Thursday, 10 December 2015

10 reasons to love winter

1. Christmas
I had to put this one first because, well, its Christmas. Cheesy songs, delicious meals and nights in watching festive movies. It is the perfect time to relax and get together with the family. Yep, even those cousins you haven't seen for a decade. Spreading love becomes everyone's motto and even those grumpy neighbours grant you a smile - your life is complete! 

2. You can eat whatever you want
Take that extra piece of chocolate or third hot chocolate of the day - who cares? No one has a summer body in winter and it's beautiful. Whenever you feel a bit bloated you just throw on your massive jumper and it's impossible to tell. When your nan cooks there's no holding back anyways!

3. Cosy evenings in front of the fire
Sitting in front of a fire with a hot chocolate and a good song playing is one of the best things in life. Even if your fire is fake. The thought is what matters.

4. Christmas lights
Yes, this is a separate point from Christmas as the lights are a whole thing on their own. I mean, there's been tons of towns hosting 'light ups' around me and they were all spectacular. It's not every day that a giant tree gets lit up while people are singing holy night underneath. Even if it's not as romantic as I thought... 

5. Snow
Living in England, we don't get this a lot. And when we do the whole transport system breaks down for a week. However nothing beats the magic of the first snowflakes on a cold winter morning or frantically running around the garden while trying to build a snowman. 

6. Hot drinks
Whether you're into Starbucks' Gingerbread Latte or just a simple hot chocolate, winter is THE season for hot drinks. They can save your life when you're out shopping for gifts and it's freezing. And don't even get me started on the amazing sensation of having that first Peppermint Mocha of the season. 

7. Layers
Too cold? Just throw on another piece of clothing. You could technically wear all your fave pieces of clothing at once and it would be fine! (Also us girlies don't have to shave the legs) 

8. Candles
The candles in wintertime are always the best. I mean you can't beat a Yankee candle that smells like Christmas baking can you? Also candles are so much more effective when it's dark outside, which is pretty much most of the day in winter. 

9. the TV programme
The closer it gets to Christmas, the better the TV programme gets. Harry Potter basically runs on loop and the Grinch is finally making his comeback. Oh and Michael Buble is singing himself through several shows as well. 

10. New Years
New Year, new opportunities, new me. That's the plan. The feeling you get when you count down to a new year is indescribable and that alone makes winter amazing. Bring on the champagne and fireworks!

Tell me your favourite thing about winter in the comments! Have an amazing season 💕

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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Traditional German Christmas cookies

Christmas is approaching super fast, hence my family and I have been doing what we do every year around this time: bake Christmas cookies. When I first moved to Britain I was shocked to find out that they did not seem to know what proper Christmas cookies were (apart from Gingerbread men). In Germany people bake a variety of different sorts of cookies and biscuits around Christmas time. I believe my nan makes up to 30 different ones every year and they're all delicious. Anyways, I thought I would introduce one of the easiest and cutest recipes to you which always takes me back to my childhood.

What you need
For the cookies (makes about 60):
  • 500g flour
  • 250g butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small packs of vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • rolling pin
  • cookie cutters
For the icing
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp of lemon juice
  • tons of sprinkles
  • food colouring

First you need to combine all the dry ingredients for the cookies and mix them really well. Then mix the (softened) butter together with the eggs and slowly add this to the dry ingredients. Its best to use a spatula to combine everything to begin with and then make it into a dough ball using your hands. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for 2 hours. 

After the 2 hours take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out to a thickness of about 0.5cm. At this point you should preheat your oven to 175°. Use your cookie cutters (if possible christmasy ones) to form your cookies and place them on a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper. Place in the oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

These are a selection of the best decorated ones ;)
Now comes the fun part. Wait till your cookies are completely cooled down and mix your icing (you can add food colouring if you want). Spread it onto your cookies and go crazy on the decorations. The more sprinkles the better. And voila - you have made a delicious batch of Christmas cookies! I hope you try out this recipe, if you do make sure to send me a picture on twitter. Have fun!

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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

DIY Christmas Cards

I've always loved adding a personal touch to someone's Christmas present because it shows you have actually put thought and time into it. This year I've decided to do this by handmaking the Christmas Cards. I went online and looked up the cutest Christmas Cards for inspiration and voila.

