Montag, 30. März 2015

Prettiest jewelry for Easter – and why it is perfect for California.

This year there will only be a small gift for Easter.  

A personalized engraved bracelet.  
Or a delicate ring. 
Or 2 or 3 of them because they are so slim and look best when worn together anyway.  
And a necklace for the husband. 

The special thing about them: 
All these pieces of jewelry share something with my trip to California – and not just the fact that I will take them with me.


First of all:
Our future place of residence for the next few months will be Santa Cruz. 
(Santa Cruz, California, USA, make no mistake – do not confuse with the Spanish town on the Canaries of the same name).  
Santa Cruz is also called "Surf City USA", so we spontaneously picked this town. 
This was one reason; the other was that I instantly managed to find one of the few houses there, which was not decorated in an absolutely ugly/over-furnished/tacky manner (or all three of them together!) – and additionally in line with my budget.

So, if a piece of jewelry like the gilded bracelet carries the name “Santa Cruz”, it is a broad hint/heaven-sent sign/the Universe’s clue (take your pick), it’s obvious: 
It wants to be mine.
The pure design is also exactly what I like. 

The parcel from Familienbande also contained a necklace for boys – it is often a little challenging, men and jewelry, and this one is so simple, beautiful and stylish. 
Additionally, I had it engraved with a wishful quote. 

And secondly...

Someone provided me with a car to use during the time in California. 
Just like that.
Without a trade-off.
Quite spontaneously a day after my California post. 
No catch.

It turned out that the owner’s name is Anette, who lived in California for 10 years with her family – and chauffeured her kids and their surfboards around in exactly this car.  

Anette herself has great style and is very creative – you can find more about her on her beautiful blog Lebenslustiger.
Being a product designer, goldsmith and photographer she also presents her ideas in her shop:
There you will find exceptionally beautiful knitwear and very delicate jewelry – simple with a little something. 

I was thrilled about the filigree rings in rose gold and gold and I have worn them nearly every day since they arrived! 
While I still like wearing my statement rings on more festive occasions, I prefer my Lebenslustiger rings for every day life, as the delicate jewelry is not in the way when doing your chores, because you can hardly feel it. 

The rings look the prettiest when arranged in a group and make fingers look very slim – I wore them before, namely HERE and HERE.

The day after tomorrow, the latest, my fingers with Anette’s beautiful rings will grasp Anette’s steering wheel and will drive my kids around with their surfboards and accessories. 
Just like Anette in her day.

I hang on to this image with a sense of panic right now, as I am not only knee-deep in moving boxes (how much stuff do we actually own?!), but I also wonder on an hourly basis: 

Moving, renovating AND moving abroad for a while, all at the same time, I repeat: 

If I find out who made that decision…
Just you wait.
You’ve got it coming.

Sources of supply:

Bracelet Santa Cruz in gold und in rose gold: Familienbande
Necklace with pendant for men (necklace also available in gold and rose gold): Familienbande

All rings in gold and rose gold: Lebenslustiger


P.s. h+h Cologne was fantastic, Eva Brenner aka Romy Schneider was even more charming than on TV and I really had a lot of fun. 

Thanks to everyone who came! 

This post was translated by Eva Ginnell.

Freitag, 27. März 2015

Spring outfit, yard sale review – and Cologne!

You wanted to know how the yard sale went? 
I’ll tell you how the yard sale went. 

Brief review of the last days: 

- While packing the boxes for the move it starts dawning on me that there’s no way I can get rid of all the stuff that has accumulated here by selling it off one by one – just putting it in the mail takes up much more time than I have available. 
My friend suggests hosting a public yard sale. 
Since the thought sounds logical at first I agree. 

- Immediately afterwards I secretly wonder whether this was the right idea. 
  • In order to get going and to outfox myself I do what I’ve done for years: "Publish it on the blog, then there’s no turning back”. 
(Because then you HAVE to do it, otherwise you will be like one of those people who always have great plans, talk a lot about them, and yet never realize any of them. Nobody wants that.) 
I instantly receive 60 RSVPs. 
I look out the window and realize: we don’t even OWN a garage. 
So they all have to come to my house, it’s only logical. 

