Independence Day celebration with the Consul General of the United States of America, Mr. James W. Herman
The big day had arrived and the Breners set out on a delicious barbeque adventure! I have been waiting for the special Independence Day celebration for a while now and was happy to throw on my island clothing topped off with my favorite pink cowboy boots. Upon our arrival, the Consul General of the United States of America, Mr. James W. Herman and his beautiful wife Leilani Herman, greeted us warmly into their residence. Mr. Herman gave a wonderful speech, making all his guests feel at home.
My first impression was a true feast for the eyes! There were many well-dressed people, as the theme of the party was island casual. Women were mingling in pretty dresses and the men proudly wore their Hawaiian shirts and American-colored leis. However the best-dressed woman of the evening was definitely Mrs. Leilani Herman. She had an elegant long white dress on, decorated tastefully with traditional Hawaiian celebratory lei and magnificent jewelry.
As I walked inside the garden, I saw my friend Stephan Reeg, who is the private chef of the consul general. He had a cool pink chef jacket on and the buttons had little black crowns printed on them. Now this is what I call amazing attention to detail! I’m a big lover of good food, and the foodie within me was excited beyond belief. As far at the eyes can see, there was food in every part of the garden. From delicious juicy burgers to, seafood salad, crispy wings, desserts and meats in every shape, size and variation! The bar was stocked with delectable drinks from all over the world. I was very happy to discover my favorite rosé wine there, the Whispering Angel.
It was the perfect occasion to meet new people and speak English the entire evening. I have been living in Europe since 2003 and really miss using my native language on a daily basis. So the Canadian inside me was jumping up and down like a mischievous little girl, eh.
As the guests were enjoying their beef burgers and International wine, all of a sudden, I heard an alluring live voice behind me, singing one of my favorite songs. I turned around and saw a group of handsome young men singing at the top of the garden stairs. What a splendid surprise! Their voices mesmerized us and the gentle harmonious sound mixed beautifully with the warm summer breeze.
The garden was immaculate and every tree and bush was trimmed to perfection. There was a big white tent set up in the middle and around were many lovely sitting areas, perfect for mingling and eating. As I walked inside the tent, I saw Mr. Herman and his wife, cutting the delicious Independence Day cake and handing out colorful pieces for their guests to enjoy. Another sweet attention to detail were the cream-filled donuts, with the American flag painted in savory glaze on top. Such a creative and tasty idea!
Another band started to play, and the singer’s voice was deep and soulful. As I stepped outside, I saw my parents dancing together, with a loving and happy look upon their faces. At that very second I thought how lucky I am and what a beautiful life we have. A wave of love and warmth passed through my body, and with a huge smile, I joined my parents on the dance floor. Mr. Herman was also dancing with his lovely wife, and one could see and feel their joy. The guests were chatting, eating, singing and all were having an incredible time! I was pleased to see some good acquaintances, which I haven’t seen in a while. It was so nice to catch up and talk about life.
As the hours were melting away into the romantic night, this Canadian had to leave in time to write the article for you my dear readers. I said goodbye to my friends and thanked Mr. James and Leilani Herman for the truly magical and unforgettable celebration. This was an Independence Day that I will never forget. It felt so good to be close to my people and celebrate our cultural traditions. As I got to the top of the garden steps, I turned around, and had a last look at the elegant guests enjoying themselves. I realized yet again that this was a very special holiday. For me, it is not just about independence, but rather about uniting the people together, brining hope and happiness to all, in Germany, Europe, Canada, The United States of America and actually… the entire world.
You’ve had your Christmas fun, and now for the few days before the New Year starts, it’s time to get down to business. What is such an urgent task that cannot wait until next year, you ask? The task is the one and only “Me-Inventory”. It sounds quite simple, but actually it can get deep and dirty, with truths exposed and shocking things revealed. But since we are tough guys and gals, and I’m sure that you can handle it, I will share my secret with you. At the end of each year, I make a thorough inventory of my life for that year – from top to bottom, not overlooking any gruesome details. At the end, I see what I have achieved, learned, and what I can do much better next year. This helps me grow as a woman, as a person, and also helps to increase success. However, you must be completely honest with yourself, or else this won’t work for you. So my lovelies, let’s start!
