Meeting Merkel at the Federal Chancellery

merkel-federal-chancellery-wib

Our club, the Willkommen in Berlin, had the fortune to be invited by Angela Merkel to the Federal Chancellery. She welcomed us personally and took a group photo with us (one of the most thrilling experiences I have had by far). Then we were given a tour of the beautifully designed and very modern Federal Chancellery. Afterwards we were treated to coffee and a Q&A with the State Secretary. This is a photoblog of the experience. Feel free to ask me questions on the comments after. We were [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Prince Pückler’s Branitzer Park and Palace

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When we arrived in Branitzer Park we were first welcomed by his heir, Count Pückler, who came all the way from Hamburg to greet our group in the Willkommen in Berlin (Antiques, Palaces and Gardens). He told us all about how his family lost their land, but later on were allowed to by back a piece of the land so that they could build a small cottage near the Schloss or Palace. He was very charming and was nice enough to let us take a photo with him. Hermann Prince von Pückler-Muskau [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Hotel De Rome’s Luxurious Design

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At the end of our Willkommen in Berlin club year, the group leaders of the Dinner is Served Group organized an event with Hotel de Rome on their beautiful rooftop bar. This is a photoblog of that lovely event, where we enjoyed Aperol Spritz and delicious hors d'oeuvre on a glorious sunny day. After we were treated to a tour of the hotel learned about it's interesting history (it was previously a bank). Though the structure is old, the hotel has very modern amenities. The designers of the hotel [read more]

Tala Ocampo Coaching and Training

is coaching right for you

Tala Ocampo is an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation. She has a registered coaching practice based in Singapore and she is also my best friend since 5th grade. I am writing about her because I was able to sample her coaching during a difficult time in my life. I know what you are thinking...Why ask her to coach me when she is my best friend and I can ask her for advice any time?  Talking to a friend is different from a coach Friends and family have good [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Schloss Seehof

schloss-seehof

A schloss is a palace or a castle and there are many in Germany. Some are modest, yet some are grand. One of the grandest I've seen is Schloss Seehof which is in South Germany. Because it is in Memmelsdorf in Franconian Tuscany, or right in front of Bamberg, we drop by before heading home to Berlin from Bamberg. We walked around enjoy the sun, the gardens and the water cascades. They have tours inside the beautiful rooms for a small cost (I can't recall if it was 4 or 8 Euros per person) and it [read more]

BERLIN BITES: California Breakfast Slam Apparition Pancakes

california breakfast slam pancakes

So I've craved for a huge American-style breakfast for a few weeks now...MmMmMmmm big fluffy pancaaaaaakes where aaaare youuuuu?!? Brunch is a big deal in Berlin, not surprisingly because the big clubbing culture leads to hangovers and late ravenous breakfasts, which also becomes lunch. I find that most brunch fares are...well... European. I love the delicious cheeses, cold cuts and freshly baked bread, but sometimes I just need an artery-clogging big American breakfast. After some obsessive [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Metzingen Outlet City

metzingen outlet

If you find  yourself in Stuttgart, I highly recommend making a detour and visiting Metzingen Outlet City. These aren't your usual size outlet stores, because most of the brands have their own huge multi-level building. But you don't have to be a high end branded shopper to appreciate this place - though if you loved Burberry, Prada, Escada, Zegna, Jimmy Choo, DVF etc. I am sure you will be in heaven - because the architecture and space is beautiful. There is delicious local wine and food to be [read more]

Grün Ohr Vegetarian Cupcakes

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I love cupcakes. So much so that I learned to bake my own in our last post because I couldn't find cupcakes that were moist and delicious. I am happy to say that I've found an amazing cupcake cafe here in Berlin.  Not too sweet vegetarian cupcakes and super cute girlie pretty interiors. It's like your in cupcake land.  I cannot believe that is all veggie inside. This is great for vegetarians out there. And cupcakes are made fresh in smaller batches. You can feel the love that goes in each [read more]

POKKETMIXER Giveaway Winner

pokketmixeer giveaway winner

Hello everyone! I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long for the announcement. I had to go through hundreds and hundreds of entries to verify that tweets were tweeted, profiles followed, pages liked and comments made. In the end we had a total of 440 entries from 55 entrants and I picked the winner out via random.org. The turn-out was amazing. Thank you to everyone who joined the #POKKETMIXERgiveaway! POKKETMIXER Discount Coupon I have some more good news from POKKETMIXER! For those who [read more]

How to Use Sealing Wax

diplo diy how to sealing wax

Recently I wrote an post on how to wrap a gift elegantly using the humble brown paper. I used sealing wax for the gift cards and a few friends asked about the sealing wax and purchased a set themselves. I thought I would write a post on how to use it. I found a video which was especially helpful for a newbie like me and I also read many articles. I compiled the most helpful details below.   I hope you find it useful! Sealing wax isn't just for envelopes but can also be decorative. I used a [read more]

