23 Dec 2012

Happy Christmas!

Hi guys, I am so sorry I haven't been around at all lately. I have so many things I want to blog about but I haven't got any time at the moment. I don't even have time to read any blogs any more because there has been an exciting development at work which rewarded me with a promotion (just title, not salary). However, until I have proven myself to do well in the new role (in-house PR - yay!!!) I am managing 2 jobs at once which is relatively demanding and time consuming. Until I am back to normal, you can follow me on Instagram to get updates about all the things that are going on at the moment. Here is a little December Instagram / Christmasgram catch up: Xmas lights in London, our tree, my advent calendar, Swedish crayfish party, Xmas baking, Xmas mini cupcakes at work, my boots, the promotion celebration with ice cream instead of prosecco, trip to Budapest, thermal spas, Xmas markets in Budapest (Hungary) and Bonn (Germany), Xmas nails and arriving at home to spend Xmas with my family!! Enjoy and happy Christnmas to you all!!!







12 Dec 2012

Banana Bread

Last weekend I made a banana bread which Joe and I enjoyed for breakfast. It is a perfect dish for a late weekend brunch because although it is sweet, it is not as sugary and rich as a cake or cupcake. It took about an hour to make (including the baking), I used very general ingredients and the longer it was in the oven, the better the whole house started to smell. You can have it plain, with cream or some yoghurt. Hmmmmm!!! I found the recipe on the BBC Food website.
    



11 Dec 2012

All Around the World

How darling is this little calendar?? You can go all around the world in one year which is a lot of people's dream and it can come true for just 25 quid. You can get it here (UK) or here (US) but hurry because the year is going to end very soon and you don't want to delay your world journey by even a day!!
     

10 Dec 2012

Caviar for my Nails

Have you heard of it yet? The Caviar Manicure? One of the doors of my Ciaté Advent Calendar revealed a little glass full of pearls and glitter in pink, blue and silver called Prom Queen. They look so pretty and sparkly, I couldn't wait to try it out. I watched a tutorial video before I started. Aside from the pearls in the calendar, Ciaté offers 3 other colours on their website here (I particularly like the Black Pearls manicure). I found it to be quite easy to do, I loved the way it looked and couldn't stop touching my nail because it felt completely different to anything I've tried before. This is how it works:
     
[1] Paint your nails in one colour and let them dry thoroughly. Apply a second coat onto the nail(s) on which you want to apply the pearls.
[2] Find yourself a little dish to catch the caviar while you pour it over your nail(s). Don't be stingy, you can put all the pearls back into the glass with a little nozzle. Now lightly press them onto your nail with the tip of a finger to fully attach them to the nail polish.
[3] Use a little nozzle to pour the unused pearls back into the glass. Ciaté includes one in every set but if you are just using normal arts and crafts beads, you can also just make your own nozzle by using a piece of paper.
[4] Done and ready to sparkle!
    

8 Dec 2012

Breaking News

Happy Saturday everyone!! This is just a very quick one. Tomorrow is the 2nd Advent Sunday and I have already bought myself a Christmas present now: I finally changed from Blackberry to iPhone. This means you can now follow me on Instagram. Yay! I've been playing around with it all morning already. Simply click here or on the new Instagram button on the top right to find my site. Big weekend kiss X

7 Dec 2012

Oh Tannenbaum...


Joe and I got a Christmas tree last weekend and couldn't wait to get it all set up in our living room. Because we are on a bit of a budget this year as we are going skiing after Christmas, on a little weekend trip next week and still have to get Christmas presents for all our loved ones, we simply went to IKEA and found that they actually have some really lovely things (see here, here and here). And this is what our tree looks like now. I love it - the snowflake lights especially.
     



Here you can see that we are still struggling to find the right colour for our living room wall.

6 Dec 2012

Gifts for Guys

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Welcome to my HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE for guys. As promised, here are little presents for  boys and men and although the last one doesn't really make sense (because beer is made using water) I love them all and I think they would make the men in your life quite happy! They are all pretty affordable and can be bought online without the stressful Christmas-time-in-town shopping experience (I truly dislike being in town this time of year, but I think I mentioned that already).

5 Dec 2012

Girly Gifts

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8
Welcome to my HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE for girls. If you, like me, try to avoid going into town at this time of year because you simply cannot bear the masses and the stress heads, you'll find that online shopping is just the right thing to get all of your presents together. I compiled a list of little, affordable gifts for girls which would certainly make me happy. Boys to follow tomorrow!

4 Dec 2012

Starlight Foundation

Last night I found this and thought I should share it with you because French Sole didn't only design super cute multicoloured sparkly shoes for us, they will also donate 50% of the profits to the Starlight Foundation, who grant wishes to seriously ill children throughout the UK. They are a bit on the pricey side, but it is Christmas soon so maybe this could be on the wish list?!

3 Dec 2012

DIY Advent Calendar

Happy December Everyone!!! Last weekend I made a last minute advent calendar for Joe because he had surprised me with this wonderful gift. So I bought a couple of things from the local DIY shop, hand sewed a few bags, got a huge box of sweeties and hoped that I would finish the project before Dec 1. And I did!! There are 3 special presents which he'll get along the way and little surprises for all other days. How do you like it?
   




30 Nov 2012

December Days

Ringing in December (and also the weekend), I am sharing a few wonderful ideas for Christmas decorations with you. As mentioned previously, the whole period of Advent is my favourite time of year and although it is not as traditional and decorative in the UK as it is in Germany, I don't want to miss out on anything just because I moved to another here. This means the upcoming weekend will be dedicated to decorating the house all Christmasy and pretty. All pictures and sources can be found here.
    


