Friday, 10 July 2015

The Tanya Burr Nail Polishes

For me, personally, YouTube has nearly completely replaced TV for quite a long time now. However, I like to think that it’s a rather recent phenomenon that some YouTubers’ popularities seem to have absolutely gone through the roof. Nowadays, especially some specific British YouTubers appear like real filmstars when you hear how whole crowds go crazy once they have spotted one of them somewhere (seriously though, the screaming can be quite mental).

It’s also kind of become a habit for Internet stars to bring out their own merch like books, clothing, posters or similar stuff. I certainly don’t mind that at all, but most of these things just don’t really manage to catch my interest … maybe with only one exception to the rule: cosmetics!

What intrigues me most about beauty products brought out by YouTubers is how good the actual quality of these items is. Hitherto, my assumption has been that most of the budget would be spent on cute packaging as well as clever marketing and less on decent ingredients, nice formulas et cetera. Nonetheless, I was definitely willing to adjust my opinion, in case a product that I’ve tested out myself could actually persuade me!

It’s usually quite hard to get hold of most of these beauty items here in Germany, but when I spotted something from the Tanya Burr cosmetics range in TK Maxx I just had to get it – especially because it’s a set of nail polish that I’m talking about (not that I actually own nearly every colour of the rainbow, anyway).

There were different sets to chose from, each with three out of the ten polishes in total that Tanya has brought out by now. I actually managed to find one that includes all three of my favourite colours from her range! I don’t know exactly how much they originally are in the UK, but I paid about 10€ for the set which seemed like quite a good deal to me.

The shades I got are called Penguin Chick, Peaches & Cream and Little Duck.
But now, let’s see how they actually look on the nails!

1. Penguin Chick
I find this a really nice take on a grey nail polish. The slightly brown undertones in it add kind of a warm effect to the whole shade. It is a rather subtle hue which makes it the perfect colour to wear every day!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Haribo Dragibus

To defend my title as an absolute sugar lover, I want to present another goodie to you, today.
Most of you probably know the brand Haribo which are quite famous for their gummy candy all over the world. Although it is actually a German confectionery company, that doesn’t mean that we can also get hold of all the different products that are out there.

One of these seemingly exclusive varieties are the Haribo Dragibus. They are supposed to be quite popular in France and also pretty much only available in this country, as far as I know.

There are three different Dragibus varieties: Dragibus Bi Cool, Dragibus Soft and the original Dragibus. I got a 120g pack of the original ones in one of my latest (rather extensive) online orders of foreign sweets.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Yankee Candle Summer Haul

Over the years my mum has been increasingly complaining about how hard it has become to find something to give me for my birthday which I actually haven’t picked out myself beforehand. Something I told her that she can never really go too wrong with are scented candles, especially Yankee Candles. So, when I finally turned 20 (which just sounds so much better than 19) I got a bunch of Yankee Candle samplers, amongst some other very lovely bits and bobs. This time, she had a really good hand (or rather nose) with picking out some fairly nice fragrances. Except for one or two, I actually liked all of the candles that I got! Now, here are the individual votive candles, each with the description taken from the Yankee Candle website as well as my opinion and rating on them.

"This precious resin has long been sought for its delicate sweetness, peppery spiciness and balsamic wood undertones."

To get it out of the way, I’m going to start with the only scent I absolutely didn’t like. Normally, I’d even burn candles that don’t really make me release torrents of enthusiasm but with this one I just couldn’t get myself to burn the whole thing as it literally made me feel sick. When the candle isn’t burning, it actually has quite a nice and subtle orange scent but as soon as you start burning it, the incense simply gets way too overpowering. ‘Balsamic wood undertones’ is definitely a slight understatement, if you ask me.

"Tangy sweet and full of nature’s goodness … there is nothing quite as delicious as ripe, rosy red raspberries."

After that odour nuisance, let’s get to something much more pleasantly smelling. With this candle, you get the fruity and deliciously sweet scent of freshly picked raspberries which isn’t too sickly at the same time. This kind of makes me want to go to the nearest raspberry plantation and pick baskets full of these tasty red fruits (… and pay for them afterwards, of course).

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Teekanne 'Sweeteas'

As a lover of both tea and sweet treats, a combination of the two basically just had to appeal to me. Naturally, I got all excited when I saw new tea creations online which are supposed to emulate the taste of the world's most loved pastries. This excitement was followed by big disappointment when my local supermarket didn't stock them and finally ended with even bigger excitement when I finally found them in a big department store in a city near me.

