Welcoming my first puppy; Zaphira

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First things first: Happy September! Jee – time passes unrealistically fast these days..!

Now, I finally took that one step I have been thinking about for too long – I finally bought a puppy. Welcome home, Zaphira. I picked up Zaphira on Wednesday in Berlin – flying back and forth for one day to picking up this little piece of love. You may have noticed that I am obsessed with dogs and couldn’t wait to get my own. Finally, it has happened. It still feels so unreal when I wake up and have this little lovebug looking into my eyes and wanting to cuddle first thing in the morning. The breeder asked me to choose a name starting with Z – so Zaphira it became. I wanted a name that is not so popular, not so much known, and rather elegant in its nature. She is an Italian Greyhound (which I find elegant in their own nature), 10 weeks old, and honestly the cutest thing on earth. Yet, she is a little chewing devil. The minute she is awake after taking a nap I cannot leave her out of my sight without having to worry she will release herself on the carpet (still need to practice) or chew on something other than her toys. But who can be mad at such a sweet little angel? I can’t! Yet, being “strict” is especially important in the beginning to teach her everything. What are your tips and tricks on teaching the puppy to pee outside and stop chewing everything they see? I would love to hear from anyone with a dog and some puppy experience! xo

How to decorate a wall with pictures

Have you ever stared at a wall and found it looks naked? I have. In fact, I am looking at my walls right now and have the feeling I’m in desperate need to dress up my walls – brighten up the apartment, give it a sense of style, and bring in a positive vibe. One of my walls in my apartment is colored – well, it’s got a brown-greyish earth tone to it, not necessarily colored as in a bright neon color splashing into the room. I like my apartment cleaned-up (let’s ignore the mess on my home desk and bed for a moment) and as you might remember, I have ever so often complained about my “creative” (*cough* study- *cough*) room looking dreadfully boring and everything but creative. I don’t want fill it with colorful dust-keepers either. Instead, I want it clean, nothing flying around (as it’s current state is all about) and straight forward on a color palette. And, I want frames. Yep, I want those black, simple, skinny frames that we see all over when googling for interior-inspiration. I want them neatly hung up, filled with black and white (duh!) photos, inspirational quotes (still need to decide) and I want it pretty.

So I’ve collected a few inspirational photos (not my own!) I want to share with you and noticed a couple of “rules” that really should be followed if you want it somewhat “stylish” looking and not like a 3-year-olds playroom.

Rule #1 – choose a color

Of course, you can have every frame in a different color, some filled with colorful photos of yourself when you were 2 years old sucking on your very first lollipop, with a photo of your cat next to it, a framed letter you received from your BFF when you first started writing, next to some cut-outs from magazines and a quote about how much you love pancakes. It is fully up to you. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a theme that looks rather like an adult-y and less like a kindergarten get-away, I suggest going for one, maybe two colors. What color frames do you want? All black? Silver? Gold? Maybe the top three in white, mid-row in gold and bottom 3 in black? It’s all up to you, but it will look much better if one can hint a theme rather fast.

I love black frames as shown in the top, first photo.

Rule #2 – do your measurements rights 

Trust me, it will look so much better when the spaces in between each frame are consistent. If you are anything like me – and I tend to go OCD sometimes, a 5 cm space on the left and 10 cm space on the right will annoy the crap out of you in the long-term. Also – use a water venture. If you don’t own one, no problem: the iPhone and its million apps have got you covered (and I’m sure the same goes for androids). You really don’t want to end up with crooked-looking frames all over the wall.

Rule #3 – choose a wall 

This might seem obvious, or not at all. Before you start hammering holes into the wall and hanging up your beloved photos: think. Think thoroughly, look at the wall, look at the whole room. Will the hoped-for composition match the rest of your interior? Is the wall large enough or even too big (you don’t want your photos looking lost, either!)? Where is the window, how does the light shine in, will it influence the mood of the story you want to tell with the frames and photos? These are all little things that might not bother one or the other, but surely something to consider if you don’t want to find yourself in a situation of hating the wall you have chosen because the opposite wall would have looked much better in the end.

