So I was thinking that I often talk about all these tasty pastries and plates, but you know salads can be pretty tasty too! I do eat them, promise. Lol, and so I thought I would share one that I made this morning!  I also made a side mini grilled cheese sandwich. The salad is on the sweeter side, but it has a variety of textures and flavors, so I think you will enjoy!

Sweet Salmon Salad with Crispy Grilled Gruyère Sandwich

 Sweet Salmon Citrus Salad

Mise en place:

2 clementines

Some type of lettuce, not too bitter like mesclun… I think you want it more towards a mix of mostly spinach, and the less juicy parts of iceburg lettuce (I have been using a really good soft lettuce here that is kind of like spinach but lighter, but I don’t know the name… I think it’s just in France?)

Some variation of Gruyère cheese if not the real thing (with very similar texture (not a soft cheese!) , taste – maybe parmesan…) but the flavor should be mild, nutty and on the sweeter side. Comté cheese is the ideal =)

A little Honey

A little Apricot jam

1/4 of a sweet apple type (like Golden delicious, or pink lady, etc) something crisp though.

Cucumbers (not too much at all, and thinly sliced into quarters – I have them thinly sliced into halves on the picture but I think you need to taste even less of it with every bite, sorry cucumber :p)

Pecan pralines!! finely chopped. (not the same as pecans, if you reeeally don’t have pecan pralines (kind of like candied pecan bits, kind of…) then you could use… almonds? finely chopped… but they key is to get the candied/sugary and crunchy texture.

I know you see cherry tomatoes up there, but pretend you don’t =)  they actually don’t taste so great with the salad afterall.

Some sort of light oil, like walnut oil – just a little bit.

A small, fresh salmon filet

Some fresh pepper, salt

How we do it!:

So! we’ll start with the salmon, you can either marinate it in clementine juice (just use half a clementine) or you can just do this: Put a frying pan on medium heat (5-6) with a little bit of walnut or some kind of oil that doesn’t have too much flavor) and then clean the salmon filet (if it still has the skin on, don’t worry about taking it off, it should come off easily on its own after cooking it).  So then put the salmon filet in the oil, wet both sides with the oil, and place the skin side down. Lightly salt and pepper the filet. Take half of one clementine and squeeeeeze it all over the entire filet. Brush just a thin layer of apricot jam over the top of the salmon. Cover the pan and let it start to cook through the filet.

Woo onto the salad!  Clean the lettuce, dry it, and rip it into bite-sized pieces, place in a medium shallow bowl, or plate, whatever you personally eat salad out of… lol. Cut up the apples into matchsticks! Segment the other whole clementine, keep the other half of the first one you squeezed to the side. Cut the Comté or Gruyère into thin small chunks. Add the cucumbers, apples, and clementine segments(slices?) and then drizzle some walnut oil over top, then squeeze the rest of that first clementine all over the salad. Add some pepper, and toss that salad all ’round! K, then sprinkle the crushed/finely chopped pecan pralines/pralines over the salad and then the cheese. Toss just once.

So back to the salmon – test to see if they salmon meat is starting to flake off when you poke it with a fork (when it starts to, that means it’s almost ready) Drain the juices out of the pan and remove the skin if it comes off easily. Then put a pretty decent layer of honey over the top of the filet, and turn it upside down into the pan. I love doing this because the honey helps to brown the salmon really nicely and it tastes wooooonderful. So when the filet is cooked all the way through and the honeyed part is nicely golden browned, it’s ready! you can turn it over once to cook the bottom a little if you like, but other wise, lay that sucker on the salad!  As a finishing touch spread a thin layer of apricot jam and honey on top of the salmon if you so desire.

Gruyère and Basil Grilled Cheese Minis

Mise en place:

Some sort of bread with something special to it – what you like! could have bits of oats, hazelnuts, etc! =) Go crazy.