The new tea range I’m talking about is by the brand Teekanne and was appropriately named 'Sweeteas'.
So far, there are 3 different flavours: Caramel Apple Pie, Lemon Cake and Blueberry Muffin all of which are flavoured fruit infusions.

First of all, I have to say that the smell of all three of these is just heavenly when you pour the boiling water on them. If you closed your eyes, you could literally imagine to be standing in your local bakery! Also, they are all naturally quite sweet due to the stevia leaves contained.
But now, let's get to each individual blend!

Blueberry Muffin:
This blend combines the slight tartness of blueberries with the tenderly sweet note of a muffin - I am very pleased!

Ingredients: apples, hibiscus, rose hip, stevia leaves, muffin aroma, blueberry aroma.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Spring Blossom

When I’m sitting at my desk procrastinating and doing my best at putting off work for as long as possible (as per usual), I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful view of our garden through my window. Especially in spring when everything’s blooming and colourful outside, this can be a serious distraction when you actually want to get some work done for once.
By chance, one of my favourite plants, which is the magnolia, actually stands right in front of my window. As its blooming period is usually very short,  I always make sure to take a picture before all of the petals have fallen down.

Somehow, this beautiful sight made me want to have some kind of floral design on my nails as well which is why I created this simple, bright and spring-appropriate nail art!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Chocolate Factory

As nearly everything’s normally shut down on Sundays, me and my family occasionally like to visit a little seaside resort nearby called Eckernförde on those days. The shops there are allowed to be opened because of a special regulation for such resorts here in Germany.

The city certainly doesn't offer a ton of different stores, but I really enjoy browsing around the little shops without the intention of necessarily buying anything.
Anyway, there is a very special place in Eckernförde that is definitely worth stopping by - especially for everyone that has a sweet tooth like I do! The place I’m talking about is in fact a candy factory (in German 'Bonbonkocherei') where you can see how the candies are made and also purchase a ton of different sweets. Although I should warn you: Especially on Sundays it’s really busy in there!

However, this place also includes a separate chocolate factory in an outbuilding  which I stepped into as it was much less crowded. And let’s be honest: I prefer chocolate over wine gum and hard candies anyway.

For me, it’s always interesting to see which types of chocolate they have to offer when I go in there, as those tend to  vary throughout the different seasons. For instance, you can get ‘apple-cinnamon’ in winter and something like ‘strawberry’ or ‘orange’ in spring and summer.
All of the different chocolates just look so nice and appetizing next to each other! ^_^

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

As you can tell from the title of this post, even in the apparently always cold and rainy Germany spring seems to have finally sprung!

Although I love wearing pastel shades in outfits as well as on my nails basically all year round, I especially tend to combine many different pastels at once when it comes to springtime. Because of that (and maybe my weakness of decision-making) I used six different nail polishes to create this bright and colourful nail design

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Top 10 favourite Yogi Teas

As I'm slowly revealing all of my more or less secret passions, I'll let you in on another peculiarity of mine: not only am I obsessed with sweets and nail polish but I'm also a huge lover of tea.
I have already tried quite a lot of different tea brands from all over the world and if I were to pick a favourite one out of them all, it would have to be Yogi Tea.

Let's first talk about the amazing idea of putting a yoga pose on the side of every tea box. In my mind, there couldn't be any better recipe to help you relax and destress than the combination of a warming tea and yoga!
After getting the actual tea bag out of its envelope, you also get to read a lovely little philosophical quote/ piece of advice.
["Happiness is taking things as they are."// "To a friend you can lend the whole content of your heart." // "Empty yourself and let the universe fill you."]

Anyway, enough about the packaging and onto the actual tea itself.
Yogi Tea make a variety of different spice and herbal teas which are all based on authentic Ayurvedic recipes. By now, they have already brought out over 40 different kinds of tea! Out of all these blends I'd like to recommend my personal top 10 to you.
[Side note: Yogi Tea also does green and black teas but due to my hypersensitivity to caffeine -I literally will not get a wink of sleep if I have some-, I’ve only included caffeine-free teas]

I have to say that I was kind of sceptical towards the concept of a tea that is specifically meant to be for women. According to Yogi Tea it’s supposed to 'support the feminine side of creativity and inner balance'. Although I'm not quite sure whether it really does that for me, what I can say is that it's pleasantly light, comforting and just delicious tasting.

Prevailing flavours: ginger, cinnamon, orange, fennel, chamomile.

You can never go wrong with a simple, classic and yet still somewhat exciting Chai tea. Just add a little bit of sweetness and milk to it and you've got your perfect, homemade Chai Tea Latte!

