29 Dec 2013

Sale Bargains

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8
I wasn't planning to post anything during the holidays but I am so excited about my sale bargains, I had to share. Normally I don't get involved with the Christmas sale because most often it is already "over" (as in all the good stuff is gone) when I come back from my Christmas holidays, however, this time I had my eye on a few certain things and really made an effort of getting them. I started my sale shopping on Boxing Day on the French Sole website where the best styles usually sell within days and I managed to find a beautfully sparkly Henrietta and a quilted brown Simple ballerina which will hopefully arrive in the post soon. The day after boxing day I went into town at my parents' and managed to get the Zara coat (#7), dress (#2) and shoes (#5) I was after, plus 2 cute jumpers. My third day of sale shopping was all about the Whistles Terrazzo Print Structured dress (#3) which I fell in love with in the summer when I saw it at John Lewis, however, at £165 it was way out of my price league. It went into the sale shortly before Christmas at £80 but due to Xmas gifts, I had no shopping budget left for myself. Unfortunately it is now sold out online but I asked Joe nicely if he would check the Whistles store near us and not only did they have the dress in the right size, it was also marked down by another £30 making it an even 50. I am so excited, I cannot wait to get home now! It will be the perfect dress for a couple of weddings I am going to in the summer. So all in all I have done really well and I plan on getting a couple of statement necklaces from Accessorize, too, once I am back on Tuesday. I hope you have had a fabulous Christmas and will be celebrating the new year with friends and family!

20 Dec 2013

Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Friday everyone! I'm off for my Christmas holiday now so I wish you all a merry Christmas, a wonderful time with your family and a happy New Year! Hopefully we'll all be able to get some snow, lots of good food and some well deserved sofa-time. I'll be back some time in January and I look forward to seeing you back on the blog then! x

19 Dec 2013

Beauty Wishlist

One of my New Year resolutions is to treat myself to luxury make up and facial products more than I do now. Although don't exactly buy the £0.99 concealer now, I never usually spend more than 10 quid on any individual product. Since I am approaching my end 20s, I decided that it is officially time to splurge when it comes to beauty products.

1) Cleansing & Care: Currently I switch between the 3-Step routines (wash gel, toner, moisturiser) of Nivea and Simple and although both are kind of alright, I heard so much good stuff about the Clinique 3-step routine that I want to give it a try with their £20 introduction kit. Moreover, I am going to invest in a bottle of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair which everyone has been praising so much. As for scrubs, I love the Neutrogena Pore & Shine so I will keep that in my routine for every other day.

2) Foundation & Powder: Currently I am using the Max Factor CC cream (which I love), a Garnier concealer as well as some cheap-ish loose powder, however, ever since I had a mini make over at one of London's MAC stores, I have been hoping to get myself the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation and a Sheer Loose Powder (incl. a proper Foundation and Powder/Blush Brush). Topped off with an industrial strength concealer which Boi-ing claims to be, I should be able to create the perfect foundation for the rest of my make-up routine.

3) Contouring: Currently I am using a brown-ish red blush to give my face some contour, however, I do think I should start using bronzer and since Hoola claims to be the UK's No.1 Best Selling one, I will give it a try. As for blushes, I heard that the MAC ones are really good and a shade like Breezy or Pink Swoon is just what I need.

4) Eyes: My eye make-up routine usually starts with my eyebrows for which I use the Alverde Eyebrow Gel (one of my favourite products). Afterwards I usually apply something to reduce dark circles below my eyes, I have heard that Benefit's Eye Bright Pencil is a real star when it comes to brightening eyes so I will put one of those in my shopping basket, too. Next, I apply some cream coloured eye shadow, currently I am using one from Max Factor (shade Pale Pebble). Afterwards I apply eyeliner to my lid and I absolutely swear by the Clinique Cream Shaper which is one of the best beauty products I have ever had. Lastly, I apply waterproof mascara and since I once had a mini tester of the Chanel Sublime, I really wish this was in my daily routine.

5) Lips: Not too long ago I bought myself 3 MAC Lipsticks (Impassioned, Media and Brave Red) and I have not regretted spending the money for a second. A pink, a red and a burgundy are the only 3 shades I need to be happy and together with the Burt's Bees lip balm, my lips couldn't be happier.

