5 Tipps to properly keep your skin hydrated in winter

Hey guys, I hope you are doing great today 🙂 I know I know, it is freezing outside..but hey, it is so nice and Christmasy, you just gotta love this time of the year.

But do you, just like I do, tend to have a very dry skin, especially in winter?

The cuddles time of the year is nice, but even though sitting by the fireplace in the comfort of our home is really relaxing, our skin does not feel the same way about it.

In winter my face, for instance, feels very dry, especially in the morning or after washing it in the evening before I go to bed. Not only my face but also my hands are quite dry this time of the year. Of course, we can blame this on the stinging cold, but we ourselves are part of the problem and can do something about it.

Buying a hydrating cream is usually not enough and will probably not do magic on the long run, nevertheless, it makes sense to get yourself a good one.

In my twenties, I tried a whole lot of different beauty products, mostly from the drug store close to my house (quick and dirty 😉 ), but never really got to stick to one. Now I am 31 and I am happy I finally found out what works best for me.

The most important thing to figure out is whether your skin is allergic to some of the ingredients or not. I noticed, for example, I am allergic to highly scented creams, and to products with a high level of alcohol, therefore I developed my own cleansing routine using a mixture of serums and creams my skin feels comfortable with.

Before having a routine in place though, it is essential to make some small but very important lifestyle changes. So here are my top 5 tips to help you improve your skin before you

 

Tipp # 1: Stay hydrated!

drip

70% of our body is water, therefore make sure you drink plenty of it! Water keeps your skin moisturized and it delivers essential nutrients to your skin cells. Moreover, water boosts your metabolism, making sure toxic elements are quickly driven out of your body.

So yes, drinking water is the first change I made. In my twenties water was not part of my daily diet, I drank it every now and then, but not always. My metabolism was rather slow, whereas now it definitely improved. I try to drink at least 2L of pure water a day. OF course, it doesn’t always work, but then again, we are not perfect. I became a big tea-drinker as well (usually herbs and green tea) which also contributes to me staying hydrated.

 

Tipp #2: Do not take very hot showers!

I used to be the biggest hot shower and hot bath lover ever. I could sink in hot water for hours (well I still can actually:)!

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However this is not necessarily good, in fact, it is not good at all. Hot water dries out our skin, whereas a milder temperature helps to moisturize it. SO make sure you don’t take too hot showers, at least not too often.

 

 

Tipp #3: Make sure your rooms are not too dry!

Do you ever wake up feeling like your nose is blocked and you cannot really breathe properly? Well, that happens because your heaters dry out the air in the room. It is not unusual in winter to overly heat our homes (oh don´t get me wrong, I like it warm too!) but this adds up to the winter stress our skin has. I would really recommend you get a humidifier to make sure the air in the house doesn´t dry up too much.

Don´t want to make the investment? No worries, there is a DIY trick to that, which happens to be very effective as well. Fill a bowl with water and place it on the heater 😉 unfortunately, I won´t be able to that as we have floor heating in our new house, but in the past, it worked just fine for me!

 

Tipp # 4: Always remove your make up before you sleep!

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Now, away from the surroundings and back to our actual skin .. make sure you keep it clean! This, of course, is true not only for winter but for summer as well. Never go to sleep with your makeup on as you will not be doing yourself a favour in the long run. If you know you might be home a little late at night still have some emergency makeup remover wipes in your drawer, it can come in handy – just do not make a habit of it, rather use appropriate products for your skin and remember, a good soap is always a good idea as well (you can check this Clinique Soap right here, for instance, I always have it in stock at home).

 

Tipp #5: Get a professional treatment every now and then 

Yes, you heard well. I know a lot of DIY works well and we are all just fine on our own, but sometimes those blackheads need to be removed professionally. Do not feel bad about giving yourself some extra care every now and then, you don´t have to go every day, but definitely go at least once before each season, especially before winter (and right after it actually). Depending on your skin type, you will be given some good advice. It is however very important not to fall into the salesman´s trap. Some salons will try to advertise and sell their own products during their treatment: do not make an on the spot purchase. If you feel like what you are using works fine for you, just stick to it (unless a doctor/dermatologist says otherwise). What you should take note of during your treatment are things such as what type of product works for you best (regardless of the brand!) and the frequency at which you should be cleansing for instance.

 

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take care of yourself, only if you love yourself you will be able to love others and shine bright!

