Abu-Dhabi-Sheikh-Zayed-Grand-Mosque

It’s official. I am moving to Abu Dhabi in October and I can’t wait.

According to the lovely Lix my life is a rollercoaster and I couldn’t agree more with her, but it’s the unpredictability of my life that makes my life what it is. I am not saying it’s always great, but whose life is? Moving to Abu Dhabi will be another chapter in my life and I am very excited.

 

How did I decide to move to Abu Dhabi?

Earlier this year I thought I was moving back to London. I found a great position to start in August and handed in my notice at work. In June I spent ten days in London. There I was not only reminded of the things that I missed about living in London, but also of those that made me leave in 2014. Taking the tube during rush hour, delayed and cancelled trains. People rushing from A to B without noticing others around them. Homeless people begging for money in an area where 5 Million Pound houses are considered a bargain. The constant rushing and most importantly: The majority of the UK had actually voted for Brexit. I was awake the entire night and couldn’t believe it. Of course, that’s a completely different matter and I don’t want to discuss it here – right now.

Back then I didn’t think I would be moving to Abu Dhabi anytime soon.

In the end, I decided against moving back to London for several reasons, my health being the most important one and I had another job offer in Bern, Switzerland. The position was more challenging and better paid. I was meant to start at the beginning of August but then I had an accident and was unable to start the position.

There I was at the hospital with a broken ankle and the doctor’s statement that I wasn’t able to work a minimum of two months. Well, two months if I was lucky. It was a very difficult fraction and he said it’s more likely to be three to four months. Luckily, my second surgery when very well and I am able to work in October again.

 

I always thought about moving to Abu Dhabi

Last year I applied for a position in Abu Dhabi and actually went there for an interview. The job sounded great, but it wasn’t for me. Many employers in the Middle East only want native English speakers and even though I speak English fluently, I was turned down for many positions. For others I was too young. In the end I gave up and stayed in Germany for a year and never tried to apply for a position in the Middle East again.

While I was in the hospital, I saw a position advertised in Abu Dhabi starting in October. I knew I was able to work again then and I thought with all the bad luck I had, maybe I should apply. A day later I received an email and just a few hours after my second surgery, I had a phone interview. One hour later I had the job. I couldn’t believe my luck. It’s a very good fit and it’s only one more month until I am on the plane to Abu Dhabi.

Have you been to Abu Dhabi? What did you think?

How to find the perfect TV
As you might know, I am relocating back to London in August and I can’t wait to move. Right now, there isn’t much point in buying the things I need and want, so I will wait until I have moved back to London soon.

One of the things on my list is buying a new TV.

I lived without a TV for the last two years and although I am not the biggest TV watcher, I miss having one. Once I settle in my new place, I would really like to buy a new television and have it in my bedroom to watch my shows and movies on Netflix. Watching my favourite programs on the laptop is okay, but it gets difficult when I have friends around and more than two people try and watch a film on a 13 inch screen. As you can imagine, a great movie night is almost impossible. I know nothing about TV’s and I have to admit until now I never really cared, but now that I am looking at all the different options out there, I feel really lost. There are so many choices, different screen sizes, the type of screen technology (What’s the difference between Plasma, LED and LCD?) and of course: every TV seems to have different extras. Buying a TV can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Online help when buying a TV

Luckily, online I found this great TV buying guide and after reading it I feel less overwhelmed by the choice out there when buying a TV. Of course the first thing you should decide on, is the screen size of your new device. It’s the diagonal measurement between the two corners. While the screen sizes can go up to 50 inches or more, I would prefer to have something smaller, around 36 inches or even 32.

One of the things I would like to have is a display resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, meaning it’s HD compatible. It’s always good to look out for the Full HD logo. Next comes the type of display. Today there are four different technologies on the market: Plasma, LCD, LED and 3D. All are different. Apart from the 3D I am sure I would not be able to tell the difference though. As I said before, I didn’t know much about TV technology before reading the guide. LED seems to be the flattest screens out there, so it’s probably an option I would look at.
Did you recently buy a TV? Which TV do you have and can you recommend it? 

The Real Cost of Being an Expat
I moved abroad for the first time just two months after my seventeenth birthday. I wanted to take a break after the 10th grade and improve my English. Becoming an Aupair in England seemed the perfect choice. It gave me independence and the opportunity to discover another culture. Back then, I never thought I would still be an expat almost ten years later.
It’s been nearly nine years, four countries and even a short stay back in Germany since I first said goodbye to family and friends.

