Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Experimenting with Wraps

I haven't been a big wraps fan, with all my experiences being the results of some fast food vegetarian attempts to calm down my hunger in a very fast and easy way. I never tried it at home, but I started to consider this lack of experience later and as usual, it leads me to the decision to try to experience with my own wraps recipes too. 
My experiment started the last week, while trying to understand various textures of wraps and ingredients that can go in. As for now, I only tried the vegetarian options, but I consider also expanding a bit my experience with some meaty versions as well. Which means that it will continue.
My first try was with some vegan tortillas, but the best satisfaction was by using basic corn wraps purchased from my Edeka store. The first ones were too stuck together which means that when I wanted to take the layers one by one I ended up with pieces from the other glued on the sheet. The taste was not so great either, therefore I will avoid those products. Their advantage was that they were small enough therefore I was able to fry them on both sides in a small pan in one tablespoon of sesame oil, which gave a unique taste. 
Instead, the corn wraps were big enough to use my pizza grill and no oil. I left them in the oven - heated at 250C - for around 5 minutes, with some Gouda cheese spread on the top. You can also use some original Parmigiano cheese, for a stronger taste.
When it comes to ingredients, the options are open to your imagination.
I tried to have a moderate mixture of fresh vegetables, fish - salmon -, sorts of cheese and some sauce too. In one occasion I tried a spicey mixture of thuna with red beans, which was hot enough to avoid using any other Mexican hot sauce.
The veggies I used in various combinations are: white medium-sized mushrooms, halved; avocado, sliced; tomatoes, sliced. You can also use slices of cucumber, or some roasted zucchini. It is important to do not overload the wrap, therefore, 2-3 slices of each might be enough.
Sauces: tomato sauce, spread on the wrap; Mexican hot sauce; sweet soy sauce; one drop of teriyaki sauce if you are looking for some special Asian blend; garlic sauce; pestp
Spices: a pinch of salt; a pinch of red/black pepper; one pinch of za'atar; red chili; dill; coriander - especially if you are having your wraps with salmon, some coriander will beautifully outline the taste;
Fish: simple salmon, 2-3 slices. I also used some red pepper salmon; mashed thuna
Cheese: blue cheese - to be used moderately and not in combination with too many ingredients, as it has a heavy taste anyway. gouda cheese - one big slice halved; sour cream can also be used as a base spread; goat cheese is always welcomed.
Other ingredients: red beans, if you want to get a full Mexican taste; for a dinner and lunch wrap, some mashed potatoes can also be added; peas - one tablespoon; corn - one tablespoon; baby carrots - 3 sliced; one teaspoon of black sesame; one hard boiled egg, sliced;
Oils: You can spread on the wrap, before you warm it, one tablespoon of olive oil or sesame oil. 
I am personally for a minimalistic approach, and I am also careful to keep the ingredients at a basic average in order to be able to wrap the wrap properly. I also love the mixture between spices, fresh taste and some cheese. For a meety wrap I would probably increase the amount of veggies and sauces and maybe add some tempeh altough not sure about it.
Anyway, I am just at the beginning of the experimenting journey, therefore I am looking forward to more creative wraps in the next weeks. Can't wait to test and share it here soon!

Your Child's First Trips to the Dentist and other Healthy Teeth Routines

My big girl hates going to the dentist. It was always like this, regardless what kind of problems she had or what kind of doctors we visited. Every time we were supposed to go for regular checkings or for some serious appointments, she was terrified, with outbursts of panic attacks and deep anxious moments. Now, as a fully 18+ years old, she is in the same mood every time when faced with the prospect of a visit to the dentist, whatever the reason.
On the other end of the spectrum, is me who with 6 was sent to the dentist on her own and never experienced any terrifying moments when on the chair. I always had teeth issues and although a regular checking program and many family dentist friends took care of me, nothing could stop the teeth decay and even more visits to the dentist. But although I also went through really weird episodes - when one dentist lady decided to make an extraction without anesthetic because she was afraid that I might have an allergic reaction to it - I kept trusting the doctors, using any visit as an opportunity to talk about teeth health and other medical related issues. A knowledge that didn't help that much as apparently the lack of a proper food in early childhood and some genetical issues faced me with the unpleasant situation of starting loosing my teeth in my early 20s.