Prevailing flavours: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, black pepper.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

I've recently been nominated by the lovely Jo from Say Cheesy Cake to do the Versatile Blogger Award. I’m very grateful for her nomination as she’s one of the first bloggers I've started to follow and she always puts so much love and effort into her posts!
I think this is quite an enjoyable tag as you’re supposed to tell the reader 7 facts about yourself which is great for getting to know everyone a little more personally.
So, without further or do - here are the 7 facts about myself:

I. My absolute favourite movie series is (and will certainly always be) Harry Potter. Normally, I’d rarely watch any film more than twice but I've seen all of these so many times that I know practically every single scene by heart now.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Glico Pocky Milk & Strawberry Flavour

There are honestly so many reasons why I’m urgently wanting to go to Japan one day:

  1. I have been loving to read manga, watch anime and play Japanese video games since I was a little girl and there are so many good memories attached to these things (like my brother and I having intense Pokémon sessions together).
  2. The country's stunningly beautiful landscape and architecture is so fascinating to me.
  3. Their exceptional fashion sense as well as the entire lifestyle in general just excite me.
  4. They've got so darn many flavours of Pocky! (with this being the most important aspect, of course)
Although Pocky is also sold under the brand name “Mikado” in Germany, there are by far not as many flavours available as there are in Japan.
Just look at the amazing variety (even without including the huge amount of seasonal editions that come out every year)!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Nail Art Trio

As a self-proclaimed nail polish enthusiast you will only very rarely see me with bare nails, especially not for longer periods of time. Depending on how messy and chipped my nails have gotten in the meantime, I tend to change my nail polish at least once a week. Luckily and surprisingly, my natural nails are actually still quite healthy and intact (thank goodness!).

The reason why I don’t regularly publish a ‘Nails of the week’ post or something of that sort is that I don’t really feel like every design/ colour I try out deserves its own entire blog post. As I’m quite an annoying perfectionist, it’s admittedly rather hard to please me completely.
Anyway, I thought I’d show you a compilation of three designs that I wore lately, compacted into this single post!

Polishes used:
Main colour: wet’n’wildWet Cement
Copper crosses: ManhattanCafé Beauté
Silver cross: ciatéfit for a queen
Top coat: essiegood to go

Monday, 16 March 2015

Skittles Desserts

In today's post I'm going to present another goodie from one of my foreign candy orders to you. This time it's about a sweet produced by the Wrigley Company or more precisely by their famous brand Skittles.

We can also get hold of Skittles in Germany but there are only a few sorts available. The original Skittles Fruits as well as the Crazy Sours have been out for a longer time already and I just recently passed a supermarket shelf that held the Skittles Wild Berry which I hadn't seen before.
However, my internet research has shown me that there are many more creations available, especially in America, like the Skittles Confused/Riddles, Tropical, Darkside and Desserts.
Especially the last one tickled my fancy (which might also be due to the pink packaging) so I went on and purchased a 56,7 g / 2.0 oz pouch to give them a try!

This creation includes 5 different flavours which are all named after a certain dessert creation.
Here are the 5 sorts reviewed in detail:

1. Blueberry Tart
The shell of this one initially tastes nothing but sweet and maybe a little fruity. However, once you start chewing it, you can sort of taste the slight tartness that a blueberry would have. What I definitely miss to actually make this resemble a dessert, is the typical soft sweetness of a pastry, though. The flavour reminds me more of a fresh berry jam which is very delicious, nonetheless!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

My Nail Polish Storage

One thing that you may have already noticed about me by now is that I'm quite a nail polish enthusiast. What follows is that my collection doesn't really seem to stop growing anytime soon.
It has taken me quite a long time and lots of failed attempts to figure out a way to properly store all of my polishes.

There were certain requirements that the final storage solution had to fit:

  1. The polishes should be easily accessible!
  2. The different colours should be displayed (or at least visible without having to take them out of a box or something)!
  3. It should store over 100 polishes!
  4. At best, there should be an option to enlarge the storage capacity!
  5. I don't want to spend a fortune on specially made polish racks that you can buy online!
Despite the rather large number of requirements, I finally seem to have found the perfect solution for me, namely the RIBBA picture ledge from IKEA! Although it's certainly not intended to be used as a nail polish holder, it's perfectly suitable for this task.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Sail Into The Sun

The other day, I was listening to a few different remixes on SoundCloud and there was a certain song that got totally stuck in my mind. It simply creates such a positive, laid-back atmosphere that it sort of inspired me to make another drawing.