- I reply to 60 mails – and receive 60 error reports in return. 
I reply to the mails again and receive error reports for the second time. 
Now, of all times, my mail account has to be malfunctioning? 
I secretly wonder whether this whole thing wasn’t a crazy idea. 

- During the following days I pack more boxes, blog, drive to the construction site, plan a coffee shop and reply to a lot more RSVPs – at least some of the replies arrive as they should, while with others I have no idea whether this is the case or not. 

- Due to this I completely loose track of the actual number of participants. 

- I also loose track of the amount of work required in preparation.
As it turns out it is an awful lot. 
I ask myself instantly who had this terrible idea?! 
On the brink of a panic attack (“I will never be able to do this in my life”) my sister arrives from Berlin – hops out of the car after a 6-hour drive, rolls up her sleeves full of anticipation and action, and sets to work that very minute. 

- My sister does not loose her drive for one second during the following three days: 
She lugs boxes, buys tons of clothes racks and hangers, sorts and organizes mountains of clothes until late at night, not without advertising it all to me in the most wonderful shopping channel manner: 
"And now look at this, ladies! A sparkly shirt! You can wear this ANYWHERE. On a cruise ship, in Saint Tropez, simply ANY.WHERE. Make your move; I hear we have only 150 pieces left! No, we are down to 80 now!”, etc. 
In the end she declares Ben’s old room to be “Emi’s Little Fashion Boutique” and wonders whether she should change professions. 
To full-time QVC presenter. 

  • In the meantime I follow her detailed instructions, more or less in a stupor (“the shirts to the right on this rack. No, Joanna, more to the right!”) and very firmly concentrate on NOT thinking.
I especially very firmly concentrate on NOT thinking the following four sentences: 

1. What if way too many people show up, who will never fit into my house and we all push and shove our way through, or if maybe even a kind of human stampede ensues? 

2. What if these people are some random freaks or crazy people who don’t even want to browse, but … um … do all kinds of freaky, crazy things? 

3. What if I won’t be finished never in my life until Saturday?!  
(With regard to question #3 I concentrate and focus on my sister, and then move on.)

4. How can I eliminate my friend who had this dumbest of dumb ideas of all times? 

  • We are five people on Saturday morning: my mother and sister, Charlotte, my former intern (WHO DOES NOT NEED A CALCULATOR, the super brain!) and my friend (in my opinion the most beautiful woman in the world and the one with the dumbest of dumb ideas…) – the latter announces that everything will work out just fine. 

  • Put on my Valentinos (for cost-per-wear reasons I have to wear them whenever the temperatures are above freezing), and decide to trust my friend’s words. 
  • - People come streaming into my house, I open the door for them and I am happy about every single one of them. 
Some I just say Hello to briefly, with some I have a short conversation, with few I am able to have a little longer conversation. 
It is so beautiful.
So, so beautiful.
Some whisper in my ear how much the blog has changed their lives (Which nearly makes me cry. And them, too. And then me even more, and darn it, I don’t want my mascara to smudge!).  
Some simply sit on the bench beside me.  
We don’t talk, we just enjoy each other.  
Hardly anyone fits into my clothes (in the words of my sister while holding up a pair of my shorts: “ Who in heaven is supposed to fit into these? AN EMBRYO?!”), but the decoration items are sold out in no time. 
Some people have a rather dry sense of humor, which I love. 
I receive a chocolate bunny from Breuninger. And tea. 
I meet Noelle’s elementary school teacher who drops in with her mom, as both of them read my blog. 
And a photographer who I collaborated with twice in the past – great pleasure. 
I feel a bit as if I’m high on drugs, and don’t want to write my blog ever again, but rather organize garage sales without garage every weekend. 
Or teach seminars, for all I care – as long as I can look people in the eye. 
Or touch them or cry with them with joy, whatever. 
  • wonder who had this most FABULOUS idea of all times. All is done after a few hours: 
The entire team collapses onto the couch, exhausted, two readers are still on the same couch – I guess they just forgot to leave. 
We are starving, so my husband brings pizza for us all – not without acting like a kind of Russian pimp and counting the money beforehand. 
I share my pizza with the two readers and I remember that I have to eliminate them, too, as they have seen my husband in action now. 
Oh man, work work work!

