Everything Now – A New Arcade Fire Album!

Arcade Fire concert on July 2, 2017 in Berlin. Pic by Franzi. See more on Instagram.

Arcade Fire’s new album Everything Now will be released on July 28, 2017. At the beginning of the month, me and two of my best pals were at the Arcade Fire concert in Berlin. It was a big party, where they not only played their old indie-rock hits but also some of their new tracks. If you never saw this band live, you definitely should put this onto you bucket list. They are incredibly powerful on stage and are creating a wonderful atmosphere in the audience. The few new songs, that I already listened to, only intensified my anticipation of the album.

Have a wonderful new week and happy listening!

 

 

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New Hamburg Spots!

Schanzenturm“. Pic by Franzi.

After Hamburg was the G20 spot last week and everyday in the media, it’s time to calm down a bit in the city. Since I realized that many of my old Hamburg recommendations are not existing anymore (I promise to update those posts soon), it’s time to share with you some new favorite Hamburg spots of mine. Here they are…

Restaurants (Book a table in all of these, if you plan to eat there!):

Brüdigams… My all-time favorite in Hamburg! Classic cuisine with a modern twist. Always delicious!

Ti Breizh… Breton! Incredible tasty galettes and crepes!

Zum Spätzle… Cute little space that serves Swabian dishes.

Kleine Brunnenstraße 1… Little restaurant that’s perfect for special occasions (e.g. Valentine’s Day, Birthday dinners,…).

Bars

Vineyard… Perfect for having a glass of wine with good friends on the end of a stressful week.

Le Lion… The most sophisticated bar in Hamburg.

Coffee

Less Political… Located in the Sternschanze, this place is always crowded with young and hip people.

Black Delight… Small place that makes delicious coffee.

Ice-Cream

Luicella’s… An incredible variety of flavors!

Eisliebe… Always a good reason for a bike tour to Ottensen.

Eisprinzessinnen… Again: An incredible variety of flavors!

I wish you a wonderful July week! Enjoy the warm days :)!

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A Book About the Brain!

Pic by Franzi.

Today’s post is written under some time pressure: Thus the small picture and only a few lines…

Our last book in the literature club was Mein Hirn hat seinen eigenen Kopf (My brain has its own head) by Dong Seon Chang. It’s a book about the wonders of the mind – how our brain works and how it defines us and our relationships to the people around us.

An exciting read with lots of insights to discuss about!

I wish you a wonderful week! Enjoy the wonders of your mind :)!

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Pasta Casserole!

Pic by Franzi.

Today’s recipe is pure comfort food: (Gluten-free) pasta in a thick, creamy tomato sauce topped with melted cheese. A simple prepared dream of a pasta casserole!

Recipe:

Ingredients: Serves 3-4.

400 g (gluten-free) pasta, 1 tube tomato paste, 400 ml heavy cream, 250 g grated cheese, 1 garlic clove, 100 ml olive oil, herbes de provence, dried oregano, 1 diced onion, vegetables (like cubed bell peppers or zucchini), 100 g tinned corn (drained), a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper.

Preparation:

Cook the pasta according to what’s instructed.

For the sauce mix the whole tube of tomato paste with the heavy cream, the olive oil and one smashed garlic clove. Season with pepper, salt, herbes de provence and dried oregano.

Roast the vegetables in some olive oil until tender.

In a big casserole combine cooked pasta, 125 g grated cheese, the corn, the roasted vegetables, the tomato halves and the sauce. Top with the rest of the grated cheese. Bake at 180°C for app. 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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A Garden Wedding!

The beautiful wedding cake – with the names of the bride, the groom & their little daughter! All pics by Franzi.

Now we are definitely in the midst of this year’s wedding season! On Saturday Stephan and me were in Hesse at the beautiful garden wedding of his second cousin Simone and her groom Olli. It was such a wonderful feast with lots of inspirational ideas. Here are some impressions…

I wish you a wonderful fresh week! Have a lovely one!

I loved the table decoration: Collectors cups and saucers & wild flowers.

A candy bar!!!

In the night they lit a fire – and smoked salmon, which was later served as midnight dinner!

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Song of the Month: Ganz Paris träumt von der Liebe by Caterina Valente!

This month’s song is a true “oldie”: Ganz Paris träumt von der Liebe by the Italian 1950s star Caterina Valente. It just reminds me on this special summer feeling that’s already in the air: warm and heavy and wonderful…

Have a wonderful new week and happy listening!

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What Are You Looking Forward To This Summer?

Pic by Franzi.

