Sunday, February 28, 2010

Extreme Crafting Sunday

Today it is unusually grey and cold for this time of year in Melbourne.

So I decided to stay at home and get into extreme crafting. You know this state where you are surrounded by fabrics, scissors, needles, paper patterns, the flat iron is smoking away, your favourite CD blasts on infinite loop and you are having an equal amount of moments of extreme happiness and frustration.

That is the plan for today. I will show you my pieces once they are finished or in a kind of finished state but for now I leave you with a little trigger of my first project. Getting on with my baby quilt  which I started a while ago.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Botanical Saturday

I am about to go to a farewell picnic with friends in the St.Kilda Botanical Gardens.

And I am pretty sure that after coming back from the picnic I will be really for bed and not up for blogging anymore. Therefore I will leave you with a picture of one of my favourite Australian plants today: the bottle brush tree. You can find them in all different shades of yellow-orange-red, but the fireengine-red ones are my favourites and they bloom all along the street I live in.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Visibly pregnant

Ok, it is official now – I am pregnant. I know at 27 weeks that is no real news, but suddenly I and my growing baby seem to be in the public eye.

I don’t know what happened in the last couple of days, but obviously something did happen. I still wear the same clothes, my belly hasn’t stretched immensely over night, I still walk and not waddle (yet!), I still have or haven’t got that certain glow…


On the tram people suddenly get up and offer me a seat. Very sweet, although it does make me feel like an old granny. But still nice!

Now strangers want to talk with me about my pregnancy. Very weird! Especially since I often don’t get it. Example: The lady at the bakery asks me how long I have to go. And I answer; “Oh just across the street”. Of course she wanted to know how many more months until delivery ;-)

People at work are suddenly very concerned that I might fall. Which is a concern taking into account my general clumsiness, but now not more than in the previous 33 years.

Boys/ men now look at my belly first. Not my eyes. Not my boobs (and with the extra bonus of the pregnancy they are not bad either). No! Always my belly. And often that is where their looks stop as well. I guess I am out of the whole flirting game for a while. Unless I hide my belly. So flirting out of the car or tram window should still work.

No rubbing of my belly so far though. Thank God! At least not from strangers and my friends are always welcomed to rub my back, my belly, my arms, my legs… And actually I would love a little massage right now ;-)

Have a good weekend, lovely readers! With massages and everything else you are craving for.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Everyday Inspiration

Today I want to show you one blog that I visit every day for a bit of everyday inspiration.

It is called Alltagsproject which means something like "everyday project" in German.

On this blog the lovely estherrenita posts a wonderful new polaroid every day. And I can tell you these photos are far from being everyday or ordinary.

My favourites include these:

Don't they make you smile as well?

What I also find quite fascinating is that estherrenita now lives in Munich (where I come from) and lived in Melbourne before (where I live now) and also used to live in Tokio (where I hope to live some day). So we not only share the love of simple blog designs, old-school polaroids and amazing everyday stil lifes, but also for inspiring cities across the globe.

Thanks for a bit of inspiration on even the least inspiring days of my life!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bridal Bling!

On Wednesdays I share everything wedding with you: tips, projects, organisation, photos, faux-pas, fun things and golden rules I ‘learned’ from my own wedding. I feel I need to give something back to the fabulous blog community who helped me stay sane and enjoy every second of my ‘big day’.
* * *
On Saturday, I did one of my favourite things. Shopping for bling! As you know I am heavily addicted to all things glitter and therefore I was delighted when my friend A asked me to help her shop for her bridal jewellery. Her dress is beautiful sculptural and flowing, but needed a bit of shining glamour. Easy!!! So we met on Bridge Road in Richmond, where – for whatever reason – there is an incredible concentration of wonderful bling shops . I think they really should change the street name from Bridge Road to Bride Road ;-)

We had so much fun browsing through the shops, experimenting with different sizes, shapes, colours and different pieces of jewellery. And in the end the bride was loaded with lovely little bags in pastel colours full of bling – that didn’t break the bank. That needed to be celebrated with a glass of champagne (for the bride-to-be) and a lovely orange juice for the personal shopping assistant. ;-)

Surprisingly I didn’t buy a single piece of bling for my own wedding. Seriously! I already had everything, although I hadn’t even though of them being suitable for my wedding one day.

