Friday, October 30, 2015

Stockholm Day 1!

Hi everyone!

So after we had planned our trip to Stockholm for such a long time and waiting so long the final day arrived and we went to the airport. Our way to the airport was calculated to 2 hours without traffic, so as there is always the possibility that something could happen on the way we drove 5 hours early. Crazy I know but the safest way to not miss our flight.
Usually food and drinks at the airport are quiet expansive stocking up on a lunch package for longer waiting hours was our way to save money. So this is how we ended up with Muffins, Brownies, some wholegrain bread with cheese and two bottles of water. (I know not TIU approved but back then I wasn`t a TIU girl)
So we arrived unstressed but 2 hours too early at the aiport. So we decided to just sit down have lunch and then check in our luggage. We of course saved some food but as we all know liquids are not allowed through security so we drank all our water, but saved the bottles in hope of finding  some free water to put in after we went through the security. 
Some things I learned through a lot of traveling is to make sure your hand luggage is free of anything you are not allowed to carry on in it before you check in your normal luggage. So what we basically did before checking in our luggage was to check our handluggage for foundation, creams that we didn`t need and scissors and stuff like that and added that to our normal luggage, so that we won`t be in need of giving our things to the waste, plus it saves time.
So since I have been at a lot of airports I think the fastest way to get through security includes some simple steps:

#1 Check your hand luggage
as mentioned before check for anything you are not allowed to have in your hand luggage, if you do not know what that includes look for signs at the airport or check the internet beforehand. 
#2 Put everything in zip bags that has to be in zip bags
Now usually they say 500ml for one zip bag. The easiest thing to do is to only pack 4 things into one zip bag as they usually do not suspect you to have more than the 500ml in that bag if its just 4 things. I have a travel kit where I have two bottles of 100ml and two bottles of 50ml if I only travel with hand luggage. You can fill those up with shower cream, Shampoo, Bodylotion and your moisturizer for example. Then you still have place for toothpaste for example. But I highly recommend rather using 2 zipbags with 4-5 things in it than putting more things into one zip bag and having the security person count and calculate that you stayed under 500ml.
The rule is not to only have one zip bag with 500ml or 5 x 100ml but to not have more than that in one zip bag. So two or three zip bags with liquids in will work fine to, if you have it sorted. By the way I also put all my medicine and the stuff for my contacts into zip bags.
#3 Show them what you got
Honestly it saves you time it saves the security people time and the people that have to wait behind you. Put out your stuff. By that I mean while waiting in line you can already take off your watch, your phone and any other electronic device and put it into your bag I tend to carry an extra zip bag along for small things such as bracelet, necklace, watch, etc. to not loose these things in a rush. Your jacket and scarf and have it over your arm. If you carry a laptop a long take that out as well.
So once you are at the security you just have to put these things into the boxes. Do not make them ask you to do so. I noticed that they are much friendly and unless to control you if you are open about what you have. So once you have these things (laptop, scarf, jacket, belt, electronic devices if not in your bag) be open about your zip bags. take them out put them in the box and you will be fine. Normally they do not take a closer look at it.
#4 Take of your boots
Usually if you just wear sneakers or normal shoes you should be fine. But with boots I have made the experience that it takes way less time to just take them off directly. Because they usually make a sound or they take you out and ask them to take them off and then you have to wait until they have space to put them on the band and until you get them back. So just taking them off putting them in a box walking through and putting them on again is just easier and saves a lot of time.

So as we were travelling during summer to us just the points 1 to 3 applied. We went through the security without any problems and started searching for our gate. We had a late flight and started getting tired as it had been a long day for us, but we found it pretty quickly thanks to the plan we got at the information and just waited for boarding. Once we were happily in the airplane on our seats a whole group of swedish students entered the airplane. We were hoping that they would sit far away from as the plan was to sleep during the flight, but we were sitting directly in the bunch. Which I used as a chance to get some insider information. Where to go to eat, etc. Things our guidebooks couldn`t tell us.
Once arrived in Stockholm our plan said to take the Arlanda Express (which is kind of an airport shuttle train) to the central station and from there a bus or train to our hotel. Well we arrived 2am at the airport, once we found the Arlanda Express we figured there won`t be any Arlanda Express leaving until 4am so we went back to the busstation at the airport to take the bus but you could only pay with a credit card which we didn`t have. They didn`t took any cash either. So our only option was to take a taxi. And woops half of our money was gone.
What we learned from that
a) check transportation options beforehand
b) check if there are airport taxis as they are cheaper than city taxis (we of course took the first we found)

Meanwhile we figure that it was pretty hot for 2am and were wondering why all people told us to "dress warm for the icey north". It was warmer than in Germany and we figured pretty fast that we should have checked a weather side beforehand as we had way to many warm clothes with us than clothes that fit the actual weather up north.
Once arrived and checked in at the hotel we ate the rest of our lunch package and then went to bed as we had four hours left to sleep before our first day of sightseeing would start. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Something special for you! Chapter 12


Tuesday has arrived. I am standing in front of the building. The building the therapists practice is in. I wasn`t sure but I just wanted to be done. Her practice is in the fifths floor. I think I will take the stairs. I hate elevators. I felt the same like in a car, boxed in.  As you would take my air to breathe. At the reception there was a young woman, she could be the same age as I am. I introduced myself and told her that I had my appointment at 5pm. The young woman asked me to wait in the waiting room. 

She told me that Doctor Decker would be there in a minute.

