31 Jul 2012

Blog Love July

Recently I discovered ad swapping among bloggers and I love the concept of getting to know new blogs and their creators, helping each other in increasing one's audience and inspiring each other through the many wonderful posts. Meet my first 3 lovely July sponsors:

Melanie from My Billie posts regularly about her life, food, arts and crafts, fashion and home inspiration. I love how she almost always adds a load of wonderful photos. Melanie is 23 and lives in Jackson, MS. If you want to get to know her more closely, simply start reading her blog.

This is how you can follow her: 

Jennifer from Earl Grey writes mini inspirational posts, constantly finds new lovely things on the internet, takes wonderful photos and has an etsy shop with a ton of sweet, vintage inspired things. Jennifer is a recent college graduate in pursuit of her dream job (her words), as well as a passionate photographer and thrifter.

This is how you can follow her: 

Violet from the Blythe Ponytail Parades makes wonderful photos, collages, craftsy and foody things. Reading her blog is a true pleasure. She has also created the best gif I have ever seen (below). Violet is 23 years old, lives in Indianapolis with her husband Grant and her puppy Marhsmallow. God is the most important part of her life.
This is how you can follow her beside the blog: Facebook / Flickr / Twitter / Pinterest

30 Jul 2012

Pastel Pink Paradise

The past few weeks I have been looking for inspiration for my HOME on pinterest, creating a board with all the lovely photos of which I totally adored the designs and colour schemes. Today I stumbled upon the sweetest girl's room here and I thought I should share it with you. I absolutely wouldn't mind if my room (our guest bedroom) would end up looking just like it.

29 Jul 2012

Freebie | Stationery

A little while ago I told you about my love for free printable stationery, gift tags as well as all kinds of labels which I am all collecting on my Pinterest FREEBIES board. Today I'll share five particularly adorable printables which I have already printed and cut out myself and which I cannot wait to use. Simply click on the pictures to find their download links and sources.

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28 Jul 2012

Moving House & Olympic Weeks

Finally! I am going to get onto my one way flight to London in a few hours, loaded with 1 heavy suitcase, 1 carry-on and my laptop. It's going to be a bit of a struggle with all the extra weight, but I am so happy to finally start this new chapter of my life. I had a lovely time in Mainz and I am going to miss all my wonderful college and work friends who gave me such a sweet send off and good bye presents. Although Germany-England my not be the easiest and most obvious move, it has always been super important for me to take all of my favourite belongings, hence the heavy suitcase. Luckily I was able to send 13 boxes of books, kitchen utensils and a huge pile of personal items ahead and those boxes as well as my boyfriend are already waiting for me. As you all know, the London 2012 Olympics officially began last night and I will be part of this enormous and exciting spectacle. I might have mentioned that Joe and I managed to get tickets (kind of last minute). I am super proud because this is such an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity!!! I have always been a fan of watching the Olympics on television, although I must admit I'm not usually a huge sports person, but being there, seeing it live and cheering with the rest of the crowd must be incredible. For the next couple of weeks I will be in Olympic mode a bit and hopefully take lots of wonderful photos of London and its Olympic vibe. Obviously the decorating of our house, the settling in and finding a job is also just about to start so I might not be posting quite as frequently - I hope you'll forgive me J. Big kiss, May.

PS: I've noticed a huge increase in followers and readers lately and I want to thank you so much for being this interested in my blog! I am planning a giveaway for all you sweet blogées!! So keep in touch and see you soon!!

27 Jul 2012

Kiddy Cake

Ingredients: 250ml sunflower oil - 250g caster sugar - 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar - 5 small eggs - 1 tablespoon rum - 125ml lukewarm milk - 275g plain flour - 1 tablespoon baking powder - chocolate coating - sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 175°C (fan) and grease a cake tin. Mix together the oil and the sugars properly. Stir in one egg after the other until you have a well combined mixture. In a separate bowl mix together the flour and the baking powder and gradually add the flour mix, the milk and the rum into the egg mixture and stir well. Fill the batter into the cake tin and bake at 175°C for 50-60 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and cover the entire cake with it. Get out your sprinkles, gummy bears, smarties or whatever other decorations you have around and cover your cake with these lovely kiddy features. Every child (and most grown ups) are going to love a chocolatey-colourful-sweet-treat cake like this one. It was and still is my favourite birthday cake which my Mum makes me every year :)

26 Jul 2012

Delicious Donuts

Chocolate, icing, sprinkles - there really is one for everyone. Although the above look super delicious, they have zero calories as long as you just wear them around your neck. I love these donut necklaces by Calourette and I have already put one on my birthday wishlist for this year.