Any tipps I could use or any thoughts? Write it down here, or drop me an E-mail.

Kisses

Pete x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make your house a real home right from the start

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I started planning and building our own house. We mostly planned everything out ourselves, from the room division to the front appearance, and the materials we wanted to have. You can imagine this is/was no easy job. We had to make sure all the little details fit both our taste and our budget (I have to say my taste usually exceeds my budget by far so I had a tough time planning right there!), and we had to be aware of the fact that some of our decisions would really affect our lives for many years to come.

Last year, when I was thinking about what I would want my own house to look like, the first thing that came to mind was “home, I want my house to look like a home”, somewhere friends and family can happily gather, somewhere other people and not only us would feel comfortable, somewhere my personality is reflected in the little things… I wanted my house to be welcoming, and not because of the nice decorations, nope… I wanted the grounds to be welcoming, the walls, the basement ..everything… And to add that little extra I already had to know what I wanted before we started and as we went along, and not only once we were at the furniture picking stage.

house-2609484I have to add that we were lucky enough to have the chance to actually design things from the very beginning (even if we had some legal requirements to follow through – which did not entirely allow us a 100% freedom) and therefore we could add a personal touch to everything we did, we even told the architect how to draw our dream home.

I will talk to you about our journey once we actually move in and things are more or less ready,  but for now, I can definitely give you one or the other advice on how to start turning your house into a home already while building it.this requires a lot of work, time, nerves and patience as a house is not only about the fabrics and interiors, but is a lot of raw work as well… but it is well worth it, and here are my top 5 bits of advice on how to turn your dream house into your dream home from the very beginning.

bathroom-2541163Be aware that this requires a lot of work, time, nerves, and patience as a house is not only about the fabrics and interiors, but it consists of a lot of raw work, and a lot of little accidents and bumpers… but it is well worth it! So here are my top 5 bits of advice on how to turn your dream house into your dream home from the very beginning.

All of this requires a lot of work, time, nerves and patience as a house is not only about the fabrics and interiors, but is a lot of raw work as well… but it is well worth it, and here are my top 5 bits of advice on how to turn your dream house into your dream home from the very beginning.

  • Build in indirect lighting (find some ideas on Pinterest here: Pinterest´s best indirect lights
  • Plan a cosy fireplace in the living room
  • Make sure you have enough natural light coming into the house from outside (so plan bigger windows for instance or more of them)
  • Turn your bathroom into your own personal SPA
  • Try to use real wood elements

Have you tried any of these? Write to me your ideas either in a comment or per Email and stay tuned for updates and make sure to check out my Instagram page 🙂

Cheers

Pete x

PS: the following sites gave me a lot of inspiration, you might want to check them out 🙂 Housebeautiful / westwingnowBolia

My Summer of Aperitivos

Hi guys ☺

I hope you are all doing great!Summer

I mean, it is summer after all so no matter what you are going through right now, try to breathe in the sunshine and enjoy it while it lasts. Forget the grey winter, the long dark hours  and the short days..

This is the right time of the year to rejuvenate and to think positive. In a time where the world is (literally) upside down, where wars seem to come closer and closer, where presidents stopped fighting for their people and where the gap between the rich and the poor is at an ever high level there is only one thing we can do. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the small things.

Now, having that in mind, what is the first though that comes to your head when I say “summer”?

Most of you will likely say “the beach”, “sand”, “the ocean” … others will think “good weather”, some might say “happiness”. Well, yes these are all legitimate thoughts, but I guess I am a little weird and think of Aperitivo ☺

Yup, you read that well… I know it sounds strange right? I mean, what the heck. Who relates summer to alcohol? Probably not a girl in her right mind !

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Then again, “Aperitivo” is not alcohol to me..it does actually not relate to alcohol at all in my head. It is not that cold Aperol Spritz you enjoy on a terrace in Mykonos, and it is not the cold Hugo served in a Frankfurter bar.  Aperitivo is more of an experience than a drink. Unfortunately an experience you can only have in one country: Italy.

No other country does it better,  you should definitely do the Aperitivo the Italian way. Not the Spanish, not the American nor the Arab rich kids way… go for the dolce vita style. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. I will tell you in a second. But before that let me give you a couple of fun facts about the story behind the real aperitivo.  

