Weekend-Getaway at Quellenhof Luxury Resort

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It was the perfect end to the year: a weekend-getaway in December with my girls at the luxury Quellenhof hotel in South Tyrol (Italy). For those that know me, know that I am a sucker for weekend retreats. Although I don’t get the chance all too often, I love doing absolutely nothing. This weekend was exactly that. We went 3-4x a day to the sauna, then to the hot steam baths, enjoyed the inside and outside whirlpool, drank hot teas and closed our eyes in the relaxation area.

One thing I very much appreciated, is that most areas were adults-only. Although the resort offered many activities for children, has a water-park and even the restaurant has great offers for children, the “children-area” was always separated slightly from the rest of the resort or the adults-only-restaurant. This way families with their children did not have to worry that couples or hotel guests would get annoyed with their little ones and vice-versa.

I left my dog home with my family for that time and did not take her with me. Yet, on the last day before driving back my girls and I noticed that quite a few dog-walking paths were leading directly from the resort into the woods. We then also saw a few dogs and my guess is that one of the other hotels of the same resort allows for dogs. My mission for the next year is thus clear: Visit more hotels, more down-time, more me time – but trying to take my dog everywhere. It seems there are a few hotels that offer dog services, dog-walkers for when I would go to the SPA areas and even state that dogs are very welcome to their resorts!

and before I forget: I wish you all a great last day this year and a wonderful start into 2019!

Last Minute Gifts for Him

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Surely cannot post about last minute gifts for her (see last post), without giving some ideas for him, right?

Well, without any further due, here is a list of ideas what you can gift to your significant other, father, brother, best friend, uncle, etc.
My two absolute favorites are most likely the whiskey glas set and the espresso glas cups – a cute present and something stylish for the home. And who doesn’t love a sneaker cleaning kit?

  1. water bottle, keeping your drinks cold for up to 24h, warm for up to 12h; find it here
  2. Coffee machine from Nespresso; find it here
  3. Kiehl’s Man Facial Fuel; find it here
  4. Sneaker cleaning kit; find it here
  5. Cigar cutter & ashtray; find it here
  6. stylish espresso cups; find them here
  7. headphones, such as these BEATS Studio 3 Wireless ones; find them here
  8. leather bracelet; find it here
  9. Happy Socks gift box (with many options); find them here
  10. whiskey glass set; find it here

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Her

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The gifting season is just around the corner and once again I receive all so many questions. Most of them sounding somewhat like “What do you want for Christmas?” or “Any idea what I can gift my mom/sister/best friend for Christmas?” It’s definitely not easy – especially when you wan to gift a little something, say thank you and come to the party with more than just a smile. Yet, that is exactly what most people want: people being happy, thankful, and most all – healthy. Remember that gifts do not need to cost anything, can be made yourself (there are some great DIY ideas out there) and some people really don’t expect anything.

If you still feel that you want to gift a little something, however, I have made a small list below ranging from low budget prices to higher pricing – and I can guarantee you will surely find one idea that everyone might like!

  1. Jade beauty roller for the face; find it here
  2. Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concenrate; find it here
  3. Under eye masks from patchology; find it here
  4. Cartier Love necklace; find it here
  5. HP Sprocket printer to print mini-photos on the go; find it here
  6. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask; find it here
  7. Coco Chanel Mademoiselle – Eau de Parfum; find it here
  8. Prada card holder; find it here
  9. Chanel lipstick in the color 422 Olga; find it here
  10. Water bottle to keep your drinks 12h warm and 24h cold; find it here

Also, don’t forget to check tomorrow’s post for some last minute gift ideas for him!

Linzertorte – Daddy’s Birthday Cake Recipe

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Happy belated Birthday via this blog, dad!

Last week was my dads birthday. Since seemingly forever, one of his all-time favorite cakes is the so-called Linzertorte. My mom used to bake it for him every year at least once for his birthday; sometimes just in-between during the winter season. It’s also a traditional Christmas season cake in Germany. This year my dad was in Zurich for his birthday – mom joined, too. Because they arrived the night before his birthday, I decided to bake the cake a day before and surprised him in the morning with it and a lit candle.

Even though I am not the biggest fan of the cake, I must say it did go pretty well. The only thing I would note down for next time – the jam: it was too sweet for my taste. It really is important to find a good jam too add to the layer – or, make one yourself. Perhaps something I can do the next time around. For now, however, I wanted to share the recipe with you.

What you need

250 g soft butter / I used plant-based margarine
200 g brown sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
1 egg yolk
200 g grounded almonds
200 g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
knife tip of clove powder
250 g of your favorite jam (I used raspberry – the traditional receipe idea)
more flour
coconut oil 

What to do

1) In a large bowl, mix the butter with the eggs and sugar until nice and soft
2) add in the almonds, 200g of flour, cinnamon and clove powder – keep mixing
3) heat up the oven to 180°C 
4) spread coconut oil (best to use a cooking paintbrush) all over the baking tin (diameter around 26 cm)
5) add ⅔ of the dough into the tin, spread it equally and add jam on top of it (leave 2 cm free towards the edge)
6) add in more flour to the ⅓ of dough – so much, until you have a thicker cookie-dough like mixture
7) spread this dough onto transparent film, roughly 0.5 cm high – and place it min. 45min into the fridge
8) once fully cooled down, take out the dough and cut it into long strips, around 1cm wide
9) you’re ready to now place them onto the jam in any weaving-style you want
10) once done, whisk up the egg yolk and brush it onto the dough (this prevents the cake from burning and turning too dark)
11) now off into the oven – 40 min straight baking

E voila – there you have it! You’re (perhaps) first Linzertorte! Actually easier than it looks on the photo, I swear!

Note: I was inspired by the German-written recipe on the Betty Bossi website (though slimmed-down the recipe slightly) – though feel free to check out this one, too!

Wildnispark Zurich – My Sunday Stroll

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Since I have Zaphira in my life I started going for walks so much more; naturally, of course. Yet, I get bored quite easily if the routine hits too hard and seeing the same scenery daily really doesn’t boost my imagination nor creativity. I likewise noticed, sadly enough, that I don’t know Zurich as well as I wish I did. I thus decided to try and find new walking routes at least once a month. This Sunday I started with taking Zaphira to the Wildnespark (Wild Animal Park) in Zurich. It’s really quite the nice walk in autumn – calm, quiet, not too many people but still oh-so-many smells that kept my little fur-friend fascinated at all times. I especially loved that dogs are allowed in the area – at least when kept on the leash. Likewise, there is no entrance fee – which was also nice. The parking (when arriving by car) did cost 10,- Swiss francs; though because this money is used to support the wild park I really didn’t mind the fee (it’s a one-time pay for the whole day). For those that want to go more often, one can also purchase a parking ticked for the whole year (for 100 Swiss francs).

I absolutely loved this new scenery (and loved seeing the Moose!) and will absolutely go back – especially to see the park throughout the different seasons!