Running [out of space], my fall must-have + pizza craziness

What do you do when a) Thursday arrives before you actually got acquainted with the new [or not so new anymore] week and b) your brain is technically not out of post ideas but rather jumping from one to another, leaving you with about half a dozen semi-written posts? Well, you thank Amanda for inventing Thinking out loud Thursdays and make lemonade from life’s lemons. Or just a post from random thoughts.

Thinking-Out-Loud

  1. Rather than running with spoons I have been running out of space lately. Everywhere. On my blog [hello, limited data]. On my laptop  [that state has been a ‘current’ for, ahem, months] and my phone. The latter issue will hopefully find a good end soon with the memory card I ordered earlier today. The laptop situation? Trickier yet. Not because I wasn’t ready to buy a new one after having this one for about seven years. It’s my incredible indecisiveness causing the biggest trouble. If you have any awesome laptop recommendations [think: fast, neither too huge nor so small it makes typing for longer a pain and (!) a good battery duration]. The blog situation is a story for another day, really, but at least my phone will hopefully be running smoothy again soon.

Tone-in-tone_phone

2. As I only thought to add it very last minute I didn’t say much at all about the song I included in Monday’s post. What I did mention, though, was that it’s not my usual taste of music. It was only this past weekend when it played on the radio while I was driving that I started to like it. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have had it not been for the moderator introducing it as a song about mobbing and using the hatred of your ‘adversaries’ if you will as fuel to the fire that is your strength. Or at least that’s how I interpreted his words. That made me give the song a chance and yes, it’s been on repeat since.
This also rings true regarding other songs for me. Many times I won’t like a song upon first hearing it but only after finding out the story or deeper meaning behind them. Or when I can connect a memory to a certain tune. Love takes over by Kelly Rowland? I thought it was terrible and would quickly switch radio stations when it came on. Until I made that one memory of what Meg would possibly paraphrase with ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge’ that I happily recall. Do you have any songs that you only started enjoying at second ‘look’/listen?

3. It’s the season again! So I’m one of – so it seems – the few bloggers that aren’t super excited about the start of fall [or autumn as I prefer]. The daylight fading way sooner? Not a fan. Cozy sweaters? Sound nice in theory but in reality I  feel about them the same way I do about pants. Yes. What I do like a LOT, though? Scented candles! Granted, I’ve been lighting one every now and then in summer, too. Yet it’s only now they’re a daily necessity and coming to their full coziness potential.y favourite? Since I’ve yet to find the famed Yankee candles I’m still fond of my lovely – and reasonably priced! – IKEA vanilla ice cream ones. Honestly, they’re so good!

Vanilla candle IKEA

4. While everybody in the US is running to the stores to stock up on canned pumpkin – which you will not find over here at all – vegans here are currently searching high and low for this pizza.

Lidl released the first ever grocery store brand and very affordable – think: less than 1.50 $ – vegan pizza a while ago, sold out immediately  or even the day before offical sales started in most stores, causing uproar among vegans. Hence the store bringing it back once again. Me? Not buying it. For one, I just enjoy cooking myself  too much and then I also rarely buy limited time only items for fear of liking them too much. Yes, I mean that. Feel free to laugh – I know I have my quirks.

5. If I usually comment on your blog and haven’t in a while: the WordPress spell continues. I’m still unable to comment on the majority of blogs out there – including Amanda’s –  and it’s not cool.

6. Okay., not ending on a bad note here. In good news my sister and the little one visiting us again this weekend. The ‘bad’ part is that she expects me to have some new delicious goods at hand and my mum has been demanding another batch of her new favourite cookies. Which might just mean I’m in for quite some baking today. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to leave work in time/earlier today!

Happy Thursday!

Happiness-inducing today: A calmer day after the week started out rather stressfully.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
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That’s it from me today. Tell me your random thoughts on music preferences, candles or whatever comes to your mind!

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Week in Review: The Unintentional Self-Care Edition

Whether it was coincidence or not after Meg mentioned she was going to do a self-care-themed Week in Review soon: the past week included quite a bit of that for me. Sadly without my favourite little human.

About that self-care: it’s obviously not just about spending money on yourself as I did in the past week. Yet I’m listing these as they’re particularly hard for me. Writing this post also helped me see the moments during the week where self-care was missing yet that I can put an effort into bettering during the next. So it’s a ‘self-care done’ and ‘self-care yet to implement’ check-in. Am I being confusing here? Share some of your recent self-care actions or your favourite ways to do so in the comments!

