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.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Bikinis In The Snow

When I read the name "bikini so teeny" on a nail polish bottle I would actually associate that with images of the beach, sunshine, beach balls and above all rather warm colours. 
As most polish-enthusiasts (including myself) probably know, the oh so popular Essie polish I'm talking about is neither a shade of red, orange, coral, yellow, pink nor anything in that direction. In fact, it is a vibrant baby blue colour that has some small glitter particles in it which somehow remind me of twinkling snow crystals. However, once you've applied the polish to your nails, the sparkle isn't really visible anymore (which is a shame, really).

For this nail design I combined Essie's bikini so teeny, which is available in the standard range by now, with Essie's blue rhapsody, which is from the mirror metallics range. As the name suggests, this is a very shiny metallic blue shade.

It was quite difficult to capture the true colours because they always seem to look a bit different depending on the light you're using. The following two pictures were taken in natural light.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Adventure Game Check: The Whispered World

To give you a small impression of this adventure game I'm going to outline the most important aspects of the game.

Title: "The Whispered World" (available on Amazon *here*)

Platform: PC

Genre: point & click adventure

Developer: Daedalic Entertainment

Publisher: Daedalic / Deep Silver

I have always been a fan of 2D-adventures. Some developers made the step and tried to realise an adventure game in 3D. As far as I'm concerned the outcome could just never keep up with the traditional 2D graphics. Above all because 3D is simply unnecessary when you control the game through point & click and only makes it needlessly complicated.
Anyway, the drawn backgrounds in this game are just breathtaking. Every single one is an entire artwork on its own. The amount of details is literally out of this world. Here are a few screenshots to give you at least a small idea of it:

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Lindt HELLO Chocolate Sticks

From time to time many chocolate companies come out with new products in the craziest varieties imaginable. However, most of these novelties cannot persuade me or I don't even dare trying them (my taste buds just don't agree with the combination of chocolate and chili).
Nevertheless a relatively new product range could actually surprise me. The Swiss chocolate company Lindt, who are known for their rather traditional and old-fashioned image, launched a new chocolate collection called HELLO which is supposed to target a much younger audience. The packaging has a modern design with each product "introducing" itself with the words "Hello my name is ... nice to sweet you". The appealing presentation as well as the interesting sounding flavours (of which there are currently 8 out) eventually made me want to try the products. 

You can get them in the regular 100g-size and also in stick-shaped bars (about 40g) which is a really practical size when you're not quite sure whether you're actually going to like a flavour. So far, I only bought the sticks but I'm pretty sure the bigger version tastes just the same.
milk chocolate surrounding a cream filling (36%) and small chocolate chip cookie pieces (8%)
Although this flavour is definitely quite delicious it is also not very exciting at the same time. I would prefer if the cream had more of a taste of its own as it is not much more than very sweet. Also, the cookie pieces could be a bit bigger which might balance out the sweetness of the filling.

Currently On Repeat: "Evelyn" by Abby

I recently stumbled upon this song on the radio and immediately fell in love. As many radio presenters nowadays tend not to repeat the song title afterwards I finally retrieved it after some more or less intense internet research. The song "Evelyn" was released in 2013 by the German band Abby who are currently living in Berlin.
Definitely have a listen when you're into superb indie rock paired with contemporary electronic elements!