Sunday, 28 June 2015

Glastonbury Day 5

jumpsuit summer festival

Hello and welcome back, it's the final day of Glastonbury and I'm pretty sure by now I'll smell pretty disgusting and won't look as glamorous as in the pictures. I try though! Here's my final Glastonbury festival look to inspire you.

Hope you'll enjoy the final Glastonbury outfit and leave me a comment on how you've been this week and if you're heading to any festivals this summer. Sorry, I'm not very chatty today, it's the lack of sleep teamed up with an overload of amazing experience and memories of a lifetime :)

festival glastonbury fashion jumpsuit
festival fashion
festivwal wear for Glastonbury
jumpsuit and wellies for festival fashion

My 'belt' is actually a coconut and seed hatband* which I have used for my hat and alienated as a bangle. They are perfect to style and go well as a necklace too! As an ultimate festival essential, I had to include a jumpsuit for this Glastonbury look. Jumpsuits are uncomplicated and easy to wear during the summer and this one from H&M screams festival wear. The Aztec print goes well in combination with the coconut hatband which I've already alienated as a bangle in one of my previous Glastonbury outfits. You see, styling for a festival can be so easy and affordable!

Here's What I'm Wearing:


Jumpsuit: H&M 
Belt: Coconut Hat Band from Tarp Hat*
Sunglasses: Glassesshop*
Wellies: Hunter (via Amazon Black Friday Deal, £30)
Saddle Bag: Stradivarius

Hope you're all well and we'll speak soon. I'm going to catch up with everyone next week after my return from Glastonbury and a good night sleep :)




Thanks for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Glastonbury Day 4

poncho summer festival wear

Day 4 is here and this is my second to last outfit. I hope the weather is as nice as I hoped when I planned this outfit. Hope you'll enjoy!

My look is very summery (and risky, given the fact Glastonbury is held in the UK). Wish me luck with the weather today as I hope for some hot temperatures and sunshine, sunshine, sunshine.

Glastonbury festival outfit
what to wear for Glastonbury fashion?
Glastonbury fashion

For today's festival style, I've decided to do an all-time classic: shorts and a t-shirt. At the moment, the stores on the High Street have a lot of variants of baggy cut out t-shirts, which are super comfortable for festivals. Mine is a sale find from Miss Selfridge and I love the edgy print. Wear a bandeau bra underneath as the cut out on the sides is quite deep. Together with blue jeans shorts, this combination makes for an uncomplicated festival style. If you get too chilly because of the unpredictable British weather, you can throw over a blanket poncho. Who says they are for autumn only? 

Here's What I'm Wearing:


Sunglasses: Glasseshop*
Poncho: Stradivarius
Cut Out Top: Miss Selfridge
Shorts: Primark (SS12, £5)
Wellies: Hunter (via Amazon Black Friday Deal, £30)

Hope you've enjoyed today's Glastonbury outfit of the day post. Let me know how your week is going and your plans for the weekend!



Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Friday, 26 June 2015

Glastonbury Day 3

Glastonbury outfit

DAY 3 OMG I'm still at Glastonbury and hope the weather will be as nice as I'd thought when I planned this festival outfit. Jarvis joined me (obs he couldn't come to the festival) for the post. He's such a poser :) 

Primark floral dress
what to wear for Glastonbury
floral dress for festival
Glastonbury floral dress

By now my hair will be in a state so the bun is up :) Have you seen my coconut and seed hatband* which I alienated as a bracelet? The main piece for this festival style is my floral summer dress from Primark. I absolutely love it and it was a bargain find. Can you believe I only paid £10 for it? I love the vibrant and energetic colours which scream summer, summer, summer! With a statement dress like this one, you don't need many accessories, so I kept it fairly simple. I've alienated my coconut hat band as a bracelet. Hunter wellies and sunglasses complete my Glastonbury Festival Look. 

