Guest Post: Lavish Frugality

The Oxymoron

Lavish frugality. What a pair of words. The first time I mentioned it to a friend, he instantly said this is an oxymoron.

An oxymoron describes two contradicting terms put together. We have all stumbled upon it before. At school, at university, in advertising or when we have placed an order with our favorite Asian restaurant: “I’d like to have chicken sweet and sour chicken, thank you.”

Additionally, the terms lavish and frugal do not seem to go together at first.

Many understand frugality not only to be modesty and a cautious behavior, but also celibacy and the renunciation of certain enjoyments. As opposed to this, there is the concept of “lavish lifestyle”. Especially, nowadays this term has a negative aftertaste and stands for the frivolous and overly generous consumption of money, things and resources. Those who have a lavish lifestyle live very richly and wastefully. So how do these two terms fit together?

Cheers for enjoyment

What is minimalism?

If you look at Instagram, Pinterest and the lifestyle magazines, you will quickly notice that the current trend is towards minimalism and sustainability. There are two great documentaries about minimalism on Netflix and sustainability is receiving much-needed attention. It seems as if these two lifestyles always went hand in hand. When it comes to minimalism, you actively ask yourself:

“What do I really need to be happy?”

It is not about reducing your possessions to a certain number of things or living in an empty apartment if possible. It is about making room for the important things in life and sorting out everything that is not important or even burdensome.

What is sustainability?

When it comes to sustainability, your own consumption and lifestyle are optimized so that you live as resource-efficiently as possible. It is a matter of aligning one’s actions in order to preserve the natural regenerative capacity of the systems involved in satisfying one’s own needs.

Lavish frugality

The idea of “lavish frugality” is not about saving money come hell or even throwing money down the drain. It is not about minimizing or adding to your possessions. It is more about balance.

After having dealt with the topics of minimalism and sustainability, after several unsuccessful clean-ups and tidy out actions à la Marie Kondo, I had to realize I love beautiful things. It just makes me happy to sit on the couch in the evening and look at my wall full of well-stocked bookshelves. If this makes me happy, why should I reduce myself to twenty books?

Please do not get this wrong. I am still reducing, and it makes perfect sense and joy surrounding yourself with the things that make you happy and that you use. However, the joy of life should not suffer. Not everyone is a minimalist. Nevertheless, that is not bad either, because sustainability is also possible if you have a lavish lifestyle – if you define it correctly!

The sustainable, lavish lifestyle

We are surrounded by advertising all day long, whether on television, social media or by friends and acquaintances who arouse desires and needs in us without knowing it. Hence, everyone’s spending is likely somewhere between what we can afford and what we think we are owed. For everyone, money is synonymous with work and drudgery (more for some, less for others). Moreover, students in particular know the feeling of being torn between their studies and part-time jobs, only to start their professional life with student loans debts.

Create new, repair or buy used

The solution is that what you cannot afford financially, can be recreated, repaired or used for little money.

 There are now countless ways to add very beautiful items to your wardrobe without having to immediately spend huge amounts of money or invest in fast fashion. A capsule wardrobe is fine, but if you want to expand it, you can do that. In addition, if you switch to second hand, you also get the opportunity to breathe a second life into a beautiful piece and at the same time, you protect the environment. Those skilled enough can upgrade their favorite pieces themselves with a needle and thread. Therefore, you almost have an individually tailored piece of clothing for a few euros.

Books, whether for private reading enjoyment or for studying, can also be bought second-hand or borrowed from the library, if you know in advance that you will not necessarily have to have them in hard copy on the shelf later. You can also join so-called book hikes, in which a book is passed on to the next person after reading, so that it travels from person to person and hopefully gives you hours of joy.

Thanks to the corona lockdown (regardless of whether it is number one, two or five); we are forced to spend more time in our own four walls. You can have cabin fever and the furnishings lose their appeal. But isn’t this the perfect time for a self-painted picture that will be placed prominently over the sofa, as if you had bought it for several thousand euros in a gallery? Existing pieces of furniture can often be upcycled in a few simple steps and with little material and transformed into truly unique pieces. Each of us has seen at least one Ikea hack and thanks to YouTube and Pinterest there are no limits to the imagination of turning our own furniture catalog home into a dream house à la McGee & Co.

