Sunday, August 30, 2009

Birthday Bash

Last night, the girls and I had a reason to party! My girl Fabulosita turned 24 and of course we had to go out on the town. As usual, getting all dolled up in the evening before hitting the clubs was the best part of the night!

The Birthday Princess, rocking the tiara. I still haven't figured out why she refused to wear it in public ... ;)

The bathroom was a mess by the time we were done but that's to be expected.

While getting dressed, swapping shoes (!) and applying make-up, we sipped martini and champagne. Nothing gets you in a better party-mood than sweet, bubbly drinks! I made heart-shaped cherry muffins instead of a cake, because they are lighter and easier to eat while doing something else. I felt that sitting down around a table, using knife and fork and all the rest of it would have killed our gleeful, bubbly mood.

We headed for the Bar 25 first. Of course we knew it would be packed to the max because yesterday was to be the last night it was open. The last night EVER. The Bar is legendary here, so we expected there to be a long queue. Upon arriving at about 1 a.m. we waited for a little over half an hour. Mind you, I'd never wait that long for any other club, but with the circumstances being as they were, nobody dared complain.

And then the unthinkable happened: The doorpicker refused us.
Phew. I still haven't figured out what exactly the problem was. Three girls, all dressed up to the nines and, yes, tipsy, but far from being completly drunk. I daresay the problem was on HER side, meaning the bitchy doorpicker. It's called jealousy. Meow! I was an angry cat.

I have never been refused at any club before and mark my words, it's not going to happen again. At the same time, I find it important to make an elegant exit in a situation like this so we didn't argue (that's not going to make any difference, because doorpickers would undermine their own authority if they ever changed their mind about anybody! All you're going to get for arguing at a door is pitying looks from the other people walking in past you.) So we decided to take a cab to the Cookies, our birthday child's choice.

No queue awaited us there, but the club was jam-packed with hot guys! We had finally arrived in paradise!
Or so we thought - until we realized that we'd accidentally stumbled on a gay party! :) Maybe we shoud've done some more research beforehand, but heck, we'd paid the cover and we weren't going ANYWHERE soon. Right when we arrived we saw the last little bits of a burlesque show, which honestly didn't make much sense to me.

Why would they book girls (gorgeous as they were...) on an event like this? You could tell by the looks on the other partygoers' faces that they weren't quite sure either.

We ran into Zoe Delay, Sheila Wolf and Janka Kroft, who looked spectacular as always. I believe Sheila was involved in the burlesque performances, but you would have to read up on that on her blog.

In any case, we had another round of drinks, danced a little, and had a great time... you gotta make the best out of situations, unexpected as they may be. Never allow people with a negative attitude (like that doorpicker) to drag you down.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The O.R.B Moves On !

On to Frankfurt, that is. Moving cities is a pretty big deal for me, because I feel so very at home in Berlin. I've been born here, spent my childhood here, and the better part of my "grown-up" life. I have put a lot of work into the appartment I live in right now, and it hurts to leave the place I built for myself, and only for myself.

Not to speak of friends, family ... heck, I'm sure I'll even miss my bitchy frenemies :)

But times change, and I am no longer on my own, which is a great thing too. Myself and the lion are moving in together and I am very VERY excited about that! I have even quit my job to move to Frankfurt as soon as I can. Quitting a job I've been working in for over three years was a bitch, by the way, and one of the reasons I neglected my blog so badly. I have been told that I "throw away my life for a guy" and I realize, that's probably what it would look like to a stranger. But I don't see me quitting my job in favor of a life with my man as a weakness. It's not like I'll be unemployed in Frankfurt and live off the lion's money, but quite the opposite - I'll have to work harder than ever!

I will have to be very strong to do all the things that lie ahead now: Standing up for myself at work for another month (having to work another 4 weeks after quitting can put you in the most awkward positions...) , moving houses, moving cities, do the respective paperwork, organize a HUGE good-bye-bash, get the job I want, not just any job in Frankfurt, help my brother move houses, sell my junk at the fleamarket so I don't have to carry it all the way to Hesse... oh, and did I mention I'm working full-time while I do all the above...?

