Weekend in Pictures

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This past weekend the south of Germany was treated to almost summery weather with temperatures ranging around the 25 degrees Celsius mark. And of course I didn’t have anything weather-appropriate to wear because I packed mostly winter and fall clothes and shoes when I moved in September.

Nevertheless I had a lovely time and soaked up some sunshine in downtown Munich. Here are some pictures that I took over the weekend.

One place I was really looking forward to go to was Café Vorhoelzer, which is located on the roof terrace of the university of Munich, with beautiful views of downtown Munich. Being run by the architecture faculty the café gives off a pretty cool and hipster vibe and is the perfect place to hang out with the local crowd. Prices are very affordable and the view is definitely worth a visit!

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A New City

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Last time I posted here I was talking about the moving date coming ever closer. Now I have been living in Munich for a good couple of weeks. The main reason I have been absent from the blog is that I have yet to get wi-fi at the apartment. The worst luck with technician appointments and general unhelpfulness of my internet provider have resulted in involuntary internet abstinence. I didn’t realize how much my everyday life is dependent on the internet! The surf stick that I was graciously given after a lot of complaining to the internet provider feels like the holy grail right this moment.

Apart from the internet issues life has been pretty fun and exciting in the new city. There is still so much to see and to discover and I know that I will have the best time doing just that!

On a particularly sunny day for early October I went to downtown Munich to see the magnificent view over the city from the tower of St.Peter church. Climbing up was not fun as the narrow staircase meant that in order to let people going down pass beside you you had to press yourself against the railing but it was definitely worth it in the end. The cloudless sky meant that I could even spot the Alps in the far distance!

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A Trip to Berlin

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Over the weekend I made the trip to Berlin to visit a girlfriend of mine whom I had not seen in far too long. Since we had a lot of catching up to do and since I had been to Berlin before we didn’t actually do a lot of touristy things. We mostly took long walks around the city and its different neighborhoods, which was really fun and interesting to see just how much of a difference it makes to be wandering around one neighborhood compared to another.

Some of the highlights of the trip were two very different but also very “Berlin” cafés that we went to. 1900 Café Bistro felt like visiting someones living room. Super cozy with eclectic old-fashioned furniture and decor. I had a slice of their spelt rhubarb crumble which was delicious along with a cup of strong coffee. The café is just off Kurfürsten Damm, the main shopping street, perfect for refreshing during a shopping spree. Apparently they also serve hot meals but we didn’t try any of them, but seeing other people’s food definitely made our mouths water.

The other café I was talking about is a Berlin classic. Schwarzes café is operated 24/7 and is always full of a very diverse crowd of people. Old and young, hip and preppy…we went there for drinks after catching a screening of “A Most Wanted Man” (for free!!! we were VERY excited about that) and it was just really fun and interesting to sit and people watch.

Berlin is constantly changing and growing. Noisy construction sites were an omnipresent reminder of just that. I tried to take pictures but the grey skies and rain were no help. I have compiled a few shots below.

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On Moving Out & Some Bargain Finds

August has been pretty crazy and exciting. I am moving out of my parents house in a few days!! It still feels a little surreal to me but the growing pile of things that I need to pack up keeps reminding me of this exciting circumstance. I am slowly getting everything organized and try to limit what I bring to the new apartment due to its cozy tinyness.

I have also been perusing different online shops (especially muji, ikea and the likes), pinterest and youtube for organizational inspiration (I mentioned that the apartment is very small) and getting a general idea of how I want the place to look and feel.

When I went into town last week I stopped by the still fairly new TK Maxx (why is it TJ Maxx in some countries?) and was pleasantly surprised at the nice selection of homeware and kitchen items. I didn’t have the patience to actually look at any of the clothing racks but found a few gems for the new apartment! Apart from a heavy-duty looking pair of kitchen scissors I also picked up a pretty spatula with a nice wooden handle, a medium-sized salad spinner that is better suited for the small kitchen and my highlight of the bunch a beautiful light blue ceramic LeCreuset container – it was the only (or last one) in store and as soon as I spotted it I knew I had to get it. I actually had to restrain myself from sprinting to the shelf and grabbing it like a crazy person…I have developed something like a slight addiction to LeCreuset products…they are just so gorgeous and make cooking or baking even more fun!

