This is all I do. By now I have got it down to a 5 minute routine, perhaps even less and it really is a barely there make up look. I would love to cut back even further on what I use. The ultimate goal is to use as little as possible and make the switch to completely natural products. My makeup bag is almost empty as I have nearly cured myself of the habit of buying items I don’t need and end up not using. There is however one makeup item that I can not resist and it is my ultimate weak spot- lipsticks. My kryptonite :). What is your beauty/make up guilty pleasure?

Minimal make up routine [Continue Reading…]

Great salmon fennel and dill quiche!

Some Sundays really lend themselves to a festive spirit, today was one of those. The sun was shinning, surprisingly, it is warm enough to step out wearing just a light sweater, no coat needed, overall a perfect day. As it is a such a day, I really wanted to cook up something that would do it justice and perhaps result in some leftovers that could be packed as a meal on the go for tomorrow. I opted to bake a quiche. If you read and perhaps even  followed my zucchini quiche recipe, then you know that quiches are one of my favorite things to make. Today, however, zucchinis were not the key ingredient of choice, salmon was!

It was the ultimate quiche experiment and there was nothing stopping me from making the dish up as I went and really make it my own. As I cooked I took pictures and joked that the recipe will make it to the blog only if it passes the flatmate taste test. Two hours later and after serving a plate to each flatmate, I got the thumbs up and ran to type up the recipe with step by step instructions. [Continue Reading…]

Hi! Each day is a new beginning and an opportunity for adventure. To get a bit motivated and start experiencing life to the fullest here is a short bucket list for the month of April. The month has 30 days and for each of them there is an activity to do- in no particular order. Let me know what you want to cross off your April bucket list!

30 Things to do in April
1. Plant a flower  2. Have an Easter egg hunt   3. Visit the craft market   4. Get back in touch with an old friend  5. Buy a bouquet of daffodils or tulips 6. Clean out your make up stash  7. Finish reading the book you started a long time ago and begin reading a new one 8. Go to a spring garden show or botanical garden   9. Try a DIY project from Pinterest   10. Redecorate in brighter colors   11. Buy local and from small businesses for a week  12. Try a new recipe   13. Taste an exotic fruit you never ate before 14. Watch and read the news 15. Go for a walk in nature 16. Start a windowsill herb garden   17. Play an old board game 18. Send a surprise postcard  19. Plan healthy meals for the week ahead of you   20. Brush up on an almost forgotten skill 21. Plan how you’ll spend your time and follow through  22. Go rollerblading  23. Revamp a vintage piece of clothing  24. Spring cleaning   25. Donate what you can after spring cleaning 26. Pick spring herbs 27. Find a natural substitute for a  cosmetic product 28. Get some sunshine   29. Take a class in something you want to learn more about 30. Start a journal

In my last post, 5 Life Lessons Learned While Gardening, I mentioned that I ordered a lot of rose bushes, 36 to be exact. They arrived and are planted! It was no easy task planting 36 bareroot roses, but I managed to finish it, with a lot of generous help, just in time for Easter. All rose bushes were ordered from Holland- Tuincentrum Lottum and were of great quality. Every single received bare root rose had multiple shoots, at least 3 from the grafting bud, putting each of them in the A quality category. The weather was a bit unpredictable and as I was planting on April 1st, I felt like I was being pranked the whole day. It would snow for half an hour, rain for another half hour and then be picture perfect for the next two hours.

Rose Bed- David Austin and old rose varieties

Top row- Jude the Obscure, Crown Princess Margareth, Pat Austin, Louise Odier, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Boule de Neige Next Row- Geoff Hamilton, Chippendale, Summer Song, Jubilee Celebration, Baronesse, Alan Titchmarsh

[Continue Reading…]

Hi! Over the last year or so, I’ve become quite the gardener. It all started with a little herb garden on the kitchen windowsill, then I bought some succulents and now I am the weird flatmate asking all my friends not to throw away their yogurt jars and anything that could possibly be used as a planting container. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think that I’d enjoy gardening as much as I do, but it is my “new thing” and the beginning of a lifelong hobby. In fact, I went as far as to order 40 rose bushes, but that is beside the point right now.

Gardening really is one of the best hobbies a person can pick up and it will challenge you in a way that another may not. It goes without saying, that there is something sublime about getting your hands dirty and leaving a patch of earth with the expectation of finding baby plants emerging from the ground when you return in a couple of days. Not having the proverbial green thumb should not be an excuse, and neither should gardening be reserved for 60-year-old Myrtle living out in the country, it can be done without any difficulty even in the tightest of spaces.

red tulips

Here are 5 life lessons I learned while gardening:

1. Sowing seeds is an act of faith. Nothing is guaranteed from the moment you gently press the seed into the ground. All that is left to do is to believe that that little seed is the beginning of new life. The funny thing is that the most important part of the process is the prep work- choosing the right soil and then giving the seed the conditions it needs to germinate. We all need faith and watering is the least we can do when in the end we can look forward to the time when we’ll see the tiniest speck of green emerging from the ground making its way towards the light.

2. You can plant seeds at the same time, but not all come up at the same time. Just like in life there are times, when everything will not go according to your plan and you will not be able to concentrate on as many things as you would like to and that is OK. Learn to take control where it is needed and trust that the rest will make an appearance in its own time and bear fruit when the season is right.

3. Weeding is important. Soil often times does not only contain the seeds you have sown, but also has weed seeds competing for the nutrients, just like there are many different things competing for your attention in life. Don’t let the little things you encounter every day overwhelm you and grow into bigger issues, instead focus on finding the root of the problem and do a bit of diligent weeding.

4. There’s always something that can be shared with a friend or given to a stranger. As a child, I remember that during the summers we’d have people pulling up in front of out yard and asking my mom for plants, flowers or tips on how to grow different types of plants. She never once turned anyone away and glowed with pride as she gave a tour of the garden and was able to share the bounty. It’s important to share, whether it may be a tip, word of encouragement or a flower to make a person smile- everything counts.

5. Nothing teaches you more about time than watching plants grow. There is an uncertain beginning where you tend to a seedling with nurturing love and you get reminded that patience truly is a virtue as you anticipate the first bloom, then you see the plant mature and die back into a seed with a promise of new life. It’s a privilege to witness something so beautiful and be reminded of the importance of different seasons. Embrace the present and every season of life, don’t be afraid of change because it almost always signifies growth.

Are there any life lessons you learned or were reminded of while spending time on a hobby you love? [Continue Reading…]