Posts tagged beauty

March Favorites

Hello friends,

I can’t wait for it to be spring. Says me currently looking out the window seeing snow. Oh dear. Anyways, it was time I shared some of my favorite things of the past month with you. What have you been loving lately? Let me know in the comments below.

#1 All things Cashews

I never really thought about cashews before last month that’s why I think I’m making up for all that time sans cashews in my life now.  If you haven’t tried cashew milk, roasted cashews or cashew yoghurt before, give it a try and you’ll love the smooth and satisfying taste. I much prefer to put cashew milk in my coffee since almond milk has quite a distinct taste, which I am not a fan of in coffee or tea. What is your favorite plant-based milk?

#2 Queer Eye

This show just makes me SO happy, it’s the most positive and uplifting thing I’ve watched lately. Also, can we just take a moment and talk about Antoni? I mean…

If you’ve seen it, what were your favorite makeovers? Mine must have been episodes  2, 4 (cried my eyes out on this one) and 8.

#3 Yoga Everyday

I love this woman, it’s no secret people, she’s FABULOUS.

I’ve also particularly loved her TRUE Yoga series , which I think is the best out of all the January series she’s done so far, so give it a try if you haven’t already. Still can’t believe I’ve met her.

#4 Give me all them brushes

I’ve treated myself to a skin brush and a dry brush last month and I bloody love both of them.

I got the dry brush from our local health store for $5 and let me tell you, that was the best investment in a looong time. Start at your feet and brush upward towards the heart before taking a shower. Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward. Use firm, small strokes upwards, or work in a circular motion. It’s said to have detoxifying properties, which I can’t say much about. What really is true though is that it activates your circulation and your skin appears to be smoother.

This skin brush by Vanity Planet has been a real treat that turns every night time routine in a mini at home spa moment. My skin seems to be a bit smoother and it just is a nice ritual using the brush on your skin. Love it!

#5 Reading

A good side effect of regular snow storms is finding yourself cuddled up on your sofa, which is my favorite place of the whole apartment anyways and READING. I’ve raided the Boston Public Library and have ordered so many books it’s potentially embarrassing. Amongst my current favorites are When Breath Becomes Air, Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, What to Eat and lots of recipe books (more on that to follow soon).

Have a lovely week everyone!

My Favorite Green Spots in Boston

Friends,

while the calendar might tell us we’re in spring, a look out the window will tell you otherwise. Snow, rain, snow-rain. BUT. Let’s not give up hope! Sharing my favorite green spots in the city or close by so you’re ready to go and explore once the sun decides to show up. Let me know what your favorite places are in the comments below.

#1 Mount Auburn Cemetery

This might be my favorite. And I honestly never thought a cemetery would be amongst my favorite but this is such a unique and beautiful place. It’s a 25 minutes walk away from Harvard Square but also accessible by public transportation. It’s also the first rural cemetery in the United States. If you’re into history and plants this is the place for you.

Bonus: You get a great view of the city on top of Washington Tower. Another bonus that’s pretty relevant: Finish off your exploration with a treat at the ever so great Sofra Bakery or a coffee at nearby Intelligentsia Coffee. Writing this down makes me want to be there right now. Minus the snow. Plus springlike temperatures and sun. Not asking much.

#2 Your Home?

If you’re not into leaving your house and prefer to create your personal space at home into a green oasis, check out Niche or the Brattle Square Florist. They’re both amazing flower shops. Who can say no to a cute little succulent or a big plant? I certainly can’t. They really have a great selection, check them out!

#3 Minuteman Bikeway

If you own a bike and haven’t heard of the Minute Men Trail yet, I highly suggest you give it a try. It’s a beautiful bikeway that passes through the historic area where the American Revolution began in April 1775. Today, the Minuteman Bikeway is one of the most popular and successful rail-trails in the US.

No worries if you’re not a biker, it’s a path open to walkers, kids and joggers too. An easy way to get there is to get off at Alewife and follow the directions. What I love about the Minuteman Trail is that there’s no traffic to worry about and that there’s shade provided by the trees, which especially comes in handy during hot and humid summer days.

#4 Fresh Pond

Located near Alewife if you’re thinking of using public transportation to get there, Fresh Pond is a great spot for joggers and dog walkers.

#5 Public Garden

This one will not come as a surprise since it’s one of the most well-known parks in the city. It’s a great choice for picnics or quiet reading sessions. Plus they’re so many beautiful flowers to look at!

#6 The Arnold Arboretum

The Harvard Arnold Arboretum is huge. And there’s something to see and explore all year round. Easily accessible and located on the orange line this is one for when you’re looking for a nice walk, you can bring your dogs!

What are your favorite green spots in Boston? I’d love to know!