Baby Teeth Routines

With my 2-year old son, the situation is still work in process, but I tried from his 8 month of life on to introduce the dental care routines into our daily life. In our advantage plays also the fact that in Germany, there are local institutions in charge with such issues, and from his first year of life we were requested to pay a visit to the city hall dentistry cabinet to learn about basic rules of stomatological care, including what products to not use - such as sweet juices. 
We started by brushing the teeth twice the day - in the morning and in the evening - by using fluoride-based tooth paste, without added sugar, and trying to find the best eco- and using friendly tooth brushes, as the one we had from Planet Bamboo. Introducing this routine into the daily life was made step-by-step and as usual, the best way to do it is by offering yourself the best example. My son was able to see that I am doing the same and even that before I am brushing his teeth, I am doing the same with his favorite Teddy bears.
However, our trips to the pediatric dentist weren't always a cup of tea. With the pediatrician he was always friendly and as we go there regularly, there is a certain connection between the two, therefore although once in a while he is not so keen to go through the regular healthy checkings, the doctor has enough authority to convince him to do. With the pediatric dentist the situation is a little bit different. It might be some mysterious way which scares the kid every time he or she sees a chair and all the tools around it. Convincing my otherwise friendly son to sit on it, even on my lap, was almost impossible and here we are, 4 visits to the dentist later and still unable to keep him to the mouth open for more than 1 second...

Keep Visit the Dentist

Although at this stage, the risk of serious teeth decay problems is probably very low, I still recommend to use the services of a pediatric dentist, as he or she will certainly have some extra acquired skills about how to deal with children. Or, at least, the cabinet do have some stuffed animals and other kiddy attractions that might keep your baby entertained and in a better friendly mood. Another tip will be to keep visiting the dentist once in a while, maybe every 6 months, just to let your baby used with the ambiance, and the doctor and, if lucky enough for keep him on the chair, the basic routines. Especially if you are a single parent with a limited time in your pocket, you might feel annoyed by all those visits and consider it a waste of time, but believe me, you made in fact an investment in your child and it is what matters after all. As in the case of the pediatrician, it is important that you keep an open line with your dentist for consultations about the best toothpaste and brush to use and any other issues that might affect the dental health of your child - the proper foods and what to avoid - too much sweets, for instance - is equally noteworthy. Especially when you have a family history of tooth problems - as I do - finding the right strategy for keeping the genetics in chess cannot be done without the adequate professional help.
Therefore, it is important that besides the pediatrician, to have also a good reliable dentist for your baby too, which will help you to keep the serious dental problems at bay and avoid serious issues later into adulthood. Dental issues are opening the door to many other ugly maladies therefore be sure that you do everything possible to prevent serious issues, by using an early dentistry checking for your baby. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lessons about Japanese Tea at Chaya Store in Berlin

