Interview with Salomé Laloum-Gaultier

Salomé

I met Salomé when we did a Strala yoga training course together in Paris. She is currently studying on a gap year abroad in Australia and doing handstands on all the beaches (See proof below). I was excited to do this interview with her because she is full of spirit and light and I wanted to get some of her secrets! You can follow her on Instagram @happiness_ninja.

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When I wake up I… STRETCH and drink a large glass of water to get the system going.

Favourite breakfast?
Here’s for a yoga girl cliché… I have a quick and filling green smoothie in the morning! It’s made with 1 banana, a small handful of baby spinach, some pieces of frozen pineapple, coconut water, chia seeds and a tiny bit of spirulina. I promise it tastes like banana! Lately I’ve also been a huge fan of organic peanut butter and banana toast. And I always have a large cup of green tea with the juice of a lemon, no matter what food I’m having.

In my handbag, I always have… FOOD haha. Fruits, nuts, chocolate… I always have a little pick me up. I kind of plan my day around food.

Greatest extravagance
I impulsively died my hair blonde a while ago. It was not the best match for my jewish origins, and it definitely ruined my hair, but man, it made me feel so free! Impulsiveness is stupid but always makes the best stories!

I am currently struggling with… anxiety. I’ve accepted the fact that it’ll always be a part of my life so I’ve learned to live with it and tame it. It is not as bad as it used to be but it sometimes makes the simplest things a dreadful obstacle to overcome. I think anxious people are really brave because they have to do everything while fighting inner demons. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who understand and to be able to laugh about it.

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 What piece of advice would you give to a large group of people?

One of my favourite quotes and words I live by is :

“Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” – Chris Brogan
I see life as this great experience we’ve been given for some unknown reason, so we might as well make the most of it.

Quick healthy recipe?

Courgette Carpaccio. Peel a courgette with your peeler in order to get long and thin layers or use a spiralizer. I like to add some pink radish in there too. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, the juice of a lemon and (a lot of) parmesan. Super quick and delicious!

Beauty tip?

I’m not a big make-up girl but the one piece of advice my mom has given me is MOISTURISE so I use moisturiser every morning before I apply make-up. And my advice is get your beauty sleep! Sleeping is the best thing in the world and it makes your skin look great.

 Lifestyle?

I like staying active and eating healthy because it works for me, it is what makes me feel the best. But I also love food, wine and feeling alive so I’m all about balance. I drink wine one night and a green smoothie the next morning or I have a pizza/netflix night and go for a run the next day. Exercise is a great anti-depressant, but chocolate is too. I really just do a bit of everything an avoid excess as much as I can.

My lifestyle inspiration is

@yogagirl. She is a yoga teacher based in Aruba who became an Instagram sensation. I’ve been following her for years and she keeps inspiring me on a daily basis. She is all about doing yoga and drinking wine too and is using her fame to make the world a better place which is a huge inspiration for me who intends to start a career in social entrepreneurship and sustainable management.

You can follow Salomé and her beautiful life on Instagram @happiness_ninja

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Interview with Jean-Tristan Sauron

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My friendship with Jean-Tristan began on our first day at university in Paris. We both showed up to a lecture that had been cancelled and he asked me if I wanted to share a taxi home. Being a poor student, I said no.

While we were waiting for the others who would never arrive, Jean Tristan clutching his Louis Vuitton book bag in anticipation, he told me about his summer spent in St Tropez and how he had seen Paris Hilton in the street, wearing a brown wig. At the time I didn’t know who Paris Hilton was, or Louis Vuitton for that matter, and I think he may have decided then that he would need to protect me.

That was our beginning.

Jean-Tristan currently lives a beautiful life in London with his husband, Alejandro, and his sapphire. I’m really quite sad about him not  living here because he’s always such fun to be with and is, perhaps surprisingly, one of the most genuine people I know.

Below is my interview with him:

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When I wake up I…

Feel thankful I can set the alarm for 8.45am ! Work is only 10 minutess away from my place so I don’t have to experience the indignity of early morning waking. I then leverage my husband – oh the joys of married life –to ensure a smooth transition to real life. He not only gently kisses me but also opens the windows and blinds, prepares my breakfast and motivates me to do my workout.

Favourite breakfast ?

Liquid one on weekdays. I have this weird diet where I only eat solid food once a day from Monday to Friday, breakfast usually being just a cup of hot water and lemon juice that I drink whilst lying in bed. It’s perfect to get my body started and my mind sharp for work. On weekend, I indulge myself with some husband-made eggs benedict and croissants, #PureBliss

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What do you take everywhere with you ?