1. Achievements: Let’s start with the nice stuff! This was a damn long year, for some a horrible one, and for others a positive one. But for many, 2016 was a year for the fighting spirit – the Samurai among us. Think back to all of the great things you achieved this year. This includes a new career, having a loving relationship, building your first house, having a child, getting married, overcoming addictions, or whatever wonderful thing you achieved this year, take some time to honor it. Anyone who achieved anything important in 2016 deserves to celebrate, because this bitch of a year was a difficult astrological one, and hence you deserve double recognition for it. You must praise yourself for your success, and feel proud of what you did. I made it a ritual to buy myself a present at the end of the year to celebrate my achievements. Spoiling yourself once in a while is very important, because it helps to remind you of accomplishments and appreciate your own worth.
2. Screw-ups: let’s be honest, we are no angels. I can think back and list a few mistakes I made this year, and so can you. This is where it gets hard because we don’t usually like to admit our mistakes, especially to ourselves! But since you’re brave, and a new year is starting, push yourself to do it. Think back. Have you hurt someone? Played, cheated, stole, backstabbed, told lies, broke hearts and promises, acted disrespectfully or cruelly? Maybe it is yourself that you hurt with something like a bad habit, or allowing others to treat you badly? Maybe you let something slip away that you regret? Send your ego to hell for a moment, and really open yourself up and remember the mistakes you made. Try to acknowledge the wrongs that you did, and see if there is a chance to set things right again. If you are brave enough, you can even contact the person and ask them for forgiveness – it is your Karma after all. If you have already set things right again, then it is time to forgive yourself, forgive the other person, forgive the situation, and move on.
3. Lessons: 2016 was the year with the most life lessons for me so far. Some of them hit me hard and were not so easy to learn, while the others I embraced quite quickly and open-heartedly. Look back and figure out what were your most important lessons of this year. Life threw you these bones, hoping that you will learn and improve on your mistakes. If these lessons are not learned, they will only enter your life again and again, and torture you until you will finally get it. To be honest, I did not learn a lesson in 2012, and the very same thing happened to me at the very same time in 2013! It was so creepy! You have to realize what life is trying to show you, and make improvements on these things, so that you can grow and move on. Think back, what could you have done better? Take these lessons and use them for your good in 2017, and do things better this time around! And please, do not be angry at your fate – this happened for you to become a better and stronger person.
4. Cleaner: Don’t worry, no killing mafia skills necessary. Look back at the year, and make an inventory of the people in your life. Be honest to yourself: Is there anyone who has to be cleaned out of your life? Do you have so-called “friends” that are dishonest, ruin your relationships, don’t care about you, or even worse, jealous of you? What about a partner that does not respect, appreciate, and truly love you, or maybe doesn’t want to make a commitment to you? They don’t deserve you, and be assured that Lady Karma will take care of them. Let it go, and get rid of them! Sometimes people come into your life for a reason, and once their mission is fulfilled, it is better to send them along their way before they cause more damage in your life. Try to get rid of all toxic people that do you no good before this year ends. Surround yourself only with goodness – and with people that will respect, love, appreciate, honor, and truly love and care for you – and you for them.
The last days before the year ends are some of the most crucial ones. This special time provides us with a moment to become quieter and look deep within ourselves. It’s a chance to reminisce about the funny, lovely and good things that happened, and allows us to learn from our mistakes. It’s an opportunity to make things right again. It’s a chance to say goodbye to the old, and make space for the wonderful new and exciting things to come. If you feel brave enough, try to do the Me-Inventory. It helps me each year, and offers great reassurance. Besides, the best thing about completing the Me-Inventory is the fact that you have another chance right around the corner: New Year, new start!
I wish you a great 2017 dear friends! A good year full of health, love, prosperity, joy and fun! May all your dreams and wishes comes true in 2017. This is your year!
