29 Feb 2012

Oooh yummy!!! Ah no, just cotton... ;)

I told u about the lovely Tilda before here and here. In one of her cute books, the Norwegian designer of the brand, Tone Finnanger, taught me how to make decorative cotton cupcakes and here they are:



For copyrights purposes I'm not allowed to tell you how to make these, but the photos below show some of the details and otherwise the book  they came in is so cute, u will just wanna make everything u see at once (Tildas Winterwelt is the German version but unfortunately I don't know if they are in the English version, too)!


27 Feb 2012

1920s Flapper Hair

Last week my best friend visited me in Mainz for the German carnival and we dressed up obviously (as the two girls in the fairy tale Frau Holle by the brothers Grimm: the virtuous one in gold and the lazy one in pitch black - if you're not familiar with fairy tales then I can only advise you to read up on them because you're seriously missing out, in my opinion anyway!!!). However, the actual point is that my friend introduced me to the easiest way of creating a perfect DIY 1920s hairstyle in 5 easy steps (forgive the big head in pic #1).


26 Feb 2012

My Little Tour Through London

Admittedly, I don't live in London but I wish I would and if things work out fine, I'll be just there in a few months time. However, I have had my share of city experience and I definitely know how to guide my occasional visitor through the English capital without missing the most famous sights around town. I've had 5 years to work on the perfect one-day, absolutely foolproof tour which I'm sharing with you here:


A Buckingham Palace / Changing the Guard
I recommend coming here early-ish. Changing the Guard starts at 11am (every day in the summer in red uniforms and every other day in the winter in grey uniforms) and it is usually very crowded. My favourite viewing position is below the golden Victoria statue. If you go there a bit earlier you can get a pretty photo of Buckingham Palace without the crowds and a first row position to watch the spectacle.
B Trafalgar Square / National Gallery
The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery are REALLY worth a visit and there are pamphlets which tell you exactly where the most famous pieces are!! 
And just a tip for everyone who isn't used to it: most of the UKs museums offer free admission and only charge for special exhibitions. Feel free to donate some money though as they host some truly amazing pieces of art.
C Downing Street
Boring and nothing to see really.
D Westminster Abbey
Such a famous cathedral and really quite pretty. Walk around it, step inside and move on.
E Houses of Parliament / Big Ben
Not much to say really, just remember to cross over Westminster Bridge next to Big Ben to stick to the tour.
F London Eye
It's quite expensive to go on but also quite nice to get the spectacular view of London from a bird's perspective. Recommended at day and night but make sure the sky is clear!
G Tate Modern / Millennium Bridge
The Tate Modern has some wonderful art to offer and is definitely worth a visit.
Millennium Bridge is funny ;)
H Globe Theatre
I have never been but I have been told it's quite enjoyable depending on the performance.
I City Hall
Another one of the many Norman Foster glass palaces. I have been inside before as part of a college tour, but I don't know if entry is granted to everyone.
J Tower Bridge
Famous landmark, never been inside its 'museum' so I can't tell you what it's like (I'm not that much into slashing out my money for nothing).
K Tower of London
I have been inside this one (on my parents expense) and the jewels are pretty impressive, otherwise it's not really worth the extreme entrance prices. My boyfriend believes they don't even keep the real jewels in there. Well, who knows (except the Queen).
L St. Paul's Cathedral
It's actually quite lovely inside, however, they have started charging for the entrance which I find outrageous for a church that is supposed to offer shelter and room for everyone.
M Piccadilly Circus
Another one of those famous landmarks, I do not really see the reason for its fame though.
N Hyde Park
One of the largest parks in London (arguably not the prettiest) and famous for its Speaker's Corner. In the summer, there's a lot of stuff going on here, and in the winter it hosts London's big kitsch Christmas Market (really only a shallow copy of traditional German markets).

