Freitag, 30. Mai 2014

My favorite summershoes + 5 tips how to walk in Heels!

Today let’s go shop for shoes together: 
you don’t even have to leave the house for it, you can get comfortable on the couch, I am your personal shopping assistant and let you in on my tips for this season.

We’ll be all relaxed at any time during the day or night, and you can quite simply enjoy.

For what did 
Konfuzius grandma always say: 
Shoes can upgrade the entire outfit.
Or ruin it. 

That’s why the choice of shoes is of the same significance as the national security. 

Well, kind of. 

Today I am going to show you my personal summer shoe top 5, a nice mix of flats and high heels, of practical and WOW.

Finally there will be a tip from Noelle, so that there’ll also be something for the “not-soon-turning-40-year-olds”.


Let’s open the shoe boxes and have a look!

1. Toe-separating sandals.

Flip-flops are summer with a capital S – they embody relaxed and uncomplicated living, vacation feeling in the city.
Of cours we had such shoes already in recent years – this year flower decorations are a bit outdated, but decorative gems are very trendy.
My tip: either invest in a very simple style in natural colors made of high-quality leather and with subtle decorative gems, or in a silver or gold metallic style.

And another personal advice:
Sometimes the ridge is so thin that the leather chafes the delicate spot between the toes until it’s raw and walking becomes painful.
For this purpose shoe stores offer special little padded silicone strips you stick in for protection.

2. Buffalo
3. XTI
6. Buffalo

1. Buffalo
2. Aalm

2. Metallic.

As I have mentioned a few times before, for me metallic is THE color of the season:  
whether they are silver, gold or copper – metallic hues do not only match almost every color, but lend a higher quality to everything and turn it more classy – “a piece of jewelry on your t”, so to say.

This is why I added these strappy sandals to my pointy toed pumps.

The perfect match for all delicate little summer dresses!

Those who do not necessarily like walking in high heels: it works the same way for flats: 

metallic is an eye-catcher that isn’t flashy, yet upgrades everything.

My shoes are from ZARA (unfortunately they are no longer available), although the exact same model is for sale in silver at Mango at the moment.

5. Mango
6. Mango 

3. Snake print.

I stayed away from snake print for the longest time, because it easily looks cheap when wor in large quantities.
This year I slipped into these pumps and all but didn’t take them off anymore: a short trip into town, danced through the night, mastered a festive occasion – somehow they match every outfit! 

Therefore: be daring – applied as small accents they are exclusive without being brash.

Today I am wearing grey skinny jeans with a dark blue and white color-block sweater – snake print pumps make ita sophisticated instead of boring affair.

By the way: these pumps from 
Mango are my most comfortable high heels!

1. Mango
2. Mango
3. Mango
4. Mango
5. Mango

4. Open toe ankle boots.

Sometimes you need somebody who encourages you to try something new for a change. 
Believe it or not: in this case my husband drew my attention to these shoes – I wouldn’t have tried them on by myself.

Once worn and completely love-stricken: very fashionable, very special, definitely WOW.

My ankle boots are from Barbara Bui – yesterday for example I wore them with a green silk dress, see

1. Mango
4. Anna Field (only blue ones left)
6. Pier one
5. Loafer.

Still in style this year: 
Loafers are simply the most comfortable shoes – and still don’t look frumpy. If you still have last year’s model in nude or beige, add one a little more fancy: sparkly, animal print or patterned – anything that creates a good mood and is an eye-catcher. 

Noelle’s loafer are from blogger 
Chiara Ferragni’s collection.

1. Zign
3. Zign
4. Ash

And finally Noelle’s tip:
These loafers are hot shit ;) this year. Here are the nicest ones:  

1. Zign
2. Eden
3. Eden
5. KMB

People ask me all the time how I can walk in high heels – and I have collected some tips for you that work for me.

How to... walk in High Heels:

1. Pay attention to your body’s tension – everything should be slightly braced, you can’t “shuffle” in high heels or somehow just sloppily stomp about.
Shoulders back, stand upright, tense your buttocks a little, arms can hang by your sides in a relaxed fashion.
Don’t worry, there’ll come a time when you don’t do this consciously anymore ;), it happens immediately when you stand on elevated heels.
Advantage: you instantly appear more self-assured and self-aware and the entire posture changes.

2. I always ake BIG steps.
First the heel, then the rest of the foot – subconsciously of course.
I don’t scuttle like a Japanese geisha, I don’t walk, I stride ;).
I don’t stroll, I float ;).
Always step with gusto – and the grand entrance is yours.
It’s interesting that you hardly ever twist your ankle that way.

3. If you are a little unsure, “work your way up” slowly.
The basic principle is:
The fatter and lower the heel, the more stable and sure your gait will be.
Therefore don’t hesitate to start with kitten heels and then add more height every time.

Rule of thumb:
If you slip on high heels and try to stretch up to stand on the balls of your feet (does everyone know what I mean? Like a ballet dancer.) – and it DOES NOT work, or barely works:  
Then you won’t be able to walk in them either.  
If, on the other hand, you can stretch up at least 2 cm – then it will work.

4. As long as you don’t wear custom-made shoes there will hardly be a shoe that fits you PERFECTLY.
There is pressure here, it is too wide there, this spot is chafing – the fit of the shoe is not always related to its price.

In the beginning of the season I bought virtually everything possible:
Gel inserts, strips for the back edge, special little sticky pads, etc.
They are all available in drug stores.

5. Without wanting to sugarcoat anything:
you can’t walk for hours in high heels without pain.
This is why I take my high heels off at every opportunity I get to sit down (pay attention to pretty summer feet;)) – and very often I carry flats with me as an alternative, when I know I have to walk a lot.
But it’s not that bad during the summer months, because effortlessness is a wonderful match.

I hope you have fun striding ;)!


p.s. Which shoes can you not live without this summer ;)?

Mittwoch, 28. Mai 2014

Unsexy skills that will change your life, part II

First read part I.
Here we go with part two of the character traits that will turn your life around in an instant – and that unfortunately have an outmoded, unattractive image.

Wrongly so, entirely, as you will find out in a minute!

I wrote about devotion in part I – and how it turns your everyday life into something wonderful and intense and without which success is not possible.

Today I’m calling on another characteristic – and this one is so perplexingly simple and – pay attention! – so rare that it only occurs to very few people how important it is in your everyday life.

It is…

2. Gratitude.

"That’s great, Joanna... I have NEVER heard of that before. I do know this one already.”
Of course.

We all know an awful lot. 

Knowledge doesn’t help you IN THE LEAST.

You simply have to be aware how unbelievably amazing your life is, what a gift it is, how beautiful every second of it is and how very grateful you can be for it.
If you are aware of it, you will automatically act accordingly – without thinking, without anxiety, without effort, because in that case…it IS you.
That’s why we say AWAREness and not KNOWledge.

And from knowledge ----> to awareness = a process.

But a lovely one!

The process happens much less because of your efforts and your performance than much more because of the required energy.

And guess who possesses it in excess…(and on top of it passes it on out of her own free will).

Therefore: the easiest path to gratitude is on your screen right now, right under your nose – so shut up and don’t interrupt with your counter arguments, take it all in and be grateful!

You are grateful for our country.

There is an attitude of bitching and whining in Germany (at least you are ALLOWED to whine without going to prison for it!): about the government in particular, the political affairs in general, and anyways, what the heck has the country done wrong this time.

Sure – this looks so much better on the title page of the rainbow press than writing:

"We live in one of the most politically stable and economically successful countries in the entire world. THANK YOU FOR THAT!”

But this would be the truth for once!

I am soooooo grateful for our country every single day!

You are allowed to live in one of the richest countries in the world (and even if you read this post in Africa: at least you have am internet connection!).

I am delighted about the peace we have.

I am grateful we don’t have to worry about our belongings, because maybe rebels are destroying them at random, are killing my family and nobody cares much about it.

I am grateful for social benefits and I like paying taxes – because paying taxes means I have an income, right?