The supercute cards by Love Layla Design have been an amazing source of inspiration and I'd totally suggest you go over there and buy one (they're as good as DIY). I feel like everyone loves a funny or personalised Xmas Card so I went all out and made sure each card fit the personality of the receiver. Here are some of my favourites:

You should seriously try this because its soo easy, all you need is some sharpies or coloured pens, paper and your imagination. Go wild on it, there are no rules!
I hope you enjoyed this first Christmas themed blogpost, there are many more to come. Have an amazing day <3

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Interrail adventure #7 | MILAN

This is it. We have reached the end of my Interrail adventure series with the beautiful city of Milan. Before going into the blogpost I want to address the terrible events that are happening in France and all over the world at the moment. I hope all of you out there and your loved ones are okay. Too many innocent victims lose their life everyday and Paris just made us all aware of that again. Please be loving, caring and passionate towards other human beings during this difficult time. Pray for those who have pointlessly been killed and those who are mourning. Pray for the world and a better tomorrow and help make it come about. Because together we will stay strong and get through this!

Milan. A beautiful city that has a special place in my heart. I went there most excited for the shopping and ended up not buying one thing but enjoying a day full of dance, architecture and a stunning sunset. Milan totally surprised me and I loved every minute of the day we spent there.

First of all we made our way to the famous Cathedral, a wonder of architecture that will take your breath away. Or in my case make you scream really loud in excitement :D
Rocking the sunnies

Right next to it we found the shopping mall Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is as amazing as its name. However the shops were all incredibly pricey (hello gucci and prada) so we were literally just walking through it without even going into the shops. Just like most other people were!

Next stop was the Castello Sforzesco (dont even try pronouncing it) which was pretty impressive from the outside but I am SO GLAD we went inside. It wasn't planned but I really needed to fill up my water bottle (we hoped there would be a water fountain). Instead we found a tent with lots of people just dancing (incredibly talented) and couples of all ages twirling around. I got asked to dance but, since I sadly have never learnt any ballroom dances, had to decline. The atmosphere was so fun tho and we really enjoyed ourselves. The castle also has a massive garden which we explored. I think we ended up spending most of the day in the castle :)
The castle

And its 'normal sized' garden
The day ended with us having dinner near the Navigli river which was delicious. We strolled down the riverside afterwards and just enjoyed the atmosphere of everyone being happy, enjoying their meal and watching the sunset. It was such a nice day and I'd love to go to Milan anytime again.

We also passed some... interesting... artwork. And a ghost (aka me)


And of course a snail..


I truly hope you liked my interrail adventure series. Which city was your favourite? Thanks for all the love and nice words I have received! Lots of love.

All my Interrail adventures:
#1 Paris
#3 Berlin
#4 Venice
      Rome Part 2 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Interrail adventure #6 | ROME PART 2

I'M BACK! Omg guys New York was incredible. I have been so so lucky this year and been able to see some of the most amazing cities worldwide. One of them I will be talking about today: Rome. This is part 2 of Interrail adventure #6 (Part 1) and I hope you're as excited to read it as I am to write it.

So this was our last day in Rome. It had thunder stormed in the morning hence the air was super humid. If you've ever tried exploring a massive archaeological site in hot, humid weather you will understand the struggle we went through (just to explain why I look so beat up in the pictures). We decided to first visit the Roman Forum and then the Colosseum. A tip is to buy the tickets at one of the main entrances and then actually enter the site through one of the side entrances. This works as there are separate queues for tickets and entering, where the entering one is a lot smaller at the side entrances. Your ticket is valid for the Roman Forum and Colosseum but you don't have to do them immediately after one another.

Before we started exploring

I loved the Roman Forum but sadly didn't really enjoy walking around (does that even make sense?) because the heat was unbearable. I probably really annoyed my sis because I took a break literally every 50m. It's beautiful tho and you get an amazing insight into what life must have been like back then!

Spot the Colosseum.

Sorry this is a bit blurry because the humidity fogged up my lens :(

Forum Romanum

Me and my exhausted self.

The architecture is incredible
 We then went on a hunt for late lunch and ended up eating the biggest paper cone (400g) of Fries with BBQ sauce. Real healthy I know, but we were so desperate for food and the sandwiches were about 20 Euro each.
The line to the Colosseum was considerably long but we (unintentionally) skipped half of it hence got inside within 15 minutes. Record time trust me. Walking into the Colosseum is like walking into another era. The stories, history and inspirations connected to this place just make the experience special.

Inside the wonder of architecture.

That finishes up our exciting day exploring Rome's biggest attraction. We honestly expected queues to be much worse and ended up pleasantly surprised. I totally recommend going there and taking in the stunning site. Being knackered, our dinner was quick and easy.