My necklace was a gift from by parents when I got my business administration degree.

My earrings were a gift from my parents for the wedding.

I bought the hairpins years ago and have never worn them. I think I just kind of waited for the right occasion ;-)

So, last Saturday I could finally fulfil this wonderful task of bridal bling shopping. It was pleasure, A. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did ;-)

P.S.: The food at Movida was even better than expected by the way. And I already had high expectations. So I highly recommended that you make a reservation and wait for 6 weeks or how long it takes ;-) It is definitely worth it - just for the anchovis on toasted bread with smoked tomato sorbet. Yummy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

4 years ago...

... Andi and I met for the first time. So what do you call today? The first-meeting-anniversary? Anyway, we are going to Movida tonight.

The Melbournians among you know what that means: the need to book a table 6 weeks in a advance. That’s why I have never been there although I always wanted, but when it comes to food and going out I am just too spontaneous. For this ‘special occasion’, however, I thought it s worth the effort and waiting time. Apparently they serve absolutely amazing, original Spanish food. Little tapas, sherries, paella, crema catalane... mmmmhhhh!

Perfect for two (and a half) who are almost as passionate about food as they are about each other.

Happy Anniversary, my love!

And dear readers: I’ll let you know how it was tomorrow ;-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

It’s all in the name

Every Monday I will post something related to babies: inspiration, craft projects, baby news, and discoveries I have made in this new and exciting world for me. I hope you come along on that rollercoaster ride with me.

* * *

Currently Andi and I try to master the difficult task of finding a name for our little girl. And it really turns out to be one of the more difficult jobs for us parents-to-be. Why?

Because we want her name to be special!
So that not 5 other girls in her future kindergarten have the same name. We had a look at top 10 girls’ names 2009 in a couple of countries and had to exclude the following names, although I love a couple of them:

1. Charlotte
2. Olivia
3. Chloe
4. Mia
5. Isabella
6. Emily
7. Ella
8. Sophie
9. Lily
10. Ava

1. Mia
2. Hanna
3. Leonie
4. Lena
5. Lea
6. Anna
7. Emma
8. Emily
9. Marie
10. Lilly

1. Emma
2. Isabella
3. Emily
4. Madison
5. Ava
6. Olivia
7. Sophia
8. Abigail
9. Elizabeth
10. Chloe

1. Olivia
2. Ruby
3. Emily
4. Chloe
5. Lily
6. Sophie
7. Mia
8. Jessica
9. Grace
10. Evie

Because we do not want her name to be too exotic!
We found wonderful rare names in the baby name book we got, but do we really want our daughter to have a name that she needs to spell every time she introduces herself – from school through to business meetings later on?

Because we want her name to be pronounceable and understandable in German and English! And a couple of other languages as well if possible.
In order to make it even more challenging, we decided we also want to give her a name that both her grandparents back in Germany and her friends from all over the world – which she hopefully will have in future – can understand and pronounce. A truly international name for an open little spirit ;-)

Because we do not want her name to remind us of someone we already know!
It is amazing how much ‘baggage’ in terms of names you can collect over 30 years. Oh no, Lisa reminds me of that horrible girl in school who made my life hell. Oh no, Bella was the name of my first dog...

Because we want her first name to go with our family name!
And that sadly excludes my previously favourite girls’ names Stella and Ella, because they rhyme with our family name. And that makes them sound like little super heroines and not like a real person.

Because we want her name to have a wonderful meaning!
I mean how can you name your little precious Dolores, if you know that it means ‘pain’? Impossible! Maybe I have read too much about names and their meaning, but now there is no turning back.