Japanese tea means more than green tea, but authentic learning about this specific topic is hard to get outside Japan. Therefore, I was more than happy to discover that the relatively recently open store Chaya - Cha - tea, ya - store - at Bikini Berlin offers a special Tea seminar - Teeseminar - explaining the basics of the brewed drinks. I booked immediately an available spot - the number of participants is limited and you might wait more than one month until you can find a free place, therefore, the sooner the better. The price is 10 EUR. for more than one hour and it includes tea testing, plus some specific Japanese cakes matching the various tastes. Definitely worth it!
Before the seminar started I had a look again around the store, which offers authentic Japanese products - tea, snacks, but more importantly utensils used in the everyday life, such as rice and sake bowls.
The ceramic, for instance, are authentic and share the trademark of various artists and styles that I also encountered while attending various specific workshops in various parts of Japan during my full year spent in the country.
Kimonos and yukatas are also waiting to be admired and bought by anyone interested to start or develop its collection of precious Japanese traditional items.
Or small gadgets to adorn your cell phone...All you need to create a veritable Japanese lifestyle in your Berlin home. The prices are for all kind of budgets, with the ceramics rightly priced for their value and authenticity.
As for the tea seminar, I didn't know what to expect, but it was very intensive, both in taste and information, and very generous with the tasting of excellent teas. As I am not necessarily a tea person myself, I appreciated the very clearn information about the tastes and preparation techniques, as well as the fine selection of teas. 
For instance, I've learned that there are some teas which do have natural sweetness - like Gentle Treat - or Kukihouji, my favorite -and Sunday Morning - or I discovered some interesting new tastes like Best Friend or My Bancha. Most of them are originary from Shizuoka, the center of the Japanese tea production, near the Fuji mountain. 
I also loved that I was able to learn not only about the teas themselves, but also about the utensils to be used for preparing and serving them, which are important as they keep maintaining the required temperature. For the brewing of each tea, special water temperature was indicated. After a short demonstration, we were back to our reserved seats for practicing the lessons learned, which was another great tea experience.
You learn to taste, feel and smell every single tea sampled and it can be a great start of a relationship not only with a product, but with a thousand-year tradition and lifestyle.
I would definitely love to repeat this experience, but would equally love to offer such a Teeseminar as a present to one of my tea-lover friends. As for the store, would always be happy to pay a visit in a place which reminds me so much of the beautiful Japan.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Everything you Want to Know about Kombucha

I've heard often about kombucha and even tried it twice, but I never felt so tempted to make it part of my food&drink rituals. I don't like the taste of it, because I was thinking purely in terms of personal taste, but after reading this interesting book by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory about everything related to this fashionable fermented tea, it might be because my taste is altered by different sugar-based drinks I am used with. Which might be partially true...
The Big Book of Kombucha is besides is rich information about the fermented tea - including how to make your own and very specific but simply written details about how to do the brewing and the flavoring - also an amazing example about how to write about food and drinks, especially those extraneous to the Western everyday eating habits. One of my favorite so far is the part dedicated to debunking the everyday myths and superstitions, plus the dictionary and the rich historical background of the drink.
For those not familiar with this drink, '(...) kombucha is the most versatile ferment in the world. Consumed at all times of the day, it can be brewed as sweet or sour as desired, is equally delicious with savory flavorings and sweet ones, and pairs just as well with a salty slice of pizza as with a chunk of chocolate. In many homes around the world, it replaces sodas, carbonated waters, alcohol and other store-brought drinks with an inexpensive, home made option'. A healthy addition to any diet - raw, vegetarian, vegan, paleo or kosher, among others - 'it gives the body the opportunity to return to balance so that the immunity and other physiological systems function more efficiently'. Among the tested health belefits are: healthy lived function, rebalance of the homeostasis in the body, boasts metabolism, boasts energy, relieves headaches and migraine, improves eyesights, reduces occurence and size of kidney stones, heals eczema, prevents arteriosclerosis, lowers glucose levels, speeds healing of ulcers. 
What me, and I bet some of you too, did not know about kombucha (especially the kombucha vinegar variant), is that it can be used as ingredient to face masks or facial toners, or as a sunburn relief spray or ingredient part of different recipes for cinnamon rolls, sordough bread or mustard.
Although this book did not convince me to start using kombucha, at least brought me a rich depository of information about it and made me more aware about this special ingredient.
Strongly recommended to any lover of good foodie books!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Meeting the Future of Business in Berlin

