Home: the Christmas edition (part 1).

Work-wise, this has been a crazy week. New deadlines, new challenges, 4 hours of sleep at most. But I’ve made it, everything is now wrapped up and handed in and I can finally properly enjoy this beautiful time of the year. Due to all the craziness, I haven’t been able to put up our second Christmas tree so that’s #1 on my agenda once I come back from my weekend away with my little sister. Luckily, I’d managed to do some decorating before this all began so I’ve actually got some things to show you!
Putting up Christmas tree #1
I’m really in love with my colour theme this year. The colours are so gentle yet sparkly and festive.

I’ve got to say I’m quite thrilled with how it turned out!

The kitchen
Not everything is up just yet. We had our windows and doors cleaned on Monday so it made no sense to put any window or door decorations up before that. So that’s #2 on my agenda next week, right after I put up the second Christmas tree.

This is the newest addition to our family. I love that bloke!

Our Nutcracker collection is growing!

That’s all I’ve got up for now. Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?

Borough market at Christmas.

If you’ve been following me for a while, it will come as no surprise to you that I love Borough market. It’s definitely one of my favourite spots in London. I’ll never forget the first time I was there. I still remember how utterly amazed I was by it and I love to come back. (And I always do whenever I’m in London.)
Like many other places, Borough market has a special charm come Christmas time. There are huge, gorgeous wreaths everywhere, every single stall is decorated and it’s just overflowing with Christmas atmosphere. I hope I managed to capture at least some of it in my photos from last December.

I’ll never tire of this sight.
All decked for Christmas!

Mulled wine is a must.

Mum took pictures, too.

I love holly!

4 avocados for £1. Gimme!

I want everything from there.

I loved this Christmas display.

I adore this kind of simple, natural wreaths.

Though the sparkly ones are very pretty, too.

Do you think that’s enough mistletoe? :P

Say hello to a 2014 me!

Red berries.

Can you smell those clementines?

I still remember what a perfect winter day it was.

I had to take a photo of this gorgeous Christmas tree at the Globe. I love the colour scheme!

The Nutcracker overseeing the Southbank Christmas market.

Winter light.

I adore this view.

Do you plan on visiting any Christmas markets in the upcoming weeks?

❆P.S.: 4 weeks to Christmas Eve! ❆

Weekly gratitude post #11.

First thiings first: itt looks like it’s finally cold enough for me to wear these!
I’m currently taking a break from my proof-reading job to put together this post. It’s almost dark outside, I’m drinking some delicious hot chocolate and watching the first snowfall of the season. The snow doesn’t stick at all, but it’s still amazing to watch. We’re finally having some seasonally appropriate weather and I can’t get enough of it. I can smell the snow in the air and the phrase “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” keeps popping up in my head. I love this time of the year. I’m so excited to finally start wearing proper scarves, hats and gloves!
I spent almost every single moment of this past week working. I’m pretty tired but I’m nearly finished with all the extra work. I think four more days should do it. Anyway, I hope I’ll find some time next week to put up the second Christmas tree. I’d meant to do it this week but I was just too busy. And I really want to take my time with it, it’s one of my favourite things to do. I just want to put on some Christmas carols and enjoy it properly. Be in the moment, if you know what I mean. It only happens once a year, after all.

1. All the extra work I have. Because most of the time, I really love my job.

2. The cinema. It’s been AGES since I had last been to the cinema, which is such a shame because I love seeing films on the big screen. I saw The Mockingjay pt. 2 on Friday and I really liked it. I must remember to compare the mutts to the Inferi from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, though, as they looked somewhaty similar. And by that I mean terrifying.

3. Every single new Christmas decoration I’ve seen appear in the shop windows over the past few days. Let’s keep the spirit of Christmas alive!

What have you been gratefu for this week?

Christmas eggnog.

Eggnog is probably my favourite Christmas drink. It’s our family recipe and it has been a tradition for us to make it before or for Christmas for as long as I can remember. We made our first batch on Saturday and I documented the process for you. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world but it’s delicious and Christmassy and I’m a firm believe in the everything in moderation principle.

