Monday, September 29, 2014

Movie Monday

Is it Monday again? Time is flying but I love that Fall is upon us and the change of the season!
Today I am going to share a movie with you the book of which has been on my reading list for a couple of months already but I just got around watching the movie first: A long way down

It was kind of a spontaneous moment to watch it but oh was it good. The cast of the movie is absolutely brilliant.
It is morbid, deep and sad and at the same time light and funny. It's that perfect mix and still leaves you sitting there wondering about life and the own thing you can't fix and how people must feel and how the only thing that can really change us is Jesus!
I highly recommend this movie.

xoxo

Ramona

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The good kind of chaos

It was one of those afternoons which leave a total mess and chaos in your kitchen, dining and living area that it takes you a while to sort it all out especially if you have to wash your dishes without a dish washer like me.
But it is the kind of chaos which is proof of having gathered people around your table and invited them into your home. It is proof of a shared meal and conversation. The table was covered with glasses and coffee cups and plates with crumbs from cake and drawing paper and pencils and napkins and burnt down candles.
It is the kind of chaos which cleaning up keeps you thinking about all the conversations and prayer and tears you shared with your favorite people. The people you love sharing life with.

That is how last Sunday was for me and cleaning up that kind of chaos is never work but happiness and joy and process of new built memories.

xoxo

Ramona

PS: I made this cake by local milk and it was absolutely amazing.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Movie Monday

Today I have a movie for you that is quite fitting with this year as I had my 10 year reunion as well.
I watched 10 years recently with two of my friends and when watching the trailer you could think it's somewhat of a romantic comedy, fun and all but it really is different and shows the reality of how life can be. How it is messy sometimes and how we all deal with our own things and it's also about overcoming and moving on.
What I really liked is how the movie became deeper as it continued offering more questions than answers. I thought the use of camera was very well done.
I think it was so interesting and also realized that at my own reunion that we all somehow feel like we need to proof something. Show that we have accomplished something in life, gotten so and so far.
But even before my own reunion when I thought about it I didn't like that fact because I don't want to find my affirmation in what I do for a living or how far I have come. My journey is my journey, I've gained experience, grown, become more myself and know who I am and where I am headed. I found myself in Jesus and that ultimately puts you at ease.
So to finish this movie recommendation I'd say, watch it, have a calm evening and be in for a surprisingly good movie.

xoxo

Ramona

Friday, September 19, 2014

Feasting and Fasting

Over the last year I have discovered or rekindled a love for cooking and baking and it is not a phase but it has become a certainty in my life. I am making an effort to make as much as possible on my own starting with granola or bread or dinner or lunch.
I have always known that a love for producing meals was in me but being busy and not wanting to take the time to slow down to prepare a meal have kept me from it for a long time. I have always loved gathering people around the table and sharing a meal and cooking for them. But there is a difference between the everyday cooking and the special cooking in that that you have to stay creative everyday and really make an effort to feed yourself well.
For my birthday this year I got this book and it spoke to the innermost part of me. I could hardly put it down. The other book I got was of course by Kinfok and I had wanted it for a long time. It is such a beautiful book with great stories and recipes and again the effort to gather people around a table in very simple ways.
So of course my summer has been about trying out recipes, eating well, having friends over, baking, drinking lots of coffee (hello that's what you do when you're in Italy) and lots of cheese. It has been a season of feasting and enjoying.
But I believe in balance in my life and I don't mean the ying and yang kind of balance but having your priorities in check, knowing where to invest yourself, knowing when to rest, knowing when to push, knowing when you need your family and friends and when you need alone time. I also believe in balance when it comes to food. I do not believe in diets and all that comes with that. I believe in real food, seasonal and local and in whole fat milk and yogurt.
So after a season of feasting I also think it is important to take time and fast to get back into that balance. Thankfully this whole week we're having a prayer and fasting week in my church and I love it. It was the perfect opportunity to cut some thing out of my life for a week like coffee or sugar or TV or movies. It was a week to rethink, regroup, refocus. It is then when we cut out all the unnecessary things and focus on God alone that we hear His voice even clearer, that the path becomes more enlightened and that we are more sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
It was the perfect transition from a calm and relaxed summer to Fall and all the change and adventure that it will bring. It was perfect because I was able to get back in balance and see the my priorities and what really counts. And one of the main things I am taking out of this week is to stay the course no matter what comes my way.

xoxo

Ramona


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Of Rest and Food and Italian culture

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I have actually been back from my summer break already a while ago but it took me a little bit to sort through my pictures and share with you. But here I am ready to show you all the beauty and fun and adventure that was my summer break or at least the part I spent in Italy.
This is already the second time this year (oh the beauty of living in Central Europe!) that I have traveled to the beautiful land of pasta and tomato and cheese and wine and so much history.
We all know that I love Italy a lot but this time around was different and I got to experience it all a lot more local and people based than ever before.
So this is going to be a post about winding down, calming down, new appreciation for food, exploring history and dealing with a language I don't speak. All accompanied with the pictures I took.
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Becky and I had decided to make the trip down to Orvieto a journey as well and stopover for a night at Lake Como. We decided to stay at a youth hostel for the night and keep driving the next day. It is after all a 8-10 hour drive. We arrived at the hostel in the evening. Upon entering I personally just wanted to start laughing because all my European youth hostel stereotypes came alive in one little instance. There were people from all over the world sitting around tables drinking wine and there were bulletin boards with lots of offers for leisurely activities. On top of that the owners were dressed in their alternative style. When we entered our group room we both had somewhat of a coming off age moment. It was a moment where I knew this was it, the last youth hostel I'll probably ever visit again. The night was well half asleep half awake and when we woke early in the morning we were happy to just take the ferry to a nearby town to explore and indulge in Italian breakfast. We also had this breakfast the way it should be, at the counter sipping Cappuccino and eating croissant oozing with chocolate. Heavenly and one of many of this trip. When it comes to pastries you can hardly beat a chocolate croissant and I am not even a big chocolate person.