Week in Review

Some of the self-care and other happenings going down in the past week …

Worked five days. I’m neither going to lie nor ramble on forever but say that it wasn’t the easiest week. It included a whole morning of making calls to other offices which pushed me way out of my comfort zone. As much as I enjoy talking to friends on the phone – not over face-to-face communication, obviously – calling strangers and especially when having to deal with less than friendly people on the other side is hard for me. I’m thankful for the challenge looking back now, though.

Published three blog posts including another scoop of good good links and this ridiculously simple yet delicious Maple Buckwheat Granola. My colleague already asked for a bigger batch which I’ll take as a good sign – especially as I’m by far not the granola maven Meg is.

buckwheat-granola_1

Did my big errand run on Saturday and didn’t buy anything that wasn’t on my list. It can be tempting for all of us, no? While at this I …

Helped an old lady find an item at the store. I’m not mentioning this so much as an accomplishment but for it touching me. She was so sweet in asking yet looking so desperate for being unable to read the packagings that I was tempted to stay by her side until she’d finished her shop. I still wish I had – I offered but I feel she didn’t want to ask for it seeing as I’d been headed to the checkouts already. In hindsight I wish I’d stayed.

Bought a few things for my parents, including Erdnussflips because I’d noticed they were out of them plus their favourite brand was on offer. This may not have beene entirely altruistic.

Erdnusslocken_flips_peanut

Ordered two new books, received and [and so far am really enjoying] one of them already. The other will hopefully arrive in the next few days. Amazon would have delivered it sooner but I’m not feeling good ordering there too much so our local bookstore it was [even if it means spending a good chunk
more money].

Kept up the reading habit and can’t stress how much I like it. I still spend too much time online which obviously means I need to get more books 😉. Is it Christmas yet? My wish list is going to be long until then.

Spent less time on Instagram. Before I joined somebody told me it was a black hole for time and that can be so very true. Lately, though, I’ve felt less drawn to it and I’m not complaining.

Went to the cinema. This was a huge one for me in terms of spending money –  yet again after ordering the books – and socialising with a colleague [the one closest to my age] I didn’t know well. In the end we had a great time both at the movies as well as during the 1 1/2 hour ride to and fro. [Yes, true countryside life when the next cinema can be 45 minutes away].  Luckily, we already have a next time planned for when this movie will be aired.I’d tell you more about the movie we watched this time but it was a German one so likely not interesting for most of you [to the German readers, though: I highly recommend ‘SMS für dich’ – great actors, wonderful story].

Finally got rid of all the empty jars that had been piling up under my sink. That’s what happens when somebody in the house has a nut butter- and salsa-eating habit. Too bad if that somebody is you and you have to take  all the jars to the scrap glass container yourself. Hygiene freak  confession: I took a rubber glove with me.

All in all, it’s been another week of ups and downs. Blog posts obviously never show the full picture, especially none of the inner struggles and – yes – lack of self-care when it was necessary [that continuous struggle to get enough sleep]. Uncomfortable situations and conversations. The above song is one I actually only started listening to – and immediately added to my playlist though it’s not the kind of music I usually like. I decided to include it here for anybody who like me needs a little uplifting lyrics to face any potential upcoming curveballs life throws them.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Reading my current book.

Stay in touch!
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Tell me three or more achievements or happenings from your past week!

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Good good links #162

Hi there!

For some reason, I never manage to finish these posts pror to Saturday night/Sunday morning resulting in my brain not churning out the best of intros, Then again, you really don’t mind a lack of intro creatvity on Sundays, do you ;)? There’s no lack of great reading material in this post after all so happy browsing and ..

Happy Sunday!

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

Feelings about Blogging via My Pink and Green Life

Peer pressure and overwhelming amounts of advice can make hard what’s the most important thing when blogging: staying true to yourself.

Taking Medication for Depression Doesn’t Mean I’m Weak via Greatist

While I’ve never taken any of this kind of medication I don’t think there’s condemnable about opting for it. This article outlines what antidepressants can and can’t do.

When Did Healthy Become So Overwhelming? via Kayla in The City

A question I’m sure many of us have asked themselves before.

 

Good good [advice and other inspirational or interesting posts]

Normal Eaters are the Healthiest via The Real Life RD

A post where I every sentence is spot on. This goes hand in hand with Kayla’s post above.

How Introverts Can Meet People Without Bars or Booze via tiny buddha

Not just true for searching a significant other and “journey of a thousand little micro-conversations” <- I really found this to be true for myself.

7 Ways to Stay Healthy at Work via The Balanced Berry

Considering how much time we spend at the office it’s smart to create or maintain some healthy habits there.