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Face Mists Round-Up And Comparison

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Although I love face mists I have quite a hard time finding some that tick all the boxes. For one I find myself going through them in no time as I use them morning and night as well as throughout the day if I feel like it. This leads me to my second point, which is the price. I feel reluctant to invest in expensive face mists as I go through them so quickly. And finally and most importantly I need to like the ingredients, scent and performance.

Because I know how difficult it can be to find the right face mists I thought I would share my thought on the ones I have tried recently.

1. Balance Me Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist. While I thoroughly enjoyed using this face mist while it lasted me, I cannot deny that this belongs in the category of “expensive and not long-lasting”. The 60ml bottle retails for around 28€ and it did not last me for a whole month. That is the main reason why I won’t be repurchasing this one any time soon. But like all Balance Me products it smells absolutely divine and boasts of powerful organic ingredients. If you fancy a luxurious face mist give this a go!

2. Acure Organics Facial Toner with Balancing Rose and Red Tea. I ordered this through iHerb this spring and really liked it. I felt like I got my money’s worth with this face mist and would definitely consider repurchasing it if it were easier to get a hold of in Germany. This toner is great for combination and breakout-prone skin. 60ml cost only around 11€!

3. La Roche Posay Serozinc. This is one of those hyped products that I felt compelled to try out. While LRP isn’t an organic or strictly natural brand, it is a brand that I have used for years and feel confident using. I took me two trips to France to get my hands on this (It is ridiculously hard to find anywhere outside of France and the few online stores that do stock it ask for higher prices…) and I might have done a little happy dance when I spotted this blue bottle in a small french pharmacy two weeks ago. The 150ml aerosol bottle cost just under 10€. I have been using this after cleansing my skin with honey as usual and I really like it so far. It feels soothing on irritated skin and seems to help minimize the occasional breakout. If I continue to enjoy using this as much I will definitely repurchase this once I run out.

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Another cult product. I have used several bottles of this over the years. And while I really like it I can’t justify using this on a day-to-day basis for the price. (100ml cost around 37€) This one has the strongest scent out of all the face mists I have tried and some of my friends and family did not really like the scent. They found it too herbally. This is great as a refreshing treat during the day. It sets make-up nicely and I found the scent to be calming and relaxing. Suitable for all skin types.

5. Cattier Rosée Florale. This was another recent find and I am quite pleased with it. The 200ml bottle is a bargain for around 11€ and while I have used it excessively (I had forgotten a makeup remover on a weekend trip I used a lot of this on cotton pads to remove my eye makeup – it worked quite well btw) I have hardly used up a fifth of the bottle! It is also alcohol free, which I love and contains rose and camomile to soothe and hydrate the skin. I think I have found my new staple face mist!

 

July Favorites (Sort of)

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These past few weeks have been very eventful and stressful in an almost unreal sort of way. Looking back, the days all sort of blend together in my mind in a blur of studying for my last exams, applying for Master programmes, doing interviews for some of those programmes, writing my bachelor thesis and sitting my last exams. All very exciting and just a little scary at the same time!

This is why I honestly do not really have a lot of favorites this month. I simply didn’t have time for much else these past few weeks. An honorary mention definitely needs to go to my new Dr.Alkaitis Soothing Gel. It has helped calm down my skin, which has been acting up a bit due to the stress, lack of sleep and some poor eating choices. And also my Disney classics playlist on Spotify – do any of you make a playlist and then listen to it 24/7 until you are sick of it and move on to the next?

I couldn’t be more excited for August and to know that after I hand in my thesis this week I have the rest of the summer to relax and have fun. No really, I think I am just as pale as in winter, because I have been stuck inside working/studying all summer! I can’t wait to get started on some of the DIY projects I have been wanting to do for ages. And come fall, lots of exciting changes are going to happen! Eeek!!

Recent Natural Purchases

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I have added a few new products to my stash, all natural, organic and raved about. That is why my expectations were pretty high and I thought it might be interesting to give my personal opinion on them and how I have been using them.

