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.

Ice skating in London.

This was my third Advent Sunday of 2014.


I love the Natural History Museum in London. There are so many interesting things in there — I’ve only been there once but I feel like I could spend days there and never get bored. Apart from it being an amazing resource of various information (there are dinosaurs inside there, do go! :P), it’s an absolutely gorgeous building as well. And in the winter, it doubles as a stunning backdrop to a small skating rink.


There’s a Christmas tree in the middle and they softly play Christmas tunes while you skate and it’s all incredibly festive and heart-warming.


We went early on a Sunday morning so the session was busy. But I remember walking around last year on Monday morning and there were much fewer people there. I just have to keep that in mind for next time. ;) Anyway, it was fun because people were really well-behaved and everyone looked jolly.


Though I have to say, those skates…. they were bloody ridiculous. I’d never worn plastic skates before and it was brutal. I kept thinking of my Edeas back home, wondering whether they miss me as much as I miss them. :P
(Also check out the bloke on the right, squatting considerately in order not to ruin our picture. :D)


So now I can cross “Go ice skating in London at Christmas” off my bucket list and add “Go ice skating in every single ice rink in London at Christmas” to it.

So long, 2014!

Dear friends,

I hope 2015 is brilliant for each and every one of you.


❄ It’s been a tough year for me but I learned a lot and I’m very grateful. 2015, I will do my best and I will do it with love, joy and a thankful heart. ❄

Stay safe tonight and may 2015 be the best one yet! Much love to you all.

xx Kate

Last Advent weekend snapshots.

The third Advent Sunday deserves a post of its own so I will get back to it later. This was the last Advent weekend.


I finally wrapped my presents. Usually by that time I have everything down but this December has been super hectic. I’m hoping for next week to be much less so.


We finished our Christmas biscuits.


We brought Eda here last Wednesday. She’ll be staying for a couple of weeks and I’m so glad to have her around!


Mistletoe.


Yesterday we put up our main tree. It is a wee bit different this year, we didn’t use so many of the decorations we usually put up but I think it’s even prettier this way. It’s silver & gold with some red accents and there are 4 special ornaments on the top: an ice skate, a London phone booth, a Christmas tree and a nutcracker.


And this is what we’re going to be busy with tonight.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas Eve and that you are spending it with people you truly love. Happy Christmas!

The second Advent weekend.

Here’s my second Advent weekend in photos. We spent most of it doing our Christmas baking. It was so much fun, I really love baking — I just wish I’d eaten less of the dough. I can never resist, though. :P But there were other things, too.

It was St. Nicholas Day on Friday. What happens is that in the evening on the 5th, there is St. Nicholas with some angels and devils walking among people (or, alternatively, standing on a stage) and St. Nick asks the kids to say a poem or sing a song and when they do, they get some treats. The angels are helping, the devils are trying to spoil everything and catch all the naughty kids, stuff them in a bag and take them to hell but of course the goody-two-shoes brigade don’t let them. :P


I wish they’d get some new decorations. It’s the same every year for as long as I can remember.


Also on Friday, we had this superb raspberry and chocolate pie for pudding. I just had to take a photo of it even though I didn’t make it. (It came from my favourite vegetarian bistro.)


And I saw my friends in the evening, after a very very long time.


Back home, we finally made the first eggnog of the season.


And we used it to make snowballs for the first time ever.


This was the beginning of all the baking.


Ha! Result! They’re not finished yet but still, it’s not a bad day’s work, eh?


These are my favourite.


And these make your house smell of vanilla. It’s heaven.

Also I took my mum skating. It was the first time in 20 years she was on the ice — and she handled it fabulously. She said she couldn’t wait to go again.


She looks so pretty and happy on the ice! Ice skating suits her.


Meanwhile, I worked on my spiral (it’s definitely improving) and some other stuff.


I want my own ice rink for Christmas. :P


Admittedly, some less pleasant things happened last week/weekend but I’m resolved to keep the Christmas spirit alive by trying to be as positive as possible and not let anything ruin it. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s so worth it!

How was your second Advent weekend?