Tuesday

hanuta German wafers

Everyone in my family knows that I am a big sweet-tooth or candy maniac. Whatever you call it, I love eating desserts and never miss a chance to try out a new type of candy. To satisfy all of my sugar cravings my lovely sister, who lives in Germany, has sent me a lot of delicious German sweets, chocolates, cookies, and other treats. So, my today's post I want to dedicate to everyone, who can't live without glucose overload. And if you live in the EU or Germany, maybe you'll find in this post some of your favorite snacks? If so, don’t forget to let me know in the comments.

Giotto Weiße Mandel

I want to begin with Giotto Weiße Mandel ‒ a German analog of famous Raffaello spheres made from coconut and almonds. But my taste buds think that Giotto has a far better taste. These sweets are as lightweight as a feather and melt away right after you put them in your mouth. I loved them very much, so these almond treats were the first thing I finished from the package. The structure of Giotto spheres is very similar to Raffaelo; they also have an almond nut in the center of the sweet.

German cereal bars Corny

Next are the very popular cereal bars Corny. My sister sent me two popular flavors: coconut and banana. Corny made of oat and wheat flakes, juicy coconut, and banana poured with milk chocolate. I am addicted to these cereal bars. They have a pretty simple flavor, which is nevertheless satisfactory. A few of the corny bars are still hidden somewhere in the depths of my purse.

Hanuta hazelnut wafers

Every German citizen knows and loves Hanuta hazelnut wafers. These crunchy wafers are smeared with sweet and aromatic cocoa cream and seasoned with crunchy hazelnuts. The incredible and aromatic taste of these wafers makes them perfect for breakfast. I love to eat them with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or sugar-free tea. They also provide the body with extra energy, which we all need during a long day of work.

the classic American chocolate cookies, filled with chocolate chips

These are the classic American chocolate cookies, filled with chocolate chips. The dough is sweet and crumbly, and the chocolate chips add an extra pinch of sweetness to the flavor. I am a fan of homemade pastries, but my cookies are not nearly as tasty as these crunchy yummies. If you prefer fairly simple desserts, then you should definitely try the German look on the good-old American cookies. I promise you won't be disappointed with the delightful taste and flavor of these snacks. 

Ritter Sport and Milka chocolate brands

I have no doubts, that everyone heard about Ritter Sport and Milka chocolate brands. These are probably the two most famous European chocolate factories that produce high-quality products since the early '1900s. Ritter Sport was founded in Bad Cannstatt, Germany, while Milka chocolate originated in Switzerland. Both of these chocolate brands taste lovely! Their distinguishing feature is a variety of flavors and fillers. For example, you can find 42 unique tastes of Ritter Sport chocolate square-shaped bar and 13 kinds of Milka.

Gummy Frogs by the world-famous confectionery company Haribo

And the last sweet treat for today is these cute Gummy Frogs by the world-famous confectionery company Haribo. It was founded by Johannes "Hans" Riegel in 1920. Gummy candies are one of my favorite sweets on the market because they are chewy, brightly flavored, and low fat. Haribo's Quaxi Fröschli is gummy, and transparent on the top, but the bottom part is thicker and tastes more like a chewy marshmallow. The description on the packaging claims that these frogs do not rasp, but they still make both children and adults happy. I can't agree less! And what about you? What is your favorite sweet treat? Or do you prefer to stay away from sugary snacks?

Thursday

girl is treating her dry skin
Photo: cottonbro

For better, or worse, dry skin texture is not something you can cover with a layer of foundation. In fact, fine lines and skin flakes are only getting emphasized by makeup. Even the thinnest layer of light foundation or powder makes them more visible. Apparently, the only real way to cure dry skin is to find the reason behind it and solve the beauty puzzle. And, in today's post, we are going to find out how to treat even the driest skin overnight. But, whether your skin is simply dehydrated, or you have a dry skin type, we are going to find out as well.

How to Know if You Have Dry Skin?