Here's What I'm Wearing:


Floral Dress: Primark (SS 2013, £10)
Wellies: Hunter (via Amazon Black Friday Deal, £30)
Saddle Bag: Stradivarius
Sunglasses: Glassesshop*
Hat Band: Tarp Hat*

Thank you so much for checking out today's Glastonbury Day 3 outfit post. Let me know if you're going to any festivals this summer and leave me links to your festival posts :) 


Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Glastonbury Day 2

Glastonbury festival wear

Today will be the second day at Glastonbury. Yesterday was all about arrival and checking out the site so I'm quite excited to see more of the massive event location and explore stages and entertainment sites. Let the festival begin!

Today's look is rather adventurous. I love khaki green shirt dresses and this one matches my eye colour so well. It has a sophisticated look and offers a great base to work with some accessories. This time, I won't bring along sunglasses, but my Tarp Hat*. 

Glastonbury festival wear Tarp Hat

I was never really confident enough to wear hats but this is Glastonbury, a completely different environment and I feel more relaxed. I mean most people will wear clothes and accessories they'd never wear IRL so this is going to be a wonderful occasion for me to be fashion adventurous :) 

The hat is made from recycled tarpaulins from open cargo trucks that run from the Amazon North West to the South of Brazil. On the journey over thousands of miles and unmade red dust laden tracks, with dramatic weather changes, this material ages in a very unique way that no factory could ever replicate. Each hat is therefore special and individual with different patterns and story to tell. Goes without saying that such a unique fashion piece is coming with me to see Jungle performing today. The material is also waterproof, so it won't only protect me from the sun (fingers crossed the weather will be awesome today) but in the case of rain too! I'm going to tell you more about Tarp Hat in one of my coming posts, as I took this outfit to a professional photoshoot and will show you the results properly in July.

The outfit looks so adventurous, don't you think? In terms of accessories, I've teamed up the green dress with some gold from my Aztec necklace. You may remember the stylish piece from my Festival Jewellery by Touchstone post and it goes so well with the outfit.

Glastonbury festival fashion post
Glastonbury festival wear green coloured shirt dress

Here's What I'm Wearing:


Amazonas Hat: Tarp Hat*
Dress: Stradivarius
Necklace: Select Aztec Necklace*
Coconut Hat Band: Tarp Hat*
Wellies: Hunter (via Amazon Black Friday deal, £30)

Let me know what you think of the outfit and stay tuned for tomorrow's Glastonbury look. Hope you're all well. If you have any festival wear/fashion posts, please leave me your links in the comment section.

Please also see my Glastonbury Festival Outfit Day 1, Glastonbury Festival Outfit Day 3, Glastonbury Festival Outfit Day 4 and Glastonbury Festival Outfit Day 5 outfit.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Glastonbury Day 1

Blue vanilla Robin Hood shirt

The day is finally here! Alex and I will be heading down to Somerset for the annual Glastonbury festival today. I'm still quite excited and don't know what to expect so I packed a variety of outfits alongside my rain jacket and Hunter wellies.

I'm going to post my Glastonbury outfit for each day until the end of the week because I haven't had much time recently to post regularly. Be prepared for some summery festival wear and let me know what you think :)

Glastonbury festival outfit

Gypsy Blouse*: A plain white, casual gipsy top is a must-have for the summer and you'll see them everywhere at the moment. Those light and airy tops are great to protect you from the sun or to throw over your bikini after a long day at the beach. The studded details and front lacing reflect the current 70's vibe which is perfect festival wear. How cute are those tassels? I can see myself playing around with them all the time. What a fabulous detail! My blouse is from the current Blue Vanilla collection. 