So you see, I'm not running away from commitments. I just realized that I really want to commit myself to something else. I want to use my energy to turn my life into what I want it to be instead of wasting it on a somewhat tedious job. Also, all the time and energy (not to speak of the money) that myself and my boyfriend "wasted" on sustaining a long-distance-relationship we can now put into creating a life together, maybe even a future together ... but I digress :)


Here's what I really wanted to write today: The O.R.B. will be back in action from now, and I promise not to take such long breaks anymore. Unless I have a really damn good reason.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Don't go to the Party...

... let the Party come to you!

Oh yes. I know that organizing a party is a lot a work and stress. Here's how to simplify things, have almost zero preparations and actually enjoy your own party :)

First of all, think about one thing: how well do you know your neighbors? Well? Not at all? Never even seen them? As far as I was concerned, I didn't know my neighbors well enough - after 2 (two!) years of living in this house, I couldn't even tell if that person I met on the stairs actually lived here or was just a visitor. I wanted to change that situation, and have a party in the little garden I share with my neighbors.
The preparation was so simple, I was amazed it never occurred to me before: All I had to do was hang a poster next to the house door, suggesting a barbecue on a certain date. I attached a pen to the poster so people could comment on the idea and lo and behold - everybody seemed to love it!

I hung it on a glass door, so the pretty backside of the poster was visible too. You gotta know how to attract attention, and a picture of a beautiful woman ALWAYS seems to help :)

On the actual day of our barbecue, all I had to do was set up the grill, a table and chairs. I also made two salads, brought some baguettes and dips. The lion insisted on making burgers and ribs, ah well, I suppose that's what you do on a barbecue - I didn't eat any of that, being a vegetarian and all ... ;)

Then, with only minutes to go til the party was supposed to get started, I had a major panic attac, including the obligatory whining that "nobody's going to show up and I just made such a fool of myself, what a stupid idea to begin with, boo-hoo!" ... you get the picture. Not to worry though, I get a minute of doubt like this before EVERY party I organize.

But of course, my neighbors did turn up. We actually had to set up another table and bring more plates and glasses, because so many of them came! They all brought a little bit of food or drink, so everybody was well fed and watered. The kids played soccer and the babies got to play in the sand, while the grown-ups finally got to know each other. Two guys realized that they had made friends years ago on a camping trip, then lost touch, and have now been living in the same building for three years without ever noticing each other!

I'm not the best of photographers, can you tell?

I was very lucky that one of the guys is a event technician and had all sorts of fancy lights and music equipment, and one girl decorated the garden with a lovely garland! There was one very sweet older couple, too, who brought some amazing wine and lit up the place with flowers and candles!

The guys are giving the camera their smartest looks.

In the end, everybody did a little bit of the work, so organizing the party didn't feel like much of a hassle at all. Try it, you might be amazed by the great people living so close to you! Me and my neighbors partied till 3 in the morning ...

By the way, we decided to install a blackboard in the hallway so we can stay in touch more easily. And all that it took was a simple handwritten poster to get all of that started! Yay!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Dinner @Traube, Berlin

Yesterday, one of my good friends surprised me with a visit at work, and asked me to come and visit him at his workplace in return. Hm, what a strange request, I thought, but not to worry, I'd be there right after I'd finished my shift.

When I turned up at the Traube in the evening, I was in awe - it is a wonderfully luxurious, very chic place where you run into the rich and important ones - mostly politicians and bankers, but apparently people like Bob Geldof eat there, too. Or so I was told by the Maître. Anyways, as soon as I arrived, I was led to my table under the tree in the yard and brought a glass of lovely crémant rosé. Wow. A few minutes later, my friend came out of the kitchen - he had arranged for me to get the VIP-treatment. That included a waitress hovering in the background, waiting to refill my glass or take care of any other wish I might have. You won't believe how silly and important you feel (at the same time) when you stumble into that kind of situation unprepared, like me. I enjoyed every second of it, though :)

I especially enjoyed the dinner I was served by the Chef de Cuisine personally (!). He sat down with me (!!) and told me that he is very new to the restaurant and ever since he started to run the kitchen, he raised the standards of food and drinks steadily. I can only say that the food must have been superb even before he started, and was stunningly delicious yesterday. In fact, it was so good that I had to stop talking because I wanted to concentrate on the party in my tastebuds. That's great praise, believe me.