It’s a proven fact that people want to be happy, and therefore they gravitate towards other happy people. I hear many women complaining that when they go out, they hardly ever meet anyone – and this coming from attractive and successful women! Why is that? What are they doing wrong? Well ladies, it’s not just about looking fabulous and wearing your best dress and shoes when going out. The best accessory you must always wear – is actually the one you were born with, and is part of your natural beauty – your smile! Body language is more important than you may think it is. You can have the most luxurious outfit on, long beautiful flowing hair and the nicest make – but without a genuine smile and happiness in your eyes, forget about meeting potential partners. Sour and bitter are the flavors of the past. Welcome 2017, the sweet year of happiness, love and beautiful smiles!
During the holidays, my friend Jilli went out with the girls and they decided to make an experiment. They started the evening off at their favorite bar in Frankfurt, The Parlour. Jilli was chosen as the “Smiling-Happy-Goddess”, Gloria as the “Too-Cool-For-You-Bitch” and Claudia as the “Sad-Little-Cookie-Help-Me-Girl”. The experiment was to see which attitude-style would have a better chance to meet someone. All three of them looked drop-dead gorgeous this evening. They sat at the bar exactly in the middle of the room, to see and be seen. The bartender made them delicious signature Parlour drinks, and so the experiment began! Shortly later, two tall handsome men arrived and sat beside them. The dark-haired one looked at Jilli a few times, and she returned his glance with a smile. She kept talking to the girls, telling them a story with a lot of action, laughing out loud, with her hands swinging everywhere. She glanced back at the guy and flashed him another warm smile, and his attention was immediately on her. The man introduced himself to Jilli, and they had a very nice conversation. He also gave her a compliment on her beautiful bright smile. It worked! Since this was a serious experiment for the sake of dating research, the girls stayed strictly in their roles. The second guy attempted to talk to Gloria, but after a few minutes, the conversation went nowhere. She did not smile at all, and had to stay cold and expressionless in her role. Meanwhile, Claudia continued looking sad and distant, and no man approached her.
The ladies were having a really fun evening, and decided to take their experiment to a party. Jilli dragged the ladies onto the dance floor, and the test continued. Claudia spotted a group of guys and made eye contact. However it was not kindly returned, because her sad eyes did the opposite and repelled the men away. Next came Gloria with her killer-cool-bored-look, but also with nothing in return. Then Jilli beamed her gorgeous open smile, and within minutes the gentlemen were dancing closer to them. After a few more songs, more eye-catching looks and warm smiles, the birthday boy came over, and offered Jilli a drink. Obviously the experiment worked, so the girls gave up their rolls and decided to join in on the fun. Almost immediately one of the guys in the group told Claudia that she looks much better with a smile upon her face! Again a proven fact – happiness attracts people. All three girls had a really wonderful evening and came home wearing three very beautiful, and happy smiles. One of them really likes the guy she met that night, and has been in touch with him ever since!
Many women are negatively influenced by the media, fashion and beauty industry. However, the facial expressions they see and unconsciously copy from the magazines and TV are definitely not open, warm or sincere. They copy the mimic of runway models or action hero actresses, and they end up looking cold, expressionless, bored and simply “Too cool for you”. Many glossy magazines advise women to walk around with a cool aloof facial expression, and not appear to care too much. They call this the “hard to get” appearance, which should attract men. Unfortunately exactly the opposite happens, and this does not attract men at all. As a matter of fact, it scares most men off! I asked a few of my male friends, and they all said they would never approach a woman that looks arrogant, bored, cold or distant.
Another important fact is what seems like “obvious” flirting for us women, is really not enough for men to get the point that we are interested. If you go up to a man and ask for the time, or a lighter and quickly walk away after, he will not get it. Men do not understand those subtle signs of attention. You need to be a bit more direct by making obvious eye contact, and flash him that seductive irresistible smile of yours. If you do that a few times, while keeping your eyes locked with his longer and longer each time, then he will get the point. I know it’s 2017 soon, but I am still old-fashioned, and believe in men approaching the women. You are a Lady, so let him come to you first. In order for him to feel confident in doing this, give him the direct signs that you are interested in him. Please do not overdo it with the smiling, so he doesn’t think that you have a nervous tic. Avoid looking bitchy, mean, aggravated, cold, arrogant and bored. Please no runway-killer-too-cool-for-you look either. Be open and approachable, calm and happy, but definitely not too easy or desperate looking. Try to find the successful balance of easy-going and being open for new contacts. After all, men are hunters, so let them do the hunting and feel proud for finding such a wonderful catch, such a fabulous, amazing woman – you! Good luck, have fun, and don’t forget to smile!
