Posts tagged favorites

Go Crimson! Attending a Harvard Basketball Game

Americans, you definitely know how to put on a show.

We went to see two basketball games over the last 7 days. One at TD Garden (Boston Celtics against the Milwaukee Buicks) and the other one was the Crimson Madness at the newly renovated Lavietes Pavilion. After seeing two baseball games in Fenway Park and a NBA and a College Basketball game it is pretty clear to me (Red Sox fans close your eyes or stop reading) that basketball is just SO SO MUCH more interesting and fun to watch. If you want to know more about our basketball adventures you may read on.

What is Crimson Madness you ask? I didn’t know either, so let’s get that out of the way first. Crimson Madness officially kicks off the 2017-18 Harvard Men’s Basketball season.

And, let me tell you, it was a very entertaining evening.

As images always do a better job at conveying a feeling or atmosphere I’ve included the official little recap that the HarvardAthletics account posted on Youtube a couple of days ago.

So here’s what’s happened as advertised before the game:

  • Special welcome from Coach Tommy Amaker
  • Pregame dunk contest
  • Three-point shootout
  • Intra-squad scrimmage
  • FREE giveaways
  • FREE team photos and rosters
  • Post-game autograph session

It was really impressive seeing how professional the set-up with all the analysts, team assistants, journalists, screens, cheerleaders, dance teams, athletes and trainers looked. I almost don’t wanna say it but seeing the whole thing made me realize that many European professional teams would have a hard time competing with that. Ok that might be a bit exaggerated but still, you get the gist. Harvard Basketball have their s*** together.

Overall, it was an interesting American experience, with the national anthem playing at the beginning, an inspirational address by coach Amaker, new and current players were introduced as if they were super rockstars entering the arena, free shirts were thrown into the audience, cheerleaders and dance teams presented their choreographies, food and snacks and you get the picture. After a short intra-squad game people would even go down to see the players and ask for their autographs.

If any of you are local readers, check out Harvard Athletics schedule here, it’s worth taking your friends and family out to a game as it was great fun!

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!

 

My Favorite Netflix Documentaries #FallEdition

Friends!

The weather has been getting colder and you know what that means in my book, right? Watching lots of Netflix documentaries all cozied up on the sofa with a glass of wine and lots of popcorn. So without further ado, here comes my selection of Netflix documentaries I’ve been enjoying lately. Disclaimer: I just realized that they are mostly pretty dramatic and dark (with exception of the beautiful Maya Angelou documentary). Still, they are made so well and you’ll learn so much that they are definitely worth a watch. Let me know what you thought!

#1 Under the Sun

Wow. What a story. What a country. The film follows a year in the life of a family in Pyongyang, as their daughter Zin-mi prepares to join the Korean Children’s Union. However, what you’ll find out soon enough is that the Ministry of Culture pretty much gave the filmmakers a final script. They selected all of the characters, film locations and scenes to be used in the film.  Realizing that the North Korean government intended to make a propaganda film, the director Mansky decided to keep the cameras rolling between shots. What you’ll see will just be so unbelievable you’ll think this isn’t real. And I don’t know if it was only me but there were definitely scenes where I thought I could see people’s sadness in their eyes. Definitely a great documentary, check it out!

#2 Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

What a legend. What an elegant and wise woman. No more words needed. If you want to learn about this huge American culture icon then definitely watch this film. And order some of her beautiful poetry books while you’re at it.

#3 Casting JoBenet

This documentary is just so incredibly well made, you’ll want to watch it until the end even though the story itself is very sad and upsetting. In 1996, Boulder, Colorado a six-year-old pageant queen, JonBenet Ramsey was found dead under mysterious circumstances. 20 years later, director Kitty Green returns to audition local actors, unpacking how each remembers and relates to the Ramsey case. You’ll hear the actor’s points of view on the case and it will really show you how differently everyone perceives a murder case.

#4 Welcome to Leith

It is painful to watch, yet so important as it still seems to be a reality that there is so much hate in this country towards everything and everyone that is different from you. Welcome to Leith tells us the story of an attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb. As his behavior becomes more threatening, tensions soar, and the residents desperately look for ways to expel their unwanted neighbor. It is stunning how accessible both the residents and white supremacists are and it is incredibly interesting to see how a small community tries to fight against an extremist vision.

#5 The Imposter

This documentary is centered around  a young French guy who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who went missing for 3 years. Yes I know. This sounds absolutely crazy. Even though the film feels slow at times it is just incredible to see how the different parties involved think and feel about this whole situation.

America’s Food Truck Obsession

Hi friends,

A phenomena that I’ve come across here in the US over and over again, no matter where I go, is that food trucks are incredibly popular. Way more than in Europe. They literally are everywhere on university campuses such as Harvard or MIT, actually on any bigger place in downtown in the midst of all the office buildings and spread around the city. Heck, the city of Boston even has an official food truck map and a schedule sorted by neighborhood on their website (check it out here if you’re a local reader and wish to know when you’re favorite food truck will stop nearby you). There are food truck festivals basically every weekend. Yes. We take our food trucks seriously around here.

