Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pastel Summer Outfit

Summer colors are often imagined as vivid, strong and bold. Yet, true summer with its warmth and tenderness, covers landscape and flora with a powdery blanket of pastel colors. Still rich enough to catch one’s eye, yet mellow and often cool against the heat of the sun.
Here I am wearing an outfit that allows me to change it quickly, just as the weather can change. Starting with a coat by Zara that is held in a pastel rose hue, cut very simple and clean. The light dress in grey and white, is a vintage find. My shoes are the black contrast of this look… comfortable enough to go for a walk, enjoying the surroundings (By Xti Tentations). Their style is lightened up by a flowery design.
In a chillier moment, I like to wear the cozy and warm soft pink cardigan by D&S Mode.
The purse in a creamy light brown is by MSK.    

Monday, March 5, 2018

Arrival in Spain and the Coldest Feet

New apartment, new luck

Months of planning were behind us and after two rather turbulent flights, we finally arrived in Alicante. I was so excited to get to a warm, sunny place after a long time- even years- of muddy cold Northern German weather. But just as if someone in the weather department of the skies felt like pulling a joke, it was freezing cold here.
Well, at least too cold for the few light summer clothes we brought with us to minimize the risk of too heavy overweight of our suitcases during travelling.
There are a few sunny moments though and when the rays hit your face you get a glimpse of how intense the sun can get in Spain.
The hottest summer in Germany did rarely prevent me from getting cold feet at night, so my hopes are, that these days are gone for now.

The first apartment we were supposed to stay in with our little cat of 13 years, Josefine, was in San Fulgencio La Marina. A picturesque landscape was welcoming us on the taxi drive from the airport and I couldn’t wait to arrive.
Tired and completely exhausted from travelling 2 days with our fur baby, a shower and some dinner was everything we could think of.
Unfortunately, our plans where quickly crossed as we arrived at a place that was colder than we could’ve ever imagined. We originally booked an apartment that was supposed to have heating, which turned out to be a loud floor blower that didn’t bring heat, but caused a blackout in all rooms as soon as we started it. The owner told us via phone to not use hot water too much so that the power supply wouldn’t be overwhelmed. That was a little disappointing as the water could have been the only hot thing in this entire place. Our cat, huddled underneath the bed on the cold tiles and me, having a mini- nervous breakdown, was not exactly a pleasant beginning. It was late already, so we decided to give it a try for at least one night. It was almost midnight after we had grabbed something to eat from the nearest place in town and a bottle of (really yummy) Spanish whine and went to bed.
We slept in our street clothes, as the landlord apparently thought a thin sheet instead of a bed-set would be enough for a comfy stay.

The next day was what will go down in our private history as “Construction Lunacy Day”. We fell out of bed by an intense construction noise from next door and learned, that the house was reconstructed. Our cat was under such severe stress and panic, that we finally decided to take action and look for a place with proper heating and less rebuild-excitement.

Fortunately, we found one and are too happy that the first shock is over and we now can discover our surroundings. Our money for the first month for the original apartment went down the drain for only one night, but let’s face it: Things like that happen to people all the time.

For years I wanted to come to Spain, learn the language, meet the people and explore this breathtakingly beautiful country. We don’t know how long our stay will be and always loved to travel and see new places. As a nomad at heart, I enjoy the wandering very much. And I know for sure, that at one point, my cold feet will as well be finally history.

View from our terrace

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What does it mean to be a lady?

Sine I’ve recently made a video on YouTube, talking about my view on being a lady, class and posture, I’ve received many comments and also private messages regarding this subject. What is interesting, is the fact how different the views on that can be. How various the standards of many, who describe a lady and her posture in their mind.
Some find a true lady to be a woman of grace and style, others focus more on the intellect and strength. At the end of the day, I think it is all that together, that defines a woman of substance, poise and class.

In my video, I talked about how my view on being classy is also based on the emotional intelligence a lady shows. Her empathy, kindness and generosity. And mind you, newer statistics claim that the impact of a message is only about 7 percent verbal (words only) and 38 percent vocal, including tone of voice and inflection. Which makes a large part of our communication non-verbal.

