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.
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!
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).
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!
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.
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?
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!
I don’t know about you but if temperatures are rising like they have around here for the last couple of days I am always looking for fresh and easy to put together food options.
I happy to share some of my favorite suuuuuuuper easy (like REALLY) recipes with you today. We’ve got an allrounder berry chia seed jam or vegan nutella, a fresh salad and a refreshing smoothie for you. Let me know if you’ve tried on of the recipes!
Microwave berries for about 3 minutes. After this, smash the berries with a fork until more juices seep out, but some chunks remain.
Add the chia seeds and juice, and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes for the chia seeds to gel, stirring once halfway. Store in an airtight container and enjoy with toast, on oatmeal, in breakfast parfaits, and more!
Photos: Pick Up Limes
If you’re more into chocolate than into berries, check out the video below for another super easy recipe for a vegan nutella spread. This is definitely one to be tried next.
You can enjoy this jam on toast or oatmeal to naturally sweeten, or in your yogurt or granola bowl for breakfast. It’s loaded with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins and omega-3 fats from the chia seeds.
#2 Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Poppyseed
I really am missing my blender. I don’t currently own one but used to do one every other day as a pick me up snack in the afternoon or as a breakfast drink. You drink this. You’ll feel healthy instantly. And it also fills you up nicely, give it a try. You’ll find the recipe by Madeleine Shaw here.
how are you today? In case you missed my post “Why I’m going to buy a Harvard Sweater (even though I said I never would)” elaborating (not really) on why I have to have a sweater of said university because I need a physical souvenir as we are leaving Cambridge by the end of the month.
I went through my photo archive and thought it be nice to put my favorite ones together in a post for you, hope you’ll enjoy this virtual walk around the neighborhood throughout winter and summer time with me. Also, let’s appreciate those beautiful flowers and plants, they grow like crazy here in summer as it is so hot and humid and almost tropical feeling.
Why not have a little wander around your neighborhood today, I’m sure you’ll explore and find new little things around every corner.
I’d like to share my current skincare favorites today with you as I’ve been getting so much more into all skincare related things lately and I think you might like some of it, too. Or if you’re looking for some inspiration and information, here you go.
Yes. I knoooow. I am veeeeeeeeeeery late to jump on the whole The Ordinary bandwagon. The brand has launched end of last year and has been a huge success all over the world ever since.
Overall I think it’s a really exciting brand (cruelty-free, fragrance-free) and a great way for people to embrace a proper skincare routine without spending hundreds of dollars as it is really affordable.
The idea of the brand is to strip things back to basic. The formulations are pure and the packaging says it as it is without any fluffy marketing blabla. The descriptions of the products are very sciency and ingredients based so you sort of need to know quite a bit about skincare. You can do it. I’d encourage you to check their site out and see what could be interesting for your skin and its needs. My favorite picks so far are Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (for lots of hydration), the GlycolicAcid 7% Toning Solution,The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (for or should I say against blemishes), The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% has really helped clearing up my skin in such a short amount of time, pretty amazing. Lastly, I’ve been also loving The Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. Let me know what The Ordinary products you’ve liked the most yourself?
Natural Beauty Faves
Is it weird to love The Ordinary stuff but also be equally obsessed with organic and natural beauty? No, I don’t think so. As long as both use high quality ingredients, sourced in a sustainable way I am all for it. I love browsing through Whole Foods Beauty sections as I know how thoroughly every product gets screened before it ends up in the store. A brand that I’ve always been loving for a long time because they use great ingredients and don’t add any questionable or nasty things has been Weleda. My current day and night cream are theirs and they are just great (check them out here). I’ve also been enjoying their Sea Buckthorn shower gel as it really has a vitalizing effect on you and sets you up for the day.
A brand that I’ve gotten to know and LOVE thanks to Whole Foods Beauty was Evanhealy. It’s a Californian brand founded by a super interesting woman called Evan Healy. In 1999 she co-founded the evanhealy brand of skin and body care products featuring simple plant-based, certified organic ingredients. She sources plant material directly from small, regional or family-owned farms in various parts of the world.
I love their Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm and use it religiously everyday. It’s really a game changer, leaves the area under your eyes refreshed and nourished but not in a heavy way.
you like food, do you? I have been researching a little and even though we’re already in August, I thought I’d share a bit of the foods and drinks I’ve found to be hugely popular around here. Which of these have you tried already or would like to try?