Of course, as we age, so does our skin. As the years go by, it gets drier, losing a natural ability to retain moisture. To learn if your skin is really dry, start by closely looking at your skin in the mirror. How would you describe it? Does your skin look like it has a natural protective barrier on its surface? Is it dry or oily? Healthy skin normally has some natural oil to it. It is smooth and plump. If your skin looks and feels tight, and sensitive, then you probably have a dry skin type.

Having dry skin also has its advantages. For instance, dry skin is not as prone to acne and blemishes. On the other hand, it is thinner and has a weak natural barrier, therefore it is more sensitive. Fine lines are also more visible on drier skin. But no need to worry, there are plenty of ways that will improve the condition of your dry skin. Some of them can even improve the look of your skin overnight, like the following three-step routine.

woman is washing her face
Photo: cottonbro

1. Use a soft, neutral cleanser;

We all know and understand the importance of a well-formulated skincare routine. Especially the one that takes into consideration your skin type, and specific skin issues you may experience. One step that can cure your dry skin overnight, or at least improve its feeling and texture is substituting your cleanser. Instead of a cleanser that contains Sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), go for a soft, neutral cleanser. It will keep your skin clean, and won't dry it out.

2. Use a beauty oil;

When you are done with the face cleanser, softly pad your skin with a cotton towel, and immediately apply face oil. The dry skin type is thirsty for sebum (skin oil), so if you don't have cosmetic oil, you can get help from your kitchen. It can be 100% virgin vegetable oil, like Coconut oil or Avocado oil. Plant oils are highly beneficial for the skin.

3. Use a rich moisturizer

Soft cleanser and beauty oil are not everything your dry skin needs. After you are done with cleansing and oiling, proceed to apply a rich facial moisturizer. Opt for a cream that has a thick consistency and several nourishing ingredients in its formula. Peptides, oils, and ceramides are great for dry skin. They will moisturize it overnight, while you are getting your beauty sleep.

woman is taking foam bath
Photo: cottonbro

What if Your Skin is Dehydrated?

Every skin needs moisture once in a while. Still, at times, your skin may lack hydration, not moisture. In this case, a previous three-step routine may not be enough. The most interesting thing about dehydrated skin is that it can still have a layer of sebum on it. It may break out, but still, be tight and sensitive. Dehydrated skin may also develop various conditions like atopic dermatitis, so it is important to get a professional diagnosis. 

Sometimes dehydrated skin may be both flaky, and oily. This is confusing and demands extra attention and water replenishing. Humectants like Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin may also help you to revive your skin. Here are some tips, that will help you in your treatment.

1. Lukewarm water is your friend;

A hot shower is not good neither for your hair nor for your skin. Of course, you should not freeze yourself in the water but can make it slightly warm. Use a previously mentioned non-foaming cleanser to wash your skin, and rinse it away with lukewarm water.

2. Pat your skin, don't dry it;

To preserve as much water as possible, pat your skin with a towel, but don't dry it all the way. You can also use a thin cotton cloth, instead of a rough bath towel.

3. Apply Hyaluronic Acid serum immediately;

To trap as much water in your skin cells as much, apply the hydrating serum that contains Hyaluronic Serum or Glycerin on your skin immediately after the shower.

4. Put on a deep-hydrating mask overnight;

Finish your nighttime skincare routine with a gel-based mask. Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, and Collagen are the main ingredients you want to see in your overnight mask. 

woman cares her skin
Photo: cottonbro

Skin Care Tips for Both Dry Dehydrated Skin

Unfortunately, dry and dehydrated skin may occur at the same time. No one is truly safe from both of these skin issues. And if you are one of those people, who got two problems at the same time, then the next skincare tips are surely for you.

1. No harsh chemicals, alcohol, or fragrances;

Some cosmetic brands may still use harsh components in their product that may negatively affect the condition of your skin. Make sure to check out the potentially harmful ingredients for your dry and dehydrated skin to prevent further transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

2. Avoid long showers and baths, especially with hard water;

Water is life, but it may also be the preseason behind hair and skin dehydration. Especially if the water is hard. Hard water is usually not as effective at washing product residue off the skin surface. You may want to look into improving the quality of the water, or picking up the products that help to neutralize its effect.

face brush exfoliator
Photo: Karolina Grabowska

3. Be gentle to your skin;

Exfoliation, polishing, and massaging are good for your skin. But, if you feel like your skin is on the drier side, then you should give a preference to the chemical exfoliation, over mechanical. Try to avoid thorough scrubbing, and use only the gentlest skin polishes for the dry and sensitive areas. Consult your dermatologist for tips and tricks on facial exfoliation.

