Because in this crazy time, many people and places are struggling to survive, I think now is the time for some "sharing for caring" In this case, I am sharing with you how to help MachMit! Museum for kids to stay alive. This was our favorite place to go with the kids, and it was in my neighborhood. Because of all the actual restrictions, they are closed and struggling. So they found out a way for us to help.
I'll start talking about their Zwergtüten. You can find them outside of the museum and take them home to enjoy with your kids. They have fun projects like the necklace we made from the picture on top. You can leave some donations and just grab a project. Here I'll show you some we got to have fun with.
My niece came by, and we made "Fimo-Spoons". It works like play-doh, and you can bake them for them to harden. Now we have created 6 spoons to use for breakfast or delicious desserts. Super easy to make the kids love them!
You can help them buying some awesome shirts like one Pepa and my niece are wearing. They have 3 designs and they come in Kids sizes: 104 / 116 / 128 / 140 / 152, and adult sizes: S / M / L and they cost 20 euro.
Another way to help them would be to buy a voucher for your next visit or get an abo with them, you can find more info about this and the t-shirts on their website.
We loved making the necklaces from sticks, as much as the kids loved making stamps from Milk cartons. My niece, Sofia, is 10 and Pepa 4 and they had some days of fun with them.
We used the stamps to make postcards for all of their friends to send them some lovely sunny wishes. Pepa didn't know how to chose whom she should send all her cards.
Here you can see how the necklaces look like and the materials we used. Everything comes in the Zwergetüte... even the spoons and sticks.
Both girls were so distracted and entertained that I got to have some fun with Otis and my sister. And have a breather of the constant need to entertain the kids. And last but not least, we made some wooden creatures.. Look at our piggy!
So let's save MachMit! Get a t-shirt or a voucher or get yourself some awesome projects to make at home with the kids... but do something! I really hope to be back there with the kids once the Pandemic is over. Thank you all!
MACHmit! Museum für Kinder gGmbH
Telefon: 030 74778200
I bought a long time ago a paper roll holder at IKEA, but it just didn't fit Pepa's desk. So it has been stored waiting for me to use it in a project. After having a big drama at home because we couldn't find a Tonie figure for some weeks, I decided to get a shelf or something to store them while being accessible.
I found some cool ones, but sadly they were WAY out of my budget. Then a little light bulb went on over my head, and I decided to make a Tonie shelf with the paper holder in it included.
This corner started as a sink. I removed the sink and painted the wall. So how to go from this picture on the left to the one of the right? First, let me tell you what you need:
IKEA MÅLA holder and Paper
20 Screws 3,5 or 4 cm long
1m2 thin wood sheet
2 boards 2m x 4.5cm or 4 boards 1m x 4,5cm
Water level stock
Sandpaper or sanding machine (paper 80, 120 and 240)
2 colors of wood paint (water-based and childproof would be best)
2 long screws to install in the wall. at least 10 cm long
Patience and a helping hand
It looks harder than it actually is... so don't get scared of the pictures. I am sure I could have made it on my own, and I know every one of you is able as well. As I am into sustainability and in a low budget, I used only materials I had at home. The only thing I bought was the Ferro strip for 9 Euro in Amazon (which I purchased with credit I had sitting there for a while). Altogether, this took about 4-5 hours plus installation. But I separated the job in 4 sittings.
I used the back of a closet for the main wooden board, some old floorboards for the shelves (they are pretty uneven as we tried to make them as close as possible) the paint was the one I used for a dollhouse and a closet I refurbished, and I always have screws at home ;)
First, assemble the MÅLA. Every moving parts should be fixed, so add some wood glue and let it rest for the night. I added extra screws to attach all parts because I know my kid, so I rather have everything sitting pretty tight and fix. You can use any kind of screws, really. Just be gentle and do it slowly as the wood from MÅLA is very light and easy to crack.
About the design, I went for a cloud as Pepa had this super cute cloud pillow on her bed, and I thought it would be nice to integrate it on this shelf. But you can make any form: a square, rectangle a heart, whatever you want. I measured the Tonie figures and the area between bed and wall and drew this. You can do any size really, just be sure to plot it in advance. (you can see the plan in the video at the end or in my IGTV)
First, draw the MÅLA on the wood. Then using a water level stock, draw the lines where your shelves should go. Please be sure to measure a million times if you don't have a water level stock as this is the heart of your construction. If your design seems too big or too small, here is the time to fix that.
Now is the time to draw the form of the whole shelf. You can freestyle or use plates to make the circles. I applied an old school technic: use a thread and a pencil and put your finger in the center of the ring you want and draw. It took quite some tests until I got exactly the form I liked. Don't be scared of drawing and redrawing, You will be sanding this, and you won't see it. Now cut. You can do it by hand with a saw, but it is always more comfortable with a power tool.
Don't forget to cut the boards/shelves in the length you want. And don't worry if they aren't perfect. Mine was very uneven, and I didn't have enough wood to go all the way to the edge on my top one.
Now get a helping hand... or a couple of clamps like these. Fix the shelf where it is supposed to stay. From the back, using a drill, make 3 to 4 holes all the way into the shelf board. Repeat this for all shelves. Now, all holes are on the board and on the shelves boards, so it easy to assemble later on with no mistakes.