Now, two facts that make this great evening at the Traube worth a mention on the O.R.B.
  • The prices are just as mindboggling as the cuisine, so if you're on a tight budget but don't want to miss out: Go there for lunch, the "Business Lunch" is great at only 9,90€. That's still expensive by Berlin standards, but heck, it's worth it.
  • This sort of surprise is one good reason to ALWAYS look your best. I didn't expect to spend the evening with the rich and famous, but if I may say so, I was dressed impeccably anyways. A bright blue silk wrap dress and matching heels suited the occasion nicely - but I would have felt terribly out-of-place in worn-out jeans and a t-shirt. So make sure you're prepared for any surprise - by looking your best at all times.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weekly Shoe: The Pimped-Out Pumps

I promised I'd show you my precious new pumps, and finally, here they are:

The actual shoes I bought for circa 17€ at my local Turkish market (I get a discount for being a regular customer and I don't care if that's cheap! :) ) . Then I invested in 4€ worth of sequins and a 1,50€ container of glittery little beads. They are pale pink with an incredible gold and light blue sheen, depending on the light. The octopuses were 75 c each at the local toy store, and the gold paint is still the same that I used for the brooch and the animals on the jam jars.
Now all you need is a few hours of time, thread, a needle and a thimble.

If you want to recreate a look like this, here's what you do:
  • Buy pumps with open toes! Peep-toes are a LOT easier to work with! Trust me.
  • Paint the animals in question, and let them dry. Set with a layer of clear paint.
  • Put on the shoe, and try out where you want to put the octopus (or whatever else you may want to sit on your shoes), making sure they aren't uncomfy when worn. Glue in place, and take off the shoes again.
  • Then secure the decoration with a matching thread.
  • Start applying the sequins and beads around the center. This is the hardest part, so if you start here, you're done with it all the sooner :)
  • Make small stitches, one per sequin/bead. Be careful not to tangle the thread - it's a nuisance to untie a knot inside a shoe !!!
  • When finished with one length of thread, tie the knot on the outside of the shoe and hide it under the next sequin you apply. That's much easier than making a knot inside a shoe.
  • First finish ONE shoe to perfection. Having a prototype that you can copy is easier than starting from scatch - you'll know what I mean by that once you're there :)
  • Just for your information: I used about twice as many golden sequins as I used pink ones. Otherwise I think they might have turned out too pink. The uneven look is also created on purpose by applying a few of the sequins upside-down.
  • Now the insides of your shoes are covered in little stitches and pieces of thread (no knots though, hopefully), you can cover them in a thin extra layer of leather or faux leather for more comfort. Ask your local shoemaker or tailor for scraps and leftovers.
Wear with pride. And don't be irritated by the jealous stares you are bound to receive ;)

I can't wait to shoot these and finally have proper pics of the whole outfit! Yay!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am Sailing ... I am Saaaaiiiliiiing ....

... or I WAS sailing, rather.
My little trip to Bavaria was a huge success, which is partly due to my home-made jams :) It turned out that the kiwi-banana concoction and the plum chutney suited my hosts' taste very well and I was one happy hedonista! Anyone interested in the recipe for the plum chutney? I'm more than happy to give it away, but I don't want to bore my faithful readers with recipes all the time either :)

But I digress, as usual. Back to the trip, now.
Pictures say so much more than words :

The Alps looked more than stunning in the background!

That paddlesteamer was way too big (and too close to our boat) to fully fit on the picture.