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve totally succumbed to the Kombucha hype. Have you, too? So let’s start off with what it actually is: Kombucha is a fermented beverage consisting of black tea and sugar that’s used as a probiotic food.
The bacteria formed in the process line your digestive tract and support your immune system, as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness. And, since 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and the digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system this is pretty relevant, right?
I’ve started drinking a bit of Kombucha everyday now and so far, so good!
#2 Pickles and Fermented Foods
Fermentation seems to be one of THE biggest current food trends. It is no wonder that you’ll find tons of pickled vegetables or kimchi and sauerkraut on lots of restaurant menus. Do you like them?
Wow, yet ANOTHER fermented drink to add to the list! It is all the rage in the natural health community as it is high in nutrients and probiotics again and therefore incredibly beneficial for digestion and gut health. Many people even go on to say that Kefir is the healthier and more powerful version of yogurt. And I have to say, if you don’t mind the salty taste you’ll like this as an alternative to yogurt (if you want to switch things up every now and again and feel adventurous).
#3 Thai Styled Ice Cream
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve only heard or seen photos of those beautifully shaped ice creams on Instagram before but they have become hugely popular. Have you ever tried one? Is it also tasty besides looking fantastic?
#5 Milkshakes Gone CrayCray
Again, another one I’ve only seen on Instagram so far but never tasted one myself: The so called Freakfrappés or Freakshakes, you get the gist. They’re milkshakes gone C-R-A-Z-Y. I always love looking at the photos as they are so aesthetically pleasing, still I don’t know if I’d ever want to eat one, what about you?
#6 Veggies as Mains
This is a trend that I hugely support as I love vegetables. A lot of restaurants, especially around here put a lot of veggie dishes as entrées on their menus, which I love. They also get really creative when it comes to new ways of preparing them, I love it!
#7 Purple Foods
This one is similar to food trend #6 yet a bit more specific. Purple produce such as cauliflower, potatoes, corn, asparagus are becoming more mainstream, according to Whole Foods’ 2017 trends and products report! Colors of fruits and veggies indicate which nutrients they possess. So roasting up a blend of both white and purple potatoes, for example, means you’re giving your body a wider breadth of vitamins for optimal health.
I present to you the ocean’s new super food: Alga. Already a staple in Asian cuisine, it starts becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world. Known for its protein, little fat and low calories they can be consumed in a multitude of different ways. Some types of alga can be used as alternative to Tagliatelle, some use it as a base for teas. Have you ever tried it?
#9 Sourdough Bread (aka the fermentation theme is back on)
In times of gluten-free diets this bread (despite being a bread) is one of the best breads for you to consume if you are “gluten sensitive”. Why is that you ask? The tradition of fermenting flour with sourdough breaks down the peptides in gluten that give people trouble. This fermentation thing seems to really be a huge deal as it provides you with lots of healthy bacteria that help balance the digestive system and manage your metabolism.
#10 Portuguese Food
Somehow Lisbon and Portugal in general are hugely popular here it seems so it comes as no suprise that there are lots of restaurants and cafés providing Portuguese foods. Hugely famous are of course the custard tarts, have you ever tried them? You should, they’re delicious. Or why not make them yourself this weekend, they’re not that difficult to make. Here goes a recipe you could try.
What foods have you’ve been liking this year? I’d love to know!
time for a flashback to a weekend in April that we spent in lovely Burlington, Vermont. Anyone ever thought of visiting this state up north? If you haven’t yet, do it, it’s a beautiful beautiful place! Hope you’ll enjoy the photos and little tips for a weekend’s visit.
A few facts about Vermont: The state in the northeastern part of the country is the second least populous. Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup and is generally known for their farming products such as cheese and milk. It was also ranked as the safest state in the country in 2016. And it has been/still is Bernie Sanders territory. A good place, isn’t it?
There are so many places to visit in Vermont be it summer or winter time. Whether you’re into hiking or skiing there is something for everyone. It’s truly a nice change to the city life seeing all those picturesque small villages, farmland and mountain. One of our personal highlights was biking along Lake Champlain, it’s the best thing you can do on a sunny day I think. There are bike rentals everywhere, we were lucky enough that our hotel gave bikes away for free rental.