Oh well, I am glad that we have another 4 months to make up our minds ;-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Birthday to-do-List

34 things to do before I turn 35:

  1. take more photos of everyday life (not only of ‘special events’)
  2. embrace change
  3. have a healthy, happy little daughter
  4. think more about what I want and act accordingly
  5. cycle a lot
  6. have more parties
  7. be more eco-conscious
  8. invest in art
  9. be less impatient
  10. go to Italy – not just for the food, but also...
  11. make my first pork roast
  12. spend more time outside
  13. find an alf (alternative living form/ alternative Lebensform), which makes work and life and love and baby compatible
  14. wear high heels more often
  15. become a child again
  16. move back to Berlin
  17. keep the love magic
  18. manage to be a happy person with less sleep (see no 3)
  19. pay someone to do my taxes for me
  20. enjoy living near the beach while it lasts
  21. realise more of the amazing craft ideas I am collecting
  22. keep on blogging
  23. spend more time with my family
  24. cook an amazing polenta
  25. buy less, recycle more
  26. turn my new apartment into a beach house
  27. be more open to (justified and constructive) criticism
  28. enjoy the pleasures of ‘real ‘winter
  29. live more in the now and worry less about the future
  30. make more fashion myself – sew & customise
  31. travel to countryside Japan
  32. finish my baby quilt BEFORE the little one is born
  33. keep my plants alive
  34. be more courageous

I know my birthday was more than a week ago, but it still counts, doesn’t it? So hurray for the power of birthday-to-do-lists!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Power of Birthday-To-Do-Lists

Today I finally had a quiet relaxing Saturday again, no garage sale, no almost birthday bash, no shopping, no plans at all… just me, my computer and a wonderful café au lait. While browsing through my old favourite and a couple of new blogs, I came across this wonderful birthday-to-do list of Susannah from Ink on my Fingers.

And I decided that this year I need to have one as well…

… because I love to-do-lists in general!


… because I believe in the power of birthday-to-do lists!

That might come as a surprise, because I am generally a rather rational person who doesn’t believe in too many super-powers, but…

… I have already done a birthday-to-do list when I turned 30 and so many things actually happened in the following year and a half that even I couldn’t explain them with coincidence anymore.

And the really surprising thing was that not only the do-able and easy things became true…

e.g. Robbie Williams concert, Salsa dancing, my first professional manicure, more James Bond movies

…but also the aspirational and crazy things happened, which I wished for but actually didn’t really believe in.

e.g. going live to a World championship soccer game, driving through Australia and LOTS of love

So, now I am a true believer in birthday-to-do lists. And now I should really start thinking about what I put on my new birthday-to-do-list. Because, you know, it might come true soon… So beware of what you wish for...

I’ll show you my list tomorrow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Last Christmas presents

Today we got a big surprise parcel from Germany. And when we opened it – it was full of things from Berlin:

Cookie cutters. An apron. Napkins. A paper model. Bubble bath. And a lovely card with the photos of our dearest friends from Berlin.

And a roll of Christmas toilet paper – that is how we figured out that it was meant to be a Christmas present which got kidnapped by the German or Australian post. ;-) Anyway, ...

... Isn’t that the cutest idea? Well, there intentions were less sweet:

They want to make us homesick.

They want to make us move back to Berlin soon.

Guys – mission accomplished. We miss you! And we will come back. Just another 6 months and we are back. Promised!!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ikea goes Manga

Have you seen this new fabric range? I am in love! I want the cushions. And the kimonos. And the fabric pictures. And a skirt made from this fabric.