Autumn is the season of fairs of all kinds and special events in Berlin, offering during the cold dark long days the chance of a reboost and a complete renewal, either on the business or the personal front.
It was quite a long time since my last visit at the deGUT fair. It stands for Deutsche Gründer- und Unternehmertage and it is aimed at offering to companies and entrepreneurs the chance of developing their ideas and plans. This time, it was held at the ARENA, near Treptower Park. As I remember from my last visit, when the event was organised at Tempelhof, the visitor was easily took to the destination, by white branded arrows with the logo of the event. Very smart! 
As I am currently in process of building up my own business - going a little bit beyond my freelancing status - I was very happy to have the chance of getting closer to the real world of founders and business ideas. First and foremost, it offered the occasion to directly connect with people that do have the knowledge, either in the domain of financing - business angels included - insurances of any kind, free consulting for your plans and even a bit of support for setting up your business, step-by-step. I was personally happy to see again the brilliant people from Akelei, an organisation supporting women through various free or affordable classes covering various aspects of the business creation.
Another important part of the deGUT was dedicated to sharing experience, with interventions from business representative with a track record on the market. It was the chance to connect even better with people from various industries.
According to an official press release, the event was attended by around 6,000 participants, with 140 exhibitors. 
As usual, Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg - ILB - had a big embassy, the bank being a supporter of businesses in the region, not only financially, but also through specific advice and consulting. What is really impressive and you can find only if you are going to such events is that there are significant free resources available in Berlin for beginner entrepreneurs, which can help you land your ideas especially when you have a limited investment budget. 
The person-to-person connection is even more important and many of the beginner entrepreneur questions were easily answered through various meetings with the specialists in different domains, such as SEO, video marketing, social media skills etc.
I personally enjoyed the chance of being part of this great opportunity and I really appreciate that Berlin moved forward from the start-up often incertain level to a much better way of being in the business, with feet solidly set into the investment ground. 
The next deGUT event will take place in one year, between 12-13 October 2018, possibly in the same place. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Living the Good Hygge Life

Winters are long and dark in the North Europe therefore the need to create home-based alternatives for avoiding the feeling of loneliness and deep depression created by the weather. It means more than the usual light therapy practiced intensively in countries like Finland or Norway, but offering an entire concept of alternative lifestyle which is not necessarily geographically confined. 
Welcome to the world of hygge, a Danish word meaning 'coziness', adopted in the world language of good life seekers as '(...) the art of creating intimacy and the comforting sense of togetherness in a candlelight room with a fire cracking and cheerful music playing in the background'. It also means 'that taking care of yourself and those you love fortifies you with an invincible sense of well-being that no amount of snow or endless twilight can temper'. 
My experience of living for the last 10 years in Germany was a long lesson in learning to deal with the dark hours starting around 4pm in December and a cold weather which means also getting used with snow in April. I visited the Sweden and Norway too and more than once had the feeling of being overwhelmed by too much darkness. Until I discovered that with friends and some interesting book and a good meal life can be better again.
The Hygge Life, written together by the Icelandic chef Gunnar Karl Gislason and Jody Eddy, is more than an introduction to this lifestyle. It offers the full to-do-list to achieve the piece and wellbeing so much associated with this part of Europe, regardless what side of the world you are living. It means that you can easily make a lap forward leaving behind your home door all the problems and difficult times, with a touch of style and inspiration.
From the early morning - what about starting your early day with a hike? - until you are ready for the cozy movie or game evening, you are guided how to achieve peace and inner happiness. The book offers smart practical advice about the choices of coffee - no wonder now that the Scandinavian countries are so big coffee consumers - or a tea, the breakfast - possibly in bed - and the brunch - without or (preferably) with friends. You are offered a big number of inspiring recipes - my favorites so far I would love to try are: pancakes with berries and whipped cream, salmon with baby potatoes and pine, fried fish with almonds and capers, fennel salad with blue cheese and walnut - but also ideas about how to better take care of yourself - by paying a visit to the spa, for instance. Because: 'You can best nurture others when you have carved out the time to care for yourself'. 
This book is one of the many published lately about this praised lifestyle. The more the merrier as some of us need to be reminded constantly about the everyday beauty and easy way the life can be lived. Dark day or sunny day, it is important to live it at its fullest. What I am planning to do today, and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow too.

Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Unique Ingredients of Mitomo Masks

I mentioned in a previous post about Mitomo masks that there are some special ingredients used for the creation of the face sheet masks, mostly familiar to the Asian audience. For instance, horse oil, a concept that I haven't heard about before.
My next batch of Mitomo face sheet masks involved a lot of unknown for me ingredients, that for sure, for the European ears and eyes might sound quite unusual. Take, for instance, snail+EGF. Snail stands for snail slime - or mucus and EGF for Epidermal Growth Factor, a protein formed in the body which stimulates the cell growth. The sheet face mask based on those is very wet and after the 20-30 minutes traitment, it gives to the face a completely fresh and healthy look. One of my favorite, so far.
Another creative combination uses placenta and platinum. For a long time already placenta is used as a base for various anti-wrinkle regeneration creams and skin.care products therefore it was not a completely new idea for me. Platinum was though, as the only 'metal' I was familiar with in masks was gold. And I also knew about precious diamonds. Platinum is quite a new ingredient, but which acquired easily a place in the beauty industry. It is assumed to improve firmness, skin elasticity and offer a proper hydration. The combination looked good on my skin as well, with at least 24 hours of happy glowing skin.
As kids, we knew that bee venom is very healthy in fact, despite the harm of the swallowing, as it is supposed to offer a good anti-rheumatism protection. But there are good features of this bee product for the skin care industry as well. The Mitomo mask I've tried combined bee venom with gold, which sounded as a match made in heaven. The been venom is also called the 'botox of nature' and is extensively used by Hollywood stars like Gwyneth Paltrow which are happy with its features: increase of blood circulation, filling the fine lines and wrinkles or firming the skin. 
Last but not least, the last mask I've used from this special batch included another cryptic and first-time read/heard for me ingredient: Syn Ake. It stays for: Dipeptine Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, a substance which prevents skin aging and smoothens and tightens the skin, conferring to the skin firmness. The masks combined this peptide with the previously mentioned EGF. The effect was good on skin, but I experienced a little bit of rush. 
What I also liked about those masks was the glowing special packaging, which makes you think before even using it that you are offered something unique, which is exactly what happens during and after using the face sheets.
With a new batch of masks ready to be used in the fridge, I can't wait to test them and share my impressions. The ingredients are more usual, at least in the everyday life.

Disclaimer: The face sheet masks were offered by Mitomo for review, but the opinions are, as usual, my own

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Simple Tips for a Successful Happy Wedding Day

I am single right now, without clear perspectives of saying 'yes' - or 'no' too soon, but this is not an impediment against visiting a wedding fair. As the wedding season is open, time has come to have a look at the main offers and start making a mental note about what you generally need for such big events. Because, you never know, it is important to have the mindset and the rest will come, they say. 
The fair I've been to, the first ever in my life, took place at the Zitadelle Spandau, a historical location in the north-western part of Berlin, a location that can be rented for weddings too. The first element suggested for such an event: renting a car. A hippy VW car could be a funny idea, isn't it?
A majestic entry to the ceremony can be made with a white Cadillac instead, decorated accordingly for the ceremonies. Especially when the entrance will be made to the red brick arches of an old citadel. 
The cake is another important part of the ceremony, usually served at the end of a feast. A couple of years ago I organised myself the menu for a small friendly wedding and this part is always the most welcomed by both the guests and the hosts. In the case of extended parties, some people either organise the after wedding party at a restaurant or hire a catering company and even a chef for preparing everything. 
The flowers are another element that cannot be missed at a wedding: for the bride's bouquet or for the table arrangements, it is hardly something to omit.
For some, the table setting should be impressive, making the guests feel part of a beautiful fairy tale. It includes special dishware used, the lightning, the shape of the tables and the tablecloth and chairs arrangements.
How you set the guest is another detail that often saves you from nightmares when you have at the same table old enemies or ex-lovers. On the wedding invitation for a friend of mine, she mentioned who will be my neighbours, just in case that there is any issue and the changes can be done before it is too late. 
Wedding means much more than that, and for over 100 guests, delegating the responsibility with a specialized company is saving time and energy, although not necessarily money. But a professionist will be able to deliver you step-by-step all the stages of the preparation, from the photography session to the choice of music, venue, decorations and even the children corner where the little guests will spend their time supervised by a professional babysitter.
For instance, think about the little colourful details you would love to have on the table, and the little present for the guests, as a memory of the great time spent together in one of the most important day of your life. A professional company would know for sure where to find some nice bombons to wrap in a small package near the seat of every participant.
Last but not least, the wedding dress could be a crazy nightmare, both in terms of price and style. How many brides are putting themselves to starve before the big event in order to fit the wedding dress of their dream? How many others are starving because saving as crazy for buying it? Although in Germany the wedding dresses stores are not so common - like in Israel, for instance, where in Tel Aviv you find an impressive concentration of beautiful wedding stores every two blocks or more - there are different options open to various sizes and budgets.
My visit at the wedding fair was a win, with many interesting and creative ideas offered, for my future opportunities, but also as suggestions for the moment when the time will come for my own celebrations. Hopefully sooner than later. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Skin Care Product Review: Night Repair Concentrate by Schaebens

