Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Friday!

Not much going on in my life today. First I had a long sleep-in. Then I had a wonderful lunch with my friend C. Then I had a nanna nap. Read a few blogs. Now I am almost ready to go back to bed again. Is that normal for the ninth month of your pregnancy? Or am I just a lazy possum? Or is it because now it is really winter in Melbourne – with rain and early darkness?

Anyway, have a great transition into a fun, pastel-coloured weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My creative space...

Another fun blog initiative. Every Thursday bloggers from Australia and all over the world show you their creative space and what they are currently working on. Join the fun at Kootoyoo. So inspiring to start a new project or finish the UFO (UnFinished Project) that has been lying about forever!
* * *

How exciting! My first time at ‘my creative space’. I have been peeking at your amazing projects and wonderful crafty rooms for quite a while now. So I thought it is only fair to show you my creative space in exchange. Although it is just our dining table and I have to clear it for each dinner (or serve dinner in front of the TV ;-)) Anyway, I guess that this space and time limitation at least keeps the chaos at bay which I would definitely create if I would be able to leave my craft projects on a table for longer ;-)

At the moment I try to come up with projects for which I can use material that I already have. The bottom of my wardrobe is filled with fabrics and scrap paper and beads and ribbons – and since we are moving back to Germany in just 4 months, I really don’t want to buy more crafting stuff, which I then have to ship over in a container.

My first project will hopefully become a bib necklace one day. I want to keep it simple but sophisticated and use up as much of my big bag of felt leftovers and boxes of beads. I will let you know how I go ;-).

Have a great Thursday and looking forward to seeing your creative spaces!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wedding Photos – Part VII

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’.
* * *

Wedding photos are such a difficult decision you make in preparation for your big day. And the tricky thing is that you don’t have a second chance to get your perfect memories. Therefore I started a mini post series on wedding photos – how to make up your mind, how to decide which photographer to choose, what to prepare etc. So here is the last part:
1. Inspiration
2. Research
3. Briefing
4. Reality Check
5. Take your time
6. Enjoy
7. Be patient

Be patient – Perfect results might need a bit of time (and photoshopping)
Give your photographer a few days to recover from your wedding (yes, they need sleep too), to chose the best pictures and delete the blurry ones (even the most professional and artistic photographers might have the odd picture that no one needs to see) before you request to get them send.

I have to admit I completely failed at this task myself. I insisted on getting our photos before we went on our honeymoon and back to Australia. Which was just a few days after the wedding itself. It meant more sleepless nights and long working days for our poor photographer Bianca . And my only excuse is that it was one of my few bridzilla moments and I didn’t really know what I was requesting until afterwards. ;-( Nevertheless I am very sorry, Bianca)!!!

That was the last part of my mini-post-series on wedding photos. I hope I have covered everything you need to consider when choosing and organising your wedding photos. If you have any additional tips or questions, please just leave me a comment or send me an email ( and I promise to get back to you asap!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New hair, new me

For once I have actually realised my high-flying plans straight away. I went to the hairdresser and got a new cut – just days after putting it onto my maternity leave to-do-list and promising to look after myself more. Wow, I am impressed by myself ;-)

On the other hand, I don’t know why it always takes me 3 months to get my hair cut. I love the feel and look of freshly-cut hair so much that I should really do it every month or at least every 6 weeks. Maybe I should start getting into the habit of booking my next appointment while I am there?

The cut itself is nothing crazy or mind-blowing, but one I had for about a year in various lengths and I definitely want to keep it a bit longer. Because it suits me (I think). It looks great even if I don’t blow-dry it (which I usually don’t do). It is long enough to pull it back into a ponytail. It doesn’t look too grown-up (for a 34 year old). It doesn’t look too try-hard-young either (for a 34 year old). At least I hope so ;-) Anyway, as you can see, I am really happy with my new look:

By the way: the ‘photo-cabin-style’ photo is taken by this amazing online tool. All you need is a webcam connected to your computer. So much fun. I could spend the whole evening making silly photos of myself. Don’t worry, the home website is in French, but then switches to English and I am sure you will figure out very quickly how it all works. Super-easy! And please send me some links to your photo booth pics if you post them on your blog ;-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Birth Announcements

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 am currently looking at birth announcements. And there are more decisions to be made than I first thought.

