Friday, September 30, 2011

moving on...

Hello to those of you who still may be visiting here.  

Just wanted to announce my newest venture:

It's my new blog where I will be posting all about interior design and where I am also offering my eDesign services.

Please go have a look and let me know what you think ;)

Looking forward to connecting with you there.

Ciao, Ciao!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holly's Blog ... the end.

Hi all.

I'm writing today because I have finally made the decision to wrap it up here at Holly's Blog.

The two year anniversary of us moving to Germany from Canada has just passed and so I feel it is a good time to close this chapter.

photo credit - Me ;)
This blog began as a way to be in touch and share parts of my experiences with my friends and family back in Canada.  Some have followed, others haven't, which is fine.  But what has surprised me the most about this whole thing is that writing on this blog became a personal exercise that I quite enjoyed doing for myself and the benefits were therapeutic in a sense.  Also, I am surprised and so very glad that this blog allowed me to meet all sorts of interesting and like-minded people all over the world, one of whom I even know now personally.  We are practically neighbours, but we would have never met, were it not for Blog Land.  And the wealth of information and resources I've gathered from all these other fantastic blogs I've grown to love is incredible.  Blogging is a fantastic way to share information, learn and engage in discussion and I'm so happy I was part of it for a while.  I will keep following all my favourite blogs of course, but I have decided to retire Holly's Blog.

You can be in touch with me via email, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest, if you wish.  And for some reason, I have a strong feeling I will blog again ;) ... just not here.

Thank you all for following this blog, for leaving such nice and supportive comments.  I am happy for all the connections that have been made.  Overall, I am very satisfied with my first blogging experience and would recommend anyone to 'just do it' if it's something you've been thinking about.

auf Wiedersehen!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

here I am!

The weather in Germany has been quite disappointing these last few weeks.  A random nice day here and there, but it definitely doesn't feel like summer.  My mood has also matched this weather, or maybe it is the weather that has been dictating my mood...

It's Sunday today, and as usual, the church bells are chiming full force.  I love that about Germany.  Constant church bells ... a sound not so prominent from my life in Montreal but one that has become very familiar while in this country.  And it's not just Sunday.  It's everyday.  Sunday, they go all out though ;)  It's funny that even though I am not religious, I appreciate this sound so much.  It sort of makes me feel guilty a bit ;)  But I don't dwell on that too much and just enjoy the sound for what it is - chiming bells.

I have been so absent from my blog and I am not sure how to explain it.  I think with the end of my final school project just a few days away, I am overwhelmed by what it means.  On one hand, I am happy to be finished, on the other hand, I get nervous about how I will develop my career from this point.  My German is not that great - enough to communicate and be understood, but not yet at a point where I feel people could take me seriously.  Instead, they might think I am charming or dumb-sounding and either one of those is not exactly what I'm going for from a professional standpoint.  But because of the Internet and the fact that English is a global language (although many more people actually speak Spanish...)  I feel that the opportunities will be there.  I just have to find them.  And that is what the next few months of my life will entail.  It's going to be hard work and I am mentally preparing myself for that.  Maybe that is why I have no brain energy left to do other things.

Also, since leaving Berlin and arriving in Frankfurt, I've been living with this real sense of temporary-ness.  We are here only because Paul is studying and from here, we could go anywhere depending on where his job takes us.  It's hard to build a real life when you know that it will all change soon.  But I shouldn't complain because whether you are changing cities every couple of months or not, life is always changing anyways - for everyone.  Everything sort of IS temporary.  That's what life is.  So I'm trying to appreciate things the way they are now, because this IS life.  If I don't pay attention, it will pass me by.

Speaking of time passing by - I don't know how this happened, but I am turning 30 soon.

That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Next, I'd like to address my lack of 7 Sachen posts.  Sadly, I cannot do them anymore.  Sundays are quite routine for me.  They involve doing a whole lot of nothing, which I think is not that interesting to post about, but very enjoyable for me ;).  Yet, I am still inspired by the lovely Frau Liebe, I think I will end up choosing another day of the week and instead of 7 things, I may post about 5 ... we'll see.

Besides working and finishing up my school project, I've been spending some time creating outfit moodboards over at Polyvore.  If you like fashion and daydreaming about clothes, you should definitely visit.  It must be the weather here that is making me dream of stylish outfits for autumn already.

Autumn 2011 - grey, purple, tan

Autumn 2011 - brown, blue, mustard

Autumn 2011 - green, grey, pink

I have also been helping an acquaintance with the living room of her new apartment, which I will posts about separately when the time comes...but for now, here is what the concept looks like:

Before I sign off to return to my day of laziness (I'm contemplating staying in my pajamas all day!) , I would like to share some travel videos with you made by Rick Mereki called MOVE, EAT, LEARN.

