a day of adventuring!

Enjoying a pint and a whiskey at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese after a day of adventuring!

Outside Twinings!

Outside Twinings!

After all that excitement, we decided to stop off at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub said to have been frequented by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Samuel Johnson (the writer of the first English dictionary and whose house is just around the corner).  It was just the fortification we needed to enjoy a spin on the London Eye, which gave us a breathtaking view of the city.  Our last proper meal in London, then, was at Simpson's in the Strand, a traditional English restaurant most famous for its roast beef that they cut for you right at the table.  It was a luxurious feast of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding (a type of popover), potatoes and cabbage.  If it is one thing we learned on this trip, it is that the English like their meat and potatoes--and their beer!

Roast beef, house made horseradish, and Yorkshire pudding at Simpson's.

Roast beef, house made horseradish, and Yorkshire pudding at Simpson's.

The London Eye.

The London Eye.

This iconic London telephone booth, complete with graffiti!

This iconic London telephone booth, complete with graffiti!

All in all, it was a fantastic trip!  Perhaps the moments I enjoyed most were when we got to stroll around different neighborhoods and talk with the locals, both native to England and immigrants, about what London is to them.  And like the hobbit that I truly am, I am inspired and awed by my travels, but am now happy to be home and sharing them with you all as I write this post over a pot of Twinings tea in my colorful New Mexican kitchen.  Thanks for following!

 

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

In Tags

Paris in Pictures

Having an Audrey Hepburn moment along the River Seine!

Having an Audrey Hepburn moment along the River Seine!

At the Louvre, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

At the Louvre, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

If Barcelona is a loud, warm city overflowing with life, Paris is an elegant one dedicated to refined enjoyment like strolling along the River Seine.  My first view of Paris was in a taxi cab from the airport--I was blown away by the bigness of the city, the modern buildings seemingly piled on top of one another and the relative quiet of the sidewalks (not the freeways!) on the Sunday evening when my family arrived.  Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of the city was seeing the Eiffel Tower everywhere we went--it felt much like the ever present Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque that orient you to your location in this big maze of streets and alleyways.

We learned that first night that most restaurants are closed on Sundays from the man we rented an Air B&B apartment from.  Fortunately, we did find dinner in the form of a sidewalk bistro serving escargot and kir royal, a champagne and currant liquor drink popular in France (it's much like the Italian spritz or the American mimosa).  It tasted amazing after a long day traveling in from Barcelona.

Escargot (snails) cooked in butter and parsley.

Escargot (snails) cooked in butter and parsley.

The Louvre with the Pyramid--a feature installed in 1989 and hated by the French because its modern style clashed so completely with the antiquated architecture of the Louvre.  I think now they tolerate it more than appreciate it.

The Louvre with the Pyramid--a feature installed in 1989 and hated by the French because its modern style clashed so completely with the antiquated architecture of the Louvre.  I think now they tolerate it more than appreciate it.

The Mona Lisa.  It is encased in a glass security tomb that, in case of an emergency, will sink the priceless painting into a basement vault to keep it safe.  Our tour guide told us that no insurance company is willing to insure this painting--it is too great a risk as it is literally priceless.

The Mona Lisa.  It is encased in a glass security tomb that, in case of an emergency, will sink the priceless painting into a basement vault to keep it safe.  Our tour guide told us that no insurance company is willing to insure this painting--it is too great a risk as it is literally priceless.

The next day was pretty epic--we spent the morning at the Louvre and the afternoon strolling the River Seine and the Left Bank neighborhoods.  I got the see the Mona Lisa which, while not Da Vince's best work, is surely his most famous.  I don't know what awed me more: The Mona Lisa, a tiny priceless painting, or the giant crowd trying to get a look at it--and sneaking in selfies with the Mona Lisa!  After the museum crowds, it felt great to feel the open air along the Seine and experience the parts of the city where real Parisians live. We even squeezed in some time to enjoy the Notre Dame Cathedral! 

Me and my mom outside the bookstore.  We couldn't go in because it was packed with visitors!