Paper or email?
I am still such a paper person – I know often an email is so much quicker and people actually prefer it over a letter. But not on such important or special occasions like weddings or births! I think in these cases you need something you can keep: in a shoebox, on the fridge, in a photo album or wherever you store special memorabilia. So paper it is for me. Maybe with a quick email or text to my nearest and dearest to share the ‘good news’ immediately.

A definite YES for me. Babies are adorable – oh well maybe not in the first couple of days with their bruises, funny-shaped heads and red, wrinkled faces. But afterwards they are just beautiful. I always loved looking at the tiny new beings. Tried to figure out whether they looked more like their dad or mum (usually it is just the perfect combination of both). Admired their peaceful sleep or their open stares. So yeah for photos

Printed text or handwritten note?
As I said I am old-fashioned when it comes to invitations. I prefer any hand scribbled note – no matter how difficult it is to decode – over a beautifully composed and printed text. Especially on those exceptional moments in life. It also gives you the opportunity to personalise the announcement. What I want to tell my grandma about the arrival of her first great-grandchild will be very different from the thoughts I want to share with my best friend. I know it takes a lot of time, but in my opinion it is worth every second.

The usual information or a bit more?
Name, date of birth, time of birth, height, weight – the usual things. Okay, I understand the former three – these are interesting information. Not too sure about height and weight. What does that tell you? That the baby is healthy? That the labour was easy or hard? That my baby is the biggest ever in the family? Or the lightest? Aren’t other information more important? Things like that we fall more in love with her every day. That she has the cute habit of wrinkling her little nose whenever she becomes annoyed with something (or whatever she will actually do)?

Bought or crafted?
Not sure yet. I usually make invitations (even our wedding invitations) and birthday cards myself. Because I love to craft with paper, have stacks of different cardboard and ribbons and adhesive tapes and just like the handmade feel of them. But when looking for inspiration online, I found some which are already amazing and they don’t cost the earth, so it would feel a bit stupid and like a copy-cat to replicate them. Have a look at these wonderful examples and then you understand why I cannot make up my mind:
found here

found here

found here

found here

found here

As you can see there is a little polka dot theme going on. This is not a coincidence though, because the name we currently use for our little one (aka belly name) is dottie. Yes, I am really into images and things with a special meaning ;-)

Dear readers, do you have any creative tips or ideas on how to design and what to include into the birth announcement? I would love to be inspired and I’ll keep you updated on how I go with my decision making on the cards.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Becoming a parent but be yourself

I know becoming a parent is a life-changing moment. Nevertheless I think it is also important to realise, that no matter what will happen to you after you had the baby, you still will be yourself. Maybe a new version of you. Maybe a more responsible one. Maybe a more caring one. Maybe someone who sleeps less. Maybe one who is more focussed on the precious new little being
you will be still you. And I think that is something you shouldn’t forget about. Not during your pregnancy. And not afterwards either.

So, although a lot of my thinking, doing and talking is centred on the arrival of my little one in a couple of weeks (and you, dear readers, have surely recognised this in the blog as well – all that baby stuff!) – I try also to focus on things, which I like. Which are important to me. Or to other people I love.

So, dear mums and mums-to-be, please look after yourself as well. And make sure you spend enough time that is...

all about you:
  • Spend money on yourself: buy a piece of art, buy beautiful (not necessarily practical) clothes
  • Read a stimulating book: I highly recommend ‘Mother Tongue’ by Bill Bryson, which is an amazing book about the English language, but the key thing is that is has nothing to do with pregnancy, labour, breastfeeding or parenting
  • Pamper yourself: get a new hair cut (and don’t just focus on easy maintenance), paint your nails (or ask someone to do it for you)
  • Make something for you: sew a dress, craft some jewellery, draw

all about your loved ones:
  • Spend quality time with your partner: have fun, be romantic, ask about his feelings/ thoughts and listen, talking about the little one is not allowed 
  • Spend quality time with your family and friends: listen to what they have to say, what is going on in their lives (weddings, breakups, new jobs, holidays...), don’t only ramble about your pregnancy and baby  
And please enjoy these times without any guilt, because if you are happy, your baby/ child will benefit from that as well. Before and after his/ her birth!

