I have many wonderful strong women in my circle of friends. They are all beautiful, inside and out, kind, extremely successful and intelligent. On the outside the look like the epiphany of success, they have their entire life together, but that may not always be the case. I'm probably myself suffering from it, moments of doubt and challenges. The past couple of months have been exactly that...filled with challenges and questioning myself if I'm good enough to do all the things I want to do.
This thought appeared in my head last night when I realized that everyone around me has gone through extremely difficult times, abuse, failure, poverty in some cases and heartache. Myself included, I would define as I was stopped from being who I am, and pushed into a confined mold of how I should be. Living with someone telling me how I should speak, who I should speak to, how I should look. Well time for a reality check and enough of negative thoughts, that's my personal promise to myself today! Ok I can't guarantee my thoughts will change over night, but my love told me I should stop looking back and stop remembering bad things and instead look at the future and the happiness I have now. Pretty smart words I have to say...maybe I need to get it tattooed in so I remember it?!
Happy Wednesday to everyone and just to remember how fantastic life is a few pictures from a great weekend!
yummy chorizo salad for sunday dinner
egg white omelette tor brunch, going to kill my fitness goals this year
trying out the new Krasnapolsky Amsterdam restaurant for lunch
Perhaps a little late but here's a short update of my New Year's celebrations which took place in Geneva this year! We hopped on the train from Zurich to Geneva and spent a couple of days at a very nice hotel called EastWest. Perfect location and well priced as well as having a decent gym and a nice trendy atmosphere!
a hotel gym with a Technogym must be a good hotel!
The SBB took us to Geneva as we opted for the train and naturally the SBB is as reliable as the Swiss watches. If you're taking a longer tripa hot tip is to pop by the restaurant cart. It's not your average restaurant on a train, it sports white cloths on the tables and table service! The food isn't shabby either, so here a rather long trip can feel like a short few minutes.
dining on the SBB
Once we got to Geneva we set out to explore the town. Geneva is a beautiful city both in the summer as well as in the winter. In the winter, there's almost an after ski mood in the city as the locals enjoy sitting outside, wrapped around with big blankets sipping their traditional Aperol Spritz or why not a glass of champagne. We found a cute little place called Riverside Café and they had a great selection of wines by the glass and little nibbles to with it.
The Au Lac hotels are perfect if you're looking for some high class cocktails and drinks, so if you're in this mood I'd try out either Four Season's cocktail bar or a bit further up the lake to President Wilson.
As spaces were limited in Geneva at New Year's we ended up having New Year's dinner at l'Angleterre hotel and if you don't want to splash the cash on going upstairs to the restaurant Windows, I can recommend having some after hour drinks at the Leopard Bar downstairs in the hotel. They have live music and great cocktails!
lakeside in Geneva
For a traditional dining experience which in Geneva often is a steak with Bearnaise sauce or some seafood head to Café du Centre. I naturally forgot to capture the delicious dinner I had but I did manage to snap a picture of the desert which was a gigantic macaroon. The picture doesn't do it justice but I'd say it was the size of half a dozen normal macaroons and absolutely delicious!
Once back in Zug, we finished a couple of weeks off by going to my favorite restaurant Hafen on the lake in Zug. I had a lovely fitnessteller with fresh grilled shrimps and the love had fischknuperli, the fish and chips of Switzerland!
Grüezi from Switzerland and speak soon my friends!
...is the beautiful nature and listening to my childhood sound tracks of Absolute Music:-). I saw this competition online for a weekend in a castle listening to exactly that, and even if I don't win the competition I may just have to plan a weekend in Sweden this spring! Well actually I'll be there a little sooner than that, but only a quick stop in the capital! Now time to rush on to my next stop today! Love for 2016!
An Amsterdam classic is Bar Moustache on Utrechtsestraat. Casual good food any time of the day whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner! Since I was the only one not working all of last week I ended up spending a long afternoon at Moustache having lunch and a glass of wine while at the same time pondering on how lucky in life I am?! Fantastic love and friends, my health and a job I enjoy! What more can you ask for?
