A Holly Jolly Christmas...

Friday, December 22, 2017

A jolly good Christmas, everyone! How are you celebrating this year? Are you traveling, hosting or taking it easy?

Same as the past few years, Balazs and I are spending the Holidays in Budapest and London with the whole family. Oh, I'm so ready to get the festivities started! This whole week, I've been totally daydreaming about eating Christmas pudding for breakfast, sipping hot wine at noon and just being totally and utterly merry...

So, here is my wish for all of us: let's be present in this moment, because it passes so fast :) Deal?

And since this is the last post for the year, I'd like to thank you all for popping by exPress-o daily! Your support and sweet notes make me feel all warm and happy. I truly couldn’t ask for a more amazing group of ladies and it's such a treat sharing my little slice of world with you. I'll see you all back here in two weeks time, on January 8th, but in the meantime, feel free to browse through exPress-o. Maybe you’ll discover a post or two that you missed previously.

P.S: Fancy a bit of chit-chat over the Holidays? Join me on Instagram.
P.P.S: Plus, those simmer potsthese tweaks and a handful of awesome tips:)

(Photo by exPress-o of our sweet little Jenny, the reindeer)

Psst: the comments are switched off during the Holidays. But if you want to drop me a little hello, you can always reach me via email - diana.mieczan@hotmail.com :)

This Week's Gems

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What a snug jumper...

The sassiest triangle earrings around...

Wow, those agate knobs are something else...

The only tote bag you'll ever need - it's a keeper!...

Swoonworthy...

The best cure after a looong day...

Be still my heart - 'carpe diem' morse code bracelet right here:)

Boots perfection!...

Simple book holder that I love....

Genius!...

Mmm...

Oh-so gorgeous...

 :)...

We all need a pair of Highland socks, don't we?...

For your winter window...

My friend swears by this hair conditioner...

The loveliest wine glasses...

This blanket is calling my name:)...

Beautiful enamel cups for your next adventure...

Dearies, happy happy winter solstice! What caught your eye this week? Any great finds or buys?

P.S: Fancy more gems?
P.P.S: And our entire 2017 gift guide series...

(4th image by Fashion Veggie)

Drone Over NYC











Wow, Humza Deas just made my morning with this incredible New York City series. In hopes to showcase this extraordinary place from a new angle, he took to the skies using a drone, and the results are totally awe-inspiring, if you ask me:)

P.S: Bivouac NYCthis and that.
P.P.S: Plus, a look back...

(via My Modern Met)

Yay! It's Wednesday Cake!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Since this is the last Wednesday cake of the year, I saved the best for last:)

Here are the most Christmas-y and jolly clementine upside down cakes you'll ever eat! They look beautiful, taste incredibly indulging and on top of it all, they are also guilt free:) They have no butter, no sugar, no flour and no egg, but they taste like they have it all and they look like Christmas on a plate in the best way possible.

So if you're still undecided on your Christmas dessert, I highly recommend giving those jolly cakes a go, as they will make the loveliest (and lightest) finish to your feast....

Clementine Upside Down Cakes
(Inspired by Drizzle and Dip and Sarah's muffin recipe. It's a marriage between the two. Makes about 12-15 cakes)

Ingredients:
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- 1/2 cup maple syrup + a dash more for the tray
- 1 cup rolled oats
-  1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- finely grated zest of 2 small clementines
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/4 of vanilla bean)
- 12-15 slices of peeled clementines (1 slice per cake)

Hot Syrup
- 1/2 cup of clementine juice
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Mix chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and set aside for about 10 minutes or until it gets all 'jelly'.

Place oats and baking powder in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse flour, then transfer to a bowl.

Next, again in a food processor, blend together bananas, maple syrup, applesauce, zest, vanilla extract and the ready chia seeds mix, until well blended.

Now combine the oat flour with the wet mix using a spoon.