Me and my mom outside the bookstore.  We couldn't go in because it was packed with visitors!

Love Lock Bridge on the River Seine.

Love Lock Bridge on the River Seine.

The Louvre neighborhood was the first moment I actually felt myself in the Paris of the old movies I am addicted to.  It was the Paris of old buildings with intricate designs, perfectly manicured gardens, and picturesque bridges connecting one part of the city to the other (including the famous "Love Lock" bridge, where lovers put a lock on the bridge to cement their love).  We walked through street markets and visited the canonical Shakespeare and Company, a bookstore and lending library best known to expats for carrying banned books like D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover and for being a hub where American writers like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald congregated.  It was great to feel Paris beneath my feet!

Me outside Polidor after a fantastic meal!

Me outside Polidor after a fantastic meal!

Beef bourguignon at Polidor--I couldn't be in France and not try this dish!  What would Julia Child think?

Beef bourguignon at Polidor--I couldn't be in France and not try this dish!  What would Julia Child think?

We finished off the night with more escargot and a fantastic dinner of beef bourguignon at Polidor, a restaurant best known for its now-famous clientele like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, and Henry Miller.  The restaurant was opened in 1845 and remains relatively unchanged: customers still sit at long tables community-style and the food is reminiscent of 19th century France. 

Versailles.

Versailles.

A mere corner in the Hall of Mirrors.  During the 18th century, mirrors were very expensive to install, so I can only imagine what it cost to install a huge corridor like this one with such pricey material!

A mere corner in the Hall of Mirrors.  During the 18th century, mirrors were very expensive to install, so I can only imagine what it cost to install a huge corridor like this one with such pricey material!

Day two was dedicated to Versailles, a palace at once opulent and empty.  As breathtaking as it was to learn about the history of this grand palace--particularly that of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution--it was at the same time shocking to see the excess of these royals founded on the taxation and impoverishment of the people.  Walking through the hall of mirrors made it quite clear why the French Revolution happened. My family and I agreed that perhaps the one redeeming feature of this less than glamorous part of France's history is that now Versailles is a place for the people, where students and families can go and stroll the luxurious grounds.  Still, it was eerie walking through the perfectly coiffed halls and gardens and seeing the dark underbelly of this seemingly majestic space.

Croissant sampler, from left to right: chocolate, plain, and almond.  My family and I had so much fun tasting them!

Croissant sampler, from left to right: chocolate, plain, and almond.  My family and I had so much fun tasting them!

We regrouped from the Versailles experience that night--our last night in Paris--by a walk through the Rue Cler, a neighborhood famous for its quaint shops and good restaurants.  And yes, there was more escargot, along with a traditional fondue plate for dinner.  All in all, Paris was a majestic experience and yet left me feeling as if I have barely scratched the surface of this elegant city.  My last taste of this city was my morning croissant--I fell in love with the almond ones.  It was rich yet dainty, much like this Paris.

 

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

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The Colorful Barcelona In Review

The door to the Air B&B apartment we stayed at--fantastic!

The door to the Air B&B apartment we stayed at--fantastic!

Jamon on display at La Boqueria.

Jamon on display at La Boqueria.

Barcelona is the city of all cities in my opinion--such a livable place and so full of history, culture, and art. My family and I stayed in the heart of the city, near Las Ramblas, a stretch of street full of great shops and sights, including my absolute favorite, La Boqueria, an amazing open market filled to the gills with seafood, fruits, veggies, and, of course, jamon!  And let me tell you, we ate a lot of jamon, a ham the Spanish are famous the world over for.  Yum!

Fruit display from vendors at La Boqueria.

Fruit display from vendors at La Boqueria.

Seafood at La Boqueria--I've never seen some of these types of fish before!

Seafood at La Boqueria--I've never seen some of these types of fish before!

La Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia.

