a mother and daughter lifestyle blog

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skincare that cares about you
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those of you that have been reading our blog for a while will know that we are big supporters of the fattoria la vialla, a bio-dynamic vineyard (and so much more) in tuscany. we have been spending holidays there and buying their all organic produce for years and we photographed a large part of our upcoming cookbook on their beautiful grounds.

when we spent a week there in april for a quick getaway we were lucky enough to get our hands on their newly launched skincare line "oliphenolia". quite like all their products it is completely natural and organic and made only of ingredients that are good for you and the planet.

while we love cooking with organic, natural ingredients we haven't always been a hundred percent convinced of natural cosmetics - it never really seemed to work as well as non-organic for us. so we started using the products with little to no expectations at all. but let us tell you..

it smells amaaaaazing. and it feels amazing too.

it's left our skin feeling so nourished and hydrated and loved.

at the same time the serum and cream feel so lightweight that you don't feel like you're wearing anything at all which is perfect for the summer when you don't want heavy creams making you look and feel all oily and shiny.

we love it. and have been using it for more than three months.

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the creams (there is one for the face and one for baby-soft hands) and serum are all 100% natural – 90% of the serum and 70% of the creams are made with biodynamic, demeter certified, raw materials directly from fattoria la vialla; the rest of the ingredients doesn't come from agriculture and is also permitted by demeter standards - aka only the best of the best makes it into these little flasks.

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oliphenolia, which is a main ingredient (hence the name), is completely natural and a by-product from cold pressing olives. it basically is the waste water that is produced in the process, which doesn't sound so great but is actually extremely healthy! it contains an abundance of polyphenols from the olives, over 20 times of the amount you will find in olive oil. polyphenols are fantastic and have great anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and can counter-act the damage of free radicals, which are the principal chemical cause of tissue ageing and cell degeneration

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but enough of the science - far more important to us is that it has actually made our skin feel great throughout the summer and we are in desperate need of more as our supply has slowly but steadily gone down to zero.

we fully recommend you give it a try, too! you can read lots more about it and order it here. you would be supporting a product and a place we absolutely love and doing your skin a huge favour as well!

lots of love,

k & l

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this is not a sponsored post, but we did receive the products for free. we wouldn't have posted if we didn't wholeheartedly recommend them.

last snow days at the farm house
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while we're waiting for spring to finally come around, full bloom and all, we might as well make the most of the last snowy days in austria. long walks with our dog leni, slow mornings and good home cooked meals is what we call a weekend well spent and there is little an escape to the countryside can't fix. as our farm is still in the process of renovation we've enjoyed spending time in the area and staying at our friends country home, starting the days with homemade granola and fresh almond milk.

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visiting our neighbours who have llamas and alpacas and all sorts of furry friends.

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the best cauliflower broccoli bake - we'll share the recipe with you sooner than you know!

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epic coconut blueberry cake

there really is nothing quite as cosy and comforting as baking up a storm in the kitchen when it's all cold and snowy outside (except maybe eating said baked goods). one of our absolute go-to recipes is this cake that's bursting with coconut flavour and little juicy gems of blueberries and raspberries. it's so gooey and the sugar crust gives it that little extra that makes all the difference.

  • 130g coconut oil
  • 175g sugar
  • 175g flour
  • 150g good quality desiccated coconut
  • 150g oat cream
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 100g blueberries
  • 100g raspberries
  • extra desiccated coconut and sugar for the crust
  1. pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. grease a round baking tin and line with baking paper
  2. add coconut oil, sugar, flour, desiccated coconut, oat cream and baking powder into a large bowl and whisk together on high
  3. now gently fold in the berries
  4. spread the batter evenly into the baking tin and bake for 15 minutes. then pull out of the oven and sprinkle with 2 tbsp each of desiccated coconut and sugar. put back into the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden. don't let it get to dark!
last-minute edible christmas gifts
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SEEDED CRISP BREAD (makes 2 trays)

this is such a crowd pleaser and a huge hit with everyone we know. it tastes amazing on its own, but feel free to enjoy it with your favourite spread, lots of avo or a good cheese.

