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 in the oven for about 35 minutes. Bon appétit!

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.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Light and Classic Winter Makeup Routine

The freshness of winter is certainly sometimes a challenge to our skin. Especially in combination with the indoor heating, it can quickly turn into the most difficult skin-phase of the year.
My makeup routine for this particular season has changed over the years. A journey through good and less good decisions, has brought me to a safe place of applying makeup in a classic way, that still isn’t too heavy on the already stressed epidermis.
Most important though, is to prepare the skin optimally, to reduce the overall amount of used products in order to create a less ‘heavy’ look. Which is often the problem in Winter: Many women put on more layers than usually in summer time. The complexion is paler, the rings under the eyes appear much more intense and the overall feeling says “more product, please!”
At an age under 30, the result can be very forgiving. But you often can’t get away with a mask-like makeup beyond that. As great and professional the makeup might have been applied, the daylight will bring out every detail and leaves us too often with a melting or crumbling façade after some hours, that shouldn't have been created that way.
So what I am doing is, stick to my favorite retro-style routine, but with a few crucial changes.
First, I like to wash my face with lukewarm water in the morning. I only pat it half-dry and let the rest of the moisture sink in for a moment.
Moisturizing is one of the best tips I can give you to improve your makeup routine. Especially from the inside! Drink a tall glass of water, right after you woke up. And keep drinking enough water during the day. That way your skin will look plumper and fresher, since dryness is one of the big enemies of a well-looking makeup.

The next step is to use my favourite oils, to nurture my skin. In winter, I like to first apply a few drops of an argan oil-mixture and finally add some sweet almond oil that I massage in gently.
You can find my post about oils as skin care right here.

Now that I’ve waited a moment, its time to apply the foundation. I know that many recommend light products, that others unfortunately often apply in vast quantities, because it all seems to cover up too little.
Instead, I’m using a heavier foundation from the natural cosmetics brand Alverde. And only a tiny amount of the no. 10 ‘vanilla‘, that I directly apply with my clean fingers. Sponges and brushes are an option, but with the perfect mixture of products, the surface should look just fine, applying them like that.

I’m using a bit of light creamy concealer under the eye. The German brand Rival de Loop makes one that is not too colourful and creates enough freshness for my taste. Too much concealing or over- contouring, is not a good idea in my opinion. Even though its heavily advertised at the moment, to put on more than your gentle skin can handle, stronger and brighter colors of a classic makeup, will likely pop in a distorted way.

My powder of choice is a transparent mineral powder by natural cosmetics brand Lavera.
I apply it with a soft bigger brush, unlike compact powders that I usually put on with a powder puff.
But this is supposed to be an extremely light affair. The best way to keep a natural touch, is to use as little coverage as possible, to still allow the light to get a glimpse of your real skin. (There is too much anxiety caused by bigger pores out there)
To contour, I like to use a darker compact powder, if I feel like it.
The rouge is simply fresh, either in peach, or a rosy tone.

The classic eyes don’t always require much drama. I’m using a matte light beige, or champagne eye shadow and a darker, rusty tone for the crease.
I completely skip an eyeliner, or darker tone on the lower lash line. What I focus on, are the lashes. I apply a few layers of my favorite Mascara, Maybelline Volum’ Express in brown. It has a reddish undertone and helps much with my greenish eyes.

For my eyebrows, I never use anything else, than a pencil. I know, it’s THE thing nowadays, to create
bulky brows that look exactly like what they are: drawn on. And they look truly well in certain faces, but not in mine. So I’m using the Alverde pencil in 01. Blond and it works perfectly fine with nicely trimmed lighter brows.

The lipstick I am totally hooked on right now, is the Lavera organic color ‘Matt’n Red’, that has a semi-matte finish and stays on quite long. I’m also using the soft red lip liner no.3, of the same brand.
The red is right in between warm and cool, so it works perfectly fine on paler skin as well as a deeper complexion.

And that’s how easy and quick my classic-winter look goes, with affordable and light amount of products.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Brooches on Coats

Pins on regular outdoor clothing could look a bit strange these days. Since many of the coats and jackets that are supposed to keep us warm during times of extreme low temperatures, are mostly looking like ski wear.
But once you’ve found a nice specimen of a vintage coat that doesn’t look like you’re preparing for a week in the alps, the time for pins has arrived. They are simply a must on a classic coat or jacket, as they are the best tool to upgrade any coat, be it ever so old and obviously used for quite some time.
Traditionally, men‘s brooches were often worn on the shoulder. Women wore theirs slightly closer to the breastplate or at the collar of a coat.
Its often ask where these little pretty items are supposed to sit; left, or right?
There is a saying: Jewelry on the left, name tag on the right. But does that apply to our modern interpretation of wearing pins?

Sure its about personal preference. What makes you feel comfortable, how you wear your hair, what kind of other jewellery are you placing and so on. Also, there might be a stain or small whole on your beloved vintage item, that clearly decides for you where to place the brooch.
For some reason, I personally wear brooches on the left and I couldn’t even explain why.
Recently, I learned that Queen Elizabeth II. does the same and so I feel quite safe in my choice of style in that department.

The tricky part is often, to push the pin through the often thick fabric, or layers, until it’s in the right position. But when that is done, you’ve not only spruced up your go-to items for winter. You’ve also created your very own look with a retro-twist, that is far from a stuffy lady-style and one of the most lovely trends that came back lately. Happy pinning!