And the fact that I have an income means I have a job and I’m successful at it, right?
Oh how lovely is that! Germany is a country that allows nearly everybody to have a professional career – without fearing that tomorrow the currency is going to be depreciated or a political coup is going to happen (which happens every few months in some countries!).

I am so grateful that – when my husband was unemployed some years back – we could live off social welfare and nobody needed to go hungry.

In most other countries this would indeed be different!

I am grateful for health insurance and the police.

THANK YOU! Honestly!
Did you know that in a lot of countries you are out of luck, if your car breaks down en route, as it automatically means you’ll be assailed? And often by the corrupt police itself?

I am so grateful for the possibilities of education (Yes, it isn’t ideal a lot of the time. So? I don’t rant about it, but invest myself in my children in a different way), the cultural offerings and the free access to them.

Germany is simply a WONDERFUL country to live in.

And all of you who are ALLOWED to live here should say Thank You every morning!
Thank you for the freedom we may enjoy here!
Thank you for the possibility to become whatever you want!

Most of you walk around taking it completely for granted that as the lucky ones you may grow up and live here – but it is a great gift and a privilege.

Be aware of it: you are a lucky devil.

One in a billion – just creating awareness for it will make you radiant.

It’s not for nothing that many worries and problems are jokingly called "first world-problems".

Whining at a high level.
Because most people on this planet fight for their survival.

But you no more!

You are one of those who truly value it, who love their country and are grateful for being permitted to live here.


You are grateful for every moment.

Most people don’t live in awareness, which turns their everyday lives into a kind of daily grind.

Get up in the morning, have breakfast, wash, run, go to work, have lunch, come home, do household chores, play with the kids, eat dinner, go to bed.
An outing on the week-end, 2 weeks vacation in Turkey.

Sounds like a TRULY exciting life.

"Um... Joanna, what’s different in your life?"

I am going to tell you exactly what’s different chez moi:

When I open my eyes in the morning I feel the smooth linen and my incredibly soft pillow – I think:”Oooh, my bed is the nicest place on earth! Yay! So cool and smooth and I have so much room in it!”.
And I stretch one more time and roll back and forth with joy, as I have so much room in it.
I am fit and can jump up, my legs are healthy and carry me to my children.
I sit down on the couch after having made breakfast, watch them as they pack their bags, hold a cup of tea in my hands and all I can think is: this is the b e s t tea I ever had in my life.
The best tea in the whole world.
The best tea in the whole world of all times.
(I think this every morning. I drink the best tea in the whole world of all times. At least in my opinion.)

I am grateful for the peace and quiet that ascends after the children have left the house.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Wow, this is beautiful.

I wash my face and apply a deliciously scented face cream, I touch my skin (which feels so lovely!), look in the mirror and am grateful for my eyes – I guarantee you I am the one who likes the color my eyes best of all!

I inevitably HAVE TO smile when I look in the mirror – I have known the color of my eyes for 40 years and I get excited like a little kid about it.
Do you get what I want to say:
I enjoy everything so intensely and I am so grateful for things that most people absolutely take for granted.

For me all this is not taken for granted.

For me every detail is a gift! !
Things most people don’t even pay attention to or disregard I savor very intensely and consciously – and I am grateful that I have permission to do so.

If I go out for dinner and it tastes really good, I literally get IMMERSED in the dish and I thank the staff for it.

Most of the time I literally walk into the kitchen and tell the chef to his face that I thought his food was to die for and that he has made me very happy.
(what do you think: is he going to like cooking for me again?)

If I am in contact with a person who inspires/encourages/revitalizes me, without fail I afterwards write him a gushing note or mail to thank him from the bottom of my heart.

I could burst with gratitude for people!
There are some peeps…they are devoted to me, they support and love me, they inspire me and I can rely on them 100%.
Wow, I am so grateful I could scream!

There are moments when I temporarily don’t feel like blogging.