First off my favorite product of the bunch: The Dr.Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel. I mentioned in my last post that I had heard about this little gem from Lilly, who writes the brilliant natural beauty blog Genuine Glow. This lightweight, anti-bacterial gel is made of a long list of plant extracts, including Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Nettle, Fennel, Rosemary, Seaweed. Dr. Alkaitis has a very interesting philosophy behind his products: “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin” His products are formulated as therapeutic, raw food for the skin.They are actually edible and therefore supposed to be extremely potent and easy for the skin to absorb. All of his products contain biologically active ingredients with a base of Aloe Vera gel (instead of water, which is used as the base in a lot of more conventional products). Well, I was definitely intrigued to try this out and expected it to be nothing short of amazing (the main reason for justifying the pretty hefty price tag) and luckily it IS amazing. I have been using it straight after cleansing my skin morning and night, alone or under an additional moisturizer. It sinks in  quickly and my skin is left feeling ad looking plum and happy. I have also noticed that my skin has been looking clearer and more even since I started using this (it might be a bit early to tell if this is a permanent development but I am hopeful). Very impressed with this!

Next up, is Weleda’s Skin Food cream. This has been raved about for a long time, but I have never thought to pick it up until recently. I have been experiencing some uncomfortable post-shave skin irritation on my shins and this helped a lot! It is quite a thick cream that takes a while to skin in, but I do find that it is extremely nourishing and soothing to the skin and I also like to use it on any very dry areas, such as my elbows. If you are looking for a good rich body moisturizer you should give this a try!

Lastly, let’s talk about the RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up. I had been SO excited to try this and have heard so many good things about the product online, but sadly I can’t really get this to work for me at the moment. Maybe  I am doing something wrong application-wise or whatever, because it just sits funny on my skin. I have tried to use it different ways (on top of the Dr. Alkaitis gel and on top of a different moisturizer, with my fingers, with a brush) and it never really sets, but looks shiny on me and settles into pores and around my nose etc. The coverage is pretty light, but I that didn’t disappoint me because I did not expect it to be high coverage. The color 00 is a good match for me and I would really love to get along with this. I have been looking for a good natural concealer and have not been lucky so far. Anyways, back to the Un-cover up – it just doesn’t look right on me. I find it looks really shiny throughout the day and when I try to use a powder on top to combat the shine it ends up looking cakey and weird (I use a translucent, fine powder). It also enhances pores in an unflattering way. Do any of you own and love this product? If so, what am I doing wrong? Help!

GreenGlam Store

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When I passed through Augsburg this week  I took the opportunity to visit a shop that I had found online by chance when I was perusing the web a few weeks ago: GreenGlam, specialized in organic beauty and skin care products. The shop is located in a small side street, Apothekergässchen 3, that can be overlooked easily. The shop itself doesn’t look like much from the outside, but as soon as you step in you feel like you are visiting a luxe Spa. GreenGlam also has an online shop which ships to Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland and they even have an in-house spa.

The shop’s interior design is simply beautiful and gives off this relaxing, calming vibe. 3 spacious rooms house the best of the best when it comes to organic and natural beauty products, from hair care, skin care, makeup, nail polish, bath products, candles and accessories like brushes, hair ties etc. As I wandered through the store I tried lots of products (this is something that I love in a store when you are left to your own devices when you are just wanting to browse but a the same time being able to get a good consultation if you wish) that I had only ever read about or seen online, which got me pretty excited – I’m not going to lie.

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All products are displayed beautifully with lots of attention to small details.
I especially loved the makeup displays because I find makeup the most difficult to purchase “blindly” in an online shop (especially foundation and concealer need color matches in person in my opinion…).

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They had the most beautiful selection of brands, like Kjaer Weiss, RMS beauty, Ilia Cosmetics, Balance Me, Dr. Alkaitis, Rahua, The Organic Pharmacy, Neom, Prrty Peashun, Stop the water while using me,… and many many more! The selection was really excellent! They seemed to have the whole ranges in stock, too which I loved.
The whole experience was so pleasant I definitely want to go back in the future!
I ended up walking out with an RMS un-cover up in the lightest shade as well as the Organic Soothing Gel by Dr. Alkaitis, which Lilly from Genuine Glow recently raved about (her recommendations are always the best and therefore dangerous because I will most likely be lusting after whatever she recommends…so be warned!). I can’t wait to use them and will let you know how I get on with them!