First of all let me show off my linguistic skills by telling you the meaning of the word (thanks, dictionary!). The word “Aperitivo” comes from the Latin “aperire”, or Italian “aprire” which means to open. In this case you are “opening” your stomach (ew??), mostly before dinner. Back in the 18th century the best drink to do that was said to be Vermouth, invented by Antonio Carpano in Turin. Since then this everlasting tradition evolved and became a real trademark of the Italian way.

What makes the Aperitivo time special is not actually the drink, but the little snacks that come with it. At the aperitivo time most bars slightly inflate the drink prices (I would say they are still reasonably priced though!) and offer you some snacks to it. The snacks vary according to the region you find yourself in and are always complimentary. And for the record… the snacks are not only made of chips and peanuts! You get mini pizzas, mini focaccias, giant olives, and some other specialties.

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If you want to take it one step further you can go for something called “Apericena”. The word is a mixture between “aperitvo” and “cena” (the Italian word for dinner). This is a bit more pricy than a simple aperitivo but it is well worth it. You basically pay a fix price, let´s say 20EUR, and you get a drink plus a choice of different finger food options in an open buffet style. That´s perfect for those who know won´t have time for dinner after the aperitivo, or know they will not be able to take that extra pasta anymore.

Here are my top 3 favourite aperitivo bars so far (trust me, I tried a few, and though you can almost never go wrong, here you will certainly be super happy)

  • Panella: Rome 
  • Le Bocche: Porto Venere
  • Bar Basso: Milano

 

Last, but not least… what should you drink.. oh well, I might be a little old school but for the Aperitivo I always go for the classic Aperol Spritz ☺

If you have a few places you could recommend as well, pls write them below in the comments or send me an email!

Cheers!

Pete x

 

PS: Want to enjoy your drink in the comfort of your home? No problem, here is how to prepare the perfect Aperol Spritz.

Ingredients:

  • Prosecco (3/5)
  • Soda Water (1/5)
  • Aperol (1/5 or ajust to taste)
  • Ice, ice, ice
  • Orange slices

Pour the beverages over ice and top with an orange slice 😉 

Enjoy, and CIN CIN! 

 

Air B&B – Hype or Gain?

So being sick at home does have one advantage, I figured. I get time to read alll sort of stuff and articles I otherwise would not have the time to look at.

Today I came across an interesting one on a Hungarian news site – unfortunately it is only in Hungarian (14M Hungarian speakers right on – see here:  Index.hu : Air B&B!) , and since I am originally from Hungary it was not so hard to read.  The content got me pretty much hooked up, as tt explores and offers insights on the reasons why Air B&B is not as popular (in Budapest, Hungary)among real estate owners as it used to be.

Before going into that, let me briefly tell you what Air B&B actually is, hopefully most of you know this already cause if not I would start wondering where you have been living for the past 8 years or so. Anyhow; AIR B&B is a homestay network giving people a  chance to rent out rooms, apartments and the like for a relatively short period of time (whatever your definition of short term is) instead of having to book a hotel room for probably much more money or less privacy during a holiday or a work related stay (read more about it here: Wikipedia Air B&B or here Air B&B Official ).

So practically imagine you listing a room in your own house or your holiday cottage on a web site for people to rent for a few days or week. Would you do it? Would you trust your house to be out there on the internet for people to see, for anyone to rent? I know lots of people would probably be reluctant and just not do it, but in favour of this service I have to say there is a whole identification process through ID / Passport before being able to register, and on top of that the tenants can just say no.

According to the article, Air B&B is facing a drop which will show on a long term rather than in the short term. Owners are usually worried about the value of their property dropping due to misuse and parties. All very valid reasons, I also would never ever rent out my property to strangers on such a short term, but maybe that is just me being skeptical. I can fully understand why the business is dropping, even though I think this might rather be the case in big central cities. On coastal areas people own beach houses and lodges, so I would imagine those are rented out to families with kids (think Fincas in Spain 🙂 ) who usually cause less problems than young bachelors looking for a one night stand in Eastern Countries.

Going forward, lets take a look at the interesting side to me, that of the consumers, in this case that of those booking the places.