6) Nails: I am a huge fan of Essie nail polishes and two of my most favourite shades are probably Wicked and Topless & Barefoot, however, I should switch it up a little and treat myself to Chanel's iconic Dragon because a very red nail polish is never a bad idea.

18 Dec 2013

Vanillekipferl

Today I am sharing another page from my Grandma's best Christmas cookie recipe book. Vanillekipferl are a very traditional German / Austrian Christmas biscuit and are certainly one of my very favourites. They are sweet from the vanilla but not too sugary in the dough which makes them just perfect. It is a little bit tricky to get the bake just right, but if you watch the oven from minute 8-9 and make sure they don't get too brown and are still white in the middle, you should be just fine. Happy baking!

Ingredients: 180g cold butter, 70g sugar, 1 heaped tablespoon real vanilla sugar, 100g ground almonds, 250g flour, a pinch of salt, some more real vanilla sugar to decorate

1) Mix together the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, ground almonds, flour and salt until smooth and form a big dough ball to place in the fridge for at least an hour (remember to wrap it in foil or cling film so it doesn't taste of fridge afterwards).

2) Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 170°C (fan: 150°C). Take hazelnut sized portions off the big dough ball and roll them into sausages with thin ends. Shape to them into little half moons and place them on the baking tray.

3) Bake the Vanillekipferl for about 12 minutes (be careful not to let them get too dark). Take them out and carefully turn them in the remaining vanilla sugar while they are still hot / warm until covered all the way around.



17 Dec 2013

Make a Statement

Glamorous // Mystical // Exotic // Autumnal

Often I find myself with a pretty boring outfit such as a black pencil skirt with a black sweater or a pair of blue jeans with a grey jumper and although this is great for work on a usual week day, it isn't exactly exciting. I am not a huge jewellery-wearer (don't really know why) but recently I've seen a few girls with some very stunning necklaces add some edge and style to their otherwise "boring" outfits. I have now made the decision to buy a couple of statement necklaces, too, I have just not quite made up my mind about which one of the above I like the most...

16 Dec 2013

Gold & Blue


Last weekend I actually found the time for a mini Christmas manicure. It really only takes a few moments more than just a standard one-colour mani and it looks quite a lot more special. I thought gold and a very dark blue would look especially good together so that's what I picked, but I am sure that red & gold, green & gold or even a sparkly gold with any other colour will look very pretty, too! All you need are some hole reinforcement stickers and a top coat to seal it all off at the end and your easy Xmas manicure is all good to be shown off at Christmas parties.

12 Dec 2013

Xmas Decorations

Photo Sources.
Joe and I put up our Christmas tree this week. He bought one at a local market and almost put his back out carrying it home while I rescued the baubles from storage. Now our living room is partially decorated with the tree and a few candles here and there, however, I am still planning to draw little snow flakes on the windows and perhaps put up a wreath. Above you'll find a few very pretty, yet easy ideas which will instantly add a little Christmas flair to your home.

11 Dec 2013

PJ Party

1 // 2 Top & Bottoms // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 Top & Bottoms // 9
I am a huge fan of pyjamas; cannot sleep without one on. I know a lot of people love sleeping in the nude or in some random old t-shirt, but I swear by my pyjamas. In the summer I usually just wear a pair of men's boxers and a cotton T but in the winter I'm all for long, cozy bottoms and a nice top to match. Although I've never had a grown-up PJ Party, I can imagine it to be a lot of fun. Sipping champagne, eating marshmallows and watching movies with my girlfriends in PJs is something I am planning for a weekend next January when Joe is away on a stag do with the boys. In the meantime, I have found some really pretty PJ sets to share with you so that you all have something to hang out in during the holidays.

9 Dec 2013

Winter Wonderland

Sources here.
What is it about snow that it looks so romantic and beautiful whenever it covers forests and whole other areas during the winter. I cannot wait for the first snow this year although I am very much hoping that it won't be before I fly home for Christmas as that usually closes down airports and train stations completely. The south of England is just not equipped for proper winter weather. Anyway, I am now sitting at work and taking a little break from spreadsheets and best seller lists and pinning beautiful winter wonderland photos instead. A white Christmas would truly be the best gift ever this year!!

