Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Go go 50ies!!

Ladies and Gents, we proudly present: The dress for Pia's wedding!
It's often hard for me to work out a style for a formal event, since I don't feel myself if I am all conform. But I do not want to be impolite by showing up in something completely inappropriate (say, my black ballgown for a wedding), so I had to think hard about giving it a little twist inside the lines.
Somehow I had decided I wanted a red dress for this occasion, don't ask me why. After unsuccessfull weeks of scanning shops and internet, I finally found this dress at C&A this week. It's a white cotton dress. I dyed it and it worked out perfectly. The belt came with it and since it makes it look much less like a beach outfit (a big minus of cotton dresses), I think I'll keep it and settle for black accessoires. I have the shoes and sunglasses, and I think a pair of black gloves and a clutch would be perfect with it. And a pearl necklace of course. Not to forget nylon stockings with the seam in the back.
I'm all fired up on 50ies now, this style has so much potential.

sorry for the crappy pic quality, that's all I could do for now, gotta run, biking! :o)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oops... again!

I admit, I love baths. Bubble baths or essence oils, before going to sleep or to start a lazy day, against a cold or preventing it after a long winter day... what's better than a big bathtub full of warm water? I am very aware of the fact that this is pure luxury and wastes an insane amount of water. It makes me feel very guilty about having baths quite regularly on the weekends. The fact that if I wouldn't keep myself from it I would maybe take a bath two or more times a week does not exactly make me feel better. But it shows that I am on the way of improving my bad water-using habits, doesn't it?

Which brings me to the boudoir-news.

The ingredients for the new, liquid deodorant: Cornstarch, olive oil, natron, water and some lavender oil.
This time I dobled the amount of natron in the mixture. It did not cause any irritations after using it for a week. Still, I am not completely satisfied with the performance of the deo. I do not exactly stink, (although people who are very sensitive on that subject - like my dear sister - will say otherwise), but there is the smell of sweat. And although I do not care that much, I know that in certain social situations this is not acceptable.
I will try a new recipe, thanks to Saarita's great idea with adding some beeswax for texture (she has hers with jojoba oil and coconut butter and came up with the wax as a local alternative for those!), and keep on trying.

And since I was having a bath anyways I thought I'd try another recipe of hommade stuff for my hair. I mixed an egg, some olive oil and honey smeared (oh, the mess!!) it into my hair and let it stay there for the bathtime.
My sister and me sometimes had those mixing adventures where we experimented with all sorts of facial masks, hand packings and decolleté scrubs. I thought I remembered one great ingredient was mashed banana, and since I had still some egg-iäägh leftover, I mixed in some banana and splashed the stuff into my face.
And immediately remembered why this didn't become a routine in our beauty-lifes. The egg makes a very uncomfortable layer on your skin when it dries, the banana slides down and drips onto your shirt and it smells not exactly nice.
Well, it does work though. Very soft skin and very strong and clean hair.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sechsiläuten 2010

Several people told me they wanted more pictures in the posts again, so in comparison for the long monologue yesterday, this is all about photos.

The Sechsiläuten is a traditional spring celebration in Zürich. It's held every year on the third Monday in April. Most shops close early for this holiday, and kids get half a day off school. At 3pm the members of the historical guilds (called 'Zünfte') leave their guildhouses in traditional costumes, with carts and horses, and join together for a big parade around the inner city. Hundreds of spectators watch whilst the Zunftleute march past, depicting the history of their guild. Marchmusic plays, sweets, flowers, bread and even sausages and fish are thrown into the crowd.
At the end of the parade waits the 'Böögg' - a puppet, personificating winter - , and at 6pm sharp the bonfire under his feet is lit. Everybody waits for the big explosion that will take his head off, for the sooner this happens, the better the summer will be, or so the saying goes.
Sechsiläuten has nothing to do with sexy people, but with the bells of the churches which started ringing for people to stop their work at 6pm after changing to summer time in march.

But... enough of the talking ;o)

Those two are ready! :o)

And this is how it sounds:

A short break after the parade:

Everybody is waiting for the Böögg to burn!

This year we're gonna have a good summer. 12 minutes and 54 seconds, and off with the head!
Afterwards: Preparations for grilling:

This is how it works: Grab your long shovel, pull up your hood, and - run!

Where are the lines?