After a couple of weeks of permanent use of various capsules, it seems that I am slowly slowly integrating them into my daily skin care routine. The last week I returned to a brand that I successfully used before, Schabens, with a 5-day cure of night repair concentrate. 
I applied it on the clean skin, usually one hour before going to sleep. The apparently small capsule has enough liquid to properly cover the face and the neck in abundance, and it is a lot left for the night. The transparent liquid is very oily and has a specific smell. I used it instead of a night cream, and worked pretty well, with the morning face shining and deeply refreshed. 
Every small blue pill is made of a mixture of jojoba oil, retinole and ceramid. According to the product presentation, a regular use is aimed at increase the hydration with around 46%, improve the skin elasticity with around 40% and reduce the deep wrinkles with 37%. I didn't experience any allergic reaction and most probably would love to keep using it for the time being, as I've found it perfectly suited for my skin and with visible positive effects.
In Germany, it can be purchased at the any Rossmann drugstore chains, at a more than convenient price.
Overall, a product which I strongly recommend to every normal skin. It is easy to use with visible effects within a couple of days only. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

To Date or Not to Date (Online)

Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/UMIOY6CVUM
You know how the songs goes on: 'First I was afraid, I was petrified...', when freshly single I was recommended by more than one person to try my chance on one of the many online dating sites available around. Isn't it an obvious sign of personal failure to look for love, friendship and who knows, maybe a marriage too, online? Meaning that clearly finding someone in real life was a mission impossible because probably I am missing the proper human social skills to find and keep a serious relationship?
Such thoughts are actually clearly legitimate, as for a long time online dating was associated with anything serious. However, time changed and the more I become familiar with the intricacies of the virtual dating world, the more I realized that, in fact, the people you can find on the Internet are exactly the same kind of people that you might encounter in real life. The difference is that you not even need to meet them and blocking them out of your life is only one click away. Think about how many bad dates you had when you were set up by a matchmaker or your parents or who known what other good people from your life? The time wasted preparing and the sour taste of a failed evening listening to nonsense! When you are part of one of the best dating sites, you have enough time to test the waters and check the potential date suitability before the actual meeting is taking place.
The diversity of online dating sites become overwhelming lately, which increases the chances of finding the person you are looking for. Interested in finding the right date divorced singles or rather more into senior dating? If you are focused on a specific geographical area, the Internet has a generous offer in this respect too, from dating agency Manchester opportunities to options as remote as Christchurch dating or just adult dating for those who are interested just in the experience. There are special website for farmers or animal lovers or people with high education looking to find their (academic) peers and the list is getting more and more diverse each day.
After a couple of online experiences, I can openly say that indeed, there are many strange people using the net without too many inhibitions, hiding behind a nickname to display various impolite and abusive behaviors. With more serious websites offering the 'block' option, you can easily get read of such characters. It is much easier than in real life, believe me!
So? What exactly keeps you from opening an account to any of the many online dating sites? Especially if you are an independent person, as I am, working from home and freelancing and travelling all over the world, as I do, this is the shortest way to finding your romance. 
After I spent so many nights trying to weight the pros and cons of the online dating, only one and only solution was chosen: to date (online) as it is no tomorrow. Because every single one of us deserves to seriously think about ending up the single years, doesn't actually matter how exactly.