So now you know how it went. 

My friend (the one who was responsible for this wonderful idea) said in conclusion: 

She, who gets rid of a lot of things, logically needs a lot of new things – which is why I show you a new favorite outfit for spring and all of summer today. 

I am wearing a slim-cut black jacket, which is soft like a second skin and comfortable like a cardigan. 

Is there any color that is more flattering against the skin than peach? 
It’s justified that most blushes are produced in this color! 

I wear it in 2 different hues at the same time – in a light pink in shape of a top by 12Days and an oversize scarf with sequin details in rose gold. 

I particularly like the way this look can be transformed – under a jacket the top is nice and classic and appropriate for the office, in the evening you can combine it wonderfully for a night out. 

And because peach and rose gold are perfect partners, I am also wearing 2 very delicate bracelets in this color. 

Jacket: HERE (better order a size up, it runs on the small side) 
Top: HERE (also available in black)
Scarf: HERE (also in off white and grey)
Silver bracelet, gold-plated: HERE
Silver bracelet, gold-plated: HERE

Everything by Dein Lieblingsladen

Shoes: Valentino (also available in off white or rosé)
Watch: Michael Kors

Because some of you asked me: 
The dress I wore at the yard sale is by Asos.

Dein Lieblingsladen and Villa Smilla will organize another summer event!
Tickets are already available online HERE – I am unfortunately in California at this point. 

Thanks again to all my wonderful readers who came out to visit me! 


You didn’t make it to the yard sale, but would like to see me live? 

Why don’t you pop over to the trade show h+h-Messe in Cologne this Sunday, I am one of the speakers there.  You can find me at 10:30 am on the couch with Eva Brenner, at 12 pm I will let you in on my personal trends with regard to interior and DIY, and from 2 pm on I will have time for one-on-one conversations and hugs! 

This post was translated by Eva Ginnell, thanks so much!

Germanwings crash, flight 4U 9525 and the question “why?”

Yesterday Germanwings Airbus 4U 9525 crashed in the French Alps – all 150 passengers and crew members lost their lives.

It feels a bit like being paralyzed in a state of shock, not being able to breathe. 

Disregarding the daily disasters, deaths and catastrophes that happen in the world, one that affects your own country so directly hurts that much more. 
Especially the death of young people never has any positive aspects, as with their death the future also dies – you feel for the relatives all the more, if you have children the age of these students who tragically lost their lives. 
Children who were on board of a similar plane recently. 

Readers have repeatedly asked me how to handle such horrific news. 
I certainly cannot offer a one-size-fits-all solution – I can only relate what it does to ME. 

Even if it sounds very dramatic and emotional: 

Every time I hear of something like this it makes me even more determined.  
I renew my decision to love even more. 
I decide to live more intensely. 
To be in the moment even more. 
To become even stronger, even more effective, more joyful and at the same time carefree.
To trust even more. 
To enjoy even more. 
To spread more joy and lightness. 
To be more grateful and value life. 
Now all the more.

My life shall be one big celebration of love, beauty and greatness – and I want to take every person who connects with me in love into that dimension. 
The dimension that blasts through borders, overcomes everything that’s traumatic, that brings peace, consolation and happiness into every single heart. 

I am absolutely convinced that this attitude acts like a blow in the face of evil. 
I think I am the devil’s personal nightmare. 
I think that – everywhere I go – I leave a wide trail of love and joy. 

I am aware that reading this seems arrogant or even overbearing to some. 
For me, on the other hand, it is true humility, as I would never dare to disrespect this life I was given.  
I am in this world to love others, to inspire and to liberate – whereas the latter two are direct consequences of the first one. 
It is also the easiest for me, because this is how I was made, so all I need to do is being Joanna. 

Some will tell you: “Don’t take yourself too seriously – what exactly can you change? What difference do you make?” 

But I tell you: you are EXTREMELY important. 
Everything else is inferiority and we truly have enough of that, I don’t want to hear about it again. 
Everything else is simply a LIE. 

Only YOU can love people, who I will never meet, back to health.
Only YOU can inspire people in areas I don’t know anything about.
Only YOU leave a trail of love in places I have never set foot in. 