Once it is done, check if everything is ok and if it looks good on the wall. Now we need to work on those surfaces. At the moment, all edges are rough, so you need to start with the sandpaper. This is what makes a piece of furniture look good. I will say start with a sandpaper 80 for the edges, then 120 and to finish 240.
Add the screws from the back but just deep enough so you can see only the tip from the front (OMG have you seen how old and dirty the closet back was? haha)
Now you can attach the shelves quickly and screw the screws all the way in. Attach the MÅLA to it with the screws you will use to install it to the wall. And now the shelf is ready... unless you want to paint it... I like adding at least one layer of varnish to protect the wood from weather and dirty hands. Don't mind the clamp there... I screw way too much and deep, so I got a crack on the MÅLA. If this happens to you, just use wood glue and put some weight on it and let it dry with the screw inside.
Take everything apart again. Now is time to work closely on each part. If you are as annoying as I am, check every little millimeter for rough edges and make them as smooth as possible by hand.
Varnish the mainboard transparent on the back and front just to seal the wood, and it stays pretty and straight for years...If you aren't adding color, varnish all pieces and let dry for a night. I used extra matte varnish for a natural wood look.
Cut the Ferro Strip the same length of each shelf board and paste it. Be sure the wood doesn't have dust before you do this. The edges of the Ferro strip are a bit sharp, so I sandpaper them a bit.
Color. If u want the same "ombre" effect, you need two colors of paint. Paint the top shelf in the lighter color and the lower shelf and MÅLA in the darker color. In two little baby food jars, as they have a lid, I made the next 2 colors: the lighter one was 8:1 that means 8 teaspoons of the dark color and one of the lighter color and vice versa. But you can go creative and make it a rainbow or all the same color.
YES! you can paint over the Ferro strip, and it will need 2 coats. The Tonie magnetic system will still work, and no Tonies will fall to the ground. Assemble again once it is dry.
Mark your wall and make two holes, add dowels, and install the shelf to the wall. I added some installation glue at the back of the upper side, just to be sure it will stay even if Pepa hangs of it. Paint the screws in the same cold as the MÅLA, and you are done!
On this shelf, you can fit until 50 Tonie figures and a paper roll that will last for weeks. The figures stick pretty well to the Ferro strip, but it is still easy for kids to take the Tonies.
I hanged it over Pepa's Ferm Living Little Architect desk and bench, threw a Ferm Living Fruiticana rug, and put the little DIY drawers I made last year next to it. Hanged some of the DIY mobile I made for her and voila! The corner is ready. I am still looking for a lamp, but I have time until winter for that.
We have no more dramas trying to find Pepa's favorite ponies, no more stepping on them during the day with naked feet. No more papers are lying everywhere and buying books that break all the time.
Pepa now has her little corner, and I have some more order at home. And the Tonies are happy and safe as well. Did you like this DIY? Let me know if you build one and tag me please on your posts. Here is the video you can see on my IGTV with some videos of the process.
Spring is here, and even though we are all in quarantine, we can at least enjoy some of the great ingredients that are harvested at this time. In my case are strawberries and asparagus. It always gets a bit tricky to cook the same food for us three, as I am an adult, Pepa, a toddler, and Otis, a baby. So here is how I solve this including a video of it at the end.
As I am writing a book for some months now, one of the things I need to do is to try different kinds of cooking technics. KMB & Braun Household send me the Multiquick7 to try it out. I had a Stabmixer from Braun for 20 years, and it still works as if it was new. But much has changed in technology since 1999. And all the new features that it has made my life (with kids) nowadays easier. Now even more as I make all meals for us three at home.
Making meals for us three could be time-consuming if you can't make them at the same time. So this recipe won't take more time than a conventional method, and it will include a baby meal.
What you need for this recipe:
A steamer or a steam basket
2 cups strawberries
1 cup of apples in slices
2 garlic cloves
200 ml of neutral oil
a squeeze of lemon juice
a handful pistachios
salt and pepper
and a multiQuick7 of course
We start steaming now. Add the apples and 1 cup strawberries in the steamer or a pot with a steam basket. If your baby is 10 months old, you can add 1 asparagus. Add some water and let it steam until the apples are very soft. You can add some cinnamon to the water as well.
For the dressing, you need to make a mayonnaise first. This is super easy with the Multiquick 7. Check the video here or at my IGTV. Put in the glass the egg, oil, lemon, and insert the Multiquick 7 stab. Start blending with the Activeblade all the way down for a while until you see white coming up. Then lift the blade slowly until all is mixed and then push up and down until the consistency is perfect. This takes about a minute, and it is fools-proof. Add some vinegar to it until it reaches a dressing consistency.
Change from the Activeblade to the mini processor and use it to make the pistachios small. You can use any other nuts, but I love how strawberries taste together with pistachios.
Heat a pan with some oil and add the chopped garlic. Break the last part of the asparagus stems with your hands and fry them until they are golden and take them off the heat.
By now, the fruits should be done. If your baby has no teeth still, I would use the Activeblade again to make it very smooth, but in my case, I changed to the mashed potatoes accessory and puree it until the fruits were done. Put it aside and let it cool down.
In plates, add the lettuce and spinach, use the rest of the strawberries thinly cut, and the asparagus cut in 3 cm pieces. By now, the baby food will be at room temperature.
The cutest thing I got with this PR package was this lovely bib for Otis... Isn't it the cutest? I drool every time he wears it!
Now we are ready to eat. Add the vinaigrette/dressing over the salad and sprinkle the pistachio dust over it, and you are ready to eat.
