Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Personal Tuesday

Last week I finally cut ties to my family in Germany and I am so glad I did. My family, excluding my parents, is very narrow-minded with little ambitions in life and so typically 'German' it makes me cringe. I am ambitious and I have my own idea of life. I am not what society wants me to be, but I am also not a rebellion as such. I am conservative in many things, but the exact opposite in others. I am just myself. I have opinions that other people might not share, maybe because they truly believe in it, but mainly because it's the way they have been brought up with. I like to get to know other opinions and I will respect them, but I also expect others to respect mine.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire
My family has never lived anywhere but Germany, always in the same town - eating at the same restaurants, shopping at the same shops and socialising with the same people. They went to school, completed an apprenticeship or a degree followed by a typical 9-5 job that pays for a decent living, but still not enough to have the same lifestyle I have. I am not by all means criticising this as such, what I am criticising is their narrow-mindedness. They have absolutely no understanding that I love to travel the world, that I like to go to Las Vegas every year during the summer and that a weekend in New York is nothing special to me. I work hard and yes, I could save everything, but what's the point in life then? There is so much to discover in the world and I would rather spend my money than sit on it.

I was never aware of that so much until I started a group on Whatsapp. I named it 'Family' and invited my maternal grandmother, my aunt (my mother's oldest sister), my other aunt (married to my uncle&godfather), another aunt (not actually blood-related, but she is my aunt as I see her as such), my uncle and my sister. It was something I could easily share updates of my life, pictures of the boys and me and read daily updates of my family. However, it became more and more to my awareness that I am so much different to my family and we would disagree all the time over things, unless I hold my tongue or rather my fingers and kept quiet.

A typical situation: My sister got her third tattoo last week. My family doesn't do tattoos. Nobody but my sister has a tattoo. She had her first tattoo when she was 16, something her father approved of because he would say yes to anything and my mother had no other choice. My whole family was outraged. A tattoo? At sixteen? Never! They phoned my mother, told her to say no and not sign anything to approve of this. My sister wasn't happy and shared her anger on Facebook. My family in Spain, who was not involved in this, wasn't happy about it and told my sister to cancel her flights she had booked to stay with them a little bit later. Not only her, but also her friend had booked flights and my sister was really angry about not being able to go after all. I think she learned her lesson then. But now, four years and two other tattoos later, the tattoos aren't a problem anymore. No, my family actually thinks it's acceptable and that my sister is old enough. Are you kidding me? I reminded them about their behaviour four years ago and was told, that it was different then. What was different? Oh, you hypocrites.

I could go on and one about the situation, but for the moment I am glad not to be in touch with them. I am  making so many changes in my life right now and I really don't need negativity in my life. But on a more positive note: I am off to Zurich at  the weekend to see my friend Theresa again - after three years. We lived in Brussels at the same time and got on very well. Looking forward to share pictures with you, Zurich is beautiful. Have a lovely week everyone!

Planning a trip to Antalya - Lara Beach

In September I travelled to Turkey for the first time in my life and stayed in Istanbul for a week. I really liked the Turkish mentality and I would like to explore Turkey a little bit further next year. One of my first choices in Turkey would be Antalya. Antalya is known for its beautiful beaches, waterfalls and wonderful sightseeing opportunities. It is also a great destination for golf lovers with 21 golf courses.

There a seven main destinations to stay in Antalya: Alanya, Belek, Kemer, Lara Beach, Manavgat, Side and Tekirova. I like the look of Lara Beach and the Barut Lara would be the perfect destination for my holiday. Lara Beach is only 12 kilometres away from Antalya on the south coast of Turkey. It is known for its luxury hotels, which were designed to look like famous landmarks. The main attraction is the 8 kilometre long beach. Pretty much of the beach is golden sand, just occasionally you find darker patches and some pebbles. The water is shallow and makes it perfect for children. Usually every hotel has their own stretch of the beach, but there is also a public beach where you can rent sunbeds and parasols.

My hotel of choice would be the Barut Lara, it is a premier five-star resort located along the golden beach of Lara. It has curvy pools, sunbathing jetties and à la carte restaurants. Not to forget a fancy spa - it really is the perfect place to leave your stressful daily life behind and relax. I am already thinking about packing my suitcases. The bedrooms are modern and minimalist with flat screen TV’s and fluffy bathrobes. Should you choose you upgrade to a suite, you will get a private hot tub on the balcony. How fantastic is that?

Antalya is only half an hour away from Antalya and there you can find the perfect souvenirs at the bazaars. You can also visit some of the museums and drink Turkish coffee in one of the little cafes along the harbour. In July and August the temperature can rise to 40°C, but sea breezes keep it bearable. During the rest of the summer, spring and autumn the temperate is between 30 and 35°C. In summer the water temperature is around 28°C and even during the colder months, it never falls below 15°C.

