Monthly Archives: December 2015

DIY – Christmas Cards with Fuse Beads

Every year I am looking for ideas to craft my own christmas cards. I just think it’s more personal to craft them by myself and I enjoy the whole process way too much to buy cards instead. This year I came across this blogpost by Camilla from MummyMag.

I loved her idea of using fuse beads for christmas cards. Me and my brother were obsessed with those beads for quite some time in our childhoos doing all sorts of useless pictures with those beads. For that reason I still found a box of those beads on our attic.

Fuse Beads

To craft your own christmas greeting cards you need:

  • fuse beads
  • a board to arrange the beads on
  • carton in the wished card colour
  • ready letterings

To start off you need to decide what motive you want to create with the beads. I really liked the foxes of Camilla but decided to try some reindeers as I always find them very christmasy.

Reindeer

However, throughout the course of crafting I also thought about a christmas tree or snowflakes as nice pictures for a greeting card.

Christmas TreeSnwoflake

After you arrange the beads on the board you have to iron them. For that you can use some baking paper to put between the iron and the beads. When ironing the beads make sure they fuse all together so that the whole thing holds itself.

ironing fuse beads

After finishing this, start to make your cards. I chose to go for a format of 10,5x15cm which fits well into normal envelopes. But feel free to choose any format you like.

crafting christmas cards

To finish the cards clue the beads picture onto the front of your card. I decorated my cards with one stripe of a similar coloured paper on which I put a lettering sticker saying ‘Merry Christmas’. You should be able to buy this sort of sticker in any well stocked crafting shop.

Christmas cardcards

There are still some days left till Christmas, so I hope you got some inspiration and maybe feel like trying your own Christmas cards. Let me know how it ended or if you prefer to buy your Christmas cards.

My favourite Christmas Markets in Munich

I love Christmas Markets. The food, the different stalls and the decoration creates the best  atmosphere to get into a festive mood. My oldest friend lives in Munich for some years now and she suggested to do a Christmas Market Hopping this year. Munich has around 20 different Christmas Markets which makes it fun to not only visit one market on a evening but to do a little tour. On two weekends we managed to get through roughly half of it visiting traditional markets but also very unusual ones.

There is still some time left to visit, so I thought I share with you my favourite Christmas Markets in Munich.

1. Christmas Market in the courtyard of the Residenz – 23.11.-22.12.2015

This Christmas Market is located within one of the courtyards of the imperial residence in the citiy center of Munich. It is a very traditional market with some stalls selling craft works or christmas decoration and others with food and drinks. Although Munich has bigger Christmas Markets like the one in front of the town hall, I prefer this one because of its size. It just feels more personal and cosy.  I really like the square shaped layout of the market with a christmas pyramid in the middle. In one corner they installed a little fairy tale garden where children can listen to different fairy tales and christmas carols which makes this market also great for families.

Residenz

2. Medieval Market, Wittelsbacher Platz – 25.11.-23.12.2015

The medieval market is  within walking distance to the Residenz. It its tugged away in a small courtyard and offers a very different experience. On this market you can find medieval clothes or jewelery and even the food and drinks are taken from medieval times.

Mittelalter

3. Pink Christmas, Stephansplatz – 27.11.-23.12.2015

This very small market is targeted at the LGBT community in Munich. All the decoration there follwos the motto of the market illuminating everything in pink. I really liked the fact that they have different DJs playing throughout the night which makes it a good spot to head there later in the evening.

Pink Christmas

 4. Christmas Market in Schwabing – 27.11.-24.12.2015

I think my absolute favourite Christmas Market in Munich is the market in Schwabing. A bit outside of the city center you can find there some lovely craft work and a lot of art. I love finding new artists and was very happy to find the stall of Przemek Zajfert who sold lovely small photographs taken with a pinhole camera.

Chritsmas Market SchwabingChristmas Market Schwabing

5. Fairy Tale Bazar – 26.11.-26.12.2015

Quite similar to the market in Schwabing is the market at the so called ‘Viehhof’. With its circus tents and food stalls it creates a very unique atmosphere. The food varies from Falaffel to indian curry to vegetarian kebab. In the big tents different bands play so this market is also a good destination for later in the night.

Christmas Market MunichViehhof MunichChristmas Market in Munich

6. Tollwood – 24.11.-23.12.2015

Located on the Theresienwiese the Tollwood is more a Christmas festival than a market. I would say that this is the biggest market and offers everything from traditional christmas market to a bazar of craft works and art. The Tollwood offers food from all over the world often served in special food tents where you even can find a place to sit to enjoy your meal.

In addition to that there are also big tents with bazar like stalls where you can find your missing christmas present. There is definitely a stall for every taste. The Tollwood also is open until late and has special events throughout Christmas time. When we did our two tours, we always ended up there and enjoyed some late night snack or mulled wine.

Tollwood

I loved to get to know the different markets in Munich and would say that I prefer it to the bigger markets in Stuttgart or Ulm. They are also nice but it makes a lot of fun to change the location during the night and to see all sorts of different themed markets. I hope you enjoyed my little collection of my favourite Christmas Markets in Munich. Which are your favourite Christmas Markets? Any tipps?

What to do in and around Cambridge?

After our surfing adventure in Cornwall we headed off to our last stop, Cambridge. I have been to Cambridge twice during my time in Leeds and fell in love with the town and its surrounding little villages. Today I would like to share with you some of these sights in and around Cambridge.