So be happy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One thing crossed off my ‘34 things to do before I turn 35’-list:

After I finished my mat-leave-to-do-list yesterday, I realised that I already have a wonderful to-do-list full of things which I promised to fulfil before I turn 35. 2 months of the 34-years-year have already past and I wasn’t able to cross anything off ;-( Until now!

7. be more eco-conscious
8. invest in art
9. be less impatient
Yes, it is true. I invested in an original, authentic piece of art. Gone are the days where my walls were filled with posters and IKEA prints of famous masterpieces. Now I am a serious art collector. And I promise you this is just the beginning. Whenever I have a bit of money to spend I will buy a new piece. I will constantly look for artists and their work that really connect with me – because I think this should be the only reason to buy art. Because it inspires you. Because you love to look at it. Because it is special to you. Not because it is by an upcoming artist. Not because it would make a great investment. It is art, for god sake, not a bond!

Water Dreaming by Sally Clark
I absolutely love it!!! The way she combined a treaking with the dotting technique. It is so vibrant! So powerful! So colourful! So abstract! So routed in nature! So special to me – it will always remind me of the wonderful land I saw here in Australia and the wonderful people I met here and the amazing stories I heard.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mat Leave To-Do-List

Ah, I feel much better now. As promised (link) I sat down with a coffee and paper and pen yesterday and thought long and hard about what I want to do during my mat leave. And guess what I came up with? A top-ten-list of things I am really looking forward to:

1. Read at least one book with 400+ pages from cover to cover
2. Finish the embroidery on my baby quilt
3. Back a cake
4. Go to the hairdresser for a great haircut
5. Make a dummy band
6. Rearrange the furniture in our apartment to have room for the little one
7. Have a Thai take-away dinner in our car at the beach
8. Watch all the movies I always wanted to see but never got around to
9. Make a few warm baby jackets
10. Look for nice music to put on my iPod

I am really excited about the next few weeks now. So please keep your fingers crossed that my little one stays a bit longer in my big belly and let her mama do all these wonderful things.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My first (real) Day of Maternity Leave

It’s is really true. I am on maternity leave from now on. I am free and a lady of leisure. No more presentations to deliver – I had my last one yesterday, just to delay the goodbye a tiny bit longer. But now no more reports to finish. No more goodbye parties. No more doctors’ appointments (at least for the next 2 weeks). Nothing ...

For 5 weeks. Or 3? Or 7? Depending on when our little dottie decides to come.

Feels good!

Sleeping in every morning. Having a proper breakfast with my lovely husband. Read blogs on end. Reply to all the emails sitting in my inbox. Prepare everything for the arrival of my little one. Start organising our move to Germany. Catch up with friends who I haven’t seen in ages. Take walks at the beach. Craft, craft, craft.

Feels weird,too!

No coffee or lunch break with my nice colleagues anymore. No gossip next to the coffee machine. No nice emails from happy clients. No challenges with new projects.

Oh well, I think I just need to start the first day of my maternity leave with a caffe latte, paper and pen and think about what I really want and need to do in the next couple of weeks.

I will show you my mat-leave-to-do-list tomorrow. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wedding Photos – Part VI

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’. 
* * *
Wedding photos are such a difficult decision you make in preparation for your big day. And the tricky thing is that you don’t have a second chance to get your perfect memories. Therefore I started a mini post series on wedding photos – how to make up your mind, how to decide which photographer to choose, what to prepare etc. So here is the sixth part:

6. Enjoy
7. Be patient

Enjoy – Forget about the photographer, enjoy the moment and be happy

It is your big day, so please don’t spoil it by trying to look perfect all the time. By worrying about your make-up or hair or green things between your teeth…

Actually I completely forgot about Bianca. I was so busy being in the moment and soaking up every little detail, that I honestly didn’t think of her until she came to say good-bye at 10pm. I was very glad to learn afterwards that my sister had offered her food and drinks (I am normally a good host!). And I was absolutely thrilled when I saw all the wonderful photos she made – completely from the background without asking anyone to pose or move out of her way.