21 Feb 2012

A Little Arts & Crafts Session

In my last post about the Bake-a-boo you might have noticed this:


Basically, you're looking at 4 mini cupcakes made of coloured felt, stuffed with fiberfill and accessorised with glitter and beads. I actually only really noticed those cute little things after my visit, when I was looking at the pictures of that day. I was completely thrilled with the idea of reproducing them. And here we go:



What you need to do is 1) buy the materials required [obviously], 2) cut out your desired cupcake shapes, 3) glue and sew together the matching bits and pieces without attaching bottoms and tops, 4) now you stuff the little bottoms and tops with fiberfill, 5) stitch together those stuffed bottoms and tops, 6) decorate as you please.
Admittedly, these cuties require a certain amount of arts & crafts skills and can simply drive you mad by being so tiny and difficult to handle. In the end, not a bad effort on my behalf though, hmm? xox

19 Feb 2012

Bake-a-boo

I was telling you about my obsession with cupcakes and here is yet another wonderful place to indulge in the many delights of the baking trade. One of the cutest and most adorable places ever must be the Bake-a-boo in West Hampstead where one will always leave a tad bit happier after an afternoon tea, a cupcake or one of the yummy scones and a chat with the girlfriends. The owner has even published a cook book which will tell you exactly how to be a little cupcake-goddess yourself. It is definitely on my to-buy-list. 

Just a word of advice: no-one should be wearing black here ;) Pull out your sweetest (lace/flower) top and off you go!!


Photo by Bake-a-boo
Photo by May




Photo by Bake-a-boo
Photo by May











17 Feb 2012

Smokey Eye

Oooooh that's a tricky one (at least for me), so I got some help. I have recently purchased 2 different sets of smokey eye helpees by Catrice: Smokey Eyes Set 'Meet me at the Bonfire' and Eye Aquarelle Duo Chalks 'Boys Are Back' of the Female Limited Edition. Turns out, it's actually pretty easy to produce a sexy smokey eye - I hope that I'm not the only one thinking that the results are pretty successful and I'm not just making a fool of myself  ;)

Smokey Eyes Set 'Meet me at the Bonfire' for 4,49€. Basically, you just apply one after the other (the box even has a manual on the back) growing smaller with intensity of the shades, up to the slim line of the slightly creamy black shade (the other 3 are powdery).


Eye Aquarelle Duo Chalks 'Boys Are Back' for 2,99€. Apply the pinky shade onto the entire lid and cover half the lid with the black. I actually prefer this one to the above and  it is so incredibly easy to apply, too. Hurry up, it's still on the market!!


15 Feb 2012

Yummy Cupcakes

I am admittedly a huge fan of cupcakes and muffins (if they are of the lovely quality I expect them to be - there's nothing worse than a sickeningly sweet and fatty cupcake that'll just make you feel vomitty after one bite). Primarily, it's all about the flavour - obviously - and I am all for a nice fruity one. Now, I have only just started searching for the best cupcake places in London, but I can already name you 2 which are really worth visiting:

Violet Cakes in Hackney
The actual café is a little off the main road and within quite a residential area. However, the house is very easy to spot as it is a blocky building, standing almost entirely by itself. Once you enter the door, this is where paradise begins with lots of colourful cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods (always according to season so there's no strawberries in winter). You can enjoy your choice with a coffee or tea and there is additional upstairs seating.

Violet Cakes is also represented on the buzzy Broadway Market (open Saturdays) where you can eat yourself through a selection of mini cupcakes for just a pound each. Yum!

Tip: Salted Caramel Cupcake, and currently Red Velvet (that actually is my favourite)



Peyton and Byrne (Bakeries and Cafés)
After an extensive search for a sofa at Heals, I treated myself to a selection of cupcakes from this little place which is situated between Heals and Habitat on Tottenham Court Road. Their range includes not only pretty, colourful fairy cakes, but also other baked goods and mini lunches. This place too, is quite small but the cupcakes are certainly big enough and, after I tried the first one (Raspberry Surprise), I was completely won over. My second choice was a flavoursome chocolate cupcake topped up with a cute candy heart - also incredibly delicious. Next time, I'll try the one which apparently "earned Peyton and Byrne its reputation": Frou Frou. You'll be hearing from me :)


14 Feb 2012

Paris, Paris...!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I am delivering a post on how my boyfriend and I went on a short but wonderful trip to Paris last week. Pretty good timing, eh?!