Personal life as an expat

Being an expat is great when you are young; single and you don’t have a care in the world. Now I am slowly starting to realise what a cost expat life has to my personal life. I am nearly 26 and never had a serious relationship with someone. My friends back at home get to experience all those things. They are moving in with their partner, getting married or even having children. I don’t even know where I will be next year and making commitments in my personal life is very difficult, if not impossible.  Well, I had what you would consider a serious relationship with someone for three years, but he is constantly moving for work too. One year I actually ended up flying back and forth to New York City twice a month. However, we had an age gap of fifteen years. He wanted to get married and have children. For me it was too serious when I was 23. I dumped him and with him London shortly after.

How did my life as an expat start?

In 2007 I said goodbye to my grandfather who kindly dropped me off at the airport in Cologne with two suitcases. A very kind airline didn’t charge me for the eight kilos excess luggage I had.  Of course, my parents weren’t at the airport, after all I had fallen out with them over a year ago. Back then we were on non speaking terms. Shortly after drinking milkshakes with my grandfather and boarding the plane, I landed at Stansted Airport and was excited to start a new part of my life. At the beginning I lived in Sevenoaks, where I also went to college. In January 2009 I moved to London. I fell in love with the British culture, yes, I was young and naive and at the beginning everything looked perfect. The move to London as a just recently turned 18 year old girl seems like everyone’s dream and it was mine. Even though I worked 5-6 days a week, I would be out partying three to five times a week. Sometimes I would only have two hours of sleep. Those were the days, when I still had the energy. In 2011 I wanted a change from London and I go somewhere else. I knew that I wanted to return to London after one or two years. After a successful job interview in Brussels the moving van and I were off to Belgium’s capital in April 2011.

The expat bubble

While I never felt like an expat in England, I felt like one in Brussels from day one to the day I moved. Belgian people do not welcome foreigners with open arms, at least all my expat friends and I thought so. Being an expat is like an inner circle. You go to great events thanks to organisations like Internations and meet other expats but you never truly belong to one place or to that local group of girlfriends who see laughing and chatting in the cafe around the corner. It’s hard to break out of that circle.
Surely, I met many great people on the way, but I feel, although those friendships are great, they hardly ever go deeper than having great times together. Can I say I would ever count on one of them when my house burns down and I need a place to live? I am not sure. Also, many expats of course will move to another city or country at some stage. Some stay a year,  some a bit longer, but hardly ever someone stays for good.

My friends are all over the world

Of course, I have really great friendships with people I met when I was a young teenager, but they are still back at ‘home’.  They don’t understand what it means to leave everything behind you, to start from scratch in each new country you move to. They don’t know what it means never to know, how long you will stay in your new place and it’s hard to explain it to them.

While I am writing this, I am sitting at home – on my own, wishing someone would be here to watch the first match of the German soccer team with me tonight. I know I am moving back to London in August, where I feel home and I hope I am staying for at least two years. Including the move to London, I am moving for the fourth time in 20 months and financially I can’t afford another move anytime soon.

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Review-Pod-Room

Two weeks ago I went floating for the first time in my life and I loved it. I was invited by Chris, the co-owner of Floatworks, to try out floating in one of their I-sopod tanks for one hour and I can recommend everyone to give it a try.My appointment was scheduled at 10:30am and I arrived a little bit early. Floatworks Vauxhall is very easy to find, once you leave the Tube Station you see St. George Wharfs in front of you and walking up the stairs you will already see Floatworks. You can’t miss it.

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Review

The team at Floatworks Vauxhall

The team was very friendly and explained everything in detail to me. There was one more question I had: Was it okay to leave the light on during the session? While I am not claustrophobic, I have Nyctophobia. I am scared of being in the dark. When I am alone, I always sleep with a light on. I addressed this to the receptionist and he told me it’s okay, but I should at least try it once I am relaxed. I was reassured that I could switch the light anytime as there is a button inside the pod.

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Review-Reception

His colleague picked me up and we walked through a door leading to the lockers, where you change your shoes to comfortable Havainas flip-flops, get your towels and you can lock everything you don’t need in the lockers. I left my smartphone behind, something I usually never do, even when I sleep it’s always by my side. There is no need for your phone in the pod room and I actually think it is rather disturbing. One thing less to worry about.

 

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Review-Changing-Room-Area

What to do before floating?

The preparation for a relaxing and the successful floating experience starts at home. It’s best to avoid caffeine for a few hours before your session as it can prevent you from getting into the meditation zone. I had peppermint tea for breakfast and a bit of omelette. You also shouldn’t eat too much before the session, a light meal a few hours before the session is ideal. If you exercise before the session, the relaxation will be more pronounced. Ideal is yoga or a good run, but any form of exercise is fine.

