Friday, 27 January 2017

Beauty Advent Calendar 2016 Feedback

Hello ladies and gents!

Many of you were curious to know what was hidden in my Lancôme Advent Calendar ("Countdown to Christmas" blog post). So here is the answer!!!

The Lancôme box was packed full of iconic beauty products, from their perfume “Trésor”, to their Nourishing Fragrance-Body Lotion “La Vie est Belle”, to their long lasting powder blusher colour veil “Bush Subtil”, to their gentle softening face and eyes cleansing fluid, to their discount voucher, plus there was a lot of mini makeup treats in there too.

Every morning I was excited to open these little golden boxes to see what was inside. I can tell you that my enthusiasm got to those around me…hahaha...

Happy Year 2017 to all my faithful readers.

Lots of Love.

This post, like all my blog posts, is not sponsored.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Irish Lemon Cake

Today I will take you on a trip to Ireland. I made this cake last November. This is a moist cake with an intense flavour of lemon that gives it its freshness. A real treat which I highly recommend for teatime or summer picnics.  It is very easy to carry and store.
A piece of advice, keep some slices in reserve for yourself, because your loved ones will leave you only crumbs...I know what I'm talking about...

175 g butter
175 g sugar
175 g flour
3 eggs
Zest of 2 lemons (bio lemons preferably)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Lemon syrup
115g sugar
Juice from the 2 lemons

1.  Preheat oven to 160 ° C
2. Mix the softened butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one after another, while continuing to mix.
3. Gently incorporate the flour, baking powder and the lemon zest.
4. Pour into a cake mould and bake 45-50 minutes at 160°C (Check if the cake is cooked by pricking with a knife, it should come out clean)
5.  Remove from the oven, but leave the cake in the mould.
6.  Meanwhile, prepare the syrup.
7. Gently heat the lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.
8. Pour the warm syrup over the cake. Wait until your cake is cold before you unmould.

Serves 8

Monday, 23 January 2017

Black Love by Dominique Noguez (1997)

“I had never looked at her eyes so closely before. They were of a dark brown, almost as dark as the pupils. I could not write that I looked into the depth of the eyes, because those eyes had no depth. They were only a black, desperately opaque surface, inhuman eyes, of a bird of prey or a lynx, with the hardness of marble or a meteorite, eyes which looked at me but did not see me, which did not love me, which would never love me, which neither love nor would ever love anybody, eyes from another world.”

Author: Dominique Noguez was born on September 12, 1942 in Bolbec. He is a French writer. He has been awarded several literary prizes: 
1995: Roger Nimier prize for "Les Martagons"
1997: Femina prize for "Amour noir" (the subject book)
2013: Jean-Jacques Rousseau prize for "Une année qui commence bien"

My thoughts: I remember as if it was yesterday how I was absorbed by reading this book. I could not put it down and in the early hours of the morning I had devoured it. It is a story of passion and unrequited love. It traces the tormented life of a man fighting for the woman he loves. He hopes to see his love reciprocated... This story takes place in Biarritz, in the French Basque Country. While writing these lines and flipping through this book again I was smitten by a terrible desire to re-read it. If you enjoy (dramatic) love stories, you will adore this novel.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


I love Basel. I nearly lived there before opting for Geneva for professional reasons. I nevertheless kept a special place in my heart for the city, even though I don’t return there frequently. Our last visit was at the beginning of December for the Christmas Market, some cultural visits, shopping, great food... All in all, we had a perfect stay filled with fun and lots of laughter.

The buzz of Basel is fantastic and the locals are so friendly, welcoming and warm in this Swiss German region. There are many staggeringly beautiful architectural jewels which have earned the town a reputation as a centre of excellence for art, design and architecture. Basel is also celebrated for its charming Old Town, arguably the most beautiful in Europe. The city holds Switzerland’s largest and   most impressive Fasnacht (Carnival).

It’s such a “feel good” city that I recommend you to visit it if you haven’t already!

In case you want to visit the town, there are unique events there all year round. Basel Carnival (late February and March), Baselworld (late March), Art Basel which is the most important art fair in the world (June), a well-known ATP tournament (October)... to name but a few.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, there is a magnificent Christmas Market (from late November until Christmas), but you will already have read my post on that subject.

Below, the “must-see” things in Basel.

Together with the Mittlere Brücke, the Cathedral is the most famous landmark of Basel. With its red sandstone walls, colourful roof tiles and twin towers, no other building adorns the cityscape of Basel like the Cathedral.

The City Hall, situated in the Markt Platz, is the seat of the Basel government and its parliament. In the midst of the Old Town, it is particularly eye-catching with its red facade, the characteristic tower and playful frescoes.

There is hardly another monument in the city of Basel that has become such a symbol of the city as the Mittlere Brücke. Opened in 1226, it is one of the oldest Rhine crossings between Lake Constance and the North Sea.

Where the stage of the old city theatre company once stood, in 1977 Jean Tinguely created sculptural machines in a shallow fountain and in the process gifted Basel a famous new landmark.

The Spalentor is the most magnificent and impressive of the three surviving entrance gates to the old walled city, which date back to 1400.

The Blue and White Houses, also known as Wendelstörferhof and Reichensteinerhof, were built between 1763 and 1775 by the architect Samuel Werenfels as residential and business houses for the silk ribbon manufacturers Lukas and Jakob Sarasin. These former residences on Rheinsprung were purchased by the municipality of Basel-City in 1942 and 1968 and today are used by the Department of Commerce, Social Affairs and the Environment.

Basel Old Town is one of the most well-preserved and prettiest in Europe. On every corner you find buildings dating back as far as the 15th century and also fabulous modern buildings designed by world-renowned architects. Thanks to the compact size of the city, it is ideal to discover its charms by foot and walking tours, marked with blue symbols, are a good way to explore the old town.

The St. Alban-Tor (St.Alban’s Gate), dating back to ca. 1400, was part of the fortifications of the old walled city and is the gateway to a magical quarter of the city. The St. Alban-Tor, known locally as the “Dalbedoor”, is now the gateway to the St. Alban quarter of the city, which, with its narrow, winding streets and historical buildings, is like stepping back in history to the Middle Ages.

The moated castle of Bottmingen, a community to the south-west of Basel, is a highlight for all romantics. Dating from the 13th century, it is one of the few such buildings in Switzerland that are still intact. Today Schloss Bottmingen makes a wonderful setting for weddings, banquets and other festive occasions.

I have adapted the descriptions of the monuments from the Basel tourist office website.