Sunday, 30 June 2013

Lisbon and its Pastel de Nata

Alfama & Tejo
Bom dia!

After an amazing week in lovely Portugal, I cannot wait to share my experiences with you. It was just as great as imagined. But let's start from the very first beginning:

We rented our apartment on Fully equipped we were able to cook meals at home and saved thus some money. After having met one of my friends at the airport we headed to Alfama where we were welcomed by our nice host. We found six delicious Pastel de Nata on the table that had to be tasted immediately.
Of course we first had to explore the surroundings. The following days we had a huge program that I can only recommend: Tram 28, Alfama, Bica, Bairro Alto, Ponte 25 de Abril, Belém, Sintra (with its gracious palaces), Cascais and Carcavelhos (with its hot surfers). The rest of the time we spent on terraces with their stunning views, in good Portuguese restaurants and - of course - with shopping in stores that you can mainly find on the Iberian Peninsula.
Despite being six girls with only one bathroom, it was a week full of harmony and common decisions. It was the last reunion in two years as we all leave to foreign universities. The goodbye at the airport was therefore even harder.

But having all these beautiful pictures in mind I cannot wait to see the five girls at our graduation again!
Welcoming present: Pastel de Nata
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Torre de Belém
A century old tramway
Bairro Alto, Baixa and Ponte
Sintra: Palacio Nacional
Bica & Tejo
Favourite terrace at night
If you need particular and extraordinary addresses because you plan a trip to Lisbon, you find a detailed list here.

Since I already leave to Asia on Friday and won't be able to post during my one-month trip, I prepared some morning posts that you hopefully like. Enjoy your week and talk to you very soon!

P.S. I've done a few changes on my blog. As Google Friend Connect will be shut down tomorrow, I installed the new bloglovin' button, so that you can follow my blog as before. Thank you!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Beach is calling

Happy Sunday!

As loyal readers you know that I am currently exploring Portugal, more precisely Lisbon. Therefore I have prepared a post that fits to my vacation: What are my essentials when I go to the beach? And how do I work out to get a beach body? Those questions will be answered today while a detailed Lisbon description follows next week. Have fun!

My beach essentials
My favourite bikinis: Yes or No triangle bikini - Hollister bandeau bikini
Hat (French market) - Sun glasses (Ray Ban) - Flip Flops (Cobian)
Protection: Sunscreen (Nivea) - Sun protection (Solar Nutri Protect System, L'Oréal)
Magazines - Bag (Lacoste) - Sun protectors (Nivea & L'Oréal)
  • Bikini: It is mandatory for me to have at least two bikinis: a girly one to flirt and a sporty one to do activities. In my case the girly one is a blue Hollister model with a bandeau top. It is perfect to get tanned without annoying tan lines. I bought the green sporty one only last week but it serves its purpose perfectly. As my skin is really pale I'd rather go for flashy colours and patterns. 
  • Flip flops: The kind of "shoes" that everyone should have. Especially useful for the beach as sand easily goes off. I like robust flip flops that resist water and that have a Hawaiian style. 
  • Sun hat: It gives glamour to your outfit because only few women dare to wear hats (a shame!). I love my sun hat as a fashion item but it also protects my sensible skin in the face. To give it a more sophisticated touch, I like to wrap some nice foulards around it. 
  • Sun glasses: Yes, I go for the classic Wayfarer Ray Ban model. Since I saw them in the stores, I couldn't wait to get them and they are my daily companion. From the outside they look boring black but from the inside the underground map of New York appears. Surprise!
  • Sunscreen: All the dermatologists preach to take a lot of sunscreen. And I believe them. Not only because my skin is pale, but also because I am afraid of getting skin cancer. My skin colour doesn't change during my holidays and won't become darker, but I prefer this way of protecting myself instead of risking sun burns. Dear readers, please be aware of that danger! Besides, pale skin is a sign of nobleness. 
  • Sun protector: Adjacent to my skin protection, I also protect my hair that is exposed to the sun all day. My favourite product is the Solar Nutri Protect System from L'Oréal Professional. which works really well and smells like a fresh summer breeze. 
  • Bag: I need an appropriate bag for all my stuff and my Lacoste shopper is big enough to put everything into it. It is a really robust bag that is my steady companion for more than two years now. I don't regret any minute I spent with it!
  • Magazines: No beach without magazines or books. All said. 

Beach Body
  • Food: After my exam phase in May I had a really bad conscious. We ate so much pizza and pasta that I gained some pounds that I wanted to loose as fast as possible. Since I have been back home, I changed my behaviour: Fresh fruits, vegetables and only small portions in the evening. That doesn't mean that I don't indulge myself a burger, pizza or a cake from time to time. Though, I try to limit it. 
  • Drink: Juices are sly. They seem to be great (based on only vitamins they are!), but speaking of calories they are beastly. Next to soft drinks, I also limited my amount of fruit juices or I sometimes replace a meal by drinking a fresh pressed fruit juice. But best for our skin and body is water. Simple water. And if I need something hot, I grab a cup of tea because I just don't like coffee. 
  • Work out: Without sport the best diet is useless in my opinion. It is all about the balance in order to get a well shaped beach body. In my case, I work twice a day for about ten minutes: sit-ups, push-ups and lunges (full work out program here). I walk whenever I can. I take the stairs although the staircase is smiling at me. I go in-line skating once a week. I play tennis. I go hiking. I move. 
So that's it for today. I hope this insight helps you to get to know me better! Beijos de Lisboa!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Every summer has its own story, soundtrack, love.