It’s 9am on a Saturday morning, and your grandmother just called because she wants you to help her pick out that “ever-so-trendy-grandma-purple-hair-dye”. Two hours later your best friend calls because her boyfriend cheated on her with his childhood friend George. You meet her in the city for emergency cheesecake and sparkling wine. Five hours later you leave her happily drunk at home and finally have the chance to pick up your dry cleaning. Guess what, the store is closed already. You rush home to change because in an hour you have a date with a man you have been looking forward to see for days now. You put your favorite outfit on, hoping that this guy will be a good one. You hear the doorbell ring. After an hour into the date, you notice how much he is in love with himself and your excitement disappears. You make up an excuse that you have to finish helping the technicians at NASA early the next morning and you run out of there. You finally arrive at home and drop into bed. What a tiring day after such a stressful week!
The next morning your mother calls. Then your brother calls and asks to pick him up because his car broke down, yet again! Your landlord calls and says there will be no hot water for half a day. Your toaster burns the last slice of bread you have. You remember that you didn’t finish that last part of your presentation for your meeting on Monday. You think it will take an hour to finish, but 4 hours later, it’s evening again. You are left with 3 hours on a Sunday evening before the stress week starts again.
STOP. Reprogram yourself.
One does not live forever. More than a third of the day is spent working. The remaining part is spent sleeping, eating, making love, going out, doing stuff for/with people that you do not always want to do. So how much time is there leftover for YOU? You grew up hearing that you must not be selfish. Sure, but there is a time when you have to say stop. It starts with learning to say “No”. In the beginning it won’t be easy. People will get angry with you. But you must think of yourself. You need to make time for yourself and do the things that relax and make you happy. Your “real” friends and family will understand this.
Do not spend all of your time and energy on your partner. Do not depend on him/her to make you happy. This has to come from within yourself. Many women rely on their partner to fill a void that has been there for a long time. You must work on yourself so that this happiness comes from within. Your partner is a bonus in your life and not the meaning of your life. Get rid of those expectations that as soon as you have a boyfriend, you will be happier and more satisfied. If not met, expectation can leave you hurt and devastated. Yes, having a partner will bring new excitement into your life, but never make the mistake to rely solely on your partner to make you happy. Your partner is not Mother Theresa, and it’s not his job to turn your life into a fairytale. However, if you really want to, you can do this for yourself.
Get a hobby. You enjoy eating? Take a cooking course. You like art? Try painting. You like words and can get lost in them? Then take a pen and write something down. Make a date with yourself to do something that you love, which brings peace and happiness to your heart and soul. You like to stay fit? Try Kung Fu lessons. You like fashion? Take a Sunday design course. You want to upgrade your education? Take a weekend or evening course. Do what makes you happy. Be selfish! It’s your life, and you have only one to enjoy now! If you do not know which hobby to do, then try testing many things. A few hours here and there, and eventually you will find something that you like.
Eating makes me happy. I take the time out everyday to enjoy a lovely meal and not feel guilty about it. Of course we all want to look and feel great in our skin, but please my dears, do not deprive yourself. Know your limits and enjoy yourself within these limits. Sit and read a book. Make a beauty Sunday with a relaxing bath or hot shower, facial mask and cucumbers on your eyes. Whatever you do, just take the time out for yourself and take care of yourself. Especially us women, we tend to nurture everyone else, and often forget ourselves in the process.
Next time you pass that store, go in and buy those shoes you have been looking at for weeks. What the hell do you work so hard and suffer for? You deserve it. Saving is important as well, but sometimes buying a new thing works wonders to heal the soul. Even if it’s small and not expensive, you feel that you treat yourself and it’s a good feeling.
Girls at the end of the day, who will take care of you if not you?! It’s great having a good man, family and friends around, but at the end, its you with yourself. Build up this relationship with yourself and make it strong. It’s time to start loving yourself.
