Good good links #157

Oh, hello. It’s been a while – well, a week – since we last spoke. Sometimes blogging doesn’t come easily, a few posts drafts in the make didn’t feel genuine so I refrained from posting them. Honesty is important to me and forcing out posts just to post doesn’t fall into that category. Enough of that, though, because we’re talking about all the good posts from around the web.

Happy Sunday!

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

Mind Over Food via Psychology of Eating

Feeling guilty about eating certain foods?  Here’s why you really need to let go of it [hint: digestion!].

What is NOT the point of life? via My Inner Shakti

One little word can change the way you think about [and eventually also live?!] your life.

 

Good good [advice and other inspirational or interesting posts]

What respecting your body really looks like via Jamie Mendell

Or: how to become friends with your physical self [because I don’t like saying ‘body’].

5 Ways I’m Teaching My Daughters Healthy Body Image  via Mind Body Green

Not a mum myself I still think these are great points to keep in mind and my mum followed many herself.

How to let go of guilt and feel lighter via Healthy Hits the Spot

Advice on stopping to feed guilt when it arises and feel better again soon.

6 important reasons to stop dieting via Anastasia Amour

Hard to say which one I’d highlight here but with comparison being a huge factor: #2! [really, though: all of them].

Let’s Talk Pressure in Social Media via The Balanced Blonde

Let’s face it: all of us have felt/feel it at some point – and we secretly want it to stop.

10 Tiny Organizing Tasks You Can Do in 10 Minutes or Less via The Kitchn

Perfect for anybody who likes breaking up their to-dos in small units or gets tired just thinking about tidying up from start to finish in one go.

 

 

Blogging

6 Signs You Should Consider Taking A Social Media Break via Coffee with Summer

Some of these were reasons for my recent disappearance.

The Beginner’s Guide To SEO: 4 Things You Can Do Now via Bloguettes

SEO is still overwhelming to me so if you feel the same: start here.

Blessings of a Cracked iPhone via Love Life Surf

Sometimes mishaps can actually turn out to have positive effects on our lives in the end.

 

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

This post. So. Much. yes.

 

Good good [food]

The Best Easy Vegan Waffle Recipe For One [+ Chocolate Version] via Southern in Law

Don’t miss out reading Kristy’s detailed criteria these had to meet to be called successful – and did.

Vegan Blueberry French Toast Breakfast Muffins via Veggies Don’t Bite

Portable French Toast?! The concept alone is amazing and look at them …

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Brownies via Amy’s Healthy Baking

When you want both chocolate and berries as well as soft banana bread – this is the answer.

Aquafaba Cheddar via Avocados and Ales

Vegans will understand the excitement of seeing its meltability in the pictures.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The summer sun and warmth returning after it had been amiss for too long.

 

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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Good good links #156

Hi there!

Another week has passed [way too fast] and I’ve yet to improve on writing intros for these posts. Rainy [mostly grey] days don’t do much to enhance my creativity, either. Luckily – just like any other week – I have many great links to share with you that easily make up for my lack of words here. Enjoy them and …

Happy Sunday!

 


Good good links

 

 

Good good [food for thought]

When mindfully eating chia pudding isn’t self care via Jamie Mendell

There are neither a one-size-fits-all approach or rules for how self-care  looks like. Do what makes you feel good.

When Thoughts Become Toxic via My Healthyish Life

Health doesn’t only include the physical but mental side of our lives, too.

 

Good good [advice and other inspirational/interesting posts]

Are you a stickler for grammar? You Might Be An Introvert via Introvert, Dear

This is me to a T and it was interesting to get an insight into research behind the connection of these two things.

What if Intuitive Eating Doesn’t Work? via Avocado a Day Nutrition

Yes, it can be hard to get back to trusting your intuition but the good news: there’s no way to fail.

Dear Gluten, We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together via Healthyez Sweet

The struggles celiac’s face in everyday life situations that you [and me] might never have assumed.

10 Easy & Practical Things to Do With Old Clothes via My Pink and Green Life

Spoiler: you can do these even if you’re as untalented at sewing as I am and might even turn your “trash” into cash.

16 Tips to Help You Fall Asleep via Meg Birham

Because it’s not as easy as it used to be as children. You guessed it: looking at your phone doesn’t help.

Be Big in the Little Things via My Inner Shakti

A small change in thinking and acting that might have a huge impact on overall happiness.

 

Blogging

How I Hit My Blogging Stride via The Collective Mill

Such a great post with important reminders to keep in mind at all times when creating content.

4 Old School Ways to Find Inspiration via The Blog Market

More often than not offline life really enhances and induces our [online] creativity.

 

 

Deutschland – geteilt und vereint via Berliner Morgenpost

While this is in German there’s little text and the pictures are self-explanatory and impressive.

 

Good good [links to make you smile]

Why Do You Hate the Sound of Your Own Voice?

Do you like yours?

This and this Instagram account. Edible cuteness times ten.

The 11 Most Important Pool Floats Of 2016 via Forever Twentysomethings

Whatever floats your boat pool? Nope. It’d better be one of these😉.

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Mango Caramel Swirl Cheesecake via The Vegan 8

Just look at that caramel drizzle alone ….

S’mores Pudding Bowl via Veggie Inspired Journey

Homemade marshmallow fluff and secretly healthy chocolate pudding merge and it sounds all kinds of dreamy.

Low-carb Broccoli Pizza Crust via Amuse Your Bouche

If you’re bored of regular or cauliflower crust this green variety might just tickle your fancy.

Vegan Zucchini ‘Meatballs’ via Making Thyme for Health

No need for meat to get your protein [and iron, too!] in with these. Perfect for summer’s abundance ofzucchini.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Finshing one book and starting another. I’m really into this habit again.

 

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

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Week in review: Filling the happiness batteries.

Hello there, Monday!

Rather than ask where the past week went I’ll ask how it could actually pass by without me crossing much off of my to-do list. Yes, that’s basically synonymous. The truth is that for the majority of these days I powered through work and once I got home exhaustion hit me. Dear logic, I don’t get you and expect an explanation.
A possible explanation on why I didn’t catch up on my to-do list much on the weekend, either, was my dad’s delayed birthday celebration and at visitors in the house again. More specifically my siblings, my sister’s husband and little P. If it was up to me they could have extended their stay but alas, work is calling.

While family gatherings are never just smooth sailing – are they for anyone? – overall they brighten my life and recharge my happiness batteries. Even though I consider myself an introvert I thrive in social settings that have been too rare in past months  [not entirely by my choice ifyou recall the holiday dilemma]. So much so that my mood drops noticeably as soon as I’m alone again. Which is right now but I’m trying to fight the gloominess by looking back at the good moments of the past week. Once again by joining Meg for a Week in Review.

 

Week in review

During the past week I …

Worked five days that luckily were of the variety I enjoy most: lots to do with daily trips outside. My job is mostly secretary work with occasional driving to pick up or deliver goods. It’s nice to get outside in between as I notice these little breathes of fresh air and walks, even if short, already increase my productivity. While I could do without the early wake-up times I enjoyed being back at work and surrounded by people, having the occasional conversation.

Started a morning habit of reading for ~20-30 minutes after waking up and getting dressed. It’s a little something to look forward to which I as a definite non-morning person need.

Read one book and started another – the latter being my second time reading The Rosie Project. It was safest going with a book I know and really enjoyed before deciding on which to buy next.

book_The Rosie Project

Published three blog posts, including one for these Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers that got my whole family’s approval and some truly good good links.

Went for walks every day. Also walked home from work two days [a ~25-minute walk that helped me relax a bit]. My favourite walk, though, was one I took with my sister, her husband and P. on Saturday. It was filled with laughter – they’re two goofballs – but also finding out about their plans for the future and his job. Walks, in my opinion, are the best way to have deeper conversations.

Took a little trip to a village nearby where we sat on a dike at a friend’s little stall  Summer wouldn’t be complete without at least one visit there and it was even more enjoyable with our little sunshine. Unfortunately, said friend told us he wasn’t going to continue this side business next year so we might have to bid goodbye to that tradition.

Baby nephew

Spent a lot of time thinking. Yes, odd to write down but I’ve been reflecting a lot lately and can’t stop my mind from doing so. I might need to pick up a nice diary and start journaling again. I’ve seen a number of bloggers mention it in the past time and stress its benefits for their overall wellbeing/mental health.

