Thursday, June 27, 2013

Music of the month

Here's what I had on my playlist during the last weeks:


  • Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines
  • The Lumineers - Ho Hey
  • Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
  • Crystal Fighters - You&I

What have you been listening to lately?

Jenny, xoxo

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Work: Workspace

This weekend started with me going to IKEA. I had a voucher because my parents new that I want a new desk and that I wanted to choose it myself so they gave it to me for my birthday. So, after work I was all excited, I just love IKEA. I don't like all of their products but I like how they decorate all of those rooms and just walking through I keep thinking: "Oh, I want to do this in my kitchen!" or "I really have to remake my bedroom so it looks like this!", actually, that doesn't only happen when I am at IKEA, it also happens when I read magazines or blogs about decorating and furniture and all. Anyway, I went there and was excited to spend some time there without really spending any money.
I didn't find the perfect desk, I wanted a big one so that I can easily put up my sewing machine without removing everything else. I also want to keep everything in order when I'm back to studying at the end of the year, I really like to have a lot of stuff lying around on the table but when I'm actually working I need some space. So I bought a table board, two legs and a cupboard to hold it and decided that it is even better that way because if I ever get bored I can just replace one of the things and get something else.
I really love how it worked out, it's a huge workspace, just like I wanted and I already love this place, it's in front of the window so I get a lot of natural light and I hope that will make my work even better.
So here we go:

This is what I see when I look out the window. Great, isn't it?

What does your workspace look like? I like to see pictures to get some inspiration as I think some tiny things are still missing on mine...

Here's another thing I've been working on lately:

I'll show you what it is as soon as I'm finished!

What have you been doing this weekend?

Jenny, xoxo

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My top 10

I haven't done that in a while but here's what I like and liked during the last weeks:

  • My birthday

    with cake
celebrating with people I love

and presents ;-) 

  • Trying new stuff with my iPhone camera. Thanks to Katja I have found some lovelynew apps. You should give them a try if you're into stuff like that

I like almost everything that Elsie and Emma do, this app is no exception. I like it for putting in some text or doodles. The app costs E0,89 but the two girls definately deserve it!
PhotoStudio. It's pretty cool for giving your pictures a little special effect. The basic version is free so try it!
Hipstamatic is my favourite. It looks like an old Lomo Camera and you can choose which film you want to use and if you need a flash and all before you take the picture. Then you take the piture and have it "printed" in a few seconds. It's so much fun, I have taken hundreds of lovely pictures with it. It costs E1,79 but I really like it a lot so it's worth it. It even has some sound effects ;-)

  • Berlin
    I told you before how I liked Berlin
  • Minimalism
    I listened to an interview on the radio lately. They said that every person has about 10,000 different things. One guy reduced his stuff and now has only 100 things. Imagine how you can really make your life more simple and appreciate things more if you have less stuff. I am really thinking about how I could make that.
  • Reuniting with Sophie in Berlin
    We met, got something to drink and to eat and sat by the river talking for hours. It was so great, I really hope we can do this again (with the rest of the girls)
  • Bastille - Pompeji (especially this acoustic version)
  • Are you an arts and crafts addict? I am...
  • Joy turned 32 and made a lovely list of goals
  • Ask yourself one of those questions from time to time
  • Playing the piano

    I went to a music store with my brother last week and while he was getting his bass guitar fixed I had a look at the pianos and fell in love. I really like to play, it just makes me happy! I have a keyboard at home but playing on a real piano is so much more fun. It's just too expensive! Anyway I'm going to practice even more now and one day I hope to be able to buy myself a piano! 

    So, what did you like lately?

    Jenny, xoxo

Monday, June 17, 2013

That was Berlin

So I finally did another weekend trip. This time I visited Anna in Berlin. I have been there before but that was a while ago and back then I really only did the tourist stuff there. When I went there for the first time I was overwhelmed by this big city and still it is just a bit too big for me. I've had a great weekend, Anna showed me around, I got the chance to meet Sophie, one of my au pair friends and Benni who I went to school with. But still it feels good to be back in my little big city Cologne ;-)

The best idea Anna had was to see Berlin by bike. We went to lots of pretty and interesting places and we didn't depend on trams and subway or anything. And we got it all for free! All you need is a bike and someone who knows where to go. You could do that in any city, any village really, go ahead and give it a try! You will have a little bit of exercise, you can stop wherever you want and have a break with a coffee, a picnic or whatever. I highly recommend you try it!

Anyways, I planned to take a lot of pictures but then I didn't, really, I just took a few, they weren't really Berlin-specific and all I did was try my new apps for photography (more on that later).

So here are two examples:

I love this picture. It was about to rain so the sky looked really great. I really liked the picture on the house and with the radio tower everybody knows that it's taken in Berlin. (Have you seen that there are people on the roof top?)

 We had a great laugh about that, the sign says "This door is closed". Obviously it is not. And we weren't even able to close it.