The food and drinks
After all that biking we were STARVING. But fear not, Burlington has got you covered. There are a multitude of restaurants and craft breweries awaiting you. We opted for American Flatbread, which was recommended to us as a local’s favorite and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, hands down one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Probably being super hungry/hangry might have influenced me in that judgement. As for beers just try what they will suggest to you, they actually have a brewery (Zero Gravity) that’s part of the American Flatbread restaurant and it was really really good as well. Overall a place I’d highly recommend you go.
For coffee and breakfast breaks I’d suggest you go visit Monarch and the Milkweed. It’s a beautiful little café (right next to American Flatbread actually) where they have a small but nice menu on offer with a beautiful pastries collection as well.
And no culinary Vermont experience would be complete without having tried Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They have a big shop on the main street of the city and it’s just dreamy. Really tasty ice cream. If you’re a hardcore ice cream aficionado you can take a guided tour in their factory close by (more info here).
We stayed at the Hotel Vermont, which is located right next to the lakeside and the city centre. It was a truly nice experience sleeping there for a night, as they try and work with local brands when it comes to decorating their rooms (can you spot that cute flannel sheet?) and products by local producers. The brunch at their Juniper Café, which is open to the public as well, is an absolute gem. Had great pancakes and egg benedicts there. And tried an Earl Grey Latte for the first time, was delicious!
Have you ever visited Vermont? Have a great Tuesday!
I’m keeping the interview mode on until the end of the week and am really happy to share part 1 of an interview I did with three great humans about their own experiences of arriving and living in the United States with you today. Meet Fernanda (Brazil), Mattias (Sweden) and Ly (Vietnam).
Also, if you’re a lazy bum and prefer to listen to the interview instead of reading it (I totally understand, no judgement here), just click on the corresponding audio files below (bonus material included,please excuse the wind in the audio).
Sandra: Do you remember the day you first arrived to Boston?
Ly: My husband picked me up at the airport and I was just so happy to see him. On our drive back home, I was just amazed by how big it all seemed, especially the buildings and how pretty the light was during that time of day. It was in the evening during the golden hour and the sky had that beautiful purple color, it was so romantic. The next day was a different story though. Without the romantic lighting the buildings just looked like concrete.
Sandra: That’s a nice first impression, what about you, Mattias, as seen from a Swedish perspective?
Mattias: I actually had the opposite experience. It started out really bad and turned out to be a really nice experience.
Sandra: How come?
Mattias: When we decided that we were going to come to Harvard, I had actually no idea where Boston was. I didn’t know it was that far up north. And I read that it rains and snows a lot, which I didn’t know. But I thought, ok, it’s going to be fine. The day we arrived, however, it was raining like crazy.
Sandra: What time of the year was it?
Mattias: The 28th of December.
Sandra: Wow, that’s a hardcore time to arrive here.
Mattias: Everything went well, we came to the apartment that we rented and then we needed to go to the supermarket. So we figured out that the closest shop was something called like Trader Joes. So we started walking there, and there were no sidewalks. Even though now we know that there are sidewalks everywhere, just on that particular patch there was no sidewalk. Then there was this sleet coming down, this mix of rain and snow, it was really cold and we came into Trader Joes and everything was super expensive. We were used to Chinese prices (red. before coming to the US, Mattias and his wife were based in China). But if we’ll go back to Sweden we might think s***, everything is so expensive. So on our first evening here, we didn’t really want to buy anything to eat because it was expensive, we came home totally drenched and cold…
Sandra: Did things get a little better the following day?
Mattias: Yes, the next day everything was a lot better. Blue skies, pretty nice.
Sandra: What about you, Fernanda?
Fernanda: When we got here, about two years ago, it was summer. It was my first time in America during the summer. And I seriously didn’t know it could get this hot. I had this idea in my head of Boston being so far up north that it couldn’t possibly be as hot as in Brazil. So I was a little disappointed in a way.
Sandra: Would you have preferred a crazy winter scenario like Mattias had when arriving here?
Fernanda: Yes, I was a bit disappointed but now I enjoy it especially after having spent two winters here. I’ve really learned to appreciate the seasons, which is pretty cool because we don’t really have changing seasons in Brazil, at least in Rio it’s always very hot. It’s been a while since I first got here and so I don’t really remember every detail anymore. I think we were very excited to be here. We had just gotten married, were living in our first home together and were doing everything together as a married couple for the first time. So it was a really special. And I think I associate this newlywed feeling with Boston. It was a good first impression.
