Good good links #128

I’m a German girl, lost in a football world. <- sung to the tunes of this song. If you’re in a funky mood watch this video – I’d actually never seen it before searching it this very second – for a guaranteed laughter.

Onto the meaning of this, though, I contemplated if there was any specific way to open a post on Super Bowl Sunday [I’m still none the wiser]. Then, however, I have the excuse of living overseas and lacking any knowledge of football [or any kind of sports rules] and get excused, yes? If you’re browsing around today I guess you’re not watching it, either, or are waiting for kickoff.  There have been many great posts around the web again so waiting  clearly won’t get boring. The food offered will probably help, too. For any of you worried about that this could make you feel better :).

Super Bowl or not: enjoy your Sunday!


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

It all matters. via Alexandra Franzen

Don’t ever think you couldn’t make a difference in somebody else’s life.

When you don’t fit the body image mold via Hungry for Balance

Is it possible to protect children from comments hurting their body image and raise them with a positive outlook on themselves in today’s society? A post that touches on many interesting aspects of the body image conversaion.

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

9 Little Hacks That’ll Turn Your Crappy Day Into A Happy One via Huffington Post

You’re only allowed to call a day truly crappy if none of these helped.

I Went on the “Gilmore Girls Diet”—and I Lost Two Pounds via Marie Claire

Likely not intended this way the article serves as proof for the intuitive eating principles [i.e.: eat whatever you crave, no good or bad labeling and you’ll find balance naturally.]

How I Knew When I Was at My Natural Weight via Healthy Hits The Spot

The size of your clothes doesn’t tell you. “At your natural weight, you feel natural. You feel normal with food. You feel healed.”

How to Get Back on Track After Overeating via Ambitious Kitchen

With a title like that I was skeptical of what this post would entail but Monique encourages a very gentle way to feel better again after going overboard a  little.

How To Spend Less Time On Your Phone And More Time On Becoming Successful via Career Girl Daily

Ignoring the advertising parts this post offers some good ideas on how to stay focused and not get distracted by your  phone.

 

 

Health

If you crave this, your body is lacking that via Love, Health and Home

No more guessing around about when you want to eat all the cheese and ways to even out any deficiencies we might be dealing with.

 

Blogging

8 Ways to Deal with Social Media Trolls via The SITS Girls

Avoiding them is nearly impossible but these are some great ways to handle the trolls – I especially like #5, 7 and 8.

7 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic via Thirteen Thoughts

Reminders that are worth repeating time and time again.

5 Ways to Find Blogging Inspiration via Foodiecology

Where to look on those days when inspiration doesn’t strike  naturally.

 

 

Good good [posts to make you smile + DIYs]

If you’re living in the US and like good food you shouldn’t miss these news. Colour me jealous.

Good good [food]

Chocolate Cashew Butter Swirled Candy Cups {Paleo & Vegan} via Paleo Running Momma

Is cashew + chocolate the new combination giving the latter + PB a r un for its money? Either way, these candies look dangerously delicious.

Vegan Conversation Hearts via Mayhem in the Kitchen

Would it be super obnoxious if my comment on these ended with: <3 <3 ?!

Vegan BBQ Wings via Katalyst Health

Just how real do they look?! I’ve never had actual wings but would happily join any Superbowl party for these alone.

Mushroom Bourguignon via The Iron You

If an omnivore attests a vegetarian dish its delicious heartiness you know it’s good. Mmmh. meaty mushrooms.

Savory Moroccan Spiced Oatmeal via Dietitan Jess

I’m a huge fan of savoury oats [for breakfast, that is] and this recipe is packed with interesting flavours.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Basil Cheese Sauce via In It 4 the Long Run

Not your average “noodles” but rather an upscale grain-free dish of cheesy deliciousness.

 

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Going on two short walks. Fresh air never fails to brighten my mood.

 

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Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cups [vegan & paleo]

Rich dark chocolate encloses a layer of slightly sweet coconut crumbles mingling with naturally sweet date caramel. An easy and quick to prepare treat suitable for vegans, gluten-free and paleo eaters alike – there’s a refined sugar-free option, too.

Another chocolate creation already again? Why, yes. Valentine’s Day is around the corner after all so you can never have enough chocolate on hand. Though if you’re like me – or any other normal human – you don’t need a special occasion to eat chocolate. Its existence is reason enough to eat it. In fact, I don’t care much about Valentine’s Day. If you love somebody you shouldn’t need a special day dedicated to prooving just that. I’d much prefer to be surprised rather than either well, not surprised as it’s a given on that date or disappointed if my significant other forgot about Valentine’s Day while every other lady was showered with treats. A sweet letter, homecooked dinner or any other little treat saying “I love you” throughout the year would make feel much more loved. Bonus points if that surprise involves chocolate.