What to avoid before a float

Also, if you smoke, don’t smoke just before the float. Nicotine is a stimulant and ideally not enjoyed before the float or best never. I also didn’t shave before the session, the salty water won’t feel great on freshly shaved skin and the team provides you with vaseline to cover up any cuts and scratches. Pre-float it’s best to drink some ice-cold water. It’s important to stay hydrated and yet, you have to go the bathroom before the float. You don’t want to get out of the tank once you are in it.

 

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Review-Pod-Room

You don’t need to take anything but yourself to Floatworks. They provide everything you need from super comfy towels, high quality moldable ear plugs that actually stay in your ears, robe to SLS free organic toiletries. After your float, you can go upstairs where you not only find a chill out area, but also a vanity room with lighted mirrors, hairdryers and GHD hair straighteners. You can wear a bathing suit if you feel uncomfortable going in naked, however it’s best to go nude.

Inside the pod room

Every pod room has its own shower, so it’s all very private and you won’t notice that there are other people floating in other rooms at the same time. I undressed, put in my ear plugs and had a quick shower. It’s important to put in the ear plugs before you shower or at least, before you climb into the tank. I had a quick shower and dried my face properly before getting into the floating tank.

 

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Float-Tank

Inside the pod was a blue relaxing light on and I was ready to climb in. I wondered whether I would actually float, but all I had to do was to relax and lay back. Unfortunately, there was no music as promised and for a minute I thought something was wrong. After a few minutes I forgot about it and I enjoyed the feeling of warm water on my skin. I chose to not wear a swimsuit and I would recommend everyone to do the same.

The floating experience

So, there was I in the floating tank and I had so many things on my mind. What happens when I fall asleep and won’t hear the music at the end? How will my job interview be? Hopefully I don’t get salt water in my eyes (Don’t worry, unless you touch your eyes like I did, the water will not go further than your temples when you lay back). As you can guess, I find it very hard to relax and not to think about anything.

 

After a while I had to open the lid a bit, as it was too warm for me. It’s not too hot actually, but if you know me, you know how much I hate heat and I am rather too cold than too hot. Once I had a bit of fresh air on my face, I started to relax. I completely lost my sense of time. I can’t remember how long I had been in the water. Was it half an hour? Forty minutes? I wasn’t sure and I didn’t care.

 

Floatworks Floatation Shower

After a while, the music started playing and I knew it was time for me to slowly leave the tank and have a shower. I was so relaxed coming out of the pod, I actually got a bit scared when the filter started cleaning the tank. It’s important to have a really good rinse afterwards and to condition your hair. Floatworks provides everything you need, organic shower gel, shampoo and a lovely smelling conditioner. After the session, I went upstairs in the Hollywood Room to blow dry and straighten my hair.

Floatworks-Vauxhall-Chillout-RoomUnfortunately, my weekend in London was rather busy and I had to rush out for an interview following the session, hence I couldn’t enjoy a cup of tea in the Chillout room. I am in London again next month for over three weeks and I will probably be very stressed out from my intensive driving course, so that I have at least one session during that time.

After the session, I felt very relaxed (I find it hard to relax, so that tells us something) and with my interview straight after my Floatworks visit I should have had every reason to be nervous, but I wasn’t. I also noted that my skin felt great after, I have very dry and rough elbows and it actually hurt a bit while I was in the water, but for a week after the session my skin including my elbows felt great and not dry at all. It’s been nearly two weeks now and I can still an improvement.

 

The benefits of floating

Floating has other benefits too. Research has shown that floatation therapy has a significant impact on mood enhancement. It promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation, eliminates fatigue and jet lag and improves sleep. I can vouch for that one, I slept like a baby the night after and I usually struggle to fall asleep. Further, it diminishes depression, anxiety and fear and increases motivation.

Floatworks was found in 1993 and since then the company has sent more than 150,000 customers back into the world feeling happier and healthier than they arrived.  To find out about more about Floatworks and floating, you can visit the Floatworks Vauxhall website.

Disclaimer: I received one complimentary floating session in exchange for an honest review. Most pictures in this article are by Fabio Zaveti - My iPhone didn't take the best pictures.

WatermelonWatermelons are the perfect food to eat in summer. They are delicious, low in calories and super hydrating, making them a great snack during hot days. I love eating watermelons during the summer and I usually eat at least one a week. Apparently, in 2016 watermelons are much more than just a fruit. They are big in fashion too. This summer, you don’t just eat them – you wear them too.