Good morning my dears,

Do you know this fear of having an injection needle being put on you arm? I would love to run away. As fast as I could. On Wednesday I had suffer this happening since I must get my mandatory vaccinations for South East Asia. I have always been afraid of this procedure and turning older doesn't change it at all.

Despite this negative experience this week, I really enjoyed every minute of it. My brother returned on Monday from lovely Barcelona and therefore he was forced to do a lot of activities with me: Teaching me how to drive a scooter, eating fresh beef burgers (here) and playing tennis. With the entire family I am heading to the lake in a few seconds - a huge sailing race that we watch is on the agenda!
Crystal blue ballerinas (maddison)
But I also needed time for me that I went - surprise, surprise - shopping. Sales are already ongoing and I thought that I was time for ballerinas. Crystal blue like the Caribbean ocean they bring a touch of the summer to every outfit. It is actually the first time that I possess two pairs of ballerinas which is quite untypical for a woman, isn't it?
Another fashion highlight was the announcement of H&M that this year's designer collaboration will be with the great French designer Isabel Marant. Much better than last year's Anna dello Russo...The 14th of November is already highlighted in my calendar because I need at least one of her pieces. Like, like, like!
On a hike
The balcony reminds me of Romeo & Juilet
I thank you very much for your tips for Lisbon. I am really looking forward to seeing this great city in less than two days! So long, I wish you all the best.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Travel, travel, travel

Fresh fruit for fresh summer
Remember when I presented my possible destinations for this summer?
Well, a decision has been made, no, already booked. And the winner is... South East Asia!
You don't believe how happy I am when I will board the plane the 5th of July and stay in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia for more than three weeks. As I pay myself, my bank account suffers a lot these days but such a great adventure is a one time experience. I cannot wait to share it with you. Beforehand I need to figure out all questions about vaccinations and visa - bureaucracy hello.
Hiking the Alps
Carrot Pie
Souvenirs at the wall
This week I found the time to take some time for myself. I baked another carrot pie (recipe below). Then I progressed on my never-ending project: Collage on the green wall. Honestly, I thought that I had printed too many pictures but while sticking them on the wall I realized that there are still three blank spots to be filled in future. Yesterday I spent half of the day hiking in the mountains and used the other half to watch TV. The program was a mixture of the Roland Garros women's final and the princess wedding in Sweden. While Serena Williams won the match, I loved the Swedish atmosphere and warmth of the Swedish people. And have you seen this gorgeous Valentino dress? OMG. I want that. For my own big day. In some years, of course.

In approximately one week I leave for Lisbon with 5 girlfriends. Tell me, have you ever been there? And if yes, what are the spots to be seen? Maybe some of you have some great tips to share. And tips for Asia will follow afterwards, when my mind has enough space again.

Bon Appetit!
Recipe Carrot Pie

5 eggs
200g sugar
300g grated carrots
300g grated almonds
50g flour
3 tsp. of baking powder
4 tsp. of lemon juice, 1 tsp. of rum, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, pinch of salt

Mix the eggs with the sugar and then add the carrots, almonds, flour and baking powder. To give aroma add lemon juice, rum, cinnamon and salt. Preheat the oven at 175°C and bake the pie for 45 minutes. For topping you can either choose between chocolate/sugar icing or powdered sugar (in my case).

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Time to say goodbye

My dears,

It's been a stressful day, therefore I only found some time to write something now. Have you ever moved in again after having lived alone for two years? This is actually my case and took me about 2 hours to integrate my own stuff into my parents' household. It's not entirely perfect but it will work until September when I will continue my studies in France.
Petanque with friends
So. This. Was. It. Two years with great fellow students in a German Business School are over and 50% of my Bachelor's degree are done. The last week was a mixture of happiness and sadness. We spent a lot of time together, celebrated after our last exam, celebrated each night - but also said goodbye. And I cannot deny that I even cried because I am pretty sure that I won't see some people until graduation in two years. To keep the memories I took hundreds of pictures (my recharger is back!) and I created a list of memorable songs in Spotify. Thank you all for these great years!
Beer shower
End of the world - Pirates!
But not only the time with my friends was over, but it was also time to say goodbye for my brother as it was his high school graduation the last two days. Besides meeting old teachers and friends, we had great nights with amazing food, lots of speakers, a nice framework program and the possibility to wear nice dresses. Bro, I am very proud of you and wish you all the best for your future. Love you.

Back at home, I will now conquer my beloved kitchen (Asparagus is on the menu). I plan to stay the next weeks here in order to do... nothing. I feel exhausted and need some time for my family and myself. These weeks are the best to end projects that have been forgotten or to prepare some great posts for you. I am looking forward to this summer and will share these moments with you!