4. Air humidifier for healthy skin;

You will be surprised how influential is the level of environmental humidity on the moisture level of your hair and skin. Dry air may be the main reason behind your flaky skin. Invest in an ambient humidifier and forget about dull and thirsty skin forever.

5. Drink plenty of water;

Everyone knows this advice, but not everyone actually consumes enough water to keep their skin fresh. Drink plenty of water to improve the density and elasticity of your skin and lower the TEWL (transepidermal water loss) in your tissues.

Well, these skin care tips for dry and dehydrated skin should drastically improve the way your skin looks and feels. And now, when you know the actual difference between these two conditions, it will be easier for you to find the treatment. Hopefully, your skin will feel much better just after a few steps into your routine.

Collaborative post with the Proven Skincare.

woman in front of a laptop
Photo: Ekaterina Bolovtsova

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to adopt work-from-home policies. Even as organizations are reopening, numerous companies have actually explored the option of switching to work-from-home arrangements permanently.

That means those video calls that may have played a big role in your professional life these past few months might continue to do so for a longer time than you expected. Thus, it’s important to know what you can do to look your best during them. The fact that you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you don’t need to look professional. These tips will help:

Dress Well

Don’t let the temptation to relax in your most comfortable outfits when working from home make you forget about the importance of dressing properly during video meetings. First of all, research indicates your clothes directly affect your mindset. In other words, if you dress professionally, you’re more likely to feel productive.

Additionally, professional clothing doesn’t need to be uncomfortable. Options such as women's fashionable loungewear allow you to look impressive without sacrificing comfort.

Check Your Lighting

Not lighting their faces sufficiently is one of the most common mistakes people make during video calls. After all, many computer cameras capture footage that’s darker than you might assume it would be when you’re actually in the room.

That’s why you should test your lighting before starting a video conference. Poor lighting can make you look pale, and has even made people look relatively sinister in some instances.

woman on a sofa making a call via her laptop
Photo: Ivan Samkov

Make Sure You’re Comfortable

Excessive fidgeting during a video call can distract the others involved. It might also give off the impression that you’re not paying full attention to the call itself, or are antsy to get away.

Guard against this by taking the time to make sure you’re in a thoroughly comfortable spot before starting a video meeting. You don’t want to find yourself getting uncomfortable if a call goes on longer than you expected it to.

Keep Your Camera at Eye Level

A professional video conference isn’t the time to experiment with fancy camera angles. You can indulge your inner film director another time. Right now, you want to keep everything as simple as possible by making sure your camera is facing you at eye level. Because you might need to raise it slightly to achieve this angle, this is another reason you should test out your video beforehand.

Make sure you keep your audio in mind too. Always hop on video calls in a relatively quiet space, while ideally wearing good headphones. By doing so, and remembering these tips, you’ll be far more likely to make the impression you want on your employers.

Guest Post

Monday

two stylish women in loungewear posing to the camera

Now more than ever, both because of living at home during quarantine and because it’s trendy, people are wearing loungewear for daily life. No longer just for sleeping or Netflix binging, there are tons of chic loungewear options that elevate comfortable clothes to make a fashion statement. There’s a way to wear loungewear without looking lazy, you just have to get the right pieces and know how to style them. Grab your favorite tanks, tees, sweats, and joggers because we are digging into the best tips for wearing loungewear!

How to Wear Leggings

Truly a favorite in many closets, leggings are a go-to for all sorts of casual occasions. From your at-home yoga class to running errands, a pair of black leggings are a stretchy base that looks good on everybody. As they are inherently tight, there’s nothing sloppy about a pair of leggings, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little styling. 