Other highlights of the trip include a whole day devoted to Gaudi.  We were blown away by the light and magic of La Sagrada Familia, a church designed around Gaudi's love of nature.  It truly felt like a sacred space of light and healing that transcended any notion of traditional religion.  Then it was on to Park Guell, a space Gaudi designed to be house development but that, when that project failed, became a gorgeous city park dotted with Gaudi's whimsical architecture.  We finished off our Gaudi-fest with a night-time tour of La Pedrera, a space once built for a rich family to live and rent out that was reviled in its time for its strange organic shapes mimicking a rock quarry, but is now loved for those same features.  Absolutely awe inspiring!

Interior view of La Sagrada Familia.

Interior view of La Sagrada Familia.

Park Guell.

Park Guell.

Bridge in Park Guell.

Bridge in Park Guell.

Sculpture on the rooftop of La Pedrera.

Sculpture on the rooftop of La Pedrera.

Me enjoying an amazing basil gin tonic from Xixbar, a local haunt dedicated solely to the art of gin tonic.

Me enjoying an amazing basil gin tonic from Xixbar, a local haunt dedicated solely to the art of gin tonic.

And there was tapas.  Lots of tapas.  And gin tonics.  Thankfully, my sister and her husband knew all the great local spots to go, so we feasted at the cheap places the real Barcelonians went to.  Perhaps one of our best meals (although, really it is hard to say with such great options), was our impromptu picnic at Sitges, a wonderful beach near Barcelona where we swam (briefly--it was cold!).  We got olives, jamon, Spanish cheese, fresh bread, and caper berries from a local market.  Heaven!  Sometimes the best meals are the simplest ones.

Jamon and egg tapas in Sitges.

Jamon and egg tapas in Sitges.

Papas Bravas, a local dish of fried potatoes in aioli-like sauce.

Papas Bravas, a local dish of fried potatoes in aioli-like sauce.

Octopus in Barcelona.

Octopus in Barcelona.

A selection of tapas from jamon to prawns, octopus, and two cheese selections and veggies, and finally a potato-meat ball.  Delish!

A selection of tapas from jamon to prawns, octopus, and two cheese selections and veggies, and finally a potato-meat ball.  Delish!

We strolled all the different neighborhoods and stopped off at a book fair on our last day.  We saw some incredible art by a famous Catalan artist name Antoni Tàpies, and we strolled through more neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter and Gracia.  We shopped a little neighborhood markets and enjoyed the locals.  I feel the words I use to describe this experience don't do it justice!  I can't possibly tell you every adventure we had nor fully describe the warmth and openness of this great city.  All I can say is it is worth a visit--and I would love to go back there again!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

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On London Cab Drivers

They were the first people to introduce you to London properly. Their shiny black cabs roamed the streets like traveling encyclopedias holding all of London past and present in the back of their seats.

Theirs was not the London of fastidious politeness and reserve as cool as the weather. Nor was it the Anglophile paradise of queens and outdated customs--the London that had been so off-putting, so full of its own importance as it was, the one that brought out the Chicana militant in you.  (Their history is great yes, but so is yours.  You will not bow down to them, not their conquests, not their customs.)

But the cabs, now there was the real London. The place where the drivers talked streets and politics and watching the telly over a few beers after work.  In the back of their cabs, you learned about the best places to eat--Indian food, traditional English fare, French steak frites--as well as the best sights to see.  You learned about the day to day life of the average Londoner--work, pub, home--and the affability you wouldn't necessarily find in a New York taxi.  

You learned of their love of Stonehenge documentaries, their mental tug-of-war of selling or not selling their Spanish villa, their thoughts on race and class consciousness, and their master's thesis on sacred spaces--non-religious mass graves of 19th bishop's prostitutes where people still go to mourn the lost.  You heard about their grandchildren and their trips to America. They drew you a map with their words of neighborhoods and beliefs and everyday life. 

These are the stories you don't read about in guidebooks, the London that is made of grit and good cheap beer and honest work, the one that doesn't really care about the Queen or the national religion, only a good conversation and a job done well.