Picture from here

I have just found it on one of my favourite design blogs Apartment Therapy and I suddenly have the urge to go to Ikea. Tonight! Right now! I don’t care whether their opening hours are over or not. The only thing that holds me back is that they might not stock it in Australia at all. Because I cannot find it on their Australian website. And because sometimes they forget us here down under. ;-( I don’t know why! We are lovely people down here and not that few either. And we love simple and sophisticated design like this. So pllleeeeaaaassssseee, ship something over.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Night before

On Wednesdays I share everything wedding with you: tips, projects, organisation, photos, faux-pas, fun things and golden rules I ‘learned’ from my own wedding. I feel I need to give something back to the fabulous blog community who helped me stay sane and enjoy every second of my ‘big day’.
* * *
Weddings and traditions go hand in hand, I know. And often you feel like you cannot escape them. Nevertheless I want to encourage you to challenge them. To think about whether a certain tradition actually adds something beautiful to your special day or not. And if the answer is a clear NO - then don’t do it.

Two traditions I struggled with (among others) are:
  1. Rehearsal dinners on the night before your wedding
    Firstly in my opinion you cannot really rehearse an amazing, breathtaking and unique event like your own wedding. Because it will always be and feel different. Secondly you don’t need a rehearsal for a wonderful celebration – so please just enjoy it!
  2. Spending the last night before your wedding apart
    You are both nervous. You are both out of your comfort zone. You are overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation. So why make things worse by taking away the one person who shares your feelings and knows all the tricks to calm you down and make you happy?
Therefore we decided to spend the night before our wedding together. On our own. We didn’t see any friends or family that night. We didn’t do anything exciting or special or romantic at all. We just stayed at home. We prepared the essentials for the next day – putting tissues into the bridal handbag etc. We had take-away food. I had a relaxing bath. We talked a lot. We joked. We laughed. We cuddled. We hold each other until we both fell asleep. We actually slept considerably well – taking into account that the next day was our ‘big day’.

So my advice for the night before your wedding is:
  • Stop crafting!
    No honestly, I really mean it. Not a quick finish. Not just one more thing. Nothing! Step away from the scissors. What isn’t done by now will be crossed off the list. It won’t happen. And you know what – no one will care. Not even you.
  • Stop worrying!Easier said than done, I know, but you really have to try hard and stop. You have your man. You have your dress (or in emergencies a dress). You don’t need anything else. And all your guests expect is a happy couple – so work on that for a change.
  • Take a long bath!Listen to music. Dance in the living room. Watch your favourite DVD. Do something that you enjoy, something that relaxes you, something that calms you down. No experiments permitted! Just good old rituals and routine.
  • Eat something !You’ll never know whether you will be able to eat anything on your big day. So have a really nice dinner, maybe followed by your favourite dessert. I mean chocolate is almost medicine for calming your nerves. So spoil yourself!
  • Drink something!
    A calming tea. A glass of red – not a bottle ;-) A hot chocolate before bed. A glass of champagne with your husband-to-be. Enjoy the quiet time together and celebrate a bit in advance – unhurried and just the two of you.
I promise you, after doing all this, it will be surprisingly easy to go to bed and actually get some sleep that night. And believe me you need lots of energy for your big day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Have a wonderful bright day!

With my new job I have a totally new journey to work now. And I love it ,although in the morning I still sometimes turn the wrong way. Automatically towards the train and my old office. I have told you that I am not a morning person, haven’t I ;-)

Anyway, my new route takes me right through the heart of St.Kilda, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne close to the bay. Today as I walked towards the tram stop I saw some tourists take photos of the entrance to Luna Park. And it hit me. Although I live here for more than 2.5 years and I walked this way thousands of times, I have actually never stopped to take a picture of this wonderful bright and nostalgic icon. So I stopped and took some pictures. I almost forgot to hop onto my tram, because I was instantly in a holiday mood.

Wish you all a wonderful bright day! Wherever you are! Whatever you do!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh Baby, it’s Monday & TOP 5 Children Books

It is the 15th again – so it is time for reading. And time for sharing my favourite books with you. Because today is a Monday and thus also Oh Baby, it’s Monday day, this month it is all about Children Books.

My mum used to read stories to us every night – from when we were very little and just loved to hear her soothing voice until we became teenagers and almost to cool to listen to bedtime stories. I have very fond memories of this daily night time rituals and it is one of the things I definitely want to do with my little ones as well. Reading. Every. Night. Actually I cannot wait to read all those wonderful stories again.