I looked into some interior magazines, maybe I will find some inspiration for the house. I have painted the floor in the kitchen and the living room so far. I have left out a bit so that I could move from A to B in the house. I had decided on painting all the floors white. After some research and collecting ideas, I decided to paint it white but in a way that you could still see the wooden structure.

With that the floor looked more greyish white than snow white. I had just opened a page that inspired me a lot, when Doctor Decker called me into her room. I put the magazine aside and stood up. Doctor Decker introduced herself, talked a bit about herself, probably to win my trust. She then turned to me.

“So Emma, I can call you Emma right?” I nodded. Doctor Decker is older than I expected. The hair short and strict. The eyes ice blue. Not a calming blue as Scotts` eyes had, but a cold blue and a piercing look. But I had promised Doctor Morrison to give it a try.

“How are you feeling?”

“Good,” my answer is short and sharp. After that some questions followed that reminded me more of small talk, than sitting on the couch of a modern female Sigmund Freud talking about my emotional well-being.

“Now Doctor Morrison send you to me, so I got some information, but why don`t you tell me yourself why you came?”

Should I tell her now that I just came to stop Doctor Morrison from asking me to do so? Probably not.
“I had an accident, or to be more precise my family had an accident….”

Doctor Decker nodded at me encouraging, as if she wanted to say `keep going` but I didn`t do so.

“What happened?”

“My parents died and I got seriously injured”, I answered as if I was just marking of another point on my list. I couldn`t show her my feelings. I mean I didn`t even know what I was really feeling, anger, grief, relief, I simply didn`t know. Doctor Decker said her condolences and then continued asking. I avoided her look and with a low voice I said `I don`t know`.

“And what exactly happened during the accident?” she asked again. She was smiling friendly at me and her eyes weren`t cold for the first time, instead they were showing sympathy.

“If you mean how the accident happened….well I can`t remember the accident. Doctor Morrison said that this isn`t unusual”, I was impressed by myself. How easy it was to answer that question.

“Yes, that is right, considering your injuries and the trauma. What is your last memory then?” she wanted to know.

“Maybe from two or three days before the accident.” She nodded and wrote down some notes. Then she wanted me to tell her about the days before the accident. But I blocked it. I didn`t found my words. Doctor Decker tried to talk about something from my childhood, but I wasn`t able to answer her on that either. She asked me about my Hobbies and I couldn`t answer that either, so I just raised my shoulder as a sign of not knowing what to say.

“So what are you doing at the moment with your time? Did you start to work again?”

I knew that it was her job to ask me all this stuff, but all this asking drove me nuts. I decided to answer anyways.

“I am not working at the moment or well I am. I can work from home so I am in charge of how I use my time.” I tried to answer in a friendly and objective manner. I didn`t want to be hear and moreover I didn`t want to talk about my feelings or show my feelings.

“Okay then what do you do when you are not working?”

“I adopted a dog, I moved out of my parents` house. I bought my own house at the other end of the city. I am renovating it at the moment, make it a bit more personalized. I take walks. I read books.”

“Okay”, says Doctor Decker, “todays time is nearly over Emma. I would like to meet you next Tuesday again. I think it can maybe help you to remember, or maybe just to help you get back into everyday life. I will send this as a recommendation to Doctor Morrison.”

Didn`t she understood that this was the everyday life I wanted? I didn`t want back into my old life, what would it help me to remember the accident? But I guess I didn`t had a choice. I didn`t had to talk if I didn`t want to.
I shaked Doctor Deckers hand before I left. I put the appointment card in my bag and left the practice. In front of the building my taxi driver was waiting for me. He would bring me back home to Balu.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Where to spend my holidays

Hi everyone!

As you may know travelling is one of my passions. I even studied tourism at some point. Autoimmunity is causing me to stay away from high levels of stress which you all know the tourism industry is full off. So I am going a different way now. But this is another story.
Today I wanted to talk about one of my favourite trips that I went on with a friend. And as so many things were so great about that trip I am doing a little series on it. Presenting you how every single day of my trip looked like. Starting today with how we planned that trip to be the most amazing trip we have ever done.
But where did I go? Since my family has roots in Sweden I always felt a special bond with the Scandinavian countries. Back in 2009 after my graduation I finally went to Sweden. To be more accurate to the capital, Stockholm. I had been looking the past semester of school for an AuPair job in Sweden and back in January 2009 I got in touch with a nice norwegian family and signed my contract with them. But since I still wanted to go to Sweden my mom made me the best graduation present she could, a trip to Stockholm.
Now on to planning that trip.

We wanted to get the most out of this trip for an affordable price. Now Scandinavia is compared to other European countries quiet expansive (I know there are other expansive destinations) due to higher taxes on food and so on. So we had to make a plan on when to book where to book and where to compromise. I will now show you the steps we took and explain why we took these steps the way we did.

#1A. Book early. We booked in January where flightrates were still low. Of course you can get some good last minute airfares but usually prices are higher the closer you get to your departure date as they increase with the booking number. So make sure to book early if you are on a budget.

#1B. Of course you cannot book a flight without having a place to stay. Now we checked different hotels and hostels and found a hotel that offered an early booking discount (pay 3nights stay 4nights). This hotel was about 15 minutes by subway from the city center but this offer gave us the possibility to stay for eight nights in a doubleroom and just pay 200 euros each, breakfast included.
Of course you can stay cheaper at a hostel but a double room at a hostel is pretty expansive too, a four room bedroom we didn`t felt comfortable with as we didn`t want to carry our stuff with us all day so the hotel was the best option plus it had a great breakfast included.

So these were the first two steps. Book early, look for the hotel with the discount and make a comprise like we did with staying outside the city center.

