Lilacs: the 2015 edition.

I can’t let a year go by without taking photos of my favourite flowers: lilacs. Their smell always takes me back to my grandparents’ garden. It is a smell that is full of happy memories of my family and it carries a promise of summer. The weather has been less than summery here lately but the lilacs keep me hoping. :)


I love how the colours vary slightly.


Chestnut trees.


I may have gone a little overboard there. :P

Marek’s 25th birthday party.

It was my friend Marek’s 25th birthday last Friday. He threw together a really superb birthday party — and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. :) We were supposed to have it outside but the weather around here has been rather unfortunate lately so we had to stay in.


My outfit for the night.


The decorations were super pretty.


Martina, Katka and Pavlina.


Martina.


Katka.


Chocolate chip muffins.


Martina & Katka.


Marek and Denisa.


The birthday boy.


Klara in her 1920s headband, which she apparently bought in an office supplies shop. :P


Klara and Tom.


Klara, Tom and Veronika.


Pavlina with Chloe, who is Klara and Tom’s British Greyhound. Chloe is a rescue and she’s precious and very sociable. <3


Marek.


Savoury muffins.


Me and Marek.


Martina’s hair was super gorgeous that night.


Marek, Denisa, Pavlina and me.


Pavlina and Katka.


Veronika.


Klara & Tom.

Home-made granola.


Sundays are the only days I can get proper sleep and have proper breakfast without having to rush anywhere. It is when I slow down for a bit — and really enjoy it.

If at all possible, I also try to do some breakfast/snack prep for the upcoming week because I never have time for any other day. I usually make a big bowl of Swiss oatmeal (I shared my recipe for it here) and sometimes I make something extra. Today I decided to make some chia parfaits and tried to make my first-ever home made granola.


I played around with the parfaits a little bit. The darker ones are chia seeds soaked in a small espresso and topped with raspberries, blueberries, home-made yoghurt and shaved almonds.


The lighter ones (right) are chia seeds soaked in coconut milk and topped with blueberries, strawberries, home-made yogurt and shaved coconut.


And here’s the granola. It was super easy to make and it made the flat smell heavenly — if you like the smell of coconut oil, that is. Which I do. :)


I put 2 cups of rolled oats, some dried fruit and a handful of pumpkin seeds into a big bowl. I drizzled one tablespoon of honey all over it and added 2 tablespoon coconut oil. Then I used my hands to mix it all together. I spread it on a baking sheet in a really thin layer and baked for 15 minutes at 150°C.


What I love about these recipes is that you can put literally anything you fancy in it. It tastes fantastic and you have 100% control over what you put in it. I personally think that one tbsp honey and all that dried fruit is absolutely sweet enough but if you have a sweet(er) tooth, you can absolutely add more. It takes maybe 5 minutes tops to put it all together and then you just pop it in the oven and let it do its own thing.

If you make your own granola: is there anything you like to put in it that takes it to a whole another level? I’m open to suggestions. :)

Early spring 2015.

Two weeks ago I was convalescing from a minor(ish) dental surgery and I couldn’t exercise or skate for a couple of days. I used these days to play around with my camera a little in order to document how quickly everything’s changing now that it’s finally spring. There are two sets of photos taken only 5 days apart and you can see a huge difference there. I often hear people saying that those who carry around cameras miss most of what’s really going on around them because they concentrate on taking the photos. The opposite is true for me. I notice so much more through my camera lens. It really opens up a whole new world to me and gives me another opportunity to really see and appreciate the world around me.

April 15th

The cherry tree in front of the cinema.


My favourite alley.


The yelow is blinding.


Down the stairs.


Lilacs!


Better shots of the cherry tree.


The linden tree in front of my house.

April 20th


My favourite alley is decidedly greener.


Spot the bird!


Soon, my dearies. Soon!


The magnolia tree is falling behind a bit.


But it won’t be long now.


What a difference 5 days make!


I took no photos of this tree the week before because there was nothing to see. And look at it now!


I love how fluffy they are.

Genève.

Let me preface this post by saying this: one day is not nearly enough to get to know Geneva. I’ve barely scratched the surface and I definitely need to go back. And I’d love to go some time in the summer to see how different it must be. But I have to say, even in February, it was absolutely stunning. It was quite cold but sunny all day and I remember that day very fondly.


