Mar 22, 2015

Easy like Sunday Morning


One of my favorite ways to begin a weekend morning goes like this: get up, put on my fluffiest bathrobe, make coffee, light a delicously creamy and smooth candle like Yankee Candle's Shea Butter, hop back to bed and enjoy some time finding and pinning things that speak to me on Pinterest. 

I have a board called "Easy like...Sunday morning", if you want to loose yourself in this cozy atmosphere.

Hope you're having a great Sunday!

Neslihan



Mar 21, 2015

Ikea Home Story: Happiness is here to stay


As a new chapter is soon going to unfold in my life (more on that later), there are lots of loose ends to to be tied up that keep me quite busy these days. Many blog photographs are shot and waiting for me to be edited and posted but at the end of the day, unfortunately I rarely manage to set aside time for that. Nevertheless I am excited to share new stuff here soon but in the meantime, let me take you on a little tour of my apartment.

 I was asked by Ikea if I'd share some photos of my place that feature their furniture and other household items and I thought, why not, let's do this! These photographs were taken half a year ago and anyone who is interested in interior decorating knows that the process is never finished. It looks quite a bit different now, with more plants, even more frames, more items on the shelves and let's be honest, more everyday mess.  


On the Swiss website of Ikea you can find more monthly home stories from different Swiss cities. The little description that goes with it can be read in German, French or Italian. Click here for more snapshots. Hope you like this glimpse into my place!

Neslihan

Feb 28, 2015

Get your spring lips on


I've been way too obsessed with the brown nude lip look that I'm now starting to embrace more bright colors. For the past few months I either wore nudes or a classic red on my lips - it's high time to change things up. Lately I've been on the hunt for the perfect pink and came across a couple of products...
 

1. L'Oréal Color Riche L'Extraordinaire, Fuchsia Drama: This is a very good pigmented lip gloss in a very hot pink shade with a slight purple sheen to it - definitely a show stopper.
2. Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss, Bright Pink: If you're looking for a more coral pink, this might be the one for you. This is a typical lip gloss, meaning that the pigmentation is rather moderate.
3. Maybelline Color Elixir, Fuchsia Flourish: Two words - barbie pink! I love its glassy finish.
4. ILIA Lipstick, Neon Angel: This lipstick has a semi matte finish and the color is buildable. In the day time one swipe will leave your lips in a healthy pink and during night time you can layer the color and achieve bold statement lips.
5. Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil, Fuchsia Desire: Now this is what I call hot pink! This lip pencil feels more like a creamy lipstick, although it turns into a matte finish.


Today I went for ILIA to recreate a soft daytime lip look...beacause Saturdays call for hot pink! I got mine from green lane. Do you have any experience with this green beauty brand?


Happy Saturday everyone!

Feb 22, 2015

Sunday's Recipe: Alfajores


When I visited my boyfriend in Argentina a couple of years back, he told me about some cookies he got addicted to ever since he had his first bite. He was talking about alfajores, which are sandwiched cookies filled with delicious dulce de leche (sort of like milk jam that tastes like caramel). These are known in many countries of South America aside of Argentina such as Bolivia, Chile or Uruguay. During my short stay there I've tasted a lot of different ones, some coated with chocolate, some only filled with dulce de leche with a note of coconut. So naturally he requested I'd make these once we got home ... but then life got in the way and almost three years later a friend of ours brought us a jar of dulce de leche straight from Argentina. I thought to myself, that it's now or never...

Let's make some Alfajores, shall we?


Ingredients for the cookies: 
250 g cornstarch
200 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
150 g of sugar
200 g margarine or butter
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cognac
1 tablespoon vanilla - extract
zest of one lemon

Dulce de leche can be store-brought or home-made. Since I haven't tried that yet, I can't share any recipes for the filling.

How to: 

Mix the cornstarch, flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whip together butter and sugar and beat in the egg yolks one at a time until smooth and creamy. Add the cognac with the vanilla extract and lemon zest- Now sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until the dough comes together, it’s best to knead this with your hands. Form a ball, cover it with film and leave it in the fridge for about half an hour.