#2 Onto planning the fun stuff. You will need good guid books that include a card. Now for us the actually best guidbook was the one you got with the Stockholm Card (I will talk about this one in the next step). The other german guidbooks we used were the:
Reise Know How City Trip  Stockholm
Reise Know How City Trip Stockholm mit Mälarsee und Schärengarten
Merian Live Stockholm
These were the ones we used plus the one that came with our Stockholm Cards. First thing we did here was that everyone wrote down the museums or sights they wanted to visit. Then we checked which ones overlapped and wrote them down on a "Absolutely Need to visit" list. The other ones that didn`t match both of our desires went on a "Need to visit list".
So now we took the "Absolutely Need to visit list" and wrote behind every single one of them on which of Stockholms Islands they were and we looked up how far they were from each other. After we finished to locate these we sorted that list new. After that we made a time frame which meant looking up opening hours and when guided tours were or if a free audio guide would be available which a lot of museums offered (not all contact points were in german so I highly recommend taking the guide in english if you can, as all contact points gave you an english option if a german one wasn`t available). So after writing this down we made our schedule. Which day to visit which Island and when to visit which Museum counting in time to get to the next sight and counting in time to enjoy. After figuring out all that we had 5 days of full program that left us one day for the other list.
So now we decided to not make another plan for that "Need to visit" list but to keep it with us and everytime we were done early maybe visit one of the sights that were left on that paper.

#3 How to make sightseeing affordable?
Well Stockholm offers a Stockholm Card for different time periods. This card makes it possible for you to travel on public communication in stockholm and to visit the museums and sights that are in there guidbooks for one time of the period your card is valid.
Keep in mind though you need one card per person so since the longest period they had when we booked were 3 days everyone of us had to buy 2 Stockholm cards as for the last day we both just went with a day pass for public transport and went to sights that had free entrance (gardens, parks, etc.)
Also if you plan on visiting the Gröna Lund Tivoli this card allowed us free entrance but to use the actual rollercoasters in that park you need to buy an extra ticket but the price for the whole day was totally fine. You also need to check if there is a special event in the park because when there is you might not get in with the Stockholm Card (check for new regulations on the homepage as we went in 2009).

#4 Don`t forget to at least take two guidbooks with you. Decide on the one that has in your opinion the best walking trips. Some days we really had some time left and did some of the roundtrips that were mentioned in the book. My friend was reading the information at every stop of the roundtrip which kind of made it feel as if you were on a guided tour, just for free.

So these are my 4 main tips on how to plan your trip to be awesome, I feel that most of these points in general work for most destinations. I hope they help you a bit to plan your next trip and stay tuned for how this trip went for us. Will be making every other post about this trip. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.


♥Nadja

Friday, October 23, 2015

Something special for you! Chapter 11


I slept pretty bad the last couple of nights. And you could see that. I had lost some points. I had dark circles around my eyes. At least I found them to be really bad. I tried everything to conceal them, but Doctor Morrison did see them anyways.

“You are not looking good. I assume you are not sleeping?” Was the first question he asked me.

“Well…I sleep..” I tried to save the situation. He nodded skeptical and continued, “You did lose some weight as well.” He looked friendly, but at the same time worried and full of expectation.

“Look, I can`t force you to, but wouldn`t you want me to call a therapist and schedule and appointment for you? Even if you can`t remember the accident, you are going through a traumatic incident. You have lost your whole family and with that your whole life.”

I tried to avoid his look. He was right, somehow, but I didn`t feel like talking.

“Listen, just one appointment. Maybe it helps you and you continue a therapy. Maybe it doesn`t. What do you have to lose?”

I knew exactly what I had to lose, but I didn`t want to have this conversation again, so I just nod my head.

“Okay, I will give you the number of a colleague. When you call her, let her know that I send you over and it should be easy to get an appointment. Your other test results are all fine, so I will see you again next week.”

I took the card he gave me and thanked him for his help, before I left his room.

I walked to the station I had been in, in the hope that Liz would be working. But she had nightshift this week. So I left the box of chocolate pralines with a little note with one of her colleagues that had promised to give it Liz when she arrives for her shift.

I went out and called for a Taxi. Once I arrived at home I called the therapist to schedule an appointment, so that I could tell Doctor Morrison on my next appointment, that the therapy isn`t helping.

I got an appointment for Tuesday at 5pm. I had asked the taxi driver for his number, so I called him right after my call at the therapist and asked him if he could drive me on Tuesday.

The days until Tuesday continued as before. They were filled with painting the floors and furniture and of course playing with Balu. Over the weekend I have read a bit in the cookbooks, but on Saturday I had already put them aside. As I had gotten my first take away flyers in the post. I immediately ordered some food at the Thai Take away. The food was fresh and cleanly packed and it tasted really good. So I pinned the flyer to my fridge.

I didn`t go to the beach kiosk since I had been to Doctor Morrison. I had found a little bakery down the street so I got my breakfast from there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Favourites - I Love....Shower Creme and Body Lotion


Hi everyone!