Gruyère cheese

Fresh Fresh Fresh Basil leaves

A lil butter

We Make it like this:

Slice the bread however thick you like! Then slice the cheese however thick you like! Put the pan on the stove, set to medium-high heat (6-7) and add butter (be careful not to burn it though). spread butter around the pan. K, so then place the cheese on one side of the bread, microwave the bread/cheese thingy until the cheese is slightly melted. Place the basil leaves onto the cheese, place other piece of bread on top. Then take it to the pan and put it in – it should sizzle, good sign. So keep checking it so see how brown it gets- depending on how you like it, turn it over and do the same!! So very tasty!! Enjoy! XD Add a sprig of basil for garnish if you wish!  ♥



Hellllllo there. So I have a looooot of catching up to do. A lot to say too! First things first. Pasta alla Carbonara. It’s only filled with butter, cream, eggs and back bacon(aka “lardons” in French), oh and pasta – so it is delicious. No seriously. It’s so worth it. Do whatever you need to do to “balance” it out – go for a jog, go row a boat on the lake, go hiking… you know what? Make it BEFORE you go do all that and take it WITH you. Yes, in the boat – eat it WHILE you are rowing. Yeah it’s possible, don’t question the logic. Seriously, give yourself an early Christmas present and go  look up the recipe, visit your nearest grocer and make it. Actually, I’ll make it one step easier – I’ll GIVE you the recipe. Like so:

Pasta Alla Carbonara

Mise en place:

8 Oz. uncooked Pasta of your choice – Personally, I like penne or farfalle =)

5 Oz. cubed/diced and smoked lardons/pancetta/back bacon(not the same as the crispy bacon you know) etc. Take your pick. ***However, if you can somehow get your hands on some guanciale – that’s the real thing. Wiki defines it as: Pork cheek rubbed with salt, ground black  or red pepper and cured for three weeks. Its flavor is stronger than other pork products, such as pancetta, and its texture is more delicate.

2 Large eggs plus 2 extra yolks (room temperature)

1 Tablespoon Olive oil for cooking the lardons/pancetta/guanciale

1 clove of garlic, minced

4 Tablespoons grated parmesan and pecorino romano cheese and add more after if you wish!

4 Tablespoons double cream (room temperature)

2 Tablespoons butter (room temperature)

1 Teaspoon Fresh black pepper

Salt for pasta

And this is how we make it!:

  1. So remember to leave the eggs, cream and butter out so they become room temperature. If the butter isn’t soft enough, warm it up manually juuuust a little more. Mince the garlic and set aside. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water according to the instructions on the box, or make al dente – just keep testing it until it’s tender enough for your taste. =)
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté/frying pan over low heat. Add the minced garlic, black pepper and the guanciale/tasty fat of your choice. Slow-roast it, do not crispify it (aka burnt :p) Keep covered so it stays warm.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, cream, butter, pepper to taste, grated parmesan and pecorino – set aside.
  4. Once the pasta is done, drain the water out and add the pasta to the pan with the guanciale. Add the egg/cream mixture to the pasta in the pot and toss around. Don’t worry you won’t get salmonella poisoning. The key is that the warmth of the pasta cooks the eggs just enough when mixed. =)  Add more cheese if you so desire and serve!!! Enjoy!

♣  If you would like to see a true Italian teach you how to cook it, his recipe is a bit different but you might like it more!! I haven’t tried it yet, but he claims his is the “real” carbonara – and in all honesty it prolly is the closest thing. Give it a try:

And of course, I already devoured the one I made today before I got a picture of it, so I have included one that I found!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Oh, Hello there!!!  XD   Hope you are having a wonderful day, well, so you tell me I just called you! But I wanted to wish you a happy birthday as well on here! I love you so veeeerry much! AND guess what your favorite daughter has got planned for you?? Lyonnaise (arguably the best French cuisine, besides haute, and you would like it more because it’s a lot more French country-side/down to earth type) sausages and moutarde (mustard) from Dijon!

Hope you and mom enjoy celebrating your birthday tonight! Pistachio encrusted trout does sound pretty tasty.

I love and miss you!!

♥ Laura

Yeah. The highlight of my day was explaining to my ever-curious roommate what ROOT BEER was… Yeah. I can’t even think how he could have lived his whole life without drinking even a sip of that delicious glorious drink of the Gods (ok, so that’s nectar but still, it might as well be the drink of the Gods). So I had made some tasty apple crumble the other day and I had forgotten about it because Florent, our agent called out of nowhere to come over and get the manual for the downstairs dishwasher in order to see why it was acting up, so the second I got off the phone with him I ran around the kitchen trying to clean it up (it had gotten a tad bit dirty during the previous evening) so I quickly shoved the dish into the oven to hide it. lol.