When wearing leggings, it’s important to find a balance in your look with different silhouettes. Unless you are doing a workout class, you will likely want a little more coverage of the bum while wearing leggings. To feel less exposed, you should avoid short shirts that hit above the waist. Instead, either wear a longer-length shirt or tie a flannel around your waist for a retro athleisure look. You can also dress your leggings up with boots or heels and a faux leather jacket.

woman in loungewear is posing on a street
Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

How to Wear a Jogger Set

A jogger set with athletic pants and a t-shirt or sweatshirt is actually very cute when styled correctly. If you want to embrace an athletic style, keep it simple with a nice crossbody bag or fanny pack, fresh white sneakers, and minimal gold jewelry. If you want to dress up the set, add a black or tan blazer and wear black boots and sunglasses. 

How to Wear PJs

It is not that easy to get away with wearing your PJs as a daytime look, but it is possible. Matching satin PJ sets have actually been trendy the last few years among the fashion crowd. If you want to be slightly less conspicuous, you can definitely get away with wearing a satin PJ top with jeans and heels. However, if you are trying to wear your PJs for a work video call, you might want to reconsider...it’s definitely a risky move. 

close-up of white sneakers

Pieces to Keep On Hand

 Baseball Cap: Somedays, you just don’t want to bother with doing your hair. Cue, the classic baseball cap. It looks stylish with a ponytail and allows you to feel a little incognito.

• Overcoat: If seasonally appropriate, you can always throw a classic overcoat over your loungewear. This way, you can keep it on if you feel underdressed in your loungewear.

• White Sneakers: White sneakers are the easiest shoe to pair with any sort of loungewear. They are a staple that never goes out of style, so you can rock them at any age and with almost any look.

There’s nothing serious about wearing loungewear, so you should have fun creating new styles with your comfy clothes. Working from home is the perfect time to experiment and mix and match things you might never have thought would go together.
Guest Post

elegant groom accessories
Photo: Morgan MacDonald

Every groom wants to feel good about their appearance on their big day. Not only because it’s your wedding day or that you will have both your and your wife’s entire family and friends there, but also because you will be having your pictures taken and those will last for years to come. Years to come when all you have are those pictures you will regret if you are not looking your best. To help ensure that you look the best that you can and that your pictures will turn out the best that they could, we have a few accessory ideas that will help to ensure you look your absolute best for those close-up shots. 

visit WalmartVision.com: This may not apply to all grooms, however, for those that do wear glasses, this will make a huge difference. If you already wear contacts, great! However, if you typically wear glasses every day all day, then maybe you should consider buying a pair (or even getting a free trial from your local Walmart) for your big day. They can take some practice getting used to but once you do, it’ll make the world of difference. When you are wearing glasses and getting your pictures taken there can be some slight reflection issues. 

This will depend on angles, lighting, flash, distance, etc. But regardless, you ensure you don’t have a glare in your glasses in your pictures wearing contacts is an easy fix. If your glasses are part of who you are as a person, that is okay too and totally understandable as to why you’d continue to wear them on your wedding day. However, if you’re someone that wears them just because it’s easier or for whatever reason then definitely make that appointment with your eye doctor and look into getting a fresh pair of contacts to step up your appearance for those close-up pictures ahead. 

elegant groom accessories
Photo: Scott Webb

Personalized Modern Gentleman Accessory Groomsmen Gift Set

visit GroomsmenGiftSource.com: Tie clips are a seemingly forgotten aspect. The last-minute thing that some men don’t put much thought into. However, if you take time and pick out that perfect tie clip to tie together your entire outfit it will make those close-ups spot on. You can make them personalized which will elevate the outfit also as a whole. 

Giving it that personal touch will make it more meaningful as well and knowing you have that on you during your big day can be reassuring or even a comfort aspect for some and that can be a dead giveaway on some people’s faces. This website has tie clip sets that also include things like wallets, cliff links, or even money clips. On their site, you can also do the personalized option and give yourself that extra boost of confidence. 

