Joyful days, heavy thoughts and sunshine.

[Edited: Bad Monday luck?! The very moment I wanted to publish my post yesterday night, the internet went off and the connection didn’t return until Monday afternoon hence my delay in posting.]

Sunshine! Summer, er, spring! Is it apparent I’m really appreciating the sun finally blessing us with so many hours of its presence? No matter what’s going on in my mind [no shortage of ramblings, ever]: sunshine helps.

Something I’ve noticed – and admittedly not for the first time – is that I tend to eat my feelings. The past few days of having family and at that loved ones around, my appetite even disappeared at times. Yet a few things enraging me brought back the urge to eat just because I couldn’t adress the true issue at hand. This is frustrating to say the least.

A lot of the anger and frustration inducing this came from what should actually have brought only joy. Family and friends visiting. And spending time with family members, some of which I hadn’t seen in way too long, did fill those happiness batteries. It was the arrival of some unexpected guests, strangers to me, staying in my apartment, that irritated and angered me. For the sake of privacy even of people I’m not on good terms with I won’t go into details. What I can say is that the way they behaved and the return of feeling like an intruder in my own apartment got to me more than I’d like to admit and I let it take away from the overall joy a family weekend could have brought. Missed chances – whatever they are about – never feel good.

But I’m not here to spread gloominess. Despite some additional not so happy happenings, the week still had its silver linings; sunshine being an obvious one here.

Here’s a look at the past week of life as inspired by our lovely host Meg.

Week in review

In the past seven days I …

Worked just three days due to a national holiday, Himmelfahrt. Unfortunately not easy work days as I had a really itchy throat that got so bad I could hardly focus or talk at times. Thanks to my colleagues trying to think of ways to easen it. [By Thursday evening I felt fine again]

Spent time with the family – this really made up the biggest part of my week. Several aunts [plus husband respectively boyfriend] cousins, my sister, her husband and P, my brother, his girlfriend and four of their friends visited us for the weekend.

Finally picked up my new inlays. Do me a favour and don’t search the blog for when I first ordered them … it’s been forever. In my defense, I just couldn’t be bothered going there again after work. The place has the charm of a 1960ies house ware store …

Got my bike back after necessary repair. And:

pink flowers

Went on the first longer bike ride of the year with part of the family, including P. in his cool new Croozer[and muscle soreness in my derierre for good measure afterwards]. Also worked up a belated tan aka got a mini sunburn on my forehead. It’s looking pretty now and didn’t hurt at all so no complaints there.

Went on a walk with one of my cousins that allowed for a deeper conversation and catch-up on some parts of her life I hadn’t know about before.

Slept many many hours around the weekend. Most definitely catching up on sleep from the past two weeks or so. Major win for going to bed earlier every day this past week. Not early as in early for you guys – need to hold up my night owl status after all; it’s just me – but it was an improvement compared to past weekends in particular. Fingers crossed I’ll keep it up this week. Goodness knows I need my sleep.

bed_pyjama

Relaxed a little more in certain ways I find hard. Still no couch yoga for hours on end but working on it ;).

Blogged twice, including more good good links perfect for checking out when bored at work. I obviously didn’t tell you that ;).

Turned to podcasts, food prep and cleaning when I noticed I was eating my feelings. This did help refocus me at least a little.

Finally started looking for a new laptop. It’s a work in progress but I know making this decision + investment [= getting back the ability to upload new pictures!] will also bring back my often missing blogging mojo.

Not much to talk about in terms of actual accomplishments here – outside of basic unmentionworthy usuals –  as my family was staying with us from Wednesday until Sunday afternoon.

Coming up on Thursday – fingers crossed for the internet working! – is another episode on the little or bigger differences between Germany and the US.

Better late than never:

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Walking home in the gorgeous sunshine. All the Vitamin D ;).

