My Balcony

This is the story of my balcony. One day, I moved into an apartment with a balcony. It was much nicer than the one I had in Japan, so I decided to do lots of things to make it prettier.

The thing is, you see, I really suck at keeping things alive… I’ve managed to kill (so far) – 2 sunflowers and 3 lavender plants.

My one success, however, are the tomato plants a friend gave to me. I got them when they were teeny tiny and now they are huge. So big, I have to keep buying them bigger and bigger pots. I could have sworn I had photos of the tomatoes that are growing on there as well… I guess they’ll have to wait for another post.

While I’m still cocky with my tomato success, I planted some daisies and some other plants that I promptly forgot what they were. I was worried because the packets said to plant them  in June but I planted them on the 1st July… Shh… don’t tell the plants!

Lastly I bought some pretty bunting from Accessorize so bring a little British-ness to my balcony. I’m hoping to buy a little table and two chairs to put out there but the noise from the main road outside is pretty noisy so I don’t know if I’ll actually achieve my dream of nice breakfasts outside in the sun.

I just replanted one of the tomato plants since there was 3 in one pot. I had to break a few of the tiny roots to do so, so I hope it’ll survive. I’ll be so upset if they died, too…

Any gardening advice is greatly appreciated!

GlossyBox July (Germany)

 

So I’m a little late with this. To be absolutely honest, with last month’s German GlossyBox being a complete fail, I opened this one expecting to be wowed but I wasn’t. So my motivation to post about this also went out the window…

This is what my GlossyBox contained-

Alessandro Pedix Feet Heel Rescue Balm

Wow, Alessandro two months in a row? They much be paying big money. While I wasn’t impressed with the nail varnish last month, this cream is pretty decent. I really dislike my feet so anything that claims to make them better is very appealing to me. I’ve been using this every day for about 3 days now. After I put it on, my heel looks a lot less yucky but overall I’ve not noticed much difference.

Acene Suncream SPF 50+

Huh, from one extreme to the next… After having a SPF 6 sun oil in the last box, they’ve gone to the other end of the scale here. I’ve not used it outside yet, though I did put it on my arms the other day just to see how it was. Apparently it’s meant to leave a nice matt finish. I thought it was just the same as normal sun lotion. When the weather gets better I’ll try it out some more and report my findings.

C:EHKO Intensive Care Shampoo

I have a lot of shampoo to use up… I’m still really enjoying the L’Oreal one I got in my very first GlossyBox. So don’t hold your breath for the review for this – it may be a while!

Dermasel Spa Sea Mask

A small sachet of this… looks interesting! I might try this out after my Chinese class tonight.

Secret Brand Lipstick – Full Size

The brand for this is meant to be secret, but someone should warn them that there’s a massive MaxFactor X on the side of it… This is a dark brown lipstick. A strange choice for summer… I’ll swatch it and write about it later, maybe. I don’t think I’ll be using it though.

I also got a sleeping mask. I’ve never really used one before… I guess now is the time to try!

Overall, I’m not excited about this box. Aside from the heel cream there’s nothing I would have bought myself. Maybe the shampoo is super duper amazing. I think I’ll judge GlossyBox on their next box and if it’s not slightly better I’ll move onto another company. I read about a different German based one the other day so I might give that a go.

I’m still waiting patiently for a fashion subscription service, like Little Black Bag in the US. Come on guys, there’s money to be made here!!

July Links!

 

Here is collection of links that I have found interesting recently. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! It’s easy for me to find all these links because I post random crap on Dove’s wall ALL THE TIME so it’s like my little link haven.

50 Sheds of Grey. Who knew gardens could be so sexy. Some favourites – “‘You sure you want this? When I’m done you won’t be able to sit down for weeks.’ She nodded. ‘OK’ I said, putting the 3-piece suite on Ebay.”  ‘I’m a very naughty girl,’ she said, biting her lip, ‘I need to be punished.’ So I invited my mother to stay for the weekend.”

Oh God, My Wife Is German. VERY funny blog that anyone who has dated someone from another country will find hilarious.