For Christmas eggnog, you will need:

6 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 litre milk
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 sachet vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 litre cognac or brandy
optional: cinnamon and/or nutmeg

Put the egg yolks, sugar, milk, condensed milk and vanilla sugar in your blender and blend it together.

Then start pouring your alcohol in slowly . Slowly really is the watchword here because if you pour it in quickly and all at once, your eggnog will curdle. And you definitely don’t want that.

When you’re just about finished, give it one more celebratory whirl about in the blender, pour it into an empty glass bottle and you’re done.

Then all you need to do is don your favourite Christmas jumper and pour yourself a glass of this delicious, festive eggnog.

Just a side note: taking a proper photo of the eggnog that I was satisfied with took about twice as long than actually making it. That’s how easy and quick the recipe is. :)

Cheers, guys! To Christmas!

What’s your favourite recipe for eggnog? Do you have any delicious Christmas drinks recipes that you could share?

Weekly gratitude post #10.

I won’t even say that this has been a busy week because I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have a busy week. Not that I mind, of course! Apart from busy, it has also been very warm all week and it’s apparently going to continue until next Friday… and then, hopefully, we will get proper November weather. Fingers crossed, because I really want to start wearing all my Christmas jumpers.

Fitness-wise, it’s been another great week. I managed the gym 3 times, 1 Pilates lesson and 5 hours on the ice. I love when it works out like that.

Also, I’ve had my Edea skates for a year now! <3
Work-wise it has been a quiet week, which is quite nice. I have written down some ideas for pre-Christmas lessons but I haven’t decided whether to use them or not just yet. Working with adult students can be really hard at times. And that’s all I’m going to say about it now. :P
I haven’t mentioned it here before but I was offered an opportunity to write some articles for a Czech website that deals with topics of equality (or rather lack thereof). It’s something I’m very interested in and I am so happy to be finally involved in a project like this, it has been a dream of mine for years! Right now, I am supposed to write 5 articles a month; so far I have sent them about 6 articles and they really liked them! On Friday, I managed to finish my November articles so next week I am going to start on my December ones. I need to get a head start because there is no way I would be able to manage to write all 5 of them in December. I stayed up past 2 am on Friday, which was really tough as I had got up at 4.45 am that day, but I just did so much work that night! I love this kind of work so much!
As I am also currently proofreading a Master’s thesis, I spent a lot of time at the computer this weekend. So on Sunday morning, after finally getting some proper sleep (nearly 8 hours, oh my goodness that felt good!), I wanted to do something else. We ended up decorating the entire kitchen for Christmas with my mum, making Christmas eggnog and also something else which I am not ready to talk about just yet. :P I will be finishing it on Tuesday and if it goes well (it’s a new recipe and you never know how that may turn out), you will definitely hear about it. And if it doesn’t, you will hear about it anyway, I’m afraid. :)

As for next week: Tuesday is bank holiday. Hopefully it means a good night’s sleep, some baking, skating and working on my articles. On Friday I’m going to go to the cinema with my friend Veronika, we want to see Mockingjay pt.2. And hopefully I can get some more decorating done. Exciting stuff! Now for the gratitude part of this post.

This week I have been grateful for:

1. My grandparents. It would have been my grandpa’s birthday on Thursday. All my grandparents have been gone for years but I feel like I think about them more with each passing year. Especially my maternal grandparents because we lived together with them for a long time when I was a child. I often wonder what they would think about my job and my hobbies. I wish I could ask them. I wish we could spend Christmas together. I still remember how upset I was when I was graduating Uni and so many of my classmates, who were often older than me, had their grandparents there. Despite all that, I know how lucky I am to have known them.

2. People who will not be bullied out of showing love, compassion and empathy to others. Enough said, I think.

3. Instagram. It is such an endless source of inspiration to me! I follow so many interesting people and I love exploring the tags I’m interested in. This week, I discovered thepilatespt‘s account and I can’t wait to try out so many things from there! Next week at the gym is going to be fun. :P I’ve also been all over the #londonchristmas tag because… uh, do I need to explain? I adore this year’s Covent Garden decorations, and all the ice rinks that have already opened look absolutely stunning. Oh, London. <3

What have you been grateful for this week?