25 Jul 2012

Summer Sandals

The other day at work one of my lovely colleagues wore these cute sandals and I was instantly smitten. She told me they were by H&M Kids so I ran there immediately after I had finished my shift, snatched up the last pair in my size and wore them straight out of the shop. This isn't the first time that I have bought H&M Kids shoes, particularly their ballet flats have always appealed to me because they are less frequented with girls my age and you get more variations if you look at both the ladies' and the kids' ranges. These bright, colourful sandals have everything I could want: (faux) patent leather, mint green, pink, coral and a bit of silver. Makes even the most boring outfits more exciting.

24 Jul 2012

Flower Garden

After I told you about our non-sunny summer yesterday, the sun actually came out big time and shone over us all day long. On top of that, a whole week of sun and warmth was promised to me by the local weather forecast and I am already planning to spend my remaining days in Mainz being lazy at the river. This first sunny day I spent taking pictures at a flower garden where one is meant to pick and cut one's own choice of flowers and leave a little money in a piggy bank afterwards. I hope I managed to catch the wonderful impressions of that day for you to enjoy a little and a lovely friend of mine captured me in this sea of flowers, too.

Photos by me and Quatre Saisons.

23 Jul 2012

What to wear in the summer that isn't a summer

Polka Dots.
I don't know how else to put it: I am frustrated. Where is this summer that we have been waiting for for the last 2 (or has it been 3) years??? I still look like a glass of milk, mainly because the 2012 sun and I haven't been introduced yet. It's going to be worse in London still. And just by the by, I don't think I had a tan in 2011 either... 
With the upcoming move and my limited student's budget, I have no means for a beach holiday and I refuse to go tanning. This means I will just have to stay white all year round. Maybe I'll invest in a spray tan one day, but I haven't really researched that yet.
Anyway, my favourite accessories, enabling me to wear my pretty summer dresses despite the chilly temperatures, are tights. Avoiding the super wintery 100den at least, here is my selection of five:

Big hearts.

Anchors. Cool!

Tiny hearts.

House of Holland Union Jack and USA Flag tights. Great for festivals.

22 Jul 2012

Summer Nails

Today I thought I should share my favourite summer nail colours with you as I believe they make the season much brighter, particularly since the sun hasn't really made its way over to Northern Europe yet. Summer is all about being bright and happy as opposed to winter's gloomy darkness. Reds and pinks are classics all year round but I tend to choose lighter versions for spring and summer and slightly darker variations for winter and autumn. Orange is a nail colour exclusively for summer in my opinion. Pastelly versions of pink and orange like Tart Deco and Lovie Dovie are ideal for people who are uncomfortable with a super bright nail colour explosion. The very light pink, almost white shade is for days on which I don't feel like candy pop nails. The mint and gold always look wonderful on summer toes and really go with almost every shoe and outfit. The fact that they are all essie doesn't mean that I'm advertising for them, simply that I love the colours, textures, brushes and outcomes so much that I hardly use any other brands these days.

21 Jul 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a number of chocolate chip cookie recipes lined up and want to make them all (one after the other) to find the perfect choc chip cookie which is crispy on the sides, gooey in the middle, not too sweet and basically just to die for. I started with this very simple recipe and although it is quite nice, it is not yet the best cookie I have ever tried and it is still a little too sweet for me.
250g butter (room temp) - 100g brown sugar - 100g caster sugar - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - 1 large egg - 350g flour - ½ fleur de sel - ¼ baking powder - 225g semi sweet chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla together until soft and smooth. Add the egg and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Using 2 tabelspoons, form the dough into small mounds and place on the prepared baking sheets, slightly apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown at the edges. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

20 Jul 2012

Master Me

Zara flared dress, Friis & Company ballerinas.
Last night was my graduation ceremony at university. I am now officially done being a student (at least at university)... In Germany, we don't really do caps and gowns and I hardly knew any of the other graduates either. I find it a little sad that we've never picked up on American or British traditions when I comes to university customs and ceremonies. There isn't really a sense of community amongst the graduates and attendance at this one event is very sparse. However, I did go last night (instead of just picking up my certificates at the dean's office) to get a certain sense of closure. I also have really sweet friends who got me a cap from an online shop so I could have some of that obvious postgraduate glamour. Random people kept smiling at me a bit funny, like they approved :)

19 Jul 2012

Five DIYs

1. Glass Vases with inside painting. LOVE! 2. Cute pompoms made with a fork. So cute! 3. Chalkboard Serving Platter. Great idea!!!