It takes only four hours from Gatwick airport to fly to Antalya Airport and from there it is only 20 minutes to Lara Beach. Turkey is two hours ahead clockwise and the currency is Turkish Lira. 100 Turkish Lira is around £28. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months on the day of arrival in Turkey and at least three months after the departure date. From the 1st of January 2015, your passport must also be valid 60 days beyond the expiry date of your Turkish visa. As a British citizen, you need a visa to travel to Turkey and can apply online for it.

Antalya is the perfect destination for a luxury vacation in Turkey. Tour operators like First Choice are well-established in the Antalya area and can assist you with everything from finding the perfect resort to fantastic self-catered apartments.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Poker rules rewritten by Benny Spindler

Some of you might know that many of my friends are professional poker player and I sometimes play a little bit myself - even though I am not as great as my friends are, of course. One of the biggest online poker rooms is PokerStars. PokerStars recently had people vote for the greatest poker hands. A hand, Benny Spindler was involved in at the European Poker Tour in London was one of the favourites:

Discovering Panosonic's new range of fridge freezers

We try and cook every meal from scratch in our house, however, this takes time and time is limited, so one would cook most meals for the week in advance and freeze them. As I follow a different diet than the rest of the people in the house, I recently started to do the same, but there is not enough space in our freezer with three little draws.

Panasonic announced the expansion of its 2013 range of Side-By-Side fridge-freezers and introduced the stainless steel NR-B53V2. With two little ones in the house, you would worry about many fingerprints on the stainless steel, but don't worry: The NR-B53V2 has an anti-fingerprint coating. The fridge freezer also includes Panosonic's technology to keep the food fresh and eliminate harmful bacteria. It operates at an optimum energy efficiency level too, great for everybody who is environmentally aware. 

The side-by-side freezer includes a Panosonic Vitamin Safe compartment, it is optimised to a high moisture level and an adjustable temperature gauge (between 0˚C - 5˚C) to keep fruit and vegetables fresh. The system helps to maintain important vitamins in both fruit and vegetables. This is excellent as all our fruit and vegetables are organic and they don't last as long as non-organic ones. 

One thing that is very important to me is Hygiene. The NR-B53V2 has a system that includes a combined lifetime air filter, air circulation and LED light system, which produces a natural anti-bacterial cleanser. Nearly all (99.9999%) of bacteria will be eliminated. The system circulates cold, clean air from three different points throughout the fridge and creates a constant airflow to ensure maximum hygiene.

I think this side-by-freezer is perfect for every food-conscious person out there. Having an energy efficiency class of A++, it only consumes 346kWh per year. According to Sust-It it is the number one of all tested American Style Fridge Freezers ranked by energy efficiency in the UK, with an average yearly cost of £52.59.

We are currently thinking about getting a new kitchen and will keep this side-by-side freezer in mind. What I like about side-by-side fridge freezers is that fact, that you can open both doors and see exactly what you have at home. No more running around between the fridge in the kitchen and the laundry, where the freezer has its place. It is also spacious and I like the different compartments for fish and meat, as well as for fruits and vegetable. Being a Paleo eater, this is definitely a huge bonus.

*PR Collaboration

SlimFruits - Sugar Free Fat Free High Fibre Treat

SlimFruits recently got in touch and asked me if I would like to try out some of their healthy fruit pastilles. At first I thought they sounded too good to be true. Sugar Free? Fat Free and high in Fibre? Surely, they can't taste good, can they?
"SLIM FRUITS™ pastilles are sugar free, fat free and high in soluble dietary fibre which helps in weight management. The key SLIM FRUITS™ ingredient is 40% Acacia Gum which has versatile nutritional benefits centuries old. The new wonder sweet leaves people feeling fuller for longer, rather than craving more."
I spent a week in Istanbul and when I returned a package with eight packs of SlimFruits had arrived. At first I tried Luscious Peach Melba. They are a little bit harder to chew than other sweets, but they taste really nice. I was positively surprised. I think it is great, that you have to chew a lot on them - it slows down your eating habit a little bit. The sweets really fill you up - I ate 5 or so and would have to stop. Once eaten, they combine with water in the stomach and swell, which of course helps you feel less hungry.

Slim Fruits are available in Boots and Holland&Barrett stores nationwide. They are available in two flavours: Rhubarb&Strawberry and Peach Melba, priced at £1.89 per pack. You can also order them online at Amazon. To find out more about SlimFruits have a look at their website:

*PR Collaboration: I was given eight packs of SlimFruits in exchange for an honest review.