Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 1 comment on What I Learnt While Backpacking

What I Learnt While Backpacking

In August 2012, inspired by many readings and travel photos on the internet, we took the decision to do it. Backpack in the true sense of the term. Choosing the destination was a piece of cake as Sri Lanka had been on my mind for literally a decade. Listening to stories and having Sri Lankan food had been one of my favorite activities for a long time and it was time I saw the real deal. Planning the trip was no trouble at all as there was no planning to be done. Just booking the ticket sufficed.

backpacking | breadonbutter

After carefully organizing our gear and packing the least of things in our backpack, off we went. You can view our whole trip on this link and this link, but now, I want to share what I learnt while backpacking to Sri Lanka.

I knew backpacking was not going to be easy and that there were going to be moments where I’ll be longing for a proper bedroom and shower, but boy did I learn things: about myself, about Jean, and about the world. Basically, I completely changed perspectives.

When you head to the unknown, that’s when you discover what you’re truly capable of. You discover to which lengths you can go, how much you can take – physically and mentally. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t sometimes cranky and hungry, hot or tired, neither am I going to pretend I wasn’t scared of nature and what I saw. But I learnt my limits and how to overcome those little fears that creep in uselessly.

When we live in a comfort zone, we get used to having everything easy. No insect here to bug you all the time, you rest whenever you feel like it, you don’t have to climb a mountain if you don’t want to. But there, I had to. Not only because I was in the middle of a mountain and couldn’t take the same way back, but also because in my head, I couldn’t not do it. I had to, to prove myself I was strong and in control of my feelings and actions. While we were climbing the famous Ella Rock, known to have the most breathtaking view on top, I reached a point where I literally broke down. The level of hiking difficulty suddenly became too much to bear, but yet again I was so close to the goal. That’s where my mind took over. Had I come so close to the best feeling of being on top of the world, only to stop and go back? Never would I have thought I would continue and get there. But I did, and that’s one of the dearest life lessons I hold on to now. It is actually true that when you feel like giving up, when times become just too tough to bear, the goal is just a few miles away. Never give up, even if you think you can’t move on anymore, the truth is: YOU CAN.

I also learnt to let go of small things and go with the flow, because life is much bigger than the small of you really. I overcame my fears of nature (except cockroaches – go figure) and the unknown and saw how it’s all a matter of mindset.

I learnt about people and different cultures. I saw that people you never even thought of meeting one day would come in your path for a reason, either to show you something or teach you something. I also learnt a lot about my husband, surprising things that made me sure he was the one I could spend the rest of my life with.

Finally, I learnt a lot about myself, what I truly love and what I truly don’t, and about the length I would go to to save something I love or to get it.

And most of all, you learn that life is just: Perspective, perspective, perspective! Switch your perspective and you’ll open the door to complete happiness. I guarantee it 🙂

backpacking | breadonbutter

Have you ever been backpacking? I’d love to hear about it.

 

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

Opinion 0 comments on Valentine Special: Be Pampered By Your First Love – Food

Valentine Special: Be Pampered By Your First Love – Food

We constantly read about the benefits of different types of food for the skin and for the mind. We even get old tips for soft hair and skin that often include mixing eggs, avocados and olive oil. Amazingly, Lush puts them all in differently shaped products and allows you to benefit from the goodness in a “lush” (i.e. luxurious) way 🙂

I had heard of Lush before and how cool it was, but it wasn’t until last summer in Rome that I started using their products properly. It was so hot that a nice bubble bath at the hotel was due every afternoon.

A Lush bath bomb thus became a basic need. I was so fascinated by their mechanism that I started researching it and found out that all their products were made of food! Everything is carefully concocted in the Lush Kitchen in the UK (click here for more details about it and watch the video below). Chamomile, bananas, blueberries, cinnamon, and endless other ingredients are used to make you feel pampered and revitalized.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a bathtub at home. I’m hoping to have one soon, so meanwhile I take advantage of bathtubs in hotels whenever I’m on a weekend away or on a trip somewhere. I did exactly that a while ago at Byblos Sur Mer (check out the post here). I used the moisturizing star and the Tisty Toasty bath bomb, then applied Popcorn Lip Scrub before going out.