8 Dec 2013

Christmas Gift Guide for Girls


Obviously a gift guide for girls cannot be missed either. Whether you need a present for your Mum, Grandma, sisters, girlfriends and other friends that are special to you, there is a great selection here, including beautiful timeless pieces which will last a life time. If you are looking for Christmas gift inspiration for boys, have a look here. Stocking filler ideas can be found here and here.

1) A cozy, slouchy cotton jumper in the most beautiful colour. - £57
2) Nude ballet flats go with everything and these are of great quality. - £120
3) A beautiful camel coloured Mulberry leather purse will last a life time. - £275
4) This dainty little Tiffany bracelet is a great gift for someone very special. - £150
5) Give your loved ones a Beats Pill this Xmas so that they can listen to their music everywhere. - £170
6) This Bodum tea pot is not only very stylish but it comes with 2 tea mugs, too. - £40
7) Black suede slippers are a very cool gift and can be worn all year round. - £165
8) Timeless satchels in great, versatile colours make great gifts for girls of all ages. - £120
9) Diptyque's scented candles have long become essential home accessories. - £20
10) A classic black biker jacket is an absolute wardrobe staple and a great occasion to splurge. - £380
11) Beautiful rose gold headphones will look special on everyone. - £130  

7 Dec 2013

Christmas Gift Guide for Guys

Unless you are super efficient and always have all Christmas present ready well in advance, I thought you could do with a little inspiration for all the "guy presents" you are going to need for Dads, Grandpas, brothers, boyfriends and other friends that are special to you. From stylish accessories, over wardrobe additions to tech gadgets, this selection should offer something for everyone, including men across all ages. Happy Christmas shopping!!

1) A classic black angora sweater is always a great gift. - £75
2) This stylish Liberty print silk tie will brighten up any plain suit & shirt combo. -  £80
3) Great read for quiet evenings: a book about the world's most amazing tree houses. - £30
4) Never run out of power again with this little Powerseed. - £30
5) This Tom Dixon paper weight makes for a very stylish office accessory. - £50
6) Give your loved ones a Beats Pill this Xmas so that they can listen to their music everywhere. - £170
7) This watch tells you the time, the date and looks very stylish. - £120 
8) Protect your phone from the everyday madness of pockets, bags and the occasional drop. - £95
9) Grooming set for the "London" guy. - £50
10) Super soft and warm wool jumper from Comme des Garçons. - £250
11) The all time favourite for Dad's: a BBQ set. - £35

6 Dec 2013

Winter Snapshots

One of my previous work colleagues from Mainz takes the most lovely snapshots of life, her friends and family often according to the current season; hence her screen name Quatre Saisons. I had the pleasure of shooting with her myself a couple of times (see for example here) and it was not only a lot of fun, I also had some amazing photographs to take home at the end of the day. She recently added a few winter photos to her collection and they are so beautiful and inspirational, I had to share them with you. They really got me in the Christmas mood and made me want to capture the more trivial moments of life more often. For more of her work see here and here.




Weekly Instagram


Happy Friday everyone!!! I hope you'll have a great weekend!

5 Dec 2013

Stocking Fillers for Him

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After I published a post on stocking fillers for girls the other day, I thought I shouldn't leave out the boys as many of you will have to buy little presents here and there for fathers, brothers, boyfriends, grandpas or just a a friend of yours and you will need inspiration for those, too. I used to find it quite difficult to find something for my Dad and Grandpa, however, now with so many great little gadgets around, it is really not that tricky any more. Joe asked for a selection of suit accessories this and it was so much fun browsing several websites for the nicest cufflinks, handkerchiefs, tie clips, lapel pins and so forth. Because I cannot share what I bought for Joe, I picked another selection of 11 great gifts for guys to help you find something for your loved ones this Christmas.