As you all know I have very sensitive skin and had trouble finding products that worked well with my skin when it came to body lotions and body washes.
In one of my first posts I have shown you the Clinique Deep Comfort Body Wash now as this is more on the pricey side and although a little bit goes a long way with it I decided to carefully try some cheaper body washes.
As I had gotten the I love... Coconut Body Milk as a gift from someone I tried that one at first and it gave me a very soft and moisturized skin. I didn`t had any irritations and my skin looked very well. I love the coconut smell, but as I know some people who don`t I had to find an alternative to the coconut smell.
So this is how I came across the Strawberries and cream range from I love...
It is a very soft and gentle body wash. The lotion is a bit thicker than the milky version (coconut) but it leaves my skin soft and very smooth and glowing which I like. The smell is pretty intense at first but after an hour you should be fine. It does smell like the Campino Candy thing which I always ate as a kid but I really like the smell. It is fresh and fruity, definetly more of a summer smell I would say. So for winter I will try another I love...smell/range to not smell like strawberry ice cream during the winter.
So this were the skincare benefits.
Now lets talk about price and packaging.
So as you may have noticed I only got the small version of it or travel version. This package included one of these `sponges` I love like these peeling sponges or how you call them. Anyways it has one of these, the bodywash and the bodylotion for under 8 euros, which I think is a really good price. A little bit goes a long way both with the body wash and the body lotion. And if you ask me I will probably continue the package in this size as it gives me the opportunity to change the smell more often and to get a new sponge every other month.
To the packaging. The coconut milk one came with a pump, which I personally prefered. The lotion here is not with a pump and pressing the product out is pretty hard once you have had it on your hands. So I would have prefered it with a pump, but otherwise it looks cute, it is small. I like it. Good for the gymbag as well.

Have you tried the I love... products yet? If so, which smells do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below and I hope to see you soon.


♥Nadja

Monday, October 19, 2015

Something special for you! Chapter 10


I was lying in bed. I couldn`t sleep again. I was turning from left to right, right to left. I stood up, walked a bit up and down. Sat down in front of the window, looked at the ocean. Went to bed again and called Balu to lay down with me.

Scott.

Scott has helped me. He was nice to me although he didn`t know me. And I wasn`t really making a step towards him. On the contrary, I made five steps backwards.

I can`t tell what it is. On the one hand it was nice to have him around, but on the other hand I couldn`t have him near me.

How should I behave towards him? Maybe I should avoid him for a little while? Now that was a decision. I would avoid him. I stroke Balus head and fell asleep after a while.

I woke up very early. It was still dark when I went down to the beach with Balu. I waited in front of the beach kiosk until it opened. I ordered food for the day and took a salad for tonight with me. I will just put the salad in the fridge. I would just avoid the problem. The problem of meeting Scott. Of being in need of saying something. I didn`t stay at the beach today. I would just sit down in my garden with Balu. From there I could still see the ocean and the Surfers, but I wouldn`t run into them. 
Into him.

I still wonder why he helped me. I can`t understand it. Over the next days I withdraw myself back into myself. I went our early in the morning and late in the evening. I barely saw any other people, except of the woman at the kiosk. I didn`t respond to Liz voice mails.

In a few days I will have my examination with Doctor Morrison. Then I will see Liz as well and tell her that everything is fine.

Instead I spent my time with painting the floors, the furniture. I spend time teaching Balu some tricks. Cuddling with Balu. Playing with him. I decided to order some cookbooks. I mean I cannot live from take away my whole life. The books will arrive by the end of the week.

I still had some packing cases standing around in some of the rooms. But i didn`t want to continue unpacking before I wasn`t done painting.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Favourites - NYX Lip Pencil!



Hi everyone!

Today I want to share with you my thought on the NYX Retractable Lip Liner (here in the shade MPL 16 Plum).
I am usually not a lipstick girl, because I hate to reply my lipstick during the day and I do not like that shine on the lips and I find some matte lipsticks very dry and hard to apply. So when I came over this lipliner that is waterproof and long lasting I thought I give it a try. I went for the shade plum as I like dark berry tones during fall and winter. And what can I say, I basically regret that I only bought one shade of this and I will definately buy some more shade during the next month. The price is amazing. It is about 5-6 Euros. Packaging is great, I love that it is retractable so I always try to keep it inside to not break it of accidently. The consistency is very creamy so it glides on very well, I do not feel it runs of, although I have heared that from some people. It has a matte finish and I promise you you can wear this as a lipstick itself. It is amazing. The pigmentation is so good and I love this colour especially as it is great combined with other lipsticks I have such as Impassioned by MAC (warm berry tone) and Rouge Volupte in Lingery Pink by YSL (more a cool berry tone) if you want to lighten it up a bit and not go that dark. But as said it is great on its own as well.
I put it on in the morning around 9am and it was still as freshly applied at 7pm. It didn`t colour of when I drank or ate. I am absolutely in love with it. And although it is longlasting it was really easy to take off in the evening (not talking Ruby Woo by MAC here where you need hours to get it off and look like a clown afterewards).

Conclusion for me was to definetly buy two to three more shades of this rather than a lipstick.
Do you have any shades that you could recommend me for this fall I would be happy to know and try them out.

♥Nadja

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Something special for you! Chapter 9

