Lattes
My friend is leaving England in mid September and I know already that I will miss her a lot. We met in January and although that might not seem a long time to some people we spent a lot of time together and I made a space in my heart for her. I know our friendship is not ending with her moving back to Germany and yet it is so difficult for me to understand that she chose to go back to Germany and not to stay here. Of course I have to accept her decision and yet do I know about her own concerns about going back and leaving the country and her friends behind. 
It’s nearly the end of August and she will probably leave while I am in Istanbul. Yesterday we went to Reigate together and had a good time, so we decided to go shopping today and try to get clothes for her before she returns to Germany. She drives, so it is easier to get the children from A to B and quickly we packed the pushchair and everything we needed in the car and drove off to our next shopping centre. It’s about a twenty minutes drive away and I am glad that both children are well behaved in the car. 
I want to get my driving license and I have to send off my application before starting taking lessons. You can apply online and pay the fee simply by card instead of having to send a cheque and all you need to do at the end is to send in your passport. I feel uneasy about sending my passport by post as it is my only form of identification. If it gets lost I am in big trouble. Somebody told me that I could have my identity verified at the Post Office but after waiting for thirty minutes I was told that it wasn’t possible. Now I have to wait until I get back from Istanbul before sending in my passport and then I won’t have an ID for anytime up to a month.
George behaved well at the Post Office and he occupied himself with scooting around the Post Office and bumping into a few people by accident. He is so cute and said ‘Sorry!’ to everybody. As a treat I promised him ice cream, but it is not so easy to get ice cream at the shopping centre in a decent location where we could also sit down and drink coffee in peace. Well, drinking coffee in peace is impossible with children. We went to Starbucks and I bought some roasted almonds for George and me, a biscuit for Maximilian and my friend and I drank Caramel Latte with soy milk. George got a Raspberry Yoghurt Frappuccino as a special treat instead of ice cream and he loved it. Starbucks sizes being Starbucks sizes he did not manage the small size by himself and I had a sip (or two). 

I am trying not to think about my friend leaving so soon and I try to make the most of our time together before she leaves. George adores her. She can’t even go inside the fitting room without George getting worried and asking me ‘Wo is N? (Where is N?)’ or saying ‘N, komm bald wieder! (N, come back soon.)’

Once we sat in the car on our way back home, I was a little bit relieved. Shopping with children is exhausting. It is multitasking at its best. Pushing the Bugaboo while trying to have a look at clothes and other products in store while simultaneously watching George, who is riding his scooter at top speed three aisles away and trying to entertain Max in the pushchair is not an easy task. I am tired now and will hopefully sleep well tonight. Good night!

Today I realised that is my birthday in exactly three months and I am turning one year older. Where have the last nine months been? It feels like my last birthday was not too long ago. The last two years I didn’t celebrate my birthday as much as I wanted to and as my 21st birthday was celebrated in different cities – Brussels, London and Cannes – it was difficult to make something as special as that for my last two birthdays. In Brussels I celebrated with my friends and family, we had a Sex and the City Party and watched the series all night long in the home cinema. In London I celebrated with some friends at Nobu Berkeley Street and for the weekend I headed off to Cannes to join my friends at the WSOPE Cannes, a poker tournament.

My birthday this year is at the same time as the EPT London, so many of my friends will be here and I can plan something great. One of my ideas is to get a table at Cafe de Paris and celebrate it there. Does anybody have suggestions what to do for a birthday in London? I want to do something special and memorable, but it can also be a celebration at a great restaurant or bar.

Is it already the end of January 2014? I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged since August last year. I have been incredibly busy. I started university again, I ran my first half marathon and previous to this my first 10k, a very good friend of mine moved back to Germany and an old friend came back.

George and I became member of the Virgin Active Health Club in Surrey. At the moment we are spending nearly every day there. George really wants to play Tennis, so we have a trial session soon and if he likes it he could play Tennis instead of Rugby as he doesn’t seem to enjoy the latter at the moment.

I am trying to blog more in the new year, but things being busy as they are I can’t make any promises.

It was a long and exhausting week. I am glad it is Friday and I feel a little bit like the weight has come off my shoulders. My mother has been in a psychiatric hospital for three weeks and she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. During the last years it became even clearer than before that she needs help and unfortunately it took her so long to realise that herself. She is now waiting for an intensive outpatient treatment and although BPD can never be cured I am hoping she will be able to handle it better. I don’t know anything about it myself and I am hoping to be able to do some research over the weekend.

I just felt very down the whole week. Tired, unable to sleep because of the heat and in general very unhappy with my life for no reasons. I should be very happy yet I am worrying about things that aren’t important. At the moment I really feel that I am happy three weeks of the month and one week I am feeling down, depressed and tired. I am usually a very energetic and active person but this week I didn’t manage to go out much. I am not content with myself, I am eating rubbish food, I don’t exercise and I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I put on so much weight and I am trying to lose weight. My skin is bad, my face is swollen up and even larger than usual, my eye brows aren’t plucked and slowly converting to a uni brow, my legs aren’t shaved but I really couldn’t care less. I feel bending over in the shower is too much work at the moment. I am not drinking enough and I feel grumpy. My friend Svenja would come and try to cheer me up without success. Luckily George behaved perfectly and played a lot with his friends, giving me some space and the opportunity to refuel my batteries. It is Friday today and I am able to sleep long tomorrow.

I hope everybody has a great weekend.

After three weeks of waiting and a hatching Betty we could finally see chicks last Tuesday and how cute they are. My friend’s children can not stop looking at them much to Betty’s annoyance. Even though Betty is a Wyandotte we decided to get Silver Dorking eggs. I can not wait for those three to grow up and ran around in the garden.
She is so photogenic, isn’t she?
Just a few hours old.
Meet all three of them.
You can’t trust my friend Svenja with chicks.

I was in hospital as some of you might know and I was bored to death. After asking on Twitter what I should write about a lovely user suggested that I write about my personal London A-Z, so here we start.

A for Alexandra Palace – Great place to go ice skating in winter.
B for Big Ben – There must be a reason every tourist wants a picture of it, right?
C for Canary Wharf&City of London – where else would I get my ‘successful men in a suit’ fix?
D for Downing Street – 10 Downing Street is probably the most famous front door in the world.
E for Everything – I have my favourites, but I love everything about London. Why else would I have chosen to live here?
F for Fortnum&Mason – not everyday that you go shopping on the ‘red carpet’.
G for Green Park – Great place to hang out before or after Lunch at a restaurant close by.
H for Hedonism – my favourite wine shop.
I for I don’t know – I am seriously stuck on this. Something beginning with an I?!
J for John Lewis – There is no better department store on Oxford Street. 
K for King’s Road – I love everything about King’s Road, the shops, the cafes and the restaurants.
L for Leicester Square – Watching a film at the cinema wouldn’t be the same somewhere else.
M for Maggie&Rose – My life wouldn’t be the same without this wonderful private member club for families.
N for Nobu Berkeley Street – My absolute favourite restaurant in London.
O for Oblix – THE restaurant at The Shard.
P for Portebello Market – my favorite street market in London.
Q for the Queen – I am still waiting for her to invite George and me for tea.
R for Royal Opera House – My favourite opera house in the world.
S for Southbank – Nothing better than a walk on Southbank on a sunny day.
T for Transport for London – Too expensive, dirty and yet London wouldn’t be the same without it.
U for University of London – degrees awarded from the UoL are highly respected everywhere.
V for Victoria Station – where else can I get a train home at night? 
W for Whitehall – I love walking from Westminster to Trafalgar Square. So much history.
X for the X-crossing Oxford Circus – I think I get run over every time but I am still alive.
Z for Zuma – another excellent restaurant in London.

George and I went up the Shard yesterday. It was a wonderful experience and the views are breathtaking. It’s a shame that the weather wasn’t great, but we will return on a sunny day. Our trip was spontaneous and as I didn’t book tickets in advance I paid £29.95 and the ticket was free for George as well as for all other under three’s. If you book your ticket in advance you only pay £24.95.