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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Good good links #186

Hello there, Sunday. You came faster than expected. Which also means it’s time to share some of my favourite posts found in the past two weeks with you again. With too many thoughts on my mind right now, I won’t say much more than enjoy and have a happy – hopefully sun-filled – Sunday! If you saw any other great posts feel free to share them in the comments.

Happy reading!

Good good [food for thought]

Does Body Positivity Still Matter? via Refinery 29

In a time of political arousal all around, this one brings up good pointson why taking care of our own well-being and the issues we battle daily still isn’t entirely selfish.

Am I Normal? The Answer is Always YES. Via Avocado a Day Nutrition

Relieving and at the same time an invitation to get thinking about your underlying reasons for questioning whether you fit in or not.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

‘Better’ Probably Takes Less Time Than You Think via Yes and Yes

Raise your hand if you put things off because they ‘take too long right now’.  If so, this post might prove you wrong [and it totally did for me].

3 Compelling Reasons to Schedule More Nothing via be more with less

If you’re constantly rushing around and schedule something for every waking minute, this one’s for you. There’s no arguing these reasons.

What Else I Gained When I Gained 15 Pounds via Emilie Eats

A great reminder for all of us needing to gain weight but finding  it so very hard mentally. There’s more to gain back than just the weight.

Are You Accidentially Food-Shaming Yourself and Others? via Mind Body Green

Mind your language! Knowledge about [healthy] food is good but don’t let it take away from your [and others’] pleasure in eating whatever you want.

When You’re At The Pool With All The Skinny Girls via Medium

A lesson on appreciating [and living in] the now and yourself for who you are and how you look like.

Get the Bikini Body (Mentality) Without Dieting via Abbey’s Kitchen

Sound advice that is a lot better than crash dieting or missing out on all the fun [food and elsewise].

Impostor Syndrome: Getting Over Self-Doubt via This Renegade Love

Ever doubt everything about yourself so strongly it keeps you from getting anything done? This one’s for you.

The Trouble with Following Your Own Path via Helene in Between

No two people life journeys look the exact same and that’s not just okay but what makes life interesting. What makes others happy doesn’t have to be true for you so don’t let comparison or other people’s expectations get you stressed out.

 

Blogging

4 Things That Change When You Start Monetizing Your Blog via The Blog Market

For readers: how to tell if the blogger you’re following is making an effort to gain not just readers but some coins. For bloggers: how to do just that.

11 Crafty Ways to Repurpose Old Content via Elle & Company

Because we all can’t constantly create new content – here’s how to let those oldies but goodies shine again.

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

Hilarious Winners of the First Annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’

Cuteness overload! I’m not one to watch funny cat videos but these are plain amazing.

 

Good good [food]

Vegan Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream via Beaming Baker

No ice cream maker? No problem. This no-churn cross between nice cream and (duh!) ice cream just calls for a blender.

Blueberry Macarons with Blueberry Mascarpone Cream via Joanne Eats Well With Others

Just how amazing do these sound?! The flavour combination is so unique and perfect for berry season coming up.

Gooey Brownie Skillet (gluten-free) via The Toasted Pine Nut

The sneaky flour sub in this skillet of chocolatey deliciousness promises a whole lot of flavor.

 Easy Jackfruit “Chicken” Quinoa Bowls via Full of Plants

One of those intriguing natural vegan meat replacements I have yet to try but this looks amazing.

Cheesy Cauliflower, Lentil and Buckwheat Bake (vegan) via Food to Glow

With filling buckwheat, lentils and cheese this is serious comfort food that also offers some nutritional benefits. Win-win.

Vegan Seitan Tikka Masala via The Conscientious Eater

Seitan – though I’m not eating it often enough [lazy!] – is my favourite meat replacement and Faith’s dish sounds amazing and so creamy.