The popularity of Food Trucks in the US

After the recession the popularity of food truck has gotten a huge boost as many people that got laid off decided to take the risk of running their own business. These mobile restaurants are more affordable than a “real restaurant” and as they run on volume they can reach high sales pretty quickly. What type of food would you serve up in your own food truck if you ever were to open one? (I looooved the Cookie Monstah food truck, AH-MAZING cookies).

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?

 

San Francisco: The Food Edit

Dear all,

as mentioned in yesterday’s post, we ate quite a lot of food in San Francisco. So if you ever find yourself in beautiful San Francisco you might want to check those places out. Have a great week!

Coffee

My two favorite coffee spots by far were Sightglass and Wrecking Ball.

Sightglass is packed with people working, studying or tourists. If you ever find yourself in SOMA, absolutely give it a try. It’s a cool industrial space with an inhouse roastery. We had a coffee and an iced vanilla coffee, which is one of their specialties. I’m usually a bit skeptical about any flavored coffee drinks. But seriously, this was so delicious. Flavorful without being cloyingly sweet, the vanilla cold brew combines traditional cold brew with vanilla bean paste, a touch of agave, and your choice of almond or whole milk. You can control the sweetness level by adding or skipping additional sugar and people, it was the best pick me up on a hot day. Oh, and their pastries are delicious, too. Aw, bring me back. 

Wrecking Ball, located on the cute Union Street in Cow Hollow, has the most beautiful wallpaper I’ve ever seen that’s for sure. They take their coffee making equally as seriously as their decorating and even though the pastry selection is not super big, the things they have on offer are absolutely delicious. The chocolate cookie and the scone (that I accidentally let fall on the floor, oops) were very delicate and tasted great.

Mexican Food

As I had written in yesterday’s post, we ate lots of Mexican food during this roadtrip and San Francisco was no exception. My absolute favorite was La Taqueria in the Mission district. A really no frills, down to earth place (where you obviously have to wait in line, because we’re in San Francisco remember?). Their vegetarian burrito is super flavorful. I don’t know what it is but let someone who has been eating lots of burritos lately tell you that they are freakin delicious at La Taqueria. I’d recommend a Mexican beer or agua fresca to go along with it and. There goes your satisfying and filling dinner. Other mentions go out to Tacolicious and Gracias Madre. Gracias Madre deserves a special mention as it is a vegan Mexican place. Yes. El Techo is a super popular roof top space in Mission District as well (waiting in line if you haven’t reserved is the normal), where we had a nice dinner with the lovely Alex and Marcus. However, even though the food was fine I’d rather recommend you go there for drinks and snacks but not for dinner as it is quite pricey for what you get.

Light Lunch

Like everywhere in California, healthy food seems to be on offer everywhere so finding a lighter lunch when we know that we’ll be going out in the evening is really an easy endeavor.

Some of our favorite spots for delicious (how many times have I used that word already?) and nutritious meals were:

Seed and Salt, Mixt and Blue Barn Gourmet. Seed and Salt being the vegan and suuuuuuuuper ultra mega healthy option (almost a little too much if you know what I mean). If you’re really serious about your nutrition and want to be able to choose between 10 different types of Kombucha and blackbean tempeh or eggplant bacon, this is your place. However, what I’ll say is that it is quite pricey.

Another great place to grab a quick bite to eat is Mixt. They’re spread all over the city, yet it’s not a boring ‘put-your-own-salad-together’ place  as they really offer creative and different ingredients and dressings. Definitely give it a try. Last but not least, Blue Barn has some nice sandwiches, burgers and rich salads on their menu. We went to their location on Chestnut Street in the Marina, which is definitely a nice spot to sit outside and watch people walking by.

Breakfast Diner style

Philipp will sometimes say that I pay too much attention to what places look like and that I get sucked into all the so called ‘hipster’ places. To proof him wrong we went to a really nice diner place called Louis. It’s basically egg heaven. Every type of omelette, scramble, pancake, waffle, you’ll find it there. Bonus. You can walk your breakfast off afterwards by discovering the ruins of the Sutro Baths just next door.

Best Dinner at Al’s Place

Thanks to my beautiful friend Deana’s recommendation we ended up making a reservation at Al’s Place. It was our first dinner in the city and I was really blown away. The plates are creative and delicate in taste and will leave you feeling very satisfied. Never have I had a smoked apple sauce with fries but…oh HOW delicious.