quinoa salad at Moustache
I also passes by the sale at Bijenkorf and finally decided to buy a fur vest I've had my eye on for some time. It'll look great with some skinny jeans, oversized woolen cardigan and high heels! I don't generally send out a lot of Christmas presents and cards but one of my friends from back home in Stockholm has gone through a really tough time the past few months and I happened to see a pair of earrings from one of her favorite designers Marc Jacobs and I decided to send a little card over to her. We don't talk every day but her reaction almost brought me to tears just because someone out there was thinking of her while she was going through a tough time and I've rarely seen anyone so happy about something so small. Don't forget to tell your friends when you love them, and life is too short not to spend it on the company of people you love!
the small words that made someone smile
The festive holidays is also a difficult period for a lot of people including myself so I saw below quote and it related me to a lot of anxiety and depression that limits us as people. I felt that this is truly something that a lot of people go through during this time of the year particularly with the pressures and demands of our busy social lives. I'm a lucky duck as I have someone who cares and takes care of me, but not all people do so my promise for 2016 is caring every day for the people around me and also show them how much they mean to me❤️. And that they can truly be fearless and fierce people! Now I'm off to Geneva to look at the fireworks celebrating the start of 2016!! Skål alla vänner därute! ?
This Christmas I have decided to ignore customs and general expectations that you should spend the holidays with the family...even though you don't really like them or get along with them. I'm not going to do anything I don't feel like and instead my love and I are spending Christmas Day just the two of us, and first day of Christmas a few friends are coming over for dinner! I'm planning on cooking up a feast and inbetween the eating some serious series marathon. Currently the wire is on, but I'm thinking of picking up another few options later today! My lovely sister also sent me Solsidan for Christmas present so perhaps my sweetheart will need to sit through a few Swedish jokes without understanding a word of Swedish?!
Yesterday I got my nails done because Julafton is actually not celebrated outside Sweden so really I just enjoyed a lovely day off before the celebrations tomorrow! I got my nails done, then down to City Street Spa for a body scrub and aromatherapy massage and then finished up the evening with drinks at Cuban and dinner at Happy Happy Joy Joy!
The local pub down the street just made one of the most epic status update on their Facebook page. Apologies it's in Dutch but effectively it reads...if you're tired of the family were open all Christmas and New Years, the opening times are "tot gezellig" which is almost impossible to translate but sort of means "until a cost time", or rather until the last guest leaves. New Years even they're open until at least 19.00 and then we'll see what happens. I love a local pub that understands its customers.
the local bar knows its clients
Stay tuned for loads of Christmas cooking updates coming your way. Yumminess all the way, although I've also abandoned the Swedish cooking transitions for Jamie Oliver, if you haven't checked out his website yet you should! It's absolutely fabulous!
Since it's only Christmas once a year and I've had a tough year emotionally and physically! Particularly losing all that weight I'm taking it a little easy during Christmas week. Yesterday I realized I haven't had one of my treats in well over a year...pizza! Start using the pre made dough from the store and you'll have a gorgeous pizza in no time! I went for ricotta, spinach and onions, prosciutto and some Parmesan...yums??!
Now I'm off to the gym again, I did Zumba yesterday and today it's body pump! I also kind of want to get out of the house because the cleaning lady is there and she cleans up a mess before she puts everything back and leaves it in immaculate condition. I love our cleaning lady...bliss is not having touched a vacuum cleaner in three years?.
Amsterdam light festival takes place in Amsterdam between November and January every year. It's a light installation where artists from all over the world showcase light installations all over the city. You can chose to take two different routes either by foot or by boat, and yesterday I decided to go the foot route which stretches around Artis and Hortus. Below are some fantastic installations we saw. It's a mixed back of installation, some great, some lesser so but I love the idea of celebrating the city you're in my these type of events. I think between Amsterdam Dance event, Museumnacht and gay pride this is one of my favorite events in the city!
3D illusion over the canal
two cities inspired by Charles Dickens
I also had time for dinner with one of my closest friends and two of her friends at Hoxton. After a super busy week I took it easy and decided immediately after dinner to seek refuge in my lively bed?. I think sometimes we forget to just unwind and stop every so often. Generally I have a pretty packed schedule every day between work and catching up with friends I forget that sometimes your mind and body just need to recharge and have some alone time..the best surprise of the evening though...my love had been there earlier in the day and ordered a bottle of bubbles to be delivered with our starter. That just sums up why he's the man in my life!!