I personally have no full experience with Air B&B yet, but I did book 2 apartments already for part of my stay during my next holidays (which I will share once 100% confirmed). I am a bit skeptical about this as I said, and I am the kind of person who would rather travel less but fully pamper herself.. So yes, I like nice dinners and nice hotels. Don´t get me wrong, I would go for a lodge in the middle in the jungle too, but I would extend my encounter with nation to a nice place on the beach afterwards. I would also go to a retreat in some temple for a while, but I wouldn´t go on a “weeks long” backpacking trip. And this really shouldn’t be seen a critique to those doing that, but I need that extra bathroom hygiene. Paranoia and all. But anyway, back to the booking part. We are building a house this year, which, let me tell you, does decrease that travel budget a whole lot, and so I told my husband I was in for the compromise. This, translated, means booking a bit from Booking.com, a bit from LHW and a bit from Air B&B. Fair enough.

To my surprise Air B&B is very easy to navigate you have LOTS of detailed information and it is super easy to communicate with the owners of the apartments. Prices may vary, it all depends on what you are looking for. I think overall it is still less than a hotel, you can even choose for a place with towels, hairdryers and all sort of things a woman can’t really live without. The only problem with the listed prices is that at check out you do get extra costs such as cleaning and booking fees, I wonder why these hidden costs are not calculated in the listed price anyway. I think it would be better to have the listed price being the check out price, and at check out to have the price break down so you can see the split.

Overall I am not sure I would book a holiday entirely through Air B&B, on one hand I like the feeling of being home away from home, but on the other I like to treat myself with a few extras during those days of the year I don´t actually have to work !

So guys, I don´t want to revel too much about my next trips as things are just not fixed yet, but I am very excited and I will for sure write a few words down, might even need some help. Stop 1 is in a couple of weeks!

Please do share your experience with me and let me know how it went, I am very curious and excited at the same time!

Love

xoxo

Pete

ps: don´t forget to check out @thepeteway

2017: Make this a better one

Hi guys!

I hope you had an incredible Christmas this year, with those you love the most close to you and lots and lots of cookies and presents 🙂

As of me yup, I can say I had the usual hectically fun and filled with family and friends Christmas. We had the usual extended family Christmas Eve dinner, on the next day we went to eat out (yeah well as if we didn´t have enough left overs at home to feed half of the country, but whatever) and on Boxing day we had brunch altogether. Somehow we had a small gathering on the day after Christmas as well, just to make sure we didn’t miss out on anyone this year either. Sometimes I wonder why people have to pack their yearly family visits in 3 days, don’t we have another like 362 available for this kind of stuff? Well anyway, the fun and the stress are kind of over now as I am back to work 🙂

NYE was 2 days ago. Wow, 2016 is officially over. I usually take this time of the year to look back for a second and contemplate (as if I don’t contemplate enough anyway :). So how was this 2016?

Well, musically seen, a catastrophe. How many deaths did we have? Let me see…let´s list them..

  • George Michael (December)
  • Sharon Jones (November)
  • Leon Russell (November)
  • Leonard Cohen (November)
  • John Berry – Beastie Boys (May)
  • Prince (April)
  • Merle Haggard (April)
  • Phife Dawg (March)
  • Frank Sinatra Jr. (March)
  • Joey Feek (March)
  • Denise Matthews (February)
  • Maurice White (February)
  • Paul Kantner – Jefferson Airplane (January)
  • Glenn Frey – Eagles (January)
  • David Bowie (January)

SO yes we can´t really say it has been a good year from this point of view, but hmm What else happened? Trump happened. Yes, Obama will be followed by him, I don´t think there is a need to comment this one.

Brexit happened. No comment on this one either.

In Europe we didn´t have an easy year either, terror attacks were , Nizza and Berlin are just two of a longer list of examples. If you are curiour to see the whole list you can click on this link:

Terror Attacks – 2016

If I think about this I still get goosebumps. So many innocent souls have gone and who knows how many more will do if this doesn’t stop. I am not sure about you but I feel so helpless, all we can do is try to stand up for our beliefs and show we have no fear. But do we really have no fear? I am not so sure about this one either. I got mixed feedbacks while talking about it to different people (of various ages, and backgrounds), some of them are actually scared and are worried about their future. Not only because of the terror attacks but also because of the immigrants ‘situation in the continent, people are starting to feel uneasy, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I guess this is a normal reaction to the unknown. As for me, I do believe it is our responsibility to help those in need if we can, yet I am saddened by fact that many people do fake their identities to get asylum, and therefore take away a share from what is for those really in need.

Anyway, on the brigher side..

 if you think back and you push all of this negativity away from your aura, what comes to your mind? What made you happy this year? What did you improve? Did you do something good to yourself and those around you? Did you help a stranger in need?