29 Nov 2012

Quilted Sleeves

Zara Coat - Topshop Scarf and Hat - Esprit Patent Brogues

A little while ago I told you that I got a new winter coat from Zara and promised to put some pictures on the blog. I have now had the coat for almost a month, I'm very happy with it and have been getting loads of compliments for it. At first, I was a little worried that the quilted stitching on the sleeves would come off really quickly but so far nothing happened and I have only seen 1 other person wearing it (other than this Zara Coat which I am seeing everywhere). Although the wool is quite thin and light, I have not been cold yet and the leather sleeves feel very soft and comfortable.
    

28 Nov 2012

Counting the Days

Not long now and it is finally here: December 1st. Advent is my absolute favourite time of the year and you will be getting a lot of Christmas related blog posts from me for the next few weeks (I hope you don't mind). I love the season's bakery, decorations, smells and festive moods. Since I was a little child, my Mum has (hand-) made Advent Calendars for me and my brothers every single year and since Joe got one for me this year - see here - I will be making one for him, too. Above is my inspiration (links and references can be found on my Winter Pinterest Board) and the actual making-of will follow next week.

27 Nov 2012

Blueberry Pancakes

This weekend I made blueberry pancakes for Sunday brunch. Sometimes you just don't get up until well beyond noon and think you need something a bit more substantial than cereal so a blueberry pancake stack with syrup and whipped cream is just perfect. 

Ingredients: 250g all-purpose flour (sifted), 2 ½ tsp baking powder, 3 tbs granulated sugar, ½ tsp salt, 2 medium eggs, 350ml milk, 25g butter (melted), 250g blueberries, vegetable oil

Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a different bowl, mix together the milk and eggs, add this mixture and the melted butter to the flour mixture and stir well. If the batter is still quite thick, add a little extra milk. If you don't have a special pancake griddle (I don't), simply use a small pan and grease it with a little bit of vegetable oil; I like using a brush to just brush some oil onto the pan's surface instead of oiling it straight from the bottle. Contrary to crêpes which are thin and large, these pancakes only need a couple of tablespoons of batter so that they stay small. Sprinkle some blueberries on top. Cook them until bubbly, slightly risen and dry-ish on the edges. Turn and brown on the other side. Makes about 10 pancakes.
    




26 Nov 2012

December Sponsor Call

Photo by the lovely Quatre Saisons

Hello Girls! I hope you all had a good holiday / weekend!? I have been working on the blog a little bit last night and apart from updating a few bits and bobs, I have changed my ad swap organisation. I am quite busy at work currently and because I want to focus on writing blog posts rather than organising everything else, I have decided to join Passionfruit Ads. I love discovering new blogs, we can still swap for free and I am a little less stressed. Perfect! Simply visit my sponsor page and use PRETTYSWAP at the Passionfruit checkout for the Swap Ads. Please just let me know via email or via Passionfruit which size of ad button you need from me for your own blog.

23 Nov 2012

Wonderful Wreaths

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers!!!! Here in Europe we don't celebrate Thanksgiving but we are already wrecking our brains to find the best possible way to decorate for Christmas. After I was able to secure myself the Ciaté Advent Calendar yesterday (my boyfriend insisted on giving it to me which is even more brilliant), I am now thinking about making a wreath for our door. Obviously the queen of interior design and arts and crafts (Martha Stewart) knows how it works so I got some inspiration from her website. There are 33 wreath ideas in total and I picked my favourite 6 to share with you. Which one do you like best? And will you be making a wreath for your front door this year?

22 Nov 2012

Look at That!


Have you heard of the Ciaté Advent Calendar? I read about it in yesterday's Stylist Magazine and I couldn't believe my eyes. This is such a lovely idea and you still get to do the whole advent calendar thing without gaining a pound (cause there's no chocolate involved obviously). And let's face it: particularly around Christmas, we can all do with a little less calories. Sadly this Christmas miracle is currently sold out but I have put myself on the waiting list and I will definitely get one as soon as they become available again!! My very own Ciaté Advent Calendar is ordered and will hopefully be with me soon. I love it!

21 Nov 2012

Pretty in Leather

Oasis Faux Leather Ponte Dress - Oasis Leather Cutwork Detail Dress - Whistles Sleeveless Leather Shift Dress - Muubaa Sofia Leather Cowl Dress
Leather is one of this season's hottest fashion materials and there is almost nothing that you cannot get in some sort of leather; skinny trousers, jackets, shorts, cardigans, t-shirts, shirts, skirts and so on. The other day I even saw a leather bra here! Among others, there are many leather dresses popping up in all kinds of shops and I have picked my favourite 4 of which I particularly like the Oasis Leather Cutwork Detail Dress to share with you (the budget ranges from £40 to £379 in the order they are displayed - left to right).

20 Nov 2012

Clean Your Brushes

[1] This is what my brushes look like after a couple of weeks of using them. This is when it gets time for a little bath and the brushes go all "Yay, yay, bath time!!" and I will then take them for a bathroom stroll.
       
[2] Now I take a little shampoo or soap and rub this into the brushes while holding them under the water brush side down. I continue doing this until the water is clear. Never ever let the water run into the handle of the brush (which would happen if you washed them brush side up) as this will ruin it irreversibly and the hair will start falling out.
       
[3] Now I get a towel (mine is a special micro fibre one which never really gets wet so the brushes dry perfectly on it) and brush the excess water of the make up brushes onto the towel. Usually there is quite a lot coming out onto the towel which is why micro fibre is ideal.
     
[4] Now I simply leave the brushes to dry overnight. I usually clean mine in the morning after applying the make up and the next morning they are all fresh and dry and ready to be used again.
       
[5] Never leave your brushes to dry like this as the water may either run into the handle which is just as bad as washing them brush side up or the hair of the brushes my bend into odd directions which obviously also ruins them. Always leave them to dry lying down on a towel. Done!