Merry Christmas

Year after year I look forward to Christmas for months. Sometimes I get teary eyed thinking about it when I’m alone in my car… in September. I’m not kidding – I don’t even know why Christmas has become such an emotional holiday for me in the past couple of years.

Anyways, this december has been quite stressful for me. Filled with university work, my new job, discovering and learning new things about myself and trying to become the kind of person I want to be. It’s been a struggle but also rewarding and beautiful.

For everyone else who’s having a hard time this holiday season, know that you are not alone. I hope you find peace and quiet moments with the people you love and if you ever need to get something off your chest then feel free to write me a message me wherever, whenever.

Christmas is celebrated on the eve of the 24th in Austria and while I wait for my family to come over to stuff ourselves with Raclette and chocolate fondue, let me quickly share the recipe for the aperitif I’m going to serve in a little while.

 

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sparkler

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Ingredients:

1 cup of pomegranate juice
1 cup of cranberry juice (unsweetened if you can)
juice of one big mandarin (or orange)
about 5 tablespoons of mandarin simple sirup

For the mandarin simple sirup:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
the zest of 1 big mandarin (without the bitter white stuff, so really only super thin layers of the peel!)

How to make the simple sirup:
In a sauce pan put together the sugar, water and mandarin zest. Heat up until it’s boiling and the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool completely.

How to assemble the drink:
Combine the juices and 5 (or more, depending on how sweet you want the mix to be!) tablespoons of the sirup.
Pour into champagne flutes and top of with champagne.

You can chill the juice mix for hours until you’re ready to serve the drink. For the champagne to not mix with the juice I’d recommend pouring the champagne over the back of a teaspoon that’s pressed to the inside of the champagne flute.
As decoration I’ve used rosemary sticks with fresh cranberries.

Recipe adapted from here.

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Charming San Francisco

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After my whirlwind time in LA, I headed up to San Francisco for a couple of days. My time there was far more laid back.

Here are a couple of my observations:

The hills are far steeper than I imagined them to be.
It’s an easy city to navigate. I had almost no problems finding my way from and to certain spots.
I love the fog.
The weather is nothing like in other parts of California and I love it.
Redwood trees really are massive.
Layering clothes is the way to go.
70s music videos are the best.
Alcatraz tours are booked out weeks in advance (such a bummer).
Ghiradelli dark chocolate sea salt caramel is the holy grail.
Sausalito is a picturesque spot to eat lunch (or breakfast. Or dinner.).
The Mission district has great graffiti.
Guacamole is everything.

Thank you, Gina and Staci for welcoming me in your charming apartment. For showing me around and for loving food as much as I do. I had the best time.

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Thoughts on life lately.

As rough as the last couple of days have been I know that whatever happens now I’ll find a way to deal with it. I have the support of my family and I know I can come out of this ugly situation stronger than I am now. I’ll take every life lesson and I’ll grow.
For now I’ll focus on the important things: like forcing myself to eat and trying to get enough sleep at night.
Things will get better. They always do and I always learn how to adapt.
I’ll try to see this as a summer storm, a necessary evil for sunny days.

 

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Paris so far

My stay here has been filled with rain and sunshine, baguettes, eclairs, mussels, snails and croissants (not at the same time, obviously). With white wine and red wine, with family arguments and kisses on the cheek. With picture-taking, rolled eyes and joyful laughter. With long walks and afternoons spent sitting on a café watching the busy boulevards.
Paris, you are lovely. In fact, you are so beautiful and perfect it’s almost unreal.

I’m sure we’ll meet again, until then I’ll enjoy my last day here to the fullest.

 

Bonjour Paris

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I swear I have no idea how it’s been over a month since the last entry! Time flies when all you do is work and uni work and studying and more work (and trying to figure out summer plans).

I apologise. I’ll try to do better but June will still be an incredibly busy month for me uni wise. Summer plans are in the making and it’s looking to be a great and exciting summer.

But for now, let me tell you about how I got up at 3.30 this morning to catch a flight to Paris with my parents and grandparents.

I’ve been to Paris twice before and I only had good memories and experiences. So far it’s been great this time as well. The weather could have been a tad better (rain, rain and more rain) but overall it could also have been a lot worse.Paris is always charming. The boulevards, the passages, the food and drinks and the general atmosphere. I often forget just how much I enjoy being in this city.We’ve rented a quaint apartment. It’s three storeys but still kind of small. The window in my room leads to a rooftop terrace and I couldn’t be more in love. It’s kinda perfect. We’re getting breakfast from the Boulangerie across the street, bought some essential food items and enjoy our evenings sipping wine and cidre on the terrace (even more so once the weather is a tad better).It’s the perfect break from all the uni stress the past few days and I cannot wait for tomorrow to explore more.Bonjour, Paris.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset IMG_6400Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset
/ Hot chocolate literally came as melted chocolate with hot milk extra. Best one yet.
/ “Trapped” at a café waiting (in vain) for the rain to stop. After having the most expensive cappuccino yet (6,60€!) we caved and invested in some umbrellas.
/ View from our rooftop terrace. So charming.You can follow me along and see more pictures on my Instagram account.