Thai Mango Curry with Lentils via iFoodReal

Mango is such a great addition to curry and this vegan one packs in some legume protein, too.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Time with the family and sunshine. Summer Spring is really picking up around here now.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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Week in Review: Catching up

Hello! It’s been a while [after how many times does that saying get too old?]. I could go into a lengthy explanation of the why but nobody really wants to read that. Long story short: Life is never short of surprises; both of the good and bad kind which can throw you off. There’s are a lot of things I need to work on both physically and mentally. Vague-blogging isn’t cool so I’ll leave it at this and make an effort to get back into the blogging game for real now. Because I miss it.

Right now, my mind is filled with a lot of unsorted thoughts that led to me rewriting this intro about five times until deciding to keep it short. Life has been a whirlwind, an up-and-down of good and bad days lately.  A lot I’m processing and need to work through but rather than delve into all of that so I’ll focus on the past weeks’ – mostly the one week that just passed but two mention-worthy happenings from a previous one –  positives. Because even in the hard times there’s some sunshine. Quite literally around these parts lately and I’m not complaining.  Sunshine can make tough times a little more bearable, agreed?

Linking up with Meg whose amazing time management and mum skills I’m even more impressed by these days [you’ll know why in a minute].

Week in review

In the past seven days I …

Worked the same schedule as always. We’ve been getting a lot of new clients lately which has been keeping me busy.

Tested the waters of finding a new job.  As you might know, I’m not happy in my current job – or better yet since I’m not hating it: unsatisfied by it. That’s why I keep looking for others yet opportunities are rare in my field. Long story short: I found a job offer, applied and was invited for not only an interview but a mini assessment center of sorts [which in this field meant spending a day at the editorial office writing a few articles]. Geesh did I not expect that kind of anxiety leading up to the day. We’re talking loss of appetite, panicking about whatever might go wrong – the whole bandwidth of nervousness. And in the end? A major train delay aside – thanks for nothing, Deutsche Bahn – things went pretty well and I got a good feedback on my work.  While I found out I didn’t get the job the next week [a local candidate did] – which, while a little bummer, was probably just right as the day there showed me this wasn’t what I could see myself doing for years – I still gained something from it. Confidence. In presenting myself and my writing skills [self-doubt is a huge constant issue for me].

Sunshine

Soaked up the sunshine we’ve finally been getting more of whenever I could. It’s a surefire happiness booster and hey there, Vitamin D!

Babysat P.. I’d say it was good. Not amazing – hey, first time – but good. Does anybody else find that babysitting a toddler for the first time is a lot like first dates? There’s the “I hope he likes me” and “what if we run out of things to talk about [or in the toddler case: play]?” Luckily, P. truly seems to like me 😉 and while we did run out of activities – couldn’t colouring have been interesting for longer than five minutes, dear?? – I had an emergency backup plan. More specifically: P.’s hot new ride. When nothing helped distract him anymore into the Croozer – luckily, P.’s a huge fan of it –  it was and out for a walk. He fell asleep soon and didn’t wake up until about 1 1/2 hours later when we snuggled for a bit and played in his little sand pit. I think I’m not meant to be a mum [just yet or ever], though. How do you amazing ladies do this every single day, never run out of ideas and carry a smile all throughout?

Spring-cleaned for the second time. Just how many nooks and crannies can a single apartment have?? I’m slowly, ever so slowly, getting better at this keeping things neat thing. If you excuse me for a second right here – I need to find some wood to knock on.

Finally exchanged the dust bag in my vacuum cleaner. One of those “takes too much time right now – I’ll do it later [or never]” tasks that actually takes no time at all and makes a true difference.

Prepared multiple batches of peanut butter – going through copious amounts lately – and one of healthy vegan “Nutella” without sacrificing any fingers. Win! If you haven’t tried that recipe yet, you really should. Just sayin’.

Wrote a few post drafts to share the next few weeks so I won’t just disappear again. Coming up next, though, are more good good links on Sunday.