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5 Blogs You Will Love

 

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For years reading blogs has been part of my day. I like to check my favorite blogs every day and keep up with the rest occasionally through bloglovin. One of the very first blogs I started to read is still one that I love today. All the blogs I read have something personal and special about them that makes me go back and want to read more. Since I have found some of my favorite reads through recommendations and blogrolls I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites with you today.

1. Cupcakes and Cashmere is one of the first blogs I remember starting to read daily. Emily Schuman’s site is a pleasure to look at, extremely well curated with beautiful pictures and a chic design. I draw inspiration from her effortless outfits (that make me want to move to California ASAP) and especially enjoy her food posts! If you are looking for the perfect lifestyle and fashion blog head over there. The blog is a classic, with a huge following, a book and a second in the making and lots and lots of gorgeous content.

2. Young House Love is a DIY/home improvement blog written by Sherry and John Petersik who live in Virginia with their two children and chihuahua. This is another bog I have been following for a long time. They have since moved into their third fixer-upper house and I love seeing how they transform old houses with lots of love and DIY. Their posts are both informational and very entertaining.

3. Green Kitchen Stories is a food Scandinavian food blog with beautiful, vegetarian dishes. Every recipe looks tasty and most of them are easy to make – even for beginners. I also own their cookbook which is great as well.

4. Short, small & sweet is written by Ru, who has made the switch to green skin care in 2013. I find it really interesting to learn about other people’s journeys to a greener lifestyle. Ru writes about all things natural beauty and posts healthy recipes.

5. Essie Button is a UK beauty blog run by the lovely Estée, who has the most infectious sense of humor and is simply awesome. She is a Canadian living in London with her adorably ginormous greyhound Reggie. Expect posts on all things beauty with the kind of recommendations that are hard to resist. I also love watching her YouTube channel which she runs under the same name.

What are your favorite blogs? Do you have any recommendations for blogs that I should check out?

 

 

 

Good Enough to Eat

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Over the past few years I have tried a lot of different skincare products. Makeup removers and cleanser have always been the products I would be least impressed by. They did their job, and frankly I found them to be quite boring.

Since I have been trying to convert to more natural products I tried a few different cleansers from brand like Balance Me, Lavera, Weleda and while I enjoyed using them while they lasted I found them to be pretty pricey for what they did.

I have started reading more about using raw products as skincare and have been incorporating two products in to my daily routine: Raw honey and organic cold-pressed coconut oil. Both incredibly healthy for you and relatively affordable compared to designated skincare products.

Here is how I use them:

Raw honey has replaced cleansers in my skincare routine. I use it morning and night. It works really well – my skin feels soft and clean afterwards without the tight feeling some cleansers give my skin.I also like using honey as a face mask and just put a thin layer on my skin for about 10-20 minutes before rinsing it off. It is very hydrating and calming on the skin! And of course honey is also great as a natural sweetener in dishes, in tea or coffee!

Raw honey is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It is extremely healing and soothing and given its superpowers it is also great on acne prone or irritated skin. There are so many ways in which you can use honey to make a natural remedy for all kinds of different health concerns. It is definitely worthwhile reading up on the subject!

Now on to coconut oil. It has gotten a lot of hype over the past few years and very rightly so. It is incredibly healthy for you and I aim to incorporate it as much into my diet and skincare as possible.

I love cooking with coconut oil, using it for baking, in smoothies, in coffee…As far as skincare goes I use it as my makeup remover in the evenings. It is very gentle but thorough. It breaks down all of your makeup, even stubborn mascara and liquid liner and leaves the skin feeling hydrated. I also use it as a shave cream, as a body moisturizer and a deep conditioner for my hair. Again, there are countless ways to use it and it is very interesting to do some research on it.

If any of you are wondering, I buy my coconut oil from my local whole foods store, but the brand I use is Bio Planète. As for the honey – well my dad has taken up bee-keeping since he retired from work and therefore I always have fresh raw honey in the house. When you are buying honey just make sure that it is raw, preferably organic and therefore unpasteurized. When honey is pasteurized the powerful active components are killed off!

Do you use honey and coconut oil in your skincare routine? What are your favorite ways of using them?