On a personal level I have to say my 2016 was pretty much packed with things to do, trips and organizational things.

This year I have been in Italy, Spain (twice), Hungary (twice), Emirates, Seychelles, and probably some other place I can´t remember as of now… I got married and got to see my family and friends altogether (which does not happen very often by the way) and I got to see some really good friends I haven’t seen in a very long time! I learnt to appreciate myself, and to listen to my heart. Well sometimes to my head too.

I did some charity work, I turned thirty (love this age by the way) and last, but not least, I will become an aunty in summer J (my brother in law and his fiancée are having a baby !)

So yes, I can definitely say I had a good year. Really good year. And I am looking forward to having an even better 2017.

I will not make a bucket list this time, instead, each time something really good happens to me, I will write a note and throw it in a jar. At the end of 2017 I will take my notes out of the jar and remind myself that good things happen. Did you consider the idea as well?

If you didn´t, you definitely should!

Have a blessed 2017 beautiful people ❤

xoxo

Pete

ps: Don´t forget to check out my Instagram page @thepeteway

HalloWHAT?

Sunday, October 30th. The western world is going crazy looking for scary costumes, reserving tickets in clubs for theme parties and to be honest looking mostly quite ridiculous. Tomorrow is Halloween. Or actually, “All Hallows Day”, or like we call it in Europe, “All Saints´Day” (in Hungary and Germany – as well as some other Countries in Europe –  this is celebrated on November 1st).

But what does that really represent? Most people link the festivity to trick or treating, costume parties, skulls and pumpkins. In reality Halloween represents the beginning of a three day observance of the death. It is a time on which people in most of the Catholic countries take time to remember the lost ones. Even though I believe our lost, loved ones should be (and are) constantly in our hearts, this period of the year is a good one to bring families together.

img_7236Unfortunately I think the real meaning of this celebration has been lost, and it turned more pagan then spiritual. Sure it is fun and I think it is a very nice evening / night for the kids. If I will have kids I might bring them all over the place as well, funnily dressed looking for sweets in the neighbourhood. But let´s go one step back and see what All Saint´s Day is.

All Saints, in Catholic communities, is celebrated on November 1st and commemorates all the Saints “living in heaven”. On November 2nd however, the commemoration extends to the death.

I have seen many celebrations, but my favourite cult (in the sense that I find it interesting, not that I would do it myself) of the death is the Mexican one. In 2014 I visited a Mexican cemetery in Merida, and I have to say I was impressed by the colours and the flair it had. Some of the graves are painted in the deaths´favourite colour, and the bones are visible for all to see. The family waits for the decomposition process of the body to be over,extracts and cleans the remaining bones from the grave, and places them in a box right next to it. I don´t know the spiritual meaning of this, but if you do know pls comment below or send me an Email through the contact form. I would love to have more insights on this practise.

Among others, here you can see the picture of a sculpture in which a woman checks the pulse of her dead husband (picture taken in Merida, Mexico). This symbolises hope. The corpse is left at home for about 24 hours for the family to mourn, after that the heart rate is checked again to make sure the person did really pass away. I am not sure this is a tradition all over Mexico, but I really found interesting when I saw it in Merida.

 

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Sculpture of a woman checking the heart rate of her husband, to make sure he really passed away.

 


On All Saints day, the cemetery fills up with people and donations to the death are made, sometimes their favourite meals are cooked or favourite objects are brought over. I find this very interesting, even though I would like to gain more insights as per the meaning of this ritual. Family and friends gather together on the Dia de Muertos, remembering all the lost ones. Personally I find the meaning of such gatherings more powerful than those of Halloween, which, as I said, has been turned into more of a pagan than a religious celebration.

Anyway, I am personally not at against Halloween at all, I find it interesting to see what kind of costumes people come up with and I did attend enough parties of the sort in my life. I did go trick or treating as well, but having spent most of my childhood in Italy I have rather celebrated Carnival (usually in February). There I always had a costume, my favourite one was a Sailor Moon costume self made by my mother, too bad I don´t have a picture to show (or maybe it is better this way hehe).

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Outside decoration of a café in an industrial area of Munich, Germany

If I had to put on a costume again, I would probably copy (oh wow copy cat) one from Adriana Lima (click on the link below to see the look!) – Love it !