Anyhow! I rediscovered it today and decided to have it with some veeeerry vanilla ice cream. And while I was enjoying the ice cream infinitely more than the crumble, standing there in the kitchen… hovering over the carton of frozen cream… didn’t stop until I had successfully put another quarter carton dent in it (The first being when I was making pumpkin soup and I thought it was too salty so I emptied a 1/4 carton of this vanilla ice cream into the pot… it actually came out really well – sweet, spicy, pumpkin-y). Hah, so something in my mind snapped back and I realized what I was doing, I asked myself out loud “Why do I like this so much… it’s not even gourmet or anything, I got it for 2 euros at the Intermarche… wait… OH! Because it tastes just like a root beer float!”  In which my Belgian roommate then replied “root beer float?” So I said “Yeah you know, fill a glass with root beer and add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream.”

“No, what is root beer?”

So, the following conversation went something like this:

Me(incredulously): “Um…. Say what? Did you just ask me what ROOT beer was?”

J.H.: “Oh wait, it’s a dark beer, right?”

Me: “… It’s not alcoholic.”

J.H. “Oh.”

This is coming from the guy who had gone through childhood without ever being introduced to the concept of s’mores… but it’s ok! There are probably a million things that I have never heard of in Belgium – we’ll all just have to have a black cow and s’mores movie night! Now all I have to do is play ignorant to my knowledge of Belgian Waffles and we can all have “Tasty Breakfast Day.”

We should make that tomorrow – we don’t have school, nor does anyone in Europe. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 WWI officially ended. Be sure to honor this with a moment of silence tomorrow morning at 11:00. =)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The trailer is up right now but it isn’t much to go by:



So I was into these books called “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” a while ago, the first one in the series being “The Lightning Thief” and I always thought they would make great movies – sort of a Greek Mythology meets Harry Potter if you will. And GUESS WHAT – they have! The first one comes out February 2010 – director Chris Columbus, so…. I’m not sure how it will turn out, after all he did direct the first two HP movies as well… who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Personally I don’t think the author Rick Riordan writes nearly as well as J.K. Rowling, but the concept is pretty cool and he does give it a very entertaining flair. Although Riordan is one of the two screenwriters for the movie, so maybe it won’t be so bad, hmm?

I really hope they do well with this series, make me proud. There are a few well-known actors being cast as well. Uma Thurman (Medusa… lol), Sean Bean (Zeus), Pierce Brosnan (Chiron – LOL I think he’s going to be pretty funny as a centaur…), Rosario Dawson (Persephone), Steve Coogan (Hades! Awesome. I think he is going to make a hilaaaarious Hades) and some guy I haven’t heard of as Luke, who becomes the antagonist of Percy (Perseus is his full name – the “Hero” – played by a guy I’ve never heard of but he looks the part). It’s kind of like how Draco Malfoy was the enemy of Harry, but there was always the higher evil of Lord Voldemort – in The Percy Jackson series, “Luke” is kind of like that Draco, but more badass, I hope. And instead of Lord Voldemort, it is Kronos.

 Quick Greek Myth summary on this piece of work: Kronos is a 1st-generation Titan who castrated his own father, overthrew him, had three sons you may have heard of: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades only to be overthrown by the lot of them who then sent him into the depths of Tartarus and sealed him there for all eternity. Something like that. So the Greek Gods have always been tied to places and cultures of power, which is why they currently reside in the U.S. and why Mt. Olympus is hovering over the Empire State Building. Lol. So then the children of these Gods who have messed around with mortals are half human, half god (demi-gods) who must fight the Titans among other obstacles, and thus begins the premise of the series. A lot of it is actually very original, pretty creative… plus I really enjoy Greek Myth. So I’m looking forward to it =)