Have a lovely day,

Sandra

Making Friends Abroad

Hi everyone,

how are you today?

I have been thinking about friendship and making friends abroad more specifically a lot lately and wanted to share my thoughts with you. Friendships are so special as they’re so different from any other type of relationship in our lives, right?

I had posted a piece about making new friends roughly a year ago (see here) and I am very happy to report: I’ve been successful.

Go me!

 

Is it easy to make new friends?

That’s a question I get asked a lot back home. Here’s what I’d usually answer.

Living abroad for two years is an immense privilege so I take it for what it is: A gift. Most people I’ve talked to that find themselves in a similar position would support this statement. It also doesn’t hurt living in an inspiring and international place like Cambridge where so many talented and bright people come together from all over the world. It’s a great starting point to making new friends I’d say.

And it was for me too. I am so grateful for having found new friends and having been able to build a new circle of trust within a few months only. A majority of people you’ll meet here aren’t originally from Boston nor are they from Massachusetts. Many are from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Europe, Mexico, South America, and the list goes on. And being away from home will force you to being open to making new connections.

Because be honest, you probably don’t go out actively seeking new friends in your hometown, don’t you? I can only speak of my personal and Swiss experience but I feel like I used to be especially lazy in that department. Looking back, I probably could have been more friendly with outsiders I met, I could have invited them over for a coffee or showed them around the city. But I didn’t. And if this American experience has taught me one thing then it’s this: To be more open-minded towards (and more friendly with) people who’ve moved to a new place.

Do you think you you’re open towards newcomers in your town?

The Native-Speaker-Friendship-Phenomenon

I will forever be grateful for meeting so many awesome people. It sounds cliché but interacting with an eclectic bunch of people will really widen your horizon and you’ll learn so many things. Even though we couldn’t have more different backgrounds and home countries, there is one thing that unites us: The experience of leaving home and starting a new life in a new country. We’re on this crazy ride together and share our experience of living in the US as Non-Americans. And that is something incredibly valuable already. Knowing that others go through similar struggles and find similar things about American daily life funny (or weird or both) will undoubtedly bring you closer.

What I also found is that your relation with your native language will change over time. I strongly believe that the saying ‘Distance makes the love grow fonder’ not only applies to people or things but also to language. I seize every opportunity to speak German therefore also greatly appreciate friendly people that speak it (I also call it the native-speaker-friendship-phenomenon).

The emotional attachment to your native language

The emotional attachment to a language is something fascinating. I realize how precious my native language is especially when talking to Swiss friends here in Boston. There is such freedom and beauty in being able to expressing your thoughts and feelings in an unfiltered way and one that feels so obvious and natural to you that you don’t even have to think twice.

As there are not that many Swiss people readily available in Boston, I have to extend my circle of German speakers to German and Austrian friends. And you know what? They are great too.

To my Boston friends reading this, I really appreciate each and every one of you, you make this American journey what it is and I’ll be forever grateful.

To my Swiss friends reading this, you’re great too (obviously) but think if you can be extra-nice to someone that’s moved to Switzerland or your town recently (unless said person is an idiot, then you don’t have to be extra-nice, I trust your call on this).

Cheers,

Sandra

5 Podcasts Worth A Listen #2

Hello friends,

with all the commuting to work I’ve been doing lately I’ve been getting back into listening to podcasts a lot.

I love them.

There’s something special and intriguing about listening to a voice talking straight into your ears. Do you listen to any podcasts? If so, I’d love to hear your recommendations. I’m even thinking about doing my own podcast (still a bit on the fence whether I should do it or not, let me know what you think) that’s HOW MUCH I love podcasts.

Right, now that we’ve established my love for podcasts, I’ll share my current favorites with you. There might be something in it for you too. And if you haven’t stopped reading by now because you can’t hear me saying the word podcast one more time, check out the other post I did about my podcast favorites here. And even though ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ will probably always be in my top 3 of best podcasts ever, it was time to move on and give others a chance too, so here we go.

#1 Women of The Hour

This is Lena Dunham’s podcast and I just have to put it out there: This podcast is just SO GOOD and well made. Lena and her team cover a wide range of topics such as spirituality, love, friendship, cats (yeah the animals, not the musical) and many others. It’s well produced and the women interviewed are so inspiring and interesting to listen to. Give it a try friends, you’ll enjoy it.

#2 Woman’s Hour

Not to be mistaken with Lena Dunham’s podcast (see above) this is a podcast by the BBC. Listening to the British English alone makes me feel good for some (weird) reason. Take that and combine it with interesting and thought-provoking topics and there you go, a great podcast to add to your list.

#3 Ted Talks Daily

If you haven’t heard of Ted Talks, where have you been living for the last couple of years? This podcast covers their Ted talks in audio format and is just always so interesting. Check them out, you’ll always learn something new.