There it is again, the nagging feeling of guilt. I guess it is a faithful companion to all who are thinking about the impact their lifes make on our environment. Sometimes reality just hits you in the face and you realise you can *never* change anything with your tiny babychanges.
You can always do more. Why are you still using plastic? What about the computer? I bet I still have a huge carbon footprint. I can never change even my own life to be sustainable... This is exactly why I decided to go through changes step by step. Because if I would want to change everything at once, I'd just be overwhelmed and discouraged.

To be absolutely consequent, we'd have to tell our 'modern' lives goodbye and go and live in a shack, knitting our own clothes and only eating what we can grow ourselves.

But wait... we've been there before, or our ancestors have. And we've come all the way from these lifes to what we have now. And there are reasons for this development.

I don't believe that going back is a solution. The solution must be to go forward, in another direction than the obvious. That might require to remember some things that went forgotten during our strive for conveniences. But it cannot mean that we have to give up all that we've worked for very hard in the past 100 years. It won't work anyways. We know what we could have... sitting in our shacks and knitting until our fingers bleed we will always remember the comforts that we had before. And eventually, we will turn back - without having made any changes at all, just repeated history.

If we want real change, we have to explore new paths. Not the old ones, not the ones that lie directly in front of us, but completely new ones.

What got me started on this were actually a few comments on my facebook post about the biketour that we took on sunday. Yes, I am driving. I like it, it's fun. It's not ecological. The thing is, I do not want to be the martyr who changes her life whilst everybody else goes on like always, on my costs (even if that is a bit of an unbalanced picture ^^). It's easy for people who do not want to change anything to look at people who actually try to do their best and say: "yeah, she/he's a freak and they've given up all that is fun, so why the hell should I do that?"

I want to live a life in this society, finding ways to profite from what comforts we have now, but sustainably. There are possibilities, and if we ever hope for an ecofriendly society, we have to start exploring and introducing them, step by step.
The aim must be to change normality to a sustainable life, to make people who don't have it be the freaks, not the other way round.

I am not a hippy, in terms of how people think of them. I do not want to get carried away by ideals that are too far away from reality and will never be ideals for a whole society. I want to keep both feet on the ground and in the world where I live.

Monday, April 19, 2010

spring is here and keeps us busy!

It seems like so many things happen these days that I sometimes just forget to use a computer. Which is a good thing. That also means that I don't blog everyday, which is a bit sad. But humans are quite powerless when spring rolls in and that is good again. :o)
Updates on the bike story are: Apparently I got something very wrong, since when Trev came around and wanted to pushstart it again for me it bitched around and just wouldn't work. So I called my instructor and he gave me the phone number of his dad who is a mechanic. I called there (I *hate* phoning, so it was a really big effort for me...) and he almost made me laugh by staying totally cool and telling me to just clean the spark plugs. Man! I don't even know where these things are!
Trev found out though and got it all running fine again on saturday! <3 Then I had my first longer drive on my own which was quite exciting but nothing big, just around the house a bit.
But yesterday we drove to my parents' place and back along lake Zurich and it went really well. My bike is just really not made for outside town, it goes a mere 80 when I push it and then everything is vibrating so much it's not really comfortable. I'm perfectly fine with it for now, since I am not fully in control of it yet, but I am already looking forward to a bigger one, because biking slow is not the real fun. ;o)

It also was Trev's birthday on friday and we had a great party, and then went for a very nice dinner on saturday, so the weekend was pretty social, and today is Sechseläuten!! I'm thinking about actually going to the parade. I must admit I've never seen it live, but there are also reasons for that. I don't like big crowds too much and I think if you can see something with additional infos and a great view on TV, why should you hop up and down to catch a glimpse of it and walk from spot to spot until your feet hurt?
Anyways, the nicest part of it is when everything is over and all the Zunft-people go to their clubhouses for their talks and food, and the huge fire is left to burn down. That means it burns all night and the whole field is filled up with people who bring grills, get some coal from the big fire with long shovels and have a nice time ejoying the atmosphere.