Pour just a dash of  maple syrup in the the bottom of each cavity of a muffin pan. Add a slice of clementine on top of the maple syrup. Next, evenly measure out the cake batter and dollop onto each clementine (about 3/4 of the way up the pan). Bake for 15-25 minutes, until golden brown.

In the meantime, make the syrup by bringing the juice and the maple syrup to simmer or till it just starts to thicken a bit.

After the cakes are ready, take them out of the oven and using a spatula gently loosen the baked cakes from the mould and tip out onto a cooling rack. Pour the warm syrup over the cakes to allow them to absorb. Let them cool off and enjoy.

You can store them in your fridge for up to 4-5 days and eat them cold or warm. Up to you! Ta-dah!

P.S: Also, clementine candles...
P.P.S: And this nifty little clementine trick.

(Photos and the recipe by exPress-o)

Festive Shoe Trick


If by any chance you treated yourself to an obscenely high, but incredibly saucy pair of heels for the upcoming Christmas celebrations, or for a hot New Year's party, here is a little tip on how to brake them in before they ruin your night...

Simply, a day or two before you're planning to wear them, use a blow-dryer on them. Yup, supposedly the heat from the blow-dryer will stretch out the area of concern by blow-drying the specific part of the shoe. The only thing is, you have to apply the heat for at least 30 seconds before putting the shoe back on.

Try it, it works amazingly!

P.S: This.
P.P.S: That.

(Photo by The Sartorialist. Tip via Who What Wear)

Christmas Gift Guide #11: Nifty Tech Gadgets

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

...And to round up our 2017 gift guide series, here are 14 jazzy, brilliant, nifty and incredibly cool tech gadgets that everyone on your list will love, use and enjoy for months (years!) to come...

From the top: 1. All new waterproof Amazon Kindle Oasis ($280) - 2. Chromecast ($40), that makes your tv smart, and your mobile becomes your remote - 3. Ring's video doorbell ($179), keeps you informed about who is at your door at all times, even when you're not home - 4. Ember ceramic mug ($79.95), keeps your beverages at the perfect temperature from the first sip to the last drop - 5. TPTP-Link Smart Plug ($19.99), no hub required, you can control your devices from anywhere - 6. Sonos ($200) wireless home speaker with mighty sound - 7. Sony wireless headphones ($59.99) - 8. instax Square SQ10 Instant camera ($270) - 9. Dojo Smart internet security and privacy solution for your wi-fi network + 1 year subscription included ($99.99) - 10. Wonder-Boom speaker ($79.99), aka the super-portable, waterproof, float-able Bluetooth speaker with surprisingly big sound - 11. Echo Show ($149.99), it brings you everything you love about Alexa, but it can also show you things - 12. Ugg's leather smart gloves ($110) - 13. Moleskine smart writing set ($199), watch your ideas travel off the page and evolve on screen - 14. Philips wake-up light with colored sunrise simulation alarm clock and sunset fading night light ($129.99).

Any favourites?

P.S: And all our gift guides last year.
P.P.S: Plus, all our Wednesday cakes so far this year:)

(Layout by exPress-o)

Christmas Gift Guide #10: Millennials


Up next are 20 nifty, fun and quirky gift ideas for all those millennials in your life. Those 20-30 year-olds who are setting their own rules and doing it their own unique way...

From the top: 1. Olive Bella zodiac constellation necklace ($41) - 2. Dunny lamp ($300) - 3. Emoji coaster set of 4 ($82) - 4. Squeeze Soybean stress relieving keychain ($7.99) - 5. Hydaway bottle ($20) - 6. Chipolo tracker ($25) - 7. Bodum Coffee Maker ($19.99) - 8. 'Live the life you love' ring by SimaG Jewelry ($60) - 9. What Do You Meme? game ($29.99) - 10. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant ($18.36) - 11. Smartphone magnifier ($30) - 12. 90s Nostalgia Pack ($5) - 13. Meddy Teddy ($39.95) - 14. BeyoncĂ© holiday t-shirt ($35) - 15. Crave Jewelry - 223 Winchester Remington bullet earrings ($30) - 16. HP Sprocket portable photo printer ($129.95) - 17. Milktape USB cassette mixtape ($14.99) - 18. Avocado hugger (set of two - $7.95) - 19. Andrea Bonelli hexagon bangle ($42) - 20. Abramey ankle boots ($231.75).