My necklace – a clear blue sapphire mounted on white gold chain. I got it when I was 18 and don’t think I ever took it off for more than a facial or a massage. I saw Serge Gainsbourg wear one and not only did I find it super chic, but it also gave me this fantasy idea of having something that I would carry everywhere with me and that would experience with me. A sort of JT bis !

Greatest extravagance ?

I have quite a few but my higher education is a bit off the charts to many. I love learning new things and my parents were nice enough to support me in this. I studied in top tier universities across 6 countries, for a total of 9 years ! Having 4 degrees may seem superfluous but I feel so lucky I had the luxury to do so.


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Something you are struggling with?

People who make the world a harder place to live in. I meet them almost on a daily basis and my tolerance towards them has dramatically diminished over the years. I went from being very patient to pushing them out almost immediately of my social circles. Life is too short to surround yourself with negativity.

What piece of advice would you like to give a large group of people ?

To never stop dreaming and create the conditions when you can do so freely. I think it’s really easy in life to limit your realm of possibilities because you are pressured to act in a certain way by society or people. I always have ideas and plans, and so many times I came across friends, relatives or even boyfriends who told me I was being silly and that I should stop dreaming. Needless to say they didn’t stay around for long !

Quick healthy (or not) recipe:

I grew up in France and I don’t think we really have this concept of “healthy” food as our entire diet is healthy so I would struggle in giving you this kind of recipe. My favourite one though is quiche ! It’s super easy to do and the massive benefit is that you can put whatever you have in your fridge and it will still make a wonderful dish. No waste, little preparation and a great result, it’s the holy trinity to me.

Lifestyle inspiration

I absolutely worship Lapo Elkann. He lives his life to the fullest, is a master of taste, brings disruption to everything he touches and has a thousand passions. A true inspiration to me on how to be successful in this world without sacrificing your integrity. I must admit that being the Fiat heir must be helping but still, he has some amazing achievements.

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Interview with Niki-Jay Bougaard

Lifestyle interview

I don’t even remember when I met Niki-Jay which is remarkable since she is very unforgettable. It was at some party in Cape Town a few years back but that’s all I’ve got. I like to give her rapper names for fun because she’s just so bling. NJ Dizzle, Niki Jay-dawg all these things.

You want to be friends with this girl. Too bad she’s in Chicago.

Lifestyle interview

When I wake up I…

try to delay the process for as long as possible by hitting snooze every nine minutes, for about an hour. This way I can still be smug and say I woke up at 6am without it being true.

Favourite breakfast?

Week days : Bircher muesli made the night before with toasted coconut shavings, cinnamon, crimson raisins and greek yoghurt. If I’m feeling wanton I’ll include some flaked almonds too.

Weekends: Poached eggs on a potato rosti with any cured meat resting atop.

Lifestyle interview

What’s in your handbag?

Cellphone, wallet, metro card, tissues, gum, lip balm, a plaster, hair clips, eye drops, leather driving gloves (they make me look like a sports car-owner who’s thoughtfully chosen to take the bus instead)

What’s your greatest extravagance?

Shoes. I once went a year without medical insurance because I didn’t want to forego what, for a time, became a monthly Jeffrey Campbell purchasing cycle.

Something you’re struggling with?

Weight loss on American soil

What piece of advice would you give a large group of people?

That you shouldn’t care what people think of you. There will always be people who like what you do, and legions who, similarly, hate you/your work. If Dane Cook and Akon can be loved by so many, there is truly hope for everyone.

Beauty tip?

After applying foundation, I spritz on an oil mist. It just takes the edge off that fake matte-look that even the best foundations can have, and makes your skin look even and dewy.

Lifestyle/style inspiration?

Anna Dello Russo and MIA. Two sides of a Maximilist coin. One high fashion, one high street. One high maintenance, the other somewhat accessible. Both always dripping in gold, textures and flashy prints. I can never take my eyes off either of them. Whenever I get dressed, I’m usually a poor version of one.

Greatest hope for the future?