The 4 Things I Learned About Making New Friends After College via In It 4 the Long Run

Just recently I had a conversation on how hard doing this is as an adult. There’s no way to avoid pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones

15 Words Nutritionists Wish You Would Ban from Your Vocabulary  via Shape Magazine

Because using these is a surefire way to turn food into  a guilt-laden and stressful matter when it should be natural and fun.

 

Blogging

Content doesn’t need to be groundbreaking via Britton Loves

For any of you who – like me – stress themselves out over what they post [i.e. what it ‘should’ be vs. what it might be like].

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Almond Butter Brownies via Detoxinista

Only eight ingredients, vegan, paleo and they have that crackly top – could these get any better??

Caramel Apple Sweet Potato Fries via The Almond Eater

Fries for dessert? Definitely if they look this amazing, homemade caramel sauce and all.

Vegan Coconut Butter Gingersnaps via The Vegan 8

Soft and filled with lots of [dare I say it yet?: Christmas-y] spices these sound plain awesome.

Cajun-Style Vegan Red Beans and Rice via Emilie Eats

Creamy flavourful beans with a side of rice – this is the kind of meal I could eat every single day without getting bored.

 Pizza Crackers (gluten-free + vegan) via Sarah Bakes Gluten-free

Homemade crackers always make for a more upscale snack and pizza-flavoured? Winner!

 

Happiness-inducing today:  It still being a fairly warm and nice day. Definitely getting colder but those last warmer days have to be cherished.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me: What were some of the best posts you read this week?

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buckwheat-granola_1

Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola [gluten-free, vegan]

With just the right amount of sweetness, heart-healthy buckwheat, oats and nuts this is a nutritious granola you can feel good about eating. Bonus: it takes a mere few minutes to mix together, is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free + uses just six ingredients.

buckwheat-granola_3

The story behind this recipe is both a little embarrassing and saying a lot about me. For months, one of my colleagues would bring bag after bag of expensive organic  [but still sugar-laden] granola or Müsli [okay, muesli for you English speakers but I just like the German way so much] to work. One day when she was eating some I remembered how fun making granola at home is and offered to make a batch of homemade one for her – an offer she happily took up. Well … if you know me you also know about my indecisiveness. Long story short I bought random granola ingredients here and there, telling myself I’d make some soon. Yet wanting to create the perfect  kind lend to stressing myself so much it never happened. Until now, that is.

buckwheat-granola_1

For some reason currently unbeknownst to me I picked up a bag of buckwheat at random. Then I remembered I’d heard people – likely on Instagram – mention buckwheat granola and the ominous ‘caramelized buckinis’. Boredom turned granola on a rainy – that even is an understatement – Sunday afternoon. Actually, I didn’t even have high hopes for it yet boredom has turned into a delicious recipe before so maybe it was meant to be? Anyway, my kitchen smelled amazing and I couldn’t wait to have a try. Liking it I needed the ultimate taste test and scooped up a little cup full of buckwheat granola for my mum to try.

I’ll be honest in saying I expected her to maybe reluctantly take a sniff and a few crumbs at highest, then sending me off again to toss it but: she took a spoonful, grabbed the cup and kept eating, saying she’d leave some for dad to try in his breakfast the next day. Verdict? Winner.  My colleague was also smitten, probably not expecting me to ever turn up with some granola anymore. Sorry!

buckwheat-granola_2

This isn’t the cluster-packed kind of granola I usually prefer but trust me when I say it’s amazing in its own right. Just lightly sweetened with maple syrup the natural flavor of every ingredient shines through. The buckwheat lends a special nutty crunch factor that won’t make you miss the clusters.  As if deliciousness wasn’t enough of a selling point all three of its main ingredients – oats, buckwheat and nuts – are heart-healthy. Turning this easy homemade granola into one you can feel good about eating all day long.

Okay, before we get to the recipe I want to quickly highlight a few other benefits of buckwheat in case it’s not been making an appearance on your plate [regularly] before, either.

  • Despite the ‘wheat’ in its name buckwheat is actually not a grain making it a great fit for gluten-free eaters  [probably the best-known fact here, I know].
  • While low in vitamin buckwheat is high in manganese (necessary for healthy metabolism, antioxidant defense etc.), copper (), magnesium (athletes will be happy to hear this),
  • High in fiber = happy healthy gut.
  • Contains several novel nutraceuticals which are plant compounds that boast health benefits like lowering LDL (aka: the bad) cholesterol as well as your blood pressure, preventing histamine production (i.e. may help lower risks of developing inborne allergies or food intolerances)
  • May lower blood sugar levels which hence why it’s considered a great option for diabetics.