I have updates on the deo experiment as well but I'll keep those for a post of its own, because I took pictures and my camera is not here atm.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

days fly by

Ooah, 3 days since my last post already? Sometimes time just seems to go off and hide somewhere... I've been up to a bit more outgoing activity these days. Starting with another bikelesson, which ended in me taking a bike home that I will hopefully ride until my birthday and after that I hope I will be ready to go on the big (and interesting) ones. ;o)
I actually wanted to be able to show you a picture of me and the bike, but the truth is that I haven't driven it yet...not because I didn't want to but because I am too stupid to cold start it and managed to somehow empty the battery by trying to - twice! So I am not touching it again unless somebody is there to help me until I think I know what I am doing. It's just too embarrassing, walking out in biking clothes and all and then not even being able to get on the bike. blegh!
So that was my frustration of today. Nothing hurt, only my pride's got some bruises ;o) Anyways here's the bike:


In other news I've visited the kindergarden I'll be working in from next week on until summer. It's three days a week, seems quite a good amount to me. The kids are awesome, very nice and clever and I am very looking forward to it.

Oh and I have been reading this site with interest, the guy is a very skilled writer and has cool ideas. It's not all news to me, but it's nice to see such a refreshing approach on quite heavy topics. And what I find highly fascinating: Vlad is a great self-promoter! Truly something to learn there! :o) Have a great thursday evening!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Go green body care

Here comes another part of the little life that has to be painted in green.
Well, I was never big with careproducts. I don't use makeup very often, so it normally lasts me quite a long time. I'm not patient enough to use all those care products that ads and beauty magazines tell us about. I started using conditioner on my hair only a year ago, when I dyed it strange colors and all the bleaching made it dry.
So since this is not really my field I don't know much about green vs. normal care products. I've heard people say that normal shower gels and all that stuff contain a lot of artificial ingredients that aren't good for our body. If you are interested in knowing more, here's an article that you might find interesting for a start (in german).
'Natural' care products without any synthetics however, are insanely expensive. Another great opportunity to take myself on a journey of finding a green, healthy and affordable solution.

My criterias: The product has to
- cost the same or little more than normal, cheap care products from the supermarket (aka what I use now)
- be found easily (no long drives/expensive orders)
- be made out of ingredients that are as simple as possible and can be bought locally (no shampoo out of unscented shampoo/no exotic ingredients like coconut oil)

Even though I feel like my bahtroom equipment is very basic, there is still quite a number of things to be replaced and I decided to take it slow and go one by one. That's easy because I will use up all the products that I already have anyways.

The first thing to go empty was my shower gel. I must say I didn't even really notice it, I just started washing my armpits with shampoo. Presently, I don't want to use soap between my legs because of the piercing anyways and realised I don't really need it. No big difference. I've never used soap on any other parts of my body. Don't know about you, but I do not get that dirty during a normal day...

So that is an easy one so far, although it will maybe come up again as soon as I start using a substitute for shampoo. But that's still some way off.

This week though I ran out of deodorant. I've googled around and found this article on one of my favourite blogs.

In a nutshell, you take one part of baking soda and six parts of cornstarch. You can find both ingredients in the baking corner of your supermarket. I got a bigger pot of soda (natron) in the pharmacy however. 100 g natron cost around 6 Franks, the starch comes in a carton of 250g for I think 3 Franks. This is worth a multiple of normal deodorant sticks, so the costs are very satisfying.

I've tried this for the first time tonight, so I can't say if and how well it works. In general, I do fancy spray deodorants because they are easy to use, and my Mom used to tell me they are best because you don't touch your armpits with the container, so no bacteria will get on them and destroy the deo. Don't laugh at me if that's total bullshit. It's one of those things you can't get rid of if you've been trained as a child...
So I might try to make this solution liquid (also makes it possible to put some scented oil in...) and put it in a spray bottle. I find the applying with the brush a bit messy and since I have a habit of using deodorant after I've got dressed, I imagine this could prove as a problem.

Stay tuned in the green bathroom! ;o)

thanks for the image to:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's so beautiful it makes me sad

Aawwh, I can't help it, spring always makes me feel a bit melancholic. I went out to get some more wild garlic today, since we actually managed to use up most of what we got last week in these few days. It's SO beautiful outside now. It's warm enough to go without a jacket and not being uncomfortable all day long. Everything is in bloom, all the birds are singing, the world seems to waste all the colors and juices in a short period of time.

I mean, look at this. It's so beautiful I wanna cry. I know I'll have forgotten about this in a few months, as the world will have forgotten. As quickly as the flowers bloom once there is some sun, they're all gonna wither and die and there will never be enough time to enjoy, to appreciate all that beauty. Oh it makes me so sad.
Maybe I'm totally crazy, but I really feel that way.