I am currently planning my summer travel wardrobe and wherever I look, I stumble across watermelon printed swimwear.

While I don’t think I can pull off a teeny weeny watermelon bikini, I love the Soludos Watermelon Slice Espadrilles and the South Beach Watermelon Print Beach Bag.

Watermelons have also inspired quite a few beauty products. Not only can you get lipsticks and nail polish in the watermelon colour, no, there is actually a Watermelon Keratin Blowout and a matching eau de parfum.

 

If you still can’t get enough of the watermelon trend, check out the products below. You can get nearly everything from a watermelon print ironing board cover to even an Origami set.

 

What do you think of the watermelon trend?

Watermelons in 2016, Fashion Essential, Fashion Must Have, Fashion, Lifestyle // www.whatnadineloves.com
Watermelons in 2016, Fashion Essential, Fashion Must Have, Fashion, Lifestyle // www.whatnadineloves.com

 

Working out again - How I am getting fit again and lose weight. // www.whatnadineloves.com

One of the ten healthy lifestyle changes I made this year is working out again after a nearly two year break. Initially I tried not to hire a personal trainer at the beginning. I worked with many personal trainers in the past and I really wanted to motivate myself this time, but in the end, I am ending up working out not intensively enough and I also want to know what I am doing. My employer introduced me to a great personal trainer here in Lugano, which came to train her at home and she let me have her session twice. While he works slightly different than my old personal trainers, he is great and I feel quite motivated throughout his sessions. That is something I struggled with my old personal trainers a lot. I would say ‘I can’t do this!’ a hundred times every session and I would give up far too easily.

I made a new friend here in Lugano and she is training with me two to three times a week. She was placed here through the same recruitment agency as me and as we found out, it’s not the only thing we have in common. We both have PCOS and are going to Las Vegas at the same time this summer. While she isn’t staying as long as I do, we have plenty of time to hit the pool and clubs together. I am really looking forward to it and of course, wearing a bikini and not looking too ridiculous in swimwear is one of the biggest motivations to lose weight.

This month trying to work out with our trainer roughly 10-12 times a month isn’t possible, though, as I am off skiing this Wednesday and then I am off to Germany. I was also ill last week, so the first three weeks of March we can only train once a week with him, which isn’t enough, but I am glad that I have my kettle balls back and I can workout a few times alone in the evening when it’s too late to go out.

Working out again - How I am getting fit again and lose weight. // www.whatnadineloves.com

Workout with Kettlebells

I like to workout with kettlebells. A kettlebell is a cannonball shaped weight with an attached handle. The main difference between a kettlebell and a standard weight is that the weight of the kettlebell is off center, it makes your core and your grip work a lot harder. If you want to burn fat, you can achieve this in just twenty minutes with the kettlebells. That’s what I love about them. Even if you don’t have much space in your home, kettlebells can be stored in a corner, under your bed or even used as a door stopper. However, if you have never worked out with kettlebells before, please ask someone experienced to get started. Your posture is very important.

I have a workout room in the basement of the house, it’s not a gym, but it has enough space for different exercises, especially when I use kettlebells. I have lost fifteen pound so far since the 9th of January this year when I started and while it could be more, I am quite happy with myself. I can also see that I am getting stronger again.  I use the Shred it with Weights by Jillian Michaels at home and I own the 6, 8, 12 and 16kg kettlebells by York.


Have you started a new fitness routine in 2016? Let me know about it!

Working out again - How I am getting fit again and lose weight. // www.whatnadineloves.com

Just before Christmas last year I had surgery. I wasn’t feeling well for a while, I gained over 50lbs in less than eighteen months, thanks to a diet full of sugar and carbohydrates. It lacked all the nutrients my body needs and my PCOS played up big time. Instead of being full of energy and wanting to live my life to the fullest, I felt like an old person and was already tired by the time I woke up. Tired is not the right word. Occasionally I bursted into tears while brushing my teeth as I knew I had to work. I was not tired, I was exhausted. I never prioritised my health and it caught up with me. Every month I was in pain when one or two of my ovary cysts ruptured and for the first time in my life I had to call in sick at work once a month for a few days. My social life was nonexistent, getting ready seemed too much for me and most of the times I would work, come home, spend some time on my computer and fall asleep. That’s all I did for months and eating. The surgery was a wake up call and I really wanted to change my lifestyle habits for the better in 2016 (and the years after).

1. Moving and starting a new job 

I didn’t make it a secret that I was very unhappy in Germany. While I felt loyal to my employers, nothing else kept me in Cologne. I wanted to go and so I did. In January I moved to Switzerland for a new position and to have a fresh start. A fresh start from myself. It was me who neglected my body and I realise now how much harm I caused myself. My new job pays better and I work less hours. So it’s a win win situation.

2. Ditching the Diet Coke

I have probably blogged about this before, but I was one of the biggest diet coke addicts out there. I would drink four litres of diet coke a day. Every day. I knew how bad it was for me and I couldn’t stop. On more than one occasion, I tried to stop only to have a horrible headache and be moody after a few hours without it. I had my last diet coke on the flight to Milan, that was the 6th of January and then I went cold turkey. It was one of the best decisions I made so far this year, all my stomach issues are gone.

3. Going back to Paleo

In 2014, I went three months on the Paleo diet and nothing else has helped me not only to lose weight, but also improve my general well-being as much as Paleo. Since the beginning of January I switched back to a diet without processed food, sugar and dairy. I do have the odd treat when I am on holiday though without feeling guilty, but I go straight back to healthy heating. I have lost weight, my skin is improving and I have much more energy.

4. Working out again

While I never worked out a lot, I did work out 2-3 times a week, either running or having a session with a personal trainer at the gym. I am now working out 3 times a week with a personal trainer here in Lugano and I can already see improvements.

5. Losing weight

Well, Number 3 and 4 only lead to number five and yes, I am down 12lbs already since the beginning of January. It’s still a long way to go, but I hope to be there by the end of this year. I don’t have a goal weight, I would like to be fit and healthy. I don’t care about the numbers on the scale.

6. Starting Yoga

It’s something I wanted to do for a while now, but I was always too embarrassed to try. However, having moved to Lugano and trying to care less about what others think of me, I am starting a Yoga class in March. It’s a beginners class and I can’t look forward to start next week.

7. Better sleep

My sleep can be described in a few words: Quantity but not quality. So while I always slept a lot or at least enough, I never felt like I got a good night’s sleep. While I am still adjusting to my new home in Lugano, I am already sleeping better. It’s still hard to fall asleep and to sleep through the night, but overall I feel better in the morning when I wake up.

8. Drinking Water

Drinking enough water every day was something I really struggled with, especially as I was so busy drinking diet coke. I am now drinking three to four litres a day and it really became a good habit. It helps me losing weight and improving my health.

9. Spending less time on my smartphone

Okay, I have to admit. I still use my iPhone a lot, but it is a lot less than I used to. In the past it was so hard just to leave my smartphone somewhere and I guess I spent 6-8 hours a day staring at my phone. I am still trying to reduce using it over the next few months.

10. Being happier with myself

I was very harsh to myself, blaming myself for too many things and in general, not loving me. I am more positive about myself now and I am very optimistic about the future. I am finally feeling a lot better than I did the last two years, especially last year, and I have all the energy back I need to reach my goals.

How about you? Have you made any changes this year? How do you feel?  Let me know in the comments box below! 

Online-Courses-DeskI believe in continuous personal development and that you should never stop learning. I don’t believe in standing still. I have learned so much since I started blogging and yet there is still so much to learn. It never stops. This year I am working a lot on gaining another qualification in my profession, but I would like to also learn a bit more about SEO and social media marketing. Ideally, I would also like to improve my photography, but first I need to buy a new camera. It’s all little steps and I am hoping to be a bit closer to my goals at the end of the year.

Coursera and edX offer some great online courses run by some of the best universities of the world. It’s free to audit any of the courses, but you can choose to get graded and a certificate at the end of the course for a fee.

1. Personal Branding

I think branding yourself as a blogger is very important and it’s one of the things I am constantly working on. I rebranded last year in summer, when I changed my blog from the German Girl in London to What Nadine Loves as I didn’t live in the capital anymore and I felt with me moving a lot for my job I should change the name to something easy and that works in any location. Of course branding is so much more than naming your blog.

Learners will learn to understand both what personal branding means and what it means to inhabit their brand. It will also talk about establishing yourself on at least three social media platforms, something probably every blogger has done so already but who knows? Maybe you learn one or two things. It will teach you how to create a mission statement for your blog – your personal brand and how to create a system for on-going brand maintenance.

The course instructor is Kimberly R.Barker, the Manager for Technology Education and Computing at the University of Virginia. The course is free, but you can pay $49/£34 to get a certificate at the end of the course. It’s a five week course and takes up about 3-5 hours each week. The course is self-paced and you can start anytime.

Enroll now for the Personal Branding course.