Rule #4 – the size of your frames

Obvious to some, not so much to others. It is important however, to think about the sizes of the frames. Do you want them all to be in the same size, do you want different sizes and play around with the format? Speaking of sizes (don’t believe those that say sizes aren’t important ;) ..!) don’t forget about the next rule.

Rule #5 – what do you want to frame?

Jumping back to sizes for a moment: think about the size of the photos, pictures, drawings or quotes that you want to place into your frames. Frames are frames (smart, huh?) and are meant to be filled with creativity – and replaced. If you know yourself and the exact art you want to look at for the next months or years – awesome, go you! I for instance, have changing moods. Knowing myself I will love one quote for a couple of weeks, believe it is the motto of my life and wake up one day and want to throw it out the window. If you want replace the art in your frames frequently (and cost efficiently – think printing out art yourself or taking magazine pages), you should aim for normal-sized frames. A4 or A3 and A2 sized frames can be easily filled. Anything too large might become a hassle.

What to do you think – are there any rules I didn’t catch?

I surely have a goal for the upcoming weeks (in the little free times I have sometimes) – ordering frames (most likely black, obviously), deciding on the art, printing quotes or getting photos printed in a good quality) and deciding on a wall (most likely the one I am staring at now).

With that, I wish you all a cozy evening and an amazing wall to look at. xo

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My Black Book

Happy 1st of April, peeps! Time passes way to quick again (I know I say this regularly), but honesty, it does. Do you every feel like you have so much to do, so many things you want to accomplish and too little time? I have this feeling regularly, but it’s become worse lately now that I’ve stepped up the game in working out more regularly – or so I try – and often times working longer hours (topped-up with a few hours of studying for uni). One thing that I cannot live without is to-do lists. It’s simply a must for me and feels oh-so-satisfying when I can cross off yet another point. I have my LV agenda with me daily for appointments and bigger projects, have all meetings and every oh-so-little task in my outlook calendar at work (and hence synchronized to all my tech-pieces), and used to have a paper notebook at home where I’d write everything down to later cross out. Yep, I’ll even write down ‘vacuum the apartment’ just to feel satisfied later on when I can cross it off. It gives me a feeling of having actually accomplished something (other than the apartment looking clean).

Now, because I love everything pretty and decorative: having a paper notebook flying around is not the prettiest thing (think of the off-tone blue notebooks that college students use when scribbling down notes). And then I found My Black Book. Seriously, how stylish, clean, low-key and sophisticated does it look? Can you imagine that I am actually getting excited to write down daily tasks? I want to use it for when I am at home, need to scribble down thoughts (for future blogposts for example), having sparking ideas that might turn me into a millionaire one day (I wish), or for writing down those things I always want to do but never get to actually doing because I am too lazy (re-organizing my bookshelves). I bought this one in Manor (store in Zurich), though you can also order it here on amazon.

My plan for the weekend is thus to write down all the little things I want to change in my apartment. From the bookshelves I want re-organized to the paintings I want to change – everything will be written down neatly in my little black book to cross out one by one at a time. With that, I wish you a wonderful continuing Friday and start to the weekend! xo

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Spring Essentials You Need

I cannot wait for spring to arrive! It is seriously one of my favorite seasons in the year – most likely because everything starts becoming green outside again and flowers start to blossom. It’s the time where the grey of the winter is being washed away and it seems that every ray of sun is being appreciated just that much more. Sadly, and to my disappointment, winter still hasn’t left us and it’s said to snow quite a bit again this upcoming week. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help myself but look into some online shops and make my own collage for some spring decorations at home. I could seriously buy of all these things.