Preheat the oven to 180° C. Dust your work surface with cornflour. Next, take the dough from the fridge and roll it out until it’s about 0.5cm thick. I cut the circles with an espresso cup. Place them on a tray lined with baking sheet and let some space between.


Now it’s time to bake the cookies in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough has a very pale golden color. Let them cool before you fill them with dulce the leche to sort of glue them together. 
If you like, roll the edges in coconut flakes like I did below...


We really enjoyed these Alfajores, they almost tasted like the ones we ate in Argentina. Next time I'm going to roll the dough a little bit more because the cookies turned out to be quite thick. Also, while I'm at it, why not coat half of the batch with chocolate... Sounds good, doesn't it?

Oh and, if you liked our Turkey travel video I posted previously, you might want to check out the one from Argentina shot in 2012. You can catch a glimpse of me at 01:38 minutes. 



Feb 21, 2015

Once upon a time

 
 
To celebrate the release of the new Cinderella movie, MAC teamed up with Disney! The result: A dreamy and twinkly 18-piece Cinderella Collection.
 
I was lucky enough to already swatch a few of the products and let me tell you one thing: They're shimmery! Not much of a surprise if you think about Cinderella's dress and glass slippers - the collection exactly reflects Cinderella's appearance. If you're not into any kinds of sheen and shimmer when it comes to your makeup routine, then the collection might not be as exciting for you as for others.
 
Here is a swatch of one of the pressed powders in the collection: The iridescent powder Coupe d'Chic, which is a golden peach facial highlighter. I would use this either as a blush or a cheeck bone highlighter. The formula is velvety and buildable. I will say though, that the powder in Mystery Princess is my favorite product from the entire range.
 
 
The limited-edition features a mix of products for lips, eyes and face.
 
from left to right: Lipstick Free as a Butterfly, Lipstick Royal Ball, Lipglass Glass Slipper, Lipglass Happily Ever After, Eyeshadow Palette Stroke of Midnight, Studio Eye Gloss Pearl Varnish, Studio Eye Gloss Lightly Tauped, Fluidline Little Black Bow, Fluidline Macroviolet, Glitter Reflects Pearl, Pigment Pretty it up, Pigment Evil Stepmother, Fix Lash Bold Black, Beauty Powder Mystery Princess, Iridescent Pressed Powder Coupe d'Chic, 217 Blending Brush, 168 Large angled contour
 

Available in Switzerland as of 5 March at Manor in Zurich and Geneva, MAC store Lucerne or online.

Feb 19, 2015

Masks to add to your skin care routine


No matter how diligent I try to be with my skin care routine, it happens from time to time that I’m just too tired and can’t be bothered with cleansing. Some might get away with it but my skin unfortunately has no qualms about showing me immediately that it’s not happy about my choices. Dull skin and blemishes are the results I have to deal with. In that case masks are my saviors. I have many different ones I use for specific purposes and recently these four masks/peels have been added to my arsenal. 

I discovered Caudalie for myself about two years ago and have mentioned their products here and here. I still swear by those exfoliating products by the way. But now, let me introduce to these new masks that are going to be available starting April 2015 in select pharmacies. 


Mathilde Thomas, founder of the brand, created four new masks that are made for busy ladies (and gents!) who want to give their skin some reboost in just a couple of minutes. They are recommended to be used about twice a week for 5-10 minutes. Since I got these, I’ve been really looking forward to a regular relaxing me-time.

From left to right


Moisturizing mask: This is a straight-forward, 85% of natural origin mask which leaves your face nicely hydrated. Aside hyaluronic acid and grapeseed oil it contains Vinolevure, an ingredient derived from wine yeast to help calm down sensitive skin and boost its immunity. 

Glycolic peel: Dull skin is one of the most common skin issues during winter. This peel contains papaya enzymes and Viniferine, a Caudalie patented active ingredient which is 62 times more effective than vitamine C. 

Instant Detox: After a night out I detox internally (by sipping mint tea) and externally with this mask. It's 99% natural containing 8 essential oils. Pink clay gives it this specific color which helps alongside with coffee to drain toxins and purify the skin.