2. Digital Branding and Engagement

edX offers a similar course named Digital Branding and Engament. It is run by Curtis University and takes one or two hours of your time every week for four weeks. You will learn how to increase brand engagement through the creation and distribution of content using an own digital channel approach. This course is free, but you can get an end of course certificate for $49/£34.

Find out more about the Digital Branding and Engagement course.

8 Great online courses for blogger

 

3. An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation

Every blogger should know the basics about SEO by now, but it’s still something that I have to improve. I am currently updating my old blog posts, it’s a long process but when I just started blogging, I didn’t even know what SEO was exactly or I thought I knew, but I was wrong. I want to go back and back my old content work harder, while also creating new content that is SEO friendly. An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation is the first out of five courses plus one Capstone project in the Search Engine Optimisation Specialisation course. You can audit the course for free, but you can also pay $79/£55 per course to get a certificate.

You can find out more here: An Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation

4. Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation is a specialisation on Course that includes five courses and one Capstone project. The specialisation will teach you to optimise a webseite or your blog content for the best possible search engine ranking. You will learn the theory behind Google search and other search engine algorithms; you will also build practical, real-world skills that you can apply for a career in internet marketing or online content development.

You can find out more about the five courses and the capstone project here: Search Engine Optimisation.

6. Social Media Marketing

I don’t know one blogger who doesn’t use at least one platform of social media and while it seems so simple it can yet be so confusing. While the course is focused on bloggers, you can learn to match markets to social strategies to profitably grow your blog. You will also learn how to use social media tools and platforms to design, manage and optimise social campaigns to promote growth and to position your blog brand in the global digital marketplace. I think this course is very useful to all the bloggers out there.

Find out more about the Social Media Marketing course.

8 Great online courses for blogger

 

7. Cameras, Exposure and Photography

This is the first part of the Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR course and I really hope I can buy my new camera soon to start this course. Improving my blog photographs is one of my goals this year, but you don’t need a DSLR for this course.

8. Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization

Once I have my desk back, I want to start this specialization. You don’t need a DSLR, all you need is a smartphone and you will learn to gain control of exposure and understand the fundamentals of composition, while exploring documentary and creaBarve concepts to make the kinds of photographs you always wanted.

Sign up for free or choose to gain a certificate at the end of the course: From Smartphone to DSLR
Are you planning on enrolling for any of the courses mentioned above? Can you recommend any online courses for bloggers? Let me know in the comments box below. 

8 Great online courses for blogger - Blogging tips // www.whatnadineloves.com // How to improve your blog.
8 Great online courses for blogger - Blogging tips // www.whatnadineloves.com // How to improve your blog.

Seed - The Smart Bottle That Never Forgets about You - Drinking enough water is important to your health. How to Drink More Water. // www.whatnadineloves.com

There is a new bottle on Indiegogo and I need to have it. We all know that not drinking enough water can lead to serious health problems, yet too many people forget to drink the amount of water they need to stay healthy. I should know, I was one of them myself. While I easily consumed three to four litres of diet soda daily, yes you read that right, I hardly ever drank one glass of water a day.

I was addicted to artificial sweeteners and caffeine, so drinking a lot of diet soda wasn’t difficult for me, but drinking one litre of water a day was hard, really hard. I wish somebody would have reminded me to stay hydrated the entire day. There are apps out there, but none of them seemed like fun to me and after one or two successful days, I went back to only drinking diet coke or coke zero.

Seed - The Smart Bottle That Never Forgets about You - Drinking enough water is important to your health. How to Drink More Water. // www.whatnadineloves.com

Seed is the solution – an affordable smart water bottle with the most advanced hydration management technology available, Seed helps users remember to drink water and thus live a healthier life. The bottle is not on the market yet, but the product development is nearly complete and the team behind Seed, Moikit, is currently fundraising for a mass production of the Seed Bottle by Moikit on Indiegogo and allows people to preorder. You can also find more information about the bottle inside the Seed Moikit Media Pack.

Seed - The Smart Bottle That Never Forgets about You - Drinking enough water is important to your health. How to Drink More Water. // www.whatnadineloves.com

Of course, you can drink water out of a normal water bottle, but would it be as much fun as drinking out of the Seed? The bottle comes in three different sizes and lots of different colours, my favourite colour is the white bottle with the gold lid and it would go very well with my iPhone.