For more inspiration, check the We Love Dates webpage

Post written part of WeLoveDates.com Brand Ambassador assignment

4 Ways to Dream your Matcha

If you followed my blog for a little while you might know already how I can have matcha tea with everything - or almost everything: from cookies and cakes and various drinks to the simple cup of tea (green tea, of course). I tried green tea noodles too and proud of it. 
However, finding the right, high-end green tea for the many recipes I have in mind is not always easy, especially in Europe, therefore more than once my choices were less than satisfactory. Aiming high, I recently made a partnership with Dream Matcha for testing their 50 g package. Compared to most of the products I used before, especially for cooking, the fine matcha vivid light powder has a strong genuine green tea smell and taste. The precious powder is delivered in a paper pocket, which can be elegantly sealed after opening. It must be stored in a cool dry place.
Included in the category of 'Nootropics', this dream matcha can be used as a cognitive enhancer, without a particular medical recommendation. Consumed moderately, and in addition to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, it can help enhancing memory, creativity and motivation. It is recommended to both vegetarians and vegans.

Here are my four particular ways I decided to use the matcha. In all cases, the preparation time is less than 15 minutes. The recommended serving size is of 1.5g, with a maximum consumption of three cups a day, the first half of the day. The product contains coffeine therefore not recommended to small children.

The old good cup of green tea

Coffee in the morning is always welcomed, but once in a while a glass of fresh green tea can be even more refreshing and empowering. I first recipe was a glass of matcha tea, without sugar, that can be drink cold or hot. If you like it cold, you can add 2-3 ice cubes and you have the perfect refreshment for a hot summer morning. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Matcha Latte, home style
I love my Matcha Latte decorated with nice shapes, but after all, it is all meant to be destroyed sooner or later while drinking. As I am far from achieving the perfect skills of a matcha latte barista, I saved some time and money by preparing my own matcha latte at home.
1 big cup of warm milk - it can easily go with soy milk, or other substitutes
1 teaspoon of green tea
1 teaspoon of honey - or brown sugar

Pour the milk slowly while mixing all the ingredients. Served hot, it is always a good start into a cold winter day (especially in my part of the world).

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1

Green Tea Banana Smoothie

Especially when I am very tired, I am having at least one banana green tea smoothie, because it help be to reboost and get more strength to go through the never-ending chores. I was very curious to taste my smoothie by using Dream Matcha.
Instead of milk, I used a rice chia substitute, which added even more energy features to the drink.

2 medium-sized banana
300 ml. Rice Chia Drink, cold
1 tablespoon honey - it works well also with brown sugar
1 teaspoon of tea

Blend all the ingredients for 5 minutes at medium speed. If you want it a bit colder, you can put it in the freezer for around 20 minutes

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2

Matcha Cheesecake

I was dreaming of preparing a matcha cheesecake for a long time, but until now I wasn't brave enough to try it. This time, I had the motivation, all the right ingredients, and a bit more, and the best matcha tea I could have dream of.
250 gr. mascarpone cheese
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon honey - it helps to counter the sour taste of the green tea better than the usual sugar
1 quiche/tart ready-made dough
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon green tea
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut


Warm the oven at 250C. Spread the dough on a 25-cm diameter pan. Add one by one all the ingredients - mixing wellm with the desiccated coconut spread all over the top as decoration. Take the pan in the oven and let it bake for around 45 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 7

Most probably, as I still have more than half of the package, I would love to try some other recipes as well, and will be only a matter of time until my new 'matcha' post. The overall impression of the product was positive, and I strongly recommend it to any other green tea lovers around here.

To be continued...

