Monday Diary: Rise Up Lights and Beauty and the Beast Trailer

Seriously, just try this, and see if you can ever stop thinking about this phrase in a new light (feeble pun!):

As shared on Girl Gone International Facebook

As shared on Girl Gone International Facebook

I first whispered and then just said this out loud to myself, and it works! Burning questions follow this entertaining linguistic trick. Do British people have an easier time switching to “razor blades” in their mind as soon as they hear themselves speak because of their accents? Do American accents still work nonetheless? Do various Aussie accents unwittingly get imitated as a result? If so, are they existing accents? Do we unconsciously try to Australian-ize our pronounciation (without really being able to, except after several episodes of McCleod’s Daughters in my case) as soon as we attempt to rise up lights? And most importantly: what will happen if an Australian simply says “rise up lights”? Life’s profound mysteries.

The internet was not done with us today, nor is it ever. A momentous event has taken place and I’m still fanning myself from excitement. Uploaded seven hours ago as of the time this is being typed and with close to half a million views already, I add my own click(s) to the official full-length movie trailer of Disney’s upcoming live-action version of the animated classic Beauty and the Beast. As soon as I hear those first piano bars from the opening track, despite having heard them thousands of times before, I’m gone.

If the teaser trailer already had me in pieces, this further gem makes me wriggle like an over-excited child and think, “OH MY GOD, this is real!” I can only hope that we will not be disappointed by the movie after the mood both trailers have successfully harnessed, and that Belle didn’t drop that candelabra after her first glimpse of the Beast. If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that I can’t imagine anyone other than Emma Watson playing our book-loving, plucky, dreaming heroine in this version.

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/ I want it more than I can tell…”

It was a Monday of joyful, thought-provoking discoveries, and with all this talk of the supermoon, which I currently can’t see because of foggy Hamburg conditions, I’m in a witchy mood and will look up scenes with Piper Halliwell from Charmed on YouTube.



Sunday Diaries: Brunch Time

McDonald’s in Italy now has a Nutella burger on their menu. That was the first thing I saw in my Instagram feed when I scrolled through it on my phone as usual on Sunday mornings. I just want to ask, why go pay for something you can make just as easily at home, probably spend less money on and which simply seems…weird? I mean, a burger is not something I will always make myself, so I might go somewhere for it, but spreading Nutella on bread has not gone up astronomically in terms of levels of difficulty, I hope, unless I missed something. But hey, marketing, competition, whatever works and if it does make someone happy.

I spread some (non burger patty thick) Nutella on a warm, crisp bread bun myself today and it was deeply satisfying. Due to watching Crazy, Stupid, Love (and some of it was indeed stupid, though some was love because of Steve Carell and Julianne Moore) until late last night, getting up occured somewhat later and I did not have time for what I term as the breakfast before breakfast – eating a bite before getting to your late breakfast or brunch date so you won’t faint on the way. But then a glass of juice must be included and since the café wasn’t far away, I figured I’d manage. It is Sunday in Hamburg, and those who aren’t still asleep after a Saturday night out are most likely making their way to a brunch.

The cafébar Gloria is located in a beautiful street in Hamburg called Bellealliancestraße. Cosy, residential, inviting and with multicolored buildings following each other, it makes for a nice pre-brunch walk in these fresh winter temperatures. The Gloria is red, easy to find and hard to miss. With 20 years of existence behind it, it’s clearly a favorite neighborhood meeting point and I’m excited to try the brunch buffet with my friend. And what a buffet it is. Roughly 15 euro with a glass of champagne or orange juice included for all you can eat – fresh bread, small croissants, fruit, various cheese, butter, jam, potato salad, cooked red beets (Russian roots seal of approval), smoked salmon, just to name a few choices, and very prettily arranged. Almost floor-length windows let in the sunlight of this clear, cold morning, and the atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming, as I listen to the snippets of conversation around me in French, German and English and dig in to my food. The staff is quick, attentive and smiling without seeming stressed. As I lean back and sip my fresh peppermint tea, I think again about how much I enjoy being part of a morning crowd like this, and that I will have to come back, because there is no room for the homemade cheesecake that my friend warmly recommended.

One once again idyllic walk around the glistening Alster river later, and I make lunch for the next day at work, only to discover that I had forgotten to defrost the meat I needed for the dish. But the internet saved me with this trick that actually worked!

