On Friendship

Today is the birthday of one of the best friends I've ever had.

The friendship was born back in 2006 when I lived in Florence. I had just broken up with my ex (the most painful, tearful, stuff-my-face-with-chocolate breakup I've ever been through) and my friends all called to check in. Now, my girlfriends are amazing in each and every way, but in that particular period of time, they were quite used to me calling and crying about a breakup every once in a while - let's just say I was pretty unlucky in love before I met David. So, their reaction was the standard "oh honey, I hope you're okay" but after the forty-fifth minute of me sobbing, they remembered they had a life and hung up the phone. That's when this guy showed up.


Coffee and Heels Wardrobe: Chilly Days

The temperatures are dropping and London's getting ready for winter.
So is my wardrobe! I'm happy to be bundling up in my huge, warm snoods and my black Zara military-style coat, which I love.

This ring is a gift from my sister - she has an amazing sense of style and every time I wear it I think of her.


Five Reasons to Volunteer at PETA

Yesterday David and I started volunteering again!
One of the (few) things we've been miss about Milan is being able to volunteer at the shelter. That feeling of doing something good for the animals is irreplaceable...and we miss our doggies and kitties!
 Yesterday an opportunity to volunteer at PETA's London offices fell into my lap (or into my Twitter...I saw a tweet about Volunteer Night and contacted PETA about it) so naturally I dragged David there with me!


How To...Be a Freelance Writer

Since I started Coffee and Heels and since I started working as a freelance writer, I have received emails and comments asking me about my job and how to become a writer. First of all, I'd like to point out that I am in no way one of the glamorous, Carrie Bradshaw-esque writers who wear vintage dresses, live in gorgeously decorated little apartments and spend their time eating luxurious dinners in wonderful, trendy restaurants with their fabulous writer, designer and celebrity friends.

I'd absolutely love to become one of these people, but the reality is that I live in a flatshare, wear H&M and spend most of my days frantically trying to meet deadlines while sipping a soy latte at my local Costa Coffee. Nonetheless, keeping in mind that it's incredibly difficult to just manage survival with writing jobs only, without having to put in a few hours a week waiting tables or selling t-shirts, I think I'm doing okay at this whole writing thing.


Remixed: Hanneli Mustaparta

Model-turned-photographer-turned-blogger Hanneli is one of my biggest style inspirations. I adore her classic, feminine outfits that always have an interesting twist. Every time I see a photo of her I think, "I want to wear that!" (...then I remember I'm not a gorgeous, rich supermodel, but that's a different story).

 In my opinion, this outfit is one of Hanneli's greatest hits. The contrast between the refined elegance of the bag and the street-chic of the sneakers makes this look unique....and I love the skateboard!


Sunday Inspiration - 25 November

I'm becoming obsessed with these inspiration posts - this week, I started looking for pictures on Wednesday! I love looking at other blogs' inspiration posts. There's something so dreamy and indulgent about them, they're like a huge tray of beautiful red velvet cupcakes (vegan of course!) with yummy chocolate icing.  I think we all need some everyday escapism, so keep those inspiration pics coming!


Where We Live - A Photo Post

I've meant and promised to post photos of our first-ever London roomm ever since we moved here! The only reason why I haven't yet is because, well, it didn't look very presentable: guitars, wires, bags, shoes...and who am I kidding, it still looks like that! But today we'd tidied up a bit, so I thought I'd take advantage of the amazing light and snap a few pics!

this is a portrait of me that David drew when we had just met...and out Ikea pet that lights up in the dark!


Autumn in London Mix Tape

pic from my Instagram

As usual, this is not a "songs that are hot right now" list, neither is it a "what is universally London" playlist. It is simply what I, Sascha, am listening to right now in my autumn-in-my-favourite-city state of mind and living. 

These are the songs that take me through my day. These are the beats in my big, pink headphones as I walk down rainy London streets lined with heaps of beautiful, crisp yellow and orange autumn leaves. 

These are the tunes that lend me that spark of inspiration as I tap away on my computer, whether it's in my bedroom, at Starbucks in Tottenham Court Road or in my local Costa Coffee. 

This is music for walking, for running, for laughing and sometimes for crying. This is music for autumn sunsets and November rain.


Magnifi-Scent: Vanilla Body Mist from The Body Shop

When I was a little girl, I loved rummaging around in my mother's makeup (very unappreciated by her, but nonetheless irresistibly fun for me): opening all the pots, digging my little baby fingers deep into creamy blushes and smearing red lipstick all over my lips...I was a beauty junkie from age three and up! 

But the potion that fascinated me the most was the shiny, enticing bottle of Guerlain perfume. I don't remember the smell of it was much as my excitement in clicking it open and spritzing it all over myself. The mysterious allure of doing something forbidden and way too grown-up was almost too much excitement to bear.


