Polished: Essie 93 “Mezmerised”

This is one of my all-time favorites, a striking deep blue.

The color has no glitter goes great with any casual outfit, especially with your favorite blue jeans 😉

It’s opaque with one thicker coat, I prefer two for an even result. In the picture below I applied these over one layer of simple base coat and topped it off with Essie’s Good to Go.

As always, excuse my dry cuticles  – they are a mess in the picture *hides*

And, because it fits and is the weirdest song but it was stuck in my head while typing this (beware, it’s the 90s!):

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Polished: Catrice 090 “Karl says très chic”

This is a new polish in the permanent range. It replaced my wedding polish “Mona Lisa is staring back” in the Ultimate Nudes series, even though it is a totally different color.

The color itself is a light rose color, very downtoned and classy. I think it might be a very nice office color and goes with almost any outfit. This might easily become one of my new favorite spring colors.

I really like the new, larger brush. The texture of the polish is quite thick and leaves an opaque finish with one thicker coat. Nevertheless I’d recommend applying it in two thin coats to prevent blistering.

In the picture, I started out with p2’s Base + Care Coat, then applied “Karl says très chic” in either one thick (forefinger and middle finger) or two thinner coats (pinky and ring finger). I finished with Essie’s Good to Go, which leaves a glossy finish that I love ❤

Oh, and just to let you know: the uneven dimples on the ring finger are due to my psoriasis and not courtesy of the polish 😉

And did I mention that the names of the Catrice polishes always make me smile?

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Our wedding theme: pink and green

Although it’s been a while since we got married, I still think it might be interesting to share some impressions from our wedding.

Colorwise, we went for pink/fuchsia and bright green, which served as the basis for the cooperation with our lovely wedding planner who turned all our ideas into reality!

For flowers, we chose mainly pink daisies/gerbera, which appeared in the church as well as on the tables and, of course, in my bouquet. We also had them printed in the invitations, menu and programmes.

As it turned out, the colors as well as the decorations created a nice contrast to the location’s rustic design (an old barn that now belongs to the hotel we chose for the reception).

The grey benches in the church were decorated with single pink daisies with rosy gypsophila (baby’s breath).

Brightening the grey stone of the altar, there was a garland with daisies in test tubes dangling from it.

During the ceremony, the rings were placed on this duo.

I simply loved my bouquet! The florist managed just the right balance between simple elegance and bright colors.

The programmes contained the simple design we also had on the invitations and were held together by pink and bright green satin ribbons.

For the tables outside, our wonderful wedding planner found these grassy “spheres”, which were matched to the decoration with a single daisy.

On the tables, the menu cards were printed onto transparent paper, which was then glued together and put over a simple tealight in a glass.

Each table also held three large pink candles and three bottles that each held a daisy in a different shade of pink. The bottom of the bottles was filled with bright green sand as a contrast.

Many of our guests complimented us on the choice of colors and the designs! And, the most important, we loved it ourselves – it made the most beautiful day of our lives even more special!

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Caribbean Dreams :)

The first two weeks of February, we could finally go on our really belated honeymoon (almost 6 months after the wedding!).
Nevertheless, it was the perfect time – just when the winter arrived here in Germany at its fullest with -10°C, we stepped on the plane to spend two weeks with nothing but lying on the sandy beach, snorkeling and deciding what to have for dinner 😉

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German cooking: Lentil soup

Lentil soup is one of those typical winter dishes. It’s more of a stew and once was invented (as many traditional easy dishes are) because it was cheap, nutritious and contained ingredients that were easy to get a hand on and variable. That’s why there’s probably  a different recipe in every family. Back then, the thicker the soup/stew the better (the poorer families had to feed their kids well with what they had) – today it’s actually the opposite: I prefer it rather a thinner soup with more veggies in it.

So here’s how I make it today. I tried to transform the original thick, gooey stew into a lighter soup that can also easily be turned into a vegetarian dish. It’s also kind of a “quick and dirty” way of doing it – I use canned lentils and instant vegetable broth to make this easy and quick to prepare, so I can make this on a weeknight after work.

For 4-6 servings:

olive oil
1 piece of streaky meat (I used some pork belly, but you can use whatever you prefer or even leave it out)
1 onion
∼ 500-750 ml water
2 carrots
1/4 stock of celery
1 leek
1 clove of garlic
3 potatoes (I forgot them on the picture, but they’re essential!)
400 g canned lentils
instant vegetable broth (best use organic if possible)

1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and fry the meat (in whole) until browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Turn down heat to medium and wait until the oil has cooled slightly. You can skip this step for a vegetarian version!

