A Sisters' Almanac — January

January can be a difficult month when energy levels are low after the December rush and there is pressure to renew with the start of the year.

Here are some ideas to soften the days ahead.

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1 — Music to encourage

Listen to our new playlist. We are opening this year's music selection with two beautiful renditions of Charles Trenet's song Que reste-t-il de nos amours?, an extract of Blur's last album and many old favourites.

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2 — Taste a Galette des Rois

This is a tradition Val and Vanda really cherish and a good reason to get together with friends and family to pick the "king" or "queen" for the day. Although it is usually served on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, they don't mind tweaking a tradition and enjoy several Galette des Rois throughout January.

A delicious option is available from Birley Bakery but home baking (with the added help of store-bought pastry) is a rewarding task. In both cases, remember to serve warm.

2 ready rolled all butter puff pastry sheets, circle shaped
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
130g caster sugar
100g butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
60g flour
150g ground almonds
Vanilla extract
1 small charm that will resist the oven heat ( a dried bean, coin or tiny ceramic figure)

Preheat the oven to 210°C
Mix the sugar and the butter in a food processor. Add the whole eggs one by one, a few drops of vanilla extracts, the almonds, and the flour. Lay a sheet of pastry on a baking sheet. Dollop the almond mix, leaving a 3cm border. Hide the charm in the cream. Lightly dampen the edge with water so it is sticky.
Cover with the second pastry sheet and seal the rim using fingers. Beat the remaking egg yolk and brush over the cake. Use the tip of a sharp knife to draw criss cross lines. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden.

3 — Read My Husband by Maud Ventura

Recently translated, we enjoyed this first novel and are excited that it is now available in English. 

With the surprise of Gone Girl, the bleakness of The Talented Mr Ripley and the sinister charm of the Netflix thriller You, My Husband is a bold and exhilarating story of passion and the dark secrets that lie beneath a seemingly healthy marriage.

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4 — Embrace soothing shades and add a splash of colour

Aimé's embroidered squares are an efficient and satisfactory way to add interest to simple ensembles. Associations are endless while remaining easy to combine.

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5 — Seek wellbeing using Wilder “Goddess of Protection” body oil

This blend of Vetyver and Bergamot breathes new vitality into the skin, especially if damaged by environmental factors such as central heating. We love the name of this product and gladly entrust our winter bodies to it.