To be considered “overrated”

 

Lifestyle interview

Interview with Mireille Porter

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I have never not known Mireille. Our older brothers were friends in pre-school, so our families became friends. We saw the Malengrets (her maiden name) absolutely every weekend when I was small and their big pink family home with the treehouse out front has always been a part of my memories.
Mireille and her husband, James, recently decided to up and move with their two baby boys, Joel and Josh, from Cape Town to the wild coast in the Eastern Cape (a very rural part of South Africa) where they practice as doctors at Madwaleni hospital.
Their sense of adventure is hugely inspiring to me. Whatever you do, don’t Google “Wild coast, Eastern Cape”. You will feel the need to leave your present circumstance immediately and head to those rolling hills.
Ok fine, do.
pink hut
Interview with Mireille Porter
When I wake up I…
Press snooze and wait for my husband to bring me coffee and my two toddlers to jump on me
Favourite breakfast ?
Smoothie hands down

image2 sunset Eastern Cape

What’s in your handbag ?
Haven’t looked in there in a while but last I checked some loose change and a chocolate dubloon (pirate money-for emergency toddler chocolate bribery)

Greatest extravagance ?
Biltong (South African dried meat) and Children’s books- I can’t take reading the same ones over and over and over and over again!!

Something you’re struggling with
Waking up – always have and always will! NOT a morning person-hence the husband with coffee and toddler antics.

What piece of advice would you like to give a large group of people ?
Put on your big girl pants-do what thrills you, chase your fears and find your peace-not the boring quiet sleepy peace but the exhilarating, fire to your bones kind that brings your life to light!

Quick healthy (or not) recipe
Yoghurt pizza
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 cup plain flour
Mix together, squash into a baking tray and cover which whatever you want and bake it-it works!

Beauty tip
Never cut your own fringe (I know this from at least a dozen personal experiences!)

Your lifestyle?
Rural living lends itself to a break away from the 9-5 urban chaos and towards an appreciation of time and calm. No traffic, no malls, time spent fetching rain water or growing your garden, many hours with your family and those in your close community. A chance to do what you desire, not what the city dictates.

Your lifestyle/style inspiration ?
The population of the rural eastern cape who wake up before dawn to collect water from rivers, who carry their firewood in bundles the size of a man on their heads and who grind their own maize on rocks from a river makes me stop and think about time and what it is and what we do with our portions.

story time
beach at sunset

Interview with Hayley and Lyla

Hayley and Lyla
Hayley is Betty, Lyla is Veronica

Hayley and Lyla are cousins originally from South Africa but now living together and going to school in Kalundborg, Denmark. Hayley was born into the world when I was nine years old and came to live right next door to me in St Michael’s rd. From the time she was three, she knew my home telephone number off by heart and I’ve never really managed to get rid of her since.

Hayley and I have one of those relationships where, even though she is nine years younger than me, she can be upsettingly wiser, so it’s more often her giving me advice than the other way around.

I haven’t met Lila yet but I like her already after reading her answers to this interview.

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Hayley’s interview:

When I wake up I… immediately regret all my life decisions, climb over Lyla to reach my alarm and put it on snooze for 15 minutes

Favourite breakfast? Chocolate cooked oats with honey, frozen raspberries, banana, nutella and dessicated coconut. Oh and a sprinkle of vanilla sugar.

What’s in your handbag? Tissues, eyebrow kit, headphones, Rimmel powder (I never have money or my house keys, but at least if I’m locked outside my eyebrows will look great)

Greatest extravagance? My future old-school VANS which I have yet to purchase.

Something you’re struggling with? My grammar in relation to answering these questions (Candice: I had to correct this sentence which is hilarious)

What piece of advice would you like to give a large group of people?

”No one will mind if you flash some boob” That’s the advice my mom gave me

Quick healthy (or not) recipe

http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/the-moistest-chocolate-mug-cake/ (literally the BEST mug cake in the world)

Beauty tip? Don’t use a pencil to draw on your eyebrows, as it will pull out the hairs

Current lifestyle? Sloth

Lifestyle inspiration? Instasteak – go check her out!

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Lila’s interview:

When I wake up I…usually go back to sleeping through my many alarms.

Favourite breakfast ? Bacon, scrambled eggs and fried banana on toast with juice, or leftover pizza.

What’s in your handbag ? Lip balm, purse, hand cream, earphones, keys, probably an eyebrow pencil.

Greatest extravagance ? Chocolate and whipped cream on everything, too often. (No regrets)

Something you’re struggling with? Head wind when cycling, keeping clothes off the couch.

What piece of advice would you like to give a large group of people? Take a breath.

Quick healthy (or not) recipe? Cook leftover rice (or today’s) in milk and/or cream on a low heat until sticky. Add a little vanilla sugar, normal sugar, cinnamon and a blob of butter, add a little more cream/milk, cook for a couple more minutes and voilà, rice pudding midnight snack.

Beauty tip? Don’t try too hard. Being comfortable in something instantly makes you look better.

