Do you know what a gong bath is? Until just a few days ago I didn’t know either. So, let me explain: A gong bath is a form of sound therapy where the gong is played in a way to bring about healing (more precisely, holistic sound healing). You are essentially taking a bath in the sound waves.
Sounds weird? Yes it was.. But fun at the same time :) I’m not sure about the ‘healing’ part (…) but it certainly was super relaxing. And as plain meditation doesn’t work for me, meditating while listening to the sound of the gongs did work.
If you are wondering what the mark on my forehead is about, I think that was some sort of blessing (?) that we received before our gong bath. We were also invited to hold volcano stones onto each other’s foreheads to feel the volcanic vibrations. I think that our volcanic stones didn’t want to vibrate for us.
Wine & Art at Christie’s
Before the gong bath we had a glass of wine and looked at pretty paintings and furniture at Christie’s. Some were more pretty than others.. but then I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder :)
Trafalgar Square and Pall Mall at night
I worked around St. James’s Square a while ago and hadn’t walked much around the area at night ever since. I still remember how getting taxis was such a pain sometimes when I left work late (that was before there was uber!). So yesterday’s walk to the tube reminded me on how pretty this part of London is at night. London visitors, do explore this area at night!
This year I had the best of both worlds and visited the London Christmas markets as well as the one in Dusseldorf. Whilst Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland (picture above) is fun to visit, I prefer the cute and cosy Christmas markets in Germany. Roller coasters and Christmas don’t really go hand in hand for me – I do love roller coasters during the rest of the year though :). Also I have not come across really good mulled wine in London either. AND I also love to have Reibekuchen on the Christmas market.
One of my favourite part of the Christmas markets are the Christmas villages. They consist of little decorated houses and stalls that usually either sell crafts or food and drinks. Some of stalls are a bit bigger so that you can sit inside with your mulled wine and listen to Christmas music :)
♫ ♬ Have a holly, jolly Christmas. It’s the best time of the year ♩ ♪
Christmas at Home
There has only been one Christmas so far that I didn’t spend at home (I was studying in Peru). For all the other years I managed to come home :) A few years ago London was snowed in and no plane would leave the country. Then I went by train to Dover and then took the ferry to Calais. After a few more hours of literally sliding to Germany (we even passed a truck that was turned 180 degrees on the highway..) I arrived home. The whole journey took around 12 hours… but I made it in time!
We usually have Christmas Eve dinner at my parents’ and then Christmas Day and Boxing Day dinner at my grannies’ places. This has been like that since I was born. And the spot in front of the Christmas tree has also been my reserved place to unwrap presents since I was a little girl. Not much has changed when you come for Christmas :)
♩ ♪ He’s making a list, He’s checking it twice, He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town ♫ ♬
♬ Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh ♩ ♪
Did you notice the super cute earrings that I was wearing in one of the photos above? They are handmade by Slovenian jewellery designer Sanda Vidmar with who I am collaborating this December and January. She does not only create super unique jewellery, she also thinks a lot about the meaning and symbolism behind her creations. The birds shadow earrings come with the following words – the interpretation is up to you :)
‘This silver shallow bird was used to fly alone. Then one day she looked down and found another bird just like her, always following her around. She wanted to get rid of the annoying company, flew high, flew low, flew fast and hid behind the tree. But little did she know it was impossible. She wasn’t the brightest one, you see. Not very bright at all.’
For more jewellery by Sanda Vidmar click over to A Happy Walk In The Park or check out her shop here. There will be a little giveaway in January, so make sure to check in then :)
Last weekend little Jackson, a friend’s French bulldog, had his first gingerbread house Christmas party. If you’re planning a party in the UK, take a look at these venue spaces london. already wrote about the gingerbread house tradition last year (time flies!) so just a little reminder: The gingerbread house party was started 5 years ago by two friends of mine, Katie & Jonas, who have organised the yearly Xmas together ever since. And with organising I don’t only mean the general work that goes into hosting a dinner or party at home, I also refer to all the baking fun that goes into this sort of party beforehand. It turns out that you’ll need an Saturday to bake all the gingerbread pieces that will eventually become the structures of the gingerbread houses that the party guests will get to build. Awesome friends :)
It all started 5 years ago..
While the first gingerbread house party had one ‘baby guest’, this year’s party saw 5 kids already… A couple of them are around the 3 to 4 years mark and were super excited to build their own gingerbread houses. And they somehow did a better job than us. For some reason (not at all related to mulled wine and eggnog), our pretty house managed to break apart.. I guess we were a bit too eager about all the sweets and put way too much weight on the roof.. and whoosh. The housing structure just couldn’t take the prettiness of our decoration!
Apart from having an immense sugar and sweets supply during the day of the party (most of the sweets go onto the house, while others magically wander into your mouth), we also had mulled wine, eggnog, Mac & Cheese and hot dogs. No surprise, that little Jackson was all over the place trying to secure as many treats as he could :)
Happy kids, happy dog
For a while he decided to strategically position himself under the table. Especially where the kids were sitting, he was quite a happy camper. Once everyone was done decorating, Jackson put on his best cute dog face and managed to get some more of the human food..
But really, who can resist that look?!
And the winner is…
… not our gingerbread house! Apparently it doesn’t count if the house can’t stand on its own.. But fair enough, even if ours had not broken apart, this house would still have won. Doesn’t it look super pretty? While we were keeping Jackson happy, Jackson’s mummy had enough time to create her masterpiece..
Good night, little Jackson
It was such a fun day and once all the kids plus parents had left, we decided to start our Xmas movie marathon. After Bad Santa we moved on to Die Hard (such a Christmas classic haha). Though I think only one of us managed to watch the whole movie. The rest fell asleep halfway in.. after the sugar high there is always a sugar low :) Zzzzzzz…