Gare de Cornavin.


I love that Geneva has trolleybuses! I grew up in a city that had them and I’ve love them since.


Love the colour of the water.


Even the bikes in Geneva are charming. ;)


Love those houses. And the Alps in the background.


I thought this looked like something right from Harry Potter. Totally a Diagon Alley bookshop, right?

St. Pierre Cathedral.

Parc des Bastions.

Jet d’Eau. I really wanted to see it but unfortunately it was very windy that day and they turn it off when it gets too windy so the people on the shore wouldn’t get splashed.


L’horloge fleurie // The flower clock.


<3


Until next time, Geneva! <3

Easter 2015 hodgepodge.

I don’t like Easter purely because of the local Easter tradition. It involves men making a whip from willow branches and then going house to house, beating women with it (and sometimes also throwing cold water on them) and getting eggs, sweets and alcohol in return. It’s apparently to keep the women healthy, beautiful and fertile for the next year — and, in some cases, to showcase their attraction to the women they beat. Well. No, thank you. I don’t care how big of a tradition it is, beating women “for their own good” and expecting a reward in return or in order to exhibit attraction is just bollocks.
So I celebrate Easter in my own way — with good food, family and friends. This year, we met at Veronika’s place for a low-key Easter evening.


Veronika, Klara, Denisa, Tom.


Klara.


Denisa.


Tom.


Veronika.


Glorious, glorious food. All made by Veronika! <3


Tom is up to no good. :P


I posed with a cupcake. And then I ate it.


At home, we baked a mazanec. Sort of an Easter bread (if you will) with raisins and almonds, eaten either only with butter or also with jam or honey. It’s terribly good.


We also bought some flowers to usher spring in. Haven’t been too successful yet.


Devilled eggs. Loved them.


Also my latest delivery from Yankee Candle arrive a couple of days before Easter and I couldn’t be happier with it. It made me look up a recipe for Tarte Tatin because the smell is incredible. And it doesn’t look like it’s too difficult to make so I might give it a go soon.


Monday lunch was Easter stuffing with apple, fennel, celery and watercress.


I also finally took out these adorable pom poms I bought last year in Paperchase and put them up.


They’re terrific!

Food post.

I’m very much a breakfast person. I’m usually hungry in the morning and I love variety. Right now, however, I am slightly stuck on oatmeal and its variations — maybe because I really enjoy how varied it can be. One of my favourite things to have for breakfast these days is Swiss oatmeal. It’s really easy and quick to make. All you need is a big bowl, spelt oats, milk (I prefer almond or coconut), white yogurt and some fruit of your choice. I currently love using bananas and pears and I always, always add cinnamon and some dried fruit or raisins. I never add any sugar and I always make loads of it so I could have it for breakfast more than once.

A couple of weeks ago I also tried to make a very simple pasta dish with avocado and it was a huge success. I mashed up two avocados, chopped up some cherry tomatoes and added salt and pepper to taste, along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Quick, easy and delicious.

2 weeks ago, I gave a go to this recipe because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was really easy to make and it was delicious — the only problem was that we ate those pancakes so quickly that I couldn’t snap a proper picture.


This was all I got. Then we dug in and it was impossible to stop eating. :P

I also made this cauliflower crust pizza last week. It was really nice and tasty but for some reason I couldn’t manage to squeeze out all that water. It didn’t affect the taste at all, it just wasn’t as crunchy as I would’ve liked, but still. If you watch the video, they manage to squeeze out so much water and I couldn’t get out almost anything, no matter how hard I tried.

Now these were my breakfast last week and they were delicious. It’s almost the same recipe as for the Swiss oatmeal, except that you put it in individual jars so you can then take it with you wherever you like.


First layer: white yogurt with chia seeds.
Second layer: fruit (raspberries in this case)
Third layer: oats
Fourth layer: more yogurt
And I sprinkled some shaved almonds, cocoa beans and goji berries on top.


It’s delicious and it looks really nice in those jars.

