Getaway 2.0, Malta

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Hello and Goodbye! That seems to my motto on the regular these days. Of course I am not inviting and throwing people out of my life on a constant – not at all to be precise, but it seems to me I leave my home more regularly than usual during the year. I cannot complain though, of course – since seeing family (all living somewhere else) and going abroad for business is something I chose to do and love. I am currently writing this post whilst on the plane from Zurich to à Malta! I am spending the weekend with my beloved mom, sister and my baby (aka dog). My mom came to visit my dad and I in Zurich last weekend for a wedding we were invited to. Oh, it was beautiful – the details so thought out and the whole event so harmonious. My sister stayed in Malta last week and looked over the dog (we still need a dog-sitter there – anyone know one?) and so I am excited to seeing her again. My dad, who would have loved to being there, is currently on a three-week business trip. Yep, even my “smaller family circle” seems to be all over the world at the moment. Trying to get everyyyone together, is actually an impossible task.

We have a big round birthday coming up in December (my uncle is turning 50), where I thought we would all get together. But again, him and his wife live somewhere far off from the rest (even if still in Germany) and most likely not everyone will be able to join. Nevertheless, I will try to incorporate that into my plans very soon to see at least a part of the bigger family again. Speaking of birthdays – my dad will also be turning 50 years young this year (November). Does anyone know what to gift on a round birthday? I’ve always found it hard to find presents for the male counterparts on their birthdays, but round ones, they really stress me out. I’d love to hear any ideas you guys might have!

Now rewinding back to this weekend, my trip will be rather short. I will be leaving Malta again at around 1pm on Monday and really “only” spent the weekend. Weekend plans? Getting my hair done, spending time with the family, cuddling with my dog, working on studies and business – and – swimming with dolphins on Sunday! Yep, you read that right. I never swam with them before, but promised it as a present to my sister’s graduation earlier this year. I am not quite sure if I am excited about it or not – since they are kept in a pool rather than in the open water. I’m sure it will be fun though, so let’s see how it goes and cross your fingers they don’t bite, haha!

With that, I wish you all an amazing weekend to come. Oh, and happy September 1st! xo

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Mini Morning Apple Pancakes

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Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes, Mini Morning Apple Pancakes… Now, try reading that out loud three or more times, I swear it’s a tongue-twister to me – I’ve tried it and failed over and over again! What surely didn’t fail are the pancakes themselves, which I recently made on my favourite lazy Sunday mornings. Seriously, how amazing is it to sleep-in and get a heart-warming, delicious breakfast? It’s probably my favourite routine every weekend. With it being autumn, there are kilos and kilos of apples everywhere to buy for a nickle and a dime. I love it. Completely love it. There are about a million receipes to try out this season, and, quite frankly, it’s my favourite of the year (or do I say that about every season?).

I remember loving pancakes already as a kid. My mom would make them at least once a month, if not twice, for dinner. We would have the healthy pancakes first, filled with seasonal vegetables and sometimes meat, and were allowed to have one dessert pancake with cinnamon & sugar or nutella afterwards. I would always try to eat as many dessert-pancakes as possible, suddenly being super hungry again. Which reminds me, I should do that sometime soon again and share a recipe with you. What do you think?

This recipe makes around 8 mini-pancakes, so it is the perfect portion for two. Unless, of course, you are super hungry and want all for yourself. Naturally, you can also eat them when they cooled down some later hour and not share any. And, with it being no surprise, they are of course free of gluten and lactose.

What you need

2 eggs
200g glutenfree flour
50ml water
200ml milk
100g sugar (50g sugar and 1 tbs agave syrup also works)
1 pack vanilla-sugar
1 apple
coconut oil / or any oil of choice
powdered sugar (for decoration purposes if wanted)

What to do

1) separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until frothy (almost stiff)
2) add all other ingredients (excluding the egg yolk) into a bowl and mix it well
3) gently mix the beat egg whites under the mixture
4) cut the apple into slices
5) heat some coconut oil in a (small) pan and fill it with your pancake-mixture
6) prior to flipping the pancake, add a few slices of apple on top
7) flip the pancake and let it sit for another minute or two

Voila, now you can

1) serve it for you and your loved onces / or just yourself (no need to be ashamed!)
2) store them in the fridge for later
3) sprinkle them with powdered sugar (always looks great!) and serve them with some homemade jam – I had them with my apple-pumkin jam :-)
4) pack them in a lunch-bag for the kids to take to school – what a great snack!

As always – I hope you enjoy the recipe and of coures, I would be more than happy to see your creations and versions of it!

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DIY Gift-making for Christmas

Good morning everyone! I came back to Düsseldorf last night – Amsterdam was a fabulous trip! I still have quite a few events/sightseeing and café photos to show you, so I will be sharing those in the upcoming days when it’s not all about Christmas anymore. How exciting is this – it’s Christmas tomorrow! Our family tradition is to open the presents on Christmas eve the 24th of December. A few family members will be joining (other than my parents and sister, obviously): my aunt, her husband, her three children – ie. my cousins and my grandparents. I love having the whole family around! They will be coming in the late afternoon, for tea probably, and then we will slowly start the cooking for dinner. We will need to go out with the kids at some point, so that “Santa” can come in when they’re gone and place the presents under the Christmas tree.