Breadonbutter Tried and Tested Lush products 

The cinnamon shower gel that really keeps you warm during winter and the Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly, which is a fun shower gel and soap.

lush | breadonbutter

The moisturizing massage bars and soaps: bear, vanilla and star – moisturized skin guaranteed.

lush | breadonbutter

All kinds of bath bombs: I just love the feeling of throwing food into the bath tub and watching it fizz away. My favorite one was the tisty toasty (a romantic rose scented bath bomb) where you can then watch chamomile flowers float in your bath and open up, Granny takes a dip (for a revitalizing bath), Butterball (for a moisturizing relaxing bath that smells of delicate vanilla), and Twilight (for a relaxing lavender scented bedtime bomb).

lush | breadonbutter lush | breadonbutter

All of the Bubbleroon bubble bars, made of a blend of essential oils that make everything better.

lush | breadonbutter

Popcorn lip scrub: for those who constantly have chapped lips and need to have them soft before applying their red lipstick on.

lush | breadonbutter

And for men (also tried and tested), the macaroon shaped shampoo bar is great for making their hair grow and shine : it’s a spicy, stimulating bar that’s especially good for fine or thinning hair. They just have to rub it straight unto their wet hair to create a creamy lather, then wash and rinse. Check out this link for more information about it.

lush | breadonbutter

You can follow Lush on Instagram on these accounts: @lushlebanon @lush @lushkitchen

Are you a Lush fan?

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_ 🙂

Opinion 6 comments on February Bucket List

February Bucket List

Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I always stumble upon things that inspire me. I always jot down my flowing ideas and I end up with notes everywhere – on my phone, on my desk, on my bedside table, in my Moleskine, or even on a supermarket bill in the car. So to channel those plans and thoughts, I decided to put everything in writing, on an organized list every month. Now that list might not be very realistic or achievable, but a life without dreaming is a life without meaning 😉

Breadonbutter February Bucket List

  1. Plan a trip to a place I’ve never visited before
  2. Cook Ramen
  3. Cook healthy dishes
  4. Try a no-flour cake (and make it puff up!)
  5. Eat at 2 new restaurants
  6. Do more yoga at Nok Yoga Shala
  7. Go someplace new in Lebanon – I’ve never been to Ehden and I hear it’s beautiful
  8. Hike and ski more – I’ve become quite sedentary lately and that’s wrong!
  9. Have a fondue night somewhere cold before the hot weather strikes again
  10. Discover new songs and compile a new and fresh playlist (you can check previous playlists here, here and here)
  11. Be more productive
  12. Discover a new ingredient – just like we discovered Sriracha
  13. Discover new neighborhoods in Beirut – you think you know everything but you don’t
  14. Watch The Theory of Everything and The Darjeeling Limited
  15. Read at least 2 chapter of the Baking Basics & Beyond e-book

Anything you can relate to? 🙂

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and don’t forget to tag @breadonbutter if you try our recipes!

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 2 comments on Lebanese Wine Vanquishing The World

Lebanese Wine Vanquishing The World

Yesterday, an article about Lebanon came out in the Telegraph online. In it, Victoria Moore writes about how Lebanese wine is booming and calls her readers to try it.

During times when the Lebanese are famous for being porn stars, or when the only news we hear all day are the bad things happening around us, this is good news indeed!

The article basically depicts the Lebanese Wine production scene, mentioning the recently deceased Serge Hochar and nominating “two particular stars” : Domaine des Tourelles and Ixsir.

The last sentence says a lot:

It’s time to recognise the new Lebanon. The king is dead; long live the king.

You can read the article on this link.

I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

Opinion 0 comments on How To Be Part Of The WAAAUB Cookbook Celebrating AUB’s 150 years

How To Be Part Of The WAAAUB Cookbook Celebrating AUB’s 150 years

  • Are you a foodie? Food editor? Recipe book collector?
  • Do you enjoy working on teams with common objectives?
  • Do you have a communications and/or marketing background?
  • Do you have proofing and/or editing expertise?
  • Are you computer savvy?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, this exciting opportunity is for you.

To join in the commemoration of AUB’s 150th anniversary in 2016, the WAAAUB Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Alumni Chapter is sponsoring the compilation of a WAAAUB Mediterranean Cuisine Cookbook.

In the last months of 2014, AUB Alumni received an email calling for their expertise and participation. When we saw the word “cookbook”, there wasn’t even a mere moment of hesitation, so yes Breadonbutter will be part of this really cool project!

The great thing about the WAAAUB Cookbook is that recipes will be submitted by AUB Alumni and friends. Recipe contributors will be encouraged to include their name, city and state/country for publication as well as a short introduction, age-old wisdom, or personal story behind the recipe.

The Cookbook will be available for sale in June 2016 worldwide, providing an opportunity to celebrate history, culture, tradition and a great cuisine.

Important Dates:

· Committees of Volunteers were formed in December 2014, but some committees still need help so there’s no harm in sending an email anyway!
· You can start submitting recipes as of now – the deadline being March 2015
· Cookbook available for sale June 2016

All further details can be viewed on this link.