One could have made a Nutella burger, but I’ll leave that to the pros.




When Wearing Glasses

“Touch your eye, touch your eye, nothing bad can happen!” says the optician encouragingly. I can tell he’s hovering somewhere to my left, but not much else, because my eyes are shut tight, as my brain is telling me the opposite of “nothing bad can happen” every time my hand tries to take out the contact lens. The optician had to take them out himself and that was the end of my eyewear other than glasses experience, after which I had to go look at shoes for half an hour to calm down.

This brief tour, which resulted in the familiar yearnings of a nearsighted person wishing to see like she does with glasses on when she goes swimming or dancing, brought me down to Earth and reminded me that I do like glasses much more after all, at least for now. They agree with me.

moleculesSo! Obviously when you wear something on your face quite regularly, it plays a part in your interactions with the world. For some reason I often get treated like a teenager or asked if I’m in school if I wear mine when out in the city, with the use of the German pronoun du in my direction statistically going up. I have never been teased because of my glasses, but then I don’t remember having a problem with wearing them, as seeing well was always a priority. Tripping and hurting myself on a date was not something I wanted to experience, or being glasses-free, but not getting a good look at the guy opposite me. And I enjoy my memories when they are focused, not blurry. No way I’m not getting a proper view of my favourite band playing. Also, when you actually put on glasses, you immediately become conscious of just how many people around you are wearing them.

minions1My first ever pair was on the circular side, elegantly shaped, and the frames were multicoloured. I’m actually wishing they were available now in my adult size. The base was dark blue and artfully covered with specks of colour. I had picked them all by myself and I loved them. Over the years, checking my bag to see whether I hadn’t forgotten my glasses case became second nature, and that’s still the same today (with the same added for my phone and house keys). Fun cases are another part of owning glasses. I got one in Oslo covered with the motif from Starry Night by Edvard Munch. And I was extra proud of the new frames I saved up for after I got my first job – that was the first time I had gotten new frames because I felt like having different ones.

Styling around glasses if I have to go out and wear them for a few hours, particularly for special occasions, is a normal part of the daily styling experience, but also a fun one. I don’t have to wear glasses all the time to get around, but I like to sometimes, especially during an evening do. My go-to tips?

  1. If you love your frames, whatever you do will work, because you are already comfortable!
  2. Just as you would otherwise, go with outfit colours that bring out your eye colour.
  3. Pick a hairstyle that won’t make you constantly adjust the hair around the frames.
  4. Complimenting colourful earrings if your hair is pulled away from your face.
  5. Smile!

Sometimes the fact that you are wearing glasses does make you rethink the process of putting an outfit together. Here is one example with three looks for inspiration. I like how relaxed the vlogger is with the glasses she has on.

As mentioned, hairstyles are also a factor you might reconsider when you wear glasses. This vlogger shows five ideas, which might also get you thinking of your own.

I’m convinced glasses have also considerably upped their cool since a certain wizard with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead forever joined our lives, so here’s to seeing, playing, and enjoying.



How to Let Go of Feeling Mean in the Morning

I wanted to use another adjective in the title for this post, but there’s a list of vocabulary that I will not use in this blog, hence the (still good) choice of synonym. I was standing at the bus stop the other day and feeling a strong urge to succumb to acting in a way that would match the offending adjective, so I simply started thinking, what can I do to make sure that won’t happen? Because I didn’t like it. The feeling was giving me a lot of energy, though, so what can I do? turned in to how can I refocus this?

Well, the wish to act out can be channelled in to sensible things like letting loose for your morning strut to work, or what feels like a strut to you.


Continuing with the Charlie’s Angels theme, flip that hair while you’re at it!


You WILL catch that bus, dammit! Run, baby, run!


How about a little self-imposed psycho-analysis? What exactly is making you feel this way? Did you spill your coffee at breakfast? Did you not get quite enough sleep? Does the dude in the line in front of you stink? Spilled coffee can be wiped up, stained shirts can be changed (if you’re already somewhere else when this happened, remember the world at large always has other things to worry about), one can catch up on sleep and the dude in front of you will eventually move away, or you can change your spot.

Basically it’s better to remember the nice thing your grandma said to you yesterday evening on the phone, or scroll through the Instagram pictures from your recent city break. And whatever anyone else who really is mean does or says: