A couple of weeks ago, I was in Dusseldorf for the German Carnival. Have you ever thought that German people are strict, way too serious and boring? Think again! Everyone in the street is dressed up in fancy dresses! Not only the kids! Everyone! You will see all sorts of costumes from witches, vampires, and monsters as well known from Halloween to clowns, ladybugs, pirates and animals. Once you have passed these rather “usual” costumes, don’t miss out on the Tetris figures, shower curtains (!!), and guys in mermaid costumes or pink fairies.. (my personal favourites of course!).

Below are my three favourite shots of the 2015 Dusseldorf carnival and the Rosenmontag street parade.

Dusseldorf Carnival Street Parade near Hotel Breidenbacher Hof

Caricature during Street Parade

Dusseldorf Old Town

 

Hampstead is certainly not one of the most typical destinations for bugers in London, But be surprised, just on the other side of the tube Station, there is Spielburger – a trendy place that offers quite a number of tasty burgers! Well and the give you wine in a special glass…

Looks, like Cara likes them too :)

 

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And there we go, the second part of my Beauty Vows – the Don’ts

Don’t:

  1. Stress. Stress is so detrimental for our health and on top contributes very much to pre-mature aging of the skin. Hence, we should really try and not get stressed anymore by situations that cannot be changed anyway, especially by not important ones that will not have any impact on where we are in one day, one week or one year from now. And of course, let’s work on our anger management. Don’t be mad at anyone when you have missed the train. Just accept and relax. You have gained extra time to meditate ;)
  1. Eat too much sugar. Yes, not healthy at all – especially for your skin as it makes it dull and wrinkled! This is due to a natural process called glycation in which the sugar in our bloodstream attaches to proteins and thereby forms harmful new molecules called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). The more sugar we eat, the more of those molecules we develop. The AGEs then damage adjacent proteins. Especially vulnerable ones are collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep our skin firm and elastic…. So, less chocolate for me… (very hard being a huge chocoholic…) and watching out for hidden sugars in other food!
  1. Sunbath without sun protection. Absolute no-go. Not only can this lead to skin cancer, it also is one of the main factors for premature skin aging. Hence, I will continue to strictly stick to my routine: Usual daily moisturiser with SPF of 15 and sun screen with SPF 30-50 when on summer or skiing holiday.
  1. Drink too much alcohol. Quite clear that one. Not only does it harm your liver, it also contributes to skin aging. And of course, once we have passed our early 20s, a couple of cocktails may actually result in a nasty headache the next day. Not good… Reduction of alcohol consumptions – yes :)
  1. Leave your make-on on when going to sleep. This of course doesn’t cause as much harm as the above ones but in order for your moisturiser to be absorbed by your skin, a clean skin is certainly beneficial. Also make-up and all other dirt that stick to the skin after a long day can lead to blemishes if not removed.

 

Hey beauties,  after so many people have been posting their 2015 resolutions, I thought I’d add my beauty vows to the list. They are divided into 2 categories, the Do’s and Don’ts.

My Do’s:

  1. Drink more water. Our body is composed of circa 60% of water so I can’t stress how important it is to stay hydrated. Also dehydration makes our skin look dry and wrinkled which we can improve by sufficient water intake. My goal is it to drink at least 2 litres a day.
  1. Get sufficient sleep. Sleep is so important to our physical and emotional health. During sleep our body is being healed and prepared for the next day. Sleep deprivation will make us moody, weaken our immune system and worse, may lead to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. Sleep is also great in helping to fight premature aging of the skin by decreasing blood sugar levels and inflammation as well as by reducing stress. I am aiming for 8.5 hours of sleep per night.
  1. Exercise regularly. My current sport activities are almost not existent… Hence, this one is a must on my list! I have bought a few Pilates DVDs to get busy in front of the television and will also try to find a good martial arts gym again for me :)
  1. Eat more healthy food. So I have already made lots of progress on this front but I am still eager to improve…Hence veggie juices, fish and lots of antioxidants are very much stressed on my “food-list”!
  1. Meditate. 10 minutes every single day. Full stop. If I cannot seem to make time for those very important tiny little 10 minutes I should really think of making it 20 minutes.. I have bought some great scented candles to make my flat my SPA sanctuary.

In the next post I will elaborate on my Dont’s for 2015 :)

Visiting Dusseldorf? Have brunch or coffee & cake at Dusseldorf’s Rheinturm and enjoy an amazing view of the city. The Rhine Tower is  240 m high and can be visited just for the view or for going to one of the bars or restaurants that are located on the top of the Rhine Tower.

Dusseldorf TV Tower German Travel

Dusseldorf TV Tower View over Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf TV Tower View over Dusseldorf

One of my favourite places for brunch in London is the restaurant Fera at Claridge’s Hotel. It’s just perfect for a long Friday brunch that perfectly gets you into the weekend mode :)

Below the food photos of the set menu. The dessert was especially prepared for us so you won’t find it on the menu. Just ask for a fruity dessert and I’m sure they will prepare something equally nice!

 

Fera Claridge's

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From 2 cups of coffee and one green tea to 2 cups of white tea and one coffee:

What I used to do before I read about the health effects of white tea, was to grab a coffee first thing I left the house to go to work. This cup was then followed by a green tea before lunch and then by another coffee during the afternoon (when you start feeling so tired that sometimes your excel sheets shows a line of “Gs” as in “ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg”–usually happens when you have managed to fall asleep for a second..)

Now I stopped buying cappuccino on my way to work (I am also way more punctual now…) and first thing I do when I come into the office is to have my first cup of white tea. Around lunch time, I have my second cup of white tea and then in the afternoon I do have some coffee (to prevent the “Gs”..).

The reason why I switched from green to white tea is because white tea has better health effects. White tea is made from the same plant as green tea, however for white tea young tea leaves are used shortly before the tea buds have fully opened. The leaves go through even less processing than green tea leaves and are steamed after harvest to inactivate polyphenol oxidase. The result is that white has the same type of antioxidants as green tea but more of them. Also, white tea has a lower level of caffeine than green tea. And who wasn’t convinced by that, white tea has a more subtle flavour .. Happy tea sipping  :)