Author: itslauralou

A love for adventure, cooking, photography and travel leads me through the world. I just love life.

My Week 25/16: Art Basel, Last Exams

Long time no see! Wow, University has been so intense after the last few months! I have one exam left an then it’s time for summer – YAY!

I’d like to introduce a new category to my blog called “My Week”. I was thinking about how to remember all the awesome things I experience and since I’m not the person to write an everyday diary and since I love to take pictures I thought this would be the best way to do it. I’m still experimenting so let’s see if I can continue with this!


What was on my desk: Since I’m approaching my last exams I didn’t see anything else than my desk for a month, I decided to go to Art Basel with a friend. The exhibition was huge! I took loads of pictures and last week I went through them all to pick out my favourites.

What I ate: A lot of burgers! I think I had enough burgers for my lifetime. But if you’re watching the Euro 2016 I can’t think of a meal which fits better. I had a blast with my friends watching the Germany match last week. Unfortunately Switzerland lost yesterday but now I still have Germany to go for.

What is planned: I have my last exam next week. After that I’m preparing my summer break. I still have some DIY’s to finish so I’d like to catch up on that.

Discovery of the week: Looking back I realise I was listening to the same music over and over. A friend of mine showed me this song last week and I’m kind of obsessed with it. I might have to create a summer playlist.


 

Motivational Books for 2016

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Everyone is so enthusiastic when a new year begins and they create lists of plans they want to do. This counts for me as well. But sadly the plans fade by the end of January because the daily life has us in it’s hands.

This year I don’t want this happen to me! A lot of people think new year, new chance. But what about new month, new chance or even new day, new chance? I’m a huge book lover and lately I’ve been reading some really inspirational books. One thing I’ve learnt: You can’t change things from one day to another.

The wish of change can’t be fulfilled by only wanting it. You have to dig deeper. Why do you want it? Which benefits does it bring? How will it influence your daily life positively?

Here are some books I can really recommend:

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  1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. This book was mentioned by so many Youtubers and Bloggers in 2015. In the beginning I wondered if the book really was worth the hype. Finally, in December I decided that I wanted to read the book and I have to admit, it’s pretty good. Marie Kondo wrote the book in a way that you want to start tidying. While I was reading, there were so many passages where I though this was so true. In this book you’re confronted with the real origin of questions while you’re tidying – incredible! I’ve already wrote down a date when I’m starting to tidying with the KonMari method.
  2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. A precious treasure which shows you the things which make us happy in the everyday life. I’ve read this book last summer but somehow I lost track in the last few chapters. But since it’s a new year it’s a perfect opportunity to start reading this book because the chapters are divided into months. Gretchen Rubin shares her struggles and shows a human side, you can really relate to her. I think the division into months is great, every month you have a new chance and you’re constantly doing something for your happiness.
  3. Die Kunst, ein kreatives Leben zu führen by Frank Berzbach. Unfortunately, only a book in German but to you German speaking readers out there: It’s a real gem! This book is perfect for times when you fell sad and got the feeling that you can’t accomplish anything. Let’s be real – we all have those days. The good thing about this book is that you can read small chapters for a motivation boost.
  4. Living Well One Line a Day by Chronicle Books. I’ve received this lovely book on Christmas 2014 and I was so pumped to start writing in this book. Unfortunately, it only lasted for two weeks. But reading through the things I wrote down last year really motivated me to start again. Don’t give yourself the pressure to fill in every day. I think this book is especially interesting in your early 20’s – it’s the time when a lot of changes happen and I can imagine myself reading through this diary in a few years.
  5. The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal. A pretty book I just discovered recently. Such a simple idea and such a beautiful outcome! It’s perfect to star now because every week you’re supposed to write a list to a specific theme. Writing things out and visualising them helps you to get aware of the things you want to focus on. The beautiful design of this book supports you with writing down your list every week.

How about you? How do you motivate yourself and how to do you keep it going? Do you have some book recommendations as well? Let me know in the comments!

24 Hours in Milan

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Are you also planning ahead for awesome adventures this year? Sometimes adventure isn’t that far away as you may think. I’ve never realised how lucky I was to live in the middle of Europe. People all over the world travel to Europe to see this huge variety of culture we have in such a small spot. Compared to other continents our countries are really tiny.

An all time favourite for weekend trips is definetly Milan. Delicious food, stunning architecture, warm sunshine and several shopping opportunities  – a woman couldn’t ask for more! Sure, for some relaxing time I love to go to forests and lakes, but let’s be honest, everyone needs some hard core shopping some times 😉 When you’re shopping and sightseeing you will get hungry at one point. Milan has so many restaurants and I’d like to show you three of my gems, one for brunch, a place for an afternoon dessert and somewhere to eat a delicious dinner.

 

Botega

Literally love at first sight! I love well designed places and Botega is definetly one. And if there is delicous food, I can’t resist anymore. Botega has a huge selection of pasteries. Just looking at the display lets you mouth water. You can really see how they made everything with love. Definetly try their delicious fruit juices, they’re so refreshing on a spring morning.

 

Cioccolatitaliani

Cioccolatitaliani is a place to stop when you love everything sugary. A wide variation from hot chocolates so stunning dessert plates – They have everything you could wish for. This place is really popular, so if you want to get something more than ice cream be sure to keep looking for a seat!

 

Temakinho

After all the ice creams you had during the day you should definetly stop at Temakinho. Some people might yell at me for not eating something Italian but they have really delicious sushi. I ordered various sushis and they were all so delicious (I want some right now). I love that the restaurant is Japanese and Brasilian inspired  – so special! Their drinks are good as well, a perfect way to end your day!

Healthy Banana Muffins

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Kicking off the new year with an extremely delicious snack! If you’re a student like me, you know how hard it can be not to spend all your money in the cafeteria. You’ll always think: Oh, two bucks, that’s not very much. Spending this money every day sums up to be a lot in a few weeks. You’d rather spend it on holidays or new books.

Everyone has had bananas which turned brown at least once. That’s when you don’t really want to pick up the banana and eat it. Good for you, because I have the perfect solution: Banana and oats muffins!

It’s a secret recipe of me, every time I make them they’re gone so fast! So they are studying approved 😉

What you will need for 12 muffins:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 50g oats
  • 220g flour
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp linseeds
  1. Stir the butter until it’s pale yellow and creamy, then add your brown sugar.
  2. Mush your bananas in a separate bowl and add it with your eggs, honey and oats to your butter and sugar mixture.
  3. Gently add the flour (be careful or you’ll turn to a snowman) and your chia and linseeds. Stir everything carefully. I personally like to add some more seeds for all the amazing nutrients they have. Nuts would be a great option as well!
  4. Spoon your mixture into muffin cases. Now you can sprinkle some oats and seeds over it. A secret tip: Sprinkle some dark chocolate for ultimate deliciousness!
  5. Bake them in the oven at 180°C for 35-40 minutes.

Perfect for study breaks because the oats and chia seeds fill you up and you can go back concentrated to work!

Which are you secret studying break recipes? Let me know in the comments!

My Birthday Wishlist

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If I had to choose my favourite day of the year it would probably be my birthday. I love seeing my entire family this day and preparing cakes and other sweets to eat. Having birthday about two weeks after Christmas isn’t that bad – the people are already settling into the new year and there are a lot of sales which means I can get my birthday wishes for less money. I haven’t had a Christmas wishlist last year so now I’m showing you little bits and pieces I’ve discovered in the last months which I’d love to own.

  1. I love to paint and I’d like to learn calligraphy with a brush. I’ve always used the watercolour in my painting pots but you should see how much paint I’ve only used for calligraphy! Recently I’ve discoverd liquid watercolour from Ecoline. I already own a black one so more colours would be amazing to work with!
  2. In December I had a Kiehl’s Advent Calendar and there I discovered Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I’ve heard a lot of people rave about this. I have to admit, it’s pretty good.
  3. For my birthday last year I got a susbscription to one of my favourite authors. This year I’d love to continue reading the Donna Hay Magazine. Awesome photography and awesome recipes!
  4. I own a small Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 and I have a few original Polaroids in my camera collection. I’ve thought a long time about this upgrade because I already had my Mini 8. This summer while travelling through China I wish I had a Fujifilm Instax 210 to caputure the stunning scenery.
  5. Something you can never get enough are notebooks. I always was the person who wouldn’t start a notebook because I was afraid of ruining it. Within the last two years I’ve learned to note all my ideas. I stumbled over these pretty notebooks from Rifle Paper.
  6. Since discovering calligraphy I wanted an easier method than paint and brush. While reading and watching tutorials with pens, I noticed that the Copic Sketch and Tombow Dual Brush Pen are really popular. I got a black Tombow pen and instantly fell in love with it. I’m about to collect more colourful pens to do awesome artwork.
  7. I’ve followed Estée Lalonde for a few years now and she’s such an inspiration! Recently she mentioned the Chanel lipstick in BOY – a stunning daytime colour in my opinion. It’s such a classic colour and it will complement each skin tone!
  8. While in Stuttgart I visited the Fluxus Temporary Concept Mall. So many inspiring stores gathered in one place, you coudn’t ask for more! In one of the tiny stores I saw the Recipe Box from Rifle Paper. As you know, I want to discover and create some new healthy recipes this year and this would be an awesome helper for me!