#4 The BBC Documentary

Today’s theme seems to be Women and the BBC. But boy, this BBC Documentary podcast is just great. Prepare yourself to go on a journey around the world, accompanied by great journalists.

#5 Dear Sugars by The New York Times and WBUR

This one was a bit of a surprise to me in the sense that I was surprised at how much I liked it. It gets really addicting and makes you question yourself and how you would reply to certain questions listeners ask the hosts in their letters. I should probably explain what it is all about first, right? Sozzz. It’s the former cult-favorite advice column from The Rumpus in audio format, hosted by the author of Wild, Cheryl Strayed and author Steve Almond. The podcast answers everything listeners have questions about, no matter how deep or dark.

Boston Autumn: A Photo Album

Hi,

welcome to today’s photo post that is going to be a mix of things I’ve seen and done over the last couple weeks. Enjoy and have a great day!

Time For The Arts

Cambridge and Harvard aka our old neighborhood (still missing it)

Beacon Hill aka our new neighborhood (still getting used to it)

The Head of the Charles Regatta, the world’s largest two-day rowing event

Big Sur And Big Seals

Friends,

how are you doing today? I’m coming to you with a roadtrip report today, this time covering beautiful Big Sur. It’s really a special scenery that I enjoyed very much.

What I found even more amazing were the wild seals just lying in the sand. There were SO SO MANY of them. Loved them! Don’t they look like they’re having the time of their lives? Just chilling on the beach. All day. Every day. 

Turning Into a Stunt Woman For Apple Picking

Friends,

what are your favorite fall traditions? I’m currently experiencing my first American fall and have quickly learned that at least here in New England going apple picking is a MUST and has to be done.

Otherwise you’re not doing fall the right way.

Last weekend we decided to rent a car and headed out to the countryside. We went to Connor’s Farm (find more info about it here), which has been around since 1904. It’s basically a farm version of Disneyland, where kids (and adults alike) can indulge in playing all types of games, stroking baby animals, picking apples, shooting apples at targets (yes, that was a thing), eating lots of hot apple cider donuts and finding your way out of a corn maze (and getting lost lots of times on the way….and kind of getting scared that you’ll never get out AND thinking how all those parents let their kids go in on their own). It’s a pretty fun activity, I have to say.

Also, picking apples at the end of the season will have you pull off dangerous stunts (you didn’t know you were capable of) in order to get those last apples hanging (usually on top of the tree…of course). But hey, you have to work to get those apples.

Now we’re stuck with a mountain of delicious apples and I am researching all types of apple related recipes. If you have one you like, be sure to share it!

Have a great day!

 

When Science Meets Cooking

Hi friends,

if this post can do anything, I hope that it’ll make you curious to learn about new things or to at least consider your next cooking session a real science project. Because you know what? Cooking is science (not only of course but you’ll know better what I mean in a second)!

Harvard Science and Cooking Lecture – What it is

What made me think about food and cooking that way? It most definitely was attending the Harvard Science and Cooking Public Lecture. It’s a public and free lecture series organized by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard and it pairs Harvard professors with celebrated food experts and renowned chefs to showcase the science behind different culinary techniques. Cool, right?

It’s already in its seventh year and you’re able to find some old and new footage of recorded lectures online over at the Harvard YouTube channel. If a rainy day comes around again and you are somewhat interested in food and/or science, this is be a fantastic way to spend your time. Let me know what you thought! So if you aren’t a local (full schedule of upcoming lectures and guest to be found here), check out some of the videos below and on YouTube.

The last lecture I attended was by the great local superstar and Harvard graduate Joanne Chang and it was all about the science of sugar. While I wasn’t able to find the video about the talk I attended I managed to find the video of the lecture she did back in 2015. It’s just really cool to learn about sugar in such a new and unexpected way. Have a watch!

Take a course on EDX or just watch them online

Another great way to stay in the know if you’re even more curious is to enroll for a free and self-paced course over at EDX, check here for more information.

Some other interesting talks so far were about the art of fermentation and the science of risotto. Here come the videos, have a great week everyone!

 

LA: Showbiz Vibes, Palm Trees, Traffic

So. I’m doing a really bad job at chronologically recounting our Californian road trip as today’s post will cover our last stop in Los Angeles. But Los Angeles got me really excited so here you go.

And let me tell you one thing. I freakin’ loved it. And I would never have thought that I would.

You know how some people will tell you how big and dispersed the city is, how traffic is terrible at all times of the day and how everyone seems superficial and stuff? While the two first points kiiiiind of might be true I wouldn’t agree to the last one.

What really is amazing about LA is the weather. The sun shined E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y.