Sunglasses*: Oh what would a festival be without a pair of fabulous sunglasses? They are a true festival essential but I wouldn't bring along Ray Bans (I'm too scared they get damaged or stolen). In this case, I opted for a more affordable version from GlassesShop which offer a wide range of cheap sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses. There are different styles on their website with prices starting from $12 onwards and you can upload a picture of yourself to 'try' them virtually on. I love the round shape of these ones and there are small gold details on the frame which make the glasses look super stylish. If you're after a cool pair that won't break the bank for your festival style, then it's your lucky day as I got a 25% discount for you. Enter LOVEGS at the checkout (ends 30/09/15).

Accessories: The lace-up detail from the blouse is already eye-catching and I personally wouldn't add a necklace to it. Instead, I opted to team my outfit with stylish sunglasses and a saddle bag from Stradivarius. If you're a regular reader of my blog you know how much I love Stradivarius and this bag was a real bargain. It's currently in the sale for £5.99! It has the right size for me to bring along my camera and some money. I don't really fancy carrying water around all day so for me the size of the bag is perfect. The strap is adjustable and It has a safety lock so it'll be hard for pickpockets. 

Festival outfit for Glastonbury

Here's What I'm Wearing: 


Gipsy Top: Blue Vanilla*
Jeans: Stradivarius (SS15, £30)
Wellies: Hunter (Amazon Black Friday deal, £30) 
Bag: Stradivarius (SS15, £7.50 sale)
Sunglasses: GlassShop*
Socks: BonsaiSocks*

This outfit is of course for the more cloudy days, but it still makes a fantastic summer outfit as the blouse is light and airy and so casual. Let me know what you think of the outfit, I'm looking forward to your comments.


Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Last Unicorn Tour Is Coming To Germany

The Last Unicorn Tour

Hi ladies, finally after what seems to be an eternity, the much-talked-about The Last Unicorn Tour will come to Germany in July!

For everyone who doesn't know, The Last Unicorn is a famous high fantasy story that was adapted into an animation film in 1982. The film has now been digitally remastered and is brought back to the screen across the globe. Author and Lord of the Rings screenplay writer Peter S. Beagle will be joining the tour and fans can get their hands on some exclusive merchandise.

The tour started back in 2013 but has been in the US for most of the time. Originally planned to run for two years, but due to popular demand, it has now extended to 2016. Peter and his team will come to Europe for a few months and the dates for Germany have been released.

1 July - Leipzig                8 July - Dortmund
3 July - Berlin                  9 July - Düsseldorf
4 July - Berlin                 11 July - Frankfurt am Main
5 July - Hamburg           12 July - Munich
6 July - Garbsen             14 July - Erlangen

Why is the tour so special I hear you ask? The film has been digitally remastered and Peter himself will be there. He will be signing DVDs, posters and books and talk to fans. I can imagine there will be an awful lot of special merchandising on sale, too. You can be sure I'm going to spend a little fortune.

I was six years old when I fell in love with the unicorn for the very first time. Do you know the feeling when you watched a film and identified with it for all of your life? The Last Unicorn is one of these films to me. It has had an impact on my life and shaped my way of thinking. It is hard for me to recount how many times I've seen the animation and read the book. I've completely internalised the story and its message. I know the film is a bit strange and very demanding for children, but it is full of poetry and valuable life lessons.

The tour will come to Berlin soon and I bought my ticket for the 3rd of July (ticket price 12 €/£10). Further stops in Germany include my former home Leipzig, Garbsen, Dortmund, Erlangen and Munich. I'm sure the dates for the UK will be announced shortly. From what I've seen and read online so far, the tour is a massive success and I would hate myself forever if I missed out on the chance to be a part of it. There's the chance to volunteer at the event and you can sign up to their newsletter online for more information and support.

You can imagine how excited I am for this. I've been following the tour from the early days and ever since I've been dying for the tour to come over to Europe. Many times the dates have been postponed and now it is finally happening. I hope to get a chance to speak to Peter after the event and there will be a follow-up post for you. 