The particular song I'm talking about is called "Sail Into The Sun" which is originally performed by the band Gentlemen Hall but I listened to a remix version of it which was created by RAC (who honestly do the most amazing remixes, by the way!).

The  picture with its individual elements slowly came to life whilst I was listening to this song on repeat for what felt like over a hundred times.
Again, I worked with pastel chalks and basically the same equipment as already described in a previous post called "Chalky Flower Meadow".

After all, here is the final outcome deriving from the picture that my weird brain associates with this great piece of music:

Friday, 27 February 2015

Jelly Belly "Snapple Mix"

As I've already confessed to my love for Jelly Belly Beans it will probably come as not much of a surprise to you that I'm going to present another mix in this post.
Similar to Jelly Belly "Soda Pop Shoppe", the flavours in the following mix are also based on drinks that actually already exist. Instead of transforming drinks from different soda brands into the famous bean-shaped sugar candy, they focused only on one brand, this time: Snapple!

Whilst the artificial flavouring/ colouring could have been a point of criticism against "Soda Pop Shoppe", Jelly Belly claims to only have used 100% natural flavours as well as colours only from natural sources in this mix.
To be more precise, they used real fruit purees and juices in the production, such as cranberries, lemons, raspberries, cherry juice, grape juice, kiwi juice, mango juice or strawberry juice. Sounds promising, doesn't it?
Let's have a closer look at the 5 different flavours in this mix:

1. Fruit Punch
What a way to start! The taste of this bean could best be described as intensive and fruity. More precisely, it is a nice blend of grape, pineapple, orange and apple flavours. Although I have to say the grape flavour is definitely the most dominant one. This might also be due to the colour which I wouldn’t necessarily associate with pineapples or oranges.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Sugar Candy & Polka Dots

Certainly, by far one of the best investments I've ever made (okay, in this case it was my parents who made it) would have to be the Ciaté advent calendars. I was lucky enough to get them last year as well as the year before (an entire, more detailed post about them will be sure to follow!).

Considering the amount of full-sized nail polishes that I own and that I'll most certainly never empty completely before they turn old and gooey, the mini-sizes (5 ml) included in these calendars seem to be just perfect for me!
Even though the polish in this design is probably the colour that I used the most from the calenders, you can see that the filling level of it is still pretty high (which might, again, be due to the fact that I just own too many).
As far as I'm concerned, I don't mind wearing pastel shades all year round. They don't look too heavy on lighter skin (or rather deathly pale, in my case) and also create a really nice contrast with more tanned complexions.
Nevertheless, you'll probably find me wearing pastel colours most frequently during springtime which finally seems to be slowly arriving - I can see splashes of colour now instead of the overwhelming white of a snowy landscape when looking out of the window!
natural light

Saturday, 21 February 2015

A New Take On Classical Music ♪

First of all, I have to say that I'm usually not really into classical music. Although I certainly haven't developed a strong reluctance towards this kind of music like I have towards German folk music (how on earth can this be qualified as actual music in the first place?) but it's definitely nothing I'd listen to on a regular basis.
Nevertheless, I found that classical music as well as the corresponding instruments don't necessarily have to be stale or tedious. Nowadays, orchestral elements are increasingly incorporated into modern songs, anyway.

Some time ago, I stumbled more or less accidentally upon a musical group that transforms popular songs into beautiful classical pieces. They do not only stick to songs that appeared in the pop charts at some point of time but they actually cover a wider variety of genres also including rock, country, techno, metal and more.
The group I'm talking about goes by the name of Vitamin String Quartet (or VSQ in short).

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pretzel M&M's

Sometimes the internet - and with that the chance to see how many different kinds of products exist all over the world- can be rather disadvantageous - at least when you're as excessively curious as myself. To be more precise, the disadvantage is that I end up purchasing products online that I can't get hold of in Germany at a horrendously immoderate price. The order I placed (that amongst others contained the Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe) also included a pack of Pretzel M&M's.

As far as I know, there are only three sorts of M&M's available in Germany at the moment: Milk Chocolate M&M's, Crispy M&M's as well as the Peanut M&M's.
I'm already a big fan of the first two sorts whereas the Peanut kind just isn't for me, which is not too surprising considering my fundamental distaste for nuts in general (I assume many people without this restriction love it though, otherwise it would probably have long been taken off the market by now).
Following my natural instinct, I immediately put the Pretzel M&M's into my virtual basket shortly after they had appeared on my screen.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Twinkling Watermelon

As much as I love reading blogs from people living in many different countries, sometimes there are moments when they can slightly contribute to my fundamental frustration. There are so many great products out on the market which are likewise hard to get hold of when you live in Germany. Of course, you can get most of them online by now, but they tend to be sold at much higher prices. Also, shipping costs apply on top of that and it can sometimes take quite some time until the package finally arrives at your house (I can get reeeally impatient in that regard).