Buuuuuut still you probably shouldn’t. =) So Monaco is not actually part of France, it is a very small sovereign city-state surrounded by 3 sides by France (the 4th side faces the coastline) with a castle and everything – it is also one of the wealthiest countries in the world! People there mostly speak either French or Italian. I have been there three different times now, and I really love it. =) The first time I went was on a whim back in September- had talked to a girl I had just met that day who was going with a few friends to Monte Carlo to celebrate after finishing an exam, and they were going to get on the train in Antibes around six, so after I got home from school I literally ran around trying to decided if I wanted to go, asked Hazel but she was thinking that she didn’t know if she wanted to pay 20 euros for just the train ticket(it ended up only costing 9) and then whatever it would cost at the casino and for dinner, and she would rather spend the money if she was going for a whole day and not for 5 hours. Very valid point, and I was struggling with this too but in the end I tried to find something to wear and ran out to catch the bus. Luckily I remembered to grab a pair of under-skirt shorts on the way out and some flip flips for when my high-heels started to eat my feet. Basically if you are in the vicinity of the Monte Carlo square, everyone is dressed up – and if you wear shorts after five in the evening you won’t be allowed in anywhere. They really try to keep a certain appearance about the place. (Sidenote: Has anyone ever seen that BBC show – “Keeping up Appearances” with Mrs. Bucket (Bou-que) it was kinda funny, always felt sorry for the poor husband for being married to her). The train ride to Monaco is one of my favorites because the train hugs the coast, giving you a front seat view of the Mediterranean as it zips in and out of tunnels in the mountains, each view more magnificent than the last. Monaco at night was still very illuminated and there was this huge yacht show. However you would have to pay 6o euros just to look at them. Hah, I just took pictures from above stalker-style and foiled them! There was this neat mechanical-looking dragon so I took a picture of it for you, Alex! So we walked up to the square where the Hotel de Paris and the Monte Carlo Casino are. Dinner was nice – we ate outdoors at a restaurant nearby and I decided to try anchovy pizza (I didn’t want to spend too much money that night) because I had never had anchovies. They are saaaaaalty….  reeeeaally salty. Anyways, so we headed over to the Monte Carlo and parked directly in front of the casino was a row of ferraris… very nice.  And there were some other pretty awesome cars too, I liked the blue Ferrari California. =)  And there was a really neat concept car on display: VERITAS – which I had never heard of, I just know it means “truth” in Latin. The car in question is the Veritas RS III – and although I have pictures of it you can probably see it better if you just google it. So the Monte Carlo is pretty amazing inside as well – you have your rooms for roulette, for blackjack, and private rooms for the high-rollers, which you can get into for a pricey entrance fee. They have a room for slot machines as well, which is where I went! (I didn’t want to put down too much money, I just wanted to see if I was lucky. Lol, I only won 15 euros but it was pretty sweet!) Oh sidenote: There is a story that floats around CERAM because all the teachers know it too, but this one student went to the MCC and won 300 euros – so guess what he did: Paid for a helicopter ride back to Antibes! Sweet. As beautiful as the casino is on the inside with all it’s old world ambiance and detailed decor, the exterior is even more beautiful and intricate, every sculpture, every motif. I was not allowed to take any pictures inside the casino, but I do have several of the outside and in the daylight as well. The second time I went to Monaco was during the day to visit several gardens. There was an “exotic garden (Jardin Exotique)” which had some pretty cool cacti – a lot of what I had seen in Arizona but still very neat. They also had caverns but I just missed the tour. The cool thing about Monaco is that when you are trying to get somewhere and you start from high up you can see where you need to go and follow it all the way down. That’s how I got to the second garden – you just weave in and out through and down the streets. You can also see what people do with the rooftops! They have gardens on them! I would like to imagine having a rooftop tea party there =) So the next place that I went was a rosarie in honor their Princess Grace, and it had some very interesting names for the roses (not their real names, but I suppose the names of people and things she liked) For example, Elvis was one name… hehe. There was a fountain there and I filled up my bottle of water and it even tasted like roses!  I have pictures of the roses and the Japanese Zen Garden I went to after that as well, I put them up one post ago.  On my way down to the rosarie I came across a cemetery of families of Monaco since long ago. The sculptures are amazing… I am beginning to notice that my favorite form of art would be sculptures… they just capture so much, every curve, every edge… in marble, granite, etc… and their expressions…  hmm. The gravestones were gorgeous, and my favorite was an angel watching over the grave of two families with her finger to her lips for silence (tread softly and let them rest in peace is what I take from it). I walked to the harbor after that, and saw a pretty sleek speedboat and it reminded me of something Jonathon might like (color scheme being black and orange and it makes me think of a James Bond sort of feel… not that he’d like it  for the second reason, but yeah, pretty sweet). I headed up a crazy huge hill to get to Monaco’s castle which is still very much in use today. Of course when I got to the top I found the elevators. heh.  For lunch I found this amazing Asian Tapas place named ZenZen – a chain sort of fast food place, but it being Monaco and all it didn’t seem like a fast food place to me. They have the cutest macot hee hee. Man, I had really been missing buffalo wings…. yum. HAH. Yes, I know, I am in France and I miss buffalo wings – go figure. Oh, and I know I haven’t been putting much of anything up involving food that I have made while I have been here, but a lot of that was me not wanting to spend a lot of money or having the time. But recently I had decided to take the time, eat a bit healthier, sit back and enjoy.  The third time I went to Monaco was to meet up with the roomies after I spent my day in Villefrenche Sur Mer (my favorite views are from that city- I will do that post as well) and it’s funny, Monaco is pretty easy to get around, find your way after only the second time. Enjoy the pictures, and enjoy your day!  =)