Purifying mask: This thick and creamy white clay mask is great at absorbing excess sebum. Flax seed and zinc regulate the skin's oil production and I'm also really enjoying the aromatic herbal scent.

All of these masks can be used alone or mixed. For instance I like applying the purifying mask on my T zone and a moisturizing mask on my cheeks. Just experiment and enjoy prepping your skin.

Feb 15, 2015

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

Some of my best memories were made while away on vacation. We always make sure to travel to places that are new to us and want to discover as much as possible. Under the category "travel" you can find lots of snapshots of past years but while photos are great, in my opinion a video just captures the emotions better and takes you with on the journey.

It took us a long time to make this video of our vacation in Turkey last summer but I hope you will enjoy this video as much as I do. It's probably one of the most personal things I shared on this blog, showing you a more private side of me...

Feb 8, 2015

Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains: An unforgettable winter weekend in St.Moritz


No matter how much I love my home, waking up in a lavish hotel and being cared for by attentive staff never gets old. From the crisp white sheets of an insanely comfortable bed to the truffled quail eggs I had for breakfast – when your day starts like this, you know you’re at an extraordinary place. 


Picture a luxurious hotel with excellent service set in the beautiful mountains of Engadin, in St.Moritz to be exact. We had the chance to enjoy a weekend at the magnificent Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains some time ago, where we celebrated the 150 year anniversary of the winter tourism resort St.Moritz. Being one of the most glamorous and chic resorts of Switzerland, we knew we were in to have a fabulous time and that we did – thanks to Paul Dutschmann, the PR Executive, who made sure we all enjoyed ourselves.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, that was definitely the case. 


Coat: Burberry
Beanie: handknit by my sister

Top left, with Regine from www.gine.ch



Earring: H&M


Boots: &other stories


Thank you again Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains for having us - it was a dreamy weekend!

Jan 14, 2015

Makeup removal on the go

 
These capsules aren't medicine or eyedrops but makeup removers (Toleriane Ultra Demaquillant from La Roche-Posay packaged in such a ingenious way! They do a great job in removing makeup especially heavy eye makeup. They exactly work like micellar water cleansers and I'm a huge of that kind of removers. The best part about the capsules are their handy format that also allows sterile dosages. I have them with me whenever I go on a getaway.


Further information:
 
- non-perfumed and preservative free
- contains Sodium Hyaluronate and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
. suitable for anyone with intolerant and very sensitive eyes.
. suitable for contact lens users


What kind of makeup removers do you prefer?

 

Dec 31, 2014

New Years Eve Beauty


Girls, dust off your sparkliest glitter beauty products that you otherwise rarely get to use, tonight will put them into good use! Because if not on New Years Eve, when is it appropriate to sparkle and shine? I’m going to try a glittery cat eye look as seen here, and these are some of the products I’ll be using…


L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes Black Diamantissime: This mascara is one of my holiday makeup staples because it’s festive without being too over the top. Tiny sparkles on your lashes, that are not the glittery kind but subtly visible.

MAC Black and Gold Nocturnals Mini Pigment & Glitter: As I mentioned above, I will pick up a tiny amount of glitter and apply this very close to a black cat eye with an angled brush. Just need to decide: copper or gold?

L'Oréal Superliner Silkissime: If all else fails and I end up looking like a glittery disco ball, I can wipe everything off and start anew with a trusty old friend that is this eyeliner. Can't go wrong with smokey eyes.


Guerlain Meteorites Perles du Dragon: How I love Guerlains Meteorites! They are the perfect products to give your complexion a healthy, luminous glow due to the color mix of the balls. These in particular brighten, illuminate and even out your complexion in the loveliest way. After applying my foundation, I lightly dust this all over my face, neck and décolleté for a subtle effect.


Guerlain Shalimar Sur la route de Madagascar: This is a fragrance I'm loving more and more as I get older. This limited edition version from 2012 opens up very citrusy on my skin but then dries down to a very interesting vanilla based oriental woody fragrance. Very sensual, mysterious and longlasting, perfect for New Years Eve...

Wishing you all a fabulous New Years Eve Party!