  • 120g plain flour
  • 120g oats
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 50g linseeds
  • 50g hemp seeds
  • 25g chia seeds
  • 25g black sesame
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml water
  1. preheat oven to 175C and line two baking trays with parchment paper
  2. mix all ingredients until you are left with a thick dough. spread evenly onto the trays and bake for 15 minutes. take out of the oven, cut into equal rectangles and bake for another 30-45 minutes, until golden brown
  3. if you want to wrap them, make sure to let them cool completely beforehand

alternatively you can layer all the dry ingredients in a large jar to give away as a baking mix. just make sure to add instructions and the measurements for the wet ingredients. it looks especially pretty if you don't mix the ingredients, but layer them separately like we did.

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INFUSED OIL

this is probably too easy a recipe to label it as such, but we just had to include it in this post. because it really is a  l i f e  s a v e r  - made in absolutely no time, you'll never have to come empty-handed again, no matter how last-minute the invite. you can never go wrong with an oil as it's something that everyone needs. just add a special twist and voilà: a fancy gift that no one will ever know only took you two minutes to put together.

ROSEMARY & CHILI

  • a very good quality olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chili flakes

GARLIC & THYME

  • a very good quality olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  1. place the ingredients in a bottle or jar and cover entirely with olive oil. (it's very important that the herbs are completely covered so that they don't mould)
  2. add a bow and some dried herbs for an a+ on presentation.
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SPREADS

spreads are such an amazing gift and we've realized that every family has their own special recipe - we've tried so many delicious ones over the years and we're always grateful when we receive another. we're happy to share some of our family recipes with you here!

LINGONBERRY & ONION CHTUNEY

  • 350g lingonberries
  • 200g red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g sugar
  • 6 tbsp vodka
  • 4 tbsp condimento bianco (vinegar)
  1. sautée the onion and sugar with no oil in a pan. now add the lingonberries and stir until you're left with a thick mixture
  2. deglaze with vodka and condimento and allow to reduce on low heat
  3. fill into jars and store in a cool place

CHRISTMAS JAM

  • 500g preserving sugar (2:1)
  • 600g frozen red berries and cherries
  • 300ml red wine
  • 5 star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • zest of half an orange
  • a shot of rum
  1. heat the red wine, orange zest and spices - but don't bring to a boil. remove from heat and allow to infuse for an hour
  2. in a pot, mix sugar and berries. add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring consistently. allow to boil for 3 minutes and then test for a set
  3. mix in the rum, pour into mason jars and seal immediately

AMLOU (the moroccan version of almond butter)

  • 300g almonds
  • 300g orange blossom honey
  • 150-300ml argan oil (depending on your desired consistency)
  1. toast the almonds in a pan on medium heat.
  2. place into a food processor and blend together with the argan oil. now add the honey and blend until you're left with a smooth texture.
  3. add extra oil if necessary - the almonds will always thicken up a little, so if it seems to runny, not to worry!

CORIANDER ALMOND PESTO

  • 75g almonds
  • 60g fresh coriander
  • 60g fresh parsley
  • 125ml best olive oil
  • 20ml toasted sesame oil
  • 20g toasted sesame seeds
  • a thumb-sized knob of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  1. pop all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend away until you have your desired consistency. we love it when there are a few almond pieces left here and there but feel free to blend as long as you like
  2. fill into a mason jar, top with a little olive oil and store in the fridge
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7 more ways to start the day - H.A.P.P.Y. challenge pt. II

it's week 2 of the alpro and sisterMAG H.A.P.P.Y. challenge! we hope some of you have joined us and downloaded one of the booklets to kick off the new year happier and healthier? and if you haven't - it's not too late to start now! every day is a great day for a fresh start or a little change, so what are you waiting for? you can read all about the program in our first post and start H.A.P.P.Y. right away. 

in our last post we shared seven ideas with you of how to start the day with a positive mindset, break routines and make change happen. today we'll share part II of seven ways to start the day for the second week of the H.A.P.P.Y. challenge. for the past week, we've really enjoyed sticking to the ideas ourselves and it's incredible how a little change of pace can affect your whole day - try it! we've also really enjoyed trying out the recipes from the booklet and have particularly fallen in love with the lentil bolognese and the healthy twist on a potato salad. also, the yummy green spread with yogurt, almonds and basil has been a great alternative to the classic avo on toast we usually have for breakfast.

the recipes are all beautifully photographed and so simple. they also come with their nutritional values, which - although we personally don't count calories - we know is very much appreciated by some. even if you don't plan on sticking to the meal plan strictly, we suggest taking a look into the booklet, if only for a little recipe inspiration.