On my way home tonight I saw her again, Emma, the woman from the beach. She was walking towards me, with two grocery bags in her arms. I saw how two teenagers came running behind her and how they ran into her. She fell, but the two teenagers didn`t care, they just continued running. I ran over to her, to help her. She was sitting on the pavement, her groceries all over.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
She was just staring at me, nodding her head. She seemed to be confused but immediately started to put her gorceries back into the bag. I was helping her and right before I was nearly done packing that other bag I heared her saying “Thank you” and she rushed away.
“Wait,” I said, having her second bag in my arm, but she didn`t. She kept going, so I went after her. She lived just a few houses from mine, but I have never seen her entering or leaving the house. Just a few seconds afterwards I noticed why. She enters her house from the backdoor. I was waiting in the door until she nodded as a sign to enter. I put the bag on the kitchen counter right beside the other bag. She smiled at me. Kim was right, she is really shy, she is barely talking or better said not talking at all. Suddenly a dog came running into the kitchen.
“Hi little man, did you miss me?”, she said to her dog and started to pet him.
The kitchen floor looked freshly painted, but it looked as if she had forgotten a stripe in the middle. The door lock of her back door looked pretty insecure, easy to break in for a thief.
“Your door lock is broken, that can be pretty dangerous in this area of the city.” But still she wasn`t reacting. Maybe I should go and leave her alone, was all I could think at the moment, when the dog came over to me. He stared to sniff at me carefully. When she saw that she smiled at me again and then all of a sudden asked me “do you want something to drink?....I… I just have water and tea to offer…”
“A water please.” She handed me a glass of water, smiled at me again. This time a bit insecure and shy.
“If you have any tools around, I could fix that right away,” I said nodding into the direction of the door. She disappeared from the kitchen without saying a word. I could hear her walking through the house. Then I could hear her coming back to the kitchen. Her steps slowed down. When I saw her carrying the heavy tool box I rushed over to help her. When she put down the box directly in front of me, I could see here long scar. I guess I have looked at it a bit too long, as she started to pull up her top to cover the scar. I wonder if that that has given her that scar had to do anything with her being that silent and insecure. But it wasn`t the right timing to ask her about this right now. So I didn`t ask. Instead I started to repair the door lock.
“Balu, let`s go into the living room”, I heared her say to the dog.
I started to fix the lock and the handle. Once I was done I went with the tool box through the kitchen into the living room. She was sitting in front of a little table. Busy painting it white. She looked as if she was deeply into her thoughts. Balu was lying in his bed under the window, beside the armchair.
“The door is safe again. Do you need any more help?” I heared my self saying. But she didn`t react. She seemed to really be dreaming herself away in her work. The only thing I could see was a satisfied smile on her face. I went back into the kitchen where I wrote a little note.

If you ever need any help or just someone to talk with, you can find me at the kiosk down the beach or four houses further down the road.
Scott.


Then I left. I had a little hope that she would get in touch with me. I didn`t actually know why. She was weired, maybe unpolite as well. But maybe it was just insecurity or she was really scared. But at the same time her eyes were telling so much more and I want to know what that is.

Monday, October 12, 2015

I am in love with Essie! Fall Favourites!



Hi everyone!

A while ago I posted my favourite nail polishes according to their colour as you may remember. Today I want to add two new nail polishes to these.

They are both by Essie as I wanted to understand the hype about them. And they are definetly worth their money. One coat is enough to achieve the desired colour, they dry pretty fast, the shine is amazing and they are pretty long lasting.

Now on to the colours.

The darker shade is called 48 luxedo and the lighter shade is 42 angora cardy.
I love these two for fall.
The lighter shade is definetly more of a stronger brownish nude, while the darker shade is a very dark burgundy or as I say a black with a violet undertone. They both look great with basically every outfit. The colours are beautiful and definetly wearable for any occasion.

The only minus I find with these nail polishes is the brush as it is sooo big and too big to apply the polish without over drawing on my pinky finger. But that is basically the only minus.

I can only recommend trying them. I will probably purchase some more during the next months, so let me know what colours you can recommend in the comments below, if you are having any Essie nail colours and I will consider trying them.


♥Nadja

Friday, October 9, 2015

Something special for you! Chapter 8


It was already dark when I was on my way back home from grocery shopping. I was walking down the street when I thought I noticed the surfer I have been observing the last days. He was walking towards me. Flip flops, shorts and a plaid shirt, and I again stared at him too long.

In that moment when I changed my view something hit me from behind and I fell. The pain shot through my whole body and then slowly dissolved. My groceries were all over the place. I couldn`t tell what just happened when somebody asked me if everything was okay. When I looked up I looked into the man`s eyes. That surfer`s eyes, that I have been watching since three weeks. I wasn`t able to give him a better respond than a smile. This was so embarrassing. I tried to pack all my groceries back into the bags as fast as I could. I took everything I could grab, stood up and made my way home. I walked as fast as I could so embarrassed was I. When I walked into my garden I noticed that the man came after me carrying my second bag. O my god, I completely forgot that second bag and now he brought me that bag. I opened the back door and put the bag on the kitchen counter. I left the door open, shortly after he came in. I smiled at him embarrassed. I am sure that I blushed. Balu came into the kitchen and I couldn`t leave it. I had to greet him. He had probably missed me, at least I hope he did. It was strange. I was so proud that he had learned to stay home alone, but at the same time I was hoping that he had missed me.

“Your doorlock is broken, that can be pretty dangerous in this area of the city,” he notices. He had both of his hands in his pockets, his shoulders raised. He looked at me as if he was expecting something. Balu ran around me one more time before he went over to our guest. I was nervous, the woman in the shelter had mentioned that he had a problem with man, but this one here he seemed to like. Maybe I should ask him if he would like to have something to drink. I mean he helped me and Balu liked him so he was probably a good guy. Or how was that? Dogs are having the sixth sense? And right before I thought it really through it came out of my mouth. I asked him if he wanted to have something to drink. And right in the moment of asking I remembered that the only thing I had to offer was water and tea. When that came to my mind I started to stutter again. I was lucky as he smiled at me and thanked yes to a glass of water. When I handed him the glass of water I noticed his well kept hands. His clothes also made me think that he wasn`t from here. When I noticed that I had stared at him too long again I blushed and smiled at him.

“If you have any tools around, I could fix that right away”, he offered shortly after. I wasn`t confident enough to look at him again and to say something. It was so unusual and I was so insecure. It is outside the world I am used to.