Things I Love: Cookies and Scream in Camden

My fiancĂ© works in Camden Town so I often find myself in the area, whether it's to see him, to shop or/and to find some wonderful vegan food. Case in point: the lovely, lovely dessert stand Cookies and Scream .

Everything in this tiny shop is vegan and gluten-free...and utterly, totally delicious.


Sunday Inspiration - 18 November

I love this picture! I like how it represents happy, unabashed weirdness, whether it's being that not-quite-graceful girl in your ballet class or wearing a sparkly skirt and blue nail polish to the office. I think that every once in a while, everyone should dare to be wonderfully weird - it's oddly liberating. Go on, run in the pouring rain, sing in the shower, be the first girl out on the dancefloor - even if you're far from a great dancer -, have cake for breakfast or wear those ridiculously high, fabulously decadent shoes. Laugh a little too loud and too much. Don't be ashamed of crying at movies. Mismatch your clothes and chip your nail polish. This week, I celebrate quirkiness - my way of life.


Makeup Or No Makeup?

I stumbled across this picture of Emma Stone with no makeup on at Refinery29 a couple of months ago and was stunned by how gorgeous this girl truly is, even when not glammed up. Her face is perfect! But I also thought about makeup, why and how we choose to wear it, and above all, what happens when/if we are seen or photographed without it.

I hate, hate hate - oh how I hate them - those awful magazine pictures of makeup-free celebs with captions saying something catty and petty like "look! She's got pimples! She's got wrinkles! She has facial hair!" I think it's a bit pathetic that women actually need to put other - gorgeous - ladies down to feel better about their own pimples, wrinkles and facial hair. It doesn't make the celebs look more "human" - it makes them look like victims. And those magazine writers? They look like sad, insecure mean-girl bullies.

I used to hate having my picture taken with no makeup. Photos of a bare-faced, over-13 me pretty much only depict me on the beach - that's about the only time I'm not wearing anything except sunblock and moisturiser on my face! But is wearing makeup really a sign of insecurity? I don't think so.


Vegan Pancakes (or Death...) With Jared Leto

I love this man so, so much.

Jared Leto, you are a miracle.


It's Not That I Don't Want to Join The Gym

...no, really.

I can't wait to join a London gym: I love working out. I feel all restless and/or apathetic if I don't get my butt in movement every once in a while. Yoga is my medicine and pilates is my happy pill. But it turns out that as a new Londoner, joining a gym is way harder than the actual workouts.


A Weekend in Pictures

Just a couple of highlights from a weekend of sunshine that was swiftly exchanged for chilly air full of glistening rain drops. A weekend of long walks and good laughs. A weekend of coffee and vegan apple pie, of Queen songs and piles of magazines. A weekend of making moodboards and making pasta. A weekend of love, a weekend of London.


On Veganism and Eating Disorders

I've been reading a whole lot of things about beauty, weight, eating and working out in the past few days and I've had a couple of interesting conversations about it with friends and family, so I felt like sharing a story with you.

I may or may not have mentioned in this blog that I had eating disorders throughout my late teens and early twenties. I consider myself completely healthy now - here's how I got here.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Review: Montaigne Jeunesse Facial Mask

I don't even remember where I picked up these and they cost something like £1,50.

Montaigne Jeunesse is a cruelty-free and vegetarian-approved cosmetics brand that I have never tried before but was curious about. I tried on the mask on Sunday morning (in front of The X Factor!) and I very much liked the scent and the clean feeling as I rinsed it off.

Today my skin still feels fresh and clean, so I'm sticking with Montaigne for a while!

By the way - have I mentioned how much my skin has changed since I've been eating a mainly vegan diet? The dull grey shade that I affectionately referred to as "Milan grey" is gone and replaced by a healthier glow. I suspect eating carrots and lentils has more to do with it than moving to London! 

If you have any tips for cruelty-free beauty brands that I can get in London and that I haven't mentioned here yet, let me know!


Victoria's Secret and Distorted Reality

I'm a big fan of Victoria's Secret! I love their fashion show and I used them in my college thesis on beauty ideals, as they are one of the few brands to use happy, smiling, sexy women on their runways as opposed to the pouting, angry-faced size-00 teenage girls that high-fashion brands send out every Fashion Week.

But then, VS fell in love with Photoshop.


Happy November!

Like I said, I love November.

It's countdown to Christmas, it's cozy and you get to curl up in a café with a cup of tea and read a book (or, in my case, work on an article...). The only thing I dislike about this month is that now is when it really starts getting cold outside!


Why I Should Hate Halloween (But Don't)

Yesterday I found a post from an Italian blogger, Michela, on why she hated Halloween
Which made me think, why don't I hate it? Everything Michela mentioned in her post is true for me as well. Here are just a couple of reasons why I should loathe this holiday (but really, I love it):