Maybe I have a headache, the photos don’t turn out pretty, there is time pressure or other circumstances, and suddenly I would like to just abandon everything.
Trick #17:
I pause for a moment and make myself aware of the fact that I am allowed to do the world’s most beautiful job there is – I am permitted to be creative!
Wow, how great is this!
Frustration is gone within SECONDS, lightness is back again and I am highly motivated.
I am soooo grateful for being allowed to blog!
Lucky devil that I am!
Do you understand:
I am grateful for the simplest things – for being healthy, for having delicious food, for being able to drive a car which lets me get around, etc….
And I am grateful every single day when I get into the car!
Aren’t there these mind-altering drugs: with them every color seems brighter, every emotion more intense, every detail more beautiful.
You see, you can have this, too, only without the drugs.
Like my humble self ;).
By making yourself aware how well you’re doing ;).

You are grateful for who you are.

One lunchtime not long ago I sat on the couch working on my laptop, as Noelle was in the kitchen putting away dishes.

Suddenly I heard her sob.

I went over to her and asked her, puzzled:

"Noelle, are you crying?"
"Yes... sniffle... but it’s nothing... "
"Noelle, what’s up?"
"No, everything’s fine..." (cries even more)
"Come on, tell me!"
"I have to cry so much, because …sob…because…we have the MOST BEAUTIFUL LI-I-IFE!”

My 15-year-old teenager is standing in the kitchen with a plate in her hand and a dish towel in the other and bawls because she’s grateful for her life.

(and NO, cleaning the kitchen is not her dream job).

What can I say?

Disregarding the outer circumstances, in spite of difficulties and problems, no matter whether it happens to be a good or a bad day:

And it is ALWAYS strong.
ALWAYS beautiful.
ALWAYS complete.
ALWAYS making me happy.

"Yeah, great, Joanna. YOU. But if you had my problems…”

See, here is the difference:

you look at your circumstances FIRST and then judge your life by them.
(If they are good right now, you consequently have a good life. If they happen to be not so fantastic, your life happens to be same.)

I, however, look at
myself first.
And then once again I could cry with joy and gratitude (dish towel in hand or not). How absolutely phenomenal, beautiful, explosive, all-changing, strong and at the same time delicate, everything-that’s-bad-eradicating and everything-that’s-beautiful-generating is this life inside of me, am I – tell me?

And from this point of view the outer circumstances very much lose their importance for me.

(they love being the drama queen, I sure have learnt that by now. But I won’t be impressed, my life is too precious for that.)

I am not talking about the outward appearance – I just mean my innermost being!

See, that who you are is absolutely unique.
Every day you can find such immeasurable joy in yourself – ‘til you explode!
I rejoice in myself to the max, and I am so grateful for myself!
Love lives inside of me – and it is always strong, always complete, always all-changing, always excellent, always happiness-inducing.




I don’t check my feelings and situations FIRST, and THEN check whether they suit me.

Do you understand: they ALWAYS suit me.
Because I am such a good girl?
Because I do everything right?
Ha, ha.
Because I make such great efforts to be nice and please everybody?

They suit me not because of what I have done, but because of what HE has done.

My life is love and this will never change: no matter what!

I walk around, here and there, and could CRY with happiness, because I am so grateful!

I’m lucky I have things to do that distract me, otherwise I would explode one day for sure.
What prevents you the most from being grateful?


petty comparisons.

By comparing yourself with others and apparently coming off worse, you automatically devalue everything you are and everything you have.

"He has a nicer car, they are constantly going on vacation, she has a boy-friend and I don’t, my friend’s children know already how to…and yours can’t yet…she is always lucky, I am always unlucky, she looks better, success in her job and meeeeee….?”


Now let me tell you very sternly (deep authoritarian voice, yessir! Chr chr chrrr….):


Everything you are is precious, unique and individually tailor-made for you – and nobody may compare you with anyone else.

What the others are or are not, and what the others have or have not, and what the others have achieved or have not achieved – is NONE of your business!



HERE I have already written something on this subject.)

Back to the beautiful things:

Every second of your life is a gift to you.

You yourself are a gift to the world – unique, different than the rest, inspiring, light, dynamic, gentle but at the same time strong.
(And I guarantee you: no way do you know yet HOW wonderful you truly are!)
You are aware of your value and gratitude for yourself, and your life oozes from everyone of your pores.
You are just so delighted about everything you have and are that it simply keeps increasing all by itself!