 

Hello 2016!

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Wow, I can’t remember another year which flew by like 2015! But now we have a new year, a new book, page 1 of 366. Let’s make it count!

Let’s be real – sticking to your New Years resolution is really hard and I’ve never been a person who wrote resolutions. I can’t imagine how it’s possible to change from one day to another. But I do believe you can enhance things you’re already doing.

2015 was the year I paused my blogging because I was hung up on perfection with photography which lead to no blogging at all. You can’t be perfect from the start and everything is a learning process. Trying new things will show you what you want. Let’s try photography!

Adventure. 2015 was filled with adventures such as Milan, the Netherlands and China. Looking back now they seem so far away. I want to capture more and let’s see what 2016 brings!

I believe that eating the right food will influence you positively. No, I’m not planning to become vegetarian or vegan. I want to learn more about or fuel and how of bodies work. Eating right and exploring more food is something I’ll definetly do this year!

Which strengths do you want to enhance and how are you going to reach your goals?

Let 2016 be awesome!

 

DIY Advent Calendar

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One of the sweetest things to do in December is to make an advent calendar for your loved ones. Sometimes it can be hard to come with new ideas every year so I decided to make a reusable calendar. I often struggle where I should begin so here’s an idea for you.

What you will need:

  • a sewing machine
  • 150 x 60 cm cloth (I bought mine from Ikea)
  • 15 m gift ribbon
  • 25 small gifts
  • craft paper
  • a black pen
  • scissors
  • decorations such as fir branches and christmas bulbs

Turn your cloth around and fold it in half and mark rectangles with the measurements of 10,5 to 16 cm. Secure the edges of the rectangles with safety pins. Now you can sew both long sides: leave a margin of about 0,6 cm. Your small bag should have one open side. Now you can turn it around and if you want you can iron it.
Now you’re about to fill you advent calendar. I bought some big packs of sweets to divide them into the bags. But also small handcreams or a travel size shampoo are very useful. If you want to surprise your sister of girlfriend your could also put a lipsitck in it. A option for children is to buy a set of Lego and divide them into several bags. I made three advent calendars and the filling for each person was about 20 bucks.

Now you can draw small numbers onto your craft paper and cut them out. Make a little hole on the top – that’s where you can attach it to the gift ribbon. Tie your gift ribbon aroud your bag and make a pretty looking bow. Now measure how long this ribbon is and cut 25 pieces of the same lenght. You can push some fir branches into the ribbon as decoration.

You can decide if you’d like to hang up your calendar or lie it onto a table. It will be a lovely advent gift for sure!

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Banana And Blackberry Porridge

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Hi my lovely readers! My #Glücksreporter week is finished and so I have some more time for this blog 🙂 If you are new here – welcome 😀 Oh, and one more thing, I made myself a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/itslauraloublog), follow for updates! 🙂

Since I’ve decided to eat healthier, especially breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day, I’m on the look for new recipes. I’ve tried to make porridge again the other day and I was going for more an autumnal taste. I decided to combine banana with cinnamon and added a bit of jam. I really love self-made jam. A big plus about it is, that you know what’s in your jam. Sometimes I get a bit scared, when I hear about all the preservatives in our food. This recipe makes two portions of porridge.  (more…)

Scones feat. Aix et Terra

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One thing I’ll always eat when I’m in the U.K. are scones. And since I discovered them I really wanted to try them out myself but somehow I never found the opportunity. When I was in the south of France this summer I was in Aix-en-Provence one day and I really wanted to get some hand-made presents like soaps or Calissons. I found this tiny shop in the centre of the city and firstly I fell in love to the packaging. I entered the shop and I was astonished by all the lovely creations the had. I was able to test their lemon curd and some more flavours and just in that moment I remembered my plan of making scones. The lemon curd and the crème da caramel landed in my shopping bag and back at home they were served with freshly made scones.  (more…)

Chocolate Brownies With Nuts

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One thing you can never go wrong with are brownies – everyone loves them, everyone eats them. Last weekend my mum made a little party for her dancing group and asked me to make some. You can’t believe how fast they were gone! My mum secretly stole two and took them home, so I decided to make some more to share with my friends!  (more…)