Thursday, March 31, 2016
I know I'm pretty much repeating myself each month, but I'm ready to file an official complaint against the speed with which the time is flying by this year. I mean, where the heck has March gone? When I look at my calendar, all I can feel is an absolute puzzlement - and a tiny twinge of anxiety. It feels like I have absolutely no control over my time. How can tomorrow be April already?
All my time-related musings aside, March was definitely an eventful month for me. I filed (and paid *sniff*) my taxes, I succumbed to a bug that clued me to bed with the biggest migraine I've ever experienced, but it was also a great month in terms of business, and I finally (!!!) made it to the mountains to check the last item on my winter bucket list off. I was so happy to find out that I hadn't forgotten skiing :) Even if a few more trips to the Alpes will be necessary for me to gain the assurance I once had on the slopes.
These were the highlights of my March. This month I was:
Reading lots of YA books. Don't judge me. I recently realized that I tend to do this when I feel kind of overwhelmed with my own life (which happens to me more often than my composed self cares to admit). Getting lost in an elaborate, fully invented world always helps me to get out of my own head and it also prevents my mind from spinning endlessly and helps me fall asleep. That, to me, is priceless. This month, I practically devoured Rick Yancey's The Fifth wave, closely followed by The Infinite sea. It wasn't an easy story to keep up, but the post-apocalyptic world Yancey constructed was really fascinating. It made me anxious to put my hands on The Last star as soon as it comes out in May.
While I was in bed with that nasty bug of mine, I also tore though the first two books of Sarah J. Maas Throne of glass series. It makes for an interesting plot, too, but I'm really curious to see how the author keeps up with it when it's supposed to be a series of seven books. Especially since I'm currently a few chapters into the Heir of fire, and I can already sense the pace slowing. We'll see how it goes.
I also read some non-YA literature: I was biting my nails while reading The Dark secrets and laughing out loud and rooting for the revenge-seeking heroine in The Dressmaker. And as disgusting as it may sounds, I practically licked the pages of The Nigellissima - that book is a real treat for both the eyes and the taste buds.
Listening to John Williams. I love to listen to the instrumental music while working, writing or blogging, and John Williams is definitely one of my favorites. Whether it's his music for the Harry Potter movies, or the Schindler's list score, it always helps me focus on my work without any unnecessary and distracting lyrics.
Eating wild garlic. I'm positively crazy about this stuff. Its short, but bountiful season is in full swing, and it's been spreading like a wildfire just at the edge of the forest near our country house. My parents have been picking it practically daily and I've been trying to find creative ways to incorporate it into my meals. So far, wild garlic pesto is one of the best things I've ever tasted! Recipe to come soon.
Traveling to Austrian Alps. My Easter trip to Hochkar was hands down the best thing about my whole month. It was my first ski trip in 4 years (!!!), and I savored each and every second of it. And the fact that our hotel and its staff were an absolute charm, didn't hurt either. Everything, from the location to the welcome drink of Prosecco, to the delicious and bountiful cuisine was absolutely perfect. I wasn't even back home yet and I was already plotting ways to get back there as soon as possible!
Planting herb and tomato seeds. I have some grand plans for my tiny balcony this year. I want to turn it into a green oasis, with potted herbs and tomatoes waiting to be harvested and tossed into a slew of easy summer salads. For the first time in my life I'm trying to grow cherry tomatoes from seeds, and so far, it looks rather promising (fingers crossed). I'm also looking forward to growing my own basil and cilantro (and who says cilantro, says endless supply of homemade guacamole. Yum!) I can only hope that my black thumb is definitely a thing of past!
Drinking Côtes du Rhône. My brother and his wife went for a ski trip to France (and yes, before you ask, I was jealous as hell and I absolutely want to go with them next year :) and when they asked me what they should bring me, a nice bottle of Côtes du Rhône was all I could think of. What can I say? I love myself a lovely glass of red wine, and Côtes du Rhône is definitely one of my favorite varieties. And I definitely wasn't disappointed. Time for another trip to France, perhaps?
And now it's your turn to share what were the highlights of your March. What did you enjoy and what made you smile?
Monday, March 28, 2016
I know I have been raving about the arrival of spring all last week, but I'm currently enjoying one last breath of true winter. I've spent the Easter weekend skiing in Austria, and it feels like the perfect closure to this long winter. I've cleared my head a little bit, I ate way too much delicious food, and I'm already plotting ways to return to these mountains, the sooner the better.