As you found your way through London from one taxi to the next, you relish the feeling of cracking the thin surface of antiquated Anglophilia as you would the shell of a soft-boiled egg so you could scoop out the fleshy center, savor the heart of this city.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Understanding Paris

You will admit--sheepishly and only in a half-whisper to yourself--that your idea of Paris was more like a quaint village with little sidewalk cafés than the big bustling city stretched out before you.

Perhaps it was that at first glance, from the view outside the taxi cab window from the airport to the city proper, it looked like any other city: loud, industrial, overflowing with people and utilitarian buildings.  Perhaps it was that you got in late at night after a long day in Barcelona and had no more room to truly see the city. In either case, your first impression of Paris was disconcerting. 

It wasn't until the next day that you really saw the city--and began to understanding it.  The visit to the Louvre did it first, then the walk along the Seine. This was the Paris of your old movies, the one you had read about in books.  You embraced this more familiar notion of Paris even as you knew it was only the surface of this grand city--as all tourist spots are.

You went deeper still, on a long walk into left bank neighborhoods, past the tourist shops and pseudo-Parisian restaurants and into the city blocks where real people lived.  This, this was Paris. It was the sidewalk cafe overflowing with people enjoying a drink after work. It was students walking to and from the Sarbon. It was old gentlemen enjoying dinner at a small bistro.

Now--between walking the streets and people watching at the cafe over a glass of whiskey--now you are beginning to understand Paris. 

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

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A Study in Gin Tonics

Your first gin tonic was nothing special--just a perfect blend of ice, gin, tonic. It was in a little cafe in Barcelona's Gothic quarter probably visited by locals but unknown to the makers of guidebooks.  In fact, the only real defining feature of the cafe was the turquoise staircase winding up to the second floor of the building--the bright pop of color reminding you of your desert home.  Even the drink was homey in its simplicity as if you were in your own place and decided to whip up an evening cocktail. 

The second gin tonic was the stuff of dreams--tantalizing, ephemeral, yet pulling you into this world here and now, much like the Gaudi building you spent the day viewing. It came from a little hole in the wall famous for how well it handles this iconic drink.  It was made of Hendrick's gin infused with basil--your favorite herb--and graced with fat ice cubes and Swepps tonic water. You watched in fascination as the bartender filled your glass, a fat round goblet, to the top with your restorative elixir.  Your only distraction, the bottled of house infused spirits, like rows of apothecary jars along the bar.

You sat outside, watching cars whiz by, discreetly listening to your fellow gin drinkers.  The drink was cool and tart on your lips, laced with the perfumey botanicals that make an ideal gin.  The basil hits you last, like a memory or whisper of the herb at the back of your throat. Yes, this was the perfect palate teaser for tapas across the road.

Your last gin tonic was in another hole in the wall, this time in Sitges, a favorite tapas place for the locals. You don't remember much about that drink, only the sand and salty ocean that coated your skin, your hair, your lips. Even this was the taste of Spain.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

5 Tips for a Perfect Cup of Tea

It seems only reasonable that since I am in England, I figure out what makes a perfect cup of tea.  It is, after all, the stereotypical homeland of the perfect cup (let's not forget the Asian countries and beyond that also have pretty amazing tea histories).  The English cup of tea is the stuff of novels--how can anyone escape a scene featuring tea while reading an Austen or Dickens' story?  How can you survive an afternoon in London without searching for a marvelously fortifying cup of this magical elixir, for another matter?

While I go off in search of my perfect cup here, I offer you a few tips on making your perfect brew---advice straight from London tea connoisseurs!--at home.  Enjoy!

1.  Know your brew time.  Each type of tea is a little different, so it helps to know the steeping time for the tea you are using--too little brew time equals weak tea, too long leads to bitter brew.  Below is a list of the most common types of tea and their brew times.

Black = 3-5 minutes

Green = 2-3 minutes

Herbal = 5-7 minutes

Oolong = 3-5 minutes

White = 1-3 minutes

2.  Have patience.  Don't swish the hot water or stir the leaves as it brews--just let the leaves sit in hot water. Be civilized--don't rush!