And maybe it will be YOU who will make sure they build absolutely safe planes in the future. 

So let it out!
Give yourself to people!
Without doubts and questions!
Dare to be YOU!
Dare to love!
Now all the more!

Nothing can stop you from doing so! 
Take your determination and off you go! 

Assuming just for today you were allowed to be exactly THE WAY you always wanted to be:  
What would that be?
Without all that pleasing others, without “what do they think of me?", without “is this still within the scope?”, without “are my kids and my partner and all my relatives OK with this?”, without “am I allowed to say it like that?”, without thinking for others or asking yourself what others could think. 

Believe me, this would be the biggest gift for anyone around you – to some it would immediately feel like a kick in the teeth (congrats!), some could not be with you for more than 2 minutes (double congrats!), and very many would give anything to be with you all the time. 
It’s logical, too – you wouldn’t want to be with love? 
(Story of my life.)

See – and I liberate you step by step until you live exactly like THAT.
Day by day, more every day, stronger every day. 
Simply by loving you back to health. 
And back to happiness.
And back to freedom.
And I mean loving as fiercely as I am able to – and that’s pretty fierce ;). 

Every time my children ask me why anything bad happens in the world I always say to them: 
"Because the devil is a criminal a**hole.  
And we are in the world to put a stop to his game.” 

Love simply remains the strongest force. 
And it is able to ease any suffering. 

And this is exactly the reason why you are here. 
And this is exactly my response to you. 


p.s. I decided to disallow comments this time – I think this post is enough in itself. 

Thanks for understanding.

Thank you for translating this post to Eva Ginnell.

Mittwoch, 25. März 2015

3 espresso desserts for your Easter buffet!

Do you love coffee?
And chocolate?
Or do you need an idea for a delicious dessert for Easter? 

Well, then, you came exactly to the right place. 
(On the other hand: when is this not the right place? Never!) 

For I have prepared a little something. 
For your Easter buffet or for every day. 
To impress your mother-in-law or to enjoy all by yourself. 
And since, as far as I know, my mother-in-law was never particularly impressed by me as long as she lived, or probably was hardly ever actually aware of my presence, my choice is extremely simple: enjoyment! 

Coffee, espresso or cappuccino will be served alongside – each time perfectly selected to match the individual dessert’s aroma. 

How about an ice-cream sandwich consisting of caramel ice-cream accompanied by caramel cookies with fleur de sel? 
This I will serve with a Lungo Fondo containing a hint of caramel and chocolate. 

... or would you rather taste little chocolate cakes with crunchy chocolate-covered coffee beans inside? 

They harmonize wonderfully with a café latte made with a Lungo Magnifico which has a slightly spicy note. 

Or will you choose a delicately airy chocolate mousse with a hint of espresso? 
The perfect combination of bittersweet and light? 
Served with a strong espresso Ristretto with a hint of citrus? 

Whichever you decide to have – by all means choose the ice-cream sandwich, too. 

As this is so absolutely delicious that you will be instantly addicted and will have to gobble up every single one of them all by yourself in the following days. 
And, shaking your head in regret, you will negate other family members’ inquiries for more – counting the leftover sandwiches waiting for you in the freezer in your head with a slight panic. 
(I am talking about a friend of mine). 

I used the Jacobs Zauber capsules for my desserts. 
With 6 types of espresso and 4 types of coffee there is bound to be the matching aroma for every taste – so that everything harmonizes perfectly. 

It is quite easy to pick out the right variety with the Jacobs Zauber aroma wheel. 


If you wish to serve the desserts in a lovely way: 
Maybe you still have some of these small wooden Easter pendants, available everywhere at low prices (e.g. in the grocery stores’ seasonal aisle, such as these ones)?

My little figurines are from the flea market and, similar to my decoration idea for Christmas before last, I  sprayed them with craft spray and then removed the ribbons. 
The golden bunny rabbits had a pin sticking out their butts already, so I just stuck them into the small cakes. 
The other wooden eggs and tiny rabbits make for a pretty table decoration, napkin embellishment or name card holder. 