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The next couple of days we stayed at a private B&B which I would like to call "Marcella's castle". In fact the tower is over 1000 years old and Marcella did a great job at up keeping this property.
While Becky was out glazing her pottery with a local artist I stayed with Marcella who barely spoke English. So I tried my best Spanish and mime and we found a way of communication. We went for a walk and hung out by the pool and she cooked amazing food for us. All natural, all local and simple. The first night when we arrived she made Bruschetta with tomatoes and truffle cheese accompanied by a good wine. She called this the perfect meal for when you have a lover at your house. I will just take that as an idea for the future husband. Check and check.
As she also does cooking classes we asked if we could do one and cooked a four course meal with her from soup de courgette to tomato sugo and eggplant parmigiano and filled zucchini. All of it bathed in her own olive oil. What more could you ask for?
It definitely upon everything else helped me view food a little different again and how to go about creating and remembering recipes and trying new techniques. And that is the core of any cooking class isn't it?
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We left Marcella's castle and stayed in Orvieto the rest of the trip. One of the days we spent the morning at the art studio glazing. I learned how to glaze in the most simple ways and while the professional artists went about their amazingness I sat there listening to the music, glazing tiles. It was nice and cool inside the studio and getting hotter and hotter outside. Every once in a while I stepped out and breathed in the air scented with fresh rosemary other herbs. It was beautiful and quiet and so far removed from my day to day life. It gave me time to breathe in and be inspired, to let my soul rest.
The afternoon continued like this as we went to Lago di Bolsena and laid by the beach or talked in the water. It was probably one of my favorite days as we didn't watch the time and we had some amazing conversations where we shared our hearts. There is something about being by the water. Maybe it's the rising and falling of its melody or the way the sun reflects on the water and makes it shine like little diamonds. Whatever it is for you or for me it was definitely the perfect afternoon finished with a trip to Civita, the city on the hill.
This day was followed by me traveling to Rome and seeing it in the 12 hours I had walking everywhere with a vague city map and a city guide. So I walked from the train station to the Colloseum, through the Roman Forum, to the Pantheon, to the Vatican, then to the Spanish steps and Trevi Fountain and back to the train station. Crazy I know. To summarize Rome I have to say I am glad I went. I saw the main things, quickly, but I did. I had to remind myself in between that I was walking on historical ground, I decided to watch Gladiator again and was affirmed again that this is not how I like to visit some of the most beautiful cities in Europe and that I'd rather take my time, explore, go where the locals are, take it all in. But you learn out of experience right? Right.

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After Rome I only had two more days left before I took the train back to Germany. So we did as the Italians do. We got up in the morning went for a run, had Italian breakfast at a cafe, strolled through the city and explored the farmer's market and made it back into the B&B right at noon. We stayed inside eating tomatoes and mozzarella and pecorino and cucumbers and peaches drinking espresso and watching So you think you can dance. Then we spent the afternoon visiting the beautiful town of Orvieto which I totally fell in love with.
The Duomo is one of the most beautiful churches I have seen so far and the frescos which initially inspired Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel impressed me a lot more than the Sistine Chapel did.
The evenings were spent at local restaurants with lots of truffle on everything and good conversations before we fell into bed happy and rested.
Looking back this vacation couldn't have been better or at a better time. It was all I could have asked for and the two weeks followed by this trip I mostly just stayed at home as it was raining and cold. But it didn't matter because I was cooking and trying out recipes, watching Sherlock and having my girl friends over to share dinner and stories.
And now the summer is slowly coming to an end and one of my favorite seasons lies ahead and I hope with it new adventures and growth and all the change that Fall holds.

xoxo

Ramona

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Movie Monday

As I told you last week I have somewhat of a different Movie Monday planned for today. The term movie is probably applicable in a broader sense.
But anyways during my summer break I somewhat became a little Sherlock addicted. My friend Larissa first introduced me to the show and I had watched Season 1 a while back already.
But then the weather was so bad during my holidays that I really just wanted to stay inside and did not feel bad about doing so.
What I love about this series and why I feel fine using the term movie is because it is like watching a 90 minute movie but the best part about it is that it doesn't stop. It's like the best of both worlds combined. Add to that that I love the stories of Sherlock Holmes and also add to that awesome actors, great settings, a nice and interesting twist on an old story and you have an absolutely well rounded, well done and well acted series.
I thought it was the perfect combination of being super intense without being creepy and humorous in a very natural way.
So if you like me find yourself on a rainy holiday or Saturday don't worry this will be the series for you to watch.

xoxo

Ramona


Monday, August 25, 2014

Movie Monday

Hello there. I am back from a well needed summer break and ready for everything that is ahead. I spent over a week in beautiful Italy and I promise I will post pictures soon. The rest of my vacation I was at home, sleeping in, working out, trying new recipes, reading, eating and of course watching movies. Well, in this case I would rather say I watched more TV shows than movies.
But there was one movie I watched right in the beginning that topped it all so I didn't really think any other movie for my vacation could live up to it which of course I know makes no sense at all. But oh don't we all no the weirdness of my brain sometimes.
But moving on. Saving Mr. Banks was such a gem and I am so glad I finally watched it. It was beautiful and funny and sweet and heartbreaking and well acted and anything you could hope for. Emma Thompson was phenomenal!
I don't really have much else to say other than I think you watch this movie and cry and laugh and sing.

Also I might have somewhat of a different movie monday planned for next week. Stay tuned.

xoxo

Ramona

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