Update 10/07: Sadly, Peter couldn't make it to Germany due to health reasons. I hope he will get well soon, but the tour didn't take place in the way, it was advertised and how I've seen it executed in the US. In Germany, they would only show the film and there was no team around selling merchandise or other interactions with fans. I feel this is a bit unfair towards fans living in Europe who would have supported the tour and would have loved to meet the team and experience the vibe and share the love for the film how it was meant to be.

I'd love to know if you're a fan of the fantasy story or were lucky to meet Peter and the team. Is there a film that has impacted your life or you grew up with and can rewatch over and over again?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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Monday, 15 June 2015

Odour Free Feet With Bonsai Socks

Bonsai Socks review

Hi ladies, before you think 'OMG, what is Caz blogging about today, please don't tell me it's socks' please hear me out. There are only a few days left for my first Glastonbury festival. Ever since my partner Alex send me a text that he got tickets in the resale in early April, I've been rather nervous. I'm not too bothered about the camping, nor the music or the potential rainy weather, but my biggest concern is what to wear! You keep seeing models and celebs rocking the festival look so I've been keeping my eyes open for a while now. I came across Bonsai Socks' colourful socks* and they will be coming with me, because...

.... the brand prides their stylish footwear to be 'natural sustainable' and the bamboo fabric 'absorbs moisture leaving your feet dry, healthy and odour free'. That sounds like the perfect fashion item to bring along to an ultimate test at a festival. 

My pair in bright Bella Blue* came in early May and had already a few occasions to wear them. Whilst everywhere else the sun burns from the sky, Britain makes an exception, so you can never go wrong with a pair of quality socks to keep you warm. The material is 93% bamboo and 7% spandex, so they are elastic and comfortable to wear. My socks in size small fit well. They were a bit tight at first but the material adjusted to my big feet. The inside is woolly and kept my feet toasty warm and dry. 

I'm in love with the on-trend bright colour and my Bonsai Socks look magnificent when they show just a little over my Hunter wellies. 

Bonsai Socks Bella Blue fashion review
Bonsai Socks review odour free socks

So far the socks have kept their promise. No smelly feet at all but as I've said, the ultimate hard-core test will be Glastonbury, so I'll keep you updated on the sock front after the festival :) 

If you think these socks would be perfect for your next festival trip, you can get any pair of their website for £19.75.

Are you going to any festivals this summer? What is your ultimate fashion item to bring along in your suitcase?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

*PR sample
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Friday, 12 June 2015

An Afternoon At Ben & Jerry's HQ In London

Join our Core Ben and Jerrys

Today’s post will bring you the latest news from the Ben & Jerry’s HQ and a delicious giveaway, too!

This week, I was kindly invited by the team to join them for a very special event at their fancy Covent Garden office. The event covered the finale of the annual sustainable business competition Join Our Core, a talk with Mr Jerry himself and a never-ending supply of Ben & Jerry’s latest ice cream flavours.

Ben & Jerry’s are known for their puns and inventive product names, so the event kicked off with an unusual introduction round. We all had to come up with a nickname relating to ice cream or working in a barn. Soon the creative energies filled the room and we had fantastic names such as The Cookie Slayer or Scoopy Doo floating around. I struggled a bit with mine. For a long time, I was stuck with my old nickname from language school - Caramel – and nothing creative came to my mind because all my attention went straight to the countless ice cream tubs brought in.

Ben and Jerrys new core edition
Join our Core Ben and Jerrys event
Join our Core Ben and Jerrys Covent Garden office

The new cookie core edition includes the following flavours:

(pic 1 right) What A Lotta Chocolate – a very rich, dark chocolate ice cream with a core of crushed chunks of chocolate cookie and bits and pieces of cookie floating around. I loved the taste of the ice cream, as it was less sweet and tasted of the typical strong cocoa flavour. There were little chunks of cookie and chocolate in the ice cream. The middle was made of a massive core of chocolate cookie. Loved it! I could have eaten an entire tub without getting sick.