Baked a batch of oatmeal cookies for my parents on Sunday night when abovementioned loneliness set in. Emotional baking? It might just be a thing.

Attended my dad’s birthday dinner with friends for the conversations more than the food and had some great ones. It made my soul happy and satisfied that night.

That aside I just did the usual adulting – yes, including the dreaded task – that’s not mention-worthy. Plus, I’m in a hurry to finish this post after my siblings’ departure and before going to bed. Yet another reason why early mornings aren’t my favourites.Not very blogging-compatible for night owls😉.

Happy Monday!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Family time. That’s not to say we were always getting along but it’s the overall happiness that stays in mind.

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me some achievements from your past week!

When do you usually write your Weeks in Review?

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Good good links #155

Hi there and happy Sunday!

Risking a repeat offender but: I read less online this week yet still found so many great posts that I’m excited to share with you and find out which ones you like best. We have guests around so I’ll keep this intro super short and th focus on all the amazing links below.

 


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

An Open Letter to American Culture: I’m a Pretty Girl With A Problem via Healthyez Sweet

How well-meant compliments can turn into pressure and steer our focus from what really makes us unique.

Guilt: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly via Life of Endurance

Do you let guilt take over in the decisions you make in everyday life?

 

Good good [advice, inspiration and other insightful reads]

10 things you don’t need in your life anymore via Apron Sticks and Sticky Fingers

A truly wonderful list that you should rid your life of right away to improve your emotional and physical well-being.

Health Conscious or Disordered Eating? Via Avocado a Day Nutrition

Where to draw the line between a passion for healthy living and an obsession that takes over your life under the guise of being ‘healthy’.

16 Iron Rich Vegetables via Veggie Quest

A post I’d been waiting for and it’s packed with lots of useful [and potentially surprising] information on filling up those iron depots with plants [not merely a list of iron-rich vegetables!].

Blogging

3 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout – Or Bounce Back from One via In It 4 the Long Run

Thoughts on an important issue and how to prevent yourself from it through balance.

Why I Love Instagram Stories (and what it means for bloggers) via Forever Amber

Like it? Don’t like it? This post might help you form an opion on Instagram’s [stolen] latest feature.

Be the Olivia Pope of Blogging via Jade & Oak

Two confessions: a) I’ve never watched Scandal and b) I only now remembered to include this post. Anyway, if you enjoyed that show and like a good analogy on how it’s intertwined with blogging  – this one’s for you.

How to Start (and Grow!) Your Side Hustle via Katy Widrick

No expert has fallen from the sky yet and these are some great tips on finding and growing your niche.

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

All The Times President Obama Lost His Chill Around Kids via BuzzFeed

Can you really blame him? Cuteness alerts all around.

Police Cooked This Lonely Elderly Couple Pasta After They Were Heard Crying via BuzzFeed

The real takeaway here should be to look after one another – be it family members, friends we haven’t talked to in a long while or neighbours.

 

Good good [food]

Lightened Up Rainbow Baked Cheesecakes (Gluten Free!) via Southern in Law

Because everything is better in colour. Also:  eat the rainbow😉.

Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream via Joyfoodsunshine

This looks unbelievably creamy and calls for a mere five ingredients.

Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip via Hummusapien

Cauliflower, chickpeas, cashews – the ingredients alone leave no doubt this is spectacular. And those pictures …

The Best Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese (Healthy & Gluten Free!) via Southern in Law

Another recipe by Kristy because I can’t not include a vegan mac that gets such an amazing review [read the post for her sneaky ways ;)].

Red Lentil Pizza Crust via Oatmeal with a Fork

By now we all know cauliflower, zucchini and possibly sweet potato as far as grain-free crusts go. But lentils? That’s a new and very intriguing one.

Cauliflower Parmesan via Fork and Beans

Can you crave something you’ve never eaten? Because that’s the case here.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Good conversations.