Bowties & Ties

visit Bows-n-Ties.com: Bowties or ties? Either is common for your big day. If you and your bride have plans for a more traditional wedding then it is probably expected of you to wear either a tie or bow tie. Which one? That answer lies to you. Which fits the theme of the wedding better? Which fits your personal style more? Have a tradition of wearing bowties? Perfect! Stick to what is best suited for you. Physical comfort is everything especially when you’re in a stressful or seemingly uncomfortable situation (or know you will be). 

No, no we are not saying you’re going to be uncomfortable on your big day, but let us be honest some guys might be, and that’s to be expected. Your wedding day is a huge day for both you and your bride and so that can cause stress, uneasiness, and even slight discomfort. Wearing whatever feels right to you will help to calm you down or at least not make things worse. Why does this matter for your close-up? Easy. Because if you’re not physically comfortable in your clothing that will show in your face and body language throughout your pictures. It also affects the common-sense element of “what will your pictures turn out to look like?” You want to make sure that your tie or bowtie doesn’t clash with your bride, with your suit or tux, with the bridesmaids, or even with your own groomsmen. Collaboration between all outfits is important for overall appearance but also for those everlasting close-ups. 

elegant groom accessories
Photo: Ruthson Zimmerman

Pocket Squares

visit Otaa.com: Pocket squares are another important part of every groomsmen’s outfit that can be forgotten or not taken advantage of when trying to enhance one’s appearance or outfit. These are some of the few things that can show in a close-up photograph. This is why they should be taken more seriously or used for one’s advantage more often. 

You can get a pocket square that simply goes well with the color scheme that you and your bride selected or you can use it to show your own personality as well. There are places such as Otaa that have hundreds of different patterns and/or colors to choose from. This gives you a great opportunity to elevate and personalize your outfit for the big day as well as enhance your close-ups. 

Close-ups can be the death of many, however, with these few accessories, you can ensure to look your absolute best for your close-up shots that you will hold near and dear to your heart for years and years to come. Those great close-ups will be what you and your family use to remember the big day. 

Guest Post

Wednesday

winter office outfit
Photo: Tamara Bellis

Winter is one of the most ideal seasons for minor and major wardrobe changes. As the temperature drops, we tend to substitute our breezy summer attire with something more substantial and cold-weather appropriate. Our favorite office outfits may suit the summer hotness, but they won’t be an ideal choice during the colder months of the year. Don’t worry if you’re struggling to figure out what you should wear to the office this winter. The following ideas will make choosing work outfits a lot easier:

Add Some Color with a Floral Skirt

Too many people make the mistake of assuming they need to hide their love of bright colors and beautiful patterns in winter. That’s not the case. Wear a classy and relatively formal winter sweater with a professional floral skirt, and you’ll have an appropriate outfit for the office that doesn’t require sacrificing your personal style.

Of course, you can’t wear the same outfit to work every single day. You might thus experiment with this general concept by pairing a floral scarf with a black suit. It will achieve essentially the same purpose as the previous outfit, while also being unique enough to stand on its own.

Find a Pantsuit You Love

Pantsuits have become extremely popular over the past few years. Some theorize this is due to the rise of women politicians who’ve embraced the outfit. Regardless, fashion brands and designers have responded to the growing demand for pantsuits by creating a wide range of options. Browse the collections at your favorite retailers to find one that’s attractive to you. Odds are good you’ll easily find a pantsuit that’s perfect for the office, and perfect for your tastes.

winter office outfit
Photo: Tamara Bellis

Go Cozy with Cashmere

The idea that you need to give up comfort if you want to dress well (particularly for the office) is a myth. In winter, there are plenty of ways you can be cozy in a work-appropriate outfit.

For example, you may decide to wear several layers of cashmere garments. As long as your job doesn’t require that you wear a suit, you could wear a sleeveless cardigan over a long-sleeved sweater, along with wide-leg trousers. Aim for muted winter colors for the ideal effect.

Pick a Graphic Blazer

Once more, your winter office outfits don’t need to be bland. A simple graphic blazer can be dynamic enough to suit your preferences. Pair it with leather pants, and you’ll have office attire that makes a subtle but undeniable impression.