What do you think of the bottle? Would you buy one?
*Disclaimer: I have NOT been asked to promote this product by anyone. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 

Seed - The Smart Bottle That Never Forgets about You - Drinking enough water is important to your health. How to Drink More Water. // www.whatnadineloves.com

How To Declutter before Moving

It’s Monday and I am moving on Wednesday. Well, the way it works is that I take one large suitcase with me while the rest stays in my current place until the end of January. Although my new position is based half of the week in Milan and the other in Lugano, my main residence will be in Switzerland. I’ll have to wait until my prohibition period of one month will be over, before I can apply for my work and residence permit. Only then can I move all my belongings to Switzerland without having to pay import duty.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to declutter my belongings. I have so many things that I never use, but take up space and they always seem to be the things creating a mess. They are also the things that I find the hardest to declutter, but most of the things I took with me from London to Brussels and back, from London to Cologne and if I don’t sort them out now, I will take them to Lugano with me. To be fair: When I moved last year to Istanbul and put my belongings into storage, I decluttered a lot. I gave away so many of my clothes and shoes, at the time it was really hard for me and I felt very sad, but I can’t even remember what I donated or thrown away then. I am very emotionally attached to my belongings, I am actually more sad about the fact that I have to leave my almost walk-in wardrobe behind than saying goodbye to my family.

How to Declutter Before Moving / www.whatnadineloves.com

1. Start with your wardrobe

Ladies, you have to be strict here. Start with everything that doesn’t fit you anymore and decide whether it’s going to the charity shop or straight into the bin. You didn’t wear that dress for a year? Be honest with yourself. You won’t wear it again, there is a reason why it stayed in your wardrobe for so long. Go and have a look through your shoe collection. Do you really need so many shoes? I bought lots of cheap shoes at Primark and H&M for work that have holes in the shoe sole and as they aren’t worth getting fixed, I throw them away. The rest can either be donated or be sold. You can then buy new shoes once you have moved. Simple! I also throw away any tights and socks with holes in them and underwear that I don’t wear anymore.

2.  Next comes the bookshelf 

I love a bookshelf full of books, the more the merrier. So when it comes to decluttering my bookshelf, I usually can only sort out 2-3 books at a time. This time I am not taking my books with me, they will be put into boxes and go into my grandmother’s basement. However, if you want to give away books you can either give them to friends and family or to the charity shop. Books are heavy, so every book you give away will make carrying boxes so much easier. Also, if you like me and collect old magazines, sort out any you don’t want anymore. I used to keep every single magazine I bought, but when I moved to another place in London I throw away all but my Glamour magazine collection. If you are as attached to books as I am, don’t feel too guilty if you have as many books after decluttering as you had before.

3. Documents and other paperwork

When I moved to Istanbul last year, I started sorting out all the letters, documents and other paperwork I have. I scanned every single paper and saved in a cloud with the exact name and date. Then I decided what was really necessary to keep and  the other papers I shredded. My life is so much easier now, when I need a document all I have to do is search it on GoogleDrive and instead of looking for it for hours, it only takes seconds.

4. Toiletries and make up

Having lots of toiletries and make up, is great, but when you move it really is time to sort out a few things. Last time I moved, I gave away so many of my products, it probably halved my collection. Do I miss any of the things I gave away? Not really. Last year I didn’t buy much make up or other products, so this time there isn’t much to declutter. When you move, you don’t need to take bottles of shampoo with you that are only half full. Of course, if it’s a high end product, keep it, but drugstore products can be given away or used up before you move. The same applies to make up. You haven’t used that eyeshadow for a year? How likely will it be, that you use it again? I also throw away any mascaras that I don’t use at the moment.

5. Everything else

Go through all your other belongings and be strict. If you have time, go through every single draw and get rid of everything you don’t need anymore. It will be much easier to unpack in your home when you only take the things you really need with you.

Do you have any decluttering tips? Is it easy for you to declutter or are you as attached to your belongings as I am?

How to Declutter Before Moving / www.whatnadineloves.com


I can’t believe it’s time to talk about another design trend again. Where has the last month been? This month trend is Horizon and I glad I can finally show you my favourite wallpaper from the Graham&Brown collection. But first, let me tell you a bit more about the Horizon trend. The main colour of the Horizon trend is blue. Blue can make you feel peaceful, tranquil and bring a cool, calming breath, fresh air into your home. But the Horizon trend is more than that, it is all about embracing Mother Nature into your home.
My bedroom reminds me of a forest. It’s east facing, so choosing green or blue colours for the walls is a great choice. My walls are painted in a greenish colour similar to the one on the picture above and my furniture is all dark brown. It definitely feels very sanctuary and I love spending time in my room, may I be sleeping, relaxing or working on my computer. I am also lucky enough to live by the river and it’s right in front of my bedroom. What my room is really missing, is wall art. My walls are still naked, even though I moved in nearly six months ago. I really like the Feather Duo and Feather Trio pictures. They would look great in my bedroom and bring a little bit more of Mother Nature into it.
But now, let’s talk about my favourite Graham&Brown wallpaper. It’s the Kelly’s Ikat wallpaper by Kelly Hopken. I think it really represents the Horizon trend well, it’s modern, it looks sophisticated and it would look great combined with white furniture. There are of course many more great wallpapers, you can find more wallpapers on the Graham&Brown wallpaper.
Are you inspired to create a little sanctuary in your home? Which room would you decorate? Let me know in the comments box below.