Dani's Rose - Bright, Beautiful, Warm and daring with some spunk :)

Dani's Rose! Very unique: Bright, Beautiful, Warm, and daring with a lot of spunk!

Here is wishing you an amaaaaaaazing day and how I wish I could be there to celebrate it with you! As a mini-gift until I get to see you, I went to a Japanese Zen Garden and a Rosarie in Monaco and so all the pictures from them are for you (check the side bar!) : )

I miss you sooooooo much!

♥  Love you,


My Skeleton!

Hey guys!!  Happy Halloween!! Hope you all have a great time tonight, whatever it is you are doing! Let me know, I wanna hear all about it! XD



P.S.  I got my chest x-rayed to finalize my residence permit, and I got to keep it! I have never seen an X-Ray of me before! how cool. And there is a couch in there too, how strange… I don’t remember how that got there… :p

… was what I saw on a t-shirt in Cannes… these people really love them some Obama… or are appealing toward American tourists… In any case it made me smile.

So! I have been really busy! Who would have thought that I would actually have schoolwork to do!

So quite a lot has happened, and I have many pictures and places to tell you about! We shall start with Cannes! This is about a 40 minute bus drive away and you may have already heard of this place for the famous “Cannes Film Festival?” Cannes has many theatres, hosts many concerts, famous orchestras and musical talents perform in the various domes and stages around the city. While there is the very luxurious side of Cannes (pronounced Kann) that boasts high-end shoppes like Gucci and Armani around every corner on the main street, there is also a very quiet, quaint side. There are sailing races – which even after only a few lessons I can begin to appreciate the effort, skill and intuition that one has after years of sailing – and you use all of that – your gut feeling when you are in the wind, on the sea, using many little signs to help you navigate and use your surroundings to your advantage. It is really fascinating to me to watch people race – the wind can change pace, direction at any time and you have to know exactly what to do to bend it to your will. When you catch the wind just right, you just take off – like a motorboat! But that is what is so amazing – that it is a sport that people have done for centuries with just their intuition, experience and how in tune they are to all the influences on the sail, and the boat – and the engine is you. So I would love to race with someone one day – any takers?

So the French don’t really do many sports, but I have seen gentlemen play mini tournaments of this game called Boules I think, and from watching them I could try to guess what the concept was but I could be way off and you can wiki it if you like. It would appear that you get a few tennis-ball sized metal balls and you take turns doing one at a time, trying to get it either as close the marble in the dirt, or actually hit it. Cause when I saw one guy actually hit it, they shook hands and the game was over… but for some reason I thought that they tried to purposefully drag the game out and take longer to hit the marble. It seems to be a little like shot-put and a little like horseshoes to me. Yes, Collin, a little bit from column A… a little bit from column B…

Beyond the harbor, there is a small church castle with an amazing view of all of Cannes and the Mediterranean. There are windy roads with beautiful Provençal colors and cute painted art-nouveau-ish doors with hand knockers that are actually hands! How neat is that. They have streets that wind up and around, not unlike San Francisco and there are adorable restaurants lining the stone walkways. One of the days I went with Olga and Hazel and we just wanted to sit at a café, but you have to buy something so we got the cheapest thing on the menu which was a café (coffee) for €1,80. And so the guy comes out with them, and they are really just tiny tiny cups of coffee, not espresso. And if you want milk it’s extra, but they give you sugar and a biscuit or cookie for free (gratuit).