As I never get to eat warm, because I need to feed Otis, and sometimes Pepa, at the moment, I am eating a lot of cold foods. This salad tastes delicious warm, or after some time sitting there.
Eating fresh food that has a similar taste to the food that you regularly eat, helps your kid develop the same taste in food as you have. This will help you in the future to avoid "food dramas" and unnecessary "double cooking."
Otis was a big fan of this food and couldn't get enough, Pepa had the salad and even got to help to feed Otis. This meant one spoon for her and one for him... kids!
Here is a short video of how easy it was to make this spring meal at home using Braun´s Multiquick7. I hope you liked this and you will make it at home. Please tag me in your stories or posts to see how you did!
This Friday, we couldn't cope anymore with quarantine. And as we are allowed to go to the woods or outside to get some air, we decided to go to Tannenmühle, one of our favorite Black Forest restaurants since forever. No, don't worry, no one was there as it is forbidden to gather together in public.
Tannenmühle started as a mill here in the Black Forest with a tiny restaurant next to it. With the years, the restaurant got larger and larger, and they started breeding trouts, building guest rooms, and they even have a petting zoo and started breeding other animals like deers.
I asked Tannenmühle if we could have a small picnic on their premises, and they said yes! Hooray for us! We packed the fox, our picnic blanket and some snacks and drinks and drove to the small village of Grafenhausen, where my parents have an Inn. I thought I'll do a Fox Test and see how versatile it is for short trips. As it is a super light stroller and folds quite nicely, it is the perfect companion for excursions if you don't have the Ant already.
We usually walk through the woods these days, and we love that the wheels of our Bugaboo Fox can be locked for long stroller through nature, and it is light and easy to steer when we are in the city... A real All-Terrain.
Since last week the Fox2 is available with a couple of simple changes. The folding is supposed to be even more comfortable than it is now, and you can fold it in one piece. It has a peek-a-boo window like our Cameleon3 used to have. But I am super happy with our Fox first gen., and having the "Sister Board" is just fabulous as I can manage with 2 small kids while shopping or traveling.
Being in a place with as much History as Tannenmühle is fantastic and even better with such great weather. For the non-German speakers, "Tannen" means fir trees, and "Mühle" means mill...roughly translated. Our picnic was just in front of the old mill, as you can see.
Such a pity we couldn't eat there this time. They have mouth-watering trout specialties, which are prepared in a variety of ways, and have earned them an outstanding reputation across this area. And they sell their trouts as well, I got some fresh ones to grill this Easter Sunday.
On sunny days, It is hard to be outside with a baby when you haven't packed a parasol. But one of the Fox features I love the most is that you can use the stroller seat as a regular seat. So, Otis was protected with the canopy and enjoyed the time with us in the sun. With milk instead of Juice, of course.
It was so relaxing to hear the water of the creek behind us with laying down eating muffins in the sun. Being all alone in such a beautiful place. That typically is filled with tourists and locals.
After our picnic, we went around the premises walking form their restaurant and zoo towards their Inn. We couldn't use their awesome playground because of the quarantine rules, but looking at the animals and getting some fresh air was just what we needed!
We hope soon they will be open again and we can come and eat here and play with the animals and jump through the playground. Until then, we can buy trout and dream of better times.
Back to Bugaboo and our Fox. It was the best match for this small day trip. It was comfortable through the forest, practical for a picnic, little enough for my car, comfy for Otis nap, and it gave enough shade. Pepa had some rest on her board, and as it is so easy to steer, I was not exhausted at the end of the day... Yes! We love our Fox!
Shirt - Vila Clothing
Jeans - 501 Levi´s
Mules - Gucci
Cap - Zara
Shirt - Zara
Shorts - Non Signe
Shoes - Bobux
Dungarees - OshKosh
Shirt - Zara
Bandana - Disney Vintage
Shoes - Bobux
Ad/ PR Sample
During Quarantine, I am cleaning my hard disk, and I found some lost files of mine I really wanted to post here. One of my favorite lunch experiences in Berlin is eating like a Jetson at Data Kitchen. I have never seen or eaten at a restaurant like this somewhere else. Data Kitchen is part of a renowned group where Cookies & Cream and Crackers are part of. So imagine how food their food is! They serve slow food...fast.
You can find Data Kitchen hidden in a backyard in the middle of Berlin, in Mitte, just where all the action is, and all the shopping spots are. The first time I got there, it took me a while to find it, but I am glad I didn't give up. Once you find the spot, it seems like a regular but beautiful restaurant / Café. But then you turn around and see THE WALL:
This wall! It looks like an art exhibit where they made a wall out of microwaves or a lab wall with many glass windows. All these doors display and animation of moving lines. Some windows display the animation and other light up and show food and a name. Very intriguing!
When the windows lighten up, some guests stood up, and after looking at their phones, the window opened, and they took a tray with their food. Craziness, right? But ill explain how all this works after I showed you what I ate.
One of the great things about their menu is that it is seasonal and regional, like this Hokkaido Soup I got made out of Pumpkin from Branderburger gardens, meadow fallen apples, chamomile infused oil and greek yogurt, such an exquisite treat.