Best celebrity Halloween costumes of all time

What are you wearing this year? Share it with us and comment in the below fields, or send me an E-mail 🙂

To all the kids (and parents) out there, happy trick or treating tomorrow !

Lots of love

Pete xx

 

Frozen Strawberry Bowl

Today I would like to present to you one of my favourite breakfast (or snack – you can eat it anytime) bowls 🙂 I am not here to tell you the health benefits etc, 1- because I am not sure there are any, and 2- because I am not a nutritionist. All I can tell you is mostly anything which contains grains and fruits, automatically contains lots of carbs and sugar. But honestly, we live once, so try to find a good balance and don’t deprive yourself of the joys of life 😉

The bowl I am going to present to you right now is VERY easy and quick to make, and it almost tastes like ice cream (compromises are great, yaaaay!)

I eat it often because I am a sweet tooth, I love fruits (especially berries) and my all time favourite food is ice cream. If you think you have something in common with me you should definitely read this till the end, get up, go buy the ingredients, taste and, if you like it (or not) share your thoughts with me!

All you need are:

  • 300g of frozen strawberries (room temperature will not give you that ice cream feeling)
  • 100g of white yoghurt (I use a fat free one)
  • A drop of milk (dairy or non, whichever you prefer)
  • 25g of your favourite Müsli (I used Crunchy Chocolate Müsli from Brüggen) – if you don’t want to increase the sugar amount in this recipe leave the müsli out! But it will not be the same 🙂
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Coconut (in chunks or not)
  • One tea spoon of Chia

So now that you have everything here is what you need to do:

  • Crash the strawberries with a mixer and both the milk and the yoghurt to it, and keep mixing

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  • Once ready, serve to taste (I tend to overdo on this one) and top with the other ingredients

That´s it.

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Easy huh? If you have any comments, or thoughts, don´t hesitate to share below and check out my Instagram account @thepeteway

Lots of Love!

Pete xx

 

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Vitamin Green

This year, just like every other year, I punctually caught a flue as soon as the flue season started. It has been going on for two weeks now, yep it really put me down!

Last week I gave up taking medications as I realized I wasn´t getting better anyway, and I followed the advice of a friend. I downloaded an Application from GU called “Grüne Smoothies” (green smoothies). To be honest I was never a big fan of green ones.. till this weekend. I really needed vitamins so I tried something full of them, but still tasty and refreshing. Oh yes, and something very very quick without the need of any fancy overly priced ingriedents 😉

All you need are a couple of fresh goodies, 10 minute time and a mixer (I use my to go WMF mixer as I usually take these to work) 🙂

So now, here you go:

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 or 2 ripe bananas
  • 100 to 150g of fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 500 ml of water

Instructions:

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  1. Wash the baby spinach leaves, throw away the ones which you think may be gone bad, and dry them with some kitchen paper.
  2. Cut each apple into slices, removing all seeds.
  3. Cut the banana
  4. Cut the lemon and remove skin
  5. Add everything in the mixer and pour the water gradually to adjust to taste
  6. Mix mix mix
  7. Drinkkkk

Easy right? I usually leave in the fridge overnight so that I can enjoy it really cold and the taste blends together. I am not sure about any super foods you could add or super trendy ingredients or super whatever, I just know it tastes good, it is refreshing, and it gives me some energy when I need it 🙂

Hopefully you are healthier then me guys, but if not, pls share all your thoughts and suggestions on how to get better soooon !

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Let me know what you think, any good ideas for improvement are very welcome!

Good night and enjoy!

xx

Pete

 

 

 

Dubai: lost between sand dunes and black gold.

In my almost 30 years old (or young) life I have seen many stunning landscapes, unbelievable architectures, and I´ve met so many people..some happy and some less happy (surprisingly, the poorer the country the more smiles greeted me).

But to be honest, regardless of the many impressions I collected from all around the globe, I was still astonished when I touched down in Dubai: an island of hope in the middle of a deserted place.

The city itself is very modern; I think it probably offers the latest technology in the world.

The looks of it is quite futuristic, many skyscrapers, glass buildings.. like New York .. yes, New York minus the historic buildings.