I hope you are all enjoying this long weekend with your loved ones! xx
When it comes to having too many tabs open (both literally - in my browser, and figuratively - in my own mind), I am the worst. THE worst, guys. I can have dozens and dozens of tabs open on my computer, which only results in me feeling overwhelmed and my PC to slow down to a sluggish pace. Or it crashes completely. It's one bad habit I'd love to break, and Catherine's recount of her month with having just one tab open is a huge source of inspiration and motivation. I can only imagine how hard it could be, but for the sake of my sanity, I'm most definitely ready to give it a try! How about you? (via The blissful mind)
The subtle floral pattern on this gorgeous pastel dress screams spring to me.
Social media can get some pretty bad rap (and often times, rightfully so), but I still loved Camille's ideas on how to make them a more positive part of our lives. Inspiration, not comparison, is the master word here! (via Camille Styles)
Macaronuts are now a thing. I kid you not. (via Town & Country)
The truest, albeit only temporary statement.
"By focusing on the things I am passionate about, having fun, enjoying some downtime and prioritizing the things I care about the most (my family and my health), I have been able to avoid having a work-life balance burnout." These are some serious words of wisdom from my biggest entrepreneur hero, Richard Branson. Now, if only I could follow in his footsteps! (via LinkedIn)
What you might have missed on The Charming Avenue:
My spring bucket list filled with fun and charming activities.
A list of things currently inspiring me.
A little reminder to myself about being grateful and appreciating things I already have.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
|Images via: Viva luxury // The Everygirl // Style me pretty // Style me pretty living|
Hey guys, I'm clocking off way early this week, I have my bags and ski equipment all packed and I'm off to a much anticipated ski trip in Austria. Despite having lived in Austria for more than 6 months, I have actually never skied in the Austrian Alps before, and I'm excited as a kid in a candy store: it's been so long since I descended the snowy slopes for the last time - I'm almost worried I forgot how to do it! I'm wishing you all a sunny and happy Easter, spent with the people you love most, and I can't wait to see you back here next week.
I'm leaving you with just a few things and activities currently inspiring my office daydreams (don't tell my dad / boss :) :
Styling a spring trench. Honestly, guys, I'm so sick of winter fashion! I can't even stand a look of my winter boots anymore - on Monday, to honor the beginning of spring, I pulled out the ballet flats from my shoe closet, and wore them to work - despite the fact that it was 3°C outside, and I wore them to go pick up my skis before my upcoming trip to Austria. I was like, screw it, I'm not going to put on any ankle boots till next October. My tried and trusted beige trench has also made its first appearance, and I simply can't wait to style it in 100 and one different ways throughout this upcoming season. No more winter coats for this gal!
Setting up a coffee station. This is one of my latest obsessions. I have seen so many cute and stylish coffee and tea stations floating around Pinterest, and it makes me want to spruce up my own morning coffee ritual. Of course, my beloved Nespresso machine is a stunner in and of itself, but surrounding it with pretty mugs, transparent capsule containers and a stylish tray definitely wouldn't hurt!
Learning to put together gorgeous spring floral arrangements. This is one of the most fun items on my spring bucket list. Fresh flowers strewn around my apartment are a surefire way to make me smile and increase my happiness levels by bucketfuls. And I've made a vow to invest in grocery store flowers whenever possible (ideally before each weekend). I know that this may seem like a pricey idea, but my local grocery store carries simple bouquets of roses, tulips or gerberas for as little as 2 euros a bunch (you can't even get a coffee-to-go this cheap!), so I don't think I'll be blowing my monthly budget anytime soon. And the beauty these flowers bring into my apartment? That, my friends, is priceless.
Styling my kitchen counters. My kitchen is my happy place. There's no doubt about it. It's the place where all my friends and family gather when they pay me a visit, where I can experiment with new recipes to my heart's content, where I savor my first cup of cappuccino of the day and where I occasionally cover up my dining table with my blogging and writing projects. I do my best to keep the space clean and tidy (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so), but what I feel is missing right now are the little touches that would make it more beautiful, organized and personal. I think a wider Pinterest research might be in order, and it's definitely one of those little projects I'm looking forward to tackle this spring. Any ideas you could share?