(pic 1 left) Speculoos? Specu-love – Hands up if Cookie Dough is your favourite flavour. I can tell you now that you’ll love this one even more. This flavour is dedicated to Spekulatius (the German spiced almond biscuit you get at Christmas). The caramel ice cream has a crumbled biscuit core with extra bits of caramelised cookies. The composition of sweet caramelised biscuit with cinnamon and spice is insane! I first thought it was an extended version of Cookie Dough and I could have easily eaten an entire tub of this. Though it contains Spekulatius, it didn’t taste Christmassy at all. The ice cream was perfectly balanced in flavour and the ratio of core and chunks excellent. My favourite! 

(pic 2) Utter Peanut Butter Clutter - Thanks to Reese’s, peanut butter products are the product of the moment. Literally, everything these days features the delicious butter. It goes without saying that Ben & Jerry’s have dedicated an entire tub of peanut butter ice cream and a core of crunchy peanut butter to the range. The ice cream is very sweet and rich in flavour which is nice at the beginning but after a few scoops, you may find yourself struggling. 

Join our Core Ben and Jerrys ice cream
Join our Core Ben and Jerrys ice cream

When everyone fell into a food coma, the American PR team gave a brief talk on the history of the brand which was highly interesting. Ben & Jerry’s started out as a small business in one of the coldest places on earth – Vermont. Would you have ever imagined that this business would soon flourish into one of the biggest and most beloved ice cream brands in the world in such a place? See me neither! They also have a “graveyard” dedicated to their failure products which I found hilarious and just highlights again the original character of the brand.

Ben & Jerry’s pride themselves to be a business that gives back to its community and the talk lead over to the Join Our Core finale, an annual sustainable business competition. This year’s finalists were We walk the Line (a business model similar to the Big Issue but with coffee) and Gravity Light (a light source that gains its energy from gravity, how cool is that?!?).

For the second half, Mr Jerry Greenfield joined us and we got involved in a scooping competition. The aim was to create as many perfect scoops as possible in five minutes, so, even more, ice cream was brought to the tables! It was so much fun and a big mess! I competed against someone who had worked at an ice cream parlour over the last summer and whilst he scooped like a world record breaker I could only just stare and be completely gobsmacked. It goes without saying that I didn't win this competition but I managed one cup with three tiny half-rounded scoops. Of course, we couldn’t let the ice cream go to waste (I somehow still managed to stand next to Jerry yeah!).  

ice cream spoons
Join our Core Ben and Jerrys event in London
Join our Core Ben and Jerrys scooping competition
Join our Core Ben and Jerrys scooping ice cream

My pictures can’t really do justice of the fun and wonderful afternoon that I had at the Ben & Jerry’s HQ. Thank you a million times for having me. The team is absolutely amazing and super friendly. I can’t wait what they have in store next (of course, I’ll be there and report for you). Now, let’s come to the best part. 

Join our Core Ben and Jerrys meeting Jerry

Competition 


I’ve got this very exclusive Ben & Jerry’s freezer box which is perfect to take to the beach or to your next picnic. It is filled with some amazing goodies including a voucher for a Ben & Jerry’s tub of your choice. If you’d like to get your hands on this fabulous prize send me a picture on Twitter with the #SLxBJ showing me how you enjoy your Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The most fun and creative will win! 

ice cream

T&C's

  • One Ben & Jerry's freezer bag filled with goodies will be up for grabs in this competition. 
  • This is a UK only competition.
  • You can enter by sending me a picture of how you enjoy your Ben & Jerry's ice cream this summer via Twitter with the #SLxBJ. 
  • The competition will run from  12/06/2015 till 19/06/2015. There will be one winner. 
  • The most creative entry will win and my partner Alex will help me to choose the winner. 
  • The winner will be informed via Twitter/email on Sunday 21/06/2015 after the competition has closed. 
  • The winner has 48h to respond before a runner up will be selected. 
  • The freezer bag and goodies were kindly supplied by Ben & Jerry's UK as a blog competition prize for Style Lingua. 
  • The prize will be sent as soon as the details have been provided by the winner. The prize will be sent with Royal Mail. 
Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Sunday, 7 June 2015