Photoshoot location: Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word single is defined as: “Not having or including another: only one.” What the hell is this nonsense? It sounds so lonely and awful! Please do not listen to Mr. Merriam or Webster, who wrote this depressive crap in the early 19th century, when being single after the age of 20 was considered a mortal sin! Being single does not mean that you are the only one, lonely or that you do not have anyone else. Quite the opposite! Being single means that you are clever enough not to jump onto the next best thing, just for the sake of “having a partner” or having a heart in your Facebook relationship status. I like to say, “It’s better to be single than in a bad relationship.”
There are advantages to being single, such as more time for getting your things done. We tend to get sad and think of how much we want love when we are single. But instead of being sad, take that same energy and invest it into your career. You have a chance to increase your motivation, to focus and concentrate on your work, and not get sidetracked. You should use this spare time to apply yourself as much as you can to achieve success. Don’t forget that when you meet a new love, the concentration is gone for the first half a year, and your career might suffer from it. So take the time now and make yourself successful.
Grab your best friend, and finally go on that Asia trip that you have been dreaming of for so long! Don’t sit on your couch fantasizing about having a man beside you, instead get off your bum, book a flight, pack your nice outfits and enjoy life! Make your single time special and truly unforgettable. When the man and children come, there will not be much time to leisurely fly around the world with your girls. You will have responsibilities to take care of, and jet-setting will not be your first priority, so why not do it now? Travelling enriches the soul, and broadens your horizon. Your adventures will shape and make you the person that you are meant to be. Besides, you never know what happens on such journeys, and whom you meet. You might be pleasantly surprised.
My friend Jilli is a good example for this. She was hurt in the past, and it was the last drop in her tortured love life, so she swore off men and simply didn’t care anymore. Instead, she founded her own company, worked her bum off, became successful, traveled the world with her friends, took care of her health and body, spend precious time with her parents, cooked delicious meals for herself, and simply enjoyed life. She was not going to put her happiness in the hands of a stranger anymore. She wanted to create her own happy world, and so she did! One warm summer evening we all went to the King Kamehameha boat party. Jilli was silly that evening, and the first thing she said was, “To hell with love!” I remember laughing because she had a Prosecco in one hand, and the other hand waving at the air pretending to send love away. The music was fantastic, the cocktails were delicious and the air was warm with sensual tension. This evening Jilli unexpectedly met the love of her life, Leo. Their love is still strong, and even today; Kingka is a magical love-charm for them. Jilli told me that last night she and Leo went to the Kingka Family Reunion party, and they had such a wonderful time! It brought them happy memories of when they first met. Kingka has and always will have a special place in their hearts.
But you see, love works quite differently than we want it to. As soon as Jilli didn’t stress and get desperate about it, love came flying straight towards her. She was occupied with life, instead of sitting sad at home. People smell a state of desperation, and it repels them away. Jilli chose life, and in the process got love. Being single is not a curse or bloody disease. So enjoy it.
Harassing yourself with thoughts of “Where is he already?” will not get you anywhere. On the contrary, it will make you more miserable and desperate. Desperation is a bitch because she will force you to take anyone, just to feel close and warm to “someone”. When Lady Desperation comes knocking on your door, send her back to hell where she belongs. You are fabulous and deserve the best, so please don’t settle for less because you can’t stand being single anymore. We have all been there. The best thing is to start occupying yourself with important things as soon as possible. Going out, partying and drinking with your friends might be an entertaining way too pass time, but it will not leave you satisfied. It’s better to include some serious goal making and achieving time during your single phase. Then you can look back and see that you have accomplished something during this time. Don’t sit and wait for a partner to come into your life to complete and make you happy. What about your friends, family, hobbies, goals and dreams? There is so much to be done, and absolutely no time to be sad – besides, frowning causes wrinkles, and you don’t want those. So get up, dust yourself off, embark on your adventures and start living fully – single or not!
Photo by: Uwe M. Carl
I like to observe people all around me. Last week I was on the train and saw a pretty young lady sitting not too far away from me. As the train reached the Frankfurt main station, a handsome man walked in and sat down across from her. I knew right away that I will get a nice article from this scenario.