Lindt chili

Treated myself to several bars of Lindt – they’re having a special offer at the moment – and a new sudoku booklet. The latter actually excited me the most because they’re part of my dinner routine but I had come to the final page of my previous book. Any other sudoku fans?

That’s it from me for now so:

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Taking a walk and getting most of my to-do list for the day crossed off. Oh those lists …

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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Good good links #185

Confession: I was super late in assembling today’s post. With family around and my mind pondering many things lately, I’ve been neglecting the blog and blog world as a whole lately. Sorry for just disappearing at times. I’m not going to give up blogging, only need some time to figure things out here and there. Ah well, no more vague-rambling but some great posts for your reading pleasure. As always feel free to drop links to posts that made you think or feel inspired lately in the comments.

Happy reading!

How to Attract a Man … via Ally in Blunderland

Newsflash [for the males out there]: Women aren’t constantly trying to be eye candy for male gazes and definitely don’t need anybody’s stamp of approval for any choices they make [clothes, make-up or whichever else ones].

You Will Regret These Choices in 10 Years via Huffington Post

True. Powerful. Some might be a little hard to swallow if you already made them [raising my hand]  but also provide the chance to better yourself in the future. Not too late yet.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

It’s Time to Embrace Slow Technology via Cait Flanders

When social media does more harm than good – hi, anxiety and stress- we might need to rethink our relationship with it.

What To Do When Your Friend Loses a Baby via Pinch of Yum

An important and in-depth post on how to be a good friend in one of the hardest situations a couple can experience. As much as I hope as few mums/dads as possible have to experience this, having a support squad would be so needed.

Things I want every to Tell Every College-Aged Woman via Clean-Eating Veggie Girl

Wise beyond her years, Hannah shares some lessons many of us will find relieving to hear.

6 Ways to Calm Digital Overwhelm via hello glow

#1 has been key in my life for the past months and the others listed here are really good, too [who else needs to work on the tab situation??].

Why Authenticity Is So Important In Social Media via Coffee with Summer

So much yes! Authenticity is a core value and what draws me to other accounts on social media.

If You’re Still Doing These 10 Things At Age 25, It’s Totally Freaking Okay via The Financial Diet

Don’t tell me I was the only one feeling relieved reading through this list!

 

Food

5 Major Health Benefits Of Gluten (This Is Not A Drill) via Mind Body Green

Finally some research proving gluten is by far not the evil its made up to be.

 

Recovery

Having a structure of spontaneity with movement. via Yeah … Imma Eat That

Getting to the [mental] place where working out and moving in general are gentle and in line with what we need that exact day [= intuitive] can be hard but is so worth working on.

How to Not Stress Over Exercise On Vacation via Healthy Hits the Spot

A great addition to the above post, this one helps figure out if working out on vacation is what you truly need [i.e. enhancing the experience] or forced.

A Thank You to My ED via Katalyst Health

As horrible as they are, EDs can also have [major] positive impacts on some people’s lives. Kat’s story is a beautiful example of one such case.

 

Good good [Instagram account]

Jennifer Rollin

Body-positivity, recovery inspiration and guaranteed to make you feel at least a little more at peace with yourself.

 

Good good

Are You Normal? Via ASAP Science

Well, after watching this I’d say I’m semi-normal ;).

7 of the Best Mood-Boosting Websites We Could Find via Hubspot

Because who doesn’t ever need some happiness-inducers in their life?!

 

Good good [food]

30 Super Chocolatey Vegan Chocolate Desserts via It doesn’t taste like chicken

Don’t click over if hungry. Or just get ready for what vegan chocolate-filled dreams are made of.

Creamy Millet Porridge with Roasted Strawberries via Naturally Ella

Millet usually isn’t my favourite grain but this looks so dreamily creamy.

Easy Paleo and Vegan Chocolate Pudding via Paleo Running Momma

Sometimes it’s the simple things and this looks incredibly luscious while being made from natural ingredients and without refined sugar.