Showing off my not-so-dazzling physique :)
I had to overcome an irrational fear of slimy seaweeds and big fish and actually went swimming in the lake. Once in, I didn't want to come out of the water again! In fact, it was so lovely to swim that I had to be coaxed out of the lake with the promise of coffee and apple pie with whipped cream and vanilla ice-cream :) Needless to say, I was back on the boat in no time at all...

If only I had a little more time and money at my disposal, I'd be on my way back to the Chiemsee right now! The lion and I already promised to go back soon, so I hope we make that happen!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another Little Gift

I am very excited about the upcoming weekend, because I'll go sailing (Oooh, the poshness!) and stay at my boyfriend's parents' house right at the lake. To show them my appreciation I decided to bring a little something - and that decision of course meant that again, I had to come up with a cute, personal, useful and generally awesome gifting idea.

Here's what I made:

That's a customized jar of home-made kiwi-banana jam! Home-made jams and chutneys are always great for spontaneous gifts: Just make a few jars at a time, they stay good and edible almost forever, so you have a gift at hand when you need it - or jam for your own toast :)

This jam is a little different however. You don't have to cook it, you just stir all your ingredients together and let it sit in the fridge overnight. That makes it extra-fruity and very simple to make, but it will also go off within a week or so!

Here's the recipe, maybe you like it:

6 kiwis
2 big bananas
1 shot glass of coco liqueur
100 g of preserving sugar
1/2 orange or lime

some grated white chocolate (optional)

Cut the bananas into small pieces, and add the juice of the orange or lime. Peel the kiwis and cut them into small pieces, make sure to get rid of the stringy part in the center of the fruit. Then add the kiwis and the sugar to the bowl and stir for at least 10 minutes with the hand mixer, while slowly pouring in the liqueur. Now you should have a creamy light green jam. If it doesn't seem to thicken enough, slowly add some sugar and stir very carefully. Taste your jam to be sure that it doesn't turn out too sweet!
When done, sprinkle on some white chocolate et voilá!

This tastes incredible on pancakes, by the way, and adds a Caribbean feel to every breakfast table! Don't forget to refrigerate it :)

Now you may have noticed the little extra I added to the jar:

This is a replica of the frog I turned into a brooch. I did it the quick'n'dirty way, and you can SO tell. But sometimes, even I have other things on my mind than painting things golden :)
The little flecks that appear brown on the picture actually are gold sparkles that I added for more drama! I just ran my golden sparkly eyeliner all over it and secured it with clear spary paint.
Then I glued the frog on top of the jar (which is very obviously see-through, so if you make one of these, don't forget to paint the frog's belly! Just sayin' .) and now all I need to do is wrap a pretty bow around my little gift for the lion's parents and I'm ready to go!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday's New Feature: The Weekly Shoe!

Girls love shoes, don't they? Going shopping for them, looking at them in online-shops, wearing them of course, revamping them if necessary. I am one especially bad case of shoe-addiction, and strangely proud of it. My collection holds more than 50 pairs, and that's just the high heels.

The Weekly Shoe

People ask me why I would do that to myself, walking around in high heels all day at work and put on a different pair of heels that's just as skyscraping when I go out in the evening. It's pretty simple, really: High heels make your legs look longer and more slender, give you a very feminine walk and posture, make your behind look fabulous in an instant and give your body a nice little workout as you wear them. That improved look, and especially the improved posture, make you feel and look more confident. Confidence in your look, your walk and your attitude is absolutely sexy and desirable, much more than a low neckline or a short skirt.
I won't deny that you can easily over-do it, and thereby cause long-term damage to your feet. Just look at this x-ray (Picture by Helmut Newton, high-heeled boot by Karl Lagerfeld).

So please, boys and girls, wear heels, but not ALL the time. Make a point of stretching your calves often, to prevent your sinews from shortening - wearing flipflops has the same effect, by the way.