4 Dec 2013

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Don't we all love a freshly home made pancake breakfast on a Sunday morning? I definitely do. During the summer I like adding blueberries to the pancakes to give them a little freshness, however, since berries aren't winter fruit, I thought I'd try a more wintery take on the fruity pancake and added apples and a little cinnamon. The basic pancake recipe can be found here and you simply just need to add a teaspoon of cinammon and a few apple slices with every bake. Serve with lemon juice and golden syrup. Yummy!!



3 Dec 2013

Stocking Fillers for Her

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Whether you need a St Nikolaus present or a few pretty stocking fillers for Christmas, there should be something for everyone in my selection of 11 small gifts above. I particularly love the Cath Kidston PJ bottoms (I bought another version of them last weekend and they are so super soft and comfy, I slept like a baby last night) and the Accessorize statement necklace. Moreover, I can really recommend the L'Occitane hand creams which not only smell lovely but also make sure your hands stay soft and smooth during the winter.

2 Dec 2013

Cyber Monday Sales

Rifle Paper:      1 // 2 // 3 // 4      (30% off with code CYBER2013)
Every year the American shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday gets a little bit bigger here in the UK, too. Originally it didn't happen at all and now the promotion emails are just raining into my inbox from all different kinds of shops. I guess people here love shopping, too, and somewhere between 20% and 40% off is always a good excuse to do a little shopping. I actually managed to get some of my Christmas presents a little cheaper than expected which is great. Here are some of my favourite saves for today. Hurry though, they'll end tonight!!

Whistles:      1 // 2 // 3 // 4      (20% off automatically)
Boden:      1 // 2 // 3 // 4      (30% off automatically)
Anthropologie:      1 // 2 // 3 // 4      (20% off automatically)

December Desktop Calendar

Wallpaper by Ruche
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had lovely Thanksgiving, 1st Advent or crazily discounted shopping weekends and are ready for December and Christmas now. Joe and I spent our weekend taking full advantage of the Selfridges Christmas Comes Early discount and I cannot wait to show you a few of the things we shopped. I am also really hoping that there will be some snow soon, but not too much to cancel flights before Xmas. To get you in the mood even at work, I have found some great December desktop wall calendars free to download from the links below each photo. I hope they are diverse enough so that there is one for everyone included!!
Wallpaper by Marimekko

Wallpaper by Caroline

Wallpaper by Design is Yay
Wallpaper by Geninne

Wallpaper by Love Mae

1 Dec 2013

Fashion | Winter Coats

Warehouse £95 // 2 ASOS £90 // 3 Mango £90 // 
French Connection £160 // 5 Mango £100 // 6 ASOS £70 // 
French Connection £175 // 8 Warehouse £95 // 9 Mango £110
I know it's only just the end of August, but I have already started looking into winter coats because if you start looking too late, you'll miss all the good ones and you might struggle finding one quickly when the cold hits you unexpectedly. Last year I made the bad mistake and got perhaps the most popular Zara coat there was (see here). At one point I was standing in a queue with about 10 other people and half of them, including myself, were wearing this coat. So this year, I will be buying something a little more plain or at least from a less popular / more expensive shop. Above you can see my 9 favourites and although I haven't totally made up my mind yet I am erring towards the first one. What do you think? x

29 Nov 2013

Weekly Instagram

Baking cinnamon stars (recipe here) - Sunday sofa selfie -  reminiscing about the summer holidays - arm candy - throwback Thursday: Budapest 2012 - cheers to the weekend - autumn captured - Sunday apple and cinnamon pancakes (recipe to follow) - Monday morning sunrise - Oxford Street Christmas lights - Selfridges Destination Christmas - final treasures of the Christmas Comes Early shopping frenzy at Selfridges

Would love to see you around on Instagram here!

28 Nov 2013

Christmas Baking

I love Martha Stewart's Pinterest! It never gets boring and you can literally find a new inspiring DIY every single day. Since Christmas is just around the corner now, I am getting very excited about holiday decorations, food and baking. On the Martha Stewart Living Christmas board there are so many really easily executed ideas that will make your Christmas all the more fun and that instantly transform a "boring" selection of cookies and cakes into very special creations. Above are my absolute favourites and I do hope I'll have some time to try out the Gingerbread Linzertorte and the wreath biscuits. All photos and links to recipes can be found here.