Not just consumption

However, lavish frugality is not just about shifting consumption to more sustainable and therefore cheaper alternatives. But to actively enjoy one’s life. Sit on a park bench with the first warm rays of sunshine with your homemade coffee and just watch people passing by? Having digital lunch breaks with your best friend or having a movie night with your loved one in the evening, including self-made popcorn. Why not just celebrate the nice idleness and sit on the balcony with a beautiful teacup (bought on eBay) and just read your favorite book again? Or treat yourself to a lush bouquet of self-plowed flowers.

Find the balance

In lavish frugality, one finds the balance between luxury and the essential. Instead of snacking on a pack of cookies every day (absolutely no problem in lockdown, trust me), just go to the patisserie and buy a wonderful, but sinful piece of cake. Alternatively, go to the trouble of strengthening your bed linen and ironing it, only to have the feeling of hotel bed linen in the evening when you slip under the sheets.

A cheap wine tastes much better from the crystal glasses bought at the flea market and you instantly feel like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey.

True luxury costs little or nothing – and you do not have to miss anything. It is enough if you think a little more about what kind of priorities you are setting. Even then, it is possible to behave freely and decadently at any time, even without overdrawing your own budget or painfully missing the missing millions in your bank account.

Lavish frugality means that you reinvent the rules for yourself, let yourself drift, create and develop without exploiting the environment and its available resources or having to miss anything.

Feel free to enjoy life to the fullest!

Guest Blogger: Julia

Check out Julia’s Blog: www.zeitistrelativ.com

Follow Julia on Instagram: @jezabel_botanica

My Lockdown Makeup Routine perfect for Zoom Calls

Hey my loves,

Zoom, WebEx, Skype and Microsoft Teams have become a big part of our everyday lives, at least that’s how it is for me. Just because of work, I’m on at least one video call a week, and when university starts up again, I’m on almost every day.

If I’m honest, I did without makeup-free at the beginning of the pandemic. However, due to some private changes in my life and the very real mask acne, I just feel a bit fresher when I make a little effort and put on makeup.My routine has changed so much, simply by wearing far less makeup than before and also using completely different it.I also try to pay so much more attention to my skincare routine as well to keep my now more dry than combination skin moisturized.

If you’d like, I can share my updated skincare routine in an upcoming post. Let me know in the comments!

My Makeup Routine for Video Calls

Base
I like to start with a primer because I find my foundation just lasts so much better and just looks better too. I like to use The Ordinary’s primers: High-Spreadability Fluid Primer and High-Adherence Silicone Primer. I find both amazing! If I need a lot of moisture, I also use the setting spray Bare with me Multitasking Spray from NYX.

Foundation
I tend to alternate between two products. However, lately I use Catrice True Skin Hydrating Foundation, it lasts really long and is very covering. I don’t know about you, but I find it kind of wasteful to use my IT Cosmetics CC Cream every day when I’m not seen in real life. Therefore, I use the drugstore foundation from Catrice. And for its price, it’s great! I can only recommend.

Concealer
My dark circles have been terrible lately, which is why I’m literally soaking up concealer right now. I really want to try the caffeine solution from The Ordinary, I’ve heard really good feedback from it. Well, so for my concealer I use either Maybelline Fit ME! Concealer or Catrice True Skin High Cover Concealer it depends a bit on how dark my circles are. My Maybelline concealer is much lighter, which is why I mostly use it with the concealer of Catrice.

Powder
For my setting powder, I still use my trusted Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Setting Powder. However, I would like to go back to a drugstore variant here too because, as with foundation, it just feels wasteful to use the “good, expensive” powder. Get it?

Blush
I have a four blush palette from Nip+Fab which is great, I usually tend to go for the more muted color and apply that not only to my cheeks but also a bit to my nose. I’ve seen that once on TikTok and found that looked super cute. Tip: You should not go back into the blush but simply use what is left on the brush.

Bronzer
I must confess, most days I skip bronzer, but when I’m in the mood to bring a little warmth to my face, then I use my Benefit Hoola Bronzer. But is it really just me, or do we all need a long super sunny vacation to get a little more tanned?