My favourites were (and still are):

Das Traumfresserchen
The perfect good-night-story for all children who are afraid of nightmares and dream of monsters. The “Traumfresserchen” simply eats all bad dreams. Because it is always hungry. So reassuring!!!

Wilbur und Charlotte
The wonderful friendship of a pig and a spider. Coping with death is a big topic, but the ending nevertheless is positive and full of hope.

Ferien auf Saltkrokan
My dream holiday as a child. Lots of children, the Swedish coast and lots of adventures to be mastered. I still want to go to Saltkrokan, but I couldn’t find it on any map.

Story of a very cute little mouse who keeps on collecting sun and words and colours – despite all other mice stocking up on seeds and nuts for winter.

Die Kleine Hexe
A little witch in the making who has a hard time fighting against an evil witch while still learning her ‘trade’. You cannot help but feeling sorry for her when one of her tricks goes terribly wrong again.

Now, please help me to fill the library of my little one.

=> What are YOUR favourite 5 children books?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day





That’s what I wish to all of you.

Not only for today, but forever.

Not only from your sweetheart, but from all family and friends around you.

Because ultimately:

All you need is love

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Big Birthday Beach BBQ – not

Unfortunately even Australian summers are not predictably hot and sunny. My wonderful beach party plans fell through (im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes ins Wasser gefallen). When I woke up it rained and it didn’t stop for the next couple of hours. Since there is no point in sitting on wet sand with a strong southerly breeze making you shiver even more, I decided to postpone my party.

I am not that flexible with plans on my birthday – especially when it involves cancelling fun on the beach with my friends – I have to admit, but now that I am a year wiser... I managed to still have a wonderful day. Not too hard with the support of these wonderful things:
  • Unpacking pressies full of books, beautiful maternity shirts, crafting material and a voucher for an original piece of Aboriginal art which I can pick myself.
  • A wonderful lunch cooked by my love.
  • Many calls, texts and emails from my Aussie friends.
  • Some extensive necklace crafting in the afternoon.
  • A lovely dinner for two, uhmm three.
  • Lots of birthday calls, Facebook messages and emails from Germany. 
  • One of my favourite movies on DVD – Ocean’s 13, funny, clever and exciting every time you see it

Friday, February 12, 2010

12 on the 12th

My favourite blog initiative ever.
On the 12th of each month, bloggers around the globe take 12 photos of their daily life and post them.
Not only great for getting to know other bloggers but also as a personal visual diary.
So please join the fun with Caro

* * *

My breakfast doesn’t quite look like the serving suggestion on pack, but it still tastes good!

Driving across the city to do an interview at 8am is no fun. Thank God for the navigation system!

Back in the office – trying to get my thoughts on paper

Early lunch break – meat pies are my only weird pregnancy craving. Very yummy!!!

On the way back home – a quick glimpse of the Bay under heavy clouds.
You see the sun doesn’t always shine in Australian summers.

Stocking up on wine and beer for my party guests tomorrow – not for me this year ;-(

Fridge is filled up after a short grocery shopping trip – more than enough for the beach BBQ tomorrow

Oh no – my parcel from ebay was too big for our post box.
Now I have to wait until Monday to get the cutest baby clothes ever.

That is the nicest birthday card I ever got from a handbag company (uhmmm, I think it is also the first). Anyway, the text reads:

Celebrate that you are ...
... 1 year wiser
... 1 year more refined
... 1 year more worldly
... 1 year more elegant
... 1 year more stylish
... 1 year more glamorous!

How lovely is that? Even if it is printed and comes from a handbag company.

Looking at the pile of pressies which all arrived in time and from so far away really gets me into Birthday mode. I just have to sleep one more night...