Nut-free Satay Sauce via Five Beans Food

A really creative alternative for those with pesky peanut or nut allergies.

Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing via Well Plated by Erin

Neither a fan of salads in general nor quinoa the fact this really appeals to me says a lot.

Quinoa Taco Bowls with Guacamole via Plantings and Pairings

These might just be one the easiest to prepare taco bowls out there –and still so flavor- and beautiful.

How to Make Marbled Rainbow Toast via A Beautiful Mess

Now I might not be a bread person but this? You eat with your eyes after all.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Babysitting P. No more aunt gushing here but damn, that little guy stole my heart.

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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My kitchen must-have and acknowledging food privileges

Bloggers, raise your hand if you’ve been in a writing rut lately. Well, that’s been me these days and I’m not enjoying it. Some weeks thoughts and ideas are flowing through my brain faster than I can grab a pen – or access my phone – to write them down and others nothing goes. Ironically, just when I had mentally decided to give in and simply do some random Thinking out loud, one of the points I initially noted got my mind churning again. So I’ll reserve that one for another day but share some other randomness today to avoid falling out of the blogging loop completely.  Let’s get going!

Tell me: how do you – especially those of you in the US – prepare your tea? Or more specifically: how do you heat the water needed for it? A little birdy told me electric kettles aren’t really popular which stumped me because I’d never used anything else. Until now because – cue the tragical music – my kettle just quit its services [read: it broke]. On Sunday of all possible times obviously = no chance to get a new one right then and there .  Thrifty as I am I wasn’t ready to invest in a new one yet so have been relying on cooking water on the stove. I won’t lie in saying it first felt – okay, still feels – like a huge inconvience. But at that it also made me appreciate the daily convience I’m blessed to have every single day; hardly ever acknowledging the whole of it. If it’s between me and you, though, I do feel so priviled every time I just have a glass of tap water without worrying about germs and simply looking at the fact it’s so readily available to me.

Another thing in my kitchen I couldn’t don’t want to live without? Hands down my dishwasher. While I do a few dishes by hand if I want to reuse them again that day, just putting everything into the dishwasher at the end of the day and waking up to clean and dried dishes is amazing. A privilege I’m thankful for every single day.

Speaking of privilege: I stumbled upon this article the other day. It’s about the British chef Ruby Tandoh pointing out that the healthy lifestyle many people – particularly those striving for high protein intake and low-carb – live these days simply isn’t affordable for some. Now I know there are many posts out there sharing great advice on how to eat healthy on a budget and it’s definitely not impossible [but might require more time, knowledge and careful planning than some people have or can bring up]. I encourage you to read the full post to see the points Tandoh makes, though. What I agree with and have noticed myself is – through my own experience as somebody eating lots of fruit and vegetables – that fresh produce can easily make up a good chunk of your grocery bills. For families with multiple children – like Tandoh’s and many of those living on the brink of or in poverty – getting adequate amounts of food in on a budget doesn’t allow for such luxuries. So shaming any foods (think potatoes, white rice, grains in general) is plain wrong and I wish society as a whole did less of it [if at all]. We’re all just trying our best in this world and don’t all have the same chances. Just some food for thought.

Just like the privilege to buy almond butter. Thanks to Jen for the advice of keeping the unopened jar upside down for a day – it makes stirring so much easier. No huge oil spillage like on past occasions here and just a few clumps to smoothen out. Easy.

Something more light-hearted on my currently very heavy/deeper thought-filled mind is seeing my sister and P. again on the weekend. It’s been a few [too many] weeks since the previous time and will be my first time babysitting P. all by myself. I won’t lie in saying I’m a little nervous [and hoping for no necessary diaper changes in those few hours ;)]. Coming up for you on the weekend: more good good links!

For once not turning this into an endlessly wordy post – you’ve had a lot of these coming from me lately – I’ll end this here. Happy Thursday! We’re –this- close to the weekend!

