Apr 26, 2015

Sunday's Recipe: Lemon, almond and ricotta cake

How much happier and more motivated are you when it's bright and sunny out? Indefinitely more so, if you ask me. I've been loving the last couple of gorgeous sunny days we've been having and seriously appreciate how it's affecting my mood. It also often translates to what I want to make in the kitchen.

Even though I've made this cake some time back, it's a perfect dessert for spring/summer. I've brought this dessert for a dinner with friends and it was devoured instantly. I guess I should add this crowd-pleaser to my repertoire.

A zesty, sunny cake like this makes it also easier to accept the fact that it’s always sunny during the work week and rainy on the weekends. Seriously, what’s up with that?

As I didn’t adjust anything to make this cake, I’ll just leave the link to the recipe. Make this to sweeten a dreary day or just celebrate life as it is beautiful, rainy or not.

Apr 23, 2015

With Huarache in Hong Kong

The first thing that pops into my mind when I'm about to explore a new city is to pack in a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Last year when I flew over to Berlin I brought my Nike Air Max Thea with me (Outfit post).

This March I travelled to Hong Kong and I figured I would need a new pair of convenient sneakers to wander around. But this time I wanted something more fun and colorful just like the city...and I found the perfect model right before I took off: The Nike Air Huarache! The Huarache model is actually one of the most divisive designs in Nike's history but I knew right away that they would be suitable for my trip.

Good shoes take you to good places, right? 

From Hong Kong Central Soho to Kowloon to Lantau Island - I had a great time and yet I sometimes forget how important it is to travel and to explore the many beautiful places on our earth. This is definitely something I want to work on and embrace more often..

I hope you all have a planned trip to tick off your bucket list!

Apr 13, 2015

Hello Spring, hello Sheer Revolution

Now that Spring has arrived, how about adjusting your makeup look - from heavier and warmer colors to lighter, fresher and maybe brighter accents? Particularly for lip looks the slight alteration could mean going from matte lips to less pigmented and shinier lips. Urban Decay recently came out with ten different sheer lip colors. Let me show you three shades of the new Sheer Revolution collection that I own:

1. Shame is a berry red
2. Ladyflower is a rosy pink
3. Streak is a pinky coral

As you can see the brighter Sheer Revolution lipsticks are pigmented enough so you actually have a good color payoff. I'm not so sure about the neutral ones in this collection, but with ten different shades to choose from, you'll definitely find your own faves.

They feel exactly like a lipbalm - light-weight and easy to wear. You don't need a mirror to apply them, which is a plus. That's why I carry around one of the lipsticks in my pouch to touch up my lips every now and then... 

Mar 29, 2015

Photography is the beauty of life captured

Old-fashioned analogue cameras bring us back to the "good ol' days". To have something tangible that captures a precious moment is a welcome change in this digital world we live in, at least for me. 

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I flew over to Hong Kong two weeks ago and also made a quick stop in Huizhou (China) and Seoul (South Korea).

I decided to bring my LOMO'INSTANT Camera with me as a faithful companion during my travels.

As someone with little experience regarding instant cameras, I was quite excited to test the one in white from Lomography. The camera kit that I got from isda came with four different lenses (one built-in wide angle lens and additional fish-eye, portrait and close-up lens attachments) and also with colored filters. All you need additionally are batteries and a Fujifilm instax mini film. 

The camera itself is pretty boxy in shape but coated in faux-leather, which is a nice feature that gives you the feeling of carrying around a tech-accessory rather than a whole camera kit.

Since the kit comes with an extensive and easily explained manual, it didn't took me that long to get started. But nevertheless, I needed a few attempts to make the settings work - and I still need a lot more practice...

Taking photos with an instant camera is definitely something you do consciously and this demands not only more time but also patience and maybe several attempts until you get your desired outcome - and when you finally get the shot you wanted, it will make your "here and now" even more valuable.

If you want to explore what kinds of Lomo'Instant cameras are out there, have a look here!

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!


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!


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