mindful styling // high quality organic basics

TopaOrganicBasics

Recently I’ve learned that I am normcore when it comes to fashion. Which basically means, I am hardcore normal, a.k.a. my look is boring.

Well, well, well… Despite the fact that I do have a handful fancy pants, printed (band) shirts, colorful skirts, and offbeat dresses in my closet, I am proud to admit, I love wearing basics. I feel most comfortable being dressed as minimal-designed as possible and not wearing any certain brand, having a favorite style or following the latest trend. What means, plain black or white or other monochrome shirts in combination with a black, gray or blue jeans are the things I prefer. Which I don’t think is boring at all, especially when it comes to the quality of these clothes.

Speaking of quality… I think basics are the things you can get everywhere at any time. Most of the times they are also pretty affordable.

But then I decided to wear organic basics. Why? Because I thought, I eat organic, my cosmetics are organic, so why not covering my largest organ, the skin, with organic fabrics too? There is a huge metabolism happening throughout our skin consistently, so I don’t want it to be mixed with chemical products.

And then a big research was needed that brought so much frustration and almost no results. Because organic clothing is not always good-looking. What I wanted were simple basics, nothing too fancy, but also nothing that would put a label on me. Plus, I was looking for clothes of high quality (means I wanted them keeping their shape, color, and size) but at the same time they shouldn’t be super expensive.

And so I found Stanley & Stella. And I love it. In my opinion, they do everything right when it comes to basics. They use organic fabrics such as organic cotton (see the v-neck t-shirt called Stella Shows), tencel (like the oversized flowing batwing t-shirt called Stella Flows), which is basically cellulose, a.k.a. wood, and recycled polyester (as in the zipped hoodie called Stella Travels and raglan sleeve hoodie called Stella Says). They’re also sustainable in any kind of way. For an example, they have high working standards, recycle the spinning yarns, use solar energy for producing and recycled materials for packing. Plus, they promote sea shipping.

I also think that these basics don’t look boring at all, especially when you come a little closer and see a little eyecatcher here and there such as different colored stitches, large draw cords, rough cut reinforced seams or a metallic zipper. I guess I might have about ten items in my closet right now which I love dearly and wear almost all around the clock. So organic clothing doesn’t have to look strange or be expensive. ;-)


PS: Writing this I discovered in the back of my closet a nice organic dress which I have for almost seven years now. So there might be an upcoming post about non-normcore organic clothes… We’ll see.

watched // artist’s documentaries

artists docs

At least once a week I watch a documentary about an artist. I love getting an insight to an artist’s personal life with its ups and downs that somehow find its way into the artist’s work.

So here are four documentaries I have seen lately and can highly recommend:

#I Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. Actually, I am not so much into performing arts since most of the times I just don’t get it. But I’ve heard and read a lot about this documentary and somehow I was thinking, I give it a try. And I so don’t regret watching it (even though I’ve had to cry). Marina Abramovic is such a charismatic and strong person, and her performance, The Artist is Present, is such a minimalist but also (or, therefore) a very impressive and moving one. All of her work is based on using her body to express her feelings or situations that might appear in a relationship and, therefore, just to make it as clear as possible for the audience, she goes beyond her personal limits and pain barriers all the time. So it’s a must-watch!

#II Cobain – Montage of Heck. Again, I never was a fan of Kurt Cobain’s music, even though I grew up listening to Nirvana because it was played in every club in the 1990s. I also only knew a few aspects of Kurt Cobain’s life, probably the facts everybody else knows: famous musician/addiction/complicated relationship/early death. And then I learned that his ex-wife and daughter were making this documentary and so I was like, that feels strange somehow, I guess I need to watch it. And so I did. Well, what to say… I am sorry for Kurt Cobain. Really, I mean it. I guess he really was a talented musician and he sure wanted to do everything right. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by many people that didn’t recognize and love him the way he was. I don’t want to get into more details for those of you who didn’t watch it yet. But for some reasons, this documentary is very strange indeed and a very sad one too. 

#III A City Is An Island. Technically, I didn’t watch this documentary yet since it is out now for only a few months in Canada and not available on DVD yet. Buuut, I watched the trailer and I can’t wait to see the whole documentary. It’s about the artist’s scene in Montréal, one of my favorite cities in the world. There are interviews and reviews regarding this documentary on the WWW telling how unique, inspiring and forgiving Montréal’s artist scene is – all aspects that might be taken into account in this documentary. So stay tuned!