About MOVE, EAT, LEARN: " ... 3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films...  = a trip of a lifetime." via Vimeo

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

I hope you liked them as much as I did!

...oh nice!  The sun just came out =)

Have a lovely Sunday and I'll see you here next time.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

restaurant review - Berlin | Cafe V

On my recent trip to Berlin, I went to a great restaurant. 

Honestly, I was quite surprised.  I'm not vegetarian - and I never think of going to vegetarian restaurants.  But my friend is vegetarian so it was a great opportunity to try some out.  This one was really delicious.

It's called Cafe V and is located in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin.  The atmosphere is cozy and warm, the service was really friendly.  We drank some good Turkish wine, which was a totally new experience for me.  I ordered the breaded spinach balls served with new potatoes in a mushroom cream sauce.  It was excellent!  Everyone at the table was envious ;)  But their dishes were good too. The price was reasonable as well, as most in Berlin are.

Cafe V in Berlin

Cafe V in Berlin

 Dinner at cafe V in Berlin

I really recommend the restaurant if you're around there.  Vegetarian or not - you will like it.

{excuse the look of the card...
it was in my pocket for the rest of that night
... And what a night it was!
as you can tell from the crinkling and blue discolouration...}

Holly's overall rating for Cafe V:

Any good restaurants you'd like to share or recommend?

'till next time,

German Design - the PassivHaus

The Passivhaus standard of building originates from conversations between German and Swedish professors, Wolfgang Feist and Bo Adamson in the late 80's.  After numerous research studies and funding by the German state of Hessen - the concept was born. 

Building by Passivhaus standard means that the resulting building requires very little energy to keep the temperature right no matter what the temperature is outside - so you end up with a super energy efficient home with a small ecological footprint. The concept is not only restricted to building homes but has also been applied office buildings, schools and supermarkets.

Super insulation and airtightness are the main factors that allow this concept to work.  This minimizes heat loss so that heating needs are about 90% less than those of a standard home. A passive house essentially heats itself by retaining the warmth generated by its occupants and electrical devices as well as using a unique mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system.

Building with this concept ensures a home that always has a comfortable temperature and they usually look really good and stylish - modern design using concrete and natural materials.  I would definitely consider building a future home by Passivhaus standards.

Take a look at this one,the Oberen Berg House by Alexander Brenner in Stuttgart, Germany.  I really like it:
photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt

photo credit: Alexander Brenner Achitekt  

I think it's just beautiful.

See you next time,

Friday, July 22, 2011

a recent trip to Berlin and some other stuff...

I've been so inactive these last few weeks ... hope you haven't forgotten about me.  I don't know what's the matter with me, but I am avoiding my computer like the plague.  Every time I flip it open, I rush through the necessary tasks so that I can shut it as soon as possible.  Maybe I've been spending too much time with it ... maybe my final project is consuming all my brain power so that I can't focus or take in any more info in a day... I don't know.  But c'est la vie.  I'm sure this phase will pass.  So in case you are wondering where I am, now you'll know - I'm hiding ;)

Recently, my friend from Montreal was able to stop through Berlin between work trips and asked me if I'd come meet her.  Of course, I did and it was a fabulous time.  It was very special to be in Berlin (the city I miss so much) with a very good, long time friend.  The combo was almost too much for my heart to bear.

And so, I leave you with some pictures of Berlin:

Berlin wall at Bernauer Strasse



TV tower reflection

at the Badeschiff

at the Badeschiff

See you soon ... hopefully,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

7 Sachen

7 things from my Sunday - as every week, inspired by Frau Liebe.

7 Sachen von meinem Sonntag - wie jede Woche, von Frau Liebe inspiriert.

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

Coffee, of course!
Natuerlich, Kaffe trinken!

Worked on floor plans for my final project.
Grundrisse Arbeit fuer mien Abschlusspojekt.

Uploading and editing recent photos.
Hochladen und Bearbeitung von meinen neusten Fotos.

Watered my plants.
Planzen giessen.

Vacuming ... blah.
Staubsaugern ... blah.

Ate a real salad!  Since the Ecoli outbreak, I've been too scared to eat fresh vegetables.  Not anymore.
Einen richtigen Salat gegessen!  Seit dem Ecoliausbruch hatte ich zu viel angst frisches Gemuse zu essen.  Nicht mehr.

Popped some popcorn and watched Apollo 13.
Popcorn gepoppt und Apollo 13 geschaut.

How was your Sunday?

Wie war euer Sonntag?