Chocolate Caramel Cups_6

Okay, onto the star of this post now. After trying date caramel for the first time here it made my mind spin for other uses of it. The same goes for my rediscovery of coconut butter. When I saw the cutest silicone molds at a store the decision was pretty much made. Side note: I’m awful at resisting cute kitchen accessoires, plates, towels/you name it. At least I used them right away …? It’s my excuse to postpone working on this bad habit. Don’t judge.

What these Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cups are? Naturally sweet date caramel layered with crumbly coconut filling for a tropical touch enrobed in deep dark chocolate. They are the perfect balance of sweetness with some crunch from the coconut leaving you satisfied without the sugar shock. A no-fuss little treat made in almost no time.

Chocolate Caramel Cups_8_

The recipe below yields three chocolate caramel cups – perfect for savouring all by yourself sharing with your valentine?! – but is easily doubled or tripled for a larger get-together. Many of my recipes result in small batches as I’ve found this to be a rarity. A large yield is awesome if you’re feeding a crowd but I’d personally would rather double a recipe than eat one and the same thing for a week. More room for further experimentation … mmmh.

Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cups

  • 1/4 batch of this date caramel
  • 1 1/4 oz/35 g of dark chocolate  [unsweetened for a sugar-free version]
  • 1 1/2 tbsps coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tsps agave (adjust to taste)
  1. Melt the coconut butter.
  2. Stir in the agave sirup, adjusting the sweetness to your preference. Mix in the shredded coconut.
  3. Melt dark chocolate.
  4. Add a teaspoon of melted chocolate on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Spread well. Let the chocolate harden in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Place a generous teaspoon of date caramel on top of the chocolate and pat down to even it out.
  6. Add a teaspoon of coconut filling on top and smoothen out as good as you can. No need for perfection here.
    Finish off with enough melted chocolate to completely cover the filling. Let harden in the fridge again before serving.

 

Chocolate Coconut Caramel Cups_10

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

 

Happiness-inducing today: Getting a little walking in right in the morning. No day can feel completely bad if you start it with a bit of movement and fresh air.

 

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Do you prefer recipes yielding larger or smaller batches?

What are you thoughts on Valentine’s Day?

 

Week in review: The Self-Care Edition

Hi there, February! Don’t you like it when Monday doesn’t just start the week but month, too? No? Just me?

Either way, Monday once again marks the time to get listing and link up with Meg again. Admitting this afterThurday’s post is ironical but I didn’t feel iike I’d done a lot during the past week. Taking my own advice, though, I reevaluated my days and noticed that long work days were balanced by lots of self-care.

Week in review

Starting with one thing I didn’t do:  celebrate my birthday [yet*] – say what?? Instead, however, I had an amazing first: I finally met the latest addition to our family on my birthday. I happened to have the day off from work and my sister expected other visitor the next day so it worked a charm. I’m not resentful about forgoing a celebration or even just a dinner out as meeting my nephew was the best gift. If I was excited about becoming an aunt last week I’m completely obsessed now. Yes, this is what every aunt or mum will say but he’s so flipping cute. [Insert endless gushing about tiny baby hands and awwwr here.]

And here’s where I owe you a sorry: I won’t post any of them. Trust me, I would be happy to share but I also respect the privacy of my sister and especially her little one. I hope all of you will understand.

*I intend on celebrating later this year when more friends are around. January is never a good month to gather people from all over the country.

That aside I …

Published three blog posts again. One of them related to the very topic the Week in Review is centered around and I was happy to see so many of you shared their thoughts and/or could relate.

Set up a flower bouquet my mum gave me on my birthday. It’s probably no secret I like flowers even though I’m bad at keeping them. Honestl, they’re better off outside in the wild than sharing the same four walls with me …

Birthday flowers

Went on a walk with my dad. This deserves its spot in here for numerous reasons one of them being it only happens once in a blue moon. He actually asked me to join very randomly when he saw me heading out yesterday and we had a good conversation, too. All of this only makes sense when I let you in on the fact that we don’t have the best relationship.

Remembered to up my moisturizing game. No ewwws here. The story behind this is that I can get pretty bad about using lotion because I’m a bit iffy after a few of my clothes were ruined by not so nice greasy stains. My legs and feet don’t like this so I’m trying to get back into the habit. It helps when your lotion smells like candy.