Different pieces of jewelry - matching coloring

vintage camel hair coat, ca. 1960s / vintage 1950s leather purse / boots: former season
girl talk

Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday treats and snacks that won’t make you feel guilty

I’m a big snacker, always was, likely always will be. Holiday season is a special challenge to me when the days get colder, and the evenings cozyer. The big question is: What treats won’t make me feel super guilty after consuming?
Its not really the weight that gets me in panic mode. I am for sure no health guru-follower that focuses religiously on clean eating.
But lets face it, the common sweets and bakery around Christmas and other holidays, are anything but a cleansing experience for our bodies.
No matter what country and culture we live in, no matter if religious or not, celebrating events or not; one thing we all have in common is: We love to eat and please our mind with yummy treats that feel like a gentle stroke over the head. Well done, you are an okay person, now enjoy my sweetness
The only problem is, that most of these short moments of pleasure immediately turn into an inner conflict of the two parties happiness and guilt.
I challenge you to stop feeling guilty and be kinder to yourself. To truly enjoy your holidays and the fact that there are plenty of good things out there that won’t be as unhealthy as eating mindlessly anything ‘bad’.

1. Step: Reducing Sugar

Getting completely sugar-free is maybe too much to ask around the holidays. I too enjoy a few sweet things now and then. Like Cranberry Shortbreads for example.
On my Youtube-channel, you can find a play list, titled 'Vintage Dinner / Retro Food Recipes' and it also contains a video tutorial for this recipe. Or you might go to the recipe Cranberry Shortbread Cookis with Honey to see how quick and easy you’ll get some soft cookies for an extra-yummy treat.
In the video, I used Xylitol as a substitute sweetener. Xylitol is an often used sugar-alternative today and I too have used it in recipes before. That I rely on honey now, is simply because I am not entirely sure about the health benefits, industrialized process and safety, as there seem to be no long-term- studies about it. Caution! To pets, this substance can be lethal, even in small amounts. So please be very careful when using Xylitol in your home. Otherwise it might be still better than using refined regular sugar in these baked goods.

Honey and sugar are both carbohydrates composed primarily of glucose and fructose. But honey is more complex and contains dextrin, a type of starchy fiber. Which makes organic honey my choice of sweetener over sugar for this recipe.

Try also: Banana bread with oatmeal, avocado chocolate pudding, zwieback with honey or my favorite „Apple CinnamonQuark Rolls“!

Nuts & Berries

It might sound boring at first, but believe me, nuts and berries can be super satisfying if you give them a try, instead of the chocolate bar or soft drinks lurking everywhere to be your comfy food.
Plus they are so beneficial to our health, since they're loaded with antioxidants (like blueberries), vitamins and are an overall great source of fiber, protein, magnesium, selenium, vitamin E etc.
When you're not allergic, they sure won't leave you unsatisfied.

nuts, honey & cranberries

2. Step: Reduce the „bad“ ingredients in spicy treats

I can let go of a lot of things when they‘re clearly not beneficial to my health. After all, if learned early in my life that no short moment of pleasure is worth dealing with headaches, stomach problems or worse.
There is just one weak spot that I always reach when it comes to spicy treats: Potato chips.
For years I‘ve tried different sorts of alternatives, but always stumbled over a pack of regular chips and felt bad after finishing the bag within a few minutes, watching a movie. To get that crispy highlight, I went through the jungle of alternatives including homemade vegetable chips.
It didn’t work for me.
Recently though, I discovered organic chickpea crisps that I am already addicted to.
There are several kinds of chickpea and hummus crisps that reach from garlic / Italian spice flavours to classics like paprika and vinegar.
To me, one of the best discoveries for the munchies, ever.

Try also: Hommeade whole wheat pizza bread, chilli ajwain biscuits, garlic breadsticks, or broccoli buns 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fur Style in Winter

Faux fur jacket by QED London

Finding coats that match our idea of a retro, or at least a little glamorous look, can be pretty tricky. I know that there are times when you need to be reasonable and wear something that simply keeps you warm during extreme temperatures. But a quilted jacket is truly not my cup of tea.

To achieve a stylish, maybe even glamorous look and stay warm at the same time, fur comes sure in handy. But real fur is something I wouldn’t buy new.
So I love to at least cherish the older fur pieces of my grandmother that, I inherited.
I was often asked what I think about fur in general. it’s a controversy for sure. And for good reasons.
Although I do not have a problem with vintage fur. It is already there and there is no way to undo it.
So in my opinion, it is nice when people cherish what is existent and wear it with love.
The argument, that wearing it advertises a common acceptance is understandable, but not relevant in our society. Because if people want to wear the real thing, they’ll do so. And no one will convince them otherwise. Same the other way around: If you don’t want to wear fur, you won’t start just because you saw someone wearing a mink coat.
It’s about our personal sense for the sensitive subjects.
There are many voices that talk about today’s improved fur industry, which I honestly cannot agree with. But I hope that our conscious mind, our empathy and our gut feeling tells us what to do, to avoid more suffering in this world than already happening.
One might argue that we all need to stop eating meat, wearing leather shoes etc. and I get the discussions, but won’t engage in such. Because at the end, its again what the individual feels right with and that can’t be forced by another person’s ideals.

Fur is not a life-long item.
The longevity of fur can be quite well, as long as its stored and cared for the way it should.
But it will one day be less good enough to wear. So what to do?!
You can donate your old fur pieces to pet shelters. Or coats and jackets you want to lent go of, may find a new owner in a homeless person, that may be in an area of extreme temperatures. If the fur coats is still okay and keeps warm, there will always be a need for it. Unfortunately. But you don‘t need to throw it simply away.

I also bought fur pieces in second-hand shops or wore mine. But as for newer items, I love to rely on faux fur of different kinds. Some are less warm. Real fur of course does the trick when you’re in a temperature range of Siberia. On those days, a faux product needs to be truly good and well-made to reach the same effect. Its also often more expensive than lighter versions of fake fur.
So everyone needs to find their best way with their possibilities and cherish what we can get. To make the winter feel cozy, fun and warm.