Author: V.

Hi from Bangkok!

Wearing a Stylenanda dress and super old Columbia fanny pack. We’re in Bangkok right now, but I’m disappointed! Considering people like to call the city a “shopping paradise” and it is indeed packed with stores, malls and street vendors, I find none of anything is even remotely my style. I came with very little luggage, but I guess that’s what I’ll leave with… Since the shopping is a let down, we’re just using the opportunity to have a lot of Japanese tonkotsu ramen, or rather tsukemen in particular, something you don’t get in Berlin. But I’m looking forward to moving on to the beach tomorrow. One, Bangkok is super stroller unfriendly. Prepare to carry your push chair up and down numerous stairs just to cross the street! Second, Thais seem to always give incredibly vague directions. Not very helpful, even if it’s actually your job, info desk lady!! Three, city tripping the way we used to doesn’t make a lot of sense with a toddler. It’s too taxing on them, and they’ll inevitably slow you …

Me as a mother

Wearing an old COS dress from when I was pregnant, a striped ASOS longsleeve and Vans. The dress somehow still makes me look pregnant?! Almost exactly the same time last year, I was struggling with the image of myself as a mother. I hated it, to be honest. But I’ve been wandering with open eyes and have found a million different ways of being a mother… That’s why now I am OK. Motherhood won’t devour you whole, it won’t limit you to just one thing, it will only become yet another aspect to your self – and I’m here for that. I’ve found I am still me, just better. I don’t want to sound cheesy… Motherhood has changed me, but that’s because I needed changing. I was incomplete and just a child before. Now I’m grown and smart because I’ve less time and energy to squander on useless shit and overthinking. Basically, I love what the process did for me, even though it was really fxxxing painful. Our days are now formed mostly from the same …

Maria Bonita tacos

Your friendly Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood guide to Helmholtz-Kiez, #1: Maria Bonita

Welcome to Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, home to hipsters grown and their families. Where the modern bourgeoisie has settled down in renovated old buildings with colorful facades outside and stucco along the ceilings inside. The streetscape looks kempt, orderly, with just the Berlin-typical graffitis for a counterbalance. The cafés are small, cozy, specialized, the restaurants diverse and delicious. This is where we live, have always lived since moving here four years ago, and don’t plan to leave again for the time being. Our “Kiez” right now, or immediate neighborhood, is the Helmholtzkiez around Helmholtzplatz. By now I know it like the back of my hand. I walk its streets every single day, baby in tow, hot chocolate in hand. Trust in me to know what’s good here, and now every week I’ll take you to my favorite places. Enjoy! This week, we had Maria Bonita. It’s an old favorite of ours, and never, really never, disappoints! My standard order is the Quesadilla Carne Asada with beef and spicy avocado sauce (not pictured). It’s amazing quality …

Decluttering is easy, it’s ideal wardrobe building that is hard

I’m trying to build my ideal wardrobe. Yes, I have been trying for a while. It’s an on-going journey. On and on it goes… In my mind, what I want is clear: I want my wardrobe to consist of solely things I love! Clothes that are special and unique, that fit me, my style and my lifestyle perfectly, and that are comfortable as well as practical as well! The problem, however, is that besides those things I truly love, I’ve a bunch of super simple, super boring stuff in my wardrobe too. They’re neither in any way exciting nor do I particularly love them so. It’s just that, one way or the other, I need them. To turn an otherwise risqué look around, or simply make an outfit more practical… Just now, I decluttered my wardrobe a g a i n. Yes, I feel like saying this every other month. But this time, even items I was on the fence with landed in the bin, and my wardrobe now has shrunken considerably. Which is great! …

Breakfast club

Wearing a Stylenanda jersey sweater — which I only later found out was a blatant Champion x Vetements rip-off — Style Mafia skirt and Vans, obviously. On my way to breakfast at ABC – Allan’s Breakfast Club, which also offers dinner and wine in the evening. I’ve been meaning to write a food guide to my neighborhood, only the post I wrote already got deleted and I’ve been too lazy to start over ever since. I’m getting around to it, though — fear not, good friends.