Lotion_Sweet Apple Pie Hugs

Freed up space on my laptop by deleting old pictures. Fellow bloggers will probably know the pain of taking millions of pictures of one and the same thing and forgetting to delete them. It’s okay for a while but then your computer starts acting up …. Or is this just mine?

Baked? no-baked? Prepared lactation bites for my sister. Basically all kinds of nutritious ingredients (various grains, cooked brown rice, coconut, …) rolled into balls And yes, they’re called balls in the original recipe but since a) that’s not blog-appropriate ;) and b) I tinkered around with it to create my own recipe I changed it here. Confession: I was skeptical of how well these would turn out as they tasted very healthy at first. Low and behold, though, they got my sister’s sign of approval so if she asks for another batch I’ll share the recipe. Not just for any pregnant or breast-feeding women but anybody needing a healthy nutrient-dense snack. [No visual proof here as I prepared them at night and they looked like raw meat balls in the only picture I snapped.]

While I didn’t celebrate my birthday my mum treated myself to a little health food store haul as a small birthday gift. She knows me well. I went very basic but with some items I can’t find where I live: puffed buckwheat, oat bran, coconut flour and – ! – Chocolate Chili Yogi Tea. Seriously, if you can find this where you live: buy it! I used to be a huge fan of their Chocolate tea, switched to the Sweet Chili variety – you’re not surprised by this one, are you? – and then discovered this amazing blend. It’s so good. Sadly also so expensive but worth it as a treat.

Food haul_Schoko Chili-Tee_yogi tea

Took a rest day. I told you I’m only working out very lightly with workout videos but one day this past week my mind said yes, my legs no. So no it was. This is still hard when I feel like I’m not doing anything strenuous at all but it’s about healing my mind to develop a healthier attitude towards workouts in general.

Played a game of Yathzee with my parents yesterday and – won again. I have no explanation for this but I’m not complaining. It might have been due to the birthday bonus my dad granted me through throwing the dice an additional time when I’d had bad luck. Birthday week after all ;).

Happiness-inducing today: The current overall good atmosphere between me and my dad.

 

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!
 Random question: how do you feel about posting pictures of babies or children? It’s the first time I had to handle this situation and I’m curious about others’ approach.

 

Good good links #127

Hello there, last day of January! That happened fast. In fact, too fast for me to do any kind of January goal post or a recap of what happened. Slow down, 2016!

Since I can’t convince the year to take it a little slower I will instead offer you a few ideas for a nice afternoon reading relaxation. Know the limits of what you can do, right?! No matter which day you’re reading this: I hope it’s a good one in your life.

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

How We Train Our Brains to Hate Our Bodies by Jessie Kneeland via Greatist

Is it possible to re-train our minds to see the true beauty others can see in us and value ourselves for achievements rather than appearance?

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

Treat Yourself Like a Toddler. via Ember Grey

Giving yourself the same love and care you’d give a child is one of the best pieces of advice for everyday life.

5 Things To Remember When You’re Having A Bad Body Day via Peaceful Dumpling

These might not make the discomfort fade away in an instant but are great reminders nonetheless.

3 Beautiful Ways to Strengthen a “Thank You.” via Elephant Journal

Great ideas to give even more meaning to the two words all of us should say more often.

Always Late? 9 Tips for Overcoming Chronic Lateness. via Gretchen Rubin

Determining the ‘why’ behind this bad habit is key in finding solutions for a change.

10 Life Lessons That Can Only Be Learned Through Tough Times via Anastasia Amour

As much as we dislike struggles it’s so true these times are when we learn our biggest life lessons.

6 Simple Strategies for Being Happy Alone via Psychology Today

Even if we’re not truly alone these are some good ideas to develop a deeper relationship with ourselves.

12 Ways to Reduce Household Trash via Om Nom Herbivore

Reusable bags are a must for me and all of the other tips listed here are very clever, too.

 

Health

9 Practical Ways to Lower Your Sugar Intake via Oatmeal with a Fork

While I’m not against sugar I like to be mindful about how much I consume and these tricks will help with that.

 

 

Good good [food]

Whipped Marshmallow Cream via Floral Frosting

She had me at “fluffy clouds of melted marshmallow”. Who wouldn’t want to top everything with this?!

Almond Joy Almond Butter via Amy’s Healthy Baking

What happens when the craving for a popular candy bar turns into every blogger’s favourite spread – sugar-free, too.

Vegan Banana Creme Brulée via Feating on Fruit

… and there you already head over to Natalie’s site before I can even say more. Understandly so with a recipe title like that. 

Healthy Buddha Bowl Recipes via Fit Foodie Finds

It’s no secret food eaten from bowls is immediately more comforting and these dishes deliver all the colours and nutrients.