OK Cupid Enemies. It’s addictive and you will spend 4 hours looking at this site and the only thing that will come of it will be that you will hate mankind. You have been warned.

Birds with Arms. No explanation needed.

Would you like to buy milk that has been gargled by a rich, beautiful girl? You can do so here...

And lastly NSFW period + fashion.

 

 

Bubble Tea – Micha (Zeilgalerie)

Our bubble tea adventure continued to Micha in Zeilgalerie. I’d been around when this opened in the Christmas vacation and there was a massive queue to go there so I was quite looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about.

As you can see, there is quite a lot to choose from…

There were also yummy macaroons on sale! The girl at the counter was pretty friendly and the service was ok. There was only a little sofa in the corner to sit on – I think the main idea is that you walk around the shopping centre with the drinks.

I had a vanilla frappucchino with tapioca and Dove had kiwi tea with lemon jelly.

Here are our scores (/10)

Price – 8 (3.70 euros)

Range – 7 (Dove says there’s lots of fruit!)

Taste – 7

Bubbles – 8

Drink – 7

My frappe was kinda like icecream – it tasted just like a McDonald’s shake. And there wasn’t much ice in it which was good!

Not one of the better bubble tea places but a convenient location.

Find Micha inside Zielgalerie on Ziel shopping street, between Galeria and My Ziel.

Inspiring Blogger Award

So, I have been awarded the Very Inspiring Blogger Award from the wonderful I Talk You Talk Languages. This is my first award like this so it’s very exciting!

Apparently, I have to-

- Display the award logo on your blog. - Link back to the person who nominated you. – State 7 things about yourself. – Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them. – Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

 So… 7 things about me.

1. I usually blog from my bed. I’ll sit in bed on a weekend morning, eating pancakes and fruit, and blog until my fingers fall off.

2. I tell people I started studying Japanese because I wanted to make more Japanese friends. The real reason is that I really fancied this Japanese guy who was part of an exchange programme in my hometown and I wanted to go to Japan and find him. Turns out I did find him and we met up again the year before last. He’s still pretty hot…

3. I started studying Chinese in the memory of a Chinese student of mine who died. He went to the Japanese JHS that I used to teach at, and when he died his parents had even more trouble because they didn’t understand a word of Japanese. If it hadn’t been for the councilor at the school who just happened to be Chinese (very very rare for a foreigner to work in a job a Japanese person could do), then they wouldn’t have been able to communicate to arrange the funeral, speak with the school… or all those other things. I realised that it’s really important to know languages – it sucks being scared and lonely in a country whose language you don’t speak. But if you’re in need of help and you don’t speak the language then it must be the worst. I hope I can put my languages to good use some day.

4. I don’t miss much from home other than the people and the shopping. The British highstreet is a wonderful place.

5. I have a balcony of plants that I’m trying to keep alive. I suck at keeping things alive. I have killed 2 sunflowers and 3 lavender plants, but my hibiscus and my two tomato plants are doing ok.

6. I can make a mean curry.

7. At 6th form (the last two years of British schooling that are not compulsory, where students study and take exams in order to go to university) my French teacher told me that I “just couldn’t do languages” and that I should give up on Japanese because if I couldn’t do even French, how could I do Japanese. Although his words don’t fuel my linguist spirit, having experienced such a shit teacher I made it my mission to never be like that to my students and I always told them that I believed in them. Some of the students I cared for the most were the ones whom the Japanese teachers had given up on. I made sure they knew that they had it in them if they just found their dream, just like I did.

And then my nominations… I don’t think I’ll do 15 because I want to pick people that write really inspirational things. Quality over quantity, you know!

1. Right back at you, I Talk You Talk Langauges! This lady is a freelance Japanese translator in Japan and writes the most amazing accounts of her life in Japan. I read her stuff and can really relate to it on a level that makes me feel like I’m right back there again.

2. Mode & Stil – My blogger buddy Ines writes in German (you can cheat and use Chrome’s translations if you like…) but she is a really inspirational fashion and beauty blogger. I’m really glad I found her.

3. Clareabelle Makes – A crafty lady who makes me want to be much more crafty too!

4. Lost In Travels – A lovely couple living and blogging from South Korea. I love their stories of their kindy kids and just general Korean happenings.