I turned around and left the kitchen. I walked through the living room and went up the stairs. I wasn`t sure but I thought I had seen a tool box in one of the closets upstairs. And when I opened the first, I noticed that I wasn`t mistaken. But I haven`t imagined the box as so heavy. I wasn`t able to lift it with one hand, barely with too. With slow and heavy steps I made my way back to the kitchen. When he saw me coming he nearly rushed towards me. He probably saw that I had trouble carrying it and so I put it down in the moment he wanted to take it from me. He was standing right in front of me. I noticed him staring at me. But he wasn`t staring at me directly. His gaze was on my scar. The scar between my breasts. The scar that I have had since the accident. The scar that I will have for the rest of my life and that will remind me of the accident for the rest of my life. That will remind me of how my parents died, and how I nearly died. I tried to pull up my shirt fast, to cover that scar. He probably noticed that it made me feel uncomfortable as he turned around to fix the door.

“Balu, let`s go into the living room”, I said, so that Balu would come with me and that the Surfer who`s name I still don`t know would know where to find me. In case that he needed me.

In the living room I started to paint the little table white, while Balu was sleeping in his bed. Rolled in like a puppy, but I knew exactly that he was watching out for me. I got lost in my thoughts. 

Thoughts about how my life went so far. These thoughts were disturbed by the thoughts I had on the surfer. He had something that made me nervous. But in a good way. Having him in the house calmed me down. Althoug it was strange. I mean there was a foreign man in my house. But somehow he seemed to understood because he hasn`t ask about the scar. He had let me be. And somehow he seems to get along with me not talking much. And he was really good looking. Not mentioning his surferbody. It isn`t a secret that surfers are well trained. No he had amazing blue eyes, wonderful wrinkles from laughing, an unbelievable smile and really great hair, and…

Right before I could finish my thoughts exactly this surfer was standing in my living room and asked me if he could help me with anything else.

I got so ripped out of my thoughts that my brain couldn`t function fast enough. I didn`t know if I stared at him. All I know was I couldn`t say a word, so I just pretended being busy with painting the table.

Again he said nothing. He turned around and went back into the kitchen. After a little while I heared the back door and through the window of the hall I could see him leaving.

Now I was alone again. I was glad he didn`t say something because I really forgot how to communicate with people, or I never was good at it. I really doubt that I was ever good at it. Not counting the smalltalk that I had learned through my childhood. But somehow I was sad too that he was gone. I stood up and went into the kitchen where I found a little note.

If you ever need any help or just someone to talk with, you can find me at the kiosk down the beach or four houses further down the road.
Scott.

So Scott was his name.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My MAC collection


Hi everyone!

You may have already guessed it (or not) but it is time for a MAC post.
Lets be honest if I would have the money I would have probably buyed every eyeshadow, liptick and blush that I could get from MAC but I am on a budget. So every now and then another product joins my collection as I simply love MAC so much. The products are so pigmentet and go onto your skin so smoothly that a little bit goes a long way and that I do not mind spending a bit more on them. (One product a month could be a new idea, just kidding)

So today I want to show you what products I already own, talk a bit about them, show you some swatches (eyeshadows) and let you know what I am planning on buying next and I also want to talk about products I wouldn`t buy again (yes there are some).

Lets get started with a product I have been using for the almost ten years. It is the 
Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage
I love this primer. For me it is perfect, it evens out my skin, makes my foundation glide on easily and stay in place. I do not have heavy rednesses or big pores so I cannot say if it would still work as well if you have that problems but it definetly does a great job for me.

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
shade: Medium Dark
I love it. It gives me such a natural finish, not too matte not too shiny. And although I was tanned when I bought it a few years back it still works fine for me.


On to Blushes:
Mineralize Blush - Improvise
I use it as a highlighter on top of my Blush to be honest as it has a little bit too much shimmer for my taste to just use it as a blush, but it is really great and for me my favourite highlighter.
Powder Blush - Raizin (Matte)
I bought it for a special look I wanted to do and that I will hopefully show you in a few weeks. It is pretty dark and I do not use it as an every day Blush, but I do use it as an eyeshadow from time to time.
Sheertone Blush - Breath of Plum
As the name says this is a Plum tone, I love it during winter when I am doing a natural make up without any bronzer to it, just my BB Cream, mascara, this blush and my favourite white beanie and I am good to go. I love it especially for the winter. It looked good when I was tanned and it also looks good when I am not tanned so probably suits a lot of people.
Sheertone Shimmer Blush - Springsheen
Great for summer and for winter but I like it best when I have bronzed my face a bit with hoola from Benefit. I haven`t tried it on its own yet I think and if I did I can`t remember. It is a beautiful colour that suits a lot of people. Anytime I have a friend over and we go out and need to do our make up this is the blush I would hand to everyone, just because I am sure it would suit pale people the same way as tanned people.

