16 Dec 2013

Christmas Home Tour & I love Winter #Holidaze

One of my absolute favorite things about Christmas, and the winter season in general, is spending cozy, relaxing time at home. I still love to go outdoors in the winter too, dressed in weather appropriate clothes, but there's something so comfortable about being indoors when it's freezing cold, snowy, or nasty weather outside.

I love decorating my home for Christmas, so I thought I'd show you what I've done in my apartment to get ready for the holidays. Enjoy the video!

I also wanted to share some picture of a beautiful walk I went on this weekend with my boyfriend. We've had a bit of snow already, but recently we had some beautiful hoar frost, which has turned all the trees into delicate, spindly white icicles. It's a unique weather setting that transforms the surroudings into a beautiful winter wonderland. See for yourself!

We drove to a lake where there's a nice walking trail, and as I'm driving I look out the window and see THIS!! I just had to stop the car on the side of the road and snap a picture.

We got to the lake and had a chilly walk around. I forgot my gloves! I hate having cold hands, but when I got back to my car I found a spare pair of gloves in the...wait for it...glove compartment!! Wow really? Who woulda thunk it?

The lake is so beautiful when it's frozen. I think still a tad too early to try ice skating on it quite yet.

By the way, if you're always cold outside in the winter - here's a piece of basic advice. Buy a high quality outdoor jacket, preferably one made for skiing or snowboarding. They are made for proper winter climate, will keep you warm, dry, and most importantly will completely block out wind and cold air. I like to wear my wool coats more in the city, of for going out for an evening somewhere, but when I'm out and about in nature, I always wear this Roxy snowboarding jacket. Matched with a hat and gloves, and the hood up, I can be outside for hours in this thing and be perfectly cozy and warm. Wool coats always let in a breeze or draft somewhere, and sometimes they're not even made of 100% wool and thus aren't even that warm.

Outdoor jackets can be quite stylish nowadays too, with most brands catering to women with cute, more tailored styles. Honestly, this is probably my most worn jacket in the winter, since I actually love this time of year and like spending time outdoors. I love the bright turquoise color too and the faux fur trim is cute.

Do you like winter? Do you spend time outdoors as well, or do you prefer to stay inside when it's cold?

11 Dec 2013

Sparkling Evergreen Holiday Party Look #Holidaze

Ready for another bold and fun party makeup for the holidays? Ok, this isn't exactly a subdued wallflower look, but...why not? It's the holidays and why not bust out the glitter when you have the opportunity!

Watch my video tutorial how to get the look!

Products used:

Astor Perfect Stay eyeshadow pencil - green
Sleek Makeup Ultra Mattes V.2 palette
Barry M Glitter Dust #21
Lit Cosmetics Clearly Liquid Glitter Base
OCC Glitter in Mint http://bit.ly/1bEG6kz
Illamasqua pencil http://bit.ly/1hNc1mI
L'Oreal Superliner in Black
Smashbox Full Exposure mascara http://bit.ly/IPZW0T
Ardell Wispies False Lashes
Smashbox Blush Rush in Bare
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light http://bit.ly/1hNd6ez
Misslyn Smooth Lipliner #04
Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent http://bit.ly/1cBHAwc
Kryolan Glamour Glow in Pale Tan

Munich Haul & More #Holidaze

On my recent trip to Munich (which I talked about in my last post) I of course had to do some serious shopping, as the city boasts some great stores, and everything is cheaper than in Switzerland. Bonus!! I picked up some great pieces that will really get a lot of wear this winter, because I live in cold climate and I just love wearing warm sweaters, coats and scarves at this chilly time of year.

See my video below to see what I bought.

Items shown and where to buy:

Mango Coat http://bit.ly/1eUYkhv (UK) or http://bit.ly/1dUuJrW (Germany)
Mango Alpaca Sweater http://bit.ly/1dUrJvU
Mango Chocker Necklace http://bit.ly/1d4IAau
Vero Moda cardigan
H&M Cardigan 
Zara Scarf
ASOS Plaid Leggings http://bit.ly/18I6FXk
ASOS Wet Look Leggings http://bit.ly/1eV6fvj
ASOS Oxblood Leggings http://bit.ly/18I71NI
Forever 21 Sports Wear bra http://bit.ly/IV5qby
Forever 21 Flower necklace http://bit.ly/1d4JeEP
Forever 21 Gold choker necklace http://bit.ly/IV2LP6
Forever 21 Black Rhinestone necklace http://bit.ly/18I7QGh
Forever 21 Rhinestone Stud earrings http://bit.ly/1eUXP6W

German Christmas Markets in Munich #Holidaze

I recently spent two days in Munich with my boyfriend, exploring the city and taking in the beautiful atmosphere of all the Christmas Markets dispersed around the city. Munich in itself is a gorgeous city, but the cheerful and festive mood make it unforgettable.