~ Neslihan

Dec 30, 2014

On intentions, resolutions and goals


The last couple of days allowed me to just be, without any obligations or any place to go. 
 So naturally I also had a lot of time to think about how this year was for me personally. There were a lot of good and happy times, travelling being one of my favorite memories. But also marriages of close friends, births of their babies, overall so many enriching interactions with my loved ones that allowed our friendships and relationships to grow. It was a year I personally grew in a lot of areas as well, but also faced difficult times that practically forced me to acknowledge some facts in my life I wasn't paying enough attention to. I briefly mentioned this in a heart to heart post in August, and half a year later, I am still more than ever trying to lead a slower, more mindful and intentional life. Having very strong perfectionist tendencies that push me in all areas of my life, this isn't easy for me but I guess it will be a lifelong learning process. 

Source: Pinterest

The point of my rambling on here? Actually I just wanted to share with you a document (Unravelling the year ahead 2015 by Susannah Conway) I came across the other day that I'm planning to use for myself. It's filled with helpful questions to review your past year, from your happiest memories to setbacks and the resulting learnings. I think it's a great way to be aware and appreciate the good, count your blessings and set new intentions for the new year. This could be done before January 1st or any other given time because let's be honest, it's never too late to start a new chapter.

So grab a cup of hot tea, light your favorite scented candle and start honestly answering these questions that will allow you to have a clearer vision of your intentions. And please do let me know how you prepare yourself for the new year, or how you set goals for yourself, which quotes motivate you and so on. I always find this very interesting to know.

~ Neslihan

Dec 28, 2014

Remnant of Fall


Coat: Mango

With winter being quite mild so far, I didn't have to resort to extreme multiple layers of clothing so far. That is until today. Finally, finally I woke up to see snow falling outside and I just love this excitement in my voice, very childlike but still it makes me happy. So obviously this outfit dates back to fall, more precisely to the short weekend trip we made to Berlin. I wore this camel coat from Mango a lot before changing it for my down coat, which I'm wearing on most days now.


Sneakers: New Balence via urbanpeople.com

If you follow me on Instagram (@nesdem) you'll surely know that I have spent a wonderful weekend in St.Moritz at the lavish Kempinski hotel, where I got really into the mood to spend some days in the mountains because that's where winter is prettiest, isn't it?


Cashmere scarf: Coop City
Sweater: Banana Republic
Bag: Marni

The days leading up to New Year's (and the actual evening itself) I'll be spending in Engelberg, just like last year. I'll plan on catching up on postings here but also take the time to reflect back on this year and think about my goals for 2015. For me, it's import to have goals, even if they're not the typical New Year's resolutions. What do you think about that, do you just go with the flow or do you take the time to truly review your year and overall goals in life..?


~  Neslihan

Dec 21, 2014

Sunday's recipe: Red love apple rose tartelettes

These beauties just might be the prettiest dessert I've ever baked. It was the first time I bought red love apples and I was utterly amazed by the color of this variety. I came across the recipe on a German blog and translated everything, which you'll find below. Here's what you need to get started:

Ingredients (for 12 tartelettes made in a muffin tin) 

 For the dough 
250 g flour
75 g sugar
1 organic lemon
125 g cold butter
1 egg

 For the apple roses: 
 6 red apples
 500 ml of apple juice
 250 g sugar

 For the filling:
 75 g sugar
 1 egg
 2 egg yolks
 1/2 organic lemon
 125 g mascarpone
 2 large apples
 2 tbsp cornstarch



How to: 
For the dough, mix the flour, sugar and the zest of a lemon in a bowl. Add the ice cold butter in cubes, working it in with your fingertips into the flour mixture so it looks crumbly. Whisk the egg and gradually add it to the other ingredients using a had mixer. Keep stirring until the ingredients form a dough. Rolled intoa ball, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Meanwhile you can prepapre the apples.

Now we begin the process of making these beautiful roses.
Wash the apples, cut them in half, remove the core and cut out with a knife the stem and the stalk. Next, cut the apple halves into thin slices. Each apple half should leave you with approx. 12 slices. When you put the slices immediately in a bowl of lemon water they don't turn brown .