This made me smile though: See that blue spot at the foot of a tree? Somebody seems to not have done their easter duties... ^^

When I came home I had some toasted bread with stuff that I found on my walk: Nettles, dandelions, bilewort and of course wild garlic.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Recipe: Wild garlic bread

This time I even managed to snatch a picture before they were gone. ;o)

Simmer chopped wild garlic with butter.
Toast some bread in a pan, put garlic on top side. Toast that side as well.

We had some simple but very great ratatouille with it. mmmh, makes me hungry! :o)

Watcha wearing Wednesday? - a little red

I think this little Heidi-Shirt goes quite well with my new haircolor.

Henna-pimped ;o)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wild garlic cakes

Here's a recipe for you, just to give an idea what one can do with wild garlic:

Out of


make a very sticky, quite salty dough

crush some wild garlic with olive oil and add to the dough

fry in a pan.

yummy yummy snack or starter! ;o)

(No pictures because we ate them so fast!! oO)

Pillowfight 2010

3d of April is international Pillowfight Day. Last year we gathered about 30 people for a nice little fight. This year there were around 150 faces waiting for us at the meeting point. Here are some impressions, if you want to see more, look for Pillow Fight Zurich 2010 on facebook. Many people took brilliant pictures.


Pictures from: 1/2 - Samuel Brändli and 3 - Jonathan Fors (

Happy Ostara, finally ;o)

Ostara, or spring equinox, would traditionally be celebrated on the 20st/21st of March, when day and night are equal, marking the beginning of longer days and shorter nights.
Trev was away on that weekend, and I was lying in bed with a horrible throat infection. So no real celebration. We started planting flowers over the last week, the spring cleaning is done, so now we are jumping into the celebrating headfirst.

You can see my traditional red eggs. It's said that red symbolises the blood of (re-)birth and therefore new life. I just think red is a nice color, and it was easier to concentrate on one color. I boiled onion skins and some vinegar for about 30 minutes, then let them cool, took the colored water and boiled the eggs in it for about 15 minutes. They were a nice rusty orange by then, so I let them soak on the balcony over night and got that nice deep red. The only downside: I seem to have put too little vinegar in the dye so if you rub them with a towel, the color comes off. But they will be eaten soon anyways. You see the remnants of 10 eggs here... ;o)
For the yellow pattern Trev mixed Kurkuma with some vinegar and painted it on. It's crumbling off though...
And in the back you can see the easterbunny that hid in our shoecloset this morning.

What you can't see is the quarkcake I baked because that one dissapeared mysteriously... ;o)

Monstrous shopping tour

We are not organised, so of course we needed to go shopping for sunday and monday on saturday. Planning ahead meals for two days actually proved as quite a task... but in the end we had a shopping list. We hit the market first, which was filled with people and stalls. During the winter months when I had started shopping at the market I hardly ever saw more than five stalls, and a hand full of people shopping... Still, it was outdoors and a nice experience.

Not so in the supermarket: People bumping into each other, big shopping carts, pushchairs, a very enclosed and stuffy feeling. Everybody just wants to get out as quick as possible... very understandable, but it makes people nervous and rushy, and you can't possibly have a clear thought if it comes to making choices... you just grab whatever you see first and seems suitable.

But we also discover questions that are tricky even if you had a day's time to think about them. For example we wanted to buy salmon. Trev got the package with wild-caught salmon from Norway. I wanted the other one, being caught in Alaska, but with MSC label. So which one is better now? Or do you have to choose which is more important: Low-carbon food or wildlife-friendly food? Is there a way to get information considering these problems without having to do a Master's in the matter?

Friday, April 2, 2010

First fruits of spring

We went to get wild garlic today. It was so beautiful in the woods and the patch that I knew it was growing from when I still lived in Schwamendingen had maybe doubled in size. I didn't have my camera then, you have to imagine the rich green carpet of spicy smelling plants unter the still leaveless branches of trees, in the afternoon sun.

When we got home we had a sink full of garlic:

We dried the leaves

I chopped some up and put it in the fridge, we froze the rest in a paper bag. Now Tref has some garlic cakes frying... yummy! :o)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

All sorts of plans

The bubbles are flying in all directions again these days. But the big over-all topic seems to be to learn. To learn new things, to finish learning older things, to do and to go, step by step, wherever it might lead. The most important - and the most difficult - thing is to keep moving.

So this is what we'll be doing this summer:

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