8 Reasons Why I Love Being German

Dresden Germany

Hi ladies, the weather is magnificent and whilst I walked to work today I saw a German car with my local area code parked in Cheltenham. Though I didn’t know its driver, it somehow made me happy. It’s nice to know when someone from home is so close. I was thinking about home and everyone enjoying the summer weather and got a bit homesick. Though I love the UK, my home country isn’t that bad actually. The idea for an expat blog post was born and here it is, why I think my country is an awesome place to live*.

1. The Weather


Summer

Thanks to our ruthless lifestyle that contributes actively to the global warming effect each year, Germany is blessed with hot and long summers. I speak of 35 degrees and above. It is always warm and sunny and you can be sure that air conditioners in public libraries and malls break down on a regular basis. Sometimes it gets so hot that people have to stay indoors, but at the same time, it is unbearable in your flat too so you face a conflict of where to go really. That’s why we have public swimming pools which are overrun by school children (there are reduced school hours or dismissed classes). In that case, you cycle to the nearest lake or beach (there’s always water around somewhere). When it’s less hot (we talk about 25 degrees) in the evening, we love a little bike ride around the countryside. If we go past a lake we jump in, as most Germans wear swimwear all summer long.

how germans dress in the summer

Winter

Hot summers, freezing cold winters. Luckily in the past 10 years, our winters have been regularly mild (minus 5) but as a teen, I faced temperatures of minus 17 in the morning and I had to cycle to school. Brrrr so cold. It still gets icy cold, but it is fun too as the lakes freeze and are perfect for ice-skating. Also, you can be sure that there’s snow for Christmas and we have the Christmas markets to get us into the festive mood.

2. Renting and Space


Unlike British people who face a housing crisis and are forced to live with their parents long after the age of 18, Germany has a very extensive renting system. We don't usually buy houses, we rent our flats, apartments or terraced houses at affordable prices. The rent takes up to 30-40% of our salaries and not 80-90% in the UK. For example, I lived in central Leipzig for four years in a grad II restored two-bedroom flat and paid around £320 pm including heating and water. I'm used to having lots of space and a wardrobe that requires its own room. It would never occur to me in a million years to spend my life savings on a house. Why should I? A house means a big commitment to me plus it ties me down to one place. Whereas if I rent from a Housing Management service, I can stay for as long as I want (we have unlimited time contracts) with a three months period of notice if I like to move which means I can live wherever I want. No hassle and no random tenancy checks. Which brings me to the next point.

3. A Structured Life


Germans usually move out of their parents' home when they are 16 or 18 at the latest and do not return living with them. They go to uni, have kids and are married by 30 with a job they can execute for the rest of their lives. This may seem boring, but it's a very safe plan and I'd like to stick to it, too. When I'm in the UK, I sometimes feel 'lost' which is a stark contrast to my cultural upbringing. I'm suddenly faced with a housing crisis and I'm not allowed to rent unless I pay an entire year upfront (who can ?!). So it's back to living with parents which to me is a massive come down. Another issue is, that in the UK uni degrees are regarded as mere needs to an end and not as a profession. I feel this is short-term thinking and I'm offended when people in the UK refer to me as a graduate. I'm not. I'm a fully trained professional who is a ready-to-go worker. I've got no time for unpaid internships and I'd like to proceed with my life and my plan. As much as I love the UK but I can't deal with all these obstacles that in my view shouldn't really be an issue at all.

