Au Revoir mon Amour

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Sorry for the silence but my life is in some turmoil right now. I left France and came back to NYC but only for a quick vacation since I just signed a new contract for another summer with my airline back in Germany.
There’ll be a bunch of posts coming up but for now I have some pictures for you from my last days at the Côte d’Azur:

I will miss those colorful houses….

Monday I’m in Love- Flowers and Seeds

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Obviously, I love jewelry. I love unique jewelry and even though I spend a bunch of my year living in Manhattan, I love nature.

This ring by the incredibly talented Blanca Monros Gomez is just the perfect combination of those loves:

How great are these rings??? I think you would need a combination of at least two in different sizes ( she makes three sizes ranging from 100$ for a small to 195$ for a big one) and  one could also stack them with a plain gold band.

They are made from 14K rose gold but also available in other gold colors made on custom request.

She has an online store and there are also a few retailers who carry her creations (look under “stores” on the website).

Now how do I get my boyfriend to  get my engagement ring from her… ?

I love the Ocean

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The best part about living at the Côte d’Azur is, hands down, the ocean. This amazing azure blue ocean. I love smelling the salty air, looking at the seemingly infinite waters and listening to the waves.

There is a poem that has been my favorite for years since it captures this feeling of total peace that one gets just lying at a beach and  simply being there for no other reason  but enjoying the moment.

It’s by Günther Kunert and I’ll share it with you:


In den Dünen sitzen.

Nichts sehen
Als Sonne.

Nichts fühlen
Als Wärme.

Nichts hören
Als Brandung.

Zwischen zwei
Herzschlägen glauben:

Nun
Ist Frieden.

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Translated to english it goes something like this:

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Sitting in the dunes

Seeing nothing
But sun.

Feeling nothing
But warmth.

Hearing nothing
But waves.

Between two heartbeats thinking
This is peace.

Tasty Thursday- The Easter Bunny/Lamb Cake

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This recipe is nothing special. Really, it isn’t. It is a simple cake and the only thing out of the ordinary is the form you bake it in.

For me, this cake has much more of a sentimental value than a culinary one because this is what my Mom would bake every Easter for our traditional family breakfast on Easter morning.

As long as I can remember we have made and eaten that cake. The ears of the bunny almost always broke off and we would always fight over who gets to eat the head ( in hindsight that one sounds pretty weird…).

The cake itself is pretty ordinary yet so delicious in its simplicity that we would often use the recipe for the base of fruit topped cakes throughout the year.

So here it is, the legendary Easter Bunny/Lamb cake:

This is what you need:

60g butter
65g sugar
a few drops vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp rum
60g ground almonds
60g flour
60g cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder

This is what you do:

Simply whisk together the sugar and butter, add the vanilla extract, rum and salt and beat in the eggs until the batter is smooth and creamy.

In a different bowl mix all the remaining dry ingredients and add that mixture slowly to the batter until everything is incorporated.

To get your form ready, make sure to grease it really well with some vegetable oil or butter ( even if your form says it’s non-stick, trust me). Fill the form and bake at 180°C for  about 20 minutes.

The cake will be done when the top is slightly curved and nicely browned. This one is easy to over bake because the unusual shape causes it to be done much faster than your everyday cake.

Let it cool in the form for about 10 minutes and then slowly release the sides and open the form.

If you want it to be super fancy you can decorate it with chocolate, we usually just dust it with a little bit of powdered sugar.

Voila! Happy Easter!

Dear French, what’s up with the coffee? How to order coffee in France

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I am a coffee addict. I know a lot of people say that but it is painfully true for me, I literally get headaches if I don’t get my fix in the morning. While I do need milk in it, I am definitely the strong coffee kind of gal.

In my opinion it comes down to the stronger/more the better which is why I came to love that symbol of capitalism and global gentrification: Starbucks.

It’s strong, you get to add as much or as little milk as you like, it’s a lot for a comparable low price and they let you stick around for hours while offering free wi-fi.

If you’ve ever been to France, you know what’s coming: France is not the place for that kind of coffee addiction.

There was a line out the door! I figured this would be great...

Now picture this: I am walking around the old town, taking in all the sunny goodness of the Côte d’Azur and think to myself:  “I could use some coffee right now”. So I walk into a nice and fancy looking place and apply my best french and smile by saying: “Un café s’il vous plaît”.

The feeling I had when the barista placed the result of my order in front of me can only be described as utter disappointment.

Now I am not saying that France doesn’t have good coffee. There are a bunch of lovely places with hight tech coffee presses that use great quality beans and brew fresh to order. But it comes in a cup the size of my thumb!

So I did a little research and a little talking to the right people and am giving you the Top 5 things to know to maneuver your way to the fulfillment of your caffeine craving in a French café:

1. First and foremost: French “café” is not your ordinary filter coffee – it is what most other people would call “espresso”.  Strong, brewed my shooting pressurized  hot water through finely ground coffee, served in a teeny tiny cup. If you ask for “un café”, this is what you get.

2. Café Noisette: Literally means “hazelnut coffee” resulting from its rich brown color produced by a splash of cream in the espresso. Equally tiny, just a little less strong.

3.Café au lait: Roughly equals a “latte” with its base being espresso served in a bigger cup that gets filled up with milk.

4.Café American: Now the opinions on this one are twofold: Some people insist that this is filtered coffee, others say ( and that has been my experience) that this is espresso served in a big cup simply filled up with water. This especially makes sense since it essentially goes along with what Starbucks calls “Americano”.

5. Never order coffee to accompany any kind of meal other than breakfast. Having some tarte au chocolat as dessert and want some coffee with that? Forget about it, the waiter will look at you as if you just dropped from outer space. I know, the urge is there but just don’t do it.

I love France. I do. But I can’t wait for the day when I can walk into a Starbucks again and order a nice and simple coffee, Venti please!

Monday, I’m in Love – Blue and Gold

I am really into colored gemstones lately. I just love the vibrant colors and paired with gold they just look amazing! (I am totally in love with gold, did I mention that before?).

These bracelets are just stunning.

The material is gold vermeil ( for the non jewelry experts: Vermeil is gold filled sterling silver) and feature  natural blue Lapsis stones.

They are made by Masha Lezhen, a jewelry designer from New York City.

She has a fabulous etsy store called “Delezhen“, seriously I could buy the whole collection, she is such a great talent!

Wouldn’t these look great with a summer dress?

Monday, I’m in Love – Double Dahlia

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Spring is finally here and that means that scarfs get stashed in the back of the closet and replaced by fun tops with low necklines.

And what would look better with these kind of tops than a layered necklace to give the whole outfit a certain elegance.

This weeks featured item is an unusual but very pretty design of a double stranded necklace with a large Dahlia flower that connects the two chains.  This is so unique and beautiful!

 

The Dahlia measures 2 inch diameter  and is placed asymmetrically on the adjustable chains.  The necklace is made from recycled metals and comes in sterling silver overlay or 14k gold overlay.

It is made by “Kris Nations” , two sisters that teamed up to make some pretty awesome jewelry. Their work has already been featured in various magazines and you can sense that they just love what they do.