Let's start explaining the process a bit. This restaurant is money and cards free. And don't expect a waiter to come by and take your order. You do it yourself, from a smartphone or your computer. The only thing you need is the internet and one of the last two devices. You can order at the restaurant or in advance from your home or office, and you can choose as well when it should be ready to eat. This saves you so much unnecessary waiting time. You pay with a card or PayPal but all online. Sorry Millenials with flip phones!
For the main dish, I order the very "Berliner" one: Senfeier or 'mustard eggs' – soft-boiled and served with mashed potatoes, all covered in a creamy mustard sauce with Cima di Rapa. Can I get this at home every day?
But how do I get my plate? How these doors open? Once your dish is done, at the time you chose, you get an alert on your phone, you will then approach the window, and the light will turn on showing your name flowing with the animations and a button in your phone will appear that say "open door" you press it and it will open letting you take your food. So Jetsons, So futuristic!
To add an extra boost of vitamins, I ordered the Pear Promise smoothie... just delicious and served, of course, in a very sustainable way, with a glass straw. As their menu changes seasonally, their smoothies do as well. Everything is freshly made at their kitchen, and as far as I know, they try to go as regional as it is possible.
To finish, a coffee. They make a mean flat white, and you all know what a coffee freak I am (thanks Oslo for teaching me right) I really enjoyed the interior design at Data Kitchen, very minimalistic and those lamps! A view for sore eyes!
For the ones wanting to see how the order process is, here are some of the screenshots I took when I ordered my food that day:
So if you are looking to have a new lunching experience, or you live in Berlin and want to have a quick lunch with no wait, or if you are a tech fan, I really recommend you to try this restaurant. It isn't just an experience of technology, but their food is just amazing. Let's hope this pandemic is fast over, and we can go out for food again!
Babies grow soooo fast. And if you have a Hungry Hungry Hippo like mine, they grow a lot and will need a high chair earlier than usual. I tried to feed Otis in our baby bouncer, but it turned impossible. We needed a high chair as soon as possible. As we already have a STOKKE Tripp Trapp, STOKKE was our first choice.
When I heard of the new STOKKE Clikk chair and how it fits our lifestyle like a glove to the hand, this was the only chair I was considering to get. It has just 7 parts, and you don't need tools to assemble or disassemble it. It is totally fool (and grandparent)-proofed.
It's beautiful Scandinavian design totally fits our interior design at home. It comes in brilliant colors, and it was hard to choose one. But white was the one at the end. I was a bit skeptical about putting together and taking it apart as it is made of plastic, but I've done it many times and still sturdy as day one.
On the STOKKE's website, it says that it takes you one minute to put it together, but as you see in my video, it only takes you 38 seconds, and it is easy for even a small person to like myself. And you just need your hands and brain and no tools at all. You can fit all parts in a big tote or an Ikea blue bag, and you don't need to worry about losing small pieces as there are NONE of those. Here is the video that shows my skills haha:
You can see here what "clicks" in the video. Those grey buttons are the ones you press to release the part or push the piece until they are in place. Did that sound, ok? We have now two STOKKE chairs, and we love them.. here you can see the difference between the Clikk and Tripp Trapp both are the same height, the TT is much more massive because it is made of wood and you can use it until you are a grownup, the Clikk is super light but sturdy and can be used from 6 months until 3 years. They look great together, don't they?
For long trips, it is a fantastic thing. When we went to Paris, The only things I took were the STOKKE Clikk, My MaraMea Global Traveller, and a XL duffle bag. As you can see, it all fits perfectly in the trunk. Add there the new travel stroller we've got, and you are set for 10 days of travel or more.
During our stay at Marriott Village in Paris/ Disneyland, this chair was a life savior. I can't imagine the muscle ache it would have been if I had to carry Otis all the time we were at our apartment. Otis wouldn't fit the chairs at their restaurant, so I just took the chair with us everywhere we went. And Otis was part of the party. Because this chair integrated him more to the family vacation as he could sit with us while we were eating.
The 5-point-harness is one of my favorite features of the Clikk. It keeps Otis safe, but it is loose enough for him to train his back muscles. Once, Pepa tried to open it, but not even a 4 years-old can do it, which makes me feel safer when I turn around my back to the kids while cooking. This harness is easy to remove for cleaning, and it is machine washable
The table or tray is quite cool as I don't need to take a space of the table for him, he has his own space. You can remove the tray later (when he grows) and change the footrest once those chunky legs get longer. The material it is made of is very similar to the Eames chairs and, it is easy to wipe clean because of its smooth surfaces from top to bottom. Did I mention it is dishwasher safe?
You have many accessories like the cushion (we love this) and bibs, plates, and a placemat. Great to make the look complete! Overall this is a phenomenal product, and I can totally recommend it. It was a PR Sample sent to us, but we love it. Check their Website for more info or their Instagram.
Last Month Braun Household sent me their beautiful ID Breakfast Collection to test it and see if it is a fit for us. I was super excited because I am not only a fan of their products, but I have been having trouble with my own breakfast appliances because they didn't fit my expectations and needs. So here is my real review of the three and why they are a perfect fit for my family of three:
1. The Kettle:
First, this product is beautifully designed. It looks gorgeous in my kitchen counter. It is made of brushed aluminum, and the grip is so soft to the touch. The kettle rotates 360 on the base, which makes it very easy to put the "pot" back on the base. Perfect for me, because sometimes I have a crying baby on my arms plus a bottle of milk. It has the water level indicator on both sides and is easy to fill with water as it has a double filling system. This beauty has a bottom to descale it as well, and it reminds you when to do it. But none of these features is the one that I love the most..