Are you a member of AUB Alumni? Will you participate?

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 0 comments on FedEx Shows The World Llewelynn Clarke’s Hot Pepper Sauce

FedEx Shows The World Llewelynn Clarke’s Hot Pepper Sauce

A while ago, I was sent one of the spiciest most delicious sauce I’d ever tasted and was asked to film myself having a spoon of it. It was all part of the new Fedex campaign that came out a few weeks ago, just in time for the end of the year.

The campaign, produced by AMV BBDO London, follows a small chili sauce company, based in the Caribbean, on their journey to becoming world famous, thanks to the help of FedEx.

In the video (below), you have Llewellyn Clarke, a chili sauce maker and charismatic gentleman.  And you have the chili sauce, a red pepper blend with a touch of fresh thyme. You can read a little about his sauce and how great it is (and how great he is) here.

AMV simply sent me a bottle of Chili sauce, and in return asked for a short film clip or photo of me tasting it. The ad is now live in the UK, France, Italy and most of Asia.

You can watch the film here  and all of the selected reaction videos are in place on this campaign page as well, Breadonbutter’s included (search for Lebanon)! Enjoy!

Opinion 0 comments on Hello 2015!

Hello 2015!

The Holiday season has come and gone and Winter is clearly settling in. There was a time when this weather and period of the year would make me ache for long summer days. But I’ve started to actually embrace the winter months and come to love the rain and cold. I guess it’s because, as we grow and start achieving important life goals, the season doesn’t matter anymore. We learn how to appreciate the little things and we start developing sweet habits particular to each time of year.

Looking back to 2014, I can clearly identify those habits. In winter, fondue nights or evenings in by the chimney with wine and friends are my favorite. I also love winter sports and the weather is looking up this season! Spring is more for spending time outdoors and exploring great places while enjoying the perfect weather. Then comes Summer, which is mostly filled with long weekends by the beach, endless barbecues and weekday nights out. Fall is my favorite. The weather starts cooling off, the atmosphere gets softer, routines start settling in again and we all look forward to the most wonderful time of the year full of people we love and emotions.

Despite the fact that my most wonderful time of the year saw something unexpected happen in 2014 (the main reason why I’ve been away for the last 10 days), I choose to continue on being positive and move on with the same spirit I’ve always had: an upbeat perspective on life. That’s the only thing that keeps you going. 

Looking forward to 2015, we have tons of things planned and everything will be shared on Breadonbutter of course! Get ready for delicious recipes, exciting travel tips and ideas, and much more. Also, the Breadonbutter community keeps on growing, with exciting collaborations and guests. As of Monday, stay tuned, keep reading and get inspired! 🙂

hello 2015 | breadonbutter

 Hello 2015! 

Opinion 0 comments on The Sunday Lunch Conversation and Generation Y

The Sunday Lunch Conversation and Generation Y

In Lebanon, whether you’re 8 or 28, you are ordered to attend the occasional (if not weekly) Sunday lunch. While most of the Generation Y people only show their love for it, we all know that deep down, we have come to dread it. That day that was all about good food and time with family has become this interrogatory nightmare you prepare for during the week before, and spend the week after recovering from. I was at one of those lunches not long ago as a member of Generation Y – also called, the Peter Pan Generation.

Mostly the children of  the “baby-boomer” – whose behavior we can explore some other time, when we have a few hours to kill – Gen Y kids were born just before internet and right at the end of Walkmans, Game Boys and Super Mario Bros on a giant computer screen. Their life is now shaped by technology and they are never quite satisfied with what they have. I’m sure most of you read last year’s Huffington Post article on how Generation Y Yuppies are always unhappy (here).  It mainly shows that everything derives from one simple formula:

Happiness = Reality – Expectations.

Generation Y’s expectations are indeed very much higher than their reality. Simply put, we are delusional because of our parents and grandparents – or should I say thanks to them – as they built us this happy childhood, making us think we can be whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want. But little did we all know that this seemingly perfect cycle has major flaws.

Generation Y | Breadonbutter

It all starts (and ends) in the controversy that derives from our baby-boomer parents’ (God bless them) behavior. They really want the best for us but they project their own unfinished business on us. Off the top of my head, they want us to leave our country, travel, go experience things of this world, but only for a limited time period whereby they expect us to come back and “settle”.