Sources: 1, 2

Okay, enough nutrition talk! Let’s get to the recipe already!

Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola

  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp quick oats [50 g]
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp raw buckwheat [50 g]*
  • ½ cup mixed nuts [I used almonds and cashews; 60 g]
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil [~7 g]
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/175 °C and layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop nuts to your preferred size for granola [I find preferences vary here; I liked mine on the smaller side].
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small pot, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the liquid over your dry ingredients and mix well to make sure everything is coated.
  6. Spread your granola on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. After about 10 minutes, open the oven and stir the granola. This helps avoiding the edges to burn. Repeat this every 5-10 minutes [depending on your oven].
  8. Once the granola is lightly browned – don’t let it bake for too long; it’ll crisp as it cools – take the sheet out of the oven and set aside to cool down.

 

Notes:

*the gree-ish looking kernels; not roasted as this will change the flavor.

 buckwheat-granola_4

 I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays, .

See? Nothing weird about this little pseudo-grain. Here’s to making buckwheat more popular [outside of pasta] – or just to making granola.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Walking around outside soaking up the summery smell of the air. Can I bottle that scent up for colder months to come?!

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
 

Have you tried buckwheat before? In which kind of dishes?

What’s your favourite granola?

 

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Week in Review: When stressed is best.

Once more I was tempted to skip writing a Week in Review at all as things went well until Wednesday – and then my sister and little P. were waiting for me when I got home after work on Thursday. The rest, as they say, was history. /family time. Well, for the most part at least.  Truth be told I felt bad for hardly getting a thing done when they were here. It felt like time was passing in the blink of an eye, probably faster. Laundry*? Cleaning my fridge? Meal prep? None of that happened. Guilt level? High. The question is why I can’t fully appreciate the truly wonderful time I spent with my family. Especially now that my sister isn’t visiting that often anymore I should literally call it a day weekend and not get stressed over to-dos.

*granted, this was also because I’m not the only one using the machine so couldn’t use it at all times plus sun hours for outside drying have been limited

Yet I struggle with calling quality time an accomplishment. When my sister said she expected me to send her off with some homemade sweet treats in a playfully disappointed way I felt genuinely bad and considered a late night baking session. I’m not writing this asking for sympathy but because it’sthe only honest way of summing up my feelings about the week. Don’t get me started on forgetting to take a single picture for the blog. Which, thinking about it now, though, is at least proof I truly valued the short time I got to spend with my sister and P.

And because I value your time, too, let’s dive into some of what I -did- manage to get done after all. Don’t forget to share your recent accomplishments in the comments, too!

Week in Review

  • Worked five days. Same old, same old. Aside from that one day when my stomach decided to make use of its veto card regarding breakfast. I still worked some more after that unfortunate incident because I was feeling better and didn’t want my colleagues to be laden with extra work.
  • Wrote three blog posts, published two.
  • Wrote a post for one of the recipes I told you I’d created in the past week. And close before it was ready to go online I noticed I hadn’t uploaded or edited any pictures for that but the other of the two. Face. Palm.
  • Ran errands on Saturday. It’s my one big shopping trip as I only get to use a car that day and as much as I like riding my bike it’s not the best vehicle for a big shop. Especially not when getting a six-bottle pack of mineral water  [or two huge bags of apples in addition … ]
  • Cleaned out my portemonnaie [using the German/French term because that’s just what I like better]. Think old receipts, shopping list and the likes. This might be embarrassing if I’m the only one who has that bad habit.
  • Went to bed earlier several nights and as a result felt a smidgen better in the morning. Just a little, though, as I simply am not a morning person.
  • Bought lunch – really just a pastry as that’s what she likes – for a colleague. It might not be what I’d choose but I will neither force healthy choices onto anybody nor criticize their current ones. Just a thought here.
  • Kept my orchid not only alive but got it into a magnificent bloom that rivals my mum’s again. Never mind that she has at least ten to take care of …

Orchids

  • Wrote two emails I’d meant to send off for quite a while already.
  • Went cow-watching. It’s not like I hadn’t walked past the herd of cows close to our house many times before. But with P. in tow it was an altogether different experience – watching him watch the cows was adorable – also opening up a good conversation with my sister. In fact, I felt closer to her than I had in a longer while this weekend. One of those moments I never want to forget.
  • Prepared peanut butter. The addiction is still going strong.

Peanut butter_homemade

  • In a frenetic moment of feeling terribly unaccomplished cleaned my apartment probably not polished but the sinks are clean the floor isn’t dirty anymore. It’s a start.
  • Meal prepped after all. I was worried it’d get super stressful but I managed surprisingly well. Maybe I need to be short on time more often?