Disclaimer: Product offer to test by the company, but the opinions are, as usual, my own

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

MerrillDesign, Danish Creativity Made in Berlin

Brit Merrill Kjærulff is a Danish designer creating in Berlin funny and elegant pieces of jewellery, in the Moabit borrough. I've visited her shop in Beusselstraße a couple of years ago, and once again, her creative stand at an even dedicated to local designers in Moabit and couldn't stop taking pictures of her works.
There is a playful and colourful side of her work, with funny shaped earrings which you might thing first that do suit mostly the teenagers but in fact it appeals to the happy side of everyone of us.
The designs are very diverse and easily suit every kind of taste and occassions: from the everyday work, to the holidays and weekend trips, or just because you love to look good. 
Special metal-made jewellery are the high-end models of the collections, asymmetrically-shaped giving a distinguished touch. 
By MerrillDesign everything is about colours and creativity and I can't wait to visit the store soon, hunting for more and more interesting models. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In the Wonderfilled World of Oreo

Who doesn't like Oreo, the black biscuit sandwich filled with a milky cream? Dubbed the world's famous cookie, it was introduced for 5 days to the world of Berlin foodie lovers at a pop-store in the highly frequented Rosenthaler Platz 72. 
Decorated with huge-sized Oreo cookies and with walls filled with small packages of Crispy&Thin - my favorites, especially because it is so easy to carry them in your bag on the way home or when on the road - or the Original version - a little bit too sweet for my taste, it welcomed visitors of all ages. Besides the fun of getting some small packages of original biscuits for free, you enter a world of milky ways and sweet fun, openly suggested by the hip hastags and decorations on the wall.
The original Oreo website - English version - has many creative videos, besides the many interesting recipes I would love to start trying one day, and this creative side was also reflected in the corner dedicated for children activities, including small origami workshops.
But the most creative of all is the dunker. Guess what it can do?...counting 3...2...1...Still not sure? This light plastic-made, fishing needle looking tool is aimed at recovering, from the side, the Oreo cookie after soaked in the milk. Don't use your hands, and not try to take it with a soup spoon, but use the dunker. Is super easy and a lot of fun to use it!
So bad the Oreo adventures were to last only for five days, but apparently it is enough to turn them into your best cookie friends for life. I personally will look forward to have some special recipes on the blog soon, based on those delicious cookies!
To be continued...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

An exotic non-alcoholic drink for the win

What you do when you have some exotic fruits leftovers from the Rosh HaShana - Jewish New Year - and an inviting can of coconut milk? Plus, you want to be sure of being ready for the 25-hour Yom Kippur fast, therefore you need to have a perfectly hydration! I didn't need too much to put into motion my blender and create a very tasty drink, as healthy and nourishing as possible.

1/2 papaya fruit, cut into little pieces
3 cactus fruits, peeled and cut into little pieces
400 ml. organic coconut milk
3 tablespoon honey

Add the fruits, the honey and the coconut milk into the blender and mix for around 2 minutes at medium-speed. As the cactus fruits do have small seeds - which are not harmful, anyway - you can pour the creamy result through a strainer in order to eliminate them.

Preparation time
5 minutes


Beauty and skincare review: Collagen capsules from Diadermine

I can't have enough of testing and reviewing beauty capsules, a very ingenous and practical skin care booster. After Rival de Loop and Schaebens, the last week I tried a 7-day cure of something even more professional and efficient: Diadermine Lift+.  
It contains seven small capsules that I used early in the morning, on a clean, hydrated skin. The content is enough to cover both the face and the decollete. It is very easy to apply and you can also use it when on the road: it does not take too make space in your bag and applying on the skin doesn't take more than 5 minutes. 
It contains collagen activator, which operates deep into the skin, offering elasticity, covering age lines and fine wrinkles. The face looks glowing, firmer and better defined, a couple of minutes after applying only. In addition, it is made of a complex of vitamines which revitalises the skin, giving it a new strength and eliminating the signs of tiredness. As I had a relatively chaotic time lately, I noticed immediately some good signs of freshness, that I hardly wanted to alter by using make-up. Therefore, the promise of 'Sofort-Effekt' - 'Instant Effect' - is delivered.
The price is more acceptable, especially if you are a on a very limited budget.
During the seven days treatment I didn't experience any allergic reactions. Its effects are multiplied especially if the capsules are used in combination with other products. I usually applied it after previously having used L'Oreal Hydra Active 3, which confers a good skin hydration. 
I strongly recommend to any busy woman around, keen to keep up with its beauty ritual, despite a crazy daily schedule.