Well, after a long period of work, stress and trouble, the little trip was just what I needed. Loved it so much!
Have you had a weekend trip lately?

Jenny, xoxo

Thursday, June 13, 2013

26 things: Last year's goals - recap

So here are last year's goals and what happened to them:

  1. Taking sewing classes online - unfortunately not done but there was too much going on anyway, it goes on my new list though
  2. Doing 12 sewing projects in 12 months - failed, completely. But I have some new ideas and will start soon.
  3. Write one letter or postcard each month - failed. I liked the idea but it was really so much easier to email and stuff. Still I want to give it another try
  4. Starting to sell my stuff - I have put some things together and found out about my options, it just takes a while so this is hopefully going to happen by the end of the year.
  5. Going to the cinema more often - I went more often but I still want to do it more.
  6. Doing at least two weekend trips (Hamburg or Berlin or London or Amsterdam or Cork or...) - Innsbruck, Maastricht, Berlin!
  7. Buying a new music album each month - check!
  8. Going to a music festival (Summer Jam!) - check!
  9. Blogging at least once a week - not there yet but life just kept me busy...
  10. Getting a new haircut - Not a complete change but I had some experiments with color and stuff.
  11. Working out more (at least twice a week) - joined a gym and am working out more!
  12. Dressing up - done
  13. Wearing the heels I bought a year ago more often! - done
  14. Joining a choir - it's really not easy to find a choir that takes new female members so still on the search...
  15. Learning to play at least three new songs on the piano - two are done, I'll count this as a success.
  16. Going shopping! (not online, not in the shopping center, IN TOWN!!!) And buying a complete outfit! (already did this once last week!) - done
  17. (This is additional to No.12 and No.16) Wearing a dress at the wedding in July - done
  18. Making my own jewellery - Not jewellery but clothes. Even better!
  19. Bringing the ideas out that run around in my head - there are too many but I realized some of them
  20. Saving a bit of money each month - done, then moving day came, I spent a lot and have to get back to the saving thing...
  21. Visiting my friend in Innsbruck, snowboarding - done and done
  22. Reuniting with my au pair friends (I miss you guys!) - not yet, unfortunately
  23. Finding a new appartment (maybe) - check!
  24. Visiting my Irish hostfamily - like number 22 :-(
  25. Reorganizing my blog - did that, now I just have to keep going.
  26. Worrying less about stuff that isn't worth it... - done, most of the time ;-)
I have completed 18 out of 26 goals which is not too bad. I hope next year will be even more successful! I'm excited to see what is lying ahead!

Jenny, xoxo

Monday, June 10, 2013

27 things

Today is my 27th birthday. It doesn't feel any different from being 26 but, as always, I'm excited to see what is going to happen to me in the year that lies ahead. I liked setting goals for myself last year so I'm going to do that again. Sometimes it just reminds me what I want when I lose track. So here we go:

  1. Making my balcony the most beautiful place in the world
    I really love my little balcony and as I hope summer is finally coming, I really want to have a place where I can relax, recover, meet people and just have the opportunity to go on a 5-minute-holiday whenever I want to
  2. Finish my apartment
    There are a few things still missing: A big workplace where I can put all my crafting supplies and where I can put my books and school stuff, when I am back to studying, a nice curtain for my bedroom and a couple of lamps.
  3. Going on a real holiday
    Not visiting my family, not visiting my friends wherever, just go someplace else for a couple of days (maybe even somewhere I have never been before)
  4. Self-respect
    I thought about me and my behaviour a lot during the last couple of weeks and found that I usually have a lack of self-respect. This has to stop. I am going to make sure that I won't only treat others nicely but that I treat myself just the way that I deserve it. I will also not tolerate others treating me badly anymore. I know that should be obvious but apparently it is not for me
  5. Run
    I never liked to run. Because I was pretty bad at it, so I just didn't do it. And never became better. See where this is going? With my fitness level increasing I want to challenge myself to reach two goals:
    Being able to run for half an hour without a break.
    Participating in a 5K-run
  6. Doing my best at work and at the upcoming further studies starting in November
    I really like my job and of course everyone has times where it all seems to go nowhere but now that I know that I will be back at school for two years I know it IS going somewhere and I want to do the best I can.
  7. Lose 10kg
    Just because I know it would make me feel more comfortable
  8. Take sewing classes online
    Because I didn't do so last year
  9. Doing 12 sewing projects in 12 months
  10. Taking more pictures, doing a summary of pictures each month
    Because it's a shame that all my pictures stay on my phone or computer all the time
  11. Write one letter or postcard each month
  12. Open my own online shop, sell my stuff
  13. Join a choir
    Because I miss singing
  14. Save a little bit of money each month
  15. Buy a new camera, finally learn how to take professional photos
    I have been wanting to do this for a long time and never got the chance. The camera is too expensive, I don't have enough time or ideas. Enough with that! I'm going to buy a simple, used camera and just start shooting.
  16. Reunite with the au pair girls
    It's about time
  17. Visit my irish host family
    Because I often wonder how everyone is doing and sometimes even dream about them. I'd really like to see them.
  18. Handmade presents
    This worked out so well last Christmas. I want to do it more often, because people really seem to like what I make.
  19. Get things done
    I am a big fan of to-do-lists and even a bigger fan of crossing things off them. But the lists just become longer and longer and I start to lose track and don't finish the things I have to do. I keep forgetting how good it feels to finally do the last thing on a list and throwing it out. This big relief when you can say "I am done!" I really have to force myself to getting things done.
  20. Cook more, try more new recipes
    I really like cooking and now that I have this beautiful, big kitchen, I like it even more. But when I come home from work I'm often just tired and lazy and make myself some pasta and pesto or stuff like that. I really have to start trying new recipes again. Now that I can finally invite people over for dinner I should really do it!
  21. Try something I've never done before
    I'm not sure what but I am thinking about it
  22. Write down the story I have created in my mind long time ago
    Because otherwise no one will ever read it
  23. Get a new tattoo
  24. Be grateful
    I often think too much about things that I would like to do or things that I don't have but I sometimes don't appreciate the things that I already have and the things that I can do. I really want to be more grateful and happy about them
  25. Believe in myself
  26. Make my own ice cream
    Katja does it and I really want to give it a try, too. Have a look at her ideas, too!
  27. Reading the newspaper
    I don't really watch tv so I get all the news from the internet or the radio and I really want to start reading the newspaper regularly.
Sounds like a lot of work and I'm ready to do it! I'll let you know about how everything works out. I will also tell you about what happened to last year's goals later this week.