Apart from breakfast, I’m really into puddings. I really like sweet things of all kinds and chocolate especially is my weakness. Just so you know. :P Anyway, I discovered this recipe for banana & peanut butter biscuits and they sounded too good not to give them a go. They may not look especially appealing but they really are delicious. There’s some sugar in the recipe (scroll down for the English version) — I didn’t use any because I think that the banana and chocolate are sweet enough and I was right. It was on the sweet side but not too sweet. Perfect, really. They’re also really soft and they remain soft even after a couple of days. Can’t recommend them enough.

And here’s a bonus photo: my hairdress had this made for me for my 30th birthday. Isn’t it just PERFECT?

Wandering about Lausanne.

It really shouldn’t take so long to post photos from my trip but the thing is that lately I just fall asleep within 5 minutes after I sit down in the evening. So instead of writing up the posts I’m happily snoozing away in my armchair until it’s time to drag myself into bed. My schedule seems to be taking its toll on me a little bit. :P

Anyway, on to the post. We came to Lausanne on a beautiful, wintry Sunday afternoon. The flight was really short and pleasant as was the journey by train from Geneva and we were hardly tired at all so we immediately went exploring. We just wandered around the streets, trying to get the feel of the place. I think it took my about 10 minutes to completely fall in love with it and when we reached Lake Geneva, the feeling intensified even more.

Let me show you around!


First signs of spring!


My first glimpse of the Alps…. sort of. :)


That cloud was just chilling there, happily obstructing my view. :D

Chateau d’Ouchy.


Stunning. Just stunning.


I didn’t temper with the photo at all. These really are the colours of Lac Léman. <3


Sunset over Lac Léman.


Love these little sassy guys. (Except for that one time when they took a crap on my shoulder in front of the Houses of Parliament. :P)


The good ship Penelope. Had to take a picture as it’s one of my favourite names.


Place de la Riponne


I love seeing Baťa shops in other countries. :P

Flon.

3-0.

I’ve just realised there was no birthday post this year. It feels like I was celebrating it all throughout February and let me tell you, it was rather amazing.

So let’s have a short and very straight to the point re-cap:


On 8th February, I went to Lausanne because….


… my birthday present were tickets for Art On Ice. <3

Switzerland is incredibly gorgeous and I'll definitely be going back. As for Art on Ice… if at all possible, I will make it my tradition. It was really perfect and I still can't think about it without getting all emotional. I mean, look at the line-up. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’m so happy I got to see Sarah Meier skate one last time before she retires and that Max Trankov seems to be healing and back in training. And I have to say that Marc Sway, Tom Odell and Nelly Furtado are exactly my cup of tea and they’re all fantastic musicians and are amazing live.
The highlight of the night for me was (rather expectedly :P) Stéphane Lambiel. He really is something different, he always has been. The amount of talent, passion and joy that he has and exudes when he skates is just extraordinary.
It was an incredible night and I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate my 30th birthday.

The rest of February was pretty good, too, though it went by far too quickly, mostly due to my being so busy. I got quite a lot of ice time in February — not as much as I’d like or need but, all things considered, it was pretty good.


So I trained and trained and trained and trained.


I only trained at this outside rink once because it was far too busy an the ice was pretty bad but it was great to skate outside. :)


And I also got these beautiful flowers that make my bedroom smell like spring. (Insert the usuall “I wish I were born around the time lilacs usually bloom but freesias are pretty cool, too” here. :P)

More memorable February moments can be found on my instagram. Pretty good going for February, I think.

Pictures from Switzerland coming soon so stay tuned!

A winter’s day in Bloomsbury, London.

I miss London. What else is new, eh? I had the most beautiful weather there in December. 4 days of sunshine – it doesn’t get much better than that. Especially considering that was pretty much all the sun expose I got in December. :P January wasn’t much better in that respect. Those past few days, however, have been wonderfully sunny. I love sunny winter days, they’re magical as far as photography goes. The light is wonderful even at 11 am, which is so rare!
Anyway, here’s a winter morning/early afternoon in Bloomsbury, London. I hadn’t seen that part of London before. I went there primarily to visit the Charles Dickens Museum but I then had a blast walking around because Bloomsbury is just magical. I definitely need to go back and explore some more.


Blindingly blue skies over St. Paul’s.


The museum was fantastic. I took some photos in there as well but I fear they are far too Christmassy for a February post.


I love these houses.


The loveliest shop window.


Back at One New Change.


A sight I’m sure I’ll never tire of.