 

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

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Trail Mix Crackers_box

Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers

Better than store-bought: Packed with nutritious ingredients these Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers are a simple to prepare yet elegant-looking snack to impress. Vegan, with no added oil or refined sugar these can be made gluten-free, too,

Should I ever have enough recipes* I’d add a category called parent-approved. What’s other bloggers’ kid-approved seal would be dishes that pass my parents’ picky palates. Honestly, while my parents enjoy good quality food I wouldn’t have considered them gourmets [which I’d associated with truffle anything, five-star restaurants and the likes until now]. Given their at times  [overly] harsh criticism of my recipes? I might just have changed my opinion. Luckily, these crackers passed the test – despite being neither sweet nor involving any fudgy chocolate action.

*and a self-hosted site allowing for a nicer plug-in and at that presentation of them

Trail Mix crackers

Why Trail Mix Crackers? Because, well, trail mix. Lots of delicious and nutritious nuts paired with naturally sweet raisins for quick and healthy energy – what’s not to like? In 10th grade I went through a huge trail mix phase, always carrying a bag with me and already letting doubtful friends know about the fact that no, fat doesn’t make you fat [from that moment  on they demanded I share my trail mix, of course ;)]. I used a standard trail [think: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts and way too many raisins] for easy availability but go with what you have on hand or fancy. Yet I’d recommend not using one of those containing any chocolate or other ingredients that might burn easily as you’ll bake these crackers for a longish time. Then again you could obviously sacrifice yourself and pick the ‘undesired’ chocolate out of any trail mix. The selfless things we do for others, no?!

Trail Mix Crackers

While I didn’t test this option myself I can’t see why using an all purpose gluten-free flour wouldn’t work here. Being baked twice these Trail Mix Crackers area forgiving recipe ending in a nice crispy result every time. Some of the loaves I baked didn’t come out quite as intended but crisped up just fine on the second round in the oven.

And the taste? They’re neither verging decidedly on the sweet nor savoury side but a pleasant in-between with the nuts adding an amazing texture and the plump raisins being dots of sweetness.Making them the perfect vehicle for both sweet spreads – think jam + cream cheese, various nut butters or even Nutella if that’s how you roll – or savoury options like as part of a cheese platter.

Trail Mix Crackers_box

One more thing: I know twice-baked anything sounds way too involved. Trust me, though: these are anything but. And the fact you can freeze some of the baked loaves and crisp them up whenever you feel like makes these crackers a great snack for spontaneous visitors, too. Containing trail mix might give it away but I’ll state the obvious: they also make a good on-the-go snack. Hitting the trail with some Trail Mix Crackers? Sounds really good to me.

Healthy Whole Wheat Trail Mix Crackers

2 cups of whole-wheat flour* [240g]
1/2 tsp of salt
2 scant tsp of baking soda
1/4 cup flax seeds [~28g]
2 tbsps maple syrup
2 cups of unsweetened soy or almond milk [480 ml]
2 tsps apple cider OR white vinegar OR lemon juice
1 cup trail mix* [~110-120g]

  1. Preheat oven to 325 *F/165 *C.
  2. Grease four mini loaf pans (5 3/4 inches x 3 1/4 inches) very well OR line with parchment paper. I recommend the latter for easy removal of loaves after baking.
  3. In a large mug, stir vinegar into the soy milk and set aside to curdle. This won’t take longer than 5-10 minutes depending on the kind of ‘milk’ used. After is has curdled, stir in the maple syrup.
  4. Prepare your trail mix by chopping any nuts or breaking them into smaller pieces.
  5. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and flax seeds plus cinnamon if using.
    Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t over mix.
  6. Fold in the trail mix.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 35-45 minutes. Loaves should be golden brown and springy to touch.  Test with a toothpick to check if they’re done after minimum baking time. They toothpick should come out clean. If it doesn’t, bake for an additional five minutes and test again.
  8. Let the loaves cool down on a wire rack very well before slicing. If you do have the time I recommend freezing them for easier slicing.
  9. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160 °C.
  10. Slice the loaves as thin as possible, letting thaw a little before if you froze them. The thinner they are the better they will crisp up.
  11. Bake crackers for a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 25 minutes or until crisp [time will depend on how thin or thick the crackers are cut]. Flipping them about halfway through the baking time is optional but recommend.
  12. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes

  1. *a gluten-free AP mix should work just fine
  2. A serrated knife is your best friend for slicing the loaves thin enough for crispy Crackers.

