Sparkling Swarovski

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Happy February! It’s the month of love and Valentine’s day is coming up! How exciting! I already got a portion of love this past weekend from my best friend. Technically, I guess I could say it daily – I have a couple of besties in my life and I swear I couldn’t imagine it without them. I am so grateful for all the memories, for all the fun times I was able to share with them, for all their time they give me when I just need to let some of my worries out, the countable times when I just need someone to be next to me or when I need to tell someone about my broken heart. They are there for me no matter what – it’s like family. Simultaneoulsy, I try to give those things back and am thankful for everyday I have them in my life.

This past weekend I saw one of my best friends again, Virginia, for coffee in Zurich. She is the one I am planning my upcoming vacation with in March and I am uber excited about it! What I didn’t expect is the present I got from her. It’s actually my birthday present from November, which she has been keeping for a while now because we somehow haven’t managed to see each other as often as we would have liked in the past weeks. She lives in Geneva so I only see her from time to time – everytime being special. She is one of those friends you can gossip about anything with, laugh at the weirdest jokes with and one that will listen to me when I have all sorts of unimportant ‘girl problems’ in life.

I love wearing earrings – I need a pair on a daily basis. I actually don’t switch around all too much with earrings, as I want them to be elegant, yet classy enough to wear at work. Therefore, big, great fashionable earrings don’t really work whilst on business. These earrings however are perfect for wearing everyday. I love how they have gold on them, which fits my rings and watch just perfectly. I actually made a couple of shots of me wearing these on Sunday, so I will be sharing them with you this week as well.

As for now, I wish you all a great start into the new week, the new month and lots and lots of love! xo

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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!