There are endless options to dine and drink out, many clubs and even more beach clubs. And yes, the shopping possibilities are endless, for prices which I have to say are lower than here in Frankfurt. Dining out didn’t prove to be that expensive either, unless you want to have an alcoholic drink. Alcohol has ridiculous prices, I know all the wines I drank and I can assure you I would pay a quarter of the price here in Europe
🙂 but again, when it comes to wine I can understand, the bottles are sometimes hard to fine and rare, they have to be cooled to a certain temperature (which has to be held constant) and some wines are not always easy to find, plus they have to be imported,  there are high taxes and let´s face it, it is a muslim country..so price (almost) explained right there.

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On top of the Burj Khalifa

I was fascinated by the Fountain show, which I had the pleasure to experience both from the top of the Burj Khalifa and from right in front of it. The first few impressions passed my mind really quickly, but at some point I got lost in the magic, and I started to enjoy what took place in front of me. I stopped thinking, it was like everything else stopped as well. I forgot about all the people around me (and believe me, for someone like me who doesn’t enjoy masses, they were just a little too many people there)..I got lost in the water ´s movement to the rhythm, ironically I can´t remember which song was on, but I think it was something by Enrique Iglesias (though to be honest I am not a big fan of his!). So anyway my point is, if you are in Dubai do go to the fountain.

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View of the Fountain from the top.

I also loved the Aqua World at Atlantis, the Palm. It was lots of fun, but the slides did hit my stomach at some point and I started to nauseate. Just as a note:  I don’t do any weird amusement park games to start with, so I am happy I made this one through.

Ok fine, I didn’t try all the slides. There is one, the Poseidon – or, the free fall, like I like to call it – which I wouldn´t try for all the money in the world. My husband (yes, I have been married for a couple of weeks now – yay) did that one twice! This was partially my fault, as I was supposed to film his fall, but I accidentally pressed something wrong on the phone and it turned off.

The point of the slide is to walk up to one of the highest points of the park (I did the walking up part; it was really worth the view, so do it even if you know you won´t slide!) and then the people responsible for this lock you up in a capsule. After a brief countdown the ground disappears from below you and you just fall, and fall and fall until you land in a pool. Idiotic, I know. I don’t need that kind of adrenaline.

 

Another thing I loveeed about the city was the “old” town.  No skyscrapers there, just workers and probably economically not so advantaged people. But I didn’t care; they were all nice to us.

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Old Town Dubai

The Gold market was very interesting, and so was the Spices market. Just as a side note – handle handle handle! We got ripped off like never before. Usually we are relatively experienced travelers who can handle down prices at local markets. This time we were probably exhausted due to the weather, the many things we have done and the hype the air conditioning gave us. We did go to the market and we did buy a few spices (which I better use soon) – we even bought some nuts and some dates (really not that many) for the astronomical “never again” price of 100€. Yup. So take care people !

 

 

 

We saw so much and the above are just a few of the highlights! Anyhow .. regardless of all the glam and the surreal life, I still wouldn´t live in Dubai. I know lots of people do it for the money, you earn more, spend less and can later on build a whole new life free of debts pretty much anywhere you want.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong in loving the city or wanting to live there, but it is just not me. I could probably bear a maximum of 2 or 3 years working in Dubai, not more.

I need seasons; I need sun, rain, wind and snow. I need a cold Christmas and a warm summer. I want to feel happy to go somewhere warm when in my country we have negative temperatures.

I have the need to sit in my garden, or enjoy a pool without sweating. Walking instead of driving, picking flowers, and fruits from fields. I need fresh air, and green. I need nature around me, mountains, lakes, life. I don’t want to feel that the only thing which really counts is money and I don’t have the need to drive a Lamborghini through the desert (though I probably wouldn’t mind owning one, but then again, somewhere with no speed limit J )

I can´t imagine running from one AC to the next, and even though I loved the glam, I need to be able to go down buy groceries in my pajamas (note: hair, mani and pedi done, but those jogging pants …. Gotta love them!  )

One more thing I missed is history. I love history, I always did. If there´s no nature then I need history. I love old buildings, whether in Colonial or Victorian style, Baroque or Gothic.. I love them all. And I love walking in tiny medieval streets, between bricks and stones. I love local bakeries, walking to get my fresh bread on Sundays and I love cultural preservation.

Moral of the story: Dubai is definitely worth a visit (or two, or three), but it is not the place I would move to if I had a choice. I know for some this might sound harsh, but I guess this is a matter of opinion and taste.

What about you? Did you ever go? If you have any suggestions for my next visit, or any comment you think could change my opinion just share it!

Lots of love xx

Pete