My eyeshadows are quiet a lot and I will try to go in the order they are swatched on my arms (from wrist to elbow):

 The first one you see is:
Blanc type (Matte) which is great as a base or to clean up or blend over if something went to dark.
Goldmine (Frost) Is the gold tone right under Blanc type. It is a really pretty light gold. It is beautiful for a golden smokey eye but I have also combined it with Amber lights (wich is the next shade) and it worked fine. (I will show you that look some time as well)
Amber Lights (Frost) The darker "golden" shade right under Goldmine. I love it is great for summer or christmas or any holiday and party occasion.  Really great pigmentet. Great shimmer.
Paradisco (Frost) is the lighter coral shade, which is great for summer or a more natural party look. (Let me know if you want to see how I use it).
Nocturnelle (Frost) a berry violet shade, great for a warmer smokey eye, pairs extremly well with a lot of shades. I paired it with Shimmermoss (the green shade further down) and was impressed how well that looked together (I will post that look sometime)
Cork (Satin) great colour for the crease. A lighter brown that you can build up, either way great for a natural smokey eye.
Honesty (Lustre) is the shimmery shade under Cork. I love to pair those too for a more natural look (I know it has shimmer but I need this).
Seedy Pearl (Frost) is the very light soft rose shimmery pearly shade. Love it paired with Nocturnelle or even a black for a smokey eye or the inner corner highlight.
Shimmermoss (Veluxe Pearl) is a green shimmery pearly shade that I haven`t used much yet, but I will make a post where I want to show different looks using this eyeshadow.
Charcoal Brown (Matte) is a bit darker than cork and a little bit colder, great for an everyday smokey eye or as a transisition colour for a heavy smokey eye.
Electra is the silver shade I like to use for a smokey eye.
Orange I bought this for summer to pair it with Paradisco (let me know if you would like to see that look.
Beautiful Iris works great for a purple smokey eye with Nocturnelle.
Print is a black but definetly not the blackest black.


On to the Lipsticks.
The silver packaged thing you see MAC Royal Assets Pink Lips Palette that I bought about 10 years ago it contained a gloss (which is empty by now) and two Lipsticks (I only have one left).
The Gloss was Courting Rose as the name says it was a beautiful pinky rose shade that looked so amazing on my lips that I used it up pretty fast.
The first Lipstick (the one I always used together with the gloss and later on its own) is Reigning Pink. It was beautiful together with the gloss but also on its own, It wasn`t as pink as the name may make you think it was actually a pretty natural lip colour.
The second and thats the one I still have is Ladyship which is more of a berry shade I would say. I do not use it much as it has some glitter or what you want to call it to it. I kept this palette as I love the packaging and I will definetly keep to melt some lipsticks (mainly rests) into it. It has a mirror and a lipbrush in it.

Last but not least my lipsticks, which you may already know from my lipstick posts. So if you want more inofrmation on them check out that post.

Impassioned (Amplified)
Cosmo (Amplified)
Retro Matte Ruby Woo

So these are the products I own.
Products I have owned and didn`t purchase again was the pro longwear foundation which for me just didn`t work. I never found the perfect shade, it was way to heavy for me and I just didn`t like the finish.

Products I want to buy in the near future are mainly eyeshadows that I will list below.
Swiss Chocolate
Nylon
Shroom
Embark
Those are on the list for the next time buying MAC products I hope I will get them before Christmas as I see a lot of great looks for fall with them.

Which MAC products do you own? Which ones can you recommend? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this post and see you soon.


♥Nadja

Monday, October 5, 2015

Something special for you! Chapter 7


Like every morning I was at the beach before the sunrise. For the past three years I usually had my breakfast at the kiosk down the beach. I basically knew every single person at the beach. Some just from seeing them. Some through surfing. And some through the neighborhood. I am happy that I fulfilled my dreams. I am happy that I left my rushed life as an investment banker behind. A life scheduled from morning to evening. A life that was only superficial. A life that didn`t leave any space to fulfil myself, be an individual. A life that was just about making as much money as possible. 

About having the most expansive car that gives you prestige. About having that Penthouse in the exclusive area of the city. The interior had to be black and white of course. About having a collection of the most expansive and exclusive suits. And of course, and that is the thing I hated the most, having the most beautiful women around you and preferably not just one of these. Personality and Intelligence weren`t a priority here. After seven years I have had enough of this life. I decided to sell my penthouse, my car and my suits. I decided to start a new life.

I always loved to surf. As a teenager I even participated in championships and that is how I ended up here. I had bought the kiosk two years ago from an elderly man, Alf, who wanted to retire, well deserved. He had promised me, that all I had to take care off would be the finances and the accounting. The rest would be taken care off by his longtime employees. And he ended up being right. Alf still came by regularly, but that didn`t bother me. He had become like a father figure to me over the past years, always being there with advice when needed.

Today I stayed a bit longer at the kiosk than usual. I had spotted a new person at the beach. A young woman. I think I have seen her before but she was new for sure.

“Her name is Emma, she is new here…”says one of my employees who obviously had noticed that I had stared a bit too long at the woman.

“Always orders an avocado toast and a tea in the morning and one of the salads in the evening. Looks like she can`t cook,” she continues.

“All the things you know, Kim?!” I answered a bit amused. Kim was the oldest of my employees, she is like a real mom. She notices everything. It was impossible to keep a secret from her. But she has a good heart and a good soul and never means any harm.

“Seems to be a bit shy too,” she adds, “she is barely talking. Seems to be a bit sad, that girl.”
“Or she is just new,” I say, smiling.

“The waves are calling!”, I say before I go and get my board and make my way to the water.

I love the thrill and at the same time the silence when I am out on the water. Some days I just paddle around. Some days I do not want to miss a wave. Today was one of the days I just sat on my board. I looked at the ocen before I turned to look at the beach. She is still sitting in the same spot, away from the crowed. She had a dog with her if I see that right. The beach became more crowded with time and Emma, as Kim said, stood up and went away from the beach. I am pretty sure I noticed her the other days, but I had never seen her that close like this morning. But that should change. I just didn`t know yet.

Now that she had gone away I took my eyes from the beach and focused my view on the endless ocean. A few waves later I was on my board, surfing, enjoying to let go.