(Believe me, I love giving presents to my children, if they are happy about each gift from the bottom of their hearts! If, however, they complained, I’d think twice about spontaneously bringing them something… u know what I mean ;)).

You are so grateful, as if today was Christmas and your birthday all rolled into one.

And altogether now:


Oh my, you are doing so well…


p.s. I would soooo love to recite this text live in front of a camera for you!

Wouldn’t even have taken 15 minutes, you know.
Unfortunately my camera is so old that it doesn’t have a video function ;)…

Montag, 26. Mai 2014

Cake Stands - give-away!

At the moment we have fresh strawberries from the little strawberry stall every day – those little vitamin power houses are one of the most precious summer memories for me and it is my wish that my children later remember exactly that.

In order to honor them appropriately (The strawberries. Not the children.) I set up a small stage for them on the porch outside: fresh buttermilk mousse with strawberry topping, a cool cheesecake and this season’s prettiest cake stands!

Cake Stands, as they are called in the Anglo-American parts of the world – more on that in a minute…

This time I picked some simple yet elegant cake stands – I love the slightly maritime design and the “vacation by the sea” feeling they convey. A little like a coffee break on a summery afternoon in Sweden.

Someone who shares my enthusiasm for cake stands – especially the American models – is Jörg Benecke, the founder of Home of Cake.

His online store is a real treasure trove full of the most extraordinary cake stands, partly directly from a glass manufacture in Pittsburgh and partly even manufactured in-house. I can definitely assure you of one thing: at Home of Cake  you will always find the most up-to-date cake stand models and the prettiest selection paired with passion and the best service.

By the way, in order to protect the delicacies outdoors there is also a great selection of cloches: matching any cake and any dessert (or appetizers. Or little sandwiches. Or tomatoes with mozzarella. Or….it isn’t even lunchtime yet and I am already getting hungry. Great.)

From playfully romantic to very simple and modern, pastel-colored or patterned, high or low: at Home of Cake you are guaranteed to find your favorite cake stand.

So go ahead and pick out something beautiful, because today I am giving away….

... a 80,-€ gift card for Home of Cake!

What you have to do to participate:

1. Tell me your favorite product in the Home of Cake-Shop 

2. If you share the link to the give-away on Facebook you have DOUBLE the chances of winning.
If you link the drawing on your blog, you have an EXTRA chance of winning!
Please feel free to take the last image with you for this.
Please leave a note in your comment to let me know, too.

Everyone can participate – with or without blog.

Important: you have to be registered to be able to leave a comment – to avoid mistakes and multiple drawings.
You can do it quite quickly and simply: HERE.

Please NO mails, you will be considered ONLY by leaving a comment.

The competition is open to all readers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (readers from Switzerland have to pay for high shipping fees themselves, depending on the sponsor).
Participation for minors only with consent of a parent or guardian.
Jurisdiction of a court is excluded, prizes cannot be paid out in cash.

Please note that I do not contact the winners in writing – I publish them on the blog at the bottom of this post.
If the winners of the draw do not get in touch within two weeks I will raffle off the prize again.

The competition starts now and ends on May 30, 2014.

Buttermilk Mousse with Strawberry Topping.

½ quart of buttermilk
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 organic lemons
heaped ½ Tbsp gelatin powder
17 oz whipping cream

approx. ¾ dry pints of strawberries

Wash lemons, grate peel, press out the juice.
Mix grated lemon peel, buttermilk and sugar.
Gently heat lemon juice and dissolve gelatin powder.
Mix buttermilk and lemon juice-gelatin mix and place into refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

In the mean time wash and hull strawberries and thoroughly puree with a handheld mixer (depending on your taste you can add more sugar; I didn’t).

Whip cream to stiff peaks and fold into the buttermilk mix.  
Keep the mixture in the refrigerator for about 5 hour.
Then top with strawberry puree.

The recipe for the cheesecake is taken from
 this book ;).

My cake stands are made of bone china and you can find them
I got the little blue glass stand HERE.
Everything at Home of Cake.