4. Covering lids in paper with Mod Podge. Nice way of customizing home-made jelly glasses. 5. Such a fabulous flower arrangement!
Five Lovely DIY ideas I found on pinterest and that I really want to try out soon. You can find links to all tutorials and photos on my DIY pinterest board and maybe soon on my blog after I tackled them myself. Can't wait J !!!

18 Jul 2012

Storage Solutions

I have a confession to make: I'm a notorious tidy-upper. I don't like it when stuff is just lying around, when wardrobes are messy or my desk is flowing over with stuff. It makes me giddy and I can't relax until it's tidy. I regularly re-organise my clothes, keep my office stuff in letter trays on my desktop and tidy my room at least a couple of times a week. 
It has really always bugged me that my nail varnish collection was just lying around a bit here and there and basically annoying me every time I looked at it. After I had the delicious Ritter Sport Schokowürfel, I thought I should keep their pretty containers and quickly discovered that one of them is exactly the size of 9 essie bottles. I covered the 2 boxes with some leftover wrapping paper and now I have 2 very sweet nail polish storage cubes. Perfect!

17 Jul 2012

Mo Bros

Yay!!! Moustache Party! All you need to do for your own moustaches to go (which make seriously cool props for photos) is to follow my very simple steps. You'll need brown cardboard and felt, glue, scotch tape, wooden sticks, scissors and a pen. You can get a variety of great patterns here to choose your perfect mo match.

16 Jul 2012

My Nail Routine

Since I have shown you so many different colourful manicures already, I thought I should also do a post on how I look after my nails. There are a lot of ways to do this with a huge variety of different products. However, I always use the same and this is how it goes:

[1] I 'wash' my hands using a hand peeling which I massage in all over my hands and fingers. This usually takes 3-5 minutes. My hands feel super soft and smooth afterwards.
[2] I use a cuticle softener pen and gel to remove, or rather push back my cuticles. I am not a fan of cutting away my cuticles completely because I feel it looks a bit unnatural on me and it will grow back anyway so pushing them back will do for me.
[3] Before applying a nail varnish, I use essie's Nourish Me base coat with one layer on each nail. This strengthens my nails and protects them from discolouring by the actual varnish, particularly if it is quite dark or intense.
[4] Once the base coat has dried, I almost exclusively use essie nail varnish these days and I usually apply 2 layers of the one I pick.
[5] Afterwards I use essie's Good to Go topcoat which makes my manicure dry very quickly, it is super shiny, and long lasting. I usually apply the topcoat about a minute after I applied the regular polish. It won't be completely dry yet but the topcoat seals it without ruining the yet wet top layer of the polish.

15 Jul 2012

Our Trip Around India #2

One flight later and we arrived in New Delhi, India's capital and the last leg of our trip. We arrived on a Wednesday night and it wasn't only extremely cold (which then triggered a most interesting layer look - who expects India to be freezing??) but while I read the Rajasthan Lonely Planet on the plane, I had found out that the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays and that we had to plan a last minute tour to go there on Thursday as our flight back to London was scheduled for Saturday. By that point, I was already troubled by a stomach bug and started to find any kind of curry very revolting. 
Going to the 200km distant Agra (with an Indian travel agency and exclusively Indian travellers, trip being arranged around midnight) was one of the most adventurous things I have ever done. I don't know how this simple bus trip ended up taking 6-8 hours one way. Unlike any European travel agency would have planned, we stopped by Krishna's birth place in the middle of nowhere *surprise surprise*, the bus had neither AC nor heating and I was as cold as never before in my life. At the end of the day, we fell into our hotel bed completely exhausted but happy that we had taken the trip to the world famous Taj Mahal. It was truly beautiful but there were signs of slow decay, too.
New Delhi is a buzzing and certainly interesting city and we had just about enough energy left to visit the Red Fort, to stroll around the largest mosque of India, a fancy dinner at an art deco restaurant - Veda (which I can recommend) - and a few cocktails at a rooftop bar afterwards.

My traveller's tips: [1] Take earplugs because howling dogs provide for sleepless nights all over India. [2] Plan your trip ahead at least a little and check out the weather before you pack. [3] Pack plenty of stomach soothers and magnesium. [4] Enjoy every little bit of it even if things get scary.

[A] New Delhi [B] Agra (Taj Mahal).