I have this phase where currently I love everything black and white, with some subtle hints of colors. I don’t know why but I am fully hooked on these flamingo pictures right now. They are so simplistic, yet burst out this essence of spring that I am really loving right now. Funnily, or sadly enough, my apartment seems the opposite vibe from what I am imagining it to be. I love my home, don’t get me wrong – but it’s rather styled and decorated in earthy colors, warm browns and (50) shades of of grey fill my living and dining room; which essentially is where I am most of the time when relaxing a bit. Looks like I’m in need for some winter-wash-away in regards to my home decorations.

I totally fell for this black chair – and believe it or not, it’s actually quite comfortable when combined with a large fur. I couldn’t help myself but buy this chair last week to have in my ‘creative’ (or better: my study- and work-) room. The chair is actually from Confodéco here in Zurich, is much cheaper and even on sale right now (under CHF 100) – way to go! I placed one of my light grey furs on it, which is totally fine for the time being. Yet, it’s a bit too small and so I need something a bit larger. Oh, and in light beige whilst we’re at it. I love the version you can see on this collage.

I made the collage using Polyvore, so you can easily get the link to the individual items right here. On another note, I’ve been working on a new recipe the past weekend as well as this weekend and got an approval from my dad tonight that it’s ready for presenting it to you guys (meaning I can worry a little less when posting it online!). It’s the perfect party snack, great for dinners, a lovely meal to take to the office, easy to make and relatively low in calories (at least it contains neither sugars nor carbs – which I personally then like to categorize as healthy). I’ll most likely post it early next week, so do stay tuned on that one! Until then, I wish you all a great Sunday evening and Monday morning to come – new week; new goals! xo

Banana Breakfast Muffins

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Hello lovelies! Another week has gone by like no other – and I almost feel like the weekends are going by even faster then they usually do? Nevertheless, I’ve had some productive days this past week, worked a lot ahead on my studies and am looking forward to my 2 week uni-vacation coming up in 2 weeks. Tonight is date-night, and I will (since the first time in forever) be watching a hockey-match live! I’m still a bit worried that I might freeze to death but I was told it’s really not bad in the new stadiums; so I’ll see how that goes. The weather on the other hand only invites for long lazy days in bed. We have a mixture of snow, rain, cloudy days, some sun and tomorrow the temperature is supposed to rise again (only to drop again Monday). It feels like April, which makes me sad that instead we still have quite a few weeks ahead of ourselves until summer hits. Looking at it from a positive note, it gives more time to get summer-ready!

Today I want to share a recipe for banana breakfast muffins I made earlier today. They are amazing (best when served warm, but easily re-heated in the oven or microwave) and will be perfect for my little brunch tomorrow. As always, the recipe is gluten- and lactosefree, and contains no sugar this time. The recipe will give you 8-11 muffins depending on the size.

What you need

1 ¾ cups gluten free flour
⅓ cup gluten free oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or one fresh vanilla)
1 teaspoon baking soda (gluten free)
3 medium sized bananas
¼ cup almond milk
½ cup agave syrup (or a little more if you want them sweet)
⅓ cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs

What to do

1) heat up the oven to 160°C and out your little muffin forms
2) peel the bananas and mash them with a fork until more or less saucy in consistency
3) add all other ingredients to the bananas in a large bowl and beat up everything until you have a smooth dough
4) carefully fill-up the muffin forms until all dough is used up
5) place the tray with your muffins into the pre-heated oven and let them bake for about 25-30 min.
6) after 25min, check whether the inside of the muffins are fully baked by sticking in a tooth-pick (if no dough sticks to it, they are done)

Voila, now you can

1) serve them whilst they are still warm either plain or with some fruit (or jam, nutella, etc – as you wish)
2) let them cool down for later
3) you can freeze them for up to 3 months (un-freeze using a microwave) or simply covered for about a week

As you can see, this is probably one of the easiest recipes for some nice banana muffins, takes literally no longer than 10 minutes (making the dough) and are delicious for both kids and adults!

With that, I wish you all a continuing wonderful weekend! xo

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