December 30, 2015

Between the years

Let me start of with a confession: I don't like the end of the year. I have never been a big fan of New Years Eve. Actually it gets me all kinds of emotinal. The end of yet another year. Time flies. Things come to an end. Besides, I'm also scarred to death of fireworks!
However I'm also kind of glad that the Holidays are over. I haven't closed my belt in days and I will need another week to digest all that wonderful food. I texted my friends I'm like an anaconda that swallowed a goat.

The week between the years is always my most productive. I write lots and lots of mails and I get stuff done. As if I need to make sure to check off things of my to do list, so I got something done in this year.

2015 has been such a turbulent year. Not only for me. The events in the news affected us all. But also in my personal life there were some sad news. I had to let go of my dog. Superdog was sick and he actually went quickly, for which I'm grateful. However it is still so raw and so many tears have been cried. It is now almost six month ago and I still miss him like crazy! I do want to have a dog, but at the moment I want MY dog back and until this changes I'm not ready to welcome another one into my life.

But I also did some amazing things for myself. I travelled to China. I had always wished to see the Great Wall of China and so I went. These two weeks in Beijing and Hong Kong were so terrific, I will treasure them forever. A selfie stick would have been great, though!

My biggest steps have certainly been more quiet and a long time coming. Some decisions have been made, but also a brand spanking new project has been started. For over 15 months I have worked on my heart project. First in my head, then on a piece of paper and then I finally took the plunge and made it public. I founded a new and modern magazine for theatre, opera and ballet enthusiasts called Spectacle! This has been on my mind for such a long time and it finally here. Together with a great team we have published the first feature about The Nutcracker. Each month we will have a feature until the actually magazine will be published come March. I couldn't be more happy to combine performing hearts and lifestyle with one another.

I keep saying it each year: the new one will be wonderful! But this time it seems to be really true! It seems 2015 was the year of seeding and 2016 will be the year to harvest.
So many of my friends and acquaintanceshave a lot going for themselves. There are new loves, new babies, new jobs and new adventures awaiting.

Here is to an exciting new year. Alright, 2016 I'm ready for you! Are you?

September 15, 2015

Afternoon tea and a birthday celebration at sketch in London

For more than a year I held on tightly to the hottest tickets in all the theatre land. I had secured tickets to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet in London. As it was also my best friends birthday, I decided to take her to have Afternoon tea at sketch in London. sketch is actually a gallery and therefore it is a constant exhibition, that will change every two years or so. You can't help but marvel at this place, while you are having tea. Is it as pink as it looks? You bet! sketch was named one of the most instagrammed restaurants in London. Take a look.

You induldge in different sandwiches, cakes, desserts and scones on cake stands and it doesn't look like much, but you will be full. The waiters are very attentive and keep refilling your cup and glas with tea and water. If you like to have the special tea set for yourself, you will be able to buy it too. When I called in to make reservations, I also mentioned, it would be my friends birthday and sketch was so kind and presented her a special plate. 

As if the restaurant and bar area wasn't impressive enough. Wait until you need to use the restroom. I can honestly say I have never taken so many photos of a public restroom. The toilets are within big eggs under a colouful ceiling and you might be taken aback a little, because you will hear voices. It feels like a scene from planet of the apes and you are about to be shot into orbit.

Without a doubt you could get a great Afternoon tea for a lower price in London, but having tea is an event at sketch. Certainly not a place to go to every weekend, but if you would like to treat yourself or want to go somewhere special, sketch is a wonderful address. 

9 Conduit Street
London, W1S 2XG

August 10, 2015

Happiness your name is Ice Cream Market

I love ice cream. In a cup, in a cone, come rain or shine. I will be the first to yell "Yes, please!". So naturally I was pretty stocked, when I heard about the Ice Cream Market by Mint & Berry in cooperation with two of my fav blogs This is Wayne and Stil in Berlin.
Sunshine, high temperatures, my dear friend and Hamburg. All of this just screams ice cream. 

It didn't take long for people to figure out these popsicles decorations were piƱatas filled with confetti.

I have never pointed my camera at the cleavage of a woman before, but this necklace was too cute to pass up. This girl was dressed perfectly! That jumpsuit was just great. I asked to snap the photo but forgot to ask her name. I have a feeling she might be a blogger.

This is a blast from the past. I have always loved the soft ice cones dipped in chocolate. 

Remember those? I still love them, even though I remember the chocolate to be more crunchy than gooey.