Sandra: And if you think back, when meeting new people, what were people’s reactions when you told them that you were from Brazil?
Fernanda: I remember some people finding it strange that I was so pale. Because they have this idea about Brazilian people, especially from Rio, that they are tanned and enjoy the sun. Speaking of Americans, I can hardly say that I’ve met one. Like everyone that I know isn’t from here. I guess the most American friends that I have are Canadians (everyone laughs).
Sandra: Well I don’t know if they’d like you to say that about them…
Fernanda: It’s just very hard to meet locals.
Sandra: What about you Mattias and Ly? Would they know that it is Sweden and not Switzerland for example?
Mattias: Yeah, exactly that’s what I was going to say.
Sandra: No actually, you always win. It’s Switzerland that people here mostly confuse with Sweden and not the other way round I think.
Mattias: Maybe because you’re a woman. I think Americans associate Sweden somehow with women. But like Fernanda, I have only met very few Americans. When I went to buy fabric recently, they asked me where I was from. And then they said, ‘Ah Sweden’, that’s that tiny country with the nice chocolate.
Sandra: That’s so funny, it’s actually the opposite from what always happens to me. They will always end up meaning Sweden and NOT Switzerland.
Sandra: What about you Ly?
Ly: It’s a bit of a similar experience to Mattias and Fernanda. As Boston is such an international place, I haven’t met that many real Bostonians up until now. Most of the Americans I meet are actually my Uber drivers.
Sandra: Interesting, what about them?
Ly: First off they think I’m from China. But when I say ‘No, I’m from Vietnam’, they’ll say ‘Oh, you’re from Vietnam, I love phở’. I think phở seems to be very popular, so everyone seems to know and like it.
Sandra: That’s so interesting, so the first association people have is with phở.
Sandra: From the top of your head, what’s your favorite American food or drink item?
Fernanda: (very fast response) Mac and Cheese.
Sandra: That was very fast. Any other foods?
Fernanda: That’s the only American food I’ve discovered. All the other foods I’ve gotten to know here are not American, like Vietnamese food, which I really like.
Sandra: In terms of drinks any favorites?
Fernanda: Well, something I like is that craft beers are a huge thing here. My husband and I are really into it and it’s very easy to find specialty beers.
Sandra: Nobody says doughnuts, I’m so surprised. You don’t like doughnuts?
Ly: No, not really. It’s quite difficult to tell if a food is American because their cuisine has so many influences from different places. I actually really like Avocado toast.
Sandra: That’s very healthy.
Ly: I’m not quite sure if it’s a special dish but I really like it.
Fernanda: I think it started off as an Australian thing.
Ly: I think they put Avocado on everything here.
Sandra: Yeah, it’s trendy.
Ly: And it’s quite surprising for me. Even though we have a lot of avocados in Vietnam too, I never eat in a savoury dish, like on bread or in a salad, we eat it as a sweet. Normally we prepare it with milk and sugar or in a smoothie.
Mattias: I pretty much always eat at home, so I couldn’t say. The most American I do, is that I drink a lot of Diet Coke, which I don’t do otherwise.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the interview where we’ll cover American daily life. It’s a good one.
I’ll keep the travel and touristy vibe going in today’s post as I will show a few photos of a recent trip we took to the Bodensee. As someone from Zurich it’s a difficult statement to make but I think that the Bodensee might be the prettier lake…
I was lucky enough that my brother’s lovely girlfriend and her mom invited us over to their little house at the lake for a lazy and cozy Sunday. It was a GREAT day. If you ever happen to have a weekend free, just take an hourlong trip to the eastern part of Switzerland and enjoy the beauty that is the Bodensee with all its picturesque little towns on the lake shore. So pretty!
remember how I had talked about kind of having a capsule wardrobe in this post a few months ago?
Well, I wanted to give it a go again (forreal this time) and do my first ever summer capsule wardrobe. Before I jump in, here’s a refresher on capsule wardrobes, in case you want to read about it in more detail again. Without further ado, here comes how I did it and how you could attempt to do your own little wardrobe summer experiment!
Step 1 – Make a huge pile
What’s the classic first move of all decluttering action? Yes, taking out everything and spreading it out on the floor. Move warm sweaters and the like out of the way on a store away pile as well as trousers, “thick” jeans and flannel shirts. It will help you figure out what has to be stored away for fall and what to keep and use for your wardrobe in summer.