Since Otis has been sick for months and we finally find out that he is highly allergic to many proteins, We had to change to special milk. My pediatrician told me that this new milk must never touch the hot water. Anything above 40 degrees will make it so bitter the baby wouldn't drink it. I thought I could manage to use a regular kettle or mix hot and cold water, but it didn't work. I found myself throwing milk down the drain or euros to the garbage bin. This milk costs about 700 euros per month, so each time I had to throw the milk, it hurt.
This kettle has 5 different temperature settings. The first one being 40 degrees, and that is just awesome for us. The warm setting keeps the water at the set temperature for up to 30 minutes, so If I started warming water to prepare milk and I need to rush to change a diaper or pick up something quickly, I just hit that button. I don't need to boil the water all over again. I use the other temperature settings to make the perfect tea, hand brew coffee, and fill my pot with hot water for noodles, as it takes 35 seconds to boil water to 100 degrees. And no need to mention how amazed I am about how silent this kettle is. Sometimes I think I forgot to hit the "on" button!
2. The Toaster:
This toaster is beautifully designed as his sister "the kettle," and it has excellent features like, it has a lid that prevents dust or dirt from entering the toaster so that it is clean at all times, a Bagel setting that toasts the bread on one side only. Thirteen browning settings, YES! 13! So it doesn't matter what your level of brown is, I can make it for you at home. But now why I think this toaster fit us:
You can defrost bread in it. It has a defrost setting! I usually freeze bread for Pepa because I can't eat regular bread, and a loaf will get dry or rotten if I wait for her to finish it, but defrosting bread is a hassle. I need to put it in the microwave, and it gets dry, or I need to plan in advance when and how much bread I let on the counter to defrost. Now I simply press a button and tadaaah! Ready! It has a warming setting as well in case we can't eat right away. Many times, we start making breakfast, and we need to stop and do something else. This keeps it warm and fuzzy until we can sit down again.
I don't eat toasted bread at home because I share the toaster with Pepa. I have celiac disease, and it is impossible to put the bread inside a toaster and keep the gluten away from it. The removable bun attachment helps us with it. I can toast bread for Pepa and toast my gluten-free buns without worrying about contact contamination... now I don't need to turn on the oven just for my bun.
3. The Coffee Maker:
Coffee. I am a coffee addict. But I never had a regular filter machine because most of them look cheap and they are made with loads of plastic, they drip and let's face it, the coffee tastes dull in comparison with other brewing systems. But this machine exceeded all my expectations.
First of all, I can fit my reusable KINTO filter and remove the filter basket to clean in the dishwasher. This is great because it makes it zero waste. I use the coffee waste on my plants, and I don't feel bad about unnecessary paper filters in my trash bin. At the moment, I need loads of coffee because I don't sleep as much as I should. Life of a single mother of two, I guess. All the brewing methods I used need time and make just 1 or 2 cups. Here, I make 10 cups, and I am sure I won't run out of caffeine. I can make 1-4 cups on a good day using their "small amount" button as well. The water tank isn't attached, so it doesn't make a mess, and it has the same descale feature as the kettle.
About the flavor. I was stunned about the flavor. It has the AromaSelect that adjusts the intensity of the coffee to your taste: strong, normal, or mild. This implies no dull coffee, and it has an anti-drip system, meaning: no more drops falling off the filter once the coffee is made. Remember those old coffee filter machines that dripped and the drops burnt on a plate? This doesn't happen here. The filter closes immediately after the jug is removed so that you can enjoy your first cup without dripping before the end of the brewing process.
And last but not least: You might be wondering how a person can drink 10 cups of coffee in a morning. A regular coffee filter machine has a glass jug. So the coffee inside would be hot for, let's say, an hour. I can't for the love of god drink 10 cups of Joe in 60 minutes. But here comes the catch, this machine comes with a stainless steel thermos with a double wall. Coffee stays hot for up to 6 hours in the comfortably designed stainless steel vacuum jug. And to be honest, it remains "warmish" for the rest of the day after those 6 hours. Ladies & Gents, this is how I drink that amount of coffee.
So why is the ID Breakfast Collection perfect for us? Not only is it beautiful and fit with the design of our flat, but it saves us time, money and makes our everyday life better.
We prepare milk faster, more comfortably without waste. We save electricity because we share an appliance despite allergies. We save time and needless planning for breakfast. It helps a coffee lover single mom get through the day without settling for a dull flavor. I can use all of the appliances with one hand while carrying the baby, and they keep our stuff warm when we can´t enjoy it right away. This was a PR sample to test, but this is my most honest opinion, We LOVE Braun in our home and breakfast table, and we can highly recommend it.
Many people asked me about our gym mat. I used it so much for pictures and decoration. I was smitten with some mats online, but I didn’t have the budget to buy them, and they didn’t quite have the color I wanted. So I decided to make myself one. It was quite easy to make. You can use a sewing machine, but you can make it by hand as well.
You will need:
Leather or vegan leather
Thread on the color of your leather
Thread in another color
Sewing machine (optional)
Start looking for foam. You can buy it in hobby stores or on Amazon. The size and thickness it is your choice. For my mat, I went for an 80cm square and a 3 cm thick foam pad. I wanted to have a small one. But you can choose a bigger one or even a smaller one. After this, you need to get the leather. I went to Frau Tulpe in Berlin and got some vegan leather in cognac color to fit my flat decor. Any leather will work. But the thicker the leather is, the harder it will be to sew.