3.  Don't use a strainer.  This is a tough one--especially if you are on the go--but strainers constrict the leaves, making it harder for them to unfurl, which then makes it more difficult for the leaves to bleed into the water.  Now I'm not saying you should never, ever use a tea strainer again in your life (I will still use them!), but if you have time, pour the tea directly into the pot and let them stew.

4.  Always use quality tea.  I know it's hard, but you will have to give up the tea bags!  Most tea bags use the dregs of the tea leaves and the tea bags themselves have harmful chemicals in them--yuck!  So stick to good loose leaf tea from a supplier you trust--you can thank me later. ;)  Then use 1-2 tablespoons of tea per 8 ounces of water to get a strong cup.

5.  Start with cold, filtered water.  If you don't filter the water, the tea can take on the taste of whatever minerals come through the tap.  Cold water ensures that your water boils nicely without tasting flat.

At its very best, tea is a break from the world, a hug in a cup, a consolation, a celebration, a soother, and a pick-me-up--all depending on what the drinker needs.  In any case, make sure that you treat your tea as a self-care ritual in the midst of your day.  Take the time to brew a good cup--it is so worth it!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

London...and Beyond!

I'm on the last leg of my trip here in London.  Wow!  What an epic adventure!

I can't wait to try a proper cup of tea (okay, let me indulge just this one stereotype bred from reading too many Victorian novels, wink wink)--maybe even a real afternoon tea!--and genuine fish and chips.  As for our itinerary, we have plans to visit the Freud Museum and the Tate Modern one day, and then take a tour to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath, and a small medieval English town the next.  I personally can't wait to see Bath, the setting for so many of the Regency and Victorian books I read when I was younger--and the Enlightenment novels I read while in school.

Of course, the book lover in me will totally be geeking out too and will probably go in search of 221B Baker Street and other signs of some of the greatest stories ever written.  I'll no doubt get plenty of Jane Austen history in Bath and even some Dickensian revelations in the streets of London proper. 

What to see more of my adventures in London and beyond?  Check out my Facebook page for updates and pictures!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

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On Flâneur

It's simple, really.

Your task is to be a flaneur.  A stroller.  A city wanderer.  Yet so much more than that.  You must be prepared to wander without a set goal, no clear destination.  You must walk to feel the city beneath your feet, to observe and be observed.

It is a sweet treat to feel the streets of Paris under your feet, to taste the absence of no real direction.  Your job as a visitor is to embrace the city one footstep at a time, to let the view of the Seine imprint itself in your memory, to feel the cool breeze on your skin, the taste of real croissants on your lips.

So in travel, so in life.  It is an art to walk, to absorb, to resist the need to commit to a firm schedule.  Perhaps you will encounter a cafe to sit and drink cafe au lait, perhaps a small little antique shop, or nothing at all.  It is enough to stroll and learn the city through its people and the way the light falls upon the buildings at each hour of the day.

The French have it so right in this.  There is divine pleasure in simply strolling, in wandering aimlessly--it is a practice in taking the time to enjoy everything about you.

That is the job of the flaneur.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Studying French

It is difficult to wrap your mouth around the sounds--the nasal whispers that pronounce familiar letters in strange ways.  You are much more at home with your Spanish or Italian that pronounce every letter and are so like one another that to know one, is almost as good as knowing the other. 

But French--that is another language entirely. 

Your expectations are reasonable; you only want to be able to read a menu and ask for directions--and understand the answers.  You want to be able to say please and thank you, for you are above all a polite lady.   Yet as you study the words in your book and attempt to accurately pronounce the survival phrases your language podcast rolls out with ease, you realize that even as you know what "bonjour" should sound like, you will probably never achieve the delicate phrase reminiscent of the perfectly flaky croissant that you so hope to try.

No.  Your French will be flat and garbled, without the grace of your classroom Spanish, or the happy buoyancy of your limited Italian.  You take comfort in the fact, however, that the French will as least understand your joie de vivre even if they cannot make sense of your "parlait vous anglais?" or your "Je ne comprends pas."

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!