26 Nov 2013

Christmas Party Glam

Glitter Strappy Dress// 2 Print Structured Dress // 3 Sequin Mesh Dress // 4 Lace Dress
It is that time again when one party is followed by the next and because everyone is in that wonderful Christmas mood, dressing up kind of becomes a great necessity. I love that sparkly, lacy and brocade dresses are all over the shops around this time in November / December and my wishlist grows continuously every day. Currently my 2 absolute favourite dresses are the Whistles structured dress above (on sale right now) and the French Connection dress below on the left. However, a great sequin dress like the Mango one below has always intrigued me, too. Pay day is only a few days away now and I might just find myself splurging on a pretty Christmas frock!

1 Ribbon Dress // 2 Brocade Dress // 3 Sequin Dress // 4 Lace Dress

25 Nov 2013

Zimtsterne

Every year, my parents, my brothers and I travel to my grandparents' house to celebrate Christmas. Even now that I am living in London with Joe it is still the most important thing in the world that I get to be with my family over the holidays. There are so many wonderful traditions we have been celebrating for the past decades which I would never want to miss. One of the things I have always looked forward to was the selection of 15 or so different Christmas cookies my Nan used to make every year (tons of each one). They were delicious, looked perfect and no one was ever able to stop nibbling them. Unfortunately my Nan passed away this August and it is now up to us to keep up this tradition. I have decided to edit a little baking book in memory of my Nan, including all her favourite recipes and I will be sharing them on the blog, too. I'm starting with one of my personal favourites: Cinnamon Stars.

Ingredients: 3 egg whites - 300 g icing sugar - 400 g ground almonds - 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Start beating the egg whites until they just turn white and gradually beat in the icing sugar until you have a creamy, shiny mixture. Take away half a cup, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge. Now stir the ground almonds into the egg and sugar mixture until well combined. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Once the time is up, cover an area of your kitchen surface with some plain flour, take the dough back out of the fridge and start kneading it on the floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 6-8 mm thick, if it is too sticky use some more flour. Take a star shaped cookie cutter and start cutting stars out of the dough. Place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 130°C for 20 minutes. Once the 20 mins are over, cover the cookies with the remaining egg-sugar mixture (which you had placed in the fridge earlier) using a brush and place in the oven for another 10 minutes. Done! TIP: If you want to store the cookies in a tin, add a few pieces of sourdough bread or a few slices of apple to keep the cinnamon stars from drying out!






22 Nov 2013

SHOES SHOES SHOES

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I am obsessed with ballet flats. They are my go to shoe for anything, regardless of the occasion. They go with dresses, skirts, trousers, jeans; smart, casual, business, smart-casual, sporty and they are COMFORTABLE. Although I do acknowledge the value of a great heel (these classic Louboutin black leather ones are constantly on my wish list), only about 5% of my shoe cupboard is made up of heels and they hardly ever get worn. Regarding ballet flats, I usually have a wishlist rotation of about 10 different pairs and every now and then I splurge on one. I know that there are thousands of ballet flats for £5-£20 out there, but I have found that spending a little more is definitely worth it if you wear the shoes as often as I do. Currently I have my eye on the French Sole slippers as seen in # 3 - a more masculine take on the ballet flat.

21 Nov 2013

Holiday Nail Art

Nail Art found on Pinterest
As you all know I am a fan of nail polish and I love trying out nail art (more or less successfully). As Christmas is approaching fast, I have been looking for new ideas and found quite a few on Pinterest. All of the above have been pinned onto my Nail Art board and although the top left and bottom right seem a little too advanced, the other 4 seem very manageable. Should I succeed with one of them, I will most certainly share pictures on the blog with all of you!

20 Nov 2013

Christmas Decorations

Last weekend in Selfridges, Joe and I discovered this cute little nativity scene by Alessi and although it is almost a little silly, I think it's totally loveable and cute. At my parents' house we usually have a very old fashioned, wooden nativity scene set up each year in December with the 3 wise men being added in early January but I cannot see a rustic like that one in our house as it would look totally misplaced. However, this Alessi set is modern enough to fit right in and it still communicates the message of Christmas.