Acting on the tip of a friend, we had gotten half price Eurostar tickets to go to Paris for a one-nighter in February. Being in a long-distance relationship, you kind of have to adjust special occasions to your needs and celebrate them within the little time actually spent together. Our romantic trip to Paris took place Wed - Thu (a week before actual Valentine's) and it was one of the best mini holidays I have ever had, although it was so bloody freezing cold that even the top of the Eiffel Tower was closed!!

Now, in case you're ever going to Paris and want some advice on how to spend two very touristy days strolling around Paris, you'll learn how to do that in the following. However, I'm not an expert on Paris and these are merely suggestions of how to cram the most famous sights of the city into 2 short days (for maps see bottom of blog post):
   
A La Tour Eiffel - B L'Hôtel des Invalides - C Grand Palais - D Musée d'Orsay - E Louvre - F Notre Dame - G Hôtel de Ville
Day 1
We arrived in Paris around noon after a very quick but boring journey on the Eurostar (if you were hoping for some landscape during that train journey, forget it!) and found our hotel within only 5 minutes from the Gare du Nord, which was absolutely perfect regarding the tight sightseeing schedule. It's called Hotel Gare du Nord Suede and might be a bit pricey; however, I booked via expedia and had a voucher so the expense didn't seem too bad. Rooms are tiny but clean, staff seemed nice, bed was very comfy after a long day of walking around. The location is brilliant and for the entire 2 days we didn't have to use any more than 5 métro (underground/tram) tickets each and, very conveniently, they can be bought in a pack of 10 for 12,50€ if I remember correctly.

Schedule for Day 1
La Tour Eiffel - L'Hôtel des Invalides - Grand Palais - Musée d'Orsay - Croque Monsieur for lunch - Louvre - Notre Dame - Hôtel de Ville

You can basically manage all of these simply by walking along the Seine and although it will be dark by the time you reach Notre Dame you'll be able to see everything without rushing. To start our day more quickly, my boyfriend and I had taken the tube to get to the Eiffel Tower (Champ de Mars) which is relatively painless from the train station; although, at first, we did get confused about why the Parisians need to have numbered and lettered tube lines of very similar colours. On a last note, the Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre are free for young people between 18 and 25 (from the EU), which I really appreciated!!

In the evening, we went for dinner in a place called Carpe Diem but the food was not overwhelmingly nice so I can't really recommend it... Atmosphere and staff were lovely though.
    
A Sacre Coeur - B Moulin Rouge - C Champs-Elysées - D Arc de Triomphe - E Catacombes Paris -
F Panthéon - G Jardin du Luxembourg - H Notre Dame
Day 2
"Early" start. We left the hotel around 10:30am and were greeted by the beaming sun, which made the freezing cold seem a lot less bad.

Schedule for Day 2
Sacre Coeur - Moulin Rouge - Champs-Elysées - Arc de Triomphe - (take the tube from Charles de Gaulle Etoile to Denfert Rochereau) Catacombes Paris - Panthéon - Jardin du Luxembourg - Notre Dame

As you can see, Notre Dame is mentioned again, this time at daylight. The catacombs of Paris are not for claustrophobic people or those who are major scared of anything to do with bones and dead people. Otherwise it's a pretty manageable day with lots of interesting impressions and sights. We walked everywhere except for the ride from the Arc de Triomphe to the Catacombes Paris.

Lovely postcards by Nouvelles Images 

During your stay, don't forget to eat Crème Brulée somewhere (because it is simply delightfulicious) and to kiss your partner under the Eiffel Tower (for good luck). So much about my trip. If you have any questions, feel free to ask :) xox

PS: They do actually walk around there with baguettes under their arms!!!!