Start marking your leather from the back of the fabric. You will need two round pieces and a long stripe to make this mat. The size of the round pieces is the size of the mat you want plus 1cm. That means for an 80 cm diameter mat, you will make an 82 cm diameter piece. Cut to of them
and set aside.
Cut your foam. You can make it a square, rectangle, or any form you want, but I love circle mats. So I cut my foam in the size
I wanted: 80cm. You can use regular scissors or a carpet knife. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect... this won’t be visible later.
For the stripe width, cut the thickness of your foam plus 1 cm per side. We are leaving this extra cm for sewing later. So if your foam is 3cm, cut this piece 5 cm wide. To know the length of it, use a regular math formula (and you thought you wouldn’t use math after school)
The formula is: π x diameter= circumference so on my case 3.1416 times 80 would be the length I need plus 1cm per side equals 251,3 + 2 =253,3cm.
Ergo: your stripe will be 253,3 x 5cm.
If you don’t have a piece as long as the diameter, just cut 2 pieces and sew them together until it reaches the length you need. Now you have three parts: the two round ones and the stripe.
Now we start assembling. First, we join the two ends of the stripe with a pin and sew them together 1 cm away from the edge. Sew inside out, please! Now you have a belt-like loop. You can sew them like in the picture, so it will look tidier.
Now take one of the round pieces and secure the belt with pins, so it is easier to baste (baste means temporary stitching). Using a thread color that is different than your leather, baste the whole round so it won’t move when you are sewing them together.
Now using a sewing machine or just by hand, sew with the same color of your leather 1.5cm away from the edge. And secure the ends with a knot.
Iron the hem, so it looks flat like in the picture. This will help when you introduce the foam at the end. You can use a hot gun for this is your leather won’t bend.
Now test with the foam to see if it fits appropriately on size before you continue. If it fits, do the same with the other side. Don’t forget we are sewing inside out. Add pins, then baste and sew, leaving a space to introduce the foam. I went 20 cm open for that.
Turn it to the right side, roll the foam, and put it inside. It is such an annoying process if you are using vegan leather as I did as the foam won’t slide easily. But don’t give up hope! Once you have the foam in place, proceed to sew the hole until its closed. Add a knot, and don’t cut the thread; just leave it inside of the mat.
Now you have yourself a mat that looks good just hanging around or laying on a wall.
But if you really like the mat and have no spare time to make it, you can buy yourself one at Lille Svend KBH or Gathre. I don’t know where you can get one with vegan leather, though. I hope this helped you guys! Don’t forget to tag me when you make this DIY. It would make me so happy! Happy sewing!
Last month we were invited for a shooting at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. We were thrilled as we really do miss Berlin and most of it, Berlin, during Christmas time. A total bomb! Berlin and staying at The Ritz.
Our trip started at 5am. We jumped on a bus towards the Swiss boarder and took a train to Zürich airport. I am so used to traveling alone with Pepa through the world, from Asia to Africa and all around Europe. Very easy going and relaxed. So this is how she has been already over 50 times on a plane.
But traveling with 2 kids is way more challenging. Not because it is hard to travel with both. But because of the number of things you have to carry around. One 20kg suitcase, a weekender backpack, a purse, the baby car seat, one toddler and her backpack, and a 3-month-old baby on the carrier. And all this over a 1.59- meter-tall woman.
Our plan was to travel by train and plane. But I remembered the fact I haven't bought the travel bag for my bugaboo Fox.
So I didn't take our stroller this time, and wow, was I wrong! I underestimated how useful and practical my Fox is.
So once we arrived in Berlin, we were amazingly greeted at The majestic Ritz-Carlton Berlin. The whole hotel has been refurbished during the past year and boy, they made it well. One of the things I liked the most is that they kept a lot of the beautiful details like their beautiful wooden doors.
If I have to describe their design in two words, it would be "marble heaven."
We needed a bath and bed after this journey, so we ran to the room. When we got into the room, and we were stunned with all the things that were waiting for us. The whole place was really prepared to host a three-year-old and a three-month-old. Two sets of robes for Pepa and Otis were lying on the bed and even a Steiff teddy bear with The Ritz-Carlton logo. Pepa was on the clouds!
The suite was so beautiful and minimalistic decorated, the bed frames were moveable, and they had such a Japanese design vibe to them. Soft beds and pillows, so we couldn't resist jumping a bit.. at least Pepa.
We usually sleep together in a bed when we are not home (and after 2am if I am being honest), but they were very thoughtful and installed us a crib with a changing table filled with all we needed, from diapers to rash creams and warm cuddly bags.
The first thing we did was have a bath. And that bathroom! Every little piece of it was marble. While Otis was sleeping, we were feeling like princesses preparing a bubble bath. We had kids' products, so I didn't have to stress about Pepa playing as a water fountain.
We laid in the tub playing with the toys and watch a film on our iPad.
The next morning was shooting day. We woke up early and met the team downstairs. Pepa had a blast while taking pictures. She even got some unicorn cupcakes, got to jump again in beds, and played with bubbles.
After the shooting was over, we went up for some quick lunch at the Club Lounge and ran back to the suite to get our gear on. Swimming time!