as mentioned in our first post, the lovely amiena zylla created three amazing yoga programs for you to try at home, at work or wherever you want, really. we're often guilty of 'having no time for working out' when really we're just not willing to make time. the exercises are designed so that you can squeeze in a quick session anytime and anywhere. during the first week of the challenge we tried incorporating a short workout into our daily routine every day and amiena's videos really helped us stick to our goals. just taking the time to roll out the yoga mat for 20 minutes inbetween work is such a game changer and the perfect way to clear the head. the best thing is you don't even need a yoga mat - lots of the exercises you can do at your desk.

if you have trouble motivating yourself to work out, a little bribe can go a long way: treat yourself to something special afterwards, like your favorite snack or a soy vanilla chai!

we're so thrilled to have received amazing feedback from some of you guys who have tried out our seven ways to start a day and absolutely loved it. we hope you'll stick with us during the second week, too and enjoy it just as much!

day eight: take care that stack of paper work. we know, we know... mondays are hard to cope with anyway and this certainly doesn't make the whole ordeal any more tempting but: just think about how much future you will love present you for getting it over with! so whatever's been piling up on your desk and nagging at you for the past days, weeks or even months - do it today. answer those emails, pay those bills or sort out your drawers. 

day nine: have a dance party. on your own. turn up your favourite tunes and shake it all out hugh-grant-in-love-actually-style! if shaking your booty doesn't lift your spirits, we don't know what will. besides, you'll already get in your work out for the day without even realizing and isn't that just a huge plus? go crazy and dance like nobody's watching!

day ten: meditate. after such a wild start to the day yesterday, take a step back this morning and wind down. find a sunny spot in your house and really take the time to meditate and let your thoughts flow freely. if you haven't meditated before, there are plenty of tutorials online that can be of help. complete your slow morning with a hot cup of tea and re-charge.

day eleven: change something. this can be anything and it's completely up to you. how about moving some furniture around or redecorating a room in your house? even small changes to your living space like new flowers or rearranging your art can be a welcome breath of fresh air. or you could take the bike to work instead of the car, ditch your go-to pair of jeans for a dress, go for a different make-up look or try going au naturel if you usually don't or, or, or...what do you want to change?

day twelve: fridge clean-out. don't we all have those little jars, half-used cans and open tins of 'i-know-i-won't-use-you-up-but-am-too-lazy-to-get-rid-of-you-stuff' lingering in the very back of our fridge next to some sad forgotten veggies that have definitely seen better days? today is the day to finally say your goodbyes to them and while you're at it, take out all the drawers and give them a good spring-clean, too. make room for fresh groceries and reorganize so that you can see everything at a glance and nothing has to go to waste in future.

day thirteen: treat yo'self! it's the weekend and a treat is long overdue don't you think? what makes you happy? we'll probably head into town in search of a new favourite piece to wear this year, thinking a cozy knit or a new pair of jeans. or you could gather your besties and book a table at your favourite brunch spot, spend a day in the countryside or splurge on a mani-pedi and new hair-cut..

day fourteen: a letter to yourself. it's the end of your 14-day challenge and this morning, get comfortable, take pen and paper and write a letter to yourself. put your goals for the year into writing - at the end of the year, where do you want to be and what do you want to have achieved? is there anything that's currently bothering you and you want to change? what did you learn during the past two weeks and wish to maintain? keep the letter somewhere safe (where you'll be able to find it) and read only again at the end of the year. where you able to stick to your resolutions and goals? 

stay happy! love, kerstin & larissa

7 ways to start the day - H.A.P.P.Y. challenge with alpro and sisterMAG

last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to berlin by alpro and sisterMAG to attend the kick-off event of the H.A.P.P.Y. challenge that we're a part of. it was a super fun day filled with lots of food, lovely people, cool workshops and of course we got to learn all about alpro and the H.A.P.P.Y. programme. our personal highlights were the calligraphy course with jeannette mokosch, being sketched by the lovely emma and the uhmazing, completely vegan cake by i am delicious. 

scroll down to read all about the two-week program and how you can be a part of it, too.