Looking at it now I’m surprised I still got to cross more than I expected off my to-do list. Which I’ll thank both this link-up [think: ‘I need to get some things done to fill that WiR post!’] and my ability to work better under pressure for. It’s always been that way. Stress in excess might not be healthy but a little bit of it at least for me means increased productivity.

If you made it through all of my rambling here: thank you! I wish I could offer you a cookie now but alas, baking didn’t happen 😉. Happy Monday!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Spending time with P. and my sister as well as crossing a few more items off my  to-do list, too.

Stay in touch!
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Tell me three or more achievements or happenings from your past week!
Does stress help you work more efficiently, too?

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Good good links #161

Is it really Sunday again? Okay, I’ have no doubts here but I really just want to relive the past few days and maybe do a few more things differently [like getting up earlier and cross a few things off my to-do list before Thursday]. But that’s neither here nor there and you’ve come not for ramblings but good good links. Without further ado that’s what you’ll get.

Happy Sunday!

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

Why self-love is for everyone, not just the ‘healthy’ enough via Anastasia Amour

Such an important post in a time and age where unsolicited commentary, hate and quick judgement of other people’s lives and physical health are commonplace.

Some Things You Should Know About Addiction via Erin’s Inside Job

A post everybody should read because a) addiction is more common than we might guess and b) incredibly hard to understand for an outsider.

 

Good good [advice and other inspirational or interesting posts]

3 Lies You May Believe About Your Creative Work via The Every Girl

This was spot on for me and I’d venture to guess for at least some of you, too.

What I Learned from Giving Up Meat, Alcohol and Complaining in India via Ashley Abroad

An older but no less relevant post on what an ascetic pledge can teach you about yourself. Truly inspiring,

Dressing Like A Cartoon Character Made Me Happier, Calmer And A Better Consumer via Huffington Post

This will make you/us think about our Shopping Habits. Because let’s be honest: do -you- wear everything in your closet (or even just more than 50%)?

My Secret Eight-Dollar Guaranteed Flight Upgrade Trick  via Peter Shankman

I’m not sure how well this works but the idea alone is amazing enough.

Why Hamburg has to be on your Germany Itinerary via sateless suitcase

Especially with the Oktoberfest craze currently going on and all its international visitors I need to make a point for visiting this truly wonderful city. No, you don’t get a true impression of Germany when only visiting Bavaria.

Let’s get bored again! via Chase the Red Grape

Because boredom can be both a very relaxing time for our brains as well as when creativity hits – if we put aside our phones.

Tips to start living a non-diet life. via Yeah … Imma Eat That

 Kylie nailed it again: all of these are great points to keep in mind and practice every day. Even if t takes some time to feel comfortable with it.

 

Blogging/Business

How To Get Your Blog Content Published via Bloguettes

What to keep in mind when you want to write for other/bigger websites.

My Number One Piece of Business Advice via The Healthy Maven

Personally, I find this applies to other areas of life, too [think one-sided friendships and the like].

 

Good good [links to make you smile, Instagram posts and more]

This video not just for the dose of lovely British accent – the recipes won’t be anything new to seasoned bloggers – but also look for a certain Mark R. in the comment section. Not something I’ve seen people do before online.

 

Good good [food]

Pumpkin Breakfast Cake with Pecan Streusel via Katalyst Health

It’s cake! With streusel topping! For breakfast! Do you think this says how exciting I find it?

Homemade Pretzel Sticks (vegan + gluten-free) via Feasting on Fruit

Pretzels are one of my favourite salty snacks and how impressive would making them at home be?!

Easy Spiced Hot Fruit Bake via Cotter Crunch

I’d take [a day of] colder weather as an excuse to have this dish.

Easy Vegan Sugar Crinkle Cookies via Glue and Glitter

There’s something about crinkle cookies that’s just so pretty to me plus you can doctor them up whichever way you fancy.

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice and Broccoli Bake via Minimalist Baker

Give me creamy, [vegan-]cheesy vegetables – and the optional chickpeas – and I’m always in.

Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta via Ceara’s Kitchen

The definition of comfort food! Quick oil-free pesto with ingredients you might already have at hand.

 

Good good [Instagram]

If you’re looking for drool-worthy food … well, look above. This wonderful account is going to warm your heart and let you see that

 

Happiness-inducing today: My nephew’s smile. It’s not often you’ll hear me use this word but goodness, I love that little boy.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me: What were some of the best posts you read this week?

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