I didn’t even want to post anything when I first logged in here today. It just felt wrong. But we need to remind ourselves that we cannot stop doing what we do on daily basis — because if we do that, then they have won.

My thoughts are with all the people in Paris who lost a family member, friend or a loved one last night.

I am also very sorry that this will undoubtedly lead to people expressing even more hatred towards immigrants and Muslims and in further radicalisation of all the racists, xenophobes, nationalists and neo-Nazi supporters. I believe that this is exactly what those terrorists had intended with these attacks, and all these people just blindly give in, out of fear and anger. But this is not the way. Hatred only breeds more hatred. All change must come from love and kindness.

St. Martin’s goose.

Today is St. Martin’s Day. There’s this saying here that ‘St. Martin comes riding on the white horse’ on this day, meaning he’s heralding the coming winter and bringing snow with him. Well, it was 18°C today. What’s up with the weather this year? Anyway, we don’t celebrate it in any way. But it would’ve been my grandpa’s birthday tomorrow, on November 12th. For his birthday, we always used to have roast goose with home-made potato pancakes and red cabbage-stuffed apples with raisins. And we like to keep the tradition alive. It worked out really beautifully this year because my sister, her boyfriend and Eda were here for the weekend so we could actually celebrate together.

For some reason, no one wanted their picture taken that weekend so I only photographed food and Eda. :P

Eda of course had to oversee all the preparations.

Careful there!

Just look at the goose! (Typing that made me feel like Tiny Tim a bit. :P)

Home-made potato pancakes.

I honestly don’t know why I don’t make these more often.

What a feast!

And some bonus Eda photos, just because.

How’s your week been so far?

Tapioca porridge with cranberries, pomegranate and cinnamon.

You know how I posted that morning window frost photos last week? Well, it’s been unseasonably warm ever since and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon. Apparently it was 20°Celsius in some parts of the country this weekend. Not cool. Literally and figuratively. :P Anyway, the weather couldn’t stop me from having the most wonderful and definitely wintry breakfast this morning: a tapioca porridge with cranberries, pomegranate and cinnamon.

tapioca pearls
cranberries (about 2 handful)
1 pomgegranate
lemon juice
dark chocolate
cane sugar


The instructions on the bag of the tapioca pearls said, “1 part tapioca, 3 parts water”. So that’s exactly what I did. It seemed a lot at first but it soaked up almost all the water really fast. I let it soak for about 20-30 minutes.
I put my cranberries in a pan, stirred in 1 tsp cane sugar and a little bit of lemon juice to taste and brought it to a boil.

I poured the same amount of milk over the soaked tapioca pearls as I did water and brought it to a boil, stirring constantly (this is very important!).

Check out my matching nail varnish. :P

The porridge definitely needed some flavouring. I opted for 2 tsp cane sugar and some cinnamon (I put in a lot but that’s because I’m a cinnamon addict and I put it pretty much everywhere. :P)

Then I prepared my pomegranate. I hadn’t had one forever and almost forgot how much I loved them.

I put the tapioca porridge into my favourite breakfast bowl, added the cranberries and a little bit of grated chocolate on top.

And the pomegranate, of course.

Let me tell you, it tasted just as good as it looked. I’m definitely going to make it again soon!

What did you have for breakfast today?

Weekly gratitude post #9.

I’ve had an incredibly productive week. I’ve managed everything on my agenda — and I even got to take a nap this weekend! I hope I’ll be able to keep up the pace for the next couple of weeks. On top of my day job, I’ve got some extra projects lined up (more on that later) and of course there’s the run-up to Christmas to take into consideration. I’m so excited about what the next few weeks will bring!

As for my weekend:

Eda was here, even though it was only for a couple of days this time. But this time, my sister and her boyfriend came with her and stayed over. It was one of those weekends which reminded me how much I love spending tie with them.

This week I’have been grateful for:

1. The people who love me just the way I am. It’s the best feeling in the world.

2. My own hard-earned perseverance. Because it’s such a help in everyday life!

3. Mary Poppins. I still remember the first time I saw it when I was a child and how proud I was when I learned to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. :P It’s such a beautiful, feel-good film. I love it to pieces.

What have you been grateful for? What are you excited about in the upcoming week?