5. Beautiful Smudges – A British beauty blogger in Germany – who writes in German as well! Anyone who has the motivation and drive to blog in another language, and who is brave enough to put their skills out there in public is ok by me.

6. Exploring Maybeland - My friend here in Frankfurt who is inspirational on an emotional level. She’s had some hard battles recently but she’s one heck of a strong woman. A true inspiration.

Wow, only 6! I think that’s enough, though. There are other inspirational blogs that I read but they are pretty big already and I doubt they’d care if little old me came to give them an award…

Happy Saturday!

Keeping Makeup on my Face

For years I have been battling with one beauty difficulty – makeup just won’t stay on my face. Mainly my eyelids. I tried buying more expensive makeup, and I tried different kinds (like gel eyeliner). Nothing stays on – or if it does, it stays on the top of my eyelid…

So I have managed to make a small collection of things that supposedly glue my makeup to my face. I thought maybe I should review them all, just in case someone else out there has the same problem as myself. So, let’s get stuck in!

The first product I ever had for this is Benefit’s She Laq liquid (the blue bottle). Sadly this has now been discontinued but it seems that there are a few people selling it on Ebay if you are desperate for some. It came with lots of little brushes which I promptly lost, but the brush in the liquid is like a nail varnish brush so I use that to apply it now.

Sometimes when applying it, if I’m not careful it runs into my eye which isn’t nice. When it dries my skin feels stiff and I’m away of me having it on my eyes all day long. It keeps my eyeliner in place but places like the corner of my eye still have blurred makeup after a while. Out of all the reviews I saw online for this, I didn’t see a bad one. But this product just doesn’t sit right with me. I still have most of the bottle left.

Once I got back from Japan, I was able to buy Urban Decay products (yay for the UK!) so I bought their Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I saw a lot of reviews online suggesting that this was the answer to my problem.

As advertised, it is pretty good. You only need a tiny tiny blob of it – and in fact if you use too much, or don’t rub it in well enough, you can see where you’ve applied it – and it lasts a long, long time. This one really kept the eyeliner on my lids and made my eyeshadow’s colours a lot brighter. The problem I mentioned about it not being very blendable and showing where you applied it made me want to try something new instead. That’s when I headed over to Mac.

The gorgeous Yolande at Crafty Memories suggested them to me and said that they have an awesome spray. It happened to be that around the same time I watched a Youtube video talking about a Mac spray as well so with two recommendations at the ready, I thought I’d better go see what’s what. Mac have recently set up shop in my favourite shop Douglas in Frankfurt, so I went to the very nice man and told him my dilema. Sure enough, he produced some spray – the Mac Fix Plus spray. He also let me try some of the Paint Pot eyeshadow/primer in Bare Mineral.

I must say that out of all the things I’ve  tried, this combo works the best for me. The key with the spray is to spray it once before you put your makeup on and then once again afterwards. When I’ve come home from work but need to go back out and don’t have time to re-do my makeup, one quick spray of that means that my existing makeup looks fresh again. With the Paint Pot, I use it as a primer under my eyeliner and other eyeshadow. It works really well by itself as well for a natural look.

Out of all the things I have, I use the Mac products mostly – almost every day – with the odd day where I use some of my other products too. The Mac wins for me because I can’t feel the products, they blend into my normal makeup and they really do the trick.

Do you use products like these? Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to know!

Charlotte Answers

Here’s a new feature – Charlotte answers! Every day I get a list of google searches that have brought people to my blog. Sometimes they are bang on and I know that my blog has their answer. Sometimes, I look and know that I haven’t written about what they were looking for. So, here I would like to answer some!

Girly things to do in Frankfurt…?

Well, there’s not much that’s specifically for girls that you can’t get anywhere else. Girly chats in a teashop? A day at a spa? You can even get ridiculously expensive high tea at some hotels. I’m sorry… there isn’t much to do here.