If you want to see more pics, please just head to her post about our wedding on her blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Work is over

Today was my last day at work.

On the one hand I was really happy, because the last few weeks have been getting more and more exhausting. I am not a morning person anyway, but in the last couple of days getting out of bed was almost impossible. The walk to the tram was so tiring. Sitting all day at my desk was uncomfortable. In presentations I literally had to gasp for air (my lungs are just too squashed up by now). And by 3pm I could have fallen asleep on my desk.

On the other hand I am sad, because my lovely colleagues made it really hard for me to leave. They took me out to wonderful girl lunches. They constantly offered me help to carry things. They toasted me with drinks. They gave me a huge card full of best wishes and a wonderful baby carrier as farewell present... In one word: they made it just incredible hard for me not to see them 5 days a week anymore.

Oh well, but now it is done. All my projects are finished. Handovers have happened. Invoices are checked. The goodbye email is sent. Work is over for now!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nappy Bag

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.
* * *
One item on my shopping list I was really struggling with was a proper nappy bag. The problem was that even while being full of mum-to-be hormones, I still wasn’t into cute teddy bears and pale yellow:
bag found here 

And I wasn’t going to be a sporty bike courier either:
bag found here  

And that I couldn’t believe that you really need a suitcase-sized bag for your nappy change items:
bag found here

And I wasn’t prepared to pay a super-hip price for a super-hip nappy bag. Although they are really nice ;-). The bag and papa Brad Pitt:
bag found here

And I didn’t have a bag big enough to fit this great bag-in-a-bag into:
bag found here

There were a few, I really, really liked:
bag found here

bag found here  

bag found here  

bag found here

But then, I found this one. And fell in love ;-):

bag from here
You are right. It is not a nappy bag. It is a handbag.


It has plenty of practical compartments and zipped pockets (inside and outside). It is made of microfiber so you can get rid of any stains with a wet cloth. It is big enough to hold some nappies, nappy bags, my changing mat, toys, breast feeding pads, wet wipes, change clothes, 2 comforters, a bottle/ baby food and my mobile, my calendar, my keys, my camera as well as my wallet.

Which all makes it my perfect nappy bag.

And it is beautiful!!!

It makes me smile, every time I put new nappies and wipes and change clothes into it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lazy Sunday

I am so lazy today.

I could craft something – but I am too lazy.

I could read a book – but I am too lazy.

I could take a walk at the beach – but I am too lazy.

I could/ should clean the house– but I am too lazy.

I could cook up a storm– but I am too lazy.

Oh well, I think you get the picture ;-)

So all I did today was sleeping, reading blogs and magazines, eating and drinking. I will watch ‘Bones’ on TV a bit later on, but that is about it. Bliss!

Hurray for lazy Sundays!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pierogi Night

Last night a good friend of mine invited us to a Pierogi night. Pierogi are a national Polish dish. They look a bit like “Maultaschen” (German) or “Dumplings” (Chinese) or “Ravioli” (Italian). They taste totally different though – much better of course – I was told by my friend A., who is originally from Poland.

After we nagged for about a year, she finally agreed to cook Pierogi for and with us last night. We were 6 girls with different cooking skills (very basic to almost chef-like) and backgrounds (Polish, German, Australian).

It turned out that make Pierogi is really easy. It is a lot of fun – especially with 5 other girls and lots of bubbly ;-). And it tastes devine.

Basic recipe for Pierogi with Potato &Bacon Filling

Dough (for about 50 Pierogi, approx. 6 hungry girls):
Pour 1kg flour on work bench. Create a little mountain with a whole in the middle. Add 1 egg, a dash of salt and warm water bit by bit and knead it until you get a firm but smooth dough. Add more water to make it smoother, add more flour if it is too sticky. (Attention: tough workout, you sure do not have to go to the gym for a while)

Filling: Potatoes & Bacon
Peel and boil 5 large potatoes until soft. Fry small bacon bits until crunchy. Add two chopped spring onions, salt and pepper and fresh parsley. Let the potato mixture cool.

Topping: Onion and Bacon
Fry onions and bacon in a bit of oil until crispy.