But there is more to it, isn’t there? In my mind, it is the ability to form her thoughts into words without being vulgar, yet with a clear call. Not depending on approval, yet does have an open heart and mind; able to connect with others. She is witty and doesn’t take herself too seriously. And finally, she is good at heart, but doesn’t take any sh#t.

Let’s take a look at the true dames of past decades. Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich… Some where called divas, others just carried that titling throughout their life, without being anything like that.
What many of them had in common though, is the fact that they were anything but submissive. Some where called “difficult”, especially in the professional world. And we all know what that word is code for.
These ladies inspire to this day. Not only because of their beauty and style, but their strong personalities that formed a picture of them, stronger than the most beautiful photos of their surface.
Of course, their posture was different. Sitting straight was more demanded. They wouldn’t stare at gadgets for hours, holding their necks down. Clothes were designed to flatter a lady’s silhouette.
And getting out of a car looked often much different than on today’s photos of celebs showing off their internal organs while falling out of the limousine. But as much as I understand that some people think we need posture classes back, shouldn’t a person in general know how to get out of a vehicle?
Then again, we all need guidance to learn how to walk, read, use a fork and developing basic social skills. So a little help in being more classy, maybe couldn’t harm at times.

As the years went by, rushing towards the millennium, the terms ‘dame’ and ‘lady’ became less meaningful and rather only a way to address a person, not an actual definition of someone.
A “lady” is “old” in most people’s minds. A relict of the past. Dusty and obsolete. Definitely not cool.
And there is today‘s business situation: Especially due to the rising demands in the job- world, women often emulated masculine ways of interacting and even a much lesser womanly look, to score with actions and talent, not with looks. This was unfortunately too often necessary and still sets the agenda in many business situations.
When I worked in an office, a co-worker once told me, she’d love to wear skirts and dresses, but prefers the suit and no makeup to be taken more seriously.
And to be frank, my regular ‘I’m-Happy-To-Be-A-Woman-Style (including makeup and dresses) was often rather an obstacle, than a generally irrelevant matter. Which it should be.

Maybe now is the time to reinvent the womanly strength, apart from emulating men, but expecting respect and equal chances in a throughout feminine form as well. Naturally. Empathically.
Just because a woman enjoys makeup, she doesn’t lack talent. Just because she wears dresses, she doesn’t lack depth or intellect. We all seem to agree on this simple notion, yet the real world paints a different picture in various individual situations.
It’s just red lipstick, people. NOT a clown mask.
It’s just a skirt, NOT an invitation.
When a woman enjoys a tomboyish style, its completely up to her as well. They are just things, items, colors, forms of outfits and a little expression. If we could all put as much effort into reading a person’s character and intentions, as we are into scanning their bodies in order to judge, we would likely discover a lot more true ladies among us, than we think. And most important: The good in ourselves. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Recipe for Cocoa Cookies with Honey and Dates

Being a lifelong cookie-fan, I definitely ate my way through the long lists of  baked goods that include chocolate chips, peanut butter and all other kinds of ingredients.
But after I’ve decided some time ago, to reduce my sugar intake to the point of actually not buying refined sugar anymore, I needed to figure out how to bake my favorite cookies in a different way. Here is my recipe...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Russian Inspired Retro Style

The next stop in my world makeup and style series on YouTube, is Russia. A trip in mind to the largest country by area, includes two outfits that make the look perfect to me.
Fist I applied a glamorous, but light makeup. I want the skin to be not overdrawn and the structure still visible. Golden and brown shades make the eyes appear more vivid, though I don’t use any eyeliner or create generally any harsh lines. In fact, a freshness with clear red blush on the cheeks and a red semi-matte tone on the lips, is simple, yet effective.
A dress in brown and gold by VILLA is completed with a hairstyle that displays some volume in the front. I love to wear it as an evening dress. And with a cardigan and brown pumps, its perfect on colder days too.
On the next day I’ve shown the warmer outfit in my video. A combination of a 40s-Style skirt, with warm tights, pumps, a white turtleneck and a silk scarf, is completed with a little jacked. It has the colors of Russia and a lovely retro paisley pattern. A vintage- pice I actually once purchased from a Russian lady. 
Altogether I absolutely enjoy the style-trip to this part of the world. It will definitely not be the last time for me.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Quiche Lorraine Paris Style

There are thousands of recipes for Quiche online and offline. Different variations, ranging from no leek, but with cheese, to no cheese with tomatoes.
My personal favorite is a classic, that is not just simple to make, but absolutely a hit when its time for a spicy something, that can delight your friends at a party; just as much as being a dish that is an addition to conscious eating of smaller portions. To watch how easy and quick the Quiche is made, you can also watch a tutorial for this recipe on my YouTube channel.