Rasperry - Basil, white chocolate - ginger, black sesame, Moscow mule, cheesecake, cucumber lime, strawberry - mint, Jack Daniels, Fleur de Sal, mango, cherry and many more flavours. In a cup, a cone, between cookies for vegans with our without booze, ice cream has come a very long way. I remember the ice cream truck that pulled into our neighborhood when I was a child had a very limited selection of flavours.
Yes, it was crowded and the majority was spend waiting for ice cream, but that is to be expected when it comes to food of any kind. The next stops for the Ice Cream Market will be Cologne and Munich. Mark my words: Get there early!

July 31, 2015

Lucky Snap #5: Corina of Cocorrina

Every once in a while you come across people that just blow you away with their creativity. That is exactly what happened when I stumpled upon Cocorrina. I reached out to Corina, the creative mastermind behind this blog, to ask her to some speak at our blog conference The Hive. And you know what? On top of being so amazing, she is also one of the kindest people you'll ever going to meet.

I asked her to be part of my Lucky Snap series. In which my friends share a photo they have on their phone, that they come back to again and again. I love to hear the stories behind the photos. Here you can read about the Lucky Snaps of others.

Name: Corina
Blog: Cocorinna
Current number of photos on the phone: 968

Hello there everyone! This is Corina, and before i start explaining the picture, i want to thank Yvonne for having me. Now for someone who takes 100 pictures per day, it may sound odd having 968 in her phone. I have to clean transfer all photos at the end of the week in order to make room for new ones. Therefore none picture stays longer than a week.

This one though, has me coming back to it since i took it on Saturday. My sister is visiting me for a month now, and living so far away from each other (i’m currently living on an island named Kefalonia), makes this month mean even more. She visited last year, and the year before that and i’ve been seeing in front of my eyes how fast she grows, and the amazing woman she becomes year by year. Her name is Iliana, and she’s 12 years old today. 

I was 14 when she was born, would babysit her daily, sing her to sleep and dance like a lunatic to make her laugh. She would get on my nerves with how she would cry while i was studying or sleeping, but her little face was always full of sunshine. She’s the prettiest girl i know, and only writing this, brings tears to my eyes. I don’t think i say that to her often, but i love her like crazy. I love how she feels and looks cool at this age, thinking her bigger sister is always right, and i love how emotional she is. She can start crying just by hugging me, and even though she doesn’t say much, i always know what’s going on in her mind. 

This post could go on and on for ages, so i’ll just stop here. This picture was taken last Saturday at the beach Antisamos, and while we were posing for some rad sister snaps, she turned around and squeezed me.

July 17, 2015

And then my heart broke

9 years, 2 months and 5 days is the magic number. That's how long my Superdog was in my life.

Yesterday I had to let go of him. Just three months ago I found out that we were dealing with some serious health issue, knowing this would eventually be Superdogs end. Of course he was battleing these issues for many more months, but he didn't show earlier. Yesterday was the end of the rope. Even two hours before our appointment at the vet, I didn't think I would come home alone. Therefore everything in our home was prepared for him to come back. There is water in his dish, I bought some treats earlier in the day and there is bloody meat in the fridge. But rest assure he was having fun right up until he got the injection. He carried his leash around the vets office and made sure we knew where the treats for him were.

9 years, 2 months and 5 days passed by so very quickly. Thanks to my big boy, I met my closest friends. He structured my daily life. He deserved the name Superdog like nobody else. Superdogs real name was actually Karlsson. I love that name. And if you knew him, you would realize just how perfect that name was for him. How perfect he was. He could smile, you know. I can count on ten fingers how often he barked and I need even less fingers to count how often he got into a fight. He wanted to be pet by everybody. If you would give in, he would throw himself at your feet, open up his legs so you could reach his belly. Or he would push himself through your legs, so you would be able to scratch his back. He could never get enough. He could also not get enough of water. Of ice cream (vanilla in a cup). Or his own bags. He loved carrying things. I loved the smell of his paws and of his ears. There is a little bald spot right where the ears start. I cannot tell you how often I just inhaled that smell. Even more so the last weeks. I wanted to inhale every smell of him. Remember how he felt and looked like.

After 9 years, 2 months and 5 days our home is empty now. I lost my trusted companion and right now I feel lost.