Started to go through my old magazines to see whether I can rid of some of them...
Not very successful attempt to reduce clutter

Friday night – not much more going on other than reading in bed and eating lots of wonderful blueberries

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

25 weeks check

A visit at my obstetrician confirmed that everything is going well. My little girl is growing as fast as my belly does. I am gaining weight but at a slower rate than the little one – which is very good. Her heartbeat is still ridiculously fast – as it should be. She can hear us now, so we should talk to her. Read stories to her. Sing to her. What a great task!

I am so excited!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Double Happiness

On Wednesdays I share everything wedding with you: tips, projects, organisation, photos, faux-pas, fun things and golden rules I ‘learned’ from my own wedding. I feel I need to give something back to the fabulous blog community who helped me stay sane and enjoy every second of my ‘big day’.
* * *

image from here

Do you know that the Chinese character for wedding consists of two ‘happiness’ characters? So literally translated wedding means ‘double happiness’ in Chinese.

I think that is so sweet, because for me that is the essence of each wedding and marriage. Or at least this should be the essence. Two people want to spend their life together, because together they are twice as happy as they would be on their own.

I always thought of ways to incorporate this character into my wedding decoration. Because of its wonderful meaning and its visual beauty. In the end I couldn’t come up with a great idea that had any connection to us as a couple. So I thought at least I can post this idea here and maybe inspire someone else ;-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Preparing for Valentine's Day

The lovely Tiina over at Sparkling Ink has reminded me a couple of days ago that Valentine's Day is around the corner. Actually it is Sunday. THIS Sunday.

I think it is a wonderful thing to dedicate a whole day of celebrations to your love. To show that you care, still care, will always care immensely about him. So why do I always forget about this day until the very last minute?

... maybe because my birthday is the day before and in the week prior I am usually knee-deep in party preparations. And I always have a party ;-)

... maybe because Valentine's Day isn't such a big thing in Germany. Or maybe not yet - there seem to be more and more Valentine's products being launched each year. Most of them are hideous and totally defy the purpose of the day for me. I mean - no offence - but who wants cheap-tasting chocolate in the form of a rosebud? Seriously...

Anyway, Valentine's Day is not about presents for me anyway. It is about spending time with this special someone. Or write heart-warming notes and letters.

That is what I decided to do this year - write a love letter. Because my poor love hasn't received one from me in a long time. And he deserves it more than ever. I think living together, being married and expecting a child together shouldn't be excuses for not writing love letters.

So all I have to do is to pop over to my favourite stationary shop kikki.k and get those...


... and then sit down with a lovely cup of tea and write...

Happy Inspiration!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh Baby, it’s Monday! - Pressies for new mums

Every Monday I will post something related to babies: inspiration, craft projects, baby news, and discoveries I have made in this new and exciting world for me. I hope you come along on that rollercoaster ride with me.

* * *

I just visited a friend who had her baby a couple of weeks ago. Her little one is adorable. And she is coping incredible well with the lack of sleep. And good, but...
...her house is still full of pink flowers and pink teddy bears. Which leads me to the question: Can I make a wish list of things I want after I have given birth? Or is that too demanding?

picture from here

I don’t want flowers. I know everybody loves flowers, but, I ... aehm although I don’t mind them,... I just find them pretty smelly sometimes and they just fade away too quickly.

picture from here

I also don’t want fake bouquets made of cloth nappies. I know them are useful, but just not particularly special – keeping in mind the special occasion.

picture from here

I don’t want chocolates. Well, I love chocolate, but just not the truffles type that you often get as a present.

picture from here

I don’t want diamond rings. Well, not those chunky ones anyway. I cannot imagine that you can caress your precious newborn with such a big bling on your finger.

What I really want is...

picture from here

... some oysters

picture from here

... a glass of champagne

picture from here
... a huge sushi platter

picture from here
...and Tiramisu!

All the things I love. All the things I crave for. All the things I wasn’t allowed to eat and drink during the pregnancy – for breastfeeding these are obviously okay.

So hopefully, my love reads this post and remembers it in 4,5 months ;-).