We three are water rats! We love water. I was born next to the sea and spent most of my life on beaches or living next to the sea, so it wasn't a surprise Pepa and Otis were thrilled when they had their first dip.
We put our robes on and our slippers and went down with their golden elevator full with beautiful buttons. The pool was next to the gym/spa, and we had it all to ourselves.
The pool has buttons one all of the edges that activate spa or jacuzzi features, and it was so much fun to turn on that waterfall. I got to test for the first time the underwater functionality of my iPhone 11 pro.
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin gave us a list of things we could do around the city and a Berlin Welcome Card. As we used to live in East Berlin, we were happy to take a wander around West Berlin.
We started with the Naturkundemuseum. I haven't been there before, and it was quite impressive. We skipped through the halls watching animals and talking about them.
Pepa got to see the dinosaurs (she loves dinos) and was a bit scared of the t-rex. I was amazed by how much she actually understood the whole museum even being 3 years old.
She even stayed to see the video about planets... 4 times! And one of my favorite parts was playing a game: which person reminds you of this stingray? We agreed they are very happy (looking) animals. Don't they all look like they are smiling?
Back at the Hotel, we had reservations to POTS, the restaurant inside The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin that opened their doors in February this year. I was so happy to be able to go eat at a gourmet restaurant for the first time with the kids. The restaurant is cozy, filled with copper details, and if you know my designs, you'll know I love myself some copper!
The concept of the restaurant is "a modern twist on German cuisine that is based on sharing". Instead of ordering a set menu, you can order different plates to share, which makes it very easy to eat with a toddler. They have a kids menu, but my "Feinschmecker" daughter prefers exciting tastes. POTS introduces an inspired collaboration between the well-known Chef, Dieter Müller, Executive Chef, Frederik Grieb, and Sommelier, Mathias Brandweiner.
We started with the starters, of course (me and my dad jokes). We had the cured fjord trout with beetroot first, and it was instantly Pepa's favorite. For me, the Marinated Holstein tartare was the absolute best. But not to forget the salad that was mouth-watering as well. A marinated lettuce heart with hazelnuts, mayo, and cured egg yolks.. amazing. They paired it with a mineral-y Hauptstadt Gewächs from Gut Hermannsberg, precisely what I like for wine.
Suddenly the main courses arrived. We had a steamed redfish with mussels and a saffron sauce that was so heavenly made. POTS is a german food concept, and they serve my favorite german dish: Königsberger Klopse. But sadly, it contained gluten. They knew I can't eat gluten, and very fast, a new fish was made: Veal with blackberries and Riesling sauce served with Jerusalem artichokes. Did I mention now I have the recipe of the Klopse? I will try them at home with GF bread instead.
Last but not least, the dish on my bucket-list: a Deer ragout with pumpkin seeds and pepper jus... My god was this GOOOOD!!! Our side dishes were: Mashed potatoes with braised onions, carrots, and savoy cabbage, and Pepa couldn't stop eating them.
The pairing was an extraordinary Van Volxem 1900 Brut Riesling sparkling produced using the traditional bottle fermentation process. With a supple texture, its beautifully integrated, fresh acidity, and its wonderfully rich aroma, it ties in with the significant era of Saar sparkling wines around 1900. I loved that Carl the restaurant manager shared these wine stories during my stay.
The hostess came by and took Pepa to see the kitchen while I took Otis for a diaper change. POTS use seasonal and regional ingredients when possible and change their menu about 4 times a year. I have to accept we were pretty satisfied at this point. But we Talavera girls have a small stomach just for dessert. At first glance, I thought about just ordering the banana souffle. ButCarl convinced me to get both desserts and he was SO right!
We got first the souffle. A very lovely banana souffle with milk chocolate ice cream, and exotic fruits. Delicate flavors served with a delicate sauce. But then my Cedric Grolet moment arrived! The Mandarine arrived at the table! ta ta ta taaaaaan! It looks like a mandarine but is indeed a cheesecake. Just like the french pâtissier does. And it was accompanied by a creamy and delicious cinnamon flower ice cream. YUM! not to mention a very subtle but gorgeous pairing with a Riesling spätlese Pfaffenberg Schörnborn.
The next morning we went to the Club Lounge and had breakfast. We were so spoiled! One of the things I really enjoyed with the kids was our meals there. It was open 24/7 for drinks, coffee, snacks, and some delicious Riesling for mamma! The breakfast was supreme. We got fresh juice, pancakes or waffles for Pepa, and they had GF alternatives for me. I had to love myself some poached eggs over freshly baked bread.
We went back to the room to plan our day looking forward to our high tea invitation later on. Gave this handsome babe a bath, got us pretty and went for a walk
Some of the exciting places to go when you are visiting Berlin with kids are listed here, and of course, over Christmas Time, you have loads of Christmas markets everywhere. We used to go to the Scandinavian one, but I'll get back to that later on.
After a nap, we finally got "girl time" while Otis was sleeping (no, he wasn't alone)
Tea time, high tea. I had no idea what we are going to do. A couple of steps from the reception, they reserved a table for us. A small one for Pepa and another for me.
While we were watching the macaroons and other goodies like caviar and champagne, the waitress came by with a wagon filled with different kinds of teas in various drawers. We smelled a couple of them until we found the ones we wanted to order. I went for a salty caramel oolong and Pepa for a pink one, her princess tea as she called it!