Broccoli Potato White Bean Soup via Healthy. Happy. Life

Creamy, packed with vegetables and beans: Simple and good good food for those [not-so?] cold winter days.

 

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Going for a short walk in the morning before a constant rain set in.

 

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Are you sure you didn’t accomplish anything at all?

Wise words spoken [or rather: written] by two wonderful ladies inspired this post reminding me to acknowledge all the little things in life. After taking part in Meg’s Week in Review these past weeks I’ve developed a new sense of seeing personal success. Not [only] in the big things – receiving the Novel price and the likes, you know  ;) – but the small, seemingly mundane happings that escape our memory all too easily. Let’s think [and talk] about that today.

Let's talk

 

But I didn’t really achieve that much compared to [insert name].

But everybody else is working out much harder. My easy three miles are nothing compared to [insert another name again].

If only I was an early riser like everybody else – I could get so much more done!

If only I’d prepped my meals like every other good blogger I wouldn’t have eaten out that often/spent so much on groceries.

 

That’s a lot of if, a lot of but and mostly a lot of not helpful. Sure, getting down on and being unhappy with ourselves is always an option. Usually the go-to option, right? Also the worst option as it feeds a vicious cycle of being stuck in the mindset of ‘never good enough’ = just give up trying in the first place because what you can’t change anything after all, no?

The truth is: yes, you – and I – probably didn’t achieve as much as the next person who’s juggling family life, marathon running, meal prepping like a pro and blogs six times a week along with working a full-time gig. But you might very well have achieved a lot for your own measures. It’s about first listing up and looking at what you did during the past week/month. What made you feel good and happy. And then scaling this list of accomplishments up with what you know is [currently or in general] possible for you. This one being my main point here but if you’re confused let me elaborate:

Maybe you’re struggling with depression. An eating disorder. Or simply are an introvert working in an extroverted business that makes you feel drained by Friday night.Or none of these but you’re just feeling overwhelmed by expectations. These obstacles are your heavy luggage in this game called life. I’d venture to guess most of us carry one or more of these around with us. That one big underlying issue or thing we need to face day by day along with any daily chores or jobs. Or even if you don’t have one specific  heavy luggage you could feel overwhelmed more easily than somebody else. And that is okay. Some of us are extroverted social butterflies who thrive going out with friends after work while others are glad to put on their PJs and Netflix [much needed me time] after work. Some of us can knock out 50+ hours at their jobs [yes, I know those people] while others are exhausted just thinking about that.

PJ pants_striped_bed

It’s about knowing the limits of what you can handle. While it might not be able to say no to every additional task you’re assigned or skip every social event that makes you feel anxious you being aware of your limits helps you see your achievements. Because if you did Don’t let anybody tell you taking care of yourself wasn’t an achievement in itself. I’m trying to not center this post around EDs but if you’re in recovery from one you’ll know that something as seemingly simple as eating every meal is a win. If you suffer from depression getting up is one. A friend of mine is dealing with extreme social anxiety. For her, going to a crowded mall is an achievement while it would be fun for me. We all carry our own little “packages” around and what’s an easy breezy walk for some might mean conquering Mount Everest for you. Breathe. It’s okay. Go at your own speed and if you decide walking the whole way is too much today you can still give yourself a pat on the back for trying. Making steps and staying on the move at all is enough.

Don’t measure your own days up to somebody who has a completely different character, living a different life and having a different background. Celebrate your personal wins.

If you’re struggling – with whatever it might be – at the moment the simple act of taking care of yourself is worth being acknowledged. Many times others will – intentionally or not – make you feel bad for not doing this/only doing that. The [unfortunate] truth is that if you’re burdened by any special condition [especially mental illnesses] outsiders won’t be able to see that what you do is a lot indeed when it’s not up to par with what the average Joe does. But: you are the only one knowing your personal limits. Knowing the amount of work you’re able to fit into a week. Knowing when you need to slow down and take time to recharge. Don’t get me wrong: This isn’t an encouragement for laziness. If you’re [mentally and physically] healthy yet still only lying around doing nothing and eating fries then this isn’t your excuse to keep doing this. For 99.5 % of us this isn’t the reality, though. We all achieve different things every week. And whatever it is that you’re putting your creative and physical energy into day by day: it’s worth celebrating.

 

Happiness-inducing today: An day that was probably exhausting but felt good. I’d have to write a novel to explain this so will leave it at this condensed version.

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No specific questions but just tell me whichever thoughts you have on this topic. I’m sure many can relate.