Makeup for celiacs. I just googles this myself (after being very skeptical that this is a thing) and it turns out that gluten in makeup may be harmful!! Is nothing sacred?! I have no advice for this. I don’t think my allergy is strong enough for me to watch what makeup I use…

Any restaurant that won’t let you wear sparkles is a restaurant that’s not good enough! End of!

What to tell friends who want to come live in Frankfurt?

On Toytown there are ALWAYS people posting asking what to expect from Frankfurt. Things you might tell them include “start looking for an apartment asap”, “yes you can live well in Frankfurt on your salary”, “things are pretty cheap here”, “there are mainly expats here so you’ll be able to find that home comfort if you search hard enough” and “it’s only dull/boring/lonely” here if you don’t try to make the most of your time here.

Nintendo office hours (for the Niederrad offices anyway) vary depending on the person you’re trying to get hold of. Most people work from 10, until around 6. Germany people tend to be in much earlier, as are the testers. Producers, CC people, and managers are often working until ungodly hours.

One day of shopping in Frankfurt… it’s not that exciting. You might want to try the airport shopping centre (which is also open on Sundays). But you shouldn’t come to Frankfurt purely to shop, unless you are one of the hundreds of Chinese tourists who come here and buy overpriced stuff from all the designer shops.

 

This was pretty fun to do so I hope to do another one soon! I hope people continue to find my blog through random-tastic google searches!!

Mutiger Montag 23.07.12

Monday came around so quickly this time… But at least I was more prepared for Mutiger Montag! The concept, that I’ve written about before, came from my blogger buddie Ines and involves everyone wearing or using someone that they usually don’t have the guts to wear or use, every Monday. Be it those tights that are just too bright or that necklace that could anchor a boat, bring out all your stuff that’s gathering dust and love them!!

 

 

So, just a little disclaimer – I such at taking photos of myself. Always the one with the camera, never the one having my own photo taken – I just suck.

So anyway. My Mutiger point yesterday was to dress more “me”. I love pink. I love girly, bright, sparkly things. I often tone it down because I don’t want to alarm people. But yesterday in the spirit of being Mutiger, I dressed exactly how I wanted to dress. This was especially brave since I went to an event in the evening where I would meet lots of new friends, and usually I wouldn’t want to scare them away. In the end someone said I look like I came straight out of Wonderland but otherwise it was pretty positive! And I felt more positive too!

Not only was my outfit all pink, but my bracelet too. I love this – it was made by women in Nepal to help protect them from human trafficking. I’ll write a proper post on them later this week but I love this – it’s pink and it reminds me that I’m lucky to be where I am, and it allowed me to help those less fortunate than myself.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE PINK!!!

Yup, even my shoes – which I have previously thought to be too much for work – came out yesterday. BAM!

I really hope we can spread this concept of Mutiger Montag. We spend so much time worrying how other people see us that we forget to be who we are. I love having the opportunity to express myself more in my style every Monday. YOU SHOULD JOIN ME!!

 

 

 

Burgers in Frankfurt- Eschenheimer Turm

The next stop on the journey to find Frankfurt’s best burger takes us to Eschenheimer Turm (more commonly known as “Tower Bar”). Just north of Hauptwache, it’s a mainly outdoor restaurant and bar with a tower that looks like a princess would be living at the top of it. Alas, there are nothing but toilets up there (that are very difficult to get to when drunk…)

The “Tower Burger” here is pretty famous but after a few menu reshuffles in the past year, it seems that this is no longer available, though there is an “Eschenheimer Burger”, seen above.

I didn’t have a burger myself (the salads here are pretty awesome) but I’m told that they were “ok”. It’s certainly not a posh burger and the buns and chips look like they’ve just been heated up from the freezer, but apparently the beef was pretty tasty. At just under 8 euros, it’s probably mid range on the Frankfurt burger market.

What I was really interested in, however was of course the homemade lemonade. This was on special promotion and was really refreshing. A little on the sharp side, though it went down very nicely. On the lemonade chart, I’d put it a little to the south of the lemonade from Yours Australian bar, which currently has the number 1 spot.

You can find Tower Bar at Eschenheimer Tor 45, Direkt im Eschenheimer Turm, 60318 Frankfurt am Main.