Adapted from Babble.

Trail Mix Crackers_3.JPG

I’m linking up with Meatless MondaysAllergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Taking time to read a book before and after work.

 

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

What’s in your go-to trail mix?

Are your family members the harshest judges of your cooking, too?

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Quality [time] not quantity

Manic Monday – that’s exactly what I expect today – or actually our first week back at the office – to be like. I wouldn’t mind another day off😉 … But today’s post isn’t about the future [much less stressing about the latter], it’s a recap of what we did during the past week so let’s go on with that. Meg, thank you for starting this wonderful link-up again months ago and encouraging us to see the good in every week.

As the title might give away already I don’t have many accomplishments to talk about. Rather, I was lucky to spend quality time with my family, filling my second bucket and my heart with joy. I’m sure many of you noticed the missing cheer in my previous week in review and even disappointment. Looking back I see that I was even more appreciative of the past seven days’ happenings so the low I found myself was the rain I had to go through to see my rainbow. <- don’t ask where that came from. My mind goes places when I allow it to take the lead while writing. Moving on for real now!

Week in review

In the past week

Worked two days. That bit about the holidays? Still true. Only that my boss [for those who don’t know: a relative] called me to start again a bit earlier me smile that pretty much all of Wednesday and several hours of Sunday were spent working.

Published a week in review and some Good good links.

Did a second photo shoot of the recipe I mentioned in my recent post already. Sorry for the delay. I wasn’t entire happy with the outcome of my first batch of pictures, still hoped to publish the recipe on Thursday but then came the unexpected call into work and all plans dissolved. <- what I meant when talking about necessary changes  [better time management for after work to-dos]

Crackers

Vacuumed and mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors. Ick. [Funny side note: auto correct suggests ‘Ickenham’ here. Where is that?]

The biggest chunk of the week revolved around the best thing possible: quality time with the family. Some of the happenings included:

Helping my sister bathe P. As if he wasn’t adorable enough this revealed a new level of cuteness to me. Maybe I do want to become a mum after all one day still. Minus the … ahem … backdoor shenanigans [shamelessly stealing borrowing Meg’s terminology here].

Baking baby cookies/banana oatmeal fingers [my sister practices baby led weaning hence the solids along with breastfeeding at six months already]. Vrdict:  not  as popular as fresh fruit. Which I, even being the baker [not my own recipe, though], actually found awesome. Fruit is definitely my favourite kind of candy, too. No worries about the oats in the ‘cookies’, though: I still plan on turning P. into an oatmeal [and nut butter] fiend later on. Just watch me on my mission😉.

Baby nephew

Lots of peek-a-boo playing, ‘conversations’ and cuddles with my nephew. Still obsessed with that boy and I’m afraid you might hear me talk about him a little longer still. Just until he hits those sassy teenage years, you know.

Having a spontaneous longer conversation with just my grandparents on Saturday night. It was lovely to talk about all kinds of things, past and future. We don’t get to see each other and share moments like that often enough.

Giving a little shutout to family members: my grandpa and dad took down our very old garden shed and started building a new bigger one. It looks promising.

Going for several walks with the family. These happen way more regularly now there’s a baby supposed to nap in the afternoons [because walking motion = falling asleep quickly].

Doing the final round of proofreading for my sister’s thesis. She’s about to hand it in.  Fingers crossed for her!

Sitting here on Sunday afternoon/early evening I’m a bit sad my sister and P. left again, not stoked about the prospect of work being more than just hectic for at least the first week – and wistful. Thinking of all the things I didn’t do – not entirely by my own choice – and wishing for some more time. Then again: don’t we all -always- do? It’s about living in the now and that’s something I need to practice a bit more again.

That’s enough about my life already. Tell me about yours and don’t forget to head over to Meg’s and everybody else’s blogs to find out about their recent achievements and fun happenings.

Happiness-inducing today:  Carrying my nephew around a bit more before he and my sister left. A nice walk home from the pffice.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!
 

How have you been filling your second hunger bucket [hint if you didn’t read the post: emotional hunger]?

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