My birthday itself was a quiet but good one. I spent last night in Berlin with a friend and we had a great day yesterday with cycling and sushi but we were wrecked afterwards so we had a quiet night with sparkling wine and a nice talk. Today I spent a lot of time on the bus to get back to Cologne, had a few very nice phone calls from people I love and went out for dinner and a cocktail with Eva, who gave me the nicest birthday cake ;-)

I will visit my family next weekend and have a little celebration with them as well before we're having a bigger celebration for my cousin's 30th birthday. It's going to be great!

Thanks to everyone who called, e-mailed and texted me today!

Jenny, xoxo

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cooking From Scratch: Asparagus

Okay, this was not really "cooking from scratch" but I like to keep the name for my food posts because I like the idea that you can cook wonderful things without using any fancy ingredients. Growing up in a small village I usually thought "Where do you get those things?" when reading recipes or watching cooking shows. Now I have everything just around the corner from Asian supermarkets to Oriental places where you can get all those great spices and stuff but I still buy most of the food in the supermarket and at the small Turkish shop next door (there I get the freshest vegetables and fruit around for a reasonable price).
So, I really like cooking and trying new recipes but most of the time I'm just experimenting with the things I like and keep it pretty simple. At this time of the year asparagus is a big thing. I didn't like it at all when I was younger and still don't like all kinds of it but I really got into experimenting with it and it is just delicious if you cook it the right way. So here's what I've done:

I stir fried the chopped asparagus and broccoli in a bit of olive oil, garlic and spices so that they won't get too soft, I like them quite firm to the bite.

I made a white sauce out of some cream cheese, milk, herbs and spices and put some of it over the finished vegetables. I served with some grilled feta cheese.

The next day I had to use up my leftovers and this time there was only asparagus. I took off the skin but didn't chop it. I did the stir frying in oil and garlic again and this time served it with some sweet potato cuts garnished with some grated Emmental cheese.

Both dishes were delicious and cooked within a few minutes. You should definately give asparagus a try before it's gone until next year!

What are your favourite spring recipes?

Jenny, xoxo

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekend Work: Crocheted Cardigan

Writing this post took me quite a while as my Photostream doesn't work and I have no idea where all my pictures have gone. It is pretty annoying as I'm taking most of the pictures with my phone and there were a few really nice ones so I hope they're not gone forever...

Update: I eventually got the pictures back on my phone but they're not on my computer, I have no idea why but I was searching the internet and there seem to be more people having this problem. If anyone knows what to do about it, let me know!

So here's what I wanted to share:

It's crocheted cardigan, I saw one like this in a magazine with knitting and crocheting patterns 

I personalized it by using different colors, makes it look even cuter.

It has this on the back and it wasn't even that hard to do, but looks so nice.

That's what the arms look like. They have a different pattern. Counting all the crochets made me sick but it was worth it.

I was even thinking what else I could make with this pattern.

The sun finally arrived around here and I'm going to spend the rest of the day sitting outside hopefully (I have a two week break from work), a friend of mine is coming over later and tonight I'll go to the cinema. Nice, quiet day, I'd say, although I have some stuff to do, too. But that can wait until tomorrow ;-)

What have you been up to? How are you spending warm spring days?

Jenny, xoxo