Step 2 – Separate tops from bottoms from shoes
It’s interesting to separate your clothes along those three categories as you will very quickly see where your priorities lie. My obsession definitely seems to be tops, while I have less bottoms and even less shoes. What about you? Which category of clothes is your favorite one?
Step 3 – Go through each category and sort out what you don’t want to keep
What helps is seeing what type of colors, patterns or materials you have lying around in your bottoms or shoes pile if you’re going through your tops pile for example. While you don’t really know what you have in your crammed closet it helps seeing it all in one pile. Seeing all my stuff on a pile made me realize that my color scheme is rather neutral, monochrome, with the odd pattern and color dash. It also made me realize which brands I tend to always turn to (in my case Cos, And other stories, Uniqlo, Zara and H&M).
Step 4 – Count your tops, bottoms and shoes
I ended up with a total of 36 pieces in my summer wardrobe including tops, jackets, bottoms, dresses, and shoes (meaning I’d get to have one extra piece, which will most probably be comfortable Birkenstock sandals, which I’m currently missing in my selection). Disclaimer: As we’ve moved here I obviously couldn’t bring all of my stuff, back home I’d have to get rid of way more stuff.
Step 5 – Plan on what you need to buy/get rid of
If you’ve got your total down you’ll most likely realize that you don’t need any new things. But if you feel like you want to replace a top/dress or shoe go for it. As mentioned below I’ll most likely invest in one new pair of comfortable every day sandals.
18 t-shirts and shirts: As mentioned above, I seem to be a total t-shirts and shirts kind of girl. They’re so easy to wear, you can dress them up or down and they’re just comfortable. Most of my shirts are from Uniqlo as I really think the quality is very good for the price you pay. Most of those shirts are already a few years old and they are still in pretty good shape. Highly recommend! Most of my t-shirts are from Cos and H&M. Simple but good.
2 special shirts: For lack of a better description. Those are a black top and a white silk top with a cutout in the back. Also, yes, I don’t currently own an iron. No judging here. Thanks.
2 sweaters: For the odd more fresh day in summer I have a white ripped cotton and slightly cropped sweater from Cos as well as a light grey cashmere sweater by Zara.
2 jackets: A white blazerish jacket and a more funky bomber to throw on a t-shirt or a shirt.
6 trousers and shorts: A mix of my trusted Wedgie Fit Jeans, a black linen trousers by And other stories, dark navy jogger pants, shorts in navy and print and a midi skirt.
3 dresses: I’ve got a casual stripy cotton dress, back home a green coppery Cos dress (see featured photo of this post) as well as a denim shirt dress by Uniqlo are waiting for me.
3 Sneakers, silver sandals and black loafers: That’s it. I’m shocked myself to write that. But hey, it’s really not a huge deal. In fact it’s really nice having a manageable selection (#firstworldproblems).
Do let me know if you give the summer capsule wardrobe experiment a try, ok?
I never was one to be obsessed with my hometown and think it was center of the universe. But MAN have I fallen in love with Zurich again during my last visit in May.
Like really hard.
It’s SUCH a beautiful city, especially on those summery days. WOW! WOW! WOW!(Coffee is hitting me super hard right now, the message is still true though).
No seriously, I enjoyed spending time in the city SO MUCH. And again, seriously, if you live in Zurich, please enjoy it and be aware of the great privilege it is to live there.
What I love about Zurich
It’s the shiny and clear color of the water, the boats on the lake in the distance, the swans on the shore approaching tourists, kids excited, parents worried. Bodies tanning in the badis. It’s the narrow streets in the old city, the cobblestone, the corners and nooks I know by heart and associate with friends, encounters, long nights, laughter, bike rides. It’s the smallness that makes me feel at home and safe. It’s the calming green and the nature close by. It’s the majestic mountains you can see from afar. It’s the bakeries (bread!!!), cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s the hipsters on their bikes and bankers in their suits. It’s the museums, theatres and events. It’s the tranquility, the politeness, the correctness.
It’s the faces of people I love.
Thanks again to my beautiful friends and family for helping me have the most amazing time, I miss them here but enjoy my time even more with them if I get to see them.
Why am I so emotional today? Phew.
If you’ve never visited Zurich before I think you’ll understand now that I would strongly encourage you to do it. And if you’re Swiss, be happy to live in such a beautiful place.