Sweets and Treats

So this is a tough one. After having had a delicious dinner at Al’s place on our first evening, we wandered off, walking around Mission district and ended up at Mission Park. Right across there’s the famous Bi-Rite creamery. It’s renown and famous for its ice cream. And because it’s that famous you have to….yes, you’ve guessed it, stand in line. I had a lot of convincing to do but we stood in line. However, I think the ice cream really wasn’t worth it (which was obviously not easy to admit after the whole standing in line thing if you know what I mean). I opted for a scoop of the peach Cobbler and the ricanela. The next day we went on a Mission food tour (thanks again to my great friends Lory, Laubine and Christine for giving us such a thoughtful gift) and well, we ended up going to the Bi-Rite creamery again (with no waiting time as we were on the tour, oops). They’re famous for their salted caramel flavour and I’ll say that one was good but still not mind-blowing.

Another very popular place is Tartine Bakery. You’ll recognize it from afar because of the long line in front of the building. My strategy this time was to go in at the end of the day but still, I wasn’t convinced entirely. It got me thinking that every regular bakery in Switzerland will offer the same if not better tasting chocolate croissant or treats. That was a bit of a bummer (#firstworldproblems). Lastly, one of the probably most instagrammed places we went to was Mr. Holmes. We got a peach apple cardamom danish pastry and an apple pie monkey bread. Ok but not more that I’d say.    

Drinks

I applaude you, if you’ve made it up to this point. We’re done soon, I promise.

One place we had to visit was Trick Dog Bar or else our dear friend Simon would not have talked to us anymore (I guess that’s a bit exaggerated but still he is serious about his drinks and wanted us to try them at Trick Dog Bar). They will serve up the most creative and what seems crazy combinations you’ve probably ever seen (or have you ever seen a Peanut Butter Cocktail before?). Definitely worth visiting if you’re into creative drinks.

5 Things That Make Me Happy Right Now

Friends,

I haven’t done a Favorites post in what feels like years. Still, I thought I’d share 5 random things that I loved over the last few weeks. Let’s get started, shall we?

#1 Icarus and Jinx

Both the Icarus documentary as well as the Jinx miniseries definitely are NOT the type of thing to make you happy per se but they are so well made that you’ll want to keep watching. The last Jinx episode is just like…..OMG ahhhh…crazy. Thumbs up for those two.

#2 Planning our Californian Honeymoon

People, the level of excitement I’m feeling for this three week long trip, it’s HIGH. VERY HIGH UP THERE. Who else LOVES planning trips (equally as good as going on the actual trip itself, right?, all of my organizing fanatic friends are on my side). Researching restaurants and bakeries, nice hiking routes, cool treehouse hotels just makes me sooo happy. Also, if any of you have tips you want to share about San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, the West Coast in general or Los Angeles, hit me up!

#3 Homebody Heaven

Maybe it’s knowing that I’ll practically be out on the road all of September and moving house soon that really makes me want to stay at home as often as I can. I’ve been loving giving myself pampering sessions, catching up on reading and watching Netflix (see #1). Ahhh I love that cozy, relaxed staying at home feeling. Do you, too?

#4 My Fitness Routine

Does it sound pretentious to call it my ‘fitness routine’? Still, with my agenda in hand, cozied up in bed on a Sunday evening, I’ll look at the week ahead and will plan when I want to workout. That way I’ll make sure to stick to a plan and not miss it. Also, I’ve done the Harvard Stairs again this weekend and was able to finish them at my Personal Best. 

#5 My Skincare Routine

If you’ve read my post about my current skincare staples (see post here) you’ll know that I’ve been loving The Ordinary and Weleda lately. They still prove to be very good and I enjoy my skincare routine a lot right now. Especially when using the Ordinary products I feel like a proper scientist.

What is making you happy right know? Let me know in the comments below!

Tips for Getting Into Running

Hello dear friend,

I’m going to be honest.  When I first started running, I hated it. Like I really didn’t enjoy it at all. Obviously Philipp would also not really choose beginner friendly routes, always going uphill (UPHILL PEOPLE, what is wrong with that man), which kind of not motivated me.

A few years in, I have changed my opinion on running and have to say that I really enjoy running now. It really is a liberating and elevating feeling just leaving the house and start running. Wherever you want go. As far as you want to. As simple as that. And the truth is, the more you do it, the better you’ll get (as annoying that sounds especially at the beginning of your runner’s journey). Believe me. Other than that I’ve compiled some tips if you’d like to get into running. Also, it’s the fall soon so perfect time to get those running shoes on and start running.

#1 Choose a route

As trivial as this sounds it makes a huge difference, especially in the beginning. I feel like knowing where your end destination is makes a huge difference on your mental state of mind (aka your motivation). The better you get at running, however, the more you’ll want to switch up your running routes in order to not get bored or have your body get too used to one route over and over again.

#2 Stick to a Plan

I would go for a run here and there in the beginning, really not having a routine or consistent rhythm.