The Sunday lunch is where all this controversy can happen. It is the place where blaming, emotional blackmailing and threats materialize. I can imagine you get the picture. All kinds of proteins (meat, chicken, snails, kafta, etc.) and all kinds of herbs and carbs are set on the table. Everyone is passing everything around. Everyone insists on everyone eating. And that’s where it happens. Your lifestyle is questioned, and then praised. Your decisions are criticized, and then praised. Your health is questioned but then never praised. Girls who haven’t had the time to put on their make-up are considered “dying” (really funny cartoon by Ink on the Side on this link). Boys who have lost weight are considered to be mis-fed. Because God forbid the boys be criticized. In a nutshell, Sunday lunch has become a way for all baby-boomers to let go of their demons and unleash them on us, Generation Y – discontented and uncontrollable Generation Y.

But from time to time, when parents have a little more to drink, you discover they went through the same and made the same decisions when they were younger; and you start looking at them as people, who were young once and who only want what’s best for you.

It’s at the end of Sunday that you can finally let go and stop holding your breath. This blessed day is over and we can all go back to our “normal”, unsatisfied, ambitious, grumpy, rebellious and happy selves!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, listen to their advice, nod along, and then go off and make your own gut-felt choices. AND do your stomach a favor and stick to one meat type. It will help the digestion process and spare you all the bloating 😉

generation Y | Breadonbutter

 

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Opinion 0 comments on MOH Press Conference: 5 Unanswered Questions

MOH Press Conference: 5 Unanswered Questions

Today, I was going to blog about a nice salad recipe we had enjoyed for dinner last night. But then, I saw that something was going on that I couldn’t bypass this time. I had always told myself that this blog was going to be about nice things in life, that I was only going to aim to inspire people and make them forget about their real problems for a while. But, as a foodie and as an addict of good meals, I just have to share my opinion about what happened yesterday on television.

The Minister of Health gave a press conference to talk about the quality of meat and chicken sold and served in our country. The first thing I felt when I sat there watching him talk was doubt, and the first thing I thought was “It’s a scam”. Then I realized this was sad. Even the MINISTER OF HEALTH has lost his credibility, and is thought to be manipulated or to manipulate (note here that I’m unaware of who belongs to which group politically and I’m planning on staying ignorant for the rest of my life). I’m not sure why they would issue this kind of information; I’m not even sure who and what to believe. But what I do know is that the first thing we all did was doubt. We thus have come to only trust our own judgment. Focusing on Roadster Diner’s chicken breast fiasco, the initial reaction of the diner’s loyal customers (including myself) was to go there and order anything that comes with chicken. Hats off to Najib from Blog Baladi, I hope you enjoyed your chicken salad! 🙂

This all leads to some questions that need to be asked:

  •  Is it all true?
  • Why is it all talk and no action? If ground meat is indeed infected, why isn’t the said restaurant or distributor banned from the market?
  • When a restaurant is not conforming to the rules and regulations of health, what happens to it?
  • Some of the restaurants in the list have central kitchens. So how can ingredients be infected in one branch and not in the others?
  • And if it is all true, have we become immune?

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM

foodie-talks-2

Opinion, Travel 0 comments on The End Of Sushi As We Know It

The End Of Sushi As We Know It

People who know me well know that sushi is a big part of my life. I sometimes even wonder what it is that I truly love about it: the soy sauce, the rice, or what it’s really about – the fish? If the latter’s the case for me and for sushi lovers out there, well I got news! Fish population is changing and a lot is happening to it!

Jiro Ono, star of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi“, a documentary portraying the 85 year-old world class sushi chef, and owner of the three-michelin star renowned sushi restaurant, has recently warned people about the changes in sushi ingredients that will be happening in the near future. In fact, not only will there be changes, but some fish species might most likely disappear. Ono, host of the top world celebrities like Obama and Joel Robuchon said in a press conference on Tuesday:

I told my young men three years ago sushi materials will totally change in five years. And now, such a trend is becoming a reality little by little. […]

The traditional spread of fatty tuna, eel and shellfish may soon be forced to give way to the bane of any fishmonger — farmed seafood

Jiro Ono

“Many of the ocean’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse as populations of some of the most well-known fish species plummet. Earlier this year, the body that monitors bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean recommended drastic cuts to catch limits as populations plunged to just 8 percent of their original levels. 80 percent of the world’s bluefin is consumed by the Japanese and demand elsewhere is only growing.”

Source: Huffington Post

In some countries, actions are being taken to address the issue of overfishing and there are even plans to create fish sanctuaries to protect the endangered species. This makes you wonder about countries by the sea, like ours. Will the people in charge of this matter, deal with it properly?

What do you think of this? Would you continue having your weekly sushi meal if you knew the fish was raised in a farm?

P.S. Below is the “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” trailer for you to watch!