I have always been a fan of movie nights at home with my closest friends. On my 21st birthday, I had a big Sex in the City Night at my house, where we watched the programme non-stop until the morning in the house’s own cinema. Now that I am living on my own, of course I don’t have a proper home cinema anymore, but that is not a reason not to have a movie night. Panasonic have a great range of different television’s and my favourite choice is the Panasonic 4K Viera Television.
So how to have the perfect movie night? First, you have to decide whom to invite. For a great movie night it is a good idea not to invite more people than they can sit comfortably sit in your living room. You can then decide what theme your movie night will have. Is it a Comedy evening or a night full of horror and screams? It is a good idea to decide on a list of movies beforehand, so that on the actual night you can spend all the time on watching movies and not waste on making a choice.
Prepare drinks and snacks before your guests arrive. It’s always a good idea to offer similar food to that you can get at the cinema: popcorn, nachos and ice cream. Also try to make some healthy snacks, for example, cutting up vegetables like cucumbers and carrots. Make your living room comfortable, get blankets and cushions and experience a bit with the lighting. It’s best to keep the lightening behind you, so a lamp behind the sofa is a good idea. Before your friends arrive, make sure that the equipment is working.
After your friend’s arrival, have a chat before you start watching the movie. That way you can fully concentrate on watching the movie later. Nothing worse than trying to tell your friends about your new boyfriend while they are watching a stalker movie. Switch off your smartphones, you really don’t want any disturbing during the movie. Finally, get the movie started and enjoy the evening.
Do you like movie nights? What makes a movie night perfect for you? Let me know if the comments below.
* Collaboration with Panasonic // Upon clicking on the photographs used, you will be forwarded to their source. 

At the end of March, I moved into my new flat in Cologne. It was a building side, new walls were added, others were taken down and the entire flat was painted in white. I am a perfectionist when it comes to the place I am living in and everything has to look great as soon as possible. Of course, decorating your places takes time and costs money, so the last three months I pretty much invested all my spare time in my home and my bank account can’t wait until this place is done.

In the entrance area I want to create the Precious trend. The trend focuses on the appreciation of all things vintage and antique. This could be a collection of old photographs, books or keys, but also just to draw the attention to a special piece of furniture. Of course, everyone interprets the Precious trend differently. To me, the best precious thing when I decorate my place are my photographs. They document memories, the fun I had on holiday, the great parties I went to and the time I spend with my friends. My precious friends.
A great way to decorate a room in the Precious trend, is to start with a traditional and classy pattern wallpaper. Graham&Brown has everything you need to create whatever you are after. Damask wallpapers are perfect for this and thanks to the great variety Graham&Brown has to offer, there is something for every taste. Different colours, different patterns – the choice is yours. Below are my personal favourites:

The Desire in Taupe/Metallic is great for a sophisticated look, but if you are a bit braver and want a more dramatic look, the same pattern comes also in purple. Of course, their are many more wallpapers in the Graham&Brown collection.

I am currently flat-sharing, so when I chose the wallpaper my flatmate and I had to make the decision together. We chose a stripped wallpaper for the Precious trend, our hallway is a lot longer than wide and my flatmate didn’t feel a pattern would be the best option for our entrance area. Our choice was the Figaro in Gold/Beige.

Not only offers Graham&Brown great wallpapers to create this style, they also have lots of great accessories to style your home. As I wanted to display my photography collection, I chose one of the picture frames from their collection. But be aware, the existing pictures in the frame are so pretty, you might not want to swap them with your photographs. You can order one of their picture frames here.

I also love their mirror and clocks. The Silver Fretwork Mirror (centre) is great for the Precious trend, so are the clocks on the left (the Cogsworth) and right (the Pocket Watch Clock).

This trends suits nearly every room and I think the best  thing about it, that everyone can interpret the style themselves. What is most precious to you? What do you want to be seen immediately by everyone that enters your home?

A disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Graham&Brown and I am participating in the ‘Year of Design 2015’. During the year I receive products, coupons, giveaway and promotions. However, all opinions are my own.