2. Finely chop the onion and sauté in the oil until translucent. Do not add them too quickly, they will burn if the oil is still too hot.

3. Pour the water (start with 500 ml) in the pan. Dice the carrots, celery, leek and potatoes. Add the vegetables together with the finely chopped garlic and parsley and let simmer until cooked. For a heartier taste, you can now also put the meat back in. Add more water if necessary; the vegetables should be covered but not freely swimming around. We don’t want a “try to spot the veggies”-soup! Stir in the vegetable broth, as much as needed for the amount of water you used.

4. When done, add the can of lentils. Canned lentils are pre-cooked and easier to prepare than dry ones. You can also use dry lentils for this one, just bear in mind the longer cooking time! Personally, I usually prefer fresh food to canned goods; in this case however, I usually go for the canned ones because the alternative isn’t that much healthier.

5. If you haven’t done so, now’s the time to also add your fried meat if you like. You can also add wiener or some smoked sausage (either sliced or a whole sausage per person).
Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for a few more minutes.

6. Enjoy!

Basically, you can vary this recipe in hundreds of ways. For example, depending on the kind of potatoes you use (with more or less starch), you’ll get a thicker or thinner soup. You can also cut down the calories by leaving out the meat and oil/onions.

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Polished: Sephora by OPI “Techno Girl”

We just came home from 2 beautiful weeks of honeymoon in the Caribbean, and back here it’s all rainy and cold.

So I thought I might brighten my days by using one of the nail polishes I haven’t worn in ages: “Techno Girl” by Sephora by OPI.

In the bottle, the color looks like a warm rosy pink, but applied, it’s a really bright hot pink. I actually think of it as kind of a “Barbie”-pink.Unfortunately,  I couldn’t capture it too well on camera (I tried several times but couldn’t quite get it right – the light here in winter is not helping either), but I hope on the second picture at least the difference to the bottled color is visible.

(please excuse my dry hands, I took the picture right after applying the polish so no time for hand lotion)

For me, it’s one of those summer feel-good colors. It also reminds me of my vacation the California (I bought it at Sephora in San Francisco), so it’s got a special place in my heart.

I’m not the most excited about the application itself though. I don’t like the quite thin and long brush too much and even after applying two coats, it’s still a little streaky if you look closely.

On the picture, I applied one coat of Essence protecting base coat, two coats “Techno Girl” and used Essie’s Good to Go as a top coat.

I think it was about $10.00 when I bought it in 2009, and I don’t know if it is still available.

Since the color is not that extraordinary and the quality not that good for being quite expensive, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 points.


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Vegetarian stuffed peppers

Although we’re not vegetarians, my husband and I love a good meat-free dish a few times a week. A few days ago, I happened to have some veggies left in the fridge and wanted to do something different from the usual stir-fry.

Since I’ve always liked stuffed peppers but only knew a recipe with minced meat (which my husband isn’t a fan of!), I tried it the veggie-way this time 😉

For 3 large stuffed peppers I used:

3 large peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini
1 handful of fresh mushrooms
~ 100 g feta cheese (I used sheep milk feta for a heartier taste)
~ 80 g rice
spices and/or herbs to taste
parmesan cheese to taste

Cut off the top of the peppers, and  (if they don’t stand up by themselves 😉 ), a little off the bottom (be careful not to cut a hole!).

Cook the rice in salted water.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a pan to medium heat. Dice/finely chop the zucchini and the mushrooms and gently sauté them.

Add salt (be careful – the feta usually is pretty salty!) , pepper and spices to taste:
I used about a teaspoon of ground coriander for an exotic taste; but mediterranean herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil) are probably great as well.

Take the pan off the heat, then add the diced feta cheese and stir well.
In a final step, add rice to the mixture, until it’s enough to fill all your peppers. This way, you can easily adjust the amount of filling you need – if you have leftover rice, just serve it as a side dish 🙂

Stuff the peppers with your filling and set into an oven-proof dish. If you want, you can sprinkle some ground parmesan on top for a crunchy cheese crust!
Put into your pre-heated oven (180°C) for about 20-30 minutes until the peppers can be easily pierced with a fork.

Serve with more rice or just a green salad.

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