On Hoxton though unfortunately Lottis is a bit of a disappointment. The bar is great for a cocktail but the food is mediocre at best, and the staff is not quite attentive enough. It's a true expat place though so if you want to get away from the typical brown bars this is a great place, but I always think it's an interesting sign of the locals don't frequent a new place...
wow last weekend my love and I celebrated three years together! The happiest years in my life and if someone had told me I would one day meet such a wonderful man I would never have believed it! As a celebration we went to Le Restaurant in Amsterdam?.
love is indeed the small things in life...
Unfortunately Monday rolled around and back to Switzerland to finish up work before a looooong daughter after Christmas break. I did manage to go out for dinner at Aklin, one of Zugs definitely best restaurants...and they certainly go all out with the Christmas mood
Aklin serves up cod with spinach
We also got a lovely bouquet of flowers from friends to celebrate our three years...the rest of the week I've spent planning the Christmas food. My new favourite website is www.jameoliver.com. He has fantastic Christmas recipes, and not just one or two but loads! I'm having trouble choosing. We've decided that Christmas will be spent relaxing, enjoying our twosomeness, eating good food and probably a The Wire marathon...
But I'll post all the pictures later, now time to get ready for girls dinner at The Hoxton?
My lovely ladies, let me say there are so many of you out there! I have the pleasure of knowing a lot of extremely talented and strong women who have all gone through their fair share of challenges and tough times and experiences that have brought them to where they are today! I also saw a commercial from Pictet when I landed in Zurich this morning and it touched me..."Trust, one of the hardest five letters in the world"...well something like that and who would expect an investment bank to supply such wisdom, but it's true.
On Friday in honor of all the lovely ladies I cooked up a pre-Christmas dinner with five of my closest friends! It was a hysterical evening that consumed a lot of wine bottles and covered, Andre Hazes, finish tango and Swedish schlager to name a few couples. We also celebrated a new job and another friend of mine has taken the step to move in together with her boyfriend. And needless to say we are from all over the world and through serendipity and fate we all became friends. Since one of the girls is a vegetarian the menu was a veggie one, but still yummy!
starting up with a fennel and cucumber salad and ricotta
followed by parmigiana
last but not least homemade almond cake with toffee
The weekend only continued to be better and better! Saturday first provided me with a shopping round with one of my Swedish friends and then the evening ended by celebrating three years together with my one and only love. He took me to Le Restaurant in Amsterdam, a well hidden gem that serves up a fixed menu every day of the week. We had six declicious course from cod, scallops and confied vegetables to a savory macaron with mackerel and a Angus steak finale. It was absolutely wonderful and the whole menu was teamed up with a selection of wines. The celebrations didn't end up there and we spent all of Sunday relaxing in town as well.
seafood...yes I see food;-)
saturday brunch with kale salad and poached egg
Unfortunately I had high expectations to go to the Scandinavian Christmas market in Amsterdam Oost and this turned out to be a complete flop. No Christmas feeling at all and felt like stands put up in a gym school...but that didn't defeat us and instead we drove over to Javastraat and tried out two new hotspots called Rum Barrel and the other places name escapes me but fantastic places. The Oost is really becoming a vibrant area of town...and a whole day with the person you love is never a bad thing?.
Can't wait for Christmas holidays next week and lifting off to Geneva over New Years! Quality time with the ones you love! Kisses and love to all people out there! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Wow it's been a busy couple of weeks! So much happening in the office and at the same time a lot of planning to do before Christmas. Like an unexpected gift there is a bank holiday in Switzerland today...I'll admit I'm not even sure what the holiday is for. But I gives me time to run to the gym, get my facial and send out the Christmas presents before Christmas!
Last week I spent working in London and also perfect timing as I had time to pick up some Thomas Pink shirts for my ❤️. He's getting quite the collection as he's also lost some weight due to my healthy living so I wanted to buy him some new tightly fitted shirts!
I stayed right on Leicester Square at Radisson Blu Hampshire while I was in London. I've never tried this hotel before but I'll give it two thumbs up, nothing spectacular but nicely sized rooms and good restaurant!
Christmas market on Leicester Square
grilled fish keeps me on a healthy track even when its busy
Ops also did some shopping at Fortum & Mason
I went into Fortum & Mason as well and found a hat for myself that screamed MEEEEEEEE! Ok I overpaid but isn't it gorgeous and super cute?
A me hat
And back in Amsterdam for the weekend Shoebaloo started their sale and what did I find...the Jimmy Choos I've been eyeing for a couple of months! Wohoo, a really extravagant weekend but it's only Christmas once a year, right??
Kisses my friends!