Of course, it’s also a good idea to experiment with these outfits. Your goal is to create a winter office wardrobe that truly reflects your personality. These tips will simply help you get started.

Guest Post

Thursday

girl reads book in the park
Photo: @thoughtcatalog

Reading is the safest and the most relaxing way to learn important life lessons. That's why today I gathered five engaging books that will help you become a little bit better and teach you some important truths. These books are not about self-improvement or personal development, these are the books that will teach you how to love, respect, and even how hate through the life and actions of characters from the books.

Each author in my list has a very special way of revealing the truth to the reader. Some are gentle, soft, and poetic, while others are roughly direct. But I hope all the books on my list will leave you with many experiences and emotions. I would love to erase my memory and re-read all of these five books once again.

Jack London portrait

Martin Eden
A novel by Jack London

“But I am I. And I won't subordinate my taste to the unanimous judgment of mankind”

This was one of the first books by Jack London I've read. A very romantic and beautiful novel about a young sailor from the working class who is struggling to become a writer and to win the heart of a girl from high society. I was fascinated by Martin's enthusiasm and his passion for knowledge. He is definitely a great example of a person who is trying to become better, pursuing his blue dream. The ending of the story is sad, and a little bit shocking, but absolutely understandable. I want to recommend this to everyone, especially those who are still trying to find their place in the world.

George Orwell portrait

Nineteen Eighty-Four
A novel by George Orwell
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” 

I know this book might sound a bit cliché, but it is a must-read for everyone. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a British dystopian novel written by talented writer George Orwell and originally published in 1949 about life under constant surveillance. This fiction has a lot of truth between the lines, and if you are a person who lived far away from the Soviet Union but want to imagine what it was like to live under a strict governmental machine of total propaganda, repression, and humiliation you need to read Nineteen Eighty-Four without any doubt. 

While I was reading this book I was thinking about our past and how many things it has in common with the present. I was thinking about the country I'm living in and other countries surrounding me. And of course, I was thinking about the future of humanity, do we have a chance?

Gabriel García Márquez portrait

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Short story by Gabriel García Márquez
“His huge buzzard wings, dirty and half-plucked, were forever entangled in the mud.” 

The first time I read this book at school and I remember liking the story very much. Gabriel García Márquez combined two absolutely opposite literature genres of fantasy and realism in one masterpiece. The story starts when a very poor family finds an old man with huge wings who have crash-landed in their yard. 

The author does not explain this supernatural event, he does not open up to the audience a character and personality of an angel. He simply leaves this to the reader's mind and everyone can decide who this mysterious old man was with wings.

Vladimir Korolenko portrait

In Bad Company
Book by Vladimir Korolenko
“Better to have a piece of heart in the chest, than a cold stone.” 

I doubt my readers have ever heard about this book and the author Vladimir Korolenko, but I couldn't leave this book without attention. Bad Company can also be translated as Children Of The Underground is a tragic story filled with sadness and truth. Book events took place at the end of the 18th century in a small Polish town. The author demonstrates the everyday life of two boys from polar families - a family of main judges of a city and a family of beggars. This story is sincere and it definitely leaves a very pure and kind print in everyone's heart, I wish I'd read this lovely story at school. 

Alice McLerran portrait

The Mountain That Loved a Bird 
Book by Alice McLerran 
“I am Joy, and I have come to greet you.” 

A colorful and emotional book written by Alice McLerran and featuring the most beautiful illustrations by Eric Carle. The story is about a little bird named Joy and how she healed and was brought back to live in a broken, lonely mountain. Every word in this book is saturated with love, loyalty, and hope. Even though this book is not lacking in sad moments, I still think you can definitely read 'The mountain that loved a bird' with your little kids, since it will teach them to love nature and always believe in happy endings.

This was my personal list of five interesting books that will make everyone better. Please let me know if you've read any of these books and if you agree with my list. Don't forget to share your favorite books, that helped you to learn some lessons. Do you have Goodreads account? Add me as a friend, so I can check out your favorite books as well. Thank you for visiting my blog, I'll talk to you again very soon!

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