May 2020 Favorites: Gal meets Glam, Victoria Mag and The French Cooking Academy + an exciting GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone,

How are we all doing? It occurred to me today that we have been in self isolation/quarantine for over two months now. Phew! It has been a roller coaster ride for sure. Not only are the numbers of COVID-19 still rising in some states and countries, but with so much unrest and heartbreak on American soil at the moment, I have found the heaviness of it all quite hard at times.

However, there have been some things that I have thoroughly enjoyed and I would like to share them with in the hopes that they will cheer you up as well. Oh, and there’s a Giveaway, so make sure to read until the very end to find out all about it.

Gal meets Glam

I’ve been slowly making my way through all of Julia’s blog posts on Gal Meets Glam. They are short and sweet and I always look forward to reading them. Since I’ve only subscribed to her newsletter about a year ago, I had much to go through so I reserved some time each evening to read them chronologically. It’s been interesting to see the growth, the professionalism and the hard work she and her husband have invested in  their blog and business, but most of all, I absolutely love their high quality, beautiful travel photos (so inspired!) and of course, all the beautiful dresses Julia finds and wears. It has been my most favorite escapism and I always seem to find something serene, beautiful and inspiring in each post.

“Now and Then” (film)

I’ve re-watched this movie late one night when I had trouble falling asleep and it was just as good and heart warming as I remember. The movie came out in 1995 and I believe I watched it for the very first time when I was in high school. Even after all these years, I was still completely enthralled by the classic coming-of-age story. So many important themes explored in it: lifelong friendship, family, courage, tragedy, determination… it even touches a little bit on consent, giving a lovely example of it, although I did not realize it at the time. Even better, it has an all-female cast, director, screenwriter and producers and this, in the 90’s! It is a great movie to watch with teens, and friends, and family alike.

Victoria Magazine

After catching my eye on the shelves and purchasing their May/June 2020 issue, I treated myself to a yearly subscription, something I haven’t done for myself in ages. This magazine is pure bliss! lots of suggestions of less known travel spots and places to visit in UK and France, spotlight on small businesses and female entrepreneurs and all the lovely, enchanting photos to help you daydream. Escapism at its best!

The French Cooking Academy

I’ve recently discovered the French Cooking Academy on YouTube and I’ve really been enjoying how basic techniques and recipes in the French cuisine are being broken down and explained. I am constantly looking for and making new recipes. And when I can’t travel (my European travels have been postponed due to the pandemic), my absolute favorite thing to do is to cook/bake something from a different cuisine.

So, I’ve made this rich, savory and extremely delicious ragu with grass fed beef, humanely raised at a local farm (I don’t have beef very often, probably a handful of times/year but I try to outsource grass fed beef as much as possible – so much tastier and healthier for you!), this potato/onion/bacon stew but I made some substitutions: turkey sausage instead of bacon and added some carrots + green onions to the mix to make it even more nutritious and delicious – great for a rainy, chilly spring day (we’ve had soooo many of those in May) and, la pièce de résistance, this creamy, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth rice pudding! OMG. If you are a rice pudding lover, you MUST try this recipe.

English Heritage

Last year at the end of March I took a trip to UK where I met with some dear friends and explored London, parts of Yorkshire and Wales. In the process, I realized that I am a true anglophile at heart and Great Britain is a place that I would like to visit again and again. I am fascinated by their history, culture and traditions. English Heritage is a treasure trove of all things British, historic sites, Victorian recipes and lifestyle, and generally, a great source to check out when you plan your trip to UK or are just as fascinated by their culture as I am.

“Everything bagel” seasoning

Okay, this must be the best seasoning! ever. It goes so well on avocado toast, on avocado toast + tomatoes, on salads, on chicken, in guacamole, on eggplant cream, on toasted sourdough bread + butter… I mean, is there a savory dish that would not taste good on? I honestly can’t think of any.

From the web

A free guided meditation for forgiveness and unconditional love

Train ride from Prague to London, in just one day. I want to do this sometime!

The cost of fast fashion on the garment workers and how the big brands won’t pay up

How to mend your clothes

America’s meat shortage. Heartbreaking in so many ways but it is a great opportunity to incorporate more vegetarian/vegan recipes into your diet and perhaps even adopt a plant-based lifestyle

Our ancestors were nearly all vegetarians. Surprise, surprise!

30 things your home doesn’t really need

The ultimate guide to deep clean your home

Simple, cheap ingredients to use for cleaning

The Arctic is melting. This is so worrisome and heartbreaking

The principles shared by all religions. We are much more alike than different

The Clean 15 list of produce that’s safe to eat without being organic


Yay! I am giving away one “5 Minute Journal” from Intelligent Change – something I’ve used myself in the past 2 years and spoke about it before in previous blog posts. It is a wonderful tool to help you develop a daily gratefulness practice, it takes less than 5 minutes/day to fill up and is truly a transformational tool. I am so happy to gift this to one of you lovely peeps!

All you have to do is:

  • be subscribed to my blog
  • comment down below: I want to get to know you! where are you from, what do you like to do, what topics would you like discussed on the blog, and generally, whatever you’d like to share with our community
  • share one (or more) of your favorite PFL blog posts on social media and let them know about this giveaway as well

That’s it! I will randomly choose a winner and let you know about the results at the end of next Sunday’s post (5/7) and will ship it to you wherever you find yourself in the world the following week.

Much love to you all,


p.s: photo taken by me, overlooking the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, USA

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Content creator based in Virginia, USA. I write about living a conscious, sustainable lifestyle, exploring places and finding joy and beauty in the little things. Come and stay awhile!

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