 I really hope you enjoyed this post! Have u been to Rome before? What is your favourite thing to do there?
Lots of love!!!

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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Interrail adventure #6 | ROME PART 1

Well, who knew I'd be writing this while listening to Grease Lightning. Haha nothing better than a good old throwback. Anyways I'm excited to continue my Interrail adventure series with one of the last cities - beautiful Rome, capital of Italy and tourist centre ;) When we got there we had thunderstorms and overly humid days, which made exploring difficult and sadly some of my photos unusable. Fogged up pictures where I look barely alive just aren't that attractive. I still have tons tho hence I split this post into two parts so you guys don't have an essay to read. So this is part 1:

We reached Rome by train from Florence in the afternoon and checked into our cute little B&B. Vatican was on the radar for the evening and it was absolutely stunning! We were warned several times that it would take ages to get into St Peters Basilica but we were sorted within half an hour which was a pleasant surprise. Definitely go inside, but remember to cover your legs and shoulders otherwise you'll queue up for hours and end up not getting in. We also bought tickets to go up into the Dome and on top of the roof which was amazing. You could literally see Rome from above, and even though the stairs to the top were a nightmare it was totally worth it.

Hello Vatican City!

I recommend buying a scarf there, its really inexpensive and great to cover up!

Inside St Peter's Basilica...

...and on top of it

Probably my favourite picture

The evening was stunning!

We ended the day with a delicious seafood risotto and a beautiful sunset. Perfection!

The next day started with a visit to one of the stunning basilicas (no photos allowed) and then a walk around Rome's streets. It had stormed earlier that day so the sky was looking pretty cool and we found the building where the Pope holds his meetings when not in the Vatican. Pretty impressive plaza if you ask me (which he probably won't)..

basilica di santa maria maggiore

You can literally see where it's raining!

A fact is that I was really looking froward to seeing the famous Trevi fountain... However Rome decided that exactly when we were there the fountain had to be touched up and basically all you could see was absolutely nothing. No I'm not sulking, what you on about?

Well, I guess its still beautiful

Let's move on swiftly as we went to discover the Spanish Steps. They're basically a lot of steps that look really cool and attract a hell of a lot of people. Oh AND it was raining so everyone was fighting for their umbrella space.

tbh I think the umbrellas make this picture just that much better :)

dem steps
To tell you the truth we weren't quite so sure why the Spanish steps were famous from the bottom but the view from the top explains it. Though someone still needs to explain the Spanish part to me!

After that we WALKED all the way towards the Piazza del Popolo which was quite a journey but Rome is worth the pain. Like I found this super cute mini-apple tree which made my day - sad but true, ask my sister.

And so much greenery! Like it honestly felt like we were in some kind of jungle. Oh and not to mention the views! We were on a road that ran along a hill so we kept having the most amazing views of Rome.

Jungle hotel?

Aaaand finally the best views of Rome from the beautiful Piazza del Popolo which has a massive park right next to it and all on top of a hill. Kinda felt like a movie with little tricycles and someone playing the violin and SO MANY TREES!

*mandatory next to happy couple shot*
Ready for the piazza?

Why build one when you can build two identical ones? Duh! 😂

Walking back towards the centre along the river while the sun was setting was a very zen moment. Although I think it was kind of ruined by our feet feeling like a car had rolled over them. Oh well, it will only make us stronger won't it?

Ugh nature's beauty is just too much!

Last stop was the Piazza Navona, main piazza in Rome and centre of the (family-friendly) nightlife. Street artists absolutely everywhere, many of them making me feel very bad about myself. I mean, why can they ALL draw so amazing? Not fair :D

Piazza Navona

He was my favourite artist, his pictures were insane

Well this is the end of the first part of my Rome story, next up is the day we did the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Trust me, it's worth a blog post of its own. I also wanted to address the fact that tons of people warned us before going to Rome that it would be very dangerous and we should always watch our stuff and not let us get separated. We followed everyone's advice and NOTHING happened. No one even tried anything and people were really lovely. Now, we could just have been lucky, as when we were around there was lots of police everywhere as well. However my point is don't let other people's horror stories put you off travelling somewhere. Take them serious and act on them but don't let that stop you from having the best time ever. Because you will have a blast!

Also I am going to NY in two days (which I will write a post about) so my next post might be a while off, I'm really sorry. Here are links to all of my previous interrail adventures tho, so you don't get too bored ;)
#1 Paris
#3 Berlin
#4 Venice