H.A.P.P.Y. stands for Healthy & Adventurous Program for a Promising Year and is all about being happy, finding ways to challenge yourself and trying new things. if you're anything like us, most of your new years resolutions probably revolve around things like eating less junk and working out more but we rather quickly lose sight of those ambitious goals (presumably) set in a state of champagne induced euphoria. and why? because resolutions are often associated with negativity - we try to give up things we love and force ourselves into things we don't. enter H.A.P.P.Y.! the program is designed to help you start into the new year and a balanced lifestyle with lots of fun and positivity along the way. there are three booklets that you can download for free - young & wild, parents, and 40+ - to fit your lifestyle. they contain delicious recipes for a balanced diet, exercises you can easily integrate into your daily routine as well as lots of tips and inspiration for a truly H.A.P.P.Y. new year!

you'll find the recipes for this blueberry chia pudding and golden milk in the booklets - we've tried them both and they definitely have our stamp of approval. you'll also find a meal planner with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as fun snacks for throughout the day. munich based yoga instructor amiena zylla created a yoga program for each of the booklets - you can find the videos on youtube and try the exercises at home, so no more excuses! keep yourself motivated and change things up - start with half an hour of yoga first thing in the morning or wind down after work with a relaxing session.

to help you achieve a new you - or at least a better version of yourself - and to add our own little touch to the H.A.P.P.Y. challenge we've come up with 14 ways to start the day. a little task for every morning of the two-week program that will leave you feeling happy, free and with a positive mindset for the day. this week we're sharing the first 7 and we urge you to try it - it works for us and we're sure it'll work for you, too!

day 1: new years cleanse. we've found that what keeps us most from being productive and full of positive energy is an untidy space. it's hard to focus on the paperwork or a blog post when there's a messy pile of laundry sitting next to you or a layer of dust covering your floors. put on some music, clean the house and tidy up! clearing your space will clear your head and make space for positive thoughts.

day 2: body polish. now that you've treated your home to a polish yesterday, today is the day to give the same amount of attention and care to you and your body. take a bath or a long shower, use that intensive hair treatment that you're normally too lazy to use and give your body a good scrub. actually go through your complete skincare routine. treat your hands and feet to some extra care and maybe even a new coat of nail polish. ta da, you're already almost a new person!

day 3: set your goals. this morning, take some time to sit down and think about what you want to achieve this year. what are your goals? what do you want to change? do you have any travels to be planned? a mood board could help - collect snippets of things that inspire you and make a collage to keep you motivated. when formulating your goals be specific: what do you want, until when and how can you achieve it? try keeping things positive. for instance, instead of saying 'i will stop eating sweets' say 'i will have fun experimenting in the kitchen and make healthier versions of the things i love'. don't be afraid to set ambitious goals but stay realistic to avoid disappointment. defining small milestones is helpful to help you stay focused on the main goal.

day 4: expand your radius. today we urge you to explore a part of your town that you haven't gotten to know very well up until now. we're certainly guilty of hanging out and moving around the same spots all the time; we simply feel comfortable knowing our way around. but seeing the same surroundings day by day leaves little room for new thoughts and stimuli and it's easy to fall into a numbing routine. so, take a friend and drink your coffee on the other side of town for a change. wander the streets and see what other lovely sides your city has to offer. we're sure you'll come to see that the unfamiliar can add such a refreshing, unexpected twist to your day.

day 5: reconnect with someone. is there a person that you've been meaning to call for weeks or even months but somehow you never got around to actually following through? call them this morning! a thank-you note that just won't write itself and 'is too late for now anyway'? write it! better late than never and we're sure you'll make someone's day just by thinking of them. surely, just reading this, at least one person has come to your mind you'd like to reconnect with - now is the time.

day 6: a breakfast invitation. treat a special someone (or more) to a homemade breakfast at your place. set the table, get fresh bread and pastries from your favourite bakery or go the extra length and make them yourself (warm breakfast muffins straight from the oven anyone?). little chia pots are always a good idea or how about some fresh bircher? spend the morning chatting over freshly squeezed oj and hot chocolate and really indulge yourselves!

day 7: take time for yourself and practice yoga. this sunday, sleep in and have a long, lazy lie-in. read a book or the papers in bed over a cup of coffee and relax. or catch up on your instagram feed or roll around with your kids. it's up to you - it's you-time. stretch. then find a nice, quiet spot to roll out your yoga mat and do a couple of slow exercises (definitely watch amiena zylla's videos). focus on your breathing - take it all in, breath it all out.

we really hope you hop on board of the H.A.P.P.Y. program train with us - let us know in the comments what you think! and because everything is a lot more fun when done together, there is a facebook group that you can join, where everyone can share pictures, experiences, tips and tricks so definitely go check that out!

have a really happy day! kerstin & larissa