June 25, 2015

Lucky Snap #4: Jocelyn - The Inner Interior

A Lucky Snap for me, is a photo that you are lucky to have. A snap that luckily tells a story. A story that is important to you. A photo that you come back to again and again. Sometimes you publish it. Funnily enough it is those snaps that are not always on Instagram that you are willing to share in this little series. I love this little series of mine. And today I'm happy to share another one of my friend Jocelyn, who blogs over at The Inner Interior.

I met Jocelyn online almost three years ago (what??!!). We were getting ready to have another The Hive taking place in Berlin. She had just moved from the US to Germany and we hit it off right from the start when we met in person. It is impossible not to like her. Jocelyn is different than other people. Conversations with her are deep and personal. She asks questions, she listens and she motivates. There is a certain grace that surrounds her, that calms you, but she also has the talent to ask those probing questions. You know the ones I mean. Those questions that you rather not answer to yourself.
I was very happy that she agreed to come speak at The Hive 2014 in Copenhagen. Her presentation on "Mindful blogging" is still very well remembered by all attendees.

Here is her Lucky Snap, staring her husband Timm and son Oskar.

Blog: The Inner Interior
Current number of photos in your camera roll: 1,387

Tiny Toes in the Sand 

When Yvonne asked me to share my most looked at photo on my camera roll, I didn't know how to answer that exactly. With a baby, I don't have a lot of time to scroll casually through my images but when I do I always stop at one particular photo and remember how I felt when I took it. 

The photo that holds so much love in my heart is when Timm took Oskar to the see the ocean waves and feel his toes sink lightly into the sand. We had just arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the ocean was calling us to come for a visit. Timm and I both were giggling like little kids because we couldn't wait to see our little boys face as he experienced the ocean for the first time. Let me just say, it was priceless. 
Oskar was in love with the sound of the waves and the feeling of his feet in the sand. His little cheeks grew bigger and bigger as his smile got wider and wider. The tiny high pitched squeal that he gave us was so sweet, the kind only a parent would love! The pure love I felt in my heart for them both at that moment I will always remember.
This photo captures so much stillness, so much love, and this is why I respect photography the way I do. I have this photo as my wallpaper, so I see quite often and am constantly reminded of how blessed I truly am, to be a mother and a wife as well as my own person. 
Yvonne, thank you for asking me to join in this wonderful idea of sharing photos and stories. Every moment is worth loving when we stop and remember how lucky we are to be here, experiencing all life has to offer.

Here are even more Lucky Snaps.

June 22, 2015

Travel Diary: The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is smack dab in the middle of Beijing. For more than 500 years, it served as the imperial palace. The 8,000+ buildings housed the Emperor and his very extensive household. The several thousands of concubines alone would need a lot of room. Most of the buildings are colorfully painted wooden structures, covered with yellow glazed tiles and based on greenish white marble.
The Forbidden City has just one entrance and one exist. Mao Zedong is looking down from the entrance and after you go through security you walk into the courtyard through a huge gate, where you buy your ticket of just 60RMB, which is less than 10 Euros.
It's there you get the first idea, just how impressive and big this Forbidden City really is. This city really is a city. You delve deeply into China's history, while walking on the rough cobble stone pavement and read the many signs explaining the various purposes the houses and temples served. You can not help but think of the movie The Last Emporer while strolling through the massive gates. Take a look.

The whole city is also connected by small bridges (and steps. Oh, those steps!). The middle part leading up to the building below actually displays stone dragons. The dragon is a symbol of strength and has always represented the Emporer. And only the Emporer was allowed to be carried over this dragon, in a litter of course, while his servants used the stairs left and right of the dragon display.

Red is again the dominant colour, followed by grean and blue. You do get the feeling that all the buildings are the same when you walk from one end of the Forbidden City to the other. And the in the middle of the Forbidden City you walk through yet another gate and you find yourself in the imperial gardens.

The exit leads you out to a major street and unfortunantelly right into the arms of hustlers. Young people approach you with a friendly "Hello". When you respond to them, you find out that they often speak English quite well. In my case even some German. Next thing you are asked to come to a gallery or drink some coffee with them. I wish I could say these are genuine offers, however they are not and you are warned not to go with them in various guide books and also with signs right outside the Forbidden City.  Be warned!

Since the Forbidden City is so present and central in Beijing. You pass the gates probably numerous times during a stay, just by walking though the city. One of my favorite views is in the evening when the gates are graced with lights. It looks so majestic and awe inspiring.

Wouldn't you agree?