Happiness-inducing today:  My current book and an unexpected smile.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Share your thoughts on any or all of the above points with me!

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Good good links #184

Way overused statement but so true: the struggle is real. Which struggle, you ask? Well, mine when compiling these lists of good good links. At first, I have too few to share a post and once I dig into my notes and browse a few more blogs: way. too. Many. How about all of you out there try to schedule your most amazing posts a little further apart ;)?  As this doesn’t happen I’ve once again had to make hard decisions save some of the truly great posts I’ve come across for a next episode of the good links. Not that I was complaining or anything. I hope you find something that inspires you, makes you think or just gets your stomach rumbling.

Happy reading!

Good good [food for thought]

I Drank Unicorn Frappuccinos For a Week and Here’s What Happened via Hummusapien

Preach! Food shaming isn’t cool + has to stop and nothing is off limits or going to kill you in a balanced diet.

What if you only tried to be 10 % happier? via Cait Flanders

No matter what we’re struggling with [mentally no different from physically]: it takes time to heal and we should try to appreciate even just a seemingly small progress. Instead of seeking immediate but not lasting 100 % “cures”/bandaids.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

We Need To Be Kinder To Our Flaky Friends via Medium

Anybody with a mental illness will [likely] be able to relate to this, everybody else should read it to understand why we behave the way we behave at times.

It’s not the body I asked for, it’s the body I have via In It 4 the Long Run

We might not love everything about ourselves but appreciating the gift of being blessed with an able body* is so important. Georgie’s story is one I’m sure many of us can relate to.

*not a fan of separating body and mind in general but rolling with it for the ease of writing here

For the Intuitive Eating Haters via Yeah … Imma Eat That

Or maybe not even haters but those skeptical of IE and not daring to take the first step of the journey. Kylie clears up the most common misconceptions/worries people have regarding IE.

Can You Love Your Body and Want to Change It? Via The Balanced Berry

Answer: yes but examine your reasons for wanting to do it.

How to support your friends struggling with mental illnesses via love me, feed me

Friends as a steady support system can be so very vital in recover y and Leah listed some great ways to help.

Yes, Yogis Can Get Cancer Too. Via Mind Body Green

An important one in an online world where many [self-proclaimed] experts are trying to tell us that exercising and eating right could cure or prevent these kind of major illnesses.

 

Blogging

How to Tell People About Your Blog (and deal with their reactions) via Forever Amber

If you’ve been feeling awkward when doing this (hi!): a) you’re not alone and b) here are some good ways to say it.

How to Build a Mommy Blog While Your Little One Sleeps via Bloguettes

For any mum wanting to start/maintain a blog while juggling crazy busy mum life. Or those of us wondering how in the world she does it.

 

Food and cooking

How to Interpret Expiration Dates Based on the 5 Food Groups via Spoon University

A really helpful and important one to reduce food waste – and hey, it’ll save you a few bucks, too.

3  Principles of Vegan Baking for Beginners via The Kitchn

Not just for vegans but handy to know for anybody when running out of eggs or dairy products.

 

Good good [food]

Peanut Butter Swirled Chocolate Fudge Popsicles.[vegan] via Half-Baked Harvest

There are no words for how good these look. I mean:  peanut butter. Chocolate. Fudge. Popsicles! Fruit-sweetened, too.

Twix Chocolate Caramel Spread  [vegan] via Full of Plants

There are no words to describe how amazing this looks [and there also don’t have to be any as you’ve already clicked over, right ;)?!]

Vegan Tiramisu via It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

One of the few desserts that a) make me actually like coffee and b) are well worth the effort of preparing them.

Vegan French Onion Dip from Scratch via One Ingredient Chef

There can never be enough healthy dips and I’m intrigued by the secret ingredient here [have had it before but never in dips].

 

Happiness-inducing today: An encouraging conversation with + hug by my mum. I’m a bundle of nerves right now but that helped a little.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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