Every single member of staff was incredibly friendly, polite and enthusiastic. I hope that this isn’t just because it only open recently. Everybody has to go through security and within 2 minutes you are on the 68th level. The highest floor that is open to the public is the 72nd. It is open-air and should you choose to go on a chilly day I would advise you to wear a coat. It is freezing up there.

The Shard has 95 floors and a total height of 309.6 meters. It is the tallest building in the European Union as well as Western Europe and the second highest in Europe, after Moscow’s Mercury City Tower.

The powerhouse behind Zuma and Roka, Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney, will open their restaurant and bar ‘Oblix’ (the name is a play on ‘obelisk’) on the 32nd floor of the shard this summer. A further restaurant, Aqua, will open as well this summer. The amazing five star hotel Shangri-La will be located on the 34th-52nd floor while the residential apartments are on the 53rd to the 65th floor. A seven bedroom flat will cost you a whopping £50m. The offices will be on the second to the 28th floor.

I can only recommend everybody to go up the Shard and experience the View yourself. It is pricey, but hey, we are in London and you only have to do it once. Take a picnic and eat up there on a less busy day. Propose finally to your girlfriend or just enjoy the View. There is a gift shop and you can have your picture taken. I paid £28 for a leather framed picture of us, the Shard and a digital print to my email address.

I have been very busy the last couple of months and could not write on my blog. My second main priority is my degree at the moment.

I went many times to IKEA in the last months and I know most prices now in my head. I don’t know if that is worrying. My latest project was an untreated chest of draws from IKEA and I painted it in Farrow&Ball’s Clunch. It is the same colour as my bedroom walls and it looks quite nice.

I have been diagnosed with PCOS and I am taking now medication for it. It luckily explains a lot of the changes in my body I had over the last few years and as much as I am relieved about the diagnosis I am also annoyed and angry that the doctors I’ve seen over the years couldn’t help me earlier. The first three weeks on the medication were awful, I’ve had panic attacks, I couldn’t go to sleep in the evenings and I couldn’t get up in the mornings, I was constantly hungry and I cried a lot. I am now feeling a bit better, the weight is coming off and I am very happy about it. My skin is also a bit better.

I am constantly tweeting again and I enjoy taking pictures for Instagram.

I am such a big fan of Ombré hair and who can blame me? It looks amazing. Next time I go to the hairdresser I will definitely go for it, but first I have to make up my mind which colour I want for my hair. I am currently undecided about whether to go dramatically lighter or go dark brown again. Please help me make up my mind.

 

I am so glad that I have done it. Last night I washed my hair for the first time and it takes me a few minutes to blow dry it. All I use is a flat brush. My hair looks straight, frizz-free and healthy. I don’t need to straighten it anymore, unless I want to.

I know it is not a good picture but it is not very easy to take a picture of the back of your head by yourself.

Today I had my first Brazilian blow dry. I was fed up with having to straight my hair all the time and after one hour it looked just like before the hard work. Don’t get me started on how I felt after I straightened my hair for what seems like ages and it started to rain outside. My hair was just as frizzy as before. After I couldn’t get an appointment on a Saturday at my local Toni&Guy salon I found Janna, a passionate and great hairdresser, from North London on Gumtree. I made an appointment for today and Janna was a few minutes early and we could start. First Janna washed my hair twice, she then nearly dried it and started applying the product. She then blow-dried it and straightened it around 10 times. The whole treatment took us nearly four hours, including a trim afterwards. My hair looks great, feels great and I can not wait to see how it looks after I washed it for the first time. I am not allowed to wash my hair in the next 24h or get it wet at all. Unfortunately, I don’t have any ‘before’ pictures, but I will post ‘after’ pictures later.

For all the information please have a look at Janna’s website. She works in the London area, but is also available outside London. I live in Surrey at the moment and she charged me £15 for travel expenses. This was very fair. The treatment itself, including the trim cost 90£. A bargain compared what you pay in the salons and it has the same quality.