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation

Review: L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Cushion (Spoiler: It’s love!)

It all began in the summer when I tried this just for fun. At that point, I didn’t even use make up on the regular, except for brow product and tinted lip balm. I didn’t exactly need it either because my skin’s been good: Barely any blemishes to speak of and nothing else to cover up. And, like I said, it was summer and sweltering hot, and I especially hate wearing make up then. Yet despite all that I was hooked right away and started wearing it on the daily! That’s how much I loved it and simply enjoyed using it. In the summer, I applied this with a damp Beauty Blender. Now in the winter, I use a stippling brush. Basically, I use anything but the applicator the cushion comes with. It doesn’t matter what you use, though. Application is a breeze. The product melts into your skin like a dream, and it blends out like a dream… Coverage is light, but buildable to medium. I personally leave it at light because that’s all I need. Hands down, …

How I shop

Wearing Jacquemus longsleeve, ASOS jeans and Whyred loafers. I’m an almost exclusively online shopper. I often even order our groceries online. I use free shipping, free returns, 10% off for newsletter subscriptions, even price comparison sites — all that jazz! Probably 90% of my overall time on the internet I’m window browsing shops. That’s just a rough guesstimate. But even if it was way off the mark, most of the other remaining xx% I’m looking at fashion, too! So if nothing else, I’m fairly knowledgable concerning what’s out there clothing- and style-wise at any given time. I check the ASOS new in-section, sometimes multiple times, daily. Doesn’t mean I’ll buy anything. I’m just looking. But like, all the time. When anything catches my eye I try to not act on impulse. I’ll bookmark or favorite, and sleep on it, instead. Might be I’ll buy it the next day, next week, next month, or might be I won’t. Drawing out the process helps me decide whether I truly want that damn thing or not. Another rule …

Origami

I’m wearing the H&M cardigan from before, a Monki skirt and holding a white puffer bomber from Stylenanda. I really wasn’t trying to be original, but I randomly ended up tying the cardigan in this way and really, really, liked it. I’ve just noticed it’s Christmas really soon. I’m relaxed about it, though. All my life I thought I suck at buying presents, but this year, I got all of them way in advance. And I think they’re good ones at that! There is just one for my mom I haven’t gotten, and no idea what it’ll be, yet, but there’s still time. Have you already gotten your Christmas shopping done?

My style right now is: frumpy

I’m wearing a H&M cardigan, ASOS jeans and Reebok shoes. I really like all of these because they’re immensely versatile: I can wear the cardigan open or bound in very different styles (you’ll see). The wide-leg jeans end at this super awkward, funny length, so it looks really frumpy and grandpa-ish, which is fun, but when I roll them up they turn into the perfect denim culottes. And the shoes, I’ve already written about them before here.

How to keep warm: Helpful things I’ve learned by dressing baby for winter

Knowing what I know now, it’s difficult to not love wool! For a long time, I was too preoccupied with style to care much about the practical aspects of what I wear. Nephritis? Come get me! Icy, cold winds? I’m one with nature in my much too light coat. But with baby, oh, with baby it’s a different matter! I invest more in the individual pieces of his wardrobe than even mine, and he wears more luxurious materials than either my husband or I together. I will actually stop to wonder if this will keep him warm or the rain off his back effectively. For me, I just awkwardly hold an umbrella over my head and hope for the best. But I’m starting to incorporate what I’ve learned about winter dressing for baby, into winter dressing myself. Wool Wool is an excellent winter material – no surprises here. But did you know why? It’s breathable, and importantly, wicks perspiration and moisture away from skin and onto the material’s surface, while keeping warm and toasty underneath …

