What simplicity means to me with Jules Theis
I met Jules of Maple and Macaron last May at the Hunters and Heel Instameet. Although I’d followed Jules on Instagram for a while, we’d never met in real life so it was a real treat to meet her and get to see her wonderfully warm smile in person.
Jules lives with her husband and two little boys in Cannes and runs the photography and styling company Can Can Content. Seeing Jules’s stunning photos always makes me want to pack my bags and move to the South of France. Her perspective on simplicity is really inspired by French living and her thoughts have inspired me so much. The photos she shared with me are from a Day in the Life shoot she did with her sister Alex Neary of Wild Eyed Photography. The idea of Day in the Life shoot is just so perfect to me and these shots are filled with so many warm family moments.
What’s your favourite way to spend a slow day with no plans?
Those are my favourite kind of days! I live far away from my family in Canada and James does not have a lot of family that live in Cannes, so it is usually just the four of us. Cannes is one of the sunniest places on the planet, which usually means we are outside getting a good dose of Vitamin D. No matter the time of year we are outside, exploring old villages, going to the park, walking through the forest, or taking a picnic to the beach. It seems all of our weekends are quite slow now that I think of it. Could be that I am surrounded by so many retirees here or maybe it’s that life in France is naturally slower paced. Either way I have whole heartedly embraced it.
What simple moments will you always remember?
Our Sundays spent at James’ parents home. If it’s the summer we are by the pool, having a bbq, with a glass of rose in hand. If it’s the winter we will go for a forest walk by their home before lunch, then come back to eat one of my mother-in-law’s incredible French dishes. We will make a cosy fire and the boys will play with their Grandparents, while James and I relax and listen to music. Because I don’t live close to my own family these simple and sweet moments with James’ family mean so much to me.
Any go to tip for feeling organised?
I have two go to practices that help me stay on top of the endless work a house takes. Firstly, organise and clean a little every. single. day! Pre-kids every week I would spend one day cleaning the house like a mad woman for 3 or 4 hours. Now I just don’t have the time or energy for that, so I take those 3 or 4 hours and spread them throughout the week to about 20 or 30 minutes each day. It has saved me from feeling overwhelmed with the piles of laundry mounting or the constant clean up after two toddlers.
Secondly, at the beginning of every season I purge. For me that means I go through every closet, drawer and cupboard in my home and I clear out anything I didn’t use or anything that doesn’t make me happy to have in my home. This might sound daunting, but the more you do it the less you will have to go through. I try and remind myself “less is more” and that always helps me on my organising days.
What simple meal is always a winner?
I love to cook, however with kids I have less time to spend hours in the kitchen. Nowadays I am all about the one pot and no maintenance meals, that I can just throw on the stove top or in the oven. Simple to me does not mean it has to be boring, so my go to simple and flavour packed meal is curry or some variation of it.
A favourite at home is my chickpea curry with coconut milk, tomatoes, lots of ginger, turmeric and curry spices (I always add more spice to mine and James’ plates after, so the kids will enjoy the dish as well). It’s a brilliant base to add whatever you like. I sneak in spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, and anything else I can get away with. Throw it all into a pot and leave on low heat for a couple hours. Or crank it up to medium heat and it cooks in under 30 minutes I serve it with basmati rice, quinoa, or couscous. Bon appétit!
What’s your favourite way to unwind at the end of the day?
I’m such a cliché, but once the boy are in bed and James is home we love to curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine, and watch a captivating show on Netflix. If you are looking for a binge worthy show, you must watch The Sinner. So good!
What does simplicity mean to you?
This answer has changed since moving to France. For me simplicity now means embracing and observing the slow and still moments. The quintessential French scene is a man sitting outside of a café enjoying a coffee watching the world go by, and nothing else. Moving from a big city to here I had to learn to welcome the simple moments as they come and to not fill them with other things. Now that life with two kids is naturally a little more chaotic, simplicity is about just being and to not fill my time with too many extras.
Image credit Alex Neary of Wild Eyed Photography