Week in review: Exciting news, blogging success and random tidbits

Just like that we’re kicking off the last week of January. While still in disbelief of that fact – and the one it’s my birthday on Friday – I couldn’t think of a better way to start it than by joining Meg once again. Her Week in Review is what inspired another post that will be going online later this week. No further hints on that now, though, as this post already ended up being on the wordier side. Here’s a little recap of the past seven days  in my life.

Week in review

 

  • The most exciting news first: I became an aunt! Eeee! As tempting as it is I’ll spare you the gushing about how adorable my little nephew is – especially as I didn’t get a chance to meet him in person yet. [insert break to look at the picture my sister sent me via Whatsapp] Fingers crossed that’ll happen next weekend. I. can’t. wait.
  • I published three posts yet again. It’s a good number despite being uneven. Not a fan of that last fact but this is a good blogging balance for me at the moment. While I can’t make any promises with the current internet and laptop situation I’ll try to stay consistent here. With this post published and another one drafted for Wednesday/Thursday plus the usual Sunday link lovin’ it looks like I’ll be able to keep it up this week.
  • Honesty time [nobody’s perfect]: Getting this post up and ready came at the expense of half a bar of chocolate and a few nerves plus swearing in the process. A fussy laptop crashing about 20+ times during editing the images and then importing them to WordPress made me want to cry. Instead, I broke out the Lindt and peanut butter. Ironically, all that fussing about with a sweet post left me craving kale like no other – so kale it was for lunch. That whole talk about finding balance intuitively is so true. Now I just need to remind myself of it in moments of doubt.

Date caramel truffles_1

 

  • The anxiety was worth it, though, as those sweet little morsels got accepted by Foodgawker. Maybe all those broken dishes were worth it in the end?
  • Because a lovely lady reminded me to include these tasks: replied to blog post comments mostly in time. Embarrassingly, this is an area I still need to work on but feel I’ve gotten better about lately. It’s not that I wouldn’t appreciate every single comment – I really do – but I’m usually at work when my posts go live so can’t reply until hours later and by the time I’m home the urge to multitask sets in and … you might guess how that ends. I’m working on it, promise.
  • I faced what must have been the most nerve-wracking/fear-of-failure-inducing moment of the week when my co-teacher for the German classes didn’t appear. She’s a trained teacher and knows all the tricks to successful lessons [and how to handle wild little boys]. Handling five children who speak your language? Possible when you give them work assignments and they actually understand what you want them to do. Five children with different degrees of German language skills all of whom would be best off in one-on-one lessons? By far not an easy feat. I managed for half an hour until my colleague appeared after all. Turns out she hadn’t heard her alarm and only woke up when I tried to call her. Keeping my fingers crossed this won’t happen again.

Orchidee_flower

  • Not only kept my orchid alive over the past months but got it to bloom again. Heureka! Admittedly, I’m not the best plant mum so I doubt this is entirely due to my own doing but the fact is showing beautiful flowers again is all that counts, right?
  • Survived two appointments at the dentist’s though only the second one is worth mentioning. Anesthesia is a fine invention for the time you’re sitting in the chair of horror, yes. But walking around with half of your mouth numbed for four more hours afterwards and feeling you looked like Kermit lessens my appreciation if its power. Whew.
  • Watched a movie with my mum yesterday. Verdict: you don’t need to watch “Kiss the cook”. Trust me on this one.
  • With it being my birthday week I treated myself to this delightful Coconut Almond Spread the German vegan scene is going crazy about. It’s sweet and akin to those Raffello truffles but coming along with an ingredient list that – while not deserving of the “healthy” claim – reads a lot nicer than those of the formers’. Pictured alongside here is the sweet belated Christmas card my long-time pen pal from the US mailed me.

Coconut almond spread_Christmas card

 

  • Stopped being lazy and did a through clean-up of my apartment. Meaning I didn’t just clean it but mopped the floors, too. I know, I know. But sometimes I just do everything else and leave the floors aside if they’re not super sticky.
  • Speaking of lazy or rather not: I kept up my daily workout video routine. Compared to what everbody else in the blogging world does this is ridiculous little but better than nothing to me. If I could I’d opt for more intense and interesting workouts, too, but for now this is a nice way of keeping up a routine.

 

 

That’s a wrap week in review for me and I’d better make a  beeline for my bed after scheduling this post. The upcoming week won’t be any easier with a lack of sleep [oops].

Happiness-inducing today: The weather allowing for a nice long-ish walk. No fear of slipping or freezing my fingers off while outside.

 

Stay in touch!

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Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!
What was a recent exciting happening in your life?