Roll dough out flat on a floured work bench (about 3mm) and use a drinking glass to cut out circles. Put a tablespoon (or a bit more) of the filling in the middle of the dough circle and fold over the dough to form a half circle. Use fingers or fork to press edges together.

Cook Pierogi in boiling water until they float and drain
Bake or fry Pierogi in butter

Garnish with topping and serve with sour cream


Friday, April 16, 2010

Virtual Window Shopping

Sometimes I just cannot resist. I know I shouldn’t do it. Because first I feel great and get totally lost. And then I ‘wake up’ and recognise that I cannot have it. It seems to be so close. But it is too far away...

I am talking about virtual window shopping at H&M. I know it doesn’t sound too exciting if you live in Europe. But if you live in Australia, it is hard. For whatever reason H&M hasn’t detected the southern hemisphere as promising market, yet. And boy, I can tell you it would be a big hit. Because Australian girls are fashionable. And they like to dress up. And they like even more if fashion doesn’t cost a fortune. So, H&M please take my advice. Open a couple of stores in the main cities and you will make a fortune...

Although we are in the middle of Australian autumn, I still fell in love with all those wonderful maritime outfits currently available at H&M. I think nautical never goes out of fashion. It always airs summer, freshness, sophistication and leaves room for fashionable twists. You can dress it up or down. Add sparkle, bright colours, denim or crisp whites.

casual meets bling

mermaid meets gold nugget

blue denim meets yellow lacquer

All outfits from here. And all under 40 EUR


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Top 5 Pregnancy Books

It is the 15th again – so it is time for reading. And time for sharing my favourite books with you. This month it is all about books I really enjoyed reading during my pregnancy.

What to expect when you are expecting by Heidi Murkoff
English only
Week-by-week development of your little one during the pregnancy. Changes of your body and potential issues month-by-month. Details about labour and the first weeks with the baby. My bible. Answers all your questions. Give you freedom to decide what is right for you. Empowering. Informative. Great!

Hebammen Gesundheitswissen by Silvia Höfer and Nora Szász
German only
Possible solutions to all pregnancy related discomforts. Diagnosis and treatment of issues your little one might have. Very practical, not too esoteric, but with lots of heart and soul. First stop before calling your obstetrician or paediatrician.

Das Stillbuch by Hannah Lothrop
German only
Everything you need to know about breastfeeding. Physical processes. Practical advice. Emotional attachment. Problems and possible solutions. Answers to all questions you didn’t want to ask or even think about.

Das Papa Handbuch by Robert Richter and Eberhard Schäfer
German only
Finally a book merely focussed on dads-to-be – but very interesting for mums as well. Including. Straight-forward. Compassionate. Great exercise on how to divide tasks between you and your partner. Managing expectations.

Happy Baby, Happy You by Karyn Siegel-Maier
English only
Wonderful tips to make yourself and your baby happy. Recipes for natural body care. Relaxation methods. Great baby food. Massage techniques. Household items as toys. Supportive, fun and surprisingly simple as well as affordable.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding Photos – Part V

 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’.
* * *

Wedding photos are such a difficult decision you make in preparation for your big day. And the tricky thing is that you don’t have a second chance to get your perfect memories. Therefore I started a mini post series on wedding photos – how to make up your mind, how to decide which photographer to choose, what to prepare etc. So here is the fifth part:

5. Take your time
6. Enjoy
7. Be patient

Take your time – Schedule in enough time for taking the photos. Taking professional picture requires time. You don’t want them to look like snapshots so put enough time aside in your busy day. Or re-schedule it.

We decided that – although we wanted beautiful bride-and-groom-photos – we also didn’t want to interrupt the wedding day by sneaking off for a couple of hours and leaving our guests for such a long time. Therefore we ended up booking an extra photo session with our photographer two days after the wedding. Best idea ever!!! I can just recommend that. It allowed us to dress up again (no fancy make-up and hair, but hey that wasn’t a drama after all) and to spend 4 hours trying out different locations (we went to all places where we had been on our first date) as well looks (spontaneous as well as a bit more posed). And we got photos of the two of us which we will treasure forever. Because they show how we really felt after the whole wedding craze was over.


Incredible happy.



Have a look at Bianca’s  lovely blog to see more photos of our Trash The Dress session