How do you feel about coming back home after a long holiday? I was away for more than 3 weeks. First I went to Germany for my other (aka daytime) job and to spent Christmas with my family. I only came back to Istanbul for merely half a day before we left to Abu Dhabi and then Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka we enjoyed warm and sunny days filled with an abundance of fresh exotic fruits. You’d think that coming home, especially after enjoying our last three days at the magical Tri hotel, would be nothing less than painful. And yes, our journey back home to Istanbul was not a good end to our holiday, neither a good start to work life. Due to a little bit of a snow incident in Istanbul, we were delayed by more than a day. Completely exhausted and tired from our odyssey of spending 1.5 days on and off the plane, the first thing we did was getting some comfort food….
It’s the last week before Christmas and I’m currently on a flight from Istanbul to Munich. Though Munich used to be my home for more than two years I only have some business meetings here before heading up North to spend Christmas with my mum. In previous years I never really got into Christmas mood until the very day. Maybe it’s because we lived in countries that don’t celebrate Christmas. There was the occasional glittery and often very pink Christmas tree in shopping malls in Hong Kong. And even in Egypt, the German school would organise a yearly Christmas market which was hugely popular and very crowded. Last year we spend most of the Christmas season moving from Cairo to Istanbul, searching for a flat and unpacking boxes.
Last week I had a talk with friends about the perfect gift. We all agreed that it’s super difficult to give someone trinkets and nonsense things. At least not if the person didn’t put it specifically on her or his wish-list. Like that drinking game for your grown-up cousin…maybe not so cool. Or that ‘bake your own boyfriend’ cookie cutter might be funny once but probably ends up in the drawer and never be used again. You probably wouldn’t want any dust catchers in your home either.
There are a few gift ideas I love to fall back on when I don’t have anything specific in mind. Like when non of my family members and friends mention in my presence “Oh, I’d wish I had (fill in the blank)”.Since that pretty much never happens I almost always turn to my “the great three”. …
How come we are already two weeks into December? I’ve not even bought a single Christmas present yet, though I have a list of things in my mind. Phew, at least something. But where have all those days gone? I feel like I haven’t done anything though I did actually achieve a lot. Or let’s rewrite that last part. I’ve started a lot of things in the past few weeks. But then again I wish I would have more time to finish what I started. Because lately I’m very very excited about…me? This blog? My work? All things related to black.white.vivid.! I feel very motivated and inspired at the moment. I can’t even really explain the shift of my mindset because, you know, it’s dark outside. And rainy. And cold. So normally my brain, heart and soul would go into sleep mode. But not this year. Not this year….
I have a small confession to make. I’m not a big fan of Christmas. Ups. There I said it. Apart from not liking chocolate, that’s probably another unusual (read weird) characteristic about myself. It’s not that I hate Christmas or that I want to hide in a cave for three days while everyone else is singing under the Christmas tree. I’d just rather avoid all the hectic and unhealthy food that comes with it and spend my holidays in the sun. Or like my Aussie friends do it, with a casual BBQ outside in the backyard.
But let’s talk about the things I do actually love about Christmas. And that’s spending time with my family and friends, cooking together and giving each other presents. That’s why I’ve teamed up with The Body Shop. To give you more time for the important things during Christmas. This year you don’t need to run around like a crazy chicken looking for the perfect gift. Or search endless recipe websites for delicious but super healthy and easy Christmas cookies. I’ve got you covered….
Today I’m very very veeeeeery excited to kick of my series of guest posts with a long time Instagram friend, Janine of Nuts and Blueberries. Janine and I connected through Social Media at the beginning of both our Instagram journeys. Since then we’ve always been in contact and I loved seeing Janine grow her following, her passion for food and photography skills.
Janine authentic style and her own story inspires everyone who comes across her blog and Instagram account. Also, if you love cats as much as I do, you should definitely check out her account and Instagram stories. Janine has a very open and creative approach to food. She doesn’t follow any super strict diets but she listens to her body. She is always keen to try new things, so when I’m in need of some dinner inspiration or a new breakfast smoothie recipe, Nuts and Blueberries is one of my first sources….
I take it back. What I said about autumn in Istanbul in my last post. Winter has officially arrived now. It’s been rainy, windy and freezing the past few days. I didn’t leave the house much because I didn’t want to deal with reality. And that reality is that I no longer live in a country where there is no winter (I miss your weather Hong Kong and Cairo). I moved to Turkey in the hopes that summers would be longer than winters. And even though summer are definitely much warmer than in most European countries, Turkey’s winter are as uncomfortable….
This past week has been intense, exhausting and very tiring. First of all, autumn is coming to an end. That’s such a bumper if you ask me. Icy winds took over colourful leaves. A thick scarf, a woolen hat and even gloves have become essential accessories on a Sunday morning walk. Here and there you can already hear the first Christmas tunes. But I’m not ready to let autumn go yet. After all it’s my favourite season. I love its cold but sunny afternoons. I enjoy its flavours and produce. Everything pumpkin and apple, preferable with cinnamon and cardamom lets my heart jump of joy. I even love the first very cold and rainy days, snuggled in a blanket with a hot cup of chai latte. I’m lucky that I live in Istanbul because it’s still autumn here. That means I can still hold on to autumn a little longer. Also my very autumn-y smoothie recipe with Spiced Persimmon and Roasted Apple relives this season….
I think we all deserve a cozy and comforting bowl of warm oatmeal at the moment. Because yesterday Donald J. Trump was elected president. Even though I’m not an American, I still care. And I think everyone is allowed to care. Yes, there is no shame in crying about it. You are allowed to be sad, angry and disappointed. Please have all kinds of feelings about it because it means that you care. I also care about Turkey, the UK, and Germany, my home country. I care about every single country on this planet. My friends live all over the world and everyone is affected by the outcome of this election in one or the other way. I’ve always seen the world as one part, as one united nation. But lately politics has been ugly. And there has been so much hate. Too much hate. And fear. …
I’m not a baker. I love making raw treats. But as soon as dough is involved I have my difficulties. For a long time I even disliked baking cakes. Too much sugar, too much carbohydrates. But that’s a different story which I’ll tell you another time. A lot of things have changed since then. I’ve tried to improve my baking skills. It’s not that easy because vegan baking (and often gluten-free) is slightly challenging.
Like at this very moment, I’m on my second round of testing a vegan cinnamon roll recipe and the struggle is real. I have the feeling there will be many more rounds. It is in these moments that I treasure the simplicity of crumbles. The love for crumbles is real at our home. I love it because it’s so easy to make and absolutely nothing can go wrong. The boyfriend loves it because it’s kind of healthy and has lots of fresh fruit in it. You can also mix and match any kind of flavour and fruit, depending on the time of the year….