Your lifestyle? I think I have a pretty relaxed lifestyle right now. It has gradual ups and downs.

Lifestyle/style inspiration? @thelightweights is always a good Instagram account to look through, and being comfortable, in all aspects.

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Interview with Marguerite de Boisbrunet

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Marguerite is one of my very many French cousins. When we were younger, I used to only see her at family weddings so I always imagine her in a beautiful dress with some sort of hat perched on her head. A few years ago she moved up to Paris to study Art History and now works in the city so I see a lot more of her now.

Here is my interview with her:

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When I wake up I…make myself a big cup of coffee in my Minnie Mouse mug. It’s completely childish, but the coffee is not the same if it’s not in that mug.

Favourite breakfast?  The huge breakfast that my boyfriend and I have on Saturday mornings. We eat way too much; pastries and fruit, eggs, salmon, avocado.. and then nothing for the rest of the day until the evening.

What’s in your handbag? There’s always water in my handbag, otherwise I get anxious. Otherwise, hand cream, gum and a book.

Greatest extravagance? I don’t really have that many, like I don’t spend a lot on clothes, but I can buy plane tickets on a whim knowing that afterwards I won’t have any money to eat for two weeks.

Something you’re struggling with? I’m super anxious by nature. I fight it by breathing a lot, doing sport and meditating.

What piece of advice would you like to give a large group of people ? The wisest advice I could give is to detach from a situation when necessary. If something isn’t going well, I remember that there was the Big Bang 13 billion years ago, that modern man has existed for 200,000 years and that all the billions of humans which have lived since the beginning had their own worries and then they died so really, it’s not worth it to waste time being depressed. That kind of thinking makes my head spin and then I think ” Ok, actually this is really not that important”

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Quick healthy (or not) recipe? I’m lame and basically don’t really cook. I mean, I cook things and then I assemble them but there are no real recipes.

Beauty tip? Skin is the most important thing for me. I make a facial scrub with coconut oil and bicarb; all you have to do is mix a small amount of each together to make a bit of a paste and then apply it. Afterwards, my skin feels like silk

Lifestyle/ style inspiration. I have a very Parisian lifestyle, I like beautiful and well-made things. I go to a lot of exhibitions, restaurants and the cinema and when its good weather I go off to war, looking for a place to sit in a sidewalk café or a park. I go for weekends to the countryside or abroad whenever I can. I miss nature a lot and could live far away from everything!

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(interview translated from the French by me)

Interview with Karin Belafonte

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Karin is a fashion designer currently living in New York City. When I met her years ago she was wearing earrings in the shape of giant Ks. She had made them from aluminium which she had cut out from a Schweppes soft drink can and tagged to hooks. She is very easy to talk to and a great person to eat out with.

Do not be fooled by her tiny figure.

Last time she visited me in Paris, she ate a croissant and a pain au chocolat exactly half an hour before we sat down to lunch.

Here is my interview with her:

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Interview with Anne Campbell

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I have known Anne since we were eight and both wanted to be Ginger Spice in the Spice girls game at school. She won.

It was then that I learnt an invaluable life lesson and that is ‘ Never underestimate the importance of hair’.

I was Baby Spice for the rest of my junior school days.

Anne Campbell lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She is very good at putting outfits together and has the best instagram account of anyone I know.

Here is my interview with her:

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Interview with Lu Wang

(This post is part of a series I’m doing to learn more about style and how I would like to dress. Lu has a beautiful sense of style and, since you will most often find me in a shapeless black jumper and boyfriend jeans, she is an inspiration to me and the fashion posts I one day hope to have on the blog.)

grammar book
Lu learning French

When I wake up I…turn up the music. It helps me wake up quickly with a bright heart.

Lu with lights
Lu with lights

What is your most treasured possession?

To be honest, I think my most treasured possession is my little dog which I bought 5 years ago. Because with her, I am definitely the only one in her life.

Otherwise, I treasure my perceptions. In this way, I will not just struggle with being materialistic but appreciate the beauty of life.
Lu with one fish
Lu with one fish

What animal would you be if you could choose and why?

I would like to be a fish living in the deep ocean, in this way I could be far from human beings.

Lu and the fishes
Lu with many fishes

What’s your greatest struggle right now?

Learning French!!!

Favourite café/restaurant in Paris and why?

My favourite restaurant in Paris is called ‘Pont de Yunnan’. The reason I am a fan is because is because its a reasonably priced, Chinese restaurant. And I always used to go there with my last boyfriend. Hahaha.

Lu with la tour eiffel
Lu with a beacon of light

You can follow Lu on Instagram