Apart from the health concerns, I have to say a few words about my style concerns...
First and foremost, there is no shame in practicing to walk in new shoes at home. Everybody does it, or at least should! You may want to practice the actual walking as well as a more or less elegant standing position. Don't feel silly about that - just imagine you're at a party and somebody snaps a picture. How do you want to look on that picture? That's a good pose right there :)

Second, don't bang your heels on the ground like a jungle drum. Of course you can't avoid the clicking noise that heels make, and sometime they just ARE loud. Try to keep the noise as moderate as possible though. Just take smaller steps et voilá :) If that doesn't do the trick, practice on a wooden floor - if you don't want to leave heel marks in the wood, you have to walk carefully! It may also help to shift your weight a little more to the ball of the foot.

This is just the beginning of my new feature, The Weekly Shoe!
Every week, I will post a shoe-related artice right here, showing off my revamped pumps, exploring the workplace of an old-fashioned shoemaker, going style-hunting with my cam for outstanding footwear and anything else that I may come up with! I'm open to suggestions, as always.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Truly Manly Birthday Gift

I wish I could claim the credit for this, but I can't. This was originally my lion's idea, and I'm just stealing it :)

About a week ago, I found myself absolutely surprised by the fact that, yes, another year has passed and it's my brother's birthday again. Oh darn. Birthdays tend to surprise me anyways, especially my own ones - just when I've settled in at one age, say 22, and I've grown comfortable with it, all of a frickin sudden, another year has passed and I have to deal with growing older yet again!
The stressful thing about other peoples' birthdays is the pressure of finding the perfect gift. Of course you want to get the birthday child something special and personal, at the same time it should be useful and look cool. I find that nearly impossible, but I try my best. Those gifts usually take some time for thought and getting it, or making it.
So with my brother's birthday only one day away, that wasn't going to happen. Instead I decided to heed the lion's advice (which I don't often do) and made him a voucher for A BEER-BREWING COURSE!

Now, that's a pretty damn cool gift, if you ask me: He and one of his buddys (or I!) get to make their own beer, drink beer as they make it ;) and after four weeks, they can try the beer they made!

In order to arrange for one course like that, you can turn to agencies, like MyDays or Jochen Schweizer but keep in mind, they take a commission, that you can save easily. Just call the brewery! I turned to the amazing Brewbaker, a cozy little pub where they still make their own beer! And, without any bargaining, they named a price ten bucks below the one that the agencies wanted. I don't care if that sounds cheap, but that easily translates to a day's worth of food for myself, and I'd rather save it if it's that easy ;)

But the next birthday in my family is looming already, and I need another thoughtful, cool and fun gift. I find it very hard to get presents for men, and I know I'm not alone with that problem. So I would really appreciate if you guys would share your best ideas for proper boys' gifts!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fleamarket Treasures

Yesterday I went to the fleamaket in Mauerpark to reserve a stand. I have a whole closet full of stuff I don't need and don't want- books, clothes, interior decorations, fabrics and so many things I already forgot about! So it won't hurt too much to sell all those random items :) I'm looking forward to it, not because I might make a little money, but because the chilled-out atmosphere in the park and on the market is just amazing. It feels like something between a playground for grown-ups and a beach party. I realize that's pretty much the same, but you get the idea!

But, being the spontaneous shopper I am, I couldn't resist to sneak a peek at the other stands ... and ended up spending a little more money than i'd planned. BUT I'm also proud owner of two new tops, a tacky gold purse, a little surprise for the lion and a few bits and pieces, like rhinestones, homemade liquorice, you name it.

You can't really tell on the pictures, but these fleamarket finds are seriously rad! And they match my secret project, my pimped-out pumps, that I want to wear next week-end. I will travel down to Bavaria, and go sailing with my boyfriend - of course I want an outfit that matches the occasion. So the dress has handy pockets and little ships printed all over it, for example :) You can see them a little better in this picture here:

I'll probably show off my outfits here when I'm back, so stay tuned! Especially for those shoes, I promise you'd hate to miss them ;)

Have a great week, everybody!