Now I want to share a DIY present you can make. I actually made this for my mom – the end product picture is not at it’s best, but I will take another one once she unpacked it. She promised to not read my blog until after Christmas eve, so I can share it, in case some of you still need to get a present and feel like doing some hand-craftmanship. I made a candle in a cement bowl. The whole process, including the drying, takes 36 hours.

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So here is what you need:
– 2 bowls to make the cement-bowl (one larger, one smaller one)
– one bowl to mix the cement
– cement (and water)
– candle wax
– candlewick
– oil (I used plant cooking oil)

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Start spreading the oil inside of the large bowl and on the outside of the smaller bowl. I used a cooking brush, as it worked best.

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Once the bowls are ready (though you can choose what order you want to do it in), start mixing the cement. Depending on how large you want to make the cement, use more or less. I used about 3kg of dry cement and added the according amount of water to it. The cement packaging normally gives instructions on how to mix it properly. Be careful to actually use the right amounts, otherwise the chance of the bowl getting a crack is much higher. I actually made one previous to this one, and although the cement fully dried it got a little crack in the end because I obviously was too lazy to read the exact amount of water I would need.

Once the cement mixture is ready, start pouring it into the large bowl. You can place the smaller bowl on top and put pressure onto it, to see how much cement you actually need. Once you are happy with the size, place enough weights into the smaller bowl so that it stays down. I used a large glass marble I had found and filled it up with water, too.

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The cement should dry out completely – which takes round about 24 hours. Once the cement has fully dried, carefully take out the small bowl first. Don’t worry if you have a film/layer of oil sitting on top of the cement – it doesn’t influence the drying process. The oil will enable you to take out and take off the bowls, without either breaking the cement bowl or the plastic bowls.

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Voila, here you have your cement bowl. If you only want a cement bowl, i.e. no candle, then you are done already! I actually made two, as you can see. I used both for candles, however am thinking of making more, to use it as a bowl for fruit or just for interior decoration purposes.

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If you decide to make a candle out of the bowl, you can now start melting the wax. Place the wax pieces into a bowl to heat-up over hot water. I used around 1kg of wax per candle. Whilst the wax is melting (I chose white wax, which becomes see-through), you can start cutting the appropriate length of the candlewick.

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I used one of those long cooking-spears to place the candlewick in the centre. Taking a spoon full of melted wax, I fixed the candlewick to the bottom of the cement bowl.

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Once the wax is fully melted, you can start pouring it slowly into the cement bowl. Don’t do it too fast, as the cement bowl can easily crack if it gets too hot, too quickly. However, don’t wait until the wax has melted again.

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Now it’s time to wait until the wax is fully dried. Et voila, here you have you’re DIY candle in a cement bowl.

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I’ve seriously seen so many blogs, which have done DIY cement projects. I always loved the idea but it took me ages to actually get going and try it out myself. Now that I’ve done it – I absolutely love the idea of making more things out of cement. I am loving the idea of having cement letters – as a bookend or simply as a great idea for more home decorations. It’s the only real present I made myself – though I had planned on making more things. Let’s just hope my mom likes the present!

Now I have to get all pretty – we are going to a photoshoot today to make pictures of family-photos (parents, sister, dog and me). We barely have any photos, were everyone is not the picture and everyone is all prettied-up. So I am really looking forward to getting these photos done! It was actually one of my Christmas-wishes, so I guess you can call it early Christmas for me today!

Early Christmas for myself

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Happy Sunday everyone! The week goes past way too fast! Actually, I’ve gotten rather ill this weekend and have been in bed most of the day really. It sucks getting sick right before christmas. For one, the business is still running and work is not becoming less as of yet. Secondly, my mom and my baby Elli (my dog) came today to visit. Wednesday we will all be driving back to Düsseldorf (Germany), where I will stay till after Christmas. Although I will be working partly from Germany, I am excited and looking forward to the family gatherings and Christmas. Actually, Merry early Christmas to me! I bought myself the new iPhone 6 (64GB gold) – so, so happy! Isn’t it just too pretty to bare? I actually didn’t want to buy the new one because I thought its not that important. But being one of those people that takes pictures whereever I go and who can never have enough space and a good camera, I couldn’t just not get it. I guess that’s what you do for the love of having a blog, too. Anyway, I’m really happy with it. I thought I would need to get used to it first but actually it’s quite similar (typing wise).

Saturday I will be taking my sister to Amsterdam for 3 days – isn’t that exciting? I’ve actually never been to Amsterdam (I know, so late!) and so I’m really looking forward to it. I also need to get one or two more presents. Do any of you have special tipps for nice coffee places, restaurants, museums or things in general that I just have to see in Amsterdam?

Wish you all a great start into the week tomorrow! I hope I’ll be fit again for running errands – so much to do still!

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