4. Cycling


I was three when I was given my first bike which became a loyal companion for the rest of my life. Everyone in Germany has a bike as it is the fastest way to get around. Our towns are cycle-friendly and in the countryside, you take the road (cars take care so no worries!). With a bike, you’re independent and go wherever you want. I cycled to school, to uni, to my local grocery store, or just in the summer down to Mc Donald’s for a Mc Flurry ice cream. There are no limits. It makes you feel free when it is summer and you can feel the warm wind playing around your bare feet. Time stops and you can truly relax and enjoy life. Something I miss a lot in the UK as everyone takes a car instead and is dependent on busses. 

cycling in germany

5. Independence 


My parents strictly prepared me to become an adult from the moment I was born. So from an early age on, I had to learn how to be independent and look after myself. My mum worked hard on her career and my dad worked in West Germany so they were barely around to muddle cuddle me all the time. No one picked me up after school and I had to stay in stupid after school for the entire day with the first graders. Hated that and I regularly escaped the supervisors and went off home or wandering around our little town! My parents complained to the school not looking properly after me and at the age of 7, after two years of urging my parents to give me a house key, they finally did. They had a lot of trust in me so they gave me the key and I had the entire day to myself. This was fun! I came home at noon, either binge-watched Disney channel for 6h or got on my bike and cycled around town, to the zoo or to the adventure playground where all the kids from school were and we would play until dinner time. I had a very happy childhood and I'm grateful for the trust and respect my parents showed towards me. 

As a teen, I still had my bike so I was free to go wherever I wanted (or well as far as a bike can take you). I always wanted more though...I still felt trapped and I wanted to see the world so I did my driving license straight away when I turned 18. Ever since I got a car and I'm so grateful for it. There's nothing worse to me than being dependent on someone or the feeling when people tell me what to do. When I turned 18 my entire life changed. I was a fully acknowledged adult and finally, I did whatever I wanted without my parents interfering. I love being responsible for my life. I love running my own household or looking after my car, building my own furniture or sorting out my life. I have a British friend who constantly talks about herself and her 'feeling so grown-up' which I find really bizarre. I've been an adult for more than 11 years and I don't have to constantly mention it :)

6. Safety


The British are obsessed with safety. It starts with windows that you can't open properly and ends with over-cuddled children taken on a lead. CCTV is everywhere and you literally have to ask for permission all the time if you can do this or that without listening to a long safety procedure. My country, on the other hand, is safe without all these overprotective precautions. We do have CCTV in public places and there are no-go areas in the big cities but in general no one has to fear for their lives or to get mugged or stabbed. When I lived in Germany at no point did I ever wasted a thought on crime, to be honest. I went to see friends or walked down back alleys without ever fearing anything. Since I live in the UK this has changed and I've become a lot more aware of and sensitive to crime. My partner Alex regularly has to remind me to not see certain situations too light-heartedly and naively. And cycling? Forget about it. If there isn't a safety cycling-friendly zone somewhere and I'm wearing a helmet and full reflective kit (which make me look ridiculous) then there's no possibility I can go. I do understand the British oversensitivity to some extent but sometimes it is just very over the top.

7. New Year's Eve


Have you ever spent New Years in Germany? No? Well, you've missed a hell of a lot! It is mental. Fireworks everywhere and even our children are taught how to lit a rocket properly or throw China crackers to get the best and loudest sound out of them. You can buy the fireworks in the supermarket between Christmas and New Year's Eve only. People spent a lot of money on good fireworks. You have to be super quick because fireworks are gone in an instant. There are rockets, buzzing bees which fly and rotate, China crackers which are earth-shattering loud, fountains, Roman lights which shot out of a stick and batteries, which you light once and then they go off for a good 5 minutes on their own.