Mango selection: White shirts + a navy one

Click on pictures for link! ↑ White oversized blouse with elbow cut-outs ↑ I like the shape of the sleeves, but it’s difficult to keep them looking this crisp and good after being stuffed inside your coat sleeves in the autumn/winter. Also, the cotton material would require ironing for looking its best, and I don’t really have time for that. ↑ 100% modal white frill accent blouse ↑ ↑ White eyelet blouse – also available and nice in black ↑ ↑ Simple white elongated silk shirt ↑ Not really an option for me personally, though. Too simple/boring. ↑ 100 % viscose navy/gold dotted blouse with balloon sleeves ↑ The last one is probably my favorite. Balloon sleeves, like the sculptural sleeves of option #1, can be tricky to take care of – and are occasionally difficult to stuff into coat sleeves at all! But not so with viscose. The material would also make this comfortable enough to wear when it’s hot(ter), too! My second choice would be the eyelet blouse. Very romantic, but versatile and easily combinable. Which is …

Review: Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

A sunscreen favorite on r/SkincareAddiction, I was lured in by the promise of a mineral sunscreen that tints the skin lightly instead of leaving a white cast, as well as apparently blurring blemishes and uneven skin. Besides, Paula’s Choice is a skin care brand that I trust, so why not? Well, the bad first. I wasn’t entirely aware Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 is best suited for combination/oily skin. Not sure what my skin type is exactly, but this tinted moisturizer with SPF makes my cheeks feel tight and uncomfortable. And I don’t think I have dry skin. Also, we’re definitely dealing with a matte finish here, which is OK, if that’s your thing. For me, however, it’s clearly a minus. It not only makes my skin feel, but even worse, look, super dry, and definitely doesn’t blur anything. On the contrary, my lines are more defined, I look terribly old. The color of this looks a bit off on me too. It has this oxidized foundation-like look which makes it a bit too dark …

Vacillating between quirky / classic

I’ve been so bored with my wardrobe, I’m shopping a lot at the moment to shake things up. And while at it, I’m heavily vacillating between the usual quirky / new conservative. Like, I still love clothes with a twist, but I’m also looking for elegant, very classic items. I recently got a camel coat and a handbag, for instance. I haven’t worn a handbag in years! But then there’s also [pictured]. It’s a good mix, though. I think it’s good to have stuff to build more conservative styles now and again. Quirky can get boring, too! And on days I feel that way, I can just dress nice and normal. I think that’s what I actually needed. Options!

How to break in shoes – literally

With a hammer! Could have thought of that myself really, but still glad I made the trip to the cobbler anyway. My shoes now fit like a glove shoes should. Which means nicely and without painfully chafing my heels. Splendid! Next time I have a pair of painful shoes, I’ll make sure to cover them with a cloth and hammer away. Softens the parts that rub and are painful, and it’s easy, but works! And suddenly, a pair of shoes I rarely ever wore feel like new love!  

Finally, I know what I want!

OK, so forget about my moodboard. After a few more days of confusion, and feeling completely uninspired, I finally, finally realized what it is I want: super simple, absolutely unexciting normal people style. You know, jeans, T-shirt/sweater, flats… that kind of thing. I’ve already tried it out today, and strangely felt better in that formula than I have in any other style in a while! Yes, I might have a fair share of unusual, err, fashion-y? clothes, but honestly, right now I am feeling zero of them. What I’m also yearning for is a bit of elegance: fitted sweaters and, yes, dare I say it?, a tad more feminine dresses, instead of my eternally super-oversized stuff. So although for the entirety of my fashion-conscious life, I wanted to basically look like a bum, apparently not any more. My newest Instagram inspiration comes from @robertabentaler and @irinalakicevic, to get an idea. It’s probably my age and where I stand in life right now. I mean, might be I’ll change my mind again in a month or so, but …

My favorite thing to wear at home at the moment…

… are these asymmetrical hem knit culottes from Zara. Soft, just the right amount of flowing, and so comfortable yet chic! The waistband too is soft and firm yet elastic enough so it doesn’t cut into my mid-section. I don’t usually wear them outside, but the point is that I could! And you know how I feel about at-home-wear that easily doubles as going-out-wear! Well, move aside, my formerly favorite COS merino knit culottes – which unfortunately shrank in the wash a while ago anyway, meh! I have these in all three color-ways, and am happy about each of them! Oh, and extra tip: Zara Home homewear slippers! They always have a few very cute options to choose from. Myself, I have a pair from two years ago and still love them to bits.