Eyes and eyebrows
I usually skip eyeshadow completely, especially dark colors make you look even more tired and worn out than you actually are. I am lucky enough to have relatively full eyebrows, which is why eyebrow mascara is usually enough. I use here my fave: L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plump & Set Serum. For my lashes I am currently trying a few new mascaras, but my favorite is L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Very Different Waterproof mascara in black.

Lips
I spend a lot of time indoors at my desk and with the current season my heating runs often, which makes my skin and my lips very dry. I therefore tend to use more lip balms or lip glosses. My two favorites at the moment are: Maybelline Lifter Gloss Lip Gloss and Urban Decay Vice Lip Chemistry.

Setting Spray
To set my makeup I use Bare with me Multitasking Spray from NYX. But I also am gonna try a new one from L’Oréal Paris soon (Infaillable Magic Setting Spray Transparent). I don’t really use the setting spray for longevity but much more to freshen up and hydrate my now powdered face.

Has your routine changed since the pandemic began? Let me know in the comments.

XoXo, Jasmin.

Cooking with Jasmin – Indian inspired Chicken Curry with Naan Bread

Hey my loves,

a couple of weeks ago my bestie and I wanted to try out a new recipe and we decided it would be super fun to cook an Indian inspired chicken curry dish. My bestie really wanted to try to make her own Naan bread so we figured what better to eat with Naan then a chicken curry. We looked online for a couple of recipes and ultimately ended up with a mix of a few different ones. I personally do not like coriander so we skipped it in our recipes, but you can always add it to your version of the recipe.

Chicken Curry Recipe

This recipe serves around four people and is great with rice and a side of naan bread. We really enjoyed it and I can personally say it tasted a lot better the next day and we think it is crucial to marinade the chicken longer than an hour, I think 12 hours would be perfect for the softness of the chicken and taste.

Like I mentioned we added some rice and self-made naan bread. We really wanted to make our own an we used the following recipe:

If you happen to try these recipes out let me know what you think. I would love to know.

XoXo, Jasmin.

3 Things I do to avoid Lockdown blues

Hey my loves,

I don’t know about you but I am so over this whole pandemic life. I literally just want to go outside and do something fun with my friends and have a nice little holiday. But, that seems so out of reach and to avoid getting to sad or depressed about the situation I have found a few things I like to do to feel like I am doing something. Obviously it is so important to social distance and follow the rules that apply in your country, but these are things I am pretty sure you are allowed to do nearly everywhere.

No.1 : Make sure to have a routine.

Mindsets, habits and routines are the building blocks for success toward your wellness goals.

In the beginning of this pandemic I thought why have a set routine it does not matter. Well, let me tell you: It sure does. Having a set routine changed my whole mindset and made me realize that I can keep busy while social distancing and having everything that is somewhat fun closed. I even wrote a little entry a while ago, so make sure to check it out: Getting back into a routine during Lockdown

A routine is different for everybody. You have to find what works for your lifestyle. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to achieve with my routine?
  • When do I have time for this routine or is my routine a time management skill?
  • Is my routine the same every day?
  • Why is it important to me to have a set routine?
  • What is my lifestyle? Are you working from home? Are you a student?

As soon as you get answers to these questions you can start to create your routine. For me, my routine changes throughout the week and months. For instance, I recently started a new job, am writing a paper and am on my semester break for at least five more weeks. On the days I work from home I like to give myself a little around an hour to get ready, set everything up and eat breakfast. On days I go into the office I get up, get ready and eat all in around 30 to 45 minutes, just because I like being ready and out faster. On days I do not work I like to sleep a little bit longer and take an hour to an hour and a half to myself in the morning. I do little chores right away in the morning and make sure to check of any to do’s that involve my apartment. I also use the off-days to write a blog entry and mostly I use my days of to work for my paper. Sundays are my free time day, if I have something I need to get done I’ll do it, but if it can wait until Monday than I won’t. I let myself sleep in, go for a walk, self care and watch movies.

No.2 : Learn something new.

Learning is forging new connections. Every time you learn something new, your brain physically changes.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

I love to learn and I love to educate myself on new topics. In the beginning of the pandemic I made it a goal of mine to learn a lot about the field I want to work in as well as use every opportunity my Uni offers which help me add more skills to my CV. I recently visited a Workshop about intercultural project management and it was not just fun but also so informative. I can highlight recommend doing this. Find something to do that is new and exciting to you, there are so many offers online that are free.

