Seen/Heard/Read

New York Through a Fashion Eye by Megan Hess

I spent part of my childhood in New York City and I would love to go again one day. I don’t know if it will happen in quite the style pictured and described in New York Through a Fashion Eye by the amazing Megan Hess. But this is another box-of-chocolates book that I loved perusing. The sense of fun and excitement hopefully anyone has when visiting New York leaps off the pages and the book is essentially a result of what most of us would do (albeit with a different budget and other goals) when going on a trip: make an itinerary.

There are plenty of fantastic places mentioned I’m itching to see myself: the New York Public Library (memories), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, High Line. And if I do receive a sudden cash windfall that makes me curious about all the designer shops listed in the book, at least I’m prepared. Until then, I’ll enjoy the fun illustrations and reminisce about some happy years.

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Hamburg

You Can Tell It’s Spring in Hamburg When…

Your favourite park doesn’t look like it’s sleeping anymore even if the trees are still bare, but they are not actually bare anymore, they are clearly waiting.

People are walking around with those tell-tale, increasingly ubiquitous regardless of the season stretches of bare ankle between low sneakers/ Chucks/ loafers and cropped jeans or chinos.

Jackets and coats are FLUNG open. Scarves flap in the light breeze or are discarded completely. Those daring enough sit without coats on in patches of direct sunlight. Sunglasses are worn like we do it every day.

Cafes start setting up tables outside, though with blankets discreetly draped over chairs.

There are crowds of people walking anywhere by the water, which definitely means the Au├čenalster (bigger Alster lake), the Elbe and the Port of Hamburg. No one will be going away for the weekend.

The sky was so blue and virtually cloudless (we always notice that here) during the day that in the evening, once it starts getting dark, the blue just deepens and you can see the almost full moon as clearly as if you painted it up there yourself.

Oh, and there was that little fact of it being 14 WHOLE DEGREES today. Let it be noted down in history that the first day of spring in Hamburg in 2019 was February 16 and it has so far lasted beyond the weekend. We’ll see what happens.

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Seen/Heard/Read

Iconic: The Masters of Italian Fashion by Megan Hess

Another gorgeous book by the talented Megan Hess, the next one I read after The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion. It is about fashion I will most likely never be able to afford, nor need to afford, but it is beautifully, captivatingly illustrated, and written with attention to detail, while still being absorbing and amusing at the same time.

Once again, the illustrations remove some of the sense of unattainability and aloofness when you see photos or videos of the designs, instead bringing to life that which is actually inspiring or entertaining: colours, lines, shapes, humour, combinations, prints. They can also be looked at again and again, whenever and whereever you like, no networking or money spending required.

Italian fashion gives you permission to play, to fall in love and to dress as if life were always utterly glamorous.

A good motto regardles of what you wear.

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Thoughts

Things People Say to You When You’re a Redhead

And that you STILL hear even as a fully-fledged adult.

I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last, but oh, the topic is current. How to be a Redhead‘s Instagram page provides regular relief in the form of witty, saracastic, to-the-point memes, and, of course, there’s always a gif or two out there.

I’ve never been teased because of freckles, or my hair colour, but I was bullied plenty for other things, so the sensation is not unfamiliar. However, to this day I don’t expect comments related to my red-haired existence in particular. Is it confidence? Healthy self-awareness? Reasonable disinterest for other people’s opinions? No time? Occupied with my own thoughts?

I’m still undecided what fascinates me more, the open rudeness of some of what comes my way, or the fact alone that people insist on spending their time pressing what they think is an issue or an excuse for a chat.

Whenever the comments do come, it’s always a bit of a surprise. Sometimes I leave them be, but sometimes the person commenting is demanding. They repeat the comment. They can’t let it go, like Elsa, but I don’t have time to recommend they watch Frozen. And that’s when I employ one of the following kick-ass responses (or inner reactions).

Comment Category Number 1: Hair

Did you do something to your hair? – No.

Really? Seriously, did you do something to it? It looks different. Why does it look different? – I washed it.

Was this always your hair colour? – Yes.

You didn’t dye it? – No.

You sure? – …

Category Number 2: Skin

You’re so pale. – Actually, I’m fair.

Well, that’s what I mean, I guess, but are you feeling OK? – …

Do you tan? – Not really.

What, not at all?

Comment Category Number Three: Style (Sort Of)

Wow, you wear red? With your hair? – Yes. I did it so you would ask.

Pale people like us can’t wear those colours. – * Shrug *

You want those shoes? But you’re so tall! – Oh, wait, that’s another blog post.

And let’s not forget the crowning glory of all those comments:

“You’re not a redhead! Your hair is brown.”

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When at Home

Chocolate Frosting Fun

Maybe glaze is the more appropriate term. Or icing. Maybe there’s more than one option. I already told you, I’m not a recreational cook.
The cake I had planned some time ago did not turn out the way the recipe promised, but the chocolate frosting for it was a total success! Which means I felt excited enough to try it again and obviously it can be used for a variety of desserts, for example, a yogurt cake.
If you read in German, there’s a bunch of recipes for chocolate frosting here, or the one I’m about to explain is included here, OR there’s loads right here too. Just to list a few examples.
For the frosting I picked, I liked that it didn’t include tons of butter or sugar. What you will need is:
100 g of what in German is called Schlagsahne, and the dictionary tells me is whipped cream or meringue chantilly in English. Isn’t it fun to decipher all this between languages, dairy products in particular?
1 tsp butter or coconut butter.
The recipe says a whole bar of plain dark chocolate, but I think it’s a bit much based on my first try. Half a bar or a few pieces if it’s a thicker one will do just as well. It’s also fine if it has an additional flavour, like oranges, and I would guess that using milk chocolate would work too.
You pour the cream in to a small pot, break up the chocolate in to small pieces, add those and the butter, then stir everything on low heat until it all melts together. It looks like cocoa first, then darkens and thickens after 20 minutes or so.
Experience shows that there’s more than enough frosting for a bigger cake, so let your baking flag fly.
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