Flirting varies from person to person. Some are simply born with the talent to flirt and charm, some feel awkward doing it, some think it’s cheap, while others are flirt-o-holics and cannot live without it. So what’s the secret to flirting and how is it done in a classy way with the best results?
Back to my train-spying-romance-story. I looked closely at the woman, and noticed that her eyes brightened when she saw him. She straightened her posture and tried to make herself more alluring to him. He didn’t notice a thing. She glanced at him and looked away. The ride was quite long, so she did that many times, but the guy still had no clue. After a few more attempts, she gave up her subtleness and just gawked shamelessly at him. She arched her back, placed a half smile on her lips, and looked fiercely into his eyes without blinking! She looked wild and hungry, like in a cannibal-cloud-nine-bath-salts kind of way. I was watching them, entertained out of my mind – who needs a movie when you have freak shows all over the city? She tried to bat her eyelashes at him – but instead of being sexy, it looked like she was trying to blink her own eyelid away, opening her eyes wider each time. The guy was squirming very uncomfortably in his seat by now. Eventually her “flirting” technique scared the hell out of him, so he got up and walked quickly away. So ladies and gentlemen, now that we know the wrong way to flirt, let’s see how we can do it the right way.
1. The Eye Contact: This is the most important aspect of the flirt-system! What usually works for me is first a quick glance in his direction. If he sends you a glance back, lock eyes for a moment and look away. Continue doing that for a few times, each time locking eyes for longer periods of time. I wouldn’t recommend looking over too often. Besides, you will feel and see if he’s interested or not.
2. The Smile: After the eye contact, comes your time to shine – beam him/her with a warm and welcoming smile, but please don’t overdo it. We don’t want to come across as psychopaths – a.k.a. – Train Girl. A genuine smile is the sexiest thing and guy or girl can wear, because it shows happiness. Happy people are very attractive. As with the first step, look and smile a few times. If s/he smiles back, you’re in! If not, don’t waste your time because they are most likely not interested.
3. The Approach: This one is more for the guys. I’m a bit of an old fashioned girl and don’t approach men first. I feel that if I have sent out the right signals, topped it off with a warm lovely smile, and if he’s interested, he will approach me. Here comes the best part gentlemen – all you have to do is walk over, smile and say hello. Offer her a drink and introduce yourself. No pick up lines, no playing too cool, no wise guy remarks. Just be sincere, charming, warm and friendly. It’s really as easy as that. If this doesn’t work, then move on – nothing lost.
4. Body Language: Do not cross your arms when talking to him/her. Do not lean away from the person – instead – lean in towards them in the conversation. What works well is to imitate the other person’s body language, because that means you are in sync. Don’t hold out on the smiles or act too serious. Be open and relaxed. Make sure you have a good posture and don’t slouch.
5. Be Charming: Ask him or her questions, and show that you are interested in what they have to say – but don’t fake it. Be genuine, and only show interest if it’s there. When talking, a gentle touch on the arm, or a playful push and laugh is always a nice way to create subtle closeness. Don’t brag about how great your career is, or how cool your friends think you are. No one likes show-offs. Respect the other person and show your good manners. Making an honest compliment works really well. Everyone likes to hear something nice about themselves, but don’t get too personal or sexual right away.
6. Most Important – Lower Your Expectations: If you meet someone that you really like, do not start dreaming right away that this could be the one and put pressure on yourself. Men and women smell desperation and neediness – and this is not the impression you want to leave. So if it goes well, exchange numbers and take it from there. I highly recommended going slow at the beginning.
Flirting is a nice way to increase your self-esteem and confirm to yourself that you are attractive to others. It’s a way of saying to yourself, “I still have the touch.” Flirting is great for getting to know someone who has caught your eye and improving your communication skills. It’s also a great energy booster, and puts you in a positive mood. However, if someone is clearly not responding to your flirting, accept that they are not that into you and walk away. Don’t continue, thinking that they are simply playing hard to get. You will see and feel when it’s not working out. Not everyone is meant to be for everyone – that would be too boring. Your turn will come. Do not let anyone bring you down, and have faith that you deserve true love, and know that you will have it. Know your worth, and always respect yourself – if you do, so will others! Go out there and enjoy a nice evening of flirting.