Jun 27, 2012
Originally, this post was titled "nesting", showing my efforts to making me feel more at home in my room. Things have changed though, and today will mark the last day in my first appartment here in Hamburg. This move was of the unexpected, scary kind that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
You see, my landlord told me I had to move out on VERY short notice. On even shorter notice, I did manage to find an appartment in a much nicer area, closer to my friends, with more room, for the same price. So, if he hadn't forced me out I would have never started looking myself and had never stumbled on the new place. Sometimes things really happen for a reason.
Farewell first room. I will miss your big window, but not much else.

on a rooftop at night.

Jun 21, 2012
The first two weeks in Hamburg I stayed at my dear friend Anne's house.
One balmy night, with beer and blankets in tow, we tiptoed across the attic and climbed up the old wobbly ladder to the rooftop. We were listening to Ben Howard, spilling drinks and laughing; the sleeping city beneath our feet, the moon seemingly within our reach.

how to: make elderflower syrup {with vanilla}.

Jun 18, 2012
My Mama is the kind of resourceful woman, who can create everything out of nothing. When we went for walks during the summer months, here and there she would pick greens, flowers and berries, just from the side of the road, and the next day, with her pickings in hand, she'd make some magic in the kitchen. Like this elderflower syrup.

At this time of year, you can find elderflower literally everywhere. Near rivers, in parks, on the road side; just keep an eye out. A tip, only pick the freshest flower heads and leave the ones past their prime. Also, pick on more than one spots, so the bush will have enough flowers left to spread itself and grow berries (for juice!) later in the year.
Elderberry syrup can be used in many ways. We always make lemonade by adding a splash of syrup to a glass of water (or coconut juice).
But who's to say you can't pour some in your drink? Vodka Elderflower sounds intriguing. To go with a classic "Hugo", as we call it in Germany, mix equal parts sparkling water and prosecco, add a splash of elderflower syrup, some mint leaves and a lime slice. It is a most refreshing and delicious drink for the summer time.

Recipe for Elderflower Syrup
from my Mama

1 organic lemon
~ 500 g sugar (although I just winged it and used a bit less)
500 ml water
~ 15 elderflower heads
1 vanilla bean (see variations)

Wash lemon and cut in slices. Put sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a bit, then set aside to cool. In a clean glass jar, put in lemon slices and elderflower heads and pour syrup on top.
Covered, let it steep for 2-3 days on a cool spot (I put it in the fridge) and stir occasionally.
Strain through a sieve or cheese cloth and bring to a quick boil once more. Still hot, pour in clean bottles or jars. Store in the fridge.

*Variation 1: you can also add the lemon slices in the beginning and let boil with the water. This will result in a somewhat more bitter flavour. I  prefer it this way.
*Variation 2: slice a vanilla bean in half, scrape out seeds and add both to boil with the water. Leave in to steep.
Let me know if you like it. Do you use elderflower syrup in your kitchen?

when I grow up, I want a tipi in my house.

Jun 15, 2012
It all started when I visited Sukha, a beautiful eco concept store on the Haarlemmerstraat in Amsterdam, a couple of months ago. Upon entering, my eyes gazed upon this:
Before fully realising what I was looking at, my mind already drew all these lovely images of me and friends reading, laughing and dreaming in a beautifully lit up and cozy tent, in a hidden corner of my house.
It took all my grown up reserve not to jump into this bed of pillows right there.
So I made a pact with myself. After I will leave my nomad life, that doesn't allow me stay at a place for more than 6 months at a time, behind me, I will pitch a tipi in the living room of my future house.
Indoor tipi magic
magic Outdoor tent
It will be soft, full of pillows and blankets with twinkly lights and lots of space for dreams and love and magic. After the grand opening, I'll have you over for some tea.

What are you going to dream about this weekend?

1/ 2/ 3/ 4
pics from my obsessive tipi board on pinterest. i tried to link to the original source wherever possible. 

with M.

Jun 13, 2012

Last week, my M. came to Hamburg for a first visit.
We walked along the harbour. We went for coffee in colorful neighbourhoods. He made us breakfast.
Most notably, everyday after work, at 6 pm on the dot, he waited for me in the lobby, reading the paper. Then we cycled home together.
I miss him.

vegan carrot ginger cookies with olive oil.

Jun 12, 2012

After a few weeks on the road, I finally had the muse and the oven to bake again.
Out of necessity, without either eggs or butter in the house, I opted for vegan carrot oatmeal cookies. According to some suggestions, I added lemon zest, used olive instead of coconut oil, regular sugar and substituted almond slivers for walnuts.
They were not overly sweet, with a slightly earthy undertone from the olive oil. My friends and I finished them off in a, even for us, ridiculously fast pace.

Find the recipe on Heidi's blog, 101cookbooks.

tourist guilt.

Jun 1, 2012
On vacation and trips, I don’t usually do things according to standard. Whether that means, in Paris, spending more time in restaurants than in museums. In Indonesia, surfing and playing in the water for 5 weeks, without touching the ground of a single temple. In Andalusia, spending time with my friends, instead of exploring the insides of ancient churches.
teatea bagsOn occasion though, a rare phenomenon takes place. I like to call it „tourist guilt“. It's that small voice in your head, telling you what a model tourist would do: “Hey, you’re in a new place! Go out and walk around! How about a museum? Take pictures! Meet people!”
Usually I am really good at ignoring that voice and doing whatever I feel like instead. That was, until my visit to ’s-Hertogenbosch last month. I wanted nothing more than to sit in that cozy café at the corner and read my magazine, while waiting for M’s interview to finish.
But never before have I been struck with a more serious case of tourist guilt. So I gave up, put my camera around my neck and, grudgingly, started walking. 
With every corner I turned, with every photograph I took, my contentedness grew. Finding bright red berries hiding in bushes and stumbling upon an old man, fishing in the canals.
A two-hour walk through the streets of Den Bosch later, I did sit down in a quiet café overlooking the canals and pondered the experience. Looking down at my camera full of new pictures, I just felt happy.
At odd times, it can be worth giving in to the “tourist guilt”. After all, you will be rewarded with an adventure, entering the threshold of a new city with all its novelty and secrets still before you, waiting to be uncovered. ---

Have you ever experienced "tourist guilt"?