Ingredients -

Dough: 250 g wheat flour
160 g very cold butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg

1 leek, if very big, just one half
1 red onion
100 g ham / bacon
4 eggs
100 ml cream

Here is what to do:

First, build a flour hill and press a little pan into the centre. Usually, people like to add the egg first, but I always start with rubbing some very cold butter onto it, then add an egg and finally the rest of the butter. Remember, the butter must be really cold.
Now add some salt. I mostly use Himalayan salt but you can of course any you like.
Knead the ingredients until you have a homogenous dough, that you wrap in foil and now put it in the fridge for about half an hour.
Meanwhile you can prepare the leek, using half a leek of a bigger size and a whole, if smaller.
Then cut a red onion into small pieces and about a 100 grams of ham or bacon.

Now its time to work on the dough again. Roll it out and place it in the form.
Then mix the eggs and cream In a bowl.
Starting with the bacon, you can now gently roast the prepared ingredients in butter and give it in the bowl as well. Stir until homogenous. After you’ve gently placed the mixture on top of the dough, it can bake golden brown for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F) (top / bottom heat). Bon app├ętit!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Literature and Poetry reading calms the spirit


Oscar Wilde once said: “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” I stumbled over this quote and realized how many books I actually want to read again. Just to relive these moments of excitement, amusement or a writing that deeply touches my heart. To- again- live that life of a character in my mind, who I adored, maybe even missed after finishing the story.
Books can be the unbiased counsellors we sometimes need in life. And if bad, the most bias intriguers that don’t deserve space in our bookshelf. But even those can teach a lesson and make us think.

In the age of Ebooks, I am certainly a misfit in the world of gadgets. I have never given up on paper, as the smell and feel of a real book is- to me- an important part of the entire joy of reading. Some might roll their eyes when I say I like to spend time in libraries and feel happy when I found an ‚oldie‘, that has wandered through many hands. But I have this notion that losing the activity of reading an actual book might also do something to us. It feels as if ninety percent of every activity that includes amusement and reading nowadays, is experienced on the cold, slick surface of a device that has the appeal of a kitchen counter. Ironically, I find myself writing this for you on a laptop to read on such a device.

Further I believe that the movement of turning the pages and feeling the material is a different form of reading to the mind as well. I sure have no evidence to proof that. But isn‘t there a difference in how and on what we read?

Reading reduces stress. No, that is not a scientific fact that I‘ve heard of yet either. But I claim its true. The day can be as stressful as one can imagine. Once I find myself curled up with a book, my thoughts stop racing and my heartbeat seems to be regulated after a while. I‘m travelling a little. Get away from anxiety or anger I might have felt hours before. And its even adjustable!
Is your mind up for romance or the deep questions of life, read some poetry. Are you about to learn, read specific literature, or simply get lost in the life story of someone else. It sure will turn out to have just as many ups and downs as yours. 

For a long time now, scientists try to locate the level of the attention span of a human, compared to that of a gold fish or dolphin. Wherever this might go, I think humans have indeed lost a particular part of patience for the written word.
We feed our minds with photos and videos. Now faster than ever.
While once a photo was taken to catch the memory of a special moment, we now flood the world with thousands of fragments of our life. Lost is the specialty. But its quick and we don’t need to linger before moving on to the next one. 
A book expects more from us. Our attention, time and leisure.
And once lost in a good story, the feeling of wasting time, simply doesn‘t exist. Its an illusion as time itself. Reading is full of surprises and still- despite every modern trend- the friend that is always accessible. A comforter, right there, in the book shelf.