On the day, people usually eat carp and keep the scales in their wallets (to bring financial luck in the new year). We have table fireworks which are similar to British Christmas crackers but we light ours so they pop and reveal some plastic gimmicks. We play lead casting, a fortune-telling game were we melt lead figures and cast them into water. The liquid lead will solidify immediately revealing a bizarre new shape. With your imagination and a table, you can interpret what it is and what the new year has in store for you. As soon as it gets dark the first fireworks are thrown. There's noise all night. It feels like you're thrown back into the days of the war. We'll watch the New Year's show live from Berlin and after the countdown, all hell will break loose for at least 1h. People go out on the street wishing neighbours a happy new year and of course throw fireworks at them. It is usually really cold and there's snow so the firework won't go off so you have to be quick and skilled with a lighter. The excitement calms down at around 2/3am, this is when my family makes a 'New Year's walk' through the snow or in my case, I take friends back home if they came over for a party.

8. Food


Writing this makes me extremely hungry and I'm craving a German roast so badly right now. It is made of boiled potatoes instead of roasted with red cabbage (no Yorkies or broccoli) and a piece of rabbit, goose or duck meat. The thick and rich gravy is made from cooking the meat instead of instant gravy that comes with a British roast. Germans also invented quark, which is a very thick dairy (it's a side product when milk goes off) but it is so delicious and super healthy. I better get some dinner now!

It has become a bit long but I hope you found the little insight into my expat life enjoyable. Have you ever lived abroad and felt torn in between worlds? I love the UK but sometimes I really miss the fantastic weather and the strict but organised lifestyle, instead of rushing and stressing about the horrendous living expenses in the UK. Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

*All my experience is based on being born and raised in the east part of Germany.
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Thursday, 4 June 2015

A Visit To London's Sky Garden

Sky Garden London review

Hi ladies, without reading the amazing post from Louise, I would have never discovered this place - a garden high above the roofs of London. Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street is the new on-trend address for chillaxed drinks in a stylish and exclusive environment. 

From the top floor of London’s Walkie Talkie, you’ll get breathtaking views. It’s a green zone overlooking the Thames, Tower and many more iconic landmarks. Given the fact that the Shard just on the opposite Bankside charges £30 to enjoy the view, Sky Garden is for free but you’ll need to book your tickets early on.

entrance to Sky Garden London

The tickets are available two weeks in advance and I booked my visit for the first weekend in May. I invited friends to come along as you can register up to six visitors. The easiest way to get to Fenchurch Street is to get off the tube at Monument. From there it is a 5-minute walk to the impressive business building. Sky Garden has a separate entry and an airport security procedure.

After we got security checked we took the lift to the 35th floor. I was overwhelmed when the doors slid open and I found myself in an impressive atrium. The entire space is surrounded by glass which provides an airy feeling and there are perfect lightning conditions for pictures. I can see the garden to become very popular with bloggers and OOTD shots.

view from Sky Garden London
Sky Garden London view
Sky Garden London Fenchurch Street
Sky Garden terrace
view from Sky Garden

The venue has a decent size but there’s not much you can do up there. After the first 20 minutes of excitement have flattened down, all there is you can do is to go out to the viewing platform. It is roofed so you can take pictures even on a rainy day. Back inside there are tropical plants on both sides of the venue which provide a fantastic environment to sit down with friends and have a catch-up. In the middle is a cafe with some overpriced cakes and drinks, but I guess this is where London’s High Society and wealthy business people meet on a daily basis. Seeing it from that perspective the prices for a 150ml apple juice and coke, both at around £4, were ok. There’s also a restaurant which we didn’t go to as it mainly serves fish and seafood dishes (which I can’t have for health reasons).  

Inside Sky Garden
St Pauls view from Sky Garden London
rainy day in London

My pictures can't do enough justice how wonderful the place is in reality. Sky Garden is definitely worth a visit as you can get a fantastic view over London for free plus it’s a very relaxed environment up there with lots of seats and cosy spots. Bloggers will definitely have fun exploring the space for OOTD’s as the lightning is perfect. This is a very popular place and I wish I could live in London to go more often as it provides a great atmosphere in a stunning environment. Perfect to meet friends and have a relaxing time after work for now and again.   

Have you visited Sky Garden yet? If you've been, did you go on a sunny day or even at night time?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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