Around the core of the Old Town, you will see lots of little markets selling a host of Christmas things: lanterns, handmade ornaments, wooden toys, nutcrackers, candles, nativity scene figurines, lambswool slippers, and a delicious variety of yummy treats. Everything from grilled Bratwurst with Sauerkraut on a crusty bun, steamed dumplings with vanilla sauce, sweet roasted nuts, spun sugar, hot mulled wine and so much more.

You can spend the whole day strolling around the markets, dipping into stores to do some Christmas shopping (Munich has absolutely fab shopping), then warming up with some Gl├╝hwein (mulled spiced wine) when you're cold, and downing a sausage when you're hungry.

It's truly a magical atmosphere, one that I tried to catch on my video! Definitely gets you in the mood for Christmas.

Have you ever visited a traditional Christmas market in Europe? Where did you go and what did you think of it? Or do you live in a town that has them every year?

DIY Chocolate Brittle #Holidaze

Want to learn how to make an utterly delicious chocolatey treat, that also makes a wonderful and inexpensive gift? Then DIY Chocolate Brittle is just the right thing. It's sweet, comes in endless varieties, easy to make - and who doesn't like chocolate??

I decided to make two varieties:

  • White & Milk Chocolate Swirl with Salted Caramel and Roasted Almonds
  • Milk & Dark Chocolate Swirl with Cranberries & Orange Liqueur

Both are so very delicious, you won't be able to keep your hands off them! Here are all the ingredients you will need to make both brittles:

2 x 100g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
100g white chocolate
1 Tblsp. orange brandy
1 organic untreated orange (peel)
handful of roasted almonds
handful of dried cranberries
coarse sea salt (Fleur de Sel is ideal)
Chewy caramel candies

And as to how to make them, my video will give you all the details!

Don't they just look so tasty? Enjoy!!

3 Dec 2013

The Holidaze are Here!

And so is my first Holidaze video! Yes, holidaze, not holidays. If you haven't watched my announcement video on Youtube (which you really should as it will give you the entire low down of what I'm doing this month) I'm planning to upload a LOT of videos this month. As in every other day! And no, they won't all be lame Tag videos, there will be lots of tutorials, DIYs, makeup, outfits, and more. So it will definitely be a very fun month for you, and a very busy one for me!

This is my first Holiday Christmas makeup look, inspired by the classic red and gold theme that is oh-so-popular for this time of year. I love red, so no complaints from me on that front!

Want to see how to get this look? Then watch my video tutorial for all the steps:

Products used:

Nars Sheer Glow foundation http://bit.ly/1cJhHJ1
MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot http://bit.ly/1cJhNQU
L'Oreal Infallible e/s in Gold Imperial http://bit.ly/1cKyQC3
MAC Malt http://bit.ly/1cJi7z9
MAC Soft Brown http://bit.ly/188xPE4
MAC Woodwinked http://bit.ly/1cJiiKE
MAC Fluidline Rich Brown http://bit.ly/1cJiwBn
Makeup Geek pigment in Afterglow
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Eyeliner El Dorado http://bit.ly/187dD5p
Max Factor Kajal Natural Glaze http://bit.ly/IyGJRi
L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Macara http://bit.ly/187ea7j
Kryolan Illusion in Velvet
Inglot Lipliner
Kryolan Lip Stain in Rock
Smashbox Bronzer http://bit.ly/IC0SH6
Smashbox Love Me blush http://bit.ly/1eD5J51
NARS Lip Lacquer Diablo http://bit.ly/IC1lZU
House of Lashes Noir Fairy
Anny Nailpolish http://bit.ly/1cTU0gS
L'Oreal Nailpolish Sparklicious http://bit.ly/1eD7b7d
Babyliss Hot Rollers http://bit.ly/1dJNjTv
Dress by Lipsy (older collection)

Is this a look you might wear to a party? Let me know in the comments! I'd also love to get your feedback on future Holidaze video ideas, so you can tweet me @hellojuliagraf using the hashtag #holidaze to give your 2 cents!