Friday, October 2, 2015

How to make healthy/organic/local eating affordable

Hi everyone!

So today I want to talk about healthy eating. As you may know from my previous posts on nutrition I mainly live of veggies and meat and some pseudograins. I buy everything at the farmers market or an organic food store. Now a lot of you might think that that must be pretty expansive. And yes it can be. But grocery shopping can get expansive even if you buy at a discounter. The main reason for that is that you go to the store without a plan. And what happens then is that you buy a lot of food that you do not need, that you will not eat and this also causes a lot of food going to waste and I also think that that is the main reason for mass production especially in the meat industry. This is one reason for me to buy local and at the farmers. First thing is I know that the animal I eat hasn`t suffered it has had a nice life outside eating fresh gras and running around in freedom. Second reason is my veggies are 100% pesticide free. How I know that? - Very simple if your fruits or veggies are sticky they are not pesticide free. Your fruits and veggies might not look as perfect as you are used to from buing at the usual store, but you will definetly see that they taste better and that they are more filling. So all these points are reasons for me to buy my foods the way I do.

So today  I want to show you how to make your healthy/organic/local grocery haul more affordable.

#1 So first things first. You need to make a plan. And by that I mean you need to plan what meals you will eat in one week. Now we usually tend to plan more than we actually eat. I did that a lot too. But expectations are higher than reality. When I started eating the way I do I often spend 30 euros just for myself in a week. Now it is 15 euros a week which I think even students can afford. So making a realistic plan is the non plus ultra. The easiest thing is to take a cook book (I use the Hemsley and Hemsley one at the moment) and find recipes that include mainly the same ingredients. So that you do not buy a whole broccoli when you only need half a broccoli and then you have to throw away the other half. If you want broccoli in that week make sure that nothing goes to waste. Plan that other half of the broccoli for a salad for example that you will have another day. Instead of buying a new broccoli the next week for that salad (I hope that makes sense). So all I want to say is plan smart.
As an example I will show you my meal plan for next week:
Breakfast:
mon, tue, wed, thu - Buckweatcreme and Fruitsalad (still having frozen fruits
from our summer harvest)
fri, sat, sun - Chia Chai with Pumpkin breakfast porridge

Dinner:
mon, tue, wed - broccoli pea soup
thu - eating at the farmers market
fri - Broccoli Salad with ginger and some meat (still having frozen one from a bigger haul)
sat + sun Shepherds Pie

#2 So after you wrote down your meals you are going to have you will have to make a grocery list. and I frankly believe that a lot of us just write down
tomatoes
apples
cheese
....
And by that we again buy a lot of things we do not eat up. Be specific. Write down the exact amount you need. Example of my of next weeks grocery list for the farmers market:
3 Dates
1 Butternutsquash
4 Celery
30g Parmesan
1 big broccoli
1 red onion
Small ginger root
2 carrots
2 small Cauliflowers
1 medium sized zucchini
3 lemons

So as you can see I only wrote down the foods I exactly need so I really just pay for what I need and I can just eat what is at home (so no snacking and cheating possible for those who want to loose weight) and nothing will go to waste. I of course checked my freezer for frozen fruits and veggies that I still might have (see the next point on that)

#3 If your organic food store offers veggies that are not that nice any longer for a discount go for those you can freeze them right away and they will stay fresh.

#4 Another tip is to go for seasonal veggies and fruits. Most times veggies and fruits are cheaper when they are in season than when they are not. So yes you might eat more pumpkin during fall/winter than during spring/summer because they are way more cheaper and way more easy to get during fall/winter than spring/summer. Same counts for fruits. So if you think now well all the time eating the same is boring, yes it is. But you do not have to cook the same recipe over and over again. They are so many recipes out there that uses pumpkin for example so try them don`t stick to the one you know. Mix it up. Search the internet. Think of all these beautiful food blogs that are out there as the one by my Tone it up friend from mangoandcoconuts that has a lot of beautiful vegan and allergyfriendly recipes. Think of all the cookbooks you have at home.

#5 If you have leftovers freeze them don`t make your plate too full. We tend to have the feeling we need more as I already said above than we actually do. So eat a small portion, wait a few minutes and if you are still hungry go ahead and get yourself another portion. For me I mainly noticed I do not even eat the portion size that the cook book recommends. I am often full after half of that portion. So for the future I will still cook the exact recipe but freeze half of it for the end of the month for example and then do not need to go shopping for that last week of the month for example and bonus save the time for cooking in that week.

#6 Now the basic haul I did was of course a more expansive one. And by that I mean buying things like buckweat, amaranth, chia seeds, acai berry powder, ghee, spirulina, coconut flour, etc. So things that you will have for a longer time than just that one week you plan for. I am still stocking up on my basics as I do not have the budget to buy them all in one month. So what I did was to plan my whole month so 4 meal plans and 4 grocery lists (lists sorted after where to buy what) and fit my basics that I need to my budget and meals. So when meals included basics I am not able to afford now and that I didn`t already own I had to take them out of my meal plan and take a meal that fit better. So it is a bit like jenga in the beginning and it takes some time but having 15 more Euros per week are so worth that time you invested.

So these are my main tips on how to make healthy and organic eating affordable. Plan, plan realistic, make a detailed grocery list, go for seasonal foods and don`t be afraid of freezing your veggies and even fruits (for smoothies). 
I hope this post helps you to rethink your buying behaviour, to maybe inspire you to buy organic foods and to buy local foods. If you have any questions left, leave me a comment below and I will be happy to answer them. If you liked this post and wish more posts like this one let me know in the comments as well.


♥Nadja