Also, there are nice neighborhoods and parts of the city such as Venice Beach, close-by Santa Monica, Silver Lake or Downtown with Little Tokyo and Koreatown. Overall, I just think that Los Angeles is so unique and unlike any other place I’ve ever visited before. I’m talking about those entertainment and showbiz vibes, you can’t miss them. I jokingly said to Philipp that basically every waiter/waitress we had at the nicer restaurants seemed to be either a model or an aspiring actor/actress. So many people just had this creative aura about them that I found HIGHLY intriguing. Also, having worked in advertising before I was particulary suprised to find out that basically all OOH advertising was related to movies, films, new series or any other type of entertainment related topic. I loved those creative vibes. A LOT. It’s difficult to explain. Philipp and I were even talking if LA would be a city we could see ourselves living in. While he clearly said no, I clearly said yes. I could run into some trouble, however, as I HATE driving. And without driving I’d basically be bound to stay at our (imaginary) LA house forever.

You’ve read up until this point (PROPS to you), so let’s get started with the photo show, shall we? Disclaimer: While I seemed to only take photos of food when we were in SF, I barely took any of that nature in LA. I will tell you where we had great food though so don’t you worry.

Venice Beach LOVE

I freakin’ loved Venice Beach. If you ever find yourself in the area, obviously check out the tourist musts like the canals, the beach, the muscle gym (haha), go for a stroll or bike along the Ocean Front Walk. Definitely also check out Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which must me the best and cutest street ever. The stores there are all super pretty. You’ll definitely want to stop at the following places:

Bottom line: You can easily spend all day in Abbot Kinney Boulevard alone. GO

The Beach

Grab a bike for the day and ride all the way to Santa Monica, it’s absolutely worth it!

The Griffith Observatory and the freakin’ Hollywood Sign

Doing the Fern Dell Trail up to the Griffith Observatory is a nice way to “get out” of the city and see some nature. Fuel up before the walk in the cute Trail Café, their homemade lemonades and pastries are great. The views up there are amazing, too. Also, I don’t know about you but similarly to when I see the Eiffel Tower in Paris seeing the Hollywood sign excited me a lot! It is one of those things that you’ve often seen in movies and on photos and seeing it IRL was just so cool.

Downtown LA

Have a lovely rest of your week!

My September Favorites

Long time no Favorites post.

So without further ado, here come the things that made it on my September favorites list. What things have you been loving lately?

#GAGA: FIVE FOOT TWO

Seriously guys, watch this Netflix documentary! I NEVER was a fan of hers, I found all those costumes and wigs to be too much to be honest. BUT. This documentary changed my opinion on her  (my friends can attest that I have been harassing them to watch it over the last couple of days). You’ll get a glimpse into her life, her views on women in the entertainment business and on living with chronic pain. I don’t know if I was already feeling emotional but I definitely had to cry. Let me know what you thought!

#2 Everything lululemon

Buying lululemon work out gear seriously was a gamechanger. The quality is beyond amazing and worth the investment. I’m most willing to spend money on leggings and sports bras because I feel like that’s were the good quality is most important. What do you like investing in when it comes to work out gear?

#3 Everything Meyer’s Clean Day

Can you tell that I’m old? I’m including cleaning products in my favorites. Seriously though, the products by Meyer’s Clean Day are amazing. And that’s something that I really think Americans got down better than us Europeans. There’s so much choice in the cleaning section here. Bonus: They’re not full of nasty chemicals but smell delicious AND get the job done. WIN-WIN!

#4 American Fall Traditions

I’m looking forward to go apple picking, to having hot apple cider and cider donuts, basically everything apple related. Or pumpkin related (more on that to come soon). I hope to be able to go apple picking soon with friends, in case you’re a local and interested in some suggestions on where to go, check out this helpful map.

#5 Breakfast LOVE

I’ve just recently realized that breakfast really is my favorite meal of the day. Especially now the days get to be a little colder again I am all into my porridge with freshly chopped up fruit. A new favorite of ours is to put a liiiiittttleee tiny bit of maple syrup on it. It gives the whole thing a great and delicate little flavor, love it! What’s your favorite meal of the day?

 

Come To The Farmer’s Market With Me

Friends,

how are you today? Do you love Farmer’s Markets as much as I do?

It’s something I’ve really been getting into during the last few months and I really enjoy getting to see the people behind the produce and foods I buy. I love discovering all the colors and shapes (look at those tomatoes!) of all the vegetables and fruits that you definitely don’t get to see at the supermarket.

Last Saturday I went to the Union Square Farmer’s Market in Somerville. It’s a beautiful market with cute live music band playing and with lots of interesting and friendly market stalls. Come and join me on my walk through the market!