Having said that, you can probably imagine how excited I get when I travel to a foreign country and get the ability to see some of these products in real stores, not only on a mingy, flickering screen.
Luckily, I was able to experience such a moment during my last stay in Edinburgh. Considering that Edinburgh is honestly such a beautiful city, it feels even more pathetic that a Boots-store seemed to excite me more than all of the "usual" tourist sights, now that I come to think of it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Jelly Belly "Soda Pop Shoppe"

I've been a fan of the Jelly Belly Beans for quite a long time now. One thing I especially like about them is that they have really distinct flavours. During my longtime career as a professional candy tester (my personal everlasting pipe dream) I developed a slight avaration to wine gum that tastes nothing but sweet and somewhat gummy-like so that the only difference between the "flavours" seems to be the variation in the artificial colouring agents used in the production.
With Jelly Belly on the other hand, you get many different flavours which are mostly identifiable even without looking them up. The taste is fairly intensive and they come in a huge variety with already alone 50 flavours being in the official range. In Addition, there are also the special flavours from extra assortments like the ice cream parlor mix, smoothie blend, cocktail classics, 5-flavor-sours or others.

Unfortunately, not every single mix that exists in the States is also available in Germany which is why I placed an order online. Amongst other goodies, this order also included the Jelly Belly "Soda Pop Shoppe" which I'm going to present in this post.

The mix contains 6 different flavours which are all based on the taste of soft drinks by popular soda brands.

1. Orange Crush
This sort really does taste just like orange lemonade! It has a very intensive and slightly artificial orange aroma just as regular soda never tastes exactly like the actual fresh fruit. Of course, this jelly bean doesn't have any carbonic acid in it but nonetheless it kind of has this prickling freshness that is typical for a good soft drink.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Chalky Flower Meadow

Every now and then I think it's necessary to simply tune out for a bit. For me personally, I've found one of the best ways to relax and just push all the annoying stuff aside for a moment is drawing.

I especially enjoy drawing with pastel chalk. Even though I'm mainly using blending stumps or tortillons to smudge or blend different colours, I also like using my fingers sometimes and enjoy the feeling of the paper structure under my fingertips.
I use a set of Studio Quality Soft Pastels by Faber Castell that includes 36 different shades. I find the colours fairly intensive when applied which enables you to create expressive and really vibrant compositions.

My latest little creation featuring a sunrise, some poppies and a cherry tree!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Nivea / Labello Lip Butters (+new flavour!)

Okay, so I must confess that I've been having a slight addiction to lip balms for quite a long time now. Seriously though, I got to know that it is in fact a real addiction .. even though that sounds a tiny bit too drastic in my opinion. However, having thought about it, I don't really get a problem on a day-to-day basis BUT I do have a problem when I forget to take a lip balm or some sort with me in my handbag when I go out. The urge to smear something on my lips can seriously get unbearable!
Luckily, my collection of lip balms has gotten big enough in the mean time to have at least one in every handbag that I own.

Right now, my favourite kind would have to be the Nivea / Labello lip butters. Originally, the Nivea lip butters were only available at the Nivea houses in Germany (I purchased mine in Hamburg). Fortunately, they are not only available in the Nivea online shop by now but German drugstores have also incorporated the Labello lip butters into their assortments. Although they are sold under different brand names, you get the exact same product as they are both produced by the Beiersdorf group.

The price is at 2,69€ when ordering online but you can often get them for cheaper in the drugstores. The lip butter comes in a small tin containing 16,7g / 19ml
To get some product out of its package you first have to necessarily swirl your finger around in it and then apply it to your lips. The product that will inevitably be left on your finger might in fact be the only downside to the lip butters. At least I wouldn't recommend making use of it during the winter time whilst wearing gloves. However, the remaining product on the finger is not really a problem for me personally as I simply apply it to the back of my hand, which certainly needs some extra care most of the time anyway.

Until recently, there were 5 different sorts out on the market:

1. Original
This is the neutral version of the lip butter as it has no scent or flavour. This is the perfect product for you if you're looking for simple and effective lip care without a lot of other fuss around it.