I asked my pals: “What are you looking forward to this summer?” Surprisingly, their answers turned out quite variable – from gardening, hiking tours, mild nights or going to festivals. What would I answer? Spending time with those wonderful people, of course (and enjoying the brightness of warm lazy summer days). Here are all the inspirational answers I got (this time I also wrote their original German answers as well)…

Events & Actions:

Stephan: “I am looking forward to the summer vacations and all those upcoming concerts.” // “Auf den Sommerurlaub und die ganzen Konzerte.”

Markus: “Open Airs.” // “Open Airs.”

Claudi (my mum): “I am looking forward to the brightness of the days (because one gets more things done), to wearing summer dresses and to ride the bicycle.” // “Ich freue mich über die längere Helligkeit, weil man mehr schaffen kann, über das Tragen von Sommerkleidchen und über das Fahrradfahren.”

Dania: “I am looking forward to Jacobs and Sevs wedding in France amd the accompanying vacations.”// “Auf Jacobs and Sevs Hochzeit und den das Ereignis begleitenden Urlaub.”

Gerald (my dad): “I am looking forward to a reunion and to nice weather. And that hopefully all that I will build or repair will work out in the end.” // “Auf ein Wiedersehen, schönes Wetter und darauf, dass alles was ich baue und repariere danach auch funktioniert.”

Sophie (pregnant): “Mostly I am looking forward to put on my shoes by myself again.” // “Am meisten freue ich mich darauf, meine Schuhe wieder selbst anziehen zu können.”

Jessica (just started a new job): “I am looking forward to finally wear skirts at work. There is no aircon anymore, that will hinder me doing it.” // “Ich freue mich darauf, endlich Röcke bei der Arbeit anziehen zu können. Es gibt keine Klimaanlage mehr, die mich daran hindern kann.”

Meline (student): “Since for me summer means that I have no exams or lectures, I am mostly looking forward to the free time during which I can do spontaneous things with my pals and my boyfriend.” // “Da ich Sommer mit klausuren- und vorlesungsfreier Zeit verbinde, freue ich mich am meisten auf die Zeit, in der ich spontan Dinge mit Freunden und meinem Freund unternehmen kann.”

Steffi: “Sailing.” // “Segeln.”

Vivien: “I am looking forward to not freezing anymore, to warm evenings on the balcony, to BBQs, to staying outside with friends, to Open Airs, to the vacations and the Lollapalooza festival.” // “Darauf, nicht mehr frieren zu müssen, auf warme Abende auf dem Balkon, auf das Grillen, das Draußen sein mit Freunden, auf Open Airs, den Urlaub und das Lollapalooza.”

Sunshine, long days & warm nights:

Claudi Ö.: “I am looking forward to being outside and to enjoy the sun.” // “Auf das Draußensein und darauf, die Sonne zu genießen.”

Conny: “I am looking forward to ice-cream and long evenings.” // “Auf Eiscreme und lange Abende.”

Anna: “I am looking forward to the mild summer nights.” // “Auf die lauen Sommerabende.”

Liesbeth: “Mostly I am looking forward to the long bright days and the relaxed warm evenings with friends and family. Moreover, the tiredness and boredom from the winter will be gone.” // “Am meisten freue ich mich auf die langen hellen Tage, die entspannten warmen Abende mit Freunden und Familie und darauf, dass die Müdigkeit und Langeweile aus dem Winter verschwindet.”

Jacky:  “I am looking forward to nice weather and to spend time with family and friends.” // “Auf gutes Wetter und darauf, Zeit mit Familie und Freunden zu verbringen.”

Janina: “Mostly I am looking forward to mild summer nights (as far as this is possible in Hamburg) and to relaxed sitting and talking with friends in the park.” // “Ich freue mich am meisten auf laue Sommernächte (soweit man in Hamburg davon reden kann) und auf entspanntes Sitzen und Quatschen mit Freunden im Park.”

Birte: “I am looking forward to sitting outside for many hours in the evenings, talking and drinking something with ‘spritz'”. //  “Auf abends lange draußen sitzen, quatschen und irgendwas mit ‘Spritz’ trinken.”

Vacations:

Sabrina: “I am looking forward to my exciting vacations.” // “Auf meinen abwechslungsreichen Urlaub.”

Hartmut: “I am looking forward to the warmth and to water for bathing – like in the Baltic Sea.” // “Ich freue mich auf Wärme und auf Wasser zum Baden – zum Beispiel in der Ostsee.”

Yvonne: “I am looking forward to my vacations/maternity leave.” // “Auf meinen Urlaub/Mutterschutz.”

Eva: “I am looking forward to the summer vacations and the beeeeeach!!!” // “Auf den Sommerurlaub und den Straaaand!!!”