For example, if you like to learn more about marketing Google offers a great free program: Basics of Online Marketing

Here you can even get a certificate at the end which you could add to your CV. But mostly I would look what your university offers, those are mostly included and are free too.

No. 3: Go for walks.

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.

Erol Ozan

With gyms mostly closed and home workouts getting boring I love to go for a walk with a friend (where I live we are allowed to see one person that does not live in the same household). And let me tell you, fresh air and sun on your skin feels so good, especially when you’ve been inside most of the day.

A couple of days I went on a 7km walk with a friend. We went to a walking trail not too far from where I live and it was such a beautiful day. I had muscle pain the next day but it was definitely worth it. I had so much fun and we were able to catch up a lot. It’s also super nice just to explore parts of your own city. You can always google or ask friends and family for recommendations or just start walking and see where you end up.

What are you doing to keep yourself busy? Do you have any new things you are doing now? I would love to connect with you and chat.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Cooking with Jasmin – Turmeric Chicken Curry

Hey my loves,

Today I am sharing a new recipe I discovered for myself. Lately I have been cooking up my veggies and meats in a lot of different styles, just because I am so bored with my normal food. A couple of weeks ago I created a Curry dish, that suits my lifestyle and my taste buds. I am in now way saying that I am lactose intolerant, but I noticed that if I keep my lactose intake to a minimum I feel a lot better, so I choose some lactose-free alternatives. I am also not the biggest fan of coconut milk, so I used normal milk, cream cheese and cream to get the creamy-ness. 

I never really eat Currys, but I think I will try to experiment a lot more with different version. So, if you have any good recipes feel free to share a link in the comments.

I think this recipe could use some more perfection but as of now this is how I created my Turmeric Chicken Curry.

Ingredients

Instruction

If you recreate it make sure to tag me on any post you make and let me know in the comments. 

XoXo, Jasmin.

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Squash Lasagna Recipe

Hey my loves,

Recently I have been trying out a few recipes that I always wanted to try, one of them being a Squash Lasagna. Yes, you read that right a lasagne with squash. When I looked at the ingredients I thought to myself, “Well, you like everything individually, why shouldn’t you like it together?”. And I was right. While this recipe does take a lot longer than a normal lasagne it was tasty, when I tried it the night I made it I wasn’t sure about it, but the second day I was convinced – it is delicious.

INGREDIENTS

FILLING

  • 1,5 kg red kuri squash
  • 2 onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tub of créme fraîche
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic & herbs

BÉCHAMEL SAUCE

  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g flour
  • 750 ml milk of your choice
  • salt & pepper

ADDITIONAL

  • 200g lasagna plates
  • 200g shredded cheese

INSTRUCTION

  1. Peel and cut your squash. The smaller the pieces the faster your squash will cook through in the pan.
  2. Peel and slice your onions and garlic into small pieces.
  3. Heat up a pan or pot with some olive oil.
  4. Add your onion and garlic into the pan and let them golden. Then add the squash.
  5. Cook the squash for a little bit before you add your seasonings (around 10 minutes).
  6. Add your two cans of crushed tomatoes. I added some extra seasonings here.
  7. Cook the tomato-squash mixture until the squash has soften a lot (around another 15-20 minutes).
  8. Add your tub of créme fraîche and season again. Squash can take a lot of seasoning.
  9. While your filling is cooking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  10. In a pot melt the butter and then add the flour. Combine these to until the mixture has a light golden tint.
  11. Add your milk to the butter-flour mixture and whisk it together until there are no clumps left. Bring the mixture to a boil and it should thicken up.
  12. In an oven form start with a spoonful of filling, then add your lasagna plates. On top of those add the filling and the béchamel sauce and a little bit of shredded cheese. Continue this step until you run out of filling and sauce.
  13. Bake the lasagna for 40 minutes in the oven. Enjoy!

It was super delicious but I probably would cook it again if I had friends over because it takes a lot of time. But it is so worth it. Have you tried a new recipe? Let me know, I would love to know.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.