#IV I Am Big BirdOf course I watched this documentary about Caroll Spinney because when there is someone dedicating his life to the children of the world while authentically being (not acting!) emotional, empathic, and caring  in a large and challenging costume, he surely is a person I want to learn more about. Well, I really liked that movie and also the person and the story behind Sesame Street’s Big Bird. It’s a cool one! ;-)


PS: What artist’s documentary have you seen lately? I would like to know…

PPS: The pictures are from here: I, II, III, and IV.

signalstoerung // excerpts from gnm noise floors 2015

Signalstoerung

If you think of WGT (Wave Gotik Treffen, the biggest festival worldwide for anything dark, held each Whitsun in Leipzig) as a somehow free zone from (happy/progressive) music genres like Techno, please let me prove you wrong with this post.

‘Cause here is Signalstoerung‘s set from this year’s GNM Noise Floors at WGT. It features Orphx, Drumcell, Material Objects, and Diamond Version.

Signalstoerung - Excerpts from GNM Noise Floors 2015 by Adventurous Music on Mixcloud


PS: If you’re reading this post in your office or at your desk, please make sure you’ve got time and space, because you might wanna start dancing… ;-)

 

slow food // homemade spring rolls and sweet & sour sauce

springroll

Hellohellohello! Today I am starting a new series on this blog. It’s called slow food. Nothing new, I know. But it’s kinda new to me, since with a busy schedule and always a billion projects on my hand I enjoy and prefer cooking dishes that don’t need more than 20 minutes of preparation. So despite the fact that I try to use organic ingredients on a regular basis, I came to the conclusion that cooking can be more conscious than just that. In fact, it can become quite meditative and calming if you e.g. separate the lentils by yourself and don’t let the pigeons do the hard work. ;-)

So spring rolls. I love them, and I always wanted to make them by myself. And so I did. You may consider spring rolls as a fast food since you can get those pretty fast in almost every Asian bistro. You may also consider them a fast food because they usually contain lots of sugar and fat.

Not mine. ;-) They take a long time and are filled with the freshest veggies from my weekly organic cradlePlus, they can be dipped into a homemade sweet and sour sauce. For the wrapping, I used wonton paper, which is made out of wheat flour, but you can also use rice paper (like it’s done the original way and perfect for those of you with a gluten intolerance). Just make sure that the paper isn’t frozen anymore.

And here is my how-to…


HOMEMADE SPRING ROLLS AND SWEET & SOUR SAUCE

You will need – for 30 rolls:

30 pieces of wonton paper

1 medium size zucchini

1 medium size carrot

1 small red pepper

some lettuce leaves of your choice

some cilantro leaves

250 ml sesame oil

You will need – for the sweet & sour sauce:

50 ml sushi vinegar

50 ml sesame oil

1 teaspoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons brown/raw sugar

some salt, pepper and chili powder to taste

And here is how to make it  – in 60 minutes:

Wash the veggies. Peel the carrot if necessary. Cut the zucchini, carrot, and red pepper in short and thin strips. I used a Julienne peeler to make sure I get even pieces, but, of course, it’s the more slow food cooking if you cut it all by hand. ;-) Then cut the lettuce leaves also in small strips.

Use 1 wonton paper piece for each roll. The size of rice paper may be different. Then it’s up to you how big or small you want your rolls.

Put some strips of carrots, zucchini, and lettuce in the middle of your paper. Add cilantro if you and your guests like it. Just leave some space on the edges so you can fix your roll there. Sprinkle some water with a little pastry brush or spoon on those edges, it will help fixing your roll.

And then roll, roll, roll…

This is the most relaxing part of making spring rolls, so take your time and be careful, you want every piece of those vegetables inside of each roll. Otherwise, it would burn really fast or the roll could even fall apart. Since every roll is made the same way you don’t need to think about how to make it the whole time. Instead, listen to some music while creating all those little rolls or share this work with your guests and have a chat meanwhile.

Then put the sesame oil into a tall pot and heat it. Use a wooden spoon to figure out the right time and temperature for frying the rolls. Put the end of the wooden spoon into the hot oil. When it creates bubbles, carefully add a few spring rolls while using a skimmer. It depends on the size of your pot how many will fit in there. But make sure, the spring rolls don’t overlap and have enough space to fry from each side. For the first round, I suggest to obey the frying so you can flip them if necessary and see when they are done. You would want them not too bright and not too dark. ;-) When they have the for your taste perfect color, take them out and put them on some kitchen paper. Then add the next round. You might want to adjust the temperature of your oven to make sure they don’t burn.

While the spring rolls chill on paper, mix the sauce. Therefore, just put all the ingredients into a mixing cup. Or blender. Mix it well and taste it.

Don’t forget your other frying rolls in the meantime! ;-)

Once the spring rolls are all fried, arrange them on a plate and garnish them with anything you like.

Enjoy!


With their combination of raw veggies, a warm crispy wrapping, and a sweet, sour, and spicy sauce, spring rolls are also a perfect Ayurvedic snack. They serve as a great finger food for the garden party season, and I am sure your little ones will love them too!


PS: Btw… Happy International Children’s Day!