Super confused -_-

I would have never thought, but… I don’t know how to dress myself! Any more. Up until most recently, I’d been cocksure of my sense of style. I was confident I knew how I had to put things together, combine this with that, buy this not that… But these days, I’m not so certain. Case in point: wide leg trousers. I put some on the other day, but only managed to look like a politician on her way to a plenary session. Strong! Professional! … Middle aged. I wasn’t feeling myself at all. When we got home, I had to look up how others, like @majawyh, @dana.hourani or @marinathemoss, wear them. Well, now I got the idea. But boy! And that wasn’t the only instance in which I’d drawn a blank either. In fact, it happens to me all the time now! That tops are usually my wardrobe trouble area is nothing new. But these days I find even my coats and jackets awkward on me, and those I was once most infatuated by. I still like most of …

Explaining my long blog absence

I’ll make this quick. When our baby was six months old, I had postnatal depression. There were several contributing factors: I put a colossal amount of pressure on myself with the baby, was severely sleep deprived, and of course, the hormones. It wasn’t pretty. So despite my initial hesitations, I started taking antidepressants and immediately got better. I learned to ask for, and accept, help. I learned to ignore other people’s opinions and certainly well-meaning, but eventually completely worthless, advice. (Which absolutely includes those from books or the internet.) Most importantly, I learned how to relax and trust myself. Now, six months later, I’m happy I am stable enough again even without the meds. And not only stable, but truly and genuinely happy! I admit I thought about deleting this blog numerous times in the past months. I didn’t feel like I would ever find the leisure and strength again to pursue my writing. But turns out I was wrong. Things get better. I genuinely enjoy our new life. And I still want to blog, even if no one’s …

I’m stuck in a massive style rut, but plan to get out of it right now!

I’m in a massive style rut. I basically hate all my clothes, and how they look on me. Also, I lost a lot of weight a while ago, then re-gained some, and now I seem to be somewhere in the middle. My old bottoms do not fit so well any longer, but really a size smaller I am neither. Doesn’t matter, though. I have no idea what I want to wear or shop in general. Not only do I look boring in everything, but everything also looks just off on me. So it’s true, motherhood changes how you dress – not only in terms of style, but the technicalities surrounding it as well. I had no idea this would be so until now, but when I happened to read this post it was basically about me:  “Somehow, caught up in the whirlwind of early motherhood, I started thinking of getting dressed as a chore and that spending any time on my appearance was precious time wasted.”   So here’s my plan. 1 Moodboarding I’ve actually been trying to …

The 5 things I most rely on at the moment for easy style

It’s definitely more difficult now with the baby to stay stylish and dress well. It definitely feels more like an effort. My style at the moment certainly isn’t top of the game, but considering the circumstances it’d feel silly anyway. So I’d say that in between breastfeeding, changing diapers, carrying baby, desperately making up for lost sleep and somehow managing our household, I look decent. But more importantly, I feel good!

Here’s how to cure extremely dry skin

I used to have severely dry skin, but especially parched, cracked, hurting hands. To make things worse, their condition was often exacerbated by frequent hand washing and then particularly strained further during the winter months. Fortunately, I finally found a wonderful solution to my extremely dry skin woes last year. And it’s really a solution, not just yet another product that’s somewhat better than other products. It is so effective I don’t even need any kinds of lotions, creams or moisturizers any longer at all!

summer beauty

Review: Su:m37 Secret Programming Essence

Sceptics argue that additional skin care steps such as essences are just an industry scam intended to loosen the purse strings of willing, and above all gullible, consumers. But I absolutely don’t think so. Essences, in my experience, make the difference between good skin and good skin that’s also radiant and youthful.

Asian skin care products

The limits of skin care

Ever wondered how your creams, cleansers, masks and other potions are actually intending to pull all of these things off?

Because, contrary to the majority of marketing copy and grand sounding product claims, the truth is that there’s only so much topical skin care applications can really do.