So we walked around and found an antique market which was pretty awesome – they had little gadgets that Alex would have appreciated, old fashioned signs and ads selling anything from travel destinations to Orangina, skeleton keys (Dani I would have gotten one but the one I wanted was 300€ and we did not look like one for bargaining!!) and they had old tea sets and Louis Vutton purses and this one guy had a whole collection of Elephant things! So apparently there was also a huge flower market but the only day it is not there are Mondays, and guess which day we went on. C’est la vie. Someday I would love to see the lavender fields.

So then we walked around old town and we ran into the most beautiful thing in Cannes. A Macaron and chocolate shoppe. In case your life has not yet been deliriously brightened by the discovery of these delicious French desserts, allow me to spread the wonder: They are little cakes, there are two puffy flavored biscuits with a very yummy slightly gooey filling. They kind of resemble a mini hamburger, but all one color and they taste better than a hamburger, most days. This shoppe had samples and they were very willing to cut up more to tempt us. Yeah, it worked, we caved, we devoured, repeat. They had flavors like violette, rose, citrus, nougat, caramel beurre sel, differing percentages of chocolate, pistachio, lavender, figue, pear, chestnut, blackberry, apple liquor, apple tart, and the list goes on… they only last a week though.. so now I need to learn how to make them and perfect them. =)

HaHa something funny today – in Van Luipen’s Advertising class he was talking about when they were marketing Heineken beer to Japan, and they test group got back to him and was like “Um.. yeah it’s not working so well, since our target market is men.” Luipen “Yeah, so?” TG: “Well it turns out that the color of your bottles is the problem. Green is considered a girly colour in Japan, so they men aren’t really buying it.”  Lol and this is what Luipen came up with: A hilarious commercial of a sumo wrestler looking at one of the bottles wondering if he should drink it or not, and this song comes on in English “I knew you’d never understand… what’s floating in the air…”  heh heh cute.

A few sidenotes: I am writing this in the pc lab at school cause my internet is sloooow and I hear sawing, drilling… it’s a little weird. Another side note: I really wanna go somewhere cool for Halloween. My roommates have the week off for holidays but apparently not me cause I am in a different school technically… agh. Pretty much everyone in Europe will have that holiday period off next week… They are going to Bruxelles and Bruge starting Sunday but I can’t go cause I have class.. I was really sad cause I really wanted to go… haha especially after seeing “In Bruge” but really, it’s supposed to be very beautiful especially during the holidays so maybe I will go around December. So this is the question: Should I meet up with them in Amsterdam for Halloween weekend or am I just asking for trouble considering I know the habits of my roommates… will I be able to enjoy myself? Keep in mind it does cost a pretty euro cent.

♣  You can view the pictures from Cannes on the left bar and the first should start with me holding my delicious macarons!

“…that tonight’s going to be a good, good night.” I don’t know if that song is as popular over there as it is here. So this morning Jonathan was driving us to school (in his BMW lol) and we were trying to beat Benjamin to school – which is a feat, because you have to know how the traffic works, ya gotta feeeeel it, so it’s kinda like a sport- you gotta know when to get into one lane to get a few cars ahead, gotta know which windy road will let out ahead of others, and most importantly which streets are only one way. Lol. And it was pretty funny, us all keeping a lookout and shouting things like “go go go!” or “come on lady, a 3-point turn?” or “You can take him! GO!” with our music blaring, until we reached the highway just as the song “Live Your Life” came on. And I couldn’t help but really smile as I held my breath and I thought about this summer when we were going to TJ’s beach house at LBI and he waited just until we reached the causeway before echoing that same song along the entire way over. The feeling was pretty intense… it was getting dark and I felt really giddy as we drove over the bridge, us together. I smiled, also thinking that nothing here could touch that moment. You guys create quite an irreplaceable feeling, just wanted you to know.

Le Calendrier

June 2018
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In Discovery of Ourselves