We stayed with friends in Histon a village close to Cambridge. It was nice to finally leave our campervan for some days. Especially to the end, the limited space in the campervan was a strain to our nerves and I was looking forward to a bathroom for which I didn’t need to run through the rain or stumple through the dark. We stayed four nights in Cambridge before heading back to Germany.

So here, we go, these are my favourite spots in and around Cambridge:

1. Cambridge

Cambridge, like Oxford, has this feeling of history and knowledge on every corner. In comparison I think Cambridge has more green and open spaces but to me Oxford felt even more historical and old. Not sure, why and I would recommend everyone to visit both cities and see the differences for themselves.

Kings College CambridgeCambridgeWe had one day in Cambridge itself and wandered around the town exploring the narrow streets with its small independent shops. We watched some punting groups trying their luck with self-hired punting boats and just enjoyed the great weather.

Best Ice-cream in town

If you are in Cambridge in summer do not miss the ice-cream of Aromi. The ice-cream is so creamy and the taste is amazing. I tried almond ice-cream and my boyfriend got himself espresso. Both were just heaven.

Pembroke College

We decided to have look into one of the Colleges and chose the Pembroke College just because they didn’t charge any entry fee. I really liked it and after reading up on their history, I am really happy they haven’t started charging for entry, yet.

Green of the Pembroke CollegePembroke College church

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Our last stop was The Fitzwilliam Museum. The museum has different collections of art, artefacts from ancient Egypt or Greece and oriental sculptures, pottery and a lot more to discover. But even if you are not interested in art and culture, have a look inside. The architecture of the rooms is stunning. Especially the entrance hall with its marble coverings is worth a visit.

Entrance Hall Fitzwilliam Museum CambridgeGallery in The Fitzwilliams Museum

2. Ickworth

After having seen Cambridge, we headed to Ickworth the next day. The house belongs to the National Trust and is located a fifty minutes drive away from Cambridge.

With its round shape the house is very unique and the gardens are great for a walk. I love to visit these old palaces and houses which all tell a different story of a different often aristocrat family. Every time I visited one of these estates in my time in England I felt like in the middle of an episode of Downton Abbey.

IckworthIckworth GardenIckworth front

3. Ely

Ely is a small town near Cambridge with a stunning cathedral. If you get the chance try to go to their Evensong and take in the beauty and acoustics of this church. Ely itself is also nice to have a wander around with lots of small cafés to try.

Ely Cathedral

I could add more, but I guess this post is long enough already ;).  Have you been to Cambridge and what did you like most? I am looking forward to read about your tips in this city or area.

With this post my little series of travel posts comes to an end. I am looking forward to share with you some Christmas related posts next week ;).

Cornwall – Surfing as a beginner at Mawgan Porth

After our day trip to Oxford we headed down to Cornwall. I always wanted to try surfing so my boyfriend gave me a surfing course for my birthday. After finishing my dissertation, our trip seemed to be the best opportunity to put this plan into practice. When I was searching for the best spots for surfing as a beginner, I came across this very helpful post by Ali Cairns. I tried to follow his advice and looked for campsites near Gwithian or Harlyn Bay but wasn’t able to find a free spot.

Cornwall is a popular travel destination especially in the summer months. So, we ended up on the campsite Sun Haven Valley near Mawgan Porth. The campsite was more touristy than the others before. I am not sure why it felt not as nice as on the other campsites, maybe because it was bigger. This doesn’t mean that the facilities weren’t great. There was even a differnt food truck coming every evening which made the offer really good. I, personally enjoyed our time on the smaller campsites more but for families with kids this one for example also offered a nice playground and a DVD library.

Sun Haven Valley Mawgan Porth is a rather small but very beautiful bay. After our five days there I, however, think that another beach would have been better for starting our surfing career just because the waves often came in from different ankels and were rarely straight forward. Maybe that was just my unexperience which made it so difficult but you might be better off with the destinations mentioned in the post above.

Mawgan PorthFlip FlopsMawgan Porth 2The campsite was roughly a 15min walk away from the bay. On our first day we had a lazy start waking to a sunny day. We made a full English breakfast on our BBQ and decided to head to the bay to see if we could get a spot in one of the surf lessons right away. We were lucky and booked ourselves into the afternoon lesson with the King Surf School . The lesson was tailored to beginners and taught in a group of around 8 to 10 people.

Generally I would say that a lesson like this is a perfect start to learn the basics of surfing. We were taught the safety rules on the beach and the right technique to stand up on the board. However, I think next time I would go for a couple session just because I was a bit afraid of getting started by myself and felt that more direct guidance would have brought my surfing abilities to a better level.

Despite my own hesitation I had a lot of fun trying to catch the perfect wave and to stand up on the board. I must admit surfing definitely looks easier than it actually is and I wasn’t able to fully stand up. I achieved to surf on my knees though ;).
Beach
During our days in Cornwall, we were unlucky with the weather and just had the chance to practice our surfing abilities two more times after the initial course. For this we borrowed a board and wetsuit at Betty’s Surfshop . In my opinion after we had learned the basics it really was important to practice before it would have been of any help to book another more advanced course.

After these first experiences I definitely want to try surfing again. Next time I might book a surf camp somwhere in England or France. Did you try surfing before? Any tips for future destinations?