Katrin: “I am looking forward to my favorite spot at the Lake Constance, where I can put my feet into the water and read calmly.” // “Auf meinen Lieblingsplatz am Bodensee, an dem ich meine Füße ins Wasser strecken und in Ruhe lesen kann.”

Marie: “I am looking forward to the beach and the sun.” // “Auf Strand und Sonne.”

Annika: “I am looking forward to our hiking tour in Slovenia.” // “Auf unsere Slowenien-Wandertour.”

Garden Activities:

Simone: “I am looking forward to our raised bed that we are currently building and plan to farm. In a bigger context: To try out more new things like this.” // “Auf unseren Hochgarten, den wir gerade bauen und bewirtschaften wollen. Größer gefasst: Neues in der Art zu probieren.”

Suse: “I am looking forward to BBQs, to evenings on the terrace and to play and dig in the sand with the kids.” // “Auf das Grillen, darauf abends auf der Terrasse zu sitzen und dass wir mit den Kindern draußen buddeln und spielen können.”

Claudi R.: “I am looking forward to romp with the kids in the garden.” // “Darauf mit den Kindern im Garten herumzutoben.”

Jan: “I am looking forward to my new giant garden and to build a terrace there, where I will enjoy cool drinks and sling a hammock.” // “Auf meinen neuen Riesengarten, da eine Terrasse hinzuzimmern, dort kühle Getränke zu zischen und eine Hängematte aufzuhängen.”

Inka: “I am looking forward to sit in the garden, to the sun and to have BBQs together.” // “Darauf im Garten zu sitzen, auf die Sonne und das gemeinsame Grillen.”

I wish you a wonderful June week! Enjoy all the happy moments :)!

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A Portuguese Crime Novel: Lost in Fuseta by Gil Ribeiro!

Pic by Franzi.

It was more accidentally than planned that I took the crime novel Lost in Fuseta by Gil Ribeiro (aka Holger Karsten Schmidt) with me at the Algarve.

In this first book of a new crime novel series we get to know Leander Lost, a police officer from Hamburg who participates at an exchange program and will stay one year in Portugal – in Fuseta, a small town at the Eastern Algarve. But Leander Lost is not the ordinary kind of police men: He wears only black, stares strangely into the eyes of other people and – most important – cannot lie. Soon after his arrival there is a murder case to investigate and his new Portuguese police partners, sub-inspector Rosado and her colleague Esteves, have to deal with this strange new man in their team.

This book was a positive surprise: It is written in an entertaining (German) voice, I really liked its figures and I learned a lot about the people at the Algarve. A book that is worth reading – not only if you are actually in Portugal.

I wish you a wonderful week! Enjoy the sun :)!

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Crispy Sweet Potato Skins!

Pic by Franzi.

In Portugal we ate tons of fish. Nevertheless, the one dish that impressed me most were crispy sweet potato SKINS! Yes, you read it right: skins. What a genius way to use the whole sweet potato, without creating any waste. Back home in Hamburg, I already prepared them for myself as an easy snack :).

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Thickly peeled sweet potato skins, olive oil, sea salt.

Preparation:

Spread potato skins on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Bake at app. 225°C for 15 – 20 minutes (until the skins are golden-brown).

Enjoy!

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Those Beautiful Days in ….Portugal!

All pics by Franzi.

We are back from Portugal. Somehow I made it through the plane flights …and it was totally worth it! The Algarve was a dream: On my birthday we had 30°C (a first in 35 years) and visited the most stunning beaches. The wedding of Isa and André was full of sunshine and love. Lisbon impressed me with its Fado sounds, the steep streets of Alfama, a hilarious tram ride, its elevators to reach the higher parts of the town and its many panoramic views. Here are some photographic impressions of our Portuguese adventures…

I wish you a wonderful fresh week! Let the sun shine in your hearts!

The Algarve:

The beach in Lagos.

I loved the patina of the houses at the Algarve …here in Aljezur.

The Algarve has the most incredible beaches I’ve ever seen … this is the Praia da Arrifana (view from above).

Praia da Arrifana.

The waves were huge! Like here at the Praia do Amado.

I was very impressed by the size of the Aloe plants!

The beach wedding of André & Isa was a dream: wonderful romantic and full of sun!

The light in the cathedral of Silves felt magical.

View from the Castle of Silves. I loved the orange groves!

Lisbon:

We had our apartment in the wonderful lively neighborhood of Alfama, the oldest part of Lisbon.

Sunset above  Lisbon. View from the São Jorge Castle.

The famous Lisbon tram (we made one hilarious trip with it).

On our last day we visited the impressive Bélem tower – one of Lisbon’s landmarks.

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