You don’t want to do that, ok. I repeat. You don’t want to do that. 

It will make you have to start over and over again and your body will not get into a routine. Even though you can find a number of elaborate training plans online, keep it simple. Here is the basic formula for a great training plan.

  • Train three days a week
  • Run or run/walk 20 to 30 minutes, two days a week
  • Take a longer run or run/walk (40 minutes to an hour) on the weekend
  • Rest or cross-train on your off days
  • Run at a conversational pace
  • Consider taking regular walk-breaks

#3 Make Running Fun

In order to stick to your new routine of running regularly you’ll have to just make it fun. If you hate it, well, I don’t think it’s going to work you know? Make it fun by going with a friend once a week, by discovering a new part of town or a new cute forest route, take your favorite music with you, go in the early morning to feel energized and fresh for a new day.

#4 Pick a Race

Ok, so you’ve managed to have a plan and enjoy running so far. The absolute best way to keep yourself running in my opinion is to find a race, sign up for it, pay for it and put it on your calendar. A fixed race date will help you stay focused, and keep you on a regular running schedule. Also, it’s really fun (see #3). You might not think that in the beginning but after having finished that 5K, 10K or more (you beast you) you’ll just feel amazing.

#5 Invest in great running gear

Obviously you really only need running shoes to get running. You can run in your pajamas if you like, if that works for you, go ahead. Still, I feel like investing in good workout clothes not only makes you feel good while running you’ll also enjoy running more. Does that make sense? Now that I’ve seen Adriene in her adidas gear, I need those tight pants in my life. ASAP.

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!

Ups And Downs at Harvard Stadium (aka Getting Very Sweaty)

Hi friends,

how are you doing today? Is there an iconic workout or workout place where you live? I’m thinking something along the lines of the 72 steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that Rocky runs up and down?

If I had to name such an iconic workout for Cambridge it would clearly be running up and down the steps at Harvard Stadium. Let me elaborate a little bit.

The country’s oldest stadium

People have been running the steps ever since Harvard Stadium was built, in 1903. The stadium consists of 31 levels of concrete seats across 37 sections.

The workout

Typically runners ascend along the larger seats and come down the smaller steps. You’ll repeat that 37 times and after having done 1147 steps you’ll be happy you’ve survived. OH YES.

Obviously, Harvard athletes train in the stadium, however, it is also open to the public. It’s really been a cool experience and I think I will definitely go back and try to run the steps as fast as I can (now that I know how it all works).

My main take away was that it’s not speed that matters, but the mere act of getting out and pushing your limits. And finishing something you started. Thanks to my great fitness squad! WE MADE IT! 

Have a fantastic last week of August!

My 5 Favourite YouTube Channels At The Moment

Ok, so I promised to be real around here.

And I am. If I have a guilty pleasure it has to be watching YouTube. Today’s is going to be about my top 5 favourite YouTube channels.

Yes, I know know. I watch YouTube for escapism reasons (all of my fellow media and communications friends will know what I mean). Anyways, in case you want to relax and just consume something entertaining (because the thought of actually actively doing something seems difficult or watching something too complicated and demanding). So, those are my 5 favorite YouTube channels, maybe there’s something in for you, too. (I just realized that selection might be a bit more feminine, sorry guys).

#1 The Anna Edit

Well Anna, if you’re ever reading this. I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND! While that might make you feel all cringy I think we’d really hit it off. Yes I do. For all of you who are interested in lifestyle, beauty, food and bits of fashion but all in a really cool and easy and not over the top kind of way, this is your channel. Also, can we take a moment to just listen to this beautiful English accent, so nice!

#2 Estée Lalonde

I’ve been following Estée’s channel for a few years now. She’s Canadian but moved to London for love and is now making videos about all things London lifestyle, beauty, interiors, style in general, books and the list goes on. She has also made a few videos on the topics of feminism and the stylishness and the house Estée lives in are JUST ON ANOTHER LEVEL. So beautiful.

#3 Pick up Limes

I’ve discovered Saida’s channel only a few months ago but really appreciate this nutritionist’s videos on minimalism, vegan recipes and just life tips and hacks in general. You really see the effort she puts in every video and her voice has just something so soothing to it. Don’t you think?

#4 Sarah’s Day

This Australian girl is just so nice. Her accent is, too. She also seems to be super easy going and approachable. Besides showing us the great life of living in Sydney she is all about that healthy fitness and food lifestyle. Check her out if you’re into that!

#5 SORTEDfood 

It’s all about the food. Need I say more? Cool (is it ok to still use cool?) and inspiring channel, check it out yo.

And last but not least, my all time favorite not needing to be in a top 5 because it is just the best…is…..you might have guessed it: Yoga with Adriene!

Let me know what your favorite channels are if you have any!

Cheers!