In a saucepan, bring the apple juice to a boil with the sugar.
Take the apple slices out of the lemon water and let them simmer in the boiling apple juice in small batches, each time only a few minutes until the apple skins become softened and are easier to bend, but not too soft so they do fall apart. When they are just right, drain the slices and let them cool completely.

If you're through with the last batch of slices. continue to let the apple juice mixture simmer until it's reduced to about 1/4 of the original liquid amount. Then set aside and let cool. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping design on parchement paper starting from the left to right. You should have 12 rows (for 12 roses) each with approx, 10-12 slices. If you're unsure on how they should look like, head over to this German blog with lose of pictures where I also found this recipe.

 Now for the filling, mix all the ingredients, paying attention not to stir the mascarpone too long (otherwise you'll have clotted cream), Grate the apples, squeeze their liquid out and mix them into the mascarpone mixture. Stir in the cornstarch in heaped tablespoons.


As you have now prepared everything, you can assemble the tartelettes:
Grease a muffin baking tin and line it with parchment paper either completely or just a strip all around the edges so you can remove/lift the tartelettes easier when they are done. Roll the dough out about 3 mm thick under a piece of plastic wrap, cut circles using for instance a cup or another round object and line the muffin tin. With a fork prick the bottom of the tartlets a few times. Next, fill each with a generous spoonful of the filling.

To make the rose buds, you have to roll each row of apple slices, starting left, while holding well and carefully keep rolling until you reach the end and it looks like a rose. Place each rose into  a tartelette, the filling allows you to place with its shape a little bit.

Bake the tartelettes in a preheated oven at 200 ° C top/bottom heat for about 24 minutes. Depending on your oven, you might need to turn the muffin tin at half of the baking time to ensure even baking results. When they are done, remove them from the muffin tin and let them cool.

Remember the apple juice syrup you set aside previously? You can brush your roses with it so they're nice and shiny. Now give yourself a pat on the back, you made it! Aren't they beautiful?

Dec 19, 2014

Family, Friends and Lovers Xmas Gift Guide

Surely we can't be the only ones who still haven't done all of their holiday gift shopping yet. Maybe you'll have to brave the crowds this weekend or order gifts from the comfort of your home. For both cases we compiled an extensive gift guide, with ideas for family, friends and lovers. Links or shop locations are provided below the collages.


SISTER LOVE

- A/SH MAG just launched their newest mag in collaboration Face to face with the photographer Sara Merz. Want to get your hands on a copy? Get the info on their website.

-Legendary, indispensable eye shadow palette Naked 3 by Urban Decay, available at Manor stores or online.

- Tropical decoration as a contrast to this icy cold weather, available at Interio stores.  

-  Petale de blush for beautiful, rosy cheeks. Get it at Marrionaud shops or online

- Get your sister something beautiful from the gorgeous Arlésienne line of L'Occitane. Have a look online

- Protected lips, all natural thanks to Stark Skincare. Available at our beloved Biomazing shop online

- There's a Yankee candle for every occasion. Get your sister in the mood with a festive scent. Available in many sizes at Coop City department stores or online

- Classic wood sled to revive your childhood days. Available at Rothirsch, with our 20% discount code STYLE. 

- She's a proud cat lady? Get her these sheets.


MOM'S THE BEST

- Because your classy mom deserves such a nice smelling soap

- Sleek and classic wallet.   

- Long walks and even longer talks outside with your mother require these to stay toasty.  

- Hello darling! We're sure you'll want to borrow this beautiful watch with a rose gold effect quiet often from her. 

- A rich night cream from Burt's Bees, available at Manor department stores or online

- Furla bag, ladylike and chic, just like her. 

- A unisex scent from Roger & Gallet for a powerful woman. Available at Manor and Coop City department stores. 

- The star in your life deserves something sparkling? Have a look at the winter collection of Pandora

- She lovingly makes your favorite Christmas cookies but might enjoy a detox after all these festivities as well.  

- Gold lantern, stylish well beyond the holiday season. Available at Depot stores or online.



THE MEN IN OUR LIVES
- Sony Xperia smartphones, so he can take underwater selfies with you. No, really, they're waterproof. 