They came and brewed it at the table. Then two 3-tier-plates came towards us. One for each of us. Mine was gluten-free and delicious. From tiny salmon sandwiches and cheese with walnuts to buns with whipped butter and chocolate brownies.
Pepa had an exclusive second level filled with chocolate goodies like chocolate lilies, muffins, brownies, mousse au chocolate, among others. We sat down, sipping tea, enjoying ourselves for a couple of hours. One of the most relaxing times we have had together in a while.
After that, we went to pick up Otis and went shopping at Mall of Berlin, only to find out they have a small Christmas market inside. Filled with tiny lights and ballerinas giving away Christmas cookies.
We were on a Christmas market mood, so we walked to the Christmas market in Potsdam square afterwards. We slid in the "snow" slope on giant tires and took the flying chairs, sooo much fuuuun!
But no visit to a Christmas market is complete without food and drinks. We munched some caramel nuts, and I had a much-deserved Glühwein, a traditional German mulled wine I live for during December.
Filled with sugar, we returned to the Hotel and hit the Club Lounge to play backgammon and a glass of wine for me.
We had such a great time. Everyone was super friendly, but not in every Luxus Hotel way, but in a very warm kind of way. Especially Esezi, the doorman, who stole Pepa's heart.
We really appreciate the time we had with Ritz Kids. Ritz Kids is The Ritz-Carlton service for families with kids; they offer the different things we did during our trip.The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin provides various offers and activities. Like kid's check-in, where they have the cutest stairs to reach the reception, crib service, pram service, baby changing room, drawing kits that kept Pepa busy at the restaurant, kids menu at POTS for the picky ones, kids high tea and much more.
We really would recommend you visit The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin with your family, even if you live in Berlin, it is a total experience, and you and your kids will love it
We have been using Bobux for a long time (They have been making these shoes for over 30 years now), we started with the Bobux soft soles when Pepa was a tiny baby. And as she grew, we continued to get Bobux not only because the shoes are beautiful and excellent quality, but they are certified by podiatrists.
Good shoes are essential for the growth of a baby and toddler. The wrong shoes can damage their legs, hips, and feet permanently. My parents always told me that good shoes are better than pretty ones, but in this case, I got 2 birds with one stone.
The first pair we got for this fall and winter was their model TIMBER in a beautiful mustard color. It is more a trendy cinnamon if you ask me ;) a velvet leather dream with an ankle cuff and strap closure what makes it perfect for the colder months. The laces are elastic, so it is easy to wear when Pepa is in kindergarten. But the coolest part of this shoe is the beautiful suede it is made of.
When buying shoes at Bobux, you can select the stage where your kid is. I have a small kid that is active, and these shoes are the ones I got suggested on their website. These shoes have high-grip pattern soles for active movement with a "hive" design that provides excellent grip... perfect for running in the forest.
Just use a natural water-repellent spray on this soft nubuck leather and ready for the snow. And touching these shoes is fantastic, they are the softest and child-safe and non-toxic, all their materials and dyes are tested to EU REACH standards.
Don't always buy the enormous winter shoes for kids. They are heavy! And imagine walking around the snow with 2 kilos extra... So until the winter is raw and mean, why not use leather shoes? I wear my leather Chelsea boots every winter (even in Norway), so the next model I got for Pepa was not only partner look-ish, but a winter style too.
These boots are called Jodhpur , but they feel like a Chelsea boot to me. They are beautiful boots black in black. I was so excited to see they have a variation where the sole is black instead of the regular natural rubber color. I love black, I always did, even before moving to Berlin. So this was just screaming: Berlin Kid.
These full-grain leather boots have the same specifications as the Timber boots, grip, warm, and fantastic leather quality. They look so chic, you could wear them with a dress or a snowsuit. They close with a zipper but have that elastic on the side as any Chelsea boot. A shoe for active growing kids.
An Otis? Bobux has different levels of growth for their shoes: BABY, CRAWLER or CRUISING, FIRST WALKERS, TODDLERS, KIDS. So you can buy shoes depending on the stage your kids are. Pepa almost jumped the toddler level and wore Kids+ right away. But Otis doesn't crawl, so he is in the first stage: BABY.
Bobux Soft Soles feature a soft suede sole, an unlined leather upper, and an elasticated ankle to keep babies from kicking them off! Friendly fun characters meticulously stitched, with designs that look towards the babies (not the adults) to spark their imagination. High-quality children’s shoes should be extremely flexible, not rigid, to allow children’s feet to grow normally and give them the same range of movement they would have if they weren’t wearing shoes at all.
When I saw that they made a collaboration with The Bonnie Mob, I was like: "yeah!" So I ordered the model Imagine Rainbow. Bobux teamed up with knitwear awesomeness The Bonnie Mob to create baby shoes for little dreamers. And it has to be rainbows as we love them at home!
Besides this, I am so crazy about their new mini-collection The Wild Things that showcases the spots, stripes, and shapes of the wildest characters in the Bobux-verse. I love me some Animal Print for sure!
But how to find the perfect fit? If you have a smartphone, Bobux has the best way to buy the ideal size for your kid. They have something called STRUFIT. Here you can see the process:
Or check their video here. More than half of kids are wearing the wrong shoe size. It's hard to believe, but according to a recent study, almost two thirds of children are walking around in the wrong size shoes. According to a survey, 65 per cent of all kids are wearing shoes that are too small for them.
So, go hop to Bobux and check their stuff... they are awesome!
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I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...