Which one tickles your fancy?

P.S: Happiness...
P.P.S: Plus, all our gift guides so far this season.

(Layout by exPress-o)

The Monday Thing...

Monday, December 18, 2017

...And speaking of pre-Christmas blues, here is something to make this Monday feel a whole lot more, well, happy:)

P.S: Where would you go?
P.P.S: What women do when no one is watching.

(via The Broad Place)

Red Wine Brownies



Okay, last night the panic set in that we are only a few short days away from Christmas. Ah, I still need to buy or/and wrap tons of gifts, finish on my Christmas food shopping and make the flat feel all jolly for the weekend. But instead of doing all that, I blocked it all out, put Spilled Milk podcast on and made a batch of those red wine brownies, above.

Trust me, this might not be the healthiest of ways to deal with the seasonal blues, but believe me, I woke up this morning ready to get things done. Treat yourself, it's Christmas after all:)


P.S: Also, hot chocolate with red wine, this nifty little tip and that.
P.P.S: Plus, the wine debate.

(Photos by Broma Bakery)

Weekend Jollies

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cheers to the weekend! What are you up to? Tonight, I'm going for a one-off French pastry baking class that I got as an early gift from a friend, and I can hardly wait for it! But tomorrow, Balazs and I have a few more gifts to buy, lists to make and things to finish, uff! Wishing everyone a jolly good next two days. I see you back here on Monday morning, but before you go, don't miss out on those lovely links below.

A brilliant read: 'how to be a good mother'.

A winter sunrise in London's Bishops Park.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

SO good!

'Sometimes things don't go, after all...'

Another delicious homemade gift idea.

'I take a deep breath, exhale it out and refocus again on the fact that I’m alive, I’m healthy and I’m loved, then I look around and think about who else I can remind of this fact.'

Are you into beauty podcasts?

Ha! The world’s first biodegradable pregnancy test is great for the planet, but even better for women.

Homemade coffee chocolate face polish, oh yes!

Loved reading this interview with Amanda Jones.

Are you a highly sensitive person?

For dry winter skin.

Downsizing journey...

When December feels weary.

100% birthday-worthy.

And fancy a blast from the past?
- Seven years ago yesterday.
- Six years ago today.
- Five years ago yesterday.
- Four years ago tomorrow.
- Three years ago today.
- Two years ago today.
- One year ago today.

P.S: How about a bit of chit-chat? Join me on InstagramFacebookTwitter and even Pinterest.

P.P.S: Sign up for your daily dose of exPress-o in your mailbox! (In the right side column).

(Photo of snowy Boston by Yanan)

This Week's Gems


Comfy and sassy little floral print dress for those last-minute festive parties!...

Mmm, this blood orange soy candle must smell heavenly...

100% human pin-goodness!...

The snazziest necklace to wear with comfy sweaters and turtlenecks this Holiday season...

Picture this photo print hanging on your wall - beautifully understated yet totally striking!...

Saucy and cute...

This half-round ring will go perfectly with your already-much-loved stacking rings...

I want every single one of those velvet cushions. Which one tickles your fancy?...

Rosy cheeks, a messy top knot and those cluster dangle earrings = Christmas uniform perfection!...

My all time favourite...

Oh-so special!...

Beautiful little clam shell bowl...

Wow, now that is a showstopper!...

Genius grow anywhere herb growbar...

Swoon!...

On my Santa wish list:)...

Jolly embroidered leggings...

Dearies, what caught your eye this week? Any great finds or buys?

P.S: Fancy more gems?
P.P.S: And, all our gift guides so far this season...
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