- Making coffee, in style. Available at Interio stores or online

- There are many options at Freitag from bags, wallets to even clothes, browse the store or have a look online

- He loves to discover new wines? Get him a wiine.me monthly subscription, where he'll receive three wines selected by sommeliers, delivered to his door. He can stop and cancel his subscription anytime he wants. A perfect gift for the wine lover. We're happy to share with you a 25% discount code. Just use the code bottle25 to have a reduction on the price of the first month. 

- A thermos for the outdoorsy types, available at The Merchant & Co store or online
 
- To pamper his overworked and dry hands: Ultimate strength hand salve.

- Leather shoes, produced in Switzerland.

- He secretly enjoys nice smelling lotions and potions as well. Surprise him with these available at L'Occitane stores or here.

- Cuddling together under this lama alpaca wool blanket - heaven. Get it at Rothirsch, complete with free shipping in Switzerland.


GIRLFRIEND

- Your girl loves unusal items for her home? Look no further than Westwing.ch. We recently discovered this cute cup & saucer set.

- We're madly in love with anything from Studio Mason and she'll surely be as well. But will love you even more, we promise!

- Scent of love, from Lalique

- Less time in the bathroom, more quality time together. Hair straightener from Babyliss.  

- She likes to dress up for the holidays and even pays attention to details? Have a look at exurbe nail polishes. Available online.  

- Bring color into her life with these fun nail polishes. Available at Marrionaud shops or online.

- Every woman who likes to take good care of her skin needs a Clarisonic. Get her this lovely Clarisonic Aria limited edition winter lace version because she deserves it. Available at Marrionaud shops or online.

- Unique bag for a one of a kind girl.



MY GALS


- Girlfriends are companions for life. Get them a little companion in the form of a pocket brush they can carry in theirs bags to prevent tangles.

- Hunter boots. Next festival season we'll eventally come.

- Give your gals the gift of a relaxing bath. Our favorite is the lavender bath milk from Weleda. Available at Manor or Coop City department stores.

- Holiday drinkware from Starbucks.

- She'll be thankful for such a thoughtful gift. Photo finish primer from Smashbox, available at Marrionaud stores or online.

- Cozy atmosphere, easily created with lanterns from Westwing.

- Cute cookware for her kitchen. Get this casserole it Ikea.

- Look for Kusmi tea tastes that match the personality of your gals.

- Beautiful, minimalist cups.

- It's so fluffy, how can she not like it? Get this pillow at H&M home.
 
 

Dec 14, 2014

Sunday's Recipe: Beetroot soup


With its intense red color, this soup is definitely and eye catcher on your festive table. I admit that the color prompted me to try this soup but the earthy, comforting taste itself is what persuaded me entirely. It makes for a perfect winter soup and is a nice change to my usual pumpkin soup I make this time of the year (especially if pumpking is otherwise involved in yourr menu). Even people who usually don't like beetroot, say in their salads for instance, loved this soup. If you are unsure you can always change the beetroot-to-potato-ratio to reduce the flavor. Soups are very entertaining-friendly as I prepare them often the night before and just warm up before serving. No last minute stress involved.


Ingredients (serves 6) 
3 beetroots, peeled and chopped into cubes (if you have plastic gloves at home, wear them! Trust me, the color is intense...) 
3 potatoes, chopped into cubes 
1 onion, chopped 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 liter vegetable stock 

 How to 
Add a little bit of vegetable oil into a large casserole, add the onion and sautée until soft. Next add the cubed beetroot and potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until you add the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper if you want to, stir well then bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool the soup slightly then puree it in batches in a liquidiser/blender until smooth. Even though I strained the soup through a sieve it doesn't get velvety smooth like for instance pumpkin soup, so you might as well leave this step out, it's up to you. 

 To serve, bring the soup back to a boil and adjust the seasoning if you need to. Serve in warmed bowls with a spoonful of crème fraiche and fresh herbs or sprouts. Adding toasted almonds adds a nice crunch to your soup. 

 Next Sunday you'll find a recipe for the prettiest apple tartlets you have ever seen, I promise!