Design Inspiration at Park Hyatt Hotel Hamburg

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I had the luxury of staying at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Hamburg. Hotels in Europe are known to be small and usually have bare amenities. So I was surprised with Park Hyatt hotel. Our room was very spacious with well designed and thoughtful features and amenities. One of the reasons I love travelling is staying in hotel rooms. I got a lot of inspiration from how they design beautiful yet functional and comfortable spaces.  Aside from the gorgeous view of Mönckebergstrasse, a famous shopping [read more]

How to wrap a gift with brown paper

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If you look at my gift-wrapping inboard you can tell that I love wrapping with humble brown paper. It's affordable, practical, easily dressed up for any occasion or season and easily recyclable. It's also very thin - less paper equals less trees cut down. Brown paper wrapping can be very chic and elegant. Let me show you how! Simplicity is key elegance. Personally I feel that the simpler, fewer steps made and fewer materials used while achieving maximum impact, the more elegant something is. [read more]

PokketMixer Unboxing and Giveaway

PokketMixer-champagne0

I had a brief fling with DJing in the past... A friend of mine first taught me on an old school turn-table, the very fist session live in this club called Peligro in Manila. I wouldn't have had the courage to do it if I didn't have liquid courage coursing through my veins. It was exhilarating. Mind-blowing. The power of music to control the vibe of a space or experience is amazing, isn't it? It's kinda cool how the smallest things can inspire us... a moment in a park and an energetic dancing [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Summer Hitlist

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September is here and it's been getting cold. It's funny how I was wishing it was fall already when it was 36 degrees out and there are no air-conditioners in flats and many establishments here in Berlin. Berliners love summer and you could find them nice an red under the sun on most nice summer day. I don't mind the sun and getting a little tan (so long as I have my coconut oil), but I am not a fan of sweating and insects (those pesky bees!). However I loved being able to go out in sandals and [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Smallest DJ Mixer In The World

Pokketmixer2

I entered the famous Mauerpark Fleamarket to the booming beat of party music.  I spotted the DJ dancing, having a blast to his pulsating mix.  My head was bobbing too. I couldn't help it. I walked over to the booth as if I was hypnotized. I looked at his mixer and was amazed to see how tiny it was. The colours were jumping at me. I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I was obsessed.  I had to do find out more about it. Could something this small and without batteries really mix music? What I [read more]

DIPLO TRAVEL: Dresden Hotel and Transport

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When looking for a hotel we are always looking for the best value for money. I like staying in affordable yet clean hotels that have simple yet modern interior design. We stayed at a place that ticked all those boxes and exceeded expectation when we went to Dresden, Germany. Our friends found this amazing deal on Booking.com at only € 70 per night, including buffet breakfast for 2 people. It was discounted from around € 100 and required no upfront payment and had free [read more]

BLOG CRUSH: Chuzai Living

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I am so happy to start off a series called "Blog Crush," featuring bloggers I admire around the world, with Kaho of Chuzai Living Blog. Chuzai Living is one of my biggest blog inspirations and Kaho is my very first blog-friend. Kaho started commenting on my blog in Indonesia and soon met up and found out that not only were we fellow trailing-spouses, but also neighbours in Jakarta.  I truly miss living in the same city as Kaho, meeting up and talking about about expat life, interior [read more]

How to hang things securely without damaging walls

hang clock without damaging wall 1

As an expat we are perpetually renting and one of my challenges is to decorate with the least amount of damage to fix up when I leave, so I can get my security deposit back. In the past I've used 3M command strips, but recently I found an even better alternative. The problem with 3M and similar products is that if the wall paint is matte, then temporary hooks and tapes might not be very secure. I've had stuff fall and break. Full disclosure: This is still a risk even with this method using [read more]

DIPLO LUST LIST: 3 Luxe Philippine Beach Vacations

El Nido

I miss the beach so much! I swam in a lake once this entire summer, but I haven't swam in a proper beach in years. Even vacations in Bali were never about getting in the water. Bali beaches were bad luck for me... strong currents, unclean water and wounding my feet after a few steps in the booby-trapped sand. I am exaggerating of course. My Bali vacations were about amazing food and appreciating the culture. So after 4 years in the biggest archipelago in the world and a year in Berlin, I [read more]

DIPLO BEAUTY: How to Paint Your Nails Perfectly

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I got an email from Amelia of Duckling to Swan when she moved to Jakarta a while back. When I checked out her blog and IG feed I couldn't get over how perfect her nails were. Currently drooling over her 4th inspired star manicure. Gold and bling chic!  So I asked her and she was nice enough to answer. I've been following the video and advice ever since and I can now do my own nails in a neat and tidy way. Hooray. I hope she doesn't mind that I am posting her tips. You guys should try it out! It [read more]