Espresso ice-cream sandwich

For the cookies:
1.8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1.8 oz chocolate
1.8 oz soft caramels or a scant 1/4 cup caramel sauce
1 pinch of salt
3.5 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup cane sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 heaped Tbsp cacao powder, unsweetened 
1/2 Tbsp ground espresso 
a little Fleur de Sel 

Salted caramel ice-cream (e.g. by Häagen-Dazs) or any other favorite type of ice-cream 

Roughly chop chocolate into pieces, cut caramels into small pieces and add the salt. 
Whisk butter with sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy, whisk in egg. 
Mix flour, baking powder, ground espresso and cacao powder and fold into the butter mixture.  
Finally add the chocolate and caramel pieces and stir until a soft dough forms. 
Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 
Pre-heat oven to 350° (convection oven to  315°).
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, form balls with a ¾” diameter, flatten slightly with the palm of your hand and place on the cookie sheet. 
Leave at least 1 ½ “ between the cookies, as dough will spread during baking.   
Sprinkle with a little fleur de sel (a very small amount!) and bake for about 10 minutes. 

Spread a scoop of ice-cream onto one cookie and flatten with a second cookie, level the edges with a knife. 
Immediately place back into the freezer and prepare the rest of the ice-cream sandwiches. 

Matching: Lungo Fondo by Jacobs.

Little coffee cakes

2 cups flour
7 Tbsp butter, softened
a heaped ½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cacao powder, unsweetened 
2 Tbsp dried coconut flakes
1 tsp ground coffee (e.g. Lungo)
2 Tbsp chocolate-covered coffee beans
4 Tbsp yogurt
4 Tbsp milk

Whisk sugar and egg with an electric mixer until creamy, add yogurt and whisk briefly. 
Mix flour, baking powder, ground coffee and cacao powder, add to the egg/butter mixture and fold in. 
Then add the dried coconut flakes. 
Roughly chop the chocolate coffee beans and add to the mixture. 

If the dough is too stiff add milk by the Tbsp. 

Fill dough into well greased small tins and bake at 350° for about 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with a little cacao powder and serve with whole chocolate-covered coffee beans. 

Perfect match: Lungo Magnifico by Jacobs.

The mousse has a wonderful chocolate taste with a hint of espresso and a delicately light consistency. 
Make sure to serve it with fresh berries or a fruity sauce (e.g. mango purée)! 

Espresso chocolate mousse

½ cup freshly made espresso 
1 tsp ground espresso + 1 Tbsp cacao powder, mixed 
½ cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
4 eggs

Let espresso cool. 
Beat egg yolks in Bain Marie until fluffy: place a casserole with water on the stovetop and bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat to lowest setting (water should not boil), place a metal boil over pot – without its bottom touching the water. 
Whisk egg yolks until slightly fluffy, slowly add sugar and keep whisking until mixture is thick and creamy. 

Place the bowl over a pot with cold water, add espresso and whisk for an additional 2-3 minutes until mixture is creamy. 

Sift ground espresso and cacao powder on top of the mixture and fold in. 
Whip cream and fold into the cooled off mixture. 
Whisk egg whites until stiff, fold into mixture. 

Fill into small moulds and place into refrigerator for at least one hour. 

Perfect match: Espresso Ristretto by Jacobs.

If you really feel like trying one of the 3 espresso desserts now – or just feel like drinking a cup of coffee, you are in luck, as today I will raffle off 

5  x  10 varieties of Jacobs Zauber
1 capsule dispenser by Koziol!

among all the Liebesbotschaft readers. 

What you need to do to participate:

Tell me which variety of Jacobs Zauber you would like to try best. 

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!
NEW: if you share the give-away on your Instagram account, you have an EXTRA chance of winning! 
Please use hashtag #liebesbotschaft to do so and mark me on the picture – otherwise I will not be able to see it. 

Please feel free to take the above image (with text) with you for this.  
Please leave a note in your comment to let me know, too.

Everyone can participate – with or without blog.

You have to be registered to be able to leave a comment – to avoid mistakes and multiple drawings.
You can do this 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.
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 March 28, 2015. 

This post was created in loving collaboration with my mom and the support from Jacobs. 
Thanks to both of them!


p.s. I will tell you about the yard sale tomorrow!

Thank you for translating this post to Eva Ginnell.